Be Forewarned, I am a Fey and Quixotic Creative Writer

Be Forewarned, I am a Fey and Quixotic Creative Writer
And in the End was the Word, Amy's Word

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

NYAPrs Conference

I recently attended a NYAPRS conference for the first time. I thought it very helpful to me.  I was surrounded by other people who have endured mental health challenges and people who work in the field of mental health.  I got a free pass to go, as I won a scholarship.  Here is my review that I was told I had to write as a scholarship winner who was funded by grant money.

Dear Daniella and NYAPRs,
My favorite part of the conference was the keynote speaker, Oryx Cohen. I really appreciated the term, Mad Pride. I liked the way he emphasized all oppressed groups are to stick together and advocate for each other. The term mad pride inspired me to speak at a group and confess the I had submitted a memoir of my delusions to a literary magazine for publication. I am a firm believer that the system is at fault, more so than erratic neurons firing in an individual. There is such a lack of tolerance in our culture for variety in human self expression. I have been, in the past, been criticized for the way I cover my head at times. This intolerance of self expression goes back in cultures a long way. I am happy that a keynote described his experience as having visions and guiding voices as a positive experience. I too have recognized the oppressive white old man, even in my mentally challenges states. I felt a connection with Oryx.

I attended a presentation about family. I was a little disappointed, I was hoping it would be more about the experience that the “ill” person has with their family, rather than parenting someone with mental illness. The speakers were still good though. I have a criminal record due to being misunderstood by family. Luckily, I did not get incarcerated.

I then attended a module about anti oppressive practice. This was informative and spoke about the language we use. This was about understanding the the political analysis of power and access to resources. We must use people first language. Words such as “staff” are oppressive. The issues are complicated and seen through multiple lenses, economic, poly science and psychiatric are some examples. We must learn to act in an anti-oppressive way.

I attended a workshop about art and creativity for recovery. This workshop really hit home. I am an artist and my artwork is doll making. I make characters in a poppet style. People don't understand my art and judge me at times. It is political, as I make historic dolls and research the characters that I create. The presenter was very validating of everybody, including me and this was really effective.

I attended a group about self affirmation. The presentation included the use of platitudes which are not very effective for inspiration for me. She was well loved by the participants, none the less. I believe in self affirmation, as I meditate and exercise and try to interact with people in a positive way. Her class was still interesting to attend.

I spoke with some of the vendor people. One was a lawyer who advised me on how to get my criminal record expunged and another was very helpful and gave me a person to contact regarding maximizing my disability benefits and ability to earn money. I also spoke with a person about taking the Online Peer program. I would like to have that as a possible way to interact with others with similar struggles and also to have some income.

I was really impressed with the conference and felt a profound sense of belonging and that people in the mental health system are caring people. I received affirmation from participants as well as leaders. I know that society has always feared different people, and I felt that everybody's voice was valued and heard at this conference. It was a monumental, productive, affirming “gathering of nuts.” I say that with a comedic voice of course!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Puff ball

I don't usually deep fry but I thought the puff ball might do well with that treatment.  After I ate it I took a long nap.  I think puff balls are soperific.  Puff balls are a white mushroom that is very big and tastey.  It is a little heavy in the gut with the deep fry recipe.  I dredged it in egg and flour and parmesian cheese.  The little two year old grand baby liked it as well.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

canning biking dogs flowers

I did my daily bike ride in the evening tonight, after canning regular canned peaches.  Pickled peaches are going to manifest tonight, in the wee hours of the morning.  I like to notice the flora as I ride along the Keuka outlet.  Tonight I stopped and talked with a man who had a basset mix puppy.  The puppy was very cute and I mistakenly thought it was a beagle.  My favorite breed of dog is a mix between a schnauzer and a beagle.  They look like long haired beagles and are called schneagles.  I saw one on the trail last week.  It had been adopted from Texas.  They are a difficult find.

On my ride I noticed some jewel weed with what might be purple loosestrife and then I found this beautiful blue flower.  Canning, biking, dogs, flowers....

This looks like a wild snap dragon.

Canned Peaches September 2018

This is the height of the peach season.  A Mennonite woman told me that the best peaches for canning are ripe from the middle of August to the middle of September.  I bought some from her last week, but ate them all without canning any.  You need to purchase at least two market baskets to be able to can up a canner load.  They don't all ripen at once.  A canner load is seven quarts.  My daughter has an eight quart canner.  I bought these from a friend at a local organization which I frequent which will remain nameless.  (I volunteer my sewing skills every Wednesday.)  These peaches were not as perfect as the non organic chemically sprayed peaches, so it took a little carving off of the bug bites and soft spots.  These are glo haven variety.

I make an approximate 2 to one water to sugar syrup.  I blanch the peaches in boiling water so that the skins come off easily.  I also put them in a solution of fruit fresh, ascorbic acid, to stop the browning.

I hot water bath them for 30 minutes in the hot water canner.  I sterilize my jars in the oven, after washing them, ten minutes at 300 degrees.

When you fill the jar, the peaches reach the bottom, but after they cook they shrink and float to the top.  Home canned peaches taste much better than store canned peaches.

I read that canned peaches are good for athletes as they prevent cramping.  I bike five miles a day so that almost qualifies me as an athlete.  Athletes drink the syrup too, which I might avoid, as I am not yet a slender athlete.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Bike Botany

This is jewel weed in full bloom.  I was out on my daily bike ride and this is what I saw.

This is fully mature Japanese Knotweed also in full bloom.  It is invasive, but very pretty.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Treasures for Pocket Change

I am trying not to spend money on stuff I don't need.  My employment necessitated a stop to a flea market and I could not bypass a few items.  I found an old spool of cotton thread in its original box, an unopened box of french silver ware and a cute little dutchy box ...all for pocket change.

The thread might be useful as it is a little bit of a difficult find nowadays.  It is all cotton.  I know some people who dye fabric items so they might be able to use it.

It breaks very easily.

Thistle Heaven, Finch Haven

Ones heaven is anothers hell.  My "weedy" naturalized garden might look awful to some fastidious lawn keepers but to the finches it is a dream come true.  Gold finches depend on thistle to survive and reproduce.  I am happy to announce a family of finches has found my backyard delightful.  One even chirped near me to say "Thank-you, Miss Amy!"

If I had a spare thousand in my bank account, I could be persuaded to put up a new fence, but chainlink with have to do for now!