Thursday, 21 May 2020


I've been so tired for so long it seems.  This morning I woke up at six and drove the big guy to work so I could use the car today.  I felt so tired when I got home that I lay down on my bed and woke up two hours later.  I never nap and I slept for two hours and feel less tired.

It's raining today which is turning the world green even as I watch.  Everyday the ferns shoot towards the sky, growing inches in a day it seems.  My perennials are all coming back, despite Heidi's best efforts to trample them. 

I had a dream this morning about an old girlfriend who broke up with me ten years ago.  She told me I was too angry.  Mostly she was angry with me because I left my husband and then went back to him after a year.  In fact the last time I saw her for a visit, I had just moved back in with my husband and she had literally bitten her tongue and it was infected.  We had to visit a walk in doctor's clinic while I was there;  she ended up needing antibiotics. 

I haven't heard from her since.  She broke my heart.  We were friends for almost thirty years.  In my dream she was using a cane and falling down frequently.  It was a strange mashed up dream which involved shopping for drinking glasses, a flat Christmas tree, long line ups at Canadian tire and a boyfriend of hers' that I had never met.  She kept fainting and falling.  Her boyfriend kept insisting she was okay.  I was worried about her.

I still miss her sometimes.  We were the kind of friends that talked about everything and I miss that.  I have new friends now but none that knew me for so long, or whom I have shared so much with.

I'm finding the pandemic difficult, as is everyone.  The world on hold.  All of us waiting for the other shoe to drop.  A clown in the US making execrable statements on a daily basis.  There are no words to describe what a despicable a human being he is.  To listen to his voice or read his words feels like you have had shit thrown at you.  You can't believe anybody would do that, throw shit at you, and yet, there it is.  A shower is required afterwards and still the dirty feeling and the smell of shit lingers.

I did manage to book us three nights in a cabin for August which feels like such a long ways away but it's something to hold onto.  A small bit of normalcy and nature to make the world feel like a better place right now. 

I can't even imagine how my patients keep going.  Most of them have been self isolating for so long, that part isn't different, but now there is the added layer of a highly contagious, lethal virus for them to deal with.  There is a lot of grief in the world right now, and not just for lost loved ones, but for all the losses we took for granted.

Time to pull my head out of my ass, have a shower and go find some lovely flowers to plant in my planter. 

Stay safe my friends.

Monday, 18 May 2020


We've had a busy weekend.  We had the little guy for two nights.  Lots of walks and time outside.


He found a new place to relax.


He's walking everywhere.


Even the dogs are exhausted.  Heidi was ready for bed before us.  We got yard work done on Saturday before the little guy came over so my plants are all planted and I have flowers on my deck again which always makes me smile.

Yesterday we went for a walk with our neighbor, her three kids and dog, our two dogs and our grandson at the off leash park.  It truly was a dog and pony show.  It was lovely to talk to a young woman for 45 minutes.  Her dog spends as much time over at our house as she does at their house now and Lucy hangs out with their little girl while watching TV, the little girl, not Lucy.  Our neighbor home schools her kids and they've been self isolating;  her husband is a nurse who works out of town for two weeks at a time.


I went to Superstore this morning for a few things.  It's strange.  Our province is relaxing restrictions so more people are out and about.  When the lockdown was in effect, people usually wore masks when grocery shopping but now that the restrictions are being lifted, most people aren't wearing masks.  Except, now we are more at risk.  More people are out and about, the virus hasn't gone away, so we're now at greater risk than we were during the lockdown.  What do I know?  Enough to keep myself safe.  I still wear my mask while shopping.

Stay safe my friends.  It ain't over yet.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020



The little guy stayed with us last night.  His mama may or may not have been hallucinating again but she was in a bad way, yelling and talking a mile a minute.  The little guy was wet and grumpy and probably scared.  He was happy enough to leave with us.

Before anyone says anything about getting social services involved, grandparents have no rights in Alberta.  None.  We try to support Gracie and our grandson the best we can because she can always tell us to fuck off.  I talk to Gracie's mom  and we try to make things work.  Will we end up with custody of him one day?  Maybe but social services always tries to preserve the family as best they can and I don't want to alienate Gracie.

So the little guy is here today with me, safe and dry and warm and well fed.  He ate a lot last night and slept for almost twelve hours.  Drama is hard on babies too.  I did point that out to Gracie but she just started arguing with me.  So we walk a fine line.

This is him trying to get past the gate at the bottom of the stairs.  He was both fascinated and frustrated with the gate today.  He now has temper tantrums, still mild ones but tantrums nevertheless.  On the weekend he was mad because he had only two hands to pick up his toys and wanted to pick up three things.  He lay down on the floor and loudly complained and then tried again.  It's sweet right now.  I imagine that will change at some point.

Life continues on.  The weather seems to have finally warmed up and my perennials are making a come back.  I made cookies and bread  today.  I bought a lilac to plant in front of the front window of the house.  It will be tall, about twelve feet but will give shade to the living room and the most  wonderful fragrance when it blooms.  I love the smell of lilacs.

The dogs are fine.  Work is work, that hasn't changed.  Cancer doesn't care that there is a pandemic going on.  Cancer's an asshole.  

I feel like we're all stuck in limbo waiting.  I imagine that's what life during the war was like too, except with bombs which is a big except.  This will end.  It will be a footnote in history one day.  

Stay safe my friends.


Friday, 8 May 2020


We went for a walk with the dogs after work yesterday.  Fresh air always feels good.  It's been a strangely good week at work.  We've had enough staff for a change.  There was an ultrasound machine that didn't want to work but three restarts and half an hour later, we finished the PICC line.

I know I'm lucky to get my people fix at work when so many are stuck at home.  My patients are wonderful and most of the my coworkers are amazing people.

Mother's day is coming up on Sunday which makes me think of my mum.  Her and I didn't always have the easiest relationship.  Mum could be critical and manipulative in a sneaky way.  I know she loved me and I loved her but it was difficult at times.  I was her primary caregiver for the last six or seven years of her life.  My siblings visited rarely which always made me angry because for mum, her family was everything.  She did so much for us, helped all of us so much and that was how she was repaid.

She cared for my oldest sisters children for years while still raising me and my brother.  My other sister was hit by a truck at the age of twelve and mum cared for her until she recovered but my sister was never the same.  My sister was left with an undiagnosed brain injury which wasn't diagnosed until much later in life.  Mum helped me with my kids, especially my son while I was going to college, and my parents helped my brother and his wife buy their first home with a loan that he never repaid.

Family and especially children, were the most important thing to mum.  I guess I inherited some of that from her, along with her sense of humor.

And now I have a daughter that I am estranged from.  We're a lot alike which is probably part of the problem.  Plus there is Miss Katie.  There is only eighteen months between my two girls and growing up with Katie was not easy for her.  Katie took up most of my time.  Katie is still a small child mentally so I love her differently.  She is still vulnerable.  My middle daughter grew up and away from me.  Katie never did.  I wonder if my middle daughter thinks I don't love her as much because of this.  I love them differently.  Perhaps my own mother loved us all differently too.

I always knew that my oldest sister was my mum's favorite.  I was the difficult child.  Too sensitive.  The rule breaker.  Except I really wasn't.  I was sensitive but as a child and a teenager I was anything but a rule breaker.  It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized that not all rules were good rules, that I did not live in the world that my mother and father had grown up in.

I still don't understand why I don't fit in with my family or why my own daughter feels the same way. It's funny because my own mother left her family after the war, married a Canadian, left England, and broke her mother's heart.  It seems that history keeps repeating itself and I still don't understand it.  


Wednesday, 6 May 2020


We finally made it back out to Beaver Hills on the weekend and it was glorious.  We met only five people on our walk and three of them were a father with his two little boys who loved our dogs.    The sky was blue, the paths were dry and the frogs were singing.  It was a slice of heaven.

Yesterday at work I had a patient whom I remembered.  She's missing an ear and her thyroid glad was moved for safety and placed in her arm.  We talked a little about swearing and how much we enjoy it and then I poked her with a needle for her IV.   "Fuck, fuck, fuck.  Fuck me, fuck me, fuck me!", she started yelling and swearing up a storm and then I remembered her very vividly.  I had to laugh and told her that although I think she is a lovely woman, I still prefer dudes. She laughed too and said, "I like penises too."  Good thing I'm always professional at work:)

After work we decided to go for a walk at the now reopened off leash park nearby.  We walked there most days after work after we adopted Heidi so had only walked through the trees in the winter.  We started off and it was a little muddy but manageable.  Then we got a little further and there were pools of standing water on the pathway;  we had a lot of rain on Sunday and Monday.  We made it to the last hill before leaving the dog park and on our way down the hill through the trees the pathway became more of a river/lake with lots of mud thrown in.

Heidi is fine off leash but Lucy needs to stay on her leash because she bolts after rabbits and we've grown fond of her.  So now we're bush whacking our way through the undergrowth which is mostly dogwood, a lot of wild roses with lots of thorns and a lot of dead wood for good measure with pointy bits sticking up with a small beagle lunging at the end of her leash and getting caught in every tree and shrubbery.

We tried that for awhile but could see not way out onto the dry field that we knew was ahead of us.  Finally it was wade through the mud and water or be stuck there forever.  I took two steps in the mud and couldn't get my foot out.  Actually, I could get my foot out but not my shoe.  The big guy hung onto me and Lucy while I pulled my shoe free from the mud.

At that point we decided the water was the safer route.  I don't like water and I don't like wet feet.  I love swimming but water that I don't know what's at the bottom freaks me out.  I rolled up my pants and started wading with a few squeals, convinced I was stepping on something rotting or half alive.  The water only came up about ten inches but still felt freaky.

We finally made it out of the trees and scrub, onto the dry grass field, looking somewhat bedraggled and muddy.  When we got home, both dogs had sponge baths on the back deck and the big guy and I got cleaned up.  It wasn't funny at the time but looking back it was.  Well, now we know.  Stay out of the woods after a rain and in the spring time.  We now have local knowledge:)

After the mud and clean up, the big guy went and bought us some BBQ which was delicious.  The whole thing was farce but we had a good laugh.

Thursday, 30 April 2020


I'm off today and tired today.  One day blurs into another.  Normally this time of the year we're busy planning our vacation but not this year.  I was so looking forward to visiting Vancouver Island again, to seeing Birdie and my sister, to walking in the rainforests, to spending time by the ocean and now it's gone which makes me a little sad.  And really, in the grand scheme of things, it's not a big thing but still it's a loss.  The bookstore is closed.  I avoid people like the plague:) The off leash park is closed.  No friends over for supper.  No supper out.  None of this is a big deal.  We both still have our jobs and are still working.  Neither one of us is sick.  We haven't lost anybody to this virus.  We live in a sane country.  We are so lucky, I am so lucky, but it's loss of a thousand small cuts and it slowly adds up over time.

My son has disappeared again so I'm guessing jail.  Gracie has gone off the rails again so we're taking the little guy more.  I try not to think about the future but it creeps in, the thoughts, the what ifs, the hope, the dread.  If I stay busy I can stop the intrusive thoughts but eventually I lay down to sleep and they pile into bed with me.  I have no control over the future but still my brain tries.

So today is a day to do one tax return and then work in the garden because I miss being outside.  It was a long winter, made even longer by the virus.  I know this won't last forever but it feels like it at times.  One day is good, the next is bad.  I know I'm not alone in this.  I was talking to friends at work and we all feel the same way.  Sigh.

Something good this week.


Saturday, 25 April 2020


This is an old photo, almost five years old, taken out at Medicine Lake in the late summer.  The lake slowly drains over the course of the summer, exposing giant rocks and a road.  The photo doesn't do the place justice because the rocks are enormous and the lake is 7 km long.


Work was hard yesterday.  One of our frequent flyers, a young man with either leukemia or lymphoma, can't remember, came for his IT chemo and I asked him how he was.  Not good he said.  The doc told him that the chemo isn't working anymore, that they've run out of options.  The young man is 31 years old.  I wanted to hug him and I couldn't.

We had a lady in her eighties yesterday come down for a PICC line. She's from a retirement home so she was on isolation for suspected COVID.  I had a yellow gown, mask, gloves and hat on while I interviewed her.  She was crying because her husband died of cancer two years ago.  He was a patient of ours.  They were together for 62 years and she misses him so much.  We were both crying and I couldn't hug her.

One of my coworkers is a very extroverted young woman who works and then goes home to be with her cat.  She's having a hard time spending so much time along and I can't hug her.

I had no idea I hugged so many people.  When I was a child I was very shy and hugs always filled me with anxiety, not the hug so much as the social rules around who to hug and who not to hug.  I started hugging people when I hit my thirties.  I grew up without hugs and I didn't want my children to grow up like that.  Overnight I became a hugger and I'm okay with that.  Fortunately I have the big guy to hug me and he does but there are so many people in the world right now who are alone and not getting hugs.  It makes me sad this lack of hugging.




Sending out virtual hugs.