Mother’s Day 2014 – Advice Mom Gave Me

Rebecca and her dear mom, on the day.

Rebecca and her dear mom, June 1994.

I recently flipped through some old journals and I found a list I had made of my mother’s advice through the years.   She was a good mom, friend, and confidante and had given me lots of good advice.

Some I took, some I saved for later, and some I just flat-out ignored and was very sorry for it. Oy, those terrible and stupid mistakes.  I should have listened to you, Mom!

Photo:  John Penovich

Photo: John Penovich

Here, for posterity, and to remind myself, I share with you (in no particular order):

Norma’s Rules for a Happy Life

  • Don’t lie to the IRS, the police, or your mother.
  • Don’t marry someone if you think you will change him.  The things that bug you NOW are going to bug you MUCH more later.
  • Don’t say anything that you would be embarrassed or ashamed to hear repeated.
  • Treat the boys you like like the boys you don’t like, and you will have the boys you like.
  • Sex is not love.
I love tulips more than roses for Valentine's Day. Photo credit: Rebecca Penovich

Photo: Rebecca Penovich

  • Treat your employees with respect, but let them know who’s boss.
  • Clean as you go. (Ha. She NEVER did this herself.)
  • When in doubt, throw it out. (Can apply to milk, food, boyfriends, miscellaneous mail.)
  • Use good quality ingredients in your cooking and don’t substitute.

Photo: Rebecca Penovich

  • Buy life insurance.
  • You will always love your family even if you don’t always like them.
  • True friends reveal themselves in times of hardship.
  • Don’t marry someone who doesn’t make you laugh.
  • Clean your room, you never know what you might find.

Photo: Rebecca Penovich

  • Lay your outfit out the night before.
  • You will never know until you try.
  • Don’t spend money you don’t have.
  • Leave your house (and desk and drawers) organized in case something happens to you but then you recover. (Meaning, so you won’t die of shame.)
Tiger lilies abound in the summer

Photo: Rebecca Penovich


  • Treat everyone as you wish to be treated.
  • Be welcoming if you want to be welcomed.
  • Laugh often, but not at other’s expense.

Photo: Rebecca Penovich


  • Don’t overfill your washer.
  • Write thank you notes.
  • Call your mother!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you hard-working, advice-giving moms out there and if you are able to, CALL YOUR MOTHER!



Peonies from the garden.

Peonies from the garden.

One thought on “Mother’s Day 2014 – Advice Mom Gave Me

  1. Thanks so much for the post. We could make a VERY long list of great things Mom said and did. Lovely, lovely photos.

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