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Back from tea

So, been a little while since I’ve posted. Okay – it’s been a freakishly long while. Last time I posted was over a year and a half ago, (wow!) before I departed for ten days in Ireland in order to reinforce my father’s sweet belief that our family actually has Irish ancestry . I’d love to say I’ve been there the entire time, settling down on a quaint coastal town, however I don’t really have any excusable reasons. Active kids. Busy job. Active spouse. Nothing too exciting. Which, when all is said and done with all that is going on in the world, ‘nothing too exciting’ is probably the best that one can hope for!
So I’ll pick up where I left off and try to say some more. I’ll try some color! Try to make some eyes roll! Perhaps start by posting this particular cartoon before winter ends, thus preventing Facebook exploding from posts stating “I’ve had enough winter!”

ICEMONSTER_MOMMOM

Customary

As I’m about to embark on my first trip ever out of the country (!!), I’ve been advised to brush up on the customs of where I’m going. We’re traveling to Ireland, so I don’t imagine it’ll be that big a deal. Growing up in a large Catholic family in America usually means that you will come in contact with many families where the parents are from Ireland or at least their parents were.  Culturally, maybe this won’t be much different from my days of hanging out with the Flannerys or Sheehans at Christmastime. Pretty much everyone there speaks English, they dress the same (and they drink!)

One thing did throw me off in my research, though. “The Irish appreciate modesty and can be suspicious of people who are loud and tend to brag. They dislike a superiority complex of any sort.”

Whoah. This is much different from some of the Americans with Irish heritage that I used to know. And as I encounter many self-centered braggards on my daily downtown commute to the nation’s capital of egos, (Washington, DC) I think I’ll enjoy some modesty!

Wishing Well

Chores! Even the very wealthy have to do them. Granted, their chores are probably more a delegation of chores to others, however to many of them it’s still a chore. (It’s just so hard to do when they make eye contact!)

Recently, we’ve been trying to instill more responsibility for the kids to help out. Set the table, dry dishes, make martinis, and other little items. Okay, I made up the part about making martinis. I wouldn’t trust them with my stemware. These are kids who make Barbie repel off the staircase and then trampoline over hot lava (the floor) onto safety (the couch.) Clearing unbreakable tableware and plastic character cups are a good enough start. We’ll move onto the Corningware next. It shouldn’t surprise me, though. I was the creative daredevil in my youth, too. G.I. Joe did many airborne reconnaissances from the top of our maple. And who knew that a Nerf pickle flying disk from Burger King could take down fine china?

So it also doesn’t surprise me that with our increased attempt at child labor, there’s been an increase in the amount of whining. As annoying as it is, it does bring me back. As a young punk, I was the king of whining! I’ve been trying to teach the kids my secret whining techniques, but for some reason they don’t wish to know.

It has provided motivation for their individual successes, though. Recently the kids have been watching shows where the blue collar, middle-class characters somehow are able to live in a New York City apartment that would rival in cost to a McMansion in many areas of our fine nation. While watching one show, my older one kicked into a  little Dateline reporter and surprised me by acknowledging that the characters must not be that poor if they can afford a maid. I was bursting with pride! My little one figured it out! Not totally, though. It dawned on me that the day before I think she overheard discussion about housekeeping services in the area and how that though it’d be nice, we can’t afford them. Either way, it brought us on a closer level as we stopped to do what any whining person doing chores would do – dreamed of having our own personal servant!

wishingwell

It’s so hot…

…that everyone in the office wears and extra layer of clothing. Yep, we are one of the many office buildings that crank up the a/c in proportion to how hot it is outside. And my building is no exception – it being over a hundred years old and add to the fact that my office is in the basement level, it gets cold. And today’s heat blast kicked our a/c into fighting mode! I think there was frost on my computer this morning. So it doesn’t surprise me that according the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang section- DC was 5 degrees warmer than Atlanta, Raleigh, New Orleans, Miami, and Houston. HOUSTON??! Man. What to do?
Drink water. Limit outdoor activity. And think cool – maybe a winter cartoon will help you out!

Dad, Dad, Daddio!

Like it’s inspiration honoring mothers, modern day Father’s Day was spawned in the United States. Started in 1910 by Sonara Smart Dodd, her motive was to honor her father, a Civil War vet with six children that he raised mostly by himself. And also like Mother’s Day, it’s continuing popularity was due to business interests believing they could follow the already successful sales of Mother’s Day items. Initially this idea was resisted by the public, but the power and persistence of the marketing industry soon prevailed. Welcome golf, home improvement, steak and tie 40% Off sales!
So Happy Father’s Day. To my own Dad, who inspired me to be the best dad that I can be. To single dads – who have switch hats often. To those who volunteer to dad – and do as if the child was their own.  And all of the fathers out there (as well those before us) –  who have fulfilled the role they helped make happen.

Home Sweet Home Maintenance

Decisions. Where should we live. How should or shouldn’t we live. How many should we have live with us along the way. All of the big questions that go into our relationships are some of the reasons for what make them so hard to maintain. Tis true that divorce rates are high, with estimates that 44% of marriages head for divorce – and stats go even further for those who try it again with someone else. So what makes those unions that survive work? Is it the ability to compromise? Financial stability? Sacrificing happiness for dependents? Or maybe a song by John Lennon has it right.