Monday, May 28, 2018

A Walk Through The Gahdens . . .

The world is a-popping.

The Iri are a-popping . . .

The yellows -- that we mow around -- are a-popping . . .

The whites are a-popping . . .

The grape leaves -- my pet project -- are . . . well, you get it.

The Iri that we planted 10 years ago are loving life here . . . and so are we . . .

. . . and so is turtley . . .

. . . and so is the new Jennie . . .  

. . .  wait, did I mention the Iri?

And our new Iri are lovely . . . as is another new Jennie in the background . . .

And *what*, I ask you, is more indicative of a popping spring than lilac?

Nothing, that's what.

Now come . . . come walk with me through my gahden . . .

. . . at your own risk.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Our Mary

We're off to Boston to celebrate the life of this kid and I don't even know what to say.

Table 11, baby. From Kristen's wedding.

"Untimely" "unexpected" "too soon" . . . none of it makes any sense.

One thing I can say is this past week, in the aftermath, as my cousins and my aunts and my sisters and my mom and I have been sharing and reminiscing and coming to grips and trying to process -- at first among ourselves and then slightly more publicly -- we have agreed that we've all known one side -- or even several sides -- of Mary. Funny. Smart. Fun. Funny. Did I mention funny? That laugh. But what's come to light is this whole other side -- the wildly respected and adored AP English teacher side -- and it has just made us love her even more.

So off we go to celebrate. And to cry and to laugh -- because that's what we blubbering Irish-side-of-the-family do. We blubber, we cry, and we laugh and laugh.

And I think there's no better way to illustrate the side of Mary that has come to light than to share one of her former student's pieces about her -- without his permission, incidentally. It's excellent, and I'm thankful it's out there, and I'm happy to further spread it around.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *    

On English Teachers and Equatorial Guinean Swimmers, Andy Merritt

Mary Flatley made me love Shakespeare. Mary Flatley made me love Edna St. Vincent Millay. Mary Flatley made me at least try to love Faulkner. Mary Flatley made me love words and the power they have and the way you feel when you use them. 

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *    

We miss you, Mary. Table 11 will never be the same.

Friday, May 18, 2018

now familiar

Every time it happens, The Onion posts the same headline. It's a thing, it is now familiar, yet it still goes viral every time. It hits close to home, all of this does. It hurts.  These are our fucking kids, our lives. Our reality.

We thought we were getting somewhere after Parkland, when students around the world felt empowered and inspired by the way their Florida peers were standing up.

San Diego, 55 days ago

Sante Fe High School, 28 days ago

We have gotten nowhere.

If you missed it, here's today's edition:

‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens

SANTA FE, TX—In the hours following a violent rampage in Texas in which a lone attacker killed eight individuals and seriously injured several others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Friday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place. “This was a terrible tragedy, but sometimes these things just happen and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop them,” said Ohio resident Erica Webb, echoing sentiments expressed by tens of millions of individuals who reside in a nation where over half of the world’s deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the past 50 years and whose citizens are 20 times more likely to die of gun violence than those of other developed nations. “It’s a shame, but what can we do? There really wasn’t anything that was going to keep this individual from snapping and killing a lot of people if that’s what they really wanted.” At press time, residents of the only economically advanced nation in the world where roughly two mass shootings have occurred every month for the past eight years were referring to themselves and their situation as “helpless.”

Monday, May 14, 2018


So many things this weekend!

My Mom was off celebrating my nephew Joe's college graduation. So we improvised. For Mom and for Joe.

We had our own college graduate . . . 

Congrats, Zoƫ!

Now get out there in the world and knock 'em dead. 
 (Metaphorically speaking.)

And we had our own Mumsie . . .

The world's newest iphone user.

We didn't have this birthday girl . . .

 See you in a few weeks, bride-to-be!

. . . but we had our own birthday boy . . .

The belt. The guns. The smile. I die.

If you had half as much fun improvising as we did around here, then we're both lucky.

Happy Improvision!

Friday, May 11, 2018

flashback friday: speaking of rocks

There are quite a few rock related posts in our history! Here's my fave:



When Jacquie and her young'uns come to visit our fair shores every summer, they and their Uncle Schleckah wander off from Ocean Beach to the rocks at Neptune Park, and have themselves a righteous photo shoot.


I know, right? The awesomeness of it almost makes one want to keel over into a heap of love.

This photo has officially made it onto the walls of the Ledgie Loo.

Honestly. Could you die?

Well, we, as a giant family, went to the Poconos to celebrate Mom and Dad's 50th wedding anniversary. So, no OB that year, but we made up for it in sheer joy at Pocmont.

But, the very next year . . .

The hand on the leg? I die.
Not even an Olympic year. Still, I die.

Uncle Mistah Schleckah can talk them into anything.

Goodbye, 2011 . . . 
. . . and hello . . .


Oooh, the John H behind them!

There's not a lot we can depend on in this big bad world . . .

. . . but we still have these two knuckleheads to save the day.

Monday, May 7, 2018

A Man and His Rocks

Mistah is a lover of rocks.

I mean, who can blame him? Rocks are rock-solid. Rocks are rock stars. Rocks rock. Rocks rock on.

Rocks are solid like a rock.

You know who else loves rocks? And whom Mistah somehow shanghaied into coming over on Sunday to help him?


Which is why when I looked up yesterday morning I saw a dumptruck full of rocks driving into our yard.

A dumptruck full of rocks is a whole lotta rocks.

Remember Louis, from our boulders?

I love our boulders.

And I love our new rocks, too.

We missed Jerry, though.

But we had Louie.

I also love a dump truck.

Heave Ho!

And  . . . Boom.

I rode my bike over to join the fellas for their second run . . .

. . . and our friend Tidge seemed quite delighted that somebody, finally, was getting the rocks out of her yard for her.

Those rocks have been in her yard, next to her newly-built and delightful rock wall, for approximately one million years.

Thumbs up is right, Tidgie.

We brought cans of Modelo because, for godssake people, we are a civilized bunch.

I call this one: "The Rocks, the Magnolia, the Fellas, and Me."

Back home during the second unload I got distracted by all the things that Sunday wanted me to do, but the second load got unloaded via wheelbarrow, weeds got pulled, beers got drunk, burritos got inhaled, Louis went home to his wife and his life, rain fell and fell and fell,  temperatures dropped, and we were left with . . .

. . . a man . . . 

. . . a happy man with a big pile of rocks.

Thursday, May 3, 2018


We discussed the meme at brunch on Sunday, and I told Missy in no uncertain terms that if she nominated me, I’d ignore her.

Naturally, on Monday morning, I saw this:

“Post the art from 10 albums (one each day) which impacted you, without comment, and nominate someone else to do this”. - Day 7
I nominate Jacquie just becausešŸ˜œ

To which I promptly replied:

Because you know I'm not going to do it? K. I've enjoyed yours though!

And I *had* enjoyed hers, and many of the many, many others who’d been posting album covers.

And I *had* been impacted by albums in my life, quite majorly really. The more I thought about it, the longer the virtual list became, inside my fool head.

So Missy, I’m not going to ignore you! And I’m not going to follow the rules, though. I’m posting it here, and I’m not nominating anyone ot follow suit unless they feel like it. Oh, and I’m not limiting myself to ten.