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.
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!
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 Navage.com, 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.”
“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.
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!