Wednesday, November 28, 2007

a thursday to remember...

Last Thursday, I had some good moments and some bad moments. We had family over for dinner. I’m not into celebrating thanksgiving. While I think it essential to be thankful for the bounty and blessings associated with my living, this particular holiday marks a remembering of history that has been distorted and unashamedly glorified. The glazing over of the violence that accompanied the arrival of white/european folks on this continent impedes upon recognizing the persistent force of colonization that still permeates the very fabric of—the every move of—the ultimate foundation of u.s. “foreign policy” (year 2007;think iraq). The ensuing genocide of the indigenous peoples of this land now called america is unforgivable and we should not ever forget that it happened and that the mindset of imperialism still lingers everywhere in america.

Nevertheless, my mother likes to be with her children on the holidays. So, this year I thought we could work on combining pieces of our families, and I could make a large dinner to celebrate the harvest of 2007.

We had kk’s grandmothers over (grandma c is 86 and grandma s is 94); her dad and brother; my mama and dad; one of my sisters and her boyfriend; and kk’s aunt a (who came early to hang out with us and help). This is the first holiday minus b (kk’s uncle—her dad’s only brother who was married to aunt a). He succumbed to lymphoma last December. Actually, that was the first holiday without him, but it does not really count. He died 11 days before x-mas which resulted in a blurring of the next many days.

Everything got off to a terribly rocky start. Kk’s family (dad, bro and two g-mas) showed up an hour early. As they walked through the door, I was commanded to turn the Detroit lion’s football game on and kk had just stepped out of the shower so she was no help. I was not into being told what to do in my own house and had been listening to good music, as I cooked, which I then had to turn off. So, I got a little peeved. But better than that wee glitch, is what follows. For some reason, grandma c (86 yrs old) ended up pushing grandma s (94 yrs old) in her wheel chair. K’s brother was outside smoking a cigarette—he was supposed to be in charge of taking care of grandma s. Grandma c ended up pushing grandma s into the coffee table—it plummeted to the ground; a full vase of flowers spilled water everywhere; my little candy dishes, full up of squirrels and mary janes and double bubble, broke all over and the candy got saturated in water. The topper is that I yelled out loud, “jesus fucking christ.” Later I felt horrible for yelling such vulgarities in front of two old ladies, but I think their hearing is a little weak so maybe they heard something else all together.

It took more than forty minutes of me and aunt a handling kk’s family before she finally showed her face. At least her face is beautiful and her heart the kindest I have ever known. Once I was safe in the confines of the shower, (I had yet to take my shower when the early arrivals busted gracelessly through the front door –crashing the living room and filling the air with the nasally sounds of tv announcers explaining the runs, moves, and grunts of oversized men who like to touch one another’s butts in bent over positions) I talked myself out of the explosion that was wavering ever so hot in my head.

I cooked a turkey for all the fowl eaters; I mixed up some gravy; I made some veggie stuffing, brussel sprouts, and veggie French onion soup. My ma brought sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce; my sis brought mashed potatoes; kk’s dad brought green bean casserole; kk’s grandma brought pecan pies and an apple pie; and aunt a made a couple of pumpkin desserts.

No grace at our house instead I read mary oliver’s when death comes
This may seem a little dramatic, but the overall message of the poem is quite profound and I thought we all could use a bit of a wake up call to make of this living the most that we can.

To end the long day, our good friends a and r came over with a’s parents and a sweet visit ensued. It was that mingling of chosen family and blood family that made the day just right.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

a bit about fluids

in response to some questions posed on comments (see biscodo's:))to the pipette post.
bodily fluids, in general, do not freak me out all too much--i look forward to exploring mysterious fluids with k and the kid someday.

When i first went down on a woman, well, i had this feeling that i was finally coming home. As for male fluid, i've just never been much into cock; unless of course i am imagining one on me. And, i am a lesbian who has never gotten it on with a man (no intercourse; no oral sex), so maybe my aversion to having male fluids in my mouth has something to do with keeping my orifices male-fluid free (my lips have only been graced with the strange, gentle fluid that spills forth from females).

I think that's it...but maybe tasting the stuff would do me good. i've gotten much more comfortable, since we started this process, getting the spermy liquid on my hands a bit and washing up the syringe and jar after we inject.

tmi--i know, but what can i say--i'm really into fluids!

Monday, November 19, 2007

the long pipette

We are trying some new things this month. First we are paying extra close attention to kk's mucus; second we are going to inseminate when the mucus seems slippery and egg whitish even if the other signs don't line up; third i might, just might, give this special little instrument called the pipette a try.

the pipette--waiting to be used

I've been meaning to reflect on this long, fine glass tube for some time now. Many months ago, our friend, tm, pilfered a few of these devices from his work and gave them to us to try out. I've been nervous to use one for many reasons:

1. It is glass and my baby's tender cratch is just that--tender.
2. Sucking fresh jiz up anywhere near my mouth deeply disturbs me (i've gone my whole life with out any male fluids landing on my tongue or teeth, and I plan to go the rest of my life unscathed).
3. I am hesitant due to the extraordinary length of the pipette. It is longer than the insemination device should be (unless of course the insemination device happens to be a very gigantic penis), but maybe it will do fine just partially inserted.
4. And, this is the most unreasonable of my paranoias--I once heard this myth about the dangers of blowing air up into a woman through her vaginal opening(at least i think it was a myth, but who knows i could be the person that proves it to be a truth rather than a myth). I am scared that if I blow the sperm through the pipette into kk that i will also blow air bubbles up into her that will contribute to her spontaneous and untimely death due to an air bubble lodging in her heart, lungs or brain.

Last month I was all geared up to give the thing a try. I practiced sucking up some beer in it, and the Bell's best brown ale scampered right back out--spilling all over my lap. But beer is much, much thinner than sperm. And sperm is much more difficult to come by than beer.

All in all, I will most likely stick with the regular, old syringe, but it sure is fun to dream about putting the pipette to good old baby-making use!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Speculum days

In spite of the recent let down--no lovely encounter between the swimmers and an egg--I'm feeling pretty chill at this point. I'm trying to overcome my usual twitchy, anxiety laden behavior for something more subdued. So a calmness has been setting in to my gut and heart--what will be, will be, and I will remain glad to be alive and in love with life.

Now calmness does not mean I am forbidden to imagine how to become the best injector I can be. We are about to venture down the road of speculum dominated days. Kk is buying a speculum off ebay (oh, not really, but that is where i thought she was buying it from and announced this to a group of people only to be laughed at)--Maia Midwifery is more like it.

Once the speculum is in hand, I will be in charge of checking the mucus. This means I get to look up inside kk and see what her mucus is doing for the day. I hope I can tell the damn difference between the fertile type and the brick wall, tangly web, block the sperm type. Right now, kk usually just reaches up and pulls a little out and stretches it in front of me and asks "do you think that is egg whitey stretchy?" And I say, "not quite sure; do you think it is?"

I will have to become a better decipherer of the thick, thin, slick, clear, white, opaque, translucent, shimmery liquid that sloshes so sexily between my darling, darling lover's legs. This challenge will hopefully keep my mind off the anxiety and more on kk's oh so sweet body that I am blessed to hold and snuggle and kiss and lick and love.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Daughters and Sons; Sons and Daughters

The other day I rode in the passenger seat next to my kk on the way home from work instead of riding my bicycle in the fierce wind (the morning wind had whipped me, and I needed a break). I’m rarely in the car with k anymore, except on the weekends, so driving home and listening to tunes is a special treat.

On this particular drive home, dark had fallen all around, and the lights glistened extra hard on the rain slicked pavement. It was a glossy evening.
The Decemberist’s Sons and Daughters came on the iPod, and the thump, thump of the music and the sweet lyrics of the chorus brought tears to my eyes almost instantly. “When we arrive/Sons & daughters/We’ll make our homes on the water/We’ll build our walls aluminum/We’ll fill our mouths with cinnamon now.”

There is something about the building of homes together and filling up mouths with cinnamon that is so hopeful and simultaneously dreamy. Upon hearing the song my heart was prompted to that place where it sometimes travels—the place of this deep desire to have children become part of our family.

Even in the midst of a lot of ugliness, I can, at times, find traces of hopefulness that make me want to bring a child into this world. On the individual human level I witness the aftermath of interactions that perpetuate the grit, grime, danky, stinky parts of humanity. And on the macro-level I witness, simultaneously, the reproduction of ugly ways of being that are inherent in our racist, classist, sexist, heterosexist, violent, and war driven institutions. I see injustice rule in our supposed justice system. I see the residue of that injustice coating the people who have been rammed through the “justice” system and deposited in the enormous prison system—a system that is sucking up funds for education, health care, and other social services that may have (just maybe) helped keep some folks from ever getting trapped in the wrong place at the wrong time. Once the people are disappeared into the world of prison, well then human rights abuses abound.

Falling into these moments of desiring to bring children into this world with all of the struggles of the aforementioned mess always pressing on my skull, is rare and heartening for me. Even in the midst of very stressful work—prisoner rights advocacy/activism—,I know that the move towards more just, more compassionate, more love-filled ways of being is hovering over and within social justice work.

It is my hope that our child (if one day we can really get knocked up—did not happen again this month)and the children that we are blessed to interact with will choose to work for the greatest good for all beings.

Another song that shuffles the resonating image of hope through my ears and onto my brain is “Your Daughters and Your Sons” as sung by Scottish Folk Singer,
Dick Gaughan
This song holds up future generations as the potential creators of something better than what we have right now and what we had in the past.

They wouldn't hear your music
And they pulled your paintings down
They wouldn't hear your writing
And they banned you from the town
But they couldn't stop you dreaming
And a victory you have won
For you sowed the seeds of freedom
In your daughters and your sons

Your weary smile it proudly hides
The chainmarks on your hands
As you bravely strive to realize
The rights of everyman
And though your body's bent and low
A victory you have won
For you sowed the seeds of justice
In your daughters and your sons

They taunted you in Belfast
And they tortured you in Spain
And in that Warsaw ghetto
Where they tied you up in chains
In Vietnam and in Chile
Where they came with tanks and guns
It's there you sowed the seeds of peace
In your daughters and your sons

And now your music's playing
And the writing's on the wall
And all the dreams you painted
Can be seen by one and all
Now you've got them thinking
And the future's just begun
For you sowed the seeds of freedom
In your daughters and your sons

Sunday, November 4, 2007

putting the garden to bed

Yesterday was marked by a sweet sadness and the reminder of a deep, coming coldness. I began the work of putting the garden to bed. I chopped down the pineapple sage and rosemary to hang to dry for the season. I tore out the withered bean vines, thai basil plants, Serrano pepper plants, tomato plants, the leftover parsley, and the banana pepper plants. I still have three cabbages to pick out of the eight I planted. And, I still have two more tomato plants to tear out. I left the Zinnias for another week or two cause they are still throwing off yellows and orange-reds that make me think of sunset in summer.

cutting back the basil

I will make another batch of sauerkraut with the remaining cabbages. My first batch turned out pretty damn good. Kk loves it and my friend R ate a whole jar. I like it a lot too, but I’ve had serious difficulty eating sauerkraut since my bout of food-poisoning from a tempeh reuben this summer. Sauerkraut, mustard, and all things pickled are some of my favorite foods, but alas the spoiled thousand island that sent me to the pot shitting and puking has left me with an obstacle to overcome.

I already put our plot at the community garden to bed a few weeks ago. We grew potatoes in our community bed and the yield was small (only about 4 potatoes per plant on a total of 9 plants). We’ve already consumed all of them!

Overall, it was a plentiful season. Our mini-roma tomato plant yielded at least 300 tomatoes. We ate off the thing all summer. The heirlooms were lacking in quantity, but the flavor of the few was worth it. The thai basil provided many a batch of zesty pesto and some yummy, gingery, basil noodle dishes. I have enough rosemary to get us through the whole winter, spring, and summer and still give some away. The green beans thrived, and I managed to incorporate them into all kinds of recipes. I’ve already gone over the cabbage, but I must highlight how awesome it is to grow and tend to cabbage, cut it down with a saw, chop out the core, shred it by hand, beat it down in a jar, add some salt, put a weight on it and then set it in the cupboard to ferment for 6 weeks. The results are amazing.

before you were sauerkraut--freshly picked from the garden

Now the brown, withered skeletons of the plants are cut back and left to decompose in the compost and lawn bags. This cutting down of things once alive marks the end to the warmth of summer.

I love all of the seasons, and autumn and winter bring a zeal for being alive to my body, but the end of the growing season also marks the coming of a coldness that persistently chills the good people of Michigan’s veins. In winter in the mitten state, I can rub my hands together for hours on end and still have frozen fingertips. I savor the moments that my core gets deeply heated on frosty mornings, as I ride my bicycle to work, because once I am at work, I can drink 10 cups of tea and 3 cups of coffee, piss all day long, and still have a chill clinging, like the best velcro, to just below the surface of my skin.

the garden so green and full

So, one more hoorah for the plentiful garden that flourished with green things and goodness and kept our bellies full and our hearts warm. The memory of you will hopefully help in keeping my chilly, winter digits a wee bit warmer this dark, cold season.

the thought of you, pineaple sage, will keep me warm in winter

Saturday, November 3, 2007

the roommate and his harp

Kk and I have finished up all the injecting for this time around. We now begin the wait to see if any of it met up with a lone egg and stuck.

We had quite the hilarious adventure this time around, at least for some of the process. She received one donation relatively early in the evening and since she remains horizontal in various configurations for at least two hours after an injection, she wanted to be in front of the television set and tune out as the swimmers slipped through her dark, wet parts.

Problem is, we currently have a roommate so dosing up on the couch proves to be tricky when he is on the grounds. This particular evening the roommate had brought his harp home and he was upstairs, in his room, plucking away on it. I was keeping the wee sperms warm as kk squirreled around getting a gigantic comforter. She proceeded to wiggle her body under it. I gathered up the 3ccs in my trusty syringe and burrowed under the comforter. All the while the sweet plucking of harp strings echoed through the house, and I kept my fingers crossed that the roommate would remain doing just that. She pulled down her pants; I got on all fours under the fluffy cover of comforter, and then I found her precious opening, plunged it in, and slowly, accurately, determinedly let it spew into her.

Then I came up for breath out of the blanket nearly sweating in our freezing house due to the nervousness of potentially being caught by our kind, sweet roommate. The harp still resonated through the house. We had slinked through the whole injection without detection. We laughed.

Friday, November 2, 2007

thank you good straight men

I've been meaning to reflect on the following subject a bit for some time now--straight boys who are my friends and who have the patience and interest to listen, at times, to my adventures in this world of sperm in jars, sperm in syringes, sperm in kk.

Throughout the last many months, many of these fellows have shown genuine interest in this escapade of ours. They have listened with wide eyes; given feedback and ideas with gracious eagerness; and asked with hopeful hearts how things are coming along. Of course, we've laughed lots along the way.

One of the things I like best about this time in our lives, is the candidness that I am allowed to dwell in. I'm a pretty forthright gal. I tell it like I see it. I cross the boundaries of properness on a frequent basis. I talk about my private parts and other people's private parts in the adult public. Shit and puke and piss and ejaculate are frequent bodily fluids that find their way into topics of conversation when I am involved in those conversations. I think it is important to be frank about our bodies. Prudish america has contributed to a repressed, societal sexuality that helps young girls get knocked up way too early and way too much by young boys who are being taught to see young girls as objects, while simultaneously the young girls start seeing themselves as objects and begin wearing their bodies as just that an object to be consumed, controlled, confined--and on and on and on...

When in all actuality we are mammals with the ability to think and reason and imagine and love and think and create and on and on. So this mammal part, the part about our ability to gather and hunt food, eat, digest, shit, piss, get horny, have sex (in all kinds of ways for procreation and recreation) and die gets pushed by the wayside too much and from there the repression begins to build up, or dig down, or pile backwards.

Anyhow,that is my quick,non-academic perspective. I could go on about it, but I will not.

Around straight boys who are my friends, I have found that I can tap this frankness about the whole process of girl on girl conception done injector/kk style in ways that bring a smile of surprise and happiness to my face.

How lucky I am to have good men in my life (both gay and straight). Men who listen, reflect, offer advice, joke, and get all "indecent" with me about this new adventure for everyone involved.