The 4th of July is supposed to be the day America celebrates its independence. It’s a day when fireworks brighten the evening sky, when those “bombs bursting in air” go ka-boom, ka-boom! It’s a day, folks, only a day. Midnight or so it is all supposed to end until the ear-splitting torture begins….the very next day? (Enough of this rocket racket on the fourth. The crazy canine chorus in the hood at last stopped their howling so I finally could get some sleep…about three in the morning) Our trembling doggy Rosie hid beneath her “daddy’s recliner footrest for at least three weeks – count ‘em – after the 4th.
Rosie Colleen refused to leave her safety zone under the blanket- covered footrest until we bribed her with goodies. She demanded canine caviar. I know. Fuggedabout about any phony bologna sausage, she wailed. What’s a pet parent to do? (Who’s a good doggy diva? Who’s a good doggy diva?)

A few days later it was time to celebrate Beatle Ringo Starr’s 77th birthday. OMG, how can that be? I know that I say that every July, but OMG!! Since I’m on Ringo’s email list I get a heads-up on what is up with this still sexy drummer. Ringo makes only one request for his birthday: He wants everyone at Noon their local time to shout “Peace and love, Peace and love!” (Dontcha think we need it now more than evah?) Of course I was happy/hippie to do so. Shouted out my front door first, I did, adding a very “Happy Birthday, Ringo!! Even though the squirrels in our towering palm tree tossed their discarded nut shells down on me, I persisted. (Have a familiar ring??)
I danced on down to the rear sliding door sporting my Ringo buttons & other paraphernalia to receive a standing ovation from some real cool cats (literally) while I shouted “peace and love” far out into the backyard. Me-o-o-o-o-w!

July weather felt like the hot and humid weather I grew up with back in the windy city and ‘burbs of Chicago. Man, was it ever hot and steamy. And no, I’m not talking about lingering in a hot tub (in a bathtub where I come from It got so crowded in that there tub. It seems like there is a heckuva lot more space in a hot tub!). I don’t know where all the heat and humidity came from, but I sure hope it makes a speedy return to wherever it came from, y’all.

For some bizarre reason I expected the weather in San Francisco to be as I remembered it: cold and foggy. Yeah, right. Climate change has reached the beach! The fog never rolled in. And fuggedabout any chills. The weather could only be described as balmy. The hubby and moi had ducats to go to the United Irish Cultural Center at the edge of our old hood. On the corner was the second location of Java Beach, an Irish-owned coffee house/surfer joint where we had a bite to eat before we went to be entertained by a Catholic priest from Ireland. {There is a giant “dog” head attached to a pole on the median strip outside J. Beach. It’s all that remains from the former “Doggie Diner.” My boys used to go there to munch hot dogs & fries.)

Father Ray Kelly is known as “The Singing Priest.” He became a You Tube sensation when he burst into song while performing a wedding at St. Bridget’s Church in Oldcastle, County Meath. He soon began getting phone calls from parishioners who told him he was on You Tube. “What’s a You Tube?” he asked. Fr. Kelly soon found out. Kelly had performed the late Canadian singer/songwriter Lenard Cohen’s hit, “Hallelujah.” Well, holy moley said Cohen’s record company. You can’t do that. Eventually he was given permission to change some of the lyrics for use in wedding ceremonies. The company even gave him permission to record an album, which he did.

Father Ray is on a promotional tour here in the U.S. and I felt so blessed to see him. It felt like an oven inside the UICC, however. Even downing an entire bottle of Magner’s Irish Cider failed to cool me down though. The charming man is a “lefty” like me! Said he was a left-hander “me whole life.” He is donating his record profits to his parish and to aid low-income people in his native Ireland. Please Google Father Ray Kelly. He has a great set of Irish “pipes.”

I only wish that the good Father could have performed a traffic-parting miracle for us when we struggled to leave San Francisco! Oh, we got lucky finding a parking space. I think it was those leapin’ leprechauns accompanying Fr. Kelly who found us our amazing parking space. Or perhaps, I only imagined seeing those leps after downing an entire bottle of hard cider? Slainte.

Peace, love, joy & the lilt of Irish laughter,

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