Husband says Ludacris would be proud of my hoeing

Year after year, I’ve pretty much hand pulled weeds in the garden. This winter, Shane bought a book called The Market Gardener on organic gardening techniques, and it was all about the hoe. Granted, I gave him shit for buying yet another book (yes, you can have too many books) but then I was enthralled. So many new things to try!

This spring, I borrowed an old hoe from my parents and gave it a go. I can’t believe how much time I’ve wasted hand pulling weeds. In less than an hour (I timed myself), I cleaned out three garden beds and the pea area.

I need to work on my technique though. While hoeing, I knew my bad back was going to be mad at me the next day, and I was so right. Perhaps there are more ergonomic hoes on the market these days?

As for this weekend plans, finishing the hoeing then torching the soil to kill any sprouting weeds before planting (recommended by the book). Official planting outside day in the interior of Alaska is June 1st. We had snow and hail yesterday as a reminder that we have that rule for a reason. Though I think may live dangerously and plant Sunday or Monday.

Before and After Shots:

 

Pano
The old garden area. One more year here before we move to the new garden area. Granted last year was our last and if I’d known I’d have one more year, I would have dealt with some of this in the fall. Live and learn.

Barnyard Bargains

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My husband sent me this image earlier today. I told him I was making no decisions on this matter and it was all him. Can you guess how this ended up?

Well, I came home all eager for my irresponsible husband to have filled the garage with baby birds. He said that it would have been too much work, so he didn’t get any. Talk about some disappointment but some relief.

I bought it for all of five minutes.

We now have 13 Rhode Island Reds and 10 Buff Orpingtons! Our first go at meat birds. Now we only need to build an outside summer chicken house.

The baby ducks have grown – almost doubled – in the past five days.

The brooder is now full. It is made out of PVC pipe and can be divided which comes in handy with ducklings and chicks. It has handles and it light enough for us to carry outside once it warms up a bit. It has a foldable lid to keep the cat and aerial predators out.

Brooder

 

Brooder2

The first thing I noticed between the ducklings and the chicks is the mess around the water. Those ducks do love their water.

BirdVsDucks

So much for the big plan to hold off until next summer to do meat birds. Now we need to get working on their summer housing!

Saying Good-Bye to My Best Friend

As a sophomore in college, I was in the midst of thinking what was I going to do post-graduation. I had two ideas: Peace Corps or a dog. On a whim, I stopped by the local animal shelter and fell in love with an out of control black lab named Juneau. I had wanted a dog and chickens for as long as I could remember. However, my mom is neither a dog or a chicken person. After having both dogs and ducks, I very much understand why my mother was not going to get the 10-year-old me either.

Juneau was a little over a year old when I took her home and both of us required lots of training. She was there next to me throughout my 20s and early 30s, a fixture in my daily life while I was her entire life.

Together we’ve hiked mountains and hills across Alaska.

 

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She eagerly endured the car trip to DC and then back to Alaska. Always up for a car ride and an adventure.

We learned about ticks together as we explored the East Coast.

She was there when I received my undergraduate degree, my masters, and my first job. I sobbed into her fur after many break-ups. She accepted my husband as one of the pack when she realized he was here to stay. She was with us when we got married and thoroughly enjoyed her mishap with nacho cheese that night.

She has had her toes in both the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean.

She wanted to be everyone’s friend, and most everyone wanted to her friend.

 

She tolerated dress-up and endless photo-ops.

 

She was always up for an adventure even at the end when her body was no longer on board. She still gave life everything she had. She did everything with overwhelming enthusiasm. Two traits I want to emulate.

Friday we had to say good-bye to my best friend. As much as I would have wanted her to live forever, I couldn’t allow her to live in pain for me. After 14 years of non-stop adventure, she was ready to go even if I wasn’t ready. She was everything I imagined my first dog would be, I simply wish she could of lived forever.

 

 

Dose of Ducklings

Every evening, I climb in the baby bird enclosure to hold and poke them, to get them use to us. As a reward, I provide them with a duckling sized pool filled with kale bits to bob for. They also clean out their nasal ducts and groom. While they’d love for me to leave the pool in full time, that has to wait till their adult feathers come in. For now, nightly baths and harassment will have to suffice.

The egg in the photos is to demonstrate their size a mere week ago. By fall, they hopefully will all be laying eggs – we are rooting for an all female cast.

Pity Party for One In the Hammock

Cheese, chocolate, wine, and salad. Balanced meal. Right? My husband is at work, only 36 more hours to go. Now, if I had kids, I would have to do a balanced meal, set a good example, yatta, yatta, yatta but I don’t. So this is what I’m fucking eating. Maybe my diet is the reason I can’t get pregnant? Fuck it, this is what I’m having. If people can be morbidly obese, subsist off of meth and Cheetos, and still get pregnant – pretty sure my dinner tonight isn’t going to completely tank my fertility. Something else already has.

After work, I needed tampons (again because I’m not pregnant) so I hit the grocery while hungry and after a run. I also go to the busier grocery store because I wanted the cotton, non-bleached, organic tampons sold only there. My vagina deserves only the best after what she has endured. I go in the store knowing it is busy and full of kids because again, my vagina has earned it.

Right off the bat, I see one of my husband’s good friends. Okay, we are friends too. He is there with his one-year-old. He knows that we are infertile. When he told us he was having a baby, he said we should have one so we can go at this together. I said that would be great but we cannot have kids. Then at one of his court events for custody, another friend of us asks us about kids and again, I’m brutally honest. He also got my IVF laden Christmas card. This guy knows we are infertile.

I debate the avoidance move but suck it up and say hi. I can’t avoid everyone though I do try. I haven’t seen the kid in about a year – we babysat the baby while he was dealing with mama drama and work issues. So we make small talk. It was awkward. He said something about the kid not sitting in the cart so carrying him as he pushed the cart.

He then said, “Ah, the joys of parenting.”

Inner monolog “I wouldn’t fucking know.”

The polite me said, “Okay, I’m going grocery shopping.”

I know he didn’t mean to piss me off or offend me which makes me feel even worse. You know, it is something you say and I’m sure if I was a parent and not infertile, we’d chuckle and that would be that. Like how we say the “joys of home ownership” when shit starts to break. Though you would NEVER say that to a homeless person or at least I wouldn’t. I also wouldn’t ask my friend who is in AA to come over for a few beers or tell them about my stellar dinner consisting primarily of wine.

Yet, my reaction to seeing children and talking to parents, makes me feel as if I’m what is wrong with society. I don’t belong in this space they have created. There is simply no space in the world for the fragility of infertility. It would be easier if we simply did not exist and people could complain about having kids without fear of upsetting the Infertiles.

Now, I’m going to take my wine, my barren uterus, and my bruised heart to my hammock for an evening debriefing. It is a mighty fine night to feel sorry for oneself.

 

 

Turns out I am a mother!

Mother fucking awesome! Damn, my friends are the best and are on a roll! I had this card waiting for me when I got home today.


This got me to thinking of all the support I’ve received from both people I have met physically and those online. I got all kinds of emotional up in here.

EcoFeminist sent me this print this winter representing the support of this online network of amazing women. These friendships and understanding have made this journal bearable. How did women do this before the Internet?!? I owe a lot of my current level of sanity to her.

One of my best friends took the time to fold and mail me 1,000 cranes for good luck. I also have a pillow from her that says “My career plans were more exciting when I was five.” which cracks me up daily and a wooden duck that she hand carried all the way up from California that joined us on a hiking trip through Cordova before winding up in Fairbanks.

Then when my 2nd round of IVF failed back in August 2016 and I was at the lowest I’ve ever been (I was flat on the bottom of rock bottom), another best friend (I have a lot of bests) sent me a feeling journal to record how I feel. She filled in a few pages and allowed room for me to expand. I cried reading it then and cried again today re-reading it.

My husband also restocked the wine fridge today and is currently digging out my hammock! My hero!

I’m feeling very emotional, sentimental, well taken care of, and loved today. Man, my friends are mother fucking awesome! Getting all weepy.

The Power of Thoughtful Friends

I didn’t get on Facebook yesterday, and most of those that follow infertility blogs know exactly why.

Yet because I’m putting off getting work started this Monday, I log on. Yesterday, a good friend sent me this:

Thinking of you

I have some really thoughtful friends in my life that have made infertility a bit more tolerable.