Archive | April, 2011

Earth Day

22 Apr

Every day should REALLY be Earth Day, don’t you think? Still… I think it’s a great day to remind ourselves of the importance of our planet, and re-evaluate how we interact with it.

Every year for Earth Day (and New Years too….) I try to add one more “green” goal to my to do list, or at the very least, re-affirm the commitments I have made in the past.  For awhile, I lost sight of my green goals, I started using “regular” cleaning products again for money savings and convenience- or so I thought. This turned out to be a huge mistake. Not only did I feel guilty, but I suffered physically as well. I’m allergic to some of the harsh chemicals in certain cleaners and boy oh boy did I start having reactions, couldn’t breath while cleaning the shower, my skin started breaking out in little bumps and red spots and I’ve been waking up with swollen, itchy, goobery eyes! ICK! So NOT pretty… Needless to say… I’m re-affirming my commitment to all-natural cleaning products and am going to try going the extra step of making my own, including laundry soap.

Speaking of laundry… now that the weather is starting to improve, washing will be done on nice days so it can go hang on the line. This also dissolves the need for bleach (which I also want to cut out completely) as the sun is great for removing stains! (even stubborn grape jelly stains from a toddler’s clothes!)

I want to make more things from scratch, including yogurt and cheese. The homemade types are so much tastier, healthier and better for the environment (no excess packaging) so it’s just laziness that has been keeping me from doing it. This also brings me to “ditching the packaging” and looking for bulk items to bring my own containers. Even at the health-food store, I want to bring my little jars to fill up with tea and herbs, and switch back to more loose leaf tea. Yea, it make seem more expensive, but it really isn’t when you measure properly.

I’m expanding my garden as well, I’ve already “installed” the pumpkin patch, and when the weather is consistently warm enough the rest will be planted. I want to add more salad greens and herbs this year as well.

These are a only a few little things but I truly believe that if everyone made little changes, big impacts would be made.

Have a wonderful Earth Day!!!

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"I should have been a casserole"

18 Apr

A think and yummy broccoli and cheese soup…

Ingredients:
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups Milk
1 cup uncooked rice
two small onions or 1 large
several cloves of garlic
“enough” broccoli (I used two medium crowns)
2-3 cups cheddar/ Cheddar-Monterey-jack mix
salt
pepper
dash of cayenne
butter
olive oil
corn starch if needed

In a good sized stock pot, pour in enough olive oil to coat the pan, dice onions and garlic and throw them in. Add about a tablespoon of butter and saute until transparent. Add rice and swish. Add stock and milk, bring to a simmer and season. Cook rice until almost done, add broccoli and cheese, and if not thick enough, add a little corn starch in cold water. Cook the broccoli (or you can steam it ahead of time) and serve.

Thats it. taste and test as you go till it’s just as you want. Easy Peasy. You could also add chicken to this to make a nice hearty meal.

Infertility awareness

13 Apr

I haven’t written in awhile… It’s been a tough month, I’m just now getting over a cold/ sinus infection that started a month ago, and what a long month it’s been. I thought a long while about whether to blog about this particular subject, but the timing seems right and I think it’s important to realize I’m not the only one who has gone through this.

Historically, fertility has been a vital part of a woman’s worth. Her ability to bear children was one of her biggest assets. Infertility caused immense heartbreak for women then as now… While the focus of fertility has changed somewhat (my husband doesn’t need me to give him sons as heirs or anything) the pain of not being able to easily conceive is still felt, and felt keenly…

We have been trying to conceive for over a year “with help.” before that I hadn’t been on birth control for nearly 4 years, letting nature take it’s course. I’ve suspected for a while now that there was a problem. I mean, how can these “teen moms” on television get pregnant by accident so easily, and not me? I’m 25, not in bad shape… My husband is in excellent shape… So eventually we were referred to a reproductive specialist who ran about a million blood tests (okay- 16… but that’s a lot of vials of blood!!!!)  and dear husband had his “little men” evaluated (all his stuff is perfectly fine, by the way) and I had some lovely internal ultrasound thing (eeew). As it turns out, I have Polycycstic Ovary Syndrome. I don’t have a lot of symptoms, but the problem is my hormones are out of balance and I’m not ovulating properly on my own… Come three rounds of clomid (a fertility drug to stimulate ovulation) and metformin (a blood sugar medication). Didn’t work… onto IUI, we went straight to “injectables” where I had to give myself an injection of medication to stimulate ovulation from day 3 of my cycle until my follicles were big enough (all this monitored through more blood tests and more ultrasounds) when they were a good size I gave myself a “trigger” shot that was supposed to literally trigger ovulation 36 hours later. 36 hours later we went back to the office for the IUI proceedure, which included hubby’s sperm being “washed” and prepped, then later put in me via catheter in the you know where… Very romantic right? Through the whole process my doctor was very optimistic I was having a great cycle, everything was perfect… We left the office feeling pretty good (except for cramps for me). Hubby was certain it would work… But it didn’t. Even though I was taking 200mg of progesterone supplement my period showed up.   Of course, I also got a faint positive on a pregnancy test the same day. Looks like it was “chemical” meaning the egg was fertilized but didn’t implant. These are common, but that doesn’t make it any easier. We went back to the doctor’s office yesterday in hopes of starting another IUI cycle, but alas, there seem to be a mess of un-ruptured follicles lining my ovaries. Nice, right? So… no IUI this month. I took it as a sign… A few months ago my doctor and I spoke of the possibility that I might have endometriosis. I have a fair number of symptoms and risk factors.. and there is no reason this IUI shouldn’t have worked out. The fun part is… The only way to diagnosis it is through laparoscopic surgery. The good thing is if they find anything, this is also the treatment so they get to do it all in one go.

So that’s where WE are at. And I know that many others are going through the same process and have been though even more than I have. It’s hard… but thankfully, technology and medicine have come a long way! I’m very hopefully, as much as I’m disappointed we haven’t been blessed yet.