Friday 14 March 2014

My Own Bit Of Ireland

I may have spoken a tad too soon about springs arrival.  Another foot of snow has fallen and the wind wailed around the house.  It was the perfect time for my furnace to conk out!  While I waited for the repairman to come, there was no better time to create a bit of the Emerald Isle and will myself far away from a Canadian winter.

I had in mind a bit of Irish countryside and the table in front of the old, chippy door has a bit of greenery on it already.  The herbs are in a sorry state by this time of year but I'm not giving up on them yet!

This is the rosemary I was growing to shape into a Christmas tree.  I think it's coming along quite well, don't you?  Why did I even attempt that when I was a dismal failure with a bonsai? ~

The basil will stay until there isn't a single leaf left to pick. ~

Let's pretend they are trees and build from there.  Green sequined fabric for grass, some coins for good luck and green candles that I can't light unless I stand guard over them, or I'll have barbarian cats on fire! ~

I've a new shamrock.  They ate the 20+ year old one and then knocked it over repeatedly to make sure it was dead.  I am determined never to become attached to a plant again.  Or, harbour deranged cats!

I told my sister I was looking for a cheap fountain and she found me this sweetie for $2 at a thrift shop. ~

The crystal ball spins on the water and turns colour.  The little mill wheel fits in perfectly with my family story.  We came to Canada by rather odd means.  My great, great grandmother, Susan O'Neill, was the niece of the lord of the castle.  She was protestant.  Somehow or other, she wound up marrying a Catholic priest.  Say what!  Her family bought him a flour mill.  Obviously a change of career was in order for him. They had my great grandmother while still in Ireland.  With famine still ravaging their homeland, they decided to sell the mill and move to Canada where they bought a farm and he became a circuit minister.  I have a weird family.  It's a miracle I turned out so normal!

I thought the barbarians would be a problem around the fountain but they seemed to be afraid of the sound of the pump and stayed away from it for a whole week.

Then, Clara Jane remembered that she is obsessed with water.  It's impossible for me to brush my teeth without spitting toothpaste onto the cat that is batting at the water.  She's fallen into the tub with me at least four times while I've been taking a soothing bath.

So, Cara Jane the Irish barbarian, decided to check this thing out. ~

Batting at that crystal ball and sending water flying everywhere is tons of fun!

Thank heavens she can't reach the Celtic cross hung at the top of the door.  At least I don't think she can. ~

At night, I can imagine myself far away, nursing a glass of Bushmill's and listening to water flow through that mill from so long ago. ~

And, if she's sleepy enough Clara Jane will leave the magic orb alone. ~

If all of that leaves anyone in doubt of my heritage, the little shelf in the library has the family banner that declares this the 'Land Of The O'Neills'.  The spelter urns, Beleek basket weaver and china angel are all from Ireland and I think my ancestors will be looking down with a smile.

Happy St. Patrick's Day and may you have more luck than the Irish have ever been known to have!


  1. Well we do have the luck of the Irish in our family - maybe not such a great thing after all LOL.
    Our thrift find looks great among the ivy.

  2. Maureen, I so enjoy reading your posts. You have a great sense of humour and find a lot of joy in life. I like your Irish corner and the idea of the glass door in front of the corner window. Clara Jane is quite the bad kitty and sure gets into a lot of shenanigans. Your family history sure is interesting. Just heard we had 40 cm. in that storm yesterday. I am so tired of winter! Enjoy the weekend. Pam

  3. Love your post, Maureen! We might be related in that my maiden name of Madden is quite common in Ireland. My uncle went to Ireland a number of years ago in search of family ties for a book he was writing about our family. You are a great storyteller and I love reading about your adventures. Clara Jane sounds adorable . . . water loving that she is!

  4. I love reading about your cat-shenanigans. So funny! And such interesting family history, too. =D


  5. You are a great storyteller, I love reading your posts and reading about all the thrifty finds, thank you for sharing.

  6. Oh- And tis a fine Irish landscape ye put together there, lass. I am loving it and I am loving your Irish history. I had a cat that used to get into the bathtub with me on occasion, too. And cats are supposed to hate the water. lol xo Diana Happy St Patrick's Day! xo Diana

  7. That's a wonderful story, love the decor and Clara Jane she would put them all in their place. My family history was the opposite, Great Great Grandmother was a Catholic who married a protestant, it didn't end well. All my life the Irish side of my family only ever referred to Catholics a Fenians and was said with much hatred that I thought they must be the most terrible people, until my cousin got married and my Nana was horrified that she was marrying one. Said she wasn't going to go, that's when I found out it meant Catholic and thought it was the stupidest thing I had ever heard. She did go and she loved him to bits. LOL Happy St Patrick's Day

  8. So you're descended from the lord of the castle, well it's easy to see, with all your elegant style. I love the corner of the living room with the very Downton-esque sofa, what a shame your cats are bent on destroying all your lovely arrangements.
    I shall look forward to a Christmas tree shaped rosemary tree in the future !

  9. Maureen ... you have too much fun with the kittens. Love your story and your fountain. Maybe the cats will love the "purr" of the motor and take long naps.
    Wishing you great Spring weather.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  10. still have indoor herbs this late in winter? I can never keep them! I love your little bit of Irish on your table. I think you come by your streak of wildness honestly! LOL!

  11. Maureen, this is wonderful!!! I love the setting of your table with herbs that hopefully will flourish for you this spring. Just when we thought winter should be over and done with, we were also hit with another snow fall as well. Oh well, spring has arrived inside our home! :-))
    Thank you for your lovely visit!
    Mary Alice

  12. Well that's the sorriest looking Christmas tree I've ever seen LMHO - you make me laugh!
    But I really really really want that Celtic cross - can you please send it to me ASAP? ( before your cats figure out a way to jump up thre, causing it to come crashing down and destroy it altogether ?_
    Many thanks in advance for your generosity !
    ( I'll be the keeper of the Cross )

  13. Oh sorry but I laughed when I saw your basil and rosemary!! It looks like mine does most years. This year I gave up but you go girl.... ;)
    Happy St. Paddy's day my Irish sista!!

  14. I love your green corner, there by the cool, Canadian sunlight, dramatized by the chippy door and all the intriguing trinkets of your Irish roots! I can't blame the barbarians for wanting to investigate this time, for this setting is most enticing and invites exploration. Your own bit of Ireland is every bit the perfect distraction for all who experience its enchanting essence!


  15. Oh Cara Jane is so funny! LOve your little green corner. Hope you got your furnace working...Enough with the snow already...You deserve a break!