25 April 2015

Sleep meds

One of the very best things about sleep medications:

Knowing with absolute certainty that you will sleep soundly for a minimum of eight hours. 

Knowing that you don't have to spend two or three hours struggling to unwind and relax enough to sleep... You can just dissolve that magic chemical under your tongue, read for a bit, and drift off. Like a normal person. 

It's so good to actually look forward to sleeping... Now that it's not such hard work. 

22 April 2015


Woke up today utterly exhausted. 

Dunno why. I did a few things yesterday, but nothing overwhelming. 

This is how it goes. Some days, your body just says "no".

Best to listen. 

21 April 2015

It's not because I won't let go...

A friend posted this on my time line today:


I was so sure that if I just let go of the past I'd get better. 

I let go. It was definitely an improvement. 

But the damage of PTSD is not the same as "unresolved issues". There are neurological changes. Your biochemistry gets reset to a completely unhealthy "normal". For people like me with delayed reactions to long term stress, untangling everything is very complicated. Things can definitely improve... Meds, therapy, support, learning to live inside my boundaries and limits...big helps. 

But I'm not "healed". I'm not "like I was before". I'm not who I wish I could be. 

I'm OK, though, and I'm coping pretty well with this chronic disease. It nearly killed me a year ago, and I came back from that. Yay me. But this is chronic. Not "wait it out, it'll go away.". This is here to stay, though how it is expressed may fluctuate over time. 

My life has limits I never dreamed I would need. It's still a good life. Very good, in fact. 

But letting go of my past didn't magically make all the consequences of that past go away. (this was a huge shock and disappointment to me... I was sure that's what would fix everything)

And it's not because I haven't tried hard enough, haven't done the work. It's just how PTSD - especially the variant I have - works. 

I'm only now starting to understand this.

15 April 2015

Getting ready!

This swollen udder means a calf is coming!

I've been waffling between sure that Sasha is pregnant and being terrified that I've just starved my cow and that's why she looks so caved in on the sides...but she'd be due April 22 if the AI took so... Here we go!

I've been gradually getting things ready... Found the mastitis test cards, mixed up a bottle of iodine solution for udder wash, and made udder balm from olive and coconut oil, eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree oil. I've never used udder balm before but the minty stuff is supposed to help with the edema, and her skin is pretty dry so I figured it was a good thing to try. Sure smells nice!

Infrastructure is the other thing to deal with: a cow in labour may try to bolt for the trees, and the fences back there need to be tightened. The pastures need more rest anyway, so I have the animals locked into the most securely fenced area, which adjoins the barnyard. I'll separate Sasha out when I think she is closer. 

Moving the animals meant getting the water in the summer location... So I took my rake and shovel and levelled a spot. It's the same "central watering hole" we set up last year, but it is on quite a slope so a bit of digging created a spot to put one of the big water cubes and a trough where it won't required levelling with boards and rocks. (I have no idea why it took me so long to realize that a shovel is all you need to make a level spot.) I can fill the big cube from the rainwater collection place or the hose... But this way we won't need a garden hose running across the yard all summer. I'll post a picture once it's all in place. 

Last job was to take more straw to the barn, some to eat and some for bedding.
Oh, and I made myself a set of dairy supply carry bags:

Pockets for all the stuff, washable, and easy to hang up inside and in the barn!

Now to wait one more week...

10 April 2015

More Beautiful Than Before: ready to order!

Some things are best expressed in words, some in art.


Inspired by the Japanese art of kintsugi (broken pottery mended with gold), More Beautiful Than Before will help you think differently about the marks life leaves on all of us, encouraging you to see beauty in the places where we have been put back together rather than seeing only ugly scars.

This guided journey of self-discovery walks you through the creation of two easy felting projects and a number of simple journal writing exercises. Never felted before? Never done any writing? All the information you need is right here ... come and experience the joy of creativity!

More Beautiful Than Before is available as

a mini set (the book and writing cards),
a full set (the book, writing cards, and matching journal),
and a deluxe set (the book, writing cards, matching journal, and the fibre and other materials you need to complete the felting projects).

If you would like the e-book version of More Beautiful Than Before, you can purchase it from Smashwords, or your favourite online book retailer.

A printable set of the writing prompt cards is available for download here.

And the book itself can be ordered from yours truly!

Which set would you like?

Pacuter Stuff

When The Boy was small, ‘computer’ came out as ‘pacuter’. I can’t believe he is so big, yet things like this are still so clear in my memory!

Today was a day to do a bunch of stuff on da pacuter. I created a new website for Apple Jack Creek – removing the references to selling meat (we are only raising enough for ourselves now, though if things go well I may raise household milk cows!), updating the section on my books to encompass all the new works, adding links to my Ravelry page where my patterns are available, all those details. Our web hosting provider (DreamHost) has a one-click install for a product called Concrete5 which turned out to be a super easy way to build a website – no fussing with FTP and uploads or anything, it’s open source (thus free), mostly visual design tools but includes ready access to HTML for detailed work (adding PayPal buttons and such) … just fabulous. Dunno why it took me so long to realize that was there!

So, that took most of today. The catalyst for the change was the arrival of the latest book … which will be in the next post.