Saturday, December 26

Home again, home again


If anyone knows what that's from, please fill me in. I think it's a nursery rhyme. Or gangster rap. One of the two.

Christmas was fun. I took the dogs for a walk in Texas snow (freezing precip for the rest of yous). At first it was unbelievably cold, but I warmed up and the dogs were having a blast. They really wanted to chase some cattle, but I didn't let them. Kaya was half-way under a fence when I said no. It takes a pretty good dog to back out from under a barbed wire fence just because her human told her no. I have to brag on my dogs. I have to read about what your kids do, you have to read about my dogs. That's the way it goes.

We played boardgames, talked about people, ate an incredible amount of food, went to church, made plans to do things, opened presents, played with presents, played with dogs, broke up dog fights (bitches, man), napped, and had a general, all-around good time.

Now I'm back home and am getting geared up to get stuff done. However I first need to decide on the stuff. Here is a preliminary list (hold on to your seats):
  • Clean shower (it's supporting life at this point)
  • Laundry
  • Make pumpkin cookies with sprouted flour
  • Make cooked winter squash
  • Laundry
  • Make dog food for the week
  • Laundry
  • Clean guest linens
  • Dust guest room
  • Set up budget for next year
  • Send out Christmas cards (they aren't late, Christmas starts on the 25th and ends on Epiphany. Get it straight, people!)
  • Laundry
We shall see how that list progresses. Husband just made brunch plans for tomorrow. Husband has no respect for the list.

I hope all of y'all had a wonderful Christmas!
I've got stuff I need to do.

Sunday, December 20

Another day in the life of me

Sigh. I should be getting ready to go to late service right now. But I'm not. And Husband is still in bed. This concludes the spiritual guilt portion of today's post. (<- total lie)

Sigh. The kitchen is a mess. I've been very busy the past week. I have a certification I need to pass on Monday and didn't really buckle down and start studying until last Monday, which is just sooo me. Anyway, Husband doesn't feel this incessant need to get the kitchen Bella-clean. I think I only have about 30 minutes of work in there, so I'll probably clean it today. I mean, if I'm not going to have a clean soul, I might as well have a clean kitchen. (I'm very grateful my religion is based solely on grace and forgiveness.)

My big boss lady (<- irony because she is 4'10" in shoes, I can fit her in my pocket) is coming over this afternoon to study with me. She also needs to get certified before the end of the year. I've been making flashcards for us. I love my big boss lady, but I'm pretty sure that, if I don't keep her happy, she will rip out my heart and eat it. With a little Sriracha sauce. Fortunately, it's not hard to keep her happy and I'm one of those eager-to-please, teacher-pet types. I'm not proud of this aspect to my personality, but at least I know myself.

So, Monday marks the last day I work before Christmas break and, hopefully, the last day I have to study for this certification. Monday evening = FREEDOM! (should be read in the style of Mel Gibson in Braveheart).

Tuesday will be baking and packing and wrapping and shopping and at least one meltdown during which Husband will yell at me that I need to Stop! Stressing!. Ironically, the yelling doesn't help at all. go figure.

Then we will get on the road and Christmas prep will end and Christmas enjoyment will begin.

Merry Christmas, readership!

Thursday, December 3

And now it's time for a fertility post

After the rather traumatizing experience at the fertility clinic with Dr. Physician, I'm a little gun shy about interventions. Especially since my ovulation has been stable since I started the lunaception, and Husband's sperm has improved. However, I believe Husband wants us to go see the Endocrinologist that he was referred to by his GP. This is a Dr. Female Physician, which I am far more comfortable with, but it's still intervention.

This all came about in September. And I acknowledge that she may be able to help us. That there still could be some hurdles preventing us from concieving that science could address.

I decided that I didn't want another holiday season spent at a clinic, so we are postponing the visit until after the new year. I'm also going to let Dr. Female Physician know that I'm not open to using Clomid. Ever. Not under any circumstances.

Of course I secretly hope that I'll get pregnant before then. I still have to have Husband hide the prego tests from me so that I don't pee on three a day. I still obsess during the two week wait from hell. So really, not that much has actually changed, except that we are healthier.

Tuesday, December 1

Where has the time gone?

Seriously! Time is flying past me. Unlike traffic, which crawls.

Here are the highlights of the last month.

The new(ish) job is still going great.

We have our next camping trip planned.

We are still not pregnant but have noticed increased sex drive when husband takes cod liver oil. Yum! It's a sex drug!

I also take the cod liver oil.

We've hired a maid. I don't know why I didn't take this step much sooner. (Actually, I do know why. pride.) For her protection let's call her Gen. Long story about why I would call a maid Gen, which I will tell you know.

When my sister and I were kids we had two real Barbie dolls and one generic barbie doll. We cut the generic barbie doll's hair so short it resembled a dot matrix of orange plastic tufts on a page of bald.

And she was the maid for the two real Barbies.

Now, after telling you that story, I don't want to refer to my maid as Gen. She is so much more than Gen could've ever been. I mean, Gen couldn't even bend her arms and legs even a little (and, trust me, we tried to make them bend). They were just hollow cheap plastic. Let's call my maid Bella, because that means beauty and that's what Bella has brought into my house.

I love her.

Other than that, not much a doing. Everyone I work with has gotten the flu or upper respiratory infections or H1N1 or a cold or whatever. I've gotten nothing. Not that I really want those things. What I want is some pink eye. Something that's not really uncomfortable and wouldn't impair my ability to enjoy being awake; but is too contagious for me to go to work.

I made some muffins. Ever since Bella came over and shined my kitchen for me, I've been a cooking fool. AND! I've kept the kitchen clean. That last sentence should be read slowly and with meaning. I've got a batch of kombucha bottled and ready to be put in the fridge tomorrow. I've got a batch of punch fermenting away. I made some soaked muffins and a crockpot of black beans. All of which was made by using ingredients that I already had on hand.

My cup of joy overflows.

I hope yours does, too.

Sunday, October 25

Getting campy

We love camping. And we just found out.

We met some friends in Meridian, TX for camping and the National BBQ Cookoff. We had great time. Did some hiking, took some bird pictures, ate our body weights in BBQ, slept like the dead, marveled at the natural beauty of the world that was created for us. It was a fun weekend. I also made a mental list of what all we need to be more successful campers. Husband already wants us to do multiday hikes. I suggested we try camping without electric hookup first.

Here's the first guy we meet at the park on Saturday morning. He likes an early breakfast.

He flew away and met up with a Great White Egret who appeared to be his buddy. We found them and took more pictures of them.

I really liked the fog coming off the lake in the morning. It was just beautiful.

It would've been even more beautiful if I hadn't frozen my rear off the night before. We are *not* equipped for cool weather camping. Sleeping bags are on my list.

We also went hiking this morning and found our friend in a tree, greeting the eastern sky with a thoughtful stare.

Wednesday, October 21

At home, in my rocking chair, blogging

We have been having perfect Autumn weather. It is exactly what I think weather is like in England all the time: equal parts mildly sunny with a breeze, overcast and moody, drizzle and rain. I absolutely love this weather. However, I have transitioned from my plants dying because they are being baked by the sun to my plants dying because they are getting too much water. Ah, Texas. How I love thee.

As y'all know, I'm always trying to do something. It's kind of the basis of this whole blog. You all come here every day wondering if I've managed to get my life together, knowing that I haven't and secretly happy about it because that means I'll write something again tomorrow later. And that's okay with me, because honestly, if I were to accomplish one thing, I'd just think of something else I should also be doing.

So, what am I doing?
I will tell you.

I have successfully conducted my 15-minutes of Bible reading every morning (well, not every morning, but more than 95%). I'm in 2Chronicles, which is really a repeat of 2Kings. Despite the fact that it is violent and full of how God treats bad kings, it is not the most gripping reading, especially the second time around; but Moses and Joshua are tough acts to follow. I was kind of happy when Jezebel got eaten by the dogs, though. She was not nice.

I've managed to get breakfast for a few days now. I have oatmeal in the fridge that was first soaked overnight (to neutralize the phytic acid), then cooked and mixed with butter, coconut oil and honey. It is yum. So. Very. Yum. Note: oatmeal that is first soaked overnight, cooks up in about 3 minutes. It's like instant, but without the instant price tag.

I'm working on adding, and don't laugh at this, two minutes of exercise to my morning routine. Two minutes of jumping jacks will get your heart rate up. Once you stop laughing, give it a try. I've also done some crunches and some butt exercises. Right now it's not really about the work out benefit but the habit forming.

Tuesday, October 6

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming..

I'm still adjusting.

I'm still guano busy.

But I'm blogging again.

In actuality, I've been blogging all along, but just in my head and not on any sort of readable media.

Returning to a workplace, where you used to work and left a year ago, is strange. So many people have asked me if I'm doing the same thing I did before I left. In fact, I am not. I'm not only in a completely different role, but am employed by a different company. And I can't imagine what kind of drastically wrong turn my life would've taken in order for me to have returned to the position I left. I feel sorry for people who do that. Unless the position makes them happy. Then I'm happy for them. But what a sad life.

I've also temporarily convinced a few people I hadn't really left.
They walk by, do a double-take, and say "are you back?"
"From where?"
"Didn't you leave?"
"Um, I went to lunch. Did you need me for something?"
Confusion spreads over their face.

The only notable events that happened during the Great Silence is that His Wife had a beautiful baby boy. I will travel to see them in November (crap! just remembered I hadn't actually purchased the plane tickets yet) and I can't wait. I plan on cooking, cleaning, laundering, changing diapers, holding precious baby and watching at least on girl movie with her.

I also very notably did not get pregnant. We are still kind of trying but mostly trying to get healthy. I still believe that healthy people are fertile. Fix the health and you will fix the fertility. This does not apply to people who have anatomical problems. Thankfully, that's not us.

I'm still ovulating roughly on schedule with the full moons. Husband is seeing a Reproductive Endocrinologist. I'm requesting that he request to have his thyroid tested and his Vitamin D levels checked.

I'm wiped out tired right now. I'm working 2pm - 11pm tomorrow as I did yesterday. Today I worked my normal hours. More on the irony of this later. I'm too tired to go into it right now.

Thursday, September 3

Change begets change, which begets shopping

New job is going well. I've been overloaded with information. I've learned the bliss and wonder of a pivot table. Those of you who really know me, know I'm not being sarcastic or facetious. Those of you who don't know just had a little peak into my psyche.

New job requires business career type dress. I'm from a technical background. My wardrobe is severely limited in the business career type dressing. Especially since for the last year I've worn jeans to work almost everyday and I've gained weight, which means the dress pants I used to wear fit me, but in an obscene way. The same goes for a lot of my dress tops. They make it look like I'm working for a raise in the wrong way. All this to say, it's time for a wardrobe overhaul. However, I want to be organized about it. I would usually just go to the shops and buy whatever caught my eye or that I thought was a good deal.

Of course, I have a number-bulleted list of a plan:
  1. Clean all the laundry so I know what I really have (daunting!)

  2. Get rid of whatever is in the closet that I don't wear and anything that is too small
    I will probably move the "too small" into the box of "too small" that I have upstairs because I fully intend to be too small once again. Maybe.

  3. Create outfits with what I have left and determine where the holes are.
When shopping, I will:
  1. Stick to my list of what I need

  2. only buy things that fit me NOW

  3. not buy something on sale unless I would've bought it for full price

  4. only buy things that I love on me

  5. accessorize

Tuesday, August 25

New(ish) job under way

Started yesterday. I'm busy. Will write more later.

Tuesday, August 18

iPhone App: wCalendar & Darkness-- TTC

The post also known as, "How to use your iPhone to get pregnant."

What it's used for:
Tracking your cycle. But only if you're a girl.

What I like:
  • Easy input of temps and recording of other events (doing it) and signs (mucus)
  • Nice calendar view
  • Nice chart view
  • Super easy to use
  • Displays the day of the cycle I'm on
What I don't like:
  • Doesn't calculate when I ovulated with the option to override
  • Doesn't take when I marked as ovulation into account with projections
  • Doesn't tell me what day past ovulation I am
If you are charting your cycle and I recommend checking it out. I use this app in conjunction with Darkness to do my lunaception.

Friday, August 14

Fight Back Fridays: Salsa, fresh and fermented

I've been meaning to join in the Fight Back Fridays over at Food Ren's blog. Today, I will.

On my quest to rid my kitchen of processed foods that contain fake ingredients, I'm focusing on condiments. I'm going slowly, one at a time. If I try to do things quickly, I burn up like space debris in earth's atmosphere.

I followed the recipe for fermented salsa in the Nourishing Traditions book by Sally Fallon. Last Sunday, I went to our local coop (or is it co-op?) and bought some farm fresh tomatoes, lemon, garlic, jalapenos and cilantro. I already had onions. I chopped everything up. I left the skin on the tomatoes. Mostly because I'm lazy. Added some whey from homemade cheese and a lot of natural sea salt. Smooshed it into jars. Twisted the lids on and set them on the counter with a towel over them.

When I uncovered them last night, egads! it looked like a science experiment. Or something I would've previously thrown out of my fridge.

Luckily I've also recently read Sandor Katz's Wild Fermentation and knew that some white mold on top of ferments is normal and not harmful. You just have to scoop it off.

Therefore I did not fear the white mold and opened the first jar. The bacteria had done their job. There were bubbles and some fizzing, like a carbonated drink, but salsa. I scooped the mold and tasted. Oh the tang! the saltiness! the spiciness! It was delightful. The jars are now in my fridge and I'm working on incorporating salsa into this week's meal plan.

I used to wonder how people ever lived before electricity and refrigerators. How did they store food? I think I'm slowly starting to learn that good, wholesome food doesn't necessarily become putrefied when it "goes bad". Food that hasn't been messed with can become something totally yummy and even good for you (probiotics!) when it ferments.

I'm looking forward to our farmer's market visit coming up tomorrow morning and am excited to find something else to ferment.


I just had an idea! The mold appears as a result of the surface of the ferment being in contact with the air in the jar. What if I use my vacuum sealer to seal the jars? What then? I'm going to try it.

Wednesday, August 12

You know it's been a dry summer when...

your whole office building stops working to watch it rain.

Tuesday, August 11

Trucking right along

I was able to give my notice today. It was bittersweet.

I will at least get a day off in between jobs.

I would write more but, bleh.

Friday, August 7

Decision made

I think it's safe for me to post about the impending decision that is not so impending anymore. I've accepted a job offer. Yes, this is the third job change for me in less than a year. Yes, I'm going back to where I was working before. But, I'll be with a different company and I'll be doing something totally new for me. I won't be in support anymore. For those of you who have worked support jobs you know how momentous that is. For you others, I'll explain.

It means I won't work until 1am the next day trying to get servers fixed. I won't get calls at 9pm to get a server fixed. I won't have to work a whole weekend trying to upgrade servers. I won't be unofficially on-call 24/7. My life will be my own. I'll have predictable work hours.

I'll be handling financials for the contract I was on before. I'll be working with all the same crappy wonderful people, who sometimes read this blog. I may even be back in a cube in which I have worked before. I'll get to submerge myself in spreadsheets and try find ways to make numbers smaller/bigger, depending on the number.

My commute will be shorter.

The maternity leave and options for mothers are terrific. I may be able to work out a job share situation. Of course, given our inability to reproduce, that may not matter.

I will certainly miss the people here. I'll miss the learning and being in the fray.* The fray is such a double-edged sword. It's exciting. It gives you the opportunity to be the hero. But it also means you may have to put your life on hold to accomplish that. I like the adrenaline. I don't like the missed sleep and missed time with Husband.

Sooooooo. I can't give my two weeks until Monday. Until my background check comes back and I pee in a cup, I don't officially have a job. But, seriously, my background check will come back clean. Thanks to Nancy Regan, I don't do drugs. I'm dreading telling my boss. Mostly because he's been grooming me to take over a lot of his responsibilities so that he can spend more time with his babies and wife. I have a little guilt. But this wasn't planned. I wasn't even looking for a job. They contacted me. Sigh. I can't wait to get Monday over with.

I am looking forward to the weekend. But, seriously, when am I not? I have a spa appointment on Saturday morning. Saturday evening is a WAPF chapter meeting. Sunday will be church and bathroom painting. Yeah! I'll also throw in some cooking and fermenting. I'm getting ready to make some pickles and relish from produce at the farmers' market.

*fray - literally, a fight, skirmish or battle. Here I mean the times a highly visible service goes down and things are not working and we have to come up with innovative solutions to get things working and be detectives to figure out why it stopped working. I like run on sentences.

Sunday, August 2

Weekend wind down

It's Sunday evening and all is well. Saturday was useless. Nothing got accomplished or done on Saturday. It was wonderful. Sunday was productive. A chicken is roasted, lunch for the week is made, chicken stock is in the fridge, milk is on the counter top in jars (to be made into cheese and whey), and the kitchen is mostly clean. I also got some minor miscellaneous outdoor chores done. It was pleasant outside today. By "pleasant" I mean that it did *not* feel as though we lived on the sun. It has been another lovely weekend.

The week ahead is looming. I may have a decision to make. I may not. The decision, if I have to make it, won't be easy. Either way I'll make a group of people I care about unhappy. I've been praying for guidance. I know it will come if needed. Perhaps it won't even be needed. I'll be more specific later.

I'm planning on culturing some vegetables next weekend. I'm thinking sliced pickles, relish of some sort and some more sauerkraut. I've started up the menu plan again as well.

Wishing y'all a happy week to come!

Wednesday, July 29

The $200 dinner we had on Sunday

which we made ourselves in our own kitchen.

Because we bought a rotisserie! And it was everything I thought it could be. I used a locally raised, pastured chicken. Brined it in salt water for 4 hours, mushed butter under its skin. Sprinkled on some salt, pepper and thyme. Rotisseried for an hour and a half. It was crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.

"Why the expense?" you may ask. Because I would've had to run my oven for two hours to get an equivalent roasted chicken, which would've heated up my kitchen, which would've made my AC run even more. The rotisserie gave off amazingly little heat. It's also smaller and takes less energy to heat.

Next up will be a Chinese 5-spice chicken and possibly some brie-stuffed fillets of beef. I'll try to get pictures.

Monday, July 27

Weekend in review

The wedding was wonderful. I got all teary-eyed. We got some good pictures of Husband and me. We had a lot of fun. We even danced some. I did not drink too much and was the dd. I did not engage in too much of the R-rated humor. I did some, but not as much as I normally would have. This is all part of trying to live my life in a God-pleasing manner. It's not easy. I'm usually a crowd-pleaser.

Sunday did not result in a trip to church. Please do not talk to me about the inconsistency between the previous paragraph and that last sentence.

Sunday did result in some much needed pants shopping for Husband, housecleaning, laundry, mowing, watering, cooking and more cleaning. We also played two games of Agricola. Very fun game, btw.

I don't know if it was the dancing on Saturday, the wedding magic, the shopping fun, the good feelings that come from cleaning the house or the good feelings that come from trying to be a God-pleasing wife. Maybe it was a combination of all of them; or maybe all of them stem from that last one. I don't know. But Husband and I were very close this weekend. It's the warm, mushy, happy, glowing kind of close. The kind that makes single people want to gag themselves with a spoon and then kill you with it. It was wonderful.

Friday, July 24

Working from home

I'm working from home today because we are changing offices. This would've been great but then it wasn't. I don't know why. I usually get a lot done at home. Not today. I really need my two big monitors to efficiently do what I'm doing right now. People kept coming to my door. Husband stayed home which made it feel like a Saturday. I'm now keeping an online presence simply to have the appearance of actually working. Even though I'm not.

We have a wedding this weekend. Husband is in the groom's party. We have the rehearsal tonight. I love weddings. They get me all mushy. So far, of Husband's friends (all of which were single when we got married), the one that has gotten married and the one that is about to have both chosen women who I really like. Thank goodness!

I think I'm going to end this charade and start getting myself ready for the rehearsal and party.

Wednesday, July 22

TTC: Taking a break, mostly because we aren't fertile

What can I say? I'm tired of trying. I don't want to feel nervous about planning vacations or spending money because of the big what if. So I'm not going to think about it anymore

I'm still going to track my cycles to see that I'm ovulating, but I'm not going to worry about whether or not we time things right. I'm still going to try to be healthy. But now I'm doing these things mostly for me and not for some hypothetical baby.

I'm almost to the end of the current cycle and noticed that I hadn't peed on any sticks. I haven't even wanted to.

It's time to move on.

Monday, July 20

Another message from the datacenter

It's late. I'm tired, cold and hungry. I'm in an oppressively dry, loud and frigid environment. There are warm pockets of air. It's like swimming in a lake and finding a warm spot of water. I feel like I'm in a very low-grade tornado due to the air movement. My hair looks awesome. Think 80's music video.

I want to go home.

It's lonely here.

and loud.

More error alerts in my email. They number in the hundreds.


Mr. Boss and Mr. Boss' Boss work diligently.

I sit in the datacenter and wait.

I wait to push a button. But it's a ridiculously stupid button that I have to use a pen to push. My purse pen because the guys can't manage to leave a freaking pen in the datacenter. Where is it cold. and loud.

Or, perhaps, I don't push a button.

I wait.

I may be recalled to the office where I will take orders, hover, watch, learn, absorb, try to be useful, fail at that, etc.

I may be sent home.

Where I will drink some milk then go to sleep.

The world seems so far away from within the walls of the datacenter. It's at least beyond three secured doors.

Friday, July 17

Dr. Bone-cracker

This week has thoroughly worn me out. It's due to combination of three chiropratic appointments (more on this later), working late, going out with work people, drinking beer + not eating, general busy-ness. The checklist was ignored. I'll use the same checklist for next week. Starting tomorrow.

I have been experiencing pain in my right shoulder-neck-back for many many months. This pain was getting progressively worse. It was making swiveling my head very difficult. I was checking my blind spots by turning from my waist. Try that some time. It's not fun. I finally decided to go see a chiropractor at the recommendation from a coworker.

I don't generally like to see health care providers in general and male health care providers in particular. However, the pain was very bad so I made an appointment with my coworker's chiropractor, to whom I will refer as Dr. Bone-cracker. Many of you may remember the posts I wrote about Dr. Physician and how much I just *loved* seeing him. That was sarcasm. Sense the tone!

I got x-rays. I got my mobility tested. I got asked a lot of questions. I got shown a diagram of the parts of your body that are effected by the nerves from the different vertebrae of your spine. Very interesting that was. Very interesting indeed. Turns out the thyroid is communicated to by the whole area of my neck/back that was in pain. I instantly remembered Dr. Physician saying that my ovaries don't get the message to go ahead and release an egg from my brain. Well, maybe this is why. Perhaps my brain can't tell my thyroid to release the right hormones b/c my spine is screwed up. It's just a theory.

Anyway, Dr. Bone-cracker cracked away at my neck, lower and mid back. I instantly felt better. I was able to turn my head with almost no pain.

Turns out my neck is straight. It's supposed to have a curve to it. Which means I walk with my head more forward than up. I now have chiropractic followed by physical therapy three times a week. I also have a set of exercises that I do in the morning and a set for the evening. These are mostly back strengthening and ab work. All good stuff.

Monday, July 13

TTC: Update

Just to keep y'all in the loop, here is an update on what my woman parts are doing, or not doing, as the case may be.

Cycle day: 22
Days past ovulation: 7

I ovulated the day before the full moon. Crazy. Or, dare I say, lunacy?

to be titled later

I know you are all dying to know how my weekend went, so I'll tell you. It was nice. There, now you can all relax. Saturday was not as productive as I would've liked. I did get some groceries bought, had my touch-up done, cooked an omelet for Husband and myself. And then I took the nap. The nap was the black death for productivity. Not much got done after that. I just couldn't really wake up. I'm going to try *not* napping next Saturday.

Sunday, we made it to church! Despite the fact that I was in a fowl, evil mood. Church helped some.

I also read a lot of back posts and realized that I say I'll update y'all on something and then never do. I've also noticed all the things I've wanted to do or tried to do and never did/finished. Wow. I'm a loser. I'm going to try not being a loser. I'll let y'all know how that goes.

Here's my updated list:

  • cook two meals - complete!
  • get my lunch packed at least twice - complete!
  • shine my sink - I don't want to talk about it :(
  • read my Bible - complete!
  • 3 15-minute declutter sessions (these are *wonderful*) - I did two. Still good!
  • start incorporating the 2 minute hotspot (mail table) rescue to my evening routine - not at all! didn't even think about it!
Building on this list from last week, here is the list for this week:
  • cook two meals
  • get my lunch packed at least three times
  • clean the kitchen at least once
  • shine my sink
  • read my Bible
  • 3 15-minute declutter sessions
  • start incorporating the 2 minute hotspot
  • swish and swipe the little bathroom at least twice
Some of these may look familiar. I *did* get my downstairs toilet quite clean. I hate doing toilets. I now have a toilet brush that sits in water with lavendar soap. I'll use that to do the swish and swipe.

Thursday, July 9

Weekly progress

Husband is out-of-town at a conference. I'm home alone. Well, it's me and two large, ferocious dogs. Usually I totally shut down when Husband is not home. Yesterday, despite the fact that I was home sick with allergies, I didn't *completely* shut down. I also didn't get any housework done. I did get some work work done.

So, some of you may remember my post earlier about what I wanted to accomplish this week. Here's my progress so far:
  • cook two meals - one down, one to go
  • get my lunch packed at least twice - one down, one to go
  • shine my sink - um, not happening, will have to make it happen tonight
  • read my Bible - every morning for 15 minutes, check!
  • 3 15-minute declutter sessions (these are *wonderful*) - not yet, tonight I hope to get 2 done
  • start incorporating the 2 minute hotspot (mail table) rescue to my evening routine - well, I did throw a lot of the mail on the floor while I looked for car keys. does that count?
I did five minutes of ab workout this morning. I know that's not on my list but I thought I'd throw that out there.

Tuesday, July 7

No follow through

At lunch yesterday, a friend of mine told me a friend of his is a perfectionist just like me, except with follow through. His friend was able to organize travel pictures, put them on dvd's in slideshow format with music and commentary. That's the sort of thing I would want to do, but would never actually do. I know my friend was not trying to hurt my feelings. He's a guy and therefore clueless, after all. But, still. That hurt. Mostly because it's true.

Which got me to thinking. Why don't I follow through? Then I realized, the friend, who is also a "perfectionist," probably isn't the same type of perfectionist I am. The things I want to do, I want to do them sooooo perfectly that they are not possible. I'm guessing that friend has learned to accept good enough. He is a testament to what a perfectionist can accomplish if we are willing to do that one little thing.

Monday, July 6

What holiday?

Seriously, so that was my three-day weekend. I feel like I need another day or two to recover. I know we had a national holiday in there somewhere, but I missed it. Between getting caught up with in-town friends and then getting caught up with some very special out-of-state friends and a baby shower and an allergy attack, I don't feel like I've had a "holiday".

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade the time I got to spend with my friends for time to myself. That doesn't mean I wouldn't like a little time to myself now. Most especially, I'd like to sleep. My allergies have kept me from sleeping well and I'm exhausted.

Seeing my childhood friend, who still looks like a sophisticated teenager (I would hate her if I didn't love her so much), pregnant was wonderful. I can't wait for that baby to get here!

Goals for this week:
  • cook two meals
  • get my lunch packed at least twice
  • shine my sink
  • read my Bible
  • 3 15-minute declutter sessions (these are *wonderful*)
  • start incorporating the 2 minute hotspot (mail table) rescue to my evening routine
That's it! I don't want to pile on too much.

I hope everyone had a great fourth!

Monday, June 29

Weekend in review

I am chugging right along on my effort to establish good habits. I've kept my sink shiny. I've read my Bible every morning for 15 minutes. There are other things I've accomplished as well, but these are the two that need to be routine. Husband and I did a 15 minute declutter in our downstairs junk room. Yes! We have a junk room for each level of our house! We are going to try to do 15 minutes every day. But if we miss a day? Big deal! Who cares! We will just continue working the next day or the next week or whatever. The important thing is that I don't beat myself up for missing one day.

I got some bittersweet news this weekend. A really good friend of Husband's and mine is moving to D.C. That's pretty far from Austin. I'm worried that it is a permanent move. I'm happy for him, though. I think it will be a good move for him personally and professionally. But that doesn't erase the fact that I'm going to miss him a lot! *sigh*

Other than that, we had company this weekend, followed up by more company. Needless to say, not a lot of food prep happened. However, if my goal had been to eat out a *lot*, then I would've met that goal.

Friday, June 26

Fly, Flybaby

Many of you have been to my house and know that I am, um, shall we say, organizationally challenged. I live with CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome) but I have those unfortunate people over anyway. I'm shameless. I'm the sort of perfectionist that is crippled by my need to do things perfectly. Here's an example:
I don't know how to remove the small spot of mold that has formed under the caulking behind the sink, therefore I cannot clean the kitchen perfectly. Therefore I won't clean it at all.
I know. Sounds stupid. And it is stupid. But it's still me. And I have to figure out how to deal with me.

I've been to FlyLady's site several times but this past weekend I decided to go ahead and do it. I'm doing babystep number two tomorrow. I am going to have to adjust things to fit my life; but that's to be expected. I did shine my sink last night.

Habit forming is hard. And I used to tell myself that my life was too sporadic to form any real habits. My evenings just are not uniform enough to be able to do anything everyday. But then I re-evaluated. Despite our social schedule and commitments, I had already formed habits. They just weren't good ones. I have a habit of coming home and immediately changing into my sweats and baggy t-shirt. I have a habit of "needing" to destress in the rocking chair. I have a habit of putting my clothes on my vanity chair. I have a habit of leaving my dishes in the living room (for shame!). I am determined that I can replace these habits with different ones.

Usually I would approach this kind of change with an all-or-nothing attitude. I would want to change everything that was wrong all at once. This stems from the part of my personality that wants complete and total perfection. And as soon as I slipped, I would see myself as a failure and retreat back into my sweat pants/rocking chair shell. I'm forcing myself to concentrate on small steps. Baby steps. And like a baby, I will tumble and fall. But I will pick myself up and continue. I have to, or I will be stuck in CHAOS forever.

Thursday, June 25

Cleanse: Week 3

Man oh man. I've started coming off the cleanse. It's a few days early but I need more food. I've had a few dizzy spells and a lot of hunger. The last week has more raw veggies and less of the rice and beans. That just was not enough for me. I'm now gradually adding back fats and cultured dairy.

Here is what I've learned. It's important to be prepared if you are going to pack a lunch everyday. I've gotten a lot of ideas for lunches that I can cook/prep and then steam once I get to work for my lunch. I'm thinking rice (or other grain) and beans with some veggies, butter and seasonings. I just need to soak the grain and beans the night before. Also, some soba noodles (already boiled) with veggies and seasonings (like garlic and ginger). I can even add bits of chicken or beef to these meals. I like heating food in the steamer rather than the microwave much better. It just tastes better. I'm also one of those crazy kooky people who think microwaves may denature food. I still use it occasionally but not as often as I used to. Go ahead, call me a hippie.

Friday, June 19

I've been going through my blog list trying to find something that will capture my attention. I've not been successful, through no fault of the blogs. My mind feels restless right now, like a discontent wanderer. I'm not sure why. Perhaps I really wanted to write instead of read, but I don't really know what to write about.

I could write *even* *more* about how much I'd like to be a mommy, how I'd love to have the trouble Amalah just had with the poop-covered baby, or how I'm terrified that if I ever do get there, I won't like it. What if I find being a mom mundane?

When I was in junior high I was certain that I did not want to get married and have kids. That was the equivalent of a life sentence in a house-shaped cell. I wanted to learn things, travel, experience. I didn't just want to drink life in, I wanted to gulp it. God made a big wide world and I often felt, and sometimes still do, that he made it just for me. Why would I want to limit my life with the drudgery of raising kids? These were the thoughts that went through my mind while I would rinse dishes in my mama's kitchen and stare through the window above the sink. That was before my childhood had ended. I could still see the waves of pale yellow-green grass bordered in the back by a fence row filled with wispy, lace-like mesquite trees with larger, dark-green live oaks behind them, all topped by a big blue sky dotted with fluffy white clouds. Eventually things would change. A shed would get built that would block the view of the field, and I would grow up and view motherhood in a completely different light.

Even though that was eighteen years ago, there are moments when I feel just like that skinny little barefooted girl in my mama's kitchen who was filled with passion and naivete. My heart will get all fluttery with possibilities and my mind will get fearful of being trapped in a tedious life. But, in the very next moment, I grow up again. Life really is what you make of it. You can either stare at the dishes in the sink that you've washed repetitively and will wash again; or you can stare at the wild, green ocean of grass and endless sky.

Thursday, June 18

TTC: Update

It's been awhile since I've discussed my reproductive organs in a public forum. I'd been feeling strangely reserved and unexposed, now I know why. Here's how things have shaped up. Days 13 - 17 (my lighted days) were May 29th - June 2nd. I did not ovulate.

Woe is me! My temperature didn't spike, but my self-pity definitely did. I stopped taking my temperature and started being angry at my body. I eventually did take my temperature again on June 11th. Apparently I *did* ovulate sometime between day 18 - 25 (June 3rd - 10th). Turns out the real full moon happened on June 7th. Which is kind of smack dab in the middle of the range of ovulation. I suppose it could be that my body, in fact, doesn't suck* and it was just waiting for the real full moon.

So, where does that put me now? I'm day 33, 8 - 15dpo (what a range!). I do not believe Husband and I were, um, being romantic (wink, wink) during my 8 day ovulation range. I was too grumpy.

Pregnancy probability: not good, but that's okay because I'm doing a cleanse right now

Body not sucking totally probability: pretty good :)

*I do want to add that I don't really think my body, as a whole, sucks. I realize there are people in this world who have actual health problems, who will never leave a wheelchair or a bed, who will die young because their bodies give out on them, who are also less whiny than me. I have not lost all perspective and am very thankful for the body God has given me.

Wednesday, June 17

Cleanse: Week 2

So, last week I simplified; this week I eat like a monk. or nun.

The basis of my diet is kicheree, which is brown rice and mung beans. I can also eat certain steamed veggies. Yum! Here is the email I sent to my group this morning:

I made it through my first day [of week 2]! And! I didn't kill anyone! My brother did mention that he would "just order pizza" when he came over. That was a near death experience for him. He did not order pizza.

Last night I steamed some turnips, red cabbage and slices of ginger together. Very tasty! I also made some kicheree with a minced garlic clove on top. Very tasty as well! I brought some garlic cloves and my garlic press with me today.

I'm going to try the cinnamon on the sweet potatoes tonight. That sounds pretty good.

I just keep telling myself that the first three days are the hardest and that I can get through it. Also, everyone at work knows I'm doing the cleanse and if I slip I'll *never* hear the end of it. I guess there's some benefit to working with a bunch of jerks :)

Tuesday, June 9

Remembering when

For my anniversary, I got a french manicure because Husband really likes the way they look and that's what I had for our wedding. I also like the way they look and decided to see if there instructions on how to do it yourself on the interweb. Sure enough, there were, in video format no less. There was also this video on waxing and sugaring hair removal.

In this video the lady states that the only thing she can see really going wrong with a home waxing is burning yourself. All I can say is this lady has clearly never been me. Because if she had been me, she would know there is *so* *much* *more* that could go wrong with a home wax. Especially if you have never had a professional wax done. And especially if you try to do your bikini area first. And double-especially if you live with a curious cat.

[insert some flashback waviness here]

This is the stage on which I tried to perform my first home wax. On my bikini area. There I was. Sitting on a blanket in the middle of my one bedroom apartment, my legs in a perfect butterfly. I was a lot more flexible then. Very hesitatingly shmearing warmish wax on my very delicate area. Hmmm. The warm feels nice. But how much? Too thick and all the wax won't pull off. Too thin and it won't pull off at all. I was using the stripless kind of wax. Which was mistake #281 in this ill-fated home waxing. While I'm trying to figure this out, my curious cat wants very badly to sit in my lap. Because why else would I be sitting on the floor unless I wanted him in my lap. I had a paranoia of my cat getting stuck to my bikini area because he rub against my "lap" right when the wax was reaching critical coolness. How do you really explain that at the ER?

Needless to say, this doubt, inexperience and cat-stuck-to-crotch paranoia caused me to be less than focused on what was happening on my very sensitive area. What was happening was that the wax very rapidly cooled because I had not warmed it enough in the first place. (Apparently I had believed that the worst thing I could do was burn myself. It's on the pamphlet!) Well, I had also used much too much wax. I had also not trimmed anything, mistake #564. So I now had a very very hard peice of wax anchored to my delicate area by a mass of hair, at the ends of which are nerves. Many nerves. That communicate pain.

I spent the next hour rubbing baby oil into the edges of the wax, lifting the edge enough to get my small trimming scissors (yes! I had them!) underneath to snip hairs. This process? HURT. I was left with an odd snipped area that was also bruised from the pulling. I then took a shower, nearly fell because baby oil makes showers *slippery*. Then sat in my rocking chair, petting my cat and practicing some self-soothing.

Cleanse: Day1

I've started a dietary cleanse. This is being taught by my acupuncturist. I'm in a class of about seven other people. Since I know all of you bite your fingers just waiting to read about all the mundane details of my life, I've decided to chronicle the cleanse here. Please don't get carried away by the excitement of it all.

Week one is meant to focus on reducing the types of foods we eat and eliminating dairy, meat, nuts, fats etc. from our diets. Keep in mind, this is a cleanse, not a permanent way of eating. I know fats are necessary for the absorption of certain vitamins, but fats have to be broken down by the liver. So I'm going to give my liver a break. I'll go back to frying up my eggs in bacon grease afterwards. Mmmmm. bacon. This also means I'm giving the dairy a break. No more yummy raw milk for me for a few weeks.

I'd love to sit here and plan out my whole week's menu for you, but we all know how successfully that goes for me. So I'm just going to outline some ideas that I have.
  1. Cook up some beans
    I had a bag of pintos at home that I've started soaking. I'll cook them tonight. I also want to get some black beans and some garbanzo (chick peas) beans. I like humus and want to make some with beans I cooked myself. This will take planning. The garbanzos take time.
  2. Eat breakfast tacos
    One of the few things that I can eat in the morning without wanting to retch is bean and cheese breakfast tacos. I'm going to alter that to bean and avocado on sprouted grain tortillas. To this end, I bought a bean and avocado breakfast taco this morning and ate it. Tomorrow I hope to make it myself. Baby steps.
  3. Make some beets
    I like them and they are good for you. So I'm gonna eat them.
  4. Make some sweet potatoes
    see beets
  5. Make a soup
    Also part of this week is to use of what we have. I have some wonderfully gelatinous beef broth. I also got a shipment from the Mom&Dad farm which consisted of zucchini, yellow squash, onions and corn. I'm going to simmer those in the beef broth. Simple and yum.
There's the tentative plan ideas.

Tuesday, June 2

Weekend in review

We had a lovely anniversary weekend. We had a very nice dinner after I got a very nice mani/pedi. Husband really likes it when I get red toes and a french manicure, so that's what I did. The manicure is already messed up. I've been working in our data center and it sucks femininity from me. In this case, in the form of destroying my nails and skin. It's drier than the desert in here. (oops! did I just indicate that I'm typing this *in* the data center?)

We also bought a bistro set for our deck off craigslist. Then spent copious amounts of money on more things for the deck. We sit out there in the evenings and chat. Maybe we can't get pregnant because we live like we're octogenarians already. Hmmmm.

Friday, May 29

What a wonderful world

Today is our fourth wedding anniversary. I've been walking around with a goofy smile on my face all morning. Luckily I work with a bunch of slacker guys so I'm here by myself.

Four years sounds like a much longer time than it feels. It seems not-so-long-ago that we were sitting in our livingroom on the two pieces of furniture we owned, sipping coffee, surveying the wedding gifts (score!) and being so glad the wedding was over. Don't get me wrong, I loved my wedding. I loved every single minute of it. It really and truly was the most happy day of my life. It was the day Husband became my husband.

And I was prepared. I was prepared for all the bad times. The time I wanted to leave, the time I wanted *him* to leave and all the anger and hurt feelings in-between. I knew those would happen (and they did). I knew that was a part of being married. I knew that we would stick by each other and work through those times.

But I did not know how much closer we would become. I didn't know that I would end up loving him more as time went on. I wasn't prepared for that. And I'm glad. It's been a wonderful surprise.

Wednesday, May 27

Okay, *now* I'm back

The first week in my new job position was followed up by a holiday weekend full of nausea, vomiting and urgently heading to the toilet, if ya know what I mean (and I think you do). Yeah for stomach bugs! Whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right? For a while I thought this stomach bug was not going to make me stronger.

New job is going well so far. I don't know enough to be responsible for anything yet; and part of extricating me from my former position means I'm no longer responsible for the stuff I do know. It's a pretty good position to be in.

Since I'm no longer focusing on trying to get pregnant, I'm going to focus on housework and exercise. I'm also still studying for the actuarial exams.

As for the cooking, I've signed up for a cleanse. This cleanse is being done by my acupuncturist and is an eating cleanse. Not one of those only-drinking types. I will have my breakfast, lunch and dinner chosen for me. I'll have to buy the groceries and make the food, but she'll tell me what to buy and make. Hopefully the benefits from this will be two-fold. One, I'll get a healthy boost to my system. Two, I'll be forced to get into the habit of making my own food.

Speaking of making your own food, I'm trying to make my own sourdough starter. I'm not sure it's going right. The instructions that I'm following say your starter may be frothy after a few days. Mine was frothy after the first day. I added a cup of flour and a cup of water last night per the instructions. This morning it was almost coming out of the bowl. I'm a little worried that it might greet us at the door when we get home today.

Tuesday, May 19

I'm back!

Last Wednesday, Husband, my mom, my dad and I all piled into our Outback and took a trip out to Big Bend. Husband and I have been wanting to go back ever since we went last year with Husband's family. We had a lot of fun, did a lot of birding, saw a bear (again!), did a lot of driving and are now back home. I've started a new position at work and a new cycle. Husband has started seeing a naturopath and it turns out that he has a *lot* wrong with his thyroid and adrenals. Big surprise. At least we finally found someone who will treat it.

I'm still recovering from my vacation. I'll post more later.

Monday, May 11

TTC: Update, kind of

Um. so. I forgot to do the test yesterday Sunday. (I also forgot to post this yesterday) It might be because after a weekend of taking care of my sister's kids? in which one of them locked and consequently wiped my iPhone? in which the other wanted *constant* attention and made constant noise (this is a six year old)? I kind of got to thinking that maybe *not* pregnant is okay. Nay, even preferable.

Not really, but that's the excuse I'm using. We had a blast playing animal charades, watching movies, making mother's day cards, etc. I love those kiddos.

In other news, I'm changing job positions! Yeah! This seems to be a theme for me wherever I work. I'm now going to ramp up to be the helper (minion, bitch, slave, etc.) for our UNIX admin. Which means I am going to become a mini-UNIX admin. This is brand new territory, people.

Thursday, May 7

TTC: Update and plan full of fail


That whole lunaception thing? Where you simulate the moon in your bedroom? I think it's working. As in, this is the third cycle in a row where I've ovulated in a timely manner. I've gone from not ovulating before Day 19-21, to not ovulating until Day 40+(++), to ovulating on Day 13-15. This started the first cycle I started to simulate the moon. Interesting, no?

Now if only we can get one of the sperms to my egg. To that end, Husband and I have scoffed and bitten our thumbs at "the books." We started having sex everyday. Or pretty close to it, anyway. This has gotten Husband's testosterone to normal and it is waaaaaaaay better than clomid. Way better ;)

The books, btw, say that men with low sperm count should not have sex more than every other day and should have a dry spell of about 3 days before the wife's fertile stage. Screw you books! We're doing it whenever we want!

Here's the plan that is full of fail: on Sunday I will be 11 days past ovulation. I'm going to pee on a stick. As I'm sure most of you have put together in your quick little brains, that's Mother's Day. And 11dpo is still a little early for a positive, but not impossible or unheard of. Either I'll be elated and all "What awesome timing!" or I'll be drinking red wine with dark chocolate watching French Kiss to nurse my weeping why-meeeEEEee soul. Wish me luck!

Tumbling tumbleweed

That's me. I've just been alternating between bouncing, rolling and getting hung on something until the wind gusts and liberates me from whatever was holding me back. I'm still studying for my first certification exam to become an actuary. I'm still trying to get food made in my kitchen instead of eating out. I'm still trying to establish a good exercise schedule. I'm still trying to pray and read my bible consistently. Still still still. Tumble bounce roll.

One area of my life in which I have made marked improvement and progress is my puzzle fighter skillz. I just pwnd Husband six times last night. As in 6-0.

**Big prize for anyone who can name the song and artist for this post title

Friday, May 1

Friday once again

Time flies. And I felt like posting a picture.

The weekend is around the corner, full of potential. I'm excited by the prospects of another weekend full of studying, homemaking and gorgeous Texas weather. I want to try to make my own laundry detergent and stain remover, but I keep forgetting where I've seen the recipes I want to try. So I'm going to document them here.
There's a possibility Princess Kate will let me watch her baby Sunday afternoon. I'm very excited about this. I'm planning a walk to park in the stroller. Maybe a walk to the library as well. Some time with the doggies. Snack time. Maybe nap time? I'm not sure what his sleep schedule is like. I'm hoping for some rocking time. I love to rock a baby.

If I don't get to play mommy, I will study on Sunday and probably do some cooking.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, April 29

I'm an elf

Or so the quiz I took on Facebook says. Husband is a wizard. Go figure.


I did some pilates on Monday in place of jogging. Man oh man, did I work my core. I'm still sore in my abs. Which is a good thing. I'm going to try to do the ab portion again tonight after jogging. I'm glad I'm getting back into an exercise routine.

Studying is going well so far. I have some reading I need to get done. I'm not doing badly on the practice problems. The trick will be to keep myself motivated. The dissatisfaction I have with my current job helps, but I'm not sure it's enough.

Monday, April 27

Weekend in review

You all saw the list of things I could've done this weekend. Now for the list of things that I actually did.
  • Kitchen got squeaky clean! Yeah!
    the secret: use a hairdryer to dry the tile to get all the fluff and dog hair off
    what I learned: never ever buy a house that has high gloss tile in the kitchen
  • Two casseroles of chili mac were made and one was delivered to a friend with twin babies
    and the kitchen was still clean
  • I met with a friend of mine to help him study for some exams for becoming an actuary
  • I decided I want to be an actuary too, and am now studying for these same exams
  • I've read the first chapter in my statistics text and have done 10 of the practice problems
  • I have trepidations but am excited
  • Started a batch of kombucha
  • Washed all of our bedding

Friday, April 24

Best laid plans...

Saturday is a huge blank canvas waiting for me to paint it. It's an empty stretch of one of my most precious resources: time. And I am giddy. I've decided to make a list of things I'd like to do during my Saturday. This isn't a must-do list; this is an options list. These are things that I can do but don't necessarily have to do. If I only do one of them and spend the rest of my Saturday reading, then so be it.
  • Make mayonaise and ketchup
  • Remake my shea body butter to incorporate some almond oil, coconut oil and eucalyptus
  • Make more face cream with some cocunot oil
  • Clean out fridge
  • Clean kitchen
  • Give myself a mani/pedi
  • Clean the deck up
  • Organize the gardening implements
  • Laundry, laundry, laundry
  • Clean master bath
  • Cook some breakfast
  • Make bone broths (chicken and beef)
  • Update blog

Wednesday, April 22

What am I up to?

Not a lot. But it's keeping me very busy. Seems like I've had a lot of isolated social events lately. One here, one there. The next thing I know I'm doing something every night of the week. I'm struggling to make sure this doesn't impact my new-found exercise routine. For instance, we have bible study tonight. We have to leave the house no later than 6:30pm. It's going to be hard to get in a jog and shower between getting home and that time. However, I'm going to make my best effort. Maybe I'll skip the shower and go to bible study dirty. I'm pretty sure that's what Jesus would do.

Home cooking has stalled. We are struggling to cook our own food right now instead of eating out. We went on a glut of eating out after Easter. Even though our fast from restaurant food didn't go so well, we still felt deprived. We had to go eat out without the guilt.

We have another glorious weekend of freedom on the horizon. We aren't going anywhere and no one is coming here. Oh! all the things I think I'll get done but won't!

Tuesday, April 21

TTC: Update

So, I'm now day 5. Did you notice what happened there? Did ya! I went through a whole two week wait without obsessing. I did not pee on one stick. NOT! ONE! I did not obsess over my boobs, or feeling tired, or feeling nauseated, or any other "pregnancy" symptoms that I experience with extreme regularity. I haven't not obsessed for almost two years. My cycle was 32 days total. My luteal phase was 15 days. Not bad. I'm still expecting my cycles to start drawing out longer and longer. (36 days, then 40, then 54...) But maybe they won't? maybe? I don't know. I'll have to wait and see, I suppose.

In the meantime...

We are replenishing our savings. Buying the new-to-us car drained the account. And frivolous living has prevented us replenishing.

I'm also getting in shape. As is Husband. I've started running fairly regularly. I've also started doing some yoga in the mornings and some situps after my jog. Today, I feel my muscles, but I'm not in pain. I think that's the perfect amount of workout.

Tuesday's Child

I was born on a Tuesday, which apparently means I'm full of grace. Ironic. There are days, even weeks and months, when I do not feel so full of grace. There are periods in my life that I look back on and cringe. I don't mean the kind of cringe you do when you look back on the time in junior high you unfurled your towel at a pool party to only then remember you had carefully rolled up your bra and panties in your towel to prevent anyone from seeing them. No. I mean the kind of cringe where you wish you hadn't been that person or done those things. How you can't believe there are people who know these things about you and still love you; much less God. I totally get Adam and Eve. I've committed the sin knowingly and then tried to hide. How could he possibly still love me. After all, I knew better. But he does. He has filled me with his grace, forgiven me and still loves me. I know this is the tired, beat-into-the-ground standard Sunday school story. This post is probably boring and trite to a lot of you; but this is a revelation that I've made several times in my life and will probably make several more. And every time I'm floored by the mystery of God's grace. Of which, I am very full.

Tuesday, April 14

iPhone App: C25K

I've decided to start reviewing iPhone apps that I've tried. I'm doing these in no particular order. If you do not own an iPhone, get one! Despite the fact that I work in "technology" I've never really pushed people to technologize their lives. In fact, I kind of discourage it. Not the case with the iPhone. Now that I have one, I can't imagine life without it.

The app I will review today is the C25K app. It stands for couch to 5k, meaning you can go from being a couch potatoe to running a 5k. Here is a description:
Listen to your own music while you do Couch to 5K intervals. C25K app for iPhone or iPod touch gives you audio cues according to the C25K intervals so you don't have to keep looking at your stopwatch.
I've tried this method of training before, but was not successful because it was far too tedious to time alternating 60 and 90 second intervals. I even used a sound program to create a thrity-minute long mp3 composed of my favorite songs with my voice over letting me know when to run and walk. That was tedious as all get out. And a little window into my particular brand of psychosis.

Enter the iPhone app. I've only done one jog, but it was fabulous. The 60 seconds of jogging followed by the 90 seconds of walking is not too taxing. I definitely get a work out but I don't kill myself. I will run again on Wednesday. My only pointer is to make sure you lock your screen using the lock button in the top right corner of the app.

Download and enjoy!

Thursday, April 9

Holy week, following a very unholy week

Last week my company fired 12 employees. I had to get their personal data off their computers for them and verify they weren't taking super-secret company information. This one girl had a ton of data, as in multiple CD's. What do you say to someone who just inexplicable lost their job? It was not fun. It didn't feel good. No one felt good afterward. Everyone was unsettled last week. My stomach was very screnchy.

This week has been better.

This week is also Holy Week, as in the week before Easter. It starts with Palm Sunday, Monday and Tuesday are quiet, then Wednesday is the Seder supper, Thursday is Maundy Thursday service followed by Good Friday. This is one of my favorite weeks out of the year. My Lenten fast wasn't very successful so a good Holy Week is greatly needed.

In other news, I'm considering reviewing iPhone apps.

Tuesday, April 7

TTC: Update

I ovulated last Wednesday which was the last day of lit sleep. Meaning it was the last day that I didn't block all light from our bedroom. That means I ovulated on day 16. Not bad! Pretty normal!

This time during my last cycle I had consistently sore breasts from the time of ovulation into the next round of menses. This cycle, no soreness. I think my hormones are starting to adjust to the lack of clomid. I feel like my body is detoxing in a way.

I made some hooch!

I did my first double ferment of kombucha. Quick run down on the steps:
  1. brew a gallon of tea, add a cup of sugar and let cool
  2. pour tea into a gallon jar and add your scoby (mushroom)
  3. let sit out for five days
  4. put a small amount of fruit juice into the bottom of several jars
  5. fill up the jars with your fermented tea
  6. let the jars ferment for a few more days then put in fridge
I had more fermented tea than I had jar space, so I drank some of my kombucha right away. It was pleasantly tart and fizzy. Reminded me of a lemon tea punch of some sort. I tried one of my double fermented jars (the ones with the juice added) and it tasted like a wine cooler. As in alcohol. Not strong but definitely alcohol. I think the juice had too much sugar in it so the yeast took over and produced more alcohol than one would normally want in kombucha. Oh well, live and learn.

I'm still drinking it. It is yum.

Wednesday, April 1

Learning to love liver

Liver. It's very very good for you. I don't like it. However, I'm willing to try it six times to see if I can develop a taste for it. So far I've had it twice. It has a metallic taste that I'm just not sure I can get over. I'm going to try this recipe tonight. I'm also going to soak it in some milk for an hour or so. I've read that the soak will remove some of that liver taste.

In case you're wondering what the six times is all about, I'll explain. The theory is that it takes tasting a food six times for you to develop a taste for it. That's how I was with red wine. There are a lot of foods which I enjoy today that, at one time, I disliked very much. For instance, hot and sour soup. The first time I had it, I was repulsed. My friend, who is a pickier eater than me, was scarfing it down and I did not know how. Then a strange thing happened. About a month later, I got a food craving for hot and sour soup. And I loved it.

I really hope the same thing can work for liver.

Sunday, March 29

How to annoy the IT girl

***Yes, I'm now reading Dooce and she does a lot of the how to annoy posts. I like to copy other bloggers.***

***She also uses the asterisks like this***

  1. Call me the IT girl. I'm in my thirties. I own a house, three vehicles, a 401k, a roth IRA and a time share in Barbados (hint: I'm lying about one of these things). I have a BS and part of a Master's degree. I vote and base that vote on information I got from somewhere other than SNL. I am not a "girl." Also, I have a name. Try using it!
  2. Tell me you are getting an error when you try to [fill in the blank], but don't tell me what the error actually says. This one gets me every time.
  3. Tell me you are getting an error when you, in fact, are getting a message that you need to read. Here is an example of how this goes:

    user: I'm getting an error when I try to send email.
    IT girl: What's the error say? (notice how this user doesn't tell me what the error is either)
    user: Something about my mailbox being full?
    IT girl: You need to delete or archive some email. Your mailbox is full you freaking moron! In the future please use the ocular devices you have in your head to read the "error" then parse it using your tiny brain before you call me! These "error messages" are in your native language!
  4. Call me at 3 a.m. to tell me your email isn't working. Then do not return any of my calls for two days and call my boss to tell him your email isn't working.
  5. Wait until you are in Romania to try using your VPN to connect to our network and discover that you don't know your PIN. This results in another 3 a.m. phone call with panic thrown into the mix. I know testing before you go requires a small amount of foresight, but try to think ahead. Please.
  6. Tell me you can't log onto the server. As if we just have the one. Then when I ask you if you are trying to connect to xyz server, you tell me yes, even though you aren't. What you mean to say is "I don't know because I'm a moron." I do not like having to leave my office, jay walk across the street of death and angry drivers, go up 27 floors to your desk to look at your screen and say, "Hmm, that doesn't say xyz server. That says abc server."
  7. Accusingly tell me your laptop is running slow, you need me to fix it but you can't ever leave your laptop with me because you need it every second of your ineffective day. And copy your manager on the email. I've got news for you. You. are. not. that. important. If you are unable to effectively do your job while being without your laptop for one hour out of one day, then you are not qualified to do your job. You are a work martyr who tries to make up for lack of ingenuity and focus by acting as though you are always working. I call these people George Costanzas.
Ahhhh! I feel better. Refreshed. And I do want to say that I like my users. They are really a pretty cool set of people.

Friday, March 27

More about hail

Turns out the breaking noises I kept hearing were people's windshields in their cars that were parked on the street. Imagine what happened to the people who were driving into the hail going 30mph. There are a lot of tarp covered vehicles in my neighborhood now. We also got a cracked windshield on the car we have parked on the street. We were going to donate it anyway; we just hadn't gotten around to it yet.

We might curse the leaves the that come off our huge oak, but that oak saved our vehicles. Of course, our two-car garage could've saved our vehicles as well. :/

Wednesday, March 25

Time for a new roof

As I've touched on many times, I like weather, even when weather doesn't like me back. We had a bit of a hail storm after we got home from work today. Luckily Husband checked the weather before we left work so we knew some bad weather was headed our way. In Texas bad weather always has the possibility of hail and/or tornadoes. Heck, even good weather has the possibility of hail and tornadoes. Weather here is fickle and unpredictable sometimes. We had left the dogs outside today so I was very antsy to get home and get them inside. They don't really have any shelter out there. We knew they might get a little rained on; but we hadn't bargained for hail.

Anyway, the hail started about 20 minutes after we got home. Dogs are safe and fine. Husband and I stood on the front porch for most of the storm and said things along the lines of "gawally! woodja lookit that". At one point, I did recommend we go inside and get into one of the rooms that has another room above it. It sounded like the hail was going to come through. It also sounded like a lot of breaking going on. Luckily, I think it was only the hail breaking.

I did get hit by some hail pieces that flew up from the hail hitting the sidewalk. I then got hit by smaller pieces of hail as I ran out to get the bigger pieces of hail for the pictures. Bingo had to wiggle past one of my legs in order to get one of those pieces of hail in her mouth. After that, she was fine. Sometimes I feel like she is my toddler in that she identifies things with her mouth. Kaya is so totally my teenager. I think I've even seen her roll her eyes.

Here are some pictures of the hail. And yes, you get to see part of my face. Be glad I'm showing you this one where my crazy eyes were covered up. I get some crazy looking eyes sometimes.

Holy criminy! Did you ever know someone could write so much about one hail storm?

This is the hail on our deck. My poor little plants.

These were not the largest ones that came down. The largest ones busted up as soon as they hit. These all had a little nucleus that was whiter and more dense.

Our neighbor's lawn looked really neat with all the white on the green green perfect perfect lawn they have. They are better people than we are.

And now, the one you've all been waiting for...

Monday, March 23

And now we're home

We went to Arlington this weekend. It was fun. Good friends, good food, fun. We got back last night. So nice to be home.

I've come to a realization about pregnancy. Despite the fact that we've been trying for a year and a half and despite the fact that I've been planning for a little over two years, I have a sneaking suspicion that whenever we do finally conceive, I'll feel like we aren't ready. I'll think there is something that we should've done before getting pregnant that we haven't done yet. I'll think we should've waited until we got the carpet replaced with tile, or that wall between the dining room and kitchen removed, or bought a new house, or ran a half-marathon, or learned how to give myself a pedicure. The list goes on.

In other news, I've also come to the realization that I think I require far more leisure time than I really do. This leads to a lot of crap not getting done. How much leisure time is reasonable? One hour before bed?

I need answers, people!

Wednesday, March 18

Needs salt

I don't know what to write. I've been reading other blogs. I've got nothing going on. Work is work. Same same. House is house. Same same. There's nothing different. There is nothing new under the sun. That's a quote from Proverbs, I believe.

I went to see T.Lo last night. Their baby is still unbelievably cute. I'm hoping that she gets pregnant with her second baby around the time we get pregnant with our first. Who knows. Anything is possible, I suppose.

I'm not feeling particularly positive right now. I'm not feeling negative either. I'm just neutral. Blah. I'm neither hot nor cold.

I'm also tired. It's only 8 p.m. and I feel like I could go to sleep. This isn't unusual. I have nights like this. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I really need to start exercising.

This is such a bland post.

Monday, March 16

TTC: Update

I'm now on day 1 of my cycle. Meaning I got my period this morning. For most ttc'ers, this is the kiss of death. However, I like to look on the positive side. This is the shortest cycle I've had in a very long time. I ovulated on day 14 and my cycle was only 32 days long. Shorter than my 35 day cycles and way shorter than my 70 day cycles.

Goal for this cycle: exercise

****The following is graphic and gross****

So my menses are bright red today! Let me explain why that's good and why I'm so happy about it I'm posting about the consistency and color of my mense. For the last year or so, my menses have been mostly dark red and not very liquid, mostly gooey (sorry! so gross). Then they would just get clotty. This is indicative of old blood. Stagnation. Not what you want in your uterus. The fact that my menses are bright red is a sign of health. :)

Sunday, March 15

More about less of my hair

I'm not sure the no shampoo is going to work out for me. I got my hair cut on Friday and it was shampooed. It feels so soft and silky! I think I'm going to have to go back to my old hair shampooing ways. I might give the no-poo a try again at a later date.

I've been in Austin for close to seven years now. In this seven years I had yet to find my stylist. That person who knows just what to do with my hair to make it work for who I am. (notice the emphasis on me me me) That person who believes me when I say I want a drastic change. Who also believes me when I say that I cannot round-brush blow dry my hair. (seriously, I will hit myself in the face with either the brush or the blow dryer or both) And someone who gets that my hair is sometimes curly, sometimes straight and sometimes straight-and-curly. I think I have finally found that person.

She cut off ten to twelve inches. I was able to donate to the locks of love! I have layers! I have bounce! It frames my face! It's awesome! I also have her business card and I forbid her to leave Austin. FORDBID!

The salon I went to is part of a spa a few blocks from where I work downtown. Which means I walked there to get my hair cut at lunch on Friday. (which means I also called my boss to come pick me up because it started to POUR rain as soon as it was time for me to walk back with my freshly coiffed hair. have I mentioned what a great boss i have?) I have come a long way concerning the spas. I used to feel very awkward, out-of-place and uncomfortable in them. I always felt like people were really snobby and judging me. Like they all thought I didn't belong there because I'm not as "high-class" as them. I kind of felt like there were things I was expected to know that I didn't know. I felt intimidated by the receptionist because she obviously knew how to round-brush blow dry and apply makeup and dress. I have since worked through this inadequacy complex. I realized this by the fact that I now critique spas and salons. I now have standards that they sometimes don't meet. For instance, the spa I went to to get my hair cut, they didn't give me a poncho/wrap thing to change into. They made me wear my work clothes to get my hair cut (the horror!). For some reason, the fact that I felt this way made me feel as though I'd finally conquered my fears of spas and salons. I no longer feel inadequate. I no longer feel awkward. I realize now that no one thought of me as a backwards, not-as-good-as-them person; that was how I thought of myself. And I don't anymore. Yeah for growth! And really awesome haircuts!

Wednesday, March 11

Winter, the sequel

It was 82 degrees two days ago. It's now 42 degrees. Chilly for these parts. Why can't winter end? I was all ready to start planting. Oh well, I knew we had at least one more good cold snap before Winter is over. And the rain is nice.

Husband and I can't decide if we want to spend money redoing this house or if we want to sell. I really want the sort of house where the kitchen sink looks over the living area. There is no way we can remodel this house to do that. My sink is behind my chimney. However, I don't think I can have toddlers on this carpet. It's gross, nasty carpet. I want new carpet upstairs and saltillo tile downstairs. Even if we were to lay all that tile ourselves, that's still a pricey venture. And it would involve removing the ceramic tile that is in parts of the downstairs now. And then what if we move?

I peed on another digital test this morning. Negative. And if you think I didn't use my little "trimming" scissors to crack open those digi tests (both of them!) so that I could look for faint lines, then you, my friend, would be wrong. I totally did. There were no lines. (correction: there are lines, but only the one, is-this-even-working, line. the strips work like the ones you pee on with the two lines) They do have batteries in them which I am determined to repurpose.

My next project is going to be making my own laundry detergent. I've looked into doing this before for the cost saving aspect; but now I'm interested in the additional lessening-of-chemicals-on-my-body aspect. It's very cheap to do, so if it doesn't work, no biggie.

Tuesday, March 10

Do these look bigger to you?

And of course, I'm talking about my breasts. Again.

They have been slightly slightly bigger and slightly slightly tender for about a week. Ever since I ovulated (yeah!) actually. I keep telling myself that this has all happened before. And it has. And I wasn't pregnant. And it's possible I'm just gaining weight. I have a tendency to eat as though I'm pregnant.

I pee on another stick tomorrow morning. I will be 13dpo.

Prayers, please.

Sunday, March 8

It's late and I hate servers (super boring work post)

Sooooooo. The upgrade this weekend. It did not go so well. In fact, it pratically hasn't gone at all. We started with the backup server and the initial testing did not go well. I was up until 2 a.m. last night restoring the backup server so that we could retry today.

We retried today. It worked more than it did yesterday; but not 100%. Now I'm accepting the risk of not having a backup server so that super-helpful vendor support guy can work with software company to fix.

There were some dicey moments along the way. Like last night when I thought I'd figured out why it wasn't working, redid the install without super-helpful vendor support guy (without shutting down the primary, functioning server) and then freaked out because I thought I had somehow inadvertently broken our only functioning server. I literally called my boss and told him that I had fracked (I didn't say frack) everything up and it was all my fault. He told me to wait for the server to reset. Everything was fine. Then he told me to stop working on it, do the server restore and to go sleep. I have such an awesome boss.

Even though I did all the testing I know how to do to make sure our primary server is still happy and functioning, I still need to check with our Romanian call center to make sure they are able to take calls when they come online at 9 a.m. their time. They are eight hours ahead right? I only have to stay up until 1 a.m., right? um, right? WRONG! They don't care about our time change. They are now only seven hours ahead and I have to be awake and on the computer at 2 a.m. As an aside, if you ever need to know the time somewhere other than where you are, or even where you are, is awesome. I like. So many times during my day I need to know what time it is in Aukland, NZ and is that the same time as in Sydney or Bombay?

A totally irrelevant, non-problem

I took another test this morning. Not Pregnant. I felt that the digital test was laughing at me. I hate those, but I can't obsess over evaporation lines the next morning.

I know it's still early. I don't test again until Wednesday morning and Husband has hidden the one remaining test from me. At my request.

So here's my non-problem. Husband is a third, as in Husband the third, as in his Dad is Husband Jr. (not that he's my third husband). Husband would really like our first baby boy (I'm not even pregnant!) to be Husband the fourth. I don't so much.

I did at one time, but that's changed. After talking to his mom and finding out that she wishes she hadn't named Husband his name. And then talking to my father-in-law and his attitude of not caring about it, has all led me to reconsider my initial acquiescence to the fourth. Here are some things to consider:

1. Husband goes by Trey, a common nickname for the thirds, around his family, and his real name around his friends. He told me when we were dating that only his family called him Trey so I was to call him his real name. So I did. And that is who he is to me now. This was his critical mistake. He should've asked me to call him Trey.

1.5. I think insisting that your son is named after you is a tad narcissistic. Okay, not a tad, a LOT.

2. I don't want to call my husband and son the same name. I don't want the name that I sometimes say in fits of passion to be the same name I use to refer to my son. Anyone agree? Can I get an amen?

3. There ARE. NO. GOOD. nicknames for the fourth or for Husband's real name. And the middle name is eastern-European weird.

My proposed solution is to keep the middle name, and use a different first name. I even like the name of his great-grandfather. Husband just looks thoughtful and sad when I bring up my brilliant and fair solution.

Readership, weigh in. Both of you.

Saturday, March 7

Evaporation lines and my stupidity

I received some very good advice from HW that went along the lines of "don't pee on sticks! It's too early! and sticks are $$$$!". Which is sage and sound advice. And I agreed with her on all points. I then peed on three sticks. THREE.

The first test was used (sounds better than peed on, doesn't it?)(and I mean I used the test, not that it was a used test) Thursday evening. *smack* I was only 7 or 8 days past ovulation.

Mistake number 2: I looked at the test the next morning. I've done this several times. I'm an old pro at digging tests out of the trash can to re-evaluate them and look at them under a brighter light. I've propped a used test up on the toilet tank as a reminder that I'm not pregnant and I should stop peeing on sticks, already. In the year and a half that I've partaken in this obsessive, irrational behavior, I've never ever seen any hint of a possible positive line. EVER. NOT ONCE. Until Friday morning, that is. I then read about evaporation lines and how they can make a test look positive when in fact it is not. Curse them!

Mistake number 3: I peed on another test, naturally. During the appropriate time frame in which to observe results, nothing. Negative. Meh. Fine.

Mistake number 4: I looked at this test when I got home from work. and lo! there was a darker, faint line. Way darker than how the evaporation lines were described. It was a line that would actually show up in a picture. But again. After the prescribed time for reading the test. But, still, this has never happened.

Mistake number 5: Buying more tests.

Mistake number 6: Doing a test Friday night (yes, that's two in one day). You see, the previous two tests were generic HEB brand tests. Clearly they are inferior. I'll try a fancy EPT test. It was negative.

Mistake number 7: Looking at that test this morning. Again. a line.

Why does the Universe mock me?

Friday, March 6

Thursday, March 5

What to write, what to write

I always seem to know what I should blog about when I'm going to sleep, but can't ever remember what it was during the day. I know I have some really interesting topics floating around in my head. But they are elusive.

I'm going to cook for a friend of mine who just had a baby this Friday. I mean tomorrow. *ack* Why do I have such poor time management skills? I blame public schools; but Husband keeps telling me I can't blame public schools for everything. At which point I tell him that, in fact, I can blame public schools for everything, I just wouldn't be exactly right. But I would be partially right. School was never. ever. a challenge for me. It was an exercise in boredom management, not time management.

Anyway, I think I'll side step that bitter tirade and save it for another day.

Let's talk about work. I'm learning how to configure a router! That makes me super-geek! This is why I took this job: so that I'd have the opportunities to learn things that I was never in a million years going to learn where I was. This will all make me more employable and *hopefully* more payable. I'm starting to think about bouncing out of here around the end of Summer but I'm not sure yet. I'm going to keep an eye on the job market.

Part of me is thinking that if we wait another year to get pregnant (and by "wait" I mean we just don't get pregnant) then we could possibly find a new house or at least pull up all the icky carpet and put down saltillo tile. I'm torn on whether we should move or fix the house we've got. It's not a bad house. It does have a few problems. and possibly a cracked foundation. *shudder* I don't want to talk about this anymore. I'd like to continue ignoring the possibly cracked foundation.

I'm looking forward to the weekend, even though I will be working Saturday night. I'm upgrading the software for our entire call center. (trying not to hyperventilate) Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 4

TTC: Update

Temp was still high this morning.

That thermometer is so broken.

Or I ovulated.

I'm resisting the urge to pee on sticks. I estimate that I am 6dpo. Or the thermometer is broken.

Tuesday, March 3

Things to learn and things to hope for

Apparently I need to learn the whole "save as draft and post on the appropriate day" part of blogging. I also *still* need to learn my right from my left.

My temperature has jumped. (This indicates that I've ovulated). I had a high temp last week, but I thought it was a fluke. Then I couldn't take me temp for two days. Then I had another high temp. Which I also thought was a fluke. Or maybe it was because I had slept with my super sexy sweat pants on. Well, this morning, with no pants on at all, another high temp. This is bizarre to me. I'm actually more inclined to think that my thermometer is broken than to think that my body actually ovulated on day 13. But I'm hopeful. And I haven't felt hopeful for some time.

Monday, March 2

Tuesday Tips

Now it's time for some useful household tips from Spinner. Prepare yourselves for sheer brilliance.
  1. IF you have a shelf above your washing machine, AND
    IF you use the kind of liquid soap that lies on it's side and dispenses like those lemonade jars people have at picnics AND
    IF your dispenser sometimes drips a little before you can get the dispensing cup back on and makes spots on your dryer which you hate and make you want to scream, THEN
    here's my tip: Move the laundry soap dispenser so that it will drip into your washing machine.

    It took me years to figure this out. And then I didn't really figure it out. Husband came into the garage while I was having a meltdown because there were more of those drip spots and they had dripped on some clean laundry, too. I explained the situation and he calmly moved the laundry soap a foot to the left, ensuring all drips will go into the washing machine will I'm pouring in the detergent and then rinsing the cup in the water for only a few minutes. I once again felt safe and secure in the universe.

  2. Pigtails are appropriate on a 31 year-old woman. Because I say so.
    (The practical aspect to pigtails is that a ponytail will make a lump on the back of my head. This lump is very uncomfortable when I'm driving and put my head against my headrest. Pigtails part the hair in the back, leaving a flat surface.)

Weather! How could you do this to me? I thought we were friends! And other Monday morning angst.

Last week the weather was bee u tee full. It was so spring-is-in-the-air. I was so excited about opening up the windows Saturday morning, going to the farmers' market and *not* freezing, planting some plants, etc. Instead, Saturday was very very cold. And super windy. The farmers' market trip was short and cold.

I don't mind cold while I'm working. Because I'm inside all. day. long. With no windows. Where we have a controlled climate. But to make it so gorgeous outside while I have to stay in my hole and work, then turn around and make it sooo cold when I can go out, it's just mean.

That is Texas weather for you. It is a manic depressive and can change in the blink of an eye. I mean, we had snow on Easter two years ago. SNOW! EASTER!