Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Ripples Of Kindness

Happy Monday and happy World Kindness Week! As always, I 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

#WorldKindnessWeek

‘No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.’ – Aesop

This week, people all around the world are celebrating World Kindness Week! Not only that but also, this Saturday will be World Kindness Day! It was on November 13th, 23 years ago, when the “World Kindness Movement” (which involves over 28 nations) launched the first World Kindness Day. That event later evolved into this week-long observance.

There are a few kindness “celebrations” throughout the year, such as National Random Acts of Kindness Week, which is in February. Kindness is so important to civilized societies that it’s celebrated often. This week, it’s celebrated world-wide!

As I wrote about in February blog post, there’s an amazing alliance, all around the world, that intends to evolve society for the better through DAILY Random Acts Of Kindness. Their website, by the same name, promotes making random acts of kindness “the norm” and offers a lot of great stories and other inspirations about different ways to spread kindness throughout the week.

There are many reasons for celebrating and promoting kindness! For one thing, kindness is known to have a lot of physical and mental health benefits for, both, the givers and the receivers, alike – okay, that’s two things! Regardless, something so simple, as being kind, literally changes lives – not only those of the receivers, but also those of the givers.

Science has proven many health benefits linked to being kind. Even psychiatrists agree that being kind to others empowers energy and self-esteem. According to The Science Of Kindness, being kind makes people happier; which causes a ripple effect, as it’s well-known to be good for our hearts and blood pressure, too. Those benefits help us live longer.

Like smiling, about which I wrote in June, kindness activates certain networks in our brains, positively improving feelings, attitudes, and mindsets; while reducing stress, anxiety, and tension. Being kind and receiving kindness, both, prompt the brain to reduce cortisol and produce more endorphins and serotonin, which simply makes you feel good.

‘Greatness is measured by kindness… real worth is measured by consideration and tolerance of others.’ – B.C. Forbes

Even a drop of kindness can go a long way. Random acts of kindness have been found to be an infectious and essential part of society. In every community, it helps to bridge the divide over race, religion, gender, politics and other such things. Kindness is a beautiful thing – no matter whether you’re the giver or the receiver.

While kindness doesn’t really make the world go ‘round (as that’s a gravitational thing), it does make the ride more enjoyable! Many believe that kindness is a contagious behavior that has the potential to change the whole world! It often sets off a pay-it-forward ripple effect. In that aspect, shouldn’t we all make ripples?

Mom was a big advocate for being loving and kind to others. She tried to be a positive example, lifting up others through her writings – from her Food-For-Thought syndicated columns (throughout the 1960s and 1970s) to her hundreds of self-published newsletters (January 1974 through December 2000) and over 40 cookbooks (1973- 2018).

‘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)

Mom loved to combine her unique, copycat recipes (aka: food-for-the-table) and household hints with food-for-thought articles, and food-for-the-soul inspirations – like a homemade quilt! That’s part of what made her books and newsletters stand out from all the rest!

Mom also wrote a few books that were full of just her food-for-thought editorials and inspirational ideas. Throughout, Mom would continuously emphasize the importance of being kind and loving and really caring about each other. She held a strong faith in Love and all the things it could overcome and yield. Mom would often inter-changed the word “Love” with “God”.

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. 30)

MAKING PEOPLE HAPPY

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?’

Is a single heart rejoicing over what you did or said?

Does the one whose hopes were fading, now with courage, look ahead?

Do you waste the day or lose it? Was it well or sorely spent?

Did you leave a trail of kindness or a scar of discontent?

As you close your eyes in slumber, do you think that God will say,

‘You have earned one more tomorrow, by the work you did today.’?

Since we were toddlers, in pre-school and Kindergarten, we’ve been taught to be nice and kind to others. According to Wikipedia’s interpretation of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, Fulghum “explains how the world would be improved if adults adhered to the same basic rules as children, i.e. sharing, being kind to one another, cleaning up after themselves, and living ‘a balanced life’ of work, play, and learning.”

It’s a shame that the simple act of being kind to others is forgotten by many after they leave kindergarten. If a kindergartener can understand its importance to society, shouldn’t we all?

‘Happy is the person who has a good supply of the milk of human kindness and knows how to keep it from souring.’ –  Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 17)

MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…

As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Mixed Blessings – Recipes & Remedies (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; March 1984, p. 15)

KITCHEN DESIGN

COOKING IS ONE OF THOSE personal accomplishments that afford us all the opportunity to express ‘talent’. We love being approved of. In fact, we eat it up! It’s the little pat on the back that gives us the incentive to continue trying. And where else, but in the kitchen, can you try to win approval with such satisfying results!

I’m very partial to my kitchen because it is the one place in our home where I feel the most comfortable! Whether I’m there alone, working on a recipe, or sitting at my desk, looking for inspiration on a new article I’m writing, or sharing a cup of coffee with a neighbor or a friend, who’s dropped by – it’s my favorite room!

I have a desk in the kitchen right next to the [sliding glass] door…that overlooks the yard. Our daughter, Debbie, and our son-in-law, Jim, gave me a flowering Crab [Apple] tree last Mother’s Day, which they planted right in the middle of the yard. I can enjoy it’s flowers each spring; also the very long bare, red branches during the autumn and it’s snow-covered limbs all winter.

It’s my sundial, by which I observed the seasons and the changes involved with this natural wonder. While the Scotch pines around this little tree never change, never go through the transition of bud to blossom to barren branches and then buds again, I can see the contrasts that are parallel to our own personal predicaments.

Some things, places – and yes, even people – never seem to change, while others go through budding and blossoming and withering away, only to come right back to life again in the sunshine of human kindness; as does my tree, in the sunshine of the seasons.

EVEN 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. 41)

SUNSHINE

SUNSHINE IN THE MORNING, moonlight at night, the fragrance of gardens, the deep silence of harvest fields, [and] the musical rattle of tea cups bring us rays of warmth, flooding through the open windows of the mind.

The laughter of happy children, the familiar tread of love [from] approaching feet, a beautiful thought, a pleasant dream, a letter, a kindly greeting, a worthwhile job to do, a joke, a song, a kindness received (and remembered) – these are things which cost us nothing but enrich us beyond all telling!

LAST THOUGHTS…

#FoodForThought

IN CLOSING…

Since tomorrow is National Scrapple Day, here is Mom’s secret recipe for Scapegoat Scrapple; as seen in her self-published cookbook, Gloria Pitzer’s Mixed Blessings – Recipes & Remedies (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; March 1984, p. 40)

#NationalScrappleDay

#GloriaPitzersCookbook

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

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

#LearnSomethingNewEveryDay

Some November month-long observances include… Banana Pudding Lovers Month, Diabetic Eye Disease Month, Epilepsy Awareness Month, Gluten-Free Diet Awareness Month, Historic Bridge Awareness Month, National Diabetes Month, National Fun with Fondue Month, National Native American Heritage Month, National Peanut Butter Lovers Month, National Pepper Month, National Pomegranate Month, National Raisin Bread MonthNational Roasting Month, Spinach and Squash Month, Sweet Potato Awareness Month (see February also), and National Vegan Month!

Additionally, as of yesterday, it’s also Dear Santa Letter Week and National Young Reader’s Week, which is always the second week of November.

Furthermore, today is also… National Cappuccino Day, National Harvey Wallbanger Day, and National Parents As Teachers Day! 

Tomorrow, November 9th is also… National Louisiana Day!

Wednesday, November 10th is… U.S. Marine Corps Birthday, National Forget-Me-Not Day, and National Vanilla Cupcake Day!

Thursday, November 11th is… National Sundae Day and Veterans Day!

Friday, November 12th is… National French Dip Day, National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day, and National Chicken Soup for the Soul Day!

Saturday, November 13th is… National Indian Pudding Day!

Sunday, November 14th is… National Family PJ Day, National Pickle Day, and National Spicy Guacamole Day! It’s also my birthday! Plus, it’s the start of National Book Award Week!

#TGIM

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

…45 down and 7 to go!

Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Kindness Begets Kindness

Happy Monday to all and happy World Kindness Week! #TGIM I always look forward to Mondays because they are my #52Chances a year, in which I can share Memories of My Mom with all of you!

#WorldKindnessWeek

#WorldKindnessDay

Today begins World Kindness Week, and this Friday is World Kindness Day, which is celebrated on November 13th every year. In fact, it was November 13, 1998 when the “World Kindness Movement” (involving over 28 nations) launched the first World Kindness Day. That event later evolved into a week-long celebration that came to be known as World Kindness Week, which starts on Monday of the week in which World Kindness Day is celebrated.

Kindness helps others feel valued. Showing even the smallest amount of kindness can go a long way. Like Aesop said: “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.”

Many believe that kindness has the potential to change the whole world. Its contagiousness often sets off a pay-it-forward ripple effect. Subsequently, I want to promote spreading kindness, especially this week.

BE A RIPPLE – from shore to shore!

Being kind can change lives – not only the lives of the receivers, but also those of the givers. Kindness is commonly known to have physical (and mental) health benefits for, both, givers and receivers. It is truly an essential part of society, bridging the divides of race, religion, gender, and other such things – even politics. This is an excellent week to celebrate kindness! With all of the political upheaval going on in our country, we need this more than ever.

Many psychiatrists concur that some healthy benefits of kindness include empowering our own personal energy and self-esteem. It makes us happier and that is good for our hearts, thereby, helping us to also live longer. Science has proven that there are many health benefits to being kind. You can read more about them at https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/the-science-of-kindness.

I want to pass this on once again, to do for this week’s celebration of World Kindness Week – it’s from an article on StarTribune.com called “Why Being Kind Makes You Healthier”, by Chrystle Fiedler (July 24, 2019). Chrystle writes:

‘Try the seven-day kindness challenge. That means, do at least one act of kindness every day for seven days. Ground rules: Do something different each day; push yourself out of your comfort zone at least once and be sure one of your acts of kindness is anonymous — no one should ever find out who did it.’

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. 30)

MAKING PEOPLE HAPPY

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?’

IS A SINGLE HEART REJOICING over what you did or said?

Does the one whose hopes were fading, now with courage, look ahead?

Do you waste the day or lose it? Was it well or sorely spent?

Did you leave a trail of kindness or a scar of discontent?

As you close your eyes in slumber, do you think that God will say,

‘You have earned one more tomorrow, by the work you did today.’?

‘Happy is the person who has a good supply of the milk of human kindness and knows how to keep it from souring.’– Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 17)

Gloria Pitzer, 2013

#MakeKindnessTheNorm

In fact, we receive many other types of rewards from simply being kind to others. One non-profit organization that I mentioned in a February blog post, RandomActsOfKindness.org, promotes making acts of kindness “the norm” in life and in society. The website offers a lot of inspiring ideas and stories about various acts of kindness.

I can’t say it enough – being kind and compassionate should happen every day! After all, we’ve been taught to be good and kind since we were toddlers, starting school, or even younger. It’s a shame that the simple act of being kind to someone is forgotten by so many after they leave Kindergarten. If a young child can understand the simple importance kindness has in society, shouldn’t we all?

According to Wikipedia’s interpretation of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum, “explains how the world would be improved if adults adhered to the same basic rules as children, i.e. sharing, being kind to one another, cleaning up after themselves, and living a balanced life of work, play, and learning.”

The “Golden Rule” is a basic, moral principle for society that encourages all of us to treat others with kindness, as that’s how we would want to be treated, as well! It’s a simple, reasonable code, by which we should all live, daily.

Like I mentioned above, a culture of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on society and, thus, doing something kind inspires others to pay it forward, also. And, at WisdomQuotes.com, there is “440 Kindness Quotes That Will Make You A Better Person” – which is more than enough ideas from which to follow at least one a day for more than a year!

In so many ways, Mom and Dad, both, set good examples for me to follow. I am so grateful that my family heritage, on both sides, were good and kind people. I’m proud to do the same, setting a good example for my children to follow (as well as for people that know me) and that they will continue it, as well; making kindness a “daily norm”.

Like a child’s laugh or a heart-felt smile, acts of kindness can be contagious. However, unlike Covid-19, that’s a good thing. Plant the seeds, every day, and watch kindness grow wild!

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:

THE WHITE HOUSE

Washington, D.C.

September 12, 1974

PERSONAL

Dear Mrs. Pitzer:

I was pleased to receive an inscribed copy of your cookbook together with your kind note. It is indeed heartening to have the good wishes of so many Michigan friends and the support of fine people like you is a source of strength and encouragement to me.

With warm regards,

Sincerely,

GERALD R. FORD

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!

The giving of the best of ourselves should be done without expectations of reciprocations of gratitude! It is through acts of kindness and giving from our hearts that we actually receive our own true gift – one that can’t be bought or even price-valued – the gift of LOVE!

IN CLOSING…

In honor of our national election day last week and Veterans’ Day tomorrow, here is Mom’s “secret recipe” for…

Creamed Chipped Beef On Toast, like Langley AFB (VA)

As seen in… The Joy Of NOT Cooking Any More Than You Have To (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Nov. 1983, p. 53)

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

Food For Thought…

#NationalScrappleDay

Today is also National Scrapple Day. According to Wikipedia.com, scrapple is “the first pork food invented in America. For those not familiar with scrapple, it is traditionally a mush of pork scraps and trimmings combined with cornmeal, wheat flour, and spices, such as sage, thyme, savory and black pepper. The mush is then formed into a semi-solid loaf, sliced and pan-fried.” Scrapple is also known by the Pennsylvania Dutch name pon haus… Local settlers adapted the dish to make use of locally available ingredients.

#WHBY

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

If you missed my last session with Kathy Keene, you can listen to the recording of it at https://www.whby.com/2020/10/26/laura-pitzer-emerich-5/!

#CelebrateEveryDay

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

…45 down, 7 to go!

(Christmas and the year’s end are coming fast!)

https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001062252