Sunday, September 30, 2012

These baby and children's hats need to be made with organic cotton. How in good conscience can I make them from commercial cotton, when I know that cotton is one of the worst offenders when it comes to pesticides and other chemicals? I don't believe for a moment that the processing cleans those chemicals from the cotton fiber; if anything, more are probably added in the form of dyes and other processes. That cannot possibly be good for the infants; our skin absorbs all sorts of stuff. I will use up the yarn I have; after that, switching to organic cotton only...and my own handspun. There will be a price jump. I will have to order this yarn online, which will be inconvenient. is what has to be done.
I just realized that I feel real again! I look at my hands and move them and they don't feel foreign and distant, like objects attached to me....I am in them, I feel whole! This is wonderful. It feels so good, I could almost cry.

I don't think it's possible to really explain how nice it is to people who haven't had dissociative issues before. My body feels. It's so nice. I have struggled with dissociation for most of my adult life, particularly in relation to sex. There were complaints that I was remote and cold...but honestly, when sex is something that is being done to your body while your mind flies away to somewhere could it possibly be otherwise? This has not been an issue in my current relationship, which must be credited to an exceptionally gentle, sensitive, conscious, accepting and understanding partner...and that has been an awakening. I have been less and less dissociative more of the time which was already major progress...but this... this is wonderful. I feel alive for a change. Intensely alive. :-)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

So, I have been crocheting children's hats. Several people really liked them and my goooooood friend put me in touch with a lady who owns a shop that sells that sort of thing. She wanted me to bring in 7-8 of them, but I am on #5 now and running out of yarn, so I just brought her the four that were finished, because I needed to sell some in order to make money to buy more yarn.... I took them in on Thursday morning and already two of them have sold! They're selling for $20, made of cotton yarn, the Sugar and Cream brand if I recall correctly.

The obvious solution to the yarn shortage problem is to use my own handspun yarn. I will have to price that accordingly....but if I include a little card explaining the source of the wool, process to make it (lots of TLC and personal touch, yada yada), etc, then I might be able to command a higher price for them. I will continue making the cotton hats as well and charging only $20 for those.

The beauty of it is that I can carry the yarn and crochet hooks along with me and work on it whenever, as opposed to some of the other things I've tried to make and sell. Success!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Unlike Farmville, there is no easily accessible information which tells you how much a given crop will produce per foot/yard etc, how much it will sell for and how much it will cost to plant it and keep it up. Even more problematic are factors such as first year production on unimproved soil or with new plants (when perennials, berries and trees are being considered), how much those perennial crops might or might not produce the first year or two per plant and the difference in production between commercially grown veggies vs organically grown crops grown on nice soil with lots of TLC. I guess that I am going to have to slowly compile my own data, and of course am regretting not having done so before when I was growing a LOT of stuff.

For example, I know that my winter squash was extremely productive, particularly in relation to the amount of weeding and care it needed (almost none) and also considering that it could be grown directly over sod, giving me a very nice garden bed of improved soil in which to plant other crops the next year. It hogged a lot of space, but was worth it to me for those reasons. But how much space per plant? How much (in pounds) marketable winter squash did it produce in relation to the space it used? I really have no idea, I can only say that I was quite happy with it and had more squash than I could use and found lots of happy customers who were very pleased with its quality.

Felt unreasonably emotional and weepy for the past several days and now for whatever reason, feel rational and calm again...but sort of tired and sleepy. Am embarrassed by the mood swings but, powerless to go back and reverse them, what can be done about that?

I don't miss the cyclical bleeding thing, but I have to say that keeping the ovaries without the alert system to be able to make sense of what was going on hormonally has its confusing moments. :-P

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Still working on farm business plan. If only I could find someone to plunk down 150 K, I think it is highly plausible that the rest of life would begin to work better than it has been. The location is perfect. I don't care if it is in my name, or I am willing for it to be in someone else's name until I have paid them off, plus interest.

Let's say that this happens. Then I would need to come up with the capital to buy and plant the apple trees, etc. Even if I start slowly, half an acre or an acre of trees per year....the initial investment would need to be figured in. And, although I don't want this to be a monoculture anyway, it would be critical to have crops that would produce a marketable crop the very first year, ASAP. Some of those crops would continue to be grown over the long term, while others would be phased out as the apples came into strong production.

I ran into a friend the other day, one whom I hadn't seen in some time, and we chatted happily for about half an hour. Wonderful! We discussed work, money, how one balances all that sort of thing. And then she said something that wasn't new to me, something that had always been my ideal anyway, and I might not be able to state it as meaningfully as she did. She said that one must never do something just for money. Money can never be the first motivation. If you don't love doing what you do, if you are doing it only to make a buck, things will not go well, you won't be happy. And she's right. The times when I've been the happiest were when I was doing what I loved and the pay just sort of came along with it. That job working on a sheep ranch in Wyoming? Loved. It. I would have done it for free, I had so much fun. They were so happy with my enthusiasm for the work that they paid me extra and paid for a free tank of gas for our truck. The initial rate of pay in the job description wouldn't have been that good, maybe $25 a day for 2 days? Something close to that...I ended up getting paid a lot more. Modeling, same thing. The blueberry farm, the elephant garlic ranch....same stuff...although I did get tired of sitting and peeling elephant garlic for 8 hours a day towards the end of that job!

Working with the earth is something I love, so how does this relate to the farming business plan? Simple: I must not raise an animal, crop or breed of animal with money as the first consideration. I did that this year with garlic. I hate softneck white garlic, but it braids well and people buy braids long before they'll buy loose garlic, and softneck is easier to braid so that's what I grew. I grew Killarney Red, a hardneck garlic with more flavor, for myself. Well, I hated peeling the softneck, although braiding it was okay, but hadn't pulled it soon enough to braid well because it matured earlier than the hardneck garlic. And I can't sell it very easily because the truth is that I don't like it nearly as much as the hardneck. Oh, it's good, better than standard commercially grown garlic of course...but I don't love it the way I love the Killarney Red. There's no conviction or enthusiasm in me for the product I am trying to sell. It is only a product, not a labor of love. I still have a couple of pounds of the damned stuff, which I am struggling to unload. And guess who eats it and uses it if it never sells? Me. I am stuck looking at and eating something I didn't like very much to begin with. Well. That was dumb and misguided and I won't do it again. My friend has a different, much nicer sounding softneck garlic that she's offering me seed from and I might try that one. But generic production softneck white garlic? Never again.

It gets worse with animals because if you don't love and care about your animals, it's next to impossible to do a good job of raising them. The little touches, the little things that matter, fall by the wayside. I have raised animals I didn't love and it was just as disastrous as trying desperately to be a good wife to my husband when I was married to him. I am trying to think if I have ever had good sex, soul satisfying sex, with someone I didn't feel close to....and am coming up empty. When the love goes, so does the passion and all the little things that matter, the joy, the fun, the merging of souls, and it's just a dead act with no meaning...well, no good meaning anyway.

So anyway. I am going back through my business plan now and ensuring that there is nothing on there that I don't love so well that I would grow it for it's own sake, that I get excited about eating or using myself, etc. No iceberg lettuce or florist's roses or pigs or rabbits or Cornish Rock chickens!

Well, the house is cleaner at least.....

Woke up to a flat tire. Started to change it, couldn't get the last nut off (note: remove top nuts first, not last!) despite trying with all of my (limited!) strength. I had collapsed into tears and cleaning frenzies alternately a few times when my friend showed up to help. :-)

And then......

And then he used an air gauge to check the tire pressure while we were fully inflating the spare tire. An air gauge! Imagine that! I never use one of those since I lost my blue one a few years ago. I just listen for that tight sound and eyeball the tires. Who needs an air gauge? Well....turns out I have been over-inflating them. That's why I'm so hard on tires. That's why they keep developing uneven wear and bubbles in the metal belt. They were over inflated by 10-15 lbs...and I hadn't aired them up in months. I had no idea that over-inflating tires was a bad thing.....

But I have managed to knock a few of the major tasks off of the to-do list since finally getting to town.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

There are all sorts of things I'm supposed to be doing today. I have a to-do list that extends the full length of the page of my sketchbook/journal.

But today...I feel

as delicate as a robin's egg

as fragile as a dragonfly's wing

like the incomparably blue petals of the chicory flowers that I picked, not knowing that they'd shrivel into barely visible nothings before he could see them. Who would think that a weed would do that?


And what I should do, because I feel this way, is to throw myself into the risk of that list, to accomplish something, to confront life head on. Should. Do.

Random neurodiversity stuff:

  • I once had a T shirt made that said " Autism: it's not like you think". Nobody seemed to get it. of course, I didn't wear it very much, because even though the color (oatmealy natural) and size (small) were right, the neckline was so high and small that I felt a bit claustrophobic, like I was on the verge of being strangled. Kind of ironic that I did not attend to my own sensory issues while ordering a neurodiversity T shirt.
  • The autism end of the neurodiversity movement has been hijacked by "autism awareness" groups, most of which seek to "cure" or eliminate us or to force us into conformity at any cost to our own identity and personal well being. For example, Autism Speaks does not allow anyone with autism on it's board, nor in any position in its organization. This may have changed...I will look into it. How the fuck can they call themselves "Autism Speaks" when their very agenda is to silence us? They don't allow/listen to any criticism/feedback/input from people on the autism spectrum. They are in fact the very antithesis of their (poorly chosen!) name. And, also last I heard, they are in support of a prenatal test for autism spectrum disorders.
  • I have mixed feelings about the prenatal test (which is not a reality, but a goal in the minds of some groups). There is something very close to eugenics about it, particularly since it probably would not filter out mildly, barely there autism spectrum from solidly in the thick of it auties. I don't think any of us should be eliminated, nor do I adhere to the notion that people such as myself, who can pass for normal most of the time, are superior to so called "low functioning" autistics.
  • "Low functioning". What a slap in the face. Who is to say that these people are low functioning? Functioning poorly at what? At what the neurotypical experts think they should be functioning at? I am pretty sure that these people are functioning far more highly at things which the experts are either unaware of or completely insensate to.
  • Moreover, how much of it is the environment that the autistic people are in? Fluorescent lights, for example, drove me nuts in school. Between the humming and the constant flickering, I could hardly focus on my schoolwork. Describing how these lights make me feel is difficult, but aside from the noise and visual effects, there is something else...something toxic about them. They make me feel less together, less mentally organized, less able to think and cope well. And don't even get me started on Walmart....half an hour in that place renders me numb, overwhelmed and dazy. But my point is....if these people who are accused of not functioning well were in a place without artificial light, without constant noise (as opposed to sound) and generally toxic surroundings....they would "function" better, cope better, than they do when assaulted in almost every sensory way imaginable. This is not their/our fault. It is the time and society we are living in. It's toxic to us all, but some of us are more sensitive to it than others.
  • There is a fellow spectrumite, young, who comes to the library. He regularly has meltdowns and flips out. I have seen him in places that are not inundated with fluorescent lights and his behavior is so different there that at first I was shocked that it was the same child. It might not be the lights...but it could be.
  • I have been talking about this with my (ostensibly normal) friend/lover, who detailed a number of highly irritating sensory items. There are a lot of people who have issues with the overly aggressive, intrusive sensory assaults in our world. Now imagine being much, much more sensitive to strobe lights, very high pitched sounds, obnoxious perfumes (Axe! yuck!), etc, and being told that it is your fault and that you have to learn to deal with it because the world isn't going to change to suit you. Is it our fault that as people become increasingly insensitive and benumbed by their surroundings, the advertisers, etc ramp it up to still get a response, at the expense of those who are not dead to the world?
  • I hate hate hate those autism puzzle ribbons. I hate the idea that we cannot be understood, that we don't have a voice to explain our ways of being if only people would listen...which we do, that we are so poorly put together that our pieces don't fit or make a real picture. I hate even more that very well meaning, kind and autism advocacy minded people put these ribbons on their cars thinking that this is some kind of a positive gesture towards people on the autism spectrum, an emblem of support. The infinity ribbon, is what is generally used by people who are actually on the spectrum. Can you imagine what an uproar would ensue if a group of people whose goal was to test for -with the goal of aborting- anyone prone to developing breast cancer, were the ones who were designing and displaying the breast cancer ribbons, while the people who actually had breast cancer used an entirely different symbol??? That would not fly. The infinity ribbon has no puzzle pieces (unless normal people hijack it). It clearly shows us as we see ourselves, a color on the spectrum of humanity, not a piece out of place, a continuous spectrum wherein no color or section is inherently "better" than another one. This symbol is positive and empowering....and hardly ever seen. Here, by the way, is the website on which I found the image I linked to. "Unpuzzled" it. :-)We are not puzzles. We are people, like anyone else.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The advantage of having a dark background for one's website is that you can then use the computer screen as a mirror to see what is going on behind you. Ha.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I am beginning to think/feel/perceive that I have found true compatibility. I don't have to try to be good enough. I don't have to wear myself out with anxiety (although this is proving to be a difficult habit to break). I don't have to earn/deserve his affection. There's no struggle to try to contort myself into some pretzel of what I'm "supposed to be", "like other women". I just have to be myself and try to relax for a change. It's such a relief. It's hard to believe.

I would never expect him to try to earn/deserve me; after all, if the person you are seeing isn't to your liking, there isn't any point in trying to make them pretend to be what they aren't. I am not the sort of woman who believes in "fixing", "changing" or "training" a man. If I don't like the way someone is, if the essence of who they are isn't conducive to happiness with my true self, then really, what is the point? Why torment someone that way? Let them go to find someone who's a better fit. Yet, it is still very surprising that for once, I really do seem to be good enough. He asks that I be real, genuine. Ah: this is not difficult for an aspie girl to do!

The cynic in me is cautiously optimistic, lol.

Kicking myself because I forgot to take a shower and forgot that the health club closes at 8pm on weekends. Ugh! Otherwise...feeling sort of unsettled inside and not 100% sure why. I have got to find a way to become financially self-sustaining.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Something I was thinking about last night:

Because I am afraid of rejection/abandonment to the point of beign phobic about it, I often come across as clingy and dependent. This is off putting to the kind of guy that I like (introvert who likes his own solitude now and then and is fine with my behaving as if I were a cat rather than a Labrador). The level of fear and frequent need for reassurance probably reads as "weak, needy female who is all clingy and shit". If I had been able to articulate it, I would have told them that this phase is temporary. It is akin to tiptoeing very carefully and gingerly across an otherwise beautiful and inviting piece of land that has been sown with landmines. Until you know where each and every one of those landmines are, you are likely to be afraid. Once they have been found and marked and you have some assurance that things are safe now, the timidity takes a back seat and you can frolic happily, avoiding the mines, of course. But if someone saw you at first and didn't realize that you were afraid of the mines, they might think you were a wimp who was too hesitant to do much of anything or to have fun. Boundaries are critically important for me, as is knowing exactly what will or will not result in being discarded.

Once I feel secure, I pretty much live my own life, am happy to see my partner, enjoy their company, play when we both want to play, spoil them here and there, and read my books or work on whatever interest has consumed me at that time.

The problem: as I said, the sorts of guys who'd be OK with this get scared off by my initial insecurity. Meanwhile, other men do want me. What kind are these? the kind who want a groveling, oh-please-give-me-your-approval-every-second-of-the-day-until-I-die sort of woman. The kind who asks her husband's opinion/permission about the most trivial things and who meekly obeys whatever demands he might make. I am not that sort of woman. But, I have been mistaken for her and the men tend to be fairly dismayed when they discover their error.

The other type of man is less likely to be controlling. He just wants companionship all the fucking time and feels rejected if, God forbid, I want to do something alone or with a friend. Need,need,need,need,need.....and this sends me running away as irrevocably as anything could.

No wonder I have had such bad luck with relationships. :-/

So. Instead of looking for my lover/partner/whatever (not sure if I have attained girlfriend status yet) to reassure me every time I have an anxiety attack because I'm afraid I might get dumped.....I am going to have to learn how to manage the anxiety myself. Because really, that's sort of my responsibility, not his. He is doing his utmost to make me feel safe, but ultimately, that's not really his job, is it? My feelings, my responsibility. So this time, when the anxiety attack sucked my breath away and left me feeling all dazy and panicky...I thought...wait a minute. I am a Quaker. Quakers reach for the light, the peace in the silence. Quakers meditate. I know how to do this. I may not have been able to go to meeting, but I can still find that silence and peace. I can put myself back into my body until it's all there, until I feel real. And it took a long time...but I did it. :-)

I don't know if it will be possible to access this link, but it is so cool that I'll post it in the hope that it will work.... Llama shelter made from stock panels!

In case the link does not work, it is a llama (alpaca!) shelter made by arching cattle panels, stabilizing them in that position with T posts, and using zip ties to secure a tarp to the exterior. The arch/tunnel is open on both ends for ventilation, which is critically important. You do not want a barn to be all sealed up tightly.

I don't want to use a tarp. Thinking...what else would work for a roof? Join and arch metal roofing over the stock panel?

That guy did not show up (whew). Question: How can someone think that they're Jesus and yet reconcile themselves to the impossibility of being unable to work some kind of a miracle to get all their stuff to wherever they want it to be, or for that matter, to just get whatever they want, (i.e. new, better stuff) whenever, the same way?

He probably is not a bad person. Probably I don't need to be petrified of encountering him. However, the sketchbooks and art he left behind aren't helpful in terms of imagining him as a nice, harmless person. :-/

Thursday, September 20, 2012

And now...I'm scared again. Ugh. :-/


Thanks to the schizophrenic guy, afraid to go home, but have to, because the dogs are there.


If offered a choice, I'd rather face that guy than to feel that tightly curling, afraid feeling...that fogging away, losing myself in the dissociation. It is so hard not to be afraid.

It feels like a spring, winding up tighter and tighter in my chest and belly. The sensation of pressure, of imploding, of the spring about to snap and cut me up inside. It hurts, and I wish...I wish that I could make it stop, that I could be as brave within as I pretend to be on the outside.

All I for be good enough for someone that I can truly love. To feel safe and secure. I don't care about money or pretty things or anything like that....just.... Ugh. This is not such a good day.

Does time heal all wounds or only create new ones? I'm not sure. :-/
Why does life have to be so fucking difficult? But, at least I am not profoundly sad anymore. It could always be worse.

As for you, my not-friend....I hope you are doing well. I really, truly do.

Former renter, schizophrenic, came by sometime in the past few days while I was gone and took most of his stuff....and my gardening/farming tools. Well. I have tried to be nice. Time for hardball.

And----> I am so glad I wasn't there when he was. Things have a funny way of working out.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sold more garlic. Have unloaded about two thirds of it. :-)
Huh. I have a relatively new blog and to my surprise, it is getting some interest even though I don't write on it for days at a time. It's subject matter is frugality/bare bones living. I gave it a stupid sounding name....but I don't think it is possible to rename it and can't think of anything better so...oh well.

It is here

Finally sold some garlic this morning. Things were getting down to the wire...our vehicle was nearly out of gas. I need to sell the rest of it...well, only the softneck white, which is the majority of it anyway. Found a place that loves the hats I've been making! She wants me to make a bunch of them and set up a display in her store. :-)

Work...have to find work.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It has got to get tiring to have to constantly reassure me that I am not about to get dumped. To deal with all my old baggage and trauma stuff, etc. I mean, I am working on it, have been working on it, will continue to do so....because I refuse to be a lifelong victim of the people who hurt me. My goal in this area of life is to live well in spite of them, to live fully and happily, to heal.

And...I am thankful that I discovered and developed my sexuality before they got to me, before that part of me could be warped and ruined. I'm not saying there aren't issues...but what I am saying is that when you've owned and defined your sexuality independently, before that kind of trauma, less damage is done because you know that your body belongs to you. Three cheers for masturbation!

As for the nightmarish past 18 months....and yes, that is what it feels like, a nightmare that I've finally awakened from.......I am at a loss as to how and why that hurt so fucking much. Nothing else that has ever happened to me has hurt more. I am done asking "why" it happened to begin with. Life isn't always rational. Strange things happen and sometimes without a good reason. I am not getting how I could have been so emotionally invested in that.....but...whatever. Not going to go picking at the scab.

Because now, things are better. Now, I am discovering what it feels like to be appreciated, to be listened to....really listened to, not that pretend sort of listening...but the sort where you are heard, where your voice matters. I am finding out what it's like to feel like an equal, to be treated with respect. To be 100% there, not dissociating at all. It's wonderful. It's intoxicating. It's very hard to let go of for very long because I'm afraid it will go away and things will return to being sucky again. I think...that I am having a hard time believing that something this nice could happen to me, that there could be a partner who is a partner in every sense of the word, that his eyes could be shining like that at me and will still be that warm tomorrow, too. I wonder if this is what a shelter dog feels like when it leaves the tiny, stinking kennels with the endless barking and fear/aggression smells...and goes to a good home where it's really loved.

I hope this works out..and I will do everything I can to contribute towards that goal....but whether it does or not, one thing is clear: I am never, ever settling for being treated like shit again.

Not scared anymore. :-)
I'm scared. No matter what I do, I'm always scared. Sometimes it's small enough, distant enough, to be almost is still there, still waiting, ready to fuck up whatever pleasant thing might be going on, to frighten me into acting cold and aloof, to being bitchy...ready at the slightest notice of rejection, real or imagined. I hate being this way.

Monday, September 17, 2012

"You are Normal"

What is the appropriate response to the above statement? Or to the similar "There's nothing wrong with you"? This, in context of a disability, whether visible/obvious or hidden/not so obvious (but just as debilitating).

It isn't that I don't appreciate the sentiment; I do. But fast on the heels of that affirmation are the misgivings: does this person really know me? Do they not see what it's really like, who I really am? And yes, having Asperger's or any other autism spectrum disorder is not, contrary to what PC people say (persons with autism, blech) separable from the rest of the person...sort of like your gender and race. Nobody refers to a man as a "person with maleness", to a gay person as "a person with homosexual attraction" or to my grandmother as "a person with Filipino genetic material". There is a reason that ASDs are called "pervasive" (although that doesn't sound like the kindest descriptor to me). When you are on the autism spectrum, it is not something you "have", it is an integral part of you that permeates every aspect of your identity. This isn't to say that the other extreme, autism as who you are, as the sole characteristic, is correct either. Of course any person on the spectrum has many, many other attributes, defining characteristics, and elements to their identity.

Another facet of this "you are normal, there is nothing wrong with you, society is what's wrong" (I agree with the latter statement by the way) point of view is that it seems to imply that if one cannot cope/perform/work/interact as competently as other people, it is due to a lack of trying hard enough...and I emphatically reject that idea. I've never met anyone on the spectrum who wasn't doing their damnedest to cope, who wasn't put under extra stress due to the strain and effort of trying to keep up. Nobody would say that an amputee was just as normal as a group of biped hikers and that if he/she couldn't keep up, it was due to not trying hard enough...but when you are on the spectrum this happens almost every day.

And that's just the ASD stuff. Most of us have at least one "comorbid" (what an ugly sounding word!) condition, such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, Tourettes, etc. Having an anxiety attack is not normal. Having anxiety attacks regularly, when you are trying to get other stuff done, at work or elsewhere, is not normal...and being told that there's nothing wrong with this leaves one feeling somewhat lonely and if they don't know who are are not because you haven't told them, but because they refuse to acknowledge that this is something you have to deal with, that it's something that can be a problem.

The sucky thing is, I really think that people mean well when they say this stuff. It doesn't seem to be said out of malice or insensitivity.

Full of random thoughts today....If I had to choose between being raped every day and having my heart broken again, I think I honestly might choose the rape.

And that's very sad....but...I mean, you can dissociate from your body and after all, it's only a body and it only hurts for a little while even if you do feel it, but if you hurt inside, you hurt nearly all the time, sleeping, awake, whatever you do, you hurt. And then there's the whole feeling worthless/unlovable element besides. Yeah, I would definitely choose the ten minutes of rape every day if I could go home to the arms of someone who cared about me.

Uh, wait. What did I just do? Allowed an application to invite...all my contacts from my yahoo account? Oh dear. That was unintentional but, just like everything in the virtual world, it's instant and irreversible. Sigh.... OK well, I think it's about time to edit my contacts.
I must be one of the world's most impossible women. I don't want to be owned or clung to and demanded of, and if I can't give something voluntarily then I don't want to give it at all, ever...but on the other hand am insecure to an almost (almost?!) neurotic degree and inordinately preoccupied with the fear of being dumped and or abandoned.

How is one to integrate/resolve all this in any sort of a workable fashion?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Every day is better. :-) I am happy, not just happy but deeply contented. I was so uneasy about turning 40...but instead, that was the first step in a different direction, and it's only getting better. I don't expect that life will instantly grow easy, or that I won't continue to struggle with the issues that sometimes haunt me. But....there's hope, there's the promise of happier times. There's....well, life is good. Finally, life is good.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Comparative Psychology. I knew there had to be an official sounding term for what I was trying to describe! :-)
Anxiety, you steal my sleep, make me feel queasy, knot my stomach. You rob me of the joy of what is, now, by preoccupying me with the pain and horror that tomorrow may or may not bring. You tighten my muscles and make me feel sick, you make my smiles feel false. And you try as hard as you can to make me see my beloved with different eyes.

But I will fight you, I hate you. I hate how you bully me, heart and soul, night and day. Be gone!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hmm. Here is something I wrote a long time ago (well, it seems like a long time to me!) and just stumbled across again:

"People cannot be possessed. Perhaps they think so, but I is not so and that love which is about possession, not appreciation for the qualities of what is loved....isn't love at all. It's just greed. If something has to be owned to be loved, then it isn't loved whether it's owned or not."

You know what, I love modeling, I mean really love it, because for whatever reason, the dissociative stuff goes away for a few days and I feel deeply, intensely alive and in my body...but I cannot make a living from it. I cannot even barely squeak by on it unless I get a LOT of jobs together. It would take at least 4, 2 hour jobs per month. You wouldn't think it would be hard to scare up 8 hours of modeling work per month, but it really and truly is.

The blueberry farm is done until spring.

I need to find a different job, part time. And so, I find myself reapplying to a former employer. I was pretty unhappy with them the last time, but I've heard that they have improved. We'll see. It cannot hurt to try.

And....I found more work. Just need to set it up, set prices, etc. :-)
Two more alpacas. These are not as soft as the first two. I have decided to board them all at a friend's house, where there is a lot of securely fenced pasture and they can run around.

One of the mothers from the autism parenting group has alpacas and she once told us that "alpacas are autistic, they really are!", laughing. I am beginning to see what she means. They hate eye contact. They are not crazy about being touched, although if you are slow and gradual, touching can be tolerated. They have a very low panic threshold. And....they hate having their pen moved every day so as to rotate pasture! They want everything to remain the same. If I had goats in the same pen (3-4 stock panels bent into a circle with a gate) that got moved every day, the goats would be excited at the new pasture. They'd be sticking their heads out of the fence eating what could be reached and begging for new browse until the fence was moved. Alpacas on the other hand, hate for their fence to be moved. They resent the change and it really seems to upset them. I had not anticipated this and my entire set up was for what would have made goats happy. So...while they are at my friends pasture (which also has a barn!), I will put up permanent fencing. I tried, but was not able to find, information on the psychological needs and preferences of alpacas...thinking of them as taller, woolier goats was obviously a fail!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sometimes I wonder if it shows in my eyes....because I feel like I'm waving a great big flag that says, "I'm scared, please reassure me!", despite all my best efforts to pretend that all is calm within.

Breathe...try...try to remember that it isn't inevitable, it isn't set in stone that that's the way it always has to go.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Beginning to realize the true extent of my abandonment issues. This issue is huge with me, and I hate it. I hate the gnawing fear, the anxiety, the waiting for it to happen. I hate not being able to enjoy what is today because of what I'm afraid might happen tomorrow. I hate the panic that sets in, the hypervigilance to any sign at all that things aren't going well, that someone might be even slightly inclined to go away. I hate the clinginess that wells up inside of me, that I try so hard to hide. I especially hate the constant need for reassurance because really, who's capable of giving that 24/7 regardless of their mood? And it's so hard for me not to withdraw, not to freak, not to curse myself for ever allowing anyone close to me to begin with, not to play out the chess game 20 moves ahead, in which that last move will be me standing all alone, trying to figure it out....again. I hate feeling as though I have two choices: to be alone and heartbroken, or to be tenuously with someone and very, very afraid.

Visualize the thing that you're most afraid of....snakes, spiders, heights, whatever. Now imagine yourself in a situation with that, the worst small space or big crowd or tall building swaying in the breeze, the nastiest spider, etc....and the happier you are, the worse the thing you're afraid of gets. long as you don't let on that you're afraid of whatever it is, it won't bite you (or whatever). You have to try to hide your fear, not to let any sign out of how terrified you are, because then it will in fact happen. Maybe you could do this for 5, 10, 15 minutes, right? But no. You have to maintain it indefinitely, for as long as you want to be happy, and you have to take care not to let any cracks appear through which your fear will seep out. There are fleeting moments when it relents, when it goes away, but generally, it's there all the time. Generally, as long as you're around someone you love, it's there, and the more they mean to you, the worse it'll be. That's what it's like. It is exhausting. It sucks up all your energy. It depletes one's life of joy. It hurts.

So I went looking online for advice, and the first page I visited said:

"This presentation is NOT about blaming our parents - it's about the acknowledgment of what happened so we can heal the original pain, stop the cycle, and live a happier life. Parents do the best they can - In fact, they are usually on a crusade to make sure their kids "have it better than I did!" Your parents were raised by their parents...who were raised by their parents...and so on. Parents can't give much more than they have been given themselves - its just not in their neural networks."

Well, that pisses me off. I don't care how my mom feels about this. She fucked up and she didn't try her best or she wouldn't have done that. She was selfish and immature. She did it at least three times! Making excuses for the parent who does such a thing is irresponsible in my opinion. Asking a child who has been through that to do those things is like telling a rape victim not to blame her rapist...after all, he was messed up for his own reasons and that was the best behavior he could manage! B.S.

This page was better even though it was less professional. A segment:

"You are a perfectionist. If only you get it right, you won’t be rejected. Whether “it” is a work project, the way your home looks, how you dress, or what your body looks like, perfectionism is a thief. It steals your happiness under the guise of preventing rejection."

Oh yes. The endless trying to find exactly the right combination of things to do, ways to look, talk, etc.....there's got to be some magical sequence, like dance moves, that everyone else knows and I don't....ugh!

Anyway. I am trying to work on this. I really, really, am. It's hard.

I feel like throwing up. I have been trying to track down the bag of art supplies I lost at Annual Session pretty much since I realized I couldn't find them, which was halfway home. I looked through all the stuff when we unpacked. No luck. Asked the folks who drove us there, and eventually they said that they didn't find it either. Emailed the guy who was in charge of physical arrangements, no reply at all. Finally I decided to do what I should have done as soon as I realized it was gone: called PLU. Just got off the phone with them. The guy said that if they ever found it to begin with, they only hold things for a month and then they donate to Goodwill. It's gone.....all of it. Wherever the heck it is, it's gone and I am not getting it back. Remind me to only travel with things which are disposable to me from now on...there's no way I can afford to replace those things. The pencils alone would be over $100.... Turkish drop spindle, about $40....and the other stuff.... And the thing is, this bag was special, so that's why I had all my favorite stuff in this one bag. It's why I had it in hand. It must have been lost on the parking lot? Thrown out as trash (plastic shopping bag being reused)? I don't even want to think about it anymore..... :cry:
Oh wow. This is too good not to share. :-)

It's odd how different a song can feel depending on the mood one is in. For example, I've been listening to the song below for moths, singing along with it, usually crying or wanting to. Then I avoided it for over a week, was just tired of feeling even more sad every time I listened to Brandi, however much I like her music. The main reason I played it again today was that I was driving and it wasn't safe to dig around for something else while trying to keep an eye on the road, but when I did, I was startled: it sounds totally different now!

Before it was like, "I'm so sad, I can't believe in you anymore, I'm going away crying."

Now it sounds like, "I can't believe in you anymore, I feel like you failed me, I'm going away now. What a shame, but that's the way it is because I don't want to be your fool any longer. I tried my best and this is sad."

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Thinking.....I want to plant strawberries. I have had strawberry plants offered to me. I don't especially relish the though of digging hundreds of square feet of soil for strawberry beds. In fact, I don't even want to dig up one square foot of soil. Aside from the time, work and resultant aches and pains involved, I don't like upsetting the balance of the microorganisms in the soil, and I hate chopping up the earthworms, which is almost unavoidable every time you push a spade into the soil.


Straw bale beds over a layer of recycled cardboard. I would still have to get some compost/rotted manure....but I know where to get some of that. The main thing is going to be the straw bales. I could use old hay bales that've been rained on instead. OK, so where to get those from?

My new Inktense pencils are here...with rice paper, too! Now I need to find out more about how to use this rice paper. The Inktense pencils can also be used on wet silk to make permanent drawings/paintings! If I get some affordable silk yardage, I could make hand painted silk scarves! Didn't realize when they were ordered that they could be used on silk. This is a very nice birthday present....particularly since my Prismacolor pencils and other favorite art supplies, drop spindle, bamboo crochet hooks, etc still have not been recovered from when I lost them at Yearly. I have been working strictly in ink (Liquid Stylist pens) since then.
Ow ow ow. My hip was sore and I went up Mickinnick anyway. I didn't even go up to the second bench, (wanted to though!!) but I hurt anyway. At any rate it was nice to get the exercise and I saw cool plants and stuff. :-)

On a separate note: I have so much baggage and trauma issues and stuff....why would anyone want to get mucked up in all that? I guess maybe because I have strengths? It's so hard not to look at the deficiencies side of my ledger instead of what I have to my credit.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Glass can be recycled and used for a pottery glaze! And unlike other reuses of glass, using it for a glaze doesn't require any special equipment beyond what one would use for any other glaze making or pottery. You break the glass, crush it fine with a sledgehammer in a bucket or similar, screen it, and measure it out (50-60%) for use in the glaze recipe. For obvious reasons, colored glass is more interesting, and different colors of glass are used in different glazes. Oh, this is very exciting. :-)

Note: not a project to be executed around kids.

Time to move on. I was talking to a friend yesterday, feeling down...said that I am sort of used to being dropped and shunned abruptly and without explanation. Used to it? This has been the story of my life! Well, guess what: I get to write my own story because it's my life. That it has been a recurring theme in my life in no way means that it's something I've deserved or that I cannot be treated like a human being with feelings.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Life is just too short for me to waste it feeling ugly and worthless. Besides, those things aren't true.
A better day. Slept in, although the sleep was choppy... Got all sorts of things done: moved the alpaca pen to fresh grazing, cut an alder down for fence posts and gave the alpacas the leafy limbs (they love alder leaves!), cleaned up trash, lots of random small things that collectively, make the place look better.

I don't know why the alpacas don't like the feeling of having their halters removed. Putting them on is a lot easier than taking them off! There is a soft part of their nose, where their breathing passage can be pinched off if pressure is put on it, and I am wondering if this sometimes happens with the noseband of the halter if one is not careful, and if they are afraid of them. Feeling like one is suffocating would be an aversive experience, bad enough to remember and want to avoid. So I held their heads very, very still while I slid the noseband off, being very careful not to let it pinch or apply any pressure to the soft part of the nose. These animals are not stupid. They have a very low panic threshold and a long memory.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Gotta love armchair experts on wildlife biology...or on any science in general. "Coyotes are apex predators". Really???

Monday, September 03, 2012

This is Copper. We got them home safely in the back of the van last night. I was able to reach Jefferson's halter and clip a lead rope to it, but couldn't reach Copper. My 9 year old didn't want to climb in there to clip Copper up for me and I felt too big to fit easily, so foolishly, I had my 17 yo son lead Jefferson out while I tried to keep Copper in until I could put his lead rope on. I forgot that alpacas are not goats. Alpacas have a much lower panic threshold than goats do. Copper freaked when his friend left the van without him. He tried to jump out, I was afraid he'd get loose and be impossible to catch so I grabbed him...hit the ground hard, with alpaca thrashing around above me, we flailed around for about ten feet before he stopped and I was able to clip him up. He was so scared! Who wouldn't be after having a human clinging to their neck despite one's best efforts to get free? I am glad alpacas don't have real hooves- there would have been quite a bit more damage. He didn't intend any harm though, just wanted to be with his herdmate.

This morning they are all settled in. Oddly, Jefferson is the one giving me dirty looks while Copper seems to want to be friends!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Alpacas come home tonight. Unless I can find a way to get hay much more cheaply than the two bales I got to sample, ($140 a ton!!! that's higher than the second cutting alfalfa I used to buy, delivered!), I will have to keep it down to two alpacas, although at this point I have been offered at least four others. If I could work in exchange for hay, get broken bales for free, etc...then I could get a couple more, but I don't want a LOT of them. Generally, having more animals results in more stress for them and that produces behavior problems unless you have enough room and feed for them to all have enough personal space, feeder space to eat without being intimidated, etc.

I have wanted some Inktense pencils for quite a while (maybe a couple of years)...and am finally getting some. Can't wait to try them out!

Also....a fellow plant fanatic friend is going to give me a bunch of hazelnuts seedlings when they go dormant. It would be hard for me to spend the money of buying some for a place we don't own....but I had considered it. The concept of leaving a place brighter than you found it appeals to me. I don't always live up to that...but I try, especially when it comes to plants, trees, gardens, etc, and as we are not paying rent, it seems that I should leave something really nice and enduring behind. I will plant others as I can afford of find them...oh- she offered me berries as well, either raspberries or blackberries, don't remember which! Between the alpaca manure, the herb garden, the plantings and the garden beds, it will be a nice little permaculture farm in no time. :-)

Saturday, September 01, 2012

You feel so far away.

I go back....back to the rows, almost hypnotic in their repetition, in the pacing of them. Up one row, scrutinizing the base of each bush, feeling with my eyes, with my mind, for the interlopers. Down the next row, checking the other sides of the same bushes, because you don't catch them all, not reliably, looking only from one direction. The tree seedlings are worse than any other weed, and Juglans nigra, black walnut, is the worst of them all. It is allelopathic; its roots secrete a chemical, juglone, that poisons other plants. A berry bush could die or simply fail to thrive and be replaced...after suffering already from its unwelcome roommate. The other seedlings are less bad, but still, growing right next to the bush, they suck the water and nutrients that the bushes need to grow and produce well. Some of the maple seedlings were as large as three inches in diameter! I feel protective towards the berry bushes.

The quiet. The calm. The peace. The inner crying having given way to a state of quiet alertness, of contentment.

Cannot find my sketchbook...anywhere. It is full of all kinds of personal stuff that I would rather people not read. I mean, it's not hugely personal, confidential stuff (probably what I write here is actually worse!) but do I want people reading it? Not especially. And yeah, some of it is stuff that I haven't/wouldn't write here. I carry that thing with me everywhere. It is hardly ever out of my sight. And now, god only knows where it is.
It's going to come whether I'm ready for it or not. Had meant to spend this weekend camping, possibly at Beehive Lakes, but...everyone does that on Labor Day weekend. Do I want to be in a beautiful, pristine place surrounded by lots of other people? No, not really. Also am still kind of tired out from several weeks of getting up early with children to pick blueberries and work.

Did some more cleaning outside at home when we got back, the pump is almost working. I now have to find a new income source. Due to Idaho laws, this will be inordinately difficult to do without risking loss of health care.