The Car as a Safe Place (New Car!)

Wednesday BNC (Before New Car):

We are getting a new car! I am so exited, I am so exited! “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow, you’re only a day a waaaaaaay!” does it show?

Our current lovely car is a teeny tiny Toyota Aygo, that has been a great car for us and that I have felt very safe and at home in. We got it eight (wow is it really so long ago) years ago when we were living in Bredäng, a suburb of Stockholm.
It is a fantastic little city car. Not so much a forest car though.
It is blue and the thing is that it has absolutely no extras, it has negative extras, it is practically bare. Which is a good thing, because that means that a really nice, though small, car, had a comparatively low price, low weigh = good mileage, and is quite big on the inside (since there isn’t anything else in there).
Seriously it does not even have a glove box, it has a glove “shelf”. 🙂

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Don’t misunderstand me, I really love this car. It quickly became a safe place outside my home, and has made it possible for me to go places that I could not before. We could not have found our house and the one before without it, and we could not have lived a bit remote, like we want to.
It has made going shopping so easy, except for the getting the stuff we bought actually inside the car and home, but its surprising how good you get at gauging what can fit and “tetrising” things inside it. We have brought home a sizeable coffee table, a small desk, five rhododendron plants and know the exact length from the dashboard to the trunk door, for cutting pieces of wood at the lumber yard. Actually the things that has stopped us from getting things in there most often, is the size of the door openings.

This has been a great car, and it has not given us any trouble what so ever during these eight years, until a few weeks ago when the exhaust pipe got loose and rattly, which apparently is quite common and was easily fixed. We have called it little snail, the new car will be called Monster (Monstret), why will become evident very soon.

Thursday ANC (After New Car):

This morning we got up horribly early and got a ride from my parents to the car dealer, and after a lot of door openings, button pushing and paper signing we drove home in our brand new, literally its a 2017, red Skoda Yeti. Yeti = a Monster. 🙂

The new Skoda Yeti in red.

I love the aesthetics of this car, I like a high car and we were also thinking about a few other models with a similar profile. The Toyota Aygo is actually a quite high car too, despite its tinyness, and that was one thing that attracted me to it, also that we could actually afford it at the time. 😉

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To change it up we went with red, and it is a lovely true red. Skoda calls it a mini SUV and it is comparatively huge and filled with extra things.
This one does not have a glove “shelf” it has a glove compartment that chills your drink! It has little storage places everywhere, as the picture below shows, all the orange are storage.  And it came with (excepting all the normal car stuff) a first aid kit, a reflective vest and an umbrella!

 

We have at least double the trunk space now and you can fold down or completely remove the back seats if you need to move something really huge. Also you can actually sit in the back seats, the ones in the Aygo were more for decoration. It has comfortable seats and it isolates the sounds of the road a bit better.

On huge difference though, we are leasing this car.
We know nothing about cars, and we really don’t want to know anything about cars, more than the parts that deal with driving the thing and simple maintenance. We don’t want to figure out what its worth later on when we need to sell it, or what that blinking red light wants us to do!
Now we don’t have to bother with any of that stuff, if there is anything wrong we just call a number, we know exactly what we have to pay and they do all the service and tire changing and red blinking light fixings.

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I feel really good about this car, it suits us here in the forest. We can rent a trailer and get firewood from my parents place. It can make it up the hills even when it is dirt roads or snowy in the winter. I think I will feel that “second home” feeling in this one too. Especially since we can bring more stuff and go on longer and more comfortable drives. I am hoping to take some small trips around beautiful Sweden this summer, which is a bit of a big deal for me as an aspie who needs her home base.


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That swimwear issue again!

So we are back at that swimwear issue. I just can’t find one I like under 800kr ($100)!
I do have some really difficult though.

  • I want to be able to swim in it.
  • I want my bits to be covered, even if I move around.
  • I want a one piece suit…
  • …in a nice pattern/color…
  • …black doesn’t count.
  • I don’t want any “slimming” effect, or a skirt attached.
  • I don’t want to bother with a cup-size.
  • It would be nice if it had a nice/fun back, but that’s not necessary.
  • And finally I want to be able to dive into the water and do a handstand without showing/or being scared of showing any bits.

Doesn’t that sound like a quite simple bathing suit.
Apparently not!

I found this nice number, with cute pink fishes on it, half off and it was definitely fun in the back, it turned out it was a little bit to fun at the back, we were not made for each other, no, sadly I had to send it back. So now I’m a bit weary of too much fun in the back. I like my butt to be covered… interestingly.

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I have thus decided that surely I can sew one myself. There are great tutorials and patterns out there, and then I can learn to make just the bathing suit for me, several in fact, and definitely for under $100! And after I have mastered the sewing of the Lycra I’m sure I can learn how to embellish and maybe even make them fun in the back! Ha, take that swimwear industry!

These are the pattern with tutorials I am looking at, if anyone have any suggestion Id love to hear about it.

Angela KaneSwimming CostumeYouTube tutorial, simple but… simple.
McCalls 6759YouTube tutorial, I don’t know If I can get a hold of this pattern but the YouTube tutorial is great whichever pattern you use I think.
PapercutSoma SwimsuitWritten tutorials, though I don’t think this would fit me very well since I am curvy and have a large chest.

And I found a Swedish site that at least have lots of gorgeous solid colours of swimsuit material. Otherwise ill just order from farther away and wait, you can find lots of gorgeous fabrics on Etsy.

So wish me luck on this sewing adventure! If it does not work, I’ll be swimming naked!


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A Mobile Home, Like a snail

Lately I have been watching a lot of YouTube movies about people remodeling and living in their cars, vans or busses. They mostly do it to get more freedom in life, not out of need, to travel more, to spend and earn less money and therefore get more free time to do other stuff. If you don’t have to pay for a flat you suddenly have a lot less living expenses. And if you are willing to do a bit of sacrificing it seems perfectly doable and I am even a bit envious.

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It’s very intriguing to me, the thought of always having your house with you, like a snail. 🙂  I am always in need of my home base, my safe place, and I have noticed that the car has sort of become an extension of that safe place feeling I have when I’m in my own home. When I travel It takes me a few days to get that safe feeling from a hotel room, and I am really particular about cleanliness and such. Its expensive traveling with me.
I know, somewhat sadly, that I could never live in a mobile home, my home base needs to stay put, and It needs a garden and the environment around it plays in too. And I want (not need) my things… the not so portable, sewing machine, spinning wheel and floor loom. My comfy couch with the “Frida” indent in it.

But still I am curious, how do they do it, they must feel so free. I’m sure its a lot of sacrifice too, like finding safe spots to park, and some of them don’t have showers and toilets….
And definitely not washing machines.
Laundromats is not a concept that exists in Sweden. Either you have your own machine or if you are living in a flat, they always provide a communal laundry room.  Which are usually great because the machines are huge and effective and you can get so much washing done at once, and you can leave it there to wash and go home in between since its locked. And it’s almost always very clean, otherwise someone will put up a strongly worded note!

I love watching the ingenuity of the transformation from a regular vehicle, to one with a bed, a sink, solar panels, batteries and cleverly hidden storage. They all have some personal quirk that just that person need, a foldout art table, a bit more than a primitive stove for a kitchen, a mini fridge  or a place for the dog.
Some need a big permanent bed that can double as a sofa or a place to relax and some are fine with something that unfolds at night or even a hammock. Some create really stealthy vehicles that looks like an ordinary van, so they can park almost anywhere, and some people go with the whole Winnebago thing that has a small version of everything but can only park in certain areas. And there is small budgets, big budgets and everything between.

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One of the aspects I’m interested in is the amount of stuff they have to get rid of when they take the final step to move in to a home like that. And just how small an amount of stuff they really need. Makes me think… maybe I should do some spring clearing out, I already did my closet. Do I really use the stuff that I have on shelves in the spare room? Will I ever use the sleeping bag again… no! Spring cleaning it is.

Here are some of the YouTubers I watch in no particular order:


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How To Sleep

Do you know, because I certainly don’t?
(Well I do now, but that’s the whole point of the post so, shhhh!)

It is about three in the morning and I know I’m out of my melatonin sleeping pills so I don’t really want to go to bed until I’m really tired. So what better time to address this thing called sleeping.

I have never been a good sleeper, I’m a great napper though, probably because I’m so bad at sleeping at night. That’s my story, not the other way around, and I’m sticking to it!
No, seriously I have a hard time falling asleep and just as hard a time waking up, if it’s not in the middle of the night, then I’ll wake up just fine!
Also, I work best on a late timetable and need about 9-10 hours of sleep so about 2 at night to 10-12 in the late morning is quite good, that is if I have the melatonin pills, which I don’t…
It’s just bad planning on my part, I just have to go get them at the pharmacy.
I used to look forward to my extremely painful periods, because I got to take kodein and sleep for about three nights, a month! Pathetic.

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A few years ago this not sleeping very well thing accelerated to insomnia, and there was about six months where I was totally out of it, not sleeping at night and walking around like a zombie and taking micro naps all day.
After a while you lose the ability to do anything useful and you actually start becoming a bit dangerous, like with knives, driving and things like that. And I’m wobbly at the best of times, so there was a lot of stumbling and falling over.
When you were little you fell all the time and you mostly stood up and continued what you were doing, maybe after a cuddle from a parent, but now that you are an adult there is a certain hight to the falls, it hurts and you have to act all adult and stuff. 😦

Well anyway, I had my aspergers diagnosis and I was seeing a doctor regularly so she just said, ok we have to make sure you sleep before we do anything else! Such a great decision!
We tried sleeping pills that makes you just “fall asleep” and wear of quite quickly, which works great for a lot of people who has trouble turning off their thoughts at night. But for me it just ment that I woke up again two hours later… just as not sleepy as usual.
Then we tried a more advanced sleeping pill that makes you really sleep all night, but that made me even more groggy and hard to wake up in the morning, no good.
Then finally, we tried melatonin, our brain’s own sleeping hormone, and it’s just totally fantastic! The reason we tried the other ones first is that this is not covered by the standard Swedish healthcare discount that everyone gets when they reach a certain amount per year, so its comparatively expensive. But oh, so worth it! I had never slept so good before. It takes about an hour to kick in, so I take it, do my before bed routine, brush my teeth and watch a little YouTube in bed, then I can just snuggle down, turn on an audiobook and actually fall asleep! This is totally a miracle for me, I had never experienced this before!

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So, I said I “had” never slept so good before, I still had the very nasty habit of waking up with a full-blown panic attack now and then. So horrible, because you totally miss the starting signs of an attack, where you can try to calm yourself out of it. When you wake up with it full on, you sort of just have to ride it out, and it takes a while for me to recognise that it is a panic attack and not the end of the world. Every time.
Luckily I have my husband that sleepily sits beside me and says “breathe, it will pass, breathe”. 🙂

So, then the, now new, (I hade moved) doctor and I had to deal with this problem.
I now take Lyrica, the active ingredient is pregabalin and is used for general anxiety problems and epilepsy! well, it works, and a low dose of a sedative, stesolid which is a benzodiazepine such as Valium.

Now, this is as good as I have ever slept! And as a bonus I have about 90% fewer panic attacks. I still live with general anxiety disorder and I still do have panic attacks, but I also have medication that actually helps! And I hate taking medication, so I am a very good patient when it comes to not getting addicted and asking for a higher and higher dose.

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As for the waking up part, I still struggle with that, and I have tried some crazy alarm clocks, but I seem to outsmart or ignore them all.
I did try an ADD medicine for a while, and that was an extremely low dose of something similar to amphetamine (no point in hiding that), the pharmacy people had to go get it in the locked cabinet, and that worked, but at night when it was out of my system I got horribly depressed. And I decided I’d live with the sluggishness and be happy that I could finally sleep.

Ok, im going to try to sleep now… I still have my sedative, so I wont be anxious.
I hope you like the new theme!

Goodnight.

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The value of a swimsuit?

So, I have no in-depth subject today…

I have sore muscles from an intense forest walk yesterday, that featured an adorable little horse, that made me all muddy when I was petting his nose while he was trying to eat my jacket, so worth it.
I really need to start walking regularly again, I used to be really fit for about half a year of my life, I’m such a couch potato. But I’m also getting older and feeling it in my joints, and now everything is a struggle. I don’t need to be running 10k:s or anything, I just want to have muscles enough for a healthy life, and to not feel so struggly. (Yes, I know that’s not a word) So regular forest walks it is, and some strength exercises here and there.

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I have sunny weather shining down on what is not yet spring but brown trees and yellow grass, with a promise in the air. The birds are singing it, they know. And there is a hardy plant or two peeking up in the garden. My indoor seedlings are getting along so nicely they need replanting.
I love spring, it’s the same love I have for Fridays, you have all the glory of summer, or the weekend, ahead of  you. I love that. The hay fever… not so much.

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I have a knitting project going on, I am using my own ice dyed sock yarn. Below is a video I made documenting that incredibly fun process.
It’s nice to be knitting again. I have started three socks, I think, in the last months and never got any of them finished. I just stole my favourite needles for the next sock project that did not get finished. I just stole them again for this project, but this has solid reasons to get done, so I’m confident. I say confidently!

I have a swimsuit that did not fit. Sigh, it had lovely pink fishies on it. It was the right size and everything, it was the cut of it, we were just not made for each other.
So, the search is on for another one.. I have two in mind, one pretty and not very expensive and one gorgeous and more than double the price of the first one.
How do you value a swimsuit? I do swim a lot, and I love it, its my happy place, but still, it’s not on for that many hours total. But you have to be comfortable, feel nice, and be able to do a handstand in the water. What is the value of that?

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thevalueofaswimsuit

Cover photo by: Sean


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The sounds in my head

thesoundsinmyheadNo, I don’t mean I hear voices… well I do, but its my voice. Let me explain.

I don’t know if this effects me because I have Aspergers/autism, add or just because its me. But, my head, when I think about it as my consciousness/soul, not a hollow bone balloon full of my brain, ish, sorry, is never quiet. Never.

During most of the time it/I keep up a constant monologue, a constant quiet commentary on what is happening, what should I do, is it time to eat, and what did that person mean when they said that thing the other day, with interjections like “how can the universe be infinite anyway?”. It’s kind of hard focusing on everyday things, like say cooking, when your brain is doing that, should I put the water on first, chop the vegetables or did I do something wrong at the grocery store?

Other times I get a song stuck, and I’m not sure this is the same thing as when “other” people get this. Imagine an old LP record, with a scratch in it, so you get one sentence or snippet of the lyrics over and over, with the melody hopping from the end of the section to the beginning, just like a scratched  LP, you can’t get out of that same loop, then imagine it on a very loud volume… like it’s hard to concentrate and hear your thoughts loud. Quite annoying. It takes great concentration to block that out.

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And sometimes it decides to drag up things that makes me feel bad, putting myself down, and really concentrating on the bad stuff in life. “It”, what else can I call it?,  especially likes to do this when it’s time to sleep.
It did this a lot when I was little, I had a list of embarrassing or sad moments that it went through over and over again, and I was to young to understand that these things were not really embarrassing or even my fault, and nothing to feel bad about at all.

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A positive thing about this, if you can call it that, is that it/I can totally focus on a project I’m working on and solving all the difficult problems or making it way better, it likes to do this at night too, thanks. 😉 Sometimes you just have to give up on sleep, get up, make a cup of tea and start taking notes.

But I have found ways around this problem, that I didn’t really see as a problem until I read about a mother whose daughter really suffered from this and was trying out different medication to deal with it, I just thought of it as “the way things were”.
I usually wear a pair of headphones, with an audiobook or music playing, but I have noticed that it helps to just put them on, because I sometimes forget to start a book or the music. Funny.

It took some time to find a pair of headphones that I could wear for so many hours each day without hurting, and I must say that Bose is superior in both comfort and sound, and if you can afford a pair of active noise canceling ones, they are heaven.
I first tried a pair on in a busy electronics store, I stood facing the wall with the display, I put them on and flicked the switch, and the whole store just disappeared. I just stood there with my eyes closed and enjoyed the silence, yes, I got silence, I didn’t even try with the music on, lets just say I got a pair.

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At night I wear a pair of Sleepphones, it’s a headband of soft fleece with super thin speakers inside, and you can comfortably rest your ear on the pillow with them on. I do recommend the cordless ones, it’s a bit disconcerting to wake up with a cord wrapped around your neck (not that it ever was dangerous), and the cord tended to break too. I prefer to drift of to a book at night. I don’t really need to listen through headphones though, but then my husband doesn’t have to hear snippets of a book every night.

The sounds/monologue is not always a problem though, often it is in sync with what I am doing and helps me work out problems and how to go about stuff, then I have to turn the book or music off and listen and be “one with my head”, and when I have finished thinking and is back to doing things that doesent need my brain that much I put the book/music back on again. 🙂

Featured image from pexels by: Scott Webb


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