Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Who’s St. Patrick?

Ever wonder who St. Patrick was and why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? I thought he was the saint who drove all the snakes out of Ireland with a shamrock.


Saint Patrick's Festival in Dublin. Saint Patr...

Saint Patrick’s Festival in Dublin. Saint Patrick is getting younger every year … or is it that I am getting older? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was wrong. (Imagine that! LOL.)

Patrick was born a Roman Citizen in Britain 1600 years ago (give or take.) He was kidnapped and taken to Ireland where he was a slave for six years. He turned to Christ during that time, escaped and later went back to Ireland as a missionary. (Now that’s Christian love!)

Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which is the reason why shamrocks are part of St. Paddy’s Day.

St. Patrick DID NOT drive all the snakes from Ireland. (Gasp!) There are no fossil records of there ever being snakes in Ireland. (Sounds like a great place, doesn’t it?) He did, however, drive paganism from her beautiful green shores.

So why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s day on March 17th? Because it was his birthday? The day he was kidnapped? The day he escaped? The day he became a Christian?


It’s the day he died. We’re celebrating his death day. (Who knew?)

I’ve never celebrated St. Paddy’s day in a big way. I wore green if I had it and pinched anyone who didn’t, but that’s about it. I’ve found, though, that I have a few very distant relatives who came from Ireland. One, apparently, by way of Scotland.

And with a name like Shay (at one time in the distant past, it was O’Shea) G-Man and our kiddos have a wee bit of Irish blood in them. At least one of my children makes a big deal of the holiday and has learned to cook corned beef and cabbage and a delicious soda bread.

I gave you a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa for CB and Cabbage on St. Paddy’s Day last year.

I doubt if I’ll be making any Irish meals today, unless Susan/Reuben Sandwiches are Irish. After all, most have corned beef on them, so they could be considered Irish, couldn’t they? (Truthfully, the only thing my sammies have in common with a Reuben Sandwich is the rye bread, sauerkraut and the fact that it’s a hot sandwich. But they’re good and not gristly.

Here’s how I make them–

  • rye bread
  • sauerkraut
  • hot pepper cheese
  • butter
  • peppered turkey pastrami

I make the sandwiches by layering in this order–bread, cheese, pastrami, kraut, pastrami, cheese, bread. Lightly butter the outside of the sandwich and toast in a hot cast iron skillet until the cheese is melted and the bread crisp.

I tried making it in my new Panini maker, but it just melted the cheese from here to T-Town and the bread barely toasted, so it’s back to the old black skillet. 🙂

So, back to Paddy’s Day–will you celebrate?



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HDTV and Me Ü

''I Love Lucy

Image via Wikipedia

It all started on the 4th of July. The kids were here, waiting for the chicken to get fried, watching TV with their dad. One of them spotted the HD recorder we bought a while back and decided to install it. “You’ll love the picture. It’s so much clearer.”

So they connected it, fiddled with it and called the TV guy and finally got it where we could watch one channel but couldn’t record. (We had been able to record two channels at once.) No HD.

Why is it when Pops and the kids get something going and someone has to stay home to get it fixed, staying somehow falls to Mama? LOL. I’m not sure how that works, but lucky me! I got to miss work to let the TV guy in so he could make things right.

In case you’re wondering, no. I didn’t tell anyone I wanted it hooked up. But yes, I will be watching it (a lot) so that evens things out. 😉

I was late to work to meet the first technician, only to find out that the man who came couldn’t do a thing. (Not his part of the job.) Then I missed over half of the next day so another technician could come.

But it all turned out great! Our technician was Irish. From Ireland! He had the most beautiful brogue and, I found out after a few moments, he was a nice guy.

We chatted a little, he told me not to answer his phone even if it rang, and he went outside and started working. On the south side of my house. In the heat. And the sunshine. And he could still smile when he came back in. (Could have been the air conditioning that rated the grin.)

Now we have really clear TV. I can see whiskers growing on a guy’s face if I bother to look. There’s such clarity, I could probably see the peach fuzz on Justin Bieber’s face if I had the chance.

NYC signing September 1,2009 Nintendo Store - NYC

Image via Wikipedia

Right now though, I’m watching a movie that’s not available in HD, and I don’t care. I enjoyed TV when we only had two channels, neither one was in color and I Love Lucy was on both. (Okay, maybe it just seemed as if it was on both stations.)

Compared to that, this is fantastic.


♣♣♣Happy St. Patrick’s Day♣♣♣

I’ve always been just a little envious of G-Man and the boys. Because they were born Shays, we knew they were Irish. And how cool is that?


May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.


But in the last year or two, I learned Great Grandma Mitchell’s mother (or grandmother. I forget) was Irish.

Please don’t tell me that McCrackin is a Scottish name. I can’t help it if it should have been O’Crackin. It isn’t. It’s McCrackin and Ireland. Maybe the family got lost and settled on the wrong side of a line. (Which could also mean I come by being directionally challenged naturally.) 

According to Wikipedia (don’t you love Wiki?)

Saint Patrick’s Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig) is a religious holiday celebrated internationally on 17 March. It is named after Saint Patrick (c. AD 387–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland. It is observed by the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland),[1] the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutherans. Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official feast day in the early 17th century, and has gradually become a celebration of Irish culture in general.[2]

Being Irish {evil grin} here’s what I know–

  • The Chicago River is dyed green today. (Oklahoma has that beat. Our lagoons are already green!)
  • People drink green beer today. (Since beer tastes like skunk juice, it should be ick-colored all the time.)
  • Kids (and brave adults) wearing green pinch anyone who isn’t wearing the prescribed color today. (Has to be showing!)
  • If you catch a leprechaun, you get his pot of gold–or is it three wishes?  

The following is from

  • St. Patrick was born in 385 AD somewhere along the west coast of Britain, possibly in the Welsh town of Banwen. At age 16, he was captured and sold into slavery to a sheep farmer. He escaped when he was 22 and spent the next 12 years in a monastery. In his 30s he returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary. He died at Saul in 461 AD and is buried at Downpatrick.
  • Legend says that each leaf of the clover means something: the first is for hope, the second for faith, the third for love and the fourth for luck.


    Knock! Knock! Who’s there?
    Irish who?
    Irish you a happy St. Patrick’s Day


    How will you celebrate SPD? Bake a green cake for dinner? Dye your hair green? Have a green milk shake?