Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Stars and Stripes Forever

A long time ago I mentioned that there are no shortage of American flags flying in Accra- they are flown to attract ex-pats, show how global a hotel is, and just because people like them.

It's by no means limited to America- the most popular are the EU, Japan, Germany, and Canada, and of course Ghana. The flags are all handmade, although they often don't look it. Ghanaians are terrific at copying everything from flags to furniture, down to the smallest detail.

When they feel like it.

When they don't, you get hilarious attempts like the common efforts to reproduce a maple leaf on Canadian flags that resemble nothing so much as a smudged handprint, or even an Oak leaf. Cultural disconnect.

But last weekend, we spotted our absolute favorite in the "Flag Interpretation Sweepstakes". This was proudly flying at a used car dealer not too far from our house, out past the University...

Now don't get me wrong. It's technically a regulation flag- thirteen stripes, seven red/six white and 50 white stars on a blue field.

But so completely off that it just makes us giggle every time. We are SO easy.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Stop the World, I Want to Get Off!

Wow. I feel like I fell down the rabbit hole. Life has been a hectic blur ever since we got home from vacation and it's just starting to get back under control.

First, when we got home, I made Cooper a Dentist's appointment in between loads of laundry. Got him in the Monday after we returned.

He needed to get his last three baby teeth pulled.

Yes, he's fifteen.

No, I'm not the worst mother on Earth- that bad woman doesn't bother to get them yanked at all!

Anyway, they were pushing one canine on top and one on bottom all out of whack, and he inheirited his father's happy front tooth gap, and we opted to fix both those problems sooner rather than later, with Cooper's agreement.

So over a period of four days, the poor kid had three teeth pulled and a full set of braces put on his teeth.

And then tightened.

He couldn't eat at all Thursday.

He ate a little Friday.

He improved over the weekend.

He's back to normal today.

Except he flashes when he smiles now.

For your viewing pleasure, here is his mouth the first half of July, and then the second half of July.

That's our boy!

His dentist is very cool. He's UK trained and spends part of the year there and has a swell little practice that he and his wife run out of their home. His actual "office" with the chair and drill and stuff is in a GMC bus that has been outfitted with very modern equipment (Ted calls it "The Toothmobile"). It's kind of a hoot.

And Coop's teeth are already moving (the braces have already been tightened again!), so cross your fingers for a quick six month fix, and he'll be free!

Elsewhere in our lives, Ted lost a filling (same dentist- no braces for him though), the pool sprung an underground leak that caused a geyser in the pump room and sucked about six inches of water out of the pool, and the kitchen developed a new leak that seeped up into the floor tiles and soaked the whole "downhill" side of the kitchen.

Ted's got a nice new crown, the pool deck has been dug up and repaired, and we're just going to live with the kitchen leak (what's one more????).

While all this was going on, Duke's stepmother died. Her funeral was last weekend and then Sunday Jane's brother died unexpectedly, which was a serious blow to her- he wasn't very old and they were very close.

I hope things will stop being interesting now. That Chinese curse (May You Always Live in Interesting Times) is starting to hit really close to home.