Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Full House Cartoons

Thank God it’s Monday. 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 you. Therefore, happy Monday to one and all.





These are the last couple days of April, which is still observing National Humor Month, among other things. Similarly, next Sunday celebrates National Cartoonists Day. As I wrote last week, for National Tell a Story Day, Mom could really “spin a yarn” – even in her delightfully funny cartoon drawings, which she often called her “doodles”.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Mom created a series of satirical cartoon panels, called “Full House, as Kept by Gloria Pitzer©”. They were mostly based on our comedic, family experiences; which, likewise, inspired her numerous, syndicated stories (or columns) that many of her cartoon panels paralleled.

Her cartoons were initially printed in The Richmond Review (Richmond, MI) but, since their humor was so timeless, Mom reused them, later, in the newsletters and cookbooks that she went on to write. That’s also why I use them often in my blog posts about her, as well.

Mom’s columns ran under various titles, including “The Pitzer Patter”, “Minding the Hearth”, “The Cook’s Corner”, “Food for Thought” and “No Laughing Matter”; all of which also focused on the satirical side of the not-so-liberated-life of a wife, mother and homemaker, such as herself.


As seen in…

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


I DIDN’T ‘DRAW’. I DOODLED. The rest of my family could draw. My uncle, Earl Klein, is a celebrated artist in Southern California, who has spent most of his professional life with Walt Disney, Hanna-Barbera and other wonderful studios.

His own company, Animation Inc., produced the milk commercials for TV that included, ‘Daddy, there’s a cow in the bedroom!’ Another of Uncle Earl’s commercials was the Faygo commercial, ‘Which way did he go… Which way did he go… He went for FAYGO!’

He even did the Cocoa Wheats commercial with the cuckoo clock. One of my mother’s other brothers, Herb Klein, was also an artist and had his own advertising agency in Detroit for many years.

My [two] younger sisters are both accomplished artists. Paul and I are glad to see even our children are blessed with this artistic gift, as our son, Michael, has gone through the Pasadena Arts Center to become [an] art director for many fine advertising agencies over the years…

Our daughter, Laura… Is just as talented as her brother, but she has had not a smidgen of special training. Her illustrations are currently with the Center for creative arts here in St. Clair and also at the Mortonville Shoppe across from the old Morton Salt Company plant in Marysville.

My doodles can hardly fall into a class with either of our children, but they are fun to do and, also, have pleased the family over the years.


My mom was creatively gifted in many ways – as a writer, publisher, marketer, artist, crafter, homemaker, copycat cook, and more. Combined with a clever and satirical wit, all these ingredients uniquely formed her special recipe for success with her small, family-operated, copycat recipes business. By the way, May is National Inventor’s Month.

Like stand-up comedians, she often found the events in her family’s lives to be the best source, on which to base her cleverly witted cartoon panels and stories. Mom could see the humor in almost anything.


As seen in…

My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 52)


THE CARTOONS… had been the very beginning of my work in newspapers, as I provided ‘The Roseville Community Enterprise’ and, later [in between which I was writing at the ‘Algonac Courier’], the ‘Richmond Review’ with a cartoon panel I called ‘Full House, As Kept By Gloria Pitzer’.

The cartoons were published every week for four or five years. At the same time, I was also giving another paper a panel entitled ‘Could Be Verse’, which was three or four lines of rhyme or bumper-sticker-type logic.

One, for instance, read: ‘All marriages are happy… Love songs and laughter – What causes all the trouble is the living together AFTER!’

They were silly verses but fun to do at the time. From that, came [my] column entitled ‘No Laughing Matter’, which ran weekly for about six years; and, during some of that time, it was syndicated by Columbia Features out of New York.

Mom always had a very satirical sense of humor – not just in her writings and drawings, but also in life. Almost half a century later, I’m amazed by the timelessness of many of the issues, about which Mom wrote in her columns.

I guess it’s true – the more things change, the more they stay the same. We still need to fix the roads and there’s still corruption in politics. Every now and again, we face a food crisis or inflation or flooding or draught or some other kind of manmade or natural disaster. History continually tends to repeat itself in new forms of old events.

In the course of her syndicated writing of “food-for-thought-and-table” columns, Mom discovered a unique niche in the food industry that her readers wanted – calling her concept copycat cookery. Even though the newspaper’s editor, for whom she was working, and its food industry advertisers didn’t.


Cartoons amuse, entertain, educate, and persuade us. Sometimes they have lessons in history or geographical elements, from which to learn. Most times, though, they tend to have moral and social lessons imbedded within; teaching us that the little things like family, friendship, teamwork, and determination are what truly matters in life.

Cartoons are clever ways to make memorable and insightful or profound observations about daily life, politics, social trends and values. As such, they often highlight our general strengths and weaknesses (or flaws), in a mocking manner.

As the old adage says: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Thus, cartoons and humor go together, hand-in-hand, to tell funny, short stories. Did you know that there are also physical benefits from humor and cartoons, in general?

Scientists have found that, when you smile, your brain releases dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. Additionally, smiling activates brain molecules that are designed to fend off stress. When one laughs, it requires a larger breath of air than normal, which circulates more oxygenated blood through their body, improving vascular function and circulation.

Laughter increases one’s heart rate and decreases heart disease. Fifteen minutes of laughter is said to burn 10 to 40 calories, depending on one’s weight and the intensity of the laughter. It’s also said to equal the benefits of two hours of sleep. Moreover, scientists theorized that laughing for 15 seconds can add about two days to your lifetime.

A good belly-laugh relieves physical tension and stress. Laughter reduces stress hormone levels and increases health-enhancing hormone levels, as well as the number of antibody-producing cells. It also enhances the efficiency of T-cells, thereby, boosting one’s immune system.



Mom used to joke, in some of her cartoons and columns, about how Americans honor silly things like pickles for a whole week, while mothers are celebrated for only one day. I’d also like to know why such oddities are observed for a week or even a month, while our very “givers-of-life” only get one special day of honor.

Moms, in general, are perceived as probably the most influential and compelling people in our lives – not only in how they impact us, personally, but also in how they leave their footprints on the world, one child (and future adult) at a time.

Mother’s Day is coming in a couple of weeks. Usually around this time each year, I write about honoring our mothers more, regardless of the day. In fact, I often advocate that we should start a nationwide campaign for May to be National Mother’s Month.

I’d like to see a national month-long celebration for moms. Wouldn’t you? If you agree that mothers should be celebrated for the whole month of May, instead of just one day, share your thoughts on social media, with #NationalMothersMonth.


In my blog posts, as Mom did in her own patch-work-quilt-style writings, I try to bring my readers a hodge-podge of happy recollections – with, both, Mom and some Americana nostalgia. I also enjoy sharing bits of knowledge on hot topics and current events; with a recipe or two from Mom’s collection.

I have so many wonderful memories, traditions and teachings that Mom imparted to me; just as her mom (and Dad’s mom) also taught her. I can only hope that, in sharing them, they may benefit someone else, in some way, as much as they have me and my family.

I really love hearing from people who remember Mom. Everyone has some kind of wonderful story to tell about how she touched their life in some way – through her “food-for-the-table” recipes, “food-for-thought” editorials and “food-for-the-soul” commentaries – even through her cartoon panels, “Full House, as kept by Gloria Pitzer”.


In honor of it still being April and Scottish-American Heritage Month, here’s Mom’s copycat recipe for “Shortbread, like Lorna Doone”; as seen in her self-published cookbook, That’s the Flavor! (Secret RecipesTM, Marysville, MI; May 1998, p. 15).

The origin of shortbread goes back to the 12th century. Some argue that it’s English but it’s actually a Scottish biscuit that’s usually only enjoyed on special occasions, like at a wedding or on Christmas Day, because of the cost of its ingredients.

The butter, alone, which is one of its three main, traditional ingredients, is the most costly – in more ways than one. Not only is it expensive to buy but it’s also considered to be unhealthy to consume too often or in large quantities.


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


April observes, among other things… National Month of Hope, Keep America Beautiful Month, Lawn and Garden Month, National Couple Appreciation Month, National Fresh Celery Month, National Garden Month, National Humor Month, National Soft Pretzel Month, National Soy Foods Month, National Poetry Month, National Pecan Month, National Volunteer Month, and Stress Awareness Month.

Today is also… National Peace Rose Day and National Shrimp Scampi Day.

Tomorrow is… National Honesty Day, National Oatmeal Cookie Day, National Raisin Day, and National Hairstylist Appreciation Day.

Wednesday kicks off the month of May, which celebrates (among other things)… American Cheese Month, Better Speech and Language Month, National Asparagus Month, National Stroke Awareness Month, Older Americans Month, National Barbecue Month, National Egg Month, National Get Caught Reading Month, National Hamburger Month, National Photography Month, National Preservation Month, National Recommitment Month, National Salad Month, National Salsa Month, National Strawberry Month, and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.



May 1st is also… May Day and National Chocolate Parfait Day.

May 2nd, is… National Truffle Day. Plus, as the first Thursday in May (for 2024), it’s also… National Day of Reason.

Friday, May 3rd, is… National Garden Meditation Day, National Chocolate Custard Day, National Raspberry Pop Over Day, and National Montana Day.


May 4th, is… National Star Wars Day, National Orange Juice Day, National Candied Orange Peel Day, and National Bird Day. Plus, as the 1st Saturday in May (for 2024), it’s also… National Fitness Day, National Scrapbook Day, National Homebrew Day, Join Hands Day, National Start Seeing Monarchs Day, and National Play Outside Day (which is also the 1st Saturday of EVERY month).

May 5th, is… National Totally Chipotle Day, National Hoagie Day, and Cinco de Mayo. Plus, as the start of the first full week in May (5th-11th of 2024) it’s also… Small Business Week and National Wildflower Week, as well as National Pet Week, which is always the 1st Sunday through 2nd Monday of May.


…18 down, 34 more to go!

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