Saturday, February 28, 2009

See Geoff's


I was just sitting here thinking of what to write then looked at the keyboard, which is gross. I must clean it after this. No wonder there are a ton of germs on these things.
I worked 3 days that went well and were ++positive. We had a 2nd meeting of our psychiatric nursing practice committee and it went swimmingly. The people on it are great. I feel positive changes will happen. We are 1st looking at PICU practices-best practices within that area. Plus we will go on some field trips to see other PICU's and what they do there. The jerk who tried to bully me was working, but in the other area, so it was no issue, though he tried some stuff, he was unsuccessful in undermining me-and I was ever so pleasant saying good bye-to him and he then went in a singsong voice 'umm hmm', because he was probably pissed that his tactic didn't work. F you buddy-I'm wise to your game. Grace and Scott: though nursing is a great profession, you will hear the term "nurses eating their young"-referring to horizontal violence in the workplace. It's there, prepare for it, don't put up with it, don't do it to others. Isn't that a dogmatic soundbite?
Sorry for offensive letter F.
And I am off for 2 weeks as I had to use up my education hours for the course I am doing before Mar 14th. All very awesome. Richard and I may go to Nakusp for a night or two. If Mom will cat sit? I haven't actually asked her this yet.
We went to a movie put on by the local Amnesty International group on James Orbinski-the Canadian head of Medicine Sans Frontiers when they won the Nobel Peace prize. he wrote 'An Imperfect Offering'-I highly recommend it. Mom and I liked the movie. Richard felt that he had a God complex. Maybe, generally I think it is hard for both doctors and nurses to avoid it. You spend your workday 'saving lives' and perhaps forget that you are only assisting the person-they and their bodies save themselves-you are there to provide a service to help them do that. It is good to remember this. Makes me think of how annoyed I get about doctors having the primo parking spots at the hospital. Actually, shouldn't the patients and families have those ones? After all, they are the ones who are SICK and need better parking. In the health care system, patients often feel like we are going out of our way to be helpful etc., when actually we get paid for doing this and it is our job! I'm not saying that there aren't times when I feel that yes, I put up with stuff that other people have no concept of, and that sometimes I am quite frankly doing a job that I should be recognized for, but really, I get paid well and many other people do work that is vital to our survival. Patients shouldn't feel like they need to be indebted to the health care system and we shouldn't be feeling that by doing our job, that we are doing sick people a favour.


Allison was in the Journal this morning! So was Todd, but he's always in there. My sister, president of Latitude 53, looking very cool with a beer in her hand.
Also the house we saw last week was in the paper again. If we were really retired and had $900,000 we would consider buying it. The main attraction is that it is called "The Judy." Of course we would revise that to The Judith.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Todays news from AZ - Dennis got out of surgery at 4 pm and when Kay called they had no news yet as he had just come down from the or - she said she'd call if she had any news, but in the meantime would talk to ML who would call Jude - so thats what I know. Kay is still pretty worried, which is natural (your kids are not supposed to be gravely ill before you are)
Jim just called - asked him if he'd been checked for aneurysms and he had an ultrasound the year Dad died.
I see that it is bitter cold in AB - we had 4" of snow last night and its -8, so winter is still here altho it was a cloudless sunny day and the sun was quite warm.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Another Dennis Update

Just talked to Marylynne, and she said that Dennis will be having his surgery tomorrow at 10:30. He is getting a valve replacement, because of the aneurysm, as well one of his arteries is 90% blocked so they are going to fix that. She also said that the Dr. said the reason for his aneurysm is because there are supposed to be 3 aortic leaflets (I think that is what it is called) and he only has two, which means that puts stress on the aorta, by blood pushing against the wall of aorta, which then causes the aortic aneurysm. The Dr. in Phoenix said this condition is genetic. Marylynne thinks we all need Ultra sounds now to check it out. She has not talked to her Mom and Dad yet, but did reach Dennis at the hospital, so got the information from him. I asked how he got diagnosed, and she said he was having some numbness and chest pains so went to the Dr, and then everything unfolded from there. The weird thing is Deanna was having some trouble with ther heart last year, and they did an ultra sound, and found she only had two as well, but did not pass along the information regarding the aneurysm to her. Marylynne did talk to Nancy, and also sent her an email, to let her know, but she is not sure how to reach the Carlson's so they don't know yet.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I just talked to Kay and she is waiting for a call from Dennis after he sees the surgeon, after which she will call Marylynn, who will either call Jude or expect a call from her. She sounds exhausted as they barely slept last night and their plane left at 5 am and of course they are worried sick. Deanna and Rod are somehwere in Mexico and Nancy wont be back till next week.
They are doing the operation tomorrow, but he asked them not to go to the hospital till the next day - he'll be asleep in ICU after the op and for the night too. Will let you know when I hear anything and if anyone else does keep us posted
Reading week is over; it seemed short. I guess Grace and I didn't get home till Monday and we took the kids back on Saturday so it really wasn't very long. We brought Grace's friend Sam too so they could go see the Oilers on Sunday.
After we dropped the kids off we went to see a show home - the one that was on the front of the Homes section of the Journal on Saturday. The house is in Highlands and has all kinds of innovations in it. It was a nice place. Not very far from Baba's. Then we just went home.
Hardly saw the kids while they were home. We would have supper together but they went out most nights and of course were not up when I went to work every day.
Mardi Gras today so we are going to the pancake supper at the church, then to a movie. We are thinking that we will go movies on cheap Tuesdays, no matter what is playing.
Did anyone watch the Oscars? I thought they were good, I liked the low budget opening number. And I'm glad Slumdog Millionaire won so many awards, even though movie snobs don't like it because it is a feel-good movie and could never happen. Right, like people could go into John Malkovich's head. Or be saved by a man wearing a bat suit. Etc.


news from Geo and Kay

Had a call last night to say that Dennis is in hospital in Phoenix with an aneurism new his heart - it is 5 cm, so quite large - they were doing more tests and Geo and Kay are going to AZ today so there should be more news about his condition tonight - I did not talk to Kay last night as the line was busy whenever I tried, but have nos in AZ and will try again tonight


Monday, February 23, 2009

Shawn Horcoff knows my name!!

I had a great reading week. Sisters weekend was very fun. Thank you all for letting me tag along. I had a great time. I just love my aunts. Most of my friends don't think hanging out with my mom's sisters sounds like a good time, but those of them who have met you are very jealous of me. So thank you all for being so awesome.
On Tuesday I went with my friends Jovita and Jasmine to buy High School Musical 3, because that was the day it came out on DVD. Then the next day we had a HSM party. We watched all three of the movies and ate brownies that said High School Musical in M&Ms. They were delicious. We also all had name tags of characters in the movies. It was a tonne of fun.
In any normal week that party would have been the highlight, but yesterday trumped it. The Oilers had their annual autograph session at West Ed, and I went with my friend Sam. She is a huge Roloson fan, and Horcoff is my favourite,so we knew those were the two we wanted to see for sure. So we got to the mall at 9:50 and got into the Roloson line. We were about 15 or 20 people from the front of the line. It didn't actually start until 1:00, so I played solitaire for 3 hours, and won twice. I really don't know what people did before there were cards. Roloson was signing with Stortini. They were a few minutes late, but we still were through by 1:15. Stortini said he liked my jersey that I was getting signed. I guess he's a Horcoff fan too. Roli wrote "To Sam, Best Regards" on her jersey and shook her hand. Then she started to cry. She won't soon live that down.
I was pretty worried about getting my Horcoff autograph because the line for Roloson was so long. We couldn't even see the end of it from where we stood. So I was pretty much running up to Chinatown where he was signing. On the way I saw someone in an Oilers jacket that looked an awful lot like Sheldon Souray. Turns out it was him, and I was just staring with my mouth wide open. He saw me and nodded at me. I was so excited I couldn't even talk to tell Sam that he was there walking by us.
We got to the Horcoff line and it wasn't too long. Not nearly as long as Roloson's anyway, so we got through pretty quick. I was so excited to meet him. He was about to sign my jersey on the front where Roloson and Stortini had, but I wanted his on the back, so I asked him to sign it on the zero, and asked him to put my name. And he did! And then he said "Thanks Grace" and it was all very exciting. Its funny because on the the way to Edmonton there was a thing on the radio about names, and how important we think our name is. I thought that was pretty funny until I realized how excited I was that Horcoff said my name. I guess I do place a lot of importance on it after all. He also stopped to smile for my camera, which was nice because they aren't supposed to in the name of getting as many people through as possible.
Next we went over to Pisani's line. It wasn't very long at all, so we got his and Jacgues' autographs. We went and looked at Nilsson and Strudwick and I took pictures but we didn't think we had time to wait in line, so we went to see Gagner, who was with Grebeshkov. They didn't have a long line either, and we got through just before it ended. Only about 5 people after us got through. So all in all, I got 9 autographs. And there I was worrying I wouldn't even get Horcoff's. Here's some pictures:


Here are the vacation dates I got approved for Golden and Scotland!
Aug 14-16 (off from Aug 8-21)
Nov 13-15 (off from Nov 7-24)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Exercise ball

I am sitting on one. The last owners of the house left it here. I think their dog used it to play with as there are teeth marks on it. I feel a little guilty using it, but they know they have stuff here-lawnmower-and it is 1 month and they still haven't picked it up. So I am Strengthening My Core while typing.
I read both the blog Sam mentioned and Cousin Scott's. Both are well worth reading.
I worked another shift at the homeless shelter. It has a nice feeling to it, different than other types of these places that I worked at, been in. Not sure why-there seems a general overall feeling of respect between both guests and volunteers/staff. If they can do this at a homeless shelter, shouldn't they be able to do this at the hospital?
Don't answer that question. The power imbalance is all over that one.
Richard and I have been faithfully going for walks almost everyday. He notices and I agree, that when I don't get regular exercise, I am not-so-happy. I haven't really gone running regularly for over a year(!), and even sporadically since the summer. Sweating=better brain chemicals.
Must make myself work on assignment for mental health course. Why is this taking me so long? I resist it greatly.
Plan for day 1) do assignment 2) walk to Mom's for supper.
Hey, just put a couple labels on the post-do you realize we don't have a procrastination label? I find that odd. I borrowed Anne's new word for it.

Labels: ,

Jeff & Keenan

This is mostly for Mom, but some of you guys might be interested too. Basically, these two brothers, Jeff & Keenan Cook, are on a bike trip to Argentina, from Rocky, without any logistical support. They're crazy, but their blog is always a good read. Besides all that, they're great guys (Jeff is a good friend of mine) and the trip is to raise money for water-wells in the Dominican Republic. They anticipate finishing up sometime late this spring or early in the summer. They're doing really well- right on their schedule - despite several difficulties that have cropped up. They just got through Guetemala.

So go over to and take a look if you get some down-time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Well, as Dad said, 'No one said that life would be fair'. Or easy. But despite being very distraught over the weekend by bullying, I am much better now. Jerks. My meeting with the manager went well though and I felt reassured. Like, who thinks they can act without any repercussions or guidelines?
I worked last night and that went fine, so things are much better. And after tonight (which will be good I think) I am off for 6 days. Hurrah!
Thanks for all your support, it helped a lot.


Monday, February 16, 2009

sisters forever

A weekend away is good and so is coming home. Grace and I made good time and were home by 2:00. I made Geoff's birthday cake and had a nap. It's good having Sam and Grace home for reading week. It wouldn't have been much of a birthday party without them. Tim is still up north.

It was as close to a perfect weekend as it could be. It was so nice to have a few things to do but to have lots of time to talk. The bad part was that Anne and Lisa couldn't be there. Talked to Lisa on the phone but it's not the same.
I highly recommend Slumdog Millionaire.
I am very happy with my new shoes.

Everyone has gone back Home

We had a great weekend, and everyone left this morning. Friday night, Laura, Theresa and I went out for supper, at the Upper Crust, which was really yummy, they make the best sticky toffee pudding in the city (it may the only place that makes it).

Yesterday, we went to see Slumdog Millionaire, and when it started, I thought, I'm not sure what I expected, but this is not it. Then it all started to come together. Really an excellent movie. It was at the Garneau, I have not been there in ages, and they have new seats that are like sitting in a lazy boy chair. After we came home, Allison napped, Laura did some needlework, and Theresa, Grace and I watched the season opener of the Amazing Race. We went to Kai, for supper, which was crazy busy, for a Sunday night, people just kept pouring in. We had the manager as our waiter, he warned us that the kitchen was busy, and we did have to wait awhile for our food. We were not in a big hurry, and did not complain, once again niceness triumphs, the waiter slash manager, bought us dessert.

This afternoon, I am doing laundry, and just hanging out.

Labels: ,

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Six Pairs Bought

We went to the museum today & saw exhibit. It was cool -- not enough shoes to look at though. Also: exhibit on Antarctica and Mexican rodeos. As Laura & I waited for the others to finish reading the exhibit info, there were about 100 shrieking children in the museum foyer. Ouch.

Then we went to Wener & bought 6 pairs; 2 for Theresa, 2 for me, one for Laura, one for Judith, none for Grace. But she bought some last weekend.

Now everyone is napping while Laura cross stitches and I work a bit.

Labels: ,

Thursday, February 12, 2009


We are in the midst of a clean out in Jack's and I came up with National Geographics from 1971 to 96. I didn't want to trash them and there was lots Of nat. Geo. on e-bay with zero bids , so I offered them for free on Craigslist-edmonton. I didn't think that I would need to check too often, but had a look this evening, and found a takeralready. Theresa will be packing them to the city with her and has the ladies phone no. so she can get rid of them.
Amazing !

A pc from Asia

I just had a post card from Nancy - she is (or was) in Goa soaking up tropical sunshine before heading to Delhi and it sounds like its a good trip. Was surprised and pleased to hear from her. Does anyone know if she's travelling alone or with a friend?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Almost at the Weekend

I am taking Friday off, so I can do a little cleaning before everyone arrives, and it means a 4 day weekend, which is even better. I had some people from work over last night, a couple of them are travellers, and I know when I am on the road, I find it nice when someone invites me over, instead of eating every night in a restaurant. We had a good visit, talked a little about work but mostly other topics. Jeanne is from Kansas, and Kim from Toronto.

Grace came over on Sunday night and we watched the Grammy's together. Neil Diamond performed and he sang Sweet Caroline, brought back really good memories of the houseboat (we joined in on wo, wo, wo's). Some of the pairings were a bit weird, Paul McCartney and Dave Grohl, but I mostly watch to see what people wear. Coldplay were all wearing brightly coloured army type jackets, kind of looked like they were auditioning for Sgt Peppers. And it did seem as though every third person was getting a life time achievement award.

Labels: ,

Monday, February 09, 2009

Poor Judgement

Not mine, in my opinion, but someone else. Not only, did this person have poor judgement, but they acted on their poor judgement on my patient! I was so angry I couldn't speak to them for a awhile. Then did so, in a pleasant fashion I believe, the person apologized, but I don't think they listened. I also talked to the manager about this, who is going to do more...WTF people? How hard is it to think about what you're doing???
Weep. Very soon I think I will be unpopular there-not that I think I am necessarily popular now-but it will become more so given my increasingly vocal opposition to what I see as poor work. Like, how do you deal with it when you seeing things that you feel are wrong, yet the general consensus is who cares, and shut up? I can tell you that already I feel like I am developing a target on my back, but to not do anything is worse as then I feel that I am ethically bankrupt. Nice choice a)moral distress or b)hated by colleagues
Other than that...did a shift at Inn From the Cold. It is a shelter during the winter for homeless people. It is a night shift-I just sleep there as a back up. It went well. Do another one Thursday.
We rented out the upper floor to a couple who seem nice. Hope we are judging correctly. Now have to rent out bottom, as tenant is moving at end of month. Which I think is good thing as her name ends in an "i", and her voice is unnaturally high and Richard and I think she is phoni, note the i.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

spring is springing

Another very springy day here - feels so good after the lousy winter. Fred & Rhondas visit was great - caught up on all the MH news and admired Ramonas new car - A hard top convertible, bright red, leather seats and every bell & whistle you can think of. On their way home some careless driver gave them a chip in the windshield (oh, woe) and they encountered an avalanche east of Golden so had to detour. We all went over to admire the new house too - it really is lovely and their furnishings fit in right nice.
Yesterday Richard took me to the ballet - a matinee (Lisa was working) and I really enjoyed it - somewhat to my surprise. Laura, its called Ballet Kelowna and will be in GP in May if you want to support a good cause.
I am glad to have news of Stan - he emails but is not real forthcoming about his condition - he is doing surprisingly well I think. Bob is always a good guy to visit with and its nice to keep some contact w/various cousins.
Fred visited a cousin (Alex McMaster) on the Island and he got a whole raft of old pics, mostly from the homestead, but others too and Fred is to scam them and send copies. Neither he nor Al could identify a lot of the people but I remembered most, so anyone interested in 70+ years ago can get copies from me - thought Bob might be in terested too. Among others there's one of Mum and Dads wedding day and another of Bill and me at about 2 and 1.
Its time to get dressed and do some cleaning up - so bye for now

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Surprising phone call

I was just getting dressed this morning when the phone rang, and it was Stan (Mom's brother for non family members who read the blog). He and Bob (cousin) were going out for breakfast and wanted to know if I wanted to come along. So I said sure, when, and Stan said 20 minutes. Luckily it was at a place close to home (Teddy's, Jasper and 114). So I zipped over there and had a great breakfast and good company. Stan looked really good, he is in the middle of another round of chemo, but still has all his hair. One of the side effects of the chemo is that Stan has gotten blisters on the bottoms of his feet, so he has not been able to go out on his long walks. But since he heard that might happen he bought himself a great big TV and surround sound, so spends time watching TV.It was great to see Bob as well, he is always easy to talk to and got caught up on the other side. Not too much new there, Brenda and her husband are in Hawaii right now, celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary. And everyone else is good. I was really happy they called, I have been feeling a bit like a bad niece, since I have not checked up on Stan, and when I last saw Bob, when Les died, we were going to keep in better contact, but that fell though the cracks. Bob has been working back in Edmonton, he told his company he did not want to be on the road, and they have been finding him work here. That is good news.

Not a lot of news here, I am still enjoying my new furniture. My laptop, does not want to connect to the internet, but my work one seems ok, so I guess I will have to take the other one in for servicing. Maybe I should buy a new laptop, something from Apple?

Only one more weekend until Shoes! Shoes! Shoes! Can't wait. Lisa I am sorry you cannot be here too, but we have found a stand in for you. Grace will do the honours. and just on a sie note, Weners is having a sale, so we might have to stop there and see what there is.

Labels: , ,

Friday, February 06, 2009

People Keep Offering Me Jobs

This phenomena has got me a little bewildered. I mean, historically I've not had much trouble finding work, but I usually put that to either good connections, or simply working hard. But in the last two weeks, I've been offered four jobs. Yes, four separate jobs. The first one is a job for the summer. I'm going to Barkerville, which is one of these historical re-creation towns, near Quesnel, which is sort of in the north, in BC. You know, the kind of town where everyone who works there dresses up in period costume. Anyway, apparently they hire an Anglican seminary student every summer to play the part of the Anglican priest who lived there in 1870. So I'll be running the church like it was run in 1870, which means mostly leading morning and evening prayer, although I'll have to preach as well. The rest of the time, I think I just be around, for the tourists to gawk at. I'll wear clerical clothes, which I think will mean a cassock, and a priest's collar (although I have to put a black line down the middle, to show that I'm not really ordained). I know the guy who had the job last year, and he told me about it, so I e-mailed the guy who is in charge - two e-mails later, I had the job.

The other three are even a weirder story. First, I was contacted about doing some part time security work at the school. Not much, just responding to alarms, making sure the library is empty when it's time to close, that sort of thing. While I was meeting about that job, I was offered a back-up sacristan position for the campus United church. This one will just be if the regular guy can't make it.

Reeling somewhat from the barrage of offers, I made my way up to class, only to be met by one of my classmates, asking if I wanted a job as a child and family worker at her church. I had to turn that one down, because I've got field placement on Sunday mornings.

So I'm up two jobs for the rest of the semester, and one for the summer. Not bad for not thinking about it at all!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Here are pictures of the house, with our stuff in it! There are even some pictures on the wall. Since there were already nails and screws in the walls, I figured it was safe to put up some. There are still a lot to put up. From top to bottom pictures are: Fred, Mom, me, Rhonda in our living room; main floor view fr living rm to kitchen; TV room; TV rm again (it is a big room); fromt entrance with laundry rm behind door; main bath; office; master bedrm; living rm fr stairs; kitchen again.

I am feeling like it is home now, which is a good feeling. Cats seem pretty happy too. Nick still keeps trying to escape outside-even though there is much more room for him to wander about here.

I have to say that it looks pretty good considering that we have been here a week and a day.
Note there are no pictures of spareroom which is not unpacked yet.

We are showing suite to people, nobody yet, though there was a person yesterday a today who seemed pretty interested.

We had a good visit with Fred and Rhonda, who were picking uop Ramona's new Volvo convertible from Victoria. They were here 2 days and left this morning. I think I convinced Rhonda to come in August!

Labels: ,

Monday, February 02, 2009

Intrepid plant

Here's something weird: When I got a bag out of the closet to pack for our trip to Edmonton on Friday, there was a plastic bag in it marked "red bleeding heart." Mom had given me some plant roots when we were in Kelowna in October and I guess I left that one in the bag. The weird part was that the bit of root in the bag was growing. It had been sitting in the closet since October in a sealed bag. So I planted it in a pot and we will see what happens.
Went to Edmonton because Sam was getting "some kind of award." It turned out to be a very nice event at the Winspear Centre with lunch and everything to give out business school awards. Sam got the one that is very generous and that he says he didn't apply for. Whatever. He's got the money and now has the certificate from the dean, so I guess he really was supposed to get it.
After we went to the renovation show at Northlands. Talk to me if you want $1000 sink faucets, I can tell you where to get them.
Jude's furniture is even better looking in person than the photo posted here. It completely changes the look of her place. Geoff says it is comfortable to sleep on.
Al and Grace came over to Jude's for supper on Sat, we ordered in Thai food.
Tim called while we were there. He's up at his job site and needed new boots so called to get us to get some to ship up to him. I guess the job's going all right, he's in camp and out in the boonies 6 km from the BC border and 30 km from the NWT border.
And now back to work. I say with Laura "shoes, shoes, shoes."