Not Your Average Hot Spring

Trifecta: this weekend’s prompt.

As you know, Trifecta has a history of dedicating the
entire month of October to Halloween. We’re kicking it off early and easy with
this prompt:

You’ve found some old books. On page 3 of one of the books,
this illustration appears.

Give us the 33 words that follow this illustration. What happens
next?

swamp_illustration

Well?

DID IT WORK??

Harry checked the brochure.

All tension and worry washed away, it said.

Mind and body relaxed, muscles soothed.

Detoxified.  Blemish free.

Turned you swamp green, Gordie!

So……

Hell YEAH!

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I have missed the deadline for this prompt and the challenge is closed so I can’t link up, (yes I am a procrastinating idiot) but I’m posting it purely for my own amusement anyway.  Cuz I really like the picture.

Something for Sunday

Dentist Humor

Dentist Humor (Photo credit: MTSOfan)

My dentist is a funny guy.

He is also gentle, efficient, quiet, skilled, calm, and altogether very pleasant.

It is really hard to hate him.

I didn’t intend to go back to see him again so soon, but a chunk of a very old filling came loose so I made an appointment, without having a mild panic attack.  It’s about time I outgrew this fear, wouldn’t you say?  My dentist is not all that scary, after all.  The night before I was scheduled to see him, (and the only good thing about this is the timing) another chunk of another very old filling also broke away from another molar.  My teeth are falling out of my head as we speak.  Or at least I am living with that stupid worry.

As much as I distress myself about all the work that has to be done, I’m very thankful to be in a place and time where it’s all possible and to have dental insurance that will pay for some of it.  The prep work for a permanent bridge to fill in a gap (which I’ve had for years but before now never agreed to have fixed)  has already been done.  Ouch, physically and financially.  Two more visits to completion, including a temporary and then a permanent crown.  I can do this.

He told me I made a good impression.  HAHA!  They took about four of them with that weird pink goop that hardens and sets and feels like it’s never going to come loose without cracking your jaw. He assured me that only a couple of teeth came out with it, no worries.

I came home feeling a bit sorry for myself, had a liquid lunch, took a couple of pain killers and went to sleep.  And after all that I felt a lot better.  I forgave the dental assistant for gagging me with the suction pump, or whatever it’s called.  The freezing came out of my eyeball and my nose.  Frankly I don’t care if they freeze my entire head, but why do dental people always ask complicated questions when your mouth is full of plastic and clamps and pink goop?

So what does all this have to do with Sunday?  Well, nothing really, it’s just what day of the week it happens to be, and the dentist visit happens to be what popped into my head.  And now I would like to pop it right back out again and listen to something that has nothing to do with drills and bridges and bibs around the neck.

There have been many covers of this song, but nobody comes close to Etta James.  Enjoy, and have a lovely lazy Sunday.

Dental Mental Health

teeth
I have been neglecting the blog world more than usual lately, and the reason is because I have had some appointments with the dentist.  Is that a good enough excuse?  Because it’s really all I’ve got.

Tomorrow, at the ungodly hour of seven-thirty I make my third and final trip to Smiles Dental House of Horrors (not its real name) to get two chipped teeth repaired (not caused by chewing on branches or twigs) and then I have to suffer through the obligatory cleaning where the pissed off dental hygienist  tries to scrape off every speck of enamel I have left while muttering about my gums bleeding on her instruments.  All hygienists are pissed off, it’s in their job description.  Plaque makes them downright belligerent.  They really should try to be thankful for it, because - come on – without it, they would be unemployed.

All my life I’ve been a dentist avoider.  I prefer to wait until the situation gets serious before wasting their time on something as boring as mere maintenance.  I went for two days once with a toothache because I was afraid of the pain the dentist might cause with his drills. So I guess you would call that suffering pain to avoid suffering pain.   Not the proudest or brightest page in my life story.

My dental phobia is a lot milder than it used to be, thanks to a great dentist who has a lot of patience with wimps.  All it takes is a couple of traumatic experiences as a child to instill a lifelong fear – and then a hundred million non traumatic visits to get over it.  I just have to keep telling myself that it’s an hour or two – that’s all – and then it’s over.  And I can come home and play candy crush for the rest of the day.  There’s still that little kid in me who likes to be rewarded for being brave.

Anytime is Nap Time

Cat Nap

Cat Nap (Photo credit: dlewis5)

For a couple of days I have been under the weather with a summer cold.  Why do they always seem to be ten times worse than the colds we get in the winter?  My head is full of sawdust.  All day today it has been pouring rain, but that just gives me an extra excuse to stay inside and moan and sniffle and generally feel very sorry for myself.  I have also been taking naps.  I am embarrassed to say how many of them, so I won’t even try to calculate that.  Let’s just say over 50% of my day and leave it at that.

There’s no one around right now to care how quickly and often I fall asleep, but if there were, here’s a list of nap excuses I’d use to make myself seem less of a sleepy head, or an old grandma who nods off mid conversation.  Maybe I wouldn’t do that if the conversation was interesting, but I’d advise you not to place any bets on it anyway.

1.  I was just resting my eyes for a minute.  (My own grandma used this one a lot, and you’re right, no one believed her.)

2.  I was doing some mood lifting, by bathing my brain in the neurotransmitter serotonin.  What?  You’ve never done that?  I thought everybody did that.

3.  I was meditating.  It was very deep.

4.  Those were my deep breathing exercises and you’ve made me lose my place.  Now I’ll have to start over.

5.  Recharging my batteries. They were at less than 20%.

6.  Doing some horizontal rejuvenation maneuvers.

7.  Practicing my person in a stupor role in case I ever have to play that part in a movie.

8.  Experimenting with dream phenomenon.

9.  Catching up on my adventures in slumberland research.

10. I always close my eyes when I put my brain in neutral.  Too bad the same thing rarely happens with my mouth.

I suppose a nap by any other name is still a nap.  Power napping is supposed to be good for you – increases your creativity and intelligence – in which case I must be verging on brilliant by now.

I’d write more, but I’m feeling the need to rest my eyes again.  I was a cat in my last life.  I think I may consider that option again the next time around.

Dwell on This

Smoking and drinking during pregnancy

Smoking and drinking during pregnancy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a beautiful fall day in 1973, sunshine pouring through the campus medical office window where Lara sits with her back straight, hands folded primly in her lap, waiting for her examination results.

“You are definitely pregnant”, the doctor tells her.  “Four or five weeks along.  Do you know what you want to do about this?”

Do?  Lara tries to clear her head and imagine what exactly people are expected to do in this kind of situation.  Cry?  Throw a party?  Why does the doctor care what she’s going to do?

“Was this pregnancy planned?  Is your husband going to be okay with it?”

No, not planned, Lara tells her.  Not discussed, not anticipated.  Big surprise, really.  So much for the diaphragm as birth control.  Throwing that out now I guess.  Stupid thing.  They stare at each other for a moment in silence.

“If you decide to terminate this pregnancy, it’s best to do it now.  You will need to let me know as soon as possible so we can make the arrangements”

Lara’s heart thuds and she moves her clasped hands up across her belly.  An abortion, that’s the option Lara is supposed to be considering, and immediately she knows that for her it isn’t an option at all.

“Oh God, no, I’m really happy about this!”  She supposes the doctor can be forgiven for not figuring out that her shell-shocked expression is an indication of joy.  And if Stan isn’t thrilled with the news that he’s going to be a parent before his university semester is over, oh well.  Lara decides she won’t dwell on that.

Because it doesn’t matter.  She is going to have this baby.  The doctor gives her a huge smile, as if to say she’s made the right decision, and tells her to come back and see her in a month.

When Stan picks her up ten minutes later he doesn’t even ask.  Laras beaming face tells him everything he needs to know.

(This is in response to this weeks Trifecta Challenge)

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Letter to Me, Aged 83

8/365 Matryoshka

Maybe I should be writing all this in bold caps for you my dear, since if you have managed to live this long I’m sure you’re mostly blind and completely deaf by now.  But I’m also certain you have the technology to enlarge my words and project them on to thin air 50 meters high, or convert them into shouting through implanted head phones or some such helpful communication device, all with the touch of your gnarled old fingers, in the year 2032.

Because if you haven’t changed too drastically I know you will have all the latest pads and pods and readers and gadgets at your fingertips, especially if your children and grandchildren still care enough to keep an old lady up to date.  And great-grandchildren.  Wow. Your self from way back here twenty years ago is having a hard time wrapping her head around that one.

So what can I tell you, now that you are a couple of decades older and wiser than you were in 2012?  This is very different from talking to my fourteen year old self (although I’m sure you’re not listening either) because I can’t give you any advice that wouldn’t be hopelessly old-fashioned by now.  All I can do is let you know what I hope in my heart you have become.

1.  Happy.  Please tell me you are happy with the things you’ve done and the places you’ve been and the people you’ve met in this lifetime.  If you’re not, shame on you, and there’s probably some great pills you should be taking for that, you grouchy old bag.

2.  Healthy.  You know, relatively speaking.  I hope your health issues are manageable and you’re not moaning and groaning and complaining all the time.  And I especially hope your main topic of conversation is not a long list of the people you know who died this week.

3.  Independent.  This one is a stretch when you’re in your eighties, but what I mean is that I sincerely hope you can still do many things for yourself on your own.  There is a fine balance here, because you also can’t be too proud to ask for help when you need it.  Just don’t be a burden.  And don’t climb up on the roof simply because you think you can get away with it.  Things like that could put you at the top of somebodys list of people who died this week.

4.  With it and Wise.  Yes, I know you’ve never really been either one of those things, but it’s never too late to try, is it?  If you’re not convinced that what you’re about to say makes sense, just sit there and say nothing.  People will mistake your silence for deep thought.  And I think it’s time you gave up the phrase “life is too short to….” because obviously some lives are not that short after all.

5.  Generous.  You can’t take it with you, whatever it is you’re clinging to, or whatever it is you’ve got in the bank or on paper or cluttering up your house.  If there are people around you who need it more than you do, give it away.  If they throw it in the trash once they’re out of sight, that’s okay too.  What you don’t know can’t hurt you.  And what you no longer have you also no longer have to dust.

6.  Kind and Loving.  Don’t ever stop loving your family and being there for them, no matter how extended or far-flung.  They’re the ones who will carry your memory with them after you’re gone, and it would be nice if those memories could be good and beautiful ones, not the kind that make them shake their heads and roll their eyes and pray they didn’t inherit any of your cantankerous disagreeable old genes.

7. At Peace with the World.   Stop fighting and accept the things you cannot change.  Let all those annoying young people you’re now surrounded by take over.  They have way more time and energy for all this nonsense than you do at this stage in your life.  Take a long nap.  You’ve earned it.

8. Unafraid.  Fear is such a waste of time and energy.  If you’ve been paying attention, you will have deduced from number seven that you don’t have huge amounts of either one of these things to spare. Don’t distress yourself with dark visions of doom.  You know what I’m talking about.  But if you’ve forgotten, never mind, that’s great, forget I mentioned it.  However, you should NOT give up your fear of stairs.  That’s a healthy one.

9. Tolerant, Understanding, Unbiased.  I hope you keep an open mind, even if you’re losing it. Never stop listening.  Never stop learning.

10. At Peace with your Soul.  Never regret who you were and who you are and whatever dumb and stupid things you did with your life.  You did a lot of good things too.  You deserve to be the happy, peaceful, loving soul of your dreams.  If what the psychic told you all those years ago is true, you have eleven more years to go.  I hope you enjoy every single minute of it.

Get a Flu Shot and Cheer the Hell Up

Production of influenza vaccine

Production of influenza vaccine (Photo credit: Sanofi Pasteur)

Yesterday W and I got flu shots, like we have been doing for the past several years.  The year I missed getting one I ended up with pneumonia, so now I’m a dedicated believer in them.  I’m in close contact at work with lots of people and breathing the same air, touching the same objects, wondering when the last time was they washed their hands, and why they can’t make themselves stay at home when they’re sick.

The influenza vaccine gives me some protection and makes me better able to fight off infections, and less likely to pass them on to other people.  I don’t really care if it’s all in my head, I believe they work.

Normally I don’t have any adverse reaction to the shot, but yesterday, OMG, the stupid needle hurt.  I gave the nurse the evil eye but she was not phased by it.  Maybe she enjoys her role of inflicting pain.  Or maybe she’s just not that good with needles.  Later in the day I could still feel the pain, although there was no redness or swelling, no matter how many times I checked.

I read over the information sheet she gave me, in particular the possible side effects section, and (no surprise for this paranoid hypochondriac personality type) realized I had every one of them.  Headache, muscle aches and pains, tiredness and irritability – the flu shot is a terrific excuse for all those things.  I should get them more often.  The fever and chills may have been caused by myself and W in our ongoing war of the thermostat.  He turns it up, I turn it down.  Somebody bakes, somebody freezes.  Temperature incompatibility helps to alleviate a lot of marital boredom.

And MAYBE the extremely stiff-neck pain I had later in the day was the result of reading my kindle for hours at a stretch, so involved in the story that it made my muscles tense up and my head hurt.  But of course today at work I won’t mention any of that, because this is my day to be out of sorts for a good reason.  Usually I don’t have one that’s even remotely believable.  So already the flu shot has made me feel better about myself and my moods.

There should be a section on their vaccine information paper about how long one can reasonably complain about the shot and how to fake a few of the anaphylaxis symptoms to garner sympathy without truly alarming anyone.  And how to recognize customers who have severely weakened immune systems so that you know who you can’t possibly offer to help because you might kill them.  I think two weeks of staying away from them sounds plausible.  Maybe I’ll call up Alberta Health Services and offer to write that up for them.  Lots more people would get the shot if I did.