Some Weeks are Heavier than Others (04/29/16)

This entry is part 11 of 14 in the series Periodic Updates

Life, Our Universe, and Pets:

It’s been a long stretch.  Short period of time, but one that has felt unending.

I’d mentioned that we’d found a trainer that would be willing to work with us in house, which was a lovely heartening thing.

However, when communicating with her we forgot to mention one hugely important issue.

MCS.  Multiple Chemical Sensitivities.  Or, as Mister Tea puts it, “Allergic to the 21st Century.”  Artificial fragrances (among other things) can be acutely toxic to me.  I can manage for brief periods of time using a combination of tinctures and an inhaler if it gets really bad, but…  if someone comes into the house for a longer period of time, they leave some behind.

MCS-Canary

So, the trainer and her assistant came to the door, and Mister Tea had to turn them away.  They met our Dulce-Muppet in the backyard, and thought she was a wonderful dog, but no training could occur.

Frustrating setback, but we moved on to other ideas and options.  Due to the lack of feasibility of my participation in the training on their site, we are looking for other trainers.  I will be sending out some queries this week.

The silver lining to this experience was that we were reminded that the training location they use also has a Doggie Daycare.  We had hopes that Dulce would be happy playing with other dogs there from time to time, while we worked on her separation anxiety issues.  (She can be distracted from my absence by shiny people, so we had assumed shiny dogs would be similar.)

We set up an interview, and went in to fill out paperwork, and watch the interview process.  We’d both expected her to pass with flying colours.  She’s a curious and happy dog.

As it turns out, she has no interest in interacting with other dogs when we aren’t there.

She failed her interview.

We’re going to continue to pursue training her, and work towards figuring out the “Service Dog” option.  She already has so many tendencies in the right direction, and she certainly helps me deal with life with disability.  With the correct training, and the right threading of confusing legal maze, it seems the best option.

Frick and Frack, in happy times.

Frick and Frack, in happy times.

To make our week even more intense, we lost one of our chickens.  Frack was one of our first two, and had been our most amusing, both in look and personality.  One evening after we gave them scratch, there was a hurricane of chicken sneezes, but they all seemed just fine.  The next morning she was splayed out on her back in the run.  She will be missed.

Social Media and the Internet:  From SHINY! to the RNG hates me

As is becoming a pattern, light activity here.

I was reminded of a number of books that Mister Tea and I wanted to read via Twitter, so I did wander Amazon and order brain-food.  Unfortunately, most of them were pre-orders, but at least we know these books will be available as soon as they can be.  (Peter Newman’s ‘The Malice,’ and the next book in Weber’s ‘Safehold’ series, as well as the next book in Stirling’s ‘Emberverse.’)

Outside of the realm of books and authors and to-be-read lists, there has been a trend of people taking breaks from social media.

Sadly, I understand the reasons why.  For most it has been a response to the garbage created by politics during an election season.  It can make the internet feel like being caught in the middle of a shouting match that is edging towards becoming a brawl.

Teas, Cocoas, and Coffees (Oh My!)

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The existence of the pizzelle press continues to make Mister Tea quite happy.  We tried a new twist on the cookies, adding (rather dark) melted chocolate to the batter.  I also increased the anise a bit.  (We’re using a more concentrated version of the spice than the recipe calls for.)

The result was incredible.  It also made the eventual creation of a chocolate version of ‘Pearl’s Pizzelle’ fairly inevitable.

(As if we needed more ideas.  We are always open to new ideas, but we don’t really Need them.)

I also ran with the ideas that spun out of the creation of ‘Triforce Tea’ – and the first steps have been taken towards the release of three more teas celebrating the Zelda-verse.

I also have a Top Secret Project, which I cannot tell you anything specific about at present, other than that it is really tasty.

In news of the less concrete, we’ve also finished the first of the large steps needing to be taken before you will have the capacity to order things directly from this website.  I don’t have a definitive date, as yet, but we are hoping to have it accomplished by the end of May.

Entertainment:  The Final Frontier

I haven’t finished much, in the world of the printed word this time-set.  Most of my reading time has been taken up by a fascinating research book that deals with traditional brewing methods and traditions.  Along with tons of useful information, it has also sparked a desire to figure out how to make tasty fermented beverages.  (The idea of herbal mead makes me nigh on giddy, conceptually.)  Unfortunately I do not have the time or space, presently, to embark on that kind of new project.

The Question for Updates

I did read the issues of ‘The Question’ that arrived in happy-real-mail form from a friend a bit back, and was handed a quest.  (“Seek out the rest of the issues of this comic.”)  I have much enjoyed the story so far, and it was part of what started a series of weird threads of thought.

The first was costumed heroes of various sorts and their day-jobs.  Pondering what the best options would be, as well as the frequency of certain types appearing in comics.  (Having the financial resources to not have a day-job is fairly popular, and attached-to-journalism in one fashion or other is another.)  I didn’t actually search the internet yet, but I am mildly curious as to whether or not someone has already compiled the statistics on it.

The second was why there isn’t commentary, even in jest-meme form, about the frequency of traumatic brain injury in non-powered heroes.  Or non-powered villains, for that matter.  Some of the sequences in ‘The Question’ combined with a few fight scenes from ‘Arrow’ really left me wondering.

Mister Tea and I haven’t had the energy or time for video games of late.  Once the workday is done, dogs and humans have found various comfy places and stayed there.  Strangely, this coincided with a rarity – I’ve been willing to watch actual movies.  (I lean more towards things with an extended storyline, rather than an encapsulated 2ish hour tale.)

Lego Movie for Updates

We finally watched ‘The Lego Movie’ – in part because the characters from that movie are important to the Dimension video game.  It was…  more, on a number of levels, than I had expected.  I hadn’t expected to actually enjoy it, really, which I did.  I also hadn’t expected it to be somewhat uplifting, which it was.

Also on the list was ‘Jurassic World’ which was a fun romp.  It did require active suspension of disbelief, of course, but all of the Jurassic movies have.  (Also connected to the Dimension video game, though that wasn’t really connected to why we watched it.)  I liked the concept of several of the parts of the park, especially the Gyrosphere nature tour.

Last Cutscene

Usually I try to aim for something positive or uplifting here.

However, the past week and change has been incredibly wearing.  This morning has been one where no amount of tea or coffee seems to make a dent in the tired.

I know that not all of that tired is attached to lack of sleep, no matter how common that is for me.  The rest of today will be eased with SereniTeas, smart food choices, and planning how to deal with our current complications.  Figuring out the ways to fix things is stress relief, for me.

Interestingly, I did come to an important realization during the near-meltdown that occurred.  One of the primary issues for me regarding my disability and the problems presented by it is a loss of control.

Trust no one

My childhood taught me many things, some good, some bad, some a combination of the two.  One of those combination lessons was a deep seated Need for self-reliance.  I came out of it with very little faith in people, and an extremely difficult time with trusting them.  At some of my schools it was considered a pretty amazing accomplishment to get a laugh or a smile, and it took me many years to get to the point where my reaction to human contact didn’t involve remembering that if someone is close enough to touch you, they are close enough to kill you.

If you haven’t dealt with PTSD, that may seem a strange place to exist in.  Sadly, just as you can be taught to hate as a child, you can also be taught mistrust, fear, and self-loathing.

I’ve put a lot of work into rewiring those reactions and that training over the past 20-plus years – but PTSD isn’t a battle that you win, not from my experience, anyway.  You can mitigate it, you can work on it, but you have to keep at it.

As you can probably imagine, being handed a degenerative condition that causes your own body to become untrustworthy does nothing to help with that kind of psychological background.

When I leave this house, there is a long list of things that have to be turned over to others, and there are other things that can be randomly taken by people I don’t know.  (‘Helpful’ people randomly grabbing your wheelchair to move you is one thing I wish I’d never experienced.)

Even the ability to leave is severely curtailed, and has to be planned for quite carefully.

Some of the events of this past week(ish) have led to a resurgence and strengthening of old issues, and brought to light new things I need to work on.

To the point of a not-so-vague desire to rail at the universe, ask why I’m still being forged, perhaps even ask, somewhat plaintively, for a break.

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This is paired with the knowledge that my life is actually pretty good.  There are people who carry far more than I do, and who are in far worse straits.  I have much to be grateful for.  Not the least of which is having a partner who supports me, who has the patience to wait until I am willing to accept the help he desperately wants to offer, and doesn’t judge me when I lapse in my capacity to handle things.

I guess what it comes down to is I understand what it is to have daily battles.  And I understand that sometimes it just gets too big, too heavy, and you break a little.

It’s okay to do so.

Perfection would likely be a bit boring, anyway.

Until next time….

Hope in Mirror

Series Navigation<< 04/21/16 Updates (Cinnamon Torment, Lego Addiction, and Time to Breathe)The End (of 2016) – Summing up and Moving Forward >>
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