Monday, 15. December 2008
Daytime Temperature -25C

The photo above Grandma's bed is Mom on the left and my aunt Reta

Sunday 14 Dec 2008
6:06 pm
Woke up this morning with swollen lips, after having a slightly itchy arm last night. Was applying lip balm frequently yesterday afternoon and last night because otherwise my lips felt uncomfortably dry. I wonder if some of these tubes of balm, which I’ve had for a couple years, could possibly be contaminated or if I might have developed an allergy to something in them? They are all natural and herbal concoctions, but so what. These too could have a best-before date even if nothing is marked on the tube.
Anyway I applied Carmex from its tiny tin this morning – it is the only balm that actually gives relief when my lips have twice recently gotten dry like this— and the swelling had gone down by noon.
What in sam hill is UP? My body is baffling me lately.
Scott and Everett are watching a movie I’ve seen before, an action flick called Sahara. I heated up some jalapeno poppers, thawed a frozen ring of shrimp, tore open a bag of tiny toast-crackers and cracked a jar of cocktail sauce, and that was supper for three of us, while Everett ate leftover pasta and wieners. Not very satisfying all around, I daresay. Scott had brought meat out of the freezer but didn’t go further than that, so I guess he didn’t feel like standing at the counter any more than I.
Very cold today. Grandma has been found several more times since Scott met her dressed and ready to go out Saturday afternoon – last night and again this morning when the aides first arrived at the lodge – with her coat on, talking about going “home.” I discussed it with the aide who was there today and we decided to keep her coat put away so that she has to ask for it when she wants to go out.
She denied that she had been prepared to go out several times, and got a bit miffed when I said numerous people have seen and stopped her. So I just sneaked the coat out without her seeing. Talking to her about it just pissed her off, because she doesn’t remember doing these things. The concern is that she might go out without her coat and thus be worse off. We assume she won’t. We don’t know what else to do.
The lodge houses relatively independent seniors, and staff don’t monitor the comings and goings of the residents; meals are prepared in the kitchen and served in the dining room, recreational activities are planned, and home care aides will dole out prescribed medications, clean rooms, and do laundry, for a fee. Aside from these supports, the residents have to be able to look after themselves. If this confusion continues, Grandma will need supervised care, which will mean a move to another facility.
Reta thinks a bladder infection could be causing her confusion and restlessness. That sounds weird, but Reta’s a nurse and has worked with the elderly for years; she has seen it before. I’ll take Grandma to the doctor this week and ask him to test for it. He’ll probably raise his eyebrow and talk to me like I’m an idiot. I’ll have to be stubborn. Oh that’s impossible, I can hear all of you who know me saying. Heh.
This afternoon Everett hauled flax bales over from the garden area next door and stacked them around Casper’s dog house. Even with her thick polar-bear fur, she’s been shivering in this extremely cold weather, but won’t stay in the barn with the other animals, where apparently it’s warmer because part of the building is insulated.
I read the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix in the lounge outside Grandma’s room while Emil and Everett ate a Christmas dinner with her in the dining room along with the other residents and their guests. Everett reports that Emil ate three loaded platesful from the buffet; His Fussyness himself ate only potatoes and buns. A lady came to where I was sitting comfortably and told me there was plenty of food and invited me to go dish up, but I had no desire to join the throng. I can be such a hermit. Afterwards Emil paced the hallways, while I read all the entries from Grandma’s autograph book aloud to her and Everett. Most of them were written in the early 1930s, some earlier. The book’s binding no longer holds so it is kept in an envelope.

Monday a.m.
The schoolbus didn't come out this morning because it's too cold for safe travel, so I have my two boys home with me. Emil is lying on top of his bed, "resting" he says, and Everett is studying for his Grade 10 science exam, one of the correspondence courses he should have completed last year. He came downstairs as I was putting my bedsheets into the washing machine and told me that he knows he's more mature this year because something he couldn't grasp several months ago in the science curriculum is now perfectly clear.


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