Sunday, July 31, 2011


Wow....where does the time go????

I can't believe another wedding anniversary is flying by!

Unfortunately, I had to work all day, so no going out to a fancy restaurant for me today. I was up at 5am, at work at 7am and didn't get home until 6pm. Thankfully my darling husband had dinner prepared for when I got home.....and had even baked a cake for me!!!! Sometimes I am soooo spoilt!!

Tonight we are doing absolutely nothing.....sounds boring, I know, but actually this is a rarity in our house. We are normally extremely busy all of the time, so I cherish those moments when you can just stop for a while.

Bath and bed me thinks............................

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Focus Lives On

Today I found out that my car will live to see another day (and hopefully several more years!).

The assessor says that the water level was 2 inches under what is considered disasterous. It did not quite reach the computer and did not get into the engine. So, after a whole new carpet and new seats (the back ones got wet when the front end was raised for towing) the car should be good to go.

I thought I would be angry about this.

On Sunday I had persuaded myself that an $11,000 payout would be a bonus and that with hubby going away, being minus one car would be no big deal. That was until I got the hire car!!!

See my little Focus (although a magnet of disaster that people seem to like crashing into!!!) is not an is a manual (stick shift). I hate automatic cars....... the only people who drive auto's in England seem to be the elderly or disabled. I like to keep busy while driving and having to change gear keeps my concentration levels up. Also, in a manual, I know that if something happens to the brakes, I can stop the car by changing down through the gears then gently applying the hand brake. How do you do this in an auto???? It just does not seem safe to me, and besides, manuals get much better gas mileage.

So when we discussed the possibility of it being written off, the plan was to bank the cash. Then when he returned from deployment and we moved to the new base, we would trade his car in and buy a hybrid something or other to share. Trouble is, it would have to be an auto as hubby never really learned to drive a manual and I'm sure he would burn out clutches at a rapid rate.

Seemed like a good plan until the hire car firm gave me an auto to drive.

They fixed me up with a Toy Motor Camry (sorry.....Toyota - just can't help myself!) and actually, although a little cheap looking on the interior, it's not a bad car.

But as I have been going about my daily business I have realized that the lurching motion that occurs when the car changes gear makes me feel sea sick........very.....very......very sea sick. So much so that today, when I arrived at work, my staff told me my face looked green and I had to make a mad dash to the bathrooms, just in case!!!

The very thought of having to make another journey in this car petrifies me. I want my Focus back.......NOW!

It may not be the best car on the planet, nor the fastest, or the cutest, but it is mine. It does exactly what I need it to do (at least it does when I don't park it in a flood zone in heavy rain!) and doesn't make me feel ill.

The insurance company says it should be fixed by Monday or Tuesday...........until then the only journeys I will be making will be to and from work!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Next Media Animation Takes on the Rumors Around Apple and Hulu - Technorati Business

The company that made this video sent me an email saying that the video was relevant to an article I had written previously. Turns out that the company made several animated videos about news events that are really quite funny. You probably have seen their videos, as I had, but just didn't know who they were.

Does that make me famous? No? Ah well, the video is funny anyway!

Next Media Animation Takes on the Rumors Around Apple and Hulu - Technorati Business

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The curse of the Allen household!!!!

So, unlike last week, I was thinking that this week was going pretty smoothly.
No major crises at home; both cars running well; Millie's little paws beginning to improve; and work.....well it wasn't quite as disasterous as it has been in recent weeks, despite being two managers down.

The week rolled on quite uneventfully. In fact, when we got to Friday I was quite excited at the
prospect of finally managing to get through an entire week without issue.

That, of course, was until today!!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Comedy of Errors...and Trials

Today started off like most weekend days...groggy.

Sarah was in a huff, running around the house like a crazy woman.  It isn't abnormal for her; she is like this most days that she works.  And this day just fits in with the others.

I don't think that she is like this most days, though.  I think it only happens on the days where I am off work and she has to work.  I've seen her make this run countless times.  She darts from the kitchen, complaining about her schedule while carrying recyclables out the front door and, as she runs past me, she comments on how lazy I am.  As she continues in her mania, she rattles off a list of tasks that I should complete.  In my grogginess, I grunt.  I think I may have scratched myself a few times, for effect, of course.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Plastic Surgery Gift Cards????

Yesterday I posted on Facebook that I had seen an advert for gift cards for plastic surgery. My immediate reaction was that I would be mortally offended if someone got me one of these.......after all - who the hell are you to be pointing out all of my imperfections!!!

However, I was astounded by the responses to this. Several people commented "I want one of these"! Others private messaged me asking for more details. Seriously.....what is wrong with just being the way you are?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I want to be funny

I want to make a really awesomely funny post, but nothing is coming to mind.

Knock, Knock..
Who's there?
To who?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Slow day all around

As my time here starts winding down, things seem to start going into slow motion, unless I want them to slow down, in which case time speeds up.

I betcha his day just rocks!  Work it, son...
For instance,

Monday, July 18, 2011

Would You Like a Baby? How Much Would You Like To Pay? - Technorati Technorati Women

With parents like these, why are we finding it so hard!????

Would You Like a Baby? How Much Would You Like To Pay? - Technorati Technorati Women

What a week

Phew.......last week was just slightly crazy.

It was one of those weeks when, no matter what you are doing, everything just keeps going wrong!

Monday began with the 'walk the dogs and end up with poop all over your foot' episode....... in hindsight I probably should have taken that as a sign from some higher power and stayed in bed for the next 6 days!

Tuesday we discovered that the doorbell on our house was no longer working. What was once a pleasant and musical 'ding dong' sound has now turned into a very flat "dunk" noise! Time to buy a new one I think.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I Hate Cars…even the non-animated ones

It all started with digging out the front garden.  Weeds had taken over, namely Torpedo Grass (you can read about that battle here), and Sarah demanded a change.  Part of that change involved decorative stones. 
This is a car, therefore, it and I will not get along.

Two types of stones were required in the makeover.  Porous lava rocks, which, despite having the ability to float, somewhat, the bags were quite heavy.  Especially after 20(!) bags of them.  It also required some wall-type stones.  You know the kind, the ones look like bricks but are meant to be pretty.  Well, we loaded those bad boys into my 2007 Chevy Malibu, and off we went.

Friday, July 15, 2011

International's and con's

Many people in America choose to adopt their families from other Countries. Russia, China and Ethiopia have long since been some of the number one choices for Americans considering international adoption.


These countries, unlike the more wealthy western countries, do not have the finances available to support personalised care systems for the number of infants and children that are left without parents. The result is that the majority of orphans and otherwise abandoned children end up living an institutionalized existence in one of many orphanages. (Please read's heartbreaking!!!)

For people waiting to adopt, this means

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ah, Netflix, Wherefore Art Thou So Greedy? - Technorati Technorati Women

My first article for Technorati...

Ah, Netflix, Wherefore Art Thou So Greedy? - Technorati Technorati Women

Why is everyone born in the summer??

I have a package sitting on the sofa.  It's a birthday present that has been staring at me for nearly two weeks.  My brother, who has been ever so patient, is none the wiser.  He just thinks I am a bad brother.  He's probably right.

The cake is a lie.
 (Wikimedia Commons)
Several members of my family, including me, have our birthdays in the summer.  Not really lumped together, we're a smattering of small holidays spread throughout the non-Christmas months.  And that makes it unfortunate.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Where there's a Will, it's legal

So part of the awesomeness deploying is getting to visit the legal office on base.  That was sarcasm.

The legal office on base is not a bad place.  Unless you happen to be on the wrong side of the law, which I am not.  The staff were very friendly and extraordinarily helpful, but the reasons you are there are just bad.  Bad, horrible reasons.

What reason, you ask, could be so horrible.  Writing a will, that's what!

Need a business licence???

Yesterday I started researching how to sell your homemade goods, with a view to making some extra cash for the adoption. Anybody would think this should be easy, right? After all, most of us know someone who does something on the side without too many issues.


I bought the book entitled "The Complete Idiots Guide to Selling Your Crafts" (not that I think I'm an idiot, but I like to keep things as simple as possible!) and spent much of yesterday drinking in the information contained within.

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's definitely Monday.......

I don't know why it is, but Monday's are always awful, regardless of whether It's the first day back at work after a weekend off, or not.
I was hoping to have a nice lay in today, as I don't have to be at work until 2pm. Then I was going to potter round the house for a couple of hours, catching up with a little housework, before heading out of the door.
No such luck!
Millie (my 'not so adorable' cocker-poo) decided that 6am was the perfect time for

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Sometime you really can't see what's right under your nose!

Last night we had some in-depth discussions about the merits of this blog.
On the one hand, it gives us both space to vent. We both say things on here that we don't say to each other and this has opened up a whole different level of communication between us. It's good for our relationship.
On the other, it is very time consuming. We were both hoping that it would be getting enough readers to make a little extra money on the side, but we are not quite at that stage yet. My husband posted last night asking for

The Most Popular Infertility Questions

When people learn that you are trying to adopt, they often don’t ask many questions. And sometimes, the ones they do ask, even though I know they have the best intentions, are some of the most annoying. Not because of the questions, or the askers, but because people just aren't sure what else to say. It's ok, though, because we're here to help you out. So here is my list of the three most commonly asked questions when it comes to our infertility and adoption plans:

Friday, July 8, 2011

So what do you think?

It's been a week now in the blogging world and now we need feedback.

So tell us:

What do you think? (About the blog, silly)

What would you like to see?

Do you have any questions for us?

Sarah thinks my posts are random in nature. Do you agree? (I won't hold it against you, but Sarah will gloat if you agree with her.)

And this is the discussion Sarah and I are having at the moment: I think this blog does well in talking about our journey, from the interesting, the funny to the mundane. Sarah thinks we should focus more on adoption and less with our daily stuff. Which way would you like to see us go?

So far, the site itself hasn't made much money. We did get $20 from a donor...not sure if it's appropriate to say whom, but she'll get a big shout out if she wants one!! On the other hand, we also got one nasty-gram who referred to our site as "" On a side note, Sarah spent 10 minutes looking for that comment.

Take care and please comment. Even if you want to make fun of my feet. Or make fun of Sarah, in general. In fact, I encourage that.

Please comment...please.

And Jury Finds Her "GUILTY"

Apologies for the lack of blog entry yesterday. I know some of you were patiently waiting for it. I would like to be able to say that I was soooo busy yesterday, that I simply didn't have time, but that would be a lie!
The truth of the matter is that it was my day off work. I had plenty of time to 'blog', but instead I filled my whole day up with hard manual labour tasks, so that I didn't have to think too hard about the guilty knot in the pit of my stomach.
Why do I feel so guilty?
Well, today is

Thursday, July 7, 2011

So Many Adoption Blogs...oh look, that's shiny

You ever try to start doing something, and then suddenly feel out of your depths. You know, like that time you thought it might be a good idea to take apart the (insert electrical appliance) only to think, "Why the F did I do that?"

Not really saying this is the same thing, but I've taken to perusing the other adoption blogs. Not so much to steal ideas, but to just steal, not that, to get a sense for what works and what doesn't. Here's what I learned:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The joy of pre-deploying

After a week of leave, I'm back at work. Although after last week I think it may be more of a vacation.

I've learned what Torpedo Grass is. It is actually the plant of Satan. You see, imagine a weed in your flower garden. See it? Now what do you do? Oh, that's right, you pull it. Oh, but this is no ordinary weed, no, sir, this weed you pulled is connected to a main stem underground. As you pull the weed, the main stem comes up from the soil and, as it comes out, you realize it's tangled in the roots of your flowers.

You have to get the weed out, but you can't do it without destroying your flowers and bushes. When you think you got it all, you realize that, in the mound of dirt that you pulled up, there's the end of another stalk of torpedo grass. Seven days later, you'll realize your leave is over and you now have to go back to work, more exhausted than when you started your "vacation."

So, back at work, the real one, I've got a new class. Great folks, and they listen. I have to say I don't know if I could teach in a real school, you know, like a high school. When my students talk back to me, I can threaten them. OK, not really, but legally they are required to do what I say, so I can threaten them with that. One conversation went like this:
"Sergeant Allen, guess what we did this weekend?" a male student had said.
I looked up from my podium, setting my pen down. I looked over at the Airman, without saying a word, just staring for a moment longer than it took to make him uncomfortable. "What makes you think I care?" I asked without a hint of smile. And just then, you could see his soul break. It was as if I had kicked his puppy and then told him his mom was ugly. I couldn't help but add, "Just kidding. What?"

As the day went by, I had to go look at my pre-deployment checklist. I think there may actually be 1,000 hours of computer based training in there. Nothing like slide-show and videos to go through all day long. I did one today on using a substance called QuickClot. It's a powder used to stop bleeding. Important to know how to use, right? But how does it work? Well, it forms a gel type substance with any blood, or any other liquid, it comes into contact with. The gel then seals the wound.

Great stuff, but, on one of the slides it says something to the effect of "Do not inhale the dust." Hmmm, I thought, either A) someone is snorting this stuff, and that's bad, or B) something else bad happens. Apparently, if inhaled, it forms a gel with the mucus in your nose/mouth/airways. What a terrible way to go. ("I'll save you, buddy, just let me get this QuickClot on you." Rip open package and cough, cough, die.)

Oh well, I listened and learned. I will never inhale QuickClot. And kids, friends don't let friends snort it either.

Don't THINK and drive: you will end up insane!

It seems that every time I travel the roads round here, I end up being witness to some unfortunate car related incident or another. Hearing that awful screech of tyres ('tires' for you Americans) on the tarmac and then the noise of one giant chunk of metal colliding into another is almost a daily occurrence.
Why?? Because people here don't seem to know how to drive properly and the 'rules of the road' do not get enforced.
I learned to drive in England. I did my 5 day 'crash course' with an instructor, driving for 4 hours each day. Took my theory test. Then jumped in the car with an assessor (the scariest man I have ever met in my entire life) and prayed that I would perform the reverse park, 3 point turn, reverse around a corner, emergency stop and parallel park, all without hitting another vehicle, driving into the curb, or killing myself, or (god forbid) the scary assessor guy. I passed. But this did not mean I could actually drive.
No. I crashed my car twice in the next six months. On one of these occasions I actually managed to crash into a cow........yes that's right - a big black and white thing that goes "moooo". In all fairness, it was a very foggy night and said cow should have been in a nice big field with a fence around him. Instead, he was stood in the middle of a dual carriageway somewhere near Swaffham, UK, in very thick fog. ( ha, ha.....try explaining that one to your insurance company. lol)
Anyway, it was then that I truly learned to drive according to the weather conditions, concentrate 100%, keep my distance and stick to the rules.
My British driving licence is valid until I reach the grand old age of 70. However, it is no good in the state of Mississippi. They insist that I take a new driving test and get me a Mississippi driving licence. Great!
So, off I trot to the test centre to do the Mississippi version of the 'theory test'. WHAT A JOKE!! I was expecting questions about stopping distances at various speeds, traffic light sequences, different types of pedestrian crossings etc. What I got was a bunch of multiple choice questions designed for a three year old!
'What does a red light mean?'. Answers: 'stop', 'go', or 'slow down'
'which one of the following signs tells you how fast you may travel??? Computer shows me three different road signs.

Needless to say, I passed. Next was the trip out with the assessor. Don't know why, but I was a bag of nerves before hand.
There was no need. She jumped into my car, saw that it was equipped with a gear stick (everybody in America drives an automatic) and says "well if ya own a stick shift, I already know you can drive!"
So, she had me reverse out of the parking spot, drive round the block and pull back up again. No parallel park, no 3 point turn, no mention of how many times I looked (or didn't look) in my mirrors......nothing! I passed without trying.
I did learn from the assessor though, that people in Mississippi do not have driving lessons, as such. Mummy and Daddy let the kids start driving, usually at age 16, with very little verbal instruction. No wonder the roads are so dangerous!!!
But it doesn't end there! There are several fundamental differences driving here to driving in England:
Speed Limits:
  • In England, the clue is in the title....speed "limit". Otherwise known as the maximum speed you may drive on any given road. You cannot ignore it, because the stationery speed camera's are very good at taking photo's of your reg. plate (licence plate) and some crazy automated service will kindly send you a fine in the mail. Assholes!
  • In Mississippi, 'speed limit' is taken to mean "just a suggestion". There are no camera's and even if you do chance upon Highway Patrol on your travels, you do not get taken to court unless you are doing more than 15mph above the suggested speed. There is also no points system on your licence, so they aren't going to take it away. The result, of course, is that everyone drives way in excess of the limit posted on the side of the road.
Tail gating:
  • In England it is illegal (and dangerous) to drive too close to the car in front
  • In Mississippi no such law exists. Feel free to position your vehicle 2 inches behind the rear bumper of the car in front in a bid to make it go faster, or change lanes and get out of your way.
Indicators (turn signals)
  • In England it is standard practice to use your indicators so that those around you (other drivers and pedestrians) are aware of any change in direction you may choose to make.
  • In Mississippi, indicators were apparently put on vehicles just to make it look pretty. Its a bit like having lights on a Christmas tree, except there is a whole holiday centered around Christmas and you know those lights will get used for at least two weeks each year. Indicators, on the other hand, are never going to be switched on.
  • In England, roundabouts (traffic circles) are used to allow free flow of traffic where multiple roads join up. The idea is that you approach the roundabout slowly, look to your right, and if there is a gap, join said roundabout and be on your merry way. It's a simple concept, and most Brits are very good at it.
  • In Mississippi, roundabouts do not exist. Instead we have '4-way stops', which are basically cross roads. Everybody approaching one of these junctions is supposed to come to a complete stop and whoever gets there first, is supposed to go first. Sounds easy, right? reality, when you approach one of these you look around to see who else may be approaching from a different direction. Then you put your foot down and race any other vehicles to the stop sign, slamming on your brakes at the very last second. Without quite stopping completely, you then take off at a fast pace, in whichever direction you chose (without indicating) and pray that the other drivers have some mystical 'sixth sense' that tells them exactly what you are about to do.
Use of Horn:
  • In England horns are to be used in emergency situation only. Usually, you only toot, when a small child runs into the road; you are about to slam into the car in front; or somebody has forgot where there rear view mirrors are located and they are about to reverse straight into you.
  • In Mississippi, I have never yet heard the blare of a horn immediately before any of the accidents I have witnessed. I have discovered, however, that horns can be used alongside 'tailgating' to alert the driver in front that you are not only 2 inches from their back bumper, but you are also flipping them the finger because the speed limit is 55mph, they are only doing 79mph and you wish to travel at a minimum of 90mph. GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!!!
Traffic Lights:
  • When the lights go from green to yellow in England, most people slow down, coming to a complete stop immediately before said light.
  • When the lights go from green to yellow in Mississippi, it is common practice to push the accelerator pedal right down to the floor and make your way through said lights at a speed that you never knew your vehicle to be capable of, whilst praying that you make it through before the light turns red. In all fairness, you were already travelling way above the speed limit, and you have absolutely no clue what your stopping distances are, so you may not have stopped on time anyway, right?
Using phones at the wheel:
  • In England, it is a big "no, no" to use, or attempt to use you mobile phone when driving. We all know how dangerous it is, so if we must call someone, we have our 'hands free' kits at the ready.
  • In Mississippi, although there are advertisements on the radio highlighting the dangers of phone use when driving, there are no laws to go with it. It is perfectly permissible to drive whilst holding the phone to your ear with one hand and eating a burger with the other. Apparently people spend many months hoping to perfect the art of steering a car with your knees. You will even see police officers speeding down the road, chatting away on the phone as they do so.
The M.O.T (yearly inspection):
  • In England we all dread that time of year when the M.O.T is due on the car. Partly because its a pain in the ass to be without your car for half a day, but mostly because, if you happen to drive an older car, you already know that it's going to cost you an arm and a leg. British Mechanics will check everything from your lights, horn and tyre tread; to your suspension components, exhaust system and even the amount of rust you have on your vehicle. Then they will insist that you fix even the most minor problem, before issuing you with that piece of paper that allows you to buy insurance and a tax disc.
  • In Mississippi a yearly inspection costs $5. (3 quid for you Brits). They check that your lights work, your wipers work and your horn works. That is it! To drive a roadworthy vehicle in this state, you virtually have to be a qualified mechanic yourself, and you must have the ability to predict when something is about to go wrong. The problem is that not many people are very good at it. Do not ever expect that the vehicle in front of you is going to remain in one piece the next time it hits a pothole (and there's plenty of them) or a rut in the road. It is normal for vehicles to lose wing mirrors, bumpers and exhaust systems whilst hurtling up the road at break neck speeds. Tires explode regularly (especially in the summer months) and we have even seen an entire wheel, complete with the axle detach itself from a vehicle and go bounding off to the side of the road. Always position yourself behind a vehicle that looks no older than 2 years of age!

So, for those of you who are planning a visit and want a hire car to travel around in. Don't think before you drive. If you do, you will be too scared to even leave the airport. Instead, just get on the road and copy everybody else's lunatic will seriously confuse them if you don't!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My two cents? Adoption is fun, right?

Last post for the night.

So many little buttons and do-dads. Is that even spelled right? If this is your first visit, have a look around, follow us, avoid the donate button, and of course, give us some feedback. We love feedback. Mostly. Actually we love positive feedback, we are warm to constructive feedback, and downright rude to negative feedback.

Just being honest.

Oh, and we made another penny! Total to date, $5,000.02.

Yay, us!

Ah, the joys of the medical community

Early in our visits to the fertility doctors, trying to find a cause became a significant focus, for not only Sarah and I, but also for our doctor. Nice guy, he was, but he just didn't sit comfortably with me.

Sarah says that is in large part my fault. "You're just so damn big," she'd say (tee-hee. that's what she said). I was saying. She said I just filled a room and physically intimidated people.
"Lot's of people are over six foot four," I'd plead.
"You're also like 230 fucking pounds, you gorilla," she'd fire back, in her British accent, of course. Which makes most things awesome. You can fact check that.

So the doctor, one day, tired of my questions about what goes where and which end goes first (these are important fertility questions, people) said, "OK, this is what we are going to do. I am going to give both you two prescriptions. You must each take your prescription at the same time. OK? Ok." He then scribbled away on his two little pieces of paper and that was that.

Except it wasn't. See we were in England. In the U.S. Air Force, they frown on you just taking random drugs all willy-nilly and haphazardly. So I, not knowing what the hell was written on my prescription form, had to take mine over to the base hospital over on RAF Lakenheath. This, in and of itself, is not a problem, but the Air Force wants to know if I'm on drugs, provide them if they can, and more importantly, have them on record in case I do a urinalysis (drug test) and fail due to a mystery drug in my system.

So, following proper protocol, I make an appointment and proceed to the hospital at my appointed time. I only wait a few minutes and the Physician's Assistant happily takes my prescription forms from me. "Oh, ok," she mumbles to herself as she looks at the writing, "and what did you want me to do with this?" she asked.
"Ummm, put it on my medical chart, I guess. I don't want to fail a urinalysis."
"That's not going to be a problem. I'll annotate it on your chart. Did you prefer to take the drink or the shot?"
Tough question. Do I want a drink or a hole in the arm? "Drink, please." She made a couple more notes and directed me to the pharmacy.

At the pharmacy, I waited patiently for like ten minutes. Pacing the room, waiting for my name to show up on the sign, but, in proper fashion, when it did appear, I wasn't paying attention. The pharmacy tech yelled at me from behind her counter, "Sergeant Allen." Oops.

As teh technician was handing me my batch of drugs, she stopped just as I reached for them. She pulled one of the bags and started looking at the tags. What's wrong, I thought nervously. The technician looked it over and said, "You need to take this back to the family practice clinic. They have to administer this to you."
"Why? What is it?" I asked. Now I am definitely nervous.
"It's for your chlamydia," she said, in a voice much too loud for such things.
"Umm, what? What do you mean? I don't have chlamydia," I responded, in that hushed voice which really means you're guilty.
"Did you have a test done?" the tech asked.
"No," we hadn't had a test done, but now I'm sounding like a guilty, shady person.
"Well, let me ask. Sheila, do you need to have a chlamydia test in order to take chlamydia medication?" I'm sure she yelled that on purpose. The response was quieter than I could hear, but I'm sure it was a giggle. With that, I took my not-for-chlamydia medication back to the family medicine clinic for whatever torture lie ahead of me.

The PA came back out and lead me to the back office. I told her of my plight, wondering why I would get chlamydia medication without actually having chlamydia.
"It's precautionary," she said. When you do fertility treatment, the chlamydia test cost like $50, but the medication cost just $5. It has no side effects, so it's just easier and cheaper. Men don't often show symptoms, so, you know?" I sighed in relief at that.

The only side effect, she had told me, was the taste. An awful taste. The way she described, with such intensity, made me not want to sit too close to her. You know, just in case. She took that packet, mixed the drink and handed it over.

It smelled of bananas. Like a really awesome banana shake with ice cream in it, and whip cream on top. It smelled soooo good. I was like, Damn, this is one great smelling drink, and then gulped it down. Fuck me, it was horrible.

It was the absolute worst tasting thing on the planet. It was like, I don't know, just really, really bad. How? How could something smell so awesome and then taste so much like the depths of Hell at the same time? I could still smell it in my nose, but, my GOD, that taste will never come out. Seriously, why on earth would you make this?

"You need to sit in the waiting room now," the PA had ordered.
"What? Why?" I was still making those retching faces.
"In case you have a reaction."
"I thought you said there were no side effects."
"Mostly no side effects. Sit out there for 15 minutes," she said as she led me out into the waiting area. When we reached the waiting area, she said, "You need to sit here for 15 minutes while we see if your body has a reaction to you chlamydia medication." Bitch. Why would you say that here? There's children present, for crying out loud.

So I sat, for 15 minutes. My face flush with a mix of embarrassment, anger and slight nausea. Seriously, why would anything need to taste that bad? I think if I ever do get chlamydia, I'll opt for the shot next time. Bleh. And why does everyone here like to say the word chlamydia around other patients? What the hell is wrong with this picture?

After my sentence passed, my PA came back out. "Sergeant Allen, you ok?" she smiled. She's pretty, but she's still a bitch.
"Yes, ma'am," I respond. She's still an officer.
"Ok, your chlamydia meds didn't have an effect, you're free to go back into the world." What the hell does that mean? I don't even know her. I kind of squinted at her, trying to look disapprovingly at her. I think she misinterpreted for gas because she asked if I was ok. I just left.

Later, I would find out from our original doctor that the PA was right. Sarah and I had not been tested, but he just wanted to make sure that chlamydia wasn't the cause of our infertility. It's just much cheaper this way, he had said. I think I'll make a blog that says he might have chlamydia, you know, because 1 in 4 men don't show symptoms. I hate this fertility process.

Of mice and money

Tonight we added a donate button at the request and suggestion of several of our readers, and to be honest, it makes me feel a bit shady.

We initially set out to start this blog as a way to earn the money we need, to add to the fund, and maybe someday expand beyond that. Feedback has been positive, many people find us humorous or can relate to us, and some actually think we're decent writers. But at the end of the day, we were earning the money.

The addition of the donation button, I hope, doesn't cheapen the glee we've gotten out writing for you, or ourselves. That is the point, though, isn't it? To get satisfaction out of not only creating it, but to also in being enjoyed by our readers.

We aren't a charity, and I don't think you can write us off in your taxes. To be fair, I don't think I was fully prepared for this, even though Sarah and I had discussed the eventuality of adding a donate option. "Sure," I had quipped, "if someone wants to drop $50K on us, I'll be like 'Hell's yeah!'" I suppose I'm not a good liar. I like to think I am though!

So, without any further ado, I present to you, the donation button. Donate as much or as little as you like, no one will be judged, I promise. All of the money will go towards the adoption pool, then to baby clothes and supplies, and then to a boat, or something else like that. I suppose I should just focus on reaching the $25K mark first.

Yep, that's it. There it is. Don't use it, of course, just admire it. No need to make me feel guilty, after all.

Thank you, even if you choose to ignore my advice about using the button.

Voluntary Deployment: "ARE YOU FRIGGIN CRAZY??"

I only just realized that the month of June has already disappeared and been replaced with July.
Where does the time go??? For me, this means that it is now less than 5 weeks until my husband packs his bags and disappears off to some unknown destination to fight a war. He will be gone for 7 months.
I was talking about this at work to a fellow military spouse just the other day.
"It totally sucks when the deployment list appears, seemingly from nowhere, and your husbands name is on it" she says.
"My husbands name wasn't on it" I reply. "We kinda volunteered him to go"
"You volunteered for deployment.......ARE YOU FRIGGIN CRAZY!!!......HE COULD GET KILLED!!!!"
True! He may be killed, seriously injured, or end up with a severe case of PTSD. This may sound a little far fetched to any civillians reading this, but in the Military world, this is real life. It's a risky business.
However, we did not agree to this because my husband has a secret death wish, or because I have some underlying desire to have him brutally maimed or injured. No. Initially we agreed on this because when the list for came out, the name of one of our friends was on it. The friend in question has a wife and three children and was due to move to a different base right in the middle of his deployment. This means his wife would have been left to deal with life in general, the three kids and a house move all on her own.
Us, on the other hand, have no children and no plans to move house just yet. Also, when deployed, the husbands pay goes up and everything he earns is tax free. We need the money for the adoption.
So there it is. We volunteered to help someone else out and to assist us in creating a family of our own.
In true military fashion though, things haven't quite gone to plan. Although the hubby's deployment is going ahead, the friend's deployment did not get cancelled. The wife still got left to cope on her own. (sorry chick.....thinking of you, let me know if you need anything xxx)
Anyway, the decision was made and the clock is now ticking. Maybe it is a little crazy, but I am immensely proud of my husband for doing this and I hope and pray that this does not backfire on us and he comes home in one piece. It's kinda exciting to think that when he returns, we will have saved almost all of the money we need to adopt. Can't wait......

Monday, July 4, 2011

And a cup for you, madame

IVF is never a fun trip. But before you get to that point, it is important that you shed all sense of dignity and humility. You don't need to do anything overtly, the system takes care of that for you.

It all started with, "We'll need to do a count on you, Mr. Allen."
"A count of what?" I had asked.
"Sperm motility."
"What's a motility?"

And that's how it started. BTW, it means how many of your "swimmers" are up to the task. At that point, they, the doctor and the nurses, made an appointment for me with VERY specific instructions. Drink plenty of fluids, no ejaculation for three days (awesome conversation, at that point) and the most important part, YOU MUST PROVIDE THE SAMPLE TO THE LAB WITHIN ONE HOUR OF PRODUCING IT.

I was not aware of the factory line producing my little guys, but I'll just do as I am told. The nurse seemed angry when she read the instructions. Not sure why, she didn't have any further part in this.

At this point I was thinking of that scene from the movie "Forget Paris," the one where Billy Crystal's character gets pulled over for speeding while trying to get his sample to the clinic on time. That got me thinking. Well, I am allowed to produce my "sample" at home, but after the 30 minute drive, 15 minutes finding a parking spot and another 15 minutes to get to the lab, I needed to have a new plan.

New plan: Go to Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge. Find needed parking spot. Report to lab where they will direct me to necessary room to produce sample. Fin. The end.

Not so much, actually. Upon arriving and reporting to the clinic, a lady, who's name has been lost to me, gave me some horrible news. There's no room here, and you cannot bring the sample here until after one o'clock. My watch said it was just after 11, so at least I had some time to find a space, room or something.

Addenbrooke's is huge. Massive doesn't even describe it properly. This place is a maze of corridors, additions, add-ons and passage-ways. In other words, finding a quiet bathroom shouldn't be too hard.

So I went to the nearest bathroom, around the corner. I was greeted by a huge sign that read "This bathroom is closed due to construction." Great. The lab was situated on the 5th floor of what is known as the Rose Annex. A tall slender building, attached to the main hospital by a hallway on the first floor. I knew there was a bathroom on the first floor, but I could hit each floor on the way down looking for any additional ones.

People usually stop me here and say, "Why don't you use one of the empty rooms?" Well, it's England. They don't like to use rooms, they prefer wards. Or open bays with curtains between the beds. Too risky for my level of prudishness.

On the way down the stairs, the only bathroom we found was on the third floor. One toilet, one room job and we saw the previous occupant leave as we entered the floor. Fortune turned to misfortune as the gentleman apparently had a gastrointestinal problem. Oddly, that's what was written on the sign for the floor, "Gastrointestinal Clinic." Dammit.

We then finally made our way to the main entrance, slightly in a panic. Sarah was chuckling to herself the whole way, but I was really concerned. If I don't find a location I might have to head back out to the car. And what if I get caught? I can see it on the Daily Mail, "American caught with pants down" or "Yank has a wank." That sounds more like them, smug bastards.

As Sarah and I stood in the reception lobby near the main entrance, I spotted a bathroom immediately behind reception. Kind of hidden away from view, it just might work out. When I stepped into the bathroom, it was perfect. It had 3 stalls and 3 urinals, but not a soul in sight. AWESOME.

So, I take the third stall, furthest from the door. Make myself comfortable, remove my jacket. Ready my cup, and relax.

That's when the bathroom door gets kicked as if by a drunken pub crawler. "Ah, mate," bellows the thickest British accent I'd heard in my English stay, "I gotta take the biggest shit of my life."
"Fuck me," I mutter to myself. It was as if someone had turned on a sign saying "Last Bathroom for 100 miles, this way." I think maybe 600 people used that bathroom, or maybe it was 6, but might as well have been 600. It took all of my concentration to produce the required "sample." I think it may have been the least pleasurable pleasuring I have ever committed.

When I had readied myself and made my way back out into the lobby, Sarah piped up, "Wow, that was the fastest I think you've ever done it." Thanks, I think.

We then hurried ourselves back up to the 5th floor, just after 1 o'clock, only to be greeted by an elderly nurse. Not just any nurse, oh no, but the spitting image of my grandmother. Of course. "I'll take that from you dear," she said, all grandmotherly. Awesome...grandma?

As she takes the cup, she stopped and said, "What's this a specimen of, dear?"
"Ummm, semen," I croaked. I think my voice even cracked a bit when I said it.
"Ohhh, you forgot to write the time down. When do you make the sample?"
"Ummmm," I stalled, looking at my watch, "about ten minutes ago." That did not go down well. She gave me this glare, like, How dare you, you filthy pervert. I left with my cheeks blushed from embarrassment and my head low, like I had done something wrong. I think I even apologized before walking out

And that was that. Motility was fine. No problems noted. I wish I could say that was the least embarrassing story, but sadly, it is not.

A morning at the beach

So, once a week, sometimes more, we take our dogs to the beach. Well, we let them play in the sea once a week. We tend to walk them on the beach more often because there aren't any bugs out there. I get mobbed by horseflies every time I walk the dogs in our neighborhood. For the uninitiated, a horsefly looks like a cross between a fly and a moth...and they bite. Painfully, too.

So anywho, when you take the dogs to the beach, and don't let them play in the sea, this is what you get:

We went out to the beach today, and it was like a Three Stooges act...and Sarah will likely say I played all three stooges. Millie, the dog pictured, kept trying to jump into the front seat while driving to the beach. Once there, the beach was packed. Why we didn't think about people being at the beach on July 4th, I don't know.

As we started to unload the dogs, we realized we had no dog leashes. We usually use floating ropes so the dogs are still "on a leash" but can still swim, but I had unpacked them from the car the day before...and didn't tell Sarah about it. So we had to load back and head home to get the ropes. Millie was not happy about this turn of events.

When we finally got back to the beach, our original spot had been taken, but another spot was just ahead. We unloaded and made our way across the seawall to the sea. It was disgusting. Have a look:

Those things you see are left over fireworks and left over bits of someone's picnic. You can't see it well in these photos, but one of those clumps on the beach is actually a pufferfish that didn't survive the fireworks.

To be fair the beach is usually very, very clean. The water isn't, but the beach is usually awesome. But the county supervisors have decided that the only place legal to shoot fireworks this year is into the sea from the beaches. And they did, and continued to do so at noon when we were there. Why would anyone shoot fireworks at mid-day is beyond me.

Laughing in the face of Adversity and Discrimination

Well peeps, some of you have made mention of the discrimination that I faced when moving to Mississippi: the lack of job opportunities; limited adoption prospects and even the battle to sell the British gold that were talked about in earlier posts. Trust really isn't that's much, much worse!
It was bad enough in the beginning, when I was diligently applying for Social work jobs. I called one agency up a few weeks after having sent in the application form, only to be quite bluntly told "we do not 'do' foreigners". At the time I laughed, because I was thinking that if a Social Work agency can openly display that level of blatant discrimination, then I probably just had a lucky escape from the 'job from hell', right????
I don't think the second agency had even read my application. I think they looked at the part that said 'foreign national' and tossed it to one side because when I finally plucked up enough courage to speak to them, they said "I am sorry, but we are unable to pursue applications from Mexicans"

MEXICANS......REALLY!!! Firstly, if she had bothered to read the application and listen to my accent, she would have realized that she was a good 5,000 miles off course on that score. Secondly, who bloody cares anyway??? A qualification is a qualification no matter which country it came from. Ok, so I might need some extra training around Social Work law in this country, but then the laws are different here from state to state. I could come from a town just 60 miles away in the state of Alabama and still have no clue how the Mississippi system works. It makes absolutely no sense!

So, pride in tatters, I resign myself to a life of dead end jobs, limited prospects and low pay. To be honest, I was not that bothered. Before I left England I had a job that I absolutely loved with people who could not have been any nicer if they tried. I don't think there will ever be another job like it. I left there on a high and I worry that if I take a similar role and don't enjoy it as much, it will somehow take away from the memory of it all. Right now, I think back on that time and smile.....and I want it to stay that way. (I miss you guys xx)

Anyway, I took the job I have now. Luckily got promoted twice in the space of six months and life really wasn't that bad.
That was until customers started picking up on my accent! Don't get me's not all doom and gloom. The majority of my customers love to hear me talk (freaks!). All too often someone will come at me with their southern drawl saying "I could listen to you talk all day", or "ma'am, you talk so purdy". I am not rightly sure what 'purdy' is, but I take it as a compliment and hope for the best.
Then there are the customers from hell! The one or two who just love to tell me in no uncertain terms to "go home", to "get out of our Country" or to question why I am taking up all of 'their' jobs. I even had one lady (If you can call her that!) say "what brings 'you people' to our country?? Is it the Military??. You should all stay in the place you were born!". Hilarious!!!!!
People often ask me how I cope with all of this. The answer really is very simple.
I have three choices:
1) I could burst into tears, run and hide in the nearest bathroom only returning home under cover of darkness, never to be seen again. (In the early days I did actually think about this!)
2) I could claim the stress and depression of above mentioned discriminatory attitudes has caused a sudden onset explosive anger management problem. Rip every hair out of the scalps of such people and relocate their faces to the other sides of their heads. (Extremely tempting sometimes, but they still have the death penalty here in Mississippi and I fear that I will come off worse.......if not for extreme violence, then for being too British or some such thing!)
3) Recognise that knowledge is power and use it to your own advantage. (Love it....just my style)

So, what I know about America is that the first people to live in this country were actually Asian. They entered through Alaska and later became known as the American Indians. What I know about the few rude people I face regularly, is that they don't have no native American coloured skin going on. They are white, in fact, that they are probably more European than I could ever be. What I really ought to do is to suggest that they go study a little American history, then go and research their own family tree because it is very clear to me that these delightful individuals descended from someone who was also a "foreigner" at some point in time. I don't say this of course, as I am usually at work when these situations arise. But the knowledge makes me chuckle. If only they knew how uneducated and ignorant they really are!!! lol

What I also know about Americans is that the majority of them are very proud of their military for sacrificing life and limb, fighting to sustain the level of freedom they have and for keeping their country and everybody in it safe. Especially in this area, which has a rather large military community. Anybody not supportive of the military effort is kinda frowned upon. So, in the case of the 'Lady' who asked "what brought you to this Country?? Was it the Military??. My response (in a very loud voice) was "ma'am, it's good to hear that there are still people in society who appreciate the Military service and show their ongoing support to Military members and their families for allowing you to keep your freedoms and protecting your country. Have a nice day and be sure to come back and shop with us again soon." I watched the faces of at least 10 people within earshot drop. Then smirked to myself as I watched them send the dirty looks in her general direction.

So there you have it. I laugh because of it; I laugh in spite of it; and, I laugh some more at the stupidity of it. After all, laughter is the best medicine right???


Well, this weekend I went back to work after having a week off with the hubby. We did not trot off to some far off location to spend time lazing on beach and engaging in crazy water sports in crystal clear waters. No: that would cost money! Instead we attacked the sixteen square meters of overgrown swamp land that was once a rather pretty flower bed running across the front of the house.
Still, despite the fact that digging in the yard when the daily temperature outside is around 100 degrees is by no means an easy task, I really enjoyed it. Spending time in the outdoors with my husband with no distractions from the T.V., the computers, or any other games consoles gave us a real sense of 'togetherness' and having space and time to talk about life: our hopes and fears, plans for the future etc etc was actually very therapeutic.
However, the time off was not enough. We are still not done out front and when Saturday came round, back to work I went.
Having been outcast from the Social Work field, I currently work as a Support Manager for large company providing pet supplies, animal adoptions, dog grooming and pet training. Not a bad job, but the company pays peanuts, therefore most of the staff I supervise behave like.....well...... Monkeys. The place has issues.......and not just a few.
So Saturday I am greeted by one such member of staff telling me that he may be late for his shift the following day. "Why?" I ask.
"cos I'm off out with the boys tonight, which I haven't done for ages. Yeah, we are gonna get drunk, take our guns and shoot some targets on my buddy's land" (for the British folks reading this: getting drunk, then using guns to blow random objects to smithereens is quite a common past time for the younger generation who are living out in the sticks!)
"REALLY!" I reply, before launching into a severe telling off about time keeping and efficiency and the difference between a reasonable "late for work" excuse and a cruddy one. I am not a girl to be argued with and the problem (I hope) has been resolved.
So, Saturday night I am setting my alarm for work. I hate working Sundays. Mostly because all of my other shifts are in the afternoon/night time, but Sundays I am opening Manager and have to be up at 5am, to get to work for 7. I am the only manager on duty until 9am, so being late is not an option as no-one else can get into the building until I unlock the doors.
I double check the alarm. It is set for 05:10.......all is good!
I didn't sleep well. It took forever to fall asleep in the first place, then I kept waking up. Eventually, however, I must have gone into a real deep slumber because the next thing I recall is my husband asking me "don't you need to be somewhere??? It's ten to seven!"
I dart from my bed like a woman possessed, barking orders at my husband as I do so.
"Make me a coffee!"
"Put it in a take out cup!"
"Fill up the cool bag with drinks for work!"
"throw some cereal bars in there too!"
My poor husband!!! Still, I was ready for work and out the door in ten minutes flat.........or at least I would have been if I had remembered that in order to drive a car, you kinda need keys! (Where did I put those???) Another five minutes pass.
So, in true Mississippi style (I will enlighten you about driving in Mississippi at another point) with keys now in my possession, I drive to work at speeds well in excess of 90mph. As I screech to a halt in the car park outside work I check the time. I am 35 minutes late. I grab my hand bag and 'coffee to go' (I love my husband!) and clamber from the car.
I glance into the vehicle parked in front of me, hoping that my staff haven't given up and headed home.
No: They are there all right! Said 'Monkey' rolls down his window and looks me up and down.
He doesn't say a word (thankfully) but I know from the look on his face exactly what he is thinking. Today is gonna be a long day!
I hate Sundays

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Fireworks galore tonight in Mississippi

I asked Sarah if she wanted to go watch the fireworks on the beach. "No," she grumbled, "we need to get the yard done."

To be fair, we have been weeding out our front garden area for just over a week, except yesterday, when I demanded the night off (and Sarah had to work late). We have just 10 feet left, and it will be done.

I can't say I blame her, though. Fighting the crowds on the beach after working all day doesn't sound like fun tome either. Neither does finishing the garden, though. That said, we will be able to see most of the fireworks in town and the neighborhood from our backyard. I just hope no one sets a fire like they have been recently. I even wrote an article on Yahoo! about it. If you feel so inclined, you can read here.

Well, I made a half-ass peach cobbler and the alarms is going off, I better go check to make sure I didn't start a fire...

Dang, Look at the Time

I was asleep. Not lightly asleep, or dozing, but out like a light. Fighter jets could have screamed over, and I might have rolled over. Something though, caused me to come to.

I glanced over at the clock, and it said 6:50...well, it actually says 0650 because everything I have is in military time, but that's another story. I turned my head away from the clock and Sarah was still in bed. "Baby," I said, "Don't you need to be at work soon?"

She was like a bolt of lightning after that. Occasionally she would mutter "bullocks" as she scrambled about. Not really sure why I found it funny, but she definitely did not. She works at a large, pet-supply, retail chain, and I think she was supposed to be there at 0700.

As she ran around, I made her coffee in a big to-go coffee Thermos, cup thing. Is there a name for those cups? Like travel mug or gigantor coffee cup? I'm not a coffee person, I just drink my Monster Energy Drink. I think it's an addiction, and Sarah would definitely agree. On the plus side, at least I'm not the one late for work!!

Love you, Sarah...don't hate on me in the comments!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Disaster Averted?

I think the refrigerator is going to make it. Sarah has deduced that there may have been a piece of cardboard stuck in the door, preventing a good seal. Key word being "may."

Good thing, too. I was flipping through Amazon, just to kind of ballpark the price. This one here looks cool, but it costs wayyyy more than I like. So much, it hurts just thinking about it.

I then saw this one, more in my price range. When I pulled it up, it said $163, and something. Unfortunately it's only 4 and 3/5 cubic feet. I can't see Sarah going for that too well.

Oh well, if it ain't broke, I don't have to fix it. And I especially don't have to pay for it.

The Gold Got Sold.......Eventually!!!

So, all thoughts of aforementioned dodgy kitchen appliance aside, off I trotted earlier to go sell that Gold. I mean, hard can it be????
Arriving at the store, gold in pocket, I felt that positive buzz of energy you get when you know you are about to do something worthy. I chatted happily as the business owner examined my wares for authenticity and, satisfied that all hallmarks were present and correct, the man made me an offer of a couple of hundred dollars. Yippee!!!!! I know this does not sound much.....but the stuff was basically a small pile of crap and a couple of hundred is a fifth of the way to the next thousand dollars.
I am pleased with myself. So pleased, in fact, that when the man in question had been rambling on about having never seen 9k gold jewelery before (the U.S. usually only use 10k and 14k) I completely forgot to be somewhat alarmed.
Without further ado, the man gets out a small bottle of liquid substance and starts putting a tiny amount on each item I had brought to him. He looked at the first item, then at me, before declaring "this is fake"!!!
"what do you mean, fake? it's all hallmarked, isn't it?"
I heard the man groan to himself before moving on to the next piece.
"this piece also appears to be fake!" he states.
SERIOUSLY.......first I move to a part of America that promises numerous opportunities in the Social Work field in which I am trained, only to be told I am unemployable in said field due to my 'foreign national' status. Then, several adoption agencies turn me down - also due my 'foreign national' status. Now, I am told that British gold is just not good enough in this so called 'land of opportunity'.
Forgive me if I am sounding a little paranoid here, but I am starting to get an inferiority complex. This place sucks......and not just a little bit! I am so friggin' mad, I swear I have steam coming from my ears!.
I try to think rationally and question the man on what exactly he is doing. The bottled substance, it turns out, is some kind of acid. If acid is placed on anything other than gold, the metal turns green. After much discussion, I managed to decipher that because 9k gold is not as pure as 10k or 14k (it is mixed with other metals to 'bulk out' the gold content) the acid was leaving a green residue that the man had only ever seen on fake gold before. It took some arguing about hallmarks and my very best 'pleading eyes' look to get him to agree to take the stuff. Finally, all arguing over, I leave the store still shaking from head to toe with anger, but with that precious cheque in hand.

Woke up and WTF?

I don't know why, but I woke up at 0630. It's a day off and I have no appointments or anything, but there I was, staring at the clock. Why? That's when I heard the dogs running around like lunatics in the living room, Sarah must be with them.

As soon as I opened the door, I was greeted with, "Don't drink the milk, it's gone off." My first thought was from the movie "Toy Story" where Woody says, "Someone's poisoned the waterin' hole!"

I was still in that daze when you first wake up, zombie walking to the kitchen. I think I muttered, "Why?"

"The refrigerator is broken, I think," she said back. Great...just fantastic.

Yesterday I spent $424 to repair my car, the shocks and some tie-in in the front end were crapped out. Today it sounds like I'll be buying a new fridge, too. Sarah's adamant that we not buy a new fridge, but I don't know. How long are they supposed to last? This one is easily 6 years old, probably seven. I never once got it a birthday card.

I think I need to go back and write a few more articles on Yahoo! to make the cash for the new fridge. I think I hate money today. Sarah's right about one thing, this is rather therapeutic.

One step step back.

So, here we are again..........another day, another dollar..............or maybe NOT!

This morning I woke up with a head full of positivity and promise. I went to bed thinking about how to get extra cash. Somewhere during what turned out to be a night of more thinking than sleeping, I resolved to make some kind of profit out of the many items of what can only be described as 'tat' that appear to be stored away in various parts of the house.
We are all aware that the price of gold and silver has gone through the roof. You only have to switch on the T.V., radio or turn a page in the local newspaper to find advertisements offering to "turn your old gold into cash", so that was to be my starting point.
I don't know about everyone else, but my jewellery box has more odd earrings than pairs, and several broken chains and bracelets that even if they were to be fixed, would probably never be worn again. So, there you have it. Put any thought of sentimentality aside and de-clutter the jewellery box to earn that cash. Probably won't earn me much, but every little helps right???
So, I stumbled out of bed feeling happy and totally comfortable with my decision to do this. I made my way to the kitchen to make some coffee, feeling good and proud.
However, as I poured the milk my smile quickly faded. Even in my half asleep, blurry eyed state I could clearly see the nicely curdled milk floating in my cup. Not a good start!
My husband and I had previously had a discussion about the fridge running a little warm. Thinking that it was probably because I hadn't yet adjusted the thermostat to accommodate the super high temperatures in Mississippi (normal practice in the summer months over here) I turned it up and pretty much forgot about it. It seems I may have been wrong!
My response, of course (knowing nothing about how refrigerators work) was to turn the dial up higher and await the humming noise that at least tells me it is trying to do its job. Since then, I have tried desperately to put any thought of having to fund a new fridge right out of my head. For those of you who live in England.......electrical appliances in the USA are ridiculously expensive.....I do not even want to entertain the idea of having to pay out for a new one.
So, I try to continue on with my day regardless. However, despite my best efforts I now find myself throwing dirty looks in the general direction of said refrigerator and groaning out loud as I do so.
Time will tell.........

Friday, July 1, 2011

Buy a baby?: Gotta love the husband for providing me with a spa...

Buy a baby?: Gotta love the husband for providing me with a spa...: "Gotta love the husband for providing me with a space to vent out all of our frustrations during our adoption journey!!!! So far, it has been..."
Gotta love the husband for providing me with a space to vent out all of our frustrations during our adoption journey!!!!
So far, it has been a complete nightmare! Back when we were in the "thinking about it" phase, we attended an adoption conference on the Air base at which we are stationed. There were several guest speakers from a number of local adoption agencies - some from the local government, some charity groups and some church organizations. However, the opening speech came from an adoption Lawyer, who began by informing us that adoption should never cost much more than $5,000 to $8,000 and most of that should be claimed back in taxes.
Of course, he was referring to the organizations mentioned above, who then stood up and gave their somewhat impressive talks of their organization's work, the support systems, the effectiveness, timeliness of the adoption itself etc.etc. Two of them even went so far as to tell us they were desperate to find good adoptive families for children still awaiting someone to make such a lifelong commitment to them.
My husband and I dared to get a little excited at the prospect of finally becoming parents without a two year "saving up" period, and of course, without leaving ourselves destitute. My husband is rapidly climbing the ranks in his Air Force career and I am a qualified Social Worker, so we did not foresee any issues with the assessment process.
However, as I am actually a British Citizen, I questioned the agencies involved about the complexities of adopting when one Spouse is a foreign National. It was at that point that my dreams were beginning to shatter. The Local government representative basically said that although they were desperate, they were unable to accept "foreigners" in their adoption programs. The charity groups then informed us that as they were closely linked to the government, they had to abide by the governments rules. That left the religious organizations.......and, that's guessed had to be of one certain religious persuasion or another to even be considered. Personally, I don't think that being of a certain religion is a prerequisite of being a good parent, but, as they say, rules are rules.
So, that was it. Tears started rolling down my cheeks. I looked at my husband and demanded that we leave without staying to find out what the rest of the conference had in store.
It took several more days before I dared to start researching adoption online, but search I did. The list of non-profit agencies is seemingly endless and finding one that you are comfortable with is not an easy task. They all have different criteria; different processes; different levels of support; and varying degrees of risk. The one thing they all have in common however, is that they cost.......a lot!!!!
Don't get me wrong - despite my husbands choice of title for this blog, neither of us view it as "buying a baby"......more as "investing wisely in our family and our future". Even so, saving $25,000 to $30,000 is no easy task when the mortgage and utilities still need to be paid, cars need to be maintained and our two fur-babies (2 year old cockapoo and cocker spaniel) seem to do whatever it takes for yet another expensive outing to the vets office. Still, we live in hope and are currently exploring money making options outside of our normal work. We will keep you updated on our progress.

$25 Thousand to go

So here's the goal. $25,000.00. That's the amount of money we need to have in order to adopt. There are a number of issues that have come up to lead to this, but this is what we need.

Right now, I'm about 6 weeks out from a deployment to an undisclosed Middle East location and we have about $5K towards our goal. There so much up in the air right now that it seems almost unbearable. By the time I return, we should be close to $20K...meaning that if we are to adopt at the end, we may have to borrow in order to make our goal. Yay...more debt!

Getting Started

So, everything is not as it seems.

This is not a place to buy a baby. This is actually our story, mine and Sarah's, of trying to adopt. The ups and downs. As of this post, we have a plan, and now we have to execute. Future postings will come from me, and Sarah will post as often as she feels like it. She's still a bit shy.

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