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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Spa Day

This summer just disappeared, leaving me behind, in shock, staring in amazement at how much stuff I planned to accomplish and was not able to...  I will have two weeks to catch up and, fingers and toes crossed, will get the important stuff done, of course.  Like finishing at least the first two chapters of my prospectus!  I had such a nice start -- finished a detailed outline, added some ideas that made the writing exciting once again...  Only to be mowed down by a string of events that left me exhausted... NOT discouraged, though...

After a horrible toothache last week, that interfered with my ability to get a good night's rest, I was exhausted this morning...  So I picked up the phone and called one of the local spas, hoping they can work me in.  And they DID!  After enjoying half a day of pampering (salt scrub/soak, massage, facial, mani/pedi, haircut), I am ready to face a very busy weekend!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Toothache is gone -- thank goodness!!!

Apparently, the new dentist did not file new fillings properly and so the nerve in my lower tooth was not happy and decided to scream for relief, making me miserable and despertate for a week.  My old dentist was able to fix the problem in a few minutes and what a blessed relief it is!  My teeth are still sensitive and I am still furious about silver fillings but being pain free is awesome!!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I have been using the same dentist for over ten years, always with great results.  Recently, he decided to semi-retire and share his practice with a younger dentist.  Last time I visited the office for routine cleaning, the new guy talked me into replacing old composite fillings which did not cause any problems whatsoever but, according to him, were a bit darker than they should be.  I agreed.  Thinking back, it was one of those lapses of judgment we all regret later...  There was nothing on the x-ray and so staining must have come from tea/coffee.

So I had an appointment on Tuesday afternoon.  Without telling me, the guy replaced composite (tooth color) filling with old-fashioned amalgam (silver) fillings!  Also, instead of replacing a couple of fillings discussed previously, he replaced six.  Yes, six.  I did not even know I had six old fillings...  Actually, I don't know even know if I really did.  Given his other assumptions, I wonder if he just got happy with a drill???  I know it's just a speculation but still...  The fillings are in the back so not visible when I smile/talk; still, I know they are there.  They are (1) ugly and (2) required more drilling than composite fillings, thus weakening my teeth.

His explanations?  Amalgam fillings last longer.  I had composite fillings for ten years and they were just fine.  I take care of my teeth to minimize the wear and tear!  Explanation for six fillings?  I was there already.  Really?!  Oh, instead of suctioning off pieces of filling material, they told me to rinse my mouth.  Have you tried doing that with half of your mouth totally numb???  Yeah, not much success.  When I finally was able to rinse off my mouth a few hours later, I found at least ten small pieces I could swallowed.  I wonder if I swallowed more???  It's unacceptable and unprofessional!

Now here is the worst part...  My teeth are not just sensitive -- they hurt!  Since Tuesday!  One of the bottom teeth really hurts -- a constant throbbing pain.  I think he damaged the nerve and I may need a root canal now.  The filling is not tight enough to protect my tooth from liquids so there is a sharp pain anytime I try to drink anything.  Every sip hurts!  I am avoiding hot/cold liquids but even room temperature plain water hurts.  However, the filling IS covering the tooth so local analgesic does not penetrate.  I tried both liquid and cream -- no effect.  My gums get a bit numb but the pain is inside.  The only way to stay sane is to take Tylenol.  The numbing effect only lasts a few hours so I wonder how much damage I am doing to my liver...

I have an appointment with my old dentist tomorrow afternoon so, I hope and pray, he does something to relieve my toothache.  It's about to drive me up the wall!!!

Should I file a complaint with ADA???  I did a Google search and found quite a few similar situations so I wonder if people are just accepting pain and suffering as routine or complaints are not going anywhere...  They better NOT charge me for additional treatments!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dude, that's rude!

I should recommend this book to one of the conference participants I encountered today...

Everybody was crowding around the refreshment area after the session, getting tea or coffee.  One small cluster of women already got their drinks but were standing right next to the table, blocking everybody else, and chatting, totally clueless...  I smiled and said, "Excuse me, please."  The response?!  A glare and "SOOOORRRY!"  Then she went back to the conversation!  The other two women did not even bother!!!  I was furious and so just squeezed behind them to get my coffee.  After three hours of advance stats, I was not about to be timid! :)  I needed my coffee, STAT!!! :)

Sunday, July 03, 2011

On dealing with home invasion, popcorn defense, and perfect bread!

Our house was invaded yesterday.  Not by thieves you can swiftly kick out of your house.  No, I wish it was that easy...  Two families with seven kids between them, claiming some distance relationship to S., stopped by yesterday, with a 15-minute notice.  S. could not say no mainly because the guys were playmates over thirty years ago and haven't seen each other for like twenty years.

The lack of warning should have been our warning...  When one of the guys called, we assumed there were only two couples.  I had dinner almost ready (slow-cooked BBQ pulled pork, amazing bread buns, crispy potatoes, tomato salad, and fresh watermelon -- yummy, recipes below).  We had plenty for two more couples but not if they came with a package of seven kids!  Worse, all four parents sat down and never moved an inch, as kids tore through the house.  S. and I exchanged a look and decided NOT to experiment with BBQ sauce.
Instead, we offered an assortment of drinks and freshly sliced watermelon.  It was a large watermelon but it was gone in minutes.  Then I had an idea!  I bought this retro popcorn maker a few weeks ago.  So I took out oil, corn, an assortment of popcorn flavorings, and plastic bowls.  That immediately got the attention of every kid, even the toddler.  Their eyes grew wide as popcorn started flying out of the bowl.  They all grabbed a bowl and stood (finally stood, instead of running around), waiting for popcorn.  Wow!  I ended up making quite a few batches -- ten, I think.  I don't know where they were packing all that popcorn, especially after devouring an entire watermelon.

Popcorn was everywhere, as you can imagine.  After they finally left, S. and I walked into the house and shook our heads at the mess.  Fortunately, it only took vacuuming/sweeping and mopping the floor and wiping all surfaces with Lysol.  Oh, Beauty the dog helped, too -- she happily munched on popcorn like a canine vacuum she is, lol.  Bubbles the cat did not care about popcorn and just watched from her "throne," probably laughing at us.  She actually hid in the bathroom when she saw those kids storm in.  Bubbles, the fearless cat who usually climbs on a guest's lap to say hello!

Then we enjoyed our delayed dinner...  I kept the slowcooker on warm so pulled pork did not need to be reheated.  I used this recipe and added extra BBQ sauce. 

The bread would have been better fresh out of the oven but it's an awesome recipe and so we just warmed it in a microwave for a few secs.  The recipe is here.  Try it -- you will never buy hamburger buns again, I promise. :)  I made 12 smaller buns.  The recipe calls for nine but they are HUGE.

Tomato salad was very simple:  thinly sliced onions, chopped tomatoes, garlic salt, olive oil.  It was a bit soggy.

Crispy potatoes were ruined, though... :(  They are easy to make but must be eaten fresh out of the oven.  It's a very simple recipe:  peel and slice potatoes into wedges, soak in cold water for one hour, drain the water, and dry potatoes with paper towels.  Toss with olive oil, garlic salt, and a bit of red pepper.  Bake in a preheated oven at 400 for 15-20 mins on each side.  Broil for a few mins for extra crispness.

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