Category Archives: Etc.

Quiet Abby

Yes, I’ve been quiet lately on this blog – I’m still having troubles from the wisdom tooth that I had to have removed in February (had another surgery two weeks ago today), and I just haven’t had the energy or motivation to write on the blog.  One very quick update on my tooth troubles, for those of you who might ask:  as of Monday, I have now switched oral surgeons in hopes of achieving full recovery.  I feel absolutely terrible about ditching my first oral surgeon, because she is so nice and so smart and I really like her, but I wasn’t getting better and I can’t continue on this way any more.  My first oral surgeon left me a phone message this morning, and I feel dreadfully guilty about having hurt her feelings.  Yuck.

In library news, storytimes and book groups continue on as usual, and I’ve found a new level of hyper-efficiency at work now that I live in fear of being out with dental problems at any given moment.  It’s amazing how much I can accomplish when I’m going at warp speed, which I estimate to be 200% speed (twice my usual, that is, and my usual is pretty darn efficient).  But it does leave me pretty tired and depleted on my off hours, hence the lack of blog postings.

With any luck, I’ll finally recover soon, and with any luck, I’ll be finding my librarian voice again soon to write interesting blog posts.  This has been a rough year, and I’ve become pretty worn out over the last nine months.  My apologies that this has meant inconsistent postings!!

Weekend update

I’m not feeling too possessed by the writing bug this weekend, due to YET ANOTHER oral surgery on Friday (don’t even get me started – this has been a pretty miserable experience), but thought I’d update on a couple of things I’ve written about recently:

Pippa is a happy girl, now that she’s back on regular food.  She does drink a lot of water, and she does sleep more than she used to, but she’s enjoying all the extra lap time and morning brushing sessions.  Hopefully she’ll be around for a long time yet.

The mouse is dead, finally.  And I have learned that my perfectionism doesn’t work well when setting mouse traps; I was so focused on making the traps look good that they were virtually impossible to spring.  The mouse enjoyed many snacks of spreadable cheese and peanut butter off of my traps, in absolute safety and comfort.  But then Jim set a trap, and that was the end of mousey.  Mouse did leave us one parting gift, though – he climbed into the sub-woofer for our (thankfully) inexpensive surround sound system, and it would seem that he munched through some wires while he was in there.  Now when we try to use the surround sound we get horrible loud sounds and the system goes into “protect” mode.  And yes, I have unplugged it.  Time to save our pennies for a new system…

Work on the bathroom continues on, slowly but surely.  Jim laid down the remainder of the tiles this morning, all those fussy little pieces that require cutting and fitting and delicate maneuvering into small spaces.  One step closer, one step closer.

So that’s the weekend update for today.  And one plea for those of you who will be attending my storytimes this week: remember that I’ve got another open wound in my mouth, and that I can’t talk very loud, and I’ll probably cut down the length of each storytime this week to spare myself some misery.  And, most importantly, the swelling and bruises on my face are NOT from my wonderful husband!!

Happy Patriot’s Day!

I had a lovely day hanging out in Concord for the parade with my friend Linda and with her son – and even saw another friend and his father-in-law while getting a coffee at Sally Ann’s Bakery.  My two favorite photos of the day are below – one of my ubiquitous Patriot’s Day horse photos, and a photo of the oldest flag in the country, which saw the action on April 19, 1775:

Bathroom project, part three

These photos bring us up to the present in the continuing saga of the bathroom renovation.  Drywall has been put up, lally columns have been installed in the basement to hoist the floor back up (the source of the crumbling vinyl floor tile that initiated the whole project), electrical is finished, the floor leveling compound is down, and Jim has installed the cement backer board that will support the awesome new floor tile. 

Pictured below are the fresh insulation, the yucky wallpaper that we found in the foyer (since we’re renovating the foyer and the bathroom together), the drywall, an action shot of Jim applying the mortar before putting down the backer board (I think he was a wee bit annoyed with me at that moment), and the wood floor that we found in the foyer underneath the vinyl tile.  We did decide to cover up that wood floor, mostly because we had already bought and paid for the ceramic tile, but also because it was in poor shape and kinda ugly.  And, important note for Jean and others who visit our house: there now is a light switch for the bathroom that is guest friendly, right by the door from the foyer!  Yay!  (Click on images to enlarge.)

The tooth that wouldn’t die

The wisdom tooth saga began on February 12, and it’s not over yet…Since I’ve been having some pain and swelling, I went in for a procedure today where the oral surgeon started off doing an exploration to see what was going on.  Turns out my tissue hasn’t been healing properly – I had a lot of granulation tissue, whatever that is – and the oral surgeon had to dig down and thoroughly clean out the socket again.  So I’m starting from square one, again.  With the potential for another round of dry socket, again.  This is getting old.  The only difference with the surgery this time is that we didn’t know how extensive it was going to be, since I had no visible signs of granulation tissue outside the socket, so I drove myself to this procedure and only had laughing gas.  Meaning that I got to hear my bone being scraped clean, which was a novel experience.

Once I’m done with the current piece of gauze that I’m clamped down on right now, I’ll be buzzing off to the pharmacy around the corner to pick up my prescription for Percocet, which hopefully I’ll tolerate better than the Vicodin…because I can already feel the pain coming on big time.  Storytime tomorrow is looking doubtful, folks, if I feel this much pain tomorrow.  Sigh.  And, of course, the Lego Expo is this Saturday – I think I’ll avoid making any announcements over the microphone if I can; maybe I’ll be able to be the silent children’s librarian who takes photos and enjoys the kids’ models but doesn’t talk a whole lot.

Good thing I bought an extra box of tapioca before the first surgery.

Happy Birthday!

I almost forgot to post a happy birthday message to my dad – but the day’s not over yet, so I squeezed it in just in time.

Happy Birthday, Dad!!!!

Our fairies!

The last seven months have had some not-so-fabulous moments for Jim and me (along with lots of laughter and smiles, it hasn’t all been terrible), and I’ve had to use up most of my vacation and sick time for two surgeries of my own and my dad’s knee replacement surgery.  But, as a friend of mine pointed out to me yesterday, sometimes someone comes along and taps you on the shoulder and says, “Hey, I’ve been paying attention, and I care.”  And that’s what happened this week for Jim and me.  Two wonderful people, who just happen to be related to us, sent us two gift certificates so that Jim and I could have a couple of dates even if we haven’t had a decent vacation in a while.  One gift certificate is to the awesome restaurant Serafina restaurant in Concord, a really good Italian restaurant in my hometown.  And the other gift certificate is to the Strand Theater in Clinton, a wicked cool movie theater that actually serves burgers and pizzas and other yummy food and beer!  Woo-hoo!

Like most people we know these days, Jim and I have modified our definition of “date” to mean going together to Idylwilde to buy chicken and broccoli and French bread for dinner, so these two gift certificates mean an awful lot to us.  Thank you thank you thank you to our mini-vacation fairies!!

Ugh (a potentially boring post about a tooth)

Here is the tale of my now-departed lower left wisdom tooth, a tale that will probably bore everyone but me, but it’s what I wanted to write about today:

On February 12, I finally figured out that the weird sensation I’d had in my mouth for several days was actually an infected wisdom tooth.  (I’d had a bad cold, and thought that the weird sensation was related to the cold.)  So I called my dentist, she put me on antibiotics and referred me to an oral surgeon for a consult, and within a few days I’d met the oral surgeon.  Nothing urgent, she said, but that wisdom tooth should be removed within the next six months, and I should expect to miss a week of work when it was removed.  Ok, I thought, I can handle this; I looked at the library calendar and talked to the library director, and decided that Friday, April 1, was the perfect day for me to have the surgery.  The current session of storytime for 2’s & 3’s would have just finished, the Lego Expo would be over, and it would be easy to cancel storytimes for two weeks at the beginning of April so that I could fully recuperate.

And then the left side of my face swelled up to freakish proportions, and the dentist had to put me on a much stronger antibiotic.  She also told me, “You know, this infection will never really go away until that tooth is removed.”  Change of plans, quick about face, and I took the first surgery appointment that they offered me, which was a week ago yesterday.  Lots of people offered me advice and stories about their own wisdom tooth removals, but I’ve learned that the only people who were really honest with me were my brother, who said something along the lines of, “Ugh, that was awful when I had my infected wisdom tooth out,” and Jim, who said, “You’re going to hate it.  I was swallowing blood for a week when I had mine out.  It was gross.” 

Everyone else sugarcoated it, and I think that they either have really, really poor memories, or they’ve been brainwashed, or they were lying.  Because this has been a miserable, rotten, yucky, awful week.  The anesthesia knocked me on my rear end Thursday night, and then I learned quite definitively that vicodin and I are not friends.  At all.  Admittedly, I did feel better Friday morning than I had in a while, and I cockily thought that I’d avoided all those nasty problems that come with wisdom tooth removal.  Not so much.

Because I woke up early early in the morning on Sunday with some of the worst pain of my life.  Oh, so bad, so bad.  And then the ibuprofen kicked in, and I thought everything was fine, other than the nasty taste in my mouth.  And then the pain crept in again, and receded again, and then hit with full brutal force again in the wee hours of early Tuesday morning.  I put up with it as long as I could, but finally called the oral surgeon’s office and persuaded the rather snotty young woman who answered the phone that I needed an appointment, today. 

Not surprisingly, the oral surgeon told me that I have the dreaded “dry socket” that she had warned me I was at higher risk for due to my age.  If you haven’t had dry socket, thank your lucky stars.  It’s pure, unadulterated pain, pain that saps the life out of you, leaving you just enough energy to watch a DVD or nap, nothing else.  If you look up “dry socket,” you’ll see all sorts of suggestions for how to avoid it, and I’d just like to make it very clear that I did all of those things – and still got dry socket.  What is dry socket, you ask?  Basically, your body is supposed to produce a nice blood clot to fill in the empty socket where your tooth once was, thus protecting the never-before-exposed bone and nerves.  In dry socket, the blood clot either doesn’t form, or dissipates too early, leaving the bone and nerves open to air and food and hot and cold.  And, as I’ve learned, you also get the nastiest imaginable taste in your mouth, partly from food catching in the socket, and partly from the putrefecation of the blood clot. 

So here it is on Friday, a week and a day since the surgery, and the pain is getting a bit better, a bit, and the taste in my mouth isn’t totally foul (but pretty close), and I’ve done absolutely nothing fun or productive with my time off from work, which feels like a dreadful waste of vacation time that could have been used for better purpose.  Two surgeries in seven months, and my last vacation well over a year ago – not the ideal.

But I do remind myself that I’m damned lucky to have dental insurance, which covered all but $206 of the procedure, and to live in a part of the world where quality dental care is readily available.  With an infection like I’d developed, if I’d lived in a part of the world where health care was hard to come by, I might well not have lived to tell my tale of woe.  And that’s just wrong; the technology is there to cure such things, and everyone deserves to benefit from it.

And now I think I’ll go take another dose of ibuprofen to curb the swell of pain that I feel coming on me.  Maybe I’ll have a mint, too.  Blech.

Silence…and teeth

This has been a blechy year for me, and for the last week and a half I’ve been dealing with a particularly blechy thing, an infected wisdom tooth, and haven’t felt much like writing blog posts.  As of tonight, the problem has gotten much worse (I look like a freakish lopsided chipmunk right now), and I’m afraid that if I were to write a post about work at the library or children’s literature or storytimes or book groups I would just be grumpy and not at all interesting.

So I’m going to nurse my sore mouth-face-neck for a bit, get ready for the inevitable wisdom tooth removal surgery, and only write a post here when I’m in a good mood again.  Hopefully that will be sooner rather than later.  Meanwhile, feel free to catch up with me via my Etsy store, since jewelry making is one thing that’s keeping me from being too grumpy right now.  Probably because it doesn’t involve talking or eating, and is demanding enough to be quite distracting.  So there you have it.  Time for me to retire for the night, not that I’ll be able to sleep much with my freakishly swollen face.  And I’m getting grumpy…signing off now…


With all of this blasted snow that’s been falling (and needing to be shovelled) lately, with trying to “start up” my new “business” (it’s all a joke, really, who am I kidding?), with the messiness of the bathroom renovation – with all of that taking up my days and energy, I haven’t had much time to read.  And reading is my favorite winter activity, sitting all warm and snuggly and carefree by the woodstove.

So this morning I decided to get a million things done before breakfast: pay the bills, go to the bank, mail the bills (necessarily in that order), go to Idylwilde for food supplies before the pre-storm crazy people get there, come home and refill the three suet feeders and the three bird feeders, dig out an exhaust tunnel for the furnace vent pipe (again), and bring in a big load of firewood.  And then, start the fire, vacuum up the mess of detritus in front of the woodstove, make a lovely pot of Cheericup tea, eat breakfast standing up because I’m so famished, check in on my Etsy store to see if I’ve made any sales (of course not), and write this blog post.

Guess what comes next?  Reading!!!  Since Ellen Potter is Skyping with the 5th grade book group on Tuesday, I’ve decided to settle in and have an Ellen Potter marathon.  First up is the rest of the Olivia Kidney series [note that there are three separate links to the three sequels], then Pish Posh, then The Kneebone Boy.  I’m really enjoying Potter’s style of writing and quirky take on the world, and I’m really looking forward to Tuesday’s Skype visit.  The only unfortunate thing about a book group Skype visit is that I doubt I’ll have much time to chat with the author – this visit is about the kids, not me, and I’m guessing they’re going to be exploding with questions for Ms. Potter.  And I’ll be busy moderating and trying to aim the webcam at each speaker.  But it will still be exciting and new and different, and it’s inspiring me to read a bunch of books that I’ve been meaning to read for quite a while.

And on that note, I think I’ll get to it.  Happy reading to me!!