Sweet Sweet Purple Grandma!

Meet my beautiful Grandmother Mary Lou! Isn’t she a dream! She’s who I instantly picture when I think of Old Hollywood Glam! She was incredible from the start! The first born little girl and older sister and best friend to her sister all her life! She was a talented singer and sang in clubs and entertained Soldiers and had a rising career…that was until she refused the inappropriate advances from her manager/ singing coach! You go Grandma!!!! Smart and talented and strong. She was a loyal daughter, a beloved sister. She was a caring wife and an incredible mother but to me she was simply the greatest thing on planet Earth! I know you shouldn’t have favorites in life but she was mine! She was it! She loved unconditionally, told it like it was, only gave her opinion if you asked for it, never yelled, was the best cook and best of all she loved me..ME! She loved me!

My sweet and amazing, Purple wearing grandmother passed away this Tuesday. She quietly slipped away and reunited with her husband after being apart for nearly 20 years. She was probably pretty pleased with the way she passes. Quietly with no fuss. She never wanted to be a bother, never wanted to be a burden. She said her nightly goodbye to my father and fell asleep. Her body was done! She was done! She lived a beautiful life and I’m blessed to have 30 years of my own memories to prove it!

She taught me how to bake pumpkin pie, make the worlds best spaghetti and even if I hated fudge I never told her that because she taught me how to make it over 20 years ago and I pretended to love it so I wouldn’t hurt her feelings!!

Memories on the lake, my very first car, school cloths, and two years of college were all possible because of her! She taught me the importance of matching your nail polish with your lipstick. She taught me that catalog shopping was a American right of passage and that wearing purple was a talent she had mastered long ago!

We could sit for hours looking at old family albums. It was a tradition I savored year after year. I would turn the pages as she recalled past boyfriends and adventures she’d have with her sister! No matter how many times I heard them I couldn’t get enough of them!

This is too funny…she used to number her boyfriends and she kept all of their photos! I love that I have her handwriting…it’s famous in our family! No one could ever read it!

Here is a classic Grandma outfit! Looking her best in head to toe Purple!

This is the last time I saw her. Last November she meet Charlie and we had a great time doing all the things we usually do….looked at photos, ate mini snicker bars from her fridge and I toasted her at dinner! I can still see her rolling her eyes at me and laughing at the babies as they rolled around on the floor!

I’m telling you all about her because she is a huge part of me. I share my life on here. My inspirations and myself and she is a huge part of both of those things! She is the reason I’m rational and realistic. She was my greatest example in the kitchen and instilled in me my love of cooking. My favorite recipes are all hers. She taught me the skill of accessorizing and creating a signature look! She taught me how to laugh at life and follow examples. She will always be teaching me.

I’d like to share a favorite family recipe that was one of her classics. It wasn’t Christmas or Thanksgiving without this dish. I loved it so much that I asked her years ago to type it up for me to frame and display in my kitchen. Funny….because her handwriting was so incredibly hard to read she always sent me typed letters! One more reason my heart sings when I look at this recipe! I hope you enjoy it half as much as I do…

Mary Lou’s Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes

1 40 oz. can of sweet potatoes drained

Spray an 8x8x2 baking pan with PAM, place sweet potatoes in pan.

In a small sauce pan melt 3 tablespoons butter or margarine.

Stir in: 1/4th cup pancake syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons flaked coconuts

Cook over low heat stirring 3 to 5 min until blended.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped pecans over sweet potatoes then top with syrup mixture.

Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Top with 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows and bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes until marshmallows are lightly browned.

6 to 8 servings.

Thanks grandma! Cheers!



  1. 1
    Laura PARING DOWN says:

    I, too, have amazing memories of my Grandma. I'm so glad that you got to spend so much time with yours! Thanks for sharing your stories and photos!

  2. 2
    Mamasooz says:

    I'm just visiting your blog for the first time, but what a sweet tribute to your grandma… my condolences to you — what a blessing she seems to have been in your life!

  3. 3

    Great post….thanks for sharing your thoughts! Both of my grandmas passed away when I was fairly young, but I too have some of those sweet memories! Prayers for your family.

  4. 4
    Kristi @ Creative Kristi says:

    So funny that you posted this because I just read a recipe for biscuits and it made me think of my Great Grandmother and how she taught me how to make biscuits. It overwhelmed me emotionally and I clicked on the next blog in my reader (yours) to be distracted and lo and behold I guess someone wanted me to remember Grandmothers today! I was only 10 when my Great Grandmother passed away but she was fiesty & approving of everyone and your Grandma sounds like her! Thanks for a trip down your memory lane and I'm so sorry for you loss. Make sure you teach your kiddos what she taught you ;)

  5. 5

    She sounds like one amazing woman and I know she will be greatly missed.

  6. 6

    Dear Becca, Such a warm post and one I can very well relate to. I have saved your recipe and will use it, referring to it as Mary Lou's. Thank you for sharing! My first visit here and I enjoyed, Gerry

  7. 7

    Beautiful tribute.

  8. 8
    RedHead says:

    What a beautiful story, thanks for sharing it with us. I am praying for you and your family. Memories truly are precious.


  9. 9
    the thrifty ba says:

    my nana was also from that time, and when they say that it was the greatest generation…they are spot on!
    i am sorry for your loss, but i am sure she is happilly watching over you and your family and holding her sweathearts hand!
    thanks for sharing!

  10. 10

    How blessed you are to have had such a wonderful woman in your life. I'm sorry you lost her, but I know you will get to spend eternity with her. Thanks for sharing your memories with us.

  11. 11
    pocahontas says:

    It's great to see you are honoring your grandma by remembering her wonderful life in joy at her passing. I hope some day that I will be remembered like that by future grandkids.

  12. 12
    SweetMelissa says:

    Blessings to you, your family, and to Grandma! Thanks for sharing your wonderful cherished memories. You warmed my heart.


  13. 13

    What a sweet post dedicated to your loving grandmother. So sorry for your loss. I also have one of those grandmothers who is my favorite….she taught me how to crochet and gave me my love of crafting. She taught me how to cook and my favorite recipes came from her recipe box. I am her oldest grandchild was named after her mother and I think that is why we share such a strong and special bond. I still have my grandmother around to visit (but her health is failing and we don't know for how long). Thanks for sharing a part of you via your grandmother with us today.

    Amy ♥

  14. 14

    Wow. This post has really touched me. There was always a joke in my family that 'you couldn't be friends with my Grandmother if your name wasn't Mary Lou.' She had THREE best friends from school named that – the 4 of them were inseparable. Ironically enough, this was in Southern California – in Santa Monica when she was attending UCLA. She met my Grandfather while in California, he was a Marine. Kinda ironic, eh?

    I lost my Nana 4 years ago and she was someone that I saw and spoke to daily. There is not a day that goes by now that I don't think of her – but the pain has much decreased as I know I only cry for ME, and not for her – she is where she wants to be. I'm very sorry for your loss, and I'm so glad that you have so many memories and treasures remaining from such an amazing person.

  15. 15
    Alane Green says:

    I'm sorry for your loss. It seems she had a wonderful life!

  16. 16

    Becca–What a sweet and touching tribute.

  17. 17

    Thank you for posting this about your grandmother. What a beautiful woman! I love how she numbered her boyfriends–awesome! Thought of you on Friday; you were missed!

  18. 18

    Your Grandmother sounds like a wonderful woman. I'm sure she would be so honored to to see the beautiful things you wrote about her. My sincere condolences to you and your family.

  19. 19
    Jeanette says:

    This post was a beautiful tribute to your grandma, I am sorry for your loss.

  20. 20
    The Cottage Look says:

    I'm just happened upon your blog, and I wanted to say what a beautiful way to say good-bye to your Grandmother.

    It is amazing what we remember about our Grandmothers…what was, and is important to us because of them, and how we cherish their memory.

    Thanks for the stories, and the glimpse into your world.

    Love and Kisses

    Suzi Ufland

  21. 21
    Amy @ The Bell Family says:

    My grandmother died nearly 14 years ago, and I still think of her so often. What a blessing those relationships are to our lives! Thank you for sharing your grandmother's story, and my condolences to you and your family!

  22. 22
    Amylee Adams says:

    What a wonderful post, sweet memories.

  23. 23

    I lost my own Grandma when I was 18. Wow! It was hard. I am glad that I have the hope of seeing her again in heaven. Thanks for posting such a sweet memorial to your grandma. Blessings!

  24. 24

    What a wonderful tribute to your beautiful grandma! It's so wonderful to have such fond memories of a loved one.

    Thanks for the delicious recipe!

    Take care!

  25. 25

    Such wonderful memories, you are truly blessed.

  26. 26

    A beautiful post – lovely memories of a woman who sounds remarkable – love that she numbered the boyfriends.

  27. 27

    Bessa, How bitter-sweet, and such a wonderful way to share your memory of her with so many other people.

    Goodbye Grandmother Mary Lou. May you rest in peace.

  28. 28

    I meant to type "Becca" :-)

  29. 29
    Mary Lou Rutledge says:

    From one Mary Lou to another.
    Bless you.
    I will think of you when I make the sweet potatoes.

  30. 30

    Oh, I so LOVED your post about your love for your grandmother! I never really knew what life was all about until my precious granddaughter was born. She just celebrated her 7th birthday and loves me like mad! I hope our love for each other continues to grow like the love between you and your grandmother! Thank you so much for sharing your sweet memories. I am sorry for your loss, but I am happy that you had such a marvelous, strong woman in your life!


  31. 31


  32. 32
    Michelle says:

    Your grandma sounds like she was one amazing lady! Prayers for you and yours.

  33. 33

    Such a special relationship. Cherish those beautiful memories they are a gift!

  34. 34
    TheOneTrueSue says:

    She sounds like such a wonderful lady – what a lovely tribute. I'm so sorry for your loss Becca.

  35. 35
    Loose Sparrow Arts N Crafts says:

    I am so sorry you lost your grandma. I lost mine several years ago and then ended up buying the house she raised me in. I still feel her presence in the rooms, in my personality and habits, and in my heart. I am glad that we had these magical women in our lives to love. God bless you, Becca

  36. 36
    (un)Deniably Domestic says:

    Thank you. Such a sweet post. My grandmas are long since gone but I savor my own status of Grandma and enjoy watching my mom as a grandma and now a great grandma. We have so much to give! ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic

  37. 37

    Wonderful tribute to your sweet grandma. She sounds like she was an amazing woman.


  38. 38

    What a woman. I love that she was such a huge influence in your life. I loved hearing all about her and how she is part of who you are. Sending you love though. Even when it can be good for someone to pass on, it is not easy. At least for me. I hope you are able to charish all her memories. Sending you lots and lots of love.

  39. 39
    Dreams of Perfection says:

    What a sweet nod to your grandmother. It is so nice that you have all of those beautiful pictures of her to cherish.

  40. 40

    What a neat tribute to your Grandma, Grandmas are so special, I am the person I am today because of mine! I am glad you were so close to her and will have many memories to cherish!

    Kathy in Mi

  41. 41
    Miss Angie says:

    Sorry for your loss, but I'm glad you had such a wonderful grandmother and that her passing was peaceful for her.

    Much love to you and yours!

  42. 42
    Annette says:

    I am so sad for your loss. =( What a great memorial!


  43. 43

    What a great post about your grandmother. I can completely relate – I was blessed to have my Nana for 39 years and there are just so many things… Like you said, I know we're not supposed to have favorites but she will forever be mine. We lost her 4 years ago this August and after that much time, she's still as "real" to me as if she was still walking on this earth – my memories are that vivid. I pray yours are the same for you! It's such a wonderful, wonderful gift from God to put someone like that in our lives.

  44. 44
    Lanie Ree says:

    What a sweet, beautiful, classy lady! I bet she is excited to be with her man again :)

  45. 45

    Aren't we lucky to have Grandmas like that. I am so sorry for your loss. My Grandmas were also amazing and they will always be a large part of me.

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