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Designed for up to four people, the structures have a micro kitchen and bathroom and an area outside with a fire pit and cooking grate. The idea is to store your devices in the lockbox, disconnect and decompress. Take home the finished product. For the hardcore fashionista — Montage Laguna Beach is offering its "The Ultimate Fashion Experience to Remember," an over-the-top three days at the chic hotel. In search of some "me time"? Los Angeles based-influencer Stacie Krajchir-Tom, a former student of art textiles, is holding a series of workshops on how to dye textiles using seasonal fruits, vegetables and plants.

There are also classes in indigo dip dye and shibori, a Japanese dyeing technique, and weaving wall hangings. Ski buffs can learn how to make their own equipment at the Parlor Custom Ski Building workshop in Boston. Between January and March, guests can sign up for sessions that include astrological readings, creating their vision board, life-coaching, journaling and guided visualizations. The sessions culminate with a planting of their intentions, while returning indigenous trees back to the earth.

Some 50 of the top Zumba instructors from around the world will convene on the ship, alongside DJs, and put on classes like Aqua Zumba, Zumba Toning and Strong by Zumba, which has no dance and is all about the bootcamp. The Royal Caribbean ship leaves from Miami on March Get personal with a made-in-L. See more in Fashion forward. Brothers Raan and Shea Parton partner with a team of global artisans to create fashion with a social conscience for their label Apolis. Their latest collab is with L. Known for her timeless bags and shoes and sculptural brass jewelry, Santa Barbara designer Kendall Conrad has extended into hair accessories; brass Abanico hair hook, at Kendall Conrad in Brentwood.

Los Angeles accessories designer Clare Vivier offers an array of colorful, personalized presents including this Clare V. A nod to L. Keep them organized with a chic stash for jewelry, pocket change or other valuables. The Artifact Eight vulcanized rubber toiletry case with python texture comes in a choice of seven colors. From the minimalist local handbag and accessories brand-with-a-buzz Building Block: The ultimate Cali skater shoe gets an elegant holiday upgrade in metallic tweed.

A new take on the friendship bracelet. The latest Toms shoes, inspired by a sleeping bag, in styles for guy, girls and the little ones. From the brand-new L. For ladies who lounge, Rails striped button-down Toledo Stripe sleep shirt and short set. Also at Nordstrom stores. Leave it to Tom Ford to design the most glam sunglasses in Hollywood. Tom Ford special-edition karat gold plated Winter sunglasses created for holiday , at Tom Ford in Beverly Hills. A rock-star hat that looks like an old favorite is an L. Nick Fouquet handcrafted beaver felt Crystal Mist hat with grosgrain band made to order in 27 colors, at Nick Fouquet in Venice.

Count on jewelry designer Irene Neuwirth for the most covetable ear candy. One-of-a-kind karat gold drop earrings with Wake up any wardrobe with colorful cashmere that shouts out a devotion to the California Republic. Every gardener requires a good pruner and Corona — based, yes, in Corona, Calif. Now the company has put one of its popular bypass pruners into a bonus pack perfect for gift giving. See more in Gardening. Gardens are tough on shoes, so why not buy a pair of sturdy, waterproof slip-on Sloggers that come in a riot of colors and can be easily washed with a hose?

The chicken print is their most popular. Any serious gardener knows about the Hula-Ho, which makes weeding as simple as raking a hoe across the soil. Now Flexrake, the Temple City-based makers of the original Hula-Ho, have created the Mini Hula-Ho for small space gardens, or working on your hands and knees in densely planted areas. The weeder and soil cultivator has a inch wooden handle and cushioned grip. County and can also be useful for filling bird feeders or shoveling fertilizer. Tired of stretching out your shirt to hold the bounty from your garden? Tara Jane Grier, a fashion designer turned suburban chicken farmer, created Fluffy Layers to bring some bling to garden wear.

Egg-collecting aprons are also available. The short fiberglass handle with a cushioned grip makes the spade sturdy but lightweight. The foot rests make digging easier, and help keep soil on the blade. If the object of your giving loves desert plants but lacks a green thumb, artist Omar Wysong of Topanga Patina has the perfect answer: There are wind chimes that tinkle and chimes that clang, and then there are the songs of Corinthian Bells — chimes made from hand-tuned, heavy aluminum tubes with a resonance that keeps humming long after the first note is struck.

QMT Windchimes makes these chimes in 10 sizes, and a variety of colors and tones. You can listen to the tones online. Anyone who has tried to prune roses or hack back a thorny bush knows the value of long gauntlet gloves. These half goat, half suede beauties are a seriously awesome gift — the goatskin gloves are thorn proof yet supple and the elbow-length suede cuffs will protect lower arms from all kinds of pricklies.

So there you are, digging or planting in the garden when the phone in your pocket starts to buzz. Problem solved with these lightweight unisex gloves. The rubber-dipped fingertips let you answer texts and the green bamboo fabric keep hands from getting too hot. Washable in cold water, but do not tumble dry! Sizes small to XXL. The Fig Earth Supply nursery in Mount Washington offers lots of classes, but one of its most popular has been its cannabis classes for home growers.

Post-holiday classes start in February. Sometimes DIY potting can get a little wearisome … so many choices, what if I do it wrong? Labor costs vary according to the intricacy of the arrangement. Gift certificate purchase available in-store only. Your wallet's the limit. Nature lovers will appreciate offerings from Parks Project, the Los Angeles brand that supports National Parks, contributing to habitat restoration and wildlife conservation. An example from its collection: See more in Gifts that give back.

A portion of proceeds is designated toward cancer research causes. It grows carambola starfruit , and arrives wrapped in a burlap sack tied with a silk bow. Twenty percent of the purchase goes to support multiple sclerosis charity Race to Erase. Smaller offerings from the line include this Accord Koi pillow. It helps to have a basic knowledge of yoga when playing YogaLand, a new board game co-created by Wanda Wen, founder of artisanal paper and accessories brand Soolip. The four-player game is designed for anyone 13 and up and is designed to "engage body and mind, heart and soul. Artisans in Africa who make products for the Dear Keaton brand are paid a fair wage and use sustainable materials.

Sameer Reddy of Los Angeles-based Soul Candy has a prettily packaged trio of malachite, lapis lazuli and pyrite in his Jewels of Prosperity collection. Keep them close at hand for good vibes or to decorate a tabletop. Proceeds benefit Girls, Inc. With each purchase of a blanket, the company donates one to a homeless shelter. The pleasantly meditative art of brush painting is at hand with the Buddha Board, allowing users to paint with water that then quickly evaporates, leaving a metaphoric clean slate.

The company donates to Face To Face, a youth-focused nonprofit in Minnesota. Los Angeles-based candle and home fragrance brand Skylar teamed with cupcake brand Sprinkles for this Vanilla Triple Cinnamon scented candle free of paraffin and phthalates. The fragrance has notes of cinnamon bark, vanilla bean and nutmeg. A percentage of proceeds go to Step Up, an organization that helps high-school age girls achieve success.

The fragrances are made from blue hydrangea, hyacinth and forget-me-nots: The tray is made with hand-laid oak and mirror and has an oxidized finish. Proceeds benefit numerous causes such as the American Brain Tumor Assn. Ranavat Botanics, which makes its ayurveda-inspired beauty and wellness products in Los Angeles, has this Travel Royal Ritual set: A percentage of proceeds is earmarked for charities that help women in India, Nepal and Bangladesh fight human trafficking.

Proceeds go back to Ocean Sole. Los Angeles artist Elyse Graham makes striking Reveal ring dishes in resin, using fragments left over from previous works. For the avid concert-goer in your life or someone who likes their workout music loud, there are Vibes, reusable high-fidelity earplugs that protect the eardrums while keeping sounds crisp and clear. Each purchase provides a donation to Hear the World Foundation, which supplies hearing aids and hearing care to children around the globe.

Craftsman Sean Woolsey fabricates the ultimate design-forward, deluxe game room accessory in his Costa Mesa studio. In addition to the original black walnut model that was released in , Woolsey has added ebonized African mahogany, brass powder coating and hard rock maple finish options to this sleek, modern pingpong table. See more in Home. Take advantage of Pure Photo's curatorial eye to bring an infusion of West Coast style to your home.

These dazzlingly intricate, bold needlework textiles are fashioned into pillows, and sold via Kissweh's website, as well as locally at Heath Ceramics Beverly Blvd. Whether for fidgeting or more purposeful building, it's hard to resist a tray of tactile-friendly blocks — especially when there's a larger social mission involved. Would Works collects salvaged trees from L. The company trains homeless and individuals facing other hardships in woodworking skills to craft its products.

Each collection is a product of a collaborative design process, with napkins and table runners that present both a sense of tradition and a fresh aesthetic take. Sold online and at Found at 31st St. From her Arts District studio, marble artist and designer Paige Cleveland of Rule of Three has reinvented complex marbling techniques to apply this old tradition to contemporary home goods and accessories. Leather coasters provide a just taste of Rule of Three's output but make a big impact on any table. Mud Australia just celebrated the one-year anniversary of its Los Angeles brick-and-mortar presence — W.

Its water jug is an elegant and practical accessory designed with the expert input of chef David Chang. Pick from a range of colors to suit your own environment. Bay Area artisan Melanie Abrantes Designs considers the inherent qualities in the raw materials she works with to make pieces that are truly one of a kind.

Neptune Glassworks' Pentagon cocktail glasses are rimmed with karat gold and fit snugly in hand, making you want to toast to holiday cheer as often as possible. Thoughts of Rich Choices and Habits is dedicated to pursuing the most eco-friendly and sustainable components, using coconut wax for its locally hand-poured candles. Repurpose the metallic-finished glass container to keep the holiday vibes going long after you've enjoyed the juniper, pine, herbs and balsam fir scents. Ceramicists Adi Mizrahi and Ron Hellmann incorporate playful geometry and stunning colorways into their locally made wares.

Bad Neighbor boards' elegant silhouettes and silky smooth surfaces made from maple, walnut and poplar woods are a perfect canvas for your holiday cheese and charcuterie spread. Check out the Arts District studio's items in person at Unique L. While givers might be concerned about the short shelf-life of a fresh flower delivery, the Bouqs online florist, founded in Venice, has a selection of gifts that hang around for longer. Pick from an air plant tucked into a wall-hanging pocket or a set of succulents in eclectic yet coordinated ceramic vessels.

Created by a stylist and a filmmaker in downtown, Preppi takes fashionable disaster preparation seriously. The Prepster bag pre-packs a combination of three-day survival supplies for two people. Perception of what's essential may vary, depending on whom you ask. San Francisco architect and artist Michael Murphy channels his love of California's design heritage into boldly graphic and fun limited edition, signed and numbered prints. His "Supersonic" and "Forgotten Modernism" series depict iconic L. Experts Heather Askinosie and Timmi Jandro help demystify the use of crystals, especially for beginners.

You'll find starter kits at Energy Muse's shop in Torrance -- W. Presented under the self-evidently descriptive banner Tactile Matter, Altadena-based artist and maker Kenesha Sneed's work begs to be touched. Find this throw, emblazoned with one of Sneed's original designs, on her website and at Otherwild at N. Safe home cooking never looked this stylish.

Up your holiday cocktail presentation game with California Lustre's accessories, all designed with celebrating SoCal in mind. Themes include Palm Springs and other lighthearted midcentury Cali imagery and are available in multiple colors at select West Elm stores and online. Give your hanging plants an extra earthy boost while getting in some DIY activity with macrame hanger kits conceived and assembled by fiber artist Elsie Goodwin of Reform Fibers in Chino Hills.

Each set comes with complete instructions and materials to make your own hanger. A style-wise bib, handmade by Seal Beach company Mini Maniacs, is sure to please superstars-in-the-making.

Beauty obsessed

See more in Kids. Matching sweat pants for the whole family! Keep your favorite tot toasty in an itty-bitty puffer with a pop of color by L. And check out the Aviator Nation velvet Galaxy Sunburst zip hoodie. For shoppers-in-training, a handbag handcrafted in L. The Everbloom metallic wool felt purse with pompom trim, at Tweak in Los Angeles. Also at Urban Outfitter stores. Head to the Reckless Unicorn at Hillhurst Ave.

Start building young Angelenos' local pride with this rhyming board book written by Elisa Parhad, with eye-catching illustrations by Alexander Vidal. Each page honors the city's favorite landmarks and unique culture. Crafted from prints with North African Berber-inspired and Kuba cloth motifs, this indoor piece is far from roughing it in the great outdoors.

But it sure makes for a cozy-as-can-be kids' hideaway. Frank's website and at its new Palisades Village shop. Use your prehistorically inclined imagination to create unique versions of dinosaurs using the ink pads, rubber stamps and colored pencils included in this kit.

Encourage hands-on, three-dimensional experimentation with this Areaware Blockitecture park-building block set.

59 best angela's ashes images on Pinterest in | Angela's ashes, Aran islands ireland and Doors

The pieces can help spark young imaginations while playing both indoors and out. The Hut-Hut stool is available in five bright, cheerful colors, and can facilitate quiet contemplation as a stool, or raucous movement when its curved base is placed on the floor. Inspire civic participation with an image of a lauded hero of our time: Dotter at York Blvd. It's the kind of whimsical gift grownups are as likely to dig as much as the kids do.

Sometimes simple things are best. Pick up these page, compact 4-inch-byinch notebooks featuring fanciful illustrations by L. County Store at Sunset Blvd. Spread positivity and cheerful graphic design with this T-shirt made in downtown by local children's clothing brand Nico Nico. This card game's portable pack, lively graphic design and rules that are suitable for all ages make it a great way to pass the time and bolster everyone's sushi and sashimi vocabulary. Charmingly retro technology and a French cultural sensibility merge nicely with La Visionneuse 3D viewer that comes with three film discs, available at Lost and Found's children's boutique at Yucca St.

This room accent by Oeuf brings in some playful energy for cat fans. Introducing one of the most iconic L. Complete with a collectible polishing cloth, bowling bag and ball that is actually a pencil holder and sweater packaging, this is one anniversary set guaranteed to really tie the room together. See more in Movies. No cinematic partnership is more celebrated than that between director Josef von Sternberg and actress Marlene Dietrich.

Using unprecedented access to Disney archives, this page whopper collects concept art, story sketches, background paintings, animation drawings and historical photographs for an unforgettable visual journey. Dozens of meticulously restored titles are gathered in a collection attempting to recenter the essential role female filmmakers played in the early days of silent cinema. Wong, may not be household names, but their work had an invaluable effect on establishing cinematic language as we know it. The six discs' worth of shorts and features made between and include bonus content placing the work in context and new musical scores.

From Charlie Chaplin to Chairman Mao, ," beautifully demonstrates. Ideal for the movie lover who has everything. Matthew Reinhart, the hugely successful artist behind pop-up guides to Pixar, "Star Wars" and "Game of Thrones," casts a beguiling new spell with a 3D exploration of Harry Potter's beloved alma mater.

From the Quidditch pitch to Dumbledore's office, no iconic area — either inside or outside — is missing in this volume designed to delight wizards and witches, students and teachers alike. That's right, the film that defined Japanese animation behemoth Studio Ghibli has turned And while it will still charm anyone between ages 3 and , director Hayao Miyazaki's classic has never been seen — or heard — quite like this before.

The jaw-dropping Blu-ray transfer is accompanied by a soundtrack of Joe Hisaishi's delightful score officially released in North America for the first time and a page book including fresh essays and breathtaking art. Have you ever seen a periwinkle T-Rex? Or a fuchsia velociraptor? Now you can go dino-crazy with every color of the rainbow in this page homage to Steven Spielberg's blockbuster, which turned 25 this year. Equal parts kitschy and relaxing, it'll make you want to stand up and exclaim, "Welcome to Jurassic Park! Film historian James Munn expertly chronicles the ins and outs of a famously troubled production, but the main lure are beautiful reproductions of the superb images of master set photographer Bob Willoughby.

Aretha Franklin joined Atlantic Records in and almost instantly expanded beyond her gospel roots: She added drums and a band at the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in northern Alabama and definitively married the spiritual and the secular. Rhino has made these available in box set form before but has added a bonus LP of studio outtakes and demos. See more in Music. The enigmatic British artist has a penchant for the fragile and the otherworldly, her songs taking listeners into offbeat realms and imaginative worlds full of Gothic symphonies, old-world instruments and alternate realities where Elvis still lives.

Her music has also long been missing in action on vinyl, but this year her catalog is getting the reissue treatment via four vinyl box sets or two multi-disc CD sets. A less expansive single disc is also available. Another year, another Beatles 50th-anniversary remix box set. After releasing seven studio albums, Bobbie Gentry receded from public view.

Her music could be alternately stately or fiery, but it was always a statement of empowerment. Shortly before his death last year, Petty had just wrapped a 40th-anniversary tour with his band the Heartbreakers. He was already plotting his next outing. The 25th Anniversary Box Set. When Joe Strummer died at the relatively young age of 50 in , his post-Clash career seemed to have just hit its stride, as his new band the Mescaleros was consistently touring and releasing new music.

Vee Enterprises has spent decades concocting "purrfect" toys for humans to tease or perhaps, torment? This Crinkle Bouncer Toy with a long wand and tons of feathers could entertain Oliver and Luna for hours. See more in Pets. OoMaloo is a family-owned and -operated company in Southern California that specializes in hand-made toys, apparel and accessories for pets. The company's dog toys include fanciful aliens, balls, bones and a wide assortment of animals. This peacock comes in three sizes, and each one contains a serious squeaker inside. We suspect it might appeal to felines as well.

We hate to contribute to all the stereotypes about Southern California, but your cat may need a yoga mat. You read that correctly. Handmeowade an Etsy shop will stuff your knitted mouse with fiber or catnip, and if your feline fancies another creature — caterpillars or lizards or snails, for example — you've got options. The Dog for Dog crinkle toys come in multiple characters — a raccoon, a fox, or a squirrel — and the crinkle may prove to be addictive. What's more, Century City-based-Dog for Dog donates a portion of all sales to help dogs in need.

For those of you who live with a feline companion, we'll let you in on a little secret: We're pretty sure cats will go crazy for this toy. But these carrots, just for play, might alter your vocabulary. Bauer Pottery, whose website proudly states that its pieces are "handmade in sunny California," is prized by collectors, decorators and entertainers. Does Bauer's lineup include bowls for dogs and cats?

We can't believe you had to ask. Pity the poor Angeleno who has an overweight dog or cat? Los Angeles-based Petnet may have a solution — a wi-fi-connected automatic device called the SmartFeeder that lets you personalize meal times and portions, order pet food — and, of course, feed from your phone. There are countless gift possibilities for cats and dogs. But small animals rabbits, hamsters, etc could use a little love as well. If you watch TV or go to the movies, read YA or indulge in video games, you already know that we live in an age of post-apocalyptic pop culture.

Did you ever think your dog might want to be part of it? Bosspup is an L. The Black Heart Sweater Vest comes in several sizes, and we are happy to report it also comes in pink. A Dodgers T-shirt will always be appropriate for the canine in your life. Why would anyone dress a dog for a day at the beach? Because your beloved canine can wear a tank top, that's why.

Pawsonify is an Etsy shop with an eye on cosplay — and pets. You'll find references to animation, anime and "League of Legends" amid the listings for costumes, collars and toys. If you think no one wants to include a bow tie on their list of necessary pet accessories, you haven't been doing your research just Google "bow ties for dogs" and report back to us.

At Bosspup, based in Los Angeles, they come in several colors and patterns. Los Angeles photographer and author Grace Chon has pulled together a series of images of Japanese dog grooming before and after shots , and we're pretty sure you will find it irresistible. If they have portable play pens for babies, why not for dogs? This one comes in red or black and is breathable, collapsible and flexible. It's from Dog for Dog, a Century City-based organization that works with manufacturers and retailers to create a collection of products and a lot of good will.

Dog for Dog donates a portion of all sales to help dogs in need. If cosplay is your thing, you might want to share your enthusiasm with your canine or feline companion. Pawsonify, an Etsy shop, specializes in pet products that reference animation and anime, including these "Ninja" cat and dog collars. If your dog is king or queen of your castle, this is a bed that may be worthy of that status. The "Two-Headed Monster" from Barkiture comes in three sizes. You have a choice of upholstery and laminates. Palm Springs-based Animals Matter offers a series of beds, blankets, and car seats among other goods for our animal companions, and proceeds go to programs such as Dogs Playing for Life, which helps shelters use play as a therapy and socialization tool.

Dog Company Studio Car Seat has a microfiber cover that can be machine washed. Nostalgia is strong, which is why the Polaroid Originals instant cameras were updated and brought back in stock. Gold and red holiday film is available to purchase separately. OneStep 2 Viewfinder i-Type Camera. See more in Stocking stuffers. When Nina Berenato designs jewelry she wants the women who wear it to feel like they are putting on armor.

The result is statement pieces like the lily or serpent three finger rings. Her jewelry designs landed in Vogue pages and have been worn by the likes of Lady Gaga and Alicia Keys. His moniker and jewelry business, Han Cholo, is steeped in music, sci-fi, fantasy and L. Fans of the brand include Gwen Stefani and Snoop Dogg. There are countless YouTube videos about how to make your own slime, with millions of views. Retailers took notice, including Nickelodeon. If staying at home is more your speed, retro games is the way to go. Don't bother with the website. Keeping up with the camping theme, this all-in-one utensil is a nifty space saver for your travels when you should be concerned about packing light.

The fork, spoon and knife are encased in a bottle opener. Winter camping is a top holiday activity, and it might be the only chance to feel any weather changes in Big Bear or Mammoth. This light camping tool has 10 functions, including a whistle, LED light, compass and fire starter flint. Not into the self-help feel of a journal? A straightforward weekly planner might be a better fit.

The pad has 54 peel and stick sheets. There is also a monthly version. The 52 Lists Project is a journal of weekly lists. There is space to write on your own, but there are also prompts meant to help you self-reflect and take action no matter what is on your to-do list. Give as one stocking stuffer or open the box to distribute among the people on your list. Bubbles activate after the charcoal-infused sheet mask is applied. Pinch Provisions makes a number of small bags and tins filled with essentials. The tin is emblazoned with a state-themed design.

Only 18 states are available, including California. For the past year, succulents and cactuses filled your Instagram plant porn feeds. Garden carries a multitude of these plants, but the mini jarritos clay pots are the best stocking-sized option. Your grandma and aunt, who love taking centerpieces home when the party is over, will thank you. Delivery is available for LA and OC areas. You can buy a variety of candy in bulk — from American-created sweets like Butterfinger, Mexican candy like Pelon Pelo Rico to novelty items like the Jelly Belly Bean Boozled spinner game or Harry Potter chocolate frogs.

If you choose to go in store and enjoy buying in bulk, take a short walk over to Santee Alley, where bargain fashion items are sold by the dozen. Is anyone up for a boozy holiday? There are plenty of liquor stores both corner and commercial that sell mini bottles at the front counters — but Ramirez Liquor might carry the widest variety of milliliter liquor bottles.

Check out their online catalog filled with two pages of options and customize each stocking according to personal tastes. Their second location, Ramirez Beverage Center at E. Before the magical spaces of Tumblr and Twitterverse were dollar-sign-shaped glints in tech eyes, there were zines — self-published magazines filled with comics, drawings, photography and stories usually about subcultures. Photocopied and bound zines are still thriving in independent bookstores. The nonprofit LA helps students ages 6 to 18 develop their creative and expository writing skills.

Walk through the aisles and chuckle as you stock up on items such as canned mammoth chunks and D. All proceeds go toward their free programming. David Aguirre designs pins with a distinct LA Latino twist. Locals may recognize street-vending food staples like the fruit cart, LAUSD ephemera like lunch tickets or sports logo mash ups and icons. His designs can be found in California stores or online through Etsy. See more in Tech. These carbon fiber beauties, made by the Carlsbad-based Evolve Skateboards, can hit speeds of up to 26 mph and ride for more than 30 miles on one battery charge.

Sure, you could get a used Corolla for a similar price, but how gnar is that? After a quick quiz on your taste profile, this Playa Vista startup serves up a mix of wines from around the world with a focus on California algorithmically adjusted to your preferences. You can start with an Amazon Alexa-enabled Sonos One to get a feel for the product, and then upgrade with the Sub subwoofer, Beam TV soundbar, and the Play series of cabinets as you go. Never get stuck paying for an unwanted Starbucks doughnut just to charge your phone again — the Jackery Bolt lightweight charger bar has enough juice to charge a large smartphone twice and has built-in Micro-USB and Lightning cables so you can leave your charging cable at home.

Packed with four microphones, snug earbuds, and a five-hour battery life, the Jabra Elite 65t wireless earbuds offer high sound quality and a comfortable fit without any wires to complicate your experience. And if you want to let a bit of the outside world in, just double tap for transparency mode and the headphones will pipe in audio from your surroundings. The FitBit social community is also a plus, since we could all use some encouragement to keep up our routines.

Yes, part of the whole point of going off the grid is to be out of touch with the world, but sometimes you want to experience the great outdoors without entirely tapping out or running the risk of getting lost with no way to call for help. Chinese drone company DJI has become the go-to manufacturer of lightweight and easy-to-use camera drones that let you take your vacation photo game to a whole new level up to 1. Parker Clay Montecito Weekender is a premium Ethiopian leather getaway bag with a padded inch laptop sleeve, designed in Santa Barbara and made in Ethiopia. Parker Clay was founded to empower impoverished Ethiopian communities through meaningful trade.

Buying the handcrafted bag helps that effort. See more in Travel. The Letrav Austin convertible bag is a fit for all adventurers. It easily transforms from a leather messenger bag into a cloth backpack and vice versa. Features include a water resistant wet pocket, waterproof zippers, and a secret stash pocket for keys, wallet, passport and more. The Detox Market carries eco-friendly, organic products for skin, hair and inner wellness care from head to toe.

Its products can safely soothe fatigued travelers. Its certified organic products are vegan and locally made in L. Born in Pasadena, the wellness brand line is made in California. It is highly water and dust resistant. Conceived in San Francisco, the pillow comes with a pillowcase and a drawstring bag. Designed in Mammoth Lakes. Available in five colors. Its power mesh panels regulate body temperature making Accent II great as a layering piece on a run or a chilly flight.

Hands stay warm while fingers can be freed to use the phone without removing the mitt. Conceived in Carlsbad and made in the USA. Its frames are handmade in North Carolina. Hydration Multiplier is an electrolyte drink mix that uses a scientific breakthrough technology called Cellular Transport Technology to deliver hydration faster and more efficiently than water can alone. Based in Marina del Rey, Liquid I. Communicate with a Demogorgon, uncover secrets from the Upside Down, or maybe just ask about Season 3 — the possibilities are endless with a "Stranger Things"-themed Ouija board.

The Hasbro game board features the Christmas lights wall alphabet from the show. Not for those afraid of things that go bump in the night. See more in TV. The Official Cookbook," featuring recipes from favorite characters and kingdoms. Her book traces the origins of the comedy, its groundbreaking portrayals of female friendship, dating and urban life, and its rise to becoming an Emmy-winning global cultural phenomenon. You can sing the. That's a song for all the children. MacAdorey smiles at Malachyand I wonder what kind of world is it where anyone can sing anyone else'ssong.

Minnie says, Don't frown, Frankie. It makes your face dark and Godknows it's dark enough. Some day you'll have a little sister and you cansing that song to her. You'll have a little sister, surely. Minnie is right and Mam gets her wish. There's a new baby soon, alittle girl, and they call her Margaret. We all love Margaret.

She hasblack curly hair and blue eyes like Mam and she waves her little handsand chirps like any little bird in the trees along Classon Avenue. Minniesays there was a holiday in heaven the day this child was made. Leibowitz says the world never saw such eyes, such a smile, suchhappiness.

She makes me dance, says Mrs. When Dad comes home from looking for a job he holds Margaret andsings to her: In a shady nook one moonlit night A leprechaun I spied. With scarlet cap and coat of green A cruiskeen by his side. Oh, I laugh to think he was caught at last, But the fairy was laughing, too. He walks around the kitchen with her and talks to her. He tells herhow lovely she is with her curly black hair and the blue eyes of hermother. He'll get a job soon, so he will, andshe'll have dresses of silk and shoes with silver buckles. The more Dad sings to Margaret the less she cries and as the dayspass she even begins to laugh.

Mam says, Look at him trying to dance withthat child in his arms, him with his two left feet. She laughs and we alllaugh. The twins cried when they were small and Dad and Mam would sayWhisht and Hush and feed them and they'd go back to sleep. But whenMargaret cries there's a high lonely feeling in the air and Dad is out ofbed in a second, holding her to him, doing a slow dance around the table,singing to her, making sounds like a mother. When he passes the windowwhere the streetlight shines in you can see tears on his cheeks andthat's strange because he never cries for anyone unless he has the drinktaken and he sings the Kevin Barry song and the Roddy McCorley song.

Nowhe cries over Margaret and he has no smell of drink on him. Mam tells Minnie MacAdorey, He's in heaven over that child. Hehasn't touched a drop since she was born. I should've had a little girl along time ago. Och, they're lovely, aren't they? The little boys aregrand, too, but you need a little girl for yourself. My mother laughs, For myself? Lord above, if I didn't nurse her Iwouldn't be able to get near her the way he wants to be holding her dayand night.

Minnie says it's lovely, all the same, to see a man so charmed withhis little girl for isn't everyone charmed with her? The twins are able to stand and walk and they have accidents allthe time. Their bottoms are sore because they're always wet and shitty. They put dirty things in their mouths, bits of paper, feathers,shoelaces, and they get sick.

Mam says we're all driving her crazy. Shedresses the twins, puts them in the pram, and Malachy and I take them tothe playground. The cold weather is gone and the trees have green leavesup and down Classon Avenue. We race the pram around the playground and the twins laugh and makegoo-goo sounds till they get hungry and start to cry. There are twobottles in the pram filled with water and sugar and that keeps them quietfor awhile till they're hungry again and they cry so hard I don't knowwhat to do because they're so small and I wish I could give them allkinds of food so that they'd laugh and make the baby sounds.

They lovethe mushy food Mam makes in a pot, bread mashed up in milk and water andsugar. Mam calls it bread and goody. If I take the twins home now Mam will yell at me for giving her norest or for waking Margaret. We are to stay in the playground till shesticks her head out the window and calls for us. I make funny faces forthe twins to stop their crying. I put a piece of paper on my head and letit fall and they laugh and laugh.

I push the pram over to Malachy playingon the swings with Freddie Leibowitz. Malachy is trying to tell Freddieall about the way Setanta became Cuchulain. I tell him stop telling thatstory, it's my story. I push him and he cries, Waah, waah,I'll tell Mam. Freddie pushes me and everything turns dark in my head andI run at him with fists and knees and feet till he yells, Hey, stop,stop, and I won't because I can't, I don't know how, and if I stopMalachy will go on taking my story from me. Freddie pushes me away andruns off, yelling, Frankie tried to kill me.

Frankie tried to kill me. Idon't know what to do because I never tried to kill anyone before and nowMalachy, on the swing, cries, Don't kill me, Frankie, and he looks sohelpless I put my arms around him and help him off the swing. I won't tell your story anymore. I won't tell Freddie about Coo, Coo. Iwant to laugh but I can't because the twins are crying in the pram andit's dark in the playground and what's the use of trying to make funnyfaces and letting things fall off your head when they can't see you inthe dark?

The Italian grocery shop is across the street and I see bananas,apples, oranges. I know the twins can eat bananas. Malachy loves bananasand I like them myself. But you need money, Italians are not known forgiving away bananas especially to the McCourts who owe them money alreadyfor groceries. My mother tells me all the time, Never, never leave that playgroundexcept to come home. But what am I to do with the twins bawling with thehunger in the pram? I tell Malachy I'll be back in a minute.

I make sureno one is looking, grab a bunch of bananas outside the Italian groceryshop and run down Myrtle Avenue, away from the playground, around theblock and back to the other end where there's a hole in the fence. Wepush the pram to a dark corner and peel the bananas for the twins. Thereare five bananas in the bunch and we feast on them in the dark corner.

The twins slobber and chew and spread banana over their faces, theirhair, their clothes. I realize then that questions will be asked. Mamwill want to know why the twins are smothered in bananas, where did youget them? I can't tell her about the Italian shop on the corner. I willhave to say, A man. That's what I'll say. Then the strange thing happens. There's a man at the gate of theplayground. Oh, God, it's the Italian. Hey, talkin' to ya. I go to him. You the kid wid the little bruddas, right? Gotta bag o' fruit. I don' give it to you I trow id out. So, heah, take the bag. Ya got apples, oranges, bananas.

I think ya like bananas, eh? I know ya like thebananas. Heah, take the bag. Ya gotta nice mother there. Well,ya know, he's got the problem, the Irish thing. Give them twins a banana. I hear 'em all the way cross the street. Where ja loin dat? My father told me to say thanks, sir. Dad sits at the table reading the paper. He says that PresidentRoosevelt is a good man and everyone in America will soon have a job.

Mamis on the other side of the table feeding Margaret with a bottle. She hasthe hard look that frightens me. Where did you get that fruit? The Italian man gave it to me. Did you steal that fruit? Malachy says, The man. The man gave Frankie the bag. And what did you do to Freddie Leibowitz?

His mother was here. I don't know what we'd do without her and Minnie MacAdorey. And you had to attack poor Freddie. Malachy jumps up and down. Din't try to killFreddie. Din't try to kill me. Dad says, Whisht, Malachy, whisht. And he takesMalachy on his lap. My mother says, Go down the hall and tell Freddie you're sorry.

But Dad says, Do you want to tell Freddie you're sorry? My parents look at one another. Dad says, Freddie is a good boy. Hewas only pushing your little brother on the swing. He was trying to steal my Cuchulain story. Freddie doesn't care about the Cuchulain story. He hashis own story. Jewish is, Jewish is people with their own stories.

They don't need Cuchulain. If you go down and talk to Freddie I'll tell you about Samsonlater. You can tell Freddie you're sorry and you'll never do it again andyou can even ask him about Samson. Anything you like as long as you talkto Freddie. The baby gives a little cry in my mother's arms and Dad jumps up,dropping Malachy to the floor. Is she all right? My mother says, Ofcourse she's all right. God above, you're a bundle ofnerves. They're talking about Margaret now and I'm forgotten. I'm going down the hall to ask Freddie about Samson, to see if Samson isas good as Cuchulain, to see if Freddie has his own story or if he stillwants to steal Cuchulain.

Malachy wants to go with me now that my fatheris standing and doesn't have a lap anymore. Leibowitz says, Oh, Frankie, Frankie, come in, come in. And tell me, Frankie, what did you do to Freddie? Freddie is a good boy, Frankie. Listens toradio with his papa. He swinks you brother on swink. And you try to killhim. And you poor mother and her sick baby. She's not sick, Mrs. Zat is one sick baby. I know from sick babies.


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Don't tell me, Frankie. Come in, come in. Freddie, Freddie,Frankie is here. Frankie won't kill you no more. Nice Chewish name, have piece cake, eh? Why they give you aChewish name, eh? So, glass milk, piece cake. You boys so thin, Irishdon't eat. We sit at the table with Freddie, eating cake, drinking milk.

Leibowitz sits in an armchair reading the paper, listening to the radio. Sometimes he speaks to Mrs. Leibowitz and I don't understand becausestrange sounds come from his mouth. Leibowitz makes the strange sounds Freddie gets up and takes him a pieceof cake. Leibowitz smiles at Freddie and pats his head and Freddiesmiles back and makes the strange sounds.

Leibowitz shakes her head at Malachy and me. Leibowitz says words we can understand, When Irish oyes are smiling. Leibowitz laughs so hard her body shakes and she holds her stomachand Malachy says Oy again because he knows that makes everyone laugh. Leibowitz, my father said Freddie has a favorite story. Malachy says, Sam, Sam, Oy. Everyone laughs again but I don'tbecause I can't remember what comes after Sam. Freddie mumbles throughhis cake, Samson, and Mrs. Leibowitz tells him, Don't talk wiz you mousefull, and I laugh because she's grown-up and she says mouse instead ofmouth.

Malachy laughs because I laugh and the Leibowitzes look at eachother and smile. Freddie says, Not Samson. My favorite story is David andthe giant, Goliath. David killed him dead with a slingshot, a stone inhis head. His brains was on the ground. Were on the ground, says Mr. That's what Freddie calls his father and Dad is what I call myfather. My mother's whisper wakes me. What's up with the child? It's stillearly and there isn't much morning in the room but you can see Dad overby the window with Margaret in his arms.

He's rocking her and sighing,Och. Mam says, Is she, is she sick? Och, she's very quiet and she's a wee bit cold. My mother is out of the bed, taking the child. Go for the doctor. Go for God's sake, and my father is pulling on his trousers over hisshirt, no jacket, shoes, no socks on this bitter day. We wait in the room, the twins asleep at the bottom of the bed,Malachy stirring beside me. Frankie, I want a drink of water. Mam rocksin her bed with the baby in her arms. Oh, Margaret, Margaret, my ownlittle love. Open your lovely blue eyes, my little leanv. I fill a cup of water for Malachy and me and my mother wails, Waterfor you and your brother.

Oh, indeed, Water, is it? And nothing for yoursister. Your poor little sister. Did you ask if she had a mouth in herhead? Did you ask if she'd like a drop of water? Go on and drinkyour water, you and your brother, as if nothing happened. A regular dayfor the two of you, isn't it? And the twins sleeping away as if theydidn't have a care and their poor little sister sick here in my arms.

Sick in my arms. Oh, sweet Jesus in heaven. Why is she talking like this? She's not talking like my mothertoday. I want my father. Where is my father? I get back into bed and start to cry. Malachy says, Why you cry? Your sister is sick in my arms andyou're there whining and whinging. If I go over to that bed I'll give yousomething to whinge about.

Dad is back with the doctor. Dad has the whiskey smell. The doctorexamines the baby, prods her, raises her eyelids, feels her neck, arms,legs. He straightens up and shakes his head. Mam reaches forthe baby, hugs her, turns to the wall. The doctor wants to know, Wasthere any kind of accident? Did anyone drop the baby?

Did the boys playtoo hard with her? My father shakes his head. Doctor says he'll have to take her toexamine her and Dad signs a paper. My mother begs for another few minuteswith her baby but the doctor says he doesn't have all day. When Dadreaches for Margaret my mother pulls away against the wall. She has thewild look, her black curly hair is damp on her forehead and there issweat all over her face, her eyes are wide open and her face is shinywith tears, she keeps shaking her head and moaning, Ah, no, ah, no, tillDad eases the baby from her arms.

The doctor wraps Margaret completely ina blanket and my mother cries, Oh, Jesus, you'll smother her. Jesus, Maryand Joseph, help me. My mother turns to the wall anddoesn't make a move or sound. The twins are awake, crying with thehunger, but Dad stands in the middle of the room, staring at the ceiling. His face is white and he beats on his thighs with his fists. He comes tothe bed, puts his hand on my head. His hand is shaking.

Francis, I'mgoing out for cigarettes. Mam stays in the bed all day, hardly moving. Malachy and I fill thetwins' bottles with water and sugar. In the kitchen we find a half loafof stale bread and two cold sausages. We can't have tea because the milkis sour in the icebox where the ice is melted again and everyone knowsyou can't drink tea without milk unless your father gives it to you outof his mug while he's telling you about Cuchulain. The twins are hungry again but I know I can't give them water andsugar all day and night.

I boil sour milk in a pot, mash in some of thestale bread, and try to feed them from a cup, bread and goody. They makefaces and run to Mam's bed, crying. She keeps her face to the wall andthey run back to me, still crying. They won't eat the bread and goodytill I kill the taste of the sour milk with sugar. Now they eat and smileand rub the goody over their faces. Malachy wants some and if he can eatit, so can I. We all sit on the floor eating the goody and chewing on the.

After we eat and drink we have to go to the lavatory down the hallbut we can't get in because Mrs. Leibowitz is inside, humming andsinging. She says, Wait, chiltren, wait, darlinks. Won't be two seconds. Malachy claps his hands and dances around, singing, Wait, chiltren, wait,darlinks. Leibowitz opens the lavatory door. So, chiltren, how's you mother? She's in bed, Mrs. The doctor took Margaret and myfather went for cigarettes. I said that was one sick child. Malachy is clutching himself. You boys pee and we see you mother. After we pee Mrs. Leibowitz comes to see Mam.

Look at these twins. McCourt,what is mazzer, eh? The baby she is sick?

So talk to me. Oy, this is one mess. Talk to me, Mrs. She helps my mother sit up against the wall. Leibowitz says she'll bring some soup and tells me get some water towash my mother's face. I dip a towel in cold water and pat her forehead. She presses my hand against her cheeks.

She won't let my hand go and I'm frightened because I've never seen herlike this before. She's saying Frankie only because it's my hand she'sholding and it's Margaret she's thinking about, not me. Your lovelylittle sister is dead, Frankie. And where is your father? She letsmy hand drop. I said where is your father?

That's where he is. There isn't a penny in the house. He can't get a job but he finds moneyfor the drink, money for the drink, money for the drink, money for thedrink. She rears back, knocks her head on the wall and screams, Where isshe? Where is my little girl? Oh, Jesus, Mary and Joseph,help me this night. I'll go mad, so I will, I'll go pure mad. Missus, missus, what is it? My mother screams again, Dead, Mrs. Her head dropsand she rocks back and forth. Middle of the night, Mrs. I should have been watching her. Seven weeks she had in this worldand died in the middle of the night, alone, Mrs.

Leibowitz, all alone inthat pram. Leibowitz holds my mother in her arms. Babies go like that. In the pram, Mrs. I could have picked herup and she didn't have to die, did she? God doesn't want little babies. What is God going to do with little babies? I don't know, missus. I don't know from God. I give you soup. You don't know bowl? For the soup, darlink.

You don'have a bowl? So get cups for the soup. I mix pea soup and lentil soup. Irish like the ham. She spoons the soup into my mother's mouth, wipes the dribble fromher chin. Malachy and I sit on the floor drinking from mugs. We spoon thesoup into the twins' mouths. It is lovely and hot and tasty. My mothernever makes soup like this and I wonder if there's any chance Mrs. Leibowitz could ever be my mother. Freddie could be me and have my motherand my father, too, and he could have Malachy and the twins for brothers.

He can't have Margaret anymore because she's like the dog in the streetthat was taken away. I don't know why she was taken away. My mother saidshe died in her pram and that must be like getting hit by a car becausethey take you away. I wish little Margaret could be here for the soup. I could give itto her with a spoon the way Mrs.

Leibowitz is giving it to my mother andshe'd gurgle and laugh the way she did with Dad. She wouldn't cry anymoreand my mother wouldn't be in the bed day and night and Dad would betelling me Cuchulain stories and I wouldn't want Mrs. Leibowitz to be mymother anymore. Leibowitz is nice but I'd rather have my fathertelling me Cuchulain stories and Margaret chirping and Mam laughing whenDad dances with two left feet. Minnie MacAdorey comes in to help. Mother o' God, Mrs. Leibowitz,these twins smell to the high heavens. I don't know about Mother o' God, Minnie, but these twins need awash.

They need clean diapers. Frankie, where are the clean diapers? Minnie says, They're just wearing rags for diapers. I'll get someof Maisie's. Frankie, you take off those rags and throw them out. Malachy removes Oliver's rag and I struggle with Eugene. The safetypin is stuck and when he wriggles it comes loose, sticks him in the hip,and starts him screaming for Mam. But Minnie is back with a towel andsoap and hot water. I help her wash away the caked shit and she lets meshake talcum powder on the twins' raw sore skin. She says they're goodlittle boys and she has a big surprise for them.

She goes down the halland brings back a pot of mashed potatoes for all of us. There is plentyof salt and butter in the potatoes and I wonder if there's any chanceMinnie could be my mother so that I could eat like this all the time. IfI could have Mrs. Leibowitz and Minnie for mothers at the same time I'dhave no end of soup and mashed potatoes. Leibowitz sit at the table. Leibowitz sayssomething has to be done.

These children are running wild and where isthe father? I hear Minnie whisper he's out for the drink. Leibowitzsays terrible, terrible, the way the Irish drink. Minnie says her Dandoesn't drink. Never touches the stuff and Dan told her that when thebaby died that poor man, Malachy McCourt, went mad all over FlatbushAvenue and Atlantic Avenue, that he was thrown out of all the bars aroundthe Long Island Railroad Station, that the cops would have thrown him injail if it was anything else but the death of that lovely little baby.

Here he has four lovely little boys, says Minnie, but it's nocomfort to him. That little girl brought out something in him. You knowhe didn't even drink after she was born and that was a miracle. Leibowitz wants to know where Mam's cousins are, the big womenwith the quiet husbands. Minnie will find them and tell them the childrenare neglected, running wild, sore arses and everything.

Two days later Dad returns from his cigarette hunt. It's the middleof the night but he gets Malachy and me out of the bed. He has the smellof the drink on him. He has us stand at attention in the kitchen. He tells us we must promise to die for Ireland. We will, Dad, we will. All together we sing Kevin Barry,.

Just a lad of eighteen summers Sure there's no one can deny As he marched to death that morning How he held his head on high. There's a knock at the door, Mr. Och, Malachy, for God'ssake, it's three in the morning. You have the whole house woke with thesinging. Och, Dan, I'm only teaching the boys to die for Ireland. You can teach them to die for Ireland in the daytime, Malachy. I know, Malachy, but they're only children. You go to bednow like a dacent man. What am I to do in bed? Her little face is there day andnight, her curly black hair and her lovely blue eyes.

Oh, Jesus, Dan,what will I do? Was it the hunger that killed her, Dan? Your missus was nursing her. One more song, Dan, before we go to bed. Because he loved the motherland, Because he loved the green He goes to meet a martyr's fate With proud and joyous mien; True to the last, oh! You'll die for Ireland, won't you, boys? And we'll all meet your little sister in heaven, won't we, boys? My brother is standing with his face pressed against a leg of thetable and he's asleep. Dad lifts him, staggers across the room, placeshim in the bed by my mother.

I climb into bed and my father, still in hisclothes, lies beside me. I'm hoping he'll put his arms around me but hegoes on singing about Roddy McCorley and talking to Margaret, Oh, mylittle curly-haired, blue-eyed love, I would dress you in silks and takeyou to Lough Neagh, till day is at the window and I fall asleep. That night Cuchulain comes to me. There's a big green bird on hisshoulder that keeps singing about Kevin Barry and Roddy McCorley and Idon't like that bird because there's blood dripping from his mouth whenhe sings.

In one hand Cuchulain carries the gae bolga, the spear that isso mighty only he can throw it. In the other hand he carries a banana,which he keeps offering to the bird, who just squawks and spits blood at. You'd wonder why Cuchulain puts up with a bird like that. If thetwins ever spat blood at me when I offered them a banana I think I'd hitthem on the head with it. In the morning my father is at the kitchen table and I tell him mydream. He says there were no bananas in Ireland in the old times and evenif there were Cuchulain would never offer one to that bird because thatwas the one that came over from England for the summer and perched on hisshoulder when he was dying and propped up against a stone and when themen of Erin which is Ireland wanted to kill him they were afraid tillthey saw the bird drinking Cuchulain's blood and then they knew it wassafe to attack him, the dirty bloody cowards.

So you have to be wary ofbirds, Francis, birds and Englishmen. Most of the day Mam lies in bed with her face to the wall. If shedrinks tea or eats anything she throws up in the bucket under the bed andI have to empty it and rinse it in the lavatory down the hall. Leibowitz brings her soup and funny bread that is twisted. Mam tries toslice it but Mrs. Leibowitz laughs and tells her just pull.

Malachy callsit pull bread but Mrs. Leibowitz says, No, it's challah, and teaches ushow to say it. She shakes her head. You'll live foreverbut you'll never say challah like a Chew. Minnie MacAdorey brings potatoes and cabbage and sometimes a pieceof meat. Och, times are hard, Angela, but that lovely man, Mr. Roosevelt,will find a job for everyone and your husband will have work. Poor man,it's not his fault there's a Depression. He looks for work day and night. My Dan is lucky, four years with the city and he don't drink.

He grew upin Toome with your husband. Curse of the Irish. Build yourself up after your loss. MacAdorey tells Dad there's work with the WPA and when he getsthe work there's money for food and Mam leaves the bed to clean the twinsand to feed us. When Dad comes home with the drink smell there's no moneyand Mam screams at him till the twins cry, and Malachy and I run out tothe playground. On those nights Mam crawls back into bed and Dad singsthe sad songs about Ireland.

Why doesn't he hold her and help her sleepthe way he did with my little sister who died? Why doesn't he sing aMargaret song or a song that will dry Mam's tears? He still gets Malachyand me out of bed to stand in our shirts promising to die for Ireland. One night he wanted to make the twins promise to die for Ireland but theycan't even talk and Mam screamed at him, You mad oul' bastard, can't youleave the children alone? He'll give us a nickel for ice cream if we promise to die forIreland and we promise but we never get the nickel. We get soup from Mrs. Leibowitz and mashed potatoes from MinnieMacAdorey and they show us how to take care of the twins, how to washtheir bottoms and how to wash diaper rags after they get them all shitty.

Leibowitz calls them diapers and Minnie calls them nappies but itdoesn't matter what they call them because the twins get them shittyanyway. If Mam stays in the bed and Dad goes out looking for a job we cando what we like all day. We can put the twins in the small swings in thepark and swing them till they get hungry and cry. The Italian man callsto me from across the street, Hey, Frankie, c'mere. Watch out crossing dastreet.

Angela's Ashes Part 1 (Chapters 1-5) Summary

Dem twins hungry again? He gives us bits of cheese and ham andbananas but I can't eat bananas anymore after the way the bird spat bloodat Cuchulain. The man says his name is Mr. Dimino and that's his wife, Angela,behind the counter. I tell him that's my mother's name.

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Your mother is Angela? I didn't know the Irish had any Angelas. Hey,Angela, his mother's name is Angela. She says, Thatsa nice. Dimino asks me about Mam and Dad and who cooks for us.

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I tellhim we get food from Mrs. Leibowitz and Minnie MacAdorey. I tell him allabout the diapers and the nappies and how they get shitty anyway and helaughs. Angela, you listenin' to this? Thank God you're Italian, Angela. He says, Kid, I gotta talk to Mrs. Ya gotta have relations cantake care of you. Ya see Minnie MacAdorey, tell her come in see me. Two big women are at the door. They say, Who are you? How old are you?

I'm four going on five. You're not very big for your age, are you? Is your mother here? She's in the bed. What is she doing in the bed on a fine day in the middle of theday? Well, we'll come in. We have to talk to yourmother. They brush past me into the room.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the smellof this place. And who are these children? Malachy runs smiling to the big women. When he smiles you can seehow white and straight and pretty his teeth are and you can see the shinyblue of his eyes, the pink of his cheeks. All that makes the big womensmile and I wonder why they didn't smile when they talked to me. Malachy says, I'm Malachy and this is Oliver and this is Eugene,they're twins, and that's Frankie over there.

The big woman with the brown hair says, Well, you're not a bit shy,are you? I'm your mother's cousin, Philomena, and this is your mother'scousin, Delia. Flynn and she's Mrs. Fortune and that's what youcall us. Good God, says Philomena. Those twins are naked. Don't you haveclothes for them? Malachy says, They're all shitty. A mouth like a sewer, and nowonder with a father from the North.

Don't use that word. That's a badword, a curse word. You could go to hell using a word like that. You'll know soon enough, says Delia. The big women sit at the table with Mrs. Philomena says it's terrible what happened to Angela's littlebaby. They heard all about it and you'd wonder, wouldn't you, what theydid with the little body. You might wonder and I might wonder but TommyFlynn didn't wonder. Tommy said that Malachy from the North got money forthat baby. That's right, says Philomena. They take bodies any age and do experiments on them and there'snot much left to give back nor would you want back bits of baby when theycan't be buried in consecrated ground in that condition.

That's terrible, says Mrs. A father or mother wouldnever give the baby for something like that. They would, says Delia, when they have the craving for the drink. They'd give their own mothers when they have the craving so what's a babythat's dead and gone in the first place? Leibowitz shakes her head and rocks in her chair.

Oy, shesays, oy, oy, oy. I thank God my husbanddon'have no what you call it? It's the Irishhave the craving. Not my husband, says Philomena. I'd break his face if he came homewith the craving. Of course, Delia's Jimmy has the craving. Every Fridaynight you see him slipping into the saloon. You needn't start insulting my Jimmy, says Delia. Hebrings home his wages. You'd want to keep an eye on him, says Philomena. The craving couldget the better of him and you'd have another Malachy from the North onyour hands. Mind your own bloody business, says Delia. At least Jimmy is Irish,not born in Brooklyn like your Tommy.

And Philomena has no answer for that. Minnie is holding her baby and the big women say she's a lovelybaby, clean, not like this pack of Angela's running around this place. Philomena says she doesn't know where Angela got her dirty habits becauseAngela's mother was spotless, so clean you could eat your dinner off herfloor.

I wonder why you'd want to eat your dinner off the floor when youhad a table and a chair. Delia says something has to be done about Angela and these childrenfor they are a disgrace, so they are, enough to make you ashamed to berelated. A letter has to be written to Angela's mother. Philomena willwrite it because a teacher in Limerick told her once she had a fine fist. Delia has to tell Mrs. Leibowitz that a fine fist means good handwriting. Leibowitz goes down the hall to borrow her husband's fountainpen, paper and an envelope.

The four women sit at the table and make up aletter to send to my mother's mother: Dear Aunt Margaret, I take pen inhand to write you this letter and hope this finds you as it leaves us inthe best of health. My husband Tommy is in fine form working away andDelia's husband Jimmy is in fine form working away and we hope this findsyou in fine form.