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

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Contrary Mary...yep, that's me today.

I know that a lot of spouses are feeling my pain. Many of you will shudder at the thoughts of climbing in to bed beside your partners tonight for fear of this happening. A long, unrestful night of SNORING. 

I have murderous thoughts when this happens. I sometimes feel that I should just get up and go downstairs to get away from it all, but I am usually too tired to do this, so I wait patiently for the snoring to subside. I try turning him over on his side, holding his nose and sometimes even putting a pillow over his head. And still he lives snores. Nothing works. It is not like it occurs every night of the week, just infrequently and until 3:30am last night.


You know, the kind of insanity like when you just get used to having a newborn. You are so sleep deprived it hurts to open your eyelids the next morning and no matter how you are woken, it is too early and you are too tired. END.OF.STORY. If only life, and those that are on my team, would go along with my wishes. 

Someone (that snores) sent this little birthday boy up the stairs this morning (the morning of my sleepless night) with a stainless steel bowl and a wooden spoon. The poor lamb was instructed to beat on it loudly in order to get 'Mommy out of bed for breakfast so we could get going'. This all happenened at 7:30am this morning. Smart little boy noticed that his father was not brave enough to go upstairs, so although he beat the bowl VERY LOUDLY he refrained from entering my bedroom. It is his birthday tomorrow. That is probably the only reason that he and his father are still alive this evening.

Why, if someone kept you awake all night with their snoring, would the offender not offer an olive branch in the form of a hot cup of coffee or a few pancakes. Why would a husband think that this banging of the bowl was such a good idea? There is no right answer here folks. The truth is that sometimes Men just don't think. The Chef included.

So off we went to a Poultry bring n'buy sale in County Limerick this morning. As we headed down the highway (with me at the wheel) the kids had the soundtrack from Glee playing one of my favourite tunes. You know the one with Gwyneth Paltrow singing Cee Lo Greens 'Fuck Forget You'? Yes. That allowed me to shake off my grumpiness just intime to notice what a gorgeous day it was and despite my tiredness, I persevered and ended up enjoying myself. (I am, after all - the last martyr standing).

With my eyes held open with a few toothpicks I was able to capture a few precious moments with the kids. Keepers for sure and they might even end up in a frame.

Not long after we returned home this afternoon I spent a few moments in the Chef's polytunnel watching his seedlings grow and I started to get very excited about the fact that Spring has really sprung and everything is starting to thrive.

We have had a fantastic few days of sunshine and despite the political mess the country has just gotten itself into, there is a new leader in office. He was elected by the people, so now the people must understand that there are consequences for their actions. Let's all hope that things can only get better?

I leave you this Sunday evening with sleep in my eyes and an early bedtime on the cards for me once I have put a dent in that gorgeous 'sorry' loaf the Chef pulled out of the oven.

Those are all the WiseWords I have for today,


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wandering WiseWords

Someone sneaky sent my blog in as a nominee for the Irish Blogger Awards coming up in March.

My WiseIrishBlog has been nominated for 'Best Personal Blog'.

I am rendered speechless to see this especially considering the competition I have.

Check out HERE all the amazing funny yummy blogs that I am lucky to be lined up beside.

Holy moley....

More later after I catch my breath, and BEST OF LUCK to all the Bloggers!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dear God, It's me Móna...

Dear God,

(I know, I know, I am a little too much of a heathen to be ranting off a bitching email to God, but bare with me please.)

I am asking you to 'stop time' for two years. I have always believed in telling it how it is and right now I just need to buy a little time. A few years ago, I had this brilliant idea. I found myself with all this free time on my hands and decided to enroll in college and get myself an education. Not a bad idea, TheMotherOne was thrilled to bits and offered her babysitting/taxi/after-school (and wooden-spoon) assistance. My handsome Chef (silently grumbling at the loss of his nurturing wife) went along with the plan - as he does. So, there I was with all the time in the world and what did I do, I gave it all away.

Now look here. See these beautiful babies that I left behind a few years ago. They are practically teenagers now and barely speak to me. Well, ok God, maybe that is a slight exaggeration but look! There they were, gathering pumpkins in Farmer Jons pumpkin patch with not a care in the world, with the exception of who got the biggest pumpkin. Why did I feel this urge to better myself and go to college? Why did I have such a selfish need to do something for myself causing me to abandon my husband and babies? 

Why did I not do what my Mammy told me when I was seventeen and 'go to college' THEN instead of waiting till I was close to my mid-life-crises age before deciding that the right college course had finally been written into the curriculum just for me and it was time to jump ship on my current 'life' and throw the whole family into a tailspin whilst chasing another 'life'.

So, that is all I am asking for today. I would like you to freeze time for a few (2 or 3) years so I get all wrapped up in college (aka 'finish what I started') and then we can go back to being a normal family.

Thank you for your consideration,

Best Regards,


God's Response:  Ah Móna, relax. It is mid-semester and you are burdened with the stress of all those assignments you should be doing right now. Instead you are wasting your precious time (and word count) writing to me? I see you struggle with the day-to-day worries of family life. I see your husband and mother rallying around you helping in every way they can - because they love you and want you to succeed in what you have set out to do. 

I see that the children are no longer babies. I cannot make times stand still for you or them. Believe it or not, they need 'less of you' right now and more of their friends and teachers. Keep in mind, the teenage years are coming and by then you will have graduated (I hope). You will be soundly settled with your 'WiseWords career dreams' and have ample time to be with (or get the hell away from) those lovely children of yours.

The important thing to remember right now is that you are loved and you are most certainly not alone. Every mother out there deal with the feelings of being so overwhelmed that they just do not know how to cope. A lot of Mum's feel so under-appreciated and unloved, so much so they cannot get out of bed to face the day before them. 

Be thankful for what you have. A beautiful family and you all have your health. A lovely 'real' home with a door that is always open to feed whomever crosses the threshold. Life is too short to be so hung up on people 'want'. Stick to what you 'need' right now and you will be, as you already are, eternally happy.

Best Regards from a Cloudy Heaven,


PS - there is no way you are getting an 'A' on these essays if you do not stop mucking around on FaceBook. That, is a total deal-breaker.

Ok - glad I got this off my chest, I can get back to my procrastinating about those assignments that are due next week ON MY BIRTHDAY!

Those are all the WiseWords I have for today. 


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Let's talk about love...for all things Chocolate.

Tomorrow is Valentines Day. We never really do anything on Valentines Day. We have spent most of our lives working in a restaurant helping others celebrate this day of love by feeding their tummy's full of something memorable. Now that we have a lot more time (and at least three babysitters at our disposal) we still have no desire or inclination to go-all-out for this holiday. I know. 

Why venture out when the goodies at home are so much better?

One of my friends from University (Becca) spends most of her weekends here at 'Chez Wise' playing with our kids, loving waaaaay too much on our animals and folding laundry. It is hard to find a friend like this. Yet every weekend, she packs her little bag and comes back for more. 

This weekend, whilst I was hiding in the safe haven of my room, the kids asked the Chef if he would make them some Chocolate Brownies for their dessert. The man is a self-confessed-choc-a-holic so I was shocked to hear him mumble 'no, see if Becca will bake them for you'. It should also be mentioned that he was a third of the way into one of his favourite reads The Buy & Sell and once he gets in to this not much will distract him unless it is a copy of one of his other favourites: The Galway Advertiser. Not even chocolate will distract him.

Becca, one of the nicest gals on the planet, has a hard time saying 'no' to the brats and before she really knew what was happening, she was standing the other side of the counter with wooden spoon and mixing bowl in hand taking dictation from the King Chef. 

This is not somewhere you ever really want to be, because he is kind of mean. I am deadly serious. I have been his pantry bitch and dish bitch for over 16 years now. Working directly under his thumb leaves you open for way too much scrutiny. One small screwup and you might.just.die.

She was blind. I was not around to give her the all-too-knowing 'run Becca whilst you still can, before he crushes your spirit and you will never want to bake again'.. . She loves to bake.

So, out comes his very famous and very secret recipe that he shares willingly and freely with her. (ah, look, he is starting off all nicely after all).

The recipe read as follows:

Ron's Recipe

2 pounds of Butter
2500 grams of chocolate chips
32 eggs
1800 grams of sugar
900 mil oil
800 grams plain flour
50 grams baking powder

It was not until she saw the 32 eggs that she felt a little overwhelmed and started to ask a few questions, which you should NEVER DO because that just gives him reason to start making fun of you. I know you might think I am exaggerating a little - but walk in my shoes for a few days. It is who he is.

So, aside from the fact that the recipe was for a whopping amount of Brownies, Becca was able to mathematically convert it to a nice size recipe and trust me even though the images are not all that great, this is the best brownie ever made. Moist, rich and so choc-full-of-chocolate it reminded me why it is I still love this brazen Chef after all these years.

As you can see from the picture below, the kids barely left a scrap for the grownups. So, if you are looking to make or bake something nice for your other half and want to give this a shot then the correct recipe is down below. Becca survived her baking episode with the all-too-knowing-chef but it might be a while before she goes so willingly to the baking bowl again in his kitchen.

Wise Brownie Bliss

250 gr     Chocolate Chips (Callebaut dark/plain)
90 gr       Butter
3             Eggs
180 gr     Sugar
90 ml      Oil
80 gr       Plain Flour
5 gr         Baking Powder


  1. Melt the chocolate chips and butter in the microwave for two minutes.
  2. Beat/whisk eggs, oil and sugar together.
  3. Combine both mixtures above then add flour and baking powder. 
  4. Pour into a baking dish and bake in the oven for twenty to twenty five minutes 165 degrees celsius/330 fahrenheit.
  5. This is a very easy dessert to bake and assuming you use good quality dark chocolate and real butter (not schwag) then you will be delighted with the outcome as will your dining companions.

Happy Valentines Day from us all here at Chez Wise.

Those are all the WiseWords I have for today,


Sunday, February 06, 2011

Time trickles away...

Sometimes the words just don't come. They ramble around for hours, days, weeks and even months (eeek) before the urge to purge is so great I have to abandon all other very pressing matters and sit down and just WRITE. That, or the fact that it is fast approaching Sunday evening, the whole weekend is gone and there is a growing mountain of unorganized (but clean and dry) laundry making itself known by its sheer size and volume.

I always feel like looking at current or past photos of either food or family will help encourage the flapping of jaws but this time instead of the photos encouraging me to write or share, they just made me cry. The first photo with the kids at the cool old knobby tree was taken by my Mum (Catherine) on her shwanky new iPhone. I hate that she advanced to the 'technologically' kitted out MORE than me. BUT I love that she captured the sugar-high she gave them last week at Barna Woods. You can feel their  happiness looking at this photo.

This is where the tears start. What on earth has happened to my baby girl. Was it not yesterday she was just a little 5lb bag of sugar in my hand, snuzzling in between the Chef and I and sleeping her days away in the bassinet under the bar at Rondo's? Now, Ms. Rory-Belle is almost 8 years old. She is turning into the cutest little lady. She is funny, book smart, spiritual and wants to be a Vet. And, I might as well mention that she is pretty darn gorgeous to boot.

Sam, Sam Sam............
Wow. I had to pull some old photos from when the girls came to stay with us last May (2010) and was just shocked at the compare and contrast. I have not uploaded the photos I took from their first day with us, because even for me to look at today it was a little daunting. Sam, we were told, would 'never progress academically'. She ended this past week getting all her Irish and English spellings tests 100% right and her Maths test 100% right. Her feet have not touched the ground since Friday. Needless to say, her confidence is improving and I am a firm believer that beauty comes from within. I am fearful for the teen-years when the above two get going and we will have a whole world of other problems to deal with. 

Jack the (only) Lad...

My little man will turn 6 years old in just a few weeks. I am filled with this horrible heartache when I think back to that first year with him. Oh, how he screamed and cried. He could not be held or put down. He could not eat, or go hungry. All he wanted was his Mama and his Mama almost lost her marbles trying to be everything he needed. Thankfully, the Chef, my Mum (some pretty hefty phone bills that year I reckon) and our amazing babysitter (Erica - who we still miss sooooo much) dragged me through that year and we all survived.

And our youngest little one - the Lovely Lulu.
But by no means the Baby of the bunch. Lulu is the meek and mild child. She has had the roughest time and transitioning to a new home has been harder for her than for Sam. To see an earlier photo of Lulu taken last summer -- click here -- there is a lot of sadness in her little face. I think that Lulu could be the poster child for 'Feed 'em, Love 'em, Watch 'em Grow'. She knocks my socks of almost daily now with her stages of development. She is finally (aaaahhhhh finally) making some progress. She just got 'Gaelgoir na Seachtana' which is an 'in-class' award for the most Irish spoken in class. We have never seen a prouder little kid. What a little star.

The Chef's birthday was last week and one of our favourite little Sushi restaurants decided to celebrate the owners heritage and have a 3-day Korean festival. OH.MY.GAWD. The food was as authentic as it gets and we had a hard time, well, going home. We had to though because it was a school night and we had already kind of celebrated his birthday the weekend before with all our friends..........but we are hearing rumours that they might do a Korean menu once a month so for those that are local to my neck of the woods - stay tuned and next time we will have a bit of a hoolie!

Ok, so to sum it all up and not stray off topic, all is going well in the Wise family household. I am slightly buried under assignments but have only a few more months of school to get through before I am off for a nice long summer break. 

Due to another visit from Mr. Fox, the Chef and I are looking at building a new fence so our hens and ducks can roam free-range safely whilst we are at work and school. One of our friends, who is as nutty as we are, recommended we look into getting a Goat fence because if you can keep a Goat in, then there is no chance of a fox being able to get in to kill our feathery friends. 

So, when it is all said and done, if one builds a goat fence to protect ones flock, then would it not makes sense to have a few goats?

Please tell me you honestly do not want one. Stay tuned folks. After exams, I have a feeling that there will be some goats milk on the table!

And finally (the crowd goes wild with relief) to add to all my sadness about the kids are not being babies anymore and I am getting old and crabby, my (MUCH OLDER) sister sent me this video from when I was a child and Rory was a baby. (I cannot believe the Chef got away with marrying me when I was like only twelve).

Life is good folks. Tune out the election and turn of those damn TV sets. Play with your kids, get out and go for a bike ride or a walk. OR, get out there and help a child in need. You can do so much more than you 'think' you can.

Those are all the WiseWords I have for today,


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