off topic

It’s the Great Puffer Fish, Michael Myers

Life and Homesteading

My great homesteading successes so far have been closing the storm windows and practicing with a pour over coffee maker.

The thing is life has been interesting since my last update.

There was a train crash involved. An actual literal train crash that included reversing for two hours into Rochester and school buses into Syracuse to finish the trip.

So while there hasn’t been a lot of homesteading work, there’s been plenty of energy everywhere else.


I’m putting this on its own tab…

This is the lead in holiday to my favorite quarter of the year and I started out posting a literal ad on my Facebook asking for someone to do ANYTHING for Halloween. I was looking at a drought year.

Then we got to today where I’m so overloaded with the holiday that I’m ready for a Christmas party.

Somehow our work decorating contest turned into a full on haunted house. Multiple rooms, jump scares, coherent story line, the whole set up. I suppose I can cross haunted house experience off my bucket list.

And somehow I set this whole thing up (I mean that literally I generated most of the theme) to center on zombies and zombie making. Our team mascot is now Puffy the Puffer Fish.

The kicker is that I hate zombies.


The rest of Halloween rolls into horror. So much horror…Including Halloween.

Listen my feelings on slasher flicks hasn’t changed much in my review hiatus but I. Love. This. Movie. It’s a hell of a ride. See the first film, maybe the second, but definitely this one. I should sit down and completely review it. My major take away is that it feels more like a Western than a horror film but that’s actually a strength of the film. More on that later.

In other heavily hyped horror that I need to review: Haunting of Hill House. One line review? This is grief fiction pretending to be horror because it uses horror tropes. It’s heavy handed and takes itself too seriously and there is true horror that does this better. I suppose if you need a bridge into horror or really love symbolic horror it would work for you but it honestly failed on all major fronts for me.

I guess I’ll end with one last hyped horror, the new Sabrina. It was enjoyable. It’s a little Mary Sue and it does that remind you it’s horror via no bright colors thing but it was an easy watch.


At some point I need a page update but I’ll get there.

Mitten season is here in a big, big way. It’s going to be a lot of mittens for the next few months.

Update, End of September

In fairness I did say posting would be spotty.

The weather people haven’t quite come out and said the S word yet but this feels a lot like the year we got hit with Knife so this might be an early snow year. The first half of the month was brutally hot. The last week or so has been much more traditionally fall though, so the lake may stay calm.

I have to keep reminding myself that 40s and 50s heading into October at night is where we really are supposed to be, this isn’t the fluke, the past few years have been the fluke.

Life/Work and Other Normal Stuff

I have fallen completely off my budget and I’m feeling it. I have a new mantra (self control is empathy for the future self) and it actually seems to be helping this time-along with mitten season and Swagbu.cks (does WordPress still hate that word? Don’t worry I’m not dropping a referral link).

I’ve done things like refuse to carry no more money than my bus fare at least a few days a week and try to find work arounds for my comfort products. I do actually own an entry level espresso maker with a steam rod. It’s no coffee bar. It gets the job done.

My job transfer hit in late May and I did most of my training through the slow months. I was told on Friday that we go into heavy overtime starting Monday, and most people are talking Christmas money.

Me? I’m talking about throwing money into Rieshaw and buying cranberry beans.


I sat down today and watched The Ritual again.

This is a movie that I should enjoy. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be a fan of this film.

I’ve never been able to successfully get through this movie. Today was no different. It never holds my interest.


I haven’t put my link on the side bar yet so this is the Rieshaw Knits Page on Facebook. I’m not going to push that link every entry but I also can’t promise it’ll go up on the side bar quickly.

There is an interesting project in the works over there and if you’re a fan of those subscription boxes you should follow the page through October for more information.

It was interesting going back into production knitting after well over a decade. I’m not interested in going back into full production knitting as opposed to direct commissions but it is a structure I have experience with and enjoy.

That was the only project I worked this week. Tomorrow I’ll do the finishing work and start something new. I want to do Christmas work but I also have stale/relatively old commissions I need to work. It’s a balancing act.

The Return

A lot of time has passed, hasn’t it?

Honestly I was thinking I was pretty much done with blogging. But I’ve gotten more than one email asking when I was coming back, if I was coming back.

There’s been a lot of changes since the last time I wrote. I actually look back on the period of my life when I last wrote with a certain level of nostalgia.

It was so stable.

There’s a lot to go through. I mean, I’m a trucker wife running a homestead by myself st this point. I’ll get to that eventually.

And that name on that knitting photo? I did actually start a micro knitting business.

(You can follow that page at Rieshaw Knits)

I even got a new job myself!

I’m thinking at least in the short term this blog will be knitting heavy. Expect a post a week, if that, at least I get my blogging senses back.

The Wolves are Burning: Living with PMDD


There’s really no reason I’m writing this post -now- except that I was sitting at my laptop thinking about the fact that I haven’t blogged in a week or so.

For some background, to ground out this entry a little. I was diagnosed with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) in 2005,  but there is strong indication that I had been showing symptoms as early as 1997 (roughly the start of puberty, in my case). This disorder, not to exaggerate, basically ran my life for a very long time and caused all sorts of, um, interesting situations develop throughout my life cycle.

It is hard to describe how PMDD differs from ‘normal’ PMS because you’re almost talking about two completely different things. Sometimes PMDD is framed in the media as ‘exceptionally bad’ PMS which I have honestly seen lead to women trying to self diagnose, or worse, downplay what those of us with PMDD go through on a monthly basis-well I cry and get annoyed and eat a lot of chocolate and bloat. I don’t require medication and other interventions.

There is such as  thing as severe PMS, and I am the first to admit that part of the issue is that we don’t talk about either reproductive or mental health with nearly the level of respect that we talk about other health conditions. But here’s the thing: women are sometimes pushed to the point of suicidal ideation with PMDD. This disorder destroys marriages, interferes with women’s ability to work, and drastically impacts quality of life. This is in large part due to the nature of the disorder itself: the easiest way to frame PMDD may be to view it as a hormonally triggered disorder more similar to bipolar than PMS. You really can’t relate this to PMS other than the fact that it hits each woman somewhere between ovulation and active menstruation each month. In order to get a diagnosis you need to experience symptoms to the level of life disruption for multiple cycles a year.

No woman will experience symptoms in the same way (I get the anger and anxiety issues, other women get intense energy shifts, other women have issues with food), or at the same point in the cycle the same way-I can actually tell when I’m heading into my flare point when I start obsessing about money. No joke. It’s almost a 100% success for me. No two cycles will hit the same way, and you can go multiple cycles with no symptoms and then hit a flare that almost shuts you down completely.

Symptoms shift over time and won’t necessarily show in every flare. Average symptoms include:

irritability ranging into anger control issues



extreme bloating

changes in interest in food

fatigue, including intense fatigue

changes in the sleep cycle

impulse control issues

A sense of a loss of control, both over self and over life events

Extreme mood swings

Physical symptoms connected to PMS such as breast tenderness

Again, this is not a full list and these symptoms have to range beyond what would normally experience with PMS, and need to reduce or end completely at menstruation [it is a very odd sensation to actually feel your hormones shift, because you can -feel your mental state change as it does-]. I also need to stress that this is not ‘hysteria’ or ‘overreacting’-while it took perhaps longer than necessary for PMDD to end up in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V, it is in there as a recognized disorder. It is however fairly rare, with an estimate as high as 8% of women experiencing these types of disruptions-however, not to get into gender politics, but it might be a lot higher since women are so actively discouraged to talk about this aspect of their health.

So what does it feel like to actually live like this? It is an extreme study in balancing. There is still a lot of research going on to determine base causes, whether it’s a brain chemistry issue, if it’s a hormonal issue, if it’s something else entirely. It’s knowing that for two weeks a month  I can suddenly flare and basically fall apart. It’s fighting your brain all the time. It’s a constant search for what ‘works’ for treatment.

In terms of treatment I’ve tried a great deal and have finally found a working system. Often women are put on both hormones and SSRIs for symptom control (hormones to hold your levels steady since it seems to be the shifting that sets of symptoms, and SSRIs for the mental health symptoms). Some women experience symptoms intense enough to require surgical interventions. I can’t take either SSRIs or estrogen for medical reasons, so I have developed this balance for myself:

-Buddhist style Zen and mindfulness work

-Mantra work

-Exercise [a minimum of four miles walked a day for it to work]

-dietary changes including low carbs two weeks a month and low levels of red meat



-B vitamins

-Passion flower extracts

-Cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT]


So basically constant walking or dancing and at least five pills a day two weeks a month. The trade off is that I have maybe one ‘bad’ flare a year now-but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the year is awesome, it just means that I’m not waking up screaming into a panic attack or getting enraged suddenly.

[This is one of those disorders that impacts the people interact with the women flaring as much as it does the women themselves. I would love to get Mid to write or dictate his experiences, because he’s had to deal with some intense…shit. I have no other word for it, since being with me. He once described a time we went out in public during a flare in which I was pushed into a confrontation as ‘the time Katie rode in on a pack of burning wolves.’ It’s been called wolf week in my household ever since.]

Our Fearless Blogger Turns 30


My father apparently has a story that he doesn’t tell that often.

As in, my mother heard it for -the first time- last year.

Newfoundland gets the northern lights, but not with frequency (or so I’m told anyway). The night I was born he went outside and happened to look up.

I was born under a rare northern lights show.

It must not have impressed him that much. It took him 29 years to actually tell anyone.

I’ve decided that my 30s are going to the decade I do what I want. I don’t mean in the selfish, I’m going to turn into a brat sense. But if I want to buy a short sweater with 3 inches of lace on the bottom I’m going to do it (I did it this morning). If I want kona coffee, I’m getting kona. If I want to lose weight I’m going to. If I feel like blowing off a work out and watch Pure History, more power to me.

I am not who I am at 20. Some parts of me, I knew I would be there. Some parts would have blown my mind then (what do you mean, I’m going to make the decision to switch to modesty and cover my hair in public? Excuse me?), and some parts I just wouldn’t have ever seen coming. For that matter, I’m not who I was six months ago. I’m learning to be okay with that, and with okay with who I am. More importantly, I’m learning to be okay with who I was.

Hopefully, world, I’ll get to see you for another 30 years.

I am not my blog hop, I really love my eyebrows, and other rambles. Welcome to March.

We are finally through February and I am doing the happy dance. I am quite literally doing the happy dance. February and November are my least favorite months, I do not regret seeing either month end.

-Inspired Weekends will be back later this month

I’ve been enjoying the break from blog hops but I want to get that hop back up and running. My promise to myself, however, is to be more laid back about it. I am admittedly behind on getting stuff onto Pinterest, but I’m not going to take myself to task for the state of the hop. Part of the reason for the break was I needed some distance from the Internet popularity points that come from the process-it’s like Reddit karma; I got a little too caught up in playing fake and forced popularity games over the blog hop size.

-I really love my eyebrows, and other things I’ve noticed from my descent into the beauty underworld

It turns out I own a brow kit. I don’t know why. This is an item I should not have picked up at any other point of my beauty history. I would not have known how to use it prior to now. I don’t even know how to use it now, though I’m closer than I would have been prior. But I really love the shape of my brows though they’re getting slightly bushier than I would have liked.

I can’t keep up with skin hydration this month. I’ve resorted to carrying Nivea cream and BB cream everywhere I go. It’s right around my nose and nothing that I do can stop the flaking. Light moisturizers, heavy moisturizers, drinking twice more water, expensive foundation, cheap foundation-it doesn’t matter. It’s supposed to be in the 30s all week (!!!) so hopefully we’re in the tail end of ‘suck all the water of out of your skin’ season.

-I have managed to exercise for a full week

And it’s all Reddit’s fault. Both in the actual ‘I’m getting sick of being called a fattie, even if I’m not normally one to give into body shaming’ sense and the ‘I just like positive reinforcement’ sense. I talk about dancing on Reddit, we have a conversation, everyone’s happy. I think that part of the problem is that I love my social circle but it doesn’t matter what I do, the support is the same. Exercise? Great! Don’t exercise? Also great! Since the result’s the same either way there’s no incentive for me to actually do anything.

And my back’s happier, by the way. That’s pretty much the only reason I’m getting back into exercise. I’ve been pretty open about my stance on being whatever size you’re at right now, it’s all good-but I’m a little concerned I can’t get socks off of the floor without fear of my back going out for a week or more.

-General State of the Blog

As I said in my word of the year check in post earlier this week, I’m slowly coming out of my winter depression. I’m starting to write more, I’m starting to cook more, and I’m starting to work out my spring plans. I don’t think I’m going to do my monthly theme for March, but I am hoping to get more posts up. It should be obvious that my scope has opened up a little but I’m hoping to hold to my normal horror/not horror balance.

Beauty Babble-2/9/2105

Hey, well, you seem to like it when I talk beauty stuff.

I’m no beauty blogger though so I’ll just put it all in a ramblings style entry every so often.


Reddit has asked me to start doing swatches. If I can figure out how to take decent photos of them, I might.

-Weekly Purchases

Let’s see. I did -not- buy a Wet and Wild palette in Comfort Zone but I swear, I will some day. That palette will be mine.

-Rimmel BB Cream Natural Finish in light-I can’t find the actual name of it and I’m too lazy to go get the tube. Rimmel has three finishes in their BB cream now and I went with the one described as natural (as opposed to radiant or matte). I like it, but it’s not a perfect fit. It works better than my old ‘not amazing, not HG’ foundation. It leans a little yellow though, and and it’s a touch lighter than my Tarte Amazonian Clay which means it probably won’t work for summer.  I’ll either try a cream that has a light/medium option for summer or bounce up to just straight up medium (I don’t wear full foundation in the summer).

Not an optional photo but at least it's natural light. And I felt about as good as I looked, to be honest.

Not an optional photo but at least it’s natural light. And I felt about as good as I looked, to be honest.

-Wet and Wild Lipsticks-Silk Finish in blind date, ready to swoon, and sunset peach, Megalast in Cherry Bomb and Sugar Plum Fairy. I have a Wet and Wild lipstick problem going right now. So far I’m loving blind date and cherry bomb.

-NYC balm stick in Pink Lady

-Rite Aid brand nail polish remover-I don’t think this will be a repurchase. My cuticles are trashed now. But it doesn’t reek, so it has that going for it.

-ELF retractable lip brush-turns out I need one or I look like Twisty the Clown

-Sinful Colors Pumpkin Spice

Discoveries and Tips

Baby wipes, yo. I take my make up off with baby wipes now. They work just as well as the Almay ones and once you figure in the size of the package for the price they’re something like a tenth of the cost. Still not ‘green’ but again…I won’t wash my face at night otherwise.

Beauty Embarrassments

-I realized just how bad my drugstore foundation actually was yesterday morning. I don’t think drugstore foundation is inherently a bad thing. I think there’s a ton of solid options. This was not one of them. Your foundation should not start balling off of your skin like eraser dust (this is not the Rimmel, by the way. I got the Rimmel to replace this one). Yeah, not so much on the NYC foundations. I think I got it because it was on deep sale last year. I think I know why.

-It took me forever this week to figure out where my lip line actually is. There doesn’t seem to be a picture anywhere online that just points and says this is your lip line. I’m still not sure I know, my lipstick still looks off but now that I have a rough idea it looks a lot less like I’m playing dress up with my mom’s cast offs.