May 31, 2009
Both of these ring sets belonged to my mom; the lower set is a triplet ring that is made up of three different types of gold bands that intersect like Olympic rings, and the upper set is two silver rings that I gave her for our last Christmas together.
She loaned me the gold rings one time after a trip home so that I could take a bit of her back with me to LA. I liked the fact that I could wear something of hers while we were apart. She wore the silver rings into the hospital and, because patients aren’t allowed to wear jewelry, I started wearing them for her the moment I arrived home.
May 31, 2015
The silver "twisty" rings became the inspiration for my wedding ring.
May 30, 2009
This is Holly’s Donuts. I drive past this Studio City establishment almost everyday and it always makes me think of my mom. Her legal name was Helen, but from birth she was known as Holly. Today was only my second trip to Holly’s Donuts and I got a delicious glazed donut and a french roast coffee for only $1.70.
May 30, 2015
Back when he was my boyfriend, my husband used to live in an apartment right around the corner from Holly's Donuts. We liked to walk there for coffee...and of course donuts!
May 29, 2009
My mom loved kids. She taught in the Blue Nursery at The Common School in Amherst, MA for 20 years. Her classroom had two rules for kids’ actions: It had to be safe, and it had to be kind (the students also added: Don’t stick a Coke bottle up your nose, and don’t stand in front of a steam roller, ‘cause you might get flat.) According to the kids, the worst punishment was that Holly would talk to you for a LONG time. Of course, I only heard these tales second hand, but my mom loved to tell them, and I loved to listen.
May 29, 2015
I still try to channel my mom whenever I'm around kids. I feel like she always knew the right things to say and do to make any child feel special.
May 28, 2009
This is my FAVORITE mug! Ever since I laid eyes on it, it has reminded me of my mom. The soft colors, the shape, the spiral etching in the middle - are all things I believe she would have admired in this mug.
This mug was created by Susan Kramer, a Vermont artisan who has a stand at the Londonderry Farmers’ Market. My family has many of her colorful creations around our house including plates, mugs, bowls, and kitchen tiles. Instead of buying an entire set of plates or mugs, my mom enjoyed visiting Susan every week and choosing a new addition for her collection.
Last Summer, Susan told me that my mom inspired her to continue making these mugs. Originally, she had only made them as a one time item for a party. She brought the left overs to the farmers’ market that weekend and my mom fell in love with them. She kept asking for more and so Susan made more. She now calls them her “Holly” mugs.
May 28, 2015
I still have this mug and it's still one of my favorite Mom-Minders.
May 27, 2009
This is my Chicago “Super Fan” shirt. It pictures one of the Swerksi brothers from the famed SNL “Bill Swerksi’s Super Fans” sketch. This sketch aired in the ‘90s and featured a group of Chicago sports fans discussing “da Bears” and “da Bulls” - two of my mom’s favorite sports teams.
My mom was the ultimate “super fan” and enjoyed following The Chicago Bears, The Chicago Bulls, The UMass Minutemen (college basketball and football), The New England Patriots, and The Boston Red Sox. When she picked a team, she enthusiastically cheered them on through their ups and downs. Often times her mood depended on the outcome of the latest game. Happily, she witnessed “da Bears” win Super Bowl XX, Michael Jordan’s double “3-peats”, The Minutemen’s trip to the Final Four, The Patriots’ recent dynasty (minus the heartbreak of Super Bowl XLII), and TWO Red Sox World Series wins!
May 27, 2015
I now have a new "Super Fan" in my life. My husband is a MAJOR NBA basketball fan. I think he and my mom would have bonded over sports.
May 26, 2009
This is one of my favorite sweaters from my mom. It is soft and wraps loosely around me without any closures. My mom loved this loose style of clothing and wore sweaters and wraps like this often. Whenever I wear it I feel close to her.
May 26, 2015
Over the past few years I have gotten rid of some clothing items that my mom gave me, but I still have this sweater.
May 25, 2009
Around the time of my mom’s kidney transplant, her sister Markell sent her a packet of easy recipes. Our family favorite quickly became Russian Chicken. Just combine a packet of dry onion soup mix, a bottle of Russian salad dressing, and a jar of apricot jam. Pour the sauce over chicken, and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. I still make this recipe today and it always makes me feel like I’m at home. This apricot is growing on the apricot tree in my backyard. I’m looking forward to making Russian Chicken with fresh apricots added to the recipe!
May 25, 2015
This tree is still in my backyard (the squirrels love it!) and Russian Chicken is still a favorite recipe. Lately though I have been experimenting with replacing the "dry onion soup mix" with my own blend of herbs and spices. Adjusting recipes based on what she had in the pantry was also something my mom did.
May 24, 2009
In January 2008, my mom called me to say she was sending a package. She wouldn’t tell me what was in the package (she always did enjoy surprises!). She also said that I really needed to look out for it because she had written the wrong apartment number on the address label. She was very concerned, but I wasn’t too worried because the building was rather small. This didn’t relieve her.
I finally got a chance to opened the package when I returned to LA after her memorial service. Inside were these oil lamps, just like ones my mom had in VT. She knew I had always wanted some of my own. I like to think that this was her way of sending me her light.
May 24, 2015
These lamps are now proudly displayed on my dining room table.
May 23, 2009
This is a painting by my cousin, Roger Alan Oberle. My mom loved his work and especially these owls. One hangs in my parents’ room in Vermont. This owl hangs in my room as a watchful night guard.
The frame for this painting also holds special meaning. My mom and I made vinegar stained frames in a class we took together in Vermont taught by Martha Stevenson. We played for hours applying vinegar to wooden objects using stamps, sponges, brushes, etc. The pattern on this frame was created using bubble wrap.
For more information on Roger or Martha, please visit www.rogeralanoberle.com and
May 23, 2015
All of this is still true! Especially the part about checking out the artists' websites! They are fantastic!
May 22, 2009
This is Sophie. She was my mom’s cat and she does her own thing. I think she learned that from my mom. She now lives in LA with me.
May 22, 2015
Sophie has since passed away. I'm pretty sure she and my mom are still doing their own thing in the great beyond.
I completed this photo project from May 2009 to May 2010. Six years later, I'm reposting the series with additional thoughts. Here's what I wrote about it when I started.