25 October 2009


thank you thank you thank you for your warm wishes, your prayers and your hopes-- the little one is doing better and was held today for the first time by her parents-- I cannot imagine how they felt waiting those long 5 days to have that moment, and am just so grateful to the universe that it was possible. It was a milestone in every way.

Some of you asked what went wrong and while I would love to answer- I do not entirely know and have intuited somewhat belatedly that I should respect the privacy of my cousin with what I do know. So, you are all wonderful and thank you. What a shitty few days. I know there are hard days ahead, at least 2 more weeks in the hospital, but improvement in her means improvement in the spirit of all of us. And many of us gathered today to celebrate my grandmother's 90th birthday.

I am off to california tomorrow for the week-- Phoebe-- I would love to see you and will write to see if we can figure something out. I'll be with my dad for just a day and a half, so I am not sure it will work out. I tend to stick close to him when I get the chance to be there since it is rare and always too short.

Me? infrequent but definite twinges and fingertip pressure that make me hopeful, but the stats that make me feel stupid for feeling hopeful, you know, the usual. One moment at a time. I will not pee on any sticks while I am gone, and when I get back it will be the night of 14dpo. I will be temping. We'll see.

Thank you all-- your support means the world. I've been so tangled up in that, some shitty work stuff, and travel, I have been remiss in keeping in touch with all of you and I am sorry.
I hope to do better but no matter what, I'll keep you posted on the little one.

22 October 2009


Hey loves,
a beloved relative of mine gave birth day before yesterday to a beautiful baby girl- but there was significant birth trauma and the ramifications are unclear and the baby is in NICU and will be for the foreseeable future. If you can spare a prayer for these cousins of mine, I would appreciate it.

19 October 2009


Today as I drove to work, I drove out of snow covered trees into autumn colors and bare ground within a few miles. It was so odd-- a rewind to fall.

And I drove home in the dark tonight- I stayed late at work against the things I know (I know better, should have been home, was done and tired and done in). These days the sun sets so early... It was no longer twilight, it was nighttime at 7:30.

As I crossed over the mountain, the sky cleared of the blanket of low clouds, and stars came out-- which feels magical always. Moonless nights like this one, when the clouds clear away, I imagine standing outside seeking the tease of the seven sisters in the eastern sky, only visible when I look off to one side. The cluster of stars disappear when I look right at it. I do not care that I know the physiological/foveal *why*, it always fills me with wonder anyway, and I love to feel my eyes fight my knowledge: do not look if you want to see. Cross purposes of instinct and wisdom borne from experience.

My temperature on its way up today, so I ovulated, which is grand. So now we will just need to wait and see.

Diversion? Plentiful. A very busy work week, busy evenings (acupuncture, writing, yoga), a busy weekend (haircut, visit with a friend, trip to my sister's, my grandma's 90th birthday party), and then a trip next monday to southern california- for a several days at a tradeshow with my boss-- so, alas, no time to play otherwise I would try to see you (Joannah) who are near by. Then home via colorado to see my dad for the weekend. So, really? this week will go by quickly, and next week will too. And then I will be back and see how this turns out and what happens next.

How do I feel? Realistic I guess, not doomed which is good, aware of the outside chance. I miss optimism. I look forward to being surprised by something very very good, or moving on to a SUCCESSFUL medicated cycle.

18 October 2009

phantom limbs

There is an odd moroseness to this flu, a despondency. A heavy weight across the shoulders, a thickness to the throat, an ache in the lungs.

Back in the days when colitis was something I experienced almost daily, I had fatigued thigh muscles much of the time, a side effect of the prolonged pain and intensity of the attacks and effort and time on the toilet. This had a weird translation- I found I feared exercise. If, when exercising, I would feel fatigue in my thigh muscles, I would panic as if a colitis attack was imminent, and would back away from the effort as quickly as I could.
I had associated the two unconsciously, and tied together two very different things through the specific sensation of fatigue of This muscle and That one.

This experience is a little like that: the heaviness, the weight, the ache, all feel like grief to me. It does not matter if my brain says Flu or says Virus, the sensations speak to my body of grief, and then I find I am responding to that, I cannot help it- a second layer, grief management, like a phantom limb.

I finally have a clear positive OPK after a fake out a few days back. It is day 11, so for me, this makes sense. My body is on its schedule, no one else's. And there is such sincere comfort in that.

There is much happiness in the internet-- Traci and her fabulous positive that makes me so joy-filled I think I may bust open like a pinata. K with her 2 or 3 miracles on board.
And I see those two lines on the fucking OPK, and hope that sometime soon, those two lines will mean something different, something wondrous, and that I will be able to push through my fear of losing and allow myself to have. And hope that having will last a whole lot longer than a few short months.

I worry I will not get pregnant again, and if I do, it will not last. I asked my clinic if I get so lucky if they will keep me longer, keep me through the point of my loss, let me learn with them if something goes wrong, not with a doctor I do not know, and a wand person who seems alien and hostile. They said yes. And there is relief in that. But there is also this sadness, this heaviness, this feeling like what if it never happens again.

I sit here on the sofa, the cat on my feet, snow swirling in the back clearing-- heavy one minute with rain that sends it down fast and splattering, then a moment of drier smaller flakes that fall straight down, or then caught up in a swirling wind that rustles the dried leaves on the little deck, or the snow rests a moment, the air clears of it, and then it begins to fall again. It changes every moment, is not accumulating, the earth is taking it in as rain.

I am so grateful for the evergreens, the hemlocks, if my woods were bare, barren, I would be sadder than I can express. I love the closeness of the trees, the way they stand against the sky, the deep green and near black of the shadows, the way the last yellow leaves lie on their branches, having fallen but not quite yet made their way to the ground.

16 October 2009


Beautiful snow is falling
the hemlocks are frosted with white, as is every horizontal surface, each divot in the bark on the trees, each upturned leaf, the knotted rope of the hammock... it is lovely.
The flakes fall and swirl--most are small, some the size of fingertips, the back clearing looks like a snow globe.

I am flu-y and home today. Feel like crapola. BUT I get to see the woods like this, and that is truly magical.

15 October 2009


Aww, my thanks to Jem of Ambivalent Womb for this award! I don't feel very over the top but will gladly take on the challenge to become so.

The Rules which I shall thwart forthwith:

1. You Can Only Use One Word! (HA!)
2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers
3. Alert them that you have given them this award!
4. Have Fun!

The Fun Part

1. Where is your cell phone? by the bed (see? thwarting the rules from the first one!)
2. Your hair? Wild
3. Your mother? lovely, wonderful, loving, pragmatic, wherever she is is the place I will go after the apocalypse. Oh, and sweet smelling.
4. Your father? pink, smart as hell, so much like me in so many ways it freaks us both out when we are different, talented, thoughtful and heroic in a million ways that he cannot truly see
5. Your favorite food? cookies, specifically? snickerdoodles.
6. Your dream last night? fucked up
7. Your favorite drink? hot tea
8. Your dream/goal? to be calm most days, to spend time outside, to take time to be up to my ears in creative pursuits, to be intellectually challenged and to somehow combine things I do well with things I am discovering in a way that feels solid. Oh, and how cool would it be to not be panicked about money?
9. What room are you in? The orange room
10. Your hobby? fretting
11. Your fear? failure, death, loss
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? oh crap. somewhere with my kid, somewhere where I do not feel like this, somewhere happy and solid and safe and beautiful
13. Where were you last night? writing and chatting with my dear friend tammy, then having hell dreams during hell sleep (I LOVE YOU FLU!)
14. Something that you aren’t? carefree
15. Muffins? yes please
16. Wish list item? muffins, now that you mention it.
17. Where did you grow up? well, it is still happening. The north east, if that can include a motherlong 9 year stint in Rochester NY. I spent 1 year in seattle.
18. Last thing you did? typed a period.
19. What are you wearing? stripey pants, wool socks, a soft hoody and a grim expression
20. Your TV? off
21. Your pets? 1 crazed cat, finnegan.
22. Friends? beloved, most are far away, many are related to me. how lucky am I?
23. Your life? good except when it sucks rocks
24. Your mood? snotty achy heavy
25. Missing someone? Michael gosh darn it. A best friend who is far away in every sense.
26. Vehicle? Scion Xa. Obsolete but adored.
27. Something you’re not wearing? cowboy boots
28. Your favorite store? anything that has books in it. preferably in english.
29. Your favorite color? periwinkle blue
30. When was the last time you laughed? last night
31. Last time you cried? about an hour ago
32. Your best friend(s)? are more than I deserve
33. One place that I go to over and over? to the dark places, regret
34. One person who emails me regularly? my momma
35. Favorite place to eat? bowl

I nominate the following blogs for this award:

now.... this is where things get tricky. Whose blogs do I feel are over the top? not many. so the criteria will need to be different than that--
let's say--here are some folks whose voices I enjoy, who do not post a lot-- maybe this will entice them--
bb want to come out and play?
one pink line!
elle at babybunts, unless, you know, she is giving birth
amy and melissa!
just me, dawn
Jenn (the only one here who has some serious moments of delicious over-the-topness)

snotty flu-y achy kate? going back to bed.

14 October 2009


Today my friend David mentioned he hoped I was still finding occasional 10 seconds of beauty- I am, I do. Sometimes life feels so big and full of crapshitdamnitall that it is hard to see it, but it is there. Tonight as I left work, a tree with orange leaves across the street looked as if it was lighted from inside. And I walked to my car through some crunchy leaves, slowly, crunch crunch crunch, delightful. Pale sky with deep dark clouds piled up along the western edge. I love it when the air is this clear. Frost tonight for sure, it is cold enough to make me wish for mittens.

I got a call from the doctor today, Dr. P, a colleague of my doctor who is out of town at the moment. Dr. P is a straight talker, and she and I talked for quite a bit which was nice and surprising.

The bottom line: the issue with having sex or not this month (sorry dad) is/was about the cyst-- if I was going to do a downregulated Lupron cycle next month (I'm not) then I would start Lupron day 21 and they do not want the possibility of pregnancy since pregnancy + Lupron is not a good thing. So since I had no such plans (no Lupron down regulation), I can have all the sex I want. Why no IUI? Since we do not have male factor at all, she said there is no real increase in % chance of success with IUI over well timed intercourse so she did not think it was worthwhile in the absence of stim drugs. I do see her point. 5% is, well, 5%.

And so, we have the all clear to try on our own.

And she said my decision to not do a Lupron down regulated protocol next is sound even though it would decrease the chance of a repeat cyst -- since the protocol is not that great for low responders with diminished ovarian reserve usually, so she was fine with that. I will think about it or aspiration if the cyst persists into next cycle.
Otherwise? Happy to just be not injecting, and not living appointment to appointment with follicle counts and sizes and E2orama. Just me, DHEA, a virus I am battling that is making me feel crappy and the usual vitamins.

It was hard to hear her use the phrase "diminished ovarian reserve" over and over and over again.
I asked if I could be doing anything else- how about estrogen? (no, my lining has been fine), she strongly suggested acupuncture which I am already doing, said my DHEA is not crazy even though she is not convinced it is helpful, she was not alarmed.... So

now? get over the virus thingy, and yes, start peeing on sticks because YOU KNOW I LOVE THEM. And hope that I feel a whole lot better before that thing gets positive. Because right now? The only thing I could get excited about is a big fat positive for Traci, a call for Sprogblogger about her donor, a bowl of chicken soup, oh, and a sofa.

Off to work on my writing project then hang for a bit with my love Tammy. About damn time.

12 October 2009

yeah, no

Alas, the cyst persists, so no IVF, no stims this month.

and rumor has it they want me to take the month off
really off
not just IUI instead of IVF off
but off off. Like no IUI and "don't try this at home" off. I will know more tomorrow after the nurse has a chance to talk once again to the doc (they had a broken cell phone conversation so detail is lacking).

How can I make this something good?
a vacation from progesterone suppositories? from the 2WW? from the ovulation predictor pee sticks from hell?
a month to pay off a tiny bit of debt rather than rack up huge new debt (ignoring the meds I just bought)?
is there some way to look at this that will make it ok or does it/will it just feel like shit?

I can look at it as a balancing month.
Yeah, that could be it.

I wish I could give myself permission to stop taking the DHEA but I can't.

My mood? tender, with a touch of defeat.

09 October 2009

where I am now

so "plan" is a four letter word
so is cyst
so is fuck
but, you know, so is hope

we are now on to plan somethingorother
the blood work indicated that it is an active cyst (E2 not suppressed) so we cannot start the lupron microdose protocol as hoped/planned. So the lupron will be donated (it is only good for one month).
We will wait until monday, hope that the cyst magically resolves, do nothing until then but hum and rock, and have an early morning ultrasound and blood draw.... then....
if it is resolving, we'll do a quick ganirelix cycle (um, yay?)
if not, we'll do an unmedicated cycle, wait for an LH surge (yay OPK pee sticks, oh how I love thee!) and do an IUI (hopefully before I travel, otherwise, um, not).

Let me say this: I am feeling VERY good about how much these folks are doing to try to come up with active alternatives for us to use this cycle. I appreciate it and feel they are really pulling for me.
Also, I have 15 resting follicles -- which thrills me.
Worst case? We'll use just one.

How am I?
Um. Not sure. I have been twostepping with blueness this week.
I don't know, DHEA makes me blue. I know this to be true now, and just need to ride it out.
I need to remember that I can do things- I can hike, I can paint, I can MOVE.
Getting stuck, feeling stuck in a mood, well, the best thing for me to do usually is to move. Literally.
Unstick myself.
So I remembered I can do something about that, and I hiked yesterday, the big long hike, and got back down to the bottom of the hill, and asked myself if I had remembered one moment of the hike, if I had been truly present for even one moment, if I had gotten out of my head for even one moment, and the answer to each question was a clear No. So, I laughed at myself and turned around and went back up and did it again, every few minutes asking myself "where am I now?". And while I may not have been present for long each time, I get points for effort. And as a bonus, I realized I am in better shape than I thought since I did not expire.

the hike? beautiful. The trail is almost completely covered in leaves now. The leaves are a riot of color, and since it was a weekday, I had the woods to myself except for my hero, a woman who hikes it every day and who may be 10 years older than I am and has the legs of a 14 year old soccer player. The blueberry bushes are turning crimson, and they crawl over gray granite covered in silvery lichen. Looking down, the colors are just as magnificent as looking up. The woods open as the leaves fall, and suddenly I can see into and through-- I noticed the only birds I heard were crows, and I saw one big fuzzy greenyellow caterpillar undulating its way up the path.

08 October 2009

honest scrap part deux

Thanks to Sprogblogger's recent gift of an Honest Scrap award, here are more than 10 more things you might not know about me:

1. I gave up eating wheat and dairy and eggs back in January, and damn, I AM HUNGRY. I dream of bread and pizza and baked goods. I cannot eat corn so that sucks extra since it is a common substitute ingredient in gluten free goodies. I already had a limited diet, some by choice (no red meat), some by taste (pretty much hate fish), and some by sensitivity (corn, onions, broccoli, the whole cabbage family, peanuts, legumes except for tofu). So having more things cut out sucks rocks. I miss food. I honestly sincerely dream of it.

2. I have a cat named Finnegan whose affections I am constantly trying to win. I am his bitch.

3. I lived without a TV for 5 years. It was grand. When I have the chance I sit and think, or read, or look outside or am outside. I like TV for movies on occasion, and for football (american). I am culturally illiterate.

4. I lived for 2 and a half years in a 8 x 10 cabin, with running water unless the pipes were frozen.

5. If I were rich, I would have someone clean my house, someone who I would arrange to never ever meet. Ever. It would be as if by magic.

6. My dear friend Tammy once told me I was like a feral cat, that I who would let her come close when she put down milk for me, but would not let her gather me up and take me in. I remember feeling really sad, as if I let her down by not being more available. But she is right, I hold myself back, and when I am under stress I tend to retract rather than reach out.

7. My longest friendship of my whole life is with amazing Alyssa. We met when I was a highschool sophomore and she was a senior at a farm school in vermont. As I was growing up I went to many many schools and was used to being the new girl, used to not having friends really or at least not for very long. Being friends with her, having a history of shared experience, it is well outside of my usual, and I realize that I suck at it often and that embarrasses me.

8. I am still friends with and in touch with a silly (perhaps frightening) number of my exes.

9. If I could wake up and know things, I would be able to read music, play banjo, piano and guitar, I would know japanese and spanish and italian, something fun like russian or german. I would know history, and mythology. I would be able to ballroom dance, and not make an idiot of myself just, you know, dancing. I would know how to knit well, and cook well, and ride a unicycle. I would be able to snow board. I would know how to punctuate. I would know how to weld. I would know some trade or technology that allows me to make enough money without stealing my soul or all of my time or making me live in a city.

10. I collect rocks, smooth rocks, preferably those that fit in my palm, preferably those with veins that wrap completely around or through. I have a lot of rocks. And a lot of books. It is not fun helping me move.

11. I am pretty sure one of my animal guides is a red squirrel. I think it is one reason I hoard. If I find jeans that fit? I buy as many as I can afford. A long sleeve t-shirt that fits? ditto. I can put almost any magazine out of business by loving it (hello domino, natural home, cottage living, gourmet), and can have almost any product discontinued by declaring my love. So when I find something I like, I tend to acquire, um, much. More than I need. As if I might go naked. Crazykate.

And here are 5 honest bloggers I bestow this upon:
Please only take it on if it is a good diversion, you know?

07 October 2009


Today it is raining hard, the kind of rain that hammers on the roof. there is nothing gentle about it.
In some ways this makes things easier- there is no question of a hike, it is no fun to hike in hard cold rain. There is no question of yard work.
Leaves and acorns and pine needles are everywhere, fallen, falling, thrown down by the rain. Rain like this hurries fall, and that makes me feel achy. wait! please! slow down! I want to beg. Each day is so different, this tree green one day, then nearly afire with color, then bare. Some trees hold all colors green and gold and orange and red, some trees just flame in one hue. The tiniest maple in the back clearing has just one speckled golden leaf left. I do not want this to go by so quickly, I want to savor the miraculous evolution of colors before we retreat into the season of texture and brown bareness, before the snow comes and softens everything.

The house feels close since the rain has come in all night with wind that has soaked the screens. Water stretches across the spaces in the fine wire mesh, a million tiny lenses that scramble light into abstraction.

The rain comes in waves-- it is not steady enough to not notice. It pours and lessens. Each shift and change pulls my attention. When it rains, I can hear cars passing on the road which I usually cannot. So my attention goes there too, to an unaccustomed sound. Right now there is quiet.

I am making tea and the cat is asleep on a magazine on the sofa.

This morning was my last progesterone, thank god. My body wants to have a period so very much, and it will- today, tomorrow. The clinic is hoping for tomorrow. I admit, in many ways I am hoping for today. I know that all we are doing with all of this ART is intentional messing with our bodies, making more of this, less of that, holding things off, speeding them up. And a lot of the time I wish we could just somehow support what is, support what our bodies are doing or want to do.

And I am thinking of something that beloved Sprogblogger wrote about a few days back, something I'd already been thinking about,
so many folks I started this journey with are having their babies. Magsy, a little bit of something, strong blonde, for the flavor.... and others who have gotten pregnant since- baby smiling in back seat, michele, have had their babies as well (early! but safely!).... others are getting close Elle (baby bunts) is almost at 37 weeks and onwardsandsideways who cycled with me the month I got pregnant is in week 30. I would have been too. And oh that is hard. And so many others are on their way.
As I wrote on Sprog's blog, while I celebrate these successes, and I honestly sincerely wholeheartedly do, I want to be on that side too. There are a few of us left still from those beginning days, still wondering and hoping and trying and waiting and praying. And yeah, that sucks rocks.

This vacation week is not passing slowly, I want it to. To have as much as I can I get up early considering how much I love sleeping. I stay up later than I should, until my eyes are closing.
I spent yesterday with my mom which was pure joy
and last night I sat at the kitchen island and painted the cover of an ugly battleship gray journal and made a joyful mess. I did not panic when it got ugly, just kept painting until it was ok and I felt it was done. I am happy with it, imagine I may screw around some more with the back cover. Delighted to work without worry, knowing I can paint it over if I need to. And it is cool that it does not look like anyone else's, it looks like mine.

I do not like this part, I think, looking at a deep dark blue that I love but that is in the wrong place... maybe I will paint it over and try again.
So much of life does not allow that, or does not seem to. Sometimes something subtle makes the difference, not a obliteration, just a softening. And I wonder as the sky goes black and the rain comes down hard again--where else can I soften today?

04 October 2009

In Which Kate Seeks Solace in a Plan

Thank you all for your incredible outpouring of support, kindness and understanding. Your love and support matter so much, mean so much. I know it does not *fix* anything, and I know that if the power of good wishes were enough to make things happen I would be pregnant right now. I know it is not miraculous in that particular way, but it sure is balm on a bruised heart. Thank you more than I can say.

Yesterday sure sucked.
I felt like such crap, I treated myself all day as if I were a sick person. I lay on the sofa and listened to the rain, I talked to my sister over and over and she listened while I babbled and cried and just let me be my own sadkate. I made myself tea. And soup. And stayed very lumplike on the sofa. Right before my darlin' got home from work, I talked with Sharon, my nurse. And we came up with a plan.

Because I am kate, I am better when I have a plan. And now we have one. Heck, we have more than one.
Actually we have a plan A, B, C and D.
Which plan gets played out in this cycle all depends on when I get my period, the results of the baseline US, and how fast I stim if the US is clear.

The confounding issue is that they are not doing any IVF procedures until the 19th (lab closure). So I am currently staying on progesterone to delay my period as long as possible. If my period comes sooner than say midweek (it should, it is already quite overdue and feels imminent) we may not be able to do IVF this month even if we get the all clear depending on how fast I stim.

This time, if my period stays away at least until tomorrow, and if we get the all clear, we'll try a lupron flare protocol, not because my last protocol was not good (it obviously was), it is just that it was pretty darn fast. Fast would ordinarily be a very good thing. But this time? We need to go slow otherwise if I am ready before the 19th we would need to convert to IUI (which still would not be awful). This way, we hope to slow things down, and hope to make it into the week of the 19th's window for an IVF possibility.

Worst case-- there's a cyst at baseline, and we'll do a timed (LH) IUI.
All other options can range from medicated IUI to IVF depending on how things go.

A plan makes me feel like I am moving forward, and it helps me step out of the immediacy of grief by putting me into the distracting complexity of logistics.

This week I am on vacation. I hope to work on creative things: work on my writing projects and make some art. I hope to hike some and sleep some and do some yoga (will still go to my classes). I will have lunch with my mom (YAY) and maybe see some friends. Hey maybe I can finally catch up with all of you after my time away. And more than anything, I hope the week goes by very, very slowly.

03 October 2009

just no.

a pee stick late last night had a big glaringly unambiguous white space where that second line should be
would be
could have been

and today's beta confirmed: no.

My heart is aching badly this time maybe more than others because this time, this time we did everything right, everything worked the way it was supposed to, there were eggs and embryos, everything was where it was supposed to be.
But it still did not work.

I cried hard last night as I felt most of hope go. And today I missed the call, it came so fast I was not home yet. And feeling that last bit of hope go as I listened to the message, the last bit of hope that maybe the number was just really low... yeah, well, fantastical and wondrous and totally untrue.
I hate knowing this is me, directly-- like maybe our one brief pregnancy was a fluke and my body does not really want this, or indirectly-- I am just too old, my eggs are mainly shit. and maybe for every 100 I make, 5 will be good. And I/we just don't have enough time or money to find them.

I am not ready to give up on this yet but it is feeling increasingly crazy. My clinic "wants to talk to me" which makes my stomach knot. My life (work) right now cannot handle the complexification of IVF at another (faraway) clinic. At least two visits, one quite long, the added expense of travel, the time away from work. But if these folks say no, I will call chicago. I will handle the complexity and work impact and money since I am not ready to give up yet. My heart is not ready.

Yeah, I hate this to the core of my being. I am mourning those 5 beautiful little lights, those little magical beginnings and wish I had somehow been able to make magic happen with them.

Guess I am not over the tears yet.


01 October 2009

a billion bright green parakeets

hey there, it's me, kate. Remember me? small, fuzzy redhead with voracious unfulfilled appetite after 5 days of salad in the land of pancakes cookies bread and cheese.

Work has gone very well, but it was a long intense week and I am done done done.

Did not pee on a stick and will not. It feels too lonely and too far away. Uterine sensations have me alternately feeling hopeful and hopeless. Period due tomorrow. Temp still up today, Tomorrow's flight home from here is going to be so early I am not sure if I will temp or not.

Hope progesterone keeps my period at bay at least until I am safely home.
But more than that, I hope the miraculous whateveritis that helped K get her great wonderful fabulous positive will waft on over here and bestow some upon me too.

my heart feels so horrid knowing this hoperide might be over soon, but wanting so much to hold on a little longer.

Beta saturday either way.
I hope I get to go knowing something good.

the parakeets? no idea where they came from, but at dusk, they arrive in a million squadrons, and alight on some trees on an island here like the reverse of bats emerging from a cave-- stunningly cacophonous and violently green.