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Two Weeks, Two Surgeries, and a New Year

2022 threw a big, ugly curve ball right as she was fixin to roll over to the new year. In mid-December, I had major surgery: a hysterectomy to treat endometriosis which has been a brewing, growing piece of my ongoing chronic illness that's infiltrated my life for over 5 years now. I knew at some... Continue Reading →

‘Twas the Night Before Donkmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the houseSome small creature was stirring; could it be a mouse?Should it be some vermin, my cat would sure pounceAnd with a small “mew,” her win, she’d announce. A long dog was sprawled out across the big couchWhile I couldn’t sleep, which made me a grouch.I wandered... Continue Reading →

Grow. Grief.

This is one of my favorite things I’ve ever written. Rereading it this morning, I choked up. My garden did not do as well this year as the last: a months-long, crippling drought having dried out even the mossiest and stickiest swamps around here. Then a month of rain which waterlogged crackling roots. And now tonight, the forecast says the low here will be 9°F. 9. I’ve never been in a single digit temperature to my knowledge.

Having just had major surgery last week, my normal solo operation of winterizing for not just the plants, but my house and most importantly, my three donkeys, horse, and ducks, has had to be passed over to the hands of helpers who have so graciously sacrificed their time and strength to build the defenses of this place against weather it’s never felt either.

We sure have lived through an awful lot of “once in a generation” weather catastrophies.

For my fellow Texas friends, unscrew your hoses. Wrap your pipes real well. Drip your faucets or turn the water off all together and drain the pipes. Find your flashlights, your blankets, and get your outside animals out of the cold. The wind, especially.

My heart aches for people without shelter. I don’t know how anyone can see something this dramatic coming and not see that housing is a human right. It is a human right, shelter.

As I slowly recover having had not one, not two, but three complications now post surgery, I feel helpless in doing my part to batten down the hatches. But like those little tomatoes, I’m vulnerable right now, need protection, and am grateful beyond measure for the people in my life who have chosen to come help.

We all need each other so, so much. I want to keep getting back to that, any way we can.

Please be safe if you’re in this thing. Honestly, be safe wherever you are–the world feels like it’s running out of safe places.

Stay warm.
Love you.
Jess
(Original blog below)

A Donkumentary

It’s dark out which by no means means it is late. No. We have entered that time of year where the sun falls at 4:30PM forcing the chickens, ducks, donkeys, dogs, and heck even myself into an earlier, Pavlovian need to eat and bunk down for the night hours before they (we) otherwise should. I’m standing at the back window watching the patches of ground visible from the light by the lamp next to me. Leaves swirl and snap in all directions as the chimes outside my backdoor clash and clang. My phone griped earlier as a “wind advisory” alert was issued for my area and boy, they weren’t kidding. I could swear my house (though short and stout) is swaying.

Although I can’t see it, I’m looking in the direction of my garden. The weather forecast suddenly showed yesterday that tomorrow night, this swampy little corner of the world…

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Can’t Wait

I posted this blog one year ago about a small moment (which became quite big), in which I keyed my words more clearly and authoritatively than I’m used to. Being an over-achieving people pleaser has its abrupt stops, especially when it concerns your child and their safety or just your own, desperate, parental need to squeeze them as hard as you can while you know you can.

I’ll never regret spending too much time with my small son who’s not so small anymore, the more I look at him.

He told me last night I was a “cool mom” because I play video games with him. Little does he know that it’s *I* who thinks *he is* cool for playing video games with me, his silly, anxious mom.

All I can think is how much I love him. While the world burns everywhere, the love I have for him is a certain, tangible tether that keeps me anchored. I try, so hard, to be the same for him.

Our colleagues, clients, and bosses should always understand this. I’m grateful that my small day job is comprised of people who seem to. I know we’re not all so lucky. But perhaps the more we normalize little moments like this, the more we’ll spread understanding that there is nothing more important than protecting those you love, even if it’s from something you’ve fabricated in your head because of the deluge of stories that would have you fear the worst in a world that seems to keep experiencing her worsts.

A tale from a doctor’s office: “Can’t Wait” – by me.
Love you,
Jess

A Donkumentary

I stumble off an elevator 15 minutes late for a doctor’s appointment. Out of breath, I take my place in line wondering if I should craft an elaborate excuse for the woman at the check-in counter as to why I was late or if I should just be honest that it’s for no other reason than having miscalculated the time it would take to get there. A web-spun story could make me feel more responsible than the truth: that I just didn’t think it through all the way. I’d hate for her to think I just messed up.

I tell her I’m sorry I’m late and thankfully, there’s no opportunity to provide an excuse or reason, so the decision is made for me—I remain mysteriously late. She says it’s okay, that there was a cancelled appointment sometime after mine if I wouldn’t mind waiting. Of course I wouldn’t mind and…

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Bright Pink Cast

The below is from a blog I posted a year ago about a little girl in a bright, pink cast that she didn’t want. I’m in my mid-thirties now, still trying to untangle the hard-wiring of being a people-pleaser which often ends me up in situations I never wanted. I’ve learned over time that “people pleasing” is a trauma response, but there’s a lot more digging to be done there.

Anyway, I like this blog I posted and as we move into the anxiety-inducing holidays, perhaps you can find yourself a cozy blanket to be signed. I’ll proverbially sign it for you, if you want or need it.

“There is no cast for the shattered remains of your dignity. The owness is on you to pick them up, one by one, and puzzle them back together. And it sucks. It sucks when you realize there’s no one who will sign your cast and it’s glaring neon pink, reminding you day in and day out how bad it hurts.”

I love you, I really do,
Jess

A Donkumentary

I broke my left wrist two years in a row from two different accidents in the 3rd and then the 4th grade. Being only 8 and then 9 at the time, I guess the breaks hindered my wrist development because to this day, both the mobility and strength in that left joint are limited. That arm is the slightest bit shorter, too. I remember the pain and the subsequent casts I had to wear. For the first break, I told the doctor I wanted a black cast when presented my color options, but he told me I should get pink because little girls like pink and that way, my friends could sign it. 

He didn’t know that I didn’t like pink, that I’d get made fun of for pink, and that I didn’t have any friends and of course I didn’t tell him that. So I got the bright pink…

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