Exactly two weeks before Christmas Day I had my most recent orthodontist appointment, and he started me on elastics in a triangle configuration on both sides, worn 24/7 except when eating and brushing/flossing my teeth.
I may be the most excited patient he's ever had to be told she has to wear elastics, but I was really anxious to get them and start working on straightening out my bite, as that was the reason for getting braces in the first place. I could have lived with the slight crookedness of my teeth easily for the rest of my life had I not fractured my jaw and messed up my bite, but not being able to chew properly is a big deal.
In just a little over two weeks of wearing my elastics religiously, I can already tell a difference in my bite. I am so pleased!
Here's what my bite looked like on day 1 in braces (left) and eight weeks later (right). You can see how off-center my midline (the line between the center two teeth) is on the bottom. As a result, my molars were not meeting correctly.
You can't see from straight-on photos how much of an overbite (technically an "overjet") I have. It's still there but less severe since starting elastics. One of these days I need to take a side view photo.
The alignment of my top teeth hasn't changed nearly as much as the bottoms as he's been using a lighter wire there, and top teeth just tend to move more slowly, for reasons known only to orthodontists, but there has been a small amount of improvement there.
If I were to stop wearing elastics today, I am sure my bite would revert back quickly. I'm not sure how long I have to wear them to make the changes permanent, but my orthodontist will keep me in them until he knows the changes will "stick", I'm sure. Although I want to be done with braces as soon as possible, I want to wear them until I know my bite will be fixed permanently. I'll wear retainers afterwards to keep the teeth aligned, but they do nothing for bites.
My teeth have been a bit sore since I started wearing elastics, but after the first 3-4 days, nothing I can't handle. My next appointment is not until the end of January, so we'll see how things go between now and then.
A couple of nights ago we decided to do something different on our after-dinner walk with Paisley. Usually we just walk around a shopping center across the road from our RV park, as it's well-lit and there are no other dogs to worry about, but scenic it is not. So on this night we set out to find the best holiday light displays around the neighborhoods between our RV park and downtown -- and to see the downtown Winter Garden light display, which we'd heard from a couple of folks was really special.
We'd passed by several houses that we knew had good holiday light and decoration displays on our bike rides on the way to and from the West Orange Trail we ride so frequently, so we'd been wanting to see how they looked at night. We made sure to go by those on our walking tour.
I loved the cool blue lights on this house as well as the inflatable snowman and Snoopy figures in the front yard.
Immediately next door, the adorable cottage below was awash in an ever-changing rainbow of colors. Nice job, folks!
This cute house was another of my favorites with a variety of lights and icicles hanging from the eaves. Charming!
This house and yard was really decked out and they were playing Christmas music on outside speakers as well. Photos don't do it justice, but here are a couple of views.
This Craftsman style home was awash in green LED light "confetti" that swirled in constant motion. Simple but festive!
We saw a couple more nicely decorated homes on our way to downtown Winter Garden.
Downtown was a feast for the eyes with lights as far as you could see in all directions. It was very impressive and probably the nicest municipal display I've ever seen. Most of my photos didn't turn out very good, but every tree was covered with lights providing a beautiful show down Plant Street, the main street through downtown. If you look closely, you can see Barry and Paisley walking in the center of this photo.
Hanukkah was not forgotten in downtown Winter Garden!
This tall tree one block off Plant Street was adorned with LED light "icicles" that sparkled and appeared to drip down because of the movement of the lights. A picture can't show the motion, but it was mesmerizing to watch in person.
Here's the Winter Garden Christmas tree in the heart of downtown, a sparkly beauty towering above the steetscape.
We walked down a few different streets on our way back and saw yet more nice light displays from local residents.
We'd noticed the house below on our walk back from the Farmer's Market on a Saturday morning, and it was spectacularly lit in the darkness.
I'm glad we don't have to pay their electric bill! They had music playing as well.
Even our RV park got into the Christmas spirit. Here are the sites with the best decorations around the park.
Christmas pigs and pooches are all welcome here!
We hope you enjoyed our little tour through Winter Garden. We were impressed by all the holiday spirit we saw around town, and since we can only walk so far (especially with Paisley), I'm sure there was much more we missed.
Here's wishing all our readers a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year too!
One thing about living in a house with an actual yard that we both miss is gardening. Barry is a long-time vegetable gardener, and for many years, I always enjoyed planning landscaping beds and planting and tending flowers, shrubs, and herbs. It always made me happy to see flowers blooming around our home.
Since becoming full-time travelers, we haven't been able to do any gardening. Until now, that is!
Because we're in one spot in this central Florida RV park for a longer time than usual due to my orthodontia, Barry got the idea to dress up our site with some flowers and plants; it would be his Christmas present to me. We also wanted to add a couple of decorative garden flags. And we thought a couple of solar lights would mark where our plants were at night so no one would get too close to them after dark.
I ordered new garden flags online and a pair of solar torch lights from Amazon. They are super cool at night as they have moving LEDs in a warm orange-yellow that actually looks like real flames. They recharge in the Florida sunshine every day and come on automatically at dark. So easy! Our RV park neighbors admire them, and so do we. We purchased the plants and pots at Home Depot after my last orthodontist appointment, as it is right across the road.
Although bright and sunny, it was a cool day in central Florida while I was potting up the Impatiens (a sun-loving variety) in a sweater. I'd been admiring the foliage plant with hot pink leaves on top that is ubiquitous in landscape plantings in this part of Florida, so we bought two and re-potted them as well. I learned that they are Hawaiian Ti plants (Cordyline terminalis ). They are also known as "good luck plant", and we could certainly use some of that after this year! Finally, we placed a few Poinsettias around for the holiday season.
We created two symmetrical arrangements on either side of Pearl's front end, each with its own garden flag and solar torch light. I love this Boston Terrier holiday flag I found on Etsy. The palm tree is fitting for a Florida Christmas!
Here's the complete spread.
We added some LED holiday lights around Pearl's front end to complete the festive evening look.
We will have to leave the plants behind when I get my braces off and we finally leave this park, but we've made some friends who live here permanently, so we expect we'll have no trouble finding good homes for our "babies" when we move on.
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
Favorite Travel Blogs