I am sad to report that my exercise program seems to be in the dumper. Lofty thoughts of sweat stained shirts and hours on the treadmill entertained the night before, just never sound quite as good in the light of day. I am reminded monthly by my other half that the money is still being deducted from my account whether I am present for the workout or not. Fine. Sigh. Further I’m told that although vacuuming (which I count as exercise) is actually light cardio, based on the fact that my carpet lines are immaculate I shouldn’t hold out for that call from Sports Illustrated regarding their upcoming swimsuit issue. Drat the luck.
Last week wouldn’t rank in my top ten best. Tuesday sucked and Thursday was worse. When I think of that week I’m only going to include all days not beginning with T. I took two of my granddaughters to their dental appointments after school on Thursday. The dental office lobby was huge, and yet there weren’t many empty seats. After getting in line, the receptionist presented us with an entire pine tree’s worth of paperwork to fill out before they could be seen. After checking “no” to everything from pregnancy to gout, we stood in line to give the paperwork back to her and returned to our seats, which were now occupied. Exactly one hour and a half later, the first girl’s name was called.
Finally finding a seat, I noticed there was one magazine in the lobby, a medical journal, and it was more popular than a single man at a wedding. Even I found myself eying it as it was laid down.
Two and a half hours later after exploring every possible position in that chair and unable to locate one suitable for the backside, both had both x-rays and exams and were free to leave. Well, not free, I’m sure the sizable bill would be arriving in due time.
In my list of past accomplishments, I can include dental assisting. A brief, foray into the scintillating world of molars, autoclaves and mint flavored dental floss. School was great. We all wore uniforms and it all felt very official and clinical. Applying myself, I did well and was asked to keep in mind continuing my education and becoming a certified hygienist. It was something I considered strongly before actually working in a dental office, and tossed out with the contents of the spittoon after several weeks on the job.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I think it’s a great profession and I admire people who are accomplished at it and enjoy their work, it was just not for me. To begin with, I hate going to the dentist, so why I thought I would enjoy a working environment where the very smell of the office makes me want to cut and run, escapes me for the moment. After graduating, I took my state test for x-rays and immediately got hired by a thriving orthodontist’s office close to home. For me, the best part was the uniforms. As his practice was geared mainly towards children, we were encouraged to wear colorful prints in youthful themes. I was a riot of pink bunnies and swinging monkies carrying bunches of bananas.
What I didn’t take into consideration was that although their parents may have been enthusiastic about their little one’s dental health, their little nose miners, not so much. Also, small mouths are difficult to place x-rays in and should have a sign hanging from them reading, “proceed at your own risk, loss of digits may occur”. After several weeks I began to classify my young patients. The biters, their opposite numbers the teeth clenchers, the screamers, the thumb suckers, the squirmers and a small percentage of little angels with big eyes who never uttered a word, shed an occasional silent tear, and just opened their mouths on cue. I always snuck them an extra treat on their way out. It interested me that a dental office gave their small patients their choice from a bowl of candies afterward. Perhaps it was to keep new business moving steadily through the door.
In school, the proper use of the suction device was heavily touched upon. Even though the wand is small it has a powerful enough suction. If it’s resting on the soft tissue or you suck on someone’s lip it can leave a sore or a blood blister. One day I had a white knuckled lady in the chair who, as was well noted on her chart, suffered from extreme dental anxiety. While clipping the bib around her neck she grimaced three times and began to wring her hands. Personally I’ve never considered fastening the bib to be one of the more painful dental procedures, but her acrylic fingernails digging into my arm ranked definitely high up there on my pain threshold. A crown procedure was lengthy, so in order to keep her in the chair and calm she was administered a low dose of nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas”. Soon she was as giddy as a school girl and after proposing a number of inappropriate activities to our dentist, a married man with three children, she became as flexible as Gumby under the broiler, making it difficult to keep her still while the drill was on.
Between trying to suction, managing the instruments, and reaching up to pull her arms down, I heard her mumble, “owche”. This followed by a soft tinkling in the wand. When she’d walked in the door I noticed she was very well-appointed style wise. At the time I had admired the delicate wires dangling from her ears each with a tiny gemstone. After checking my suction and not finding a problem, I once again turned my attention to the woman. Immediately I noticed there was now only one stone in place. Oh-oh. As the stone, which turned out to be a small diamond, was probably about the same size as dental waste from old fillings we suctioned from patient’s mouths it probably passed through the filter and into the waste receptical below.
After the procedure was done, I informed the dentist, who in turn informed the patient, who, feeling pretty good about life in general at the time, thought that was the funniest story anyone had told her, and laughed until she got home and regained her senses. In the end, the dental office insurance covered the loss, I decided to retire my swinging monkies and pink bunnies, and went back to pounding the keyboard which better suited me.
Wouldn’t do it again, and wouldn’t trade it.
These are really good for a quick appetizer. If I’m just serving heavy appetizers, I leave them whole, but if they’re before a big meal I cut them in thirds. Yummy.
Asparagus and Brie Roll-ups
12 slices good quality sour dough or white sandwich bread
1 wheel of brie cheese
1/3 cup Dijon mustard (you may not need it all)
12 asparagus spears, cooked
4 Tbsp. melted butter
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Using a rolling pin flatten the each slice of bread as much as possible. Trim crusts. Place on large cutting board and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave for 10-15 mins.
Cut brie into similar shape as asparagus spears. Spread one side of each piece of bread evenly with Dijon mustard. Place one asparagus spear and one slice of brie on far left side of each piece of bread and roll. Brush liberally with melted butter. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Place rolled pieces on buttered baking sheet and place in oven for 15-20 mins. or until bread is nicely browned and cheese is bubbly.