Tuesday, June 26, 2007


The loving son couldn't stay with his dying Father last night. This time, he needed to tend to his Mother. I assured him that it was okay. I would check on his Dad frequently and make sure that he was comfortable. I promised to call if there was a change in his condition.

And so I found myself attending to this dear man. In the wee hours of the morning, the constant ringing of call bells waned as needy patients drifted off to sleep. Not so with this man, for he was in pain. I administered a dose of morphine and pulled up a chair. I held his wrinkled hand and stroked his grey hair. He told me of the severe pain he felt, and my stomach twinged in sympathy. "But I won't let that discourage me now," he said "for I am on the threshold of Glory".

He told me of a vile soldier with a temper and a lust for "the bottle". He talked of the moment his life had changed forever as the Divine broke through his drunken stupor. He talked of how he spent the rest of his life telling others about his God. And he probed the condition of my soul.

Outside, a thunderstorm raged. I drew up the blind and we watched together. Lightning cracked, thunder boomed, and the rain poured. He continued to preach, babbling at times in a drug induced haze, quoting scriptures by memory. Passionate. Definite. He held his abdomen and groaned, and I got up to give him another shot.

Finally he fell into a fitful sleep, still not free of the pain. I tried to imagine this gentle spirit as the man he described prior to his life changing experience. I found I could not.

When I was sure that he was sleeping, I quietly left the room. I could hear an infant crying. Mum was tired and needed to sleep. I swaddled the baby in a warm blanket and walked to the nursery. I pulled the old rocking chair over to the window and turned off the light. I rocked and cuddled the Baby. Satisfied, she closed her eyes and slept, her head on my chest. A brand new life, only hours old. Next door to a life well spent. Either end of the spectrum so close that I could feel the breath of life and the whisper of death rolled into one sensation.

Outside the storms raged. I watched, feeling a sense of calm instead of the usual nervousness as I cradled the infant. And I pondered life, and death, and my state of in-between-ness.

A few moments of this and then.... a call bell. I gently put the sleeping Baby in a crib as I went to attend to another patient, my spirit refreshed.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

How Plans Change

The original plan this year was to take a frivolous trip, just the two of us in Oct. We were going to fly across the ocean to visit my Kid Sister and Brother In Law in England (or wherever they happen to be at the time) and cavort about Europe.

However, the Husband really wanted to do some serious work around the yard this summer. And I really wanted to take a trip. We compromised. We would beautify the yard during the summer and then take a road trip to the West Coast - a place the Husband has never been.

Now plans change again. The In-Laws are planning a family trip in January. We're going to Disney World. And since we can't do it all, our other plans are out the window.

I must admit, I'm a bit disappointed. Maybe if I had kidlets I'd be a bit more excited. But honestly, I'd rather go on a holiday with my husband. Just the two of us. The In Laws are great people, but sharing accommodations for a week won't be as relaxing as what I was hoping for.

Friday, June 22, 2007

It's Just What I Do

Last night was potluck night. I offered to bring dessert. My Aunt Carol had made a fabulous Brownie Raspberry Trifle a while back that I was excited to try. You can never go wrong with trifle.

I worked the night before. When I got home in the morning, I threw a brownie into the oven so that it could cool while I slept. 4.5 hrs later I got up, had some coffee, looked at my flowers. Around 430 I decided I should get a move on, so I went to Superstore to grab a few things I would need. Namely, chocolate pudding and raspberry goodness. Note the lack of milk in my list...

I scurried down my sidewalk only to be stopped for a pleasant conversation with the neighbors. Shortly after 5pm I began my project. My deadline was 6:15. I realized rather quickly that my shopping list had fallen short. So out I went. I was on my way down the sidewalk announcing to the neighbors that of all things, I had forgotten milk.

"I have milk you can use," neighbor #1 responded. I assured them that I could buy my own. But she insisted and proceeded to give me an entire carton of 1%. "I just need a cup and a half. I'll bring it right back," I said. She insisted that they always buy too much and that they really didn't want it back.

Once back in the house I went to work. I made tiny trifles for the neighbor folk as a thank you gift. They were tickled pink and offered to give me milk any time.

I assembled the rest of my creation, topping it off with fresh berries and mint leaves. At 6:10 I was done. I quickly fixed my hair, put in my contacts, gave the Husband some quick instructions, and flew out the door.

The dessert went over well. Half of it remained post supper. And God knows, trifle is never good the next day. It turns into a sweet, soggy soup. I decided the staff at the Vic Emergency deserved sweets for their coffee break. My other neighbor was working the evening shift and promised to return my bowl.

You'd think that this frenzy came to be because of the night shift I pulled the night before. But truth be told, even if I'd been off for a week I would have pulled it off last minute. It drives my mother and the Husband crazy. They plan. They get things ready early. Not me. It's just what I do and how I do things. And it always turns out.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Waking Up

It's 11:54 AM and I am sitting in the basement in front of my computer in my nightie, sipping a cup of Java as if it's truly life-giving. I'm drowsy. We got a new mattress yesterday and the old spine isn't particularly impressed. Here's hoping they learn to get along in the next few days.

I don't know what to do with my day today. The house was cleaned on the weekend and is still pretty much clean. Did the yard work yesterday. So there's really nothing I HAVE to do. There are even leftovers in the fridge for supper tonight. How often does THAT happen??

The Husband is at work. The Dog is outside. This place is quiet except for the hum of the computer and the swishing of the washing machine.

You'd think that I could find peace on a day like today. But my mind races. I hate being idle. I can't relax with myself. I'd rather be working. After all, I had all day yesterday off too.

Maybe one day, like if I ever have kids, I'll appreciate this kind of quiet. But for now the quiet is deafening. I need to make a plan. Get busy. Do something.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


The husband and I have decided to simplify. Until now, we had two vehicles. And quite honestly, we needed them. Otto, the magnificent Jetta and Mikey, the cutie pie Golf. Incredible cars! Both were TDI (diesel). Both got a phenomenal 800-1000km/tank. I had been just about to write beautiful poetry, bragging that not ONLY were our cars so fuel efficient, but that we were still paying a mere 83.9 cents/litre.

Recently we realized that our current lives only required a single vehicle. And so, our decision to simplify entails loss and gain. Both of our babies were taken from us. In their places stands a Passat. Which, if you know low german, sounds similar to a horrible insult.

Welcome to Penelope the Passat! She's a beaut, and will save us wicked money. Unfortunately, she's a gas model. So much for my Ode to Diesel prose. I sure will miss those boys. Here's hoping they find loving homes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


How can the weather forecast dudes be wrong SO often? Last night they called for severe thunderstorms, possibly tornadoes. All we got was a gentle rain. They could only have been more wrong had the sun been blazing.

I think weather forecasters should be elected. Like MP's or MLA's. You know, one per riding. I'd vote for my Dad. He can get up in the morning and be pretty exact on his predictions for the next 24-48 hrs. He's almost always right.

Besides, I've been bargaining with God to be in control of the weather. I'm not quite there yet, but I think I'm making progress. I'd make the fields yield bumper crops every year. Well, at least my Dad's.

We'd be an amazing team if I controlled the weather and he predicted it.


If I could erase any time in my life, it would have to be from late 2000 - 2002. It was horrible. Beyond horrible. Traumatic. I made the worst decisions I could make during this period and got into the most trouble. More than most young adults. I veered so far from my real personality that I wasn't me at all.

Some people who only knew me back then have a bad taste in their mouth. People who never spent 5 minutes talking to me or having any interest or concern for me occasionally feel that it's their prerogative to air their opinions of how I used to be.

I don't know how to feel about that. My immediate response is anger. But then I wonder if perhaps I should pity them. They never stuck around to see who I've become. And trust me - I'm hard enough on myself for my past mistakes. I certainly don't need anyone else's judgements.

Monday, June 11, 2007


Early in nursing school we had to learn many medical abbreviations. We were tested on these to ensure our competency.

The other day in report prior to my shift I heard an unfamiliar one:


I asked my coworker what it meant.

"Funny Lookin' Kid"

Why didn't I learn THAT in nursing school?!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Days In Between

It's the uncertainty that consumes me. It pushes me to the edge of reason and my grip on sanity slips. My mind refuses to focus, as unwanted thoughts tiptoe into my subconscious before breaking in to my thoughts, conversations, and actions like a thief in the night. Thoughts intrude at work, in the car, as I try to fall asleep. Words slip out in conversations, betraying my privacy.

During the days in between, nothing is certain. Questions rule my life. My faith shakes like a leaf in the storm. Hopes begins to grow only to have dark clouds gather and winds blow, strangling the life hope offers. The best and the worst vie for first place in my thoughts. Often, the worst comes out on top.

The days in between symptoms and diagnosis. Rain and sun. Seeding and harvest. Unemployment and a job. Empty arms and a baby. Failure and success. Loneliness and relationship. Dependence and independence. Questions abound as I demand that God show me favor in an unfair world.

Then it comes. The answer. Good news, or bad. At least now I know. My thoughts settle. I sleep easier. Now I can make a plan. Direction can only be found if I know my starting place. And I can hang on to the delusion of control just a little longer.

It's the limbo that drives me to the edge....

Cichlid Update

Since my post regarding my baby fishes stimulated a number of comments, here is a bit more about the world of cichlids.

Babies are called "fry". I find it easier not to name them individually because 1) they all look the same and 2) chances are they won't all survive. Right now I have the Collective Squirt, consisting of 3 fry and the Collective Bruce, consisting of 8.

I thought I had transferred 8 babies over. My latest count showed 11. Them babies must have been hiding in ornaments. All are doing well, even the wee ones.

Here's a shot I stole off the internet that shows my kind of promiscuous mama holding her babies just prior to release. Note the eyes inside her mouth and the very swollen lower part of her jaw.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Gardening Tip #1

If you want to provide birdies with various grains in order to have them frequent your yard, don't hang the bird feeder over the flower bed. Or you might end up growing wheat better than flowers. Maybe I can sell it in fall?