Monday, June 23, 2014

The New Addition to the Homestead!!!!!

It's pretty awesome!

3 people showed up yesterday to help at the homestead.  I was expecting 1.  3 is more than one.

Thank you to Maia, Erika and Cass and the puppies!

This made me feel completely secure.  If I lost my job today (knock on wood that doesn't happen...I would still like a well...but I'm just saying) I have a really lovely place to live.  It doesn't rain much here in the summer so this should be peachy for months! Thank you thank you thank you!

I'd asked if someday Cass could come help me with turning pallets into an outhouse to shelter the composting toilet (see composting toilet post).   Cass had replied via other folks that he'd think about it.  I thought that was fair enough because it's alot to ask.

Apparently Sunday morning he thought "yep."   They showed up with supplies, food, water and tools and 2 vehicles.  I had already been at the land before I got the message and thought I was doing something entirely different so I had no water, snacks, supplies or tools...not even the toilet!
No problem.  They dug right in.   Cass suggested that rather than construct a pallet building to shield my naughty bits from the highway drivers who may gawk (is that a tennis ball in a flesh tone tube sock?  (swerve)), he looked at the giant spruce tree next to the trailer and asked if I'd be OK with putting it back in there.  I said "Sure."

So, he got loppers, a sawsall and organized the help.  Erika was on weedwhacking and the weeds (hay really and other plants) are fully whacked.  I have a little wee yard around the camper, a path around the tree to the otherside where the bathroom is, an area for firewood and a place to stack supplies (like the mismeasured wood I had cut the other day...different story...totally my fault).  Meanwhile Maia and I are assigned to move the branches and whatnot that Cass is taking out from under the lower bits of the tree.  So we do.

Not long after there is a really nice clear spot.  It's quite a bit larger than I envisioned.  As I said, I had not brought the toilet (and was having a special ladytime issue that required access to a sink and a flush toilet) so Maia and I ran up to Plummer to retrieve one turlet and use another one.  We get back to find that Erika and Cass had cleared out the side of the tree next to the trailer, leaving branches hanging nearly to the ground.  The tree is in a sort of bank about 3 feet high. The toilet is on the west/high side and the trailer is on the low, east side.  A giant root makes a natural bench in what is now the living room.  Cass was willing to open up the space even more but I  do like to have the drapes drawn so I asked to have the cutting stop and declared done for the day.  You can cut branches off later, but you can't really put them back on.


Here are a few photos.  I'm sure you'll all be jealous of my bathroom, with storage area (which is important when you need buckets of dry matter like sawdust or peat to keep the thing going).
The sun was a bit harsh, but that's the toilet under the tree and the grass is actually quite green.  A few pallets behind it for a feeling of privacy beyond the natural tree branch view blockage.

The living room!  Hard to tell, but that sideways root is really comfy.  The chairs are because company is coming next weekend so I wanted to have the place all tidy.  I'd just picked up the reed rug at a thrift store for 8$.  The chairs (there are 3 in view and another out of view) were a total of about 10$.  I already owned one chair.  Pardon the badly framed photo which includes the sheet covering what I hope will be an outdoor kitchen base...but my construction skills leave EVERYTHING to be desired so I covered up my shame.

I think that bookclub when they come on Saturday will be pretty impressed.  It's shady and cool under there with a nice breeze.  Sure the breeze is off the toilet but I'll use that judiciously before they get there.  Maybe throw in a tictac for good measure ( does not stink, it's just getting set up).  You can see a bit of the toilet privacy pallets on the side by the red chair.

And the piece de resistance.....(drum roll please)...the view from the throne:

I expect to have important insights during my morning constitutional.

Cass Erika and Maia are AWESOME!  I wish I had useful skills to exchange with them.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Won't This Break the Space/Time Continuum?

So I was at a thrift store and saw this:

Micro Master

It was a different brand but you get the idea.   It's a microwave pressure cooker.   If the microwave isn't fast enough...add pressure!  Cripes.

I was wondering if that really was the draw....speed of cooking.   Yep.

They've taken the 2 fastest cookers and combined them!   Uh...what?  Why?

Of course, cooking food faster does not make for tastier food in general.  The exception may be deep frying.  You want that to happen fast.  You don't want a donut or french fry that's been slowly simmered in oil.   Otherwise, food is better when cooked slowly.   Roasted.  Braised.  Stewed.

Someday I'll tell you about the ex-beau who thought that pressure cooking a steak was a good idea.  Nothing like a tepid grey lump of meat.  Barf.

(by the way...this is apparently my 400th post!   Wow)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Farewell My Molars

So, on Monday I went to the oral surgeon.  After valiant attempts to save my 1st molar on the upper right (also known as tooth #3) ...  Failure. It had to be removed.  The upper jaw cat scan showed that it was massively infected (which I suspected for about a year but anyway, too late to worry about that was also cracked and the cold/hot sensitivity was that as well...and the crown and yada yada yada).    This was figured out when it stopped hurting, but was a bit loose and had a gross puffy bit on the outer gum area.  I learned that this is an abscess.  Nice.  It only hurt bad once, when I was on a plane.  I went in and the dentist found it was cracked to the root and ended up crowning it.  It felt a lot better.  I have a super high pain tolerance or no pain sensation.  So, my expression of "it's not comfortable but not painful" did not raise a red flag to the dentist.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago with the abscess.  Clearly infected and no more sensation at all.  I thought this was like a zit coming to a head and thus the thing was cured.  Nope.  It was dead.  Nice.  I read up on it and that wasn't good.

So, I decide to go for an extraction and probably an eventual implant.  I meet with an oral surgeon.  He does a cat scan of the upper jaw.  This was to see if I could have an immediate implant.
Here's a copy of a panoramic xray (not quite the cat scan, but still cool)

You can't really see it in this, though you can in the 3-D cat scan, but there is a giant hole in the bone over the infected/dead tooth.  Nearly into the sinus cavity and nearly through the bone on the cheek side.  Next time I think "that's not quite right, though not really painful" I'm going to insist to the dentist that we be a bit more aggressive in the diagnosis and treatment.  I'm taking "pain" out of the list of symptoms for me (remember when I walked over a mile on a broken ankle?  Either I'm some sort of superwoman with giant pain tolerance, or everyone else is an extreme wiener).  (OR I just don't have the same pain sensation as other people.)

The two back uppers on the "R" side ended coming out. It was supposed to be just the one with the full crown (shows up as the biggest shiny white blob).   Turns out the one behind it had the roots in the same hole as the one that had to come out.  That back one was also the one that my idiot orthodontist (don't get me wrong, I needed the braces and appreciate the folks paying for them but that doesn't mean the orthodontist didn't f'up this one tooth) wrenched to the point where it jutted out sideways into my cheek.  I haven't been able to chew with it for 40 years.  AND it probably ruined my career as a supermodel since I could not suck my cheek in on that side.  (Well...that tooth and my fat ass ruined my modeling career.)

So, I agreed to have that one pulled too.  He said that with the lack of bones around the roots, the bone graft for the dead tooth area would not heal properly.  I'm thinking that I don't want to do this twice so with two people's fists in my mouth I said "uh huh" and out came the 2nd tooth.  The surgeon did write off the cost of the 2nd implant, though the 300$ for the extraction seemed a bit much.  It takes less than a minute to pull a tooth.  They are surprisingly easy to pull out.  Good to know.

Speaking of the teeth....they gave them to me!   Cool!   They even offered though I was going to insist.  Now if only Pam would agree to suck it up and string them on an earcuff for me.

He was pretty chagrined that I insisted on only local painkiller, no general, no gas, none of that "forget what's happening" crap.  Honestly.  It's just teeth.  I don't use any novocaine or painkiller of any kind for fillings, onlays, etc.  It just doesn't hurt.  He didn't like me being conscious for the procedure, but I preferred it.  Pretty interesting.

The teeth were easy to get out.  30 minutes though to scrape out the infection.  30 minutes or so of packing in equine bone graft (which is apparently bone dust), and 15 minutes of fighting to suture it up.   Then they covered the area with a plastic substance (I'm generally against plastic, but with a 1inch hole in my mouth filled with extremely expensive bone dust...I went for it).   I have a follow up next Friday to see how it's healing up.  It will be months before the bone is all set for an implant.  I have to see what's left on the insurance for this year and if they are going to cover anything.  I do still have a chewing surface on the other side of my mouth so this may all be considered "cosmetic."  We'll see.   I may have 50 years left to live and I would like to be able to eat.

I wonder if I can get one long implant or if I have to get two separate teeth done.  The oral surgeon hates when I ask questions so I'm sure the conversation will be pleasant.    I'm sure he'll be thrilled that I will still refuse anything but local pain killers for the implant.  But seriously, after those butchers I had when I was a kid...and the pain tolerance's just not a problem.  (Again...not criticizing the parents for dentist choices.  It was a different time and there you have it.)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My New Home and a Few Pictures of the Land

Yvonne (who is awesome) towed the camper down a few weeks ago.  All went well.  It is now parked on the land next to the big tree.  Yes, the tree might fall on it.  Don't care.  Shade is the was using the only flat spot around.

This is a view looking from one of the high points toward the east.  The camper wasn't there yet.  I was really digging the oxeye daisies that day.  you can see the highway. I own that far.


 This is a view of the pond looking from west to east...with the family of mergansers who were out and about one day.  Haven't seen them since.  I'm pretty sure they are slaughtering the frogs and tadpoles...but the frog/tadpole population was enormous so I think it will be OK.

That is all for now.  I was hoping to level the camper up and do some dirt moving this week but I had to have a couple of teeth out.  Apparently I could dislodge the 700$ bone graft or something if I lift heavy things.  So, next week.