Carrie Fisher

When I was a kid, I never really wanted to be a princess. I LOVED Disney movies but never totally connected with the princess characters. I wanted to be Robin Hood or Peter Pan or at least Tinker Bell because that b!^ch knew how to take charge of a situation…but then my parents rented Star Wars on VHS tape from the grocery store (yeah not only was there no Netflix back then, this was before my small town even had a  Blockbuster) .

 

I was already a fan of science fiction, having been watching Star Trek and Lost in Space practically since birth but I hadn’t seen anything like Star Wars before. The story seemed simple enough; unlikely band of male heroes go off to rescue the princess….

 

But then this:

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Princess Leia Organa wasn’t some damsel in distress. She was a bad-ass rebel leader. SHE was the one calling all the shots and could verbally spar with Han Solo, shoot a blaster, and stand up to the most feared villain in the galaxy.  

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Yes she was pretty but she literally strangled to death a character that objectified her. She needed help but she was not helpless. She was kind to the little woodland Ewoks of Endor  but could also get angry and call Han Solo a “stuck up, half-witted, scruffy looking Nerfherder!” She fell in love with a handsome hero but it wasn’t all “happily ever after” because she had a job to do.

 

Princess Leia was my hero.

 

I was so happy when this hero of mine showed up again in The Force Awakens, still leading rebels, as General Organa. One of the most moving moments for me in that film was when Leia and Han are talking about how when things fell apart they went back to what they knew…and what she knew was being a mother f-ing war hero!

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I usually don’t get emotional over celebrity deaths.

 

Today was an exception. Today I cried over the loss of Carrie Fisher.

 

While she is best known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars films. She was also a writer, activist, and all around bad-ass woman who always spoke her mind.

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Princess Leia was my childhood hero but Carrie Fisher was my grownup  hero. 

 

She openly talked about her battles with drugs, her weight, and her mental illness. Carrie Fisher took the things in life that were hard and turned them into art and did it with humor.

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This quote, that I heard on her one woman show Wishful Drinking, has been my personal mantra for the last year:

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Today Harrison Ford said “Carrie was one-of-a-kind…brilliant, original, funny  and emotionally fearless. She lived her life bravely.”

 

Isn’t that how we all want to live?

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Rest in peace Carrie Fisher.

 

May The Force be with you.

 

May you finally know the truth about underwear in space

 

Things that really suck when you are facing infertility.

It’s no secret facing infertility sucks but unless you’ve actually been there and done that then you don’t really know…so let’s make a list…I like lists…I’ve seen a few lists like this on other blogs but they were…once again…“too warm and fuzzy” and I want to be honest.

 Warning: a lot of swearing ahead. 

 

So here it is: a list of things that suck:

 

  1. Needles….so many fucking needles. I went from getting blood work once a year to almost weekly. Last month I had to get blood drawn two days in a row. Then I had the privilege of hearing the suction noise and the sound of the blood going in the vile…yeah that’s going to haunt me…forever! This week I got a box in the mail…you know what it was? That’s right…a box of fucking needles…I am supposed to inject something at home now…yeah..that’s not happening.

  2. Being around your kids: don’t get me wrong…I love the kids in my life but honestly it is very painful to be around them. It’s like a very in your face reminder of what I can’t have. I’ve had two major breakdowns at some social events this summer and skipped a baby shower because I just couldn’t handle it.

  3. Drugs: Clomid is a hell of a drug and dexamethasone is no picnic either. Really any drug that you have to take before bed that way you sleep through the blurred vision isn’t something you want to be on. Also, they make you into a crazy person! I won’t even explain how the progesterone “capsules” work. Plus, I have started taking pre-natal vitamins, calcium, and vitamin D…my doctor told me I have the vitamin D level of someone who has been institutionalized.

  4. Peeing on things: Pregnancy tests and ovulation predictors both suck.

  5. Schrodinger’s Uterus: every month I have this week or so where I might be pregnant but also I might not be. Since I can’t observe it…well you get the joke… So I start questioning things like: should I stop drinking? What if this is my last drink?

  6. Pointing out that I don’t have kids: Yes, people actually point this out to me like I’m not already aware. Next time I swear I am going to be like “Oh shit! I thought I did! Where the hell did they go? In all the years we’ve known each other I’ve just left them in the fucking car! Damn! I better go check on them!”

  7. People bitching about their kids: I swear the next person who tells me I am sooooo lucky that I don’t have kids is getting punched right in the face. I get having kids is hard but believe me, it beats the alternative.

  8. Telling me it will get worse: I understand that pregnancy and childbirth are way more painful than the tests and procedures I am going through but you know what you get when you are done with pregnancy and childbirth? A baby! You know what I get after every visit to the fertility clinic? A $25 copay.
  9. Sex: People say “Hey at least that means you get to have lots of sex, right?” Yeah…scheduling sex can take a lot of the fun out of it. I’ve literally walked out of the clinic with a list of days we “have” to have sex….yeah that really puts you in the mood.

  10. Advice: Look, I know people mean well but unless you are my doctor please don’t offer me any advice. I appreciate you sharing “what worked for you” but my infertility is caused by a disease I have. Even my friend who has the same condition went through fertility treatments and medications that were totally different than the ones I am doing. Please leave knocking me up to the professionals. Goodness knows I am paying that clinic enough.   

  11. Holidays: Let’s be honest,holidays are made for kids. Every holiday I think “Well next year I will have a kid of my own” or “I’m sure by *insert holiday* I’ll be pregnant.” Never am.

  12. People telling me “it will happen when it is meant to” or “it’s all part of a plan.” That doesn’t make sense or make me feel better so I am not sure what your point is.

  13. Shit like this…

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Hey Look I Cooked Something! Beer Can Cabbage

Cookouts are kind of boring for vegetarians. Usually when we cook out we do regular burgers or hot dogs for me and veggie ones for Jordan. Nothing that you could really get excited about…until now.

Beer can cabbage is like a cross between beer can chicken and pulled pork but stands on its own as a thing. It’s a little more time consuming than just putting hot dogs on the grill but totally worth it.

We got the recipe here and they do a better job explaining it than I ever could so check it out then come back for my suggestions.

**pause**

So here are my thoughts:

I don’t know that the cabbage can stand on its own as an entree but as part of the sandwich with coleslaw, cheddar cheese and jalapenos it was amazing! It does need a sturdy bun.

I used a green cabbage instead of a purple one. I don’t know that it mattered.

The beer I used was Fosters. I think it was a good choice. Believe it or not, I don’t know much about beer. The beer guy at our grocery store helped me pick it out. Make sure when you do it you get a normal sized can. I used one of the fat ones and it created an unstable beer/cabbage tower.

Make sure you have a level surface in your grill….I had an…incident…while basting the cabbage where everything just fell over and I spilled beer all over my charcoal. Still turned out great. No one was hurt.

It isn’t as easy to cut as it looks in the video.

Here are my nonprofessional iphone pictures of what the food actually looks like:

 

Latest Trolls!

You know what I haven’t posted about in a while? My beautiful troll collection! While visiting Jordan’s family in Wisconsin we made the drive out to Mt. Horeb to see the Troll Way! In addition to taking a picture of over 30 troll works of art we did some troll shopping and I learned about a kind of troll I did not know about!

We walked into the Norwegian import place and there were trolls everywhere! At first I thought they were all Nyform but they didn’t all look like it so I asked and the ladies were like “You must really know your trolls” and then educated me on all the brands and styles of Norwegian troll statues. I can’t remember the name of the brands I bought but I saved it somewhere…

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Found this beauty at the antique store in Cedarburg. It’s got the old style “Thomas Dam” and says “U.S Foreign Pats. Pending in Denmark.” That may make it the oldest in my collection. 

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Original hair, original outfit, decent shape. 

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Another antique store find. It’s a necklace but I can’t find any info about it. 

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My favorite troll on the Troll Way! 

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This is getting hung by the driveway this summer!

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Fridge magnet!

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Old calendar art. The nice ladies at the store gave it to me for free since I was making such a big purchase! 

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More free art. I love this one. It makes me think of the “Katie Kar” gas powered car my dad built me.

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Troll socks!

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Magnets! 

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New beautiful trolls! 

Hey Look, I Cooked Something! Broccoli Casserole

I’m tired of tracking down the right recipe every time I try to make this so I am posting it here with my variation. Jordan told me to get a recipe book like a normal person but I would probably just lose it.

Ingredients: 
1. Regular sized bag of baby broccoli florets.
2. 1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
3. 1 cup of milk
4. 1/2 lb of Velveeta  (or whatever you have left over from nacho dip)
5. 3 cups cooked rice
6. Enough shredded sharp cheddar cheese to cover the top.

Steps:
1. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray and preheat oven to 350°F
2. Cook broccoli in boiling water for about ten minutes or until almost tender; drain very well.
3. Mix all ingredients and place in baking dish.
4. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
4. Bake for 25 minutes.

Rice cooker note:  If you lose the little cup that comes with the rice cooker, like we have, it equals 3/4 of a cup.

HSG: TMI

It seems to me that an absurd number of women my age  are struggling with infertility. It also seems like there is a lot of bullshit information out there about it. Personally, I am dealing with something called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which is something like 1 in 10 women have but that literally zero women are talking about. I was diagnosed ten years ago so struggling to get pregnant isn’t a surprise for me but what is a surprise is the lack of honest information out there about what the infertility process is like.

With that in mind, I have decided to chronicle my journey here in my usual blunt and inappropriate way.

Be warned: this is going to be way over the line in the oversharing department!

Disclaimer : I’m not doing this because I want any sympathy. I do not. I’m dealing with this. I got this. If you want to send me prayers or any type of support please focus your efforts instead on children with cancer. In fact, if anyone feels the need to pray for me if they could just donate $5 to Camp Quality instead I would greatly appreciate it.

Also, I do not want your advice. I am seeing the top rated fertility specialist in Northeast Ohio. Unless you also have his degrees and years of experience do not tell me I need to “just relax”, or take a certain supplement, or try a certain position, or cut something out of my diet, or add something to my diet, or to trust in some divine plan, or what worked for you, or to consider adoption, etc…

What I would like is for you to focus on the humor and honesty I want to share about a shitty situation that lots of women experience but don’t want to talk about.

With ALL THAT being said…I wrote this after I particularly bad incident back in the fall:

HSG: TMI 

Ok ladies out there having trouble conceiving: I’m going to tell you the truth about the HSG because no one else will.

For those of you who are lucky enough not to know what an HSG is, it stands for Hysterosalpingogram and it’s when they check for blockages in your Fallopian tubes by injecting glow-in-the-dark dye into your uterine cavity. A really good explanation can be found here: http://www.advancedfertility.com/hsg.htm.

If you read the link above you’ll likely notice the word “cramping”. That is the understatement of the century.

If you sign up for this medieval torture practice the receptionist will probably tell you to take some Tylenol before coming in. I have two thought about this:

  1. She told me the same thing when I had a different test done a few years ago. This gave me the false sense of security that this procedure and the previous one were somehow on the same level on that pain scale with the faces on it.  

And…..

  1. I took some anyway. I’m not sure it made a difference. If it did…well…that’s just scary….

You may also notice the above link does NOT mention “bleeding all over the damn place.”

I’m a research junkie, especially when it comes to my fertility issues so I thought I had a good understanding of how this test was going to go down and even debated driving myself instead of having my husband take me because on paper it didn’t sound worse than an ultrasound.The internet lied.

While I didn’t get a good look at all the tools involved it started off no worse than a pap or ultrasound. I was uncomfortable but was carrying on a pleasant conversation with the fertility specialist doctor about how I went to the same high school as his kids and how his youngest son and I were once in the same school play…then that “cramping” started.

This “cramping” was the type of pain where you can’t control saying “Ow!” out loud. It hurt so bad I was shaking. I had my sunglasses in my hand above my head and I started tapping them on the table to keep myself from moving. I didn’t cry or swear but I know I was frantically telling them it hurt and the doctor asked if I had painful periods and I said that they were nothing like this. I was also very clear with the doctor and the nurse to keep doing whatever they needed to do because I did NOT want to do this again.

When we were done the doctor told the nurse I was bleeding a lot and she had to get me those old school pads that are like bricks.  I know the pain didn’t last long but I was shaken up for a while afterwards. 

Later when describing the feeling to my husband I explained it as “It felt like my uterus was fighting back.” Later that day I was feeling much better but still had cramps. They felt like period cramps not “uterus WWE Smackdown” cramps so we went to the drugstore and bought more Tylenol, a heating pad, and maxi pads….for the first time since I was a teenager…because blood or no, nothing was going in there for a while.

I texted a friend of mine  who had an HSG done a few years ago and asked her if she remembered it hurting and her response was “Oh yeah. I cried during mine!”

I had mild cramps and on-and-off spotting for the next 2-3 days.

 

At two later appointments with my regular OB/GYN he flat out admitted that they aren’t upfront about how much the HSG can hurt because they don’t want to freak patients out. Thanks…I guess? 

Now I am sure the the pain of an HSG is NOTHING compared to actually giving birth. I know anyone reading this who has gone through both is thinking “She ain’t felt nothin’ yet!” and they are right, however, my point is with childbirth people will be honest with you about the amount of pain you will experience but NONE of my reading about HSGs prepared me to think it would be that painful.

I want others to be aware!

So…let me be the one to tell you…it freaking HURTS!!!

 

“Buy Me Once”

I was just going to share this article I saw on Facebook but as I was writing I realized I had so much to say that I decided a blog post would be more appropriate.

This one goes out to my mom and all the other sellers and collectors of Henn products and everyone who likes “old” stuff that was built to last.

Someone I went to college with liked this article on Facebook so through the magic of social media it came up on my news feed:

The Rise of “Buy Me Once” Shopping. 

It’s an interesting article about “Buy me once” shopping and how one woman is creating a website for home goods, clothing, etc…that are built to last a life time. It’s a great idea and I’m not criticizing it at all but my thought was:

Remember when all shopping was “buy me once” shopping?

The first thing that came to mind while reading this was Henn. My mom sold Henn for like over 20 years. They were a handmade basket and pottery company in Ohio. Their products were not only pretty but useful and built to last. They, and other companies like them, closed during the recession in part because of the idea the article talks about of “designed obsolescence”.  I don’t know when it started but people really bought  into the “new is better” and “you need the latest and greatest” mentality. At some point people stopped buying products that would last and instead opted for things that were cheaper and less durable so that they could replace them when they *gasp* went out of style!

No one used to care about this. People bought things and used them until they broke then if they could repair them they would and keep on using them!

A couple years ago my grandparents’ house was hit by lightning. It caused the clock/doorbell combo in the kitchen to stop working. It was installed when the house was built in the 1950s. They went to a couple different places and no one could repair it but how great is it that it hung in the kitchen and WORKED since the 1950s? I doubt my grandma looked up sometime in 1970 and was like “Is this clock/doorbell combo still hip?” I bet she was more like “Oh look it’s 4:00.” It told time, it chimed when the doorbell rang, it looked nice. Who cares?

I grew up with Henn products. They survived a lot of abuse from my sister and me. They were what my mom cooked with and what we used everyday and what we still use every day. When I get married my mom gave me my own set she was collecting for me.  We have Henn or a vintage/thrift finds in our kitchen because these are the things that last. We also got a lot of new stuff when we got married and I am curious to see if the crockpot I got in 2010 will be around in 30 years like the one my parents got when they got married.

I have a table in the family room that belonged to my great grandmother. It still had an O’Neil’s tag on the bottom. It looks pretty cool and vintage. I have another table that belongs to my husband’s great uncle, it looks even better. In the same room I have an Ikea table we bought 3-4 years ago. It looks terrible.

I’m really not sure what my point is. I’m glad that people are adopting this “buy me once” mentality but I guess I am a little sad that we ever got away from it in the first place. Why did we? I think it was for status. Somewhere, we got this idea that we needed everything to be new and updated so that we stayed fashionable but who cares? I think we were trying to impress others, to show off that we could afford to redecorate whenever we wanted because that’s what advertising told us to do. I guess making responsible choices is becoming cool again?

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