Its day one!
I’m so scared!
Im a nervous wreck. I tried to explain it to my husband and we decided it was 8 years worth of performance anxiety. The bench isn’t finished… which is ok, I just want a few small details before I bring it in and work on it, as in make jewellery on it.
My Daily Inspiration:
I have chosen 100 quotes, from anywhere, poetry, music, books, smart people and whatever I could find that I saw a spark of inspiration in. I cut them all out and rolled them up and put them in a yellow box. I will draw one quote a day (I might throw it back and pick another if it feels undoable that day) and make one piece of jewellery, trying not to think to hard, or work for to long on it.
I am doing this in Swedish time, obviously, so I will be a bit behind the New Zeeland schedule. I will try to post each day at 13:00 Swedish time, my usual posting time, one day late, so Jewellery nr:1 will go up tomorrow. 🙂 So Exiting.
It was such a lovely day out today, and the first one after a row of crappy rainy days so I wanted to bring you with me as I walked down to “my” lake.
It’s mine on the premise that I have adopted it.
I didn’t edit this clip a whole lot, or at all, since I just wanted to show you the joy of one of the first warm days.
The water is very high and its extremely windy, otherwise I usually sit at the end of that little pier with my legs in the water. 🙂 My happy place.
I think this weekend is the one for the first dip of the year. I went in as far as my shorts allowed me and it was 15 degrees, but I definitely think a quick dip is necessary! And I have to try out my new bathing suit!
Raise the sound a bit to hear all the nature. 🙂
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I have recently learned that there are service dogs that can help people with mental health problems!
That was a bit of an eye opener. I thought service dogs helped blind people find the way, disabled people pick up stuff off the floor or alert diabetics that they need to take insulin. Well, it’s all of course way more complicated than that, and know that there is extensive training involved, but still, basically.
So what could a service dog do for someone who has mental health problems, like me who has Aspergers and panic issues?
They can be a calming presence that always stays by your side, and that you are allowed to bring “everywhere”. They can alert you that you are starting a stressed behaviour, and abort a panic attack by coming up and laying in your lap or demanding that you focus on them, or help you out of the attack with their calming presence.
They also make you get out of the house for someone else, it can be hard to motivate yourself to go for a walk, but when there is a cute dog that loves walks, fetching balls and otherwise will pee on your plants, there is a whole new incentive to going outside.
I have started to learn more about service dogs in general and I am amazed at how well-behaved they are, how devoted to their owner/handler they can be and the tasks they can perform!
They give their owner a whole new level of independence and so much unconditional love, though the love part seems to be reciprocated in abundance. You are bound to get very close to a service dog because it takes about two years of training, and that means lots of training everyday, for a dog to be considered a “finished” service dog. You are a team.
I started following these two channels on YouTube that I found extremely helpful, and otherwise enjoyable in general. Where we get to follow Jaquie with service dog Harlow and Mary with service dog Oliver.
These two girls have medical disabilities but I have still been able to start imagining what a service dog could do for someone with mental health problems.
Also I am so very humbled and impressed by their strength in fighting their illnesses.
Here in Sweden the official training for service dogs for a neuropsychiatric disabled handler is quite new, but it does exist and you can still use a lot of the parts of “normal” service dog training.
First it comes down to general obedience behaviour and then more focused training for what that particular handler needs.
There are courses, these are of course expensive, why would anything be easy. There are also grants to apply for and you can do a lot of the training yourself, with the guidance of a professional, if you are dedicated.
The dog should be one year old but not yet three when the training begins, but you can of course start to train simple commands as soon as you get your puppy, if you are getting a puppy that is.
Good things to start practicing are:
Eye contact – Good contact is the basis of all other training.
Environmental training – let the dog be in different environments until it is calm and curious.
Social training – give the dog positive experiences of different kinds of people and dogs.
Relaxation – Train the dog in different environments and situations until it spontaneously settles down and relaxes.
Apportion – encourage the dog to carry items and reward every time it shows you what it’s carrying.
A bit of the basics – heel, sit and come.
What kind of dog is suitable to be a service dog.
The breed does not have anything to do with it, it is more about the dogs temperament, willingness to please and ability to learn. The dog should of course be appropriate in size for what you want it to do, and common service dog breeds are Labrador, Golden retrievers, Poodles and the Doodles.
I of course fell for the Doodles. 😉 The most common ones are Golden Doodle: Golden retriever + Poodle and Labradoodle: Labrador + Poodle. These seem to make great service dogs since they have the Labrador and Goldens gentle manner and willingness to please and the Poodles high intelligence and ability to learn. Also they shed less which is great for us (yes, me) who are allergic.
But as I stated before it all comes down to if just that individual has the right temperament for being a service dog. You can get great help choosing a potential service dog from a good breeder.
In Swedish a service dog for mental disabilities is called an NPF-Hund, (NPF står för neuropsykiatrisk funktionsnedsättning) and here are some useful links with information about this.
I passed my one year on a vegan diet anniversary about a month ago. Yay!
I have been a vegetarian for many years, but suddenly, and I don’t know what took me so long, it totally didn’t make sense to consume dairy and eggs when I was shunning meat.
I thought it was going to be way harder than it was, but no, just felt right.
So what are some of the things I have experienced on this vegan year of mine?
One milestones were to find a dairy substitute that I really liked (Oatly ikaffe). I tested my way through the grocery store’s plant milks and I even did some of my own. I like oat milk the best and soy milk comes in as a close runner-up.
I’m not so into the nut ones, which is not so terribly surprising since Im not that into nuts.
And yogurt products are best made on soy!
Realising that mostly just skipping the substitute meat parts, was a big one. You really don’t need the soy nuggets and chickpea-hotdogs. I started making great meals using fruit, veggies, cereal and all those good “nature” made things.
After a few months I started noticing that my period was getting shorter and different… unpredictable. I believe this was from all the hormones and stuff that is present in milk products that I was no longer consuming. My period has now stabilised into the same length as before but with fewer days of bleeding. Score!
I am also feeling lighter, fresher, its hard to explain. Of course I still eat candy, chocolate and sometimes junk food, but mostly its easy to be healthy on a vegan diet, and I have lost a few pounds without even trying. And I am pooping more regularly, yes I went there.
A negative thing is being social. You can’t have a fika (coffee and a cake) at a café if they don’t serve vegan stuff and have alternative milks, (I need milk in my coffee) you can just awkwardly sit there watching.
When you get invited for dinner or a birthday party, I always ask if I should bring something, and I always feel like I am such a bother, not just eating what everyone else is having. It makes social gatherings a bit les fun. Usually though everything works out fine, its just me feeling awkward.
I don’t know if you noticed, but in the first sentence of the blog I said that I had been one year of a vegan diet, not that I had been vegan for one year. A full/real/hardcore vegan, or whatever you want to call him or her, does not use any animal products at all.
And I still do. I do knit with wool, but I know exactly where the wool is from, I eat locally (guy down the road) harvested honey, and I still use my leather shoes, belts and bags.
I am trying though, I do my best to make the smartest decision in every situation, and I am getting further and further, but most important I am getting more and more educated about all things vegan, and I do think I inspire and influece the people around me.
This has been a good year! Veganism gets five out of five radishes!