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Reminiscences of June, a Traveling Grandmother

Chapter: 9 - June's Favorite Expressions







June in 1994






Most everyone has their own favorite expressions. In this regard, June was no different from most others.  June had several expressions and sayings that she was fond of using whenever and wherever she deemed it appropriate. Some of June's expressions however, were unique and reflected her Norwegian background and heritage.

Below are my selection of nineteen (19) of the most favorite of June's many expressions and the ones that tend to define her very special personality.


"Happy as a Lark"... (This expression is frequently used by June to both describe herself as well as others when in a happy mood.)

"Skal Ve Go Now – Ja Ja." …  (A Norwegian/English expression for "Shall we go now – yes, yes." Used by June to suggest the time to leave or the time for departure.)

"What a Hero" .... (Usually a kidding comment when someone has or thinks they have a minor or better  achievement.)

."You Lucky Duck." … (When a friend or family member has some good fortune. Stan recall's an example during June and Stan's bus trip to Branson in 2000. At the end of the trip there was an exchange of gifts (Christmas Season) among the passengers by drawings...June seeing what the lady passenger in front of her received as a gift, told her that she was a "Lucky Duck." The lady had never heard the term before and thought it was so funny!) 

"He (or She) is in Pig Heaven"....( When a friend or family member is in a state of happiness)

"And such is Life Without a Wife"... (One of June's light hearted expressions that is not to be taken literally or seriously but serves to sum up some event).

Is or Is Not "a Happy Camper"....(When June or some one else is in either in a happy or an unhappy situation or mood)

"Once a Jerk, Always a Jerk" … (This expression is frequently used when encountering a "not so nice" person who tends to repeat their performances).

"And let That be a Lesson to You!" … (One of June's joking expressions when a family member or friend made a mistake.).

"Oh Dear, Bread and Beer, If I Wasn’t Married I Wouldn’t Be Here."... (This comical expression could pop out at almost any time. This is another expression that should not to be taken literally or seriously.)

"Here Comes Trouble".  (One of Junes joking expressions when a friend or family member approached).

"That’s the way to go!."    (June's sign of approval).

"Lutefisk and Lefsa, Takk Skala Ha, Fourteen Kids and no Pa-Pa."   (This is a frequent fun expression made during the Lutefisk season. The Norwegian part is said to translate to: "thank you very much.")

"Lamb Chops" or "Lamby".  (June’s endearing term used mostly for her grandchildren. These terms were not however reserved exclusively for the grandchildren. June would bestow the terms on any family member or friend that she loved or was fond of. Little children were a group of people for which June had s special place in her heart. One of the lady members of June's church (Redeemer Lutheran) told of how they missed June's greeting their little daughter on Sunday's. The following note was also placed in June's memorial "Guest Book" - "June would always turn and greet us and say to our daughter Kayla... "Good Morning Lamb Chops."..."She was a remarkable woman with such a big heart..." This beautiful little girl was and still is the victim of Epilepsy

"Lo and Behold"   {June's exclamation or statement of surprise. It is said that the origin comes from shortening the statement of "Look and behold" It dates back to an 1808 letter by Queen Victoria's lady of the bed chamber - Lady Sarah Spencer. "When lo and behold! M. Deshayes himself appeared")

"Something is Rotten in Denmark"   (Used by June to describe a troubled or a problem time or event and it's cause...June did not realize that when making this comment she was quoting from Shakespeare's Hamlet).

"It or That Came Over On The May Flower."   (Used by June to describe any item or a piece of clothing that is very old).

"Heavens to Betsy".  (This expression by June was an exclamation of surprise. It is a very old American expression dating back to an 1878 issue of Harper's New Monthly Magazine: "Heavens-to-Betsy! You don't think I ever see a copper o'her cash, do ye?" The expression is now somewhat of an anachronism).

"Cute as a Bug's Ear.(One of June's favorite expressions to designate a cute person or thing. She used that expression the first time she visited with the Bruce's in Bexley, Kent, England...June had used the term to describe the Bruce children Gary and Lynne....They told us later how they chuckled over the phrase and said they had never heard it before).


Stan's Notes

June was also the subject of endearing descriptive terms or pet names.  June was often referred to by the grandchildren as "Grams." Gretchen had her own special term for June of "Grammy Cakes."

Stan had a multitude of pet names for June... ("Doll", "Tunkee", "Pussy Cat", "Monkey Putt",  "Tiger Bunny", and "My Little Lamby") Stan apparently borrowed the last one from June....June even signed some of the cards they exchanged on birthdays, Valentine's Day and our Anniversary with some of Stan's pet names for her...."Love You, June...Alias "Doll", ..."Doll alias "Monkey Putt"..."Tunkee."  


                                                                                                                  Kayla Borman

 ("Kayla" - one of June's Little Lamb Chops)


I know that June's heart went out to this brave little girl who was/is subject to daily seizures. June herself had seizures in the later stages of her battle with Alzheimer's. I know how heart rending these episodes can be for a loved one who must stand by as a helpless witness.

Kayla was crowned "2009 Honorary Miss Fridley" This little girl and her family are advocates for Epilepsy research and funding.

During the past summers (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011) Kayla's Krew held a Lemonade Stand with all of the proceeds going to the Epilepsy Foundation to aid in finding a cure for this debilitating disease. The little Lemonade Stand was always located in front of Schaaf Floral in the little shopping center at 6554 University Avenue NE in Fridley, Minnesota..

Note: Kayla is the daughter of Linda Borman and is the granddaughter of Velma Farr who was a close friend of June. Stan has morning prayer list and says a prayer each morning for Kayla and her mom, Lynda Farr Borman.


June's description of the Bruce children Gary and Lynn as "Cute as a Bug's Ear" was first voiced duirng her initial trip to Bexley, Kent,  England in September  of 1972.

At the time, June and Stan were visiting the  Bruce Home in Bexley, Kent just south of London.  This expression was of course a favorite of June's and she had/has used it many times and in many places both before and after her first visit to the London area. It was a term that was apparently never before heard, by the "Bruce's" and they were very much amused by it.


(Below photo of Gary and Lynn Bruce taken October 1973 in Bexley, Kent. Lynn is wearing a gift police badge June and Stan brought for her as a gift from the Minneapolis Police Department. "Cute as a Bug's Ear" seems appropriate) Lynn was a collector of police shoulder patches and the Minneapolis Police Chief's gift to her of a "Badge" was a real bonanza for her!)

                                                                      Gary and Lynn Bruce 1973