Archive for July, 2010
Apparently the supply of jewelry at the Fringe Festival (a 10 day event with independent plays, music performances, street performances, psychics and craft sales galore) on Broadway Avenue this year is creating a buyers market. I haven’t heard from Bran yet, but as of this morning only one pair of earrings had been sold. I have a feeling that mine is the only nickel free stuff though.
I spent yesterday rather productively. I went into work at 1130 or so to get the month end report done. It needs to be handed in on Tuesday. My boss could’ve done it, but he prefers that the person who knows what they’re doing take care of it. I was ok with that. I ate lunch and then phoned Bran to come get me.
We went off to Michael’s to find some earring nuts (those backs put on studs and hooks to prevent them from falling out of the holes). The place was rather crowded. I didn’t like that much. I liked it even less when I couldn’t get up to see the rack of findings. That got even more less desirable when I encountered a woman wearing enough perfume to kill flies at 50 paces. What is that all about? Do people have no sense of smell? If they don’t they should be outlawed from wearing scents. Anyway, it was a fruitless trip.
I worked to make jewelry on Thursday to increase the supplies for the Fringe but didn’t do anything on Friday. Today I made two bracelets. They’re rather pretty. When the Fringe is over, I’ll start taking photos again to get some up on my Etsy store. I’ll also be working on advertising on other sites to get buyers.
Today I set up the etagiere I took from Dad’s. It didn’t fit where I hoped it would on my bedside table. It does, however, fit on my end table on the living room. I now have multiple shelves holding my beading, tissues, pills and other junk that crowded my table.
I went to Panda Hall and Rings and Things and made orders. I got earring nuts, various tools I need, wire, and beads. I think I spent around $450 or so on supplies. Oh, I also bought a wire working book about the basics. The wire I ordered is surgical grade stainless steel.
On a more disappointing note, last night I ordered yummy Chinese food. I got deep fried shrimp (colour me having had a craving) and tofu and vegetables in sate sauce. That’s not the disappointing part. The disappointing part is the whole thing falling off my work table and leaking sauce all over the floor. The food stayed in the container as the lid had still been on it, but damn!
Boy approves of my movie choices today. First was The Cheap Detective which he missed because he was entertaining a friend. the second was The Incredibles, third was Interview with a Vampire, fourth was Catwoman (yes, the bad Halle Barry version) and now Casablanca is playing as I type this entry.
We had a discovery when we got home on Wednesday. Because of all the rain we’ve been having the ground has been saturated. The last good storm we had about 12 days ago caused water to leech through the concrete and infiltrate our basement. The tenant in the suite down there didn’t say anything until his floor was getting wet. By that time it was too late, damage had been done. Had he notified the landlord when he noticed water the first time a sump pump could have been put into a hole and the water pumped out through the sewer system. Now we have a small issue with black mould.
The downstairs tenant has to move out. His suite is contaminated. Since black mould is highly toxic (or produces toxins, I’m not exactly sure) he has to leave. The stuff we have downstairs is also contaminated and will have to be cleaned. We may have to move as well depending on the results of the tests conducted that evening in our suite. Upstairs has also been affected, but it’s not known how much. One advantage we have is that we rarely use the rear door and did laundry over a week ago, before the bloom of black mould (hopefully). We don’t have forced air heating so that prevents fast spread of the mould. The symptoms of poisoning from black mould are heart burn (or increasing heart burn), sleeping a lot, and a few other things that we suffer from all the time anyway – and did before we moved in here – so which came first, right?
Anyway, the tests done will determine whether or not we can stay here. Cross your toes would you please? I don’t want to move before we move into a house we buy after the will is completed in probate.
Speaking of buying houses, I’ve been looking through the real estate listings for Saskatoon. I’ve found several areas that are affordable to us, up to $300,000. Some are a little bit more than that but we’d not want to spend much more. I want a house that we don’t have to do a lot of altering to. This means I’m looking for hardwood floors (or laminate) throughout the house, a good, high wooden privacy fence, a well functioning kitchen, and a basement that has adequate windows for egress. This means it’s most likely to be a split level house. Central air, though not a requirement, would be a definite bonus. At any rate, it was entertaining and kept me amused for several hours. I even looked at the areas we’d not likely buy in unless desperate.
That’s about it. I’m looking forward to the new supplies coming in.
We got home in the late afternoon today. We tucked Dutchess in Boy’s room and he and Bran unloaded the car. Then we found out that the lower floor (basement level) has been contaminated with black mould. That’s nasty stuff. The tenant in the basement will be moving out. That doesn’t break my heart any.
However, if the contamination has moved up into our suite we will have to move. We’re hoping that the contamination isn’t significant enough for us to have to move. We didn’t do laundry ever week and we very rarely used the back entrance. It just wasn’t convenient.
The upstairs neighbours, however, have been more affected, but they use the back entrance (which is open to the basement) all the time and the woman is always up and down the stairs.
I don’t want to have to move. I’m not ready. I don’t want to have to move twice. We have some stuff stored in the basement that is likely contaminated. It should be easy to clean it all though. Except for the cardboard boxes we have down there, the ones the HD televisions came in.
For now we’ll have to do laundry in a laundromat. As much of a pain as that is, it does mean that laundry will be a 2 – 3 hour ordeal rather than an entire day.
Tomorrow the Fringe Festival starts on Broadway. Bran will be selling my jewelry as a co-busker with our friend who makes wire wrapped crystal pendants at Infinite Spirit. If you’re in Saskatoon, drop by and see them.
Time for me to get back to unpacking the bedroom so I can get some sleep later.
Dad’s memorial mass was today at 11 am. It was, as masses go, a good one. I carried the cremains to the front of the church at the beginning of services. My niece, Dad’s oldest grandchild, did one of the readings. My cousin, Julie, did the other reading. Someone I don’t know, my older brother’s boss, did the intercessions. Boy was greatly distressed several times. Bran and I comforted him as best we could.
There was the usual tea after the services where I got to meet people I’d not seen in a long time (cousins I’d not seen since Mom’s funeral – I don’t remember seeing them there but they say they were and I believe them), and others I don’t remember from Adam. Of course, there were those who I’d never met before as they became part of Dad’s life after Mom died.
Other than the funeral home arrangement, there were 4 floral arrangements from family and friends. Bran too photos of them and a photo will be sent to each person along with the thank you cards.
The house was cleaned up yesterday. I vacuumed. I wish the machine was better. The suction didn’t really exist so I ended up having to go over areas I could feel stuff on, but the machine didn’t pick up the first four or five times I passed over it. I also had to pick up bits and pieces of paper (we took outdated books apart for recycling) that were in the carpet. This increase in work load wore out my back. Despite that I did get the dusting done (I don’t think the house had been dusted since before Dad went into hospital). I also cleared off the coffee and end tables of the stuff they had on them, washed up the ceramics (Mom collected Blue Mountain stuff) and put them back out.
My brother, sister and niece worked on getting the food together for the family coming by after the tea and did the other necessary cleaning. Boy and Bran did the powder room off the master bedroom. This was used as a back-up bathroom.
I’m quite looking forward to getting back home. I’m thoroughly peopled out (though my niece, Bran and Boy don’t count in that). My sister, her husband and my brother all smoke, so both my and Boy’s allergies are playing up. That doesn’t even get into the smell.
I may not like my brother-in-law much, but he has done a lot of work in a short period of time to do some of the cosmetic stuff that needs to be done to the house. He got the bathtub area done up so it doesn’t leak, he fixed the powder room toilet so it fills properly, replaced the kitchen faucet and did spot painting that needed to be done on the exterior trim (the rest of the exterior is brick and stucco). He also replaced the locks and some of the worn out light switches. All that since Friday. He’s a person who can’t just sit, so it worked out for him.
Tomorrow my niece goes back to her husband and daughter and we head back to ‘Toon Town. I have a few things that I chose to take back. One is a needle point that Mom did. It used to hang over the living room couch. I’m also taking Mom and Dad’s wedding photo, a small knick-knack stand, Mom’s family ring and a few other small bits and bobs. Boy has inherited a sweater, afghan and letter opener that was made from one of the original rail spikes used on the trans-Canada railway (at least I think that’s what it is). We’ll also be going home with a pile of food. There is a lot left over from the tea and then there was the food that was prepared here.
This isn’t home any more. It hasn’t been for a very long time. I realized it when I was laying on the back lawn with my niece and we were talking. With Dad’s death, the spirit that made this place home departed. It’s time to become someone else’s home. What we kids don’t choose to take will be sold or donated. The house will be sold and the estate distributed according to Dad’s will. The estate will probably go into probate since there is property involved. I don’t know how long that will take, but at the end of it I hope to be able to put a down payment on a house of our own.
Needless to say, going through Dad’s bedroom was like opening a time capsule. Dad moved a lot of his stuff into Mom’s old dresser, but the memorabilia she collected was still there. There were old newspaper articles about awards my siblings won, letters and cards from friends and relatives – some long dead. We found the book that Dad’s mom (Granny) used to keep track of the money that her sons sent her each month to help support her. This was before the days of government pensions for widows. We also found a couple of post cards she had written to Dad in French. Our niece translated them (the handwriting was somewhat unclear). They were both mundane and very special. My sister found a picture of Granny’s brother, Xenon. I’d never seen it before.
Bran volunteered to be family archivist. He’ll scan all the photos in the albums Dad made over the years and then he’ll can the slides. This project will consist of several years of work on his part. But for him it’s a labour of love. It also means that there will be an archive of photos available to all of us instead of only one person getting all the photos, or breaking up the collection.
It’s been a stressful time for all of us. My sister’s dog, Bailey, helped break the atmosphere. Besides grief, there’s also anger and dislike. My sister has been walking a fine line between all of us and had done it with relative grace, though she does tend to micromanage some. That’s ok. She’s executor of the estate and wants to do a good job. Dad trusted her and she wants to live up to that trust.
That’s about it. I’m going to go hunt down a sandwich (there are a gabillion of them in the fridge).
Dad died in the night. I’m going to finish out my shift today, there’s a staff meeting I want to attend at the end of the day. Tomorrow will be filled with the business of getting ready to go out of town and getting someone to take care of Dutchess while we’re all away. We’ll be leaving on Friday morning.
Thanks to everyone for your support the past month. It’s helped ease the load.
I just got a call from my sister. Dad’s blood pressure has dropped (he’s been hypertensive for many years, so this is bad news) and his kidneys are failed again. Apparently they had them up and running for a few days but that’s ended. It was suggested to her that they could increase fluids to help with the kidneys but that would affect his heart. They wanted to know how aggressive they should be. She said not aggressive.
It sounds like he’ll be gone within a day or two.
Funny how the categories “Dad” and “Death” are right next to each other in my list.
I’ve sunk down a lot with my feelings about Dad dying. I’ve preferred quiet to talking. Boy and Bran went out to Shell Lake to be with friends today. I opted to stay at home. I didn’t feel up to being with people and welcomed the time in solitude.
I got most of my order from Panda Hall. They left out one of the spacer bead orders though. I contacted them that day, and of course, made a typo in the email. It should be straightened out soon, I hope. I didn’t pay much for them, but I’m missing out 2000 pieces of stuff I paid for.
Since the order arrival, and after I checked it, I started to experiment with what I could create. I’ve made several bracelets and some earrings. I’d make more earrings but I don’t have many earring backs (I use rubber backs) left. Getting more will have to wait for a bit. For the time being I’ve deleted my Esty inventory. I’ll let you know when I put anything up for sale there again.
One of the bracelets I made uses up some of the sandalwood beads from a necklace that Boy finally gave me. I love the scent of sandalwood and having a bracelet made of it pleases me no end. I’ll have to get a picture of it for you to see. I’ve not made another like it thus far.
The best part of the items I ordered is that they’re nickel free. Nickel is usually what people react to in metals. There’s no (or little) nickel in surgical steel and that’s what the earring hooks are made of. The eyepins, chain, bead caps and spacer beads I bought are all nickel free. That can be a selling point of my product. I haven’t found any nickel free wire though. I want some half-hard silver wire that is nickel free, but can’t find any.
Because I’m doing something with my hands, my mind needs to be occupied with other things. I’ve always found it difficult to do only one thing at a time, except for reading. I still prefer to have no noise or distraction when I’m reading. But I bead, do crosswords, crochet, knit, etc. to the television. This means that I’ve been watching movies again. Not new ones, that would be far to radical of me. I’d been watching Scooby Doo DVDs (8 of them), Scooby Doo the movie (the first one), The Avengers, Emperor’s New Groove, Kill Bill (Part 1 and Part 2), and now the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Tomorrow I’ll be watching more movies, I don’t know which ones, but I’ll be watching more.
One thing about LOTR I’ve been wondering about. The narrator says at the beginning that the elves are immortal folk. If this is the case, why is it that Arwen’s father is middle aged? Shouldn’t he appear to be in his 20s? I mean, sure, he doesn’t look like suffering from old age, but still, he has wrinkles and looks to be of about the right age to have a daughter the age Arwen is.
Dutchess hunted tonight. There was a rather large moth flying about the living room and she was in very close attendance to it. Alas, being an inside cat has caused her hunting skills to rust and she lost track of the prey as it flew toward my light. More to the point, it was my getting up to get out of the moth’s way (vicious things they are!) that caused her to lose the trail. Hopefully the moth won’t creep up and pounce on me when I’m least expecting it.
I got an email from my thesis supervisor yesterday. She wants to see what I’ve done. Of course, I’ve not done a damned thing since I saw her last. I asked her if I could take a year off the program. By the time a year is up I should be able to get back into doing stuff as I should. By that time Dad will probably have died and things will have settled out emotionally speaking. Either that or I’ll need to step away and not get my Masters degree. Regardless, I can’t do anything right now. It stretches my abilities to deal just going from one day to the next. Working is going to further stress that. It’s hard fighting the inertia I’m feeling. Adding stress to that isn’t going to help me any.
That’s about it for now.
Stole this from a friend (originally wrote fiend) who mostly blogs for friends only, so I won’t mention who she is. She’ll know when she sees this that I snagged it to her.
We were down to see Dad on Monday and Tuesday. Things haven’t changed any since I wrote last. Dad is not eating though he did take a few spoons of porridge on Monday morning and ice cream on Monday and Tuesday evening. They are still using Seroquel to sedate him when they are able to get him to swallow anything. If they don’t sedate him then they’d have to restrain him. For most of the visit Dad was non-responsive. He was responsive for very short time periods (two to three minutes) in a day. When he became agitated he’d strip himself of bedding, bed clothes, endanger the IV by pulling it (the entire pole and mechanics) down and out of his arm.
He would point at things that weren’t there and try to talk. However, because he has been breathing through his mouth it was impossible to understand much of what he was saying. He did tell me he loved me after I said I loved him, asked me “where is she” and when I asked who the she was, he looked confused and said he didn’t know. Then after a couple of spoons of ice cream he said “that’s enough”. I know he was trying to say things, he would repeat sound patterns when I said I couldn’t understand. This was quite frustrating.
This was only for a short time last night. Monday evening he was non-responsive and unconscious. Now we just wait while his body slowly poisons itself because of his kidneys not working properly. They work some as he has some urine passing through his body (the catheter bag had urine in it), but not enough to properly detox his body. He’s also slowly starving to death since he refuses to eat except for a few spoons of food in a day.
I emailed work while I was out of town and updated them as to what was going on. This way when Dad does die, they’ll be semi-prepared. I’ll need to be gone somewhat longer because, as with the power of attorney, both my sister and I are named as executors of Dad’s estate. There will be business I’ll have to be out of town for.
The stay at home was painful and awkward. I don’t want to be around my older brother and wouldn’t be if it weren’t for Dad dying. Bran was having difficulty with this as well since what affects me, tends to affect him as well, especially with family stuff. The entire house reeked of cigarette smoke. It probably wouldn’t have repulsed me so much but for my distaste for being around that particular person.
Bran went through the house and looked at things that needed to be done in order to get it fixed up for sale. Most of the work is cosmetic (paint, new flooring, cleaning carpets) with the exception of needing to gut the main bathroom and update the master 1/2 bath.
I went through some of the stuff in the basement. You can tell that Mom and Dad were children of the 1930s and lived on a very limited budget for many years of their marriage. I found an amazing number of things that most everyone now-a-days would have thrown out. Mom saved things like aluminum take out containers and styrofoam plates from under meat (she washed them up and saved them for who knows what). There were also various plastic containers for condiments, peanut butter and other things saved. I don’t know how we’re going to work out things around the work needing to be done around the house. I know my brother can’t be there for much of it since a) it needs to have the house cleared and b) he smokes. Any renovations need to make the house smell fresh to make the house more saleable.
I’m glad to be home. II missed Boy a lot while we were gone. We left Dad’s at about 9:30 this morning and arrived home around noon. While we were gone Boy did a lot of work to have the kitchen mostly clean. When we got home he made us Lipton’s chicken noodle soup for lunch (he forgot to take bread out so couldn’t make us sandwiches) and then he washed up all the dishes he used to create and serve lunch. He’s a darling boy. I’m glad I’m home and he’s around me again.
I got home to the happy news of receiving my mail package from China. After lunch we all piled into the car (I let Boy sit in the front since Bran had also greatly missed Boy) and off we went to the Shoppers Drug Mart where the package depot is. I now have a couple of different styles and sizes of nickel free silver spacer beads (Tibetan style), a couple different styles and sizes of nickel free bead caps (Tibetan style), two different lengths (2 cm and 3 cm) eye pins, and 200 metres of nickel free jewelry chain. Yes, it was a heavy package. They didn’t send me one item that I ordered 2000 pieces of. So I sent them an email telling them.
Everything I got has been repackaged into labelled plastic containers from the zippered plastic bags except for the chain. I want to spool that onto dowels to keep it from getting all tangled. Right now that’s also in a plastic bag. I didn’t expect that. I expected it to come spooled.
Anyway, I’ll be looking at my beading stuff and seeing what needs to be redone. I want to make sure it’s all quite durable. I used super glue on some of the pieces and those ones need to be redone because of it. The super glue makes two weak spots in the wire at each side of the glue site. The closer is also a weak spot because the crimp bead might slip (for things like bracelets and necklaces). This is especially important for the bracelets since more people tend to wear bracelets more long term (days at a time) than they do necklaces.
So, guess what I’ll be doing for the next few days. Yeah, knitting. HAH!
The decision of the family is unanimous. No heroic measures are going to be used to resuscitate Dad. We are also not going to have them do much in the way of other measures, including dialysis. There’s not much point to it really. The blood tests aren’t all back yet. They’re trying to find out if he has an infection that is caused his kidneys to shut down.
Dad does have basic responses, but none of them bode well. When the nurses attend to him, take his pulse/blood pressure or wash him, he fights it.This doesn’t mean that he is aware of what he’s doing. He can’t swallow and therefore hasn’t taken any meds since he was found unconscious on Friday afternoon/evening. He doesn’t respond to commands of any sort and doesn’t respond to my brother’s voice.
We’re going to let nature take its course. The nurses will keep him comfortable, that’s all.
So now we wait for the inevitable.
To help me Bran has taken me on two car rides to help settle me down. He did that when my dog died in 1985. He would’ve done it if we had a car when my Mom died in 1993. He did that tonight. We went and got snacks for all of us. Did you know that Chapman’s Ice Cream company makes a no-sugar added, lactose free ice cream? They do. Only 14 grams of carbs per 1/2 C serving. That’s better than regular ice cream.
We went through the real estate listings for town as well. It was something to occupy my mind with and do a little bit of dreaming. It was a nice distraction. While we did that Golden Eye played on the DVD player. Laundry tomorrow so that we have clean clothes to to down to see Dad on Monday with. I’ll be sorting through the stuff collected over the years of Mom and Dad’s lives together (including “treasures” given to them by us kids). I don’t know what to do with things like their letters to each other from before they were married, Mom’s nursing uniform (100% cotton that had to be ironed and starched), Mom’s wedding dress and Dad’s wedding suit, and a plethora of other bits and pieces of so much living.
Thank you all, those who commented and those who are just thinking of me and my family. Your support means more than I could possibly say.
I got a call from my sister tonight. Apparently when the nurses went in to check on Dad earlier today he was non-responsive. They did some tests and found that he is in renal failure. They called my sister to find out how heroic we wanted them to be if Dad worsens.
She didn’t want to make that decision on her own. So she called my two brothers. They weren’t home so she left a message. Then she called me.
I told her that I didn’t think that Dad would want to be the way he is, at least not the Dad I knew before all this. The Dad I knew was a vital, energetic, and intelligent man with a very wry sense of humour. I love Dad a lot, but the person I saw was a mere shell of the man he used to be. He was hesitant, confused and not really there.
I told my sister that they shouldn’t resuscitate him if the need arises. I think that palliative care is all that’s needed now. We just need to let him go.
I’ll be going up on Monday regardless of what happens over the weekend. I could go up tomorrow, but what is the point? I don’t want to be the one to comfort my brother. There’s no business that I can take care of on the weekend even if he does die.
So that’s how things are now.