Thursday, March 31, 2011

Banishing Snakes

This post is late, at least two weeks late and even then I should have prepped you all for St. Patrick's Day. If he could banish snakes from an island, then maybe I could share a little of his story with you. Unfortunately I don't remember much more than the snakes and that he was kidnapped and taken to Ireland to be a slave. A little embarrassing considering I lived in Ireland and knew a great scholar who happened to take St. Patrick's Day seriously.

I can tell you that it is a four or five day religious holiday over there. Rumor has it that they didn't do the whole green wearing, parade throwing, lucky shamrock festivities until other nations did that as a tribute (think over zealous Americans who love an excuse for a holiday). It had evolved by the time I was a Dubliner and a huge parade took place on the 17th in the city center. I'd intended on attending. We had green hats, wigs and sashes. At the last minute one little guy threw up (green milk?) and I volunteered to stay home with him. I'd planned to go downtown with friends later that night so I thought I'd see some crazy things anyway. That also backfired as high winds caused an early night for vendors. I did wear my "Kiss Me I'm Irish" sash, it even had red lights that flash.

Now living in Washington/Peoria, I felt like it was little Irishland for the night. I only saw the subdued version at a sports bar two blocks from our house. Everyone dressed up in a St. Patrick's/Mardi gras/Halloween style to sing old 90s grunge with a local band. Mr. Seattle was highly impressed and I loved it too. It's hilarious to see Skip's face when I can sing along to all his favorite songs. Skip also had the pleasure of seeing the Peoria Riverfront lit up in green. His office took off around four and wandered the streets. Lines and lines of leprechauns waiting to get into the pubs.

So when he came home and asked for props I had him covered. I brought out my old sash and handed him a green hat. Then things got real wild. Skip saw my glittery green eyeshadow and had to have some, as a mask of course.

Really people what do expect when the town's popular private school is St. Patricks? We'll be better prepared for next year. Maybe I'll hand out shamrock cookies to the kids at the bus stop, it's on the corner of our lawn.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Plaid Pants of 1999

As a teen my mom, and church leaders, encouraged me to accomplish some goals. I think the end goal was to make me a well-rounded self-sufficient gal, or at least more interesting. I'm not sure it did any of those things, but it prepared me to clothe my husband.

Over Christmas break Skip announced that he'd forgotten to pack pajama bottoms. I told him not to worry, between my dad, two brothers and a brother-in-law who lives in Lamar, Skip was sure to find something comfy to lounge in. He stared at me with big puppy dog eyes and a seriously doubtful look. So I started scrounging around the drawers in my room.

I went through a phase where I didn't want to have to pack to stay at my moms. Never mind my mom lived at least 12 hours away, I found pleasure in leaving clothes to wear, shampoo to use, hair brush, toothbrush, blow dryer, shoes, outdoor gear, etc. in my bedroom so my suitcase could be filled with twenty more outfits.

My hoarding abilities saved Christmas as I pulled out a pair of oversized green and red plaid pajama bottoms. Teenage Breanna had taken a regular pants pattern and made the legs wide and straight, the waist a few inches longer than necessary so it could be fashionably rolled and pockets appropriately placed (when the waist had been rolled). Teenage Breanna had no idea that anyone else would ever want to wear these ridiculous but splendid pants. Teenage Breanna had never met 40-year-old Skip who put them on with glee.

And then took them home to Peoria. So now the lounge pants I wore every Sunday in high school have become his go-to weekend wear. He won't even look at the cool pair I bought him from Banana Republic. All I can say is I used to be a visionary.