Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Root canals are so much FUN

It wasn't my first root canal, but my previous dentist gave nitrous oxide for the procedure, so I don't remember much of it.  That was a more typical procedure (root canal, crown prep, temp crown, permanent crown).  For my tooth today, over a year ago it was a broken tooth, but my dentist did not believe it was damaged deep enough to require a root canal.  We went straight to a crown.  Every few months, the tooth became painful and I was placed on antibiotics, which would clear it.  And give me a yeast infection.  Every single time.  It's great being a lady.

We were trying to avoid the inevitable root canal because we didn't want to drill through the permanent crown. Well, on the fourth course of antibiotics, the decision was made that we were going to have to do the root canal.

So that's how I ended up in the dentist's chair this morning.  I halfway expected nitrous oxide because of my previous experience, but I was curious enough about the procedure to not be disappointed that there was no nitrous.  So first I was numbed up pretty good.  My dentist is really good at numbing you.  I never feel the injection, which I can't say about every dentist I've been to.

After I was good and numb, he drilled through the crown and the tooth.  After that, he located the canals, filed them out, and took an xray with files in place.  The xray was the most problematic part because I wasn't allowed to close my mouth, so they had to hold the film in place, and try to make sure they were capturing the full depth of the canals on xray.  It took a few tries.

I did have to get additional injections to numb my mouth again toward the tail end of the procedure, but otherwise the root canal was uneventful, thankfully.

Something strange that my dentist did that I wasn't expecting is that he left the pulp chambers open for drainage, which means there's a giant hole in my tooth.  He did pack it with a cotton pellet soaked in eugenol (clove oil), but otherwise, it's staying open until we do the filling next week.  The way it was explained to me is that because this tooth has been infected so many times, he wants me to finish my current course of antibiotics before he seals up the tooth.

After my dentist appointment, I did go to work to allow my employee to take a lunch break because my other employee is in training this week and could not cover lunch today.  I was completely numb and felt like I kept having to explain my face to everyone.  When the campus dean came back from lunch, I was pretty much kicked out of the building, which was honestly really nice.  It is nice having someone in a position of power realize that sometimes work is not the #1 priority and getting rest is important too.

I'm lucky enough to have hydrocodone to help with the pain, because it feels like I've been punched in the face.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Why you don't want to borrow my car keys...

So I told this story to a coworker this week and she laughed heartily at me, so I thought I'd tell it here too.

A few months ago, I changed jobs. During my very first week on the job, there was a three day long campus-wide management training. Our college has three campuses, so each day of training was held at a different campus to allow each campus to host and allow each campus one day of not driving long distance. So the first day was at a campus I'd been too, and I didn't really have any issues getting there. The second day was at my home campus. The third day was at a campus that I'd never been to.
I have a tendency to grab an energy drink when I get gas and drink it while I'm driving. The driving directions indicated it was only going to be 1hr 10min, but it took slightly longer. So the drive to the campus was uneventful, but I was rushed as I made the last turn into campus and didn't notice that I missed the turn for the building I was looking for.

Remember that energy drink I mentioned? I pulled into the parking lot and desperately needed to find a bathroom. I really didn't want to be late for my training and I was cutting it close. I didn't see the building I was looking for, but saw a bathroom on one building and decided to hurry up and use it before getting back on the road to go into the other entrance (the parking lots were not connected).
I rushed into the bathroom and only brought my car keys with me. I didn't have any pants pockets, so I set the keys on the back of the toilet while I did my business. I flushed, went to grab my car keys, and knocked them directly into the swirling toilet bowl.

I was going to be late for my training; I had no choice and no time to think. I plunged my hand into the flushing toilet and retrieved my keys.

I quickly washed my hands and keys at the sink, but had to race to my car and go. I arrived at my training at 8:03, and quickly found a seat.

So there I was, at my training, surrounded by a bunch of people who didn't know me that well. I had just had this serious adrenaline rush/panic because of this hilarious and stupid thing that happened and I could tell no one.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I drove to the mailbox. Oh yeah!

Long time no blog, but I've returned to celebrate this accomplishment.  I'm learning to drive manual.  It's the small victories right now, damnit.

Monday, July 11, 2011

I Made Some Awesome Muffins!

Been a while again, and this is going to be a short post, I just want to share a recipe. My new favorite breakfast is spiced banana crumb muffins. They're delicious and so easy to make.

Obligatory pictures of muffins:

If you'd like to make some, check out the recipe here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Etsy store also offering photo prints

Along with jewelry, we're offering prints of some of our photography for reasonable prices. 4x6s are priced at $5, 8x10s at $15, free shipping on orders over $25. More listings to come, but here are some examples:

My photography:
Ryan's photography:
So please check us out at http://www.wiseblueberry.etsy.com

Monday, August 23, 2010

Etsy Store is Reopened!

Well, I've recently been out of work because of some pretty severe joint pain, so I figured I might as well get the etsy store back up. This time I've got items I've made, plus items Ryan made. If you have some time, check us out. We're offering a 5% discount if you're using google checkout to pay, and free shipping on orders over $25!

wiseblueberry designs on etsy

Here's some of the items we've listed recently:

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Manly Clock for my Sweetie's "Man Cave"

Hello again! Sorry it's been a little while, I didn't get to do anything crafty last weekend because I had to clean house for a short notice inspection by my landlord. But that's over, so now it's crafty time :-)

In our apartment, there is a loft upstairs that my boyfriend has claimed as his "Man Cave" He has a computer, tv, futon, xbox 360, books, etc. It's a nice little room. If I let him put a microwave and a minifridge up there, he'd never come down, lol. He's still decorating up there, getting prints made from photos we've taken and hanging them, little by little. He didn't have a clock up there, and wall clocks are one of my favorite things, I think every room needs one. I looked around a bit to see if I could find something suitable, but didn't see anything that was exactly what I wanted him to have. So I decided to make one. I'm not a clockmaker, I've never made a clock before, but it didn't look too hard, so I decided to give it a shot.

Here's a preview of the finished product, keep reading if you want to see how I did it :-)

First, a trip to A.C. Moore for supplies. I bought a section of walnut wood for the back (this was the inspiration for the project). Had to get a woodburner, I have one in Arizona, but that doesn't do me any good in North Carolina. I also purchased a clock motor, wood carving set, clock hands, and picture frame brackets. The clock motor came with clock hands, but gold isn't the easiest to see against natural wood, so I bought black ones. If you're clever, you may be able to take apart an existing clock/dollar store clock to salvage the motor/hands but this was something I wasn't willing to try on my very first clock making project. Also, I didn't end up needing the picture frame brackets, I didn't know the motor had a place to hang the clock built in.

So to summarize in a nice neat way, supplies used:
Wood for clock face
Wood burner
Clock Motor
Clock Hands
Wood Carving set
Picture frame brackets, if your clock motor doesn't have a hanger built in
Rotary tool (like a dremel)
Something round to trace, or a circle drawing tool
Number Stencils
Burn cream, antibiotic ointment, and bandaids

So let's get started! First, decide where you want your clock face to be positioned. I had an abnormally shaped piece of wood, so my numbers could have followed the shape of the wood, but I opted to center a round clock face just about in the middle of my piece of wood. So I measured the widest part of my piece of wood each way and found a center point.

I marked my center point.

I didn't want my numbers obscured by the clock hands, so I positioned the clock hands on my newly marked center to see how far away my numbers needed to be. Note the faint pencil mark above the minute hand. Whenever marking on your surface, be very gentle, especially if working with a relatively soft wood like I was, you don't want your marks to leave indentations after erasing.

Next we want to trace something round to give us a guideline for number placement. I'm fortunate to have a circle drawing tool (the purple thing in the corner of the picture above), so it was easy for me to do this. If' you don't have one of these, a geometry compass would work, or really any round item about the right size that you can position over your center point would work. Trace lightly around it. I promise my circle really is a circle, my camera angle makes it look like an oval. Also, you may notice from my clock face isn't pretty and perfect. I did deliberately choose this piece because I thought the flaws added to the type of project I was going for, but there will be a lesson learned about flaws in wood in a little while.

For the next step, you can be as precise as you want to be. You can nerd it up with a protractor and ruler, or you can eyeball it like me. Stencils are optional, I used them because I have a hard enough time making letters/numbers uniform sizes when they're next to each other, let alone all over a clock face. So I put tick marks where each number was going to go, then stenciled each number. You don't have to mark as lightly with the numbers, these are going to become permanent marks.

Once your numbers are in place, time to mark any other designs you're planning for your clock face. I free handed the letters because they needed my sloppiness.

I do not have any photos of the burning process, I was using an incredibly hot tool, and that's dangerous enough without throwing a camera into the mix. I didn't use any master techniques, but I'll describe what I did to get the effects I got.

I wanted the numbers lighter than the letters, so for the numbers, I carefully outlined each number with a slow dark burn, then using the same motion you would use with a pencil to lightly shade something, I built the color inside each number. Fast movements with your burner and variations in the wood tend to leave a spotty burn, good for projects you intend to have a rough appearance. For the letters, I put the tip on the flat side, and moved slowly, but allowed some variation in the burn (this is why the striped appearance is present in the letters). If you don't want that appearance, carefully go back over the lighter areas until your letters are uniformly dark. The only tip used on this clock was the "universal" tip (I didn't want to have to wait for cool down to use the other tips, though they may have made certain parts easier, like outlining the numbers). So once this is all done, we're left with this:

Yay, it looks like a clock now. At this point, I'm only an hour into the project, and I'm feeling pretty good, pretty optimistic, I may even get this done in one night! Oh I was so wrong, lol.

So next we drill a hole for the motor to come thru, that's easy enough. This took a bit of guessing and testing, since the motor didn't say anything about what size hole was required. To state the obvious, start small and work your way up, you can always make the hole bigger, much harder to make a hole smaller.

So once we've got our hole, go ahead and put the motor through the back of the clock to test it out.

Now here's where the real fun begins. Flip your clock over to assess if you're going to need to remove any material from the back side of your clock. The only clock motors the craft store had in stock had a 3/8" allowance for the clock, and I knew going into this that my piece of wood was 5/8" thick. So as you can see, not enough of the post sticks out, so I've got a little work ahead of me at this point.

If you have material to remove, flip your clock back over and trace around your motor to give you a guideline for where to start digging.

And dig we shall. Get out your wood carving set and get busy.

It didn't seem too bad at first, just basically hollowing out an area slightly larger than my traced motor. But here's where I learned my lesson about flawed wood. Those dark spots do not like to be messed with. They will laugh at your silly hand tools. They don't carve nicely, they're very hard, and when you do manage to dig into them, they crumble violently instead of carving in a predictable way. Optimistically, I would try to fit the motor in every so often to see if I'd removed enough material. Yeah, no. See my gouge marks from wayward carving tools? You may not want to undertake this part of the project with children, pets, or people you like anywhere nearby.

Keep on a digging. Two hours into this process, I noticed these red marks on the wood.

Oh hello bleeding knuckles! At this point, I realized that my hand carving was more difficult than I'd anticipated, and it was going to take much longer than I'd like, and because of my late night crafting, I couldn't get out a wood chisel or something to make it faster. I opted to put it down for the night, clean up my wounds and rest up for the next day.

Time for a new approach. Rotary tool with a grinding wheel. 30 mins, done. Yes!

So once we've finally removed enough material, assemble the motor in the order prescribed by the particular motor you have. Use every single nut and washer included, else your clock may not keep time properly. If you salvaged clock parts, I hope you paid attention to the order you took them apart in.

And finally, put a battery in and set the time! Ignore my dirty floor, it gets messy when I craft. I've vacuumed since, I promise.

Make sure you sign your piece, it is a work of art. The only picture I have of my signature is from when I was carving the back. I burned my initials and the year into the bottom of the back.

And hang it up!

Detail shots:

He loves it :-) Hope you enjoyed reading this, and might even give it a try. I'm off to go change my bandages, happy crafting!