Archive | April, 2021

A tooth story

20 Apr

It’s weird to feel an unpopped kernel in my second handful of popcorn, I thought as I settled in to watch a movie Tuesday night, they don’t usually show up until I am closer to the bottom of the bowl.

Richard was snuggled next to me, expectantly awaiting his share. I spat the kernel into my palm and looked at it. It took a moment or two for me to realize it wasn’t an unpopped kernel – it was a crown. I ran my tongue along my teeth and found a hole. I looked at the tooth again. Felt the empty space again. I repeated the action.

My first thought was – there’s no pain. I figured that was good news. I noticed there was no empty space in the tooth where the crown should anchor to the tooth. Another inspection with my tongue revealed that the nub was mostly gone. That probably wan’t good news. I put the rest of the popcorn in the compost – it didn’t seem right to keep eating it – and bagged the tooth, in anticipation of a dentist appointment.

I haven’t been to the dentist since October 2019, when I had my annual cleaning. I was supposed to go again in October 2020, but, like many people, I stopped making unnecessary medical appointments in the face of COVID. Fortunately, I still had no pain the next morning and, when I called the dentist, they could get me in on Friday morning.

It was curious to enter a medical office for the first time in almost two years. The waiting room was empty, but signage was everywhere. I had to rinse my mouth with a mild mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide before the x-rays. The dentist wore two masks and a face shield. It felt strange to remove my mask in the presence of strangers.

It was a good news bad news situation. The good news that it looked as though there was no infection. The bad news was that I’d been correct in suspecting the nub was gone. There was no way to reattach the crown.

I was given a couple of options and decided on a dental implant. What that means is several months of dental visits. In June they will remove what’s left of the tooth. At that point an appointment will be made to begin the implant process.

The good news is that I have good dental insurance, which a lot of people don’t have. The other good news is that I probably won’t set off the alarm in a metal detector, because that was the weird question I asked the dentist.

Tax trouble

13 Apr

Last year, when I did my taxes, the program I use informed me that it would be the last year my 2011 MacBook would be able to run their software. I set that news aside, but it has reared its ugly head. They weren’t joking.

This year’s software requires Mojave 10.14 and my ten-year old Mac lacks what it needs to upgrade. I am working on work arounds.

I could buy a new computer, one that can upload the software, but this Mac works just fine for what I do with it.

I tried uploading the software to my school computer, but it requires an administrator’s code, which I do not have. I will ask out tech person, who has an administrator’s code if she can help me out, but I suspect the answer is no.

I have downloaded paper copies of the forms I need. It’s super old school, but it might be easiest way to go.

Thank goodness I have another month to figure this out.

Pour un Instant

6 Apr

My daily afternoon walks to the park with Richard are always interesting. There are the things people we see: walkers, cyclists, skateboarders, ducks, cats on leashes, neo-hippies, tightrope walkers – it is Portland after all! These might not be the norm in every park, but they are in ours. Yesterday, brought something new: a young woman playing a harmonium.

A lot of musicians fill the park. Some cyclists carry radios and you get a snippet of a song as they roll past. There’s a guy who comes with a small keyboard, records tracks, and accompanies himself on a trumpet. Thursday and Friday afternoons, when the weather is nice, band perform beside the dog off-leash area. But yesterday’s harmonium was novel.

I actually had to look up the correct word. As I walked past the performer, I called it a hurdy-gurdy in my head. She was seated on a blanket near the pond. That’s a real gathering place for groups of friends and families. It is also the sunniest spot in the park.

When I learned that the instrument was actually called a harmonium, my mind took a little trip back to the 1970s. In grade six, our French teacher, Madame Murray, introduced our class to the music of a French-Canadian group called Harmonium. The one song I specifically remember was called Pour Un Instant.

It’s funny what you can remember after over 40 years. Everything is on Youtube now, so I sought out the song.The tune was not quite what I remembered, but I nailed the first two lines. For an instant, as I listened, I was back in my 6th grade classroom, looking at the words, loving the French language.

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