A Budding Blog…

Budding Flower_01

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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“Angel In The Rubble” ~ A Tribute

I remember…

I remember walking my dog that morning and thinking it was very quiet. There were familiar sounds missing, but I couldn’t think of what they were exactly, so I moved on with my day.

I remember I went home and began to change the sheets in our guestroom.

I remember I did something I’d never done before and haven’t done since. I turned on the radio. I still don’t know why. But, on September 11, 2001 at 9:00 a.m., I did just that. What I heard made me turn on the television to listen to the news.

I remember Katie Couric saying there’d been some kind of an accident and a plane had hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. And then, as she was speaking, as they were showing us the North Tower, we watched a plane run into the South Tower and the truth of that day hit us all with a force and a fear that we could not ignore.


Today’s post is not my work. Today’s post is an account from one of the survivors of that day. An inspirational message from Guideposts. A reminder that our God never leaves us or forsakes us…

“Angel in the Rubble” ~ Genelle Guzman-McMillan ~

“Today I still work for The Port Authority as I did when I clocked in at the World Trade Center at 8:05 that Tuesday morning 10 years ago. But now on September 11, I try to take the day off. I want to be in a quiet, peaceful place praying. It is a day I both mourn and celebrate.

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had left the 64th floor of the North Tower earlier and escaped unharmed.

What if I hadn’t been buried in debris, the ground falling out beneath me at the 13th floor as I was racing to get out of the building? What if I hadn’t been stuck under rubble for 27 hours before rescuers finally found me? I would have been grateful, but I wouldn’t have looked any deeper at my life.

I would have chalked my survival up to quick thinking or quick moving or plain good luck. I would have gone on with my life avoiding God the way I had ever since I lost my mom to cancer in 1999.

Instead I lay there trapped in the dark after the building collapsed, rethinking my life. I ended up doing what my mom would have done. I prayed.

Well, it was more like pleading, screaming, promising, asking for some sort of miracle until I pushed my hand through a few inches of rubble above my head and felt someone’s warm hand close around mine. Then I heard a male voice say the four sweetest words I have ever heard: “I’ve got you, Genelle.”

I clung as much to his reassuring voice as to his strong hand. “My name is Paul,” he said. “You’re going to be okay. They’re going to get you out soon.”

The ache in my right leg, the throbbing in my head, faded as I held his hand and listened. “Don’t worry, I’ve got you,” Paul said. “They’re almost here. Hang on.”

Finally I saw a glimmer of light and heard other voices and distant sirens. Two volunteers from Massachusetts, Brian Buchanan and Rick Cushman, found me with the help of a police officer from Canada named James Symington and his search-and-rescue dog Trakr.

“They’re here,” Paul said. “You’re in good hands now. I’m going to go and let them do their jobs and get you out.”

I never felt him release me, but soon I was holding someone else’s hand—a firefighter’s—and talking to my rescuers as they painstakingly removed twisted steel and chunks of concrete from around me and lifted me out. Hundreds of helpers handed me down the pile of rubble to an ambulance.

I heard them cheering, and I kept saying Paul’s name to myself so I wouldn’t forget. I wanted to make sure I thanked him. There were three things I promised God I would do as soon as I got out of the hospital: get baptized, marry my boyfriend Roger and find Paul.

On November 7, after six weeks in the hospital, four surgeries and hours of physical therapy and rehabilitation, I kept the first two promises. Roger and I got married at City Hall in Manhattan that very morning and I was baptized that evening at The Brooklyn Tabernacle.

But Paul? I never found him. Even when a CNN reporter brought me together with my other rescuers, Paul’s identity remained a mystery. He wasn’t the firefighter who held my hand.

That was later when I heard sirens and people began digging me out. Somehow Paul had known my name before I even said a word. Who was he?

I talked to friends about it. I called my pastor and asked him. We spoke about another Paul, the one in the Bible who was totally in the dark, like me, and fought against God until he saw the light. Then we talked about my Paul.

“Genelle,” my pastor said, “Paul did not exist in the flesh. You were asking for a miracle and maybe God sent you his angel.”

You can see why I celebrate and mourn every September 11. I mourn the loss of so many lives, my friends from work, people who walked down the stairs with me and didn’t make it.

Yet there is much to be grateful for. My survival—which still fills me with wonder. My health—I walk with a slight limp that most people don’t notice. My family—Roger and I and our four children have a good life. Most of all, I celebrate my relationship with God.

People can debate whether Paul was an angel or whether it was just coincidence that I was rescued. I know, though, the strong hand that reached out for mine when I was buried alive, the reassuring voice I heard when I cried out for help. Someone called me by name and I have never been the same.”


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Posted in 9-1-1, America, Americans, Angels, Challenges, Change, Christians, Church, Courage, Faith, Firefighters, Freedom, God, Life, Memorials, Memories, New Beginnings, Prayer, Remember, September 11, 2001, The Human Spirit, Tragedy and Triumph, Tribute, Uncategorized, Volunteers | Leave a comment

Stay Tuned…

Hello Everyone!

Thank you for reading my blog! This week I am on vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains with my husband and some of our family. There are stories to tell…

Stories of hiking and ‘zipping’, and bears! Oh my! Please tune in next week for the whole story…same bat time, same bat channel! 🙂

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Washington, D.C., My Hubby and Me

Washington, D.C., our nation’s capitol. It was carved from the states of Virginia and Maryland in 1790. Not part of any state, it is a federal district and a territory of its own. It covers 68 square miles and is home to half a million people and, evidently, almost all of them jog.

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Posted in America, Americans, Counting Steps, Florida, Getting Old, History, Humor, Joggers, Jogging, Life, Marriage, Memorials, Monuments, Presidents, Smithsonian Museum, Travel, Uncategorized, Walking, Washington, D.C. | 1 Comment

A Short Post — Life on the Lighter Side

Hello My Friends ~ Cliff and I are getting our “nerd” on in Washington, D.C. this weekend, so I’m sharing a post written by one of the funniest ladies I know. Nobody can use a play on words like she can. After reading this post, I’m sure you’ll agree! See you next week!

When this is published there will be 38 days until the first day of Autumn. Contrary to excessive advertising bombarding us with all things fall, and considering there are 3 months or approximately 90 days in each of the 4 seasons, I do not think that summer is almost over. Need calendar proof? If you’d […]

via A Short Post — Life on the Lighter Side

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A Legacy of Lizards

At this moment we have a house guest. His name is Louie and he is currently residing underneath our refrigerator. In case you’re wondering, Louie is a lizard. We would not normally invite house guests to stay under the refrigerator, it’s very dark and dusty; but Louie doesn’t seem to mind the dust. In fact, he has probably found enough food under there to last him a lizard lifetime. He came in through the back slider. Lizards do that down here.

Having lived in Florida for 21 years now, we are fairly used to the comings and goings of lizards in our home. Sometimes they come in on their own like Louie and sometimes they are brought in against their will. Our dog Phoebe has a fondness for lizards. She either hunts them and trees them, baying at them like the Treeing Walker Coonhound  that she is; or, if she catches them she eats them, I don’t know why, and then comes inside to throw them up. Of course, they don’t look the same in their regurgitated state. She has also tried to capture some of those that have entered at their own risk. Once she grabbed one by the tail. The tail came off and wiggled around on the floor. While Phoebe was mesmerized by the bloody wiggling tail, the rest of the lizard ran into our living room and hid. We allowed him to live there for the rest of his little lizard days. I figured it was the least we could do. Eventually, I found his almost tailless corpse (their tails do grow back) and buried him in a paper towel in our outside garbage can. Thus, fulfilling my debt to the poor little guy.


Looking back on my life, I can see how God, in all of His wisdom, was preparing me for life in Florida, though we had no idea that we’d be living here. We have three children and all three of them owned lizards while we were still living in New Jersey. They lived in an aquarium in our dining room and had cute names like Fred and Ethel, Bo, Jewel, and Pinkerton. The highlight of lizard ownership was when we fed them mealy worms and crickets. I have to admit, I liked watching them chase and devour the little bugs. It was kind of cool and, even better, it alleviated the need to keep live mealy worms in my fridge.

I remember the first time one of the lizards escaped one of my children’s hands. Normally, I would put a cup over the thing and save it for my husband to collect, but our German-Beagle, Ralph, was in the house and on the hunt. It was up to me and may I say, I almost did really well. I did catch it and was feeling a little bit proud of myself for a second.  Notice those last two words…a second, because that was all the time needed for the thing to break away from its tail and leave the squirmy thing in my hand. I did not know that their tails come off when they are grabbed providing the lizard a means of escape. I did not know that and I may have screamed a little and thrown the thing when I saw its squirming tail between my fingers. The lizard was safely captured, I think by my son, and returned to the aquarium. Lesson learned.  I never tried to catch one by the tail and was no longer surprised by that death-defying feat ever again.


When our son Eric was a little boy, his life-long dream was to own a gecko. Essentially, a gecko is the Arnold Schwarzenegger of small lizards. They are bigger and meatier and they too can drop their tails. I’m thinking it’s a lot messier than when their smaller, skinnier cousins do it.  With that in mind, and the fact that they are very expensive, our poor son was deprived of the gecko he always wanted.


Fortunately, Eric has two sons and the younger of the two also loves geckos. When someone in their school co-op could no longer keep theirs, they gave it to Sawyer. And so, I give you Sawyer, the cute little boy, and his bigger, meatier, lizard buddy, Sol. Sol lives in an aquarium in Sawyer’s house. The lizard legacy continues. I’m thinking, at least in our family, that as long as there are little boys, there will be lizard pets. I’ll have to warn them about the tail thing. But, overall, and in the grand scheme of things, it’s really not that big a deal!




Posted in Animal Kingdom, Childhood, Children, Christians, Dogs, Family, Florida, Geckos, God, Home, House Guests, Humor, Life, Lizards, Memories, New Jersey, Uncategorized, Yellow Lab and Treeing Walker Coonhound | 1 Comment

Boyfriend Jeans?

Admittedly, I am not the most fashion conscious woman. I buy most of my clothing at Costco, on Amazon, or at our local Consignment Shop and most of what I buy are jeans. I love jeans…almost all jeans, except the really skinny jeans which aren’t exactly conducive to us low to the ground and sturdy types. My 14 year old granddaughter does her best to make me look presentable, but considering what she has to work with, well, let’s just say, it’s difficult at best. I do try to pair my jeans with nice tops and sweaters, but still, dressing Nana can be a challenge.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about “boyfriend jeans”.  “Boyfriend jeans” are intriguing to me and so in a moment of curiosity I turned to everyone’s favorite place for information, Google. And there I asked…

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Posted in Boyfriend Jeans, Boyfriends, Clothing, Cultural Differences, Fashion, Humor, Jeans, Life, Marriage, Men's Clothing, Sizes, Uncategorized, Women | 2 Comments

It’s Really Not My Fault

Just this past week while at my parent’s house, there was a knock on their front door. It was a college student selling books. She was a very sweet young lady from Estonia. Though I wasn’t interested in what she was selling, educational books for young children; she seemed very interested in where I was from. She pulled out a map showing me where Estonia was and pointing to Great Britain asked, “Is your family from here?”

Thinking back over the years, this has happened more than once. I think it’s the red hair. It’s assumed that we all must be from that Great Island in the sea.

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Posted in Christians, Church, Cultural Differences, diversity, Ethnicity, Family, Friends, Gingers, House Guests, Humor, Irish Roots, Life, Memories, Red heads, Shanty Irish, Uncategorized | Leave a comment