Just Lucky I Guess

The four-leaf clover represents luck, Irish and… more luck. If you find one in the wild it’s actually exciting! So, since we live in this wonderful land of opportunity, there’s no shortage of things to buy with shamrocks and 4-leaf clovers on them. Take that nifty pair of socks (my favorite funky thing to wear) can be had for 12 bucks HERE. And then there’s that cool antique broach for $7,950.00 HERE. Or that Enamel Diamond Four-leaf clover with the ladybug for a mere $3,997 HERE. And of course there are tons of t-shirts out there, Google for them yourself. As you know food is right up there with breathing for me so I found recipes for those shakes, pastries and Irish coffee drinks. You can find them at the end of this article. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Stay safe.

With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, your old pal Stephen O’Shannessy O’Brien McMurphy Patrick Michael O’Kowalski is back, thinking about the upcoming celebration, the great Cleveland Parade and the legends about the four-leaf clover and “the luck of the Irish”.  I for one, feel extremely lucky, and blessed. My short list includes: my amazing wife (many say Angel!) and daughters, fantastic son’s in law, a God to love, granddaughter to hug and spoil, good health, great friends, a nice community to live in, a business started by Dad to love, grow, and blessed with committed employees dedicated to solving your PIA (Pain in the %#$) Jobs!  I could go on and on. I am continually telling Jackie and my girls that I am by far the luckiest man in the world! Being soooooo Irish, I thought I’d share a bit about the four-leaf clovers (never knew there are more than four out there). Remember to stay safe next week on St. Patty’s Day – a friend told me: “Safe Driving Is No Accident”.  Special thanks to Wikipedia, Better Homes and Gardens and the links to fun recipes below.  Enjoy!

  1. Some folk traditions assign a different attribute to each leaf of a clover. The first leaf represents hope, the second stands for faith, the third is for love and the fourth leaf brings luck to the finder.
  2. When found, a fifth leaf represents money. Some reports claim six to be fame and seven to be longevity, though the notions’ origination is unknown.
  3. Four-leaf clovers were considered Celtic charms and were believed to offer magical protection and ward off bad luck.
  4. Abraham Lincoln carried a four-leaf clover with him everywhere for good luck. However, on the night he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth he was not carrying it.
  5. Unlike most plants, clover, three-leaved or four, can take nitrogen from the air and fix it to use for growth with the help of special rhizomes in their roots.
  6. Children in the Middle Ages believed they would be able to see fairies if they carried a four-leaf clover in their pockets.
  7. In 1620 Sir John Melton made the first literary reference to their ability to provide good fortunate. He said, “If a man walking in the fields find any four-leaved grass, he shall in a small while after find some good thing.”
  8. For every “lucky” four-leaf clover there are approximately 10,000 three-leaf clovers, as there are no clover plants that naturally produce four leaves.  The fourth leaf can be smaller or a different shade of green than the other three leaves.
  9. This probability has not deterred collectors who have reached records as high as 160,000 four-leaf clovers in a lifetime.  The world record for number collected in one hour is 166, set by American Katie Borka on June 23, 2018. (These folks have way too much time on their hands!)
  10. Clovers can have more than four leaves. Five-leaf clovers are less commonly found naturally than four-leaf clovers, however, they, too, have been successfully cultivated. Some four-leaf clover collectors, particularly in Ireland, regard the five-leaf clover, known as a rose clover, as a particular prize. In exceptionally rare cases, clovers are able to grow with six leaves and more in nature. The most leaves ever found on a single clover stem (Trifolium repens L.) is 56 and was discovered by Shigeo Obara of Hanamaki City, Iwate, Japan, on 10 May 2009.
  11. It is believed that Ireland is home to more four-leaf clovers than any other place, hence the phrase “the luck of the Irish.”
  12. Italian automobile maker Alfa Romeo used to paint a four-leaf clover, or quadrifoglio, on the side of their racing cars. This tradition started in the 1923 Targa Florio race, when driver Ugo Sivocci decorated his car with a green clover on a white background.
  13. Los Angeles-based space exploration company SpaceX includes a four-leaf clover on each space mission embroidered patch as a good luck charm. Inclusion of the clover has become a regular icon on SpaceX’s flight patches ever since the company’s first successful Falcon 1 rocket launch in 2008, which was the first mission to feature a clover “for luck” on its patch.
  14. Celtic Football Club, an association football team from Glasgow, Scotland, have used the four leaf clover as the club’s official badge for over 40 years.
  15. Several businesses and organizations use a four-leaf clover in their logos to signify Celtic origins.
  16. The global network of youth organizations 4-H uses a green four-leaf clover with a white H on each leaf
  17. The English-speaking imageboard 4chan has as its logo the four-leaf clover, deriving from the character Yotsuba Koiwai and her pigtails and the similar pronunciation between 4chan and ‘fortune’.
  18. If you give someone a four-leaf clover that you just found it is believed that your luck will double.
  19. Shamrocks and four-leaf clovers are not the same thing; the word ‘shamrock’ refers only to a clover with three leaves.

Have some food fun for St. Patty’s Day – here’s some delightful recipes:
> Shamrock Shakes – https://www.dinneratthezoo.com/shamrock-shake-recipe/
> Shamrock Cookies – https://www.thespruceeats.com/st-patricks-day-desserts-4162274
> Shamrock Cupcakes – https://www.yourcupofcake.com/shamrock-shake-cupcakes/
> Irish Coffee – https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/original-irish-coffee-recipe-1915164





Not Blue

(row by row from top left) Is it Irish Green or Irish Blue? Here’s an illuminated letter from the 13th century showing Saint Patrick (napping on the left) in a blue robe. Live shamrocks are always green. The rolling Tuscany countryside is as green as the Irish countryside. Some green foods: Limes, apples & peas. I don’t know what that plant is but is sure is cool! And green. Golf greens are green and Famous Green Jackets that the best golfer gets at the Masters are green, too. What’s-his-name plays for the Green Bay Packers. And there’s the Green Lantern. Kermit the frog and a real cute frog. The color of money. I had to ask but those guys are called Green Day and there’s Tom Green (who?). Finally, I changed my logo colors for St. Patrick’s Day and will make only two collector edition t-shirts for only $14,000.00 each (+ tax and shipping). Just send me your size and a certified check. 

Stephen O’Shannessy O’Brien McMurphy Patrick Michael O’Kowalski back again with a friendly reminder to celebrate this Sunday, one of my favorite holidays, St. Patrick’s Day. Now, the Irish will tell you, there’s only two types of people in the world – “the Irish, and those that wish they were.” FUN! I love to jump right in and celebrate my deeply rooted heritage, that is correct the extreme love of food – especially the corned beef, carrots, potatoes and cabbage part!  Many traditions surrounding this day also include parades, leprechauns, shamrocks, rainbows, singing and dancing, and the wearing of green.  As I was laying out my wardrobe for Sunday (green socks!) I got to thinking – just why is St. Patty’s Day connected to green?  Here’s some green trivia – and special thanks to colormatters.com, csmonitor.com and Print Magazine for the info – Enjoy!

  1. We all know of course, the early St. Patrick’s color was blue (learn more HERE).  According to some accounts, blue was the first color associated with St. Patrick’s Day, but that started to change in the 17th century. Green is one of the colors in Ireland’s tri-color flag, and Ireland is the “Emerald Isle,” so named for its lush green landscape. Green is also the color of spring and the shamrock.
  2. Forgot to wear green on St. Patty’s Day? Don’t be surprised if you get pinched. No surprise, it’s an entirely American tradition that probably started in the early 1700s. St. Patrick’s revelers thought wearing green made one invisible to leprechauns, fairy creatures who would pinch anyone they could see (anyone not wearing green). People began pinching those who didn’t wear green as a reminder that leprechauns would sneak up and pinch green-abstainers.
  3. Green with envy. Love is evergreen.  “It’s not easy being green.”  Green is everywhere – it’s the most common color in the natural world, and it’s second only to blue as the most common favorite color.   It’s the color we associate with money, the environment, and aliens, and it’s the color of revitalization and rebirth.
  4. The ancient Egyptian god Ptah was depicted with a green face. In Egyptian painting, green was a beneficial color that protected against evil.
  5. The Roman emperor Nero was known for eating a large amount of leeks he consumed, which was unusual for a high-ranking person at that time. Leeks were strongly associated with the color green, and even lent their name to one of the Greek words for the color, prasinos.
  6. The Roman Empire’s chariot races featured two opposing stables: the Blues and the Greens. The Blues represented the Senate and the patrician class, while the Greens represented the people. Each stable was backed by a large, influential organization with a network of clientele and a lobby that extended far outside the racecourse.
  7. The prophet Muhammad favored the color green. After becoming the dynastic color of the Fatimids, green came to be the sacred color of Islam as a whole.
  8. During the Middle Ages, green was the color of hope for pregnant women in particular. Pregnant women in paintings were often shown wearing green dresses.
  9. Possessing a green shield, tunic, or horse’s quarter sheet often meant that a knight was young and hotheaded. One well-known example of a “green knight” is found in the late fourteenth-century Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
  10. In Gothic stained-glass windows, green was the color of demons, sorcerers, dragons, and the Devil himself.
  11. Dyeing in green was difficult during the Middle Ages. Green dyes from plants produced faint and unstable color that grew even more faded when mordant, or fixative, was applied. Because of this instability, green came to represent inconstancy, duplicity, and betrayal. Judas, for example, is often shown dressed in green.
  12. Physically, in the presence of green, your pituitary gland is stimulated. Your muscles are more relaxed, and your blood histamine levels increase, which leads to a decrease in allergy symptoms and dilated blood vessels, aiding in smoother muscle contractions. In short, green is calming, stress-relieving, and – a bit paradoxically – invigorating. It’s been shown to improve reading ability and creativity.  Don’t forget can cause excitability in small children and dogs!
  13. Green stands for balance, nature, spring, and rebirth. It’s the symbol of prosperity, freshness, and progress. In Japanese culture, green is associated with eternal life, and it is the sacred color of Islam, representing respect and the prophet Muhammad.
  14. We associate green with vitality, fresh growth, and wealth.   We generally think of it as a balanced, healthy, and youthful. We use green in design for spaces intended to foster creativity and productivity, and we associate green with progress – think about giving a project the “green light.”
  15. Someone who feels sick might look “green around the gills,” and certain yellow-gray greens have a distinctly unpleasant, institutional feel to them. We link green with envy and with greed, and even the Mr. Yuck sticker intended to warn children away from potentially hazardous chemicals is a bright, eye-catching green.
  16. In Aztec culture, green was considered to be royal because it was the colour of the quetzal plumes used by the Aztec chieftains.
  17. In Portugal, green is the color of hope because of its associations with spring.
  18. In the highlands of Scotland, people used to wear green as a mark of honor.
  19. There is a superstition that sewing with green thread on the eve of a fashion show brings bad luck to the design house.
  20. Green is the color of love associated with both Venus, the Roman goddess and Aphrodite, the Greek goddess.
  21. Green was the favorite color of George Washington, the first President of the United States.
  22. The color green signifies mystical or magical properties in the stories of King Arthur.
  23. Green is the color used for night-vision goggles because the human eye is most sensitive to and able to discern the most shades of that color.
  24. Bright green is the color of the astrological sign “Cancer.”
  25. Green thumb (US) or Green fingers (UK): an unusual ability to make plants grow.
  26. Green room: a room (in a theater or studio) where performers can relax before or after appearances.
  27. Greener pastures: something newer or better (or perceived to be better), such as a new job.
  28. Greenhorn: novice, trainee, beginner
  29. Going green: when someone or something makes changes to help protect the environment or reduces waste or pollution.
  30. The message you send by driving a vehicle that is Dark Green: Traditional, trustworthy, well-balanced. However, if your vehicle is a Bright Yellow-Green, you give a different impression: Trendy, whimsical, lively.
  31. “Lime” was the original scent of the bright green colored Magic Scents Crayons from Binney & Smith Inc., introduced in 1994 with mostly food scents. However, there were numerous reports that children were eating the food-scented crayons, so the food scents were retired and replaced with non-food scents. The scent for the color bright green became “eucalyptus.”
  32. AromaPod, a scented lifestyle tool, uses the color green with the scent that provides calm.


  1. Blue in Green by Miles Davis
  2. Early Morning Blues and Greens by The Monkees
  3. Evergreen by Barbra Streisand
  4. Green River by Credence Clearwater Revival
  5. Kermit’s song




Life is like a cup of tea – it’s all in how you make it!

Stephen O’Shannessy O’Brien McMurphy Patrick Michael O’Kowalski back again, with some fun sayings, blessings and inspirations straight out of Ireland for you to use this St. Patrick’s Day. So, pick your favorite sayings (email them to friends), get green, smile, laugh and look for your pot ‘o gold and lucky leprechauns. To our friends, families, customers, employees, vendors, partners, neighbors and loved ones – may all the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you, in this simple poem – (special thanks to irishcentral.com for all ye fun tidbits below).





“Top of the Mornin’ To Ya”

“And the rest of the day to yourself” – Stephen O’Shannessy O’Brien McMurphy Patrick Michael O’Kowalski here … hope your Patty’s Day is as good as mine. Around here at the shop, and all over Cleveland, St. Patrick’s Day is a blast. We have a 5 hour 100 year+ traditional parade that attracts tens of thousands of visitors downtown, crazy pub crawls, kegs of green beer and shamrocks galore. Many of the areas school kids are out, moms and dads with kids in wagons – all because, of course, “everyone” is Irish today. We’re feelin’ the love and luck of the Irish, and wishing all our friends, customers, vendors and neighbors a great day indeed.

And my day is not complete until I get home and sink my teeth into our traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner, with an ice cold Killigans. Every year I promise myself that I’ll take it easy, but then find I go back to the stove again and again. My wife Jackie knows me too well, and plans ahead, to be sure there is more than enough for leftovers – MAYBE!

To reap the benefits of your feast, here are a bunch of totally delicious, creative recipes to help you use up your remaining loaf n’ fixin’s (only one of them is a Reuben). Special thanks to boston.com for the great list and the websites skinnytaste.com, foodnessgracious.com, tasty-trials.com, susikochenundbacken.blogspot.com, aducksoven.com, familyfreshmeals.com, thefoodinmybeard.com, hispanickitchen.com, and foodnetwork.com. Enjoy!

  1. Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup – the whole shebang in a soup bowl — perfect for snow days. (Recipe)
  2. Corned Beef Sliders with Spicy Mustard – mini meaty sliders made with biscuits and gooey cheddar cheese. (Recipe)
  3. Corned Beef Tacos with Guinness Dipping Sauce – because almost everything tastes better in a taco and with a Guinness!. (Recipe)
  4. ‘Irish’ Hot Pockets – buttery, flaky little pockets filled with all the goodness of your St. Patrick’s Day feast. (Recipe)
  5. Irish Nachos – a magical hybrid you should share — but won’t. (Recipe)
  6. Corned Beef and Cabbage Quesadillas – just hide your maniacal laughter when everyone else is stuck eating a plain old sandwich. (Recipe)
  7. Corned Beef Hash and Egg Sandwich – like the best sausage McMuffin you’ve ever had. (Recipe)
  8. Corned Beef Empanadas with Pickled Cabbage Slaw – use up both your leftover beef and beer with these tasty little treats. (Recipe)
  9. Zingerman’s Reuben Sandwich – traditional, but yummy! (Recipe)

Be sure to call me next week with your favorite – or send me a family recipe I can try at home. Erin go Bragh!



St. Patrick Was an Engineer Clarification

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone – hope you are enjoying the day.  In response to our post last week, KHT received the following clarification from our friend Todd Courtney, President of Crown Composites Tooling LLC in Twinsburg Ohio.
– Steve

While I generally enjoy your emails, I have a couple of things on which to comment.

First of all, if 1 in 161 Americans is named Patrick, that would be about 2 million Patricks (approximately 320 million people in U.S.). You’ve got the number right, but the relationship between that and Ireland’s population is wrong.

Second, many people don’t know that St. Patrick is the patron saint of engineers like me.

It seems that this fact was discovered in 1903 by a group of spring-fever infected University of Missouri engineering students. Their chain of logic is thus:
1. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland.
2. Legend states that St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Ireland.
3. A snake is nothing but a big worm.
4. Therefore, St. Patrick invented the worm drive.
5. Nobody knows more about worm drives than engineers.
6. Therefore, St. Patrick was an engineer.

Interestingly, this fact is still recognized and celebrated by engineering schools across the United States. At Mizzou, it takes the form of roughly a week of activities, parties, ceremonies and outreach programs involving the university community, local community and high school students around the state. Check it out sometime.

(For an “official” version of the origins, minus the worm drive story, visit http://engineers.missouri.edu/eweek/history/)

Green hats off to all our engineering pals out there – “Top of the mornin’ to ya – and the rest of the day to yourselves”




clover art 768 blog

Happy St. Patty’s Day (a Bit Early) from O’Kowalski

Next week we’ll all be wearing green, eating corned beef and cabbage and celebrating with green beer, parades and fun. In KHT fashion, here’s some trivia to get you ready for the day – be safe and enjoy!

Erin go Bragh – translates to “Ireland forever.”

The very first St. Patrick’s Day parade was not in Ireland – It was in Boston in 1737. And the largest parade in the United States, held since 1762, is in New York City, and draws more than one million spectators each year, joining over 100 cities who hold parades.

Chicago celebrates the day by dying their river green – Green is associated with Saint Patrick’s Day because it is the color of spring, of Ireland, and of the shamrock – even thought St Patrick is associated with blue. In several artworks depicting the saint, he is shown wearing blue vestments. Green was associated with Ireland, presumably because of the greenness of the countryside.

There are about 34 million U.S. residents who are of Irish ancestry – that number is almost nine times the population of Ireland itself.

1 in 161 Americans is named Patrick – two million more people than the population of Ireland. And 19 Presidents of the US proudly claim Irish heritage — including our first President, George Washington.

St. Patrick is a hero in Ireland – there are about 60 churches and cathedrals named for him in Ireland alone. One of the most famous cathedrals is St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. These grounds bear the mark of the place where St. Patrick baptized his converts.

St. Patrick is actually not Irish – He wasn’t born in Ireland. Patrick’s parents were Roman citizens living in modern-day England, or more precisely in Scotland or Wales (scholars cannot agree on which). He was born in 385 AD. By that time, most Romans were Christians and the Christian religion was spreading rapidly across Europe.

The Guinness Book of World Records – was created by Hugh Beaver, a managing director of the Guinness Brewery to help settle arguments and bets made inside bars over random trivia.

St. Patrick was a slave – At the age of 16, Patrick had the misfortune of being kidnapped by Irish raiders who took him away and sold him as a slave. He spent several years in Ireland herding sheep and learning about the people there. At the age of 22, he managed to escape and made his way to a monastery in England.

St. Patrick used the shamrock to preach about the trinity – Many claim the shamrock represents faith, hope, and love, or any number of other things but it was actually used by Patrick to teach the mystery of the Holy Trinity, and how the Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit could be separate entities, yet one in the same.

Legend says St. Patrick drove all the snakes from Ireland – According to legend, St. Patrick drove all the snakes, or in some translations, “toads,” out of Ireland. In reality, this probably did not occur, as there is no evidence that snakes have ever existed in Ireland, the climate being too cool for them to thrive. Despite that, scholars suggest that the term “snakes” may be figurative and refer to pagan religious beliefs and practices rather than reptiles or amphibians.

The Shamrock (or Leprechaun) is not the symbol of Ireland – These are popular Irish symbols, but not the symbol of Ireland. As early as the medieval period, the harp appeared on Irish gravestones and manuscripts.

St. Patrick’s was a dry holiday in Ireland until 1970 – Aside from the color green, the activity most associated with St. Patrick’s Day is drinking. Irish law had declared St. Patrick’s Day a religious observance for the entire country meaning that all pubs were shut down for the day. Overturned in 1970, St. Patrick’s Day was reclassified as a national holiday – allowing the taps to flow freely once again.

Bonus Fact: Your odds of finding a four-leaf clover are about 1 in 10,000.