Saturday, June 21, 2008

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dear God In Heaven

Was just sitting around tonight not much in the mood to go to bed yet mainly because I am reading a really good book and I want to make it last. So I turned on the tube and help me Jesus it is the Denny Dies episode of Grey's Anatomy. This means tears and a renewed celebrity crush and I am so screwed.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Can Dentistry Be Less Painful or Am I Crazy?

After 10 or 12 years of seeing the same dentist I am thinking of making a change.

I am pretty strong when it comes to pain. Four years ago I was in the middle of a week long vacation on St. Maarten when I suffered a spontaneous bilateral rupture of my achilles tendons. My ankles swelled up like elephants' ankles and turned black and blue to my toes. I was in enormous pain but I bought a pair of crutches and continued my vacation as much as I could. Then I boarded an airplane to Miami, went through customs and immigration, hobbled to the next plane and flew to Atlanta where I then drove myself home. For two weeks I found a way to manage until the insurance company agreed that I needed surgery. It was painful. Really fucking painful.

I always had a bad "female" history (men stop reading now). I had a couple of procedures for fibroids but it never really fixed anything. The year I was in Tokyo I suffered from something akin to endemetriosis. For a year I did nothing but cramp and I bled every day for almost a year, sometimes it scared me and when I left I put my futon in the burn pile. Still I managed to "do" Tokyo and ride my bicycle to and from work every day. It was painful. When I got home my doctor found I was so anemic I was within mere days of needing a transfusion.

So I am a strong person and I can withstand pain. But I draw the line at dental pain.

I've been lucky enough to have dentists who believe dentistry should be as painless as possible. And truth be told I've had a very fortunate dental history - a few cavities, the coming-of-age wisdom teeth - but little out of the ordinary. In the years I have seen my current dentist I have had mainly cleanings and maybe one filling.

Over the past 5 months I had a tooth that grew increasingly sensitive and so I went in as soon as I was home. I was told I needed a root canal and she would start it that day. I immediately asked for gas which I think is reasonable considering my dental terror and the procedure. She laughed and told me I didn't need that and it would be no problem.

1 second of drilling (evidently to my now non-existant uterus) I jerked from the pain and she gave me an additional novacaine injection. I somehow got through it although the second injection was extremely uncomfortable. At the end I was told I needed one more appointment to put on the crown.

Today I walked in and waited for 30 minutes, palms sweating profusely, and she came in and started working without telling me a fucking thing about what she was doing. And immediately I was clinging to the ceiling in pain. Yet again I asked for gas and she told me she would do another injection. She ended up having to do a total of 4 injections to numb me to the point where I could tolerate the level of pain. And then at then end, after 2 hours, when I was shaking from tension and pain, she told me one of the 3 canals was bleeding a little and she would have to plug two and then fill the bleeding one with a cotton pellet and a temp filling and I have to go back July 7 to continue the agony. Can't do it before then because she will be on vacation. Nice.

I will NEVER go to this dentist again, not even for a cleaning. We are halfway through 2008 and you can not tell me we don't have better dentistry pain management for root canals than fucking novacaine.

I am pissed. Also I hurt. A lot. All the way into my left sinus. Are there any dentists out there? Am I being unreasonable to leave a 10 year relationship because of this? And WHY THE FUCK DOES SHE REFUSE TO GIVE ME A LITTLE FUCKING GAS?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Spice Rack Project Complete!

It seems I have always had issues with spice storage and it has always frustrated me. Here in Atlanta we have several wonderful Farmers Markets and the one closest to me is the DeKalb Farmers Market. One of my favorite things about this Farmers Market is the assortment of spices, which are bought in bulk then packaged into plastic tubs and priced about 10 - 12 times less than a glass jar you get in the grocery store and have no idea how fresh it is. So I buy the tubs and then I stack them wherever I find room - on the counters, on top of the fridge, in the pantry. And then about once a year I go through and throw away spices that are old, were never used because I forgot I had them, and spices I bought more than once because I forgot I had them.

A couple of years ago I read about an idea involving watchmaker cases onto which you glue magnets and then put these on the fridge. Hmm. Great idea but a bit work intensive what with the gluing and all. Then in February 2007 I began the great kitchen makeover project and this is now my favorite room in the house, although the spice problem still existed.

In March, while I was in Chile, my sister Susannah the new age nun sent me a link to another post about a magnetic spice rack and this time I decided to do it.

Last Saturday I got online to work on my biggest challenge - finding a magnetic whiteboard that wouldn't break the bank. The basic office supply store price for the size I needed was going to run me upwards of $200 and I knew I could do better. I did! I found my board at for $79.00!

A word about this website because I always plug a good customer service experience when I find one. The first board arrived, amazingly, Tuesday morning after placing my order Saturday. Excitedly I opened the carton only to find the whiteboard had two very large "creases." I immediately called the customer service number and spoke with a very helpful woman. I told her I had a compliment (how fast I received my order) and a problem (the creases). She said she would take care of it and send me a return authorization via email and get a replacement out to me.

The very next day the UPS truck pulled up with the replacement and a return tag and the exchange was made. Once again I opened the box and the board had the same problem, although the creases were not as pronounced as with the first board. Once again I called customer service and I told them again there was no apparent damage to the packing and I suspected this was a manufacturing problem. She called the warehouse and had them check every one of these boards and Friday a perfect board was delivered. So while it was a little frustrating I have to say this is some of the best customer service experiences I have had.

In the meantime I got on and found my containers. They are 4 ounce, clear-topped white plastic see and store containers with a magnetic back. I ordered 30 of them figuring that was overkill but turns out I have only 4 empty containers left over so I will have to place another order at some point. I already had a Brother labeler and clear label tape so while I was waiting for my board to arrive I got everything labeled and filled.

Yesterday I mounted my board!
The jars are clearly labeled and with the clear tops I can see how much I have and what I need to put on the shopping list.
The board is large (48 x 31) which means I also have plenty of room to jot down shopping list items. It is magnetic which means I can post recipes as I work on them. I am loving this!!

With two small projects down it has been a good week. Total cost for the coat rack project was $15 (cost of the hooks). Total cost for the spice rack project was about $140 (board and jars).

Friday, June 13, 2008

One project down

So OK. One down and 7,000 to go. But one down.

As I mentioned earlier I am going to concentrate for a while on smaller, easier projects that have been put off because I honestly don't know when the phone is going to ring and I'm going to have to haul the suitcase out of the attic and go. So.

Project number one has been put off for about 14 months. I finished my kitchen/mudroom re-do on April 1, 2007 but left a few things undone. One in particular was the lack of a place to hang coats in the mudroom, which is now bright and light and airy but after a year of appreciating this during brief trips home I realized I needed to address the emptiness and tweak a few things.


Coat rack is now complete. Something I put off for 14 months took about 2 hours over 3 days.

Here is the corner before: The door to the left leads to the clost sized laundry room which is where I have been hanging coats in the meantime.

Here is the corner now:

Look at Camille sitting on the step ladder monitoring my progress!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Small Home Projects

Now that I am home I am determine to tackle a few projects. I honestly have no idea when my next travel will be. Could be Monday, could be that I sit on my ass for 18 months like last time. Until all the talk of operational visits and new business die down I really don't want to start a major project. What if I start the bedroom and move the bed out and the next day get called to travel? How would it be to come home on a brief break with my bed in the kitchen? So for now I will stick to small projects that can be easily and quickly completed. I've decided on two that will likely be complete before the beginning of next week.

The Mudroom Coat Rack

I love my mudroom now. Before it was a dark, dingy cluttered space. For the past year, since I re-did it and it was totally transformed into a light, welcoming space, it has been a mostly empty space with the barest of furniture and art. I have been planning to hang a bunch of coat hooks in one corner and this project began today. I cut the board to size for both walls, filled the holes from the previous coat hooks, sanded and primed. I put this thing off for over a year and this took all of one hour. First thing in the morning I will put the first coat of high gloss white paint on it. After work I will mount the boards and add a second coat of paint. By Friday I will have the hooks mounted and it will add so much to the mudroom.

I am still looking for a proper bench to replace the cast off piece of shit I have in there now. A small rug will follow. Also I want to replace the ceiling light fixture since it has a brass base and the kitchen and mudroom have chrome fixtures.

The other project is a spice rack. I have a very samll one that has served for many years but these days I tend to buy my spices fresh and in bulk and for very very cheap at the farmer's market. This leaves me with plastic containers that I end up stacking all over the kitchen and pantry and my little spice rack does not have enough room even if I were to get empty bottles to put the spices in. So I have ordered a large magnetic whiteboard and 30 magnetic, clear topped containers and by the end of the week I will have a wonderful spice rack that is totally visible, close to the stove, and in keeping with the rest of my gorgeous kitchen!

Photos will be on the way!

Monday, June 09, 2008

I miss my friends

That's all.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Plug For Bill and Max

Could I just for a minute plug one of my favorite video bloggers? The remarkable Bill Bowles of last year's spent 6 months traveling the world and video blogging about the experience. It opened my eyes.

This summer his project is to travel the Mississippi River from Minneapolis to New Orleans in a rickety old pontoon boat and he and his fellow traveler Max will document every step of the way. on the website I really urge you to add this to your summer reading. I know it will be great! As a teaser here is the first post: