Week in Pictures

As I mentioned, Monday was the worst day, saying goodbye to Ruby. She wore her “smart red jumper” to keep her warm and safe on her travels and I sit here in shock in this silent house, where just moving my chair away from the table or the sound of my laptop’s trash bin emptying would get her up and nudging me to get a scratch behind the ear. I woke up and waited for the sound of her doing her morning shake and hear her nails on the hardwood floor click-clack-click to come push her wet nose into my hand and encourage me to get up and start the day. I got dressed and instinctively waited for her to come in the closet to rub her snotty eyes against my clean pants and look at me with her big smiling doggy face. I went to let the ducks out and held the door open for her to come down the steps behind me and looked back to see nothing. I dropped food on the floor by accident and at first left it there because she was our in-house floor cleaner upper. I looked on the counter for her can of food to give her at lunch and it was empty, sterile. There is little evidence beyond pictures that she was here. She went in her red jacket and was laid to rest in the back of the vet’s van on her cushy memory foam bed and it feels like we woke up from a dream. I have lost a dog before but not while knowingly barren, and I told my husband that in a way I feel like I have lost another baby. As with my miscarriage, I walk around this week in a daze and I feel like my heart was taken away with her in that van. Jil Davis wrote about infertility and pet loss in her blog:It wasn’t until Jack was gone that I realized how much he meant to me. How he had served as a recipient or surrogate of sorts to my instincts…know that when a barren suffers a loss such as this, it’s likely a much deeper pain than you realize.” My husband said, now it’s time to work on ourselves, and the first thing I said was “NO!” to him. It was instinctive to not look at myself anymore, not with all the pain of the past three years, but you know, he’s got a point. More on that later…

The ducks are definitely in love with late autumn as we’ve gotten a ton of rain lately and that means the overflow from one of the rain barrels creates a big ol’ mud puddle for them to go crazy in. We keep one tap open for this (hence the hose you see) and the other rain barrel in the backyard continues to collect water which we use to refill their swim tub and water buckets – they could care less about their formal “poultry waterer” – they occasionally get water out of it but much prefer a plain old bucket so they can dunk their heads in it and get sloppy :). For Thanksgiving, I cut up a bunch of collard greens that I was prepping for our own dinner and shared with them in their swim tub and they went nuts. (Ethel is the one standing up high acting like she’s going to go in but ironically she rarely swims – I’ve probably only seen her swim 4-5X ever). The funnier part was however when Dan went to take a picture of them and Ethel just walked up to him and started quacking loudly, like she was hamming it up for the camera. In all the stresses of this past year it’s been a gift to have these four silly girls in our backyard.

Our Thanksgiving Day was a quiet one. We both agreed early on that turkey was not a dream of either of ours to make so we bought some pork shoulder, made a good rub and BBQ sauce and tossed it in the electric canner (which doubles as a huge slow cooker – score!) for 8 hours, made a killer batch of collard greens (also on the burner for 6+ hours as that takes all the bitter out and lets all the sweet and spicy come out that I put in it…YUM), macaroni & cheese, cornbread with my serrano jelly, and of course, an apple pie (the latter which I taught Dan to make and it turns out he’s a natural with rolling a pie crust – hallelujah for that!).


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