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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Adventures in Real Estate

“You’re the perfect size for a jockey.”

So said my High School Guidance Counselor when we met to have that all important discussion of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought this an odd statement to make to a female high school student but, then again, it was the 70’s and he did kind of look and smell like he’d been smoking…something. I admit that I briefly considered this suggestion; I do like horses. However, since my only real experience was riding a Shetland pony in my cousin’s backyard, I came to the very grown-up conclusion that this was probably not a good idea.

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Posted in Children, diversity, Family, Florida, Humor, Irish Roots, Italian Roots, New Jersey, New Yorkers, Real Estate Agents, The Human Spirit, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Erma Adventure

In the year 2000, Albert Einstein was voted Time Magazine’s Person of the Century; the Yankees won the World Series; a gallon of gas cost $1.56; and the Erma Bombeck Writer’s Workshop at the University of Dayton was born. I didn’t know this Workshop existed until 2016 when my, soon-to-be Fairy Blog Mother, Bonnie told me we should go to the next one in 2018.

And so, last week we went.

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Posted in Air sick, Airports, Erma Bombeck, Friends, God, Humor, Naked Mole Rats, The Human Spirit, Uncategorized, Women, Writer's Workshops | 2 Comments

Diversity

For the past few weeks, our church has been talking about diversity. Diversity defined is the state or fact of being diverse; difference, unlikeness; variety and multiformity; the inclusion of individuals representing more than one national origin, color, religion, etc. Needless to say, we have a lot of ‘diversity’ in our family.

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Posted in Aging, Curly Hair, diversity, Family, Florida, Friends, Humor, Irish Roots, Italian Roots, New Jersey, The Human Spirit, Women | 3 Comments

The Necklace

Grandma Moon lived with us for all of my growing-up years. In fact, I never remember a time when she didn’t live with us. Gram was the only grandmother, really the only grandparent, I had. I remember her clearly and fondly and often. Gram loved to read and be read to. She loved watching Merv Griffin at night and she always had a stash of Vanilla Wafer cookies hidden in her room that my siblings and I would, occasionally, loot.  She helped me learn how to sew, her mother had been a seamstress. She shared my love for fabric and we’d go on outings to the fabric store that would thrill nobody but us. She taught me how to crochet and tried to teach me how to knit. When I dropped more stitches than I knit, she’s the one who told me plainly, “Roxanne, I love you. You cannot knit.” Grandma and I shared a lot things… Continue reading

Posted in Faithfulness, Family, God, The Human Spirit, Women | 1 Comment

Shooting Grace

Since moving to Florida in 1998, and having quite a bit of family and friends in the North, we have often referred to our home as the “Chin Inn”. Much of our family has followed us down here, but the “Inn” is still open for the remnant still up in New Jersey and other places that are frozen at this time of year. We have always enjoyed sharing our home with dear friends and family.

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Posted in bidet, Friends, House Guests, Humor | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

I Did It My Way…

I have a confession to make. When we first moved to Florida, I did not like coffee. In fact, I was a diehard tea drinker. I had spent all of my formative years drinking tea with my Mom, my Grandma Moon, my cousins, friends, and neighbors. I loved a nice hot cup of tea in the morning. However, I also loved the smell of coffee. The smell of coffee always made me feel like I was home. Probably because my Dad is a coffee drinker, and Mom always made, still makes, his coffee for him; that was the smell of our house.

When we moved to Florida, I was the farthest from home I had ever been in my life. I knew this was where I was supposed to be, but it didn’t exactly “look” like home. It also didn’t “smell” like home. And so, I got a free coffeemaker from Gevalia by signing up for their coffee deliveries every month. Once I got my coffee maker and my first pound of coffee, I cancelled the order and the coffeemaker was mine to keep. I’m sure this was not very nice, but they said I could cancel at any time and for any reason. And so, I called them and told them, I did not like the taste of their coffee and, BOOM, free coffeemaker!

I actually did this a few more times. But with all the other times I told them in advance that I was only ordering because I needed a new coffeemaker. They laughed and said that was fine. Honesty really is the best policy. I have noticed they no longer offer free coffeemakers. I’m sure I had something to do with that and I’m sorry. Anyway…

We moved, I got a coffeemaker, and I started making coffee every morning. Our home “smelled” like home and I was happy; that is until I realized that someone had to actually drink the coffee and my husband informed me it wasn’t going to be him. I would have offered it to my teenagers, but I didn’t want to stunt their growth. Let’s face it, their chances for reaching average height with our gene pool were already slim-to-none. So, I became a coffee drinker and, a little bit later, I started actually enjoying it! Then this happened…

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I didn’t indulge right away, but it was intriguing. Once I entered the store, I didn’t want to leave. HOME…I smelled HOME and it was intoxicating! I soon discovered the ease of the drive-thru and I was hooked, not just on the coffee, but on the hidden benefits.

Once in awhile, when one of my teens seemed to be having a rough time with something and didn’t want to talk to about it. I would take them with me to ‘run errands’ and buy them a coffee. They would take a few sips and spill their guts. Worked every time. Just as a disclaimer, I didn’t do this until I was sure they were full size and that their growth had reached its, less-than-average, peak.

Once I started teaching, I found that a cup of Starbucks on teaching days was very helpful. It became my once-a-week indulgence.  A little out of my way when going to school but I made it doable. And then it happened. A Starbucks opened in our town. Not only that, but it was directly on my way to school, AND it had a drive-thru!

My first time in the drive-thru was like a dream! I pulled up to the speaker and gave my order. The girl said she was sorry, but she couldn’t hear me, so I spoke a little louder. She still couldn’t hear me. I thought it was nice that they hired the hearing impaired, but if this poor girl couldn’t hear my big mouth, she really had a problem. I hung my head out the window and shouted into the speaker. Surely she heard me that time…but, no.

It was then that I experienced an epiphany of sorts, like when someone hits you in the head with a brick. I realized why she couldn’t hear me, why nobody in that building could hear me…I was speaking into a cement post. The “speaker” I was using was a piece of reflective tape around the top of the post.

I sheepishly moved my car forward to the actual speaker on the menu board, apologizing and explaining to the poor girl why she couldn’t hear me. We both had a good laugh. I could blame it on the fact that I hadn’t had my coffee yet, but really it’s just not that big a deal.

Posted in Humor | 2 Comments

Days of Wine and Old Man Straps

Kermit the Frog on Sesame Street, once said, “It’s not easy being green”. I think my parents would add, “It’s not easy being old, either”.

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Technically, they’re not that old…Mom is 77 and Dad will be 83 this month, but recent years have been a little rough. Mom found out she has Crohns, not an easy disease for anyone, but Mom handles it the way Mom handles everything else…she gives herself shots and pays attention to what she eats and, though she’s sometimes in constant pain, she deals with it and continues to go to her prayer meetings and do her shopping. That’s Mom.

Dad’s story is much more tragic…

He had a couple of surgeries, one of them a single bypass for his heart. Afterwards the Cardiologist came out and told Mom and I that Dad had one of the ‘strongest hearts and the best veins he had ever seen in a man his age’. All he had to do was “re-route” what was already there. I told the surgeon, “He’ll tell you it’s because he drinks his wine every night.” The surgeon informed us that Dad was right. Good to know, but we didn’t tell Dad. We’d never hear the end of it…

He finally retired, not an easy feat for a man who has worked since he was 11 and loved every minute of it, but he was 80 and tired and felt it was time.

He decided to give up driving. Again, not an easy decision, but he made it on his own and you have to admire the strength it takes for any man to say, “I’m done.”

He now wears shoes with Velcro, or as he so eloquently puts it, “old man straps”. These are not so much a difficulty unless you’re trying to find a new pair. I think it would be fun to find him light up sneakers. These could be perfect for seniors! Sneakers to light their path…but, Dad would never go for it and so the search for the perfect “old man straps” continues.

As difficult as the above scenarios may be, none of them is the tragedy that I am referring to. Dad’s tragedy is much worse…

It appears that my old Italian father has outlived his wine.

When Dad was a little boy of 10 he began drinking wine with his father. Well, at first he was stealing wine from his father, pouring himself a little bit and replacing it with water in the wine bottle. Of course, my grandfather knew, so he began pouring my Dad a small glass and they would sit together at night after dinner and have their wine. They drank something akin to India Ink called Barberone. Dad’s been drinking it ever since.

In New Jersey Dad’s wine was fairly easy to find, lots of Italians in New Jersey. Down here in Florida, not so much. Before my parents moved here in 2001, Dad set me on my very own special ops mission to find his Barberone. None of the small liquor stores had it and most had never heard of it. My mission did not go well. When they moved down here, Dad discovered ABC Liquors and that they could order his favorite gallon bottle of Opici Barberone. A few years ago, our town got its very own ABC Liquors store and Dad was thrilled. They didn’t normally carry Opici Barberone, but they, too, ordered it for him and always had it in stock.

After Dad’s surgeries, my daughter went to ABC to buy Dad his wine. The woman at the counter told her, “Just one little old man comes in and buys this wine all the time”. She told them that was her Grandpa. Evidently, he was the only one who bought that wine from them, because after years of ‘plenty’ they are no longer stocking it. We found this out last Sunday when my brother went into the store to pick it up. He came back out to the car and told Dad the sad news. Not only were they no longer carrying it, but they were no longer stocking it in their warehouse. Dad responded with his favorite bad word and faced the sad realization that he had outlived his wine. My brother, who I thank God for everyday, drove Dad to a store 40 miles away and the only two remaining bottles in existence that are stocked in the state.

Dad made a sad statement, “The older you get, the more they seem to take away from you.” And then, he perked up with, “Well, I like Chianti!”

The end of an era, but at least it seems like it’s really ‘not that big a deal’…

Posted in Aging, Family, Getting Old, Humor, Italian Roots, The Human Spirit | 2 Comments