I, Zebra

Jul. 18th, 2012 01:59 pm
trystinn: (Mystic)
So - the biggee - I'm still inconclusive for Lupus or anything specific. So tentatively, they are saying "Mixed Connective Tissue Disease". Which from what little reading I've been able to do basically is a place holder diagnosis until something definitive presents or the patient gets sicker.

The inflammation test for a regular person is 8, I'm 28. So yes, something is definitively WRONG within my tissues. ANA is still positive, speckled, etc. Lupus titers are off, but not definitively Lupus. Inconclusive for Lupus, yadda-yadda on several other tests. It is absolutely NOT arthritis, though.

Basically, the doctor agrees, my tests come back zebra, not horses. I'm off on several things, I'm too healthy to be very sick, but sick. And he won't give me any treatment because what he could give me is toxic. He needs to know why the spleen is enlarged and how it is affecting the body, so he knows what results to rule out. So he's referring me to a Gastro-enterologist in his practice and wants to see me again in a month. Treat the pain in the meanwhile.

For everyone who has wished me well, thank you. Much gratitude and zen hugs. Staggering but not out!

Off to do more research!
trystinn: (Moon)
Rachel, our farmhand, came by to do the regular farm chores and yard work. I'm thrilled by both, frankly. The yard was a complete mess what with the fir cones, branches, etc. down all over the place! She tried to do some weed whacking but was stung by a wasp and had to head home, so I sent hubby out to find and destroy the nest. Which hopefully, he's managed to do. (Update: No) Ugh. So the weed whacking is half done and poor Rachel managed to back up over the glow-in-the dark turtles (not a loss, honestly) that marked the side of our driveway.

Folks may recall that the turtles are part of Josh and my epic battle to out-tacky each other. On that note, I *must* post a pic of the new decorative cocks he bought me. Yes, decorative cocks. For my decorative cock collection. :D

I'm scouring the DIY sites via Pinterest to find cheap ideas for lights to line our driveway with something fun and easily replaced, since so many of our friends seem to run over things in our driveway. You know who you are. Yes, you do!

Lisa came by to drop off empty soda bottles so I can make some mosquito traps tonight and help out with the chickens. She and her baby ended up staying for dinner, which thankfully hubby was able to enjoy some of as his belly is almost back to normal (on meds).

From the feathered corner, Salt (our speckled Cochin) is still desperate to have more chicks and Big Blue still seems remarkably uninterested in her. I'll be tucking her in with Napoleon, our Frizzled rooster. Frizzled Cochins sound like fun.

Also, on that note, I managed to sell 126 eggs today (7 packs of 18s)! And I still have more eggs! Gah! Local folks, come by and buy eggs, you know you need some. I have a new trick to try out for boiling fresh eggs to remove the shells neatly and I will be trying that out tonight and reporting back!

Tomorrow is the Rheumatologist appointment, I have the lab tests from the NHOH (FOOKING FINALLY) after an epic battle. I'm nearly out of Vicodin from the original ER visit, so I'm most grateful! My body reacts so oddly to narcotics, with Vicodin - it either knocks me out, covers the pain or doesn't seem to help at all. I can't figure it out, honestly. I need more commitment and stability from my painkiller of choice.
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
Kevin let us know that BooBoo's cancer has progressed to the point where his quality of life has taken a pronounced downward curve today. So tonight we're celebrating BooBoo with a pizza party (he loves pizza and having friends over) and then on Monday, we'll release BooBoo to the Rainbow Bridge. Where his friends, Tracker and Glory are waiting for him to show him the ropes, balls and treats.
trystinn: (Default)
After considering our unusually sunny weather, I decided to go ahead and stick the Geo-Bachelors (aka the returned Silkie cockerels) into West Wing Pen #2. The extensions don't have any roofing, so very little shade from the sun. Just what they can gleam from nearby trees and what little roofing kicks out over from the regular pens.

They seem okay, just a bit confused. Frankly, I'm not sure they've noticed, these are Silkies, yanno.
trystinn: (Default)
Sold 16 chicks/adolescents today. Thank Gods Rachel could come and do a thorough cleanout of the pens. Whew!

Pen #1: Fizgig is down two Frizzle pullets and is *most* concerned. Once the new Frizzles are older and if female, they will be (hopefully) moved in with him.

Pen #2: currently vacant now that the Lavender Orpingtons have been sold. Woot-woot! Plan: Partridge breeding program.

Pen #3: Wendy is back in with Napoleon. Gods, are they ever happy about it. *wince*

East Wing:

Pen #4: The white Silkie mamma, Ivory, is currently in the hutch in East Wing #4 with her new chick! She has 6 more eggs. *fingers crossed* The two Frizzle chicks I'm keeping for my breeding program are growing out in the pen, still using the Rubbermaid coop as they are accustomed to it.

Extension: Currently hosting the two Geo-Bachelors (cockerel returns from previous sales). I'm going to keep the Partridge because he's GORGEOUS. Selling/bartering the black, though. Already rehomed (as a freebie w/ today's sales) the B&W barred. Slumming it with a dog crate coop until I can get them rehome/auctioned, etc. He'll likely be moving into West Wing #2 then with Evie (Partridge hen in the Rustic Roost with DB chick).

Pen #5: The B&W Barred and two black Silkie cockerels needs to be rehomed/auctioned. They share the dogloo.

Pen #6: currently vacant. Shady uses this as her day pen for exercise. She needs a few accoutrements to her pen, poor thing. Everyone has a sandbox and coop but her. :D

Yeah, yeah, this is me taking it easy. Sore as hell (sunburn, too), but feeling very satisfied about the day's work and glad to have money in my pocket for an hour and a half of selling.
trystinn: (Default)
I was on such a roll today!

I sold all but the two Frizzles chicks I wanted to retain for the breeding program, so all Wendy's chicks have been sold. She'll be reunited with Napoleon this afternoon. The two chicks will be relocated to Pen #4.

The Silkie cockerel bachelors will be relocated to Pens #5 and #6, since I'm awash in extra cockerels, having taken back 3 from a customer. I did manage to rehome 1 with a customer today - gave him away as a freebie for her having bought 8 chicks. The others are up on Craigslist, if they don't sell I may end up taking them to the auction a week from Monday.

I also sold the two so-so Frizzle pullets I wasn't thrilled with, as well as Salt's pullet. Salt has been returned to the main flock. I made a wonderful deal for the Lavender Orpingtons because frankly, I'm just tired of them and wanted them GONE. So they are. Abracadabra, I'm $20 richer for having done so!

Now, we just need to get the Rhodie pullets moved over to the main flock tonight and tucked in the coop to acclimate. Otherwise, we're doing pretty well on our goals. And yanno, those Silkie eggs to hatch!
trystinn: (Obey the Basset)

A classic Flash pic. :D
trystinn: (Raphael)
There's an awful lot we share on these blogs. Our sorrows, our challenges, our struggles. And when we are fortunate, we also get to share our good luck and love, our gifts, our happiness. We have lived together, laughed together and grieved together.

Over the years, we've offered up ourselves on here and for the most part there has been an incredible amount of respect and compassion, generosity and understanding. We have counted on each other, borrowed from each other, asked each other for help, offered and given much.

Things are very tough for many of us. That struggle may be financial, it may be medical, it may be psychological or emotional. It may be any combination or even all of them. It may not be the constant conversation. Frankly, I hope it isn't because I truly hope that we can all see a little brightness and a little joy despite our trials.

This conversation is about the appropriateness and respect given to what we share here. Its about the compassion and awareness to each others lives and our individual situations. Its about a generosity of spirit and a perspective greater than our own lives and reality. We all need a little more of these things. And when someone is ignoring these and trampling over them, acting with self-absorption and disrespecting those very real challenges, the response of silence speaks volumes. In fact, it can be quite deafening.

But when that behavior continues, as it so often does, sometimes you must make the all important decision to hold up the mirror to the behavior and then protect yourself.

Yesterday, someone I've known for year needed to see in that mirror. And she refused to see herself and instead made excuses. And I did what I had to do to protect myself because I am hurt. And I am furious. And I am absolutely horrified that my life, my boundaries and my situation have been intruded upon in such a selfish, self-absorbed manner.

At the end of the day, it is not that I am mad at her. Because I am not. I am frustrated that we have come to this level of obliviousness. We have become things to each other. We have become an ends to a mean. Instead of a treasured resource, we are a material source. If you want something from me, it begins and ends with me - my spirit and soul, my mind and my energy. And should you ask for my assistance, be prepared to answer how I, as a resource, can do that!

So here I make my stand. No more dehumanizing. Human, I stand.
trystinn: (Default)
Wendy and her chicks are enjoying their pen, even their "neighbors" the Rhodie pullets:


I'm particularly fond of this little Frizzle, I hope its a female:


Salt's chick is growing like crazy and absolutely beautiful, I'm truly hoping its a female because I'd love to breed her:


The two of them together are quite striking:


The shy little Partridge Silkie always hides from me. I barely get pics of her:


Napoleon Blownaparte is not shy. He desperately misses Wendy and cannot wait to have his lady back. One of his ladies is brooding, the white Silkie, so we'll be moving Wendy back in and the white Silkie and her nest into the Rustic Roost soon.


They aren't ready to go it alone, but they are a lovely bunch:


In fodder news, we've started the Farro (its kind of boring as its in the pressing stage):


The Red Barley is doing pretty well, not great, though:


The Black Oil Sunflower Seed looks great. I do love it!

trystinn: (Obey the Basset)
I found even more Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (apparently there were some in the cupboard), so I'm soaking another set for fodder - they take 48 hours before they are ready for pressing. The Farro seeds only needed 24 hours to swell and begin rooting, so the seeds are out on the rack pressing for another 24 hours. I've updated my post on BYC, but I need to add pictures tomorrow. Which reminds me, I need to buy more seeds!

In chicken news, we've moved Salt and her chick (needs a name STAT) to the Chickenheim pen #6. Immediately, Salt and Wendy started sparring. Ugh. Hopefully those two ladies will simmer down and things will be peaceful from here on out. Salt's chick and Wendy's chicks are about the same age, but Salt's as a standard sized one is roughly 4x the size!
Must get pictures tomorrow if the weather holds, tonight the rain started up so I wasn't going to take my camera out in it, sorry!
trystinn: (Default)
For Solstice, one of our Elders gifted everyone with jet athames. They are gorgeous and now holding a place of honor on our home altar.

After having a delightful lunch with Dana yesterday in Port Townsend and braving the torrential downpour to do a bit of shopping, we headed back to the Island for a Solstice dinner with our little Naval Neo-Pagan group. Afterward we got together to play Munchkin. Not sure we're playing it correctly, that first game is always a bunch of "oh shit, we forgot Items!" kind of "hell, what are we supposed to be doing with the die, again" and "oops, there's a difference between upright and downwards cards" kind of a thing.

Lisa graciously picked us up some Farro seed to sprout for the chickens at the farmers market. I have absolutely no idea what Farro is. but we're soaking it for a day or two (we'll see what its like tomorrow as to whether it requires another day or not). The Red Barley isn't quite ready for feeding yet, but we're still feeding the original bag of Black Oil Sunflower Seed!

In chicken news, poor Big Blue has a horrible ear infection. We're currently treating it with a combination of Hydrogen Peroxide (squirted into his ear to clear the gunk) and packing the swollen canals with Neosporin ointment. If that doesn't do the trick, we'll have to switch to Penicillin injections, which I'm not particularly keen on trying with him. He's a massive bird (think beach ball) and could really protest violently.

For reasons we're still confused about, Wendy (our smooth-feathered Silkie) and her host of little chicks has decided to invade the Rhodie pullet pen. They are now all living together. *chuckle* The Rhodies are decidedly confused but everyone seems to be doing all right. The Rhodies at this point are about the same size as Wendy, but that won't last long!

We lost little Snow, the splash Silkie. He was always a bit of a runt, never crowed and never prospered. We'd had a host of near misses and this time, palliative care didn't work. *sigh* The Bachelor Pad is down one bachelor now.

The last two days, we've run out of here in the morning, coming back close to midnight. Today is a resting and recovery day. *smooches* to all for a Blessed Solstice.
trystinn: (Default)
May you find what you seek

trystinn: (Default)
It only took about a year of unsuccessful stalking of the CL Free section, but I did manage to find a beautiful free desk AND nab it. Free desks are tough, especially nice ones, but nabbing them is even harder. This weekend I managed to do both:


The guys are picking it up. I'm thrilled at this first step in re-doing my home office. I still need to find a large organizer for the wall opposite the windows, which I may end getting from IKEA. But this is a great find! :D

I'll take my old desk over to Delightfully Deviant's studio. I'm sure they have a sewing machine or similar equipment that needs a new desk. Maybe even a little corner one like that.
trystinn: (Default)
Shady continues to grow and she's developing quite the crush on Hobo. I'm not sure if its because he's the closest male to her size or that he's content to let her nap near him, but its very cute.

window 001sm

She's been courting him in a very uniquely (but obvious) bunny way, by zooming around him in circles, sticking her nose under his chin and sniffing his butt. He's fairly amused by all this. But the nose sticking thing can get a bit . . . dangerous.

One of the cuter bunny behaviors is their demand for nose "pettins" (a sort of grooming style of petting rabbit owners do to their nose). Rabbits will flatten out on their stomachs and push their nose forward in a bid for pettins. Should you fail to immediately begin petting, you are likely to vastly insult said rabbit (only the dominant rabbit gets to demand pettins, generally) and worse, they will nip you to gain your attention to their need to be petted. Shady loves pettins. Shady wants pettins/grooming from Hobo, who seems somewhat alarmed at this request. How he'll handle being nipped, I'm not sure. I'm hoping he might recognize it as a variant of what he does to us when he wants to be petted, which is bop us with his paw in the lips or jaw.

He's an easy-going guy, but inter-species dating doesn't seem to be his thing. He doesn't even groom the dogs, which Libby will do. Of course, she holds on to them while she grooms them with her claws, so its against their will, but she does groom them. So I'm not sure how this will go.

Meanwhile, Hobo is zonked. Apparently, rabbit crushes are exhausting.
trystinn: (Default)
I think its pretty official, at 6 months Shady has definitely hit puberty.

ShadyLady 002sm

Friendly has become all about CRAZED MAD INSANE demands for AFFECTION.

She's getting so big now, she's small cat sized. We have 3 more months of this before she's old enough to breed. We need to start looking around for a buck soonest. Yowsa.
trystinn: (Default)
I'm getting very tired of having to prop my left arm up on chairs, sofa backs and pillows. At some point we'll sort out why my spleen is enlarged (which is why my left ribs are too tender to touch and send pains shooting through my torso from the pressure) but in the meanwhile, I'm having a tougher time being patient about this crap.

That said, its not quite so painful in the evenings. Which is a good thing.
trystinn: (Default)
Update: I forget the simple things these days! Still in their infancies, but they will be growing!

The Triple Pillars Etsy Shop!

And our Facebook page.

As many of you know, what ultimately killed Triple Pillars was my inability to get either of the two websites to work seamlessly - at the last, the damn shopping cart program was refusing to actually give me the orders. So I'd essentially get a notice from PayPal telling me you'd order, the money you'd sent and your address, but not what you'd ordered. Then I'd try to sort out what the hell you'd ordered by sheer divination. It was maddening!

So Etsy makes sense, because I have a local mentor to guide me through the process and assist with any roadblocks I come across. I've also created a Facebook to announce new products and will likely be working on a blog (though the FB cover the needs) to handle the essays, etc.) that the website used to host. We'll see how that works, going forward.

I'm working with the Etsy calculator, my own spreadsheets and various tools all while trying to sort out various other issues such as the realization that going forward I'm likely going to be changing my packaging. Personally, I'd rather not spend a bunch of money on labels and containers, preferring to concentrating my efforts on the ingredients. But then, I'm a really pragmatic soul. Perhaps though, I'm missing out on something. And I may be short-changing the customers and losing customers in the process. I'm not sure how important packaging is to people - would you like the option perhaps for a discount for your item to be sent in a plain ziplock envelope vs the fancy jar?

Right now, we're using a white plastic pot container. Its easy to store, but hard to stack due to rounded edges. Lovely for a clear label but you cannot see the product. And we're running low, so we'll need to buy more containers at some point soon.

I've looked at clear plastic pots but the acrylic is VERY fragile and in my experience shatters easily. What a mess if it does so during shipment and expensive for me to replace?

Glass is heavy for shipment and drives costs upwards. I like the glass test tubes but everyone seems to be doing it and again, fragility. Those are better for events, which I don't do. I do like the frosted glass bottles, though.

Ziplock envelopes have huge pros and cons. Most local companies use them - huge problems. They use a cardboard tag which they staple through the bag, which leaks forever afterwards. Plus, once you remove the label, you can never match it to the bag. A printed adhesive label is great, but drives up printing costs - color, design, etc. Cellophane bags are great and you can staple the folded up portion, which will handle some of the issues with the staple holes. I personally prefer to re-locate purchased incense to glass jars at home. Not sure what others do at home.

I'm really not fond of those metal mint cans, plus its been done and its very hard to get a full ounce in them for some of the larger, lighter incenses. Plus, I find them somewhat difficult to get incense out of.

I'll be looking around for unique ideas. And of course, all ideas and preferences wanted.

The couch

Jun. 6th, 2012 09:06 pm
trystinn: (Default)
Taking it easy is boring the shit out of me. Friends are kindly dropping by and trying to amuse me or at least, distract me for a few hours.

Tomorrow I'll be working on setting up the Etsy shop, re-organize the products and set up scenes, Thursday Pandora is coming over to do principle photography on the sales items and finish setting up policies. Friday will be tweaking and more organization.

I'm hoping we'll be good to go live by Friday. *cross fingers*

Yes, this is my idea of taking it easy.
trystinn: (Default)
I will be of course calling in every other day to remind them I'm prioritizing myself and I'm on the overflow list in case someone cancels. I had a nice little chat with the gal who answered the phone and mentioned fun terms like "ruptured spleen", "doctor thinks its organ-involved Lupus", etc. so I'm hopeful.

We may be lighting candles for an earlier appointment.

*cross fingers*
trystinn: (Default)
This week we cleaned all the bins, then reset them with freshly soaked seed - Black Oil Sunflower Seed and Red Barley. I'm very excited about the Red Barley, as we've not sprouted Barley previously and we're not sure how long Barley will take to reach 4 inches. Its a lovely color and if it wasn't currently being pressed to simulate the weight of soil, I'd show pictures here. This morning, when we pulled out the soaking seed, even the water was red!

Barley is traditionally a Spring crop, but with sprouting it doesn't matter what the regular harvest date is. I'm very curious to see what the sprouts taste like!


trystinn: (Default)

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