JOANIEBUG46   67,669
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Would appreciate some feedback . . .

Friday, July 15, 2011

I'm here to vent today. And hopefully, after venting, things will be in a better perspective!

We live in America. We all know people who have emigrated here from other countries and can appreciate the differences. Embrace them. I live in Central Florida, and when I got to Orlando I love walking around some of the "touristy" areas and listening to the different languages. Guessing where the people are from, what they do, etc.

We all have different ways of doing things and these differences come from our families and they way we were raised, as well the culture we grew up in.
That said, I was raised by educated parents whose families had come over years ago from England, Wales and Germany. Let's just say that they were rather reserved and voices were never raised. Tongues were always "checked" before voicing opinions. Not always the most demonstrative with affection, but definitely a wonderful childhood and loving parents.

That said, I come fast forward to today, where I'm married (for 25 years) to a first generation immigrant who is still totally attached (understandably) to his former language and culture. He's very American in many ways, but there are some differences. One of them is that he and his family seem to have no "filter" when they talk. They feel that if they see something you're doing or eating that is not good for you, it is their place to tell you what you're doing wrong. emphasis on "wrong" or "bad". It seems to be expected by them.

Last night, one of my DH's cousins arrived from their native land with her husband (a cardiologist). Within 20 minutes of meeting my 18 yr-old daughter, she (my daughter) was told that they had something to help her with her acne and that it's from eating chocolate. Of course my daughter is a lovely girl, a straight-A college student, an excellent dancer and a very good person. But I could see her whole being deflate by this relative stranger, whom she had just met. Well meaning? I'm sure. But necessary? My daughter has a hormonal imbalance, we are currently working with a doctor on it and she has seen several dermatologists and been on countless meds. With a bit of makeup it is barely noticable but then she's hit with a zinger . .. . .

This morning as dh and cousins were drinking their tea I was told that coffee is very bad for me. husband told them I drink mostly decaf, but then he said that decaf is very bad for my stomach. Sheesh! I'm sitting there with my steel cut oats and I enjoy my black coffee. My stomach feels just fine, thank you very much!
OHHHHH, I forgot the best part. All of this time, they are talking in their native language, which I don't know that well and they talk about you, then ask for the words to say in English or my husband interprets for me (most of the time).

These are people who appear kind. They smile and bring gifts and act as though they care, so I shouldn't get upset, but I do!!!

I feel better just letting this go . . . .
I would appreciate appreciate some feedback . . . . .

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PATTYCAKE17 4/1/2012 9:38AM

    I'm with teeny Bikini; years ago I would have swallowed it along with gallons of ice cream and other carbs. They would have destroyed me. Today I would have had to remind them that guests in someone's home don't behave that way. They were RUDE. Good for you for sticking to your guns; enjoying your food choices, and supporting your daughter. Hopefully they are gone now, and they will not receive another invite. Does anyone agree with HOTEL LODGINGS if there would ever, God forbid, be a next time? That may deter them!!

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JMMANGEL 7/20/2011 7:08AM

  Sounds like they are not let them bring you down. I agree with Teeny, the comment about your daughter's acne was just plain rude, as is talking in front of you in a language you do not understand. You were graceful. I have family members who say horrible things under the guise of "helping" me. My beloved husband has continually told me that a)just because they are related by blood does not mean they deserve to spend time with me and b) if I would not take such rudeness from a stranger why would I take it from someone who purports to love me? Be strong, try not to stoop to their level...and maybe next time they come to visit you and your lovely daughter can be visiting somewhere else.

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BORIQUANMAMI 7/19/2011 11:40PM

    You handled yourself quite well and good for you for venting it here rather than letting it fester or eating it away.

Having said that, I might suggest that you talk to your husband about how the situations made you and your daughter feel. While you may have gotten things off your chest for now, these are the little things that can add up in a relationship if they aren't dealt with.

It's important that he can at least hear you out even if there isn't anything that can be changed about the situation now. You never know it might just make him think next time and even say something to the next relative who takes it upon themselves to comment on you and your family.

Coming from a different culture and being raised somewhere between US culture and my native-born culture and now raising bi-cultural children, I can tell you that it's a balancing act to say the least.


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TEENY_BIKINI 7/19/2011 10:17PM

    Um... wow.

The acne comment was rude. I am stunned just reading it. I just can't imagine someone coming into my home and saying something so rude and leaving with all of their limbs attached.

I think there are a lot of good suggestions here. Spark friends always come through with valuable advice. I learned a lot about peaceful resolution here - but I am hothead so I will not pretend that I have anything peaceful to say ;)

You handled this situation with grace and restraint. It is very impressive. I think I would be incarcerated before they left :) Hugs. You are fantastic!!!!!!!


I think you did just fine.

Comment edited on: 7/19/2011 10:19:00 PM

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COMPUCATHY 7/16/2011 2:58PM

    What a tough, tough situation. It is true that different cultures speak differently...both in what they say and how they say it. I hope that you can talk to DH to try and work through this and try to help your daughter to understand their differences. I think it's probably one of those situations where you have to develop the "water off a duck's back" attitude...but that is so much easier said than done. Wishing you the best! Thank you for all your encouragement! I hope you have a TERRIFIC weekend! Enjoy! Celebrate your blessings! Spark on! emoticon

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DONNAEDA 7/16/2011 2:57PM

    You be the better person and say "Thank you so much for your information" and do what you are doing. Just count he days til they go home. They are guests and unfortunately they are unaware of their brashiness and hurt feelings. Grin and bear it but please don't eat over it.

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FRANANN3 7/16/2011 2:34PM

    Good for you for venting and NOT holding it in!
I can TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY RELATE TO YOU! I also have a 'RELATIVE who lives nearby , she is very foreign still though she has been here over 40 years! She chooses to be that way! I accepted that. ...I have been married over 25 years... this lady feels she should speak her language to me and my kids SO weWILL LEARN THE LANGUAGE!!!!!!Enlugh I say... IF I WANTED to learn it fluently by NOW ... I WOULD HAVE!!! anyway I no longer try to understand... i give an answer i feel in appropriate and when she gets mad i didn't understand... oh well! I feel for your daughter but just remember, they are like this to EVERYONE! Hope their visit will be short and just keep a smile and say a prayer for them THEY need it! ....and be yourself!

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ELIZRN 7/16/2011 8:05AM

  Some of the unhealthiest people I know are doctors...& other members of the medical profession. Anyway, that said, if life we have to turn a blind eye, at least in the moment. I usethe image of a television set surrounding the "offenders" & see them as a sit-com. Sometimes just "oh, thank you for telling me."

But, consider that they may have something to offer. When the delivery system is faulty, we often miss out on important information, so my usual comment ( even to my husband who is my biggest critic is, "I'll certainly think about that."

It's difficult to be with people who have been brought up in different ways, but this is part of our growth. It doesn't mean it's right or wrong. I grew up alone with my mother. The house was quiet with little conversation. My brothers married early....both to highly judgmental women & visiting them is a horror show for me. I married a man who is very critical & learning to be at peace with myself & to honor who I am was truly a growth experience.

As for your daughter, I'm sure you took her aside & made light of what was going on.

Happy learning....


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ERIN4771 7/15/2011 7:30PM

    i say this alot... "it is as it does"....basically if someone is making stupid comments i shake my head, say that phrase and walk away....leaving the person to wonder just transpired...i happen to dislike others that find it necessary to comment on my vegetarian powerlifting doxie loving a woman who grew up with acne, i know how badly it hurts when someone makes a nasty comment, so please, give your daughter a hug from me, and remind her of the phrase above keep doing what's right for you, whether it be drinking decaf, eating steel cut oats or running around naked singing a lady gaga YOUR life as you see fit....

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APPLES20 7/15/2011 1:08PM

    I once read a very wise, cerebral author who gave me a phrase that I use a LOT now, both out loud and in my head.

"Is that so?"

It's a wonderful phrase that means neither, I agree, or disagree, I care or I don't care, I'm going to do what you tell me, or not do what you tell me.

"you keep drinking that black coffee, yer gonna croak"
"Is that so?"
"yeah, it eats your stomach lining"
"Is that so?"
"You should stop today, right now"
"Is that so?"
"Your not listening to me"
"Is that so?"

It's quite empowering to say. It shifts something in your mind and heart. You can say it 50 times in a conversation. Try it, it works. :D

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GRACEISENUF 7/15/2011 1:00PM

    Glad you "my language" they are just plain RUDE. I am very sad to hear your daughter was approached that way.

I have a well meaning FIL (whom I do love) who has the habit of trying to tell everyone how to live, eat, etc. I let it go in one ear and out the other but tell you what I would really like to just tell him to shut up and mind his own durn business!

I'll bet you are glad they don't live in Florida huh? LOL

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IMJUSTFLUFFY 7/15/2011 12:56PM

    Yes, take it in stride or there could be trouble between you and your hubby and you don't want that!
Good luck to and my big mouth...I'd be in trouble already! ha ha
Hugs, Rhonda

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UTMIZ_2000 7/15/2011 12:52PM

    Get it out, it's better to get it out. If his cousins do not know English, then it is understandable they use their native tongue, but if they do then shame on them for leaving you out of the conversation.

About the coffee, it is better to drink the regular. I got this from a Ph.D chemist. The decafination process leaves some nasty byproducts that are worse for you than the caffiene. But the choice of what to drink is up to you.

Sounds like these doctor relatives need to learn to turn off the doctor mode and turn on the visiting relation mode. Sorry you've been frustrated.

Like you said, they probably think they are being helpful and loving by saying these things, but the cultural differences aren't being taken into consideration.

Feel better. At least they are only visiting for a short while.

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I'm so very grateful . . .

Friday, April 22, 2011

Several months ago I left a message on a board, asking for ideas for getting my daughter to eat more healthily. Basically, everyone told me to just set a good example, and when she's ready, she'll do it.

Well, her workplace does an annual Weight Watchers class right on site, and my DD decided to participate. WOW!! That's all I can say! SHE decided to make the necessary changes and she's really listening to the instructor. She's not being meticulous about the points, since she doesn't have a calculator, but she's being very, very careful about the nutrient value of the foods, amount of fat, empty calories, etc., and doing a terrific job. She's lost about 12 lbs. in the past 5 weeks and I'm thrilled for her! She's lost about 35 lbs. since last May and that's alot on a 5'2" body.

We did a bit of shopping last night and she's down about 2 sizes. No more anger in the dressing room and tears on the way home.

The bottom line is that she's feeling better and she's realized that she has the intelligence and discipline to make the changes she needs in her life to be a healthier, happier person and it just thrills me!!! She's doing all this while working full time, taking her GRE and applying for grad school and doing a considerable amount of volunteer work with the youth of our church. I'm very, very thankful to have this wonderful daughter!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUTUREHOPE49 6/20/2011 5:12AM

    That is very good to hear! Tell her well done! emoticon

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GRACEISENUF 4/23/2011 12:52AM

    So happy for your daughter and YOU! Isn't it great when the emoticon finally goes off in our children's head! LOL

Happy EASTER to you!

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55WALKER 4/22/2011 10:18PM


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MERRIKATE 4/22/2011 5:37PM

    Wonderful development all right. Means so much to our kids when we can convey deep trust in their own judgement simply by getting out of their faces! Rarely an easy thing for a parent to do (speaking from experience) and yet so rewarding and productive for all involved. Hurray for you both!
emoticon emoticon

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MPALMER15 4/22/2011 2:42PM

    Fantastic! emoticon

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4CHRIST777 4/22/2011 2:00PM

    That is wonderful! How exciting!!

Sounds like the two of you are very close.

God Bless!

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A letter to my Dad

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

I lost my wonderful Dad on New Year's Day at age 95! He was ready to go, but I'm missing him. There doesn't seem to be any way I could possibly thank him for all he's done but I'd like to just write this list to him, to thank him for just a few things he's given me over the years.

Though you really didn't expressly give us much advice,Dad, you taught us so much I just wanted to remember a few of my special thoughts about you . . .

1- When I came home one day and found you crying over the loss of your closest friend I learned that friendships are dear and to be cherished

2- When we made our annual trips to Colorado to see your mother, and when Mom's mother came to live with us I learned that family is precious and our parents are to be cherished and respected

3- When you came home from work and you always complimented Mom on the dinner and thanked her, I learned you should be kind and appreciative to your partner

4- When you chose never to gossip, I learned it was to be avoided

5- When you never rose your voice in anger, I learned to discuss things in even tones

6- When you took Grandma to china painting classes at age 90, I learned that it is never to late to learn something new.

7- When you built the beautiful home we lived in, fixed the cars, worked in the yard, reupholstered chairs, etc., I learned that it's good to work hard and accomplish things.

8- When you took us on a special vacation every year, I learned it's good to learn how to relax and when you sat with me in the first row of "the comet" rollercoaster when I was 6 and whooped the whole way down, I learned to really love the fun of it.

9- When you taught me how to drive a tractor, use a chainsaw, change my car tires and oil, I learned that being a female doesn't mean being weak

10- When you went to work and came home at the same time every day, and won many awards as an engineer, I learned responsibility and pride in a professional career

11- When you put John Phillip Sousa on loud on a Saturday morning, I learned that the morning is not to be wasted!

12- When you attended all of my musical performances, I learned that you supported me in my interests.

13- When you put all of your daughters through college without complaint, I learned to do the same.

14- When you and Mom retired early and took up square dancing, tennis, bike riding, etc., I learned that it's good to have hobbies and interests

15- When you helped neighbors by fixing sprinkler pumps, giving them rides, fixing cars, preparing taxes, etc., and never heard it from you (but from Mom), I learned that it's good to help others without expecting anything in return.

16- When you took the time to be a wonderful Grandpa to my children -- and to always be patient when explaining things to them, I learned the same (though I never did it as well as you, Pop)

17- When you would gently help our old golden retriever up, when she was hurting, I learned it's good to treat animals with kindness.

18- When you sold your tractor and the buyer's check bounced and you went and took the tractor back, I learned we can be kind without being a pushover

19- When you drank only one glass of wine, exercised regularly and ate in moderation, I learned that taking care of health is important.

20- When you lay in your hospital bed, confused, aching and exhausted, and smiled at everyone who came into your room and never complained, and thanked everyone who helped you in any way, I learned that your true nature is so very good, and kind and unselfish --

You have left me with so many memories and I am so thankful to have had these 56 years with you, that I can't begin to express my gratitude.

I think the best way to thank you, is to try and be more like you, and I will truly try.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARBARAWEBSTER 12/21/2011 12:38AM

    WOW. What a contrast to my past. I envy you. Such precious memories. I can see this time of year is going to be difficult for a long time. God Bless you and yours. Hugs, Barbara

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MERRIKATE 1/30/2011 5:06PM

    Superb tribute to a remarkable man -- if only we too can be remembered in this light!

Thanks so much for sharing this, and of course you will miss him forever, often consulting him in your heart.


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MEEBELO 1/8/2011 10:44AM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. emoticon What a wonderful way to honor your father. I'm sure I would have liked him. Take care.

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LLEWIS6879 1/7/2011 9:46PM

    What a wonderful, moving tribute. How fortunate you have been to have this man in your life for so many years!
Clearly he taught you many worthwhile things, apparently the most important of those was to APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE WHILE YOU HAVE IT!

My condolences on your loss, but truly, you have SO MUCH to be grateful for...

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TEENY_BIKINI 1/7/2011 9:16PM


Sorry for your loss.


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MPALMER15 1/6/2011 12:01AM

    Your father sounds like an amazing man. Thank you for sharing those beautiful memories. May we all learn something from your dad.

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55WALKER 1/5/2011 7:15PM

    emoticon How beautiful...


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It's been a week . . .

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yesterday I was in a hurry and stopped and got a salad with hummus and veggies on it for lunch. It was yummy. Only got through half of it and was full. Brought the other half to the office for today.

Got home from work and was hungry so I grabbed a cup of tea and an apple. perfectly satisfied after that. Go figure!

Then last night I took my Dad to dinner and ordered a salad. Finished it but didn't touch the fabulous pumpkin bread sitting in front of me. Got back to Dad's house and didn't take ONE M&M from the M&M machine sitting on the counter. Didn't touch the homemade cookies stored there on the counter. Hmmmmmm . . . ..
What could this be???? Who has come and inhabited this body of mine???

I am the biggest sweet-a-holic there is. But Dr. Fuhrman promised that if you got past the first two weeks sweet-free, you'd stop craving them. Could it be that I'm already getting there???

Who would ever, ever, think that I could go an entire week without a single piece of chocolate -- not even one hershey's kiss. Unheard of!

Made it through Thanksgiving without touching even a smidge of pie (and I baked 2 of them) or having a single piece of bread. I had lots of salads, yummy hummus, a tad of turkey and for dessert some fresh pomegranate, then tea with honey. I was full but comfortable. What a wonderful feeling!

Anyway, I'm starting to feel in-control of my cravings, and that's a terrific feeling! I've been pretty much headache free and the body aches are diminishing. (I think there's been some detox going on) This is whole new territory for me and I'm liking it!!!!

Let's just say that getting through Thanksgiving week and actually being down about a pound -- feels like quite an accomplishment!

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MPALMER15 11/30/2010 10:52AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Day 1 of the 6-Week Challenge

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

As I was in line at the convenience store with 30# of ice and a few extras, I had NO hands free to reach for the change I had dropped. Carefully balancing the ice, I was just reaching down to get the change when a clerk came over and said, "I can get that, I'm younger than you!" I looked into her face, wrinkles and all, surrounded by grey hair pulled back in a pony tail and I wanted to just throttle her! Just HOW old do I look??? Honestly, it struck a nerve in this ol' body of mine. Made me think, which can be dangerous at times!

I'm not overweight for my age, but I have age spots, wrinkles, etc. Thanks to my delightful hairdresser, the greys are totally out of sight. But, when you add it up, I fully look my 56 years. Do I mind that? Not really! I'm very much alive, gave birth to 3 children and through the years, this body has served me well! I'm thankful for it, lumps, sags, and all!

BUT Maybe, just maybe, it's time for a change! Maybe I need to "kick it up a notch". . . . hmmmmm. Where to begin???

Then I looked at my email and saw a challenge for a healthy holiday season. Do you think? Could I make all these changes??? Eat a large salad every day? Oh, yeah! I can do that! Eat a large serving of dark green leafy veggies everyday?? Well, maybe . .. sure! I can do that! Mushrooms, onions? Yeah, I like them. How about 1 cup of beans/day? Hmmmmm. . .. . not always a favorite, but I do love lentils! and 3 fruits! Sign me up for this one! (All part of a challenge at, the author of Eat to Live)
Then came the tough part . . . .
Refrain from . . . . . . . . .. . . refined flour and sugar and all artificial sweetners. Oh my goodness! Don't we use lots of that in cookies, pies and the other goodies we love at this time of year?????? Yeah, I think so.
I could never give that up, could I???
HAH! That's a red flag, isn't it??? i'm addicted to those empty but deadly calories.
Guess it's time to start some new holiday traditions.

I signed up for the challenge.

I made it through dinner last night without bread. had a big salad. Snacked on carrots and an apple.

Down .6 lb. this morning. Not that losing weight is a huge thing, but I sure don't want to gain any.

What I really want to lose is the headache that hits most afternoons while I'm in the office. The body aches that greet me in the morning and recently have enjoyed my mornings so much that they're sticking around for the rest of the day! Yuck! Those I want to lose. I also wouldn't mind if my skin glowed a bit and the age spots would take a hike! Possible? I think so!

So, oatmeal for breakfast. No sugar. No sweetner.

Apple for snack.

Beans, brown rice and veggies for lunch. Banana for dessert.

Can I do this? Not sure. But for now, I'm certainly going to try, and actually, it's tasting pretty good!
I think I may be able to do this!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEENY_BIKINI 11/24/2010 7:06PM

    You can definitely do it. Oh heck yeah. Look how great it's working out already?!!

Woo Hoo!!


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MPALMER15 11/23/2010 4:58PM

    emoticon Love this blog and love your attitude!

As for the headaches, mine meant away when I gave up artificial sweeteners and MSG. Could be yours are triggered by foods too. Spark has a notes section at the bottom of the food tracker. It might help you figure this out if you noted what days you have headaches.

Best wishes for your journey!


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LORTHOM2001 11/23/2010 1:32PM

    yes u can do it. I know it, i feel it, i hear it, i see it and i claim it for you!

Now I cannot wait for that praise blog of yours that says, "Yes I did it!"

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