Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Bits and Pieces



B is making himself a snack in the kitchen. He comes out empty-handed, chattering cheerfully.

"Where's your snack?" I ask.

"Oh it's toasting" is the reply.

5 minutes later, I say "Well buddy I think your toast will have popped by now."

Scorn dripping from every syllable, he says "I didn't say it was TOAST. I said it was toastING."


A and B each have their own account on the kids computer. A's cursor is a purple heart, B's is a flame. This makes me smile because I know that A has chosen both of them, and I love it when she does things for her brother like that.



A walks into the kitchen as I'm cooking supper, and stops in her tracks.

"Is THAT what we're having??? YAY!!!!"

And off she skips, completely unaware that she has just made my day.


Refrain from blogging and cooking supper at the same time, lest you find yourself in the unenviable position of solving the "What's for supper?" question twice in the same night.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Clarification, please?

You know that verse in the Bible "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" (Job 13:15)?

That's not referring to your dentist, is it?

Friday, January 20, 2006

I'll take the root canal, please

So there's been recent dental work. Or work over, depending on the words you want to use. A molar extraction that took approximately 2 hours. I'll spare you the details - the nightmares have stopped and I don't want to dredge anything up.

"You're not bleeding much", the nurse comments as she stuffs gauze in the chasm behind the Next Tooth That Needs Work.

"aa oo" I say.

"Not necessarily good", she says. "Without much bleeding, there's a greater chance of a dry socket."

I file this term away and listen carefully to the instructions. Ice packs if you need it. Painkillers. Bite down on the gauze for this long. Teabags aid clotting. Do not drink from a straw lest you dislodge the blood clot.

The blood clot, I have learned, is All. When you are foolish to say "No, no root canal, I'm terrified of the pain, just yank the stupid thing out", what you want first and foremost is a blood clot that will stay in the hole. And if you're not bleeding much ...all the behaving yourself in the world may not make the difference and you may find yourself ...

four days post-extraction, after an exhausting weekend where all you did was lie around and try not to hurt and subsist on painkillers and that take out portion of garlic mashed potatoes your family brought back for you when they went out for lunch Sunday, soaking your face in the bathtub. This will work as long as your face is in the water, but as soon as get out, the pain will come rushing back. Because it is nerve pain, not tooth hole pain (even though it originates in the hole), it will radiate around your head like a malevolent halo. The extra hefty painkillers the dentist gave you will take half an hour to kick in, and work for 3 hours, which leaves one hour out of four that you are trying not to claw the side of your face off. As the painkillers kick in, you will lie there noticing with interest that the pain is receding in layers, like mist or haze, and you might actually consider composing a poem in praise of painkillers.

You might think of yourself as tough, so you might try to go back to work. That's very sporting of you. You might last an hour before the codeine in the new, less hefty painkillers, causes you to ask your spouse to drive you home because you think might faint. And possibly hork your dinner up.

You might go to work again the next day, holding the side of your face with grim determination. You might call the dentist and mention that the hole in your face seems to be bleeding a teeny tiny bit, and the dentist might say GET IN HERE NOW. So you do and the dentist takes some seaweed-looking type stuff that tastes strongly of bitter herbs and spices and pack the hole in your mouth with it. As this is similar to biting down on an infected tooth, you might think, in the words of Dante, "What fresh He** is this?" but an hour later you might find yourself in a state of blessed blessed relief. You might start composing poetry in praise of Dry Socket Paste, which is a bit like Buckley's cough syrup - tastes vile, but it WORKS.

Two days later, you might go back for a Socket Paste refresher. It will take five seconds and not hurt and you will happily assume you are on the road to healing.

The next day, or 8 days post-extraction, you might be cleaning the tooth next to the Paste packed pothole and gently blot the top of said pothole with the gauze. The alarmingly large plug of Paste might come right out, and so there you will be, calling the dentist at midnight on Friday night, whining and moaning from pain.

The next morning, the dentist will come in on his day off to freeze your gum and dig around in the hole in order to stimulate bleeding again, hoping to get a Blood Clot. Even though you are frozen, this might hurt so much that you can't stop shaking and sobbing uncontrollably. This will lead to many apologies - the dentist, looking sad and patting your arm, you, apologizing for falling apart in front of his children, who are there to have their braces worked on by dear old Dad.

You might write a long whiny boring blog entry about the whole thing once you stop shaking from pain.

Or you might get the ruddy root canal and avoid all this.

(please think Happy Blood Clot Thoughts for me? Or pray, if you're into that. I'm into that, so I'm praying.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Writing Courses!

Hey if any of the 2 people living in Calgary that actually read this blog feel like taking a writing course through a GREAT organization, check out the offerings at www.alexandrawriters.org .

Classes start next week so you have PLENTY OF TIME to register still.

don't forget to check out the weekend workshops!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Bible in 90 Days

So Angela Hunt issued a challenge on her blog - join her in a quest to read through the Bible in 90 days, starting on January 1st. I bought the 90 Day Bible, even, and I'm 15 days into it. (that's ...some very encouraging percentage, I'm sure! Yay! Read read read!)

It's been tough going sometimes. It's not one of those Read Through the Bible in a Year Bibles that hops all over the place - it's sequential. And there's an awful lot of directive mixed into the narrative, and I must confess, I don't always understand the God of the Old Testament. In one passage, just as I was thinking "but wha---?" the phrase "I am the Lord" jumped out at me. Right where I needed it.
I was reminded of Michael Card once saying "North America preaches a safe Jesus." We remember the love your neighbour, and forget the whip in the temple. Could the disciples meet his eyes, after that tempest in the temple, or did they spend the rest of the day subdued and frightenend? And then I'm reminded of CS Lewis' "He's not a tame lion."
I often say, rather glibly, now that I've said it a few times, "A knowable God is a self-created God."

As I'm working my way through the Pentateuch, I'm often having to remind myself of that.

Monday, January 16, 2006

This Is Who They Are

Two snapshots of the kiddos:


A fell asleep the other night with a much-bookmarked book of Jack Prelutzky's poetry in her hands. (A Pizza The Size of the Sun, for those of you who love the details) So I went to check what had fallen from B's hands as he drifted off to sleep.

The Calgary Flames team roster, listing players names and numbers and where they were born.


They were playing outside in the fresh snow this weekend, building forts and chasing their dad around the yard with snowballs. (I was hiding inside with my still very cold sensitive mouth)

A was wearing a jacket with the hood up, snowpants, and big fluffy mittens.

B was wearing a long sleeved shirt that was soaking wet in half an hour, and a pair of thin gloves, the kind you get 2 for $5 at the grocery store.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I have heartburn, my face hurts, and my laptop battery is nearly dead

Hi folks. It's Little Mary Sunshine, come to break her long silence.

I could tell you cute stories of my children, I could rant about adults who refuse to act like adults, I could tell you about the burning bun and the sleeping babysitter, I could tell you heartwarming stories of Christmas and my overwhelmingly adorable neice, I could whine about working ten hour days, I could praise the lovely Lorna to the skies for being a safe place for my children, as well as doing tons of laundry and cooking suppers, while I worked those ten hour days - the list goes on and on. I could do all this, but I'm not going to. I'm going to tell you about

The Annoying Telephone Solicitor

I am lying in bed, nursing the cavernous hole in my face left by the dentist this morning. I am cozily miserable in my painkiller induced haze. The phone rings. "Hello!" chirps someone who is probably a very nice person in her real life. In fact, I think it's only perpetually sanguine people who take phone sales jobs, because who else would think "Oh, that'll be fine! I'll be so friendly I'll be FUN to talk to!" Where was I?

"Hello!" she chirps. "Is this Mrs. (mispronounced surname)?"
For one second I'm tempted to say no, because there's certainly no-one by that name at this house, but I know what she means.
"Sure", I slur.
"blahblahblahblahblahblahblah and may I send you an invitation to our open house?" she carols.
"Sure", I slur, holding the side of my face in a vain attempt to keep the gigantic hole in my mouth from swallowing my tongue.
"Shall I tell you a bit more about us first?" she invites confidingly. (yes bjH I KNOW that's an adverb. Don't you HATE those? passionately?)
I realize that holding my lower jaw in place with both my hands and grunting answers isn't going to Make This Go Away. I summon all the energy I have, from the outlying areas where it has gone to ground.
"Actually, no." I say. "I had a tooth pulled this morning, that took the dentist an hour and a half to get out. It came out in five separate pieces and involved a lot of drilling. I now have at least three stitches in my mouth and I'm doped up on painkillers. If you want to send me stuff, send away, but can I please hang up now?"
There is a pause.
"Well if I don't tell you these things, I'll get fired." She laughs.
I grit what's left of my teeth. Sharp shooting pains result. "Oh, don't get fired." I say, with a regrettable lack of sincerity.
She asks a few questions, I whisper a few answers.
"Wow" she says, blinking her eyelashes (I could TELL) "It sounds like I just woke you up or something."
"No, I just had a tooth pulled." I resist the urge to shout "WHY SHOULD I LISTEN TO YOU IF YOU WON'T LISTEN TO ME???" because blood pouring down my chin from ruptured stitches is less effective over the phone.
Then she gives this half-hearted little snicker like "oh grow up, getting a tooth pulled is no biggie" and instead of losing it, I just hang up.

And instead of being annoyed all day, I planned this blog entry.

I feel much better now. Except the heartburn. When you can only have "cool fluids", maybe they shouldn't be exclusively Coke?