Monday, March 17, 2008

Just who is Saint Patrick?

For most of us living in the United States in the 21st century, St. Patrick's Day is seen as a widely celebrated and Americanized holiday. We may go to an Irish pub and drink green beer, feast on traditional Irish fare, or spend the day avoiding that dreadful co-worker on "pinch patrol" if you forgetfully (or intentionally) walked out of your house without wearing any green.

But why do we really celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Undoubtedly, most won't question any holiday associated with drinking brew, but I was curious. I wanted to know who St. Patrick was, and why he gets a holiday associated with eating and drinking. I turned to my trusty 'ol pal, Google, and here's what I found:

Most of the stories and legends about who St. Patrick was, are completely false. The Irish way of life is based on oral legend and myth- so there are many wrong assumptions that promote the uncertainty of the life he lived. A story that is widely accepted, though is that Saint Patrick, (the patron Saint of Ireland) landed on Ireland when he was captured by Irish raiders who attacked his family home when he was only 16. Supposedly, he spent 6 years there, and became a devout Christian after turning to religion from being scared and alone. After his escape, Patrick had a vision to to return to Ireland and become a missionary. Some believe that Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.

While there is no certainty of St. Patrick's life, St Patrick's Day is believed to be the date of his death (460 A.D) and remains a National religious feast holiday for Ireland and the Roman Catholic Church. Worldwide, it is celebrated with parades, wearing green, feasting, and promoted with icons like the clover and the leprechaun.

Now, you know. Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

It's 1 o'clock in the afternoon...

Is it too early for a glass of wine? No? I didn't think so either.
This week, I made a new discovery: wine in a box. My husband and I have been wine drinkers for quite some time now, but I never knew just how convenient wine in a box could be. Perhaps I also had a slight preconception of box wine tasting like cardboard? (forgive me- I never knew that the wine was actually in a bag inside the box) So anyway, I have been seeing these commercials for Fish Eye's new award-winning wine in a box, so I give it a try. My first thought (besides the great taste) is how I've managed to never try box wine before this occasion. There's no cork. With the turn of the tap, I can enjoy the equivalent of 4 bottles of wine that stays fresh for up to 6 weeks. The secret? Its revolutionary wine cask keeps the air out. Pretty darn convenient if you ask me.
Box wine may not be as much as a discovery to you as it was to me, but take my recommendation and try Fish Eye's box wine. It tastes wonderful, and is inexpensive. I tried the Pinot Grigio and was quite impressed. If you find something better, let me know! I'm always on the hunt for new wine.

Monday, March 10, 2008

2008 Garden Show

I took Friday off from work, and my wonderful husband and I had lunch at a great local brewery, and then headed to the garden show. The temperature outside barely got above freezing; but inside was a show full of lush plant life, waterfalls, blooming trees and flowers. It made it hard to believe that spring really was just around the corner when I showed up in a puffy coat and winter hat. Anyway, I wanted to take quite a few photos for inspiration in my own landscaping, but I was less than impressed with the quality of photos I shot. Turns out, convention center lighting isn't really that great for photographing beautiful flowers. And, you would think that with the average age at the garden show being 60+ that the old farts would take their sweet time observing the walk-through exhibits. Nuh-uh. They were pushy old farts. Makes it hard to set up a good shot. Anywhoo, here's a few of my best:

see the bluriness? That's what happens when peeps get behind you and try to rush you.

Ack... Enough of the bluriness already. These pics don't do any justice to the beauty I saw!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I have been TAGGED!

Kari tagged me!

Here are the rules:

Link to the person who tagged you.
Post the rules on your blog.
Share seven random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.
Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
Leave a comment on their blogs so that they know they have been tagged.

Random Facts:
1. I HATE french fries/mashed potatoes/baked potatoes-- any form of potatoes. I usually don't throw the word "hate" around lightly (except when to referring to car washes- I HATE those) but in this case, it's vital.

2. I have an alligator named "chomp". Yep, he's the type that can get up to 25 feet in the wild. No worries though, Chomp is fairly small, and wouldn't hurt a fly.

3. I want to be a back-up singer for Justin Timberlake. Can I sing? Nope. But could I sway from side to side while swinging my arms and snapping my fingers? You bet. Something about doing that while synchronized with other back-ups facinates the heck outta me...

4. I'm from Kansas, and I can surf.

5. Me and my husband are the silliest people. We find humor in everyday life. We have a thing where we like to take tons of silly pictures when we are bored (usually at the in-laws) and we laugh and laugh until we run out of poses.

6. I'm obsessed with Pizza Hut. I probably eat it twice a week. Sometimes more.

7. A few nicknames I have received over the years: Lester, Lester the molester, swirly (from being bi-racial) and UPS (what can Brown do for you?).

And to tag a few peeps... CeeCee, Mush. And I'm out!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

First signs of Spring!

I am SO glad this brutal winter is almost through. As I pointed out in an earlier entry, it's nice to get a taste of winter and snow, but after Christmas is over, I'm ready to see it go. Today is the first day in March- which, in my book marks the first day of spring. And since today has brought gorgeous 70 degree temps, I decided to dig deep into my closet and break out a pair of trusty Havaianas flip-flops.

I'm someone who lives in flip flops, but can't wear a lot of those cute, paper-thin styles I see everywhere, thanks to shin splints from being a runner and a long-jumper. So, when I discovered my first pair of Havaianas flip flops, I quickly realized that I could wear them ANYWHERE for hours without painful shins and heals. You'll find when you slip a pair of these on and take a few steps that they are bouncy and ultra comfy, thanks to a 46-year old secret rubber formula that these flips are crafted from. While they aren't super fashionable, you'll see them in trendy magazines and on the hottest celebs. They are, in a sense, the epitome of island lifestyle which I'll gladly accept, seeing how I live in Kansas. I love that they come in a bazillion different colors and patterns, all the more reason for me to collect the new ones they put out each year. The best part: All 25 of the solid colors are just 15 bucks.

If you're in the market for new flip flops (and who isn't?) be sure to check out Havaianas website. Though this flash website isn't super navigable, listening to the catchy island music kept me looking around for awhile. Happy Spring!


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