It's unusual…

..what started out as an IVF journey and ended up being about life

DIY Mint Candy Bowls December 18, 2012

Filed under: Do It Yourself!! — gertyrae @ 9:03 am
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Before anything – I’ve got to thank Tutto Bella Blog for this idea…just loved it and wanted to try and take it to another level.

This is a great inexpensive way to make something cute and personal for a small gift. I made them to give to Colin’s teachers with the gifts in them.

Anyway, here goes:

Mint Candy Bowls

You need: Starlight type mints, parchment paper, cookie sheets, a bowl and an oven

I got my mints at Dollar Tree and since I couldn’t find red and green mints anywhere, I opted for red mints and cinnamon candy for contrast.

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Now preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Place the parchment paper onto the cookie sheet

Arrange the mints and candies in a circular pattern of your choice on the center of the paper. Make sure to leave a little bit of room between the mints.

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Carefully place in the oven making sure the mints don’t slide too much and bake for  8 to 10 minutes. This is the the first tricky part, you have to watch them closely after 5 minutes. You don’t want them to melt too little or too much.

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Take them out of the oven to cool.

While the candies are melting, take a small bowl (I used a kids cereal bowl) and turn it upside down and cover it with parchment paper. I turned the paper under the top of the bowl to hold it down.

Super tricky part now – when the candies are cool enough to maneuver without them turning into a molten mass and not so hard that they will break (I waited about 3-4 minutes), flip the parchment with the candy onto the upside down bowl, form it loosely over the bowl and let cool.

I let them cool another 3-4 minutes.

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Peel the parchment off the bottom and inside of bowl and

Walla!! You have a candy candy dish!

 

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I also made a couple of trays and another bowl – there was one bowl that didn’t make it. I didn’t let it cool enough before peeling the paper and it turned into a flat mess. To make the edges of the trays smooth, I used a pizza wheel to cut them about a minute or so after they came out of the oven. The trays are super fragile so be careful when using them. I find the bowls seem to be a bit less fragile but I have no idea why. Some more pics of the bowls and trays.

This was the epic fail:Image

 

Love TrayImage

The finished products – for a total cost of $6.00

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The Horror December 15, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — gertyrae @ 11:09 am
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I’m just floored by yesterdays tragedy.

As most of the world is, I’m sure.

I’ve cried an uncountable number of times in the last 24 hours.

How did his family not see the signs? How could he murder 20 little children? How does this man shoot small children and actually RELOAD his guns to shoot more?

This whole thing has changed many people I think…and part of me wonders why…until I realize that these are small children. Children who had the rest of their lives ahead of them – really. Not in the sense that we say it about teens or young adults, really the rest of their lives. As I read an editorial this morning it hit home. These babies were at the age of non-reality. They wear feetie pajama’s and eat chocolate until they are covered. They swipe their hands into pancake syrup until they are all sticky. They are truly, truly innocent.

And their parents sent them to school yesterday thinking they would be safe. My husband, who is a court officer, made a comment in passing last night about considering carrying his weapon at all times and I said “but you still couldn’t save them because they were in school – supposedly the safest place of all”. Not college, not high school, not a movie theater – a K-4 school. Noone was older than 10….and that is why it’s so unbelievably horrific…I don’t know how these parents will go on. Gifts unopened, holidays forever spent without the true loves of their lives. I just cannot imagine. I look at Colin and just start bawling all over again…and of course he has NO idea. What would I ever do? How would I be able to stand it?

My heart breaks for those families and the classmates of those babies. My prayers go out to each and every one of them. There is nothing more that can be said except if you have a child, hug him or her even harder and more often…let them know how much you really love them.

 

weather or not we’re together November 8, 2012

Filed under: Life — gertyrae @ 1:21 pm

So, I figure I’ve got to do this since we live on Long Island.
Not only have we been slammed with SuperStorm Sandy but we now are dealing with a Snowy Nor’easter.
In the space of a little over a week.
Just for the records sake, most of the South Shore has been underwater numerous times, two of my close friends pretty much lost the lower parts of their homes, my best friends parents’ pretty much lost everything…and numerous other people I know have been affected by this wave of weather.
Gas is in short supply and there are lines that are up to 4 or 5 hours long.
Over 75% of the population on Long Island has lost power at least once.
Ten days after the original storm, more that 300,000 people are STILL without power.
People are being told they won’t be able to get back into their homes until next year some time. And if they started working on their houses already, they are having issues with getting help from FEMA. It’s a lose – lose situation.
My job as a 911 operator has been overwhelming…call after call after call after call.
Everyone is so out of sorts it’s not even amusing anymore.
and then there is the crime – looting, illegal gas sales, people fighting with weapons over gas, robberies…etc.
It’s pretty bad out there. It’s almost as though Armageddon might actually be happening.
I really can’t wait for normalcy to come back…in some way, shape or form.
We have been unbelievably fortunate. We never lost power and we had no structural damage from either storm. We had no television, phone or internet for a week but that is minor compared to what other people are dealing with.
My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who was severely affected by these storms. I hope you all can get back to some semblance of normalcy sooner vs. later.
Someday this will all be a memory and we will reflect on how lucky we all were (I hope).
In the meanwhile – some images to record what happened:

Flooding in the subway

 

We have a Happy Tail!!! October 25, 2012

Filed under: Pets — gertyrae @ 8:15 am
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So, after 5 weeks of a whipping tail leaving massacre-type blood spatters on our walls and 4 weeks of infection and medication due to the initial tail amputation, I am happy to say it’s all over!!
Went to the wonderful Dr. Mary last Monday for a follow-up and when she removed the cute little cap and checked the stitches she declared Miss Stormy all healed.
No more meds, no more constant crating, no more isolation…our happy little pup is back in the fold.
And this whole experience didn’t change her personality one iota. She is still the happy-go-lucky, I-love-you-to-pieces puppy she was.
Once again, a special shout-out to Dr. Mary Phelps-Harrison and the rest of the staff at Long Island Animal Surgery for the wonderful job they did. I don’t know how I would have made it through this experience without them.

 

Happy Tail Surgery – Take Two October 12, 2012

Filed under: Pets — gertyrae @ 3:22 pm
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Had to recut the tail.
Two vertabrae more taken off.
Surgery seemed to go well.
Wacky, innovative cap on her tail to protect it.

a.k.a. Happy Halloween

We are doping her up to the “nth degree”, keeping her in the crate as much as possible.
Follow-up went really well, seems to be healing clean.
Go back on Monday to check it all out.
Fingers crossed – cautiously optimistic.

 

Tail Update Update October 3, 2012

Filed under: Pets — gertyrae @ 7:36 am
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As Dan and Stormy snuggle in the bed, I’ll get up to speed on Stormy’s tail.
It has to be operated on again. They are taking it down another vertebrae and while she is sedated the surgeon will try to fashion some type of protection for her tail to stop her from banging it.
Please, for the sanity of our family, let this work. I don’t think any of us can take much more of this. Stormy, who craves nothing but attention, has been practically isolated from people for 3 weeks now and will be isolated for at least another 3 weeks. Dan, who wasn’t sure about taking her in the first place, is now angry because he acquiesced. I, because I’m a bleeding heart, am sick to my stomach constantly over the whole thing. And Colin, who shouldn’t even know any better, cries when we take her into the vet.
This whole experience has been just too much. And, trust me, I know there’s worse things that could happen but right now this little girl who has wormed her way (literally) into our hearts is the main concern in our lives and all we want is for her to be better and this latest extravaganza to be over.

all snuggled in with her “syringe protector”

 

Tail update October 1, 2012

Filed under: Pets — gertyrae @ 1:35 am
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Not good. Just came back from the emergency vet. The surgeon had put a small piece of skin on the tip of her tail which apparently died and fell off tonite, leaving a raw open wound. I was not comfortable leaving her like that so I took her to the emergency hospital. Thankfully, it looks like there is no infection in the tail itself but the next few weeks should be interesting since there is now nothing to protect this open wound. It’s wrapped and bandaged right now. I will be waiting at the surgeons office when they open tomorrow. And of course, I am stressed to the max over this. I just want to cry…don’t have the money for this at all…will never get another animal ever…I love this dog but I can’t do this anymore. 😦