Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Decorate With Meaningful Colors

Thank God Its Monday again and, as such, #HappyMonday to everyone! I look forward to Mondays because they’re my 52 Chances a year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with you!



The harmonized arrivals of Spring, Easter, and April bring with them “new life” and fresh colors. Mother nature is decorating with bright pops of colors all over the place – in the tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, just to name a few! Similarly, April celebrates National Decorating Month!

Decorating goes hand-in-hand with my spring cleaning ritual of moving the furniture around. I also switch out my dark, winter accent colors with my lighter, brighter, spring tones. I do this through simple changes in the curtains, throw blankets, and decorative pillows. Color is one of the most effective and in-expensive components in decorating.

In the 1980s and 1990s, I sold attractive accessories (at in-home gatherings) from a Texas-based company, called Home Interiors & Gifts. It was one of my favorite jobs. I loved meeting new people in small, home gatherings and teaching them about decorating, like the Home Interiors’ team taught me.

I learned a lot of wonderful decorating techniques from my HI&G sales team. I also learned great social skills, public speaking, and selling techniques. I especially loved learning about Feng shui and color psychology.


Carl Jung is the pioneer of color psychology [aka: colorology] – the study of how colors affect our perceptions and behaviors. He’s well-known for his investigations into color properties and their effects on emotions. Color is used to represent so many different things.

Astrology includes color association in the various zodiac signs, having main “power” colors that represent certain characteristics. According to Taylor Markarian’s interesting read (updated: 02/21/2023) at Reader’s Digest [], Aries is denoted by red.

I thought red was an appropriate choice, as Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and, from what I remember learning in a college child psychology class years ago, it’s the first primary color infants focus on, as their vision improves after birth.

Continuing on, Markarian claims Taurus is represented by green – bulls do love to eat grass. Gemini [aka: “the twins”] is represented by happy yellow. Cancer [aka: “the crab”] is represented by glamorous silver and Leo [aka: “the lion”] is represented by gold – like his golden mane.

Virgo follows, represented by natural, down-to-earth brown. Libra is “pretty in pink”. Scorpio is dramatic in black and Sagittarius is represented by ambitious purple, while Capricorn is represented by solid, dependable gray (and brown).

Aquarius is aptly represented by blue – the color of water. Likewise, Pisces [aka: “the fish”] is represented by a light shade of green – like a rainbow trout. Keep in mind that color associations and representations can vary by region and many other factors.

Interestingly, since every zodiac sign is ruled by at least one planet, every planet likewise has at least one color that represents its characteristics. According to, Mercury is represented by grey. Venus is represented by brown and grey. Earth is represented by blue, as well as brown, green, and white.

Mars is represented by red, as well as brown and tan. Jupiter is represented by brown, orange, and tan, with white cloud stripes. Saturn is represented by golden brown and bluish gray. Uranus is represented by the tertiary color blue-green. And, last but not least, Neptune is represented by blue.

Additionally, according to, even the seven days of the week are represented by at least one color. The first day – Sunday – like the first zodiac sign, is similarly represented by energizing red. I especially like that Monday is represented by HAPPY yellow.

Additionally, Tuesday is represented by ambitious purple. Wednesday [aka: “hump day”] is represented by yellow, red and/or multi-colors. Thursday is represented by the creative freshness of yellow-green (a tertiary color). Friday is represented by a trustworthy but cautious bluish gray. Finally, Saturday is represented by dramatic black.

At, I found an interesting interpretation of which colors represent each of the twelve months of the year. According to If Months Were Colors (Author unknown; Oct. 31, 2009), January is represented by white, as it’s a snowy, fresh start to the year. I agree.

February is represented by red, due to Valentine’s Day [which is the heart of the month (pun intended)]. The writer then suggests gray represent March, for [moody] “cabin fever” and the color of the snowbanks along the sides of the roads. I think March is better represented by green for St. Patrick’s Day and the beginning of spring.

The page also suggests that April is best represented by pink because of the blossoming spring flowers and May is best represented by blue because of growing optimism in the warming days. I think light purple [aka: lilac] is a better color for May, as that’s when lilacs start blooming.

June is yellow for “sunshine, beaches and good cheer”; while July is orange for the “searing” summer heat. For obvious reasons, I think red, white, and blue better represents July. August is represented by gold, as summer heat peaks. I’d link August to summer harvest colors – orange, yellow, green, and red for tomatoes, peppers, corn, summer squash, and melons.

The page also suggests purple for September, acquainting it to school colors, civic pride and productivity. I think blue is a better representative of September for knowledge, intuition, imagination, inspiration (and going back to school). Go Blue!

October is obviously represented by orange for Halloween [and pumpkins] and fall leaves. November is represented by brown for the cornucopia of the fall harvest and Thanksgiving turkeys. Last but not least, December is aptly represented by green and red for Christmas. Silver and gold are also good representatives of December, for that matter.

Color is a persuasive marketing tool, about which I wrote in The Color Effect. Marketing concepts use color theory to elicit certain feelings or psychological effects from potential consumers. In fact, there’s been a lot of studies done on the various effects colors have on us, in general. The Cause & Effect of color is a fascinating subject.

How to Use the Psychology of Colors When Marketing, by DashBurst (June 19, 2014; updated Sep. 7, 2021), as seen at, admits that “The psychology of color is used in advertising and marketing to evoke emotional reactions.” The article also includes an interesting history about colors.

Mom had a knack for decorating, herself. Maybe it’s in our “artistic/creative genes”. However, certain color schemes and styles are more popular by region and time eras. Mom also used colorology when she chose the cover colors for each of her self-published books.

Color theory is an assortment of guidelines designers use to present appealing and visually interesting color harmonies or schemes, using the color wheel (as well as color psychology). Colors are neatly organized on an illustrative tool called a color wheel, starting with the three primary colors – red, blue, and yellow – placed equally apart on the wheel.

A 50-50 combination of any two primary colors makes one of the three secondary colors – orange, purple, green – placed appropriately between each of those, on the wheel. Likewise, there are six tertiary colors, between each of the primary and secondary colors. Tertiary colors come from combining a primary color with its adjacent secondary color.

The colors of the wheel are categorized into cool and/or warm temperatures. Cool colors include green, blue, purple, and the tertiary colors between them. Cool colors often remind us of grass, water/sky, and flowers (lavender/lilacs), creating a calm and soothing effect. I’ve noticed that the Northern Lights often appear in this range of colors, as well.

Warm colors include red, orange, yellow, and the tertiary colors in between them. Warm colors are often energizing and brilliant, even mesmerizing; reminding us of things like campfires, sunrises, and sunsets. High-energy bees and hummingbirds are very attracted to warm colors.

Neutral colors, such as white, grey, and black are neither warm nor cool. Brown is a hybrid that’s created from both warm and cool colors. Different shades of brown are made by combining two opposite colors on the “wheel”, such as red and green, yellow and purple, or blue and orange.

Many companies choose colors for their brands or logos that best represent them and indicate certain values. For example, KFC and Coke are associated with red, which indicates fun and excitement.

Culver’s and Pepsi’s logos are primarily in trustworthy blue. Similarly, Subway’s and Starbuck’s logos are green, which is often associated with being organic and/or fresh. Likewise, McDonald’s uses exciting red and happy yellow in its logo and décor.

People psychologically associate colors with certain things – like green grass, blue water, yellow sun, and white clouds, to name some general examples. Yet, people are so different – children to adults, females to males, and so on – that personal associations with any one color can vary greatly. It all comes down to individual interpretation.


Having said that, however, there’s a lot of common color associations, about which I learned, while selling the Home Interiors & Gifts products. Overall, color associations are timeless. Here’s my generalized list of colors associations.

    • Purple, like its two ingredients (red and blue), is associated with power, confidence, trust, and loyalty. Purple is also associated with royalty, elegance, authority, and seniority.
    • Blue is associated with loyalty, trust, calmness, peace, and stability. Blue is also associated with first-place ribbons and being a winner. Indigo is a dark shade of blue that adds a deep, dramatic, intensity to blue’s general effects.
    • Green, like its two ingredients (yellow and blue), is usually associated with inner peace and joy; as well as with growth, good taste, freshness, and It evokes feelings of a healthy and organic environment. Green is also associated with luck, money, success, and goodwill.
    • Yellow is associated with sunshine, joy, and energy. It’s bright and happy, which stirs up feelings of confidence, ingenuity, and artistic creativity.

Mom did all the decorating in our houses when I was growing up. I remember our kitchen in Algonac having yellow and blue accents. Gold and green accents were in the living room and the bedroom I shared with my two sisters was adorned with purple accents.

    • Orange, like its two ingredients (red and yellow), is associated with power and energy. Orange generates sociability, fun, and innovation. It’s not just for Halloween anymore!
    • Red is associated with leadership and confidence. It’s very active and grabs your attention, creating feelings of excitement, power, and strength. Red is synonymous with the heart, passion, and love. Pink is a light tint of red (mixed with white), simplifying the effects by adding a bit of youth and innocence.
    • Brown is associated with characteristics of being down-to-earth, natural, trustworthy, dependable, and sturdy (like a tree). Bronze is a metallic brown, with similar associations. Metallic décor adds classic and/or modern elements.

    • Black is associated with modern and traditional characteristics; representing perfection, drama, sophistication, primness and formality.
    • Grey is moody and stormy. But it’s also considered to be rugged, conservative, and solid (like a rock).
    • White is innocent and heavenly, like clouds and angels’ wings. It’s simple, honest, new, and clean.
    • Silver is a metallic associated with wealth, prosperity, strength, stability, glamour, grace, and elegance. It is modern, innovative, influential, refined, sleek, and sophisticated. Silver is also linked to the celestial energies of the moon and stars.
    • Gold is another metallic, similar to yellow in color but its associations are more like purple’s – royalty, elegance, authority, and seniority. Gold also represents pedigree, power, confidence, and wealth.


In honor of next Sunday, being National Cherry Cheesecake Day, here’s Mom’s secret recipes for Waist Watcher Cheesecake, in 2 versions, lemon and cherry; as seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 286). [A revised reprint of Gloria Pitzer’s Better Cookery Cookbook (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; May 1983, 3rd Edition)].





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Mondays & Memories of My Mom – Gardening Versus Convenience

Happy Monday to everyone! Unlike The Carpenters’ song, ‘Rainy Days & Mondays’, I love to CELEBRATE Mondays! They are my 52 Chances each year, in which I get to share Memories of My Mom with all of you!


Mother Nature’s grand arena is bursting with activity, as spring has been awakening the earth. Life is regenerating all around us. Now is a great time to get out in the yard and gardens since the whole month of April is celebrating, among other things – Keep America Beautiful Month, Lawn and Garden Month, National Garden Month, National Straw Hat Month, and Stress Awareness Month! [I’ll tell you in a little bit how that one is related to the others.]


Furthermore, Wednesday is National Gardening Day! So, if you haven’t been out in the garden yet – this is certainly the week to do it! An old adage says, “April showers bring May flowers” (some fruits and vegetables too). But it’s a little more involved than that. First, you have to get the soil ready – mulching, weeding, composting, etc. – before you even plant the bulbs, seeds or seedlings.

When planting vegetables, some seeds are better to start indoors, such as tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower, and broccoli. After about 6-8 weeks of growth, they’re transplanted in the garden, when there are more optimum weather conditions. Some seedlings don’t transplant well and, thus, should be sown right into the ground when weather allows. Examples of such include corn, beans, and peas. They should also be covered at night, whenever frost conditions are possible.

April is a great time, depending on your USDA planting zone, to start planting and growing perennial fruits and vegetables like asparagus, chives, rhubarb, raspberries, horseradish and more. I already have the first four in my gardens. My asparagus is usually the first to pop up, around late May.

This is also a good time to start “cold crop”, annual plantings such as cabbage, spinach and other “greens”; as well as root vegetables like potatoes, onions, carrots and beets. I’m not sure from where Mom got her original interest in gardening, as well as her green thumb; but I think I might have inherited it too.

Mom’s garden, in Algonac, had a lot of perennials, but I remember helping her plant seedlings for strawberries and tomatoes every spring when I was young! Then there was the subsequent harvesting of our labors from the family’s little garden and orchard. I recall picking tomatoes, apples, pears, strawberries, raspberries and rhubarb. Mom would turn it all into culinary delights such as sauces, jams, pies, cobblers, and the like.

When Mom first started writing and publishing her own newsletter, in 1974, aside from her recipes she also included a smorgasbord of different topics that homemakers, like herself, would be interested in. One of the sections was full of gardening tips.

Mom liked to use coffee grounds and ground-up, dried, egg shells to help her tomato plants thrive. A tip she learned from my Dad’s mom, who gardened and canned a lot of tomatoes, sauces and jams in her own lifetime!

But as Mom’s “Secret Recipes” business grew quickly, within a few years she had very little time to spend on her garden, because she was spending more time investigating further secrets of the food industry. Subsequently, she dropped the gardening section in the newsletter to make room for more copycat recipes!

After we moved from Algonac to St. Clair, in 1977, Mom did continue to, at least, have a few tomato plants in patio pots every spring through fall. She always had a green thumb, both, in the house and in the garden!

While most of Mom’s cookbooks (and newsletters) focused on imitating fast food, junk food, and restaurant dishes at home; one of her books dealt exclusively with imitating convenience foods, grocery products and “extenders” at home – The Secrets of Homemade Groceries (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Sep. 1979) – aka: “Book 5”.

When Mom used to describe the book for advertisements, she’d say “this exceptional cookbook includes some basic principles of canning and freezing foods, as well as making your own mixes, sauces and seasonings for a great financial savings compared to buying them!”

Besides the obvious financial savings and nutritional aspects of growing your own food, gardening has many other healthy advantages. According to Six Surprising Health Benefits of Gardening, as posted by (Published 2/26/2018, Updated 1/30/2021), gardening strengthens the muscles (as it can be a physical workout) and boosts the immune system.

Gardening is also known to increase happiness, stimulate the brain, and relieve stress. As I said in the beginning, April is Stress Awareness Month, too! Growing any kind of garden can be very therapeutic if you’re feeling stressed out and/or cooped up from this past year of quarantining for the Covid-19 pandemic.

Additionally, if you’ve gained what’s being coined as the “Covid 15” weight growth, 20 Everyday Activities and the Calories They Burn, by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd. (as seen on claims that two hours of gardening burns about 648 calories or more!

If you don’t have your own garden, or the room for one, just a few patio pots will work. You can also check around your area for a community garden in which you can participate. Gardening has a windfall of benefits! I’m already looking forward to putting on my straw hat (as it is National Straw Hat Month) and getting back into my garden beds this spring.

No matter what’s planted, anyone can burn a lot of calories by taking care of a garden, as there are so many physical aspects involved – planting, mulching, weeding, composting, pruning, watering (repeating the last four or five tasks, over and over, at least a couple times a week for a few months) and finally harvesting!

‘The most valuable of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do when it has to be done, whether you like it or not.’ – Aldous Huxley, English Writer & Philosopher (1894-1963)


We all know that when life gives us lemons, we should make lemonade! But did you know that as much as 75% of grocery products (including lemonade) are considered to be convenience foods, requiring minimal effort, which can be made at home with what life gives you (and a little effort)? Plant the seeds! In fact, many annuals produce their own seeds for future plantings, too.

Ever since the pandemic us hit hard, the art of homesteading found another revival movement. More people are learning how to grow their own food and make their own OTC health and beauty products. Many are even starting home/internet businesses, selling their homemade products to those who don’t have the time or talents for it, themselves.

WHEN YOU CAN’T FIND WHAT YOU NEED AT THE MARKET – MAKE YOUR OWN… I learned the following “trick” from my local EOC Head Start group, three decades ago, when my children were small…

EASY HOMEMADE CORN SYRUP – The best substitute for 1 cup of corn syrup is to dissolve 1¼ cups sugar (or sugar substitute equivalent) into ¼ cup HOT water. For dark corn syrup, use brown sugar; for light corn syrup, use white sugar. By the way, a 4:1 ratio of white sugar to boiled water will also yield (when cooled to room temperature) an excellent homemade nectar for hummingbirds!


As seen in…

The Secrets of Homemade Groceries (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Sep. 1979)


MANY PEOPLE FEEL that life is uphill all the way. They fail to look at the things that are good, enjoyable and worthwhile. They are conscience only of the climb. No road is ever uphill forever! We should soon learn the importance of being able to also come downhill without fear and be able to notice the scenery along the road, too.

Going through life without noticing the scenery and trying to see some of the beauty that is there – waiting to be recognized – reminds me of running helter-skelter up and down the supermarket aisles without seeing the ABUNDANCE that is there. Just take a moment to look at the heart-breaking plight of starving people in many parts of the world and, then, take a good look at the aisles and aisles of food available in this country!

We have so much available to us here… Many people fill their backyards each spring with flowers and shrubs, when they could easily plant food-seeds instead, thus cutting something off that weekly grocery bill!

‘Any change, even change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.’ – Arnold Bennett, English Novelist (1867-1931)

Convenience foods are boxed, canned and packaged food products that are manufactured for our expedient ease because we’ve become a too-busy-with-other-things, accessibility-laden society! Consider, also, that these shelf-stable products are filled with unnatural and unpronounceable preservatives and synthetic additives, in order to last for years on the grocery stores’ shelves, as well as in our own pantries.

If you’re concerned with all the additives that are put into convenient, shelf-stable groceries, then homemade is one way you can control the ingredients. Plus, you can also save money – as long as you don’t add the value of your time into the equation! The ‘overhead costs’ and ‘expected profits’ that are added to manufactured convenience foods are what actually kill our food budgets at the check-outs!


Here’s a garden decorating idea I want to re-share from a couple of years ago! I love it when things can serve more than one purpose – thus, my Christmas deer, lawn ornaments (lights removed) serve as trellises in my vegetable garden, during their “off-season”! They’re great for various vining plants like cucumbers, beans and peas; AND, as a bonus, I don’t have to worry about finding storage space for the large figures!

Suggestions for observing April’s garden-related celebrations include having a picnic in a garden or going to a nursery and buying a new plant. You could also decorate your garden (as it’s also National Decorating Month) by adding some garden art and/or a seating area, where you can relax and enjoy it all! Another way to observe is by giving a gardening gift to someone special, like seeds, garden gloves, or a patio plant! Don’t forget to share your ideas on social media with a hashtag!

#NationalDecoratingMonth, #KeepAmericaBeautifulMonth, #LawnAndGardenMonth, #NationalGardenMonth



In honor of April, also being National Fresh Celery Month, here is Mom’s “secret recipe” for a simple “Cream Soup Base”, with two of her many options for turning it into Cream of Cauliflower or Cream of Celery soup!

As seen in… Gloria Pitzer’s Cookbook – The Best of the Recipe Detective (Balboa Press; Jan. 2018, p. 117).


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


APRIL IS still celebrating, among other things… National Month of Hope, National Autism Awareness Month, National Couple Appreciation Month, National Humor Month, National Soft Pretzel Month, National Soy Foods Month, National Poetry Month, National Pecan Month, National Volunteer Month, and Scottish-American Heritage Month!

Some other celebrations for the week include:

Today is also… National Big Wind Day, National Colorado Day, National Licorice Day, and National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day! Therefore, here’s Mom’s take on a grilled cheese sandwich – college dorm-style!

Tuesday is… National Make Lunch Count Day, National Peach Cobbler Day, and National Scrabble Day!

Wednesday is… National Dolphin Day, National Pecan Day, National Reach as High as You Can Day, and Look Up at the Sky Day!

Thursday is… National Banana Day, National Glazed Spiral Ham Day, National Rubber Eraser Day, National Take a Wild Guess Day, Get to Know Your Customers Day (which is the 3rd Thursday of each quarter), and National High Five Day (which is the 3rd Thursday in April)!

Friday is… National Eggs Benedict Day, National Orchid Day, and National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day!

Saturday is… National Cheeseball Day, National Ellis Island Family History Day, and National Haiku Poetry Day!

Sunday is… National Animal Crackers Day and National Columnists’ Day! It is also the start of National Volunteer Week (which is the 3rd full week of April)!



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