Wednesday, September 28, 2022

I'm stuck at home and I'm lucky I have such a comfortable home but I'd rather take photos of landscapes.  It's such a beautiful time of year and I miss the trees and the fields.

Our living room and dining room.  I bought the large painting years ago from one of my patients who has since died.  I first saw the painting in 2008; it was part of a showing at the Glenrose Hospital when I worked their briefly.  I didn't have room for such a large painting at the time, or the money, but she became my patient a few years later when I had the wall space and the money; the painting was still available thankfully.  I love it.  The flowers are from friends for my birthday last week.

While I was taking the grief course last week, we touched upon the idea of altars to remember people.  I was thinking about building one when I realized I already have one.  Not everyone is dead, thank goodness, but these are my people.

I tried to put the highchair away but when Jack came back, I realized we still need it; he likes it and if I'm honest, I like it because it contains him while he's eating.

 There is only one bowl of tomatoes left on my kitchen island.  I've made a lot of tomato sauce this year.  The roses are from friends for my birthday last week.

Monday, September 26, 2022

He's back!

My daughter arrived last Thursday and we had such a lovely visit.  We talked, we cooked and we just hung out.  We talked about wills, money, mortgages, college funds (she's set up one for each of her nephews), declining health, guardianship of Miss Katie, babies, marriage, divorces, pretty much everything.  She even shared with me her ongoing health problems that go along with her diagnosis.  On Saturday afternoon we visited my daughter in law and she got to meet her nephew Charlie for the first time.  It was an interesting visit.  My daughter in law, not Gracie, has mental health issues right now too.  Charlies is supposed to come over for a visit on Thursday or Friday, we'll see.

My daughter also helped me with the cooking we did for my birthday party on Saturday night, which was lovely.  One of my friends from work is vegan and I had to laugh because the two vegan appetizers were the hit of the party.  Everybody was gone by 9pm which is perfect.  It was so nice to visit with friends and people I love, and I got to feed people which I enjoy.

Jack's aunt dropped him off on the way back from BC, on Saturday after the party, but they didn't get here until 11:30pm.  He was up early the next morning and all of us were just beat yesterday but he got to visit with my daughter, his auntie.  I took my daughter to the airport yesterday afternoon and she flew home.  Jack, hubby and I were all in bed and sound asleep by 8:30pm.  

I read somewhere in the past couple of weeks about using a chart with stickers for peeing in the potty and thought I would give it a try.  Jack loves it and wants to sit on the potty now, without crying or screaming.  He's three and a half and still wears diapers but he's becoming concerned about it, asking if big kids wear diapers.  Hopefully the stickers will get him over the hump because Gracies doesn't have it in her to toilet train a child.  

When we were told that Gracie and Jack had gone to BC at the beginning of September, we were told it was for two weeks, and then it was for longer, but we're not sure how long.  They brought him home after three weeks.  When I dropped Jack off at daycare this morning, the woman looked surprised to see Jack because they had been told he would be gone for a month.  And they wonder why we don't trust them.  

My foot still hurts and burns.  I won't be able to go back to work in a week and I think I will have to go on disability until this heals up.  I emailed my abilities manager but there seems to be some disconnect there.  My manager needs to find staff now to cover my absence, not in a week, so I'll contact my manager myself and let her know.  My manager is not allowed to contact me because of the rules around "abilities" involvement, meant to protect employees, I understand, but my manager also has a department to run and needs to know what is happening.  

I'm still on house arrest.  This photo was taken a year ago, but same time of year.  I miss walking in the woods.

A young peregrine falcon just landed on my deckchair while I'm typing.  Wow!  What a gift this morning.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

The light shining through the bedroom window caught my eye.

I turned sixty today but it doesn't feel different than any other day.  My husband gave me a funny card about farting, because that's how we roll and tonight he's taking me out for supper.  In two days my middle daughter arrives for a few days and I'm throwing myself a birthday party on Saturday.

I'm taking an online course right now, The Foundations of Grief.  It's very interesting and informative.  

The one thing that I learned that will be most helpful to me is that I can bear witness to the grief and sadness of another but I don't have to carry their grief for them; that is the definition of compassion.  I've always been one to feel the pain of another and that's too much to bear at times/often.  We all have our own grief and pain to deal with, adding the grief and pain of another is more than any of us should/can carry.  It's only taken me sixty fucking years to learn this lesson but I suppose better late than never.  Of course the hard part is the doing.  We shall see.

So far I've discovered that I want to learn more about grief and helping others deal with grief which is something, something big for me, who is having a hard time staying on her feet, and needs to find another way of caring.  I want to develop a program to help nurses in my hospital deal with their grief.  I would like to develop rituals to help us remember and grieve for our patients and to simply acknowledge the grief that nurses feel when our patients die.  

I'm learning a lot and realize how much more there is to learn about grief.  I enjoy being a student.

I watched a wonderful movie yesterday, "Good Luck To You, Leo Grande" with Emma Thompson.  
It's about sex, about aging and about acceptance, of ourselves and others.  The trailer doesn't really give you a good idea about the movie is actually about.  I would highly recommend it. 

And that's it so far.  A gentle day of sunshine and learning and making tomato sauce, because there are so many ripe tomatoes sitting on my counter and that's all I can smell:)

Friday, September 16, 2022

Despite the cooler weather, the coleus and petunias are doing well.  I picked the peppers today, jalapenos, scorpions and ghost peppers.  I'm not eating them.  The carrots are still in the planters and I'll wait on them for a bit. The maple tree that I planted in the spring is very happy and I'm looking forward to the leaves changing color.

We still don't know when Jack is coming home.  The big guy and I tossed around the idea of driving out there to get him.  It's a ten hour drive each way.  We'd have to take both the dogs with us too.  Jack still has a daycare to go to, so we could bring him home and take him to daycare in the North End.  It would be a lot of driving but we've done that before.  We'll see.

The second quilt restoration continues.  I'm terrified of making mistakes and get stressed out trying new things so I had to bite the bullet and just try to machine quilt this particular quilt, as I wasn't going to pay to have it quilted.  It's not great, but unless you're a quilter, it doesn't look bad.  There's only one way to learn sometimes and I just had to do it. The hand embroidered panels, there are six of them, remind me of Ms. Moon for some reason.  Still not sure what I'm going to do with the quilts but this project has pushed me to try new techniques which is good.

My life so far.

Monday, September 12, 2022

The big guy and I kissed and made up.  I do love him and he loves me.  Sometimes I get my knickers in a twist and forget that part.  He's a good man with a big heart.

We've talked to Jack twice now by video call and found out yesterday that the two week trip will probably be longer than two weeks.  I so appreciate how well this family communicates.  Jack wants to come home, he asked, "You come get me?".  Now we have to wait for Jack's uncle, the stoner, to come home from work to drive them home.  

I can't remember if I mentioned that Gracie's cat died.  Actually, Gracie's cat was killed by her sister's American bully.  Gracie let the cat out of the bedroom and it was mauled by the dog.  The cat didn't die immediately, it took a few days and many trips to the vet before the poor thing died.  Fortunately Jack wasn't in the house when it happened.  Small mercies.

I'm off work again for a month, resting my foot and stretching.  I dragged my old stationary bike out of the basement and I've been riding that most days because I need some exercise and it doesn't bother my foot.  I'm bored but next week I have a two day course on grief via zoom and then my daughter arrives on Thursday.  I miss Jack.  We both miss Jack.

Work continues on the quilt restoration.  I've made some mistakes while making the quilt but nobody will care.  Right?

I also made a lot of spring rolls this weekend.  My birthday party is coming up and I wanted to serve these.  I cooked them in the air fryer and they tasted deep fried and delicious.  

I'll be making more spring rolls today.  Fortunately they freeze well and hopefully I'll get some work done in the garden.

My first ever pumpking, grown from the seeds Jack and I saved last Halloween.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

I don't know why Heidi likes to sleep like this; she probably doesn't know why either.  It's funny/sad how we do things and don't know why we do these things.

I bought groceries on Monday and came home and started cooking.  I was making chili for the big guy and chicken spaghetti sauce.  When I make chili, I make a huge pot of it, enough for ten or twelve lunches.  I chop up all the veg that I put in it, the onions, the mushrooms, the peppers and the jalapenos from the garden.  I used four cans of kidney beans and three cans of diced tomatoes.  There was stuff all over the kitchen and I was slowly cleaning up. I was just about ready to sit down and rest when I thought, I'll put the cranberry ginger ale away in the fridge.  When I did that, a can dropped and exploded.  It went over everything in the kitchen, the cupboards, the counters, the pantry door, the appliances, me and it also hit the TV room floor and the door to the basement.  

So like so many people in the world, I blamed someone else.  I yelled at my husband, blamed him because it was pop I bought for him.  It wasn't his fault but I wanted to yell and blame someone, someone else.  And then I started yelling at him about all the things that are bugging me right now, like his lack of help around the house, how he's dealing with his family, how miserable and angry he is, anything that I could think of, I dragged it on in and yelled it at him.

He went for a car ride and I cried and cleaned the kitchen.  It took me an hour.  An hour for me to think about what's really bothering me.  I take care of a lot of people, including my husband and I often feel that it goes unnoticed or forgotten.  And it's not just me, my husband and I have supported people financially over the past eleven years.  My husband's daughter and her boyfriend lived in our rental so they could pay off their debts and save money for a house and then they left and said, don't talk to us again.  Another friend's daughter and her boyfriend moved there because they needed cheaper rent; they lived in our rental and were pigs.  When the boyfriend moved out he called me a cunt when I asked him to clean. And then there's Gracie who flooded the place and introduced us to german cockroaches, leaving the place filthy again and requiring extensive repairs. Even the young lady who lives there now is nice enough but she gets a steep discount on the rent.  We also have a condo that I rent out to another woman we used to work with and she also gets a good discount.  

But there's also us taking care of Jack when he was taken away from Gracie and even before that when we cared for him when she was working or stoned or drunk, and somehow we became the bad guys who are trying to take Jack away from Gracie.  

And there's me not taking care of myself because I didn't want my co-workers to be short this summer or have holidays cancelled and now I'm in more pain from limping for the past two months at work.  My right leg is sore now too.

So I dumped all of that on him when it was about me. 

Anger is a strange thing.  I sits waiting for the right moment to spring into action.  It doesn't leave on it's own, it waits.  When my ex husband and I sold our house and he left me to clean up the mess, I was angry.  As I rage cleaned, it's a thing, I started to cry and cry and cry.  I realized that underneath all of that rage and anger was a deep sadness.  I think that was the beginning of me getting a handle on my anger; I started to feel the grief that I had kept bottled up inside myself for so long and as I did that, my anger started to subside.

I still get angry and I still get angry and misdirect my anger, see above, but it's much better than it was. My dad was an angry man.  He thought his anger protected him and maybe at one time it had protected him but it also drove away his children and made it so hard for his own wife to love him.  He was abrasive and often blew up; you never knew what would set him off.  He didn't really have any friends.  He was alone in his fortress of anger, nursing all of his old wounds.  He thought he was safe but he was just alone.

And that's what anger does, it just isolates you.  None of us can change the past.  I can't make my dad a kind, loving parent.  I can't make my grandmother a sober, loving parent for my dad, and so on and so on and so on.  We come from our ancestors and all of their faults and mistakes.  But I can do better now.  I can let go of my old grievances and forgive my parents.  I can forgive myself too for not being a better parent to my own children.  I can continue to strive to be more patient with Jack and model better behavior and give him coping skills I didn't learn until I was an adult.  I can keep trying to let go of my old anger, to feel the sadness that goes with it and then to let it go because it's not helping me anymore.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

It's our anniversary today, six years we've been married.  I swore when I got divorced that I would never remarry but this guy changed my mind.

Today is a better day, as expected.  My daughter in law cancelled our trip to the spray park when I told her Jack wouldn't be able to come with us and I understand.  She has two kids that want to play with Jack and she had a fight with her mother, so today we are free birds.  

I went shopping at Costco and filled up the car with gas.  We now have lots of toilet paper and chicken.  I also got a new book.  I live a wildly exciting life, I know.

My husband just left to drive down to Wetaskiwin to visit his father and I'll stay busy in the garden.  The season is coming to an end and I don't like a messy garden.  I've never grown cucumbers before and got nine huge cucumbers off one plant.  Not sure how many they usually produce.  The tomatoes are starting to turn red.  Last year I got seventy-five pounds from my tomato plants, I'm hoping for more this year.  The sunflowers are done so I cut the last of them to brighten up the kitchen.  I'm also collecting seeds from flowers that I like, yellow cone flowers, foxglove, sunflowers and delphinium to start next spring.  I'll also save tomato and pumpkin seeds.  Jack's pumpkin is coming along well and turning orange now.  I've never grown a pumpkin either.

When I received that text message yesterday morning, from Gracie's mom, not Gracie, to let me know that Gracie and Jack were going to BC, I burst into tears.  It seemed like a huge overreaction until I realized that last September Gracie was fired from her job, flooded our rental house and then took Jack to BC.  It felt like it was happening all over again.  Gracie was evicted from her apartment and her second cat died, then she went to BC.  Once I realized that's where the fear and tears came from, I felt better.  Just knowing why I'm upset usually helps me.

Gracie and Jack are being driven to BC to stay with her sister for two weeks.  The driver is a trusted family friend and Jack's aunt is one of his guardians.  I still think it's rude that Gracie didn't let me know herself but in the word's of her mom, Gracie's had a rough week.

Gracie hasn't worked in a year.  Jack has been in daycare since May so she didn't have to take care of him while she looked for a job.  She never found a job and managed to get evicted from a crappy apartment building that smelled like piss in the hallways.  Gracie doesn't have what it takes to care for herself, not to mention a child.  The big guy and I are going to talk to Gracie's mom, Lori, this week and try to sort something out.  They can't stay with Lori for long because Gracie and Lori don't get along at all.  

The good news is, Gracie didn't trash our house.  Yay.  Jack is safe with his aunt watching over him.  We have free time, even though I miss him so much.  I'm also back off work because my foot is not healing. 

Tonight we'll have supper out at Chianti's which will be lovely and I'll even have a drink.  


Friday, September 2, 2022

My foot still hurts and so I limp through each day; by the end of the day, my back, my knees, my legs and especially my right side ache with tight muscles and improperly used joints.

I'm taking anti-imflammatories again so my stomach hurts.

At work we have a twenty-two year old young woman dying of gastric cancer, her mother both angry and sad beyond words.

Covid continues on it's relentless march and Miss Katie has it again, mild thank goodness.

Gracie has been evicted from her apartment and she and Jack are living with her mother.  That won't go well.

My husband's family is a hot mess and I am sad and angry about it all but it's not my story.

My husband is hurt and sad and angry.

My flowers are dying, as they do every fall.  Trees are turning colour and leaves are dropping.  Summer is over but not the heat.

Jack comes tonight to stay for the weekend.  Tomorrow we will all spend the day with my daughter in law and other grandson at the spray park.  Children will play and laugh, fun will be had, love will be given.

And so it goes.  Life ebbs and flows, some days good, some days relentless.  Right now I have no energy to do much of anything but that will pass.


I just got a text this morning, that was sent yesterday, that Jack and Gracie are heading out to BC this morning to visit Gracie's sister for two weeks so we won't get to see Jack for another two weeks and god help that family if anything happens to Jack in the mean time.  Gracie's sister is one of Jack's guardians but she lied about where she lived so that she could become his guardian so I don't trust her either.

And I'm off work for another month.