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Tuesday, March 28, 2017


Er... I kind of didn't get my ABC Wednesday K post organised when I should have... better (almost too) late than never?
I had a weekend/week recently where I decided to go kayaking on the lake during the hot air balloon festival that is on every year, because I did that one day last year and it was fun :)
I got up and went on the Saturday, but the balloons didn't fly ("too foggy") so I had fun paddling around for a while anyway... and found a Geocache on a post out in the water :)
I went again on Sunday and not only did the balloons fly, but it was a glorious Sunrise, and a nice day... until I was up the other end of the lake (finding another Geocache and just generally having fun paddling) and it got windy... so I had to paddle all the way back into a headwind, in chop that felt like I was in a washing machine - lol - but I actually quite enjoyed the workout :)
I decided to go out again on Tuesday... but again - no balloons... "too windy"... wasn't too windy on the water at first, so I decided to do the "Whereigo" Geocache on the lake (one that involves playing a geolocation based game, where one uses a GPS (or an app on a phone with a GPS :) to navigate to various virtual checkpoints in order to proceed through the game and eventually find out where to find the Geocache :)
Good idea in theory - But it involved paddling up the lake into what had become a rather strong headwind, and chop... but I was having fun and enjoying the exercise again - so I kept going... and was already rather wet by the time the rain started. .. I still kept going... had to wait at one stage because a rescue chopper was dropping and retrieving training dummies right ON one of the checkpoints - lol
I eventually finished the game, but the B£%%€¥ Geocache was missing - lol - but it was a fun way to spend about 10 hours out on the lake... lol
The photos are (I think) all on the bottom, and this post may or may not look weird... and I think I am going to have to publish it then edit it to add link... (oh - maybe not - just noticed I can do that in the app :) because I am doing this on my phone... because that is where all the photos are... lol
I also went kayaking again yesterday... on a different lake this time... but I would Like to save that for a Lovely L post :)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Just because?

... Ok ... What to post for ABC Wednesday this week?
Something for the letter J ...
(Which I wrote most of a few days ago, and finally am posting Just in time - lol)
I know ...

... Because it is about time for a happy post ... rather than rambling on about my mental health issues ... except to say that I think I am now on the way to getting better :)
(although I think it is going to be a long slow process ... sigh)

... They say the best way to get better at something is to practice ... and I need to get better at being happy - so this weekend I went and did some fun things to see if I could - and I think a few times I may have even got the hang of it for a while :)

but ... A lot of them involved going and paddling my Kayak, and I plan to do that again sometime this week - so that can be my K post next week - although that is not totally why I decided that - I also came up with another idea for J:


... Yes - Jewellery ...

not what I expected to be posting about either :)
... but I kind of ended up fiddling around with beads and thread/cord and making some jewellery ... which some people would probably call beady dangly junk ... but I had fun, and I like what I made :)


... Why did I end up playing with beads when I have half a dozen quilt tops to finish, something I am in the middle of crocheting, and another weird/arty quilt I have started and kind of want to finish ASAP?

Well ... long story (long for most people, short for me - lol)

I think the idea started when I had seen adverts for fidget toys and stuff, while reading  blogs/etc about Aspergers/Autism, and then my daughter sent me a text message with a link to a rather ugly looking new/different version of something I had seen a while ago, called a fidget cube, and she told me I should buy two - one for me and one for her - lol ... and I decided to have a search online, to see if I could find the nicer looking one I had seen ... I found all sorts of interesting stuff ... there seems to be a huge variety of things one can buy for Autistic kids (or adults) to fiddle with - twiddly things, spinny things, clicky things, squishy stuff, and even chewable necklaces ... all being advertised as good for Autistic people or kids/adults with ADHD/etc anyone else who liked to fiddle with something to focus their thoughts or whatever ... 

... pity things were different when I was a kid - I used to constantly get told off for fiddling with things on my desk in class - but it was how I used to focus/concentrate, so I always fiddled (despite the fact that I got told off, and teased, about it) ... but when I went to school, nobody knew what an Aspie was ... 

er ... where was I? LOL

anyway ... I got to thinking, and figured most of the fidget toys were a bit weird/ugly, and/or expensive, and the jewellery looked tacky ... and I was also thinking about how fidgeting to think was probably not really a new idea - "worry beads" have been a thing since way back whenever ... 

and then I had a creative idea - why not dig out some beads and do dads and make myself a fiddly thing/worry beads type thingy ... but then I thought a bit more and thought of the idea of making a bead and string/cord bracelet, kind of like the ones I see surfies and hippies wearing - and it can double as an item of jewellery, and something to fiddle with ... and being something that can be worn - then it would be less likely to be lost/misplaced (by someone like me, who would be rather likely to put a fidget cube/etc down somewhere and forget where :)

... not that I ever have trouble finding something to fiddle with (key rings, rubber bands, drawstrings/cords on my clothing, hair (even when it is an inch long I can still fiddle with it :), my earlobes, my fingers, whatever is in my pocket - I remember at least one stressful conversation I had at work recently where I spent the whole time with one hand in my pocket, totally shredding a tissue and rolling all the shredded bits up into stringy bits of mess - lol) but ... but it was an excuse to dig out some beads and stuff and get creative ... and who knows - if I ever get organised maybe I can make some to sell or something - lol 

This is the first one I made ... using some wooden beads and string ... I am not sure I like what it looks like, but I did like the idea, and how it worked (I kind of invented the way it does up, by fiddling as I made it :) 

... so I decided it could be my prototype and decided to dig out some more beads and thread/cord/whatever and make another one ... but I kept finding beads I thought would work/look good with this or that thread or cord or whatever ... and I couldn't decide - so I threw several options in with my sewing stuff and took it to Monday night quilt drop in ... and spent most of the evening fiddling around (and stuffing things up - some of the beads had rather small holes and I had to make the cord thinner, and I kept threading things the wrong way/order or tying knots in the wrong bits before I put beads on - lol) and ended up making this one with a lot of dangly bits and small glass beads ... then I finished it at the "Wonderful Wednesday" quilt meeting (a monthly meeting which I don't usually get to go to, but have been going to while I have been off work).

... did I mention I like beads, and dingly dangly things? :)

Then I was on a roll, and at the Wednesday afternoon drop in (after the other meeting) I decided to make another one, and ended up making a more formal looking one with a matching necklace:

... this one was a lot quicker to make - lol
I also plan to make some earrings to complete the set - once I remember to dig out the other packet of those gold feathers and actually FIND where I put the earring hook things that I think might still be in a box ... somewhere ... 

After that I realised that none of them looked like the original idea I had in my mind ... so I dug out some more wooden beads (plain ones, and smaller than the first lot) and thread and made this one:

... which actually looks something like the vague idea I originally had :)

This is what it looks like on my wrist:

 ... and it is the version I might make some more of? 

"For those fidgety and/or stressed people who bought a fidget toy and immediately put it down/lost it somewhere - a hippy style bracelet that can be worn anywhere, and fiddled with if needed ..."

Just a bit too weird? lol

More Junk?

Or ...

Just what someone is looking for?

btw - feel free to copy my idea and make one of your own - not that I could stop anyone doing that if I said not to ... 

And ... I went to Friday quilt drop in before I got around to posting this, and now I have another one:

... I got a bit carried away with beads and dangly bits :)

Oops? :)

Oh - they also make good cat toys :)

At least my Son's kitten thinks so - lol

I am here dog/cat sitting while they are away overnight ... my dog plus their 2 cats, and 2 dogs ... it is a zoo here - lol (but there is wifi :)
Thought I would take this photo because it shows how this one (and some of the others) can be adjusted so different numbers of beads can be at each end ... or, in this case - opened right up into a tiring of beads for a cat (or person) to play with ...

This brings back memories of when the ex and I had cats - I have taken lots of photos of small items I have made with said items ON one or other cat - lol

Friday, March 10, 2017

Inside My Head?

I can't decide what to post about ...
... for my ABC Wednesday letter I post :)

(Everyone hide - here comes that weird Andrea person again - lol)

... but at least I now know I have a reason for being weird - lol
(See previous post ... and/or just read the rest of this one :)

Yep - I am often referred to as being "one of a kind" ... but I now also know I am one of the one in 79 (or what other number it is - varies depending where I read it - lol) people who have the same reason for being like that :)

Yes ... don't think I need to say any more considering the first line (which was going to be the title until I changed my mind :) of this post? 
(actually I think I have read something about how having trouble with decision making can be a problem for Aspies ... I still have a lot of reading/etc to do ... lol)

Yes, apparently I am ... when I was in year 6 at school everyone in my year did an IQ test and the teacher told my mum that I got a very high score (as in the highest they had ever seen!?!) ... not sure it did me much good though ... lol

Also a very big yes ... sigh ... for most of my life I have had a very low self Image ... another common thing for Aspies, I believe ... also not helped by spending half my life married to someone who did nothing much to encourage me, and a lot to "put me down" ... sigh ... 

... Nope - definitely not me ... even if I tried to, I am not ... probably why I gave up trying hide and pretend I was normal, and just kept on being me ... despite the fact that I am often thought to be some kind of an idiot ... lol

No, nothing to do with me/who I am - lol - just a nice colour and an interesting plant, that is fun to dye fabric/etc with :)

Yes, I have one ... I have been known to hide in there - lol
Sometimes it is a good place to be, but sometimes it isn't ...

I don't think I really am, or at least I don't Intend to be - but it has been said about me ... because I can say the wrong thing/be a bit blunt ... that one is definitely an Aspie thing ...

I find inspiration in all sorts of places ... and who knows, maybe someone might even find some inspiration here in my blog ... or if not, then maybe just something to laugh at, or shake their head in bewilderment at, and be glad they don't think like me - lol

Inside my mind?
er ... that is a rather strange and scary place, especially at the moment - lol

I tried to depict the inside of my mind for a "self portrait" quilt challenge a few years ago:

Hmm ... something I find a bit confusing actually ... probably (later correction - DEFINITELY) something I need to fix/improve? lol

but maybe I am getting there?
Or maybe not?
Here is something I wrote the day after I wrote most of last week's post:

I am still totally confused, and rather overwhelmed, and still have the stress issue (probably mostly something called "adjustment disorder" with some anxiety/depression/etc thrown in there just for fun :) so I still have a heck of a lot of stuff to sort out with the psychologist ...
... but now, at least there is "a light at the end of the tunnel"
Unfortunately, with the way work have handled things so far, and the way things have affected me differently than intended/expected (mostly due to me being an Aspie and neither me nor them knowing), I have a sneaking suspicion that the light at the end of the tunnel probably IS an oncomming train! - but at least I now know that I can get off the tracks and flatten myself against the wall and most likely avoid being totally crushed by the slow moving steam engine of "normal procedure" and/or totally entangled in its load of red tape :)

... The only way I was able to interpret the email I got from work the other day (after I wrote most of this blog post, including the bit just above!)  ... probably best not discussed here though ... not yet ... not while there is some vague chance that certain people might actually realise/be told that they are still not doing things how they should, and actually do the right thing ... 
Later edit: Which looks like they are now doing :) 
... and I probably interpreted said email the wrong way anyway. (although I also have a suspicion that until they got the last medical certificate from my doctor, stating what he has been treating me for, and what needs to happen with me doing a "gradual return to work", I don't think they realised that I do actually have a mental health condition, rather than just a doctor who was happy to write certificates 
I have also since realised I do seem to have got a few things muddled up in my mind - probably yet another mis-communication/brain fart (and lack of aforementioned Insight?) on my part - where I seem to have got myself totally tangled up with some (wrong) idea and totally mis-understood everything ... something which I now realise is a result of this next thing I had already written:

... Yes ... kind of frightening actually, because I have just realised (after writing the rest of this over the last week or so) that at the moment I am very much so! 
Seems that between the Aspergers and the stress, and the stress making the Aspergers affect me more - I am misunderstanding/confusing more stuff than not, with the work issues ... and have had totally the wrong idea about how things are meant to work, and what everyone needs to/can do ... and even about things I have talked about with people (although probably not really helped that I actually didn't know much about all this sort of stuff, and have not really had anyone who has sat down with me to explain it all) ... ahrgh- the knots my strange brain and I end up getting myself tangled up in!

Edit: I really should add a link here, to some information which I am SO glad I read, because it has been extremely helpful ... because it explains a lot about at least some, if not all, of the issues I am having :)

Why do the words "Aspie Jelly" keep popping into my mind?! ... my brain doing weird things with words ... another Aspie thing? ... I recently saw a tweet about Aspic Jelly ... (which unfortunately I have not eaten for years, but know I used to really like) ... and I kind of feel a bit like a wibbly wobbly jelly at the moment ... or like maybe my brain is ... 
oh well ... guess I can keep it filed away with all my other weird thoughts and ideas, in case I ever need a name for another blog or a title for a post' or a name for a quilt, or something ... 
hmm ... now there's a thought ... 

*brain wanders off into the distance, whistling (out of tune :)*

Is it too weird?

I think I have tweeted quite a few tweets that start with those words, or "Is it weird that I...?" or something similar ... my answer to the question is usually "yes - it is weird, but too bad - I AM weird" ...
...and yes, I did write a catalogue description for a quilt I had not even designed yet, let alone started making ... thought of the title first - yes "Aspie Jelly" that I mentioned earlier in this post :) and then wrote the description ... and figured I can work out what to make, probably using some particular scraps of fabric that I fished out of the "free to a good home" bucket at the Canberra Quilters room ... I started the quilt the other day ... not sure if I will get it finished, but if I do - it will be weird - lol 
(and if you look at the date on that tweet - yes - I wrote a lot of this blog post a week or 2 before posting it :)

I guess now I know WHY I am weird - yes - I will still call myself weird, and I am usually quite happy to be called weird - to me that word is a compliment ... I AM different, and I always will be ... and, from a very young age, I have always known I was ... and I had kind of accepted that, because I knew it was just how I was, and that it wasn't ever likely to change (because I wouldn't still be me if it did), and I knew that there were some things about being whatever sort of different I was, that were good/useful (eg creativity/etc :) or at least made me laugh - and I liked that - and because I knew, and had come to accept, that I was different to everyone else I knew, I think I was quite happy to be proud of being weird :)  ... I still am - but now - I know why I am different ... 
(but I still like the word "weird" lol)

And one more ... could also be an "is it weird that I think that...?" 

Is it just me that finds it ironic? (or ammusing? or something ...) that Aspies tend to think about things in "black or white" terms ... and Aspergers is definitely NOT a "black or white" condition?! ... hmm - no wonder I am so confused right now?!??

Interesting ... yes - oddly enough, while I am finding all this stuff a bit frightening, I am also finding it rather interesting ... which makes it a bit less frightening, I guess ...

Oh - and in case anyone is getting too worried about me - yes, I have a lot going on in my head, with all the work situation/stress disorder/Aspergers diagnosis/etc ... but oddly enough - apart from that, I am actually feeling sort of ok (at least most of the time ... I have ups and downs, but I guess that is to be expected ...), and also doing some things I enjoy, because they are just what I need to de-stress (in fact I am quite happy that my psychologist has told me I should go to quilt group, and go Geocaching - lol) ... yes, it is still an uphil climb, with a long way to go - but I am hopeful that the view from the top is going to be fantastic :)

And another ...

Having a stress disorder (which I currently do) affects things like "executive functioning" in the brain and so does Aspergers ... and both those things make each other worse ... no wonder I am so confused ... and functioning so badly (in some ways) right now! 
So ...
If anyone else is feeling confused when I talk/write about all the stuff going on in/with my messed up brain, and is having trouble understanding it - imagine what it is like for me, inside my head, trying to make sense of it all WITH that same messed up brain!

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

How to be me?

How To Be Me? ?! ???
It seems a bit odd for someone to still be learning something like that at my age (54), but for the past few weeks I have been seeing a psychologist, and (an expensive!) specialist in order to do exactly that ...

I posted about my mental health (some of the things I have been through in the last few years, and the work/etc problems I am now having) 2 weeks ago - here
... it was my ABC Wednesday letter F post :)
and I also came up with the title, and a plan, to post this for the Letter H

... because I kind of knew that by now I would have one more answer, and one more part of the puzzle that is me:

On Monday I had a third visit with the not so cheap doctor ... I paid to go and see this particular doctor because he is one who specialises in Autism Spectrum Disorders ... Yes - I have suspected I may be on that spectrum for a few years, but had not realised it could be affecting me so much, so had dismissed it as not particularly important ...
But, after discussing things with my psychologist, and her having sent me to discuss things with this doctor - now I know it is important, and I needed to know for sure - and it is now official - I have been diagnosed as having "level 1 Autistic Spectrum Disorder" - otherwise known as Aspergers ...
(There is also a heap more info here :)

So ... as odd as it sounds - I can now say I have been diagnosed with an incurable condition, but I am Happy about that!
Yes - Happy! ... How can that be? - to me (and from what I have been told - most people who get diagnosed with Aspergers later in their life), it means that instead of being a "normal" person who has had a heap of problems with things, I now know there is a reason I have had many (most?) of those problems - because i am an Aspie! (and/or because I didn't know I was one).
... and although Aspergers is/can be a disability, it also kind of isn't (and it doesn't qualify me for NDIS funding or anything like that, because it doesn't impair me from being able to live a normal life or mean I would require support to live normally, etc, etc.)
Aspergers is often now described as a different way of thinking, that a fairly large number of us have ... and it is often said that in some ways it is also a gift ... and yes - I guess it can be ... being creative and quirky etc is a good thing (sometimes - lol) ... I LIKE being weird - this is who I am - take away the Aspergers and I would not BE who I am ... I would just be some normal person, lost in the crowd ... probably happier, but boring - lol
Oh - and one other thing (that I found myself saying to my Mum) - I am not going to use Aspergers as an excuse (for doing/not doing anything I should or for problems I may have or whatever) - it is not an excuse for anything - it is a reason, not an excuse.

Apparently, I also need a textbook to study this subject of "How to be me" - lol - the doctor who just diagnosed me has suggested I buy this book ... I might buy it, but for now I have got (and already read :) the free sample that Amazon sent, and have requested to borrow a hard copy from the library (they don't seem to have it as an ebook ... but I have not actually borrowed an ebook before, so I might be doing something wrong - lol).

But now ... I still need to do something about the other half of the problem I currently have - being an Aspie explains some of the how's and whys of things, but I still have to sort out the mental health issues I currently have - the stress/etc thing that has resulted in me being away from work ... probably "adjustment disorder" or somesuch ... on top of a messy snowball of stress and some depression ... but at least now I know a bit more about what makes me tick, and why I had at least some of the difficulties that contributed to the stress/etc - I think I am now mentally in a far better place - and hopefully I can now get the right sort of help, and I feel more confident that it will actually help ... and I now feel a whole lot better about myself, and more able to come to terms with the fact that I have "fallen apart" lately - I now know that it is not because I am weak or useless (apparently poor self image is a common problem for Aspies, and definitely has been for me!) - I now know there is a perfectly logical reason for it, that I didn't know was affecting me that much, but now I do - add being an Aspie, and not knowing about it, to all the other stuff - and it is no surprise that I have fallen apart (in fact the surprise is that it didn't happen sooner and/or worse?) - and I am now going to be a lot better equipped to pick up the pieces and put them all in the right places - so that I can, hopefully, end up being a lot more happy about myself and my life than I have been ...

Actually, a poem I wrote, quite a few years ago (before I got quite so stressed/etc in the last few years) comes to mind ... and I think it kind of applies to me now :)

I looked at life the normal way,
And didn't like what I saw,
So I looked at life the other way,
And now I enjoy it more.

Except maybe I should change the word "other" to "Aspie"? LOL

... So now I just need to learn a whole lot more about Aspergers, and being an Aspie, and I also need to keep working with a psychologist (with that and all the other mental health/stress/etc stuff) for a while - and learn HOW to actually BE who/what I now know I am :)

Hopefully I will get around to posting to my blog a bit more often again now ... Hopefully about a few slightly more normal things, and/or not so normal but not so freaky things ... and also maybe a few more things about my journey into the uncharted territory of my mind, and how I am going with finding myself and learning how to be myself ... (and possibly something about what ends up actually happening when I go back to work - which could be a strange but possibly interesting process, which apparently needs to involve a "rehabilitation provider" and a "graduated return to work" ... which all kind of makes it sound serious and scary, and confusing, but hopefully means things will have a better chance of actually going well for me ... unlike the start of this year, when I tried to go back with no support at all, and things just got worse than they had been)

I am still feeling rather confused, and possibly a bit overwhelmed - have felt like that for the last few weeks, which is probably quite understandable considering what I have been going through :)
Who knows where this weird journey of my life will actually take me next - could be ... interesting ... and quite possibly frightening at times ... but knowing what I have already been through at times during my life, and some of the things I know I have inside my weird mind - strange and frightening is something I am probably already quite used to :)

Oh ... and I am probably already tweeting a bit too much about some of this stuff? lol (oh well - my followers (all 1 or 2 of them? :) will just have to live with it - it is kind of rather important to me at the moment, and what I am busy sorting out/doing ... so of course I want to tweet about it - lol)

... The mind of a "stressed out" Aspie is a rather strange place ... Confusing, scary, and - oddly enough - I am also finding it quite interesting - lol

The other day I found myself saying that I have a whole universe inside my mind - and it made me laugh - because, in a way, it is true ...
Beam me up and go to Warp 9 Scotty! - I need to explore the universe :)

... In the meantime, I will just explore a few more odd corners of Canberra :)