this review is 100% accurate

@unpretty‘s tags:
#i was trying to look up a way to disable it
#so i can make eggs without waking up andrew
#i like to make medium boiled eggs and smash them over toast
#a++ would recommend
#assuming you don’t mind a sound like the emergency broadcast system is contacting you personally
#to let you know that a meteor is headed straight for your kitchen and you have ten seconds to run

I would have wanted this but we’re in an apartment complex and have an easily-startled cat so maybe this isn’t a great idea (unless you find out how to disable it)


My dad works in healthcare and he went to a conference this week. Someone said in a presentation, “The heathcare system is not broken. It’s working exactly the way it was designed, it was just never designed to benefit patients,” which I honestly am blown away by as the most accurate and concise description of US healthcare that I can’t believe I’ve never heard anyone say.

Yesterday, you reblogged a post that bought into the false dichotomy of convenience food vs “hipster healthy” food. “Mom&pop healthy” is as cheap/cheaper than convenience food. Get a fridge. Most fresh foods keep 2 weeks if stored properly, make a weekly grocery trip to have no waste. Healthy eating means getting the nutrition you need and not going over the calories you need. Apples and hard-boiled eggs are both convenient and healthy. Learn to cook. You can be poor and eat healthy.



Aw, howdy, puddin’!

I am…

…reasonably middle class, which is a miracle for a full-time author.
…equipped of a fridge, a pantry, a chest freezer, and a working kitchen.
…capable of cooking for myself and others.

I am also…

…the daughter of a woman who raised three daughters on welfare.
…formerly homeless.
…a fat woman who has to fight not to slip back into disordered eating habits because of items #1 and #2.
…someone who goes to the grocery store multiple times a week.
…regularly furious about food waste in my own home when people refuse to eat their leftovers/help eat communal leftovers.

So let’s go.

The specific post I reblogged worked from the base premise that it is easier to eat, where “eat” is defined as “get sufficient calories to not feel hungry,” when you are not making a concerted effort to “eat healthy.”  It cited things like “a package of extremely filling oatmeal cookies for a dollar,” and “behold, ramen.”  Interestingly, it did not cite anything to support the “false dichotomy” you’re accusing me of supporting: for reference, here’s the link

(There is a cranky comment about non-GMO unicorn poop, but as hipsters don’t actually eat shit, that seems less “dichotomy,” and more “angry.”)

But hey, that seems suspiciously like people wanting other people to stop dictating their food choices and assuming they’re eating that way out of necessity, and not because they’re lazy.  That can’t be right!  We need someone who’s seen both sides!

And that’s why now, as someone who used to eat out of dumpsters, as someone who was lucky enough to be poor in farming country and hence have access to produce seconds (IE, bruised and ugly fruit that no one else wanted), as someone who is emotionally incapable of looking at meat before checking the discount meat bin at the grocery store, I am going to answer the question of whether it’s cheaper to eat healthy once and for all:


No, it is not.

No, it is fucking not.

I live near an independently owned fruit market.  They have, regularly, red and gold potatoes for $.99 a pound.  They have big Idaho bakers for $.59 a pound.  These are some of the best potato prices I have ever seen.  Had we lived here when I was a kid, I would have eaten potatoes until I wept.  Assuming that potatoes are now the bulk of our diet, and that we’re only eating the cheap ones, that’s a pound of potatoes per person, per day, for a total of $2.40.  Call it $2.50, after tax.  We are now spending $75 a month on potatoes.  No butter or sour cream, because potatoes are already starchy as hell, and fuck taste, but we have potatoes!

Great.  Do we have a kitchen?  We didn’t, always.  For approximately 1/3rd of my childhood, this plan has us eating raw potatoes.  But let’s say sure.  We can cook our plain potatoes.  Say we cook them every night, and have hot potato for dinner, and then cold potato for breakfast.  Can’t eat the school lunch–pretty sure that’s not healthy enough.  So I guess we’ll buy and boil eggs.  You can boil eggs and potatoes in the same pot.

How many eggs do you give the starving, miserable eight-year-old to fill her up?  Ballpark figure?  Is it the same number you give her fourteen-year-old sister?  Is it the same number you take to your back-breaking physical labor job?  We’re ignoring the emotional and social impacts here, and just focusing on the cost.  So say three eggs each.  Maybe everyone’s hungry, but hey, it’s health food.

A dozen eggs is $2.00.  We are now spending $60 a month on eggs.  That’s $135 a month for a diet that is probably not making anyone happy, but hey, at least it’s all easy on the digestion, right?  And if you’re eating three eggs a day, even if you’re soloing this You Should Be Punished For Poverty diet, your eggs aren’t spoiling.  Assuming you have a fridge.

Hope you have a fridge.

Your children have now started going home with friends in hopes of being fed, but that’s okay, because it means you have fewer mouths to feed, and if you don’t want them to be taken away, you need to make sure they don’t get scurvy.  So we’re going to add milk ($3.50 a gallon, hope no one’s lactose intolerant, if you water it down and watch them like a hawk, you can survive on two gallons a week, which adds $28 to your grocery costs, good job) and apples.  Red delicious, of course, which taste like shame, but they’re cheap when the store has them…assuming you’re not in a food desert, where the only apples are coming from the 7-11 at a dollar apiece.

There are so many things we could be buying to make this feel less like a Dickens novel.  There’s baloney, and peanut butter, and generic mac and cheese.  But they’re not healthy.

Eating healthy is a privilege.  When I made a dedicated effort to change my eating habits, my grocery bills increased by 60%.  I have the receipts.  Not because I was buying “brand names”: because I was buying chicken breasts instead of whole chickens, because I was buying fresh instead of frozen, because I was learning to fill up on things other than chips.  That’s just the way we’ve allowed this country to structure our food.

Yes: allowed.  In England–which has its own problems, please don’t take this as me going YAY ENGLAND LAND OF PERFECTION–they have laws setting the prices that can be charged for “staples,” like chicken, and potatoes, and bread, and butter, and eggs, and milk.  It’s much easier to eat healthy there than it is here.

But here, it is a privilege.

And it ought to be a right.

This is why I want to make it part of my life’s work to use research to transform the food system. It’s not as widely advertised but a lot of farm families can’t make ends meet just farming – an off-farm job is required to pay the bills, provide insurance, etc.   Rising land and equipment prices means that it’s hard for people to break into farming, and so the average age of farmers keeps rising.  During drought, many producers lose money. But this is the 2% of American workers that feed everyone else, documented or no.  Don’t they deserve fair wages for their labor? I have known people who only make their business make profit on paper by not paying themselves a salary out of their costs, and these are the people making your hamburgers and lamb chops and chicken. And people my age don’t want to or can’t afford to farm because margins are so thin and the work is so hard, and the cost barriers to entry are so high. And these are people who love these animals, who love the land, who want to do this.  

At the same time, food, especially healthy food, is super expensive, as described above. And if you have food allergies, or health conditions, or are disabled, it’s even worse. I have celiac – I can’t get fast food. I can’t get a lot of the cheap convenience stuff.  And because gluten-free is the fad of the week, people jack up the prices on items I need to live because they don’t associate gluten-free with ‘gluten sends this person to the ER or makes them miss work’, they associate it with bored hipsters trying to avoid “toxins”. And then half the time it isn’t even safe for people with celiac anyways. What are people like me supposed to do when our disability is considered a punchline at best or to be ignored in larger food discussions? 

So if farmers can barely break even in good years, and people have a hard time affording food, where is that money going? How can we ensure that the people producing our food get paid a fair shake for their labor without pricing people out of being able to buy food?  Grass-fed beef is great for forage management and we need to graze these pastures to keep ecosystems healthy, but I admit, my family had it pretty good when I was a kid and even so my mom was STILL buying those ice-glazed chicken breasts at Sam’s Club in bulk because it was the best option for us, especially given our family’s medical food needs.

Unlike some companies that have outright admitted their business model is built on gentrification, I think we need to radically change how we look at food and how it is available to people. We cannot make a sustainable system unless everyone is able to benefit from it.  We can’t feed everyone if my generation doesn’t farm because they can’t make ends meet doing it.  We can’t feed everyone if food prices exclude most people from buying what they need.  We can’t feed everyone if people with food-related disabilities are perpetually excluded from policy, support networks, and the national conversation.  For food to be ACTUALLY SUSTAINABLE it needs to be accessible to EVERYONE. It needs to be inclusive and value the labor and effort of people involved.

I’m not sure how we will get there. But I’ll be damned if I’m not going to do my best to make it happen. 

@katisconfused – Unfortunately good way of putting it. That is definitely a thing I have noticed too.

Still, I feel like I at least have a better chance of starting off at less of a disadvantage dealing with people who are not in such a position to view me as some kind of weird substandard human being who has a lot of nerve taking up their precious time and resources at all. Which is a different set of dynamics from any I ran into before, on top of some of those existing problems :/

(Tbqh, if I weren’t concerned about both physical accessibility now and real possible language barriers, I might be more tempted to try one of the Polish clinics that AFAICT mostly got going thanks to similar concerns. I’m not Polish, but they’d have no obvious reason to treat me like that beyond the whole autistic weirdo factor. Nobody should have to go private and pay out of pocket to get competent non-begrudging treatment, of course.)

Hello! What are some common misconceptions about keeping hedgehogs?



Oooh, I like this ask, thank you!! I get to talk about one of my favorite subjects! 😀 This doesn’t quite cover everything (I’m not gonna touch breeding in this post), but these are a lot of the main ones I’ve seen over the years. 

Hedgehogs don’t need extra heating – if you’re comfortable in a t-shirt, they’ll be fine! 

NOT true. Normal room temperatures or individual comfort zones vary a lot by people. The vast majority of the time, hedgehogs will need a separate heating set up, even just as back up, and some hedgehogs can be very sensitive to fluctuating temperatures. The usual “safe” range given is 73-80F. But a lot of hedgehogs may end up with a hibernation attempt if the temperature falls from 78 during the day to 73 at night. So you have to be careful.

People are also very bad at telling temperature by how it feels – you MUST use a digital thermometer for your hedgehog’s cage.

Even for people who live in warm states like Florida & Texas, it’s often recommended to have a back up heating system, just in case. Hedgehogs can also become more temperature sensitive when they get older or if they’re sick, so it’s good to be prepared.

Hedgehog food for hedgehogs….right?

Hedgehog food is NOT good for hedgehogs – the ingredients are very poor quality in most of them, to the point of causing malnutrition. Good quality cat & dog foods are currently the best commercial option available, though it sounds weird (and vets don’t usually like this). 

Hedgehogs don’t really NEED insects.

Hedgehogs are primarily insectivores in the wild. They should have insects in their diet. While they won’t outright die from not having insects if they’re eating a balanced commercial food – which is what we tell new owners panicking over a picky hedgehog on my forum – it’s still a really important part of their diet. Owners should make every effort to incorporate insects as a regular part of the diet, not just treats. This is an excellent post that discusses this more – 

Awwww, look at that cute hedgie getting a belly rub!! 

A lot of people see cute pictures of hedgehogs on the internet where they’re seemingly content on their backs or getting belly rubs or posing with all of their quills flat. These are a single snapshot from a well-socialized hedgehog’s life. Right after that picture was taken, the hedgehog probably started flailing wildly to try & get off their back – a very vulnerable position for a prey animal. Well socialized hedgehogs may let their owner (someone familiar & trusted after months of interaction) rub their belly, pet their face, etc. It takes MONTHS to get to this point though! 

Hedgehogs are defensive, shy, easily startled prey animals covered in sharp needles. They are not social, they do not typically seek out interaction or affection, and they do not play like a dog or cat. During the first weeks/months of handling, they will likely quill up easily, curl up in a ball frequently, startle when you make any noise or movement, huff/hiss/pop to try & scare you away, and may even bite. This is really discouraging for new owners and is a common cause of hedgehogs being rehomed in their first year. And a lot of this behavior typically continues even after they’re well socialized – hedgehogs may ball up when first picked up in their cage, or have grumpy days where they refuse to put their quills down, or may always huff & hiss at you a lot. It’s something important to keep in mind before bringing one home.

4 square feet is totally fine for a hedgehog cage.

So this is one we’re currently working on trying to revamp in the US/western hedgie world. The recommendation for some years has been a minimum cage size of 4 square feet. This is too small! This only gives enough room for a wheel, a hide, and food/water bowls. Maybe a tube or ball. This is a sad lack of enrichment for an animal that spends their time in the wild roaming long distances, digging, and searching for insects. The minimum cage size should be 8 square feet. This is the case in many European countries and the US is very much outdated here. Plastic totes are often used as a cheap cage option here, but a lot of people will only use one and it’s just not big enough. If two or more are connected, they can work as a good hedgie home, but this isn’t often the case.

My hedgehog is lonely & needs a friend/mate.

As said above, hedgehogs are NOT social creatures. They do not need or want a friend!! If you want a second hedgehog, get one for YOU, not for your first hedgehog. And keep in mind that you’re doubling your time for socialization – they need to be quarantined for at least 3-4 weeks, even if you get your new one from a breeder. Even after quarantine, you may need to keep socialization separate. Female hedgehogs can often get along enough to share socialization time in a playpen or on their human. But male hedgehogs may fight, so must be VERY carefully watched. And male & female hedgehogs should NEVER be out together! Hedgehogs mate very quickly – never let them be in a playpen or next to each other in the cage or out unless you have breeding quality hedgehogs & you’re fully prepared for babies. 

Hedgehogs should also NOT be housed together in 99% of situations. Female hedgehogs can sometimes get along – but you need 8 square feet per hedgehog and a wheel/hide/bowls for each hedgehog in the cage. You will not save on equipment or space by housing hedgehogs together. You WILL increase your risk of hedgehogs injuring each other, sharing illness, & having difficulty telling if one has decreased or stopped eating.

Hedgehogs don’t need much vet care.

Okay, so I haven’t really seen that said outright to my memory. But a lot of people severely underestimate the veterinary needs of hedgehogs and it’s a very important subject. A couple of points to make here. First, hedgehogs are exotic pets – most vets will not see them, you need to locate a hedgehog-experienced vet before bringing one home. Second, make sure your vet has seen hedgehogs. Ask how often they see them, or how long they’ve been seeing hedgehogs. Just because they’re willing to see them, doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing. Try to find one experienced with hedgehogs if at all possible – if you can’t, it’s okay to find one that is willing to & also willing to do the necessary research and work with you to give your hedgehog the best care possible. 

And third, hedgehogs are good at racking up vet bills. They really are – common health issues include skin infections, mites, URIs, uterine issues, and cancer. All of these things require vet visits to diagnose & treat. Skin infections can be fungal or bacterial & may need skin cultures to narrow down for treatment. Mites need to be treated with Revolution, which needs to be prescribed by a vet in the US. Do NOT treat mites with Ivermectin – it’s been deadly to hedgehogs in many cases. URIs need to be treated ASAP – they will not go away on their own & can quickly progress to pneumonia, which can be deadly. Female hedgehogs may start showing blood in their urine – sometimes this can be a urinary tract infection, but is often uterine issues that require spaying. And hedgehogs are overwhelmingly prone to developing cancer of various kinds. Some have a better prognosis than others – uterine cancer can often be treated by spaying. Oral cancers are ugly, fast-moving, and cannot be easily removed most of the time. 

It’s very important to be prepared for a vet visit at any time. Hedgehogs are prey animals that hide symptoms as long as they can. Once they are showing signs of illness, they need vet care ASAP. It’s recommended to have a vet fund of at least $500 saved up for emergency situations. The more you can save, the better. If you’re in the US, you can also get veterinary insurance through Nationwide, which is currently the only company that offers coverage for exotics. This would be well worth it for hedgehogs – the cost is only about $8/month and can save you hundreds of dollars. Get it early, since pre-existing issues are NOT covered.

You should also plan on wellness visits for your hedgehogs at least once a year. Twice a year is even better, especially if you have a hedgehog that already has a history of health issues (like my Pancake). Wellness visits can catch problems early, before they become harder & more expensive to treat. 

All of this! And I can confirm the vet bills. I’ve had many different animals in my life and none have needed vets as often as my hedgehogs.

Slightly similar to the cage size one but what really bothers me is when people say “…(but) all he does is sleep, eat, drink and wheel.” This is usually said in defence of having a small, fleece lined tub with food/water bowls, a hide, a wheel and maybe a few toys at best. Of course he won’t do anything else if you don’t give him anything else to do! Most hedgehogs don’t ‘play’ with toys like some other animals and since they’re not rodents they don’t really use chew toys either, but there is so much more you can do for them enrichment-wise which focuses on natural foraging behaviours (such as dig boxes, more natural enclosures or toys to hide treats in), scented items (for anointing/new stimuli) etc. 



One maladaptive coping mechanism that turns very toxic when you’re
not defending against abuse is to read any uncomfortable situation as a
deliberate personal attack, and sometimes extrapolate one incident into a
whole pattern of malicious intent.


  • “Hey, I have a headache, could you please lower your voice a little?”
    – “FINE I guess I just won’t say anything at all!”
  • “Hey thanks for inviting me, but I’m not feeling well, so I’m sorry but I can’t make it. Maybe (x day) instead?”
    – “Sorry for asking! I guess I’m just too needy for you!”
  • (Someone forgets to call you back.)
    – “Yeah I don’t think we’re friends anymore, she acts like she hates me.”
  • “Hey, what you just said about me was literally not true. Why did you say that?”
    – “Right, I’m just a piece of shit who should never talk at all I guess!”
  • “I don’t really feel like sex tonight.”
    – “Sorry I’m so repulsive to you!”
  • “You really hurt my feelings. Why did you do that?”
    – ”Go ahead and just break up with me, I know you’ve been wanting to.”

This kind of response escalates an interaction from a two-way conversation about a specific problem into a fight about your own self-worth. Instead of reponding to what’s actually happening or interrogating whether an attack was intended, this response immediately changes the conversation into a defensive argument where the only relevant question is if you’re an okay person that people care about.

Like I get feeling this
kind of reaction, I get having a knee-jerk response of fear and shame
and self-loathing. Sometimes when you’re feeling vulnerable it is very,
very difficult not to read super far into anything negative. Sometimes
it just reflects off all your internal fears and amplifies inside of you
until a polite “no” feels like everyone you’ve ever liked is telling
you they hate you.

But it is possible, with some work, to
separate your feelings from your actual knowledge of the situation. It’s
possible to feel one thing in your heart and still recognize with your
mind that the reality is different. You can learn to notice the
difference between someone actually attacking you and something just
feeling like an attack because you’re extra vulnerable.

can also learn not to react based solely on your feelings. You can learn
to take another person’s actual words and actions into account and
respond based on what you think – not just feel – their intent actually was. That work is
as necessary as it is difficult.  

People need to be able to tell
you things that aren’t overwhelmingly positive without you making them
feel guilty for saying anything and treating their concerns as an

Otherwise, you wind up in a position where they can’t be honest with you. They can’t say no to you, can’t tell you when something you do hurts or scares them, can’t point out worrying things as
friends do to take care of each other, can’t bring up their own needs without the conversation devolving into comforting you again.

This habit interacts especially badly with
the way many other trauma survivors are terrified of upsetting anyone –
when your reaction to them bringing up problems or saying no is consistently disproportionate, they may
find it easier to just do what you want even against their own will.

It is possible to deal with those awful feelings and get the comfort you need without resorting to lashing out when you feel bad. It’s okay to be honest about the fact your emotions don’t always line up with reality so people know what you’re going through. It’s okay to just ask for the emotional support you need or for confirmation that they mean what they say.

You may even find that when you make a continuous effort not to treat these uncomfortable experiences as crises, they deescalate and you wind up feeling more secure each time.

Look, this coping mechanism, like many forms of manipulation, is a useful survival tool in the context of an abusive relationship where you really are being attacked insidiously, and where you can’t just ask for comfort and expect to get it. But if you are no longer in that kind of situation, it’s time to reevaluate the usefulness/danger ratio and figure out what other strategies might be better for you and the people you love.

i have people in my life who act like this and i know they have valid reasons to do so but it’s also so, so stressful to deal with!!!!!







one of my friends is a very pregnant dog and like 3 times a day i say to her “hello! you are full of several other smaller dogs!” and she wags her entire body at me like “it’s true!!! i contain multitudes”

i love that ur friend is the pregnant dog. what a nice friend to have.

ya she’s my buddy i love her!

update: there were five (5) smaller dogs inside my dog friend, but now they are all outside of her instead (!!) 


ya they’re my buddies i love them!!!!!