slow and low

29 Jun

writing a post from my phone is no fun, so this’ll be short.

we’ve been in the new house for 2 weeks now & i’m still surrounded by boxes in the office and the sewing/craft/toy room. and i have a few projects that need to get done. i’m making “we’re catholic now” dresses for my nieces (what? that’s not what it’s called?) as well as my quilting bee blocks that i owe 4 people. i have 1 done & it’ll go out tomorrow, but I have to finish the others. hopefully, before we leave town on sunday.

we’re flying out on the 4th to go to st. louis & mt. vernon (my hometown.) we hope to see everyone we love while there & will be leaving our vicious chickens to guard the house.

sunny blue & astrid are our second pair of chicks. they had been hanging out in a cardboard box for 3 weeks while we moved & built a coop (or ‘coo’ as the boy says.) today was their first full day out there & they survived, so we hope they don’t succumb to the heat. sadly, our first 2 chicks, taco and sparkle, flew the coop the day we move in. we didn’t have a roof on their enclosure & they popped up over the side and hopped the fence. sparkle ended up in the neighbor’s pool, but taco is just gone. i feel really badly about it, but i never imagined they’d go over. the kids know that they are gone, but we figure it’s better they don’t know sparkle was found in the drink.

the internet connection we have is horrible and i don’t have my external hard drives connected to the computer yet, so posts will remain light until i get that handled.

as is, my arms are falling asleep. i hope to get back to it when everything is in its place.


i don’t even wanna talk about it

17 Jun

we went to the endodontist to have him finish the root canal on jilly’s tooth today that he started 2 weeks ago.


he wouldn’t finish it.

she had a sedative (7.5 mg of diazepam to be exact) to calm her down, but he didn’t think she was calm enough. they took her back without me & started the novocaine, but only got so far as the first injection when he called it off. he thought she was going to have an anxiety attack.

looking back, i feel like i should have advocted to keep going, to let me go in with her, to do something to get it done today, but i didn’t want to be pushy. i didn’t want to seem like i didn’t care about her because i do, i do, i do.


now we have to go to yet another doctor for a pre-evaluation and then have an IV-sedated root canal.

and we get to pay for 2 root canals.

ugh. so the count is:

referrals: 6
root canals: 0

please let the next time be our last.

previous installations of this saga are here, here, here, and here.

*posts will be few & far between since we are mid-move & we won’t have internet access until next week.

that blasted tooth

6 Jun

for over a week we’ve known that jillianne has needed a root canal on that front tooth (which i now know is #9 {#9…#9…#9})

after her 2 month check up on the #9 tooth, it was clear that she had to have a root canal. we called the referred endodontist who doesn’t happen to service kids under 12, but they referred us to another office in their group who does work with 8 year olds.

referrals: 2, root canals: 0

we went to that appointment on tuesday, where the endodontist confirmed that the nerve was dead and she did, indeed, need a root canal. BUT they don’t premedicate, so they referred us to another office that is 45 minutes from our house.

referrals: 3, root canals: 0

did you know it was this hard to find a pediatric endodontist? in a city with 4.3 million people? and did you know that some endodontists (you know, those people who drill into the center of your tooth? where the nerve is? repeatedly?!?) don’t use any pre-medication?

on kids!?!?!

we decided to call our dentist and see if they had any other recommendations since we were going to have to go to the really-far-away endodontist for yet another consultation before we could even have the procedure done. two days of driving, just driving for an hour and a half is just too much.

they gave me a number. i called. no dice. they see kids, but don’t use pre-medication.

referrals: 4, root canals: 0

when i called our dentist, yet again, the lovely gal at the front desk got on the horn for me and called around. she called me about 30 minutes later with a referral who worked with kids (score!) and, more importantly, uses nitrous. (double score!) the best part was that they could get us in that afternoon for a consultation and possible root canal. (triple score!)

referrals: 5, root canals: 0

this endodontist told us that, not only, was the nerve dead, but there was an abscess, as is evident in the x-ray:

x-ray on #9
that’s a big abscess

he said we could start today, but it may take 2 visits. i wasn’t sure why, but went along with him, hoping that we could have this behind us as quickly as possible.

yea, right.

the hygenist quickly set her up with the nitrous and we waited patiently for a very scared 8 year old to be in a frame of mind to have someone drill on her tooth.
ready as she'll ever be
here she is with the mask on.

and here’s her tooth isolated so they don’t fool with anything else. it’s kinda cool that they can do that.

the tooth is isolated
ready to get to work

he used approximately 472 different drill bits to work on cleaning out the canal and explained it to her by saying it was like brushing the inside of her tooth. she was clearly uncomfortable and kept flinching ever so slightly when he would drill. when she moved he had to stop so he didn’t hurt her, but we got her to keep her head still finally. she still had some pain when he drilled deeper into the root, which was a little troubling. he gave her a third shot of novocaine directly into the root canal and told me that if that didn’t work we’d have to finish another day. while we waited a moment for the meds to kick in, he mentioned that she was possibly having a panic attack, which i didn’t pick up on. was she scared out of her gourd? yes, undoubtedly, but i wouldn’t have thought she was on the verge of a panic attack. then again, i’ve never seen anyone having a panic attack.

he kept working and we quickly realized he was going to have to wrap up for the day and reschedule for another day. her pain just couldn’t be managed.

once they took another x-ray on the hollowed out canal, we turned off the nitrous and i thought she was going to pass out. her eyes rolled back 3 or 4 times and she told me she was really sleepy, but it quickly went away and she was just dazed.

we checked out with a new appointment in 2 weeks and a prescription for a strong antibiotic for the infection. turns out the abscess is so infected that the novocaine wasn’t working. we’ll try to get her healed a bit and come back when the infection has had time to calm down. we will also pick up a mild sedative the day of her next appointment which should practically put her out so that they can work without worrying about her moving.

i’ll be asking for a liquid sedative since we’ve had a horrible time with the penicillin in pill form.

she’s been chewing them up.


she refuses to swallow them with water or food, so i let her. i just need them in there so she can get better and we can put this behind us.

and while we might not get this smile back

teeth before

we’ll get a healthy one that won’t need anymore work done on it.

until she gets braces.

oh, yes. she’ll need braces to line up the tooth someday. the endodontist told me so.


referrals: 5, root canals: 1/2

to be continued…

remembering: a series of posts highlighting old family photos and the stories they tell

31 May

my great grandfather, fred, sr. fought in france in world war 1.

fred, sr. & an army buddy

he lied about his age so that he could join the army. he was 2 years shy of the acceptable age, but his size belied his years and no one thought twice. record keeping was such, then, that he didn’t have to offer much to join, but his word.

fred, sr & his dad

he hadn’t even graduated high school. didn’t do that until he came home from the war.

fred, sr & his family
(that’s him on the right, just next to his father, uncles, cousins & grandfather in the front, who fought in the civil war.)

he went on to do many things. he was a jack of all trades working in a shoe factory & a car manufacturing plant. he and his wife & my grandpa fred, called junior by his parents, moved around a bit to find work where they could. always had enough, meager as it was.

this is the grandpa justice i remember

fred, sr.

the one who stood quietly among us & spoke very little. i was very young and he was very old, so there wasn’t much time for him to implant himself in my mind, but he is there. the silent one whose eyes sparkled with the love of his family & told much more than his words ever did. the one who built his own house and painted the basement walls on viola avenue with the visage of his beautiful wife and family. he dabbled in genealogy and set up registers of all the cemeteries in our rural southern illinois county by traveling to each plot and documenting names as well as birth and death dates. the records are in the special reference section in my small town library.

he fought for our freedom and i salute him, but especially his fallen comrades on this day of remembrance, for their final sacrifice.

blogger’s quilt festival 3

23 May

my boy's quilt

for the third round of blogger’s quilt festival, i decided to highlight my boy’s quilt since amy had a hand in making it through our quilting bee, a notion or 2.

i sent everyone a fat quarter and 2 fat eighths of numerous different fabrics. (i just counted, there were 12 different prints.) they could add fabric, but i asked that they only use yellow, orange, brown, tan and turquoise, with black and white being a given since they are in practically everything.

justice is into cars, robots, pirates & trains. i got back a ton of really great blocks. every time i looked to flickr, there was a new block and they blew me away. i did the entire third row. (the car, his name & the bear block.)

i collected them all in st. louis & brought them to the desert to piece them together. i originally planned on giving all the kids their quilts for chrannukah, but didn’t end up getting some of the girls’ squares back and didn’t have time to make more before we devoured presents. i ended up giving it to him for his 4th birthday.

i had a lot of coordinating material left over, so i squared up each block to 16 inches with the extras. it was already pretty big and i didn’t want it to be any wider, so i made rows of blocks and only added white sashing between the rows horizontally.


the back is a large log cabin made of my paternal grandma’s 2″ squares that i inherited & still more leftovers.

the back

i had been eyeing jay mccarroll’s germania since it came out (and now there are knits!) & the colors were perfect, so i snagged a couple of yards to shore up the back.

this was also the largest quilt i’ve quilted on my own. it was kind of daunting, but i managed to do it and think the free-motion quilting turned out pretty well. i’ve had some tension issues on the back side, but i just had my machine serviced and made sure to slow down a bit. so far, i haven’t had any stair-step issues like i did in the past.

the binding

for the binding, i used up almost all of the remaining scraps & really like the scrappy look.

my boy loves his quilt and i’m a proud mama for making it for him with the help of my friends. i hope to get it together to show off the quilts for the girls. which reminds that miss james will be 2 in 2.5 months & i need to get her quilt done! first, to move into the new digs. soon, hopefully, very soon.

another day, another swap

7 May

i’ve joined the modify traditions quiltie swap. we’re making doll quilts/wall hangings based on the premise that we modify traditional quilting methods with a modern twist. mostly with fabric choice. i can’t make wonky lines, which is fine and one fo the reasons i signed up. i want to stretch my ability & this is perfect for me since i tend to improvise when i quilt & i’d like to do more pattern work.

anyhoo – here’s my gallery of inspiration for my super-secret partner to gander:

modify traditions swap inspiration

i like long walks on the beach, white russians…

oh, wait, wrong post.

i like bright, saturated colors, bold prints, fussy cutting & any style you can think of. i really like most all quilting, but am really in love when fabric choice comes into play.

have fun, partner!

water day

6 May

minty coffee laced with sweat
desperation hides
the swollen ankle of regret
irrigation glides
dragonflies hover over you
adoration rides
sunscreen scents and chesnut boy
sun-dappled muddy slides

*my lame attempt at poetry this fine thursday morning. we’re hanging out in the front yard full of water, trying too cool on another 90• plus day.

**i also want to wish my dear friend/brother charlie a happiest of birthdays.

no day but today

3 May

not sure if i said anything, but i’ve been out of commission in the running department for 3 weeks with a badly sprained ankle.

i did it while walking.


smooth move, ex lax is right.

anywho, i decided to start at it again today by easing back into walking & trying a little running. and when i say easing, i mean easing. i walked/ran for 1.1 miles. (is that even plural?) and it felt good. i also joined the site daily mile in the hope of being motivated & following my own progress.

i’ve been missing the running every morning and my damn pants were getting tight again. i suppose next time i’m sidelined with an injury, i should be a little more aware of my food intake so i don’t feel like i’m starting all over again. i didn’t gain any weight, but the clothes fit a bit differently. ah, well. no sense dwelling on it. it is what it is and now i move forward.

something else i’ve contemplated changing is my coffee habit. i wouldn’t say i’m addicted to coffee since i only have 2 cups in the morning, but if i perchance don’t get a chance to have coffee for one reason or another i end up with a monster headache in the afternoon. i’m weaning myself from regular coffee & slowly going to decaf. then, if i feel like having a cuppa i can, but if i don’t, it won’t ruin my day. not to mention the calories i’ll save. i know i only drink 2 cups, but when you add as much cream and sugar as i do, you save 250 calories if you stop drinking it. that just means more dessert, right?

speaking of weaning, the baby didn’t nurse this morning so it’s kinda been an eventful day and it’s only 1:33pm

that is all. (shhh – i don’t want to jinx it.)

home sweet

29 Apr

remember the house i alluded to in february?

dining to living & front door

it’s ours now.

well, we have 5 more days to decide if we want it or not, per our 10 day inspection period.

and we want it.

there’s a lot of crazy going on in there,

lovely 2 tone fan in the kitchen

but we see the potential. we don’t mind the crazy.

family room

we see where we’ll put some games and books and stuff.


we see where the kids will climb the tree and hide in the rock and brush.

breakfast nook

we see where we’ll gather for breakfast or do homework.

sewing corner

we see where we’ll create.

backyard bbq

we see where we’ll grill up your dinner when you come visit.

front of the house

most of all, we see our home.


22 Apr


1: true loves we have, number of months you lasted in the peace corps without me at your side

2: number of times we’ve been married (to each other)


3: number of sushi boats we had at our first wedding. also number of pregnancies we’ve endured (they really weren’t bad, were they?)

4: sweet little devil-spawn children we’ve produced from those 3 pregnancies


5: times we’ve moved together


6: number of dwellings in which we’ve lived together

7: the month we met, also the number of different cakes we had at the second wedding


8: number of places your anniversary present will have traveled before it reaches you


9: number of milliseconds it took for you to decide you must have me

10: years married


happy anniversary, darling dude. i love you more than i am able to express. here’s to the next 10 and more.

also? thanks for my diamond-encrusted large screen tv. it really sets off my eyes.