Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Pursuit Of Happiness

Thank God it’s Monday, again. I personally look forward to all Mondays, as they’re my 52 Chances a year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with everyone! Therefore, happy Monday to one and all.



This is the third full week of January (for 2024). It kicked off yesterday, celebrating Hunt for Happiness Week, among other things. This celebration is designed to encourage all of us to take a closer look at what we each define as happiness and what it takes for us to attain it.

Humanity has been driven to pursue happiness throughout history. The basic necessities – like eating, surviving, staying warm – were probably the first foundations for happiness, during early life on earth. Obviously, throughout time and evolution, sources of happiness have developed and grown in a variety of forms.

The pursuit, itself (of happiness), can be described as a basic necessity, at least in America; as it’s a big part of our country’s Constitution and First Amendment rights, emphasizing the importance of individual well-being and the ability to seek fulfillment and joy in one’s life.

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)

Basically, we control our own, individual happiness; since what makes us personally happy can be as unique as are each of us. Where do you find joy? Do you like to write – journaling, blogging, and/or the like? Tomorrow is National Handwriting Day.

Do you find happy comfort in a cup of hot tea? It happens to be National Hot Tea Month. Is there a favorite meal you love? By the way, January is also National Sunday Supper Month, National Oatmeal Month, National Slow Cooking Month, and National Soup Month. Is there a hobby in which you relish? Incidentally, it’s also National Hobby Month.

Sadly, there are still those who believe that their level of happiness is in direct proportion to their level of success and financial worth. But how much happiness can you truly find in “stuff”? After all, they say it’s the journey and what you learn throughout life that really counts. “Stuff” may make you feel a little giddy, but true happiness comes from within us.

“Success levels”, if such things can truly be measured, have no real correlation with how many things one has nor how much money one acquires. If you’re hunting for happiness through money and things, you may find some false hope but probably not true happiness.

‘If true happiness [was] 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)]


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. 8)


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!

‘Happiness is a habit cultivate it!’Elbert Hubbard


January also observes, among other things, National Mentoring Month, which is something else in which Mom found great joy and happiness. Whether it be for aspiring writers or hopeful cooks, Mom loved to encourage their ambitions and mentor them as much as she could.

When she wasn’t writing, Mom often found her “happy place” in her achievements, imitating our favorite dishes from famous places (and saving our household money, doing it). Mom participated on several national and local TV talk shows and thousands of radio programs, 1974 to 2014, sharing her Secret RecipesTM developments and discoveries.

Those radio shows, in particular, made Mom happy. In essence, they were her “happiness chances”; as she shared her talents, mentoring others in their kitchens from her own kitchen, and teaching them new cooking skills to imitate their favorite restaurant dishes, while hopefully saving them money on their household budgets.

As with her hundreds of self-published newsletter issues, Mom thought of those radio shows like getting together for coffee with friends, which was another happy place for her, as well.


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. 20)


LIVING ONE DAY at a time is one of the best recipes for happiness and for achievements of great value. Don’t worry needlessly about the future! It only uses up your energies that you surely need for the day at hand.

Just remember that every day will hold good and bad, pleasure and a little suffering, too; a lot of joy and sometimes some pain, but don’t ever forget that these are the ingredients for making life either delicious or disastrous!

Grasp the good. Deal with the bad! Remember the pleasure. Forget the suffering as soon as you can. Hold onto the joy. Don’t let the pain get the best of you! When the pain leaves, don’t look back on it again. Taste the delicious flavors of the world around you!


As seen in…

Gloria Pitzer’s Christmas Card Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1983, p. 19)


THE CRITICS ALWAYS HAVE a field day with the subject of being happy, as if it were an unrealistic condition to which no one was truly entitled.

Those who claim to be specialists in the field are skeptical about the achievement of what is commonly considered happiness and take care to caution us against hoping to attain such a state, as if it were something only fools would desire.

I weigh the happiness I have had and what I feel is mine today with a sense of relief, that it is more than I ever expected – and probably more than I deserve. In keeping, though, with the commentaries of the cynics, one might think that it is unlikely and unrealistic to be truly happy today.

To be truly and totally happy, the cynical critics give us an unrealistic ream of necessities that we are first expected to possess. We shouldn’t have to be totally happy every minute of every day.

Otherwise, the state of absolute contentment just might become so boring, to us, that we would lose our appreciation for it. Every challenge we can meet, each crisis we can overcome, weighs more on the scales of success, than all of the gold in Fort Knox!

There are moments when we are the happiest, in spite of fret and discouragement, when we rouse ourselves from weariness and self-pity and realize that we are more important to the happiness of others than [for which] we give ourselves credit.

In knowing how important we are to others, we can find a degree of contentment that is often sufficient to clean the slate of any self-imposed put-downs. All it takes, sometimes, to put us into one of those moods, is the undeserved criticism of someone whose opinion of us is quite important.

Of course, the self-centered cynic, whose job in life, it would seem, is to constantly find fault with those whose ideas they do not agree, would try to make our little contentments seem like a fraudulent attempt to deceive ourselves and others.

Happiness is the one state of being that comes in so many different forms that the righteous critic, the cynic, the skeptic, can only feel it when they are being proven correct; while the rest of us find it, in doing what the cynics criticize us for doing.

Happiness, if only at wonderful intervals, is no miracle – no coincidence. It’s a happening! Or better said – a happy-ning! The scales on which we each weigh what is of value to us that gives us happiness, balance out what we expect with what we get.

One can find happiness in getting what they want – or in wanting what they get! One book [about which] I recently heard seems to cover the whole subject nicely. The book is entitled, ‘How to be Happy Without Money’ – but it costs $300.

Most of us think of happiness as an end or a means to an end – when, in reality, happiness is the beginning, not the end… and seldom the means to anything that does not reach out and touch somebody else with unselfishness and charity!



I want to point out that today is also Celebration of Life Day. Per, “celebrate all the important people in your life… parents, grandparents, nieces, nephews, best friends, and neighbors. You can even celebrate your own life.”

There’s a lot for me to celebrate about Mom’s life, not just today but every week. I truly find happiness in Mondays and Memories of My Mom, writing about my recollections of her, especially as the ORIGINAL Secret RecipesTM Detective…


Every once in a while, I get an email from someone who remembers Mom’s life, as the Secret Recipes Detective and are so happy to have stumbled upon my blog posts. Occasionally, I also get requests for one of her recipes.

Thus, I’m starting a section here for “Readers’ Recipe Requests” – “because”, Mom believed, “great recipes need to be shared!” I’d like to add, “as do great memories”.

Ken recently wrote to me, requesting Mom’s imitation of Stuffed Flounder, like Red Lobster’s. I found it (as pictured below) in her self-published cookbook, The Copycat Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; April 1988, p. 35). She claimed that this imitation is also like Joe Muer’s restaurant, in Detroit.

If you have a memory of my mom to share or are looking for one of her recipes that you can’t find anywhere else… Write to me at [email protected] and I’ll include it here, if possible.


In honor of tomorrow, being National Pie Day, here is Mom’s copycat recipe for “Grasshopper Pie, like Win Schuler’s”; as seen in her self-published cookbook, The Original 200 Plus Secret Recipes© Book (Secret RecipesTM, Marysville, MI; June 1997, p. 57).


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


The third FULL week of January (21st-27th, for 2024) celebrates, among other things… National Healthy Weight Week, World Kiwanis Week, and National Fresh Squeezed Juice Week.

Today is also… National Blonde Brownie Day.

January 24th is… National Beer Can Appreciation Day, National Compliment Day, and National Peanut Butter Day. Plus, as the fourth Wednesday in January (2024), it’s also… National Library Shelfie Day.


Thursday, January 25th, is… National Florida Day, National Irish Coffee Day, and National Opposite Day. 

Friday, January 26th, is… National Green Juice Day, National Peanut Brittle Day, and National Spouses Day.

January 27th is… National Chocolate Cake Day. Plus, as the last Saturday in January (2024), it’s also… National Seed Swap Day.

Sunday, January 28th, is… National Blueberry Pancake Day and National Have Fun At Work Day.


…4 down, 48 more to go!

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