Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Yep, I've moved.
You can find me at www.eggsbenedictarnold.com.
Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Trip and Some Pix

The Mammoth Cave trip came off without a hitch. Well, unless you count the wicked, awful fight DH and I had on the way home. And if you're being picky and want to count the birth-control-induced 6 hour crying jag that occurred on the way home, maybe "without a hitch" is a bit too optimistic. The cave was interesting and we may even go back to show the kids one day. (That is, if we have kids before we are too feeble to manage a freebie cave tour.)

These birth control pills (bcp) make me crazy. How can it be that I can inject copious amounts of follicle stimulating hormone (fsh), lutenizing hormone (lh) and progesterone and simply shed a few tears at toilet paper commercials yet, I take your average bcp and I'm a wailing mess? Yep, that's birth control, baby, no man would ever want to come near me while I'm popping these things.

In the absence of anything more interesting going on in my life, I've included a few snaps from our Saturday dinner date. DH, who will now be known as FlyGuy, flew us to a rinky dink airport 100 miles away for a (are you ready for this?) A Picnic. Flying apparently brings out the romantic in him and I'm not complaining. I just wish a trip to the outlet mall did the same.

Look closely at the squiggly lines in the field. Don't quite know what to make of it. What do you think, a corn maze or a farmer on crack?

Ever wonder what the runway lights look like from the sky? The runway is the stretch of bright, colored lights in the middle of the pic. (We had difficulty finding the airport so FlyGuy had the air traffic control tower turn the lights up all the way)

Once we found the airport the runway lights were turned down to normal so we weren't blinded during the landing. Big difference.

Fidget's first trip. She had to ride in the "cheap seats" which is basically the cargo area behind the back seat. She looks a bit bummed out at this prospect. Yes, FlyGuy is wearing a beer t-shirt in the background. His flight gear is usually a t-shirt and Levis.

This was taken while cruising down the runway before take-off. Fidget is looking ominously annoyed.

Just to prove no Fidgets were harmed in the making of this post. Here is Fidget blissfully rolling in some marvelous stink at the airport after her first flight. She's a great dog.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Family Field Trip

We are packing the car and heading to Mammoth Cave, Kentucky in the morning. We are car-camping down south and spending two nights under the stars at Mammoth Cave National Park. Car-camping is the lazy person's version of roughing it. We drive into the campground, park the car and set up the tent in a clearing next to the car. There is a firepit at every campsite and sometimes even a grill. The best part is, bathrooms. There are bathrooms and showers just a quick walk down the road from our campsite. The facilities are no better than your basic public restroom, but it's far better than the tree on the left or the hole you have to dig if you're the true crunchy granola type.

DH prefers to rough it in a way that includes not showering for a week. That is a bit over the top for me. I've been there, done that. I'm not ashamed to admit I like to sit on porcelain while doing my business. If I were I guy, it may be different. No sitting needed and the woodland view is better.

We will drive all day Monday, tromp around the park and take some cave tours on Tuesday, then back in the car on Wednesday. It's a short trip, just long enough to see something cool then come home. The 8 hour drive (one-way) will be a bummer, but we are used to it. There aren't too many interesting things to see in the Midwest besides Chicago and since it's our hometown, we need to take a journey to see something new. A few years ago we car-camped to South Dakota and saw the Corn Palace, Mount Rushmore, Wall Drugs and Devil's Tower. Funny how our vacations have become school-like field trips. We are not the beach bum types, more like couch potatoes who need a destination and an itinerary to be motivated to leave home.

Since this is an infertility blog and I've been remiss in talking much about my infertility lately, I'll leave you with this update: I'm starting birth control pills tonight. I'll take them for a few weeks then take some meds to suppress follicle growth while also growing my uterine lining, when the lining is nice and plush, the doctor will take a biopsy and run tests to see if I am having implantation problems. To my peeps in the infertility world, this is also called a mock cycle. I'll leave it at that for now. Just wanted to let you know that things are starting to move forward again and I'm rather excited and also scared out of my wits.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Celebrate with Me

I realize this, on the heels of my last post is a bit bi-polarish, but I'm feeling good today and wanted to share it with you and invite you to celebrate with me.

Drum roll, please (No, I'm not pregnant- put it out of your mind people, I'm on the never-gets-pregnant-team, remember?)

Continue with Drum Roll, please:

I just finished my last graduate class. TA-DA!
That's the news. I'm officially, higherly ed-ja-camated.
I can now check the box that says,
Highest degree of education: MA (Master's of Arts in Educational Administration)

I took my final exam this morning and afterward, slowly walked to my car feeling weightless and happy.

I'm glad it's an MA instead of an MS. When I got my bachelor's degree, it was a BS (Bachelor's of Science in Education.) Every time I think of it, my mind says, "big deal, you got a degree that's BS" as in bull$*#%. MS felt like a Ms. as in, the name women give themselves when they are being mysterious and not divulging if they are married or single. I've always resented the fact that my name, Mrs.Lassie tells the world that I'm married while Mr.Lassie gets off scot-free and can keep it a secret if he chooses to. (Okay, now I'm thinking, why would he choose to, but that's a different post.) The feminist in me thinks we should have one title like the guys. Maybe instead of Mrs., Ms. and Miss, we could be Mo. Let's roll it on our tongue for a moment,

Mo Lassie,
Mo Lassie.

I like it. Think it could catch on?

Anyway, that's my news, folks. I've completed the coursework for my Master's degree. Now, don't go thinking my blog will get smarter overnight. I'm afraid you're stuck with the random, meandering, grammatically incorrect way I write. I got a graduate degree, not a brain transplant.

And lest you think I'm truly on a manic high, these are the things I'm trying to ignore while celebrating my accomplishment:

1. That I have to take (and pass) a state certification exam and a graduate comprehension exam before they give me my diploma

2. I finished my degree just in time to realize I want out of education and plan on changing careers next year

And finally...

3. I started the grad program the same year we started trying for a family. Way back then, I was in a hurry to finish before the kids came. Finishing years later, sans kids, is definitely bittersweet.

But, (insert picture of me skipping merrily, singing, "tra-la-la") I'm not thinking of those things. I'm focusing on my accomplishment and thanking my lucky stars that today I can say, "infertility did not beat me down and make me roll over and die. I kept on keeping on."

I have a Master's degree.
I am Mo Lassie, hear me roar.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I Am Not

My period started yesterday. Of course it did. It always does. It is a relentless reminder that I'm cursed with pms, monthly bleeding, cramps, bloat and weight gain: For Nothing.

I've been thinking about all my nots lately, so in an effort to get them out of my head, I thought I'd list them.

I'm not pregnant (big surprise.)
I'm not adopting.
I'm not a mother.
I'm not EVEN CLOSE to being a mother.
I'm not a beloved daughter.
I'm not happy.

I am the queen of the Pity Party, right? Its so freakin' hard to forget that I'm no where near being a mom. Parenting feels so far from me, that when I think about it, I literally can't breathe. My chest gets tight and I can't inhale. This has never happened to me before. I am hyperventilating because I'm infertile. For goodness sakes, why can't I get over it? Why can't I accept that I can't have kids? Barren. That word haunts me. Feels like it lurks over my shoulder, a red neon sign saying BARREN WOMAN. Feels like everyone knows I can't have kids. Am I wearing a scarlet letter? Is it obvious that I'm miserable (and barren)?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Me Thinks I Was Adopted

Saw my dad today. He is a retired teacher that lives out of state, or rather, I live out of state. He still lives in Michigan where I grew up. He and my mom divorced when I was 29. That was about 25 years too late. To the best of my knowledge, my mom is living a life of martyrdom taking care of her ailing mother.

My father, got remarried a few years back. She's a nice enough woman, I definitely think of her as my "father's wife." Just can't see her as a step-mother. They were in their 60's when they got married and she wore a full length, puffy, white wedding gown, bridesmaids and all. It was kind of weird, to say the least. Brides should never look like mutton dressed as lamb (enough said.) If you're thinking maybe it was the only wedding in her life, no, she had been married before, has 3 grown kids. Yes, I welcomed her into my family but I don't need a step-mother, thank-you-very-much.

But, I digress. As I was saying, I saw my dad today. In his retirement, he has chosen to keep himself busy by driving cars for Enterprise Car Rental. He and his sidekick, drove to Chicago to drop off a car. We met for lunch and they turned around to drive back to Michigan. All in a days work.

Here is a snippet from a Day in the Life of Dad:
1. Drive 5 hours to a suburban Chicago car dealer.
2. Call daughter (me) because he's lost.
3. Find destination, call daughter because he's no longer lost.
4. Drive to second car dealer.
5. Call daughter (still me) because he's lost again.
6. Tries to follow daughters directions.
7. Call daughter, still lost.
8. Ignores daughter's advice, backtracks 20 miles and basically starts the route over again.
9. Finds car dealership 3 hours late.
10. Call daughter (painfully, still me) says he'll be at the restaurant for lunch in 1 hour.

Wait for it... Wait for it...

11. Call daughter, he's lost.
12. Very patient daughter (who has phone in a death grip) gives directions
13. Father calls and says he's at the restaurant. It's the wrong restaurant, on the wrong road.
14. Daughter (why, oh why me?) says "don't move, I'm coming."

Have lunch with dad and sidekick. Sidekick is an 81 year-old man with a significant hearing problem. Dad blames him for getting lost. Sidekick hears this, rolls his eyes and looks at me like, "come on gal, you grew up with him, surely you can't be surprised at the events of today." The sage old man was right. I wasn't surprised. My father is a 65 year old college graduate who needs to find the yellow brick road because he needs a brain way more than that old scarecrow.

Yep, sometimes, me thinks I was adopted.

*Note from the infertility front: Still barren. On a break. Uterus likely full of cobwebs. IVF looks pointless. Still looking for the silver lining everyone says should be here.

*Note from the pet owner: Thank you all for your kind sentiments regarding Schuster. I still look for him around every corner and occasionally indulge in a daydream where I hear his footsteps down the hall. Your support has eased the sadness. Many thanks.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Schuster's Independence Day

Four years ago, DH climbed Mount Rainier. Well, almost climbed it. He and a climbing/hiking friend got within 200 feet of the summit and ran into a blizzard so they had to turn around. During the descent, they got lost in the blizzard and faced some harrowing circumstances. Fast forward one week and DH is sitting in my living room recounting his adventure. He looked fierce. He had lost several layers of skin on his face due to wind burn and almost all of his toe-nails.

As I was listening to his Rainier tale, I looked over his shoulder, out the window and saw a dog on the sidewalk. The dog looked like a scrawny coyote. He had no collar, tags or apparent owner. I tried to focus on DH's story, but it became increasingly difficult. I couldn't take my eyes off the dog. DH turned around saw the dog and rolled his eyes.

DH: Ah'm not gittin' the dowg
Me: He looks lost, just go out and get him and then you can tell me about your climb.

I batted my eyelashes and gave him my most sincere smile.
That didn't work.

Me: (pleading tone) I can't listen to your story while that poor abandoned dog is out there.
DH: Look at me, down't you feel bad for me, ah lowst my toenails, Ah'm exhausted, Ah'm not gittin' the dowg

Instead of batting my eyelashes, I gave him the look that says unless-you-get-that-dog-this-very-minute-I'm-going-to-go-all-kinds-of-wife-crazy-on-you.

DH: Alraht Ah'l git the dowg

(Note to the reader: I know, I could have gotten the dog, but it did look like a coyote and I wasn't sure little ol' me could handle such a creature.)

As soon as DH went outside to get the dog, the dog walked away. DH, hobbling from the loss of toenails, couldn't keep up. He came back in.

DH: Ah tried, but he walks fast, couldn't catch 'im
Me: Well, thanks for trying. I bet if you took the car, you could go faster and maybe catch him.
(insert profuse eyelash batting)

DH: Ah'll try, but he walks fast, cain't figure where he went, he's a dowg, he roams
Me: Here's your keys.

DH walks to the car, muttering under his breath. He drives off to the right and I see the dog walking up to the house from the left. I know DH won't see him so I grab the only thing at hand to bait and lasso the beast: a shoelace and 1/2 a bagel.

The fierce, would-be coyote walked right up to me, sniffed the bagel and looked up at me as if to say, "it took you long enough." I tied the shoelace around his neck and brought him home. Turns out the shoelace wasn't really needed, he walked alongside me like he had been my sidekick for years.

We named him Schuster. We already had a cat named Simon and figured Simon & Schuster was a bit cuter than Simon & Garfunkel. We took Schuster to the vet. He was 17 pounds and 12-13 years old. He was emaciated, he should have weighed 45 pounds. Schuster had a scar on his neck from an embedded collar and many scars all over his body. All of his teeth were either gone or broken from chewing on cage bars. He also had a small bullet or bb in his abdomen that had been there for years.

Schuster stayed with us for over 4 years. His hips started to weaken, but he still loved his walks. Neighbors would call out "Hey, there's Grandpa!" when they saw us coming. Schuster was brave, he endured regular chiropractic and acupuncture treatments like a champ. Schuster had his good days and bad, but he always rallied. DH said, "that dowg'll niver die, he'll bark at my funeral."

Then, last Friday, Schuster started to act very confused. He was running into walls and was having trouble standing. By Saturday morning, we knew he was starting to suffer. The end was near. We called the vet Saturday morning, but they had already closed for the holiday weekend. We considered taking him to an emergency clinic to be euthanized but decided we could keep him comfortable until Monday morning when our vet opened.

So, we spent the weekend hugging and loving Schuster at every opportunity. We fed him steak, sausage and treats. He loved it. We did our best to make him comfortable and said our last goodbye on Monday at 9 a.m.

We feel very fortunate that Schuster walked into our lives. We miss him dearly but are so grateful he is no longer tethered to a body that no longer worked.

Schuster 1989-2006