For Ida

Continuing on with my “summer series” . . .

Today I have another “oldie but goodie” post that I’m hoping many of you have not seen before. (Sorry Carol!)

Sir Beads’ darling mother was my inspiration while writing it.

She’s been gone a while now, but she added such richness to our world and lives on in our hearts. 🙂

Please click here to read the tale.



Reader Requests

Recently I asked for blog topics and I promised to respond to them. 🙂

So for today’s post, I’m going to try to answer Clenna’s request:

“I’d love to hear about connections with ones who have passed on.”

Well, Clenna, I have always liked to think that the people we love continue to watch over us after they have passed on. I can mention a couple of experiences that I have had . . .

rainbow My grandmother was born and raised in Ireland but came to America as a young woman. When my siblings and I were growing up, she delighted us with wonderful stories of her childhood. Nana died many years ago. Some time later, my sister and I made a trip to Ireland to visit my daughter who was studying in Dublin. One of the highlights of the trip was our journey to visit Nana’s childhood home. I was thrilled that I was finally going to be able to see not only the country, but the townland, and even the farm that Nana had told us so much about.

During the long drive from Dublin to the beautiful southwest coast, we had an unexplainable feeling that she was with us. As we continued on, we began to see road signs that told us we were getting close to the farm. I’ll never forget the incredible sense of love and warmth we felt as we came to the top of a hill – just at the town line – and saw before us a breathtaking rainbow! It had to be Nana welcoming us. The timing was too perfect. It was the only rainbow we saw during the entire trip.


chocchipMy mother-in-law was a sweet and generous woman who loved her family above all else.

She was also what I would describe as a “cookie lady” – someone who is famous for making and giving delicious cookies to family and friends.

Several months back, I wrote a post (see it here) about her being a cookie lady and even included one of her recipes. Then I realized something amazing . . .

The idea for that post had been on my “blog topics” list. Why I chose that particular day to talk about “cookie ladies” and my sweet mother-in law, I’ll never really know. It was not planned for that day . . . I just looked at my list and grabbed a topic. I could have written about it weeks earlier or weeks later. I could have chosen any other topic on that list that day.

As soon as I finished the post – it hit me!!!!!

It was her 100th birthday! I hadn’t remembered it until that very second!!!

It seems so appropriate and also an amazing coincidence that I would talk about her on her special day! I think she must have somehow “wanted” me to share her recipe!


Cookie Lady

Have you ever known a cookie lady?

bakingscene1 I’m talking about someone who not only loves to bake cookies, but also loves to share them with others!

Maybe you had an aunt or grandmother who always had a plate of cookies waiting when you went to visit, or a neighbor who would make cookies for holiday gifts every year. Perhaps it’s your best friend . . . or could it be you, yourself, who likes to keep the cookie jar filled with delicious homemade cookies?

“Cookie Ladies” are especially precious these days because there aren’t so many of them around anymore. Life is so hectic now; most people don’t have the time.

I believe that cookie ladies are actually born that way. You either are, or you are not, a cookie lady! It takes a special kind of personality to have the patience for making cookies. It’s so different than baking a cake. A cookie lady joyfully takes on the time-consuming tasks of mixing, shaping, rolling, and often decorating large amounts of cookie dough, and then she needs even more patience to stay near the oven to literally “babysit” trays and trays of cookies. It’s an art and a science, but mostly it’s a labor of love. The world is a better place for having cookie ladies!!!

kitchenutensilsIn my life, the Cookie Lady was my husband’s Mom. I met her shortly after I began dating her son, and on that first visit, she presented me with a little tin of two kinds of her homemade cookies – applesauce raisin and chocolate chip. I was so touched by her thoughtfulness. They were absolutely the most delicious cookies I’d ever had. As the years went by, she always had cookies waiting for my husband and me, and eventually for our daughters – her grandchildren! She had about 6-7 different kinds that she liked to make and none of us could ever choose a favorite. They were all “the best!” She’s gone now but the love she served with those cookies remains in our hearts.

I hope you have known a cookie lady, or will know one in the future. They are the warmest of people.

I thought you might like the recipe for those Applesauce Raisin Cookies. I’ll include it here and also put it in the Bead Happily Ever After Recipe Box. 🙂

Edited to add: You’ve got to see my P.S. at the end of this recipe!!!


Ida’s Applesauce Raisin Cookies

1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 cup of chopped or whole raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
¼ tsp salt

Sift flour with baking powder, soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
Combine butter with sugar until creamy, then add the egg.
Next add flour mixture and applesauce alternately.
Add raisins and nuts.
Drop from a teaspoon onto a greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 375º for 8-10 minutes.

P.S. Now here’s the incredible part of this post . . .

I’ve had the idea that I would write about this topic for several weeks now. I keep a little list of things that I’d eventually like to use for blog posts. Why I chose today to talk about “cookie ladies” and my sweet mother-in law, I’ll never really know.

I just looked at my list and grabbed one of the topics. I could have written about it weeks ago, or I could have chosen any other topic from that list for today.

The irony is that as soon as I finished this post and told you about our family’s cookie lady and her recipe – it hit me!

Today is her birthday! She’s been gone for 12 years, but she would have been 100 years old today! I hadn’t remembered that until this very second!!!

It seems so appropriate and also an amazing coincidence that I would write about her today! I think she must have somehow “wanted” me to share her recipe! 😉


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