Monday, October 31, 2022

It's Halloween here today/tonight.  Jack and I carved one pumpking yesterday and I carved this one this morning.  The big guy said Jack ran into daycare this morning and didn't even say goodbye.  Some kids were already dressed up and the big guy said you could cut the excitement with a knife.  I imagine he'll be bouncing off the walls by the time he goes out to trick or treat.  

The yard is cleaned up and it's supposed to snow tonight, as it so often does on Halloween.  I'm ready.  

Big red turned out to be big orange/red and is so beautiful.  It'll be a beautiful tree as it grows.  We still have five more trees that have to be cut down in the yard, due to disease, but this maple will hopefully get quite large and fill in for all those lost trees.

Two years ago I collected oak acorns and tried to grow oak trees come springtime from those seeds.  I had very poor success.  However, there must have been a squirrel burying acorns in my backyard that same fall.  I have four or five small oaks growing in my garden.  I'll dig them up in the spring give them to a coworker who has an acreage.  He took two of the oaks that I grew from seed and they're doing well.  

Yesterday was lovely and warm and I spent some time outside, tidying up, putting things away, moving leaves onto my garden beds and poop scooping.  The sky was blue and it felt like a gift, so late in October.  I've been trying to spend as much time outside this fall as possible, not sure why, but it feels like every moment spent outside is important this year.  Perhaps I feel like this every fall but this year it feels different somehow.

Doom and gloom still exist in the news, Russia, nuclear weapons, lies, deaths, elections, twitter, etc, etc, etc., but outside the seasons still pass.  The downy woodpeckers show up for the suet every fall.  The chickadees are back to feast on sunflowers seeds.  The trees turn colour and lose their leaves, leaving us a beautiful carpet of colour to walk upon.  The sky is still blue.  The sun and moon still rise and set.  Mother Nature continues on, regardless of how we fuck things up.  Thankfully she is much wiser than we are.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Jack had his soccer lesson again this morning.  He likes being able to run but isn't too interested in the drills because he's three and a half.  It does him good to run though and to learn how to listen to other adults and to take turns while playing.  The soccer coaches are saints because it's like herding cats dealing with eight young kids.

Toilet training is coming along well with stickers and kinder surprise eggs for every five stickers.  There were two poops in the toilet this morning with the requisite poop inspection and a high five.  The trick with Jack has been to leave him naked from the waste down.  He won't pee or poop except in a diaper or the toilet, so take away the diaper and he choses the toilet.  Now we just have to work on underwear:)

There is very little going on.  Halloween is almost here and tonight we're taking Jack to see a haunted house in the neighborhood after supper.  Yesterday we took Jack for his flu shot and he did well.  Cried for maybe ten seconds.  I would like him to get a covid shot but Gracie doesn't want him to.  Lori has gone to Singapore for ten days and when she gets back we're having a guardian meeting to decide what will happen going forward, and also if we should go ahead with a covid shot for Jack.

My daughter in law became homeless last week and has left to stay with her mother in Medicine Hat for a few weeks until she is paid the money she is owed by the government and her employer.  On the upside, my son can't physically harass her while she is so far away, just by phone.  I'm trying to stay out of it but it's hard.

This meme reminded me of Mr. Pudding, thought he might enjoy it and might even try it out.

Gratuitous shot of Heidi relaxing because she makes me happy.  She is such a sweet dog; she and Jack are best of friends.

I'm feeling a little meh.  We spent about an hour and a half with Gracie this morning.  She wanted to watch Jack play soccer and when she arrived he started acting up.  He said he missed her and I'm sure he does but he also checked with poppa, "I go home with you and Nana?".  I invited her to McDonald's with us post soccer and she came for a bit before leaving.  It fills me with dread having to deal with her and I worry about Jack.  I know he loves his mama and that she loves him but it's not enough.  She can't even take care of herself, not to mention a kid.  

I feel torn.  I was a single mum and I know it's hard but I wasn't an alcoholic or a drug addict.  I put myself through nursing school, with my mum and dad's help.  I was thinking about how much they did for me when my son was young and I was in school.  I couldn't have done it without them and I don't think I ever thanked them properly for all that help.  At least the sun is shining today.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

I saw the podiatrist yesterday and I'm now off until at least March 1st at the earlist.  She again said that it just takes a long time to heal.  She also told me that the tear is 4cm long which seems long to me.  

My appointment was in the West End of Edmonton so I stopped and had lunch with a friend.  She has cancer and her husband died last February.  We've known each other since our girls were little and I love her like a sister.  We talked and talked and talked.  It was lovely.  Her mother in law died not long ago and she shipped her son off to rehab in Victoria last week.  She's been through so much and we lean on each other, both of us understanding how fucked up families can be, despite our best efforts.  She also had a new kitten who was so sweet and tiny.  I found her sitting inside my purse, the kitten, not my friend.

I feel like crap today.  My vertigo has returned and everytime I bend my head down even a little, the whole world tilts and spins.  It's nauseating but will pass.

I'm almost done the second quilt I made from the rescued quilt I found at a thrift store.  I learned a lot while I was making it and made more than a few mistakes but as I tell Jack, that's how we learn.  Now I just have to accept that I will always make mistakes.  Jack's not the only one who struggles with making mistakes.

Big red is living up to his/her name and has finally started to turn colour.  He/she has done well this past summer and I think they'll live through the winter just fine, fingers crossed.

Jack is doing well with his potty training, finally.  The stickers and treats have worked well but he's moving past that and is deeply impressed with his ability to pee and poop on the potty.  Yesterday he pooped on the potty and made me and poppa come and look at it.  He was very proud.  Perhaps I need to take more pride in my ability to poop on the toilet as well:)

Monday, October 24, 2022

Fall is over and it's freezing at night now.  The garden is ready for winter but I'm not.  Five months of dark and cold.  I'm still stuck at home with my foot and I'm not looking forward to shorter days that feel even longer because I can't get outside in the garden.  It could be worse but it still sucks.  This is a photo of a mum I planted in August.  They're tough flowers.

Jack is settling in to our home again.  He saw his mom for a few hours, with her sister in attendance, and last night in his bath he kept saying, "Oh fuck."  Not once or twice but repeatedly.  I can't tell him that I kinda feel the same way but I did tell him we don't use that word.  I told him we say fart which didn't even slow him down.  I finally just walked away and let him get out of the tub on his own.  No point in giving him attention for swearing.

Of course we still have no idea what will happen going forward.  Gracie got a job at a daycare that obviously doesn't do very good background checks.  She also found an apartment that from the reviews sounds like there are a lot of cockroaches in the suites and homeless people sleeping in the doorways.  Sounds great.  The guardians will have a meeting in a couple of weeks.  Lori is leaving for Singapore on Friday, so when she comes back we'll meet.

I try not to think about the future but it's always there, in the back of my mind.  

The following is for Mr. Pudding.

I feel a little blue but it will pass.  I think it's just all of the shit with Jack and Gracie.  We had a lovely visit with Miss Katie yesterday which was so nice and we took Jack to Wetaskiwin to visit my father in law.  Jack and my father in law got along like a house on fire which did my heart good.  There are not enough children on wards filled with old people.  People shouldn't be separated by age.  We all need to be together.  Old people have patience, wisdom and time, while children have energy and the need to play.  They're a good mix and bring out the best in each other I think.

I'm putting heavy quilts on the beds today, the highlight of my day:)  I do lead a reckless life.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

We're in the process of cutting down our Mayday tree.  It has black knot fungus which looks like dogshit on a stick.  It's fatal to the tree and is very contagious to other trees of the genus Prunus, like chokecherry trees which we have in our yard as well.

We cut some branches down and then I burn them because they can't go to the garbage dump, the spores are too contagious.  We've been having a few fires which Jack has enjoyed.  He's surprisingly careful around the fire and helps drag the branches to the fire pit and helps me cut them up with loppers.  I have explained to him that the loppers are sharp and must be kept pointed downwards and he's careful with them.  I also keep a close eye on him.

Two nights ago we sat in the backyard, staring at the fire as the sky got dark.  It was lovely.  It also makes me think about the fact that we have developed computers and robots, have travelled to the moon and still humans like to sit around a fire.  We had a few marshmallows and Jack cuddled up in his poppa's arms, enjoying the closeness.  The other day Jack asked his poppa, "You be my dad?".  

He's finally settling in and slept well last night.  A couple of nights ago he was up in the middle of the night, wandering up and down stairs, crying and screaming.  He wanted milk, he didn't want milk.  He was wet but didn't want me to change his diaper.  He was beside himself and kept getting more and more upset.  Finally, I snapped at him, "That's enough!", which upset him even more.  At this point poppa stepped in and settled Jack back in bed.

The next morning I asked him how he was and he said, "You yell at me last night." and then gave me stink eye.  Note to self, keep calm, don't yell.  Last night it was just me and him as my hubby drove to Wetaskiwin to visit his dad who is still in hospital.  Jack and I got along fine and it seems I am forgiven.  We went to the park after supper and when the sun set, we walked home chatting.

The other day when I was driving someplace with him I said, "I could kick myself."  He wanted to know why I would kick myself.  I explained that it meant I was mad at myself.

I've cut my hair short and I had bedhead the other morning.  Jack looked at me and said, "Why your hair look like dat?".  

He is endlessly curious.

Fall has been beautiful this year and everyday I think this will be the last warm day.  Today really will be.  It's forecast to get cold over the next week.  I've been spending as much time in the garden as I can because it's a long winter.

Monday, October 17, 2022

It's been a tough week and I'm exhausted.  Jack is back with us fulltime and his mom is in hospital, having a psych evaluation, we hope.  It's also the anniversary of the suicide of his other grandfather so that side of his family is dealing with that and Gracie's meltdown.

Last night Jack asked the big guy if he could be his dad.  Jack talks about his dad a lot and his dad's house and keeps telling random boys that they're his brother.  Jack doesn't have contact with his dad but he does have a very active imagination.  I don't know what to do really.  Contact with his dad will hurt him more because my son is a sociopath but will he resent us in the future for not letting him know his dad.  And who knows what will happen in the future.

Jack also had a huge meltdown this morning while getting ready for daycare.  There was a lot of screaming and crying while I got him dressed but by the time I got him in his carseat, he had settled down and said, "I better now."  Apparently he was worried he was going someplace new, fortunately, his old daycare was able to take him back so all is familiar and his best friend was there this morning.

I wondered this morning as I was dressing a screaming, crying child, how much of it was due to Gracie and how much of it was due to being a normal three year old.  Jack is difficult and he has learned if he's difficult enough, people will back off and let him do as he pleases, not his Nana though.  It's so hard for me to stay patient, but I do, or I walk away and take a breath.  It breaks my heart though as he tries to exert some control over his life and the grownups do as they please, or so it must seem to him.

I'm angry at Gracie again.  And my son.  They had no business bringing a child into this world.  A part of me resents having to start parenting again at this age but I would not let a child go unloved or uncared for.  It's not Jack's fault that he was brought into this world, or that his parents are completely unable to care for him.  

Weekends are the hardest because we have Jack and Katie on Sundays, both require huge amounts of energy and attention.  Lately Katie has been having a hard time too;  she's starting to hurt herself again and has had an open cut on her forehead for weeks now because she keeps banging her head on the corner of the wall.  I noticed yesterday that she has a sore on her wrist too and that comes from banging her hand against her teeth.  Of course she can't tell me what's bothering her but something is.  All behavior is communication I've learned.

It's early days.  Jack will settle into a routine again, as will we.  Katie will get sorted; she has a psychiatrist appointment tomorrow so I'll bring up her behavioral changes.  

On the plus side, I'm having lunch with a friend this week and I ran into another friend I used to work with, from Victoria, yesterday at Southgate Mall.  We hadn't seen each other in a year and ran into each other in the bathroom.  Small world indeed.


Tuesday, October 11, 2022


What If

Elizabeth had a blog post this morning which made me think about the things that didn't happen because of Katie's disability and how they have affected our family.  It made me think about the unexpressed grief that comes with a disability too.

What if Katie was normal?  What if she could talk?  What if she could call her sister and they could share their day?  What if she could call me and just chat?  What if she had a boyfriend?  What if she got engaged?  What if she had a baby?  What if she had a job that she loves?  What if she got a dog?  What if she could go to the off leash with her dog and a cup of coffee?  What if she could be screened for cancer?  What if she could drive?  What if she could could make art? 

What if she didn't have to stare at people, desparate to make a connection?  What if she could tell us what's upset her so much that she bangs her head against the corner of the wall until it bleeds?  What if she could just talk?  What if she could work?  What if she could play a sport or a musical instrument?  What if she could read a book?  What if she could write her story?

What if I didn't worry about her living longer than me?  What if I wasn't her voice, her advocate?  What if she could tell us when she has a headache, or cramps? What if she wasn't born here?  I worry about that one a lot, about the disabled children born in other countries, to families that can't care for them.  

With each of those questions, there is grief attached.  A grief that is never talked about, never shared, just buried, but it exists.  It's the grief that all parents have for their disabled child I think, all of those what ifs, and we carry that grief with us everyday.  It gets better, lighter, more manageable, but something happens, another daughter gets engaged for instance, and the grief surfaces.  

Despite all that, I am thankful Katie was born into our family.  It's never been easy caring for her but that girl gives the best hugs and she has the best laugh.  She lives in my heart, still a little girl who needs her mama to watch over her, in a way that my other two children no longer need me.  She is my hard gift.

Monday, October 10, 2022

It's Thanksgiving today.  

Things I'm thankful for today.

My yard which brings me so much enjoyment.



Birds at the bird feeders.

Beautiful fall weather.

We had two dead trees removed this week from between our house and the neighbor's and it went well.

We have lots of firewood.

Jack is safe.

We signed Jack up for indoor soccer.

Jack's other family is supporting us.  That fear has been eased.

The smell of turkey cooking.

A friend coming over for supper.

My daughter and her boyfriend got engaged last week!  He's a good man, gentle and patient.

A very good night's sleep last night.

My hubby, thank you Treaders.

Hopeful I will find a daycare for Jack this week.

What are you thankful for today?

Friday, October 7, 2022

It was a year ago that Gracie assaulted Jack and he was taken into foster care.  Gracie showed up last night and dropped Jack off.  She never does that; she was high, didn't know what day it was and was out of it.  We told her that it was fine, Jack could stay.  I let her mom know what was going on.

Jack had diarrhea in the night and all day so we didn't send him to daycare.  Whatever rattled through him last weekend, isn't finished with him yet.  This morning I put him to work prepping for Thanksgiving dinner on Monday.  He loves to help me cook and I surprise myself at how patient I am with him.

We talked to Lori, Gracie's mom, tonight and she agrees with us that Jack is not safe at this point with his mother.  He will come back to live with us fulltime for now.  It's been a horrible year for all of us, next weekend is the first anniversary of her husband's death.  

I'm exhausted but can't sleep, trying to figure out how things will work. 

Life shouldn't be so hard for little people. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

We saw our other grandson, Charlie, last Thursday.  We took him out for a couple of hours, the first time we'd ever been alone with him.  He's a sweet little guy.  You can tell he hasn't gotten a lot of attention in his short life.  I imagine the big guy will rectify that.  He's a wizard with children.

Friday was a stat holiday, Truth and Reconciliation Day, here in Canada.  September 30th was the day the children were taken from their reserves.  We took Jack down to Broadmoor Park and joined the crowds of people learning about Indigenous culture.  Jack had a great time at the park and played hard.  At some point, I realized that September 30th was the day when the children were taken and what that must have meant to a community.  Can you imagine having all of the children disappear from your community?  What that would do to your community? Can you imagine all of the children in this photo taken one day?  Can you imagine the pain of the parents and the grandparents?

Jack must have picked up a bug at the celebrations or at the park because he started vomiting at 4am Saturday morning and he kept on vomiting all day.  It's heartbreaking watching a little one sick.  They don't understand nausea and vomiting or what you have to do to deal with it.  I did manage to get some gravol into him a few times but it didn't seem to have much affect.  We just sat with him for most of the day and did a lot of laundry. 

He finally fell asleep about 5pm, exhausted.  He woke up briefly, vomited again and then was able to sleep through the night and felt better on Sunday.  We took him over to his other grandma's on Sunday afternoon and left him there.  Apparently, he vomited one more time on Sunday night but is on the mend now.

Monday morning I woke up with nausea and diarrhea.  I felt like absolute shit all day yesterday and even ended up laying on the floor at one point.  I hate being sick.  I know I just have to wait it out but when my whole body aches and any movement makes me nauseous, I hate it.  I never did end up vomiting, thankfully, just a whole lot of diarrhea and terrible hearburn.  I often wonder how people managed being sick a thousand years ago, without medicine and without an understanding of what caused the illness.

This morning I was able to eat breakfast and went back to bed and slept until 11am.  I feel like a human again, hurray.

I make a terrible patient.