Sunday, July 31, 2011

Up All Night

I'm exhausted but I can't sleep.  Its 0221 hrs here and I should be in bed, snuggled up to my spouse but its just not happening. 

I can't think of a good reason why I'm not in bed at least trying to sleep.  But I'm not.  I'm totally awake or as close to it as I have been during the daylight hours.

In just a few more hours it will be daylight yet again.  Maybe its the nausea that is keeping me awake.  Maybe its the pain.  Maybe its my dry, tight, itchy skin that I can't resist scratching.  Maybe its the restlessness because I know what is going to hit soon.

Well at least I went to the movies on Saturday.  I had free tickets to see Captain America in 3-D.  I've never actually been to a 3-D movie and it wasn't all that bad.  What was really cool is that the seating wasn't the normal theater seating but recliners.  I could put my feet up and recline all the way back without worrying about some kid hitting the back of my seat.  I found that rather nice. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

A Day Of Female Issues

So yeah, I'm ovulating this week, well as far as I can tell without an ultrasound and testing.  I had my RE appointment this morning.  It was a consult going over what has to be done.  Dr. Bur was nice enough to tell us, while J kept falling asleep, what are our options.  J was tired from lifting over 2000 lbs of equipment this morning and the brigade 4 mile run.  I would be too.

First off, I'm due for my well woman appointment.  I knew I was.  But its so imperative to get one done soon that they scheduled the appointment for me for this afternoon.  I guess pain and bleeding during and after intercourse isn't good at all.  Well I knew that too.  However, I kind of figured it was just the cysts causing issues.  Even the nurse suggested that one might have ruptured and thus the pain and bleeding. 

It could be also cervical dysplasia from what Dr. Bur told me today.  I've been diagnosed with it before and somehow, must be a miracle, at the next exam with a different doctor it wasn't there any longer.  Okay can I get one of those miracles now?  Read here to learn more about cervical dysplasia. 

Next I was told about my options to continue to conceive.  Lets say its not great since I'm running out of time.  The IVF wait list is a year long.  Its costly at $7500 a pop.  Its our only hope.  Sure we could try a few more round of ovulation induction but that just seems to not work for me.  However, they are having a mini cycle in October.  With any luck we can get on that list.  Pray for us if you would please.  I'm just hoping that I still have a few quality eggs left in me.

So that is how my morning went thus far.  I'll know more in a few days about everything else.  Time is my enemy and its drives me to distraction.  Now I just wait and wait and wait to hear results of the wait list and the pap results from the test that will be done later today.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Yesterday was a disaster.  I cried.  Yes I cried on my birthday.  Not once, not twice but many times.

Yesterday I got my feelings hurt by my own mom.

Yesterday I faced up to some facts.

First off I have to remove that which causes harm to me and my lifestyle.

Second I have to take responsibility for my own actions and reactions.  In other words I too need to grow up a bit more.

Third, I need to realize that I am not a door mat and I do deserve to be treated better.  I need to set my value higher, expect more, demand more, and take less crap. 

Four, saying "NO" is okay.  I don't have to please everybody all of the time.  Why should I when they don't try to please me?

Five, life is about the survival of the fittest.  Maybe my genes aren't fit to pass on but I'm going to give it all I've got until they tell me I'm being unreasonable.

Number six, friendship, love, admiration and respect are all fine gifts.  They aren't earned easily nor given lightly.  If you are my friend it is because you have shown the qualities of friendship that I deem necessary in that relationship we have.  I expect the same with what I give to you.

Last, number seven, lucky number seven.  I need to come first because in the end I take care of me.

I am who I am because of my relationships, my past experiences and what I go through each and every day just to get out of bed.  I try to make each new day a new chance at life.  Some days I fail other days I succeed.  I prefer to not be defined by my infertility, fibromyalgia, food allergies, hypertension, etc.  I prefer to be defined by my personality, accomplishments, and interests.  However, I do need special considerations as needed for my medical conditions.

Today my tears have dried.

Today I apologize for not being the best me possible.

Today I put my big girl panties on.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Its My Birthday

There are no candles to blow out this year.  There are no songs of "happy birthday".  There are no special gifts.  No this year what I want the most can't be wrapped up and given to me.  I'm greedy.  There are two things that I want most this year the first being a baby and the second I'm not able to discuss as of yet.

Its hard not to be blue when turning forty-two.  All I can think about it how my time has just about run out.  I'd give almost anything for more time.  More time with my spouse, more time to create my legacy, more time to enjoy the dwindling sunlight and warm weather.

I'm quite thankful for all the "happy birthdays" I received via facebook this morning.  My former co-workers, family, on-line friends, college friends, and high schools friends are remembering because of an app that its my birthday.  It put a smile on my face for a few seconds.

But yet again my mind travels back to my problems.  I'd love to let them just wash away but its not to be.  I have to face reality.  Even if my spouse were around all the time, not likely given his job, I'd still have to face my own demons.  I'm hoping that I can pull myself out of this funk with all that I still have to face.

On the fertility home front I'm ovulating again but that has its issues as well since the bleeding has started up again.  The cyst pain has increased and I'm more exhausted than before so much so that I'm relying upon teas to stimulate my system.  In two days I'll hopefully have some answers when I see the reproductive endocrinologist.

Folks, normally I want to shout with joy that its my birthday.  I'd want everyone to celebrate with me.  This year not so much.  I've been lucky to share the last three birthdays with my spouse around his deployment and training schedule.  I should be happy.  Somehow I'm not this year.  If it continues I will have to seek counseling as I don't want my blues to affect my marriage.  Sure some of it is the hormone imbalance but some of it is also me realizing that I'm not going to have a child of my own.  That hurts.

So forgive me if I'm not joyous on my own day.  Try to cheer me up, it might help out.

I realize that a few months back I posted this very same video but it still applies especially now.  I would be willing give up my life to bring forth a child.  Yes that is how bad I want this.  Many can't understand this ultimate sacrifice.  Knowing that if I'm lucky enough to get pregnant I might not survive the pregnancy doesn't bother me all that much.  I would give it all just to hold my child once.  Some might think that is a bit sick and twisted but I'm sure that my infertile friends understand quite well what I'm feeling.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Military Retirement Plan On Chopping Block

Oh great just what I needed to read this morning in my email.  The military is to have their benefits messed with again.  Read here to find out why I'm upset. 

I'm not sure why Congress thinks that we military families can afford to contribute to our own retirement.  Federal employees will still get their entitled retirement benefits without change so why is it that the military will have to suffer yet again?

I guess J and I are "lucky" to not have children on his pay.  If we had children like many of my friends with the same pay grade we'd not be able to contribute a single dime to the proposed changes.  I know of a few families that can barely afford to feed and clothe themselves on their wages.

Just yesterday J comes home from work and tells me that his co-worker is having to sell his wife's engagement ring because money is tight that month due to a bank error.  They are also selling the game systems and anything else they can afford to part with just to make sure that there is food on the table this month and gas in the tank.

So if they are the normal, a family of four or five on the same pay that J gets, how, just tell me how are they supposed to find money to contribute to their retirement fund?

Congress is making a big mistake by messing with the military benefits.  They are going to have a lot of the young troops refusing to stay in the military because its just not worth what they are willing to risk.

I would rather see my commissary and exchange hours cut or possibly disappear than to have to lose the retirement program that is in place right now.  Much as I don't like to shop off post, because shopping at the exchange means that the money I do spend goes to fund MWR projects in my community, I would go off post if it means that the retirement plan would be kept in place.

I have no voice.  My opinion counts for nothing.  Congress and the President will do as they see fit.  But I have yet to see anything good come of this particular presidency.  We are further in debt, our gas prices and food prices are higher and more benefits have been cut.  Foolish spending by our government in the big company bailouts have caused more poverty.

I'm just a handicapped person with no job, no children, and no retirement plan.  I have no voice.

But I'm still pissed.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I'll Be Back In Time For My Birthday

I'll be back in time for my birthday, just not sure when in time that will be if I get to climb into the tardis for an adventure.  Okay wishful thinking its just a cake, though a lovely one at that.

Yesterday, though far from being my real birthday by days, my husband decided that it was convenient for him to celebrate my birthday as he would be too busy to do so later this week on the actual day.  So after a day spent grocery shopping he announces that he needs to go to MCSS (clothing sales) and check out the possibility of a pair of Oakley's for his inserts.  Okay have fun I'll do my blog, of which I did.

Just as I was finishing up my blog post yesterday my husband pulls back in the garage with my friend S.  They yell surprise.  Okay what next?

My birthday has been moved about for the convenience of others so often over the years that I'm surprised that I can still remember the actual date.  Its not that I'm complaining as he still remembered it was this week but since it will be the last birthday for a while that we get the chance to celebrate together I was kind of hoping to do just that, celebrate on the actual day.  Still its nice to be remembered, right?

He had the Tardis cake made for me.  It turned out beautifully until you cut into it.  I swear the blue frosting has to be at least a half inch thick.  I won't tell you what it does to a delicate digestive system except to say that one piece kept me up until 0253 hrs.

Now I sound really ungrateful.  I'm not.  I'm just worried of late.  I have a lot on my mind with the newest consult for reproductive endocrinology being on Friday.  Friday looms even closer.  We might have to put off getting the dog until next year.  I want a dog, but I don't know how I'm to take care of one if I have to be cut open and no one but me is there to take care of the dog.  The respite care worker I had in place was a major failure and I'm about to remove myself from the program as the folks that Align Staffing are employing aren't reliable.  So now its back to just J and I and he "travels" a lot.

Photo of  J and S.
Back to the birthday celebration of yesterday.  I hauled in a lot of loot.  I got the Huffy Beach Bike that I wanted along with the helmet, bell and bike lock.  I'll have my own transportation about post now as long as the weather holds.  J and I purchased the gems I mentioned earlier this month so, even though they were purchased with me there and they were inexpensive I consider them to be part of my gift.  J did one crazy thing, he purchased a too short, and too expensive chain for the pendant.  It was returned and I agreed we'd shop for one together.  He thought about me and what I needed so that counts.  Many men don't even bother to listen to what we need so I'm lucky in that aspect.

He and I talked about what he had agreed to in the past and he realized that he moved my birthday for his own convenience and how that wasn't fair to us as a couple.  I don't move his birthday just because of limited time.  If I could move my birthday it wouldn't just be the day it would be the year and I'd make myself 13 years younger with better eggs.  We don't always get what we want and we should learn to enjoy what we have.  So yes, I am happy that two people wanted to share my un-birthday with me as its way more than I've had in the past.  S and J put a smile on my face yesterday that hasn't been there all that often with the most recent news we've been dealing with here.

So thank you J.

Thank you S.

I love you both.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Dogday

Bella came by this afternoon when we got back from grocery shopping.  I called her into the house and asked J to play with her in the backyard after I put down a bowl of water for her.  I went to find her owner.  Luckily T was looking for her.  I swear if she escapes one more time I might ask T if we could keep her. 

T is soon to deploy, he is in the middle of a divorce and just doesn't have the time to play with Bella.  I do.  So with that in mind I think when J gets back home today we are going to give the sheltie breeder a call today and see if we can take a look at her available dogs next weekend.

We really want a dog of our own soon.  I was thinking that in September we could go get the dog of our choosing after she has been spayed.  No its not going to be a puppy but a retired show dog.  They too need homes.  I call all dogs, puppies and all cats, kitties its just how I am.  While grocery shopping today we even picked out a small dog toy.  I'll have to go look through my boxed stuff to find the leash I have and the brush I bought and never used.  I'll need to purchase dog dishes but that's okay we have time before we get our dog.

I guess its basically settled.  Since we can't have a baby we'll raise fur babies.  I do love animals, if I didn't I wouldn't have married!  LOL

Friday, July 22, 2011

Last Day Of Vacation

Photo by me of course from our vacation photos. 

Its now the last day of our vacation.  J signs back in from leave today.  Where did the time go?

Our vacation ends on a bittersweet note.  Not only am I assuredly not pregnant we have just about run out of time in which to create a baby.  Due to circumstances beyond my control we will have to soon stop trying to conceive.

Our marriage is like the thistle in the photo, beautiful but full of thorns.  For every good thing that happens we have had troubles.  I think that the thorns might be a protective mechanism.

I'm not trying to be a gloomy gus.  Its quite possible with modern technology, though not available to military dependents, I could conceive a child.  However, I must now realize that my door is closing.  Next week Friday I have an appointment with my reproductive endocrinologist to go over what the next plan of attack is and see if some of those thorns can be removed without damage.  I know the next step is going to be painful and will most likely involve surgery.  There comes a point though when I have to make a reality check and see if its all worth it.  While I want a child of my own really bad is it worth the risk to my health?

In less than a week I'll be turning 42.  I'm high risk with the asthma, hypertension, obesity, and advanced age.  Will my life mean less if I am unable to bear a child?  I've been pregnant before and miscarried.

So with this last day of vacation I'm chomping at the bit wanting to put my cares in a bag and boot it out of the house with it going in one direction and me in the other.  I want to enjoy the rare sunshine.  I don't want to think about what is coming up.  There is more on my plate right now than just the infertility.  There are things I'm not just not allowed to discuss and probably won't be able to discuss for many months, most likely never in detail.  Suffice it to say life is going to continue to have its thorns for a while and those thorns are probably protecting me and mine more than I'm going to admit.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Port Townsend, Our Last Stop

Port Townsend was our last stop in our Lavender Festival Weekend and I have to say that the weather was the best for this part of the trip.  I haven't seen such glorious blue skies in months.

The walk along the beach head gave breath taking views of the Puget Sound, which is part of the pacific ocean but hardly anyone remembers that little fact.   If we weren't on a time table I would have stayed longer.

It is along the beach head that the bunkers were placed to defend our country against foreign enemies.  I'm not so sure how much of a threat Canada was back during WWII but I'm guessing because it was an easy sail up to the Puget Sound we were worried about other folks.  In the museum are small scale replicas of the various sized disappearing guns that were once housed in the bunkers.

 It always saddens me when someone decides that what they have to say is so much more important than the value of an artifact and its history to our nation.  I detest seeing graffiti on our national monuments, state parks, and museums.  If you have something so important to say buy a commercial spot on television and shout it there, not on a wall that is a monument.  This was one of the bunkers that housed the disappearing guns.

Just one of the photos that I took while walking about the beach head at noon.

Later we headed into town and ate at our usual restaurant while in Port Townsend, The Public House where I had the 'shroomwich which is always a favorite of mine.  J had their burger as he always does and it was wonderful again.
 Another photo of the bunkers, this one taken by J. 

In town we did some shopping.  J really enjoyed the coffee from the french press while we were staying at The Hampton Creek Inn so I took the opportunity to purchase him a french press at a kitchen shop.  J then in turn made a couple purchases for me, jewelry of course.  Jewelry always fits no matter how much I lose or gain while on the infertility treatments. 
He purchased for me a pair of earrings and a pendant in green amethyst from Lila Drake.  I love them and the fact that they didn't cost what we would have spent at a retail store makes it a bonus in my eyes.  I'm a bargain hunter.
  Here is the pendant.  Now we just need to find a nice silver chain for this heavy pendant.  Oh they had nice chains there but I wanted a heavier one than what they had in stock.  So I"ll keep my eyes open for good deals on silver chains.

Our trip ended on a happy note with a nice drive along the coastal edge of the Puget Sound.  The weather held and we were able to enjoy a picnic lunch at a park before we got home.

We truly needed these weeks together and I'm sad to see them come to an end.  Already we are talking about next year's vacation and where we'd like to go.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sequim Lavender Festival

The annual Sequim Lavender Festival is the third weekend in July and this year we decided to attend at the last minute.  We were quite lucky to get a place to stay in Sequim so I shouldn't be too picky, right?

Sequim is actually only 3 hours, with leisurely driving, away from where we currently live.  We could have just gone for the day but we decided that we wanted to stay two nights so that we could fully enjoy the town and surrounding area.

J and I have been on vacation since 1 July and the best breakfast we've had so far all vacation was not at Clark's Chambers Bed & Breakfast, of which we stayed at over the weekend, but at Hampton Creek Inn which is a new B & B located in Randle, WA.  Oh the place we stayed at had a decent breakfast but I did not partake in anything but the oatmeal.  If you are going to ask your guests if they have any food allergies then basically just ignore them and have a fit about having to accommodate them then just don't bother to ask them and state that you can't accommodate them.  Sheesh I've never felt so unwelcome at a breakfast table in my life, especially one that I'm paying for.  The Hampton Creek Inn made every effort to accommodate my food allergies.  They made individual dishes, supplied a menu to choose from, and even had vegan options of which I know don't cause me to have an allergic reaction.  So no I would not recommend Clark's Chambers B & B if you have food allergies.

One of our stops along the lavender farm route was the Jardin Du Soleil.  They had the best looking lavender displays, see the photo above I took,  and gift shop of all the farms in the area.  However we did not pick our lavender here as the garden was a bit over run with people and I just detest a crowd.  We ended up further down the route at the Lavender Connection where we did end up picking our own lavender. J was nice enough to do all the clipping while I chose what varieties.  We went with the culinary lavender as I can use it in teas.  Lavender is really good for chest congestion and J does get a few colds in the winter.  Oh and the best part yet, the Lavender bunch was free for active duty military.

While wandering about the town of Sequim in search of antique shops we drove up a dead end road where according to our Nuvi there was supposed to be an antique shop.  Of course there was none to be found and according to Bill and Jeanne there never was a shop.  However, we did meet two nice folks that have three Shetland Sheepdog.  Just the breed that J has been wanting to get.  He had one as boy.  So after playing with their dogs we were given a business card of a breeder and dog rescue in Port Angeles.  We'll probably be calling them this week.  I'm leaving it up to J to make the call as he is the one most familiar with the breed.

While in Sequim we drove down to the Audobon Wildlife Refuge and Railroad Bridge.  It was a nice walk in the park but we were sorely disappointed to find that the Audobon center was closed until noon that day.  We had places to go and we weren't about to hang around for it to open up.  No big deal we went here just last year so I have photos of the place.  This year I was able to walk the whole paved route without my cane.  Last year I made it only part way before my hip slipped out of joint.

Yet again we didn't make it to the Dungeoness  Spit Wildlife Refuge.  Time was running short and it was raining.  I'd rather not be caught out on a 5.5 mile long sand and gravel spit with wild weather.  No thank you I'd rather not get wet and sucked into the ocean.  Maybe next year we'll finally make it to the light house and back.

Maybe tomorrow I'll tell you about our trip to Port Townsend.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Recovery Time

I'm back home from the Lavender Festival in Sequim.  Actually we arrived last night but I'm too tired to blog about the trip as of yet.

I've been so tired of late that I've been falling asleep in chairs, in the auto and pretty much while shopping.  I don't know what exactly is causing this extreme fatigue as it could be a number of things.  Pick one: fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, progestrone levels, ovarian cysts, Vitamin B-12 level.  It could very well be a combination of all of the above.

Its now CD38, 28 dpO, and no anything of consequence.  No I'm not pregnant, the blood test 15 days ago proved to be a BFN.  I'm thinking a new cycle will start soon.  It has to soon as I'm tired of the ovarian cyst pain.  Even while walking over the weekend I was in pain.  I walked so much I actually gave myself a blister on the bottom of one toe.  I also gave myself one hell of a bruise on my left hip from walking into a solid object.  My vision is kind of screwy too, thus the walking into something that is stationary.

I did have quite a bit of fun while on vacation.  I wish it didn't have to end but J will be signing back in from leave soon and its time to play catch up on the housework again.  No internet for three days means extra time spent on the computer today paying bills, emails, blog, and researching.  Funny how 10 years ago the internet was just a fun toy attached to my computer.  Now the internet is an integral part of my life, a life line to the world if you will.

So it looks as though I'll blog about the lavender, dogs, ducks, cows, weather, food and more tomorrow when I'm better rested.  For now I'm trying to tweak the photos I took and fix the program error that added some of the photos twice to my app., which means deleting, resizing, enhancing and so on.  I do need to go find some real food as donuts, though yummy, aren't filling nor nutritious and two meals have passed me by.

More tomorrow.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier afforded us the chance to enjoy snow in July.  The weather was cold, wet, and overcast but still an enjoyable drive up the mountain side.  J, in the photo here, is standing in a large section of snow with the frozen water and mountain in the backdrop.  We formed snowballs and tried to throw them into the open areas of water.  I alas am not a good aim with a snowball.

I have to say I didn't enjoy Mt. Rainier as much as I did the Mt. St. Helen's trip but that was because I had been up Mt. Rainier just three years ago.  It hasn't changed all that much except for having a heavier snowfall this year and colder temperatures making the glaciers grow.

Don't drink the water on Mount Rainier.  Well maybe if you have water purification tablets it might be safe.  I can't see as how all that rust and iron content in the water can be healthy for the body.  Personally I wouldn't even walk in that water from this particular stream.

This is the retired tour bus, a Kenworth, that would pick up visitors from Seattle and bring them to the mountain for hiking and day tours.  It is a new exhibit and wasn't there three years ago when I was a first time visitor to the mountain.  I believe that the plaque said it was a 1934 Kenworth, thus the Kenworth name on the secondary license plate.  Two license plates were on the back of the bus, one with the official Washington state plate the other just with the name Kenworth.

Mount Rainier has several spectacular view points, though the forestry service could do a better job in maintaining them.  This is just one set of falls at which we stopped to get a better photo.  While on Mt. St. Helen's we spoke with an older gentleman who said he used to work for the US Forestry service.  Having worked for them he told us how they use the money from the US government and produce no revenues.  They don't maintain the parks or vistas like they should and they like to build new buildings when the old ones are still perfectly good.  I didn't know all this before speaking with him.  Rather interesting and with our deficit we could probably cut some spending from that particular program.

Black and white photo I made of a color photo J took of the raging waters on Mount Rainier.  Mt. Rainier is much taller than Mt. St. Helen's due to Mt. St. Helen's exploding.  The Benchmark for the Mt.Rainier area we went to was 6,800 feet.  While the topmost point on Mt. St. Helen's we drove to was 4,200 feet.  Mt. Rainier is over 14,000 feet at it's peak.

Our next journey and last of the overnight trips starts today.  We are headed up to the town of Sequim (pronounced like swim but with a "q" ) for the Lavender Festival.  I'm going to be without wifi for three days.  Not sure how I'm going to cope.  We'll see what photos I have for my blog when I get back.  The weather is supposed to be over cast and raining which, though usual for most of Washington, is unusual for Sequim since its the driest town in Washington.  Where ever I go the precipitation seems to follow.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mount St. Helen's Volcano

Photo by me of the Johnston Ridge Observatory.  Cold rain and fog settled on Mt. St. Helen's and stayed there the whole drive up the trail to the top most accessible viewpoint; The Johnston Ridge Observatory.  We paid our admission fee of $8 per person with no discounts to walk about the observatory.  I would rather pay the $8 per person then be caught and pay the $500 fine.  Though the views that day I doubt were even worth the gas used or the admission fee I can now say that I've been there, done that and have the souvenirs to prove it.

"They put all the trees in a tree museum".  Seriously though they did haul in the remains of one tree after the eruption blew the top off it.  It looks rather like a Halloween prop from a Tim Burton flic.  The forestry people take their trees seriously too bad they don't take their displays serious enough.  On the display were these little doors with question on them.  You lift the doors to see the answers.  In the set up of the display some idiot obviously didn't know what they were doing as the answers for two questions were under the wrong doors.  Oh and its not easily changed either.  To fix it would cause damage to the display.

"Are you older than a rock?".  I am.  Hmm...makes me feel like I'm older than dirt to see something like a chunk of rock younger than I am.  But that's okay I'm much prettier than a chunk of rock.  Speaking of rocks, my husband purchase for me a few rocks.  Well they used to be hot rock from Mt. St. Helen's, now they are emerald set into earrings and a ring for me. 

Photo of the sediment dam by my husband.  Around 1400hrs when we were traveling back down Mt.St.Helen's the cloud cover began to lift.  Of course it did, we were leaving the area.  My husband was able to finally get a few good photos of the lower valley areas damaged by the volcano eruption in 1981. 

We stopped in Hoffstadt on the mountain for lunch.  J had an elk burger and I had a bleu cheese bacon burger.  I realized I shouldn't be eating a beef or bacon item but it tasted so darn good.  Later I paid for it.

One of my photos I took while at the observatory at the top part of the trail.  The land is still badly scarred by the most recent of the volcanic activity and may not fully heal for another 50 years.  Inside the mountain, deep underground is the hot molten lava just waiting to boil to the surface again.  The lava dome is growing, sometimes only an inch sometimes several dump truck loads of dirt a minute.  We can only wait and see when it could erupt again.  I just hope I'm not here when it happens.

Over all the trip there wasn't too bad considering how early we had to get up in the morning to get down to the mountain range.  The souvenir shopping I did was well worth the trip making my xmas shopping list almost complete.   I didn't buy cliche' type souvenirs, no I bought classy ones that can be used, worn, or put on the mantel without looking gaudy.  I still think I should have purchased the Bigfoot t-shirt for J's brother but I didn't so its too late for that, unless I go back again.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Still On Holiday, I Hope

Photo by me.  It rained Tuesday, Wednesday and again today which is Thursday here still on the West Coast.  The vacation we had planned for hiking and picture taking still happened though not as planned.

The cloud cover and fog at the higher elevations of 3,000+ feet was so much at times that it was difficult to even see the road.  Still we managed to have a good time the first day.

The photo is of a plant on Mount St. Helen's that intrigued me.  Why?  Well the rain had fallen and just stayed in droplets looking as if they were diamonds.

I plan on making more of a thorough blog post later this week or probably when the vacation is finally over.  Maybe I'll post a better blog entry at the next destination.

Yes, we are planning on hitting the road again.  Quite possibly taking off tomorrow morning early if we can book a vacation area tonight.

Maybe this time I'll get to go browsing for antiques in this journey.

More photos to follow at a later date.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Let There Be Snow

We are heading out on our next adventure.  We need it bad too.  After a week spent mostly at home watching the lawn turn brown from the trucks rolling over it we need to get away.

Why the photo of Winter?  Well where we are headed there will be snow.  I'm hoping for lots of snow.  From the forecast and from what the innkeeper said yesterday there is about 13 feet of snow covering one highway that should actually be open this time of year.  I'm excited.

I've called the housesitter up and she's agreed to be here at the appointed time.  We are bugging out tomorrow morning early.  I've got my hiking boots ready and warm weather gear along with some heavier clothing items.  I'm set.  J's set because I packed for him.  I'll just have to remind him to grab a coat tomorrow.

Playing in the snow in the Northern Hemisphere in July is awesome.  I just wonder how close we'll actually get to the snow.  I have to admit finding out that one highway that we had planned to travel is closed does put a bit of a damper on our sight seeing but I'm still excited.  Two volcanos and snow.  The thrill of the unknown.  Could this be the day that they decide to shake awake and puff out some plumes of smoke?  Or will I just see snow filled craters?  Either way I'm going to get some good photos or so I hope.

I'm excited.  Did I say that already?  Yes, I did.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Letting Go

Photo by my husband, J taken yesterday.

Yesterday we took a steam engine ride through the town of Chehlais, WA.
It was a nice ride, though it did hurt my back a bit with the train lurching at start up on each end.

We went shopping at the outlet stores where I purchased a pair of Tony Lama's for myself.  After trying to fit my hiking boots into a set of brush stirrups I realized that I needed a pair of cowboy boots.  I have no boots in my closet that would have been appropriate for riding if I chose to do so in the future.  I had no shoes with heels on them except for dress shoes and I'm not going to wear high heels to horseback ride.

I finally purchased a swim suit.  It was two years ago that my favorite swim suit bit the big one.  Yes, I'm that particular when making a garment purchase that it would take two years to replace an item that I had for a decade.

I also purchased a pair of jeans.  Finally I found the heavy weight, no lycra, no spandex all cotton jeans that I so love.  When did they get so difficult to find?

Between the 1.25 hour train ride and shopping we stopped for a bite to eat a Kit Carson's in Chehlais.  I won't be eating there again.  Okay so I was desperate for a meal.  I missed breakfast and lunch.  Service was slow, the tables and booths weren't all that clean and J's steak was not served medium but well done.  He had it taken back where they again attempted to get it to medium and it came out medium well, acceptable but not all that great.  My sandwich, when I removed the toothpicks, fell apart.  Anyone ever heard of proper sandwich architecture?  A sandwich cannot be properly eaten with toothpicks inserted into it.  It could be hazardous.  The waitress was slatternly in appearance and mannerism.  Yup, that is the best word to fit her.  No one likes a smart-ass in dirty clothes and unkempt hair in the serving staff.  Making a joke is one thing but actually meaning what you say in an off-handed remark deserves one of a lowered tip.  No, I didn't lower her tip but I should have done just that to her.

So today I'm going to let it go.  I'm going to start afresh and let the bad wash over me and back to those who sent it.  Karma is going to be reversed.  My life is going to be easier if I just turn my back to those that wish to offend and keep walking.

We'll see how long it lasts.  I'm on vacation and I intend to end my vacation relaxed, not miserable.

My train of good hopes and dreams is moving forward and I'm riding with happiness in my heart.  All those that wish me good karma come aboard.   All those that wish me negativity will be left behind.

We are now headed out on our next leg of our journey.  More photos to come of our adventures across Washington State.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Vacationing At Home

Vacationing at home is for the birds.  I've decided that I don't like this at all.  We are again plotting a way to cheaply and efficiently get out of town.

Staying home means that we are finding more problems with the lawn and the structure.  Oh, its not me.  J is complaining to the highest levels now about his lawn.  He is restless and this means I too am not going to get the chance to rest.

A soldier on vacation and stuck at home is not a pretty picture.  He loves his routine.  He still exercises in the morning, has his big morning breakfast or tries to at least, then heads directly to the computer like he does at work.  Then my question is: "why is he complaining?". 

Recently we had sod put down where the construction workers had dug up the lawn.  The paperwork we received on the sod and lawn treatment states clearly that the company that put it down would remain responsible for the lawn until it was able to be mowed.

We get back from our three day weekend adventure to find that the sod has died in the back area.  The hydro seed has turned brown too.  J is not a happy camper.  J calls up the office in charge of the situation after telling the water tank driver that he has to water the lawn properly.  Well the reason why he ended up calling the office in charge is because the water tank driver decided to do exactly what he thought J wanted and get closer to the dying grass, he drove up over the lawn.  J is fuming at this point.  There are hoses on the water truck for a reason.  He thought for sure that the driver wasn't as stupid as he looked and would understand that he must get out of his truck and hook up the hoses to water the lawn.  UGH!

So now we are having a tech from Equity come out here today to take a closer look at the lawn and how it is deteriorating.  Not to forget the tree that is now dying because the water truck is taking out its branches and running over its roots.

No J is not a happy person right now.  Vacationing with him at home is not ideal.  He has way too much time on his hands.  So we just might take that Mount St. Helen's and Mount Rainier trip early next week after all.
If it gets bad enough we might take a day trip this weekend just so he doesn't try to find more fault with his surroundings.

I too like to get away from my prison,  I'm here all day most every day.  But I've gotten used to this place.  I now have a routine.  J is on vacation and has too much energy, too much time on his hands and not enough to do to keep him occupied for long.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Time For ART

It never ceases to amaze me how just one phone call can change one's life.  I got a phone call yesterday that did just that and left me in tears.

Not only am I not pregnant, of which I knew I wasn't, but now I have to take the next two cycles off from the medications.  I wasn't told what the progesterone levels were but I was told that it wasn't good.  No more clomiphene citrate for me because all it does is create cysts in me, even on the lowest possible dosage.

I was told that there was a long waiting list for IVF to get on to next July's schedule.  I was told that 43 is the cut off age.  Considering I'll be 42 this month I'll be too old next year.  The nurse then tells me that because I'm such a good patient they might be able to squeeze me into the next round of IVF cycle.  How am I a good patient?  What makes me all that different from any other woman trying to conceive?

Nurse Mi then tells me that there are other procedures they could try.  I can't remember the name she used but its akin to the GIFT procedure in technique from what I could understand.  She tells me to call back when I'm ready to schedule a consult.

The only thing I was ready for yesterday was to book the motel rooms for the next leg of our vacation.  Seriously I had the three window open for the bookings.  We had decided to leave today for the 4 day 3 night trip around Mt. St. Helen's and Mt. Rainer.

J and I talked.  We agreed that the IVF and other ART (assisted reproductive technologies) were more important than any vacation we could possibly spend money on.  So we ended our vacation.  He is still on leave but we are going back to being frugal.  IVF is $7,500.00 USD per try.  We might need more than one try too.

I called the RE's office this morning and set up a consult for later this month.  Nurse Mi was busy so I chatted with Nurse M on speaker so that my husband could be part of this discussion.  She said she wasn't sure what Nurse Mi said yesterday for ART but that IVF will be our best bet.  If we do a GIFT its going to be costly.  I understand.  I'm prepared.  J is prepared.  She said the injectibles alone could run into the thousands of dollars.  Well we'll see what the insurance will cover and what it won't.  We'll deal with the bills as they come due.

We want a child of our own.  Yes, we still want to adopt a second child.  But for us its important to experience the whole process of having a child first.  We want to feel the child move within the womb.  We want to have the excitement of the ultrasounds.  We want to experience the labor.  After we have one we will adopt.  Its something we've agreed upon.  Most likely we'll do foster to adopt.  But for us its that important to have the first one ourselves.

Knowing that we might not get that chance now with these blasted cysts is driving us crazy.  I have eggs, plenty of them but they aren't doing what they should.  We've already wasted so much time doing the clomiphene citrate route too.  But we listened to our doctors.  Now we are running out of time.

For someone that badly wants a baby being told it might not ever happen is just devastating.  I actually told my husband that if he wanted a divorce so that he could go find someone else that could give him kids I would do it and understand.  He, thankfully, doesn't want a divorce.  He said that if we can't have kids he and I will just get counseling to deal with it.  We are in counseling already because trying to conceive is very taxing on a couple and can rip them apart.  The hormones that I take don't make me the nicest of people to be around.  Because he doesn't have to take hormones he isn't all that understanding of what I'm going through and feels helpless with the mood swings.  Its akin to me being pregnant all the time but without the happy end result.

So that is where we stand.  For those close to me that receive holiday gifts its going to be slim gift giving this year.  We are now putting all of our money into one pile to create a baby.  I hope that you understand.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Walk-In Ultrasound Today

I couldn't take the pain today.  Instead of going to the ER I tried to call my RE first.  No human voice just the answering service.

We ended up driving over to the RE's office and I spoke to a nurse there.  Not my favorite nurse but a nurse nonetheless, Nurse Mi, has no sympathetic bone in her body.  She kept speaking over me while asking me what the problem was.  How was I to tell her what was wrong if she wouldn't come up for air?  I was really wishing my favorite nurse, Nurse Ma was available.

Finally I got to speak and it was brief.  She decided to pull my chart and have a look at the last instructions.  There was nothing in my chart at all about the phone call I made two weeks ago.  My least favorite nurse, Nurse J,  didn't document the call or the problem.  Nothing listed about the pain or bleeding I was having at mid cycle.  Nothing listed about what I was told to do and not to do.  Someone is in trouble.

Nurse Mi finally gets the idea that I might need a doctor.  She decides to go speak with Dr. C and he wants me in the exam room immediately for an ultrasound.  Sure enough I have two ovarian cysts on my left ovary.  DUH!  He said if it was just one cyst I probably wouldn't feel the pain all that much but with two on one ovary its definitely an issue.   He gave me directions to not do anything that would cause me added pain and only to do things that feel okay.  IE: if you try it and it hurts don't do it again.  Dr. C explained to my husband about the corpus luteal cysts and their function.  I already knew and explained to him earlier in the week but he liked to hear it from the doctor.  Oh and my blood pressure was up to 153/94.  Might have been because of the pain or because I was cranky from what J said to me earlier.  I've been closely watching my sodium and trying to avoid stress.  Not that easy with a soldier who has his mind on the upcoming mission.  Soldier + Mission= cranky guy.

Next stop was the lab.  I had the pregnancy test blood draw and a progesterone level blood draw.  In a little over an hour I'll find out the results of both.  Or at the very least one.  I don't hold out hope for a positive HCG.  I'm feeling like its going to be negative.

Later this afternoon we are headed out to look at a set of golf clubs and see if they are what I want.  I'd like to get the chance to use them a bit this summer.  Still it looks as though I might yet get to Mount St. Helen's before the end of the week.  That is if my RE gives me some decent news.  For now I have to be careful to not do anything that might cause ovarian torsion as I don't want to lose an ovary.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Celebrating The Fourth Of July

Let Freedom Ring!

Today with any luck I'll be stopping by the freedom fest here on JBLM.  It started just over an hour ago but I figure I still have plenty of time to get there.  Its open to the public and I detest crowds.

I'm proud to be an American.  I'm proud to say that my ancestors helped form the nation that I so love.  My ancestor Oliver Wolcott signed the Declaration of Independence.  My husband serves in the US Army, so did my dad.

Now on a different note....Its CD23, 13 dpo, and 1 day till I test.  I broke down and tested early and not with the first morning urine, hard to hold a full bladder when it seems to be always full with the pressure from the ovarian cyst.  It was negative of course.  Breasts hurt, I'm drooling, I'm tired, I'm cranky, my nose is stuffy, my pelvis hurts, and I'm bloated.  I really hate PMS.  What is even worse is that I'm developing issues with chocolate again.  Every time I eat it I get sick.  My throat will burn, my teeth ache and then the stomach upset starts.  I guess I'll have to give up chocolate, at least for a while.  I had 1/4 of an English Muffin yesterday morning and the taste of it just turned my stomach.  I love English muffins.  I'm guessing my hormones are causing issues with my stomach.  I've been eating a lot less and well I got on the scale this morning only to see that I've gained 0.8 lbs.  It looks like I've gained 10 pounds.

All that dilemma aside I think I'll head outside soon and see if J wants to go somewhere today.  Even if its just for a walk.  We need to start planning a few day trips.  If I'm not pregnant it means we need to plan the rest of our vacation around the last cycle of infertility treatments.  I'm not sure if this will be the last cycle ever or just for a while.  Not sure how much more I can take of these ovarian cysts.  I'm making the best of a crappy situation and sucking up the pain so that we can both enjoy the vacation.

I hope everyone enjoys themselves today.  Just don't drink and drive.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Second Day Of Vacation

View of our beds.

My blog posts are now a day behind.  Its actually the end of our third day of vacation as I post this but I thought I'd write a bit about what I did yesterday and add on some photos for those of you that would like to see what there is to do in Leavenworth, WA.

Yesterday was the second day of our vacation.  We stayed in room 203 for two nights and had the buffet breakfast on the fourth floor.  Each morning the owner walks out onto the balcony with his alp-horn and ascends to the railing to serenade the town and his guests.  Breakfast was quite filling and very delicious. 

  After breakfast we headed out to the Championship Putting Course across the street.  I've never golfed before and really found it to be a fun sport.  I might just have to go out and buy some clubs.  I'm not a competitive person so I didn't mind not scoring par on all 18 holes.  Just one hole did I make par and I was still pleased with myself.

Soon it was time for another sport, shopping.  Shopping in a tourist town should be considered a contact sport.  The streets were getting crowded at only 1000 hrs.  Of course I think some of the crowd was do in part to the Freedom Fest celebrating the Fourth Of July.  Funny how many holidays have turned into festivals of shopping.

Today we headed home.  I have plenty more pictures of our adventures but not enough room to share them here.  I can honestly say I'll be missing that hot tub tonight.  Two nights in a row of using a blissful hot tub on sore, aching muscles and tonight I have to make do with a bathtub instead.  Well I guess I should be thankful that I have hot water.

CD 22, 12dpo, 2 days till I test.  I'm cranky.  I'm having my doubts.

Now its on to planning the Mount St. Helen's trip.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

First Day Of Vacation

We hadn't yet to leave the house when the phone rang.  It was J's work place calling to ask for help.  He's on leave.  We get to Leavenworth and his cell phone rings, its another co-worker asking for J and I politely tell the man that we are now in Leavenworth on vacation.  He tells me okay and hangs up.  Can't they do without him for three weeks?  While its good for J's ego to know that he is a valued member of his team it would be nice if they'd remember that its called R&R for a reason. 

In the photo you'll see me on the right and my husband on the left.  The photo was taken at the very end of the ride and I'm slouching from the pain.  Thank you fibromyalgia.  Yes I over did it yesterday but it was worth it.  I haven't been on a horse in over 20 years.  Usually I rode bare back and I can honestly tell you that the saddle wears on the butt more than riding without one.  Sure having the stirrups are a plus to make sure when going down the mountain you don't fall off but still I think I'd rather not have a saddle.

We spent yesterday afternoon at the Eagle Creek Ranch.  Lovely place with chickens running about and fairly friendly at that which in my experience is unusual for that particular bird.  Susan and Bryan were the ones that helped us with the horses in the mounting and dismount.  Bryan was our trail guide. 

We rode up the side of a mountain and back down a 6 mile ride in all and taking about 2.25 hours with stops for photos.  J took the photos this trip out and I guess its my turn to take photos when we go golfing.

Did I mention my butt hurts?  LOL  Yup I bruised the bone.  J is also complaining about a sore bottom as well so I don't feel as bad since he is the more experienced rider.

I was thinking that today we might go white water rafting but since I didn't reserve it in advance and its a holiday weekend we might just be out of luck on that one event.  Still we have the 18 holes of putting green to accomplish and many hours of shopping.

One thing is for sure, we are going to be exhausted when we get back home tomorrow.  More pictures of the trip to follow when I'm back on my own computer at home.