Monday, December 28, 2015


Remember me?

I think this is the longest I have ever gone without posting. Clearly I have lost interest in my blahg after all of these years.

Anyway, quick updates on everyone...

We took a vacation to Hawaii in August and it was wonderful! We went to Oahu for a couple of days because I wanted to boys to see Pearl Harbor (and I wanted to see it as well). Jax and Dex went parasailing and Cars and I SUP'd all though it was really, really hard to stand up on the ocean so I did it from my knees. Then we flew to Maui and stayed at a posh resort and did a lot of very fun things like seeing the sunrise over Haleakala then rode mountain bikes down the mountain. That was so fun! Stephen took Dex and Jax zip-lining the next day while Cars and I rested by the pool. Lots of boogie boarding and body surfing. It was a really good time.

A couple of days after returning home, I flew to Toronto to help my brother, Wally, clear out my mom's assisted living apartment and go through some of her things. I spent a lot of time with my mom and she was acting strange but a bit better because she was put on an anti-psychotic medication. She was sure everyone at the nursing home was trying to steal her "essence" and trying to poison her. Now, 4 months later, she is much more with it, less suspicious. She is at home there although it is still really sad to me that she had to move into a nursing home. I cried so much on Christmas when I talked to her because she awoke and was just waiting around until Wally came in the early afternoon to take her to her sister's house. My poor mom.

Jax is a senior this school year and spent a lot of time and effort applying to college. He has so far been accepted to a few universities and no rejections so far. He has received scholarship offers ranging from $2k-$9800/year which is awesome (although that $9800 is for a private university and still pricey). He is spending a lot of time with friends playing music and making videos. I am so proud of him!

Dex did cross country this fall at school and really improved his running skills and made some great friends. At the end of season banquet when he received his letter for participation, he also received a "Student Scholar" award for maintaining a minimum 3.5 GPA throughout the sport season and he also won the "Most Spirited" award. He is a good kid and very kind and considerate to others (except for to Cars, who drives him nuts!).

Cars made a rep team for hockey this year and is doing well, Not sure if it is just that he is more interested in hockey this year or just more playing time, but his skills have greatly improved and he is probably the 3rd highest scorer on the team. He is also the tallest! This kid is going to be a giant. We had to buy him new shoes in August, October and December because he kept outgrowing his shoes! He got a new hockey stick at the beginning of the season (September) and a new one for Christmas because that on is already too small. He is taller than I am and I won't be surprised if he ends up 6'3" or taller. He is struggling a bit with school but is doing so much better than last year. Moving into middle school was a challenge for him (academically and socially - he was in the middle of all of the drama!) but this year he is hanging out with new friends and spends a lot of time biking and and making customized Lego Minifigs.

DH and I had a really rough patch. Things had been tense between us for a while then a big fight (on our anniversary) led me to think that we might not make it. We did not talk much for a few weeks but have worked a few things out. I know much of the stress for both of us have been over our aging and ailing parents (my mom and also my MIL who has been going through chemo again since her cancer is back).  I still think we need to go to counseling but he is reluctant. Life is busy and it is so easy to not find the time to do that. Hoping to bring it up again in the new year.

So, that is my update. I cannot promise I will blahg more but I am not ready to completely stop. For now.

Friday, August 07, 2015

My mom moved into a nursing home a few days ago. I am glad she will have more care but I am still not sure how she will do.  She has been finally diagnosed with dementia by a psychiatrist who will put her on some anti-psychotic meds. I don't have a lot of hope for the meds and recently read a news article that too many nursing home residents in Ontario were on these types of meds.

It is just a sad situation all around. My poor mom.

Friday, July 10, 2015

I was delighted to get some feedback from the message I sent to Mrs. Read for her 80th birthday:

From her daughter, Sam, who is my age (almost literally - we were born 10 days apart) and we were very close friends forever:

June 13:

Ok....this is me bawling my eyes out! That is such a beautiful tribute to my mom and I know it will mean the world to her!  
You know that we feel the same for your parents and your family and the history we share! I LOVED when it was your birthday and there was that familiar fun banter among you and your siblings that felt like xmas to me. We love your family so dearly and there are so many times in a day that I think of you and your dad.
Thank you for taking the time to share these memories. Love you Deni Doll.......i want to call you that all of the time and well....i try to hold back cause it might not be your favourite but my mom often refers to you that way and she sings when she says it because she loves you and your family as though you are her own.  
There won't be a dry eye in the place!


A text from her youngest daughter who lives in Seattle - so close to me but sadly, we rarely see each other:

Hi Deni! I just read what you wrote for my mom on her birthday. So teary! It was very beautiful! Thank you so much. I know she was very moved as was my dad. Sam said there were few dry eyes. Such a beautiful tribute!!

From her eldest son:
Please send my note of love and thankfulness for the Fauberts to Mrs Faubs and "Dennie".
Denine or Dennie as I ever called you. Thank you for the wonderful and kind words sent on moms 80th. Loved the photo of you and your Mom.
I  know that all the sharing and caring we did as families were our earliest training grounds for all lifes lessons. Times spent together and together within the togetherness was incredible. Things Marc and I would do trips travelling the subway to every stop imaginable and down to the maple leaf gardens as kids for open practice; grass fires; tree carving; fort building; model building and destroying; army men playing and burning; sand pit playing; broken bubble gum machine free gum chewing and some less than flattering remarks for construction workers and parks staff were not our finest moments.
Trips to Ottawa were especially memorable for no other reason than we got together after a period apart.
Seeing you all as grown ups however infrequently at Christmas has also been a blast.
Thanks for the memories one and all.

And from Mrs. Read herself:

Dear Denine,thankyou so much for your wonderful email message, we had a wonderful family party at Sandra and John's for my birthday. Sandra read out your message until she could not see for tears, and had to pass it on to my nephew to finish, I was in tears so i could not have finished it, I think it was so kind of you, and i will treasure it always. The whole family appreciated your memories and thoughtfulness  Denine, love you dear. Sue and I went to see your mom today but just had a few minutes as EV had just come to picked her up to take her home , for Matts birthday party. happy summer holidays to the boys! love Fread


We do not tell people enough how much they mean to us. I am going to make it my goal to tell people more often just how much they mean to me, what an influence they had on me and most of all, how much I love them.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Yesterday we went to a friend's house for the 4th of July (for the first time in about 10 year we did not have a party ourselves. I just did not have it in me to put one on for so many people). Anyway, my friend's MIL was there. I have met her several times over the past 15 years but it had been a few years since I had last seen her. She kept going on and on about how much weight I had lost. I really don't weight a lot less than I did the last time I saw her - maybe 5 pounds and only 10 pounds less than my heaviest since I met her. Makes me wonder just how fat she thought I was.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

This weekend was the 80th birthday of the lady who lived up the street from us. Her daughter asked me to write a note to her to share at her birthday and this is what I came up with but really it does not even really touch my feelings:
Dear Mrs. Read,

You have always been in my life. I really do not have a memory from my childhood that was before you were there. You were always Fread (Michael's name for you). I always love to hear that story where you were babysitting and he kept saying "Fread, go home! Fread, go home!" then "Fread, you still there?!".

Mrs. Read, you were there when I hit Michael with a belt (the buckle end) and sliced his head open. You were there the time I came home from school and the doors were wide open and the house was cold and no one answered when I called out. I ran up the street to your house and you braved our house to find Marc asleep (passed out!) downstairs. You were there every day when I went to your house for lunch while I was at G.B. Little. Sandra and I would race each other home to be the first so we could arrange for the largest pieces of dessert (brownies or date squares).

And of course there are the wonderful memories of vacations at the twin cottages, the picnics in Morningside Park with our families.  I am certain I do not have an actual memory of Sandra and I fighting over the water pump and throwing sand in each other’s eyes but hearing that story told time and time again over the years, I have imagined it and have made up a memory. It is indeed Faubert/Read lore.

There are so many other memories. Mrs. Read.  You were always one with a quick smile, quicker wit,  loads of empathy and a big heart. I remember once you told me you were worried sick and stayed up all night wondering how my drive home from Windsor (after taking the train home from visiting Stephen in Minnesota) was because you had heard that the fog on the 401 was so bad that night.

Mrs. Read, I really feel as though your family is my family. I love hearing about everyone and how they are doing and what they (or their children) are up to. It is wonderful that even though they are spread far and wide, you visit them often and they clearly adore you. It warms my heart when I see photos of your family on Facebook.

I have a friend who once, when I was explaining about “The Reads” who lived up the street, said she also had a family like that who lived on her street. But I know that her “that family” was nothing like our “The Reads” because they did not have a “Mrs. Read”.

Mostly, Mrs. Read, I remember you as my mom’s friend. You were her closest friend and her confident. I used to envy the times you would come over and sit in the Mrs. Read chair and talk to my mom. I always wanted a friend like that when I grew up. As the years passed, you were always a constant in our family’s lives and in my mom’s life. And now, when she is failing and frail, blind and confused, you are still there and I cannot be more grateful or thank you enough. And it is not just your shared history that makes you be there for my mom. It is because you are such an exceptional and generous person. And a wonderful friend. Thank you.

So, on your 80th birthday, I would like to wish you the happiest of days to a remarkable lady.

You will always be my Mrs. Read.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Nothing much is new. The boys are out of school. My mom is having problems remembering names (she hasn't forgotten mine so far and she always recognizes my voice) but she has forgotten Wally's wife's name and called my other SIL "Marie". At least she got the first three letters right.

It is heartbreaking how sad and bleak my mom feels. I am at a loss about what to do. My brother is growing more and more stressed and less and less detached towards my mom and her situation. He is counting the days to when she is accepted into a nursing home so he can quit worrying about her not just day-to-day but hour to hour. Gah, there is so much more to it and it is hard to write. My poor mom.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I have barely been able to speak to my mom since I have returned from Toronto. She cannot answer the phone unless she has someone there to help her so when someone is there and she answers, she always needs to go because someone is there (like my aunt, my mom's friends or my brother).

I am coping with this by eating. I am supposed to be taking a "Summer Shape Up" program at the gym. Well, I go to all of the classes but I am stress eating so my summer shape has become rotund. Next week is the last week and I am so mortified thinking about weighing in and taking measurements when I have gone UP on everything. I think I will email the trainer in charge and tell him I would like to skip that bit and just go for the workout. I am even a bit too chicken to do that. I suck.

The kids are out of school in a week. Dex starts driver's ed the week after that so our summer days will be spent driving him to/from his classes. DH is super busy at work and cannot take any vacation until August so we won't be headed to Oregon this year. That makes me really sad because I will miss vacationing with Spy and her family.

Jax wrote the SAT on the weekend and there was a misprint in the packet for the time on one section so College Boards are going to throw out the results of that one section (the kids had 5 minutes extra time to complete) so it will be interesting to see what his final score will be. If he does not score as good as or better than he has on the practice tests I am going to be pissed. I am sure a lot of other parents will also be pissed (something like 500,000 kids wrote the test on June 6 in the USA). I guess we just wait and see what his results will be...

Cars is continuing to not do well in school. Math tutoring is in his future.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I was in Toronto again this past weekend for my mom's 80th birthday. I drove to Vancouver then flew from there with JP. There was a small party for her at her sister's and then we left on her actual birthday which was Monday. It was a hard trip.

Friday, May 01, 2015

My Mom

I flew to Toronto last week to visit my mom. It is almost too hard to put into words how she is. She has some weird compulsions that she must do which is very odd. She admitted that she hears people telling her to do things in her head. I am surprisingly undisturbed by this. I mean it is awful but knowing that she is hearing voices is more reassuring than thinking that a real person is telling her to do this odd things (making sure her napkin is on the left then on the right, running her cane across the floor and then up in an upside-down letter J, stabbing her plate with a knife, etc.).

She had an MRI the day before I arrived and she was in such a good mood and so "with it" when I flew in. It was exciting to have an actual conversation with her. She said she felt as though she had awoken from a dream and that the past several weeks were so weird to her. Then the following day, she forgot I was there and asked me my name. And then it went downhill from there. It kind of makes me wonder if the strong magnets in the MRI did something to her brain and helped her be back to her old self for a short time.

I am going back in a couple of weeks for her 80th birthday. It is the original trip that I had booked but then I was convinced by my aunt, my cousin and my brother to go sooner. I am glad that I went. I hope my mom is able to get into a nursing home soon (long wait lists in Toronto). She really needs more care than the assisted living provides.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


My first baby turned 17 today. I hate when people say this but...where did the time go?!

Jax was born at 1:06pm via emergency C-section. I tried so hard to deliver him but he was sunny side up and after 2+ hours of pushing, we were exhausted (both baby and me) and his heart rate started dropping so they prepped me and had him delivered in no time!

He is a wonderful kid. He is funny. He is a hard worker. He loves being unique but not too different. He can ride a unicycle and wears heely's (shoes with wheels in the heel) to school sometime just to surprise people. He loves to play hockey because not a lot of people around here play it. He is creative and wants to do something with media or film when he goes away to school. Gah! I can barely even think about that.

All of the things I think and feel about him cannot even be summed up mere words. I am his mom and I love him. Those will words kind of say it all.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Well, it happened...

I turned 50. There was so much anticipation leading up to me turning 50 (well, so much anticipation from ME) and then it was done.

I am half a hundred.

I woke up at 4:45am and got ready to go to the gym for my "Total Body Transformation" class. I got home and showered then headed to my wood carving class where I shared a pan of gluten-free brownies with everyone. One of my friends there brought me some flowers and another brought a sampling of macrons. Yum!

I came home and looked at all of the well-wishes on Facebook. Then I headed out to the corner plaza for a pedicure. I was looking forward to the massage and just relaxing for an hour. Instead, I ended up with one of the owners doing my pedicure and it was a speed pedi and I was out in 30 minutes. (!)

Ash brought by a slew of irises from her, Spy and Jule. They were lovely.

Stephen came home while I was gone and decorated with some Mylar balloons and a banner then cooked a flank stead and garlic mashed potatoes for dinner.  Topped off with a gluten-free chocolate cake covered in Cadbury Crack (a.k.a. mini eggs).

I loved the low-key day and evening, spent with my family.

The one highlight (or lowlight, depending on how you look at it) of the day was speaking to my mom. She has pretty much forgotten how to answer her phone but if someone is close by when it rings, they will tell her and she will press the button on the ear buds. I called her about 25 times until she finally answered the phone (a lady named Margaret was walking with her and heard the ringing). I told my mom I just wanted to talk to her on my birthday and she replied that no, her birthday was in a couple of weeks (actually, a couple of months). I said "No, Mom. Today is *MY* birthday" and she said "Well how old are you then? 49?" "No, 50" I said. She replied "Well then that means I am going to be 80 in a couple of weeks".

It was not much of a conversation but it was really, really important to me that I speak to her that day. She does not call anyone anymore. She was evaluated by the Community Care people and she now has an aide everyday for 30 minutes (which should ease some of the cost from the retirement home) and she is on a waiting list for a nursing home. Her decline is stunningly fast. JP and I had booked flights out to see her in May for her 80th birthday but then I decided I needed to go sooner so I am also going out on April 22 for a few days. My brother said it is good because he is not sure that my mom will know me by the time her birthday rolls around.

My poor mom.


Monday, March 30, 2015

The Ultimate F Word

Well, it is nearly here. My Fiftieth birthday is tomorrow.

The bad parts about turning 50 are as follows:

1) I now have crows' feet! I was genetically fortunate to inherit young-looking skin but the wrinkles are here. I guess I will embrace them.
2) My eyes! I need readers all.the.time now. A few years ago the eye doctor told me that my eyes were good "for your age". She no longer says that. And I have multiple pairs of cheap Costco readers all over the house and in the car.
3) My teeth! I broke a tooth a week ago Friday and last Monday I had to have it repaired (the tooth broke and the filling fell out). I had a bad reaction to the new type of freezing and then my gums got infected. I was using a rinse and now today they put me on antibiotics. Broken teeth make me feel old. How long until I have to get dentures?

Fifty sounds pretty old but I still feel so young. I guess everyone does, right? 

Some good things about turning 50:
1) I reached my goal of doing 50 classes at the gym before I turned 50 (starting in January). I am strong and I feel good.
2) I feel confident enough to call people out on their bad behavior. I do not need to be part of it and sometimes people just need to know they are being ridiculous (or mean or whatever).
3) I don't ever need to go camping again. Just kidding (maybe).

Upwards and onwards!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I have been to a nutritionist three times in the past few weeks to try to get a handle on my food issues. The first meeting was covered under the "Total Body Transformation" program that I am doing at the gym and the other two meetings I have had to pay for (well, I guess I did pay for the first one but it was covered under the cost of the program). Anyway, I am down 8 pounds total from when I started and for only the second time in the past 20 years I have dropped into the "normal weight" range based on my BMI (by the way, the first time I dropped this low was just last summer and then I promptly gained weight again).

Let's be clear though, I am at the very, very top of the "normal" range and I still have a lot of extra weight on me, especially around my abdomen. I also realized yesterday that I will never be slim and even my weight goal (9 more pounds off) seems unattainable. I just cannot imagine myself as a thin person. And maybe I am not destined to be one?

I am healthy though. I have made it a priority in the past year to become strong. My heart is healthy (I guess it always was but it is stronger), and I am more active. I can actually do a few pushups (not many but I can do several from the knees!). But I realize too that being healthy is more than just working out. I want to eat "clean" (Gah! I hate it when people talk that way - but it's true!). I am not a child and I need to stop eating candy. Yes, sugar is my weakness. Especially the sugar that comes with fat in the form of chocolate! And I need to eat less fat, more veggies and more lean protein. I am working on that now. And I need to stop eating my emotions. I am very, very good at that!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Hassled and Harried

1) My tabs on my car expire tomorrow. Found out tonight that dh put the renewed tab on HIS car (because I have no idea why - all he had to do was read the ****ing piece of paper in which the tabs were attached to see where is says TOYOTA and not INFINITI). So now I have to go to the DOT with a signed affidavit and pay $9.95 to get new ones reissued to me. And he is acting all pissy as though it is my fault that he did this.

2) Trying to register Jax for the SAT test except that the college board has decided at some point to put a space in the middle of his compound first name and just before we hit SEND to register and pay a big WARNING comes up that the ID must match his registered name EXACTLY. Since we are not allowed to actually change his profile name, we stopped the registration and sent a letter to the college board to find out what to do. I am feeling so stressed out about this because his SAT prep classes start on Saturday and I feel so behind. I think most kids take the test in MAY but since we are late he is taking it in JUNE.
3) Cars is doing horribly in school and missing a week has not helped matters. I have sent a note to the counselor asking for help in helping him.

4) Pollen has been really bad (and so early) this year. Three times I have found myself struggling to breathe (twice while exercising and once at the orthodontist's office when they had a smelly candle, an oil infuser and a Glade plug-in and the air in the office was oppressive and I had to leave!). So I had to call the allergist (30 mins on hold!). They told me she had no openings until June but I asked to check the Seattle office schedule and I was able to get one for tomorrow but the office is 45 minutes away (with no traffic). So I have to drive into Seattle with horrible traffic to get to her office. The good news is that I will hopefully leave with a Rx for an inhaler.

5) I spoke to my aunt today and asked about when I *really* should come home to see my mom. I was thinking the end of April but then had an idea that maybe I should go in mid-May for her 80th birthday. My aunt said "can you come both times?" I just might have to. My mom is so frail and has problems thinking. I almost cannot even think about it much because I get so choked up.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Cars has missed 5 days of school in a row now because he has been sick with pneumonia. I am not certain that he had it the first two days he was home sick with a fever, but on Friday when his fever spiked to 103.8F I figured it was time to go to the doctor.

She listened to his lungs and said she thought he had pneumonia but wanted an x-ray to confirm and sure enough he had it in his left lung.

So we left with a Rx for Augmentin (generic) and he started taking it around noon. A second dose at bedtime and I figured he would be feeling much better in the morning - although I knew he would not be well enough to play hockey. He was still very sick on Saturday and on Sunday he seemed like he had a bit more energy but was drained by dinner time. At 4:43AM Monday morning he sent me a text telling me he needed water. I checked his temp and it was still 102.4! Too high after being on antibiotics for 3 days.

Back to the doctor we went and this one (we saw two diff doctors at the clinic and neither was the 'regular' doctor whom my kids see) prescribed Ceftin because it comes in a liquid form. Cars cannot swallow pills and he has a terrible gag reflex. The drug tastes bad, she warned Cars but he was ok with that because it was a liquid.

I went to the pharmacy and it was $396!!!!!!!!!!! O.M.F.G. I accepted it because he needed it (and brought us that much closer to our deductible). I brought it home and it is so very thick and tastes so very bad. He got the first dose down very slowly but the second dose DH gave to him while I was at the gym. Cars had a hard time swallowing it and it went in his mouth, hit the back of his throat and it came out, along with his dinner.

So, I tried to get him to take another dose but he was so certain that he was going to throw up that he just stared at it and cried for 40 minutes before I gave up. I then gave him another dose of augmentin, thinking even if it weren't working well, it might be working a bit.

This morning, another dose of augmentin and I went to the pharmacy for ideas. She said I could dilute it in juice or apple sauce or yogurt.  We will see how it goes tonight. Keeping a bucket handy, just in case.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Thank You For Being A Friend

So a couple of months ago I had a falling out with a friend. It stemmed from a fight with another friend and while I did not want to take sides, the friend with whom I've had the falling out was, in my opinion, less than honest about her intentions on one particular thing. I felt that if she could have just admitted that she was being a bitch or mean or whatever (because, who ISN'T like that sometimes? I know I am!) and she kept saying that I must not know her very well if I felt that she did it on purpose. Which I did but as I said, if she had just said "yeah, I was wrong and was being a bitch because I was hurt" or whatever I could look past it. We haven't really chatted at all since and I do miss her. But feel strongly that I need to hear that from her.
Friendships are funny, aren't they? I mean you can totally overlook someone's faults because you love them and value their friendship. And they do the same to you. And it is funny how some people are friends when they are complete opposites. Or how one can stay friends with a childhood friend, even if, 40 years on, you have nothing really in common.

And I find it interesting if we are friends with someone, we often defend them to others - almost to the death! Another friend is feeling that our group of friends are either for her or against her and I have been trying to tell her it is not a black or white situation and that we can disagree and still be friends. In the meanwhile, another friend in the same group complained about said friend and I felt affronted and felt that I needed to justify her behavior and defend her. I guess I was just trying to explain her reasoning or feeling and felt strongly that others should know and agree with me.

I have a lifelong friend who lives very far away and I consider her my BFF. If you looked at our lives, it would seem that we have nothing in common. I have kids, she does not, She has a successful career and I do not. She is pursuing a graduate degree and working fulltime and I am so in awe of her. I am a mousy little housewife in comparison. Yet, I know she and I will be close friends forever.

Anyway, I think I am just feeling nostalgic. Lots of reminiscing about my life in the past few months with my milestone birthday approaching and my mom coming undone.

Such is life.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Today is Friday. It should be the best day of the week, right? Right?!

Woke up to find Cars on day #3 of fever but now it was not just a measly 101.5F fever but 103.4F! So for the third day in a row he crawled under a blanket on the couch with plans to doze on and off.

At 6:45am, just as Dex and Jax were getting ready for school, and DH was getting ready for work, our power went out. I checked outside but could not tell if any of our neighbours were without power so I texted my next door neighbor who said that yes, hers was off too. So I called the power company and they reported that 2900 customers were without power and they did not know the reason why. Since dawn was breaking and it was relatively mild out, we decided not to set up the generator and everyone left for work/school.

Made an appointment for Cars at the pediatrician's office and of course the time conflicted with my (pre-paid) class at the gym. Then I noticed a funky smell in the house. It was worse by the front door so I bent down to take whiff at the heating vent and almost fell over! OMG! Something was dead and rotting in my crawlspace. I put on my rubber boots and went next door to my other neighbour's house and told her I needed some support while I crawl under my deck to access my crawlspace. She is awesome and came with me and I struggled to get under the deck and get that door off. I saw nothing in the crawlspace but beautiful (dry - I did think for a min that our septic tank might have backed up) crawlspace. However, there was no way that I was actually going to crawl INTO it. I had her come take a whiff (see, didn't I tell you she was an awesome neighbor?) by my front door and she said yes, it was definitely a dead, rotting animal smell.

Just great.

I called a company that specializes in making your crawlspaces clean. We had hired them about 5 years ago to replace the vapour barrier in our crawlspace and to add more insulation and wrap the pipes and vents in insulation. They said they'd send someone out at noon.

I jumped into the shower and threw on some clothes and took Cars to the doctor for his appointment. The nurse took his temperature and it was now 103.8F! Yikes!! She left to go get the doctor and Cars asked me if he might have Ebola. I asked him when he was in West Africa and he realized he was being silly (although he was dead serious when he asked). The doc came in and after listening to his lungs she said he probably had pneumonia and an X-ray would confirm. She left to get the nurse to set up the X-ray and Cars shot me a look that could kill and said that I had told him that her probably did NOT have it. It is true, I figured he might just have a virus but with the high temperature, I wanted to be sure it was nothing else. Anyway, the X-ray confirmed pneumonia. Rx for Augmentin and home we went.

The crawlspace guy arrived and took one whiff and said there was something dead. We walked around the house outside and inspected to make sure all of the crawlspace screens were intact (they were) and then he crawled under the deck and into the crawlspace. He emerged a while later with lots of photos of rat droppings near the front of the house (which is why I could not see anything because the back of the house is still immaculate) and said he could not readily see any dead bodies but there is rat poop that is green which indicates that it ate poisoned bait and then probably died in the crawlspace.

So...what's next?  Total removal of all insulation in the crawlspace,  the vapour barrier, sanitize and deodorize and reinstall all new stuff at a lovely co$t. OMG! He thinks the rats were getting in under the insulation at the front of the house (probably a broken screen) but they won't know for sure until they remove it all. Fortunately they can do it tomorrow. I cannot wait any later because of the stench in my house!
I need a do-over today.

Monday, February 23, 2015

I was trying to find a post about my sister yesterday (before I remembered that I deleted most of them) and I found this. I wrote it over 9 years ago:

Here is the list of 50 Things About Me (this is a repeat for anyone who may read HER TIME on Delphiforums):

1. I am 40 years old but still feel 18 sometimes (not youthful, just immature) **almost 50 and still feel the same
2. I have three boys
3. I always thought I would have a girl
4. I met my dh at university
5. We were in almost all of the same psychology classes together that year
6. He asked me to marry him twice
7. I said no the first time
8. I am a chronic worrier
9. I probably should be on anti-anxiety medication **now have Xanax to take just in case
10. But that worries me more than the anxiety
11. I had (have) post-partum depression after my third child
12. I am still going to counselling for it two years later but go once every three weeks now **no more
13. I love being creative
14. I make beaded jewerly, I knit (simple items), and I paint **now I do wood carving
15. I would love to go back to school for graphic design  **still think about this!
16. But I worry about the cost, if I am good enough, etc
17. I wish I had more friends IRL
18. I would rather stick hot pokers in my eyes than speak in public
19. I get tongue-tied when I am nervous and end up sounding like a fool
20. I miss Toronto and hope to move back there one day  **good God no! But Vancouver is a possibility
21. I haven't lived there in 12 years  **21 years
22. I hate cold winters though so I will probably stay here with the cool, wet winters
23. I think all.the.time about losing weight  **same
24. Especially when I am sitting around eating chocolate **same
25. I don't like my sister **same
26. Although really I think I don't like her because I feel rejected by her **same
27. She will not speak to anyone in the family except for my mom because "we are all strangers to her" **same
28. We are strangers because she will not speak to us **same
29. I am sometimes embarrassed when people ask me about her and I cannot tell them more than what I have heard from my mom **same
30. I pray for her a lot **same
31. I pray for my husband too
32. I wish he would attend Church with us
33. I worry about Jackson being exposed to peanuts, especially peanut butter because it is so insidious and gets everywhere **and now Carson to tree nuts since he was not yet diagnosed at the time I originally posted this
34. When I was in the deep depths of ppd, I used to think it might be better if he died so I didn't have to worry about him and peanut butter anymore
35. That is when I sought help
36. I have never told anyone that before and wonder if I am brave enough not to edit it
37. I feel guilty about those thoughts everyday
38. I want to let my hair grow grey  **btdt now I am blondish because it blends better with grey
39. I wish I could afford to go to a salon every 4 weeks to colour it
40. I am lazy
41. I am too cheap to go to Starbucks  **same
42. I get jealous watching Oprah's "Favorite Things" episodes  **thank God Oprah is over
43. I never thought I would be a stay-at-home mom
44. I cannot imagine going back to work in an office
45. My favourite board game is Scrabble but I don't have anyone to play with because Stephen gets annihilated everytime and will not play with me anymore
46. I have wished for world peace every Christmas since I was 10
47. I think Karl Rove is an evil man **same
48. Organized Christmas trees (by colour or theme) are not for me
49. I love decorating my Christmas tree with all the hodgepodge decoartions
50. I hope to catch "Love Actually" on TV this holiday season

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Sisters are

My mom.

My poor mom.

It is sad enough that she had to deal with a physical affliction (blindness stemming from chronic illness - giant cell arteritis). But now to continue to have psychological issues on top of it (stemming, no doubt, from prednisone - the drug used to treat her affliction).

My mom got stuck in time last week. She was stuck in time before she was born. She was worried about how things would play out, being stuck in time before she was born. How would the nurses, who are much younger than she is, come to give her the meds each morning since they also had not been born yet? In the end, she decided to just sit and wait to see what happened and if time resolved itself.

She did not, however, reveal to just anyone that she was stuck in time. She left lovely info for my poor aunt, her sister, who has been dealing with the brunt of everything. My aunt called my brother and told him that we all needed to come see my mom because this was the weirdest thing she had ever said and she was stuck in time for two days (the longest that my mom has been saying weird things).

So, I decided I should go. But then my sister decided she was going this weekend. So I did not book my trip.

We should have know...

I have posted about my sister in the past and, dear reader, if there are any of you left, you may remember having read about her. I have deleted most of my blahg postings about her.  She is ... hard to describe.

Actually, not that hard to describe.

My sister is bitter, mean, depressed, angry. There is no joy in her life except when she is making others miserable. I don't know that to be true, really, but it must be because she is often making people feel miserable and shitty so that must make her happy or why would she do it, right?

She loves two people in her life - her son and daughter (both adults and from what I understand, great kids). I suppose she loves my mom too. She did, after all, decide to go see her.

So, my sister's daughter is an EMT and she can get these discounted plane tickets so my sister was able to get a ticket to see my mom and flew yesterday morning. My mom was so happy that my sister was coming to visit. Really happy! I was happy that my mom was happy and that my sister was going when it was so freaking cold (record cold temperatures in Toronto!).

Now, my sister does not have anything to do with me - long story but she blocked me on facebook in October after I defriended her after she reported a photo that I put up of us as kids with our pumpkin - a freaking 40+ year old picture!! So I really did not want to call my mom while my sister was there so we have had minimal contact these past couple of days but this is what happened as told to me by my youngest brother.

So, my sister arrived Friday and my mom was delighted. Saturday morning I woke up and got on my iPad ans say these messages from my brother on Facebook:

So who wants to come to Toronto to bail J out when she gets arrested?
I just got a call from the Suites (assisted living) and first of all mom never told them that J was coming
This morning J was yelling and screaming at the staff, saying they are treating mom like a dog and swearing
She was threatening them
She made several of the nurses cry
They are all afraid to approach her.
I told B (director at assisted living) that if she causes anymore problems to call the police
Auntie is picking them up in a little while to go to her place for lunch and hopefully keep them there for a long time.
J called Auntie and was cursing up a storm about these "fuckin' ladies here" and said she is going home, she can't take seeing the way they treat mom
Mom was in the background crying and yelling if you leave I will never talk to you again

And a couple of hours later:

I just got off the phone with the director of the home.
She told me J is not allowed to come back.
So my poor brother, who is a about 1.5 hours east of the city at his daughter's basketball tournament is dealing with this shit and my sister is behaving like a lunatic! 

And my poor mom!!


Damn it
Mom is saying that they can't take her away from me
She said I have to tell them she is bipolar
I said that is not an excuse for assaulting people.
Bipolar Is not a defense against committing a crime.
I hung up on mom

Let's be clear here. My sister has not ever been diagnosed with being bipolar. She has been diagnosed with depression in the past. Really, she is just a mean person. My mom is *sure* she is bipolar but only because my sister will talk to her sometimes and not talk to her at others so my mom takes that as the highs and lows of being bipolar.

So, my sister goes to Toronto, threatens and screams at all of the staff in my mom's assisted living who are responsible for my mom's care, gets herself  BANNED from the place and then throws another hissy fit, changes her flight and is planning to fly home first thing in the morning. Thankfully she is able to stay with my Aunt.

This is un-fucking-believable!

My youngest brother is now left to mop up the mess in dealing with my mom and with the assisted living centre who had to BAN MY SISTER! OMG, that is so embarrassing!

Meanwhile, DH stayed overnight in Vancouver on a business trip last night so when he arrived home I told him all of it and his response "When are you going?".

I don't want to go!

My poor mom.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Dex's tics are back with a vengeance. They do not bother him at all so I hate to bring it to his attention but the constant blowing air through his nose is so annoying! He went to a movie a few days ago and I can only imagine what the other movie patrons were thinking, having to listen to it. Poor kid. I will give it another week before I ask him about going to see the neurologist. It has been years since we have been but might be worth another visit.

Friday, January 23, 2015

So it has been a rough start to my mom moving into assisted living. They went on a lockdown a few days after she went in because so many residents had the flu (12 hospitalizations and 9 others sick at the time the lockdown started). It went on for 2 weeks because more and more residents kept getting sick. Thankfully my mom did not. Anyway, they finally lifted it but my mom had spent two weeks in her room, brooding and feeling sorry for herself and somehow has convinced herself that two of her doctors are "screwing her". OMG, she does not talk that way usually.

The rheumatologist is lowering the prednisone that she is one (still a huge dose) and she thinks she will therefore lose the little bit of peripheral vision that she has left. Also, usually when the prednisone dose goes down, her insulin dose has to go down as well. However, the assisted living centre needs a specific note from her doctor every time there is a change. The doctor says she will give them a verbal ok but they want a note and the doctor won't just write a note (without my mom being seen) to do that and my mom is livid. So much so that she wanted to fire her doctor and took a friend in with her for support do to just that. The doctor told my mom she knew she had a problem with her but the doctor did not have a problem with my mom. She then explained why she would not just write a note without my mom being seen and that just because the prednisone went down does not mean the insulin has to (my mom rants on and on about how the prednisone's diabetes is different than her diabetes!!).

Anyway, after the appointment, my mom's friend told my mom that the doctor's explanation made sense and my mom became angry and said that "Barb is now on Dr. Iwasa's side!". OMG, there are no sides! It is just the doctor, you know, the one with the medical degree, doctoring and being responsible and not bowing to her geriatric patient's whims.

So again, I am concerned about my mom's mental functioning. She is paranoid and seems incapable of rational thought at times. She has become belligerent and argumentative. It might be the meds or stress or maybe just old age causing some dementia. It is sad and scary. My cousin asked my mom if she wanted to live the rest of her life as a cranky person, yelling and arguing with everyone. Because that is what she has turned into. I so wish that I lived closer so that I could help ease everyone's burden and help my mom out. This is really hard for everyone and my mom, I know, is scared and worried all the time (she was like that anyway) and this has just been a harder transition than we were all expecting.

I am getting ready to have to go visit her again. At the very least, we will make a family trip this summer but I imagine I will have to go before then.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

New Year marks 11 years...

I started this blahg 11 years ago this month. I just re-read my first post and I guess I had a previous blog that I don't even remember. I think I started complaining in it and decided that was not the tone I wanted but I am not really sure ... it is funny how we can forget things.

I will be 50 in a little bit - 86 days to be precise. I don't feel that old. I remember why my dad turned 50 (I was 16) and I teased him relentlessly about being 'half a hundred' and '5 decades'. He would get irritated with me. I wonder if he felt as young then as I do now.

I am trying to decide what I am going to do to celebrate my 50th birthday. It is definitely a milestone that needs recognition. A couple of years ago I started a 50 by 50 list but I think I only ever wrote 10 things on it. Too late for a new one?