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29 July 2014 @ 02:11 pm
So I had the first of the procedures done today, but it wasn't what either I or the endodentist thought it would be.

The pain was getting worse and worse over the weekend, so he moved the procedure up to today (Tuesday), and took at look at the molar ~behind~ the one that has the bad, old root canal. That tooth had cracked long ago and had a crown on it -- it had been done at the same time as the bad root canal, in fact.

Turns out that's the one that's been causing so much pain in the last few months -- the nerve has been dying without me realizing it and was on the verge of abscessing, so it got a root canal done ~through~ the crown, and a ~very~ temporary plug in it. I can't eat or drink much of anything until the rest is done on Aug. 13. Today's bill was the $498.

AND FOR THAT, I NEED TO THANK MY FRIENDS -- I was able to pay most of that right away.

Then on Aug 13 I get the original problem tooth done, which is to fix the bad root canal. That'll be $1605.00 as the insurance is now all used up.

Then I have to go to the dentist (sometime? I hope soon thereafter, but who knows) and get a crown on the newly fixed root canal and a proper filling in the drilled-in crown where he put in a new root canal. Estimate? About $1500.

Between phone bills that were overdue (damn AT&T) for all three lines (long story), bills for the store, advertising for upcoming events at the store, and then expenses for said events, and of course daily costs at the store and little things like, oh, ~food~ (we had to put together change to buy bread yesterday -- sigh), we're on the line.

It's all just bad timing, nothing that time won't fix, as income comes back into the store, but the tooth stuff is sucking (no pun intended) out any extra savings I had set aside for the bookstore. And continues to suck out any income from the store as I need to pay the endodentist and dentist, leaving nothing for living expenses (food, again -- I'm so picky about fancy stuff like that, I know...) or keeping up the store's goods and new book purchases.

And suddenly we're getting very few customers, but it's uneven. Some days we have terrific business and others nothing at all, and it doesn't seem to depend on the weather -- it's completely random. I talked to the Fairlee Drive-In owner last night, and he says everyone up here in business is talking about how this is the worst summer for income for independent stores in the Upper Valley since 1958. 1958!!! omg.

Do I have timing, or what?

I wonder how much I can get for a kidney?
Current Mood: depresseddepressed
24 July 2014 @ 05:51 pm
Estimate from the endodentist:


Which I must have in hand when I arrive there next week. I postponed the surgery until Wednesday, but I really can't put it off further.

HELP!! I don't know what to do and panic is setting in. I couldn't leave the house today.

24 July 2014 @ 01:00 am
For those from FB, please do follow the link & read this. I can't seem to post there tonight & this is TIME CRITICAL.

The endodontist, who was quite charming and knowledgable, has apparently seen this sort of thing before. His best guess is, given that the higher of the two "things" in my dental x-ray (the one in my sinus) has already moved and flipped from just the other day, that these are broken off pieces from a slightly botched root canal -- the one done years ago that's been hurting ever since. It's the "packing" from the root canal, which is apparently inert organic materials of some kind, which won't hurt me if it stays there.

As to the pain, however, that's another matter. From some simple tests, he's pretty sure there's a contained infection that's probably been there again for years and is flaring up now that the remains of the tooth are being disturbed. He's also pretty sure that there are remains of nerves in there that the original dentist didn't pull out from the root canal, hence the pain.

So, I'm on horse-pill antibiotics, then on Monday I go in and have the old root canal pulled out, he flushes it, and fills it with some sort of medicated gel. Which stays in there for 2-3 weeks. Then he takes that out, flushes it again, and sees what was missed nerve-wise, fixes THAT, and packs up the root canal properly.

Then I make an appointment with my regular dentist to get the crown put on.

I know from experience Delta Dental doesn't pay for root canals or crowns. AND I MUST PAY IT ALL UP FRONT OR I END UP NO TREATMENT. They'll be calling tomorrow with an estimate. I just hope I don't land myself back in the hospital from the sticker shock. I wish I could say this is unusual for dentists, but I went through this several years ago and I still owe people jewelry from when I had to raise money to pay for two root canals up front to be sure the abscess didn't kill me.

And here we are again. But this time I can't make jewelry as I have to run the bookstore 70+ hrs a week.

We have $100 in the bank (a bit less, as I had to put gas in the car to get to the appointment), and right now we're taking in between $60 to $0 per day (several days last week and again this week -- zero! in summer! WTH?!) at the bookstore. With overhead, bills, and book orders (even done ultra conservatively, as we've been doing), that gives us about $60 per week income with this slump in current sales.

You can only imagine how I hate to say this all publicly. But we HAD been doing very well. It's Murphy's Law: I reinvested most of those profits into the store and into necessary improvements (or long overdue ones) to the house & yard. Now that I need the money, the weather turned hot and all the tourists are busy swimming or hiking instead of shopping. Dammit.

Prayers appreciated. Not sure what we're going to do.

Before anyone suggests this again: I checked with the dental schools in Boston (none up here), and I'm (1) not a Mass. resident, (2) have an autoimmune disease and therefore a higher risk & not a candidate for student practice, and (3) this is beyond their scope for "free care" (though if I were a Mass. resident and could prove I have less than $3000 to my name, including car, house, life insurance, and, well in my case the store I own, they would gladly yank the tooth out leaving behind the encapsulated infection -- 'cause, not their purview, dude -- and leave a gaping hole in my head plus the infection). Yeah, not an option.

Pray someone finds us a random relative we didn't know about who died and left us money. Or something.

Yes, you can share this.
22 July 2014 @ 12:36 am
If anyone can recall that far back in my LJ, many years ago I endured my first root canal and crown, while I still lived down in southern New Hampshire. At the time, I complained that it continued to hurt, though the root and nerve were apparently all gone.

It was a good dentist; in fact, until now, the best dentist I've ever been to (granted, my childhood experience in dentistry was all via the US Navy, so my expectations were rather low at the time).

He X-rayed it over a period of months during that first year after the root canal and could find nothing wrong. Maybe it was random inflammation in the lining against the adjoining tooth; after all, I have an inflammatory disease and Sjögren's Syndrome, to boot. Years went by, the pain continued. I sucked on that tooth (crown) every night and day, since there seemed to be nothing for it.

Two nights ago that crown fell in half. It had cracked several weeks ago, but I just didn't have time for the dentist up here where I live now. After all, he doesn't have the fancy instant crown machine (which, far as I can tell, is why that old crown cracked and fell off -- they're not as sturdy as "old-fashioned" crowns. So I had an emergency appointment today. And he and I found with his probing and removal of the remains of the old crown that HOLY COW IT HURTS LIKE HELL NOW.

So he took an X-Ray.

Behold. I have alien probes in my jaw and my lower sinus:

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Well, no, not actually. More likely those are (no kidding) broken off tiny instrumentation from that original root canal all those years ago. And they've moved. That top one is damn near going to my brain if it moves further.

There's a call in to an endodontist and my physician is also getting one to ask about the sinus, since I think that'll be an ENT thing.

I'm turning into Low Probability Girl again. And I fear the medical bills will cause us to lose our house. Really. Even with insurance (as endodental surgery isn't covered by either dental or regular insurance).

This is the worst possible time for this to happen. The store is making a TINY profit, but a profit nonetheless, which by necessity is going back into the store itself. Even if I pulled the profit out to pay medical expenses, it wouldn't make a dent in what that surgery could rack up. And then there's the time away from the store. The customers tell me they much prefer ME to be there. I don't want to do that to them.

I'm not leaving the store, and I can't sell our house. I'll figure this out somehow, I'm sure.
04 June 2014 @ 10:27 pm
Good news? The warm weather is here. Bad news? They sprayed the neighboring field with manure. My house smells of cow shit.

Ah... Smells like money!
01 June 2014 @ 01:51 am
I don't know what to do. I appear to have shingles starting on my neck; tomorrow is Sunday & an ED visit is $200 minimum to walk in the door, and we don't have that money.

Do I wait till Monday?
27 March 2014 @ 07:26 pm
Star Cat Books needs your help! We want (so much!) to be part of James Patterson’s second round of grants to independent bookstores!

To help us out is easy. Go to his website (linked below) and let him know you shop with us, know us, and want us to get the grant. Feel free to leave information about the store in the box that asks for its address (just write a little paragraph about how stupendous we are and how our children’s section is terrific — and how we are working hard at improving it constantly!).

Tell all your friends. We need lots of recommendations to get this going!

We need to make this go viral, folks! Pass it along to EVERYONE you know who supports indie bookstores, who loves reading, who loves books.

We just acquired a lot of antiquarian and new books through a local store going out of the book business to shift their aim towards their gifts and local crafts instead. Because of this, we have the opportunity to expand our children’s, YA, and antiquarian books into a new space and make Star Cat Books into an even more viable, cool store and destination in the Upper Valley, but need the funds to begin this.

Help us make this a reality via Patterson’s grants. Write now. Pass the news widely!
The frequent falls, culminating in the head-on crash last week with my head connecting rather spectacularly with the bank lobby's floor, meant a visit to the neurology department this last afternoon.

One resident, one 4th-year student, and then the attending, who turns out to be the head of the neuro dept for Dartmouth -- and who is struck by the work done for YEARS on trying to figure out reoccurring dizziness, numbness, loss of nerves, etc by my neurologist down in Manchester, who apparently this dept head thinks is a very good guy (and indeed Dr MacAvoy is -- I miss him).

So ...

I'm to go into hospital for three days starting probably Thursday or Friday, and they'll be running what sounds like everything from a brain contrast MRI to a whole series of nerve induction tests "all over my body" (oh boy!) to sticking EEG leads on me and letting me wander about WITHOUT MY CANE TO STEADY ME so they can record my brain waves as I lose balance and fall a couple of times a day.

I want kneepads and a damn helmet. I'm going to hurt myself on those hard floors!

Here's hoping they find something.
08 January 2014 @ 04:39 pm
It's walking pneumonia. Or in my case, lying-in-bed-and-wheezing-but-frustrated-because-i-need-to-work pneumonia.

I've even told to stay away from the store until my "symptoms are gone," which is ... unhelpful. I need to go in tomorrow to pay bills, do some other stuff, etc etc -- maybe if I "take it easy" (hah!) and not handle anything with customers we'll get by. Maybe?

The doctor was pretty stern about this virus (or group of viruses) being pretty virulent in this area, and my needing to not spread this further in the Upper Valley. I could indeed be a hell of a vector.

Shades of post-Apocalyptic SF run through my head...

In the meantime, I just wanna whine: this HURTS. Dammit. Stupid chest, wheezing, cough, crackle, crud.


Minons? Minions?! Where did they all go? Dammit. I can never find good help anymore. Maybe one of the cats will go find me some tea and fic.
30 December 2013 @ 05:23 pm
Greetings to our contributors and friends!

Lest you think we've been lolligagging around post-Indiegogo campaign, here are a few things your contributions have bought for the store to improve it thus far:

(1) A new POS (point-of-sale) system that I bought just this weekend via eBay.

It consists of a refurbished (saving money! I don't want to waste the campaign funds!) iPad 3 wifi, plus a full refurbished Square system: stand (for holding the iPad, plus the swiping area for credit cards), cash drawer, and kitchen printer (the printer for receipts).

This is all saving us about $400 on a "new" Square system plus a new iPad, for a total savings of about $700.

And it gives us a new POS that will not only work much better than the old cash register we inherited with the store, but it will allow us to track our sales over time much more accurately, and even allow us to input our inventory! And the software to run it is free. How cool is that?


(2) A ton of stuff from Dick Blick, one of my favorite "toy stores" ever -- cheap stuff like Fimo clay in order to make incredible eye-catching window display ideas throughout the year. Next up: tiny Fimo people reading tiny books scattered throughout the window for our next display. Oh, and flying books hanging from above. Anybody got any good ideas thinking ahead toward spring and gardening/hiking/outdoors? Send them along via email to us!

By the way, getting ideas from Pinterest (which is basically creativity on crack, in my opinion -- I could look at it all night long ... and have done so ...) is all Evelyn's fault. (Look at what you've done to me, Evelyn!!)

We're trying to save money by doing the decorations inexpensively but beautifully. So many ways to do it! Nila, my assistant and right-hand woman, has done great things for the store, including painting the front glass door for the season. Check out the photos for the elf!

SCB winter snowing

(3) Lots of books for the store. We're getting quite a few from a consortium of other used book dealers, to save on money and also because a good 7/8 of the store is still used books. But we're also ordering from Baker & Taylor for new books, which are being welcomed with great delight by the local patrons. Neil Gaiman's Ocean at the End of the Lane, for instance, has had to be ordered in three times now because I keep selling out -- I have it on window display at the moment due to it winning a UK best book of the year award. Jane Yolen's How Does a Dinosaur Say I'm Mad? has sold out twice, too! I can barely keep some new books in the store -- which is a very good thing, indeed.


The perks for y'all are ordered and will be coming in soon, which means I'll be able to get them out to you sooner than I expected. Thank you for your patience. One question, though: Some of you contributed enough for certain perks, but didn't ask for them. I'll certainly have enough mugs, bookbags, pins, etc, for everyone (and more!). Would you like some?


It's snowy and cold and will be below zero tonight. We had a snowfall yesterday as I was leaving the store that I can only describe as "Hollywood snow": snowflake clusters so big they fell like huge cotton balls on my head and shoulders. I tried to get a photo from across the street of the store, but I'm not sure the entire effect was caught. It was truly magical.

snowing dec19

Stay warm, be safe, and have a happy New Year everyone. Here's to a great 2014 ahead!

Love from your grateful book peddler -- Nancy.
Current Location: my day off
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: World of Warcraft playing in the background (bwahaha)
17 December 2013 @ 11:03 pm
It's now 6 degrees F, which is better than the negative temperatures all day (-19 when I got up at 7:30am), and the forecast looks like we'll be below zero again tonight.

The furnace apparently went out just as the oil truck came this morning and we left for work, so no one noticed this until Elric came home before me to a house reading 45 degrees F inside. To say the least, I stayed at the bookstore until he gave me the all-clear that temps were again above 55 in the house.

As it is, I'm still upstairs with the electric heater on in the bedroom, under two duvets, and listening to footfalls in the attic above me that are clearly bigger than mice. Sigh. I bet it's squirrels and they're eating my clothing up there.
Our final goal of $8000 was met and EXCEEDED, friends! The final tally was $10,441 due in large part to our generous matching donor, but really down to each and every one of you, no matter how large or small your donations were.

Star Cat Books is so proud of this community -- the greater Internet community, the local community -- for you support throughout the last 45 days. This was a long campaign, I know, and you all helped get out the word! That helped a great deal, and got us to that final tally.

We've already gotten in some new stock for the store for the holidays, and my assistant is busy fixing bookcases and prettying up the store. It snowed here, and it's -19 degrees F. today (!!), but customers are still coming in every day thanking us for being here, for keeping the store going, and buying from us.

To keep in touch with us and keep up on what Star Cat Books is up to with the money you donated, you can follow us one of a few ways:

1. Twitter (short posts, obviously) (@starcatbooks)

2. Facebook (starcatbooks)

3. Tumblr (starcatbooks)

4. Instagram (starcatb)

5. email (

6. our website:

(And when I post here to LJ, I'll try to remember to let you know what's going on with the store!)

I hope to see you all on the Net! Keep on supporting us via email and social networking! We love hearing from you and will always answer!

You guys rock. You're the reason we have a store that will be viable. I can't tell you how much that means.


Dawwwww. Now you made me cry. :)

<3 <3 <3
Only 13 days till Christmas!

Today we got in some of the first of the new stock orders made possible by the Indiegogo campaign: gorgeous fine art cards, journals, note pads, art books, and holiday cards from Pomegranate Press. Even some Edward Gorey things!

And of course we still have stacks of books from our blow-out party c/o Bunker Hill Publishing of Piermont, NH, yesterday. Come in and have a look -- they are beautiful books for presents.

Don't see what you want? I'll be doing more ordering on Tuesday upcoming; be sure to get me any special requests before Tuesday, 5pm. The books I order then will be in the store for pickup by Friday afternoon.

Still not sure what to get someone for the holidays? We sell gift certificates in any denomination! BOOKS MAKE THE BEST GIFTS.
$6231 of $8000 to go with 52 hours left in our campaign at Indiegogo.

We can do it with your help! Now's the time to really, honestly tell all your friends that indie bookstores are our future, we need to back them with our money and our voices -- and that helping Star Cat Books off to a good start is one of the best ways to accomplish this goal.

Tweet it, tumblr it, reblog it -- hell, shave it on your friend's head; get out the word that Star Cat Book's opening party tonight was not only a huge success, but the word in the Upper Valley community was that everyone who came thanked us for opening, for being there, and for being "a bookstore where people could come and talk about art and writing and books and just plain hang out." And ... most especially ... a place that was interconnected in this very tight community, and a place that not only wanted but depended on that interaction with other businesses and the community at large.

I can't stop grinning. I HAVE FOUND BOOKSTORE HEAVEN.

We need your help to make our goal to stock up, redesign, get a POS system that works, and to make overall improvements (hello, hole in the ceiling, I see you!).

Please send your friends our way. There are only a few hours left! Even $10 helps!
11 December 2013 @ 07:47 am
67 hrs left of Star Cat Books Indiegogo campaign!

Now's the time, folks. Now or never. We're still short of the goal and need every penny or Indiegogo takes 9% of all the hard-earned donations.

Ring it from the belfries!!

And -- today's the grand opening party & book signings at the store. Elric and I are up early to get there & keep cleaning & shelving to get it in tip-top condition for the big day.

I wouldn't have gotten this far without you guys. ::hugs::
Just a reminder that WEDNESDAY, DEC 11, from 3:30pm - 5:30 pm:

STAR CAT BOOKS in Bradford, VT (157 Main St) will be having our Grand Opening Celebration and book signings.

Come meet, buy books, and get them signed by:
Charles F.D. Egbert
Bert Dodson
Henry Homeyer
Willem Lange
Josh Yunger

We will be having cider, cookies (from the Local Buzz!), a cheese platter, and great conversation. Come in from the cold and snow, put your feet up, and hang out with fellow bibliophiles!

P.S. This is the last 3 days now of our fundraiser for the bookstore's improvements. Consider making a modest donation. We want to make this store a real community hub, with events, readings, our Friday stitch & b*tch, signings, and writers coming in to talk about the art of writing. Even $10 in these last two days will help us get to our goal. Please go now to to donate.

We are even being sponsored at Indiegogo by Comicmix!

--Nancy C. Hanger
your friendly neighborhood book peddler

Star Cat Books

snowy day
today's snowy morning at the store
Current Mood: sanguine
Star Cat Books cordially invites the world to its Grand Opening Party & signings of local VT children's authors and illustrators, including Willem Lange & Bert Dodson, on Dec 11, 3:30-5:30pm.

Cider & cookies, good conversation, a chance to put your feet up. All surrounded by books and bookaphiles. What could be better?

157 Main Street
Bradford, VT
starcatbooks At gmail dot com
08 December 2013 @ 11:51 pm

Star Cat Books' Indiegogo campaign is almost over. If you love indie bookstores, reading, & Neil Gaiman's copyeditor, help me out!

We need to raise almost $3,000 in the next 4 days. ONLY 4 DAYS TO GO!


Literally, a $10 contribution makes a huge difference. I know I've been begging here for weeks, but I'm sure there are listservs and other avenues you folks belong to that you can pass this message along to.



"If you love reading, if you love books, if you support independent bookstores, then this is where you want to put your money where your mouth is."

Thank you -- you all have been so wonderful supporting me throughout this fundraising! I won't stop posting, but it will be as the store grows and gets cooler and more fun and more beautiful entirely thanks to YOUR HELP.

Here, have some star cats:

05 December 2013 @ 10:27 pm
If this is what Timothy Zach, my artist, thinks is rough, I want to know what his really rough stuff looks like!


Star Cat Books - rough logo from Tim
Current Mood: excitedexcited
I have committed Tumblr for Star Cat Books.

ikr?! Me. On Tumblr. Quelle surprise!

I still don't quite get how it's different from any other blogging tool. Maybe someone a good 20 years younger than me can help me out? :)

I also have started a Pininterest (starcatbooks). I COULD LOSE MYSELF THERE FOR YEARS. SOMEONE STOP ME.