Save the date white block calendar for St Patrick’s Day, March 17, with Leprechaun hat, pot of gold, and rainbow, on green background.
I’m part Irish by heritage, but of the Northern, Protestant, “Orange”, variety. When I was growing up in Pittsburgh, my mother and grandmother always insisted we should wear orange on St. Patrick’s Day. Then we moved to Southern California and I quickly discovered that not wearing green on March 17th meant complete strangers would pinch you. I rarely made that mistake again. Besides, I look better in green than in orange.
I do have one pet peeve though. I cringe every time I walk into a restaurant and see a sign advertising “St. Patty’s Day” specials. Patty is short for Patricia. The proper nickname for Patrick is Paddy, a name once used pejoratively for Irishmen.
Now there is a St. Patricia of Naples, but I’m pretty sure she wasn’t Irish! And her feast day is August 25th, not March 17th. So no more St. Patty’s Day signs, please!
St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland.
This is one of my favorite Irish blessings:
Here’s to lying, stealing, and cheating!
May you lie to save a friend;
May you steal the heart of the one you love;
And may you cheat death.
And my own St. Patrick’s Day wish:
On St. Paddy’s Day,
My wish for you
Is a large bowl
Of Irish stew.
And a pint or two
Of your favorite brew.
And may you be an hour in heaven before the devil knows you’re gone!
What are you doing for St. Patrick’s Day? I’ll be eating Corned Beef and Cabbage, but I won’t be drinking green beer.
Though things are looking up, the world is still in a pandemic, and life has yet to return to normal. The temptation to celebrate holidays in the usual manner is ever-present, but not necessarily safe, and not even possible with many restaurants limited to outdoor or takeout and delivery dining. Here is my tip to celebrate Valentine’s Day safely in 2021.
For some couples, Valentine’s Day used to mean an expensive candlelit dinner with wine and flowers on the table. But in these days of the coronavirus pandemic, indoor dining can be in short supply.
Why not plan a romantic dinner at home? Light the candles, pour the wine, and if you don’t feel like cooking, order takeout and serve it on the good china!
Afterwards, curl up in front of the fireplace, if you have one, and snuggle together.
And another tip: Valentine’s Day can be any day of the year when you’re in love.
Recently I was asked about my favorite part of being a romance author.
Creating happy endings for my characters. Life doesn’t always work out that way, but we can always escape into a fictional world where everything works out the way it should, as it does in my Regency romance, Lady Elinor’s Escape.
Book Blurb: Lady Elinor Ashworth always longed for adventure, but when she runs away from her abusive aunt, she finds more than she bargained for. Elinor fears her aunt who is irrational and dangerous, threatening Elinor and anyone she associates with. When she encounters an inquisitive gentleman, she accepts his help, but fearing for his safety, hides her identity by pretending to be a seamstress. She resists his every attempt to draw her out, all the while fighting her attraction to him.
There are too many women in barrister Stephen Chaplin’s life, but he has never been able to turn his back on a damsel in distress. The younger son of a baronet is a rescuer of troubled females, an unusual vocation fueled guilt over his failure to save the woman he loved from her brutal husband. He cannot help falling in love with his secretive seamstress, but to his dismay, the truth of her background reveals Stephen as the ineligible party.
He handed her the basket of flowers, then shrugged out of his coat and handed it and his hat to Peggy O’Shea. She gave him a flirtatious smile in return before hanging the wet items on a nearby rack.
Elinor stepped forward. “Flowers, Mr. Chaplin?”
He turned toward her. “Ah, Mrs. Brown. Yes, I thought these spring blossoms just the thing to brighten Madame Latour’s shop on such a dismal day.”
“How very kind you are,” said Ellie. “But an entire basketful?”
He smiled. “The young girl selling them was in despair over the lack of customers. She appeared to be almost drowned and nearly in tears, so I bought all she had, including the basket.”
“And paid far more than they were worth, I am certain,” Elinor murmured.
“Did you say something, Mrs. Brown?” he asked with a raised brow.
“Nothing of importance.”
He rummaged through the basket and produced a nosegay of bluebells, which he presented to Dolly. “These are for you, to match your eyes.”
Her blue eyes grew wide with wonder as she accepted the nosegay. “Oh, sir, no one ever give me flowers afore.”
“Well, I am certain this will not be the last time,” he said gallantly. Ignoring Dolly’s worshipful look, he returned to the basket for another nosegay, white violets this time, which he gave to Peggy.
She bobbed him a curtsy. “Oh, thank ye, yer lordship.”
He gave her a warm smile. “You are very welcome, Miss O’Shea. But I am not a lord, merely a mister.”
“No matter. ’Tis a fine gentleman ye are, to be thinking of us working girls.”
“Girls, why do you not go on home?” Mimi asked. “You have all worked so very hard today, and there will be no more customers, n’est-ce-pas?”
With glad smiles for Mimi, and more thanks and curtsies for Stephen Chaplin, the girls donned their cloaks and left the shop.
“I will get a vase for these lovely flowers,” Mimi said. “Please come into the parlor, Monsieur Chaplin, and warm yourself by the fire. I have made the coffee and there is water for tea.”
“Thank you,” Stephen Chaplin said. He delved into the basket one last time before handing it to Mimi. As she left the room, he handed Elinor a bunch of purple violets.
Elinor held them to her nose and breathed in the sweet, delicate fragrance. “‘A violet in the youth of primary nature, forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,’” she quoted.
“‘The perfume and suppliance of a minute; no more,’” he added softly.
Startled, she gazed into his warm honey-brown eyes and her pulse began to race. She would have to guard her heart around this man? Why did he have to have such an effect on her? Was it simply because he was the only eligible gentleman she had ever known?
No, a gentleman who brought flowers to poor shop girls and quoted Shakespeare was surely out of the ordinary. What a catch he would be for some young lady. But of course, not for her.