It seems like I have spent the month of April catching up, running in circles, starting things that are never finished and generally wasting time. This always happens when one week out of the month is spent visiting my mother and father. I was in New Jersey again 7-14 April. It was one of the more pleasant trips in recent memory...on that new "sliding scale of pleasantness" that I have had to create to maintain my sanity. There was usual bickering between Mom and Dad as one refuses to yield even an inch to the others' maladies.
I plugged along in my usual way, attempting to ignore all of that and gauge my "success" by my daily accomplishments. A lot did get done. Windows cleaned, inside and out. Curtains taken down and washed and put back up. Mini blinds cleaned (and in some cases hidden away in order to prevent all windows from being sealed off like a morgue.) I know it improves the overall mood of the house if it is more bright and open. I can't imagine how they have not killed each other being cooped up in that house all Winter long!
The lovely Pepper has become even more friendly and at ease in her new home. She loved the fact that I opened all the windows for her to observe the deer, squirrels, rabbits and various birds. She has a very loud meow to begin with, but that chattering sound she makes at the wildlife is so interesting. She has learned a few new "tricks" since Thanksgiving.
Jumping up on to the dining room table is her latest bit of entertainment. She never mooches food or gets in your face. She is just very curious and looking for attention (or to be the center of attention more likely)
She has also discovered the rocking chair in my brother's old room...mostly due to the fact that I finally cleared most surfaces of excess clothing, blankets, bags of yarn,, sheets, towels and whatever else was tossed there. My father does his best to keep up with the housework, but things tend to end up in odd places. Mom's Parkinson's Disease prevents her from doing cleaning, cooking, laundry etc. All of the tasks a man in his 80's never did before and is not used to doing now. But they plug along and do their best. Luckily my brother lives close by. He and my sister-in-law are a tremendous help to my parents.
Many a fine meal was cooked, much to my father's delight. he is a man of few words, but he is always very complimentary of my culinary skills
There was even some delving into fields way beyond my talent or skill level. Tiling is just such an adventure. My goal was to replace 4 tiles that had fallen down. They were gray and only one had survived. Home Depot only had black so I was behind the eight ball in terms of supplies as well as my lack of knowledge! Well, 4 tiles turned into eight and 5 surrounding border pieces!! The harder I tried to get the new tiles to stick, the more old ones fell off. The original missing four were in a square, which would have led to a very inartistic arrangement of grey and black. But thanks to the fact that some many others dislodged themselves during the process I was able to create a rather eye-pleasing mosaic,
When I spend a week in New Jersey it gives my brother and his family a week to escape. And escape they did to do some university visits with my niece, followed by a short trip to Florida. This gave me the chance to care for my old buddy Mel. He is such a wild boy and I just love him!!
Pepper kept us entertained in the evenings. And while I did help my mother finish 2 more knitting projects I didn't make a single cross-stitch, knit or purl myself!
So Spring has finally come. By now this Magnolia in Mom and Dad's yard will be in full bloom. I hope they've left those mini blinds off and the curtains open so they can see it.