Diary of An Irish Woman

musings of an irish lady now living in America.

Friday, July 25, 2008

new adventures

So August 4th I start a new job. Its full time but thankfully we have the fantastic Catherine so my Mummy guilt at working full time feels less because he LOVES it there, is so well looked after and is such a social wee chap that he really enjoys all the attention.

So I'm excited and of course scared - the usual feelings of new job. Nice thing is that I will be in an office so I can walk at lunchtime and get fitter. Also my mate Ciara is working right beside my office so we can actually meet up more than once in a blue moon.

Funny thing is that hubbie nearly went to the parent company in January but his company counter offered and got him to stay. We had talked about him going to this company because they can help us move to RTP area in NC in a couple of years which has been our plan. Now turns out its me that is working for them. I will be working for virtual meeting group in sales. Who are they - well lets just say it rhymes with Disco...

To my new adventures..! Now to go buy some shoes and new tops - Hello Zappo my old friends...

dead sea diet

So I have found out the new easy way to lose weight... I can see this becoming HUGE on Oprah and all those shows..

First cook a pork curry - chopping up the pork, add onions, cummin, curry powder, paprika, and simmer till it smells fantastic and makes your mouth water..

Now add onion salt thinking its onion - make sure you add a lot in - dont be skimpy there with that onion salt.

Still smells great so dig in..

Wait its inedible from all that onion salt

Congratulate yourself. You just made your first dead sea salt diet food.

Its the new way to diet. Just make something that smells great but you cant actually eat. I can feel the pounds dropping off me now..

(PS - we ended up eating two small chocolate cakes afterwards as we were both still hungry.. If I had added onion salt to those maybe would have worked for the diet as well...)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Irish advantage

So yesterday morning dropped off my suv for oil change and also asked them to check the battery. Had a few mornings where it was a bit of trouble starting. As I explained to the lads there - you have to give it a bit of welly to get her going (foot to floor and pumping gas a few times)

Well the chap asked me if I was Irish - yep I am - still sounding like I am off the boat. Well he said I'm Irish a few generations back so in that case its half price for the battery check

And when I got the bill it was half which amused me greatly

Being Irish - its not just for St Patricks Day folks

now go put some welly into it!

Friday, July 18, 2008

its been two years since my last cleaning...

So got some recommendations from folks for a new dentist.

I finalized realized I have been putting off going back to the last one. Nice lady dentist but made me feel too guilty for not (and this is what she wanted every brush) - not flossing, using a water pic, using a sonic toothbrush, using a mouth wash when brushing my teeth 3 times day. She also had me on stuff for plaque, antibiotics and some other stuff for dry mouth. Yes - she wanted me to floss, rinse, pic, sonic and apply gel every brush of my teeth. By the time I laid all of the instruments out I felt like I was going on a special top-secret mission instead of the humdrum world of oral hygiene.

My crime - well - that would be the tartar. I have some, well maybe more than the average person. I now clean off some myself my little dental hook like cleaning between tiles, I brush my teeth at least twice a day and floss a few times a week. I even use the rinse in morning to battle it. However I have those kind of teeth that tartar just adore, turns out I have dry mouth, as I sleep with it open (with the sleep apnea its pretty common as your body likes to sleep with mouth open to make sure you breathe...like that's important!) So I have extra tartar buildup. Why they can't just invent a coating like Teflon that goes over your teeth and fights off plaque and tarter is beyond me.. Didn't we put people on the moon and the fig into fig rolls!

Do I have any fillings or cavities, well no.. Do I have need for root canals or loose or damaged teeth, well no. Last time I had anything major done was a broken tooth which broke after eating one of my Mums french fries. (In fairness I do think that tooth might have been predamaged by one of my various falls). Good news it was a baby tooth that hadn't fallen out yet at tender age of 19. Yet the half remaining was still so strongly set in my gums that the trainee dentists of the college of dentists in Ireland couldn't pull out 2nd half of tooth that remained. They actually had their knees on my chest at one point trying to pull out and in the end defeated by the tooth said, well just leave it alone and it will fall out itself. Which it did a year later with a big tooth that finally came down.

Do I have gum disease - yes but even she had to admit its pretty mild, even though I know she wanted to go AHA - here is GUM DISEASE as a reason for me to spend 40 minutes three times a day on cleaning, polishing, flossing and rinsing..

I even bought the sonic brush. I like it but not as much as my regular one. I even bought a water pic and its like water flossing except so so much more messier and I would end up with water all over my front with drool and toothpaste. You know that its not working for you when you have to change clothes before and after brushing your teeth.. I imagined myself with big lobster bibs for just brushing my teeth. So that's another item under bathroom sink that will never be used except to clean grout...

So its time for a new dentist, one who will go, wow you have adult big teeth under those remaining 7 first milk teeth, how old are you? (I do have a bit of pride in still being a toothy freakish of nature...)

One who will say, yes you have teeth that gather tartar like your handbag collects junk but a visit every 6 months should keep it under control. Floss as much as you can and here's some chewing gum to battle that tartar.. And I'll leave with shiny gleaming teeth. (Is it just me or do you you find yourself for the next day after a cleaning running your tongue over the back of the teeth feeling naked after they chipped away all the coral reef tartar hidden in crevices)

So onto a new dentist where I wont have to say.. excuse me Mr/Ms Dentist, it's been three years since my last cleaning feeling like a young catholic schoolkid shamed on how long its been since their last confession.

spring cleaning - the delayed version

So finally got around to organizing wee mans room, cleaning out clothes that no longer fit his wee toosh, emptying out the wardrobe, drawers and cleaning off the bed.

How am I getting this all done you may ask. Well with the wonderful help of Niamh our caretakers wonderful daughter who is coming over to my house after I work and pick up wee lad and entertaining him so that I can get some cleaning in. Her younger brother Christopher has also come over and is a great kid as well - so helpful and wee lad just loves both of them, he loves climbing all over Christopher who lets our wee lad bite at his nose and is so patient with him. Also I think at the end of the few hours they enjoy playing on the Wii, and I wish I had half no, just one tenth of the energy that boy has for running on the Wii Fit..

And the great part is I'm getting more done in that hour and half time frame then I probably would if I had all day. Its like a race to get as much done as I can. Even himself has got into the race, coming back from work last night and using his new 'stud finder' to put the baby gate more firmly into the wall and putting last piece up against the bookshelves.. Nice thing is then we still have some time with wee lad before bed, then we have dinner and can relax feeling less guilty after doing some work around the house.

So for a couple of weeks while we have some extra help - I plan to try and get all those jobs off the list!

So Next is the Office! - however if I use a rope tied around me so I don't get lost in there I think most of you will understand

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


So wee lad is copying us now

bookkk - is new word (tear to my eye on that one with books so big in our lives.., apillll seems to be apple,
theres also hello a few times,
yeah yeah is this weeks new one
and bababa which means milk or soother depending on his need
and this week he picked up the toy telephone and yammered into it.
yayayayabahdadad yeah yeah he said to phone
Guess I do that then....

He also has his signs for light, fan, milk, more, want, finished and he pointed to his favorite waitress Mahassa at Effies on Sunday, melting her heart and ours.

And I was wrong re the teeth - there was 4 coming down at once on top so now 6. Which puts him well above the curve compared to toothless baldy me at the same age... (and I was still pretty toothless and baldy till age 2 I will freely admit...)

If you saw how he attacked a rice cake (which we call cookie as I'm happy enough to steal that lesson from my sister Fiona) with his front teeth you'd go hide all your steaks...

Also sometimes his folks (that be us) aren't the brightest. He was crying on the highchair while Dad was feeding him at weekend, we thought he was finished and kept saying sign finish - are you finished? Finally i took the tray off and unbuckled the strap and he tried to put the strap back on...

OK says silly parent - now I get it - you want more and handed him some vegetable puffs.. His crocodile tears turned to smiles and he started laughing..

I really do think they are laughing at us....

Monday, July 14, 2008

summer fun

So we decided to put together our new BBQ. The old one.. Well my Dad decided to clean it (which it did badly need) last time they were in California after wee man was born. It was super clean afterwards but the flames also came out the front instead of underneath any food items on the grill. Great for a spy movie where you could roast your enemy who for whatever strange reason is using your grill but not so good when you're trying to BBQ some nice sausages. We had picked it up in Target a few weeks ago and himself decided time to put it together.

I knew there might be an issue when hubbie came to me and said that might not be the cake walk we thought. Turns out its in all pieces. Even the gas lines. So while I'm all for DIY and putting stuff together - the face that none of it was together around the gas line part made me think of our old BBQ. So we'll bring it back and pick up one already put together by some nice folks at OSH or Home Depot etc. Sometimes the extra $20 is SO worth it - especially when its going to take you 3 hours to put together yourself.

Also Saturday I finally cleaned our bedroom and bathroom. It wasn't dirty as much as messy. As much as we were away and here was all the laundry building up and finally catching up. When the hanger over the bathroom door broke and dumped all the robes, towels etc on back of door onto bathroom floor and it wasn't that much different. You know its time to clean when that happens. So I busied myself and himself had munchkin playing away in front room. Wee man LOVES the guitar himself was playing and now strums quite nicely. Thankfully has taken after himselfs musical ability.

Have a good week folks. Will talk to you later.. In meantime we'll be thinking of BBQing food till we buy another BBQ.

choo choo v2.0

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choo choo


some photos on the train
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santa barbara fires


Heres photos from the train coming in. It looks like maybe a sunset but that red is the flames as it was only 530 in the afternoon. The fire was in the gap on the hills between Santa Barbara and where we were staying at the Dude Ranch - Ranch Oso. Thankfully wasnt too near us but seeing flames while you drive up a steep and narrow road will always make you catch your breath. Santa Barbara town was covered in smoke from the fire, while we on other side had clear skies. Also on July 4th while on Butterfly beach waiting with friends to see the fireworks and chilling on the grass, I thought snow was falling but it was ash. Ash from the fires 15 miles away covered our car. We stayed on the beach for about 4 hours. Finally we left early as wee man had about enough of beach living and needed his bed. It was the latest we had driven back over the gap and it was a scary drive, flames visable in the distance and roads closed by county police where they had evacuated folks.

Thankfully it got under control a few days after we left but made me think of a sarcastic postcard a friend had sent me via the web. It said Sorry your State seems to catch fire so much. Too true...
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Friday, July 11, 2008

train trip


Here's some photos from my iphone before it decided it wasnt going to be a camera. Turns out I had moved some photos off it to make space and it doesnt like that. Theres a bug that stops it working. I couldnt even see these photos - i had to use Picasa to copy them off camera. Hoping new fix helps it from Apple. In trying to fix it I wiped out all my phone numbers again off the iphone as turns out the backup it makes isnt a real backup. I'm pretty calm about it now. I wasnt and was tearing my hair out but to be honest the trip was so great and relaxing it went a long way to ease the pain of my iPhone scrambling itself again...

In short Amtrak is the way to go with a kid, and even for us. I cant sing its praises highly enough. We picked up train in San Jose, it was 40 minutes late but checkin was a breeze, we checked in 2 bags and brought on two and a buggy. We had our own little bedette room - very comfy seats that faced each other and could turn into a bed. Above our heads was a bunk that pulled down and you could pull that down and still sit underneath - lots of head room. The steward welcomed us, showed us where to put our bags, brought us champagne and a staff person was around to take our lunch reservation time. We even ended up wine tasting on the train (the poor guy was obviously not a wine drinker or taster who led it but marks for effort and it wasnt bad - it was nice to have activites. The palor car was wonderful to go sit in with big swivel chairs and huge windows. The dining car was great for service and food. The steak I had for dinner was one of best I've eaten and took me by surprise (images here of a steak jumping out of a closet).

The best thing - well you know how you come home and you're wrecked because of the travel and feel like you need another holiday.. Well that wasnt the case here. We went and felt rested (while the sight of wildfire flames on hills while driving through gap to our dude ranch did have hearts racing) the travel on the train was wonderful. Same on way back. Above is photo of the scene outside and wee man taking a nap. He took 2 hour nap on way down and one and half hours on way back. He also loved looking out windown, climbing around on bed. He was highly entertained and so were we. 7 hours whizzed by and all we could think of was - wow wish this went to Florida and Ireland in superspeed...

I have to admit it - I'm a huge Amtrak fan. Maybe I need that rainmac and binoculars after all.
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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

now this is how to travel!

So rose early this morning and we grabbed the coast starlight train from San Jose to Santa Barbara. The train was late which I was warned happens a lot but SO worth the wait. One- the Amtrak folks are friendly. Yes really friendly!
Two - we did the right thing by getting a bedette sleeper coach. As I type wee man is asleep lying on other seat which lays flat like a mini bed, I am comfy on my oversized chair that reclines, looking out at the beautiful California countryside, hubbie is in parlor car enjoying a swivel armchair, coffee and a book, and wine and cheese tasting is later this afternoon! Staff attendant came by to have us pencil in lunch and we just moved it to 145 since munchkin is fast asleep. The rocking of train will have me asleep soon as well. Above my head is the bunk bed (plenty of head room though underneath, you dont even notice it above you) so that we can take a proper nap later.

Now only if this train went high speed to Florida and underwater like the Euro Chunnel to Ireland and we'd be set!

I will post photos later. After I figure how to do that on iPhone. :)