Matilda Butler

CAN DO Woman Cooking – BBQ Patty, Vegan Gluten Free


CAN DO Woman Recipe — Vegan, Gluten Free BBQ Patty

Why am I sharing this CAN DO Woman Recipe for a vegan, gluten-free BBQ patty?

I know that we are in the early days of our CAN DO WOMAN Program to help you become the woman you want to be. So why post a recipe (the first of many)? Creativity is one element in our lives that helps us flourish. You don’t need to be a poet, novelist, painter, or musician to satisfy the need to feel creative. Cooking often provides both sustenance and creativity — a dynamic duo.

So we invite you to both our CAN DO WOMAN Program and our CAN DO WOMAN Recipes. We intend to have one blog for the program as well as the recipes each week. We hope you’ll join us often.

Vegan gluten free patties is an unlikely dish to be enjoyed given my childhood. When I was young, my mother often made beef patties. The Great Depression always echoed in her head, saying “Save, save, save.” So she went for the least expensive cuts of meat. And she was a locovore long before it became popular, purchasing only local, in-season fruits and vegetables. (Note: These were always the least expensive produce such as corn on the cob when she could buy them at 10 ears for $1.00.)

A Meat Filled Childhood

In my childhood in Oklahoma, we featured meat. Lots of meat. I loved rare steaks on those special occasions when we ate in restaurants. Generically, I remember that we just called the restaurants “steak houses.” Pork chops were a favorite at home, pan fried in a well worn cast iron skillet. My mother often served beef tongue, a much-loved dish from her childhood that continued to be cheap to buy and easy to prepare in the kitchen.

Mother frequently purchased inexpensive chuck roasts and ground that tough beef in her hand-cranked meat grinder with a wood handle. Each time she wanted to use the grinder, she attached it to her under-counter, pull-out cutting board. She often let me stand on a low stool to watch her turn the crank. When I was older, I got to grind the meat. It’s been years since I’ve seen either a grinder like that or a pull out cutting board.

Years Pass…and Then a Vegan and Gluten Free

And with such a meat-oriented childhood, it might be hard to imagine that along the way I became a vegan and eventually a gluten free vegan. Many treasured recipe cards given me by my mother resided, unused, in a small tin card box. Eventually, I became more creative in my cooking and found interesting ways to convert some of her dishes to ones I could enjoy and share with friends. Many of these recipes have now been requested by both family and friends.

So What About (UN) Meat Patties for a CAN DO Woman?

Mother’s ground beef was never turned into hamburger patties, at least not that I can remember. Instead, she patted the meat into super thick patties — always elongated rather than round. Then she’d take out the cast iron skillet, put it over high heat, and add lots of table salt. And when I say lots, I really mean LOTS — two or three tablespoons. Once the skillet and salt were hot, she put the meat patties in. I can still hear them sizzling in the pan. I no longer recall how long she cooked them, but I know they were always rare back in those days — so probably about 5 minutes per side.

Fully a Gluten Free Vegan

Over the years, I’ve made lots of recipes for bean patties. Most of them have their charms. None taste like beef (thank goodness). I like the distinctive flavors, knowing I’m getting plenty of protein from these patties.

And today’s recipe? I love the mix of flavors and textures. And, of course, the BBQ will always remind me of my childhood.

Be a CAN DO Woman and Give the Recipe a Try

Each week, we blog about becoming the CAN DO Woman you want to be. We have much to do in order to achieve our goals. And along the way, it is important to nourish our bodies as well as our minds and souls.

And as we learned through our pandemic months (and months), pantry food gets its own gold stars. Nothing special is required. I always have cans of garbanzo beans and packages of rice crumbs (discovered at Trader Joe’s) in the pantry plus onions, carrots, and celery in the refrigerator.

CAN DO Cooking with Rosie the Riveter

CAN DO Woman Vegan Gluten Free BBQ Patties

CAN DO Woman Cooking

Kendra and I put together a cookbook with recipes popular during WW2. We’ve worked with so many women over the years, and decided to reach out to discover stories and recipes from their families. Many of the recipes reflect the food rationing and restrictions that women managed during those years.

If You Try…

… this BBQ vegan gluten free patties, be sure to leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you.


CAN DO Woman Vegan Gluten Free BBQ Patties
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

BBQ (UN) Meat Patties - Vegan Gluten Free

Every CAN DO Woman wants delicious and easy recipes. If you are vegan and gluten free, or if you want an easy recipe for your Meatless Mondays, this is a simple, flavorful BBQ patty that belongs in your collection. It reminds me of my mother's meat patties from my childhood when I didn't even know what a vegan was.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Author: Matilda Butler


  • cup onion
  • cup carrots, grated
  • cup celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans, drained
  • cup rice crumbs
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed, ground
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • cup catsup
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1 tbsp green Tabasco

BBQ Topping

  • cup catsup
  • cup BBQ sauce, bottled
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce


  • Saute onions, carrots, celery for 5 minutes
  • Drain garbanzo beans, add to shallow bowl, mash.
  • Add vegetables and all other ingredients to mashed garbanzos
  • Make 8-10 patties, oval shape


  • Heat oven to 375°
  • Cook patties for 30 minutes
  • Remove pan from oven, add BBQ Topping to each patty, return pan to oven for an additional 15 minutes.
Matilda ButlerCAN DO Woman Cooking – BBQ Patty, Vegan Gluten Free

Become a CAN DO Woman, Starting Now, #1

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Become A CAN DO Woman. Are you ready?

Rosie the Riveter Mask

Let go of a pandemic life

Yesterday, for the first time since late March 2020, I went on a long walk without wearing a mask. Yes, I felt a little naked. I’m fully vaccinated, but continued to wear a mask for several more weeks. It felt safe.

But feeling safe isn’t always the way to move forward in your life. It won’t always help you become the woman you want to be.

The pandemic, of course, has changed all of our lives in ways much more significantly than just wearing a mask. The world around us is different and many of us have been thinking about how our goals and priorities have changed over the past year and what we want to keep and what we want to change based on that period.

•••••••••••••••••CAN DO Woman Program: Month 1, Week 1: Getting Started (Restarted) with Friendships (Scroll down to get started)•••••••••••••••••

Some of you may have lost friends or family to COVID-19. Others may have lost jobs or even your businesses. You may have found yourself living in isolation. If you’ve been lucky enough to keep your job and have family around, you still may have had to figure out working from home, using Zoom (I keep misplacing my webcam), serving as the teacher for your child or children, cooking from the pantry, etc.

Where does all of this leave us? How do we move forward without forgetting important lessons we’ve learned? How can we take what we’ve learned to help us become CAN DO women?

In other words, let’s come out of this stressful period with an eye to the future, a personal future that is better than the past.

It’s Time to Start Our CAN DO Program

Today, we are beginning a new program on RosieCentral that is meant to help you and provide guidance as you create the post-pandemic woman you want to become.

Kendra and I have spent the past 15 years (it’s hard to believe it has been that long) interviewing, coaching, and helping women reflect on, write about, and change their lives based on self-discovery, understanding, and inspiration. In the next 52 weeks, we’re going to share some of the insights and secrets we’ve learned from these ordinary, yet extraordinary women. We will provide you with information, stories, exercises, and prompts to assist you in working toward a life that better suits you—the life you want.


Based on thousands of hours talking with women and thousands more hours analyzing what they have told us or written for us, we saw an interesting pattern emerge. Specifically, we have defined seven aspects to a fulfilling life—a CAN DO life that lets you be the kind of woman you want to be. To emphasize their mutual equivalence and complementary roles, we call them the Seven Life Capitals:

  • Social Capital;
  • Emotional Capital;
  • Physical Capital;
  • Cognitive Capital;
  • Spiritual Capital;
  • Financial Capital;
  • Temporal Capital.

These capitals, these facets of our lives, are not equally important or valuable to us throughout our lives. If we were to think of these in the same way that we consider an investment portfolio, it is immediately obvious that their value will change over time. While not everyone will want to invest in or spend these capitals in the same proportion, they are the key elements.

[NOTE: We have written about the Seven Life Capitals in our award-winning collective memoir: Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story.]

CAN DO Woman Program: Month 1, Week 1: Getting Started (Restarted) with Friendships

Let’s get started on our CAN DO Woman Program.

As we move into our post-pandemic lives, Kendra and I are going to help you look at one significant aspect of your life each month. For this first month, the focus is on SOCIAL CAPITAL. Specifically, we’ll help you know more about and how to effectively have friendships in you life. After all, most of us have missed friends as we have had to “shelter in place.” lock down, stay at home, and self-quarantine. So we thought this would be the best place to start.

In this first week, we’re going to consider a friendship you may have never thought about. This is the friendship with yourself.       

Yes, before we move on to other aspects of friendships, we want you to focus on YOU as your own best friend.

The Value of Working on Your Friendship with Yourself

The one person we are with the most? The one person who influences us more than anyone else? Yes, you got it. You are with yourself more than any other person. And you don’t have a quiet relationship. There is a great deal of chatter going on in your head. You are mentoring yourself all the time. But you may not be a good friend or mentor.

  • What should I wear?
  • How do I look?
  • When will I be rewarded for all the hard work I’m doing for my company?
  • Why doesn’t “xxx” like me better?
  • What do I want to do this weekend?

Well, you get the point. It is particularly easy to become negative in your thinking:

  • I am not smart enough.
  • No one finds me attractive.
  • I don’t deserve that promotion.
  • My friends are all more successful than I am.
  • I have no control over my life.

POINT 1: You DO have control over what you tell yourself.

There are many things that we have no control over. We need to accept that. But we DO have control over what we tell ourselves. We can be a supportive friend or we can be a bully. Many women are wonderful friends and supportive of other women. Most women would not tear down a friend or tell her she is stupid. And yet many of those same women will be a bully to themselves.

During this first week of our CAN DO Woman program, we want you to begin realizing that you have control over what you tell yourself. To help you get started, think about what it means to be a good friend, You can make a list of how you treat your best friends. You can make your own list, but many people mention:


  • Always honest. That may mean steering her to a different conclusion, but I would not lie to her.
  • Kind in the comments I make. Cruelty or insensitivity have no place in the friendship.
  • Ready to listen — carefully listen to what has happened to her — good and bad.
  • Gracious and willing to help.
  • Supportive in ways to build her sense of confidence.


You get the point. You need to treat yourself the same way that you would treat a good friend. During this coming week, take just one action to become a better friend to yourself.

ACTION: Take 1 challenge for yourself this week.

1. Sit down.

2. Close your eyes.

3. Imagine you are sitting with a good friend.

4. She isn’t feeling very good about herself and you tell her 5 things that you like about her.

5. Now, tell yourself 5 things you like about YOU.

6. Start a computer document or a notebook and write down the 5 things you like about yourself.

That’s it. That is all you need to do. You will have taken the first step in being a better friend — a supportive friend — to yourself.

Just taking one action will not change your life. But it will get you started. You will have taken an action. You will be starting to think about the woman you want to be and you will have taken a first step. All change needs to come from within.


CAN DO Woman Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt is a CAN DO Woman

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

[Want to have an Eleanor Roosevelt cloth ornament to keep as an inspirational reminder of the CAN DO Woman you are becoming? Click here to learn more.]

COMING NEXT WEEK —Month 1: Week 2

Next week, we’ll share the story of Diane Boxwood and how isolation let her fall into the trap of self-hatred and depression. Her way out was unexpected. So be sure to join us then.

Find your next step to becoming a CAN DO Woman.

Matilda ButlerBecome a CAN DO Woman, Starting Now, #1

Happy Birthday Kendra – CAN DO Woman

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Happy Birthday Kendra — You’re a CAN DO Woman

Happy birthday Kendra, you’re a CAN DO Woman. I’ve helped Kendra celebrate many of her birthdays. Sometimes we’re together but usually we are on the opposite coasts. Over the years, I’ve had fun photos and graphics to use in blog posts wishing her a great next 12 months. This year, I decided to look back at some of the previous celebrations.

As you probably know, Kendra Bonnett and I have worked together since the late 1970s when we were both at the Women’s Educational Equity Communication Network, a national information program to help women find and utilize educational resources. The program finally ended, we didn’t. We continued our friendship over the years and have now been business partners since 2006.

Happy CAN DO Birthday

Every year, I wish Kendra a public happy birthday on our blog. In past years, we blogged on our website: This year, I’m sending out a great big birthday wish on this our new site: But wherever or whenever I make my wish, I am always thinking about what an amazing person Kendra is.

Not surprisingly, Kendra is a role model for our new inspiring seven month program — blogs about becoming a CAN DO Woman in this post-pandemic time of our lives. Whether Kendra is writing blogs, working with museums, filling orders, crafting our handmade dolls, or creating graphics for our product line of CAN DO Women such as:

Kendra is always on top. She is proactive, thoughtful, adventuresome, and downright gifted. Did I happen to mention that I’m in awe of her?

You can see why “thanks” seems like a weak way for me to acknowledge her birthday.

So, just for the fun of it, I decided to look back at some of the photos and graphics I’ve used to celebrate her June birthdays. Sometimes, it was photos of cakes. Kendra adores watermelon and her mother used to make a cake that looked just like a watermelon. Yesterday, in the middle of a heat wave, she told me she had juiced an entire watermelon and had it on standby in the refrigerator — ready to keep her cool.

But all kinds of cakes are appropriate. Who doesn’t like a cake? One year I thought she’d like this cake with the single rose and an icing birthday tag plus her name.


And then there was the year I made her a 4-layer cake. That was when I was on the West coast and she was on the East coast. But I did send her photos! The funny part was that the cake was so tall, it wouldn’t fit on any of my plates except the oversized 12 inch ones.







A CAN DO Woman, 10 years ago

Today, I’m especially remembering a birthday trip we took a decade ago. It was filled with all the things we like to do — visit museums, find great ethnic restaurants, see plays, walk gardens. We went to the Hancock Shaker Village on one of the days and Kendra was allowed to pick up a small duck. It reminded her of one of her childhood stories. It’s such a sweet photo that I still have it 10 years later.

Technology was great in 2011. I had a little video camera, Flip Video, (see in lower left of Kendra duck photo) at the time. What a hoot to see it so many years later. I probably still have it in some dusty drawer. .

Reach Out to Your CAN DO Friend…

This may not be her birthday month, but all this talk of a CAN DO Woman may remind you of her. Reach out to her with an email, a phone call, an old-fashioned card, or even arrange a zoom call. Be sure you let her know how much you appreciate her and her friendship.

Happy Birthday, Kendra. Here’s to a Great Year for You!

Matilda ButlerHappy Birthday Kendra – CAN DO Woman

Become a CAN DO Woman: One Step At a Time

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Are You Ready to Begin Your Post-Pandemic Life?

Join Us to Find Inspiration 

and Practical Steps to 

Become a More Effective, Empowered CAN DO Woman

One Week at a Time


Stay tuned. On July 7, RosieCentral begins our new weekly blog-based program designed to help you become the CAN DO woman you have always imagined.

There are many websites that provide lists to help you. And you’ll find some great ideas there. We urge you to continue to look at various sources of inspiration for your life.

Change Takes More Than Lists

But just reading through “how to be successful” or “how to be fulfilled” or “how to get ahead at work” or “how to be loved” doesn’t really move you much closer to those goals. Why? It’s so easy to read and forget.

And we should know. We’ve tried them ourselves. But when I look at myself as the woman “before” the lists and the woman “after”, they are fairly close to duplicates.

We CAN DO Women

You CAN BE a CAN DO Woman

You Decide Who You Want to Be

We want more for you than that. We want you to see change in your life.

So, we’ve designed a different path. Our intent is to provide one area to focus on each month and one specific action to take each week that will help you move closer to becoming the person you want to be.

And who is this person you want to be? We can’t possibly choose what is important to you or how you want to progress. We don’t know where you are in your life right now. And we have no idea where you have been.

So who is this CAN DO woman? It’s the person you get to define based on the exercises, tips, and inspiration we provide.  There is no fixed or pre-determined outcome.

Why Are We Starting Our CAN DO Woman Program Now?

Are you ready to begin your post-pandemic life?

Want to move forward into a new normal—a life that you create? Maybe your pre-pandemic life was “okay.” But perhaps you’re not ready to just resume all the old behaviors and habits. Maybe you were already dissatisfied with your life before the lockdown and would like to find a way to welcome meaningful change into your life.

Either way, NOW IS THE TIME TO BEGIN TAKING STEPS that will let you have the life you want—that will let you become the woman you want to be.

Yes, now is the time to become a more effective, empowered CAN DO Woman.


What do we know that can help you?

Kendra and I have spent the last 20 years interviewing, coaching, and helping women write about and change their lives based on self-discovery, understanding, and inspiration. In the next 52 weeks, we’re going to share some of the secrets we’ve learned. We will provide you with information, exercises, and prompts to assist you in working toward a life that better suits you and your dreams.

What we are not.

As I mentioned, there are many lists on the internet to help you change your life. We’ve tried a large number of these ourselves. Each one initially seems brilliant and full of good advice. But in the end they are just lists that are easily forgotten. Really, who could possibly remember to do five new things each day!

That’s why we hope you’ll join us each week

For the next 12 months, we’ll explore a different area of your life. Each week will focus on one aspect of that month’s topic and give you a challenge to take. We’ll share stories of ordinary and extraordinary women, inspirational quotes, research, and more. Each week’s blog will provide you with a single challenge that will assist you in building and improving your CAN DO life as well as a quick practical takeaway.

What we’ll cover

And what will we cover? The areas we will focus on—the Seven Life Capitals—grew out of our research and writing that began in 2005. We conducted interviews with more than 100 women. Each interview was about two hours long and allowed the women to address both the specifics about their lives as well as the expectations and experiences during the phases of their lives.

By the end of the interviews, we heard comments like:

“Now I get it. I see what I did. I keep repeating the same thing over and over thinking it would end better. I’m not going to do that again.”

“I can see how accepting the challenge to return to school in my 40s made all the difference in my life. Now challenges are an opportunity rather than a negative.”

“Friendships have always been hard for me. Now I understand that not having them has affected my life in negative ways and by changing I may be able to have positive results. Or, at least, I’ll have one or two people to turn to for help and support.”

And the comments go on.


Once we analyzed the thousands of pages from our interviews, we found patterns in the responses and saw that they could be characterized as Seven Life Capitals. These are:

Social Capital

Emotional Capital

Physical Capital

Cognitive Capital

Spiritual Capital

Financial Capital

Temporal Capital

Over the coming months, we will help you understand and build your own life capitals that will let you open doors to the future you. We can’t open the doors. We can only give you perspectives and tools so you can open and walk through those doors.


Have you seen the movie Enola Holmes? If not, I recommend it. The movie is currently available on Netflix and I watched it for a second time this week. Here’s a link to the trailer. Enola is the younger sister of Sherlock Holmes and Eudoria Holmes is her mother. Millie Bobby Brown plays Enola and Helen Bonham Carter plays Eudoria.

Enola’s mother leaves on her 16th birthday. While looking for her mother, Enola finds valuable lessons for her future. Near the end of the movie, she understands what her mother meant when she taught her:

“You have to make some noise if you want to be heard.”

And then Enola summarizes her new perspective:

To be a Holmes, you must find your own path. My freedom, my future, my purpose. I am a detective. I’m a decipherer. And I am a finder of lost souls. 

My life is my own. And the future is up to us.

Enola’s Words Are Relevant…

In our journey together, we’ll explore who we are, where we’ve been, how to build our own life lessons, and where we’re going. And we agree with Enola — The future is up to us.


For the two remaining blogs on June, we thought we’d have a little fun sharing some thoughts on accepting challenges and using them in positive ways.


Susan Ahn Cuddy’s Words are Also Relevant. 

Here’s what she has to say.

Start Thinking About Your Life…Today

Next week, we’ll talk about the value of discontinuities. The pandemic has been a major disrupter in all our lives. We’ll start to explore how you can take advantage of this discontinuity to go on a journey to becoming the CAN DO WOMAN you want to be.

In the meantime, begin to reflect on what went right in the past year and what went wrong! You might want to make a few notes to yourself as this is one way to look back at the path you have been on.

And, as we know from the life of Susan Ahn Cuddy, challenges are there to be met.


  1. Start reflecting on the past year. Write 1 thing that was bad or hard.
  2. Now smile. Think about something good that happened during the pandemic. Write that 1 thing.

This is a little like thinking about the trip you will take. You don’t have reservations yet. You certainly haven’t packed your bag. But you are considering your destination.

See you next week.

Matilda ButlerBecome a CAN DO Woman: One Step At a Time

Tiny Tip #1 for a Can Do Woman

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What is a Tiny Tip for you — a Can Do Woman? And why do you care?

Tiny Tip #1. What is Tiny Tip #1 for you, a Can Do Woman? Welcome to the beginning of a series of short blog posts designed to get you to focus on just one small point — a point to help you in your Can Do life. Some of these Tiny Tips will be quotes to inspire you. Others will be a new perspective for you to consider.

In our full program for the Can Do Woman that launches in July, we will always end with a step for you to take as you become a well-rounded Can Do woman. Each step, although meant to be easy to take, requires ACTION on your part. 

New thoughts on being a Can Do Woman

Think about being a Can Do Woman!

But not our Tiny Tips for a Can Do Woman.

Just read through the blog article, let your mind wrap around the thought, and then you are through. Whew! Easy. Becoming, being, and growing as a Can Do woman takes determination, persistence, and action. Fortunately, you can consider our Tiny Tips as Thought Candy. 

The idea for Tiny Tips for Can Do Women came to me while reading the program notes for a chamber music concert I attended back in the pre-pandemic days. 

A Look Again at a Chamber Music Concert’s Program

In examining that carefully saved concert program, I realized my blog articles tend to be long and require action. And while Kendra and I will continue with our longer articles, there are many times when all of us are burdened in our lives and we just want a “little something.” That little something might provide inspiration or a new way to think of our lives. After all, we don’t necessarily have a lot of extra time.

Interested in Can Do Women Gifts? Check Out Our Etsy Can Do Store.

Case in point:

I invite you to consider the words in the program notes I’ve come to treasure since there may still be months before I’m back in a concert hall.

“Both Mozart and Beethoven capitalized on the demand for piano music to which other instruments could play along, often doubling the piano melodies. Both composers called their work in this genre “Sonata for Piano and Violin,” emphasizing the primacy of the piano part.”

When I read those two sentences in the concert program notes, I thought about how I could turn that idea into a blog post. I thought I might write about how we can use this idea from Mozart and Beethoven in our lives — along with specific steps we might take.

Then I realized that I could just give you a Tiny Tip — something you could file away in your mind and let it come back to you at the right moment. So here it is:

CAN DO WOMAN Tiny Tip #1:

  • Stop for a couple of minutes. Think about what is important in your life right now. Just about one aspect of your life.
  • Give it a DESCRIPTIVE PHRASE. Don’t put a bunch of extraneous words in your mental description. Be sure that the most important part is stated first. That is vital to focus.

After all, Mozart and Beethoven put the word “piano” before the word “violin” because it was the more important one and let the person purchasing the music know that these are pieces that emphasize the piano. And if you play the oboe? Don’t get this music because it is only for the piano and violin.

Relevance to you? It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the small details of life and the nitty-gritty of focusing on what you are doing. As a result you don’t take enough time to determine what is really important. To determine what you want to accomplish.

EXAMPLE OF NOT ENOUGH FOCUS:  ‘I am focused on wonderful music that is lyrical with a dramatic beginning and an upbeat ending for two instruments—piano and violin.”

Neither you nor others will understand your priorities.

EXAMPLE OF A BETTER FOCUS: Teaching my daughter to play the piano.

Too deep into a music analogy?  Okay, try this:

EXAMPLE OF NOT ENOUGH FOCUS: It is important for me to develop better relationships with family, friends, church members, and co-workers by going out to lunch or having them over for dinner while introducing them to new foods as I expand my cooking capabilities.

EXAMPLE OF A BETTER FOCUS: Invite one friend to dinner this week.

Don’t get lost in details that don’t really matter. Put what is most important UP FRONT.

Conclusion of Tiny Tip #1. DO FOCUS. 

Hope you will come to like this new series. Expect the rest of the series to be even shorter now that I’ve explained the concept. Can Do Women Who Inspire UsHere’s to better focus on what’s important in your life and to the lives of CAN DO Women.

Matilda ButlerTiny Tip #1 for a Can Do Woman

Susan Ahn Cuddy, Honoring a Can-Do Woman

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Susan Ahn Cuddy. Who is she and why do you care?

Susan Ahn Cuddy is a strong, empowered Korean American who was the first Asian American woman in the Navy. We’re honoring her during May, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

¶¶ Be sure to check out how you can find and apply lessons from Susan Ahn Cuddy’s life to your own. Lessons are at the end of this blog.¶¶

Susan was born in 1915 in Los Angeles and died there 100 years later in 2015. During those 100 years, she achieved many firsts even though her ethnicity and gender meant roadblocks for her.

Let’s look back at Susan Ahn Cuddy’s inspiring life

Imagine this:

Susan stood on the dock, waiving until the ship became just a dot on the horizon. That ship was taking her father from Los Angeles Port to China.

“Come on Susan, Philip, Philson, Soorah. We must get back home. You’ll see your father again soon,” said their mother.

That was 1926 when Susan Ahn was 11 years old. She and her siblings did see their father, but only for brief periods of time for the rest of his life.

Twenty-four years earlier, in 1902, Susan’s parents, Dosan Ahn Changho and Helen Lee, were the first married Korean couple to immigrate to the US.

Part Susan’s Story, Part Her Parents’ Story

And although this is Susan’s story, her parents’ strong ties to Korea had a major influence on her life. In fact, Dosan boarded that ship to join the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea, the Korean government in exile in Shanghai, China. He served briefly as its sixth President in mid-1926. At that time (and since 1910), Korea was a colony of the Empire of Japan. Dosan was an activist working for Korean independence.

Dosan was arrested, tortured, and imprisoned multiple times. His activism eventually led to his death in a Japanese hospital in Seoul. That was in 1938, three years before Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the US entered WW2.

Susan and her siblings had often heard their father say, “Do your best to be good American citizens but never forget your Korean heritage.” So you can imagine how the 1941 attack impacted Susan—Japan had colonized Korea, killed her father, and now attacked America, her homeland.

What made her such a strong and inspiring women

Susan Ahn Cuddy

If you have faced prejudice in your life, make Susan Ahn Cuddy your touchstone.

Early in World War II, the Navy opened enrollment in the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). Susan applied for Navy Officer Candidate School, hoping to be part of the fight against Japan. OCS rejected her application because she was too “oriental.” That didn’t stop her. She reapplied and was allowed to enlist, becoming the first Asian-American woman in the Navy. 

Susan’s performance as an enlisted WAVES brought her to the attention of Navy officers who recommended she be admitted to OCS where she was once again successful. After officer training, she went to Atlanta where she served as the first female gunnery officer training Naval fighter pilots how to shoot down enemy aircraft.

¶¶ Scroll down for recipe celebrating Asian food.¶¶

Prejudice Continued but Susan Persisted

She often met resistance both as a female and an Asian. She recalled one of many incidents:

“A white male pilot I was training disobeyed my orders. I said, ‘Down here, you will shoot when I tell you to shoot.’”

After rising to the rank of lieutenant, she worked in the Office of Naval Intelligence where she faced more prejudice. Her supervisor did not trust her with classified materials. Eventually, working hard, she became a code-breaker.

Her experience as a code-breaker gave her the credentials to join the National Security Agency (NSA) after WW2. And during the Cold War, she oversaw 300 agents in NSA’s Russia section.

Susan Ahn CuddyFacing prejudice made her aware of prejudice against others

Susan faced and overcame prejudice against Asian-Americans and women. This may explain why she identified with Blacks in the segregated South. She often used “colored” bathrooms and drinking fountains to show support for those who had no choice. 

Honors for a life well lived

In 2003, the State Assembly of California of District 28 named Cuddy the Woman of the Year in honor of her commitment to public service.

On October 5, 2006 she received the American Courage Award from the Asian American Justice Center in Washington D.C.

She continued to be active at both Navy and Korean American events throughout her life. Numerous government bodies and nonprofits honored her in her later years.

If you’d like to learn more are Susan Ahn Cuddy’s inspiring life, click here for a brief video.

ABOUT THE ASIAN SALAD DRESSING RECIPE BELOW: One evening I raved to my friend, Diana Yoshikawa Paul, about her salad dressing. She replied, “It’s so simple. Here’s how you make it.” Below I’m sharing her recipe with you. It’s a delicious dressing as written. But you can to adapt it and make it your own. Consider adding a bit of minced fresh ginger or a tablespoon of room temperature peanut butter. It is lovely over cabbage slaw as well as lettuce. Enjoy.

Asian Salad Dressing
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Asian Salad Dressing

Simple salad dressing recipe
Prep Time5 mins
Resting Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Asian Salad Dressing, Tangy Dressing, Miso Dressing
Servings: 4


  • 1 tbsp mild miso
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup vinegar rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


  • ADD miso to bowl and stir until smooth
  • MIX IN orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil to miso. Stir after each addition.
  • REST Let dressing rest for 15 minutes so the flavors can mingle.
  • NOTE This is a tangy dressing. If you like a sweeter dressing, you can cut back from ¼ cup of vinegar to 2 tablespoons. Or, if you use the stated amounts and find it too tangy, add a tablespoon of maple syrup or agave.


Using the Lessons from Susan’s Life

Susan Ahn Cuddy was a Can-Do Woman. The two prompts below will get you thinking about your own life. Specifically the prompts focus on the influences from your mother.

  • What is one thing your mother taught you that has held you back from pursuing your life dreams? You might have overcome the advice or lessons, but they stopped you for a while.

Susan Ahn Cuddy faced incredible prejudice and excelled anyway. But she also faced prejudice from her mother. Susan married an Irish American, a fellow Navy intelligence officer. Her mother refused to talk to her for five years because she did not marry a Korean. Eventually, Susan and her husband, Francis Cuddy, moved back to Los Angeles. She wanted to be near her family and overcome their prejudice.

My mother taught me to never let a man think I was smarter than he was. She always emphasized the importance of featuring the man. Fortunately, I put aside that advice because I saw I would never be able to pursue a career if I always remained in the shadow.

Now, you think about, or write about, what you were taught that might even now be holding you back from being the best Can-Do Woman possible. Or think of advice you have overcome.

  • What is one thing your mother (or father) taught you that helped you move forward in your life?

Susan Ahn Cuddy was raised with the words, “Do your best to be a good American citizen, but never forget your Korean heritage.” This advice helped her think beyond herself and to understand that she was part of two cultures — words that made her strong in the face of prejudice.

My mother eventually came around to understand how important my work was to me and that I would always pursue it seriously. She started saying (with some pride), “I know you are going to burn the candle at both ends, but try to not burn it in the middle too.” Even now I laugh when I remember that.

Now, you think about some way that your mother gave you advice that has helped you pursue your dreams.

¶¶ Would you like a touchstone to remind you of overcoming prejudice and pursuing excellence? You might like our Susan Ahn Cuddy ornament.

(Also available as keychain, backpack charm, or sachet. Just ask us.)


Matilda ButlerSusan Ahn Cuddy, Honoring a Can-Do Woman

Mother’s Day Reflections and Recipe


Mother’s Day is Almost Here. Reflect, Honor, Celebrate (and Eat)

Mother's Day ReflectionsMother’s Day is a hectic time. If your mother is alive, then you’ve probably bought or sent her a gift. You may be planning on having her over for a meal. If you have children who are still at home, you’re planning to be “feted” (which actually takes work on your part).

Maybe you have a great relationship with your mother. Maybe not. Over the years, I’ve interviewed women about their lives, and have heard some wonderful and some horrible stories. These range from “gave me unconditional love” to “beat me and told her friends that I was ‘clumsy’ and always falling down”.

We idealize the concept of mothers. But reality takes over. In big ways and small ways, in good ways and in bad ways, our mothers influenced the women we have become. Mother’s Day is one official time I remember to reflect on these elements in my life. I hope you do too. At the end of this blog, I’ve included a few prompts to get you thinking or writing or journaling about you and your mother.

Mother’s Day, Mothers, and Traditions

On the lighter side, carrying on traditions is one of the ways that my mother continues to influence me. Sometimes, I’ve modified these traditions to better fit me. Sometimes I reject them outright. And when I am particularly wise (which is extremely rare), I urge my grown children to start their own traditions rather than continuing mine.

For example, long after my children were married, they continued to all came home for Christmas. I loved this — preparing food, buying gifts, planning outings. One holiday was barely over before I began planning the next year. But then I had an insight. They needed their own way of celebrating. I was robbing them of this pleasure. So at the end of the following Christmas, I gave each person his or her own stocking and said, “Take your stocking with you when you go home. Beginning next year you dad and I will be on a trip during Christmas. It’s time for you to start your own holiday traditions.” As you can tell, I didn’t completely give up on my tradition. I did assume they would somehow continue to use these decades-old stockings!

My Mother’s Cornbread Tradition

Before, I share my mother’s cornbread recipe tradition and how I carry it on, I’ll tell you a funny story.

A number of years ago, Lew, the salesman in my company, told me a great story of family traditions. His wife, Virginia, always cut a ham into two pieces and only baked half at a time. After a few years, Lew said, “Virginia, why do you cut the ham in half?” She replied, “Because my mother always did.” Time passed and they went east to visit her family. Lew asked Virginia’s mother, “Virginia tells me you always cut a ham in half before cooking each piece separately. Why?” She laughed and told him she’d learned that from her mother.

The following day, the entire family got together for a June picnic. Virginia’s grandmother, Lois, was in poor health, but came in order to spend a little time with Virginia.” After eating a double serving of potato salad, three deviled eggs, and a ham sandwich, Lew walked over with his plate of homemade strawberry shortcake to sit beside Lois.

He began, “Your daughter and granddaughter both cut a ham in half before placing one half in a pan and baking it. They tell me that’s the way you always cooked ham. Why?” Lois laughed, almost doubling over. Finally, catching her breath, she said, “Because I only had a small pan.” Lew told me, he thought that great laugh probably extended Lois’ life by at least several months.

Traditions. We carry on what we have seen as well as what we have been specifically taught. Lew’s “half-a-ham” story continues to tickle me. It is a small window into the relationship between generations.

Mother’s Cornbread Recipe (Almost)

Mother's Day Cast iron skillets

— My grandmother’s and mother’s cast iron skillets

My grandmother lived in Jasper, Arkansas for some years and that is where my mother was born. Then the whole family moved to Yale, Oklahoma, which was the first of several towns where they lived.

My mother learned to make cornbread from her mother and always loved to make it. The cornbread side accompanied many dinners when I was growing up. I can still smell the bacon-scented air when she pulled the hot cast iron skillet from the oven. She, of course, had generously oiled the pan with bacon drippings she saved in a small canister next to the stovetop.

I inherited the two skillets, but they are far too delicate (read ‘worn out’) to use. I get them out every so often, touch them, and can almost feel the strength of my grandmother (who left school after the 4th grade to help her family) and my mother (who left college during the depression to get a job). Many adjectives do not describe my mother, but I love to think of her as strong, and she was. (She was strong in a Rosie the Riveter We Can Do It! way.)

Chef Rosie

I asked Rosie to help me make my mother’s cornbread recipe for Mother’s Day. Hope you join her.

Cornbread in skillet
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Honoring Mother's Cornbread Recipe, Vegan Guten-Free

Cornbread is a Southern staple. My grandmother's Arkansas recipe and skillets became my mother's Oklahoma recipe and skillets. The recipe and the skillet(s) were passed on to me so that I could carry on the tradition. Of course, when I became a gluten-free vegan, I said goodbye to the bacon drippings and eggs. Today I have my California recipe and skillets. And yet, every time I choose to make cornbread, I think of my mother and grandmother and all that I learned from them.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cornbread, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Cornmeal, Quick Bread, Southern
Servings: 4
Author: Matilda Butler


  • 1 cup cornmeal whole grain, medium grind
  • cup corn flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup plant-based milk (almond, soy, etc.)
  • 1 egg replacer (1 T ground flax + 3 T water mixed; or 3 T aquafaba; or 1 1/2 t Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 2 T water)
  • ¼ cup light oil such as canola
  • 2+ tbsp light oil for skillet or baking pans


  • Set oven to 400°
  • Measure oil into oven-friendly skillet and swirl to coat. Cast iron is preferred as it provides an excellent crust for the cornbread. If using small individual loaf pans, divide oil evenly. Put skillet into preheated oven.
  • In medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, corn flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  • In glass measuring cup or small bowl, combine milk alternative, egg replacer, and oil
  • Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  • Take hot skillet out of oven. Add batter into it, making sure it covers all the surface. The edges will begin to cook immediately. Return skillet to the oven and cook for 22 minutes. Top should be light brown. Test for doneness with toothpick. If more time is needed, cook for 3 to 5 additional minutes.


  • Not a vegan?
  • Not gluten-free?
  • Not a problem. You can use cow's milk and chicken's egg. (I know, we usually just say milk and egg!).
  • What's aquafaba egg replacer? If you pour the liquid off a can of garbanzo beans (or actually any type of bean), you have aquafaba. You can replace 1 egg with 3 T of the liquid. 
  • You can use any favorite cooking oil including olive oil (which I find to be too heavy, but it definitely works) and coconut oil (refined is preferred unless you like the coconut taste with your cornbread, but either works).
  • I combine a medium grind cornmeal with the corn flour. If you are using a fine grind cornmeal, then you can just use 1cup of it. I like the more robust texture approach. Either approach works.

Prompts for Mother’s Day Reflections or Journaling

  • What is the best thing my mother taught me?
  • How have I built on this and made it “mine”?
  • What is the worst thing my mother taught me?
  • How have I overcome this — changed this — so that I am a better person and not limited to her way?

If none of those prompts inspire you, try this one:

  • What is the favorite tradition I learned from Mother that I continue even now?

Enjoy reflections on your mother. Write for at least 5 minutes on one of these prompts. Or, if more your style, take a long walk and think about at least one way your life is different because of your mother. And if it is good or if it is bad, examine the way you have remade or crafted the influence until it is yours — not hers.

And always remember, you are a strong woman.

Last week, Kendra wrote about Mother’s Day and her mother’s great advice that has helped make her a Can Do woman today. Here’s the link to that article.

Matilda ButlerMother’s Day Reflections and Recipe

Find Your Inner Superhero: 4 Tips


Celebrate Strong Women On National Superhero Day

It’s Superhero Day

Actually, it’s National Superhero Day. Let’s use this day to celebrate strong women and their superhero powers — as well as discover and flex our own superhero powers.

Uncover your super powersThroughout time, women have achieved unimaginable accomplishments. So many names come to mind — Sojourner Truth, Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Amelia Earhart, Grace Hopper, Eleanor Roosevelt, Wilma Mankiiller, Sandra Day O’Connor, Angela Merkel, Margaret Thatcher, Jane Goodall, Bessie Stringfield, Sally Ride, Mae C. Jemison, Sonia Sotomayor, Kamala Harris, and hundreds of thousands of others.

Unfortunately, famous individuals can be discounted. Maybe they are super smart, or have good connections, or possess an unusual talent that the rest of us mere female mortals can’t hope to have. But I don’t believe those explanations and I hope you don’t either. We all have our super powers and we can use them for good.

The good might be for ourselves or our families or our community or our church or our company or our school, or even a stranger, or, or, or. In order to use our super powers, we first need to acknowledge what they are.

That’s the point of today’s blog. WHAT IS YOUR SUPERHERO POWER?



  1. Take five to 10 minutes and make a list of women in your life that you have admired. This might be a friend, a teacher, a co-worker, a mentor, etc. These are people that you think of as your heroes. Most likely, they are not famous except to you and others. These are the ordinary women who have had an extraordinary influence on you.<NOTE> If you routinely journal, this is a new element you can add to your daily writing. Dig deeply into this aspect of your life.
  2. Choose one of these, someone who seems extra special on this list. Circle that name.
  3. To assist you in understanding that particular woman’s power, think of specific memories of the person. Write down a few times she influenced the way you thought or how you felt or what aspirations you had. These might be small moments or really life changing ones. The small ways you admire the person are just as important as the big ways. Or perhaps she influenced you from afar. She might not know how much her words or actions or powers mattered to you.


  1. Read your list and extract what powers or skills the woman was using each time she was becoming your hero.
  2. Create your list of these powers. For example, was she showing her inner strength, her powers of observation, her sensitivity to the needs of others, her extraordinary ability to be kind, her generosity, her quietness in times of turmoil, her trust of you, her trust of herself, her healing words, her perseverance in actions, etc.
  3. As you create your list, you may begin to see which strengths, which super powers you already have. Decide on an existing power you want to develop. Write that power on your page.


  1. When you wake up each morning, think about that super power you wrote on the page. Call it to mind before the busy activities of the day distract you.
  2. Think of just one time or one way you will use your super power that day.
  3. Use your power in the morning, if at all possible. This helps make your power part of your daily habit. Powerful habits make our habits powerful.


  1. Once your feel comfortable acknowledging, fully embracing, and regularly using your primary super power, take some time to go back to your original list of powers you would like to have. You might be ready to do this in a month or six months or a year. Super powers are special and may not come easily.
  2. Re-read that list and pause to reflect on each one. Don’t just skim over the words.
  3. Choose the second super power you want to develop. How to choose? Reflect on your life right now. Write what you like about it? What seems to be missing? Where you want to go from where you are now? Then compare that list with your list of super powers. One of them may seem particularly relevant. Do you need more moral courage? Are you looking to be more sensitive to others? What about the amount of kindness in your life? And consider a possible search for more inner strength?
  4. Begin afresh the next morning. When you wake up, consider this second super power. Set it in your mind. Try to use it at least once that day. Then continue to develop it, making you an even more powerful superhero.

** At the end of kindergarten, my granddaughter expressed interest in being a superhero when she grows up. A year (and pandemic) later, she wants to be a veterinarian. But no matter what she finally decides to become, her skill of being a super reader will serve her well. **

How did National Superhero Day Come to Be?

When we think of superheroes, comic book images usually come to mind first. And, indeed, we have National Superhero Day thanks to Marvel Comics. Back in 1995, some of their employees began asking people about their favorite superpowers. And, yes, some people responded with ability to fly or super strength.

But many people responded that they wished their had qualities of people they knew and admired — their real life heroes. And not long after, America celebrated the first National Superhero Day.

And now, 26 years later, we invite you to enjoy the day and begin to see and develop your personal super powers.

Happy National Superhero Day — Final Thoughts

  • Make every day your superhero day by using your own super powers
  • Let other women in your life know when they are your heroes
Matilda ButlerFind Your Inner Superhero: 4 Tips

Equal Pay Day – Time to Celebrate – Sort Of


Equal Pay Day is Here

Equal Pay ActEqual Pay Day is here EVERYDAY for a growing number of women. Unfortunately, equality in salaries across the board is still missing.

Do you receive equal pay? Does a male in your company doing the same work get the same pay? Your answer is probably, “How would I know. No one talks about their salary.”

And it is this “don’t mention money” mantra that has made it so difficult to uncover and correct the inequality.

Call Me Naive (I was)

Equal Pay Quote from Susan B. AnthonyIn 1958, I landed my first job. To this day, I can feel the excitement of that “real job.” I couldn’t believe they actually paid me to go to work each day. I made $1.25 per hour and was absolutely thrilled. I did not get benefits in the package. Just the salary. I never even wondered if a male in a similar position got the same money. I was self-assured and wouldn’t have even imagined that I would be paid less than a male.

Negotiate, Really?

Equal Pay statement from Clara BartonFast forward 20 years. I had my doctorate and several years of work experience. A research. company asked me to serve as the director of a national information program (after writing the grant proposal, of course). The organization received an award for the program and they hired me as the director.

Fortunately for me, one of the senior women in the organization gave me great advice. She said, “When you go in to negotiate your salary, be sure you get as high on the published pay scale as you can.” “But why,” I asked. “Once I prove myself, I can ask for a raise.” She responded, “All future raises, no matter how long you work here, will simply be a percentage based on that initial salary. The higher that original number, the more money you will make.”

I took her advice.

Equal Pay statement from Debbie StabenowOf course, I didn’t know anything about negotiating a salary and benefits. Today, there are a number of programs to help women gain skill sets. Here’s one of them — called Start Smart — that is highly recommended. If Covid-19 has you looking for a new job, get online and educate yourself about negotiating your next salary.

Equal Work. Not Equal Pay.

You probably have your own story of pay inequality. Here’s Kendra’s:

“When working in marketing at IBM, I came up with an idea for two new magazines to better reach, and help expand, the company’s markets. I got the go ahead to take the magazines from initial idea through a detailed development plan and finally proof-of-concept first issues. Once both magazines were approved by management, I became the editor of one and another person, a male, was made editor of the other.

Equal Pay statement from Elizabeth Cady StantonSurprise. Surprise.

I learned much later that the male editor was paid more than I was.

Did he demand a higher salary when he was offered the position? If so, why was I never taught to demand more? Who mentored him? Why did someone not mentor me to demand more?

Was he offered more to begin with because he was a male and I was a female? If so, why did anyone think that was appropriate? I was a woman living on my own, supporting myself, making payments on a mortgage, financing a car, buying groceries and gas, purchasing professional clothing, etc.

I’ll never know the correct answer because I didn’t even know the right questions to ask.

And, of course, without questioning and demanding, I didn’t have a chance to get any of that ‘denied’ money.”

Lilly Ledbetter and the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

Lilly Ledbetter: Equal Pay for Equal Work

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act’s Story

While Kendra didn’t have the knowledge to fight for denied pay, Lilly Ledbetter did and thanks to her determination, we have the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

Here’s a link to the Congressional bill named for her.

Lilly Ledbetter says,

“…for 19 years, I worked as a manager for a tire plant in Alabama. … After nearly two decades of hard, proud work, I found out that I was making significantly less money than the four men who were doing the same work.”

She sued the company for discrimination in a lawsuit that eventually went to the Supreme Court. In a 5 – 4 decision, the court stood on the side of those “who shortchanged my pay, my overtime, and my retirement just because I am a woman.” The court ruled in favor of the law stating a person only had 180 days to sue after the first paycheck that proved the discrimination. But Lilly had 19 years of paychecks before she even discovered the discrimination.

Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay ActThe continued injustice caused her to turn to Congress to pass legislation stating that the 180-day statue of limitations resets with each new paycheck affected by gender-based discrimination. This gives women time, once they do find they are receiving lower salaries than male counterparts, to file claims.

Turn “Why?” into “Why Not?”

About 10 years ago, I was invited to a luncheon sponsored by the National Association of Women Lawyers. One of the presenters said:

“As a partner (finally) in my law firm, male partners often question my suggestion to hire or promote a woman or to have a woman take a leadership role on a case. Their standard response used to be, “Why?” That put me on the defensive as I always had to argue why the woman would be a better fit than a man. 

“Then I switched to responding, ‘Why not?’ That put the male on the defensive. He had to defend why it should not be a woman. Now, the men rarely argue with me when I suggest giving women the responsible positions that then entitle them to higher pay and future promotions.”

That was one of the most powerful presentations I had heard. Imagine, turning WHY into WHY NOT. It continues to influence me.

4 Equal Pay Takeaways

  • #1 Equal Pay Takeaway: Don’t be naive when it comes to your salary.
  • #2 Equal Pay Takeaway: Learn how to negotiate your salary and benefits.
  • #3 Equal Pay Takeaway: When you can, turn the tables. Don’t defend “why” a woman should be promoted or paid more. Make the male defend “why not.”
  • #4 Equal Pay Takeaway: Already getting a great salary? Help other women starting with your own family. Teach your daughter or granddaughter about the value of their work. Coach your sister and friends. Advise other women in your organization. It’s never too soon and never too late to strive for and receive equal pay.

Equal Pay Advice from Rosie the Riveter*


I definitely think a man should be paid as much as a woman.

Think about it. It’s only fair.

*Opportunities for better wages significantly increased for women during WW2.

Although probably not equal to what males had made in exactly the same positions, war work opened new jobs for women. A large number of women left low-paying jobs to work in factories where they earned skilled work salaries. A recent report says during the war, the average weekly wage for skilled work was $31.21. Given inflation, that would be about the same as about $427 per week today. Not great salaries in the early 1940s, but doors opened that had previously been closed. 

Matilda ButlerEqual Pay Day – Time to Celebrate – Sort Of

Sisters, Here’s What You Can Do for National Siblings Day


Come Celebrate National Siblings Day with Us!

National Siblings Day

Sometimes a best friend is a good substitute for a sister.

Welcome to National Sisters Day. Well, actually, this is National Siblings Day. But here at RosieCentral we are all about inspiring women to create and live empowered lives, so we have renamed it National Sisters Day. 

  • Do you have a sister who has inspired you?
  • Have you inspired your sister?
  • You don’t have a sister? Don’t worry. We have an idea for you.

Did you respond YES to having a sister who has inspired you?

—Maybe you recall at time when your sister stood up for you.

—Or maybe you remember when she had your back.

—Perhaps you saw what she was doing with her life and that made you want to do more with yours.

—And 100 other “maybe-s”

You probably didn’t thank her at the time of the inspiration. Or even if you did, you haven’t thanked her since. Well, don’t feel bad. Today (or tomorrow or whenever you read this blog) is the absolutely perfect day to send her a text or an email or call her or write to her.

Go ahead, thank her. Thank her for being your sister and let her know how much your relationship means to you. Specifically, let her know how she has inspired you — made your feel better about life — encouraged you.

Don’t always get along with your sister? Don’t fret. We all have those times. That is what makes Sisters Day so special. You can put aside slights and hurts and downright feuds and just give her a shoutout of thanks for one or a whole bunch of ways that you’ve been inspired or empowered by her.

It will make her feel good and even if it doesn’t, it will make you feel good. So it is definitely a win activity.

I’m lucky to have a sister…

…so I don’t need to go find someone to celebrate with. My sister lives many states away. I’ve been talking with her a lot recently because she had an operation that resulted in her nearly bleeding to death. In the midst of worried phone calls, I had completely forgotten that National Siblings Day was approaching. So I decided to send her a card instead of another call. I’m sure it didn’t arrive today, but she’ll get it next week. And in this case, it really is the thought that matters!

You don’t have a sister?

But you might not have a sister. In that case, use today to think of just one person who has inspired you. Rather than thinking in general terms, remember one or two specific occasions or actions or words. Think about where you both were at the time. Think about what the day was like — chilly spring day, hot summer day, transitional autumn day, snowy or sub-zero winter day. Try to recall why you two were together. It can be meaningful to even remember sounds and smells of that day. All of these details, while not necessary, will make your memories much sharper and brighter.

Then reach out…

…and tell your friend that you are thinking of her and want to celebrate your relationship and thank her for inspiring and encouraging you. So many times people don’t even know they have made a difference in our lives. Let’s rectify that TODAY!

2-Sided Rosie the Riveter PosterAnd speaking of sisters…

Did you know that Rosie the Riveter had a sister? Her name was Ada and she was 18 when she went to work at the Naval Air Station along with 20 year old Rosie.

You’re probably thinking I’ve gone bonkers. You (and I) know that Rosie the Riveter is just an iconic figure. You’re right, of course. But J. Howard Miller, the artist who drew the We Can Do It! WW2 poster, had to get his idea for the figure from someone.

Who was the inspiration for the poster? Was it the Rosie who worked at the Naval Air Station? Probably, but her name wasn’t Rosie. It was Naomi Parker and she did go to work with her sister Ada.

In 1942, only a few months after Pearl Harbor, a photographer took Naomi’s picture while she stood at a lathe, wearing her polkadot bandana. The photo was published in 1942 in many newspapers including the Pittsburg Press, Miller’s hometown paper. The conjecture is that Miller was inspired by that image of Naomi and her polkadot bandana. We’ve seen photos of Naomi and Ada together and can imagine that these two sisters had a special relationship as each encouraged the other to keep working for the war effort, even though their tasks were dirty and difficult.

Naomi and Ada

As we look at what Naomi and Ada did in WW2, as well as what the 18 million women in every state of the nation did to help us win the war, we want to express our thanks for them. They remind us to inspire, encourage, and empower other women to reach their goals, to stretch themselves, and to work to make their dreams come true. 

A Recent Look at the Inspiration of Persistence

Recently, we wrote about what we can learn about persistence in our lives. Seeing others persist in achieving goals can inspire us to do the same. Hope you check out this blog.

Rosie the Riveter Cloth Ornament and Rose Soap

Rosie the Riveter Ornament Doll Plus Rosie’s Rose-Scented Soap with Embedded Rose Petals

Does Your Sister Love Rosie the Riveter?

If you and/or you sister love Rosie the Riveter, you might consider our new Rosie the Riveter handmade cloth ornament and artisan rose-scented soap with embedded organic rose petals gift box. A real keepsake doll. The aroma from the soap, of course, will bring back memories while gently cleansing the skin.

Matilda ButlerSisters, Here’s What You Can Do for National Siblings Day