November 30, 2004 | Leave a Comment

Who does a better job of cooking turkey ? That was the question we had to consider last week. Determined to produce a more edible bird than the 28 pounder we had last year, we decided to go with two 18 pounders this year. And since we were going to be cooking two, we decided to compare our culinary skills. I chose to cook one overnight, and Jenn to cook one on Thanksgiving Day.

Unfortunately, we both miscalculated slightly. Mine was cooking for 16 hours, about 6 hours longer than I anticipated. Jenn’s was going for about 5, 2 hours more than needed. Still, they turned out pretty darn good, or so claimed our guests.

Morgan and Jenn came up for the day, and Ian and June were over for a week, with Julie in tow. Nobody complained about the food, although Eoghan was somewhat less than gruntled about the fact that Julie kept trying to pull down his underpants. Given that she’s not even 2 yet, he decided to forgive her, but still I wonder about that girl. Give her 20 years and God only knows what will happen… I took a few pictures (with everyone fully clothed) which I hope to get up next weekend.

(By the way, 28 pound turkeys are pretty bad, cooking skills notwithstanding. Most warships in the days of sail shot nothing larger than 24 pound cannon balls. I can only imagine how the battles would have been with turkeys flying everywhere).



Knock, Knock !

November 20, 2004 | Leave a Comment

Orla has been developing her sense of humour recently. She loves to learn new jokes, and try them out on you. One of her favourite things to do now is to tease her Uncle Justin with her “knock, knock” joke:

Knock, knock.

Who’s there ?


Justin who ?

Justin time !

She is continuing her studies in ballet, and is also enjoying winter ice-skating with Grandma. But beware – if you go ice-skating with her, she’ll remember how many times you’ve fallen, and tell everyone !

Jenn’s dad has unfortunately been diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma, so Jenn has been busy doing research and creating a website with information about it. Orla knows that Grandad is sick, so she offered some advice to Sue :

Tell him to eat apples, Grandma. An apple a day keeps the doctor away !

Now, everything she eats, she asks her mother whether or not it’s healthy. So lately she’s been refusing kit-kat’s and candy as a snack, and has substituted Diet Coke with seltzer…

Eoghan has just started to take an interest in TV; his two favorite shows are “Thomas, the tank engine” (no surprise there), and “Bob the builder”. He’s cute in the morning singing along with the theme-songs. He’ll be in second heaven when Daddy takes him to see “Spongebob, the movie”.

His mom bought him a play toolset today, in hopes that he’ll be more handy than his daddy when he grows up. She thinks he’s already more useful, because he goes wild over taking out the garbage in the city to the rubbish chute. She never has to ask twice, and he insists on carrying each bag, even those twice his size. Jenn is still planning on signing him up for boxing lessons once he’s old enough so he’ll have brains and brawn both. (She picked boxing, since both of her grandfathers were boxers, and her dad was trained by Rocky Marciano).



It’s hard to know where the time is going. We’ve been pretty busy over the past few weeks. First, we had our trip to Mystic, Connecticut – home of Mystic Pizza, and Mystic Seaport – and that’s about it. Still, we had a nice weekend there with Grandma as you can see from these pictures. It’s good to know that with Orla even if the navigation system in the car fails that we won’t get lost. We were discussing where a particular town was, and Orla suggests

Just roll down the window and ask for directions

Anyway, we decided that Connecticut is nice to visit but we’ll stay in Rhinebeck. After all, we can get pizza there, too.

The following weekend brought us Mary and Monica, and her two boys, visting from Ireland. They had a blast, with a game at The Garden, and shopping ’til they dropped. We managed to meet for dinner with Barbara and had a great time catching up.

That brought us up to Hallowe’en, which is shaping up to be Orla’s favourite holiday. (Okay, so she likes Christmas and birthdays too, but you get the picture). This year she decided she wanted to be a tiger, and Eoghan was “Thomas, The Tank Engine”. They marched in the parade and then we went out trick-or-treating, collecting lots of goodies.

This weekend, we had Jenn and Morgan – and Rooster – up to visit. We took it easy, bringing them to explore the local farmers’ market and testing out our new car.

The weather has been spectacular these past two weeks – yesterday, for example, it was 69F, but this week we’re forecast to have snow. I certainly hope it holds off for a few more weeks so we can enjoy what’s left of our prolonged autumn…

Meanwhile, the kids are busy carving out a life in the city, too. Orla is enrolled in art school, and is making a name for herself. Grandma is framing one of her pieces and adding it to her collection. Eoghan is developing a new interest in books and can oft times be found relaxing in a chair, flicking through the pages and taking after his daddy.

Watch out Robin Cousins, or Katarina Witt – because today saw Orla taking to the ice for the first time. She and Grandma spent the afternoon gliding across the rink at Rockefeller Center like two figures on a wedding cake. They had a ball, and are sure to be regulars there over the winter.

(By the way, now is probably a good time to buy a piece from Orla’s portfolio. You can only imagine how it will appreciate over the next 40 or so years. I can let you have a good deal…)