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416th Friday Blog Roundup

I could talk about Hurricane Sandy and how we spent the two days that we couldn’t leave the house, but I will tell you instead about the dream I had as the storm began overhead on Sunday night because it involves an enormous bear penis.


In my dream, the Hawk of Achill is circling above our town, except it doesn’t look like our town.  It is a lush, green landscape as found in the Maritimes or Ireland, and the town is in a valley, surrounded by verdant hills.  The hawk is enormous.  At one point he lands outside our kitchen window and each flame-coloured feather is the size of a small bush.  I seem to be the only person in town who is concerned that the hawk keeps circling over the school playground, and the explanation everyone has for this behaviour is that there is a bronze mouse statue — about six feet in length — that has been placed on the playground.  The Hawk of Achill thinks this is a real mouse and is therefore circling, but I’m terrified he’s going to carry off one of the kids who is climbing on the statue or playing near it.

As I’m watching the hawk circle, he descends several feet above the school and transforms into an enormous, floating bear.  And this bear whips out his enormous bear penis and urinates on the town.  It is mostly hitting the trees and hills, but all the residents around me agree that the hawk, in the form of a bear with an enormous penis, releases the contents of his bladder on the school playground and our children frequently.

Still, I seem to be the only person who is concerned.

Then the dream switches and I am hanging out with Zora Neal Hurston, and she is teaching me how to make a chocolate pie called Sister’s Pie which her sister taught her how to make.  And… that’s pretty much all I remember.



A 2012 Creme de la Creme update: we now have 95 entries on the list.  We’re trucking towards that December 15th hard deadline of being on the list.

For everyone who has already submitted early, thank you.  For everyone who has already blogged about it or tweeted about it or Facebooked about it or Pinterested it or Google+ed it or emailed about it… THANK YOU.

For everyone who hasn’t submitted a post from 2012 yet, what are you waiting for?  Take some time this weekend to skim your archives and then carefully read this post and learn how to get on the list.   I want every single person in the community on it.


Eleven years ago, a friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer.  Her daughter had two guinea pigs, and the smell of the rodents made her sick after chemotherapy, so I offered to take them and I made them my classroom pet.  I taught middle school English, so classroom pets didn’t really fit into any lesson plans, but the kids loved them.  I had all of my desks in a circle, and we would close the door and allow the guinea pigs to run free.  They mostly sat in the center of the room, turning around to look at all the students.  And sometimes they’d walk up to a kid’s desk and the kid would hold the guinea pig in his or her lap for a bit during class.  These guinea pigs shat EVERYWHERE and the carpet in my classroom needed to be replaced by the end of the year.

I haven’t spoken to my friend in about four years.  I learned through a mutual friend that she died last week from the cancer that she started treatment for eleven years ago.  I wanted to tell a story about her, but it came out as a story about her guinea pigs instead.

Let me start over.

On the day that I learned that we were down to a few dollars in our savings account and I needed to find some job that could be done from home a few hours a week, I bumped into my friend in the dentist’s office.  Without even knowing how desperate I was for a job, she offered to hire me to do some work for her right there in the dentist’s waiting room.  I worked for her for about two years until I was fairly steady in my freelance writing work.  She literally took me from the first day when I realized we were in need until a little after the day we were standing on our own financially.  Because that’s the sort of person she was.


And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Slaying, Blogging, Whatever has a sweet post about saving her son’s voice mails when she misses his phone call at work and playing them.  I was drawn into the post due to our shared feelings on e-reading, but it was the ending of the post that made me smile.

Serenity Now has a beautiful post about life after her D&E.  It’s about trying to find peace with the question of pursuing more treatments with the embryos she has on ice.  She writes, “And, if I’m being truthful, I am tired. Tired of putting my life on pause, wondering if we should plan for that trip next spring because maybe I’ll be pregnant and won’t be able to travel then. Tired of interrupting my running training programs because I need to slow my running down or stop running altogether, because my clinic tells me to “take it easy” during the 2ww. Tired of not being able to set long term running/career/life goals, because things might change if we end up pregnant and with a baby.”  It’s about not losing sight of the things she wants to do in addition to adding to her family.  To not placing one goal in front of all others.  Please go read the whole thing.

Lastly, Magpie Musing has a post about the far-reaching effects of endometriosis and Hilary Mantel’s decision to live child-free after infertility.  She quotes an article about Mantel pointing out that the decision doesn’t affect a single moment in time: “Of course, it follows that if you’re not a mother you’re not going to be a grandmother, but that’s not something you think of in your thirties. So the loss keeps changing its shape.”  I was so drawn to that turn of phrase: the loss keeps changing its shape.  Magpie brings together the article with an additional post and muses on the possible futures she hadn’t considered.

The roundup to the Roundup: The Hawk of Achill is urinating on my town with a giant bear penis.  Update on the 2012 Creme de la Creme.  Goodbye to my friend.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between October 26th and November 2nd) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.


1 loribeth { 11.02.12 at 8:49 am }

Pamela has written another seriously brilliant post (followed by some really great, thought-provoking comments) about the discomfort (and sometimes downright hostility) we encounter when we make the difficult decision to step off the infertility treatment treadmill:


2 Kathy { 11.02.12 at 11:07 am }

That is an interesting/bizarre dream!

I am so sorry about the death of your friend and loved reading the stories you shared about her and the guinea pigs. I bet you were an awesome English teacher! I wish you were my English teacher, though in many ways you are now…

I can’t believe I haven’t submitted my Creme post yet, that is so unlike me. I will get to it soon, hopefully. It has just been a crazy Fall.

Three of my favorite posts this week were your revisiting the ones you wrote about your experience visiting a psychic (could you tell with the 5 comments I left as I read it), Keiko’s related post and Pamela’s about the difference between Fate and Destiny:

My Visit to the Psychic Part Two

A Perfectly Spooky Moment Monday

Will it Be Fate or Destiny?

3 Amy { 11.02.12 at 1:26 pm }

Miss Conception’s post for IVF newbies on single embryo transfer got me this week. She and I both lost twins and have both used IVF again to conceive our rainbows…and there is a real tear for those of us who lost twins whether to transfer one (the safe/wise/reasonable choice) or two (so we can try for that much desired do-over, not that we can get our babies back, but because we were cheated out of something we can probably never have again). This topic files me up like nothing else every time I see an IVF newbie squeal about either wanting twins or bein newly pregnant with twins. These girls have no idea the risks they are facing and the depth of devastation that comes from losing it all with multiples.


4 Amy { 11.02.12 at 2:04 pm }

I’m newish to blogging and just found this by accident. It strikes me how few blogs mention bear penises at all, let alone enormous bear penises. Perhaps I’m just just being sentimental, but I realize that you have filled a hole in my heart that I didn’t even know I had. A bear penis shaped hole. Thank you.

5 Mud Hut Mama { 11.02.12 at 2:36 pm }

That dream is insane! I’m so glad you are back after the hurricane and so very sorry to hear about your friend.

6 jjiraffe { 11.02.12 at 3:46 pm }

Dream interpretation: fun! Well, there’s that saying: don’t piss on me and call it rain? Perhaps you are acting as an early warning system to something that is unjust and dangerous but feel no one else is listening? Hurston, who pointed out injustice in her writing, feels sympathy for your plight, and relates to you as a sister. That’s all I got. I’m so sorry about your friend.

7 Lori Lavender Luz { 11.02.12 at 4:22 pm }

Was the bear’s name Sandy?

I would love nothing more than to eat Sisters Pie with you and Zora Neale Hurston.

I second Kathy’s nominations:

8 Meghan { 11.02.12 at 5:53 pm }

I am so sorry about your friend. Ive now learned of 4 people who lost their cancer battle this week. It sucks

9 Delenn { 11.02.12 at 8:44 pm }

I came here after a long day–and was surprised that you picked one of my posts to share! Thank you, it means a lot to me!

So sorry about your friend, however it is wonderful that she was able to live for such a long time after her diagnosis. Also, she sounds like someone who will be missed!

10 S.I.F. { 11.02.12 at 9:38 pm }

I am cracking up right now. I had some crazy ass dreams this week, but NOTHING even kind of close to that my dear! 😉

And I am so sorry about your friend. She sounds incredible.

11 Mali { 11.02.12 at 10:14 pm }

Echoing Loribeth’s nomination of Pamela’s blogpost – http://blog.silentsorority.com/2012/11/01/no-more-fertility-treatment-equated-with-madness.aspx?ref=rss

Some seriously good discussion in the comments too.

12 Tammie Grey { 11.03.12 at 4:39 am }

Just the right one.

13 magpie { 11.03.12 at 2:38 pm }

thanks for including my post – appreciated.

i also very much appreciate amy’s “visual” of the bear shaped penis hole in her heart.

14 Kate { 11.04.12 at 1:15 am }

Most. Awesome. Dream. Ever. Some don’t need to be analysed; just shared.

15 Ashley { 11.04.12 at 9:14 am }

That dream is amazing, I’m glad to hear you survived Sandy without too much trouble. I also have to say that I LOVE these roundups.

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