Stories of Friendship, Family, Fun and Food.
All the way from the Emerald Isle!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A quick recap..........................

Life has calmed down a little around here and returned to normal (whatever that is) since our dear friend Eric returned home to Los Angeles. For some wonderful and unknown reason, Eric experienced something that most tourists in Ireland have never had the pleasure of seeing. Six out of the eight days he was here we had totally gorgeous sunny weather. He may have went home with a tan!
He has now become quite the expert when it comes to what a 'perfect pint of Guinness' should taste like and is hopefully doing OK with his liver detox this week!

We did quite a bit of tooling around whilst he was here and saw plenty of lovely homes and even a spied a few fixer uppers (like above) that started the Chef and I thinking about finally starting to 'look' for our permanent home. There are so many decisions out there to be made, like buy a field and build a straw bale Eco friendly sustainable home (look it up - very cool) from scratch, or buy an old ruin like above and renovate to suit. I could go either way.

Thankfully, there is no shortage of great beers around this little island, and whilst Eric was here we did our best to make sure he was only eating and drinking local food/beer/whisky/water, but every so often our good friend Chimay made an appearance for old times sake bringing us back to our days in the US when we used to meet Eric at a local pub called The Comet to drink same said beer and eat the best chicken quesadillas we have ever had. (did I mention there is NO MEXICAN FOOD/SPICES in IRELAND!!!!!)

Before he left, we even took him oyster gathering by the shore. It was the last month to gather the slippery suckers - as we do not eat them MAY - SEPTEMBER, so tonight the chef and I are having a banquet of oysters and a lovely bottle of white Bordeaux that I have been keeping my eye on for a few weeks now.

It is so nice when friends come to visit. It feels like we are right back in Rondo's running around taking care of our friends, family and customers. Except, this way - we are able to sit down and enjoy the evening with them!!!
Life is good,
That is all the WiseWords I have for today,

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Opening the door and carefully stepping out of the closet!

I was the first awake this morning with a lot on my mind. I went for a walk with the puppy and soaked in the morning sun. Then it started lashing rain and I got completely soaked by the time I managed to get back to the car. I am still shivering evening though warmed from the black liquid now coursing though my veins.

I have decided to come clean and tell it like it is. I am coming out of the closet. The literary closet - that is.
Hello, My name is Móna Wise and I, am a writer. I may even be a bit of a poet. I feel that I have been hiding for long enough and one of the hardest things to do is self promote or literally step out. I will be the first to admit that since coming home to Ireland I have been tortured and torn with my need to write (about any and every topic) and it has all started to snowball away from me.
Surrounded by the works of such literary greats like Johnathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, John Millington Synge, WB Yeats, Sean O'Casey, Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Seamus Heaney, Maeve Binchy..................the list is way too long to keep going but you catch my drift, it has been relatively easy to becoming immersed in the literary world here in my home town.

After taking a few creative writing classes I have put a lot of different ideas out there on the table as far as things I would like to do or things I should be doing right now. I would like to daydream, read and write for the rest of my days but should be out looking for a job to help support our family (as was part of the plan).
Needless to say the Chef has been ever so patient with my undecidedness and has given me all the time that I need to see where I end up. So, with all that said - I have decided to go back to school and earn a degree in Creative Writing with the hopes of someday following in both my parents footsteps and becoming a teacher.
I have already completed the Mature Students application test and have submitted my portfolio. Now, all I have to do is hurry up and wait until July to see if I get accepted in the course I want. Only 2 places available to mature students as the classes are teeny tiny (15 students in total). Wouldn't you know that the year I make this decision would be a record year for mature student applicants due to the recession and rate of unemployment etc.

In the meantime, I am making my 'late' but hopefully 'great' debut today at 3pm at the Róisin Dubh (pub in Galway) at the Cúirt (Irish Poetry Festival) where I have to stand up in front of a load of people and recite a poem that I submitted. I am shocked and thrilled that I was chosen but completely terrified because I am not a great orator nor do I particularly like stepping out in front of a bunch of people to pedal my wares. (unless I am behind a bar and encouraging you to try my latest and greatest martini!)

Jack told me last night not to worry about a thing because he and Rory will be there to give me a 'hula buss' really it is a Bula Buss - that is the Irish word for applause. So, If that is what I have on offer, it is enough to drag my butt out on stage and read aloud one of my favourite poems (and both my sisters favourite too). Think of me at 3pm today! Or come along if you are in the 'hood!

Trickle………..Wine, from a Vine

The day began all gray and darkly dull, with clouds
so heavy and full, the sky was a trembling shroud of wetness
A glimmer of sun shine glistens on a leaf, bringing forth new
First leaves then precious blossoms swell, vining along eaves with sweet
The musty scent of grapes hangs thick in humid skies, as fingers sweet with syrup
The time has come for fruit to pick.
And that my friends is all the WiseWords I have for today,

Monday, April 20, 2009

Weekend shots anyone??

With the arrival of our friend Eric, things have been a little crrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaazzzzzzyyyyyyy around the house!! Ok, so maaaaaybe only a little bit crazier than our normal hectic lives (ha ha) but we had a stellar weekend and here are a few little photos courtesy of my little sister Cathyann. She and her hunk a hunk a burning love Johnathan took care of traipsing Eric from the Airport in Shannon safely to our home in Galway (only stopping at a few pubs along the way).
On Saturday, Cathyann took the kiddies into town and got their face painted whilst Ron took Eric around town to show him the sights. A lot of it looked very black and white to Eric - but he has been in training and is well able to hold his own with Arthur Guinness himself!

After spending several weeks looking for a fleece lined rain jacket because I had warned him about the inconsistent weather - Eric has not even unpacked his jacket. The weather has been sunny, bright and not a drop has rained on our little town since last Wednesday. He is thinking he will go home with a sun tan - then enter into the Guinness Book of World Records as the first tourist ever to get a tan whilst on holidays in Ireland!!

As you can see, the children are just as cute as can be and getting scarier by the minute. Granny was kind enough to take them off our hands for the night (Thank you!) and we headed into town to share some gourmet treats and a little more of the black stufff! We stopped in at 'Kettle o'Fish' for dinner and got 5 orders of fish and chips to go. Then stopping in at the local off license we picked up some Chimay Blue and sat down at the Spanish Arch watching the sunset and listening to the buskers play their tunes.

After a few pints in The Quays Pub, we headed off to The Crane bar, where there is always traditional Irish music playing. We spent the rest of the night listening to a local girl band from Galway - hearing some of the best harmonies we have ever heard!
A great night was had by all!
That is all the WiseWords we have for today,

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Baby Guinness

So, our dear friend Eric is visiting for a week. He flew in yesterday all the way from LA with his suitcase loaded down with Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Tipsy Olives (Oh GOD thank YOU!).

My youngest sister Cathyann (who lives in Limerick and very close to Shannon airport) picked the shorter straw and got the pleasure of picking him up from the airport at 5:45am yesterday morning!!!

She made sure to take him on a small tour of her little town (almost one million people) and showed him the sights like the local University, a few ruins and castles before taking him to her favourite local breakfast place for a FIB (FULL IRISH BREAKFAST).

They then headed north up the coast to Galway stopping in to a lovely pub called Durty Nellys at Bunratty Castle.

This is where Eric lost his Irish Guinness virginity. From there, they headed closer and closer to us, but not without hitting another great pup called Paddy Burkes of Clarinbridge - Home of the Oyster!

This is where Cathyann introduced him to the Baby Guinness - it is a shot of Tia Maria (like Kahlua) with Baileys floated on top.........................I think it sounds horrible, but I do not have a sweet tooth, and Eric liked it!

Finally home to our place around 3.30pm, just as my handsome Chef arrived in the door from a long week at work. Shocking, but more drinking occurred at this point, and somehow managed to continue into the wee hours of the morning.

Ron made Rondo Burgers (freaking ENORMOUS burgers topped with sticky caramelised onions and Gorgonzola Stilton cheese) and I had prepared a lovely ham and some yummy butter beans.

We wrapped up the night with some yummy fudge that Ron had made earlier this week, and were all most thankful to hit the pillows when the time came.

The house is quiet this morning as most everyone still sleeps, with the exception of my two little crumb catchers who just got up and are looking for breakfast!

Enjoy the weekend!

That is all the WiseWords I have for today,


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yummy Yellow Goo!

My First Egg

Soft and velvet textured round,
Yellow bubble holding sound.
Butter, salt some pepper too,
Mouth is watering, can’t wait to chew.

Fork pierces perfections mound
Yellow slathered all around.
Nicely buttered toast to dip
yummy yellow yolk to lips.

Luscious taste dances on my tongue
Memories flood from days of young.
All too soon I clean my plate
Savouring every bite I ate.

Hen’s come clucking at my door
Off you go, please lay some more!

I am sure this is pretty self explanatory!

That is all the WiseWords I have for today,


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wise Movie Review

The Reader (2008)

Kate Winslet
Ralph Fiennes
David Kross

We watched this movie a few days ago and normally I feel compelled to blog about movies that I like - right after I watch them. This was one of those movies that has just lingered with me for almost a week now. I cannot believe the story that unfolded on the screen before us (as I had not read the book) and even though it is a common story told of holocaust days, it was exceptionally done. I do like Kate Winslet (Sense and Sensibility, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Holiday and voice work in Christmas Carol: The movie, and Flushed Away). In this movie she takes what was a very ordinary job to her and tries to convince a jury that she was just doing her job.................the fact that it was killing people never factored into the equation as a problem for her - because she was just doing the job she was hired to do.
Her romance with David Kross was beautifully done. He is a very talented young man (and is easy on the eyes too) and I will be looking forward to seeing lots more of his work. From what I can gather he is new and hot on the scene!

Ralph Fiennes, one of my old time crushes, did a good job. I think he was better and way more convincing in The English Patient, The End of the Affair, In Bruges and even a few great appearances in Harry Potter. If they had written in a part where Ralph stormed the courtroom and grabbed his former lover in a desperate plea trying to convince her to tell everyone she was illiterate - then it would have been brilliant.................because we never got to see Fiennes and Winslet together in passion even though here was love in their scenes.
All in all, we enjoyed the movie very much. I think Kate Winslet deserved the award - but wonder if it was because she spent the first half of the movie naked. (good for her either way!)
That is all the WiseWords I have for today,

Monday, April 13, 2009

Henrietta and the first egg!

Easter Sunday 2009

What a treat for the children yesterday, when they went out in the afternoon to give the hens a little snack they found the first egg, first of many to come we hope!

They have been with us a little over 3 weeks and we were eggspecting our first egg sometime late April - so this was truly a wonderful treat - on Easter Sunday.

So, no interest in the Easter Bunny here today - just lots of attention on the hens!

That is all the WiseWords I have for today,


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Good Morning Moon

My Moon
by Móna Wise

Good morning glorious Moon
It’s nice to see you shine so bright.
But did you know with dawn a glow
that it’s no longer night?

The hues of pink and baby blue
over misty grass below,
should tell you that your friend the Sun
has just begun to glow.

Your belly’s fat and heavy now
Your work here has been done.
It’s time for you head back East
and leave work here for the Sun.

But when the Sun grows weary and
burns all around her as she sets,
I’ll look for you in skies above
just like the climbing jets.

And when you climb up so high
to light the evening skies,
We relish in your night time glow,
and marvel at your size.

So off you go, leave us to play
in warmth with raging sun.
Return tonight, with liquid light
when our day is wearily done.

I saw the moon in the early morning sky this Easter morning and thought it was worth sharing!
Happy Easter to you all,
That is all the WiseWords I have for today,

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Men and their BALLS!

He did not bring his clubs when we relocated back home to Ireland. He likes to play, but has never really invested a lot of time or money in the game and my handsome Chef figures as he ages gracefully on this Emerald Isle that if he gets back into the game - what better place to do so, as the island is littered with men in funny pants!

HOWEVER - this morning I was nudged out of my slumber by my handsome Chef telling me that he would 'take his coffee in the sitting room this morning' as opposed to me carting it upstairs to him in bed..............................admittedly, I have him spoiled. Stop it! He deserves it :-)

So, I assumed that the reason he was getting up early was to go for a walk as it was just gorgeous outside. Relishing the silence of early morning in our house we sat watching a gorgeous sunrise and soaked in the warmth of it on our faces as the heat and aroma of the coffee livened our senses.

THEN his true colours showed and my morning bubble was burst! He had taped/TiVo'd the 2009 Masters Golf Tournament and wanted to watch it before going to work! (normally the Chef is off on the weekends but 2 of the guys that work for him are going home to Bolivia for 2 weeks so he has to go in and bake the lovely brown bread!).

So, here I sit alone at my laptop listening to the daily introduction by Harry Connick Jnr. but that is not enough for me to raise my eyelids and glance at the hated box in the corner. The Chef is in the zone!

I am widowed for as long as this tournament goes on. I know I will have to endure hours of conversation (very one sided with him talking and me qualifying for a BAFTA with the interest I show, throwing in an occassional nod, smile and even force a laugh) over the next week (does it last longer than a week????) and act somewhat interested because my Chef truly enjoys every last ball of this show.

That is all the Wise Widowed Words I have for today,


Friday, April 10, 2009

Wise WINE Alert!

Magna del Brujo
from the Calatayud region of Spain!

Sorry the label looks like hell - but that was the best one I could find out there on the World Wide Web :-)

I went off into town looking for a nice bottle of wine to have this evening with the Chef and forgot - it is against the law for any public houses or off license's to sell alcohol today - Good Friday.

So, I had to consult my little wine stash at home and was tickled pink to find this gem. I had picked it up around Christmas time and had forgotten about it!

Initially, I was thinking a Pinot Noir would have fitted the bill for dinner tonight, and this is in the same shape bottle - which is why I grabbed it off the shelf.

HOWEVER, it is no Pinot Noir!

Here is the concoction we were drinking tonight:

Garnacha Viñas Viejas 65%
Shiraz 15%
Tempranillio 15%
and my personal favourite
Manzuelo & Monastrell 5%

Ok - so it is not my favourite, I have never heard of these grapes! BUT, the others all blended together alone would have made a damn fine wine, so I can only imagine that the addition of the latter made this choice exceptional.

Some vaguely interesting information - the Wine has been aged for 5 months in French and American oak. It was 'bloody purple' when we poured it into our glasses at the dinner table and I knew it would be yummy based on colour alone. (I know, I have drank way toooooo much red wine to know this information!).

Think smoky, black cherry, blueberry, and a little vanilla. All this with the first whiff followed by a full-jammy bodied, ripe, intensely flavored wine with excellent depth, balance, and length.
Although this will live for many years in your wine cellar (I swear until at least 2018 or 2020)it is lovely to find a delicious and affordable (EUR 15.00) wine at our disposal!

OH - think MEAT when you have this with dinner! Big RED mooing steak, grilled pork chops, lucious lamb chops........................even good old Spaghetti and meatballs. For anyone that wants a good cry in their soup - we had the infamous Rondo Burger with ours and we enjoying a mild food coma for the rest of the evening!

Bottoms up!

That is all the WiseWords I have for today,


Wednesday, April 08, 2009

As the banner states!

I have been absent from the blogging world for the last 5 or 6 days because last Friday my children were granted a lovely 2 week holiday from school. One only knows how lucky one really is when one has NO TIME left to think about it!

In the last five days I have had many items in my house broken - i.e. including curtains ripped from the rails, dishes smashed on the floor, doors hanging off hinges, coat racks knocked to the ground of the wall. Trust me the list is long and it pains me to even be talking about it.

The children are apparently very normal children and left to their own devices (i.e. If I am outside feeding the hens and they are left alone for 46 seconds) they can cause an amazing amount of damage.

The naughty chair in my house has now been extended to the naughty chairs - as one is as bad as the other, and I have come to realise that they cannot be left in time out unattended as one of them was found hanging out an upstairs window 'waiting for Daddy to come home'.

However, all this being said, we have spent a nice few hours yesterday catching up with yet another of my high school friend whom I had not seen since the last day of school 19 years ago (God, I feel old.) She (Mary) is now the happy Mum of 2 children the same age as mine, so our visit was long and full of similar stories :-) which is how I found out my children were apparently just normal. (Phew).

What I have come to realise is that whomever came up with the idea that children needed long Summer Holidays or Easter Breaks - apparently DID NOT HAVE CHILDREN!

Despite my longing for 'my time' we accomplished a wonderful afternoon of 'feet painting' today and I will be cleaning up from that mess for a week I am sure. Thankfully, the Chef arrived home a little early today and just in time to take the tots out of their comfy time out spots and dump them into the shower before bedtime :-)

Thank God for husbands coming home with a nice bottle of wine!

That is all the WiseWords I have for today,


Friday, April 03, 2009

Here comes Friday - Wise Comfort Food Alert

It is not often the Chef parts with recipes but this week the brother of one of our former employees (and dear friend) asked for a few of the old Rondos Recipes. Whilst digging through the files I came across this one and let me tell you if you have not tried it - you will soon become a huge fan! This recipe is for a large yield so whittle it down if you are not feeding 10 pp :-)

Steve - this ones for you dear - Happy Friday!

TASSO MAC & CHEESE: (Large Yield)


Onion, diced 2 cups
Tasso ham, small dice 3 cups
Cream cheese 3 cups
Cheddar, shredded 2 cups
Milk 4 cups
Eggs 2 each
Roasted garlic, fine chop ½ cups
Penne pasta, al dente 2 ½ lb. cooked
Breadcrumbs ½ cups
Butter ¼ cups
S & P Pinch
Cayenne Pepper Pinch


1) Sauté onion and tasso ham
2) Add Cayenne Pepper (remember Tasso ham is spicy)
3) Thicken w/ milk and cheeses
4) Finish w/ eggs and noodles
5) Top w/ breadcrumbs
6) Bake until golden brown

That is all the WiseWords I have for today,


OH - PS - WARNING!! This is not at all heart healthy or good for you and actually addictive stuff. Eat with caution!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Trickle………..Wine, from a Vine

The day began all gray and darkly dull, with clouds
so heavy and full, the sky was a trembling shroud of wetness

A glimmer of sun shine glistening on a leaf, brings forth new

First leaves then precious blossoms swell, vining along eaves with sweet

The musty scent of grapes hangs thick in humid skies, as fingers sweet with syrup

The time has come for fruit to pick.

I had to work on a piece of poetry for my class tonight showing I could write something
with internal rhyme.

I really like this piece.

That is all the WiseWords I have for today,


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