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. 😦


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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

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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.


Where Is It?

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Pushing the door to exit Kohls, I step into the sunshine and confusion. “Where did I park my car?

My eyes scanned the rows, looking for some familiar shape. My mind rewinding my arrival to the parking lot. I turned around and looked back at the door I’d just left. Yes, that was the door I entered, which verified I was in the correct area of the parking lot.

The only thing left to do was wander up and down the rows of cars while clicking my key fob, listening for the beep, beep of the car doors unlocking and the flashing of the tail lights. Trying not to look like I lost my car (which I clearly had), I walked with a determined step. At one point, I knew I was too far away from the door, so I crossed over to another row. Clicking, listening, looking for some sign of my car. No luck!

Just when I began to panic (thinking my car was stolen), I remembered I did not drive my usual car. I had taken our other car because my husband was using my usual car to haul away tree clippings. Relief flooded my body! Of course there would be no beep from pressing my key fob.

Now I needed to scan the parking lot for a different car profile.  One quick look did not reveal the car. This car is keyless, so I had to dig deep into my purse for the fob for this car. Once again, I trudged up and down the rows of cars clicking, listening, looking. Once again, panic begins to snake its way throughout my body.

Faintly, I hear a beep respond to my click. One row over, tail lights flash as I try it again. Yes, there it is! Now I remember, I scored a great parking place, the second car in the row, just a few steps away from the door, too bad I didn’t remember that as I left the store fifteen minutes ago.


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Five weeks ago, the official envelope arrived. My husband laughed as he handed me that envelope. “Your turn!” he  said with glee. It was a summons for jury duty. 

My heart dropped. When? Christmas plans didn’t include a visit to the courthouse. Quickly I scanned the summons for the date. Date and time to report : January 8 @8:30. Relief, I didn’t have to alter my travel plans for Christmas. A quick check of my calendar showed I was free until the 12th. No need to ask for a postponement. Now all I have to do is remember to call the day before my report date and don’t lose this paper (I need to bring it with when I report).

January 7, I call to find out if I am needed or excused. (Not going to lie, I was hoping for excused.) The message announced, “All juror numbers 1-400, you will not be needed, you are excused.” My juror number was 572. I continued to listen to the message, “Jurors 401-600, you will report Tuesday, January 9 at 8:30. Call this number after 5:00 on Monday to confirm your status.” Disappointed, I hung up wondering if I was going to have to do this all week long. At least I didn’t have to go on Monday.

On Monday, I continued preparing for my work on Friday. My husband suggested I call at noon to see if the message was posted. I did. “Jurors 401-600, your service is cancelled, thank you.” My heart skipped a beat and a smile erupted on my face. I returned to planning my work day with new vigor.

Someday, I will be called and gladly go to complete my civic duty, but today I’m glad I didn’t have to go. 





Day 10: Pink Explosion

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

Do you ever see something on the road that just doesn’t belong there? Now I’m not talking about animal carcasses or furniture that has fallen off the truck and landed on the road. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about, there’s a Pepto-Bismol pink explosion on the road into town.


I’m sure many wonder what’s happened here, but I know the story. This is a slice of life from my neighbor, Dan.

Dan headed into town to fetch several items his wife needed for a recipe. The sun had set, it was dark as there are no street lights along this road. He was tooling along the road (probably trying to remember what he needed at the grocery store) when suddenly, he heard a clunk! and bam! He was afraid that he’d hit an animal. However, he did not stop to investigate. He was on a mission to get these ingredients and return home as quickly as possible.

Time in the grocery store was uneventful. He returned home and resumed his life with no thoughts of that clunk! and bam! Until the next morning . . .

Dan went to get in his truck, but what was all over the side of it? He pulled it out into the

Pink embedded in the tread of the tires.

Pink embedded in the tread of the tires.

driveway to get a better view. Pink paint had sprayed all over the side, on the tires, and under the truck. It didn’t wash away!

He headed to the nearest auto supply store to see if they had some magical way to make the pink go away. He came home with a bottle of very expensive cleaner to begin the process of removing the sprayed on pink paint. Fortunately, he was able to get most of the pink off the sides of the truck. However, the tires and underneath were more of a challenge than he wanted to tackle. They are still sporting their new pink look.

Views from the underside

Views from the underside

Every day Dan drives over the pink explosion on the road. I’m sure he has some choice words running through his mind as he runs over that spot. Every time I pass over the spot, I chuckle to myself while being thankful it wasn’t me and my vehicle who created the explosion.

So the next time you see an explosion of color on the road, remember, someone now has a vehicle sprayed that color in places you can’t even imagine.


Day 7: Mental Plans vs. Reality

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Mental Plans for my day:

I had a plan for my Monday. I would get up, leisurely drink my coffee, semi-listen to the Today Show while I posted my slice for the day and begin reading/commenting on other slicers. At one point, I would spend thirty minutes pedaling the bike on the trainer in the garage. Then a shower would be next on my to do list. Partake of an early lunch before heading out spend the afternoon with a third grade team at one of my schools. After school, I would have some more time to read/comment on slices before beginning dinner.

Those were my best laid plans and we all know what comes next, they often go awry.

Reality of my day:

I did drink my coffee leisurely while I semi-listened to the Today Show while posting my slice for the day. Plus I was able to read a few slices, make a few comments. I did get on the bike and begin pedaling, but that is when the day begins to alter.

A phone call from my mother before eight o’clock is never a good thing. “I think I need to go to urgent care. I think I have an abscess and it is hot, oozing, and maybe there’s another place starting,” she tells me.

I did complete the time on the bike and take a shower, but just in case this was not a quick trip, I loaded the car with my materials for the afternoon.

It was 8:50 when we walked in. There were only four others ahead of us in the waiting room. Good sign, I thought. Slowly, people were called back, never to be seen again. I guessed there was another exit. Finally mom is called, it is 9:35.

I continue sitting in the waiting room. The chairs are becoming a hot commodity in short demand. The sounds of the room begin to echo with hacking coughs and endless honking into tissues. I begin to fear for my health. I barely breathe, not wanting to take in the germs that are airborne around me.

I’m watching the clock. I warned mom that if she had not appeared by 11:00, I would call my brother to come pick her up, because I had to leave by 11:00. Finally, 10:45 she reappears with the nurse. She has a prescription that needs to be filled. I’m assessing my time while we make our way to the car. I think I can drop her off at her apartment, take the prescription over to the pharmacy, and still make it to my school by noon. That is what I do.

I spent the afternoon talking about writing and reading with my third grade teachers.

After school, I returned to the pharmacy to pick up the prescription. I delivered the prescription. Mom was concerned the wound is seeping, so I got to examine this gaping hole. I repacked the wound with the packing gauze given to her. Let us be clear, I am not a nurse. I have no idea if I did it right.

I will return this afternoon to check on the wound and the packing. Then we will figure out what to do next.

The reality only resembled my mental plans for a short while yesterday. Once again, I have mental plans for this day, but will they be my reality?




Dreaded Machine Part Deux

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

Two weeks ago I had my annual mammogram. (read about it here) Two days after the mammogram I was contacted by the clinic to come back for additional films. The voice tells me there seemed to be a slight change. This needed to be investigated by taking additional views and magnification.

What am I to think? Should I worry, I ask the voice who has given me this news. The voice said not to worry, it might just be a natural change. I tell myself, don’t worry, but there is that niggling thought in the back of my mind, what if?

One week after the previous mammogram, I am facing the dreaded machine once again. This time the technician says the films will be sent immediately to the radiologist to read them and decide if more pictures need to be taken or if I’m good to go.

She takes three views. Each one squeezing a little harder than the previous. I return to the waiting area. About ten minutes later a new person appears. She surveys the ladies waiting before announcing that their computers are down. They cannot send the films to the radiologist. She is sooooo sorry, we might have to return for more views, but maybe not. They will call later in the afternoon or tomorrow morning with the results.

I leave. I wait. I wait all day. I wait another day. Finally, two days later an email shows up. There is nothing to be concerned about, this time. That brief moment of time between exams is enough to keep me vigilant and make the appointment every year.

A Fine Line?

Dinner decided. Checked for ingredients. One item needed, which required a trip to the grocery store.

In the car, seat belt on, engine started, ready to leave, but wait! Pocket empty, no cell phone! Quickly I remedy the situation. As I’m climbing back into the car, my husband says,” So you forgot your phone?”

My reply, “I remembered my phone. I had not left yet, so I didn’t forget it.”

“It’s all semantics,” was his response. Which got me wondering as I drove to the grocery store, which was it remembering or forgetting?’s third definition of forget says “to leave behind unintentionally; neglect to take: to forget one’s keys.” I would have to argue that I did not leave anything behind.

Their third definition of remember states “to have (something) come into the mind again: I just remembered that it’s your birthday today.” That is exactly what I did. When I noticed that my pocket was empty, the thought came to my mind that my phone was still in the house. 

I think has supported my theory. I didn’t forget, but remembered.

Side note: I could have left the phone at home, because received no calls, nor made any calls in the short time I was gone.


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

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

Something is not right with my computer and printer. I’m beginning to wonder if they are having a spat and taking it out on me. They are wireless, so I know it’s not the cable causing the problem. They are in the same room, so distance should not be the issue either. I know I need to take one or both to an expert who speaks their language, but I just have not had time to do so. I will probably need to consider that option.

In the good old days, when they were able to chat, I could hit <control P> and seconds later the document printed. I could line up a number of documents, one after another and eventually they all printed.

But one day, as I was happily pressing <control P> I got a message that it was still printing my document. What do you mean? I’m holding the said document! You did print that document. Therefore, since it was “still” printing, my current document had to wait. And wait . . .  and wait. It never printed.

I can solve this issue (so I thought), by deleting the one that says it is printing. It should vanish from the queue, right? It didn’t. It took quite a long time to be deleted. At least fifteen minutes pass and a message appears from the right side saying it can not print my original document (the one that had printed).

Google can you help? I read entry after entry of suggestions to solve this issue. I try a few of the suggestions. However, I never seem to have the same options available that everyone else has on their screens. I learned to live with my limited printing options.

Then the day arrives that tells me the printer is off line. How did it get off line? Once again, Google can you help? I try the suggestions. Once again, I am stymied by the language and ability to locate the right screens.

I turn off the printer and unplug it. I wait. I reboot, same results. You are off line. My final attempt is to shut down the computer. I wait. I turn it on and it prints. Yay! Victory! (sort of) It still won’t accept several print jobs and I always get the message it can’t print, when in fact it did print. My computer needs a check up. I think it has something to do with spooling.  It’s just so hard to leave it someplace for a period of time, but I think that time is getting closer every day. Why can’t they just get along and do their job? (sigh)