Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Five Things Noticed About the Irish

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you! 

The Brick is having a steaming helping of colcannon for supper tonight, in honor of our shared heritage. (In other words, potatoes and cabbage - - go here for recipes, including Irish stew and soda bread.) He knew he descended from three Brick brothers who left Ireland to come to the States back in the late 17th/early 18th century. What we didn't know was that "Brick" is actually Gaelic for "badger!" Since Brick is such an unusual name, David made some calls to Bricks in the phone book while we were in Ireland...and actually found some people we think we may be distantly related to. Wow.
     In fact, we found a "Brick's" pub while we were wandering about the back country. (Darn -- it was closed, but nonetheless...)

The Brick, with more Bricks...what a cutie, huh.
 I wish we'd had more time in Ireland last fall...but I did notice some things that surprised me. 

1.  There must be a LOT of Irish people in the States...because the people we saw there could have fit right in here, with few exceptions. (Except for the accent -- you could understand only by concentrating very hard, and asking to repeat things a lot. It sounds lovely, though.)

2.  Most of the women didn't wear jeans...but tights, instead. (I got the feeling this was largely because they couldn't afford them, and tights were the next-best alternative.)

3.  We didn't see many people drinking Guinness. Smithwick's was much more popular, or Bulmer's hard cider. (More on drinking Irish here.)

4.  Still a ton of hard feelings against the Brits...and a lot of surprising mentions about "The Troubles." These happened decades (the 1960s, in the case of The Troubles) or even centuries before -- but Irish have looonnng memories. 

5.  They still love potatoes - any size, shape or form, but we saw a lot of mashed, or "chips." (Yes, with fish.) The great Potato Famine, back in the 1840s, is also a painfully fresh memory. While driving around with our cousins, we kept seeing small plots on the hillsides. "The potato patches," said our cousin. "They haven't been planted for years because of the blight -- but the marks are still there." Amazing. 


Poor old Michigan (#8) lost to Michigan State (#22). Again. This makes back-to-back victories in both football and basketball. Can we "Go Blue" fans ever hold our collective heads up again...

Perfect potstickers...and other Asian quick lunch ideas.  (From

One of the scariest locations in the world for a house -- up on a tiny shelf, more than 13,000 altitude in the Alps!

The mom in Denver who told her 6-year-old that he had cancer, collected a boatload of money (and took a trip to Disneyland) -- except it was all a lie. 

"The day I wasted a ton of money at Home Depot." A good post on keeping your focus. (From Money Beagle)

An earthquake hits -- and the KTLA news anchors in Los Angeles dive for cover! (Not that you can blame them.)

What do you do if you can't make ends meet? The first of a two-parter, from Get Rich Slowly. (The story of someone who actually went through this is extremely helpful, too.)

Warren Buffett holds forth. He actually released parts of his annual letter early this year! (By yours truly via Midlife Finance.)

Hope your celebration was a fun one...have a good week.

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