Archive for November, 2008

Nov 26 2008

zomg housework

Published by under Holiday Magic,Work

Well, I got all the reports done for the month of November and sent in my invoice, so now I have a small break in which to get the house ready for Christmas.  Usually, that would consist of getting the tree out and decorating it, but since we’ve moved the computers into the dining room, this year I’ll need to do some extra wrangling.  The corner where the tree usually lives is occupied by The Man’s computer.  So, what I need to do is:

  • Clean out the downstairs closet so there is actually room in there.
  • Get rid of the coat rack in the dining room, which has three holders broken off of it anyway.
  • Move all coats into the closet.
  • Put my computer desk over by the door where the coat rack used to be (I predict a rather chilly month for me)
  • Get the tree out and put it up where my computer used to live.
  • Profit!

Ok, maybe not profit, but at least we’ll have a place for the tree.

Some of this stuff (like cleaning out the closet) is on the agenda for today, but I already put myself behind by sleeping in until the shameful hour of 10 AM, when I had planned on being up by 8:30.  I also need to go to the grocery store today, possibly the worst day in the world to go, because I need to pick up a veggie tray and chips for Thansgiving snacks.

Before I go back to work sometime in December, I need to put up the tree, put up the rest of the Christmas decorations, put up the exterior lights, and start my Christmas shopping.  Did I say I had a break?  That doesn’t sound like a break to me.

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Nov 21 2008

Just give up!

Published by under Dreams/Nightmares,Infertility,Rants

Probably the most difficult part of dealing with infertility is other people.  To be honest, I don’t spend a lot of time fretting about not getting pregnant.  I think about it when I do my ovulation tests, and I think about it when it becomes blatantly obvious that this is once again Not Our Month, but I don’t obsessively chart my basal body temperature, I don’t read a ton of articles, I don’t hang out on infertility message boards, and I don’t even really seek medical help anymore since Dr. F seems to be kind of bust.

No, it’s the other people that get to me.  And most of the time, people will tell you that the worst part is someone asking “So, when are YOU two going to have kids?” at a christening or someone’s first birthday party.  That doesn’t really bother me, because I combat it with information overload.  I find it a kind of intrusive question to ask anyone – how is that your business?  So, I do my best to make the other person sorry they asked.  I talk about our diagnosis.  I talk about the treatments we’ve been through.  I talk about the medications I’ve tried and the things I’ve given up.  Most of the time, the other person REALLY does not want to hear this stuff, and they start getting that look in their eyes that says “Oh God, how do I turn her off?”  That’s when I get a nice, warm feeling in my heart.  I know it’s pretty passive-aggressive, but COME ON.  Asking someone in the middle of a crowded room how come she hasn’t reproduced yet is just plain rude.  You deserve to get the Full Medical Reasoning, In Detail, With X-Rays and All Related Test Results.

No, the worst thing for me is when someone says, “You know, you should just stop trying”.  Or, “You should just stop thinking about it”.  People, please.  If these words have ever left your lips in the direction of someone who is dealing with infertility, kindly check yourself.  It is not helpful.  It is not even POSSIBLE.  Stop trying?  You mean, stop having sex?  Or just go back to using birth control?  Which one is it?  Because either way, I’m not sure that it’s going to help, at least if my 5th grade Sex Ed class is to be believed.

And “stop thinking about it”?  How do you suggest I do that?  Let me tell you something:  This morning I had a dream.  I dreamed that I was doing my regular ovulation test, but somehow I accidentally used a pregnancy test instead.  When I looked at the test, it said I was pregnant.  I double checked.  I started to cry.  I started to laugh.  I yelled for The Man.  I told him we were pregnant.  He hugged me and we jumped up and down because we were excited.  And then, I woke up.  And that dream was so real that for a minute, I couldn’t figure out if it had been a dream or if it had really happened.  And when I realized it was just a dream, I was pretty bummed out, let me tell you.  How am I supposed to stop thinking about it when my subconcious sends me shit like that to deal with?  It’s not like I go around all day thinking “Must have baby.  Must have baby.  Must have baby”.  Other than quitting smoking and taking a pre-natal vitamin, my day-to-day life is usually not affected by my desire to get pregnant.  So, stop thinking about it?  Sure.  I’ll get right on that.

At any rate, this stuff doesn’t happen very often.  I’m just in a bad mood today because it seems like everyone around me is suddenly getting pregnant, and I get to be all happy for them, when really, sometimes, I secretly feel like punching them in the mouth.  So, I come here to blow off steam, because that’s what I have this place for.  And also, to give you some good advice:  Don’t tell people to stop trying or to stop thinking.  It’s not helpful.  And don’t ask when people are going to have kids.  It’s just rude.

2 responses so far

Nov 20 2008

Chicken and Rice

Published by under Recipes

This is a very traditional, easy, tasty dish that I’ve been eating since I was just a little kid.  It’s so easy and traditional that most of you are probably going “Chicken and Rice? Does anyone NOT know how to make that?”  OK, this post is not for you, then.  It’s for the poor person out there who knows diddly-poo about cooking and is desperately looking for some hard-to-ruin recipes.  Dear Desperate Person: this post is for you.

The recipe is found once again in my trusty church cookbook, and there’s not much to it.  One nice thing about this is that it is pretty easy to substitute healthier ingredients, if you’re a health-conscious kind of person.

You will need:

  • 1 package of chicken.  I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts – my local grocery sells them 3-4 in a pack.  My mother and grandmother both use a selection of bone-in, skin-on pieces.  It’s a matter of personal preference.
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup.  I use the store brand.  You can sub in the low-sodium version.
  • 1 package dry onion soup mix.  Again, I use the store brand.
  • 3/4 cup dry, uncooked, long-grained white rice.

The recipe says to lightly grease a 13×9 casserole dish, but I don’t like using one that big, since I never make this using a whole chicken, which is what the recipe calls for.  Consequently, if I use a 13×9, the chicken pieces in my dish never get fully submerged and some of the outsides get dry.  I like to use one of my dutch ovens, but mine are ceramic coated.  I’m not sure how it would work in regular cast iron – I imagine it would be fine as long as the iron is seasoned properly.  A smaller casserole would work as well.

Anyway, get your vessel of choice, lightly grease it up with shortening, and arrange the chicken in it. Because I use such a (comparatively) small vessel, my chicken is all crammed together on the bottom.  This is fine – you just probably don’t want the pieces stacked on top of each other.

In a medium bowl, combine the cream of chicken soup, two soup cans of water, the onion soup, and the rice.  Mix together.  Now, here’s another step added that my recipe book doesn’t have:  one you have all this stuff mixed, let it sit in its bowl for about 30 minutes.  I never used to do this, and my rice would end up all crunchy and not as good as I remembered.  I asked my Grandma, and she told me to let the mix sit so the rice would soak up some liquid.  I did, and the next time it was perfect!  This is also a good time to turn on your oven and preheat it to 350°F (176°C), and get your chicken out of the fridge so it can lose some of its “just out of the refrigerator” chill.

Once you’ve let your mix sit, pour it over the chicken.  Place the uncovered dish in the oven and cook for about two hours.

That’s it!  You have your main dish and a side dish all in one pan.  Serve and enjoy.  Stores very well, and the leftovers heat up nicely.

One response so far

Nov 18 2008

It’s Tuesday night, so the house is silent.

I get a lot of questions about Destiny.  People want to know how she’s doing, and apparently “she’s retarded” isn’t the answer they’re looking for.  So, here’s your friendly cat update:

Destiny is doing better than we expected she’d be doing.  She is no longer crapping outside of the litter box, which is a nice, unexpected bonus.  She is back to vomiting up her food because she eats too fast, as opposed to because she has vertigo.  Although, she probably still has vertigo to a certain extent.  She’s just learned to cope with it better.  We no longer have to keep her confined at night, but she still cannot climb stairs.  To keep her from trying to climb stairs anyway, we invested in a baby gate, and let me tell you, it’s a good thing no one was listening to our conversation in Babies R Us, because they wouldn’t have known we were talking about a cat, and they would have been HORRIFIED:

The Man:  You want to get that one?
Me:  Sure, what’s wrong with it?
The Man:  Well, it’s a little cheap.
Me:  We don’t need a real good one.
The Man:  Yeah, but it won’t fit quite right.
Me:  Oh, come on.  She’s brain damaged.  It’s not going to take much to keep her out.
The Man:  Let’s get this one instead.
Me:  Oh, all right.  If it will make you feel better.

Anyways, she’s all right.  She travels a lot better, falling down much less often, and is almost back up to pre-stroke speed.  She still cannot jump onto furniture, and probably will never be able to again.  She eats well, is down to 1/2 prednisone every other day, and seems to have the same personality as ever.  By which I mean:  she’s cute, but dumb, and now she’s wobbly into the bargain.

This next thing falls under the header of Too Much Information, but hell, it’s the internet.  I went to Special Op B’s house last Friday for movies and wine, and we got to talking about the ongoing babymaking efforts.  I told her an amusing story about my sister-in-law, who runs a spa/alternative healing place, offering to give me a colonic because, according to her, my transverse colon is probably squishing my uterus.  I told B that even if that was the case, having my SIL give me an enema is not a line I’m willing to cross.  So Special Op B hands me this big bottle o’ pills, telling me that they would basically do the same thing over the course of a week.  Why does B have enema pills sitting around?  I DIDN’T ASK.  So, being me, I took the pills as directed.  Mostly, they give me gas.  There you go.

Saturday I went to see Mackers, and we ended up embarrassing her pre-teen daughter by hand jiving to several oldies songs in a restaurant.  And doing the robot to Daft Punk.  And singing Cake real loud.  And basically, acting like pre-teens, which is apparently NOT COOL after you reach a certain age.  We ate lunch, we went shopping, we had fun, and it was entirely too short of a time, but dark comes early this time of year and with hunting season, the deer are on the move.

I’ve been transcribing reports all week for Dr. Mom, and it’s okay.  It’s pretty easy work.  Sometimes I have to stop and look up words, because she uses words and terms that I’m not familiar with – she’s pretty good about spelling drug names and such, but sometimes I have to puzzle things out.  The only thing is that sometimes I get bummed out because the people are SO messed up that I feel badly for them.  There was one lady today, her list of symptoms (both physical and mental), was like 14 items long, and man, I felt sorry for her.  But other than the occasional bummed-outedness, I like doing it.

So, that’s my life right now.  I’m gassy, I have a retarded cat, my friends are weird, and I have a decent job.  What else can you ask for?

I’ll tell you what:  a fireplace.  Because I am freaking COLD.

She’s not dead, she’s laying in a sunbeam that I had to block so the picture wouldn’t be overexposed.

2 responses so far

Nov 12 2008

Healthy stress.

Published by under Introspection,The Man,Work

Mackers and I spent some time on the phone last night talking about coping mechanisms and ways to deal with stress.  And I guess that topic was festering in my subconcious overnight, because I had a strange kind of dream about it, and today I was still brooding along in the back of my mind.  And then, when I was doing my hair a few minutes ago, I realized: I have probably lost almost all of my ability to cope with any kind of stress.

For the past couple of years, my life has been about as stress-free as it’s possible to get.  I don’t work, so I don’t have to deal with deadlines or annoying co-workers or demanding clients.  I don’t go to school, so I don’t have tests and papers looming over me.  I don’t really go out of my own social circle that much, so I don’t have to make small talk with strangers or be polite to people I don’t particularly care for.  I don’t have children, so there are no emergencies (small or large) to deal with on a daily basis.  My husband is a extremely even-tempered fellow, as is my roommate.  In my life, there is almost no confrontation.

However, The Man has, for the past couple of months, been mentioning off and on that I am more snappish than I used to be.  My temper is getting worse, according to him, and I get very angry over fairly trivial things.  I had thought that I was just moody for whatever reason, but now I wonder if it’s because I have no stress in my life, so even a minor inconvenience is treated as a major catastrophe.  It’s as though I can’t keep things in their proper perspective anymore.

I never really talked about this with anyone besides The Man and Mackers, but when we had the dog, that was about the worst time I’ve been through in a long time.  We not only sent her back because of her attacking the cats, but also because of my total inability to deal with the enormous stress level in the house.  At the end I was throwing up once or twice a day, and only eating a very little bit of food, because my stomach was constantly knotted.  Even after we took her back to her foster home, it took several days for me to totally stop being jumpy and get back to the way I had been.

. . .and then the cat got sick, and I really think that if I hadn’t just gone through all that with the dog, I would have handled it much worse than what I did.  Sure, I was upset and worried, but I managed not to fall to pieces and I made it through the initial two weeks without totally losing my shit (or vomiting).

I don’t want to come off as though I’m a time bomb waiting to erupt; like I said, my life is pretty stress-free, so even minor bumps are not daily things.  But it worries me that I might be getting to be someone who may not be able to deal with life.

That’s one of the reasons I think it’s a good thing that I’m starting to do transcription work for Dr. Mom and Moll.  I can get back into having a little bit of healthy stress in my life – something to allow me to use my organization skills, coping mechanisms, and all those skills that normal people who leave their yard every day develop just to get along in the world.  I don’t want to be any more of a misfit than I have to be.

6 responses so far

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