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