Thursday, December 30, 2010

9 hours later

To get a tooth out without sedation, they numb you up with lydocaine shots in the gum on each side of the offending tooth.  Then they wait a while and shoot more in there.

While we waited today, I let loose with just how I feel about having called and come by so often and not getting an estimate until yesterday.  He said he would talk to his staff.  I said I hoped he realized that did me NO good at all now.

They use a metal spoon thing to hold your cheek out of the way and put a metal band on the tooth in front of the one being pulled to keep it from being chipped if it gets knocked against.

The tooth puller device is basically a smaller version of a dinosaur head on a stick, it had a little handle on one end and a gripper on the other. 

To get a tooth out that is otherwise designed to stay in place even after the body decays, takes work.  And rotation.  Not much back and forth wiggling as it was going around and around.  This leaves a gaping hole in the gum that still bleeds some 9 hours later.

It took about 4 minutes to get the tooth out, he did not stop once he got going, though I tried to tell him my lip was folded under the grabber and he was grinding it into my lower teeth.  4 minutes can be a very long time.

I did not know when the tooth came out, he stopped yanking and set down the puller thing and told me how to fold the gauze pads for the blood.  I started poking back there with my tongue and discovered-no tooth! 

It was not as bad as I imagined.  I was worried that I would FEEL the tooth sluck out of the hole.  He would not let me even look at the tooth, though I did ask for it to put in my holy water bottle.  I had to settle for sprinkling the used gauze and saying 'demon infection be gone'.  Well, I mumbled it anyhow.  I thought about saying it in Latin, malum contagio, licentia, but I was slurry.  Who knows what I might have really said?   I might have invoked something worse than an abscessed tooth-though what that could be, I have no idea. 

Now to begin the process of healing and knowing that the pain won't come back.  I took a Demerol about an hour after the procedure. It was like taking an oblivion pill, I don't know why they don't use those instead of sedation.  Also, I weigh about double what Jessie weighs and she's only $15 to sedate.  Just saying.

I have consumed a can of chicken noodle soup, it was visceral.  Hot, salty, slippery noodles.  I slurped and gulped, it was quite satisfactory, I was so hungry.  The vanilla pudding was not quite as thrilling.  

incipio vigoratus!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Old Stones

I have really been enjoying the photography project I have going with the genealogy site, taking photos of certain headstones around the area.  As of today, I uploaded my 80th photo!  It's perfect for us, heading off with only a name and some dates to search hundreds of stones for THE one.  We have always liked hunting down things-letterboxes, geocaches, campsites, lunch.  LOL 

I like that it is a community service project that really helps people, yet-I don't have to interact with them beyond the occasional e-mail.  Everyone has been so appreciative, one lady wrote just today and said it meant so much to see her family names again.  Another man wrote to tell me he was searching for all the airmen who served with his father in WW2, could I look for a certain stone for him.  Finding that little bronze plaque at the foot of the grave that confirmed he was the correct Smith was such a thrill.

Yesterday, we ran into a couple who had written a book about the older families in their area.  Loads of interesting things came out.  The mother with the eight dead babies had accidentally killed them all in infancy via her addiction to laudium.  This lady over here whacked her grown son with a broom during their interview with her.  That man never owned the land he farmed, he just took it from his ailing father in law and went on to make a tidy profit on it.  Another man was well hated, but bought himself a stone that proclaimed his wondrous presence on earth would be missed.

So many women, buried next to their husbands.  The husband's stone:
"First Middle Last born day month year died day month year
Died as he lived, a Christian"
His wife's stone:
"F.M. Last, wife of First Middle Last

Not even her first name spelled out.  So many women are lost to history, first by the loss of their maiden name, once married, it was often impossible to keep track of them.  Then the husband may have called her Bess or Amy instead of Elizabeth or Amelia or even by her middle name if he did not like her first one.  Then she is buried with no decent identification on her's sad, really.  Women get folded into other lives, take on other identities.  Men are who they are from birth to death.

Of course, then, there's this:

%$#ing Dentist

Latest in the tooth saga.

I went in Nov 29 for a consult, asked for my co-pay.
I called the next week, asked for my co-pay.
I went into the office while I was in town the next week, asked for my co-pay.
I called again week before last, asked for my co-pay.
I called before Christmas, asked for my co-pay.
I was told each time someone would get back with me soon
I was told the last time that someone would call a few days before my procedure and tell me.

I called today, confirmed the appointment for tomorrow myself.
I asked again about the co-pay.

They actually called back.  $420 for a single tooth extraction.
$60 for the consult
$40 for the tooth
$320 for the sedation

So now, I am having it pulled with no sedation because I can't plan a $420 payment with a 23 hour notice.  I have it in savings, but I can't imagine a situation where being knocked out for 15 minutes is worth $320.  I am so pissed right now.  And scared.  Mainly, scared.  I don't want to feel the tooth come out, I have nightmares about that.  I was fine with la-la land.  

At least I don't have to worry about doing something stupid while under sedation.  I do have a history of that.  And I won't have to fast.  And it will be over in 24 hours, I will be on my way back home if not already here.  And I have Demerol.  I may go take one now. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

On Friday, we went to B'ham for the day to do a little shopping.

On Thursday night, I was up from 10-3:30 with a stomach bug.

I should have stayed home.

We picked up a few goodies for stockings, and got Ben by the Lego store for his birthday that got glossed over.  That Lego store is about 1/10 the size of the one at Disney.  Plus, I had a Lego card that gets stamped with each purchase.  The guy said that was the old system, here is the new system-a plastic card.  Let me transfer your info and....there.  Here is your balance and you will get an e-mail to finish the set-up. 

Got the e-mail.  My balance is $0.  I have spent...way more than $0 on Legos AT the Lego store and had stamps for each amount on my other card, which is in the trash at the Galleria.  URGH.  I have an e-mail in to CS, but...who knows.

Christmas Day, we got up and marveled at the snow.  The kids went out and ran around, we made snow cream and ate orange rolls.  We only did stockings this year, so everyone got a few small goodies, mainly card games and candy, and to counteract that, a new spinning toothbrush each.  : )  The kids got each other Webkinz and ran off to play with them. 
 Zephyr LOVED the snow.  But, it stuck all to her fur and we had to soak it loose in warm water, which she did not like.  I was afraid it would lower her core temp if we left her encased in it.  And, puddles in the carpet and on the bed.  No good.  Still, she had a good time running around, she really likes to think she is a big dog.  Her sweatshirt helped some, kept the snow off her belly anyway.

 Wa-ha!  This looks like a yummy Christmas feast!  Nom Nom.

I had the tree down by 11, back in the attic with a few other boxes of stuff that had been brought down recently.  I cleaned out our closet and bagged up 7 big bags of outgrown/unused/unwanted clothing from myself and Matt and Matt took it to the drop here in town and he ran the recycling by.  Most of that stuff was from Matt's Dad's big drop-off Friday evening.  They are cleaning out their closets and are sending the...refuse? through me.  I did sort and re-direct a few things.

The kids are going through their clothes next, after it warms up because their dressers are on the back porch and that gets cold this time of year.

I had wanted to go out of town for the break, but I am glad we did not.  I would have worried about the critters here and I would have been just as cold anywhere within a 15 hour drive. 

I have accepted 14 more cemetery photo requests.  We will head out to work on those Tuesday, I think tomorrow will still be too cold.  Wednesday night is the dinner with everyone, then Thursday morning I get this tooth pulled.  I am anxious to get it done, I ran out of antibiotics last week and each day, it hurts more.  That will put me out for the last 4 of Matt's 10 days off.  He is not thrilled, but that's how it worked out.  I am hoping, being a simple extraction and not a surgery, that I will only be a little tender Thursday and by Friday, I will be okay again.  Maybe not for heavy lifting or roofing work, but to drive somewhere or be otherwise not drooling blood on the pillowcase in a haze of drugged stupor.  That's my New Year goal.  Go me.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Walk

One of the few things I actually enjoy about winter are the scattered days of warmth, days when the wind does not rip the breath from your chest, when the sun shows up for at least a while. 

On these days, I like to go outdoors.  We have had a few of these lately, and the first one, I used to clean up in the yard and clean out the bedding in the shed and replace that.  Today, I decided to head into the woods for a couple hours.  Ben kept company until I reached the pasture, then Jake fell behind as we got to the campsite.  I headed down to the creek with the dogs, who were thrilled by every leaf and smell and track they saw.  I always feel like I should walk with them more often when we go out, they get so happy.

At the creek, I was again abandoned as the dogs went running like crazed things up and down the game trails, no doubt scenting out every animal that has taken a sip in the last week.

I settled in to listen to the creek for a few minutes and just to the side of where I sat, there were some mushrooms.

I love mushrooms!  These were a surprise, I don't recall seeing them this late in the year before.

 Zephyr stuck close to Jess in the woods, it was so cute, like a baby bird and a mama.

Oh no!  Zeppie did not make it all the way across the creek! 

Kuma was with us, sort of...

Winter Woods

Woods in Winter by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
When winter winds are piercing chill,
And through the hawthorn blows the gale,
With solemn feet I tread the hill,
That overbrows the lonely vale.

O'er the bare upland, and away
Through the long reach of desert woods,
The embracing sunbeams chastely play,
And gladden these deep solitudes.

Where, twisted round the barren oak,
The summer vine in beauty clung,
And summer winds the stillness broke,
The crystal icicle is hung.

Where, from their frozen urns, mute springs
Pour out the river's gradual tide,
Shrilly the skater's iron rings,
And voices fill the woodland side.

Alas! how changed from the fair scene,
When birds sang out their mellow lay,
And winds were soft, and woods were green,
And the song ceased not with the day!

But still wild music is abroad,
Pale, desert woods! within your crowd;
And gathering winds, in hoarse accord,
Amid the vocal reeds pipe loud.

Chill airs and wintry winds! my ear
Has grown familiar with your song;
I hear it in the opening year,
I listen, and it cheers me long.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New dishes!

I have wanted to have my 'own' dishes (that *I* picked out) for a few years now.  I have been on the lookout, but...had a hard time finding any that I really liked that were affordable enough that if when one was broken, I would not struggle with the desire to strangle someone I ordinarily would wrestle a bear for. 

I am that way about most things, I can't spend the money, even if I really want it, because it's never been worth the worry between the kids, the pets, the visiting kids, my own clumsy nature...I would rather just have things that function and are not going to cause me stress.

I have had my eye on a similar place setting for a few months, waiting for the right time to snag a few sets.

Last night, we were at World Market and these were on sale at half off.  We picked up 6 settings, thinking we can add red or white solid-colored plates over time to round out the sets.  Or...would that be square out the sets?

SO pretty!  and look, a hidden Mickey!  LOL

The set has a large plate, a small sauce bowl, chopsticks, a holder and a good sized rice bowl.

I love the bright red, it's very pleasant. 


 We finally put the tree up yesterday.  I was all for skipping the whole Christmas event, but I don't live alone.  I live with three kids who so rarely ask for anything, that I find it difficult to say  no when they do, in particular if it's easily within my ability to give them what they want. In this case, the only effort was going into the attic.

I do like the tree, I like the lights and the shape of it.  I also have a few favored ornaments that I was glad to see.
 This is the first of the ornaments Matt and I ever bought.  It's a red pear, the lighting is off.  There is a green pear that matches it.

 Here is the original Matt ornament.  It was from a kid's meal...I forget from where.  I just remember seeing it on a banner and knowing THAT was THE one.  It's his favorite and after falling in love with Expedition Everest at Disney, we all cheer when the Yeti comes out each year.

 These are a set of 10 plastic bead angels the kids and I made together the last year they deemed crafts an acceptable holiday event. 

 Our Hannah and Hallie dolls, who have graced our tree for six years now.

 This angel has been on every tree I can remember.  I took it off the tree at my mother's house after I moved out on my own.  It was the only ornament from my childhood that I wanted to keep.  I remember after I asked her for that one, she boxed up a huge assortment for me to take, over the years, they have broken or have been passed on or are in a different box somewhere up there in the attic.  My little angel is the only one I really wanted.

 Hiking bear!  I love him.

 My little birdhouse to complement Ben's assortment of birds!

 I love these blank-faced angels and I have a collection of them.

This was from when I woke up one day and decided I loved pigs.  I bought...several pig figurines that year.  The kids looked for an ornament of a pig, this was as close as they could get.

So, maybe it's a Solstice tree or a standing Yule log or a fancy Festivus pole or a Christmas tree, I can't force everyone to change their minds just because I am having a hard time making sense of the season.

Monday, December 20, 2010


I love cemeteries.  Old ones are my favorites, the stories and lives contained in the few words chiseled into stone.  Some are funny, some will break your heart.  Seeing a line of four or five tiny stones with the same last name, or seeing a stone so covered in decorations that you know the person is still being mourned even now.  

Yesterday, we saw a fresh grave, for a lady named Lucille.  She was 80 and her foot stone was covered in music notes and said 'Miss Lucy'.  Two ladies arrived and started fussing over her gravesite, fiddling with the fresh Alabama red clay and trying to put out some Christmas ornamentation.  One had given up staying clean and was on her knees in the clay poking flowers in a vase.  She stood up and they both whacked at her stained knees and looked at the grave.  The other kicked at the clay, trying to cover the obvious knee-dents.  

They laughed and one said to the other, "Are you gonna come do all this for me?"  Her friend replied, "Only if you go first."

There is something about the matronly older woman, especially the church-going ones.  They are women in their 60's who were my age when I was born.  But, they are exactly like the women in the churches I attended as a child.  Large, wide women with fussy hair and lipstick that's the wrong shade.  They wear flower-printed dresses with big patterns.  Their breasts like the prow of a ship, capable of opening any door.  Their shoes are black and flat, their purses match.  They keep nic-nacs on a shelf, cookies in a jar and always have cake on hand.  Their bathrooms smell of potpourri, they have plastic runners down the hall.  The guest room has a white duvet. 

They clean and cook as acts of love, they go out in the world and do things-they bring food to the sick, they take their older relatives and friends to the doctor, they know the names and ages and every detail of at least 14 grandchildren-but only have 4 of their own.  They have friends who have been their friends since they were all just married, who bolstered one another through lay-offs, child rearing, empty nest syndrome and mid-life crises. Women who call each other with questions about a little one's runny nose, news of a sale at the local store, about their mothers, their gardens, how to get Jell-o out of carpet, a bag of clothes passed to them that have now been outgrown and are ready to pass along again.  Lives that flash in a whirl of holiday meals, first days of school, birthday parties, children who had scabbed knees suddenly dating, engaged, married, which scab-knees kids of their own. 

These women steer through life, folded rain bonnet in their purse, a Bible on the night stand and a pair of comfortable shoes to wear around the house.

I love cemeteries, they have so many stories, so many memories.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Year's End

This year seems like it flew by!  

Last winter was painfully, nasty cold.  So the year started off without much fanfare, we had a couple hikes, some small adventures, my favorite being driving on the Natchez Trace with Cathy in January and February.

The big thing of 2010 was Jake getting braces.  Check out the pics:
The post also has the first news of Wizard of Oz, which dominated our winter and early Spring.

I spent the worst of the cold days huddled in front of the Wii playing Animal Crossing or, huddled in the bed reading.  Chan turned 12 in early February.

By the end of February, we had headed out on our first camping trip, a quick overnighter to Florida, where the temps of mid-60's were like a siren call to my frozen bones.

In March, Matt and I hiked to Caspey Falls, which are quite lovely.  This year started a new phase with us.  The kids are old enough to leave home for several hours at a stretch, so we started hiking at least once a month on new trails or just to geocache and take pictures.
Here are the shots of the falls:
Also, the end of March was when I decided to start working on that 20+ pounds of weight to get to my first goal.  Over the year, I dropped all of it, ending the year with a 23 pound loss!

April brought warmer weather, camping trips, the play in full swing and did I mention warmer weather?
Tim's Ford:
Holt Lake:

Our annual trip to Cherokee Rock Village:
The Wizard of Oz:

In May, our annual HS camping trip, always a highlight of the year!

June was filled with swimming, canoeing, shorts and water.
And ended with more camping!

The oil spill was making major news, Ben sent all of his money to help the turtles.

July, Jake decided to work toward his GED, we had field trips with our friends, we hid from the heat.
This past summer was one of the hottest on record, days of triple digit temps, heat indexes reaching nearly 120.
We did lots of school during the heat, went to the drive in as much as possible, laid low, decided to go to Disney World next fall...

In August, my grandmother and my great aunt died less than a week apart.  The pets all went to the vet.  The true end of summer vacation was signaled by the HS swim and we had a big sleep-over for the meteor shower the same weekend.

The most significant event of the year happened in August, we were finally able to get high speed internet access out here.  After 6.5 years of dial-up and sharing the single connection and taking forever to download and upload and not bothering with videos or flash because it just took too long, we are all online at the same time!  It's made a big difference in our lives.

In September, HS skating started back.  It ended up being the only skate day I attended the rest of the year, though the kids only missed the December skate.
We spent a long day with Suzette and family:
Nettlevan hit 100,000 miles.
We went to Georgia for a long weekend:
I went to the dentist to get my tooth looked at.

In October, Matt and I went off for a weekend together:
We got busy with school again, had a swim to celebrate the first day of Fall, took one of my favorite hikes:
and added a new family member:
My great uncle died.
We had Halloween parties, went trick-or-treating.
I experienced the worst pain of my life with an infected tooth root, via x-rays discovered my jaw bone was being eaten away with infection, started a round of antibiotics and pain killers that would take me through the end of the year when my tooth is scheduled to be removed on the 30th of December.

In November, we had a successful run of NanoWriMo, all of us reaching our personal word goals.
Jake turned 15
We went to Sloss, we fell even more in love with Zephyr, we celebrated Thanksgiving with my father, I found I had an interest in family history and started piecing together our family tree, starting with my father's mother and managing to get back to 1503 and discovering several surprises.
I discovered natural sleep aids, we had our second annual HS Thanksgiving.

In December, Ben turned 11, we hosted a Jane Austen Tea for her birthday, starting what I imagine will be another annual tradition as well as adding a book swap to our line-up of things to do.  Chan tried out and was cast in another play, so there starts 2011 with rehearsals and performances.  It's a 2-monther from start to finish, so I am not complaining!  That will occupy our colder days and be over in plenty of time to be out of doors.

I wonder what 2011 will hold?  I know my plans-the play of course, Chandler's 13th birthday, our annual and yet-unplanned HS camping trip.  Matt and I will celebrate our 14th anniversary, Jake's braces will be paid off and possibly come off later in the year.  Disney in September, followed by nearly another month on the road, one of those weeks with Jacki and her girls. 

I hope to replace and upgrade some items in the house, add more insulation in the attic. Drive and camp the Natchez Trace all the way to the end.  Get the kids to Louisiana.

It's not quite time to start losing animals, but Oly the 'pig will be turning 4 and Kat will be 9.  It's not going to be too many more years before that starts to factor in.  Zeppie is about a year old, next are the kittens, who are 3, Kuma is 4, Jessie 5, Cleo is 7, Kat is almost 9, the pigs are about 3 years old, Olympia is about 6 months older than Blitz who is about 4 months older than Mochii and Tanuki.

Ah, that's sad, I'd rather think back over the fun we had this year and look ahead to the fun we will have next year with our wonderful friends, the joy and blessing of homeschooling another year.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen

Today we held a tea in honor of Jane Austen's birthday!  Sort of.  It was more of a snack-fest with lots of chatter and we had an egg drop, made art trading cards and ate.

It didn't break!

 I had an idea to wrap the girls in Christmas lights and take pictures.  Not quite what I had in mind, they griped about the bulbs being hot and also being poky. 

The boys were not about to get left out!