Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Resolutions Week



Happy New Year’s Day. Plus, thank God it’s Monday, again. I hope everyone has an extra special happy Monday, today, as this is the FIRST Monday of January AND of 2024. I always look forward to every Monday. They’re my 52 Chances a year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with you!




It’s a new beginning, a new year, and a new Monday. With every new year we welcome in to the world, we hold on to hope that it’ll be better than the previous one. Whether we’ve had a good year or not, we always want better (or more) for the next one.

Thus, we make resolutions – and this week observes National New Year’s Resolutions Week. We contemplate the past year’s accomplishments and shortcomings, declaring what we want to stop, start, continue, change, give, or attain in the coming year, so as to make it a better year than its predecessor.

Simply, a resolution is a firm decision or determination to take action to do (or not do) something. It doesn’t have to be made at the changing of the year – it can be declared anytime – however, New Year’s Day is the most common time. Resolutions are usually connected to lifestyle changes that are, more often than not, related to wealth or health.

Quitting smoking has become one of the leaders of the pack, when it comes to lifestyle changes; especially since the new millennium began and all of the new restrictions that have since been placed on public smoking. Now, the renewed focus to quit, is on vaping, as well.

I found’s list to be very similar to my own retirement to-do list, except to quit smoking, as I already did that in 2006 – as a mid-year resolution (thanks to a book that Mom gave me). I’ve never gone back to it, since then. It was a struggle, to stick to it, for quite a while, as are most resolutions, in general. Persistence and commitment won, as always.

How many resolutions have you made and broken? It might feel comforting to know that it’s extremely rare to actually keep a New Year’s resolution all year, let alone all winter. In fact, according to The U.S. News (Dec. 29, 2015) …80 Percent of New Year’s Resolutions Fail by mid-February.

‘Success is not in never failing, but in never fearing to begin again.’ – Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 14)


This is also National Diet Resolution Week, among many other things. Dieting is usually among the top, most common resolutions people make. listed their Top 10 Most Common [2022] New Year’s Resolutions… (Dec. 30, 2021), which really haven’t changed much over the years.

Exercising more and/or losing weight are probably among the top failed new year resolutions that people make and don’t maintain. In 2019, as I did when I quit smoking, I made a resolution to lose weight (at least 50 pounds), by changing to a low-carb lifestyle; and I chose the first day of spring, as my start date.

I lost the weight, for which I had set a goal, through persistence and commitment – until I didn’t. I was thinner, lighter, and in a lot less pain from arthritis and sciatica but I wasn’t “happy”. Then Covid-19 hit and, due to the stress I felt soon afterward, I went back to my old lifestyle, eating what I wanted. My weight crept back up but I’m happy with who I am.


Getting more organized is another common resolution – one that’s always on my to-do list, as organizing is like a hobby to me. However, it wasn’t to Mom. She had her own chaotic system that suited her needs. To her, that was organized, as she knew where everything was.

I accidentally found that out, one day, when she and Dad were gone, and thought I’d do something nice for her by organizing her desk. When they came home, she was not happy, to say the least. Although she appreciated my sentiment, she was quite upset with my surprise for her.

Soon afterward, she got a sign (pictured above) for her desk – to remind me and let everyone else know not to straighten it up. And while Mom made statements about wanting to get organized, she really liked her own chaotic system best. It worked for her. More on that next week, as the second Monday in January is… National Clean Off Your Desk Day.


Excerpts by Gloria Pitzer, as seen in…

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

WHILE SOME FOLKS claim to have been born under a sign related in some way to the stars and other heavenly bodies, I wish to establish, right here and now, the sign under which I must have been born. It reads: ‘DO NOT TOUCH THE MESS ON THIS DESK OR YOU’LL GOOF UP MY SYSTEM.’

From this, you can imagine how astonished I was when, one day, it occurred to me that Heaven had certainly poured me out a blessing and my cup was running over. But I couldn’t find my mop! That has more or less (actually MORE) been the story of my life…my cup runneth over and over and over. (pp. 14-15)

It is with appreciation that, in spite of my lack of organization, Mary Ellen Pinkham, the famous household hints author, took an interest in our recipes… I really should get together with Mary Ellen and learn exactly how to become better organized but, somehow, time keeps getting away from me. (p. 119)

Learning a new skill or hobby, is yet another common resolution. Under the right circumstances, this can also lead to future money-making opportunities such as a new vocation or starting a small business. Likewise, making more money, along with saving more and spending less, is another common resolution that many people declare.

To me, writing is a hobby that I’ve loved since I was I toddler and Mom first taught me how. Then, once I learned to read, I was hooked even more; always in awe of the creative way words could be put together to tell a story, recite a poem, or sing a song.

To Mom, writing was never a hobby. It was a part of who she was. Something she naturally did every day, like eating, sleeping, breathing. She always said she “made a living with writing but it was writing that made living worthwhile”.

‘Having a goal gives us hope and it’s hope that keeps us going, enabling us each to meet whatever the world dishes out.’ – Gloria Pitzer [This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p.24)] claims that making a resolution is more common in the western world than it is in the eastern one. That being said, ironically, the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions originated in the eastern world, over 4,000 years ago, when the Babylonians made their year-end promises to the gods, so as to earn their favor in the new year.

It really doesn’t matter when you start a resolution. The important thing is to see it through and commit yourself to its eventual success. Most New Year’s resolutions are, more often than not, abandoned at the first sign of failure.

There are no rules for making resolutions. There’s nothing preventing you from changing the start date or deadline, making new resolutions or reiterating resolutions you’ve already attempted, but from which you fell short. Mom always believed that it entailed hard work to attain whatever you really wanted.

‘Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Half effort does not produce half results. It produces no results! Work, continuous work and hard work, is the only way to accomplish results that last.’ – Hamilton Holt, Hard Work With Some Caveats (; May 21, 2018)


I believe that every day is a defining moment, in which experience and knowledge, if given the opportunity, can influence our personal evolutions. Accordingly, I think we should seize those days and those moments and do our best to make the most of them.

Another common resolution is to “live life to the fullest”. This, by the way, is also National Celebration of Life Week, which is very similar. articulates, for this week, to… “celebrate all the important people in your life… parents, grandparents, nieces, nephews, best friends, and neighbors. You can even celebrate your own life.”

In celebrating your own life, as Mom often did, take time for yourself, to do what you love. Travel more or spend more time with the people for whom you care or simply take more time to read or to cook – whatever gives you joy.

Every week, I celebrate Mondays and my mom’s life, as the ORIGINAL Secret RecipesTM Detective! By the way, next Sunday, January 7th, is Mom’s birthday. She would’ve been 88 years old, this year. It’s been almost five years, since her passing and I still miss her – just as much now, as I did then.



Mondays have been my favorite day of the week for over five years, now. Since I started posting this blog every Monday in September of 2018. Additionally, I continue to reiterate my 2020 New Year’s resolution, to celebrate every Monday (especially today) as my own 52 Chances a year, to celebrate Mom and share her story with everyone!

Making every Monday my weekly, memorable beginning is how I plan to proceed through this and every coming new year. It’s “52 CHANCES to see a beautiful sunrise… share your talents with the world… teach someone a new skill that will better their lives… of meeting new people.” For me, it’s 52 chances to tell Mom’s story and share one of her recipes.

I hope you’ll be back for each one of them! Happy new year and happy new you! And as Mom often said, “Happy sleuthing in the kitchen!”


In honor of tomorrow, being National Buffet Day, and January, being National Oatmeal Month, here’s Mom’s copycat recipe for Oatmeal Cranberry Muffins, like Old Country Buffet’s; as seen in her self-published recipe report, Secret RecipesTM Bulletin #101 – …Buffet Specialties (Secret RecipesTM, Marysville, MI;1998, p. 2).

Included is an option for a raisin variation, making this two recipes in one. Mom often offered alternate variations for her recipes, giving them “more bang for the buck” and encouraging home cooks to go beyond the boundaries of the recipes they choose to prepare, by customizing them.



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


January observes, among other things… National Hot Tea Month, National Mentoring Month, National Slow Cooking Month, National Soup Month, and National Sunday Supper Month.


Today is also… National Bloody Mary Day and National Hangover Day. [NOTE: From 11:30 p.m. on December 31st to 12:30 a.m. on January 1st (every year), it’s the… Universal Hour of Peace.]

[NOTE: Jan. 1st (1975) is the 49th anniversary of Mom’s appearance with Bob Hines on CKLW-TV, Channel 9, in Windsor, Ontario (Canada), early in her career, as the Recipe DetectiveTM.]

Tomorrow is… National Cream Puff Day.

Wednesday, January 3rd, is… National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day, National Drinking Straw Day, and National Fruitcake Toss Day.

Thursday, January 4th, is… National Missouri Day, National Spaghetti Day, and National Trivia Day.

Friday, January 5th, is… National Bird Day, National Keto Day, National Screenwriters Day, and National Whipped Cream Day.

January 6th is… National Bean Day, National Shortbread Day, and National Technology Day.  Plus, for 2024, it’s also… National Play Outside Day, which is the first Saturday of EVERY MONTH.

Sunday, January 7th, is… National Tempura Day. Plus, it’s the start of… National Mocktail Week, Universal Letter Writing Week, and National Pizza Week.


…1 down, for 2024, and 51 more 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.