HAPPY August to everyone – literally – as it’s National Happiness Happens Month! Additionally, Thank God Its Monday again; thus, #HappyMonday, too! I always look forward to Mondays because they’re my 52 Chances a year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with you!
Tomorrow is, among other things. National Happiness Happens Day. Accompanied by the month long celebration, that makes it a dually special day! But we should make happiness happen every day and every month. As Elbert Hubbard said: “Happiness is a habit – cultivate it!” He also famously said to “make lemonade” from life’s lemons.
Mom used to tell me that true happiness came from within us. It’s not found in what I think I want or in the stuff I attain; but, rather, deep inside me. It’s not about the things you have in life but, rather, what you learn from life, that counts. As we’ve all heard, it’s the journey, not the arrival, that matters most.
Surprisingly, there are still many of those who believe their happiness is in direct proportion to their level of success and financial worth. I guess happiness means different things to different people. Where do you find happiness?
By the way the first week in August is also Simplify Your Life Week. So if happiness happens for you, in living a simple life then this is really the week for you! I, too, find happiness in the simple things – like the colors of a rainbow, the happy-go-lucky smile and laughter of my grandson; plus, the nuzzles and purrs from my cats (and my husband).
I also find happiness in the sun sparkling on the brilliant blue waters of The Great Lakes surrounding Michigan. It’s in the music of the birds, singing in my backyard. It’s also in the aromas of fresh brewed coffee and bacon, baking in the oven; as well as that of a pot roast, slow-cooking all day.
Mom found a unique way to make happiness happen for others through her cartoons, food-for-thought articles, and famous copycat recipes. She had a contagious happiness about her that appealed to her readers, as well as to the newspapers, magazines, radio and TV talk-shows that continually requested interviews with her for over four decades!
Audiences were always very receptive to Mom’s “happiness virus”. According to a study, conducted more than a decade ago, which still rings true today, happiness is contagious! The study indicated that when one person is happy, the effect can spread up to three degrees in a social network, reaching family and friends, as well as their family and friends.
Think about it… People, whom you’ll probably never know, are going to be happier tomorrow because you made someone else happy today. In turn, the same can happen to each of those people… so you can see how quickly the “happiness virus” can spread.
Did you know – happiness is healthy for us too? Whether you are making happiness happen for others or you’re on the receiving end, happiness is well-known to increase energy and self-esteem; which, in turn, is also good for our hearts and, thereby, is likely to help us live longer.
Mom was an innovator in the early 1970s, creating an incredible new trend in the food industry with her copycat recipes that covered everything from fast food favorites to “taboo” junk foods, from pantry and grocery products to famous restaurant dishes, and more!
They not only brought our family happiness, but also millions of strangers and their families and friends, most of whom we never met. They, too, found happiness in making, eating, and sharing Mom’s copycat versions of their favorite noshing pleasures. I love reading the emails I get from those who find happiness in reading …Memories Of My Mom.
Like Mom’s recipes, which never failed to spread happiness, I found her many humorous stories and cartoons to be just as contagiously happy. Mom had quite a talent for spinning a yarn. Her stories and cartoons always bring a smile to my face and a laugh to my lips.
Happiness is a state of thought. It begins with gratitude for all we’ve already received and achieved – not with what we ‘own’ or the ‘things’… – Gloria Pitzer, as seen in Gloria Pitzer’s Secret RecipesTM Newsletter, Issue #218 (Secret RecipesTM, Marysville, MI; Nov. 2000, p. 5)
FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in…
Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes Newsletter (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Jan-Feb. 1988, pp. 1 & 4)
GOOD SAM, GOOD EXAMPLE
ONE THING AMONG MANY that I have learned from Good Sam, our national RV organization, to which Paul and I have belonged for three years now; is that you should never ever withhold your enthusiasm for caring about others.
Never regret anything you do or say on behalf of the good it might bring to those [about whom] you care – for, if your motives are unselfish, and your intentions are to encourage or enrich or benefit others, you can’t lose.
You should jump right in, adding enthusiasm to whatever it is that you are doing that might appear to be just a passive condition when enthusiasm is needed. Try a little enthusiasm! …Enthusiasm and optimism go hand-in-hand with happiness.
These provide us with an emotional springboard from which we can dive quite smoothly, into deep and troubled waters, and still surface refreshed and invigorated.
The trouble with trying to be happy all the time is that most people look for one particular condition or experience or possession, from which they hope to derive complete contentment, forgetting that happiness is a moment – not a forever!
‘IF TRUE HAPPINESS IS acquired through persistence and patience, it would be like the fable of the elderly Chinese profit who asked for a needle when none could be found. However, somebody offered him a crowbar and a file. He was pleased and assured his friends that it was only a matter of time before he could produce the needle he wanted.’ – Gloria Pitzer [As seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; January 2018, p. 304).]
MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
Excerpts by Gloria Pitzer, as seen in…
This is not a Cook Book – It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, pp. 7-8)
THE HAPPIEST LITTLE ESCAPES in our lives can be, to us, what the spout is to a tea kettle that is up to its neck in hot water! It can give us an outlet for letting off steam – in a nice way! Everyone, who has their own little escape from the harsh realities of everyday life, seems to fare better than those who have absolutely nothing to which to escape.
I escape to a good book that will make me smile – or better yet, laugh right out loud, like George Burns has written. I escape to crocheting and good music, to long walks and long drives in our motor home, with my husband.
There are so many lovely little escapes that each of us can choose that it’s a wonder more of us who seem to suffer from unreasonable burdens and false responsibilities, don’t seek out their retreats more often. It helps! (p. 7)
I WASN’T KIDDING WHEN I said I envied happy people more than I did wealthy or famous people. From what I’ve read and what the rich and famous have said in filmed interviews, not too many of them are really happy with their wealth and their fame.
John Luther said that ‘happiness is not a matter of good fortune or worldly possessions. It’s a mental attitude. It comes from appreciating what we have, instead of being miserable about what we don’t have. It’s so simple – yet so hard for the human mind to comprehend.’ I agree! (p. 8)
Through Mom’s stories and recipes and my remembrances of her, I want to re-inspire happiness in the kitchen, in the home, in the family, throughout the neighborhood and community, as well as around the world – just as Mom once did. Make happiness happen, not just tomorrow but also all month. In fact, make it a goal to do it all year long!
‘GOOD CHEER IS something much more than faith in the future, it is gratitude for the past and joy in the present!’ – Gloria Pitzer
In honor of August, being National Sandwich Month, here is Mom’s secret recipe for a Batter-Coated Cheese Sandwich; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 114). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition)].
P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…
The month of August observes, among other things… National Dog Month, Family Fun Month, Get Ready For Kindergarten Month, International Peace Month, National Back to School Month, National Brownies at Brunch Month, National Catfish Month, National Goat Cheese Month, National Golf Month, and National Panini Month!
Other celebrations happening this week include… The Dog Days of Summer, which began July 3rd and runs through Friday, Aug. 11th! Additionally, as the first full week in August (6th-12th for 2023), it’s also… National Farmers Market Week!
August 13th is… National Prosecco Day, National Filet Mignon Day, and International Left Handers Day! Plus, as the start of the second week of August, it’s also… National Bargain Hunting Week and National Kool-Aid Days! Additionally, the second full week (Aug. 14th-20th for 2023) is… National Resurrect Romance Week and it’s Romance Awareness Month, too!
…32 down and 20 to go!