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Friday, October 14, 2016

Just Yank It Outta There! - Another Dentist Story

After an extremely stressful week in August, I had a dentist appointment the following Monday for the next step of my treatment plan; yeah, another crown (this time, #18, all the way in the back).

So, I'm sitting in the chair after they take my x-ray, fretting about the AC work that needs to be done, when Dr. S comes in.  I need another damn root canal!  For those of you playing at home, this would be my third root canal. Okay, four if you count the one I had when I was a kid.

He said that they could either refer me to the endodontist, or they could pull the tooth. He tried to discuss the pros and cons of each option, but the more we talked the more irritated I was getting and I told him to just yank the damn thing out of my face (this is pretty much word for word what I said). After a minute, though, I asked him if I could have a moment to think about the situation.  I think he was glad to leave (I can get kind of mean & spooky when I get mad & irritated).

I sat in the chair for a bit, deep-breathing and trying to calm myself down and think rationally.  I could hear Dr. S talking to Cassie (the hygienist) about me, and soon she came in (I think he sent her to be the Voice of Reason). She said that I should definitely consider the root canal because, eventually, I'm going to need a partial (I'm missing multiple teeth on the bottom). A partial needs to have two teeth on each side to anchor the harness.  If I pulled this tooth, I'd just have to have a fake put in anyway, when I got the partial. So why not save money and save the tooth at the same time?  I saw her logic, and I apologized for my attitude, and I was given a referral back to Dr. Tyler.

I was able to keep it together until I got to the car. When I got in, I knew I was going to lose it, so I raced around to the side of the building, where no one could see me, and man! I just let it go.  Full-on "Ugly Cry," smacking the steering wheel, letting it go.  The AC. The dryer. The root canal. The crown. THE COST OF ALL OF THIS SHIT. I just lost it.

It took me about 5 minutes to get myself back together, but I did and I called Dr. Tyler's office for an appointment. They had an opening on August 17th, so I booked it, straightened myself out, grabbed some lunch and went to work. Later that day, I met with the AC guy from Bertie and signed the paperwork to get the process started.

On August 17th, I headed to Dr. Tyler's office, and due to some heinous traffic, I was over an hour late (I'd called them multiple times to let them know I'd be late).  I'd forgotten my referral paper, so when the receptionist didn't ask for it, I figured that they'd had a copy sent over from Dr. S.

Luckily, she was able to fit me in, so into the chair I went. My sunglasses broke somehow when I took them off my head, so I had no glasses to protect me from the lights and flying spit.

It took many, many tries to get me fully numbed this time around.  I'd feel numb, she'd go in, and I'd need more drugs. Shot, numb, drill, more drugs. We did this like 10 times.  She tried to make me feel better, saying sometimes when a tooth is really infected, it takes more drugs, but I was still feeling guilty, like I was a wuss or something...  Eventually, though, I think I was numbed to my knees and we could finally move along.

Since my root area as so inflamed (according to Dr. Tyler), she gave me a temporary filling and told me to come back in two weeks, once the swelling was gone.  I wrote out a check for a whopping $308 bucks for this root canal (apparently prices, even with insurance, vary depending on which tooth is worked on, who knew?) and got an appointment to return on August 31st.

I returned to Dr. Tyler on the 31st and it was a quick numb, drill, and fill.  The next day, I went back to Dr. S to get the permanent crown started and as he began working, he noticed that Dr. Tyler didn't leave room for a post.  (Remember how I didn't bring my referral? Yeah, the referral specifically said to leave room for a post...).  Dr. S thought that he'd be able to do it himself, but halfway through, he broke the distal, and had to stop.  I got yet another temporary filling and was sent back to Dr. Tyler on September 6th.

Now with a shiny new hole in my already falling apart back tooth, I returned to Dr. S to finally get fitted for my gorgeous gold tooth.  There were no issues at this point, and after a month, I was able to return to Dr. S and get my new crown.

I've never had a meltdown like that before (back in August) and hopefully I never will again.  But holy shit was it needed!


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Tijuana Flats Summer Beach Run Race Report

Due to Hubby's new work schedule, he decided not to join us for this race - the Tijuana Flats Summer Beach Run.  Unlike many races, this was an evening race; it started at 6pm. 

The Kiddo came again this year, to conquer the 1 Mile Fun Run. I was going all in on the 5-Miler again.

We stopped at the Circle K for some road snacks and caffeine for me (I don't think I even ate the cookies), and the trip to Jax Beach was pretty uneventful. 

All runners prep with gas-station cookies!
Beautiful Partly Cloudy Florida Sky

I was smart enough to put in the address of the 7-Eleven (close to the beach) so we didn't have to drive around again to find it. As we were coming into town, I happened to look down at the thermometer in the car...

Yes, it's actually 103º (and yes, my dashboard is dusty!!!)
I think we're in for a HOT race today. (It topped out at 99º today).

We got a spot right near the 7-Eleven (three years in a row!), geared up and headed to packet pickup. The vibe of the area was completely different this year - since there were only two of us, and both women, we got a lot more "hey, how you doin'?" from the local beach bums.  Flattering, but annoying. 

We got our bibs and tracking chips, then headed down to the beach.

This is maybe a 1/3rd of all the runners
The Kiddo™ - toting the BEST water bottle ever! (Polar)
You betta werk

We split up after our pre-race photos; the Kiddo didn't take off until after we did, so she was sidelined for now. 

I got a shoe selfie while we waited for the race to begin.   Then I got my Garmin and tech ready.

C'Mon, Get Happy SparkleSkirt
Hanging out in the middle of the pack
Those are Warrior brand bluetooth earbuds - Big Lots, $15!
Soon, we began to storm the beach, and I could tell that there would be no PRs at this race. It was hot, it was thick and it was almost painful to run in. I was getting passed left and right.

I didn't keep up with them like I did last year
It seemed to take forever to get to Mile 1, and I was truly regretting doing this race again. I questioned it last year, but the Kiddo really wanted to do it again, so what's a gal to do? 

Yay. Mile 1. Am I done?
I was passed by the front runner between Mile 1 and Mile 2 (about 23 minutes in).

Go, Speedy, Go!

I think this photo is supposed to be Mile 2, but by this point, I was giving no fucks, so it could just be a water stop.

Could be Mile 2, Could be Water Stop, who knows?

Also, it was very windy, which can be a godsend on a race, but it was a HOT, WET wind that blew right in my face.

I made it to the turn-around and started to head back. 

Whoa, where did she come from?

There were still people behind me, so at this point, I knew I wasn't last.

Look, people!

By the time I got to Mile 3, my stomach was hurting (which has happened EVERY year I've done this). It's like major bloating or gas. Really uncomfortable, and renders me unable to run (because of the jostling). 

Mile 3?  I think so... Why is the sign so far over?

I wasn't feeling much better at Mile 4 either. Still bloated. Really hot, really ready to just be done.

There's a sign up there somewhere
I saw this sign and I truly wanted to punch it.  Go for what? See how quickly I can pass out at this sign?  See if I can throw up higher than the sign? 

How about YOU go for it and I sit on this damn beach and die?

Oh thank you Jesus, I see the finish line!


My official time was 1:34:33.  I beat a big whopping FOUR people (I think three of them were in that photo up earlier in the blog) and I came in last in my age group (F35-39).  Definitely not my best race.

Somehow I had enough energy to get a great pro photo though... and I think it's my first "flying" shot!

I got my medal and a bottle of water and immediately looked for somewhere to sit down. My heart was beating a million miles a minute and I felt like I was going to pass out.  Last year was bad - I got Heat Exhaustion. I'm pretty sure this year, I went all the way to Heat Stroke. The kiddo was there with me, and we just traded race stories back and forth for a few minutes until I was feeling well enough to walk back up to the pavilion. 

Smaller medal this year

At the pavilion, we got in line for our free Tijuana Flats tacos, chips and salsa.  I was feeling good for about 5 minutes, then I wanted to pass out again.  We got our food and took it over to a corner of the grass where it wasn't super-crowded and I just laid out on my back while the Kiddo ate her taco and chips. 

See all the people behind the tents? That's the line for tacos!
I laid there for about 10 minutes, then I tried to eat my taco, but there was no way that was gonna happen.

I got up and walked over to one of the trash barrels and kind of leaned on it. Then I bent over it. Then I hugged it. Then I, .... well, I think you can guess.

See that trash can behind Yellow Shirt Man? Yeah, I puked in that (these people just posed with it)

It was mostly water, so it didn't hurt, but I did it for a long time!  At one point - God help me if I ever find this guy - at one point, while I was actively vomiting, a guy (or gal) came by and threw a half-drunk cup of beer in the trash can, inches from my face!  Like, seriously, if you saw a fat chick hovering over a trash can puking, wouldn't you a) have the decency to NOT throw anything away in that can, and b) ask that person if they were okay? Yeah, this guy did neither. 

Once I was done with that and I was up to walking, we headed back to the car. We changed our clothes in the 7-Eleven bathroom, grabbed some snacks (I think I only got a soda, for the bubbles) and just came home. I obviously wasn't up to grabbing food anywhere, and the Kiddo had already put away two tacos (she ate mine), chips and salsa. 

I'll say it again... I really don't think I'll do this race again. At least, not until I'm in better running condition!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Dryer? Or Hotter?

So, about two months ago, we had a crazy storm here in Central FL, and it blew a huge tree limb down out of a large oak tree in our yard - it came down like a rocket. landing point-side down (rather than longways) on our roof, ripping open a cantaloupe-sized hole in our two-year old roof.  As you can imagine, I was pissed as hell.  And because it was weather-related, the roof warranty didn't cover it.

The cost to repair it was $450, but I was able to sell some of my Disney volunteer tickets to a coworker of mine, so there was no out-of-pocket cost to us (no, I didn't go through my homeowner's insurance; the deductible is $1000).

Anyway, I'd forgotten about that issue.

I came home from work today and hubby mentioned to me that the dryer wasn't working.  It wouldn't turn on no matter what you did.  I wasn't surprised; it was 16 years old (we've had it since our first Grown Up Married Family apartment way back in 2000).  So, he and I hopped in the car and went to my favoritest place in the world - Home Depot!

We looked at all the different models and we knew that we wanted a step up from what we had now, but nothing so fancy as the dryers that match HE washers, or something that has a lot of bells and whistles to break (no steaming, nothing like that). We vacillated between a GE and a Samsung. Both were within $5 of each other, both had the same features, give or take. We ended up with the GE, which cost about $550 after you throw in the YOU MUST BUY IT dryer cord and delivery.

Feeling like grown-ups (yeah, we're in our 30s and 40s, that doesn't make us grown ups!), we grabbed dinner from Subway then headed home.

As I walked into the house, I noticed that it was a bit warm.  (It is August...)  I stood in front of the dining room AC vent (which is the easiest to feel) and, yeah, the AC was blowing warm air.  Okay, we've had issues like this before. Maybe the lines outside have frozen?  Nope. Maybe we need to reset the circuit breaker? Nope. Maybe there's a clog in the drain line? Nope (though that wouldn't affect the temperature...)  I was out of ideas. We opened the windows and left the AC on as "fan" all night because otherwise it would be 90º in there at midnight, but since we have a window unit in our room (old house, bad duct work), we told the kiddo that she was more than welcome to bunk down on the floor if it got to hot in her room.

On Friday, while I was at work, hubby called a few HVAC guys to come out and check on our problem.  AirDucks Heating and Air took one look at our external system and said that we might as well just replace our whole system.  Whatever brand our system is - they don't even MAKE it anymore, so parts would be impossible to find. Both the compressor and the capacitor were shot.  And while it would only cost about $1000 to fix both (gah, only???), there was no guarantee that it would keep the unit running for any length of time. 

After the left, hubby called me to relay the news. I was pissed and stressed, as you could imagine.  I asked him to call Bertie Heating & Air to have them check it out too.

Bertie checked it and we got basically the same answer. So, it looks like we're gonna have to drop some cash on a new HVAC system.  Okay.  Deep breath. 

When I got home, Bertie was still there and he was able to give me estimates.  A 15Seer was $4000. A 16Seer with Variable Speed was $5000 and a 18Seer was $6500. We decided to go with the 16Seer because it would bring value to the house when we were ready to sell it.  There were other costs associated, of course, and we were looking at about $6000 to replace the HVAC.

Okay, so where's the money gonna come from?  Bertie doesn't self-finance, but they partner with two different local credit unions (one of which I'm a member of).  My credit, however, is horrendous.  Their preferred lender was the other credit union, so I tried them first (the flyer I was given said something like 2.9% interest personal loan!).  Well, I didn't qualify for that, nor any type of unsecured personal loan, but they could give me an 8.9% 5-year loan if I put up my paid-off car as collateral!!! Yeah, no thank you.

Could I get a loan from my retirement account? Nope, Florida Retirement Systems doesn't do loans.  Okay.  That secured loan is looking to be my only option...

But wait!  What about hubby's retirement account? I'd hate to cash it out (we had to do that for the roof, and the tax bite was terrible), but we can't live in Florida with no AC.  We got so lucky - his retirement account allows for loans!  We won't have to cash out the whole account, which means there won't be a tax hit from that, and since we'll have to pay it back, we won't get dinged at tax time, either, because it's not seen as income!  And on top of that, the interest rate is only 4%! And, even better, the loan repayment can come right out of his paycheck, so it's like I'm not even going to feel it! Oh, hallelujah, I'm gonna get a new AC!

So, the Bertie guy was able to come to my office on Friday, where I signed the paperwork to get this whole thing started, and he said that he'd bring by a portable AC (one of those rolling ones with the vent that sticks out of the window) to the house by the end of the day so we don't fry!  This is awesome! 

Now, to survive the weekend... The Weather Channel says it's ONLY supposed to go up to the low 80s on Saturday and Sunday (though it's hot as hell right now...)  I thank God for small favors!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Bridge of Lions 5k Race Report

Since the Kiddo is enjoying her summer vacation way too much, and Hubby had to work this morning, I was flying solo for the Bridge of Lions 5k in St. Augustine. Not that I'm totally sad about that - I've mentioned it before that Hubby doesn't really enjoy the whole running scene, and it's boring for him to wait around an hour for me.

I was up and ready to go by 4:30 (I had to take hubby to work before heading to the race), and I was so proud of my gorgeous 2-day hair, I felt the need to take a selfie. My skin needs some work, but my hair is great!

Second Day Hair Selfie
No road trip photo this time around, but the trip was uneventful, and I got there around 6:30a.m.  The sky, just beginning to light up was beautiful and I spent way too much time shooting the water!

Good Morning Sunshine
Eventually, though, I made my way over to packet pickup, which was two tables. We got a shirt in a nice reusable grocery bag provided by a local chiropractor. The handles of the bag are obnoxious, so I probably won't use it much (they're too short).

Getting to races early is much less stressful
I took my stuff back to the car to chill out before the race started.

There's not a lot of folks here yet
I got a great spot! (And free until 10am)
Once the sun came up fully, I was out and about again, taking more photos (no seriously, I have more photos of the sunrise than I do of the entire race... but I'll spare you the majority of them).

Bridge of Lions over Mantanzas River
You idiot, a schooner IS a sailboat
More people gathering now
Chillin' at the Castillo
Lots of people chillin' at the Castillo!
Soaking my chill towel before the race
Do it! Jump!
LOL, JK! Not gonna jump!
I truly love St. Augustine
Back at the starting line, crowds had really grown!  This is much bigger than last year, I think!

Wow, lots of people this year!
We started shortly after I got back to my car (conveniently within the 12mm pace zone) and we headed down the road.  From behind me, near the bridge, I heard the weirdest noise... like a flapping noise, like someone running in a windbreaker and flip flops. Yeah, he beat me to the finish line.

How he didn't pass out in there, I don't know!
Crossing the Bridge of Lions
Once we crossed the bridge, we went into the Davis Shores neighborhood and quickly came up to Mile 1.

Water! Water!
I love this guy's political sign. There's a shitstorm coming this fall, I can feel it.

Sweet Meteor of Death '16
Another view of the Mantanzas River
We made it to Mile 2, which was actually very close to the finish line.

2/3 done and I'm not ready to die? Good day!
I can see the finish!

I finished with a fair amount of people! Good day!
My official time was TERRIBLE, the worst I've ever done. 53 freakin' minutes!!! I was 84th out of 90 in my age group. BUT!  I beat 86 people!!!  And I had fun, so really, isn't that all that matters?

After the race, though, I had to walk all the way back across the bridge to my car. I passed these classy bitches who think that historical statues are there for you to stand on for photos.  I wanted to push them.

Get your rude, fat asses off the canons! You aren't cute.
I chose the very tasteful selfie instead.

That is ice in my boobs, but I am glad to see you
Back to the car I go! I had fun taking lots of medal photos while I walked.

This is such a typical Florida neighborhood street, I love it
Modeling my medal with Firm the Lion (or is it Faithful?)
One of the drawbridge towers on the bridge
A fellow finisher took my photo for me... I'm smizing
Money Shot
Faithful the Lion (or is it Firm) on the other side of the river

Back in the car, I decided Arby's was the lunch for me. 

It's no Chick-fil-A, but it'll do

I'm literally the only customer here...
And I shit you not, they're playing Christmas music on the radio here.

After lunch, I did some exploring of the non-tourist side of the city and discovered a large shopping center.  It had a Kirkland's, which I'd heard from coworkers was a cute place to look for home decor.

Will I like Kirkland's?
No. It's not.

Unless you want your house to smell like a redneck whorehouse, do not buy stuff from Kirklands. Gah, it's everything I hate.  Wine jokes, too many tacky Tervis tumblers (lol, alliteration), ugly-ass mirrors and huge wall hanging signs with cutesy slogans like "Grateful, Thankful, Blessed" or "Find Happiness in the Little Things." If it's distressed, it's here. If it's tacky, it's here. If you're 67-year old grandma likes to drink wine in the afternoon and get botox on Saturdays, she shops at Kirklands.

Can you tell I wasn't impressed?  Yeah, no.

Anyway, after that little excursion, I went next do to explore Party City (yeah, the Party City, the one with the horrible commercials).  Yeah, we have party stores in my town.  I think we have two.  They're very boring. You walk in and it looks like a circus exploded, because there are eighty bajillion balloons either stapled to the walls or hanging from the ceiling.  PC has that going for them too, but only in the Balloon Area, off to the side. When I walked in, there was lots of luau stuff, lots of summer stuff, lots of patriotic stuff (for the just-passed Independence Day and upcoming Election Day). I liked how it was sorted by section.  In the back of the store was a rainbow section - a bunch of items that come in specific colors. So if you wanted purple sunglasses, purple legwarmers, purple wigs or purple hats, you could go to the purple section. I think there were about 10-12 different colors (obviously all red through purple, plus black, white, neon, gold, silver and rainbow; probably others I can't remember).

🎵 Cuz this is Thriller! Thriller Night! 🎶
And in each section, oh dear lord, each section had head boppers! (I love head boppers, and recently Hubby told me that they made it easy for him to spot me at finish lines, so I've been searching for inexpensive options - I found 'em!) I ended up getting blue, purple, red and multi-color boppers. I also picked up this "Men On" style tiny cowboy hat for an upcoming work function (and eventually, I'll give it to the cat).

On the way out, I discovered another awesome feature of Party City - the wall of candy. 15 pieces for a buck.  Cost efficient? Not really. A nice inexpensive treat for me? Definitely! I scored some Rolos, Brach's Royals, Sixlets, and Atomic Fireballs.  Not bad for a buck! (And it will save me from wanting to get candy at the gas station on the way home, too!)

My stash for when I'm driving
My last stop of "We don't have those in my town" stores is Aldi's.  We have a Sav-a-Lot at home, but it's always struck me as dirty, and one step away from a dent-and-bent store.  Aldi's was supposedly the upscale version of a SaL, so I was curious how they compared.

There is a lot of similarities - off-brands or house brands, that look remarkably similar to their name-brand counterparts.  But what Aldi's does much better than SaL, I think, is their produce.  I don't eat a lot of produce, but I can tell that what Aldi's carries is pretty good lookin' stuff.

I got some Happy Farms whipped cream cheese and HF spreadable cheese (similar to Laughing Cow wedges) to take home and taste test. (I'm happy to report that the spreadable cheese is good and 10 calories per wedge less than LC; but the cream cheese wasn't as whipped as Kraft, so I may stick with Kraft).

Once I got back to the car, the sky opened up, so I took it as a sign it was time to go home (also, it really was time to go home; Hubby would be getting off of work and he needed a ride home!)\

Rain Rain, Go Away (or not, that's cool too)

All in all, in was a great race (well, except for the fact that it took me so long...) and a great afternoon.  I hit up the closest 7-Eleven for some Gas Station Nachos, then headed home and chilled out for the rest of the day.

Hello, My Name is Lazy, and I'm Addicted to Electric Cheese
Oh, Palatka, you do you - there is a store called "Dollar Wang"