Monday, October 25, 2010

Some people take in stray animals... some people collect stamps...

Not Me!  I take in and collect children!  So much more exciting than pets or stamps. 

I have my own four daughters, my grandson, another grandbaby on the way, and I also count in my "collection" several of my girls' friends who have stayed with us from time to time.  There are the neighbor girls, the kids we've hosted from Up with People and the exchange student we had for a school-year.  I still think about all of my little daycare kids (who are all in college now), and my DI and 4-H  kids.  They are all my kids. I have more kids in my little people collection than I can count. 

Gonna get one more!

We are going to host another exchange student. This one is a girl from The Netherlands. She'll be 17 when we get her, which isn't until August 2011.  A year away.  When we hosted Anna (student from Germany), we had a big whopping 20 minute notice and we kept her for 10 months.  Feels odd to have so much planning time, but that's probably good to have time to think things through. 

When I was in high school I was pretty good friends with one of the exchange students who attended our school in my senior year. Her name was Brigette  and she was so nice!  We kept in touch for a little bit after school, but like all of my other high school friends, I just quit making contact.  After I got into college, I shook off high school and didn't look back for a long time.  Too long.  Now with facebook, I've reconnected with many of my old high school friends and discovered how nice it is to have longtime friends back.  One of the friends I reconnected with is Brigette. 

Brigette's daughter is the exchange student we will be hosting.  How wonderful that I already know her mom and can communicate with her on facebook! In English!  We had a very big language barrier with the parents of our German exchange student. It would have been so nice to talk with her parents once in a while. Sometimes mom-to-mom is the best way to find out what our kids are doing.

We have already discussed some of the practical things about merging her into our family for a year, just to make sure she will fit in well.  Now we just need to do the official paperwork.  Looks like we have plenty of time to get ready. Sure looking forward to having another teenage "daughter"! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Time to Light a Fire under my Blog

Seems like I went through this last year too.  Slowly getting lazier and lazier with my blog.  I don't want to get to the point where it dies from neglect because I really do enjoy blogging. But, time slips by and then a little more, and I find myself thinking "I have to write about this on my blog!" but never getting around to it. Next thing you know.... I need to light a fire under my blog and get it fired up!

November is coming. I'm going to commit myself to blogging a lot in November.  Actually, I think there is a blog challenge to write daily in November, but I'm not sure about that. I know there is a novel writing challenge. Oh gosh that would be nice to be able to whip out a whole novel in 30 days! But, that seems out of my league.

As part of my challenge to liven up my blog, I am also going to cruise around and read more blogs.  I think I'll be like Hansel and Gretel, leaving a trail behind me. A trail of comments, that is.

Stay tuned, I promise to be a better blogger!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Remembering Hunt Week

I worked at GOED (Governors Office of Economic Development and Tourism - and yes, I used to answer the phone like that and then added 'This is Mary") Every year the office hosts a pheasant hunting event and invites CEOs and company executives from all over the place to lure them into expanding and doing business in South Dakota. Half of the problem with companies not choosing the state is that, well, they'd have to live there. So, the hunt provides an opportunity to show off the good life on the prairie.

People going to the hunt are the governor and other state politicians and those who just think they are important, local company executives, potential company executives, landowners, and a bunch of others. Usually about 800 people total.

The GOED office takes a break from their regular office duties and gets the whole weekend event ready. It's "volunteer" if you work there, but really it was part of the job. During hunt week you work your 40 hrs and then you volunteer another 20 - 30 hours. They say that it is a pleasure to be a hunt volunteer and it is a job perk.

Really though, my duties for the hunt really were kinda fun. I carved pumpkins, decorated the banquet hall, drove people around (oh yeah, I was issued a brand new suburban every year and I got to keep it for the week), helped sew tablecloths and costumes for the wait staff, put together gift bags, and I had to go hunting and take photos of the day. It really was a lot of fun!

There were some drawbacks, I really didn't like peeing in the field, dealing with drunk men, or the one guy on my team who shot another guy and 2 vehicles. oops. Or riding in the back of a truck while a ten year old drove us through the fields, thanks little landowner's kid, glad you could see over the dash. And I really didn't like getting up early on Sunday morning to go clean the hotel.

So, it's hunt week right now and instead of working and going hunting, I get to stay home with my family. So much better! I am not kidding, I'd rather not be hunting and doing the event. Yay for not "volunteering"!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Got a New Grin

I got braces!

It wasn't easy, but I got all the brackets glued on and separators stuffed between my molars. I get the wires on in 2 weeks. Feels So weird! I hope I get used to the feeling soon, because it's bizarre.

Getting the separators in was not easy, my teeth are so tight together. There was some blood involved when the guy rammed the floss down between my molars, then he commented on how tight my teeth are. Super crowded. Then he threaded the little rubber things in and got them shoved between the teeth. Not exactly the most fun ever, but no shots involved, so it was fine.

The brackets attached to each tooth look like they were glued on willy-nilly, but in the end they will be all lined up. Crazy crooked!  It feels like I have a cactus glued to each tooth. And I just discovered that eating is a whole new adventure with all of these prickly plastic doohickeys in my mouth.

The thing that bugged me the most was the dentist's bubble gum scented gloves. OMG so gross! I was holding back my gag reflex and he kept asking me if it hurt, um no, you just freaking stink! Really bad! So, when he was all done and I got the vice taken off my mouth that was holding it open I told him I wasn't a fan of the bubble gum scented gloves. Next time I'll have to remember to ask for unscented. Who knew! Oh, and the vice or whatever it is called, geez, can it spread my lips out any farther? Holy crap! Can't believe they didn't split apart. Ay Ay Ay!

When they originally gave me my options for the style of braces I could get, my choices were metal or clear plastic.  They showed me pictures and I decided on the clear. They are far from invisible, but they aren't as eye-catching as the shiny metal. I thought it was more "grown-up" to get the clear braces. So, as the guy is gluing on the last of the clear plastic brackets he casually mentions that they have a tendency to stain.  Wait, stain? Ewww.  Yeah, they will absorb the colors of foods, especially coffee and soda.  I should quit drinking soda for sure and coffee.

Quit drinking coffee?  Um, metal braces please!!!  Oh boy.  Are stained braces all that bad?  I did quit drinking pop 5 years ago though, so at least I have that part of the battle won already.

When he was all done with me, I got to rinse my mouth out, goodbye glue and glove taste!  And I was given a cleaning kit of floss and toothbrushes and wax and all sorts of fun things. Then he handed me some literature that said to quit drinking soda and candy and have my parents make an emergency appointment for me, even if it's during school  hours, if I break my wires or brackets loose.  Heh, I'm just a kid again! 

I was done in 2 hours, and at least an hour of that was just waiting.

Keith went too, but he was mostly getting stuff done on the general side and I was only on the orthodontic side of the place, so I didn't see much of him. He was in ortho when I was and I heard the dentist telling him that braces might not be a good idea because of his bite, he has a skeletal problem that would require surgery involving the breaking of the jaw. Leaving his teeth as is would be better since the teeth are compensating for the misaligned jaw. Hmmmm. He's rethinking the whole braces thing which means I'm in this alone now. Dang it. But really, if it was me I'd opt out without even thinking about it. No freaking way would I do this if it involved that kind of reconstruction of the jaw. After his consultation, he was sent over to the dental side and the dentists worked on him for 5 hours. He was prepped for 4 crowns! Cripes! Poor guy.

We both go back in two weeks, but it won't be a date this time. I'm going on Wednesday to get the separators removed and the wires put in place, and he is going on Thursday to remove the temporary crowns and put on the permanent crowns.

In the meantime, I'm trying to figure out how to eat and smile with all these gizmos on my teeth.

Friday, October 8, 2010

When you are married this long...

My husband and I just celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary.  That's a good long time, but not nearly enough for us.  We're going for the long haul, gonna see how long we can string this out.

Next week, we are going on a hot date.  "Hot Date" is a relative term, when you've been married this long it really just means we are going to be in the same place at the same time.  We're going to the dentist together!

I've been going to the dentist and getting all fixed up.  My smile is nice and healthy now.  Knowing he should do the same, my husband decided to finally get in the dentist chair too. After my appointment today, they gave me my next appointment for Wednesday at 10am, so I made Keith's appointment for the same time.

He is a few appointments behind me in the process now, but he will catch up.  I'm sure he will need similar work done, although I doubt he will have to get a wisdom tooth pulled like I did. That should save him some trouble.

While he is getting his exam and x-rays and all that new patient stuff, I will be in the next room getting braces put on.  Oh yes, I'm getting braces!  It will be so nice to have straight beautiful teeth, of course, that will take a couple of years to achieve. Keith is going to get braces too, but he first needs to get any dental health issues addressed.

At my appointment today, I just had to get my teeth polished with pumice and peroxide. Ick, but they feel so smooth and lovely now! The dentist said my gums look healthier than they did (before the root scaling aka deep cleaning) and my teeth look very good, no tarter buildup since my last visit.  Yippeee!  Good news from the dentist! He said if I'm getting braces to get the Sonic toothbrush, which is what the other dentist told me too. I've seen three dentists and one orthodontist in that office so far.

So next week, Keith and I are going to the dentist together and soon enough, we'll both have matching tin grins. How romantic!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Limited Opportunities

Every fall, my husband gets homesick and his desire to move back to the middle of nowhere returns.  His urge to live on the barren prairie grows deeper.  And I cringe at the thought once again. 

Looking at our hometown paper at the jobs in the classified section, I was wondering what a busy mom with a BA in English would do in a little one-horse town.  Hmmm....  Here are the opportunities as listed in the paper:

Concrete finisher, oh darn they want 2 yrs of concrete finishing experience. 
Maintenance Man, I'm certainly not qualified to be any kind of a man.
Assistant cook at a hunting lodge, this one has potential even though I don't enjoy cooking.
Childcare worker, Hey! I could do that!
Newspaper delivery, um, no.
Cell phone store manager, ugh, can you imagine that headache?
Data entry, yawn.
food service worker in the prison, why don't they make the prisoners do that?
Motel housekeeper, it would be fun to play "guess that stain"
Nurse, I don't qualify for this one either
Caregiver, the job description of care and cleaning sounds like what I do now.
Administrative Assistant, I had that job, it drove me to college so I could get a better one.
Carpenter for "Hire-A-Husband", again, I'm not of the qualifying gender to be rented husband.
Truck Driver, darn, I don't know how to drive a truck.

And he wonders why my excitement doesn't just bubble over when he tosses around the idea of moving back to the land of nothing to do.