Sunday, June 21, 2020

Mosaic Monday #85: The Rest of the Story

Postcard for my sister in Texas

This post picks up the thread from last week, when I wrote about returning to Ohio to visit my Mom.  I had promised her that I would do some cooking during my stay, so I hit a grocery store close to her house.  As faithful readers will know, I am not the grocery shopper in our family, so this was a unique experience for me.  I was organized, and managed not to do circles around her hometown Kroger's.  Even so, I am sure it took me twice as long as it would have taken Head Chef, and I have a (re)new(ed) appreciation for his talents.  And I was getting anxious to just see my Mom!

Such a joy to pull up to her house and have her greet me at the door.  On our first day, we engaged in companionable conversation while crafting.  It wasn't long before we were playing a card game called Kings in the Corners, as in the "old days".  When I worked 45 minutes from her, I would come over once a week for dinner and cards.  So it was deja vu when she treated me to her chicken dinner with salad and baked potatoes.  During the day, we also worked on what we came to call our "homework" - documenting important pieces of information and collecting paperwork into an organized file box that I could take to my oldest sister at the end of the week.  When my Mom turned in for the night, I strolled the beautiful grounds of her senior living community and called Spousal Unit for an update on Montana happenings.

And just that quickly, our time fell into a routine.  Eating, cards, and doing "homework."  A bit of crafting.  A few "honey-dos" around the cottage.  I rose early a couple of mornings to run my six miles before the heat and humidity became overwhelming.  I had the pleasure of cooking for my Mom - not even a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of meals she has prepared for me while I was at home.
Sloppy Joe Pot Pie

One day, my Mom had a visit from her physical therapy nurse, who determined that her balance had improved sufficiently to discharge her from any further therapy sessions.  That same day, we had to sort out some prescription issues to ensure that my Mom would continue to receive these critical supplies.  For anyone that lives in the US, I don't think I have to tell you how complicated our health care system is, especially when it requires senior citizens to navigate automated phone systems and "easy" on-line websites.  I have the advantage of decades of computer experience, and years working through on-line health care apps as an HR professional, and yet I was pulling my hair out!

We had a few opportunities to breath fresh air, including the day we planted the four hydrangeas that were languishing in Mom's sun room.  She supervised from the seat of her walker, and I was pleased the soil was easy to dig.  Upon returning inside, we applied her permanent to her hair.  This is normal for her, every four months or so, but I have never done it - a bit of a learning "curve"!  She told me what to do and I was the muscle.  I am pleased to say that she was happy with the results - whew!
Chicken Chili

That same day, the first hummingbird visited the feeder that she had filled the day before.  It was a delight to watch it come and go at speed while we enjoyed my dinner of Chicken Chili.  Storms rumbled, flashed and poured during my stay; one of them was quite violent and we heard about tree damage and power outages the next day (fortunately, it did not affect us.)  But they sure make for gorgeous sunsets and rainbows.

Are you familiar with gooseberry plants?  We always had one or more while we were growing up, and my Mom has two that are full of fruit.  One of her specialties is gooseberry pie, so on my second-to-last day I asked her to check on the fruit.  Just possibly, could they be ready?  We had just returned from a bloodwork appointment (masks and all), and rolled our way across the lawn to the plants.  One small squeeze and she dashed my hopes.  Too green.  Sigh.

We carried on with our day.  Cards.  Homework.  I tripped to Aldi's to fulfill her shopping list, and it wasn't too far out of the way to pop in Graeter's for a pint of her favorite ice cream - Butter Pecan.  All in all, we had a sugar-fueled day since she placed the ingredients for S'mores on the purchase order.  Did you know 10 seconds in a microwave can make an outstanding indoor S'more?

Before I knew it, our ultimate day arrived.  The final pieces of our homework were placed in The Box, and we moved on to happier activities.  Changing it up a bit, we played Mexican Train.  (And we might have had some more S'mores!  Isn't that why they are called S'mores?)
I made the last of my three meals, Basil Sun-dried Chicken Tortellini.  So delectable.  The previous night, we had discovered how pleasant it was to play cards on the back patio, so we repeated the experience.  How fitting to listen to evening birdsong and watch the sunset.  It capped off a hectic and yet eminently satisfying week.  I could move on to the next phase of my trip, visiting with my kids, full up on the love that only a Mom can bestow.  

(Some of my comments on your posts may be a bit delayed this week due to a short camping trip.)

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Monday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.

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  1. ...S'mores, what a outdoor treat, I haven't had them in years! Thanks Angie for hosting.

  2. That looks like a wonderful trip and you both sure enjoyed lots of yummy things!

  3. how wonderful. This week will be a sweet memory for life. I used to pick wild berries for my parents the last summer and the last thing my mother said to me was "thanks for all the berries"! Believe me. I was glad I did pick the berries for them. And yew, we have gooseberry. They are either sour like ... or sweet and good.

  4. You appear to have had a wonderful time and to be there when she was told by her therapist that she was so improved as to not need PT any more must have been a wonderful reason to celebrate! Have a wonderful week!

  5. This certainly looks and sounds a wonderful trip and special time spent with your Mom.
    Lovely seeing your photographs.

    My good wishes.

    All the best Jan

  6. I continually smiled as I read of your trip with your mum. How wonderful that the two of you were able to delight in each other's company and share new and beautiful memories and reminisce over old ones. Just as well you ran those 6 miles on those mornings, with all that delicious food you enjoyed. =) Gosh....I cannot imagine running 6 miles. Truth be told I cannot imagine running at all. Love the photo of the two of precious.

  7. Sounds like a wonderful visit.

  8. How very wonderful that you could enjoy this time with your dear mom and care for her in this special way. Love the unmasked photo of the two of you in that collage. Precious times!

  9. Now... I'm hungry. Each of them looks delicious. Some unknown food, its interesting.

    Of the other side... Of course I know gooseberries. We called them Stachelbeere - like Thornberry maybe translated.

    Most lovely of this post: the photos without mouthcloth of you and your Mom in the collage.

    They healthy and well.

    Happy MosaicMonday

  10. Except for masks it looked like a wonderful visit in normal times, but I know it was made even more precious a visit during these unusual pandemic times. I'm glad your mother is doing so well and that you had such good times together!

  11. Hello, it is wonderful you were able to visit with your Mom. Sounds like fun times, cooking delicious meals and playing games. I have to try the s'mores in the microwave. I am sure your Mom loved having you there too. Happy times. Thanks for hosting MM. Enjoy your day, have a great new week ahead!

  12. How precious to be able to spend this time with you mum while she is still active and "with-it". It sounds like you had a wonderful visit with her. And I am sure she loved having you there too. Especially with the crafting and card games, and when the "homework" was finished. Have a great week, stay safe, and thank you again for the link up.

  13. Angie I'm so glad you were able to spend time with your mom. Sounds like a wonderful and productive trip. Happy memories for later. I pray for her health and your safe return to Montana.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

  14. What a wonderful trip! I know you gave your mother such joy being there sharing fun things and ordinary sharing a meal or treats! It sure makes life worthwhile! Enjoy your week! Hugs!

  15. How your Mum must have enjoyed these special days with you, Angie. This is what memories are made of: Reliving past experiences, emotions and actions, and creating new ones for retrieval at a later date. How lovely she is able to be healthy enough to spend that precious time with you!

  16. Happy you got to spend some time with your mom. Happy Monday

    much love...

  17. I have a really good recipe for ground chicken or turkey chili with cocoa powder and molasses. I wish we were having it tonight instead of frozen walleye and frozen beets from last summer! But at least I'm making a bacon jam barbecue sauce for tomorrow.

  18. Angie, I am so glad you had a super visit with your Mom. Have a safe week. Sylvia D.

  19. Angie, thanks for sharing your story about hanging out with your mom. Unconditional love. :-)

  20. It sounds like a great visit!

  21. I have not had gooseberries for many years but they used to be among my favourite berries, picked right off the bush and also in pies. I don't recall seeing them in the grocery stores. I will have to inquire.

  22. Goodness - what a fun post. Sounds like a wonderful visit. My partner was a software programmer and also loses his mind with the online medical - he asks how anyone who doesn't know what they're doing navigate that system?!?! That is evil that you posted how to do microwave Smores... I will have to try that.... Mexican Train! It's been years since I've played that - always fun. Thanks for the smiles. :-)

  23. Oh Angie, that was such a lovely visit with your mom. I remember those years with my mother...visiting her in her senior retirement home. It was hard after my dad died... she sort of lost her identity. I think about that a lot. Your mother sounds like she’s doing really well (all things considered...which can be said for all of us senior senior citizens). I’m so glad you were able to visit (an ability no longer to be taken for granted). .... we have several good friends in our Florida resort who live in Ohio and from what I read and hear, it seems like that State is handling this virus crisis quite well. I hope that continues, and for Montana too of course!

  24. I've gotten to where I'm not a fan of grocery shopping at all anymore. We have to make online appointments to go so I just let my husband deal with it, but then kick myself when he comes home with so much plastic and single-use waste. Ugh! Looks like you had a busy but successful visit with your mom. A shame that health insurance can actually create more pain and suffering just by the hoops they make you jump through to get anything done. :/

  25. Angie, I am so happy the visit with your mom went so good and that she does not need PT anymore. Always welcome news. Reading about seniors navigating "easy" websites and phone systems, I could feel the frustration. I too work in HR at a hospital and sometimes I want to say "I want to know what the system designers consider "easy to navigate". Sometimes even I have problems!

  26. Talking about helping your mom with a perm brought back lots of memories. Mom used to cut and perm her own hair until it became too hard to hold her hands over her head for an extended period. When I would go to visit her I would help out. After she moved to be near us I would take her to the beauty parlor with me and we would both get a new hairdo. She got her perm and I got a trim. You mentioned a hummingbird feeder. I found one with suction cups that can hold it to the glass in our Bellingham condo porch railing. I can see it from my sofa seat. There is just one hummingbird coming to eat, but I see him morning and evenings. Maybe the word will get out to his friends and family. - Margy

  27. Sounds like you had a fanastic visit!


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