Wednesday, September 30, 2020

More fall colours.

Things I'm thankful for today.

  • The big guy's covid test came back negative.
  • Leftovers for supper.
  • All the ornamental pears have fallen now.
  • Time to organize photos.
  • My nose has mostly stopped running.
  • A good book to read.
  • Completed one power point presentation for work about intrathecal chemo.
  • Fresh sourdough bread.
  • Blue skies.

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

We visited Jasper in August and saw an elk beside the road as we drove home.  He wandered closer and closer to the car as he grazed, not bothered by us but I'm sure keeping one eye on us.  They're massive creatures who can stomp a human to death quite easily and I respect that.

The big guy and I are both stuck at home now on isolation.  Last week our grandson stayed with us for a few days and he had a runny nose.  Now we both have coughs, sneezes, runny noses and the big guy had a low grade fever for a few days.  He gets tested today and I get tested tomorrow for COVID before we can go back to work.  I'm not complaining.  I don't feel really sick, just not 100%.

My middle daughter turns thirty in December and I wanted to give her something special and I settled on a photo album filled with my photos of her from birth.  A couple of weeks ago I started going through my photos and it turns out I've taken a lot of photos and of course pre-digital, the photos were all printed.  I have boxes of photos I've been going through, bringing back a lot of memories, most of them good.

What really surprised me was how happy we were.  It wasn't all bad.  Of course I remember all the bad stuff but we had a lot of fun and a lot of good times as the kids were growing up.  I'm going to make myself an album as well so that when I'm an old/er lady I have something to flip through to remember.

I'm also knitting her a shrug which I hope she likes.  She's talking to me again.  It's funny because I kept journals as the kids were growing up and wrote in them with the idea of giving each child their journal as adults.  I was going to do that but I read through my middle daughter's journal and apparently we had a hard time getting along even when she was only two years old.  There are a lot of references to how fierce she is.  I pulled the photos and artwork out of the journal and will just burn the writing.  It's not helpful for her to know how often we butted heads even when she was so young but it did help me rereading my words.  Apparently our relationship has always been this way.  It would appear she has been angry with me for a long time.  I know having Miss Katie as a little sister was difficult for her but I can't change that.  She has to figure out a way to let go of her anger about her family.  

I was talking to a coworker the other day about teenagers in general and my kids as teenagers in particular.  I told her about each one, my son's drug and alcohol use, my daughter's rebellion and Katie's behavior and violence as she hit puberty, alongside my ex-husband's drinking.  She said, "Oh Lily, you had it hard."  Maybe I did but I did my damnedest to give my family as normal a life as possible and I need to appreciate that.  I tried, and then forgive myself and love myself because I did try.  

Friday, September 25, 2020

It's a lovely fall day here.  The sun is shining and it's warm.  Our grandson is here because Gracie is working.  She had a meltdown the other day so he arrived on Wednesday and he's still here.  Yesterday he went to daycare but today he woke up with a runny nose and he's grumpy.  Right now he's sitting in his highchair watching cartoons while he eats goldfish crackers because he won't eat anything else.  The dogs are stragetically placed around his highchair, in hopes of getting something.

It's been a nice week off.  I painted the little guys bedroom this week, a very nice soft gray.  Never thought I would like gray but it looks nice.  I'm going to make him a flannel quilt this winter to put on the bed in his room.  Right now he's still in his crib.

I'm trying to avoid the news and the shit show that is the world and the US in particular.  So I painted and cooked and walked the dogs.  And I'm reading a book by Fredrik Backman, "Anxious People", which seems appropriate right now.  I like his writing.

I'm going to take the little guy for a long walk, away from people this afternoon to get some fresh air and sunshine for both of us because this time of year, you never know when the snow will arrive.

Stay safe my friends.

Beaver Hills Biosphere on Monday.

Monday, September 21, 2020

 Fall  has arrived and with it, my birthday.  I turned fifty-eight yesterday which seems unbelievable.  In two years I will turn sixty, math and all that.

We took Miss Katie out yesterday for a walk and lunch.  When I told her that it was my birthday she gave me such a big hug.  It was wonderful.  She didn't want to walk much but we did go to the mall and see the sea lions and buy her a new pair of pants that will stay up.  Then we had lunch and bought balloons.  She continues to enjoy her life and I am thankful for that.  

She's not liking the pandemic though as she's not allowed to take the bus which limits her outings and she is a social butterfly.  When we got her back to her place she plonked her ass on the sidewalk and wouldn't budge.  She's far too heavy to move easily now but the big guy was able to pick her up and get her inside.  Katie can't talk but she never fails to communicate.

A friend of mine from Australia called the other night and we talked for a long time.  Her husband has lymphoma and they're struggling.  I so wish I could help but I'm too far away.  I listened though and I hope that helped a little.

I took the dogs for a long walk yesterday at the dog park and the leaves are all changing color.  I took photos and the dogs ate grass and sniffed a lot of butts and the sun was shining.  It was lovely.

The big guy and I are off this week which is nice.  We'll get some things done and take walks and take photos.  I want to paint my grandson's room as well as put up the trim around the window and the put up the baseboards.  

Nothing much else.  I've been collecting burr oak acorns to replant in the spring in the hopes of planting them here and there in the spring.  I didn't know oak trees can live 500 years.  I'm almost finished reading "The Overstory".  It is sad but it makes me want to plants trees.  

I can do that.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

 We drove past this field a couple of weeks ago and it was perfect, strangely perfect in a way.  Nature is much messier and even wheat fields are usually much messier.

I am continuing to work on my thoughts, cognitive behavior therapy.  My brain likes to fuck around with me but I continue the battle.  There was a dust up at work a couple of days ago which left me feeling like a bitch.  I was unprofessional in that I spoke to my coworker loudy, in front of patients, which I instantly regretted.  This particular coworker is a thorn in my side and she always pushes my buttons.  If I confront her, or anyone confronts her, she just looks at you and blinks a few times.  She says nothing, doesn't change ever, never takes responsibility for her actions and basically makes work unpleasant for everybody.  

But her behavior is not in my control, only mine is and I need to remember that.  We have a good manager now but this nurse has had managers for the past eighteen years that let her do as she pleases.  There have never been an consequences for her actions.  I'm not perfect, obviously, but I do try to always put my patients first.  Two days ago I failed.  I will try again.

Protecting vulnerable people has always been my thing.  I always tried to protect my mum from my dad and I think that's where I learned it.  But I need to remember what I can and can't control.  

Today is a new day.  I will not beat myself up but forgive myself, I hope.  I don't wear a hair shirt but I might as well.  This self flagellation does me no good.  I tried and I failed.  I will try again.  

I saw this on Stubblejumpers blog and I loved it.  I didn't stab anybody.  Nobody died.  I am human, not an excuse but a reason to learn and grow.

Monday, September 14, 2020

 One of my favorite pictures.  I don't know how long the chair has been there but I imagine in ten years it will be completely obliterated, absorbed back into the earth.  The earth will survive us, I hope.

Friday, September 11, 2020

We have little birds here called pine siskins.  They show up in the fall and flutter about for a few weeks, emptying the bird feeders.  They come in flocks;  I'll look outside in the yard and see fifty birds flitting about.  It's lovely.

Yesterday when we got home after work the big guy noticed a dead bird laying on the feeder.  I went outside with a plastic bag and picked it up.  It weighed nothing in my hand.  

This week at work I've been orientating new staff.  I talked, a lot.  Hopefully, I taught as well.  I like to show people how to do the job but I also like to explain why we do what we do.  Why I pull back on the needle just a little once I get blood and then advance the catheter into the vein, why I joke with patients, why we need to know what a patient's kidney function is, why we need to know if the patient is taking metformin, why we use oral contrast and why we use IV contrast, and what organs need IV contrast to be seen.

Then there is also the cancer knowledge that I've gleaned over the years.  Which cancers like to metastasize to the brain, and which cancers prefer the spinal column.  Which chemo drugs need to be infused through central lines and why.  Which cancers grow the fastest and which cancers respond best to treatment.  What a heavy tumor load can do to the body and why.    

There is so much information that needs to be imparted that it overwhelms me at times.  This is probably why I find teaching so tiring, I don't want to miss anything.  We don't have a clinical educator in our department so that means the staff nurses do the teaching and some know more than others which means that teaching can be inconsistent.  I think I need to make up an orientation manual for new nurses, in my spare time obviously:)  I'll take it up with my manager.  I was looking for a project to keep me interested in work.

I'm feeling fine these days which is nice.  My grandson is well.  I haven't heard from my son which is always a boon.  I need to remember that he is a sociopath.  The only time he ever contacts me is if he wants something.  He manipulates me, always.  He lies, always.  It is a sad fact but one which I need to accept.

I spoke with a girlfriend the other night for a long time. We talked about cancer, she has cancer, and family and kids and life.  We laughed too.  I love her.

Life is good today and everyday I'm working at taking care of myself.  I make a point of walking the dogs, even when I'm tired.  I called a friend.  I'm reading a wonderful book.  I'm learning to forgive myself and to stop accepting the anger of others.  And I will fail again and I will become depressed again and I will get back up again.  I tell my young nurses that it's okay to fail, to make mistakes, because that's how we learn but I have not given myself that same grace.  

We are all works in progress.



Monday, September 7, 2020

 More trees, out at Coyote Lake.

Thinks I'm thankful for today.

  • Fall colours.
  • A walk with the dogs.
  • Baking and cooking.
  • Fixed the slipped stitch in my knitting.
  • Washed the floors.
  • Spoke to my ex sister in law on the phone, she's so sweet and funny.
  • Generally feel good.

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, September 3, 2020

I'm reading a book right now, "The Overstory" by Richard Powers which is about trees, those sentinent beings that play the long story and dwarf our own short stories.

I'm working on the positive, keeping my brain on an even keel, filling my own cup, blah, blah, blah.  It's hard work.  My husband said that it seems I must like being unhappy because that's where I go so often.  It's not that I like unhappy, it's that it's familiar.  Crisis followed by crisis, it's what I'm used to, not just at work but in my family as well.  It's the peace and quiet, the contenment that's hard to accept because it is so unfamiliar.

But I'm trying, my god, I'm trying.  And trees they help me the most, the sound of them, the color of them, the fact that they exist, all make me feel better and for that I am deeply thankful.