Monday, February 28, 2011


I know some other people are envious of me. Ridiculous, but there we are. I often wonder if they would want my poor health along with the life of Riley they perceive I live.

I know I am fortunate. I know things could be much worse.

Yet I am powerless and the more my disease progresses the more powerless I become. It seems to me that this is the one thing that has NOT changed since my childhood. I was powerless then and  am still powerless now. Nothing has changed in that respect. I can’t decide to leave without losing everything I have-dogs, yarn the dyeing, the car and I would find it very difficult to care for myself. I don’t want to leave, that isn’t the point. I just hate feeling trapped and powerless and having very little control over my life.

I absolutely dread the possibility that my disease will see me totally dependent upon others, so much so that I will not let that happen. No way, not ever. I will NOT be at the mercy of ‘healthcare professionals’. I have been there done that and will not again let others have that power over me.

Like many people I fantasize about winning the lottery. I don’t dream of fancy cars and gold taps. I dream of having a full time housekeeper and an aide on MY terms. If they are no good or take the piss, I can fire them and get another. Money is power. I think only those who have both think it isn’t.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


On the dog front everything is going very well.  I am now producing dogs of the quality I have always dreamt of.  It is rather strange to have one’s dreams come true.  I have waited a very long time.  40 years!

I have Mary-grace and Winston both of whom are top show quality.  And it looks like I have three in Whitney’s litter.  Time will tell.

I certainly have plenty to show!

My physical self has not been at all good recently.  I do not know if it is a coincidence but it has been particularly bad since I had the ‘flu seven weeks ago. I always have pain and no amount of pain killers alters that but recently the pain has been much more than the usual background noise.  Not only does this make me tired but it makes me rather grouchy to say the least.  Until recently it has made sleep really rather difficult and has thus exacerbated my conditions.  However I am now sleeping much better and last night was probably best nicely by a very long time.

Last evening I felt very wound up and so I took the dogs for a walk for the first time since before the puppies are born. Before I went I took the maximum dose of three different painkillers, including morphine.  Now I know the answer to a question that has been in my mind some time.  Even with painkillers, I cannot walk for very long.

The reason I have been wondering this is that there are some places I would like to visit, like Barcelona, the US, and Estonia for example, when taking my wheelchair would be very cumbersome.  I thought that as long as I was planning to take more drugs I would manage it without the wheelchair.  NO WAY!

I am extremely pleased with the way that my hand-painting of the yarn has developed.  Not just because I am selling my work well but because it gives me a great deal of satisfaction to do it. Hand-painting is exactly what I do.  I use paintbrushes to apply the die to the yarn as my soul dictates.  I feel as though every person who has bought my hanks have received a little bit of my soul.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Whitney’s Puppies


Pussy, Plenty and Bond. These three will be run on. Pussy and Plenty are bitches, Bond a dog. The sire is Ch. Kutani Secret Agent and the mother is my BISS Ch. Polielins Whitney With Tantra.

Thursday, February 17, 2011



It occurred to me that one reason that Christians may receive a disproportionate amount of heat is that they are a disproportionate chunk of the US population. If any given US citizen behaves egregiously, there is a roughly 75% demographic chance that they will be Christian. I think this Haiti debacle underscores the greatly increased likelihood for religiously (or at least ideologically) motivated folks to take certain actions that transcend the ‘earthly’ law, based on a perceived higher calling. To be generous, their charity got the better of them.

By exemption through Right Belief, I do not mean accountability for actions. I mean accountability for a very specific action, or lack of action. I’ll try to explain.

According to most Christian doctrines, If one has lived a decent and happiness-generating life, always made amends with those one has harmed, raised and nurtured a strong and loving family, and generally contributed to a just and good community, but does not believe himself a filthy and irredeemable sinner, and really just doesn’t think that someone else’s death absolved, or even could absolve this sinful state, then he will be judged guilty before God and denied entry to heaven. If one has lived a tragic and broken life, perhaps spoiled and selfish, proud and boastful, abusive toward others, maybe even criminal, but has embraced his sinful nature and believes in the redemption of Christ, then he will be absolved before God and permitted entry to heaven. This is explicitly NOT about accountability for actions. In the eyes of God, these individuals, regardless of actions, are, by His requirements, the same. But one accepted the ‘forgiveness’ and one didn’t. The ‘requirement’ you speak of – let’s call it Being Holy – is unattainable through human effort, only through believing in the literal truth of a specific story, thereby acquiring the required Holiness vicariously through the blood of Christ. I agree with you that this is not justice, but I also wouldn’t call it mercy. For the criminal, it IS mercy, but for the healthy and happy community leader? The one with the loving family? It is irrational, ruthless, and cruel.

Justice is a fairly clear concept that connotes something along the lines of ‘punishment fits the crime.’ Mercy is also a fairly clear concept, suggesting absolution when a crime is committed. A moment’s study reveals that these two concepts are in direct conflict. They see the same crime but produce different outcomes. So when you say that God is just, but that he also loves and pardons… well then, He isn’t just anymore; at least not while He’s loving and pardoning. One can be just, or one can be merciful, but one cannot meaningfully be both at the same time – that’s just poetry. And if one is sometimes just and sometimes merciful, then something larger is governing the choice between the two. What God offers is neither justice or mercy: for the Christian, the heaven/hell deal-breaker is an ARBITRARY justice and mercy that has no relation to behaviour or even sin, only to belief, and is known by another name: righteousness. (Vicarious righteousness, to be exact.) Is your name in the Book of Life? You’re in. No? Then too bad about that really good person you were, and that loving family. To declare oneself ’saved’ is to effectively declare oneself exempt from eternal justice, via an automatic mercy pass, simply by virtue of believing it so.

For better or worse, non-believers perceive hypocrisy in this worldview. I’m not judging you a hypocrite, really. Many Christians, perhaps most, really aren’t – most PEOPLE aren’t – at least in the sense of openly behaving hypocritically. In my view, most folks behave pretty admirably, especially when most of their ‘earthly’ needs are met. But Christians, by virtue of declaring themselves exempt from the very system of cosmic justice that they embrace and endorse, tend to get the label more often than non-Believers.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011


Whitney’s puppies are five weeks old today.  They have found their voices and they have found their tails! They are still not interested in food which is not surprising because Whitney is still very motherly towards them.  She amazes me because if anything she is slightly heavier than usual.  She has not lost condition at all and she is eating around about six times more than she normally would.

It goes without saying of course that the puppies are very cute. If I get into the pen and sit on the floor, they start nibbling my toes and pulling at my pyjamas and they make little growly barking noises.  I always find it highly amusing to see something that weighs only a couple of pounds standing there being all macho.

If I have not already remarked so, this is the best litter I have ever had. The father of this litter is not a dog I would even have thought to use even though he comes from a very good quality line.  It just was not within my radar.  Or so I thought! When Whitney  delayed her season, thereby making it convenient to breed her, I had no idea who I would breed her to. Then I awoke one morning and I just knew which dog to breed her to.  I felt it strongly and it has paid off.  I am glad that I was able to go with my feeling and did not allow my head to talk me out of it.

Surprisingly, the three girls are more or less clones of Whitney.  I do not mean because they are black.  I mean they physically look like her.  The boys are entirely different from the girls and from each other.  One of them I would think is going to look like his father.  The father’s owner will better be able to tell me that.  With regard to Whitney, this means that from a breeding point of view she is also very good which often is not the case with Champion stock.  I feel very fortunate.

This week has been very difficult because I have had severe pain which has kept me awake for the last three nights. The pain has been worse when laying in bed as it centres around my pelvis.  I have had to take more painkiller than usual and it was not until about 4 AM this morning that the pain finally abated.

On the good side, I have done a lot of dyeing.  I find that when I dye, my mind is so engrossed in what I am creating that I am able to distract myself enough from the pain.  I had a great deal of pleasure in working with just a few colours but mixing a bit of this and a bit of that to get many other colours.  As a result I have produced truly unique colours and un-repeatable dyed hanks.  I have also sold very well this week including half of these new dyes.

I have also been shown much kindness this week, especially by some ladies on the knitting machines list.  In the early hours of the morning when I was very tired and in pain I read an e-mail which upset me and I wrote a very pointed response.  Later I realised that had I not been in severe pain and so tired I would  have ignored the e-mail or not interpreted it the way that I did.  Far from getting snotty responses I got nothing but kind responses.  They understood I was not my usual cheerful self.  This makes me feel warm.

The early hours of a sleepless night do not normally produce ones finest thinking and definitely not if exacerbated by pain. My thoughts started to frighten and depress me because I began to seriously wonder if I was going to be able to carry on showing my dogs but I know that I would have gone to show even with this pain.  When I start to think negatively I just remind myself of how appalling my life used to be and this soon has me back on track and being grateful for the life I have today.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 09, 2011


This is not one of my better days.

I have been having nightmares and generally disturbing dreams  again recently. I can feel myself withdrawing into the dark place.

I have realised why. This has happened before yet clearly I did not learn the lesson of the last time.

For a while now I have been involved in heavy discussions on an Internet page. The discussion has been about religion, the abuse of women and children by the Roman Catholic Church, and subjects along this line.

As the time has passed I have found myself becoming more and more disturbed in my daily life and in my sleep.  Whilst I did become aware fairly quickly that my involvement in these discussions was the reason, I did not withdraw from it.  I felt that I really ought to be able to handle this.  I also began to wonder how good my recovery could be if I was so easily disturbed.

I realise that my thinking has gone to pot!  If I were to be in a situation again of being sexually abused or bullied on a daily basis I am quite certain that I would become disturbed again fairly quickly and that this would be no reflection at all upon the work I have done or the state of my current psyche.

I note that I still so easily doubt myself and blame myself for not being strong enough to withstand the mental onslaught that so reminds me of my childhood! I seem to think that either I have full control of PTSD symptoms or that they have gone altogether.  I know neither to be true!

It is totally futile to even attempt to reason with the unreasonable.  People whose ideas are their sole reason for being are extremely unlikely to be reached by reason.  Even if they are, it is not for me to try.  It is also quite unreasonable for me to expect that I can deal with all the triggers this arms in me without it having a detrimental effect upon me.


Firstly, on the positive side my new regime with regard to swimming is working out very well. I am not exhausted and it seems that I shall be able to do this four times a week.

I am having problems with pain, unrelated to the swimming because it is neither worse nor better since my new routine started.

I am going to have to speak with my doctor about it because the last time I saw her, if I understood correctly, she does not want me to take anti-inflammatories too often, neither does she want me to use the morphine too often! To be blunt I have to use one or the other. She also suggested that I move onto a patch.  I am not willing to do that.  One, because morphine disturbs my sleep badly so I do not take it in the night, and I like the fact that I can control my use with pills.  The patch would take that away.  Plus I would imagine it would float away when I swim!

One thing I have done, for two nights in a row, is take the paracetamol and tramadol just before I go to bed. I have not taken painkillers before bed before because I thought it was a waste of time.  However, the last two nights I have slept for five hours before waking in pain.  It is possible this is just coincidence but I shall continue to take those just before I go to bed to see what the result is.  I am not prepared right now to increase my daily dose to 4 times even though my prescription has always been for that amount, I have only ever taken it three times a day.  I find if I take it in the morning as soon as I get up I can usually cope until late afternoon and early evening which would then allow the third dose to be just before bedtime.

That is it for today.

Monday, February 07, 2011


As readers of my blog will know I have been struggling nearly 2 years to be able to swim 1 mile a day as I used to. All to no avail. I was exhausting myself.  Each time I went pool I was determined to do the mile and I often could not and even when I did I ruined my day and the next day with pain and exhaustion.

I recently determined that I would stop doing this.  I decided that I would go to the swimming pool with a set figure in my head. I even decided that I would go late for my swim instead of in the very early morning.

This has been of great help and as a result I have swum more days in the last eight then I have been doing.

What I noted was that it also takes self-discipline to stop myself from overdoing things.  I listened to that old parental voice in my head about being lazy etc and was determined that I would be disciplined about keeping mobile is possible.

I have come to realise that for me to give myself a reasonable number of laps to do and to stick to that regardless of how I feel when I have done that number, takes discipline on my part.  Due to me giving myself a reasonable number I am not knackered when I finish. It is therefore tempting for me to do more laps.  I do not do it I just get out of the pool.  I know that if I give in to be urged to do more I will set myself up for failure and pain and exhaustion.

The same goes for eating.  I find I have to be as disciplined about eating the right amount of food.  I can so easily under eat and of course sets me up for over eating.  I have known this one for years.

I am now applying the same principle to my swimming and I am sure that there are other areas of my life that will apply to as well.

Thursday, February 03, 2011