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

Thursday, December 09, 2010

These are a few of my favourite things...

This time of year I get lonely. I can't help it. It is Christmas time and that is how I feel. Dad was buried on Christmas Eve. Eleven years ago. I am still bitter over the fact that he is not here with us. I suppose as the years trickle by I am coming to terms with it. Maybe, eventually, I will understand why he had to die at the age of 50 and leave my Mum and the rest of us to figure out life, without him.

The kids were off school yesterday because of the holy day (December 8th -The Immaculate Conception of Mary; Wait a minute, if she conceived on Dec 8th, and gave birth on Dec. 24th, that is like a total gestation period of three weeks. Hello? I think this needs further investigating.) ... where was I , oh yes, kids off school etc. and they spent the day at Granny's (thank you Granny) because I had a German grammar exam. This was the hardest exam I have ever taken in my life. I felt sick afterwards for most of the drive home. That was, until I walked in the door and was greeted by this:

Note: The glass is almost as big as the bottle. 

Ok, now I am not swayed easily, but the Chef had opened one of my 'will-not-share-with-anyone bottles' so I decided to just sink into the sofa by the fire and let the cat curl up on my lap for an hour. He made dinner and the kids worked on jigsaw puzzles. On a side note: special thanks goes out to our friend Eric who carried all those bottles of 'never-will-be-shared-with-anyone-bottles' all the way from sunny California. Getting good yummy American wine here on the other WEST coast, is, well, impossible.

Back up for a minute. Did I say a CAT curled up on my lap? Yes, I said CAT. Well, kitten really. A Pretty Kitty lives next door and has decided, not unlike the rest of the animal population within a five mile radius, that our house is better than her house - so now we have a cat.

There I was, sinking into my glass, feeling sorry for myself when the Chef came in to keep me company and we started talking about sending out Christmas cards and who we might get to visit/see over the Christmas holidays. Cue the nostalgia and the teary eyed me. 

I went to bed early and woke up early in a bad mood. The kids, having hump day off, had forgotten how to tie their shoes/get their uniforms/could not find their school bags/denied ever letting the cat into their I raced them to school and decided to go for a nice brisque walk. It started to POUR RAIN. Heavy. It has been freezing and snowing here for 3 weeks. Today, a downpour.

I got soaked. I headed back to the car, to go to college and had to wait 45 minutes to find a parking place. Grrrrr. I made good use of my time though. I started to scroll through some photos taken over the last year and found so many reasons to lighten up and let go of the bitchy bad mood I was wallowing in.

Have a peek:

I love this photo because it shows so much love and tenderness. 
Annie (baby) was a foster baby that my Mum had 
(from her birth to 8 months old). 
She was recently adopted and even though we all 
(Becca and Sam in photo) miss her so much, 
we are happy that she is with a 
wonderful family and will have a great Christmas.

This is our newer - bigger family. 
Now, we have four kids.

I love that this photo popped up. 
It is bacon sizzling in the pan. 
I love bacon. 
Everyone in our house loves bacon. 
I am pretty sure we can't live without it.

Wow - how did we manage to corral 7 little kids for the entire month of June? 
We had HELP! 
See again in the photo one of my bff's Becca came to the rescue. 
There is no shame in asking for help.

Dear God. 

Catherine has been praying to you for a long time 
to fill her world with Grandchildren. 
I feel that you have overcompensated for taking Dad 
from her (way) too soon, and we all get it. 

You are sorry, we forgive you. 
NOW - enough with the kids already. 
I think we have enough! 

And - WOW - what a colourful bunch they are!

This (above) is a photo I took at Coole Park 
the week we moved back home to Ireland (2008). 

Everything about it.

Ok. I know. It is just eggs and toast. 
But the key here is that we have 
not had to BUY one egg since last April. 
We are really starting to live more sustainably. 
We still have potatoes, garlic and onions from 
the Chef's hard labour this past growing season. 

I am so proud of him., I know. 
Bite me.

Friends that travel far distances and
 play with our children, 
drink beer with us and then
 pass out on our couches. 
Those, are real friends. 
And we would be lost without you all. 

The Chef has nicknamed this photo 'The Ffrench Sandwich'. 
I love these girls. 
I can laugh, cry or scream with them 
and they just accept me for the 
overbearing-drama-queen that I am. 

They know all my durty durty secrets and still 
love me.

I love this photo. 
It is the promise of something yummy
that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Did I mention how proud I am of the Chef 
and all his hard work in the Garden?

Have you ever seen such 
a pretty bunch of Garlic?

I love that the best pint of Guinness 
the Chef has ever drank
was at the 'Gravity Bar' 
at the 
Guinness Museum 
in Dublin.

I LOVE that Jack 
looks so guilty. 

This photo speaks volumes about 
who this little boy is.

I will never be too old or 
too Wise to shout from the rooftops that


Enough said.

I love that when I park my car and 
walk onto the university campus each day, 
I pass by this archway. 
It leads in to the original University Quadrangle. 
So much has happened inside these walls. 
I can almost feel the words and the stories 
seeping out through the solid stone. 
I love school.  
I am such a late bloomer. 
What the hell.

I think that Rory could be on a Bennetton commercial. 
She is just that cute. 
This photo also represents who she is becoming. 
She wants to be a vet. 
On a side note, I took this photo earlier this summer. 
We were all sitting outside, near the hen coop 
waiting and watching for the baby ducks to hatch.  
It took hours. 
We passed the time by giving all 
the girls and Jack pedicures. 
Out there, in the hen poop filled yard, 
with a big basin of water and 
some nail polish. 

What are we like.

Ok, back to Rory and her hostess-with-the-mostess skills. 

When we explained to Rory and Jack 
that there were
 two little girls coming to 
spend a week with us
Rory wrote this little note on our
 'daily specials' 

That was 8 months ago. 
Now, they are an inseparable bunch 

 'The fabulous four!'

I am not materialistic. 
Not at all. 
HOWEVER, my handsome Chef 
bought me a shiny new camera 
for our ten year wedding anniversary 
and GAWD, I love my new toy. 
It is a Sony Nex-5. 
If anyone is thinking about buying 
a nice new camera, 
email me if you have any questions. 
I swear, it is awesome. 

This was a pure fluke-took-with-my-iPhone-camera photo. 
I was trying to get a photo of the Swan above them and SNAP! 
Look how (almost) angelic they look. 
What I love about this photo is the fact 
that they all have 
VERY different expressions. 

They - are our world. 

Can you tell?

There you have it. 
A little run down of reasons not to be miserable. 

It picked me right up out of the doldrums and 
reminded me that despite the fact that the whole world 
is experiencing a real shake-down

'Life is good'  

We are all happy and have our health. 

We need to stop asking for more, 
and be happy with what we have.
It is enough.

 I am certain that then, 
and only then 
will things start to improve.

Those are all the WiseWords I have for today,



Pama said...

Wow, Mona, what a fine posting. Great photos too (as always).

My dad died at 57 and it was 30+ years ago. The loss does fade as the years go by, but I completely understand how you are feeling now. We & the world were robbed of dear men, much too soon.

happy holidays nonetheless, with your lovely family. All the best!
pAMA (& George)

WiseMóna said...

Thanks Pama. Hope all is going well for you in Cincinnati, Atlanta looked liked fun! I would not mind a mini-break to a spa for a night or two!

Happy Christmas to you both,


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