Friday, March 31, 2006

How well do you know me?

First of all my Aunt Janet AND my Uncle Ed gave me even more information about my Uncle Ed's shirt from the "Dunkin Donuts" post. It actually says: "Maybe Dunkin' Donuts, maybe boiled cassava root". They actually eat that for breakfast. Okay, Indonesian food would be a whole MONTH of blogs.

Speaking of Janet and Ed, Janet sent me this fun post and I thought I would try it. The question is:

* * * * *
How well do you know me??

Can you name four jobs I have had in my life?
I actually worked in a t-shirt factory during my summer breaks! Yuck! Of course you all know I have been a teacher, coach, and writer.

Can you name four movies I would watch over and over?
Return to Me, Counte of Monte Christo, Armageddon, and Apollo 13.

Can you name my four favorite books?
The Secret Garden, anything by Mark Twain, the Bible, and my recent read: Hot Lights; Cold Steel. I have also been digging the Harry Potter books. Oh wait, I am past four. Well as long as I am past, one more thing, I really like non-fiction. Sometimes, when I am reading fiction, I start feeling like I am wasting my time. How pathetic is that?

Can you name four places I have lived?
Well, if you can't get at least the three states I have lived in, you don't deserve to visit this blog. Florida, Minnesota and Kentucky should be a given, but actually, I lived in Illinois when I was four for a year. So my residence have included: Fort Lauderdale suburbs, Thorton Illinois, Franklin and Bowling Green Kentucky, and (drum roll please) ... Rochester, Minnesota (can you feel my excitement in regards to the last one?)

Can you name four TV shows I love to watch?
Again, loyal readers should be able to knock these off with no problem! Survivor, Prison Break, American Idol, and I watch 24 for JB (but I don't love it.) Our favorites are all still on American Idol although JB has now gotten "McFeever" and his buddy Kathryn Mcfee almost got eliminated last night. (She survived but just barely!) That was a close one wasn't it JB?

Can you name four places I have been on vacation?
This is kinda tough because as most of you know, we love to travel. I have been to Europe (England, France, Switzerland, Italy), the Bahamas, Mexico ... and I've been to all but 7 states in the U.S. (Hawaii, Alaska, North and South Dakota, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.)(Although some people have told me that the Dakotas shouldn't count because who would want to go there, and actually, my friend Kelsey from Wyoming said the same thing about her state. So maybe it is just 4). We have been talking about taking an overnight Amtrak to Montana to see Glacier National Park. JB hasn't been to Montana. However, we are waiting for it to warm up a bit.

Can you name four websites I visit daily?
Well this is harder. I am a web fiend. I visit all three of my email accounts (Mayo, RLS, or personal). My poor mother will often email me at all three. I visit my friend Bara's website everyday (I am excited to watch his new life develop in the USA), I visit Hannah's prayer (infertility website), and a few other of my friend's blogs pretty regularly. I am also always on the Mayo and RLS home pages. That's all I can think of right now.

Can you name four of my favorite foods?
Well I love Indian food and most everything JB cooks. However, if I was really allowing myself to eat anything, I love curly fries which is why I avoid the Mayo cafeteria, and I also love chocolate anything ... especially double oreo chocolate blizzards. I have realized that working for a cardiologist has limited my allowance for food enjoyment (did you follow that?) One day I suggested a pizza party to celebrate a lab success and he said "Pizza? That's so unhealthy." I felt very guilty. I love pizza!

Can you name four places I would rather be right now?
Fort Lauderdale or anywhere in the Caribbean. I would love to be on an Island, lying in the sun, drinking a daquiri, and not worrying about skin cancer.
* * * * *

Okay, so I hoped you learned a bunch. We are leaving for Chicago at noon today. I will probably try to drop you a line from one of my cousin's houses -- otherwise I will see you all when I get back on Sunday.

If you think of it, I now have two people I love dearly going through very trying weeks at the end of their pregnancies. Please pray for them if you think of it and that the Lord would provide patience, piece, and a positive outcome. Life is so precious! (The "pneumonic" "p's" were not on purpose ... I promise). Ha!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Heritage Agriculture (from, you guessed it, JB)

Have you ever heard of the Red Milking Devon, the Jacob sheep, or the Tennessee Fainting Goat? Have you ever seen the Dominique chicken or the Cayuga duck? Ever tasted a Newton Pippin apple, seen a purple cauliflower, or smelled a Queen Anne’s Pocket Melon?

For most people in the U.S. the answer to these questions is no; however, the families aboard the Mayflower were probably familiar with many of them.

These are just a sampling of what is known as “heritage” livestock and produce – original breeds or types of plants and animals that offer unique traits not seen in commercially grown agriculture.

With the advent of reliable, refrigerated boxcars in the 1940’s, agricultural producers began to choose products that transported well. Uniform ripening, uniform shape, uniform size. Non-bruising and non-perishing. These were the traits that were sought after. Unfortunately, superior flavor and unique appearances often went by the wayside.

Here are some statistics:

  • There are over 250 breeds of cattle in the world. About 90% of the milk in the U.S. comes from just one breed of cattle, the Holstein, and the majority of the beef comes from just three: the Hereford, the Angus, and the Texas Longhorn breeds.
  • There are over 70 breeds of chicken in the U.S., and almost all eggs come from one breed, the Leghorn.
  • There are well over 4,000 varieties of tomato in the world. It is ridiculous that we typically only see about 10 in the grocery store (if we are lucky!).
  • There were over 8,000 varieties of apple at the turn of the century, of that only about 400 still exist. Sadly, only about a dozen are grown commercially where they end up in your produce aisle covered in wax.

So, why should we care about preserving these heritage breeds?

Consider that in 1873 a bug called phylloxera, which attacks roots, destroyed almost all the world’s vineyards. Scientists finally realized that the American wild grape was immune. Wineries were able to take the few remaining wine grape vines and graft them onto the American roots. The world’s wine industry was saved.

Now imagine if a new rare parasite killed our one and only (almost) breed of dairy cow. Also imagine if the breeds of cattle that were naturally immune to the parasite were not preserved. The worldwide dairy industry would be gone, or we would be acquiring a taste for goat cheese.

So here are some of those rare, genetically unique, visually appealing, most often better tasting, connections to the past.

The Jacob Sheep (named after the Biblical story of Jacob and Laban)

The Red Devon, “Red Ruby”, Milking Cow - these cattle came to the Plymouth Colony in 1623 on the ship Charity, believed to be their first cows.

A Highland steer - likely the most hearty of the cattle breeds hails from the Scottish Highlands.

A Dexter cow – full grown!

Tennessee Fainting Goats – they have a muscle disease that cause them to go so stiff when frightened that they fall over (a condition called myotonia).

The Dominique Chicken – probably the first breed to see the “new world”.

The Cayuga Duck – a rare black breed that shimmers green in the light. Originated in 1851 on Lake Cayuga, New York.

The Newton Pippin Apple – George Washington’s favorite apple (introduced to him by Thomas Jefferson). This variety was grown from a seed that traveled from England to New York in 1666. Great for cooking and cider making.

The Esopus Spitzenburg Apple – Thomas Jefferson’s favorite apple which he grew at Monticello. Great for eating fresh.

Purple Cape Cauliflower is actually healthier than the white. Notice the funky green one at the top – it’s a Romanesco Cauliflower.

Queen Anne’s Pocket Melon – the strongest scented melon in the world.

The Moon & Stars Watermelon. It was thought to be extinct, but it was recently rediscovered growing wild behind at an abandoned farmhouse.

The Brandywine Tomato – probably the best tasting tomato in the world (that’s my opinion!)

John's Fabulous Food

Well, I don't know how well food pictures come through on the blog or even how interesting they are to everyone, but I thought I would share photos of two great meals JB made this week.

On Monday nite, JB made homemade mozzarella crostinis, broccoli, and grilled chicken and tomato sauce over wheat angel hair pasta. On Tuesday nite he used the leftovers to make a stir-fry.

Wednesday nite JB made a Chicken Madura with naan and paratha.

Outside of food, this has been a good week. Three workdays in, my headaches have been much improved which is such a blessing. (For both me and my patient hubby.)

The weather has also warmed up so that on Sunday and on Tuesday we were able to take a walk outside. We almost went on Wednesday night but the wind was blowing a little too hard to keep us warm. However, seeing the sun and actually feeling the sun was awesome! Last night we even slept with the window open!

We will also "Spring Forward" this weekend which is a wonderful occurrence in Minnesota. It will actually get dark at close to 10:00 p.m. if you can believe that. We have very little darkness during the spring and summer months.

We are leaving for Chicago on Friday afternoon. We are going to stay with Jason and Kathleen and spend some time with my grama, see the new baby, and also see my Oom Ed and Tante Jan on the way home on Sunday.

Did everyone check out the new counter on the bottom of my page! Very cool stuff people! Please take the time to oogle and oggle over it.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Special Scriptures

As we get ready to do IVF, I am drawn back to how much I have grown throughout this infertility journey. Early on after my diagnosis, I wrote a poem in my journal:

I trust Him. Do I trust Him? Yes I trust Him. Or so I think.
His way. Not my way. Do I believe that? I think I do. And yet I don't.
Guide me. But Guide me my way. What is your way? Do I approve?
I am asking. And I am patient. But sooner should come real fast.
Please Lord. I beg you pleading. Your will be done. If I agree.

There was no doubt that back in 2003, I was angry with God. I was mad at Him. I remember talking to Kristi on the phone and her saying, "Wendi, this is the first time I have ever heard you question your faith." She was so right. I was so in doubt.

When we met with a psychiatrist before our IVF consult, I was a little taken aback when she stopped in the middle and told me that she believed I held a "Just-world hypothesis." I thought this was a pile of crap. However, as she explained, I realized that before finding out about our trouble conceiving, I really did, subconsciously, believe this.

Just-World thinkers are people who blame the victim: The world is tough but fair; if something happens to you, it is your own fault. The Just-world hypothesis is defined as: "The tendency to believe that the world is fair and that people get what they deserve."

I wouldn't have told you I believed that. I didn't think that I believe that. But suddenly, when we couldn't have children, I reverted to this line of thinking. I felt that I deserved a child. I felt that I did not deserve this pain. And even worse, I felt that if I was going through this, then I had done something wrong. This was a Just-World thought pattern. Other women might deserve this, but not me, and if this happened to me, what did I do to deserve it?

During this time, I found a Bible passage that really ministered to me. Whenever I would start to feel as if I had done something wrong to deserve this "mark" I would read this verse.

In John 9:3 the crowd asks Jesus why a man is sick. Jesus tells them that no one did anything to cause this. He says: "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life."

This really hit me! I didn't do anything to deserve this. While God didn't cause my infertility, He was using it in our lives for his glory.

One of my favorite scriptures in regards to this was: Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

It was at this point that I realized that I needed to be content where I was in my life. I had to quit feeling guilty that I was the reason JB wasn't a father. I remember one day my cousin Josh (who doesn't get very "deep" very often) asked me if John would leave me if I was disfigured in an accident or paralyzed or anything of the like. Of course not. Josh then reminded me that this was really no different. John didn't want to go anywhere and he wasn't going to go anywhere just because it was my fault we couldn't have children.

So I found scriptures that talked about having joy no matter what the situation. Here was one of my favorites:

Habakuk 3:17-18
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crops fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Another scripture I really loved is:

Phillipians 4:6-13
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen me put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Be content in whatever the circumstances are. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

I also found a little scriptures which talked about barren women and their gift from the Lord in a child:

Psalm 113:9
He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD.

I Samuel 1:19-20
and the LORD remembered her. And it came to pass, when the time was come about, that Hannah conceived, and bore a son; and she called his name Samuel: 'because I have asked him of the LORD.'

Of course, there were tons of other passages that ministered to me.

When I would start to think it just couldn't happen: I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? Or Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. And one of the greatest scriptures when I really felt like my lack of faith would cause us to never have children: If we are faithless, He will remain faithful.

When I started to get afraid of procedures, medications, failures, I would remember that it wasn't me who was fighting this battle: Do not be afraid or discouraged ... for the battle is not your's but God's. Another powerful verse: For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, "Do not fear; I will help you." Or The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

When I would begin to wonder why I had to go through this: Jesus replied, "You do not realize what I am doing, but later you will understand."Or another great passage: The secret things belong to the Lord our God.

When I would get discouraged because of another failed procedure or another day of not feeling well or jealousy at everyone else who could have children except me: Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

In church yesterday morning, out pastor echoed these sentiments. He told a story about his son getting clobbered during a wrestling match. He wanted to run over and help him but instead he watched from afar, letting those around his son help him. He knew his son needed this moment to grow as a person and a man even though it was hard to watch him. I believe sometimes, the Lord is doing the same thing. He knows I am growing, and I know, some day, I am going to understand why this pain had to be a part of my life.

I know that only a few of my faithful blog readers have dealt with infertility, however, I am sure there is something else you are dealing with. Don't forget that you are growing, that God is real, and that it will all work toward our good.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Cool New Site Additions

Okay, humor me again please. I have been learning a lot about my blogger. I now have a mini-introduction on the right of the page in hot pink. Did you miss it? If so, HOW did you miss it? It's hot pink for crying out loud!

I have also added a few other blogs and websites I visit often to my list below my introduction. Included in this is my friend Kristen's blog. If you have a second, check this out. Dan & Kristen's first son was born very premature (I believe at about 26 weeks). Caleb is now a healthy two-year-old. However, she is now on complete bed rest as her second son Luke has been trying to appear early. She could use everyone's prayers for this pregnancy as well.

Also, if you scroll ALL THE WAY to the bottom of this page, you will notice I have added a "counter". This was not easy! I had to do this with HTML code. However, I have done it and am extremely proud. Each time you visit my site, you are now a counted guest. Thank you for applauding my effort even if you truly believe my effort is pathetic.

I have decided it's the little things in life that add up to a great day.

In other news, I spoke with the nurse last night about my headaches. She said that I need to continue the 90 minute rotation of Tylenol and Ibuprofin, and if they become overwhelming, I need to make an appointment with my general practitioner about getting some Tylenol with codeine prescribed. I didn't tell her that we already have some of this hidden in our medicine cabinet and it has already become a good friend of mine. The headaches have been better the last two days. Either way, April 18 I start lupron shots and April 21 I go off these hormones.

Counting the days until we start IVF. We are both very excited. It is almost here.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Quick Health Tips: Spaghetti Sauce (from JB)

Prego ingredients
tomato puree (water, tomato paste); diced tomatoes; corn syrup; vegetable oil; salt; onion powder; spices (basil, oregano, and other spices); dehydrated garlic; citric acid; dehydrated parsley; spice extract.

Ragu ingredients
tomato puree (water, tomato paste); soybean oil; high-fructose corn syrup; salt; dried onions; extra virgin olive oil; Romano cheese; spices; natural flavor.

Bertoli or Classico ingredients
Diced tomatoes; tomato puree; onions; garlic; pure olive oil; salt; basil; spices.

My choice? The Bertoli or the Classico sauces are more natural and much healthier products. I also think they taste better. My favorite is the Bertoli Tomato and Basil.

Health Tip: Corn syrup (high fructose or otherwise) is not good for you.
Health Tip: Olive oil is GOOD fat (monounsaturated) = GOOD for your heart.

Satisfying Sunday

JB and I started off Sunday by serving as greeters as church. We are supposed to do this once a month but seemed to get called nearly every week. You'd think in a church of over a thousand families, we could get a few more people. We hand people a bulletin, say hello, and, help with offering. All this and we only have to get there 15 minutes early. NO ONE gets to church until 8:55 (9:00 start.) It's very odd.

Yesterday, JB took a nap, I played a few games of spades, he got up, made a great lunch, and we watched 11th seed George Mason upseed UCONN. Shortly after 1:00, my headaches dissipated, and I was able to do some scrapbooking. I thought I would share a few of my favorite pages from yesterday.

One rule: do NOT call me girly or craftsy. Thank you.

During the second game of the evening (Florida and Villanova), JB took a look at the temperature. 46! We quickly threw on some sweats and went outside for a walk. It was a little chilly but a great help for our cabin fever.

JB also made a great dinner. His presentation is half his meal. Here's what we ate last night. It's a Mediterranean meat dish with fruit, brussel sprouts, and fantastic cheese bread. Oh and of course wine for JB and grape juice for me.

We also watched the movie The Constant Gardner. It was very good. It was a thriller of sorts, but I handled it very well. Good movie! I like Netflix.

I also got a call today from a newspaper reporter from the Post Bulletin trying to get to the bottom of the U-CIT (real estate company goes bankrupt) fiasco. Apparently there are A LOT of people owed money (including someone who is owed $30,000) and apparently, they haven't officially gone bankrupt. I gave him a quote but didn't feel comfortable saying anything that didn't come directly first-hand for me.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Minnesotans and their fake cows

What is it with Minnesotans?

Okay, so we already know they talk weird. They say "you betcha", "out and about", and "pop." They close their Dairy Queens from November to March and wear parkas with shorts. They consider "down south" Iowa and call zero a "bit chilly." I mean, that's weird enough. I could end this blog right here.

But it gets worse.

Minnesotans rent fake cows!

Now maybe I just wasn't paying attention when I lived in Kentucky or Florida, but I just don't remember ever seeing a cow on the side of the road with a sign hung on its side saying, "Ain't it nifty, Lisa's fifty?!" or "Lordy, Lordy, Tommy's forty!"
(Now notice my picture above says "Steaks" on the side. I couldn't find a picture online with the whole birthday slogan. You will have to take my word for it! It exists! One day I will see one when I have my camera with me, and I will take it and prove it.)

Okay so here's how it works. People rent these huge fake cows and then they pay money to have their advertisement hung on the side of the cow. Some of these cows are advertising a sale but most of them are simply to wish a friend or loved one happy birthday or anniversary or some other event.

I first saw this when I worked in St. Charles and one of our teachers was having a big birthday. I thought this was the strangest thing, but everyone just told me it was a "regular occurrence."

Renting cows. Maybe that should go on our list of reasons to move to Florida.

And, if anyone thinks it would be funny to rent a cow to celebrate a big day in my life, think again. It may be grounds for never speaking to you again.

Oh, and if I am wrong, and anyone has seen one of these fake cows anywhere but Minnesota, please post a comment. I don't want to blame Minnesotans for something, say Chicago-ans started.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

My achin' head

I finally called the nurse today about my headaches. They have become nearly unbearable. Last weekend I got a full blown migraine. This week during the week I did okay but then last night around 7:30 I got hit again with a killer headache -- I didn't lose my vision at any point so I don't think it planned to develop into a migraine. By 9:00 I finally gave up, took another tylenol with codeine (leftover from my dry socket incident when we first moved here) and went to bed. I woke up at 10:00 A.M.! I NEVER do that. I couldn't even tell you the last time I slept til 10 a.m. especially when I went to bed at 9:00 p.m.! It felt wonderful. I heard JB come to bed later in the evening and I remember that when I woke up to say good night, my head didn't hurt. However, the morning returned with the headaches.

John's been monitoring my meds. Apparently, (and this shows how naive I am about all this stuff), you can take both Tylenol and Ibuprofin, and if you rotate them ever 90 minutes, you are only taking each kind of medicine every 3 hours. So that's what I've been doing. I take Tylenol, ninety minutes later Ibuprofin, and ninety minutes later Tylenol again. I told the nurse what JB had me doing and she said he was right-on! I am learning more and more that he is pretty smart about all this stuff. :) I can take the Tylenol with codeine but only before bed because codeine makes me pretty light-headed.

The nurse, "Ruthie", who seems to be on call every time I call, looked at my chart, and said I had under 4 weeks left before I go off these hormones. (I had thought it was under 3 but my dates were off slightly.) She said that 4 weeks was a long time (I agree!) and was going to talk to Dr. Coddington on Monday about getting me on a stronger prescribed medication for the next 4 weeks to handle the headaches/migraines. She also said he might say I have to go off the drug. I told her I would not go off the drug. Going off the drug would mean we would not do IVF and unless they had a way I could go off and still do IVF, there was no way I was going to give up after all this waiting. I'll manage the next 4 weeks.

I try to get my mind off of things by watching basketball when I can handle it, and I even went out and ran some errands with John this afternoon (grocery shopping, scrabook store, hair cut for him etc.) We also went to the Amish Furniture store that we have been meaning to go visit. It was AMAZING. I must take my parents and in-laws when they come back to visit. What amazing furniture. A little pricey but all handmade and gorgeous. Tonite we are going to go over to Ron & Ebby's to watch some basketball. I don't want to just sit around the house and sulk! Trying to get my mind off of things really does help.

I would covet your prayers right now. Four weeks to go. We are so excited about getting to do IVF, and I know it won't be roses the whole way, but I would really like to feel a little better.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Babies and Bankruptcy

UPDATE: We just got the call and Josh and Sarah have had ... another son! Jordan Kyle was born this afternoon weighing in just under 8 pounds. Josh said Sarah's water broke around luchtime and she had the baby by 3:30 which is very good (in my unknowledgable opinion.) My grandmother now has 6 kids (1 girl), 16 grandkids (3 girls), and now 9 great-granchildren (2 girls). Notice a pattern here? Congrats Josh and Sarah. We'll see Slappy/Kyle soon.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Well It is 2:30 on Friday afternoon. I am working on RLS stuff from home and waiting, not so un-anxiously, for Josh to call and tell me they had a boy. Or maybe a girl? And what's the baby's name anyways? I talked to Josh last night and asked him for a clue to their names. He didn't budge. Too many surprises for me to handle. We are pretty positive we going to drive to Chicago next weekend to see Slappy (or "Slappy-ette") and spend some time with my grama. I was corrected that my Aunt Helen was 94 when she passed away next week.

In other news, the real estate company I worked for, UCIT, did go bankrupt! I just had a feeling something wasn't good. Maybe it was the unreturned phone calls, unreturned emails, and unavailable webpage that clued me in. All said and done I lost about $560. My husband is seriously, the most fantastic man in the world. He has made me feel so much better about this situation. He keeps repeating, "It's just money." "We are living fine right now without it." "You can't miss what you don't have." etc. His outlook is so fantastic. God knew what he was doing when he gave me John.

I got in touch with some of the other writers from UCIT this week. Many of them had evened the score before UCIT went under but a few are in the same boat as me. One of them sent me a link to the Rochester Post Bulletin online where one of the blog writers had commented on UCIT's disappearance. You will notice that I commented as well.

However, I finally got in touch with Cassandra Wynia from UCIT. She was an employee there and my contact. We got along very well. Turns out she lost nearly $2000 as well when the paychecks stopped coming in. Cassandra and two other people have restarted the business in Mankato (about 90 minutes from here) and she is interested in me writing for them if they ever get to that point. I told her I would love to because I loved the work but would have to be paid by the week. She laughed and agreed. Cassandra's email also made me feel better that there was little I could do make the situation better.

She wrote:

Hello! Don't beat yourself up with thinking you could stay on top of things. Things at UCit hasn't been smooth since November...even with numerous calls or emails and me hassling the accountant, you probably would've had the same delay in getting paid - because trust me, I've hassled them for my pay as well. I makes me sick too!! Again, it sucks, I there right with you. There are a lot of upset customers as well as employees...take care Wendi - keep in touch!

So that's that. Currently waiting for a new Huisman baby and grieving my first encounter with bankruptcy. This is JB's third encounter. Maybe that's why he is so calm.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Green Acres Is The Place For Me (by John)

Well normally I wouldn't post more than one blog in a day. However, I am trying to shift my blog posts to the evening because trying to post in the morning before work makes me run late. So for a bit, more posting in the evening. I think you will all enjoy this post.

Apparently Wendi has received multiple questions about my interest in farming. She has mentioned it a few times on this blog, and it usually leaves people asking, “John wants to do what? Why?” So I am here to answer those questions, or at least give my reasons for them.

First off, let me answer a few of the common questions: Yes, I still want and plan to be a physician. No, I do not want to live on a commune. No, I have not become a tree-hugger.

Also, while this has been a goal (dream?) of mine for a number of years, I have no idea where the Lord will lead us in the future, so I cannot say that any of this is definitely in our future. With that said, let me begin to defend my position (obsession).

I have always been drawn to nature and to animals in much the same way I suspect as the naturalists of the past. Throughout my life, as my family and friends can attest to, I always had pets from stores and from the wild where I grew up. Dogs, cats, fish (both fresh and saltwater), snakes (corn snakes, albino corn snakes, pythons, tree snakes, water snakes, king snakes, milk snakes, glass snakes (which are really lizards), and ring-necked snakes), birds (finches, cuckoo birds, ducks, nighthawks, lovebirds), turtles, lizards, frogs, all kinds of bugs, caterpillars, moths and butterflies, mice, hamsters, and even a raccoon (it may have been a opossum – it was still very young and hairless when it died). All these animals I would find, catch, or buy and then read as many books as I could find about them. Where did they come from? How do they live? How can I help them thrive… or at least, how do I keep from killing them?

A second reason I feel compelled to move to the “country” has to do with my calling to open spaces. I love to get out into the wild, to camp and hike and hunt. I never had much of a chance to do that type of thing growing up, and I think I missed out a little in that area. I want my kids to experience this. I want them to have a better appreciation of nature than most kids in America do. It baffles me to hear of college graduates not knowing that potatoes and peanuts grow underground or that Brussel sprouts grow on stalks.

Brussel sprouts growing on the stalk.

Potato plant

Peanut plant - note the little peanuts growing in the roots.

A third reason closely linked to the previous has to do with how I want to live. I want to be done with high crime and fear of walking outside at night. Of locking doors and barring windows. Of crack houses and cop chases. I want to get away from the crowds and the rat race. Not to insult anyone reading this, but I cannot stand the way people live like so many ants, houses piled right on top of each other, paying ridiculous prices for an eighth-acre lot when that same amount of money could buy fifty acres of dense woodland, open meadows, small streams, and fresh air. After living in the suburbs, in apartments, townhouses, duplexes, and condos, I want to be free of the congestion. I won’t even mention the rush hour traffic for fear of making my blood pressure rise! I desire a slower pace to life.

A final reason has to do with my philosophy on farming. I have for a long time thought there is a way to manage the land to yield not only food for humans and animals, but to create a healthier and ecologically friendlier environment. I will explain this philosophy in more detail in future posts if Wendi wants me to, but suffice it to say that I want to try to put into practice some of my theories in alternative and healthier farming practices.

So that sums it up. These are the main reasons I have such an interest in farming. Hope that explains things a little bit and alleviates the fears that poor Wendi has married a man who has lost his mind… well, I guess that doesn’t really alleviate those fears, but at least I have given the reasons for my insanity!

Quick Post

My Aunt Jan sent me this news story about an Afghanistan man facing the death penalty for coverting to Christianity. We are all deeply concerned about this as we don't want to see this man lose his life. Janet asked me to post a link to a website that will automatically send an email to our President asking that this man's life be saved.

Here is the story.,2933,188903,00.html

Here is a link to a website asking for this man's life to be saved.

Thanks for taking the time to do this.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Big bad sister

I have recently come to realize that I was a horrible big sister.

Not that I am horrible now. I mean, I think my brother and I have a good relationship, now.

I'm talking about when I was little. Well, not quite little. But from the time that I was like, 2, until the moment I left for college at 18, I was just a jerk.

Not that my brother was an angel. Keith was slithery and sneaky and quiet. He was infamous for lying or whispering something cruel and then snickering as the loud big sister got snagged for his initiation. But overall, I was cruel, and I think it is time that I come out to the world (or at least my few, faithful blog readers who have read this far into my post) and admit to everyone what I have always known. When it comes to big sisters, I sucked.

When I was 4 and my brother was 2, we lived in a rented house in Thorton, Illinois. In the backyard was an old swingset, a lot like the picture of this swingset on the left.

Here's how mean I was. And please, remember, I have confessed this sin (actually, sins) many times. The Lord has forgiven me, I think Keith has forgiven me, and I pray you will too.

But I would tell my brother I wanted to talk through the swingset with him. You know, listen to the echo of our voices through the hollow top of the swingset? Now that in itself isn't that bad. How nice of a big sister to come up with an activity like this to share with her kid brother.

But, and here's where it gets bad, I knew something Keith didn't know. I knew that there was a wasps nest on one side of the swingset.

And I would have Keith go to that side of the swingset.

Gosh, this makes me sick to even write about this. I would help hoist my brother up onto the little seat of the "A" in the swingset, and we would begin talking to each other. Within 30 seconds, my brother was stung underneath the eye.

But it gets worse. I didn't do this just one time. I did this many times. I am not exactly sure of the number, but I talked Keith into climbing up there over and over again. And he got stung under his eye over and over again.

(Now at this point in the story JB launches into a debate about what my brother could have been possibly thinking to have fallen for this over and over again. But that's beside the point. How cruel could one big sister be?)

Now ever since I was 4 and lived behind the convenience store in Illinois, I have felt guilty about this. However, my guilt grew even deeper a few years back.

I was sitting around having a heart-to-heart with my dad when he busted out with this story about one of the times that he felt most inadequate as a father. I listened with baited breath as he prepared to tell his story only to hear him say something about an old swingset and wasps. "I didn't realize the wasp nest was in the swingset," he said. "And Keith got stung 4 or 5 times before I figured it out."

Suddenly I felt like sinking into the floor. I felt, literally, sick to my stomach. Not only had I been cruel to my brother, but I had let my father harbor the guilt. How much worse could it get? I took a deep breath and launched into the whole story from the beginning, admitting all of my hidden cruelties -- cruelties that even my brother didn't know as he was only 2 and too young to remember. Cruelties I had only shared with my husband many years after he had agreed to be my husband forever.

My father, was literally, mad at me. "How could you have done that?" he asked. I was nearly in tears when I said, "Dad I was four." He launched into: "Yeah, but that was so mean. And I've lived the last 24 years thinking I was the one who caused him to get stung so many times."

Just kill me now!

However, my cruelty didn't stop there. Oh my, I hate to even write some of these things I did to my poor little borther in fear of what people will think of me. But, (gulp), I actually talked my brother into sticking my mother's car keys into a light socket. And this was also many times.

(Again, JB wonders how many times before Keith equates key + light = pain or swingset + wasp = pain).

But again, my cruelty is the major issue here. I also threw a chair at his new radio. (Keith tells this story to this day. He was about 10 when this happened so he vividly remembers it.) There was also the time that I talked him into a race. This race included no hands (they were tied together) and no feet (they were tied together.) Only after I tied Keith's hands together and then his feet, did we both realize that there was no one left to tie mine together. When I decided to leave him there in the family room, by himself, he tried to chase me and instead broke his toe on a door.

This is terribly painful to remember and even more painful to write. What kind of person did my mother give birth to? How horrid! Keith, how horrible I was. I am soooo sorry. Please forgive me. You know I love you, but man, I sucked as a "little-big-sister."

Tante Jan and Oom Ed

Today I am sharing a picture of my Aunt/Tante Janet and my Uncle/Oom Ed. This is the picture I was trying to share two days ago and I just couldn't get my blog to load the pictures. (And I got a weeee bit frustrated.) Ed and Janet are linguists in Indonesia. In this picture below, take a look at my Uncle's shirt. So American and yet, so Indonesian. I love it! We can't read it, but yet we know exactly what it says.

Janet is my mother's sister (one of two sisters and two brothers). She has been very special to me during my infertility journey, and I have so appreciated her in my life. She is kind of a "kindred spirit" for me. Janet and Ed have two children, Cara (who is married to Bryan) and currently teaching English as a second language in Illinois and Eddie (who is married to Hannah and has a son, Gabe). He is studying for his PhD at Vanderbilt in Nashville. Oh how I wish I was there. I LOVE Nashville.

Ed and Janet are currently on a two year break from life in Indonesia. They are still doing their work but are doing it from Illinois. We were able to visit them a few months back and hope to again soon. JB loves my Uncle Ed! I think this is because JB actually has someone who is interested in some of the things he is interested in when he is hanging out with my Oom Ed.

Anyways, I loved this picture and decided to add it to my blog with a little introduction. Maybe I will do this more often so that my loyal blog readers can get acquainted with each other.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
As a quick note, my grandmother Huisman's sister Helen died on Sunday morning. This was not unexpected and Helen was near 90 I believe. Her husband Ray had died not too long ago. However, this is still not easy on my grandma as she has spent a lot of time with Helen over the last few years and Helen was her last remaining sibling. Please be praying for my grandmother.
Also, I got an email from my cousin Sarah yesterday and if she doesn't have "Slappy" by Thursday, they plan to induce on Friday!
I have actually been toying with the idea of trying to get to Chicago in the next few weeks both to be with my grama and to see my other family including Slappy. We'll see.
Also, you can vote for Josh again (ever 24 hours is permitted.) He's up to 25. Let's keep him moving!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Still Waiting

Well blogger is TICKING me off. I just can't get my pictures to load. I'm not sure the reason but it is throwing a kink in my whole chain! Oh well. It's just a blog site right. No need to get myself in a tizzy. So instead, I thought I would provide some quick life points regarding things I am waiting for:
  1. Still waiting for Josh and Sarah to have their baby! Due ANY day.
  2. Still waiting for Justin to get his computer fixed and get back on instant messenger! Let's go already.
  3. Still waiting for Jason to put a new entry on his blog.
  4. (Hmmmm, notice all the waiting for the three brothers. Is that a theme?)
  5. Still waiting on my money from my freelance writing. It appears they have gone out of business ... please keep praying.
  6. Still waiting to see if we will be able to attend Matt's graduation from Basic Training on May 12. It is really going to be a close call with my IVF schedule and will probably be a very last minute decision.
  7. We are no longer waiting for our friend Bara to join us in the U-S of A. He is officially in Boston (and we are hoping in Rochester soon to visit us. Maybe when it is warmer.) I have a link to Bara's blog off to the side here if you want to check out to see what is going on his life. He is updating it more often and I really enjoy reading it. Remember, Bara is our friend from Syria.
  8. Still waiting to decide if we are going to move to Florida or stay in Minnesota. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. Currently, we are probably leaning toward Florida. But the lean is only a semi-lean at the time. It's not very strong.
  9. Still waiting to get to go off these hormones. I have tried to keep my complaining to a minimum but I have had a heck of a time. On Saturday morning, I woke up with a full-blown migraine. I haven't had one of those that went all the way in over four years. (I have only had 3, well 4 now, total in my life.) This did not put me in the best of spirits. Three and a half weeks of this kind of hormone left! Yipeee!
  10. Shoot, I am trying to think of a number 10 to be waiting about as that is a much more round number. Oh, I got one! Still waiting for spring to arrive. Yesterday was the first official day of spring. Yesterday it was 27. Not cool.

Also waiting for Blogger to allow me to load my pictures! Let's go here!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Matt Kit.

As some of you know, JB's little brother Matt, is currently in Missouri in Basic Training for the Army. This is something Matt has wanted to do his whole life, and he is in the reserves which means he will be getting an education in exchange for serving in the military.

Anyways, Matt has now been in Missouri since the end of January. He graduates in the middle of May so he still has a ways to go.

We got a letter from Matt on the 6th of March, and many of you have asked me via phone or letter, how Matt is doing. So today I thought I would share a few excerpts of Matt's letter with my blog readers.

Well, hello John and Wendi. I have had a rough 5 weeks. The first 3 were the toughest, hands down, the hardest things I have ever done. We would have 4-5 hours of sleep a night, P.T. in the mornings, wake up at 4:00. By the way, whenever they feel like waking us up, they can. We are required 4 hours of sleep at least. After PT, we have to clean the barracks, bathrooms have to be spotless, floors have to be swept and mopped, walls have to be scrubbed, picture frames have to be cleaned perfect, no streaks, and everything that can collect dust has to be dusted. All our bunks have to be tight enough to bounce a quarter on it. They really bounce quarters! All this usually has to be completed in 15 minutes or less or we get "smoked" (extreme physical corrective training) lasting anywhere between 15 minutes to the longest, 3 hours. It took us a few days to get it down pat.

I think I have lost 20 pounds already. We've done a lot of really cool obstacle courses, we repelled a 55 foot wall, ziplines 250 feet, 40 feet off the ground, repelled down 75 feet at a 30 degree angle head first and lot of other little things in between.

All 164 privates have 20 minutes to eat each meal. They break it down to each table between 2-5 minutes. Kinda crazy. The 2nd platoon is only allowed to use our fingers and a spoon to eat. If a lot of us qualify BRM (basic rifle marksmanship) then we get to use a fork.

The weather here sucks in the morings. It's in the low 30's, then in the afternoon it's 80, next day morning is 65 and afternoon is 30. It's crazy. It has hailed hard, snowed, and rain. Anyways, I know it's nowhere near how cold you are, but it's still stinking cold.

So that's a few insights into the life of Matt. We are hoping we will be able to make it to his graduation in May, however, it will depend on our IVF schedule. I am scheduled to have my 2nd procedure on May 8th which would give us time to go. However, if I go late, which is quite possible, then we can't go. So we will see.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Vegetarians: the good, the bad, and the fruit loops (By John)

So, here is my first post with some substance. I am often asked, “What is a healthy diet?” This is a huge question, so I will take one part at a time and start with vegetarianism.

First, the definitions…

Semi-Vegetarians: These people eat anything other than red meat. They still eat little fishies and fluffy fowl (and their eggs), do I can’t technically call them vegetarians.

Ovo-Lacto Vegetarians: These guys eat only plants with the addition of eggs (ovo), dairy products (lacto), or both (ovo-lacto).

Vegans: This group will eat no animal products or by-products (i.e. cheese, eggs, or honey, etc.).

Raw/Living Foodists: They eat only raw food, duh! They think that cooking destroys good enzymes in food. I believe this group only eats plants though, so sushi is not on the menu.

Fruitarians: Or as I like to call them… the fruit loops. They eat only what the plant will willing give up without being murdered – sorry, I mean destroyed. Apples, tomatoes, nuts, and berries, that’s about it.

Believe it or not, I have met and talked to someone in every group, and they have given a lot of reasons to be a vegetarian. The main ones being:

  1. It’s healthier.
  2. God designed us to be vegetarians.
  3. It’s kind of gross to eat an animal when I stop and think about it.
  4. Eating an animal is wrong.

So let me discuss these reasons in reverse numerical order.

Eating an animal is wrong. They tell me animals have souls just like us. My question is, “Says who?” They either just know it (i.e. they made it up), or they are Hindu or another religion that teaches this. This is not the time to discuss epistemology or theology, so I’ll stop here. Suffice it to say, I don’t agree with this argument.

It’s kind of gross to eat an animal. This one rather irks me. The main reason for this is because so many urbanites and suburbanites have lost touch with where our food originates. Poor little kids, many of whom have never even seen a farm animal in real life, are horrified when they are told that Ronald McDonald kills cute little cows. They have no idea how corn grows on a stalk or that potatoes and peanuts grow underground. They think that a chicken egg is good, but a duck egg is gross. I could go on, but I think you get the point.

God designed us to be vegetarians. I have only heard this argument from Hindus and Christians. Hindus were mentioned above, and you would be right to assume I do not agree with many of their spiritual beliefs. But Christians on the other hand use the Garden of Eden to passionately proclaim their dietary stand, but they forget things changed drastically after the Fall of Man. Look it up in Genesis, and you will see that God told Noah that all animals are to be added to the diet (he later created the more restrictive Jewish Dietary Laws which I will discuss at another time). Also, our intestinal tract is not designed to be strictly vegetarian like a cow, nor is it designed to be strictly carnivorous like a lion. It is very similar to the pig, moderate in length, perfect for the omnivorous diet (eater of plants and animals).

It’s healthier. So, here is the big one… the main reason people give for being a vegetarian. Americans eat a lot of meat - 70 lbs of beef, 49 lbs of chicken, and 17 lbs of fish per person per year, and a whopping 28 pigs in their lifetime. With the common cuts of meat being high in saturated fat which may lead to heart attacks and strokes, there is no surprise people say it is healthier to avoid meat all together.

But consider this: humans need Vitamin B12 to live, and it only comes from animals. Claims have been made that it can come from some algae, soy products, or even yeasts. Research shows this is only half right. B12 is there, but it is not bioavailable (meaning, you can’t absorb it). Now some of you may ask, “In countries where there is a high Hindu population, why don’t they have B12 deficiency?” The answer is rather gross, but true. In those areas insects, insect eggs, animal, and unfortunately human, feces contaminate their food and water supply. One study showed that when Indian Hindus migrated to England, where the food supply is cleaner, they came down with pernicious anemia (B12 deficiency). Vegetarians must take B12 supplements, the only useful ones come from animal sources, and in a sense this defeats their plan.

Now there is also a myth out there that vegetarians live longer. In every study that I could find, no one has ever proven that. Now, they do live longer than the “average” person, but when you compare vegetarians and non-vegetarians with the same demographics (age, sex, race, salary, etc), they live the same number of years.

Closing thoughts

Vegetarianism is not the best medical choice, but the typical American diet is not the best medical choice either. So what is left? I’ll leave that for another post.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Please vote: Minnesota or Florida?

All right, we need your help! Should we try to move to Florida next May or should we try to stay in Rochester? You may think, "Well, May is over a year away." However, this decision has to be made by THIS fall. So it is a lot sooner than you think.

Okay, let me back up.

JB attended Match Day on Thursday for the "seniors" at Mayo Clinic. Students list their top choices, the schools rank their applicants, and then the students get a letter telling them where they are moving in two months.

JB's Match Day works a little different because he is in the military. His match occurs in December instead of March. In October he either ranks his five military choices, or he asks for a "Civilian Deferrment." If the military tells him he is going to an Air Force base, we will know where he's going around Christmas time. If the military grants him "Civilian Deferment", he will join his class in the spring match.

Right before Christmas, JB and I decided we were going to try and stay in Rochester. We hate the weather, but we love everything else about being here. Then we really started thinking about it over Christmas. I got some advice from people like my cousin Justin who spent a lot of time talking to me, and on our cruise we decided that we should do military and try to go to Northern Florida. (A cruise was probably the wrong place to think about it. Weather became an obsessing factor.)

However, this week, we started second-guessing ourself AGAIN! Do we stay in Minnesota or do we go to Florida? What to do. What to do.

So here, I share our thought pattern and ask for your help. PLEASE post a comment and give us your opinion. Obviously, it is just your opinion, but I want to get some feedback on this.

So Jb's "choice card" would either look like this:
1. Civilian deferment (permission to join the civilian match in the spring)
2. Eglin Air Force Base -- Destin, Florida
3. Air Force Base in Southern Illinois
4. Air Force Base in D.C.
5. Air Force Base in California

Or his "choice card" would look like this:
1. Eglin Air Force Base -- Destin, Florida (last year EVERY soldier who put Eglin first, went to Eglin.)
2. Civilian deferment (permission to join the civilian match in the spring)
3. Air Force Base in Southern Illinois
4. Air Force Base in D.C.
5. Air Force Base in California

Okay, so there is one important point to be made. Even if JB goes with OPTION 1, the military could turn him down and tell him, "Sorry, you are going to a base." However, JB spoke with the Dean of his Medical School who was in the Air Force herself, and she said that with stored embryos here, the military would likely see that as a very good reason to want to stay here and would probably grant the request.

If JB chooses OPTION 2 and Eglin doesn't want him, there is a chance that the military would still give him civilian deferment. However, this is probably very unlikely. They may instead send him to his 3rd choice, southern Illinois.

The other point is that civilian deferment doesn't guarantee JB will stay at Mayo. Mayo will rank their choices and there may not be room for JB here. We think this is fairly unlikely because he is going into family medicine which is not highly competitive. (There are a lot of spots, and Mayo likes to "keep their own.")

So, here is how we currently see it.

Reasons to try to go to Florida (in order of importance)
  • Better pay (about $25,000 more per year)
  • Better weather (Maybe this should be number 1)
  • 9 1/2 hours from our family in Florida (instead of 30 hours). It's a day's drive vs. being undrivable but realistically, still a plane flight away.
  • 3 more years toward military retirement (if JB decided to stay in the Air Force.)
  • No other hospital in the world works like Mayo, and since it is very unlikely that he will be a Mayo physician for life, it would be beneficial to experience how the rest of the world actually works.
Reasons to try to stay in Minnesota (in order of importance)
  • We have great friends here who are most likely staying here (Jones', Rays, Philips for a year etc.). In other words, with the possibility of having young child/ren, we have a support system here.
  • John getting to continue practicing at Mayo Clinic for 3 more years (great education!)
  • Our embryos will be stored here, and if we are still trying to have children, we will be at one of the best places in the world.
  • We would only be in Florida for 3 years -- is that worth moving, buying/renting new place, leaving friends, etc. for just 3 years and about $75,000 extra money? In 3 years, we will HAVE to go to another base for payback, and we are definitely going to try to go to Europe.
  • We own a condo here already and 3 more years will add to our equity.
  • My job options (if I want to keep working) .

Okay, so that's our dilemma. Of course, in the end, we know that the Lord is in COMPLETE control. We could put Option 1 and end up going to Eglin. We could put Option 2 and end up staying in Rochester. Or, we could end up going to Illinois, D.C. or California. However, we feel pretty confident that whichever option we choose, we have a high chance of getting our #1 choice in that option.

So, comment away. And don't write: Well, it's really up to you guys or just give it to the Lord. Those are OBVIOUS truths. But I truly want to hear from some other people. Shoot us straight!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Vote for Heisman AND learn about St. Patrick

I have two blogs for today and I don't want either of them to get put off a day. So here they are:


Okay, so I know I had a vote thingy on my blog yesterday for my niece Grace, but I just had to add another one today. As you know my cousin Josh is a singer. (Actually he goes by "Heisman".) Anyways, Josh's song "Walk with me" is on a website called Indieheaven and continues to go up the charts.

Can you take a second and give Josh's song five stars?

Just go to:

Look for the song "Walk with me". (If you want you can just hit "Ctrl + F" and search for the word "Walk".) Then, if your volume is up, Josh's song will start playing. Scroll to the top and give it five stars.

Yesterday when I looked it was like 76. Now it is 52. Let's get it even higher! Please just take a second to vote. This is a great song.
Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. There have been four names given to St. Patrick. The first is British, the second Roman, the third Arabian, and the fourth Celtic (Irish) - his sainted name of Patrick. Three of the names fit with well established history.

He was born somewhere along the west coast of Britain, which was under Roman control in these times, in the year 386. This was most likely in the little village of Bannavem of Taburnia which has never been identified with certainty. One suggestion is the settlement in Northamptonshire, for raiders captured him with "many thousands of people" according to Patrick's autobiographical Confessio, and sold them as slaves in Ireland. It was here that he learned the native Celtic language of Ireland. He learned the customs of the druids, and many think he was a druid in training, for his master was a druidic high priest. While he was raised in a Christian home, he was not that religious at this time. If anything, he may have been dabbling in druidic earth magic.

He escaped Ireland when he was twenty-two. Some believe he spent the next 10-15 years at a monastery in France. Other historians do not think he was a Christian at this point. Due to his Arabic name, they believe that he joined a crusade for adventure, went to the Middle East, and was either captured or befriended by the Muslims living there. Many think it was here that he began to see the teachings of Christ as truth, and began to live his life as a witness of Jesus' love. Again, based on more speculation, some believe he was either set free or allowed to leave on his own due to his character.

One night, either on his way home or while in Britain, he heard Celtic voices begging him to return to Ireland to tell them about Jesus Christ. He adopted his imprisoned name of Patrick, and he became one of the first, and the most famous, Christian missionary to his old captors, the Celts of Ireland.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Vote for Gracie

My sister-in-law Gabbi put a picture of my niece Grace into a photo contest. So if you get a chance, check it out and vote. Visit:

Right now, there is about an additional inch of snow on the ground since yesterday but a projected eight inches is supposed to fall during the day. Spring? Ha!

During lunch today, JB is going to the Foundation House for "Match Day" for the fourth year students. This is where they find out where they are going to spend their residency. Hard to believe that in one year, JB's class will be a part of Match Day. Wow! Time has flown by.

Another fun fact -- we are not LESS than 4 weeks away from starting our shots for IVF (invitro fertilization.) We are projecting a May 5th retrieval (where they retrieve the eggs), and a May 8th transfer. Can't wait! We are very excited.

Oh and JB has promised a blog hijacking tomorrow -- something about vegetarians? Tune in to find out.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Dave Barry Reports on 24

Okay, time for my TV update. I really don't watch as much TV as it appears but since JB has me hooked on 24, I have become quite interested in this show.

In addition, my father and JB love a Florida Miami Herald satirical writer, Dave Barry. Dave Barry has a great blog that I check in on fairly frequently.

On Monday night, two of my husband's favorite things came together as Dave commented on 24. If you don't watch 24, you won't get much out of this. If you don't know Dave Barry, you won't get much out of this either.

But if you are one of the few, the proud, the 24 AND Dave Barry fans, then this blog is for you. Okay, so the only person who may get anything out of this is JB. But JB, I would write a whole post just for you! So here you are my sweetie. Here is Dave Barry's comments before Monday's episode on 24. Here is Dave on 24.

Here is the situation as we begin tonight's episode: I have no idea. I missed last week. All I know is that Edgar went to that big Krispy Kreme store in the sky. Also Jack finally shot somebody in the thigh. Apparently she was an innocent woman, but sometimes Jack just gets to a point in his life where he has to shoot somebody in the thigh, and there she was. Also of course the Lethal Fatal Deadly Death Canisters of Doom are still loose in Southern California, where they have been seen shopping on Rodeo Drive as well as in the audience of the Jay Leno show.

That's all I know. I'm counting on you to keep this blog posted on tonight's developments. I'll be reading your comments from Ireland, where Ridley and I will be strumpeting for our book Tuesday. Of course if, God forbid, anything happens to Chloe tonight, we will cancel everything and go straight home.

Outside of my 24 TV watching, American Idol is going well. Remember I shared our four favorites a few shows ago. Those four are still alive and kicking down from 24 to 12.

Unfortunately, one of my 3 favorites from Survivor, Dan the astronaut, had to leave. However, to my great surprise, Cirie, has survived a few weeks longer by keeping her mouth shut and letting the morons she lives with shoot themselves in the foot. 2 of my 3 favorites remain.

Don't worry! I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Spring fever proves a brief ailment

The Rochester Post Bulletin said it better than I could:

Come on -- when you were running around in shorts and T-shirts Saturday and the high was 57, did you REALLY think winter had surrendered and was going to just melt away? Of course not.

Winter pounced back overnight and early today with sloppy, heavy snow, winds and windchills that will drop to close to zero tonight. It added up to winter weather advisories and warnings for much of the region, school closings and a lot of miserable driving.

Call it weather's version of March Madness. Because of the storm, the Minnesota State Patrol closed U.S. 52 between Zumbrota and Cannon Falls.

According to the state Department of Transportation, that is the first time in at least 35 years that the highway has been closed due to weather.

As of 4:30 p.m., the Minnesota State Patrol had reported a total of 317 accidents statewide, with an additional 58 spinouts and 414 vehicles off the road.

Road conditions were so bad
Monday morning, the State Patrol said motorists should drive only if necessary.

Here are some actual pictures from around our area today. I actually saw a two foot icicle fall from a buildling and when the snow on top of our buildling breaks loose every few hours or so it looks like an avalanche. They have actually advised people to move their cars away from the back of the building. It was the worst snow storm I have seen since we moved here.

And Saturday, aaah, Saturday, we were in frolicking among the tulips. Okay, so there weren't tulips but there were some birds. Poor birds -- they gave into March madness. I coulda warned them not to be fooled. May is still a long way away.