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Posts Tagged ‘mother’s day’

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I had two early Mother’s Days this year. There was one last Sunday with Suzanne’s family at Rhode Island’s Wicked Tulips Flower Farm and an epic birthday card by Suzanne’s kids (the 3-year-old insists all cards should be birthday cards). I also got flowers from my husband. I do love flowers.

Then yesterday at John’s house my daughter-in-law provided one of her delicious meals, and the grandchildren created the artistic Mother’s Day cards below. Both my kids gave me donations to beloved charities, too, which makes me happy.

By chance, the Boston Globe had an article about Wicked Tulips a couple days after I went there, so I’ll quote from it for background.

Cristela Guerra reported, “In a small town in Holland called Zwaagdijk, Jeroen Koeman’s last name is synonymous with flowers. Koeman’s father is a tulip farmer, as are his older brothers. So try as he might to leave the family business, the 36-year-old found his way back to the flowers.

“Since 2015, on a small plot in the town of Johnston, R.I., the Dutch farmer has grown acres of tulips in rows of deep purples, oranges, and sunset reds. …

“Koeman said, ‘When we came here, we fell in love. It’s kind of magical. When you drive through Johnston, you never, ever expect to land on the piece of heaven that we have over here.’

“Koeman leases and tills the state-owned soil on the edges of Snake Den State Park, alongside other farmers like himself. The project, called Snake Den Farm, resulted from a partnership between the state and the nonprofit Northern Rhode Island Conservation District to return the land to agricultural production. …

“Turns out, the climate in Rhode Island happens to be perfect for tulips. The Koemans work year-round to prepare for one ‘U-pick’ event in the spring that lasts for a month — if they’re lucky. …

“Their first year brought out close to 20,000 people all eager to tiptoe through the tulips. The second year brought close to 40,000. …

“ ‘We are not about just the bouquet of flowers,’ Jeroen said, ‘but the whole experience of walking in a blooming tulip field.’ ”

More here. Check out the impressive array of photos.

Suzanne told me that the farm never knows precisely when the tulips will be ready in the spring, so you have to be alert and buy tickets as soon as they go online.

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Mother’s Day is a week from today. Be sure to check out Suzanne’s antique lockets and contemporary birthstone jewelry at Luna & Stella.

 

 

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Suzanne’s Mom is far left, wearing a winter hat and purple rain poncho.

Well, we did it. Nothing like a cold rain to make you walk fast. But it was touching how many walkers wanted to protest violence and offer support to victims even when Mother’s Day isn’t warm and sunny.

The Mother’s Day Walk for Peace is a fundraiser for the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, which was founded by the heartbroken parents of a son who was already working for peace at a young age.

“Louis was an avid reader a total book worm,” says the website. “He was caring and compassionate. He loved Chinese food and hated doing the dishes. At fifteen, he was committed to making his community a more peaceful and just place through the Teens Against Gang Violence group he was part of.

“Louis believed that all young people had the potential to be peacemakers — regardless of what side of the streets they come from. He had the long-term goal of becoming the first Black president of the United States. Louis was killed in the cross-fire of a shootout in 1993.

“Louis’ parents, Joseph and Clementina (Tina) Chéry founded the Peace Institute in 1994 to carry out the peacemaking work that Louis started.  Their goal was to teach young people the value of peace, focus on the assets in community, and transform society’s response to homicide.”

At today’s walk, many people carried banners and posters honoring a friend or family member. A young man gave me a button to wear for Jorge Fuentes. Here is what the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts has to say about Jorge.

“In September 2012, violence struck at the heart of our diocesan community when 19-year-old Jorge Fuentes was murdered while walking his dog outside his home in Dorchester.  He was an exuberant, remarkable young man and natural leader, adored by the children he mentored at St. Stephen’s Church and St. Mary’s Church in Boston and respected by his peers.  Many in our diocese knew him because he grew up and worked in the B-SAFE summer and B-READY afterschool programs and the Barbara C. Harris Camp of our diocese.” More.

I attended the event with a group from a different denomination. It was a stalwart bunch — dressed, unlike me, in real hiking boats and rain-repellent pants.

A couple people carried a sign for the United States Department of Peace, an initiative I hadn’t heard about. Wikipedia says, “The Department of Peace is a proposed cabinet-level department of the executive branch of the U.S. government.” More.

I marched because I think the walk is a great celebration of solidarity and of the lives that are missed. It’s moving to see the variety among the marchers. I also like that the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute is innovative in recognizing the suffering of all parties, even the families of the perpetrators.

A lot of old folks in this world may have come to believe that violence is part of the human character and will always be with us, but when you see the many young people who march, you have to believe that someday things could change.

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I want to share a few more examples of Luna & Stella jewelry and let you know that Suzanne is offering free shipping for everything in stock if you order today.

After today, you can still get a gift to your mother in time for Mother’s Day if you order by Thursday, May 11, 2017, and use FedEx Overnight delivery.

Check out these beautiful pieces. Think about mixing modern and antique stacking birthstone rings for a uniquely personalized gift. The mother and daughter necklaces are another great Mother’s Day idea: for example, the smaller and larger suns below.

And do remember to sign up for Luna & Stella’s antique locket giveaway by tomorrow, May 8. My fingers are crossed for a blog reader to win.

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Dear Readers, this is just a reminder that I’m Suzanne’s Mom (John’s Mom, too), and Suzanne is the founder of the contemporary birthstone-jewelry company Luna & Stella, which hosts this blog.

Mother’s Day is a big season for Suzanne, and you will be seeing her moon and stars charms and her antique lockets in magazines such as Marie Claire and on websites such as CoolMomPicks.com.

Suzanne is also giving away one of her beautiful antique lockets. Here are the rules for entering the drawing, as seen on instagram @lunaandstella:

We are giving away this sweet hand-engraved floral antique locket for Mother’s Day. 🌸
To enter
1. Follow @lunaandstella on Instagram or Facebook
2. Tag 2 friends
3. Tell us in the comments portion of this instagram post whose photos you’d put inside
Giveaway ends Monday May 8 at 3 pm EST.

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I have to say, I’d be thrilled if the winner turned out to be a reader of Suzanne’s Mom’s Blog. Do consider entering the Luna & Stella drawing on Facebook or instagram.

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Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers! This mother is indulging her interest in photography today (the simple kind: pointing and shooting with a phone). So here are a few recent pictures and explanations for the less obvious.

For example: I went out for a walk one evening and was surprised to encounter Morris Dancers on the steps of the library. They seemed to be practicing, not performing. Where would Morris dancers be performing in late April, after Patriots Day? That was a mystery. Another mystery to me was how young men and boys get drawn into performing Morris Dance. I’m sure it’s good exercise, but …

I include shots of a clay bird’s shadow on my wall and hedge shadows on a sidewalk. The fence with the stage coach and other old timey images painted along the railings is in Providence — easy to overlook when walking past.

Providence plaques and memorials. The one of Martin Luther King Jr. is on a bridge with a view of Water Place. The monument to an event Rhode Island celebrates as the real first engagement of the American Revolution — the colonists’  clash with Brits on the HMS Gaspee — is partly obscured by bushes.

Little old Rhode Island gets no respect. It was also the first colony to sign on for independence, May 4, 1776. Who knew?

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Imagine how chuffed I was to see this article about Suzanne by Charmaine Gahan!

A close friend since kindergarten, Charmaine has been a huge support to Suzanne and the birthstone-jewelry company that hosts this blog, Luna & Stella.

In a delightful report, Charmaine describes how her whole family joined Suzanne’s family in New York City over school vacation to lend a hand at the Playtime trade show, a big deal for promoting new products to retail shops around the world.

Among the highlights of Suzanne’s growing collections are sweet Mama + Me bracelets, just in time for Mothers Day (May 8), and some stunning vintage lockets.

Notes the website, “All of the lockets in the Luna & Stella Vintage Collection were made in Providence, East Providence or Attleboro between 1880 and 1940.”

Why vintage mixed with contemporary? That’s kind of an interesting story, too, being the result of a hunt for beautiful hinges to use in new lockets. After the long search, Suzanne concluded that they just don’t make smooth and subtle hinges like they used to.

But sometimes an apparent dead end can lead to even better ideas, and Luna & Stella’s cool mixing of old and new seems to be an idea that is catching on.

At the Concord Journal (here), you can read more about the two friends and their families working the trade show in New York during the coldest week of the year.

Photo: Charmaine’s girls join Suzanne to look over the Mama + Me collection from Luna & Stella.

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Nineteen years ago, about 500 people, many of whom had lost loved ones to urban tragedy, marched for peace on Mothers Day in Boston.

Today there must have been thousands. After the pre-walk warm-up exercises and the children’s choir, the prayers from all the major faith communities, the announcements by media personalities and the words of encouragement from Mayor Walsh and the police commissioner, we set out at a snail’s pace, crowding onto a Dorchester street that was expecting us.

A lot of organizations had banners, and many marchers wore T-shirts that pictured a loved-one. The spirit was upbeat and celebratory of lives. Politicians handed out water bottles, churches provided bathrooms, photographers recorded the event for free. The temperature was in the 80s, so by the end of the 3.5 mile walk, we older folks were ready for a nap.

The funds from the various team and individual contributors go to the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, a local nonprofit that bases its actions on the belief that “Peace is Possible.” I like that slogan and also their “Seven Principles of Peace”: love, unity, faith, hope, courage, justice, forgiveness.

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I am utterly tickled with the updated website for Suzanne’s birthstone-jewelry company Luna & Stella, the company that is behind this blog.

I really hope you will take a look — both for new products like stacking rings and a star pendant and for the wonderful pictures customers submitted showing warm  family and friend relationships.

Suzanne says, “We had so much fun with this contest we decided to keep it going. Send black & white vintage or recent family photos to contest@lunaandstella.com and you could win a $100 gift certificate if we use your photo on the site!”

Suzanne has given me such a free rein with this blog that it’s possible some readers don’t realize it’s a Luna & Stella blog. So I’m thrilled that the new website is up today. It gives me the opportunity to remind everyone that Mother’s Day is the second Sunday in May.

(One of the many perks of being a grandma is that I get a new Luna & Stella charm or ring every Mother’s Day that there’s a new baby in the family.)

 

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This is my 1,000th post! Thanks to everyone for sticking around.

Back in May 2011, Suzanne and Erik asked me to write a blog for Suzanne’s birthstone jewelry company, Luna & Stella. They said I could write about anything that interested me.

Anything!? How could I resist?

Luna & Stella gift giving is all about relationships and relations, and I’m certainly a relation.

One time a woman who was nervous about buying online checked out the blog, felt like it helped her know the family a little, and decided Suzanne would be an OK person to buy from.

Want a gift certificate?

I’m going to list a few of my favorite posts. They are mostly recent because it’s hard to remember all 1,000. If you comment on your own favorite post from Suzanne’s Mom’s Blog before February 1, Suzanne will enter you in a drawing for a $100 gift certificate. She said we should do something special for the 1,000th entry.

Here are a few of my favorite entries.

In this post, I had fun trying to imitate Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories.

This one, here, is about a funny episode at the “On the Media” radio show, with songs that Broadway professionals wrote for corporate conventions.

Here you can read a story about an older couple celebrating their long-ago wedding with a theme from the movie “Up.”

“Iceland Has Elves” got me started on a whole Iceland kick. (If you can get your hands on the video Cold Fever, you are in for a strange but fun treat. Thank you, Asakiyume.)

The post about Suzanne’s 18-month-old son “training” his grandparents got nice comments on Facebook. And here is one on gratitude that I did at Thanksgiving.

Will you comment on a favorite post, too? Write your comment before  February 1, Suzanne says, and she will enter you in a drawing to win a $100 Luna & Stella gift certificate. Valentine’s Day is coming up, you know, not to mention Mother’s Day. And Luna & Stella has birthstone cufflinks for Father’s Day, too.

And thank you so much for hanging on for my daily posts.

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We’re going to the Mother’s Day brunch at Verrill Farm, one of 18 farms in the Boston suburb Concord.

The farm started out as a dairy business in 1918, but today just raises flowers, fruits, and vegetables. There’s an enclosed farmstand that in addition to produce and flowers, sells prepared meals, baked goods, and specialty items. Verrill bounced back from a devastating fire a few years ago and is often credited on menus around the region.

We enjoy the farm’s outdoor brunches. Suzanne and John are likely to run into people they knew in elementary school, now with their own kids in tow. We’ll eat at trestle tables under tents, and the grandsons will be able to ride ponies, climb on a wooden climbing thing like a boat, and roll down the hill. Our granddaughter usually gets a kick out of watching whatever her brother is doing.

The moms will probably be wearing their birthstone jewelry from Suzanne’s company, Luna & Stella. You may want a piece, too, for yourself or your mom. If so, Suzanne says, “You can use BLOGMOM13 for free shipping.”

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Today’s mild weather reminds me that May Day and Mother’s Day aren’t far off. Mother’s Day is a highlight of the year at Luna & Stella, Suzanne’s lovely birthstone jewelry company, for which Suzanne’s Mom blogs.

I hope you know about May Day, too. I’d like to see it revived, the ancient custom of leaving flowers at people’s doors in honor of spring. (I don’t begrudge the workers of the world their version of May Day, but they shouldn’t hog the whole thing.)

Why don’t Girl Scout troops do May Day? Why don’t florists? It mystifies me.

I still remember a May basket I made as a kid from a punch-out book. I thought it was a thing of beauty and kept asking my mother to get me another book like that. But they stopped making them.

Now I work from scratch if I have time. Last year I blogged about one kind of a homemade basket, here.

It’s always a surprise to see what flowers are available on May 1 any given year. Since these are in my yard now, I suspect there will be different ones by  May.

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Last year my friend Asakiyume, whose family is Catholic but who admires Ramadan, decided to fast for Lent the way people do for Ramadan — all day until sunset. She saw the fasting as a way to connect to people who have no choice about hunger.

Some members of my extended family observe Ramadan, but it’s their religion. And I knew a Somalian in Minneapolis to whom I once, in my ignorance, said, “Happy Ramadan.” He laughed and told me patiently that Ramadan wasn’t about “happy,” rather it was a time of reflection and sacrifice. I realized my blooper was a bit like saying “Happy Good Friday” or “Happy Yom Kippur.” One doesn’t say “Happy Lent” either. “Happy” is for the day before Lent and Mardi Gras.

Read about Asakiyume’s thought process and why she once borrowed another religion’s custom here. She writes a wonderfully eclectic blog full of deep thoughts and photos from her walks that suggest mythical vistas and fantasy characters to her.

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(Today, of course, it is perfectly fine to say Happy Valentine’s Day! And if you missed getting birthstone-jewelry hearts for your Valentine at Luna & Stella, here, fear not! Mother’s Day is just around the corner, May 12.)

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Many flowering trees are early this year. I associate lilacs with Mother’s Day, the Lilac Festival in Rochester, New York, and Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston — events that occur May 13 this year. But here we are in April, and lilacs are delicious everywhere.

The unusually dark red of the Japanese Maple at Dunkin Donuts is hard to capture on film. But as amazing as the color is, even more amazing is the tree’s comeback after March’s unseasonal heat and frost blasted the first leaves to brown. I was sure that was it for this year, but the leaves are richer than ever.

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We are gearing up for Mother’s Day around here. It’s an important time of the year for Luna & Stella. For one thing, it gives us a chance to share our enthusiasm for all those who take on the role of mother — whether or not they are actual mothers.

The nurturing person, the rock in someone’s life could be an aunt or a big sister. I have heard of a neighbor playing a mother role for a lonely kid. What about a loving grandpa?

Luna & Stella, as you know, has many birthstone-jewelry offerings, and not just for women. Check out L&S cufflinks if your grandpa was like a mother to you. Why not? Suzanne and Erik may think I’m crazy to suggest cufflinks for May 13, but hey, I’m just the blogger!

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