Thursday, May 5, 2016

Inspirations From My Mother

A few years ago, Laura @ Decor to Adore 

asked me to share my Favorite Five in the month of May, 

I immediately thought about Mother's Day. 

Having lost my mother the previous November, 

it seemed fitting that my Favorite Five would be something 

that honored my mother, Henrietta Emily.  

Perhaps some of my mother's favorite things 

that have provided inspiration in my life 

will inspire you in the month of May.

~ A Love of Gardening ~

My mother lived to be 99 years of age, 

gardening right up into her early 90s.  

Both she and her mother before her could be found 

cheerfully working in their gardens every day.  

I grew up nurtured with a love of nature and beautiful gardens.  

I don't have the green thumb of either of these admirable women, 

but I do share the love of gardening and the joys of nature 

that they instilled in me early in my childhood.  

She who plants a garden plants happiness.  
~ Chinese Proverb

~ Yellow Roses ~

My mother's garden was full of beautiful seasonal flowers, 

but her roses were always my favorites.  

Yellow roses to be specific.   

Once I left home and was living on my own, 

mother and I frequently sent each other a bit of sunshine 

~ a bouquet of yellow roses.  

The yellow roses above can be found growing in my own garden.

A bit of fragrance always clings 
to the hand that gives roses. ~ Chinese Proverb

~ A Beautiful Table ~

My mother always set a beautiful table for family meals.  

We ate on a large square oak table that had been 

passed along from my grandmother and is now 

the setting for large family meals 

in my sister's home.  

It's my Mother's wedding china that was passed on to me, 

her daughter who loves dishes and is passionate

 about setting a beautiful table.

 Fruits of the same tree have different tastes; children of the 
same mother have various qualities. ~ Chinese Proverb

~  Family Heirlooms ~

The family pieces passed on to me from my mom 

are not fine antiques or of any value other than sentimental. 

All the same they are greatly treasured.  

They are simple things that were in my childhood home, 

pieces loved and cherished through the years by my mom, 

special things that once belonged to my mother or grandmother ~ 

my family connections to the past.  

I credit my mother for my love of things that 

wear the patina of time.

A tree without roots will fall over. ~ Chinese Proverb

~ Sweets ~

I definitely inherited my mother's sweet tooth.  

Delicious baked goods and dark rich 

chocolate were my mother's favorites.  

The aroma of bread baking, 

the fragrance of sweet fruit pies wafting through the house, 

the joy of my mother's rum cake as it melted in my mouth ~

delicious memories of sweet treats from my mother's kitchen.  

My husband prepares most of the meals in our  home and

frequently bakes bread, but it is me who is the baker of sweet treats.

Patience is a bitter plant, 
but it has a sweet fruit. ~ Chinese Proverb

~ Rum Cake ~ A Family Recipe ~

1 cup shortening or butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups flour
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 tsp. salt
1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Cream shortening or butter with sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each one.  Add dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately, mixing well after each addition.  Add vanilla.  Bake in large tube pan @ 325º  for 1 hour or longer.  Once out of the oven, invert tube pan.  Gently remove cake from pan, and using a wooden skewer, poke holes throughout the cake.  Coat the cake with a sugar and rum glaze of your choice.  Enjoy!

Happy Mother's Day to all!


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.