Friday, November 13, 2009

Warm, Soothing Love from My Mothers to You...and "Wives and Daughters"

Happy Friday evening to all! Today was L-O-N-G!!! It's really not fun to be manning a table at a craft fair all day when you just want to be home in your flannel jammies...know what I mean? Oh, well! I had some lovely conversations, saw some wonderful friends, a delicious lunch with my dear friend Barb, and sniffled all day long!

Last night, as my daughter, Sarah, and I were feeling miserable, I remembered something my Mom would brew up when someone in the family had a cold...Honey Lemon Drink is all I ever remember calling it. It was thick, pulpy, dowsed with golden, thick honey, and it felt like heaven going down...

Well, it seemed like just the thing last night, but I'd never made it for myself or my family--sometimes we forget the most wonderful, simple things, don't we? I called up my mom--pretty late in the evening, but never too late for a mom, right?!

We started talking about this lovely concoction, how I remembered her and Grammie (her mother, Velda) making it. Then I asked if she knew where it originated....then I got the goosebumps...(if you read my blog, you know I LOVE family history--it's just steeped into me--and little stories that connect are my favorite!) Mom said that Velda's mother, Estella used to make it, as did HER mother, Sarah (who my Sarah is named for).

It got more interesting to me as I reflected that Sarah Indiaetta Young Vance, my great-great grandmother, was born in Virginia during the Civil War and lived on her family's plantation (without slaves, by the way...her father believed slavery was absolutely wrong...I love knowing that!)

Her father, Absalom McDonald Young, was a travelling country doctor, and would go around to all the farms and other plantations caring for people. I started wondering last night, as I brewed my little concoction...just how far back did this little healing drink go? We'll never know, but isn't it wonderful to contemplate just how long mothers have been standing over a stove or at the fire, making this simple potion of lemons, honey and water for their children when they're ill?

(Can't you just smell the honey-lemonness of this beautiful(?) stuff!)

Here's all you do: Cut up as many lemons as you have--I used 5. Cut them into smallish pieces so they'll fall apart easily while boiling...get out as many seeds as you can without losing all the juice! Add enough water to cover lemons, then squeeze in more honey than you think you should (I just took off the squeeze-top!). Mom said you want to lemon/honey ratio to be almost equal, if that makes sense! Just boil it for about 30 minutes, then just let it steep on low heat, then mash it up with a potato masher to really get the pulp out...leave the rinds in the pot, however! Now you're ready for a mug full!

Drink it--pulp and all--and enjoy how soothing it feels going down that sore throat of yours (wait, that's mine!)

I wondered if my Sarah would like it, as it's pretty strong, but she loved it! My Mom called me later and said she was making a batch, too--she wasn't sick, but it just sounded good and comforting, and it was!

Just save the rest for later, add a bit more water, and honey, if needed, warm it up and enjoy some more! There... a little love from my mothers (and me!) to you!

The layout up above was a little tribute I made at Mother's Day just for have all of my mother-line on one page--aren't they beautiful? The roses and some of the papers are from Crafty Secrets' paper pads (can't remember which ones right now, sorry! The postcard image at the top and the beautiful Mothers' poem were free downloads from Sandy Redburn, the wonderful owner of Crafty Secrets.

Here they are close up: first, my wonderful mother, Karen...

Karen's mother, Velda, along with her mother Estella:

And finally, Sarah with her mother Matilda, wife of Absalom, the country doctor:

These are my beautiful mothers...I love them all!

Speaking of mothers, I have another favorite movie to share with you...I might as well do this every week--I seem to be doing it already, so why not?!

Have you seen "Wives and Daughters" yet? Oh, I hope so!!! If not, please rush right out and rent or just buy it! It's one you'll want to watch again and again!

This beautifully filmed movie is just about as soothing as a generations-old drink meant to cure you body and soul...! I won't give you any details, except that the cast is perfect; some of my favorite British actors, the scenery gorgeous, and the plot, delightfully funny and sad, all mixed perfectly together!

This is one that my girls and I want to watch every few months or's a long multi-part movie, so take a few days and fall in love with "Wives and Daughters", and let me know what you think!

To close out tonight, I want to share a beautiful vintage postcard from my collection--a gift to you, my lovely blogging friends! I just finished another mug of honey lemon drink and I'm feeling dowsy and happy. Hope you have a wonderful evening, and, as always, sweet dreams! (And may all of my sick friends feel better VERY soon!)


  1. Julie I just want to tell you how much I enjoyed your story of how the lemon remedy has been handed down through the generations - absolutely fascinating. How wonderful that you have photographs of your mother, grandmother, great grandmother, great great grandmother and great great great grandmother to create your stunning layout - it's fabulous.
    I love family history too, and when my father used to tell me about HIS ancestors he too used to put them in to context of what was happening in world history at the time when they were born, children etc. It just makes them seem so much more real doesn't it?
    I have managed to trace my paternal line back to the late 1700s but wish I could discover more even further back , it's totally addictive.
    That poem is beautiful, thank you for sharing, and what a beautiful postcard too.
    I do hope that you and Sarah are feeling much better very soon. Take care. Hugs.
    Anne x x x x

  2. Someone forwarded me an email recently that talked about all of the health benefits of lemon and honey. How yummy this sounds! Love the layout. Your projects are so inspiring!

  3. Julie - Thank you for sharing the story of your family's honey-lemon concoction. The tale is as soothing as I'm sure the drink itself. What a wonderful heritage to share with your girls! Whenever I get a cold, it always goes straight to my throat, and drinking hot lemon always does the trick, like nothing else. Next time I will use your bolder brew, though. Wishing you and Sarah a speedy recovery! Hugs!

  4. Julie, I loved your story, my mother was born in Belfast Ireland and came over with her family to America between 1915 and 1920 and my grandmother was a nurse, she too had the honey lemon concoction but she put irish whiskey in hers just a splash, of course I hated it as a child but have to remember it worked, there was also the warm salt water. Thanks for a great post. Hugs

  5. Hi Julie,

    Loved your story! Thanks for sharing another recipe:)

    Your piece of art is wonderful!

  6. Oh Julie girl {sighing} ... your stories always warm my heart ... you certainly have "a gift"! Thanks so much for sharing it with us (me) ... you'll never know how much I treasure each & every story you share with us!!
    Your layout is AWESOME! What beauty you have surrounded these amazing women with ... and something your girls will treasure for many years to come! GREAT JOB!
    I do hope this day finds you feeling a little better! You are such a trooper!! Thanks too for this wonderful lemoney remedy .. I can only imagine how soothing it must be. Hopefully I will NOT have a need for it myself but will keep it in mind for future use!
    Take care my friend and try to enjoy your weekend! Hope Sarah's feeling better too!!

  7. Hi Julie,

    What a wonderful post about all the sweet women who have touched your life. I lost my mother at 21 and it seems to get harder and harder each year. I wish she was here to see all the wonderful things I've accomplished. But I do believe that somewhere from way up there she is looking down and watching over me.

    I hope you and Sarah feel better soon and have a wonderful, creative weekend.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog.

    xo Cathy

  8. Hi Julie,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog, always nice to get new visitors. This is my first visit here and your blog is fabulous! Loved reading your story.

  9. Hi Julie

    Another wonderful post filled with so much interest. And another great recipe. Thank you for the time you devote to your blog.

    B x

  10. Ok, i'm not sick but now I am craving it. Seriously this stuff is magic. Our mom always took such good care of us...and continues too.
    Love you sis!

  11. Wellness and citrusy goodness is what you have concocted dear sweetie! Great idea! You definitely can use my vintage images. They are shared from others, usually or from my book collection anyhoo. Thanks for finding me too, hee hee. Take care and great evening to you. Blessings.

  12. You and I finding more and more in common. There is nothing I crave more when I am feeling under the weather than to find the biggest, baggies flannel jammies I have and put them on after a nice warm bath. Here in the midwest, I have a drawer full. When it's really odd, though, is when I still want to don them in the middle of August!

    I love how your stories conjure up memories for each of us. Whenever I was sick in bed, my mom, who did not drive, would walk a few blocks to the grocery store and to the drug store (all in the same complex) and buy me whatever she knew was my favorite goodie of the moment along with 2 or 3 comic books she thought I would like. Although it was one of the worst times of my life, the time I got chicken pox at 13 was some of the most treasured memories...and the best loot! I even learned some crafting at the grandmother always had those decorative soaps on her vanity...the ones with pearls and my mom bought me a kit that showed me how to do it and I was hooked! By the time I was well, which took nearly a month, we had bought bar soap by the caseload!

    Anyway...thank you for giving us the memories and allowing us the space to share them with one another....this has been lovely....

  13. The LO is exquisite! The story, wonderful!

  14. Hi,
    thank you so much for your warm comment!
    It made me come over to your blog, and this LO of your mothers is realy fab!
    Such a femine love around.
    Have a lovely weekend!

  15. Hi Julie,

    Finally getting time to stop by and say hello. Thanks for all your visits and lovely comments left on my blog. I'm going to add you to my sidebar so I see your lovely creations and remember to stop by more often. I loved your family story about the lemon honey remedy. It sounds wonderful. And your scrapbook page of the women in your family is a treasure! Hope you and Sarah are feeling better.

    Blessings & hugs,

  16. Your posts, like your stunningly pretty cards, are absolute works of art, Julie. I love everything about this wonderful entry, thank for bringing so much beauty and joy to the blogging world with your creations!

    Scores of hugs & joyful weekend wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

  17. Well, I hope you're feeling better real soon. I just might have to try your lemon remedy the next time I get a cold.
    I love your page about your mothers...thanks for sharing the story of them all. It's always fun to find out about our ancestors.

  18. I loved your story and the remedy. I am a MacDonald also. My family added bourbon to the mix before serving. We range from Virginia to Florida, How interesting that each family has its own little cold recipes. We used ours for sore throats. As a child it gave me great comfort. My mother would brew and my father would read to me as I sipped. I always felt so much better. I hope you and your daughter feel better soon. Nice of you to pass it on to the rest of us!

  19. This was the very first blog post that I read today and I feel like I've just been given a gift after reading it and seeing the artwork and photography that accompanies it. I too love family history and yours is so rich. It gave me goosebumps too thinking about all of those women passing down this wonderful recipe/remedy. Thank you for sharing this with us. Your artwork is gorgeous and so heartfelt.

  20. Oh, where to begin! The lemon-honey recipe is just what I needed to see. My 8 year old daughter has come down with a terrible sore throat. I'll be cutting lemons momentarily. Your tribute to the Mothers in your family is darling. The wavy hair of Velda and Estella brings a smile, I love a wavy hair style. Thanks for the movie recommendation. Had not seen that one before and now I'm itchin to rent it. Hope you feel better soon!

  21. Great "down the generations" story Julie and how wonderful to have pictures of all your beautiful mothers! Fantastic that you don't have to deal with slaves on your family conscience too! I've always done a really simple version of this drink (squeeze juice into a mug, add a couple teaspoonsful of honey and top up with hot water) but yours looks lovely, might have to give that a go! Hope you are feeling better.

  22. I hope you will repost this on Mother's Day in May! It is so beautiful!!
    Mama Holli

  23. Hi Julie!

    I just love your Mothers' story! I've traced my mothers back to 6 generations - to Birgit Abjornsdatter who immigrated to the US from Norway with her husband Halvor and 6 kids (2-16) in 1841.

    And I also had a great great grandfaterh who faught for the North during the Civil War. Rollin Olson of the Wisc 15th. He was taking prisoner of war at the battle of Chickamugua. He was later release (good thing because my great-grandmother was the 1st child born after he got home!!!)

    It's so fun to know the wheres of family history!

    I hope you're feeling better!

    I made a quick trip to Milwaukee this weekend to surprise my niece at her bridal shower! Such fun! :D

  24. You brought back so many memories, my Grandma made this for me too when I was feeling under the weather, as did my mom and I have made this for my son when he was ill! Thanks for all those memories!

  25. Hi Julie, I enjoyed reading about your mothers. I, too, love learning all about my grandmothers. It's so special that you have such great pictures of them. Have a nice day! Twyla

  26. That poem is beautiful, thank you for sharing, and what a beautiful postcard too. Work from home India