Wednesday, March 13, 2013
St. Pats Day is a day set aside to enjoy your/our Irish culture. For those not of Irish descent, it is also a day to enjoy being Irish! Whichever and however St Pats is celebrated in your world, always remember that to be truly Irish, humor cannot be be separated from all aspects of the Irish culture! And this includes using all kinds of idioms to describe the luck of the Irish! In the story that follows there are 46 examples of the idiom “luck of the Irish”!. How many can you find? There is only one that may be tricky so have some fun.
(An idiom is defined as a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g., raining cats and...dogs) and is natural to a language, person, or group of people.
St. Patrick (The other story) (author unknown)
Most people know all the stories about St. Patrick's Day, but Patrick Delaney had been told by his Pa that the real story was a lot different. One St. Patrick's Day his Pa told this story:
Once upon a time in Ireland lived a man who was always dressed in green. Green hat, green shirt and tie, green pants and belt and green shoes and socks. (to be quite honest his skin was a little green too, but some said that was because he only bathed in Irish bogs so his skin was a moss color.) Some people said that once he was a lucky man when he had a lucky streak. His string of good luck started when he bought a sack of potatoes and when he opened the sack he found a small pot of gold. When he sold the gold he had enough money to buy a small house. After he bought his house he became good friends with his neighbors and thought himself to be a lucky dog to have lucked out. One night there was a terrible storm that knocked down everyone's house in the village except his. He seemed to be having a lucky streak. His neighbors asked him how he had been so lucky. He said to them, "When I heard the wind starting to blow I wished upon a lucky star, and it worked!" They thought that his luck was more about the gold that he found, but he replied with the Yiddish Proverb, "Better an ounce o f luck than a pound of gold." They didn't understand what he meant by that and he had to explain to them that even though he had found a pot of gold, if his house had blown down he wouldn't have anything left. It was only string of good luck that saved his house and his good fortune! They said to him, "Well you can thank your lucky stars that you found the pot of gold in the first place." He felt sorry for his neighbors because they had had tough luck. He knew that it was only the luck of the draw that had saved his house. Sometimes it is just pure luck when good things happen to you. His next door neighbor called him a lucky dog but the little green man said, "You have to be good to be lucky" His neighbor said it was only the the luck of the Irish that had saved only his house. He agreed with his neighbor, his good luck was just that. Good luck. He felt guilty that he had been so lucky, but what could he do about it? He didn't want to give his house away just because he had been lucky. He was a good man though, and he decided that he would leave it up to luck, whether he would get to keep his house. He called his neighbor over and said to him that he would give his house away to his neighbor if he could do one simple thing. His neighbor thought that he might have a stroke of good luck. His neighbor knew that he had lucked out. No one gives away their house based upon a "simple thing"! What a lucky break! (he thought!) His neighbor had been really down on his luck. He had just lost his job the week before the wind knocked his house down. "What do I have to do?" asked the neighbor. The man in green said, "I've written down a famous Irish saying that talks about luck. All you have to do is tell me what the famous expression is." His neighbor said, "Wow that's easy, it has to be: It’s wishing you joy, I’ll be havin’ you know, and wherever you go." "Wrong, check the paper, it says : If you’re lucky enough to be Irish……you’re lucky enough." said the little man in green. "Well darn my luck," said his neighbor. At this point in the story all the neighbors wanted to get in on the contest. They all wanted to win the little green man's house for themselves. One of his nicer neighbors didn't think it was a very smart for the little green man to give away his house in such a risky way urged the little green man to quit this silliness and said, "Don't push your luck, you don't want to lose your house just because you are so generous and your neighbors are so greedy." The little green man said to him, "I appreciate you looking out for me, but I'm going to do this, why don't you try your luck ?" This neighbor said, "OK if you want to push your luck, I'll give it a try. You probably said: May good fortune be yours, may your joys never end." He was wrong, the paper said, "Like the warmth of the sun and the light of the day, may the luck of the Irish shine bright on your way." One more thighbone wanted to try his luck but the little green man said to him, "You should be so lucky, I'm not going to push my luck again!"
By this time the little green man was feeling pretty good about himself and his string of good luck.
He was also in a mood to make a few jokes and said, "I look like a million dollars -- green and wrinkled." His friends and neighbors all agreed with him about looking green and wrinkled and wished he could buy some new clothes and take a bath in a bathtub, because besides looking green he also smelled green. (if you know what I mean) He then said, "I know how to confuse an Irishman -- lean three shovels against a wall and then say "Take your pick.""
His neighbors were angry that he would tell a racist joke. They didn't think it was funny making fun of being Irish. He had pushed his luck too far this time. His neighbors decided that they didn't like him any more, the luck of the Irish seemed to be leaving him. Had his lucky break in finding the pot of gold finally ended? Had his lucky streak ended? It had! The next week there was a fire and his house burned down. He was ruined. He didn't have any money or a house and all of his former neighbors (he thought they were friends) hated him for making stupid jokes about Irishmen and were sick of looking at and smelling his greenness. He felt in disgrace and went back to living in the bogs and got even greener over the years. But the story of his string of good luck and how it had turned into bad luck became a legend in Ireland.
When Patrick's dad finished this story Patrick looked up to his dad and asked him, "Pa, what was the little green man's name, you never said." Pa's dad looked at him and quietly said, "His name was Patrick, just like yours, he was your great, great, great, great grandpa and you are named after him." Patrick thought about this for a while and then asked his dad if he would ever have a string of good luck. His Pa thought for a while and said, "There's a famous saying that goes like this:I am a great believer in luck and the harder I work the more of it I have. A famous man called Stephen B. Leacock said that."
"But Pa, I don't understand, what does that mean?", said Patrick. His Pa looked at Patrick and said, "Here's another way of saying it: Nothing brings you good luck so much as not relying on it." Patrick was getting a little frustrated, his dad was being too smart for him. Patrick wished his dad would just give him a simple explanation so he asked him again, "But Pa...." His dad made one more attempt and said, "Well son, a famous movie actress Shirley Temple Black once said, "Good luck needs no explanation." Patrick groaned and said, "the luck of the Irish isn't with me right now, can I go out and play?"
"Sure," said his Pa, "You're a lucky dog that you can go out and play, I have work to do. " Patrick replied with a grin on his face, "You have to be good to be lucky Pa." His Pa thought, "I hope that boy's got the luck of the Irish but I really lucked out with that son of mine. I can thank my lucky stars for that lad what a lucky break that he's such a good boy. I never got to tell him that the little green Patrick in the story came to be known as St. Patrick."
May the sound of happy music, And the lilt of Irish laughter, fill your heart with gladness, that stays forever after.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
I know that St. Pat's is on the 17th....but the Irish blood that my Dad passed on to me is what makes me want to smile when all goes wrong...puts bounce in my steps... and taught me to love the pastoral scene!!!! The Irish are very friendly, helpful, have a good sense of humor overall and are very welcoming to many people! Why not share more than day a year!
While I don't think that stereotyping is the thing to do, I do think that at times it is OK within a family...after all we do pass things on! So growing up with my Dad has taught me that many Irish are talkative, inquisitive about people and places, helpful, open, good company, who tend to hate saying "no" to your face, so they are notoriously indirect when it comes to criticism or rejection. Time keeping is often seen as a very honorable aspiration but nobody really expects an eight o'clock meeting to start at eight! Definitely philosophical about life, the universe and all of that and, like anywhere else, some of us are just plain boring!!
The final trait that I carry....I grew up when blond hair and blue eyes were the greatest gift a girl could have! Here too, I have the “mark” of the Irish! I grew up as a 'carrot top”, green eyes and FRECKLES to go with it! Though many times I have longed to to wish it weren't so, today I wouldn't change a thing! In fact I actually wish that my gray hair were actually red again!
So I plan to celebrate this part of me longer than just on Sunday...the memories that I have had with my Dad are worth more than the effort!
The Leprechauns are Marching
The Leprechauns are marching,
They're marching down the hall,
They're marching on the ceiling,
They're marching on the wall.
They're marching two by two,
And now it's four by four,
You say you still can't see them?
Move back! Here come some more!
The leprechauns are marching,
I think it's three by three.
Just close your eyes and try now
To visualize with me.
Their merry little feet
Will never miss a beat.
They're very tricky fellows.
Look out! They're under the sheet!
May the saint protect ye-
An' sorrow neglect ye,
An' bad luck to the one
That doesn't respect ye
t' all that belong to ye,
An long life t' yer honor-
That's the end of my song t' ye!
Monday, March 11, 2013
A Professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
So the Professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The Professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "Yes."
The Professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
"Now," said the Professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
The golf balls are the important things - your family, your children, your health, your friends, your favorite passions - things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car.
The sand is everything else - the small stuff."
"If you put the sand into the jar first", he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house, and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
When he had finished, there was a profound silence. Then one of the students raised her hand and with a puzzled expression, inquired what the beer represented.
The Professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of beers."
Lesson: When things in your life seem almost to much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar......and the beer.
Borrowed story from long ago! Author Unknown
Sunday, March 10, 2013
For your morning coffee, here are some more of my favorites...I often read these at special times when I need that little extra boost! Hope that they can bring some inspiration to you too on this “how long to spring” day!
Sweet Success Charles Ghigna
The secret of success is clear,
It's simple and it's true;
It's not in doing what you like,
But liking what you do.
The Dew Drop Peter Hughes
As the sun rose, a dew drop became aware of its surroundings. There it sat on a leaf, catching the sunlight and throwing it back out. Proud of its simple beauty, it was very content. Around it were other dew drops, some on the same leaf and some on other leaves round about. The dew drop was sure that it was the best, the most special dew drop of them all.
Ah, it was good to be a dew drop.
The wind rose and the plant began to shake, tipping the leaf. Terror gripped the dew drop as gravity pulled it towards the edge of the leaf, towards the unknown. Why? Why was this happening? Things were comfortable. Things were safe. Why did they have to change? Why?
The dew drop reached the edge of the leaf. It was terrified, certain that it would be smashed into a thousand pieces below, sure that this was the end. The day had only just begun and the end had come so quickly. It seemed so unfair. It seemed so meaningless. It tried desperately to do whatever it could to cling to the leaf, but it was no use.
Finally, it let go, surrendering to the pull of gravity. Down, down it fell. Below there seemed to be a mirror. A reflection of itself seemed to be coming up to meet the dew drop. Closer and closer they came together until finally...
And then the fear transformed into deep joy as the tiny dew drop merged with the vastness that was the pond. Now the dew drop was no more, but it was not destroyed. It had become one with the whole!
Two Horses Author Unknown
Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it. From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse.
But if you get a closer look you will notice something quite interesting...
One of the horses is blind.
His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made him a safe and comfortable barn to live in.
This alone is pretty amazing.
But if you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell. It is coming from a smaller horse in the field.
Attached to the horse's halter is a small, copper-colored bell. It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is, so he can follow.
As you stand and watch these two friends you'll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse, and that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to where the other horse is, trusting he will not be led astray.
When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, he will stop occasionally to look back, making sure that the blind friend isn't too far behind to hear the bell.
Like the owners of these two horses, we are not thrown away just because we are not perfect. Or because we have problems or challenges. Because as the universe watches over us, it brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.
Sometimes we are the blind horse, being guided by the little ringing bell of those who are placed in our lives. And at other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way.
Tree of Knowledge Charles Ghigna
The woodpecker has shown us how
A worthy life is led;
We cannot leave our mark on life
Unless we use our head.
Saturday, March 09, 2013
Today's Blog is a hodgepodge of the many emotions that I have felt this week! While I have had far more positive than negative, there will be some negative come through! Sure there are some that I want to say are OK or that they are because of cancer/chemo....neither of these are me, fair nor do they accomplish anything except to foster something that I don’t want to be!
Here are my thoughts!
My cats curled up, purring against my ear and heart...
A husband who has taken care of me....
I have noticed how I can become someone else and cast ugly words in that direction, only to feel the shame when I can't undo the ugly!
SP friends have supported, passed on hugs, shared kind words and made the whole process bearable...
My NC calls that simply say that I am there with you while staying on the phone with me for hours..
Of making plans for the future and wondering how far I have yet to travel!
Realizing that there is so much more that I want to do without fear or questioning that there is a enough time!
Walking into my oncology clinic to daily smiles that that talk to me in a special way!
That this time I can eat! And most important...I want to! I like this because it is the gauge my family uses to see if I am telling them the truth! (Still have to use plastic silverware)
Wondering just when I will have to give up my “cute hair” but knowing that I won't have to fuss with hair so my head is always clean!!!!
Most important is the smile that has been given so freely!
Cancer is something that we all fear,
I'm not alone, love is near.
It is very difficult to cope,
My strongest therapy is our hope.
I have the strength to defeat,
From my head to my feet.
Stick with it, never surrender,
By my side, SP friends are my defender.
Deep inside I sense your power,
Your blessings you like to shower.
I am so proud of all that you do,
We know you can, we love you!
Original @ AnitaPoems.com (l Made 1st person as this is how I have felt!)
You're a truly wonderful friend,
A short message I would like to send.
Over time, I did observe,
In this life, many things you deserve.
I'm not simply trying to flatter,
Mistakes from the past don't really matter.
You just need to look ahead,
Love from your heart, continue to spread.
I know everything will be alright,
Since we're a team in this fight.
So I remember, I'm not alone,
Right next to me there's my mental clone.
Original @ AnitaPoems.com (l Made 1st person as this is how I have felt!)
And foremost I want to add that I know what cancer and chemo cannot do!
Cancer is so limited...
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the Spirit.
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