I’m going to show you a disturbing photo. You should sit down before viewing this horrifying image:

Pair of Degus photographed by JSx

Terrifying, isn’t it? (shudder)

I was standing at the SPCA with cell phone to ear, looking through the glass into one of the Bunny Rooms and there this little creature sat, whispering violent threats in my direction. Or maybe he was just scratching his face. Whatever it was, my stomach was tingling.

My very persuasive friend was trying to talk me through finding appealing characteristics within these rodents. I can usually find the silver lining, and he can talk me into damn near anything, so this seemed like a promising exercise that would surely result in a love affair with all forms of rodentia that would last a lifetime. I was picturing a D-isney scene, singing bunnies and flowers as we frolicked about in dance. My friend, with his girlfriends calming voice in the background, kept telling me that these “degus” (if that is in fact their real name) are furry and happy, always a bunnies’ best friend and a harmless tropical squirrel. I studied them and tried to see that “squirrel” part – I like squirrels. I used to feed them and visit them and laugh at their antics in the park. But alas, I couldn’t see past the scuttling movements of a giant mouse-creature, long tail, urge to kill humans apparent on its face. If you crossed a mouse with a rat, you’d get this… thing.  I stood there for a very very long time trying to find something appealing, something that would make me eager to handle these furry prospective pets. It still made me feel anxious as I watched them dash around the little room.

The persuasive friend and his gf (the Amazing Dark Lightning) have a minilop that I can’t get enough of but sadly they live Far Away. In order to satisfy my Bunny Mania between visits to their home, I thought to volunteer as a “Bunny Exerciser“. Everything was fine until the volunteer coordinator asked me if there were any animals I wasn’t particularly fond of. I practically shouted “MICE!” before she’d even finished her sentence.

The rodents all live together at the SPCA. In order to exercise and cuddle the bunnies, I have to exercise and cuddle the rodents. The MICE. RATS. DEGUS. The deadly rodents that are plotting our violent deaths in their tiny little heads.

No bloody way is the SPCA going to be a safe and loving environment while I’m squealing, trying not to drop the bunnies as I do that “ew ew ew” dance qhe less cute and deadly rodents come towards us.

I shouldn’t have been honest – I’m banned from the Bunny Rooms until I can be at peace with all the rodents.

Stupid degus.



I’ve been neglecting my online home. There are towels on the floor, dead plants in the corners, a good inch of dust laying about on everything and I’m beginning to fear that I’d better come in and make it livable before appendage-less creatures and mice take it over as their own.

The plague is still lingering in our offline home, congested chests and feverish humans curling into thick blankets on any available soft surface near the television. We’ve watched more partial CSI episodes than I could ever imagine existed, gently tossing cold medications to one another between trips to the kitchen to retrieve hot toddies and cold treats. Erotic sighs stem from frozen fruit bars and hot hot water sliding down our inflamed throats. The house temperature is so cold then really really hot then icey cold again but never for the same two people at the same time and the thermostat wars ended in futility on day two. It’s been nearly three weeks and although the fevers have died down and the sinus pain is manageable without pharmaceutical assistance, the phlegmy coughing is our new Symptom Of The Week.

The Dog, she is some worried. She wanders from couch to couch nosing the humans, often curling up beside the least healthy among us. Late at night when we’re finally awake enough to discover that a bed would be a nicer place to spend the night, she curls up so close so she can feel our breathing throughout the night.

We could be infecting each other over and over, the probability of three different sicknesses brought into the Townhouse of Love and exchanged on hand towels and door knobs. I just started working with a new company in health care and my first week’s training occurred at the hospital and could have seen me tracking home some terrifyingly named viruses and bacteria. I was the happy recipient of the flu shot and I’m some upset that whatever we’ve got isn’t being defeated by the antibodies I drove across town to get via intramuscular injection.

Mostly we’re just plain quietly miserable here at the Townhouse. The piling up of housework and Lists Of Things That Must Be Done grows while all of us spend each day with our reasonably new employers pretending that we’re happy and healthy and fantastically enthusiastic while downing symptom-hiding medications and existing on willpower alone.  Each of us enters the house in the evening, exchanging outer wear and work clothes for sweat pants and flannel to collapse and suffer until the next morning calls us back to our new jobs as actors.

We tiredly fight a battle against this plague but orange juice just isn’t shielding us from devastation. We have been sending the dishes through the heavy super-heated dishwashing cycle. Multivitamins are inhaled like oxygen. The scents of eucalyptus and lemon is strong and our love affair with bleach has been kindled out of desperation.

Send penicillin. Send it quickly.

salting the earth



is my personal saviour.

I have a little problem with beastly things that lack appendages. If it ain’t got armpits, I’m not interested in sharing space, air, or a glance back and forth (house mice are an exception. I hate them too even with their little quick-moving appendages). While the lesser offenders are earth worms and escargot, the greatest of all evil is the slug. It leaves a slick trail of goo as it travels through my garden destroying all it can get it’s slimy eyeballs on. It serves no purpose that I know of other than to glisten in the night sky and give me the serious heebie jeebies.

In Vancouver, giant banana slugs as well as teensy black inch long slugs invaded my yard and I set slug traps in our ongoing war. The Husband had to check the traps because even being a foot away from dead slugs had me jumping from foot to foot and gagging, but still, I fought the… things daily. I kept a large bag of salt next to the door and my mother in law would watch, considerably worried, when I danced throughout the yard, yelling at the ground and sprawling salt with violent obsession. She, like many, thought that I loved all creatures, big and small, and that I believed we should all hold hands and sing kumbaya around a campfire. Hell, the little slimy buggers even like beer – and ya know how I like beer so you’d think we’d be compatible.

But no. No appendages, thus no love. I hadn’t seen a slug since we came to Cowtown. Until tonight. In my backyard. By the dozens.

I’ve salted the earth in the darkness while The Dog watched curiously. If nothing grows back, I’ll be content as long as the slugs have been successfully murdered, turned to mush, and unable to multiply.

Thanks for the peace of mind, Sifto.

this coffee will probably taste like ass

this coffee probably tastes like assAnd on the flip side of that Iron Chef Camp competition…

Somewhere in the late 90’s, I lost that special spark. No matter how I caress the beans, filter the water or choose the most perfect type of maker, my coffee is just NOT GOOD. This morning I’m making a second attempt at getting it right. The dreadful sound of water splashing on a hot burner had me walking back into the kitchen, deeply sighing and resolved to the fact that again, I have failed. My hands hurt from trying to control the gushing liquid spreading over the counter, the sizzling burner as the grounds and brown coffee-like fluid bounced, the continuing sputtering and gagging of the maker even after it had been unplugged.

It was the Yellowknife trip that I realized that it is completely possible that everyone I know has been polite enough to just nod and smile and gulp back the putrid fluid that I have served up as coffee. In the northern campground in July, Sasquatch and Nosaj grimaced and exclaimed that my coffee tasted like ASS, and Diamond simply commented that it tasted exactly like my coffee always tastes. Which, apparently, is ASS.

Beware the brew I serve you, peeps. Better to lick my dog’s butt than drink my swill! Come only yee who are brave and truly in love with me!

Has is *really* always been this bad??? Really?

latex doll

A story from The Husband:

“I’d been waiting weeks on end for this life size replica worm alien from the movie Men In Black. The doorbell finally rings and I answer the door to be confronted with a female postal worker who is giving me a look of such disdain and disgust. She very gruffly said “Are you The Husband?”. I answered “Oooh yes! Finally, my package is here!”. I was excited, and she forcefully thrusts the box into my arms and snidely asks me to sign the clipboard. I cheerfully sign my name and thank her, but she’s already turned her back and is marching away. I look down to see this shipping receipt attached to the box:


I gasped and yelled towards the deliver truck ‘IT’S AN ALIEN!’ but she was already in the truck and may have heard me, but at this point, I decided to just let it go and went back inside to unpack my latex doll.”

It’s never boring here in the Gypsyhick Emporium. Here is The Husband’s adored alien, relaxing and smelling the flowers before going to live above our, of course, coffee station:


bfn = relief (aka no life after the amazing tectonic baby)

No fluff here today, people. Just dark badness so avert your eyes. Move on to the previous or next for more fluffy stuff. Tonight is the time to be lost and flailing around these parts.

Even though it would be a somewhat immaculate conception, I actually went ahead and peed on a stick tonight to be sure that I’d get a big fat negative. When only one pink line was present after 5 minutes, the flow of relief made me realize just how filled with panic I’d been. I had two “normal” periods while I was pregnant so I didn’t even suspect that I was pregnant. I actually went to the doctor because I felt that my body was going insane, and I really was getting worried that I had a thyroid problem or breast cancer or serious mental illness. I spent so mcuh time on the phone with my mom bemoaning my broken body. Ironic when I look back on it. The extremely brief resulting story is that I received the “happy news” that I was finally pregnant while nearing shock in the ER, and needed surgery to remove an ectopic (The Eclectic Electric Tectonic Baby), and, well, the extended and rest of that story isn’t so good for me to tell right now. Later. Much much later. It’s been too short of time and the wound is still gaping and raw. So, later.

The relief after the pink line is a pretty huge sign to me that I’m not ready. I’m not ready to be done grieving and really have to stop suppressing the grief, which became pretty freaking obvious after completely humiliating myself on Sunday with a 14 decibel agonizing breakdown during the baking swap. Yeah, that’s me and the Amazing Afternoon Breakdown. Scared me and I left without those yummy cookies because I needed to get the hell out of there so you can add “shunned” to the list of self descriptive “devastated, fearful, lost, grieving” wordies that I’m piling on my plate these days. I’m also not ready for the “what-ifs” – the King ObGyn gave me 30% as the chance that this will happen again should we get pregnant. Since my glass is half empty, that’s a 1 in 3 chance that I’ll end up with a wee soul that will again be removed surgically so that I don’t become a maternal death statistic. Lemme repeat because I hate it so much- next time, that’s 1 in 3 that I might lose the baby, my fallopian tube, my life – and if the test tonight had yielded two pink lines, I’m sure my sanity would be the first out the door anyway.

Shitty luck. Really shitty luck.

No one wants to be reminded that this could happen to them. No one wants to think about dead babies or pregnancies that aren’t glorious. No one wants to deal with my screaming pouring wounds that I just can’t seem to heal yet. No one wants to deal with grief, anger, pain in such a raw form. It’s just a numbers game (“just try again!”) to them with no emotion, so here’s my numbers:

57 days since I went to the doctor because I was sick and scared I had thyroid problems or breast cancer. He told me I had seasonal depression, to exercise every 12 hours and come back in 6 weeks.
44 days since I got another opinion from a different doctor because a 3 week period just can’t be a sign of depression… That doctor sent me to emergency ultrasound and bloodwork.
43 days since we found out we were quite pregnant but it “wasn’t looking good” due to the bleeding and pain.
39 days since the pregnancy was surgically ended.
38 days since I found out that they hadn’t removed my fallopian tube (still paranoid they did, but the surgeon did verify with J, so should be safe, right???).
16 days since I ran out of codeine.
11 horror stories about friends or family of aquaintances who had it “worse”. No such thing, peeps – I mean, if I broke your arm, but told you you were lucky because my friend broke both their legs, what the hell reaction would you have? Does it make your pain less?
5 days since I tried to attend the candle-light vigil for pregnancy loss and couldn’t make it through the door.
3 days since I met with the pregnancy loss counsellor. She rocks.
2 friends with similar stories that we can’t share.
3 physical incisions that are healing.
3 different anti-inflammatories tried before I just gave up and decided to let the physical pain take my mind off the emotional.
2 days since I went back to work full time.
3 weeks until I try to attend the support group for “people like me” and hopefully I can make it through the door this time.
4 weeks until I check in with the pregnancy loss counsellor again. Unless I need her which I just might.
5 months until the cremation and spreading of ashes.
6 months until we would have been parents.

“good” reading – I turn to books when I need information or guidance or preparation and I try to get as many as my arms can hold and devour them. The bookstores nor the library have much of a supply of pregnancy loss books which makes me think that either a) there’s so many of us that there’s not enough supply to meet demand, or b) it’s taboo to have resources available for something that no one wants to talk about. Maybe I’ll look for a book on anal warts and have better luck? The library yielded one book, and I found greatest success at the used book stores and scored 3 in one day. When (if?) I’m through with them, I’ll donate them to the library and hope they get no use whatsoever.

  • Unspeakable Losses -Kim Kluger-bell (library find)
    This is the first book I found and read after getting out of the hospital, and it prepared me for the flood to come. She interviewed hundreds of women after she couldn’t find any books to give her comfort, and wrote so that we could benefit.
  • A Silent Sorrow; Pregnancy Loss– Guidance and Support for You and Your Family – Ingrid Kohn, Perry-Lynn Moffitt and Isabelle Wilkins
    These people make my heart hurt a bit less with sections on different types of loss (including ectopic), dealing with friends and family (especially the comments that are meant to offer condolences but instead make it all worse), hell, this book has everything. Just buy it or send them money.
  • Help, Comfort, and Hope after Losing Your Baby in the Pregnancy or First Year – Hannah Lothrop
    I just started this one and it’s not chapterized so I am reading from front to back. She suggests lots of relieving ways to help work through grief and to take breaks in healthy ways.
  • Pregnancy After A Loss Carol Lanham
    I’m so optimistic. Bought this, read about 7 pages and hurled it across the room. It’s still there for when I need it.

Good lord I’m ranty. I’m angry and helpful and bawling and just… not right. Work in 6 hours so I’d better try to get some sleep.