Friday, January 30, 2009

Boiling Mad

So, Les just got back from the dentist. It had been probably about a year and a half since his last visit.  At his last visit the dentist said he had no cavities, and went on to say how great my husband takes care of his teeth since his last visit was two years before that!!

Anyway, fast forwarding to today, my husband went in for a checkup and cleaning and the NEW dentist on base took a look at his old xrays from the last visit.  According to the OLD xray he had THREE cavities!  What kind of incompetent dentist misses THREE CAVITIES and then goes on to gush about how well my husband takes care of his teeth!! Today's xrays show that in addition to the three cavities which need immediate treatment (scheduled for next week) one of those will likely now need a root canal and there are several other small cavities that need to be watched.

I am so mad at the incompetance that I could scream!  Not only will Les have to deal with getting the fillings, he will have to endure a root canal, which wouldn't be the case if the cavity had been noticed at his last visit.  Not fun. The worst part is that likely he has no recourse against the incompetant dentist.

And then, to add insult to injury, while in the dentist chair the doctor looks over his medical records.  Somehow, they came up with mine.  Uh, no, he is not Angela.  On top of that he got his arm stuck for blood not once, but twice.  Apparantly they lost a blood test that they did a few months ago.  Oops.  The first time the phlebotomist stuck him she had to dig around for a vein, bruised him up and pulled out the needle without getting enough blood.  She had to stick him again in the other arm.

So that is my rant about Military Medicine.  Dependants, like me, get decent care (most of the time).  We can sue if they screw up, but service members CAN'T. How messed up is that?  The only recourse is if the service member dies, then the family can sue for wrongful death.  It shouldn't have to go that far!  Ugh. Les' experience isn't unique, either. I've heard so many stories from other service members about similar screw-ups.  It just isn't right.  It shouldn't be acceptable to provide sub-standard care to anyone.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Acireale and Taormina

We finally got a break this past Sunday from the dreary weather that has plagued us since we returned to Sicily.  I had been dying to take my new camera out to play but the constant threat of rain kept me indoors.

Sunday morning we set off north, first to Acireale.  We had been there once, for Carnivale, nearly two years ago.  It looks quite a bit different during the day and not covered with confetti and silly string.  It is a beautiful town, just north of Catania.

Acireale's Duomo, and a huge presepe (nativity scene) set up in the piazza

After wandering for awhile in Acireale, and enjoying a delicious lunch we headed farther north to Taormina. Les hadn't been there since our first few weeks in Sicily!! As always, Taormina was stunning.  It was cool, and it was starting to get dark, but we set out to explore the shops that were just opening up from riposo and to take the in the fabulous views along the way.

The sweeping view, looking south from Taormina

Once it got dark I put my camera away and just enjoyed people watching.  It was getting chilly so Les and I stopped for ciocolato caldo, Italian hot chocolate that is thick like a drinkable pudding.  It is so good! After we finished our snack we decided to make our way back to the car and home.  It was perfect timing.  I started feeling a few sprinkles of rain as we walked out of Taormina.  By the time we reached the car and pulled out of the parking garage it was raining, no longer sprinkling. A good time to head home.  We had a lovely day and vowed to visit Taormina more often.  I really hope we do!

The last year of his 20's

A week ago my hubbie entered the last year of his 20's. His birthday was just two days after we returned to Sicily from our fantastic stateside adventure. We were exhausted and jet lagged, but I wanted to make sure his birthday didn't get pushed aside. We decided that a simple dinner out on his birthday would be fine and that we would have a party with a few close friends the following weekend.

Les chose to have his birthday party at the bowling alley on base.  He LOVES to, not so much. I'm horrible at it, absolutely horrible, but it was for his birthday so I gladly took him bowling.  A few of our friends joined us and we had a good time just hanging out, eating pizza, and most of us merely attemping to roll the ball down the lane without flinging it into the gutter.  Les was in a whole other league...I think he was the only one who broke 100, and he did it all three games!

Thanks to our friends who were able to make it to the party on such short notice.  We are so lucky to have such good friends here in Sicily!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2009 Already?

Holy cow, I can't believe we are already into the new year. I've been back from California for five days now and am still fighting a mean case of jet lag.  I think it has much to do with the fact that my life in Sicily has very little structure. Its way to easy to just take a nap when I'm tired, which I am often since we returned.  It might have something to do with waking up at 4 in the morning most days...hmmmm.

Anyway, I just realized that I haven't posted anything since December 9, 2008. The rest of my trip in California flew by.  It was like time accellerated once Les arrived.  I went up to the Napa Valley for a few days to visit with his family and we had a great time.  Our first neice has grown quite a bit since we last saw her (she was not quite a year old when we moved, and now she is 3!) and we got to meet our second niece, who is seven months old.  They are both beautiful, fun girls and we had so much fun playing with them and reconneting with Les' brother and his wife.

My three days in the Napa Valley flew by and then Les and I were on our way back to San Luis Obispo. That week was filled with last minute Christmas shopping, the most awesome massages ever which were a gift from my parents, eating out at lots of good restaurants, and visiting with family.  I didn't take the camera out much that week, but wish I had.

On Christmas Eve my family reinstituted the tradition of eating breakfast at the Madonna Inn, a fabulous place in San Luis Obispo.  Here are a few of the pictures:

Grandma & Grandpa

Grandpa, Grandma, Les, and I

Les & I

Mom and her camera with Aunt Cindy in the background

Mom & Dad

Christmas morning was wonderful, as it usually is with my family.  We had a blast opening our stockings, eating a delicious breakfast of beef, egg, and potato burritos (homemade, of course!) and opening presents.  I got a new camera!!! and lot of other good stuff :)  After presents we went to work putting the finishing touches on Christmas dinner, which we ate around 2pm.  My family sure knows how to cook a turkey with all of the best fixins' possible!  It was soooo good! I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas day.  I was so blessed to be able to spend the time with my family.  Here are a few snapshots from Christmas day:

The first picture with my new Canon Digital Rebel XSI!!!


 And the Camera Wars Began....



Les doesn't like being my guinea pig...I was just testing out settings on my new camera :)

 Sir William (my mom & dad's cat)

The day after Christmas was spent packing and saying goodbyes.  It was a tough day for me. I hated leaving my family. I am so fortunate to be able to consider my family as close friends.  I truly enjoy their company.

Our flight back to Sicily was long, but uneventful.  I guess that catches me up in the blog world.  Not much else going on here.  I'm just waiting for the weather to cooperate so I can get out with  my camera.  Oh yeah, and get my body clock back to anything resembling normal.