Gratitude Alert!

The bagels turned out freakin’ fabulous – and not any harder than making bread (literally 2 extra steps!). One was a bit bigger than the rest, heh, but dang they were tasty – especially with red onions, capers, and the homemade maple and fennel cured salmon we made from our annual Alaskan salmon CSA that we were savvy enough to buy 2 shares of this time.

Okay so I’ve been trying to be Miss Sunshine And Rainbows as we prep for Cycle 6’s imminent arrival, but – as my fellow IVF gals can attest – it seems as soon as we load up on positivity, life barfs all over you and reminds you that (shockingly) you are human and this Perky Pauline demeanor is not sustaining.

Last week I noticed something growing on my eyebrow. First I thought it was one of those zits you have to leave alone because it isn’t yet poppable (meow!), and then the next day my husband noticed it had literally doubled in size. When it became visible – like almost a centimeter wide – I consulted Dr Google to find out it was a sebaceous cyst. Sexy sexy! Warning: never look in google images when self-diagnosing, ugh! Before going in anywhere I noticed that a bunch of websites recommend castor oil and heat to make it go away, so off I went to the natural grocer and got a bottle, oozed it on, covered it with a bandage then put the hottest towel I could on my brow. After a few days it was gone – wheee! Thank goodness for that.

The next day I woke up with three tiny canker sores on the outside of my lip. Bring it on, bastards – first bacteria, now a virus? While I’m still deep in my herniated disk recovery and prepping for round 6 of DEIVF? Fuck you, body! You think you’re gonna win? Fuck you and the horse you rode in on!


Yeah so anyhow, I decided yesterday that with the rare sunshiny 60 degree day we got (recordbreaking rains here in Stumptown these past couple months) that I’d take the car in to get washed and pick myself up a new pair of shoes, some kind of mule or sandal I could slip on that’s both comfy and cute. For me, that means: I don’t want any damn flip-flops with those wood-like soles, I don’t want any cork wedges that look like exactly what my mother wore in the 1970s, I don’t want anything that looks orthopedic, I don’t want anything gold or sparkly or rainbowy or animal print, and I don’t want no damn Birkenstocks (my husband loves Birks, bless his heart)!!! Cute, comfortable, shoes that make my feet look pretty yet are still crazy comfortable and I can slip on and off easily, is that too much to ask? And that come in size 9.5-10? And that I can buy in person rather than online?

Guess so. I went to three stores that all were blasting music full volume with no one helping and all the shoes in my size at the very bottom where I’d have to squat down over and over and over (not fun with my back) to wrangle them out of their stack) and by the time I got out to the car I was tired and grumpy and feeling like a dose of hormones had just gotten into me. And so I went to the grocery store, picked up an ice cream bar and ate it within seconds, totally against my non-dairy pledge this month and in serious emo-eating mode. Ugh. I felt like shit.

I know, right? We’re talking about shoes. It was just one of those “with all the shit I’m dealing with can’t I just have something nice and cute for my feet that doesn’t take careful acrobatics to get my feet into” (lacing up shoes is a task for me, no easy way to do it so me, the barefoot queen, ends up wearing her shoes all day long as I don’t want to think about taking them off and putting them back on. My husband still, 3 1/2 months post-injury, has to help me lace up boots if I want to wear those, sigh…).

And so with that, I had to take a time-out and do the SAY THANK YOU thing that Maya  Angelou told Oprah so many years ago, and immediately list out ten things I’m grateful for. So, here goes, in no particular order:

  1. I’m grateful for loving to bake, and for successfully making bagels for the first time.
  2. I’m grateful I’m not in a much worse state with my back – after all, I could have a broken back, or be paralyzed, ya know?
  3. I’m grateful that I had a really successful first quarter this year in my business that I managed to achieve even with this back injury and 2 mock (ERA) cycles happening simultaneously.
  4. I’m grateful that I have a man who loves me wholly and texts me during the day every single day while he’s at work to tell me in different ways what I mean to him.
  5. I’m grateful that I have this house and this garden that, while I bought it on my own 11 years ago, has absolutely become OURS. I look in the backyard at the eucalyptus my husband planted and see it now towering over the duck coop, and the party hat corner of our backyard where he planted seedlings during a visit here to the States four years ago, and I see us everywhere.
  6. I’m grateful for these four silly ducklings who are, a week into this, obviously growing and absolutely going nuts every time I bring them a clump of dirt/grass from the backyard. By the way, we’ve named three out of four, with the ringleader Black Swedish being Ethel (Dan chose her name immediately), the smart Cayuga being Betty (I kept looking at her and thinking of the song Black Betty) and the yellow and brown Welsh Harlequin being Blondie (more like the dessert, not the singer, but either comparison is still fine by us). Our quiet and shy Khaki Campbell still needs a name but we’ve realized that the celebrity or cutesy naming wasn’t naturally fitting them so just like when we got our pup, we let it come to us.
  7. I’m grateful that this week I crossed TWO more things off my Homesteading Skills List – deboning a chicken (thanks to my chef husband for teaching me!!!) before making a new Southern Indian dish, dakshini murgh (chicken with roasted coriander in a coconut curry sauce – SO good!), and brooding ducklings!
  8. I’m grateful to have recently learned that someone who was once an integral part of my life for 15 years has found happiness in a new relationship that is clearly a good fit for him. They say that love is when you simply want someone to be happy even if it’s not with you, and while I don’t “love” him anymore, and haven’t in a long time, I remember that significant part of my life we shared for so many years and am so, so happy he seems to finally have found his way to someone who makes sense for him.
  9. I’m grateful for the rain! Yes I may bitch, but you know what? No flooding. No blizzards. No tornadoes. No monsoons. No earthquakes. No devastating smog. When it comes down to it, we PDXers have it pretty damn good.
  10. And finally, I’m grateful for this journey – even when it pisses me off, sets me into tears, and makes me wonder WHY, I am grateful to still be learning, still be breathing, and doing so with love in my life.




10 thoughts on “Gratitude Alert!

  1. Awesome looking bagels! I like your list. I used to keep a gratitude diary – I would list 3 things every night that made me grateful before I went to bed. Sometimes I’d stress a bit if I couldn’t think of 3 things (I started it after my 3rd miscarriage when I was in a very dark place) but then I realised I could be grateful for little things – like seeing a spring flower, or it being a sunny day, or that I finished work on time – as well as big things like the love and support of a friend or family member, or seeing a whole pride of lions (I went on holiday to Kenya when I was keeping it). Sometimes I re-read that gratitude diary, and occasionally I add to it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I know exactly what you mean about shoes. I’m a size 10 US and the only ones in the racks in shops are really horrible masculine clumps ones. What is with that?! In Italy it’s impossible to buy anything because everyone here is so little so I but all mine online from UK mainly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bagels look delish ! Hope you have better luck finding lovely shoes, maybe search online and then track down a local retailer. Ahnu have some nice ones.
    A gratitude journal really helped me out of divorce depression and a book by Sarah Breathnatch ? ….last name close but not exact.

    Quiet and gentle natured duck could be Violet….as in ‘shrinking violet ‘


    1. I have Ahnu hiking boots that I love but they were very very expensive – I had a pair of cute sneakers by them but ironically those are the ones that pooped out on me after less than a year, causing me to look for new shoes 😦 Hopefully all will end well though, as I selected a few shoes off of – not my preference to go online but returns are free. (I don’t use Zappo’s anymore as they sell Ivanka Trump merchandise which I can’t support).

      I agree on the gratitude journal for divorce -that helped me through mine 12 years ago!!

      Hmm, Violet…very cute…although it is on Dan’s baby name list, haha (so was Ruby but our dog got that one before we thought about it, hah!).


  4. You had me at shoes – I love shoes, it is my weakness. I do haflingers and Miz Mooz. Miz Moozs are trendy, old folk shoes. Cute but oh so comfortable. Both are a bit pricey but not bad if you get them on sale.

    I’m so glad the bagels turned out well! The dakshini murgh sounds delish! I need to make more time to bake and cook!

    You’ll have to post more duck photos on your week in photos. I love how fast they grow!

    Keep staying positive and don’t let life beat you down. You got this! April is your month!


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