The tooth, it hurts!

Originally published at Kickin’ the new Kuh-nowledge. You can comment here or there.

And now, the bad news… While in Salt Lake City my tooth started bothering me. It’s one that has a crown on it, and it started to feel a little loose. I wasn’t sure if the crown was loose or if the tooth was loose. At first it was just annoying. Then it started to hurt when I chewed. By Monday, it was throbbing and my gums were starting to swell.

I went to an emergency dentist in Salt Lake City on Monday night and got some pain meds. The diagnosis wasn’t good. I would likely need to remove the tooth. My options are a gap in my smile, an implant, a bridge and a denture-like object described to me as a “flipper”.

The first thing we did when we arrived in Chicago yesterday was call some dentists. I was able to get an appointment with Dr. Harvey Mahler in the Loop. He took a look at my mouth and whistled. It wasn’t pretty. Apparently my tooth fractured, which developed into an infection, which caused what was then an enormous abscess in my mouth.

Dr. Mahler’s rooting (pardon the pun) around in there caused the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced in my life. He decided finally to lance the abscess and drain it. The lancing part was painless. The draining part which required him to squeeze it felt like what I imagine running my hand through a blender would feel like. When he was done I had tears streaming down my face.

About 30 minutes later, all the stress and the pain caused me to throw up. Funny thing about throwing up, you feel better almost instantly after doing it. Well, relatively speaking, of course. I was still somewhat nautious for the rest of the day. Note to self: No more Hydrocodone for you!

I feel a bit better today. The pain is mostly gone. I can still feel something there, but it’s more of a “Hey, look at me” kind of feeling. I can eat again. Yay!

At any rate, I’ll have the fractured tooth extracted on Friday. I’m not sure how long it will take to recover from that, but my options for having a normal smile are all expensive so they may have to wait until I return from my trip to Brazil. It really depends on what my insurance will cover. We’ll see.

If you see me in the next few weeks, you are more than welcome to see the missing tooth. Just be forewarned, it ain’t gonna be pretty.


The IRS Sent Me Letter…

Originally published at Kickin’ the new Kuh-nowledge. You can comment here or there.

The title of this post should be sung to the music of the famous Box Tops song “The Letter”.  Seriously.

Got a letter in the mail from the IRS stating that we owe an extra $1000 from our 2006 taxes.  It’s entirely possible that I missed something, but I doubt it.  I’m pretty meticulous when it comes to taxes.

That said, it was the first year we filed together, and it’s also the year we moved to Illinois.  So there were a lot of bits of paper that year, and the discrepancy is apparently some income Liz had from the university.

As you can imagine, having to pay an extra $1K out of the blue isn’t exactly a welcome thought.  Here’s to hoping the IRS made a mistake.  Otherwise, there are some trips later this year that aren’t gonna happen.  :(


On Thanksgiving…

Originally published at Kickin’ the new Kuh-nowledge. You can comment here or there.

I convinced my boss that I didn’t have to drive up to Chicago this week… meaning that I could work from home all week instead of doing my normal weekly commute.  Saves gas.  Saves time.  Saves my sanity.

Liz had arranged for us to buy a turkey from a local farm.  One of the nice things about living out here in the middle of the farm belt is that…  well… uhm…  you can go to a farm and buy shit.  Seriously, you can buy just about anything.  Meat, veggies, fruits.  It’s all available locally (at least during the summer).

Anyway, we picked up our bird (14.8 pounds) that had just been killed the day before and made our way home.  They don’t clean the gizzard for you on the farm so that was a neat experience.  I had no idea that turkeys (and I assume other birds) use small rocks in their gizzards to basically grind up their food.  The sack that holds these rocks needs to be removed before you can use the gizzard for cooking (and yes, I do use the gizzard for cooking).

There are two ways to cut this sack out.  The easy way or the hard way.  I easy way makes a mess and then you must clean the gizzard thoroughly before using it.  The hard way require precision.  I chose the hard way, and as the poet said… that has made all the difference.  ;)

Once the gizzard operation was complete and the giblets were cleaned, we proceeded with our turkey cooking extravaganza…

First… the giblets and wing tips go in some water to make turkey broth.  Turkey broth is important because you’ll need it for both the stuffing and the gravy.  If you don’t have enough… no worries.  You can always substitute chicken broth.

Second…  make the injection concoction.  I use butter and dry sherry.  You can use whatever you like, but you can’t go wrong with butter and sherry.  Inject this concoction liberally throughout the breast area and anywhere else you want to add it.  If you prefer brining, to injecting, that works too.  The idea here is to end up with a moist bird.  Either method will work.  The method that will NOT work is basting.  Basting is a waste of time.

Finally…  the stuffing.  For me, the best stuffing in the world is oyster stuffing made with cornbread.  This year, though, because some of our guests don’t like seafood, we opted for two different stuffings.  One was a chestnut, sausage and mushroom dressing Liz found.  The other was just a standard old school nothing special stuffing.  Keep in mind that the bird doesn’t necessarily need to be stuffed.  If you like the idea of stuffing the bird, add some cooking time to cover for it.  I normally stuff the bird, but I think in the future I’m not going to bother.  I’ll just make the stuffing separately to save some time.

The dinner itself was fun.  We had four guests.  They thoroughly enjoyed the food (bird, cranberry chutney, green bean casserole, parsnip and celery root and sweet potato au gratin, mashed potatoes, broccoli, stuffing, salad,  pumpkin pie, strawberry-rhubarb pie).  We thoroughly enjoyed their company.
As for what I’m thankful for…  there is too much to name.  I’m most thankful for Liz…  the rest follows from there.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  I  know I did.


Jerie Barber Scholarship

In memory of Jerie Barber, a scholarship has been established at the University of Central Florida. It will be awarded to women over 40 who wish to start or return to college. If you are interested… contributions should be made payable and sent to…

Jerie Barber Scholarship Fund
232 Wilshire Blvd
Casselberry, Florida 32707

For any questions call 407.260.6050

Jerie Barber…

Jerie was 59 when she was suddenly diagnosed with a disease that ravaged her body in a few quick months. Her husband, children, family and friends will miss her. I know this to be true because I witnessed their love for her pour out on Saturday as we all memorialized her life and passing. It was the most moving and beautiful such service I have ever witnessed.
Larry Beasley… Welcome and Reflections
Stewart Bloom… Thoughts and singing “Amazing Grace”
Genie Maloney… Reading a Poem she wrote about Jerie… “Butterfly”

A song was played… Norah Jones… “Sunrise”

Jackie Abrams… Reading the song… “Dance”

A song was played… Pavoratti/Vanessa Williams… “Non te scordar di mare/Do not forget me not”

Mara Levitt… Thoughts and Reading the a Rabbi’s sermon… “Birth is a Beginning”
Carolyn Peters… Thoughts and Reading selected verses from the Bible
Sonja Nicholson… Thoughts and reading… “Stardust”
Michael Jay San Filippo… Thoughts

A song… Bob Dylan… “Death is not the end”

Mary Ann Beasley… Thoughts and reading “Forever” and a letter from the Barber family
Nita Rizzo… reading a poem… “Remember Me”
Ted Derbyshire… Thoughts…
Kathy Kovacs… reading a poem… “Don’t Think of Her as Gone Away”
Pastor Tom… thoughts and reading… “Life between the dash”

Little bits of paper…

I went downtown the other night and was pulled over by the po-po…

Two tickets were issued… one for not having my most current insurance card… and one for not having my most current tag decal…

You would think that after so many years of doing this stuff I would figure out that keeping these things up to date is important on some level. Heck… they’ve even made it easy… just log in to the website and in a few days your stuff will be in the mail.

Anyway… Apparently the whole tag mixup was because I moved and the post office does not forward this kind of mail. So… it’s not totally my fault. It’s those damn post office weenies. Bastards!!!! BASTARDS!!!!

It’s amazing that the same people that brought us Delivery Confirmation for First Class Mail can’t forward important mail like that. It must be a conspiracy.

Stinky McStink meets Gimpy McGimp… hilarity ensues

I took my first shower after the surgery today. After much deliberating and gnashing of teeth, I was able to get into the shower and clean my “stank ass” body. When I say stank ass… I mean some serious funk!

If you thought getting into the shower was fun… there’s an encore when you try to get out. Thank god for crutches. 😉

Speaking of crutches… I can get around without them for the most part. Progress… Can I get an Amen!?!

Bees Knees, Part the Second

I made it through my arthroscopic knee surgery this morning. All seems to have gone well. How would I know otherwise… I was knocked out the entire time.

Was given a big bottle of Vicodin, but I have yet to feel enough pain that it would require Vicodin. I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune tomorrow morning when I won’t be able to reach that “big bottle” fast enough.

Talked to my mom today. She sounds cheerful considering the situation. She has her third chemo session tomorrow.