This is our mural downstairs in a little nook area outside of the bedroom that would have been for our little one. Being the basement and being beach bums ourselves, the ocean concept was an easy one, so I got some inspirations from some cartoon pictures and went to town with a black sharpie, then coloring those in with some cheap Crayola paint. The third wall is a big happy gray whale, but you can’t see it now because it’s got boxes stacked up in front of it, as I slowly pack up little bits and pieces that won’t need to be opened, memory trunks and garden things and other things that won’t need to be viewed or opened until the next chapter begins. The picture of us used to have a big unpainted blank space next to each of us, ready for me to draw a picture of our two little ones – the one we were expecting to bring into this world around March 10, 2017, and the little girl we’d be bringing home from Ethiopia. The other side was for our little ones to dream – all the ocean’s wonderful creatures, with just one blank space left for a bright pink clown fish (think Nemo) that never was finished. This week I painted over the blank spaces with gray, and by the time we sell our home next year, all of this will be painted over. It is October, and it is Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month, and I am a shell of my former self following our baby’s death inside of me. We saw an adoption announcement on the news and I looked over to see my husband’s head in his hands. We have seen the invisibility of our struggle to the people here in community we thought would be there for us, complaining about things like the godawful need to go back to work now that they are no longer SAHMs and all that bullshit. We got a brief “aww” from a few last summer and that was it, and never again was it brought up, never again were any inquiries made, never did we feel like our loss was of any concern to anyone else. And with that, we are ready to leave this supposed community, and get the fuck out of a place where we no longer feel whole. We are ready to rebuild elsewhere. For my childless sisters and brothers out there who have suffered this horrendous type of loss (my blog friend in Olympia, girl I’m listening, you got that?!), I got your back. Just like infertility, if you haven’t experienced pregnancy loss, you can’t understand the devastation it wreaks on you, mentally and physically. But you can help FIGHT for women – and more than the bullshit “thoughts and prayers”. You can donate to Planned Parenthood and NARAL and NOW and if you’re in a state where women’s reproductive rights are pissed on (the House’s yes majority this week is both nauseating and terrifying), you can contact your Senator. Think this doesn’t relate to the topic of pregnancy loss? Think again – what if you found out at 20+ weeks that your baby was in such poor condition that it was not going to make it? You’d be carrying around a dying fetus. For one extraordinarily touching example, read this blog to see why what’s being proposed is so completely fucked up. And defend EVERY woman’s right to have control over her own body, then focus on helping girls and women receive the education and healthcare and the support they need in this world. THAT is what is most important. And by the way, this is not just a female issue, so if there are men reading, get off your asses and speak up.
On a completely different topic, as you can see our happy quacking cleaners are at work, clearly aware that I don’t give a shit if they go in the raised beds now. Ethel on the left) is pretty bummed to be relegated to “The Lookout” role, as it appears she hasn’t been blessed with Duck Jumping Genes. But they are eating less feed now, because of this new access and that’s good as organic feed adds up (duck & chicken folks, where do you get your organic soy-free feed? Scratch n Peck, even with coupons, is adding up at the local feed stores…). I literally think they’ve eaten every bug in the backyard, so that’s good but it means they’re digging at the roots of our dogwood and other garden trees for more goodies, grrr… Meanwhile, breakfast of two of of their duck eggs, scrambled with the last of our ripened tomatoes, spinach and leeks, with a sprinkling of Romano? Yes please! The little things like this in life I continue to track, to document, to remind me of the hope that springs, even if deep down.
And speaking of eggs, tonight we removed our salted duck eggs from their brine and fried one up to see if it was up to snuff, and sure enough, it was CRAZY good. Crazy how it all works – basically the brine is sucking out enough of the moisture where when you drop it in the skillet to fry it, the yolk is more like a gelatinous solid. I’ve eaten these from restaurants before but have never done it myself and I gotta say, it’s pretty rad. Recipe Note: We brined the duck eggs in a jar for 21 days and I’d probably stop at 17 or 18 days next time as I’m not as much of a salty-salty person, but that’s eating them fried. I also didn’t have any of the wine on hand so used a touch of rice vinegar instead which I think only affected the color of the yolk (it didn’t darken, just became more of a deep orange bulb). In a beautiful dish or bowl of brothy noodly awesome, this’ll be perfect. And it’s just a wee bit chilly at night now – bring it on!
And finally, I thought this was a good infographic about colonoscopies as my now 50 year old husband gets to have his first one on Monday, the lucky guy! I was always under the mistaken impression that these were requirements for men at age 50 but nope, it’s actually diagnosed almost equally for women, so in 7 years I’ll be going through this as well. The good news is that it’s done under conscious sedation, the bad news is that for this whole week the doctor’s orders are no tomatoes/nuts/seeds/raw fruits & veg/berries, and the 24 hours before is pure liquids and only the clear stuff like white grape juice, tea, broth and jello (and nothing red or blue or purple because of how it can show up in the bowels), and it is topped off with a gallon jug of lemon-lime flavored bowel-cleaning liquid that he’ll start downing the night before and finish off early in the morning beforehand. But here’s the thing? Even with that, there’s no comparison to what happens to women’s bodies in mammograms. Just a camera – no high doses of radiation. Something to think about. More on this later…
“When someone with a beard attacks us, we tap phones, we invoke travel bans, we build walls, we take every possible precaution to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But when an American buys a gun and kills other Americans, then ‘there’s nothing we can do about that’…Common sense says no good will ever come from allowing a person to have weapons that can take down 527 Americans at a concert. Common sense says you don’t let those who suffer from mental illness buy guns…A number of other lawmakers who won’t do anything about this because the NRA has their balls in a money clip also sent their thoughts and their prayers today, which is good. They should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country…It feels like someone has opened a window into hell.“ – Jimmy Kimmel, again saying it all so perfectly after the Vegas mass murders this week. My husband and I are, like many of you, so incredibly emotionally weary with all that is happening in our country, from Puerto Rico to Las Vegas to the tyranny against women in DC I mentioned above. And who is fanning the flames of hate? Of course, the shitbird #45. SIDE NOTE: When my husband’s home country of Australia experienced the devastating Port Arthur mass shooting in the mid-1990s, the National Firearms Agreement was implemented, outlawing all civilian access to semiautomatic rifles and pump-action shotguns (neither that are needed for hunting or self-defense). In the 21+ years since, there have been NO MASS SHOOTINGS in Australia. Fortune magazine reports, “The ban saw a time-limited income tax levy imposed to enable the market price buyback of some 750,000 now banned weapons. Self-defense was also declared an unacceptable reason for purchasing any gun, with all licensed shooters thenceforth needing affiliation with a sports shooting club or authorization from land owners to hunt…Firearm ownership is common here, but is not unbridled as it is in the U.S. The U.S. has 13 times Australia’s population, 134 times our total firearm death rate, and 27 times our gun homicide rate.” For those outside the US who might not be aware, in 1994 there was an assault weapons ban put into place (even supported by that dickwad Reagan) – which the repulsive George W Bush allowed to expire in 2004. Having grown up in a house with hunting rifles and a few pistols around as well and given a 22 rifle at the age of 13, I’m not against gun ownership. I’m against the ridiculous “all or nothing” stance on it that some have that makes absolutely no sense. I’m against how you can buy a gun at a gun show without a background check. I’m against “Stand your ground” laws in states that encourage killing first, asking questions later. I’m against the fact that you can buy a gun with no training even though to buy a car you have to show both that you’ve passed a written and hands-on test to get a driver license AND that you have insurance. I’m against the fact that there are millions of people out there who will fight to the death for their individual freedom to carry automatic rifles yet will also tell women they know better what she should and shouldn’t be able to do with her body than she does. Fucking hypocrites.