Saturday, December 31, 2022

I've spent the last two days here with a three and a half year old and about a million other little kids.  Jack had so much fun.  There was also hockey, badminton, bowling, a giant connect 4 game, giant building blocks and another indoor playground.

Last night he slept for twelve solid hours and I expected him to complain about sore muscles today, but he didn't.

I tried the slide on the right and the obstacle course on the left.  Part of the obstacle course included a climbing wall which I may have slid down on the first try.  Jack also had the same problem but we both persevered and we both made it over the top.


Jack and I went by ourselves yesterday but today Poppa was off work and he came with us.  To say Jack had fun is such a gross understatement.  It's like saying that trump and George Santos fib.

Hugs were given and recieved.  One cute little girl in the playground, about two years old, looked at me and told me that I was a "Dummy grandma".  WTF!  I still don't get people, not even little people apparently.

Tonight we're making pizza and watching a movie, because we like to live on the edge.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

It snowed for much of yesterday and a little more today.  I took Heidi out for a walk behind our house, on the paths.  It was good to feel the cold on my face and breathe in the fresh air.  My plantar fascia tear has healed I think; it doesn't hurt anymore and I'm not limping.  However, my big toe on my left foot is now unhappy because it's being used again.  When I was limping, I didn't push off with my toes when I walked, as we all do, now I have to do that again.  The arthritis in that toe joint is acting up (yes, it makes me feel old to have arthritis in my toes) but hopefully with use it will settle down.  If not, back to the podiatrist.

As I was talking on the phone this morning, I saw a falcon sitting on a spruce.  Before too long, three magpies showed up and chased it away.  Even if you're a falcon, three against one isn't good odds.

Jack has been with his grandma since Christmas day, so we've had a bit of a break.  As always, I miss him when he's not here but enjoy the time my hubby and I have to ourselves.  We had lunch out yesterday as we drove home from Wetaskiwin;  we also watched the last two episodes of Jack Ryan last night.  I quite enjoyed it, but it makes me stressed at times so I have to get up wander around.  My husband's used to this now, me wandering about.  

Nothing much going on here.  I took Heidi for a walk after lunch and put away the Christmas tree and all the decorations which always feels good.  

My middle daughter gave me a workbook by Rupi Kaur, a young Canadian poet, "Healing Through Words".  It's pretty hard core.  The very first chapter is about Hurting and trauma.  Of course I balled my eyes out as I wrote but as always, I find writing and crying quite cathartic.  What did surprise me was how much of an impact my brother in law's drinking had on my life.  I was twelve when he moved out to Alberta to live with my sister again.  I babysat while my sister worked and when he was too drunk to take care of his own children;  my parents were okay with this.  One night I had to listen to him talking on the telephone (long distance when long distance was really expensive in the '70's) to his family back East for three hours.  He kept talking about killing himself.  When I told my sister this, she got mad at me for not stopping him.  He was twice my size and drunk and I was a kid.  So I guess that stayed with me.

I will slowly work away at the book.  It's interesting and it's good to have a writing challenge.

And yay, Christmas is over.  


Thursday, December 22, 2022

 Things I'm Thankful For Today

Warm clothes

Christmas baking

Paid sick time

My foot is healing

Antibiotics for my pink eye

My hubby who takes care of all the electronics in our home

Jack had loads of fun with his grandma last night

My son is sober, out of jail and working for three months

Central heating

The days are getting longer

It's warming up today, relatively speaking


My washer and dryer

Earl Grey tea

Homemade hot chocolate


What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

 Little Known Facts About Living In A Cold Climate

Cool = above 0C

A little cold =  -5C to 0C

Cold = -6C to -15C

Very cold = -16C to -25C

Cold AF = -26C to -40C

Why Do I Live Here Cold = less than -40C

Fun fact, -40C is also -40F

The inside of the dryer is cold AF when not in use.

The cat will continue to ask to go outside, even when she doesn't want to go out in the cold. 

The car still needs to be plugged in, even in the garage, plugged into a blog heater, when it gets really cold.  

If you leave a bottle of wine in your car, in the garage, it can freeze solid.

Going out for supper/movies/any kind of entertainment/visiting friends, becomes much less enjoyable when you know you have to get in a freezing cold car to drive home in the dark.

You can use the back deck as a fridge/freezer.

Your nose hairs will stick together when you breathe in through your nose.

The ticket machines for parkades need jackets, otherwise they get too cold and won't work, which is something they discovered at my hospital, after the machines were installed one summer.

It takes longer to fill your gas tank, the colder it gets.

Buses will stop for anyone, anywhere when it gets really cold.

The garage door won't open sometimes, without an assist.

The car never really warms up, not even after an hour of driving.

There is an extreme cold advisory today.  Yay.

I think 10C would be more accurate for both Canada and Australia.  I wouldn't let my kids wear shorts until it was 10C.

Monday, December 19, 2022

We had our family dinner last night, or should I say, my girlfriend came over for supper.  My daughter in law canceled an hour and a half before supper; the same supper I spent a couple of days cooking for.  She said she was tired and stressed, which I can understand, but then went on to say that she was in the middle of a spiritual journey, that she was an empath and a psyhic and was entering the hermit stage of her journey.  Anyway, she got her two hundred dollars as a gift from me and then canceled.  Lesson learned, again.  She's canceled three times on me now and keeps asking me for money.  I've given her the benefit of that doubt but I'm not doing that again.

I had also invited a girlfriend and she came; we had a nice visit.  She also went home with a lot of leftovers which worked well for everyone.  She doesn't have to cook this week and I we won't have to eat turkey for weeks on end.

Strangely, I wasn't surprised or even angry about my daughter in law canceling.  The whole empath/psychic was a surprising turn of events but whatever.  I hardly know the woman and perhaps she's been like this her whole life.  I tried.  I'm done.

Katie came over for lunch because the malls are too busy right now to take her there.  She has a hard time with noise.  She ate well and went home.  We did have a video chat with her sister which was nice.  

Jack was up and down yesterday.  Cranky at times and then sweet.  More than once he told me that he longer loved me, usually when I was doing something he didn't like.  I told him that I understood.  He also learned a new word yesterday, discombobulated which he liked.  It was in a book he got from McDonald's of all places.  He even knows what it means.

Do you ever wonder who you really are?  I do.  I've been a caregiver for many, many years, since my son was born I guess, almost forty years.  I'm stubborn and funny.  I'm impatient and patient, both, which always surprises me.  I hate disappointing people which makes me a people pleaser I guess.  I often find people overwhelming and confusing to deal with.  I am easily bored and hate putting in the time to become skilled at something.  But when I look back over my life, I have put in the time and have become skilled at some things.  So do I not see myself clearly?  Or am I both?  Why not?  Or do I just expect too much of myself and then feel disappointed in myself?

My siblings are not fond of me.  I'm too much for them.  I'm not fond of my siblings either if I'm truthful.  One sister is a relgious woman with a healthy dose of self righteousness that rubs me the wrong way.  My other sister has a brain injury and is devoted to her twin sister to the exclusion of all others.  And my brother has walls up around him that keep everybody out; he is my father all over again.  If I'm truthful, I have walls up around me too.  The only boundaries in my family were walls. 

It's Christmas time.  I wish I had a family that cared about me, that I also cared about.  A family of kind, compassionate people who helped one another.  The kind of family I have built with friends, so I guess I do have a family that cares about me but I'm too oblivious at times to see that.  

Does age bring any wisdom?  I hope so. Fingers crossed. 

Friday, December 16, 2022

I'm busy this morning in the kitchen, prepping Christmas dinner which we're having this Sunday instead of next Sunday.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw a big bird arrive at one of the bird feeders.  I looked up and spotted this Northern Flicker.  The photo is not great but the bird was so beautiful.

I hate cooking all day when we're having a big meal and people over, so I cook my turkey ahead of time and it makes my life so much easier.  The gravy is made too, as well as the mashed potatoes, and the dessert.  I follow Ina Garten's recipe for make ahead turkey.

I finished sewing the topping of the quilt I'm making for myself.  I started to quilt it together but I'm not sure I like it.  I may take the stitching out and start over with a different pattern.  You can see the quilt stitching in the top left hand corner.  I love the colours of this quilt though and I used up a lot of scraps.

My hubby and I have decided to reapply for day to day parenting of Jack for the next year.  One of the big problems for Gracie last time we went to court was the fact that we had applied for day to day parenting and it would last until he turned eighteen.  I didn't know that at the time, the judge explained it to us.  She didn't want that so perhaps a year will be more palatable to her.  I doubt it but, whatever.

Jack went to his grandma's on Sunday and stayed until Wednesday afternoon, when his aunt dropped him off back at our place.  He was exhausted and owly.  He had gone to Gracie's daycare, where she works because he can't stay overnight at her place yet.  When I put him in the tub he complained of a sore bum.  I gave him a quick bath, because he was so cranky, so I didn't get a good look at his bum.  When I went to put a diaper on him for bed, he had a bad diaper rash, again.  When I cleaned his bum and applied cream he screamed and cried.  This child has sensitive skin, but it's fine when things are dealt with in a timely manner.

I texted the other grandma and let her know.  There were a few fucks in that text message.  She said that his bum was a little sore in the morning because he'd had some diarrhea but they'd put cream on his bum and he was fine when he went to daycare.  I believe her.  It was Gracie's literal job to clean his bum and take care of him and she didn't, or someone else didn't.  Gracie's mom is so angry and frustrated with her daughter, as are most people who have to deal with Gracie.

I understand that she loves Jack and I know that he loves her but love is not enough.  She can't care for herself, let alone another human being.  I would never stop him from seeing her, but she can't care for him and nobody else wants to.  I go back to work March 1st so I want some kind of plan going forward with regards to daycare and where Jack will be staying most of the time.  

I told someone else this morning that I often feel conflicted about doing this, and I worry about it a lot.  What if he resents us when he grows up because we didn't let his mom and dad raise him?  What if she hurts him if we don't step in?  What will happen with my son going forward?  He's out of jail and has a job now but he's still a dick.  So many what ifs that I have no control over. Do our best right now I guess.  Nobody knows, especially me, what will happen in the future.

Monday, December 12, 2022

It remains cold here but the cold doesn't seem to bother Heidi much.  She likes to sit outside and roll in the snow.  Lucy on the other hand can't manage more than a minute or two once it get's below -10C.  She starts hopping from foot to foot, unwilling to put her feet down.  More than once I've had to put on shoes and go rescue her, especially once it hits -20C and lower.  The cat sits on the heat register on days like this, curled up in a ball, sleeping.

I'm working on another quilt already.  This one will be for my lap and I'll quilt it myself on my sewing machine because it will be much smaller than Katie's quilt.  This info is for Steve, longarming is the process by which a longarm sewing machine is used to sew together a quilt top, quilt batting and quilt backing into a finished quilt.  Katie's quilt was very large, 100" by 100" and there was no way I could quilt it on my machine at home.

It's really hard for me to just let go and stick fabrics together but I'm trying to let go, with some success.  This quilt will use up a lot of scrap fabric that's lying around.

I'm feeling really down this morning.  The drama with my mother in law continues.  I hate being in conflict with someone and I realized this morning that my mother in law doesn't actually like me;  I thought she did.  It's funny how patterns form.  The first time doesn't seem like much, the second time, a coincidence maybe, the third time a pattern starts to form.

When my father in law was still in hospital I bought him some Keurig cups for his room because he loves coffe and I thought it would be nice for him.  My mother in law got rid of all of them, gave them to the staff.  I don't have a problem with the nursing staff having the coffee but I bought them for my father in law, and she didn't even ask. I bought more coffee and she took it home for herself.  One day my father in law was upset (he has moderate dementia) because he had no money.  I gave him twenty bucks and it made him so happy to have some money in his pocket.  My mother in law took it away from him and did not return the money to me.

When he was moved to continuing care and she refused to bring in anything to make his room cozy, I brought in stuff from our home and bought a few things for him.  When they moved my father in law back to Wetaskiwin last week, a bunch of stuff was missing so we went and talked to her.  She told me that my father in law had thrown out the plant I gave him, which is fine.  The staff saved the pot (which was a beautiful pot of mine) and my mother in law told the staff to keep it, and yes she knew it was mine because I told her.

She had removed some models that my husband had made for his father and a couple of pieces of Delft blue pottery that I had brought in for him because they had windmills on them.  My mother in law said he would break them and couldn't have them.  Finally, after arguing with us, she gave us back the things she had taken out of his room.

We hung up more family photos in my father in law's room, old family photos from when he was a child.  I hung up a couple of landscape photos of mine.  When we were there, my father in law was happy and enjoyed having the photos hung up.  

The next day, my sister in law (she lives in BC and hasn't been here in awhile), texted my husband to let him know that my father in law was agitated because of the things we had hung up in his room.  I think what she meant to say is that my mother in law is agitated because she wants to control everything.  

My husband is hurt and angry, so is his brother.  Their mother has spent a lifetime of hurting them in a thousand small ways; now she is hurting a confused, vulnerable, old man who spent a lifetime working hard so that she could shop, and I think that has brought everything to a head for them.

I can feel the pain my husband is feeling and then this morning I realized that my mother in law doesn't like me.  It was kind of a wow, what the fuck have I ever done to you?  The answer to that would be, I was being myself.  I don't like to see vulnerable people hurt.  When my father in law was healthy and not confused, he could fight his own battles, and he did, but now he can't.  

I'll still continue to visit my father in law.  He's a sweet, funny old man with the mouth of a sailor, which I love.  He still has his sense of humour.  I won't be visiting my mother in law again.  I realize now how toxic she is and I don't need that in my life.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Katie's quilt came back from the quilter and it turned out beautifully; all that remains is putting on the binding.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

These two guys aren't feeling well so they both stayed home today.  Jack has been cranky and just plain miserable.  He's had an earache since Friday night.  The big guy has sinus issues.  Jack won't take acetaminophen orally so this morning I went to Walmart and bought the last box of acetaminophen suppositories for children.  He was deeply unimpressed with me when I put it in his bum but it worked and the pain went away.  Right now they are both napping and it's heaven!  Nobody is talking or asking questions and they will both feel better when they wake up, bonus.

That was then, this is now.  We ended up having to take Jack to a walk in clinic on Monday night because his fever and earache weren't going away.  The NP started him on antibiotics and the big guy figured out how to get him to take tylenol orally, with a yogurt drink that has lots of flavor to mask the tylenol.  He's taking the antibiotics, once a day, just fine thankfully and is back to daycare this morning.  He stayed home with me yesterday and although his ear was still sore, he was obviously doing much better.

Gracie did not ask once how Jack was doing or about his sypmtoms.  She was supposed to call him Monday night but didn't bother, even knowing that we had been to the walk in clinic, because she had to talk to someone about a cat, because priorities ya know.  I let her mom know and finally yesterday morning, Gracie asked how Jack was and then went off on a tangent about my son calling her and how that was all my fault because he's my son.  I told her it was her problem.  Gracie also went off on her mom and she's no longer welcome at her mom's house either.  She seems to be unraveling again.

What did surprise me is that Gracie's mom thinks we should do something more permanent to ensure that Jack can stay with us.  I agreed with her but not sure how to proceed, maybe go back to court to petition for day to day parenting again.  Gracie's family has a much better understanding now of how unstable Gracie is.  Last year they were dealing with the suicide death of Jack's grandpa and so lost in grief (rightfully so) that they couldn't see clearly.  Gracie refuses to deal with her mental health issues; the problem is everyone else.  

I've been working on my Christmas baking.  I always send some out to my daughter and her fiance in Vancouver.  It was also her birthday on Monday and I talked to her for awhile yesterday.  It's always so nice to hear her voice.  She goes for an infusion of monoclonal antibodies just before Christmas and almost a year after her diagnosis.  She changed jobs and then the new job changed benefit providers and then the new insurance company was dicking around because she's allergic to the first, second and third line drugs recommended for her condition.  Finally, her fiance's insurance company agreed to pay for it.  The cost is $14,000/year, so not cheap.

I'm tired today so I think I'll just take a day to putter around the house.  

Friday, December 2, 2022

Sundogs this morning at 9:30am.  You can see the poor sun has barely dragged it's ass over the horizon and that's facing south.  It dipped down to -30C last night and this morning with the wind chill, it was -40C at times.  

Gracie started in on me again yesterday.  I warned her that if she didn't stop being abusive, I would block her number.  She didn't stop so I told her to go through her mom or sister to contact me and then blocked her number.  At the end of it I felt like I wanted to lie down and never move again.  I knew I would feel better today but at the time, it was painful.  I told Gracie's mom that if it wasn't for Jack, I would just walk away but of course I can't do that and if it wasn't for Jack, I wouldn't have to have contact with Gracie.

Today I feel somewhat better, still teary and down but not lie down and never move again sad and stressed.  I bought underwear for Jack this morning, we shall see what happens.  He keeps me going in all of this.

And funny because I desparately need funny today.  Thank you to all whose funnies I steal, mostly Oddball Observations and She Who Seeks.

Thursday, December 1, 2022


I finished Miss Katie's quilt a couple of days ago.  I like how it turned out and a nine patch is much easier than other quilts I have tried.  I'm a fan of easy.  Now I just need to get it to the quilter who has moved to Beaumont.

It's bloody cold here this morning, -27C, and the house feels cold, even with the heat on.  Yesterday I had a bunch of errands to run so I spent three hours driving around in the snow and got everything done, except buy new underwear for Jack.

Lucy has the right idea of what to do when it's cold.

Jack is doing so well with his toilet training, it's just a matter of keeping pull ups off of him and he's fine, peeing and pooping in the potty.  If I put a diaper or pull up on him, he can't be bothered to go to the toilet, so underwear is in order.  He's also learned how to lock the bathroom door from the inside so I keep a knife handy to unlock the door.

Last night after supper I whipped some cream to put on top of our key lime pie and he wanted to lick the beaters.  I told him sure and then he asked what he was eating, I told him whipping cream.  He was quiet for a moment and then he said, "Whipping cream like bum cream?"  I told him that no, the two were very different which then turned into a disccusion about the ingredients of both whipping cream and bum cream.  We did not however go into a discussion about the mechanical, electrical and optical properties of zinc oxide because I was completely unaware of them until I googled it this morning.  Thank goodness.

Gracie has called for a video chat every night this week.  The first night was good, the second night, less good and last night was bad.  He didn't want to talk to her and told her so.  He also ratted me out for yelling at him.  I yelled at him, not loudly, because he punched me and I told him to stop punching my arm, at which point he told me, "that a bad word".  Apparently "stop" and "don't" are bad words, in his mind.  

Yesterday I texted Gracie and asked her if I could take Jack for a covid vaccination but she refused because he's too young (he's not) and because she got sick with her vaccinations (doesn't mean he will get sick and I'm the one taking care of him if he does get sick).  I took him for his flu vaccination but just didn't tell her.  He's had flu vaccinations every year since he was a baby, she just doesn't know that.

I've been watching "Santa Clarita Diet" while I've been quilting.  I gotta say, I love this series and I know it's five years old but I just started using my neighbor's streaming service, which shall remain unnamed ( she gave me the password).  As long as you're not put off my blood and gore (I'm not, I'm a nurse) it's so funny.

Other than that, not much.  Going to try and stay warm today, bake Christmas cookies and maybe start another quilt.

A funny, because the world needs more funny.