13 February, 2017

Big News . . . Earthquakes, Ground Blizzard and BUY CHINESE!

13 February 2017

R. Linda:

Big news here in New Hampshire, uh huh. Wanna here what it is? No, you probably don't but guess what? I be going to tell ya anyhow.

The big news besides the storm of the century that dumped almost two more feet on top of the two we had just recently accumulated, IS an earthquake! Yes, R. Linda, there was a . . . are you ready? There was a two point fiver in Bedford, New Hampshire! I know it's just too much to keep to oneself. Anyway, you'd think they never had one in that area before. There are two to four a year so this is new? I don't think so earthquake fans. But the local news thought it was BIG so they were reporting from . . . are you ready again? THE EPICENTRE, yes a field with nothing in it. The camera at the epicentre  featured a pathway of knee deep snow like a fissure but it wasn't R. Linda, it was where the crew made their way into the field! Gees, they think the viewers are dopes. Anyway, they said nothing, just zoomed in on the path or fissure, whichever you prefer without saying it was a path or a fissure, just leaving it to the viewers imagination to pick one. And . . . no, we aren't finished yet, they reported on air that so far, yes so far R. Linda, there were no reported or known injuries or damages. YOU THINK? AND it gets better . . . they warned of AFTERSHOCKS! Can you feel aftershocks after a 2.5? What a bunch of crazies.

They also have a new term, ground blizzard. I was like what the heck is that now? It was explained it is the wind whipping up snow on the ground to where you can't see. It is what we'd call a white out. Yup new name, so just so ya know if you hear the term. The second was the snow needles, yes, snow needles -- these are spears of snow crystals that don't fully form as a flake, but come down pinging the windows and roofs like sleet. I think personally, it is a fancy name for SLEET, just sayin'.

Now for the more home bound mundane news. Me Mam decided me office needed a woman's touch. No it did not need that, but she was all about hanging sheer curtains under the (I hope I have this correct) swags and jabots. I said I liked the scenery and did not want it obscured, but "Gabriel, dis will make it warm and coozy." I didn't want warm and cozy, I wanted office. So she ordered the curtains anyway, yeah doesn't matter what I say so why ask right? I did say, "do not spend scads of money on those curtains I don't want." She said she hadn't, she ordered online from a Chinese company that will send within three days. Yeah right, she'll show Trump, and the last time she ordered from China the goods were thrown on the slow boat and arrived three months after the fact. So I thought good, by the time they arrive, it will be spring and there will be no need for "warm and coozy."

Well, they arrived within the promised three days, yes they did, must have been by missile express. The day they physically arrived at the door, the little old woman was very busy cleaning and doing wash. The wife and kiddos had gone on a school skiing trip and that was her perfect opportunity to do a "lil' hoose cleanin'." She worked her little Irish self to the bone making it all look pristine like no one lived in the house. Yup, she did. By dinner time (which she insisted on preparing because she's Super Mam) she was quite broken and talking early bedtime. As she was shuffling off the doorbell rang (it was 7:35) and guess what? CURTAINS and rods had arrived! Oh boy. Well, she was so tired I thought for sure I'd have a few more days of curtain-less windows, but NO, out came the iron and ironing board.

"Ma, leave it be, you're tired, I don't need the curtains up at night anyway. Take a few days off." I pleaded, but no, she couldn't have it and she set upon getting the rods out and up, then the iron was hot so she took one pair out of the bag and I was watching this examination as her face took on a look of confusion, then bewilderment, then WTF, and she held them at one end, then another and she was shaking her head. She pulled out another and same thing. Ok I was curious now, so I asked if there was some bizarre curtain problem. Yes there was.

"Either whoever made dese dint half a sewin' machine, or dey are blind an' shaky, or dey are halfwits, or dey doon no how ta sew, definitely doon no how ta measure and luck at dis fabric it be pooled here and dere and snagged and it gets sheer at one half and dense at da utter."

I suggested she send them back but she told me the postage would cost her more than what she paid. It turns out when I said if she bought curtains not to spend a lot on them and she didn't. She spent $4.99 on four packages of two curtains each. No wonder they were so terribly made. I started to laugh which I thought might make her angry but she wasn't, she told me she was hanging them anyway and she'd tie them back so the differing lengths and weird fabric and stitching's wouldn't show.

"Oh don't do that." I really didn't want cartoon curtains.

"You hush noow, it will be alright." And with that she set upon ironing and hanging the Chinese monstrosities in me office. Okay she has done a good job you really have to look closely except not when you see the curtain hem at the bottom, THEN YOU KNOW these are  not well made and they hang strangely, but like she said, "Its a man's room, they'll think you did dis."


Just look at these:

BEFORE looking good
AFTER not so much
Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

30 January, 2017

Squatchin' with the ultimate squatchers!

30 January 2017

R. Linda:

I wish I could say I ate spicy food again, but I did not. I was wide awake Saturday afternoon, when that dreaded red mustang came slowly down me driveway. I wanted to run inside, lock the doors, and hide, but the Weasil and friend Robbie saw me, so what could I do but stand there like an idiot watching them pull up next to me.

"So Gabe, ya reedie fur soom squatchin?" Robbie said, his fat red face aglow with his rosacea condition.

"Some what?" I asked then it came to me, that the Weasil had said he'd be by (but he never said when) to pick me up for a hike in the woods to look for what I thought he said was his watch. Thinking I did not glean Robbie's Scottish accent correctly I nodded at Weasil and said, "Oh yeah."

I had promised and a promise be a promise, so I went inside got me Timberlands on, and told me Mam I was off for a hike and should be home after dinner, and probably she should set places for the Weas and Robbie since they probably would expect to be fed after an afternoon of "entertaining" me. So if she could save us some food that would be much appreciated. I kissed the bewildered wife so long and she was not buying we were looking for a lost watch. But okay run along Gabe, have a good time with your little friends. Gees.

I got in the mustang and asked where we were going and was told Pack Monadnock. This puzzled me, what was Weasil doing on Pack Monadnock? I asked and was told he was never on Pack Monadnock but heard it was prime squatch country.

"Watch country?" I asked thinking well, Weasil is a Scot and I don't have an ear for the Scottish accent. And why he'd think someone would be selling watches on a mountain I have not clue, but we were talking Weasil here.

"Nah, squatch, like in sasquatch, biggie footie."

That sank in with a bang to me brain. And it sank deep in me rational part of me brain that I wasn't helping a friend out, the friend had me on another of his crazy wild goose chases. Oh for joy, it was too late to get out of the motor, we were well on our way and there I was pissed off AGAIN that I was duped into some stupid adventure with the two Scots. When will I learn that what is good for the Weasil is not good for the Gabe?

It didn't take long to get to Pack Monadnock, and we started into the thick woods and climbed the mountain road slowly while Robbie scanned the trees for a "squatch" and Weasil looked for a parking area, and I silently fumed at meself in the backseat.

We found a parking ground, got out and Weas popped the boot and instantly Robbie was taking out equipment.

"What do we need all this stuff for?" I asked.

"We need infra red cameras to cotch the beestie on film, we need the night vision binoculars ta see him up cloos and parsonal, we need da net ta cotch him in. Ya luked out we dint bring da campin' equipment." Robbie said laughing as he handed me and Weas the equipment.

Yeah camping in the woods, that would be no treat. They know I be no outdoors man so in reality I was getting off easy. But not really as we know, there be no getting off easy in the world of these two miscreants.

"Ya evah seen a squatchie befur, Gabe?" Weasil asked trying to be genuine (which was a stretch).

"Uh no, don't believe they exist." I foolishly said to their gasps of shock and dismay, which I shrugged off.

We started up a pine needled trail into dense woods. We were climbing and me thigh muscles were beginning to burn from the exertion which made me wonder what fat Robbie's were feeling but he looked like a pro, keeping up with the fit Mr. W. I shook me head at meself the entire time until we stopped suddenly. Weasil had raised his hand for us to halt and was listening.

I heard nothing, I truly did not but the other two were nodding and smiling at each other.

"How long this gonna take?" I asked breaking their spell.

"Dint ya hear dat?" Robbie asked.

"Hear what?"

"Da soundie of heavy steppins." Weasil said lapsing into Weasilese.

"No, no I did not." I said with a heavy sigh. I knew perfectly well the sound was me own footsteps trudging along but these two wanted to think it was something else.

Robbie took a deep inhalation and let it out slowly like it was pleasurable. He said quietly, "I sense us a squatch in da tick trees."

I furrowed me brow in disbelief but any objections would fall on deaf ears, so I said nothing just thought what a couple of dolts I was with.

We went about six paces when Robbie stopped us this time and said, "I kin feel its presence."

The hairs on the back of me neck went up. That's the last thing I wanted to hear, besides actually seeing something I couldn't explain, I'd rather the former but still he was spooking me out.

We went a few more steps when he stopped us again with, "did ye hear dat?"

I heard nothing but the soft falling snow shower that was beginning. I wanted to hit him, me anger was starting to get the best of me, feelings of near panic where setting in, I had no clue where the freak I was.

It was getting onto 4 o'clock so it was starting to get dark. I was concerned how long we'd be out in the woods as it was starting to get cold. Then I remembered everything was infra red or night vision so I didn't bother to ask. Great, I'd be out in the dark woods, unsure where I was, without a compass, with two crazies, looking for a mythical creature, that I was sure did and does not exist.

We came to another halt after climbing for 20 minutes in silence. Weasil put his hands to his mouth to cup the sound of his hooting loudly at the trees. I wanted to say, what are you doing dude? But I knew he was calling sasquatch. Yupper-ruddies, fun in the forest.

We stood silently waiting for what? An answer? Well, sports fans we got one. The sound of a tree falling in the distance. The two squatchers were jumping up and down in silent joy that a bigfoot had knocked over a dead tree in response. Oh yeah right you boyos are!

I could not join in the joy, it was so ludicrous that it was beyond me comprehension that I was even doing what I was doing.

Silently Weasil signalled us to follow as he went ever higher up the now rocky, slippery trail. I was thinking I was seeing things, but no snowflakes were beginning to fall in earnest and well, time to go home! But no, they kept on trekking with me pointing out the big flakes that meant absolutely nothing to either one of the deadheads.

The snow was starting to stick and it was coming down heavier. This concerned yours truly who wasn't dressed in Nanook of the North outdoor wear. The flakes were sticking to our knit caps which would be soaked through if we didn't turn back. But no, ever onward and upward.

Another halt, another call and nothing. Moving right along with snow and altitude a real presence in me life, when suddenly we hear some kind of noise. I couldn't tell you what it was, as I be no animal expert but the two of them were dancing around that it was a "fecking squatch" and they both called back, Weasil with that same hooty thing and Robbie sounding like he was calling pigs. "Sou wee!" He chanted as I stood there incredulous.

And . . . nothing. Walking on, in the dark now, the snow crunching under our feet. Just look at this:

BURRR!!! I don't see any sasquatch up in trees do you?

"Did ye see dat? Ova dere!" Robbie pointed into a thicket. I saw nothing, but Weasil wanted to see something and said he wasn't sure, but there was movement.

Courtesy Animal Planet - Robbie thought he saw something like this
I wanted to laugh it was that stupid, but I refrained and bit the inside of me mouth instead. I was more sober minded and looking around at the failing visibility, and falling snow I grew concerned.

"Do either of you remember the way back?" I asked to them shushing me so as not to frighten off the bigfoot they were sure they were tracking.

Two more stops, a few more calls and nothing.

"Time to turn around and go back me boyos." I said turning to do just that.

"Coom on Gabe, just another bit here and den weel turn round." Robbie pleaded.

"Uh, no. I'm going back meet you at the car." I said hoping I wouldn't be going back by meself as I had no clue where the heck I was and we had gone off trail a few times. But they believed me so with heavy sighs they started back. I was upbraided the entire hour and 45 minutes about how I "wimped" out on them and they being so near catching a bigfoot. Oh sure like anyone would believe that.

"Next time come without me, you two do swimmingly on your own." I retorted.

On and on they went in the car about me causing them to not make history and how the biological and scientific communities not to forget Peta would have given them awards galore for the capture of the first live bigfoot, and how their names and mine (if I had let them catch one) would have gone down in anthropological history and how our names would be combined to make a scientific if un-Latin name for the new discovery. I put me hands to me ears to blot out all that foolishness.

Finally we returned to me abode and I thought they were annoyed enough they'd leave, but we are talking the idea of FOOD so no, I was, and me family was, subjected to how they lost their chance, not because I wanted to come home, but because I LOST ME FREAKING NERVE! I tell ya!

I packed up some pineapple upside down cake into two ziplock baggies and handed them to the two grumblers, telling them it had been real, now get going before the snow became so deep they couldn't drive in it. No way was I harbouring either of them for the night so I could hear about me lapse in good bigfoot judgement at the breakfast table.

"Wow, you were manly tonight," Tonya smiled at me impressed.

"What you mean?" I was confused, I had be berated the entire time the two were in me abode and fended them off as best I could, but I felt the two against one they had the upper hand.

"You actually booted them out the door without giving them recourse to argue about the weather -- which they usually do and end up staying for days!" She patted me face and ended with, "I am proud of you O'Sully."

So Tonya's joy at having them gone was the highlight of a bizarre hike in unknown forest, spending the day sore and cold, looking for something that lives only in the minds of the two mentally impaired Scots, Weasil and Robbie. I hope they stay miffed and I don't hear from them for a long while, BUT we know that won't happen. SIGH.

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

27 January, 2017

Spice bag, a fire wall, and trumpisms

27 January 2017

R. Linda:

I took your advice knowing perfectly well I shouldn't have, but I did anyway and the cost was a nightmare of a dream, thank you very much! Glad to say you were included in that nightmarish mess, oh yes you were and the usual suspects who follow this blog were in the muck too.

It all started off with me knowing damn well I shouldn't load up on the spicy Mexican food, and every shovelful that went into me gob was done consciously knowing it was a big mistake. But I did it anyway. I asked me Mam to make that hotter than hell chili I made when I lived in Boston, the same chili recipe that near felled an entire apartment complex. You remember THAT I be sure. So under orders she did, but forgetting who was doing the cooking (yes, the little woman who covertly adds her own spices in ADDITION to what be called for in the recipe), I was not expecting the intense heat that oozed down the back of me throat, burning hot into me cast iron stomach which turns out isn't as cast iron as I thought. I took one spoonful of that Mexican lava and good thing I was standing because I ended up doing a dance all around the kitchen island! And that was a sample taste. But more important to yours truly was -- what did I just swallow? It had the consistency of potatoes? Potatoes, R. Linda, I swear I had a chunk of potato in the chili.

"WHAT did you put in this?" I asked me Mam once I was done doing the fire dance.

"Wot ye said ta." She said smugly.

I knew full well that was an Irish white lie and called her on it. I even stirred up the mixture and saw what looked like chicken and OMG POTATOES!

"Ok, sos I put in a lil' Irish spice bag."

"Irish spice bag? There be no such ting," I ranted.

"Oh yes dere be." She said holding her ground, waving a wooden spoon at me.

"How can you make up a spicy spice out of rosemary, thyme, caraway seeds, parsley and sage? Those be the only spices I know of used in Irish cooking!"

"I used a spice bag." She said emphatically like I should know what that was.

"What be a spice bag? Never heard of it." I countered.

"Dats becauz you left Ireland when dey became popular in Dooblin," she paused looking for that to sink in, then she continued, "it be sum tatties wit chicken mixed wit peppers, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, cumin, coconut oil, rosemary, thyme, da usual. I mixed da spice bag in wit da chili recipe sos dats dat. Oh an I added a drop of Jamesons just fer good measure."

I was dumbfounded. A thing that be happening more and more to me of late. Well, no need to tell you the only person in the house that ate THAT gooey mess was me! I be a glutton for punishment and I be not the one to shy away from tasting strange foods (though this was ridiculous).

Tonya had taken one whiff and her face compressed into a pickled person face and a long "woo wee!" came out of her mouth. She waved her hands and shook her head as she went to the freezer for frozen White Castle Hamburgers and frozen french fries which she microwaved for her and the kiddos. Yes, I ate that Irish spice bag chili and no, me Mam didn't touch the stuff instead she joined the wife and kiddos for the frozen food. And why did I eat that concoction knowing full well what was in it? Because of this:

"Dat be da last tyme I cook anyting fer yer arse Gabriel. Ya wanted chili ya got chili dat I been slaven' over, breaking me back, all day long. Sos say goodbye ta Irish whiskey cake, no more shepherds pie, no more bangers an' mash, no more Bailey's creme brûlée, no more Irish anyting."

Yup that was the threat and you know I can't have THAT happen. So I forced that stuff down and I have to tell you I thought I'd die. I put on a good show of not letting any of them see me suffer through me meal. No, I ate one whole bowl and not only was me throat on fire, me stomach destroyed, but me entrails were aflame. I killed every taste bud in me mouth I did for being spiteful. I will learn me as the Weasil says.

After being up most of the night drinking vast quantities of any liquid I could get me hands on to quench not only me thirst, but the everlasting fire that was consuming me insides. From sheer exhaustion did I end up on the couch in a frenzied sleep.

I dreamt that Weasil was sitting in a chair next to me pouring me a Jamesons straight up telling me something about the hair of the pepper that bit me, and I took a healthy down the hatch swig and the fire that was roiling in me stomach lit up like the fires of hell as soon as the alcohol hit.

Next I remember there was YOU with the wooden spoon, standing in me kitchen saying, "Eat that or I swear I will make it snow in New Hampshire like it does in Denver."

"You . . . you . . . you put a spice bag in this!" I accused.

"Do you even know what that is?" You asked.

Well, no not in me dream I didn't, but I got help on that score. Next I hear the person sitting next to me (who was playing with her spoon and NOT eating the spice bag chili by the bye), say to me, "Dublin Spice Bag, look it up."

I jumped near out of me skin for there was Dewdropper, hair growing a mile a minute. I swiped me chili bowl away from the blond tendrils creeping around it. If I hadn't been dreaming I'd have let the hair have the bowl just to see what would happen. But no in me dream I did no such thing because I didn't want to insult YOU over that concoction. Oi!

I looked over at Dew she was disappearing in the hair, I shouted at her, "Why are you doing that?"

"I am building a wall Gabe, a big golden wall and Mexico will pay for it when I'm done. It will be splendidly gargantuan and tremendous. Giant size, truly marvellous, even 100% absolutely terrific."

"WHAT?" I shouted, but too late she was completely gone behind the wall of hair.

I went to sit out of hair range when I jumped again because there was Fiona her head a massive cabbage eating a salad. She patted the bench she was sitting on across from where Dew used to be, signalling me to have a seat. "Come sit here loser," she said. That wasn't happening, I was totally distracted between her cabbage head and her salad and the hair tendrils that were encompassing the other side of the room which was scaring me. Those two events right there should have awoken me, but no I dreamt on stupid me.

I stepped on someones booted foot and realised it was Capt. Jaack, he was watching the wall of hair get bigger and bigger and he said, "If I pour this fabulous bottle of rum, and Gabe it is a fabulous bottle of rum, on that wall over there and Wolfie lights it with his light sabre, well, absolutely 100% it will catch on fire and I guarantee it. It will be adventurous, staggering, behemoth, vast, HUGE."

"Huh?" I said looking around for the Wolf who was standing stock still watching the hair wall mesmerised by it. He had in his hand a light sabre and he gulped as he watched the growing hair wall.

"Why is everyone talking like Donald Trump?" I asked them.

Captain Jaack came swinging on a rope pouring a huge bottle of rum on the hair wall. He swung back and forth three times and on the second I heard the hum of the light sabre and I looked to see Wolf had switched it on and was getting ready to move toward the hair wall.

"No, don't do it," I yelled and as I did I started off in his direction as if to stop him when I tripped over YOU, R. Linda, I hadn't seen your diminutive self standing there watching it all with glee. And when I tripped, the bowl of fire flew into the wall and with a giant WHOOSH the hair wall lit up. Wolfie didn't have to do a thing but he stepped back from the flames looking at his light sabre not knowing how he lit the wall up, which he hadn't. Talk about dazed and confused, he was both those things.

"Wowwee woo woo -- a maz ing," Weasil said suddenly appearing beside me. "Makes ya wanna be a pyromaniac, heh heh."

Before I could react to that pearl, Wolfie was shouting to Jaack to get water, there was a person in the wall. Well, that person was the Dewdropper. I could just make her out choking on the smoke as the fire roared as it moved towards her.

"No water, you'll make it worse I guarantee it, fetch salt it is fabulous, you stupid lightweight." Fiona shouted still shoving greens in her cabbage hole.

"No, let it burn that's not Dewdropper in there, look at that hair, moron." You said pointing the spoon and simultaneously getting Jaack in a headlock so his pail of water splashed to the floor.

Wolfie made to walk by you to the fire, only you tripped him and once he was to his knees you threw Jacck from you with the spoon and grabbed Wolfie running your fingers through his "good hair." I was aghast.

"Unhand his hair," I said but you were totally enjoying the experience and no longer conscious of anything but his professionally coiffed hair. "Stop I say."

"I can't it is so elegant, done in a classy style, absolutely 100% fabulous and above all stylish." You said as I tried to wrestle you off him.

"Stop! Both of you this is detrimental to my fabulous good looks," Wolfie stammered, trying to catch a hold of your roving hands. "You are a nasty woman! My hair!"

"Look how fetching you look now," you said to him, "you are fabulously engaging."

I stood up, I didn't know what to say. There he was sitting on the floor, and there you were standing next to him smoothing down his tresses and I realised standing you were as tall as he was sitting. I had to shake meself from that reverie.

"Oh my god, DEW we forgot about DEW." I shouted as everyone came running from wherever they had disappeared to and well, fire was out. And sitting there completely bald was Donald Trump. He looked a little disoriented.

"Are you ok?" I called him.

"Not bad, not bad. Feeling a bit obtuse, but other than that, not bad."

"Fabulous." I said.

I woke up then, not sure what the hell that was all about, still not sure. But one thing I am sure of, no more of your spicy food suggestions. Uh huh.

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

23 January, 2017

Me wonderful day on the frozen lake

23 January 2017

R. Linda:

Well, here I be awaiting 7 to 8 more inches of snow on top of what be already out there. I understand (since I have opted out of telly watching) the New England Patriots are going to the Super Bowl and everyone up here be happy about that at least. Meanwhile, the day has dawned drizzly and gloomy and seems to have been this way since the coronation. I hope we don't have this continue in the atmosphere as most of us already have a dark cloud over our heads. Anyhootie, I remember the last sunny day up here (vaguely) and in me quest to keep your and my mind off the obvious elephant in the nation, I thought I'd post a couple of pictures (since I know you love pictures of snow).

Let me preface these first two shots with how they came about and what they are. On Saturday I had to work, so off I went on another dumb assignment this time snowmobile races on a frozen lake. Yup, I love to be outdoors in frigid weather, standing on  ice, the wind blowing over the open lake, yeah it doesn't get much better than that -- not! I bundled up in me insulated parka, had me a knit hat and me parka hood over that. Warm gloves, boots to the knees and a pair of ice skates just in case I had to keep up with sleds as they zoomed across the ice with me handy dandy action camera, aka me I Phone. Can you picture it? For sure you can!

I did not know that some of these gents on the lake (and I use that term loosely) fire up their snowmobiles or sleds as they call em' up here, with nitrous oxide. Holy cannoli R. Linda, these things  fly across the icy lake and I knew no way would I be able to film them while skating a distance away in the same direction. No, unless as some helpful bud offered, with the aid of a small tank attached to each skate and fuelled with hybrid rocket fuel was I going to be able to keep up.

I know I should have let them do it and they would have. You'd have had a laugh if not downright hysterics over me being propelled over solid ice at a rate of speed that me brain can't conceive, zooming away into the woods unable to stop. Yup, so I declined that offer. These New Hampshire boys are all out for fun. Yes they are, I have never met so many crazies in me life! I thought Northern Ireland was bad, but no, no, they could learn a thing or two from the swamp yankee kingdom of New England.

I did me best but the sleds were blurs and not worth the effort of me trying to film. I decided instead to just watch and report and not waste life and limb on moving along the ice (which cracks like crazy R. Linda, sounds like thunder underground. This scared the bejesus out of me, but I was told it was the ice merely thickening, uh huh). I was offered the shelter between races of a bob house where inside they were setting it up. I found a sofa, easy chair, bunk beds, small kitchenette, and best of all a wood stove. I have pictures of before it was fully set up! I was too cold once it was set up to take it all done up because quite literally, me brain was frozen by that time along with me fingers, bur! Wanna see? Look below:

One end
The other end
Now you've seen the inside of a bob house, a rather large one at that. The bob houses tend to be clustered in places together where they form a compound of friends and family. Some stay overnight in them (that's why bunk beds) and other bob houses are scattered about dotting the lake in blobs of colour. Made me wonder what you do if the ice cracks and your bob house with you in it, are on the crack. I was told the houses 'bob' that's why the name. I can't imagine.

What stuns me be the amount of vehicles driven out on the lake. There are campers, trucks, large trucks and then there are the air planes. Yes, R. Linda while I was standing there waiting for one of the many races to begin, a plane landed and a SUV went out to meet the occupants and bring them to one of the bob houses for drinks and race watching. I tell ya!

Here ya go, pics of the plane landing and taking off:

Yes indeedie me, it was a frigid day for yours truly doing what he likes best, standing out on the frozen tundra with frozen fingers trying to handle a camera and be a good joe at the same time. Yeah works for me -- not!

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

22 January, 2017

Mad onna wanting to blow up the White House and me more interested in her cheek balls

22 January 2017

R. Linda:

Oh you don't know how hard I be biting me tongue and sitting on me fingers to keep from going wild humour over current events. There be so much writing fodder being thrown around out there it be to the extreme I be TRYING to behave and ignore it. Many others are picking that stuff up and running with it and the more they run the more the makers of it throw out. So because I have to get this yearning to go hog wild out of me system I will be only mentioning one event that I just cannot ignore. And which be that out of all the thousands of craziness being strewn about? It be Madonna!

I cannot help meself but I sat mesmerised thinking to meself, what has she done to her face? She looks like she's trying to look like Faye Dunaway. She has some kind of balls implanted at the bottom of her chipmunk cheeks that catch into six dimples on each side of her face and interfere with the botox. I be fascinated by plastic surgery gone awry. Lookie here:

Courtesy Fox News - Do you see them?
I was knocked out of me contemplation of those lower cheek balls at the three times mention of the f word. I started to pay some attention, and it was difficult because of those cheek balls let me tell ya, but suddenly she is spouting about wanting to blow up the White House, O M G! R. Linda, I image a lot of people are thinking it but no one would really do it let alone say it out loud, BUT Mad onna did. Yup she did and I had to play it back to make sure I heard right and I did!

So right away I be thinking, well Mad, the whole world be watching especially Kellyanne Conway and gees Louise but I bet by midnight or as late as tomorrow your arse will be on the investigation list for terrorists activity. And sure enough . . . What next the no fly list? I think Mad should have tried to contain her anger by saying something that might give the depressed masses out there hope instead of inciting something that would land her in a whole lot of censored trouble. Problem with celebrities be they are very full of themselves (most of them) and they think saying things like that makes them sound like a big deal, seemingly forgetting that what they said could influence some half brained scoundrel to think it a good idea and go do it because Mad said she'd do it or like to do it, or thought of doing it.

I be one for non-violence so this spouting off of awful thoughts where some innocent people and an American historical landmark could be ended bothers me. No matter how much one abhors the people and the man in that landmark, there are other ways of dissent. I also believe the power of the people is greater than any one figurehead. I do wish things were different but they are not. Of course, it doesn't help those of us that had the wait and see attitude; we are now seeing too early how things happening and being said are making the fear level go way up instead of staying in a steady range and the wait and see be slowly losing its grip on minds that were willing to hope.

If the media nonsense coming from that landmark doesn't stop it's only going to get worse. When I think about the great and weighty matters that are before us, I get rather pissed off when a war between the powers that currently occupy the White House and the huge media conglomerates break out. Would you not think the White House would be focused and preoccupied with matters of state instead of how many people showed up to see a swearing in, how many people rode mass transit and complaints that reporting by media outlets wasn't more positive? Come on!

So to Mad onna, I say "Get off the soapbox and do something constructive Mad. Adding to the hostility in this country be not the solution."

I have said me piece and I be finished with system wash out, getting off me own soapbox now. Oh and Mad, get the balls out of your cheeks and grow some someplace else where it matters.

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

20 January, 2017

How I spent the coronation

20 January 2017

R. Linda:

So the day is gloomy, drizzly, dark, dank, yucky (the last word compliments of the kiddos). No one in this house seems happy. The kiddos trudged off to school, the wife with them, me Mam decided in honour of John Lewis to bake a sweet potato pie, her very first. She baked her first pumpkin yesterday and it be gone, so she decided to try her hand at another American favourite she never had before. The recipe she got from Tonya, who's mother makes sweet potato pie. Everyone in the house had never had sweet potato pie but Tonya. So why not, eh?

As for meself, I be off today but I work tomorrow! I will let you know how the pie tastes when it cools and I get me a slice. Here have a look at this goodness:

I know looks like pumpkin but it's not
So the Direct TV came up for renewal. That was last week. AND I was about to pay it when Tonya said, "Hold off for a minute."

"What?" I asked, looking at her deep in thought expression.

"I haven't been sleeping well, you haven't been sleeping well, and not seeing the news might help us sleep. Ignorance is bliss and right now . . . plus the boys should read more books instead of watching the tv. Your Mom said the other day how it seems their imaginations are stunted from so many electronics."

"So you are saying not to renew the satellite? I have no trouble with that." As it is it costs me an astronomical $300 a month!

She nodded and I closed up me laptop and we went to break the news to the rest of the house. It was the youngest who gave out an "Oh man!" The rest did not care as I thought they would. Even Mam shrugged and said, "Good!"

That was that and for the past week we HAVE been sleeping better, we have no idea of what the weather is, but it is a small price to pay. I unfortunately, because of me work know what be going on in the world, but I have been ignoring it all pretty well. The kiddos have found their fun in board games, and science experiments and seem more attentive to their homework.

So all was well until today. I have me phone on me because sometimes work beckons and it is standard procedure to have it nearby just in case I have to go in or cover a breaking story. But as it would happen, I'd get BRINGGG and on me screen would jump a picture or a headline, or both with a video link. You'd be proud of me I ignored it all, all day long.

I will say nothing else as being mostly ignorant of the day and wanting to keep it that way, as me mood has been better, not great but better. So, with wanting to cheer meself up and probably you to, I decided to put in some lovely pictures of New Hampshire as a temporary interlude because if I don't I might have some kind of meltdown and that wouldn't be pretty . . . or professional.

Enjoy scenic N.H. -- these are shots recently taken where I live by yours truly. I hope you enjoy the photos but well I know you have snow in Denver most likely or thereabouts and it isn't your favourite subject. AND you are probably standing there with hands on hips saying, "Really Gabe? Snow pictures?" Uh yup.

The lake down the road - reminds me of Canada
View of the Monadnock Mt. Range - reminds me of Glastonbury, Eng. without the Tor
Snowing in my front yard - reminds me I need a new shovel
After the now (yesterday) - reminds me I need a bigger shovel
Oh and the pie? DELICIOUS! Me Mam thinks John Lewis an elegant speaker and a powerful one in spite of Forest Trump taking him apart. Uncalled for she said, and so thank you Congressman Lewis for inspiring me Mam to go to baking universes she's never been before.

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

11 January, 2017

Call Me Genius

11 January 2017

R. Linda:

Ah another winter in New Hampshire! I was of the hopes we'd have a mild winter like last year, very little snow, unseasonably high temperatures, but no, no old man Winter has arrived and he's here to stay it looks.

So far it snows every other day which means, Gabe has to shovel, which be not me fav thing to do as you well know. Add to this, the only way to get telly programmes is via satellite dish. This "dish" business can wreck havoc when the weather is fierce. Case in point anytime there is a lot of wind (and where I live it be windy all the time), the signal digitises on the telly screen and freezes, it does the same if there is heavy rain or snow. Cloudy weather be the worst, the signal all but disappears if there is dense clouds or fog of which we get a fair amount of both and usually at the same time!

Add to this awful situation, our local news station which pairs with ABC, decided not to pay the satellite company whatever fees it demands. The satellite company therefore, shut off the local and ABC station. We had no clue what was going on in New Hampshire! More upsetting to me Mam at least, was she could not watch The Bachelor! No, all we could watch was NBC or CBS which has nothing my family likes to watch except the occasional 48 Hour programme or Lester Holt giving the news. We did have all the Boston stations which refers to New Hampshire as "up there" with a wave of the hand. It be like we are aliens and well not important enough to report our weather or anything else that might be of interest to we who live "up there." I tell ya!

So the other night we had almost 16" of snow. We had no idea it was coming because why? No news and in this case no news is not good news. We were stuck watching the Boston stations and O M G! You'd think Boston never had a snow storm before. The two major stations preempted any sitcoms or crime programmes they might have had to broadcast LIVE the snow falling in Massachusetts, primarily Boston and the Cape. Yes, R. Linda, live broadcasts of a reporter braving the howling winds in Sandwich, Mass. and another reporter measuring snow with a small ruler someplace else and we thinking her snow totals way off because she was measuring in snow drifts which prompted the in-studio anchors to declare Boston in the middle of a BLIZZARD!

I could remember me first winter in Boston and all that snow! I remember cross-country skiing on the common and there was more snow than we were watching that night. If I wanted to watch snow falling, I could go out in me yard and do the same thing. Gees Marie! Yes, boredom was setting in big time.

I'd almost say a visit from Weasil would have been welcome but I won't go that far.

Anyway, with all the snow and the rather long driveway we have, I needed to get it shovelled. No way was I going to hand shovel a driveway that is almost a city block long! Me car plow, had bit the dust before I moved. Here, I give you a remembrance picture of THAT.

I had gone through two junky cars with that plow. It served me well, but now what was I to do? It took me all of an hour to think up a new method of snow removal. IDEA! I had got O'Hare an all terrain bike for Christmas, and so I found it worked great in snow. I just needed to add a little something to it and I'd be in business. Ok, a lot of something.

This is what I came up with:

Yes, works for me!
I was able to solder a snow shovel to the bike. Did it work? You betcha! See here:

Took me three days but I did it!
The only drawback to this is that O'Hare was upset with me. So was Tonya and . . . Mam . . . even Guido had a few choice words. I did such a good job there be no way I can get the shovel off the bike. Which means I have to go buy him another one. BUT the good news be I have a bike-plow now!

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

03 January, 2017

An unusual seating arrangement

03 January 2017

R. Linda:

Well, if this is how the new year starts off, I be not sure I want to participate. Me first assignment of the new year wasn't really mine to begin with. The reporter that was supposed to have it be sick, so I took it since I was in the "area." I be not in the area, as this assignment was for the Great North Woods region of New Hampshire. I be south centrally located and this was a two and half hour drive in rainy weather with snow melting so the roads were icy. But the powers that be think because I live in New Hampshire and it is a small state everything is close by to where I LIVE! To make matters worse, an hour and a half into me drive, me heater stopped working! By the time I reached me destination I was a frozen block of Irish ice I was.

The assignment was to interview his lord and ladyship who came over here from Austria a year ago, bought what looks like a castle (ok if you blur your eyes it does), and they set to fixing the place up and I was told it was all done up in old world style. I don't usually do the style pieces, so this was me dipping me big toe in the water to try it out. I can tell you now, me big toe didn't stay in long.

I rang the doorbell which made me step back from the stoop because it did not ring like most doorbells, it bonged like a great bell in a tower. I even looked up to see if there were a tower and well there was no tower but a turret. Lights were on and looked like a room not a bell tower. Me mouth was agape at the sound so I was swallowing rain water like a turkey until the front door slowly creaked open. I went to put on me best smile but it was quickly wiped away as I looked up at a gent who had to be 6'9" tall, skinny and gaunt with no smile. He reminded me of Lurch from the Addams Family.

"May I help you?" He said with a heavy accent as he slowly pronounced each word.

"Ah yes my good man you may. I be Gabriel O'Sullivan from the news to interview his lady and lordship. I believe I am expected."

"Come through." Said the deep voice as he opened the creaking door wider.

I stepped through into a vast octagon room with parquet flooring, a large brass candelabra hung from a very high ceiling, and candle sconces all around the rather elaborate room. I felt like I stepped back in time as there were armoured knights at intervals around the room and banners between each one. A lot of wood on the walls and wood compass in the entry floor. I suppose the compass was there if someone said take the south steps you would know what direction to take. Rather impressive if it was a castle, but like I say . . . it fell rather short of that.

Lurch (for want of a better name) had me hand off me rain spattered coat and brolly to him. He hung these on a hall tree built into the wall by the door. Then he told me Madame and Sir were upstairs in the lounge. To follow the stairs up and he would announce me from a speaker in the foyer so they'd know to expect me.

Ok, so I went up the stairs which were a rather pretty shade of brown marble and when I got to the top I could make a left or a right. Lurch had neglected to tell me which way to go, so I turned to point but he was gone. I moved to the right softly saying, "Hello?" but no one did I see and none answered. Great! I was about to get lost in a giant house and the possibility I'd never see daylight was nagging at the back of me mind.

I gulped, yes I did, I was unnerved R. Linda, I really was. As I was tentatively looking down a hallway, I saw a maid with a tray and did a John Cleese, "pardon me, excuse me," and she looked at me before entering, one hand holding the tray the other, the doorknob. I had the distinct impression as pleasant as she looked, that tray would be thrown at me if I made a move and she'd be behind that door before I recovered.

"I be sorry but I be lost, I be the reporter . . . " but she cut me off with a relieved smile and told me to "come this way."

I followed her into a rather large room with a blazing fireplace that faced the door, bookcases faced each other on opposite walls and there were two fireside chairs and in the middle of both was not a table, no no, something quite unexpected but I was brought out of me surprise as the maid deposited the tray on a side table as she indicated with her head the two people sitting in the chairs had company.

I cleared me throat and introduced meself as the maid left and the two occupants of the chamber got out of their chairs to greet me. They were very nice as they asked after me drive and did I find the weather too bad, etc.

After pleasantries were over the old man asked if I'd like his chair, and seeing there were no other chairs I told him I'd been cramped in the car for so long, standing for me would be just fine. And why do you ask? Because that thing that took me by surprise was a copper soaker tub. Oh yes R. Linda, they had a tub pulled up in front of the fireplace, the two chairs on either side. You'd think a pie crust table would have fit the bill better, but no, no, it was a copper tub one would bathe in.

"I canz take zah tub if you like," the old man said, "no reasonz for you to stond." And he began taking his shoes off and I thought for a very panicked second he meant to take his clothes off too!

I guess me face looked like yes, I'd like a chair but no way did I want him in the tub so I told him no, he should have the chair. And he said, "Then you may haft the tub, I only ask you remove zah shoes so you don't scuffz it," and he sat down as did her ladyship both looking at me like aren't you going to get in?

I tell ya! I was not knowing what to say nor what to do, but since they looked at me and the tub expectantly, I sighed and got me big self into the tub. Yes, I did and you know I did. I can be such a nutter I know, but they gave me no choice is all I can say in me own defence. Did I look ridiculous, you betcha! Did I feel that way too? You know it. Here is what looks very much like THE tub.

Photo: courtesy of stylehive.com
Yes, me legs were up around me chin but that was a great place for pad and pen. No, there was no water in it, oh and I did take me shoes off first. You think it funny? You try interviewing someone while YOU are laying in a bath tub that isn't yours. It didn't go well. I couldn't concentrate but on where I was sitting. They rambled on about the house and I didn't retain a word. No, I was more about the tub and me in it.

Finally, I asked why the tub was placed in a room that was not a bathroom and was rewarded with the information that the fireplace was why. I know, I should have quit while I was ahead. But no, I asked, "How is that?"

"Vell, you see dere we haft only the von verking fireplace and we do luff a nicez soak in front of zah fire. Until ve can get zah otter fireplaces verking we have zis."

Well, that explained it. I noticed the tub had no water facets and there was a large wooden bucket in the corner. Yes, I asked is that how you fill it up and yes, it was, Matilda and Lurch took turns with the bucket. I'd love to have seen it filled by those two, but had the wherewithal not to go that far in asking to see exactly how it's done that I wouldn't be the one soaking in THE tub.

Matilda the maid did come back and took me for a quick tour of the finished rooms. All very elegant and old fashioned, what you'd think of seeing in a castle, but the house wasn't a castle, so I asked Matilda why it was decorated like one and how people came to call it THE CASTLE.

"It's not a castle, you are right, not a castle in the literal sense. It's THEIR castle, and they decorated it with what they brought from Austria where they did live in a castle." She shrugged like that said it all.

"Wait, why didn't they stay in the castle in Austria?"

"The castle was crumbling so because their daughter lives here they came here and well, they thought this place looked like a castle somehow . . . I think." She shrugged again.

I didn't believe her, I just couldn't and it was getting late, I still had nothing so I took me leave. It was only when I was 30 minutes away did I realise I had no heat in the car. The Great North Woods has miles and miles of a highway with no one on it and trees and little else. No place to stop for coffee to warm up or a general store to buy gloves and a muffler for frozen fingers and drippy nose. I tell ya, it wasn't worth it but I got YOU a story at the very least.

No, I won't be doing anymore style pieces. As it is I now have to ring these people back up and ask me questions again, since I was that unsettled I retained nothing, wrote nothing but scribbles of a tub. Yeah I don't know about me either sometimes. Awesome!

Copyright © 2017 All rights reserved

31 December, 2016

Happy New Year! Year End Antics

31 December 2016

R. Linda:

It is the end of the year finally, and I be hoping next year be a better year, though most of us are biting our fingernails in anticipation of a worse one. Let's pray it is a surprisingly wonderful new beginning and not an ending. I know I can't stop the pessimism after the hopeful optimism but this last year has conditioned something in most of the thinking population who just aren't sure anymore.

I'd like to look back on 2016 and remind you of the laughs we did have in the O'Sully household, but me pessimistic side won't go there, it'd rather worry and so instead of revisiting we will move forward and tell you a couple of short episodes in the life that you don't know that happened and might at the very least, give you a smile.

First up of two is Tonya and I at Walmart before Christmas, standing in a queue waiting to check out the last minute stocking stuffers we had gathered in our trolley. So there we are with a few other exasperated last minuters, when Tonya looks up an says, "Hey Gabe, would like an asshat for Christmas."

I blinked thinking I did not hear her correctly and asked her to repeat her question, which she did, and yes, I did hear it correctly. Me response was a "What?"

"An asshat." She said smiling smugly.

"Ok what pray tell what is an asshat."

"I don't know," she said and then pointed to the checkout.

I looked but I didn't see any hats so I shrugged.

"Look below the Merry Christmas sign," says she pointing.

I look over and I see this:

Yes indeed, there it was Asshats!
Ok she had her little fun. What was up at Walmart I do not know, but the Walmart elves were having a good time quite obviously. I would suppose it was a sign originally for Christmas hats, but who knows now-a-days?

Christmas Eve day we went to visit me old neighbour Lois and for years I have admired this:

Every year out on her deck lighting up the night
And every year I have threatened to abscond with Mr. Frosty since I like him so much. I have offered to buy him outright from her, but she will not part with him. Every year I up the ante to a higher offer and still no, no, no. For the past three years I have threatened to steal him off her deck and she laughs thinking I be joking.

Well, this year while she was busy on a phone call that came as we were leaving, I went out to her deck unplugged him and did this:

Yup I took the man of the hour FINALLY
When she got off the phone which was within seconds of me getting the Frosty person in Mam's car and driving off, I saw her come to the door to wave goodbye, which she was until she saw this:

Yes, I even lit him up!
If it wasn't so icy I think she would have come out running, but I was too quick with her. Well, I had Frosty all lit up at me house the next day, and guests admired I "found" a Frosty of me own. Even Lois who showed up with a rueful smile on her face, said through her teeth to me, "Enjoy him because he's leaving with me."

By the time our Christmas Eve gala was over, I was busy with wishing all a happy Christmas when I look out at the cars lining me driveway and what do I see, but Ms. Lois with her arm around that fat snowman, shoving him back in her car and then she had the nerve to light him up and as she waved and pulled away, shouted, "He doesn't like it here he wants to come home! Merry Christmas, good try loser!"

I tell ya! I was hoping to have Frosty for the holidays but no, no, no not if Lois has anything to say about it. Gees! But there is always next year. I need to get back at her for the 40 pink flamingos she left on me lawn when I first moved in. I had no clue who did that, but she couldn't contain her mischievousness and well . . . FROSTY IS MINE NEXT YEAR!!!

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

25 December, 2016

Elf off the shelf, a strange gift, a very expensive glass of champagne and the gingerbread man poem

25 December 2016

R. Linda:

Ok so where to start . . . it all started last night, Christmas Eve. We had invited friends to our home for a yankee swap, a casual dinner and camaraderie. Since her divorce this was the first year me Mam felt like celebrating Christmas so we took advantage of that to make her have a good time. We had some additional kiddos here so the house was lively to say the least.

It all started when me Mam (feeling particularly joyful) asked me to go fetch the bottle of champagne she had stashed in the basement. This bottle was given to me Da when he retired from a very grateful company and at the time we knew it cost a bit. How much we knew expensive but not the exact figure. In the divorce settlement, since one of the bones of contention was HIS suspected drinking, the bottle would go to me Mam. She decided last night was the night to open it and toast her leaving him and Ireland and starting her new life here with us. She wanted her "new friends" to take part and so I went and fetched the bottle.

R. Linda, it was the smoothest, best champagne any of us ever had in our lives and probably the last bottle like that we will ever have. It was a bottle of Dom Perignon Vintage 1998 Moet Chandon Epernay kept in pristine condition on its side so the cork wouldn't dry out. We were all VERY impressed with it and some of us had more than one glass until it was gone. One of our guests was curious of the cost and we didn't know what it was, so he looked it up and found it was worth a whopping $4,715.99 with shipping costs of $83.91. WE FECKING DRANK IT WHEN WE COULD HAVE SOLD IT! Come to find the empty bottle sells on e-bay starting at $40.00 first bid. NOOOOOOOOO! Who knew? Certainly not any of us!

So after the most expensive glass of champagne we ever had, we decided to let the kiddos exchange gifts so when it came to adult yankee swap they'd be occupied. The rule has always been they exchange Christmas pyjamas, I don't know why, they just do. Me eldest got a lovely red Bare Butt long john onesie pyjama. Instantly he was not "wearing this ever!" It was the equivalent of the pink bunny onesie from the movie a Christmas Story. After much consoling by me Mam he decided to go try it on. He was gone a long time when suddenly the Rolling Stones song Wind Me Up came blasting out of the hallway and there he was dressed like a demented elf on a shelf doing Jagger impressions to the song. I wish I had the forethought to video it but I do have pictures. He begged me not to publish them, but I do have his approval on at least one. The aftermath of the "performance of the demented elf off the shelf."

Exhausted Elf on the floor
After everyone left, Guido wanted to give me a pre-Christmas present. I told him I was willing to wait but he wanted me to have it because he liked it and well "here ya go da." So I get this heavy square wrapped in Christmas paper by his own hand and I open it and well . . . I don't know how to describe it but Tonya and I looked at each other completely confused, but he was thrilled and went to bed happy. Let me show you his masterpiece gift and you tell me what YOU make of it.

Yup -- what does it mean?
No clue what it is or why. But there you have it.

Before the kiddos went off to bed they were told by their Mam to pick out the cookies they wanted to leave Father Christmas. Since I am Father Christmas in disguise, I suggested the gingerbread men should be the ones they pick being in my mind, if I have to eat cookies to make like Father Christmas they'd be the ones I like. They told me they had done all that and left a glass of milk as well and off to their beds did they go. Later when Tonya was filling stockings I sat down to eat the cookies and I didn't have the usual three but this:

When asked the next morning what was up with all the cookies I was told Father Christmas is a fat man and if they wanted good presents they had to feed him. I tell ya! I ate three gingermen which leads me to the finale. Guido hands me a poem he made up for the season. Cookies and Father Christmas in mind for next time. I think you'll like it.

I ate me a gingerbread man by Guido O'Sullivan

Lil' gingerbread man
I eats his lil' toes
they crunch as I
bites dem all to bits

Lil' gingerbread man
I eats his lil' lil' leggies
they be soft and nice
and oh so good twice

Lil' gingerbread man
I eats his belly n' shoulder blades
he tastes so yummy
'specially when I munch his tummy

Lil' gingerbread man
all is left is icing scarf n' lil' head
one great bite n' den he's dead.

Yupperuddies only my kiddo, strange tile gifts and equally strange poems.

The Gingerbread man who was eaten by Guido

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

17 December, 2016

Creepy music in the night, exploding eggs and hazmat suits

17 December 2016

R. Linda:

Is it Halloween or Christmas season? The reason I ask is last night at 3 a.m. Tonya and I were awakened by creepy music blaring quite loudly. We both awoke at the same time shouting at each other asking WHAT IS GOING ON? Being rudely awakened from a sleep induced coma one is not very sharp on the brain nor can one see in the dark through sleepy and blurry vision. The music was coming from Tonya's side and she be a lot quicker than me, as she turned on the light.

"I thought so!" She said pointing at Alexa. "Alexa STOP," she shouted pushing the blankets aside which instantly had me chilled. Why she had to remove the blankets from me side I dunno, but it was not appreciated because now I was wide awake and shivering.

Alexa was the culprit and as soon as Tonya demanded her to stop playing that bizarre music, she did.

"I don't know what got into her," I said sliding the blankets back over me shaking body.

"I don't either, but that's the second time she's done that. The other afternoon I came home from work, no one was at home and I could hear country music (which I hate), playing from our room. It took all my courage to go up and see what was going on. No one here, just . . . ," and she pointed at Alexa, "just HER."

Well, this was the first I'd heard about THAT so I patted the bed and told her to come back where it was warm, I was sure the excitement was over and she (Tonya) having a nasty cold would catch her chill if she stood out of bed too much longer.

Neither of us got to back to sleep after that. We tossed and turned, me wondering how it was the machine turned itself on and her wondering if one of the kiddos programmed Alexa to play music at odd hours, but really? If Dragon was here I'd be suspicious.

We did ask the three boyos and me Mam if anyone was playing a trick because it wasn't a kind trick. Everyone genuinely looked astonished. Me Mam had heard the commotion and almost came to see what the matter was, but heard us and our voice tone sounded no alarmed so she went back to sleep. Lucky her!

The boyos said they heard nothing, which be not unusual as growing laddies tend to sleep deeply and well, something I wish I could do.

It had been snowing since the wee hours and was coming down heavily at breakfast time. Me Mam fixed breakfast telling Tonya to sit and she'd do it all. She set Tonya with a cup of tea first thing which knowing me wife, wasn't what she had in mind being a coffee shark like me, but she weakly smiled and sipped. I knew it was all she could do not to dump it in the sink and pour a cup of the real stuff. Being she has a bad cold and cough, I volunteered to go out to gather the breakfast eggs from the chicken coop. Ah yes, I did. Having had no sleep and no training in chicken management I had no clue what I was doing. I thought it was simple, go out feed the greedy suckers, make sure they had water, fresh bedding, and that all were accounted for. Then while they ate, gather the eggs. That was the plan, but it was tough because as soon as they saw ME, they all ran to the other side of the coop except for four of the hens sitting in the nesting boxes.

I decided good the gang is all here after I counted nodding heads, and so since they were in a corner I cleaned their bedding, refreshed it all the time with them clucking at me like where's the food you fool? This I got and put in the feed thingee and then the water. The gang of four in the nesting boxes  made no move to join the others. So, I gathered the exposed eggs and then tried to shoo the four holdouts but they wouldn't move, only tried to peck at me. I got a stick from outside and tried to move them from their behinds but no, they pecked at that too and put up such a ruckus I couldn't hear meself think.

I left them to it and when I got inside was told to go back or we'd have young chicks and this was not the time for baby chicks to hatch. I had forgot the egg basket in me dilemma so I needed to go back anyway. I trudged through the rapidly deepening snow back to the coop where I found the gang of cannibals eating one of their young. Yes, R. Linda an egg had broken open and they were all of them vying for the dripping stuff. I was shocked and aghast. I thought only pigs did that, I had no idea chickens were cannibals too! Well, live and learn Gabe.

The four holdouts were in that fray so it was easy to gather the eggs they had been sitting on, and get out of Dodge without a problem. Only there was a problem. I had let the eggs sit too long and when I put the warm eggs on the top, as soon as I hit the Arctic blast outside the eggs started to explode. I was covered in runny yoke!

Holy Cannoli I had, out of sixteen eggs, five left. Three cracked the others I was wearing. I was a bloody mess to say the least. When I stamped on in the family was pointing at the yellow stains, some laughing behind their hands and the rest looking horrified.

"Did dey pelt ye wit eggs?" Me Mam asked trying to keep a straight face.

"Did you fall down?" O'Hare asked somewhat concerned, but not really because he started giggling and had to leave the room where I could hear huge peels of laughter coming from the living room.

"None of that, as soon as I walked outside, they exploded on me person." I said putting the basket in the sink and informing the chef what was left for breakfast.

"I should have told you to take a warm tea towel, one for the bottom of the basket and one to cover the eggs with. Sorry, I wasn't thinking." Tonya said sipping coffee her eyes on the emptied tea cup. I guess by that time she had downed the tea and got what she really wanted and her brain began to work, only too late for me, I was already outside in the deep freeze. She had a smug look on her face which made me think she didn't just remember about the warm towels, she knew all along and was blaming it on the tea.

"We will git ye a hazmat suit fur next tyme, doncha worry." Me Mam said, trying to control her amusement.

Guess what ladies? Not going to be a next time. The laughing boyos can do it. At least the two older ones. I found out O'Hare has gathered the eggs many a time and knows how to clean, water and feed the cannibals without getting pecked to death for his trouble.

That's taken care of now I have to solve the Alexa mystery. Oh and one more thing on that. We ordered a Dot for downstairs. Am I concerned? You might say I be that.

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved

02 December, 2016

That's it blame it on the English

02 December 2016

R. Linda:

I was lounging in the family room watching the telly when in come me three boyos. I wasn't paying much attention, they had toys they were each involved in and it seemed a typical evening. We had finished dinner, they had gone to do homework while Tonya and Mam cleaned up the dinner things and I made a few phone calls I hadn't got to during the day. It was the usual way we go about the after dinner routine. Until, I hear all this giggling and look up and at the end of the couch is me youngest, the three year old, mooning me, his head almost between his legs looking back at me, his eyes dancing with mischief.

I was speechless!

"What are you doing young man?" I finally asked him as he pulled up his pants and ran off, the other two tearing by after him.

Tonya happened in and I told her what HER youngest had done and she looked very much like she was trying not to laugh.

"Hum," she said sitting next to me. "The other day when I left the sugar out of the cookie recipe," she began, "was because as I was mixing things, O'Hare had come in and said, "Hey Mom, look at me!" and when I did, he was in the hallway mooning me. I told him to straighten up and he left laughing thinking it was very funny. I was shocked and forgot the sugar and that's the reason there were no cookies that night."

I looked at her like I didn't understand, which I did not and she continued.

"Ok, I got a call two days before the cookie disaster that Guido was mooning his teachers at school. It seems he and O'Hare watched some movie on TV where the young guys were mooning girls from their car." She stopped and sighed as if this was just too much. "Anyway, the two of them thought that was very funny, only Guido put it into practise at a public place. Don't look that way, the principal was amused by it, but we nipped it in the bud. Seems your middle son told your eldest that mooning was "prohibited in public places," but was perfectly all right at home, thus . . . "

"Did you tell O'Hare that wasn't true after the cookie incident?"

"I told him it was funny once but it wouldn't be funny twice."

"Ok, and somehow the wee one picked this new art form up?"

"Must have if he just did it." She giggled to herself as if she thought me being mooned was funny stuff.

"Oi!" I said rolling my eyes. "You need to talk with YOUR youngest and straighten this out before he does it in front of company."

It was then she called all three boyos in, clicked off the TV and had them sit on the floor in a row. She told them their mooning days were over which got a chorus of "aw mom" from them with the youngest intoning a second later just to be part of the crowd.

"I want to know what TV programs you watch from now on. You need an adults permission on what you watch."

Another chorus of  "aw mom" with the youngest getting the hang of it and chiming in at the right time.

"Why do we hafta check wit ya?" Guido said looking puzzled.

"Because you got this mooning idea from the TV." Tonya said as the two older kiddos exchanged confused looks.

"No we dint." Guido said shaking his head.

"No you didn't?" Tonya said her eyebrows raised in surprise. "Then where did you get the idea from?"

"From Grandma." The two eldest sung out.

It was our turn to exchange looks.

"Grandma?"  Tonya asked in disbelief.

"Yup she wuz tellin' us bout when grandpa wuz young an he'd moon da neighbours outta da window." Guido said smuggly and he and O'Hare started chuckling at the thought.

Tonya's lips were pressed together in a line, her eyes narrow as she looked at me. She didn't have to say a word.

I called Mam and she came in. We laid before her what was going on and she shrugged and looking at the row of lads she said, "Ya big Judases'. Ooo-key I wuz tellin' dem sum fomlee stories frum da paa-st an wuz joe-ken wit em aboot yer fahder an I'm a-freed dey got corried awey. Quite a bit corried awey."

Well, this was not expected but there it was. Mam was the culprit. I'd expect such from Tonya's mother but not me own. I didn't know what to say but Tonya did.

"Mom, you are grounded from Irish story telling for a week."

Mam's head snapped in her direction her face an astounded question mark. Tonya wagged a finger at her and she said nothing but bit her lip as she thought about this. It didn't take long before she opened her gob. "Tween't IRISH story tellin' it was English. Da ole man wuz in England at da time of da moonin' incidents of which dere were many. So wot ya mean iz no ENGLISH story tellin'."

We sat there looking at her like WHAT?

The kiddos all voiced yeah no English story telling, the Irish ones were on the table.


In the few days that have passed the "big Judases' as she calls them have come forth with many a tale about their Irish grandda. And each time Mam is taken to task for filling the young ones with stories she says, she told them when she was "allowed ta tell da bhyos da English stories." Me Mam and Da lived in England for a total of one month when they first got married. They went there because he worked in Chelsea for a short time before moving back to the emerald isle. I had not heard the mooning stories but I do believe they were true. Me father, Mam told me, knew he was leaving England and had no love for his English neighbours and took a certain delight in mooning them as they walked by. Seems they lived right by the street, they had no small green space so how delightful was that instead of a small garden for his neighbours? I tell ya! Me Da didn't moon during the day, but with a street light at the curb directly across from their front window, he did it at night.

"It weren't clear wot dey would be lookin' at as dey paa-set by, da street lamp weren't dat bright and many a tyme a gent or ladee would move toward da window squintin' dere eyes only to see his behind in da air at dere faces. Ooh da shock when dey realised jus' wot dey were peerin' at." She peeled off in uncontrollable laughter at that memory and it was infectious, I couldn't help myself. We both got a disapproving looking from Tonya.

I have been grounded from asking me mam to relate any "English" stories and have been put in me place by a disapproving American wife. Sigh.

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