This week has been an interesting one. Saying goodbye to the 4 acre property that we knew would turn into a headache rather than a blessing was hard, but ultimately the right decision, and now we wait and see what comes up. The hardest part!! So with that, we are continuing to prepare for the unknown – and one of those things is buying ourselves this “parting gift”, a cookbook from one of our favorite Portland spots, Tasty ‘n’ Sons. Needless to say I scoped it out before buying it to make sure my favorite entrees and sides were included, like their insanely good shakshuka and those fabulous hush puppies (mine have never been as good as theirs!), and right away we kicked off making their Cowboy Beans for a nice hearty winter belly-warmer!
We are trying very hard to make incremental steps towards being parents even with the big giant question mark looming over our heads as to when a birth mother will pick us (trying to say “when” rather than “if” – oy!). So, just like we got a carseat a while back to be prepared for a potential last minute birth mum, we have been checking other things off our list. Because we don’t have a due date, our longtime baby registry that we created in the summer of 2016 has been kind of a moot point, so we just use it as a reminder list of the kinds things that we still need. With that, Dan whipped up his first batch of tallow bum balm (gotta love the free fat he gets from work and renders at home!), and I ordered this eco-friendly diaper bag. Along with that, Dan took on scheduling a pediatrican interview, while I found postpartum doulas in both towns to talk to. One doula is an adoptive mum herself (score!) and the other doula in the town we’re headed has a package for those who’ve been through the infertility ringer AND a doula there who went through treatments herself. We’ve not had both of the doula conversations yet, but Friday met the pediatrician, and for those of you out there who, like us, do not have kids no matter how hard you’ve tried? Let me tell you, being in that waiting room was at any given time five seconds away from vomiting. My leg couldn’t stop shaking and I had to put virtual blinders on, and even though the doc was nice enough and had a sister who adopted, I had zero focus (which is why I’m glad this one was in Dan’s court). How do you prepare for something you can’t be sure will ever happen? We lost so much hope (not to mention a five-figure fee) when Ethiopia suspended adoptions (and this week, banned them outright) and y’all know about the nine DEIVF embryos lost to my uterus, so in some ways after this long it feels like we’re fooling ourselves into thinking we’ll someday be parents. I haven’t given up, but did make a deliberate choice not to keep the rest of my life on pause, while still edging closer every month to being prepared for the best-case scenario.
Well, while it happens to many beekeepers at some point, it doesn’t make it easier to share that our colony has died. As they did awesome last year even with temps in the teens and a foot of snow, we were very optimistic about another successful winter, but we think since there was no evidence of varroa mites that they froze to death. My guess is that my sweet husband received some bad advice about some different techniques for overwintering them which we should have ignored (following the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra), so needless to say we were both in tears to open it up on the first dry day and see the devastation. There was a significant amount of honey and comb left so we reached out to one of the gurus of beekeeping here in town and he encouraged us to bag those up and leave them in the garage, so when we order new bees in the spring from him they’ll have lots of delicious comb to help them get started. But it sucks so bad. So, we’ll be back in the spring, trying again! Lesson learned, for sure.