Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dictionary of "Grandma-isms"

My Italian grandmother, Rosina Ianelli Currie, had such a positive outlook on life. Anything was possible. Anything was fixable. And every ailment or problem or trial in life could be managed with the help of a heaping plate of lasagna and her famous "meatless meatballs." Even though Grandma Currie's in heaven now, I can still see the twinkle in her eye and hear her infectious laugh when I remember some of her favorite sayings.

- "The cat's pajamas" (Her name for any dish that was made with whatever you could find in the fridge)

- "A hop, skip, and a jump" (Something that's not very far away)

- "You gotta use your coconut!" (You have to use your brain)

- "You gotta be smarter than the average bear"

- "That's because of the good Italian blood in you!" (When any of her grandkids did something noteworthy)

- "It's not your fault. You can't help it that you're not Italian." (With a sigh and a shake of her head to my dad, who, though not born Italian, at least was vindicated by marrying an Italian!)

- "Did you know I'm FBI? Full Blooded Italian!" (With a secretive air to wide-eyed kids in her church. She would often wear a pin that said the same thing)

- "Two things improve with age. Wine and Italians!" (A magnet on her refrigerator that she loved pointing out to guests.)

- "Now, we gotta use our coconuts and out-smart these squirrels!" (To her grandkids as we plotted ways to keep the squirrels from eating her birdseed)

- "I've got a brain-wave!" (When she came up with another brilliant idea.)