Hakkai, Intense

I'm just sayin'

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes;

and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Hakkai, Intense

CBT for Chronic Pain, Part One: Introduction, Pain Scale, Exercise #1

This is the first in a series of explanations, essays, and exercises for coping with Chronic Pain.  A friend requested I explain how I've used CBT to deal with pain, and I promised to provide both information and practical exercises.  While I'm not sure how many posts this will take, I have at least fourteen exercises to cover.

This post will cover:

  • What is pain? 
  • What is CBT for Chronic Pain? What do I know about pain? Where did I get this?
  • The Pain Scale, with some examples
  • Exercise #1 It’s a capital error to theorize before one has data
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Hakkai, Intense

hey buddy, wanna buy some dog food?

 OK, so another post is due later today!  (Yes, I'm way late!)

But in the meantime......

So, I purchased the puppy from a high-end breeder who asked that I feed at least partially raw, especially during her developmental years.  I was amenable to this.  Dog nutrition is quite complex, so we feed half raw and half pre-made.

I'll skip the long, boring story about us trying various chi-chi dog foods before discovering some that agreed with her system.  We've now got a couple that she does well on.

Which means that I can now get rid of the absolutely mind-boggling array of top-notch Honest Kitchen foods that I bought.  If you have never heard of Honest Kitchen dog foods, they are really excellent quality.  Rather than a kibble, these are dehydrated foods that you mix with water.  This turns them from a powder into a sort of thick porridge.  

Why a porridge?  This makes the food more digestible and more 'normal'.  Kibble itself isn't really a normal form of food.  The recent Australian research found that dogs prone to bloat had less chance of bloat if they were fed, uh, table scraps, rather than just regular approved dog-food, which still cracks me up (the researchers were obviously hoping to get another chance to yell at pet owners who give table scraps but were Foiled).  Anyway, the extreme dry kibble can be tough for some dogs, and a more natural water-containing food is easier on the system in general.  

HK is also the only pet food company that not only uses human grade ingredients, but has been inspected by the FDA (at HK's own request!) to human-food-grade standards.  

This is all fab-tastic, but makes the food unbelievably expensive.  (I know, what a surprise.)

This is the brand I started with for the puppy and she ate it for quite a while before turning up her elegant and Germanic snout.  Therefore I now have an ungodly number of boxes of gold-standard dog food that will go to waste if I don't find a home for it.  I've already donated a bunch of 'didn't work out' kibbles to the local rescue, but I don't know that they're really set up for feeding their pups porridge, so I'm offering it here, at a steep discount.  

Most of the boxes have only a couple servings removed.  She used to eat Thrive, which is why I have so many boxes of it.  The others were bought as sample sizes; we'd take out a little, offer it to her, she'd try it once, then refuse all subsequent offers.  We've determined she's a fairly picky eater, especially around Hormonal Girl Time.  Anyway, I can weigh the boxes if anyone wants to know for sure how much is left of each.

I'd like to get about 50% of the cost back, but if no one takes it at 50%, I'd take less.  I'm not sure how much shipping will actually cost, but I'm using a guestimate of $15.  Anything above the $15 is on me.  If I can somehow get it shipped for less, I'll refund the difference.

I'm listing the retail price, then the 50% off.  IDEALLY, I'd love to send it to one person.

Thrive: free-range chicken and quinoa, three TEN POUND boxes, one box unopened, retail at $98 each, total is $294.  I would like $140
Verve: Ranch-raised beef, 4 pounds, retail is $40, asking $18.
Keen: Cage-free turkey, 2 pounds, retail $18, asking $8.
Force: Free-range chicken, 2 pounds, retail $26, asking $13.
Hale: Base-mix, add your own meat, UNOPENED, 3 pounds, retail $36, asking $18.

Total asking price for all the food: $197 plus $15 shipping, is $212.  Total retail price is $414.  

I will ship to anywhere US for the $15; I take paypal; comment if you'd like to buy.

Any takers?  
Hakkai, Intense

Tale of the Maddie: German-nosed River Spirit Dragon Princess

For [personal profile] kore !

OK, this isn't gonna top the 'Help, I have two squirrels in my freezer' story (neither of which she'd killed) but it's current and it's silly as hell as it amuses me deeply.

So, at the moment, I'm sick.  The kind of sick where you hide under the covers, honking mournfully into kleenex, and drinking hot soup from a little cup while watching Netflix for hours.  The kind where you get annoyed at having to press 'keep playing' every hour and a half.  Obviously, you want to keep playing.  DUH.

Normally, I walk the puppy three times a day.  Yes, we have a big back yard, and yes, we play out there a lot, but I also take her on walkies thrice daily, usually for a couple miles per.  Yesterday, I didn't manage any, and today I did one and felt that, perhaps, I should have a nice soothing lie down after.  (Honestly, what was I thinking?  OK, I know what I was thinking: SAD PUPPY EYES.)

Anyway, back in the day, the Pook would hop up on the bed and guard me, in his silent and menacing fashion, if I was sick.  Maddie doesn't really roll that way.  Sure, she's a formiddable guardian, but instead of hanging out and looking villainous, she--

Well, she grabbed my pink croc, hopped up on my bed, and began to spin around in circles, while bouncing up and down, and kill-shaking the croc for all she was worth.  

It was one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

When she was done, she looked closely at me, as if to gauge whether I was sufficiently cheered up.  Deciding that I wasn't, she proceeded to do another round of pink-croc-shaking war dancing.  

After the second round, I must have seemed sufficiently cheered, since she gave me a face full of puppy kisses, then plopped down, looking very pleased with herself.

Good job, puppy!

Hakkai, Intense

December memeage, still not dead, etc

I have been very absent, it's complicated, let us talk of other things.


There's this meme going around. Give me a topic, or a question, or similar, and I will do my best to post about it on the day you request.  You may ask me about personal stuff, random things, fic, fandoms, whatever you like.  You should also request a number.  Depending on the question, I reserve the right to post it f-locked/filtered, obvs.
3.  Puppy story, for [personal profile] kore .
5.  My hurt comfort preferences, for [personal profile] rachelmanija .
9. Fountain pens, for [personal profile] yhlee .
11. Quilts, for [personal profile] rilina .
18. Earning money or dog stories, for [personal profile] loligo .
Hakkai, Intense

Dear Mormon Church: how nice of u, pls to fuck off

Apparently, the Mormon Church has realized that discriminating against gay people for living places and jobs is, like, wrong.  And stuff.  

Because as church leaders and Jesus-followers, Mormons should be kind to the wrongity-bad-wrong fucked up souls who love their own sex.  These people deserve our compassion, doncha know, and like, should be allowed to hold jobs.



So impressed am I at your stellar record of awesomeness towards little sinners like me.  This acknowledgement that I should be able to have housing and jobs JUST MAKES ME THINK MORMONS ARE TOTES THE MOST COMPASSIONATE.  Cuz what could possibly be more compassionate than that.

Am I right?
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Hakkai, Intense

Quilt for Sale: Grrrrrl Power

Hey, buddy, wanna buy a quilt? *opens trenchcoat to reveal several cunningly folded and hung beauties of dubious provenance*

OK, not really.

But I am selling one of my quilts. I have never done this before, and I thought I'd best explain.

A dear friend of mine is going through a hard time, due to unemployment and Hard Times, which seems to abound right now. My country is still in the midst of a rough depression, and finding work is extremely difficult. This dear friend's husband has been hitting the payment relentlessly, but to no avail.

As a hiring manager myself, I know why. He's overqualified for the few openings available, he's too old, his health precludes him from hard labor, and he doesn't have the chipper-cheery mien of a twenty-something fresh out of college.

In years past, my grandparents had friends just like this. Back then, they would hold potluck suppers and card-parties and dances. A dollar for supper, or a minor fifty cent card party buy in, or another dollar for the dance room. The host and friends would supply simple but tasty food, like fried egg sandwiches or chips, and the proceeds would go to the friend in need.

I'm too far away to offer a party like that, but I can sell a quilt.

This quilt was originally intended as a gift for my mother, and it's named Grrrrl Power in honor of the tough as nails line of ladies from whom I descend. My grandmother once explained to me how to keep a brick on the lid of a toilet to prevent rats entering a baby's bedroom via the sewers and how to rig a similar safety measure for the windows, as babies are particularly vulnerable prey to rats.

This should give you a sense both of the intense maternal devotion and of the sort of environment (urban rough) from which I descend.

I'd like to think my quilts reflect this heritage.

The top (that's the pretty stripy part) is made of strips of fabric dyed by hand in Bali. The Bali dyers use wax to create the patterns, and the repeated handling of the fabric means that the fabric needs to be very sturdy. The wax that remains (in tiny amounts) also strengthens the cloth.

In my experience, the sturdiest quilts are made of Bali handpaint fabrics. Mixed quilts (those with regular patterned quilting fabric or plain quilting cotton) will show wear at the plain fabric first, far earlier than at the Bali fabric.

But I don't use Bali fabric just because it's sturdy. I use it because it's beautiful--created by master craftsmen, I sincerely believe that the care and thoughtfulness that goes into its creation shines through in the lovely tonal qualities of the fabric that results.

The pattern I chose (that's the long stripes) is a simple one, and not particularly challenging to create. It is sometimes used by quilters for a fast and easy project, in which case they sometimes choose the next strip to attach by random, allowing serendipity to guide the result.

Since this was a quilt for my mom, I was a little more thoughtful about it. While I did have a color scheme and some pre-cut strips, I removed those that didn't match the mood and substituted strips that better suited. I ordered the colors in a way that best suited the design I had in mind, and I finished the results with a color (rich red-violet) that would make the center colors float.

This was a tricky quilt to photograph, as red-violet laughs at my little Nikon, and the current crop of storms has made things challenging.

The main colors are: red violet on the outside, a lively mix of bright-dark and bubblegum-light pinks, cream or gray with sprightly splashes of yellow or pink/violet, and some spicy yellows and lovely lavenders.

The backing is a dark red-violet pinkish tonal print.

The quilting was done with pink and lavender Aurifil thread, with a sewing machine but by hand (that is, not longarm production quilted) in a sturdy wide stitched-in-the-ditch style. I find that wide spaced quilting produces the softest quilts for snuggling under. Dense quilting looks fabulous, but is often too stiff for snooziling.

The batting is Warm and Natural, which is what I depend on.

If you have never owned a truly handmade quilt before, you may be nervous about its care and keeping. Handwashing, hang-drying, special washing sodas, etc.

Yeah, I don't hold truck with that sort of thing. My quilts are washed in a big Kenmore and dried in same or on the line, as God intended. I would recommend avoiding any laundry detergent prone to fading (such as Gain), but that is often a matter of preference. If you wish to wash this baby in the bathtub with a teensy bit of OxyClean, that is fine, too.

All photographs were taken after washing and drying, so that you could see how the quilting would look once the fabric had rested post-drying. (That is why you often see before and after pictures on some Etsy listings, by the way.)

I make my quilts to be used. Some people who shop handmade quilts are nervous about putting them to use. By all means use a handmade quilt to cuddle your ancient cat, you sick parent, your cranky toddler, your own chilly toes. Quilts, in my view, are only truly quilts when they are used for comfort.

This quilt is 53" by 63", or "throw" sized. A crib size quilt (for babies) is around 40 by 60, and a large twin bed quilt would be 72 by 90. So this is about the perfect size to cover a person in a large chair/on the couch/at the end of the bed.

Since I have never sold a quilt before, I was somewhat unsure what to price it at. Many production style quilts are sold a bit cheaper, but most seem to be sold for quilt a lot more. I have chosen a minimum of $150 for the start of the bidding. I am leaving this open for five full days. So, bidding closes on Sunday, April 6, at 7 pm.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
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Hakkai, Intense

So about that pesky PTSD

I sometimes see fandom talk about triggers. Just to be clear: I'm gonna talk about the clinical kind of trigger, not like a discussion about fic or anything.  I'm not in that kind of place.

I was going to go over the various external stressors (sixty hour weeks, government shutdown in a state job, major budget shortfall, employee problem, health issues, etc etc), and then I was going to explain the tigger (my dad told me that I was a "disappointment". Again.  Because that is just how he rolls.).

But instead, I thought I'd tell you what it looks like. (No, I don't know why I'm feeling like sharing. But I haven't posted in a month or so, and this is as good a post as any.)
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It's gonna take a while to get back to normal.  Maybe if I get another pair of boots and let the dog stay close. 
Hakkai, Intense

The Dreaded Time of Year: Squash-pa-looza

Look, I'm getting desperate over here.  I now have NINE tromboncinos lurking on my damn kitchen table, and this is after I gave away several.  The vines have spread so far that they've climbed over my bean bed, through a tomato patch, and out the other side.  One vine has a runner that is, my hand to god, a good twenty feet long.  It has nearly reached the fence line and appears to be headed for the neighbor's house.

Each of these long trailing vine-fiends has baby squash on them.  I saw one of the rabbits go in the patch, but I haven't seen it come out.  Maybe the squash ate them.  Maybe the rabbits hollowed one out to build a home.  I fear the dog will approach too closely and be nabbled up, and he's a good eighty pounds.  These suckers have to be feeding off something.

Some of the squash in my kitchen are four pounds EACH.  Others are "only" two and a half pounds.  People, I have nearly forty pounds of squash here.  Half of which I picked yesterday. 

I have so far made:
Grilled squash
Squash lasagne (with squash "noodles")
Boiled squash
Squash muffins, squash pies
Squash bread
Squash salads
Squash kebabs
Squash sliced, breaded, baked, and made into zuke sticks with dipping sauce

I instituted a one squash per person per day rule, but it isn't helping.  The squashy fiends have far-outstripped our current nomming efforts, and I've started trying to feed them to the dog, who is doing his best to help out, but he's getting on in his years, and he told me he can only manage half a squash if I add some butter to it and give him time to gnaw them because his teeth aren't what they used to be.   

What am I going to do?  I looked out this morning, and even from my porch, I could see two more light green squash lighted up like mini-lanterns, ready to be picked.  Tomorrow, they'll probably weigh another pound. 

Help. Help.

Pls send recipes knthnxbai