Sunday, June 19, 2011

all the things in my brain

...or at least the ones that occur to me as I write this post.

Today I was reading an article in Old House Journal about this couple who remodeled their historic home to make it wheelchair-accessible for their son, who has cerebral palsy. The first sentence of the article - you know, the introductory bit with extra-large text - read, "After years of trying to conceive, [she] and [he] discovered they were expecting the same day they made an offer to buy their dream house - a stately Italianate farmstead located an hour outside of Chicago."

I don't think I've ever seen anything other than a feature on infertility make a prominent mention of infertility. Once in a while, you hear adoption plans mentioned as a proxy for acknowledging infertility, but that's about it. (And their house is gorgeous. Given how infertile women in particular are typically portrayed in literature and the media as completely unstable, or evil, or both, it's nice that the infertile couple has incredible taste!) By the way, don't get any ideas - we put our offer on the house on February 27; I wasn't pregnant then, and I'm not pregnant now.

Regarding the house - our original offer was valid through May 27; we extended it through June 30; the ninnies who are selling the house are continuing to try to persuade the evil BoA to approve the short sale; and we are now negotiating with our less-than-flexible landlords to let us have at least a few months of month-to-month rent following the expiration of our current lease on July 31. I decided to make the St. Anthony novena for an IF-related intention (no, not "a baby" - akin to the fact that clearly no one in this county sells the variety of HPT that comes with the two lines, that prayer does not get answered around here), and started a St. Joseph novena regarding the house as well.

By the way, I think I like the St. Joseph novena even better than the St. Anthony novena. Lines like "in the hard choices I must make, help me follow the Spirit's guidance and believe when I cannot see" and "O God, ever faithful, you remember us always and in time reveal your blessings. Help me trust in you, as St. Joseph faithfully trusted" seem to be written just for me. Of course, I was a wee bit irritated by the prayer for day 5. Assuming that the prayer was originally written for someone trying to sell a home (though it doesn't say anything about that), why assume that all such people have children? Why do even my novenas exclude the childless?

In other news, I have some more hopeful indications on the possibility of teaching a writing class for a local law school in the evening. I think it would pay less than minimum wage, counting by the hour, but if I'm honest with myself (which obviously I try to do as little as possible), my dream job is to teach law. I am not a competitive applicant for such a job, but maybe with a wee toe in the door...?

And one of the things I can actually work on to improve my credentials for such a thing is to publish a law review article (actually, I'll need a bare minimum of two). That may have made it onto my resolutions for 2011. And, um, I think 2010 as well. (I'm not checking. And don't you go back and check. Seriously. I mean it.) But last week, I actually started one. I got a kick-start when I heard of a fact pattern that would make the best possible hook for a topic I've been batting around for a while (I even ran it by my boss, forever ago). I need to get the article written by the time that fact pattern makes it into the public domain. So that day at lunch I started typing. I am going to work on it every day at lunch until it is done (I think it will take me most of the summer, which is fine, because law reviews don't really accept article submissions until the semester starts again). I also have an idea for a second article - the minute the first one is done, I'm starting in on the second.

Another thing I've been talking about doing for a year plus is getting back into painting. In May of 2010 when we came back from our trip to Austria with all kinds of great pictures, I bought $40 worth of art supplies - two canvases, a huge piece of watercolor paper, and oil and watercolor paints. Some time in 2010 I picked out a photograph for a watercolor and marked off a grid on the digital picture, but that's as far as I ever got. But now, I have picked a picture from my trip to Poland in February, actually ordered an 8x10 copy of it (it arrived this week), printed a grid on some old transparency paper at work, got a canvas out of the wrapping, drew the grid onto the canvas in pencil,* and started drawing the image for the painting. Once I started drawing I suddenly remembered how agonizingly slow that part of the process is (and not fun like the painting step). It may take me weeks before I open the oils.

But to me this is huge - for several years there have been projects that I only ever talked about. And admittedly I haven't finished any of the big ones yet, but I am starting with some serious momentum and I am very hopeful. Since I haven't done enough patting myself on the back, I must point out that I deliberately waited (since early 2011 - before that was just procrastination) to start the paintings until I had finished all the throwing out processes of my spring pre-packing; done all the home repairs in our rental; procured boxes; gotten several collections of little-used items into Rubbermaid containers; and finished all the mending and alteration projects that have been piling up here for several years.

Yes, you read that right: I am completely caught up on sewing. Some of that is because my DH lost patience and took a suit and a blazer to the tailor (that wasn't all of his stuff - I did some too), but I found that out while they were still at the tailor, because they had come up on my list and I was ready to polish them off that very night. I'm so current that I finished the hem on the suit we just ordered for my husband mere days after he tried it on; and finished button alterations tonight on a shirt I bought yesterday.

I've also taken on a number of other less intense improvements; we got some of that UPS flower seed paper at work, and I've already brought in an extra pot and planted and watered. I've kept up with my plant watering at work (slightly less diligent at home). I finally ordered all of the family pictures I want, and this week I will put up my photo collage over my desk at work. (Something else I've been planning since 2010.) I might even replace the cushions on our porch glider before the end of June. Somehow, all these little projects that I typically would (and in some cases already had) put off for months or even years because just sitting down and getting them done seemed like too much - don't seem so daunting at the moment, and so I'm able to get them done.

Don't get me wrong. I haven't become some sort of super domestic person or anything. Most of the rooms in my house still haven't been swept in over a month; the cobwebs are seriously starting to take over; I can't find the new bottle of Lysol I bought two weeks ago and apparently even a week of mislaid bleach cleanser leads to some seriously unsightly bathroom tile grout in Virginia in June; I haven't done dry cleaning in ages; and I can't remember when last I sat down and made dinner for the same night. (I have made salads for my husband, and cooked meat ahead for the salads, and put frozen pasta in the oven, and gotten homemade soup out of the freezer to thaw...)

Oh, and I waited until the second-last minute to pick up my HCG prescription, so of course it was the second-last minute when I found out that it needs to be "pre-approved," which apparently means that the doctor needs to call the insurance company and answer some questions. (I am trying to imagine what the doctor would say that would mean it should not be covered when it otherwise might be. "Yes, I wrote the prescription. What? No, no, she doesn't need it. What? Oh, well, just for kicks, really...what's that you say? You don't cover that sort of thing?") Tomorrow is p+3, which means that tomorrow I need to get Dr. L/C to call the insurance company, answer whatever questions they are satisfactorily, call the pharmacy to report that she has done so, and get to the pharmacy before it closes. Which is before I get home from work. Oh, and take my first HCG shot.

Speaking of which, this would be a good time to ask you all what your favorite how-to-give-IM-injections sites and video tutorials and tips and tricks are. Something about ice? Will I be able to sit down at work?

The cobweb issues in particular are starting to get under my skin. And that bit about the HCG, I guess. But life will continue, somehow or other, and the anthills that annoy me will recede into the distance; and, I fervently hope, the great looming mountains that block out the sun will someday be the ground under my feet that I see when I pause for a moment to look down.


*This is a somewhat remedial way to start a painting. However, I am very rusty, and it is a landscape shot with a lot of geometric forms - getting the perspective and proportions right will be essential to a good finished product. I can always loosen up once I start putting paint on.


  1. Good for you for moving on to creative pursuits after your practical goals were met!!! I know there's more to do, but cobwebs are easier than all the other stuff you did ;) Gotta love that St. Joseph- I pray a dedication to him everyday. He's such an example of strength and humility. Hope your shot goes well and that you actually get the HCG on time!!

  2. I'm so impressed with getting your sewing done - I need some serious inspiration in my house for that one... And I really like the way you cook - it's my goal to implement a routine whereby I never actually have to cook... You think that's possible? :)

  3. Whew, you are one busy gal!!!
    If you are doing the HCG shots intramuscularly vs. subcutaneously, then I think the only place to shoot yourself is your butt. :) Does your nurse give you & the hubby a lesson in how to give a shot? The nurse at our office did, and it helped to see/ask questions.
    I've taken both the subcue (small needles) and the IM (larger needles) and I find that the IM shots in my rear hurt less than the others. You should be able to sit down, although it may hurt a little throughout the day. Just tell your hubby to put the needle in really QUICK and you won't feel a thing. When the nurse did it to me the first time, I had to ask her if she'd poked me already ... and she did!
    Enough rambling. :-) Good luck on your shots!

  4. Well, I'm impressed with everything you've accomplished :).
    I hope you share your paintings with us! I'd love to see some "before", "during" and after shots. I've never seen a work in progress like that.

  5. Isn't it amazing how accomplishing tasks makes us feel like superstars? I haven't had a burst like you've had in a while, but this post may be just enough inspiration to get me going!

    As for the HCG shots, I inject in my hip. I used to inject in my belly, but then that started to hurt way too much. Mr JB was trained to give me the shots, but I couldn't let him do it (and he was out of town so I was forced to do it). Good luck
    with your shots!