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21:41 - 11/05/2018
Well, Dear Diary, it has been over five months since last we visited. In my own defense, I was quite ill the past three months. I found it hard enough to function at a minimal level, so writing to you wasn't really an option. I'm better now.

About a week after I last wrote to you, number four son had his surgery to rebuild his knee. To get into my living areas one first has to climb some rather steep steps - either up or down. The upshot was he moved in with some of his friends and didn't return until mid-September. It was very peaceful here as a result.

I had two incidents where thieves were paying too much attention to my home during that time. In the first instance, the woman was so aggressive in trying to enter that I ended up calling our police to describe her behaviour. I was guessing that she was trying to gain access to any home that was unoccupied at the time, so I thought that the police should know she was in the community. The second incident was another woman seeming to want to know who was in the house at any given time. She was so inept, that I really didn't take her attempts as seriously as the first woman. Besides, I really didn't have any proof of ill meaning action to report to the police, but maybe I should have anyway. A+ and I attended one street festival - Lilac Festival - during that time. It was fun, best of all we bumped into my oldest biological grand-daughter and her boyfriend attending the same event.

At the end of June - a full month after the city promised - the pedestrian access to the community was restored. There is still some work to be done, but at least A+ and I could walk safely home from my grand-daughter's birthday party. My youngest son's family lives one community south of mine. My grandson - who just turned five - was upset that he wasn't getting presents or most of the attention, so when no one was looking, he slipped out the back door then went to play chicken with the traffic on the main road out in front of their home. Thankfully, one driver was kind enough to stop and bring him back home. Otherwise, I shudder to think what might have happened.

A+ and I went out to some summer activities downtown in June - the Lougheed House featuring information on the bones our city was formed from sandstone and quarries.In July, a surprise free admission lured us down to the Stampede - our big agricultural exhibition and rodeo. We wandered down barbeque Alley and I had my first taste of poutine. We then hung out in the barns after watching the blacksmiths at their trade. The weather was so hot that I really just wanted to go home. We did go to a family picnic by our city's major river which was entertaining. Mitigated the effects of the heat anyway. My one grandson seems set to become a stand-up comic - he practiced his routine on one of his uncles, you see. His Dad excelled in drama, so I think he might have had a bit of parental coaching at some point.

At the end of July I did go to my doctor's eye doctor - he has the best reputation in the city for the quality of care. I wasn't disappointed. Even though there seemed to be considerably more patients in attendance, the staff were much more professional and knowledgeable too. A+ came with me, which was fortunate. It was about a two hour trip to the same area as the other eye doctor. It was extremely hot - for my city anyway. We had to walk quite a distance to access any transit, probably because we really didn't know that area very well. Interesting area to explore in better conditions, I think.

After the end of July the smoke from the forest fires made it unsafe to go outside at all. Some days we were told that the city had the worst air quality in the world - even worse than Beijing or Delhi. In addition, I think I got food poisoning from one of the major food chains on the day of our family's August picnic. Even so, I had agreed to look after my neighbour's kitties for three weeks, while they were out of town. I went over faithfully twice a day until they returned home. One of the kitties needed his insulin shots twice a day, you see. On the last weekend before they returned, the food had almost run out, so I went to the grocery store to make certain that there was enough for at least a couple of days past the expected return date.

That was when I really got hurt. I had finally recuperated from the food poisoning, you see, so I thought I could manage a bus trip. That was an error in judgement. When I was sitting, as a volunteer, on the Go Plan municipal traffic and planning committee in the early 1990's, one of the transit finance people observed proudly that they were saving money on bus maintenance by not rotating the tires as much and by not regularly replacing the shocks on the tires. That day I was injured I was sitting on the seat that is over the front tire of the bus just behind the driver. The driver that day was a tiny little woman who was obviously having a battle with the steering of that beast in heavy traffic. As a result, the bus heaved up while I went down. I think it must have damaged the sciatic nerve on my right side quite seriously then. Pyriformis syndrome, is my guess. Anyway I couldn't walk for about two weeks. I even had to take a taxi one day to my neighbour's - a block away - in order to give that one kitty his shot, because the pain I felt was too severe to walk at all. Fortunately, the one female arrived home that afternoon, so I didn't have to attempt going back in the evening.

I wasn't able to get on a bus to go see my doctor. Two weeks of not walking and then two weeks of not being able to stand upright and only being able to move around by hanging on to the walls and furniture. The pain was so severe that I slept most of the time because coping with it was exhausting. Besides, the doctor wouldn't likely have been able to help me much. Having taken medicine (physio) and having worked in rehab in a big hospital, I knew that damaged nerves usually just need time to repair themselves. The doctor could have prescribed major pain killers or given me some cortisone therapy, but neither was what I felt was good for me. I decided to just wait it out, but it did take about seven weeks for everything to right itself. My one daughter-in-law did drive me to the doctor's office last week. But the real upshot was that the meds he had prescribed for me at the end of May had been useless. I just wanted him to record what I had done in lieu of that therapy. He wasn't surprised to hear of the problems, but I think he realised that pharmaceuticals are not in my health's best interests. I didn't take any other meds, but just adjusted the meds I had on hand instead. I left the hospital six years ago with 10 prescriptions to manage, now I have whittled it down to two.

This weekend A+ and I finally managed to go downtown again. He came by to pick me up - all transit fares were free to celebrate the opening of our new library. The line up to get into that new facility seemed to wrap around the entire building, so we decided we wouldn't try that, but we did go to the museum. They had two new exhibits. One was titled The Cosmos. It was fabulous and very creative. The other was titled the Arctic. I have worked extensively with that data, so I loved being able to see more data from a very different perspective. There was also a display of hand-crocheted poppies- over 7,000 - covering the Anglican church about a block east of the museum - that was exceptionally well done. It was a good day.

Yesterday my one friend and I went to another National Geographic lecture. This was by Ronan Donovan and his studies of socialisation in mammals - specifically wolves, bears, and monkeys. I was absolutely fascinated by his talk about the Arctic wolves and terrified by his tales of what he encountered in Africa.

My friend had also referred me to a genealogy group on Facebook where I was contacted by one of my Dad's family members in Iowa. Fascinating synchronicities lately.

I should go now Dear Diary. My back is really starting to bother me. Hopefully I will be able to talk with you sooner than last time.


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