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A Mother’s Day Remembrance and a Can Do Memory

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Mother’s Day is a week away, and this is a particularly bittersweet one for me. Mother’s Day 20 years ago was the last time we celebrated as a family because on the following Monday my mother went into the hospital for the last time and passed away on June 1. So it seems fitting that I share an early memory I have that ties directly into our message of Can Do.

Each night, while tucking me in, she’d kiss me and we’d share a little word of endearment or encouragement. One night, as she was walking away from my bedside, I shouted out, “Fight fire with fire.”

Who knows where I picked that one up. I was just eight. But it was definitely the wrong thing to say. A throwaway line to me was anything but to my mother. She came back over and sat on the edge of my bed. She tried to explain to an eight year old why such an aggressive, vindictive attitude was wrong. I don’t really remember all her words. What is etched into my mind, however, is what she said next. “It’s better to focus on your own growth,” she said. “You need to remind yourself of the chances and opportunities available to you and you need to fight for what you want. There’s no upside in focusing on getting even.”

That night she passed along a phrase that her mother had shared with her many years ago: “I can and I will.” Every night since when we’d say good night, we’d share our special message and remind ourselves, “I can and I will.”

In all the 20 years since you’ve been gone, Moo, I’ve never forgotten. Thank you.

Can Do Colcannon for Mother’s Day

Let me share my mother’s favorite recipe for colcannon. It’s a traditional Irish dish of cabbage and mashed potatoes that’s delicious. Best of all, anyone can do this one.


Rosie's Can Do Colcannon

Servings: 4 people


  • cups water
  • ¾ pounds cabbage, cored and shredded
  • ½ tsp salt
  • pounds boiling potatoes, scrubbed
  • cups milk, scalded
  • 1 tbsp onion, minced
  • cayenne pepper, salt and ground pepper to taste
  • scallons, chopped as a topping


  • In a large saucepan, combine the water, shredded cabbage and salt. To cook the cabbage, bring to a boil over high-to-moderate heat. Continue cooking and stirring regularly until the liquid is evaporated. Remove from heat and cover pan loosely.
  • In a large pot, combine the potatoes with enough water to cover potatoes by two inches. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are tender.
  • Drain potatoes in colander and shake dry.
  • Once cool enough to handle, peel the potatoes, then puree while still warm. Beat in scaled milk, cooked/shredded cabbage and onion. Season with salt and peppers to taste.
  • Before serving, return mixture to low heat. Stir. Add more milk, if necessary, to achieve the desired consistency. Heat until hot. Transfer to a warm serving dish. Make a depression in the center and add 1/2 a stick of softened butter. Let begin to melt and serve hot. And sprinkle scallons on top.

It’s a Rosebud for Can-Do Girls

In honor of the special relationships between mothers and daughters, RosieCentral created a “we gift”–something for both mother and daughter. It’s a Rosebud is our Rosie the Riveter baby set–with burp cloths, booties, gift card and Rosie Ornament is available on Etsy.  Both the booties and burp cloths are made, in part, with our original legacy bandana fabric. It’s  never too early to share an important lesson with your daughter.

What does “Can Do” mean to you?

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Kendra BonnettA Mother’s Day Remembrance and a Can Do Memory

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  • Abby - May 2, 2021 reply

    Great story of your mother. I wish mine had given me such great advice. I’ll try to remember to pass it on to my baby daughter when she is older. Can hardly wait to try to recipe. It sounds yummy.

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