Monday, November 28, 2022

Last week I made these Christmas cookies.  Every year I like to try one new recipe for Christmas and this year it was these pinwheel cookies.  I'd never made pinwheel cookies and to be honest, I always thought they were too complicated/hard to make.  Turns out I was wrong, as I am about so many things:)

On Saturday, Jack was the child from hell.  He was tired and cranky all day, yelling, throwing himself around, trying to hit the dogs, and just being a jerk.  I took him to the park Saturday morning and then we went to McDonald's for an hour and a half.  McDonald's has a play park inside where he played with other kids hard for the whole time.  I thought for sure he would sleep but no, just miserable.  When he finally fell asleep at 7pm, my husband and I just breathed a huge sigh of relief and both agreed that Gracie would not be able to cope with jerk Jack.

Yesterday we picked up Miss Katie and took her out with Jack.  We saw Santa at the mall.  He's such a kind man and comes out and gives Katie a big hug.  To say Katie loves Santa is such a huge understatement.  After lunch, which Jack wouldn't eat, he and my husband went to the play place that they have at the mall right now for Christmas; it's filled with huge lego pieces that the kids can make things with.  Katie and I went shopping and left them to it.

On the way home from dropping Katie off at her home, Jack fell asleep and finally had a good two hour nap.  It was heaven.  My husband drove to Camrose to visit his dad and I darned socks, because that's how I roll.  When Jack woke up he asked why I had a rainbow on my socks.

I watched some videos on how to darn socks because I buy expensive wool socks to keep my feet warm in winter and I'm not going to just throw them out.  The varigated wool was left over from an afghan I made.  The colours make me happy when I look at my toes.

Last night after his bath, Jack decided he was a dog.  I told him what a good boy he was and he was the sweetest little puppy dog; there was no yelling or throwing of anything.  Again, heaven.  He had a good night's sleep and was happy again this morning.  

Some funny, because we all need more funny.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Our cat is not impressed with the mild weather, or rather, she likes the mild weather but not the wet on her bottom.  She wants to be outside though, even if it means sitting on the window ledge outside.  Who am I to argue?

We had a meeting this past week with Jack's other two guardians.  We have decided to keep things as they are for now until after Christmas at least, probably until March.  We talked about Gracie's mental illness and I said that I doubt she will ever be able to raise Jack.  I asked Jack's aunt if she was willing to raise him.  She seemed shocked and unwilling.  She's a young woman, in a stable relationship but they don't really want children now.  

Jack's other grandma, only wants to be his grandma, not raise him.  I guess we'll see what plays out.  We did all agree that Jack comes first, not his mama.  We haven't heard from Gracie in a week.  Jack was sick last week but he's mostly back to normal, still kind of tired and a little cranky though. 

This morning I took him to the dog park with Heidi to run some energy off.  We found an old snowman which he quite liked, then he ate a lot of snow.  I kept telling him that it was dirty with dog pee and dog poop but he was not put off by that.  You can only do so much.

I had a bad week, feeling down and wobbly.  I finally realized what was really bothering me.  There's a good chance we'll end up raising Jack which will take me to seventy-five, or most of the rest of my life.  I'm okay with that, slightly resentful, not with Jack but with his useless parents.  However, what really worries me is what if Jack ends up like his dad, despite everything.  And if that happens, does that mean the problem is me?  My husband assures no but that thought lies there in my mind.

I take on far too much responsibility for everything and everyone.  If someone is mad, it must be because of something I've done or said.  I have very poorly defined boundaries, despite all the work I've done.  Actually, my boundaries are much better than they used to be but still need work.  I feel guilt for so much that it is out of my control.  It's a wonder I keep going sometimes.

And because we all need more funny in life.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

 How to make cookies.

Look at the recipe and realize that all your butter is frozen.

Go out to the mudroom and take a couple of pounds of butter out of the freezer.

Put frozen butter on counter and then realize it will take way too long to warm up.

Put one pound of butter in microwave to defrost.

Let the dog out.

Keep checking the butter in the microwave because you don't want it melted.

Let the dog back in.

Ready to chop up the nuts.  

Realize the nut container is almost empty.

Drag the chair over to the cupboard to check for more nuts at top of cupboard.

No nuts in baking cupboard.  

Get off chair, open pantry door and slide chair into pantry, check for nuts.

Nuts found at back of pantry, top shelf.

Chop up two cups of nuts.

Let the cat outside.

Start to chop up the glace cherries.

Grandchild finally notices what you're doing and asks, what dat?

Tell grandchild to please let the cat in.

Butter still not ready.

Assemble the rest of the ingredients.

Grandchild definitely now interested, insists he help with measuring of cocoa.

Let other dog out.

Start to cream butter.

Grandchild wants to hold mixer, pulls chair over to help.

Tell grandchild he has to wash his hands first.

Take grandchild to bathroom, turn on taps and give him soap.  Turn off taps.

Grandchild calls in about three minutes to say he is done.

Turn taps back on and rinse soap off of grandchild's hands and dry them.

Grandchild up on chair and then counter.

Grandchild is being toilet trained so has no diaper on, sits on counter with bare bum.

Grandchild turns mixer up to highest speed.

Butter sprays across kitchen.

Dog now in kitchen, licking up butter.

Add sugar to creamed butter and beat together.

More butter and sugar spray.

More dog licking.

Wooden spoon has migrated to spot on counter that had contact with bare bum.

Wooden spoon moved to sink and new wooden spoon located and placed away from bare bum contact.

Grandchild wants to lick beaters.

Explain that it's only butter and sugar.  

This does not deter grandchild.

Let dog outside.

Dry ingredients added to butter and sugar mixture.

Grandchild wants to mix the dough but is not able to, I not strong enough?

Grandchild continues to lick beaters.

Beat together all ingredients by hand with clean wooden spoon that has not been near the bare bum.

Transfer all ingredients to a larger bowl because you made a double recipe and don't have room to properly mix ingredients.

Cover bowl with saran wrap and place in fridge.

Clean grandchild's hands and face. 

Let dog back inside.

Clean up butter and sugar spray that dogs have missed.

At this point you will be too tired to continue on with making the cookies.

Leave in fridge until you have the energy to roll the cookies and bake them.

Place in freezer for Christmas.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Thank you to Vivian Swift for the beautiful portrait of Lucy.  I need to get a frame for it and then will hang it where I can see it often.  Lucy continues on, although her coughing and breathing continue to worsen.  She'll go to the vet next month for shots and I guess we'll see what the vet thinks of her condition.  It's horrible watching pets decline.

Jack is home sick with me today.  He came back from grandma's last night and was feeling cold.  This morning he woke up with a fever and explained to me that boogers get bigger in your nose when you're sick.  Good to know.  He spent most of Saturday with Gracie and came back with a diaper rash.  When I asked him about it he said, "My momma too busy to clean me.", but he also talks about when he was a dad when he was six and he took his kids to play video games.  

We took a bunch of stuff down to Camrose for my father in law yesterday.  His room looks cozy now and he liked the things we brought for him.  He also has a clock in his room now and I need to get him a calendar.  It saddens me that his wife won't bring any of his things from home for him.  My father in law seems to think that his wife has divorced him, without telling him, because he's living in Camrose and she's living in Wetaskiwin.  He was better than last weekend, more like his old self, although still suspicious of his wife's motives.  We had a nice visit. 

As for me, sometimes it feels like one day bleeds into another.  I am in limbo, waiting for my foot to get better, waiting to see what happens with Jack and Gracie, just waiting.  I remember this feeling when my children were babies, waiting for something.  

The weather is beautiful right now, sunny and warm, warm for here.  I took Heidi for a short walk, on Saturday, at the dog park to see how my foot would do, it hurt, but I got to enjoy the trees again.  I have a huge craving to go for a really long walk, maybe next summer when my foot is all better, I hope.  I miss life, even though this is life right now, it's not my old life.  Perhaps this is grief.  I know my foot will eventually heal, but it gets me down.  I miss my friends at work and I miss my patients.

Friday, November 18, 2022

I've finished patching the quilt and I'm proud of how it turned out.  We're going to visit my father in law tomorrow and take all the stuff down to him for his room.  I also bought a bedside table and refinished it for him.

Before and after.

Jack is with his other grandma for three nights which gives us a break.  We're all on the same page with regards to Jack and Gracie and that helps.

I read this on a blog today and loved it so I'm sharing it here.

“The winter solstice time is no longer celebrated as it once was, with the understanding that this is a period of descent and rest, of going within our homes, within ourselves and taking in all that we have been through, all that has passed in this full year which is coming to a close… like nature and the animal kingdom around us, this time of hibernation is so necessary for our tired limbs, our burdened minds.

Our modern culture teaches avoidance at a max at this time; alcohol, lights, shopping, overworking, over spending, comfort food and consumerism.

…and yet the natural tug to go inwards as nearly all creatures are doing is strong and the weather so bitter that people are left feeling that winter is hard, because for those of us without burning fires and big festive families, it can be lonely and isolating. Whereas in actual fact winter is kind, she points us in her quiet soft way towards our inner self, towards this annual time of peace and reflection, embracing the darkness and forgiving, accepting and loving, embracing goodbye the past year.

Winter takes away the distractions, the buzz, and presents us with the perfect time to rest and withdraw into a womb like love, bringing fire & light to our hearth.

.. and then, just around the corner the new year will begin again, and like a seed planted deep in the earth, we will all rise with renewed energy once again to dance in the sunlight.”

–Brigit Anna McNeill


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

I found this quilt today at Salvation Army for $15 yesterday.  It's in pretty good shape except for four or five patches.  I'm going to restore it for my father in law.  It will add colour to his mostly bare room.

I wrote an earlier post about my in laws and someone left a comment that made me think about my mother in law in a slightly different light, so I deleted the post, mostly because I was pretty angry when I wrote it.  I know how my mother in law treated my husband and his brother in the past but I don't know her state of mind now, so I will refrain.

I spent most of today working on the quilt and dealing with the plumber.  Our outdoor tap broke and the water has been running for a few days.  I thought the noise I heard was the air cleaner in that corner, but no, it was water running.  Thankfully the tap is fixed now.

I watched videos last night about how to patch quilts and tried my hand at it today, patch as opposed to taking the whole thing apart and starting over.

This is the before.

This is the after.  It's not perfect but I'm learning and the quilt looks lovely.  It's all stitched by hand too, not my favorite.

In the news, two Russian rockets landed in Poland, killing two.  Poland is a member of NATO and Article 5 binds all NATO nations together.  An attack on one, is an attack on all of them.  So now what?  I feel sick with apprehension and my own problems dwarf in comparison.  

God help us all.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Not much going on.  The cat thinks I'm an asshole because I have arbitrarily changed her supper time, thanks to the time change.  She judges me.

This weekend has been long so far.  Yesterday was Remembrance Day, so no daycare.  We took Jack to West Edmonton Mall so he could run indoors; it was so packed with people, it was awful.  I don't do well with noise and crowds and Jack didn't have a nap.  It was a brutally long day with him, stuck indoors (it's cold here).  We made cookies (brown butter chocolate chip) at one point because he likes to bake with me.  He was bored and cranky off and on, so were nana and poppa.  I was thankful to see him go to bed and even more thankful to crawl into my own bed at 8:30pm.

Today is a new day.  We're going to the library and then Jack has soccer, followed by McDonald's and the playplace there.  It's been exciting here already this morning with a poop in the potty.  Try not to be jealous.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

It's bloody cold right now, -20C and the house feels cold, even with the heat on.  Jack is well and back to daycare but the big guy was sick last night.  He's feeling better this morning thankfully and is driving to Wetaskiwin to be with his dad, as his dad is being moved into long term care in Camose; a town which is a thirty minute drive from Wetaskiwin.  My mother in law can't drive on the highway anymore and shouldn't be driving in town either but that's a whole other thing, so they won't be able to see much of each other, and this is our government's solution to the problem of old people who require care, move them wherever.  

The same thing happened with my dad twenty-two years ago.  He was told he would be moved to a care centre forty minutes away, with a wife who couldn't drive.  The next day he got pneumonia and died five days later.  He was having none of it.  My mother did the same.  My siblings told mum she should go into long term care and four days later she had a massive stroke and died on the sixth day.  We are a stubborn family.  

Yesterday was a bit of a bust.  I always feel better when I "do" something.  I started painting the ceiling, a popcorn ceiling, because I wanted a long term project, and it didn't go well.  Now I have a couple of small bare patches and I need a new plan to deal with ceiling.  I painted the downstairs popcorn ceiling without problems and thought this would be the same, but it's not.  That was deflating.

I tidied up my sewing room, threw out some garbage and decided to start work on Miss Katie's quilt again, that had been stalled because of caring for Jack and me deciding I wasn't sure about the blue and orange patches.  I did some research online and decided on this configuration for the quilt that I'm happy with.  It will look something like this.

I also found this quilt which I would love to try one day.  It looks like the kind of quilt that would keep a kid occupied for hours, it would have kept me occupied anyway, looking at all the different colours and pieces of fabric.

So that's it.  Nothing exciting.  I'll get on my bike later and get my heart rate up, listen to CBC radio and work on the quilt.  Hopefully the big guy will bring Chinese food home from the restuarant on highway 21.  I lead a full life:)


Monday, November 7, 2022

An old photo taken in Jasper National Park, near the Moberly homestead.

Last week Gracie started up again.  She started texting me by saying that it was time Jack came home with her.  She had a job (for eight days), she had an apartment, (for three days), and she was sober, (for three weeks).  When I said no, we were waiting for her mom to come home and the guardians were going to have a meeting to talk about what was best for Jack, she became abusive.  She was going to call the police (that was repeated a lot).  She accused me of kidnapping Jack (again, lots of repetition on that one), told me what a terrible mother I was (that's why my son was such an asshole) and then she said I had looked at her medical records (I did not and would not).  She told me she would make sure I lost my nursing license which upset me the most I think, that and the police.  I tried to be reasonalbe with her but that didn't work at all.  It went on for awhile and I finally blocked her. 

Needless to say it upset me a lot.  Kate from Stubblejumpers Cafe talked me off the ledge, thank you so much, and I talked to a friend nearby.  When I'm being attacked like that, it feels like a physical assault.  My son used to do the same thing which is why we no longer have contact.  I am one of those people who often feels like they are at fault and have done something wrong, even if I haven't.  

I let her mom and sister know what was going on, two of Jack's guardians.  Yesterday Jack went to visit his aunt and uncles, to give us a break and to let us have a visit with Katie where she would be the centre of attention.  The aunt told Gracie that Jack was coming over but never heard back from Gracie, nor have we.  Not once during this time did Gracie ask how Jack was.  And so it goes.

This morning Jack was up at 4am, thanks time change.  Before it was time to go to daycare, he started vomiting so the poor guy is doped up with gravol, laying on the couch.  He's also got diarrhea.  Yay.

Otherwise life is the same.  It's cold.  It's snowing.  I'm trapped inside with a sick child.  It's my thirties all over again:)

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

 Well, it snowed, is snowing still.  It's official, winter is here.  

The parts of winter that I don't like.

So many clothes, jackets, boots, mitts, hats.

The cold.

The feeling of being stuck inside.

Driving in the snow.

Going anywhere in the snow, it just takes longer.

Putting mittens on small hands.

It's so long.

The parts of winter that I do like.

It's beautiful.

The snow makes everything quieter.

I feel like baking and cooking more often.

I sleep better in the dark.

I think winter just makes everything harder and everything takes longer.  I need to make an effort to get outside more this winter.  It will be easier with Jack, he's big enough to manage in the snow by himself now.

Today though, I feel blue.  I'll clean the floors and get on my stationary bike for a long ride.  Other than that, what to do?  

Katie's agency contacted us with concerns about her banging her head.  She's been so good for so long and now it's starting up again, but we don't know why.  That upsets me.  I feel stretched thin between her and Jack.  Her father rarely visits these days; it feels like he's just left it to me, except she has two parents.

Maybe I just need a good cry.