Sunday, 30 December 2018


Medicine Lake in black and white.  The big guy's favorite place in the world.

I've been feeling blue, or more accurately grey.  I called a girlfriend last night and we had a good laugh about kids and family and shit (actual shit).  It was good.

I need to pull my head out of my ass.

Things I'm thankful for.

The big guy.
Hugs.
Friends.
Laughter.
A job that I love, most days, ok, patients that I love.
A roof over my head.
Financial security.
Walks while it's snowing.
Miss Katie is doing well.  She's happy and relaxed.
That spring will come and the world will be green again.
That the days are ever so slowly getting longer.


What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, 27 December 2018


The newest addition to my dining room.  I'm not getting enough exercise.  I love walking outside but in the winter it's so slippery and to be honest falling scares the crap out of me now.  Last winter I decided I would swim, which I did, twice.  To be able to swim I need to drive the big guy to work so that I can then use the car to get to the pool.  I do love swimming but I do not like getting into a swim suit.  I also have very sore feet now which rules out a treadmill, so a bike it is.  I should add here that I don't like bike riding but at this point I don't like sore feet, I don't like putting on a swim suit and I don't like falling.

So now there is a very small exercise bike that sits in my dining room which I will use three times a week.  The big guy will hold me to this because he made a terrible face when I brought up the idea of an exercise bike.  Guilt will hopefully inspire me.

We went to visit my in-laws yesterday.  They had spent Christmas day with my step daughter, her boyfriend, their girls and my husband's ex-wife.  My husband's ex-wife always spends Christmas with her daughter so if my in-laws want to see her, they spend Christmas with the ex.  For the last twenty-two years.  And she doesn't cook, ever.  So my mother in law cooks for my husband's ex every Christmas, except finally this year my step daughter decided to cook, except for the turkey.  They asked my mother in law to cook and bring the turkey.

Whatever, it's weird.  My step daughter and her mother bought a house together so they can all live together.  My step daughter and her boyfriend lived in our house for two years.  They didn't pay any rent, only utilities.  They didn't pay the land taxes, event though they said they would.  They didn't do anything to make the house look better, even though they said they would.  They rarely cut the lawn; the neighbours cut the lawn.  They had to be harassed to shovel the snow and clear the walks.  They would borrow our lawn mower to cut the lawn and not return it.

They left in a huff because my step daughter said we didn't respect the father of her children.  The guy who is verbally abusive towards her and his two boys from a previous relationship.  The guy who is a pathological liar.  The guy who would rather buy guns than a bed for his own daughter.  The guy whose anger scares the shit out of me.

They managed to save some money which was the whole point of the exercise.  After their second daughter was born I felt more and more unwelcome in the house.  My step daughter told me that her grandmother was coming for a month when the second baby was born and basically, don't come around.  When I wanted to stop by to see my granddaughters I was told if her mother was there, so don't come which was never said out loud, only implied.  I didn't have a problem with her mother but I'm guessing looking back that her mother had a problem with me.

So now my husband's ex-wife, her husband, my step daughter, her boyfriend and their two girls are living in a house that we were able to help them save money towards and we are not allowed to see our granddaughters.

My father in law took Christmas photos so that we could see our granddaughters but I can't do it anymore.  It's breaking my heart all over again.  I miss those girls so much and my step daughter moving in with her mother pretty much put the nail in the coffin for us ever seeing our grandchildren again.




I have to let go and maybe when they're grown up I can reconnect with them.  The good thing about all this is that my step daughters mother and step father now live with them.  Two more adults to watch over those girls and hopefully protect my step daughter from abuse.

Sunday, 23 December 2018




We had our Christmas dinner last night because my daughter couldn't get Christmas Eve off so she came early and we celebrated early.  I enjoy her company so much.  She has turned into such a lovely young woman and I miss her deeply when she goes home.  But she has a life and I am only a part of that life, not her whole life which is as it should be.  We visited with Miss Katie, we shopped, we played Scrabble, we drank wine and we laughed.  She helped me cook Christmas dinner and helped me clean up which I appreciate.  Tonight I take her to the airport.



This is my girlfriend/adopted daughter from work.  She and my daughter are both the same age.  She brought her little girl over for the evening and we had a great time.  I love her and her little girl.



However, her little girl definitely prefers the big guy.  Those two get on like a house on fire.  She's only 3 1/2 but that little girl is sharp and funny.  Stubborn too, a lot like her mama.


Grace came too.  It was nice to have her over but the more I get to know her, the more I worry about my grandbaby which is a waste of time I know.  What will be, will be.  She's sweet and immature and has been forced to become a part of this family for better or worse.  She seems okay with that.  I have reservations.  I'm terrified of raising a baby again at 56.  I don't know how messed up her life was before she got pregnant but she was with my son so that's kind of an indicator.  I can only hope that things turn out and I am so thankful that she is letting us be a part of this baby's life.  




And so it goes.  It's set to get cold here which I don't enjoy but have no control over.  I will get back into quilting now that Christmas is over.





I took down most of my photos at work on Thursday.  I was at a meeting and the subject of my photos came up.  We are having an audit in the spring and according to the audit rules, walls must be bare of everything except signage.  Because that's so much better for patients, bare, ugly walls;  walls without beauty, walls that make you feel like you're in a hospital and you have cancer, walls that suck the life out of you.

Bureaucracies exist only for themselves and their rules, or so it seems.  So I left the meeting and started taking down my photos and ripping them up.  If those photos are going to be removed, it will be by me, not someone else.  I took those photos, I paid for them to be processed and I hung them.  They are my art and a part of me now.  So I took them down and ripped them up and cried.  I cried because bureaucracies have no souls and yet they care for humans who are souls on a human journey.  We need beauty and nature around us.  We need to remain connected to this earth, even while fighting cancer.

My manager, a young woman born after I became a nurse found me and asked me to stop.  She loves the photos and wants to find a way to preserve them.  I told her that if she can find a way to do that, I will provide the photos.

So for now, my department is ugly and sterile but abides by the rules put in place by people who don't spend all day in a cancer hospital, caring for people who have been given the worst news they'll probably ever get.  I'm angry and sad but I also fight for my patients.  My photos help people, not because they're my photos, but because they remind us all of the beauty all around us.  I'm not willing to give up without a fight.



Thursday, 13 December 2018


I'm not sure what to call the mama of my grandbaby.  She and my son were only together for a short time and she's done with him but not us thankfully.  I think here, I will call her Gracie.

So Gracie is going for another ultrasound today.  The baby's kidneys are slightly enlarged which of course I had to google.  Hydronephrosis, or enlarged kidneys, can be benign and fix itself at birth, so I've got my fingers crossed and am hoping for that.  Apparently it's quite common, 1 in 100 pregnancies.  I pray for the little guy every night, pray that he is healthy and normal, pray that he is nothing like his dad.  It's all I can do.

I wrote a letter to my son, I told him that he needs to get sober and stay sober.  I told him that he is not welcome in our home until he is sober.  I told him that his son needs him.  I told him that although I don't trust him, I do love him.  It's all I can do.

I'm off today which means Christmas baking, shopping for yarn and fabric and walking the dog.  We had freezing rain here on Monday which has turned everything into a skating rink.  I told the dog that I would walk her in the daylight when I can see the ice better.  She didn't seem to understand or care for that matter.  She's curled up on the chair beside me right now, sleeping hard.

Christmas is coming and with it the familiar dread.  It's strange really;  I love the lead up to Christmas, the shopping, the baking, even the decorating but the actual day is always a let down.  It's never as good as I would like or imagine.  In my head is one big happy family where everyone gets along, where people laugh and have a good time, where there is no drama, no tension, no drinking ( because even normal drinking now bothers me ), where it truly feels like Christmas.  Of course none of this is real, it's what I've made up in my head, watching thousands of hours of TV, commercials and movies.  I have been fed a constant diet of fake Christmas since I was a child and it sits in my head and pushes out real Christmas.

My best Christmas was the year after my ex-husband and I split up.  Katie came for supper and my two other kids.  My mum was still alive;  she was there too.  We had supper, Katie stayed at the supper table after she was done eating because I gave her the gingerbread house to deconstruct and eat.  We lingered at the table, relaxed.  While I drove Katie back to her place, my mum and kids cleaned up everything.  When I got back home we sat and watched a Big Bang marathon, ate peppermint cheesecake, laughed and relaxed.  My mum was still alive and healthy.  My son had not gone down the rabbit hole too far at this point.  Neither my ex-husband nor my father were around to darken everything with their mood.  It was my best Christmas.  Nothing special really, no TV movie moments, just peaceful and enjoyable.

What was your favorite Christmas memory?




Sunday, 9 December 2018



I took Lucy for a walk yesterday afternoon on the paths behind our house.  It was four but already the light was waning, painting the sky beautiful colors.

I put up my Christmas tree yesterday and wrapped some presents to put under it.  I hate putting up the tree but always enjoy it so much when it's up.  I love unwrapping all of the old ornaments and taking a wander down memory lane.  I have one ornament from Katie's first Christmas, a photo of her at six months, inside a tiny frame.  It's hard to believe she was so little.


So I'm baking cookies, sending off a few cards to people overseas and decorating the house.  It feels more like Christmas.  We went to our Christmas party on Friday night which was nice.  I had a glass of wine which is enough to enjoy but not enough to tell people how I really feel about them, although I'm pretty sure my face and body language does that for me. 

Our medical director however got pretty drunk and in a speech told us all that he's trying harder, he's kind of a dick.  He and I are a lot alike I think which is why we clash so much.  Not sure if he knows that.  

My bathroom reno is finished so I have a toilet in my bathroom again which is nice.  A little paint touch up today and it's done.  

Today I'm thankful for a peaceful home, filled with love.


Wednesday, 5 December 2018


We had a tough day Monday at work, short staffed, very sick patients.  We were asked to add on a central line and I said no and then the circumstances were shared with me.  A forty-nine year old man with end stage ALS who needed IV access for MAID (medical assistance in dying).  We couldn't say no, I wouldn't say no.

I don't know if I've ever cared for someone with ALS and I've certainly never met anyone at the end of their life with ALS.  It wasn't like "Tuesdays With Morrie", to be honest, it was awful.  He was surrounded by family who all obviously love him and cared for him but he was unable to move anything other than his eyes.  He couldn't even swallow his own saliva which upset me the most for some reason and needed constant suctioning.  And his eyes, to only be able to communicate with your eyes seems so isolating, so terrifying.

I sent my two young coworkers to take care of him during his line insertion.  There were two doctors in the room too and family members.  Special circumstances, in honor of his time here on earth.  I've been with patients who are preparing for MAID before and it is always an honor to help them, to make sure that everything will go well for them as they leave their loved ones.

This morning I googled his name and he died on Monday after he left us.  It was so nice to see a photo of him when he was healthy and full of life, he had such lovely eyes.

It always amazes me and saddens me to see people suffer so much before they die.  We all die and we all suffer in our own ways, both mentally and physically.  What might be suffering for one might not be suffering for another, but I'm not a fan of physical suffering.  It seems cruel and unnecessary.

I'm thankful my patient got to decide how his life ended.