Oreo – Our Soccer Loving Border Collie

I love border collies. Their intensity, energy, loyalty and intelligence simply amazes me. In a previous post I introduced my love of these amazing canine companions, but I have failed to update everyone on how our very own border collie puppy, Oreo has become a really important part of our family.

Border Collie - Panting

And here she is!  All grown up!


Puppy Toilet Paper Trouble

Do I remember those puppy days?

Remember? Will I ever forget?

She was into everything.

Nothing was off limits.


Border Collie Puppy - Toilet Paper Play

But who could be mad at such a contrite cutie?


Soccer Agility - Border Collie

Whenever you hear tell a border collie has energy,

whatever you may imagine that energizer level might be,

just double it in your mind.

Hey, go ahead and triple it.

If a border collie is not kept busy, mischief is in store.


Border Collie Makes a Save

But lucky for us we soon discovered our dog LOVES soccer.

She’s the best goalie in our house!


Soccer dribble border collie style

She dribbles!


Border Collie Soccer Header

She’s great at headers.


Border Collie Scores A Goal

She even scores!

Call me a crazy dog mom, but I believe she understands the concept of goals.


Border Collie Cool Down

And after the game, a good old cool down is in order.


Border Collie Eyes

 What do you mean star soccer players can’t nap on the couch?????


Border Collie On The Couch

Don’t worry! I wasn’t napping.

I’ve been herding flies just for you.


Hope everyone enjoys the finals of the World Cup today. I’m not sure if Oreo will be shouting for Argentina or Germany. May the best team win.


Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)


Irish American Mom


Springtime In Kentucky

“When one flower blooms spring awakens everywhere.”

~ John O’Donohue


“What is your favorite flower?”


“Daffodils!” I answer without hesitation.


Spring has sprung in Kentucky, blossomed overnight, leaving behind all traces of the mild winter we just experienced.

I am proud to report the blooming of my daffodils.  I planted them in fall (details are recorded here).  The minimal frost we experienced this winter was just enough to help my daffodils burst through in glorious springtime yellow.

Most of my plants are typical daffodils, but for some reason a few bulbs yielded a strange, hybrid flower, with a cluster of petals in the center.  They are missing a daffodil’s trademark single tubular trumpet.   The photo above shows my mutant flower beside a typical daffodil.

Nevertheless, I love all my daffodils.  They make my soul sing, even the mutant variety.  Perhaps, I have grown a ‘narcissus’ flower, but I am afraid my horticulture knowledge is sadly lacking.  If anyone knows what these strange blooms are, please, please enlighten me in the comment section below.

Spring is in the Kentucky air.  To celebrate, here are a few photos of springtime in Kentucky accompanied by my favorite spring quotations.

“When after the Winter alarmin’,

The Spring steps in so charmin’,

So fresh and arch

In the middle of March,

Wid her hand St. Patrick’s arm on…”

~Alfred Percival Graves


“St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time

-a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams

into summer’s magic.”

~ Adrienne Cook



“Behold, my friends, the spring is come;

the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun,

and we shall soon see the results of their love!”

~ Sitting Bull



“There’s crimson buds, and white and blue,

The very rainbow showers

Have turned to blossoms where they fell

And sown the earth with flowers.”

~ Thomas Hood


Spring – an experience in immortality.

~ Henry D. Thoreau


“If you do not sow in the spring,

you will not reap in the autumn.”

~ Irish Proverb


“A misty winter brings a pleasant spring,

a pleasant winter a misty spring.”

~ Irish Proverb



“It’s spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.

And when you’ve got it, you want

- oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want,

but it just fairly makes your heart ache,

you want it so!”

~ Mark Twain


“Sit quietly, doing nothing,

spring comes and the grass grows by itself.”

~ Zen Saying


“All you can ever achieve is a sense of your soul.

You gain little glimpses of its light, colors, and contours.

You feel the inspiration of its possibilities

and the wonder of its mysteries.”

~ John O’Donohue



Slan agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

Irish American Mom

What I Miss About Ireland – Daffodils

Yellow daffodilPhoto Credit

Daffodils! Why daffodils today? It’s fall, not spring.

I realize I am a little out of season talking about daffodils, but if you are planning to have a “host of golden daffodils” next spring, now is the time to plant.

 Wild Daffodils IrelandPhoto Credit

I love daffodils. They remind me of Ireland. There they flourish, turning up in unusual, wild places, not just in artificially, created gardens.

Daffodils grow and adorn American gardens too, but seldom in the same numbers seen in Ireland. In more Northern American states, winter is just too cold for these bulbs.  Parts of Florida are too warm. Frost free living does not agree with daffodil bulbs.


daffodilsPhoto Credit

Ireland’s climate is just perfect for nurturing these golden warriors of spring. In March one year, I remember being greeted by a long row of daffodils in the road divide, as we drove to my parents’ house from Dublin Airport. I paused to say a little prayer – “Thank you, Ireland, for a lovely spring welcome.”

Every autumn my Mom made a point of planting crocuses and daffodils with us. Here is a photo, where I am in the middle of helping in the garden.

We moved to Dallas, Texas in September 2000, buying a house without delay. I sometimes wondered if we had made the right decision. When spring time came around, I knew I was where I needed to be.

Daffodils poking through the earthPhoto Credit

Upon seeing a spiky, green leaf, poking through the earth, my heart stopped. I couldn’t believe my eyes. My garden soon was a sea of beautiful daffodils. The previous owners had planted bulbs by the dozen.

And so this week I have decided to convert my Kentucky garden into a springtime wonderland (at least I am going to try anyway.). I figure the climate here should be just right for daffodils – mild fall, frosty winter, and a glorious spring.

Daffodils and shovel

I may be Irish, but I am afraid I didn’t inherit my mother’s green thumb. Perhaps, one can be cultivated, so in Backyard Tales I will recount my gardening efforts this year. I consulted the Gardening with Kids website for daffodil planting instructions. A quick refresher course was definitely in order, my mother’s childhood lessons fading away with the passing years.

Digging soil

First I loosened the soil.  That was back breaking work.  Kentucky soil is far harder than I ever remembered Irish earth, or else I am just out of practice and out of shape.  Let’s blame the Kentucky soil, not my weak leg.

compost for daffodils

I added compost and mixed it through.

bulbs in groung

Then I dug little holes and set my bulbs in, pointy end up.

 soil over daffodil bulbs

Then I re-covered them with soil and said a little prayer.  Hopefully I will remember to water my precious bulbs. Maybe every time I sit before my computer to check my blog, I will feel a twinge of guilt if I have forgotten to give them a drop of water.

 Autumn scarecrows

I planned to take a photo standing by my flower bed, after all my planting was done.  I was so puffed and red-faced after my efforts, I decided I had better let our two scarecrows be the models.  “Tasha” and “Jack” are watching our daffodil bulbs carefully, or so my kids informed me.   My little girl christened them.

So let’s all keep our fingers crossed for my daffodils. I will share results photos once spring arrives. Please don’t expect a Wordsworthian, worthy host. I will be quite happy with one or two flowers, to serenade me with yellow trumpets.

So if you are a daffodil lover, like me, it’s time to get planting.

As inspiration to get gardening, I will leave you with Wordsworth’s ever so famous lines:

“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils.”

Happy Gardening!!!


Slan agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)


Irish American Mom