Monthly Archives: October 2007


Today is the 30th of October

When I think of Thirty what comes to mind?

The age I was when I married

Thirty years since I married

Thirty days has September….

Thirty years war

Thirty pieces of Silver

Thirty is a tennis score

Half a Crown = 2s.6d = 30 old pennies

Three tens

Five sixes

Six fives

When you think of Thirty what comes to mind?

Donal’s Cot

Donal weighed in at 2lbs which is just short of a Kilo. He was a very premature baby that his mother carried for less than six months. He had no hair, eyelashes, eyebrows or nails and his skin was porous. He was not expected to survive for very long so the Paediatrician suggested taking him home. His actual words were “He might as well die at home as in here!”

Donal’s homecoming was not as easy as it sounds. His father was sent to find a ‘small’ cot/crib which he did, and it was ready and waiting for the new occupant when he arrived with his ill mother and a nurse. The nurse lived with and became part of the family over the next six months, she was called ‘No-No’ by Donal’s two year-old brother, and the name stuck. To this day if you say the name ‘No-No’ to any of the family they know exactly who you mean.

The Paediatrician soon arrived and set to work.

He gave precise instructions about feeding and cleaning the baby. Donal was not to be washed or bathed in water! His skin was to be cleaned with olive oil and cotton wool. Food was to be administered by medicine dropper, every hour on the hour! He rigged up a large light bulb over the cot to provide extra heat for the premature baby and it was to remain on night and day. Being wintertime the temperature was quite low. A fire was lit in the bedroom and kept going day and night.

Each day was a milestone, but there were many when they fought to keep the baby alive. The Paediatrician was a regular caller and was delighted with any little improvement. The danger stage eventually passed and Donal was introduced to bottle feeding and began to put on a little weight. The first size baby clothes fitted and slowly the pleasure of washing and bath-time became part of the daily routine. The light was removed from over the cot, but Donal slept in it for a full year.

With Donal’s move to a normal sized baby cot the little one was cleaned, covered and stored in the loft. It was used again with pride for the arrival of his four younger siblings.

The little cot appeared for the first time 62 years ago. There were no incubators, or ‘Baby Units’ in hospitals like we have today, the only clothes for premature babies were dolls clothes. Houses had no central heating and washing was all done by hand. Nappies were rinsed, then boiled and when washing was complete they were line dried. The feeding bottles were sterilised by boiling. A baby was hard work back then!

The little cot moved through the family for the arrival of each new baby. Cousins, nieces and nephews all started their lives in it. I spent my early months in it as did Elly. For Donal the most precious moment was the day he placed his own daughter in the little cot. Now once again the cot is stored away and who knows, someday Donal might be blessed with a grandchild to sleep in that very special Cot.

According to the Boys…

Five-year-old Mark couldn’t wait to tell his father about the movie we had watched on television, “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.” The scenes with the submarine and the giant octopus had kept him wide-eyed.

In the middle of the telling, his father interrupted Mark, “What caused the submarine to sink?”

With a look of incredulity Mark replied, “Dad, it was the 20,000 leaks!”


A three-year-old went with his dad to see a litter of kittens. On returning home, he breathlessly informed his mother there were two boy kittens and two girl kittens.

“How did you know?” his mother asked.

“Daddy picked them up and looked underneath,” he replied.

“I think it’s printed on the bottom.”


I slept in that Bed…

Over the years I have slept in many beds.

There was single, three quarter, double and King size.

I actually started my life in ‘Donal’s Cot’ as did my Elly, but that is a post on its own.

In my apartment in Wiesbaden, Germany there was a bed-settee in the living room. By day it was not recognisable as a bed. The seat was an upholstered mattress and the back rest was made of teak forming a hidden storage area for a duvet and pillows. It was used often and provided a comfortable nights sleep.

I have slept on fold-up & camp beds, and on one occasion while camping on Achill Island I slept in a tent, on a ground sheet with no bed! That bank holiday weekend in Achill, I went away with a bad cold. The mist was down and so thick we had to scramble around at snails pace. On the Monday we woke to glorious sunshine and I was able to see the scenery for the first time. Magically my cold had disappeared with the mist!

During one holiday travelling through mainland Europe, we were three young girls out to discover the world. We booked a room for the three of us everywhere we went, giggling about the adventures of the day as we waited for sleep to take over, was all part of the fun.

I remember spending a night in Liechtenstein where our room was enormous and contained four large beds. There was a door at the end of the room and when I opened it there was another room beyond with three beds. The only access to the three bedded area was through the first room. It was a wonderful elegant old building with high ceilings, elaborate plasterwork and each room had two heavy carved doors, the first one opened out to the corridor and once opened you discovered the other one that opened inward.

The Reception area was busy as we checked in, and we chatted and laughed while waiting for our keys and have our passports checked. We were told our bags would be delivered to our rooms in a few minutes. Elevators were not a necessity in those days. Having bounced on, and checked all seven beds I returned to the corridor to see if the cases had arrived. Several of the other guests were of the same mind and standing looking out of their rooms.

All of a sudden I was swept up in a strong pair of arms and carried down the hallway squealing with laughter to a room where I was deposited in the largest cot I have ever seen! The cot was placed at the foot of a King sized bed and was the full width of it. The strong arms were attached to a good looking gentleman who had checked in at the same time we did. He had heard me laugh and decided that I was a ‘fun’ person! The girls finally came in search of me, and only then was I lifted out of the cot! We had a good laugh about it and later at dinner the nice man had a bottle of wine delivered to my table.

Another comfortable bed I shared with my husband was during a self-catering holiday in Denmark. We were staying on a Pig farm! We were in site of the pig houses and there was something missing…… There was no smell! We only became aware of the piglets ten minutes before their feeding time. They started to squeal to remind the farmer it was time to eat. Once he appeared they stopped. Denmark provided wonderful memories and perhaps someday will be the topic of a blog post or Podcast.

Finally I come to the bed that inspired this post.


I made my one and only visit across the pond to the United States of America in November 2003. I was there to attend a family wedding. The Bride was from Cape Cod and the Groom’s family (my relatives) had taken a wonderful house Crocker Tavern in Barnstable Village on the Cape for the duration of the celebrations.

The bed I slept in was a great big Four-poster pictured above. The Bride’s mother called to meet us the morning following our arrival. We sat and had coffee at the dining table and she was able to tell us that her husband, the father of the bride had made the table. It was a work of art and he only uses recycled wood for his Studio Furniture.


Are you eating now?

On Wednesday in The Bag Lady I wrote of how I manage to get along without a handbag.

This morning I read the following from Health Magazine:

Recent studies found that most women’s purses/handbags had tens of thousands of bacteria on the bottom and a few were overrun with millions. Another study found bugs like pseudomonas (which can cause eye infections) and skin-infection-causing staphylococcus bacteria, as well as salmonella and E. coli.

Reduce the risk: Instead of slinging your bag on the floor, hang it on a hook whenever possible — especially in public bathrooms — and keep your bag off the kitchen counter. Stick with leather or vinyl purses, which are typically cleaner than cloth.And to scare you even more…

If you’re not careful, you might pick up more than quick cash from your local ATM. These buttons have more gunk on them than most public-bathroom doorknobs! ATMs aren’t frequently cleaned, and are regularly touched — a perfect combination for a lot of germs.

Reduce the risk: Carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you and rub it on hands after visits. Also be sure to do it after you handle paper money, which actually carries quite a few germs, too.

How many of you go straight from an ATM to a Fast Food Carryout?

Thursday Special #2

Pumpkin Pi

Thanks to Kenju for the image.

There was a queue at the Post Office.

A man standing at the end of the line asked the lady in front of him, ‘What is it like to be a Christian?’

The lady replied, ‘It is like being a pumpkin.’

God picks you from the patch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off you. Then He cuts off the top and scoops out all the yucky stuff. He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see.’

If you like the story, go tell someone, if not go make Pumpkin pie.

Now I wonder if Elly will make Pumpkin Soup this year…

The Bag Lady

Reading Happiness is by Ms Cellania late this afternoon, I was inspired to write a blog post (I was at the desperate stage today for ideas, so went outside to work out my frustration on the path at the side of my bungalow and the patio. Please don’t tell Elly or I will have to endure another lecture about overdoing things). Ms Cellania wrote about purchasing a handbag (purse as my American friends say) for her mother.

I always liked bags; they came for me only in second place to shoes. During the 60’s on any spring day walking down Grafton Street in Dublin, passing by Fitzpatrick’s Shoe Shop was as difficult for me as an alcoholic passing the open door of a pub. In my early working days the turn of a season was the opportunity to buy a new pair of shoes with a bag and gloves to match.

I am sure I mentioned before about my experiences of going for job interviews. We were expected to turn up not alone punctual, but clean, tidy and sporting a neat suit, hat with matching bag, shoes and gloves!

To this day I have a selection of bags in different colours, shapes and sizes. A couple of the more dressy bags for evening use were produced by my own fair hands.

Nowadays, unless I am expecting to be out for a full day it is more usual to see me sporting trousers with several pockets. Skirts leave the legs cold and they seldom have pockets. I now like pockets because they carry all the necessities I must have about me wherever I go.

In my left hand pocket I keep my GTN spray – it gives me the puff to chase Toyboys, mobile phone for emergency calls so Elly can keep track of where I go, and because it contains ICE numbers. In the other ones I keep tissues, a list of medical information that includes my name & address, contact details for my next-of-kin, doctor and details of the medication I must take and those to which I am allergic.

Finally I have this:


It is a small purse with two pockets. The smaller one is for coins while the larger pocket contains various cards and bank notes. On one corner I have punched a hole to attach a ring and have added to it all the necessary keys that I need to carry.

With all these items spread among my pockets I keep my hands free and am ready for anything. I don’t need to carry the kitchen sink with me everywhere I go and I no longer suffer back and neck ache from a heavy bag over my shoulder.

To add a little colour this is one of the bags I made from scraps:


Lesson for the week

I was very quiet for the past few days because I was trying to catch up with my reading. Time to share it with you…

Read out loud the text inside the triangle below.


More than likely you said, “A bird in the bush,” and……..

if this IS what YOU said, then you failed to see that the word THE is repeated twice!
Sorry, look again.

Next, let’s play with some words.

What do you see?


In black you can read the word GOOD, in white the word EVIL (inside each black letter is a white letter). It’s all very physiological too, because it visualizes the concept that good can’t exist without evil (or the absence of good is evil).

Now, what do you see?


You may not see it at first, but the white spaces read the word optical, the blue landscape reads the word illusion. Look again! Can you see why this painting is called an optical illusion?

What do you see here?


This one is quite tricky!

The word TEACH reflects as LEARN.

Last one.

What do you see?


You probably read the word ME in brown, but……. when you look through ME you will see YOU!

It’s not what you see, it’s the way that you see it!

Trick or Treat

Chrisb sent me a very special trick treat yesterday. She got it from Hootin-anni.


We are invited to pass it along to anyone you think is deserving of a special treat for the Hallowe’en season.

Kinda like “Pay it Forward” Y’know, one goodwill gesture deserves another?

But DON’T just choose your friends making this cliquish and ‘just groupies’…

Make NEW friends by choosing random visitors!!

It seems that ‘awards’ are floating around blogland and just “blog friends” get chosen all the time.

Make it RANDOM!!

Now let me think….

Nancy Leitz, yes certainly Nancy deserves a treat for her faithfulness and encouragement. She visits my Blog everyday and comments. Now Nancy does not, despite my encouragement, have her own Blog yet… I live in hope. In the meantime she has found a way to share her talents with the wider world and you will find her over at The Elder Storytelling Place from time to time. Her most recent post was about “Taking Dad Home to Pennsylvania”. If you have not found it already then toddle over today and have a read.

Hails over at Coffee helps who lives somewhere in the backwoods of County Antrim and seems to have a horse in near her office

Nonny at Anonymous, who brings many a smile to my face. I love the antics she gets up to with her mother.

And finally I break the rules, this one is for Baino who lives upside down in Oz-land. Baino gives me plenty of food for thought and fills me with green envy for her turn of phrase and use of the English language. I think you need all the treats possible right now Baino so with hugs from me, enjoy.

Now all you need to do is go visit the girls and say I sent you!