April's Real Blog

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Mom's B-day--a twofer 4 U

So, like I mentioned in yesterday's comments, Mike made me come home yesterday so we cd have a surprise b-day celebration 4 Mom. It really did catch her by surprise, since her b-day is 2day. [Mike also wrote abt yesterday's celebration--I'm gonna paste his version in below.]

Yeah, well, Mike and Dee had a cake made 4 Mom @ The Pastry Chef. They went an' got it after they brought me back from the airport. It was a huge rectangle cake with pink frosting on the sides, yellow frosting on top, and pink flowers all along one side of the top. Above the flowers were the words, "Happy Birthday Mom"--kinda looking like a kid Merrie's age cda written it. When Mike unveiled the cake, he got a bunch of straight, black lines kinda bouncing out from the top of his head in2 the air. Then he went and grabbed 56 b-day candles 2 put on the cake, but Liz did a pushing-away kinda gesture and sed an image of Mom showing her lower teeth while boggling out her eyes, raising her brows, and having her glasses pop off of her face while the candles made a cloud of smoke over the cake. Mike then spoke an "idea" bulb, and got a drinking glass from the cabinet, and used the glass 2 gouge a hole in2 the cake. Liz and I looked at ea other as the cake projected sum of those same str8 lines that had been jumping outta Mike's head, and Liz shrugged @ me while extending her hands out in front of her, like in an "it was this big" sorta gesture. I knew she was trying 2 do an "I dunno" gesture, but 2 annoy her, I pretended it was an "it was this big gesture." I said, "No way, I'll bet it was more like this," and I held up my pinky. Limply. She got pissed @ me, of course.

NEway, it turned out that Mike had gouged the hole 2 stick an enormous green candle in2 the cake. Then he got Dad 2 bring over Mom, lit the cake, and we all sang "Happy birthday." When it came time 2 say her name, Liz and I sang, "Mom," Robin and Merrie sang, "Grandmaaa," Dad sang, "Elly..." and Mike and Dee both kinda gaped their mouths without singing NE name @ all. Which was weird.

Well, Mom was v. confused when she saw me. She sed, "I thot U were in Winnipeg." I sed, "I was. Mike got me a plane ticket so I cd come home and surprise U." Mike asked, "Mom! R U surprised?" She sed, "Sure, I'm surprised, but U brot her home, U get 2 feed her 2nite and keep her here until U're ready 2 bring her back 2 the airport. Your father and I have special birthday plans and we're not having a teenangster getting in our way. No offense, April." And I sed, "Whatever."

So I'm @ Mike's 2day. I think I'm going back 2 Winni this evening, but I'm not 100% sure. The return ticket Mike got me was open-ended.

Here's what Mike hadta say abt the occasion:

Formerly little sis. Mom’s 56th birthday. I wanted to make it special for her, kind of like it was really her 60th birthday, even though she still has 4 more years to reach that milestone. Deanna and I decided we would get a birthday cake from none other than the store The Pastry Chef. Personally I think it reminds me a lot of a great place I remember from North Bay, Ontario called The Swiss Pastry Chef, who was involved with the Heritage Railway and Carousel Company during their "Adoptions Day" at the Winter Wonderland Carousel.

But such remembrances do not matter. What is important is that my lovely wife, Deanna went to the store and I got mom a birthday cake, and not one of those multi-leveled cakes they had in their windows. I picked it out all by myself, while Deanna went to the Lingerie store nearby to see if they had any pink lingerie to match her all pink outfit. As we were leaving, Deanna remarked that she thought the business buildings were extraordinarily tall and she wondered why the upper windows had no window treatments, but I was so excited about the cake I did not really notice. I even did a little Irish step dancing to celebrate, right there in the street.

We got into our car and as it hovered along the road I once again got the feeling our car always seems to look different every time we drive. But the road near the The Pastry Chef is one of those roads where everything seems to tilt at 15-degree angle, so I was too busy trying to keep the car on the road to think too long about anything else.

Finally, back at our house, the whole family gathered around as I revealed the cake. I was so excited; I could feel little lines flowing out of my head. Liz was there, my lovely Deanna was there, and you were there of course and you had one of the googly-eyed puppets or dolls and you were showing it the cake. It said, “Happy Birthday, Mom!” and it had a picture of 8 flowers, mom’s favourite flowers, the little roses which stick right out of the ground and have no thorns.

I had gotten 56 candles and I was getting ready to light them up when Liz made some kind of hand gesture where her pinky finger was sticking out. For some reason, Liz was speaking in pictograms, but I could clearly see she felt the smoke from 56 candles would overwhelm mom and her glasses would fall off.

So then I raised the French fry which sometimes masquerades itself as my right hand’s index finger, and I decided to use a pictogram too. My pictogram was of a lit light bulb with little black lines coming out of it. This picture was to symbolically indicate how much I liked light bulbs. Liz seems startled, and you had a look on your face which I think you told me meant, “Surely you are not thinking of using a light bulb instead of candles.” “Well, of course not,” I responded as I went for idea #2, flammable dishware.

You crossed your arms and looked at me skeptically, as I reached up for a glass on the top shelf of our cabinet. The cabinet looked especially neat, with even the coffee cups stacked on top of each other. I could tell Deanna had been getting ready for mom to come over.

Not to fear though. I had a cunning plan. Instead of lighting the glass on fire, I would use the glass to cut a circle out of the cake with a FWUMP sound. You looked at me curiously then, but Liz was horrified. I think she said something about “How dare you mutilate mom’s cake? She puts the ‘grand’ in grandma.” I said to Liz, “When will you ever trust me? I know what I am doing.” But Liz just stared at the cake with the hole in left by the glass, and you looked back at that little piece of her hair which kept coming unbunned.

Deanna and I got out an old box of giant candles, she found left by mom from when she moved out. The box was labeled XL Candles, and it actually was extra large candles and not candles with the Roman numeral XL (40) on them, which is good since mom is 56 years old and not 40. We found a one of the candles had already been previously lit, so we decided that was the one to use. After all, we knew it could light, because there was drippy candle wax all around the top of it, which a regular unlit candle would not have. And it was a birthday miracle; I did not have to cut out more from the hole in the cake to put the candle in. After all, candles and glasses are usually not scaled to the same width and circumference.

We were finally ready for mom’s birthday.

I called dad who brought mom over. We sat her down at the table in the chair of honour, and I brought out the cake. We sang “Happy birthday dearrrr….” And then things kind of dragged as each person tried to remember their relationship to mom. You and Liz sang “mom.” My children sang “grandmaaa”. Dad sang “Elly”, Deanna and I sang generic notes because we really couldn’t fit in “great woman without whose old candles this birthday would never have happened”. There was more to the song, but your head got in the way of finishing it.

Mom stared down at the candle for a long time before she blew the candle out. Afterwards, I asked her what she thought of the cake. Her response, “Did you keep the part of the cake you cut out?” She cried when I told her I threw it out. It was a great birthday party, until mom asked where the presents were. I knew there was something I forgot.

Michael Patterson
BTW, Mike, I didn't have a puppet. That was Merrie (yr daughter) looking v. strange.


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  • At 6:45 PM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…


    Dearest future sister. I noticed you said it was my daughter who was the googly-eyed puppet, I wrote you about. I spoke to my lovely wife Deanna about it and I expected her to blame everything on you, but much to my surprise she didn’t. Instead, she said, “Michael Patterson. In a household where the people and animals regularly lose their eyes, noses or ears for no apparent reason; you really have no reason to complain if your daughter decides to look like a puppet for awhile." I had to admit, she was right.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 6:52 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    mike, u confuse easily.


  • At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Honoria Delaney-Forsythe said…


    Dearest future sister. Your Mater turned 56 today. Happy birthday to her and many happy returns. My Mater is about 10 years younger, and she looks even younger than that, thanks to keeping her body thin. My Mater can not only fit into clothes she used to wear in university, but also in secondary, intermediate, (and some elementary, but don’t tell her I said that). She looks really good.

    Now that you are back in town, we can finally go shopping. This is assuming you have gotten over being sick from eating cake that had been next to a scented candle.

    We only have one week until we are back in school. I will feel bad that I will be going back to Cashwell Day School and you will be going back to R.P. Boire Senior Secondary; but I am sure that you will one day get the approximate education I will get at Cashwell, perhaps in your university years. Brother Gerald is really excited to see you. He got the idea from your sister that perhaps he can get you to rewrite his whole history with the two of you together, where neither of you did anything wrong or got the other one upset.

    I hope to see you soon. Shopping, eh?

    Honoria Delaney-Forsythe

  • At 7:15 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    honoria, i m not sure if i'm back-back--i mite hafta return 2 winnipeg 2morrow and then fly back here again just b4 school starts. i know it doesn't make sense, but this is my fam we r talking abt.

    btw, as i understand it, taking honours-level courses @ r.p. boire will get me a better education than u'll get @ the cashwell "pre-wed" day school.

    ger called me and brot up the idea of rewriting our history. but we both worried that since neither of us is as dim as liz or anthony, it just mite not work. cuz we'd still remember the real past.


  • At 7:46 PM, Anonymous Honoria Delaney-Forsythe said…


    Dearest future sister. You don’t have to make excuses with me about your family. After what Mater and Pater have told me, I don’t think there is anything you could say about the way they treat you which would surprise me. You have nothing but the deepest sympathy from me. The story about your Mater’s birthday cake, with a ½-sheet cake for 8 people to eat, filled my heart with pity (and nausea). When you want to shop, let me know, and I will drop everything to be there. Brother Gerald told me you were wearing a long-sleeve, plain, shapeless, green shirt with plain brown pants today; and I could tell your family had definitely been mistreating you in the fashion department.

    As for your honours-level courses at R.P. Boire, if it makes you feel better to think you will get a better education in a public school in Milborough than in the highest-rated private school in all of Ontario; then feel free to feel that way. It makes no difference to me. However, I have seen yours and brother Geralds’ science and math text books, and it was material my classes at Cashwell covered back when I was in Grade 7. I suppose we have different ways of defining the word “education.”

    Ring me up for shopping.

    Honoria Delaney-Forsythe

  • At 7:50 PM, Blogger howard said…


    Again, I think I am up to telling you a little more about my supper with Beatrice Alfarero. You remember yesterday, I told you she had been told your mother had gotten a card which allowed her to rewrite history, and this card had allowed her to rewrite herself as a serious, successful businesswoman; at the sacrifice of having a sense of humour. Also, Beatrice has said she had moved to Milborough to take a job working for your mother, for the purpose of finding out the truth behind the card, and using one to rewrite history where her husband, the Navy pilot did not die flying over Afghanistan.

    I said to Beatrice, “Were you ever successful? Did you get a card from Elly?” Beatrice said, “No. Elly never trusted me enough to give me a card or even talk to me about it.” I said, “So your whole plan was wasted time?” Beatrice said, “Not exactly. Just last weekend, Elizabeth and Elly Patterson came into Lilliput’s while I was working. They were whispering together and I definitely heard the words, “Cards to rewrite history”. So, I followed them to the book store kitchen, and I hid behind a shelf of overstocked Harry Potter books.

    Elly went to a top shelf in the book store kitchen, retrieved a coffee cup with no handles, and used the cup to make a hole in a large cake Moira Kinney had bought for the store, and then removed the center of the pastry to eat it and then returned the top and bottom of the pastry to its original shape, so you couldn’t tell the middle had been removed.” I said, “An old trick.” Then Beatrice said, “While Elly and Elizabeth were eating the cake middle, Elly gave Elizabeth several cards and told her she had a whole week of rewriting to do.”

    I was about to tell you what happened next, but I am afraid I am overcome with emotion again.

    Howard Bunt

  • At 8:09 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    well, ger doesn't even know WHAT i m wearing 2day.

    yesterday, since mike had me come home in such a rush, and robin spilled juice all over the tank top and jeans i'd worn on the plane, i ended up wearing an awful green top and PURPLE pants that dee lent me, which WERE shapeless b/c they were 2 big. 2day, i'm wearing a little black tank top and khaki capris, if u really r interested.

    and i read a newsletter from corbeil that sed that cashwell is now considered the WORST school in ontario. and ger just called and sed sumthing abt a "rewritten history" card that made u just barely scrape by in all yr courses @ the middle school this past yr. but if U feel the need 2 tell yrself yr education @ cashwell is gonna b all superior, go rite away.

    rewritten history sure is flaky, isn't it? plus the future seems really uncertain now. like, i'm not even sure if i AM going back 2 r.p. boire this fall. mayB i'll b back in winnipeg preparing 2 b a vet. since my 'rents r so ready 2 b empty nesters. and as liz luvs 2 remind me, i'm not one of their "main" children. i'm the "oops" kid that was a "fresh face" 4 a while, but 16 yrs later, not so much.

    i doubt i'll ring u up. i think if i come back, u will already b @ that school of yrs.

    howard, wow, that story is freakee.


  • At 8:26 PM, Anonymous Honoria Delaney-Forsythe said…


    Dearest future sister. Of course I am really interested in what you are wearing. Naturally, if we go shopping together I don’t want to accidentally wear the same thing. That would be simply awful.

    When I spoke to brother Gerald, he confessed he did not actually know what you were wearing today. Sometimes he likes to think he spends more time with you than he actually does.

    I was most distressed to hear your news about the newsletter from Corbeil proclaiming Cashwell Day School as the worst in Ontario. It’s sad to see such an institution, in which so many people have placed such time and energy, be suddenly changed without a reason or cause. It’s like following a story for over 20 years, only to have it suddenly alter so what you thought was true is not longer true, and you're not sure what the story is about anymore.

    I was also quite surprised to learn I had done so poorly in school in Grade 8. I would think I would have studied harder. Mater and Pater were so upset with my change in grades, but they didn’t change their mind about me going to Cashwell. They presume that since it is such a poor school educationally speaking, it might be the best place for me to go to have an education fit my level.

    It has made me a little depressed and the best thing to do when I get depressed is to go shopping. If you get a little depressed too, you are welcome to join me. If you could refrain from teasing me about my school, I would appreciate it.

    Honoria Delaney-Forsythe

  • At 8:32 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    don't worry, honoria, if we shop 2gether, i won't tease u abt yr school.

    changes in history r v. confusing. i dunno y they seem so popular in our world l8ly.



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