Can Do

Taking stock of the refrigerator contents, I determine that we will have the creamy spinach enchilada leftovers for dinner, but I need something else to add to the plate. Previously, we’d had steamed broccoli to accompany the enchiladas. There was no broccoli in the fridge, plus I like to change things up on the second go-round of a meal.

A cauliflower was waiting its turn to grace our table in the veggie drawer. Mexican riced cauliflower would be the perfect side for this Mexican inspired meal. Plan made, recipe retrieved, ingredients gathered.

I knew something was not right the second I clamped the can opener onto my can. The clear liquid that oozed over the edge would not be found in a can of black beans. This was a can of garbanzo beans! The labels of the two cans were identical except for the name.

See what I mean? I know I should have looked more carefully, but this time I just reached and grabbed. Won’t happen again.

“I guess you will be having garbanzos added to your salad,” I inform my husband, and I explain why.

“Good!” he replies. “I like garbanzos.”

But the next day, I am flipping through pages of recipes, I discover a Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup recipe that I’ve not yet tried. I don’t remember printing this, but I have all the ingredients needed. Sorry, no more chickpeas on the salad. They are going into the soup.

When did chickpeas and cauliflower become a pair? Since the beginning of the year, we’ve had Chickpea and Cauliflower Curry, Chickpea Cauliflower Chowder, and now this soup. They’ve all been good, but I am a bit surprised at the combination appearing in recipe after recipe. I will have to see what other recipes are out there with these two ingredients.

Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup. The soup was supposed to be pureed, but someone in my house doesn’t like food pre-chewed, so no pureeing here.


Mail, Now and Later

Sitting at my desk, I have a view down my street. I hear it before I see it.  Rrrrrummmmble, silence, rrrrrummmmble, silence, the mail truck begins its journey up my street. It has six stops  before my mailbox.

It’s a quick trip to get the mail at the end of the driveway, I don’t grab a jacket. I try to time my arrival with the mail truck’s arrival. Then I will hustle back to the warmth of the house as I thumb through the envelopes, catalogs, and magazines.

Two mailboxes away, the truck does a spin around and heads back to a mailbox she has visited already. I stand at the end of the driveway, waiting, getting chilled by the wind. She fumbles around at the previous mailbox. I get colder. Finally, rrrrrummmmble, silence, rrrrrummmmble, silence, she gets to me.

I reach out for the mail she is handing me. “Wait, I have a package too,” she says. I wait. She confirms our house number, flip, flip, flip through one box. Flip, flip, flip through two more boxes. I’m getting colder. She can’t find the package. She looks back toward the Amazon boxes. “It won’t be from Amazon,” I tell her. “It could be drugs or a book.” I watch her flip through bags similar to our mail delivered prescriptions and a Thrift book wrapped package. I tell her to check those. She tells me they aren’t ours. “Sorry,” she says, then rrrrrummmmble, silence. She is off to the next box. I’m really cold and a bit aggravated.

An hour later, I’m still working at my desk. Rrrrrummmmble, silence, the mail truck is scooting back up our street and stops at our mailbox. I watch to see what goes into the mailbox. Two prescription bags and one book! I wait until she drives away before heading out to retrieve our mail.

I appreciate that she finally found our items and came back instead of waiting until tomorrow. This was not our regular mail person, so I will not judge her too harshly and I did get my book. (The Deadliest Creature in the World by Brenda Guiberson)

Good News/Bad News at Doctor Appointment

I was supposed to visit the doctor for my annual physical in February, but the doctor was going to be out of town during my date. It was rescheduled for yesterday. Last Friday I had to have blood taken for my appointment. It was a challenge to get to the lab when it opened at 7:00 (joining the throng of others there), blood taken, grab some breakfast (a fasting lab so no eating before), and drive 30 minutes to arrive by 8:15. I made it happen.

Good news started when I got to my appointment. There was no co-pay since this was an annual. That surprised me because I have always paid in the past. I figure they will send me a bill later.

I was there fifteen minutes before my appointment, just like they asked me to be. The receptionist said, “Don’t sit down, I think she is coming to get you.” I have never gotten in early! Apparently the 10:20 appointment was late, so I got her spot.

More good news when the doctor came in and said my blood work looked good. I was feeling pretty good until she said, “But I have some bad news.” My stomach dropped with those words. “It seems that the lab didn’t do the screening for your cholesterol. I need you to do another fasting and come back for them to draw blood again.” Oh well, I guess that’s not the worst news ever.

Then she said, “And you will need to do a Pap test next year.” I thought she did one last year and I would have two years off. It seems that I didn’t do one last year, so I will be due for another next year. Ugh!

All in all, it was a good visit. I was out in no time because I got in early. Now I’m thinking that to reward myself for doing the blood again I might have to try out a newly opened restaurant, First Watch, after they draw blood. So I guess that news wasn’t as bad as I first thought.


7:10 – Leave home for the oral surgeon’s office. A mile from home, I realize I forgot my phone on the ottoman, but I did remember a book.  Turn around or keep going? I didn’t turn around.

7:20 – No traffic causing issues, now I’m early. Guess I will read a couple of pages.

7:25 – Someone entered the office, so I decide to go in too. Left my book in the car.

7:30 – I’m surprised to find there are three other people waiting. Hmmm, guess I won’t be going in right away. This waiting room is set up like a coffee shop: couches, small tables with chairs,  even an electric wood stove with a fake fire burning in it. A table lamp and two wall sconces give off soft light, however that is ruined by the bright overhead fluorescent lights. Of course there is a coffee machine and a water cooler. I select a hard back chair so I can stand up quickly when they call my name. Those couches are way too low to the ground. They will be calling my name soon, right?

7:45 – Waiting and wondering if I should go out to get my book. I decide to stay. Since I don’t have my phone, I take out my notepad to jot down my observations and thoughts. Why in the world do they schedule so many people for the same time? Another person arrives. She announces she has an 8:00 appointment. I think, Good luck with that, you aren’t going any time close to eight. She must have come straight from her bed, she’s wearing fleece pajama bottoms (but she didn’t forget her phone).

7:50 – Two of the four waiting are called to the back. I continue to watch. There are magazines in a rack on the wall and a bookcase filled with coffee table types of books. I muse to myself that waiting rooms no longer need to supply reading material. I am the only one here not staring at a screen and using a thumb to scroll. I think, should I go get my book? I want to get my book, I don’t get my book. I consider the offerings on the bookcase. I see an Ansel Adam’s book I’d like to look at, but thinking about flu germs keeps the book out of my hands.

7:55 – Another person is called to the back. When is it my turn?

8:00 – Someone who went back is now coming out, but she continues on to her car. She returns with a jacket. Should I have brought a blanket, is it that cold back there?

8:05 – A teenager is wheeled out, he is wearing the jacket. He must have had wisdom teeth taken out. He is slurring his words and looks pretty loopy.

8:15 – It’s me and pajama girl, waiting. I should have gotten my book from the car.

8:25 – My name is called (finally!). I get the room farthest away. I settle into the chair and now we go through the questions. She takes my blood pressure, it’s a little higher than normal. Not surprised.

8:35 – The oral surgeon comes in, more questions, brief exam of the broken tooth. He leaves and gives his assistant instructions of what to set up. He tells me it will take about five minutes to get the tooth out. Really!?

8:40 – More consent forms to sign and she places the dental bib. Finally we will be starting!

8:50 – Topical numbing of my gums followed by novocaine injection. That’s some strong stuff! The roof of my mouth is numb immediately.

9:00 – Surgeon is back and ready. He warns me of cracking sounds, pressure, more cracking, bite down, we’re done.

Biting down on gauze to stop the bleeding.

9:06 – I’m walking out the door with my instructions.

9:18 – I’m home to find my husband has made a comfy bed on the couch with all necessary items an arms length away. Boy am I lucky!







Plans Derailed

The Plan: Read John Green”s book, Turtles All the Way Down,  while my husband drives us to Kansas City. Meander Crate & Barrel and Restoration Hardware (searching for a decorative black lantern for a table).  Savor the midday meal at some unknown eatery. Wander among the new cars at the KC Auto Show. Drive home. Sounds like a lovely relaxing day. But those plans were derailed by 7 a.m.

Mid-chew of my breakfast, I knew something was wrong. Something did not feel right. Slowly I slid my tongue over my teeth. Something moved. Nothing should move! Maybe it was a crown that was loose. (Hoping!)

No, it’s not the crown. I think it’s a tooth, or (horrors!) part of a tooth that’s wobbling. As my tongue explores, the sensation reminds me that I felt this before, when I was six, seven, and eight years old. This is not good. I have an hour to wait before I can call the dentist and beg to be seen.

They can see me at ten o’clock for an assessment of the situation. It is a long two hours as I try not to touch the area with my tongue.

X-rays confirm the tooth has split where the filling is. Four different options for treatment discussed, none easy, none cheap. The end result is the tooth must be extracted by an oral surgeon and an implant put in place. Sigh . . . This will not be quick. This will not be inexpensive. This will take months of healing before all is back to normal.

For a while, the tooth was glued back together, but after dinner part of the tooth broke away. Now, there is a gaping hole on the back side of the tooth. So far it doesn’t hurt. Tuesday, the tooth will be extracted and I will begin the journey on the path to getting an implant.

Stay tuned, I’m sure there will be another slice related to this issue this month. 😦


Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Simple request, “Could you pick up a new dust mop when you go to the store? Ours is looking a bit grungy.” 

“Can’t we just wash it?” No, that does not appear to be an option. “No problem! I’ll pick one up.”

Guess again, big problem!

You would think a Walmart Supercenter would have one simple dust mop. No, they don’t. They have all sorts of brooms and a large variety of wet mopping options, but no dust mops.

Next try, a Dollar General store. You can always find things there that are not found in other stores. No dust mop. 😦

Just in an off-chance, I wander to the cleaning section of a Walmart Neighborhood store. My expectations were low, but I held out hope for a miracle. No miracle. 😦

The lady at Dollar General had suggested a local grocery store. Might as well stop, I was near the store. Once again, my expectations were low.

Wait! What’s that? I spy a dust mop refill head. I look closer . . . I find the complete dust mop! It’s not exactly like the old one, but I think it will do the job.

Finally, the search is over! Who knew that such a simple common item would be so difficult to locate and replace?

Ice Dam

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

We like ice. No, not on roads or sidewalks or cars or power lines. We like ice available to fill our glass of iced tea, to fill an ice bucket, to fill a cooler. We like ice ready at the push of a button. We do not like filling ice trays, twisting ice trays this way and that way, pushing to pop that last cube from the grips of the ice tray. Like I said, we like ice; we want it convenient; we want it ready at all times.

Several years ago, we needed a new refrigerator. Consumer Reports magazine was consulted for the most reliable and energy efficient refrigerator. Samsung was the pick. Imagine our delight when we discovered a Samsung with two ice makers! One located conveniently in a corner of the refrigerator  and one in the freezer drawer.

We were in ice heaven, for a while. . .

The ice maker in the refrigerator section stopped producing ice. It became an ice encrusted ice maker. No ice could drop into the ice receptacle, it was an ice dam. Oh well, we have the ice maker in the freezer. That will fill our needs. It did, for a while . . .

Eventually, both ice makers refused to produce ice. We googled fixes for this issue. They didn’t work. Finally, we had to contact a repair person (of course we were out of the warranty period 😦 ). Several visits and a large check later, we had two working ice makers. We were informed there was a design flaw in the original assembly of the ice maker on top. It should be fixed, now.

Many months go by, we are happy, we have ice, for a while . . .

Currently, the ice maker in the refrigerator will still become encased in ice crystals and the ice will create a dam against the wall. Every couple of weeks, I have to take a sharp object to pry the icy crystals away from the ice maker, jiggle and jar the dammed ice to create a clear path to the receptacle. I don’t know how long this will work, but I hold my breath every time I approach the ice maker. (I know, first world problems.)

That’s a flashlight in the bottom to shed a bit of light on my issue. The ice maker bucket has to be removed in order to check on our ice crystal problem.