Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Meant to Mentor

Happy Monday and happy February Eve! Personally, I always look forward to Mondays because they are my 52 Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with you!



It’s the last day of January. The final day for observing (among other things)… National Mentoring Month! Thankfully, mentoring can be done anytime, anywhere, and by anyone. A favorite quote of Mom’s, by James Keller, says: “A candle loses nothing in lighting another candle.”

I recently saw a documentary about how Bob Ross was such a great mentor for so many years to so many budding artists. That was THE JOY that he got out OF PAINTING. He loved to mentor others in the joy he believed everyone could attain from the simple act of painting. I always found joy in watching his videos and just listening to him talk.

Tawas Lighthouse – Tawas, Michigan – photo by Laura Emerich

As I’ve written in some other blog posts, helping Mom re-write her last published cookbook brought us even closer together, through our shared love for writing. It reminded me of when I was a pre-teen, falling in love with writing poetry. Mom was meant to mentor those who shared her love for writing!


Somewhere within that re-write project, Mom’s “child” (as she called each of her publications) became like my own “child”. I dedicated over two years of my free time to its completion. Mom was elated when she heard her favorite cookbook “went to print” again, saying one of the highlights of her life was being “kind of famous for a while!”

Mom passed away later that month (two weeks after her 82nd birthday), leaving behind a beautiful legacy of faith, love, generosity, humor and a wide range of creative talents. I feel so lucky to have all of these memories of her and how she mentored me in so many ways, throughout my life. Additionally, I’m grateful for this forum on which I can share it.


As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over – And I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 75)


THE CARE AND CONCERN that an author has for their readers is part of the pleasure of presenting interesting ideas in either an entertaining way or in an informative way. I try to balance my own presentations between the two.

When I am broadcasting over the numerous radio stations around the country, sometimes around the world, I try to lift the listener to a new height of interest and enthusiasm, and I leave the serious side of nutrition to the experts, who have the medical background to support their claims.

My hope is to present my recipes in such a way that cooking is a joy and never a job! I try to present these recipes with the same concern as I do [when] giving a gift to a special friend. Each of our 5 children, who have grown up helping Paul and me with these recipes, have gone out into the world with this legacy of love and enthusiasm. We can only hope that they use what we have given them…

I can only hope I’ve made Mom proud of what I’m doing with her legacy – her treasury of articles and recipes – and all it entails. Dad would’ve been happy to have fully retired the business after its 30th year of operation (2004). However, Mom never wanted to stop what she was doing.

Nonetheless, at some point in time, our bodies and brains reach that stage, when they just can’t do what they used to do. That’s part of why I still write for/about Mom – to continue carrying her torch, in hopes of inspiring others to be creative and write about what they love. I also want to share Mom’s mentoring in the kitchen, in the home, in the family, and in other relationships.

‘I’ve had so many good examples to follow – I’ll try to be one, myself, to somebody else.’ – Gloria Pitzer (This is not a Cook Book, written and self-published by Gloria Pitzer (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 8)

Mom had her own mentors, directly and indirectly. First and foremost was her own mother! Others included the Bronte sisters (whose family story she saw in the 1946 film, “Devotion”), as well as iconic comedians like Lucille Ball, Betty White, Carol Burnett, and Erma Bombeck to name a few.

I’ve also written previously about how Maya Angelou had influenced Mom’s writing, as well, after she read, in a 1993 issue of the Christian Science Monitor, about how Maya’s own devotion to writing began with “gratitude lessons” and “the yellow pad”.

I’m grateful that I grew up, being mentored and influenced by both of my parents, to seize opportunities and always give my best effort in everything I attempt. Everyone should have at least one good example, influence, or mentor. We should also strive to be that for someone else, too.


As seen in…

The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 113)


COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS, was always my mother’s advice to me when I would try to bend a sympathetic ear, imploring her to comfort me and keep me company in my occasional misery. And, of course, misery does love company!

But counting my blessings was the last thing in the world I felt up to doing when the world seemed to be so hopelessly bleak, and whatever problem I had at the time, seem so devastating to me. Now here I am telling my own children the same thing. Only I tell my own children to count their opportunities, for an opportunity is just a blessing in disguise!

I wish I had known this years ago. What frustrating disappointments I could have avoided, or at the upmost, handled better. I would’ve used the enthusiasm and the optimism that I acquired during the last two years or so to work off those petty resentments that separate us from folks whom we could really care about, if we only get to know them better, and perhaps understand why we’re in conflict.

Naturally, if we judge everything by what we see on television, we’d know that’s impossible – that people in conflict can’t resolve their differences, or so the reports indicate in those real-life fantasies that exaggerate greed, envy and contempt as if the motivation for these traits were purely justified. I don’t think they ever are!

Preparing your assortment of thoughts and feelings in a compatible mixture, in order to produce successful relationships, is really no different than preparing an assortment of compatible ingredients in a recipe for a dish that promises to be a stunning success on the dinner table.

Whether it’s a recipe for preparing a very good dish, or a very good relationship, the basics are still the same – compatible ingredients, attention to detail, thinking about what you are doing, and making logical adjustments as you go!


Again, it’s the last day of January, for observing… National Hobby Month, National Blood Donor Month, National Hot Tea Month, National Oatmeal Month, National Slow Cooking Month, National Soup Month, and National Sunday Supper Month! But, as January ends, don’t stop having a hobby or donating blood or enjoying things like hot tea, oatmeal, soup, slow-cooker meals and/or Sunday suppers. And PLEASE, never stop being a positive mentor for others!


In honor of TODAY, also being National Backward Day, here is Mom’s copycat recipe for Greenfield’s Blueberry Upside-Down Cake; as seen in her self-published cookbook… The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; June 1997, p. 13).


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


Today is also… National Hot Chocolate Day and National Inspire Your Heart With Art Day! Plus, as the last Monday of January (2022), it’s also… National Bubble Wrap Day!

Tomorrow is the start of February. Some of February’s month-long observances include… National Fasting February, An Affair to Remember Month, Black History Month, National Canned Food Month, National Creative Romance Month, National Great American Pies Month, National Bake for Family Fun Month, National Bird Feeding Month, National Cherry Month, National Grapefruit Month, National Hot Breakfast Month, National Library Lover’s Month, National Snack Food Month, and National Weddings Month!

Tuesday is also… National Baked Alaska Day, National Freedom Day, National Get Up Day, and National Texas Day! Plus, African Heritage and Health Week is always February 1st-7th!

Wednesday, February 2nd is… National Heavenly Hash Day, National Tater Tot Day, and National Groundhog Day! Plus, it’s also… US Snow Sculpting Week – February 2nd-6th for 2022.

February 3rd is… National Carrot Cake Day and National Day the Music Died Day! Plus, as the first Thursday in February (2022), it’s also… National Optimist Day!

February 4th is… National Homemade Soup Day and National Thank a Mail Carrier Day! Plus, as the first Friday in February (2022), it’s also… National Wear Red Day and National Bubble Gum Day! Additionally, it’s… National Boy Scout Anniversary Week, which is always celebrated February 4th-10th.

February 5th is… National Weatherperson’s Day and National World Nutella Day! Plus, as the first Saturday of February (2022), it’s also… National Ice Cream for Breakfast Day and National Play Outside Day (which is the first Saturday of EVERY month)!

February  6th is… National Frozen Yogurt Day and National Chopsticks Day! Plus, as the first Sunday in February (2022), it’s also the start of… National Burn Awareness Week!


…5 down and 47 to go!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.