30 September 2005

Wheel Go 'Round ...

The funeral was long. There were lotsa tears and lotsa smooches. There were these pools of people ... Newfies over there, Hippies over here, Bikers back there, coworkers over there, Shriners all over the freaking place. There were three eulogies and the last one was actually good. Rose and Cassandra were there, interfering with the stuffiness and cramming cashews in folks' mouths. It could have been a whole lot worse. Nothing like a lap fulla squirm feeding ya pre-licked cashews, fishing down yer shirt while telling ya this is all about Pat, and playin' peek-a-boo with yer scarf to lighten things up.

In other news, I've really got to get my license. You see, my car's in the city now. It still has to have its inspection and all that rot, but it's here!

I have to find a good home for Billy's cat. Turns out he doesn't want him back.

26 September 2005

Changes ...

The equinox came, and in that surreal time of perfect balance, Pat died. I'm relieved and happy that he's not hurting anymore, that his fears of not being him at the end weren't realized, that those who love him aren't watching him hurt anymore. And I miss him.

I got an e-mail from Billy yesterday. As usual, his timing sucks. I got angry once I'd digested it some. I'd been trying to get to angry for months. I'm glad that's over with. He and PJ and Pat are all mixed up in my head and heart right now. He doesn't belong in that mix ... he's still alive and not one of my ghosts, damnit ... it's something to do with the cat and PJ's dog, I think. It's complicated.

Saturday was fun. I met Brandon on Whyte. We went to Artifacts to find him a new earring, to EBC (huge construction site on the way with very cool big machines doing neat stuff) and United Cycle (ran into my cousin) to do bike things, to Doan's for lunch (where I rudely spent a bunch of time on the phone with Pat's sister), then I went home to construct a lasagna. Brandon, Barbara, Anailise and I went to Oliver's potluck later. It was somewhat subdued, but nice.

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 11:57
Hours of dark: 10:50ish
Sunrise: 7:27 am
Sunset: 7:23 pm
Start of twilight: 6:52 am
End of twilight: 7:58 pm

Current weather: Mostly Cloudy. 12°C (53°F), humidity 57%, wind E 11.2 km/h (7 mph.), barometer 29.77 in. Hg

Today.. Cloudy with sunny periods and 30% chance of showers. High 10°C (50°F).
Tonight.. Cloudy periods with 60% chance of showers. Low 1°C (34°F).
Tuesday.. A mix of sun and cloud. High 12°C (54°F).
Wednesday.. Sunny. Low -1°C (30°F). High 17°C (63°F).
Thursday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low 5°C (41°F). High 15°C (59°F).
Friday.. Cloudy with 30% chance of showers. Low 4°C (39°F). High 14°C (57°F).
Normals for the period.. Low 1°C (34°F). High 15°C (59°F).

21 September 2005

Change without notice ...

I worked the front desk a few times when I worked at the paper. There are a few people I still remember quite vividly:
The woman who brought us muffins because at 70 she had gone on a date for the first time in years after letting us rewrite her personal ad ... she rode her bike into the lobby in red denim overall shorts and a straw hat with flowers on it, apple cheeks and twinkly sapphire eyes,

The man with the great smile who signed his company cheques with an X,

The man with dirty white hair and dirtier clothes who came in at 8:00 a.m. to check his replies, stumbling, stooped, shaking and slurring. His ad read, "... youthful middle-aged businessman, social drinker ..."

I did oil some shelves on Saturday, and the uprights another day. I've yet to assemble them (mostly because it means removing everything from the other set and disassembling it first). It won't happen today.

Pat continues to struggle with pain management. His dad came out from Newfoundland to see him.

It warmed up out for a couple of days, so it's somewhat less frigid in here. It's cooled off again, but not as cold as it had been and there's sunshine to warm things up. A couple more weeks 'til furnace.

Miles came back to town for a few days and I'm not sure if it was helpful to Barbara or even more trouble.

I had an appointment with the bank yesterday. Brandon did not come for dinner and a movie yesterday. He went to a meeting to do some sleuthing for me for Barbara instead, bless his heart. He came over later. If the day goes okay, we'll have dinner tonight instead. There's some prep work I'd like to do in advance, but not yet. For now, I'm going back to bed 'cuz I can. I require more sleep than does Brandon. Much more. I could function just fine if I had to, but I don't have to, I'm tired and I'm going to sleep some more.

I have a few calls to make later. Oliver is having a potluck on Saturday not for his birthday. He's callling it a security party 'cuz most of the folx he's inviting have worked on our crew at the Fair at one time or another ... or plan to. He wants us all to meet his new girlfriend and it's just time for a gathering.

17 September 2005

Mice, men and me ...

Brandon had to get up early 'cuz his boy is coming over, so I got up at 6:30 with him. I was planning on oiling shelves today, so I could finish the kitchen re-arranging. So far, I've gone back to bed for three hours, talked to Barbara on the phone, stuck my fantabulous hair-don't under the tap to tame it, made the bed, fed the cats, done dishes, taken out the garbage, done a search-and-destroy in the fridge, made a grocery list, baked cookies for Pat and made myself some Okonomiyaki (yup, my latest favourite food). There's not a single oiled shelf to be seen.

It's great that Pat's in a hospital closer to family, but it's sure a lot more awkward to get to for me. I'm very grateful to Mona, Barbara and Marmaduke for getting me out there to see him as often as they have and to Brandon, Mona, Barbara, Patty, Vince, Neige and everyone else who's watching out for me. He's giving the palliative care folx a run for their money on the making-him-comfortable front. Thursday was the first day he woke up feeling okay ... then he slept most of the day. They're joking about using grizzly tranquilizer on him next. There's always someone there with him (sometimes lots of someones). I'm fretting less about how this is going to be for him.

It's been rather icky out for most of the week ... and that makes it kinda icky in with no heat. Wednesday morning was different ...
Out is lovely this morning. The air, sharp, cold and hard for the past few days, is cool and soft. It's raining. Earlier, the sun peeking under the clouds had the ones in the west painted salmon and watermelon. I had a moment of panic when I realized I'd forgotten to put a necklace on ... I nearly decided to miss the bus to go back for it ... weird. Such a creature of habit.

It's warmer out today, so I've got all the windows open to warm up the house a bit (I probably jumped the gun, opening them up when it was still 5°C (41°F), but it was so sunny ... it looked warm).

Barbara's struggling with a sprained knee, Miles out of town working, Anailise being very nineteen-months-old, and Corbin, the four-year-old fairly severly physically handicapped boy who comes over two-and-a-half to three days a week. On top of having Cerebral Palsy, he's fed mostly through a feeding tube which upsets his stomach quite a bit. He has a worker who comes in the afternoons as well, so that gives Barbara a little bit of a break. The mornings have been quite challenging, though. I went on Thursday for second breakfast with them. I met Corbin for the first time (what a flirt!), played on the floor with Anailise while he and Barbara had a cuddle. Then we propped Corbin up on cushions and Anailise made herself a little pillow nest and I read stories to the two of them while Barbara got second breakfast ready. You'd think I'd be the one making second breakfast so she could put her leg up, but I think she was just glad to have some time without someone hanging off her. We had boiled eggs and toast with lovely local honey and practiced taking deep breaths with Corbin to help him calm down when his belly started acting up again. Barbara said it helped and they had far fewer up-chucking incidents than earlier in the week. Anailise picked it up right away and would start deep breathing whenever Corbin started to get upset. It's wonderful to see how much care she shows for him.

Brandon had a hellish day last Tuesday, so we didn't do the dinner-and-a-movie thing. I really missed it. This week, I'm gonna make Okonomiyaki and something that kinda resembles Vietnamese salad rolls, and maybe try my hand at cucumber and/or avocado maki rolls ... and we're going to watch Sin City ... all of which is, of course, subject to change without notice, batteries not included, etc.

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 12:34
Hours of dark: 10:20ish
Sunrise: 7:11 am
Sunset: 7:45 pm
Start of twilight: 6:36 am
End of twilight: 8:20 pm

Current weather: Mostly Cloudy. 15°C (59°F), humidity 47%, wind W 22.4 km/h (14 mph.), barometer 29.94 in. Hg

Today.. Sunny. High 17°C (63°F).
Tonight.. Clear. Low 1°C (34°F) with risk of frost.
Sunday.. Sunny. High 20°C (68°F).
Monday.. Sunny. Low 3°C (37°F). High 15°C (59°F).
Tuesday.. Sunny. Low 1°C (34°F). High 15°C (59°F).
Wednesday.. A mix of sun and cloud. Low 0°C (32°F). High 12°C (54°F).
Normals for the period.. Low 3°C (37°F). High 16°C (61°F).

14 September 2005

Dark O'clock ...

I had weird, restless dreams 'til the alarm went off at 5:30. My first thought this morning (after the mumblety-grml? one) was that it sure has been nice not getting up at dark o'clock for the last several months.

13 September 2005

Kid Therapy ...

I phoned Pat's sister today 'cuz I'd left a few messages for Pat and hadn't heard back. She says he's had a couple of really bad days. They figure the cancer's metastasized to his brain, causing some personality differences and affecting his pain centres.

They've upped the methadone beyond the maximum and added something (the name escapes me for the moment) that helps separate the brain and body, since the messages are getting all garbled, and he's able to move short distances with his walker again. With the number and amount of drugs, he's no longer able to go out for a smoke and he's pretty ticked about that. He's moved into the palliative care room (small hospital) and has more room for visitors now ... good thing, 'cuz he sure has lots.

Mona, Rose, Cassandra and I are going to go get cracker crumbs in his bed again tomorrow morning. His sister has appointments tomorrow, so I'll stay out there after Mona and the cracker crew leave. With any luck at all, Bobaloo and/or Marmaduke will come out in the evening and I can catch a ride back.

I hope they can keep the pain under control in a way that lets him stay coherent. It's important to him.

I'm worried about his sister.

11 September 2005

Happy Bday Brandon ...

... a coupla days late.
Friday morning Mona, Rose and Cassandra came over and we had second breakfast before going to see Pat in the hospital. We met Patty and Jaime there. The roving agents of cute got his bed fulla cracker crumbs and sang him Kwinkle Kwinkle Little Tar (among other classics), we had tea (soup an' sammiches for the girls) in the hospital cafeteria while Pat had some nursing done. Mona, Rose and Cassandra headed home after a little bit more visiting. Patty, Jaime and I headed out for lunch to give Pat a chance to eat his in peace, and have a wee nap, then went back to visit some more. We left late in the afternoon, Patty and Jaime went to Patty's grandma's for dinner and I came home and yacked with Brandon on the phone (and didn't sing him Happy Birthday 'cuz I'm generous like that). One of Pat's old biker buddies wanted to have a barbecue for him, but the weather was just too lousy and his house is really too small for that many people to hang about indoors ... so it got moved to Pat's sister's place in Spruce Grove on Saturday. Barbara and Anailise met us there ... there were s'more hippies and some bikers and some family. I think Pat had a really good time ... he didn't even doze off, in spite of enough drugs to drop a rhino. Flipper wants to do it again this weekend or next. Patty, Jaime and I came back here to hang out with Nina, and Brandon came over. It got very drunk out. Jaime and Brandon were very funny ... Brandon brought over his new Tibetan singing bowl and ended up giving it to Jaime 'cuz he enjoyed it so much ... Nina got all feisty ... Patty, Nina and I went down to make up the futon for Patty and Jaime ... I think it took us forever. Everyone crashed pretty late. I got Patty and Jaime up at 8:30 for coffee, and when Patty went to get Nina up for work we discovered she was gone. It turns out she had gone to her Mom's with a girlfriend of hers after the rest of us went to sleep. She came back later to pick up her stuff to move back to her Mom's ... she'd been planning to but waited 'til after yesterday so she could be here when Patty and Jaime were. Patty and Jaime left at around 10:30 to drive back to B.C. and I went back to bed. I got up again when brandon left at around 2:30ish, took some ibuprophen and went back to bed. I remember why I don't drink. Ow.

06 September 2005

Cranberries and opals...

When I was at the lake, the air was full of the smell of cranberries ripening. The leaves may not be turning yet, but fall's coming. There was a frost warning last night. Brrr! My thermostat croaked a couple of months ago. I didn't worry about it 'cuz it's summer, but now it's time. I've called the furnace/water heater folx to come on Friday to do an estimate. I'm going to replace the thermostat (preferably with one that's a little more programmable than the old one), the furnace (with a high-efficiency one), and the water heater (with tankless). Next call is the the eavestrough guys 'cuz the downspout on the east side of the house came down (nope, not again ... I haven't had it fixed since it happened) and the eavestrough on the west side has come away from the house. I suspect some rot in the eaves. Time to check the roof, too. If I have to replace it, I'm going with metal and never doing it again.

Pat's moved to the Stony Plain hospital, closer for his sister and his folx. He's out of treatment options for the cancer. He's got a couple of cracked vertebrae and some broken ribs and a leg that's painful and badly swollen from blood clots. Cancer sucks and cancer treatment sucks as much if not more. Barbara and I went out to see him last Friday at his sister's and had a nice visit. Patty and Jaime are coming in tomorrow from B.C. for a couple of days to see him. I'm looking forward to seeing them, but sure wish it were under other circumstances.

I keep meaning to post about the trip back from San Francisco ... actually, from Vancouver to here ...

We took off a little late and flew out over the ocean to get to altitude ... there was a tug with a bunch of sailboats in tow that looked like a mama duck and a while brood of ducklings ... then we flew over the mountains, which is always pretty cool ... the air was odd, like flying through the heart of an opal ... then we flew over some thin white cloud and there was a bullseye of a double-rainbow with the shadow of the plane in the centre ... every now and then there'd be a break in the cloud framing a mountain lake. I thought about getting my camera out several times but didn't want to look away. The cloud got thicker, but we stayed inside the opal even once the clouds got thick enough that we were in them ... when we popped out of the clouds, the opal effect was gone, but then there was that beautiful wide open prairie tapestry as far as the eye can see. I wasn't the only one on that plane who was a l'il sniffly.

Stuff and Nonsense ...

Length of day: 13:20
Hours of dark: 10:00ish
Sunrise: 6:52 am
Sunset: 8:12 pm
Start of twilight: 6:16 am
End of twilight: 8:48 pm

Current weather: Mostly Clear. 18°C (64°F), humidity 39%, wind W 3.2 km/h (2 mph.), barometer 30.15 in. Hg

Today.. Sunny. High 20°C (68°F).
Tonight.. Clear. Low 2°C (36°F) with risk of frost.
Wednesday.. Sunny. High 21°C (70°F).
Thursday.. Cloudy. Low 4°C (39°F). High 15°C (59°F).
Friday.. Cloudy with 30% chance of showers. Low 3°C (37°F). High 15°C (59°F).
Saturday.. Sunny. Low 3°C (37°F). High 15°C (59°F).
Normals for the period.. Low 5°C (41°F). High 18°C (64°F).