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PUB LIFE

guinness

Somehow… Somehow… How? The first times I visited Ireland – at 20 years old, at 28 years old, and then again in my 40s – Irish pub culture escaped me entirely!  If you know me at all, I am no stranger to bars or restaurants.  A wine and food blogger, no less, completely clueless about the vital role that pubs ... Read More »

WILD IRELAND

mayo

Most guidebooks will give you a few sentences about County Mayo in northwestern Ireland.  They call it inaccessible, and recommend skipping  it,  preferring other, more touristed areas.  Thankfully, our Granny O’Toole lobbied furiously the entire time we knew her.  County Mayo is one step from heaven.  Granny was right. Granny was born and raised in Ballindine, Co. Mayo.  It was ... Read More »

OUR GATHERING

the gathering

Ireland launched a brilliant marketing campaign: The Gathering – Ireland 2013.  They encourage you to search out long lost family members, distant cousins, and relatives twenty times removed. We held our own personal Gathering for one week in July in Western Ireland.  My mom was born there, and came to live in the US when she was 15.  I am ... Read More »

APOLOGIES

sorry

I am just back from two weeks in Ireland with 24 family members!  I had hoped to blog from the road, but days of touring and activities, followed by naps, dinners, and several pints… two whole weeks escaped me entirely!  With only one pen in my purse, I did not faithfully write up a list for each new day, and ... Read More »

A CINEMATIC FEAST

IMG_3309

Sometimes the myriad of  options offered by Netflix create this weird situation in which I spend so much of my time trying to decide what to watch that I end up watching nothing. So the other night, as I was going from one genre to the next, I wasn’t very hopeful that I would actually find anything. Just as my eyes began ... Read More »

MOMENTS IN TIME AND THE MUSIC THAT GOES WITH THEM…

sheet music

Music has that crazy ability to evoke a rich and detailed moment from the past, just like the smell of apple pie might make me think of my mom’s pies fresh out of the oven, with the flakiest, tastiest crust you could ever imagine. My iPod Nano is loaded with a playlist titled “All time faves”.   When most of ... Read More »

PARENTING TEENAGERS

teens

I know.  I make it sound active, as if I were actually DOING something.  In fact, parenting teenagers is more about letting go and hoping that things won’t go too wrong. Teenagers need to exert their independence, and they need to make mistakes. You just hope they are mistakes that have consequences you dole out, and not the law. Back ... Read More »

NO BOYS ALLOWED

images

Last week, I was getting a much needed pedicure (side note: I’m a pedicure whore, having no loyalties to one place over the other  and will  stop at any clean-looking place whether it’s located in strip mall or a spa) and just as my feet hit the water, in walked a father and his (very) young son. You’re a guy ... Read More »

BALANCING RIGHTS TO CONFIDENTIALITY

confidentiality

A blog about food and wine… and controversy? Why not?  If you can’t discuss controversial themes while sharing a glass of wine and some appetizers, well then will you just talk about the weather? Who has the right to keep information confidential? Edward Snowden – love him or hate him?  While you might expect me, a hopeless leftie college professor ... Read More »

THE CRISIS

crisis?

La crisis. In Spain, the crisis needs no modifier – it’s not the economic crisis, it’s not the housing crisis, it’s not the unemployment crisis, it is simply the crisis.  It is all of those and more. But in true Spanish fashion, at the same time, it is none of those. Spain, like many of its EU neighbors, is trying to emerge from worldwide ... Read More »

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