Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hidden Family Skills..

I can't remember which cousin it was that started the trend of wishing someone a 'happy happy' instead of a 'happy birthday' but it has stuck. Sure we're taking advantage of a childs mistake and/or innocence, but it is what it is and we wish it upon each other with great adoration and love.

Like wise I'm not sure where this next happy birthday tradition came from, in fact I doubt anyone in the family does. My grandmother especially wants to figure it out so she can go back in time and stop it from happening.

But it is the Isaacs family treasure. We LOVE it, and are almost proud of our unique'ness. You see when the candles are lit and the lights turned out and it's time for the celebratory "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" song, that's when my family truly shines.

And it goes something like this:

Brilliant no? If you listen, you might pick up some lyrics that don't even belong. I'd say it's like the Hogwarts song except everyone not only picks their tempo and tune, but also the volume, lyrics, happy birthday song (ie: primary songs or another language) and sometimes if your really lucky, jingle bells or whatever anyone has stuck in their head.

It has been like this for years, I honestly can't tell you when we've sung the song correctly. This isn't to say we haven't tried! My Grandmother laughs and us and shakes her head when we sing, so for her birthday we all agreed we'd sing it right. But none of us knew how, it was probably one of our closest attempts but by no means correct.

It's so ingrained that when I'm singing happy birthday outside of my Isaac clan I have to honestly FOCUS to do it right. It's weird, but we love it, and heaven help us if it stops.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


There’s a saying: “It’s an acquired taste.” This is mostly used on bizarre food items, like pickled herring, blood sausage and Brussels sprouts.

Everyone “acquires” these tastes differently, some are duct tapped to a wall and force feed sauerkraut, some by necessity (tell me blood sausage wasn’t a necessity!) and some by choice.

As a child I was rather picky, not as picky as some *coughnickcough* but a rather ordinary purchase of my parents challenged my childish pride.

Every house has a junk drawer, I know you do! It has in its marvelous depths anything from quarters to bobby pins to the missing piece of several puzzles, and an earring always an earring. On one fateful day it had a bag of Cinnamon bears. Not just a little bag, but a bulk candy bag.

I had hit the jackpot.

I stuck the head of a little bear in my mouth, ready to party and then BAM! I was kicked in the senses by that tangy, bittery, sweet.. whateverness that is cinnamon. The point had come to spit it out or die. Since I’m writing this now lets say I spat it out.

Now a normal child would have stayed away and eventually forgotten the bears, but I circled that drawer for a week. The quantity of the Cina-bears didn’t diminish much because my brother and sisters had passed the “if it tastes bad and you don’t like it don’t eat it” childhood lesson. I had not.

During that week I kept trying the bears, apparently under the impression that they had changed flavors, my parents had replaced it with good candy or would this time they would be better.

They never were.

Finally the bears were moved, I suspected my mother did this because the bag wasn’t empty, and thus filled the entire drawer so it was hard to find that all important puzzle piece. They were gone for about a month before I started craving them. I craved the bears like bears crave honey (theoretically).

I wanted to ask for more but I never learned what they were called because I was fairly certain I wasn’t supposed to eat them. Yes I realize they were put in the junk drawer, but if you think about it, that’s more like a good hiding place. I mean who puts candy in a junk drawer?

Eventually I asked my mom about the red teddy bears in the junk drawer. I think she thought I had gotten into the “pop medicine” (that’s another story) I never did find out what they were. Not until I stumbled on them years later covered in chocolate!!

As you can imagine I am a serious advocate for cinnamon now, I’ll have it on pretty much anything I can, much to Grants displeasure.

And just to stop the questions before they start: NO this will not work on fish, or blood sausage. At least not for me.