Favorite Irish Sayings, St Paddy’s Day Traditions & Corned Beef

Happy St. Paddy’s Day everybody. I love this day because I love green, I love fun, I really love beer and it’s also my birthday. But in case you aren’t Irish, then I have a quick crash-course, that Faith and Begorrah, will convince everybody you are.

Irish phrases you should know

Kiss my ass!

Spelled: Póg mo thóin!

Pronounced: pogue muh ho-in

Cheers!

Spelled: Sláinte

Pronounced: slaan-cheh

Ireland Forever

Spelled: Éirinn go Brách

Pronounced: Air-in guh braack

May the cat eat you and the devil eat the cat

Spelled: Go n-ithe an cat thú is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat

Pronounced: guh nee-ha on cat hoo iss go nee-ha on jeowel on cat

Saint Patrick’s Day

Spelled: Lá ‘le Pádraig

Pronounced: laa-AY-la pawd-rik/

A pint of Guinness, please.

Spelled: Pionta Guinness, le do thoil

Pronounced:  pyunta Guinness leh duh hull/

Kiss me, I’m Irish!

Spelled: Tabhair póg dom, táim Éireannach

Pronounced: TOO-irr pogue dum, toyme AY-ron-ock

Are you drunk yet?

Spelled: An bhfuil tú ar meisce fós?

Pronounced: on will too air mesh-ka fowss?/

St. Patrick’s Day blessing upon you

Spelled: Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh!

Pronounced: ban-ock-tee na fay-lah paw-rig ur-iv/

Common Traditions on St. Paddy’s Day

The wearing of the green. On St. Paddy’s Day you better wear something green if you want to avoid being pinched. In Ireland people wear a small bunch of Shamrocks on their right breast to signify their Irishness. The Shamrocks are blessed at Church ceremonies and known as Blessing of the Shamrock. If you don’t have access to blessed shamrocks, a green hat will do.

Green Beer and Shamrock Shakes. If  you were to spend St. Paddy’s Day in Ireland you’d be hardput to find a mug of green beer or a Shamrock Shake. This is a rookie mistake and started as a tradition in America. However, if you can eat 10 pickled eggs, you could be mistaken for a real Irisher.

Parades and Festivals. The very first St Patrick’s Day parade occurred in New York City in 1766. And though there were many parades to follow all over the world, it wasn’t until 1995 that the Irish government decided to start holding a parade in Dublin—it’s known as St Patrick’s festival and takes place over 5 days with events including art shows, plays, concerts, fun fairs and the main parade.

Have you worked up an appetite yet?

No St. Patrick’s Day would be complete without partaking in some scrumptious corned beef and cabbage. And though traditionally, Irish Corned Beef and Cabbage is a boiled dish, I prefer mine slow roasted.

Try this simple recipe and tell me I’m wrong. And don’t forget to save me some.

Ingredients:

1 (5 1/2 pound) corned beef brisket with spice packet

2 whole head of green cabbage, each quartered

7 large red potatoes, peeled and diced

8 carrots, peeled and diced

2 medium onion, quartered

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Place the brisket in the center of a roasting pan. Arrange the cabbage, potatoes, carrots and onions around the sides. Empty the seasoning packet over the roast, and pour enough water into the pan to about ½ inch high. Cover with a lid or heavy aluminum foil. Roast for 5 to 6 hours in the preheated oven, until the roast is fork tender.

Have a great day and may the green be with you.

Remembering our Fallen

Memorial Day is often thought of as just another three-day weekend, a chance for barbecues, awesome sales or even a day at the beach. I like all of those things too and will probably participate in some of them this weekend. But I also like to take some time to reflect on the hundreds of thousands of men and women who  gave their lives so that we can enjoy our freedoms. Please pray for our fallen and their families.

 

Ten tips to prepare you for Cyber Monday

cyber monday

Okay. So, you’ve had Thanksgiving, Black Monday, Small Biz Saturday and Sunday you got to rest. Next up, Cyber Monday. The online answer to Black Friday (I think) or maybe just a another way of saying Holiday Sale. At any rate, the following tips will help you enjoy Cyber Monday.

1. Call in sick. You’ve already been off work for four days, what’s one more?
2. Make a list of everything you’ve been wanting to get yourself just in case you see some incredible deals. Freelancers, this is a great time to do end of year purchases for equipment, software, office furniture and supplies.
3. Have your Christmas list handy. You may not get everything on your list but having a list will (hopefully) prevent you from buying stuff you dont need.
4. If you’re searching for a specific item and Googling, include ‘free shipping’ in your search terms. This is the time of year that free shipping is a big come on used by retailers. Why shouldn’t you get some of that. Just a cursory search showed me that Harry & David, Best Buy & the Cracker Barrel are all offering free shipping deals.
5. Use PayPal. I suppose there are different schools of thought on this but I personally feel safer using PayPal – you’re not debited until the product ships and they have a no hassle reversal policy if the product is funky. Credit card scammers are out in force this time of year too.
6. Don’t buy things just because they’re a good deal. Of course, logical right? But once you get your bargain hunter buzz on, things can get out of control fast. That’s why #2 and #3 are on the list.
7. Take a break. Or give yourself a time limit. If you stay online all day shopping you will undoubtedly buy things you really don’t need or want, or God forbid, click on the wrong thing. Give yourself a 3 or 4 hour limit, then stop. If you can’t because you want to do all your shopping today, then take a break every hour. Step away from the computer, go outside, take a walk and for heaven’s sake eat something besides cheese doodles. And drink water too.
8. Shop in categories. Divide your list into categories – electronics, clothes, sundries, toys, etc. Then shop by category. It might require going back to a couple of sites but, this will also help to keep things organized and prevent you from being distracted by shiny objects.
9. Consider refurbished, used, vintage, consignment. We often feel that giving others things that were previously used might be tacky but usually if a person wants something and gets what they want, they don’t generally care about that stuff. There are some incredible computer deals on refurbished computers for example. And what fashionista wouldn’t want a vintage handbag that was the real deal? What writer wouldn’t want an original copy of a favorite book?
10. Consider smaller sites and retailers. There are thousands of small artisans and retailers on sites like Etsy and Zazzle for example, who make some very awesome, one of a kind items. And it’s also a cool way to support small businesses, indies and freelancers. For example, this hard working creative gal is offering some very cute tees for writers. Myster Writer Clued In

cover coffee and crime thumbnail

 

And in honor of Cyber Monday (starting at 8 AM Pacific Time), I’m offering Coffee & Crime for 99 cents (Kindle Countdown). Tuesday it goes up to $1.99, Wednesday it goes up to $2.99 and then returns to the normal price on Thursday.

Okay, so go to bed early, lay out your clean jammies for tomorrow and set the coffee pot on brew. And happy shopping. Let the season begin!

Have a great week.

Annie

Happy Turkey Day and it’s been a turkey of a day

turkey day

I hope we’re all having a nice day with way too much food and never enough family and friends around us.

That said, I woke up this morning to a computer that said it would not comply with my wishes to work. After trying to coax it and a lot of begging and pleading, I dragged my old PC out of the closet and am using that. Can you say flash to the past? I forgot how slow the thing was. Oy. Computer fixer upper coming Monday.

In the meantime, I’m chiseling my words on stone tablet with sharp stick. Gotta watch the splinters.

Have a great holiday everybody.

Annie

Fourth of July Facts, Fun and Trivia

I love the 4th of July because of what it represents and also because I never met a barbecue I didn’t like. Nothing like liberty and ribs to get your engines revving, right?

“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world…”

Following are some fun, interesting and possibly silly facts about the day of our independence:

The Declaration of Independence was adopted by Congress on July 2, 1776 but a revised version was not adopted until July 4th. In a letter to his wife Abigail, John Adams, who first proposed the idea of declaring independence from England, said he believed July 2nd would be a day remembered and celebrated in America for years to come.

The Declaration was written by Thomas Jefferson and signed by 56 men representing 13 colonies. Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration on a “laptop,” which was a writing desk that could fit on one’s lap.

The first ever July 4th celebration was in 1777, in Philadelphia which included a parade, a thirteen-shot cannon salute and fireworks. The first 4th of July party held at the White House, was in 1801 and held by President Thomas Jefferson. The oldest, continuous Independence Day celebration in the United States is the 4th of July Parade in Bristol, Rhode Island; it began in 1785.

The 13 stars on the American flag were arranged in a circle to represent equality among the original thirteen colonies. In all, there have been 28 versions of the U.S flag to date. The most recent was designed in 1958 when Alaska and Hawaii joined the union. Robert Heft 17 year-old high school student came up with the flag design as a result of a school project. He received a B- on the project, but when his pattern won the national competition to become the next U.S. flag, his grade was raised to an A.

Fireworks and parades to celebrate the Fourth has been around much longer than you may think – in that letter John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail he also said that the day “Ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” In fact, colonists celebrated their independence before they knew they’d win the war. In addition to celebrating the Declaration it was believed that fireworks displays were used as morale boosters for soldiers in the Revolutionary War.

The Pennsylvania Evening Post was the first newspaper to print the Declaration of Independence. Approximately 900 copies of the Declaration were printed by printer John Dunlap. These are referred to as “The Dunlap Broadsides” of which only 26 copies exist today.

The song “Yankee Doodle” was originally sung by British military officers prior to the Revolution as a means to mock the disorganized American colonists who fought alongside them during the French and Indian Wars.

Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, died on July 4th; Adams and Jefferson died within hours of each other in 1826 while Monroe died in 1831.

The “Star Spangled Banner” was written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812 and not decreed the official national anthem until 1931.

Two of our nation’s national symbols were made overseas. The Liberty Bell was cast in England, and the Statue of Liberty in France. To avoid cracking it, the Liberty Bell has not been rung since 1846 – though every 4th of July it is symbolically tapped 13 times.

While Ben Franklin wanted the wild turkey to be the national bird, he was out-voted by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson who chose the bald eagle as the national bird.•

Americans eat approximately 155 million hot dogs on Independence Day while watching approximately 14,000 professional firework displays light up the skies in the United States each 4th of July.

4th Of July Humor

What did one flag say to the other flag?

Nothing, it just waved!

What’s the difference between a duck and George Washington?

One has a bill on his face, and the other has his face on a bill.

What would you get if you crossed a patriot with a small curly-haired dog?

Yankee Poodle

What was George Washington’s favorite tree?

The infantry.

For simple 4th of July amusement you can check out this puzzle and this puzzle.
And to test your knowledge of American independence take a quiz here.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July everybody – and say a prayer for our troops and their families.

WC

Christmas Fodder

christmas

Over the many years of this blog, I’ve written a lot of posts about Christmas. And this time of year, it seems people are interested in reading Christmas posts. So, following is a convenient linked list of popular Christmas blog posts for your amusement. I’ve grouped them into categories of a sort for better navigation.  Ho, ho, ho and jolly jolly. This post will remain “sticky” for the month of December.

WC

Lists

Weird Christmas Facts and Fun

More Little Known Christmas Facts

Ten Gripes About Christmas

You Know You Have Your Grinch on When…

Ten Signs You May be a Christmas Sap Like Me

What to do with a Dead Christmas Tree

Random Christmas Thoughts

Random Christmas Thought #56

You Might be a Christmas Addict if…

Naughty or Nice

Quizzes

What’s Your Christmas Personality?

I Can Name That Christmas Song In

What’s Your Christmas Elf Name?

Parodies

Christmas Can-Can

Fun with Christmas Parodies

The Bloggers 12 Days of Christmas

Christmas Bird

Money Saving

Shoe-String Christmas

Christmas on the Cheap

Food

Christmas Recipes,Tips and Tricks

Yummy Christmas Food

How to Tell if Your Christmas Eve Bash is a Success

Holiday Eating Tips from Zelda

Gifting

Ten Christmas Gifts You May Not Have Thought Of

The Weirdest Christmas Gift

To Re-Gift or Not to Re-Gift

iPhone/iPad New and Strange Christmas Apps

Stories

Christmas Eve – Theme Friday

The Last Christmas

In Honor of Christmas

Kindness

Christmas for the Troops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good News! The official marshmallow roasting rules are here!

roasting marshmallows

So the Forest Department has put out a detailed list of rules and instructions on roasting marshmallows. Thank God, because since we’ve only been roasting marshmallows over camp fires since there were marshmallows and camp fires, I’m sure we need a bit of a brush up.

So for your Labor Day weekend enjoyment, I’m going to channel my inner gubbermint worker and read between the lines for you and tell you what they really mean:

1. First of all, you’re too fat and marshmallows are empty calories, so don’t roast the dang marshmallows in the first place. Instead roast fruit, soy nuts, or tofurky (refer to First Lady’s acceptable campfire eating list on our website.).

2. If you must roast marshmallows because of some dagnabbit  Christian-Judeo tradition that you claim is in the Bible, at least use the sugar-free, soy version that tastes like toilet paper and comes in a US approved recyclable package.

3. Be sure to remove the marshmallows from the package before roasting. Campfires are not like microwaves and you cannot put a packaged product into the fire without potentially causing harm.

4. Be sure to use a government approved stick. Many of our trees are endangered and we must not sacrifice them so you can have a roasting stick to make a completely unhealthy snack that we advise against in the first place. Check the endangered stick list on our website or download our convenient acceptable stick app that will glow green when you find the right kind of stick. Better yet, bring your own roasting implement so you don’t unnecessarily use up our limited natural resources you selfish marshmallow roasting bigot.

5. Do not put the marshmallow on the end of your finger and stick it in the fire. Direct contact with fire will hurt like the dickens and Obamacare does not cover self inflicted burn wounds.

6. Be sure to bring enough marshmallows that will feed more than your camping party. After all, not everybody has the luxury of marshmallows and since you do, you must offer your fair share of free marshmallows to the homeless and the poor should they happen upon your campsite. Because that’s the right thing to do you selfish, over-consuming snack gobbler.

7. Be sure to register as a marshmallow roaster with the Forestry Department and have your registration ready if a forest ranger should happen by and demand to see it. If you are found roasting marshmallows without the proper registration you may be fined up to $200,000 and be required to do a minimum of 200 hours of community service.

8. Remember marshmallow roasting may cause forest fires, spew smoke into our already clogged air so you should reconsider roasting your dang marshmallows and roast what we think is better for you and have on our approved list of snacks you selfish junk food bigot.

9. In fact, instead of going camping, we prefer you reduce your carbon footprint by staying home, preparing a meal of tasty raw fruits and vegetables and watching the PBS special on reducing your carbon footprint. You’ll save gas, calories and possible fines and jail time too.

10. From all of us at the National Forestry Department, we wish you a safe, low calorie, non-carcinogenic, politically correct Labor Day Weekend.

Okay, just in case somebody out there doesn’t realize this is satire, I’m going to say, this is satire. However, no gubbermint workers were harmed in the writing and posting of this article.

Happy Labor Day Weekend folks. And save a s’more for me.

Writer Chick
Copyright 2014

Memorial 2014 – With Gratitude

memorial day 2014  with gratitudeOn this 3-day weekend we look forward to some time off and gatherings with friends and family.  Often forgetting the real reason for the holiday. Picnics are great. So are fireworks. Lemonade. Watermelon. Ice-cold beer. All good.

But I try to remember that we have holidays, picnics, great food, freedom of travel and gathering because of those who have stood the watch. Because of those who’ve defended our freedoms and liberties  – often with their lives.

Small things matter

My room mate just got back from grocery shopping and he told me there was a man ahead of him in line who was a Viet Nam vet. He was badly injured and burned and had a hard time putting his groceries in his cart. It took a long time.  My room mate gave him bags and helped him pack his groceries and carry them to his car. A small thing. But it made me proud of my room mate that he stopped and cared.

From Valley Forge to Afghanistan selfless Americans have gone to war to protect this country and its citizens.

I thank them for their service. I thank their families for their sacrifice. I keep them in my prayers.

Be safe this holiday weekend – and if you get the chance, do a small thing for someone to show you care.

 

God Bless

Writer Chick

 

 

Things you probably didn’t know about St Patrick or St. Patrick’s Day

 

st pats dayHappy St. Patrick’s Day and faith and begorrah to you all.  Everybody loves to be Irish on this day and I love to find fun trivia about the day.  The following is what I unearthed.

About St. Patrick 

  • St Patrick was born in Firth of Clyde in Northern Britain (Scotland).
  • His birth name was Succath.
  • When he was sixteen, Succath was kidnapped by Irish raiders along with his two sisters.  They were all sold into slavery in Ireland.
  • He was a slave for six years before he escaped and returned to his home and family in Briton
  • He came to believe that his kidnapping and enslavement was because he didn’t believe in God.
  • Years after he returned to Briton he had a vision from God.  This compelled him to study Christianity and eventually led him to Rome where he was baptized as “Patrick.”
  • He became a bishop and then returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary.
  • The legend goes that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland, but since Ireland never had any snakes, it is believed that this was a metaphor.  And the snakes were symbolic of ‘evil’ or pagan idols.

About St. Patrick’s Day

  • St. Patrick’s Day was a relatively minor religious holiday in Ireland until the 1970s.
  • In America, New York City hosted the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1762, and by the mid-19th century parades were common.
  • In 1962, officials in Chicago decided to dye a portion of the Chicago River green.
  • The tradition started when parade organizer Steve Bailey who was also the head of a plumber’s union noticed how a dye used to trace sources of river pollution had stained a worker’s overalls a brilliant green. Bailey thought, why not use the dye to turn the whole river green on St. Patrick’s Day? And a tradition was born.
  • Corned beef and cabbage isn’t an Irish traditional dish and is more American than Irish. The dish is a variation of a traditional Irish meal that included bacon. But because early Irish-Americans were poor, corned beef was a cheaper alternative, and cabbage happened to be a springtime vegetable. And thus deliciousness was born.
  • Irish stout is the drink of choice on St. Patrick’s Day. On St. Patrick’s Day, about 3 million pints of Guinness are downed.

Happy St. Paddy’s Day.  Be safe, be free and be Irish.

Writer O’ Chick

Copyright 2014