Sunday, September 14, 2014

Mothers, Feed Sack Dresses and Sparklers

"My mother taught me about the power of inspiration and courage, and she did it with a strength and a passion that I wish could be bottled." ~Cathy Fiorina

I know you were expecting more birthday stories to go along with my birthday giveaway. (Remember you can check out details here.) So the mother quote may have surprised you. But without our mothers, we couldn't have a birthday. Mothers and birthdays have an undeniable connection. Plus, our mothers may be the first to give us wonderful birthday celebrations.

One of the fun parts of these contests I have is hearing from you, my reading friends. Some of you have shared stories with me over and over in different contests, and I'm so grateful for that. The stories make me a winner every time I have one of these giveaways and I do hope you enjoy sharing your stories too. 

Sometimes a friend will share something more the way Ola did here when she sent me the above picture of her on her 7th birthday in a dress made by her mother. It's so pretty and you can see how Ola loved it. When I asked Ola if I could use her picture, she wrote me a little more about her mother. So many of you have shared about your mothers after I shared about mine in my newsletter. A good mother is a blessing and a gift and Ola had one of those good mothers. Here's what she told me about her.

"No, I don't mind if you share. That's one of my favorite pics of me. I wish I had one of the dresses my mama made me now. I would really love to have one made of feedsacks that she made. She was an amazing woman to raise 7 kids mostly by herself. She raised a big garden and canned it to feed us. She sewed, knitted, crocheted, quilted and made all sorts of dolls to sell. She went back to school and graduated from high school when she was 67 years old. She's been gone 10 years now and I still miss her but see her all around me."

Thanks for sharing about your mother, Ola. She does sound like an amazing woman and I'm sure she raised some amazing children. You also brought back memories of those feed sacks or flour sacks. I don't remember if I had dresses made from them, but I do remember others talking about those cotton sacks. The feed sacks I remember were gunny sacks and the flour companies switched over to paper bags. But here's a pattern I found on this blog, The Country Farmhome, all about those feed sack dresses and some interesting photos and history. Any of you remember these?

Sometimes our mothers have parties for us and sometimes we have parties for them. Here's Stefanie's story about how she tried to make her mother's birthday special, but sometimes great ideas need to be fine tuned a bit. Even so, mothers know how to take it in stride with a smile. 

"My birthday story is about my Mom. She was born on July 10 and loved the 4th of July. Well, one year I decided to put sparklers on her cake. Let's just say that there were quite a few burning in place of candles. We could not eat the cake because the metal sparklers had left a gritty, black soot on the frosting and the cake itself tasted like the sparklers smelled!!! But Mom, being who she was, loved it anyway!!! She has been gone 16 years and I miss her like it was today. Love you, Mom."
Thanks for sharing with us, Stefanie and warning us off those sparklers in place of candles. 

Hope if you haven't thrown your name into my drawing hat for the giveaway for gift cards and books, that you will. You can find out more about the prizes and how to enter on this post. As always, thanks for reading.


  1. Dear Ann,
    I am so very sorry to hear about your Mom but glad for her that she is at "home". As you know we were "kindred sisters" walking down the same path.
    My Mom made all of our clothes when we were little. We all dressed alike one Easter. I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers.
    Janet E.

    1. So many of us have walked down that caretaker lane, Janet. It was so hard not being able to make things better for Mom on the days she was so unhappy and confused. Mom didn't make our clothes. We had an aunt who was like a grandmother to us who was a talented seamstress. She made everything we wore. Sometimes my sister nearer my age and I had like dresses. That was fun.
      Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. They are appreciated. I've got you entered in my birthday giveaway. :)


    2. I am in the process of helping my mother. She still lives by herself, with a medic alert necklace, but is not able to drive so I take her wherever she needs to go. I wanted to surprise her on one of her birthdays when I was a young teenager. She went to bed quite late but I stayed up to make her a cake. I was half asleep and added too much liquid to the recipe. It came out flat and rubbery. My mother didn't know what I was doing and got all over me for being up so late. I think she felt a little bad when she realized I was trying to surprise her, even though it was a terrible cake!

    3. At least you were trying, Gail, and I'm sure your mother had a soft spot forever after when she thought about you making her a cake even if it didn't turn out the best. And now, I know she really appreciates your help. I hope she can continue to live somewhat independently for more years.

  2. My birthday has never really been all that special of a day for me. The only birthday party I've ever had that I can remember is the roller skating birthday party that I paid for myself with my babysitting money. When I met the man who is now my husband and discovered that his birthday is the day before mine, I finally had a real reason to celebrate, and the two of us had made it a tradition to do something special for our combined birthdays every year - last year he took me to Ocean City to a honeymoon suite overlooking the beach, and that was probably the best birthday ever for me.


Thanks for joining the conversation. I like hearing what you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.