Friday, February 29, 2008

Recipes Worth Sharing - DaMamma's Pineapple Cake

My mother-in-law makes this super easy cake several times a year. It's great on its own, with ice cream, any variety of fresh fruit, whipped cream... anything you'd put with an angel food or pound cake.

DaMamma's Pineapple Cake

  • 1 20oz can crushed pineapple in juice
  • packaged Angel Food cake mix (use brand name)

  1. Bake cake as directed on packaged mix, substituting pineapple & juice for liquids in directions.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Too much

I don't know what else to say - it's simply too much.

This time of year is normally hard on me, as I work harder in these 3.5 months than I do in the other 8.5 months of the year... combined. It's the nature of the beast tho, and by sacrificing my sanity during the often brutal (and always unpleasant) months of Michigan winter, I get to rejoice in much reduced work hours during the off season, including having every other Friday off.

Add to that the insanity that is convention season. That committee I talked about here is planning a weekend long convention for approximately 300 attendees. We have scheduled events for Friday evening, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning. My role on the committee is primarily to handle the registration data entry for all attendees. It's not difficult, but it takes TIME. I figure I spend 3-4 hours per week for about 8 weeks. Again, not difficult, but time consuming. During a time of year when my "down time" is already significantly reduced.

Now, I should say that I'm used to those 2 things falling on my calendar during the same months. That's the way it is for me, and has been for the last few years. I can deal with that. Even though I don't enjoy it, I've learned to tolerate it, and can still manage to keep the rest of my life mostly in tact.

What qualifies as too much - what is driving me to a mental place that I haven't been to in a long time, and one that I'm not too keen on revisiting - is all the other crap that I have going on:

  • My mother-in-law is still undergoing chemo. Tomorrow's treatment is tentatively scheduled as her last, but we have no idea what comes next. Her spleen still needs to be removed, she still has some recovery to do from her knee replacement in December, and she is still a very sick woman.

  • My surgery and recovery, though not currently an immediate concern, has me freaked right the fuck out. What if the March 10 appointment doesn't go well, and they have to do the surgery sooner? What if waiting until April causes more harm than we thought it would? What if I have to go through another 6 weeks of recovery, locked in my house putting semi-permanent ass prints in my couch? How will the post surgical Lupron treatment go? What if the endo is more involved this time around, and I lose some parts that I really kinda need? How much is this whole thing going to effect my fertility (or, lack-thereof, as the case may be)?

  • Thanks to the asshat that stole my debit card #, our finances are even further out of whack. (Sidenote, what is "in whack"? Can anyone answer that for me?) In my attempts to work us out of some unplanned financial ugliness, I managed to cut things shorter than normal for the last few months. It's been ok, and it will be ok, but that bastard just ratcheted up the stress level another few notches for me.

  • I have absolutely no energy left during the week, and I try to spend my weekends enjoying some time with Grumpy. This means, of course, that my house is an absolute, God-forsaken, disaster. "Cleaning" has been limited to vacuuming about 20% as often as I need to, and throwing a load of laundry in the wash when I get the "I'm on my last pair of underwear" text message. I've never been what you'd consider a "clean freak", but it's been a long LONG time since my house has been in a condition that I'm embarrassed about... and it's there now.

  • And the latest and greatest on my pile... I spent over an hour on the phone last night with my cousin. She's a freshman in college, and away from home for the first time. Except, she's no longer away from home. Right about now, she & her parents should be pulling into their lovely little suburban home, after G (the cousin) has lost all ability to cope with daily life. She's facing some health concerns (both physical and mental), and literally cannot handle the daily expectations of college life, dorm life, meeting her own most basic needs. She feels broken, and doesn't know how to fix herself. My heart breaks for her, and I want so badly to help, but I have no idea what I can do for her.

Can I PLEASE take a nap? And could that nap PLEASE last until... oh... April 15?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Recipes Worth Sharing - Jiffy Corn Souffle

I found this recipe online here and it looked pretty darn easy. Turns out that not only is it incredibly easy, but it's very inexpensive, and tasty, too! It's a GREAT carb side for any kind of soup, stew, or chili. Think cornbread, but more moist.

  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 can cream corn
  • 1 can regular corn, drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1 stick butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Melt butter.
  3. Add slightly beaten eggs and sour cream to melted butter.
  4. Add corn; stir.
  5. Add mix; stir again.
  6. Bake uncovered in an 8x8 baking dish for 45 minutes.

I used Aldi brands for all of the ingredients, and my total cost for 1 batch was $2.03. I cut it into 6 GENEROUS servings, costing about $0.33 each. I should have cut it into 8 servings, which would drop the per serving cost to about $0.25 each.

Hey Wendy!

I see you done gone and went all "invite only" on our asses... WTF?

Seriously tho, Ms Nancy & I would love to keep up with you, if you'd want to share. Leave me a comment with your thoughts on it, and we'll work out some kind of slightly more secure way to exchange emails (assuming, of course, that you'd want us to be keeping up with you).

Hugs darlin!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The straw...

As I've discussed ad nauseum (or at least it feels that way... I've talked a lot about all of it IRL, but I know that I've been a pretty quiet blogger lately, so this may not feel so ad nauseum to you, but it definitely feels that way to me!), I seem to have a lot going on in life these days. As a recap:

  1. My mother-in-law is going thru chemo (for the 4th time) for her leukemia. Once her condition improves to the point that she's strong enough for surgery, she will need to have her spleen removed.

  2. It's crazy season at the office, and I have very little time to do anything (often including real work) during my work day. Most days I feel like I spend all my time answering stupid questions, making appointments, and trying to get other people's work out. Everyone seems to forget that I'm responsible for about 50% of the billable work that goes out of here from now until April 15, so I don't give a shit that you need me to proof-read this letter, or fix that spreadsheet.

  3. There is some other family drama going on that I'm choosing not to discuss around here (privacy concerns and all that jazz), but believe me when I say that it's taking it's own toll.

  4. I'm a jackass, and have volunteered (again) for a committee that I don't really want to be on, that plans a function I don't really want to go to, for an organization that I am regularly decreasing my involvement in. Oh, and I volunteered completely out of a sense of duty & obligation, rather than it being volunteer work I'd enjoy doing. Sense any resentment on that one?

  5. My surgery is scheduled for April 18. To say that this whole situation was a surprise would be an understatement, and a lie, at the same time. I have endo, and it sometimes comes back. I've had to have surgery to remove a GIGANTIC FUCKING CYST before, and it looks like I get to do it again. The good news is that Dr. N thinks he's got a 50/50 shot of removing the cyst robotically, so same day surgery & about a week's recovery time. The bad news... the need for surgery itself sucks, the other side of that 50/50 equation is another laparotomy with a 3 day hospital stay & 6 week recovery, I won't know which procedure he does until after surgery (so I'm stuck in this lovely hoping for the best but preparing for the worst mind-set), and I have to wait EIGHT FUCKING WEEKS for the surgery. That, in and of itself, could be enough to drive this poor girl bonkers.

  6. And the kicker... the one that I must laugh at for fear of screaming myself mute, or pulling all of my hair out one handfull at a time.... I discovered Tuesday that some asshole had stolen my check card number. And used it. In New York. To the tune of $500. Fortunately, my credit union is FABULOUS, and I will have all of the money credited back to my account by the end of business today (after 10 pages of faxes, several signatures, and multiple phone calls). We didn't have anything hanging out there payment wise that will bounce because of this fiasco (Thank God!). And at this point, the only inconvenience left is that I don't have use of my card. I should have my replacement within a few days tho.

That last little assualt on my sanity was the one that did me in. The proverbial straw that broke this camel's back. So, I spent yesterday alternating between napping in bed, and watching bad tv on the couch. Not exactly what I should have done with a Wednesday in the midst of tax season, but exactly what I needed.

Monday, February 18, 2008


I was going to start this post with an "I'm sorry, I'm a terrible blogger, blah blah blah".... and then it was "I've just been so busy with this and that and that other thing".... and then I decided it to just say "screw it" and be honest... I've not written anything because I haven't had much to write, nor have I taken the time to think of anything.

So there you go, that's my little tidbit of honesty... I'm lazy.

In other news....

My mother-in-law is responding well to treatment. They don't have any other options for treating her, so they've decided to continue her med cocktail for another 2 weeks. She's getting Retuxin (think "chemo-lite") for the leukemia, Neuprogen (I may have butchered the spelling of that, sorry) to boost her healthy white cell count, and IV Iron to boost her red cell count. Her numbers are nowhere near where'd the docs would like them to be, but this does seem to be helping, so..... more wait & see.


I got my surgical packet in the mail on Friday. I'm scheduled for April 18, but I don't yet have a time. Then on Saturday, I got the info on the prep I have to do the day before surgery. (Those of you that have been there, know exactly what I'm talking about. Those that haven't... trust me when I say you don't want to know.) I had a little emotional break down each day, as this whole situation becomes a little more real with every piece of evidence I get.

As long as I can get through the next 2 months with my sanity, I'm sure that all will be well. I trust my doc, I have no doubt that I'm in very good hands, Grumpy will take wonderful care of me while I recover (be it for a couple days or 6 weeks, we won't know until surgery).... Just have to get thru the next 2 months.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Good News and........

First off, thanks so much for the continued prayer support for Grumpy's Mom. She's still doing ok, and has one more chemo treatment to get thru (this Thursday). After that, we assume there will be another bone marrow biopsy to see if the chemo did what they wanted it to, and then some kind of planning session regarding either further treatment, or surgery for her spleen. If you can, please keep up the prayers, as we still have a L-O-N-G road ahead.

Had my follow-up appointment with Dr. N yesterday. The good news is that my bloodwork (thyroid & fasting insulin) came back ok, so the odds of it being PCOS are further reduced (altho, not gone entirely, I don't think).

The not-so-good news.... I need surgery. I have a 9cm endometrioma on, around, or near my right ovary. Doc says there is a 50/50 chance that he'll be able to remove it robotically, or laprascopically. Otherwise, full on laparotomy (again) with 6 weeks of recovery (again). He's hopeful that he'll be able to get in there & clean things up, and that I'll be able to keep all of my parts. But, he won't know that until he's in.

Fortunately, he said there's no reason the surgery can't wait until after the end of tax season, barring me becoming uncomfortable or symptomatic, so at least I don't have to mess things up at the office any more than they already are.

I have a follow-up appointment on March 10, just to see how I'm doing, and make sure the surgery can still wait until April. Of course, should I experience any pain or other symptoms before then, I'm to get in to see him asap.

Any advice on things I need to ask at the next appointment? Grumpy & I are putting a list of questions together, so we get everything covered. Sadly, upon the dropping of the surgery bomb, my brain promptly went to mush (including the oh so lovely welling of the eyes), so there was no Q&A yesterday.

Here we go again....

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Mental Vacation Day

You Are Fairly Normal

You scored 50% normal on this quiz

Like most people you are normal in some ways...
But you aren't a completely normal person. You're a little weird too!

Why You Are Normal:

You think glasses can make someone more attractive

If you had to, you rather live without music and still have laughter

You find the Macarena to be the more embarrassing dance

You prefer a good meal to a good nap

When you're in a car, you prefer to be the driver

Why You Aren't Normal:

You don't keep up with your horoscope

You are no longer with your first love

You'd rather have cockroaches than rats in your home

You would rather be tan than pale

If given the choice, you would choose to have more time over more money

You Are a Banana

You are mellow, easy going, and a total softie on the inside.
People find it really easy to get along with you. You suit most tastes.

And while you're very sweet, you're not boring or ordinary.
You have an attraction to the exotic, and you could show up anywhere... doing almost anything!

You are spirited, energetic, and a total kick to be around.
You're also quite funny. Your sense of humor is on the goofy side, and it fits you well.

You Are Mostly Virtuous

You are a good person, or at least as good as you can be.
You try to do the right thing, and you have ended up with many virtues.

While you are virtuous, you aren't a saint.
There's definitely a bit of devilishness deep in your heart!

Where You Are Virtuous

You have the virtue of Sincerity. You are not deceitful, and you always have the best intentions.

You have the virtue of Order. You let each thing have it's place, and you keep your life in order.

You have the virtue of Humility. You don't boast or brag.

Where You Are Not Virtuous

You lack the virtue of Industry. You have trouble doing what's important, and you tend to waste time.

You lack the virtue of Resolution. You often don't follow through with things you know you must do.

You lack the virtue of Chastity. You aren't guarded when it comes to intimacy.

You Are Sunrise

You enjoy living a slow, fulfilling life. You enjoy living every moment, no matter how ordinary.
You are a person of reflection and meditation. You start and end every day by looking inward.
Caring and giving, you enjoy making people happy. You're often cooking for friends or buying them gifts.
All in all, you know how to love life for what it is - not for how it should be.

You Have Many Alpha Tendencies

You're not a total alpha female, but you certainly know how to - and like to - get your way.
You're forceful without being intimidating. You're confident without being vain. A perfect mix.

A little bit of politics

Who You Should Vote For

Barack Obama: 67%
Ron Paul: 53%
Hillary Clinton: 47%
John McCain: 47%
Mitt Romney: 13%
Mike Huckabee: 7%

Who you agree with on the war in Iraq: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

Who you agree with on the economy: Barack Obama

Who you agree with on health care: Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney

Who you agree with on taxes: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

Who you agree with on abortion: Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

Who you agree with on gay rights: Ron Paul and John McCain

The thing I liked about this little bitty quiz is that it tells you which candidates you agree with on each issue. I don't know if I agree with my results or not, but I did find it interesting.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

She's still hanging in there

Just thought I'd give y'all a quick update on my mother-in-law.

She's halfway thru her 4 treatment round of chemo. Next treatment is Thursday, and we should get updated bloodcounts then or on Fri. She's weak, and tired, and very foggy (partially from the pain meds she's on, no doubt), but she's still hanging in there.

I'd appreciate continued prayer support. Even though she seems to be doing well so far, we still have a L-O-N-G way to go before we can consider her health to be stable.

I'll update again when there is news to share.

Thanks all!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

New Doc, and an *almost* diagnosis

Had my first appointment with Dr N on Friday, and I'm VERY VERY happy that I chose to go see him. I was there for almost 2 hours, most of which I was being seen by someone. Very thorough initial intake with a nurse, another 15 minutes of conversation with the doc, a quick pelvic exam (of so fun on cd4), and then ANOTHER 10 minute conversation with the doc.

He's entirely confident that I have PCOS. Although I don't have all of the symptoms (who really ever has ALL of the PCOS symptoms?) I have enough that he's confident with the diagnosis. He wants me to come by 1 morning next week for bloodwork, including a fasting insulin. I have an ultrasound and follow-up appointment scheduled for Feb 11. AND, he wants Grumpy to get an SA done between now and then.

He did say that there seems to be "something going on" with my right ovary. During the exam, he noticed that it seemed enlarged, and was definitely tender. So, the u/s will tell us what that is. Possibilities that he mentioned include cysts, or "something more serious". No point in worrying about it now, so I'm trying not to.

As far as the TTC plan, he says that based on my history, I'm an ideal candidate for Clomid. Although I've already done 6 cycles of clomid (3 with the old ob/gyn, 3 with the RE that included 2 IUIs), I think I might be willing to give it a shot for another few rounds, under his watchful eye.

It's very strange for me. I'm relieved to finally *almost* have an honest-to-goodness diagnosis. Someone is genuinely concerned that there is something wrong, and is willing to do the work to figure out what it is, and that - after 4 years of running circles with this "maybe" drug, and that "let's give it a shot" treatment - is very exciting. And yet, the truth that there really IS something wrong with me is a bit of a slap in the face. I've always suspected... hell, I've always KNOWN. But to have it confirmed knocked the wind out of me more than I thought it would.