Sunday, January 26, 2014

Tuesday on the slopes

One of the not-so-great things about my job is that I often work on weekends. One of the very great things is when the kids don't have school on a Tuesday, there's no one to tell me we can't hit the slopes. We had the mountain to ourselves, skied for five hours and never took the same run twice.

Cayenne had a fun time, I swear. ha!

What an easy way to make the whole week better.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Happy Birthday Mom

Mother Nature thwarted my Mother's birthday party. A huge storm passing through my sister Diane's town and heading to my Dad's meant she couldn't make the trip down. He called the bakery and explained his dilemma and they offered to bake him a new one tomorrow. (Quelle service!)

"Mom won't know if her birthday's today or tomorrow," he said, so best to play it safe.

But she might know what cake is. Or what singing is. My Dad has always maintained that we don't know what she knows or hears or processes, so he treats her as though she understands, and if the nurses need to speak to him about her, he leads them outside the room, and he includes her in those conversations happening in the room. He doubted there was any recognition, but you just never know. How could you know?

Then a few months ago my father took a break and went to Holland for ten days. He only agreed to go after securing Diane's and Terence's promises that my Mom would be visited every day in his absence. Holland was good for him and he enjoyed spending time with his brother and sis-in-law, eating the comfort food of his youth and travelling.

And it was good to come home, too. He went to go see my Mom, who is home for him... and she cried.  She took his face in her hands and cried and kissed his cheeks over and over and over again. She knew. And she'd missed him.

He spends every afternoon and dinner with her, and always will until death parts them. In the meantime, he will bring her roses every June 25th, and cake every January 13th, but most importantly, he'll bring her love and companionship every day in between.

Happy 77th Birthday Mom. Enjoy your twice-baked cake.

I love you both.

(My sister-in-law Carala took this photo about four years ago and I love it. I believe it's the last portrait where she looks like herself.)


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

T'was the night before Christmas... I know... I know. Old news!

Oof! Christmas nearly put me over the edge this year. But that's only because I love it so much. I could just pretty much ignore it like Nicolas does - or would, if we let him - but some of my favorite memories growing up revolve around Christmas and how special my mother always made it. So lots of decorations and lights and candles and baking and anything that sparkles. And eggnog, of course, but that goes without saying.

It didn't help that I had two house closings (yay!) scheduled nearby, one on December 30th, and the other January 6th (Happy Birthday Nicolas!). Note to self: Never do that again. Having to deal with all the last minute stuff right around the 25th was a really bad idea. So that will be the first on my long list of resolutions.
Quite possibly the only one I keep.

Cookie Time!
Ilona and the girls took care of all the baking. Seeing the three of them in their aprons makes me happy.

Dipping the florentines 

Butter cookies are very serious business

Cayenne savouring the aroma of Christmas Eve dinner

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house...

Lucky for Santa, all the cookies turned out awesome!

Cayenne's first knitting lesson

Here's a close-up in case you were wondering what Michel was reading...

Christmas Day walk

Mom and son don't get to do this very often these days

Working up an appetite for dinner:

Drum roll please...........

Yup. That's what I'm talking about.

Not bad, eh??