Begin transforming

Ever been to Ireland? I haven't, but I hope to go someday. This public domain photo of the Ring of Kerry is by Christian Menz, via Wikimedia Commons.

Ever been to Ireland? I haven’t, but I hope to go someday.
Public domain photo of the Ring of Kerry by Christian Menz, via Wikimedia Commons.

“St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time – a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.”  — Adrienne Cook

That sounds good to me. Let the transformation begin! Help me brainstorm some ideas to get us started. How shall we prepare to welcome spring?

Maybe we can visit a nursery or hardware store and pick up some seedlings to care for indoors, or plant outside, depending on where we live. How about sitting down with a calendar to pencil in some of those fun events we never seem to get around to– lunch with a friend, a day trip to an interesting place we’ve never been, a craft class or nature walk with a local community group. Imagine any of dozens of other things to enjoy as the weather warms up (or cools down, if you live below the equator) and we are inspired to get out and about again.

What sorts of winter dreams did you cook up this year? What magic do you hope to find in the summer?  Celtic lore is full of enchantment, but the Irish certainly don’t have a monopoly on it. Even if you don’t have one bit of Irish ancestry, I hope you can join in the refreshing spirit of springtime that is linked by the calendar to St. Patrick’s Day. And if you do manage to head outdoors today– may the road rise to meet you!


  1. Amy

    Happy St. Patrick’s day. I will be planning a few trips for us. I will also be planning my visit to you in York county. Hope all is well. I had a wonderful day on Tuesday. God bless you.

    • Oh, good! I will look forward to more mischief book shopping adventures with you soon! It’s cold and gloomy in York County today, so it will be good to wait awhile. “Later” will be here before we know it!

  2. Love the quote Julia! ♥

    • Good! I’m so happy you like it. Hope your spring will burst into blooms very soon.

  3. Hope you had a wonderfilled St. Pat’s day. It was bright and sunshiny but darn cold early. I had an appointment so I was out and about and had brunch with my sister. I always say everyone is a little Irish on St. Pats day and my dad always said his side of the family was Dutch, Irish and the devil. I think we had some scoundrels in the Shenandoah Valley where his family settled. Don’t doubt it a bit. Always used to tease that there was a lot of Scotch in that family too. Tight and tipsy. 🙂

    • I think the Scots Irish, who make up probably about half of my heritage, were fairly concentrated all over the south. Many scoundrels among that ethnic group, to be sure, but also some that made history (as hot-headed rebels often do). Oops, I guess I’m lapsing into offensive stereotyping. BTW as I’m sure you know, no Scot ever wants to be thought of as Irish, and the Irish feel the same way about the Scots. But I do think most of us feel a bit Irish on St. Pat’s. It’s turned off colder again here, and I’m quite spoiled by the warmer weather. What would have felt mild in January now feels too cold for walking. Hope it warms up again soon for you and for me too!

  4. Ann

    I’m looking forward to just being outside in the fresh air– Sitting on my back porch, reading, listening to the birds and watching squirrel antics. Just writing this list of simple pleasures makes me aware of how fortunate I am to live in a place where the air is clean and the neighborhood is quiet and safe.

    • Ann, you have just described my idea of a perfect day. Clean air and a safe, quiet neighborhood are blessings indeed. I am already enjoying the birds singing earlier and earlier each morning. The squirrels are cute as ever, and the list of books I’m eager to read grows ever longer. Plus I’m itching to set some brightly colored annuals out…hoping to get started on doing that within the next day or two. Happy Spring!

  5. Sheila

    Good Saturday morning, my friend. ☕️ I read recently, “It doesn’t snow in the south, it POLLENS”! I believe it, too. We went from all about green on St. Patrick’s Day to more yellow pollen than I can ever remember. When the ocean waves are breaking yellow instead of white, it’s different I must say! We’re on the countdown to Spring and I can hardly wait. I always enjoy sprucing up my outside world with brightness, in the form of flowers, quilt and pillows for my swing, cushions for my chairs and a new wreath for my front door. I must get the Verandah ready for all the sweet tea drinking we’ll be enjoying! I’m thinking of you and your guys, sending hugs to all! 🙏💛 Love, Sheila

    • Sheila, I knew we had plagues of pollen around here, but somehow I never thought of it being a problem in a seaside community. I am hoping ours will be much less this year now that we had to part with our giant old oak. It coated our deck with yellow every year. I never quite get used to how thick a layer of yellow dust it puts on everything. I’m so glad I don’t have bad allergies. Poor Daddy used to have a miserable time with pollen. I told Jeff, this is the first spring in memory that I’m not worrying about how he will handle it.

      Your Verandah sounds gorgeous already. My friend Darla, as well as many of our creative neighbors, turn their homes and porches into seasonal delights all year round. Perhaps one day I will pick up that skill. Springtime is so rejuvenating, with all the fresh warm air and flowers everywhere. Time to sit and sip and chatter right along with the birds. Thinking of y’all too (including Jack and Walter), and sending cyber hugs your way. ❤ ❤ ❤

      • Sheila

        Good Sunday morning, Juia! 🐥 My Mom talks to me, often mentions you, especially when we’re singing (and chirping) happy songs. There are no sunbeams here today but that’s ok! Dad and U will watch the NASCAR race this afternoon. I love the “vroom vroom” of that.🏎🏎 🏁 You take care! 💛 Until next time, Walter 🐤

        • Walter, I am totally flattered that your Mom mentions me, all the more so if it’s during happy singing! I’m glad you don’t mind the NASCAR sounds. My Aunt Peggy’s cockatiel, Sweetie, HATES the Zaxby’s TV commercial and goes ballistic whenever it comes on. We have to wonder what it is about that commercial that drives her crazy. I told Peggy maybe it’s the idea of her distant relatives being eaten for dinner! We didn’t have any sunbeams today, either, but as one famous southern lady said “tomorrow is another day.” Thanks for chirping in…I mean, checking in! ❤

  6. raynard

    Julia as I speak we are getting cold rain with possible snow tonight. I bet that Groundhog is having nightmares that ” he was being chased by Freddy Kruger with a snowblower.. I digress. Hope you liked the pictures of the last cake I sent. Going to bake one in the morning. So far what I came up with is French Vanilla with chocolate in the middle, a coffee glaze on top and carmel frosting on the sides. I’m on this flavor thing.( must be cause I worked in Baskin Robbins in H.S or Watching to much Diner, Drive in & Dives on the Food Network lol. .Be blessed

    • Raynard, I first read this comment very early this morning and when I got to the part about the Ground Hog I laughed out loud even though I was the only one awake and trying to be quiet. After church we had to run some errands and the entire time I was freezing (though it was 46 degrees, it was rainy and miserable) and I kept talking about Freddy Kruger chasing the ground hog with a snow blower. Comic relief at its best.

      I got the pics of the coffee caramel which brought back delicious memories. Other than that, the most recent one I got was the lemon one I think. Whoa, you worked at Baskin Robbins? I’m not sure I could have survived that without becoming diabetic at a very early age. I used to always get my standard which was Jamocha Almond Fudge, except during baseball season when I would get Baseball Nut. It’s just as well I don’t watch Food Network so I don’t know what I’m missing most of the time. 😀 Hope you have a nice week — give my hugs to the ladies and your three furry friends. Oliver, Bijou and…I can never remember the third one? A girl’s name, right?

      • raynard

        last one dog named gypsie, and as I speak now they have Mary’s aunt bedroom tore up installing a new window and siding on that side of the apartment. so much for a nap lol

        • Oh dear, they look way too cute to be troublemakers. On second thought, I guess a lot of cuties are troublemakers. That’s how they get away with it. 🙂 Hope you get that nap soon. Jeff and I could use one today too. At least it was a sunny day for us — hope it was for you too!

  7. CJ

    Love St Patrick’s day, especially for the story of St Pat himself. I actually did do some renewal research for spring – looking for pretty inspiring places to walk and take pictures for art inspiration. By the way my son recently bought me a DNA analysis kit and it turns out I literally don’t have a drop of Irish. However my husband and therefore children have enough Irish to share.

    • I think a DNA analysis would be such fun! Did you make any surprise discoveries? My brother bought a DNA analysis for my Dad so he could find out whether all the family lore about Chiricahua blood was true (it was; no surprise since Daddy was supposedly at least 1/4, and looked it) but there were a few surprises, most notably a trace of eastern European blood to go along with the predominantly Scottish ancestry. Well, even if you have not a drop of Irish, it sounds as if your family has plenty of the luck of the Irish to go around!

      I think looking for inspiring places to walk would be a fabulous way to get ready for spring! I might have to try that myself since I love to walk.

      • CJ

        There were several interesting surprises on both sides of the family. I discovered a little Ashkenazi Jewish, a little Asian, and less Italian than expected. It is a fascinating look at the generations that led to one’s existence.

        • Yes, it’s fun to realize how varied and unexpected our ancestry can be.

  8. michael

    Me too. My fraternal grandmother came over from Belfast. Never got to meet her. They said she “took to drink” when all three sons were in the service- army, navy , and airforce. They said it killed her. It would be fun to track her down.

    • Michael, it would be fascinating to explore her family tree. You might end up going to Northern Ireland and meeting some long-lost relatives!

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