17 June, 2018

Hoping this won't be an annual event

17 June 2018
913

R. Linda:

Ah Fathers Day 2018, what new and exciting adventures could it bring? That wasn't my thinking when I woke up, no I was thinking of relaxing, nothing to do but eat day. Usually on Fathers Day I be greeted by some incredible breakfast the boyos have put together, and after a few nibbles, we all get dressed and go to the British place for an edible breakfast. Well, neither of those things happened. For one the boyos knew ahead what the plan was, so they didn't make me some inedible delicacies to break me teeth on, and sadly I rather missed that. I know boo-hoo. The second I knew wasn't going to happen because the Brit place be now only open for dinner. But there be a new place I thought for sure we'd go try so I said nothing, just was expectant as to what was planned for breakfast. The rest of the day I wanted to meself if possible. And every year that never happens, but I be determined this year I would do nothing but lay in me hammy with a cold glass of iced tea and nap the day away.

Such laid plans huh? I came down to coffee which be a necessity before any outing. We leisurely went out to the back deck sipped the hot stuff while the kiddos drew me Fathers Day cards. I got tee shirts from all three with the usual frightful writings or drawing on them, and then the ladies (me wife and me mam) discussed where to go for breakfast. That went downhill fast when we mam got the idea we should go have "dose breakfast sannies at da flea maaket." The boyos jumped for joy on that and Tonya was resigned that she supposed everyone was all for a trip to the flea market. Now, I for one was not, but they all forgot what day it was and started to get ready for the trip.

I have never been to an American flea market. I kind of knew what to expect, but I was sure people didn't go there for the eats. AND I be right! I paid the $2.00 parking to a sweaty, sunburned man who told me he was "dying" from the heat. I should have paid more attention to that. The temperature was 85 degrees and there was no shade. All the stands were open air so you perused the stalls with desert heat pounding down on you. I was dripping sweat (like everyone else) by the time I reached the end of one row. The boyos decided they were hungry so the refreshment stand was nearby, and off we went. I saw the breakfast sandwich me mam was all about and it dripped grease so I decided on a steamed hot dog. While we were waiting for our order a woman with a young husky dog was telling someone with a border collie that it was ok their dogs met, hers was very tame. I thought famous last words as her dog lunged for the collie. I distinctly remembered a sign that said: NO DOGS. The place was full of them. Next I know the Husky lady is in line and her dog on a long leash, who was making his way to the counter and once there, was standing on hind legs, forepaws on the counter where food is passed and she's back there on the end of the long leash smiling about how cute he was. I didn't think he was cute, he was slobbering on the counter and barking at the people behind it. We all sort of stepped back which gave him more room to get closer to the take out window with his owner moving up a few paces so he could cause commotion at the window, all the while she was smiling at how CUTE he was. I have a word and it isn't cute. I never even heard that word until I moved here.

We all moved to the side and the people in front decided to let her go ahead to get rid of her and her mutt. When she got to the window she said, "There is a silver car with Mass plates with the windows down about a crack and there are four dogs inside. In this heat that is cruel, can you alert someone and have those dogs taken?"

Now, I had just passed that same car because as I came up on it the dogs saw me and started barking at me and anyone who came near the vehicle. The motor was running and the AC was on, and yes the windows were open a crack but those dogs did not look hot AND the owner had a stall in front of the vehicle. So really? This woman was starting trouble? If the AC wasn't on I'd might say yeah cause for alarm, but not the case at all.

By that time me hot dog came and it was steamed all right, the bun was one soggy mess with a soggy bottom that condiments dripped through onto me jeans. It was tasteless and the only thing that was good was the cold can of Coke A Cola I had bought to go with it. I turned around to people watch and almost barfed up me rubber hot dog at the sight that greeted me only inches from me face. Standing with her back to me was a biker chick in cut off jeans where most of her lower arse cheeks were slapping the back of her knees. I tell ya! And it was Fathers Day, who needed that sight? I promptly turned around to Tonya laughing at me.

When all the greasy sandwiches were consumed, we strolled on into the heart of the market. The kiddos had to stop at every toy stall there was and there was a lot of broken junk for sale. I must have said several times, "You don't want it, it is broken." Finally, I could take no more of the heat so I took meself to the only shade tree on the grounds and finished off me luke-warm coke. While I was standing there a Goth girl wearing black (on the hottest day of the year), her skin bleached whiter than white, wearing black eye makeup and worse black lipstick came strolling me way under a Chinese umbrella. She gave me a garish smile of yellow teeth shocking against the black lips and white skin. She was a tundra in herself as I thought I could feel the earth shake with every step she took in me direction. I couldn't run, it was too hot and she had her sights set on yours truly.

"Hot day in it?" She drawled at me with a gushing smile.

"Oh yeah you can say that." I was trying to be polite and at the same time get around her to make me escape, but there was so much of her!

"You see anything you like?" She asked playing the coquette.

I knew she didn't mean on the tables, she meant her. And NO HELLS NO I saw nothing that I liked! It was then me mam came over and seeing the situation grabbed hold me arm and said to the vampire,  "Oh here be me sunny buy, lost em' in da crowd I did." And off she dragged me into the heat, the vampire looking none to happy to have her victim taken away.

And I don't know what was worse, me mam took me over to a birdbath booth with the most blinding and blazing glittery bowls that when the sun hit them, you couldn't see for the glare that put one in a state of temporary blindness.

"Which one of dese should we git fer Tonya's garden?" Me mam asked me and I pointed, I know not at what because I couldn't see, but whatever it was she told the man to wrap it up she was taking it home. Next thing I know I have this wrapped up bowl being shoved into me arms to carry along with a pole that it would sit on once installed.

"Hold on ta dat dere pole dere Gabriel, ya might need it if dat fat vampire gits ya again." Mam quipped.

This is what I pointed at, one of the least blinding
It was shortly after that the boyos were wanting ice cream, so I took everyone to the ice cream stand. There was no vanilla (the choice of the majority) but there was chocolate. I ordered chocolate cones, but when the chocolate ice cream came out of the nozzles it was soup so I cancelled the cones. The man was all about the heat influencing the temperature of the soft ice cream machines. I was all about getting the hell out of hot dusty Dodge which I did. By the time we got to the car no one wanted ice cream just the AC and home.

We are all prostrate with heat stroke near about, no one wants to do anything so it looks like I may have me do nothing day after all. Only problem, its too fecking hot to lay in a hammock and sip iced tea. So I be stuck inside writing this instead.

Oh and I will not being going to the flea market ever again. I thought antiques and memorabilia in good condition and found nothing but trash for sale and broken trash at that. Live and learn.

Gabe
Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved

13 June, 2018

"My cat Chester . . . "

13 June 2018
912

R. Linda:

We have new neighbours moved in a few acres away which be next door in actuality. I have not met them yet, and am a bit confused as to who they are. I had gone to town hall last Friday to renew dog licenses for the habitual offenders at home, who when together take off at any opportunity that presents itself, so licensing be essential upon this disappearing act where for hours in a day they be gone doing God knows what (probably killing chickens -- everyone seems to have chickens), and then I get the phone call, "Mr. O'Sullivan are you missing your dog?" You don't know how many times I wanted to say, "Uh no, so keep whoever it is you have there officer." But usually I have worried children listening in hoping Fido's return be eminent. Sigh.

Anyway, when I was down at the clerk's office doing the deed to keep at least one of them legal (the other hound belonging to the Dragon lady is licensed in New Jersey, a fat lot of good that does up here), I was asked if I had met me new neighbours. Hell, I didn't even know the place was for sale, let alone sold, so no, no I had not met them.

"Oh they are two nice ladies from Vermont getting married at the house this Saturday." Said the clerk all smiles.

"To each other?" I was not expecting new neighbours let alone a wedding.

"Yes, yes I think so." Was the answer.

Well, I got the license and home I drove and I had to pass the new neighbours house but I saw nothing there (not that I have a clear view, all the homes are secluded). I shrugged and thanked me lucky stars that Dragon did not know that the house had been on the market because we know what would have happened, she'd be me permanent neighbour and we can't have that.

Well, no wedding happened that I knew of and the only person I've seen be a man racing a four wheeler up and down the driveway. When he isn't doing that I can hear him calling the dog (I assume be his) and that's it. Until this afternoon, when I was sitting out on the back porch working from home, I caught movement out of the corner of me eye. I was so busy I hadn't noticed a woman walking between our homes trying to get a cell phone signal, until she had her back to me and was walking back to the property next door. It was then that I saw our 'bobcat' running after her. I figured time for Gabe to run inside because for all intents and purposes our cat Chester looks like a young bobcat and well, can you imagine, you are on your phone, walking to your safe abode WHEN you hear what sounds like a meow, you turn around and DAMN it's a bobcat running toward you?

I have no clue what happened, but on the town web page there be a photo of our very own Chester letting everyone know it's a cat not a bobcat, just hasn't a tail and unfortunately has the right colour and markings to be mistaken for it's wilder cousin. I tell ya! I hope the woman has been to the town site so she knew, but the scream I think I heard tells me she had not.

Can't you just see THIS running up behind you?
In keeping with the subject of Chester, the youngest once again went to school and there was a lesson on taking care of pets and what benefit they can give one. Well, at the end was another questionnaire that the wee ones were asked about and their answers written down and sent home. Yup, I thought the feeding rabbits to help the earth was off kilter, but no, no, this be even better.

I have yet to see Chester suit up to play ball, and playing and jumping, uh no so much, BUT the eating of flies? I wouldn't put it past him.
He should of put his pet loves to scare people as he be permanently dressed as a bobcat, AND not only does he eat flies, he probably eats frogs too. His favourite thing to do is not play and jump, no that he leaves for the mice and chipmunks he viciously bats around. BIG SIGH.

Gabe
Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved

10 June, 2018

You just CANNOT leave them alone!

10 June 2018
911

R. Linda:

Ah, springtime in New Hampshire! There are bucolic scenes like this shot in me very own garden:




And there also be those days when one is out to a barbecue, or town supper held behind the one and only church on the green, or even for a day away shopping for things you need to maintain the yard, and even a ride to the local creamery for an ice cream cone and where one can spend hours at the golf range before heading on home to ones castle. Yes, sounds so easy BUT for certain . . . uh types, or shall we say beings left at home all couped up inside BECAUSE they tend to run away if left outside to their own very imaginative devices, and if left INSIDE there be no amount of beds to choose from to take a nap upon leaving a distinct odour behind, or garbage to be emptied (all over the house) or dumping empty water bowls all over the clean kitchen floor because WE are unhappy being LEFT behind. Yes, THOSE beings called DOGS.

The ones whose dopey expressions as they drool out the open car window and someone laughs and points and asks, "Is THAT your dog?" Ha ha. Yeah those beings. Who if they get a pat on the head act loopy like it's the best thing ever happened to them, like their owners don't ever pat them on the head and say, "GOOD BOY!" in a voice like you're talking to a child. Yeah THOSE things.

Yes, please stare at the two photos above because what is to come be horrifying to return home to on such a lovely, sunny, spring day in New Hampshire!

Nice, huh?
Master Bedroom
Boys bathroom
The hounds of which there are currently two because Dragon's hound be visiting along with herself and her broom, took the unmitigated liberty of getting into the two bags of garbage (WHICH were out of the bin drawers and ready to go to the garage, BUT an unnamed eldest kiddo conveniently forgot to do his chores and LOCK the hounds in the mudroom), SO the two, being dog Houdini's unlatched the mudroom door letting their doggy selves out. Seeing the two bags by the kitchen door, each took one and went upstairs to go through the "goodies bags."

My idiot dog chose the boys bathroom to distribute the loot while the hound went big for the master bedroom and ate not only whatever throwout leftovers there were, but plastic, a tin can and assorted paper products. The other stupid, ate old chocolate (which be deadly in most cases), flower deadheads, a plastic spoon and licked clean any assorted glass jars that may have had food residue left inside. Oh that tongue, it's long and lethal when it comes to jars, it's privates, your face, and heaven knows what else it licks.

Ask me if I was happy upon me idyllic return home. NO I WAS NOT, idyllic afternoon turned in to cleanup on aisles five AND SIX! Oh yeah I made the kiddos pitch in to much complaining but we got it done. The rug in the master is stained with slobber, apple juice, and God knows what else that I don't even want to think about.

SO I be out to the store to rent a carpet cleaner and to buy a load of air fresheners and sprays. Not to mention scented candles, a scrub brush and a super duper LOCK for the mudroom door!

Gabe
Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved

30 May, 2018

Of Fast Lawnmowers And A Faster Kiddo

30 May 2018
910

R. Linda:

Tomorrow I be off for a four day assignment so I will not be home. I decided to mow the back lawn at least so the kiddos can play without me Mam hollering, "Snakes!" from the upper deck at them. When the grass gets high garter snakes seem to find their way into the grass so they can slither at your ankles. Me Mam calls this the heart attack season for walking in ones own backyard.

She had us put a clothesline down back because she doesn't like the dryer (which I notice she uses in the winter months), and me not always being on top of cutting the grass . . . well the grass gets a wee bit high shall we say? She would walk out there with her basket of wet laundry and I could see her skipping along and in some cases jumping along, never letting go of the clean wash as she shirked her way to the clothesline. This was all due to snakes in the grass quite literally.

So since I won't be here, I thought I better at least get the back done so none of this would happen and I'd hear about it upon me return.

I have a second hand riding mower, that be souped up by its former owner, a race car driver. The mower be new actually. The reason I got it on the cheap was because the wife of said race car driver was pissed off at her husband for making every engine on anything so powerful you needed a seatbelt and a parachute to drive it. I will say it starts up with a gigantic roar, one backfire when you put it in gear, and then you lurch forward at a hundred miles per hour! Its like being on a mega bumper car, the thing hits tree trunks so its got some big dings in it, because it can be rather hard to control. The steering wheel vibrates so much so me arms get a work out just holding on to it.

Anyway, the back lawn used to take me maybe 30 to 40 minutes on me old machine. This thing, five minutes tops and I be done!

An aside here, on me way home I stopped at the local general store for bread and milk as per instructions from the wife. The guy behind the counter knows I have three kiddos and showed me the large water rifles he had just gotten in. Would I want three for the kiddos? Why not, right? I knew why not but I bought them anyway and when I got home, they were instantly ripped from their boxes and filled with water. And as expected they were squirting each other inside the house which got them booted outside instantly. All except the smallest one who insisted on using a chair to stand up to the sink and fill his own himself.

Me, unsuspecting anything could go wrong took meself out with earplugs to the lawnmower. Me Mam was leaning over the deck railing telling Dragon (who was genteelly sipping tea) this: "Ooh git ready dere going ta be sum snakes flying." To which Dragon near spit out her tea, dropped her cup to the deck shattering it and ran inside.

"Ye best coom back ere' an clean dat mess up Missy!" Me Mam yelled through the screen door.

Meanwhile, I was about to turn the ignition when Tonya shouts at me to wait. She came running forward with me bike helmet and safety goggles. She ordered me to put them on if I was going to drive that "crazy thing." I did, because I have come near to taking me head off with low tree branches since I can't stop the mower on a dime, it takes time to just die out and by that time I have been walloped by low hung branches to where me forehead takes on a rather peculiar shade of yellow and purple the next day. So I turned the ignition and BLAM I was in business and in forward motion at a ridiculous amount of speed and in three passes had half the lawn done, when suddenly I realised it was starting to rain, yet the sun was still out. A sun shower? I thought erroneously, until I noticed the only rain was on me and not anything else. Looking up as I zoomed along, I saw the wee one on the deck running from one end to the other squirting yours truly as I made me passes. I tell ya!

I couldn't hear his diabolical laughter but I could see he was laughing his arse off. And I got sprayed good on the back of me tee shirt. The water was like ice! I got the shivers each time he hit me the little imp, especially between the shoulder blades. I tried to manoeuvre me way around the lawn but I was missing large swathes because of him and that infernal ice gun. By the time he got to fill his gun, the water was very cold, thus the ice shower he graced me with the little demon.

Sprays water 10 feet me arse, more like 30 feet
At  least the ladies were entertained. I finally came to a neck breaking halt when I turned the machine off and instead of it's usual forward motion to a resounding halt, the bloody machine just up and stopped with me almost taking a header over the front. Seems the small devil hit the spark plugs somehow causing them to misfire from the wet and so the sudden stop with no warning.

Sliding off the mower and throwing off the helmet and goggles, I sat on the ground trying to figure out what the hell just happened when I realised there were short legs coming into my peripheral vision and too slow to react, I got a face full of ice water. That woke me up quick I can tell ya that much. I got up and raced after him, but he was too fast for me. He disappeared under the deck to here I had to bend almost double to get under and I wasn't about to do that. I left him there hiding and trudged up the deck stairs.

"I saw ye git one snake and it was a big one it wuz." Me Mam said as Dragon was leaning over picking up pieces of the teacup which as soon as she heard "snake" dropped it again and ran inside.

"I hit a snake?" I didn't remember seeing snake meat come flinging back at me as has happened I be sorry to say. Well, not sorry really.

"Nah, jus said dat to mess wit her." Me Mam giggled.

I had gone inside, no Dragon in sight and me Mam was picking up the last of the teacup out on the deck. I was washing me hands when I thought I heard the screen door open, but the hand washing covered the sound almost and I thought it be me Mam so I paid no attention until . . . yup one good splash in me face and he was off and running up the stairs laughing his arse off. I tell ya, he will be the death of me one day. Of all of the boyos the youngest be different. I often think he's someone elses because he isn't like either me or Tonya, but as Tonya points out he looks like us so he must be ours. I often wonder what we did different he didn't turn out like the other two. I be thinking quite seriously of taking a long holiday or as the Americans say, a vacation when he gets to be a teenager and coming back when that's over. I be toying with that idea anyway.

Gabe
Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved

28 May, 2018

Kip interrupted . . . as well as a diet

28 May 2018
909

R. Linda:

For the past three weeks I have been put on a diet. That muffin top you helped created years ago with the tons of fudge you sent, is back! I have been eating out more of late because work be crazy and getting home for a home cooked meal is a rare occasion of late. Therefore, yours truly packed on a food belt otherwise known as a muffin top. Yes, its back! The wife be alarmed that I would be turning into a pear, so she took steps to stop the muffin top. Yes, she did she has me eating salads so much so me nose twitches at the sight of lettuce, yogurt the Greek low cal kind, J-ello -- no whipped cream, lots and lots of veggies like this for instance:

Ratatouille, delicious but left overs for three days . . . not so much
The weather be conducive to napping and forgetting what one was being forced to consume. It got chilly and it rained last night leaving the day grey and gloomy with the wind up. That took care of any garden slog the ladies of the house had planned for yours truly, and miraculously there be nothing inside that needs the handyman touch. That meant for all intents and purposes I could lay meself out on the couch and snooze away. Well, that would be if I lived by meself but with three small kiddos, a busy wife, a mother living with us, a mother-in-law who won't go home, and the freeloading cousin and his friend, the noise level does not lend itself to a restful nap of any kind. Therefore, though I tried, I was in and out of consciousness and bits and pieces of conversation filtered into me semi-dreams.

I remember hearing the telly on softly in the background, and Sean was sitting in the chair where me feet hung off the couch. I could hear the sound of cheering and then booing coming from the set. I cocked open one eye to see a massive crowd of Irish football fans, drinks in their hands, Irish flags being waved in others, and all facing balcony apartments across from a drinking establishment in Paris of all places. This got both eyes open as you can well imagine.

The cheering took place when an older gent came out on his balcony and when he disappeared inside, booing erupted. Every time the man would come out a great cheer would erupt with much joy until he popped back inside rather flummoxed as to why he was being cheered. The crowd would boo loudly until he tentatively came back out and then cheers even louder than the last time. This went on for quite a while, the man on the balcony finally getting "it" to where each time he'd appear he raise his arms for the cheers and keep them going until his arms seemed to tire and off he'd go back inside.

If you're interested you can go here to view it: https://youtu.be/Ipg4oxNw2b4

I grew tired of the antics and closed me eyes. I could hear the rattle of a spoon on plate and I think Sean was eating J-ello with whipped cream. Seems his friend Lonnie (a transplant from Killarney, visiting him) was with him eating same at the other end of the couch, yes stereo.

"That's cracking that yeah?" Seam said pointing at his J-ello.

"Ay, 'tis the best." Lonnie said looking at his bowl.

"It tastes better here than anywhere else." Sean said, his voice volume on low.

"You have it crack on." Lonnie said loudly, oblivious to me trying to sleep. "American J-ello tastes better than back home."

"I'm a wee bit muddled, why are you shouting?" I asked Lonnie through half opened lids.

"I'm not shoutin' am I?" He asked. "The cream on dis here be like I died and went ta heaven. An, even beatah, the bootah and brandy sauce makes the dish."

"What?" I opened me eyes to see that yes indeed the arse had put brandy butter sauce on top of his J-ello and whipped cream. "Ugh, I don't know how you can eat it like that."

"Since when did you become a food critic?" Sean asked.

"Since people should be eating in the kitchen not where someone be trying to get some kip." I said annoyed. I shut me eyes to blot them out and try to snooze again.

They left and came back with seconds. I tell ya! Me Mam had come in quietly and was knitting across from me. I drifted off as all was quiet except for the clacking of the knitting needles and spoons scraping bowls, which odd as it seems, lulled me into a much wanted nap.

But once again through the haze of not being quite there in dreamland I hear me Mam's voice, "You jus con't let it go kin ye?"

"Doont make me unpack on ye now," Sean said with a laugh.

"Wow, a lot to unpack dere." She chuckled.

Sean started whining about Rose, the one that he broke off with many many moons ago, and a frustrated Dragon (who must have come in while I attempted sleep) asked him who Ross was. She had come in the room with a bowl of J-ello as well, and was standing over the couch.

Sean uses the Irish "Roos" which be the way he pronounces Rose and she was thinking he was gay suddenly. Once he got that straightened, Sean made it worse by saying Roos had the nicest 'breests' he's ever seen, at which me Mam told him to hush. Again Dragon was confused and asked what were breests and I whispered up to her "breasts."

"Gosh really?" She blurted out.

"Change da subject NOW." Me Mam ordered.

"Can ye all go in the kitchen with the goodies please." I was annoyed since I was tired of the sight of J-ello and especially the homemade whipped cream I could not have.

"Wots wit ye?" Lonnie asked me.

"Oh he's jus sore he be on a diet and con't eat the cream." Sean volunteered.

"I've been on a diet before I got here, green juice, almonds and da best potato crisps." Lonnie said.

That got an, "Oh my," from me Mam.

"All mixed together?" The Tonya asked, popping in and not helping. And for a quick second me heart stopped thinking she thought that a good idea and would try it on ME!

"So Lonnie did you think Roos would look like that when you first met her?" Mam asked to inject some levity and end Lonnie's diet talk.

"I recognised her from her wanted poster at the post office." Lonnie said not missing a beat.

"Her name be a household name, at least here isn't that right Sean?" Tonya joked back, as I opened one eye opened because I couldn't resist.

"Only in her own hoosehold," Mam said taking a sip of elderberry wine I had not seen before and nodding her head.

"Intrastin'." Sean joined in seemingly amused.

"Too bad the man with the good hair couldn't be here." I said out loud forgetting you weren't there, since good hair always comes into the conversation somehow.

"He's probably congregating French verbs somewhere," Tonya interjected knowing who I meant.

"Must tell Linda." I mumbled drifting off.

I actually slept! I thought it had been hours, but in reality it was a whole ten minute nap! I was rudely awakened to the youngest pouncing on me chest to tell me "sumthin" important. Yes indeed, he had forgot to unpack his school backpack and found schoolwork he needed to give me. It seems there was a discussion in an assembly where the grades were given a lesson on the earth and how to keep her healthy. The speaker handed out yellow hearts and each student was to write what they thought they could do to help the earth survive. Guido told me he said he would recycle plastics, but the youngest had a much more innovative idea on what he would do. See below:

Yup the youngest be all about the rabbits! 
Where this came from, I have notta clue. We have no pet rabbits and the coyote have eaten any rabbits in the wild around here, so I dunno where in his brain he got this from. Probably because we watched the Peter Rabbit movie the other night.

As it turned out, there was no catnap for Gabe, no indeed, too many people closed in for the day made for everyone under everyone elses feet. The kitchen was open, me Mam had put down the knitting and was cooking up Irish favourites and the clatter of cutlery was loud along with the laughing and chat. We were joined by me Mam's "friend" Ben, who driving by saw the lights on and it looked so cozy he decided to stop. Now how he could see the lights on at the back of the house with a driveway that is heavily wooded to where you don't even know there be a house back here, I have notta clue he wasn't telling a tale he was.

So much for rest and relaxation . . . though I cannot really complain the food was fab and no one, particularly the woman who forced me on a diet, noticed I was making up for lost meals by devouring everything in sight. I be waiting for the other shoe to drop when SHE realises the culinary crime that was committed. So far so good and today I be eating yogurt in front of her like yesterday never happened, ha ha.

Me fav was the rainbow cookies Ton and the boyos made, see below:

Rainbow cookies, YUM
Gabe
Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved

23 May, 2018

THE wedding - and opinions by some Brits

23 May 2018
908

R. Linda:

Okay I wasn't going to write about the Prince Harry, Meghan Markle wedding, but after being forced to watch most of it by the ladies of the house, I couldn't just stay silent.

To get the clothing choices out of the way first. The dress was largely discussed through the whole of the viewing by the women of me house. I was probably the only person in the world who wasn't surprised by THE dress. I thought like Kate's dress, the one Ms. Markle wore was a reflection on her tastes and I expected it would be the boat-necked sheath she wore, so chalk one up for me! And I thought she looked fabulous in it and of course the expensive bracelet, tiara and earrings not to mention the ring, all set the look off fabulously. I do not know what me wife, mother and mother-in-law expected, maybe a Cinderella special, I dunno.

Speaking of Cinderella, Ms. Markle's be close to that, after all she has a brother and sister who make great wicked stepsisters and I don't know what her father be about, but to do what he did when it was probably the biggest day of her life, I thought just awful. If he really be sick I feel sorry he wasn't able to make her day but the picture taking . . . why wasn't he thinking?

Courtesy Getty Images - Town and Country Magazine
This morning at a British breakfast we ex-pats have every month there was much discussion on the wedding. I must say the Americans I know were thrilled to the back teeth with the whole day. I can't say that about the British.

A few of me friends from Cornwall, had this to say:

"You know most Americans don't know how the British monarchy works. It is filled with institutional and traditional rules that have lasted and been practised for centuries. To me the wedding was more American than British and I did wonder if Ms. Markle was cognisant of the traditions of a royal wedding and decided rubbish with that, or just ignorant how her twist could make Harry look a fool in front of his Granny. I be sure the Queen knew of all this and approved it but I think as everyone has said already, she did it for Harry's sake because she loves him, and he went along with it because he be in love with Meghan and wanted her to have her day."

"True, but the Queen might have seen it all on paper without truly knowing what it would be like live.  What you see planned out when put into motion can be not what one thought it would be.  Just the look on every Brits face was like they were taken aback by it all. I say."

A woman from the Cotswold's said:

"Well, that's all fine and good, but to see Americans wearing hats and fascinators, just had me laughing. They looked ridiculous to me who is used to seeing royals dressed to match the hats. There were all kinds of mismatched outfits with the hats the Americans had popped on their heads. I will say Amal Clooney fit the mood, everyone else . . . not so much."

Her friend interjected: "Her hat should have been worn on the other side."

I did not know there was hat etiquette.

Another woman from London said:

"I was fascinated with Oprah Winfrey wandering from seat to seat. I wondered if she had crashed the wedding and no, she was invited but she had no clue what to do. Poor woman, she's one of the most in control women in the world and there she was banging about wondering where to sit! We had several "Where's Oprah now?" shout outs as the camera panned to other guests and then back to Oprah looking rather lost. Don't get me wrong, I like Oprah, it was just bad luck she wasn't escorted right off."

A gent from Salisbury said:

"I was bloody fascinated with the Episcopal bishop who I was surprised to see acting like a Baptist minister giving a rousing and energetic sermon. I thought he started off very well and suddenly he was hopping around throwing out "y'alls" and I was watching Kate's face looking like she wanted to be anywhere than where she was. Camilla looked stunned, the Queen looked disturbed, Princesses Eugenia and Beatrice were smirking, and Zara Tindall looked absolutely shocked."

Another from Newcastle said:

"Oh wasn't the young pageboy from Canada a charmer with those missing teeth? The American commentators were all saying how excited he was by his expression, but he was YAWNING!

"I thought too, that the songs Stand By Me and That Little Light Of Mine, would have been best played at the reception, certainly not in that beautiful church. That ruined it for me. Too modern, not enough in keeping with the venue."

You may say these people are sticks in the mud, but I do understand what they were seeing from a non-American perspective.

As for me, the wedding took me mind and focus off all the school shootings, bombastic tweets, scandalous behaviour, finger pointing, and the stock marking acting like a roller coaster.

One more thing, one of the online Irish social media resources has gone a bit bonkers. There is a person who be very upset that Harry and Meghan were gifted the honorary titles of the Baron and Baroness of Kilkeel by Queen Elizabeth. The titles are just titles, it isn't like Harry be going to demand tithes and grab land from those who live in Kilkeel. It's a title in name only, completely ceremonial. So why this person thinks to incite trouble where there be none, I have notta clue. I talked to friends and family back home and none know of any trouble, or descention on this subject, which seems a non-subject. As an Irish Catholic who lived in nearby Newry, located in Northern Ireland the last time I looked, which still be a part of the United Kingdom, I have no reason to be angry about a ceremonial title that means nothing in all reality. It won't change anything and this stirring up trouble where there be none be sad. And, that trouble is being stirred by Americans claiming to be Irish when most are not nor have they ever been to Ireland and fully understand what nationalists and unionists are and what they both stand for. This whole situation be minor politics if it is even that. Wanted me opinion known on this because it be a foolish thing to make trouble where it doesn't take much to fall back to the old ways.

Gabe
Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved

20 May, 2018

Walking like an Egyptian

20 May 2018
907

R. Linda:

Last Friday, at Guido's school was Museum Day. This is where for a month, the class has selected certain famous people who they have to dress up as, act as, and write about. It takes a month of preparation before there is a presentation of sorts in the all purpose room, of dressed up students who are as still as statues, and you, the parent or other, walk up press a button and the statue comes to life long enough to tell you who they are, what their achievements were, and any other bit of info they feel you should know. Of all the famous people in the world Guido decided on King Tut. I had notta clue as to why Tutankhamen but on serious reflection I realised the boy king did not live very long, had few achievements and wouldn't require a whole lot of research and brain power to write up. Yup leave it the middle child to figure out a shortcut.

For the costume me grey haired, apple cheeked little Mam was enlisted. She came up with a costume and even made the famous crook and flail (see below) and he was all set to go. Except Dragon had to get in on the show and she had an Egyptian collar from Egypt she had Big Tony send up for the occasion (see below).

Crook & Flail
Egyptian Collar

Friday was the day. I went in late to work so I could go since Guido made a big deal about how important it was for him to have his "people" there. We loaded up in the car and off to the school we went for the 9:30 Museum walk. We had the normal school chitchat with other parents as we waited for the doors to open. I could see through the window that everyone was taking their places and I recognised a few of the "statues" and thought all costumes were really very well done. Upon entrance, there on the floor, on a golden pillow lay the boy Tut. That was rather a shock at first to see him laid out like that, I was thinking he'd be sitting in a throne chair, not made to look like he was really dead. Anyway, that didn't faze anyone else, so in we went.

Since there were people in front of us, I took off to see the exhibits that were not being visited and up I walked to this munchkin I thought was a wizard until I saw the Mona Lisa painting.

"And who might you be?" I asked pushing the button.

The wizard told me he was Leonard DiVinci, and he was a mathematical genius probably smarter than meself, and he could paint million dollar portraits (he gestured to the Mona Lisa) and I probably have trouble painting a house, so he was by far me superiour. As a matter of fact far superiour still to many modern day smart guys.

Well, I guess so! I wanted to say thank you for making me feel dumb and inadequate, but I didn't. I moved on to Marco Polo. I had no clue he was Marco Polo, so I pushed the button and he came to life and informed me he was a traveler who opened up the Chinese trade routes, that he journeyed for 24 years on the Silk Road and boy was he tired! He was a friend to the Kublai Khan and he was Marco Polo, who bought back not only silk, ivory, jade, porcelain -- but don't forget the spaghetti! The Italians liked it so much they made it theirs. But for my information, I could buy a good Lo Mein at the Chinese Restaurant if I wanted to experience spaghetti Chinese style.

"Okay I'll remember that," I said acting dumb since DiVinci had me in that mode already, "Marco."

"Polo." He quipped. I moved on.

The next one was a young girl who I thought was Edith Piaf, but turned out to be Jackie Kennedy! I dunno, the Eiffel Tower prop, the black dress, the fur loop hat, well I missed the white gloves, and the clutch which would indicate not Edith, but someone else. I associate Kennedy with the pillbox hat, the mega sunglasses, riding hat, boots, more than I do the Eiffel tower and well the fur loop hats were popular when me granny was alive. Damn DiVinci because when I pushed the button and didn't get Piaf, I was stunned at how dumb I was getting with each exhibit. However, the guy standing next to me thought she was French too, and Bouvier wasn't on his brain either. Had to be the hat threw him too.

The girl gave us a run down on Jackie Kennedy's life and seemed bored with the process. We moved on, me and the other guy not saying a word.

Sean found me and pulled me toward a colonial general standing in a boat holding a Besty Ross flag. He pressed the button and the general informed us he was George Washington, born and raised in the great state of Virginia, and because his military prowess was better than the British, he became the first president of the United States when he could have proclaimed himself king but didn't, and then he sighed, and said, "All by crossing the Delaware and beating Ben Franklin to Philadelphia." Okay what? I said, but the teacher came by and told me I couldn't ask questions there were too many people in line for President Washington. BUT, I wanted to say, only I didn't, that he was making some stuff up, but I moved on looking over me shoulder at George smirking at me.

I found myself in front of Madame Curie, and I knew it was Madame because she was holding glowing slime standing in for radioactive material. When Sean pressed the button, she came to life by holding the container up to the light and we saw it glow. Then she started to tell us about herself and how she made huge discoveries in the area of physics, but how her husband got the credit and she a side note to history and how it was a man's world but she fixed that. "I put two elements together, radium into polonium to achieve radioactivity. I won a Noble Prize twice, what prize have you won?"

Okay time to leave. We went to King Tut who looked like he was enjoying a well deserved nap. I pushed the button and he sat up and said, "I ruled ancient Egypt for only ten years because I broke my leg and it got infected, but some say it was from many infections of malaria, and some say sickle cell disease, but the jury is still out but only I know for sure and I ain't sayin'. I wasn't famous because I didn't reign long enough to accomplish much, but my tomb made me an instant sensation because of all the gold that was found and I was undisturbed until two Brits came in and decided ta rob me."

OK then. We got no more from Guido because Neil Armstrong (who had been standing on a table high above us to simulate he was space walking), started to wobble because he was overheated in his hot looking space suit. He was taken gently down as he began to fade out of consciousness and his parents started unzipping him out of the suit. He was carried away and that pretty much ended the museum tour. Uh huh.

We said our goodbyes to the boy king and a few of his more recognisable friends. I will say Neil Armstrong recovered with a few sips of bottled water and being completely out of the space suit. It all went well for the most part, not all the "statues" were smartyarses, but as always it didn't end there. On the way out Sean was walking like an Egyptian. I don't think he realised the other parents were right behind us on the way out. He did that walk humming the song Walk Like An Egyptian all the way to the motor. Yes, he did and we said nothing to him so he made a complete fool of himself with everyone laughing. You think that stopped him? Nah ha as Weasil would say, no, he put on a show wending his way between the cars in the parking lot singing that stupid song and doing the walk. We acted like we did not know him and fell back letting the other parents go ahead so we hoped we would not be seen with him I tell ya, ya can't take him anywhere, he's the biggest kid in me house!

Gabe
Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved

07 May, 2018

Hotel O'Sullivan

07 May 2018
906

R. Linda:

In the course of running a hotel with resident guests which include me cousin and dragon-in-law, the wife decided she needed a raise. I was of a mind this wasn't a good time to ask for one, because with education funding in the state, it isn't like there be extra money for raises. But she was determined to at least try so we can keep the hotel running efficiently.

In the interim she went to the hairdressers for a new "do" because she was tired of the straight look and so came home with an interesting look called the peek-a-boo. She had red ends dyed into the underside of her hair and I was rather astonished she'd go for that. She's rather a soccer mom type so to step outside the box be unusual.

"You think Matt (the school super) will notice?" She said fingering the red tips.

"Well . . . I sure do, but then I . . . " I didn't know what to say, maybe I should have said, for sure he'd notice why did you do that NOW? But instead I let me voice trail off with a shrug.

"Ok well, I just hope he doesn't mind non-conformists like me." And off she went with a flip of the red tips.

"I'm sure he won't," I muttered shaking me head thinking the opposite.

I think Tonya be somewhat frazzled with all the relatives in the house. She had just got used to me Mam moving in, then her mother who drives her up a pole comes for too frequent long stays, and now me cousin Sean, who doesn't do much to help out, moves in. His usual answer when asked to help be, "I need to be stepping off now, I be." I counter with, "Sean, I think it be time to join Uber, I do." I will say the Dragon does help, and me Mam be a household workaholic, but when it comes to Sean, well, you'd think he was the squire of the estate you would.

I think too, Tonya hasn't got the attention she is used to from the kiddos. They take the battle for their affections between their grandmother's very seriously and play the two of them off against each other, leaving their mother in a lurch so to speak. Add to this, the novelty of cousin Sean, and well, the poor woman has definitely taken a backseat.

Then there be me, the constant peacekeeper (or at least I try to be) who spends his time breaking up the grandmother wars and trying to convince me cousin to get a job AND a place of his own. I must tell you this, Sean lives in his camper out back. That unfortunately, frees up a room for Dragon when she over stays, but still there are camp grounds and trailer parks, so why not go there instead of being the eyesore I see first thing I get up from me bedroom window. I tell ya!

"Ooh ye whorie too mooch aboot Sean, one day you'll see he'll do da Irish goodbye an' you won't notice for a month he picked up an' left, ya won't dare Gabriel." Me Mam assures me this will happen. Let's see it's been how many months going on a year that has not happened? I won't be holding me breath.

Last weekend Sean was regaling me over me morning breakfast the advantages of going with E Harmony to find a girlfriend.

"'E Harmony -- making New Years resolutions? Well, E Harmony can help with one." He read.

"Wait a minutes, it isn't New Years." I pointed out.

"I noo dis be an old advert, but it says here, 'Now through Tuesday on eharmony.com you can check out our matches and message them for free. That's right you can message your matches for free.'"

I looked at him and shook me head, but that didn't stop him.

"This bloke says, 'Before E Harmony I was meeting girls through friends and I just didn't meet the quality in girls that I was looking for. I am so thankful for E Harmony, the calibre was a lot higher.'"

"Sounds like an advert for expensive call girls the way he puts that." I grunted.

"Wots wrong wit dat? Da President dates porn stars."

"Ye got a point dare Sean, ya do." It be stuff like this drives me up a pole.

Just this morn he said he was "stepping out" after I came in and asked what help he would be to me Mam this day, and of course she was no help calling after him to "Don't spend up Sean." AS IF! "Bob on there Sean!" I yelled after him annoyed.

"Eee's still tryin' ta find emself, I be sure dare be sumthin' out dare." Me Mam quipped.

Meanwhile, the Dragon was complaining New Hampshire weather had curtailed her visits up here. "Snow, snow and more snow! Does it never stop?" She had complained. Tonya did inform her that "Spring in New Hampshire is a relative term." Oh yes it is. Add to this me Mam comes in and informs us the boyos have built a really nice "fart" outside. Well, I knew what she meant but Dragon was looking at her over her half glasses like she didn't hear her right. "Fort, snow fort." I pronounced for her and relief spread over her face with a silent thank you.

Last Friday Tonya met with her boss who couldn't stop looking at her shoulders. She couldn't fathom why but I knew, yes I did, those red tips where resting there and he probably wondered what was wrong with her, she'd do that to herself. To be honest a few of the other elementary teachers are sporting that same peek-a-boo thing with purple or blue tips. I don't get it. Needless to say, things didn't go well and she wonders why.

I be going into work and I be subject (as I get me gear together ), to the newspaper headline reading courtesy of Dragon, "Oh look here it says Princess Kate gave birth to a boot! What? Are the Brit's losing it?" I looked over her shoulder and read, Princess Kate gave birth to a boy! Geez Louise! Then me Mam be telling Dragon she be taking the "cartons" down to wash for spring cleaning and would Dragon get the ones in the kitchen down for her.

"Cartons? I don't see any cartons? Why would she want to wash cartons?" Dragon said to me all full of confused consternation.

"CURTAINS, the things on the windows, she be from Ireland she has an accent." I said pointing to the window CURTAINS.

The snow has finally stopped, but the rain and wind have taken over. We have one or two days of partly sunny weather before it gets gloomy. At least there be no fog, so Dragon was able to catch her flight out and I be Dragon free for a short time. But Sean be here still, he's complaining Game of Thrones wasn't on this April and hasn't stopped yammering about it a month later. I told him a new game of thrones was set for 19 May if he cared to get up very early to view it. I told him it was a whole day event and he's all excited. I didn't tell him it's the Harry Megan wedding, but ask me if I care.

Gabe
Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved

25 April, 2018

Once Upon A Time

25 April 2018
905

R. Linda:

Me Mam likes to watch the public broadcast and BBC stations. Anything that the accents aren't American. She complains she can't understand Americans because they twang their speech. So she watches tours of Britain's palaces, detective series, histories of the English kings and queens, etc. Dragon, me visiting monster-in-law, has been subject to all me Mam's Brit shows. She's at the opposite spectrum, she can't understand the British accents because they all talk "funny."

Now add this hearing impairment of Dragon's to her being nearly blind and you have a woman who gets conversations and what she sees, WRONG. The other night me Mam was watching a Brit program with a very animated host take a walk through an ancient English manor house. He had quite a tale to tell on his own, but this tale got more embellished by the Dragon, when she related it to our resident moocher, me cousin Sean.

I had seen bits and pieces of the programme as I was working at home, and really wasn't paying that much attention, but I got the gist of it, something Dragon did not. The next morning, I walked into Dragon telling Sean about two of me friends who had castles in the English countryside. One was Wolfie and the other Weasil. Now to be fair Weasil does have a castle in the family only its in Scotland, not England and Wolfie, as far as I know does not own a castle though he has friends that do. AND he is not related to Weasil in any shape or form. I walked into the middle of the story which went like this:

"The castle was very large, the biggest in the UK and bigger than Buckingham Palace. It might have been designed by Christopher Wren, or an associate, but no one knows for sure. The castle is very old and it had gorgeous gardens in the back of it. When you see it you are astounded by its massiveness."

I had no clue what she was talking about, but as I listened and poured me coffee, I realised it was the show she and Mam watched the night before.

"It turns out that the owner of the castle had no heirs of his own so he decided to give the castle to his favorite nephew, and not to the true next in line."

"Oh begorrah!" Sean threw up his hands as if this was personally bad news. "I'd tink da one shoulda got da place wuz very upset he was."

"Oh yes Sean, he was, and he wasn't going to let things slide. When the old owner died, the castle was passed on to the favorite who you might know around here as Wolfie."

I almost spit me coffee out, as I had sat down to hear this because I was curious who these wealthy friends of mine were. Knowing this was fabrication on Dragon's part, I decided to not correct her to see where she was going with this.

"Noo, I dunt noo dis Wolfie, but goo on." Sean said thinking hard if he did know this person or not. Not be the correct answer.

"Well . . . this castle was made of a golden stone with beautiful embellishments. It is over 100,000 square feet with 300 plus rooms!" To this Sean made admiring sounds and this encouraged Dragon to continue the farce.

"In a short time, this Wolfie (I guess that's short for Wolfgang) . . . " She paused thinking about that as I shook me head no it was not. "Found that his uncle did not leave him near enough money to support the huge place."

"What to do." I threw out sarcastically.

"What to do indeed," Dragon nodded, "So his remedy was to quietly sell off part of the 600 acres the castle sat upon. Equally quietly, Wolfie's cousin C W Weasil was quietly buying the acreage. I guess he was hellbent on acquiring some of his late uncle's estate."

C W Weasil? What did the W stand for I wondered, wicked maybe?

"He bought up to 600 yards of the back of the castle!" This she said with a flourish of her arm like she was waving a magic wand. "One morning, very early Wolfgang wakes up to the sound of heavy construction in his backyard. It seemed the Weasil was breaking ground and building another manor house right behind the castle! Can you imagine?"

"I can't." I volunteered to Sean's agreeing with me, but not sharing my sarcasm, he was displaying amazement. The lad was hooked on this silly story, hook, line, and sinker, and there I was amused at the name Wolfgang and what Wolf's reaction would be if he knew Dragon thought that was his name.

"Wolfgang, couldn't believe his eyes and there was nothing he could do, it was all legal. He must have watched in dismay as his cousin erected a brick monstrosity that blotted out his view of the beautiful gardens. The new manor house looked nothing like the old one, and well I am sure THAT little detail devalued the big castle's property . . . what was left of it." She said as an afterthought.

"Wow." Sean said completely under her spell. I wanted to kick him, but I refrained and sipped me cup of joe.

"But the story doesn't end there," she continued, "Wolfgang had his revenge. The property on either side of the new brick manor house still belonged to him. Do you know what he did?"

"Noo, wot?" Sean asked leaning towards Dragon all interested.

"He built horse stables on either side of the Weasil's new home. Yes, he did, both sides, high enough to blot out the rolling countryside, so the only view Weasil had was the gardens and there wasn't much left with those horse mews built down the sides. Can you imagine Weasil's waking each morning to the sound of neighing hungry horses and horse manure wafting through his windows?"

Okay I had enough but I left the gullible Sean believing all this and did absolutely nothing to correct the Dragon on her alternate reality story.

I can hardly wait for Weasil to show up and get hit with this. Even better for Wolfie to read this and discover he's German not Irish! I do wonder if composes music in his spare time while looking out his castle window laughing at Weasil's view of horse manure being carted off to the garden. Ah that Dragon, she's a piece of work and then some.

Gabe
Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved

19 April, 2018

ARE WE DONE YET?

19 April 2018
904

R. Linda:

WHO DID THIS?


Yup this be what I be seeing from me window. Cannot believe it.

It be mid April for heaven's sake! Winter phase 4 has arrived. I feel like a deep depression be taking yours truly over. I just put the shovels away, I had everything cleared and now I have to go get the shovels out and start all over again. I wasn't aware I had moved to Alaska!

I know you will get a laugh out of all this. I have been too focused on me own weather to know what it be doing in Denver, probably 90 degrees and sunny.

It be pretty awful when its 78 in London with sunshine and 30 degrees and snowing in New England and it be mid April. I suspect this be all your fault and you are doing the snow dance. Please stop, I be snow-blind and disoriented from so much white.

Gabe
Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved

14 April, 2018

What do you do when ...

14 April 2018
903

R. Linda:

I have been busy at work, more than ever before it seems, or it's because I have three kiddos with school activities that require me attendance. Running back and forth to Boston and then to some after school function (I be always late for), I be run ragged. And lets not forget the weather, that be a big subject of moaning and groaning, and in some New Englanders a shrug like what do you expect you live in New England for crying out loud! We are in phase three of winter. We had the winter we usually do, with plenty of snow and ice, and then it was spring on the calendar, but it really wasn't. So then we had winter number two with more snow and ice and electric being knocked out, more shovelling so everyones upper arm muscles looked like Arnie Schwarenznegger's and that includes the women! We (the transplants and doesn't matter if you moved here from New Jersey or Florida, but even those who moved here from Ireland, England and Scotland), we were all set for spring only we got winter phase 3, I tell ya!

Just this morning I came down for me cuppa joe and thought I heard a man's voice speaking to me Mam in the kitchen. It was no man, it was me wife! She has worked out so much on snow removal, not only are her shoulders three times bigger than they should be, but her voice be deepening as well! What is this world coming to I ask ya.

With all the shovelling and chipping of ice on the walkway, neither Tonya nor I have had a whole lot of time for those extras, that become necessary when you look at your eldest son and see his hair is down to his knees and you mistook him for a girl until you realise you don't have a girl and it's your own boyo. What be the remedy to that? Well, he took matters into his own hands and cut his hair, and just this morning I was coming around the corner when I see him with a Mr. Spock haircut, boots to go out and help shovel, and an Adidas long sleeved shirt that looked like the Star Trek logo (almost) and sweat pants tucked into his boots, well just for an instant I thought what I did. I thought for all intents and purposes I was looking at Leonard Nimoy (the shorter version)! All the kiddo needed were the Spock ears (which we have somewhere around the house).

If that wasn't bad enough, the middle one, Guido (our tough guy), decided for the entire week to show just how tough he was by waiting for the school bus in shorts and a short sleeved sports shirt. Yeah he looked like he was going to play summer footy on a wintry, snow falling, wind gusts to 50mph day. We (Tonya and I) did not know this because before he left for the bus stop he'd fly by in a blur yelling he was off and we never got to look at what he was wearing, or in this case, lack of what he wasn't wearing. We heard about this from the next door neighbour, who being concerned, had knocked on the door with a jacket her son had outgrown in the hopes we might like it for Guido. Guido, has a North Face jacket that Tonya's dragon-mother bought him, so really? The woman was very nervous Tonya said and that made her suspicious, so she invited her in and finally got this out of her, "I drive by the bus stop every morning and I see poor little Guido out here shaking and shivering without a coat or long pants and boots so I thought . . . "

Yup -- embarrassing as all hell.

Tonya had to show the neighbour Guido's wardrobe, complete with two snowsuits, (one a hand me down from his Mr. Spock brother, and the other one me Mam had picked up because it had snowmen on it and of course he won't wear that unless David Beckham was on it). She saw the closet full of clothing he won't wear because it isn't "sporty enough" and the shoes galore including the spiked footy shoes he insists wearing in the house. Tonya all the time this is going on is thinking Child Protective Services, oh boy. Luckily Guido just happened to come home from school while the neighbour was still there and he had no idea his mother was near the back door where he sneaks in. Yup caught! He explained that he was told if one went out in the cold and snow in very little clothing, your muscles tightened up and he needed that to get ready for spring soccer.

"WHO told you that?" His mother demanded.

"Grandma." Was the flat answer.

"Which one?" Was the next question.

"The one lives here." Was the answer.

I am sure that knocked about in Tonya's head a wee bit. She said that Mrs. Neighbour was concerned enough to come by and offer clothing assistance because she was concerned he'd end up with pneumonia, not tight muscles. Guido, knowing the errors of his ways and knowing he should not have done what he did, apologised nicely I am told, and went in and changed into decent winter clothing to appease not only his mam, but the concerned and kindly neighbour.

After the neighbour left, Guido was summoned to the  kitchen where the kindly old grandmother was sitting obliviously sipping her tea when suddenly the lady of the house went into attack mode. Yes, it must have been startling to the old bird that she was guilty of sending (unknowingly and unwittingly) an 8 year old out to freeze in bad weather to possible perish. This was all news to me apple cheeked, gray haired old mam who put her scone down quietly, pushed the clotted cream away and stood up, all 5 feet of her, and with purpose walked right up to her 5' 8" daughter-in-law, with hands on hips and said to her face, "Dats not rioght, he misunderstood a storee I tole em' sum tyme back he did."

That's when I walked into this very strange confrontation and had caught me Mam's words. I did interrupt with a "wot be goin' on?" and was treated to Tonya's side of the story, followed by Guido's version and then me Mam's.

Seems the story was that me father had a friend who was coach of a footy team in Ireland, and he told me Da that one of his players was from Norway, and the man would go out in freezing weather, with snow the better, dressed in his footy practice gear and run around the pitch to tighten up his muscles. This was something he did since childhood and being from cold Norway he was used to that sort of weather and swore it worked for him.

"It wuz a storee I tole em'," me Mam said, "I certainly did not recommend he doo da same."

Well, yes that was true Guido said, she never told him to do it he just thought if a pro athlete thought it a good practise, it must be worth it.

"Explains the coughing and sneezing not to mention the permanent chill." I said messing Guido's hair.

It was a tense evening after that, and it took a few days to dissipate the chill between the two women. The misdirection would never have happened if Tonya was in the kitchen for story time (which she usually is she enjoys the old sod tales) but she was busy chipping ice so she missed all this and was not there for a disclaimer.

"Could be worse, he could do wot yer friend Weasil duz and go about each morn before breakfast for a run in the nude round his garden." This from our resident neer'do well Sean, who sits on his keister and be no help whatsoever.

"What?" Tonya voiced.

"I did not noo dis." I said getting Irish which be an indication I did know. The whippersnapper had said he takes a turn around his garden which be planted in a wide circle. He does it no matter the weather, first thing he gets up he (he sleeps in the nude -- I know, too much information and you'll have just as hard a time shaking the image as I do), and takes a sprint around the garden and then straight to the shower and breakfast comes after. This was said not in front of Guido, but I did see Guido passing by on his way upstairs to bed that night. But we all know Guido the eavesdropper, spy extraordinaire with a fabulous sense of hearing lets nothing past him. I am proud to say, so far anyway, that Guid has not done this and hopefully never will. Besides that garden of Weasil's be inside a castle wall where no one can see him but the staff (I suppose). AND, we know the Weasil doesn't care.

Tonya did emphasise that Weasil's daily ritual was not allowed in the O'Sullivan abode or premises, and Guido nodded he understood. Lets hope the young and impressionable take that warning to heart. Gees Louise what next?

And here it be ice and snow, winter continues in NH
Gabe
Copyright © 2018 All rights reserved

31 March, 2018

Watch out for the falling eggs!

31 March 2018
902

R. Linda:

For weeks I have been passing a sign that says this:

Sounds like fun, huh?
So this got me attention big time because I'd never heard of such a thing. I could see it in me mind's eye, coloured Easter eggs falling to the green earth and scattering in a hundred different directions, wee ones sprinting across the lawn to gather them up. Yup pretty modern I thought and well, why not sign the kiddos up and start a new and thoroughly modern Easter tradition?

Today was the day, 10:30 a.m. in an open field about two acres of not green grass but brown grass since the snow has just melted. No daffodils, or crocus, just winter burn grass. But hey that's ok it shouldn't be hard to find coloured plastic eggs, right?

Right about the designated time we hear the chop, chop, chop of helicopter blades whirling towards the field. We all were told to stand at the edge and wait for the drop. There everyone was at the ready, empty Easter baskets in hand, kiddos in race position ready to sprint.

Here they come!
Only that's not what happened, the chopper was a little too low, or they didn't take into account that there was no vibrant grass, just dead stuff filled with dirt that let fly like small grains of sand. Me eyes were the first to feel the sting and because it was in the high 50s today, I was wearing a t-shirt and me arms and what exposed skin I was sporting took the second sting of flying debris. The kiddos were screaming and some crying, as parents did their best to find them being pretty blind from the flying dirt.

Pummelling the ground I tell ya!
The chopper seeing it was stirring up a mess went higher and then suddenly it started to drop the eggs like Easter bombs they fell, but not in the field, the chopper going higher miscalculated the bounce the plastic eggs would take when they hit the hard earth below and well R. Linda I was pelted with hard plastic eggs. Some of the contents burst open like small missiles and I (and others around me) were hit with hard jelly beans, small foil wrapped hard chocolate candy eggs, and hard shelled marshmallow somethings that were rather giant size and I got a few of those in the head.

The noise from the chopper and everyone on the ground running and screaming was intense, I can tell ya that much. We all ran to our cars half blind from the dirt in our eyes, and I had welts, yes welts, on me forearms and a rather large size egg on me forehead where I was a direct hit from one of those hard marshmallow things.

We have decided (all of us) that we are not going to this event next year if there be one UNLESS we have hard hats and flack jackets or as me youngest suggested suits of armor.

I think we will stick with our kinder, gentler, old fashioned Easter of kiddos hunting eggs in the morning, having Mam's Irish breakfast, then to church and home for a lovely dinner. No more modern ideas. Nope, nope, nopers as the Weasil would say. WHICH this helicopter egg drop was probably right up his alley. Like Tonya said to me as we drove home from the Easter bombing, "You sure your friend Weasil wasn't flying that thing? Seems like something he'd do."

HUM.

Gabe
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