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Very stressful week at work - the kind of stuff I can't avoid if I'm going to be, well, working. It's, you know, people. Hard to work without them. Even farmers and writers have to deal with people: even J.D. Salinger.

I thought I was handling it okay even though Thursday night I could tell I'd gone itchy all over. But today I woke up and my face and upper lip look kind of puffy. So it got, literally, under my skin. But it's not too bad; I suspect it will go away in a few hours. I can probably go out and talk to people and not have them stare at me like I'm a monster.

So despite thinking I'm in a maintenance phase, realistically the urticaria is still there: gotta keep on the anti-stress activities. Really glad I went swimming yesterday and running Thursday as I know this helps; but I have to really, really remember to try to keep the stress in my life fairly low. I pushed myself a little in December to see if I could get past some things that were giving me nightmares, and I did it, and actually those particular sets of nightmares have stopped, and last night I had dreams about cheese and nests full of baby cockatoos. I dreamed about electric cookie jars with labels on them (self detecting!) that said what was inside, and of a ticket folder with shows and stars from the 70s, and minor key cheese improvements (such has having home delivery of artisanal cheese but not enough artisanal cheese producers to have a cheese industry per se).

I want to get the Sibley's guide to Australian birds, and I want djm4 to help me learn how to distinguish between different kind of water birds, because it does me no good to see a green necked grebe and go, "Ooh! It's a ... um ... duck?" because I can't even turn to the right page because they are all the same birds to me. And then I want to go back to Australia. Birdies.

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