What One American City Girl Did for Love

We Have Moved….

In Uncategorized on November 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm

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Teddy McBeddy

In Life on November 9, 2009 at 4:20 pm

I was reminded of a funny story when we were out with D & R for dinner here on Saturday night. We started chatting about our beloved dogs–for which there are many round here (We have 2 Great Pyrenees and 1 Airedale; D & R have 2 Harlequin Great Danes; and the farm has 2 Norwegian Elkhounds, 1 Samoyed and 1 lovely old Bernese Mountain Dog) perhaps too many, but the McDonnell’s are huge dog lovers and we have plenty of space so they are very happy pups. Our conversation immediately began to focus on the weekly antics of Ted, our quirky Airedale. There just always seems to be a Ted story. He’s such a comical creature with remarkably strong scavenging instincts and a heart of gold.

You see, Ted is “my dog”. When I first moved over I was completely overwhelmed by loneliness and boredom…having previously been so busy and social virtually every moment of every day, my life suddenly felt like it was at a standstill. I needed some company because Richard left before I woke up in the morning and didn’t arrive home until nearly 8pm each evening. I had always longed for an Airedale Terrier (to name Teddy) and on one teary-eyed Saturday, Richard said he’d found a breeder in Cork and that we would arrange to go pick out a puppy. I was delighted beyond belief.

When we were introduced to the busy litter of pups, Ted stood out to us—sure, he was smaller than the rest, his tail was nearly nonexistent and demeanor a bit timid, but he had the sweetest twinkle in his eye and he just seemed so special. We worried that he wouldn’t be anyone’s first choice and decided immediately that he would be ours. Over the next few months, I played with him, housetrained him, groomed him, cuddled with him, napped with him, danced with him, cried with him (ok, so only I was crying but still). We became the very best of friends. At one point during my pregnancy he became obsessed with resting his scruffy chin on my belly all the time. It was part of his nature, he knew something special was inside. He was completely adorable.

When it came time for me to go the the maternity hospital to have our real baby, I was simply not prepared to leave Ted. I was positively gutted over having to leave him behind while I went to the hospital. He was my buddy, confident and protector. I needed him! I felt so strongly about this that I insisted on having Richard bring Teddy to the hospital every day. Since I was pre-term they basically had me in the hospital (a place out of the 50’s..whole other story..but the staff were lovely) on pseudo bedrest for 6 days before I was induced. Richard would bring Ted and I would sneak out to the jeep (our Freelander. All SUV’s or pick-up trucks are called “jeeps” here) and I would cuddle with him for 10 minutes each day. The nurses/doctor hadn’t a clue. They would have not allowed it whatsoever!

I had totally forgotten that experience until Saturday night and I was so happy when Richard began talking about it. I love it when you are reminded of things that you forgot to remember. ..especially when they are wonderful loving moments frozen in time.




7 Things You Always Wanted To Know About Being Married to an Irish Farmer, But Were Afraid To Ask.

In Life on November 4, 2009 at 1:54 pm


1. Yes, it gets smelly! How could it not? From the air outside to the scent of our mud room (cleverly designed to be out of sight/smell). Farm animals create odors and that’s just a fact. Some days are better than others depending on what season it is. Somehow I’ve acclimated to this and that “fresh country air” does not affect me at all anymore. The upside? I suppose it is an improvement on polluted city air.

2. Farmers can be stylish. Richard looks just as handsome in a pair of wellies and a fleece as he does in his beautiful Burberry suit.  It’s nice to have variety in a relationship (smile).

3. Indeed, male farmers tend to be “mommas boys”. Is that so bad? I rather like it especially now that I am a mother myself.  In my experience here, all the men I’ve met who grew up on a farm consistently put their mothers/sisters/wives on a pedestal to be respected and admired through thick and thin (literally and metaphorically)

4. Of course, seclusion plays a role in living on a farm. We are miles away from the city and neighbors are a drive so things can get lonely if you’re not staying busy. On the other hand, being alone can boil you down to your very essence and drive your consciousness to another level.  It also forces us to be more creative in the parenting department which can’t be all bad.

5. Daddy farmers are the best. Despite the long hours, if you live on a farm then dad is always right there even when he’s at work. Geoffrey frequently gets to go with daddy on the tractors and to feed the animals which, in his world, is absolutely the cat’s pajamas.

6. Today, most farmers are college educated. Richard has a B.A. in philosophy and is planning to go back for an MBA. Education is absolutely necessary to be successful in farming these days. No longer are the profitable days of dairy, cattle and poultry alone; farming is a business and diversification is key.

7. Farming is extremely dangerous. This is something I hadn’t thought about before marrying a farmer. I just waxed poetically, “oh farming… how lovely….a beautiful, slow-paced, organic life…with horses to ride and a  beautiful garden” Things can get really hectic on the farm and farming accidents occur no matter how cautious a family may be. Much to my surprise, injuries and even death are a part of the work considerations for all farmers.