Maw Maw’s Naked Lady Bowls

26 11 2014

I love Thanksgiving and it’s traditions. I bring out dishes and silver that have been handled by so many loving hands in my family. I love the connection to the past and to the future.

My grandparents with their two small children moved from a small town in east Texas to south Louisiana in the 30’s. It must have been such a culture shock to all they knew. They came from white gravy and chicken fried steak and everybody being Baptist to a land of roux and gumbo and diversity and not everyone being Baptist.

My mom tells me she remembers asking her mother who those women were that wore long black dresses and covered their hair in a long black drape. She was told they were holy women. My mom thought that meant that the long black clothes were covering the holes in their body.

The Naked Lady Bowl
 naked lady bowl

My grandfather moved to Baton Rouge to be the advertising manager of the Coca- Cola Bottling Co. (It’s just dawning on me as I write this, the family heritage of being marketers…love that.) His boss was a sophisticated and learned man and was Jewish. He gave my grandfather a beautiful bowl set as a thank you for a job well done. It was a beautiful set with a large bowl with six smaller serving bowls. It’s bone china with gold inlay. It has Goddesses at play painted in the bottom of each piece.

That’s the part where I know it got complicated for my grandmother. You see, some of these goddess are bare breasted. I know my grandmother would have known the value of this gift. I can only imagine her Baptist horror over the nakedness of those ladies. This southern woman could never be anything but gracious over this generous gift. Her solution was to bring it out only at Thanksgiving and to keep the bowls filled with what else…Ambrosia…the food of the Gods.

A Tradition Continues
I will continue with that tradition this Thanksgiving. My 86-year-old mom will come over and supervise me making the fruit salad and be the official taster. My daughter will help as we peel the apples, juice the fresh lemons, add the bananas, oranges, pineapple, coconut and sugar to taste. I love that this recipe goes back to my great grandmother and has been passed down to four generations of daughters. The recipe is not written anywhere; making it together—mother to daughter, mother to daughter is how it is learned. Over countless conversations, laughter, teenage attitude at having to peel apples, it has been passed from one generation to another.

Priceless

This small bowl is chipped and glued together making it even more precious to me.

This small bowl is chipped and glued together making it even more precious to me.

This bowl set may be of some value. I sometimes imagine I could go on the Antiques Roadshow and be one of those people who gasp over how much it’s monetary value is. But I will never sell it. It’s not mine to sell. It’s my future great grandchild’s who I hope will still be making ambrosia that she learned from her mother and is teaching her daughter how to make. And will be putting it in the Naked Lady bowl.

Mother to Daughter
I am Connie Lee, mother of Jade Lee-Mei, daughter of Jimmie Dee, daughter of Jimmie Corrine, daughter of Minnie Mae.

Advertisements




How Breast Cancer Awareness Month led to a Thankful November

21 11 2014

This post is part of a blog hop by the amazing women of Midlife Boulevard. A blog hop is when a group of bloggers write on the same topic. This month’s topic is What I’m Thankful For. You can find the link to the other blogs at the end of this story. 

I think of my life as a creative journey and I recently came upon an intersection that I had not foreseen. October was breast cancer awareness month. I’m keenly aware of this because it’s my job to help promote it. I work for a woman’s specialty hospital in marketing.

While working on an ad campaign for mammography, a lump was found during my annual mammogram. I’m also working on the Cancer Annual Report and this year’s focus is breast cancer. I became the patient I was creating ads for and a possible statistic in the technical report that I help to design. When I got a call after my mammogram from the head of Imaging, I knew that she wasn’t calling me about advertising.

This year’s Thanksgiving card. Woman’s is one of the largest OB hospitals in the country and is known locally as the Birthplace of Baton Rouge.

This year’s Thanksgiving card. Woman’s is one of the largest OB hospitals in the country and is known locally as the Birthplace of Baton Rouge.

November is a month when we give thanks. While designing Woman’s Thanksgiving card, I didn’t yet know that I would be so personally thankful for the organization I work for. From the beginning, I was told that there was a 90% chance the lump was benign. I listened to the experts and had the biopsy to prove that I wasn’t in the 10% category. Because of their kind and professional assurances, I knew that I was going to be OK. This is why you get those yearly mammograms, to stop cancer early.

The only thing I remember coming out of the fog of anesthesia was the direction to not do any housework and no heavy lifting. I also remember telling my nurse/friend that we needed to go out for bloody marys. I’m sticking with the no housework rule and still need to get that drink with my friend.

I’m fine, no cancer.

During this time, I worked on the ad campaign to tell the public about the new 3D mammography technology that Woman’s now has. Just as I was told to do no heavy lifting, the marketing team worked together and the creative effort was shared. No one had to do the heavy lifting alone. This campaign actually launched an explosion of creative energy within the team. This team has all been touched in some way by breast cancer and I’m not the only one in the group who has had a biopsy. There was a sincere enthusiasm on how best to tell the public about the new technology.

The creative approach we chose to use to explain 3D mammography is origami. Traditional mammograms give a 2D image, like a flat piece of paper. The 3D technology is dimensional. It is like the folded origami. We chose to use the crane as our model, this origami bird is also the symbol of good luck. The campaign launches during this month of Thanksgiving.

Below is the campaign the Marketing team created. If you want to learn about the new 3D technology, just click. 

Campaign billboard

outdoor blog

Campaign print ad

3Dad blog

Campaign web banner

3D_728x90

I say a daily prayer to be given the wisdom to see the gifts the universe sends me. I was given the gift of living Woman’s mission: to improve the health of women and infants. That mission includes my own health.

To all the women and men I work with day after day and to the community we serve, I am thankful.

Shout out to the marketing team: Lynne, Bridget, Margaret, Rachel, Laurel, Tracie, Brian, Amiee and Dana. And to my sweetie, Steve, who held my hand and took care of me during it all.

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to read to the other stories in the blog hop.