Father’s Day 2017

I lost my dad over twenty years ago, but it still feels like yesterday. I can easily call up the pain, the loss, and the tears. And it makes me realize just how incredible love and the human connection it creates, is.

I hope that those of you out there who still have a dad in the here and now are planning something nice for him. And I hope that those of you who have lost their fathers, have some peace in the love that remains in your heart for your dad.

Have a blessed Father’s Day weekend.

❤ Annie

 

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.

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

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

Blessings

blessings and christmasThis time of year it is so easy to get wrapped up in the preparations – the food, the gifts, the parties…

And I don’t know about you but I often go through the ‘it doesn’t feel like Christmas’ syndrome.  For a variety of reasons – but usually because I don’t have enough money to buy gifts, or I have to work up until Christmas Eve, or, or, or…

But all of that stuff is just stuff.  Right?

And I honestly don’t think the stuff is what brings about the absence of that special ‘feeling’ we all want to have.  Because I think the absence has nothing to do with the material world – I think it’s our internal treasures we seek, not all the packages under the tree.

This year instead of worrying about the client checks that are still somewhere in the mail, or whether I’ve bought enough gifts, or even if the meal I have planned is going to turn out right, I think I’ll just try to think about my blessings.

I’ll think about how great it is that I have my own business and I’m writing a blog post at midnight because I don’t get up to an alarm clock.  I’ll spend time with family and friends who love me and I’ll think about those who I can’t be with this year but know I will on another year.  I’ll delight in the fact that people read my books.  I’ll stop and really admire the mountains that I see when I walk out my front door every day.  I’ll watch Christmas movies and be thankful that I have eyes to see them.  I’ll take my dog for a walk and feel blessed that I have legs to walk with.  In other words, all the things I have – my blessings.

Whether you are religious or not.  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, or just Santa Claus, I hope you will be celebrating your blessings too.  And that wherever you are and whatever you are doing, that you feel the happiness that your blessings bring you.

See you all after Christmas.

Writer Chick

Copyright 2013