Archive for the ‘Cleaning’ Category

So, Supportive Partner Woman (she who is flossing-challenged!) and I went to the dentist today. It was my second first visit with this particular dentist. You might be wondering how that can be, well, it’s like this.

A few years ago, I had a toothache. As it turns out, I had a plastic container fall out of the cabinet and hit me in the lip. It must have hit the sweet spot, because it pretty much killed a tooth. So, seeing as I didn’t have a regular dentist in Cow Country at the time, I let my fingers do the walking. I came upon the dental offices of one Frank Carano, DDS. I called and they were able to fit me in. Dr. Carano, a gnomish little man, told me I would need a root canal. We scheduled it, but Carano wouldn’t be doing it. He did, however, take the time to plug the custom color match service they offered, for an additional $125.

Doogie Howser DMD?

Carano’s associate, Dr. Kingston, actually did the procedure. He seemed awfully young but very competent. He even managed to pull off the second part of the root canal without any anesthesia. At the time, we didn’t have dental coverage, so I just let the cleanings and exam go by, even though I know that dental health is very important because of The Beetus. It just wasn’t a priority.

So fast forward and we noticed that Doogie the Dentist* had opened his own office, away from the gnomish Dr. Carano. We hemmed and hawed and eventually made appointments for exams and cleanings. We set them up for today and, of course, we almost forgot about them. The appointments were at 10:30… I woke SPW (sleeper of great soundness!) up at 10:14 and we managed to make it there by 10:44.

We get checked in and I get called first. The hygienist, Shannon, comes and takes me back to the exam room, which is dominated by a big-ass monitor. She does a load of X-Rays (surprised I’m not glowing), takes pictures of fillings and the like, and does some sort of laser test on my teeth to check hardness. I was sure that the laser would slice part of my jaw off… I’ve seen the movie, but I’m just fine.

The final score is that I have my second cavity of my 41 years. I also need to have an old amalgam filling replaced. It’s served me well, seeing as I got it when I was 13 or 14, so it doesn’t owe me anything. Finally, I have six (now four) teeth that need to be sealed. I also should have a crown done, but we can wait a little on that. The important thing to take away is that being attentive to dental care is as important as taking care of everything else when you have diabetes. It can really help your long-term health. So, pick up the floss, or as Shannon suggested, the dental picks. I know I have a long way to go with flossing, but like every other change I am making, I’ll get there.

Oh, and not once did Dr. Kingston attempt to sell me anything like my former dentist, Dr. Beefyhead. Dr. Beefyhead (not his real name) was convinced that all health problems were caused by my jaw being out of alignment and for only $13,000 (financing available), he could break may jaw and fix the alignment, curing me of all maladies.


* Please note that this is not meant to sound derogatory in any sense. Dr. Kingston strikes me as a fine clinician and his staff is first-rate. I am quite pleased with his work and would gladly recommend him to anyone. If you are in the Lancaster, PA area and are seeking a dental professional, check out  his website.

A typical sleep cycle here at Chez T will involve me heading to bed before The Management. See, she’s much more of a night owl than I am. I like to get to bed and accomplish things in the morning. I think I feel that if I get something done in the morning, I won’t feel unproductive through the rest of the day.

As many know, I’ve been working at cleaning out my office. That project is well on its way to completion; I’m actually writing this from my new desk, which is nothing but a folding banquet table. I have plans to build some add-ons for it, but it’s working in the meantime. My cleaning has moved on to the bedroom closet and, I’m happy to report, I’ve been joined in that effort by Supportive Partner Woman (Folder of Multitudinous T-Shirts!).

Good God that’s a lot of shirts!

We don’t have a lot of pictures of the closet, but this picture should give you an idea of what needed to be refolded and organized. I’m happy to report things look a lot better. I’d like to think that after the procedure is done, I’ll be able to buy smaller clothes.

To go along with our improved organization, we’ve been doing more meals at home and meal planning. Just yesterday, I made chipotle-marinated sirloin strips and pico de gallo. I also used some flatbreads we found at Wegman’s as a pizza crust. I put some jarred pizza sauce (I know..l. need to make my own) and mozzarella on top, along with some sliced Roma tomatoes and, in my case, some green pepper slices. For a first effort, it was actually pretty tasty, and it looked pretty good, too. When I got home from work last night, I also cooked a big pot of black beans for my steak burrito. First time I ever cooked beans that weren’t from a can, so we shall see how they turn out.

Veggie flatbread pizza – a work in progress

So, that’s what I have for you today. Remember. You can always make up for calories with flavor. Spices are generally free, so feel free to use liberally. You can make up in flavor what you lose in fat and calories.

Well, it’s here and gone. The Yard Sale of Doom has come and gone and our house is still standing. There was, of course, an incredible display of unbridled cheapness, but that’s what happens when you have this kind of function. Let’s review, shall we?

After not getting to bed until around 2:00 or so, 6:30 was waaay too early to be getting up. I knew it would be a scorcher, so I decided to forego the shower, threw on a ballcap (and pants, too) and got to work. The Management and I had done a lot of prep work the past few days, including removing the giant computer desk from my office, so there wasn’t a lot of carrying stuff to do. Dragged the tables outside, displayed our wares, and off we went.

besides the giant desk, highlights included three gently used Lego sets (figured if I sold them for what I listed them for on eBay, I’d be ahead of the game. No eBay fees or PayPal fees), a table that we used in our kitchen, some DVDs, and a few other sundry items. Our friend Cheri also set up a couple of tables, primarily getting rid of children’s clothes and toys. We weren’t seeing much action on our big ticket stuff, so I snapped a quick picture of the computer desk and threw it up on craigslist. Figured it couldn’t hurt. About a half hour later, I check my email and there’s a reply from someone expressing interest in the desk, with a phone number. I start dialling the number when someone asked about the desk. Turns out to be the guy I was just calling! What are the odds?

He wound up buying the desk, along with a printer and router. I was just glad to see it go!

All in all, other than some people trying to nickel and dime us (asking $1.00 for a DVD and somebody offers $0.25. I looked at him and said, “Seriously?” He didn’t buy… cheap bastard. We even managed to take some of the profit and pick up some chicken BBQ from the local fire company. They get $9.00 for a half chicken, baked potato, roll, cole slaw, drink and dessert. Not bad and goes to a good cause. It helps that it is some yummy chicken.

Next chapter of the Yard Sale saga takes place July 7, in bucolic Blandon, PA. If you’re headed up 222 to the Kutztown Folk Festival, look for us on the side of the road.

As an aside, the birdie maternity ward is back in business. Every summer, it seems that a certain dove likes to lay eggs in our hanging flower baskets. It’s actually kind of cool to watch, as she seems to be a very calm bird. Hope I can get some pictures of the hatchlings this year.

Mom keeping an eye on things


(Beep… Beep… Beep…)

Yes, that is the sound you used to hear as I would exit my erstwhile office and full-time dumping ground. It was where junk mail went to molder. Notice I said “Used to…”

See, in the five years that we’ve occupied this house, I’ve done a lot to it. I’ve finished the basement, replaced the fence, rebuilt the guest room, built the Nerd Lair, etc. I always seemed to neglect my office. Not because I had any particular desire to see if junk mail mated and reproduced in the light of the full moon (it does), but just a case of procrastination. Seems both The Management and I are guilty of this. I just find it hard to get motivated to do something mundane, like take a shovel and see if I can find the floor in that room.

It all started on move in day. This became one of the spots to dump stuff that we weren’t sure we knew where we wanted it. This laid the seeds. I kept a paper shredder up there to dispose of unwanted paperwork and I would take the junk mail up to be shredded. I just never got around to the shredding. So stuff would be piling up and we’d get company. The office became the dumping ground for stuff that we didn’t really know where to put but it needed to be but had to be away so our friends and family didn’t think we were complete and utter slobs.

Not quite that bad, but could be without an intervention.

It got to the point that I couldn’t really reach my computer anymore, so I began using the Management’s on a regular basis. I sold that computer and that left the Giant Corner Computer Desk from Hell as yet another place to pile things upon. It is my desire to sell the aforementioned Desk from Hell as A) I no longer keep a desktop in that room; and B) I never had a corner in the room large enough to fit the aforementioned Desk from Hell. There’s a window, a door or a closet.

Since I set upon the course to sell the desk, I had to first find it. I’m exaggerating, but not by much. That translated into a full-scale excavation effort to rival the Panama Canal. The Management always claims she’d like a dumpster. I’m more of a flamethrower fan myself, but that’s beside the point. Through digging all sorts of old papers out of the closet, including BJ’s coupons from 2008 and a reminder card to get the driveway resealed that’s two years old, I’ve been able to find some cool stuff that has gone missing. I even found my old high school cap and gown, which there’s no way I’d fit in. I found some character sketches that The Management and I made at the Art of Disney Animation attraction, as well as a certificate marking our fourth wedding anniversary that was provided to us when we were named Family of the Day at the American Adventure pavilion back in 2008.

I’ve found instruction books and warranty certificates, electronics boxes, extension cords, coupons, even some cash ($0.87, to be exact). And the process is still ongoing. I’ve shredded enough paper to fill six garbage bags and there’s still more to be done.

I’m taking this as one of my small steps toward a better quality of life. If I can change one small thing about myself, then other small changes will follow. Pretty soon this will add up to big, positive changes. If I can make this work, then I will have no problems making more lifestyle changes. Maybe it would be nice to fit in that graduation gown again… after all, I wasn’t always as large as I am.

The moral of the story is this: If you have a room filled with enough shit that there’s a chance you might find Jimmy Hoffa, you might want to consider cleaning it up. You spent a lot of money on nice floor coverings, might be nice to actually see it from time to time. If you are a shredder fan, don’t wait years to attack the shredding pile. Do it more frequently before those innumerable credit card offers start getting busy and spawning smaller offers. Be dispassionate. If you haven’t missed it in five years, chances are you can probably sell it, donate it, or dispose of it. This way you won’t ever have to hear your spouse, domestic partner, mom or whoever describe you as “housekeeping challenged.” Plus, dumpster rental ain’t cheap.