can't you see the sunshine….

What’s this?

Yes, it’s a tooth with a screw in it, also known as a dental implant. So let me tell you the story…..

Years and years ago, I had my wisdom teeth pulled in preparation to getting braces as an adult and having my jaw surgically broken and reset. In the process of pulling the wisdom teeth, the root of a  nearby tooth was damaged. It didn’t really bother me for a long time. But when we lived in Virginia it started to bother me and had to be removed. I was convinced to have an implant to replace it. For VAST sums of money (because even if you have dental insurance it never seems to cover anything) I had the socket put in my jaw. And then after that healed the day came to put the implant in. It won’t stay. The socket surgery had to be done all over again. Causing me more pain and MONEY!

The surgery was done on Halloween. I was in pain but I drove home. Ben called me at 4:30 demanding that I come to help him drop off and pick up a rental car while his car was being repaired. At Tysons Corner in Northern Virginia at rush hour on Halloween. “It just has to be tonight!!!!” I was in pain. My last nerve had been plucked. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays which I always spent with our neighbor Jane. He was making me late for that. And I was in pain. FINALLY, I got home. I picked up my bottle of Cook’s champagne, stomped over to Jane’s and was not seen until much later that evening. (I think Siena (the sainted dog) made a note in her diary that no one made her dinner that night)

Weeks later I went back to have the implant put in. This time it sticks. The dentist tries to schedule a follow up appointment for six months. I point out that I will be living in Italy by then. So whatever tweaking he needs to do needs to happen by August. “Oh, well when you come back from your vacation…” I have to explain the concept of moving out of the country to him….

So, I have an implant. Other than the fact that I can tell from a dull ache in my sinsuses when the weather is going to change I don’t have any problems with it. Even when the Russian dental hygentist in Italy scrapes my teeth like she is mining gold, I have no problem. We move back here. I go to get my teeth cleaned and I announce, “I have an implant”. Teeth cleaning happens. Next day, implant is loose. OH NOOOOOOO! Doesn’t hurt but it is annoying. I put up with it. We go back to dentist for Ben. I mention implant is loose. Have to come back again to have dentist look at it. He doesn’t do implants so can only offer to grind it a bit to help it hit the lower tooth better. Doesn’t really make it better but I put up with it. Back again for Ben. Point out to dentist that my implant is still loose. He says you need to seed an endodontist.

Go to see the endodontist who is married to a man who is probably a cousin to me on my Italian Grandmother side. $375 later, (because, of course, our dental insurance does not cover any of it) I have a beautiful CD of a 3-D scan of my entire jaw. No root problems. She can’t do anything about an implant.

Off to an oral surgeon. I explain the whole story, tell him I want it out! Annoying as the dickens. Well…., he can make another appointment and do that ($1000) or I can go back to plain old dentist have him break the implant and remove it or I can wait until it falls out. This is in October. $75 more (What, I think my dental insurance should cover it?) and it is still in there rattling around being annoying. And no one really seems to want to do anything about it.

Fast forward to Monday of the week before Christmas. After really feeling EVERY weather front coming through for months, it has moved beyond annoying and now actually hurts full time. I call the oral surgeons’ office. Can only get an appointment at 8:00 AM at a satellite office 40 miles away on the Friday before Christmas break begins. And this is only an appointment for a consultation. REALLY! I take it. Make it through the day but pain has really increased and pills are not knocking it out. Make dinner. Can eat nothing. Decide to apply a bag of frozen peas. Well that did the trick. It must have made the metal contract. The tooth part slipped down enough so that I could unscrew it. There was less than 1/2 teaspoon of blood. And Hallejulia! The pain stopped. I eat dinner.

Next day, I cancel the most undesirable appointment of the season and reschedule for after New Years. There have been at least 4 cold fronts that have come through since then and I only know about them because Greg Fishel (local TV weather guy) told me. The oral surgeon is going to have to have a pretty strong argument for me to let this be screwed back in my mouth.

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The Standoff

Thank goodness for doors and windows. This happens several times a day. Fortunately Guppy does not bark at squirrels, instead staring them down.

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My favorite thing about winter has started. (actually started a few weeks ago but without cable we don’t see as many games until the regular season starts) This is one of the bonuses of moving back to the US. Watching ACC basketball.

Of course I was more than upset that the first game I could see, UNC and U of K, UNC lost. Really!. But it is early in the season….

Fortunately, you know who, could care less about basketball so I was able to watch without being distracted. Ben learned a long time ago that unless on the verge of death, needing anything during a basketball game was a bad idea.

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How many years

Did it take for this tree to grow to this size?

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Guest Post: By Guppy, The Lucky Dog 3

I don’t know what that word Scaldaletto means.  I’m hopin’ it’s nice since She has taken to callin me her little Scaldaletto.  She says She used to have one in Italy and She misses those.  Her bed, which She only lets me use when She doesn’t want it, is right next to the windows.  It’s usually kind cold up there so  I’m guessin’ that She likes it when I get it all warm and toasty for her.  Always happy to be of service.

I’m a little scaldaletto…

Today, she forgot to feed me.  It was almost 11:00 before I got breakfast.  I almost had to call Saving Grace to come get me.  And She and Ben went out at night this past week!  I should get double bones for having to work over time.  I mean!  Really!  I spend all day protectin’ the house from squirrels and then they go out and I have to sit up and protect.  That cuts right into my quality nappin’ time.  They went to see a movie at the library, Crazy Rich Asians.  Came back all happy and laughin’.  I guess they had fun so I suppose it’s okay.  Long as they don’t make a habit of it.

It snowed here last week.  Boy was that fun.  She didn’t let me play in it though.  But I walked around in it enough.  Had to stick my nose in to tell where those pesky squirrels had been.  And I sat on the deck a little bit but it sure was nice to come inside.  

I’m seein’ lots of Chewy boxes on porches but not one on our porch.  I’m thinkin’ I might not be gettin’ any new toys for Christmas.  She says I really might not need any.

I don’t know how She figures that.  Those red ones always end up under her bed so I only see them about once a week and then BOOM they escape under the bed again.  Or maybe I throw them under there.  

Well, She says I’m being too whiny.  And that I am a Lucky Dog and should be grateful.  So, I guessin’ I am.  

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Four Seasons in a Week

That’s what life here in North Carolina is like.  Sunday, December 2, it was 70 degrees.  Each day after, the temps slowly dropped so that by Sunday, December 9 it was in the 30s and snowing.  Many of you know my passion for snow. HA!!!!!!  Anyway we ended up with about 6 inches.  Fortunately, our less than 2 year heating system which had not been working well since October was finally replaced last Monday so we were warm.  But Sunday’s icing and on/off power did the very diva like ice maker in.  So now that is broken.  It is just over a year old.  

This week also marks the second anniversary of when we packed up and moved from Italy.  Once we arrived here, the first time I bought eggs in the grocery store I cried.  I don’t even like eggs but I do miss Richard’s chickens that spent time with us too.  Now I am able to get through the grocery with only fleeting moments of ‘Oh, I miss…..”  There are predictable places for these to happen, the wine aisle of course and cheese.  But it is odd things, like these green beans.


Why is it so hard to get these green beans here?  I have asked at my Harris-Teeter.  I have asked at the Farmers’ Market.  Really, you would think I was asking for some exotic tropical fruit.

And boxed bechamel sauce.  The laundry spray starch that I liked the smell of.  The beef pinwheels with cheese and arugula that Esselunga made.  The gargonzola cheese covered with marscapone and walnuts.  I miss the Esselunga.  Just eating lunch there….

Any way.  Enough whining.  I bet you thought there would be snow pictures.  HA!  No, instead the last flowers of summer taken in November

Wild Ginger, cut in November before the first frost

Wild Ginger

Hot Biscuits as my Father used to call them

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