Monday, July 29, 2013

A Day in the Life

Some highlights from a simple day in the life in our household.
At 5 am when we leave for work, we will come outside and see this in our front yard. Hello there Bambi's brother.
One weekend we sold our first little Volvo only to come home with another. More to come on that story.
Almost every Saturday morning lately Thomas has asked me what is for breakfast. I can't really blame him considering he makes us breakfast every work day morning. Well he wasn't anticipating waiting for 3 hours this morning. Oops. 
I combined these three recipes to come up with the picture above.
I made the crust from here.
The cherry filling from here.
And the the pastry cream and general baking instructions from here.
I worked from home due to an appointment the other day and this beauty was staring at me from the window. I couldn't help but to go outside and capture the beauty. Love.
I decided that I wanted to make some pickles because we grew cucumbers this year and after a little research, deciding I didn't want to have to water bath or pressure can them, I combined this recipe and this recipe, and came up with the following.

Sweet and Sour Refrigerator Pickles
1.5 TB Vinegar
1/2 TB Kosher or Pickling Salt
1/2 TB Dill
1 TB Sugar
Filtered Water

Cut the ends off of the cucumbers and cut them into spears or slices and place them in a pint sized mason jar.
Add all the additional ingrediants other then the water. 
Fill up the jar with in a 1/2 of an inch from the top with water.
Shake well.
Place on the counter for 24 hours. At 12 hours, shake and turn upside down.
Place in the refrigerator and chill for the best taste. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Goodbye to you, Ratatouille

Here is the story about what happened after the initial freak out about the rat 12 days or 288 hours ago.
Day 1 Tuesday - Thomas spotted the rat. Mica freaked out. Sticky pad rat traps were procured.
Day 2 Wednesday - It was suspected they were moved so peanut butter was added.
Day 3 Thursday - The trap was flipped and peanut butter was on the wall. Sneaky rat.
Day 4 Friday - more traditional traps were procured. The snap traps. 
Day 5 Saturday - The traps were licked clean and NOT set off. Dang.
Day 6 Sunday - Thomas was ticked.
Day 7 Monday - He placed the sticky traps around the snaps traps. Genius.
Day 8 Tuesday - The rat moved them. Sneaky and smart rat. Crap.
Day 9 Wednesday - Pretended that there was not a smart rat living in my basement.
Day 10 Thursday - Still pretending. Called the exterminator. Left a message.
Day 11 Friday - Finally got a hold of him. He came over and sets some traps. 3 hours later the rat was caught. YAY!!!! Rat free since 2003! Too bad it isn't 2003 because that would have been awesome.
Day 12 Saturday - Celebrated a rat free home and watched Ratatouille and ate cheese.

On another note, there is nothing like paying to have someone reassure you that you are not a dirty hoarder. That is not the reason you have a rat. You simply had a freak incident where a rat found its way into your home and couldn't get out. 
Drama complete.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

R.O.U.S Incident

One thing that I cannot stand in life is rats. Or mice. Or any rodent really. I don’t think hamsters or guinea pigs or any of those little “pets” are cute. They are disgusting. Possums are right up there.

In fact, I hated the movie Princess Bride because of the R.O.U.S.’s in it.
According to Urban Dictionary, this is the definition:

Rodents of Unusual Size, from the 1987 movie, The Princess Bride. They are known to attack in the Fire Swamp.
-After Westley rescues her from the lightning quicksand-

Buttercup: We'll never succeed. We may as well die here.

Westley: No, no. We have already succeeded. I mean, what are the three terrors of the Fire Swamp? One, the flame spurt - no problem. There's a popping sound preceding each; we can avoid that. Two, the lightning sand, which you were clever enough to discover what that looks like, so in the future we can avoid that too.

Buttercup: Westley, what about the R.O.U.S.'s?

Westley: Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist.

-Immediately, an R.O.U.S. attacks him- 

So stinking gross!
I know most people love that movie, but I hated it because of the giant rat like creatures. (ok I know they were people in costumes, but still! Use your imagination! Giant Rats!)

Needless to say, this morning was not a way I ever, EVER want to start my day again.

Thomas went into our pantry (which is simply shelves at the top of our stairs down to our basement) as he started to make breakfast. I heard him call out, “Mica, do NOT come in here!” in a very serious tone. So of course I have to walk in that general direction and I see him grab one of our pots with a lid and go back into the pantry. When he saw me, he said, “Do not come over here.” So I asked if it was a rat or mouse and he gave the affirmative.

Gross. Not just gross, but gross nasty. I have a disease infested rodent living in my house.

I stood there in indecision for a few minutes because I didn’t want to even walk by that door. Because we all know, if they can get their nose through the crack, their whole body can follow. And if I saw a little nose, I might just freak out. When I mentioned that to Thomas, he looked at the crack and said, “It isn’t fitting through there.” What? There is a rat that huge living in my basement? WHAT?

My perfect world has been shattered. I can no longer ignore the fact that there are rats living on my property. And not just on my property, but in my living space. I always imagined that they just respected my territory and walked around my property to my neighbor’s when they had business elsewhere. I mean I thought they got the memo that I was extremely grossed out by them.

And by extremely, I mean extremely. When we looked into buying our house 4.5 years ago we had it inspected of course. Now we have an unfinished basement, but for all intensive purposes, it is livable. Concrete with a few spiders (which along with snakes don’t bother me) here and there, but it is not dirty. With the exception of one back corner. Our house has a breakfast nook that was an addition and under that addition there is the area we refer to as the wine cellar. It is the perfect place if cleaned up, to build one. And off of that little area, is a 6 ft x 6 ft true crawl space. And in the back corner of that little wall space, was a little rat that had died and stuck to the wall. Again, not ok. So I asked that it be written into the contract, that the rat be removed. The realtor, the inspector, and Thomas all laughed at me. But I didn’t care. There was a dead rat, and I would not buy the house until it was gone.

And now I have to move. No joke. Anyone want to buy our house and move in quickly? There happens to be another house we just saw that we love that is for sale. Anyone? It comes completely furnished as is. Because I don’t want any of my stuff anymore either. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


What is the first thing you think of when you hear that word?
For Doctors it is the inability to get pregnant when trying for a year or if over the age of 35, trying for 6 months.
For those in the middle of it, the word is the sound of hopes and dreams being crushed.

Let me walk you through our journey…
Oct 2011 – With only months left in my Masters program, and Thomas just landing a job after being unemployed, we decided to take the plunge. I mean really, it shouldn’t take long right? People get pregnant all the time on accident, right?
Dec 2011 – Yay! We are past the 3 months we were supposed to wait after being on birth control! Passed that milestone. Check.
Feb 2012 – Start acupuncture in the attempt to get our hormones level correct without taking meds. Just in case. I mean it can’t hurt right?
Apr 2012 – Our first chemical pregnancy/miscarriage. So confusing. And sad and yet we are doing something right! Keep pressing on!
Jun 2012 – Time to step up the game. Started taking my temperature every day. EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Sep 2012 – Nothing is happening with the temp. So starting with the LH test (AKA the urine test).
Oct 2012 – Technically considered infertile. But it has only  been a year right? Keep going strong!
Dec 2012 – Learned about embryo adoption. Definitely something to consider.
Jan 2013 – Chemical pregnancy #2. Something is clearly wrong. Time to get the Dr’s involved. No more temp and urine tests.
Feb 2013 – Started testing – everything is ok.
Mar 2013 – More testing – everything is not ok. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming! (sung in the voice of Dory from Finding Nemo)
Apr 2013 – Really praying about embryo adoption.
May 2013 – Different testing – even more wrong than anticipated. Oh and by the way, the Cystic Fibrosis gene is suspected to be a possibility. You should get more tests done.
Jun 2013 – Starting to think embryo adoption is our main plan of action, but let’s get the Cystic Fibrosis thing taken care of.
Jul 2013 – Meet the Dr’s at the Gyft Clinic to talk through our journey to date including what to do for the Cystic Fibrosis gene testing. HOPE. The sweetest word ever.
Next step – Seeing what the next round of tests this next month tells us. It seems to be on the up and up though.

Hope. As I posted here, Hope is a powerful thing. It allows us to get through times that are the hardest. And yet that glimmer of hope can place a smile on our face. Some times a tentative smile, some times a full blown grin. Because for some of us, although we have been labeled as infertile, it means we are one step closer to having a wee one in our arms. And that my friends, is reason to smile.