Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Roots and Canals

Put 'em together and what do ya get? Pain. I mean PAIN.

Last Thursday evening, one of my upper teeth started to kinda sorta hurt. Friday morning, I could tell it was sensitive to hot beverages, and later I noticed also cold. By Monday morning, even the air on it when I talked made it pound with pain. I was in the chair at the endodontics office by 1:30 pm. Wait, strike that. My appointment was at 1:30, I didn't get into a chair until after 2:00. Identifying exactly which tooth was very painful, but the resulting root canal wasn't too bad. When the novocaine wore off around 4:30 pm, I felt just fine. I thought, hey, piece of cake. Got a nice, cold bottle of water out of the 'fridge and took a nice, long drink. And I nearly DIED.

Back in the chair at the endodontics office about noon yesterday. It took quite a bit of time, but finally the doc determined that it was indeed the same tooth. I had trouble convincing him it was still sensitive to heat and cold, in fact it was more sensitive and more painful than the previous morning.

Apparently there were 2 canals that he took care of on Monday and either there was a 3rd canal or one of the 2 had a longer root that had calcified and the live tip was in the bone... Frankly, by the time all the tests were done determining what the hell was going on, I was freaked out and frazzled with pain. He could have put a quitclaim deed in front of me and told me to sign it and I would've. He could have put Palauan Balut in front of me and told me to eat it and I probably would've.*

More novocaine and then another re-do on the root canal from Monday, and then another shot and some slicing and drilling, a few stitches, and I was on my way. From what I remember, for the last part, he had to move my gum out of the way to get to my jaw bone to drill into that and get at the root from the top down. Fun. Especially entertaining was the way he kept calling me Bizarre Tooth Girl.

And then I went on my merry way. And then the novocaine wore off. I was almost home when that happened. Thank God. I made it until I got safely parked in my garage and then I bawled, and I bawled for about 2 hours, until the 3 Motrin I took finally kicked in. Holy shit. They should give you a dose in the office so it has time to start kicking in before the good stuff wears off.

Feels much better today, but only in the past hour or so. What an ordeal. I just love being Bizarre Tooth Girl.

*Or he could've given me the keys to his shiny black little Lexus sports car that was parked out front and told me to drive it, and I definitely would've. I settled for parking next to it and door dinging it. Ha! Just kidding... that was just my fantasy as I was bawling last night.

Monday, April 25, 2005

And... We're Back!

And the shadblow's bloomin'!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Michigan Spring

Little... Big...

Uh oh.

Here in my neck of the woods, we have a saying that goes like this: "Big snow, little snow." Or, alternatively, "Little snow, big snow."

I just took a walk down the hall to the bathrooms and saw through the windows (of which there are none in my pod) that the big, fat flakes of snow from early this morning have turned into slanted streaks of hard blowing snow.

"Little snow, big snow" means if the snow coming down is little, then we're likely to get an accumulation of it. It's colder, so the snowflakes aren't so big and fat, and probably won't turn to rain, and so the little snow may result in a longer duration of actual snowy weather. Get the drift? (ha! couldn't resist. I am in the office, where my dorkish qualities no doubt rule.) (And I'm sure there's a very scientific, technical explanation, but "little snow, big snow" works for me and others of my ilk. I ain't no meteoroligist.)

I can't believe this. Well, actually, yes I can. This past Monday evening, I sat and watched my daughter's soccer game in jeans and a short-sleeved shirt, sweatin' my ass off, wishing I had shorts on, and got a sunburn on my nose. It was something like 85 degrees. Hot and sunny. Today, we're back to winter weather. There's actually a winter weather advisory out until 3 pm tomorrow. That's Michigan for ya. We also have another saying common amongst Michiganders: "If you don't like the weather, just stick around for a couple of hours." Coz, baby, it'll change.

Tangent: Another "little, big" saying that I like, and I heard it recently on the TV show, CSI, goes like this: "little lie, big lie." It means if someone tells you a little lie, they may have told you a big lie also, or they may have no qualms about telling you a big lie. In short, they're a liar (and probably guilty of murder and most likely to get caught by Grissom and his team). Note: little white lies don't count. Love those little white lies.

Snowy Saturday in April

Big, fat snowflakes are falling onto my patio furniture as I write this! I heard it was coming, but really... I didn't believe it. And here it is. Snow on April 23rd. And it's so pretty, too. Truly big snowflakes, that alternately fall slowly and softly straight down to their death (melting as soon as they hit... for now), or go screaming by sideways because it's blustery out there.

The sky is gray, so our house is still darkish... it doesn't feel like 9:00 am. Everyone but me is still asleep. Strike that. My son just got up!

And now I have to get my butt in gear and get into the office. I don't want to work today, but I am so swamped, I just HAVE to... I'm not sure why I care so much, I don't think "they" care about me as much! Heck, I know they don't. I suppose it'll help my peace of mind anyway, the huge backlog of work gives me a headache daily. Anyway, my folks instilled in me a good work ethic, so here I am, making my son mad at me and going into work on a beautiful, snowy Saturday!

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Jell-O Fellow

Last night, my 10-year-old son came up to me and asked me if I wanted to hear his poem. He said it's 3 lines total and then he cleared his throat. Heh hem.

There once was a fellow,
Who was as limp as Jell-O,
And he always says hello.

I think my son was surprised at how funny we thought his poem was! Then he told us he was bored in class and made it up then, and he even drew it. The oratorical version was much more entertaining than the pictorial version.

Like That

This morning on my drive into work, I heard something that surprised me. Surprised me because I'm 45 years old, and I don't remember hearing of "the doctrines of Stoicism" ever. This was from a bit on the "Writer's Almanac" (and if I was listening to that, then of course I was late for work again) about the birthday of Marcus Aurelius. I've probably heard of the doctrines of Stoicism, I suspect, just that I don't remember it. Stoicism is one of my favorite words, though... so seems like I would remember there being doctrines of it.

According to Marcus Aurelius, the doctrines of Stoicism are, or include, that we must get through the problems of our lives with patience and endurance, drawing on our own inner resources to see us through.

In other words, quitcher whining and crying and buck up and take it like man, dude. Or a woman. A good, strong woman.

I think I'd have a wee bit of trouble with the patience part. Not my strong suit.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I'm the Pod Bitch

and... I'm kinda likin' it. Something about being in my 40's, but I'm just not going to take anyone's shit anymore.

Even though I like my pod neighbor, the one who brings in his stinky breakfasts, AGAIN, after I asked him not to and explained that everyone complained about it, I'm not taking his shit, either. He stopped bringing his breakfasts in for a while, but he's back at it now. This morning, at 8:00 am, he was eating something that looked like sausage and shrimp over pasta, some kind of brown sauce, and spicy! Onions and garlic. I mean, onions and GARLIC!!. Lunchtime, dinnertime, that might smell ok. Early in the morning, particularly this PMSing morning o' mine, it was enough to make me wanna barf. It smelled so awful that I got a stomach ache and had to take 2 Tums. Grrr...

So I played my tattle-tale card and went and invited the boss to wander on over to our pod. He got half-way there and could smell the boy's breakfast. Suffice to say it would be a rare individual who would have enjoyed that aroma early this morning. Boss-man didn't give any details, and I don't need 'em... he just said he'd handle it. (And he's great, so I know he will.)

And THEN...

I ragged on one of the accountants. This chick is smart, in fact, I think she could be very intelligent, she's just not too bright. Yesterday she sent a kazillion reports to the printer, and once AGAIN, all in error. She couldn't figure out AGAIN how to cancel her print jobs, so she left it. Oh, she'd go over and unload the printed sheets, immediately tossing them, but then she left for lunch. That left everyone else in the pod to continuously remove her print jobs and keep refilling the paper drawers. They were waiting for their reports and just figured someone sure had a lot of stuff to print. We're still doing some quarter close junk, so big print jobs aren't all that uncommon. It is uncommon, though, to print 10 reams of paper over the course of a couple of hours, causing such a waste of supplies and other people's time, and just, hey, go to lunch. The damn printer cartridge alone costs about $150.

This woman is kind of quiet, but she's uppity, too. And I don't dislike her, in fact, I've enjoyed talking with her. But yesterday was too much. I went and asked her if she was totally clear on how to cancel a print job. Then she started excusing it all like she'd done nothing wrong. Not the best tactic. Not this morning. I chewed her out Big Time. Albeit, in a very professional manner, explaining the consequences of her actions regarding the printer and ensuring she understood her responsibilities and how it affects us all. Oh, and please don't break the printer, because I'm pretty sure we'd have trouble getting a replacement. Budget and all that. At one point, I thought she was going to cry... oh no, not because I hurt her feelings, but I think because I well and truly pissed her off. But she knew I was right.

So did my other pod neighbor, who said, "you go, girl" when I got done.

I caused commotion in our pod this morning, but holy crap, it was 'bout time!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Working on a Sunday

"I never enters the office on a Sunday... bad juju."
from "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil"

Friday, April 15, 2005

Country Road, Take My Throne!

Oh, the beauty and simplicity of a country road in the early morning sunshine.

Just in case you missed it...

p.s. It was gone before nightfall.

You Can't Fool Me

Overheard just now at the office:
Woman #1: It's ok, it's all good. That'll work.
Woman #2: Hey, don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Hooky Pusher

I'm a mom, and I advocate playing hooky. It's good for the soul!

I remember distinctly one time when I was in elementary school, probably 2nd grade or 3rd, when my mom came to the school and got me out of class, and we spent the day together. Just the 2 of us! I'm the youngest of 5 kids, so having time alone with Mom was Big Time Wonderful. I don't remember what we did, but I still remember being so very happy about it. I'm pretty sure she did that on more than 1 occasion, and probably with each of us kids in turn. My mom is awesome.

Once, I picked up my daughter at school, and we went shopping for lamps. She was in 7th grade at the time, and I totally lied at the office to get her out. She was surprised and thrilled, and we had the best day. We bought 4 excellent lamps for our library (it's a loft area with bookshelves that we've dubbed, with much aggrandizement, The Library). Now, the lamps all remind me of that day with my daughter. I love that about those lamps.

This morning, my son, a 4th grader, was disappointed in my refusal to iron a shirt for him, and he just wasn’t having the best morning... And also I knew that he was having a substitute teacher today, and they were going to work on stuff that he’s basically already done with... so I suggested he stay home for the day. Keep Dad company (who is now home from work for a week to finish recuperation of the catheterization site). Play Sims on Joycie’s computer. Watch TV. Play with Reilly. Sounds like heaven to me.

But my son demurred, then vacillated and then decided to Go To School. Gym today, plus some computer research project or other, so he wanted to go. I tried to talk him out of it, but he wanted to go to school.

What’s this world coming to?!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Finer Points of Pod Dwelling

A couple of my previous posts mentioned the life of pods at work, including one not so great part. This week, however, I can't help but notice a nice aspect about pod dwelling.

Because we are so "close" here, we know a lot of each other's business. Everyone knows that my husband spent 3 days in the hospital last week. Just about all of my pod neighbors have asked me about him and seemed sincerely concerned about him. One of my neighbors even sent him a get well card, and Kev was tickled to get it.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Pond Life

When we built our pond back in 2001, we stocked it with itty bitty little baby fish, bluegill, bass, perch and fathead minnows (I think the minnows were for the bass, who are voracious eaters). We spent quite a bit of money, and had this guy come out and dump them into our pond. He had this big truck with a bunch of large barrels filled with water and baby fish, and a huge pump unit thing. He backed up to the pond and poured them in, like a big faucet. The force of the water created a deep hole in the sand at the edge of the pond. All in all, about 500 little fish. Some did not survive the faucet ride.

Over the past 4 years, we’ve fed them, caught them and threw them back, worried over them when the Great Blue Herons came to visit and feed, and looked for them when the ice left the pond, to see how many survived the winters. We’ve also made plans to eat them when they’re big enough. Kev thinks we have about 100 to 150 or so left. We always plan to restock, and this year we’re going to buy more baby fish for sure.

The fish we purchase from a fish farm are genetically different from their wild counterparts in that they cannot reproduce. Restocking is a necessity. For assuring future fish dinners, that is.

Kev buys the fish food from a local elevator. It’s little brown pellets, like extra mini dog food (and our dogs love it, too). It stinks. Imagine what you think fish food would smell like. Yep, that’s it.

This week, quite a few fish have come up to feed, swimming out of the weeds at the edge of the pond, one after the other. Just when you think they're all done, out swim more... like the fish-in-a-pond version of the clowns-in-a-circus-car routine. Though they’re still quite lethargic, they seem to enjoy the feast. When it’s warmer, it’ll be a feeding frenzy, and the water will boil with the fish competing for those stinky, brown pellets.

Sweets for the Sweet

We had our family get-together yesterday evening, and it was very nice. Everyone came hungry, and that was good because we had: Misty Mountain gingerbread cake, date cake with chocolate chips, carrot cake with whipped cream cheese frosting (of course), Mrs. B.'s shortcake & chocolate cookie sheet cake. All from scratch! Scratch, I tell ya! And strawberries and real whipped cream. And 6 flavors of Breyers ice cream.

Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm!
I spent most of the day baking, and then most of the evening eating and visiting. A good day, really good.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

45 and Counting

Today is my 45th birthday, and it sure has started out happy, happy, HAPPY! It's a beautiful, sunny day. Joycie and Sam couldn't wait for me to open my presents, and they were such wonderful and thoughtful gifts. Joycie gave me a book of Michigan perennials, gardening gloves, flower seeds and garden hand tools. I love it all! My fingers have been itching to get into the dirt! (especially since I've been hearing about how much my Mom has been working on her flower beds this week) The book is great, excellent photos and a lot of information on how to grow each plant and what could cause problems, which is what I need. Sammy gave me a the "Song Catcher" movie soundtrack CD, and I just love it.

Even though it's beautiful outside, today I'm going to spend a lot of time inside... downstairs in "my room" cleaning, rearranging and making birthday cards & wrapping presents for some of my family. The sunshine coming through the window will be very cheerful. I'm going to listen to my new CD while I play around down there. In our house, when it's your birthday, you get to do whatever you want, you don't do any housework and everyone waits on you all day, getting your food and drinks for you. It's lovely!

For tomorrow evening, we've invited the whole clan over for a get-together. Just cakes and ice cream. Lots of cakes, because I'm going to enjoy the day by baking, something I love to do. There are quite a few people in my family with birthdays in February and March, and we haven't all had a chance to get together, all together, in a while. Well, it won't be all of us, since that's difficult to do any more, but it'll be most of us.

I haven't been down in my room much lately, not since after Christmas because I've been too busy, so today is special. And since it's my birthday, I feel totally justified in spending all the time I want down there, letting everything else just go for one day. Ahhhh...... joy!

Friday, April 08, 2005

Near Thing... or... ???

Late Monday night, which was early Tuesday morning, my hubby awoke with the almost complete inability to breathe, combined with some chest discomfort (he wouldn't classify it as actual pain), along with an oddly light feeling in his arms and hands, and he just felt plain sick and yukky. He didn't wake me, however, even though a complete moron knows those are possible signs of a heart attack. Him with a heart attack would be unthinkably shocking (or so we thought). He's fit and healthy, muscular, strong and works out often, just about each day. But this is the 4th time this has happened in the past 18 months, only the previous 3 times were not so bad, in fact, they were really nothing like this one. And he never told me about the previous 3, either. Kev is one of those people who generally try to minimize or even ignore it when they're sick. So just him telling me he didn't feel right, was in and of itself somewhat disturbing.

So I made him some chamomile tea, putzed around, and we waited around until our doc's office opened at 8 am and called them. They said to go to the ER. So off we went.

And there at ER they asked questions, questions & more questions, and they did tests. Lots of 'em. They learned he had surgery on his foot just before Christmas, so they did a CT scan, which ruled out lung problems (such as a blood clot). But tests were inconclusive. Since he had symptoms of heart-related problems, they admitted him for more tests. They put him in a bed on the floor of the ICU for heart patients. At age 44, he was a screaming youngster there. (I'm not used to being around the very elderly, and it was a strange experience. Thought provoking. Thoughts like, I don't think I wish to live quite as long as some of the people I saw... they were more like remnants of people, and it was sad.) So anyway... Wednesday morning, after a night of no sleep in a very busy hospital, he had to do a stress test. He did super well on the treadmill part, better than average, but then the scan showed something "abnormal" in his heart. Shit.

That meant he had to see a cardiologist, and that meant another night in the hospital. Saw the cardiologist Thursday morning (reputably a fine doctor, but he was an arrogant man) (did I say man? I meant asshole), and the end result was that Kev had a cardiac catheterization that morning. As it was explained to us, that test is the only definitive test on whether or not there is a problem with Kevin's heart, such as blockage, etc. The cath. took less than an hour, and his heart is all normal. Normal!

So... it's not his lungs and it's not his heart, so...

The cardiologist suggested stomach acid entering the lungs, because that can cause symptoms resembling a heart attack. Good to know.

Kev will have to see his doctor and try to get to the bottom of this. I, of course, have my own theory. I think he's worn out. Physically thrashed, pulverized. The past 18 months at his job have been awful, too much overtime and crappy hours, and then at work, it's a horrible environment. I think he is physically and mentally fatigued. Since January, he looks like he's aged 10 years.

Did I mention I hate that 3-2-2 shift?

But I sure love my hubby, and I would not even know how to go on without him.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Morning's Reflection

Yesterday at about 11:30 am, I noticed that the ice was finally gone on the shallow end of our pond. This morning, the sunrise reflected this accomplishment of the warmer weather we've been having. Go Spring!

Monday, April 04, 2005

Red Big Happy

How to brighten up your kids' day? Surprise them with a brand spankin' new 4-wheeler. It's sure to bring a smile to their faces.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Road Trip: Antiquing

I think because it was our anniversary, I was easily able to talk my husband into stopping at some antique stores. I haven't been antiquing in a long, long time. I love going into those small dusty shops and picking through the junk for that one treasure you think you'll find. It used to be a lot more fun 20 years ago. I'm not really sure why. Prices are pretty steep now, for the most part, and that's not much fun. And there seems to be a lot of true junk placed in with old stuff, junk that's not even really old. Maybe it's because I'm getting older, but that Budweiser ceramic beer stein that is exactly like the one at home in my cupboard that my husband bought 20 years ago at K-Mart just doesn't seem like it belongs in an antique shop. And what's with the books? We saw a ton of popular, modern paperbacks for sale at this one antique "mall," and they were well used but priced at almost the original sale price. How dumb is that.

Anyway, this one huge place in Angola, Indiana, had a ton of stuff, but most of it seemed way, way overpriced. There was one small, white ceramic creamer/pitcher I wanted, it was about 3 or 4 inches high and real cute. It was with 4 plates and 1 small plate, and I thought that was an odd grouping. The seller wanted $25, and so I asked how much for just the creamer... $20 just seemed too much. Then he said that was "$20 firm." So I said see ya. It's one thing to overcharge me, it's quite another to overcharge me with an attitude. Dammit. Because now I've got non-buyer's remorse. Wish I had bought the little thing.

We stopped at a couple of other places closer to home, and I made 2 small purchases. I have apparently decided to collect white pottery articles. I found this awesome Dansk bank that's shaped like a modernistic antelope or something. Very cool. And I'm not necessarily hooked on antiques or old stuff. I also found this awesome creamer and sugar bowl on clearance at a Cracker Barrel. Take that, Mr. Angola Antique Mall Smartass. Ha!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Happy 22nd

Today is our 22nd wedding anniversary. Life is good!

Woke up this morning very happy in a very comfortable hotel in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We're not all that far from home (yes!), but it was getting too late last night to continue. Driving the highways late on a Friday night is not my idea of a fun component of any road trip. Too many nuts. (Probably more like too many beers.) I have too much imagination of how a wonderful road trip can end horribly once I start getting tired. Seems like ever since I had kids, my thoughts go to the worst case scenario. My husband of 22 years knows this well, and instead of pushing it all the way home last night like he wanted, we stopped, got a room, popped some corn in the microwave and watched "Numbers." Awesome.

Joycie is laying on her bed right now reading a good book, I've just had a wonderful shower and the boys are down at the pool already. Sam already checked out the breakfast, and they have one of those waffle makers, so he's happy. We love those complimentary breakfasts with those waffle irons, the kind you fill up and flip to start the 2-minute timer. Sam would like to install one at home.

This has been such a nice road trip vacation. We didn't get to see and do as much as we planned, for 2 reasons. I planned too much and it rained too much. But the Lost River Cave boat tour yesterday (near Bowling Green, Kentucky) was excellent, and the Jim Beam distillery (particularly the bourbon tasting at the Beam home) was really cool. We passed (again) on Mammoth Cave due to the heavy rain, so we'll have to plan that for another road trip. (We had planned to go there on the way to Texas, but didn't because of heavy rain.) Our visit in Texas with our friends was great. I caught Sam's bad cold & felt awful enough to forego wine, which bummed me out. I love drinking a nice bottle of wine with my best friend, Sandy, and chitchattin' til the cows come home. I missed that this trip. Sam's favorite part was Medieval Times... he LOVED that. I loved watching him.

Good trip... but now I can't wait to get home!