From Blissful Butterflies to Bans Off Our Bodies

I did a lot of “B” things today all before noon, which leaves me the rest of the day to enjoy in the garden.

First of all, I went to a butterfly festival. I mean, how could I NOT, right?

It was the North County Monarch Butterfly Festival in San Marcos, which isn’t too terribly far from me, but it’s inland and since we’re having a heatwave, I thought I’d go early. It was 95 degrees at 10:00 a.m. That’s HOT!

The North County Monarch Butterfly Festival featured butterfly-inspired art, crafts, clothing, gardening, live music, and food. I really wish the kids were here because it was the perfect fun and educational event for children.

Here’s what the event website had to say: The fate of the iconic Western monarch butterfly is tied inextricably to the health of the planet, and that means our fate as human beings is informed by the same forces that impact the monarchs. Simply put, if monarch butterflies thrive, so do we, along with all of the other inhabitants of the monarch universe; conversely, if the monarchs can’t thrive in this universe, then human beings can’t either.

This event – hopefully the first of many – will feature any and all aspects of the monarch universe, from monarch-inspired arts and crafts to jewelry, clothing, biology, pollinator gardening, milkweed and nectar plant propagation and cultivating, to discussions and presentations on a wide range of subjects, from conservation and migration to habitat restoration and creation, from diseases and predators to native plants vs tropical, from children’s activities to seed exchange.

I held a snake too, from the San Diego Herpetological Society, the same organization that helped me identify that Great Basin lizard that visited for a while last year. I’m not 100% sure what snakes and lizards have to do with butterflies, but me and all the other children loved it. The snake’s name is Matt. Isn’t he handsome?

All kinds of milkweed; I purchased the native variety. I also got a variety of milkweed called Hairy Balls, again, how could I NOT? Gomphocarpus physocarpus, commonly known as hairy balls, is a species of milkweed native to southeast Africa, but it has been widely naturalized. It is often used as an ornamental plant.

Yummy smelling soaps and lip balms. Lovely!

After that I drove back to the coast where it was noticeably cooler and stopped by the Bans Off Our Bodies rally gathering at our local train station. I was happy to see an awesome and exuberant crowd of like-minded folks while I took a few photos.

Bans Off Our Bodies

Blocks and blocks of people all the way to the beach! This is in front of Spin Records.

I like to take photos of the signs, all with their permission, by the way.

A little butterfly bliss and a show of support for reproductive rights sounds like a great day to me, don’t you agree? Time to plant that milkweed!

Mother’s Day and Reproductive Rights Walk Hand in Hand

The real world has a sneaky way of intruding on my enchanted life. It’s so annoying.

Seriously, are we really doing this again?

Although in retrospect, I think Mother’s Day is the perfect time to stand on my soapbox and SCREAM to the world.

Mother’s Day isn’t always all about flowers and cards, although it’s nice to be appreciated for our neverending love.

MOTHER takes on new context in this fresh wave of assaults on our reproductive rights.

I don’t particularly care for the word “abortion” even though I’m one million percent pro-choice, because I think that every single right we fought long and hard for is being horrifically and systematically eroded in real time.

Do you know what’s been happening in some of our states? No rights for rape victims. No rights for children who get pregnant as a result of being raped by a family member. What’s next? No birth control, no credit cards, and then rescind the right to vote?

More new repressive and regressive reality:

Eleven-year-old girls are now old enough to…

Legally marry!
—YES, Tennessee HB 233

Be charged with homicide for an abortion!
—YES, Louisiana HB 813

Can learn about racism?
—NO, 31 states pass bills to ban dialogue on racism.

More insanity…the American Taliban now wants to pass legislation in ‘red states’ that will require women to pass a ‘negative’ pregnancy test in order to leave their home states.

Beto O’Rourke said that abortion laws are about “power and control over women” and he’s one hundred percent right.

I’ve shared this before. My mom was a registered nurse who practiced way before Roe versus Wade. Abortions were illegal but that didn’t STOP women from having them; what it did was drive women to back room practitioners or resort to self harm. My mom was on the front lines day after day and this is what she told me about working in a hospital before legal abortions: one infection after another, one hysterectomy after another, one D&C after another, one death after another — women who bled to death, hemorrhaging so profusely with blood loss so severe, no one could stop it.

This is the reality of life before Roe versus Wade in 1973.

Those were some of the reasons why she was an early and fervent supporter of reproductive rights. A majority of those women would have survived if abortion had been legalized at the time.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I CHOSE to have my son. He was planned and loved well before there was even a fertilized egg. However, if I had chosen NOT to have him for ANY reason at all, that also is MY CHOICE. Without government interference and without any religion or man telling me what I can and can’t do with my body. MY CHOICE. My rights.

Probably the most chilling thing about all this is horrible Amy Coney Barrett and Samuel Alito wrote in their leaked opinion that we don’t “need” abortion: “domestic supply of infants for adoption” is their justification for taking away our right to our own body.

This is a real life dystopian Handmaid’s Tale. Basically, they’re attempting to turn us into baby making factories for child trafficking.

My friend Nancy Sinatra (yes, THAT Nancy Sinatra) says, “You know, I’ve been thinking, I don’t want a man, any man, telling me what to do or not do with my body, It’s none of his damn business. Period. I would never tell you what to do with your body so leave mine alone. My body has sovereignty. It’s my temple, not yours so back off!”

From Bruce Miller, Creator/Executive Producer of “The Handmaid’s Tale”
“I’m not sure I can ask actors or crew members to travel and work in a state where an ectopic pregnancy would sentence my employee to death.

Codify Roe v Wade. Once and for all, stay out of my uterus. Organize and march.

Most of all, VOTE.

And Happy Mother’s Day!