EcoFem Links – March 2019

Lucy is back! She abandoned the other three at the creek after being let out (too early) to free range with the others and went all the way back up the hill (not a quick trek!) to her old house (she was the only one with minimal white on her and orange speckled feet so it was a dead giveaway), so she’s now on house arrest for 2 weeks to make sure she knows this is where she’s got to return to. Sigh…but glad to have her back. 🙂

March is here! Spring is just around the corner! Robins are in the yard and even though it’s cold as can be in the mornings, I can feel the promise of gardens and sunshine and possibly de-sweatshirting for a solid day 🙂  Here are some pieces of news and information I think are worth sharing this month…

  • I love this article from the LA Times calling out those just to be safe” medical tests which can be a huge waste of time, money, and a potential risk to our physical and mental health. “Overtesting not only increases healthcare costs; it actually exposes patients to unnecessary risks…To solve the problem of overtesting, we have to realign doctors’ incentives toward better outcomes rather than simply more care.” So true. I remember someone telling me that I was a fool for not paying the hundreds and hundreds of dollars out of pocket for the breast cancer genetic test because I have a family history of it. My philosophy has always been, if I get a test done, what will be my plan if the results are ominous? And with the BRCA test, if I found out I had the gene, there’s not really anything I would do besides watch my blood pressure skyrocket. I’m not in favor of preemptively cutting my tits off, it’s just not going to happen and I hate the world we live in where women are going and getting unnecessary mastectomies – major fucking surgery – as “preventative” measures…not to mention the bullshit that is spread to women about DCIS, aka “stage zero cancer” that is NOT cancer. [from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: “There’s hysteria around breast cancer. The extremism that sometimes comes into play in DCIS treatment decision making is a ‘cultural problem.’ This is not a life-threatening problem.”]. Click HERE to read Candace Parmer’s post on breast cancer, thermography, and dispelling many of the myths surrounding breast cancer.
  • For my fellow gardeners out there, as we prepare for spring’s arrival, don’t forget about companion planting. This year, I’m doing the strawberry/spinach combo along with combining my beans and cucumbers on trellises. Should be fun!
  • This is an older piece, but still a great article, talking about our local No One Dies Alone program here at Columbia Memorial Hospital where I recently signed up to volunteer here in town. Also known as “soul midwives”, NODA program volunteers around the world sit with the dying who don’t have family/friends during their final days or hours. It’s an honor to be a part of, and I know from sitting with my father as he took his last breath, it’s the most intense thing I’ve ever experienced. A friend once told me after he passed that “people choose who they want around them when they die” which I always thought was a really interesting concept. He was dying and while my half-sisters took off to go home and go to bed (something I never could conceive as I literally could not be away from him for one minute in those hours in the hospital – even my dog was with us in the room), he took his last breaths with just myself, his firstborn, and his wife, us holding his hands. It was one of two wholly heartfelt and legitmate hugs she and I shared in the 25+ years I’ve known her – the other being at my grandmother’s funeral 3 years later which was the next time I saw her and all I could say to her was how much I missed him and she hugged me. Ultimately she went back to her old self and stopped contact, actually moving elsewhere without sending her new address, similar to how my stepfather abandoned all sense of responsibility as a parent once I was out of the house. Oh yeah, and I digress. NODA. Good program. Check it out.
  • Great tips from Honey Bee Suite on painting your beehive – what to use, what to paint, and lots of other links to their great beekeeping pages.
  • “Of adoptions finalized in the last two years, international adoptions cost an average of $44,000; U.S. newborn adoptions cost an average of $40,000.” This report from Adoptive Families also mentions that 18% of domestic adoptions take longer than 2 years (this May we will reach the 2 year point with our domestic agency, after a failed 2 year wait for our little girl in Ethiopia when the country closed their doors and we lost the five-figure-sum we’d already paid because in adoption, There.Are.No.Guarantees. And for new blog followers, we did that first 2 years simultaneously while going through 6 rounds of donor egg IVF because of my bum ovaries, including losing our only baby at 9 weeks, all out of pocket because insurance doesn’t cover it. Beyond my husband’s pension from Australia, we have no retirement or savings after that.). So for those assholes who love to say “why don’t you just adopt?” – go fuck yourself. And for those who think they’re extra clever in saying “why don’t you just foster?” – temporarily taking care of someone else’s child, getting attached, then having to let them go? That’s not the same category whatsoever – and for us, not something we consider ourselves capable of after the losses we’ve experienced. As for adopting through DHS? They require you make a two year commitment to wait for a match. As we are in our fifth year of trying to become parents, myself now 45 and my husband 51, that’s no longer realistic – especially after DHS lost all of our paperwork and background checks when we first applied 4 years ago (when they also told us that if we were to get pregnant we’d be considered a “red flag” for them). And babies? No babies through DHS – you can go through Boys & Girls Aid, affiliated with them, but it’s still $30,000+. And the tax credit? Not refundable, which means it ONLY is a viable option if you OWE at the end of the year (thereby being only a benefit for the wealthy). So again, for those who love to think that it’s super easy to become a parent and that adoption is easy-peasy and something we can do by just snapping our fingers and that takes no time or money? Try it yourself. Try doing it when you’re in your 40’s and birth mothers look at you like you’re ancient. Try doing it with the many agencies that discriminate based on religion or sexual orientation or if you’ve been divorced. Adoption (and foster care) is not and should not be treated as something relegated to the infertile, and is NOT something that is easy in any way, shape, or form for the great majority of us who are going through it.  Do your homework before you open your mouth to someone who has struggled to have children. Seriously.
  • And finally, some daydreaming for all of us as the season of new beginnings and growth is about to arrive: The 16 Most Beautiful Places To Travel To This Spring. As for me, I’ll take Zion (#bucketlist)…and keep this tune in the back of my head:


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