We also got to see my Mother-in-law who has alzheimers and who is in a facility outside of Edmonton. She actually looks better than she did a year ago as she moved here about 10 months ago and they deal specifically with those with mental health issues and diseases of the mind such as Alzheimers. She has gained a little weight, is feeding herself again(wasn't last year) and was awake and actually talked to us for almost two hours. She no longer knows anyone..but then again after being there for a while she said to my hubby "I am sorry David, I don't remember you". Apparently she did remember his name though which made him happy. Sometimes the wires connect and sometimes they don't but it was one of her "good" days and was nice that all the kids and us got to see her on an up day. She ate cake as it was her 83rd birthday on Sunday. I asked her how the food was there and she said it was ok, which is huge as in the past the standard has been to complain and cry and beg to go home. I think the reason why she seemed so much better is this facility finally has a handle on exactly what type and how much medication to give her whereas most senior facilities just don't have the time and manpower and tend to over-medicate. This facility seems very well run, just a bit clinical and not as homey as one would like a family member in but she seems to be getting very good care and it seems it is the best place for her.
We got home late on Monday as scheduled and then I drove to Nanaimo Tuesday morning to pick Buddy up from his sitters. It normally is a 1.5 hour drive when there is a little traffic. It took 4 hours to get there and through some of the very worst driving conditions in wet snow and ice that I have ever driven in. Hubby stayed home to get some business done so I took my Mom. We had no snow but it was forecast late in the day so we started out early. Halfway into the drive we encountered 6-8 inches of snow and a highway with two lanes on each side that had not been plowed. It was very slow going. Normally the speed limit is 120km on that highway but us and everyone else were doing 50-70km an hour. Lots of vehicles in the ditch, some even upside down. We get some very wet snow very fast and it takes the trees down easily and several began to lean over the highway and onto the power lines. Almost 20 minutes from where I had to pick Buddy up and the traffic came to a complete standstill....for an hour!
I took this picture while we were stopped. The snow had built up on the highway so there were 2-3 inches of ice and ruts. The snow was touching the bottom of the car. Fortunately, I have 20 years of driving experience in winter weather from Alberta but this wet snow makes for some of the worst driving conditions. We saw 3 snow plows but they all seemed to be on the other side of the highway. The only thing worse that being stuck on a highway after driving white knuckled for 2.5 hours is being stuck at a standstill for another hour regretting how much tea you drank that morning. FINALLY traffic started moving very slowly again. We could see that many had ended up stuck on a hill and they had to move those vehicles to the right hand lane. People who do not have proper snow tires in a place that does actually get snow and who take their cars out in it should be fined! It was ridiculous. Anyway, we have brand new ice and snow tires and we found out our car is super good in terrible weather. They key to it all was to go slow and don't break as that would send you immediately into the ditch or the sloppy snow. We also found out later a semi truck engine had caught fire and they put the fire out and had to move it off the road so that is likely why we were stuck for the hour without movement. I was not the only one running to the bathroom at the gas station that was just the other side of the stoppage when we got through, there were several stuck on that highway in the same situation.
I finally picked Buddy up and we headed straight back. I actually thought about getting a hotel there for the night as did not want that horrible drive both ways but as we got into Nanaimo the temperature suddenly was warmer and it was raining instead of snowing. We also saw the opposite side of the highway looked way better as snow plows had gone done it and it had been salted, so we went for it. It was like night and day, a completely different highway and the rain took away almost all of the rain and snow. I got home and the few flakes I saw in the morning were gone and we had gotten no snow accumulation at all! What a tense day of driving though. Glad my Mom was with me as she is a talker and it helped to keep me focused on driving and more relaxed. My hands and elbows just ached that night due to my arthritis and gripping the wheel. The same drive only took 1.5 hours back so we were much relieved.
Anyway, our house doesn't feel like a home without Buddy so it was important to go get him an I am glad I did. We have some final business to get done before Saturday then the oldest and youngest boys are flying in for 3 days over Christmas. I have to do some grocery shopping and wrapping and make a liquor store run but other than that things can slow down for a few days.
Not sure if I will blog until after Christmas so I would like to take the time to say Merry Christmas to you all if you celebrate and enjoy your days off if you don't!