Saturday, February 28, 2009

Dang Tooth

It's another cloudy morning here in Lombard. I'm heating water for tea and waiting for a phone call from the dentist's office.

Wednesday I had a root canal (technically, I had Endodontic therapy performed on four root canals in molar #30) and by Friday night the pain was so bad that I couldn't even bear to breathe through my open mouth. When the pain really gets going it feels like it is in all the teeth on the right side of my head, my right temple, my right eye socket, and the right side of my skull.

So this morning I called the office to find out what I should do. I'm wondering, is it infected, what should I do for the pain? They said they would page Dr. McCall and call me back.

Ten years ago I had a molar pulled. I didn't have insurance, the thing was causing a lot of pain, and it was the easy and inexpensive thing to do. But I always second guessed the decision and wondered if it would have been more responsible to try to save the tooth with a root canal. Now that I know what "saving" the tooth really means, I wish I had pulled this one too! Seriously. After the procedure, which took more than two hours (three hours if you count the first part) and was far from painless, the doctor told me that the tooth would now effectively die, grow more and more brittle, and eventually could possibly crack. So we went to all that trouble to keep a dead, ticking time bomb of a tooth in my head? I don't get it.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Making a Mess

Ross and I made a messy foray into confection tonight. We have become hooked on Hershey's chocolate covered pretzels and we got it into our head that we could save a lot of money making them ourselves.

The supplies.

The chocolate I burned by trying to melt it over direct heat. Consistency of pumice stone. Smells good though.

Had better luck melting the chips in the microwave. These are the freshly dipped pretzels cooling on parchment paper.

The finished product. Not as pretty as the ones we buy at the store! We look forward to perfecting our technique,


I got flowers today! Thank you Steph, I love them!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


I love it when the weather is gloomy enough that you feel completely justified in padding around in your fuzzy pants with a hot cup of tea in hand and no plans to go out. Actually, we had plans to go out, but it's foggy out and, you know, somebody could get hurt. So I baked up an apple crumb dessert, and worked on laundry, and played the piano, and talked on the phone instead.

I've been nesting a lot lately. With the constant talk of foreclosures in the media, and the looming threat of moving for work, I am growing a keen crush on my house. I mean, I have always appreciated my house, but the thought of leaving it has suddenly turned it into the most beautiful and perfect house in the whole world.

One of my nesting acts was to pull out of storage my old bedroom curtains and cut them down to make cafe curtains for the kitchen. So now I can see the sky and the trees while I do the dishes without having look into my neighbor's back window :P
Piper showing off some of her moves in a game of catch with Ross last night:

Yes, she is this awesome.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday PM

It hurts, holy cow, it hurts! Novocaine worked fine but now that it has worn off I am feeling pretty stinking sorry for myself. Dr. McCall said they had to do four canals. I don't know how many they normally do in a root canal but he acted like that was a lot. Ross was very nice and went and got me yummy soft foods from Boston Market for dinner. Right now I'm just counting down the minutes until I can take another pain reliever and then I'm gonna try to find something distracting to watch on Hulu.


Today I'm going to the dentist and they are going to finish the root canal we started last week. This is my fifth appointment this month. Along the way we made the unfortunate discovery that, in my mouth, novocaine doesn't always take. They will give me the shot, and we wait, and nothing happens - so they give me a second shot, and I break out in a cold sweat and shakes, and still nothing happens. I had this experience with both the hygienest and the dentist on seperate visits so I'm pretty sure it's me and not them. I really don't want a root canal with no anaesthesia!

This has been a pretty good week for Ross's job search. Things were looking gloomy last week but we are feeling more hopeful now. We're still praying for a local job but I have been cleaning out closets and yesterday I did the whole basement, getting things organized and ready in case we do have to move.

We're going to be taking off here in a little bit so I'm gonna go get ready but I'll let y'all know how it goes!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bright Spots

Steph and I were talking the other day and we had to agree that February has been a true crap-storm. (I am hoping that means that March will be mild and meek!) But in the midst of all the difficulties there have been some real bright spots.

  • I lost 5 lbs! After watching my weight inch up the scale month after month it feels awesome to make some progress in the other direction! (Knock on wood.)
  • I was transported to other worlds by the wonderful short stories of Ursula K. LeGuin. If you like short stories, you owe it to yourself to check out Changing Planes and Orsinian Tales.
  • I sold my first ACEO painting on Etsy. In March I hope to paint a lot more of those trading card sized paintings and really stock up my shop.
  • Mom had a very successful surgery and was released from the hospital with a great prognosis.
  • I am getting some critical dental work (Dr. McCall said they should have taken pictures of my mouth as an example of why people should go to the dentist regularly) and when it is over I will have a healthier, stronger mouth than I have had in, oh, about a decade.
  • Our Xbox 360 (from which all entertainment blessings flow) broke this month, creating a huge void in our home, but, after some finagling with the customer service people, it is now off in Microsoft world getting repaired FOR FREE!
  • I finally finished learning how to play Le Cygne by C. Saint-Saens on the keyboard.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day

Valentine's day morning I went to the dentist for the first time in about ten years. I would NEVER have done it myself, but Ross made the appointment and, with the insurance about to lapse, it was now or never. Maybe never would have been better? I have awful, terrible, shameful teeth -- about a gazillion cavities and a thriving case of Periodontitis. So I'm going back Wednesday for fillings and Thursday for the deceptively innocuously named "Deep Clean." (((shivers))) "We'll go from there" is the ominous forecast of the dental hygienist.

Valentine's day evening we went to the Stangers' for Crystal's birthday party. There was a cauldron full of piping hot chilly, a fridge full of drinks, Guitar Hero, Texas Hold 'Em, dogs, children, and lots of laughter. Crystal's birthdays are always the best.

So it was a full day, but not a particularly romantic one. Things are tight these days but we have a coupon for Home Run Inn that we're going to turn into a cheap date either today or tomorrow.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tape of Love

A little Flight of the Conchords to help you gear up for Valentine's Day.

Big thanks to Crystal for telling us about these guys!

No Fear

“For God has not give us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of sound mind.”
-2 Timothy 1:7

When you go through a series of crappy events, fear can become habitual. Even when your circumstances improve you find that you aren’t enjoying it because you are busy waiting for the rug to get pulled out from under you. Right now I’m working on shaking off that sticky fear and getting back to the business of living in the moment, present and grateful and full of hope.

Sunshine helps, and rest, and, of course, God’s word, which has a wonderful way of turning the dial on your upside-down world and shifting everything back into its proper place.

I think remembering the good times helps too. I’ve been wearing the perfume Ross got me as a wedding gift, which brings back vivid memories of our honeymoon in Los Cabos with the desert at our back and the ocean before us, a time and a place with no fear.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Barbara Frietchie by Whittier

(I'm posting this poem in honor of Abraham Lincoln's birthday, even though he doesn't appear in this poem about the civil war. I think he would have liked the exchange between the gray haired old lady and the soft-hearted general.)

Up from the meadows rich with corn,
Clear in the cool September morn,
The clustered spires of Frederick stand
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland.
Round about them orchard sweep,
Apple and peach tree fruited deep,
Fair as a garden of the Lord
To the eyes of the famished rebel horde,
On that pleasant morn of the early fall
When Lee marched over the mountain wall, --
Over the mountains winding down,
Horse and foot, into Frederick town.
Forty flags with their silver stars,
Forty flags with the crimson bars,
Flapped in the morning wind: the sun
Of noon looked down, and saw not one.

Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then,
Bowed with her fourscore years and ten;
Bravest of all in Frederick town,
She took up the flag the men hauled down;
In her attic window the staff she set,
To show that one heart was loyal yet.
Up the street came the rebel tread,
Stonewall Jackson riding ahead,
Under his slouched hat left and right
He glanced; the old flag met his sight.
"Halt!" -- the dust-brown ranks stood fast.
"Fire!" -- out blazed the rifle-blast.
It shivered the window, pane and sash;
It rent the banner with seam and gash.
Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff
Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf;
She leaned far out on the window-sill,
And shook it forth with a royal will.
"Shoot, if you must, this old gray head,
But spare your country's flag," she said.
A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,
Over the face of the leader came;
The nobler nature within him stirred
To life at that woman's deed and word:
"Who touches a hair on yon gray head
Dies like a dog! March on!" he said.
All day long that free flag tost
Over the heads of the revel host.
Ever its torn folds rose and fell
On the loyal winds that loved it well;
And through the hill-gaps sunset light
Shone over it with a warm good-night.

Barbara Frietchie's work is o'er,
And the rebel rides on his raids no more.
Honor to her! and let a tear
Fall, for her sake, on Stonewall's bier.
Over Barbara Frietchie's grave,
Flag of Freedom and Union, wave!
Peace and order and beauty draw
Round thy symbol of light and law;
And ever the stars above look down
On thy stars below in Frederick town!