Wisdom is overrated anyway

A week or so ago, I had a toothache.  On a Friday afternoon, of course, because things like toothaches never happen on a day when it’s easy to get a dentist’s appointment.  But I somehow managed to at least get in to see my normal dentist’s assistant.  Who, after a bit of poking and prodding, told me that not only did I have a cavity, as I expected, but that it was in one of my wisdom teeth, and therefore wasn’t going to be a quick filling-and-you’re-done sort of job.  And that there wasn’t really anything he could do on the spot (other than give me a prescription for antibiotics I can get filled if it starts hurting enough that I think it might be infected) but that I’d need to see the real dentist* to discuss what to do about it.

Luckily, the pain eased off again (it’s definitely still there, but it’s just a dull ache that I can pretty much ignore most of the time, and so far have only had to take pain killers for once – did I ever mention my high pain tolerance?), because it was a week before I could get an appointment for the consultation with the proper dentist, and, because I’m going to be away at a conference, I won’t be able to get the actual work done until the end of the month.

And yes, the bad news is I have to get that wisdom tooth out.  And he strongly advised I get the other two** out at the same time.

The good news is, it isn’t going to be quite as expensive as I’d been dreading (it’s always scary when the first thing a dentist asks is “Do you have insurance?”***).  Thankfully, the whole thing, including a couple of minor fillings that hadn’t been bothering me, but which I decided he might as well take care of at the same time, should come in under $1000.  So not cheap, but it could be a lot worse.

And the other good news is that, unlike the last tooth I had out, which was just under local anaesthetic, I’ll be properly sedated this time round.  So hopefully that means I won’t even notice the horrible graunching noises of tooth against bone which are almost worst than the actual pain part.

Still not looking forward to it, though.

*Not that the assistant isn’t a real dentist – according to his card, he has a BDS, and he must be a proper dentist if he can issue prescriptions – but the other dentist, who I think runs the practice, is the one who does all the complicated stuff.

**I had one out many years ago when I lived in London.  The others hadn’t come up yet at that time, so I didn’t bother getting them out at the same time.  In hindsight, I really should have while I was covered by the NHS!

***To explain for the foreigners, although we have free(ish) public health care in New Zealand, that doesn’t apply to dental work.  Some people do opt to take out health insurance (mainly because it allows them to skip the waiting lists in the public system), but in theory you shouldn’t have to… until you get a huge dental bill and then start regretting your choices.

And now, to counteract thoughts of pain, three happy things:

  1. Lytteltonwitch and I have booked our flights to Paris for next year’s Bookcrossing Convention!  It’s suddenly all very exciting and real.  We haven’t booked much else yet (just accommodation in Paris and Bordeaux – we’re still working out the rest of the itinerary), but I’m spending way too much time poring over maps of France (and northern Spain), and practising my very rusty French (and only slightly less rusty Spanish), when I should be doing other things. Who cares, though – nous allons en France!
  2. New World were doing their “Little Gardens” promotion again last month, and I finally got round to starting off the three plants I got (I seemed to have bought very few groceries while the promotion was on, probably because I was away quite a bit). We had a bit of a heat wave last week, so they all burst into enthusiastic life very quickly, but have slowed down a bit now that the weather has returned to normal Christchurch spring-ness. I’m not convinced about the feasibility of growing either cucumbers or watermelons in a pot, especially not in this climate, but it’ll be fun seeing how far they get. And the thyme should at least grow ok, once the weather warms up again.
  3. The rapid approach of Christmas has given me the perfect excuse to break out a new project. Or technically, many smaller projects. I, as usual, have got way too ambitious with my plans for “quick” wee presents, but I’m having lots of fun making them (it may also have been a good excuse to buy a couple of Christmas-y charm packs that were on special at one of my favourite fabric shops…).And so, the production line begins:

    (and experimenting with all the possible colour combinations…)

    I did actually finish one of them off completely, because I wanted to include one in the parcel I send off for the Bookcrossing Ornament Exchange, and I’m running out of time to send it. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out – I was playing some more with contrasting quilting textures, and using the patterns of the pieces to guide the quilting. I don’t think I’ll do the rounded corners on the rest of them though – they were way too fiddly to do the binding on.

    The quilting looks really good on the back, too (and for once, I actually remembered *before* I did the binding to add a label, and some little loops in case the recipient wants to hang it up instead of use it as a mat).

I got mail

Signs are abounding that Christmas is on its way. I already have six different Christmas/end-of-year parties in my calendar (sounds like I have a really impressive social life, but the majority are work-related), and plans are being made in our corridor at work for the annual door-decorating competition (which, of course, our office won last year, so the pressure is on to keep up the standard for this year!). But the real sign of Christmas is that I got home tonight to find a mysterious parcel in my letterbox, all the way from Germany – TexasWren’s (though actually Herschelle organised it this year, because TW is too busy) annual BC Ornament Exchange in action.

It’s always so exciting opening an ornament exchange parcel – you never know what you’re going to find inside.

Top layer, a note from the sender, chawoso, and a card…

…that turned out to be a mini advent calendar, which folds out to stand up (with what I later worked out is space for a tea-light candle inside, which will shine through the windows as they’re opened).

Beneath that, so many goodies! (Once again, I’m feeling like what I sent to my swap partner is totally inadequate…)

A couple of Christmassy books, The Night Before Cat-mas, and Joy to the World,

some reindeer serviettes,

and, of course, ornaments:

Yes, that is a cinnamon stick tied to the second ornament – I’m amazed that made it through customs without the biosecurity dogs picking it up! My favourite is definitely the beaded tree, though – in fact, I think it’s possibly my favourite ornament of all the exchanges I’ve taken part in.

Rounding off the parcel were a few chocolate coins, and a tea-light candle (which was how I figured out how the advent calendar was supposed to work).

Must mean it’s nearly time to put up the Christmas tree!*

(*well, “nearly” as in “definitely not until it’s actually December”, but that’s only a week away 🙂 )

Ornaments and fighting cats

Poor Parsnips got in a fight last night, and I suspect got the worst of it, because she was looking pretty sorry for herself.  Lots of tufts of fur sticking out all over, and definitely a few tender spots she wouldn’t let me touch.  She was looking a bit happier when I left for work this morning though, so hopefully there’s no serious damage.  I’m not sure who the fight was with (I only heard the screeching), but I suspect the black and white cat that hangs around my garden – there have been words between them before.

My speech went really well last night – much praise from everyone.  There were of course a few things I could have improved upon, but I was pretty pleased with my efforts.  Now I’ve just got to start planning the next one…

As I was leaving to go to Toastmasters last night there was a knock on the door – one of the neighbours dropping off a parcel that had been delivered to them by mistake.  I had no idea what it was at first, because the return address was in South Carolina, but of course it was my ornament from the Bookcrossing Ornament Exchange, from elsbeth22.  Or actually, ornaments, because there were three of them, and lots of other wee goodies as well.

Three ornaments, a handmade card, bookcrossing stickers and postcard, chocolate coins and maple sugar candy – a treasure trove packed into that little parcel!  As always, I’m left feeling inadequate in what I sent to my swap partner.  Can’t wait to put my tree up though 🙂

(Duh, it’s just occurred to me that the leaf is supposed to be a bookmark, not an ornament.  I think I still want to hang it on the tree 🙂 )

I attended a very high level meeting this morning, about a project we may end up working on.  Lots of government types with serious-sounding titles (I kept thinking of that bit at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark: “We have top men working on it right now.” – “Who?” – “Top men.”).  One of our directors was there to do most of the talking, so my role was mostly just to answer any questions about the day to day operation of the programme.  But it struck me during the meeting how much I’ve grown into this role in the last year – a year ago a meeting like that would have terrified me, now it’s just all in a day’s work, and I’m perfectly confident talking to all sorts of important people about what we do.

I still haven’t quite figured out how to do the dance of the business cards properly though… 🙂

Posting Pohutukawa

Finally got round to posting off my ornament for the Bookcrossing Ornament Exchange today.  Or actually, two ornaments:


Yes, there is a bit of a theme there 😉  I got the felt pohutukawa flower ages ago when Mum was up and we were browsing the Ballantyne’s Christmas displays.  But then when I was in Wellington, I saw the cool kit-set wooden ornaments in their gift shop (you punch out the pieces and slot them together to make 3D shapes), and the pohutukawa seemed like a perfect companion to the one I’d already bought, so I decided to send both (along with a card explaining the connection between pohutukawa and Christmas*).  It’s always nice to find an ornament (or two!) that reflects NZ to send to people in other countries – and definitely a bonus to find something that does that without being a kiwi in a Santa hat!

* For you foreign types: Pohutukawa is a native plant with dark green leaves and bright red flowers that come into bloom around December.  So it’s often called “the Kiwi Christmas tree“.