Category Archives: Polish

“Off the Cuff” Musings

Standard

There are a few adages, expressions and  sayings we all use in the course of

our everyday lives. I am sometimes amused how people are not familiar with

some of them. Like someone in their twenties, the other day looked at my work

shirt as I was entering my apartment building, having been in the dusty, dirty

warehouse working all day.

I laughed at the way she glanced down at my shirt saying, “I must look like Pigpen

to you!”

She looked at me askance, like, “Huh?”

I said, “You know the character in Peanuts?”

Still a blank look, then I mentioned Charlie Brown’s friends in the different

specials, listing Halloween (with the Great Pumpkin) and Christmas.

This was more of a cultural reference than a saying, but times are changing,

some of the next generation are not going to remember the comic strip,

“Peanuts,” by Charles Schulz, sad to say…

I have included some examples of when one or more of my grandchildren

‘misinterpret’ the meanings of different expressions or put their own

little ‘spin’ or twist on them.

At the end of this, I hope you will be able to add a few of your own and

may even have a story to share about one or more of these!

 

“Kids’ Logic”

When I recently found a penny on the sidewalk, I just could not resist

saying that old Benjamin Franklin adage, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

Dear Marley (age 5, in kindergarten now) looked solemnly up at me and

replied, without missing a beat:

“I think  you need to find a better job, Nana!’

 

When I was singing the “Clean Up” song, made famous by Barney, the

purple dinosaur sung at daycares and preschools everywhere to get

the boys ready for the pool. I mentioned that I like to leave the house,

“picked up” so when I get home, I can sigh in relief. My oldest grandson

asked me if I needed the song to pick up things, “Does singing that song

motivate you, Nana?” Being 10, I should get used to his witty comments

but I had to smile for that one!

 

Then, since Micah was moving slowly, just plunking one toy at a time into

one of the little containers that collects toys, Skyler ‘told on’ his little

brother that he ‘wasn’t doing his job.’

I looked at Micah and said, “Are you passing the buck?”

He said, “You mean you hid a buck for us to find if we cleaned hard

enough?”

That cracked me up!

 

When we got to the pool, I mentioned that I had 3 cold bottled waters

and two cookies apiece for our first rest break. I explained we would

buy a snack at the 3:00 break. When it was approaching 2:45, I asked

whether the boys would like pizza or what is called, a “Walking Taco?”

They both asked for this, so I headed to the snack area, telling them

to meet me back at the towels or to come meet me to carry their snack.

Micah (age 5) scrunched up his face, “You are confusing me, Nana!

Which way do you want us to go?”

 

While we were lounging in the grass on our towels, Skyler made me

chuckle,

“Shouldn’t we be walking around with our taco?”

I replied that he was ‘so corny.’

He said, “Corny is, as corny does.”

I looked at Micah to see if he was confused but to him this made perfect

sense, I am corny, therefore my descendants will be, too.

 

Later, (just FYI, my 10 year old grandson is considered a Husky size 12)

when we were walking to the car leaving the pool, Skyler mentioned

a  fact I did not realize he was aware of,

“Now, Micah, we need to take off our bathing suits as soon as we get to

Nana’s house. Remember how I got ‘chafed’ the last time I wore my suit

around the house?”

 

When we were leaving to go to my house for a sleepover, I mentioned that

we were going to be able to go to a fast food place for dinner and should

choose it now, then we could do what Skyler suggested, wear our pajamas

and play a game of monopoly.  I added since I had just been paid I could do

this, when usually I try to cook when they come over. I asked the boys,

“Where would you like to go to order dinner?”

Micah got excited and said,

“I saw a commercial for McDonald’s and the fish sandwiches are “Buy

One, Get One For a Penny!” (also true of Big Mac’s, this past week.)

I smiled and nodded my head, watching the people in their cars trying

to maneuver out of the Mingo Pool and Park area.

Micah added with a tone that sounded very ‘knowing’,

“And Nana, I will have the one that costs you only a penny!”

 

When we were in the drive-thru, I ordered salads and sliced fruit,

then asked if the boys would like to have one of the $1 yogurt parfaits

later for dessert or I could buy them cones in a cup?

When Micah made a face, as the words, “yogurt parfait” came out of

my mouth, I could see his face. Skyler could, too. I had put the car in

park, behind a line of thru. I started to describe the layered parfait

that has strawberries fat vanilla flavored

yogurt.

Sky piped up,

“Don’t knock ’em, till you try ’em!”

When we were finished ordering, I made mention that I had never

eaten biscuits and country style sausage gravy. I was looking at the

breakfast menu for the morning.

Then I remembered I had milk and cereal. No pancakes tomorrow morning

but maybe I could make them cinnamon toast.

I went on to chat about at our work there is an annual fundraiser where the

breakfast includes this item, when you buy the meal the money goes to JDRF.

(Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.)

I mentioned that my ex-husband, their other grandpa, “Poppy,” is diabetic.

He would not even be able to eat this food they serve, though the money may

help people with diabetes in the future.

Then I asked, “Do either of you like biscuits and sausage gravy?”

Instead of answering, Skyler asked why I had not tried this breakfast

food before? I replied back that my Mom and Dad, with my brothers

had grown up in Cleveland, where there are many Polish citizens. I have

had a lot of breakfasts where we ate kielbasa sliced up and fried or bacon

with our eggs. Oh, I love kielbasa cooked up with onions and potato with

cheese pierogis, too.

I reminded them that “Papa” (another grandfather) was a West Virginia

man. They like sausage and gravy. I do know how to make hamburger gravy,

which he liked very well, served over buttered toast.

Micah then retorted, “Those are two different things, that is like comparing

apples to oranges!”

Skyler told me this is one of his newest favorite expressions that Micah picked

up at the babysitter’s. He also encouraged me to try sausage gravy, since it is

like Sam, the guy in “Green Eggs and Ham,” (Thanks to Dr. Seuss for this one!)

who eventually tried green eggs and ham and loved them both, everywhere you

could imagine.

When I was out with my four grandchildren a couple of weekends back, we

headed to first one park (Blue Limestone) and then to another one, (Mingo

Park),  went to get ice cream cones for 59 cents each at McD’s, except for

Marley who makes a bargain with me, trying to finagle something else for

more money, since she is lactose intolerant. When I glanced down at my

cell phone while we were in line, she smarted off,

“What’s the matter, do you have somewhere else you need to be?”

(She is a little parrot, has been since she was 3! You just know her Mom or

Dad said this one to someone, not necessarily to one of the kids, though.)

When we sat down with our ‘treats,’ I again looked at the phone, but

this time Lara asked me why I was checking my phone so often?

I answered, “Usually your Mom will let me know when they have finished

eating dinner out, give me a ball park time for when you need to be home.”

Landen, (age 9) said another adage, “No news is good news!”

While they had finished their desserts, I handed out gum to help remove

the food particles, they usually ask for gum often. I looked at my dwindling

supply left and said, (my frugal self often says this anyway)

“Now try to make this last!”

It could not have been more than 6 minutes of them playing on the McD’s

play tower, when Kyah, (age 3) came running over to me, her piece of gum

on the tip of her pointer finger,

“Here Nana, I know you are running out of gum, can you save this for later?”

 

When I was leaving them at home, I hugged and kissed each of them,

saying goodbye and until we meet again.

 

We walked up to the door as they entered, I reminded them to take their

shoes off, which was hurriedly acknowledged by Lara, (age 10):

“You know if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem!”

 

Were any of these expressions ones you repeat often? What are some

common sayings or adages you associate with your family?

 

Light Summary of the Olympics’ Closing Ceremony

Standard

As in Olympics’ Closing Ceremonies go, I thought

the country of Russia, did an outstanding job!

The presentations, that were centered on their

heritage and culture, were moving, dynamic and

lovely. I am full of adjectives like “innovative”

and “evocative!”

It was called “A Tribute to the Arts.”

I enjoyed the artistic features of Marc Chagall

as one of the Russian artists.

I almost could not find the spelling of the other

artist who was mentioned, I did not recognize the

name.

It sounded like “Malcheck” or “Malaczech.” Once I

studied the wonderful directory of Russian artists,

I did recognize him to be: Kazimir Malevich. Well,

I was close! (Smile!)

Malevich was an avante garde artist and his paintings

were used for inspiration in the dance performances

and the mural like artwork on the field. He lived from

1878- 1935, as a Polish descendant Russian.

They featured black fish swimming around to form

the classic Olympic circles on the ground, This

glowed like shimmering silver rings. This was

carried out through people moving, carrying fish

fins to create the whole display.

There was some humor in that during the Opening

Ceremony, there was a ‘glitch’ where one of the

circles didn’t light up. I think the inclusion of

this display was to balance out the mistake of

the original ceremony. During this portion of the

Closing Ceremony, they had 62 pianists playing.

The fantastic upside-down village floating above the

field with the bright and lively painted design of

one of Marc Chagall’s pieces was delightful. I have

had some acquaintance with his work, since my parents

usually sent UNICEF cards featuring his designs. His

use of a dove to represent Peace and also, the Holy

Spirit at Christmas, is well known. One of Chagall’s

famous pieces, “I the Village,” shows his child-like

and dreamy artwork. His pieces may bring the observer

to smile, as if it were their own memories of some

imaginary times. We have put together, as a family, a

couple of his pieces into a picture puzzle, over the

years.

Chagall lived from 1887 until 1985. Since he later

moved to France, Chagall is considered a Russian-

French artist.

Someone asked, as a commentator, “Why was the village

upside down?” the answer was seemingly that Chagall

viewed the world as ‘upside down.’

I enjoyed the bold colors, dramatic dancing people

who wore wings, looking like Chagall’s doves or birds.

The ethnic, country Russian music was reminiscent of

the cultural music featured in “Fiddler on the Roof.”

This musical was set in Tsarist Russia, 1905.

There was a dramatic tribute to the Opera and this

utilized the Bolshoi and Kirov ballet dancers. This

was a beautiful exhibition of talent and skill.

There were floating dancers and gymnasts, similar

in the Cirque du Soleil type performances.

I was left with the impression of looking at Life

from a different lens. I am sure that this positive

impression, promoted by the Russian government, was

meant as propaganda.

The image of ‘Freedom of Expression,’ through their

“Tribute to the Arts,” shown during the 2014 Olympics

Closing Ceremonies in Sochi, Russia was simply ironic.