Friday, 30 November 2018


This is an old photo from a few years ago, Southern Alberta, on our way to Waterton National Park.  It's beyond beautiful there.

I didn't work on Tuesday because my back was so sore on Monday, my whole body was sore on Monday actually.  So I took a muscle relaxant, slept in, puttered around the house, went for a walk with the dog and worked on my grandson's quilt.  By the end of the day my body felt much less battered.


I feel stress in my body.  First it was my stomach, then it was my muscles.  I saw the doctor on Wednesday and I asked for a bunch of xrays of my sore and aching joints.  Good news, arthritis in only one joint, my left knee, which means that my pain is soft tissue pain which I can do something about.  So I'll see a physiotherapist and try to be kinder to my poor body.  I felt like an eighty year old woman on Monday.  I'm back to a fifty-six year old woman today.  Fucking stress.

I seem to be obsessed with aging and death lately.  In part, I'm sure because of where I work, but also because I am aging and I will die.  Mortality kind of shoves itself in your face after fifty.  I wonder how much longer I will live.  What that life will look like.

When my father was fifty-five he had open heart surgery.  This was in 1975 and it was a big deal.  I was thirteen at the time and my younger brother would have been eleven.  I can imagine my father must have been terrified at the thought of leaving his wife and two youngish children alone.  He survived.  At some point he must have read or heard a statistic that people only lived about ten years on average after open heart surgery.  He was obsessed with his death for the last fourteen years of his live.  I'm beginning to understand why now.

My father was a control freak and I may be as well (cough, cough).  There are so many things I want to do and I feel life slipping away, even knowing that really, I only have today.  I'm guessing that this is all part of the aging process, reconciling the knowledge that I will die, with the knowledge that I am not yet dead and want to enjoy the time between now and my death, all the time not knowing when that death will occur.

In the mean time I will walk the dog, work on the quilt and tomorrow the big guy and I will take Katie to watch a swim meet organized by the new agency that is caring for her.  I'm guessing there will be cheering and clapping which Katie loves.  She will get a chance to socialize with her peers and we will get to meet some of the best people in the world.  What better way to spend my time.

Thursday, 22 November 2018


I had plans for today, the universe had other plans for me apparently.  I've been doing bathroom renos for awhile and I was breaking up the old vanity with a sledgehammer when something jumped up and hit me.  Still not sure what happened but plans changed.  Nothing is broken and no stitches required so I'm thankful.

I decided the pity party needed to end now so time to move on with life.  I'm going Christmas shopping today and will take myself out to lunch.  The dog will get a nice long walk because it's warm here right now and the ice has melted.  I'm thankful.

My son will be in jail for awhile which means he's sober and safe.  I'm thankful.  I also blocked his calls so I don't need to dread my phone ringing.  I'm thankful.

It was a year ago today that my girlfriend told me that no further treatment could be done for her cancer.  She died last May and I am so thankful I got to know her.  She inspired me to learn how to quilt.  She made over three hundred quilts in her lifetime and gave them all away.

No housework today.  No renos.  No baking.  No quilting.   No work.  Time, the gift of time to do as I please.

Things I'm thankful for.

I'm healthy.
My family is healthy.
My little dog who is snoring on the chair beside me as I type.
Hugs from the big guy.
Katie is happy and enjoying her life.  And she got to see Santa last weekend.


As you can see, she's a huge fan of Santa.
My middle daughter is loving her new job and is coming for Christmas.
Good books.
A job I enjoy and I home I love.

What are you thankful for today?

Saturday, 17 November 2018


It's been a difficult week.  My son is back in jail.  Apparently he had a no contact order with his girlfriend from back in July, before she got pregnant.  Both of them ignored the order, he moved in and she got pregnant.  He's been drinking and using drugs heavily.  Monday night he was high on crystal meth, I'm guessing, hallucinating, yelling, scaring his girlfriend.

She wanted him out of the apartment and was yelling at him.  The police were called and he wouldn't let her open the door for the police because of the no contact order.  So the door was smashed in and both of them were handcuffed until it got sorted out.  So my son is back in jail.  Gracie is alone with a broken down door and wants nothing to do with my son.  I can't blame her.  I feel the same way.

I'm done with him.  This has been going on for almost twenty years.  Each time I think it can't get any worse, it does.  The lies, the drinking, the drugs, the porn, the promiscuity.

I am a na├»ve, gullible woman, especially when it comes to my children, but in general as well.  When I was a child I remember watching a TV show about a court trial, both sides promised to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  I thought to myself, what a wonderful idea.  Everyone tells the truth and everything will get sorted out right away.  There is still a part of me that believes this.

Last month I was assaulted at work by a coworker.  This woman used to rent our condo from us. She was chronically late with her rent, everything was always an issue, she moved a dog into the condo without asking us and took fifteen months to pay her damage deposit.  She was angry with me because I told her the condo was filthy when she left it and I charged her for cleaning it.  She also broke the dishwasher, wrecked the brand new countertops and let black mold grow in the bathroom.  I was standing in the hallway talking to a doctor when someone hip checked me from behind and then hit me in the back with their elbow.  I looked around and saw her walking down the hallway.  I yelled, "Excuse me?" down the hall at her and she just ignored me.

So I complained and of course it's my word against her word.  She says it was an accident and I can't prove that she hit me in the back because only her and I felt that.  I did get into trouble for yelling at her, so there's that.  This woman fucks up her job all the time.  She abuses people verbally on the phone.  She hides work instead of doing her work.  She is responsible for out of province billing and just doesn't bother doing it, losing our departments thousands of dollars.  She's a liar and spends most of the day on her phone.  I do my job, I don't lie and I am not believed.  WTF!

I'm kind of done with people in general right now.  Tired of being lied to.  Tired of shit.  I want to hide away for awhile.

As for my grandchild, I'm not sure what to do.  I know my heart won't take losing another grandchild and yet, being in that child's life will surely break my heart as well.

Monday, 12 November 2018


I went to a gender reveal party on Saturday night.  When we arrived my son was pleasant and talkative, always a bad sign;  he's usually quiet.  He told me he was going to have one beer that night because it was a special occasion.  I did say, "Do you think that's a good idea?"  He didn't answer.  So much for sober, although I found out from his girlfriend that he has not been sober since she got pregnant, despite what he tells us.

I met my son's girlfriend's parents.  The party was at their house.  They seemed nice enough.  Gracie, my son's girlfriend and I chatted a little.  It was only the second time we had met and I seem to make her quite nervous.

I don't really drink much and the big guy doesn't drink.  Everyone else though, except for Emma was drinking a lot, drinking like they were still in high school.  Does that sound bitchy?  Probably a little.  I'm really not a fan of drinking anymore.  It has brought so much misery into my life and the lives of those I love that I just don't enjoy it anymore.

And the weed, there was a lot of weed.  It's legal now but the whole house reeked of weed and there was a pregnant woman there breathing in all the fumes, sharing it with her unborn baby.  I said that to the big guy and he said that Gracie could have left but she had no desire to do that.   Gracie was the centre of attention and she liked that.  She seems okay but she is so immature.

My son proceeded to get drunker and higher as the evening progressed.  We were only there for two and a half hours and I couldn't wait to get out of there.  They finally cut the cake and found out they're having a little boy.  As we left my son decided I wasn't excited enough about him having a son.  "Are you excited mum?  You don't look excited.", he kept saying to me.

What do I tell him?  I think it's a mistake bringing a child into your life.  I think you will suck as a father.  I think you will lie to your son and probably run away rather than face up to your responsibilities.  I think you will be as bad a father as your own biological father whom you hate.  I think history is repeating itself.

But I didn't.  I smiled and told him I was happy.   I will love that little boy because that little boy didn't ask to be brought into this mess.  And all day yesterday I cleaned my house like my life depended on it because I didn't want to think about my grandson and when there were no more floors to clean I went out and bought fabric for his quilt.

Friday, 9 November 2018

I'm off for four days which is lovely.  I slept in until eight this morning which feels weird but was lovely.  The cat came in when the big guy had his shower before he left for work and the cat is still on the bed, fast asleep.  I don't want to disturb her so I've left the bed unmade for now, cause I'm like that.  I lead a reckless life, leaving beds unmade, last night I didn't bother with the dishes.  Who am I?

I finally contacted Katie's old agency telling them what I thought about them discarding most of Katie's belongings when she moved a year and a half ago.  At that time Katie had just been in the hospital for surgery on her broken arm.  The agency said they would take care of the move and I was worn out that week so I let them.  I had no idea their idea of taking care of things was throwing stuff out.  The initial inventory when Katie first moved in with them only included six items which was a joke.  I kept receipts of everything that I had to buy to replace her "stuff" as it was called and two days ago I emailed them and told them I thought it was their responsibility to reimburse Katie for the cost of replacing everything.  I also told them I thought it was disrespectful to just discard someone's belongings.

To my surprise they agreed to reimburse Katie providing I sign an agreement to not ask them for any more money.  There was no argument but they were offended by my comment about disrespect.  Oh well.  Katie will be reimbursed for their, I don't even know what to call it.  Who throws out someone else's belongings like that?  Without contacting the guardian?

I'm not finished with them yet as I still plan on making a formal complaint with social services but I am thankful that Katie will have a little extra money in her bank account.

We took her out for a drive and lunch last weekend and she's quite relaxed.  She's also able to walk much farther because she's not kept in a wheelchair all the time.  She's been walking outside, getting exercise and fresh air.  It's not perfect, she's still acting out a little but mostly it's good.  To see her relaxed is wonderful, to see her laughing and shaking with excitement is wonderful.




Saturday, 3 November 2018


The big guy and I were supposed to drive to Jasper yesterday but got stuck in snow and traffic and never made it out of town.  We decided it wasn't worth it, turned around and headed home.  Turned out to be a lovely day at home.  We have a bird feeder on the back deck and the chickadees were flitting about so much I thought why not set up the camera.


So I got to take pictures, not of the mountains but of the birds.  We also had a dark eyed junco visit the feeder and a downy woodpecker.  And no, I don't really know much about birds but google sure does and I'm always curious.

We had a code at work on Tuesday which upset me.  The patient didn't die thank goodness, turns out he was severely dehydrated from diarrhea, but the whole thing was a shit show and once again I felt unsupported as a nurse working in diagnostic imaging so I will have to bring that up with my manager.  I emailed both managers with my concerns and was told, "we're always here" which is really a nice sentiment but not very helpful when you're up to your ass in alligators.  So there's that.

A couple of weeks ago I had a youngish woman as a patient.  She is forty-two I think and was with us to have a central line inserted.  She was upset and couldn't stop crying.  Turns out her boyfriend had kicked her and her twin daughters out on the weekend and told her , "I can't wait for you to die".  There is so much pain and suffering in the world and I am always humbled by what people live through.  Turns out her boyfriend is an alcoholic and naturally he told her all of this while he was drunk.  I told her, "I'm sorry to say this, but your boyfriend is an asshole."  She was convinced that he was right and that this was all her fault.  I told her that this was on him.  Just before we started the line insertion she said, "I've never felt loved in my whole life.  All I want is to feel loved.", at which point I started crying too.  It's really want we all want, isn't it?  To feel loved.

We got the line in, the doc who normally is kind of a dick was kind to her, I hooked her up with a social worker and I hugged her.  She wondered if she should move her and her kids back to Ontario so that she would have family support.  I told her I thought that was a good idea.  She will need more help shortly and her children will need a guardian who cares about them when she dies.

And so it goes.  New patients.  Old patients.  Dying patients.  Patients on surveillance.  I carry a lot of grief around with me but I wouldn't want to change who I am.  I prefer this to not feeling.  And there is always suffering in life.  It's something we don't talk about in our society, we don't teach our children this either, in fact we try to shelter them from this knowledge but it's a disservice to them.  There will always be suffering in life.  We are human.  We can't avoid it.

There is suffering but there is love as well.  Hugs from the big guy.  A new grandbaby on the way.  Friends to talk to.  Birds to photograph.  A lovely little dog to walk with in the snow.  Good books to read.  Stories to tell.  It seems to balance out somehow.