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The Day I Told My Wife ‘You Should Be Grateful’

I was chatting with my wife about the long night we’d had getting up with the baby, when I said, “At least I get up with her. A lot of men don’t. You should be grateful.”

I was tired. And I said it like she was really lucky to have me. Like I was going above and beyond as a father.

It was just after 7 a.m., Mel paused for a moment, leaned back in the chair, Aspen sleeping in her lap. Her eyes were a little red, and her brown hair was in a loose ponytail. She held the baby a little closer, and took in what I had said. I expected her to agree with me. We sometimes talked about the fathers we knew who didn’t get up with their babies. They viewed it as the mother’s job.

But she didn’t.

Instead, Mel crossed her legs, looked me in the eyes, and said, “I wish you would stop saying that.”

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At the time, Mel was a nearly full-time college student, a mother of three and a school volunteer (a requirement of our children’s charter school). She spent hours sitting at our kitchen table, hunched over a keyboard, a textbook to her right and at least one child tugging at her pant leg. And despite her commitment to education, and how much I pitched in, she often commented on the pressure she felt to keep a clean house—not to mention take the children to the doctor, cook meals, shuttle the kids to sports and other extracurricular activities, keep them looking clean and healthy, and monitor their behavior in public. She was a student and a mother, and yet she felt an enormous pressure to be the sole caregiver of our children. And there I was, feeding into those expectations by mentioning my help in the night as if it were some generous extension of my role as a father.

Naturally, I didn’t think about any of this at the time. What I said was my way of trying to get her to notice my contribution to our marriage. As a father, I often feel like I’m really breaking the mold because I do pitch in around the house. If I’m home from work, I’m cleaning; I get up in the night and do numerous other things to help make our marriage a partnership. But for some reason, I felt like I should receive special attention for doing things that have been, for so many years, seen as the mother’s job.

I was dressed in slacks and a collared shirt. In my right hand was a purple bag with my lunch. I paused for a moment, took a step back, and said, “Why? I mean, it’s true. I do a lot of stuff that other fathers don’t. I’m a good guy.”

Mel was standing now, the baby in her arms. Our older two children were still sleeping, so we were speaking in whispers. “Because it doesn’t make me feel like we’re in a partnership. It makes me feel like you want me to kiss your butt every time you get up in the night. This is your baby, too.”

We went back and forth for a while. She told me how she appreciated all that I do to help around the house, but she hated the way I acted like I was doing something really great, when in fact I was just doing what a father should.

My knee-jerk reaction was to get pissed off. I wanted to give her a list of other fathers we knew, family and friends, who still subscribed to antiquated notions of gender roles. I went to open my mouth, but stopped for just a moment, thought about my feelings, and realized it was best to leave before I said something I shouldn’t.

So I left for work without saying a word.

I drove to work angry.

I was 20 minutes into my 30-minute commute when I thought about the last time I had washed dishes. I’d assumed that I should be getting praise or a reward, and for the first time I asked myself, Why? I ate there, too. Then I thought about vacuuming the carpet, or doing the laundry, realized I had the same expectations about those chores, and suddenly I felt like a jerk. The understanding that Mel was responsible for home and childcare was so deeply ingrained in my understanding of family and contribution that I’d placed myself on a pedestal for doing something as simple as helping my wife with our baby in the night.

By the time I parked and walked to my office, I felt really low.

I called Mel from work, and told her I was sorry. “You’re right,” I said. “This is a partnership, and I shouldn’t act like I’m doing some amazing thing because I get up in the night. I’m going to stop.”

Mel was quiet for a moment. Then she said, “Thank you.”

**Clint Edwards is the author of No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog. He lives in Oregon. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

This post was originally featured on HUFFPOST.

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Its Never a Good Time to Invite Kids In

Two little girls stood staring across the screen door. Curious. Hesitant. Surveying each-other.

Both wore ridiculous dresses adorned with miles of ruffles. Both had disheveled blonde hair and cheeks flushed red from exertion. They could have been looking in the mirror.

The moms stood back, allowing this introduction to play out. One girl absentmindedly swirled, enjoying her skirt’s impressive radius. The other smiled in admiration. She knew a good twirly skirt when she saw one.

In a flash, the girls linked arms and dashed down the hall, disappearing into the playroom in a sea of giggles and shrieks.

A friendship was born.

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Those two girls were inseparable for the next six years. They moved seamlessly between each other’s homes as if neither property possessed door or boundary. No part of the home or yard was off limits. And rarely were they denied when they asked to play, eat, sleep or make colossal messes at each other’s houses.

My oldest daughter and her friend slowly grew apart over the years after we moved away. And without realizing it, I grew away from my open-door policy regarding friends and playtime.

My younger daughter now has close friends on our new street. But her experience has been the opposite of her older sister’s. In my weariness and reluctance to have a house full of extra kids, she and her friends are often relegated to the yard when spending time together. They are told no more far often than yes when they ask to play inside. Crazy messes are out of the question. And while I certainly have fed my share of extra kids, I am more impatient with snack requests than I ever was with my firstborn.

A few weeks ago, I noticed my daughter’s sweet friend standing outside behind the door, waiting for my daughter to rummage through the kitchen for a glass of water and a snack. Every so often, she’d tentatively peek inside but never once did she make a move to enter.

Clearly, she didn’t think she was allowed inside.

Conviction crashed over my spirit. Having a child think she can’t come inside my home goes against everything I believe about hospitality. I realized in that moment that had let my boundaries and weariness trump my belief that our home is meant to be shared. And this means shared with my kids’ friends, too.

My heart sank as I reflected on how my younger daughter has grown up with so many stringent rules around inside playtime. And I knew I had to make some changes to my attitude. Because I want my kids’ friends to feel just as welcome and wanted here as anyone else.

I held open the door and smiled, inviting her friend inside. Her eyes widened with joy and she rushed to my daughter’s side.

Since that day, I have intentionally answered yes to inside playtime requests. I make sure to have easy snacks on hand like popcorn and pretzels so I don’t get exasperated with the inevitable snack requests. I remind the kids to clean up their messes along the way and remind them that my closet is off limits for a clubhouse. (Because I doubt Jesus, himself, would want kids pulling clothes off hangars and leaving open bags of chips on his closet floor. Just sayin’) Then I turn them loose.

I am committed to teaching my children a Biblical view of hospitality. I want them to understand that homes are not fortresses meant to keep the world out. They aren’t spas where we relax. They aren’t showcases meant to impress invited and scheduled guests. Homes are simply spaces lent to us by God that are meant to be generously used to share His love.


If I know anything about hospitality, I know this: it isn’t convenient. But that’s ok. Because hospitality isn’t about convenience. It is about a belief that your home is meant to be used to bless others. This applies formally and casually. Planned and unplanned. When you feel like it and when you don’t. And the ones God asks you to bless might come in all ages and sizes.

So I plan to invite the kids inside. Even if I am tired. Even if I don’t feel like dealing with extra bodies. And even if they try to eat me out of house and home.



This article originally appeared at

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33 Paranormal Stories Even Skeptics Are Going To Freak Out Over

These paranormal stories from Ask Reddit will make you believe in ghosts.

1. Long story short, multiple people who are not friends with one another have been in my house and seen a woman in a blue dress and then told me about it later. I don’t tell anyone else about it (not even my husband) because it doesn’t bother anything. No big deal right? Any who, I myself have seen her twice.

The first time I woke up in the middle of the night and saw her leaning over the baby’s crib. I immediately sat up and she just faded away. I felt crazy because I didn’t know anyone else had seen her at the time.

The next day I went to Walmart and some lady walks by me and says, “She likes the baby.” I stop and ask what she said and she says, “The woman, in your house. She likes the baby.” Low-key peed my pants and ran home.

2. When I was a little kid, my father used to take me and my two sisters to a railway museum in my city. We loved it but he suddenly stop taking us there. Years later I was told why: every single time that my father took photos of us there, a strange face appeared above my little sister and so he got scared and never brought us there again.

3. First night in my first apartment. Didn’t have a bed so I slept on the couch in the living room. Had a nightmare that someone with a knife was going down the hallway. Just as they got to the living room door, I woke up. I jumped in my car, spent one more night at my parent’s.

Two months later, my roommate falls asleep on the same couch. Next morning he tells me about a dream he had about a guy coming down the hall with a knife, just as he got to the door, my roommate woke up.

Few months later a friend asks if he can crash for a night. Sure, he can sleep on the couch. Next morning he says he had a weird dream. I said, “Guy coming down the hall with a knife?” My roommate added, “You woke up just as he got to the door?” Dude went palest shade of white I ever seen.

4. When I was six or seven, I was going to the bathroom, not bothering to close the door because no one else was home. My parents’ room was directly across a narrow hallway from the bathroom, with their door being pretty close to being entirely open, with only clothes keeping it pushed slightly outward. From where I was, I could see the foot of my parents bed, the wall on the left side of their bed, and the wall which the door was against, being nearly fully open, if that makes sense. Sitting silently, I see a black dress, with no figure inside rise up from behind the left side of my parent’s bed, proceed to float out to the front of the foot of the bed, appearing to float directly towards me, and float behind my parents’ bedroom door. Completely silent, no body, no legs, feet, nothing. Just a black dress. It floated not slowly, but not too quickly, like it didn’t even know I was there and was just casually floating through the house. I was freaked as fuck. I finished my business, and quickly jumped across the hall and slammed the door the other way screaming out of fear and an attempt at being threatening. But nothing was there besides my mom’s robes and pajamas. Since then, I was sure to close the door every time I went to the bathroom. And only recently have I begun going with the door open if no one else is home. And nearly every time I do, the thought of that goes through my head.

5. I have been saved from death 8 times by a spirit guy wearing a bowler hat.

Each time has been different, but I am not the only one who has seen him. He has woken up my father and told him to check the garage. My father found me seizing and choking. I also fell asleep while driving. He turned the car sharply before we went off into a river.

6. When I was around 11 years old, I heard scissors snipping from my parents’ bathroom, which was next to my bedroom. This happened every night from around 1 to around 1:30. After about three months it stopped, and the dream I had that night was about a witch looking thing dragging its nails against my back and the next morning my back was covered in scabs that looked like someone scratched my back.

7. I went on a late night history tour of an old west prison, (supposedly haunted) and felt someone touch me on the shoulder. Looked behind me at the cell door and others on the tour. Turn back around. I distinctly feel three fingers touching my shoulder. I then felt a presence behind me, like the kind you get when you walk past mannequins at clothes stores. But there was no one there inside the cell. This all went within moments. The tour guide told me it’s the “friendly” cell. No one else on the tour experienced anything.

8. I was babysitting my ex’s niece when I was still with him, at their family home. His sister went out with friends that night and my ex was working, so I was alone with baby and my ex’s youngest sister who was only two or so years younger than me. They lived out of the city on a dirt road so they had a BUNCH of land. Their kitchen had large, beautiful windows that almost went from floor to ceiling and you could see over the land where the horses were and some plains and stuff. During the day it was very serene looking out the window because there was no neighbors, nothing you could see more miles except serene tranquility.

This setting changed at night. I was completely terrified of what all of this vast nothingness looked like during dark. I couldn’t see ANYTHING out there, but something could look in and see me. I distinctly remember getting a chill up my spine once the sun had set and shutting the curtains end to end that night I was babysitting. Once it got later in the evening and I was failing miserably at playing Morrowind on a terrible $300 thinkpad laptop (I was not smart), I went into the kitchen to get a drink because it was time to take my meds.

As soon as I stepped into the kitchen, I saw that the curtains were wide open. Not just a little bit, but end to end open. I’ve got ADHD, but I would NOT have left those fucking curtains open because their property genuinely scared the shit out of me at night. The baby was asleep, and my ex’s sister didn’t leave my sight all night either so no one would have opened those curtains.

IT HAUNTS ME DUDE, FUCK. I think about it and get all woozy. I try to be rational but I still just can’t explain it.

9. I actually have a bunch of weird paranormal stories, but there’s one that really creeps me out more than the others.

I was about 13, sleeping over at my friend’s mom’s house. She lived in a duplex that the family lived in for 40+ years. She had a couple of kid-cousins over that weekend, so I didn’t think of it when I saw a small blonde boy in a striped tee come around the corner and peek into the room we were hanging out in. My friend asked me who I waved to, and I just said one of your little cousins.

The next morning we went to the other side of the duplex where her grandparents lived, and I saw a picture on the wall of the little blonde boy with the striped tee on, with “in memory of” written on it. I got a chill and asked her who it was, and she said, “Oh that’s my uncle, he got hit by a car right outside the house when he was 7, in the 80s. Why?” I told her that’s the exact little boy I saw outside your room last night, and she just responded with, “Yeah, he likes to say hi to the family sometimes.”

10. I’m convinced the house I lived in during my freshman year of college was haunted. I also swear that all of this is 100% true. I don’t talk about it because it sounds ridiculous but it happened and I can’t explain it.

The house was 120 years old. My room had a door to the attic that I kept locked. I had 4 other roommates who all swear they weren’t fucking with me.

I was laying in bed one day and I heard a super loud crash behind the door of the attic. I grabbed my big male roommate and we opened the door together. At the bottom of the steps (there were 6 awkwardly shallow steps leading up to a bunch of that pink foam stuff and your typical attic) there was an old painting of some lady. We were creeped the fuck out. Nobody had ever seen the painting before (let alone gone into the creepy attic).

We put the painting in the corner of the attic where it COULD NOT fall and didn’t think about it again.

A few months later I heard the same crash. I figured I dreamed or imagined it. Again, I opened the door and found the painting sitting there.

This time I moved the painting into the basement. There were some shelves and I just threw it in the back of the top shelf.

A couple more months went by. Yet again, late one night, I heard the crash from behind the attic door. I thought to myself “no fucking way.”

Grabbed my roommate again and opened the door. THERE IT FUCKING WAS. That god damn painting was sitting at the bottom of the steps again.

I don’t understand how. I kept the door to my room locked as well as the door to the attic. My roommates couldn’t have gotten in there to play a prank. I truly don’t understand it.

After the third time we took the painting out to the fire pit and burned it. Thankfully, all the creepy shit stopped there. I moved the fuck out of that house as soon as the lease was up.

I can’t explain what happened I just know it was creepy as hell and you could not convince me to go back there.

11. One time when I was nine, I tripped down the stairs and was about to hit my head on the ground head first, but then?

I was just standing at the bottom of the steps like I walked down. Still confused to this day.

12. Three times in my life I saw everything around me freeze all at once, but only for half a second each. It’s weird, but by the 3rd time I knew I wasn’t seeing things. I just knew something was up.

13. We were spending the night at my girlfriend’s (now wife, then a few months into our relationship) dorm, as we usually did (alternating between her building and mine).

Suddenly, in the middle of the night (~3 AM?) , we both wake up at the same time for no apparent reason, both feeling really unsettled, scared even.
Both of us somehow have a very distinct feeling of there being someone else in the room, even though we can clearly see there’s no one there as it’s a single room, only ~16m² (170sqft) big.

We calm each other down and go back to bed.

When we wake up in the morning, one picture on her fridge is now hanging upside down. More specifically the only one containing an image of the two of us together.

The weird thing about this, is that the magnet is still on the bottom side of the picture (so it can’t have been gravity) and the picture is still in the EXACT same spot amidst all the other pictures.

A few days later we found out that a girl who lived in her room more than a decade before committed suicide after a breakup with her boyfriend…

When I think of this logically, it sounds like a silly story. But we both still very vividly remember this as scary as fuck, even though we’ve now been together for 12+ years.

14. Long story short, we knew we had a ghost kid at the house after a few drinks I decided to taunt him by laying a beer bottle on its side and saying, “Timmy, if you’re really here, spin the bottle.” A few seconds go by and nothing happens; then every door in the house slammed open. The front door had a deadbolt on.

15. Haunted house growing up. Things would fly off shelves, heavy objects would move with no explanation, electronics would turn on and off in really creepy ways–lights, radios, etc… My sister and I also both remember seeing this shadow thing standing in the hallways on multiple occasions, but we were little so I generally just write that off as kids with too much imagination. But the rest of that shit? Scary stuff and not generally in the realm of “normal,” at least to me.

16. I was pushed down a flight of stairs by an unseen force that felt like hands. It was this creepy old house being rented to university students and my gf had the upper attic floor, with a set of stairs that lead down to the second floor (real stairs, not the fold out kind). There was a lot of weird paranormal shit that happened in this house, but this one event really stood out.

My girlfriend’s friend had just come over wasted drunk and passed out on her bed. It was irritating cause were horny and wanted to hook up. After an hour of trying to get her to wake up to send her home we gave up and decided the couch would be better, plus she was out cold, so we didn’t think she’d know.

So my gf sits down on the couch and I decide I really should brush my teeth, so I tell her I’ll be right back and head for the stairs. I look at her while I’m going down the stairs and wink. At that moment I feel hands hit my back and I literally fall forward and start rolling down the stairs.

Two cracked ribs and I had to be taken out on a stretcher because I could barely breathe and it hurt like hell to stand up. My gf never wanted to believe what I felt and insisted I must have just slipped, but I know I felt strong hands hit my back.

It took her the longest to start believing that place was haunted, but damn was there some paranormal shit. As far as her roommates and I were concerned, by the time everyone was done living in the house, that event was worst that happened because it got physical.

17. I work alone overnight cleaning a restaurant. There have been quite a few scares, but I’d say the most paranormal was when I heard pleading at the back door one night.

It was short and to the point. A woman’s voice said my name and a man’s voice said, “Let us in.”

I went to look out the window that was attached to the door, and no one was there. As I turned to go back to work, it sounded like something slammed into the door. Knocked my ass to the floor and I scrambled up running to safety.

I had the managers look at the recording that morning when they came in and said they saw nothing. This is only one example of a lot of weird shit that goes on there.

18. Street lights turn off when I walk under them. I don’t mean it happened once or twice, it happens all the time at all hours (as long as those lights are on) and anywhere I might be walking. If I walk right under one, they turn off. It used to scare me when I was a kid, now I barely notice.

This is the only “paranormal” thing that has ever happened to me, I think. Then again, I’d probably get killed in a horror movie because I would refuse to believe in the paranormal.

19. When I was a kid, I had slept in my room, and I saw a lady wearing a black outfit was looking at me behind a window curtain. She just smiled at me. I was paralyzed with fear and wasn’t able to scream. I had seen her about three times in different places in my house, just standing and smiling at me. I wasn’t able to do anything, but after I just ran to my parents and screamed, telling them what had just happened. Since then, I haven’t seen her again!

20. A few years ago I had been out of work for 3 months and had given up hope. On top of that, I had been getting 20-30 spam calls a day, so I had turned off my phone.

I was taking a post-lunch nap when I felt a hand grip my shoulder and gently shake me awake, with a voice saying, “Answer your phone.”

I staggered up and went to my desk and turned on my phone before realizing what had happened. Around 15 minutes later I got a call from a recruiter who had been given my name by a former co-worker. Went for the interview, aced it and I’m still at the job.

I’ve had other weird experiences. We live a couple of blocks from the city cemetery. I’m positive we have tourists coming through, but I don’t know if they’re lost, bored or trying to communicate.

21. When I was a growing up, my mom had a wicker/straw angel decoration. It was as big as I was as an 8 year old kid, and for some reason I always hated it. It was creepy yes, but I got a weird/bad feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I looked at it or had to pass by it and I always felt like it was watching me almost.

When my parents divorced, my mom of course brought the angel with her when she moved out, and in our new house, there was a wall in the living room that had a rectangle cut out so you could see though it and my mom hung the thing up in there so It was kinda just hanging in free space. With it being there I swear to god it would just move on its own (there were no vents or anything near it to move it if the furnace came on).

One time I was sitting on the stairs, (putting socks on or whatever) The stairs were across from the cut out wall with a set of 2 more stairs going down between them, and I would see the angel, originally being still, just slowly turn around all the way to face me and then stop, becoming absolutely still. It freaked me the fuck out. It happened on multiple occasions but I don’t know how to explain why or how it happened, I mean it could have been an overactive imagination as a kid but the turning around and just stopping is reallllllllllllly weird.

Call bullshit if you want, but I know what I saw.

22. My house used to be the largest on the lot before our town expanded. It was the largest because it was a funeral home. They sealed off the room with plaster walls where they would prepare the bodies though, underneath the carpet in my parent’s room is a hatch too.

I’ve seen plenty of things, heard plenty of things and friends or family have said things I have seen.

We have a spirit, ghost, whichever you wanna call it that lives here named Abigail. She’s a trickster, she likes to hide things, move things, open doors sometimes or tease our dogs. Whenever my aunt comes to visit with her family small items tend to go missing. Items like her toothbrush that she set by the sink two minutes ago.

The things here, and there are a few, aren’t as active anymore. Or maybe I don’t see them or notice them much.

23. When we were burning my grandma’s belongings, a small vortex of sparks came up and kept following my sister around, regardless of where she moved in the circle, and there was no wind.

24. My mother passed when I was 22. It was an accident and a shock. My husband and I went 3 states away to stay at her house for a bit to pack things up and settle her estate. I have always had really bad problems with my sinuses. Well the stress and everything got me sick and I had a horrible sinus infection. I had medicine and I was on the couch crying after looking everywhere for it. My husband was sitting next to me holding me.

Then we looked over on the table where the bible was opened and the meds where sitting on the bible. The bible had been there earlier… closed. I remember sitting it there myself. My husband started freaking out because on the page it was opened to a verse was underlined. It was the only one in the whole book underlined. It said… . I usually would not put any credence in this. I was sick and a mess. My husband was not. He is a very levelheaded person when it comes to things like this. Also quite a few other things happened for a while after that. I like to think my mother was trying to help me cope. I really hope she finally found peace… I did.

25. I’ve had many experiences since I was a kid, the one that freaked me out the most though actually happened a few months ago.

I’m only 16, I don’t like sleeping in my room so I sleep on the couch in the living room (my choice and it’s actually really comfy). I also suffer from insomnia and have trouble staying asleep. This being said I’m normally awake when my dad gets up for work at 4 in the morning and will wish him a good day at work and such. I was trying to sleep but I woke up. Having gone through this many times I just kept my eyes shut. Then I felt something that felt like a leg lean against the side of the couch and hover over me, and then I heard heavy and low breathing. It was so loud and sounded like a man so I naturally assumed it was my dad. Since I thought he was trying to check if I was awake I whipped around to try and to scare him but nothing was there. I was so confused that I kinda just sat there for a few moments thinking about what just happened.

26. When my son was about 3.5 years old we were driving home at night with him and his 7 year old brother in the back seat. As we approached an area of the road across from my older son’s former babysitter’s house my younger son clearly blurted out the name “Ashley”. Ashley was the name of the babysitter and she had died the year before in a car accident. My younger son had never met her and neither son knew that she lived nearby because she always drove to our home to babysit. When I asked my younger son what he said, he repeated the name Ashley, and when I asked him why he said that he said “Raven” told him to. Raven was his favorite stuffed animal. My wife and I were stunned and cannot explain what happened.

27. I was once in a class around 4th grade. This girl in a white dress appeared somewhere in the classroom. I observed paralyzed and she disappeared. I thought it was my imagination, but the guy next to me asked me, “Did you see that too?” Still freaks me out.

28. At my sister’s old apartment you could see into the kitchen from the living room. The kitchen cabinets would open and close and her dog would immediately start to bark. One night we were watching a movie and we heard something stumble and hit the ground in her kitchen and the dog didn’t even seem to care. I’m pretty sure we heard a ghost trip and eat shit on her kitchen floor.

29. I was in a classroom alone late at night and a guitar in the corner seemingly plucked a string on its own. I left immediately.

I went back the next night (it was finals week) and as I was leaving, I heard 4 loud steps coming down the stairs I was just on. I waited for a minute to see if anyone would come. Nobody did. I did not return at night for a while.

30. I work nights at a hotel. I was setting up coffee one morning a few years back, and I see someone very tall in the kitchen. We make eye contact. Dude’s wearing an olive green jacket and a pair of jeans. After a second, he lifts his legs at the knees and floats out the door.

Now, if I were just seeing things, I’d have panicked. I’ve hallucinated from exhaustion, and the shit I see scares me. This was there. This was real. It must be a guest or something in an employee area. This has happened a couple times. I take off running to catch this guy and tell him he is not permitted back there.

No one is there, because of course not. The back is empty. I am alone. I was still convinced for several minutes that this guy was just hiding from me and he’d have to come out and I’d be able to talk to him.

Almost a full 5 minutes elapsed before I realized I was literally chasing a ghost.

31. A lady’s voice coming from my closet. The door was slightly opened and I heard the voice say, “Help me. I see you through the crack.” I was scared shitless but I also was curious and wanting to help so I opened the door and no one was there. I’ll never forget this, it still gives me goosebumps talking about it.

32. I used to work at a “haunted” hotel at the front desk. There was a room behind the front desk where you could sit when it was late and no one was in the lobby. There was a TV with the security cameras including one on the front desk so you could see if anyone was out there. You could see the whole front desk, including the classic bell that people ring for service. A coworker and I were sitting in the back room, no one up front, and the bell rang. No one, NO ONE was out there. Over the next hour the bell rang 6 or 7 times, but only when we were in the back. I don’t believe in ghosts, but fuck. This was a nice 4 diamond old hotel that had huge ballrooms and dining rooms that I had to walk through late at night when I was alone. When I worked overnights after that as the only employee in the hotel, I would get freaked out, but never really saw anything else “supernatural.”

33. I was working the counter late at night at Tim Hortons. I heard an older lady set down her china mug and say, “Thanks dear!” Turned around and there was no one in the store. I’m okay with a regular dead customer having one last cup.


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“My Husband Ate 12 DOSES of Ex-Lax. He Thought He Was Dying & I Literally Cant Stop Laughing. Im DEAD.”

“Oh my Gosh, I have never laughed so hard in my LIFE!

So last night my husband took some Ex-Lax. Then this morning, some stuff started going down. Like, literally. He looked at the packaging and realized that when it said to eat 1-2 squares, it meant the tiny squares, not an entire block.

He ate 12 DOSES of Ex-Lax.

Facebook/Abby Jiminez

(Husband, baby, I can see where the mistake was made. With that whole block of chocolate wrapped up like one dose, and it flipped backwards like it was, I get it. But good Lawd, I can’t even with this.)

So, I’m calling Poison Control because he thought he was dying, and I literally cannot stop laughing. I’m barely able to talk, I’m laughing so hard. The guy on the other end probably thought it was a prank call. I swear, I hope they record their calls and enjoy that one at the staff meeting later because even thinking about me trying to explain that my 39-year-old husband just ate a whole brick of Ex-Lax is making me wheeze.

The guy was like, ‘The biggest risks are cramping, dehydration, and diaper rash.’

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I was NOT ready for this dude to come at me with diaper rash. I completely lost it. My husband was so livid (from the bathroom of course). The Poison Control guy kept chuckling and going, “Oh boy. Oooooooh boy. You’ll need to get some Desitin.”


I am not equipped to deal with this kind of crisis. I know it could have been super serious, but OMG

And the funniest part of all is he thought he only took a half dose because he only ate one bar!

Facebook/Abby Jiminez

My husband said the level of diarrhea that hit him was so violent, he immediately knew something was wrong. He said he grabbed the box of Ex-Lax and read it like that scene in the movie Into the Wild when Chris McCandless realizes he’s eaten the wrong berries and he’s going to die.

He’s going to be fine. I’m still crying. I can’t even drink my latte because I keep choking thinking about it and spitting my coffee back into my mug. I had to lay down sideways in a restaurant booth because I was laughing so hard, I couldn’t breathe, three full hours after this happened. I kept clearing my throat on the call with Poison Control like, ‘Ahem. Okay, I know this is serious. Please continue. AHAHAHAHAHA!!!’

He let me share this story. I have no idea why. All I know is it’s a gift to the universe.”

**This post was written by Abby Jiminez and originally appeared on her Facebook page (edited for language) where it has been shared over 200,000 times. Abby is the owner of Nadia Cakes, winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, USA Today Best Selling Author of The Friend Zone, Vageode ™ vagazzler, snack motivated. Connect with her here

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Which Sonos Speakers Should You Buy?

Here at WIRED, we like Sonos speakers. We really do. Throughout the past eight years, we’ve reviewed all of the company's wirelessly connectable speakers, from its small Play:1 to its Beam soundbar, and we've recommended every one of them. But it’s not cheap to turn your home into a Sonos-powered shrine to sound. Like Apple products, Sonos speakers sell at a premium, starting at $100 for a basic bookshelf speaker. But which ones should you buy? Read on for my recommendations.

Updated August 2019: We've added in the new Sonos/Ikea Symfonisk speakers, which were added to our picks, and updated with info about Google Assistant support, which finally arrived after several delays.

When you buy something using the retail links in our buying guides, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Read more about how this works.

1. Best Sonos Speaker

Sonos One


The Sonos One (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is just about the smallest Sonos speaker, but it still packs enough oomph to fill most rooms and its hands-free Alexa and Google Assistant integration is a lot of fun. Sonos took the time to make Alexa sound great, and thanks to its voice commands, the Sonos One has become my go-to speaker. Alexa and Google voice commands work like normal (though you must choose between them). It can play music, tell you the weather, find a recipe, and answer simple questions, like any other smart speaker. It also works with Siri via AirPlay 2.

I'll recommend other Sonos speakers in this guide, but you also can’t go wrong just buying two to four Sonos Ones to fill your house up. You get a small discount on orders of two or more. They’re much more affordable and their small size means you can hide them in any room.

Buy the Sonos One for $199 at Amazon and

Play:1 is a Good Alternative: The Play:1 is $150 at Amazon and It sounds about as good as the Sonos One, but doesn't have touch controls or microphones for Alexa. If you already own a One, it's a good way to add more satellite speakers to your home.

2. Best Speakers to Fill Out a Room

Sonos and Ikea Symfonisk bookshelf speaker


With the Symfonisk bookshelf speaker, the entry price for a Sonos speaker has dropped by $50. If you want to network a few speakers together for a larger room, or connected rooms, it's the cheapest way to do it. Sonos collaborated with Ikea on this one, which is why it's more affordable and slightly less pristine than the others in this guide. It's been a while since a Sonos speaker had physical buttons, for one. Looks aside, it sounds almost as good as a Sonos One. You can mount it right to your wall or stand it upright on a bookshelf or table.

It doesn't directly take audio commands because it has no mic, so you'll need a Sonos One, Google speaker, or Alexa speaker that you can yell at if you want to control it with your voice. Other than that, it does everything you'd want a Sonos to do. The Sonos Symfonisk table lamp costs $180 and also sounds great; if you like its style, go for it. Read our dual review to see what they both look like.

Buy the Sonos/Ikea Symfonisk bookshelf speaker for $100 at Ikea

3. Best Party Speaker

Sonos Play:5


If you really like to party, I recommend adding a Sonos Play:5 (8/10, WIRED Recommends) to your setup. It has enough kick to dial a party up to 11, or just really annoy your neighbors. I placed mine in the largest room of my apartment and it was honestly more power than I needed. Sonos boasts that this model has six Class-D digital amplifiers: three tweeters, three mid-woofers, and a phased speaker array. In practical terms, it will fill a very large room or basement with ease.

Out of the four standard Sonos speakers I tested, this one delivered the largest range of sound, with enough thump to satisfy fans of any genre. It's worth noting that it does not have microphones, so it cannot be used hands-free with Alexa or Google Assistant.

Buy the Play:5 for $499 at Amazon or

4. Best Sonos Soundbar

Sonos Beam


The Beam (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is one of three soundbars that Sonos offers. It doesn't sound quite as expansive as the older, larger Playbar, but it is more precise in the upper range and sounds fantastic overall. Its smaller size and extra features are worth the size tradeoff. It's $300 cheaper, too.

Unlike the Playbar, it can connect to your TV via HDMI ARC, letting you turn your tube on and off with your own voice. It has Alexa, Google Assistant, and Airplay 2 built-in. Even if you don't particularly need a voice assistant today, you may change your tune in a few years. If you own a Fire TV Stick (our TV streaming device guide), it's also possible to use basic Alexa commands on the Beam to watch any TV show or movie, though no voice assistant works well enough to replace a remote control yet.

Buy the Sonos Beam for $399 at Amazon or

Save Up for the Subwoofer: Sonos hasn't yet released a more affordable Sub to match the cheaper Beam. The standard Sub is superb, but it will cost you $699 on Sonos or Amazon. Don't bother buying surround speakers until you own a Sub. It will make a more profound difference.

5. Best for Big Home Theaters

Sonos Playbar


A soundbar can make all the difference in a home theater, and costs a lot less than a full surround sound setup. The Sonos Beam is great for apartments, but if you really want a powerful soundbar, the Sonos Playbar (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is still the best. With more mid-woofers, it delivers deep bass and has more balance and depth than the Beam or Playbase. It's also built to hang on a wall, but at just over 3-inches tall and 5-inches thick, it can sit in front of most TVs without hassle.

If you plan to spend the extra money to buy the Playbar, try to save up $699 more to get a Sonos Sub. It's the second best investment you can make to improve your home theater experience.

Buy the Playbar for $699 at Amazon or

Playbase is Good for Pedestal TVs: The Playbase (Playbase sounds a little sharper than the Playbar on high treble sounds, like cymbals, but it's still one of the best soundbars you can buy. It's made to sit under your TV and costs $699 at Amazon or

6. Best Sonos Surround Sound Setup

Sonos Beam, Sub, and 2 Play:1s


To enable surround sound with one of its soundbars, Sonos requires two rear speakers, one for the left and one for the right. You can use any two speakers, as long as they're identical. I’ve used two Play:5 speakers, but it’s overkill. Two Sonos One speakers are a better match, but if you are getting a Beam, it has mics in it, so save $100 and get two Play:1 speakers. They sound just as good. You can save another $100 if you buy two Sonos/Ikea Symfonisk speakers, which also sound outstanding.

This is one of the easiest wireless surround sound systems to set up. Simply place the speakers you choose to the left and right of your couch, then open up the Sonos app, add a surround speaker, and follow the instructions while the software does the rest. They don’t add as much benefit as you get from a Beam and Sub combo, but if you watch a lot of movies and want to hear things like TIE Fighters flying over your head in Star Wars, you’ll like the extra surround.

Sonos sells Sanus Speaker Stands for $100 and Wall Mounts for $60. I have not tested these, but do not see any major red flags. More accessories are listed below.

Buy the Beam Sub 3.1 bundle for $1,098 at Amazon (or and 2 Symfonisk speakers for $200 at Ikea

Not Near an Ikea? Try These Bundles: this Beam 5.1 Surround bundle costs $1,299 at Amazon ( and comes with a Sub and two Play:1s. I recommend it highly. If your room is large, this Playbar 5.1 Surround bundle for $1,678 at Amazon ( sounds phenomenal.

Sonos Accessories


Sonos released a few new accessories in 2019. The company has worked with Sanus on stands before, but it now sells a shelf and stands for its smaller speakers. You can also buy them bundled with the Play:1 or Sonos One.

What’s WIRED about Sonos speakers

After flooding my home with every Sonos model you can buy (and filling all remaining space with the boxes of said speakers), I’ve come to value their audio fidelity and ability to seamlessly network together. Here are my favorite aspects of Sonos:

  • Simple Setup: It’s incredibly easy to set up these speakers. The Sonos app guides you through the process of starting a new system, or adding speakers to an existing system. There isn’t another speaker system that lets you string together multiple speakers as easily, or connect them up to stream in different rooms of your home while keeping the audio perfectly in sync.

  • Easy Streaming: The Sonos app supports almost every streaming service in existence, and many apps, like Spotify, let you stream to Sonos speakers within them. The Sonos ecosystem can also handle home theater applications, and can support a full surround sound setup.

All Major Voice Assistants: Unlike most "smart" speakers, Sonos speakers will connect to any one of the big three voice assistants: Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple Airplay 2. You do have to choose one assistant at a time, but they're fully functional, with the exception of some phone calling functionality through Alexa.

  • They Sound Amazing: Sonos speakers are all high quality and deliver consistent, appealing sound. It’s easy to argue that Sonos hardware is too expensive, but it's difficult to fault the way they sound. Not every Sonos speaker is the same, but they have an elegant synergy and sound that no other speaker system seems to have. If you have a few speakers in a room, it’s hard to tell where the sound is coming from. The crystal clear music engulfs you.

  • Spotify Voice Controls: Spotify can now be accessed using Alexa or Google Assistant voice control on the Sonos One and Sonos Beam. If you have one of these speakers, you can set Spotify as your default music service. Then, when you ask Alexa or Google to play something, it plays it directly from Spotify. (Of course, you can set any available music service as your default: Amazon, YouTube Music, and so on.)

What’s TIRED about Sonos speakers

As amazing as Sonos speakers sound, and as seamlessly as they connect together, they still have some limitations, both in application and technology. We don’t think these are dealbreakers (yet), but you might.

  • Aging Connectivity: The tweeters and woofers inside Sonos speakers still sound amazing, but the way they connect to your network (or TV) is dated. Sonos speakers only have 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g, which means that they cannot connect on the sometimes faster/cleaner 5 GHz frequency commonly used today (though some of them do use 5 GHz to communicate with each other). I have yet to notice loss in fidelity or have dropouts on a Sonos, but the lack of support for today's Wi-Fi standards, including N/AC, may eventually haunt these speakers. If you do have issues, the best solution is to connect one of your Sonos speakers directly via ethernet. It will share its faster connection with the others. Sonos’ soundbars (except the Beam) also rely on optical cables, lacking modern ports like HDMI, and newer standards like Dolby Atmos. They do still sound amazing, though.

  • No Batteries or Bluetooth: None of the speakers have battery power or Bluetooth, so you cannot use them outside of your home. You can unplug and move them from room to room, but it's not exactly encouraged—the app has you tune their sound to each space and give them names like "Kitchen."

  • You Must Use the Sonos App (mostly): Sonos has done an admirable job updating its speakers with new features through its app, but the app is still the only way to listen to some sources of music. Sonos is slowly freeing services from its app, allowing you to directly broadcast to any speaker within the normal Spotify, Tidal, Audible, and Pandora apps, for instance. For others, you’re still stuck using the Sonos app, which functions fine, but isn’t ideal.

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30 Myths About Men Its About Time To Shatter

These men from Ask Reddit want to set things straight.

1.  I give a shit about my wedding day. I cannot believe the amount of people (mostly ladies) who just straight up assumed, “All you have to remember is where to be and to say I do right? Haw haw haw.” Fucking annoying. I had ideas of how I wanted it to look and how I wanted it to go as well. But my goodness, not a single person thought I gave a shit even though I constantly was trying to give my take on stuff. It was always met with, “Oh you don’t need to worry about that” or “oh the ladies will figure that out.” Like, this is infuriating.

2. If we take long in the bathroom, we are not always jacking off, sometimes we’re just enjoying a long shower or browsing memes.

3. How we can’t do laundry, cook, raise kids, or anything without our wives coming to show us how.

Look, assholes, I’m single and I do all my own cleaning, laundry, dishes, etc. I have never stared at a mop like it was a plasma death ray, nor have I ever had to rush out to buy dinner because I burned mine (well, a few times when drunk, but that’s not the same thing).

I also am capable of taking care of a baby without having to call a woman to give me directions.

4. That we are emotionless. Sometimes it is not the right situation to show how you are feeling. Just because I am not showing it doesn’t mean I am not feeling it.

5. I have personally never talked to a guy friend about how their girlfriends are in bed, or really anything about their sex lives.

6. We actually love the attention just as much as women do. And cuddling too.

7. We think about sex every 7 seconds.

8. That men don’t have self-image issues. You only get to hear about body positivity when it’s about women’s bodies.

9. “Men have to make the first move.” This is in the context of relationships, not sex. I. hate. this.

10. That all men cheat. I know just as many women that cheat, as well.

11. That every erection means that we are horny.

12. If a man refuses sex , then he is no longer interested in his SO or finds her unappealing or has a side chick. Some days are so stressful that we just want to hit the bed and sleep.

13. Masturbation means we’re sexually unsatisfied. Does having dessert mean that I hated dinner?

14. Men aren’t always okay. Most men are in severe need of emotional support but are so deprived of it because if we ask for help we are seen as weak or unattractive.

15. That we are inherently violent. I’m hard pressed to find anyone violent. In 2019, with the exception of public freak outs, people in general seem to avoid conflicts at all cost.

16. Most men have zero issue asking for directions. I don’t like being lost, it’s god damn annoying.

17. That if we turn down sex/unwanted sexual advances there’s something wrong with us, or that we should enjoy/be grateful every time we get approached. No, I don’t like the fact that stranger just grabbed my ass and tried to stick her tongue down my throat. Wtf is wrong with you?

18. “All men are the same.” First of all, don’t mix us up with your stupid ex.

19. I like cute things and it does not emasculate me to talk about them. I baby talk at my dogs (don’t fucking act like you don’t), I like pointless anime garbage that’s sole purpose is to tickle the cute sensors in your brain, and I like seeing girls wear cute clothes regardless of whether or not I want to see those clothes come off.

Now, I said it doesn’t emasculate me to enjoy these things, but I still can’t do it out loud because everyone else is such an insecure pussy that I’ll get harassed until the cows come home and leave and come back again.

20. Men love it when women drop hints instead of being blunt. No, that shit’s confusing.

21. That we need soap, shampoo, and conditioner all in one, because we don’t know how to wash our ass correctly.

22. That men cant be victims of abuse or domestic violence from women. Yeah, we can, and statistically, if we report it, there’s a solid chance that we’ll be the ones going to jail for it, even if all we did was take it and not fight back. Screw that.

23. That only creepy men enjoy being around children.

24. Men don’t cry.

25. Men only talk to women because they want something from them.

26. Apparently gender roles only exist when it comes to fixing something. I don’t know why my wife continues to think that because I was born with a penis, I know how to re-finish a deck, or repair our dryer, or put new lighting up in our kitchen….

27. I fucking LOVE Bath and Body Works.

I love mojitos, margs, and other fruity cocktails.

I will always buy pads/tampons when asked.

I cry sometimes.

I can point out/notice a good-looking guy (as a straight guy). This is the one that gets me the most – sometimes I feel like I can’t compliment a new haircut or whatever. I hate the “no homo” thing – a compliment isn’t gay unless you make it gay!!!

28. That they don’t need compliments. I hate it when I do it to my male friends and some other acquaintance will overhear and tease me for it. But when I do it to a female friend, nobody gives shit. I believe that guys deserve to be complimented sincerely once in a while, like everybody else.

29. I wouldn’t call it a myth, but when a guy is helpful around the house and just courteous in general, sometimes a woman will say, “your wife/girlfriend has trained you well!” No, we managed to become decent human beings without a woman’s help, fuck you very much.

30. I hate when I out with my kids people jokingly say, “Are you on Daddy duty?” I’ve never heard someone ask a mom if she’s on Mommy Duty. It’s assumed that men don’t take their kids places and it really annoys me because I work full time but I also get my kids ready in the morning, cook them breakfast, prepare their lunches, eat lunch with them at school once per week, bring them to most doctor and dentist appointments.


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A 6-Year-Old YouTuber Bought An $8 Million House In South Korea… – Perez Hilton

Playtime has never been a more lucrative career.

A 6-year-old South Korean girl purchased a five-story, multi-million dollar property in Seoul earlier this year — all thanks to her YouTube empire.

According to reports, Boram (picture above) bought the 9.5 billion Korean won ($8 million) pad in the suburb of Gangnam through the Boram Family company, which was set up by her parents. The internet star boasts over 30 million subscribers between her two popular YouTube accounts: a toy review channel with 13.6 million subscribers and a video blog account with 17.6 million subscribers. 

For the most part, Boram’s content is probably what you’d expect it to be. One of her most popular videos follows the child making instant noodles using a plastic toy kitchen and then animatedly eating them for the camera.

As we reported, the highest earning YouTuber last year was 7-year-old Ryan Kaji, the star of Ryan ToysReview, who earned an estimated $22 million through his channel in 2018. Since launching the channel in 2015, Ryan has attracted over 20.8 million subscribers with videos showing him reviewing toys and games, playing with his mom and dad, and performing a few fun “challenges.”

Another prolific toy reviewer is 5-year-old Tydus, who appears on his family’s YouTube channel Trav and Cor, which has 3.1 million subscribers.

There are several ways in which YouTubers can make bank. Many big time vloggers take a cut of the ads that play on their videos and partner with brands to sell merch or include products in their videos. In Boram’s case, she sometimes links to the products featured in her video reviews.

It’s turning into a YouTuber’s world, Perezcious readers… whether you like and subscribe to it or not.

[Image via YouTube]

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What to expect from Samsungs Galaxy Note event

Samsung’s never been particularly good at keeping things under wraps. That’s no doubt, at least in part, by design. The company loves priming the rumor pump ahead of product announcements, and like clockwork, we’ve already seen plenty of what we expect is planned for next Wednesday’s Unpacked event in Brooklyn.

Samsung targets iPad Pro with the Galaxy Tab S6

Earlier this week, Samsung announced the Galaxy Tab S6, its latest shot against the iPad Pro. Doing low-key product announcements ahead of events has become a bit of a thing of late. Apple and Google both did it earlier this year. Among other things, it’s a way of letting the world know that you’ve got more stuff to announce than a single event could possibly hold.

It seems like Samsung’s got a fair amount lined up for Wednesday, but the big show at Barclays is really about one thing:

The Galaxy Note 10


Duh, right?

If there’s one thing Samsung likes more than devices, it’s a lot of devices. Following on the heels of a bunch of new Galaxy S devices, the company is expected to release between two and three new models.

The big news here is the expected addition of a Plus or Pro model. For whatever percentage of the population that’s been holding off on buying a Note over concerns that the screen just isn’t large enough, the new model is a expected to support a 6.8-inch display compared to the standard Note’s 6.3 (both AMOLED). That’s definite tablet territory, but Samsung’s made great strides on the body-to-screen ratio front, so it may not be the size and weight of a manhole cover.

A third model, which is more wishful thinking than full-on rumor for now, has the company releasing a 5G model. It makes sense from a strategy standpoint. Samsung released an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink version of the S10 with 5G last month, and the company clearly prides itself at being one of the first to bring the tech to market — even though carriers haven’t really caught up.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review

Rumors point to a triple-lens camera this time out, including a 16-megapixel ultra-wide on board, while the Pro/Plus is getting a depth-sensing time of flight sensor. Internally, we expect the addition of the Snapdragon 855 Plus. The Note would be among the first to sport the newly souped-up chip announced by Qualcomm a couple of weeks back.

Charging is expected to be sped up to support the beefy 3,600mAh/4,300mAh batteries, and 8/12GB of RAM are expected on the standard and Plus models, along with 25GB of storage.

Oh yeah, and then there’s that dongle.

Galaxy Watch Active 2


It’s been less than half a year since Samsung showed off the original Galaxy Watch Active, but the company is rumored to already be ready for part two. Available in both 40 and 44mm versions, the watches are said to bring ECG detection and fall monitoring, following recent additions for the Apple Watch. Rumors also point to the removal of the spinning physical bezel in favor of a touch version.



More information on the Galaxy Fold seems like a no-brainer. We got a rough time frame of September a couple of weeks back. I’d anticipate something more specific on the long-awaited and much-delayed foldable, along with some more information on those fixes.

Similarly MIA is the Galaxy Home, which was announced this time last year. We still don’t have a specific date on the company’s HomePod competitor, in spite of rumors that the company was already working on a cheaper version. Or maybe Samsung would rather sweep the Bixby delivery device under the carpet altogether?

All will be revealed on Wednesday, August 7, starting at 1PM ET/11AM PT.

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People Are Posting Hilarious Photos Of Their Irish Wolfhounds, And Its Crazy How Large They Are (38 New Pics)

Irish Wolfhounds have a majestic heritage that is believed to date back to 391 AD. Named for their mix, Wolfhounds were used by the Gaels as hunting dogs, who called them Cú Faol (wolfhound). While they might sound like the stuff of legends – they are now known as sweet, affectionate and sometimes silly pets. According to the official the World Canine Federation standards, their desired height is 32 inches (81cm) to 34 inches (86cm).

The tallest of all the American Kennel Club breeds, this enthusiastically large breed of dogs might look intimidating from afar but as their owners can prove in these photos they are just loveable goofballs. Scroll down below to check out this Bored Panda list of hilariously adorable Irish Wolfhounds we have collected from our readers that sent us the pics of their giant dogs as well as some pics found on the internet. Don’t forget to upvote your favs and if you want even more, check out our previous post on Irish Wolfhounds as well!


Murphy At 8 Months, He’s Now 4 Years Old And 165lb


If Lincoln Can’t Be A Couch Dog Then She Will Be A Floor Person


We Want Your Toast!


My Irish Wolfhound, Sitting On Grandma’s Lap. He Has No Idea How Big He Is


Big Ron And Big Ern




Christmas Morning Pjs


Just A Lap Dog


Gilligan Sharing A Birthday Kiss With 110 Year Old Mariette


Throwback To When The Grass Was Green And It Was Just Her And Him


Dog-Head Is Served. Enjoy Your Meal!


Looks Like They’re About To Drop The Hottest Music Album Of The Year


Beauty And The Beast


Manager Amber Is 5ft… Moose Is One Big Boy!


Happy And Houndy Thanksgiving!


Floki. He’s Such A Sweetheart!


Favorite Place To Nap

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Sloane Got To Sit On My Lap. He Wasn’t Excited At All…


This Is Guinness. He Just Passed Last Month At 9 Years…


My Dad, Who Always Complains About The Dogs


My Boy Fezzik

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Ever Get The Feeling Someone’s Watching You?


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How He Lies In The Kitchen Waiting For Something To Fall


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The Space Cowboy And The Gangster Of Love


Huge Paw Or Small Hand?


Jarvis Watching His Boy


This Gang


When You’re The Size Of A Couch

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Stanley, 38 Inches At Shoulder, 101 Kilos (223 Pounds) Of Pure Love


My Buddy Chester Almost One Year Old Irish Wolfhound. He Wanted To Look Out The Window


Naps And Cuddles With Hoomum


Meet Winnie The White Wolfie


Partners In Crime


Me And Auntie Terri

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30 Scary NOPE NOPE NOPE Experiences To Read Tonight


In my old job, I used to cycle home from work along the country backroads just before midnight. There were no streetlights along those roads and I hated cycling on the main road because I was anxious about being in the way of traffic. I had an LED light that was fixed to the front of my bike, though. Anyway, I was on my way back home from work one night, and after turning a corner, my light shone on someone who was sitting with their legs crossed in the middle of the road.

The guy was just sitting there in complete silence and darkness by himself. I pulled on the brakes and stopped in front of him and asked if he was alright. He just looked at me and said that he trying to get to a location that was approximately 20 miles or so from where we currently were. I told him that, and he said that he knew and that he was waiting for someone else. Then he got up and walked off into one of the nearby fields without saying anything.

I had another encounter with this same person a week later in the exact same spot. It honestly gave me the freaking creeps… especially when he said that he’d found who he was looking for. Turns out the guy was waiting for a specific car to drive that way. The owner of said car was someone he loved (but was with someone else), and he was planning to kidnap her. I found this out when I saw his face in one of the local newspapers not long after this incident. He’d been arrested for sexual assault and attempted murder.


My wife was stationed in Hawaii when they had the false incoming missile warning. I was not. She called me and we basically said our goodbyes. Then she lost phone service. I thought that was it. She called me back only a few seconds later, but it seemed like an eternity.


Probably the aftermath of a grand mal/tonic-clonic seizure in which I fractured a vertebra. I woke up on the ground with two strangers over me while I was in the worst pain I had ever experienced and I didn’t know where I was or who these people were (turned out to be EMTs) or why I was in too much pain to move. They kept asking really simple questions and I just didn’t know the answers which freaked me out more. It was May and they asked what month it was. I thought really hard and didn’t know and I looked outside and thought it looked like August and gave that as my guess. They asked where I was. I didn’t know that either; it turned out to be my living room.

My girlfriend was also right there, having called the ambulance. They asked me my girlfriend’s name. I said I didn’t have a girlfriend. This was a very different form of negative emotion, I feel so guilty about that even though there was nothing I could have done about it. I also feel guilty about having had a seizure in front of her because it scared the shit out of her.


One day me and a friend were playing in the woods. We spent a good 3-4 hours there because it was sunny and a day before Christmas Eve

I realized I forgot something there the next day. It’s now Christmas Eve, and it snowed a whole inch over night. As I’m walking to the spot where we were. I noticed that someone set up (in a previously trashed area that someone probably camped in) 5 expensive foldable chairs in a semi circle with a ladder and a noose in the middle.

I bolted out of there because if someone is crazy enough to set that up in the middle of the night when it’s snowing on Christmas Eve, then they might have still been there waiting for someone


I once had my foot cut off in a car accident. The doctor reattached it. Lots of nerve damage. I fall down occasionally. Most of the time I don’t. I worry that at some point in my life it will be amputated. I fear the concept of ruining my body.


I was 21 working the overnight shift at a 24 hour pharmacy when a guy ran in with a ski mask and gun and robbed the store. He made me get on the ground and took my coworker to all the registers and empty them in to bag, then ran out and jumped into a getaway car and drove off. Still had to finish my shift after that, too.

He and his accomplices were arrested a couple weeks later and he did six years in prison for armed robbery. I got a notification in the mail from the state when he was released. Gee, thanks.


I got a call from a unsolicited number. I answered and it was a guy saying he was going to come to my dorm room and kill me. He then went into graphic detail about how he would do it, he went on about it for like 5 minutes before i finally hung up. He then called again, and i didn’t answer but he left a voicemail. I called the police, and it was a person out in Vegas. They said it was a prank… So many questions still. How did they know my name? How did they know i was in a dorm? I was super on edge for the remainder of that semester.


Growing up I had a bad relationship with my 3 older sisters, but particularly the one closest in age to me. There isn’t one moment in particular but a series of them.

When my parents would go off on dates there were too many times where my sister ended up chasing me with a knife and she wasn’t just playing around. She meant real harm. We would spend 15 minutes on opposite sides of the table running around it, trying to prevent my sister getting close enough to stab me ,all the while trying to get to the phone so I could call my parents. Then try to get to the bathroom because it was the only room with a lock on the door. She would then sometimes threaten to come into my room and kill me in my sleep. I would pile laundry baskets and dishes near my door when I went to bed at night so the noise would wake me if she tried to get in.

My sister would get in trouble sometimes but usually it was chalked up to normal sibling rivalry. And I was gaslighted by my parents into thinking it WAS normal.


Amphetamine induced psychosis. I spent a period of time addicted to crystal meth, and the psychosis one goes through after having not slept for days at a time is scary.

You see “shadow people.” You believe everyone is out to get you. Every conversation out of your earshot is about you. Your delusions become very real. At one point I though there were leprechauns that were out to kill me. I saw the leprechauns. I heard them whispering and plotting against me. It’s insane. I’m so glad that’s in the past!


When I was in high school about ten years ago I was home alone while my mom went to pick up my brother and before my mom left she told me to bring the dogs in. Now we had two beagles: one that was friendly but barked loud and an older one that we had gotten from the shelter was extremely protective and was not afraid to show his teeth. I ignored her and left them outside for a bit.

I was in the back part of the house and was on the computer when I heard a noise. I walked to our front room and saw a young guy near the front door who knocked. I stood slightly out of sight and saw him walk near our window and then back to the door and knocked again but also tried the door.

Immediately, my blood went cold and I rushed to the back door and quietly yelled for the dogs to come in. They ran in and I herded them to the front room and I heard the mailbox slot open. Right away my older beagle got on the defensive and growled the “I’m gonna fucking bite you” growl while the other one barked. I got my phone and called my mom and begged her to come back home which she did with my brother. They looked around and saw no other signs of entry. I triple check every door now and even though those two dogs have passed away, I keep our current dog near me when home alone.


Got caught in a riptide 200 yards of shore with all of my family, including my at the time 6 year old little sister. We all made it out fine except my dad. He was so exhausted from carrying my sister that he was barely able to stay afloat, they had to send a rescue crew to get him. We all made it out alive, thank God.


I’ve actually never told this story before but when I was about seven I was lured into a shed by a person who had in the past sexually assaulted me. I guess they were afraid I was going to tell so they tied my long shirt sleeves behind my back and slowly covered my nose and mouth with duct tape and left me laying there. It was like falling down a long tunnel. I had left my mouth open slightly so I started pushing with my tongue to break the seal around my mouth as I worked my hands free. I managed to get out and I was so scared I never told anyone. it’s honestly the only time I remember fearing for my life.


Since about a year and a half ago, I’ve been treated for schizophrenia. I don’t have a lot of hallucinations besides some voices as I’m going to sleep, and my delusions weren’t paranoid delusions, but more grandiose and religious. Anyway, I was treated after I designed and built a miniature guillotine out of 3D printed parts and a box cutter blade and used it to cut my tongue off. I actually only managed to cut it about half off, so they reattached it and I can speak and eat fine now. But it took me months to plan this and build the device, and every morning as I woke up and I struggled to pull my dreams apart from reality, I had to realize over and over again that the horror hidden in my desk a few feet away was not a dream, but something very real that was going to hurt me very bad. Every morning that my mom came to wake me up, I hoped she would somehow see it and help me. But I couldn’t get my thoughts together until I was awake, and when I was awake it wouldn’t scare me anymore. So I never cried for help.


When I was younger, my brother was driving me home, at night, from a 4H model railroading meeting. This was February in Indiana and we were driving on country roads to get home. We came to a stop sign and when my brother touched the brakes to slow down the SUV we were in went sideways on black ice. In an attempt to save it he over corrected and we ended up in this slow angled decent into a drainage ditch.

When the drivers side tire went into the icy black water of the ditch, the truck slowly lurched onto the drivers side and then upside down into the water. Black freezing deck began rushing into the truck and I nearly lost my mind. My brother put his hand on the ceiling and released his belt, and I tried to do the same, but being 5 years younger and in near panic I couldn’t get my buckle undone, so I had to use both hands and fell into a clump on the floor.

We clambered to the back of the vehicle and my brother began kicking the side window to no avail. At this point I had enough wherewithal to find a pair of my dad’s needle nose pliers and shatter the rear windshield so we could climb out.

The water was only like 2 feet deep, but I didn’t know that while I was upside down and water began rushing in through the door seals. I cut the crap out of my hand shattering the rear window.

The most important thing that happened that frigid night was a douche bag in a camaro blew right past us while we were standing next to the road and then a couple in a minivan pulled up to the stop sign a minute later and drove us all the way home. Like 30 minutes out of their way. I still stop anytime I see someone in need because of them.


Watching the news and seeing an old coworker on the evening news. He had been convicted of murder by bludgeoning and realizing he used to work with me on early shifts to “keep me safe”


I consider myself a rational person. Of course, most people would believe that of themselves, however objective they try to be. This is something that happened to me and a friend around eighteen years ago.

I was hanging out with him and his cousin in his new house. This was a somewhat busy area near to a major commercial center. At around 9 pm we decided to take a walk to a convenience store for food. His cousin decided to stay at the house. It took us 30 minutes to get to the store. There was a fair amount of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. On the way back we both started getting this really weird feeling. It’s hard to describe now but both of our experiences matched up when discussing it later on. It felt like the air was much lighter. Thinner. The street seemed odd somehow. Out of place. All of a sudden there were no cars or people around. Everything went dead silent. This continued for a few minutes and we both started walking faster.

What freaks me out to this day and what I could never explain is this: Both our watches stopped working. My digital and his analog. His watch stopped at 9:41 pm. He was later able to get it fixed… mine was dead for good. When we got back to the house, it was minutes to 11 and his cousin was freaking out. We were gone for an hour longer than we were meant to. There was no way we could have taken that long to get back. If anything, we walked faster than we did getting to the store. It’s something I usually don’t like thinking or talking about. Neither does my friend for that matter.


Having a dream my grandfather shot himself and about a month later actually hearing him shoot himself.


When I was a teenager my mother in a bipolar frenzy slammed on the gas while screaming at the top of her lungs in the center divider between the lanes with a foot of snow. I watched the dial turn from 30 to 100 mph in a matter of seconds and really thought she was going to drive into oncoming and kill us both that day.


It wasn’t scary at the time per se, but it was definitely a “oh shit, that could’ve gone bad” moment.

I was in college, and one of the buildings opened up out onto a second-floor patio that then went down some outdoor steps. It was my usual route out of the building, because no one took it, and after a day of class, I really just wanted to leave.

Anyway, one day, I step outside and look down onto the lawn that the patio looks out over.

And there’s a guy down on his hands and knees on the lawn just absolutely screaming and stabbing the ground over and over again with a knife. I’m watching this, and, for the life of me, I’ll never understand why, but multiple students were forming a circle around him and just watching and/or taking photos.

It was clear the guy had lost it, at least temporarily, and he was a definite danger. The campus police showed up and immediately called the city police. They had to do crowd control to get to the guy in the first place, and then it took four or five of them to bring him down and disarm him.


I used to do some urban exploring but not so much any more. Probably the freakiest experience Ive had was when I was at an abandoned factory with a friend in a rougher part of town. We had been through most of the building at that point and not run into anybody. Ive only ever occasionally bumped into other explorers and thats it.

As we were about to leave, we heard a loud clang hitting the concrete from somewhere behind us and the sounds of footsteps taking off deeper into the building towards a distant exit. Since the footsteps had moved away and I was with my friend, I hurried over to see what made the noise. I discovered a rusty crowbar laying on the floor which I hadn’t seen when we had been in that area earlier.

My guess was someone was planning on robbing us or attacking us but had mistakenly dropped the crowbar and they took off. I had wondered if they had been following us around and how long theyd been doing so, waiting for the perfect opportunity to ambush us. Whether or not they were planning on doing something, someone with a rusty crowbar in an abandoned building in a bad part of town isnt exactly a good sign. Of course, we got the fuck out of there because we were convinced that whoever had just bolted might be trying to get more people to go wait at the exits for us to come out. Sure that was more paranoia than anything. But until we were safely away from that building and back in the car, I was pretty shook up.


Me and 5 other people saw a monster while we were out camping. We were walking through a trail to get to the campsite and we noticed a tall dark tree sized something kinda swaying back and forth about 50yds from us. We all turned around and ran immediately. Worst part is none of our parents believed us at the time. They didn’t even question why we came home the first day into what was supposed to be a 5 day camping trip


At about this time last year, I found myself standing on top of a bridge, ready to jump. Looking back now, I was terrified of the constant barrage of intrusive voices in my head, and of the person I had become because of these horrendous, uncontrollable thoughts, but at the moment i just felt as if there was nothing left for me. After having a moment of clarity standing there, I broke down and, for the first time, realized how afraid I was of myself and my thoughts.

I know to the average person this is not as scary as most of the other stories here, but I have been held at gunpoint, almost drowned, among other things, and, for me, this was 100 times scarier than anything else.


Midnight It’s dark out. Home alone. No pets. Mom out of state so I locked the doors. Back deck door was open. The deck overlooked a cliff, essentially, so there’s no way anyone could have come inside that way.

I was watching T.V. all night, sitting on the couch downstairs. I went upstairs for some reason but I was up their for a little while. All the lights were off and the T.V stayed running. Again, I was home alone,

When I walked downstairs some lights were on and the kitchen cabinets were open. I swear the T.V. Sounded louder than before I thought my mom came home or something but her car wasn’t in the garage

At this point I was a little freaked out so I called her but she didn’t answer. She was probably asleep already in Boston. I walked around the corner to see if the front door was open and IT WAS.

I was spooked but then the GARAGE STARTED OPENING. No car came and I waited for a little to see, but no one came.

I was sitting in the kitchen.facing a closet that had jackets that looked like people so I kept freaking myself out.

After a bit I jumped in my seat from fear that someone was in the house and sprinted upstairs to my moms room.

I literally did not sleep that night or next night. Looking back I feel like it was fucking ghosts because nothing happened after that. No sounds or anything.

To my knowledge it wasn’t robbery. I was ten. This is the reason I’m afraid of the dark.


Delirium and hallucinations caused by an intense fever. I was at the beach and probably about 16 at the time. I ate a fuck ton of shrimps ans caught a viral infection. It was me and both my parents in a hotel, but it qas late at night and they were both asleep. I silently walked to the bathroom and locked myself in there. After about 2 hours or so of diarrhea and vomiting, I was severely dehydrated and started firmly believing someone was coming adter me to torture me. I have no idea why this specific thing came into my mind, but I couldn’t think of anything besides “I’m gonna be murdered today”. I panicked hard and started hearing things, like someone outside my room shouting and looking for me. I left the bathroom and decided I was gonna kill myself, so I looked for a knife. Thankfully, there were no knives since it was a hotel room, so I went to the window to jump off. My mother woke up and I collapsed before I could reach the window, then they took me to a hospital and I recovered. I remember it all very clearly and I’ve never felt such fear in my entire life.


I was raped when I was eight. The guy smiled the entire time. He didn’t say a thing, he just smiled.


Some parts were scary at the time, the entire thing is kinda scary in hindsight.

I had a semester in college that broke down who I was as a human being. I have Major Depressive Disorder (that, along with other diagnoses in remission), and this semester was the most emotionally challenging thing I have ever experienced. On top of that, I was still trying new meds.

Essentially, it induced psychosis and amped up my eating disorder tenfold.

I was seeing bugs and feeling them on my body (ears, mostly), and I thought my room and electronics were bugged, so I spent a lot of time covering up holes, putting tape over my cameras, moving my room around to cover outlets and stuff, hiding from my window. Meanwhile, I went three weeks straight without eating, a few more with heavily restricting.

That was pretty rough.

Anyway, im on better meds now lol


Watching my mother go from healthy as a horse to paralyzed and dying from ALS in just a few years and knowing that no one can do anything about it.


Many years ago, when I started my career as a nurse, it was common to see large multi dose vials of potassium chloride in med rooms and nurses stations so nurses could mix potassium IV bags. I worked obstetrics, and we had a floor full new moms and babies. It was common for us to clamp off the mom’s IV after delivery and flush it with normal saline once a shift, just in case we needed to use the IV again. There was even a little indentation on the drug cart specifically to hold the vial of normal saline. These large multi dose vials had a blue label. So did the potassium chloride. One of my coworkers left the potassium in the saline spot. At a glance they were identical. I was going to flush the IVs of three patients, so I grabbed three syringes and filled them with what I thought was normal saline. I got about ten feet down the hall when I literally heard a voice say “Stop, go look what you did.” I had never heard a disembodied voice (and haven’t heard another) so I went back to the cart, picked up the vial, and discovered that I’d come close, very close, to killing someone. Straight IV potassium can stop a heart. I threw the syringes in the sharps container and went in the bathroom and cried for a while, and that started my extreme OCD when it comes to giving meds. Check, then check again at least twice more.

Shortly after this happened, you could no longer find multi dose potassium in med rooms. If we needed to give potassium it came premixed. I’m assuming some nurse somewhere made the mistake I nearly did. I was very young, but it made an impression on me that never left. And any time I’ve trained nursing students I’ve told the story to them, in hopes they would learn from my mistake. I’ve never felt like that ever. Pounding heart, sweat, terror at what could have happened. It’s another reason I care so much about proper nurse to patient ratios and too much overtime. Tired nurses make more mistakes. I’d also like to talk with the manufacturer that decided that something potentially deadly and something totally benign should look close to identical.


Not me, but my coworker. She was showering on the morning of September 11, 2001 and missed a phone call from her ex-husband. He left a message:

“I know we need to get together and tie up the last few details of our divorce settlement, but I’m in New York today and I’m about to walk into The World Trade Center for a meeting. I’ll call you as soon as I’m back in town.”

When the first plane hit, she went into full panic mode and spent all day trying to call and check on him. Of course, all the phone lines were jammed up and it was the next day before she was able to get a call through. He had gone into WTC for his meeting, but the man with whom he was supposed to meet was out sick, so he was out well before that attack started.


Waking up on the side of the road and looking over to see firemen using the jaws of life on a mangled piece if metal that was my dad’s car. He was driving, I was 7. Life was never the same after that.


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Chef Proves You Dont Need $1000 Knives To Cut Slices Like A Pro, It Only Takes 2 Steps

Most of us have daydreamed about becoming professional chefs and wowing everyone with our superstar skills in the kitchen. Sadly, not all of us are equally good when it comes to cooking, and intense training in the secretive ways of the culinary arts seems like a grueling task.
Petteri, a chef from Finland, is here to tell you that absolutely anybody can act like a professional cook — if they know the right techniques. He uploaded a series of photos to imgur, demonstrating how to use average kitchen knives to cut food into ultra-thin slices.

Image credits: hewari

Image credits: hewari

Bored Panda interviewed chef Petteri from Finland about how to properly use cooking knives for cutting food, and how to take proper care of them. Petteri told us that he spent 3 years learning the trade at a hotel, restaurant and catering college, and a further 8 years working at fine dining, a la carte and lunch restaurants, as well as in the catering business.
“You don’t get the benefits of a high-end knife if you use them only for home cooking,” Petteri shared some of his in-depth knowledge about knives with Bored Panda and explained that the main difference between expensive and cheap knives is the quality of steel. “For example, my expensive knives actually dull faster and need more sharpening and maintaining compared to the knives I have at home because they are in constant use. Good mid-range knives last for a lifetime if cared for properly.”

Image credits: hewari

Image credits: hewari

The chef also recommended anyone interested in taking care of their cooking knives to get a whetstone and honing stick: “They are easy to use and the Internet is full of great guides on how to use them. Honing the blade will straighten the blade and keep it sharp and the whetstone will reform the actual blade and remove little nicks and dents from it. Hone the knife when you feel it isn’t cutting smoothly. And use whetstone when you feel that the honing isn’t helping anymore.”

Finnish chef Petteri taught Internet users how to cut vegetables super-duper thin

Image credits: hewari

Image credits: hewari

Petteri warned us that we should never, ever put a knife in a dishwasher. “Rinse the blade with water and use a brush if there is something sticky, rinse and repeat. Avoid using soap and always store knives separately, such that the blade part does not come in contact with other knives and other utensils. I recommend getting a magnetic rack or a knife rack.”

Image credits: hewari

Image credits: hewari

“When testing the quality of a knife, I look for a few things. Is the handle comfortable in your hand? Do you like the grip? Is it well balanced? How fast does it lose its edge? Sadly, there is no sure way to tell if the knife is fantastic on the spot. Usually, after a month of use, I have a clear idea if I like the knife or not. I have had knives made of really high-quality steel but the handle falls apart or the blade is really top-heavy which makes the knife cumbersome to use,” the chef added.

This cutting technique can be used even with very cheap kitchen knives

Image credits: hewari

Image credits: hewari

Image credits: hewari

He also had some final advice for anyone planning on going shopping for cooking knives in the future: “Don’t buy those knives that market themselves as “never needs sharpening” or “never dull”. They actually can’t be sharpened and once it’s dull or you accidentally drop it and the blade nicks a little, it’s gone and you wasted money. It’s important to get the right knife for the right job and I recommend, at the very least, to get one knife for meat, one for veggies, and one for pairing. In the end, it’s not how expensive your knife is, it’s how well you treat and use it that counts.”

Here’s what people had to say about cooking knives

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Nigel Slaters high summer recipes

Make the most of bright summer produce with saffron and yogurt grilled chicken, tomato and roast pepper bruschetta and cherry jelly with orange cream

You come back from the shops with cherries, their skins tight and bright, the colour of beaujolais. Green-shouldered tomatoes too, fat red peppers and a bunch of basil, its leaves as big as bay. A heavy wedge of watermelon perhaps, a cool cucumber and spiky bunches of hot rocket. Summer shopping is frustrating. Peaches or nectarines? Peas in the pod or broad beans? Should we buy radishes and artichokes? We need food for the grill, something to marinade, and yet we still want something of substance. (Seafood for a potato-topped pie, chicken for the barbecue.) From now till late autumn there is almost too much from which to choose. We should make the most of it.

Watermelon, salted ricotta and pumpkin seeds

A halved watermelon becomes a fixture in the fridge from now till early autumn. Its ruby flesh chilled and waiting to become part of a salad or cut thick and brought out on a plate of crushed ice to finish a garden lunch. A watermelon laughs loudest when it is matched with chilli as it is so often in Mexico, but also when in the company of salty cheeses such as feta or ricotta salata.

In deepest summer, I soak iceberg lettuce, bunches of thick-stemmed watercress and white-nippled radishes for 20 minutes in a bowl of ice and water to crisp and refresh. The watermelon needs a good hour or two in the fridge before slicing. The marriage of ice-cold melon, salty cheese and chilli is dazzling. Tweak the amount of chilli flakes to suit your own taste. The batch I have at the moment is fiercely hot, so I proceed with caution, a pinch at a time.

Serves 4-6 as a side dish
watercress 1 bunch
red chicory leaves 100g
radishes 200g
coriander seeds 2 tsp
olive oil 4 tbsp
pumpkin seeds 45g
fennel seeds 1 tsp
chilli flakes a pinch
watermelon 1kg
mint 10 leaves
salted ricotta 50g

Wash the watercress, discarding any tough stems or less than perfect leaves then submerge in a large bowl of ice and water. Separate the chicory leaves, halve the radishes, then add both to the bowl. Leave them for 20 minutes to crisp and curl.

Use a pestle and mortar or spice mill to grind the coriander seeds to a coarse powder. Warm the olive oil in a shallow pan, then add the coriander, pumpkin and fennel seeds, moving them around for a minute or two until they are warm and fragrant. Add the chilli flakes, continue cooking for a minute, then remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Peel the watermelon, cut into thick slices and then into large chunks into a bowl, removing the seeds as you go.

Finely chop the mint leaves, add to the melon then crumble or coarsely grate the ricotta over them. Drain the watercress, chicory and radish and add them to the bowl.

Tip the seeds, spices and their oil over the watermelon and tumble everything together gently then transfer to a serving dish and bring to the table.

Grilled chicken with saffron and yogurt

Grilled chicken with saffron and yogurt. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer

A spice-speckled yogurt marinade is something I use a lot with chicken I plan to grill. It must be said that it does have a habit of sticking to the bars of the grill and the smoke that ensues sets off the fire alarm, so I have taken to browning the marinated chicken under an overhead grill in the oven. The meat shouldnt be too close to the heat, lest the skin brown before the flesh is cooked through. I move the oven rack closer to the heat towards the end of cooking, to encourage a crisp skin. I think a little charring here and there is to be positively encouraged.

Serves 3
saffron a pinch
hot water 80ml
chillies 3 small, hot, assorted colours
garlic 3 cloves
natural yogurt 200ml
chicken thighs 6
rocket 150g
cucumbers 2 small
parsley a generous handful
olive oil 2 tbsp
white wine vinegar 1 tbsp

Grind the saffron to a powder, tip it into a small bowl then pour the hot water over and leave for 10 minutes.

Finely chop the chillies and put them into a large mixing bowl. Peel the garlic, finely chop and add to the chillies, then stir in the yogurt and the saffron liquid and set aside.

Place a chicken thigh skin-side down on a chopping board then cut out the bone with a sharp knife. Open each boned thigh flat, skin side down, then bat out with a heavy weight such as a rolling pin or cutlet bat, till the meat is about cm thick. Submerge the meat in the yogurt marinade and set aside for a good hour.

Put the rocket leaves into a large bowl of ice and water and leave for 15 minutes. Peel the cucumber, then cut into large diagonal chunks. Pick the parsley leaves from the stalks and add to the cucumber, then drain and shake the rocket dry and toss with the cucumber, olive oil and white wine vinegar. (No salt or pepper is needed here.)

Heat an overhead (oven) grill. Line a grill pan or oven tray with foil, lay the pieces of chicken on it skin-side down and cook, a good 15-20cm from the heat source, for 8-10 minutes, then turn over and cook the other side. Check the flesh is cooked right through and adjust the proximity of the oven shelf to the heat as necessary. The chicken should be nicely browned, cooked all the way through, its skin patchily gold and dark brown.

Serve the chicken hot with the cucumber salad.

Hake and prawn pie with a potato crust

Hake and prawn pie with a potato crust. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer

Prawn shells make a light but flavoursome stock. Stuff the usual aromatics in with them bay, peppercorns, parsley stalks but not carrots, which can introduce too much sweetness. I used hake, which was snow-white, cheap and sustainable, but haddock or cod are suitable too, especially if the fillets are thick.

I prefer a filling that is mostly fish, but the recipe lends itself to some improvisation. You could cut down on the fish and add instead a couple of handfuls of lightly cooked and skinned broad beans or a large leek sliced and softened in butter.

Serves 4
raw prawns 500g large
bay leaves 3
black peppercorn 10
water 600ml
floury potatoes such as maris piper 850g
olive oil 5 tbsp
hake 700g
spring onions 3
butter 50g
plain flour 50g
double cream 100ml

Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6. Peel the prawns, putting the shells into a medium-sized saucepan and returning the prawns to the fridge. Add the bay, peppercorns and water to the pan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, partially cover with a lid, then leave to simmer for 30 minutes before removing from the heat.

Peel the potatoes then coarsely grate them. Warm the olive oil in a shallow pan over a moderate heat, add the potatoes and let them sizzle for a few minutes until pale gold. Using a draining spoon or fish slice, transfer them from the pan to a piece of kitchen paper.

Strain the stock and discard the prawn shells and aromatics. Skin the hake and cut into thick pieces about 4cm in length. Roughly chop the spring onions.

Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan, add the flour and cook over a moderate heat, stirring constantly till you have a smooth paste. Pour in the prawn stock, stirring with a wooden spoon until you have smooth sauce. As it bubbles, stir in the cream and a few grinds of salt and pepper. Add the hake, pushing the fish under the surface. Leave them for three or four minutes then add the prawns and the chopped spring onions.

Transfer the filling to a pie dish, scatter the fried potato over the surface, leaving a few gaps here and there. Bake for 30 minutes till the sauce is bubbling up through the crust.

Tomato and roast pepper bruschetta

A scarlet slice with which to start dinner; a light garden lunch or a weekend breakfast, there is almost no stage on a summers day when this tomato toast isnt appropriate. The roast vegetables, sweet-sour and smoky, will keep in the fridge for a day or two. A useful sauce in which to toss bucatini or perhaps gnocchi that you have fried in a little olive oil till crisp.

Tomato and roast pepper bruschetta. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer

Serves 4
shallots 3 medium-sized
red peppers 2 large
cherry tomatoes 1kg
olive oil 6 tbsp, plus a little extra
pine kernels 4 tbsp
beefsteak tomatoes 2
fresh basil 20g
ciabatta 1 large

Set the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Peel and roughly chop the shallots. Halve, seed and roughly chop the peppers. Put the peppers, shallots and the whole cherry tomatoes snugly in a roasting tin, pour over the 6 tablespoons of olive oil and roast for an hour until all is soft and the skins are blackened here and there.

Toast the pine kernels in a dry, shallow pan till golden, shaking them now and again, so they colour evenly. Cut the beefsteak tomatoes into large pieces, put them in a bowl then tip in the pine kernels. Tear the basil leaves from their stems and add them to the tomatoes together with a little salt and a splash of olive oil.

Slice the ciabatta in half horizontally. Toast the cut sides until golden and lightly crisp, then place on a serving board or plate. Crush the roast vegetables to a rough puree with a fork, or in a blender or food processor, and spread generously over the toasted bread. Pile the chopped tomatoes and basil on the toast, cut each piece into four slices and serve.

Cherry jelly

Cherry jelly. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer

Jelly and cream was one of the most looked-forward-to desserts of my childhood, albeit orange jelly from a packet and tinned cream. Dont even think of juicing your own cherries for the recipe that follows. Better I think is to find a brand of bottled cherry juice without added sugar. (Health food stores are a good hunting ground.) I like a soft, barely set jelly that glows in the glass and shimmers on the spoon rather than one you can set in a mould and turn out. Put a spoonful of the cherry cream on top of the jelly and dig deep for a little of both the sweet, orange-scented cream and sour garnet red jelly.

Enough for 6 large wine glasses or 12 small ones
gelatine 7 sheets
cherries 200g
cherry juice 1 litre

For the cream
cherries 150g
caster sugar 3 tbsp
orange finely grated zest of 1 small
double cream 250ml

Place the gelatine in a bowl of cold water and leave for a few minutes to soften. Halve and stone the 250g of cherries for the jelly and divide them between your glasses.

Warm 250ml of the cherry juice in a small pan without letting it boil. Lift the softened gelatine from the water and stir into the warmed cherry juice. When the gelatine has dissolved, stir in the remaining juice and pour into the wine glasses. Place in the fridge and leave for five hours or until lightly set.

Make the cherry cream. Shortly before serving the jellies, halve and stone the 150g of cherries. Put the sugar and orange zest into the bowl of a food processor, and process briefly until the sugar has turned a pale lemon colour.

Pour the cream into a chilled bowl and whisk until it will sit in soft folds (stop before it is stiff enough to stand in peaks). Fold the cherries and most of the orange sugar into the whipped cream. Do this lightly, without further whipping the cream.

Serve the cherry cream with the jellies. I like to pile a spoonful of cream on each jelly at the table and a sprinkling of the remaining sugar over the top.

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