A Public Service Announcement


Today, the day I write my blog, is Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. Today I will be elbow deep in Turkey, not the country, just the bird. For that reason, I will make this blog short and sweet…just like me. Okay, okay, I may not always be sweet, but I have the short part down pat!

I am thankful for many, many things not the least of them being all of you! Thank you for reading my blog. I am so happy to hear that it made you smile or laugh, that is its purpose. I wish you and all of your loved ones a Very Happy, Very Blessed Thanksgiving!


Today, when you bow your heads to pray, remember Jesus, the Reason for every season!

All else is really, not that big a deal!



Posted in Americans, Attitude, Family, Friends, Humor, Life, Prayer, Thanksgiving | Leave a comment

I Am Not 600 Years Old…

I only look that way sometimes.

Okay, a few weeks ago I announced, “Well, I’m 60 Now” and I am. However, towards the bottom of that post I said, “And so began my grand entrance into my 60th decade.”



I was quickly and gently informed by both of my Fairy Blog Mothers, that it was only my 6th decade. They are quick, wise women; but then they are Fairy Blog Mothers! Although, I do tend to think the speed of their correction may have something to do with the fact that they are both slightly older than I am and have no desire to even think about living life in their 60th decade, I get it.

I like to say I have a ‘no-math mind’ and that’s pretty much true, but if I’m being honest, I can do math, I really just don’t like it. Explanation. Midway through my sophomore year of high school I had mono. I also had Mr. Knarr as a math teacher. I’m not sure which was worse. Anyway, I’d missed so much of my Geometry class that I needed tutoring and even with the tutoring I was told I would need at least a 90 average to pass for the year or I’d have to take the class again. And so I did something I’d never done before. I studied. You see, I was one of those lazy, but fortunate students who didn’t have to study. I flew by the seat of my pants for almost all of my classes and, somehow, always carried an A or B average (except, of course, in math). I’m not proud of it. Nevermind.  Yes, I am.

Can I tell you, Geometry is much easier when you study! I had a 98 average that semester. How about that! The following year, I took Algebra 2. I’m not sure why. I must have been coerced by my guidance counselor or found out that cute guys would be in the class. Either way, I somehow ended up with Mr. Knarr again. I sensed immediately that this was not a good thing. At the end of our first class, Mr. Knarr asked if he could speak to me. When everyone else had gone he told me, “I know what grade you are capable of. What I saw last year, I will expect to see this year.”

Guidance counselors and cute guys aside, I immediately decided that nobody needed Algebra 2 that badly. I knew what I had to do and I was determined to do it. I went home and asked my Dad, who I knew didn’t like Mr. Knarr, to please let me drop the class. And, so I did. I may have a no-math mind, but I’m not stupid. Sophomore Geometry became my math swan song.

All that to say, I get it now…60 X 10 years is 600; 6 X 10 years is 60. I am now one month into my 6th decade but it’s really, not that big a deal.












Like first thing in the morning, after a night where I wake up and lay there staring at the ceiling for so long that

Or when the heat turns on in our Florida home and my body feels like it’s in a food dehydrator. I can feel all of the moisture that was once mine beings sucked right out of my body.

Posted in Aging, Attitude, Blogging, Challenges, Decades, Discipline, Fairy Blog Mothers, Family, Friends, Getting Old, Growing Up, High School, Humor, Life, Math, Students, Teachers, Teaching, Turning 60, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Stories of a Little Man

It was a very early morning, 5:00 a.m.,  and I went across the street to our daughter’s house to watch the supposedly sleeping children while she drove her husband to the airport for a business trip. I was about halfway through my morning coffee, so I was fairly ‘armed’, but nothing quite prepares you for the onslaught that is Gavin.

Remember my Rachel Stories? Well, Gavin is her son. (You know where this is going, right?) When Rach was little I secretly prayed that she would somehow come to a realization of all she put us through with her incessant talking. When I was little my mother had that same prayer. I was often made to stand by the dishwasher in the kitchen at dinnertime, so I would stop talking to everyone at the dining room table and eat my food. I made Rachel play a game to see if she could be quiet for 5 minutes, usually while I was preparing dinner. I would set the timer. She never could do it. Gavin is asked to stop talking on a daily, almost hourly, basis. Evidently, the need to express ourselves verbally is generational and very strong.


Of our 7 grandchildren, only the first one is a girl. The other 6 are all boys. Gavin is number 5 in the line up, with 2 more boys following. He is a “little man”. At 9 years old, he is the average size of most kindergartners.

As far as quirkiness, all of our grandchildren are quirky and adorable in their own way; but none is quite so quirky or talkative as Gav.

And so he came out of his room at approximately 5:05 a.m.,  a.k.a. as soon as his mother left, still somewhat bleary-eyed, and began his diatribe which he obviously woke up thinking about. (FYI, this is written in one ongoing sentence because that is the way it was related to me, quickly, all in one breath, non-stop, pure Gavin.)

“You know what Disney movie I wish was never made (This was to be my greeting.) the Hunchback of Notre Dame I wish they never made it I don’t like that Quasimodo can never leave and I don’t like when Esmeralda dances it’s inappropriate and then when Quasimodo goes out they tie him up and throw fruit at him that’s not nice and you know what in Hunchback the voice of one of the fruit guys is the voice of Patrick in Sponge Bob and when he’s a baby they call him a demon Frollo gets what he deserves I don’t know this but I think there’s a Bible story where Jesus was tied up and he broke out and broke down the building (That was Samson, but in Gav’s defense, it was still early and he doesn’t drink coffee. He goes on.) in the classic version ending Nana I think Esmeralda is already dead also in the classic version Quasimodo I think is deaf and he has prickles all over his face.”

It’s okay, I couldn’t keep up with it either. But, you get the main idea. He doesn’t like The Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney cartoon.



Lately, Gavin has been very loving. Hugging me, pretty much, whenever he sees me. This has not always been the case. Just last year, Gavin and I had the following chat. Obviously, I caught him on a bad day.



“Gavin, can I have a hug?” A simple request from a grandmother. One that would normally be greeted positively, I thought.

He responded with a quiet sound of dismay. “What day is this, Nana?”

“It’s Tuesday, Gav.”

“No. Not today, Nana. Maybe Thursday. On Thursday you can have a hug.”

And so I waited.

When Thursday came, I had to remind him. He was reluctant, but he is a man of his word. I got my hug. Kind of. I kneeled down and opened my arms. He leaned in to me, arms limp at his sides, and allowed me to hug him.  I did. Some days you just take what you can get. By the way, this picture was not taken on Halloween. This is just a typical day for Gavin.

As you can see, Gavin does his own “thing” regardless of the thoughts of those around him. He has no agenda, he just lives life to its fullest like every 9 year old should. I think like most 9 year olds, he knows that this life is pretty much not that big a deal.







Posted in Childhood, Children, Coffee, Disney, Family, Generations, Grandmother, Grandson, Growing Up, Home, Hugs, Humor, Life, Love, Moms, Prayer, Talking, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Caring is Sharing

The Great Depression in the United States began in October of 1929 and, essentially, lasted until we entered World War II in December of 1941.


My Dad and his two brothers were born in the middle of the Great Depression, all within 3 years. The way my Dad explains it, my grandparents were Italian Catholics and there was no television. Enough said. My Mom was also born during the Depression, but not until the end, January of 1941.

It’s funny to listen to my parents and their siblings sometimes. Life often stops for them at a time that they remember fondly and they easily fall into a game of “remember when?”.

“Remember when” bread only cost ten cents? “Remember when” we could go to the movies for a quarter?” Mom’s “remember when” includes a song she used to sing when her mother sent her to the store. All the way there she would sing, “A carton of milk, a loaf of bread, and four hard rolls.” I think the whole list must have cost .50 cents. I think this because Mom still thinks most things cost .50 cents. “Can you pick me up (whatever)? What does it cost .50 cents?” Dad pays the bills and is a little more aware of the cost of things today; but he will still, at times, “remember when”.

Before my Uncle Joe passed away, my Dad and I would pick up his 11 months younger brother and take him to Starbucks. Uncle Joe loved to “remember when”. He couldn’t remember what he had for breakfast that day, but he sure could “remember when”. One day he and I went on a ‘date’, just the two of us. Starbucks was to be his treat, but he wanted to make a quick stop at the post office to buy a stamp so he could mail a birthday card. He told me he had his money all ready and he had the exact amount for his stamp. He was holding .13 cents. When I told him a stamp, at that time, would cost him .49 cents; he was shocked. He looked at me in disbelief and said, “When did that happen?”

When Mom and Dad “remember when” they often recall their childhood days. Their memories are carefree and leave them laughing as they remember all the days when they had nothing, and yet, had everything they needed. Life at that time was hard but simple. There was a sense of community and caring. I guess it was because of what they were all going through together. Nobody was better than anyone else. They were all in the same leaky boat and they all bailed water side-by-side. Caring meant sharing and they did.

There are times when we, as a people and as a nation, go back to our roots of caring means sharing. I remember blizzards in the northeast when the people on our street would band together, shoveling each other out and making sure everyone still had heat and anything else they might need. I remember 9-11, when we banded together as a nation to care for each other through an attack that was unheard of in this country until then. Caring was sharing during those times.

Recently, my parents experienced an occasion of caring is sharing. They were told that their air-conditioning unit, inside and out, needed to be replaced. They have a very nice A/C man who had put multiple ‘band-aids’ on their unit for as long as he could. But, the ‘band-aids’ were no longer sticking and a new unit was needed. The cost quoted was $3,500, quite a far cry from the cost of things in their “remember when” days and quite a bit more than they were able to pay. I hadn’t talked to all of the family yet and I wasn’t sure how this would happen; but, as Christians, we know to never take God out of the equation.

And so, we prayed.

Mom took it a step further and began to thank the Lord for her new air-conditioner. She thanked Him every morning when she woke up and every night before she laid her head on her pillow. She thanked Him and she waited, expectantly. She had no idea how or where this money would come from, but she knew that it would.

Mom has a friend, actually Mom has lots of friends, but this particular friend is a very special friend. Her name is Anne-Marie. Anne-Marie is Italian and I like to embellish her name with a little bit of Italian flair and call her, “Anna-Maria”! She is an old friend of the family, who is more like family than not. Recently Anne-Marie’s family has been in crisis and she and Mom have been talking. The other day during the course of conversation and by way of encouragement, Mom shared with Anne-Marie about her air-conditioning unit and her assurance of the Lord’s faithfulness and provision saying, “I know that the Lord will provide.”

Anne-Marie’s response, “Yes, I know He will because I’m writing a check and sending it to you tonight.” Mom was speechless. Mom is never speechless. When Mom told Anne-Marie she would pay her back, she was told it was a “gift”. When Mom called and told me, we both cried. When I shared this with my husband, he got choked up, as well.

The Lord is faithful in all of His ways.

Caring is sharing. It’s a very big deal.

Posted in Aging, America, Americans, appliances, Caring is Sharing, Challenges, Childhood, Christians, Faith, Faithfulness, Family, Fathers and Mothers, Friends, Getting Old, God, History, Home, Humor, Life, Love, Memories, Prayer, September 11, 2001, The Human Spirit, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Mini – Micro Vacation

A week ago Thursday, Cliff and I went on a mini vacation to South Carolina to attend the wedding of my best friend, Cheryl’s, son. We flew out on Thursday night and flew home on Saturday night. Mini indeed, but not micro. Micro would be even shorter. But, I digress…Little did we know that the length of the trip would not be the only thing that was mini.

We left our home at 4:30 pm for our mini flight to South Carolina. After sitting on the runway for half an hour, we have no idea why; we were off. Fortunately for us, it was a mini flight, just slightly over an hour; so we spent minimal time in the air. And began our mini vacation.

We knew we booked a cheap flight. We knew we had to pay for everything, carry on luggage, seating selection, snacks, drinks, use of the bathroom. Well, maybe not use of the bathroom; but I didn’t go, just in case. The plane itself was probably the biggest thing about our trip. It was an Airbus, think Noah’s Ark with wings. We sat three-by-three on both sides and the seats were packed in, tight. We got to sit together, so that was nice. However, once seated I began to notice a few things. Things like although the plane was big, the seats were mini in every way. When I sat, there was not the usual couple of  inches of cushion on either side of me. There were also only a few inches between my knees and the back of the seat in front of me (remember, I’m only 5’2″). The seat backs in front of us were made of some kind of metal, making me realize that one hard stop or bad turbulence could give us either a concussion or broken knees. The seat cushions were not very thick and I did notice that they did not tell us they could be used as a flotation device. Essentially, we were sitting on folding chairs bolted to the floor. Fortunately, there was no turbulence, nor hard stops, and we made it to our destination in tact.


We landed in a small, but not quite mini, airport; got our compact rental car, and headed for the Microtel Inn and Suites.

From the outside it looked nice and big, from the inside, not so much. There was a micro reception desk with a macro woman behind it. She welcomed us, gave us our room keys and pointed us to the one elevator, which was 5 ft. from her desk. We opened the door to our room and stopped just short of hitting the opposite wall. Okay, I’m exaggerating a little. I could take 10 steps before I hit the wall. Ten. The main part of the room, excluding the mini entrance way, was maybe 10 x 10. In that space was our queen size bed, two micro end tables suspended from the wall, a micro desk also suspended and a small but efficient television mounted on the wall. It did have a nice window seat that extended out to make the room look more spacious. The bathroom was not too small, but the toilet was only two feet off the floor. Can you say ‘squatty-potty’? We were only there for two nights, so all-in-all it was fine, and it made us laugh.

In the morning we were greeted with a mini hot breakfast buffet with most of the usual fair, eggs, small sausage patties, tiny muffins, coffee and hot water. Little cups were placed by the orange and apple juice machine; and tiny regular and chocolate milk containers were in the mini fridge.


Outside, there were mini signs of fall. Meaning there were a few trees with color scattered here and there. Still very pretty and I was able to get my “fall fix”. We drove into town and wandered around. The downtown area was beautiful with a sprawling park, water falls, and bridges taking up a good portion of it. There were lots of signs explaining its history (which I love) and lots of little mom-and- pop book stores, coffee shops, and breweries giving it that quaint, cozy feeling of home. We ate lunch at a small bistro and sat at a little table in the outside area overlooking the river.


A wonderfully relaxing day followed by a wonderfully relaxing rehearsal dinner. They served delicious ‘burgers’ with all the works because, after all, we were there for the Kwast-Burger wedding! What could be more perfect?

On Saturday we checked out of our hotel and when asked how we liked it my ever-gracious, too-funny husband answered, “It was a very tidy little hotel.”

The wedding, was perfect. It is always a blessing to see and know that two young people are perfect for one another. The ceremony was short and sweet, though I didn’t understand one little  word. I’ve decided that South Carolinians must have a language all their own. But still, it was simply beautiful.


Right after the wedding, and I do mean right after, we headed for the little airport we’d flown into, dropped off our compact car, and waited a little while for our turn to board. It was still to be a little flight on a bigger plane and security confiscated the hand cream I’d bought. I should have gone with the flow of the trip and remembered to get the mini jar, but really it was not that big a deal!








Posted in Airbus, Airports, America, Challenges, Flights, Food, Friends, Humor, Life, Love, Marriage, Mini Vacations, Small Towns, South Carolina, Uncategorized, Walking, Weddings

Well, I’m 60 Now…

My parents were married on January 10, 1959. I was born on October 18, 1959. Can we say, “honeymoon” baby? Yes, we can.

My dad’s favorite joke every year on or around my birthday is…

“Well, your Mom and I are married (fill in the amount) years and you are (fill in same amount) years old!” It makes him laugh. Hard.

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Posted in Aging, Banking, Birthdays, Challenges, Drive - Through, Embarrassing moments, Family, Fathers and Mothers, Getting Old, Honeymoon Baby, Humor, Life, New Beginnings, Senior Moments, The Human Spirit, Turning 60, Uncategorized, Women | 2 Comments

Forgetful Bride

Every once in awhile, I come across a story that tugs at my heartstrings. This is one of them. It is my favorite kind of story because all of us, at some point in our lives have been ‘forgetful brides’.

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Posted in America, Americans, Attitude, Courage, Faith, Faithfulness, Family, God, Humor, Life, Uncategorized | Leave a comment