Saturday, March 17, 2018

St. Patrick and Ireland - Photos

Painting of Saint Patrick

Croagh Patrick in County Mayo, where Patrick stayed for Lent

St. Patrick's Well at Clonmel in County Tipperary

The Rock of Cashel - St. Patrick accidentally stuck the spike (on the end of his walking staff)
through the King of Muenster's foot during the King's conversion.
The King thought it was part of the ceremony.

A Celtic shamrock, supposedly used by Patrick to envision the Holy Trinity

Cuilcagh Mountain's "Stairway to Heaven" in County Fermanagh

Devenish Island in County Femanagh

St. Patrick's Day By Numbers

This is taken from a CNN release; parts not in quotes are my own comments.....
   "When you suit up in green and head to the St. Patrick's Day parade or your favorite Irish bar to celebrate, dropping these facts and figures about the holiday's origins will impress your fellow revelers!"  -  Originally, the color blue was used to celebrate Saint Patrick.

5 - St. Patrick's Day began as a religious holiday to honor the the man who, in the fifth century," did the most to introduce and spread Christianity across Ireland.  There were two other Christian 'missionaries' in Ireland prior to Patrick's arrival.

" 1762 - The first St. Patrick's Day parade took place in New York on 17 March 1762.

149 million - Number of people in the United States who plan to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in 2018.

83 - Percentage of those celebrating who plan to wear green.

27  - Percentage of Americans who plan to go to a bar or restaurant to celebrate.

$5.9 billion - Expected St. Patrick's Day spending in 2018.

3,400 - Species of snakes in the world.  According to legend, St. Patrick drove all of the snakes from Ireland. "  In truth, there were never any snakes living on the land that became Ireland.

" 5 - Approximate number of hours the Chicago River remains emerald green after being dyed for the city's St. Patrick's Day parade.

17-5641 - The Pantone number for the color emerald green, which was the 'Pantone Color of the Year' for 2013.

32.3 million - People in the United States with Irish ancestry, as of 2016.

1 in 10,000 - Your chances of finding a four-leaf clover.

6 - Ireland's global rank in beer consumption per capita in 2016, with 98.2 liters.

21 - The United States' rank in beer consumption per capita in 2016, with 74.8 liters.

170 - Rank in popularity in the United States of the baby name of Patrick in 2016.

460 - Calories in a 12-ounce (small) McDonald's limited-edition green Shamrock Shake.  The large size contains 800.  "

My husband's male ancestors came from Ireland.  The surname is Devine, which was from the Irish Gaelic  Ó Daimhín.  The root of this name is believed to be "damh," which supposedly means an "ox" or a "stag."  The name Devine is chiefly found today in the Irish counties of Tyrone and Fermanagh.  Up to the fifteenth century, the chief of the sept was Lord of Tirkennedy in County Fermanagh.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Amazing Flowers (1) - Photos

Peevish Friday

Other than a quick run to McGuckin's Hardware yesterday morning, I stayed at home because Maintenance was scheduled to be here "sometime between 10 am and 4 pm" to switch out all the air filters, check the water heaters and to change the batteries (and test) the smoke, fire, and radon detectors.  They were on our landing at 11:30 - but they ran out of batteries and went back to the shop and had lunch before returning.  There were three men and it took all of 5 minutes, once they returned at 1:15.  I took a nap after they left, and woke up hot and irritable.  Clouds had started to build at 1, and I wanted a big thunderstorm.  We had some lightning around 7, and, at 8 a ten minute rainstorm with one thunder rumble.  Period.  We could have used an hour of heavy rain, or a night of light rain...  Oh, well....
   Got up this morning and decided to go to Target and get a St. Patrick's Day T-shirt and some food for the cats.  Got the cat food - but Target had no Irish T-shirts, and no green shirts at all - other than a very pale pastel green. I went through self-checkout, as there were lines at the cashiers.  I wanted to get away from a lot of contact.  I checked myself out, and placed my items in the bags I took with me.  I paid.  While I was reaching for my receipt, a woman was already reaching across my hand to use the touch screen.  While I was picking up my bags, she was trying to put her purchase into a store bag, knocking my hands away.   I really wanted to tell her to back off - but I just took my bags and escaped.
   Walking home, I have to cross several streets.  At one, an older man (white hair, bald on top, with glasses) was driving a Lincoln Towncar.  He stopped smack dab in the middle of the pedestrian cross-walk, wanting to turn across three lanes of traffic.  Being in an irritated mood, I walked into the side of his car three times - against the passenger window of the front seat - and finally, I knocked against his door with my bag full of cat food cans.  He almost crapped his pants, I scared him so much...  And then he started to yell at me.  I finally walked in front of his car, at the one time he had an opening in traffic.  I guess I was suffering from "pedestrian rage."
  Sitting at home, now, in front of my computer, with Lovey sprawled across my lap, my peevishness is passing....   **sigh**

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Métis - Photos

Louis Riel (center) who led the Métis uprising in Canada

Métis man

Métis families with Red River carts in North Dakota, 1883

Métis children in Canada

The Métis flag

Clément Chartier, Métis

Métis couple

A Métis fiddler
(Listen to the Red River Jig at  )

The Métis People

Have you heard of the Métis people?  I had not, until I began reading a mystery series written by Peter Bowen.  The protagonist in a series of 14 books, so far, Gabriel Du Pré is a Métis man in Montana; he is as good as the world allows him to be, doing all sorts of jobs, and he is an exceptional fiddle player.  He plays the "old songs" of the Métis people, he writes his own songs, and he improvises.  He is described the way my Dad used to talk about the older farmers and ranchers he knew, although Gabriel Du Pré lives very much in the present day.
   Who are the Métis?  The Métis live in both Canada and the United States.  They are a mixed race people, and "Métis" means mixed.  The Métis people helped to shape the Canada of today, mainly in terms of the expansion to the west.  The first Métis people were born in Eastern Canada as early as the 1600s.  They were the children born to European fishermen and their Native wives.  However, it was the Red River region, in present day Manitoba, where the Métis Nation was first established.  When the fur trade moved west, in the 1700s and 1800s, many French-Canadian fur traders found Native wive and had children.  The children from these unions formed a new Nation in Canada - the "Western Métis."  Today there are between 350,000 to 400,000 Métis living in Canada.
   The Métis people had/have a distinct way of life that incorporated aspects of both both French-Canadian and Native cultures. The fur traders had married, mainly, women of the Cree, Ojibwa and Saulteaux tribes.  Most of the traders were French and Catholic, and their Métis children were exposed to both the Catholic and Native belief systems.
   The Métis were skilled voyageurs, buffalo hunters, traders and interpreters.  Their understanding of both societies helped bridge cultural gaps, which resulted in better trading relationships.  Over time, the Métis became valuable employees of both fur-trading companies in Canada - the Hudson's Bay Company, which was British, and the North-West Company, which was French.
   Between 1795 and 1815 a network of Métis settlements and trading posts was established throughout what are now Michigan and Wisconsin, and, to a lesser extent, Illinois and Indiana.  As late as 1829, the Métis were dominant in the economy of present-day Wisconsin and northern Michigan.
   During the early days of territorial Michigan, Métis and French played a dominant role in elections. It was largely with Métis support that Gabriel Richard was elected as the delegate to Congress.  After Michigan was admitted as a state and under increased pressure from European-American settlers from eastern states, many Métis migrated west and north.  They went into the Canadian prairies, including the Red River Colony and the Southbranch Settlement.  Others identified with the Chippewa tribe, and some were subsumed in an ethnic French identity.  By the late 1830s, the only area where there was a widespread recognition of the Métis as a part of the community was in Sault Ste. Marie.  Another major Métis settlement was La Baye, located at the present site of Green Bay, Wisconsin. In 1816 the majority of La Baye residents were Métis.
   In Montana, a large group of Métis from the Pembina region hunted there in the 1860s, eventually forming an agricultural settlement in the Judith Basin by 1880.  This settlement eventually disappeared, with most Métis leaving the settlement.
   The Métis are recognized as a Native tribe in Canada, and have their own flag.  They are not recognized as a tribe in the United States - usually being referred to as a "breed."  (How awful!)
   I am very grateful to author Peter Bowen for introducing me to this wonderful race of people!
Vive le Métis!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Follow-Up on Lock Out

I received a phone call about noon yesterday, from the Chief Executive Officer of the management group for our apartment.  She was amazed, upset and chagrined.  The entire Maintenance crew was pulled in to work Sunday afternoon.  I received multiple calls from multiple people in the organization throughout the afternoon and evening.
   First, Sonia, the locked-out neighbor, managed to get a locksmith to come to her apartment at 1 a.m. Sunday morning.  He broke the outside of the deadbolt lock, and once she was inside, she could lock the door again; but she couldn't lock it from the outside, if she had to leave.  It cost her $162.  - And she had to leave yesterday, as her sister was admitted to the hospital in Denver.  So I ended up watching her door from my reading chair for most of the afternoon.
  In any event, it turns out (according to the Maintenance Office Manager) that the answering service had not followed their own steps to ensure the system for calling the on-call person actually worked. The main office for the apartments gets an e-mail for each call made and reported as either an emergency or regular maintenance. The e-mail log was there, in it's entirety - including all the calls Sonia and I had made, and 8 calls from other residents regarding emergencies. None of the calls had been answered.  I spoke several times with the person on call, both by telephone and in person yesterday - he never received ANY notice from the call service.
  While Sonia was in Denver, visiting her sister in the hospital, she was contacted by the Maintenance office, and it was agreed that the man on-call would replace her door lock and leave the new keys with me.  The apartment complex is reimbursing Sonia the money she paid out.  (I understand that the company is having to reimburse over $1,000 to various affected tenants...)
   So the mystery has been solved; the call center for emergencies fouled up; and all is OK again.