Friday, May 28, 2010

A Day in the Life of an Anxious Hobbit: NT Scan Edition

Good Evening Humble Readers...

My day began at 4am, when I woke up to a growling stomach.  I was starved!  I ate some strawberries and eventually was able to fall back to sleep on the couch a couple of hours later, after watching a rerun of House and a rerun of NCIS. 

Of course, due to my early morning I ended up being a bit of a slug when it was time to get moving, which is something I don't do well at the best of times.  We left at around 9 this morning, and went out for a quick breakfast.  I was only able to eat half my scrambled eggs and hashbrowns before I was stuffed.  (This is getting to be a familiar routine... hungry enough to eat a horse, but after half of what I would normally eat, I'm feeling like I'm ready to pop.)

We hit the road in the rain, and were in Edmonton by 11:30.  I was still feeling pretty anxious about the whole scan thing, and being tired and acting as navigator had me on edge.  We found the hospital without too much angst, altho I think our GPS unit sent us on the most circuitous route possible. 

The Royal Alexandra Hospital is a jumble of new an old buildings connected by a maze of courtyards and covered walkways.  We found parking pretty easily (amazingly enough!), and we went in through the main entrance to the women's Pavillion, and proceded to get a little lost.  We were really early, as my appointment wasn't until 1:15, but I was starving again and I had to pee, so thus began our first meanderings through the hospital. 

It took a while but we found the main building and eventually found the food court.  I ordered my lunch, and of course was only able to eat half of it.  Nerves?  Pregnancy?  Little bit of both I'm sure.

After another meandering trip through the hospital, we finally found the admitting desk for the women's hospital.  I checked in, and filled out the requisite paperwork.  We were then given one of those flashing vibrating coaster things they give you at Red Lobster to let you know when your table's ready. 

We only waited ten minutes before our coaster thing went off, and we went in.  The u/s tech went right to work, but unfortunately I couldn't see anything because her screen was facing her and my Beloved, and the big screen on the wall wasn't in working order. 

She set my mind at ease fairly early on... fetal heartrate was 144 per minute.  I guess I must have let out a big sigh of relief because she asked if I was okay...

After that, tho, the Halfling decided to play shy.  He/she didn't want to have their picture taken.  It also turns out that the Halfling is hiding out close to my right hip (who knew that was possible) which explains why I wasn't able to find the heartbeat on my own.  The tech had to really really dig and press to get the pictures she needed.  After aabout twenty minutes or so of staring at the ceiling, she finally turned the screen toward me, and for a minute or so, I got to watch the heart beat and see Halfling stretching his/her legs and then sort of rolling up into a ball... such a cute little hiney!  Sadly, there are no pictures to share as they don't print any at that clinic and we weren't allowed to use our camera. 

So, the point of the whole thing... the results of the scan.  When she was done, the tech said she was going to show the images to the doctor and then he might come in and take a peak himself.  That had me a little bit concerned, but hey, there was a heartbeat... we could handle anything else right?  About ten minutes later the tech returned with the doc and he did indeed want to take 'a little peak'.  He was digging and pressing and then he started jiggling my stomach around trying to get the Halfling to cooperate.  After a minute or so, he agreed with the tech's assessment... 1.5mm.  (Yay!!!!)  He said it wasn't a beautiful picture and they wouldn't be submitting it for publication, but it was good.  I think I started breathing again at that point. 

After the scan, we had to meander the halls of the hospital again to find the lab for the bloodwork I had to have done in conjunction, but then after that we were able to head for home.  I slept part of the way (after we hit a Tim Ho.rtons so I could get something to eat... I was starved again) and my Beloved was singing along with the radio.  All in all, it was a good day.

So, this long and rambling post?  Well it just goes to show that I am a worrywart, that I stress about things I have no control over, and that it's usually for no good reason. 

Thank you for putting up with this ridiculously long post, and for all your good thoughts and prayers.  I really felt you all with me today.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Randomness Galore

Good Evening Humble Readers...

As I have been meandering around the blogosphere this week, I have come across a new-to-me meme on a few blogs.  Being ever the follower, I can't help myself but join in.  So, here's some more randomness about your friendly neighbourhood hobbit...


Apple juice or orange juice? Orange (apple juice makes my teeth ache)

Are you a morning or night person? Currently I'm a night person, but I have in the past been a morning person out of necessity

Which do you prefer, sweet or salty foods? Generally, I prefer salty, altho from time to time I do like the combination of the two (m&m's and buttered popcorn anyone?)

What was your favorite childhood television program? I watched a lot of tv as a kid, so there were many that held my attention from time to time, but Mr. Dressup and the Friendly Giant were the best.  Both are iconic Canadian children's programming, and I can still tell you what time they were on each day. 

Are you a collector of anything? Hmmmm... not much.  Books, I guess, and journals/notebooks.  Right now I'm collecting elephants for the nursery.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? I'd like to think I would be an elephant.  Slow, ponderous, mellow, but powerful and strong. 

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep? Whatever book I'm reading.  I have to read to fall asleep.

What’s your favorite color? Red

Do you believe in extraterrestrials or life on other planets? I think so.  It's probably not in the form that we imagine it (Star Trek, Star Wars) but I think there's something out there.
Do you believe in ghosts? Is it possible to differentiate between ghosts and spirits?  I don't think I believe in ghosts per say, but I do believe that there are spirit-based entities (both good and evil) out there.

Ever been addicted to a video/computer game? You bet!  It changes from time to time, but I generally get hooked on one until I complete it or get beaten by it.

You’re given 1 million dollars, what do you spend it on? Okay... tithe, pay off our mortgage, buy a bigger place, and rent this place out.  Pay off our debt, and set aside a good chunk for our future.  Then play a little with whatever was left over. 

Have any bad habits? Leaving my socks laying around.  I'm terrible for it.

List 3 of your worst personality traits: I procrastinate, I have a tendency to start things and then lose interest, and I can be a bit of a nag.

Have any celebrity crushes? Donnie Wahlberg, Mark Wahlberg, the guy who plays Derek on Criminal Minds

List 1 thing you wish you could change about yourself: The easy answer would be my weight, but I will say my eyesight.  I have horrible vision.  I can't remember my prescription, but I know the last optometrist I saw was a little astounded. 

Any tattoos or piercings? Just my ears, one in each.  No tattoos.

What’s the first thing you notice in the opposite sex? shoulders

Are you mostly a clean or messy person? Messy

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Ideally... somewhere cool in the summer, but not too hot in the summer, green through the spring and summer, pretty colours in the fall, but most importantly near my family.  And preferably in Canada.  Think such a place exists?

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go? UK, Ireland, Germany (again), South Africa, Tanzania, Egypt, New Zealand, all 10 provinces & 3 territories, all 50 states

List 5 goals on your life’s to-do list: 1) have a novel published  2) lose a significant amount of weight  3)build my family  4) track down my family history to the maker of my violin  5) make the perfect bolognese

Name 1 regret you have: not being more responsible about my debt when I was younger
Name 1 thing you miss about being a kid: the potential for magic around every corner

Name 1 thing you love about being an adult: married life

What’s your favorite song of the moment? Lovers In A Dangerous Time (BNL)

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Saturday night? Dinner and a movie with my Beloved

What’s your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon? Nap, read, watch old movies... anything but be at work


Tomorrow is the big day.  NT scan.  I will confess I'm a bit anxious.  I haven't seen the Halfling in more than a month.  I got the doppler, but I haven't been able to find the heartbeat yet.  I'm not freaked out about that much, but I know I would feel better if I could hear it.  (I know that it is still early to hear the hb on someone my size, and I am just kind of assuming I know where the Halfling is floating around in there)  There is just that little part of me that is worried that we will get to the mfm clinic tomorrow and something will be wrong. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

A New View - 13wk0d

Good Evening Humble Readers...

Oy!  Where has the last week gone?  Vacation time always seems to slip away quickly like that, don't you think? 

Today was my first day back at work in more than a week, and it kicked my ass.  Literally.  My back and hips are killing me right now.  I was okay until the last hour or so at work, but by the time I got home I was ready to cry.  I am really hoping that the chiropractor will be able to help me.  Otherwise this is going to be a long four months until I'm done working. 

But more than being my first day back at work, more than it being a holiday here in the not-so-frozen north country (Happy Victoria Day All!  especially to Callista! ;) ), today is officially the first day of the second trimester. 

This is my undiscovered country, my new frontier. 

And things look a fair bit different from this spot on the road.  Like I'm standing at the top of a hill that I've never climbed before, and there is an amazingly beautiful view in front of me that I had been told was there, but have never seen until this moment.  And while it's still a long way off, I can see my destination.  I know that there will still be some bumps in the road, but from where I stand right now, it looks pretty darn good.

I think the biggest change in my perceptions is that I am allowing myself to accept that the changes I am feeling in my body are really because there is a person growing inside me.  It's not all in my head. 

I'm still not ready to say that I feel 100% confident in this pregnancy. I probably never will be, but, I'm getting closer.  Hopefully, getting to see the Halfling this Friday at our nuchal translucency screening will help.  In the next two weeks I have doctor appointments coming out the wazoo.  Chiropractor, OB, GP, and the scan in Edmonton.  My GP mentioned something about a genetic counsellor soon too... who knows? 

How far along? 13w0d

Maternity clothes? Just did some maternity clothes shopping this past week.  I think I'm going to have to start wearing them sooner rather than later.  I'm really happy with the clothes I got, even if they aren't officially dress code (for work).  I think between the 2 pairs of pants, 3 dressy shirts, and 2 t-shirts (plus a couple of elastic waist skirts I already own) I should be ok for work. 

Body Oddities? TMI alert!  I know I have mentioned the crazy dry skin I have had on my face, but I'm now finding it in other places... like 'the girls'.  Freaky!  And let's not forget the incessant stuffed nose at night (and requisite chapped lips), the madly growing hair (of all types), and the bizarre full feeling in my lower abdomen.
Sleep? Still a little iffy.  I can at least sleep until 6am most days now.  I'm only up to pee once or twice a night now.  I do tend to want to crash after dinner, and if I let myself sleep then, I'm not going to be getting to sleep again until 2am. 

Best moment this week? when I realized that the second trimester wasn't an impossibility, and trying the fake baby bump thing at the maternity store. 

Worst moment? a couple of panicky stretches when I became aware that I hadn't been pukey for more than a couple of days

Movement? Far too early.  But when I lay on my back, I can feel what I think is the top of my uterus.

Food cravings? chocolate milk, and just today I started craving egg salad

Rings?  Still on, but I won't count on that lasting.

Gender? Not going to find out...

What I miss? my allergy meds!  Seasonal allergies have kicked in big time

What I look forward to: Nuchal translucency screen on Friday

Milestones: Second Trimester!!  Woohoo!

Emotions: Kind of all over the place, but I did just watch a sappy movie last night, so that could explain a lot.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Observations on Cleaning House

Good Evening Humble Readers...

I hope that you all have been keeping well.  I haven't been around much for the last few days, and I am woefully behind on reading and commenting.  I will attempt to get caught up in the next couple of days.

Sunday was a restful day, for the most part.  Church, lunch, then grocery shopping.  The danger of living across the back lane from a small grocery store is that you can go for weeks without doing a 'real' grocery shop.  I only bought what we needed (ok, we didn't need the dulce de leche ice cream) and it was still ridiculously expensive.  And why is it that when you spend a chunk of money on groceries, no one follows you home to put everything away?  That should be part of the price shouldn't it?

Monday and Tuesday were big time cleaning days.  Check out the Mission Impossible page for an update on my list.  We haven't made as much progress as I had hoped, but the house really is looking much better.  We have already made two trips to Va.lue Vil.lage with stuff we don't need anymore, and we have yet to hit the storage room and the second bedroom.  Two laundry baskets full of books, a set of dishes, an old crock pot... lots of goodies.

Why is it that cleaning the kitchen takes the longest to do and looks like you made the least difference?  I spent all day yesterday reorganizing cupboards, cleaning behind the stove, washing walls, and it hardly looks different (until you open a cupboard anyway). 

When I was cleaning out the kitchen cupboards, I was struck by a few thoughts.  First up, never again will I keep my tupperware containers separate from the lids.  I know it takes up a lot more room, but it will save my sanity in trying to figure out what the hell was happening in that cupboard.  I seriously had an avalanche of tupperware.  Second, why don't all companies that produce canned goods design their cans so that they stack nicely (like the soup ones do).  I am sick of tomato paste cans falling all over the place.  Lastly, when corriander seeds spill in your spice cupboard, you are going to be cleaning them up FOREVER. 

Today, we took a break today and I took the most glorious nap.  It was wonderful.  This afternoon, I had an intake appointment with a chiropractor.  Have any of you moms had chiropractic treatments during your pregnancy?  I'm hoping that it will help with my sciatica.  The doc was really great too, altho I had my first ever 'are you sure you're old enough to be a doctor' moment.  He was a young'un!  One interesting thing he noted when doing the initial exam... he had me stand on two scales (scary!), and he had only ever seen one other patient who was 100% balanced like I was, and that it was especially surprising given my size.  Hmm, who knew?

I dragged my Beloved to the craft store today.  I picked up a shadow box... one that I had planned on getting ages ago.  I have some things that are reminders of our angel girls (some pressed autumn leaves for Emily and a Christmas ornament for Olivia), and I have wanted to frame them nicely for ages.  I came across them again when I was reorganizing the bookshelves, and got re-motivated.  Hopefully this weekend I will be able to get it assembled. 

At the craft store, I also picked up a ball of pretty green yarn and a pair of knitting needles.  I learned how to knit when I was in junior high, but haven't done any in decades.  I tried to teach myself how to crochet a couple of years ago and it went very badly.  I was afraid that I wouldn't really remember what I was doing with the needles, but it has come back pretty quickly.  I started knitting a baby blanket and I've gotten about a quarter of it done.  My tension needs work, and I think I dropped a stitch somewhere back near the beginning, but I'm enjoying it.  I don't know how to do anything fancy, but I really wanted to make something for the Halfling. 

Pregnancy Update:  Not much to report.  I have had a few panicky moments over the last few days.  My symptoms really have faded away, except for the fatigue and occassional constipation and water retension.  I have caved and have ordered a doppler.  I should get it next week.  I am almost done the prometrium.  Another couple of days I think. 

We have had a drastic switch in our weather.  Yesterday it got up to 28 degrees (that's celcius)!  And yet we know that we aren't out of the woods yet for snow.  May long weekend is coming and it always snows sometme around May Long. 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Recipe Time

Good Evening Humble Readers...

In honour of finally having my "Larder" page up and running, I am going to share an amazingly delicious and sooooo easy dinner.

My alternating cravings for carbs and protien lately have culminated in a whole lot of sandwiches.  Subs, hoagies, beef dips, and most recently... BBQ pulled pork.

I will confess that this recipe is a variation on Ree's Drip Beef sandwiches (which are absolutely to die for!), and the aromas that will eminate from your kitchen will have your neighbours knocking down your door.  This is a totally make-it-your-own recipe, and can be tweaked to whatever your favourite bbq flavours are and how many people you are serving.  I made this in the slowcooker overnight.

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Pork shoulder roast (or whatever is on sale)
Pickled Pepper rings (the red and yellow ones) with pickling liquid
Chicken stock
Minced garlic
Grill Seasoning
Large white onion
Your favourite bbq sauce

Slice the onion into rings, and separate.  Scatter over the bottom of your slowcooker.  Place the roast on top of the onions, and sprinkle with grill seasoning.  Add chicken stock until only about an inch of the roast is showing above the stock.  Add pickled pepper rings (I use about a cup of the rings) and pickling liquid (again, about a cup), and garlic.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours depending on the size of the roast.  You want it to shred easily.  When roast is done, drain off most of the stock and drippings (they make a great base for soup).  Shred the roast with a couple of forks, but don't over do it.  Add half a bottle of your favourite bbq sauce (I'm talking about a regular grocery store sized bottle, not the costco sized mega jug), and stir into the meat until well combined.  Serve on toasted rolls with dill pickles and some shredded cheese if you like.  Great with a salad. 

I set this up to cook overnight and when I woke up, I had actually be dreaming about the sandwiches because I could smell it even in my sleep.  Once I shredded the roast and added the bbq sauce, I left it in the slowcooker and allowed the flavours to combine.  These are sooooooo darn good.  The picture really doesn't do it justice, I'm sorry.

Guess what leftovers we're having tonight?  What are you having for dinner?

Now that my Beloved and I are on stay-cation, we are have big plans.  Check out the Mission Impossible page to see what's on the agenda. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Celebratory Society!

Good Morning Humble Readers!

The consistently amazing Mel at Stirrup Queens has come up with a fabulous new project... The Celebratory Society. 

A take on a festschrift, this is an opportunity for us all to say (and hear) the things that we should say, but rarely do.  A time to offer encouragement, a word of thanks.  The best way to describe it is in Mel's words... "what do I propose? Nothing short of an informal online festschrift discussing your emotional achievements, your writing prowess, the way you’ve touched another person. Done in a kind, orderly way."  In other words, it's a chance to celebrate each other.  And this is my open post for the Celebratory Society...

To sign up, learn more, or to see who else is participating, swing over to Mel's.  I hope you will all join the Celebratory Society... I look forward to celebrating you all!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Spring? FInally?

Good Morning Humble Readers...

I hope you are all doing well this morning.  It's a gorgeous day here on the flatland, blue sky, light breeze and the sun is shining.  Our condo is nice and cool, and everything just seems restful.  This is the spring I have been waiting for.

Pregnancy news: nothing major to report.  My weight has been fluctuating quite a bit, which I guess I should expect because it always has.  It just freaked me out when it went up 4 pounds and stayed up for most of the past week.  Thank you bloating, constipation, and water retension.  It's back down today, thank heaven.  I think I am going to have to get a chain for my wedding rings sooner rather than later, with the puffy fingers and everything.  I find it interesting that the symptoms are still coming and going.  A bit of pukiness, and for the last couple of days the b00bs of wrath have reappeared.  On the random front... my fingernails are growing like mad!  I just wish that they would grow stronger... they've always been on the soft side. 

Sadly, it appears that as long as we live in this building, we will not be able to get the pug I have been longing for.  There was a condo board meeting last night and when my Beloved brought up the issue because we really want to have a vote on it, those present all had concerns... concerns that they have never expressed until now.  Grrr! I love our little home, but I am really hoping that sometime in the next couple of years we will be able to sell and move up. 

Confession time:  I have a breadmaker that I hardly ever use.  I really want to start making better use of it.  I am baking challenged, so I'm wondering if any of you lovely ladies (or gents if you're lurking) have any fabulous bread or bun recipes? 

Why is it that lab techs, nurses and doctors (in my experience) don't listen to their patients?  I had to go for more bloodwork and ended up having 6 vials of blood taken.  Generally, I have pretty good veins.  And I've been through this enough to know which arm and where on the elbow works best.  I told the tech to focus on the middle of the inside of my elbow, as that works best.  Instead she goes for a vein on the outside edge of my arm.  I knew that she wasn't going to get much of anything from that spot, but she kept digging like she was looking for oil.  Finally she gave up and switched to the spot I mentioned, at which point all went swimmingly.  Hmmm, maybe I do know my body?  Now I'm sporting a lovely bruise from her digging expedition. 

If you haven't already, you need to swing by Mel's place and check out the Celebration Society!  I'm planning on posting mine tomorrow. 

I'm thinking about going for a pedicure.  It was going to be my reward to myself for losing 20 pounds.  Of course, I didn't quite make it to 20 before our little halfling moved in.  So I think, perhaps in celebration of getting to the second trimester in a couple weeks, I might splurge and go to a local spa.  It's been years since I've had a pedicure.  My tootsies need some tlc.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Hobbit vs. The World: Breastfeeding Rant

Good Evening Humble Readers...

Before I start this post I have to say... I have never breastfed a baby, but I plan to.  And as an owner of a pair of milk-producing breasts (in comparison with, say, John Goodman) I think I am allowed to have an opinion. 

Over the last week I have heard a lot of opinions expressed about breastfeeding in public.  I have read blog posts, news stories, and heard some opinions that just shock the poop out of me.  And today, I saw a trailer for a national tv news story about it.  Who knew it could be so darn controversial?

The gist of all the stories I have come across is that breastfeeding in public should be restricted, if not outright banned. 

I'm sorry, but I just can't believe this. 

Yes, I am a relatively conservative hobbit, and no, when I am breast feeding I don't plan on just whipping my b00bs out any old time and place.  I plan on using some sort of a cover up (even that's not good enough for some of the people complaining).  But to say that a mother doesn't have the right to feed her child in public just makes me cranky. 

Apparently, it makes people uncomfortable

Well, you know what makes me uncomfortable?  Seeing every tom, dick, and harry's butt crack!  Men and women alike.  If your skinny jeans don't allow you to bend over without showing half of your ass, then I think you need to reconsider your wardrobe.  But you can bet that would never make the CTV and ABC evening news. 

There are two very extreme sides in this debate, and I don't fit in either camp.  I'm not (and I really and truly do not mean to be offensive here) a militant 'breast is best' person.  I don't disagree that breast milk is best, but I know that breastfeeding is hard, especially at first.  I watched my sister struggle in frustration and pain, and ultimately switch to formula after her son was getting more of her blood in his mouth than her milk. But I have read several comments from women who say they don't even see their breasts as private parts and that exposing them is no different from exposing one's arms or legs.  I just can't get that argument at all.

Nor do I identify AT ALL with one commenter who said that 'those women need to get a life' and that it's 'inappropriate in the extreme'.  In my opinion, the people who find breastfeeding in public offensive need to get their minds out of the gutter, because that's the only type of thinking that makes it offensive. 

There are plenty of things that I do in the privacy of my own home that I would never do in public, but that doesn't make them wrong.  Yes, I think that we need to be aware of our surroundings and be respectful of others.  Absolutely! 

However, no one has the right to tell me or any mother where and when and how I can feed my child. 

Okay, rant over for now.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Week 10 - Milestones

Good Evening Humble Readers ...

I hope that you all are having a good weekend, and that where ever you are on your road to motherhood you have peace and joy in your hearts.

This week has been interesting, in a mellow sort of way.  Some of the yucky symptoms have been slowly fading.  A week ago Friday was my last real bout of morning sickness, and it was a doozy.  But since then, I have been getting less and less nausea.  It's still there, and can sneak up on me at the worst times, but it's getting to be manageable. 

My sinuses don't seem to be as stuffed up any more, and I'm not needing to use the nose strips to sleep. 

If it wasn't for the killer constipation, bloating, and fatigue, I might just be a little worried.  But I'm trying to stay very positive.

I've noticed some changes in my skin.  I have some really bad dry patches on my face (I'm normally an oily girl) and on my arms too.

I had an appointment with my GP (remember, my OB wants me to see my GP for the 'regular' prenatal stuff) on Thursday that was frustrating in the extreme.  After waiting for more than an hour after my scheduled appointment time, I get weighed *shudder* and then, I expecting to have the pap test done that was the purpose of the appointment.  Instead, Dr. B comes in, gives me more paperwork for blood work, and tells me to book another appointment in a month.  I did manage to get him to answer a couple of questions for me before he left the room (seasonal allergy and sciatica related questions), but that was it.  Grrrr... 

So, milestones. 

I've talked about milestones before.  About those pauses on the road where we take stock on our journey thus far and look ahead.  This week has been a milestone kind of week.  Ten and a half weeks marks the longest I have ever carried a pregnancy.  With Emily, I started spotting at the ten and a half week point (the pregnancy had ceased to be viable weeks earlier, but I didn't know).  Two days later Dr. U did the D&C.  I'm still feeling optimistically confident about this pregnancy, but I have had some very reflective moments this week. 

Another milestone that was passed this week... my body is sufficiently changed now that one pair of my work pants is now impossible to do up.  This is a pair of pants that fit, albeit a little snug, at Christmastime, before I lost 18 pounds.  Maybe it's just all the bloating and constipation, but I had to use one of the bella  bands I purchased back in the early naivete of my first pregnancy.  I actually had to dig to the back of my underwear drawer to find them.  It was the first 'really' pregnant thing I have had to do.  I mean, doctors appointments are just doctors appointments, and even the sno.ogle body pillow that I bought can be shrugged away.  But a bella band... that means I must really be pregnant. 

Who'da thunk it?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Picture Tag

Good Morning Humble Readers...

I have been tagged!  By the wonderful Mrs. Dreamer at The Dreamer and the Realist!  The world cannot go on until I tag others!

So here's the deal...

1) Go to your photo files, select the 8th photo folder.

2) Select the 8th photo in that folder.
3) Post that photo along with the story behind it.
4) Then challenge 8 blogging friends to do the same!

Now the eighth picture in my eighth folder is one that you all have already seen.  It was a picture of the beautiful evil pot that crushed my toe a few months back. (btw, my toe still bears the marks of that pot, and it aches from time to time.  Cast iron and human flesh should never come in contact.  Full Stop.)

So, instead I played a little picture roulette.  Just spun my little mouse around until I landed on something... and it ended up being this.

So, obviously this is a shot from Christmas time.  It's a close up on one of my 12 nativity sets.  Yes, I said twelve.  This is my cutesy little snowman nativity set.  Pretty darn adorable if you ask me. 

I got started collecting nativity sets several years ago when I was working for a Christian bookstore.  I ended up being the gift product buyer for the store, so I was always able to bring in different and interesting sets to add to my collection. 

My favourite set is my Jim Shore set.  (You've probably seen some of his work in your local Hal.lmar.k store)  It always gets set up under the tree.  I still need to get the completer set for it... the little drummer boy, the palm tree and the camel.  Too bad I don't have a pic of it, huh?  Maybe next year.

Now, because I'm a little short on time today, I'm going to just toss this one out to all my bloggy friends.  Check out your picture files... you know you've got stuff you haven't shared! 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Hobbit Does Tex Mex (Sort of...)

Good Evening Humble Readers...

I was feeling creative today.  And inspired.  It is Cinqo De Mayo (did I even spell that right?) after all...

My experience with cooking mexican-style food is on the pretty basic level.  I can do tacos and burritos, fajitas and a pretty good 'mexican lasagna'.  But I wanted to try something a little bit different tonight.  So made a mish-mash of things. 

First up, I made guacamole.  First time ever.  I followed a recipe I found on (avacado, lemon juice, garlic, onion), but I found it a little bland, so I added a package of guacamole mix that I had picked up just in case.  Not ideal, but it gave me something to shoot for next time.  Still, it looked pretty good, and tasted okay.

Next, I made enchiladas.  Again I used a powdered mix for the enchilada sauce.  It's been a while since I had any real enchiladas, so I didn't have a flavour profile to work from, to try to recreate.

I spread a bit of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of my casserole dish.  Then I browned up some ground beef, threw in some thinly sliced onion, chili powder, a can of refried beans, and about half a cup of salsa.  Then, using flour tortillas and some shredded cheese, I rolled the enchiladas and lined them up in the casserole dish.  Then I poured the rest of the enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkled on some more shredded cheese.  Tossed it in the oven at 325 for 20 minutes... turned out pretty yummy for a first time, and without a recipe.

Next time I'll use shredded chicken or pork I think. It might even be a good way to use up the shredded beef left overs from the beef dips I make. 

So, Humble Readers, what should I do different next time?   Do you have any enchilada secrets you can pass along?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Spring On the Flatland

Good Morning Humble Readers...

Before you scroll down, I want you to take note of the date at the top of this post.  It's May 4th (Star Wars day, as I learned earlier... May the Fourth be with you!)... well into spring, wouldn't you say?

This is what my world looks like today.  I just took these shots from the warm-ish comfort of my cozy condo ten minutes ago. 

Not very pleasant, don't you think?  They are saying that the snow will be gone by tomorrow mid-day, but sometimes I really wonder about this place.  Nuts!

So, instead I choose to look at a little taste of spring that my Beloved brought home last week.  Have I mentioned that I adore him?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Week 9 Zzzzzzzz

Good Morning Humble Readers...

Your friendly neighbourhood hobbit is living in a fog these days.  I'm so exhausted that I can barely function.  As I sit here, I can barely keep my eyes open.  Sleep has gotten a bit better tho, I'm sleeping most of the night in bed, thanks to my new body pillow. 

The wierd dreams have continued, with scary overtones.  Most recently I had a long rather convoluted nightmare about being at an airport (why all the traveling?) and being robbed of $15K while going through security.  And that was just the beginning... there was a weird dance club for little people (ie people with dwarfism) and I ended up being chased by a balrog (the fire monster from the mines of Moria... Lord of the Rings). 

Is it possible to have sciatica this early?  A couple of times I have fallen asleep on my left side, and when I wake up I'm in agony. 

In other news, my Beloved has demonstrated a new level of handy-manliness.  Keep in mind that he is an accountant, who is at his best in front of a computer working with numbers.  About a month ago, I bought a new shower head, but hadn't gotten around to changing it yet.  This past weekend, while I was at work, he not only went to the hardware store and got the pipe tape we needed, but actually did a great job changing it out.  I'm VERY impressed.

I still can't get my halfling-ticker thing to correct itself.  It always changes on Thursday evening, but my new week doesn't start until Monday.  Hmmmm....

We've decided that we are going home to K-town for a week in July.  I'm excited because I haven't been home in more than two years, but I'm not looking forward to the drive or being there at the hottest time of the year.  Mom and Dad have a pool now, so I might see if I can find a jumbo extra huge swim suit so I can just float for the week.  We had planned to go out there this month, but Mom and Dad are going to be in Vegas during the week we were able to take off.  So, in just over a week we will be havig a stay-cation.  Going to get some stuff done around the house and maybe go on a couple little road trips.  Oh, and we get to have Sunny the Pug for a few days.