Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Smile

Happy Monday, everyone! Today is, among other things, Memorial Day. A special day of solace, remembering and honoring all those who’ve died, serving in any one of our country’s Armed Forces to protect all of our freedoms.


Today is also National Smile Day – so let’s turn a frown upside-down! I do still look forward to Mondays. They always make me smile, as they continue to be my 52 Chances per year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!


Smile and the world smiles with you!’ – Stanley Gordon West

I’ve mentioned many times in my blog posts that Mom’s Food-for-Thought editorials were written with a great love and passion for entertaining, helping and informing her readers. Likewise, her cartoons were drawn with a subtle, satirical humor, also meant to amuse her readers and bring a little smile to their day.

Similarly, as Mom did in her own patch-work-quilt-style writings, I try to bring “my readers” a hodge-podge of happy recollections of, both, Mom and the nostalgia of days gone by. Add in a few smiles and, maybe, a giggle or two. I also enjoy sharing little bits of knowledge on hot topics and current events; with a recipe or two from Mom’s vast collection (and, on rare occasions, my own) thrown into the mix. It’s like the whipped cream and cherry on top of a banana split!


Mom had always accredited Fred Sanders of the Sanders Candy Company with the invention of the banana split. She enjoyed their confections and ice cream treats often as a young girl, growing up in the Detroit suburbs. As for the official inventor of the banana split – some claim it originated in Wilmington, OH; while others say it began in Latrobe, PA.

Sanders Chocolates was re-founded in 1875, by Fred Sanders Schmidt in Detroit, MI; following the destruction of his original location, during “The Great Fire” in Chicago in 1871. By 1962, when Fred’s grandson took over, the company had grown to 111 ‘Sanders Chocolate & Ice Cream Shops’ in the Great Lakes area; where they sold their own delectable candy, baked goods, light lunches, ice cream sodas, and sundaes with various toppings. They’re very famous for their Bumpy Cake, Hot Fudge and Cream Puffs.



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 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… to Julie Greenwalt of People magazine, when she called and asked me to think about those typical things that happen, here, which 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!


As seen in…

This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 43)


A SMILE IS the universal, unspoken language between us. Some people smile more easily than others, but a smile is as good as a hug. I just LOVE people who smile a lot! Even when I’m shopping or [when Paul and I are] walking around the campgrounds on one of our abbreviated ‘get-aways’ with our motorhome, I find myself smiling at people I have never seen before, and they smile back. It’s contagious!

People don’t smile as much as they should! I’ve noticed lately how seldom strangers smile at each other in shopping centers and restaurants and other places where average folks mingle or pass. It occurred to me that there was nothing to lose by smiling and nodding at people as I shopped or glanced across a restaurant to other tables.

A surprising thing happened! Grim looking faces spontaneously responded with smiles and nods, as if they were trying to place me or recall where we might have met before. It was just wonderful!

I remember Mom often telling me stories about how, when I was just a couple of years old, no matter where she took me – on a ride in the car or shopping in a store, to name a couple – I always waved at people, strangers or not, smiling and saying “Hi!” I still do!


As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 4)

To seize every opportunity to express your very best effort is the kind of motivation with which I grew up and have passed on to our five, now-adult, children. When they all lined up for this Memorial Day snapshot [in 1969 (below)], before we left to march in the big parade in beautiful, downtown Algonac; little did we know how beautifully our [lives] would turn out. How little did we know what big challenges would tempt us to give up, to succumb to defeat.

Shout out, again, to, for their timeless, uplifting article, ‘7 Ways To Stay Strong When Everything Goes Wrong’, which still applies to the current, difficult days we face. I found the following excerpt from it especially inspiring!

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.”


As seen in…

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


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.


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.



If you missed my last monthly visit with Kathy Keene, on WHBY’s Good Neighbor” show last week, you can listen to the podcast recording here:


In honor of today, being National Utah Day and National Macaroon Day, here are TWO of Mom’s “secret recipes” –

Utah Chili, as seen in The American Cookery Cookbook (Happy Newspaper Features, Pearl Beach, MI; July 1976, p. 37)


Share-A-Lease Macaroons, as seen in The Second Helping of Secret Recipes (National Homemakers Newsletter, Pearl Beach, MI; July 1977, p. 30)

[NOTE: Top cookies with melted chocolate drizzle for Thursday’s National Chocolate Macaroons Day!]

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


Tomorrow is the opening day of June, which celebrates, among other things… National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month, National Candy Month, National Camping Month, National Caribbean American Month, National Country Cooking MonthNational Dairy Month, National Great Outdoors Month, National Iced Tea Month, National Papaya Month, National Pollinators Month, National Soul Food Month, National Rose Month, and National Turkey Lovers Month!

Other observances happening this week include:

Tuesday, June 1st, is… National Olive Day, National Say Something Nice Day, National Pen Pal Day, and National Hazelnut Cake Day!

Wednesday, June 2nd, is… National Rotisserie Chicken Day and National Rocky Road Day!

Thursday, June 3rd, is… National Egg Day!

Friday, June 4th, is… National Cheese Day and National Doughnut Day (which is always the first Friday in June)!

Saturday, June 5th, is… National Gingerbread Day and National Veggie Burger Day! Plus, as the first Saturday in June, it is also… National Trails Day and National Play Outside Day! Additionally, as the first Saturday in June, it’s also the BEGINNING of International Clothesline Week and National Fishing and Boating Week!

Sunday, June 6th, is… National D-Day, National Gardening Exercise Day, National Drive-In Movie Day, and National Applesauce Cake Day! Additionally, as the first Sunday in June, it’s also the BEGINNING of National Gardening Week and Community Health Improvement Week!


…22 down and 30 to go!


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