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what is “it”?

April 14, 2009

i love me a good ole “saying”. like…

my get up and go got up and went

6 in one hand and a 1/2 dozen in the other

to hell in a hand basket πŸ˜•

ok. i really dont know what the last one means. but the following is one that my grandmother, Baba, had on a plaque hanging on her wall.

“better beans and bacon in peace than steak and cake without it”

i remember in the 5th grade, sitting and reading that over and over and over. and i just could not get it. it made absolutely no sense to me.

the word that tripped me up the most was “it” at the end. i couldnt figure out what “it” was! oooooo, id get so upset. and my Baba, bless her heart, would try so hard to help me understand, but, to no avail.

january, 1988 my grandmother passed away. after her funeral a few of us grandkids went back to our grandparents house to help our grandpa settle in for the night. he asked us to walk through the house, find something of our grandmothers that meant the most to us, and keep it.

i started my way down the long hall just beyond the kitchen. and there it was hanging on the wall directly in front of me…the “it” plaque. i stopped to read it. i stood there…and cried. i got it. i got “it”. it finally made sense to me!

in between the tears there was laughter as i recalled all the times Baba attempted to explain this simple little saying. i removed the plaque from the wall, wrapped it up gently and quietly left with the biggest smile on my face and my heart!

alright…your turn. give me your favorite sayings.

57 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2009 9:22 pm

    It isn’t some old saying passed down generation to generation, but I say it many times in my day.

    “Make good choices”

    When I went home to Arizona, my family members heard me saying this to the boys and they thought it was so funny and fitting that they now say it to each other. Who knew that I could be a trend setter, but there it is.

    • April 15, 2009 9:45 am

      sam – i ALWAYS tell my kids that!

      also…”be a blessing, not a burden” – tam πŸ˜‰

  2. April 14, 2009 9:41 pm

    My Dad has a million of them:

    “You know what the good thing is? It’s a long way from your heart.” [said by my dad anytime we’d get hurt.]

    When my dad is asked how his day is going: “Oh, about two in a hill.” [because when two seeds are planted instead of one on a hill there’s a better crop, so that means he’s good.]

    “That’s terrible. Just like toilet paper.” [because toilet paper is tear-able]

    If you’re ever at my home for breakfast my dad will ask: “Have you ever had those boneless chicken for breakfast?” [he means eggs… ]

    And the one that makes no sense, whatsoever, is what he’d say if we sneezed: “Well, God bless you all to hell.”


    • April 15, 2009 9:46 am

      β€œWell, God bless you all to hell.”

      that one reminds me of one of my mothers…

      “damn it all to hell!”

      we knew she was ON FIRE when that one came flying out 😯

  3. April 14, 2009 11:06 pm

    Haha, of course this comes during the week that I’m on a forced, self-prescribed break from Facebook where all my favorite quotes reside.

    anyways, here are a couple that I remember off the top o’ my head:

    “As a former fetus, I oppose abortion”

    I don’t remember where I came across or heard that but I liked it and remembered it.

    “Blind people see the world too, just not as your or I do”

    My dear friend Kimberly said that once upon a time during a chat on AIM….she’s awesome!

    On another not, I’ve notice that somehow I made it onto your blogroll…I don’t know how I managed to get on there but it makes me feel special πŸ™‚

    *crosses fingers*, I hope that HTML in this comment works….about to find out

    • April 15, 2009 9:47 am

      youve been on my blogroll for a long time! cuz you are special πŸ˜‰

  4. April 15, 2009 12:12 am

    “If you let circumstances define you, other circumstances will find you”
    Me πŸ™‚

  5. April 15, 2009 2:08 am

    “Bigger than life and uglier than death backing out of the outhouse”

    Don’t remember where I heard that one, but I always got a kick out of it.

    • April 15, 2009 9:48 am

      ha! and your avi next to that quote is even better! for some reason…

  6. Heidi permalink
    April 15, 2009 4:35 am

    “His capacity to receive our worship always exceeds our capacity to give.”

  7. April 15, 2009 5:26 am

    I love that story about your Grandma, and your “ah-ha” moment. So sweet!

    • April 15, 2009 9:49 am

      i miss my Baba! she was an awesome lady… weird. but cool.

      whenever her cat, Shotzie, had a hairball – she would force a tblsp of bacon grease down her throat. poor cat…hated it!!

  8. April 15, 2009 6:11 am

    Fortunately, I like beans and bacon… πŸ™‚

    Here are some sayings that have always stuck with me:

    “Well take and fart on it” – my grandmother would say that and I asked her what it meant and she just said “not the stink”… so I still don’t know!

    “It’ll make a turd” – a co-worker when asked how he liked his less-than-appealing lunch.

    “Finer than frog hair split three ways” – an expression used to answer the question “How are you today?”

    “My nose itches, my nose itches, someone’s a comin with holes in their britches” – again, my grandmother… it meant you were getting visitors.

    Those are some of the things that bounce around in my head. May have more later.

    • April 15, 2009 9:50 am

      “β€œIt’ll make a turd” – a co-worker when asked how he liked his less-than-appealing lunch. ”

      i spit my hot chocolate out from this one!!!!



  9. April 15, 2009 6:11 am

    Your Grandma had “it”… πŸ˜‰

    My mom still says “Watch out for the funny people” to which I reply “Mom what if we are the funny people?”

    Or any time something happened she couldn’t explain. “Well it builds character”

    And a new saying I hear a lot now is something about a #moistpickle

    Peace and love sis.

    • April 15, 2009 9:51 am


      β€œMom what if we are the funny people?”

      oh. you are


  10. April 15, 2009 6:15 am

    My husband’s gram says: “It’s better to go through life wanting what you don’t have, then having what you don’t want.”

    I’ve always liked that one…it reminds me to be careful in my decisions.

    • April 15, 2009 9:52 am

      my pastor says that a lot.

      id much rather want what i have πŸ˜‰

  11. April 15, 2009 6:22 am

    It’s hard to beat Gladys with “I love Jesus but I drink a little” …

    Diane should be good at this – every time she speaks there’s a new “trad Irish” saying. You’d think after 7 years I’d have caught up!

    • April 15, 2009 9:53 am

      i LOVE gladys!!

      i should start calling brent, gladys πŸ˜‰

  12. Diane permalink
    April 15, 2009 6:28 am

    It’s really hard to narrow down the essential, Northern Irish based phrases. Here’s a few anyway..

    “I’m not as green as I’m cabbage lookin'” – I’m not as gullible as I look.

    “Aye, yer ma!” – The Northern Irish equivalent to ‘your mom’ I imagine. Someone says a statement that’s stretching the truth a little, and you respond with “Aye, yer maaaa!” It’s all in where you place emphasis.

    “Wind yer neck back in!” or “Catch yerself on!” – wind, as in a watch, not the air. Again, if someone’s being a bit too big for their boots.

    Umm I’m sure I have tons more, but I’ll have to save them up for when I launch (re-launch?) my blog πŸ™‚

    • April 15, 2009 9:53 am

      these are great – but i MUST hear you say them.

      i just have to!

    • April 15, 2009 1:22 pm

      I didn’t realise the Norn Iron lot said ‘Yer Ma!’ as well. Ha ha!

  13. April 15, 2009 8:22 am

    What a great story about your Grandmother.

    Mine had a plaque as well, and while it’s admittedly not as profound, it has stuck with me just the same:

    “If you sprinkle when you tinkle,
    Please be sweet and wipe the seat.”

    So true.

    • April 15, 2009 10:02 am

      my grandparent also used to manage an apt. complex in so CA that had a pool. on the fence was sign that said…

      “welcome to our ool. hope you enjoy your time.
      notice there is no “p” in “ool”

      lets keep it that way!”

      i loved that!!!

      • April 15, 2009 1:25 pm

        There’s one from Friends similar where they talk about a sign that says

        “We don’t swim in your toilet, so please don’t pee in our pool”

  14. Jim2 permalink
    April 15, 2009 9:17 am

    “My cow died last night, so I don’t need your bull”

    • April 15, 2009 10:02 am

      NICE!!! i think i shall use this today πŸ˜‰

  15. April 15, 2009 9:48 am

    I’m realizing where I get my potty mouth from, because all the ones I keep thinking of that my parents said have swear words in them.

    • April 15, 2009 10:03 am

      haha! i love your potty mouth πŸ˜€

  16. April 15, 2009 11:30 am

    That was a sweet, tear-jerking story about the plaque.

    My dad always uses the expression, “Good Night Nurse!” It’s used the same as, good grief.

    My mom says, “well that just takes the cake”.

    How about, “come hell or high water”.

    My sons 5th grade teacher always said, “See a need and fill it”. I like that one and have used it semi-jokingly here at home. I know that I’ll always get an eye-roll from him since it reminds him of dear Mrs. Stalder.

    • April 15, 2009 12:55 pm

      “come hell or high water” was also one my mom said A LOT!

      mmmm…nothin more precious to a child than their parent adopting their teachers famous sayings. hehe πŸ˜‰

  17. April 15, 2009 1:19 pm

    My favourite Scottish saying is

    ‘Stick in til ye stick oot’.

    (basically means eat up until you’ve had your full).

  18. April 15, 2009 3:22 pm

    it isn’t a funny one….but “your lack of planning is not my crisis” has kept me sane when it comes to a few dramatic people in my life.

    oh, thought of a funny one… i like “oh my granny”…as in “oh my goodness”…but funnier!

    • April 15, 2009 3:43 pm

      i know this one well. i tell my kids this a lot!

      and “oh my grabby” LOVE. IT!

  19. April 15, 2009 3:31 pm

    “Older than dirt”

    Which seems more relevant as I get older.

    “If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.”

    I remember this from the time Nixon got impeached. It also applies to today’s headlines.

    I don’t remember when I heard these.

    “A face only a mother could love”

    “A day late and a dollar short”

    “Madder than a wet hen”

    “Slower than molasses in January”

    I had to look up the following quote from Mark Twain. It is one of my favorites because I have a terrible memory. Which I keep forgetting before I make an excuse for not doing something.

    “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”

  20. April 15, 2009 3:45 pm

    “I HAD TO LOOK UP the following quote from Mark Twain. It is one of my favorites because I HAVE A TERRIBLE MEMORY.”

    oh the irony, friend πŸ˜‰

    as for the quote…

    “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”

    very true! πŸ™‚

  21. April 15, 2009 3:57 pm

    Thanks for this Tam – you’ve totally inspired my Flower of Scotland Friday post for this week!!! Ha ha!

    • April 15, 2009 5:41 pm

      cool! make sure you come back here this friday for “pimp my post” and leave the link to that πŸ˜‰

  22. April 15, 2009 4:34 pm

    When my kids are antsy I say they are “jumping around like a fart in a fryin pan”

    Ross used to say “want in one hand & poop in the other & see which one fills up first”…when I begged for a new…whatever.

    My mom used to say “kill em with kindness”

    My Dad always says he’s “going fishing for a couple, 2, 3 days”. I think a couple 2’s or 3’s is 4 or 6. Apparently I’m wrong.

    • April 15, 2009 5:41 pm

      i love how literal you are. you be smart and all πŸ˜€

  23. April 15, 2009 5:02 pm

    OK, I have to copy Mandy I just noticed….great minds think alike. A friend of mine’s late father gave me the same favorite saying:

    “Wish in one hand, crap in the other. See which one fills up first.”

    I will add one more though and it comes from a song lyric. It is

    “Money talks in this world,
    Thats what idiots will say
    But you’ll find out that this world,
    Is just an idiots parade”

    from Good Charlotte..Life and Death

    • April 15, 2009 5:43 pm

      i read the quote…

      “wAsh in one hand, crap in the other…”

      and im thinking…nooooo – wash the crapped in hand!

  24. April 15, 2009 5:12 pm

    ” Wake up your country needs you.”

    This is something my mom mom has said since my mom was a child:)

    • April 15, 2009 5:43 pm

      dang. makes me wanta join the military!

  25. April 15, 2009 5:56 pm

    Too long to be a saying but…

    The Sophomore’s Philosophy

    The more you study, the more you know, the more you know, the more you forget, the more you forget, the less you know, so why study.

    The less you study, the less you know, the less you know, the less you forget, the less you forget, the more you know, so why study.

  26. TheNorEaster permalink
    April 15, 2009 8:12 pm

    “No single raindrop believes it is responsible for the flood.”

    • April 15, 2009 10:08 pm

      this is my favorite. hands down.

      doesnt need anymore added to it….

  27. Jim2 permalink
    April 16, 2009 8:58 am

    My new favorite, that I just heard today – “Love doesn’t make the world go around, it just makes the ride worthwhile.” – makes me wonder if the love I show is making anyone’s ride “worthwhile” hmmm

    • April 16, 2009 9:02 am

      thats a nice one too!

      a thought a definitely need to ponder πŸ™‚

  28. April 17, 2009 6:29 pm

    This is so sweet! Your grandmother sounds like she was a very special woman, and your family is blessed to have had her.

  29. April 25, 2009 9:14 am

    my grew-up-in-the-great-depression great-grandmother used to have this sign up in her bathroom that read:

    “support the movement. eat a prune.”



  1. Flower of Scotland Friday: Auld Sayings « Learning from Sophie

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