Wearing It Proudly!

Last Saturday, Danny and I rode the chairlift with a friendly gentleman. We commented on the the fine weather and fresh snow and noticed his accent.  This started a guessing game. He removed his goggles and squinted into the bright sunshine as Danny and I tried to guess his nationality. After naming eight or nine countries, we gave up. He said, “I’m Ukrainian.”

We continued talking after we arrived at the top. Then he wanted to guess my heritage. He asked me to take off my goggles and look at him straight on and then in profile. “Irish,” he said, “Your nose gave it away! It’s the same one they drew on Leprechaun’s in books and cartoons back in the day.”


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My father always claimed he was full-blooded Irish. Then out of the blue a couple of years ago, he mentioned a Scottish great grandmother who came to live with them for a while. “What?” My mother asked with skepticism and just about fell over.

Knowing that I’m more than 75% Irish (maybe closer to 70% with this recent revelation), always put a spring in my Irish step this time of year. Another part of that spring comes from nostalgic memories.

I grew up in a creative household. My dad was one of the original Madmen and my mom was always whipping something up in the kitchen or on the sewing machine.

They started a new and unique tradition. Every year, on St. Patrick’s Day Eve, the Leprechauns visited our house. They were a messy lot and would spill their chocolate filled coins all over the house while we slept. My sister and I searched high and low for the little fellas, but we never found them. Later, my brother joined in the shenanigans.

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My mother would bake an apple pie while corned beef, carrots and cabbage simmered all afternoon on the stove top. The scent was heavenly. As if that weren’t enough, she baked soda bread. After my dad returned from work, we would sit down to an authentic Irish feast while traditional music played from my dad’s record player.

I continued this tradition with my own family. For my son Kelly, this is one of his favorite holidays. Every year, he makes an Irish feast for his friends. I am still working on an invitation.

An Irish Leprechaun

So when I look in the mirror at my pug Irish nose, I smile. I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world, even for a glimpse of those elusive Leprechauns.

 Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

To watch Danny and I dance an Irish jig – Click HERE!

For the more about my family’s fun with Leprechauns – Click HERE!

Click for more of my wild Colorado life and travel adventures.

88 thoughts on “Wearing It Proudly!

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  1. Happy St. Patrick’s Day – they dyed the river green here yesterday and many of the celebrants are green today! I plan to have a great day and remember to wear green tomorrow, though blue is really St. Patrick’s hue.


    1. I did not know that!
      When we traveled to Ireland in 2001, I couldn’t believe their lack of chachkies for Leprechaun loving folk like us. I think that may have changed along with the increase in massive celebrations they have on St. Patty’s Day now..
      Happy St. Patrick’s Day Clay!


    1. Top of the mornin’ to you too!
      The sun is shining, but it is pretty cool in the mountains. I’m not sure what’s in store for us this week. I hope the leprechauns don’t play any tricks on us!


  2. St Patrick’s Day for me in Catholic school was dispensation from strictures about eating meat during Lent and 78 RPM records of Irish tenors singing about how they missed Ireland. Oh yeah, mothers who didn’t think the bishop had enough clout to change Church doctrine sent their kids to school with tunas salad sandwiches tinted with green food coloring. Happy St Patrick’s Day, hoist a Guinness for me. T-bars no way Jose, I have a terminal fear of heights. Okay, not heights, just falling out of the chair.


    1. Hey Tom! Your memory sounds familiar. I went to Catholic schools through high school. One year I found the food coloring and dyed everything green including the milk and mayo. That jar was still around in July. My mom finally threw it out! Happy St. Patty’s to you!


  3. Tomorra would be th’ day, wouldn’t it be now, lass. I’ll be tippin’ a glass o’ Guinness wi’ thoughts o’ you ‘n’ all me Irish friends out there. Have a grand day, Susie girl. Slainte !!!


  4. Happy St Patrick’s Day you sexy Irish lass! May a wee bit o’ the whiskey touch your tongue on this day.


  5. One of my best friends in school was Ukranian, a real intellect. And recently I’ve been enjoying the company of a beautiful Ukranian woman who just happens to have a beautiful nose. BTW, my absolute first criteria of a woman — she could be stunning everywhere else but must meet this one criteria — is a perfect nose. Which simply means anything from straight to upturned, no bananas or cheese wedges. My favorite is the typical Irish nose — cute, you know.
    On St. Patrick’s Day I wear a shirt that says I’M IRISH. But if you’re still sober and can read the fine print it actually says I’M (actually Italian and German but I love) IRISH (women).
    I don’t drink anymore (which was one of my favorite reasons for St. Paddy’s Day, of course) but I do love corned beef and cabbage, traditional Irish music, and like I said, Irish women. So I still get to enjoy 3 out of 4, with no hangover and no DUI.
    I have a hilarious story about St. Patrick’s Day, and if you’re lucky I’ll remember to post it tomorrow.
    Happy Heritage to you, Susie, to Danny Boy, and to your entire Irish family,


    1. Thanks Chaz!
      Glad to hear you still celebrate the wearin’ of the green! I too love the meal, but one dark beer will be enough for me. Love the t-shirt. I’ll have to put on my crazy outfit today!!!


  6. Susie, I would love to have been in your dad’s shoes during the heyday of advertising. It’s what I do now, but there’s no fun without cursing the old Rapidographs that clogged as a deadline loomed, or wondering what part of a print ad would be missing when the rubber cement didn’t hold. I did enjoy my career, but by the time I got out of high school, 1970, the Mad Men days were over. I’m happy for your dad. Irishmen are the best story tellers, and the best ads are stories. In the blog about how you met your husband it mentions you lived in Madison. Appropriate for your dad, as in Madison Avenue.
    Now where did I put that Xacto blade so I can cut this out and paste it in your blog?


    1. Addendum: I just read the story about your dad’s career. So he was in the visual/production art side, which is my passion — there’s ink, not blood, in these veins of mine, and I’ve designed my share of signs and billboards, though my forte is corporate identity. But I missed out on those swanky cocktail parties. I bet you dad loves watching Madmen.
      And you were a medical illustrator — you are a visual creative as well, how cool is that! I have an even deeper admiration and respect for you now, Susie.


    2. My dad has his favorite stories. He wasn’t a wild man, but I remember my parents entertaining businessman and their wives. The cocktails, cigarette smoke, suits and dresses were exactly like the show! I remember rapidiograph pens, Leroy and rubber cement! I was told that I should have taken graphic arts at a trade school. I learned paste up and layout on the fly in the 80’s while I was a medical illustrator. Computers loomed and eventually took over in the 90’s after I retired to have children.


  7. From one pug-nosed Irish to another, Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I love your son keeps up with the tradition. My mom is 80 (and half Irish) and she still insists on making her famous boiled dinner tomorrow. I take a pass as I don’t really care for meat at all, but my husband loves it and looks forward to it all year.


    1. Happy St. Patty’s Day to you, sister of another mother! That is so cool that your mom will be making tonight’s feast and she is right next door. How convenient! I didn’t realize that until recently. I hope she makes an apple pie or some other tasty treat you can enjoy.


  8. Happy St. Paddy’s Day, Susie! My husband is 75% Irish as well (one German grandparent) so this is a special day in our household as well. I only attempted corned beef and cabbage once though, the first St. P’s Day after we were married. It was a disaster. I’m not the world’s greatest cook!


    1. The trick is to use the spices in the little bag which comes with the corned beef and let it simmer for a few hours. Corned beef and cabbage viola!
      I had always thought my dad was 100% until recently. His sister Facebooked me and said the Scottish grandmother was Mary Melville! How cool to add another country to my heritage!
      Happy St. Patty’s to you! Thanks for reading!


  9. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! I’m mostly French, but love the party and the cheer. Funny enough, someone once know of my French heritage because of my nose too. Who would have imagined there was so much to tell with a nose? ~Catherine


    1. I know! Noses tell all! I’ve been mistaken for French. They must not have noticed my nose!
      My sister got the Irish red hair. Now I just dye mine auburn to correct the mistake at birth.
      Thanks Catherine and Happy St. Patty’s Day!


  10. My mom always talked about being all Irish and a fifth of Scotch! I always thought that was a joke? Maybe not after your revelation. The leprechauns are still making trouble at our house and my grandsons have been trying to catch them all month! Just today they left a shamrock cookie for them. The milk will be green at out house tomorrow! Have a great SPD!


    1. My dad too! We always though he was kidding! Did you see your mom’s comment on my Facebook page? The Scottish grandma was Mary Melville. She married their grandfather Ed McCartan. (My dad’s name comes from a long line of Jr.s) She sold the house to our grandparents for a dollar! What a surprise!
      sounds like a lot of Irish shenanigans! Have fun and Happy St. Patty’s to you! Thanks for leaving a comment! We’ll have to meet up again some day!


  11. Susie, the General Manager at The Grind is Irish from Ireland. Every year she has a big Irish feast and brews Irish coffees. Several years back, she and my boss (a company co-owner) had a falling out so my department is among the uninvited. I’m actually okay with their feud. Due to my severe lactose intolerance, I cannot drink Irish coffee anymore. Refusing our General Manager’s hospitality is The Kiss of Death. Yes, I am surrounded by nutjobs. I wish you and your family a happy and nutjob-free SPD.


    1. I hate office politics. Thank God Roxy is the only one in my office with demands. She lets them be known, believe me! That is so weird that you can’t go anyway. You could disguise yourself as a leprechaun and have a shot of Irish whiskey!
      Thanks and Happy St. Patty’s to you!


  12. Being married to a vegetarian can have it’s perks, like never having to share the steak, pork or chicken I order out. The downside, is never having corned beef simmering on the stove for any amount of time, without problems. She’s more Irish than I am, so I can’t exactly complain.


    1. I noticed corned beef on the menu last night. Maybe you could sneak out and order take out! It’s one of my favorite dinners. There’s nothing like that salty meat! Oh man. Now I am salivating. I have to start my dinner in 30 minutes!


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