288 Hours to Paddy’s Day!

This year some of us Chicks will spend St. Patrick’s Day together—at Left Coast Crime in Tucson. We have a few Irish-themed treats up our sleeves, together with our friends from the Cozy Mystery Crew—but in the meantime, here’s a helpful guide to prepping for the day that’s ever-green (even in the desert). You don’t have to drink, and you don’t need to be remotely Irish to have fun!

Sometimes when I tell people my favorite holiday falls on March seventeenth, I get puzzled looks. Why not Christmas? Thanksgiving? Fourth of July? Heck, even Labor Day. Then it dawns on the doubters: Ohhhh. The green beer, right?

Photo by Pressmaster on Pexels.com

I just shuddered as I wrote that. I am so not a fan of anything slimy (snakes or drinks). Why ruin a perfectly good pint? Don’t even get me started on green bagels. And Jayzus Mary and Joseph, avoid those fake-green shakes unless there’s a confirmed ice cream famine.

At 12:01 am on February fifteenth, when St. Valentine’s Day is officially over, it’s time to start prepping for Paddy’s Day. You’ll need to hit your local party store to grab all that cool Irish-themed merchandise before it’s sold out. (Lads, you can leave those Kiss-Me-I’m-Irish buttons at home. Ditto the charming lines about what comes between you and your kilts. We get it.)

And ladies, ’tis time to drag every bright green item of clothing you own out of your closet. Chances are, they’ll all be somewhere in the back, or buried under everything else, because the last time you saw them was last St. Patrick’s Day. It’s okay that you held onto them, though, because as Marie O’Kondo would surely concur, they Inspire Joy.

If closet diving is too much of a chore, or completely hopeless—wait, did you give that glittery plastic top hat to the Goodwill by mistake?—no worries a-t’all. Grab that cute shamrock-themed sleep tee you wore the past three nights as a Paddy’s Day warm up and tuck it into your jeans.

I took this pic of my pup Farley a few years ago in his Celtic glory. He is still cute, though not quite as small and fuzzy. And he’s the same degree of thrilled about the green bandanna. I’ve told him he is required to wear it, because he is an Irish pet. Sorry, Farley.

Once the rest of you are also properly attired, and you’ve begged off sick from work if possible, you are free to hit the pubs, parades, and parties. Be sure to eat a decent Irish breakfast first (yes, the blood sausage too—it has lots of iron, so it’s good for you). Pinched for time to cook? This’ll do, Bob’s your uncle:

As soon as you arrive in any bar, be sure to put in your musical requests (Whiskey in the Jar? Molly Malone? Danny Boy? The Pogues?) because you’ll never make your way back across the room. And be sure to show off those championship Irish dance skills. A regular Michael Flatley, y’are!

Chances are, the super-tall guy who leads the police bagpipe band in the parade will pose for a picture with you, if you ask very nicely. Or buy him a Guinness.

Oh, and another plus: On Saint Patrick’s Day, everyone has the gift of gab. If you say something embarrassing or stupid by mistake, either no one will hear you or they won’t remember anyway.

Have I convinced you that March seventeenth is the best day of the year? No? Well, there’s no crying on Saint Paddy’s Day. No fuss, no stress (except maybe that closet hunting deal), no annoying relatives (unless you pop by the family party) or pressures to procure a date. And no need to cook unless you simply must boil up your own corned beef and cabbage (make sure you keep the windows open).

So here’s to St. Patrick. May he drive the snakes from your manuscript (unless you need them to kill someone off) and make the words flow like the River Liffey. Slainte!

Readers, are you ready for Paddy’s Day? If not quite yet, tell us your favorite Irish book or movie or music or food or tradition–like the holiday, anything goes!

37 thoughts on “288 Hours to Paddy’s Day!

  1. Bless you, Lisa! I recommend spending time listening to the Chieftains for traditional Irish music and the Corrs or Cranberries for something more pop-flavored. In a pinch, there’s always U2, but only if the listener takes some time to learn the meaning behind “Bloody Sunday.”
    For viewers, I recommend Derry Girls and The Commitments for lighthearted takes on life on the Emerald Isle. For more serious fare, there’s The Crying Game and In The Name of the Father. And for history buffs, Michael Collins is a must see.
    I’m not a beer drinker any more, so I recommend an Irish whiskey on the rocks. Jameson’s and Bushmills are easy to find. Of you’re feeling fancy, try Red Breast.
    For dining, try some bangers & mash or shepherd’s pie, two hearty meals that will help soak up the whiskey or Bailey’s Irish Cream you’ve been enjoying.
    At the end of the day, remember this Irish prayer.
    May those that love us, love us.
    And those that don’t love us,
    May God turn their hearts.
    And if He cannot turn their hearts,
    May he turn their ankles,
    So we’ll know them by their limping!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. JC, This is a fabulous guide! In particular, I will consider that prayer, lol. Just went to hear some traditional Irish music last night, in an old Newburyport, MA church (my cousin is in the band, Teada). I am a big fan of the groups you mentioned, as well as the Dropkick Murphys, a Celtic punk band outta Boston. I hear whiskey is becoming very trendy now in Ireland (as if it weren’t already in style).

      Liked by 1 person

    2. JC, I could have written that comment … except the beer part. I still imbibe. And that prayer? I bought a copy of it in Ireland and it hangs on my wall.

      My dad—Robert Oscar Clark—was the most Irish non-Irishman. He traveled the entire country numerous times and I am in possession of a nametag of his that reads “Robert O’Clark.”

      Now to go dial up some Corrs and Chieftains ….

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I grew up in an Irish household. I am only 3rd gen American-my grandmother was born in Ireland and my grandfather here. Two portraits adorned our formal dining room – Pope John XXIII on one side and John Fitzgerald Kennedy on the other. We always had corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, even after I was in high school and obligated to march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City. My two sons are Seamus and Taidhgin. Finally, in 2012, we made it to Ireland and I tracked down my family in County Galway. It was like the song, Dear Old Donegal. They knew we were coming and brought in family from all over Ireland–there must’ve been thirty people there. And during the whole thing, I never say a glass of green beer.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Nor will you ever see one, Tom (fortunately)! Love your sons’ names– Taidhgin is pronounced Tee-gan, right? Or do you hear the “d” a bit? The portrait I always saw, in addition to the ones you mentioned, was the Bleeding Heart. And I am very impressed you marched in the big parade! (The Brooklyn one is always held the Sunday after Paddy’s Day so you can appear/celebrate twice.)


  3. My favorite books that take place in Ireland are Alexia Gordon’s Gethsamane Brown mysteries.
    For songs, I love the Irish Rovers. The Unicorn Song. It always makes me cry. And Lily the Pink. For modern singers? Hozier–swoon . . .

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Mary, I love Alexia’s Gethsamane Brown books! I always learn a lot from them, too. Lately I’ve been humming Galway Girl (Steve Earle, actually, recorded with Irish musicians and based on a true story of unrequited love–sniff!). At Christmas, Fairy Tale of New York always makes me cry, too. I avoid Danny Boy, pretty much.


  4. At some point today, I want to get my green lights up on my balcony. Then I’ll be ready for St. Patrick’s Day. Not that I do too much for the holiday.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lisa, this is so much fun!! I love the pix.
    My favorite Irish thing is the music. I love it. And I enjoy Irish dancing the rare times I get to do it. In fact, I was allowed to put together a birthday playlist for the weekly dance class I attend and I added Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl and we Irish-danced to it. It killed everyone’s calves!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha, think you may need to demo that to the nightcap festivities at LCC. I’ll be the one clapping slightly offbeat from the sidelines.


  6. Awwwwwww Farley! He looks grand in the wearing of the green.

    Like J.C., I’m a fan of Derry Girls. SO GOOD. I also fancy Guinness and, yes, the Shamrock Shake. Most of all, I want that Instant Irish Accent spray. I think it would enhance any gift of gab I get!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Might be worth a pop-in!

        The accent thing reminds me of a time that I cast Irish voice talent for a radio spot. I booked a charming Irishman and he did a great job. BUT we got comments from listeners about how we should have hired someone from Ireland to do the accent. I think they were expecting an Irish Spring or Lucky Charms delivery!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh absolutely, Lori! As long as it isn’t a fighting Leprechaun in its mouth, lol. (Cheer, cheer for Old Notre Dame…)


      1. Hubs is mostly German, with a wee bit of Irish thrown in. My father-in-law was full of the blarney and travelled to Ireland a few times. Thankfully, we don’t have to go that far for a Guinness!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. If I weren’t going to be partying with a bunch of awesome folks at LCC, I’d be making colcannon and lamb sausage with a nice single malt for dessert. And to add festive beat to the evening— Wolf Tones, Innisfree, and Clannad. ….or maybe the Irish-themed episode of Columbo :).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes —‘it’s wonderful.
        It’s called “The Conspirators” and initially aired in 1978. Whiskey, gun-running, and needlepoint. And, of course, just one more thing…..


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s