Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Year End Edition

Good Afternoon Humble Readers!

This is the final Potpurri post of 2009, and honestly, there's not much to say...

AF is kicking my tail. All I want to do is lay here with my heating pad and a box of chocolate nearby.

My parents were in town yesterday. It was just a really brief visit, as they were on their way back to K-town after seeing my sister and her family. Thankfully, there was only one baby related comment... about a family friend who hasn't had kids yet either. Like it's a choice we made... gah!

My Beloved and I went and saw 'Nine' last night. I will confess that I didn't know much about the storyline, but the fact that it was based on a Broadway show had me pretty excited. The acting was great (Dan.iel was superb as a tortured director, and all the women in it were outstanding... who knew that Kat.e Hud.son could sing??) and I fell in love with a couple of the songs (Be Italian and Cinema Italiano), but honestly, I found the storyline depressing and more than a little cliched. I will likely end up owning the movie eventualy, it's not one that is tops on my list. Hopefully Av.atar will be better.

Having three days off has been wonderful. I haven't been quite as productive as I had wanted to be, but I'm feeling more rested than I have in quite a while. Tonight will mark the end of the holiday season with the putting away of the decorations, and I'm more than ready to have my house back.

Okay... so I just learned something a little frightening from one of my favourite cooking shows. And it is going to cause this hobbit to have to make a confession. I regularly put my wooden spoons in the dishwasher. *GASP* I know, I know, I have probably just horrified all my foodie friends. But, in my defence... it's what my mom always did. I never gave it a thought. So, on the show I just saw they tested wooden spoons for bacteria. The wooden spoons that went through the dishwasher had ridiculously more germs than the ones washed and treated properly. Oy! How did I get to be 35 and not ever hear about this???? I guess I need to throw away my wooden spoons away and get new ones.

I have decided that I'm going to skip the grapefruit juice this cycle. For the last two cycles I have had a glass of grapefruit juice everyday, and I have noticed an increase in ewcm. But I'm wondering if it has anything to do with my later ovulation. In the past two years I have never O'd as late as CD17 (I know that's normal for many IFers, but ovulation has never been my issue). The grapefruit juice probably doesn't have anything at all to do with it, but it's the variable that I added in the last two cycles that hasn't been there before. We'll see. At least my LP hasn't changed.

I hope that some of you all will stop by tomorrow, as it's my 200th post.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Beauty of Winter

Good Evening Humble Readers...

I hope that your 2009 is winding down in a manner that you enjoy, be that mellow and quiet, or filled with people and parties.

Today was the first of three days off for me... IN A ROW! Woohoo!

Without meaning to sound like an elderly relative, I have to tell you... I have been sleeping really really well the last few nights. Normally, I sleep for 3 or 4 hours, and then I'm awake. Wide awake. I end up taking a lot of naps to get through the week. But, since Christmas night, I have slept at least 6 hours a night, and last night I went to bed at 11:30 and I didn't wake up (not even to pee!) until my Beloved turned on the overhead light at 8am! Talk about a mood improver!

Still no AF, but there are a few indicators that she's on her way.

Now, on to the main purpose of this post... We have had an interesting weather phenomenon over the last couple of days. Now, I'm no meteorologist, so I can only comment on what I observe, but this is pretty darn cool (no pun intended).

It doesn't happen all that often, but sometimes, when it's clear and cold we get what seems like a frozen fog. It's like the little bit of heat that the sun gives us at this time of year helps to release just enough moisture from the snow on the ground to create this opaque haze. You see it mostly in the morning or in the late afternoon.

As the temperature drops, the moisture in the air starts to freeze and I'm not kidding, the air actually sparkles. And then you get this... (you may want to look at them in full screen mode to see more of the detail)

That's not snow. It's called hoarfrost. It doesn't fall from the sky. It forms on trees, fences, lampposts, anything that stands still long enough. It can build on itself too, growing for days if the conditions are right. It is absolutely beautiful! Incredibly delicate, you can blow it away like dandelion fluff. It outlines the trees, and makes every single branch, needle, and ripple of the bark stand out. If there was something that I can honestly say I like about the winter on the flatland, it's this. So lovely! (I just wish my photography skills did it justice.)

I hope that you are all warm and cozy in your homes tonight.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Post Christmas Blahs...

Good Morning Humble Readers...

Maybe it's the inevitible let down after Christmas. Maybe it's the symptoms of PMS (yes, I'm PMS-ing. Temps tanked, phantom symptoms fading). Maybe it's the crappy couple of days at work I've had (Boxing Week shoppers are the worst! A customer, and I use that term generously, actually reached across the counter and slapped the hand of one of my cashiers yesterday. In what world is that acceptable???).

Whatever it is, I'm feeling blaaaahhhh.

Don't get me wrong, we had a great Christmas. Christmas Eve was busy. We cleaned the house, I cooked & carved a turkey, did a little grocery shopping, I prepped a breakfast casserole (which didn't turn out at all... what a waste), and got my sweet potatoes started. We went to church, and then came home and did our traditional Christmas Eve appetizers and movie (I had to get my Ralphie fix).

Christmas morning was fun. My Beloved really loved his presents (his main gift was a framed print of a picture of the Cal.gary Fl.ames locker room, with his name on one of the jerseys), and yes, humble readers, I got my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer! (Used it on Christmas morning to mix my sweet potatoe casserole)

The drive to my MIL's was nice. Very pretty actually, with a pale blue sky and the fields and trees covered in snow.

Mom C loved her new computer. We had all chipped in to get her something more up to date (her old 'puter didn't have any usb ports and was painfully slow). I ate too much and drank too much wine. I won a round of cards, so now I have a wallet full of dimes.

It really was a good Christmas. I'm just tired, and not looking forward to going to work today. I'm hoping that when I wake up tomorrow morning, AF will have arrived and I can move on to a new cycle, with new hope. This cycle's hope is a little worse for wear.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Meme!

Both Kristin and Alana posted this and I thought it was just far too cute. So, of course, I jumped on board.

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends. Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy this entire post. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. Then post this on your blog.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? As stated in my previous post, I am a wrapping paper gal. For a lot of years I just used plain brown paper and then changed up the colour of ribbon. This year I have some very pretty shiny red paper that says "Ho Ho Ho" all over it.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial all the way! This is one hobbit who doesn't do well with live plants, and real Christmas trees are no exception.

3. When do you put up the tree? Early December, whenever I have a couple of days off together.

4. When do you take the tree down? I'm more inclined to take it down before New Years, but that's a result of working in retail for as long as I have. Growing up, the tree stayed up until Ukranian Christmas (January 6, Epiphany)

5. Do you like eggnog? Absosmurfly. I will confess to thinning it tho. Half nog, half milk.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? My red and white plastic typewriter. Heavens, I loved that thing! I was going to be a reporter, just like my favourite aunt.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My sister's husband.

8. Easiest person to buy for? My Beloved. This year was a bit more challenging, but it usually only takes a few days of serious shopping, and I have him set.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Heck Ya! I collect them. I have 8 different nativity sets/figurines. Watch this space for Show and Tell this week. All about my collection.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I always have the best intentions, but they never seem to happen. Maybe if I wrote them up in September?

11. Worst Christmas ever? There were a lot of lean Christmases when I was a kid, but I don't remember any really bad ones.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie(s)? For a classic, it has to be White Christmas, which I have yet to watch this year. For fun and our relatively new traditional Christmas Eve fare, "A Christmas Story" with Ralphie and his bb-gun.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I usually try to start mid September. I try to buy a gift or two each paycheck between then and December. This year, I started while we were in New York.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I've thought about it often, but I don't think I've ever actually done it.

15 .Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Homemade potatoe, cheese & bacon (yes bacon, the only time I willingly eat it) perogies! Yummmmmm

16. Lights on the tree? Absolutely, multicoloured. But they CANNOT blink! Blinking is aggravating.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Oh Holy Night and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? The furthest we travel these days for Christmas is down to my MIL's house, about 45 minutes away.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Of course. I remember being five years old and being convinced that I saw Rudolph up in the sky. It turned out to be the radio tower a few blocks away, but I was oh so excited.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? When I was a kid, we were allowed to open one gift Christmas eve, usually new pj's from Grandma, but the rest were in the morning. Now it's all done in the morning, usually before sunrise.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Have I mentioned I work in retail? I could go on and on, but the worst is people who get snarky because they failed to plan and can't find that one thing they are certain we should carry at our store.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I don't really have a theme. Generally, I don't put gold coloured ornaments on the tree.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? There has to be turkey... and sweet potatoes... and stuffing... and perogies... and cabbage rolls... and ham... and...

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? A Kitchen Aid stand mixer!

Now it's your turn. If you play, please leave me the link so I can read your answers.

Monday, December 21, 2009

December ICLW... Merry Christmas!

Good Evening Humble Readers! And welcome to all you ICLW-ers who may be encountering my hobbit hole for the first time. I hope you are all having an excellent holiday season.

Thanks so much for all the feedback on my chart. It's still wonky... FF actually moved my crosshairs to CD 14, which is actually a pretty normal day for O for me, but it doesn't fit to what I see on my chart. Temp-wise, anyway. Who knows... I'll start testing sometime around Christmas, and keep testing every other day until I get an answer either way. Funny enough, I'm feeling pretty mellow about this cycle. We'll see what the end of the week brings.

In other news...

I forced myself to stay away from the blogosphere all day today, until my wrapping was done. I have to say that this was not my best year for Christmas wrap. I will admit, when it comes to gift wrapping, I have a tendancy to channel Martha. I'm a perfectionist, and I will usually happily spend several hours tying beautiful bows out of carefully colour coordinated ribbon for all my gifts. I will make sure that I have gift boxes so that wrapping is easier. Normally, I choose my giftwrap early, find the ribbon to go with it, get all my needed tools, pop in a movie and enjoy the process.

But this is not a typical year. I'm running out of time. I've run out of energy.


four days before Christmas...

I attempted to wrap a baseball cap...

without a box.

Someone please medicate me.

Oh, and if I hear "Santa Baby" one more time, I might move in with the

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cycle Update: Calling All Experienced Charters

Good evening humble readers!

Welcome to crazy town! Work has been insane (in a good way) and I am completely exhausted (was there until 11 last night, and back there again at 8am today... don't have to be back until 7 tomorrow morning). Pfefferneusse cookies were made (18 dozen), but still no presents are wrapped or shipped, and no Christmas cards have been written up. Tonight my Beloved and I are going I'm scared, it could be a mistake going tonight, but I can't put it off any longer.

Anyway, the true reason for this post... I need some experienced charters to take a peak at my chart. (link is in the right hand column) Ever since September, not-so-ironically when I turned 35, my cycle has been wonky. Extra long luteal phases, O dates changing... general wackiness.

This month is no exception. Short AF, what appears to be a very early O (CD12), and a fallback rise, followed by a very surprising albeit little patch of EWCM on a day when I had a dramatic temp drop. Today temps went back up... waaaaaaay up (10 hobbit points to anyone who can guess the retro-tv reference there). Either I O'd late AGAIN, or dare I hope it, an early implantation dip?

Gah! Is it any wonder I'm going insane?

I need all the insight you can give... save me from myself! Please!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Remind Me Why I Love Christmas?

Good Evening Humble Readers...

I'm sorry I haven't been around as promised. Chalk it up to the expenditure of so much energy at work these days, the extreme cold weather, and a little bit of homesickness. Let me give you the run down...

Christmas has finally hit at work... or rather the Christmas shoppers have finally realized that Christmas is a-coming. This weekend was crazy busy. It was fun while I was at work, but by the time I got home I was pretty tuckered out. I'm off today and tomorrow, but on Wednesday, hoo-boy do we have a big event... a big time book signing, our biggest name author ever, a former NHL hockey player who recently published a book chronicling all his time in the sport. We are hoping for a crazy busy night on Wednesday, and I likely won't be home before midnight.

Ok, so I know that the northern flatland is known to get cold, but for heaven's sake! The capital of our province, only an hour and a half north of us, was THE COLDEST place on the planet on Saturday. Colder than either the North or South Poles... Insane! It's supposed to be -45C with the wind here tonight. Our windows have ice on them. The windows in our house... not just the car... the house!

The joy of being a retail manager is that I absolutely don't get to take time off at Christmas. Actually, we don't get to take time off between mid October and January. This is the third Christmas that I haven't been able to spend with my family. Don't get me wrong, I love my Beloved's family. I just haven't seen anyone from my family in more than a year. I guess you could say I miss my mommy.

I haven't started my Christmas baking yet (and thus no Holiday Recipe Round Up... my bad). I haven't done my Christmas cards, wrapping, or shipping. I love Christmas, I just need to get my butt in gear.

Cycle Update: CD14... I'm right around O time, but if I didn't have much ewcm last month, holy cow do I have a lot this month. It's been 6 days so far. Talk about confusing me! Hopefully my temps will turn out to be clearer than last month.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Snowed In Edition

Good Morning Humble Readers...

I'm sorry I haven't been around the last few days. I am getting caught up, and soon will be back in the swing of things.

Sunday was the anniversary of my last bfp. It wasn't too bad... I know I was overly sensative to baby anything on Sunday, and worship was difficult to get through (with all the Advent references to pregnancy, waiting, etc). But after that, my Beloved and I went for lunch and then embarked on a new 'adventure'.

Our new adventure? For some, it might not sound exciting, but it's something I've wanted to start for a long time. We began researching our family tree. We signed up for one of the online geneology sites, and in a matter of just a couple hours, we were making some pretty cool discoveries. Thanks to some work already done by one of my aunts, we were able to go back 8 generations through my Grandpa B. Very cool! AND I think I may have found Frederick Barnes (maker of the violin)! We are making slow but sure progress on my Beloved's family, but I'm having difficulties with my bio mom's side of things. We'll see where this new adventure leads.

Last Friday it started snowing. It wasn't the first snowfall of the year, but it was the biggest. It snowed all day on Friday. It snowed all night Friday night. It was still snowing at ten minutes to eight Saturday morning, when my boss called to get me to go to our store and let the staff in. He was stuck in his driveway, behind a four foot high snow drift. I wasn't scheduled until 2pm, so I just threw on some clothes, covered my unwashed hair, and my Beloved and I dashed out. It took us 20 minutes to get out of our parking spot and down the back lane. We ended up needing help getting pushed through some of the drifts. So, I'm at the store, awaiting my boss's arrival so that I can go back home. At 9:30ish, he called to say that he wouldn't be in, he was thoroughly stuck. At this point I got a little stressed. Half our staff had called in sick or stuck. Our leadership team was down to me (two were stuck in the snow and the other was sick). AND I HADN'T SHOWERED! Gah! So, I got the store open, and then dashed back home to take a shower (leaving the store manager-less) and then dashed back. Thankfully, my boss got himself unstuck and the other manager who was sick was able to come in for the last few hours of the evening. It's been positively arctic since. Today is the warmest it's been since last Thursday, at -16C (2F). Monday it was -32C before the wind! Hobbits don't like winter!

On the health front... the UTI seems to be all cleared up. Today is my last day of antibiotics, and I'm glad that this out of the way well before O time. And the IBS... fiber has actually helped a lot. I've only had one bad day in the last week. We'll see if it continues.

The Holiday edition of the Great Recipe Round-Up will go up tomorrow. Be thinking about which of your holiday recipes you want to share with the blogosphere!

Friday, December 4, 2009

An Interview With Aunt Becky

Good Morning Humble Readers...

Aunt Becky has invited one and all to participate in her interview for a giveaway... And who doesn't love answering completely random questions? (If you don't know who Aunt Becky is, you need to click over and do some reading... HI-LAR-I-OUS!)

And Aunt Becky says... I’m always telling you to shut your whore mouth. Now it’s time to open it.

1) Do you like sprinkles on your ice cream? Nope! Give me strawberries or raspberries!

2) If you had to choose one word to banish from the English language, what would it be and why? Too easy... that word would be 'moist'... if it's possible to hate a word, I HATE that word! It give me goosebumps and causes me to shudder. Blech!

3) If you were a flavor, what would it be? Hmmmm... a combination of sundried tomatoes, feta cheese, and oregano.

4) What’s the most pointless annoying chore you can think of that you do on a daily/weekly basis? It's one I actually don't do any more... the laundry. I can't stand it, and there's never any end to it, even just for two people. My Beloved has become very proficient at doing the laundry.

5) Of all the nicknames I’ve ever had in my life, Aunt Becky is the most widely known and probably my favorite. What’s your favorite nickname? (for yourself) I have had a lot of nicknames... far too many actually. But my favourite was from a college friend. He called me Bob. And it wasn't just 'Bob', it was more like Baawwb. There was a nickname that everyone else in my circle used for me in college, but he didn't want to use that one, so he called me Bob. I know it's nothing spectacular, but it always made me smile.

6) You’re stuck on a desert island with the collective works of 5 (and only five) musical artists for the rest of your life. Who are they? John Williams (because I love movie soundtracks!), Sting, New Kids On The Block (because I'm just that much of a geek!), the Beatles, and Beethoven. Ecclectic enough for you?

7) Everything is better with bacon. True or false? Very VERY false! The falsest statement ever!
8 ) If I could go back in time and tell Young Aunt Becky one thing, it would be that out of chaos, order will emerge. Also: tutus go with everything. What would you tell young self? This older, wiser hobbit would tell her younger self not to stress about Mr. Right. I spent too much time and energy worrying about if I would ever meet 'him'. I would tell the younger hobbit (also known as MissBaggins) that he's out there, and he's more amazing that I could have ever imagined.

Mommy Wants Vodka

And in an hommage to Kristen of Dragondreamer fame, if you can think of any more random questions for me, I would love to answer them!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Adding Insult To Injury...

Good Afternoon Humble Readers...

So, last week, when my phantom symptoms were raging, I found myself having to go pee more often than normal.

When AF showed up, I assumed that all my phantom symptoms would miraculously disappear, just like they always do. My b00bs stopped hurting, the nausea mostly faded (I'm always slightly nauseous during AF), my bionic sense of smell disappeared, and my energy level picked up.

But, I was still having to pee ridiculously often. Crazy often. Then yesterday it started to hurt.

That's right humble readers... not only am I not pregnant, but I have a UTI.


I feel awful, and all I want to do is lie on my couch with a heating pad, but I have to go to work.

Yes, I'm pouting.

(btw, thank you to everyone who helped out with the test run of the Recipe Round Up. Be watching for the Holiday edition sometime next week!)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Great Recipe Round Up: Trial Edition

Good Morning Humble Readers...

Ok, so a while ago I mentioned that I wanted to start some kind of a holiday recipe swap project. Well, in trying to figure out the logistics, (and let's face it, this hobbit isn't very techno-savvy) I came across a tool called a Blog Hop.

The way I understand it, it will work sort of like Mel's Show & Tell, except that every participant will be able to post the list of participants on their blog. I think...

Which is why I'm doing a test run... This round will only be open for three days, but I'm really hoping that a few of my fellow bloggers will jump on board and help me figure this thing out.

So, in honour of the trial run, I want to keep things simple. Post about your favourite super easy recipe, add yourself to the list, and see what happens. Maybe it's only got three ingredients... maybe it only takes 10 minutes to make... whatever it is, please share!

My contribution:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars (I apologize in advance for the lack of pics)

1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup melted butter (do NOT use margerine)
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup icing sugar
1 cup chocolate chips, melted

Combine first four ingredients in a good sized bowl. You want to be able to stir this thoroughly. Press mixture into bottom of a 9x13 baking dish. Spread melted chocolate over peanut butter mixture carefully. Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes then, using a sharp knife, score the chocolate into bars. This will make it easier to cut them later. Cover and continue to refrigerate. Best after they have been allowed to chill for at least an hour... but really, who am I kidding? They taste great even if they aren't quite set. And they taste just like those name band peanut butter cups, and take no time at all to make.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, November 30, 2009

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: End of My "Long" Weekend

Good Evening Humble Readers...

Dinner is in the oven, and I am at the end of my pseudo long weekend, and I am at peace. Of course, I am disappointed that this wasn't the cycle, but I'm ok with it. If it happens for us this next cycle, then I might get an extra special birthday present.

I hope that you will all stop by tomorrow... I'm launching a new project, and tomorrow is the start of the trial run. I'm looking for guinea pigs to help me make sure that all is working correctly.

I'm in the mood to bake. That's probably just the pre-AF need for chocolate speaking. Maybe it's time to try some new Christmas cookie recipes.

Our hobbit hole is all decorated for Christmas... I did it yesterday whilst my Beloved watched the Grey Cup. I'm happy with how the living room looks, but the kitchen needs something. Not sure what yet. Is it just me, or is decorating for Christmas almost as fun as opening presents on Christmas morning. I love taking all my decorations out of their boxes and tissue wrappings. It's like greeting old friends. The only slight blight on our Christmas decor is the tree itself. We bought it two years ago, when we were habitually broke and living in a teeny tiny apartment. It's quiet possibly the ugliest artificial tree I have ever seen. It drops more needles than a real tree. We have agreed that at the end of the season, this tree will be retired and we will get a new one next year (or during the Boxing Week sales).

And speaking of the Grey Cup... the Roughies lost. Oh how they lost! It was heartbreaking, and there is someone on that Roughrider team that's kicking his own ass, let me tell you. Fourth quarter, 5 seconds left in the game, the Roughies were in the lead 27-25, the Alouettes had posession and were going to try for the 3 point field goal. The thing is, their kicker had been sucking wind all afternoon. It was going to be close. My Beloved never looked more tense... The ball snapped, the kicker does his thing, and it goes totally wide. Complete miss. BUT.... someone on the Roughrider bench gets overexcited and runs out onto the field in celebration, before the whistle. Penalty flags fly. The official call was 'illegal substitution'. Ten yard penalty, and Montreal got to kick again. Of course, this time the ball went through the uprights, the Alouettes win, and the Roughies go home with their heads hung down in shame.

I made it through NaBloPoMo! I actually did 32 posts in 30 days! Woohoo! Check out my groovy badge in the column to the right. Didn't do so well for Iron Commenter tho... I got through about 110 blogs before I ran out of steam.

Totally random observation of the day... This hobbit is fearfully nearsighted, and one of my favourite things to do at Chistmas is to take my glasses off while looking at the Christmas tree. The lights look beautiful!

Winter has officially arrived on the flatland. It was snowing and blowing so much today that I couldn't see across the street.

Well, Crap!

Nothing good about this morning, Humble Readers...

Spotting has started.


I'll be back later to post a final NaBloPoMo post... for now I need to recover from my PLOM disease.

(PLOM - poor little ol' me)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Is There A Patron Saint of Infertiles?

Good Evening Humble Readers...

So, that title... Enquiring minds want to know. I'm sure there is, but because I was raised Lutheran rather than Roman Catholic, I have little knowledge of the Saints.

But if there is, then of the entire church year, today, this Sunday would have to be their feast day.

Today is the first Sunday of the Christian church year, the first Sunday of the season of Advent. Advent is a time of preparation, both for the celebration of Christmas commemorating the coming of Christ as a baby into our world, and also for his awaited return. A lot of language heard in church during this season is about waiting, hoping, expecting.... sound familiar?

On the first Sunday of Advent, we light the Hope candle on the advent wreath.

Hope is something we talk about a lot in the ALI community. Hope, or the lack thereof, colours much of our discussion. Hope is our life preserver during the tww, while we are waiting for the next round of tests, and when we are making the big decisions about building our families.

And yet, I know it's easy for me to get so distracted by all these things (and more), and to let go of that very hope that gets me through. Today at church, the Gospel lesson was from Luke 22 and included "Be careful or your hearts will be weighed down with ... the anxieties of life." Again I ask... sound familiar?

Living life in the present, not stressing out about what tomorrow will bring, is a tough thing to do. But, I think if we truly cling to hope, let it soak into every corner of our lives, it might just be a little easier. Hopefully.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Aggravation as Distraction

Good Evening Humble Readers...

First and foremost, a cycle update: No sign of AF. I was fairly pissy earlier today, but more on that later. B00bs are so sore I want to chop them off (my Beloved is four square against that idea). Mild twinges of cramps again this morning, but gone by this afternoon. Tired... check. Bionic nose... check. Slight nausea (mostly connected to the nose thing)... check. Feeling goofy... check.

So why was I pissy? Let me tell you... Every Saturday, my Beloved and I have a not so healthy tradition. We have breakfast from the golden arches. So, this morning he went to go hit the drive thru, and he couldn't get Petey the PT Cruiser to start. But not in that 'it's the first really cold morning of the winter' way. The ignition would not turn. You know, when your steering wheel locks up and it takes three or four tries to get it to budge? Well, multiply that by 20 or 30 times.... and it still didn't work. This is the same problem we were having late in the winter/early in the spring. The thing is, I'm sure we had it fixed. Between March and May of this year we sunk almost two grand into the car. Anyway, we called AMA and had the car towed to Canadian After a while, they were able to get it started, but very strongly suggested that we take it to the dealership to get them to take a look at it. Of course the dealership service department isn't open until Monday. Argh!

So, because of Petey's health issues... all of our weekend plans are down the tubes (did I mention that I have this whole weekend off?!?!). No going to the MIL's place for the Grey Cup. No Christmas shopping. Not even a regular grocery shopping trip. All because we don't want to get somewhere, only to find that the car won't start to get us home. (We are going to risk it to go to church tomorrow, but that's it) The only thing on the weekend list that has gotten done is that while the car was at Canadian, my Beloved thought to have them swap the all-seasons for the winter tires.

And speaking of grocery shopping... Because we couldn't do our shopping at our regular store, we had to do the best we could at the little grocery store across the back lane from us. Now don't get me wrong, I like the little grocery store across the back lane. The staff there know us. They are really nice and their store is great for those nights when I've forgotten to take something out of the freezer for dinner. Their bakery is great, and their meat is always fresh. But just by restriction of their size, there are regular menu items for us that they don't carry. I wasn't able to get chicken wings, so my Beloved will be wingless for the game tomorrow afternoon. I can't count on them to have fresh garlic and they only carry little boxes of breakfast cereal. They didn't have shallots, or light eggnog, or chai tea... (good heavens, I'm a food snob). But... and this is so great... I just found out today that they have an order service for fresh turkeys! I ordered our Christmas turkey, and we will pick it up on December 23rd. Yay! I've always used frozen turkeys... fresh, from a local farm, has got to be miles better, right?

And speaking of cooking... I tried two new recipes tonight, and while I don't want to give it all away because I want to save it for Show and Tell, I can say that polenta is fantabulous! And super crazy easy to make!

In other news... I have been consulting Dr. Go.ogle about IBS. The big thing I found recommended is fiber... lots of it. I know that fiber is good for you, and I don't get the recommended daily amount, but in my situation it seems counter-intuitive. I don't really need something that is going to make me spend more time in the bathroom. But I'm going to give it a shot. All Bu.ds here I come.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Infertile Math

Good Evening Humble Readers...

So, infertile math...

it's kind of like girl math...

You know... where you can have an extra helping of dessert because you had a salad for dinner? Or because you saved big time on that super cute handbag/pair of shoes/sweater, you can justify the purchase of those adorable earrings.

Infertile math... if I O'd on this date, then the earliest I could expect AF is that date. And if my temps don't start to drop by 12dpo, then I'll let my self start to hope. If my phantom symptoms are an 8 or higher on the intensity scale, then I'll let myself think about testing.

So, with that in mind...

If I'm correct, and I did O on CD14, then AF should be here by Sunday. But, if by some suspension of reality, and if Fertility Friend is correct that I O'd on CD17 (never o'd that late in the two years I've been charting), then I'm really only 9dpo today, and AF won't be here until Wednesday.

Confused yet? I know that I am, but I'm dyslexic so that might explain it.

I am going to hold on to hope. Maybe this morning's bfn was accurate. Maybe it wasn't. I know it's not truly over until AF shows her ugly face.

I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but my b00bs are really killing me. The cramps I had this morning twinged themselves out without really developing into anything at all. No spotting and the little bit of a lower backache I had this morning faded before I even left for work. I have been hungrier than normal, but as soon as I start to eat I feel very full and can't bring myself to eat much.

But... (everyone join in on the chorus now!)

I know it's probably all in my head.


Good Morning Humble Readers...

Thank you for your prayers and warm thoughts. I did in fact test this morning and got a bfn.

Is it just me, or is there a direct correlation between how expensive an hpt is to how quickly you start feeling twinges of cramps after using it? I swear, the little control line hadn't even appeared when I had that first pinch of cramps.

But my b00bs still hurt (a lot), still feeling nauseous...

Let the insanity begin.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Only An Infertile Would Understand

Good evening, Humble Readers!

You know you are an infertile when you don't even bat an eye walking into your favourite discount big box store and spending $30 on several different brands of hpts, and $5 on fem-hy products.

Yes, I've decided to cave and test tomorrow. I will be 12dpo, which is only one day shy of my usual luteal phase. My phantom symptoms have been pretty incredible today... I've actually been really nauseous today, exhausted, and oh the pain in the b00bs! In a normal cycle, by this time in my cycle the phantom symptoms are starting to fade.

I know it's probably just all in my mind, but that little seed of hope is still there.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Simple Words

Good Evening Humble Readers...

I don't have a lot to post about today, so here is a list of simple words that describe my day...

Wasted Day
Tomorrow will be better, hopefully.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Small Things for Small Minds

Good Morning Humble Readers...

Just a few random thoughts and ramblings for you today. I'm also looking for a few opinions.

I always love seeing different peoples' reactions when they first walk in my home. My mother would call it Ukrainian (like an Easter egg), I call it colourful. My boss and his wife just stopped by to drop off the freezer we are buying from them (yay, a freezer!). The look on their faces was awesome as they took in my school-bus-yellow living room with the cranberry red couch and the and dark dark brown tables and book cases. Add to that the sage green kitchen walls and white cabinets... well, I know it's not everyone's taste. (and at least they didn't see the crimson bedroom!)

It's my Beloved's office Christmas party this evening. It's being held at a pub so jeans should be okay, right? If I wear something sparkly on top?

Cycle Update: The way I figure it, I'm 9dpo. The extra ewcm combined with the recent cold snap that started this week that has messed with my temps just after O caused some confusion for Fertility Friend, so according to them I'm only 7dpo. Phantom symptoms are in high gear... incredibly sore b00bs, nausea, bionic nose is up and functioning, fatigue (although that is more than partially contributed to by a couple of very bad IBS flares the last couple of nights). Because of my lack of sleep, I'm not really trusting the jump my temps made this morning, but we'll see. I'm expecting AF on Sunday... the day we are supposed to go to my MIL's house for a Grey Cup party.

The Grey Cup... the Canadian Football League's equivalent of Super Bowl Sunday. My Beloved's family are lifelong serious Saskatchewan Rough Riders fans. The Roughies are playing Montreal, a team they haven't beaten in the regular season for 3 or 4 years. For the party, should I do wings or ribs?

I bought two new cookbooks yesterday that I'm very excited about. One is for artisan breads. the other is for slow cookers... Yay for new recipes!

Speaking of recipes, I'm pondering setting up some sort of Bloggy Holiday recipe exchange. I'm thinking if I set it up like Show & Tell, Shout Out Sundays, or Perfect Moment Mondays, with a McLinky thing. Do you think it will work?

Monday, November 23, 2009

I've Come to Realize...

Good Evening Humble Readers...

I'm copping out a little again and using a meme to help me through NaBloPoMo. (I'm barely going to squeak this one in on time) I really liked this one I found over at Mugsy's place.

I’ve come to realize that my chest-size. . . is a pain in the butt.
I’ve come to realize that my job. . . is not going to be my forever career.
I’ve come to realize that when I’m driving. . . I talk to myself.
I’ve come to realize that I need. . . to find out what is going on with my IBS.
I’ve come that realize that I have lost. . . my waistline.
I’ve come to realize that I hate it when. . . when someone belittles me for working retail.
I’ve come to realize that if I’m drunk. . . I get sleepy.
I’ve come to realize that money... doesn't define my life.
I’ve come to realize that certain people. . . are just grumpy. No way around it.
I’ve come to realize that I’ll always. . . be a procrastinator.
I’ve come to realize that my sibling(s). . . are grown ups now. In my mind they are still children.
I’ve come to realize that my (bio)mom… didn't have a lot of choices.
I’ve come to realize that my cell phone. . . is a glorified in-box.
I’ve come to realize that when I wake up in the morning. . . I'm not the nicest person.
I’ve come to realize that last night before I went to sleep. . . I should have known it was going to be a bad night.
I’ve come to realize that my (foster) dad. . . did more than I ever gave him credit for.
I’ve come to realize that today. . . I don't like it when customers pick on my staff.
I’ve come to realize that tonight. . . going to be a long one.
I’ve come to realize that tomorrow. . . I get a freezer!
I’ve come to realize that I really want to. . . go back to New York.
I’ve come to realize that life. . . goes by too quickly.
I’ve come to realize that my friends. . . are few, but true.
I’ve come to realize that this year. . . feels wasted.
I’ve come to realize that my exes. . . taught me that I deserved better.
I’ve come to realize that maybe I should. . . be more active.
I’ve come to realize that I love. . . anything with goat cheese in it.
I’ve come to realize that I don’t understand. . . how my nose can be freezing, but my toes can be roasting.
I’ve come to realize my past. . . is done and gone.
I’ve come to realize that parties. . . are not as fun as they used to be.
I’ve come to realize that I’m totally terrified. . . that I'm all talk and no action.
I’ve come to realize that my life. . . is getting better all the time.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Spending Someone Else's Money

Good Evening Humble Readers!

Just a quick post tonight...

Do you recall when I was yammering on about the fund raising we were doing at work for a local school's library?

Well, tonight the principal, librarian, and some helpers came in and spent two hours on a shopping spree. We got to help them spend more than $3500. They still have a bit left to spend, but they were rather overwhelmed with all that they had already purchased.

It was so much fun! I love the idea of all those kids getting have all these new books to explore.

It was great to have a local impact...

It was a good day.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

November ICLW - Through the Eyes of Google

Welcome Humble Readers... and all you ICLW-ers!
This is my favourite time of the month! And I'm really excited that there are soooo many new (to me) blogs on the list! I'm still going to try for Iron Commenter status, but I'm not holding my breath on this one.

I got this idea last month from Venting Vagina. I thought it was totally cute! The only rule is that you have to link back to the blog where you found it. That's it. So, for this month's ICLW intro... this is me, through the eyes of Google.

Where I Live - the Canadian Flatland

Where I Work - Bookstore
My Hobby - Writing Favourite Beverage - green tea Favourite Food - hummus (or anything greek/mediteranean)
First Car - 1989 Skoda
Celebrity crush - Donnie Wahlberg
Celebrity look-alike - Sweetums
Childhood toy - toy typewriter
Random picture - A Hobbit Hole

So, that's me. I look forward to getting to know a lot of new blogs, and reconnecting with a bunch of regular ICLW-ers. Spread the bloggy love, people! Comments are the new hug!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cycle Update, et al

Hey Humble Readers...

Not much to tell today except that it's been a bit of a trying day. Nothing that could be classified as galactic badness, just a collection of irritants that, when taken together, are more than a little aggravating.

In terms of my cycle, not a whole lot to report either. I'm pretty sure that I'm 5dpo (temps indicate it, mostly, but the extra two days of ewcm is throwing me a bit), and the phantom symptoms are making themselves known. The 'girls' are sore, I'm pooped, and there is a hint of cranky stomach (but as previously stated, that could just be ibs).

I'm just trying to get through...

And that's why I'm so thankful that ICLW is almost here! If you don't know what it is, check out the link to the left. It will help keep me occupied for the next week.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Winter Hazards and the Hobbit

Good Evening Humble Readers...

Yes, I live in Canada... on the flatland... so winter is unavoidable. (beware, whining ahead)

I have posted previously about how clutzy I am, and how snow and ice are not my friends. I have planned ahead this year though, and have purchased some of those stretchy things that you can put over your shoes that have extra little grips on them. (do you all have any idea what I'm talking about?)

But honestly, I would give just about anything right now for it to snow. Anything to add a little moisture to the air. My skin is drier than dry and I'm breaking out constantly.

However, I could live with dry skin. I could. Lotion can help, and being smart about not letting my showers get too hot (which is really hard, I love love love hot steamy showers) would help too.

The thing that I can live without is the nosebleeds. Two today. Twelve in the last two weeks. And I'm not talking about just a little trickle... I'm talking gushers. Fifteen or twenty minutes at a time. It just sucks!

I know I need to get a humdifier. That should help some. I don't do nasal sprays well, so I'm hesitant to try a neti pot or saline spray.

This has never happened before. I grew up on the prairies. This is my third winter back here... I should be able to handle this.

Do any of you wonderful souls out there have any other suggestions?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Show & Tell: My New Favourite Commercial

Good afternoon, Humble Readers...

Ok, so this is a rather lame Show & Tell, but this commercial makes me laugh so hard (we're talking snorts here)... It brightens my day just seeing it.

I love when 'she' says pothole.

Do you have a favourite tv commercial? One that makes you laugh so hard you could spray milk out of your nose?

Now don't forget to stop by Mel's place to check out what the rest of the class is showing!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Blathering On & On

Good Evening Humble Readers...

In an effort to meet my NABLOPOMO commitment, I have to post something today, but there really isn't much to tell... so you are just going to get some EXTREME randomness.

In case you were wondering, dealing with IBS isn't fun. And dealing with it when you are an infertile is just obnoxious. Twinges that I feel in general vacinity of my ovaries might signify ovulation, or it might just be gas. Nausea in my tww could be a legitimate symptom of pregnancy or it could just be that trigger food that I really shouldn't have eaten. Oh, and that ache in my lower abdomen might be AF showing up early or it might be killer constipation. Gah!

Ok... CM question for all my sisters out there who still chart. How many of you have had EWCM after you O'd? I am very certain that I o'd two days ago (confirmed by two days of very clear increase in temps), but I woke up this morning with some serious EWCM (more than I had before O actually).

I confess that I am a huge fan of Dancing With The Stars. I have only missed a couple of episodes this season. I have been pulling for Kelly Osborne the whole time. They are 15 minutes away from announcing if she's in the finals next week, and I'm going nuts! And really, why would they have the BeeGees on tonight? Those dudes are just scary all the way around.

Have any of you heard Sting's version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlmen"? That song has always been my favourite Christmas carol, but his version is absolutely outstanding! I may actually have to buy the cd... and I rarely buy cds any more.

Yahoooooooo! Kelly's in the finals! (I need to get a life!)

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Two Week Wait

Good Evening Humble Readers...

It's that time again.

The two week wait.

Stretched out ahead of me like the Canadian prairie in the middle of winter. (it's not even a full two weeks. My lp is only 13 days usually, and today was 1dpo) Just going on forever, and rather bleak.

I know that this tww should not be any more challenging than any other, but I'm feeling very apprehensive. It was in November last year that we conceived Olivia, and I can't help but feel that crazy mix of hope for a sticky bfp (third time's the charm, right?) and dreading that even if we are pregnant at the end of this month, we won't be by the new year.

That fear is there every cycle, but it's just so much more in my face this month. It's like the shadow that is always there on the edge of my line of sight is twice it's normal size and flexing it's muscles.

Thank heaven it's a busy time at work. For at least eight hours a day I will have something to distract me.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Shout Out Sunday: Of Computers & Movies & Monsters

This is my second week joining in on Full Circle's Shout Out Sunday... a really cool way to recognize those fantastic people on your blogroll and spread the love!

Here's how Shout Out Sunday works:

Choose a blog that has moved you. A daily must read. One you stalk. One that makes you laugh, cry or scream at the monitor. A new blog you would like to give exposure to. Someone you would like to introduce to your readers and send a warm fuzzy while you're at it.

My Shout Out this week goes to If Optomist for many reasons. She is funny, thoughtful, and supportive. She is a computer tech who understands the world of technology in a way that I can only dream of. She works on movies, which sounds incredibly fun (but is probably like all jobs, with good days and bad). She has had a long IF road, and has gone through countless procedures in the last few years to get her to where she is now... pregnant with two little 'monsters'! She lives up to her name, sharing her optomism and contented outlook on life with her readers. I almost always walk away from reading one of her posts with a smile. And even when she's having a bad day, her love of life and happiness is present. She inspires me to see the world through 'glass-half-full' eyes.

Don't forget to check out the SOS list, and stop by If Optomit's corner of the internet and say hi. (She's had a rough weekend, and can use some words of bloggy love!)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happiness Is...

... an actual weekend off to spend with my Beloved!

It's been over a month since my Beloved and I had a day off at the same time. He works in an office and I work retail, so our days off rarely match up. My 'weekend' is usually Tuesday and Wednesday. Normally it's not so long between my real weekends off, but taking two weeks off in September threw things out of whack.

This weekend, though, is about us just hanging out.

Today we spent the day Christmas shopping at a new huge mall, about an hour south of here. It was fun exploring new stores and hinting at what I would love to see under the tree. We had lunch at a great burger place in the mall... who knew that goat cheese on a burger would be so darn good?!? We spent a couple of hours going our separate ways to actually buy presents for the other... and I can't tell you what I got him (because he reads my blog) but I will tell you that I'm pretty sure he's going to love it!

Of course, I also found a few things for myself. Ever the bargain shopper, I am proud to say that I found two work appropriate tops (in a rather high end plus size store) for less than $70 combined. Now I know that some of my friends south of the border are probably raising their eyebrows at that, but things are a titch more expensive here... and did I mention that it was in a plus size store (yes, the bigger ladies get burned all the time with the cost of our clothes!!!)?

But my best find of the day (other than my Beloved's gift) was this beautiful new handbag....


I know it's not a great picture, but it is a truly awesome handbag! I got it from Fos.sil. It has multiple interior pockets (I hate the bottomless abyss purses), it's red (officially the colour is strawberry), leather trim, and because of a tiny little defect on the front I saved $90!!!!! Woohoo!

Tomorrow is church, and a quiet afternoon at home. I might put the Christmas lights out on our balconey... if I feel motivated.

Humble Readers, I hope you are all having a great weekend!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Blessed Chaos

Good Evening Humble Readers...

I hope that you all had a good day. For me, it was a pretty good day. It was crazy busy at work, which is always fun, and all is well with Petey the PT Cruiser. Yay!

After work tonight, I told my Beloved that he was taking me out for dinner. I was feeling done-in. We went to a rather popular italian chain restaurant that likes to think it captures the New York style and ambiance (not a chance... lol). I do love their italian wedding soup, though.

I was expecting that it was going to be busy, so I wasn't surprised when we found our table for two was wedged in between two larger family groups. On one side was a group of adults, mostly middle aged or older. On the other side was a multi-generational group including grandparents, aunts and uncles, parents, two preschoolers and a toddler.

After a long busy day in the store, going out to this type of restaurant was probably not the best idea. It was very loud, so loud that my Beloved and I didn't actually try to talk through most of our meal. One of the preschoolers was fussing to get out of her high chair, the toddler was just plain old unhappy, and two of the uncles were being overly enthusiastic in trying to keep the little ones entertained. The little boy was was making car noises as he drove his hot wheels car around the table, and when their ice cream arrived there was a great debate between the little girl and her mom about whether or not the cherry on top had contaminated the dessert. Spoons were dropped on the floor, and there was mild shreiking when grandma tried to wipe a little face.

The family group on the other side of our table were very obviously put out at the noise and the crowding in the restaurant. I overheard several comments about how it was 'too loud to think' and how parents 'shouldn't bring little ones out this late' (it was only 6pm). I swear they even broke out that old chestnut, 'children should be seen and not heard'.

In all honesty, I was initially irritated by the noise. I just wanted a mellow dinner and maybe a walk through the 1 store next door.

But as I watched the family with the small children interact, I recognized that I wasn't so much irritated with the noise as I was with that prickle of envy I was feeling. You know the one. That little zing that feels like a tug at your uterus and you heart at the same time.

The family with the little ones finished and left shortly before my Beloved and I finished our dinner. The grandmother, on her way past apologized for the noise and made a comment about how we could now enjoy our dinner in peace.

One lady from the group on the other side of our table muttered something about how we would finally have some 'blessed peace' as the little ones and their entourage made their way out.

And seriously, all I could think of was how quiet our lives are right now, and how I would give my left b00b for just a tiny measure of that chaos.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Navel Gazing

Good Evening Humble Readers!

Tonight's post is just a little bit of odds and ends. Nothing too earth-shattering...

We've finally decided on what to get my Beloved's mom for Christmas. There is this teeny tiny little town south of here that is home to an incredible dinner theater. When I say teeny tiny, I mean super-dooper teeny. As in, the theater arts school, staff and resident theater company are the bulk of the population. As in, there isn't a gas station in the town. That's TEENY! Anyway, we are going to take Mom C to one of the shows there in the spring. Now if I could just convince my Beloved that we need to go to their Christmas production this year (A Child's Christmas in Wales)...

Today was a bit of a bummer for me at work. One of my favourite staff members told me that she's going to have to give her two-week notice. She's just landed a great new job, and on a personal level I'm really happy for her. It's just going to suck losing her... especially at this time of year.

Ok, so I've been drinking the grapefruit juice... and liking it a lot actually. The thing is, I haven't noticed any change in my cm, except perhaps for it's absence. Hmmmm....

Why is it that when you have a canker sore or an achy tooth you can't help but tease it all the time? I burned the roof of my mouth the other day on some pizza, and that little piece of skin between my two front teeth is driving me insane!

I think that it is a statistical improbability for me to have a pair of socks for more than a month without putting a hole in at least one. I am so sick of trying to match up socks that aren't air conditioned.

I think the "paycheck vacuum" (courtesy of Alana) may be headed our way. The check engine light came on in the car yesterday. Here's hoping that it's just that the gas cap wasn't put on tight enough or something.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Remembrance Day - In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918) Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Thank you to all who serve and have served our country in our armed forces. Your sacrifices will never be forgotten.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Happy 40th Birthday Sesame Street

Good Afternoon Humble Readers!
So, today is the 40th birthday of the ultimate in children's television programming, Sesame Street! It's funny to think of Sesame Street as only a few years older than me. The show has always had a sort of eternal quality to me. It's been around all my life, and I can't imagine being a mother some day down the road without it.

There are so many segments of the show that are lodged in my memory. I can't count to 12 without hearing the pinball music. When we were in New York, every time we went past a row of brownstones I couldn't help but think of Sesame Street. SS exposed me to music and cultural icons of the 70s and early 80s that I wouldn't know of otherwise. I learned how to find my way home when I'm lost.

Because of Sesame Street, I learned my first Spanish and French words (yeah, French... SS trivia for my friends south of the border. SS broadcast on Canadian channels always added French elements. Today there isn't Sesame Street on Canadian tv... there's Sesame Park, with a different cast of muppet characters. Sesame Street is still available on American channels available through cable service.) I also learned about death... I remember the day that Big Bird learned about Mr. Hooper's death. I remember crying right along with the only bird that never ever scared me.

When I was little, I was super envious of a cousin who had this:

Oh how I wanted the Sesame Street play set! Mr. Hooper's store, the alley, the brownstone where Bert and Ernie lived. This was the ultimate Sesame Street toy pre-Elmo.

Happy Birthday Sesame Street! Happy Birthday!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Hobbit Around the World

Good Morning Humble Readers!

Like many of you, I signed up for a An.aly.tics account. It's fascinating! I signed up back in June and I love checking what keywords (most are hobbit related terms of course) bring people to my corner of cyberspace and which posts get read the most (who knew that my Show & Tell post about the farmer's market would be so intriguing?).

But what I'm drawn to most is the map overlay. I love seeing where my readers are from. I know that a lot of people just click right through and don't ever really stop to read or comment, but I'm fascinated by where they come from.

Is it silly that a visitor from a state or country that has never stopped by before makes me happy? Probably. Do you know how goofy I was the first time someone from South America stopped by? I love it! My little celebration this week? New Mexico! Only 3 more states to go!

(Yes, this post counts as a 'nothing' post, just so that I can say that I wrote something today! :) )

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Shout Out Sunday: Friends Across the Continent

Good Evening Humble Readers!

I heard about this groovy meme from Kristin over at Dragondreamer's Lair. It was created by Melissa of Full Circle fame. If you are familiar with Show & Tell, then you will have no problem catching on!

Here's how Shout Out Sunday works:

Choose a blog that has moved you. A daily must read. One you stalk. One that makes you laugh, cry or scream at the monitor. A new blog you would like to give exposure to. Someone you would like to introduce to your readers and send a warm fuzzy while you're at it. The list is open from noon on Saturday until 6am on Monday.

For my first Shout Out Sunday, I would like to introduce you all to Alana of Alana-isms. I came across her corner of the internet during my first ICLW in the early part of this year. She is a teacher who is passionate about giving her best to her students, a Disney-holic, wife to a budding author, mom to the adorable and precocious Miss Emma. Since dealing with a miscarraige in early 2009, she has struggled with secondary IF. Even in the midst of her most challenging days, she always has a kind word and a hug for those who are stuggling too. She hasn't been able to post often this fall due to her work schedule, but I always look forward her updates. Even though we are on opposite sides of the continent, I have come to value her as a dear friend.

Stop by Alana's place and say hi... and stop by Full Circle and check out how you can participate in the Shout-ing! Share the love, people!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

If Only I Believed in Karma...

Just over a week ago I got the H1N1 vaccine.

5 and a half hours waiting in line for the shot.

Being 2 hours late for work.

Spending a week dealing with minor reactions to the shot.

Being mocked by friends and family as being a hypocondriac.

Waking up this morning with a sore throat and stuffed sinuses... and knowing it's just a cold.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Hobbit-ish Potpurri

Good evening Humble Readers!

Please forgive my ramblings this evening... I'm very tired tonight. Today was my last 7am shift for more than a month. Yay!

Breaking News: We now have a matched set of lamps in our living room. I know, nothing terribly exciting there. However, I have wanted lamps in our living room for as long as we have been married. Up until now, we have only had a small desk lamp to illuminate our main living space. I went shopping at the other day, and got the two matching lamps for $30 each. Very pleased with how they look.

My Beloved and I went to see the "Men Who Stare At Goats" tonight. Oh my, I don't even know how to describe it. Funny, odd, twisted and amusing. I loved it, but at the same time I left the theater wondering what the point was.

If you are a regular reader, you know that I work in retail. I love my job, the products we sell, and my staff. Today was a day that I had to keep reminding myself of that fact. I don't understand the mindset that says it's okay to cuss out retail employees. More than once this week some of my staff have had to endure verbal abuse, being cussed out by customers who were at the best rude, and at the worst antagonistic bullies. In what world does calling someone a f#$!ing idiot, or telling them to go to hell get you better service? I know everyone has a bad day, but that kind of behavior is indicative of how far our culture has deteriorated.

I love this time of year for new book releases. I have updated my "to read" list to the left. New Edward Rutherfurd, new Stephen King (one that actually sounds interesting), the follow-up to Graceling, and a long-lost LM Montgomery title. So cool!

I came across something rather random the other day. Does anyone know about the connection between grapefruit juice and fertility? Is it the same kind of thing as green tea or is there actually some study somewhere?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

September & October Reading List

Greetings Humble Readers! Okay, so I'm a bit behind. I missed posting my September reading list because of our vacation, and then November just kind of snuck up on me. Over the last couple of months, I have become addicted to a new-ish teen series... and have found a couple of new authors that I'm stoked about. I'm up to 50 books towards the Book Challenge, and no where near the 100 I predicted. Oh well... still some great reads! Maybe next year I will make a better prediction on how much I will read.

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (5 out of 5 hairy hobbit toes) - Wow! You know how the Twilight series is getting all the press these days for teen fiction? Well, I can honestly say that Hunger Games is by far the best teen fiction I have ever read! A blend of sci-fi futuristic-ness and well crafted adventure, this series will appeal to both boys and girls. The Capitol uses the annual Hunger Games to keep the twelve districts in line. Every district must send two competitors, chosen by lottery, to battle for their lives inside the arena that the gamemakers control. Katnis and Peeta, the representatives from District 12, are the dark horses in the competition, and must work together if they want to last even one day inside the arena. Victory equals food, comfort, and ease for their families... losing equals death. Sooooo good! (And not a vampire or werewolf in sight!)

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (5 out of 5 hairy hobbit toes) - Ok, so you just read what I think of Hunger Games? Well, this is the follow-up to it. I don't want to give too much away here, but let's just say that the Capitol's hold on the Districts is weakening and rebellion is brewing! Katnis and Peeta are the faces of the rebellion and the Capitol is not pleased! Very well written, engaging, and I am dying for the third book in the series (not out until next year!).
Alana... you must read these! No ifs, ands, or buts!

Wed Him Before You Bed Him by Sabrina Jefferies (4 out of 5 hairy hobbit toes) - This book would fall into the trashy smut category. I think it's the last book in the School for Heiresses series... I think. Good time wasting reading! While all the other stories in the series are about the students and their adventures in finding husbands, this one is about the headmistress. The thing that I loved about this book is that you finally get to find out who the mysterious Cousin Michael is. Fun and a quick read!

The Eight by Katherine Neville (2 out of 5 hairy hobbit toes) - I really looked forward to reading this one. The tale of Charlemagne's chess set, rumoured to destroy any one who played with it... it is a quest story a la the Davinci Code or the Labyrinth. For centuries the set was hidden by the church, but to protect it from a power-hungry archbishop, a nun separates it and scatters it across Europe. Present day power-mongers are on the hunt for it, and there is only one person who can truly bring the set back together. I had heard lots of great things about this book, but honestly I was bored to death.

The Pages In Between by Erin Einhorn ( 4 out of 5 hairy hobbit toes) - I will admit that I am not quite finished this one. It's my 'break' book at work, so it't taking me a while to get through. That being said I am loving it! It's the memoir of a young woman on a search to find the Polish family that hid her mother as a child during the holocaust. Relying on just scant information she was able to get from her mother before she passed away, Erin seeks out the remaining members of her mother's foster family. But, instead of a fairy tale ending with happy reunions, she finds that her mother's memories were those of a young child, coloured by the pain of losing the only family she had ever known. She also finds a property dispute that goes back more than 60 years. It just goes to show that family stuff is never cut and dried. There are always secrets, there are always other ways to remember how things happened.

Extreme Vinyl Cafe by Stuart McLean (3 out of 5 hairy hobbit toes) - I want to preface this by saying I love Stuart McLean's work... usually. For my readers south of the border, think of Garrison Keilor minus the Lutheran references. McLean is a CBC radio personality, who tells the funniest stories about Dave, Morley, their kids, and their community (a neighbourhood in Toronto). For those who haven't read or heard it, you have to check out "Dave Cooks the Turkey" sometime before Christmas. You will be crying from laughing so hard. All that said, I was greatly disappointed with his new book. There wasn't even one story that really made me chuckle. Two of the stories weren't new at all, I was familiar with them from his audio books. I bought the book soley because I was jazzed about it being a new Vinyl Cafe book. I was just very disappointed.

Valley of Horses by Jean Auel (4 out of 5 hobbit toes) - The second in the Earth's Children series (the first was Clan of the Cave Bear), I have always enjoyed this book. This is my 6th or 7th time through it, and I love it as much as I did the first time I read it. It follows the journeys of Ayla, now on her own, bannished from the Clan and Jondalar, a man of the Others. Ayla's journey is one of discovery, as she learns to live on her own and debates seeking out the people she was born to. Jondalar's journey is to follow his brother to the end of the Great Mother river. Ayla and Jondalar are destined for each other, and are brought together through tragedy. My only complaint about this book is that the author spends a lot of time in flashbacks, repeating the same elements over and over.

Love Comes Softly by Jannette Oke (4 out of 5 hairy hobbit toes) - I have a soft spot for this series. It's pretty tame, very similar to Little House and other prairie stories like it. Marty, a young widow, marries Clark out of convenience. She needs a home, his daughter needs a mother. Marty must learn how to live on the prairie, with few neighbours, and fewer conveniences. Her first attempt at baking biscuits results in black lumps that even the dog won't eat. In an effort to clean their cabin, she ends up destroying the chinking between the logs. As she becomes more comfortable in her new home, she finds that she is also becoming more comfortable as Clark's wife. It's a sweet story, albeit with too happy an ending. Something fun and quick to read on a Sunday afternoon.

So, humble readers... besides blogs, what are you reading these days?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Show & Tell: NYC in Pictures

Greetings Humble Readers!

This post is very long in coming, and for that I apologize. I PROMISE, there will be a post about Terwilliger Turtle's Traveling adventures. He saw and did some fun stuff. But for tonight, you all get just a random sampling of some of my favourite pictures from our trip.

The Empire State Building. I loved this veiw.
Central Park... the most amazing urban greenspace ever!
The Chrysler Building... one of my better nightime shots.
Some navy boys in Times Square...
I don't know what his deal was... but we saw him all the time in the Park.
Some street performers... very cool to watch!
Lady Liberty... but why did she turn out white in this pic? Enquiring minds want to know!
From the top of the Empire State Building, at around 9pm.
An Italian cheese shop... I drooled buckets over those huge wheels of parm!
Us... waiting in line at the Letterman Show! Very Cool!

Now, make sure you head over to Mel's place to see what the rest of the class is showing!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Be Still My Heart!

Good evening Humble Readers! (Two posts in one day! Who knew I had it in me!)

So, this Hobbit's fantasy/sci-fi loving heart is all aflutter! I just finished watching the pilot episode of 'V'. I loved it!

I remember the 'V' mini-series from back in the 80s. I remember not being allowed to watch it, but sneaking out of my bedroom to hide behind the couch while my parents watched it. I remember being freaked out big time by a woman giving birth to twins, one looked human but had a forked tongue and the other was full out lizard-person.

Tonight's episode was fun and freaky all at the same time. It was so good that I actually forgot about the chicken I was roasting.

Any new shows this fall that have you totally stoked?

Creme de la Creme 2009

Hey Humble Readers! I hope you are all well and that the November greyness isn't getting you down!

Soooooo, do you see that groovy button over on the right? The one with the milk bottle? That's the one... Let me tell you about it.

Every year, the ALI goddess Mel, opens the Creme list for everyone to shamelessly self promote. Which of your posts from the past year do you think is the best? The one you would be heartbroken over if it was gone forever? Which post do you wish everyone would have read? Which post are you most proud of?

This isn't a time to be modest! Mel is giving you permission to toot your own horn, and so am I! We are all writers here, and sometimes our most powerful words get missed because our regular readers are having a busy day and don't get a chance to read them.

Any ALI blogger is invited to participate... even if you just opened your blog yesterday. You don't have to be a regular ICLW-er, Bingo-er, Show & Tell-er, or even a regular reader of any one particular blog.

Your voice deserves to be heard, and your story needs to be told! And only you can submit something from your blog.

Click on the milk bottle, and read about how you can submit your best post of 2009! The list will be posted on January 1, 2010. Submissions will be accepted until March 1, 2010. Mel's shooting for 300+ listings, but preferably one from everyone on the blogroll (more than 2000)!

So, come on! Go through your archive... find your best... we want to read it! And for those of you who I read regularly, prepare yourselves... I'm going to be pestering you!

Monday, November 2, 2009

CD 1... AGAIN!

Well, Humble Readers...

AF has arrived, in all her usual glory. At least she didn't toy with me this month.

Back to the drawing board, I guess.

Cycle 22 is bound to be the charm, right?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hobbit-ish Randomness Galore

Good Evening Humble Readers!

First up, this is my first NaBloPoMo! That crazy acronym is for National Blog Post Month. The goal is to write a post every day for a month. We'll see if I can pull it off.

Halloween was a non-event for us last night. No kids. No pumpkins. No candy. *sigh*

For all those people out there (not in blog land, but in irl) who gave me a rough time about waiting in line for 5 and a half hours, being two hours late for work, and freezing my hind end off for the H1N1 vaccine... I send you a hearty PPTTTTHHHBBbT! :p After the first two public clinics, my city is temporarily out of the serum for the vaccine. At this point they have cancelled all the upcoming clinics.

All has not been entirely rosy since we got our shots. My Beloved had a fever yesterday and was feeling mildly flu-ish. I have had a large red very sore patch on my arm at the injection site, and have been feeling rather icky for the last couple of days.

We began our biggest merchandising project of the year tonight. Changing the store over to Christmas is always a lot of work. I'm excited for the season to really kick in, but I am always unsure if we are actually going to be able to do all the displays and handle all the product at this time of year.

Cycle update: Tomorrow is d-day. AF is due tomorrow. No sign of her yet except a backache and some crazy intense acne. If she doesn't show, I'm not going to test until Tuesday.

What are you most looking forward to in the holiday season? Personally, I am stoked for some good turkey. I missed Thanksgiving (Canadian t-giving is in Oct) because I had to work. A co-worker and I are getting together later this month to cook a turkey, just to give me a fix to get me through until Christmas.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Who Is This Old Woman in the Mirror?

Good evening, humble readers!

Alright, so I know that being 35 isn't truly old. I KNOW that. But, wow, have I ever been getting reminders that I'm not a spring chicken any more.

I have been colouring my hair for a lot of years. This hobbit's red hair is no where near my natural colour. I've always preferred to have red hair, but now it's more of a necessity... those pesky 'white' hairs have a way of shining through.

As I was doing my hair the other day, I made a mental note that it's getting close to time for me to get my roots done, and I could see a few 'white' strands mixed in with my natural colour. Alright, I can handle that. At least I didn't take after my bio-dad... by the time he was in his mid thirties, he definitely was more salt than pepper.

But in what world is it acceptable to have a wiry white hair that is almost an inch long growing out of my chin???? When did that happen? Why wasn't I consulted? And how in the h-e-double-hockey-sticks did I miss it when it was only a half inch?

And don't even get me started on the 'white' eyebrow hair I just tweezed tonight...

Good gravy... this isn't allowed to happen! Someone pass the Cen.trum Silver!!
(Cycle update: It's CD25 of a 27 day cycle. 11dpo. Temp spiked a bit yesterday, but then dropped again today. Still having a few phantom symptoms, but not as many now. I'm just not really feeling it this month, I don't think this was the one for us. I know it's not over until the witch shows up tho.)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Hobbit Vs. The World: How Do You Spell Fiasco?


Humble Readers, if someone actually spent more than 5 minutes of thought into how these clinics were going to run, I would be very surprised.

Our little city's second H1N1 public vaccine clinic was today. It was held in one of the bigger churches in town. My Beloved and I got to the church at 7:45am. It was still dark (0ne of the things I'm still not used to living here on the flatland... the sun doesn't come up until well after 8 in the fall and winter), and -6 degrees. We were prepared to wait outside until the doors were scheduled to open at 9am.

When we got there, the line up was already more than halfway around the parking lot. The people at the front of the line got there at 5am. By 9:30am there was a traffic jam on the cross street and the highway, and they were turning people away.

We ended up having to wait outside, in the very chilly morning, for more than two and a half hours, before we actually got into the church. My toes were so numb they hurt, and my poor Beloved's ears were redder than a tomatoe. When we got inside the church, we ended up having to wait another two and a half hours in line, just to get to the gymnasium where we were given a number (853 & 854, respectively) and were able to sit down. There wasn't even a separate line for people in wheelchairs, for pregnant women, or the elderly.

Did I mention that I was supposed to be at work at 11am? (and guess who hates to be late for anything?)

I hadn't eaten breakfast, and all I had to drink was some peppermint tea that I thought to bring last minute. I was starving, which I will admit made me cranky. Sitting in a very echoe-y gym, surrounded by a lot of stressed out moms with fussing children in tow (not that I blame the moms or the tots). When we finally got called up, I was about ready to lose it.

We got our shots, and were supposed to then wait there for 15 minutes, just to make sure that we didn't have a reaction to the shot. Of course, we didn't and we took off as quickly as we could. My Beloved dropped me at work, 2 hours late (still having not eaten) and I had to get right down to it.

The whole time I was there, I kept thinking that they could have come up with some better way to do this. They health minister was on tv the other night saying how they weren't expecting the response they have gotten. That they were not able to anticipate how inadequate their plan for dispersing the vaccine was. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?? He's the same guy who went on tv a couple of months ago with the dire predictions of how many people were expected to be hospitalized or even die from this. Grab a clue!

(And don't even get me started on all the people who are saying they aren't going to get the vaccine because they have heard that it will cause sterility or birth defects or will turn you into a monkey... Gah!)

I ended up staying at work until close, to cover for our GM who went home sick, so at least I made up the hours I missed. I'm tired, my arm really hurts at the injection site, and my back is aching in that distinctive pre-AF way.

I just have to keep telling myself it could have been a lot worse. It could have been snowing like it is now. *sigh*

This cranky hobbit is off to bed. Hopefully everything will be normal when I wake up in the morning.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

More Hobbit-ish Potpurri

Good afternoon Humble Readers...

Today's post is just another collection of randomness from the last few days. Nothing big is going on... Kind of like the calm before the storm of the holidays.


Cycle update: Today is CD 22, 8dpo. Five days until AF is due. Phantom symptoms chose to really kick in today. I was nauseous for most of the morning, and still feel just a tad queezy. Mild dizziness off and on. Of course, the 'girls' are killing me, but that's par for the course during my tww. I will not test... I will not test...


We had my Beloved's mom over for dinner last night. We rarely get to host her at our place, so it was nice to have her come for dinner and to see our pictures from NYC. She wants us to think she is doing ok, but I know that she is still struggling. She didn't mention Dad once last night, but I think that might be her way of coping.


I went out for lunch today with my pastor. She is so easy to talk to, and she has walked down the IF road too. She is in the midst of some difficult stuff right now, and if you pray, please lift her up. Spiritual leaders are always targets.


I took myself shopping this afternoon, and went into & Body Wo.rks unchaperoned. Bit of a mistake. They had their room scent diffusers on sale. I ended up getting Autumn Leaves, Ginger Vanilla, and Spring Bamboo. All of them are lovely! I also got some lotion for my Beloved. It's a constant search to find a lotion for him that he likes... either it smells too strong or it causes him to break out. We'll see about this one.


On my way out of the mall, I stopped at a new tea place and got an iced ginger tea infusion. All of their teas are brewed from loose leaves, and it smelled wonderful in the store. The one I ordered was supposed to help settle my stomach. Thing is it tasted so bad that it made me feel even worse. It was a waste of $5. Bummer!


I have really loved this month's ICLW. The list was huge, and there were a ton of new blogs (at least to me). It's really been a lot of fun. I have ten more blogs to check out, and then I will have visited everyone (except for the few password protected ones). So many incredible stories in this community!


On the menu tonight: Mandarin Almond Chicken, with rice. Yummy!