Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Oh, that's right

I have a blog!

My apologies for the radio silence over the last week. There were the holidays, then I was sick for a couple of days, and then our internet was down for a couple of days, and blah blah blah Here I am!

On the IF/TTC front, I ovulated at some point a few days before Christmas, though I'm not exactly sure when. I guess that means I'm in the 2ww, huh? I've decided that I won't test until January 7th. That would have been Dad's 80th birthday, and it seems somehow - right - to test then.

Grumps and I are gearing up for a weekend of teenage insanity at our house. We're having 4 of my cousins (ages 19, 16, 15, and 11) spend the night this Friday. I'm excited, yet somehow feeling like I've lost my ever-loving mind for getting myself into this. I suppose we'll see if I survive come Saturday evening. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


That whole "non-smoker" thing? Out the window... I'm a bit sad that I was unable to stick with it again, but I know that I'll get there, either in my own time, or with the proper motivation (you know, like a pregnancy...)

Grumps and I are gearing up for the holiday insanity. The next 4 days are jam packed with family obligations, visits with friends, and hopefully some fun and quiet time in there, too. I expect that it won't be my Best Christmas Ever, as I'm sure there will be a few moments of missing Dad that give me pause. But, I also expect that I'll get through it, and I'll have some fun, and all will be well.

Still waiting to ovulate (I think... I'm not doing anything that would tell me I have (charting, temping, OPKing), but I also don't *think* I have yet), and therefore still enjoying those "pre-ovulation activities" that folks enjoy when they're taking a break from the infertile label and attempting to make a baby the old fashioned way.

So, here's to Family Friends, Fun, Cocktails, and Baby-Making! And may you all have a Merry Christmas, or a Happy Hanukkah, or a Fabulous Bottle Of Wine, or whatever makes ya happy this time of year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bloggy Love

D from Beautiful Mess loves my blog!
To claim this most prestigious of prizes you have to answer a meme of sorts, this one with one word answers. You also have to pass it along to SEVEN other bloggers. And so:
1. Where is your cell phone? Desk
2. Where is your significant other? North
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? controlling
5. Your father? gone
6. Your favorite thing? naps
7. Your dream last night? none
8. Your dream/goal? motherhood
9. The room you're in? office
10. Your hobby? Blogging
11. Your fear? barren
12. Where do you want to be in six years? Home
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you're not? pregnant
15. One of your wish list items? ipod
16. Where you grew up? Detroit
17. The last thing you did? blogged
18. What are you wearing? clothes
19. Your T.V.? off
20. Your pet? snuggly
21. Your computer? slow
22. Your mood? quiet
23. Missing someone? yup
24. Your car? reliable
25. Something you're not wearing? sweats
26. Favorite store? ?
27. Your Summer? busy
28. Love someone? yup
29. Your favorite color? purple
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? Friday?
And I'm passing it on to:
Emily because she & I seem to have quite a bit in common, and as excited as I am for her to be starting this new chapter in her life, I'm sad that we haven't been able to meet face-to-face while we've lived so close.
R&R because she doesn't sugar-coat. Life isn't sunshine and roses just because you get off the IF ride, and she doesn't waste a moment's energy pretending that it is. She's honest, and she's raw, and she's genuine, and her writing has taught me a lot.
Joe because he gives the IF community a rare glimpse into the guys' side of this journey. If you're not reading him, you should be!
Pam because her words make me think, and make me examine my own feelings in ways that I wouldn't otherwise. Her blog is not to be taken lightly, not to be glossed over for quick updates. But rather to be sat with, over a nice cup of coffee, like an old friend you can really learn from.
And, my IRL girls: Mer, Kaci, and Becky. You girls let me live vicariously through the telling of your stories. Thank you.

The Bitch is Back

Hope, oh damn you Ms Hope!

Why do you fuck with me so? WHY do you create all of these ridiculous fantasies in my normally grounded head? Why force me to realize that I could very well ovulate Christmas week (or even before)? Or that I could test on what would have been Dad's 80th birthday?

I blame you for my body's resistance to my longtime friend and confidante, one Mr Basic Menthol Light. And now, you've even managed to get me all hopped up on your positivity that I seem to be EMBRACING this whole "non-smoker" thing. And not even in my usual, grumpy, hypocritical way. Nope, there have been no snide comments to the other smokers in my life, no banning of cigs anywhere they've been allowed in the past. Just me, carrying on as if life is completely normal.

Consider this a warning, Ms Hope. If you fail me this time - if you are setting me up to fall flat on my face, again - things could get ugly between us. Really. Fucking. Ugly.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's all very strange

As I stumble my way through the emotional mess that is "the grieving process" (can't you just see those air quotes? argh!), I find my body has decided on its own - process.

Apparently, my lady parts are remembering their purpose, and are working at getting the job done {read: OBVIOUS ovulation (for the first time evah) and raging (tho short) AF complete with a week! of PMS bitchyness (oh my poor husband)}.

Also, this week I spent a couple of days home sick, feeling all medicine-head-y (but without the medicine?). Naps are my friend, a whole lot. But, it seems as long as I can sleep for a couple of hours in the afternoon, I can eat whatever I want, exercise, or just lay like a lump on the couch with my remote. I am back at work today, but I long for the coziness of an afternoon on the couch...

And it seems as though my body, through no definitive choice of my brain - has decided that I am done smoking. Mind you, I'm not complaining or anything... it all just came on kind of suddenly. I was working up to the long, drawn-out break-up with my beloved Basic Menthol Lights. I fully intended to get there, had even started intentionally seeing less of them. But, my body? She's decided that she is DONE with that shit!

All in all, I'm not exactly complaining about any of this. It just all seems so... strange. So foreign. Like someone has replaced my mushy, unhealthy, broken body with a look-(and feel)-alike that wants to be... better.

Very strange, indeed.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The 5 Stages

Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance

I'm learning that it's not a linear journey through the stages. You're not able to work your way through one, and "check it off the list". You can cover multiple stages at a time, or you can rest "comfortably" in one stage for days, weeks, months at a time.

I'm learning that no matter how you explain it, or how much you share, some people just can't/don't/won't get it. Those people, as much as you love them and they love you, can't help.

I'm learning that no matter how little you say, or how far you withdraw, some people do genuinely get it. These people should be treasured and cherished for the gifts that they are.

I'm learning - the hard way - that grieving multiple things at the same time seems to snowball, to tie those things together in ways that maybe they shouldn't be. That it seems to multiply the pain of 1 loss by a factor of another.

And I'm learning that this outlet - this opportunity - to put my words out there, to be heard, to be understood - is far more valuable, and healthy, than I ever would have imagined. So many of you, by leaving a comment or sending an email or tweeting some silliness, are helping me through this, to find my way to the coveted acceptance. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

It hit me last night...

My Dad's gone.

I'm 30 years old, and I don't have a Daddy anymore.

And that? PISSES ME OFF!

Never another Christmas breakfast with him.

No more meals at his favorite little diner, where he has to introduce us to everyone.

No more watching his face light up around babies, or dogs.

And? And another person that is important to us, that our children will never know.

I miss my Daddy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The 9 Layers Meme

A meme to peel away the layers of you.

Layer One:
Name: Beth
Birth date: September 9
Birthplace: Detroit suburbs
Current Location: Detroit suburbs
Eye color: Brown
Hair Color: Brown (and grey)
Height: 5'5 ish
Righty or Lefty: Righty
Zodiac sign: Virgo

Layer Two:
Your Heritage: Italian and Heinz 57 (English, Scottish, Irish, French-Canadian, Native American)
The shoes you wore today: black high-heeled loafers
Your weakness: too many to count
Your fears: never being a Mom
Your perfect pizza: Papa John's Spinach Alfredo Chicken Tomato
Goal you’d like to achieve: parenthood, and debt-free living

Layer Three:
Your most overused phrase on AIM: lol
Your first waking thoughts: "nooooooooooooooooooo, not yet! 1 more snooze!"
Your best physical feature: I don't know - maybe my eyes?
Your most missed memory: Grandpa, and Dad

Layer Four:
Pepsi or Coke: diet wild cherry pepsi
McDonald's or Burger King: Burger King for the burger, McDonald's for the fries.
Single or group dates: umm, single
Adidas or Nike: Who the fuck cares?
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: whatever is on sale
Chocolate or vanilla: Chocolate
Cappuccino or coffee: either

Layer Five:
Smoke: yes, but I wish I never picked it up
Cuss: Hi, have we met?
Sing: I wish I could.
Take a shower everyday: I'd say 13 out of 14... sometimes I just have an "I don't give a fuck" Saturday or Sunday
Do you think you’ve been in love: yes
Want to go to college: I'd love to go back. someday...
Liked high school: then, HELL NO. looking back now, yeah, I guess I liked it
Want to get married: I am, and it's the best decision I've ever made!
Believe in yourself: sometimes
Get motion sickness: on rides, yes. in the car, only if I try to read
Think you’re attractive: I have my god days, and my "shouldn't have gotten out of bed" days
Think you’re a health freak: Hi, have we met?
Get along with your parents: not as well as I'd like
Like thunderstorms: I love them.
Play an instrument: No, but want to learn the piano

Layer Six:
In the past month….
Drank alcohol: yup
Smoked: yup
Done drugs: nope
Made out: yup
Gone on a date: yup (gotta love date night!)
Gone to the mall: yup (unfortunately)
Eaten an entire box of Oreos: nope
Eaten sushi: it's been just over a month (and I only know that because we had sushi with my sisters right after Dad died)
Been on stage: nope
Been dumped: nope
Gone skating: nope (I do more "sliding" and "falling" than actual skating" anyway
Made homemade cookies: nope, but it's on my to-do list for the next month
Gone skinny dipping: nope
Dyed your hair: never
Stolen anything: not since high school

Layer Seven:
Have you ever….
Played a game that required removal of clothing: Yup.
Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: Yup
Been caught “doing something”: Yup
Been called a tease: Yup
Gotten beat up: Once. That was enough for me.
Shoplifted: in middle school
Changed who you were to fit in: yup, unfortunately

Layer Eight:
Age you hope to be married: I was married at 24, which seems like a good age.
Names of children: no kids yet, but I'm not publishing the hopeful names... or at least not publishing them again
Describe your dream wedding: I had my dream wedding... the man I love, our closest family and friends, and beautiful surroundings. What more can a girl ask for?
How do you want to die: peacefully
Where do you want to go to college: I went to Oakland (and dropped out), and have taken classes at the local community college
What do you want to be when you grow up: a Mom
What country would you most like to visit: Australia

Layer Nine:
Number of drugs taken illegally: I've only tried 1 illegal substance... not such a "gateway drug" is it?
Number of people I could trust with my life: Just one
Number of CDs that I own: too many
Number of piercings: had my ears done, but I'm pretty sure the holes have closed
Number of tattoos: none
Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper: don't think I've ever been in the newspaper
Number of scars on my body: too many: 5 from surgery, 1 from a childhood accident that required stitches, and a whole bunch from being a tomboy!
Number of things in my past I regret: thats a trip down memory lane that I'm not really interested in taking, thankyouverymuch!

Monday, December 8, 2008


Today is CD1! And I'm even pretty sure I ovulated last cycle! AND, assumng that's correct, I had a nice, respectable, 13 day lp!


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Well hello, Hormonal Mood Swings!

Oh how I've - missed you?

Apparently my body is getting the hang of this whole "working reproductive system" thing. I'm fairly certain that I ovulated about 10 days ago, and the PMS-y hormonal RAGE kicked in full force last night (my poor saint of a husband), so I'm thinking AF should be arriving over the course of the next few days.

After her departure, we'll spend the next cycle attempting to make a baby the old fashioned way (yes, you're allowed to laugh). If THAT doesn't work, I'll have an HSG in January (beginning of the following cycle) to give my tubes a post-surgical looksee. After that, it'll either be a few months of the old fashioned way of doing things, or a few months of Clomid - depending on what else is going on in life (Clomid is NOT my friend... or, should I say, NOT Grumpy's friend. I'm HORRIBLE on it!)

Come on red witch! I'd much prefer to be over and done with you BEFORE Christmas, please & thank you!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Emily thinks my Blog is Fabulous! THAT'S SO COOL!!!!
I'd like to pass the Fabulousness on to:
  1. Lori
  2. Luna
  3. Mel
  4. Flicka
  5. Chicklet
And my 5 Fabulous Addictions:
  1. Sex and the City
  2. Christmas ornaments
  3. Twitter
  4. Coffee with French Vanilla Cream
  5. Belgian Pool (this is what Grumpy's family has always called the game, but Google doesn't seem to know what that is. In the link I provided, our table is kind of a hybrid of English, French, and Italian tables pictured.)

Here are the rules:

  1. You have to pass it on to 5 other fabulous blogs in a post.
  2. You have to list 5 of your fabulous addictions in the post.
  3. You must copy and paste the rules and the instructions below in the post.Instructions: On your post of receiving this award, make sure you include the person that gave you the award and link it back to them. When you post your five winners, make sure you link them as well. To add the award to your post, simply right-click, save image, then “add image” it in your post as a picture so your winners can save it as well. To add it to your sidebar, add the “picture” gidget. Also, don’t forget to let your winners know they won an award from you by emailing them or leaving a comment on their blog.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Mother of All Thankful Thursdays

I figured it was about damn time to resurrect Thankful Thursdays around here, and what better time to do that then Thanksgiving week? Yes, I am feeling awfully cliche` today, thanks for asking! So, here we go... All the things I'm currently thankful for:

  • The Grumps: Even though he can push all my buttons (in all the wrong ways), after almost 12 years, he still manages to push all my buttons (in all the RIGHT ways). That man has been my rock, has been by my side through some incredibly difficult times. He was Johnny on the Spot with anything I needed during the Dad saga, he's my sounding board when I need to scream, my safety net when I break down, and always always always tries to make me smile.
  • My family and friends: In this crazy year that I've had, I've always known that people are there for me, and for us. I've had offers for anything from dog-sitting and meal cooking to witnessing legal documentation and destinations I can run away to. Life hasn't been the best this year, but the people in it have been amazing.
  • My home: It certainly wasn't the house I'd have picked if I'd had the opportunity to go house shopping. But our little bungalow is safe, and cozy, and affordable... and it's home.
  • My job: It's about as safe and secure as a person can hope for in the craptasticness that is the current Detroit economy. And it's flexible... as long as I'm getting my work done, I can sneak out any time I need to.
  • This blog: This has been my place to unload, my dumping grounds when I've needed to get things off my chest, or put them in some kind of perspective. And, it's allowed me to meet some pretty amazing people, and get lots and lots of support.
  • The Grumps former boss: Thank you, asshole, for "laying off" my husband. It's made for some interesting financial juggling, but because of your shittiness, my husband has been given the opportunity to follow his dream.
  • Dad's illness: It sounds horrible, but Dad's extended illness allowed me to reconnect with my sisters. I wish he didn't have to go the way that he did, that he'd just have gone to sleep in his apartment and never woken up. But, if it had happened that way, I'd have lost my Dad. The way it did happen, I still lost my Dad, but I gained 2 sisters. And I'm fairly confident that that would make Dad happy.

So, that's my list. Tell me, what would be on your list?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Is it possible?

Could I actually be working my way to being comfortable - gasp - in my own skin?!?!

I've spent a LOT of years putting on a show, for family, for friends, for co-workers, and for strangers. The Grumps knows ME, as do a handful of really trusted friends. But all too often, I find myself trying to be the version of me that _____ would want me to be.

Worse... when I haven't had it in me to be that version, I've just completely disengaged.

I've certainly made some mistakes over the years, and I KNOW that I've made choices that my family didn't approve of. And for a long time, that really bothered me, and I felt the need to make up for it, to earn their approval.

***Let me pause here, and say that all of that disapproval was ALL ME... my family, even when they don't agree with the things I do, are always (or at least most of them) supportive of me.***

But somehow, over the last few weeks/months, I've noticed a change. When before, I was absolutely terrified to have people over (my house is too small, not clean enough, the furniture is old, the carpet is stained, blah blah blah), recently I've welcomed unexpected visitors with open arms, and without panic.

I'm PLANNING ways to have friends and family come visit at MY house... dinner parties, out of town house guests, girls sleep-over with some of my younger cousins... and I'm EXCITED, about people BEING IN MY HOUSE.

If I stop to think too much about it, I get a little panicky. But, if I can stay focused on going with the flow, the flow seems a whole lot less terrifying than it used to.

Very strange indeed, this maturity thing. Perhaps I'm getting used to it?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Have you Creme'd yet?

Our fantabulous and fearless leader Mel is at it again!

It's that time of year when the stores put out the ornaments, the radio starts playing caroles, we all dread the 10 lbs we're about to gain, and Mel does the Creme de la Creme!

Are you on it?


  • ARGH! If you're part of the ALI (adoption/loss/infertility) blogosphere, then click the link and GET ON IT!
  • If you're not part of the ALI community, then SAVE the link, and come back on January 1 to read the best the community has to offer for 2008! Meet some new bloggers, gain some new perspective, and share the bloggy love!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The "Have You Ever" Meme

Stolen from Sunday Stealing, who admits to having stolen it from Minnesota Mom.

Have you ever…

  1. gone on a blind date? Never!
  2. skipped school? yep
  3. watched someone die? Dad
  4. been to Canada? yep, Ontario (Windsor, Toronto, London)
  5. been to Mexico? yep, Cozumel
  6. been to Florida? yep, Orlando, Tampa, Miami (well, thru Miami)
  7. been on a plane? yep
  8. been lost? yep
  9. been on the opposite side of the country? yep, to San Francisco & San Jose, CA
  10. swam in the ocean? yep, on a cruise in high school
  11. had your booze taken away by the cops? umm, no
  12. lettered in high school sport? I believe I got an academic honors letter, but wasn't a sports player
  13. cried yourself to sleep? more than I want to try to count
  14. played cops and robbers? Of course.
  15. played dolls? That, too.
  16. sung karaoke? never on stage, but definitely from the crowd!
  17. paid for a meal with coins only? yeah...gotta love a dollar menu
  18. done something you told yourself you wouldn’t? oh yeah
  19. cheated on an exam? probably
  20. made prank phone calls? yep
  21. laughed until some sort of beverage came out of your nose? many, many times. and let me just say that Vernors HURTS!
  22. caught a snowflake on your tounge? yep
  23. danced in the rain? yep
  24. written a letter to Santa Claus? yep
  25. watched the sunrise with someone you care about?yep
  26. been kissed under the misteltoe? Yep
  27. ever been arrested? nope
  28. blown bubbles? yep
  29. gone ice skating? Yes, but I renamed it ice-sitting.
  30. been skinny dipping outdoors? yep
  31. had a nickname? Yep.
  32. been to Africa? nope
  33. eaten cookies for dinner? many times (maybe that's why my jeans don't fit....)
  34. been on TV? yep
  35. been in a car accident? 1 bad one, and a couple of fender benders

What is your…

  1. mother’s name? we shall call her P
  2. favorite drink? wild cherry diet pepsi
  3. favorite alcohol? Mike's Hard Lemonade
  4. birthplace? Detroit
  5. favorite vacation spot? someplace warm
  6. favorite salad dressing? creamy italian
  7. favorite pie? Bakers Square Lemon Supeme, or pumpkin
  8. favorite number? 9
  9. favorite movie? Sexs & The City, or My Cousin Vinny
  10. favorite holiday? Christmas
  11. favorite food? too many to list
  12. favorite day of the week? Saturday
  13. favorite brand of body wash? Dove
  14. favorite toothpaste? sensodyne
  15. favorite smell? Grumpy, fresh from the shower

Do you have any…

  1. tattoos? Nope.
  2. body piercings? nope.
  3. Do you drive a 2-door or 4-door vehicle? 4
  4. What do you do to relax? read, veg in front of tv, hang with friends, nap
  5. How do you see yourself in 10 years? wife, mom.... not sure what else

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Still Waiting

It's strange to me, but over the last few months, I've been so wrapped up in all that was Dad's illness and death, and all that was the struggles of an unemployed turned soon-to-be-first-time-college-student spouse, that I kind of forgot about the struggles of infertility.

Sure, I was still going in for my every 4 weeks Lupron injection, and taking my estrogen (when I remembered). And I'd have my rough moments here and there. But honestly, infertility was pretty far off the radar. Even moments like this one (as told from the perspective of my very good friend) brought joy and happiness, rather than the all too familiar emptiness.

But now - now that life is returning to calm, and the holidays are gearing up, I'm left here, still waiting, still hoping against hope to beat my own odds and manage to conceive naturally. And yet, I still haven't had my first post-Lupron period (43 days after my last shot, but who's counting?). I figure I'm pretty well now officially out of the running for one of those fairy tale Christmas morning announcements. Oh well, it's only the 5th consecutive one of those I've been out of the running for... I should be used to it by now, shouldn't I?

But, of course, I'm not. I'm pissed off at the universe, at God, at my broken body. Why is this our story? Why are we being punished in this way? What is wrong with us that nature, or the universe, or God, insists on working against us - on throwing us out of the gene pool?

It's infuriating, on so many levels. I've fought long and fucking hard for my marriage, my life, my family, to be in a place that is genuinely ready for children. I've accepted that there will never be as much financial security as we'd like, and that my house will never be Martha Stewart approved. We're working hard to better our financial big picture, have come together to finish projects that make our house feel more like our home. For fuck's sake, I'm READY!

And yet, here I am, still waiting.

Monday, November 17, 2008

And Who Are You?

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Grace!


You are a Grace -- "I need to understand the world."

Graces have a need for knowledge and are introverted, curious, analytical, and insightful.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Be independent, not clingy

  • * Speak in a straightforward and brief manner

  • * I need time alone to process my feelings and thoughts

  • * Remember that If I seem aloof, distant, or arrogant, it may be that I am feeling uncomfortable

  • * Make me feel welcome, but not too intensely, or I might doubt your sincerity

  • * If I become irritated when I have to repeat things, it may be because it was such an effort to get my thoughts out in the first place

  • * don't come on like a bulldozer

  • * Help me to avoid my pet peeves: big parties, other people's loud music, overdone emotions, and intrusions on my privacy

What I Like About Being a Grace
* standing back and viewing life objectively
* coming to a thorough understanding; perceiving causes and effects
* my sense of integrity: doing what I think is right and not being influenced by social pressure
* not being caught up in material possessions and status
* being calm in a crisis

What's Hard About Being a Grace

  • * being slow to put my knowledge and insights out in the world

  • * feeling bad when I act defensive or like a know-it-all

  • * being pressured to be with people when I don't want to be

  • * watching others with better social skills, but less intelligence or technical skill, do better professionally

Graces as Children Often

  • * spend a lot of time alone reading, making collections, and so on

  • * have a few special friends rather than many

  • * are very bright and curious and do well in school

  • * have independent minds and often question their parents and teachers

  • * watch events from a detached point of view, gathering information

  • * assume a poker face in order not to look afraid

  • * are sensitive; avoid interpersonal conflict

  • * feel intruded upon and controlled and/or ignored and neglected

Graces as Parents

  • * are often kind, perceptive, and devoted

  • * are sometimes authoritarian and demanding

  • * may expect more intellectual achievement than is developmentally appropriate

  • * may be intolerant of their children expressing strong emotions

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What's normal?

ok, I fully admit to stealing this idea from Nancy, but I really liked it, so I'm creating a list of my own. And, although we do have several in common, I know we don't have ALL the same readers.

So, indulge me if you would, and tell me what YOU think is normal!

  1. Toothpaste: Squeeze from the middle or the bottom?
  2. If you're a bottom squeezer, do you roll up the tube as the paste gets used?
  3. How many times (on average) do you use a bath towel before washing it?

  4. Toilet paper: underhang or overhang?

  5. Quick trip on a lightly raining day: umbrella or no?
  6. Bed sheets (top sheet): fancy side up to the bedspread, or fancy side down to the fitted sheet?
  7. If you're the only one in the house that will drink something, is it ok to drink directly from the container?
  8. For you IFers: Do you think in abbreviations? (For example, when expecting your period, do you think to yourself "Where the hell is AF?" or "Where the hell is my period?"
  9. Does your spouse/significant other know about and read your blog?
  10. Do your IRL friends know about and read your blog?
  11. When watching live tv, do you watch commercials, channel surf during them, or do other things around the house (potty break, get a drink or snack, let the dog out, etc?).
  12. When do you put up Christmas or Holiday decoratons?
  13. When do you put dish soap in the dishwasher, just before running the load, or as soon as you start putting dirty dishes in?

OK, I think that's enough for now... I'll post my answers later today.

What's normal?

Monday, November 10, 2008

His Last Day

Monday, October 27, 2008

My phone rings at 5:30 in the morning. Startled awake, I have just enough time to think "this can't be good news" before I answer the call.

Dad has fallen, again. The fifth time in about two weeks. But this fall brought along the first injury. Seems as though he pulled his catheter when he fell. Not all the way out, but enough that the nursing staff had to remove it and try to reinsert it. Except that upon removal, they notice blood in his urine. Their first call was to the ambulance company, and the second call was to me.

Looking back on it now, I feel like a complete shit for what I'm about to admit. Instead of immediately getting dressed, or at least jumping in the shower, I went back to sleep. My alarm went off at 6:30, and I got up and had my morning coffee as usual. Debated the necessity of even GOING to the hospital... after all, they were just going to check him out, admit him for a few days, and then release him back to rehab. We've been down this road before. Do I really have to be there?

As it turns out, yes.

I got to the hospital around 7:30, but the door to Dad's ER triage room was closed. The nurses were in "cleaning him up". After a few minutes in the hall I was able to go in and see him.

But it wasn't Dad.

He was completely incoherent. Mumbling about needing his weapon (Dad was a wartime vet, serving during the Korean War both in Korea and in Germany), and about cleaning the lockers, and several other conversations that I couldn't make out details of. He didn't acknowledge my presence, at all. This was a first, and a painful one.

Doctors and nurses came and went, orderlies took him for x-rays and CT scans, blood was drawn and sent to the lab, and the decision was made to admit him.

I think it was around 11am when we finally got him up to the medical floor. The floor doctor and his RN were both incredibly kind, typical of the hospital staff we've encountered all along at this facility. The nurses had trouble getting his blood pressure on the digital machine, (not uncommon, especially when Dad was sick), so went off to find one of the old manual machines. And then another, and another. After 2 RNs, 3 LPNs, 6 machines, and at least 30 minutes, they finally got a reading.... 48/21.

Insert much hooplah and rushing around, including IV fluids and talk of a transfer to ICU. Dad seemed to respond to the IV fluids (his blood pressure came up to about 65/35), but it was still clear that he needed to be moved to ICU. The floor doctor pulled me out into the hall to ask how "aggressive" the family wanted to treat this situation. I mentioned the patient advocate form on file, naming me as decision maker, and clearly stating no CPR, no defibrillation, and no mechanical ventilation. The doctor seemed satisfied, and went off to do doctorly things.

I knew the transfer was going to take a little while, so I asked the nurse if it would be alright if I ran to the cafeteria to grab something to nibble on. She agreed that the timing was right, and that it was a good idea, stating I was likely "in for a long day". Upon returning to the floor after my quick lunch escape, I discovered the nurses getting him ready to move...

and off to the ICU we go.

More nurses, doctors, exams, blood work, paperwork. More incoherent mumbling from Dad, and still no sign that he's even aware of my presence. An hour or so passes, his blood pressure continues to fall, and the floor doctor comes in to see me. By this time it's clear that although the IV fluids are helping his blood pressure, it's worsening his congestive heart failure, and adding fluid to his already damaged lungs. I'm presented with 2 options:

  1. Move to "heavy-duty" heart medications, in hopes of stabilizing his blood pressure through means other than the fluids that are quite literally drowning him. I asked the doctor what this choice would mean, and was told that it would require a painful procedure to start a central line through Dad's groin, and that the medications may help to stabilize him for "a while". When I asked if it would make Dad better, the doctor was unable to even make eye-contact, let alone give me an answer.
  2. Do nothing, and call in hospice care.

I told the doctor that I needed some time to speak with my sisters, and that in the meantime I wanted them to do what they could to keep Dad comfortable, and hopefully keep his already precarious condition from slipping further downhill.

It's about 4 in the afternoon now, and after a few phone calls, Dad's 3 girls decided that he'd been through enough. The palliative care specialist had been to see him, and me, and said that she'd come back to see Sis1 upon her arrival at the hospital.

Less than an hour later we were in the little family conference room on the ICU. Talking of officially calling hospice, and whether or not we were looking at hours or days, and what kind of medications were recommended to try to keep Dad as comfortable as possible.

Sis1 sent Grumpy & I off to take a break & get some dinner around 5:30. She insisted, as I had been there for 10 hours already, and clearly needed a rest. By the time we returned around 7, all of the monitors and IVs had been removed, and we were just waiting on the transfer to a private room.

That transfer came around 8:45pm. Dad's breathing had gotten even more labored, so I requested a shot of morphine. He got his "good drugs" (as I call them), and off we went. By a little after 9pm, we were settled into the private room, Dad sleeping (or unconscious... probably the latter) and breathing heavily, me sitting and watching him.

At about 9:15, I noticed a change in his breathing. It switched from being labored and rattly, to almost... delayed. I remember there being enough time between breaths for me to think "was that it? is he gone?", and then he'd fight to take another breath.

At that point, I reached out to touch his leg, and my Dad & I had our last conversation. The details of that conversation are mine, and mine alone. But I will say that when I was done talking to him, Dad took one last breath, and was gone.

List Meme

Because I am desperately in need of some light-hearted blog content, I'm tagging myself, courtesy of Lori!

1. Where is your cell phone? good question... had to go find it - was in my jacket pocket
2. Where is your significant other? home
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? difficult
5. Your father? missed
6. Your favorite thing? lazy days @ home
7. Your dream last night? don't remember any
8. Your dream/goal? peace
9. The room you are in? office
10. Your hobby? relaxation
11. Your fear? never being a mom
12. Where do you want to be in six years? north, on property, debt free, with Grumps & kids
13. Where were you last night? cousin's birthday party
14. What you're not? motivated
15. One of your wish list items? win the lotto
16. Where you grew up? about a mile from where I am now
17. The last thing you did? work
18. What are you wearing? slacks & sweater
19. Your T.V.? Old-style (not flat).
20. Your pet? Kaylah (dog) & Paisano (cat)
21. Your computer? toshiba laptop @ home, compaq desktop @ work
22. Your mood? drained, emotionally, physically, and mentally
23. Missing someone? several someones
24. Your car? silver dodge stratus
25. Something you're not wearing? slippers
26. Favorite store? don't have one
27. Your Summer? too busy
28. Love someone? Yes
29. Your favorite color? purple
30. When is the last time you laughed? this morning
31. Last time you cried? last week

If you're so inclined, consider yourself tagged!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

and here I am

back to work for the first time since move day (way back on October 24). Feels a little strange, but in a good way. If you excuse the DESPERATE desire for a freaking NAP this afternoon.

There is lots that I want to write about here - Dad's last day, the service, all of the arrangements, the newly developed and VERY strong bond I have with my sisters - but all of that writing will require much more energy than I have this afternoon.

I just wanted to get something posted to let you all know that I'm working my way back to normal, and that I appreciate all of the kindness that each and every one of you has shown me over the last few months, and especially the last few days.

Thank you, very, very much.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


January 7, 1929 - October 27, 2008
More to come on the topic, I'm sure, as I process all of it.
Know that I thank you - very much - for all of the kind words, thoughts, and prayers over the last few months.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Another meme stolen from the fantabulous Jendeis!

The Rules:
A.) Go to Music Outfitters.
B.) Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year.
C.) Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you REALLY hate.

1. Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix), Los Del Rio
2. One Sweet Day, Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men
3. Because You Loved Me, Celine Dion
4. Nobody Knows, Tony Rich Project
5. Always Be My Baby, Mariah Carey
6. Give Me One Reason, Tracy Chapman
7. Tha Crossroads, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
8. I Love You Always Forever, Donna Lewis
9. You're Makin' Me High/Let It Flow, Toni Braxton
10. Twisted, Keith Sweat
11. C'mon N' Ride It (The Train), Quad City Dj's
12. Missing, Everything But The Girl
13. Ironic, Alanis Morissette
14. Exhale (Shoop Shoop), Whitney Houston
15. Follow You Down/Til I Hear It From You, Gin Blossoms
16. Sittin' Up In My Room, Brandy
17. How Do U Want It/California Love, 2Pac
18. It's All Coming Back To Me Now, Celine Dion
19. Change The World, Eric Clapton
20. Hey Lover, LL Cool J
21. Loungin, LL Cool J
22. Insensitive, Jann Arden
23. Be My Lover, La Bouche
24. Name, Goo Goo Dolls
25. Who Will Save Your Soul, Jewel
26. Where Do You Go, No Mercy
27. I Can't Sleep Baby (If I), R. Kelly
28. Counting Blue Cars, Dishwalla
29. You Learn/You Oughta Know, Alanis Morissette
30. One Of Us, Joan Osborne
31. Wonder, Natalie Merchant
32. Not Gon' Cry, Mary J. Blige
33. Gangsta's Paradise, Coolio
34. Only You, 112 Featuring The Notorious B.I.G.
35. Down Low (Nobody Has To Know), R. Kelly
36. You're The One, SWV
37. Sweet Dreams, La Bouche
38. Before You Walk Out Of My Life/Like This And Like That, Monica
39. Breakfast At Tiffany's, Deep Blue Something
40. 1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New), Coolio
41. The World I Know, Collective Soul
42. No Diggity, BLACKstreet (Featuring Dr. Dre)
43. Anything, 3t
44. 1979, The Smashing Pumpkins
45. Diggin' On You, TLC
46. Why I Love You So Much/Ain't Nobody, Monica
47. Kissin' You, Total
48. Count On Me, Whitney Houston and Cece Winans
49. Fantasy, Mariah Carey
50. Time, Hootie and The Blowfish
51. You'll See, Madonna
52. Last Night, Az Yet
53. Mouth, Merril Bainbridge
54. The Earth, The Sun, The Rain, Color Me Badd
55. All The Things (Your Man Won't Do), Joe
56. Wonderwall, Oasis
57. Woo-hah!! Got You All In Check/Everything Remains Raw, Busta Rhymes
58. Tell Me, Groove Theory
59. Elevators (Me and You), Outkast
60. Hook, Blues Traveler
61. Doin It, LL Cool J
62. Fastlove, George Michael
63. Touch Me Tease Me, Case Featuring Foxxy Brown
64. Tonite's Tha Night, Kris Kross
65. Children, Robert Miles
66. Theme From Mission: Impossible, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen
67. Closer To Free, Bodeans
68. Just A Girl, No Doubt
69. If Your Girl Only Knew, Aaliyah
70. Lady, D'angelo
71. Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First), John Mellencamp
72. Pony, Ginuwine
73. Nobody, Keith Sweat
74. Old Man and Me (When I Get To Heaven), Hootie and The Blowfish
75. If It Makes You Happy, Sheryl Crow
76. As I Lay Me Down, Sophie B. Hawkins
77. Keep On, Keepin' On, Mc Lyte
78. Jealousy, Natalie Merchant
79. I Want To Come Over, Melissa Etheridge
80. Who Do U Love, Deborah Cox
81. Un-Break My Heart, Toni Braxton
82. This Is Your Night, Amber
83. You Remind Me Of Something, R. Kelly
84. Runaway, Janet Jackson
85. Set U Free, Planet Soul
86. Hit Me Off, New Edition
87. No One Else, Total
88. My Boo, Ghost Town Dj's
89. Get Money, Junior M.A.F.I.A.
90. That Girl, Maxi Priest Featuring Shaggy
91. Po Pimp, Do Or Die
92. Until It Sleeps, Metallica
93. Hay, Crucial Conflict
94. Beautiful Life, Ace Of Base
95. Back For Good, Take That
96. I Got Id/Long Road, Pearl Jam
97. Soon As I Get Home, Faith Evans
98. Macarena, Los Del Rio
99. Only Wanna Be With You, Hootie and The Blowfish
100. Don't Cry, Seal

I'm honestly surprised that I plain old don't remember some of these. BUT, I am disappointed that more of the Alanis Morissette "Jagged Little Pill" cd wasn't on the list. That was the THEME SONG for my senior year! (Couldn't have anything to do with a couple of rough break-ups with my high school sweetheart, could it?)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Recipes Worth Sharing: Taco Soup

I found this one online a while back, and after making it a couple of times, I think I've played with it enough to share the original version, as well as my selections. The nice thing is that it's SUPER easy, and it MAKES A TON OF SOUP (I just about filled my 8 qt stock pot), and IT'S CHEAP!


  • 6 cans of any bean (I used 2 cans each Great Northern Beans, Kidney Beans, and Black Beans. I may play around with white & red, but I will definitely always use black beans)
  • 2 cans of any tomato (I used the Aldi version of Rotel, which is diced tomatoes with diced chilles)
  • 4 cans of any vegetable (I used corn, peas, green beans, and mixed veggies. The only thing I'm tied to in the mix is the corn, and in fact, I will probably use 2 cans of it in the future.)
  • 2 packets of powdered Hidden Valley Ranch dressing (I used store brand)
  • 2 packets of taco seasoning (again, store brand)


  1. Open all 12 cans
  2. Dump in a pot (you could strain & drain & rinse any part of this except the tomatoes, but you'd have to add back liquid... and I would worry about not having the thickener that you get from using the liquid the beans are canned in)
  3. Add seasoning packets
  4. Stir well
  5. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until you can't stand to wait anymore.


  • I served it with shredded cheese (mild cheddar) and corn chips (I like a little crunch in my soup) but there are a million other ways you could garnish (any kind of cheese you want, crackers, doritos, sour cream, jalapenos, etc etc etc).

Grumps & I have had this for either lunch or dinner 3 times so far, and we've only eaten half the pot.

I spent less than $12 on ingredients for this GIANT batch of soup. We will easily get 6 meals for 2 out of this, so $1 per (very generous) serving doesn't seem too bad to me at all. This is definitely a soup that I will make several times throughout the autumn and winter.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wits End

I have about seventy bajillion things on my to-do list right now. Some are incredibly time-sensitive (pack office before Friday's move), some are big picture important with slightly more flexible deadlines (decide if Dad moving in is an option that Grumps and I are willing to offer up) and some really don't even belong on the list right now (clean out closets {yeah, 'cause THAT is high on the priority list}).

I'm tired of whining about the way my world is right now. I'm tired of feeling like I can't do anything to change it... at least not in any significant way. I'm tired of losing relationships - and letting go of others - because I just don't have the energy. I'm tired of kraptastic and unnecessary drama, and have zero tolerance for those people that I feel create it for themselves (yes, I realize how scathingly judgmental that makes me). I'm tired of the guilt I feel about not making more time for Dad, or that I'm making the wrong decisions on his behalf.

I miss my quiet world, my quiet head. I miss lazy Saturdays spent in bed with Grumps, the furkids on the floor next to us, doing nothing but watching a movie and harassing each other. I miss spontaneous dinners out, because I didn't feel like cooking and we had the disposable income that allowed me to not feel too guilty about spending a little money. I miss the excitement of a new netflix movie, or the relaxation of a quiet camping weekend.

I'm afraid that Dad is making the wrong decisions for himself, and that he won't let his 3 daughters make the decisions we all agree are the right ones. I'm afraid that as the Lupron makes it's way out of my system, all it will leave behind is the same old infertile me. I'm afraid that the damage that's been done to some of my relationships over the last 3 months will prove to be irreparable. I'm afraid that I've fallen so far into this place - this hurt, scared, little girl hiding in the corner version of myself - that I may never find my way back.

Bad bad BAD HORRIBLE blogger

Many apologies for the blog silence....

I'm ok, Dad's the same, mother-in-law's surgery went well, work is nuts, and I have TOO MUCH GOING ON!

I am still reading you all, and commenting when I have something to offer.

Hope to return (with a real post) next week!

Nice 250th post, huh?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Omnivore's Hundred

Here’s what you do:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

The Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Hey! I only refused 6 things! I'm pretty pruod of that!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I hope we're not going

here again.

Grump's Mom is in this morning to have her 2nd knee replacement. The first replacement spawned the post linked above, as well as this and this. (And probably others, but those were the ones I could find quickly.)

We're all praying that this surgery goes much, MUCH more smoothly than the last one. If you have a moment to send out a prayer or good thought on her behalf, it'd be lovely!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

How do I know if it's time to talk to my Doc

about depression?

I've been thinking about it off & on for years, but pretty consistently over the last few months.

I have a family history on both Mom & Dad's sides, and have all the textbook symptoms (short of suicidal thoughts).

Part of me thinks it's time to suck it up and try to get some medicinal help. But the other part of me - the outrageously stubborn part - insists that I have a LOT going on right now, and not much of it is bright & cheery & sunny & happy. If there was ever a time in my life that situational depression would be justified... well, right now seems to top the list.

BUT - I've been like this consistently for 3 months now. I *usually* make it to work (late), and fake my way through most of my day. I go home exhausted, sleep for a few hours, eat something, veg in front of the tv (or laptop), and go back to bed. Repeat daily Mon - Thur (with a Dad visit thrown in the mix 1 or 2 times). The weekends are about the same, obviously missing work - but throwing in much more sleep.

I don't call friends, I don't see people, I don't engage, I don't clean my house, I only do laundry when it NEEDS to be done (and then only 1 load, just to get us through). I go grocery shopping, but end up throwing a significant portion of the fresh food out, either because I don't cook, or I don't get it in the freezer before it spoils. My garden has been taken over by weeds and tomatoes that are rotting on the vine.

So tell me - Do I need to suck it up? Or is it time to get some medicinal help?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Puppy Crisis Averted

at least for now. I still want one - really really want one - but I have myself talked out of it for the time being.

Just a quick update style post:

  • I get my LAST Lupron injection today! WOO-FREAKIN-HOO!!!! And thank the Lord, because our new insurance wasn't going to cover it the same way (if at all). The amazing staff at Dr. N's office happened upon a sample from a drug rep, and its MINE ALL MINE! 4 weeks from today, I will be OFF THE MED! (I think... I suppose I'll have to wait & see how it all works its way out of my system.) November will usher in some good ol' fashion TTC in our house (possibly accompanied by either BBT charting or OPKs, but nothing more involved than that).
  • Grumps has had bunches of side work come in, so we're doing remarkably well financially. Not high on the hog by any stretch of the imagination - but things are flowing in a way that has allowed us to leave our savings in tact, and to even continue making some progress on the BIG UGLY DEBT.
  • Dad is still in rehab. He asked Sis1 yesterday to take him to his apartment, and then got mad when she wouldn't. She & I discussed the possibility of taking him there for a while this weekend, but the more I think about it, the less comfortable I am with it. There are a whole lot of unknowns in a situation like that, and they all scare the holy bejeebus outta me.

And, to close with my Perfect Moment of last week:

Grumps had a former co-worker stop by Sunday morning (to pick up the car repair FROM HELL). Because of this, we were delayed for our normal Sunday breakfast date with friends, so I brewed a pot of coffee. I poured Grumps a travel mug full & took it out for him (like I do quite often), but this morning, his eyes LIT UP, and he said "Thank You SO MUCH Honey! I love you!".

Made me all warm & fuzzy!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Someone please stop me

from getting a puppy! PLEASE!

We've been back & forth & back & forth about a bajillion freakin times about getting one (over the course of the last 4 years or so). Now would be a good time because the Grumps is home, and can do training. And really, we could both use a little extra wiggly cuteness & unconditional love in our world.

BUT, more responsibility? Another (albeit inexpensive) mouth to feed? Do I want to destroy the angry cat's ENTIRE FREAKING UNIVERSE? What about if Dad comes to live with us? (Well, Dad's an animal lover, so I guess that's not really an issue....)

I'm thanking the internet gods that our local no-kill shelter doesn't have a website. They're INCREDIBLY affordable on the adoption fees (seriously, like $50 for a puppy... and you get a $20 credit when you get them spayed/neutered), so I KNOW that if I went looking at pictures, or - heaven forbid - made the drive out there I'd be coming home with a cute little bundle of fur.

So tell me again, why shouldn't I do this?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

too many decisions

I had a meeting at the hospital yesterday, with Dad's social worker, K, and the Palliative Care Coordinator, J.

Dad is still very, very sick. His lungs will be an ongoing problem because of the COPD. His heart, although functioning normally now, will also need to be closely monitored because of his irregular heart beat and congestive heart failure. Because of the blood clot in his arm, he will always need to be on closely monitored blood thinners. His liver abcesses have healed, but will always hold the potential for disaster. His kidneys and urinary tract are always in danger of failing and infection, as his prostate is enlarged to the point of needing surgical intervention. He is far too sick to handle surgery, so the only option is to keep him on a catheter. His feeding tube will keep him hydrated and meet his most basic nutritional needs, but it will not provide him with the additional energy needed to build up his strength.

He still wants to go home. He told us yesterday that he's going to be in the hospital for a few days, then go to rehab for a few days, and then he'll be able to go home.

His reality is that he'll never again go home. He will likely leave the hospital to go to rehab. But, he won't be able to keep up with the pace of rehab, and will be forced to a) leave the facility, or b) private pay (not an option). He will then have the choice of "going home" where he will need to private pay for 24 hour care, or going to a medicaid available nursing home. The only other option, which Grumps & I are discussing (but have not yet mentioned to Dad), is for him to come home with us. In this situation, someone could be with him round the clock, and he'd have the funds to pay for some specialized care (light physical therapy, specialized nursing care, nursing assistant to help with bathing, etc). Any of the above options would allow us to call in hospice, when the time is right.

My heart wants to go for the last option. I want to bring him home, and let him sit in his recliner and smoke his cigarettes and drink his coffee and watch a college football game. My head is TERRIFIED of doing this. Can I handle bringing my Dad home to die? Can Grumps & I handle the stress that this set of circumstances would undoubtedly put on us as individuals, and on our marriage? I would still need to work, so is it fair and right for me to ask Grumps to do SO MUCH of the care-taking during the day?

I honestly don't know what to do. There are so many options, choices, decisions to be made. And I'm simply incapable. I feel as though whatever path I choose will be the wrong one - either for Dad, or for Grumps & I.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Still Alive!

Sorry for the blog silence... it's been a crazy couple of weeks.

I'm still fighting whatever this viral funk is, but I am definitely feeling better. I worked a full day yesterday for the first time since last Monday! Needless to say, I'm SWAMPED!

The office move is progressing nicely! We set a new record (especially for our-indecisive-selves) and had out carpet, paint, and Formica picked out in a day. The telecom folks were at the new place yesterday getting us all wired in, the landlord was there ripping out the old carpet, and the painter was there getting set up. This time next week, the new suite will be painted, and carpet should have arrived (but probably won't yet be installed). We're all getting pretty excited about the change!

Dad is still in the hospital. I haven't seen him since our trip to the ER with him on Monday (don't want to expose him to whatever this funk is that I'm fighting), but I have a call into his doctor to get the latest info.

AND - prepare yourselves - but I actually have GOOD NEWS!

Grumps found out yesterday that he was accepted into the tuition assistance program! There's still a whole mess of legwork to be done, but he should be starting at the local community college in January! He's SO excited! And it warms my heart SO MUCH to see it!


Oh, and as a total aside, I've made little bits of progress on my 101 in 1,001. You can check it out here, if you're interested.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I'm Alive!

Even though much of this week hasn't felt like it.

Went to the doctor, who was concerned that I had either strep throat or mono (umm, 30 going on 13, perhaps?). Turns out it is neither. Just a nasty virus that has kicked my arse, and that I must let run its course. Fun.

I'm drinking lots of clear fluids, and getting lots of rest (thank GAWD for the DVR, and my complete Sex & The City on DVD collection... movie releases on Tuesday! WOOHOO!!!), and not doing much of anything else.

Grumps is north for the weekend, enjoying a special early hunting season. I guess we have a population issue, as the DNR doesn't often issue early seasons. Late? Sometimes (and we have one of those this year, too). But this is the 1st early season we've heard of, and Grumps has been hunting for 7 or 8 years now. The good news is that he got a deer his first morning out. So there will be chili in our menu this week, and the pressure is off for the rest of the season (read: through January 1). Yes, there will still be hunting, but my husband won't be the crazed, maniacal, target fixated fool he's been in years past).

In other news, Dad is back at rehab from his few day stint in the hospital. I haven't been able to see him in about 10 days, due to the ick that has taken residence in my body. Nor have I been able to talk to him, as he didn't seem to want to ANSWER HIS PHONE in the hospital (ARGH), and the rehab doesn't have phones in the patient rooms. I'm going under the assumption that no news is good news, as when things were going badly last week, my poor little cell phone rang itself silly. I'm hoping to be able to stop in & see him tomorrow, even if only for a short visit.

On the infertility front (what? this chick is STILL infertile? umm... yeah.) I had Lupron shot #5, and another surgical follow-up earlier this month. Doc says I'm healing well, and that I'm due for a Pap (umm, yay?), so I need to come in to see him about 4 weeks after my last shot (I'll see him again on Nov 3). I asked about scheduling the HSG, and he wants to put it off until after the Pap. His exact words were "I'm hoping to put it off long enough that you'll conceive naturally and won't need it." Isn't he cute?

I think that pretty much covers everything right now. Grumps has his 1st one-on-one with his MI Works case manager next week (Wed, I think), so a few good thoughts sent his way for that will be MUCH appreciated!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Pox on My House

The Grumps is sick - has been for several weeks now. What started off as seasonal allergies turned into an upper respiratory thing. Fortunately, he's on the upswing, and I figure he'll be back to 100% by the end of the week.

I'm sick. And I do mean sick. Sore throat (complete with lovely looking white bumps on my tonsils), stuffy head, slight cough, chest congestion, generally icky. Home from work today, doctor appointment this afternoon, throat culture (I'm sure), 2 week course of antibiotics, and I should be well on my way to dandy.


Dad is back in the hospital. Went in Friday to do some more tests, and hopefully drain off some of the fluid in his lungs. I haven't been able to get a hold of him by phone - and clearly can't go see him - so I'm not sure how he's feeling over the last couple of days. Words like "bi-lateral plural effusion" and "congestive heart failure" have entered the discussions. Still very much one day at a time right now.


On another note, I must publicly apologize to HAP. Although their rules are more stringent than Medicare, and I certainly wouldn't recommend anyone opting for their coverage over Medicare, they do have some saving grace... We got Dad's hospital bill for his 5.5 week stay. $158,000 total. His balance? $250.

Thank the Lord for health insurance!

And just a bit of housekeeping - Mel was right when she directed you all here for birthday wishes last week. My birthday is Sept 9. The Perfect Moment Mondays post was just referring back to that day.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Perfect Moment Mondays

My birthday was not my best day ever. Between work insanity, Dad stuff, the craziness going on at home, and the fact that I turned 30 (which really bothered me more than it should have)... well, let's be honest... I haven't had my best day ever in quite a while.

So when I got home, I was ready to just go to bed. I was exhausted, and wanted to shut my head off for as long as I could.

Until I walked in the door.

The Grumps had made me a card, found a candle (a really really REALLY old emergency candle lol) to light, and set out a brownie as my "birthday cake".

It was ridiculously cheesy in all it's child-like glory, but it was exactly what I needed. It warmed my heart, and my soul, and brought a much needed smile to my face.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Daddy's Last Name is NOT Warbucks!


Got a call yesterday from the social worker at Dad's rehab. There is a chance that his insurance (note to readers: avoid HAP Senior Plus LIKE THE PLAGUE!!! IT IS EVIL!!!!) will cut him off on Friday.

Apparently, Dad has "plateaued" in therapy, and they don't like that. Let's ignore the fact that he's still fighting a liver infection (or possibly a new infection... his fever is back), he still isn't capable of being on his own, still on IV antibiotics and a feeding tube and a catheter and oxygen, and NOBODY has tried to teach him how to manage those things for himself. Oh, and let's not forget that he's only eating about 200 - 250 calories a day, because EVERYTHING seems to upset his stomach. Nope, we'll ignore those things COMPLETELY! Because he's been walking 100 feet at a stretch for a week now, and he should be at 125!


So, I called the business office this morning, to see what private pay would cost him. As of 2 weeks ago, Dad's doctors and therapists thought he's need another 3-4 weeks at rehab (but, you know, HAP knows better?), so I wanted to have an idea what it would cost him to stay there for the time all the professionals thought was appropriate.

Here's the rundown:

  • Semi-private room: $6,758 per month
  • Private room (which is what he's in now): $8,680 per month.

Both of those fees include nursing care, food, and the room.


  • Therapy (physical, occupational, speech): $30 per 15 minutes
  • Incontinence supplies: $6.61 per day
  • Feeding tube care & supplies: $7 per day
  • Medications: no idea (but, undoubtedly, a WHOLE FUCKING LOT)
  • Doctors care: no idea (see above note)
  • Catheter care & supplies: no idea

I have NO IDEA what we'll do now. I honestly don't think he can afford to stay there. But I KNOW that he can't be on his own yet. Another facility? Home with private nursing care? My house (gasp)?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My 101 in 1,001

*** I'm preempting this post with a disclaimer. See, I've been kicking around this list for a couple of months now, looooooooooooooong before the current unemployed spouse turned (hopefully) full time student situation (opportunity Beth, its an OPPORTUNITY!) presented itself. I've read back thru my list, and I really do think that these are all still things that are important. SO, I'm keeping it as is. Why not add a little more stress, right? At least with this list, I will have things that I CAN accomplish, CAN be done with, which I oh so desperately need right now.

In an effort to further the progress of becoming the me I want to be, I'm jumping on the 101 in 1,001 bandwagon. I figure the blog is a great way to hold myself accountable, and to have a concise place to keep track of the list, and my progress on it. I also decided that jumping into this project today, on my 30th birthday, is somehow appropriate.

I also find it - ummm - interesting? - that starting today, my 1,001 days ends on our 8th wedding anniversary. I'm not suggesting that it means anything... Wouldn't know what to suggest that it means. But when I ran the calculation, I was a bit taken aback when June 7, 2011 popped up. Weird!

I'm entering some of these items as smaller goals in steps to bigger picture goals. Why? For a couple of reasons. First, if I just list the "big picture" goals, I'll have a hell of a time coming up with 101 of them that I can realistically accomplish in 1,001 days. Second, I love love LOVE making progress, so having more things I can check off will help keep me motivated!

And since Blogger doesn't have a strike through font (Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!), I will change the color of items to show my progress. Still "to do" will be blue (cuz it rhymes, and that's the way my brain works), "in progress" will be green (green = going or doing, right?), and completed items will be purple (cuz it's my favorite color). Some of the items are recurring things, so I've added in monthly or quarterly "tickers" to check off my progress.


  1. Pay off my Visa.
  2. Pay off Grumpy's Visa.
  3. Pay off the vacant lot
  4. Pay off the truck.
  5. Build the emergency fund up to 3 months necessary expenses (you know, without all of the fluff like netflix & dining out)
  6. Sell cigarette rolling machine on eBay
  7. Sell 5th wheel hitch on Craigslist
  8. Read You're Broke Because You Want to Be by Larry Winget
  9. Have a "no spend weekend" (even if it's on a weekend that Grumpy is hunting... I don't think he'll go for it)
  10. Sell old jewelry that I'll never wear again and has no sentimental value.
  11. Send a donation to a charity every month, even if it's only $5 (Sep 08, Oct 08, Nov 08, Dec 08, Jan 09, Feb 09, Mar 09, Apr 09, May 09, Jun 09, Jul 09, Aug 09, Sep 09, Oct 09, Nov 09, Dec 09, Jan 10, Feb 10, Mar 10, Apr 10, May 10, Jun 10, Jul 10, Aug 10, Sep 10, Oct 10, Nov 10, Dec 10, Jan 11, Feb 11, Mar 11, Apr 11, May 11, Jun 11)


  1. Grow this blog to 25 subscribers.
  2. Participate in the Barren Bitches Book Brigade
  3. Get more active with my recipe blog, and get it set up on BlogHerAds
  4. Grow the recipe blog to 15 subscribers.
  5. Build up my blog traffic enough to get quarterly checks from BlogHerAds.
  6. Build up my blog traffic enough to get monthly checks from BlogHerAds.
  7. Achieve Iron Commenter Status for at least 1 IComLeavWe
  8. Participate in NaBloPoMo
  9. Comment on every blog I read for a week (day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  10. Get the "unread items" in my Google reader to "0", just once!
  1. Watch the Godfather trilogy, all in one sitting!
  2. Read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.
  3. Read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  4. Read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
  5. Read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  6. Read Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  7. See a race at Bristol
  8. Buy a hammock
  9. Read the Harry Potter books
  10. Read Atonement by Ian McEwan
  11. Take a weekend road-trip vacation, by myself.
  12. Finish watching the AFI top 100
  13. Learn to knit, cross-stitch, or some other yarn or fabric-ish handy work
  14. Re-watch the entire Sex & The City series, and the Movie.... again (shallow? yep. but I've been meaning to do this for at least 6 months now, and I haven't made the time for it)
  15. Buy a Wii
  16. Buy a WiiFit
  1. Have a meal with Dad every month: Sep 08, Oct 08, Nov 08, Dec 08, Jan 09, Feb 09, Mar 09, Apr 09, May 09, Jun 09, Jul 09, Aug 09, Sep 09, Oct 09, Nov 09, Dec 09, Jan 10, Feb 10, Mar 10, Apr 10, May 10, Jun 10, Jul 10, Aug 10, Sep 10, Oct 10, Nov 10, Dec 10, Jan 11, Feb 11, Mar 11, Apr 11, May 11, Jun 11
  2. Have a meal with Grandma every month: Sep 08, Oct 08, Nov 08, Dec 08, Jan 09, Feb 09, Mar 09, Apr 09, May 09, Jun 09, Jul 09, Aug 09, Sep 09, Oct 09, Nov 09, Dec 09, Jan 10, Feb 10, Mar 10, Apr 10, May 10, Jun 10, Jul 10, Aug 10, Sep 10, Oct 10, Nov 10, Dec 10, Jan 11, Feb 11, Mar 11, Apr 11, May 11, Jun 11
  3. Visit Kim in VA
  4. Go on a week long camping trip with Grumpy
  5. Have our niece spend 2 weekends a year with us (1st 08, 1st 09, 2nd 09, 1st 10, 2nd 10, 1st 11)
  6. Get pregnant (maybe I just needed to write it down as a goal? Yes, you can laugh at me)
  7. Take home a real live baby (you know, as a formal continuation of the last goal... )
  8. Visit Grumpy's sister in CA
  9. Buy and send out a "no occasion necessary" greeting card to one friend or relative every month: Sep 08, Oct 08, Nov 08, Dec 08, Jan 09, Feb 09, Mar 09, Apr 09, May 09, Jun 09, Jul 09, Aug 09, Sep 09, Oct 09, Nov 09, Dec 09, Jan 10, Feb 10, Mar 10, Apr 10, May 10, Jun 10, Jul 10, Aug 10, Sep 10, Oct 10, Nov 10, Dec 10, Jan 11, Feb 11, Mar 11, Apr 11, May 11, Jun 11
  10. Talk Mom into getting the POA paperwork done
  11. Visit cousin G @ her new place in K-Zoo
  12. Help Dad make a claim for the "missing money" I found in his name
  1. Regain use of the back porch
  2. Regain use of the back bedroom
  3. Buy & install new vanity & sink for bathroom
  4. Paint upstairs
  5. Paint back bedroom
  6. Paint kitchen
  7. Learn to sew (at least well enough to hem, repair seams, and replace buttons)
  8. Buy a stand alone or chest style freezer
  9. Learn to use a rototiller
  10. Use rototiller to prep the area I want to use for my garden
  11. Use up the leftover patio blocks to form a border for the garden
  12. Put together a "the world is ending" kit (flashlights, batteries, radio, non-perishables, bottled water, pet supplies, duct tape, ammo, cash in small bills, tampons, good book... you know, the important stuff!)
  13. Create Household Bible (account info, address book, passwords, etc)
  14. Paint exterior of front door
  15. Paint exterior of side door
  16. Paint exterior of back door
  17. Paint garage
  18. Buy & install (with Grumpy's help) new storm door for back door
  19. Sow seeds for my garden
  20. Get the quit claim deed done for the house
  21. Get new living room furniture
  22. Clean out & organize basement pantry
  23. Clean out & organize cabinet under microwave
  24. Murphy's Oil Soap the kitchen cupboards
  25. Paint the milk cans on the front porch
  26. Sell or donate the old vacuum cleaner
  27. Buy or build shelving for south wall of basement
  28. Install shelving in basement
  29. Put stuff on basement shelving (in a mostly organized way)
  30. Spend 15 minutes straightening up the house every day for 2 weeks (Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14)
  31. Cut and transplant a branch from DaMamma's rose bush.
  1. Stock a freezer with vegetables from my own garden
  2. Learn to can something (sauce, jam, whatever)
  3. Learn to bake bread from scratch
  4. Spend 1 day per quarter freezer or batch cooking 4th qtr 08, 1st qtr 09, 2nd qtr 09, 3rd qtr 09, 4th qtr 09, 1st qtr 10, 2nd qtr 10, 3rd qtr 10, 4th qtr 10, 1st qtr 11, 2nd qtr 11
  5. Try 1 new recipe every month: Sep 08, Oct 08, Nov 08, Dec 08, 09, Feb 09, Mar 09, Apr 09, May 09, Jun 09, Jul 09, Aug 09, Sep 09, Oct 09, Nov 09, Dec 09, Jan 10, Feb 10, Mar 10, Apr 10, May 10, Jun 10, Jul 10, Aug 10, Sep 10, Oct 10, Nov 10, Dec 10, Jan 11, Feb 11, Mar 11, Apr 11, May 11, Jun 11
  6. Find a homemade mac & cheese recipe that we LOVE
  7. Learn to make DaMamma's pickles
  8. Make a turkey dinner with all the fixin's
  9. Visit a farmer's market x10 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
  10. Make an apple pie from scratch (the crust, too!)


  1. Take a yoga class
  2. Lose 35 pounds (-5lbs, -10lbs, -15lbs, -20lbs, -25lbs, -30lbs, -35lbs)
  3. Lose 3 pants sizes (-1st, -2nd, -3rd)
  4. Quit smoking
  5. Floss every day for a month (Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30)
  6. Work up to 100 push-ups a day for a week (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100)
  7. Work up to 100 sit-ups or crunches a day for a week (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100)
  8. Run/jog/walk - participate! - in the Eastpointe Lions 5k
  9. Avoid fast-food for an entire week! (Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  10. Avoid going out to dinner for an entire week! (Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
  11. Drink only water for an entire week (Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Current Count: 101