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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers Day

Happy Mothers Day to all! Today is the third Mothers Day without my mother. As will all holidays, my main activity is visiting the cemetery. It isn't sad for me, but oddly comforting that I can at least see her and leave a flower or small trinket of the things we love. She taught me not to waste, and to save and reuse. She was also a master at time management, and I pass on her tips for busy moms tonight. She always taught me to have my books ready and in their book bag by the door so we would be ready in the morning. She also taught me to choose my outfits, down to the jewelry, the night before school or work, so their would be no agonizing decisions the next morning.

She also used dishwater on her plants outside, both to save water and to drive away plant bugs [the soap did that!]. In tough times or when someone forgot to buy shampoo, she encouraged using soap, good old fashioned soap, for everything. She knew about naturaly cosmetics, and about using cucumbers on your eyes and beer as shampoo. She was very good at saving piecrust and making small sugar/cinammon pastries with the ends, and at making little candies out of leftover frosting. Her recipe for ham and potatoes, made after a big ham dinner over Christmas or New Years, was sought after far and wide, and she used olive oil and pomegrantes long before they were in fashion.

We loved eating out, but she cooked a lot at home, and could whip up a soup in no time. Her pantry was always stocked with essentials, and we were good about coupons and shopping sales. When we played "Price is Right" in Home Ec, I always won.

She shopped discount stores for gorgeous fabrics, and was always careful they were flame retardant. She made most of my clothes, and they were beautiful, trimmed in lace and collectible buttons. She remade them later on, and many appeared in skirts, quilts, and doll clothes. From the time I was small, she shared clothes, shoes, and jewelry with me, a practice her sister also did. We knew how to recycle clothes and use handmedowns, and we always had money to build our doll collection, or to take trips, or to eat out when we needed a break.

Most of all, her time management skills involved always being occupied. She encouraged imagination over gadgets, and making toys over spending a lot of money on fads. She used her scraps and her mother's materials to make doll clothes, especially Barbie [tm] things, and they were beautiful. She made boots out of faux leather and faux fur coats, and brocade gowns and velvet skirts trimmed in beads. We built a great collection because she could rescue dolls and clean them up, and of course, dress them.

I miss her very much. She used to take me with her to buy flowers, and we often grew and transplanted the wild flowers in our yard. We used them for parties, and I was an adult before I realized people ordered hothouse flowers for special events. She was great at making jam, and one summer we made lots of strawberry jam and jelly.

You never think you can measure up to your mom, but I can only try to keep living the way she did, and to carry on her own traditions. Try out Lucy's Kitchen Notebook as a great blog, and follow me and the doll museum on Twitter. Till Next Time.

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