April's Real Blog

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Empty Nests and Open Doors

The other nite, after my sorta "welcome home" dinner, Mom was washing dishes and Dad was having more butter tarts. Mom Was all, "2 more yrs, John.... And April will B on her own." Xxcept 4 during school breaks and holidays, eh? Dad was all, "I know." And Mom was like, "I wonder what it will B like, 2 B empty-nesters." Bwuh? I was away for almost a month. I wda thot that wd give her the flavour of emptynestitude. And Dad, while feeding his face, was like, "We'll never B complete empty-nesters, El...." And just then Mike arrived, with Meredith, and he was all, "Hey, Mom.... We just ran out of milk. Can I borrow sum?" Borrow? No pls don't return it when U R dun w/it! And Merrie was like, "I smell meatloaf!" And I asked, "Got NEmore butter tarts?" Then, as we 3 gathered around the open fridge, w/Mike going eyeless, big-headed, and short-bodied, and me feeling my butt instantly widening from the butter tarts I'd already had, I heard Dad narr8: "We've alwayz had an open-door policy... And as long as the fridge is stocked--they'll B opening the door!"

Hrm, how forced was that? Isn't Mr. Singh's store abt as close 2 Mike's house as the TTH is? All this so Dad cd make sum lame joke abt open-door policies. And there goes my fam obsessing abt food again.

Oh, in case U R reading this Honoria: Bread-battered butter, fried in more butter! Ha, pass out now!

Dunc, I dunno, I just don't like raisins in my butter tarts. I guess it's a texture thing. But NEway, I'll B glad 2 send U a box w/the kind U like! I can't believe U won't B @ RP Boire this fall. I'm gonna miss U!


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  • At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Honoria Delaney-Forsythe said…


    Dearest future sister. It was indeed difficult to make it through your Blog entry again, but I have learned to put a few pillows around the computer keyboard, so I no longer get those nasty bruises when I pass out from reading about how your family eats. After this month of dutifully following your writings (as a good future sister should), I have learned many hard lessons with respect to my face and keyboards. I am looking forward to receiving your food package when I get to Cashwell. Although I will probably gain quite a bit of weight just looking at those ...tttttarts..., almost lost consciousness there. I do have a few rivals at Cashwell Day School, whose eating stamina is not nearly the equal of mine, and I am sure they will not be able to resist asking to partake.

    Your parents' philosophy that their children will always come to visit as long as they keep their refrigerator stocked is, shall we say, perfectly in keeping with all I have learned about your family since I returned to Milborough this year. I can't think I have ever heard of parents before whose parenting philosophy is based on food, but with yours, it makes sense. Brother Gerald has told me stories of your being disciplined with hurled bags of frozen vegetables, and how members of your family are unable to converse with each other without a coffee mug in hand's reach.

    I fear my family's philosophy of "if you aren't here, then you aren't here" is not as good. Mater swears that now I am engaged to Bronson van Daam, and her honour has been restored at the Dutch Tulip Festival, she won't forget me this time. If she's right, then I should be back for holiday. If she's wrong, well, then I will send you a wedding invitation, and I will see you again when I turn 18.

    I will miss my dearest, dearest, future sister. Please be kind to my brother while I am gone.

    Honoria Delaney-Forsythe

  • At 9:33 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. "Borrowing some milk" is an expression. It means, "My daughter and I were looking at the 3rd meal in a row Deanna had made us with carrot coins and we wondered if mom or grandma Elly had anything better." We would have taken my son with us, but he seemed to be happy with carrot coins. He likes to call them orange rocks for some reason.

    You may have noticed how quickly my daughter noticed the smell of mom's famous meatloaf as soon as we entered the door. She has quite a nose on her. Takes after her father. We had quite a nice meal there at the refrigerator. It was so nice to have our meal right there. It saves all the time of having to take it out of the refrigerator and find plates and knives and forks, like my wife insists we do. Pop kept on saying, "Elly. This is the way we raised them. As long as we have food, our open door policy will keep our family around."

    I hate to correct dad, but that is not entirely true. Iris keeps a much-better stocked refrigerator than mom's. She actually makes all her food, or has it delivered from cooking professionals. The difference is that she won't let us eat from the refrigerator like mom, and she expects us to talk to her when we visit. It also takes a lot more time to walk to her place. As you know, it's not just the food in the refrigerator. It's the access, and the lack of intereference getting to the food. My daughter was so delighted. She said, "I can eat what I see. I love Grandma Elly."

    You know, formerly little sis. It's great to be a Patterson, and have a mom / grandma like we have. I know you would agree, if your mouth wasn't full of butter tarts....without raisins.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 9:44 AM, Blogger howard said…


    I hope your brother was just joking about eating at the refrigerator. But now that I think about it, it seems like you didn't talk about sitting down to eat that meatloaf and those butter tarts, you just launched into them with your mother as soon as you got home. And the dishes you used were so few, your mother chose to wash them by hand instead of using a dishwasher. It's better for me not to think about such things. I presume when you babysit with my daughters tonight, you will be using dishes and eating at a table.

    Thanks for agreeing to babysit, by the way. Beatrice and I are looking forward to getting out by ourselves for a change, in the last big weekend before the girls go back to school. I only hope we don't run into your sister and Anthony Caine while we are out. We are going to be Argentinian folk dancing, so I suspect that is an activity safe from seeing them.

    See you tonight.

    Howard Bunt

  • At 10:26 AM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    honoria, i m sure u will not b surprised 2 hear that yr mother has given me v. v. strict orders not 2 send u NE foodstuffs whatsoever, so u needn't worry. duncan's parents have not established ne rules like that, so i can send him treats that i know he will like.

    mike, it was pretty gross how u and merrie stood there eating @ the fridge. me, i put a butter tart on a pl8 an' took it 2 my room so i cd have it while i checked my blog.

    howard, i think u got a slitely wrong idea--the stuff i wrote abt yesterday happened just b4 we sat down 2 eat. i was so hungry when i 1st got home that i did have a couple of those butter tarts while standing @ the counter, but then we did have a proper sit-down dinner. then after i had loaded the dishwasher, mom realized that dad had left a couple of glasses off 2 one side where i hadn't noticed them, so she hand-washed those as the dishwasher ran.

    so, yeah, i'll c u 2nite. gd luck not running in2 liz an' anthony.


  • At 12:46 PM, Blogger Zandra Larson said…

    Hi April,
    My parents were wondering where Arne was. Unfortunately, Arne moved to Toronto the same time we did. Ivar closed the Milborough Three Kronen in August, and opened a new one in Toronto at Broadview and Danforth, and Arne's supposed to be the weekend karaoke host/illusionist/bouncer. (He's also got the apartment over the bar). We're also around Broadview and Danforth, sadly. It just seemed too quiet for a week or so. I should have known.
    Classes start Tuesday, and orientation is just winding up. Trinty had the frosh go heckle the Ryerson students during their world record dance class thing. I think we have to go taunt the Victoria College students tonight.


    Butter tarts are fine with or without raisins. If you buy the ones at the corner store, they probably don't have butter in them so they might be vegan. I think they have palm oil instead.

  • At 1:00 PM, Blogger duncan anderson said…

    Hey, Zed!

    Corner store butter tarts r gr8 after a nite out. Just saying.

    R u living w/ yr 'rents? I thot that u were going 2 live in residence.

    Say hi 2 CW 4 me. Tell him Ill invite him 2 Barbados 4 March break if he figures out a way 2 get Arne outta here. Hes building a stage 4 his "illusion" in the parking lot of Redd Hott Bajan Mammas. My mom & Perdita r rilly pissed, but my dad thinks its hilarious.


  • At 1:18 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    zandra, u r so lucky that u an yr fam got 2 move 2 toronto! so cube. thanx 4 the tip abt butter tarts @ the corner store. i'll go there an' check the ingredients. i'm on my way out cuz i need 2 get a new backpack 4 school.

    dunc, do u want just butter tarts w/raisins, or other kinds 2?


  • At 2:53 PM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. It is interesting to see how you are taking the high road with your readers by letting them know you put a butter tart on a plate and took it to your room, while you describe my daughter’s and my eating out of the refrigerator as “pretty gross.” Some of your readers, who don’t know your eating habits or your family very well, might believe that story. There are others of your readers, who are familiar with our mother’s legendary tendencies toward pastry consumption, who may have a different point of view as to whether or not there were actually or could actually be any butter tarts left with mom in the house. I know why you want to project a certain image to your readership. It is perfectly understandable. However, if you want to send a message more people can believe, you should have said you put some pickled herring on a plate and took it to your room. Just a suggestion for next time.

    By the way, my daughter says she loves eating with her Auntie April, wherever it is that you were supposed to have been eating.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Honoria Delaney-Forsythe said…


    Dearest future sister. You are not correct at all. I am quite surprised to hear that my Mater has given you strict orders not to send me any foodstuffs. She’s not your Mater, plus the food is provided at Cashwell Day School as a part of the fees, so she would have no reason to suspect you of sending food. I expect something else is going on. I suspect my rat of a brother tipped our Mater off. I think he was mad when he wanted to pass out in my cot in the wine cellar last night instead of going back to his own room, and I wouldn’t let him. Not after the last time. I never got the smell out. Well, after this weekend, he can pass out in my cot all he wants. I will be back in those great four-poster beds they have for residents at Cashwell. At least, I hope they still have them with their academic credentials downgraded.

    Did you tell Gerald about the food package? That would confirm my suspicions if you did.

    Honoria Delaney-Forsythe

  • At 3:32 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    honoria, i didn't hafta tell ger nething. he reads this blog.

    mike, whatever. i didn't eat w/merrie when u 2 were over the other day. u and she ate @ the fridge w/out me. i dunno y u hafta put so much effort in2 contradicting me.


  • At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Michael Patterson said…


    Formerly little sis. Yes. Yes. I’m glad to see you are standing by your position. The important part is “use something like pickled herrings next time.” I really am just trying to help you as a writer. I don’t care if you ate by the refrigerator or not. After all, if you weren’t there, it would mean more food for my daughter and me.

    Don’t forget, on Monday I start the whole big deal where mom wants me to look through her photo albums with my daughter and rattle on about family history. The idea of looking back on mom and dad’s romance makes me a little queasy, but mom is particularly insistent I go through the process. So, save a little spot on your Blog for my report on this most, important of events. Mom calls it “Hi, Brid!” which I think is some sort of pet name she used to have for dad when they were younger.

    Michael Patterson

  • At 4:01 PM, Anonymous Honoria Delaney-Forsythe said…


    Dearest future sister. Are you sure my brother Gerald reads your Blog? I have said quite a few, extremely unflattering things about him on this Blog, and I don’t remember a response. It doesn’t matter anyway. I have a few more nights of baby-sitting for Mr. Caine, so he can go on dates with your sister and I can ask his daughter Françoise about it. She seems to know about everything going on in Milborough. If it turns out Gerald was responsible then there are ways to seek revenge, which are quite satisfactory.

    There was the time I hid a talking parrot in his room and convinced him his room was haunted. There was also the time I managed to sneak a little super glue on his finger, and he had to spend the next week with his finger snuck inside his nose. It might be good to leave brother Gerald with a little something extra to remember me by.

    Honoria Delaney-Forsythe

  • At 4:02 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    mike, yeah, i received a special e-mail from the johnston institute in corbeil. i'll talk a lil abt it in 2morrow's blog entry, along w/sumthing that happened after i bought my new backpack this afternoon. i feel a lil sad, like sumthing is coming 2 an end.


  • At 4:04 PM, Blogger April Patterson said…

    honoria, ger sez that after all thoze yrs of 4getting that u xxisted, he generally doesn't feel the need 2 answer stuff u say on the blog.


  • At 4:16 PM, Anonymous Honoria Delaney-Forsythe said…


    Dearest future sister. Excellent you have heard from Gerald on the subject. If he is reading here, then I think I will not write down the details of my latest efforts to get ladylike vengeance on him, until they are finished.

    Honoria Delaney-Forsythe

  • At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Gerald and Honoria's Brother said…

    April, I found Honoria writing something in a notebook and laughing. So I punched her in the stomach.

  • At 4:50 PM, Anonymous Nelson Muntz said…

    HA-ha! A punch in the stomach!

  • At 11:51 PM, Anonymous Honoria Delaney-Forsythe said…


    Dearest future sister. If you heard today or saw something on the news about my oldest brother, the one who likes to punch people in the stomach, trapped in an elevator while wearing women’s clothing, I didn’t have anything to do with it. Also, if my brother Gerald tells you that a certain part of his body, he is accustomed to measuring, is now quite a bit longer than it used to be, just go along with it. That’s all.

    Honoria Delaney-Forsythe


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