Tuesday, February 27, 2007

We're all mutts!

I was doing some genealogy work on ancestry.com yesterday and came to a startling realization. We're all mutts! No, I didn't say nuts. I said we are all a conglomerate of nationalities because of our families trying to assimilate here in the good old U.S. of A. Let me explain.

I have been involved in genealogy since my kids were in high school. (My son and daughter haven't been in high school in almost 20 years. Oh my goodness.) Anyway, as a junior year project, the kids were supposed to document their family trees going back at least three or four generations. This class project for both kids has turned into an obsession for me. I have documented at least eight generations going back to my great-grandparents and going down to a lot of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren in our family. In fact, I have documented more than four sides of the family -- my mother's, my father's, my husband's mother's and my husband's father's sides of the family. It all gets very complicated and wouldn't be possible to keep it all straight if not for computer programs and sites like ancestry.com. (For more on my genealogy pursuits and family history, go here.)

When we ask what nationality others are, most people would say, I'm Irish, I'm German, I'm French, I'm Canadian, or something like that. In reality, all our families are becoming more diluted and complex with each generation.

In the old days, like married like, otherwise, it was taboo. Today, anything goes. Just yesterday I watched two movies where the beautiful tawny-skinned upper-class girls were engaged to, falling in love with, or marrying white guys. This made for some funny movies but, in fact, it's indicative of real life. Last month my cousin's daughter married into a family whose father is Jewish and mother is Indian. In my family, every one of the aunts and uncles married nice Jewish boys and girls. Their children, however, are a different story. Each of my cousins "did their own thing" as far as choosing their mates and their children are going a step beyond assimilation. I'm Jewish of Russian, Polish, and English descent married to a Mexican-American. My son is married to a Philippine-American and my daughter is married to an American of Scotch-Irish descent. And my grandchildren are a conglomeration of all this mix. We are your typical American family.

If you are fan of the Harry Potter books and movies, you will be familiar with the phrase "mud bloods." This derogatory term means someone of mixed heritage (i.e., wizard and non-wizard). And yesterday, on CNN, there was a story about the Rev. Al Sharpton and his probable ancestry to the southern segregationist Strom Thurmond. I think Mr. Sharpton was pretty upset and is going to demand DNA testing to prove or disprove this connection.

Speaking of DNA testing, what about that Anna Nicole Smith's paternity issue? The only loser in that deal is going to be the baby who is being played like a ping pong ball all over money.

As far as the rest of the world is concerned, I say get over your differences and get on with life. Stop fighting and killing and start living. Who cares if you're a different religion, ethnicity, or race. Life is short and in the long run, we're all still mutts.

Finding a Chinese Jew

Sid and Al were sitting in a Chinese restaurant. "Sid," asked Al, "are there any Jews in China?"

"I don't know," Sid replied. "Why don't we ask the waiter?"

When the waiter came by, Al asked him, "Are there any Chinese Jews?"

"I don't know sir, let me ask," the waiter replied, and he went into the kitchen. He returned in a few minutes and said, "No, sir. No, Chinese Jews."

"Are you sure?" Al asked.

"I will check again, sir," the waiter replied and went back to the kitchen. While he was still gone, Sid said, "I cannot believe there are no Jews in China. Our people are scattered everywhere."

When the waiter returned he said, "Sir, no Chinese Jews."

"Are you really sure?" Al asked again.

"I cannot believe there are no Chinese Jews."

"Sir, I ask everyone," the waiter replied exasperated. "We have Orange Jews, Prune Jews, Tomato Jews and Grape Jews, but we have no Chinese Jews."

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Blessed grandparents' day

Husband and I were invited to spend the day with our daughter and granddaughters, so off we went early yesterday morning. We had not seen the girls for about a month because of bad weather and illness. So, it was great being able to hug and kiss everybody again (without fear of getting sick).

We were all very glad to see each other. Our grandson-to-be is now at 26 weeks 1 day gestation (only 97 days until his debut into this world). Daughter continues to feel well for which we are all so very thankful.

Early signs of Spring were everywhere. Daffodils were popping up all over daughter's yard and the trees looked as if they were ready to bud out. I hope we don't get any more icy, snowy, cold weather, but in our neck of the woods, unpredictable weather is the norm rather than the occasional occurrence. All in all, we spent a very pleasant day together. We talked, laughed, looked at bunk beds and mattresses for Little Sister's upcoming 3rd birthday (March 14), had a light lunch, ate doughnuts fresh from the bakery, played games, and enjoyed each others' company. Just before 3:00 p.m., Little Sister climbed into my lap, proclaimed that I was her "favorite" grandma and promptly fell asleep in my arms. Oh my goodness, it almost brought tears to my eyes.

Little Sister, just waking up from her nap, with a smile on her beautiful face

We went home a while later and arrived home pleasantly tired. We enjoyed the day very much and thank daughter for inviting us to spend the day with them.

This morning we received an invitation to attend Dancer Girl's gymnastics competition next Saturday. She will be performing her first floor routine and maybe on the uneven parallel bars. How exciting for her.

We were also invited to Little Sister's birthday party on March 17th. My, she is growing up so fast and no longer seems such a little baby. Both girls are pleasant, articulate, and entertaining. As grandparents, we feel blessed being able to share their lives.

I have almost finished the baby afghan I am crocheting for our newest grandchild. While the girls were showing us how neat their room was, I photographed the afghans I had made the girls when they were babies. I thought I would share these photos with you.

Dancer Girl's afghan

Little Sister's afghan

Daughter has stored these afghans away as keepsakes for the girls. When they were babies, they loved to snuggle down with these soft afghans which in turn made me very happy. I will publish a picture of baby boy's afghan when it is completed.

We can't wait to see the girls again next Saturday so we can feel blessed again!

You know you're a homeschooler's grandparent when . . .

You're the life of the party, even when it lasts until 8 p.m.

You're very good at opening child proof caps with a hammer.

You're usually interested in going home before you get to where you're going.

You're good on a trip for at least an hour without aspirin.

You're the first one to find the bathroom wherever you go.

You're awake many hours before your body allows you to get up.

You're smiling all the time because you can't hear a word they're saying.

You're very good at telling stories, over and over and over and over again.

You're aware that other people's grandchildren are not as bright as yours.

You're so cared for - long term care, eye care, private care, dental care.

You're not grouchy. You just don't like traffic, waiting, crowds, children ...

You're positive you did housework correctly before your mate retired.

You're sure everything you can't find is in a secure place.

You're wrinkled, saggy and lumpy - and that's just your left leg.

You're having trouble remembering simple words like ... ah.

You're now spending more time with your pillow than with your mate.

You're realizing that aging is not for sissies.

You're anti-everything - anti-fat, anti-smoke, anti-noise, anti-inflammatory.

You're walking more (to the bathroom) and enjoying it less.

You're going to reveal what goes on behind closed doors - absolutely nothing.

You're sure they are making adults much younger these days.

You're in the initial stage of your golden years - SS, CD, IRA, AARP.

You're wondering - if you're only as old as you feel, how could you be alive at 150.

You're supporting all movements - by eating prunes, bran, oats and raisins.

You're a walking storeroom of facts - you've just lost the storeroom.

You're so proud to have found Third Age online.

You're a grandparent and you're having the time of your life!!!

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Kitty camouflage

I awoke early this morning and the first thing I did was check our snow situation outside. The weatherman said we are to expect anywhere from a dusting to up to four inches today. As I peeked out at a very cold landscape, I was surprised to see less than an inch on the ground. While I was taking a few snaps out the kitchen slider, my famous singing duo, Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn, decided to do a little exploring.

Dolly likes to dance and make kitty footprints in the snow

Can you see me?

Loretta says, let me in, mommy, my feet are cold!

I never tire of watching my cats explore their world. They have birdies to stake out at the feeders, mice, moles, and other varmints to capture and bring into the house, and they have each other to attack and play games with. I think their lives revolve around those activities imprinted upon their DNA, activities that were forged by their feline ancestors who hunted and roamed the jungles, tundras, and wilds of the world long before man came along. We have domesticated and tamed the species but you cannot remove those characteristics that are intrinsic to their nature -- claws, whiskers, pads, nose, eyes, ears, tail, fur, purrs, hairy tongue, and teeth -- all used to prowl, kill their prey, stay alive, procreate, and lie in the sun after a feast.

These characteristics are also what makes these creatures so endearing to us. Some people are dog lovers (okay, if you must) and others are cat lovers. Some are cat haters and don't trust cats because of their natures. One thing all of us must admit, however, is that tame or wild, cats are beautiful and sleek, interesting to watch, and fascinating to interact with. Their intelligence is unique and you can almost believe they understand what we are saying to them. I know mine do.

Some of my kitties' relatives playing in the snow

After a little romp outside in the cold, some nice breakfast, a quick trip to the freshly cleaned out kitty litter pans, my little darlings are camped out in the warm house taking their morning siesta. What a life!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

French Kissing

For all you lovers out there, here is the definitive information you really need on how to French Kiss. (I guess people need instructions on how to do most things in life, so maybe they need a how-to on how to kiss your lover.)

Happy Valentine's Day to all my lovely bloggy friends. Hope you spend the day with someone you love, whether they're real, furry (as in pets), or imagined.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Baby boy

When I viewed daughter alipurr's blog this morning, I noticed her lilypie.com baby ticker showed that she was now pregnant 24 weeks 4 days. I was a little curious to see how big baby boy would be now so I googled fetal development and saw this.

The normal human gestation period is 40 weeks, and I suddenly realized that daughter was fast approaching her third trimester. Development of her baby will be amazing during the next three months and daughter's body will be changing rapidly to accommodate baby's increased size. I know that there have been babies born at this stage who have survived, but we hope that our newest grandchild remains safe, warm, and protected in mother's belly just where he belongs.

This reminds me: I MUST FINISH baby boy's afghan now because later will be too late.

Happy Valentine's Day to all my favorites on my favorite links list. Hope you receive warm, sloppy kisses from someone you love.

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Word cloud

Daughter alipurr had a word cloud on her blog so I also did one just for fun. What do you think? Does this jumble of words exemplify my way of thinking? I would say that these words are words that I cherish the most and tend to use when I write, such as love, family, husband, daughter, sister, wonderful world, and, of course, happy.

If you would like to make your own word cloud, go here.

When I logged into my blog today, I was forced into converting to the "new" blogger. I was a little nervous because I certainly didn't want to lose my links or my posts. I have read comments from several people who said they lost their blogs when they converted. Happily, husband stood by my side and walked me through it with no problems. Don't be surprised if my blog skin changes some time soon. I feel in an adventurous mood.