Posts Tagged ‘Guinness’

This week’s challenge is black and white and I confess that I don’t know how to do this on my iPad and as my life is quite hectic right now, I don’t have time to figure out if and how I can do it. But here’s my photo that turned out to be black and white.(Perhaps this is ironic, as there’s a drink, made with Guinness and a pale ale, called a black-and-tan.)   Since the “rules” are rather flexible here and the participants forgiving, I believe this will be acceptable. If not, I’m ready to dodge the virtual wet noodle flogging.

To see the” legitimate” entries, click here.  I’ll be doing another (unexpected) two-day driving trip, so once again, I must apologize for possibly not getting to visit everyone else’s entries or sites.  The next two weeks will be crazy and then I hope I’ll be back to a more regular schedule.  Thanks for your understanding and for all your likes and comments.  It means a lot to me!


The first time I saw a rugby game in grad school, courtesy of an invitation by a British friend who was playing, I didn’t think there were many (perhaps any) rules. It appeared to me to be closely akin to throwing a ball out at recess in the middle of a bunch of first or second graders and saying, “Get it”, although hopefully at that level, the ensuing mayhem would be on a much milder level and sans the blood streaming down a face or two. Eventually I realized there were rules…but that the mayhem not only remained, but was rejoiced in, even when the “old boys” got together, creaking and groaning, to commiserate about the good old days and good old plays. (And believe you me, they remember every single one of those plays.)

Last year, our younger daughter and I gathered with other rugby fans at a nearby Irish pub, and with a draft or two of Guinness for me, to watch New Zealand’s All-Blacks defeat France 8-7, in New Zealand. We had a great time and there’s absolutely nothing in sports like watching the All Black’s perform the haka before a game:

However, the real reason I’m thankful for rugby is that years ago, I attended a game on a day where I had nothing else to do, in response to an invitation from a couple of friends who’d been helping me coach the boys’ soccer team at the high school at which I was teaching. And not too many post-games later at the local roadhouse, (now a much more upscale restaurant with glass-topped tables but no panache), a player looking for a spot to sit and eat his hamburgers in a room so filled that only a few seats were left at already-occupied tables, asked if he could sit with me, and that player eventually became my husband.

He doesn’t play rugby anymore (although he still remembers every play, injury and concussion), but today’s his birthday and I want to acknowledge that if it weren’t for rugby, I’d have missed out on the best person in my life! So here’s to rugby and happy birthday to my husband!  Ruck on.

Every family has sayings that have been around forever, sayings whose beginnings are shrouded so thickly in the mists of time that no one can remember where they came from.   Others, everyone remembers.  Some of my family’s favorite quotes are the original Pink Panther movies with Peter Sellers.

“Now is not the time, Cato!”

“Now is the time, Cato!”

“Don’t let my legs fool you.  I’m really a man.”

“Do you have a room by the pool?”  (But pronounced more like a ruuuum by the pewl. You really have to hear it.)

Anyway….”Ah, the aroma” is one that came from a place that none of us remember, from my pre-marriage family.  But I thought of it both yesterday and today.

Our rental house in Naperville has a small bay window above the sink in the kitchen that’s just made for plants, the perfect indoor kitchen garden where you can grab the herbs you need for dinner without setting foot outside.  This summer, I potted some herbs there and a jasmine plant purchased a year earlier from Trader Joe’s, that once filled the entire first floor of our Cleveland home with the scent of jasmine, all from a plant not two feet high.  I cut the jasmine plant back drastically, letting it decide if it would recover or not.  The herbs survived even my husband’s neglect of them, most of them even thriving on it.  However, when the cold came, cancer came and the work became (or stayed) heavy, there’s was a bit of hurtin’ from lack of attention.

The rosemary looks good.  The parsley and oregano are OK, the basil a bit leggy but a bit of pinching back will help there.  The thyme’s time, though, seems to have come and gone, the jury on the possibility of recovery so far out that they aren’t even in the courtroom anymore.

But yesterday while I was working in the kitchen, a fragrant smell crept to my nose and, peering up under the partially-down blind, I saw two lovely jasmine flowers; two tiny flowers perfuming an entire kitchen, reminding me of the first time I smelled live jasmine.

The girls were little and we were driving to Florida for vacation with a stop in Nag’s Head, N.C.  We had to watch our money but found a fairly spacious cabin-like motel room in a motel on the beach which, since it was out of season, was affordable.  It had a kitchen so we could make our own meals, plenty of room ,and outside the door was a huge jasmine bush.  The smell permeated the entire cabin and surrounding area.  At the end of a day of walking bundled up along an empty beach, it welcomed us back.

I moved the herbs and the jasmine plant to the raised, brick hearth of the fireplace we don’t use.  They sit next to a large, by now antique, crock from my grandparents Nebraska farm, a lot like the one pictured here, filled with wood for the fireplace we’re not currently using.  The whole set-up looks very Martha Stewart, although I’m sure she would have made the crocks herself by hand from materials she found and dug up on her own farm, a farm she started and build up from scratch;the bricks taken from an old building she tore down, then used to made both the fireplace and hearth (ala “Little House on the Prairie”) by hand as well;  the herbs and jasmine grown from heirloom seeds she was willed by her great-great-grandparents.

Oh, well, as I sit with my book and my Guinness in a non-heirloom, nor handmade, chair from IKEA, I enjoy the subtle smell of the jasmine, taking me back to that cold, lovely North Carolina beach. Ah, the aroma.  Eat your heart out, Martha!

Since the Packers lost in the playoffs, I don’t have a favorite in this year’s Super Bowl, but I do watch the game. Many of my non-football friends watch only for the commercials and we’ve had Super Bowl parties when no one really watched either the game or commercials. So far, my favorites are the vampire-killing headlights (yes, I’m one of those people who believe vampires should only be out at night, should die in the light and should be evil) and the dog that works out to chase the VW. But the big problem with commercials that are funny or even the ones that aren’t (or the ones you just want to see so you can talk about them later), is that they leave no time to get snacks, pour my Guinness (brilliant, you know), or take a bathroom break. What’s a football and sometimes commercial fan to do?

Well, back to the regularly scheduled Super Bowl and my Guinness…and the commercials. And I’m not worried. I just realized I can do all that stuff during half time, always my least favorite part of the game. Enjoy!!