Category Archives: People I love



Hubby came home early from the pub Saturday night.

He walked in the door, took a wobbly double take at me sitting in the living room, and promptly told me that I’m not allowed to talk to him because he is a ghost.

He’s a ghost because usually I wouldn’t have the opportunity to hear his random blather for another two hours, and I’d be asleep by then and avoid it entirely.

Somehow being an incorporeal being (instead of just, um, early home) made the most sense to him.

Love that nutter.


Acrachnid and Vinyl-Scratcher Get Hitched


Thanks, all, for being interested in my courtship story and asking for the wedding tale! Knowing me as well as you do, you probably already know that we didn’t have a traditional ceremony.

We got married in Cleveland, rather than Ireland. It made tons of sense to do it in the States. Biggest reason is that I’m not Catholic, and it was dammed difficult to have a secular ceremony in Eire. Especially with his family pushing for a big church do! Money was the other deciding factor – the Cuyahoga County Courthouse only needed $20 and a day’s notice. We wanted easy and simple, because nothing else involved in importing me to Ireland was going to be easy, simple, or cheap.

Being as we were only engaged from Dec 31 to April 22 of the same year (unheard of in Ireland), not many people from iDJ’s home could come over. We didn’t have anyone who was older than us by more than a few years, which was actually quite wonderful (sorry, family). It meant no pressure to do anything but what we wanted, and it meant a lot of fun could be had without having any worries of upsetting or inconveniencing anyone. Of course it would have been nice to have my dad and his mam there, but we did give awfully short notice.

Himself took me shopping and helped me pick a dress from a department store, along with shoes and a useless wee handbag. The shop assistant was fantastic, she spent hours with us and I think she had a great time helping us, as she was fun and funny. The dress did turn out to be white, by the way. White wasn’t on purpose, but it suited. 

The lads that came from Ireland (all men) are his best mates from childhood, and I’d met them all on my visit. I had loads of friends in Cleveland, and my sister and my best friend came in from out of town. All of the ones who travelled came out drinking and dancing the night before, and it was fantastic. I think the Irish lads drank at least one pub dry. There were only three of them – never underestimate how much an Irishman can drink, especially when it is happy hour and they have never heard of happy hour before!

This is also when we learned that getting a taxi in Cleveland is nigh on impossible. So the best man, somehow, found a service that would be on call for us for a few days – turned out it was the same service LeBron James used. These guys were amazing, turned up in seconds and loved the craic with the lads. Saved us, that idea – and we even took one of the drivers through a McDonald’s drive through (against the rules) and bought him a late dinner.

The morning of is a bit of a blur. I had a coworker come to my apartment to do my hair and makeup (she sold Mary Kay). It felt like there were people everywhere and everyone was in a rush. Our time for the courthouse was 10:30, I believe.

We rolled into court looking like a proper wedding party: suits, flowers, white dress and all. A good number of my local friends came, too. Ready to go!

And we waited…and waited… our time-slot came and went and went again, as more and more couples got married. One man came out and shouted to those waiting, “Y’all didn’t see me here! This never happened!” 

Being good natured to a body, we were patient if grumbling a bit. The best man had a long chat with a man who had driven across the USA just to bail out his friend. Never underestimate how much an Irishman can talk!

Finally there seemed to be no one left but us, but we were still waiting. A bit strange…

When we were called in, we found out why there had been a wait. The room, while still a small courtroom, had been decked with tulle and and the judge told us she had seen where Himself was from, and had prepared (and read) an Irish poem for us. I was astounded – pretty sure the couples in sweatpants and tee-shirts didn’t get such special treatment. They must have seen us out there waiting and made a special effort, and wow was it appreciated.

I bawled like a child when it was official – all I remember saying is, “I didn’t think it was going to actually happen!”

After the ceremony, we went to a gorgeous restaurant for brunch – it has a lovely greenhouse-like room full of plants, where we took loads of photos. We insisted on paying for the meal, as no one there had to come to a boring old courthouse wedding – our thank you for coming (and waiting).

Next we went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which is in Cleveland as it should be. Spent a good few hours in there wandering around and getting told to put my heels back on by the staff. I’m afraid I didn’t comply – me and heels don’t get along! I’m sure the champagne at brunch didn’t hurt, either. I wanted to show off my adopted city’s attractions to the lads, of course – not many Irish choose Cleveland as a tourist destination, but it is a dammed fine place (lack of taxis notwithstanding).

After that, we had about an hour or so to settle and get ready for the party, so we split up back to our hotels or apartments. My hair by this time was no longer very curly, but I don’t own a curler so it just had to suffer.

The reception was in my friends’ pub in Lakewood, and my boss surprised us with a beautiful cake (I’d said I wasn’t going to bother). The DJ was iDJ – he had made several CD’s (which we intentionally left behind, and they were played often afterward). We danced around the pool table which was covered in plywood and a tablecloth and then huge amounts of pizza (and the cake!) and I ruined my dress with Guinness stains from the floor – because it was a long dress, and I was of course barefoot again. The Irish lads were a bit baffled by my very geeky and nerdy friends, whom I miss loads because being geeky and nerdy isn’t a common Irish trait.

The booze and food was also on us – we didn’t believe in making people pay for our wedding, even if it was cheap and cheerful. We didn’t do invites, and asked for presence, not presents.  At the end of the night we went to pay the tab, only to find it was about $200. We were thrilled that we had such a great night so inexpensively, and put it down to amazingly good prices and maybe a friend discount.

Years later I found out that my wonderful geeky friends had been sneakily putting money into the tab as they left – and not a single one told us they did so. 

I couldn’t have had a better wedding day.

Spiders and iDJ, Sittin’ in a Tree



I couldn’t resist using that childhood teasing rhyme, because it is rather perfect for the story I am about to tell.

It has come to my attention that I have never shared the story of how Spiders came to be living in a tiny town in the west of Ireland with the wonderful iDJ. Since we just celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary, perhaps it is past time, or a titch late? Well, I do have a shitty sense of time, and it feels like a few weeks ago rather than 10 years.

We met online. Usually people in Ireland express amazement at this, but it seems perfectly natural for us, being geeky and all. 
I had been having poor luck finding anyone online to date in Cleveland, Ohio. When I met a man in person it did not go well (a man my dog decided was dangerous and physically put himself inbetween us, and an intelligent long-haired redhead who in person was super-critical of me from my appearance to my interests). I decided to move my search parameters to encompass the country that my father loved so much – Ireland. It was mostly a lark, to me – maybe something would come of it, maybe not – but I’d meet some Irish lads either way! My mindset was: sure, I’d import one or export myself if love was found: but I expected it to take years. 

Without even a photo of me uploaded yet, I had hits. Very disappointing hits. A cocaine fiend, a man who seemed to hate me because of my nationality (why talk to me, then?). Considering this was in 2004, and it actually took effort for someone to talk to a strange woman 3,000 miles away – why be an ass? 

I can’t actually recall iDJ’s first communique. He contacted me first, despite not seeing a picture of me, carefully chosen and whatnot, like you do. He had a photo up, however. One of my first comments was ‘shame your hair isn’t longer’.

His response? ‘It is!’

And that started us off: a mutual agreement that men should have long hair if they can.

He first came to see me in Cleveland in July 2004. We were mostly in love by then, even with all the terrible-connection Skype calls (he still had dial up, I was on satellite) and plain old phone calls we had shared. He was such a romantic soul, and passionate about his interests (music and photography especially). We both agreed that if there wasn’t a ‘spark’ when we met in person, then we would at least have a very good friendship.

We did have the spark, right there and then in the airport parking garage. I think we added another hour to the parking fee by making out while leaning against the back bumper of my Firebird. 

Even better, once I got him home my good boy Spot jumped straight into his arms, and my very good dog Shade (RIP) didn’t try to insinuate his huge body between ours like that other jerk. I do trust my furry ones to be a good judge of character.

They were right, too. iDJ came to see me in Ohio again in October, and I went to meet him and most of his friends and family in Mayo in late December ’04/January 2005. He asked me to marry him on New Year’s Eve day, at the top of ‘our’ mountain, which we can see from our house to this day.

Going back to Ohio without him was hard.

The next time we met in person, we got married. The wedding itself is a whole other tale!

Ten years on, we haven’t killed each other, still kiss each other goodbye every time one of us leaves the house, and his hair? Down to his arse and still growing.

Goodbye, Rua


My sister’s greyhound, Rua, passed away in his sleep last night. He was a big clumsy goofball, and he will be missed.

I drew this of him back in November 2011, one of my first attempts at digital art.


Miss you, big guy! 

Paddy’s Day Choons!


Paddy’s Day, never Patty’s Day! Remember that and you will make an Irish person happy.

I had to do a post for iDJ to support his hard work last week; doing his Special days and days before the big day. He made sure that we all have some proper Irish music to see us through tomorrow.

No longer live, but as an extra-special Special at three hours long, you can get the podcast via this link (and you don’t need to have the Podomatic application to play it).

There is a playlist if you open it in your browser so you can see who recorded that awesome thing you just heard, too!

The Man Who Talks to Cheese.


Hubby has been cooking this evening. He’s now making dinner, but earlier it was a low-carb pumpkin bake thingie.

After his earlier effort, he is now well into his habit of talking to things that aren’t able to answer.

Shall I type up some of the nonsense he is saying? Yes, yes I will:

O M G, W T F, B B Q! (Yes he said each letter)

Well, I’m talking to chicken now, brilliant! (This is because I was teasing him about being the Man Who Talks to Cheese)

Nothing for cats! (He’s cutting up raw chicken; we give the good bits to the cats and whatever is left to the dog)

Spotty, watch your little paw, fucking hell cat! Spotty! Fucking hell dog-cat-whatever-your-name-is.

Not much for kitties but I’m working on it.

Shhh, I’m coming (whispered to Lokii who also never shuts up) shhh, bits for kitties… Shhh

Oh it’s gonna be less than…oh (garbled) seven minutes…it’s okay. Shhh, coming. (I think this means he heard me light a smoke, which takes me 7 minutes to finish. It was oddly silent so he could hear the lighter spark)

Just wait, alright? Coming. (To Lokii, again) shhh.

Spotty watch your little paw, I’m cutting stuff. Heeeeeeeeee. (Very unmanly giggle)

Fuk fuckit.

That’s my fucking hand, you idiot! Sure didn’t the baby Jesus tell you not to bite the hand that feeds you? Sure no he didn’t.

More for cats, nearly gone…

Alright Spotty that’s it, I’m not going through all this goop. A little more. Oh, Spotty! You want more? That’s it, that’s it. (Calling for the dog) Neko! Oh Spotty you want more? There is no more! Here take that, for fuck’s sake cat! Here.

I’m not spending the evening cutting up human food for cats! Okay Mrs (me), any time you are ready! (Because I’m in charge of the sauce part)

Hope you enjoyed a little glimpse into what it is like to live with a man who talks CONSTANTLY.

Love you anyway, iDJ!

I Am Gunna Do Something Crazy-Fun…


I have just committed to WALKING ON FIRE next Thursday.


I think the first time I saw someone walk barefoot on hot coals was on one of those early-eighties TV shows, That’s Incredible! or maybe Real People. It was probably some “Indian Swami” who laid on a bed of nails for his next trick. I always wanted to know how walking on fire was done – and in less than a week, I’m going to find out!

I am inordinately excited about doing this. Been 43 years on this rock without someone saying, ‘Hey, want to firewalk with me?’ You bet your bippy I jumped at the chance.

My awesome Canadian friend is the one who asked, and so far I am the only taker. Would you walk on fire, if given the chance?

Roses for Mama


I bought myself a new rosebush recently – a peace rose. We had one in Florida, at the house where I did most of my growing up. Mom loved it. She wasn’t much of a gardener: the rose didn’t get a lot of attention and bloomed rarely. But when it did, she was ecstatic. I remember. I will never forget.

The 17th anniversary of my mother’s death is September 1. That year, 1997, it was also the Labor Day holiday – which meant exactly nothing to me at the time but makes it worse for me when they coincide again.

This post is for you, mom. I know you’d be thrilled with all of my beautiful flowers. But these roses are just for you, and I will think of you and smile with every new bloom.





The Only Superhero for Me! Cartoon Craziness Challenge


When I heard this week’s Cartoon Craziness Challenge was ‘superhero’, I didn’t have one minute of hesitation. I actually know a superhero!

My daddy!

Today is his 75th birthday, and he seems the same to me as he he was in his 50’s. Still has all his hair, and his all original parts, and best of all he still has his silly sense of humour. This cartoon is drawn from my favourite photo of him, taken by my hubby when Dad was over to visit us. I forget why he turned his cap backward and struck a gangsta pose – maybe some rap/hip-hop music was playing in the pub we were in? Still, you haveta love someone who is willing to be goofy a) in public b) in their 70’s c) in a foreign country surrounded by strangers.

Of course he’s super for a lot more reasons – but if I get all gooshy here, he will tease me unmercifully!

Love you dad and thank you for everything you have done for your family over the years. Wish I could give you a big hug today!

Spot is Doing Great!


My best boy and Super-Bengal Spot was diagnosed with kidney failure last year.
I freaked out entirely. As usual for me, I wrote about it (here), talked about it (with iDJ and Socks and probably anyone else that didn’t roll their eyes when I said “I’m upset because my cat has been diagnosed with a fatal disease.”), and I worried about it a lot. So much so that I lost my marbles and the day after the vet visit, I backed the Mini into the wall outside our house, hard.

I was so mortified by this extreme idiocy at the time that I couldn’t write about it. I have never, ever done something so stupid in, or to, a car.

The car is fixed now, of course, but it set us back financially quite a bit. Which meant our return visit to the vet – meant to be done before Christmas – didn’t happen until today.

I dithered over taking him in. The last time he bit the crap out of the vet, and was so stressed on the drive it hardly seemed worth doing it again. Then I thought hard and realised that if I kept falling short on taking care of my best boy, and he got worse because of it, I’d never ever forgive myself. So we harnessed him up and made the 30 minute drive to the vet this morning.

He doesn’t go into a crate. He just isn’t that kind of cat. He loves a car trip: but only if we stay under 40mph. That speed is not an option when going to the vet! I have to say that today the hollering wasn’t too bad, and he never tried to get under iDJ’s feet (he was driving), so all in all it wasn’t too stressful this time. Our vet has a pet shop next door so I took him over there for a wander around while we waited our turn. The two filthy working border collies and the young Jack Russel in the queue ahead of us were giving Spot some very, very hungry looks…

It came our turn, and Spot was relaxed and calm, not a shiver or a scared meow. He had his arsehole examined, and his belly listened to, and his mouth and teeth checked – his guts were a bit gassy but everything else is excellent. What clinched it for our vet was the weighing. Spot has gained an entire US pound since we last visited! He’s just under 9lbs now (4.05 kilos), which is an amazing improvement and is a wonderful indicator that the disease is under control. Doc didn’t even feel the need to take a blood sample.

Spot has been on Science Diet C/D dry food nearly his entire life because when he was a very young cat, barely past kittenhood, he got bladder stones. They have never recurred due to the C/D, and I am happy to pay for it. The vet is impressed that Spottie never got fat on this food, as it is apparently quite common for cats to pack on the weight with Science Diet C/D. Considering that perfectly healthy Lokii also eats the C/D and also isn’t fat (okay he has little jiggly underbelly flaps, but he does have a waist and you can feel his ribs), I wonder if it is the way we feed it to them, which has been free-choice since birth. They have never known what real hunger feels like, so they never over-eat.

Last time we were in, the doc wanted us to give Spot wet food as a supplement, to help hydrate his kidneys. Doc really wanted us to stay with the C/d formula, and both boys loved it. For months, it was a super-special treat for them. Then we ran out for three days… and when we got more Spot refused to eat it. Dammit! Lokii got to eat it all, the flabby-bellied chow-hound! We’ve been so worried since.

So, since no one was waiting after us, the doc walked next door with us and spent a good amount to time talking over food for not just Spot, but poor Neko who has also been under the weather lately. Now, our vets always take their time, but it seemed a little different when he knew no one else was waiting – more relaxed – but it could be just me because I know how it feels to have impatient people glaring at you. Not that I heard much of the conversation as Spot was intent on walking us to the back of the shop where I had to stand there and watch him rub all over a pallet. Sigh.

We took him to the big garden centre on the way home. He likes it there! he got some love from a Polish lady who works in the small-animal department, and was carted around by myself outside to look at plants.


So: it is so wonderful to have good news, and while I know the kidney disease will be what takes Spottie-Pants away from me eventually, I know it won’t be any time soon.