Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Cleaning Week Is Here

Happy Monday and happy National Cleaning Week! I look forward to Cleaning Week as much as I do Mondays. And if you know me, you know I LOVE Mondays! They’re my 52 Chances a year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with you!

#TheRecipeDetective

#NationalCleaningWeek

Yesterday (the fourth Sunday in March) kicked-off National Cleaning Week! I’ve mentioned before that this isn’t something Mom would’ve celebrated. Dad might have, though. They always seemed to balance each other out! Mom joked about the impending disaster that would happen if she left Dad home alone with us kids.

However, before he met Mom, Dad was in the air force for a few years; and he was no stranger to cleaning chores when he was growing up, either. Dad taught me how to make my bed properly. He’d say, “a quarter should bounce on it!” Out of all the household chores, Mom hated making the bed, overall, and Dad hated “KP duty”. Again, they balanced each other out!

Even though there are calorie-burning benefits involved, Mom still didn’t like cleaning! It’s not that she didn’t do it – she just didn’t like it. My parents were, both, brought up in a generation that did what they “had to”, like it or not. Keeping a clean home was just something they were taught to do as responsible, civilized people.

When I was growing up, my siblings and I had to keep our rooms clean and our beds made. We earned an allowance, doing extra chores. My sisters and I helped Mom with the inner housework, while our brothers helped Dad with the yard and other maintenance projects, as well as taking out the trash. Back then, our 50 cents a week allowance went a long way at the penny candy counter of our neighborhood convenience store.

Before Women’s Lib developed in the1960s (and in many ways, still, today), cooking and cleaning were deemed “woman’s work”. Call me weird, but I actually grew to like cleaning. I feel a sense of accomplishment, in keeping a clean home.

I’m a little OCD – my family teases me that, in my case, it’s CDO because I like things alphabetical (and numerical) – so it’s no surprise that organizing is one of my favorite “hobbies”. Mom had her own system for organizing and I totally messed it up one time when I thought I was doing her a favor, organizing her desk. Afterward, she got the sign pictured below.

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in… “No Laughing Matter”; a syndicated column by Gloria Pitzer

(date unknown; circ. 1970s)

GIVE ME LIBERTY OR…

WITH ALL DUE RESPECT to Women’s Lib, I don’t think they can help me. I think they’ve done enough for me already! Frankly, I think I was doing alright before they came along. At least I could get a seat on a bus. Now I’m lucky if a man will offer to hold my packages for me.

I can also remember when cutting the grass was considered “man’s work”. These days my husband flips me two-out-of-three to see which of us gets the lawn mower and who will fix the iced tea and sit on the patio chair to watch.

Last week, I was visited by a new militant group of women in our neighborhood who are protesting the proposed 4-day work week for MEN. They advocated a simple test. If you cannot get through a two-week vacation and the Christmas holidays with a man who over-waters your house plants and alphabetizes your refrigerator then how can you get through a three-day weekend, 52 weeks out of the year?

For you must then decide if you have to run the sweeper [aka: vacuum] while he’s taking a nap, or does he have to take a nap while you’re running the sweeper. Arguing with a husband (especially when he’s your own), is like taking a shower/bath in a scuba outfit. But I have a theory!

There are some things in this liberated life, which a woman just cannot control. You have tasted instant failure when neither of you can agree on who gets custody of the only controls on the electric blanket; and if it’s fair that she who makes the garbage must also carry it out; and whose mother calls more – yours or his?

This is the same man who warned me not to go into labor on his bowling night and who, on Christmas, gave me a monogrammed tool box and a gift certificate from Sunoco for an oil change and lube job, and a can of Easy-Off in my stocking.

The liberating females of our society have missed the joy of knowing what it means to live with a man who claims he’s always out of socks, but YOU know there are two more pairs in the drawer and [of course] only YOU can find them!

Most husbands are generally quite liberal with their wives in spite of the ‘Lib Movement’… I’ll have you know that my husband has always allowed me to make all sorts of important decisions – like: ‘Does that child need a nap?’ ‘Should that baby have her pants changed?’ ‘Do you really need another new pant suit?’ ‘Must your mother call here every day?’ ‘Should we recognize Red China?’ ‘Will they find Howard Hughes?’

The only liberation I want is to get away from the kids once in a while, without having the school counselor label me as a parent who doesn’t care. When you cannot free yourself from the oven encased in molten lasagna and apple pie fossils, you know that liberation is but a piper’s dream in your soap opera saga.

On the other hand, my husband takes a realistic approach to my emancipation. He claims women have never had it so good… (What does HE know?) His trying to tell me about women’s rights is like trying to tell General Eisenhower about World War II. However, I look at it this way: ‘Either give me liberty… OR GIVE ME A CLEANING LADY!

LAST THOUGHTS…

If you don’t like to clean, as Mom didn’t, make it less intimidating. Break it down into smaller tasks, doing only one room at a time. Don’t forget to take personal breaks! I start by cleaning the ceilings first, especially around crown moldings, light fixtures, and fans. Then I move to the walls, door and window moldings, picture frames, shelves, and other decorations. I follow that by cleaning lamps, table tops, and other furniture; leaving the floor for last.

Plus, if the achievement, itself, isn’t reward enough; create something that is. Thirty minutes of doing various household chores, vigorously, can burn numerous amounts of calories. According to 20 Everyday Activities and the Calories They Burn, by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd. (HowStuffWorks.com) you can, in 30 minutes, burn 252 calories moving furniture, 153 mopping, 84 sweeping and/or vacuuming, 80 dusting, 74 making dinner, and 72 folding laundry.

IN CLOSING…

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

Since today is National Something on a Stick Day, here are Mom’s copycat recipes for Corn Dogs & Fresh’s Mild Mustard; as seen in her last book… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, pp. 110 & 23). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition)].

#SomethingOnAStickDay

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

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

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

March is still celebrating, among other things… Irish-American Heritage Month, National Caffeine Awareness Month, National Celery Month, National Craft Month, National Women’s History Month, and National Sauce Month! Moreover, it’s unofficially Maple Sugaring Month!

Today is also… National Black Forest Cake Day!

Tomorrow is… National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day, National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, and National Nevada Day!

Wednesday, March 30th is… National Take a Walk in the Park Day, National I Am in Control Day, National Pencil Day, National Turkey Neck Soup Day, and National Virtual Vacation Day!

Thursday, March 31st is… National Bunsen Burner Day, National Clams on the Half Shell Day, National Crayon Day, and National Tater Day!

Friday is the beginning of April, which observes, among other things… National Month of Hope, Keep America Beautiful Month, Lawn and Garden Month, National Couple Appreciation Month, National Decorating Month, National Fresh Celery Month, National Garden Month, National Humor Month, National Soft Pretzel Month, National Soy Foods Month, National Poetry Month, National Pecan Month, National Volunteer Month, Scottish-American Heritage Month, and Stress Awareness Month!

Additionally, April 1st is… April Fool’s Day, National One Cent Day, and National Sourdough Bread Day!

April 2nd is… National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day and National Reconciliation Day! Plus, as the first Saturday in April (for 2022), it’s also…  National Love Our Children Day, National Play Outside Day, and National Handmade Day!

Sunday, April 3rd is… National Chocolate Mousse Day and World Party Day! Plus, as the start of the first full week of April (2022), it’s also… National Public Health Week!

#TGIM

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

…13 down and 39 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Spring Cleaning Time

Happy Monday to everyone! Mondays are so special! I always look forward to Mondays because they are my #52Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#TheRecipeDetective

It’s that time of year again! We’ve leaped ahead into Daylight Saving Time and spring re-blossomed in Michigan just over a week ago, with a lot of blue skies and sunshine! But my enthusiasm for this week is mostly because it’s also National Cleaning Week (March 28-April 3, 2021)!

Can you sense my excitement? Call me weird but I love to clean and especially to organize. I actually enjoy flipping the bedroom mattress at the onset of both, spring and fall. Likewise, I also get enthusiastic about cleaning out cupboards, closets, and drawers while rotating the seasonal linen and clothes.

Cleaning was not Mom’s forte. It’s not that she didn’t do it, she just didn’t LIKE to do it. Not everyone finds joy in cleaning or organizing. In fact, most people would probably agree with Mom, in not caring to do such chores. Many will find numerous reasons and excuses to put them off or avoid them all together. Mom used to joke that a good excuse was one you could use over and over again!

#ProcrastinationWeek

Even though the first TWO weeks of March is recognized as National Procrastination Week; it is, by no means, limited to only then – especially for procrastinators, as it can be celebrated whenever you get around to it! Is there a chore (aka: housework responsibility) over which you procrastinate or avoid altogether? Here’s a humorous memory I shared about Mom and her least favorite chore…

#NationalCleaningWeek

FROM MY MEMORIES…

As seen in my 03/25/19 blog post…

Spring Into Cleaning

One particular memory I have of Mom, regarding cleaning is from shortly after her stroke in 2015. Mom had to go through a lot of therapy, including physical and occupational. One of her therapists called me one day, very concerned about Mom’s sudden dislike of her since they seemed to get along so beautifully during her first couple of visits. I met her at Mom’s place during her next scheduled visit to see just what she was describing to me.

The therapist went through everything she did during the previous visit. It all seemed to be going fine, at first; thus, I was beginning to think that either she misinterpreted Mom’s reactions to her, or it wasn’t happening on that day because I was there.

Then, after having Mom do some simple stretches, the therapist asked Mom to make her bed as part of her daily exercises. In an instant, Mom’s mood went from ‘sunny-and-75’ to [a ‘winter-storm-warning’]! Right away, I started laughing out loud, while both, the therapist and Mom, looked at me very strangely. I guess it was an inside joke.

Mom hated cleaning – well, ‘hate’ is a strong word; let’s say she clearly ‘disliked’ it. I’m not saying Mom didn’t clean; but that never meant she had to like it! Mom was brought up in a generation that just did what they ‘had to’; keeping a clean home was just something that they’re parents taught them to do as responsible, civilized people – at any age. 

In fact, I think making the bed was at the top of [Mom’s] ‘torture’ list. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing at the situation, as did the therapist when I explained it! Not everyone gets a joy out of cleaning any more than they have to!

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

I read an awesome article about American’s least favorite chores and what they would give up to avoid them, which I recommend reading! It was called “These Americans Would Give Up Alcohol And Sex To Never Do Chores Again”, by Marie Haaland (Aug. 8, 2019) at SWNSdigital.com.

In general chores or housework responsibilities are comprised of, but are not limited to, such things as cooking, “doing” the dishes, laundering, making the bed, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing/wiping/cleaning (the majority of which happens in the kitchen and bathroom – including walls, window and door frames, window panes, other glass, computer and TV screens, mirrors, sinks, tub/shower, toilet, table and counter tops, cupboards and drawer fronts, appliances, light fixtures, fans, trash cans, etc.)

There’s a few other groups of responsibilities to add to that basic list if you also have to homeschool your children, care for a yard/garden or have dependents such as pets and/or small children. Among the many truths that have come to light this past year, during the nationwide, pandemic lockdowns, one of the most prominent is that housework is a tiresome and unrelenting mass of responsibilities.

According to NationalDayCalendar.com, the most disliked cleaning tasks are as follows:

    • cleaning the bathroom (52%)
    • kitchen cleaning (23%)
    • dusting (21%)
    • mopping (20%)
    • doing the laundry (17%)

Sorry, Mom – making the bed did not make it onto this list! However, dusting is my least favorite, mostly because it impacts my allergies more than anything else.

To make cleaning less intimidating, while observing National Cleaning Week, NationalDayCalendar.com also suggests, that we “tackle one room at a time, start from the top and work down; dusting ceiling fans, door moldings and window tops. Don’t be afraid to move furniture…”

Additionally, we should also share our favorite cleaning tips on social media, using #NationalCleaningWeek or #CleaningWeek for others to follow. Mom liked to say, “Great recipes are meant to be shared.” I think Mom’s good friend, Linda Cobb (aka: the Queen Of Clean) would agree that so are great cleaning tips!

Like many standup comedy routines, Mom often stretched and twisted our family’s boring reality life a little bit to generate a few laughs from her syndicated columns and cartoon panels. So I’ve re-used a few, today, in regard to cleaning. Here is a copy of some of Mom’s comical household tips…

#CleaningWeek

Maybe it’s because of being OCD but organizing is like a favorite hobby to me. I just love having a place for everything and having everything in its place! However, when it came to Mom’s desk, she preferred what she called an “organized mess”. She had her own chaotic filing system, but SHE always knew where everything was!

That is, until I had taken it upon myself, one day, to clean and organize Mom’s office and desk as a good deed. Afterward, I was banned from her part of the office and she bought the following sign to keep on her desk.

My kids and my husband like to tease me that I’m CDO, rather than OCD, because I like things in alphabetical (and numerical) order. What can I say? I really enjoy organizing and I’ve been known to dump things out of cupboards, drawers, and closets just to re-organize them – and not because I was stuck at home during the Covid-19 “lock down”.

For me, it’s like re-doing a puzzle over and over because I enjoyed solving puzzles. As Mom proved time and again, in her recipe sleuthing, there’s more than one way to solve a mystery. When Mom was trying to imitate a dish as close as possible to the real thing, she didn’t stop at just one way.

She was always refining her imitations until she felt they were spot-on! And then, sometimes, for various reasons (like ingredient availability or diet), she’d revamp them again, proving that there was usually more than one way to reach the same goal.

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in… “No Laughing Matter”; a syndicated column by Gloria Pitzer

(date unknown; circ. 1970s)

GIVE ME LIBERTY OR…

WITH ALL DUE RESPECT to Women’s Lib, I don’t think they can help me. I think they’ve done enough for me already! Frankly, I think I was doing alright before they came along. At least I could get a seat on a bus. Now I’m lucky if a man will offer to hold my packages for me.

I can also remember when cutting the grass was considered “man’s work”. These days my husband flips me two-out-of-three to see which of us gets the lawn mower and who will fix the iced tea and sit on the patio chair to watch.

Last week, I was visited by a new militant group of women in our neighborhood who are protesting the proposed 4-day work week for MEN. They advocated a simple test. If you cannot get through a two-week vacation and the Christmas holidays with a man who over-waters your house plants and alphabetizes your refrigerator then how can you get through a three-day weekend, 52 weeks out of the year?

For you must then decide if you have to run the sweeper [aka: vacuum] while he’s taking a nap, or does he have to take a nap while you’re running the sweeper. Arguing with a husband (especially when he’s your own), is like taking a shower/bath in a scuba outfit. But I have a theory!

There are some things in this liberated life, which a woman just cannot control. You have tasted instant failure when neither of you can agree on who gets custody of the only controls on the electric blanket; and if it’s fair that she who makes the garbage must also carry it out; and whose mother calls more – yours or his?

This is the same man who warned me not to go into labor on his bowling night and who, on Christmas, gave me a monogrammed tool box and a gift certificate from Sunoco for an oil change and lube job, and a can of Easy-Off in my stocking.

The liberating females of our society have missed the joy of knowing what it means to live with a man who claims he’s always out of socks, but YOU know there are two more pairs in the drawer and [of course] only YOU can find them!

Most husbands are generally quite liberal with their wives in spite of the ‘Lib Movement’… I’ll have you know that my husband has always allowed me to make all sorts of important decisions – like: ‘Does that child need a nap?’ ‘Should that baby have her pants changed?’ ‘Do you really need another new pant suit?’ ‘Must your mother call here every day?’ ‘Should we recognize Red China?’ ‘Will they find Howard Hughes?’

The only liberation I want is to get away from the kids once in a while, without having the school counselor label me as a parent who doesn’t care. When you cannot free yourself from the oven encased in molten lasagna and apple pie fossils, you know that liberation is but a piper’s dream in your soap opera saga.

On the other hand, my husband takes a realistic approach to my emancipation. He claims women have never had it so good… (What does HE know?) His trying to tell me about women’s rights is like trying to tell General Eisenhower about World War II. However, I look at it this way: ‘Either give me liberty… OR GIVE ME A CLEANING LADY!

LAST THOUGHTS

#WHBY

TODAY IS ALSO my regular monthly visit on the Good Neighbor” show, with Kathy Keene! The show airs from 11am to 1pm, Central Time; I’m usually on during the first half hour of the show. If you’re not in the Appleton, WI area, to find the station on your radio, you can listen to the broadcast, live or later, through WHBY’s website!

IN CLOSING…

#LemonChiffonCakeDay

In honor of National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day

Here is Mom’s “secret recipe” for one, plus her Thin Vanilla Icing recipe as seen in her self-published cookbook,…

Gloria Pitzer’s Mostly 4-Ingredient Recipes (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; April 1986, pp. 67 & 100)

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

March is still observing… Irish-American Heritage Month, National Caffeine Awareness Month, National Celery Month, National Craft Month, National Flour Month, National Sauce Month, and National Women’s History Month!

Furthermore, Thursday is the beginning of April – the monthly commemorations of which embrace… National Month of Hope, Keep America Beautiful Month, Lawn and Garden Month, National Autism Awareness Month, National Couple Appreciation Month, National Decorating Month, National Fresh Celery Month, National Garden Month, National Humor Month, National Soft Pretzel Month, National Soy Foods Month, National Straw Hat Month, National Poetry Month, National Pecan Month, National Volunteer Month, Scottish-American Heritage Month, and Stress Awareness Month!

Additionally, some other celebrations of note this week include:

Today is… National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day and National Nevada Day!

Tuesday is… National Take a Walk in the Park Day, National Doctors Day, National I Am in Control Day, National Pencil Day, National Turkey Neck Soup Day, and National Virtual Vacation Day!

Wednesday is… National Bunsen Burner Day, National Clams on the Half Shell Day, National Crayon Day, and National Tater Day!

Thursday is… April Fool’s Day, National One Cent Day, National Sourdough Bread Day, and National Burrito Day [1st Thursday in April]!

Friday is… National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, National Reconciliation Day, World Autism Awareness Day, and Good Friday!

Saturday is… National Chocolate Mousse Day, National Find a Rainbow Day, World Party Day, and National Play Outside Day [which is the 1st Saturday of each month]. Also, as the first Saturday in April, it’s National Love Our Children Day and National Handmade Day, as well!

Sunday is… National Chicken Cordon Bleu Day, National Hug a Newsperson Day, National School Librarian Day, National Vitamin C Day, and Easter [which changes annually – April 4, 2021]! It is also the start of National Public Health Week!

#TGIM

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

…13 down and another 39 to go!

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

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Spring Has Sprung!

Happy spring season and happy National West Virginia Day, but especially HAPPY MONDAY! I always look forward to Mondays because they are my #52Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#NationalAgricultureWeek

#NationalAgDay

Spring has finally sprung – and so have my crocus, daffodils, hyacinth, and tulips! Although, in Michigan, the weather doesn’t usually get consistently nice until around May – March and April are all-seasons-rollercoaster months. So this is when I start planting my vegetable garden seeds indoors, to be transplanted outside around Mother’s Day weekend. By the way, yesterday began the week-long observance of National Agriculture Week and National Ag Day (Ag = Agriculture) is tomorrow!

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Unofficially, this is also maple sugaring month in Michigan! It’s not a national holiday but making maple syrup is a big event around here! There’s a really great article about sugaring [which is the process of gathering maple sap and making it into sugar and/or syrupNOT the hair-removal process by the same name] at the Michigan State University’s Extension’s website, called March is Maple Syrup Season in Michigan.

I recently saw a report on one of our local morning newscasts about the process of sugaring. It’s a lot of work and quite a big activity. A couple of years ago, I learned a smaller scale way to do it, collecting only a few gallons of maple tree sap and then cooking it down for a day or so in a slow cooker. However, it only yields about a half cup of homemade syrup when done! Two gallons of sap doesn’t make much, but it’s a fun project to at least try. Check out the story and video at http://www.fox2detroit.com/good-day/backyard-maple-syrup-with-jill-of-all-trades.

#NationalCleaningWeek

Before starting my spring deep-cleaning regimen, which really starts next week for National Cleaning Week, I have already begun sorting through my stuff (and I have a lot of stuff) in order to purge some things. I have to keep reminding my husband that I’m not a hoarder YET, since I occasionally purge about as much as I collect. I’ve also learned how to better pack and organize things, so it doesn’t look like that much!

April is usually when the garage and yard sales start popping up in my area. Right now I’m going room-by-room, creating “piles”, from which I am deciding whether to “keep”, “sell”, “donate”, “toss” , or “recycle” the items. If it’s for the sell pile, I will sometimes, depending on the item, put a price sticker on it right away. My sorting process was inspired years ago, by a short-lived, unique renovation series that I really enjoyed, on the cable channel TLC.

The show was called “Clean Sweep” (2003-2005) and it involved a room organization and makeover – but first the homeowners had to purge their “disastrous catch-all room”. The process included some related “therapy” regarding why some people hang on to certain things and how to best let them go. Additionally, after sorting through all of their stuff, the homeowners had a one-day-only, “prize-winning-competition” yard sale with their “sell” pile. It was a lot of fun to watch.

There’s an inspiring article at PsychologyToday.com, which I saved to “My Favorites” a few years ago, about cleaning and de-cluttering by Dr. Sally Augustin, Ph.D.; titled, “Fall Cleaning As Important As Spring Cleaning” (Oct. 9, 2013). I liked the way the doctor says that… “We continually accumulate stuff and dealing with it is part of Fall cleaning.”

As soon as I had read that, I excitedly told my husband, “See – I’m not the only one who accumulates stuff!” Regardless of the season, the article’s information is interchangeable with spring, as well. After re-reading it recently, I was inspired to purge my basement (again), as it has been a growing, disorganized, accumulation of stress on my OCD personality. The sooner I get to it, the better, so I can have it ready for a yard sale as soon as some nice weekend weather permits!

Michigan weather changes often during the first half of spring. That’s why I called it an “all-seasons-rollercoaster”. There’s an old adage that says it “comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”. Being especially dependent on favorable weather, hosting a proper YARD sale in April is a LOT of work! Trust me – I know all about “April showers” and yard sales. It can be a crapshoot, picking the optimum weekend.

I wish I had a garage but, since I don’t, I use two 10’x20’, carport-style tents. When set up side-by-side, they have the approximate size of a garage, with 400-sq-ft of covered space. These are very important for keeping my tables and displays dry or shaded, whatever the weather may bring.

The day before I want my sale to start, I try to set it all up and cover it, because it’s under a temporary structure that’s still somewhat open to the elements (and the public).

I like to make my yard sales “worth stopping and shopping”! Maybe it’s because of all my years of working in retail.  Being OCD, I take a full day just to set up my “store” (as that’s how I think of my sale); with all of my tables, table-coverings, display shelves, clothes “racks”, and sale signs.

After deciding what I want to sell, I bring out all the boxes of stuff that I’ve cleaned out of various closets, drawers, cupboards, and of course the basement. I sort it all by “departments” such as clothes and shoes, which are sub-sorted by size and type; plus accessories like jewelry, glasses, belts, scarves, and purses.

Other “departments” (aka: tables) include curtains, bedding, towels and bath accessories; storage containers, kitchen wares and small appliances; crafting and sewing stuff; candles and décor; electronics, movies, music, books and office/school supplies/equipment; lamps, rugs, and furniture; tools, hardware, and auto accessories; games and toys; yard, garden, and sporting goods, plus other outdoor stuff; as well as pet stuff.

I get a lot of compliments about my yard sale set-ups because of the store-like organization. To me, that makes it worth the time and effort that I put into having one. I also sell a lot because I price my stuff to sell! To save time on pricing everything individually, I use a lot of general pricing signs – for example “All Clothes $1 per Piece” or “All Books 50₵ Each”.

I’m not putting it all out there just to haul it all back into the house, just because I wanted to squeeze out every penny I could from my old “junk” that MIGHT be somebody else’s “treasure”. I look at each item as if I were going to purchase it at someone else’s yard sale and ask myself, “How much would I be willing to pay for that?”

The following is a satirically humorous editorial that Mom wrote about a “garage” sale we supposedly had, in the mid-1970s, before moving from Algonac to St. Clair. [Funny thing is… we didn’t even have a garage back then!]

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

‘No Laughing Matter’, a syndicated bi-weekly column by Gloria Pitzer

[Published in the “Times Herald” (Port Huron, MI), during the 1970s.]

HAVE A GARAGE SALE IN ONE EASY BREAKDOWN!

Until you’ve had a garage sale, you just don’t know what you’re missing. I’ve just had one and I know! I’m missing three garbage cans, my husband’s workbench, a swing set, four lawn chairs and our station wagon. Actually, those items weren’t for sale, but you can’t refuse a good price when it’s offered to you.

All I really wanted to sell was a few odds-and-ends like 7 dozen Ruby Bee Jelly glasses, a coke bottle mosaic of my mother-in-law, a transistor radio guaranteed to crack plaster when operated by a teenager, an illustrated guide book to Disneyland and my husband’s bowling ball.

Of course, if the truth were known, I just had to do something about the closets before we were cited for contempt by the Pollution Control Commission. The kids were cleaning out their rooms and dragging out microscopes that had only examined curdled milk.

There was an electric train with which only their father had played, a guitar that never played a tune (but made a neat tennis racket), socks that scratched and even their old report cards. But I drew the line when it came to selling their toothbrushes and underwear. I mean, a person has to be reasonable about these things!

I had heard that garage sales were successful, but I didn’t believe it until I saw 23 cars double-parked in our drainage ditch, a pick-up truck on the back porch and a dune buggy in the furnace room! It takes a garage sale to prove that a woman will buy anything, if she thinks it’s on sale.

After all, what can one do with a dead philodendron plant – a plastic one, yet? I also learned that there’s no exercise so efficacious for the upper arms as standing in the midst of a group of mad women and trying to keep them from taking the rafters apart while trying to get at our storm windows (which I’ll have you know were NOT for sale); but little did they care.

One woman offered me a dollar for the dress I was wearing, and I had to run half a block to catch up with the lady who gave my son 50 cents for the sheets on the clothes lines. Did she care it was my laundry and I had to make the beds before the day was over – and where would I be without those sheets?

I finally had to administer first aid to the two girls who fought so bitterly over which of them was going to drag off to their car a plaid CPO jacket and a pair of blue worsted men’s slacks! Mind you. I wouldn’t have cared under any other circumstances, but my husband was still in them AND he didn’t want to go with either of them. He wanted to stay home and watch the ball game on TV!

By 6pm, they had bought everything that wasn’t breathing, barking or encased in concrete. As I sat at the kitchen table, counting up the profits of the day, my husband came staggering in, bruised and breathless. ‘You know that guy with the flat-bed truck, who’s been hanging around all day?’ […he asked.] ‘Well, he just gave me $50 and drove off with our garage!’

It all goes to prove, if I had put a price on those kids of ours, I might have sold them – but, who could afford to feed them once they got them home?

LAST THOUGHTS

#NationalWestVirginiaDay

A lot of great people, food and other things have come from the great state of West Virginia; including both of my dad’s parents – thus, I’m compelled to give a shout-out in celebration of National West Virginia Day! I haven’t been there since I was a young girl, but I have wonderful memories of our family reunions there.

IN CLOSING…

In honor of #NationalWestVirginiaDay, here is Mom’s “secret recipe” for #HamStuffedSwetPotatoes; as seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s The American Cookery Cookbook – written and published by Gloria Pitzer (Happy Newspaper Features, Pearl Beach, MI; July 1976, p. 39)

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

March is still observing… Irish-American Heritage Month, National Caffeine Awareness Month, National Celery Month, National Craft Month, National Flour Month, National Sauce Month, and National Women’s History Month!

Additionally…

Today is also National Bavarian Crepes Day and National Goof Off Day!

Tuesday is National Chia Day, National Chip and Dip Day, National Near Miss Day, National Melba Toast Day, National Puppy Day, National Tamale Day, National Education and Sharing Day [changes annually – March 23, 2021], and National 3-D Day [which is the 3rd day of the 3rd full week of the 3rd month]!

Wednesday is National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day, National American Diabetes Association Alert Day [the 4th Tuesday in March], and National Cheesesteak Day! In honor of the latter, here is Mom’s imitation for the one that “nobody doesn’t like” – and you can re-vamp it, using a sugar substitute in place of table sugar, for diabetics! My dad loved it and so do I!

One of Gloria Pitzer’s first copycat recipes from the early 1970s.

Thursday is National Lobster Newburg Day!

Friday is Epilepsy Awareness Day (aka: Purple Day), National Nougat Day, and National Spinach Day!

Saturday is National Joe Day, National Scribble Day, and National Spanish Paella Day!

Sunday is National Black Forest Cake Day and National Something on a Stick Day!

#WHBY

REMINDER: NEXT MONDAY is my regular monthly visit on the Good Neighbor” show, with Kathy Keene! The show airs from 11am to 1pm, Central Time; I’m usually on during the first half hour of the show. If you’re not in the Appleton, WI area, to find the station on your radio, you can listen to the broadcast, live or later, through WHBY’s website!

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

#TGIM

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

…12 down and another 40 to go!

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

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

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Spring Forward To Healthy Cleaning

As always, happy Monday to everyone and happy St. Patrick’s Day Eve! #TGIM! Today is a new chance for me to share memories of my mom! #52Chances!

Spring 2020 will begin Thursday night and National Cleaning Week starts on Sunday! However, with the growing spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), like many others, I started my spring-cleaning regimen early and am doing an even more in-depth cleansing of everything, from top to bottom!

I’m one of those “weirdos” that love to clean – and, also, to organize! I’m not sure why – maybe I inherited it from my Dad, as Mom “strongly disliked” cleaning and organizing. It’s not that she didn’t do it, Mom just didn’t LIKE to do it. Not everyone gets a joy out of things like cleaning and organizing. In fact, most people probably would agree that they don’t care to do it, themselves, any more than they need to – and they will often find excuses to put it off or avoid it all together.

While I really enjoy the finished “accomplishment” of a good and thorough cleaning job (I’ve always loved the smell of chlorine bleach for as long as I can remember), organizing is more like a favorite hobby to me. I’ve been known to dump things out just to re-organize them – like re-doing a puzzle over and over.

For her own office space, Mom preferred, what she called, an “organized mess”. She kept a sign on her desk (as pictured above), which she picked up somewhere after I took it upon myself, one time, to clean and organize her office and desk as a good deed.

#NationalCleaningWeek

Weeks ago, before the Covid-19 virus became such a pandemic, here, I had heard that National Cleaning Week was coming up soon and I actually got a little giddy and started writing down my spring-cleaning-to-do list – as it was soon going to be time to move the furniture around, flip the bedroom mattress and rotate the seasonal clothes – just to name a few of the things I usually do when the spring and fall seasons roll around. I know I’m weird – and that’s okay – just living my true self!

With the run on cleaning products at all the stores, I’ve resorted to making my own disinfectant from water, vinegar and rubbing alcohol – something I learned about 30 years ago, from a local community program, when all of my children were small. Over the years, I’ve tweaked it, adding about ½ tablespoon of peppermint or lemon essential oil for a better scent, as the vinegar and rubbing alcohol can be potent in a small enclosed area, like a bathroom.

However, an ingredient in essential oils is poisonous to cats, so I really don’t use it anymore. I’ll share my “recipe” with all of you, (pictured below) in case anyone else is having difficulties buying disinfecting sprays or wipes these days. As always, asking only for proper credit if you care to share it.

I read at NationalDayCalendar.com that the average American spends about six hours a week cleaning their home. By taking on one room of our house a day, as the website suggests, and cleaning it from top to bottom for one hour, I can burn a lot of calories! Suggested cleaning tasks, by the website, include dusting ceiling fans, door moldings and window tops to begin. I also wipe down the door knobs, light switches, ceilings and walls, as well!

One of the cleaning tasks, which the website mentioned, that people put off or try to avoid the most is dusting. That’s my most hated cleaning job because it seriously effects my allergies and I have A LOT of “tchotchkes” to dust! Additional chores that are most commonly avoided by people include: mopping, cleaning the bathroom, cleaning the kitchen and doing laundry. I remember a couple of Mom’s least favorite cleaning tasks were washing the dishes and making the bed. Everybody is different and, yet, we’re all the same!

#CleaningWeek

HowStuffWorks.com has a great article, called 20 Everyday Activities and the Calories They Burn by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd. about which I’ve written before. It lists the calorie-burning benefits of many daily chores and cleaning tasks! Since, at that time, I had recently started trying to lose weight and get healthier, it made me love cleaning all the more.

The article claims that 30 minutes of dusting burns 80 calories, 30 minutes of mopping burns 153 calories, 30 minutes of folding clothes burns 72 calories and 30 minutes of ironing burns 76.5 calories. Although, who really irons anymore? These days, I think I only iron “once in a blue moon”, like when I’m quilting.

Illustration by Gloria Pitzer

Other household “activities” that the article claims burns calories includes moving furniture for one hour to burn 504 calories, sweeping a broom back and forth for 10 minutes to burn 28 calories, vacuuming for 20 minutes to burn 56 calories and, surprisingly, preparing dinner for 30 minutes to burn 74 calories. I wonder if Rachel Ray knows that her 30-minute meals have that perk too!

In addition, the article maintained that three hours spent on house painting will burn a massive 1,026 calories! It just so happens that I began repainting each room of our house this weekend. I started in the living room and have already spent many 3-hour sessions on it, so far. Next is the dining room, then the kitchen, followed by the bathroom. It’s been seven to eight years since any of these rooms were last painted.

Illustrations by Gloria Pitzer

For a little comic relief from all the virus and cleaning concerns, here’s a reprint of one of Mom’s satirical, “No Laughing Matter” articles, called “Eat Your Heart Out Mr. Clean!”

FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

The Times Herald (Port Huron, Michigan; Feb 14, 1974)

‘Eat Your Heart Out Mr. Clean!’ – by Gloria Pitzer

Many of you have written, asking what shortcuts I recommend for getting through the hang ups of housework. I thought you’d never ask. And I’m happy to share with you some of the lesser known household hints that you are not apt to find in the elegant publications…

Now, my household hints are NOT necessarily recommended by GOOD HOUSEKEEPING, Dr. Seuss, my mother-in-law, the neighbors, Mr. Clean…but they do work! Unless, that is, you’re expecting miracles.

WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVERS: If, while they are in the refrigerator, leftovers become as hairy as hedgehogs at bay, don’t try to throw them out. Feed them dead flies and keep them as pets!

WHAT TO DO ABOUT COBWEBS: If you have cobwebs in your corners and can’t figure out why, because you don’t have a cob in the house; ignore them if you can’t reach them. If somebody calls them to your attention, exclaim with pride, “Oh! I can’t touch those. They’re my son’s science project!”

WHAT TO DO ABOUT JAR LIDS THAT REFUSE TO BUDGE: Tell a 4-year-old not to touch them!

IF YOU HAVE OVER-SIZED HIPS: Wear Jodhpurs. They’ll go out where you do!

IF YOU PUT ON WEIGHT EASILY: Let out your couch!

TROUBLE FALLING A SLEEP? If you can’t count sheep… try talking to the Shepherd!

CONCERNED ABOUT SHORTAGES? Help conserve water… bathe with someone you love! Help conserve paper… stamp out bumper stickers! Get an education… drive a school bus! Eat a beaver… save a tree!

TO CONSERVE ENERGY: Don’t hold post-mortems, brooding over your mistakes. The faster you make one, the less apt anybody is to notice it.

BEFORE GOING TO THE EXPENSE OF REDECORATING YOUR ENTIRE HOUSE: Move!

TO PREVENT SCRUB WATER FROM RUNNING DOWN YOUR ARMS WHILE WASHING WALLS: Hang from your feet!

CLEANER FLOORS: If you have tried the miracle product as advertised on TV and you still can’t get your floors to look as clean as those seen on the commercial, write to the manufacturer of that cleaner and have them send you that mop!

Cartoon written and illustrated by Gloria Pitzer

SHORT ON SILVERWARE AT MEALTIME? Delegate a search party of children to check out the sand box, toy chest and cold air returns. Chance are, you’ll find them!

TO REMOVE CHEWING GUM from a new, white bedspread, apply peanut butter by rubbing with vigorous motions. If it still doesn’t come out, get a new bedspread!

TO AVOID HAVING YOUR HUSBAND USE THE GUEST TOWELS to clean the carburetor…hang only cleaning rags on the bathroom towel racks!

#CornedBeefAndCabbageDay

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, as it will also be National Corned Beef & Cabbage Day, the following recipe comes from Mom’s last cookbook (the ONLY one that’s currently in print) for her good friend’s, Julia Lega’s, legendary Reuben sandwich, as served at Johnnie Lega’s Restaurant & Tavern!

Illustration by Gloria Pitzer

THE REUBEN – According to Julia Lega

AS SEEN IN… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 187)

The best Rubens can be ruined by the worst sauerkraut. Most of us open a can and heat it up. My good friend, Julia Lega – who’s well-loved sauerkraut put ‘Beautiful Downtown’ Pearl Beach, MI on the world map of favorable fare – suggested this method and I love it!

Open a can of sauerkraut and dump it into a colander. Squeeze out as much of the liquid in which it is canned as possible and run it under cold water, rinsing it well. Then, squeeze out as much of this water as you can. Put the sauerkraut in an accommodating, oven-proof, sauce pan – or kettle, depending on how much you’re preparing – and add just enough chicken broth to keep the sauerkraut submerged.

Next, for every quart (4 cups) of the “squeezed-out” sauerkraut, stir in a 12-inch length of kielbasa cut into bite-sized pieces and 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar. Then peel, core and grate an apple into this. Cover it and place in a 350°F oven for about 45 minutes, stirring it every 10 minutes or so.  When the kielbasa is tender, well-browned and appears to have absorbed the apple and the liquids, add 1 medium-sized, raw potato – peeled and grated.

Return pan to oven for another 30 minutes or until you have no traces of potato in the mixture. It should almost dissolve into a smooth sauce-like gravy, which keeps the sauerkraut smooth. At this point, taste-test and adjust the seasonings to taste, adding a pinch more sugar, or salt and pepper if you like. Remove the sauerkraut from the pan with a pair of tongs to add to the sandwiches as you prepare them.

To assemble the Reuben sandwich: butter both sides of 2 pieces of dark rye bread or Russian black bread. Place about ½ cup of the drained and prepared sauerkraut on one slice and then add a slice of Swiss cheese and 3 to 4 ounces, thinly sliced, corned beef (see Index for my homemade Corned Brief recipe in this chapter.) Add top slice of bread and grill on a lightly buttered skillet until the outer surfaces of the assembled sandwich has nicely browned on both sides. Serve at once with a Kosher dill spear.

Illustration by Gloria Pitzer

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

#ThankGodItsMondayDay 

NationalDayCalendar.com suggests that we… “Stop shaming Monday and look at what Monday has to offer… 52 CHANCES to see a beautiful sunrise… share your talents with the world… teach someone a new skill that will better their lives…” For me, it’s 52 CHANCES to tell Mom’s story and, hopefully, ignite happy memories for others; while re-inspiring love in the kitchen, in the home and family, throughout the neighborhood and around the world… 11 down, 41 to go!

Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective is available for sale, at $20.99 each, through the publisher, Balboa Press, at https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062252; it’s also available in eBook form, for $3.99, at https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062253

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Spring into Cleaning

Hello, again, and happy Monday to everyone! Spring has finally arrived! However, in Michigan, other than a sporadic tease here and there, it doesn’t actually feel like Spring is here until closer to May. Nonetheless, it’s a light in the dark that gives us hope for tomorrow!

If you’re new to here – I am Laura Emerich and these blogs are dedicated to and inspired by my mom, Gloria Pitzer, the private investigator of “Secret Recipes”TM (aka the ORIGINAL “Recipe Detective”TM). I want to carry on her amazing legacy, which is why I titled my first blog in this series “A Legacy of Love” (9/17/2018). That is what “Secret Recipes” TM always was to Mom – and that’s what it became to me over the last few years of her life while I collaborated with her to re-write her favorite self-published cookbook, The Better Cookery Cookbook; which was published by Balboa Press in January 2018, with a slightly different title (more information on that at the end of this blog), for a new generation of foodies!

I made a living with my writing; but, it was my writing that made living worthwhile. – Gloria Pitzer

As I mentioned in last week’s blog, during her 60-year-plus writing career, Mom wrote and syndicated thousands of columns – some under the copyright heading, “No Laugh’N Matter” – across the country and for local newspapers. In the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, Mom also designed satirical cartoon panels titled “Full House as Kept by Gloria Pitzer”©, based on her own comedic, family experiences. A few are pictured below. However, I can’t find the dates of when these were illustrated or when they were published. The two on the left are older than the one on the right. The newspaper editorials she wrote and syndicated were much like blogs are today. Except, they were printed in hard-copy newspapers and magazines instead of on the World Wide Web.

I also mentioned in last week’s blog that I wanted to discuss cleaning, this week, since it’s the beginning of Spring AND National Cleaning Week – hence, my choices of Mom’s cartoon panels to share with you. As well, I wanted share some more special memories of Mom, in relation to cleaning. Mind you, Mom was not a fan of cleaning at all, even if it did have calorie-burning benefits! But, by no means, did we ever really live in a dirty home! As in stand up comedy, Mom often stretched and twisted reality a little bit to generate a laugh.

Gloria Pitzer – 1974

Mom was brought up in a generation that just did what they “had to”; keeping a clean or tidy home was just something that they’re parents taught them to do as responsible, civilized people – at any age. So, in honor of National Cleaning Week, plus Mom’s writing and comedic legacy, here is one of her old No Laugh’N Matter columns that she syndicated, called “Eat Your Heart Out Mr. Clean!” (as seen in The Times Herald, Port Huron, Michigan; Feb 14, 1974).

Many of you have written, asking what shortcuts I recommend for getting through the hang ups of housework. I thought you’d never ask. And I’m happy to share with you some of the lesser known household hints that you are not apt to find in the elegant publications…

Now, my household hints are NOT necessarily recommended by GOOD HOUSEKEEPING, Dr. Seuss, my mother-in-law, the neighbors, Mr. Clean…but they do work! Unless, that is, you’re expecting miracles.

If the good Lord had intended for me to have a clean house, He would have given me a maid! – Gloria Pitzer

WHAT TO DO WITH LEFTOVERS: If, while they are in the refrigerator, leftovers become as hairy as hedgehogs at bay, don’t try to throw them out. Feed them dead flies and keep them as pets!

WHAT TO DO ABOUT COBWEBS: If you have cobwebs in your corners and can’t figure out why, because you don’t have a cob in the house; ignore them if you can’t reach them. If somebody calls them to your attention, exclaim with pride, “Oh! I can’t touch those. They’re my son’s science project!”

WHAT TO DO ABOUT JAR LIDS THAT REFUSE TO BUDGE: Tell a 4-year-old not to touch them!

IF YOU HAVE OVER-SIZED HIPS: Wear Jodhpurs. They’ll go out where you do!

IF YOU PUT ON WEIGHT EASILY: Let out your couch!

TROUBLE FALLING A SLEEP? If you can’t count sheep… try talking to the Shepherd!

CONCERNED ABOUT SHORTAGES? Help conserve water… bathe with someone you love! Help conserve paper… stamp out bumper stickers! Get an education… drive a school bus! Eat a beaver… save a tree!

TO CONSERVE ENERGY: Don’t hold post-mortems, brooding over your mistakes. The faster you make one, the less apt anybody is to notice it.

BEFORE GOING TO THE EXPENSE OF REDECORATING YOUR ENTIRE HOUSE: Move!

TO PREVENT SCRUB WATER FROM RUNNING DOWN YOUR ARMS WHILE WASHING WALLS: Hang from your feet!

CLEANER FLOORS: If you have tried the miracle product as advertised on TV and you still can’t get your floors to look as clean as those seen on the commercial, write to the manufacturer of that cleaner and have them send you that mop!

SHORT ON SILVERWARE AT MEALTIME? Delegate a search party of children to check out the sand box, toy chest and cold air returns. Chance are, you’ll find them!

TO REMOVE CHEWING GUM from a new, white bedspread, apply peanut butter by rubbing with vigorous motions. If it still doesn’t come out, get a new bedspread!

TO AVOID HAVING YOUR HUSBAND USE THE GUEST TOWELS to clean the carburetor…hang only cleaning rags on the bathroom towel racks!

One sort of recent memory I have of Mom, regarding cleaning, is from shortly after her stroke in 2015. Mom had to go through a lot of different therapies, including physical and occupational therapies. One of her therapists called me one day, very concerned about Mom’s sudden dislike of her since they seemed to get along so beautifully during her first couple of visits. I met her at Mom’s place during her next scheduled visit to see just what she was describing to me.

Gloria Pitzer, 2013

The therapist went through everything she did during the previous visit. It all seemed to be going fine, at first; thus, I was beginning to think that either she misinterpreted Mom’s reactions to her, or it wasn’t happening on that day because I was there. Then, after having Mom do some simple stretches, the therapist asked Mom to make her bed as one of her daily exercises. Just then, in an instant, Mom’s mood changed from “sunny-and-75” to “stormy-and-below-freezing”! Right away, I started laughing out loud! The therapist and Mom, both, looked at me rather strangely. I guess it was an inside joke.

Mom hated cleaning – well, “hate” is a strong word; let’s say she “clearly disliked” it. I’m not saying she didn’t do it; but, that never meant she had to like it! In fact, I think making the bed was at the top of her “torture” list. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing at the situation, as did the therapist when I explained it! Not everyone get’s a joy out of cooking and cleaning any more than they have to – thus, the subject inspired the parody title of one of Mom’s cookbooks, The Joy of NOT Cooking…Any More than You Have To (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Nov. 1983).

I, on the other hand, like to clean – and, especially, to organize! I don’t know why – it’s some OCD thing I have – but organizing is more like a favorite hobby to me. When it came to her desk, Mom preferred what she called an organized mess, as in her illustration above. My own kids and husband like to tease me that I’m not OCD but, rather, CDO because I prefer things in alphabetical (and numerical) order.

#NationalCleaningWeek

 When I heard that this is National Cleaning Week, I actually got a little giddy at the thought of flipping the bedroom mattress; as well as, rotating the seasonal clothes and living room furniture – just some of the things I usually do in the Spring and Fall seasons. I know I’m weird – and that’s okay!

According to NationalDayCalendar.com, “besides a clean home, it’s a week that can produce improved moods, decreased stress levels, and increased creativity. It’s a week to put away winter essentials and tidy up our homes to usher in a fresh start with spring.” Furthermore, it also declares that “the American Cleaning Institute says, on average, Americans spend approximately six hours per week cleaning their homes.” As well, “our most dreaded of cleaning tasks [are]: cleaning the bathroom (52%), kitchen cleaning (23%), dusting (21%), mopping (20%) and doing the laundry (17%). Sorry, Mom – making the bed did not make it onto this list! However, dusting is the least favorite for me (mostly because it impacts my allergies more than anything else.)

20 Everyday Activities and the Calories They Burn by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd. (as seen on HowStuffWorks.com) says that 30 minutes spent on dusting burns 80 calories and 30 minutes of mopping burns 153 calories. As for laundry day, 30 minutes of folding clothes burns 72 calories and ironing for 30 minutes burns 76.5 calories.

Among other housework activities, the article also claims that 1 hour of moving furniture burns 504 calories, 10 minutes of sweeping a broom back and forth burns 28 calories and 20 minutes of vacuuming burns 56 calories. Even 30 minutes of preparing dinner burns 74 calories and, obviously, you should make healthy meal choices too.

Additionally, outside the house, the article claims that pushing the lawn mower for 1 hour can burn 324 calories… and spending an added 30 minutes raking up the clippings will burn another 171 calories. The article also suggests that picking up yard-waste can, correspondingly, reduce your waist size. Furthermore, it advocates that, by spending 4 hours of hard-work cleaning up the neighborhood, you’ll burn 1,800 calories AND improve your community! What a great idea! Plus, 2 hours of gardening burns about 648 calories or more and you can grow some nice, healthy vegetables at the same time. If you don’t have your own garden, or room for one, you can check around your area for a community garden?

If you live in a state like Michigan, where it snows at least half of the year, you may be interested to know that 30 minutes of shoveling snow burns 202.5 calories. Also, now that it’s Spring and weather is starting to improve, 20 minutes of hand-washing the car will burn 102 calories.

To observe National Cleaning Week, NationalDayCalendar.com also suggests, “to make cleaning week less intimidating: Tackle one room at a time, start from the top and work down; dusting ceiling fans, door moldings and window tops. Don’t be afraid to move furniture…” And, on social media, it asks that you “use #NationalCleaningWeek and #CleaningWeek to follow and share your cleaning tips.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog and will return again next week when I discuss more about gardening, as it will be the start of National Garden Month! In closing, as I do each week, I’d like to leave you with one of the recipes that Mom developed and gave out for free on her “product-ordering/information sheets”. Mom used the following TGIF-Style, Jack Daniel’s sauce imitation when she wanted to make chicken or steak with a little kick. The version pictured below is from Mom’s “Free Recipes/Information” sheet (2000), asking only for proper credit if you care to share it.

This particular sauce is not in Mom’s last cookbook, Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective ( Balboa Press; January 2018) – a re-write by me, Laura Emerich, of her famous, self-published book, Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Printing).  However, there is a large section filled with other great “Soups, Sauces and Side-Dishes” to tantalize, tease and tempt your taste buds. This cookbook (also available in eBook form) has 318 pages filled with over 500 of Mom’s best recipes, Food-for-Thought articles, inspirational stories, household/cooking tips and tricks, witty jokes, illustrations and historical information on some of the great companies whose dishes and products that she famously imitated at home!