We just arrived back from Illinois to celebrate my mother's 98th birthday. My sister Fe, who she is living with, wanted the party to have a nautical theme. And so I created a nautical centerpiece using stuff I brought from home. She already had nautical serving pieces that I arranged around the table.
And so the day came with so much food. All 5 of us children from various cities in Florida and St. Louis arrived so it turned out to be some kind of a reunion too and it was so much fun.
My sister Tessie from St. Louis and sister in law , Che, from the Tampa Bay area.
A beautiful birthday cake given by my dear friend, Ludy, with it's wonderful coconut and ube (purple yam) flavor. Simply delicious! We used to live in Waukegan too so we have a lot of friends there and it was wonderful to see them again.
Another extraordinarily gorgeous cake was given by another family friend, Norma. It was a mango chiffon cake and so yummy!
Thank you so much to all who came and helped us celebrate that special day.
Mama is very special. She had 3 birthday cakes. I baked one for her too but did not get to take it out until later because there was no room on the table. It went so fast that by the time I wanted to take a picture, it was all gone. It was a mocha chiffon cake.
Here is my mom with her big smile who is about to blow her birthday candle. Even her pillow is nautical, lol! I wonder what she wished for!!
My mom and her 5 children. She was so tired by the end of the day that we had a hard time getting her to open her eyes for the family picture, but she finally obliged.
My sister Fe, has a big back porch that she never used. She decided to get it cleaned so it can be used for the party because she was afraid the guests (around 50) would not fit inside the house. She paid $600 to get it cleaned so just imagine how messy it used to be.
I got her helper to trim the trees all around that were really overgrown.
and then we got it ready for the party. My other sister Tessie, helped me plant some fresh flowering plants on the window planters.
After the party, I thought it would be a good opportunity to stain the floor and paint the rails while the deck is still clean. I suggested that to my sister. And who could resist a free service? So off we went to buy the supplies at Menards and got started right away since we were only going to stay there for 2 weeks.
All done! It was so funny because her guests were all surprised to find out that she had a deck, lol. They never knew it existed prior to the occasion.
Now, my mom is even able to use it because it is adjacent to her room. Only a French door separates them. Her care taker assists her to take her daily walking exercise there and even feeds her there, taking advantage of the weather while it is still nice and warm. The overhanging trees are keeping the place cool.
We are happy with how it turned out considering the limited time I had in finishing it, though I would have wanted the floor stain to be somewhat darker.
It became my favorite place to drink my coffee every morning during my stay there.
Shown below is a very short video of my mom saying her birthday. I hope you will get to watch it.
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