Homemade Lactose-Free Ricotta

I’ve known for quite a while that one of my trigger foods when it comes to Crohn’s is dairy that contains lactose. I’ve been able to switch to lactose-free milk with success, and occasionally I can find lactose free sour-cream, but when it comes to things like butter, soft or creamy cheeses, I haven’t had nearly as much luck.

Because of my arthritis and prednisone, it is pretty important for me to do what I can to include calcium in my diet, however, many non-dairy sources are also a problem for me digestion wise.

I was fiddling around on Pinterest looking at interesting recipes as I am wont to do, when I found some recipes on how to make homemade Ricotta cheese. Curious I decided to give it a try with Lactose-free milk and whipping cream.

Continue reading “Homemade Lactose-Free Ricotta”

Homemade Lactose-Free Ricotta
{advertisement}

Crohn’s cause by Evil Eye; Cured by Unicorn Tears

One of the most annoying things we face as people with chronic illnesses is people who decide they know how to cure us, while having no idea what we are going through. People who don’t realize how condescending their advice ends up being, and frequently how wrong or even dangerous it is. The constant need to give advice or to become the recipient of every single article on the subject of our conditions is something a lot of us put up with, if not actively struggle against.

Most of the time, the urge is spurred on by good intentions. So it gets me particularly angry when it is the failure of science reporting that is the cause of the most recent flood of misinformation being pushed my way.

In the last two months, Crohn’s Disease has trended on Facebook twice: once to brag that a vaccine against Crohn’s has been discovered (it hadn’t) and once to let everyone that they’ve discovered what causes Crohn’s (they haven’t).

In both cases, the articles were written in a way that suggests that the authors (or their editors) had no real understanding of science. That or they willingly inflated a story knowing it was fraudulent, and supported their claims with information that appears significant when it isn’t.

Continue reading “Crohn’s cause by Evil Eye; Cured by Unicorn Tears”

Crohn’s cause by Evil Eye; Cured by Unicorn Tears

Dads and Low Bars

September 20th is “Dads take your child to school day” at my kid’s school. Because apparently the bar is set so fucking low that a father doing his goddamn job gets a special day marked in calendar.

When I first saw this in TJ’s folder, I was annoyed but I left it alone. I wasn’t going to mention it to her because I didn’t want to upset her. She hadn’t noticed it and I preferred she didn’t know about it. Fathers are a touchy subject here.

14202500_1150764868316790_8319631677579225274_n
September 20th AKA Lowest Possible Bar Ever Day

 

Then today she comes home with this. Cue TJ feeling left out and sad because she’ll “miss out on the fun” because her dad isn’t in her life.
Way to make my child feel like shit, school. Great job.

14354891_1156783297714947_5679320577597892500_n-1

First off, why does any child need a male role model? What can a man teach a kid that a mother can’t? What do we need to celebrate? That dad actually showed up for once?
Second, can we stop with the gender bullshit? Some of the people who would fall in those categories aren’t necessarily male.
Third, dads literally NEED an invitation to fucking do their job?
Fourth, where is my breakfast for doing my job?

“Photo opportunity” is goddamn right.

Why isn’t there a day like this for moms and other female role models? Because moms are expected to do all the emotional and manual labor. We’re expected to do all the chores, take the kids to and from school. It’s all about gender roles and stereotypes. Moms are competent and dads are bumbling buffoons. It’s why we have “jokes” like this:

download
No, your husband is just a lazy piece of shit and needs to fucking do his goddamn fair share.

 

This is ridiculous. Good fathers should be offended by this. They should be offended by a culture that expects so little of them. They should call this shit out. They should be the ones calling out deadbeat dads.

I’m so sick of shit like this. I sound bitter because I am. Parenting isn’t a part time job, it isn’t something I can decide to do or not whenever I feel like it. It’s constant UNPAID work.

What about children who do not have fathers, or who’ve recently lost whoever it was that played the male role model in their lives? How is any of this inclusive? All this does is other kids without male role models and gives undeserved praised once again to dads just for showing up.

Do better, school. Do better, society.

Dads and Low Bars

Does chronic illness or a disability make you unfit for office?

Recently Hillary Clinton excused herself from an event, after which pictures were circulated that seemed to show her fainting as she was being helped into a van by her agents. The picture made the rounds almost immediately people were discussing the possibility that she had an invisible illness or some invisible disability that she had not disclosed.

This isn’t the first time that Clinton’s health has been under discussion. Earlier this summer, pictures of what appeared to be some sort of injection medication like an epi pen or other similar meds was seen being carried by her agents. The rumour mill started circulating that she experienced seizures as well as other theories about her health.

The search for reasons why this particular candidate is unfit for presidency is likely motivated by a desperate desire by people who usually begrudgingly support the Democratic Party in other years, and those who don’t support the party at all, to find some reason other than her gender for why they don’t want her to be president. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of valid reasons not to like Clinton, but I can’t help but notice how the discourse has changed from past elections with equally questionable but male candidates. Regardless of the likely sexist motive underlying the reason why the question came up, does chronic illness or disability make you unfit to run for or to be President?

Short Answer: No. And the question itself is Ableist.

Continue reading “Does chronic illness or a disability make you unfit for office?”

Does chronic illness or a disability make you unfit for office?

Hooyara the Hag

Short story prompt: Writing a character with a disability.

It’s been many hundreds of years by now, a long life for having to deal with such pain. A solitary witch sits in her hut, smoking a long pipe with herbs that help her pain. She hears the cauldron start to bubble and slowly stands with her knotted wooden walking stick. Her familiar a sleek black iridescent cat meows inquisitively. Hooyara smiles and gives the cat some chin scratches and says “it’s okay”, before going and sitting in front of the fire and cauldron in her small, cozy secluded cabin.

She scoops up a ladle full of the hot water into her mug so she can brew some tea, a bird flutters in and snatches up some tea before the witch can grab it herself. The cat meows again as if to thank the bird, Hooyara nods and stays seated wiling to rest since her friends are so insistent. Sipping her tea she lets it’s warmth as well as her herbs sooth her tired, pained body. Deciding to read a book she snaps and one slides slowly out of it’s place in the library and hovers over to her. She reads for days it seems even though it’s only been a few hours.

Her familiar Windora, butts their head against Hooyara’s legs and she nods stowing her book and decides to go to bed. Gathering up her cane she slowly makes the way to her bed and lets sleep take her for a while. The nightmares happen often, though not as often as they used too. They happened tonight but with Windora always watching and helping with their soothing thoughts Hooyara is able to calm and sleep peacefully the rest of the night.

When morning comes so has one of her watchers. Hooyara sits up a bit in bed and starts smoking her morning medicine. This watcher tells her a tale of wrong doing and about a child and their mother being hurt. Hooyara, having been hurt herself many centuries ago, has dedicated her life to helping those in need, and especially those who can’t help themselves. Her small cabin sits in the deep woods, not near any thoroughfares, but almost in the center of the neighboring villages and towns.

She thanks this watcher and sets out some food for the bird and continues to sit in bed medicating, and getting ready for the day. There is work to be done. Hooyara spends much of the day pulling down books gathering ingredients, a few watchers help her gather things she doesn’t have already. She always harvests carefully, and tries to grow her own plants and fungi around the cabin as best she can. Finally the cauldron bubbling a beautiful green she lets it cool and then bottles the potion up. One for today, and some for later. It’s always good to have a stock just in case she thinks out loud.

Windora her faithful familiar knows what comes next. The watcher relays directions to Windora and she meows and reaches out touching Hooyaras mind with calming thoughts. She gives the vial to Windora and scratches all down her back and smiles. Be safe out there friend. Windora treks to the village in question, sneaks into the house in question making sure the mother and child are safe, they also brought a vial of healing salve to the house and leaves it on the table with a note, written earlier by Hooyara. A simple healing salve to help them with bruises, pain and cuts.

Windora jumps, climbs, and roams the town until finally finding the man in question. A quick toss of the vial breaking near him some green smoke starts surrounding him and then when the air clears, there is a tiny green bullfrog. Making quite the ruckus and hopping about in a confused manner. Windora hisses at the frog who hops as fast as he can away. Windora heads back to Hooyara and their lovely cabin. Windora sits in Hooyara’s lap while she weeps for those who have been hurt.

A black iridescent paw comes up and touches Hooyara’s face. The thoughts come again from her familiar. “We did good, they are safe now. We will keep protecting these people even the ones who call you names. We will keep protecting those who have no one else.” Hooyara smiles wipes her tears and nods slowly. Loading up her pipe again she starts puffing on it slowly. Content as one can be given the circumstances. She smiles hearing a frog bellowing in the distance, and wonders if it is one of hers.

Hooyara the Hag

Conflicting Existences.

Sometimes your existence just doesn’t mesh with someone else’s existence. It actually completely is incompatible. Your existence actually hurts you and hurts them.

This can happen. It has happened to me. Especially in social justice circles, or within minority groups because they have been hurt, we have been hurt.

So what happens when your existence is triggering for someone? An aspect of you triggers something in someone else. It’s negative, and then it builds and they lash out and actually use your mere existence against you because it’s hurting them. So how do we avoid that? I shouldn’t have to disclose disabilities I don’t feel comfortable talking about. They shouldn’t have to disclose triggers that they don’t want too.

So what happens when your disability is a trigger for someone else and ya’ll don’t communicate about it? Some hurt ass feeeeeeeelz. Is what happens. At least for me, I doubt this person gives two shits about me as that has been made clear on several occasions.

Just fucking talk to each other, communicate with people you care about, or with people that you might be going to be working with even in a volunteer capacity. Because it really needs to be talked about especially if you are going to be working with someone (even in a volunteering capacity) like we do in many social justice circles. This is super important. <3

Also when something about a person does trigger you, maybe tell them? I mean or don’t, but maybe don’t ask them to help you out in a volunteer capacity (that is still a working relationship). You don’t even have to disclose why, just be like hey I think it’s better you not help me/us and no hard feelings or whatever. There are so many other ways to go about this than letting your triggers build to the point where you lash out and hurt someone. I never wanted to hurt you, yet was never told I had, and then you hurting me because of this? Really uncool.

I get that you had been hurting because of being triggered, but also I can’t help my disabilities. They are a HUGE part of my life and if that doesn’t mesh with you tell me straight up. Don’t wait until you explode into a disgusting ball of hate where in you actually throw my disabilities in my face. How dare I have disabilities, cognitive, physical, that impair me from doing a volunteer job. How dare I trigger you over and over when I had no idea that me just being me is triggering.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Conflicting Existences.

Magical Maladies

“Oh hello, you must be Dr. Fey. Welcome, Welcome.

As you know, this is the hospital for magic related maladies. The place to go when curses and blessings go awry. Over the last few years we’ve gotten busier. Used to be that you had to study diligently for years to be a sorceress or a wizard, but these days any angry girl with a black dress gets to call herself a witch, and don’t even get me started on what passes for a magician.

Anyway, as you can see we’ve recently expanded the dermatology wing. Mostly frog princes dealing with left over warts, princesses with pimples, but we also get the occasional knight with dragon burns.

Over there are the dwarves that help with some of the specialized equipment. You can see that one over there working on a pair of glasses for a near-sighted dragon. Poor dear keeps flying into mountains and breaking them. Continue reading “Magical Maladies”

Magical Maladies

Two Short Stories

The wizard lifted his arms, stretching them out before him, and whispered a word causing the candles on the floor to lights. The flickering flames made the burned patterns on the floor almost seem to dance. Though his arms shook slightly as they were outstretched, his voice was strong as he called forth the spirits of the four elements to come to his aid.

His long white beard blew gently in the ethereal wind that surrounded him. The cloth of his dark blue robes draped around him, showing all the constellations in the sky. Finally, with all his power gathered around him, he began to chant:

“In nomine Patris,
Qui vocat vos
inferno ex utero,
Veni ades mihi:
hoc est verbum meum,
Dominus malorum”

Continue reading “Two Short Stories”

Two Short Stories

When Society Echoes your Troll Brain

CN: Discussion of Ableism, Mental Health, and Suicide

If you suffer from Anxiety or Depression, or have friends and family who do, you may be familiar with the concept of troll brain. It is the thought manifestations of your disorders: lies your own brain tells you in order to prey on your fears and insecurities. Part of learning to cope with anxiety and depression is learning to recognize those thoughts that are lies, which are your brain trolling you, and separating them from your real thoughts. It’s not easy, especially since your brain obviously knows you better than anyone else. It’s the manifestation of all of your fears. That you are worthless. That no one loves you.

But what happens when society reinforces the same ideas as your troll brain? What happens when the message you are given everywhere you look reminds you that the vast majority of society agrees with the lies your brain tells you. This is the reality for many disabled people. In some cases it is a contributory cause of their depression and anxiety.

Continue reading “When Society Echoes your Troll Brain”

When Society Echoes your Troll Brain

Children and Boundaries

CN: brief mentions of SA, CSA, use of the word r*pe uncensored

fb_img_1473109198299.jpg

I recently saw the above image on Facebook. Long story short it’s talking about not forcing children to hug people that they don’t want to. To give children a choice and a say in how and when they interact and show affection to known adults. It explains that by teaching children they have a right to say no, that lesson could keep a child from being abused, or it gives them tools to be able to speak up about it.

While most of the comments were positive there was one commenter who balked at the notion of a child not hugging a grandparent, for example. They basically implied that teaching bodily autonomy in the form of hug refusal could lead to intimacy issues or emotional divides. They questioned what kind of family is it that would respect a child’s wishes to hug or not be hugged. They alleged that unless the child is Autistic or has some sort of other sensory issue then that child should always hug someone even if they don’t want to. Otherwise it is disrespectful.

Now please explain this to me: how is it respectful of me to force my child to hug someone she doesn’t want to? Is my child not worthy of respect?

The same person said that the idea of children having boundaries is silly because something about being potty-trained, so that obviously  children do not have the cognitive ability to make boundaries.

This person kept going on and on about respect. When I was little my family forced me to hug a certain family member. That didn’t teach me respect. It taught me I had no say, it taught me that anybody had a right to my body. I do not find it a coincidence that I’ve been raped and sexually assaulted. I was taught not to say no. Is that what we want to teach our children?

If I want to model good behavior to my child, if I want to teach them that they have bodily autonomy, if I want them to grow up to be people who respect others’ autonomy; then childhood is the perfect time to do so. It is in childhood when you set the foundation for who they will become as adults.

This goes back to an older post I wrote in which I said that as a culture we do not respect children. We don’t see them as fully fledged people with ideas and dreams and hopes of their own. We don’t think of them as people who can have opinions, wants, dislikes and likes. We see them as carbon copies of ourselves but they’re not.

If we want this current generation of children to grow into compassionate, emphatic adults then we need to teach them that they have value; they have worth. That they have bodily autonomy and that they have to respect others’ right to space and privacy.

We cannot tell them (whether through words or actions) that they are not worthy of respect. As parents, educators, as elders we owe it to our children to show them respect because otherwise,  why should we expect them to respect us?

Children and Boundaries