Fun at the Maryland Irish Festival

My sister, Joan, and I went to the Maryland Irish Festival last weekend and had a really good time. I was in the cultural room with other authors, the Annapolis Irish Rowers (who are loads of fun), and all kinds of people with information about Irish history ancient through modern. The guys with the ancient weapons were particularly enjoyable. The next time I have a booth somewhere, I’m totally bringing a halberd. They really draw a crowd. And there were dogs. There were Whippet and  Greyhound Rescue  groups, a Newfoundland group and the Potomac Valley Irish Wolfhound Club. I, of course, left my booth every time a dog came by, but my sister only managed to get these two photos. The festival was a lot of fun. The music and dancing were fantastic. The vendors were great and the Guinness and Tullamore Dew flowed like water. As it turns out, the water wasn’t that easy to find but the beer certainly was, so if you go next year, bring a designated driver and your dancing shoes.

Halloween on Fleek

The people in my neighborhood are super hardcore about Halloween decorations and every year more and more of them are involved. Halloween was not a big holiday for me growing up, so I don’t really care about it, but I don’t have anything against it either and the decorations do make walking the dog a lot more interesting. Below is just a smattering of what’s on offer this year.

Sleeping Arrangements

My husband, Colin, and I have been married for twenty-seven years. This year, I read an article on Scandinavian sleeping and thought it sounded great. Instead of one big comforter or blanket on our king-sized bed we would have two twin comforters in duvets instead. No top sheet. I loved this idea. The biggest challenge was finding twin-sized duvet sets with a high enough thread count to please my delicate sensibilities. I lucked out and found a couple on Overstock.com. We’ve been really happy with sleeping like this. The best thing about it is my husband gets up earlier than I do and this way he doesn’t wake me. I don’t wake him if I get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. We don’t fight over covers anymore. It’s possible that I move around too much in my sleep and might occasionally rob him of cover. Now that doesn’t happen. In short, it’s fantastic and I love it.

So my friend Jen comes to see me. I tell her about this new revelation in sleeping I’ve discovered. She says, “oh yeah, we sleep like that.” Like, duh, how obvious. It took me twenty-seven years to learn this and I had to read about it in an article. Apparently, she figured it out ten minutes after her boyfriend moved in. Sigh.

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Ah, Bach…

I love it when I’m reading a book and it has me exploring things I know little or nothing about. In this case, I’m reading Peter Høeg’s The Quiet GirlI will always love Peter Høeg because he wrote Smilla’s Sense of Snow, so I read The Quiet Girl because of another love. I’m not going to review the book, because it’s been out for a long time and no one needs another review of it. Instead, I wanted to talk about all the music I’ve listened to since I started reading it. Right now, for example I’m listening to Itzhak Perlman play Partita in D Minor on YouTube. The piece ends with the Chaconne which is supposed to be one of the all time great pieces of music written for solo violin. I couldn’t tell you if that’s true because my knowledge of classical music is limited at best, but as with art, I know what I like, and this is a very beautiful piece of music. All of the music discussed and described in this book is amazing, but this might be my favorite. You should listen too.