<![CDATA[ginger root garden - blog]]>Wed, 11 Aug 2021 08:37:34 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Boundaries & Expectations]]>Fri, 23 Apr 2021 17:45:48 GMThttp://gingerroot.garden/blog/boundaries-expectationsAs I start to dream and think about online spaces and communities I want to partake in, or create, (or… have created already—hey stardew.city) I’ve been hearing more, and seeing more from folks I follow about boundaries in online spaces. You have the right to set boundaries for yourself in offline spaces and the same applies to an online space: your personal page, pages or other spaces you manage (brands, art, etc.) or are otherwise a part of, texting/messaging, groups, or whatever. The instantaneous “connection” to others from following them online, or the ability to have instant access to them through DMs or a messenger username, can lead to overfamiliarity and the crossing of boundaries.
I have been targeted online and harassed, and with having already had PTSD from the crossing of boundaries and violation offline I am particularly sensitive to this issue. I left a lot of corporate/popular social media because of harassment, and even if my new online spaces I see issues all of the time related to privacy, consent, and the inability to curate a space with boundaries in mind. Not being able to turn off direct messages, different inboxes in direct messages, no adequate block feature, privacy settings for posts, a note section or other tracking/organizing ability to keep track of blocking or messages or reports, a proper Code of Conduct for users… Taking the time to think about harassment and bad actors and other predatory people when developing your tools and spaces is so important, but I digress.
From these experiences, the need to communicate my own personal boundaries and expectations in my space has become more important. Especially, when so much of our world is able to try to access us from the palm of our hand or in another room on a larger computer, it’s important to think about who can and should have access to you all of the time (it can be no one!), how often you’re able and willing to respond (it doesn’t have to be daily!), and when you’re going to disconnect for a while (you should take the time to do it!). So, what I’m going to attempt to do is outline my boundaries and expectations of others in my online spaces—what I will and will not tolerate, addressing familiarity, addressing access to me, addressing both new people in my space and people who know me from other online or offline spaces, re-sharing content, and who knows what else. I will do my best to break them down into categories or sections~!
Following and Familiarity
            If you decide to follow me, please know I might not follow you back, even if we know each other from offline or other online spaces. It’s likely nothing personal, just me exercising my desire to curate online spaces the way I’d like them to be. You may think you know me (or not), but please don’t take that as an invitation to make statements and assumptions about me. I show different parts of myself in different spaces, I have grown and learned and continue to do so daily. I am not the most open or vulnerable person, so your thoughts and assumptions about me may be wrong unless we’ve explicitly talked about the issue together, or I’ve posted in length about it.
            All I ask is that you do not spite follow or follow me to keep tabs on me. If things I post make you upset or uncomfortable, you’re not obligated to stay following me just because we know each other elsewhere. You’re always free to unfollow, I won’t be offended.
Comments and Direct Messages
            I reserve the right to block, restrict, delete comments, or do whatever else I feel is necessary to remove people from my space. If you’re spreading misinformation or bigotry, you’ll likely be on the receiving end of any or all of those methods. If you’re here to troll, harass, or just be annoying you’ll also likely be on the receiving end of a block or have other restrictions placed.
  • Do not DM me or comment things with a sexual nature or trying to initiate any kind of romantic connection. I’m not interested.
    • I do not sell nudes or videos, nor do I have an OnlyFans for that kind of content. If any of that changes, I’ll post about it and share links.
  • Do not ask me for other forms on social media or access (phone number, discord, etc.) unless we’ve established some sort of rapport, or have previously known each other in another space.
  • Do not unload trauma or ongoing issues with others in my comments or DMs unless given consent to do so AND it’s relevant to what is being posted or shared.
  • Do not offer me advice or try to educate me on something I did not ask for help with. If there’s not a question ask for help or advice, don’t give any!
  • Do not tag people in my post or send someone my post just to stir up shit. I didn’t tag them for a reason.
  • Do not act like I am an attack dog. If you have a call-out to post, please use your own voice. If I have anything to contribute, I’d be happy to help.
  • Do not engage trolls, harassers, or other people intending to ruin people’s days with bigotry.
            If you want to talk about posts or information I’ve shared or posted: that’s great. If I am sharing misinformation, sharing content from, or interacting with someone who is known to be harmful please let me know!
I am open to learning, discussion, sharing resources, and rethinking, but I will not be fighting about or debating anything. I know my perspective is limited for many reasons, but I do my best to listen and learn, and I do my best not to speak about things I know little about. I would appreciate kindness and patience, just as I hope to extend the same to you.
Please know I may not answer, for a variety of reasons. I may not have seen it or I may not have the time or energy. Verbalizing (even with the time I can take with a typed response) is often difficult for me. Words get jumbled and lost, I have a hard time processing information sometimes.
Sharing and Support
            If there’s something I’ve created that you want to share, please use the sharing tool in the app directly from my page (FB, Instagram, retweeting/boosting, whatever). You do not need to tag me if you use these methods.
            If you’re sharing a post I’ve made on your page, or somewhere else please tag me! I would appreciate a tag on the image itself, as well as a tag within the text of the post. If tagging is not an option please link directly to the original post.
            If you’d like to treat me or support me, all of my links for $upport are found at the “Support” tab on my website. I do not have any wishlist, and any changes to that or the links will be updated/up to date on my website.
<![CDATA[aka ginger]]>Mon, 04 Jan 2021 14:21:01 GMThttp://gingerroot.garden/blog/aka-ginger i never know what to write about myself...

for one, i prefer lowercase letters. i try to otherwise follow "proper" rules of writing, but i really do not feel the need to capitalize unless for emphasis or if it is a name or something of that variety, but even then i am not entirely consistent. i've usually changed this for blogs or other public writings, but i would rather be me.

i was born march 24 and my location and time make me an aries sun and moon, with a cancer rising. my enneagram is 5w4, my mbti is infj. my politics are heavily left leaning, but i couldn't give myself a label besides being anti-capitalist. i'm white, cis, asexual but bi-leaning (aka: queer), and use both she/her and fae/faer pronouns.

i've been diagnosed with GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), bipolar 2, and PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). i am believed to be autistic, and possibly have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) but outside of my own expertise i have not been formally diagnosed with the last two. it's important to note that it is incredibly difficult for adult women to get a diagnosis of ASD (autism spectrum disorder), so it is unlikely that i will ever receive a formal diagnosis even if i seek one. and that's not even mentioning the expense. i have a lot of allergies and digestion issues, issues regulating body temperature, asthma, undiagnosed chronic pain, and my PTSD has definitely impacted my cognition and memory.

i have a bachelor's degree in psychology, and almost graduated with my master's and went on to be a clinical mental health counselor. i am very well versed in topics of mental health, and continue my education outside of school by learning from my peers and studies published. i enjoy reading about mental health, psychology, wellness, changing perspectives (decolonizing) on these topics, peer support, and politics and psychology.

i feel in my life i have often been dismissed, unheard, or outright ignored, so i go online to process things and feel heard from people outside of my offline life. i have often found refuge in online communities, and think social media is amazing for connection and support. i have been in online communities since i was a young teenager, and continue to find enjoyment and connection there. right now, i am admin to a small instance on mastodon. i have been on the fediverse for a few years now, switching instances a few times, after leaving most popular social media sites.

i enjoy reading, video games (the sims, dragon age series, elder scrolls series, stardew valley, minecraft, fallout series, rpgs, etc.), tv shows (bob's burgers, this is us, schitt's creek, steven universe, pose, ID programs, game shows, reality competitions,  etc.), floral print, pigs, fairy lights, quiet, warm weather, the color green, napping, astrology, art, potatoes, allergy-free products, natural lighting, selfies, matte makeup, introspection, decorating, and probably more things that i just can't think of at the moment.  i love assessments and personality tests of sorts, i find the information to be good to reflect on regardless of if i agree with the results.

i have a partner, and a dog (penelope), and a cat (quinn). we share our living space with his family and hope to make it our own one day, with some more space for sharing. i live on stolen Susquehannock land (central PA), previously lived on stolen Lenapehoking land (near Philadelphia).

i hope to present introspection, vulnerability, and lots of resources. i hope for people to get to know me and the topics i talk about better, asking questions, pursuing knowledge. if you follow me on other social media, you can expect to see similar topics i share to appear here. i hope we can create community here (well, not directly here, but together online). i hope we can have a support system here when folks are in need. i hope to help others as much as i can, when i can. i hope to be accessible, providing image descriptions, closed captioning, proper contrast in graphics, readable fonts,  content warnings, etc.

thanks for reading, stay awhile.

<![CDATA[Teacup Pigs Do Not Exist]]>Wed, 20 May 2020 18:38:33 GMThttp://gingerroot.garden/blog/teacup-pigs-do-not-exist     I post a lot of pictures of pigs, but not a lot of information about them. I have been interested in pet pigs (as opposed to wild pigs, or farm pigs) since I was very little, but did not have any real interaction with them until I was in my twenties. Now, even though my interest is in pet pigs, all pigs are the same species and can mate together, have similar behaviors, and share similar brain functionality.
     Typically, when people think of pigs, they think of farm hogs that we eat, wild boars that roam the world, and teacup pigs. I want to be clear when I say this: teacup, micro-mini, or ultra-mini pigs do not exist. Breeders who push this narrative are only in it for the money, and are irresponsible. If you look at how large wild boars and farm hogs get, the breeds of pigs we domesticated as companion animals are mini pigs. Farm hogs can get upwards of 1000 pounds, while on average a pet pig will be between 80-180 pounds, depending on the breed. Breeders, due to the little amount of food they recommend feeding the pig, will lie about their size saying they will be around 50 pounds. This is a starved pig, and will cause many more issues and shorten their life. Breeders usually say pigs will live 5-10 years, when a pig’s lifespan can reach upwards or twenty years.
     Pet pigs came from the Vietnamese potbelly pig. Most of the pet pigs you see will be potbelly pigs, but there are many different breeds, like with dogs or cats. There are Juliana pigs, KuneKune pigs, feral/wild-potbelly mixes, farm-potbelly mixes… Each breed typically has distinguishing features, but with breeding these features can get muddied, and as breeders continue to inbreed and overbreed health concerns come up. For instance, most female pigs will get uterine tumors if they are not spayed.
     I worked with one of the first people in the USA to get pot-bellied pigs and breed them. She eventually realized how little people knew, and how disposable these animals were to them and she changed from breeding to rescuing and adopting out pet pigs. She worked closely with veterinarians to care for these animals properly, and educate potential owners about the special needs of pigs, and bust the myth of teacup pigs. At any given time, the farm I worked at has around 200 mini pigs, most of which are adoptable. This is something you’ll commonly see at rescues: overcrowding. Unfortunately, most pet pigs are rehomed after their first year.
     While pigs do make great companion and therapy animals, they are not the same as dogs or cats. They are prey animals, where as cats and dogs are predators. Their innate behaviors and instincts are different. Like rabbits, or other prey animals we’ve domesticated, they are often fearful at first and will run away. It takes time and relationship building for them to let you give them belly rubs, or flip them for hoof trims. Because they only have a few lines of defense, they may charge or try to bite you which is often scary for owners. This behavior can be quelled with training, trust building, and neutering or spaying your pet.
     Neutering and spaying pigs is a great idea, as they can breed very quickly. Piglets can start breeding around 10 weeks, and their gestational period is rather short. Pigs, like humans, also go into heat around once a month. They are also very social, so having more than one pig is recommended for most pigs. Because of this, all pigs at the farm I work at (as long as they are the farm’s pigs) are neutered or spayed, and we often coordinate with owners to get their new or older pig fixed to help with behavior issues.
     Finding a vet to treat your pet pig can also be a challenge. It is likely you’ll have to find a large animal vet, but even then, they may not have experience with pigs and may not be comfortable treating your pig. Some vets will put the animal under during routine care (hoof trimming and tusk trimming), which is not recommended. Pigs have a difficult time adjusting to and from anesthesia. Their weight means they’ll need more, and the balance is tricky. Although the pigs scream, flipping them over for routine care is easier on their bodies—but these are deceptively strong creatures so it can be difficult without a small team of 2-3 people.
     If you’re interested in a pet pig, please do as much research as you can. Find a vet beforehand, learn about illnesses and vaccines, learn about behavior and training, find a rescue that adopts out pigs (I promise, they’ll have piglets at some point, just be patient if you really want the whole life cycle), and find people to watch your pigs when you go away or a boarding facility of some kind. Now this is not as detailed as I usually like my essays to be, but most of my research on pigs vanished from my bookmarks. However, I will link some very well-respected resources in the mini-pigs community.

https://www.minipiginfo.com/ Mini Pig Info is a wealth of knowledge. The website is crowded, but honestly it contains as much information as you could ever want. They have a vet list, and rescue list, quick information, articles on certain issues… I would recommend bookmarking this one for sure.

https://americanminipigassociation.com/ Now, this organization still encourages breeding and recommends breeders—I really do not recommend ever getting a breeder pig just because there are so many pigs who need homes otherwise that we do not need to continuously breed pigs. However, they have good information otherwise on health and history of minipigs.

https://rossmillfarm.com/ This is the farm I used to work at. They offer educational courses online every few weeks to discuss and learn more about pigs. Their adoption process through The Pig Placement Network is thorough and helps you to think more about the pigs needs (zoning, fencing, interaction with other animals or kids…) and how they’ll fit into your family. You an also browse through adoptable pigs in your area on the PPN website.

For those of you who use Facebook, there are also Facebook groups filled with pig parents who help educate and find resources (vets, transportation, rehoming, sitters…) and support each other. I am also available for questions, and can help you find information or direct you to someone who can help you more than I can