Sunday, June 27, 2021

It is hot as hell here and it's going to hot all week.  My husband woke me up this morning with a plan to cool off the house.  He told me he was going to get a 50 foot duck and use it to suck the cool air out of the basement.  I didn't think much of the idea because I couldn't imagine a rubber duck that size in the basement.  Did I mention I had just woken up?  He said duct.  That made a lot more sense.

Everybody was hot and grumpy today.  Yesterday we took Jack to Jurassic Forest which is a park with forty animatronic dinosaurs in a boreal forest setting.  It far surpassed my expectations and we went early before it got too hot.  

Today I had Katie.  All we managed was a hair cut and McDonalds lunch.  She wasn't having it either and just wanted to go home.  

Did I mention it's hot?  It's too damn hot!

Friday, June 25, 2021

Jack has been sick.  Not really sick, a cough and a runny nose sick.  He's fine to go to daycare and appears to feel fine, except for his cough.  No fever.

Last night while my brother and his daughter and her boyfriend came over for a BBQ, he played naked in the backyard, enjoying the sprinkler, Jack, not my brother.

Things I learned last night.

I missed my brother and I love him.

I miss having people over.

I love to laugh.

Little boys like to be naked.

Little boys can poop in the backyard while naked.

Dogs will eat little boy poop.

BBQs are the easiest meal to clean up after.

Little boys can vomit enormous amounts in the middle of the night.

You can wash pillows, even feather pillows.  I didn't know.

The smell of vomit lingers.

I woke up this morning groggy from lack of sleep with a cough and a runny nose.  Of course Jack feels fine.  I'm slowly making my way through heaps of laundry because he vomited in two beds last night.  

I'm thankful I can't go to work with a runny nose and a cough.  I'm taking it easy.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

I've been busy at work and with Jack.  I took the dogs for a walk last weekend and came across this tree, standing in a small patch of grass and sunlight.

The cat has been enjoying the long days of sunshine.  She has plumped up in the last few years, like me.

I was talking to one of the oncologists yesterday at work and he said he was worried how much busier we were going to be once the pandemic is over.  Breast screening and colon screening have gone down during the pandemic so people will be further along in their disease process by the time they get to us.  I'm guessing cancer deaths will bump up for the next few years until the backlog of people have cleared the system.  

My brother is in town and I talked to him on Tuesday.  It was nice to catch up and he's coming over for a BBQ tonight with his daughter and her boyfriend.  It's been eight years.  We got older and maybe a little wiser.  I guess time will tell.

He is also visiting a childhood friend in Red Deer this weekend.  His friend has colon cancer and the doctor just told him that he only has weeks left.  I'm glad they'll get a chance to say goodbye to each other.  

I'm so tired of cancer.  I had a young woman with breast cancer the other day and we poked her seven times trying to start an IV.  She was crying and I ended up crying too.  I told another patient who has been coming to us for eight or nine years that most of the time I just try to imagine that my patients get better when I don't see them anymore, even though I know it's a lie.  He's a sweet guy.  His doctor told him he had months to live when he first saw him, so he's quite pleased to have proved the doc wrong.

It's hot here and going to get a lot hotter.  The forecast for the weekend and next week is in the 30Cs, up to 36C (96F), which is bloody hot when you don't have AC.  It will pass but it will be unpleasant too.  

Miss Katie gets her second vaccination today which means her life will get back to more normal, maybe going out and her father has said he'll come out to see her next month.  I'm waiting to see if that really happens before I tell her that.  She hasn't seen him in a year and a half and I don't want her to be disappointed.

Our lockdown is coming to an end this week which will be interesting.  No more following arrows on the aisles:)


Friday, June 18, 2021



It's been a busy week, again, or still, not sure which.  I'm not exhausted tonight though which is very nice.  The garden is coming along well, flowers are blooming, peas are climbing and grass is growing.  


Heidi at the off leash.  

I moved this clematis this spring and one flower bloomed.  It's doing well though and I'm hoping next years it will have tons of flowers.  Right not it's just getting itself re-established.  It seems happy where it is though, less competition and more sunlight.

Jack and his poppa have water guns, so does nana.  There was a lot of shooting going on last weekend and much screaming by nana when she was hit by the water gun.  For a child of two, he has a surpisingly accurate shot.

I spent Wednesday morning with Katie.  It was her birthday and we had a zoom meeting with a geneticist.  It was a two year wait for the appointment.  We are going ahead with genetic testing for Katie to see if we can find an answer for what caused her disability.  She had genetic testing done twenty-four years ago but things have changed since then.  

The doctor was very nice and patient.  She wanted to see Katie, which was why it was a zoom call.  Katie hates screens.  She hates TVs, phone, computers and tablets.  She doesn't like sitting and looking at them either, and she really hates when I pay attention to a person on the computer and don't give her 110% of my attention.

Katie threw toys, tried to go through my purse and my work bag.  She opened drawers and pulled things out of them.  She took her pants off and sat on the floor.  She grabbed the cat and held/squeezed the cat until the cat bit her and then she let go of the cat.  She opened up the freezer and pulled out a frozen muffin, nibbled on it and then threw it on the floor as well.  

At some point the dogs found the muffin and they carried it to the living room where they had a fight over the muffin.  They startled me when they started fighting and I said, "Jesus" very loudy.  Then Katie came up behind me and hugged/choked me.  

The whole appointment was very exciting and the doctor was very patient.  

Now Katie, my ex-husband and I all need blood work done.  It will take up to a year for the blood work to come back and even then, they only find an answer about 30% of the time the doctor said.  We also agreed to have Katie's blood samples enrolled in clinical trials and research into rare diseases.  They can't fix Katie but it would be nice to know what happened to her.

At the end of the appointment I was frazzled and I'm sure my blood pressure was elevated.  That's how I lived for years and I find I just can't do it anymore.  We stopped by the dog park and McDonalds on the drive back to her house.  Not an amazing birthday but it's all I could manage.  I did buy her the biggest balloon I could find and she loved that.  Next year my baby girl turns thirty and I will turn sixty.  WTF.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Jack spent the weekend with us as Gracie was working.  He and poppa had a lot of fun.

The wild roses are blooming.  They smell like real roses;  only five petals but the smell is big and beautiful.

Dandelions.  Even though they're weeds they are beautiful.

We had a busy day at work and I'm too tired to write anything.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

The real me, except with my glasses off.  I started growing my hair long two or three years ago, I can't remember when, but it worked well for the pandemic.  No hair appointments possible or needed.  

It's strange looking in the mirror and seeing myself get older.  The body is even harder to look at.  Lumps, bumps, scars, spider veins and jiggly bits.  One of my coworkers calls me granny.  It's true. I am a granny and it's strange to not to have noticed the progression from middle aged to granny but here I am, a granny.

I'm still at home, resting my foot.  The house is clean.  The laundry is caught up.  I've caught up on paperwork and filing said paperwork.  I even cut all the fabric for Katie's new quilt.  Yesterday I watched a movie called "Toast" which I quite enjoyed.  It's about Nigel Slater, an English food writer.  

Today I guess I'll carry on with the quilt.  Not much else to do.  It's been raining off and on all week and the garden is turning a lovely green.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

I've been home for the last six days.  My right foot is so painful that I've had a hard time walking.  I went to emerg yesterday to see a doc.  It's extensor tendonitis again, probably.  I need to go for an ultrasound of my foot as well.  The problem is old feet that have been walking on cement floors for the last thirty-five years.  The treatment, rest, ice, anti-inflammatories and physio.  I hate sitting:)

We had Jack for a couple of nights this past weekend.  His other grandparents were supposed to take care of him on Sunday but his grandma didn't want to come back from the lake until late on Sunday evening to pick him up so I said nevermind.  We miss him when he's gone anyway.  He has such strong opinions now and talks so much.  The other day he pointed at a truck and yelled, "Fuck", which apparently is his version of truck.  He is a smart, curious little boy who is fascinated by machines right now.  The big guy is so patient with him; he's taught me so much about "seeing" children and I see Jack blossom with that love and attention.  The big guy does the same for me.  It is a rare gift.

I'm trying meditation again.  How many times have I said that?  Maybe it's like quitting smoking, you keep trying until it takes.  But I'm trying.  

Miss Katie turns twenty-nine next week, hard to believe.  She also has a genetics appointment that day, via zoom which should be interesting with her.  She doesn't like screens, computers, phones, TVs or tablets.  I want her to have more genetic testing because the last time it was done, twenty-five years ago, geneticists didn't have the tools they have today.  We still don't know what caused Katie's disability and I still want to know.  Full circle really because when she was a week old and they found the cataract in her eye, testing started.  Maybe June is the month for blood tests.

The real me, randomly remembering things, just ask my hubby, drives him crazy sometimes.  My brain tends to follow threads, something will trigger a memory which triggers another memory and so on and so on and so on.  Sometimes I end up in the most unusual places but when I follow the thread I can figure out how I got there, even if nobody else can.

Thanks I'm thankful for today.

Paid sick days.

The big guy gets his second shot on Saturday.

Hugs from the big guy and the little guy.

Dogs who have their diarrhea outside.

Rain for my garden.

Flowers blooming and grass growing.

My brother coming to visit.

Gracie working.

Homemade soap.

What are you thankful for today?

Friday, June 4, 2021

My brother is coming out to visit this month.  I haven't seen him in almost eight years.  I was mad for a long time after mum died.  I'm letting go of that now.  Everybody deals with grief differently and I get angry.  From the amount of anger I've felt during my lifetime, it would appear I have had a lot of grief.  But I'm not special, everybody has grief in their lives, everybody has had bad things happen in their lives and I wonder though why my main go to is anger.

When I was not quite three my mum said she wanted to leave, which I still remember.  I remember feeling shock, or the shock that a three year old can feel.  Is that when I stopped trusting the world?  Or was it my dad and his deep distrust of the world, fueled by his alcoholic mother and a world war in which he lost any innocence that he still had when he signed up?  I don't know.

Was it watching my parents trying to deal with their own grief?  My sister was in a horrific accident when she was twelve years old, something barely mentioned in my family growing up.  I was born four years after that accident.  My parents lost five babies between me and my sisters, again something only mentioned in passing by my mother.  My father lost his best friend in the war.  My mother left all of her family behind when she joined my father in Canada after the war.  My grandparents divorced after the war.  My mum didn't see her mother for years after the war.  My father lost both his parents before I was born.  He lost his mum earlier than that to alcohol.  So much grief to carry around.

I look at my own failed marriage which I knew was a failure when I had only been married two years but I stayed for my kids.  I look at the worst grief I've ever experienced, which was Katie's diagnosis.  That grief dragged me past anger, down into a despair that took years to recover from.  So much grief but how did I settle on anger as my response to this grief?

Anger is big and anger feels like control.  Anger also doesn't leave me feeling vulnerable.  My need to control, my anger, they make me feel safe.  I hate feeling vulnerable, even with the man I love.  Somehow I got it into my head that I feel safe when I am in control, which of course is bullshit.  I think my dad felt the same too.  I think he was so afraid of the world that he got angry and stayed angry.  

Of course when you get angry and stay angry you have to push people away, even the people you love.  You build a wall around your heart, certain that this will protect you but all it does is keep everyone out.  You're not safe, you're just alone.  

I wonder how much of my depression is just grief.  Is it where I got stuck?  My husband talks about ruts in our brains, how we get stuck in them, these neural pathways so used to anger and sadness, how hard it is to get out of those ruts.  And how do I get out of depression and move onto acceptance and hope?  

Work I'm guessing, lots and lots of hard work.  No wonder people drink, it sounds much easier than hard work.  It never ends it seems, this ongoing process of becoming, but it is something I want.  Although I always quit whatever it is I'm doing to feel better before I feel better permanently.  Am I afriad of feeling better?  Or am I afraid of losing that hope that I have that there is a way to feel better?  Because if I stop, there was still hope, it wasn't a failure.  I'm the one that failed.  As Jack would say, hmm.  

Bloody hell, more work.  Do I have what it takes to feel better is the question?  To let go of my grief and let go of my anger?  Am I brave enough to face the world without anger?  That's a scary question. 

Thursday, June 3, 2021

It's hot here, probably not hot compared to many places in the world but hot for us.  My flowers are coming along and the vegetables are coming up in the raised planters that the big guy made for me.  The tomatoes I started from seeds that I saved last year survived and are growing too.  My lilacs are starting to bloom and the rhubarb is huge.  

I couldn't sleep last night;  it was too damned hot and my extensor tendonitis has started up again.  My right foot was throbbing as I tried to fall asleep and I feel like an old lady this morning with my aches and pains.  

This week in the news there were 215 bodies of children found underground at the site of a residential school in Kamloops.  The school was run by an extension of the Catholic church.  Both the government of Canada and the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate are withholding records that would help determine the identity of these children.  Residential schools amounted to cultural genocide for the indigenous peoples of Canada.  I only learned in the last couple of years that my son's grandma went to a residential school and contracted TB there as well.  She spent two years at the Charles Camsell Hospital being treated for TB.  

Children were taken from their families in an effort to " kill the Indian in the child...".  Children were forcibly removed from their familes, visits from their families were restricted, the children were prohibited from speaking their native languages and the schools attempted to destroy any traditional cutlure in the children.

Residential schools tore families apart, destroyed centuries old traditions and resulted in the widescale abuse and deaths of children.  It is a horrific part of our history but not one that can be ignored.  From 2008-2015 a Truth and Reconciliation Commission traveled across the country to listen to the stories of indigenous people, with a mandate to document the history and impacts of residential schools in this country.

Needless to say, only a handful of recomendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission have been implemented.  The last residentail school only closed in 1996.  I am angry and heartsick.  Can you imagine having your child forcibly removed from your home?  Can you imagine that child never returning and nobody will tell you what happened?  Can you imagine what that would do to your heart?  Your mind?  Your soul?  

So today I'm writing letters to the Catholic Church, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and the government of Canada because I can't change what happened in the past but I can hold people accountable.

The big guy and the little guy cooling off on the deck.