Coffee and Contemplation: Family Stories Month

Oral tradition has been part of society since humans could utter a string of sounds with different meanings. Family Stories Month is a continuation of that but focused on one’s family. I don’t have many fun stories of my family, but I did recently have my DNA tested by Ancestry.com. It started a little weird because it first said there was a lot of Spanish ancestry. There were many people like me who had Spanish or Portuguese ancestry who later did not. Some of those people like me then had Irish and Scottish ancestry. To sum it up, I think lots of people in Europe were having lots of sex in other countries.

The DNA results on Ancestry keep changing, not because of mistakes, but because their science keeps getting better. It’s possible the numbers I’m about to share will change in the future, but for now this is what it says. 41% English and Northwestern Europe. Most of that coming from North Yorkshire and Lincolnshire according to Ancestry. 27% Scottish. 13% European Jewish. 10% Irish. 8% Norwegian. 1% Swedish. Many of my ancestors settled in the Missouri Ozarks and East Tennessee. I knew I had family in East Tennessee, so this was no surprise. I still claim some Hispanic ancestry but it’s more likely I’d be called Black Irish.

It was fun getting my DNA tested and seeing what components make up who I am. I’ll call myself a Jewish Viking from Scotland. That’s got a nice ring to it. There are other websites that took the information from my Ancestry DNA and took it a step further and listed the ancestors from the time of the Dark Ages and before. That was a fun history lesson I don’t want to get into at the moment. Anyway, that’s some fun family history of mine. Tell me about yours if you know it.

Remember Movember

What is Movember? You’ve heard of No Shave November. Well, Movember is about growing a mustache for charity. Movember takes on the three serious issues facing men’s health: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health. All forms of cancer are bad and that’s why it’s important to get checked out on the regular. Mental health is something that people need checked out often as well. Many men don’t discuss the things that bother them because they may feel embarrassed or emasculated. Check on your friends and see how they’re doing. Always remind them they can talk to or confide in you whenever they need.

There are a few ways to participate in Movember. You can grow a mustache for charity or donate to charity. You can walk or run a distance of 60 miles for each of the 60 men lost to suicide every hour. Or you can host an event to raise money for charity. The month-long observance started in 2003 and was founded by the Movember Foundation. It’s time for men to start building each other up and to stop putting each other down. It’s a bit late to do much this month but bringing awareness to men’s health should be a year-round endeavor. Stay safe and check out the Movember Foundation. They do cool things.

Wacky Wednesday: November 25

Here we are with the final Wacky Wednesday of November. Can you believe it’s already Thanksgiving? It’s moving fast but I’m not complaining about 2020 being almost over. This New Year’s Eve will be quite the party – with everyone 6 feet apart and in facemasks. We have a couple more old English insults. Fopdoodle is an insignificant or foolish man. I’ve met many a fopdoodle. And Fustylugs is a woman of gross or corpulent habit. Fusty was a word for something that’s gone off or gone stale. Today I think we use the word musty.

We have a number of holidays today. Some are specific to the day before Thanksgiving such as National Jukebox Dayand Tie One on Day. The night before Thanksgiving is the busiest night of the year for bars especially in smaller towns as family has come to visit. People will listen to tunes on the jukebox and we hope they will have a designated driver. Tie One on Day is related to an earlier post of mine about Tie One on for Safety Month to prevent people from drinking and driving. Stay safe tonight when visiting family.

Our other holidays include National Play Day with Dad which began in 2019 to encourage fathers to spend time with and get to know their children. Shopping Reminder Day is self-explanatory if you know what Black Friday is. I’m excited to celebrate Blasé Day. Blasé is of French origin meaning to be indifferent or bored with life, unimpressed, as or as if from an excess of worldly pleasures. Yes, I said I’m excited to be bored and indifferent. Finally, our token food holiday is National Parfait Day. Parfait is a French word that literally means “perfect” and was originally used to describe a kind of frozen dessert beginning in 1894. 

There are many things to celebrate today and you’ve gained a couple new words to help insult family members you don’t like. I am having a one-person Thanksgiving this year. I have a 6.5 lb. chicken I’ll be roasting and preparing green bean casserole and mash potatoes. I’m gonna get my fatty on! Stay safe and have a Merry Thanksgiving.