The Zombies Ate My Brains

Rescuing what might remain of the grey matter.

Cee’s Share Your World – 2014 Week 24

What makes you feel the most secure?

Similar to my childhood blankie, but mine was dark blues and grey tones.

Similar to my childhood blankie. Mine was dark blues and greys.

I’m going to go with the first thing that popped into my mind and say my blankie. Ever since ever, I’ve needed to feel the weight of a blanket or two in order to feel “okay enough” to fall asleep. Not necessarily warm enough, but safe enough. Not that I had or have sensations of anxiety or fear at bedtime, but a heavy blanket feels comforting more than comfortable.

When I was a girl, my bed had an old hand-knotted blanket.  It was made of wool and felt pieces, maybe an old coat or worn blanket. I have a very strong recollection of the sense of peace. Was it simply the warmth that I responded to? I don’t think so. Even now I need to feel some weight in order to relax enough to fall asleep.

Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin

It puts me in mind of Temple Grandin and her squeeze machine. Ms. Grandin built a contraption based on a piece of farm equipment that was used to secure and settle livestock. When she felt overwhelmed and in a heightened state, she found relief by using the machine.

She describes the clinical effects of Deep Touch Pressure

Deep touch pressure is the type of surface pressure that is exerted in most types of firm touching, holding, stroking, petting of animals, or swaddling. In contrast, light touch pressure is a more superficial stimulation of the skin, such as tickling, ver y light touch, or moving hairs on the skin. In animals, the tickle of a fly landing on the skin may cause a cow to kick, but the firm touch of the farmer’s hands quiets her. Occupational therapists have observed that a very light touch alerts the nervous system, but deep pressure is relaxing and calming.

The video clip below is from the movie Temple Grandin and Clair Bloom as Ms. Grandin describes the sensations of overwhelm and the need to feel hugged.

If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why?

Sensible. Because, sensible. I’m 5’10” and have weak ankles and am prone to falling. Sensible rules the day.

How many languages do you speak?
I speak English. Je parle un peu de français. I can count to 10 in Spanish. So the answer is one.

I recall feeling quite frustrated with high school French classes. “Great, I can get a job as a weather forecaster,” I’d complain, “Aujourd’hui, il pleut, il fait chaud, il fait froid comme le vortex polaire.” (I just made that part up about the polar vortex ‘cause that’s a 21st century thing.)

What was the largest city you have been to? What is the one thing you remember most?

country mouse

City Mouse meets Country Mouse Image courtesy Scott Gustafson

The largest city I’ve been to is the provincial capital, Toronto. I haven’t travelled too much, and don’t expect that to change. During my first visit I behaved just like the country mouse visiting her city cousin. The height of the buildings, the CN Tower, the number of people… all very remarkable initially, and certainly overwhelming. But nothing sticks out as worthy of mention here. Except perhaps this: the city isn’t as intolerable a place as it once was. As a matter of fact, I am considering work in Toronto, as long as I can commute by train. And bring my blankie, maybe?

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

On Monday the vet was by for Oscar’s annual shots. He’s speaking to me again. It took a couple of days. Oh yeah! I suppose I should add above that I speak feline. Sort of.

I am looking forward to when my pupils are no longer dilated. It’s been four hours since my morning appointment with the optometrist. New spectacles are in my future, too. What they call “mid-index lens” or computer lens. I tried the progressive lens seven years ago. Hated ‘em. Fingers crossed that these do the job.

In response to Cee’s Share Your World

 

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17 replies

  1. so maybe that’s why I need a blanket to sleep too … to feel the weight and be comforted by it. hmmm – never thought of it beyond a quirk.

    … and I speak feline too! 🙂 Strangely Theo’s vocabulary seems to be predominantly a variation of “I love you so much” and “when do I get fed?” with the occasional “Whaaaat?!” thrown in.

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  2. I have got to see that movie about Ms. Grandin. I had read her book and know a little about her. Thanks for getting me inspired again.

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    • You are most welcome, Cee. The woman is an inspiration. I came across her story when I took a course in Development Services Work back in 1993. Then she was held up as a role model for her humane treatment of animals in the farming industry. Fascinating.

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  3. That was great!
    I’ve long considered writing a post about blankets. I shall do so this week.
    Country mouse in the city, huh? I like both, for their obvious differences. I live in the city, with land like the country for the best of both worlds. I am a City Mouse, though, fersure.

    (Liked the sturdy shoe bit, too, lol!)

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    • Do you mean a sequel to your piece Swaddle Me?
      It seems that several of my correspondents relate to the blanket thing. You know, for the longest time I wanted out of the city. This was during a time when I lived in a small house cheek-by-jowl with my neighbours. We were always in “each other’s pocket” so to speak. We moved to the country, and it was wonderful having space, and relative quiet. Now, like you, I live in a small town, in a well established neighbourhood. My house sits on a three acre wooded lot. Some days, if the wind blows in from the right direction, or not at all, it feels just like the country. I don’t think I want to move away from the convenience and company of city living again.

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      • No, not anything like Swaddle Me…or maybe a lil, I dunno, we’ll see when it’s written, haha!
        I used to want to live in the country until Drew moved to the country, and I went out there at night (alone with two kids and two babies) and got scared to death by combines and scarecrows, coyotes and sheer darkness, lol! I like it here! I love me some city! AHAHAHAHA!

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  4. I can so relate to the high school French. Two years and all I can say is ‘where is the bibliothèque?’ The library… Good thing I like to read. And I do speak fluent feline…

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    • Our high school French class took a trip to Quebec City during winter carnival… the idea being that we’d get a chance to practice our second language. What an embarrassing farce. Besides difficult to understand regional dialects, the locals were disdainful of our efforts. Pride in heritage and cultural differences was at an all time high – lots of talk of separation and such. I suppose that was an education of a different sort.

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  5. Mags, I hate my progressive lenses, too (although I should be grateful for any sight enhancements). Don’t know what you’re getting, but “let’s talk” after you’ve had them awhile. My vision is BAD and no further correction is possible, per my eye doc, than what I consider mediocre at a whopping price for progressives! Hope the new onew work for you!

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    • I have to admit that I might have been more patient during the “break in” period with the progressive lenses. But you know me and my feeble feet. I really hated the excess head movement required while rock collecting or hiking trails. Even descending stairs took extra effort.

      I’ll let you know how they work, Sammy. A friend told me yesterday that she uses the “computer glasses” with great success, so that’s encouraging.

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      • You are so right! The constant, subtle up and down movement to get the glasses in the right place is frustrating and rarely effective. Especially with walking in any form! But it’s so expensive to “experiment” with regular tri focals or some other combination of multiple pairs of glasses, I feel stuck.

        As I say, I’m grateful for the vision correction I have, still …

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  6. Enjoyed your post Maggie. Do hope your glasses are successful. we have a talking dog with a very large vocab. She talks with her squeaking toys when we’re not talking for her. Great communicator and loves routines.

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  7. I’ve never thought about it before, but me too! I have blankets and throws all over the place and in winter I have about three duvets on my bed. I think that’s why cats squeeze themselves into the tiniest boxes too?

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    • Very possibly!

      One of the first bits of “lore’ that I learned from my mom was about cats and how they like to keep their backs were up against something. Don’t know if that fits the blanket theory, but it is a memory triggered by your comments, so there you go!

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