Tag Archives: mom

A portrait of Jean (I think)

My mom was an artist — not professionally, but she did have talent at drawing. I found the pencil drawing below among her things and I think it is of a neighbor. I know Mom drew (in chalk) a portrait of Marie, Jean’s older sister who died when she was around a year old. Her mom, June, gave it to me, along with a drawing of their house that Mom drew, at my Mom’s funeral.

This drawing was not in a frame, but matted (with black construction paper) and behind glass, in a box in the attic. I don’t know if she was going to give it to June and changed her mind or maybe this is not Jean at all.

What do you think? Is this Jean? I vaguely remember she had a haircut like that — and the dates match.

Two bottles of “Evening in Paris”

When I was very young, my folks didn’t go out all that often, but when they did I knew it by the smell. Mom would put on either Topaz or Evening in Paris fragrances.

While Mom’s bottle of Topaz is long-gone, I have two empty, but still fragrant, bottles of Evening in Paris.

Occasionally I open one of the bottles and take a sniff. I can still feel that weird, I don’t want you to leave, emotion I had when my parents would go out for the night.

Old Writing: Part 11::My Parents

This was written November 1966. Probably 4th grade.

My Parents

I love my parents very much. I need them very much because if I did not have them I cold not tell them my troubles.

My dad is a mechanic. He is the only speedometer man in Elgin and my mom is a housewife. They both love me and I love me and I love them.

For my birthday once I got to go and see a movie called “Jack the Giant Killer” and then I got a kitten for my birthday. And I got a radio and alarm clock. But before my brother was born I got to do more things than now. I love my mom and dad. They spank me sometimes but I love them very much. They kiss me every day when I go to bed or when I get up in the morning or when I go somewhere and when I eat a good meal.

No comment on this one…

 

Mom’s stuff: 2 recipes made with beer and jotted on an envelope

I have in front of me a business envelope on which are two recipes in my mother’s handwriting written in pencil. The date stamp on the envelope is September 14, 1995.

The first recipe has no title:

  • 1 ½ lb. beef top round
  • ¾ c. flour
  • ½ t. salt
  • ⅛ t. pepper
  • ¼ c. Coors beer
  • ¼ oil

—————–

  • 2 T flour
  • 1 c. milk
  • ½ c Coors beer

Directions

  1. Cut meat into 6 pieces.
  2. Pound steak between waxed paper til thin (1/4 inch thick).
  3. Stir together ¾ c. flour, salt, and pepper.
  4. Dip meat in flour mixture, then in beer, then in flour again
  5. Brown in hot oil in skillet, turning once (3 to 5 minutes per side)
  6. Remove meat and keep warm

————

  1. Blend 2 T. flour in drippings
  2. Stir in milk and beer.
  3. Cook until thickened and bubbly.
  4. Cook and stir 1 – 2 minutes, serve as gravy.

The second recipe is titled Chili Tostadas

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ½ c. chopped onion
  • 1 12 oz. can of beer
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 4 oz. can chopped chilies
  • 1 T. Chili powder
  • ½ t. sugar
  • 8 6-inch corn tortillas
  • cooking oil
  • 1 16 oz. can refried beans (warmed in a pan or in the microwave)
  • shredded lettuce
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 c shredded Monterey jack cheese (8 oz)
  • 1 avocado, seeded, peeled and sliced

Directions

  1. Brown beef and onion until meat is brown
  2. Stir in beer, tomato paste, green chilies, chili powder, sugar, and salt
  3. Heat to boiling.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 20 minutes or until desired consistency.
  5. Meanwhile, cook tortillas in hot oil for 20 to 40 seconds on each side until crisp and golden
  6. Drain on paper towel
  7. Spoon beans, meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato and avocado on tortillas

 

Mom’s Artwork: Exhibit 3: Man With a Camera

This piece has no date, but it was Lesson 21, Assignment 2. Therefore it was completed after the lighthouse if the lessons were completed in order.

man with a camera
Man With a Camera

The artists at the Famous Artist School sent the painting back with critiques via a piece of translucent paper over the original piece and suggestions in writing and on the drawing itself:

critiques of man with a camera
Critiques of Man With a Camera

Mom’s Artwork: Exhibit 2: Lighthouse in Several Shades of Gray

This piece was completed July 27, 1967. It was lesson 1B, Assignment 2. Opaque Plate – 4. She was 32 when she painted this. I was 10, soon to be 11. Kevin was 4.

While my mother was not completely personally unfamiliar with real lighthouses in 1967 — she probably saw the Two Rivers lighthouses many times on her trips there to visit family — I don’t think she’d seen one that looked like this, on rocky cliffs. The idea of this drawing/painting was likely taken from a magazine photo.

I like the serenity of this piece. The ocean (or lake) is completely calm. Not a ripple or wave in sight. The sky is either cloudless or completely overcast. It must be dusk or dawn since the lighthouse is lit and it seems like there is a hint of light on the horizon. It could be anytime in between, though, and the glow is a city on the other side of a large lake.

The small house’s door seems too big, compared to the size of the lighthouse, but maybe it was a short lighthouse on top of a large hill.

lighthouse
Lighthouse in several shades of gray