Took Gabrielle Union’s book down in 2 days flat. She’s awesome. She’s seen it all, she’s a real badass, she’s funny, she’s smart, she’s real.. And yeah, “Stay Out Of My Pussy” is a great chapter on her battles with infertility & miscarriage over the years. Love her. Check it out y’all.
Surprised my husband with Scrabble and we’ve been obsessively playing for multiple nights in a row. I mean, the man does NOT stay up til midnight at home without falling asleep sitting up, but with this on the table he barely notices the clock. Plus it’s way more fun than just blobbing on the couch. I gotta say, I love that my sweetheart loves words as much as I do. After all, it’s words, via blogging, that brought us together!
And oh hell yeah, I have the new Madonna album, Madame X, and she’s fucking brilliant once again. A real world music influence this time around, much inspired by living in Portugal and just not being afraid – as usual – to try new things, continue to speak her mind, and be the amazing artist she is. #thisiswhat60lookslike
One of my favorite things about my husband working for the local grocery co-op? We can special order mass quantities of produce from the local farms for canning. 20 lbs of organic local strawberries? Yes please! A half day going through them to make 17 or 18 half-pints of jam and multiple quarts to freeze as well? Yes yes! After taking last year off to move out here to the country, it was good to get back into the swing of things canning, and making one of my new favorites, strawberry rose vanilla jam (adapted from THIS recipe – very important to use the most intoxicatingly fragrant roses otherwise the petals simply add, um…texture). Also made a foot-stompingly good strawberry huckleberry-balsamic pepper preserves using Oregon-made Celia’s balsamic picked up at the farmer’s market a while back. Dang!
This sourdough loaf, made with starter given to me by the sweet gal at Blue Scorcher, and baked in my cast iron Dutch oven handed down to me by my mother so many years ago, is the reason I will never regret my return to gluten. Happiness.
And finally, there’s Brene Brown’s video on empathy that speaks SO well to the issues of loss and grief – for me particularly with infertility and childlessness, but also remembering the loss of my father and other family members where, in both situations, very few took the time to simply listen and learn and most of all…hug. Two of my closest friends completely abandoned ship. One who had 6 miscarriages (but never shared that with me til we were near the end of our chapter), who was my witness at my wedding, snapped at me that she was NOT infertile (after I’d recently been diagnosed with it) because she ‘had no problem getting pregnant’ (even though RESOLVE defines it as the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term,not just to conceive) and she started canceling our plans over and over at the last minute. I remember even saying hey, I know you’re going through some stuff and we are at different stages in this, and if you need to take some time off from me because of it I totally understood, she just blew me off. And the other friend, who was like a sister to me, who stayed with me frequently during her painful divorce and whose kids I visited in the hospital, just started ghosting me…even when I got up the courage to say (something hard for me) “I need you”. I had opened up my heart and home (and wallet once, when she needed $ to get out of a bad boyfriend living situation…then proceeded to never pay me back while buying a new car…I eventually got her to help “pay” me back by putting in hours as we painted our house, but there was never any apology), and her response was to cancel everything at the last minute because of some out-of-the-blue need of one of her (teenage) daughters. This is the same person who talked about how she got pregnant while on the pill. I suppose in hindsight this was a person who expected everyone to take care of her and when it came time for her to do the same, if you weren’t biological you weren’t important. All I knew was that I knew all of her secrets and struggles, and she knew all of mine, and yet the last thing we ever heard from her was when she texted MY HUSBAND that I should try going to a psychic to help with my infertility. OMFG is the best acronym for that…and why I just stopped reaching out…and she never contacted me after that. It broke my heart losing these two people I thought were the truest of friends, and when we went through all of our losses, the only place I had to turn to were the infertility blogs. Until of course those women got pregnant and stopped blogging, as they had their own lives on the other side of the fence that left the rest of us out. I suppose it didn’t matter because very few would comment on any topic unrelated to trying to become parents. Long story short? Empathy is something I learned through all of this to be in short supply. Not a blanket statement of course as there have been a few lovely ones who’ve kept up with my blog and simply offer words of kindness and friendship when I’m pouring my grief out. I can count on less than one hand how many people were there for me during deaths as well – the one friend who just came over and we ate, talked and she let me cry on her shoulder after my dad died, and the one friend who offered to come with me to my grandmother’s funeral and be my support system (after finding out on social media that she’d passed rather than anyone calling me). Overall, the two more common responses of Preaching (‘at least…’, ‘you should…’, ‘don’t give up!’) and Clamming Up (no responses to your texts when you’re sad, no responses to your blog posts when it’s not a happy ending, no calls/emails after the one ‘I’m sorry’ to see if you’re still breathing after the birth mother scammer stomped all over your heart) are much more prevalent in the grief process. Which brings me to the following video about Empathy from Brene Brown that I am madly in love with. Yes it’s simple, yes there are more things that can be drilled down into when using and defining this term, but this was beautifully descriptive of how empathy feels compared to traditional ‘thoughts and prayers’ sympathy…