Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Dinner, Mom Hosting at Rockwood Terrace

Today is Sunday, Apr. 16th. I imagine today is the day for a lot of family gatherings to celebrate Easter. It is for our family. Even though Mom doesn’t have anything to do but show up looking lovely in the auditorium of her nursing home and even though she can’t keep it straight what day it is, she is our host today. The family will be coming from miles away or short distances, in my case and we are coming because of her.

Promising skies?
I woke up with the hopes of a weatherman’s error when I saw the sun rise to the east. I know it will be a warm day, it is already 15C at 9 am. Perhaps the sun will make the odd appearance and that would be perfect. However, the day will still be wonderful. 

We get to see a lot of family and also to wish Mom a Happy 91st birthday. She can’t believe her age, she asked my sister, Cathy, the other day “What happened to my 80’s?”

After our tea and coffee, I hopped in the shower early so I could focus on making up some sort of casserole for dinner. Bill dug out the paperwork required to do our Income Tax and worked away at that. I try not to bother him while he is involved in all those numbers from our T4’s etc.
The first daffodil to bloom in my garden

Periwinkle starting too

The pussy willows have popped and are almost done

Clemson checks Yertle out
I browned up the stew beef first until glazed. In the meantime, I cooked some onions, celery and carrots separately and soon added them to the pot. Lastly I added some peas, corn and pearl barley to thicken. I never know what this will turn out like but it is using up stew beef that Bill isn’t fond of anyway. I guess the family will be guinea pigs!

The temperature was hanging around 16C and the sun came out briefly. While I had my concoction simmering on the stove, Clemson and I went for our morning walk down the lane and back. Yertle was in the middle of the lane and Clemmy had to check him out. He was across into the west pond by the time we’d come back.

Yay! The peonny bush we brought from London survived!
I transferred the Dutch oven contents into a baking pan and made up a topping of dough. It took about 15 minutes in the convection oven for the dough to cook and brown. I must say it looks good now that it is all cooked. Time to hit the closet and find something to wear. It is usually so warm in these nursing homes so I don’t need to layer other than with a removable cardigan.

Bill was finishing up our income tax returns as I was cleaning up the mess I made. It never fails, he always owes something and I always seem to get a small handful of cash back. Next year will be different, hopefully. We have to remember he worked 6 months last year plus collected his CPP. I only worked 3 months and didn’t collect CPP until October. 

Before we left the house, Bill called his Dad in Stratford. Unfortunately, we missed him but were able to wish Marilynne a Happy Easter. They would be having a quiet day at home since they went to an Easter celebration dinner on Good Friday at Bill's sister, Carols', in Sebringville. We will catch Dad on another day soon.

I’m sitting here listening to 60’s on 6 on our SiriusXM in the Suite. Today they are playing ‘big spoken word records’ with accompanying music. For example: Jimmy Dean’s I.O.U., a tribute to his Mom. Wow! How she will mark his whole debt list paid in full by one simple kiss and 4 little words. I love you, Mom. That is just one of many others I have never heard. I’ve mentioned a few below but it was a whole morning show and I wouldn’t bore you with all of them.

Bob Braun’s, Till Death Do Us Part, Talk about stirring up emotions, these are beautiful! Victor Lundberg’s, Open Letter to my Teenage Son and the response by Every Father’s Teenage Son’s, A Letter to Dad. Sammy Davis Jr. got in on the act too with Don’t Blame the Children and of course the story teller of all time Art Linkletter with We Love You, Call Collect. If you are interested, google them and I’m sure YouTube has them on file for you to listen to.
Happy Birthday Mom!
By 12:15 we were on our way to help set up tables. I hope we have a good turn out today for Mom. When we arrived there were just a handful but shortly after our kids came with their kids, in some cases. It is hard to get them all together so we take what we can get. I was pleased when Bill told me there were 23 in attendance. That is pretty good in these days with so much going on and so many extended families.
Bill trying to explain who he belongs to
There was a lot of food and we all had leftovers to take home but no one left hungry, that is for sure. Mom surprised us with a few renditions on the piano, one in particular got 4 of us girls singing along. You are My Sunshine always brings us to our feet beside her at the piano. The music doesn’t come as easily as it used to but I loved it when she shook her hands, laughed and said ‘the keys are in different places!’ Mom still has her amazing sense of humour and her health, just the memory is fading.
The oldest and the youngest in attendance today
Mom and my grandson, Nathan

Mom and my son, Patrick

Mom and my daughter, Bridgette
It doesn’t matter that Mom couldn’t name us. What mattered was that she would look around the room and zone in on one of us girls and make her way over. We were familiar to her. We had a wonderful early dinner and a great visit with Mom and siblings, their spouses and nieces and nephews. 
You are my sunshine, Mom
My daughter came from Cambridge and my son and his wife and my grandson came all the way from St. Thomas. I’m proud that they were all there to see their Grandma and understand how important these visits are.

Today gave me a chance to sit down with my sisters, Wendy, Donna, Gayle, Audrey and Cathy to discuss suggestions of a placard of sorts for the Walk for Alzheimer’s four of us are partaking together in on May 13th. Two nieces will also be walking with us. We have a team name that we want displayed as we walk together. I think we have a plan.
Mom, my children and I
We are getting better at gathering everyone together for a family picture. No matter who is present, it is important to capture it each time. I had my tripod set up early so I wouldn’t forget before we left. The family is also getting better at expecting one of us to round them up. Into positions and ‘snap’!

Bill helped pack up tables and chairs and I gathered up leftovers and said goodbyes. We were home by 5 to feed Clemson, who without missing a beat let us know it was ‘time’. The day cooled off considerably this afternoon and is a damp 13C as I sit here at 5:30. I didn't think there would be a sunset tonight and then this.

Happy Easter from my family!

I hope you have had a great Easter Sunday too. Thank you for joining me on here, it means a lot to me when you post a comment. 

Happy Easter!


  1. Happy Easter is so nice that y"all can get together and visit with your mom and other family members. Nice family photo.

    1. Thank you George. I have to update my post, just got shown the most beautiful sunset sky. :)

  2. Patsy,
    I follow your blog everyday but have never commented. I appreciate being able to comment as anonymous since I am not registered anywhere. I am not so computer savvy, I guess.

    I just wanted to say that I think your blog is so heart warming and sincere. It is such a wonderful read. You have a beautiful family and are so blessed. It is touching and uplifting to read about the love that your family shares. You have a talent in writing and getting that across to the reader.

    (I also follow George and Suzi's blog. Another one that I so much appreciate but cannot comment as easily as here maybe he will add the anonymous feature someday. )

    May you continue to be blessed and thank you for giving your time to do this blog. It's an inspiration!
    Karen in Philadelphia, PA

    1. You have me blushing but most importantly, thank you for following my blog! I'm grateful that you are able to post a comment, you have no idea what it means to us a bloggers. I appreciate your lovely words and hope to continue with what I think of as just regular rambling. :)

  3. What a wonderful day spent with family!! I am going thru the same thing with my mom in the rest home. She is 84 and has much less memory and abilities than your mom. Takes two nurse assistants to get her up and around and into the wheelchair. We need to be thankful for what we have.
    Don in Okla.

    1. Thank you Don for your comment. I know you understand what we are and what we will be going through. We are indeed blessed that Mom has pretty much remained the same fun loving spirit she always has been. With good health her mood, although child-like at times, never ceases to amaze me. Her bright smile from across the room makes me shake my head that there is any problem at all with her memory. :) thank you for commenting today.

  4. This was real nice, Thank you, Sam in the Ozarks

  5. What a lovely way to spend Easter, celebrating your mom's 91st birthday. Love her smiles. The fact that she can still get around and play music has to be special. Great family pictures...a wonderful memory day.

  6. Great family pictures. Your Mom looks very lively.