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The Tooth Fairy is alive and well and more prevalent than ever. Just ask Google. There are poems, screen savers, coloring pages, stories, movies, costumes, games, mazes, books, charts, graphs, and online dental experiments. You can download Tooth certificates, ring tones, and Tooth Fairy crafts. There are patterns for ‘heirloom quality’ Tooth Fairy Pillows. (I saw a photo and the concept of ‘heirloom’ has seriously gone downhill IMHO). You can order a canvas ‘Tooth Fairy [heart] Me’ tote bag for a mere $19.99 plus S&H.

Most of these items (excluding the last item and some of the kinkier costumes) are for those aged 9 and under. So where do I go? At today’s inflation rate, she owes me BIG BUCKS.

I come by my dental issues the old fashioned way. I inherited them. My father lost all his teeth by his early 20’s. Both sets of grandparents had full dentures. My mother gave hers up to bone loss while still in her mid-forties.

My early experiences with dentists came with pain from cavities, lack of flossing (I thought it was gross and decided they didn’t “really” mean it), and no dental coverage until my mid-thirties. Until I forced myself to follow through with regular bi-annual cleaning visits to the torture den dental hygienist (and that was only because the coverage would only be covered if I did so) well…let’s just say it took a long time to come to terms with most of my dental phobias. Eventually I did not need sweet air to endure the cleanings.
There were the obvious consequences. I now suffer from chronic periodontal disease, the dreaded ‘gingivitis’ which requires deep scaling and cleaning at the surgical level; and quarterly cleanings instead of biannual ones.

They told me that I would also lose all my teeth at some point. It was only a matter of time.

Between jobs in my mid-forties, I put some dental work off longer than I should have and in one fell swoop lost four teeth. Tears rolled down my cheeks as they extracted the abscessed, diseased teeth. The psychological pain was far worse than the physical (which took a LOT of Novocain). I felt old, ugly, undesirable, unfeminine… absolutely horrid inside and out.

I was fitted for a partial denture and eventually adjusted to the change in the taste and texture of food, the alteration in the sound of my voice, the change in speech and singing clarity.

Dealing with the vanity aspect took a bit of time. It still gives me an occasional sucker punch. It could be worse, I tell myself.

I continued to lose teeth here and there, adding the missing teeth to my partial until it got to the point where I was told that if I lost any more, I would have to remove the remaining few and get a full denture.


Or I could look into dental implants, none of which is covered by insurance. Dental implants require a winning lottery ticket, a MUCH better household income, generous inheritance (ha! none of my relatives qualify on the wealth scale, and thank you, I prefer them alive) or a seriously large donation from the Tooth Fairy.

I put it off as long as I could, but it became apparent this spring that the last remaining upper teeth were losing their grip. I bit the bullet, took out a loan and had the beginning work done today. I spent almost four hours in the dental chair as they cut and drilled into my bone. Regular and frequent Novocain injections made the surgery possible. It also kept me whacked out and sleeping most of the afternoon and early evening.

I now have four more craters holes in my upper palette that will, once healed, be fitted with crowns over the implanted manholes. A combination of bridges and crowns will replace my partial denture and I will feel ‘normal’ again. Impoverished, but ‘normal.’

I go back to work on Monday when the swelling will be at its height, but the discomfort level should be well within copeable levels.


Vanity is frickin’ expensive.

Does this count as a frog?

Lemonade that is homemade from natural, organically-grown lemons is the best summertime beverage EVER. Because true garden-variety lemonade is rather rare nowadays (what with all the frozen concoctions, instant mixers, and carbonated blends readily available) you might not know what goes in to making it from scratch.

Liam and Aidan are delighted to share their recipe. They will not join us until the important parts later on.

First, you need to find a juicer. Everybody used to have a juicer, but as they collected dust from lack of use, most ended up in garage sales, or the trash. So, off to the food store to pick one up along with the organic lemons.

Found the lemons, but no juicers. Off to Wal-Mart, where replacing those 99-cent glass juicers comes with a large sticker shock. Yes, most are fancier with measure marking on the side along with the original handy pour spout. The manual ones range from $9.99 stoneware to stainless steel and ceramic ones for $136.00 (there were higher priced ones but they must have been collector items — who would pay $1350.00 for a home juicer?) The plastic and glass Wal-mart model was just fine, thank you very much.

Pack up juicer, lemons (what the heck, throw in a couple limes, too, just in case we want Mojitos later), check for sugar, car keys, etc., and drive to the lemonade-making facility, also known as our grandkids house.

First is dinner. Yumm. Thank you, grampa!

Clean up and clear off and NOW it is

First, the lemonade team assembles the ingredients, squishes LOTS of lemons (but no limes this time) until one cup of pure lemon juice is obtained. It is at this point Jess and her dad had to do a quick calculation on the container size required. Since this makes 64 ounces of lemonade, the gallon water jug is probably too big. After a brief, intense, math moment, a clean half-gallon jug was found to pour the ingredients into.

One cup of sugar is measured. A paper cone is quickly made (green triangle in lower left of photo) to assist in pouring the sugar into the small opening of the jug bottle.
Lemonade Teamwork

Water is measured and poured. There were six cups of water, (the boys took turns) but I am sure if you are following along on this, the half gallon container will help you know when you have enough water added.

Now, I would love to show you a glass of the finished product, but it was scarfed down almost immediately. It was FABulous! And the princess* approved.

*Liam corrected me this evening. Her name is “Hop-Docious” not just “Docious.”

Migraines suck. Migraines that take multiple doses of toxic-level pharmaceuticals to recede *at all* suck big time.   Guess which one I had today? Since I am posting, you can assume it has slunk to a distance.

Sometimes they grow on me. Sometimes I start the day with a minor sinus headache, and not quite enough sleep, and it mushrooms from there. That would be today. I crawled home… and collapsed with the meds, a cold compress, and a quilt. It took three hours, but I am now pain-free.

I am also wide awake now (if a mite fuzzy headed), when I should be in bed sleeping. This means I will be somewhat sleep-deprived again tomorrow (sigh).

I blame work for the increase in migraine frequency.  The rest of my life is hunky dory!

Maeve at One Week

Docious at One Week

…thanks to my generation blood donations over this past weekend. Welts the size of quarters decorate my body. Almost all contributions were made *through* long sleeve shirts, denim jeans, shoes, socks, hats, and generous applications of bug spray. There was exposure to a smoky (damp wood) campfire as well.

Their perseverance in the face of determined multiple repellent factors is impressive. Depressing, itchy, and sore, but impressive.

Long Week!

Long Week!

This week at work has been long, hectic, enervating, and occasionally demoralizing as well.

I feel like my desk flowers look!

The raised garden bed is going garbonzo-beans. Carefully tended, with generous rainfall provided by mother nature, it is now urgent to keep up with the increasing salad supplies of red leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, sweet basil, etc, lest the plants move beyond harvesting to final seed. (The broccoli may have beat us to that already.)

I have enjoyed several salads made with things from their garden. This past Wednesday evening I went out again to harvest but had to retreat after only 15 minutes. The rain in our recent past has produced bumper crops of mosquitoes. Very healthy (read: LARGE) mosquitoes.

When we left, I left the harvest behind, drat it all!

Well, not entirely behind.

I first noticed the blister welts on my legs in the shower this morning. The power of regular (and repeated) cases of poison ivy alerted me to the probable diagnosis. Yup. Rote memory is a strong reinforcement tool. Pain, too. And then there is the oozy mess associated with the developing blisters… These are all guaranteed to assist in recalling previous episodes.

I do too know what it looks like! But… I am not always the most observant when it comes to my surroundings. It was getting on to dusk. I was focused on the raised garden bed, but strayed off against the fence line and its wild tangle of tall grasses amidst the tomato plants and pea pods. It must be hidden there.


This tidbit was brought to us today by Brenda:

The first testicular protective “cup” was used by hockey players in 1874, while the first protective helmet was used in 1974.

That means it took 100 years for men to realize that the brain also is important.

…with apologies to CCR

On the positive side, hobbling about was *much* easier and far less painful (though not painless) with it on.

Going through security at the airport they escorted me to the head of the line.

When they called early boarding passengers, I got to hobble on the plane early going down to NJ for the 4th annual Bird House Open Mic at my sisters’ and on the way back home, too.

I could threaten people with how I got it and how I could use it. 🙂

After two days of total bootedness, rest, ice, and elevation (the company I kept over the weekend is also included in the elevatedness) I am now back at work with just an elastic brace. Only a slight limp remains. Still swollen, but not so much. Still sore, but not so much.

A glorious weekend (music, movies, family, friends, food, fabulous weather etc., etc. etc.) all around! Film at 11…

Do you know what a gravity pocket is? Do you know what they do? A recent Eureka episode featured gravity pockets and several people told me they thought of me when they saw it.

This is a plain pair of gravity vortexes, also known as gravity pockets.

Isn’t it nice to be associated with heavy gravity and physical ineptitude? I can hardly blame them for I regularly provide demonstrations of my affinity with gravity pockets. I fall down when laughing hard, I fall down walking on a level sidewalk. I even trip over cut grass!

Fat ankle!

Fat ankle!

This is an image of what generally results from my interaction with gravity pockets.

Yup. Did it again. Out walking the dogs, level sidewalk, both puppies behaving and whoops! The ankle went a no-show, returning only after I made firm contact with the concrete sidewalk. Ahh… scabby knees of a fourth grader, my distant past revisited.

My ankle loudly complained but I figured it was merely a twist and I could ‘walk it off.’


Serious bad idea, that was! I lurched and hobbled the next few blocks, as blood from the scraped knee slowly tracking down my shins. So mature. (sigh) By the time we reached home I was in serious pain discomfort.


My very first pair of tie-up socks! Toe-up socks were on my Resolutions for 2008, but I didn’t quite get to it (ahem). I have been knitting a lot, but sending things out as they were finished and forgetting to take pictures, so how would you know? These are just off the needles AND I remembered to take photos.

I wouldn’t have gotten to trying toe-ups but everything else was in limbo…for example, the Tree of Life Afghan (my modifications to a misunderstood pattern finally caught up with me 2/3rds of the way through) has been in time-out. The Coachella shell has been put down for so long that I need serious brain time to figure out where I am in it. Work has guaranteed that I have NO brain time left once I finally get home. I started a pair of 2-color winter trees wrist warmers for Susan but that has had serious frogging issues so it is back in time-out. (See brain issue above.)

What to do, what to do? I finally finished the sleeping sack for Docious, and knit up 2 pairs of baby booties (in different sizes) to go with it. What could I work on that wasn’t too hot for summer knitting? I have a beaded cowl for the upcoming holidays in that category but…um… plus see brain issue above.

Enter the toe-up sock book… It had both the basic pattern for toe-up knitting PLUS the pedicure sock (socklet?) pattern. Starting was a bitch. I had to restart a bazillion times but I finally managed to get the turkish cast-on past row three and from there on I was off to the races.

The only hiccup was the pattern I began on the instep. Once I got past the heel, I couldn’t figure out how to start it all around the leg, so it just runs up the front side of the socks.

There was yarn left over, so I made the short pedi-socks. They are not short tubes like a dancer might use on the balls of their feet. They actually have a “big toe” tube section and a “the rest of the piggies” section. No one at work “got” the pedi-sock thing. I hope LaMoon does because I made them for her… seems the last pair of socks I made for her were absconded by one of my nieces…

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