Words to Live By

Happily married. 41. Infertile/perimenopausal. TV and iPod addict. Transplanted Canadian living in California. {Warning - abundant sarcasm and frequent *gasp* profanity lie herein.}

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Drug Store Angst

Sometimes its the little things...I was in the drug store picking up a prescription today and on every aisle, my eyes were being drawn to baby and TTC-related stuff. Oh, there are the OPKs, and the FM sticks and thermometers. Over here is diaper cream and children's Tylenol and those little rubber thingies that you use to get snot out of your kid's nose. *sigh* Some days these things exist without calling attention to themselves, and some days they are vivid and seem to throw little tentacles out to trip me.

Last weekend on our walk with the dogs we passed a huge number of families and Moms with strollers out for their own walks. At least once or twice (as usual) I made eye contact with a Mom with a small child and we exchanged looks of envy. She for my dogs, me for her baby. One of those voices I have in my head wants to say, "Hey, wanna switch?", but I manage to stifle her. Its never going to be 100% OK, is it?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

What's it all about?

This is a bit of a take-off on Julianna's latest post, it got me thinking about the state of my own blog. I've talked about this before, about not knowing where I fit in now that we are off the Baby Train. I've come to the place where I'm OK with still including myself in the world of IF blogs. Once infertile, always infertile, and that would be true even if we had a baby. If I had cancer, then went through treatment and were now cancer-free, that wouldn't mean that I never had cancer.

Having said that, I sometimes feel the pressure to include things IF-related in my posts, even if its just every once in a while, otherwise I will lose those readers. I probably have lost some anyway, those looking for blood test results and 2 WWs aren't going to find them at WTLB anymore.

I blog mostly for myself, although I have to admit that I love the feeling of knowing there are people out there reading what I write. I've always thought I would write a book one day and this is as close to being a published author as I'm bound to be for a while. I love comments but don't "need" them, although most of the time I feel compelled to leave a comment if I read someone else's blog. Like Julianna, I find it troubling that someone would take the time to come and read and find the blogger in a crisis and just click through. I realize some commenters are concerned about their own anonymity, but you can comment anonymously, at least on my blog you can.

I am still working on the name change idea. While searching for graphics ideas I am across the piece of art below. Its called "Birth Machine" by H.R. Giger. I found it to be compelling, stunning, horrific, amazing. Your thoughts?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Did anybody download the song from the last post? I'm just curious. I often think of songs that would be a good accompaniment to posts and wonder if people would download and listen to them. Let me know, won't you?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Seaside Rendezvous

Yesterday we took the dogs for their favorite walk along the waterfront, with trips on the way out and way back to the dog park. Although I love the ocean and cherish the time together with all my "boys", the park is a bittersweet place for me now. This is where we would talk about deciding to try, then talk about our feelings while in the trenches, and finally, where we talked about stopping treatment. I resent infertility burrowing its way into what used to be a completely joyous ritual. Despite this, the day was a gift from the weather gods, temperature in the low 80s, just a hint of a sea breeze and swells big enough to bring the surfers out. Not bad for mid-November.

Queen - Seaside Rendezvous - MP3

Friday, November 18, 2005

Holiday Shopping & Baking

I'll start with the baking. I am not a good cook, and I would never, ever, consider myself to be a baker, but I do love to mix things together in a bowl and end up with something yummy. This is a delightful combination of my favorite and D's favorites: Pecan Pumpkin Pie. What could be better?

The fine people at Continental Mills bring you this scrumptuous blend of the best of the Thanksgiving flavors. The recipe is on the box, or you can find it here if you want to see how breathtakingly easy it is.

Recently Ollie was lamenting the approaching gift-buying season. As my early gift to you I've come up with a few ideas.

1. Fertility Spells. Most of them are relatively easy, although one involves turning a watermelon into a candle with 7 pennies buried inside that I don't understand. Here's one that doesn't require any props:

(Repeat to the east, west, north and south.)
"To you my child, my body is open.
To you my child, my mind is open.
To you my child, my heart is open.
By Earth, Fire, Wind, and Sea,
Into my arms you will be."
(Last two lines are said while looking at your cradled arms).
The best part is, they're all free! But you can make a donation if you wish to Khakani. [I wonder how much money he/she makes from this site?]

2. Fertility Jewelry. There is a wide variety of bling available to help you with whatever ails you in this department. Here are a couple of my personal favorites.

Silver sperm nuzzling into rose quartz eggs, how proud would you be to have these beauties dangling from your ear lobes?

This is a cycle tracking bracelet. Just move the colored beads around to match your cycle (which is the same every month, natch), so you can have the metaphysical powers of the various stones aid you during the different phases. Ovulation Day is marked by the silver bead. What could be easier?

The two lovely items above are available at La Belle Dame, which breathlessly boasts its products are currently featured in Conceive Magazine! Well then, they must work.

Here's a couple pieces for those of you with tastes that run a little more unconventional.

This is a reproduction of a Roman phallus, in 14k gold no less, "a symbol of the God Mutunus". Holy crap, that made me laugh.out.loud. The site also says "the backside of pendant shows testicles and phallus veins." Um...ewww.

Sorry about the graininess but I had to enlarge the picture enough so you could see that, yes, this is a silver ring of a lady and her man doin' it doggy style. A conversation-starter for sure.

The above two items can be found at Capricorn's Lair.

I suppose in a weird way this could be construed as fertility jewelry...for those times when you are giving your cervix a break and REALLY mean it:

As far as chastity belts go, I think this is the loveliest I've ever seen. Not that I'm an expert or anything. The fine folks at the Lilith Gallery put together this article with links to places where you can purchase all manner of stuff for your naughty bits.

3. Purses, bags and pillows. This is the piece de resistance folks.

These next few pictures are from the Velvet Vulva collection. Who doesn't want to show their pussy to the world?

This one comes with a multi-faceted clitoris. I had no idea this was even possible.

Here's one of the pillows. I'd love to say something witty here but I'm just stunned.

There's a lot more variety than I can show you here, including a hat (?). Be warned, if you visit The Velvet Vulva be prepared: inexplicably, a really terrible Musak version of "Whiter Shade of Pale" plays over and over. ~shudder~

What's that you say? Not all of the people on your gift list are infertile or even female? Oh well then, a gift card is always the answer. Happy shopping.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Kind of a mish-mash today...I'm thinking about changing the name of my blog. Has anyone else done this? I'm not changing the URL, since that's not the same as the name anyway, but I'm wondering if it will cause problems for my regular readers. Not that "Words to Live By" is a terrible name, it's just not very creative and doesn't have anything to do with my life and what I've lived through. I won't tell you the proposed new name just yet, I want opinions on changing first.

I'm going to leave up my pictures for another day or two then I will take them down. I've been invited to the Bay Area Infertileblogapalooza (not sure if its safe to call it the First Annual or not), and I want those I'm about to meet have a peek at the goods first.

I have Site Meter, as most of you do (or another similar counter), and I've just recently gotten around to looking at the information on my readers. I've had quite a few hits from places like Argentina and Serbia, but most of the hits from the non-English speaking countries are for the MP3s that I've posted. Hopefully somebody looking for Madonna stuck around to read about me. I'd love to know who my faithful reader from Regina is, any chance you can delurk and leave a comment, or email me?

I had another job interview last week, it initially felt eerily like the last interview situation, and we all know how well that turned out. So, I was very aggressive in both my salary requirement (way beyond the range, apparently), and in my stand that I didn't need or even really want this job as it meant giving up independent consulting. I had both people I interviewed with agreeing that I had a sweet set-up and I would be crazy to give it up without a big(ger) paycheck. I even had the balls to offer my services as a consultant if they didn't make me an offer or I didn't accept it if it was made.

I learned my lesson this last go-around, so while I am waiting for an answer on that FT opportunity I am going ahead and taking on a second consulting client. Hey, mama needs a new dress for holiday parties! I'll keep y'all posted.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Glacial PJs

I have to admit that checking my blog and finding all these old pictures of myself is a tad disconcerting, but I will leave them up for a little while longer.

I want to draw your attention to Salon.com's new "women's blog", Broadsheet. I've been a Salon fan for a while, and now I am hooked on this new addition. You might have to watch a short commercial to enter if you don't have a subscription, but I don't mind. For those of you that don't want to do that, here's a recent submission in its entirety:

Glacial pajamas for the menopausal
I get weird press releases. The one I received yesterday arrived under the subject line "Nightwear for Hot Flashes/Night Sweats" and was about a company called Wildbleu. "HOW COOL IS THIS?" began the release. "Performance PJs Take On Hot Flashes and Night Sweats." Apparently this company -- Wildbleu -- has decided to tap into "one of the market's largest growth segments -- baby boomer women who are pre- and post-menopausal, and thus candidates for the hot flashes and night sweats that go with the territory."

Yay! A generation of women are now menopausal! Let's sell them stuff!

The sleepwear is made of Dri-release, a wicking fabric that draws moisture away from skin and to the surface of the garment, where it evaporates. The pj's, a cotton-polyester blend, have "a soft feel" that makes them "exquisitely comfortable to sleep in." They were invented by Helen Rockey, who made running shoes, and then wicking T-shirts for marathoners, and then used the Dri-release for menopausal women and those undergoing chemotherapy.

But here's the thing that really stuck out about this press release: The new line of Wildbleu garments -- gowns, tees, boxers and capri pants with a short flutter hem -- is called the "Glacier Pansy Collection." Whose idea was it to call a clothing line aimed at menopausal women "Glacier Pansy"? And does that person also write for the Onion?

-- Rebecca Traister -- [17:41 EDT, Nov. 3, 2005]

There's lots of other good stuff there too. Happy reading.

In news about me (and let's face it: it's all about me), I've had a good couple of days. Thursday I went to visit my friend T., she offered to be a surrogate for us then changed her mind, now she has a 2 month-old baby girl and a 2 year-old boy. The boy looks like his Dad and the girl looks like her Mom, perfect, happy children. I played with them, held the baby, all that stuff, and you know what? I was perfectly OK with it all. Never felt one pang of jealousy or sadness or anything, just enjoyed them. WTF? As I was leaving I hugged her and told her she'd done good - again - but I couldn't resist leaving her with these last words: But I still hate you. She knows me well enough to be OK with me saying that.

Friday I went to the gym, I haven't been in about a month what with being sick and all the other craptastic-ness that's been going on. I usually do between 2.75 and 3 miles on the elliptical but I lost steam at about 2.50 miles, still pretty good. Then the ab crunches and the weight machines. Best of all, my weight has come back down to within a couple of pounds of my goal, I guess being sick helped.

Today I visited the convalescent home with my dog, the residents were in good spirits and Bailey got lots of love.

After months of feeling like Bad Luck Schleprock, I feel like I'm coming out from under a dark cloud. Join me in the sunshine, won't you?

Thursday, November 03, 2005


Recently Sher asked the question: Do you feel attractive? I'm not embarrassed to say that most of the time, I do. I will add the caveat that this is a fairly new phenomenon with me, slowly coming into frame since I met D. about 15 years ago. He has whittled down the self-loathing of my physical appearance so much that now it's almost (dare I say it?) self-esteem. Even in the face of infertility, my nemesis for the past 5 years, when I look in the mirror more often than not, I think - Damn! Not bad for a 41 year-old. Sure, I wish my nose were smaller and my boobs were bigger, I'm no narcissist, but overall I am happy with my looks. I still have a long ways to go about feeling good on the inside, but hey, it's a start. I was blessed with a small frame and a fast metabolism, relatively clear skin and proportioned features. I believe most people think I am attractive because I remind them of someone else, sort of a generic look (in a good way).

I know a lot of people have a thing about anonymity on the web, but I really don't have this issue. D. and I have a website where we post pictures of ourselves so our family and friends can keep up with our lives, and both he and I are members of online communities using our real names. The only person I really wouldn't want to find this blog is my Mother, and she doesn't even have a computer or even know what a blog is, so I think I'm safe.

I prefaced with all that because I am going to post a series of pictures of myself showing the metamorphosis from a caterpillar to the butterfly I am today. (I'm trying real hard here to be upbeat, I wanted some lightness on my blog after all the heaviness lately.) [Photos and captions removed.]