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Memories and Musings

By Cheri Sims
Mother’s Day is Sunday May 8, don’t forget the one who loves you the most.

The first time I gave my Mom a Mother’s Day card I got a spanking. That whole week, in grade school, we made Mother’s Day cards in art class and while drawing was not my forte’ the card turned out much better than I had expected. The prior project had been soap carving and I really botched the Ivory soap bar I had worked so hard on; but this time the project was a cut and paste job and while my chubby little fingers did not work well with scissors I tried my best. I began the project with a large sheet of pink construction paper which I folded in half and this would serve as the shape of the card. I then traced a large tulip shape out of yellow and green paper and pasted the pieces on the front cover of the card. On the inside of the card I drew my rendition of a white picket fence and cut out smaller tulip shapes in yellow and orange and pasted them inside the card. I then wrote “I love You” and signed it “Me”. I did not make an envelope for my card as some of the kids did (big mistake) but I received a “B” on my project so I was happy.

After school I rode the bus to our bus stop and then walked the last five blocks to home. Somehow while on the bus I dropped my card and it fell under the seat so I had to wait for the bus to stop before retrieving it. There was a little dirt on the back of the card but I brushed the dirt off and carried the card a bit more carefully as I walked the rest of the way home. As I reached the alley which ran the length of the street behind our house I noticed that the top of the yellow tulip, on the front of the card had come loose from the paper and was lost. I was devastated to say the least but smart enough to realize that the paste was still sticky so I looked around and noticed a patch of red tulips next to a fence by the alley. Without a second thought I picked one of the blooms and stuck it to the sticky paste. The tulip stuck to the paper and I recall being very pleased with myself and off I went skipping down the alley to home.

Since it was Friday and Mother’s Day was two days away I hid the card in the desk drawer in my bedroom but all day Saturday I made many trips to my desk to check on the card. By that night the real tulip was looking a bit wilted so after supper I walked back up the alley and picked another tulip to replace the wilted one. For some reason I kept the first tulip, and placed it on my desktop; I guess I thought I needed a spare. Sunday morning I retrieved the card and was pleased to note that the real tulip still looked nice so I proudly handed my card to my Mom at the breakfast table. She smiled at first but then I noticed a frown creeping into her smile. Mom inquired who had brought tulips to school for the kids to use on their cards and I had to confess that I had lost the cutout tulip and replaced it with a real tulip. “Where did you pick the tulip”, she inquired, to which I had to admit to having picked the tulip by the fence in a yard at the end of the block.

I shall backtrack to one year when I had been in trouble for picking flowers out of a neighbor’s yard but my punishment was an accompanied trip over to the neighbor’s house where I had to knock on the door and confess my crime to the lady off the house. “I thought you learned your lesson last year”, my Mom said. I immediately recalled my brush with becoming a thief, a year before, but was sure that this was a completely different situation. Wrong! Mom said,”this really can’t happen again” and I recall being somewhat embarrassed that I had committed the same crime. Mom took the card into my room while stating that she would leave the card on my desk and I could cut out another paper tulip and fix the card but when she reached my desk she found the saved tulip and she yelled, “Cheri Lynn” (oh no, she used my middle name) she continued, “why is there another dead tulip on your desk?” Now I could have lied but having already learned that lying was not a good thing, I told the truth. Mom turned to me and in that voice that was only used when I had really messed up she stated that I needed something to remember that I was not to ever steal flowers from anyone. I was then asked to turn around and face the dead tulip whereupon she delivered the softest slap to my bottom that I had even received. After which she hugged me and told me that my card was beautiful and she really liked it but the next time I had an accident I should ask for help before trying to solve the problem with another problem. Lesson learned!

Flowers are the number one Mother’s Day gift and oddly enough I have given my Mom a bouquet of yellow tulips on most Mother’s Days since I started my first job. I know Mom likes yellow roses but I just realized, as I am sitting here writing, that for all these years I have given her yellow tulips for the occasion. I know that I am a late bloomer when it comes to figuring out stuff but I guess that goes back to the lost yellow tulip from my grade school years. Candy is the second favorite national Mother’s Day gift and perfume ranks as the third Mother’s Day gift choice. I still have 1/2 bottle of my favorite perfume, “Shalimar”, given to me by my son when he was ten years old (that is 43 years ago). The reason I still have it is because I am allergic to perfume but did not want to hurt his feelings when he gave it to me. He found out when he was twenty and he told me he was glad I did not embarrass him because it had been really hard to go into Covalt’s store and buy a bottle of perfume.

What is your favorite Mother’s Day gift?

Here is a bit of Mother’s Day trivia: “Ancient Egyptians believed that ‘Bast’ was the mother of all cats on Earth, and that cats were sacred animals”. How fitting is it that cats were involved with Mother’s Day

“Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia who started Mother’s Day celebrations also filed a lawsuit in an effort to stop the over- commercialization of Mother’s Day. She lost her fight. Anna had hoped for a day of reflection and quiet prayer by families, thanking God for all that mothers had done”. (

In the 1600’s England, Mothering Sunday took place on the 4th Sunday of Lent. It began with a prayer service in honor of the Virgin Mary. Afterwards children would present their moms with flowers.

Mother’s Day sees around one quarter of all flowers purchased throughout the year falling on this holiday.

Approximately $14 billion dollars is spent on Mother’s Day. (

England’s favorite “Mum”, Queen Elizabeth, is said to enjoy Chocolate Biscuit cake on Mother’s Day and I thought I would share the recipe with you.

Happy Mother’s Day! 

Queen Elizabeth II’s 

Favorite Cake: Chocolate Biscuit Cake

 Cake Ingredients 

* 1/2 teaspoon butter, for 

greasing the pan

* 8 ounces Rich tea 

biscuits or sweet cookies

* 4 ounces unsalted 

butter, softened

* 4 ounces granulated 


* 4 ounces dark chocolate

* 1 egg

Icing Ingredients 

* 8 ounces dark 

chocolate, for coating

* 1 ounce chocolate, for 



1. Lightly grease a 6-inch-by-2½-inch cake ring with the butter and place on a tray on a sheet of parchment paper.

2. Break each of the biscuits into almond size pieces by hand and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar until the mixture starts to lighten.

4. Melt the 4 ounces of the dark chocolate and add to the butter mixture, stirring constantly.

5. Add the egg and beat to combine.

6. Fold in the biscuit pieces until they are all coated with the chocolate mixture.

7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake ring. Try to fill all of the gaps on the bottom of the ring because this will be the top when it is un-molded.

8. Chill the cake in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

9. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and let it stand.

10. Meanwhile, melt the 8 ounces of dark chocolate in a double boiler or saucepan on the stove top over low heat. Slide the ring off the cake and turn it upside down onto a cake wire.

11. Pour the melted chocolate over the cake and smooth the top and sides using a palette knife.

12. Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature.

13. Carefully run a knife around the bottom of the cake where the chocolate has stuck it to the cake wire and lift it onto a tea plate.

14. Melt the remaining 1 ounce of chocolate and use to decorate the top of the cake.

Courtesy of Chef Darren McGrady, The Royal Chef.

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