Monday, March 17, 2008


Happy St. Patricks Day to all of you Irish by birth, or Irish wannabie's!! Ahhhh it's a Grand Day, isn't it now? You will be all wearin' your green sweater, or panties or something nice and shamrock colour now won't ye? I know Lynn at Loyalist will have everyone in the office sent home to don the green clothing, if they forgot what day is it, now won't you Lynn? Or at least, she's pinned you with a paper shamrock by now!! A VERY SPECIAL ST. PATRICK'S DAY TO YOU MY FRIEND!
I had something really pretty, that I've been saving for months now, to put on this blog with a lovely saying, but I can only link to it. I tried it this morning and the site is too busy to get into, or either they have taken it down for the day. So, I'll keep trying until I get this blog finished and try to see if it's available. If not, I'll send it tomorrow.

St. Patricks Day in our family was always a big day, celebrated in one way or another (usually my parents into the green beer, but it was a fun day. You could be sure there would likely be some Irish recipe, that my grandmother brought with her from the Old Country. My mother was born in Ireland, in Banbridge, County Down. She was a beautiful, gentle person, and would cast a spell over us back when we we're young children with stories of Ireland, mostly past down from my Grandmother. (Every time I write these blogs, I have so many stories I could tell you, but I want to tell them by showing you pictures as well, and again as I've often told you, my pictures are back in Belleville. Tom told me to send for them, but it's a HUGE bin full!! He said to send for them ALL! So, I may just do that!
My grandmother, we called Nanny, and she was the most typical Irish grandmother you could possibly have. She was very small and round and so cute, with such a twinkle in her eye, and her favourite saying whenever anyone walked in the door, said in her very strong Irish accent "Ewooo, where'd ye come from now!

This is a picture of SOME of my Grandparents family. Can you imagine having 10 children!!! My Grandfather,( passed away when I was 2, so my Nanny raised all these children by herself) my Grandmother, next is my mother, Alf, Jack, Fred, Jean, Colleen.

Missing from the picture is Sam, Jim, Irene and Maureen (died age 2)

From all the pictures I've seen, they were always happy looking, very well dressed and always so neat and tidy. A beautiful family, and I love them so much and thank them for all those great memories and a VERY HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY TO ALL MY FAMILY!
When we'd come home from school, mom would have an Irish dish prepared, which I can't remember the name of now, but, made with mashed potatoes, and green onion. Delicious....or there was corn beef and cabbage, or more likely Irish stew. Desert would always be something made with green either green jello or cup cakes iced with green icing. It was always so much fun, and we all played into the day with glee.
Now, you are likely wondering if my father was also Irish. Well, he could only lay claim to being half Irish. His Grandfather came from France, BUT....his Grandmother was from Ireland and had the last name of O'Hanlon, so we let Dad join into the Irish fun and we claimed our heritage as Irish! Gosh, looking at me, can you find anything French looking about me? I'd say I look very Irish heritage to the core!
My husband's father was from Ireland, born and bred, as his mother was born and bred in Scotland, so he grew up not understanding half of his mom and dad's sayings! Tom has the wonderful reddish cheeks and lovely Irish humour, that can only come from his ancestors. He didn't develop the Scot's reputation for being tight though (thank goodness), however, I use the word "tight" for developing another Irish/Scottish trait, and that's drinking a few brew too many!! He's been that a few times, as we all have eh? He's funny when he drinks too, his humour tends to get even more funny!! Especially, if I'm having a "wee tot" with him, but then when I get "tight", even a spoon falling on the floor seems hilarious to me!! So, you can imagine us both together!! It's a hoot...if I can remember it the next day!
When I retired from work after nearly 30 years, the staff threw a wonderful party for me. They must have worked for days cutting out paper shamrocks and it must have taken the guys from maintenance all morning hanging them from strings to hang by the hundreds from the ceiling. When I walked in, all I could see was a sea of shamrocks. The tables, covered with white table clothes had shamrocks all around the edges. Green shamrocks we're everywhere!!! I couldn't even say hello to anyone, there was such a huge lump in my throat. After decorating my office and wearing green and playing so many leprechaun tricks on so many people over the years, I must have gotten the reputation that shamrocks were my thing. Many happy memories and a very HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY TO EVERYONE AT THE COLLEGE
One person, I do want to mention today is my old boss Ron, who I sent an e-card to last night and likely shocked him to the core!! Ron was a fun boss, the kind you'd work your elbows to the bone for! We all loved him....well, except for a Chinese person who worked there, that refused to be Irish, even for a day!! But, Ron and I had a fun thing going every St. Patrick's Day, when I'd decorate with shamrocks all over everything I could find a bare spot on the wall to tape one to. Ron in his devilment (not sure who was worse, him or me) would take them down and replace with Canadian Flags, and tell me emphatically, "Linda, you are not Irish, you were born in Canada, so be Canadian!" Sometimes he could be a pain too!! So, Lynn, my evil cohort twin, came up with decorating his office when left for home. We stayed late, and talk about cutting shamrocks...we cut what seemed like thousands! We made his office so green, everywhere and which way we could. We wrapped his desk, his chair, his telephone, his door, file cabinets, books in green crepe paper. We found a big bolder, painted it with bright green paint, the saying "The Blarney Stone". The newspaper came in and took pictures of it, and guess where they Belleville! Damn! Ron came in the next morning, and I said "Happy St. Patrick's Day" in my best Irish brogue to him, and got a grumpy "You're Canadian" back from him! Then he opened his door, and nearly fell over!!! Gottcha!!! There were some good laughs over time about that Blarney Stone too. We had such gullible students, and we told them it's actually a piece brought back of the same stone that is used as the Blarney stone in Ireland today, and to kiss it, will give the gift of the "talk". You wouldn't believe, how many people placed their lips on that old rock that Lynn and I spotted and swiped. It was used to hold a storefront door open, and when we first noticed it, a lightbulb when on in our two heads... "a blarney stone....perfect!!" So grab it we did!!
So, with all my heart, I send you this wish:
On St. Patrick's day, there' the green to be wearin', a bit o' the blarney for folks to be sharin'...
Grand songs to be singin' and toasts to be drinkin'....
And warm thoughts o' ye for meself to be thinkin'!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

1 comment:

  1. AN EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT BLOG TODAY LINDA!!! Did ya have a wee sip now then?

    That wonderful Irish meal with mashed potatoes and green onions was Champ...tried making it a couple of times but it never tasted quite as good as back then but then again I ask you, what does!

    Dear Linda and Tom:

    May you have only pleasant hours
    To melt your cares away,
    And the warmth of Irish laughter
    To bring gladness to each day.

    Auntie I


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West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Living life to the fullest and enjoying every moment! In love with a wonderful husband!! A Capreol Girl from 1959-1975, Belleville 1975-1985


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