Funny Family Sayings


All children when learning to speak often get the words wrong or syllables in the wrong order, or “their tongue wrapped around their eye tooth,” as my dad would say.  Normally, the child eventually learns to say the word or phrase properly and goes on with their life.

Not in our family.
We still to this day rattle off misspoken phrases from our childhood and call things by whatever name we fumbled as toddlers.  It’s an immaturity thing that we – as adults – still use these words and phrases in our everyday communication, but we don’t care!

Here’s some of them. 
(Names have been omitted to protect the guilty.)

  • “There’s a piss meecing.”  (There’s a piece missing.)
  • “I’ll do it my own self.”  (I’ll do it myself.)
  • pie-yoo  (pillow)
  • Mimi (Tammy)
  • “That yellow bread with the green things that poke up.”  (Garlic toast)
  • “The white stuff that goes round and round and little balls pop up.”  (Cottage cheese)
  • Ock-ee-butt (Redi Watt – the name of a local power company’s mascot)
  • Cock puss (peacock)
  • “Oooohh they’re going to get in trouble … they’re driving in pairs.”  (Upon seeing two people in the car up ahead.  It is believed she got it confused with ‘driving impaired’.)
  • “We’re driving in circles, I just know it!”  (Because most overpasses look the same and she thought we kept driving under the same one.)
  • “What’s your name, little girl?” asked a parishoner walking up to my niece in church one Sunday morning.  To which came the reply, “Dammit Tammy!”   (sorry Tam – couldn’t keep your name out of this one!)
  • Herk-a-mot-o-mus (Hippopotamus)
  • Hair Pork (Airport)
  • Short Jack Coppers (Long John Silvers)
  • Com-pit-ter (computer)
  • Slum gullions (Johnny Marzetti)
  • “Sitting there with my teeth in my mouth.”  (Not paying attention or basically not doing anything useful.)
  • “Mom, can I ‘duh’ you?”  (One of them asking permission to say ‘duh’ to her mother after her mother said something stupid.)
  • Lap dance therapy (lap band therapy)
  • Tiggy (TG&Y – the name of a southern general goods store)
  • “We love Tim because he first loved us.”  VBS Bible School Daily Bible Verse.  (1 John 4:19 (KJV) “We loved Him, because he first loved us.”  I could never figure out what my sister’s husband (named Tim) had to do with any of it.)

Song Title and Lyrics

  • “If you like peeing in the garden.”  (“If you like pina coladas” – with greatest apologies to Rupert Holmes.)
  • “Ohhh Olive….”  (“Who are you” The Who)
  • “Rocking in Atlanta at Taco Bell.”  (“Rocking in Atlanta at Tattletales” – from “Girls, Girls, Girls by Motley Crue)
  • “Virgin, virgin.”  (“Urgent” by Foreigner)
  • “One wing girl.”  (“White Wing Dove” from the song “Edge of Seventeen” by Stevie Nicks)
  • “Bald-headed woman.”  (“More than a woman.” this only works with the Bee Gees’ version.  The Tavares version actually sounded right, I guess.)
  • “No time mal-oo-gas”  (“No time for losers…” from Queen’s “We are the Champions.)

Movie and Television

  • Da Wizard Da Boz (“The Wizard of Oz”)
  • The Princess the Diarrheas (“The Princess Diaries”)

Learning to Read

  • Fried Shrimp House (the sign outside Friendship House retirement home)
  • Catholic Doctor (street sign Charters Drive)
  • Ped-a-strain (pedestrian)
  • Spat-tool-uh (spatula)
  • Man-your pile (manure pile)
  • Fffff-bih (FBI)







Pittsburgh – The Town Without Bananas

no banana

Despite battling Restless Leg Syndrome every night (for which I take medication every day), I am also prone to potassium deficiency.  Even as a child I would get leg cramps that felt like my muscles were being ripped from my bones.  It happens when I overwork my legs.  As a child, I would run and play and climb things and ride my bike and horses all day, every day; and at night I would suffer the consequences.  Because of this, my mother always made sure there were bananas in the house.  ALWAYS!

Even in my 20s, I was a volunteer at City Park Riding Stables in New Orleans. 
I would spend 5 to 6 hours each day (after a full day of work, mind you) walking horses and turning horses out to pasture, grooming them, and tacking them up for riding lessons — constantly on my feet, constantly moving my legs.  I would stop at Winn Dixie every few days for a bunch of bananas for me, and a bag of carrots for the horses.

Still happens. 
I am not used to walking a lot anymore, so living in downtown Pittsburgh this week has taken a toll (and probably given me some much needed exercise).  I haven’t seen Penelope since I parked her Sunday night in the hotel parking garage.  I’ve been walking everywhere.  To the office, around Market Square, down by the rivers.  Pittsburgh is a beautiful city, even in the dank gray that the Midwest is prone to in wintertime.

All this walking caught up with me last night as I approached the end of the work day. 
I could feel my legs starting that familiar ache of potassium deficiency.  On my way back to the hotel, I stopped in CVS and the hotel restaurant and the hotel convenience corner thinking I would find a banana to relieve my pain.  No such luck.  No bananas anywhere!  I took solace in the fact that tomorrow the hotel restaurant would have their breakfast buffet and a la carte breakfast bar and surely there would be bananas there.

I stopped into the breakfast buffet this morning and saw all the baskets of beautiful, fresh fruits, but not a banana in sight.  I asked the hostess if there were bananas somewhere, and she regretfully informed me that they did not have bananas.  So, I ran across the street to CVS.  The fruit baskets had once again been freshly re-stocked with shiny red apples, tantalizing oranges, but, alas, no bananas.

If you are not familiar with Market Square in downtown Pittsburgh, it’s literally a square rimmed by restaurants.  Surely SOMEONE had to have a banana.  Unfortunately, most of these places aren’t open for breakfast.  I was just about to give up and started making my way to the office.  On the last corner before I crossed the street to the tower, I spied an Einstein Bagels notched in a tiny space and it was open.  I figured I would give it one more try.

I walked in and the smell of coffee and bagels was tantalizing, but right there … in the corner of the counter … not one, but TWO big baskets of bananas!  No wonder no one else in Pittsburgh has bananas – Einstein Bagels is hording all of them!  Obviously no one else knows about this as they had so freaking many bananas — in all stages of ripeness.  I’m keeping this my little secret.

File this under:  Going bananas for bananas!

Craft – Some Recent Mixed Media Projects

I love to experiment with new craft ideas.
The most recent love of my life is mixed media art journals and stand-alone pages.

I’m learning some of the techniques from playing around on my own and watching other mixed media artists on YouTube.

Here are some of my latest …

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Screw You, Cancer – I went on a Cruise to the Caribbean – solo!

I have always loved my own company. 
My sister was 19 years older and married and off on her own by the time I was born, so I was raised as an only child.

I have always loved to entertain myself, even from a very young age.
I would sit in my room and play with my Breyer horses and my Tonka trucks with horse trailers and set up make-shift equestrian centers, complete with barns and outdoor arenas filled with vertical jumps and oxers and cavaletti.

I would curl up under a blanket on the couch in the living room with my dog Bootsie and watch Petticoat Junction and Hee Haw and The Brady Bunch.  My favorite, though, was Speed Racer, which I had to watch with the sound turned down because my mother wouldn’t allow me to watch it because they “stab people.”  I would design an incredibly elaborate race track with those orange sections of plastic track and race my Hotwheels cars for hours until it was time for dinner.

Another favorite pastime during my alone time was sitting cross-legged in the rain under a blanket and a bubble umbrella reading a book.  Yes, I’ve always been weird.

Don’t get me wrong, my parents paid attention to me. 
My stay-at-home mom would do craft projects with me and catch butterflies with me; my dad would play catch with me in the back yard and go bike riding with me, and teach me how to change the oil or a tire on the car.

But, I always preferred to hang out by myself most of the time.
I don’t know if it is this upbringing or the fact that I’m a 100%, textbook Aquarian – aloof, independent, stubborn, territorial – but whatever the combination, I have always preferred to hang out by myself most of the time.

It is because of this, I absolutely love to travel solo.
I love to travel with my best travel buddy Kelsey, but solo excursions and adventures really get me!  I can do what I want, when I want, stop when I want, switch gears in the middle of an activity to some other activity completely unrelated, and no one looks at me like I have three heads.  I can take a nap all afternoon and no one is nagging me to “get up and do something.”

Welcome to reacquired independence.  Wait!
After my divorce and finding my way back to being comfortable in my own skin and to the place where I had always been before marriage – mentally, physically, financially – I was diagnosed with my second breast cancer.  It was Ductal Carcinoma in situ, which differed from the first diagnosis because this time it had not yet invaded the surrounding tissue.  Crap!  I was just crawling out from under the rock of oppression!

But, it is what it is, and I had thankfully started to re-discover my old self, my independent self, my determined self in the few short months of freedom, and with the help of God and my nieces, I was going to kick cancer’s ass once again!

And not only did I survive breast cancer again, I am thriving and have an entirely new outlook on life. 
During and after my first bout with cancer, I was angry.  So angry.  Angry at God, angry at my genetic make-up, angry at all the junk food I ate, angry that cancer had taken my dad and my sister, angry because I lost everything – my farm, my animals, my cars, my hair, my sanity.  Just totally pissed off about everything.

My second diagnosis was so completely different.  And, it wasn’t like a conscious effort to have a different outlook on life afterward, it just happened.  Like a light switch.  I wasn’t angry this time – at all!  Sure, I was nervous and scared, and even though I have always been an independent, determined person, the woman I was now with the second diagnosis was much stronger and much more determined.  I faced it down with a fierceness I didn’t know I had in me and beat its ass!

That fierceness has carried over into my sense of adventure.
Sure, some of it is a sense of desperation at not knowing when or if my cancer will return – and feeling the need to cram in as much as I can before that happens (read more about that here); but, along with that has come a new, even-greater sense of adventure.  I have always been fearless, and had more guts than brains, but even this new outlook was something far greater than even I could have ever imagined.  And I can imagine a lot!

The world seems more colorful, more vibrant, more interesting and I want to see it all!  Always have, but now it is imperative!

Combine my independence, my sense of adventure, and my insatiable wanderlust, and you have the makings of my first solo cruise.
I had been on two cruises before – one with a girl friend in 2001, and a second with my then-husband and step-daughter in 2012.

But now in 2016, I booked my first solo cruise, and I absolutely could not wait! 
I flew to Miami alone, checked myself in on the cruise alone, took up the entire bed in my cabin alone, went out on shore excursions on my own – and absolutely loved every minute of it!  My dining room tablemates were lovely and surprisingly included another woman solo traveler, so it was nice to have something in common with someone at the table, other than the standard “happy couples.”

I danced to Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore” with our Maitre D’ on formal dinner night, and got “Low” and funky in the dining room aisle with our really cool waiter during casual dining night.

I would wake up in the middle of the night and run upstairs in my pjs to get myself an ice cream cone from the free 24-hour soft serve machine and take it back to my cabin and settle back into my bed with a complete sense of freedom and joy for life.

I pampered myself with massages and mani/pedis in the ship’s spa, played arcade games and bingo solo, and drank Mudslides while laying out poolside on the deck.  I showered when I wanted, ate when and where I wanted, and lounged around in my cabin naked – and no one cared!  It was amazing!

There were only two downsides.
It was only 5-days long; and I missed my dogs.

And, the itch is looming once again!
With my next “parole hearing” coming up in a month, that sense of urgency is running screaming through my brain!  As soon as I find out I’m good to go (read still in remission) for another Six Months, I am so ready to book my next solo adventure and have been searching for the next perfect solo getaway.  I’m thinking Thailand, Belize, or maybe even another cruise.

Stay tuned!









Valentine’s Day – The Parliament of Fowls – an excerpt from a Chaucer poem

Please allow me to give you this day an excerpt from The Parliament of Fowls, by one of my favorite writers – Geoffrey Chaucer.

The Parliament of Fowls

-Geoffrey Chaucer

When I had come again unto the place
Of which I spoke, that was so sweet and green,
Forth I walked to bring myself solace.
Then was I aware, there sat a queen:
As in brightness the summer sun’s sheen
Outshines the star, right so beyond measure
Was she fairer too than any creature.
And in a clearing on a hill of flowers
Was set this noble goddess, Nature;
Of branches were her halls and her bowers
Wrought according to her art and measure;
Nor was there any fowl she does engender
That was not seen there in her presence,
To hear her judgment, and give audience.

For this was on Saint Valentine’s day,
When every fowl comes there his mate to take,
Of every species that men know, I say,
And then so huge a crowd did they make,
That earth and sea, and tree, and every lake
Was so full, that there was scarcely space
For me to stand, so full was all the place.
And as Alain, in his Complaint of Nature,
Describes her array and paints her face,
In such array might men there find her.
So this noble Empress, full of grace,
Bade every fowl to take its proper place
As they were wont to do from year to year,
On Saint Valentine’s day, standing there.