My best memories of my mom when I was little were of sewing little projects with her. One year for Christmas, we made little fabric and felt owls, with stitched beaks and eyes. The sewing room at Harrison Street was tucked in behind the dining room. That's where my mom sewed my "Dumpty Humpty," a big stuffed friend whose body looks like Humpty Dumpty but with very long arms and legs. I adored him, mostly because my mother made him just for me. When he developed a tear under an arm, I tucked a little bell inside before we stitched him up, just for fun.

Another dear stuffed friend was my Jaffy, who required much more patching and stitching up because I "loved" him practically to pieces. Mom sewed the first patches on him, and they're very tidy with itty bitty stitches all around. I added a bunch more, in various colors, with my big, uneven stitching. It all helped keep the stuffing in where it belonged, and added a lot of character too.

Mom got to read while she ate at the kitchen table, which we kids weren't allowed to do ("Mom's rights"). And sometimes she'd arbitrarily refuse to let us lick the beaters when she'd mixed something up, a completely injustice that rankled deeply. She probably was just tired of my sister and me arguing about who got which beater to lick, or was just too busy to take the time, with so many young kids to take care of. Once she set up a "class" for us, together with some friends, in which we got to mix up whatever kind of dough we wanted to and take tastes along the way. I loved it! The best part was tasting it all along the way. Well...right up until I decided to add pepper to my dough. Ruined the whole thing!