Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Americana Happiness

Happy Monday and happy National Beach Day to everyone! Personally, I always look forward to every Monday because they are my 52 Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#TheRecipeDetective

#NationalBeachDay

The unofficial end of summer is just around the bend now, as September and Labor Day are quickly approaching. Today is the celebration of National Beach Day! Michigan is home to countless beaches, having 3,288 miles of coastline that borders four of the five Great Lakes! Moreover, there are thousands of rivers and smaller lakes with beaches throughout the state.

#NationalBackToSchoolMonth

Kids are going back to school next week (if they haven’t already), so it’s a great time to “play hooky” and hit the shoreline for one last summer celebration! Before you know it, the trees will be in full, fall colors like a Bob Ross painting! Football (pre-season) is already here, and Halloween merchandise is out in all of the stores, while Christmas stock is building up in their back storerooms.

#PureMichigan

My husband and I love to go for day trips around Michigan’s “Thumb Coast”, stopping at different beaches to take in the magnificent views and collect some rocks for our garden beds. One time, I found a rock on which someone had painted a silhouette of our state on a sea of white-capped, blue waves and wrote “Michigan Home Sweet Home”. On the back was the artist’s mark and Facebook page (Sanilac Rocks).

#HappinessHappensMonth

It inspired us to collect other beach rocks, on which we, too, can paint something area related and leave them on various Michigan beaches, to which we go, for others to find; hopefully spreading some happiness in the process. Maybe it will inspire others, like us, to do the same.

I haven’t made a Facebook page for our rocks, like the one from the rock I found. I may just add them to my own Facebook art page @ClearImpressionsofMI. I haven’t really used it in a couple of years, as I’ve been focusing more on writing this blog, as well as updating this website and my Facebook page for Mom, @TheRecipeDetective.

‘FRIENDS ARE A TREASURE and, when we count our blessings, we count our friends twice! It’s not possible to have a full and happy life without others to share with, to help when help is needed, to be helped when help is offered.’ – Gloria Pitzer

Mom and Dad loved to take a day or a weekend to just go on a scenic road trip and unwind from the workload at home, mentally refreshing themselves. Often, however, “work” would manage to creep back in whenever they stopped somewhere for a bite to eat. Mom always managed to find something good that she wanted to analyze and duplicate when she got back home.

My parents seemed to make friends everywhere they went. Some trips were just for relaxation and fun. But other trips involved some planned Secret RecipesTM work too. Mom really did enjoy what she laughingly called her “work”. It was easy to incorporate a restaurant review and an imitation of a dish (or two) into any trip.

Even an occasional, in-studio, radio show interview could be worked into a vacation or road trip, instead of through the phone lines, as Mom usually did. Once, Mom and Dad went on a “working” road trip/vacation to Branson, MO with one of her favorite radio show hosts, Art Lewis, from ‘Listen To The Mrs.’, on WSGW-Radio (Saginaw, MI) and “the crew”.

DEAR FRIENDS – The best part of April will be our bus trip to Branson, Missouri with ‘The Art Lewis Tour. Art is the co-host of my every Tuesday radio visits on [‘Listen To The Mrs.’] WSGW-Radio (Saginaw, MI)…Paul and I haven’t been to Branson in 8 years. The best part…we aren’t doing the driving…Art is! And we’ll be in the company of so many new friends! – Gloria Pitzer [As seen on the cover of her Spring-1995 newsletter, Secret Recipes Quarterly.]

Mom and Dad always loved to travel, especially after they became empty-nesters. They’d spend many of their spring-through-fall weekends here and there, camping with their “Good Sam RV Club” friends from the Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana chapters. In fact, Art Lewis used to love to give Mom some friendly teasing about the oven in her and Dad’s camper, as it was always gleaming like new – because it was never used!

Mom mentioned them all often – Art Lewis, Good Sam RV Club, and the friends they made – throughout her old newsletters, as well as in some of her self-published books. She always had happy remembrances and stories to tell about all the wonderful people they met, the delicious food they ate, as well as the beautiful places in which they stayed.

‘Recipe seminars that I have conducted for the Good Sam RV organization in, both, Michigan and Ohio, have given me the opportunity to meet with and talk to people from all over the country relative to their recipe interests and food needs.’ – Gloria Pitzer, My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 61)

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Mixed Blessings – Recipes & Remedies (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; March 1984, pp. 23-24)

IN THE SUMMERTIME…

…Throughout upstate Michigan, the roads borough through tunnels of green trees for miles and miles. There’ll be light traffic on these curving two-lane highways with single cars spaced two blocks or so apart coming toward you. There was the quaint and very unique Settling Inn at the village of Northport, the most northern point of M-22. And farther south there was the Sugarfoot Saloon at Leelanau, near the Sugarfoot Mountain Resort.

It was quiet country, secluded but refreshing, compared to sophisticated urban activity. At County Road 669, a sign announced, ‘Sleeping Bear Dunes straight ahead on M-22’. The road curved like a long licorice ribbon, up and down the hillsides of densely grown White Birches, Scotch Pines, Maples, Oaks and Poplars.

Suddenly we were conscious of how clean the air smelled. The city wasn’t like this! What a lovely contrast! What a splendid memory!

The first time we saw the Traverse Bay area and upstate Michigan, we fell in love with it. It was Labor Day and summer was still at the peak of its promise. Six weeks later, we went back to the bay area to feast our eyes on the glorious, fiery colors of fall. There was a crisp, clean chill in the air.

Those long, straight, two-lane roads through the peninsula still lay like licorice ribbons on the slopes and hills of Old Mission region. The side roads were cut like corridors through a series of canopies in brilliant orange, red and yellow, where the trees were all standing like military sentries in full dress uniforms, crossing their branches above the roads like honor guards with their swords raised high.

It was a trip back into another time zone – peaceful valleys and wooded hillsides abundant was sturdy hedges of tall trees framing well-manicured cherry orchards, acres upon acres of them, as well as apple groves in great abundance everywhere!

Here and there a farmhouse and a weather-worn, well-kept barn reminded you that it was a populated and prosperous region, after all. The prosperity appeared to represent hard work, a practical living style and simplicity of needs, unlike the atmosphere of city dwelling.

Some of the recipes from dishes of this area have become my personal favorites. At the Settling Inn, in the village of Northport, a huge and tasty sandwich presented on their own homemade bread, sliced quite right, and buttered on one side, grilling it until crispy, is the specialty of the house. Then the sandwich fillings are applied to the un-grilled side of the bread, and it’s assembled neatly and cut in half. With a mug of dark beer on a hot day, it hit the spot!

#NationalSandwichMonth

#NationalAmericanaMonth

Mom’s story reminded me that in just a couple of days it will be September, which is, among other things, National Americana Month! “Americana” is a style that reflects the stereotypical, cultural phenomenon of “Norman Rockwell basics” – the simple elements of American life, including those traditions and remembrances which have woven us together over the past couple of centuries and made us all Americans.

It includes everything that celebrates America’s cultural heritage, history, folklore, and geography. It’s a timeless, classic style that never goes out of fashion or falls from popularity. Like Mom’s description (above) of her and Dad’s drive in the Traverse Bay region of Michigan’s “Tip-Of-The-Mitt” area.

According to How To Capture Americana In Photography, by Britton Perelman (2018 – Updated Aug. 27, 2020), as seen at PassionPassport.com, “Americana is any artifact relating to the history, geography, folklore, and cultural heritage of the United States…  We often associate ‘nostalgia’ with Americana… Examples of Americana include Coca-Cola memorabilia, white-picket fences, blue jeans, apple pie, rock and roll, and small towns.”

#NationalSandwichMonth

In honor of this still being National Sandwich Month, at least for a couple of days, here are THREE of Mom’s Sanders imitations, for their lunch-counter sandwich spreads that Mom used to enjoy when she was young! There were many Sanders imitations among Mom’s original index-card-recipes.

Mom’s Sanders-Style Chicken Salad, Tuna Salad, and Ham Salad Sandwich Spread can be found in her self-published cookbook… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 37). It’s no longer in print but used copies of Mom’s self-published cookbooks can usually be found on Amazon and eBay.

P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

There’s only a couple days left of August, for observing: National Dog Month, Family Fun Month, International Peace Month, National Brownies at Brunch Month, National Catfish Month, National Crayon Collection Month, National Goat Cheese Month, National Golf Month, National Immunization Awareness Month, National Panini Month, National Water Quality Month, National Wellness Month, and Romance Awareness Month!

Other celebrations happening this week include:

Today is… National Toasted Marshmallow Day and National Grief Awareness Day!

Tomorrow, August 31st is… National South Carolina Day and National Trail Mix Day!

Wednesday launches the month of September, which observes: Better Breakfast Month, Fall Hat Month, International Update Your Resume Month, Little League Month, National Blueberry Popsicle Month, National Chicken Month, National Courtesy Month, National Honey Month, National Italian Cheese Month, National Library Card Sign Up Month, National Mushroom Month, National Potato Month, National Preparedness Month, National Rice Month, National Self-Care Awareness Month, National Sewing Month, Self-Improvement Month, and Whole Grains Month!

September 1st is also… National Chicken Boy Day and National No Rhyme (Nor Reason) Day!

Thursday, September 2nd is… National Blueberry Popsicle Day!

September 3rd is… National Welsh Rarebit Day and U.S. Bowling League Day! In fact, the first Friday in September is always… National Lazy Mom’s Day, National Food Bank Day, National College Colors Day, and National Chianti Day!

Saturday, September 4th is… National Spice Blend Day, National Wildlife Day, National Newspaper Carrier Day, and National Macadamia Nut Day! As the first Saturday in September, it’s also… National Tailgating Day and National Play Outside Day (which is always the first Saturday of EVERY MONTH)!

Sunday, September 5th is… National Cheese Pizza Day and National Be Late For Something Day! It’s also the start of National Waffle Week!

#TGIM

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-thank-god-its-monday-day-first-monday-in-january/

…35 down and 17 to go!

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – The Food Effect

Happy Monday to everybody, once again! I, personally, always look forward to Mondays because they are my 52 Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#TheRecipeDetective

#HappinessHappensMonth

As August continues to celebrate Happiness Happens Month, I want to get back to how food affects our happiness, which I touched on briefly a few weeks ago. The inspiration came from a mention of it in Ann Pietrangelo’s article, How To Be Happy: 25 Habits To Add To Your Routine (Jan. 15, 2019). I recommend checking out the full article at Healthline.com.

I thought it was really interesting when Ann pointed out, in #4 Eat With Mood In Mind of her article, that different types of food can affect our moods in different ways; confirming that we are what we eat! So I wondered, if foods affect our moods and happiness, then what should we eat to always feel our best and happiest? Ann’s examples included the following generalizations…

Carbohydrates release serotonin, a ‘feel good’ hormone. Just keep simple carbs — foods high in sugar and starch — to a minimum because that energy surge is short, and you’ll crash. Complex carbs, such as vegetables, beans, and whole grains, are better.

Lean meat, poultry, legumes, and dairy are high in protein. These foods release dopamine and norepinephrine, which boost energy and concentration.

Highly processed or deep-fried foods tend to leave you feeling down. So will skipping meals.

Start by making one better food choice each day. For example, swap a big, sweet breakfast pastry for some Greek yogurt with fruit. You’ll still satisfy your sweet tooth, and the protein will help you avoid a mid-morning energy crash. Try adding in a new food swap each week.

The consensus on my Google searches seems to agree with Ann. It’s widely believed that, in times of stress, “comfort foods” will often make you feel better, at least for a short period of time. These foods are usually the carb-type, of which Ann mentioned to be mindful because of their high sugar and/or starch contents. I know, from personal experience, they can negatively affect blood-sugar levels.

Granted, they provide at least a temporary nostalgic or even sentimental value to our mood – but at what cost? They have very little nutritional value if any at all. Junk foods and fast foods are also considered to be “comfort foods”. This would be a good point at which to remind everyone that Mom was the pioneer who first took the junk out of junk food by imitating our favorites at home, where we can control the ingredients!

In fact, one can say with some certainty that not all fast food is junk food AND not all junk food is fast food! By general definition, “junk foods” are considered to be those foods that are heavily processed; typically containing high amounts of either trans fats, sugar, corn syrup, fructose, or salt (or a combination of any of those). Additionally, junk foods are high in calories. Beware – they are also high in luscious, tasty delightfulness and can be addictive!

Science has shown, time and time again, that emotions and food are very much linked together in many ways! Food is often the guest of honor at almost any event! As with eating for self-satisfaction, cooking is also a great source for happiness – whether it be for self-satisfaction or in pleasing others. Between the cooking AND the eating, I figured that I get to happily enjoy food twice as much! Although too much of a good thing is not always a good thing!

According to TimeAndDate.com: “Studies have shown that consuming junk food ONCE-IN-A-WHILE does not have a negative effect on health – it is only when one eats junk food for a majority of their meals that their diet can be considered unhealthy. Consuming large amounts of foods considered to be “junk”, can lead to several health problems, including a high risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart issues.”

Mom was a big believer in the psychological influences of food. Some foods are considered “happy foods” as they contain something called tryptophan, which is transformed into serotonin in the body. Additionally, serotonin is well-known to relax most of us, improve mood and, in general, produce feelings of happiness. Dark Chocolate is rich in many mood-boosting compounds.

Unfortunately, just when we start feeling comfortable and happy about how life is going, we find that happiness doesn’t happen without intermissions. These are the times in which we should take stock of our lives and be grateful for the good, as well as the lessons. From time to time, we forget that nothing in life is guaranteed to any of us.

I read a really great article at EliteDaily.com, which I refer to from time-to-time, called When It Seems Like Things Are Falling Apart, They’re Really Just Falling Into Place, by Paul Hudson (Sep. 23, 2014). The timeless advice and reasoning in this almost-7-year-old article, regarding how to deal with stress and create your own happiness, sounds like it could’ve been written for these days and the pandemic situation. I highly recommend the read!

#SimplifyYourLifeWeek

#HappinessHappensMonth

Many of us find happiness in food! Writing and cooking were among Mom’s top stress-relievers that made her happy. Being the Secret Recipes Detective for 40 years, Mom was more apt to be found in the kitchen, creating a new imitation of another popular restaurant dish or at her desk writing about the latest imitation she developed.

Mom loved to write about a lot of different things that she thought would interest her readers. She’d been calling it “Food For Thought” since the 1960s, when she wrote for various newspapers. She always liked to say that she made a living with her writing, but it was her writing that made living worthwhile. It gave her purpose and especially happiness!

‘Start now! Good thoughts and good feelings reinforce each other…When you hold on to one good thought, the better you’ll do things that make you feel good about yourself…Nothing will work for you unless you work for it.’ – Gloria Pitzer [This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p.32)]

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Reliable Recipes For Reluctant Cooks (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1983, p.6)

COOKING IS MORE THAN TURNING ON THE STOVE – IT’S PLEASING PEOPLE!

As often as we put things off, in life, it’s a shame that we don’t care more about the ‘now’, the ‘todays’, the here-I-am and here-you-are, and what can we do for each other to make things as good as possible for [both of] us! I know! There are people who can’t be bothered with such nonsense. They have jobs to work and bills to pay, things to worry about and goals to achieve.

‘If you’re going to talk about cooking and foods… what are you going off on tangents for, talking about people and their feelings?’

This is a question I’ve been asked over and over by inquiring reporters, wanting to know why we’re successful at what we do, why people go to such trouble to locate us and order our books! I think they answer their own question. Don’t you?

After all, cooking is not for robots! The way we present our food to those who share our table with us takes into account more than plopping the pot roast onto a platter and announcing, ‘Supper’s ready!’ Is that where it ends? When a meal is presented, there are many considerations for the cook.

Besides the balance, nutritionally, there’s the effort to please those who will hopefully enjoy the food. And trying to please those you’re feeding is a direct appeal, a definite effort, to consider someone’s feelings, the feelings of enjoyment and consequently of approval – approval of the food and… the one who prepared it.

Every day, the homemaker, with a family to feed, meets the challenge of proving they can be proficient, both, in the selections of foods, [as well as] the preparation and presentation of it and the management and the management of the cost.

Cooking is more than turning on the stove and opening the refrigerator. It’s pleasing people! It’s caring about what they might like to eat. It’s doing your best to prepare and present the dishes so that mealtime is not just a daily routine – but an occasion.

The cookbook industry has offended us… as if the recipes were designed for mindless bodies – not for folks with feelings! Food fanatics continue to advise us on how to feed the body while we let the famished affections go hungry.

The critics’ smoking guns right now are aimed at curing physical maladies with food administered medicinally. Food, as medication, is used as both a preservative and a cure. But what heals the broken spirit – the sensitive, the distressed, the lonely, the shy and withdrawn?

It takes more than adequate fiber intake; minimum daily nutritional needs being filled to cure the body of ills created by stress and anguish. It takes loving, caring and being loved and cared about in return!

Furthermore, while we’re on the subjects of happiness and the emotional effects of food, I also want to write a little bit about this also being National Sandwich Month. Sandwiches are super choices, whether for a meal or snack – especially in the summertime! They’re so versatile – from the bread to the fillings, even whether it’s served hot or cold or either way!

In honor of National Sandwich Month, here is a re-share Mom’s copycat version of Schlotzsky’s sandwich rolls, as usual, asking only for proper credit if you care to share it.

‘Having a goal gives us hope and it’s hope that keeps us going, enabling us each to meet whatever the world dishes out.’ – Gloria Pitzer [This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p.24)]

LAST THOUGHTS…

Mom penned her prayers, feelings, memories and hopes in journal-after-journal. She often wrote about finding happiness in every day we’re given on Earth. Mom truly believed that – good and bad, alike – everyday had some form of a blessing within it. That’s how Mom was raised, to be grateful everyday – not just for the joyful moments, but also for what she confronted and overcame or from which she learned.

My mom believed that life’s best lessons and experiences came out of life’s biggest disappointments, teaching us how to turn a “let-down” into a “set-up” for something else – maybe even something better – something out there, through the window that opened when the door was closed.

Mom also believed that every new day is a turning point and that each experience (again, good and bad, alike) eventually contributes in some way to our growth and happiness. She called it Mixed Blessings (which became the title of one of her books in 1984) and for those things she was always grateful.

IN CLOSING…

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

In honor of National Sandwich Month and TODAY, being National Cuban Sandwich Day, which is a Florida-based variation of a ham and cheese sandwich; here is Mom’s imitation of a Monte Cristo – Toronto-Style, as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 185) [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition).]

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Some of this month’s observances include: National Dog Month, Family Fun Month, Get Ready For Kindergarten Month, International Peace Month, National Back to School Month, National Brownies at Brunch Month, National Catfish Month, National Crayon Collection Month, National Goat Cheese Month, National Golf Month, National Immunization Awareness Month , National Panini Month, National Water Quality Month, National Wellness Month, and Romance Awareness Month!

Yesterday began the last FULL week of August, which is… National Composites Week! The last week of the month is also… Be Kind to Humankind Week!

Other celebrations happening this week include:

Today is also… National Ride The Wind Day and National Sponge Cake Day!

Tomorrow, August 24th is… National Maryland Day, National Peach Pie Day, and National Waffle Day! In honor of the latter, here’s another re-share of Mom’s Waffle House imitation… [NOTE: National Waffle Week is coming soon too!]

Wednesday, August 25th is… National Park Service Founders Day, National Whiskey Sour Day, National Kiss and Make Up Day, National Secondhand Wardrobe Day, and National Banana Split Day!

Thursday, August 26th is… National Dog Day, National Women’s Equality Day, and National Cherry Popsicle Day!

Friday, August 27th is… National Pots De Creme Day and National Just Because Day!

August 28th is… National Thoughtful Day, National Red Wine Day, and National Cherry Turnovers Day!

August 29th is… National Chop Suey Day and National Lemon Juice Day!

#TGIM

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-thank-god-its-monday-day-first-monday-in-january/

…34 down and 18 to go!

 

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Laughter Is The Best Medicine

Happy Monday everybody! As always, I’m happy it’s Monday because it’s one of my 52 Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#TheRecipeDetective

#NationalTellAJokeDay

We’ve all heard the old adages, “Laughter is the best medicine…”, as well as “Laugh and the world laughs with you…”; well, in relation to August being Happiness Happens Month, today is also National Tell a Joke Day! Likewise, just as there are many health benefits to being happy, there are many health benefits to telling jokes and making others happy. Both of my parents loved to tell jokes and humorous stories.

I remember watching a lot of sitcoms and comedy/variety shows on television when I was growing up. Mom and Dad always picked the programs! Their favorite comedians included the classics, such as Milton Berle, George Burns, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Betty White, Johnny Carson, Dick Van Dyke, Don Knotts and the like. [On a side note: My dad’s mom is a Knotts (from West Virginia) and possibly a cousin to the famous comedian!]

Mom’s self-published cookbooks were very different than all the rest on the market – they stood out, not only for their crafty designs and lay-outs, but also because they were filled with food-for-thought and food-for-the-soul, as well as food-for-the-table ideas – all served up with a lot of clever humor on top!

Likewise, Mom wrote, illustrated and self-published a newsletter for 25 years (Jan. 1974 through Dec. 1998 – 219 issues in all), in the same patchwork-quilt-fashion. It began and ended as a monthly publication, but there were some years in between when she published it bi-monthly (doubling the size) and other years when it was published quarterly (quadrupling the monthly size).

Each issue of the newsletter was always stuffed full of witty and humorous stories about our family or Mom’s radio show visits all around North America, restaurant reviews, more food-for-thought and food-for-the-soul, as well as her wonderfully unique recipes. Mom would also write a little “Dear-friends-letter” (usually on the front page) about the goings-on of our lives, as she always thought of her readers as her friends too.

Even before the newsletter and books began, Mom first wrote and syndicated humorous columns under several different titles. She also illustrated amusing cartoon panels, which were called Full House as Kept by Gloria Pitzer. They were printed in The Richmond Review (Richmond, MI) for a few years, starting around early 1969.

Since they’re humor is so timeless, Mom reused many of her cartoons and witty columns in her newsletters and cookbooks that she, later, went on to develop. I often use them, myself, in my blog posts about her. Mom could see humor in almost anything. “They” say, in the comedy realm, that the best material comes from real life experiences! My mom had a way of taking our everyday life events and turning them into funny, exaggerated “fishing stories” and cartoon panels.

Below are some comedic examples from Mom’s cartoons, No Laughing Matter columns, and excerpts from some of her cookbooks. Regarding our family’s eating habits in the first story, keep in mind that Mom was a really good cook (despite her sarcastic humor, claiming otherwise) – so, of course, we were going to eat her out of house and home!

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in… No Laughing Matter

By Gloria Pitzer, The Recipe DetectiveTM

VITTEL STATISTICS – or How to Salvage Leftovers!

In order to prevent our kids from eating us right into bankruptcy, I’ve been, literally, forced to salvage food in the refrigerator by trying to camouflage it. Just last week, I made a banana look like a ballpoint pen and hid a stack of sliced cheese in an old stationary box. When our 15-year old discovered them in the refrigerator, I assured him it was for writing letters to those people who deserved a cold shoulder from me.

Several [readers] have written, asking me what I do with leftovers. I realize leftovers can be a problem but, in my case, I can hardly remember what they’re like. With five, fully-powered, automatic food disposals, walking around disguised as ‘Problem Eaters’, this house hasn’t seen a leftover in years. Leftovers are not my problem – having enough to go around the first time is!

I keep telling them, ‘Please! Eat like there IS a tomorrow!’ But they don’t listen. There was a time when I could have equated their appetites with a compliment to my cooking, but that was before I saw them eat [Kellogg’s] Pop Tarts© without removing the wrappers… They are problem eaters, alright; but the problem is they never stop eating!

There are some things they will avoid, like brown spots on an apple, as well as the core and the stem. Neither will they eat parsley flakes or dry minced onions. They also have an adversity for whatever might be good for them, like green vegetables; which means it’s perfectly safe for me to conceal Twinkies© in a box [from frozen] Brussel sprouts or Nabisco’s [Nilla] Wafers in a box that once contained prunes.

I’ve even hidden Christmas cookies so well that it wasn’t until we went to a 4th of July picnic that I discovered them in the cold drink thermos. I’ve hidden Oreos© in a tall, brown jar marked ‘NOT TO BE TAKEN INTERNALLY!’ I’ve tried to salvage enough of tonight’s pot roast to make tomorrow night’s stew, by wrapping it in a damp towel and trying to pass it off, on a lower shelf of the refrigerator, as my ironing.

When I discovered the three empty quart bottles that had, only moments before, contained ginger ale; it wasn’t difficult to expose the guilty person. It was the one [from whom], when he opened his mouth, I could hear the ocean roar!

I tried to frighten them away from what is loosely termed JUNK, like chips and doughnuts and pizza snacks; but they refuse to listen to how their teeth will rot and acne will make them unpopular.

Already, our 15-year old is supporting a 30-cents-a-day candy habit! [Note: In the early-to-mid 1970s, that was a LOT of candy!]

Just yesterday, in fact, I found the following reminder taped to the refrigerator: ‘Mom, we’re out of Pop Tarts again.’ I was very upset. The note had been written with the very last banana on the only slice of cheese!

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 4)

[LAUGHTER IS] STILL THE BEST MEDICINE –

YOU CAN’T SMILE ON THE OUTSIDE WITHOUT FEELING GOOD ON THE INSIDE!

When doctors told Norman Cousins that he had one chance in 500 to live, he remembered the old saying that ‘laughter [was] the best medicine’. Cousins then asked Allen Funt, producer of the TV show ‘Candid Camera’ to send him films of past ‘Candid Camera’ classics and a motion picture projector.

Cousins soon made the joyous discovery that ten minutes of genuine laughter would give him at least two hours of pain-free sleep. Cousins and his doctors made the startling discovery that laughter not only eased his pain, but also produced measurable changes in his body chemistry…

AGAIN, MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

The Joy Of NOT Cooking Any More Than You Have To (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Nov. 1983, p. 52)

THE PENTAGON RECIPE

[aka: Kindness Begets Kindness]

One of the reasons that I always liked President Ford, was that he seemed more like the rest of us – but with strong convictions on doing the right thing when he had to…

But his first televised press conference, after his inauguration, was the incident that led to my receiving a letter from President Ford and, later on, the recipe from the Pentagon.

When the President opened his press conference on television, he explained there had been a mix-up!. Betty Ford had scheduled her first press conference for the same day – and, naturally, one of them had to postpone theirs.  

So, the president explained that like any married couple, he and his wife sat down to discuss it logically, intelligently and sensibly, as to which one of them would postpone their conference. Betty’s conference, it was decided, would be held the following week; and, in the meantime, the President explained, he would be making his own breakfast, his own lunch, and his own dinner!.  

I fell off my chair, laughing, when he made that announcement; thinking how human, how normal, how great! But my fellow journalists, in their usual humorless vein, didn’t even chuckle. They thwarted questions at him and the joke went unappreciated by probably everyone but me!

So I sent President Ford the copy of the cookbook I had then published [September 1974] with a note of sympathy that, if he were going to be doing his own cooking, perhaps he could use some help. And this was the letter I received from him:

In the meantime, I had a lovely note from Betty Ford, saying how much she had enjoyed the copies of my newsletter that she had been loaned by one of the congressmen’s wives. I gave her a complimentary subscription until she and President Ford left the White House and asked, in return, if I could impose on her to impose on her husband to use his influence in the Pentagon to acquire a copy of the Creamed Chipped Beef On Toast recipe that was served at Langley AFB, in Virginia, in about 1951.

It was the only thing my husband, Paul, would eat in their mess hall! Within a week or so I received the recipe and a kind note from Betty Ford, wishing me luck in breaking it down from 380 servings to a reasonable portion! It was a challenge! But I did it and Paul still enjoys it!

Here’s a re-share of that recipe…

LAST THOUGHTS…

Humor quotes from some of Mom’s favorite personalities, as seen at BrainyQuote.com:

18th century, English poet, Charles Churchill said, “A joke is a very serious thing.”

Author, Erma Bombeck said, “When humor goes, there goes civilization.”

Celebrity, Bob Hope said, “I have seen what a laugh can do. It can transform almost unbearable tears into something bearable, even hopeful.”

Author, Allen Klein said, “You may not be able to change a situation, but with humor you can change your attitude about it.”

Comedian, Milton Berle said, “Laughter is an instant vacation.”

IN CLOSING…

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

#NationalBrowniesAtBrunchMonth

In honor of this still being National Brownies at Brunch Month, here is Mom’s copycat recipe for Hopeless Brownie Mix; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 211). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition).]

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Some of August’s observances include: National Dog Month, Family Fun Month, Get Ready For Kindergarten Month, International Peace Month, National Back to School Month, National Catfish Month, National Crayon Collection Month, National Goat Cheese Month, National Golf Month, National Immunization Awareness Month, National Panini Month, National Sandwich MonthNational Water Quality Month, National Wellness Month, and Romance Awareness Month!

Additionally, this is… Elvis Week, which is always the week of August 16th!

Other celebrations this week include:

Today is also… National Roller Coaster Day and National Rum Day!

Tomorrow, August 17th is… National Nonprofit Day, National Massachusetts Day, and National Thrift Shop Day!

Wednesday, August 18th is… National Fajita Day, National Mail Order Catalog Day, National Ice Cream Pie Day, and National Pinot Noir Day!

Thursday, August 19th is… International Bow Day, National Soft Ice Cream Day, and National Potato Day!

Friday, August 20th is… National Radio Day and National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day!

August 21st is… National Spumoni Day, National Senior Citizens Day, and World Honey Bee Day – which is always the third Saturday in August!

Sunday, August 22nd is… National Be An Angel Day, National Bao Day, Never Bean Better Day, and National Pecan Torte Day! Additionally, as the last FULL week of August, it’s… National Composites Week! The last week of the month is also… Be Kind to Humankind Week!

#TGIM

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-thank-god-its-monday-day-first-monday-in-january/

…33 down and 19 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Life Is Good

Happy Monday and happy August! Personally, Happiness Happens for me each and every Monday, as they are my 52 Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#TheRecipeDetective

#HappinessHappensMonth

#HappinessHappensWeek

#HappinessHappensDay

August is, among other things, National Happiness Happens Month. This week, August 1st through the 7th, is National Happiness Happens Week. Plus, National Happiness Happens Day is coming up on Sunday, the 8th. All established by the Society of Happy People!

There are so many mental and physical perks that come from being happy, including a rise in energy, as well as self-esteem; which, in turn, is also good for the heart and, thereby, likely to help you live longer. Unquestionably, WHEN HAPPINESS HAPPENS, LIFE IS GOOD!

‘Happiness is a state of thought. It begins with gratitude for all we’ve already received and achieved – not with what we own or the things…’ – Gloria Pitzer, as seen in Gloria Pitzer’s Secret RecipesTM  Newsletter, Issue #218 (Secret RecipesTM, Marysville, MI; Nov. 2000, p. 5)

It’s difficult to define real happiness because it’s different for each individual, as it is a state of mind that is made by our own choices, and we are each unique. From one of Mom’s writings I shared last week, according to John Luther, “happiness is not a matter of good fortune or worldly possessions. It’s a mental attitude. It comes from appreciating what we have, instead of being miserable about what we don’t have.”

Healthline.com offers 25 daily habits that can make you feel happy, in a wonderfully informative article written by Ann Pietrangelo (Jan. 15, 2019). Some of the habits mentioned in Ann’s article I’ve found on many other “lists”, covering the subject of achieving happiness.

The general consensus seems to include deep-breathing, exercising, getting plenty of sleep, and eating right. As Ann pointed out in her article, different types of food can affect our moods in different ways – sounds like a good subject for another Monday! Anyway, other common actions that can make you feel happy are giving compliments and smiling; even acknowledging unhappy moments, as well as being grateful for something every day.

Contrary to popular belief, money does not buy happiness. However, according to Social Networks and Happiness, written by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler (Dec. 4, 2008), for every happy person in our lives, our own chances of being happy increases by 9 percent!

‘THE GREATEST WASTE in the world is the difference between what we are, and what we could be!’ – Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 10)

Take a closer look at what‘s defined as happiness and what it takes to reach that level of personal pleasure in your life. Technically, the term “happy place” is an oxymoron, as happiness is not a place. Happiness is the whole journey of life, rather than the destination. It can be found anywhere, at any time, in anything along the way.

You could say that “happiness is in the mind of the beholder”! Thus, take pleasure in every little moment of joy you can find. If you can’t find any in your day, search YouTube for “baby giggles” – that always helps me. It’s up to each of us to find what makes us happy and put it into each and every day that we can. It can’t get more simple than that.

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Christmas Card Cook Book (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1983, p. 19)

HAPPINESS

THE CRITICS ALWAYS have a field day with the subject of being happy, as if it were an unrealistic condition to which no one was truly entitled. Those who claim to be specialists in the field are skeptical about the achievement of what is commonly considered happiness and take care to caution us against hoping to attain such a state, as if it were something only fools would desire.

I weigh the happiness I have had and what I feel is mine today with a sense of relief that is more than I ever expected and probably more than I deserve. In keeping, though, with the commentary of the cynics, one might think that it is unlikely and unrealistic to be truly happy today.

To be truly and totally happy, the cynical critics give us an unrealistic ream of necessities that we are first expected to possess. We shouldn’t have to be totally happy every minute of every day, otherwise the state of absolute contentment just might become so boring to us that we would lose our appreciation for it.

Every challenge we can meet, every crisis we can overcome, weighs more on the scale of success than all of the gold in Fort Knox! There are moments when we are the happiest, in spite of fret and discouragement, when we rouse ourselves from weariness and self-pity and realize that we are more important to the happiness of others than we give ourselves credit for.

In knowing how important we are to others, we can find a degree of contentment that is often sufficient to clean the slate of any self-imposed put-downs. All it takes, sometimes, to put us into one of these moods is the undeserved criticism of someone who’s opinion of us is quite important.  

Of course, the self-centered cynic, whose job in life, it would seem, is to constantly find fault with those whose ideas they do not agree, would try to make our little contentment seem like a fraudulent attempt to deceive ourselves and others.

Happiness is the one state of being that comes in so many different forms that the righteous critic, the cynic, the skeptic, can only feel it when they are being proven correct; while the rest of us find it in doing what the cynics criticize us for doing.

Happiness, if only at wonderful intervals, is  no miracle – no coincidence. It’s a happening! Or better said – it’s a ‘happy-ning’! The scales on which we each weigh what is of value to us that gives us happiness, balance out what we expect with what we get.

One can find happiness in getting what they want – or in wanting what they get! One book that I recently heard about seems to cover the whole subject nicely. The book is called ‘How to be Happy Without Money’ – but it costs $300!

Most of us think of happiness as an end or a means to an end – when, in reality, happiness is the beginning – not the end… And seldom the means to anything that does not reach out and touch somebody else with unselfishness and charity!

Happiness is achieved by making the most of the good times – but also effectively coping with the unavoidable bad times, in order to experience the best possible life overall.  Research has shown that happiness is the key to success, rather than success being vital to happiness.

In an awesome article by Mark Williamson (Nov. 3, 2014), called Why Does Happiness Matter?, he wrote: “Trying to live a happy life is not about denying negative emotions or pretending to feel joyful all the time. We all encounter adversity and it’s completely natural for us to feel anger, sadness, frustration and other negative emotions as a result. To suggest otherwise would be to deny part of the human condition.”

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 19)

EXCELLENCE vs. AVERAGE

THE PRESSURE WE put on ourselves to be exceptional is totally unreasonable! The trendy position to cultivate, these days, is one of excellence. In the marketplace and business world, the urgency and motivation is to become excellent – as individuals, as executives, as parents, as citizens, as politicians or as husbands and wives. At every turn, every level of society, we are pushed into becoming humanly excellent!

If everyone, however, were to become truly excellent in their endeavors; ‘excellent’ would, then, become ‘average’! It’s perfectly okay, just to be average – which is simply the same distance from the top as from the bottom. When the average person is content with their position, their lifestyle, their social level and, even, their earning capacity; then, they are truly happy.

Average people sleep better at night than the over-achievers, seeking maximum excellence. Average people have average homes, wear average clothes, eat average foods and maintain average lifestyles. They are proud [and] their pride is genuine. They like who they are [and] what they are, [making] it easy for them to like their neighbor too!

#NationalBargainHuntingWeek

According to BargainHunting.webs.com, National Bargain Hunting Week starts on the FIRST MONDAY through Sunday of August (which is today). However, NationalDayCalendar.com claims National Bargain Hunting Week is celebrated during the SECOND week in August, which is next week. Both websites agree that it was founded by Debbie Keri-Brown in 1996. I say, “Why not celebrate it both weeks?” Whichever week it is, HAPPINESS HAPPENS for me EVERY TIME I find a good bargain!

LAST THOUGHTS…

HAVE YOU EVER had your day suddenly turn sunshiny because of a cheerful word? Have you ever wondered if this could be the same world because someone had been unexpectedly kind to you. You can make today [that way] for somebody! It’s only a question of a little imagination, a little time and trouble. Think now, ‘What can I do today, to make someone happy?’ – Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 30)

IN CLOSING…

#NationalIceCreamSandwichDay

In honor of TODAY, being National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, here is Mom’s secret recipe for homemade ice cream sandwiches; as seen in her self-published cookbook… The Secrets Of Homemade Groceries (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Sep. 1979, p. 37) [aka: “Book 5”].

P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Some of August’s observances include: National Dog Month, Family Fun Month, Get Ready For Kindergarten Month, International Peace Month, National Back to School Month, National Brownies at Brunch Month, National Catfish Month, National Crayon Collection Month (see National Coloring Book Day below), National Goat Cheese Month, National Golf Month, National Immunization Awareness Month, National Panini Month, National Sandwich MonthNational Water Quality Month, National Wellness Month, and Romance Awareness Month!

As the first week of August, it’s also… International Clown Week and Simplify Your Life Week! Additionally, the first FULL week of August celebrates… National Farmers Market Week and National Exercise with Your Child Week!

Other celebrations happening this week include:

Today is also… National Coloring Book Day!

Tomorrow, August 3rd, is… National Georgia Day, National Watermelon Day, and National Grab Some Nuts Day!

Wednesday, August 4th, is… National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day and National Coast Guard Day! In honor of the former, here is a re-share of Mom’s imitation of Famous Amos’ Chocolate Chip Cookies!

August 5th is… National Work Like A Dog Day and National Oyster Day! Plus, as the first Thursday in August, it’s also… National IPA Day!

August 6th is… National Root Beer Float Day, National Fresh Breath Day, and National Wiggle Your Toes Day! Plus, as the first Friday in August, it’s also… International Beer Day and National Water Balloon Day!

August 7th is… National Lighthouse Day and National Raspberries N’ Cream Day! Plus, as the first Saturday of the month, it’s also… National Play Outside Day (which is the first Saturday of every month), National Jamaican Patty Day, National Mustard Day, and National Mead Day! Additionally, it’s also the start of.. Twins Days [which is always the first full weekend (Saturday-Sunday) in August].

Sunday, August 8th is… Global Sleep Under The Stars Night, National Frozen Custard Day, and National Dollar Day! As the start of the second week of August, it’s also… National Bargain Hunting Week, National Health Center Week, National Kool-Aid Days, and National Hobo Week! Plus, the second full week celebrates… National Resurrect Romance Week, too!

#TGIM

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-thank-god-its-monday-day-first-monday-in-january/

…31 down and 21 to go!

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Happiness Is Contagious

Happy Monday everyone – and feel free to spread the happiness around, as this is #HappinessHappensMonth! Thus, #TGIM – because I happily look forward to Mondays, for they are my #52Chances each year, in which I have to share these memories of my mom!

Happiness means different things to different people. Furthermore, while there are those that believe otherwise, money does not really buy happiness – even though it does purchase THINGS that we enjoy temporarily, at least. Happiness is not a commodity that can be bought, sold, and/or traded. True happiness comes from deep within us and is totally free!

According to a study, conducted over a decade ago that still rings true, happiness is contagious! The study indicated that when one person is happy, the effect can spread up to three degrees in a social network; thereby, reaching family and friends, as well as family and friends of family and friends.

Illustration by Gloria Pitzer

#HappinessHappensMonth

It’s sort of like a virus, in that your happiness can affect the feelings of people with whom you come in contact, as well as those with whom each of them come in contact. Think about it… People whom you may never know are going to be happier tomorrow because you made someone else happy today. In turn, the same can happen to each of those people… so you can see how quickly it can spread.

Mom found a unique way to spread happiness through her renowned writings and recipes, as well as through her lesser-known cartooning. She had a contagious sense of humor and happiness about her that appealed to newspapers and magazines, as well as radio and TV talk-shows that continually requested interviews with her for four decades! The audiences were always very receptive to Mom’s “happiness virus” as well.

Mom was a pioneer, carving out An incredible new niche in the food industry with her “secret recipe” imitations that covered everything from fast food favorites, to “taboo” junk foods, to grocery store packaged products, to famous restaurant dishes, and more!

They not only made our family happy, but also millions of strangers and their families and friends, most of whom we never met, personally. But they, too, found happiness in making Mom’s copycat versions of their favorite noshing guilty-pleasures; as well as eating and sharing the creations they made!

Like Mom’s recipes, which never failed to spread happiness, I found her many humorous stories to also be contagiously happy. Mom had quite a talent for spinning a yarn. Her stories always bring a smile to my face and a laugh to my lips.

I hope that the hodge-podge of excerpts (below) from Mom’s writings about Life’s mysterious ways and how Secret RecipesTM began, step-by-step before Mom even realized it had begun… will bring you as much joy and happiness to read as it brought me to re-write it for you.

Cartoon written and illustrated by Gloria Pitzer

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

The following excerpts can be found in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989)

THE CARTOONS & JOHN McPARTLIN

The cartoons… had been the very beginning of my work in newspapers, as I provided ‘The Roseville Community Enterprise’ and, later [in between which I was writing at the ‘Algonac Courier’], the ‘Richmond Review’ with a cartoon panel I called ‘Full House, As Kept By Gloria Pitzer’. The cartoons were published every week for four or five years.

At the same time, I was also giving another paper a panel entitled ‘Could Be Verse’, which was three or four lines of rhyme or bumper-sticker-type logic. One, for instance, read: ‘All marriages are happy… Love songs and laughter – What causes all the trouble is the living together AFTER!’

They were silly verses but fun to do at the time. From that, came [my] column entitled ‘No Laughing Matter’, which ran weekly for about six years; and, during some of that time, it was syndicated by Columbia Features out of New York. [p. 52]

AMAZING CHANGES

So, the time I spent trying to keep up with what was going on in the food industry, also included what was going on in the world in general. I wrote about everything the homemaker might be interested in, and in those days – the early 1960s and into the 1970s – women were trying to break loose from the housewife stereotype. [WLM –  Women’s Liberation Movement, which began in the late 1960s.]

It was a difficult period for those of us born during The [Great] Depression, raised during World War II and almost too young for Korea, but too old for Vietnam. The automation [evolution] that took so many jobs away from us, forced our generation into further education in order to compete.

I felt the pressure of having to keep up with the progressive community in which we lived. But little did I know, at the time, that every one of those precious experiences and semi-tribulations were actually stepping stones to a more stable lifestyle that was to come years later… [p. 52-cont’d]

Cartoon written and illustrated by Gloria Pitzer

STRETCHING FOOD & LEFT-OVERS

…We couldn’t afford anything beyond our immediate needs, at that time. And both of us came from parents who had survived The [Great] Depression of the 1930s, so we had been schooled to believe that credit was acceptable, as long as it was for [a house or] an emergency only!

If we needed something or wanted something, we would, according to the philosophy by which we had been brought up; first, save the money from what we had earned and then, go out and buy what we could afford. So our needs, 20 years ago [in 1969], were rather basic and included house payments, insurance, gas for the station wagon to get Paul to his job in the city all week and for our utilities.

Last but not least, if there was anything left over, [it went towards] groceries. Sometimes the groceries even had to wait a week or so and we’d make do with what we had… I would, then, learn how to do more with less. I learned how to mix the less-expensive reconstituted dry milk with regular whole milk, adding a few drops of vanilla and a pinch of sugar to each quart. The kids didn’t like it, especially compared to what they called ‘real’ milk; but, if I put it through the blender when combining the milk powder and water and refrigerated it all night, they accepted it without grumbles. [p. 30]

HOMEMADE GROCERIES & ‘PITZER PATTER’

It was during those ‘doing-more-with-less’ years that I also learned how to make the margarine mixture from canned milk and a number of other ingredients that gave me a product equal to anything at the store but for a fraction of the cost.

My recipe files were, then, beginning to grow in my aptitude for trying to develop new combinations of ingredients to produce a specific dish or food product was being energetically pursued due to necessity. When I figured how to camouflage 3 pounds of hamburger so that we could live on it for a whole week, not eating the same thing twice, I knew I was blessed. I wanted to share all of this great information with others. The opportunity was close at hand!

At that particular time, most of the information went into a newsy column I wrote for Charles Hasse’s ‘Algonac Courier’, which I called ‘Pitzer Patter’. Amid the gossip of who was going to Florida and who had just returned [and] what the schools were doing to celebrate the next holiday, I would tuck in these recipe ideas and they were so well-received [by the readers] that it was a cinch I would become ‘hooked’ on recipes sooner or later. [p. 31]

Illustration by Gloria Pitzer

JOHN McPARTLIN & THE ‘RICHMOND REVIEW’

My column at the ‘Algonac Courier’ was not exactly what the publisher wanted, but that did not defeat me either. When he indicated he was thinking of dropping the column, I called John McPartlin, who was, then, the editor of the ‘Richmond Review’, a paper that was beginning to compete with Algonac for the same reading area.

Since I had worked for John when he was at ‘The Roseville Community Enterprise’ while we were living in the Mt. Clemens area, I felt certain he would be able to use my work. And he did use it. He even paid me more than I was getting at the Algonac paper with many more opportunities there to learn various skills that have since contributed to the self-sufficiency of our present operation. [p. 41]

1973 – Promotional ad Mom developed and sent to various newspapers and magazines for syndication, marketing her own talents.

THE CARTOONS & FAMILY TALENTS

I didn’t “draw”. I doodled. The rest of my family could draw. My uncle, Earl Klein, is a celebrated artist in Southern California, who has spent most of his professional life with Walt Disney, Hanna-Barbera and other wonderful studios. His own company, Animation Inc., produced the milk commercials for TV that included, ‘Daddy, there’s a cow in the bedroom!’

Another of Uncle Earl’s commercials was the [Michigan] Faygo commercial, ‘Which way did he go… Which way did he go… He went for FAYGO!’ He even did the Cocoa Wheats commercial with the cuckoo clock. One of my mother’s other brothers, Herb Klein, was also an artist and had his own advertising agency in Detroit for many years.

My [two] younger sisters are, both, accomplished artists. Paul and I are glad to see even our children are blessed with this ‘artistic gift’, as our son, Michael, has gone through the Pasadena Arts Center to become an art director for many fine advertising agencies over the years…

Our daughter, Laura… Is just as talented as her brother, but she has had not a smidgen of special training. Her illustrations are currently with the Center For Creative Arts here, in St. Clair, and also at the Mortonville Shoppe across from the old Morton Salt Company plant in Marysville. My doodles can hardly fall into a class with either of our children, but they are fun to do and have also pleased the family over the years. [p. 75]

CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES

MY RELATIONSHIP with John McPartlin went back quite a few years to the time we were living in Clinton Township, near Mt. Clemens [1961]. Debbie was just a baby and I had no thoughts at that time of increasing the size of our family beyond Bill, Mike and Deb.

I wanted to finish college, which, to Paul was a senseless decision; considering that my ‘job’ was already consuming my entire day and that was, of course, as a wife and a mother. (Not necessarily in that order.) Paul felt a woman did not have to go to college if she planned to have a family and keep house, except to supplement her husband’s income for absolute necessities.

This, dear friends, was a notion, deeply embedded in his thought by the times during which we both were raised – when, silly as it seems by today’s standards, it was not important for the woman to have an education who only planned on having children and ‘keeping house’! Once our own daughters were at the age when college was to be considered, you’d be amazed at the sacrifices that same man was willing to make to see his own daughters through their schooling!

But, getting back to how I FIRST met John McPartlin – I finally talked Paul into letting me return to college at night to take the two classes I needed for the teaching certificate that would permit me to substitute teach for a limited time each semester. [p.82]

THE SCHOOLS

The schools were walking distance from where we lived. I assured Paul that I would be home when the children were and that my good friend, Eleanor Westbrook, down the street from us, was willing to babysit if necessary when I was asked to teach.

Sometimes I was only given 30-minutes notice, so Eleanor’s being there was a tremendous blessing. One of the things that really opened the door for me to teaching in the Clinton Dale schools was the fact that I had recently had [a food-related] article published in the Christian Science Monitor and, while the principal acknowledged that he was not a [Christian] Scientist, he did respect the newspaper and thought that anyone who had been published in it was an excellent writer…

The principal was not sorry he hired me, for the job required filling in for a teacher who would be out about six weeks due to an auto accident in which she was injured. I took over her class AND initiated a school newspaper while I was there – a project that was important to me, even though I worked on it without pay, but it led to my meeting John McPartlin, the editor, at that time, of ‘The Roseville Community Enterprise’.

The involvement with, both, the teaching assignment and the operation of the school newspaper led to other writing experiences that I had no idea would each contribute eventually [step-by-step] to the operation of Secret RecipesTM. [p.82 – cont’d]

In honor of… #HappinessHappensMonth… And, since some people find happiness in chocolate, I’d like to share with you Mom’s imitation of cream-filled cupcakes, like Hostess’!

P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…

#WHBY

My next visit on the “Good Neighbor” show, with Kathy Keene, is in two weeks. Be sure to tune in – Monday, August 31st around 11am (CDST)/12noon (EDST)!

https://www.whby.com/goodneighbor/

#CelebrateEveryDay

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-thank-god-its-monday-day-first-monday-in-january/

…33 down, 19 to go!

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Make Happiness Happen

Happy Monday! August reigns and it’s National Happiness Happens Month! Additionally, #TGIM – because I happily look forward to Mondays; as they are my #52Chances a year, in which I can share memories of my mom with all of you!

#HappinessHappensMonth

For the whole month of August, one of the subjects of focus and celebration is HAPPINESS! Thus, as Elbert Hubbard said: “Happiness is a habit – cultivate it!”

Likewise, Mom said, of true happiness [as seen in her last book, Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; January 2018, p. 304)]: “If [it] is acquired through persistence and patience, it would be like the fable of the Chinese profit who asked for a needle… when none could be found… somebody offered him a crowbar and a file. He was pleased… that it was only a matter of time before he could produce the needle he wanted.”

Mom used to tell me, whenever I was feeling overwhelmed and frustrated about all of the tough challenges I was facing, in life, that happiness is not found in what I think I want or in the stuff I attain; but, rather, in who I am. Mom would insist that true happiness came from within all of us. It is not about the things you have in life. It’s more about what you learn from life, that counts. After all, it’s the journey, not the arrival, that matters the most.

Surprisingly, or not, there are still those who truly believe that their level of happiness is in direct proportion to their level of success and financial worth. Nevertheless, “success levels” (if such things can really be measured) have no real correlation with how many things nor how much money one acquires.

Mom thought that real success was found in how well we lived our lives – for the good of ourselves and “our maker”, as well as for the good of others. Thus, she also trusted that we should always DO something that will make a positive impact on others.

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes Newsletter (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Jan-Feb. 1988, pages 1 & 4)

GOOD SAM, GOOD EXAMPLE

One thing among many that I have learned from Good Sam, our national RV organization, to which Paul and I have belonged for three years now; is that you should never ever withhold your enthusiasm for caring about others.

Never regret anything you do or say on behalf of the good it might bring to those [about whom] you care – for, if your motives are unselfish, and your intentions are to encourage or enrich or benefit others, you can’t lose. You should jump right in, adding enthusiasm to whatever it is that you are doing that might appear to be just a passive condition when enthusiasm is needed.

Try a little enthusiasm! …Enthusiasm and optimism go hand-in-hand with happiness. These provide us with an emotional springboard from which we can dive quite smoothly, into deep and troubled waters, and still surface refreshed and invigorated.

The trouble with trying to be happy all the time is that most people look for one particular condition or experience or possession, from which they hope to derive complete contentment, forgetting that happiness is a moment – not a forever!

We all expect life to be good to us – at least, some of the time. But, when things don’t work out the way we plan, or hope, there’s an overwhelming tendency to feel down, as if all Life ever gives us is lemons. Yet, we all know the old adage for that (another quote from Elbert Hubbard) is to “make lemonade” with it.

Remember, though, that you need a lot of sugar to make a good lemonade. From wherever the sweetener comes – whether it’s self-love, inner-happiness, or something else – we need to pour all of it, all over it!

Mom always believed that the best learning experiences that Life gave us, often came out of our biggest disappointments. By simply turning “let-downs” into “set-ups” for something else – something better, some happening out there, through the window that God opened after the door was shut – we would then overcome and conquer.

In addition, Mom also taught me that every new day was a turning point for each and every one of us and that each experience, good and bad alike, eventually contributed in some way to our own personal growth and inner-happiness. For that, I am continuously grateful.

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 61)

THE RIPPLE EFFECT OF GOOD

Whenever our best intentions are carried out for the good of all concerned, only good can result. How could good possibly produce something bad? It’s often just the still small voice of wisdom that turns us in the right direction. When it does, how silly it is of us to give credit to coincidence or chance. The purpose of something good is, of course, to bless, to enrich and to comfort and why, then, does even knowing this makes so many folks feel uncomfortable?

Having more doesn’t necessarily make us better-off, and most people limit their definition of good to an increase in more THINGS. Sometimes the good is not material, nor the least bit tangible, but instead is a feeling – a comforting and reassuring confidence – that, yes, everything can be all right, after all!

Moreover, as Mom once wrote: ‘The divine principle of good cooking is not a secret! It is taking pleasure in the activity; in the information previously retained and called upon through the facilities of memory. The spirit of good cooking is individualistic. It is not shrouded in mystery – but in love, for what you are doing and for whom you are doing it!’ [as seen on the front page of the 128th issue of “Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes Newsletter” (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Sep-Oct 1987)].

AGAIN, MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes Newsletter (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 8)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Being able to get a handle on life by not letting it get the best of us, when the lemons outweigh the levity in our relationships, is a recipe worth having. Resolving the problem with recipes in the kitchen is something we’re all willing to accept, because cooking is an individual and very personal experience – a creative challenge for some, a positive involvement for others.

Yet, we accept the risk of failing at what we attempt with foods, more readily than we will with our relationships with other people. It’s a puzzle to me that we are willing to endure such a paradox, that we’ll put more effort into the table we set than into the examples we could set – and/or choose to follow.

Another wise bit of advice, of which Mom once wrote, is that… “the opportunities available to us aren’t always the most obvious when we’re in the throes of self-pity, or rejection, or weary from over-work…” Continuing on, she also said, “You certainly won’t hear opportunity knocking at the front door if you’re in the backyard, looking for four-leaf clovers.” [As seen in My Cup Runneth Over – And I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 4)].

Thanks to the happiness that Mom taught me to find within myself, first, I can also enjoy the happiness I find in other things like the colors of a rainbow after a storm, or the happy-go-lucky smile of my grandson, or the nuzzles and purrs from my cats (and my husband), or the sun sparkling on the magnificent blue waters of The Great Lakes, or the cheerful sounds of the birds and other wildlife in my backyard, or the aroma of a Crock Pot© Sunday meal – slow-cooking throughout the day – things that don’t have a price tag attached them! Where do you find your happiness?

STILL, MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 92)

GOING IT ALONE

ONE OF THE BLESSINGS of being your own boss is that you can enjoy the freedom of discussing…subjects in your own publication, where you wouldn’t dear if someone else were publishing it, and you were subject to total agreement between you and them over all material published.

PEOPLE EXPECT US TO BE BETTER.

Whenever somebody has mentioned to me that they are surprised that the newsletter or the recipe books include non-recipe material, I usually replied, ‘I’m surprised that you’re surprised!’ Food for the table and food for thought should, and often do, go hand-in-hand. In our publications there will always be room for the kind of material that is humorous and uplifting – as the case may be.

I respond easily to the unusual, if it has a beneficial influence on others and find it a joy to share such information. The response is always encouraging. I am still hearing good comments on the little book we sent out in the fall of 1988, entitled ‘Good Thoughts And Things To Smile About’, which we did not sell, but GAVE to those people we felt we should express appreciation for their kindness and attention either to our work or to our family.

The little acts of overcoming the annoyance, impatience, indifference, apathy, that sometimes seem to be so much a part of our day – can make an enormous difference in the quality of our lives. This may not always seem easy, but each false tendency can be detected and rejected because it is wholly without foundation. Genuine love, caring, alertness and patience replace annoyance, indifference, apathy and impatience.

AGAIN, MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 94)

EVERY DAY, IN OUR OFFICE

Every day, in our office and our home, because it’s hard to separate the two, is the fact that things here are quite unpredictable! The layout of the newsletter is done – as I described it before – like a patchwork quilt, [as] are the books, at best, for there is not enough ‘quiet’ time in which to carry out a major project. Mostly, it is a day filled with pleasant interruptions – such as the grandchildren dropping by to see us for a few minutes – or a radio station calling and asking me to fill in at the last minute!

There are visits from the rest of the family, a phone call from my mother once in a while, when she needs somebody to talk to… and I am always a ready listener. There are the discussions over how to handle a particular problem with a shipping order, or how a dish should be coming out that doesn’t! Countless things occur in this office (and/or home) that contribute to the overall picture.

This is what I tried to describe recently to Julie Greenwalt of People magazine, when she called and asked me to think about those typical things that happen here which they could be photographed to accompany the story she was writing about us. It will be interesting to see how it comes out, as this book [cited above] will be ‘going to press’ before People does with their story… [which came out in their May 7, 1990 issue].

I love the attitude of George Burns, who was always an inspiration to everyone, of every age! Doing what we like best, whether we succeed or not, is what keeps us going and keeps us happy. I cannot imagine doing something badly that I enjoy doing. So, of course, we do our best at something we enjoy, because that is part of the satisfaction of doing it – seeing the good that results from our efforts.

[Paul and I,] both, take time during the week to enjoy something completely unrelated to our work and even our family. I bowl on a wonderful women’s league every Wednesday morning and Paul bowls with the men’s league on Friday nights.

For the past four or five years, I’ve driven to Algonac, about 40 miles round-trip, to participate in one of the nicest groups I’ve had the privilege of belonging to; and while I have yet to have that 200-game, whether I bowl badly or splendidly, I drive home all smiles, happy that I went! Paul, on the other hand, bowls just down the street from us here in town. He bowled so much when we were dating, I tell people we were married by an ordained pin setter!

In honor of…

#HappinessHappensMonth

And, since some people find happiness in chocolate, I’d like to share with you Mom’s imitation of Big Boy’s Chocolate Pie. Happy cooking!

P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…

#WHBY 

https://www.whby.com/goodneighbor/

#CelebrateEveryDay

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-thank-god-its-monday-day-first-monday-in-january/

…32 down, 20 to go!

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

 

 

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – De-Stress With Happiness

Happy Monday and happy August! As always, #TGIM – I continually look forward to Mondays because they are my #52Chances each year, in which I have to share my memories of Mom!

Stress and anxiety often accompany any kind of lifestyle changes. We’ve been going through these kinds of times for centuries – the names and places may have changed but the feelings of stress and anxiety remain the same. These days, some of the new lifestyle changes we’re dealing with include staying home as much as possible, extreme sanitizing practices, wearing masks in public, and social distancing – just to name a few.

Now it’s August and the pandemic is still rearing its ugly head in many “hot spots” due to people crowding and not properly wearing PPE, if at all. In addition, a lot of people are worried about sending kids back to “brick-and-mortar” schools before/after Labor Day. Some are trying to push online learning and home-schooling. But not every parent is cut-out to be a teacher and online learning is not easy, let alone available, for everyone.

Stress is just another word for worrying – only more severe – in how it affects us, both physically and emotionally. Unfortunately, the trying times that we’ve been facing, especially this year, are not going away anytime soon. Many experts are telling the media that it will likely get worse before we see it really start to get better.

Sadly, life doesn’t always go the way we want and, from time to time, when we start getting comfortable with how life is going, we forget that nothing in life is guaranteed to any of us. I recently read a really great article, “When It Seems Like Things Are Falling Apart, They’re Really Just Falling Into Place”, by Paul Hudson (Sep. 23, 2014) at EliteDaily.com. The timeless advice and reasoning in this almost-6-year-old article, about dealing with stress and creating your own happiness, sounds like it could have been written for our current pandemic situation. I highly recommend the read!

#SimplifyYourLifeWeek

#HappinessHappensMonth

Writing and cooking were among Mom’s top stress-relievers. Being the Secret Recipes Detective for 40 years, one was more apt to find Mom in the kitchen, creating an imitation of a popular restaurant dish or at her desk writing about the latest imitation she developed.

However, Mom also loved to write random bits of, what she called, “Food for Thought”. Almost half of what she published in all of her cookbooks and newsletters was devoted to “Food for Thought”, as she felt it was important to have a proper balance between good thoughts for the soul and good food for the table!

Mom’s other favorite stress relievers included reading “motivational”, “inspirational”, and “positive thinking” books; as well as crocheting and laughing at her favorite comedians like George Burns and Carol Burnett. As the old adage says, “laughter is the best medicine.” Mom always added to that, “you can’t smile on the outside without feeling good on the inside.”

When dealing with the stress of operating a family-run, cottage-style, dining room table business that was booming faster than expected, Mom also enjoyed listening to music and going for a walk along the St. Clair River or taking a long drive with Dad, beside the Lake Huron shoreline. There are countless techniques for managing stress these days. Yoga, dancing, bread-making, meditation, and exercise are just a few examples.

Like Mom, when I’m under stress, I also enjoy writing, cooking, listening to music (different music, though), going for walks, and/or taking a shoreline road trip with my husband to lift myself out of the rut. What kinds of things help you to de-stress and be happy? Use the hash tags (above) to share, what works for you, on social media.

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 96-97)

RETHINKING OUR LIVES

If you have ever seen one million letters, you know how we felt when we tried to handle the overwhelming response. It was exhausting! Our home, which was both, our office and our sanctuary, too, became like a factory; with [extra] people helping us to process the mail, eventually having to return thousands of orders to the customers with our deepest regrets that we could not, in all fairness to them, delay their order.

The onslaught of mail forced us to do this. We were all working from seven in the morning to one or two the next morning, just to open the mail. We burned up two electric letter openers! Our phone bill was lost in the mail and when we forgot about our utilities having to be paid every month, our phone was dead one day when I picked it up.

From then on, our utilities were phoned in to us by the company so that we could keep them paid without having to sort through thousands of letters, looking for the bills. There were trays of mail stacked three and four deep in our living room, bedrooms, the basement, too.

At one point, I lay my head down on my desk and cried, reading the angry letters that were coming from probably very nice folks who thought we were trying to do something illegal, because they had not received their free recipes. They probably had not sent us their self-addressed, stamped envelope, either, which we have always required for the service.

As soon as we realized what the mail was doing to us, we tried to get Donahue’s people to stop the continued scheduled showing of our appearance. But that show remained on their repeat circuit for almost a year, playing in the Panama Canal zone, Greenland, Iceland, Australia and hundreds of small town stations across the states.

Most of the letters received from them still asked for the free recipes that were included with the order blank for a self-addressed stamped envelope to us. The offer would have been good for us if it had only been shown that once – the day on which we appeared on the show, but for nearly a year afterward the requests came and the complaints came and the threats to report us to postal authorities for not sending those free recipes, tore us apart emotionally and physically!

We had put so much money into returning the orders we could not fill in every postage stamp that we put on envelopes that requested free recipes also came out of our pocket, so it was an experience of mixed blessings. It cost us so much more than we had anticipated.

We talked about making a move to California in the fall of 1981. I really wanted to move out there to be closer to my sister, Hazel. Our son, Michael, was also living in Pasadena where he was attending the art center. It seemed like a wonderful opportunity for us to leave… St. Clair and begin a new life in Los Angeles…

I remembered what Dick Syatt, one of our radio friends, had told me about finally getting everything you ever wanted, when he said, ‘Hell is God, giving you what you thought you wanted.’ Sometimes we need to have something, lose it and get it back again before we can really appreciate what we have. I had that chance and I am so glad for it. It was a time to learn and to grow. – Gloria Pitzer

Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press, January 2018, 1st Printing; p. 299)

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 67)

WASTING TIME – WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE SIMPLE JOYS?

Unfortunately, were waiting for that golden day, that one lovely moment in which we feel everything is finally grand – everything is finally just the way we have always wanted it to be! Everything we’ve been working for and moving toward has been attained. We can relax! We’ve lost the weight we wanted to lose. The house is finally in ‘company is coming’ order. The bills are all paid. The bank account is adequate. Our children are living productive, useful lives.

Everything will be wonderful – and then, and probably only then, do we feel we have the right to be happy! Until we achieve that perfect moment, that ideal existence, however, we’re looking forever ahead to it, not even seeing the opportunities – small as they might be – to be happy, now, with what we already have, with who we are [and] with what we’re already doing.

Paul & Gloria Pitzer – 2012, Niagara Falls, Ontario

Everyone, at one time or another, seems to go through such trying times; carrying burdens we can’t seem to shake, with no one to help us make the load seem lighter. And in doing so, we end up making our mishaps more important than our smallest achievements. How easily we waste the time we have now, entertaining false pride as if it were the honored guest at our table of regrets. We try to avoid being natural, being ourselves, because it is usually less than we think we should be, or what others expect us to be.

So we look toward the moment when we’re sure everything will fall into its proper place. We finally have the time to call a relative we’ve been meaning to visit. Will write that newsy letter to the friend we somehow lost touch with. We’ll take that cake to the neighbor we haven’t had the chance to call on but meant to. But we can’t do those things now – not while were working out important problems and have so many things to worry about. Worrying takes time!

I’m nearly convinced that there is no such perfection toward which to work and for which to wait. Waiting seems an idol waste [of time] when there are so many things I want to do that have been pushed aside because obligations and commitments came first. Instead of looking ahead two years from now, days from now, hours from now, I look to the next moment. Human beings are not immortal, but some of us put off the wonders of living, as if we had forever to realize them.

For each moment that I didn’t enjoy as much as I could have, I’d like to be ready just in case I have a second chance at having them again. I would like to have all of our children with us around the dinner table once more, and really enjoy it, to make up for all of those times that I took their being there for granted. That would be a perfect moment, a perfect day!

AGAIN, MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes Newsletter (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May-Jun. 1988, p. 1)

NO SUCH THING AS A SURVIVOR!

I finally met someone who agrees with me that it is not a compliment to be called a ‘survivor’ – when one has apparently been able to meet the challenges of life and keep on going. Surviving is too much like wading around in a puddle of old problems or troubles.

Instead, I’d rather be considered a ‘pilgrim’ – going forward, pressing on. And, if I were told that I could no longer give others hope, I don’t think I would ever enjoy living again, but would probably just exist instead!

#NationalBrowniesAtBrunchMonth

In honor of August being, among other things, National Brownies At Brunch Month; here are two of Mom’s famous copycat recipes… Hostess-Style Brownies & Fudge Frosting, as seen in her cookbook, The Original 200 Plus Recipes Book (Secret Recipes, Marysville, MI; June 1997, pages 14 & 53). How’s that for some chocolate-covered happiness? Happy baking!

P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…

Find some time to enjoy the many national celebrations going on today, this week, and all month long…

#InternationalClownWeek

For International Clown Week, this week, here is one of Mom’s “Food for Thought” articles; about a small businesses that disappeared…

#FamilyFunMonth

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/family-fun-month-august/ & https://ucdintegrativemedicine.com/2018/08/family-fun-month/#gs.xodbky

#CelebrateEveryDay

https://nationaldaycalendar.com/national-thank-god-its-monday-day-first-monday-in-january/

…31 down, 21 to go!

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253