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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Open Wide!

Well, it seems to be that time of year again....teeth cleaning time. A couple weeks ago we took the boys into our favorite dentist office to get their teeth checked and cleaned. The twins came out good, with just a new toothbrush, some floss (to add to our collection!) and some handheld floss thingies. Mitchell, however, had some cavities in his baby teeth and his 6yr molars were pitted, so they required a sealant. He was also losing some baby teeth on his front bottom jaw. His bottom teeth tend to come in behind his baby teeth, thereby delaying the natural tooth removal.

So on Wednesday, we took Mitchell in for the first of a few appointments to d
o the repair work. The dental technician and assistant are both so wonderful with kids. They make it a fun place to visit and every procedure is explained in a positive way (they're not bad cavities but rather they're sugar bugs that eat teeth, so we clean them off with special toothpaste).

First procedure was the molar sealant at the very back of his mouth. It was hard to keep that mouth open so wide. But the gals are sure quick with their work, the sealant was on and dried lightning fast.

Next on the task list was the cavity repair. Mitchell's teeth tend
to come in very tightly spaced. It's difficult to floss between his back teeth, to the point the floss shreds rather quickly. No wonder he has cavities where the teeth touch! If they have trouble flossing his teeth (and they're the "experts" LOL) how can we be expected to do the same at home.

Unfortunately, my memories of the raincoat aren't pleasant. But these two ladies made it an enjoyable occasion for him. They let him feel the tooth clips and the raincoat and the plastic frame used to keep it tight. It's really a hands-on type of practice, especially in the kid corner.

It seemed to take longer to set up
the two teeth for the repair than it did for the actual work. They cleaned up the cavity holes then prepped them for the goop (so technical aren't I?!). A few seconds with the drying light and he was good as new. (btw, they don't expect these teeth to fall out soon, so they chose to repair the cavity and allow Mitchell pain-free chewing)

In this photo, you get a really good view of the teeth they'll be working on. It looks awkward for Mitchell, but they cut a hole in the raincoat for him to breathe easier and it wasn't on for very long. The metal clips on his teeth provide a secure surrounding for the filling goop, so it doesn't ooze all over the place.

Look at Mitchell! He's relaxed! He's comfortable! Legs crossed, he's obviously not feeling any tension whatsoever during the office visit. Every child gets to hold a mirror to watch what's going on inside his mouth. And the kids are even able to hold the tools to become familiar with them, so they're not so scary-looking.

The last task on today's list was to "pluck out" a baby tooth, to allow the permanent tooth to slide right into place. Mitchell's permanent teeth have a tendancy to come in behind his baby teeth, creating a second row of teeth. Once the baby tooth falls out, the adult tooth needs to jockey into it's permanent position. By extracting this baby tooth now, it saves the trouble of having that second row of teeth and reduces the possibility of teeth alignment issues in the future.

Kari (the dental technician) used a special dental tool to scrape below the gumline. She scraped all around the tooth, separating the tooth root "feelers" from the gum. When she finished the scraping, she easily plucked the baby tooth out of the gums using her alligator tool (aptly names since the handles looked like an alligator tail). Since Mitchell was well anesthetized from the cavity repair, he didn't feel a thing during this procedure. And once the tooth was out, Kari confirmed the adult tooth would have been in place LONG before the baby tooth even started getting loose. It could have been Christmas before that tooth would be loose enough to pull by hand.

WOW! That's a huge tooth!! The root even has an indentation from where the adult tooth was pushing up alongside the root. Typically the adult tooth pushes up from the bottom, causing the baby tooth to loosen and fall out. Mitchell was given a treasure box to keep his tooth. And since I wanted to keep the tooth, I bought it from Mitchell for $2 (rather than having the tooth fairy buy it for a measly $1!).

After each office visit, regardless of reason, the kids get to choose a small toy from their treasure chest. This is Mitchell as he's looking for a toy, while waiting for his jaw to stop bleeding. He was even sent home with a stash of gauze "bandaids"!

Play Ball!!

David & I started seeing each other June 22, 2000, and with this being our 10 year anniversary, I wanted to do something fun as a family. The weather was too unpredictable to take the kids to the lake (and the water too cold!). And since the boys just finished up their T-Ball for the season, they were still talking baseball.

The Swift Current Indians played a home game on Tuesday, so we took the kids in for that. Us big kids had a great time watching some adult baseball. The kids just wanted the food. Oh my the burgers smelled wonderful! But we had just enjoyed a chinese smorg supper and were all full to enjoy any of it.

The boys did manage to score some roasted sunflower seeds from a fan sitting behind us. And we bought them some pop to wash down the shells (they don't know how to crack them open yet). So that kept them entertained while the game played on.

The Regina Red Sox were in town that night, and unfortunately the home team did not score any runs. Regina won the game 4-0.

Oh! I forgot! I won a prize!! That evening's game sponsor was Swift Current's Living Skies Casino. As game sponsor, the Casino donated various prize packages to be won by fans throughout the game. It was the last draw of the evening when our program number was called. I won a red fabric carry-all bag, a dark navy blue sweatshirt, a tan ball cap and a red stainless steel water bottle with it's own carrying pouch, all from the Casino. The sweatshirt was so very cozy too, since the evening air was quite cool from the humidity. And the ball cap even fit my big fat head (I blame the hair....LOL).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

First Garden Harvest

Well, guess it's garden harvest time here! Well, just the beginning actually, most of the garden produce is still in it's seedling stage.

My chives and rhubarb have been ready to pick for a couple weeks now. In fact, both had gone to seed already, I hope they make a come-back, especially the rhubarb.

I cut a handful of chives and chopped them up to dry in my dehydrator. I might go pick some more and make it a worth the energy used to run the dryer. Once they're dried I use them in scrambled eggs mostly, but also in homemade biscuits.

My next harvest today was the rhubarb. It had 3 seed stalks already so I pulled them out and picked about a third of the ripe rhubarb. I haven't made canned rhubarb in a few years so I didn't want to waste all of the rhubarb in case I messed up the syrup. Well, it turned out good, even if the rhubarb cooked a bit too long. I clean & sterilize my jars in the dishwasher and the cycle took longer than I realized it would.

Now I have a canned rhubarb topping. :o) It will taste yummy on cake or over ice cream.

I cooked up 4 cups of water with 1 3/4 cups white sugar to make a medium syrup (according to my Bernardin canning recipe book). I added my bundle of chopped and rinsed rhubarb (maybe 6-8 cups chopped) and then cooked it for a few minutes.

I ended up with these 6 pint jars and about a cup of leftover rhubarb/syrup that we'll use tonight for dessert.

Now that I know what syrup to make, I'll pick the rest of the rhubarb another day. My sister-in-law wants me to split an older plant so I'll do that too. Her rhubarb doesn't produce well anymore, so it's time to share since I can't keep up to the production from the 3 large plants I have.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

2010 Champions - Chaplin 6 & Under

Our boys were on the 6 & Under mixed t-ball team this spring. Due to the dwindling child population in the area, there were only 3 teams (Chaplin, Hodgeville and Morse). All three of our boys were on this team (age requirements are 6 or under, with 7yr olds as "overage"). Most of the team had played last year, so it was just a refresher year for them. Some were brand new to the sport. All had fun, which is most important!

The kids had 4 games this year, one home and one away, against each competing town. With the weather playing a factor it was hard to get the games completed, and even tougher to get in a practice or two. But the kids all enjoyed it and had fun.

Playoffs were originally scheduled for Saturday, June 12/10. But again weather got in the way, and so they were moved to Sunday, June 13/10 in Vanguard, SK.

The 6&U started their first game at 9am, versus Morse. They did good and won that game (not sure of the score). On to our second game at 11am, versus Hodgeville. Hodgeville is a very tough team to beat, but we did it! We won both games, and had a break until playoffs at 3:30. Hodgeville played Morse at 11am, and Hodgeville won that game.

Our niece and nephew and a classmate of theirs played on the Morse 8 & Under team as there wasn't enough players to form a Chaplin team. They played at 1pm, so we sat and watched them while our team ran around to burn some energy. It's hard being 6yrs old and having to pay full attention to a ball game, when all they want to do is play in the sand and chase gophers. LOL

By 3:30pm, the kids were getting tired and didn't want to play yet another game. Us parents were getting hot and sunburnt and had to convince the kids to play. We won both games in the morning, so we were the "home" team and had last bat against Hodgeville. The kids did quite well, beating them 8-7. The kids were happy the game was over. The parents were happy the kids were happy!

Congratulations Chaplin 6 & Under, you had an awesome season!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

OMG, is that the SUN?!

Anyone who's been in our part of the country this spring knows it's been a wet one so far. I've lost track how many inches of rain we've received, but I bet it's getting close to 10inches since beginning of May.

We had a LOT of fog in February, and my grandmother always said, 90 days after will be rain (or snow). Well, she's been proven right this year.

We are a farming family, like many others in Saskatchewan. Rain is needed for the fields to grow, but the farmers also need dry fields to get in to seed. I know, another whiny farmer here, we're never happy with the weather. LOL

Unfortunately we can't order weather-on-demand like you can some pay-per-view movies. You live with what you're given, and if that's a month of rain (or more) with few warm sunny days thrown in, then you deal with it. You adjust. You diversify (rice anyone?). No sense wasting your time whining about it.

Dave's almost done seeding. He just needs a couple good days of drying weather (sun, wind) and he can get back into the tractor to finish up. We're just putting in Oats this year, for cattle feed. It doesn't have a long growing season, so we should be safe at harvest time.

I have two oak barrel planters in the front of the house. The poor plants are swimming in about 2 inches of water! I should have emptied the soil from the planter and replaced the drainage material this spring prior to planting. But I didn't. And now they're suffering. Time to put it on my "spring 2011 to-do list".

As for my garden, it's not under water yet, but it sure is muddy. I had some old carpeting from my mother's house when she put in laminate flooring. I cut some strips and used them in my garden as my main walking path. It sure is great to walk on when the garden is muddy. It also helps control some of the weeds. My kids love walking on the carpet too!

I can't wait until the garden is ready to start harvesting some yummy vegetables. With the help from Dave and the boys, we planted sunflowers (the birds LOVE these), corn, potatoes, tomatoes (beefsteak, cherry and roma), peas, green peppers, onion, carrots, celery, cauliflower (my first attempt), cabbage (another first), lettuce (romaine, leaf, head) and radishes.

We make our own spaghetti sauce and freeze the peas and corn. With my food dehydrator I dry the green peppers and onions. I might try making french fries with all the potatoes this fall, and then freeze them for later enjoyment. We don't eat a lot of mashed or baked potatoes as a family, and usually by springtime, the potato supply has gone soft. (hmmm, perhaps I need to try making perogies from scratch?)

Friday, June 11, 2010


In my first post I thought I'd welcome you all to my blog. This won't be just about gardening or homeschooling or even photography, but rather a collection of ramblings with no set topic and no set agenda.

I'm sitting on the couch with my latest purchase, a Powerbook G4 15" (1.67gHz, 2GB ram). It's far from new and has a few scratches, but it's mine. :o) For the days I sit at my very cluttered desk, I use my iMac, powered with an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.6gHz processor and 2GB of ram under the hood. More than sufficient for my facebook addiction! But tonight I just want to relax with my feet up, and so it's time to get comfy with the PB.

You've probably figured out I'm a bit tech-savvy. I grew up a Microsoft Windows gal, but since hooking up with Dave, he's introduced me to the Linux and Mac operating systems. I will say, in my opinion, they're much superior to windoz, but they do have their limitations. There isn't the vast selection of game software available. But there is a wide selection of office-productivity software that can do as good a job as any windoz product.

Since I'm on the subject of technology, let's chat about my gadgets that make my life complete. First is my Blackberry Curve 8330. It's a very handy smartphone that lets me surf the internet, send emails and text messages, keep organized with my calendar, take pictures and videos and play games. I can even use it to phone a friend! To me, the best application on it is Blackberry Messenger (bbm). It's an instant messaging system between blackberry owners. Each bb has it's own PIN number which you can add to your contact list. BBM is completely FREE and such an addicting form of communication.

My other fave is my iPod Touch. The only two things it CAN'T do is phone a friend or take a picture (or video). There's an application for everything you can think of, and then some! I play cards and keep up with sports standings (PGA, NASCAR, TSN, etc...). If I need a recipe for supper, I can look it up. If I want to try a new drink, I have an app for drink recipes. I can surf the 'net, send & receive email, and if I'm connected to wi-fi, I can even use Skype to text chat with friends and family all over the globe.

This summer, our wireless provider will be adding the iPhone 4 to it's smartphone lineup. Will I stay with my Blackberry (and BBM)? Or will I make the leap and switch to the iPhone? I have until December 2010 when my blackberry contract is up for renewal. I bbm a LOT with Dave and his sister. If I switch to the iPhone, I won't be able to instant message with either of them (if they're away from a computer). Many iPhone users chat through Skype so the function is still there, but you can't Skype on a Blackberry. Oh, the decisions...