Elizabeth moved Mum into

Woodpeckers Residential Home early yesterday evening, so we paid our mother visit this afternoon. Notice the cattle grid at the entrance intended to deter hopeful ponies from obtaining treats from the residents.

Initial reactions are very good. The converted house is well appointed, and the staff caring and attentive, Mum appears relaxed and satisfied, although she does tear up the rather luxurious paper napkins into four smaller sections in the interests of economy. There were three this afternoon, for we were all given tea and cake. Jackie assisted with a pair of scissors.

As we left, Elizabeth was arriving to help sort some of Mum’s belongings.

A stream runs alongside the building and under the drive.

A fine display of crocuses glowed in the front garden.

The home is not far from open moorland where ponies roam

We returned home via Rhinefield Ornamental drive,

where the sun set the trees dancing.

This evening we dined on second helpings of yesterday’s excellent Forest Tandoori takeaway meal.


  1. Looks like a very nice place for your mum to be comfortable and cared for, besides all the loving care she gets from her family! The woods look great, sort of like the one I used to roam around in whenever I went to upstate New York.

  2. It does look a lovely place, and I am glad she is happy there. I also think modern paper napkins have a longer life than most people think, so they always accompany me home after all but the heaviest restaurant use–there’s plenty of wear left in them in the handkerchief department!

  3. So, did you hear any woodpeckers? We have both green and black in the little wood behind us and can often hear them. Occasionally they come into the garden and wreck the bits of lawn the squirrels have missed.
    I hope your mum is happy there.
    I like the sunlight through the mist photo, as in a Blake painting. Reminds me of our front room in the 70s when they all smoked and drew the curtains (almost) to watch the football. Just much nicer.

  4. The sunlight streaking through the trees looks quite magical.
    Glad your mother is being so well looked after.
    Thinking of you.

  5. I am glad to hear your mum is settled into a nice new home – never an easy thing to do for anybody really. The serviette saving thing made me smile – and the image of Jackie carefully cutting them all into four pieces ….. Life goes on and we drift in and out of it when living with grief – but it helps get us through I think.

  6. I am glad to hear your mother is doing well, and adjusting. The photos of the drive through the forest were lovely as usual.

    I am caught up now. We had “real” snow here yesterday, with two power outages and lots of glitches. Rick and I did a lot of shoveling this morning. I am looking out the window right now and have noted that the snow has just started up again. It’s been an unusual winter.

  7. I too, am glad the move went well and your Mum is beginning to settle into her new home. It must be hard for her to give up her independence but it must be so. Your photographs are beautiful!

    1. Thank you very much, Clare. The reality is that she has need for time care for a while now, and that provided in her own home has been so unreliable. We’ll have to sell her house but, as you say, that must be so

  8. Looks and sounds like a beautiful place for your mother—not an easy thing to find. The signs of spring all around us are very encouraging.

  9. Transitions are always a mix of emotions. The place looks lovely and I know your Mum knows she is well loved, and I am sure she will be well cared for. Hugs to you all.

  10. OH! I’m so happy your Mum is settled in such a beautiful place! I hope she will be well-cared for and happy there! πŸ™‚

    Your photos of the dancing sunlight and the dancing trees are spectacular! I’d like to sit at that picnic-table and breath in the beauty and peacefulness! πŸ™‚

    What you said about your Mum and the napkins reminded me of a memory…
    My Mother-in-law and Father-in-law were visiting us and they had her 97 year old father with them. One day, I served them an afternoon snack of a homemade brownie and some coffee. I put the brownie (for each person) on a napkin. Ninety-seven year old GreatGrandpa ate his snack with gusto and then shook the crumbs off of his napkin onto the floor, and then put the napkin in his pocket. When my MIL scolded him (her father) for doing that, he said, “It’s such a nice napkin I thought I’d save it and use it again.” I thought it was funny and sweet, and, hey, my kids were very young then and we always seemed to have crumbs and dirt on the floor anyways. Ha! πŸ˜€
    HUGS!!! πŸ™‚

  11. The well-being of our parents is our ultimate wish as they age and live out the last years of their lives.
    God bless all your family Derrick!!!

  12. After what has been an extremely stressful year so far for your family i imagine spending a little time in those woods with the sun shining down through them may help lift your spirits just a little. They seem to give a sense of peace and hope for a brighter future.

    I certainly hope that proves to be the case! πŸ™‚

    Love that purple crocus!

    I think the cattle grid serves a dual purpose… stops the zimmer frames from wandering too far from the grounds! πŸ˜‰

  13. Woodpeckers! What a lovely name for a residential facility. I hope all works out with your Mum there. You are surrounded by picturesque beauty everywhere you roam, Derrick! Thanks for always sharing it with us.

  14. I like that your Mum tears up the luxurious paper napkins for economy. That’s the kind of thing I would do. The forest photos are beautiful, especially the one with the shaft of sunlight coming through the trees! Magical indeed!

  15. The part about your Mum tearing up napkins for later use, reminds me of myself. I realized the other day, that if anyone stuck their hand in my jacket pocket, they would immediately classify me as an “old lady” based on the lightly used restaurant napkin they would find – LOL! I hope the beautiful setting brought you and Jackie solace. Have been thinking of you a lot. And, I’m glad your Mum is in good hands in a safe place. X

  16. The home sounds lovely, I hope your mum will be very happy there.
    The cutting of the napkin made me smile. Definitely an elderly person thing. At Christmas I began folding up used Christmas paper. β€œMum!” Was the cry from the family. β€œYou are turning into Nana!” They assumed I was intending to re-use the paper, I had no intention of that, I was thinking ahead and anticipating an over full Christmas recycle bin!

  17. This kind of thing is so hard on everyone but I can say this, this place is far more welcoming that places here. I don’t that it helps you find any more peace about your mum! We actually built a suite of rooms on our house for my mom at the end of her life and even that what fraught with difficulties and sorrow. And the last week of her life we had no choice but to put her in a facility because we simply could no longer care for her or keep her safe. I pray that this new and difficult passage in all your lives is not filled with too many sorrows!!! Love and hugs, Nβ€οΈβŒβ­•οΈ

    1. Very many thanks, Natalie. In fact Mum has adamantly refused to live with any of us. She chose to go into the home because live-in care was just not working. It certainly is a warning of what may be to come for any of us. XX

      1. Oh I’m glad this was her choice. And yes my friend it may indeed come for any of us. I pray things are going well for her in that place, and that you are recovering well too. Love and hugs, N πŸ™‚ <3

  18. As so many of you seemed to like the napkin story, I thought I would give you an update. Mum said she was not sure why Jackie needed to use the scissors as there were such sharp foldlines in the napkins all ready for tearing! Seriously though, I know it is early days but Mum seems to have taken to Woodpeckers so well and I must say it is a lovely home with the most caring of staff and they are so well equipped, as and when needed, to also look after her health and keep her safe. She has started drawing up plans for where all her decorative items are to go once she is absolutely sure that this is the right home for her and we can start to bring things across.

    Another bonus is that her window overlooks the home’s vegetable patch and she is keenly interested to watch progress here.

  19. Thanks for the update on your mum’s adaptation to her new home. I volunteer at a nursing home here in Ennis… and am so glad we have such a facility in our little community of less than 1000 people. The staff is loving and caring. Friends who are there are adjusting to the idea that this may be their last “home” on earth… and I am happy to see the care they are given. We’d all like to stay happy and healthy in our own home as long as possible, but when it is no longer possible, God bless the “Woodpeckers” of this world! As far as the napkin story is concerned, I related to it, too. As a young girl, during WW II, the only ways in which I remember the hardship affecting me were !) I couldn’t have ice cream whenever I wanted it, and 2) we always had to tear our paper napkins in half to “save paper for the soldiers.”

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