Play Ball

March 15, 2018
After a two year hiatus I finally made it back to Phoenix for Spring Training. I love going to the games, it is so laid back and intimate. Plus, the weather is typically gorgeous and it serves as a wonderful way to welcome spring. This year, though, we were met with rain and cooler temps. But, by the White Sox game on Sunday, it was warm and sunny - all was right in the world.

We saw three games in two days. We first caught the Rangers and A's game in Surprise on Saturday afternoon. We bought tickets shortly before the game. We sat in the corner along the third baseline. It offered a neat perspective. There was no one in front of us and I appreciated the lack of distractions. A few innings into the game, it started to sprinkle, much to the surprise to everyone including the weathermen - the sprinkle became a drizzle and turned into a full on shower and the rain fell until about 7:30pm; and then, scattered showers continued into the wee hours of the morning. I've never experienced weather in Phoenix, I come to expect warmth and sunshine. I was a little stunned to see it so wet and dreary.

We grabbed an early dinner with friends at Little Sicily. The company and the pizza were a delight. We weren't sure if the rain was going to let up for the evening game at Camelback Ranch; our friend was able to get us prime seats for Dodgers vs. the Cubs so we remained hopeful it would clear up. At game time, it was still wet, but thankfully, the rain stopped shortly after we found our seats. Which were amazing! I have never sat directly behind home plate before so it was a treat. There was no question whether pitches were balls or strikes. It was my first Cubs game. I've only ever seen them play the White Sox in the crosstown series previously. With Arrieta gone, and Kris Bryant not in attendance there was no eye candy to distract me. I was happy to root for the Dodgers, and even more thrilled when they won.

Sunday, we made a stop at Rudy's Bar-B-Que. Yes, that tasty chain from Texas. We had the sausage, moist brisket and smoked turkey. It was the real deal. Oh, man. So good! It's nice to know we can get a fix within a few hours drive of home.

The White Sox won against the Diamondbacks. We had awesome seats again, this time, third row just to the left of the Sox dugout. It's been so long since I've seen White Sox baseball, only one player remains on the team that I have seen play before, Jose Abreau. They looked great out there. So good, in fact, I think it was the first win we witnessed in Spring Training since we started going ten years ago.

Until next time! Go Sox!

Game Day Ready

March 14, 2018

Bags are Packed...

March 8, 2018
And my teeth are on the move! It's rather impressive how much movement I have experienced in two months time. Besides the gap that continues to grow larger, I have more space between the rest of my upper teeth. Flossing has never been easier. My two front teeth no longer tilt inward. Last month, I started adjusting all three screws in my appliance. Encouraging movement in multiple directions is definitely more uncomfortable, but the tenderness and headache usually only last a day or two.

Eating is only a problem after my weekly adjustments. Once the discomfort fades I can eat without much trouble. Greens still give me trouble and I haven't had steak or anything tough. I try to keep my carbohydrate intake at a minimum, but rice and potatoes remain a large part of my diet. Despite that, I'm losing weight so I'll take it. More recently I've noticed that as my upper jaw expands I'm having more trouble biting into things since my lower jaw sits so far back and under; it's a struggle to have the teeth meet. My next in office adjustment is next week so I'm anxious to learn how much longer I'll have that obstacle. I fear it will be quite sometime, since I was told I'd wear this appliance for six months. I'm hopeful for less time, however.

After being sick all of January, I felt better for a couple days and then my sickness returned with a vengeance. The flu was going around like something fierce so I wanted to stay out of the quick care clinics, I opted for another virtual visit. This time, I was given antibiotics. I didn't start feeling better until day 7 after starting the Zpack. I was sick for six weeks. I still have post nasal drip and a cough that lingers. I don't know if it's allergies, now, or what. In any case, I am very much looking forward to feeling well again.

A Year Ago: No Team or Coach. Today: Top of the Pacific Division

February 21, 2018

The Sweetest Valentines

February 14, 2018

Superb Owl

February 2, 2018
How is it that we are already in the second month of 2018?! Madness, I tell you. I don't mind that we are whipping through winter. I heard the ground hog calls for six more weeks... no bueno. We've been lucky in my neck of the woods. It hasn't been too cold and the chill seems to be in the past. Temps have already been reaching the 70's and more of the same is in the forecast. At this rate, we might be in the pool before St. Patrick's Day this year. Frank has already drained it and changed all the filters so it's ready to go. Addison has a new swim suit so she's ready too. Lex, man, I'm not sure I'm ready for her in the pool. She has no fear and she was such a dare devil last summer. Cue my anxiety. That girl just turned two! She is a force to be reckoned with, she'll definitely give us a run for our money.

Sunday is the Big Game or the Superb Owl. We don't want to call it what it actually is, we don't want to infuriate the NFL. I haven't a care who wins the battle for the ball this Sunday. I'm more looking forward to brunching with the Golden Knights. I hear the puck drops at 9:30AM PST at the Washington Capitals. I'll be tuning in for that. There may be a bloody mary or two consumed. Those guys have been such fun to watch this season. Back in November, we picked up a second set of season tickets in the lower bowl. We'll be renewing both sets for next season. We just can't get enough.

We'll also be supporting the Las Vegas Lights. Frank picked up two season tickets at Cashman Field. I know next to nothing about Soccer, but I quickly adapted to hockey. So, I look forward to learning to be a fan.

Usually, Frank and I are counting down the hours to vacation about now. We have made it routine to escape the city immediately following football's favorite Sunday. This year, though, we're staying put. We'll be getting flooring instead. We have needed to replace the carpet and sheet vinyl in the kitchen, utility and bathrooms since we moved in. We've been round and round trying to determine what material and where? It's a large project over 1100 square feet. So, there was also the time component. We had my dad babysit the painters last year, and intended to have him do the same for the floors, but life had other plans. We were fortunate that our newly retired friends volunteered to house sit for us. Once they had availability we went into action to get the floors selected and scheduled. We are going with plank tiles that look like wood. I like the warmth wood provides, but it's not practical in the areas we are flooring. All the rooms are exposed to water whether it's from wet feet from the pool, rogue ice cubes, shower spray or the washer hose corroding and creating our very own water feature in our upstairs laundry room. The 10 foot spray quickly filled the room with inches of water and rapidly created a sprinkler in the utility room ceiling light fixture directly beneath it. Causing not one, but two rooms to flood. That was a real joy, last spring.

We also considered installing luxury vinyl, but it was cheaper to go with the tile. I debated selecting a different tile for the bathrooms, but ultimately the transitions felt like they'd be weird in multiple areas, so we decided to go with one look throughout. It will be cohesive and clean. Plus, it's more budget friendly.

When we first moved into the house, I swore the first project would be our bathroom since it's carpeted. Ugh. I hate it. I really don't know how I've tolerated it this long. Carpet just does not belong in the bathroom. I don't know if I'm more excited that we'll finally be rid of it there or in the kitchen/living area. The carpet transitions to the sheet vinyl right along the island. This is the heaviest traffic area in the house and it shows on the carpet. It's been worn thin for more than a year. If you choose your steps poorly you land on the tack strip and little pricks sting your feet. It's unpleasant and a real nuisance.

To say, I'm excited about the floors is major understatement. I don't mind a bit that I'll be clearing rooms rather than rooting on the Eagles or the Patriots. With any luck, I'll have extra pep in my step from another Vegas Knights Victory.

January Fog

January 29, 2018
"You're boring! Completely and utterly boring!" That's what the doctor had to say when I saw him more than two weeks ago. My labs were perfect, my knee xray was unremarkable and my ears were clear as can be. He suggested I try a decongestant to resolve the crackle I described in my ears. I've never been so disappointed to have a clean bill of health. If I'm perfectly healthy, then, why do I feel so shitty?!

I popped Advil Cold and Sinus the whole weekend, the crackle improved, but the pressure was unbearable. The following Tuesday, I went in to see the TMJ dentist. I supplied him with my laundry list of complaints and he adjusted the appliance, applied some suture release techniques, and suggested a nightly dose of Vitamin C. It didn't provide much relief, but the adjustment stopped me from biting my tongue so that ulcer has been able to heal. The following day, I felt like I busted my face - like my skull had fractured. I was miserable. Later that night, I teared up watching "600 LB Life" and then my nose started to drip.

Thursday, I was so congested, I felt I was underwater. I went into work, only to be sent home. That afternoon and the next four days are a blur. I rotated between the recliner and spare bed propped up on half a dozen pillows. I wanted to keep the sickness out of my chest. I tried all sorts of OTC medicine and finally (last) Monday, I threw in the towel and wanted to see a doctor. The local quick care clinic had a wait of 90 minutes, while on their site I noticed an ad for the NOW Clinic which touted no waiting via virtual appointment. It sounded good to me! No leaving the house, no wait, no exposure to an even worse virus or the flu. Sign me up! Of course, the registration was flawed. I couldn't create an account because it claimed one existed, when I tried to resend the username/password it said the account didn't exist. I called the number and held for 33 minutes. A gentlemen solved the problem and kindly waited on the line until I was able to successfully login. Then, $10 and 8 minutes later I was connected with a doctor in Florida. We Skype, I tell him I'm convinced that my cold has turned into a sinus infection, but he insisted I have the virus that everyone is getting coast to coast. He asked who at work or at home is sick? A few coworkers caught cold over Christmas and New Years break, but that's about it. Maybe I picked it up at the doctors office on the 12th? Who knows? I just want to feel better. No antibiotics, but he'll call in some RXs stronger than my OTC medicines. I sent Frank to the pharmacy to pick up my prescriptions, he came back with the same strength decongestant I was taking, 600 mg of Ibuprofen and Promethazine. That was a week ago. I felt like crap through the weekend, but I never had a fever or shortness of breath so I guess I was fine. It's perfectly normal to sleep for hours on end. Yesterday, I finally got color back, and today, I finally feel relief from congestion. A tickle remains in my throat and my ears feel full, but I can breathe. Thank goodness.

I'm a week shy of a month wearing the appliance. I'm still not a fan, but I guess I've acclimated to it. I can eat more foods, but my diet is very heavy on carbs. I really miss greens. I still plan my meals around brushings. So, snacking is definitely a thing of the past. You want to lose weight? Start brushing & flossing after everything you chew. You'll quickly find what a nuisance it is. Between brushing and being sick, I don't think my lips will ever be soft again, but I'm continuously applying chapstick to keep the cracks from bleeding. On day 17, I noticed the first visible change, a space began to form between my two front teeth. I suppose that means it's working.

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