Tuesday, August 29, 2023

I'm worn out.  Charlie, the new dog, is shedding at an alarming rate.  After some research online, I decided it may be because I'm bathing him too often. I'm bathing him so often because the off leash dog park that we go to, has a mudhole filled with water, and he stinks when we get home.  He stinks in the car too, so I'm also washing the dog blankets in the car and the towels used to clean him.  I'm also using the wrong shampoo for Charlie.  I have never seen so much dog hair in my life, ever.  Even roomba can't keep up.  Jack seems to be sensitive to all the dog hair and he's congested and red nosed.  So there's that too.  I've washed all dog blankets in the house and even cleaned the furniture to try to reduce the amount of dander in the house.  Jack doesn't need to lose something else he loves.

I guess it's time to find another dog park or keep him on his leash while at the dog park.  Sigh.  It'll be better once the snow flies but that's a couple of months away still.  Today it's hot as hell with a high of 33C, which is too damned hot.  I took the day off because we had too many nurses at work.  When I came back home, I took the dogs to the dog park before it got too hot. There was an older woman, older than me, who had a young lab on a leash.  Charlie wanted to play and the woman was not happy with Charlie or me.  Charlie still has very limited recall and I haven't done anything all summer to train him, so this is on me, but it's been a kind of shitty summer with everything and the thought of training a dog makes me want to cry.

Jack is doing well which is nice.  His aunt and uncle, who take him on weekends, went to Lebannon and Dubai for an unknown length of time.  Not sure when they'll be back.  And Jack's other grandma is leaving this week to go to Toronto, so no help with him this long weekend.  Sigh.  His behavior is much improved, and his anxiety has decreased.  He never asks for him mom which is sad.  But he is still so active that he wears us out.

Gracie went into rehab yesterday, so she'll be good for awhile, until she's not again.  Her mom was able to serve her the court papers for day to day parenting before she went into rehab, and she accepted them.  I even found my son and served him.  He does not seem to care at all, and thought we already had day to day parenting of Jack.  My son looked much better than when I saw him in January.  He was sober and clean.

So housework, vacuuming and laundry are about all I've been doing for the last week and I'm fucking tired of it.  I'm not a fan of housework but I dislike a dirty house even more.  So I'm tired and bitchy, sleeping in the basement with a four year old boy who kicks all night.  

Things I'm thankful for today.


Thursday, August 17, 2023

Photo courtesy of Pat Kane/ Reuters

The north is on fire. Yellowknife has issued an evacuation order and the hamlet of Enterprise has burned to the ground.  Twenty-two thousand people plus, are on the move, heading south.  We are 1500 km south of Yellowknife and some people will be coming here, while some will continue even further south to Red Deer.  The evacuation centres between here and Yellowknife are already all full.

Fires continue to burn on Maui and the death toll there continues to rise as they find the bodies left in the burned wreckage of Lahaina. 

The Premier of Alberta, Danielle Smith, has put a moratorium on all new starts of renewable energy projects in the province.  This is where I live and I can tell you the majority of Albertans do not support this nutjob.  

It feels like world is burning and nobody gives a shit.

Suncor, a large oilsands company, has a new CEO.  His name is Rich Kruger and he had this to say.

"“We have a bit of a disproportionate emphasis on the longer-term energy transition,” Kruger said, adding that while lower emissions energy is important, it is not what is going to make money for shareholders today."

Basically, fuck the future generations, lets get rich now.  I am livid!

On a happier note, I filed the papers for day to day parenting of Jack today and just have to serve his parents.  Detox won't let me serve the papers and I don't know where my son is right now; things will work out though. The woman who helped me at the Alberta Court of Justice was so kind and helpful; it made the day so much more bearable.  And the best news is that the other two guardians, the aunt and the other grandma, both support our applications.  When the other grandma texted me that information yesterday, I burst into tears at work.

I still feel overwhelmed and shaky but I'm okay, whereas so many are not right now.  I'm thankful that Yellowknife is evacuating before the fire hits the city.  

Sunday, August 13, 2023

I'm going to channel my inner Yorkshire Pudding.  A field of canola northeast of the city.

Exaltation of The Holy Cross Parish, Skaro.

 Broadmoor Park.

Deermound dog park with a very grumpy grandchild who was up and awake at 4am.  Gracie is back in hospital, undergoing detox and heading for rehab again.  Gracie's sister dropped the ball, she believed the lies her sister were telling her.  Jack will stay with us and I'm applying for day to day parenting this week.  

Friday, August 11, 2023

The asters are blooming, fall is coming.

Grief is a strange creature, even when you know it's coming, it's still so painful.  You would think that the last two years of grieving for the man who was slowly leaving us would have been enough, but no, the grief that I feel this week is fresh and painful.  I also thought, he's my father in law, I've only know this man for seven years, it won't hurt as much, but none of that mattered.  The fresh grief arrived on Monday night, my body slowed down, I kept crying, everything became more difficult.  My poor husband is overcome with grief.  His back seized up and now he's sick.  Grief will not be ignored.  It insists it be dealt with, one way or another.

The grief my husband and I feel is complicated by his fractured family, who all hold their anger close to their hearts, as if that's all they have left of their family.  We were made to feel deeply unwelcome by my sister in law when we last visited my father in law.  She threatened to have me removed from the room, my sin, touching her father.  The funeral will be no different and we have decided to remember Art in our own way.  My husband made peace with his father in the past year and so did my brother in law.  Attending a funeral where nobody will awknowledge us will just cause more pain, not attending the funeral will mean that we are as awful as the family thinks we are.  There is no way to win this, except to care for ourselves. 

In the last month, my grandson was retraumatized by his mother, my daughter was retraumatized by her father and I came up against some very visceral anger directed towards me, because I was married to my husband.  Anger is something I'm very familiar with, having grown up with an angry father, but I'm learning to understand it better.  The anger of others usually has nothing to do with me.  It exists in the other person and I am merely someplace to dump that anger.  I do it myself and always feel badly afterwards.  This week I have been angry and then stop myself, it's grief I remind myself, you're not angry at the person in the car in front of you.  Sometimes that works, sometimes I just get angry and swear, a lot.

My daughter is getting therapy to help her deal with her father's anger, which has nothing to do with her.  My grandson will be starting therapy next month to help him deal with his mother's anger, which has nothing to do with him.  And me, I'm learning to trust my gut, to believe what I feel and to understand that another's anger is about them, not me.  My sister in law can hold her anger as close as she wants; I know that it will only keep others away.  I've seen it in my own family and I've experienced it myself.  It seems that anger keeps you safe, it's big, it's scary, and it feels empowering.  But what anger really is a fortress of solitude for a person to sit in, by themselves, nursing old wounds.  Anger pushes everyone away and ultimately destroys relationships.  It's not how I want to spend my remaining days.  

Sunday, August 6, 2023

My father in law is quietly dying in Wetaskiwin.  He's stopped taking anything by mouth, no food, no drinks and no medications.  It won't be long and I will miss him.  He was a lovely, kind, funny man.  I could talk to him, not something I could ever do with my own father.  My husband is sad and distracted, and we wait for my father in law to take his last breath.

For years Jack's highchair has sat next to my desk in the family room.  He's too big for it, has been for awhile, but he likes it.  Yesterday he and I were on a mission to find a bookcase for his books that sat on the bottom shelf of our old coffee table.  We went to Restore, Habitat for Humanity, which recyles lots of stuff, but no bookcases yesterday.  As we drove home, I noticed that my neighbor was having a garage sale, so Jack and I walked over and we found this little unit, for $10.  It's solid cedar, handmade by my neighbor's grandfather.  I tried to get the yellow varnish off but it was too hard, so I  took off the doors and painted it with chalk paint; it's perfect for all his books, and my purse.  As a bonus, he can now much better see which books he has and which books he wants to read.

Last summer I was at Restore and bought this table, upcycled from scrap wood, for the bedroom downstairs (guests could put their suitcase on it).  It's plain pine, so I'm repainting it white; it's just too hot on the deck to finish it up right now, so it waits.  Jack and my hubby can use this table to eat supper on, while we watch TV, not something I ever let my own children do.  The little green chair you see in the photo, is the perfect height for him to eat at the the table and he's happy because 1- he's a big boy and 2- he gets to sit beside poppa.


Jack stayed with his aunt and his grandma last week and was much more like his own self when he came back home.  No screaming, no sobbing, no slapping, no meltdowns.  Night and day difference.  However, he has a new fear, of being left alone.  I texted his auntie about this because Jack said his auntie had left him alone in the car for a long time.  She had not left him, she bent down to pick something up off the ground and Jack couldn't see her and he lost it.  On Thursday morning, Jack couldn't see poppa briefly while he was waiting in the car for my husband to walk around the car and get in.  There was a lot of crying, sobbing really.

Jack's auntie texted me back and agreed that something must have happened at Gracie's place when he stayed there and she apologized for not believing me.  She's noticed a change in Jack as well and will not let Jack be unsupervised with his mom again, for now.  We have always maintained that Gracie is mentally ill and that is why she self medicates with drugs and alcohol.  I think her family is finally starting to understand this and agree.  

I wonder if Gracie locked Jack in a room, or in the apartment, while she went out, even briefly.  I don't know what else happened when he was alone with her. Jack's attached himself like a remora fish to poppa and panics when he can't see poppa.  He tells me, "I need poppa."  Jack also ended up in poppa's bed every night this week, in the middle of the night, too afraid to be alone.

When we told him his auntie was coming to get him yesterday he ran inside.  I told him that auntie wouldn't be taking him to his mama's and that he would be safe with auntie.  I asked Jack if mama was mean sometimes to him.  He said, "Mama is always mean to me."  Fucking hell.  We need to have a guardian meeting again soon but Jack is safe with his auntie and us for now.

The photo below is the dog park which helps me keep my sanity.  Charlie gallops across the grass and his joy is infectious, thankfully.  He's a lovely dog with such a good nature.