I hope you are full of great food and very happy.
The other week I had the pleasure of visiting the Sunset Idea Town houses in Seabrook, Washington. The houses will be featured in the October issue of Sunset magazine, but you can learn more about them online.
The Sunset houses were a lot of fun to tour – they pull together a giant amount of living space into relatively small footprints. All the space in the houses is used to the best advantage to bring in light and maximize views. The houses use materials from the area, like the crushed oyster shells used to cover pathways. The indoor and outdoor plants are native to this part of the country.
The idea houses are two houses with guest houses (called, charmingly, coach houses which are over the garage space) and which share and outdoor patio area. Brian Paquette, the designer, said that the team created a fictional family (cute!) while they were planning and designing the spaces. In the fictional family the grandparents lived in the larger house, their son and daugther-in-law with their little boy lived in the smaller. I fell completely in love with the shared outdoor area with the large fireplace (awkward photo taken from a third story window shown above). The outdoor space was on different levels giving each house it’s own areas, but altogether it’s a comfortable and welcoming courtyard.
Brian used art from a variety of West Coast artists to decorate the houses, I fell in love with all of it.
I adore this staircase, it’s simply photocopies of photos that have been Modpodged into place!
The wallpapers were incredible.
All of the upholstered furniture used fabrics used in the indoor and outdoor living rooms of the houses was by Sunbrella and I was surprised at how soft it all was. I admire how practical too, the ocean beach is a minute away so you know everybody will be dragging in sand.
The Idea Houses include rain barrels, edible gardens and other thoughtful features, like outdoor lights that have been hooded downwards to minimize light pollution towards the night sky. Stephen Poulakos is the garden designer and I loved his use of large and small plants in the courtyard to create cozy gathering areas. There is also a greenhouse and it smells amazing when you stick your head inside, it’s all ripe tomatoes and basil.
The houses look towards the huge ocean beach shared by the Seabrook community.
The houses were really well done and if you’re a design lover it’s well worth making a day trip (or longer, rent one of the Seabrook cottages!) to have a look at. Tickets for tours of the houses (including the outdoor spaces and two guest houses) are $17. While you’re there you can investigate Seabrook, have lunch in the pub and take a walk out on the beach. I’ve recently recommended this as a day trip to visiting relatives (in-laws even!).
Test backup of a live WP site | Ask MetaFilter. Advice on how to develop a WordPress site offline so you can test out new designs.
Basic Photo Editing Tutorial by `TheTragicTruth-Of-Me on deviantART. Some nice effects to make a person look just that bit better.
Hi! How are you? How is your new year going? I’m getting a slow start, we had a cascade of things breaking around here (the latest victim is the SD card for my camera that will forever hold a few cute pictures of Scott and I that nobody will ever see and is also the reason I have no picture above). The pile of annoyances has left me feeling a bit like I should keep hiding. I’m getting ready for Alt Summit later this month and after that look forward to having a block of unscheduled time to re-sort my domestic world.
But! Friends of mine are up to some far more exciting things:
- Go Mighty has been connecting people’s life goals with ways to make it happen. Maggie has been keeping track of what people are up to on Mighty Girl and I’m definitely on board with the Own Less Crap goal that lots of people have. I’m not alone.
- AB Chao has announced the dates and locations for 2013′s Design Camp tour. I kinda want to follow her around (London! Berlin!). Also, anybody going to Alt Summit, she’s got two spots open for her Salt Lake City mini-camp. After attending her Design Camp here in Seattle last year I’ve got a much clearer picture of what to change around my house.
- Kirby Krackle will be holding Kracklefest 3 on March 1st here in Seattle, guests are the Doubleclicks and Paul and Storm. Then in April they’ll be opening for Wierd Al (Wierd Al!!) at the Calgary Expo. (My husband Scott plays bass in the band.)
- Melanie Biehle has announced that she’s taking on clients who are setting out to make a change in their business lives. She can through coaching, talking branding and social media and creative components, see it explained far more elegantly on her site Genuine Mix. I’ve seen Melanie at work and she is good, she’s also one of the most calming people I know. And! She’ll be at Alt Summit.
- Robin Sheridan has announced that she’s kicked off her career as a real estate agent here in Seattle. She did an amazing analysis of the market value of our home (no, we’re not moving out just yet) and I can recommend her highly. I initially met her when her husband Kirk of Mastin Studio took some photos of Scott and I.
- Seattle Bloggers Unite continues to be a really fantastic resource for Seattle bloggers. The meetups are always very informative and fun. If you’re in Seattle and have a blog (or want to start one) please come join us!
Links to lots of gift guides over at Apartment 34.
The kottke.org holiday gift guide. Only one item!
Holiday gift ideas for the hard-to-shop-for : All & Sundry. Really great ideas that Sundry got from Twitter, and more in the comments.
The Blogger Market. Goods curated by bloggers, open until Dec. 15th and full of pretty things.
The 2012 Good Gift Games – The Morning News. The annual review of board games from the almighty Matthew Baldwin. (He goes on public radio with this list each year here in Seattle!)
MetaFilter Holiday Meta-gift Guide | Best Of MetaFilter. Lots of great lists here (“gifts for people you don’t know very well”) along with links to the best gift guides and a Metafilter mall of sorts filled with things made and sold by Mefites. Awesome.
Return to the Sea: Saltworks by Motoi Yamamoto | Colossal. Amazing art created by arranging salt on the floor.
Brian May performs Olympics closing ceremony in ‘badger coat’ | Farmers Guardian. Of all the things that happened in the Closing Ceremonies Brian May’s coat was the one that I had to Google.
Operation Let’s Build A Goddman Tesla Museum – The Oatmeal. “Help me raise money to buy Nikola Tesla’s old laboratory.” One of the fundraising perks is a poster “signed by Tesla’s last remaining relative, William Terbo”. Cool.
Kale Market Salad Recipe – 101 Cookbooks. Lots of avocado you say?
Hawksworth’s Gold Crusher | Serious Eats : Recipes. Tangelo infused vodka and ginger beer, this cocktail sounds lovely.
Seattle Beer News Top 10 Beer Spots – #5 Pine Box. I’m looking at this: “Perhaps the most unique aspect of their tap lineup is their Randall tap. They have a contraption called a Randall built into their bar that allows them to stuff it full of hops, coffee, chocolate, or whatever else, and then run a beer through it into your glass.” I have got to see that.
Make some tasty vegetable curry, at Petit Elefant.
Sprinkle Bakes: Dessert “Caviar” Minus the Molecular Gastronomy; Cappuccino Mousse with Coffee Caviar. With a video and lots of useful information on how to recreate this. Really great.
Earlier this year I bought a backup battery for my iPhone at the airport on a snowy day right before I got on a plane. After the second hour of sitting on the runway (snow in Seattle creates havoc) I felt like I was a genius for getting the battery. It also saved my sanity during several hour long delays on the way home at the end of that trip. I chose the Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation battery because it holds about two full charges and, this was most important to me, it connects to the phone with a cord instead of sticking directly into the phone which means it is easy to keep using the phone while it’s charging. It does have it’s own cord for charging the battery itself (it has a USB end so you can charge using the iPhone’s convertor or your laptop) which means carrying around the battery as well as the extra cord. I’m happy to make the extra space in my bag because it means I never have to fret over whether my phone is charged as I’m heading out the door. It’s like my pet, I should give it a name. And, oh hey, according to their compatibility sheet it will also charge our Kindle. You can also find it on Amazon.
I had also considered the Mophie Juice Pack Plus, a battery built right into an iPhone case. It’s convenient because you don’t need to pull out anything, you just turn it on. But I’m too in love with my squishy iPhone case and being able to scrub said squishy iPhone case with soap and water periodically to give it up.
So how did having my wisdom teeth taken out go? Pretty well, but it won’t count as one of the favorite weeks of my life.
All of the advice and stories you shared were invaluable for keeping me from freaking out. Thank you so, so much. I’m going to share my experience and what worked for me below in the hopes that it helps a few other people.
Before you read the below know that I am not a doctor and I am only talking about my own experience here. I had two impacted teeth and my recovery wasn’t nearly as easy as some other people. If you are going to be getting your wisdom teeth out you should listen to what your doctor tells you to do. Also, some of the details below are totally gross so proceed with caution.
I made myself an ice pack device from socks (shown above). I heard about this homemade solution from a few sources but Jess from Hogwash sent me the best directions: buy knee-high basic tube socks (the kind without heels, I found a six pack in the mens department at Target). Overlap them at the toes and stitch two lines. The ice packs will fit in each side of the socks. The overlapped section goes at your chin and the ends of the socks are tied up over the top of your head. This means your chin will be comfortable and the ice will be held at just the right spots on your cheeks while a thin layer of cloth will protect your skin. I found a 2-inch overlap worked best. And DIY ice packs made using snack sized ziplock bags were the perfect size to slip into the socks.
I made DIY ice packs using Dawn dishwashing liquid. I don’t know if one needs to use Dawn specifically but I’d heard it from three places so I figured why mess with it? I’ve also been told you can mix a 25/75 mixture of alcohol/water to get a substance that is still a little pliable after freezing. I got four ice packs from a 14-ounce bottle of dishwashing liquid and triple bagged them in snack sized ziplock bags. (You’ll know if they leak because it will suddenly smell really fresh.) I also had bags of peas, official 6×6 gel packs and the smaller ice packs the doctor sent me home with on hand but I used the homemade ice packs tucked into my knee high sock device the most often. I also wore a hooded sweatshirt most of the week with the string in the hood cinched helped keep the ice snug to my cheeks and redistribute the weight of the ice packs. It was a very sexy look.
Lots of people recommended eating fresh pineapple in the days before the surgery because reportedly it helps prevent swelling. I ate a lot, about two whole pineapples. On the upside I had minimal swelling in the week after. On downside the pineapple irritated my gums and made brushing my teeth uncomfortable. You can also get Bromelain as a supplement, it’s the substance in pineapple that is supposed to help, but I have not heard stories from anybody on if this might work or not. I asked my surgeon about pineapple and she’d never heard of the advice. I wish I could tell you definitively if it worked but I don’t have any more wisdom teeth to take out. Also I don’t want to do this again.
Bring some tissues with you, you’ll drool in the car on the way home. It’ll be bloody drool. Yuck.
I brought a scarf with me so when I left the doctor’s office with big white ice packs strapped (that they provided) to my head I was able to wrap the scarf around it and sort of cocoon into my own uncomfortableness. Add big sunglasses and I could nearly pretend I was glamorous while waiting in the car for Scott to pick up my prescription and drooling on myself. I looked kind of like this but more miserable:
I considered wearing flats to the doctor’s office so I could just kick my shoes off later but I was afraid they might fall off while I was in the chair so I wore boots instead. Turns out they needed to attach three electrodes to me and one was meant to go on my ankle. They put it on my stomach instead. So my advice is to wear regular shoes. Or a cropped shirt. Your choice. My doctors also said lots of patients come in wearing pajamas. Smart patients.
I was put under for the operation and when I woke up I was not happy or loopy. I was cranky and groggy and had dry cotton shoved in my mouth. It was the worst part of this whole thing. They had this bear sitting in the recovery area. I wanted to punch this bear:
For most of the day after the surgery my tongue, lower lip and chin were numb. Sipping liquids was out of question but I needed to eat something and stuck to apple sauce and pudding for the first day. Anticipating a lack of clean spoons (we never have enough) I bought a pack of plastic spoons and found they were far easier to eat off of since they had a bit of flexibility and they didn’t get cold in ice cream. Also, if you get clear plastic spoons you can peer at the light coming through your spoonful of jello.
The worst part of having a numb mouth was that I could not loudly whine about how unhappy I was. The second worst was that my smile was uneven, one side of my mouth would not go up, and I could not complain about how I would have a lopsided face for the rest of my liiiiiife. (I was back to normal by 8pm.)
I read a whole bunch of stories and it seems like a lot of people stop and get food (Wendy’s Frosty) on the way home but I needed a good two hours before I stopped bleeding into the horrible gauze. More advice that I found both from people and the information packet my doctor gave me is that that you could switch to biting on a steeped and cooled black tea bags (the tannins help stop the bleeding) but I couldn’t get off the couch long enough to bother. I also couldn’t talk well enough to explain to my loyal manservant how to prepare it for me.
More good advice given to me: have your couch or bed area ready to flop into when you get home. I had pillows, blankets, remote controls and laptop all in position so I could get straight to the drugged out television watching stage. Also, use pillowcases and towels you are willing to bleed a bit on. I didn’t get any blood on anything at home but if I’d been asleep all day it might have been different.
I didn’t spend the first day asleep the way some people warned me I might, I was groggy from the medication but my brain wouldn’t stop going. I was chatting online with a friend and she actually said I sounded too alert and asked if I’d been traumatized. So, apparently, pain medications don’t turn off my brain. Good to know.
Rest of the week:
For the first few days I stuck to pudding, ice cream, green smoothie juices and soup. Cashew Carrot Ginger soup was very welcome. After that I tried scrambled eggs and mashed potatoes. (Did you know Bob’s Red Mill sells instant mashed potato flakes? It somehow seems more dignified than other sorts.) I also ate overcooked Annie’s mac and cheese but I wish I hadn’t, anything that needed even that bit of chewing was too much for me. A full week later and I’m adding polenta with spicy tomato sauce, more pureed soups and I’m wishing I’d thought to make and stock up on my own gravy. I’m also eating mashed cauliflower, mashed peas and mashed sweet potatoes. Basically I’m still afraid of solid foods. I had two impacted wisdom teeth and they had to cut into the bone on my jaw a bit to wrench one from me, so you might have a much speedier recovery than I.
I read so much about the dreaded dry socket that I followed all the rules very carefully – no sipping through straws (hard to remember), no smoking of anything (not so much a problem), no aggressive gargling, no blowing your nose (also hard to remember). I was even a little worried about swallowing too enthusiastically. But it turns out I was also a little too gentle in cleaning back by the sockets. During a followup visit my surgeon showed me that after a week you can put that little irrigator thing way back there and squeeze away using salt water or diluted mouthwash. It’s gross and interesting.
I found I still needed to use ice packs for swelling five days after my surgery. As I mentioned above my swelling wasn’t bad but it was determined to stick around.
If your pill schedule is on a six hour rotation try to hit the 12noon/6pm/12midnight/6am cycle so you’re not waking up at 3 a.m. to take antibiotics.
And lastly, try to get an awesome oral surgeon who includes a card for a free cupcake in the little bag of stuff they give you on your way out. Incentive for getting back to chewing things:
I have to admit something to you, I only found these because I was attracted to the packaging which is just so European-y. I was walking down the frozen foods aisle at Trader Joe’s trying to avoid looking all the delicious cookies straight in the eye and these bright red trays just screamed, “We are imported! Come fondle our clever packaging!” But I’m glad I found them because I love this stuff. These are small frozen cubes of minced garlic or herbs which you pop out of their tray like ice cubes. So darn easy. You might not think that mincing some garlic is all that much work but my lazy self only sees a cutting board, knife and garlic press that I’ll have to wash later and on a weeknight I’d rather not. I’ll still prep fresh garlic for our slower paced weekend meals but for now I love my frozen stash. I found these at Trader Joes and, ooh, according to Dorot’s website they also have ginger, cilantro, dill and chili.
I contributed a project to DIY Stocking Stuffers. There are 12 projects in all and each one is pretty darn great. Thanks to Kirtsy and Blogstar for having me!
Leaf recognition software at Kottke. An iPhone app, LeafSnap, will help you identify that tree. And I already have a tree in mind.
venomous porridge – A conversation with my PS3. This was our exact same experience with our PS3, I read this aloud to Scott and we laughed harder than you’d expect.
The Ugly Green Chair: More Randomness. She recommends the Magic Hour photo app for Android.
Les Paul’s 96th Birthday Google Doodle. This little HTML 5 object lets you strum the guitar strings with your mouse, or you can use the keys on your keyboard, charted there by PC World. They even tell you how to play the chorus to Suspicious Minds. The doodle is really cool and lets you strum three of the most often used chords. Neato.
We were at Both Ways Cafe here in Seattle. I like it there.