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Husband Manager

    Pouring Wine

    "Wine comes in at the mouth

    And love comes in at the eye;

    That's all we shall know for truth,

    Before we grow old and die.

    I lift the glass to my mouth,

    I look at you, and sigh."

    W.B. Yeats.

    Musings of an Irish girl who took a leap of faith.


    You met Hero with a snap at his nose, and barking. You met me with happiness, and barking. Everyday you greeted us the same. Everyone you greeted the same.

    You quickly became my friend and companion during the early days of adjusting to American life. Long days unable to work, missing my home and my family, but you filled the gap with love, laughs, and barking.

    You showed Hero you were the boss, taking his ball and laughing at him. Taking treats from his mouth, leaving the last scent, giving him the shoulder, and taking his bed. But you also licked his nose and his ears, you tried playing with him, you shared your water bowl, you left your pills for him.

    You walked side by side with Hero. You never showed it, but he knew and he waited for your old tired legs to catch up. You showed him that you could play too, the squeakier and noisier the toy the better. You showed him that when a snake bites, you bite back.

    When you heard the doorbell you barked. When someone walked by the house you barked. When you met another dog you barked. When you saw a duck you barked. When you saw a shadow you barked. When you heard a noise you barked. When all was quiet you barked.

    Life will never be the same again without your barking. Don't let them rest in peace, keep on barking, wherever you are....

    Our dear, sweet, barking mad Ginger.


    Three days to pack up a lifetime in a trailer.

    Correction. Three days to pack up HIS lifetime in a trailer and 10 mins to pack up my stuff in the same suitcase I brought all my possesions with me from Ireland last June.

    There was effing and blinding. A lot of F you and F you too. A lot of "mind my fu$king finger", a lot of "jaysus, my fu$king toe". More of "where's a strong woman when you need one". Much more of "remind me why we married". Hufffing, puffing, groaning, screams, some laughs, but not a lot.

    He's a hoarder, and stock piles toilet rolls or other shite, because it's either on special or the apocalyse is coming soon and says I'll thank him one of these days. We did purge a lot however. I made him do it. We brought the now grown kids stuff up to Connecticut with us on the recent Thanksgiving trip so they could hoard it. Some did, others? Well... we won't say where a bowling ball was going to end up! We off loaded at least six boxes of stuff so it was worth the effort (sorry kids!!)

    28ft trailer is packed to the roof. We had thunder and lightning, downpours, mid-twenties stifling heat and 100% humidity. Sweat poured off us during the loading of kayaks, canoes, bikes, pots, pans, pictures, wheelbarrows, ladders, Christmas decorations...He has at least 20 boxes of lights and baubles. But it's done.

    Goodbye to the Sunshine State, hello to the North Star State. The land of 10,000 lakes. Minnesota. Home.

    "Do you want that bucket?"

    "Well I have it for over 35 years."

    "Right, in it goes with the other buckets".

    Because you just never know when one might need 15 effing buckets!!


    "We're either rich or we're dumb" ~

    The response John gave me when I jokingly asked if there was a gambling problem in Minnesota.

    That was after we'd spent money on 5 different raffles and about $150 on "pull tabs" in the Onamia Veterans club last Friday afternoon.

    Pull tabs (locally known as cardboard crack) are a little like scratch cards back home. They are a piece of cardboard with 3 removable strips that you tear off and hope to see a winning prize underneath. The prizes range anything from $1 to $5K and are not available in all States but by far the largest volume sold is in Minnesota.

    You get a basket when you buy your bunch of cards and end up with it full of dozens and dozens of no good for nothing cardboard pieces!! Totally addictive but great craic.

    We had just taken a break from the pull tabs before the virtual racing began for the meat raffle. Hoping we'd have better luck with the raffle, we picked out our numbers and watched and cheered on the "horses" on the big screen. Low and behold in came unlucky number 13! Thirteen is our lucky number for many reasons so obviously it was going to be a winner here. Rick went up and claimed two steaks from a mountain of meat being raffled off.

    We chatted to John and several others at the bar, the chairlady in particular trying to coax Rick to join the vets club. Such friendly people they all were though. Copping my Irish accent immediately and asking all about home and how I was finding America. Minnesotans are much like the country Irish folk. Everyone laid back and chatty with a "you bet" or a "you betcha" at the end of a question or just because that's what they always say.

    Two more virtual races, a rack of ribs and bag of shrimp later, the slagging started with the strangers in town winning all the prizes. They put the meat in a fridge with our names on it until we were ready to leave and then they put a little toy soldier on the bar beside us as a reminder to take home the bag of meat after drinking a rake of cheap beer! We entered one more virtual pig race before leaving and waited for the action on screen.

    Unlucky number 13 wins again! This was the big draw so we walked away with $150 a bag of meat and fun but half serious shouts of don't come back here again "Rick the prick and your lucky Irish wife" !!!!

    But we will be back, maybe not to bet, but taking a gamble on a new life up North and we cannot wait.

    You betcha!

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