Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wren has a cavity (and that's bad)

You know you're in trouble when the dentist talks about "A Treatment Plan." 

A few days ago, I noticed that Wren had a gray spot on a molar.  I suspected it was a cavity.   Joshua objected when I sat on Wren and tried to investigate the area.

"Stop doing alien experiments on him" he said.

So, I booked a visit to the dentist for Wren since we all know that most alien abductions originate in dental trauma.

Really, its too absurd.  Since Joshua wrote down the family goal of "no cavities" under Health and Fitness, we are an ongoing dental calamity.  We have probably spent a frugal holiday to Hawaai in dental bills.  Joshua, has required a root canal and re-crown.  He also needs his wisdom teeth removed.  Frost has cracked his retainer and Wren now needs one (or more) cavities filled.

The dentist wanted to get an x-ray of Wren's teeth but Wren was unable to do it.  He cried, became hysterical and gagged whenever she placed the film and bite in his mouth.  Mum, who had just arrived from Australia via Boston, was just in time for this trauma and was quite upset by it.

"Is this really necessary?" she asked.

"Yes, because its important to protect kids with heart problems from dental decay," I snapped.

Wren getting ready for the X-ray

After a while the dentist gave up and sent us home with an old film and bite to "practice".  Wren is going back for the filling on the 13th.

Rather ominously, the dentist said:
"when there is a visible filling like that one, where the tooth is a bit cracked, there are usually other invisible cavities.  We need to take a look and see what is going on.  In Heart Kids, we have to be careful.  I don't think we are in this situation now, but I want to see him soon to clean out that tooth and if the cavity is large, if it required work on the pulp, well.. the protocol with Heart Kids is to extract the tooth.  That is because if you do pulp work, which is like a root canal, some infectious material can get into the blood stream and its considered a risk.  So, we would extract the tooth and put in a spacer."
She is hoping we can practice putting the film and bite in Wren's mouth so that he can tolerate it for the 5 seconds required to get an X-ray next time.

What with the word e-x-t-r-a-c-t-i-o-n, the fear and hysteria about the x-ray and possibility of many more fillings required a Treatment Plan.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Harvest (of chanterelles)

Its mushroom season again.  For those of you not lucky enough to be stepping over mushrooms on your way to the bus-stop, the Pacific Northwest is one of the richest fungi-filled areas in the world and once the rains start, mushrooms abound. Wild mushrooms are harvested commercially and many amateur mycologists collect for personal use including prized chanterelles boletes, morels and even truffles.   Since moving here, I have been a member of the Puget Sound Mycological Society ( and have eaten various foraged mushrooms.  This week I ate shaggy lepiota (lepiota rhacodes) collected at Frost's school bus stop (I had to take the buttons because as soon as they emerged the slugs devoured them) and you may recall my bounty of morels from up the street.
Despite much fun and persistence identifying non-edibles, until this weekend I never found the kind of abundance of experienced hunters.

Now look at this.

See the glint in my eye

This is only one quarter of the amount I gathered with Wren and Tara in the forest near Deception Pass (while on a preschool camping trip).  It was very exciting.

Finding them was very much like a trail of breadcrumbs.  First I found one, then another and finally I was scrambling, creeping and crawling through the underbrush of salal, huckleberry and moss to find the next glowing patch.  We took them home and cooked some at Tara's for Phoebe's 18th birthday party and I cleaned mine and stored them in the fridge.  I have eaten a pile for breakfast and am thinking of drying some and keeping some for Mum, who arrives on Tuesday night.

It was actually morning but gloomy in
the forest.  See the chanterelles glow!

A particularly perfect chanterelle.  Picture taken by Wren.

Wren rolling out pasta for fettuccine

The mushrooms before cleaning.  See the family goals whiteboard
in the background and our wall of drawings.
We have also been harvesting rhubarb from the garden
because it had covered the path.  Mostly, I grow vegetables to
make a point not to eat ;)

Last weekend we looked for mushrooms at North Bend.   Here, Wren
'smooshes' an old pear shaped puffball to make it puff.

Wren cuts up an inedible mushroom to "DENTIFY IT"
Speaking of things dental.... I think Wren has a cavity.  There is a dull, dark spot between two molars which will not go away with brushing or flossing.  I must call the dentist on Monday.  To make matters worse, Frost's retainer 'broke' mysteriously this week.   Josh has just had a root canal.  Its all because we put down "no cavities" under our Health and Fitness Family goal.