The Navage Haps (& How to Pronounce Our Name!)

I should have addressed this long ago.

I should have known.

Or at least suspected…

I mean, my whole life, almost no one has ever pronounced my name correctly on the first try.

So why did I think it would be any different with the blog?

Why didn’t I clue you guys in at some point during the last 4 1/2 years?

And to be honest, I wouldn’t even be writing this if it weren’t for a comment from Christine a few weeks ago:

OK…I’ve waited long enough. How do you pronounce Navage? ?

But I guess I just thought it was obvious from the blog name.

The Navage Patch.

Easy right?

Apparently not!

So without any further ado, and to put an answer at long last to the question that many of you probably had but were too afraid to ask, I will now tell you how to pronounce our name.

Okay, I lied.

There’s gonna be some further ado.

But I’ll tell you by the end of the post, I promise!



So normally I’ve been doing these Navage Haps posts at the end of a month (or very beginning). But the end of December means my yearly Best Of post, so I wanted to shoehorn this Yap into mid-month.

I do hope that it fits into your busy holiday schedule, madam!

To break up the monotony of all my blabbering, I’ll be sprinkling in pictures I took after our recent ice storm.

Ice-bound boxwood

Though it was a total pain in the ass and cost me 100 pounds of salt for our steep driveway, there’s nothing more beautiful than a sunny morning after an ice storm!

Speaking of holiday schedules, what does everyone have planned this year?

Here at The Navage Patch, we prefer a low-key Christmas.

We don’t want to shower.

Ice-bound boxwood leaves

We don’t want to get dressed.

We don’t want to cook.

We just want to open a few gifts and then lounge around watching movies.

I love the red winter berries on our burning bushes!

We’ll do all of our celebrating on Christmas Eve.

My parents will come over, and we’ll have cocktails and dinner and open gifts by the fire.

Since Handan and I have been big fat cheaters on our keto diet since Thanksgiving, I think I’m going to be cooking something keto-friendly this Christmas Eve.

The ice turned our arborvitaes into gnome hats!

Navage family tradition dictates that we eat lasagna on Christmas Eve – that’s how it was throughout my childhood.

The Christmas Eve’s of my youth were sometimes spent at home, sometimes at a relative’s house and sometimes at a neighbor’s house.

But one thing was constant: Mom’s Lasagna. No matter where we went, she had a couple of casserole pans of lasagna (pre-assembled the week before) covered in aluminum foil and ready for the oven.

I’ve always regarded her lasagna as one of the best I’ve ever tasted, and that is not only high praise, but it is especially perplexing because my mom hates to cook AND…

(and this is the part that just blows my mind)

…And because she got the recipe from the back label on a jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce back in the 70s!

Score one for Team Ragu!

Okay, so Mom’s Lasagna (long since converted to Greg’s Lasagna) is out. That carbohydrate bomb has no place in our lives anymore.

That’s okay, though, because over the summer, I developed an eggplant parmesan recipe that is every bit as satisfying as lasagna but is way lower in carbs.

Pachysandra – it’s not afraid of a little ice!

Tomatoes and onions area relatively high in carbs (compared to some other veggies), so the real keto nuts try to avoid cooking with them or eating them, but I have my limits.

A famous Spanish chef once said, “No onions, no food.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Besides, onions and tomatoes are packed full of vitamin C and other goodies for the body and soul.

I cook everything from scratch here at The Navage Patch, and (knock on wood), we rarely get sick.

Good, wholesome food nourishes and keeps us healthy. It is really the best preventive medicine!


I mentioned in one of my recent Hap Yaps that Handan and I have been trying to get back into the walking habit. We did so well over the summer.

But winter brings a Double-Whammy Walk Killer: cold and darkness.

The cold is usually tolerable – at least if the wind isn’t blowing too hard.

As if the massive blooms on our hydrangea tree weren’t heavy enough already, lol!

But the dark?

That’s another story, altogether. It’s nearly impossible to get motivated to leave the house when it’s not only below freezing out but dark as the dickens! The good news is that the winter solstice is only a couple of days away, and after that, the days will start getting longer again.

And though January and February make December feel like summer around here, at least my babes and I will be freezing our butts off in daylight again!

Here’s a shot from the end of our walk on the evening of the last full moon of the decade.

Did you see that moon?

It was incredible!

I took my phone outside and took some pictures in the yard when the moon was high overhead.

There’s nothing better than a full moon on a clear, calm night when there’s snow on the ground!

Can you believe phone cameras these days? Just a couple of years ago, these shots would have been impossible without a tripod!

Now you just have to point, shoot and wait for the Artificial Intelligence in the phone to gather enough light for the shot – doesn’t matter if your hand is shaking!


This recent ice storm (with a dusting of snow on top) marks the third time we’ve been white this December.

The first two snowfalls were each wiped out by near-60-degree days and 3 inches of rain.

I’d say “Gotta love Connecticut” or some other witticism about the weather here, but the truth is, I don’t.

And the funny thing is, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who does!

Everyone here (myself and Handan included) constantly bitches about…well…everything about Connecticut!

And every winter we say the same thing: “Enough of this shit! We’re moving south!”

(and every winter we really mean it)

But then summer rolls around, and things don’t seem so bad anymore and we think, “Okay, a few more years won’t kill us. It’s kinda nice here.”

And then winter roars back in, and the whole cycle starts anew.

So tell us, dear readers…where do you live?

And do you like it there?

What don’t you like?

We’re curious to know!

The rabbits around here prefer walkways, lol!


Okay, the moment of truth has arrived!

You will now learn the correct pronunciation of the word, “Navage.”

Throughout my life, I’d say 9 out of 10 people, when trying it out for the first time, pronounce it Nuh-vahzh. The combination of zh is like the soft “g” of “massage.” In other words, they pronounce it like “garage” but with an “N” and a “V.”

I don’t know why so many people pronounce it like that. They all think it’s a French name apparently.

Now the funny thing is, there’s a product out there called Naväge that is pronounced like “garage.” It’s a nasal cleaning system developed in 2008 by a former Congressman named Martin Hoke. He combined the words “Nasal” and “Lavage” (Latin for “wash”) and came up with Navage. In order to get the pronunciation of his product right, he added the umlaut over the second “a.”

How do I know so much about the Naväge Nasal Cleaner?

I used to own the domain, and in 2008, I sold it to Martin so he could have it for his product.

I had many long and pleasant conversations with Martin, and I learned all about the Naväge that year!

By the way, if you have sinus issues or allergies, you should check out his product – it really works! Think of it as the neti pot for the 21st century.

Okay, I’ve made you wait long enough.


My name is pronounced like “savage.”

That’s it!

“Savage” with an “N.”

And that’s why it works so well in The Navage Patch – because it sounds like “cabbage.”

Cabbage Patch. Navage Patch.

Get it? 🙂

So, mystery solved for many of you, I’m guessing!

Now tell me – have you been pronouncing it correctly in your mind all these years?

If yes, kudos to you, madam!

If not, let us know in the comments how you were pronouncing it. We’d love to hear!

You may also be wondering what nationality it is. I can predict with near 100% certainty that none of you has heard the name before.

And that’s because it comes from a Lithuanian name, Naujivicus.

I’ve heard two stories throughout my life for how “Navage” came to be, and I always forget which one is the correct one.

One story goes that when my paternal grandfather’s family came to America in the early 1900s and were being processed on Ellis Island, the immigration officer who asked their name couldn’t make heads or tails of Naujivicus, so he simply wrote Navage instead.

The other story claims that my grandfather was in high school and understood that his wacky and unpronounceable name was going to do him no favors in life, so he changed it to something a little easier to read and pronunciation: Navage.

If that’s the true story, I’d say he missed the mark on making it easy to pronounce since, as I’ve mentioned, almost no one ever gets it right on the first try.

And there you have it – all you ever wanted (or didn’t want) to know about our name.


I want to leave you with one last picture.

You probably know our dogs, Penny and Pepper. What you may not know, is that Penny is a little infatuated with me.

More than a little.

She’s flat out bananas over me.

Normally, the dogs are not allowed on the sofa with us, but last night as I was curled up under a blanket, Penny just helped herself and crawled up with me.

Handan didn’t notice, so I let it slide.

But when it comes to things like this, Penny has no chill. She couldn’t just lie there quietly and enjoy her Daddy time.


She had to turn this way and that and cause a big ruckus until my babes took notice.

“What are you doing?” She demanded of Penny.

“Awwwww, just let her be, my babes.” I said. “Look at how happy she is to be with Daddy.”

“Hmph.” She said but let her stay.

But again, Penny has no chill.

She couldn’t just sleep like Pepper would do.

Oh no.

Instead, she did this:

The whole time!

Just staring at me!

Yeesh, talk about a needy girlfriend!

Well, whatever, she has good taste in men, so I pretended not to notice the stalker stare. 🙂


Okay, that’s it for now! I’ll see you back here in the Yaps section near the end of the year.

Until then, Handan and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah!

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  1. Hi y’all.

    We live in Thibodaux, LA.

    The heat and humidity in the summertime are killer. This area does not experience 4 seasons as you would think of them. We have maybe 10 days of freezing weather a year and snowfall every 5-10 years. When we do have cold weather, it’s bone chilling because of the humidity. I lived in Telluride back in the 1970’s and on a 32 degree day, we would wear a long sleeved sweatshirt and feel fine. Here, we bundle up as though we’re at the North Pole when temps reach 32.

    That said, we have a super long growing season. Our swimming season is from late March through the end of October.

    Our home is far enough from the Gulf that unless there would be a Cat 5 hurricane, we do not have to evacuate. The farm is approx. 18 miles northwest so we could always go there if we had to leave.

    The humidity is fabulous for the skin.

    If you and Handan ever thought about moving to Louisiana, I would recommend St. Francisville- zone 8 for planting. It’s an historic town about 1 hour north of Baton Rouge. St. Francisville is hilly, gorgeous, and there is more cold weather. Of course, temperatures are not as drastically low as y’all have in Connecticut. People evacuate there for hurricanes so no worries about that.

    1. Hi Julie, I would love to check out Louisiana in the future. I think Handan would love it! I only drove through once on Route 10, so I know I didn’t see much of what it has to offer. I’m so tired of winter that I’m willing to put up with my other nemesis (humidity) for a while! I checked out St Francisville – it looks so beautiful! Maybe one day we’ll make it happen! 🙂

  2. Hi, Mr. Navage (like cabbage). I had you down as a savage Navage all along and never thought to question it. I guess that could be arrogance on my part. Or just plain shyness. I was born and raised in southern Kansas where we get epic thunder storms and four seasons but winters here do not drive me crazy. I have, however, lived in northern Nebraska, Cheyenne, Wy, Oklahoma, eastern Iowa, western Illinois, and Connecticut. Connecticut made me claustrophobic, though. I prefer the open plains. And longer warm spells.. And home grown tomatoes and listening to doves, crickets, and breezes. My husband is a native born Connectiketian. We don’t agree on winter. He is a fan of snow, ice, and cold. I am a fan of balmy air, sunshine, and bare feet. There’s immense beauty in ice and snow but it’s hard for me to appreciate it if I have to worry about driving on slick roads. So I think I will stay in my sunny, sunflower filled home where the skies are not cloudy all day. ????? I enjoy reading most of your blogs. Thank you, Mr. N.

    1. Hi Pam, besides driving through Kansas a few times (and once on a motorcycle trying to outrun a tornado-spawning thunderstorm), I did spend a few days there in Scott City at a college friend’s llama farm. We drove down from Fraser, CO, where we were ski bumming for a year after college. I remember it was the flattest place I’d ever been, and I couldn’t get over the lack of trees! I love those midwestern thunderstorms, though! I’d certainly trade CT for southern Kansas right now! 🙂

      1. Crazy truth, I lived in Frazier Colorado! 5th and 6th grade. We are NOT going to talk about how many years ago. Did you know, President Roosevelt called Frazier “Ice Box of the nation”? Do you remember, what is now the town of Winter Park was Hideway Park? Ah, memories. I then moved to Granby. Praise God, live in Dallas now. Merry Christmas.

        1. Oh, wow! Oh yea, I certainly knew that expression Icebox of the World! The coldest temps I’ve ever experienced were in that town and on the mountain. The fishing was epic though! We used park our car in Tabernash dressed in full waders with our fly rods. We’d then hop on the caboose of one of the freight trains that would stop there. It would slowly start steaming up the canyon alongside the Fraser River towards Granby, and we’d ride it up as far as we could before the train got going too fast. The trick was to jump off without mangling yourself or your gear or falling down the ravine into the water. Good times! Of course, the walk back to town wasn’t nearly as fun, lol! I don’t remember Hideaway Park. I lived there 1994-95, and it was Winter Park then. What a great year I spent there!

  3. Hey,
    To be honest I thought of “Navage” like “garage” 😉 It just felt more mysterious than cabbage… Since I’m German it might be that I’m just a little bit closer to France and French names (probably just an excuse for mispronunciation).
    On the other hand, we are experts in “Umlaute” (plural for umlaut ;-)). So “Naväge” would sound in German similar to “na-bag-a”, the center syllable like “bag” and no dz-sound at the end of the word. To me this word looks like some Scandinavian lake or food… 😀

    I live in Berlin (Germany) and weather is similar to Connecticut – 4 seasons, rain, warm summer. We just had less snow during the past years than you have. So there is a little envie that you have snow on Christmas…
    The most I miss some hills and mountains. Berlins “highest” hill is appr. 130m so I wouldn’t even call it a hill.
    Anyway, our solution to depressing weather and dark this year is to spend the holidays in a nice and warm country…
    The best wishes for easy and relaxing holidays

    1. Hi Olivia, thank you for the umlaute lesson! I’ve never really understood their use. I like that Scandinavian lake association though – I can tell that to people in the future, lol! I hope you get your white christmas this year!

  4. Hi Greg – I had it right from the start 🙂 but then I’m Northern English, any other pronunciation would have been far too posh! Hope you Navage folks have a wonderful Christmas. So far it’s looking like mine will be wet rather than white, but you can never tell – small island weather does weird things sometimes!

    1. Good job, Suzie! 🙂 We wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for a white Christmas to blow your way from….where? The Irish Sea? I’m trying to figure out where you live. Northern English, but an islander. The Isle of Man is self-governed. Do you live there? And if so, do you consider yourself English? Or perhaps the Welsh isle of Anglesey? But then you’d identify as Welsh wouldn’t you? Holy Island, maybe? Wow, that would be cool – such a tiny community! Am I missing any northern England islands? Help me out! 🙂

  5. Good morning!
    I live in Salem, VA with my husband and 4 grandchildren. Yes 4 that we are raising!
    We are surrounded by the beautiful Virginia mountains and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. We visit the beaches of North Carolina each summer but love coming home to the mountains.
    Thank you for sharing with us!

  6. I live in Cleveland,Ohio. Woke up yesterday to snow. By afternoon- Gone. It can snow on Christmas Eve and then a token in March. Then one week of Spring and hot hot hot. Then summer which will run mediocre to hot to cool. But been here since I was 11 and am now 65 so my roaming days are over.

    1. I live 23 miles east of Cleveland, 1 mile from the Lake Erie shore, and Jody, you’re right about our weather, its crazy! Today is Dec. 23, 2019 it’s 57°F, but tomorrow could turn out to be -3°F! No wonder people around here have sinus issues! Happy Christmas to you!!

  7. Ha, nailed the pronunciation from the first. (And got the Navage Patch reference). But I did wonder its origin. I think a lot of families whose ancestors came through Ellis Island ended up with “new” Anglicized names because officials couldn’t spell/pronounce their real names.

    Have a Happy and relaxing holiday with Handan, Barish, and the pets. Hubs and I won’t get to lay low because we will be spending it with friends and family, but we’ll probably do the chill and watch TV by ourselves on Christmas Eve. Our Dec 24th tradition is to eat appetizers for dinner and just nosh on bite-sized foods instead of a big meal which comes the next day. Keto is off the table for Christmas Eve/Day, then it’s back to trying to be good for us.

    1. It’s a good time to go off keto. I’m saying I won’t because I put on 10 pounds since November, but I’m sure I won’t be able to stick with that promise, lol!

  8. I’m in Northwest Florida, just across Choctawhatchee Bay from Destin. Winters are awesome, with a handful of freezes every year. This morning it was 34 degrees when I got up, so no walk until later. The summers are hot and humid, but only for about four months (June-September). The location on the curve of the Gulf means we rarely get hurricanes, although Panama City just about an hour east is still trying to recover from Michael.

    And I said Navage like cabbage in my head all along – maybe because the Patch part made my brain go there. Proofreaders unite!I

      1. Hi there! We live in a small town in Georgia. I would love all that snow I hate hot weather it is the worst. I cannot get over how incredible all your pictures are. They look like something straight out of a hallmark card. Oh and that sweet pup… sigh.

        1. Thanks, Mindy! I can make anywhere look beautiful with the right light and lens, lol! But believe me, the thrill wears off real quick when true winter sets in! 🙂

  9. My husband’s family is Lithuanian as well. The weird part is that none of them say their last name the same way. Drives me nuts! It’s Taraila and I say it just like it’s spelled. Ta-rail-a …my husband says Ter—rella and my in-laws say Ta-rail-ya. If you’re a redneck who lives locally they say Chrail-ya. Yea it’s definitely different. ? I love your blog and read the whole back story with Handan and I loved it.

  10. Hey, I have been pronouncing it in my head flawless since the first post I have read!

    We live in Houston. Lots of moisture in the air almost all the time. This means hot feels like you are walking through a washcloth in the summer and winter is colder to the bones. (This comment is honestly true, we spent 2 1/2 years in Utah where winter rules.)

    But WE LOVE IT here! Plus it’s a friendly atmosphere in the South.

    1. Yep. Been to Houston in the summer and it is hot hot hot! But the older I get, the more I long for that! Texas is also on our list for future states to live in! 🙂

  11. Yay! I was mentally pronouncing it correctly and never considered anything else until you brought it up. I live in Pittsburgh, PA. We do have four seasons which the best way to describe is moderate. There are extremely hot and extremely cold days but it isn’t consistent and will more than likely change within the week. But the hard thing to live with are the gray skies. This is consistent. The saying goes anyone living in Western Pa should take vitamin D on a daily basis. Oh, and it’s always PA never Pennsylvania! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    1. PA, huh? I didn’t know that! I’ve driven through PA many times and spent some time in Philly and Pittsburgh. Haven’t been in years, though. But now that my nephew is at Penn, we may have reason to visit! 🙂

      1. Who-Hoo! I got it right from the start. I rhymed it with savage, but started to wonder if that was correct after seeing the nasal ads. I like savage Navage much better. Lol.
        I live in western NC in the mountains. Our winters can be unpleasant at times, but are much milder overall than the ones in Connecticut.
        I hope your family has a blessed Christmas and New Year. I am looking forward to more Navage adventures, crafts, and other projects in 2020.

        1. Western NC mountains sound pretty good – we’ll have to add that area to our list! Handan and wish you and your family a very merry Christmas, April! 🙂

  12. Yeah I’ve been saying your name right! We live in Ohio but believe it or not we’re going to retire to the New Hampshire area. We love snow and the Bruins so that’s where we’re heading in a few years.

  13. Hi Greg,
    It never occurred to me that there would be any other way to pronounce Navage other than to rhyme with cabbage, I got the “patch” connection from the get-go when I first discovered all your cool Halloween ideas.
    I live in central Texas and if I ever move to any other place it will be a tropical coastal area. I hate the cold, especially wet cold. Summers can be fairly brutal with 100+ days & high humidity but I can always go cool off in the Blanco River! Today it was 20 when I woke up & the forecast says Christmas Day will be in the low 70’s. Our winters fluctuate wildly but at least we’re not socked in with bone-chilling cold for months. I don’t envy you!
    Happy holidays!

    1. I don’t envy me either, Robin, lol! Texas sounds real nice right about now, and a 70 degree Christmas? Ahhhhh, yes, I’ll take it! Was a time I was against anything but a snowy cold Christmas, but living abroad cured me of that! 🙂

  14. Well kudos to those who got it right—I said it the “fancy” way, lol.

    I’m from CT—Niantic, which is near Mystic, if you’re not familiar. But I’ve lived in Michigan just outside of Detroit for the past 20 years. And at one point, I spent two years in Washington State. So I think I can say with reasonable certainty that everyone in northern states complains about the weather and threatens to move south every winter—me included!

    Your pictures of the ice storm are gorgeous, but that pic of a not-so-sneaky puppers was adorable! We had a border collie mix that was the same way about my hubs, which always irritated me since he’d said “no more dogs!” and I said, “But she just needs a foster home for a little while, she’s cute, she’ll get adopted quick!” and I brought her home anyway. She did get adopted fast—by us! And she immediately glued herself to him. That’s the thanks I got, lol!

    Happy holidays,guys. Hope it’s as relaxing as you want.

    1. Oh, I know it well, Rebecca – or at least I did when I was younger. I went to sailing camp at the seaport and then taught there as a counselor for a couple of summers. I love that whole area! We used to go to Abbott’s in Noank every summer. Come to think of it, I need to take Handan and Barish there this summer? Do you have any other good seafood or lobster recommendations in the area? The rougher, the better! Turks don’t have fancy seafood places. They like simple seafood prepared in a simple manner. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

      1. Captain Scott’s in New London— bit of a drive for you guys and it’s in a weird place, but the food and location will make it worth it. Although I love lobster rolls, may I recommend fried whole belly clams? My mouth is watering now… Can’t get anything but those rubbery fried strips out here. *sigh*

        Love the Seaport! Man, to think I totally took all of it for granted when I was there. Hop on my 10-speed and ride to the beach, going out on my grandpa’s boat and fishing for flounder, crabbing the inlets…. Hey, you should take them crabbing sometime!

        1. Hi Rebecca, I don’t know Captain Scott’s, but I will definitely be heading there with Handan and Barish this summer – thanks for the tip! Crabbing is a great idea, too – so much fun!

  15. I must say I had your name right all along … could be because my best friend’s last name is Savage so it just followed yours would sound similar. 🙂 Love your blog. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

  16. Hi Greg, I had you pegged as garage, and – no excuses – I’m Lithuanian. It just seemed right. I will now have a difficult time thinking of a cabbage when I read your blog. I hope the Northern English response updates on
    location. I was curious too.
    I live in Pennsylvania where we have four seasons also. We used to get giant snowstorms in the winter, but the snowfall isn’t like that any more. Yesterday, there was a weather alert on our phones – a whiteout – didn’t last long, but was zero visibility for a little while and created havoc on the roads. That was a first for me. I love the Fall and don’t think I could ever move away just because of our beautiful trees and mountains. I have a brother who lives in Connecticut, and all Winter long he sends photos of his shoveling adventures.
    Thank you for your fun blogs and everything else you offer. Hope you have a peaceful and beautiful holiday.

    1. Hi Bunny, yep, you’ll have to retrain yourself to say our name correctly now, lol! I heard about your snow squalls yesterday! They were supposed to hit us here, but by the time they got to our house, it was just ten minutes of windless flurries and that was it. I’m glad though, because Handan and I were out walking at the time! Merry Christmas to you and your family! 🙂

  17. Hi Greg! Merry Christmas to you and your Babes! Thought I’d be smart and say I was pronouncing your name correctly but alas…..Lavage….Thanks for the info. I live in North Alabama, where our temps this time of year are all over the board. We rarely see a Fall. We have scorching hot summers that last well into October then, BAM! A few days of cold, then cool, then cold, then “no-coat mild”. It’s chilly this morning but we may make it to 50 degrees. I live in a lake town south of Huntsville, so really, any day here is eye-candy. Come see us and do some fishing, camping and even zip-lining at our state park! Love your ideas and blogs!

    1. Hi Karen, Northern Alabama sounds like a perfect climate! Our dogs were rescued from somewhere in Alabama, so I guess you could say we have some family connection there, lol! Merry Christmas to you and your family and have a happy New Year! 🙂

      1. Been pronouncing your name correctly from the start, YIPPEE! Love your blog!!
        I also live in northern Alabama (Hazel Green) and Ms Woods is correct about the weather changes. We’ve lived outside of Chicago, New York & also Pittsburgh at various times in our journey through life (I hate the bitter cold & slushy snow) and decided we wanted to live someplace warmer so we wouldn’t have to move once retired, but be living there already. We’ve been here for 35 years and couldn’t see living anywhere else. Check us out you won’t be disappointed!
        Merry Christmas to You & Handan!

    2. HI Karen I live in North Alabama too. On Sand Mountain. The days are never the same. Hard killer frost this morning but the clear blue skies and sun have melted it away. The wind up here can knock you over at times but head down the mountain and revel in the beauty of the Tenn River from above. At the bottom of the mtn, the temp is 5 deg warmer and wind is but a breeze. Being a native upstate NY’er I can say that the humidity does play a role in the bone chilling cold. We have a beautiful state here. My only complaint is the litter bugs. You don’t see this in the North.
      Merry Christmas to the Navage family, (yes, I pronounce it right from the start). And to all your readers. Handen and Greg you give us great adventure reads. Keep it up. Melita

  18. So now that you’ve got us straightened out on the pronunciation, you’ll have to delve into the origins of the name and meaning – lol! But not until after the holidays! Hope you and the family have a merry Christmas!

  19. Yay! I have been pronouncing it right all these years!!!! I also had “one of those names” that nobody ever got right the first time, and then had to ask again and again. KNUTH. Not pronounced, nuth, or nooth. It is like canoe + T or can-nute. Like the Viking king. The married name is much easier but people still get it wrong. Oh well. Merry Christmas, Greg & Handan!

    1. Oh yeah! I’ve encountered Vikings like you before! I love that pronunciation, and you’re right – no one gets it right! Merry Christmas to you and yours, Susan! 🙂

  20. I’m glad I have been saying your name correctly all this time. It was a no brainer. Savage rhymes with Navage. I like to joke to myself and say “those savage Navages” when I get an email from you. Putting that aside, I’m a transplanted buckeye living in KY. I hate the weather here. Too dang hot in the summer when you can only go out and do yard work or anything fun either at the crack of dawn before 9-10 am or else right before dark with the mosquitoes to torment you. Seriously it is too hot during the day to do anything outside. I can’t wait to retire back to Ohio. Ahhhhhhh.

    1. LOL, Savage Navage was one of my many nicknames growing up! Too hot in KY, huh? I didn’t think it was like that! Well, here’s to you finding your way back north someday! Merry Christmas!

  21. Hello i haven’t dropped in on ‘The Navage Patch’ for a while had a difficult year one way or another, i’ll have to catch up with all your crafty creations soon. As you already know , i’m crazy Cath from Wales U K, to be precise a little village called Llanspyddid ( ha ha try and pronounce that) in ‘The Brecon Beacons National Park’. I always pronounced your name Navage as in savage, thought oh no he’s going to say it’s something posh as in ‘fromage’ , we down to earth folk tend to say it as we see it.

    1. Hi Catherine – it’s so good to see you again! Yeah, Welsh is a wonky one, alright. Let’s see…Llanspyddid…I’m guessing kl-AN-spuh-did? I hope your year ends on a better note. Handan and I wish you a merry and healthy Christmas!

      1. Hi Greg not bad a effort, difficult to explain the Ll sound but it’s not as i n K, dd is th as in the Wishing you and your clan both the two legs and the four legs a very Merry and peaceful Christmas.

  22. Yep Met too, Savage, Navage. My family too gets together on Christmas eve. Actually we get together the morning of and make Empanadillas. A small meat pie if you will. We have done this for years, Cant even remember when it started. Each of us bring in 5 lbs of carne guisada (stewed meat) and a 5lb bag of flour. Meat must be cooked of course or we would be at it all day. but the older ones make the masa from the flour and roll out and the younger generation sit at the table stuff and the men take them out to the garage to fry. Of course there’s taste testing and laughs, spills and messes, coffee and donuts and cookies!!! My niece makes a variety of Christmas cookies. My sister insist we must be done no later than noon. Only to return again by 5/6pm dinner. We are a family of 5 sibling who all have grown children who have children an some of them have children. We fill up my sisters family room until there is no place to sit and it spreads out into the kitchen. We play Games and we have an annual pool tournament. Once you loose you take a gift from the gift table. Its loud its noisy and so much fun. The next morning we get together with our individual families children and grandchildren open gift and breakfast. For me, the rest of the day is on the couch watching movies.
    I only bumped into your blog this year but so glad i did, its a joy to read.
    Felicidades y Prospero Ano Neuvo to you and yours from me and mine.

    1. Hi Olga, I love the idea of everyone making food together! That must be so much fun with so many generations involved! I hope you all have an amazing Christmas this year – Felicidades a todos!

  23. As a child of the 80s I’ve been thinking of y’all as Cabbage Patch Kids™ all along!

    I’m from Northeast Louisiana – a tiny little bump in the road called Start to be precise. We have one blinking red light, a Dollar General store, two gas stations, and a sign proclaiming ourselves as the home of country singer Tim McGraw. We also have extreme heat and humidity in the summer and every year my husband proclaims that he’s moving north. I know I would never make it through a true winter though – as beautiful as the pictures are.

    1. LOL, Cabbage Patch Kids! What a craze that was, eh? I’m going to have to head down to LA one of these summers and get a feel for the heat and humidity. I can’t imagine it’s worse than Qatar, Vietnam or India! 🙂

  24. Hey y’all. I’m not sure about pronunciation or enunciation, but I think I get it. (I’m dyslexic so now I’m confused.)
    As far as location, GEORGIA ALL THE WAY!!! We moved full time to the mountains of north Georgia. Would not change a thing. Except a smaller house and a flatter yard! ?
    The seasons are all 4 in full. The weather is incredible up/down here.
    I live in towns county. Folks still leave homes unlocked and crime is, well, just non existent.
    I highly recommend the North Georgia Mountains!

  25. Hi Greg! I was saying your name correctly! Yay me! I live in Northeast Connecticut , in what is called the Quiet Corner. I’m not fond of the cold and today it won’t get out the teens. The wind last night was horrible, wasn’t sure if my outdoor decorations survived but they did. I love your blog and the craft ideas you and your wife come up with. Look forward to more in the coming year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

    1. You’re not kidding about the quiet corner! Though I grew up here, I don’t think I’ve ever visited anywhere in the NE corner. I’m sure Handan and I would love it! It seems to be our kind of place! Merry Christmas to you and your family, Patty! 🙂

  26. Hi Greg!
    So happy to say that I got it right, although I think the credit is due more to my east Texas twang than anything else. We drag out all the vowels in the middle and leave the g off anything ending in “ing”. Not much snow around here, I think the last big snow storm was 2011 during the super bowl, and if ya’ll watched it, you saw that we’re ill prepared for anything more than 1/2″. The whole Dallas/Ft Worth area just shuts down! They say drive through Texas and you will experience all four seasons in one road trip, so ya’ll come on down. I’ll take ya’ll to the nations largest flea market in Canton, TX, oh the treasures Handan will find!

    1. Oh I know it’s pure comedy once a flake falls in Texas! We sit up here and giggle at the news reports of southern states crippled by an inch of snow, lol! But still, I’d rather be there than here right now! Merry Christmas to you, Geri, and that flea market sounds amazing! 🙂

  27. Always pronounced your name to rhyme with Savage….made sense considering the ‘Navage Patch’ title. Love your crafts and blog. Thanks for sharing. (We had a foot of snow on Veteran’s Day that melted away quickly but just a bit here and there since. It does get snowy in Michigan in the winter.)

  28. Hi Greg & Handan!

    I totally got your name from the beginning. I assumed The Navage Patch was supposed to be a play on Cabbage Patch, so I had it right the whole time!

    I’m from Iowa, born and raised, and I HATE it here! The summers are so humid you can drink the air, and the winters are…..well, probably not far off from Connecticut. Although, I can’t really complain today because we’re supposed to have a high of 45 degrees. I’ll take it! We go to Florida every November, so I think I could live there. But I think in our retirement years we’re going to sell it all, buy a small yacht and live on it while cruising the Caribbean. That’s the plan, anyway.

    Hope you and the fam have a wonderful Christmas!!!

    1. Yep, I’ve been to Iowa in the summer, and it’s just like you say! The bonus though was watching a big midwestern thunderstorm move in from the horizon. Because of the hills and trees here, we only see them when they’re on top of us, and then it’s too dangerous to be out looking! You have a great idea for retirement – I hope you can make that dream come true! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  29. Hi Greg,
    Thankfully I have been pronouncing your name correctly. I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Winters are cold, damp, icy and at times more snow than I can handle. My husband and I have talked a few times about getting a place somewhere warmer but we really enjoy the seasons here. I live by the bluffs of Lake Ontario and can see the sunrise over the lake and at times hear the waves hitting the shore. It is beautiful to walk along the lake and get away from the rush of life. I look forward to your blog and really enjoy it. I especially appreciate how creative you and Handan are and have make a few crafts with the helpful videos you provide as a guide. Keep doing what you both do best, no matter what challenges you may face. You are great!. Merry Christmas!

    1. Oh yeah, living on a lake can make any climate more tolerable. There’s something about living lakeside or seaside or creekside that just soothes the soul and makes everything alright. Merry Christmas to you, Donna! 🙂

  30. I have been pronouncing your last name right so kudos to me lol! We live in Michigan so its the same as you in Connecticut. In the winter we like the first one or two snows then its downhill from there. By March we are sick if it and ready to abandon Michigan but then summer comes. I love Michigan summers. So then all is right in the world. Until the next winter. Stay warm and enjoy your holidays!

  31. First, I have to tell you, proudly, that I have pronounced your name correctly from the very beginning of my discovery of your blog. And I’m sad to say I don’t even remember how I came to find you only a few weeks ago. But I’m glad I did. Your humor keeps me coming back. But, I digress. I was a young adult in the 80’s and had little nieces so I am well acquainted with Cabbage Patch dolls and immediately associated your blog name as a play on words. And that, is how my correct pronunciation came to be. 🙂
    I live in West Virginia. We have 4 beautiful seasons here. As I get older I become less tolerant of the cold. I am over it. I am a summer girl through and through. I desperately want to migrate south, but not just for the winter. The ice storm photos are beautiful. I took a few photos recently of a few inches of snow we received here. I love the photos ops. They look like Ansel Adams photos but they are not intentionally black and white. They only look like they are.
    Thanks for the wonderful DIY projects and the printables. Oh my, this place is printable heaven. 🙂 (Sorry for my long-windedness.)

    1. Hi Kim, kudos on your pronunciation, lol! West Virginia seems to have a lovely climate, but you still want warmer, eh? That means that Handan would probably think the same way. We’ll probably have to cast our eyes a little farther south then when it’s time to pull up roots here in CT. We’re so glad you found us, and have a happy Christmas! 🙂

  32. Hello from the Greater White North! ( I don’t mean greater as in Better- just “more-than” greater!) Here in Canada- just north and East of the Infamous Calgary Alberta, we dis-love winter as much as you apparently do! At this moment we are experiencing a dandy weather phenomenon known as a Chinook- so it’s only -5°C… and will warm to thaw and make our current world of snow- a world of treacherous ice! ( broke my shoulder last January on that crap!)
    We live on a farm/ranch. Soon the temperature will dip well below -20°c and the wind will produce a windchill factor well below-30°c!( last year it was consistently below -30°c all winter)
    Our large herd of cows will begin calving in February ( not much warmer then yet) so we have a warm barn for those little dufffers and moma till they are dried and ready to take on the real world….
    Winter sucks- so when you move to warmer climes- let me know… Connecticut sounds far more hospitable than Hussar, Alberta !
    ( you don’t have room for cows though?so I’m likely stuck here enjoying the snow… ( first snow- sept 29- till May!)

    1. Yowza, Laura! Suddenly I’m feeling warmer here in CT, lol! Yep, you got us beat for sucky winters, but someday maybe we’ll all get our butts south to warmer climes! Merry Christmas you, you family and your growing herd! 🙂

  33. I’ve been pronouncing your name correctly but I’m originally from Illinois where we tend not to use French pronunciations and love to pronounce every syllable and consonant as hard as possible. For example, Des Plaines is pronounced “Dez Playnz.” Marseilles is pronounced “Mar saylz.”

    While I’ve lived in a variety of places, I currently live in Iowa. I have few true complaints about Iowa. Iowans seem good-natured and ready to joke about their particular habits, including their truly bizarre (to outsiders) extreme love of ranch dressing.

    However, their weather is awful, with sweltering heat in the Summer, bitter cold in the Winter, and barely a single day of Fall and of Spring, but I’m a Midwesterner – that’s what the weather tends to be like. As some would say, “Could be worse.”

    Happy Holidays to all!

    1. LOL, I get the whole mispronunciation thing. When I moved to San Francisco back in ’99, I used to pronounce all the towns and roads (which are almost all Spanish words) in proper Spanish. Even after hearing that everyone else just butchers the words in English, I kept up with my “proper” pronunciation for a full year. Finally, you just get worn down and start mispronouncing literally every name in the entire state – just like everyone else, lol!

  34. I always thought it was pronounced like savage. I never thought there was any other pronunciation. I was born in Oregon and have lived here my entire life. We do have four distinct seasons but we don’t get much snow in the western part of Oregon where I live. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas.

    1. Hi Patti, I love Oregon! I used to travel there (Bend and Portland) for business when I lived in San Francisco. Beautiful state! Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas! ?

  35. Hello to the Navages from the Alabama Gulf Coast in Orange Beach, Alabama. Down here we like to string out our syllables, so I probably added a few extra vowels. But no matter how you pronounce your name, your blog is awesome. 🙂 Loved reading posts from my southern neighbors in North Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, and Georgia. Living in the South is the lifestyle for you. Lots of friendly folks. Long growing seasons. Snow-white sand instead of snow-white snow. Warm, sunny days in winter give you the chance to stroll the beaches and even dip in a toe or two. Yes, it’s hot and humid in summer, but there’s usually a breeze blowing across the Gulf. And, yes, we have hurricanes. But most places have their problems whether it’s cyclones, mud slides, forest fires, etc. As for me, to enjoy the emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico, I’ll risk the threat of hurricanes.

    1. Oh wow, Sandy, you sell it well! I’m thinking the Gulf Coast is going to be a serious contender when we finally thaw out of CT! I’m with you about the hurricanes. I think it’s worth the risk. Merry Christmas to you and your family from me and mine! 🙂

    2. Sandy, A couple years ago I visited my son while he was at the Naval base in Pensacola. I stayed at a sweet little Air BNB just up the road from you in Elberta. The gulf shores are lovely. That area would definitely be a contender for me for retirement or even just escaping cold, miserable winters.

      1. Kim, my husband is a retired navy pilot who flew at the naval base for many years training navigators. He and your son may have crossed paths. Small World. We moved from Pensacola to Orange Beach because I’m an Alabama native, and we moved closer to the water. 🙂

  36. Hi Greg!
    I completely understand about the name thing. I married into a weird last name that no one ever pronounces correctly. It’s fun though…becomes a conversation starter! We live in Southern California. Whilst the weather is “perfect”, it’s also boring. No seasons really. It’s also expensive as heck here! We’re thinking of moving southeast when my husband retires. Maybe we’ll rent an RV and drive across the country and see where we like it best and move there.
    Hope everyone in the Navage Patch has a happy holiday!

    1. Are you form San Diego, Kate? If so, you’re right. It has the most perfect weather in America. I spent a lot of time there when I lived in SF, and I always thought it had the absolute perfect climate. 80 degrees and sunny for most of the year – can’t beat that! But yes, it is now prohibitively expensive. Oh well! Merry Christmas to you and your family and have a happy new year! 🙂

  37. Woot woot! I’ve been pronouncing Navage correctly in my mind this whole time. #winning
    I live in Spokane, WA and let me tell you – it’s really hard to beat the pacific northwest. In Spokane we have mountains, lakes and a river running right through downtown. Cost of living is relatively low and traffic isn’t too bad. You can be out in the countryside in 20 minutes camping, hiking, fishing, etc. We have 4 seasons but we haven’t had an ice storm since 1996. 🙂 We have great craft breweries and distilleries, fantastic local wineries & a great selection of local restaurants. On another note, don’t feel bad about cheating on Keto since Thanksgiving. We did great from March until vacation in August and then sort of haven’t gotten back on the wagon since. Whoopsie! We’re back at it in January, but totally agree – onions will never be banned from our meals. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and Handan!

    1. Oh, yeah, you have great merlot and pinot up there! I’m certainly jealous of all that fantastic wine and mild PNW weather! Have a fantastic Christmas, Krissy! 🙂

  38. Hi! I’m usually good pronouncing names but have to admit I got yours wrong. Trying to put the French spin on it. People seem to have trouble with both my maiden name and married name. Kind of Ukranian in origin I think. Maiden name is Barna, always had to say BARN with an A on the end. Married name is Bobak, pronounced BO-BACK. everyone want to say BOB-AK.

    I grew up near Pittsburgh, PA but moved to NC in my teens. Went back to PA for awhile as a young adult but decided it was too cold and snowy for me. Now I live in Greensboro, NC which is pretty nice (still too cold in winter.) I love that you can drive 2-3 hours west to the mountains or 3-4 hours east to the beach. I still joke that we didn’t go far enough south though. Greensboro is nice but now that I’m getting closer to retirement I’m ready to go back to small town living. Preferably closer to the beach.

    I have a fairly small dog (20 lb rat terrier) that sleeps in bed with me. For being a small dog, she is a real bed hog. I wake up in the morning in about 12 inches of space with her right up against my back. Gotta love those dogs!

    Sorry this is so long, Love your blog and hope y’all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

    1. LOL, it’s okay – most people do! It’s funny that people mispronounce Barna – I can’t think of any other way to pronounce it! As for Bobak – yeah I can see the confusion, but having studied a few foreign languages (that all pronounce a proper “O” sound, I got yours right! 🙂 Merry Christmas to you, your family and your furry one!

  39. Have a lovely Christmas. I live in a (relatively) small town in Northern CA (San Anselmo). I’m rather fond of it. My neighborhood is quiet and has LOTS of trees … which I’m not too fond of. I don’t have any, but neighbors on both sides DO and I get to clean all their leaves off my driveway this time of year! *sigh* My “name problem” has always been my first name (Marilynne). In school, I would answer to anything beginning with an “M”! I solved THAT when I got older … now I’m just “Lynne”!

    1. Oh, yeah, I know San Anselmo – been there a few times and have ridden through on my motorcycle many more times back in my SF days! Merry Christmas, Lynnie – I hope you have a great one! 🙂

  40. Hello from central Kansas, where we have several inches of snow on the ground and weekend temps predicted to be near 70 degrees! The old saying about KS is definitely true…If you don’t like the weather, wait 15 minutes and it will change! I must beg to differ concerning your opinion that KS is flat. Western KS certainly is, but the Flint Hills in eastern KS are definitely not flat…they are gorgeous! And no trees? Our home is surrounded by lots and lots of very old oak trees! Of course we do live right on the Smoky Hill River, so there’s that…? Anyway, I am glad to say that I have been mentally pronouncing your name correctly ever since a started following your blog several years ago. In my mind, the “cabbage patch” inference cinched it for me! I love your newsy blog!! My husband is a carpenter/cabinet maker, and I am always showing him the projects you are working on! ? Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    June in KS

    1. LOL, I know I’ve heard that before. I must have been to the one flat, treeless part of Kansas! Merry Christmas to you and your family, June!

  41. Hey guys…greetings from Ontario, Canada!
    We just had an ice storm here, but no sunshine…rats! Miserable!
    The first time I saw your web page, I thought “Navage Patch” , a play on cabbage patch…how cool!
    Anyway, I really enjoy your blog and crafts…keep up the good work and have happy holidays. May the new year be kind to you.


    1. We had the same ice storm, but at least we’ve had some sun to follow it up (though it is now bitterly cold and windy). Merry Christmas and happy new year to you, Irene! 🙂

    1. Merry Christmas to you, Debbie! Oh wow! I worked in the wine industry as wine buyer and general manager of a wine bar and shop in SF, but I have never heard of your winemaking region! (Not saying that as a slight against Okanagan – I just never came across your wines). What do you grow up there? What are you best known for?

    2. Well I am happy I was saying your name correctly. My surname gets everyone confused, in fact my grand daughter’s teacher has stopped trying to get it right! Hoy as in boy, Hoynes, one long syllable. We live in a North Wales, UK. We are very happy living here, a tad warmer would be nice ?

  42. Navage, like cabbage, of course! I have a lot of experience with difficult names! My first name is Jana (pronounced Yana! Czech which means “Jane” and a big family name-my father was Czech, his sister named her daughter, my cousin, Jana, and her brother, Peter, named one of his offspring the same! Yeesh!) Maiden name was Nanka, like Sanka coffee! On my high school graduation card for pronunciation purposes, I put Yana Nanka like Sanka coffee. Simple, right? Nope. When I got called I was JANA NAKA! I didn’t know I was Japanese!
    So that’s it with names!
    I am currently living in Arizona in the mountains. So we get all four seasons here, which I like. It gets pretty cold in the winter and we get snow, but it’s not terrible. I have one daughter in Hawaii whom I visited in October and sweated to death! Tomorrow I head for Atlanta and my other two girls where it wil be cold, but not bad. I grew up in California (born in Australia), lived in Chicago for three years when in the Army, then Savannah, GA for 27 years, Saudi Arabia for 7 and now Arizona for 7. Of all these places I think you’d like Savannah best.
    Have a great Christmas and New Year!

    1. Yep, you’ve been around, Jana! It’s funny you mention Savannah. I was just talking to someone who recently visited for the first time, and based on her description, I knew that Handan would love it. Maybe this summer I’ll get the chance to take her on a Southern tour! Merry Christmas and happy new year to you and your family. Veselé Vánoce!

  43. I too live in Connecticut in the quiet corner. The ice storm may look pretty but it wreaks havoc. I much prefer CT. in the warmer months. Can’t wait to relocate to Florida in a couple of years.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New year to you and your family.

    1. Okay, I gotta get my butt up to the quiet corner one of these days. I feel like I’m missing out on the best part of this wretched state! Merry Christmas to you, Pauline! 🙂

  44. Connecticut native here. As much as I hate the weather sometimes, I cannot imagine living anywhere else. Where else can you get all 4 seasons in a 24 hr period??

  45. Hooray! I was saying it right in my head. It’s just more lyrical that way. Never even crossed my mind that it might be wrong. I live in the great commonwealth of Kentucky. Yes, we definitely have four seasons. High humidity in the warm summer months and cold weather in the winter. A couple of inches is a big snow for us though. My mother-in-law always said we lived in the banana belt as our weather was always milder than our neighbors! My I’ve lived in NC, WA, CA, and Germany. Enjoyed them all but I missed the beauty of the fall color and rolling hills when not in KY. We’re known for fast horses, beautiful women, and superb whiskey. My small town of Lebanon is in the geographical center (the heart of) KY. There’s so much to do in this small town- Ham Days Festival (just celebrated 50 years), Centre Square’s plays and music, and so much more! Come visit and stay awhile!

    1. Wow, you’ve lived all over, Jennie! You’ve made a great case for Kentucky. It’s a state I’ve never visited. That’s going to have to change!

      1. Merry Christmas to you and Handan! Love your blog! Your crafts are creative and the writing is too! Love the dogs, I have two. The blog is a treasure to read!

  46. Greg: when you are researching your new place to live be sure to ask the right questions. In 1995 when we decided we wanted to move to Alabama we didn’t have a computer or internet for that matter, in upstate NY.
    Things I learned after we got here…..groceries are taxed, 9% now. We don’t have school tax though and land taxes are next to nothing. Another thing was vehicle registration. If you have a car loan, they want your title until it’s paid off. In NY the registration cost was on the weight of the vehicle and we paid for 2 years at a time. Here it’s on the value and for one year. I went from paying $36 for 2 years to over $100 for one year. Talk about a shock.
    But there are always the fun culture changes that one encounters. On our first week here we went for a drive to look around our new area. Now remember this is 1996. We came upon a four corners, and what to my wondering eyes did appear? Nope not Santa, but the klan in full gear,(minus the hoods). Hubs says my eyes got big as saucers. I think they were doing some kind of fund drive.
    Anyway ask the important questions from the locals when you go to visit the areas of choice. Happy hunting and Merry Christmas.

  47. Merry Christmas from Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada. We are one of the prairie provinces of Canada and probably one of the coldest provinces too. It is not unusual for the temperatures to go down to -30 degrees ( in Celsius) with a windchill that feels like -40 degrees. I would agree with you – I can dress for the cold, but really hate the darkness. I am retired now, but hated going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark at 5:00. But on the other hand, when it is still daylight at 9:30 pm on a warm summer evening it is the best thing in the world!! I guess we have to take the bad with the good.
    Love your crafting blogs and have tried a few things already.. Also really enjoy your entertaining blog.
    Have a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy 2020.
    Stay warm!!

    1. Hi Dianne – someday I will ride my motorcycle (with Handan on the back, God willing) up through the provinces of Canada and on into Alaska towards the Arctic Circle. There is so much majestic beauty up there.
      Of course, at the temperatures you’re describing, all that natural beauty can go suck a big fat Canadian goose egg! Yeesh, I have my limits!
      Handan and I wish you and all you other crazy Saskats (is that a word? can I make it one??) a warm and wonderful Christmas!

  48. Hey Greg! You’re a doll! I just love the way you defend your “manliness” when you’re working on crafty things! ;-D I like a guy with a little feminine in him……..I live in Los Angeles and we’re actually having Christmas-y weather right now: 60’s during the day and 40’s-50’s at night! I’ll take it! Listen, you’re really missing out if you don’t let your dogs on the sofa! It’s the sweetest time ;-D Don’t be a rigid stiff with your four-leggers! Aaaaand……..Meeeeeery Christmas!

    1. Constance, you are so right! I am a doll!! And listen, if it were up to me, I’d have those little jerks up with me all the time. But alas, I’m just the man of the house, and thus have no say in the rules, LOLOLOL! 😀

  49. I’m a word nerd (I read the dictionary often) and a college graduate in English. But when I saw the name of your blog, I tried several different ways to pronounce it. None rolled sweetly off my tongue so it was just The Patch to me.

    I live in Utah where winter often brings single digit temperatures like we had earlier this week. But the snow is fabulous for skiing! Now that I’m retired, my husband and I spend January through March in warmer climes. I always say you don’t have to shovel sunshine! (As compared to always having to shovel snow . . .)

    I LOVE how you write. So clever. So witty. My writing is as awesome as week-old mush gathering mold in the fridge. “Le sigh,” as the French would say.

    Have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!

    1. Awwwww, thank you so much, Nina! I’m always thrilled to find a word nerd lurking among my dangling propositions and split infinitives! Ah, Utah is great! Been there to ski once in high school and have been to SLC on business a few times. Always love driving across the state and stopping of at GSL fora little walk out into the Great White Expanse.
      Merry Christmas to you and a happy and healthy new year! 🙂

  50. I was born in CT., moved to MA at age 20, moved back to CT at 42 for 2 years, then moved to central FL. in Nov. because of SAD. The year of 4 hurricane’s in a row. Initially loved FL, but the heat & humidity became overbearing quickly. Not too bad when working, because you leave A/C house, to A/C car, to A/C work place. But when not working, I’m trapped inside, as I HATE to sweat. I do miss New England very much – the architecture, the trees & flowers I grew up with. I DON’T miss darkness 5 months a year, nor do I miss icy weather. The snow is pretty, and ice is also, but not if one has to go out (icy). Stores are crowded before bad weather, and holiday time, going anywhere is a pain – so much traffic. Also, having to bundle up to go anywhere, then when arrive, (shopping), have to take all bundling off and cart it around. Not to mention the seat belt issue when all bundled up. If there is a significant storm closing down the area for any time, power outages are common, no fun with no heat/hot water/fireplace…and if in a location with limited parking, having to move vehicle back and forth each time for plowing…Lots of negatives. But I will always be a New Englander…even though my blood has thinned, it is so welcome to put layers on, and keep them on, instead of sweating profusely. Winter clothing I miss. I miss comforters on beds, I miss NE holidays. In FL I never know what month it is, they seem all the same…I guess everyplace has it’s ups & downs, being snow birds would be the ideal solution, if one can afford it. Employment is another issue, unless you live in Metropolitan area, jobs are scarce. But, you can always find parking, no worries about icy weather, and piles of snow that last until May.

    1. You’re right, Jaime, being a snowbird would be the optimal solution. But yeah, two houses…we’ll have to see about that, lol! And I just can’t take the taxes here anymore. Every year, another new round to crush those who are already bearing too much load. Ah well, like you said, there’s probably no perfect solution and the grass is always, greener right, lol? Handan and I wish you and your family a merry (and warm!) Christmas! 🙂

  51. I’ve been loving reading where everyone is from! I am, of course, from the overly sunny Western Australia. We just had a heatwave where temperatures were around 40℃ all week. In some places in Australia it got to 51℃. I’m not even sure humans can exist at that temperature. In WA it’s a dry, dry heat. I prefer that to the humidity, but it really does suck the life out of you. Personally, I hate summer, so the fact that we get probably five months of it from November to March just really sucks for me. We don’t really have an autumn and winter is barely even cold (though it can rain quite a bit.) Apparently the last time my state saw even a hint of snow was in 1996, but I think those days are long gone. I’ve never seen snow before in person.

    Christmas Day is expected to be 38℃ and Boxing Day 40℃ so I don’t think I’ll be doing anything except sitting inside in front of my aircon. Usually Christmas lunch consists of seafood like prawns or crab, cold sliced leg ham, cold chicken, salads a plenty, and maybe pavlova or a pudding. Some people still have got to have their roast dinner but I couldn’t imagine eating a hot meal like that.

    But if you like it swelteringly hot, then boy do I have the place for you! We also have an abundance of great beaches, a nice wine region, and in North Western Australia is the Kimberly Region, which is just stunning. An absolute must if you like hiking and bush walks, nature, and beautiful scenery. We are actually closer to places like Singapore than we are to the rest of Australia, so we often miss out on a lot of stuff, and don’t get anywhere near the tourists somewhere like Melbourne does.

    I’ve also been pronouncing the name right! I just figured Navage patch…Cabbage patch? Thought it was cute! And here in Aus we would definitely opt for the easy pronunciation first. I think you’d find most people pronounce it correctly here.

    1. Jay, I’m convinced you actually live in some giant’s oven or potter’s kiln, and not in Australia like you think. Good lord! How that hell do you survive in 51 degree weather (that’s 124 degrees fahrenheit for the Americans reading this)? You basically live in the same temperature I set my sous vide cooker for a nice rare steak, lol!

      1. For most of the summer I feel like a well done charcoal steak someone forgot on the barbie (BBQ 😀 ). Lots of people here just love the summer and can’t wait till it starts heating up. Me? It hits October and I start getting anxiety knowing that soon I’ll be spending the greater part of the year hot, sweaty, and miserable.

  52. Have you ever considered the western part of the United States? Born and raised in Reno, Nevada. Four seasons, humidity is low (we are high mountain desert, with 4-7 inches of precipitation a year), no ice storms, hurricanes and tornadoes are incredibly rare (1 in my lifetime, and that was north of town). Surrounded by mountains – Sierra Nevada’s on the west, covered in evergreens with occasional spots of aspens and desert mountains on the other three sides. Snow a few times a year in the valley. Great summers with a few times that we get over 100 (but not this last year), but it is dry heat which really isn’t as bad as heat with humidity. Outdoor sports year round and Lake Tahoe is 30 miles away. And Nevada has no state income tax.

    1. Oh definitely, Susan! I lived in SF for 10 years and went to Tahoe in the winters and Burning Man several times in the 2000s, so I’m well-versed in the Reno area. I love it there, and I would certainly love to live out west again (just probably not CA – no one can afford that place anymore!) Nevada has lot to offer, and I’d love to take Handan out there one of these years.

  53. Beautiful photos!

    I have lived in Oregon all my life. I love it for many reasons, most of all the moderate climate with definite seasons, the variety of geology (high desert, ocean coast, mountains, wide valleys, lava beds), the scenic natural beauty (waterfalls, lush rainforests, snowcapped peaks, fall foliage) and the laid-back vibe. I love to explore the big city (Portland) and the small towns, local wineries, public gardens and National Forests. No sales tax, either.

    1. Oregon is a jewel! One of the most beautiful states in our great nation, and the best pinot noir, hands down. If we lived in the Willamette Valley, I’d never leave! 🙂

  54. The patch pretty much had me pronouncing it right…But how do you pronounce Handan?

    xo Merry Christmas to you and yours

    1. Ah ha! Good question, Arlie! You’re right – no one pronounces her name right, and Barish? Forget about it. I guarantee you’re pronouncing his name wrong, and Barish is actually the Americanized version of it! Stay tuned, I’ll reveal their names in next month’s Yap! 🙂

  55. Hi, Greg and Handan,
    I got the Navage/cabbage thing right away. Since I wasn’t sure whether to Frankicize it or Anglicize it, I looked around, and “cabbage patch” was familiar enough to give me a hint. When my kids were little, Cabbage Patch dolls were all the rage.

    Having moved from northern Wisconsin (-30 degrees F in the winter) to Colorado (0 feels like -30), I can relate to the feeling of wanting someplace warmer (with less ice and snow) in the winters. Then I think, “well, I don’t want to move to Arizona, nor to Florida, so where would I want to live?” And it’s easier to stay put. Oh, well. Dress warmly and enjoy the winter or stay indoors.

    Love your posts. My favorite recently is the little Christmas gnomes you made out of bags of beans and tube socks. How easy is that? And they are so cute. Shared them on Pinterest.

    1. Hi Sheri, wow, Northern Wisconsin! And I thought Fraser, CO was cold! I used to love the cold, and it never stopped me from enjoying myself outside. Now, I’ve become much less tolerant. Getting old, I guess! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  56. I win, I win! Ok, what do I get?!

    I’ve been pronouncing it like “cabbage” as in “cabbage patch!” Woot! Go, me! 🙂

    Merry Christmas, Navages!

    1. Woo Hooo! You get another year of me in your inbox! LOLOL! Merry Christmas, Brigitte, and a happy and healthy new year to you and your family!

  57. First I was saying it right. Second I am living in New Mexico, near El Paso Texas we have wonderful winters here. A light fleece jacket is warm enough but there are a few days when a heavier coat is needed. We are originally from Colorado and compared to their winters, New Mexico’s winters are mild. Every few years it does snow but catch that picture quick because it disappears just as fast as it appears. The bad side of living here is wind. From March to January we have wind. Some days are called Brown Days. The blowing dust makes it hard to see across the street. We are at the base of the Organ Mountains and they are beautiful at sunset. Don’t know about sunrise cuz I am never up that early, On brown days the mountains disappear. We are one hour from White Sands National Monument and they are awesome. I love the ocean and would love to near closer to the beach, but for now I have the sand to keep me comfortable. LOL

    1. Hi Judi, I really need to take Handan on the tour of the Southwest. It is just stunning there, I know. The wind doesn’t bother me, as long as the weather is warm. Cold wind? No thanks! Have had enough to last a lifetime! Handan and I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year! 🙂

  58. Oh my Navage Patch was a no brainer for me. I guess I’m not sophisticated enough to think of a French-ish pronunciation! We live in Portland Oregon, where it doesn’t get so cold as Connecticut. Sure, it rains, but you don’t have to shovel it!

  59. Christmas Greetings Greg,
    Once again, so enjoyed this post, it brings back floods of memories growing up in Ct. , yup, I did. I’ve had your name right from the beginning. My favorite picture is the ice encased branches. Those were special and almost magical times when the woods behind our home turn like crystal play lands. Actually, that’s the very basis of just one Christmas tree theme. Then there is the whole Scandinavian themed tree ! There is also , an entirely seashell themed one , not purchased but collected or the one we are collecting and helping add to that are natural in nature . I’ve lived in so many places over the years . Yes, I could write a book. Scandinavian and German heritage, Mom’s side Norwegian (Midwest), Dad’s German and English. D’s Grandfather ,my great Grandfather, came to Ct when he was just 11 yrs old ,alone.
    M’s family ,about he same age settled in the upper Midwest , Minnesota. I have a feeling the Ellis Island story may very well be the true one about your name change, That’s where so many of the Scandinavian’s end up with either son or sen at the end of their names. Olson -Ole’s son,
    Peterson -Peter’s son. the “o” ending is most , likely Norwegian, and the “e’ ending, Swedish. The processing agents changed the or streamlined names with so many. that’s the only story I got handed . I do have my Great Grandfather’s obit from Ct. (only got a copy of it a few years ago) . Not sure how my first husband’s Grandparents (German)escaped a name change but I so enjoyed them ,they landed just outside of St.Louis, Missouri . We ended up living there for several years for hi m to finish college, do his army stint . Man, it can bitter cold there too. We ended up as corporate transients with his jobs so moving was my life between two children,
    Texas and Louisiana (numerous times back and forth ,upper and lower parts of both states. I have GRITS- Girls Raised in the South. When my mom retired from teaching in CT we moved here to Atlanta ,GA. , I have family there and in South Dakota – I’m not mentioning in print the weather in the latter state. My 2nd husband is from NC but we moved to Florida for work, he was a custom home framer until he retired. that brought us back to NC. This is a beautiful compromise of the North and South , there are seasons , Milder winter’s than you know now , We’re about 2 hours from the ocean to the East and a tad more than that to our West you have mountains………if you want to sled or ski in winter , We happen to be in the country but close enough to BIg City if you want or need . Many of my classmates from Ct. have moved this way.
    Oh, and I didn’t miss the fun Gnome post, you know what I did with your gnomes -stuffed them on my Pinterest board as I was up to my pointy little ears in elfing projects .
    Throw another log on the fire, toast marshmallows , and snuggle in with the family.
    Best wishes for a Merry Christmas ,

    1. Hi Sara, thank you for this comment – I really enjoyed reading of your heritage and travels, and wow! You’ve been around! And GRITS? LOL, I love it! Never heard that before. But would that make the boys BRITS?? LOL! I think I’ll take your suggestion tonight and build a big fire and gather the family around. Handan and I wish you and your big diverse family a very Merry Christmas and happy new year!! 🙂

  60. Hi Greg, needed your blog today to give me a laugh as we lost one of our dogs today to a heart attack (very poor timing right on Christmas). To see your gorgeous darling on the lounge with you made me a lot happier. Here in Australia, it’s like a huge bonfire, so much of the country is on fire and in drought so a prayer for us would be wonderful (thank you, in advance).
    I hope that you, your lovely wife and son have a very happy Christmas and a very fabulous 2020.
    Best wishes,
    Suzanne (have never had a problem with Navage as in cabbage)

    1. Oh shit, Suzanne, I’m so sorry to hear that! Ugh, I can’t imagine your loss, and yeah, right at Christmas. Handan just read what I’m writing and told me to tell you she’ll be saying a prayer for you and your doggy and the terrible drought and weather. I’ve been reading about you guys over there. Good lord, Suzanne! It’s almost too much to bear! Please stay safe and Handan and I wish you and your family peace and joy this Christmas and a cooler and less fiery 2020!

      1. ‘Oh shit’ is right Greg but gosh your reply made me laugh! Thank you Greg and Handan for your thoughts and prayers. Hope you have a better link to him up there and that he listens to your prayers as he is not listening to ours right now!

  61. Happy Holidays Greg and Handan!
    I love your blog! Stumbled upon it this past year and keep on coming back. It is finally raining here in northern Ca after an awful fire season. We are one of many that are blessed to have our home to come back to. Thanks to all of the firefighters that came from everywhere to help. Sounds like you are familiar with the SF area. We are about 1.5 hours north on the 101. I grew up in Humboldt County where my parents still live. California definitely has it’s pro’s and con’s!
    I especially loved your Swedish Prints. Plan to have them on my walls next Holiday! I will be working this holiday as will many of my friends who keep hospitals open year round. Enjoy your time with your family!!
    Happy New Year

    1. Hi Indra, ah, yes, I know your area – it is so beautiful up there. I hope you’ve seen the end of fire for a long time. Such a tragedy. Handan and I wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a cool and rainy new year!

  62. Hi, Greg…
    Judging from all the responses, your name pronunciation was a big deal. I, however, had it right all the time. Nevertheless, I’m glad to have clarification.
    Why don’t you publish your mom’s lasagna? Not the keto one!
    I live in southern Indiana, and our winters aren’t too bad. Better than summer, with the outrageous humidity. We get cold, ice and snow, but Infrequently, and usually followed by more tolerable weather. It’s not uncommon to see the jocks and kids in shorts, even if it’s in the 30’s (more fools they, say I).
    Merry Christmas! I really enjoy your blog.

    1. Hi Toni, I’ll ask her for it! I’m sure she has it printed on a 3×5 somewhere in her recipe tin. Yeah, we get those kids in shorts here too. Just the other morning I saw our neighbor’s kid walking to the bus stop in shorts and a hoodie when it was 6 degrees with howling winds. Insane!

  63. Hi Greg, I have been pronouncing your name correctly! Liked the story about your grandfather and the possible ways the original name was changed. My grandfather was Croatian , coming from what was then Yugoslavia. His name was Matijasic, changed to Matrosic when he arrived. so the only Matrosics in the US are my cousins.
    I live about 30 miles south of Seattle. The last 2 days we have had so much rain there has been some serious flooding. Hoping we dry out a little before Christmas.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Handan and Barish.

    1. Hi Sandy – Oh wow, seems the weather is off for so many. You’ve got too much water, while others are roasting and burning! Here’s hoping you dry out a bit so you can enjoy the holidays. Merry Christmas to you and your family and a happy and rain-free new year!

  64. Hi Greg – I didn’t get the relation to Cabbage Patch, but I pronounced it correctly all along. I live in north Alabama. 2 hours to Nashville, 2 hours to Birmingham (if you need a big-city fix) and 6 hours to the Gulf Coast (if you need a beach fix). We have four seasons plus a couple of tornado seasons. Winters are not awful, and they tend to close schools if we have flurries. Summers are not awful. Okay they are pretty awful with the humidity, but tolerable. Spring and Fall are usually wonderful. We are the “Rocket City”, home of MSFC and NASA, and loads of defense contractors, so Handan has lots of work opportunities. Come on down!

    1. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Northern Alabama, but this is the first I’m hearing about Rocket City. Thanks for the info, we’ll have to check it out!

  65. YAY!!! I’ve been pronouncing it right all along. I live in central Kansas and I love the fact that we have four seasons. For the most part, our weather is pretty tolerable, however we do have extremes. Summer can register temperatures in the triple digits and winter in the single digits. Of course, Kansas is probably most know for it’s severe weather. We do have our share of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, but you just learn to be respectful of Mother Nature and keep your eyes to the sky. Kansas can also have abrupt weather changes. For that reason, one of out favorite sayings is…”If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes…it will change.” Love you blog and especially love the free printables you share. Thanks so much.

  66. Maybe because Father Savage was my priest in high school, I’ve always said Navage that way. Unless my children remove me bodily, which is a possibility, I’ll happily depart this earth from Vermont. I spent 28 years as a New Englander residing in the Bible Belt West and the freedom to speak your mind that is here in New England CANNOT be over-rated. My Nebraska-born, Military raised husband is happier here. Winter is part of the package. It’s like a spouse, makes you uncomfortable, livid on occasion, awes you with beauty, builds you with pride of accomplishment and sticking to something, and you wouldn’t live without it.

      1. Looking forward to all the posts of the New Year! A Blessed and Creative and Humorous New Year to you and Handan and a Rockin’ one to Barish!

  67. Hello! I did get the pronunciation correct …. but it never occurred to me that you were rhyming with cabbage patch. LOL Win some, lose some.

    I live not too far from you right here in CT and I think I am the only person who loves it! I love having 4 separate seasons. The shoreline here is absolutely beautiful. We have mountains, lakes, and the ocean. Cannot beat that! My least favorite season here is summer however since it gets so humid. As I get older I just cannot cope with humidity. So on that note – my husband is origianlly from Maine – so we would probably move there if we ever did. Or Vermont which is just beautiful!

  68. Well, I was “thinking” your name correctly, but also have a friend named Savage! I live in central Maine, about an hour from the coast. Maine has 4 seasons–almost winter, winter, still winter, and construction. I couldn’t bear to be far away from the ocean; I was raised in NH near the coast, too and winter is 3 weeks longer here! Now retired, I don’t have to fight with the snow and ice as much but really dislike the cold–but I think I would hate snakes, 4″ long Palmetto bugs, and humidity even more! They say, “Maine, the way life should be.” and it is, generally, but it is getting worse as crime, generally caused by drugs infiltrate everywhere.
    My former last name was O’Malley and I almost burst a gasket when I heard it pronounced with a French accent–O-mal–EEEE. Now my boyfriend’s name is Pare, originally pronounce Pa-RAY; he Anglicizes it to Parry. His son still pronounces it Pa-RAY. Strangers say “Pear.”
    Happy New Year to the Navage family!

    1. Hi Kathy, yeah drug-related crime seems to be the new norm in almost every town. What a shame! We’ve talked about living in Maine, but I’m not sure Handan could handle the winters, lol! Summer sure is nice, though… That’s hilarious about your name – yes, a French pronunciation really changes things! Have a great 2020!

  69. Hello Greg and Handan, Barish to.Hope Merry Christmas,and hope the New year did not kick you and went very well.Been getting your name right..I live in Central Florida..between Tampa and Orlando,.It has been65 to 80 degrees, In the last years love the warm…Makes me crazy in ,45 or below..I drive an 18 wheeler. Been in snow,Hate it with a passion.Will not give up fl for any other place..If you and your family do visit fl I recommend cintranella( can’t spell the word).the mosquito s are born attackers.. Please you all take care .This also (take care) to your readers also applies

    1. Hi Shelley! Oh wow, I love your weather! It’s snowing right now, so the thought of Florida just brings a smile to my face. Take care, drive safely and have a wonderful week! 🙂

  70. So I read your post about Handan’s name pronunciation and had to come over here to make sure I was pronouncing “Navage” right! And I was! Ha!! I also had Handan’s pronunciation right… Barish not so much 🙁 2 out of 3 isn’t bad! Haha!!

  71. I actually read this *after* your Yap about how to pronounce Handan & Barish…
    In my head I used Hand-enn, and for your son, his name rhymes with ‘parrish’ in my head… I do ‘hear’ Navage correctly… how else would it be pronounced?? 😉
    I am not unfamiliar with how names names can be mis-pronounced… as a child in school when attendance was taken the first day of *every* school year, I only needed to wait for the *really* long pause to know whose name was next.
    IDK what anyone says, I think you’re hilarious. And, not surprisingly, I’m often moved and inspired by many of your Yaps, Haps, and blogs… Sometimes, however, I play catch-up (ketchup?) because life.
    Thanks for taking the time to amuse, educate, and to just be. 3>

  72. I’m reading this well after Christmas! It’s 2020 summer during COVID. 🙂 🙁 But, Oh MY!! I also lived in Thibodaux! (pronounced tib o dough). I grew up in Houma, LA. (pronounced ho ma) My family is from the St. Martinsville and New Iberia areas. And I totally agree with the humidity! St Francisville is very pretty and would be a great visit. But you also need to visit St. Martinsville, it’s the official home of the Cajuns and you need to visit during Crawfish Festival, which is held in Breaux Bridge (usually in early May, although with COVID, who knows???) which is just a few miles away. If you want to experience real Cajun living—music & dancing, drinking and good eating, this is the place to be.
    I currently live in a rural area, 40 minutes south of Atlanta on 7 acres of woods. Georgia weather is unpredictable, everyone complains about it, especially the heat. BUT, I love the heat. I’ll take being hot over being cold any day of the week! We moved here from Pensacola in November 1987 and experienced a snow storm. We were ready to move back to the beach! But, 33 years later, we’re still here.
    And I did wonder about the pronunciation of your name, since I grew up with French speaking parents and grandparents, the French influence was a thought—but, I linked it with savage and pronounced your name correctly 🙂 I happened across your site via Hometalk. I just finished reading your adventures and your motorcycle trip. Hubby has a Harley and we love riding. We’re not far from Warm Springs, GA (where Pres. Roosevelt had his Little White House and used the warm springs for his polio) which has become a haven for motorcyclists. It’s near Pine Mountain and has some nice riding. Your writing is very entertaining and I love your humor. Look forward to reading more.

    1. Thank you, Tina! Oh, we can’t wait for everything to return to normal, so we can check out our surrounding area. LA is definitely on the list – I know Handan and Baris would love Cajun culture! Breaux Bridge Festival sounds great, and it’s only 600 miles – that’s an easy day drive! Glad you found us, and thank you for the recommendations! 🙂

  73. Hi Greg and Handan, I got the pronunciation wrong, always said it to rhyme with Fromage! Now I’ve got to change. I live in Weymouth, Dorset, UK. I love reading your blog and seeing your craftiness! Happy Christmas to you both, hoping for a better 2021! ??
    Regards, Chrissie