Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ellie...half dog, half peacock

My sister just stopped by my office with her dog Ellie who was dressed up as a peacock for Halloween. I couldn't resist sharing the pictures:

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ovarian Cyst, Take 2

I may not be able to grow anything in my garden, but it seems I do have a penchant for growing ovarian cysts. For those of you who have fallen behing on the baby-making efforts in our household, I had a clomid cycle in August which resulted in a cyst that cleared up at the end of September. So October brought another clomid cycle with a little intrauterine insemination added in for good measure. Well it seems that the October cycle has ended in a 2 inch cyst on the left ovary. Well maybe "ended" isn't the right word because this cycle appears determined to last forever. But in any case the result will not be pregnancy, which is the goal after all.

They drew blood at the doctor's office and will call me tomorrow with a game plan. It will likely involve waiting and more ultrasounds to make sure the cyst shrinks. While I'm not thrilled with today's conclusion at least it is a conclusion. Otherwise the combination of no period, negative pregnancy tests and low basal temps would have driven me over the edge. And on the bright side I'm now free to enjoy a beer or glass of wine and all ultrasounds will be covered by insurance until that friendly growth in lefty is gone.

A Busy Weekend

Phew! Where did my weekend go??? Let's see...

I had drinks with a couple former co-workers on Friday night at Ivar's Salmon House (great happy hour!); Jeramy and I cleared out tons of blackberry bushes from our backyard, mowed the lawn and made a dump run Saturday morning; I ran a bunch of errands and had Direct TV installed Saturday afternoon; we went to a Halloween party Saturday night; I cleaned the house Sunday morning; and we went to my father-in-law's for dinner Sunday afternoon/evening.

Please wait just a second while I catch my breath...

I managed to squeeze out a little time to work on projects. I made a lot of progress on the scarf I've been knitting (check out the pic), and I worked on the Christmas stocking I'm cross-stitching for myself.

Oh and here is a picture from last week of how Jeramy helps with yard work. In this instance, he is pulling out an old rose bush that keeps growing back in mutated forms (because nothing is simple in gardening with me as we now all know). Also note the previously mentioned dead patch of grass from the infamous pot of boiling crabs incident in lower left quadrant of the picture near the camper. Oh and as an FYI, my wheelie sermons appear to be ineffective.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

More on the gardening front...

I just caved and bought a bunch of bulbs. Perhaps I should just give up my dream of a beautiful garden, but I just can't resist those lovely tulips, daffodils, lilies and the like. I'm sure I'll screw something up...either I'll plant them at the wrong depth or crowd so many in that I can't squeeze some annuals to cover up their decay in the late spring. Or perhaps I have bought too many and then I'll have to create new gardening spaces when I can't keep up with the ones I already have.

Ugh. But I just couldn't resist.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Why must gardening be so difficult?

One of the things I'd really like to have is a beautiful yard. I love the look of a freshly mowed lush green lawn and gorgeous flowers in bloom. It would feel so good to arrive home to such loveliness every day and it would be relaxing to gaze out my window at such wonderful surroundings. But alas, I have none of this.

One of the goals I set for myself in the spring was getting my front yard in ship shape. In April, I was off to a good start. I fertilized the lawn, sprayed weed killer, bought containers and planted flowers, weeded the flower beds, and planted new plants and seeds for annuals. Unfortunately my good intentions were quickly uprooted by gardening chaos, my inexperience, and my lack of time (and desire) to do yardwork. This was exemplified by the following experiences:
  • To save money I planted annual seeds including Marigolds, Cosmos and Sweet Peas. When I read the Cosmos package I thought it said they grew to be 6". Well it turns out there was just one apostrophe after that they really grew to be 6'. By July the Cosmos were running wild and taking over the entire flower bed. I mean they were annuals! Who knew that annuals could grow to be so big??? Jeramy just shook his head and asked why I always managed to plant things that grew too large, because yes this is not the first time this has happened. Finally he pulled them out for me using his quad and a tow rope on Monday, and I finished weeding my much emptier flowerbed yesterday.
  • I'm simply not good at keeping up with my lawn. My fastidious neighbor across the street mows his lawn every week throughout the year. Even in January when the lawn grows at a rate of 1mm/week he is out there mowing rain or shine. I, on the other hand, am lucky if I can garner the energy to cut the dandelion infestation I call a "lawn" twice a month. And unlike my neighbor's grass in the dead of winter, dandelions seem to grow at a rate of 6 inches per day in mid-summer. So for the greater part of the summer months what I'm left with is dead brown grass and a vast array of stout yellow flowers. I guess that I can grow flowers...just not the desired kind.
  • There is also the Jeramy factor. Now I do the bulk of the yard work myself because (1) Jeramy has allergies but more importantly (2) I care more about what our yard looks like than he does. That isn't to say that he doesn't care. My standards are just higher in that department. (Just like his standards are higher when it comes to the number of motorcycles one must own). The problem isn't so much that he doesn't do a lot of the gardening. Rather, it is really that he often compromises my efforts. For example, in August he dumped a large pot of boiling crabs in the front yard. This has resulted in a 2' x 2' section of grass that is now dead...permanently dead. Like everything around it is nice and green but it maintains a brown color and straw like texture.

I've come to hate people with beautiful yards. The sorts of people who love going out every afternoon and weekend to play in the dirt. And why do these people have to live by me???

It's hopeless I'm afraid.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Jeramy's newest toy and Cujo's latest distress

As promised yesterday, here are the pictures of Jeramy's newest motorcycle. It is a Suzuki DualSport 400, and he wanted this bike because it is able to be used both on and off road. Yes he always wants to be able to do everything with one bike, which leaves me wondering why we have so many. As you can see he is quite happy with his newest purchase, as evidenced by a smile rarely captured in photographic form. And yes, I've had a very demanding job as a preacher lately, and if you ever need a rousing lecture on why wheelies are a bad idea then I'm your gal.

Unlike the giddy Jeramy, the other spoiled member of our family, Cujo, was having a more distressful Monday. First, I demanded that he and I go for a walk since we are both so out of shape. While he kept pace with me at the beginning, that energy quickly faded. By the end I was practically dragging the fatigued, panting dog up the hill by our house (and this was not a long walk...maybe 3/4 mile). Afterwards, I vowed to take him on more walks since he obviously needs it, and Cujo resorted to drinking out of mud puddles.

Then, as if the walk wasn't enough for the poor canine, Jeramy's mom Dee came over with his niece Julia. Once the latter familiarized herself with her surroundings, she promptly stole poor Cujo's toys.
Yes, it's a rough life.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Like a kid on Christmas morning

So anybody who knows Jeramy understands just how much he loves his toys. And luckily we are in a place financially where we can afford a lot of toys. So when we got an unexpected settlement for his knee injury last week, that boy immediately began devising plans for what he'd do with that money. Among the purchases made over the weekend were a new quad and motorcycle. You're probably asking yourself why on earth we'd need another quad and another motorcycle. The quad will replace Jeramy's current bike which has been broken and needs to be fixed (which Jeramy can do) and the motorcycle will replace his Kawasaki. We'll sell both of those bikes in the spring when demand will be a little higher.

More on the new motorcycle later. I do have some pictures of the quad though both before and after Jeramy rode it on Sunday. It is a CanAm Renegade 800. He was very particular about which bike he bought because he wanted something two wheel drive that was fast and sporty for riding in the dunes, but he also wanted something with four wheel drive that he could ride for hunting. He was all smiles after riding it on Sunday because it fits both bills very well. Accomodating both is pricier, but he should be able to enjoy this quad for many years, unlike the malfunction-prone Warrior.

Unlike Jeramy, I didn't get to go riding this weekend because I've been laid up with a sinus infection since Thursday. I'm still stuffy today but I've got my energy back and appear to be on the mend. However this meant that I spent my weekend on indoor activities, which was fine by me anyhow. I made progress on the socks and scarf I am mending, I finally sewed a liner in my crocheted purse and I finished piecing together the Christmas stocking I cross-stitched for Jeramy. Here's a pic...I'm so happy it is finally done. It took me nearly 2 years! I got the supplies on Sunday to start my stocking. Hopefully that won't take me another 2 years. (It shouldn't since mine is a sampler rather than an intense scenic pattern like his)

Friday, October 19, 2007

9 years and I still really miss her

It's impossible for me to believe that today marks 9 years since my mom died. She would have been 53 right now. I wonder what my mom would have been like in her fifties. We've kept on living just like she would have wanted us to...I finished college, got a good job and bought a house; my sister got married; my brother graduated high school and started college; my dad got remarried and my stepmom is wonderful. But still there is a part of me that feels like nothing will ever be quite right because she isn't here. She really was the glue that held us all together.

I love you mom, and I miss you.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Remember Chuck Taylors?

Jeramy ordered a new pair of Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars last night. Does anybody out there remember those? I never had a pair, because I felt like I had clown feet when wearing them. But they were quite the fad with the rocker and skater crowds when I was in middle school and high school. Jeramy, who unlike myself fell into to the aforementioned social categories as a teenager, most certainly owned a pair or two back in the day. They complimented his leather jacket and dyed black or green hair well.

Anyhow, the new ones have skulls on them. They're pretty cool looking if you ask me. Check the pattern out here: Jeramy is getting the high-top version though.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Wow...suddenly I'm a two rooms clean at a time sort of gal!

As a kid, I was used to a messy house. My mother was wonderful, but she was not a particularly good housekeeper. She did like a clean house but always had difficulty keeping up with it. So instead of keeping the whole house clean, she would often just manage to keep one room of the house clean at a time. Usually it was the living room and that would serve as her sort of sanctuary where she'd spend all her time. And it was pretty easy to forget that the rest of the house looked like a war zone while sitting in the nice and clean living room.

Now I was not a particularly clean child as my bedroom reflected. But once I was an adult with my own place, I vowed to keep my house clean at all times. It couldn't be that hard, right???

It is several years later, and I don't think I've ever been successful in that quest for more than a month at a time. There are lots of reasons for this...I'm too tired after work to clean, Jeramy is a "bit" of a slob, we just keep getting more and more stuff, and after a while it all becomes overwhelming.

Well this last weekend, I managed to make something of a dent in the mess we call home. In fact, I got not one, but two rooms cleaned (kitchen and living room). And not just kind of clean. Really clean. Last night I sat in the living room knitting and admiring the sanctuary I had created. It's amazing the sense of calm you can get from a clean room. Of course that all goes away the second I walk into the bathroom or the bedroom or God forbid one of Jeramy's rooms. But I guess that is what doors are for!

Friday, October 5, 2007

It's Definitely Fall in Seattle

I was in San Diego for a conference earlier this week, where it was sunny and 80 degrees. My return to Seattle was a shock to the system weather-wise. It seems that fall arrived in full force while I was enjoying the California sunshine. There were certainly signs of fall's impending arrival before I left like the relentless rain, but the temps declined about 10 degrees during my 3-days absence. I don't mind the change of season really...fall brings Halloween, leads to the holidays, gives me the opportunity to light those scrumptious fall-scented candles, and light a warm fire. But it is hard to believe that summer is over.

What I did learn this week is that San Diego is not a very pretty city. It is very desert like and wants for green. I hear that it is much prettier outside of the city, but unfortunately I never got out of Mission Valley. It does help me appreciate Seattle though.

Anyhow no big plans for the weekend. My house is a wreck since Jeramy was left to his own devices during my trip, which translates to no cleaning. So I'll probably spend the bulk of my time trying to rectify that situation and watching the Seahawks game on Sunday.