I began blogging for 2 reasons.


1. maternal grandmother.

2. paternal grandmother.


Let’s start with materal grandmother. Many moons ago, my dad lovingly nicknamed his mother-in-law ‘Mother Lovett.’

‘Lovett’ being her last name. And it certainly was her last name, since she was married to brothers.



Yes people, she was married twice – to BROTHERS. How cool is that?


 How 1700’s of her.


Unfortunately, she passed away in late April of this year at the ripe, old age of 87. Her stories live on. And Lordy, let me tell you, THERE ARE STORIES.



We could write a sitcom.



That is an understatement. I wish you could understand.




I will get to the hilarious goods at some point in my blog, but for now I have to give you the excellent background on her so you don’t think I’m hellishly cruel.



She was a baker. A mighty fine one at that. She most likely is the reason I adore baking, and I won’t lie when saying that baking these days occasionally makes me tear up since it is something I used to share with her.



Well, actually when I say ‘share,’ I really mean I took orders from her for a few hours standing in her kitchen.


But that’s a different story.


She suffered 7 miscarriages, and was diagnosed with Menear’s disease in her 20’s, causing her to lose all hearing in one ear. She had macular degeneration, a serious eye disease which cause her to lose almost ALL of her sight. She lost her siblings.  She cared for her cancer-stricken mother in her own home, losing her only 4 months before she lost her first husband, the love of her life. He passed away before I was born, so I never knew my true grandfather.


Luckily for us, she remarried.


His brother. Her brother-in-law.


I know.


I can’t imagine marrying my brother-in-law. Partly because I don’t have one. But if I did, and if he looked like George Clooney, I guess I would.


This truly was a wonderful thing, this marriage of my grandmother and her brother-in-law. He and his wife (don’t worry, she had passed away as well) were never able to have children, which meant by marrying my grandmother, he inherited 2 daughters (or neices….yikes) and 5 grandchilden. Amazing man. Wonderful. Words can’t describe.


However, many times in my life I remember my grandmother telling me about her whirlwind love with her first husband, Gerald. I specifically remember one evening at the beach her eyes welling up with tears when speaking about him.


‘That love was the greatest love I had ever felt. If you ever find that, don’t ever lose it.’ She STILL missed him after more than 30 years. THAT is love.


Perhaps she is where I got my passion from?



The longer she is gone the more I realize what a strong woman she was. Of course, we all knew this as she infuriated us at the age of 86 trimming bushes, climbing ladders, and carrying 40lb pots up the driveway.


I don’t mean strong THAT way.


She lost 2 husbands, and still talked about love. She still wore high heels to church, even though we fought her on it. She still went to church on Sunday, even though she was legally blind, deaf, and hunched over from severe osteoporosis. She walked around with 4 blockages in 3 arteries for 20 years. Suffered a heart attack, multiple broken bones, and bounced back from injuries when the majority of us would believe it was time to give up.


 I better be wearing heels at 87.



Yes we called her stubborn, but now I call her strong.



She was so stubborn strong, she basically refused to die. And we really never thought she would. I mean…REALLY. We were all there to watch her last breath. And she put up a damn good fight.



Again, an understatement.



(Which I find quite odd, since I am extremely dramatic.)



Everyone ALWAYS complimented her on her beauty. She had an excellent sense of style. I never saw the beauty until recently. Of course I loved her, but she was my GRANDMA.


Beauty wasn’t the first thing to come to mind. Seeing how many Reese’s cups I could shove in my mouth at one time without anyone noticing at her house was.


What do you think?
























You will never believe what began her demise.


She had a heart attack while hand-mixing a cake.





She could always do everything better herself, anyways.

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98 Responses to “Mother Lovett: Prologue.”

  1. #
    Amanda — September 21, 2009 @ 6:15 pm

    You totally made me cry!! lol I think *I* miss her! :)

    What a wonderful inspiration… a motivation when we want to quit.

    You have quite a way with words my dear!

    God bless-


  2. #
    Michelle — September 21, 2009 @ 7:20 pm

    What a beautiful and touching story! Can’t wait to read more :)


  3. #
    Naomi — September 21, 2009 @ 8:37 pm

    love that story, what an adorable and amazing woman! thank you for sharing that touching story :)


  4. #
    carascravings — September 21, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

    That’s a great story!
    She sounds like one amazing and strong woman…I am sure there are lots of lessons to learn from her life.


  5. #
    Lindsay @ bananaandchocolate — September 21, 2009 @ 10:16 pm

    She sounds like a truly amazing woman! I can’t wait to hear more about her!


  6. #
    Kristen @ Simply Savor — September 22, 2009 @ 9:37 am

    what a strong and inspiring woman! she is so beautiful! thanks for sharing her story with us :)


  7. #
    Sue — September 22, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

    She is so beautiful! How blessed you are to have had so many loving years with her. I look forward to more stories!


  8. #
    peanutbutterfingers — September 22, 2009 @ 12:21 pm

    what a neat woman! i love the way you really captured her essence in such a short amount of space. what a lil’ firecracker!


  9. #
    DiningAndDishing — September 22, 2009 @ 12:22 pm

    That is the sweetest story and she is just adorable!! What an amazing person to have had in your life. Thanks for sharing!!

    – Beth @ http://www.DiningAndDishing.com


  10. #
    donna — September 22, 2009 @ 12:52 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to your grandmother. I hope one day my grandchildren remember me for my humor and grit! She was so elegant. I know you must miss her terribly. Keep up her passion for life and you will do well. Stop by and enter my contest this week!


  11. #
    donna — September 22, 2009 @ 1:11 pm

    This is unrelated to you post but I am curious. Is that chocolate curls in the picture at the top of your blog? I just did a wedding cake with white chocolate curls…what a job! It is in one of my older posts.


  12. #
    Tara — September 22, 2009 @ 2:48 pm

    Such a great tribute! I adore senior citizens – I’m actually looking for a retirement community to volunteer at, so stories like this one make my day. Thanks for sharing!


  13. #
    Erica — September 22, 2009 @ 3:07 pm

    Wow! What a story. And how adorable was she?


  14. #
    Nixie — September 22, 2009 @ 4:25 pm

    What a beautiful story! I have a similar marriage story in my family. My great grandmother died and (not immediately) my great grandfather married his wife’s sister. To complicate things more my great grandparents had a daughter and then my gr-grandfather had two more children with his second wife. So now, my grandmother’s half cousins are half siblings too. (She always called them full siblings.) She was a bit older than them and one of them married someone even younger and had children. So my mom’s cousins are all my age. It can make for a confusing family reunion. :-D


  15. #
    Secret Agent — September 23, 2009 @ 9:17 am

    Awww! What a wonderful hilarious sweet story! You know, perhaps I am just an oddball, but my first thought when I saw the pictures of her was “what a beautiful woman!” Of course, I think the same thing of my grandmas and great-grandmas, so I may well be weird! ;) Actually, I tend to see all wonderful old ladies as being beautiful, even if they aren’t physically. :)


  16. #
    Bianca @ south bay rants n raves — December 19, 2009 @ 2:10 pm

    What an amazing woman!! She sounds so wonderful, so full of life until the end! Reminds me of my grandmother who is 91 and still as spunky as ever. I pray that I’ll be a spunky old lady like your grandmother or mine.


  17. #
    A@ Please Don't Eat Me! — December 31, 2009 @ 8:19 am

    ah she reminds me of my own grandmother, who also suffered miscarriages, meanears disease (sp?), hearing loss, and is three time breast cancer survivor. she had massive heart failure 3 years ago and even while her heart rate was only 20 beats per minute, she still had enough pep to thank the firefighters who came to her rescue and ask them what their favorite kind of cookies were. NO joke. I was there! i kept telling her, shut up gram, let them work on you! while she was pushing them away saying she was ok to walk outside. lol
    this lady, will out live us all!!!!!


  18. #
    Untypically Jia — March 16, 2010 @ 9:27 am

    I’ve spent most of my morning reading your blog and this just brought tears to my eyes. This reminds me of both of my Grandmothers. My maternal Grandmother who went through too dang much in her life and came out a survivor (even when she passed on), and my sweet southern Grandmother who’s still living, still wearing makeup and still looking good despite that she has lost one of her legs to diabetes.

    Grandmothers. Nothing will ever be better than that generation.


  19. #
    Kimberly :) — October 22, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

    I had nothing BUT stubborn, colorful, strong grammas. I believe it makes the next generation raise the finest grown women in the land. I’m gonna be tough to the end. I’ll arm-wrestle you at the old folks home, k?


  20. #
    Rachel Wilkerson — November 13, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

    I’ve always seen you talk about Mother Lovett but I never knew who she was until I read this today. What a great story and a great woman — I love that she inspires you so much still!! I can see why though. <3


  21. #
    Katalina — November 25, 2010 @ 4:13 am

    God bless you Jessica for keeping her memory so alive! Writing all this u become as strong as she was!


  22. #
    Cynthia (It All Changes) — November 28, 2010 @ 3:51 am

    Thank you so much! This post reminds me so much of my grandma (minus the whole marrying her BIL part) and made me smile on the anniversary of losing my grandma. Thank you Jessica :-)


  23. #
    Torrie @ a place to share... — November 29, 2010 @ 8:52 pm

    So, I finally finished my Thanksgiving post, and am getting back to my reader (making up for six days away from my computer today!) and since I had a few extra minutes, I decided to click on your link to this post. I’ve read bits and pieces about your grandma, but not I feel much more ‘caught up’ :). Like the above comment, she reminds me of my grandma as well!

    I look forward to reading more about her, and trying some of her recipes of course!


  24. #
    Honey @ Honey, What's Cooking? — February 28, 2011 @ 11:27 pm

    Wow, that was powerful. You have a great writing ability where you connect with people at an emotional level. Your grandmother sounds so genuine and sweet… yes to talk about love at that age is something… and it is so sad she went through so much.

    And let me tell you, in Indian Bollywood movies, they will still marry off a girl to her brother-in-law, i know it’s weird, but it does happen. :-) I’m happy she was able to move forward with life at her age because in many unprivileged countries a woman isn’t allow to remarry. Great STORY!


  25. #
    Elisabeth — April 3, 2011 @ 2:37 am

    Wow! Just started reading your blog tonight! What a treat….no pun intended…
    Although I am going bonkers over the amazing recipes you are posting and laughing out loud at your clever one liners, this has to be my favorite part. My grandmother raised me growing up and Mother Lovett reminds me of her in so, so many ways. This definitely brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my face. What a beautiful woman! :)


  26. #
    Whitney — April 21, 2011 @ 9:04 am

    Wow. I knew I had more in common with you than a love of eating/baking/cooking. Mostly eating. Anyway–my grandmother also married brothers. I never knew either of them, as my true grandfather died when my dad was three, and from listening to my grandma’s stories, she too was head over heels for that man. She still talks about him and he passed away some 47 years ago. She then married his brother, and this was also a short marriage as he passed away suddenly after having two more kids. So like you, I have an aunt and an uncle from that marriage, that technically are also my cousins. Both of my grandmothers also have instilled a serious cooking streak in me since I was old enough to hold a spoon. I’ve been rolling pie crust since I was in a high-chair, or so I’ve been told.

    That being said, are you sure you don’t want to move to Iowa? I’m sure you and I could do some serious damage in a kitchen…and to our bellies. And I know you aren’t terribly fond of weather in Pennsylvania, so hey–why not give Iowa a try? We had 90-degree weather one day in early April, followed by destructive tornadoes 3 days later, followed by snow. Needless to say, we are not weather-bored here.


  27. #
    Melanie — April 25, 2011 @ 11:36 am

    My sister introduced me to your blog and now I’m in tears as I read about your Grandmother. Mine passed away last November and I’m still having trouble accepting that she’s gone. She was 93 and stubborn as an ox! Thankfully she will live on in me (I’m most like her out of us all) and her recipe box. <3


  28. #
    Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) — April 25, 2011 @ 2:53 pm

    I had never read this post and I’m so glad I did… I literally got teary eyed when you wrote about how she talked about being married to her first husband and how much she loved him on the beach with you. She sounds like she was an amazing woman Jessica. Thank you for sharing her with us :) …and I’m still teary eyed. Not even kidding.


  29. #
    danielle — April 26, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

    What a blessing to have known her!! Reminds me a lot of my grandma in some ways…who just turned 93…last year when I wad visiting first thing one morning she was in the kitchen whipping up a cake on a whim….just her style LOL
    Great post! ;-)


  30. #
    Julia — April 28, 2011 @ 12:03 pm

    Wow, what an amazing woman! **sniffle** You are soooo blessed to have those memories and experiences with your grandmother!! We just lost my 87 year old mother-in-law the 12th this April, buried her last week. Many similarities, many differences, no two people are exactly alike, but stories like your grandmother’s kick-a-heinie attitudes and carrying on despite her deafness, blindness and other health issues is just amazing!! I wish I could have read this story 5 years ago, I’d be happy to share info on kitchen tools, timers that vibrate/flash etc, that make live accessible for people who are deaf/blind and other disabilities. I’m deaf too… vision is starting to go now… but then again, where’s the charm in rescuing burnt cookies?? … Mother Lovett’s a great model for how I want to live in my 80’s and hopefully older!! And being married (sequentially) to two brothers? How cool is that? Healthy attitudes about love and loving and being a Family, woooo!! Go Grandma!! (So many of that generation have really sad experiences in that department!!).


  31. #
    Julia — April 28, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

    Hey, I think it cut off part of what I was typing earlier… because what I thought I ended was that I really appreciated your loving comments and sharing of your grandmother’s example of living and loving!! Looking forward to visiting your blog again soon!


  32. #
    Norma — May 22, 2011 @ 4:42 am

    First Ms. Jessica you must know I am terribly obsessed with this blog. Every bit of it. It is my motivation to get one started at the ripe old age of 43. I wait and and wait ever so patiently for the next entry.
    As for Mother Lovett that little Grandma sounds just like Grandma Snowden who died 5 yrs ago at the age of 103. That gramma was a whipper snapper on her on terms. But arent they just so much fun and make you LOL at thier crazyness? I miss Grandma Snowden terribbly


  33. #
    Lorie — June 18, 2011 @ 8:45 pm

    Such a sweet story. My eyes welled up with tears remembering my special Mamaw whom was a genius in the kitchen herself. Thanks for sharing Mother Lovett with us!


  34. #
    Audra@The-Baker-Chick — July 27, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

    This post really tugged at my heart.
    I lost my beloved Maternal-Grandma a few weeks ago. She was around the same age as “Mother Lovett” when she passed and I loved her just as much as it seems you loved your Grandmother.
    They really are the most amazing women aren’t they? I feel lucky to have known someone so special.


  35. #
    Taryn @ TheFitFlosser — August 25, 2011 @ 9:39 am

    What a wonderful and inspiring reason to start a blog. It almost seems like a storyline from a movie but, even better, it’s all your own personal experiences. You are an endearing and comical writer and I’m looking forward to reading more. Well done.


  36. #
    Cammy — October 13, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

    Jessica – I’m a newbie to your blog – going on 3 hours (woot woot!)- and it must have been fate that I made it here today. My Gram passed away 2 years ago today, 3 days before my wedding. I can so relate to the posts you’ve written about Mother Lovett and it’s brought happy tears to my eyes. I used to get so mad at Gram for sticking her dang finger in to taste whatever I was trying to whip up… it wasn’t ready yet! I’d give anything for her to be in the kitchen with me now, as I try to make her recipes like she used to (like you, recipes were my #1 goal when we were going through her things). I bet your grandmothers would be super proud of what you’ve done from their inspiration and to inspire other people. Rock on, girl.


  37. #
    Jolie — November 4, 2011 @ 11:09 am

    Yep. I can see it. She was beautiful and wonderful. I had a grandmother like that. How lucky we are to have had such a gift. Jolie


  38. #
    Jen — December 7, 2011 @ 12:27 pm

    She reminds me of my late grandmother, so cute, so with-it, and SO fabulous!!! What a great way to commemorate her.


  39. #
    Tonya — December 19, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

    Ahh what a precious grandma. Though some of their life story is different it sounds like she and my grandma could have been sisters, especially in their cooking ability and height:) Isn’t it wonderful to have such precious memories? Thanks for sharing.


  40. #
    Annashortcakes — February 5, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

    Grandparents are the most amazing blessing ever!!!


  41. #
    Margo — March 28, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

    Since I am new to this blog, this is the first time reading this tribute to your Grams. It is very touching! I lost my maternal Grams after my first year of college, but paternal GramsI lost 10 days after my now husband deployed to Afghanistan. I was a roller coaster of emotional. The only thing she ever taught me to cook was her spaghetti and meatballs and she wasn’t even Italian. I’d like to say I’ve perfected her recipe and if she were still alive, my kick ass meatballs would make her proud!

    PS: I don’t know how long you’ve lived in Pittsburgh, but my Grams used to live in the apartments across from the South Hills mall. Small world right?! LOL


  42. #
    Fyrestarter113 — August 2, 2012 @ 5:19 am

    Thank you for your story. Mother Lovett sounds a lot like my Great Grandmother, she was 98 when she passed, still doing her own grocery shopping once a week, because no one else would buy the right brand, and cooking everything under the sun, because then she didnt have to tell her daughter how to make it, every day. She made the most wonderful Ginger Snaps that we would fight over, hide, steal, devour, every Thanksgiving. Again Thank you.


  43. #
    Colette — October 7, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

    I see cute runs in the family.
    Grandmas are gods on earth!


  44. #
    Amanda — October 26, 2012 @ 11:57 am

    She sounds just like my mother who is still ruining, no ruling, no … what’s the word I’m looking for??? well she’s 83 now, we can’t hold her down, I’ve had to forbid her from going up ladders and step stools and we’ve rearranged her kitchen (thank heaven’s she agreed to it!!!) so she can reach everything she needs without needing them.
    She has osteoporosis in 3 vertebrae, macular degeneration in both eyes, has broken I don’t know how many bones over the years and had several bad illnesses, yet she still tries to behave the same she did when she was 40


  45. #
    Lisa — December 5, 2012 @ 2:26 am

    I just found and started following your blog. I recently lost my grandmother this past summer and reading about yours reminded me of mine. My grandma too was an incredibly strong woman. She was 90 and was this feisty hilarious woman who too dealt with ridiculous injuries and conditions but refused to die. It ended up being cancer that got her – totally not worthy of her. She was a soldier. She deserved to go out with a bang! Like… fighting off a bear or protecting her grandkids from a possible zombie apocalypse.
    I honestly don’t even know why I’m writing this, but reading your post just really reminded me of my grandma and I wanted to say that I get it. Losing my gran left this big hole in my heart I never think I’ll be ever to get rid of, but seeing you write this shows that you can keep going on and they’ll still be there; memories and all.

    p.s. totally in love with your blog!


  46. #
    Colette from JFF! — March 28, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

    Grandmothers are sugar-sweet angels on earth.
    Maybe it’s b/c they just love us and don’t really put us in the corner for swearing!
    Mother Lovett sounds like quite a wonderful lady.
    I hope I go while I baking a cake.
    Thanks for sharing, Jessica! xoxo


  47. #
    instant loan — May 21, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

    bvnrxap utcqggbrnj vmrrsrp vqwymcqy fqazurulh


  48. #
    Jeffry Uccio — June 24, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

    Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life..,”^

    Our favorite web-site <http://picturesofherpes.cova


  49. #
    Sandy — August 7, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

    Oh my, tears are streaming down my face. I just discovered your blog and am reading about your Grandma and you could be writing about minee (except for the part about marrying her brother-in-law)!t…I miss her so much and she’s been gone almost 13 years. But how lucky are we to have had such fabulous women to look up to (or down at in my case since I’m 5’9″ and my Gram was only 5’1″)! I love love love that your wrote such a loving tribute to your grandma.


  50. #
    Aishah — January 20, 2014 @ 1:27 pm

    I just read this, and I feel like crying forever lol Made me think of the man I love dearly and how I pray we have a long, healthy life together. I love love <3 sounds like an amazing woman indeed.



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