Generational Speak

Every generation has its particular lingo. When I was in school, everything was “cool” or “neat.” If something was really neat, it was “neat-o!” When I was student teaching, the word was “mental.” Extracurricular classes were “mental.” Someone’s new hairdo was “mental.” It was “mental, mental, mental” all the time.

Just for the heck of it, I looked back on the decades to see what hip phrases or words were common. In the ’60s, people were still calling each other “Daddy-O,” and some called their parents “Dad-o and Mom-o.” When things were going smoothly, it was all “groovy.” Laid-back dudes who let their hair grow long and smoked organic weed called themselves “hippies.” And any person in authority was “the man.” You always had to watch out for “the man.”

In the ’70s, if you were going to meet up with someone later on, you’d say “catch ya on the flip side.” If you were “into” something, you could “dig it.” Something out of the ordinary was “mind blowing.”

The ’80s gave us “bodacious,” meaning “beautiful.” If you were just relaxing with friends, you were “chillin’.” If you were into technology and engineering, you were a “dweeb” or a “nerd.” But if you were a Valley Girl (i.e., California beach type), anything that annoyed you would cause you to sneer and say, “ohhh, gag me with a spoon!”

In the ’90s, if you were disrespectful to someone, it meant that you had “dissed” them. If you were at a party and dancing along with the music, you were “getting jiggy with it.” If you made a mistake, you said “oops—my bad.” Last decade’s dweebs and nerds turned into “geeks.” And if you agreed with someone on something they said, you chimed in with “word (as in ‘I agree’).”

The year 2000 brought us phrases like “hangin’ with my peeps” (meaning your friends, your ‘people’). Parents were simply the “rents.” If something was great, it was “sweet.”

Now that we are way up to 2018, I still hear that everything is “awesome.” If things are going your way, it’s awesome. If you were describing your dinner from last night and you were happy with it, it too was awesome. If asked how you feel, you would probably say that you were awesome.

I’m happy to say that I have stopped gritting my teeth about the awesomeness of everything. What I still can’t get over, though, is the overuse of the word “like.” It’s a good thing that I am no longer a teacher. If I still were, I would start the school year by telling my students that they would be allowed a finite amount of “likes” each week. Go over the limit and you will be immediately sent to a landfill where you will be turned into a speed bump.

How awesome is that?



In the Car, Laughing All the Way

Ever notice how many people driving around look like they would rather be anywhere but where they are? Well, maybe they really do, but what I mean is that you seldom see smiling or laughing people driving by. What you DO see is angry faces, zoned-out faces, troubled faces, irritated faces and downright scary faces.

Way back when I was a kid, we really did do “Sunday driving.” On most Sundays, you got up, had a good breakfast, got ready for the day, did any errands that needed to be done, and sometimes go to church. Since Mom and I sang in the church choir, we usually went.

Then the rest of the day was free. Off we’d go in the car, taking a Sunday ride. Mom and Dad chatted back and forth, and I sat in the back, day-dreaming and enjoying all the sights. Sometimes we’d stop for lunch; fried clams, hot dogs, hamburgers, etc., Cheap but good.

We would comment about the weather; depending on what season we were in. Sometimes we would start singing a song together as well. Once we returned home, my world felt like a lighter, happier, more relaxed place. I would go to bed with the scent of wind and sun on my hair and skin.

Perhaps it’s an attempt to bring back those carefree car rides, but when the Crankee Yankee and I go off somewhere in the car, we may or may not do a lot of talking. More often we will exchange what we call “third grade jokes.” These are jokes so awful or so corny that we both roll our eyes; but still we laugh our heads off. They are funny because they are third-gradish!

Best of all, we often forget each other’s jokes, which is great: we can tell them and laugh at them all over again! As I’ve often told the Crankee Yankee, give us a few more years and we’ll be hiding our own Easter eggs….

I imagine that we must look pretty ridiculous as we drive by others on the road. Usually we are howling with laughter over yet another dumb joke. I often wonder if the people we drive by on the road think that we are nuts.

But as they are not in the car with us, I really don’t care. And in the spirit of *third grade jokes everywhere, here are some doozies:

What did one ocean say to the other ocean?
Nothing, they just waved.

What lies at the bottom of the ocean and twitches?
A nervous wreck.

What kind of coffee was served on the Titanic?

What goes ha, ha, ha, plop?
Someone laughing his head off.

What is large, gray, and wears glass slippers?

Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon?
The food is terrific, but there’s no atmosphere.

What did the hot dog say when he crossed the finish line?
I am the wiener!

What did one hot dog say to another?
Hi, Frank.

Why do hummingbirds hum?
Because they can’t remember the words.

Why do birds fly south for the winter?
Because it’s too far to walk.

Did you hear about the skunk that went to church?
He had his own pew.

What has four legs and one arm?
A Rottweiler.

So the male flea said to the female flea, “How about we go to the movies?”
And the female flea said, “Sure. Shall we walk or take the dog?”

Who yelled, “Coming are the British!”?
Paul Reverse.

What did the mother buffalo say to her little boy when he went off to school?

What do you get when you eat onions and beans?
Tear gas.

Why did the mushroom go to the party?
Because he was a fungi.

Why did the fungi leave the party?
Because there wasn’t mushroom.

Why do they put bells on cows?
Because their horns don’t work.

Why did the scientist install a knocker on his door?
To win the no-bell prize.

What’s brown and lives in the bell tower?
The lunch bag of Notre Dame.

Why should you never fly with Peter Pan?
Because you’ll never, never land.

Why do gorillas have large nostrils?
Because they have big fingers.

How does the Man in the Moon get his haircut?
Eclipse it.

Why was the math book sad?
Because it had so many problems.

Why did the Pilgrims pants fall down?
Because they wore their belt buckles on their hats.

What do Alexander the Great and Winnie the Pooh have in common?
They both have the same middle name.

*From; thread: third grade jokes.

What Defines Us?

What makes us, well; us? We know that every person on this planet has unique fingerprints; just as every snowflake is different, so are we. Some of us are born healthy and strong; some of us come into this world with a cleft palate, an incurable disease,  missing a limb, or blind or deaf; and the list goes on.

Why are some of us born to suffer, and why are some of us are born perfect, brilliant, amazing world-changers? I believe that there is a reason for this; I can’t tell you why, but we are all here for a reason, no matter what baggage we arrive with.

This is why I became so interested in the metaphysical; I believe that there are no coincidences. What if a baby is born with a specific disease that doesn’t have a cure? What if that same baby has an older sister who adores him, but knows that eventually his disease will kill him? Perhaps that is the impetus that drives the sister to become a doctor or a researcher or a geneticist; to find a cure. She knows she cannot save her baby brother, but she dreams of those she may save.

Many of us wonder if we have been here on earth before; have we been here in other bodies and in other times? Maybe yes, maybe no. My own belief system includes life after death, or reincarnation. I believe that we may come back in another body to learn the lesson(s) we could have learned in a past life, but didn’t. Therefore we may come back to rectify our past mistakes.

Have you ever met someone for the first time and had an immediate feeling about them? The feeling could be anything; instant like/dislike, a feeling that you already know this person, a gut feeling of dread that this person is dangerous, and so on? My own take on this is that my gut feeling can indicate that I have known this person before.

When I was taking classes with *Noreen McDonald, a person in my class talked about his experience in meeting someone he felt he knew in a past life. It began with a life-long pain in his back; he said he had always felt it, yet no doctor had ever discovered the source of the pain.

He was fascinated by the battle of Little Big Horn, and became involved with a group of of reenactors who put on the battle each year. He got to know many of the players, and always welcomed new people to the yearly reenactment.

One year a new actor, an American Indian woman, introduced herself to him. She told him that she could “see” a knife in his back. She was a healer, and offered to remove it. A bit suspicious, he asked her where she thought the knife was. She immediately put her hand on the spot on his back that had ached every moment of his life.

He agreed, and the healer removed the pain. Not long after this, he met a man in the reenactors who said he recognized him as the man he stabbed to death in the battle of Little Big Horn. They became friends and still keep in touch with each other to this day.

To quote a famous board game, was it Fact or Crap? For me personally, I believe it.

I’ve often written about the Chinese theory of the **red thread, which states that we are all born with an invisible red thread, tied around one ankle. This red thread is tied to all the people who have importance to us in our lives. The thread may stretch and fray, but it will never break.

We may not always know all  that defines us and who we are, but we are all here for a reason and a purpose.

*Check out Noreen’s website and classes at

**From Wikipedia: 

“The Red Thread of Fate, also referred to as the Red Thread of Marriage, and other variants, is an East Asian belief originating from Chinese legend. According to this myth, the gods tie an invisible red cord around the ankles of those that are destined to meet one another in a certain situation or help each other in a certain way. Often, in Japanese and Korean culture, it is thought to be tied around the little finger. According to Chinese legend, the deity in charge of “the red thread” is believed to be Yuè Xià Lǎorén (月下老人), often abbreviated to Yuè Lǎo (月老), the old lunar matchmaker god, who is in charge of marriages.”

“The two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers, regardless of place, time, or circumstances. This magical cord may stretch or tangle, but never break. This myth is similar to the Western concept of soulmate or a destined flame.”

What Love Really IS

Note: I wrote this a few years ago. I’ve updated a few things, but the essential message remains.

When I was young, I made all the usual mistakes young people make, especially about love. It’s taken me years to understand and appreciate what love truly is; it’s no fairy tale, it isn’t Romeo and Juliet, and it isn’t a made-for-TV romance. It’s far from glamorous, it isn’t perfect and it isn’t clear-cut all the time. In fact, I’m still figuring it out.

What I do know about love is this: love is both wonderful and messy, it’s unexpected, it’s less or more than what you think it may be or should be. It can have you soaring above the earth, and yet keep your feet planted firmly on the ground. It is agreements and disagreements, promises that don’t all make it to reality. It’s worry and fear and concern and care along side dizzying joy and the blinding happiness.

It’s sitting with a parent in a hospital, waiting for them to wake up after surgery. It’s gripping your partner’s hand and feeling all that strength pour into you when you have no strength of your own. It’s holding your grandchild in your arms for the first time and seeing all eternity in those brand-new eyes. It is the voice of a dear friend reminding you that everything will be all right. It is rescuing an animal and giving it a home where it is loved, safe, cared for, well-fed and is healthy and happy.

Love steals away our very breath; love gives life and purpose. Love is fragile as a spider web, yet strong as steel cables. Love can make you soar like an eagle, or drop you face-down in the dirt.

When I was young, I couldn’t wait to be in love! I imagined romantic scenarios, and dreamed of the time I would meet the love of my life. But it turns out that love is often unscripted and capricious, and it isn’t always plain to see. I met the Crankee Yankee  when we were both in our mid-20s. He was getting ready to marry his first wife, and I was still dating guys to whom I attributed all those things I wanted but actually weren’t there.

Years later, when both of us had been divorced a good long while, we resumed the friendship we had always had over the years. It seems to me now that I had loved the Crankee Yankee for a long time and didn’t realize it. (Funny, he said the same about me!)

When we finally started dating, it didn’t take us long to fall in love. Neither of us had wanted to marry again; we both had said emphatically “Never again!” But you know how that goes; never say never.

What I know about love right now is that the best and loveliest sounds I have ever heard is my loved ones laughing; the Crankee Yankee, my granddaughters, my dearest friends. The loves of my life are my safe harbor. Love makes me vulnerable; I know I can lose them at any time.

But while we are all here together, I am grateful to the heart and soul for all that love in my life. Do I deserve it? I don’t know. But I do know that I am breathless with appreciation, giddy with all this magic in my life, and amazed and humbled all at once.

Love is a risk, a challenge, and often a plain old pain in the hinder. But living without it would be like being without air. Even now I am breathless with gratitude.

Bucket Lists Can Change

Oh, the bucket list! All those things we swore we would do when we had the time, the money, the this and the that. When I was in my twenties, my bucket list read something like this:

  1. Ride an elephant.
  2. Visit the great pyramids in Egypt.
  3. Become an oceanographer.
  4. Become an archeologist.
  5. Visit Ireland, Scotland, England, Germany and Italy.
  6. Visit all the islands of Hawaii.
  7. Visit Tahiti; while there, visit the famous pearl museum.
  8. Collect seashells from all over the world.
  9. Collect beautiful minerals from all over the world.
  10. To marry the love of my life.
  11. To always have cats.

Well, as life will have it, we don’t always do everything in our bucket lists. At my age, I no longer want to:

  1. Ride an elephant; too high up for me.
  2. Visit the pyramids; too hot and dusty, and the camels you ride on will spit on you.
  3. Be an oceanographer as I am too creeped out by the stuff in it that shouldn’t be there; planes, ships, cars, etc.
  4. Be an archeologist; too dirty.
  5. I used to love flying until 9/11. Now I am too nervous to fly anywhere. But who knows; that could change.

However, I’ve hit some of the list. I have been lucky enough to:

  1. Collect lots of beautiful seashells from many places.
  2. Collect crystals and minerals; I have lots of great ones.
  3. I did go to Rome, Italy when I was sixteen, and had stopovers in Lisbon, Portugal and Dublin, Ireland.
  4. It took a dismal first marriage (or, as my mother would have said, “a training wheels marriage”, but I finally married my second husband, the Crankee Yankee—the true love of my life.
  5. We now have five cats.

I have yet to visit Scotland, Germany, England, Hawaii, and Tahiti. But those trips may come later on in life; who knows?

Even if I haven’t made each item on my bucket list, there have been (and no doubt will be more) new adventures, life events and changes that have been both scary and wonderful. I now have three amazing granddaughters; two from the Crankee Yankee’s daughter, and one from my first husband’s daughter. I have discovered the pure joy of being a grandma; or in my case, a “Lulu,” my grandma name.

I have been privileged to live in the Northeast and the Southwest, then back to the Northeast again. I’ve had some crappy jobs and some great jobs. I’ve taken up some great hobbies so far in my life; reading, writing, jewelry-making, playing ukulele and didgeridoo (neither terribly well, but fun just the same), hula and cartooning.

I have some great friends, old and new. I have walked through good times, bad times, joy and laughter, fears and tears. I have loved greatly and lost greatly; my grandparents, some aunts and uncles, some dear friends, my mother-in-law (from both marriages) and both my parents. I have walked through those shadows we all fear, and have come out on the other side with new knowledge.

However, so far there has been far more joy than sadness. I was privileged to be present both at deaths and one birth; a baby girl. Both events are precious to me. At my age, the bucket list is more flexible than it used to be. Instead of fiercely declaring what I want to do, I now keep options in my mind.

There is time, there is space for new adventures and possibilities; who knows what they may be? I’m keeping my bucket list open for now.


DCIS Surgery Update

Thank you to all who commented and sent me emails wishing me good luck and prayers for my DCIS surgery yesterday; it means more that I can say. This is the best thing about the connections made in the “bloggosphere;” we become our own *ohana and cheering squad.

Yesterday’s DCIS surgery went very well. Many thanks to:

  • the friends and relatives who emailed me with messages of love, hope and support; it meant the world to me.
  • My metaphysical teacher and my Reiki teacher who sent me plenty of healing Reiki.
  • the nurse who kindly and patiently went through all my paperwork with me.
  • the nurse who laughed her head off over a boob joke I told her.
  • the radiologist who carefully inserted the tiny wire in my breast as a marker for the surgeon; his kindness and care made all the difference.
  • the nurse who carefully took my vitals and hooked me up to the jungle of wires and such and made me comfortable.
  • the anesthesiologist who told me with a smile that he would be watching over me all during the surgery; it comforted me so much.
  • my ***surgeon who took the time to sit with the Crankee Yankee and me to kindly reassure us that everything was going to go well and that the outcome would be fine.
  • the nurses who wheeled me into the OR and made sure that I was comfortable.
  • the post-surgery nurses who took care of me, fed me, and reassured me.
  • my wonderful Crankee Yankee who waited all day for me, worried for me, and took care of me once we were home.

And then there are all of you who took the time to contact me to let me know that they prayed for me, sent me positive energy, and kept me in their thoughts. The knowledge of this was a warm and comforting blanket all around me. This is true and lasting kindness.

I believe that the words we hear both in our conscious and subconscious take root in our minds and hearts, making us believe that truly: ***”all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”

Thank you so much.

*”Ohana is an idea in Hawaiian culture. The word ʻohana means family in the Hawaiian language, but in a much wider sense, to include not only one’s closer relatives, but also one’s cousins, in-laws, friends, race, and other neighbors.”

**I had asked my surgeon for a favor: when he finished the surgery and while I was still sedated, would he please whisper in my ear the following:

  1. “Everything went well; I got it all out.”
  2. “You are going to heal perfectly and be well.”

He did and I am grateful to the heart.

***From Wikipedia: “Julian of Norwich. Our Lord God shewed that a deed shall be done, and Himself shall do it, and I shall do nothing but sin, and my sin shall not hinder His Goodness working. … It behooved that there should be sin; but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”