Oldies but Goodies
Week-@-a-Glance

The Loveliness of Saint Patrick's Day

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What a wonderful holiday to celebrate, for as the saying goes, everyone's a little bit Irish on March 17th! This Monday, my dear friend Mary Ellen is hosting the Loveliness of Saint Patrick's Day at her Bonny Blue House, and I am so thrilled because, A. I'm Irish and, B. I love Saint Patrick's Day!

The feast day itself is next Saturday, so there is plenty of time left to plan a few fun activities for your family. I'd like to share some ideas with you now, and then later on show you the pictures of our actual celebrations. :)

Good Books

What's a feast day without a bushel of good books to read?

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Please see my righthand sidebar (Early Spring Basket) for the whole list.

Every year I like to add a few new titles to our Saint Patrick's Day collection. This year we've added The St. Patrick's Day Shillelagh, and Bookworm will begin Beyond the Western Sea Book 1: Escape from Home for book group next month. I'm hoping Barnes & Noble has a copy of Small Beauties: The Journey of Darcy Heart O'Hara as it's a fairly new book (if not I will order it). All three books share a theme of the devastating potato famine of the 1800s. A good start to a rabbit trail, don't you think? This will be a perfect week to focus our geography studies on the heart of the Emerald Isle.

Food & Drink

Many supermarkets now have an aisle devoted to imported and/or ethnic foods. I was happily surprised to see Ireland represented at my local Shaws! What a fun field trip it would be to take the kids to the market and let them choose an item or two to try - Irish tea, biscuits, pudding, jelly, etc.

Naturally, I've been busily tearing ideas out of magazines, recipes among them - pasting some in my journal and leaving others to file:

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Some of these ideas will show up in our celebrations this week:

  • Thursday teatime (Irish theme).
  • Friday co-op party!
  • Saturday visit Damee (bring muffins and little gifts).
  • Sunday family dinner (Irish dinner).

(Details to follow through the week!)

Merriment

  • We'll all be wearing green, of course.Darbyogill
  • I've ordered (ahem) three videos for next week:
  • Irish music is a must. I'm sure there will be plenty of PBS shows featuring Irish music. I think our local classical radio station has something planned, too.
  • Oh! One more thing - I read somewhere that Chutes and Ladders can be played with a St. Patrick's theme, Snakes and Ladders. (St. Patrick having famously driven the snakes out of Ireland.) Here's the idea and here's more background.

Crafts & Faith

I have a few crafts in mind, the first being something we make with these materials:

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We will also make a spiritual bouquet to bring to my grandmother on Saturday - only instead of a flower of prayers, we will make a four-leaf clover of prayers! These would make nice St. Patrick's Day cards for friends and family.

More craft ideas for your consideration:

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It needs more stickers, and we are completely out of tea lights!

  • Make up a BreastPlate Booklet with the children. On each page, write one line of the prayer; the children then may illustrate it on the opposite side. (Not my original idea; I found it in this book.)
    • Christ with me, Christ before me,
      Christ behind me, Christ within me,
      Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
      Christ at my right, Christ at my left . . .
      Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
      Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
      Christ in every eye that sees me . . .

In Boston, on Saturday, Mass will be said at noon at The Holy Cross Cathedral - along with harp music and Gaelic! How cool! (Maybe next year!)

Nature:

Next week looks to be very mild around here, (for us, lol), in the high 50s and 60s. Not much rain, but some clouds - perfect Saint Patrick's Day weather if you ask me! We will get out at least one day this week for a nature walk, to see what's blooming. (Who knows we might even spy a leprechaun home ...)

As we walk we will also look for shades of green. There may be some after the portended mild weather (and if not, I will do as Mrs. Sharp suggests, and plant a few bunches of shamrocks here and there!). Next year I hope to have some Lenten Rose in the garden, perhaps in this startling but lovely shade!

Happily, my grocery store is selling small pot of shamrocks this week. I'll pick up a few and hope to keep them alive until Saturday. They would make a perfect still-life for the March nature notebook, possibly accompanied by this charming poem by Ella Higginson, in whole or part:

I know a place where the sun is like gold,
And the cherry blossoms burst with snow,
And down underneath is the loveliest nook,
Where the four-leaf clovers grow.

One leaf is for hope, and one is for faith,
And one is for love, you know,
And God put another in for luck, -
If you search, you will find where they grow.

But you must have hope, and you must have faith,
You must love and be strong - and so,
If you work, if you wait, you will find the place
Where the four-leaf clovers grow.

And may I leave you with this picture of two of my young Irish laddies? I made this card back when Crackerjack (now seven) was just a wee babe of seven months. Bookworm was four and Earlybird was but a sparkle in his Daddy's eye. :)

(The blanket they are sitting on was brought home from Ireland by my cousin, and the sweaters were knit by another cousin's wife!)

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Many blessings to you and yours this upcoming feast of Saint Patrick! And remember that old Irish proverb - There is no fireside like your own fireside.

God bless!

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