Friday, June 19, 2015

School's almost done.

Next Wednesday is the boys' last day of school. I'm dreading it a little bit, to be honest. I have no idea what we're going to do most of the day with the end of school. My wild ideas of getting some serious writing done over the last month did not come to fruition. A lot of things just got in the way, not the least of which has been getting used to this medication. It's funny, in a way, that I finally get used to it right when school is ending.

I went out for a walk this morning. In the midst of it I found a twig that looks to be just about perfect for making my own witchy broom. I'm planning on using the stalks from the day lilies for the brush end when the flowers are done. I also found two large goose feathers. I'm pretty sure they're wing feathers. I am going to try my hand at making quill pens with them. I've been reading about it and it looks simple enough to do. Those, however, are often famous last words.

I was worried that my royalties check got stolen. After some investigation and talking to people at (where I've self published and where the check was supposed to come from) apparently it went to my Paypal account. I don't recall changing settings so that payment went to it. At least I now know what happened to it. I may just leave it set up that way for future payments.

I should be hearing back from my beta readers regarding book two of the Umbrel Chronicles. Edits are a bit stalled on book three. I am probably not going to be doing much with the books until next September. I think the kids are going to keep me too busy to do anything, even plot mapping. I am in editing hell right now with the Sanctuary books. I honestly don't know what I'm doing anymore. So, putting that aside for a few months is a good idea right now.

I have been doing my therapy writing and I honestly don't know how I feel about it. Writing to my different personality aspects has been a weird experience. It makes me look at it all and kinda wonder about it. They're so developed and detailed. It's like they're almost an entirely different person (and in a lot of ways they feel like they are). I find myself wondering if this is what the hospital psychiatrist was baffled by. At one point, I had one tell me that they were shocked that given the trauma I have experienced that I'm not schizophrenic or suffering from dissociative identity disorder. I've been trying  not to get squicked by the feelings of doing this journal work. It is, however, very uncomfortable.

I've been feeling awkward about my reading right now. I'm taking a break from the Dresden Files and reading The Pearl. It is a complete collection of Victorian erotica that was published as an underground magazine in England. I'm not awkward about the fact I am reading erotica. What is awkward for me is the fact that I have zero response to it. De Sade's writings were ... interesting, to use a massive understatement. I didn't realize how left of center my appetites were until I started reading this. At most, I'm amused by how they phrase things and what they considered 'scandalous'. I thought that reading The Pearl would give me ideas for writing erotica shorts again. It absolutely has not. So, when I finish it, I will be re-reading De Sade. It makes me wonder what related writings I should locate next. Because I don't think the collection of De Sade's writing that I have is complete.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Spinning stuff and Preemie Bucket Hat.

I have gotten a good amount of spinning done and washed up a bunch of fiber. I have some brown Icelandic wool. I have some Cormo wool that is white. There's still a bit of grease (lanolin) in it but I am going to try out spinning 'in the grease' to see how it works out for me. The third batch of fiber that I washed up is Dorset wool.

I am going to try flick carding again. It is my hope that this time will not be as irritating as last time. I think I've got tip and butt ends of the staples figured out. Next time I give flick carding a try, I am going to make sure that I have lots of good, strong light so that I can see fairly clearly what I am doing this time. I suspect that my difficulties last time were because I had the fiber unaligned to begin with and I couldn't really tell what I was doing because the light was dim.

The spinning I finished was the blue-green colorway that was produced in honor of the Genesee Valley Handspinner's Guild's 30th anniversary, it is called Finger Lakes. The greens ranged from the color of grass to the shades of moss to the color of seaweed. The blues alternated between a dark, almost indigo shade, to something the color of denim. I spun it with a Z twist on my largest spindle (an Ashford student spindle that is made from unfinished Silver Beech and weighs 2.75 oz.) and plied it on my True Creations kick spindle. I was going to ply it with silver sewing thread and then decided to use the last ball of denim blue singles that I had spun with a Z twist on my second largest spindle (a Zebrawood and Maple bottom whorl spindle, I'm not sure what the weight is.)

Upon consideration after plying (though I think technically what I've done may have been overspinning it because I worked in the Z direction in this process as well), I think I should have gone with my original idea of plying it with silver thread. All the blue washes out the lovely shades of green. The funny thing is, the end result is just about exactly the color of Conesus Lake (the Finger Lake that I live near). I'll be giving it to the gal in charge of collecting the yarns for the display at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival for the spinning guild this month. I'm curious how other people's samples have worked out.

I have been far behind in my efforts to make preemie hats for the Golisano Children's Hospital NICU for the last two months. This month, I've only made one. I am going to try to make at least one more before I go to spinning next weekend. Here, however, is my pattern. I would be posting a picture but for some reason I can't get pictures off the camera right now.

This pattern uses an 'H' crochet hook and acrylic baby yarn - sport weight (4).

Round 1: Make a ring (magic ring method), chain two stitches. Make 11 half double crochet stitches into the ring. Slip stitch final stitch into the second stitch of the starting chain. (12 st) Pull your ring snug.

Round 2: Chain 2, half double crochet into the base of chain. Two half double crochet into next stitch. Work your stitches with the length of yarn left over from starting the ring held at the bottom of the stitch, covering the yarn. Pull the yarn tight every three stitches or so until you run out of yarn to cover to keep the center of the project snug. Do the two half double crochets in each stitch for the whole round. When you return to the beginning, slip stitch into the second stitch of the starting chain. (24 st)

Round 3: Chain two. Half double crochet into the base of your chain. Do one half double crochet into the next stitch. *Work two half double crochet stitches into the next stitch. Work one half double crochet into next stitch.*  Repeat * around. When end of the round is reached, slip stitch into the second stitch of the starting chain. (36 st)

Round 4: Chain two. Half double crochet into the base of your chain. Do one half double crochet into each of the next two stitches. *Work two half double crochet stitches into the next stitch. Work one half double crochet into next two stitches.* Repeat * around. When end of the round is reached, slip stitch into the second stitch of the starting chain. (48 st)

Round 5 - 13: Chain two. *Half double crochet into next stitch.* Repeat * around. When end of round is reached, slip stitch into second stitch of starting chain. (48 st)

Round 14: Chain two. Half double crochet into base of your chain. Do one half double crochet into each of the next three stitches. *Work two half double crochet stitches into the next stitch. Work one half double crochet into following three stitches.* Repeat * around. When end of the round is reached, slip stitch into the second stitch of the starting chain. (60 st)

Round 15: Chain two. Half double crochet into the base of your chain. Do one half double crochet into each of the next four stitches. *Work two half double crochet stitches into the next stitch. Work one half double crochet into following four stitches.* Repeat * around. When end of the round is reached, slip stitch into the second stitch of the starting chain. (72 st)

Round 16: Crab stitch into each stitch. Slip stitch into first stitch of the round. Fasten off. Break the yarn and weave in ends. (72 st)

End result should fit over a medium sized apple or small orange.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Yule List 2015

I'm not going to name names, on the off chance that the recipients might be reading this. I'm just going to list what I am making and project status.

Item                                                      Status             Notes
1 adult men's sweater vest                     0/100             acquiring pattern
2 children's sweater vests                      0/100             acquiring pattern
1 kitchen towel set (blue)                      5/100             acquiring pattern for towel toppers
1 kitchen towel set (kitch)                     0/100
3 child crochet jewelery                        0/100             pattern acquired, choosing colors
sewing box                                           1/100             must make needle book & pincushion
adult crochet jewelery                           0/100             pattern acquired, choosing colors
beret and scarf                                      1/100             pattern and yarn acquired
child craft bag                                       1/100             bag acquired, findings being located
crochet shawl                                         5/100
embellished chef hat                              50/100           hat acquired
knit scarf                                               10/100

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wotan's Day and stuff.

Wednesday is also the day of the week for the god Wotan/Wodin/Odin. It's had a decent thunderstorm today. There are supposed to be more tonight. Fairly fitting for the Old Man's day. I gave him and Loki an offering of that Fireball whiskey I have sitting in the kitchen. I'm pretty sure it was well appreciated.

This morning was kinda rough. As I was going down the steps in the entryway to go put the kids on the bus, both my knees locked and I fell. Cuddle Bear bolted out the door as I cried out in pain. Snuggle Bug got my my cane because I just couldn't get myself on my feet with out it. Then I went outside, praying that Cuddle Bear hadn't gone off somewhere. I found him at the end of the walk waiting for the bus. I reassured him that he didn't make me fall and that things were ok. It stuck with him, though.

When they got home from school this afternoon, the boys asked to see my knee and volunteered to get me bandaids and such. I again told them that it wasn't their fault that I fell. I tried explaining that sometimes my knees don't work right, which is why I have my cane. I think they understood that after a few tries. I'm not sure, though. I guess we'll have to wait and see on that one.

Snuggle Bug lost a book from school about two weeks ago. We had looked everywhere. People at school were looking in various places. Today, I just gave up and ordered a replacement on Amazon (for 20¢). I found another for a penny more, so I ordered it as well. This was obviously the reason why the book was found today on the bus. When the books I ordered arrive, I'll be sending in the better of the two copies to school for the library and keeping the other home for Snuggle Bug.

I also found a book that I had been searching for as research material for a mere $11. I ordered that because the check I'm due from the publisher for the book that sold will cover the cost of it. I may only be making nickles and dimes right now off of my books. But I am making something and that has to count. I haven't set up automatic deposit on the checks because, honestly, I like the feeling of accomplishment that comes from holding a royalty check in my hands.

The gods have told me to write three books. I was struggling with what to work on since they gave me that directive about a month ago. Then, today as I was fixing some problems with one of the books I have out (there had been errors at the printers that needed adjusted), it struck me on what to work on next. It's funny, because the deities who told me to write books this summer were the Norse ones I follow. And the book that lept to the forefront of my attention was one of the Filianic projects I had sitting on the side for a while now.

So, tomorrow, I am going to start work on that. I have a very rough outline set up. I am going to revisit it and refine it. Then I am going to start the process of filling in the details as I work through my outline. If this goes well, I may be able to finish it relatively quickly. Because the boys have summer school this year, I will have at least one month with an hour and a half set aside 5 days a week to work on it. I may even get some decent progress started on it over the next few weeks leading up to when school lets out.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Me vs Food.

I have a confession to make. I'm now down to 179 lbs from being at 199 lbs a little while back. I wish I could say it was do to good clean living, healthy food choices, and robust exercise. The truth is, I'm down 20 lbs from my previous weight because I've been eating less. Some would say that is the point of a diet, to eat less.

If that is how you feel about it and think that what I've done is healthy, please stop reading right now and go do something else. The point of a diet is to change your eating habits to something conducive to the state of health you wish to be in. This might mean smaller portions, cutting out certain foods, or replacing certain foods with different ones. Or some combination of the three. That's not what I've been doing.

I have a problematic relationship with food. When I was younger, I was borderline anorexic. I starved myself because I felt it was the only way to make sure everyone in the house had enough food to eat, at first. I started that when I was about six or seven. As I got older, I felt less and less in control of my own life. Thus, I controlled how much I ate because that was one thing I could tell I had absolute control over. Additionally, I thought that not eating certain foods (ie fatty ones) would make my 'zits' go away. And, I was ashamed to eat in front of other people because my build was different from theirs. The harassment that I got for being so thin was awful and it has taken a very long time for me to become comfortable eating in front of people again. On my good days, I just have no problem with it. On my bad days, it is a real struggle to make myself eat because I feel that I am repulsive whilst eating.

Then I developed an ovarian cyst. The doctors said that I was so underweight they were concerned about how well the surgery would go. Fortunately, I wasn't so underweight that it went poorly. That was when Beloved decided he was going to make me finish my meals when I was out with him. He didn't go so far as to put the food in my mouth but nothing else happened until I finished my meal. I tried being slick about it and ordering small meals. The folks at the restaurant we went to regularly realized what he was doing and I regularly got full sized portions when I thought I was getting halves. You know you have a problem when the guys running your favorite restaurant start helping your significant other put more food into you.

After a few years of that, I got up to a relatively healthy weight. I was amazed by this because I suddenly had more energy then I ever did before. I wasn't cold all the time. I didn't have times where my stomach randomly hurt for reasons I never put together (that I was hungry). With some therapy, I learned to identify when I was hungry and how to take care of myself on that front. When it was time that we were attempting to have Cuddle Bear, I was actually ten pounds overweight. With some vigorous exercise and skipping extra sweets, I dropped down to 150 lbs and conceived shortly there after (with some medical assistance).

This was also the story of how Snuggle Bug was conceived. After Snuggle Bug was born, I thought my issues with eating were resolved. I did my best not to think about how 'fat' I looking in the mirror and focus on eating healthy foods. When I gained weight from my psych meds, I got even more depressed and felt I was hideous. Mind you, when I was grossly underweight, I felt that I was hideous then too. My weight yo-yoed a bit as I tried to get more exercise and return my weight to what I felt healthiest at (150 lbs). A part of me says I should be pleased with the fact that I've lost 20 lbs over the last month and a half.

That equals about 3lbs lost a week. It's a bit high but in the relatively healthy range. The problem is that weight loss didn't happen over the course of those six weeks. It happened in three. That makes it 6lbs a week. That is a sign that there is a problem. I know exactly what the problem is. I'm skipping meals again. I started skipping meals when I got anxious over the budget. This lead to my being anxious that we were not going to be able to afford to keep the pantry stocked and our family fed. While money is tight right now, I know that we've got resources we can turn to for help. We're not going to go hungry.

Rational thought, however, doesn't enter into this. My PTSD has been problematic for several months now, to the point where I was having nightmares every night. After my medication got adjusted, the nightmares stopped, more or less. But the feeling like my life was completely out of control and I was helpless to do anything about the problems we were facing was very powerful. Thus, I skipped meals. I would tell myself that I didn't feel hungry or that I would eat 'later'. Next thing I knew, I hadn't had breakfast or lunch as I was sitting down to dinner.

I only came to the realization that this problem has come back up today. I don't know what I'm going to do about it. I don't know how I am going to regain a sense of control over my life. I feel like my PTSD and bipolar are running everything. I feel like my arthritic knees and PCOS are a time bomb waiting to go off. I look in the mirror and I find myself looking at my eczema and picking at it again, like I did in high school. I feel helpless right now. And that is creating major problems for me, again.