I had four cavities. FOUR. Now I just have four more fillings in my mouth. And a numb face.

Here’s the worst thing about this morning, and perhaps the worst thing one can ever hear while enjoying a visit to the dentist: “Oh, you aren’t supposed to be able to feel that.”

Fantastic. Apparently my mouth requires about eight shots of Novocaine as compared to the original three he figured would do the trick. I have to be honest though. What exactly is accomplished by having nerve endings in one’s teeth? Teeth don’t obey my commands, they can’t wiggle about in my mouth if I so desire. Just don’t get it. The only thing accomplished by the presence of nerves in my teeth today was that I now understand why people are afraid of the dentist and that awful drilling noise.

I’m sure most of my readers take much better care of their teeth than I do so you’ve probably never found yourself laying in the chair in the dentist’s office, face numb, four different apparatuses sticking out of your mouth, wishing your dentist would realize that though one side of your mouth is numb that doesn’t mean the other half is and his hand resting on your lip which is poking into your canine doesn’t feel great, and wondering, ‘What the hell is happening in my mouth right now,’ but that’s where I was this morning. And it is impossible to ask any questions during this process, though it sounds like the dentist and hygienist have no relationship and a forced conversation about Survivor is taking place over your head when the nice thing would be for them to explain what they’re doing as they do it.

But since that is apparently unnecessary, the only knowledge I gleaned from my appointment is that Boston Rob is apparently just as devious as ever and it’s shocking the producers of the show are allowing him to do whatever scandalous thing he’s doing this season. And of course now I’m on CBS.com watching episode one of this season. I think perhaps my dentist is being paid to sponsor Survivor.

Since I had a few questions (ie, Why must they DRILL into my teeth when they are trying to patch a hole? and WTF is that blue light thingy?), I’ve done some research while my face regains some feeling. For those that are curious, they drill to remove the ‘brown’ part of the filling (this is disgusting…and also highly questionable as I found this information on YAHOO Answers) and then to rough up the tooth so the filling will stick. And the blue light just sets the filling and dries it quickly. And now that I’ve read this, I remember that my sweet dentist I had most of my life back home actually DID explain the process and I knew all this already. Apparently, old age is setting in.

As a bonus, I will quickly relate the fun doings from my birthday gathering last night. I think the whole thing can be summed up by saying that the advent of camera phones makes letting loose around friends and coworkers a risky undertaking. They look like they are texting! But they are actually taking a photo of you stuffing your face!

Also, I must thank a few people for making the time to hang out with me last night. I have yet to create nicknames for any of my coworkers at this job (crazy! I’ve worked here for over six months!), so I suppose it’s high time I rectify this situation. The Café Queen gets a special shout out for spearheading the whole event. My Rock-Star-in-Businiess-Casual friend, I think (I was still feeling the effects of my margarita at the time), apprehended my bill and paid it, which was incredibly generous and I thank her whole heartedly. Off-the-Grid Friend made a late appearance and I hope I didn’t embarrass myself too thoroughly. Apologies, if so. Not that he’ll read this… And Sweet-but-Naïve friend rounded out the gathering. All in all, a good time was had. By me. I can’t speak for them 🙂

In closing, I would like to say that I’m quite pleased that my face is numb because I went to the dentist, not because I am still drunk from last evening. A win for my ever-tested self-control!


Yesterday I had visitors. Dealing with some life issues that really required the intervention of Dear and Funky Friends. And of course, they intervened in the traditional way: card games and food.

Actually, I provided the food, they provided the games, and we worked together on the conversation and fun. All in all, we had a good day. But (if I do say so myself), one of the better aspects was the menu for the day.

They arrived at 7:30 yesterday morning with their appetites firmly in hand, and thankfully I was prepared. Sausage was cooking on the stove when they pulled into the driveway waiting to be added to what became perfectly formed omelets full of cheese, tomatoes, onions, and of course the sausage. Yeah that sentence got away from me and I’m exhausted so it’s not getting edited. The girls drank copious amounts of coffee and I had some organic orange juice… spectacular.

Anyway. I can cook some omelets (Miss Feisty, I refuse to compete on this one at work. If we can find another venue, it’s on). Added to the plate was a fruit medley (strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple and grapes). This was a terrific breakfast.

Lunch came around much more quickly than I was anticipating considering that we’d each eaten a two-egg omelet about four hours before, but all of a sudden, after two vigorous games of Phase 10, we were all mutually hungry again. I’d prepared chicken salad the previous evening (using organic rotisserie chicken! yum!) and needed one final ingredient to add to the mix (bacon!) so we had to run over to the Piggly Wiggly to get some of that. I will admit to having stolen the idea for Bacon Cheddar Ranch Chicken Salad from a restaurant in Auburn (The Chicken Salad Chick, where they call this variety of salad the “Sassy Scotty” in case you’re interested) but the recipe was just my tastes buds guiding me (as usual). Topping the sandwiches with some leftover chopped tomatoes and onions, I was beginning to feel pretty proud of my mad kitchen skills. Also, the salt and vinegar chips were a perfect pairing for the meal.

It wasn’t two or three hours later before we were all once again thinking of food (this time after more Phase 10 and some serious RummiKub action), and dessert was in order. Organic vanilla ice cream topped freshly baked and still ooey gooey warm (Tollhouse) chocolate chip cookies. It was delicious. Word.

The girls left right around when normal people would probably be eating dinner if they hadn’t stuffed themselves silly with lots of yummy foods, and I popped the cap off of a Peach Beer (yes friends, you heard that right – it’s surprisingly refreshing in the summertime) and sat back to wash some dishes.

What surprised me most was that after the dishes were done and I’d tossed back the last sip of beer, I was actually hungry again. Like, ravenously. I will admit, in the past few weeks my daily food intake has equaled probably ONE of the meals I’d already eaten that day, but I knew I could eat again.

Mistake? Probably. I ate some of what I grew up calling “pasta salad” (noodles with ranch dressing and shredded cheddar) with a side of Club crackers. Soooo good. Not the best thing I’d eaten all day, but it definitely did the trick at the time. And then starting about three hours later, I felt sicker than I’ve felt in a while. Heartburn. Nausea. Indigestion. Can somebody say Pepto?

I settled for Tums around midnight, which did enough to let me sleep, but I was still feeling the burn when my alarm woke me at six this morning. Needless to say, I have not eaten very much today. Maybe I’ll even skip dinner. But I’m pretty sure all of that food was worth it. It was indeed a good food day. And I’ve had relatively few of those lately.

Also, you may ask what’s up with the organic. Coupons to Earth Fare (organic grocery store) baby! Still insanely expensive even with coupons, and will only be special occasion purchases going forward. Just givin’ the Earth Fare a shot to make its case.

This morning I did not want to wake up. I am a serious proponent of the ten-hours-of-sleep-per-night plan and getting much less is, while not that devastating, enough to leave me open to serious gaps in my mental capabilities.

Not that this is anything new.

This morning, however, I felt like I was fairly on top of things. I remembered to wash my hair while still in the shower. I remembered mascara and eye liner. I remembered to unplug my curling iron. I remembered to brush my teeth and didn’t lock my keys inside the house. I even remembered to fix a lunch!

And then I totally left it in my car, parked about five jillion miles from where I was when I remembered (ok really way less than even one mile but still…). And I had been right on time! So I figured since the lunch was basically just really expensive organic fruit (dammit), I would walk back over to the car during the hour, see if it decomposed and/or was even remotely edible in cooked form, and then go from there either way. Not ideal, but certainly acceptable. At least it wasn’t a publicly embarrassing scene.


So I should know by now that I should never share with my co-workers when I do something stupid, as this illicits one of two responses:

  1. They laugh at me, mercilessly. Which, let’s be honest, I sort of love, most of the time. Except when I do something genuinely embarrassing, and then I turn bright red and wish I could hide under my desk. Fortunately, this incident wasn’t yet that caliber of embarrassing.
  2. They turn all super sweet on me and offer to help out. Which makes me either super happy or super uncomfortable because I hate letting anyone do anything for me, especially when it’s my own stupid fault. (Okay I’m already imagining all the people who would disagree and say that in fact I love having things done for me…but that’s different. Whatever it is you’re going to say.)

Anyway, today’s confession to the co-workers ended mostly with the second option, with a nice helping of pity to go along. Comi Coll, being the stand-up gentleman that he is, volunteered to walk the five jillion miles to my vehicle to obtain the fruit for me. I felt pretty bad about this in general, again because I hate putting him out, and in specific because the state of my vehicle is something less than ideal at the mo. Some might say a state of disarray. Some might say gross. Some might even say a little pathetic for a grown up. I’ll just say less than ideal.

But he was persistent and I really didn’t want to make the trek myself (and wouldn’t have, I’d just be having slow roasted pineapple, strawberries and kiwi for lunch), I finally agreed and handed over the keys to the SUV as well as a wildly vague description of where it was parked (in which I even pointed in the opposite direction), and he went on his way.

Five minutes later, STR received a phone call from Comi Coll. Where in the car was my lunch, exactly?

Oh, crap.

  1. My car is ‘less than ideal,’ and a colleague is hunting through it.
  2. My lunch isn’t in the passenger seat where I thought it was.
  3. OMG I left it at home.

Pure, unadulterated dismay followed immediately by bright-red-face-can-I-hide-under-my-desk-please moment.

Followed by a lot of really loud laughter, especially on Comi Coll’s return to the office another five minutes later. Well, he was gracious about it, at least. Didn’t make me feel too badly. But I know I’ll be hearing about this again for several days at the very least.

At least I don’t have to walk five jillion miles to my car during lunch after all. And my fruit is sure to be at worst room temperature on my counter when I get home, not slow cooked.


Dear readers, you may or may not have checked out the comments to my Random Words post, but that day a challenge was thrown down by one Miss Feisty (which we won’t be abbreviating in acronym form, thank you). She picked up on my quiet confidence in my guacamole and, totally for fun, suggested we do a guacamole taste-off for our co-workers. Miss Feisty is the best sort of competitor – thoroughly hyped about the competition, a quality smack-talker, and 100% sportsmanlike. Honestly I was totally freaked out about the whole thing as I’ve only ever made guacamole for myself before and, though I happen to love it, it wasn’t really enough to inspire my belief that it would impress anyone in the office at all.

Not meaning to make this post an ode to Miss Feisty, I must say at least one more thing to her credit. When I encountered a solidly unripe avocado in my guacamole preparations this morning, Miss Feisty was more than willing to come to my rescue with a fresh (and nicely ripe)  replacement upon her arrival at work. She’s a real sport, and made the experience much more relaxed for me.

We were squared off to compete at noon with a blind taste-test, the results of which were so ridiculously close it isn’t even worth mentioning that after twenty-six votes cast, we needed a tie breaker. I think it goes to show that food is super subjective…you can’t please everybody and everybody has an opinion. What this close match tells me is that we both make damn good guacamole.

But what I’m really writing about is how awesome it was to see everyone around the office get so excited about something so silly and seemingly frivolous. But the mood was exciting! People gathered! People tasted! People ate more than a little guacamole! They debated the merits of each! They participated in the event with gusto, and I was very gratified that they appreciated Miss Feisty’s idea, effort and excellent recipe as much as my quiet participation. Good folks brought together by good food, the appearance of which at work is the universal signal for a good time.

So, many thanks to Miss Feisty and all who participated in the 2010 Guac-Star Challenge*. I have a call in to the Food Network about filming our next taste-off, tentatively scheduled for ‘sometime soon’ and centering around ‘something delicious.’ Think I’m going to let Miss Feisty handle the details (as she is such a diligent promoter) and I’ll just taste. That’s what I’m really looking forward to!

*With credit to Splin-Ter-Rific, who handled the print advertising for this event like a true pro. Thanks STR!

Why yes, I have lost some weight! And totally without trying! In the past two weeks, I’ve dropped five pounds entirely without intention. Here are some possible explanations for this miracle:

  • Giving blood totally threw off my regular eating schedule for a few days – I felt ravenously hungry at every point of every day and therefore only ate a very little bit because I wasn’t sure if it was real hunger or not.
  • I only purchased the most basic of food items the past few times I’ve been shopping and haven’t been particularly interested in eating them afterward.
  • Yoga! 2.5 times in the past two weeks! I’m sure it’s done something!
  • The stresses involved with meeting new people and impressing folks surely caused a dip in my appetite.
  • In approximately three seconds of googling I found some conflicting research that proves that laughing may or may not burn a ton of calories. If it does, then I’m burning about a gajillion calories a day.
  • I don’t walk a ton during the day but surely more than I walked during my unemployment.
  • I’m less content these days since Hubby is in Birmingham, another decrease in appetite.
  • The refrigerator at work is a hike and a half away, and contains mostly other people’s food. Two birds, one stone.
  • I’m not yet cool enough to get invited out to lunch every day (for real, fellas, I’m totally kidding. You are helping my figure and I don’t feel excluded in any way!) so I can bring my lunch and eat healthier things.
  • I’ve done yardwork things lately. Out of necessity.
  • I’m hungry. And I just ate dinner. Because I don’t feel like fixing anything else, the most I may eat before bed is something liquid. Tea, milk…etc.

So I’m pleased with this miraculous turn of events, obviously. I would like to continue the trend and so will probably try to give blood again next week.

Just kidding 🙂

OPELIKA (June 23) — One unopened gallon of skim milk is being held hostage this week in the home of [NAMES WITHHELD FOR SECURITY REASONS], along with one family sized box of pizza Lean Pockets, one bag of frozen chicken, two Jeno’s Party Pizzas, one unopened bag of corn, one unopened bag of broccoli in cheese sauce, two boxes of Weight Watchers Ice Cream Bars, and one unopened bag of Pizza Pockets. Negotiations for their release are currently at a stand-still.

A seeming act of kindness turned into a hostage situation early this week when [NEIGHBOR] volunteered on Sunday to keep dead-tree-power-outage victim LizHarrell’s refrigerated and frozen foods in their spare refrigerator until her power was restored. The situation began to escalate Monday evening when LizHarrell dropped by [NEIGHBOR]’s house to collect her food items. It didn’t take her long to realize that, though they appeared to be at home, [NEIGHBOR] wasn’t going to answer the doorbell.

Frustrated that her evening meal was not going to be a Lean Pocket but a (highly disappointing) Healthy Choice Fresh Mixer, LizHarrell resolved to win her neighbors over with a gift. She spent a fair amount of time preparing pies for their enjoyment. These no-bake pies required several hours of refrigeration and she planned to return to [NEIGHBOR]’s house the following evening with the gift.

Meanwhile, the unopened gallon of skim milk cowered in fear in this unknown refrigerator. Would it be rescued prior to its ‘sell by’ date? Would it be reunited with its compatriots from the freezer or would it simply be poured down the sink by its evil captors, its blue cap mailed to LizHarrell as a threat? The gallon of milk had soured on its current conditions.

The following day, LizHarrell arrived home from work, eager to continue negotiations for the release of her food items. Although no ransom had been requested, LizHarrell thought a goodwill offering may ease tensions. She removed the pies from her refrigerator and walked across the street. After ascertaining that at least one of the family’s cars was in the driveway, LizHarrell rang the doorbell to no response. She attempted to knock but found that a large spider web had enveloped her fist. Taking this as an act of aggression, LizHarrell scampered back to her home, pies still in hand.

It is rumored that at lunchtime the following day, the frozen broccoli and one of the Jeno’s Party Pizzas attempted a breakout when [NEIGHBOR]’s college aged son opened the freezer to locate some sustenance. He took one look at the broccoli and threw it back in with the other hostages. The Party Pizza has not been seen since.

Negotiations are set to resume at 5:15 today, at which time LizHarrell intends to make a second attempt at delivering her pies. She is not hopeful for the recovery of the gallon of milk, though she expects to find the frozen vegetables and Lean Pockets intact. “I really just want to keep the pies,” LizHarrell confides. “The lemon one looks especially tasty. Maybe I should just let them keep the groceries.”

Attempts to contact [NEIGHBOR] have gone unanswered, though witnesses confirm that a milky rag and two pop-sickle sticks were placed in LizHarrell’s mailbox at approximately 3 PM today. Stay tuned for further updates in this ongoing story.

I admit this publicly with great hesitation as I do not like the pressure of accountability; nevertheless: I have joined Weight Watchers. I’m not unfamiliar with the system as a former member, but I find that my mental point calculations in the past year or two have grown dramatically out of control. Some of the meals I prided myself upon as being “healthy” were virtual death traps in terms of points values. I have added a few recipes to the counter to see what the points look like per serving and find myself wanting to take to Facebook and my phone book and email address book to share my discoveries.

For instance, I am having company Friday evening and wanted to make a cake. I noticed that there was a distinct lack of tasty looking desserts in the (ancient) Weight Watchers cookbook that I have here at home, so naturally I turned to Southern Living. Good old Southern Living cookbook, a perfect place to find any number of divine looking cakes and treats. I found a recipe that suited my needs and tastes and thought, well, I guess I might as well see how many points I need to save up for this treat, so I plugged in the recipe to find that, if I cut the cake into 12 portions as recommended, I would be consuming 21 points in one slice. This probably means nothing to most of you, but to put it into perspective, that’s 81% of my daily alloted points. Granted, Weight Watchers keeps these occasions in mind and offers a weekly allowance of extra points to use as I please, but when I can eat half of a medium Papa John’s veggie pizza for 20 points, you can begin to see why a slice of cake might not be the best use of said bonus points.

In fact, say I got wild (ie, REALLY depressed and/or bored) and decided I wanted to eat the entire cake, by myself. As the entire thing has 252 points in it, I would technically not be allowed to eat again for the following eight days. That is insanity. One cake has the same value of points as eight days worth of food! I literally cannot wrap my brain around this.

I’m still making the cake (having now scoured the WW website for acceptable alternatives and finding none that look remotely appealing) and I plan to eat a piece, brought into somewhat reasonable points range by adjusting the serving size (up from 12 servings per cake to 20), but I have to say I’m glad I actually prefer pizza to cake. Note to self: send half of cake home with guest and feed the rest to perpetually-losing-weight Hubby, and order a pizza on Saturday!