This is spring? 4-19-24

It froze last night and it’s going to freeze again tonight! The wind was so cold out of the northwest today but I picked up the kids and dogs after Concord and they love to drive the golf cart so they took the brunt of the cold wind. As fast as they were going, I somehow don’t think it mattered much.

Becky and I were shocked today when during our program the activities director announcedmtjst today they were celebrating

US!!!! The room was packed with more residents than I’ve ever seen attend – the staff probably made them come! – and they served a full lunch with chicken salad sandwiches, fruit salad, bars and layer cake on top of it all! We got a succulent plant and the sweetest card signed by all the staff. I was blown away. Here are a couple pictures.

The lady shown above in the lower right was a good friend of our mom’s. I think she’s 102. she doesn’t normally come to our program so it was nice to see her. So many are hard of hearing yet today lots of them sang along and threw in the extra barks in How Much Is That Doggie In the Window. So fun.

The kids warmed up in the house while we made cookies. Then dad brought pizza for supper, they went home to movie night and I cleaned up. My pretend grandchildren, Aidan, Lucy and Owen.

Reader photos – haven’t these spring pictures been fun? I’d love to have locations shown on photos – I’ll add them if I remember or even know.

I have so enjoyed watching these guys, thanks to Linda B! Time for them to take off.
This little girl couldn’t wait for her new socks to be finished so she wore just one until both were done. That’s how tickled she is with her new socks made by Grandma.
This is my Hoya in bloom.

Too tired to sew tonight.

P.S. For those of you who are into music, here’s a camera shot of our play list today. The residents love these old folk songs and hymns and can remember the words to sing along.

44 thoughts on “This is spring? 4-19-24

  1. Shirley Andersen Smith

    Oh how wonderful for yoyu Mary and well deseeved. It’s the little things. They really are the big things.
    You do such a kind, good service for these folks. And you are loved.
    Shirley in Oregon

  2. Martha W in WY

    That was a nice “thank you” for Becky and you. It’s so nice you can bring them a little joy. How often do you play at the home? The beautiful garden photos make me jealous. My gardens don’t look anything like those. I really like the color choice in Cindy’s quilt top sampler.
    Carla’s knit socks look so warm and fun. I can understand the daughter’s excitement.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Martha – we try to play once a month – our Mom died 12 years ago today there at Concord. We, of course, didn’t announce that. What a downer!

      1. Martha W in WY

        I’m willing to bet it’s kinda sweet for you to bring smiles to the residents’ faces. It makes me think of a song that has the line “I’ve got joy, joy, joy down in my heart.”

  3. Rhoda Ebersole

    How nice that they showed their love and appreciation for you. Isn’t it great the residents know all those songs?
    I want to knit socks too. The lady who was going to teach me died.
    Peace and love

  4. Marsha from Kansas

    It was so nice you and Becky got a surprise party. I would love to be in that audience as I could sing those songs (however, out of key) with you. While I was in the hospital, a pastor of a local church was ministering at the hospital. He sang to me each time and then prayed for healing. You just don’t know how a song can touch your heart. His Eye is on the Sparrow and so he watches over Me. God Bless you and Becky

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Marsha – His Eye Is On the Sparrow is one of my favorite piano solos!! How are you, Marsha?

  5. Jo in Wyoming

    It’s wonderful you had a good turnout for your program. Even if attendance was encouraged.
    The flowers are stunning. We had ice today. So cold.

  6. Dee from Shell Rock

    I know a Party at the home is always an exciting time! And for someone who gives them great joy is always the best. They may not always remember, but they know a special time. I love the pictures, all of them, dogs, cats, goats, chickens, flowers, people. Thanks for sharing.

  7. brendalynne1

    how kind for you to be acknowledged. They were blessed to be able to do this when there are so many things they can no longer achieve. I bet this really made their day.

  8. Sandy

    Hi Mary, l remember as kids singing ,, on top of spaghetti,, and how much is that doggie in the window! The pink trees are great, the red poppy reminds Australian and new Zealanders of joint allies during world War one , we celebrate ANZAC day on 25th April and remember their bravery. Take care everyone, best wishes from Sandy

  9. Kathy in western NY

    It’s nice to be appreciated and I’m happy to hear you and Becky were thanked in a good way for contributing to the Concord residents activities. Chicken salad sandwiches are so yummy.
    Wonderful pictures and I feel like I have my own copy of Better Homes and Gardens in my hand. My white flowering tree looked like a blanket of snow yesterday with the blossoms all blown off so thankful I captured the picture when I did.
    Hoping you slept well last night Mary after a day of celebrating and enjoying your kids outside.

  10. Kim from Wi

    How wonderful that they through you a party for all the joy you have brought to them. Love the song list, a good sing along for sure. Love all the summer pictures of everyone’s yards, spring has truly arrived.
    We were pretty cold last night and the wind was howling, hope we warm up for a few days. Saw a few folks out mowing so the rain has been helpful. Hope to cut out a new quilt pattern today while the husband makes us a kettle of chicken soup.

  11. Gloria from CC

    What a wonderful tribute to you and Becky by the Concord Home. Well deserved – not many people would think let alone do what you two do for the many residents. In some cases you may be the only visitors they get.
    Wish our gardens were as far along as some in the pictures. I covered some plants but am worried about my peonies and rhubarb.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Gloria – I hope my peonies don’t freeze off but they’re pretty hardy and I see my rhubarb is growing nicely. Good thing, too, because I’m on my last jar of jam.

  12. Linda in MI

    The pictures this morning were wonderful, I love seeing the group in the home and glad to hear they celebrate you and Becky. I had visited a lot of nursing and retirement homes during my career and remember either they had interested faces or they looked like they just didn’t care but they need entertainment to brighten their days and your song list is perfect.

    It is freezing here this morning too. I need to put on my winter barn coat to go take care of Bear, Norman and Albert. The dogs have to stay in the house this morning because the grandson and his buddy are in the woods turkey hunting. Nelson and Sammie will see their truck and hunt out the boys for some puppy love and I will be in trouble.

    I enjoyed the pictures although it isn’t quite spring in mid-Michigan. I have iris’s up, and a few other perennials but sister Nancy has kept me aware of all her blossoms in the Louisville area. They are always about 5-6 weeks ahead of us . I saw she shared a photo of a beautiful poppy and her hosta garden. She has a lot of beautiful flower gardens and I have weed beds. My back prevents me from gardening and after my recent visit to the doctor I don’t dare try to do anything I don’t absolutely need to do. When the doctor looks at you and says this is serious, you could end up in a wheel chair any day I listen!

    Your chicks are looking healthy. And more than a couple of roosters! Hope they like each other and no fighting.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Linda – I MUST change my ways, too, and it won’t be fun to see my yard not up to par but everybody depends on me so I will. When Alisa gave me the chicks she said I could return any excess roosters which I’ll hate to do but they’re so hard on the hens. I’ll need my winter coat, too, and I haven’t been to the barn yet – reading email and comments and drinking coffee this Saturday morning. I know the chicks will be needing food and water – boy can they eat!

  13. Vicki Ibarra

    What a wonderful acknowledgement for you and Becky! You had a busy day, and I can understand why you were tired. I have so enjoyed all the yard/garden pictures. The flowers, shrubs, trees, and plantings are a delight. It is nice to see flowers that won’t bloom for me for a while yet. And people’s yard vignettes show their interests and attention to detail. So special.
    I am glad the socks are treasured. I believe anything hand made carries the love of the maker in it. That is why quilts are so special, too.

  14. Donna Jo

    Mary how wonderful that you and Becky were honored by the care home! That was so thoughtful of the staff! I would love some pretend grandkids! Wish I could find some too! My mother use to say being a grandma was the best thing ever! I love seeing all the spring flowers and trees especially since I didn’t inherit the gardening gene from my mom! We are going to Paducah next week for the quilt show. I will send some pictures for you to post.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Donna Jo – I have never been to Paducah! Can you believe it?

  15. Linda in Michigan

    I think I could tolerate the cold, if only the WIND would stop blowing!
    What a nice surprise for you and Becky!

  16. Dee in Ohio

    I’m sure you make the people at the nursing home day whether it is the staff or residents. You make your blog our day.

  17. Fran Dixon

    I am smiling. What a wonderful post. The best community service ever!

    You are so much fun, Mary!

    We had a freeze here too and maybe another tonight in SW Iowa.

  18. Diane in Colorado

    How nice to be appreciated for your efforts!!

    There are some great gardeners here!! I’m loving seeing the green grass and beautiful flowers!! We had about 3” of snow overnight and it’s supposed to snow all day. Spring in Colorado!!

    Glad you have “chosen grandchildren” to enjoy!! You are such a gift to them! They will remember these memories with you!

  19. Lee Bowers

    Mary, you are such a treasure. Thanks for being you.
    One consolation you have in Iowa with no spring. Humidity comes later and when it finally turns summer 75 is the perfect temperature. You gotta take the bitter with the sweet. 🙂
    Your Hoya is stunning. You sent me a piece probably 10 years ago and it is living and sometimes it blooms beautiful.
    Blessings. Lee

  20. NancyTD

    Love all the spring pictures. Too early for much around here yet.
    The kids will always remember the fun times with you!
    Thanks for sharing your music with the residents. I remember how much my Mom enjoyed the special activities when she was in independent living and in the nursing home. What a special luncheon for you and the residents. A big hug of thanks!

  21. Diane in Maryland

    What a wonderful thank you for you and Becky! So nice of Concord to do that!

    Love the pictures of the gardens. I haven’t seen a weed yet! 🤔

    Those children are very much your grandchildren! What fun they have with you! I suspect the consider you and Rick their grandparents! Our grandchildren have friends who call us Mom-mom and Pop. We love them! It is an honor for sure.

    Been rainy and in the 50’s which is cold to me but the sun is trying to come out now. Spring temps are up and down while it tries to make up its mind.

  22. Mareen

    I know they appreciate you playing and singing. Thank you for doing that. And you are so good to those kids and I know they love the farm and you and soon they’ll grow up…..take care tell Rick hi

  23. Vicki in Seattle

    Mary, what a gift you are to so many! You and Becky bring back treasured memories for the residents and are so deserving of the special recognition.
    It is great to have our own special garden tour! Your Hoya blossom is gorgeous. So fun to watch your baby chicks grow.

    Have a wonderful weekend and MANY THANKS for all you do!

  24. Sharon F

    How lovely that you and Becky were acknowledged with a party at Concord. That’s such a service you do for those living there. Fun times with your kids, nice for all of you.

    Loved the spring pictures. Spring is much further behind up here in North Idaho. My iris are up, and peonies peeking through the soil, but neither will bloom for another month and a half. Hostas aren’t even visible yet. Neighbors daffodils are blooming and pretty though.
    Such a precious picture of the baby hummingbirds! Thanks for sharing it!!

  25. Pat Book

    Bless you for playing at Concord.. Mass and music were the only things that she looked forward to. It’s surprising how they remember the words to the prayers and music. I enjoy the blog, gives me ideas for quilts for homeless, etc.

  26. Laura VS

    What a nice surprise for you and Becky. All of the spring pictures have been beautiful. I love them seeing them all

    1. Pat in AZ

      Laura, your red peony is beautiful! All of your planting are but especially that one.

  27. Diane, Squeak, and Buddy in Central Ohio

    Oh, Mary, what fun. I used to love to take my mom to hear the music at the assisted living. They love the songs so much. Thank you to you and Becky for doing that for them:)
    It is cooler here today, too. Our lovely neighbors gave us tickets to the Heisey Music Ensemble at the OSU branch campus here. It will be wonderful and we are grateful for the tickets. Heisey is a form of glass made here that many people collect.
    Working on getting ready for the retreat. Stay warm

    1. Diane in Maryland

      I have just Googled Heisey Glass. How interesting! Even more so to realize that I was given a cake plate many years ago that is a Heisey piece! I always say this blog is about EVERYTHING! I have learned so many interesting things from Mary and her followers! Thank you!

  28. Beryl BC

    What a great party for you and the residents of Concord! That is a good service you do for them. I enjoyed reading through the song list; I could sing along with all of them.
    We are expecting frost in SW Ohio tomorrow morning and Monday morning. I will cover the fern leaf peony given to me by a N Iowa friend. Everything else is on its own. The rhubarb is ready to use; I don’t know how it will do with a frost.

    1. Mary Etherington Post author

      Beryl BC – the song list is straight from yesteryear, isn’t it? They wouldn’t know In Christ Alone, would they?

  29. Susan Leone

    Aww…so sweet! I was an Activity Director for 40 years in various nursing homes. We loved to honor our volunteers! Funny how our residents could remember the name of our therapy dog or the day of the week that he visited but forgot the names of staff they saw every day. Warmed my heart to see your pictures and brought back good memories.

  30. Jeanie S, Central IL

    What a great day you had! It is so neat you and Becky share your musical talent and give the care home residents a bright spot in their lives. You are both appreciated.
    As for your ‘pretend grands,’ how lucky are Aiden, Lucy, and Owen to have extra grandparents. I love my family dearly, but I am a firm believer, ‘Some friends are the family you choose.’
    Thanks, Mary 🥰

  31. Pat in AZ

    Chris in Alaska, your polar bear momma and babies is just adorable. The colors you used remind me of the Aurora Borealis. Great choice.
    Mary, what a sweet surprise for you and Becky. Sounds like you had a great time and I’m sure the residents enjoyed it too.
    I’m the adopted grandma to many of my grand and great grands friends. It’s usually a total riot when all of us are together but I truly believe ‘the more the merrier ‘. These are the times they will tell their children about.

  32. Katie Gilbert,AZ

    Enjoyed todays sharing, Thank U and your sister for sharing your gift of music with folks in the senior centers, I volunteered for many years (clowning) I still can see the beautiful smiles, on the seniors faces ,
    Beauty all the gardens, we’re in AZ. Our lil corner of the world is beautiful,I am enjoying it ,before the heat comes..🌵

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