Friday, February 15, 2013

White Sale...and thoughts of Mother.

New towels from Lands End arrived in the post...
Supima cotton terry in a nice weight and pure white.
Not as fluffy as the pricier Abyss brand but all 6 pieces were less than the cost of one Abyss bath towel.

Frugal yes but will they last?
I hope that I am not going to regret this purchase and only time will tell how they stand up to bi~weekly washings and daily use. It's an experiment and one that I will be repeating in various areas of my domestic scene for the next while. I will report back and advise in due course.

Tied up with grey gross grain ribbon they look like a present!

I took Mother to see the film Quartet at the theatre recently and we were almost the last ones seated.
It was so popular and it has a fabulous all star cast
Maggie Smith is lovely in her role!
We chose a matinee which might have been a mistake as every one else seemed to have the same idea
perhaps the gloomy grey skies had something to do with it...
Mother does love a great film or play as they seem to transport her to a place that she loves to be.

I've noticed that Mother is quite lonely these past few months..
despite the efforts of my sister and I to keep her entertained.

Her friendly neighbour Elizabeth moved to a hip condo building downtown
so their impromptu wine and cheeses and afternoons sipping copious amounts of tea are sorely missed.
It must be so hard to keep ones spirits up when one lives alone.
Her cleaning lady comes once a week to do the bathrooms, kitchen, vacuum and dust.
Mother makes her a lovely tea and a snack and they sit for a bit and have a chat.

I do wonder why Mother doesn't join in the Senior's Centre activities...
considering she really never was much of a joiner
it should not be a surprise
it's too bad because there may be a friend out there for her...
someone that she could play cards with or go out to lunch or tea with
someone who may be a widow like she is and has shared similar life experiences.

My friend Sandy's mother Pam and Mother got along and they would seek each other out for some fun.
Sadly Pam passed away last year...
a lot of Mother's friends have had health issues and are now in care or gone.

Mother is still driving and gets out regularly which is her saving grace.
She pays her bills and shops for her own groceries
does her banking and loves to shop for clothes.

It's difficult watching someone you love age before your very eyes.

I'd like to hold tight to those images of her when I was younger and she was the belle of the ball.
Dressing up in her finery for evenings out with Father.
Me sitting on her bed taking in every detail...
from the silky lace trimmed slips
to her fastening her hose and garters
the dabs of Shalimar 
behind her ears, her neck and on her wrists
Father zipping up her zipper
fastening her Sherman necklace
carefully arranging her hair
 clipping on her sparkling dangly earrings
then applying her red lipstick
before blotting on a tissue to absorb the excess
then swishing by me a giving me a quick kiss before grabbing her fur 
and disappearing out the door...

memories have the power to take me back in time
a long long time ago...

This is a delightful read from the blogger Orangette.
Pop by to get a taste of her delicious writing!

We have house guests coming for the weekend...
what plans do you have?

Have Fun!


  1. Your mum sounds so like mine, "not a joiner" she's been very lonely too, I wish we could all get together, it must be so hard to see your loved ones all die before you and to find your days becoming more and more empty. Whenever I see mum just now she won't stop talking, she's like a budgie, it isn't a conversation, it's just her outpouring of pent up thoughts.
    I wish I had an answer...

  2. Gosh that sounds like Mom! Wish we did live closer I'd arrange a tea.

  3. I love hearing about your Mother, she sounds like a sweetie and you obviously have a wonderful relationship. Having lost my Mother almost 15 years ago this brought a tear to my eye, but the memories of garter belts, clip on earrings and red lipstick (blotted of course!) made me smile! Thank you!

  4. Both my mother and mother in law are going through this now, and it has both David and I quite endlessly worried. Unfortunately, neither live close to us, although at least my mother is only 90 mins away, his is on the east coast. They have outlived most of their friends, and neither would consider moving out of their homes into places for seniors that have activities, etc. We talk to both of them on the phone daily, and it's a real struggle to end the conversation. And the same, no real conversation, just an outpouring of whatever's going on in their minds at that moment. I also think they're both quite frightened, as they watch everyone around them, either pass on, or become quite incapacitated etc. It's a real problem, and one we haven't figured out quite how to manage yet, and keep some balance in our own lives as well. Like you, we also have grown children and grandchildren on the way this summer from both, which of course we're beyond thrilled about - but life seems to have become more complex as we hit our 60's, rather than simpler. A lot of caregiving on both ends.

  5. Sorry for the ramble, but this subject has been so much on my mind. I think part of the not being a joiner thing at this time also has to do with a certain denial of where they are at this time in their lives. My mother prefers to be around young people, and doesn't see herself as elderly at all.
    Curious about yours and Tabitha's?

    1. Kathy - mine has always been like that, dad used to go out on his own to events most of the time, mum always preferred to stay home, and she would never ever join in any group activity.

    2. My Mother was very gregarious until my Father became ill and she nursed him for years and spent every day at his bedside when he was hospitalized. She let go of most of her friends as she had very little time to's a shame that so many of her long term friends have already passed away too. I do agree about the denial as Mother says the senior centre if FULL of old people!
      I am very close to my Mother and it would seem that Tabitha is close to hers as well so I feel that if we were to introduce the two of them with their coiffed hair and lady like outfits they might just hit it off!

  6. It is very sad to see. My mother went through a similiar process and we all did what we could to keep her company but it was never enough. After she passed away, when my daughter was at University of Victoria, she volunteered through an agency to visit seniors several afternoons a week to have tea and a nice chat. It made her sad to see how lonely they were, but she felt it was helping. Miss Mary was her favourite and she remembers her to this day.
    Have a nice weekend.

  7. I think increasing isolation is one of the hardest parts of the aging process. My father and my in-laws were all very socially active right up until they passed away. My mother, not so much, but she did live in a building with a lot of other seniors and so had acquaintances to pass time with. It can't be easy to deal with her loneliness and I hope you all are able to find some social support for her.

  8. My mother is going through the same loneliness right now. Her time was spent visiting Dad and now he is gone. She does not want to do "useless" things at the Senior Centre and she is not a joiner. As I am now retired,
    we go to some matinees and out for lunch every week. When I go back to Paris in March, she will be lonely. It's hard to make new friends in your eighties and my mother is reserved.I guess all we can do is spend the time with our parents while we have them and nurture our relationships in preparation for our own elder years.

  9. I am reading Proof of Heaven.

    My grandfather was able to live alone near us until 94. It made him very happy. My dad had to lie about the rent. Grandpa would have had kittens!

    He was walking around town only a week before we lost him.

    He kept adjusting to changes. I think that's important. I like now, too. I hope to be like him. It takes a sense of humor.

    He walked and read the paper everyday and stayed slim.

  10. I agree, I think some people are not joiners and they miss having their own space, privacy and living in their own home on their own terms. My Grandma lives in her condo by herself now and although my aunts see her regularly and my parents fly out to see her a few times a year, she gets lonely sometimes. But I think she prefers being on her own and puttering around her condo, tending to her flowers and doing things on her terms.

  11. I took my mother to see Quartet two weeks ago and she loved it. Then we had lunch and strolled through some shops. It was just right for her. She's the same age as Dame Maggie Smith. My mother is only 19 years old than I am, so I have witnessed nearly her entire life from a young 20 something mother, middle age and now age 76. In a way, I remember my mother as a "girl" and that is very strange and yet, a gift. Now she is frail but she is not lonely at all. The reason is the internet. She goes online to chatrooms associated with websites she enjoys. It's been a blessing that she made friends this way. She checks in with them a few times a day. Does your mother use a computer? It might be nice to teach her. Emily at alovelyinconsequence.blogspot

    1. When my father died Mother said get rid of that computer! She is not technically savvy at all!

  12. My Mother lived next door to me so that helped enormously ~ loneliness is a dreadful thing. The problem is that even with lots of people around you can be lonely for the loved one you lost...believe me, I know. It is good that she is still able to drive, get out and do things.

    1. I am sure that is a huge part of her loneliness Adrienne and how fortunate that you lived so close to your Mother. I am only a block away so it works out well for us too.

  13. I'm so glad that my parents still have one another. Neither is a 'joiner' so they depend on one another exclusively now. My weekend will be full of outings with Mum and Dad - Mattick's Farm today and Oak Bay tomorrow - all their favourite spots.

  14. Receiving a new set of towels is great. Just hoping, that the ones you ordered, will last long in good condition!

  15. I have the book A Homemade Life. I heard about it from my daughter in law who went to high school with the author. It is a great book! Try the flourless chocolate cake.

    About your mom--what wonderful memories you have of her belle of the ball days. Has she considered moving to a senior citizens' community? Are there any in your area? Two years ago, my mother (in her 80s) moved to such a community after living alone for about eight years after the death of my father. He is having SUCH a great time! There are art lessons to take, dancing lessons, lectures, movies, dinner and/or lunch with friends as she pleases etc. She is in an independent apartment with a lovely balcony and full kitchen. As for your mother, most of her friends had died and even though she was active in her town, she was getting tired of always having to leave her house for company and activity.

  16. I question the idea that activities in Senior Citizens' communities are "useless". Actually, I think most who study this sort of thing would say that daily interaction with others promotes good health and continuing good cognitive function. And, the opportunity to make new friends and try new activities is great at any age.

  17. My mom is very introverted, yet she also enjoys company at times, as long as there's not too much pressure -- Until her cancer spread, she walked and walked and walked, mostly on her own but sometimes with friends. Her favourite day of the week, though, was Friday, because then she would walk to the corner bus stop and join the Walking Group from the nearby Seniors' Centre on their outing. She also liked to walk over to the Centre (just across the street from her condo) for coffee and sometimes even for lunch, if she was feeling a bit lonely. And she lives very close to the library, so she'd head over there regularly as well, often bumping into people she knows. But it's so hard to be losing friends more than making them -- it seems almost every month she's hearing of someone passing away, and there's not much denying what's happening. . . . You and your mother have been so close, it's hard not to be able to wave a magic wand and make it all work for her. Hugs to you and to your Mom.

  18. My 100-year-old friend, whom I visit with every week as a friendly visitor through Council on Aging, lives alone. Can you believe it? She cooks, cleans, and gardens all by herself. And she keeps a busy weekly schedule. She goes out every Tuesday for Mahjong with a group of women, attends church every Sunday, takes a rug making class, and goes to numerous other luncheons throughout the year. She makes a point of getting out and socializing as much as energy will allow. Seeing me once a week is part of that effort. Maybe there is a friendly visitor type program in your area? Would your mother like to have someone come and see her once a week for tea or just to chat?

  19. My mother was that way too. We used to push her to join things, but it takes energy to make new friends and time for friendships to develop- just as it does for us. She really only wanted to see old friends (dying off) and her family.

    If at all possible, might your family increase your visits, even if just a 30 min. 'drop in'? And, a friend got his 88 yr old mother her first dog ever- she is dramatically happier with her new companion.

    1. Unfortunately Mother is in a condo that will not allow pets or she would have a cat.
      When I retire I will be seeing more of her and will try to encourage her to get involved and probably will be the one to accompany her to classes or events.

  20. My MIL was active in the church until her death at 93yrs, her daily diary was full,she lost her husband at 52.Her advise was 'always have something to look forward to each day'. Ida

    1. What a good bit of advice. And the something needn´t be a big thing!

  21. I think all the mothers are quite alike in their age. Unfortunately they become lonely and not all the children can live near their parents. I believe lonely people find some clubs, neighbors and friends to spend free time together. Sometimes you just don't have enough time even to visit your mom. You just need to work all day long. But I believe that you must take a day off and go with your mom somewhere. It could be that you don't have money for entertainments, in such case I was pleased by the payday loan company. You ca get extra cash quickly and very easy. I believe it could be a decision.