DIY Orthodontia; Seven Weeks In

On Saturday morning, my “Born to Run” playlist started with Crazy Train and It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (and I feel fine), and ended with Don’t Stop Believing, and it felt all very symbolic.

Back when Calgary had the terrible flood in 2013, I remember a very strong feeling of dissonance. On the one hand, all the news was about the flood, showing footage of ruined homes and the downtown core underwater, familiar spots like the zoo and the river pathways obliterated. But then, I would step outside my house and everything was normal. It was a very strange feeling, this knowing that something was terribly wrong and yet in my bubble, everything was fine.

In a way, this is how the Pandemic feels. I’m hearing about people refusing to social distance, refusing to stay home; I’m seeing actual protests – people literally protesting – from the States over closures, people going to the beach, people refusing to wear masks in public. And it’s bizarre. Again, in my bubble, everything is fine. I go for multiple walks a day and I run a few times a week, and so I encounter many people out enjoying their constitutionals, and always, we give each other space. People – myself included – step into the street or cross the street to avoid going into someone else’s 2 metre bubble. Runners and cyclists – myself and my kids included – give at least two to three times the recommended berth when passing others. I do see people socializing, but at huge distances: friends having a chat, one person on their front step and the other on the sidewalk, friends having a drink together twenty feet away in a different driveway, moms in their minivans in empty parking lots, all parked ten feet away from each other. In the grocery store, at least eighty percent of shoppers have masks on, maybe more. Shopping is slow because each person waits until their fellow shoppers have made selections before approaching the shelf and making their own selection.

Sure, I have had the occasional person get too close to me in the past eight weeks, and I have seen the occasional people out walking together who don’t live in the same house, but by far that’s the exception. The vast majority of people are following protocol.

So I have hope that this will continue as Alberta starts slowly opening things up this week. I do not feel in any way ready to start going places, other than the grocery store and maybe also the garden centre, in a few weeks. Maybe.

The one thing I’m very glad of is that orthodontists are starting to reopen, and I feel that of all places, they will be able to keep things clean and sterile. My younger son is a month overdue for his appointment; just after it was cancelled one of his brackets started to loosen. I didn’t think that constituted an emergency, but the office was still open for phone calls. The nice lady assured me that indeed, it wasn’t an emergency at all and even if the bracket fell off his tooth entirely, he could just leave it dangling on the wire. If that bothered him, then I could just cut the wire myself and remove the bracket. I was extremely startled by that revelation and asked her with what I could cut the wire. The answer was even more disturbing: if I didn’t have wire clippers then toenail clippers would be fine. Just be sure to wash them first! she said perkily.

Well, yes.

I’m not sure at what point I would be desperate enough to poke around in my son’s mouth with wire clippers – or, god, toenail clippers – and I don’t think there is any level of sterilization that would make me comfortable with taking the tool that cuts my husband’s toenails and putting it in my son’s mouth to cut a metal wire near his throat opening. What could possibly go wrong. Apparently there are a number of YouTube videos that show how to take off your own braces and well. Thankfully, we are nowhere near that point. We can wait, thank you.

So I’ll be glad to get that professionally taken care of, whenever that should occur. The office is NOT taking phone calls at the moment; they were probably immediately flooded with calls the minute the news came out. I myself phoned and was greeted with a message to the effect that they are not making appointments and that THEY will call in the order in which our appointments were cancelled. Hopefully this will happen in the next month or so.

Today is cold and rainy but we have had a beautiful stretch of weather, so there has been much yard work accomplished along with some weird, adrenaline-fueled cleaning projects, like cleaning both fridges prior to the weekly grocery shop, washing the insides of the windows, and cleaning the kitchen cupboards – again. Apparently with everyone home all the time, things get dirtier than usual, who knew.

Pandemic Reading

Out of the blue I remembered one of my favourite Alice Munro stories, Tricks, that features a green dress. I haven’t read this collection for years; Alice Munro is one of my favourite writers and this might be my favourite collection of hers. Then again, every time I read Munro I think this is my favourite! so…

Judy, I love you, but I did not love this. It is, however, a very interesting timepiece about marriage in the 70s, the expectations for women, and swinging.

I studied this in first year university English – all the symbolism, all of it – and it’s very good. Hooray for Canadian literature.

Pandemic Fitness

kind of negative aspect of my personality that not many people see is that I have a tendency towards competitiveness. I try to keep it on the down low. I joined a community group that is tracking kilometres walked or ran during the month of May and I am killing it. I already am at almost 28 kilometres for the month and it is 7:30 am, May 4.

Yummy Things

For dessert this week I made a chocolate mousse pie; I had baked peanut butter cookies earlier in the week and they disappeared pretty quickly. I haven’t been baking many cookies lately – I’ve been on more of a loaf/ muffin spree – and my sons requested my “classic OG cookies” which, apparently, is code for chocolate chip.

It’s been nice enough for drinks in the back yard as well.

May the Fourth

And it’s Star Wars Day! Here’s a flashback from 2015, me not practicing social distancing with Chewbacca:

He was so soft and silky! Happy Star Wars Day everyone! I hope your week is lovely and full of virtual soft and silky hugs. xo


  1. The at-home orthodontia is THE STUFF OF NIGHTMARES. Thank goodness it has not come to you actually having to perform any braces removal procedures. EGADS!

    I have been reading a LOT of Judy Blume lately – excellent pandemic reading. I read Wifey perhaps a year ago and cannot remember it AT ALL. Sounds like that may be for the best.

  2. We have removed a piece of my kid’s braces (not even sure which kid anymore) using wire cutters or a nail clippers. It was a while ago, but it was poking him in the cheek and very uncomfortable and the place was closed for the weekend, but told us to go ahead and trim the wire. I think a kid in pain dictates these otherwise strange sounding methods. The kid was super relieved to have the poking stop.

    There are videos on the news of people having house parties, etc. in Chicago. I am like ‘WHAT?’ How could that many people be so ignorant? Tank’s friend came by in a car yesterday and they spoke from a distance. I was surprised to hear that there were two other non-related kids in the car – like other classmates. Tank just shrugged and insisted that we are the only crazy ones actually socially distancing. Other people being careless is going to make us forcing our teenagers to be responsible more and more challenging. Sigh. Never imagined this form of peer pressure.

    Love the Chewey picture.

  3. We have more than our fair share of idiots here in the States, I fear. Just the other day driving by McDonald’s I saw a bunch of teenage girls jumping out of different cars to hug each other – it was all I could do not to pull into the parking lot to lecture them.

    I get that the kids especially, are missing their friends – but jeez.

    I could not even imagine having to do DIY orthodontia! Yikes! I have had my cleaning moved twice already – and I’m very okay with that.

  4. I was cringing reading about the DIY ortodontics; I hope they call soon.

    I often feel like I’m in a safe and clean bubble too; sometimes I feel bad that I have it so good during all of this.

    I love how many books you can get through AND how much exercise you get in. Competitive who? 😉

    Be well.

  5. We’ve been trying to do one non-tv all-family activity a week and last week was my turn to choose, so we read Alice Munro’s “An Ounce of Cure” out loud. I used to teach that story and I love it.

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