A Budding Blog…

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Well, it is with a fair amount of fear and trepidation that I’d like to make an announcement.
Before your mind starts to wander too far, I am not pregnant. That would cause mind-boggling fear and trepidation, and would, in fact, be a miracle.
This is “Not That Big a Deal” which is also the name of my new blog. Yes, friends I have “bitten the bullet, jumped in with both feet, leaped into the breach” and it scares the crumbs out of me. But, I enjoy making people smile and laugh and forget, even if just for a little while, their troubles. I think it’s something we all need now and then. I really do believe that “a good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures for anything.” So, here I go…
My blog link will be posted on facebook and twitter tomorrow and, hopefully, every Friday after that. I hope it does its job. I hope it makes you smile. 

 

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“What About the Italians?”

Last week when I shared my blog with my parents about the Asian side of our family, I received a slight admonishment from my Dad, “What about the Italians?”

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Posted in Aging, America, Americans, Childhood, Children, Church, Courage, diversity, Ethnicity, Family, Growing Up, Home, Humor, Italian Roots, Italians, Life, Memories, New Jersey, The Human Spirit, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sensible Middle-Class Asians

Last night was a cultural hodge-podge; tater tot casserole, just about as Middle-Class Caucasian as you can get, and the movie, Crazy Rich Asians. I’m sure it’s due to the ethnicity of the people involved, but it kind of reminded me of The Joy Luck Club…kind of. Both wonderful stories, both with the underlying sting of a deeply matriarchal society, and both stirring up amusing memories.

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Posted in Aging, Children, China, Chinese roots, Compromise, Courage, Cultural Differences, diversity, Ethnicity, Family, Humor, Irish Roots, Italian Roots, Life, Love, Marriage, Memories, New Yorkers, Uncategorized, Women | Leave a comment

Spit Update

When I was 55, my husband bought me a DNA kit through Ancestry.com. I received my kit, collected my spit, sent it in, and waited. The results were mostly expected. There were a few surprises, like 17% Scandinavian. There were also a few “less than 2%’s” that were odd…not the least of these being Middle Eastern and European Jew. But, overall, it was fun and exciting and, in a nutshell, this is me ~

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Posted in China, Chinese roots, DNA, Ethnicity, Family, German roots, Humor, Irish Roots, Italian Roots, Life, The Human Spirit | 2 Comments

It’s Only Hair

I guess it was always there waiting for just the right moment to strike. It was silent, deadly, like a pestilence taking over its victim until there is no recourse; until there is nothing anyone can do. I didn’t notice it in New Jersey. And, at first, I didn’t notice it in Florida, but it was there lurking. It started slowly taking up a little more space each year until, finally, it happened. My hair exploded like a megaton bomb.

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Posted in Christians, Church, Curly Hair, Facebook, Family, Florida, Friends, Getting Old, Humor, Life, New Jersey, Red heads, Uncategorized, Women | 3 Comments

And the Song Played On…

The year was 1969, and I was entering Junior high, now called Middle school, as a 6th grader. That year girls were wearing bell bottom, hip hugger jeans, peasant tops, and stringy, macrame belts with brightly colored beads. Having just graduated from wearing suspenders to hold up my skirts, these new styles were more than cool and very exciting. This was to be Junior high!

It was a whole new world. We had something called Homeroom in the mornings and the periodic changing of classes throughout the day. We had Home Economics in a big room with little makeshift kitchens. And, most exciting of all, we had lockers! Lockers came in two parts, a long skinny bottom locker for your coat and clothing, and a small square top locker for your books. The top lockers were stacked in twos, one for you and the other for your long-locker neighbor. Somehow, I was always given the highest top locker, which meant that I couldn’t reach it, especially in 6th grade; but I didn’t care. I put my books in the bottom of my long locker and ignored the teasing from my taller classmates who could easily outreach me and readily let me know. Twenty-something years later, my Dad was working at my old Junior high and I got to revisit those lockers in the sixth grade wing. They hadn’t been changed and I realized just how little I really was. It was encouraging to see that I had outgrown even the top locker. Not so encouraging to realize that my seven year old son had, too.

One of the best things about Junior high was the music program. No longer plagued to learn finger holes on a plastic flutophone, we had now graduated to actual instruments and I was ready! The thought of carrying an instrument case as I walked to and from school would be momentous. Thinking about the instrument I wanted to play and the thought of how big the case might be was a little daunting, but I felt that I could work it out. I thought I was ready. I thought I was able. I thought I wanted to play the drums.

Yes, the drums! I loved, still love, the drums! The drums give a sense of energy! They make me feel ‘up-beat’. Get it? Alas, it was not to be. My dreams were squelched by Mom and Grandma Moon, who lived with us. It seems “girls” did NOT play the drums back in 1969. I didn’t really understand why, but I was a fairly easy going kid and figured carrying a drum back and forth to school might be difficult. (I later realized that I’d only be carrying a drum pad, which seemed much more manageable, but too late for me to argue about.) And so I moved on and agreed, to play the flute. I didn’t particularly like the flute, but it had a nice compact case and it came in fun pieces that I got to put together.

I soon learned that the flute was not an easy instrument to play. Learning the finger holes was fine, I’d conquered those in my flutophone years. Getting sound out of the thing was a beast. Seems you had to rest your bottom lip on the mouthpiece, stretch out your top lip in a horizontal line, make a small hole between both lips and blow. My Mom and Grandma Moon could do it. I think even my little sisters could do it. I could not.

In my weekly flute lessons with Mr. Scanelli, I did my best, and hid the fact that I had a mute flute. There were five girls in the class and I realized that I could fake it. I knew what my lips had to look like and where my fingers needed to be and it worked…almost. One day, during practice, I forgot to pay attention. We were playing a lively song and I was enjoying myself, bouncing with the music and moving my fingers for their assigned notes; so much so, that I forgot to watch Mr. Scanelli.

It happened suddenly and without warning. Silence. And there I was, bouncing and with my fingers flying all by myself. Mr. Scanelli was not amused. I was told to either learn to get a sound out of my instrument or quit. I chose the latter. I didn’t want to be a flutist anyway, so to me it really was not that big a deal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 1969, Childhood, Clothing, Drums, Embarrassing moments, Family, Fashion, Flute, Humor, Instruments, Jeans, Junior high, Life, Memories, music, Music Lessons, Students, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Medicare…He’s Almost There!

My husband is turning 65 in January. He has recently begun his search for the best supplemental health insurance to go with his long-awaited Medicare. He is very excited about Medicare, not so much about the supplemental insurance mostly because of the doctors. You see, they are all…dare I say it…women. Oh, the horror!

“I may just have to go to a female doctor.” Uncomfortable words spoken by my husband.

My less than sympathetic response, “What’s wrong with that?”

“I don’t want a woman touching my ‘privates’.” (Not exactly the word he used, but much more blog-writing friendly.)

The conversation continued and you probably know where this is going.

“You do realize that I go to a male doctor…for EVERYTHING. ‘Privates’ included.”

He did smile at this, but somehow gave me the impression that his situation was ‘different’. Since men and women are wired very differently, I get this. And so, his ‘search’ continues.  Each morning at breakfast, I get an update. He’s good that way.

He also gives me a somewhat begrudging update on my medical insurance status. Begrudging because I just turned 59 and will not be eligible for Medicare for another 6 years. Quite a hefty output of income for something I barely use. But, we Americans are plagued by the “what ifs” and so, we pay for peace of mind.

All of this got me wondering about how Medicare began. I like to know the history of things. I assumed it came in with one of my very favorite Presidents, FDR, but it didn’t. It was actually signed into law on July 30, 1965 by another 3 initial POTUS, LBJ. AND, the very first person to receive Medicare was, drum roll please, former President Harry S. Truman.

Personally, I have become somewhat familiar with the ins and outs of Medicare through my parents and their many and varied “ologist” appointments. It’s an interesting program to say the least. There are the alphabetic Parts, that most people are familiar with; but, there are also new legislations and referrals and donut holes. Still, overall, it seems to work and for all that may not be right with it, I am grateful for it still and look forward to the day when it will be my turn. But, until then, our income will be output for our continued peace of mind because it’s really not that big a deal!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Aging, America, Christians, Differences, Female Doctors, Getting Old, History, Humor, Life, Medicare, Presidents, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

That’s A Bad Word!

What is a “bad word”?

When kids are little, this is a question they want answered.  On a recent “junking” (think flea market meets not-so-famous, but still American pickers) trip with my daughter-in-‘love’, (because that’s what she is) we talked about this. She shared that her boys had asked and being a down-to-earth, somewhat forthright woman, who had been asked in the morning when her mind was not quite lucid; she told them. She was rattling them off one-by-one at the breakfast table and just about to get to the really juicy ones when our son came into the room and asked what was happening. When she explained, he told her they should probably discuss this and find a different way to ‘share’ before she continued. Personally, I thought her way was very entertaining!

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When our own children were young, we came across this question. Cliff was at work and not available for a quick consultation and so, I gave the answer that first popped into my mind. “If you don’t hear Mommy and Daddy say it, it’s a bad word.”

Now, from Daddy’s mouth this was and is true. I’ve only heard him “swear” less than a few times and always as a joke to make me laugh. “Mommy,” however, was a different story. You see, “Mommy’s” very favorite word was ‘c–p’ and she used it often. I didn’t consider this word bad when I considered all the things I could say.  I did try to whisper it when the kids were present, which I thought was very commendable of me.  But, soon enough they realized that Mommy’s ‘favorite word’ was also classified as a ‘bad word’. And, when they heard me, they called me out on it. On the sage advice of my husband, I changed my favorite word to ‘crumbs’ and on occasion ‘crud’. I was pretty sure there was nothing  wrong with either of those. It was a fairly easy transition, but things were about to get complicated.

One night when Eric, our oldest and very thoughtful child, was about six, my sister and her husband were babysitting for us. It began with a documentary about animals. Who knew that a documentary would be our undoing? Who knew that a word like that would be used? Who knew that Mommy and Daddy had never said this word in the hearing of their son? Who knew? Eric knew.

He heard it and immediately informed the adults in the room, who should have already been aware, “That’s a bad word!”

“What’s a bad word?”

“That word.” He didn’t want to say it.

“What word?”

Due to his aunt and uncle being ‘uninformed’ he was forced to tell them.

“Breast. That’s a bad word.”

“Why is that a bad word, Eric?”

“I never heard my Mommy and Daddy say it.”

He was right. Mommy and Daddy were much more refined. They used the word “boobs” instead.

We came home to our children snugly tucked in their beds and my sister and her husband sharing with amusement what had happened that night. Needless to say, Eric woke up with questions the following morning. I am pleased to say, he did finally hear his Mommy and Daddy say the word, “breast”.

Because it’s really not that big a deal.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Babysitting, Bad Words, Children, Christian Parenting, Christians, Compromise, Curse Words, Family, Humor, Swear Words, Uncategorized, Words | 1 Comment