Thursday, March 31, 2022

This photo was taken three years ago on our trip to Newfoundland.  As they say, that's only the tip of the iceberg.

I'm feeling weepy today.  Yesterday was a day from hell.  Our first biopsy patient coded on the table, during her biopsy.  Her heart never did stop, thankfully, but she was unresponsive and her oxygen levels dropped enough that we had to bag her.  My heart rate always goes sky high during a code and it takes me awhile to recover.  The patient's husband was distraught, rightfully so.  An ambulance was called, our clinic/hospital doesn't have an emergency or ICU, so patients get sent over the University Hospital.  The patient was bleeding from her mouth and nose so I made EMS stop while I wiped the blood off her face as they were going to walk right past the husband.  Blood upsets people, even nurses.  The patient made it over to the University and woke up.  Nobody seems quite sure what happened but it shook us all, especially the doc. Stroke maybe?  We'll see.

Another patient fainted and lots of tough, tough IVs that I had to start as I'm the expert, or at least the oldest.  Mentally draining, and spending an hour starting an IV is tiring.  Lots of patients, lots of chaos.  At the end of the day I locked my purse and keys in my locker so we had to wait for the maintenance guys to come and use bolt cutters to remove my lock.

Then Jack came back to our place last night with soaking wet feet, boots and pants.  He looked exhausted.  Last night he slept for 12.5 hours.  

My father in law is still in hospital and I'm still trying to get the rental house fixed up.  Everytime one job is done, another twelve pop up.  The drywall is being repaired today and tomorrow and now the contractor says we should pull the toilet and replace the seal because he thinks there may be a slow leak as well, which is not a huge job but it is another job.  And all of the fittings under all of the sinks have leaked over the the past few years because apparently that type of fitting was no good, at least that's what the realtor said, so there's that to deal with.  And the backyard is filled with Gracie's junk still.    

I'm feeling overwhelmed right now.  And Gracie wants to start taking Jack overnight again which scares the shit out of me.  Gracie has applied for jobs and wants to change his daycare and that scares me too because she has never managed to hold a job and take care of Jack by herself, or without having a core meltdown.  And writing this makes me want to cry again.

And there's dog poop all over the back yard that needs to be picked up.  Everything is too much today.  

 A sad update, the patient did not survive.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

It's still snowing off and on here.  This photo was from last weekend and much of that snow has melted again but then it snowed again on Friday night.  

We had Jack for three nights.  We took him swimming yesterday morning and he had a blast.  There was a slide in the middle of the kids pool and a river too, which swept us around an island of calm.  It's hard to describe but a good time was had by all.  

We had lunch out and then came home.  He helped me with baking and then with prepping supper.  I made nasi goreng with peanut sauce.  I let him sniff everything as I put it into the sauce.  The only thing that wasn't too "yucky" was the garlic.  He licked the lime and was startled to find it so sour.  

We also made peanut butter squares.  He was very helpful at licking all the spoons and spatulas clean.  

Yesterday morning I blew him a raspberry.  He said, "Nana, you fart in your mouth."

I try not to worry about Jack spending time with his mom.  Gracie's mother and sister both went away this weekend and the uncle is supposed to supervise Gracie.  I don't get that family.  Or maybe I am way too responsible.  

Nothing much going on here.  We're taking Katie out for lunch and then heading to Wetaskiwin to visit the big guy's father who is back in hospital.  My father in law is not doing well and he is nearing the end of his life.  

I am locked in a battle with the cat who wants to eat/kill all my tomato seedlings.  So far, the cat is winning.  

Another old photo of Mum and two of her older sisters.  Mum is on the right.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

We now have permanent guardianship of Jack, along with his other Grandma and his aunt.  No matter what happens, he will be safe.  I am thankful.

Saturday, March 19, 2022


I wrote this awhile ago because of a prompt from Elizabeth.

I’m a fifty-nine year old woman with three grown children.  I’m also a grandma.

I had my first child at twenty-one years old and I had no idea what I was doing.  Of course I thought I did, but that wasn’t the case. 

Mistakes were made.

I spent my twenties having babies and going to school.  I became a nurse and even got married during that time.

Being a mom was all I ever wanted when I was young.  It was not what I expected. 

My last baby was born with a severe intellectual disability.  My oldest son had learning disabilities and a strong penchant for lying.  My middle daughter got the hardest job; she was the normal one.   My husband was an alcoholic.   I was depressed.

Mistakes were made.

I have two grandchildren now, two little boys by two different women, both belong to my son. 

My son has spent the last twenty years of his life locked in a battle with drugs and alcohol.  The drugs and alcohol are winning.   He is slowly losing his mind. 

His oldest son is living with my husband and me now.  Five years ago I remarried a lovely man who is happy to be a grandpa to my grandson. 

I’m raising a small person again, at fifty-nine. 

Some things have changed.  I’m no longer young. 

Some things haven’t changed.  Small people need a lot of love and attention.

Mistakes will be made.

I don’t beat myself up like I did when I was young.  I know how imperfect I am.  I know my flaws much better now.

I run the dishwasher, sometimes when it’s not even full.  I put pots and pans and plastic in the dishwasher too.  I lead a reckless life.  All those years of hand washing pots, mistakes were made.

I don’t worry about the fact that my grandson will only eat french fries and chicken.  His aunt only ate condiments when she was his age; she has her own food blog now.

My almost three year old grandson isn’t toilet trained yet.  I also know he won’t go to school in diapers.  I toilet trained his disabled auntie, it took five years.  I got this.

I’m much more patient.  When my grandson yells, “Nana, you  bad guy!” because I took away a toy, I don’t take it personally and I’m impressed with his language skills.

I melted my brand new air fryer by accident and yelled “Fuck, fuck, fuck!” and then cried hard and scared him.  Mistakes were made.

 I apologize to my grandson when I screw up and I try to tell him why I screwed up.  I was tired.  I was scared.  I was angry.  I was hungry.  I was sad.

I’m thankful when my grandson doesn’t repeat everything I say and I’m learning to say fart and sugar.

I tell him I love him, even when he’s mad at me.  I tell him it’s okay to be mad at me and that I will always love him.

His anger with me isn’t a knife in the heart like it was with my own children.  It’s not personal; he’s learning and he feels safe enough to be angry with me.  He knows I can handle it and even more importantly, I know I can handle it now.

The last six months have been hard.  Mistakes were made.  Mostly though, there was a lot of love and I've learned to sit down with a little person and just give him my time and attention.  Sitting side by side is enough sometimes.  

Friday, March 18, 2022

I stopped in the river valley briefly, on the way home, after dropping the big guy off at work.  The snow is melting and the sun is shining now.

Although there is a war in Ukraine, family drama continues.  My son was released from jail two weeks ago.  He said he had found god.  He was staying at the Salvation Army homeless shelter but then he made his way back to his wife and terrorized her for a few days, I'm guessing, before she messaged me and told me what was happening.  I called the police and he was arrested, again.  He also said that another child was being abused which was a lie and he was charged with lying about that as well.  When he got to the police station he started calling his wife, so more charges for violating the no contact order.  He also called here but my husband picked up thank goodness.

Jack is doing well.  We've booked a mini trip to the mountains in June with him.  It will be his first time seeing the mountains and I'm sure he'll be amazed.  Poppa also wants to teach Jack how to pee outside.  We're meeting my middle daughter and her partner there which will be nice.  We haven't seen in each other in three years I think.  Far too long.

We have court again on Tuesday with regards to guardianship and parenting of Jack.  No idea how that will go.  I served my son with the guardianship and parenting applications while he was in jail, so at least that got done.  I'm just so thankful that Gracie is no longer in our rental.  She can destroy someplace else and it will be her family's problem, not ours.  

The insurance company have agreed to repair the floors and drywall that were destroyed and we have a contractor so just a matter of picking out flooring and waiting for it to be done.  

As for me, I've decided not to retire this year after all.  I don't have much of a pension, most of my money is self invested in an RRSP and over the last month my investments have taken a big hit.  They've lost ten percent of their value which makes me too uncomfortable.  It's not a problem.  I have readjusted my thinking and things will be delayed by a year.  I do need to work on more of a balance in my life between taking care of others and taking care of myself, as if I haven't been saying that my whole life:)

I've been going through old photos from time to time.  This photo would have been taken in the late sixties, sadly, I can't remember which year my sister got married, or why my mum thought that hat was a good idea:)

Saturday, March 12, 2022

There are one thousand babies born in Ukraine every day.  Babies don't understand war; they come when they come.  

Human traffickers are taking advantage of the chaos at borders and vulnerable children are going missing.  Parents are desparate to keep their children safe and are sending them to meet relatives or friends and in some cases there is nobody to meet them.

Cancer doesn't care if there's a war going on.  Cancer patients need treatment to survive.

Lviv Opens Its Arms To Ukraine's Displaced Cancer Patients (

Diabetics need their insulin and food on a regular basis.

Patients with heart conditions need their medications.

People with breathing problems need their medications.

Covid hasn't stopped in Ukraine.

People like Katie need to be cared for.

I could go on and on.  People need a health care system that can care for them and Ukrainians have lost that.  

My point is that Ukrainians are dying and not just from bombs and gunshots.  

We applied to take a refugee family today.  It's the least we can do.  


Thursday, March 10, 2022

It's still winter here but the sun is higher in the sky and warmer days are coming.  I need to plant my tomato seeds and now that I've written that, perhaps I will.  I was supposed to be painting at the rental today on my day off, but the new renter is sick with what sounds like covid, so a hard pass.  I want to get the rental fixed up, painted, new floors (because Gracie flooded the place and ruined the floors) and get the damn house sold.  It will pay off our mortgage and that will be a big savings every month.

My son was released on Tuesday from jail and has found god, again.  He's staying with the Salvation Army and good on him if sobriety and god take this time.  I'm not holding my breath though.

Poor Jack was sick last weekend after he left us and went to see his grandma and Gracie.  Jack vomited all night on Saturday night and for much of Sunday.  Then on Tuesday, Gracie and her brother started vomiting and on Wednesday morning, grandma started vomiting.  I feel mean but I thought it was funny, especially Gracie getting sick.  We were all sick here over Christmas with no help from anyone.

I asked Gracie once again to empty the rental house of all the garbage in the garage and she told me, "I didn't sign a lease.  This is a you problem."  I guess she doesn't understand that her son would have been in foster care for the past six months if it wasn't for her mom and us, or that she lived in a three bedroom house for $500/month for three years.  Apparently rehab didn't improve her personality or give her a sense of responibility.  We're still waiting to hear back from the insurance company to see how much of the damage they'll cover.  No good deed goes unpunished. 

In local news, there is a moose stuck in our neighborhood.  The poor moose has patchy fur which means it has either mange or a tick infestation.  It's skinny too because apparently when they have mites or ticks, they're so itchy they spend more time grooming than eating.  The poor thing is safer here than out in the fields with the coyotes but I worry about a stupid driver hitting it.

Jack is back home with us and Heidi, both of whom are happy to snuggle.

I had a patient two days ago who is dying but wants to survive long enough to see his daughter recover from her leukemia.  Now when he says goodbye, he also says, "I love you."  He was embarrassed because he said it to the homecare nurse on the phone and I told him that he'd probably made her day.  When he said goodbye to me, he told me he loved me.  He made my day.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

It seems some days that WH Auden was right and that "...nothing now can ever come to any good."

The madman in Russie continues his illegitimate war on Ukraine.  This makes me so angry I could scream.  I feel myself twisting inside, trying so hard to turn away from reality, trying to accept what is, when reality is unacceptable.

When I'm angry, I do.  I'm going to our rental today to paint and throw out garbage that Gracie left behind.  

Heidi remains calm and loving as always.  I want to know her secret.