Greetings & Blessings to all,
 Beannachtaí Ná Cásca ort (singular) or oraibh (plural)
Bann-akh-thee nah caw-skah urth (singular) or ur-iv (plural)
 
Welcome to our official spring edition and HappyEaster and/or Passover. Whichever occasion you celebrated, we hope you and yours enjoyed a safe and happy holiday. That also goes for our Scots cousins  who observed Tartan Day on April 6th - wha hhae!
 
As for ourselves, on Easter Sunday, we spent a delightful hour or so visiting with our middle son Scott and his family before heading over to the home of a very old friend Jane FitzGerald. Every year, she   puts on a sumptuous feast devoured by a full table of other old friends; it makes up somewhat  for not seeing all of our children and grandchildren, but we were so late getting home that our plan to finish getting this newsletter out on Easter itself went by the wayside. We could hardly keep our eyes open, let alone finish  these musings and meanderings. Oh well - we know you will understand. 
 
Meanwhile...
Since last we wrote, it seemed like the whole world celebrated St. Patrick’s Day - except us! Sad to say, both Himself and Herself caught a doozie of an illness which put us both out of commission for the good part of three weeks. But, we’re happy to report that Russ is  fully recovered and Bridget is well on her way. So, while we weren’t up to celebrating our patron saint’s  feast day, we certainly hope you and yours had a great time of it. And many thanks to all of you who sent us cards - they were the one bright spot in an otherwise disappointing  day.
 
Onwards
Because of being so under the weather, the drawing following the end of our fund raiser was held quite a bit later than we planned. However, the prizes are now in the mail. Congratulations to JT in Indiana who won The Quiet Man video, JD in New Hampshire who won the Anam Cara book and Judy in Montana who won the Chieftains CD. It always gives us great pleasure to send gifts to our subscribers and we hope to have another drawing in celebration of IC&C’s 10th anniversay in August. It seems so hard that a decade has passed since we began putting the web site together and sending out a newsletter. Back then we were publishing a letter every Saturday - but that came to an abrupt halt when Bridget had her health issues eight years ago. It’s been a long haul back, but we’re happy to report that while things won’t ever be “normal,” it could have been so much worse. Not for nothing did they call Herself the miracle baby and to this day, we are convinced it was the prayers of hundreds of readers and their family and friends who got us through that awful time and out the other side with relatively minor effects - so, a huge thank you once again to all of you who were with us back then and who gave Himself an amazing amount of support when it was most sorely needed. And also, a huge thank you to all of you who sent in a contribution towards our Annual Fund Drive this year; we received many donations ranging from a dollar on up and while the total is substatially lower that in other years, we feel very blessed to receive what we did, given the current tough economic times.
 
Mother Nature...
How’s the weather in your neck of the woods? We ask because it has been one of the warmest months of March in our memory. By the end of the month, the daffodils had been long gone, as were the blossoms on our forsythia bush and our pear tree. Even the magnolias are past their prime and now the azaleas are in full bloom. We don’t know if this is a harbinger of a hot summer - we certainly hope not! 
 
Missed an Issue?
If for whatever reason you think you might not have received one of our newsletters, they  are all archived beginning with the newest one first. Here’s the link: (be sure to copy the entire link into your browser)
http://www.ymlp.com/app/archive.php?&PHPSESSID=3450ae1f68fd263666664910b98c03d7&page=1
 
And last, but most certainly not least...
If this is your first edition, many thanks for subscribing - and please feel free to share it with your family and friends (and do encourage them to sign up for their own copy - the more of us, the merrier, PLUS we are just a few away from that elusive 5000 members). We’re still trying to figure out what might be approprite recognition of our first and our 5000th subscriber - any suggestions would be very welcome. 
 
Enough of the blitherin’, on with the  update: 
 
SPONSOR: Help support this newsletter and our web site by visiting our friends at The Celtic Attic:
Graduations,  First Communions, Confirmations, and Mother’s Day are all around the corner. Find the perfect gifts at the Celtic Attic. Come browse and buy- PLUS, exclusively for our readers, take 10% off your order and get FREE shipping on orders over $50!   The discount will be removed after you place your order. Just put the code IC01 in the ‘add a gift card’ section! 
Contact the Celtic Attic on line or by phone - and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello!
Tel: 1-360-286-2307
On line:
http://celticcallings.com/shopping/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT&Store_Code=CSC&Affiliate=Bridget
 
 IN THIS ISSUE:
From the Mailbag
Links
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
Know Your Irish Books & Writers
Riddle
Home page Update
Events
Leave 'em Laughing
 
FROM THE MAILBAG
We asked people what they planned to be doing on St. Patrick’s Day:
Sharon Murphy Huffman wrote:
I'm happy to say that on St. Patrick's Day we will be in San Diego for the wedding of our son.  He's a US Marine and stationed there for now. The wedding will take place on the beach on Coronado Island.  Now we will have two great reasons to celebrate March 17.
 
Jas Turley wrote:
We did have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day (aka the High Holy Days) in Kansas City celebrating the 3/17th birthdays of our three year old twin granddaughters and our daughter who came down from Fargo. 
 
And Fred in New Hampshire wrote to say they were also attending a family wedding
ED. Note: we hope that whatever everyone had planned, everything went well and you all enjoyed yourselves! 
 
Last month:
Pam wanted to know about Pound Parties; several readers responded
 
Joyce said...
Pam is talking about a 'pounding shower', back in the day, guest would brink a pound of flour, sugar, etc. to setup housekeeping for the bride's kitchen.
 
This is all about a "pounding"~ http://magnoliablossom.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/pound-parties/
 
Pounding invites 
http://www.zazzle.com/pounding+invitations
 
Pamela Boyd wrote
Anglo-indian slang derived from the original pound party, which was a gathering where everyone brought something that weighed one pound.
Now used to describe any party.
 
Becky Smith wrote:
I've never heard of that as a "bride-to-be pound party". However when I was much younger I read a book by Alyene Porter called "Papa Was a Preacher"  in which she talked of the Methodist preacher (minister) and his family being "pounded" when they first arrived in the area to serve a group of Methodist churches in the area. The appointment was (and still is) called a "charge". If you served 4 or 5 Methodist churches in the area, it was a "4-point charge" or a "5-point charge". These days, it's no more than a "3-point charge" -- as far as I know. Since the book was first published in 1944, I assumed that it was a practice that had "fallen by the wayside".  I think it was a way to supplement the minister's small income with food stuff which a rural community was better able to contribute from their gardens and from canning -- particularly during the Great Depression. My father was a United Methodist minister and when I was in college, our family moved to a community where Dad had a  "2-point charge" (2 churches with 2 services every Sunday morning). Their version of the tradition was to "pound" the minister and family every  Christmas.  Each church separately "pounded" us. Theoretically,  the various families each give a pound of some kind of food. The "pounding" usually included canned goods (jellies, jams, preserves, beans, other veggies), whatever fresh or frozen veggies and meats that they had to spare.  
 
Janet Brayden said
Nothing like getting me curious!  I did some searching I found this website for the person who asked about the Pound Party.  http://www.wedding-flowers-and-reception-ideas.com/pound-bridal-shower.html I also found reference to this being a 20th century tradition which also included throwing pots and pans to help establish the newlyweds' kitchen.
 
Mary McCormick says
I ‘googled’ Pound Party and found a few posts (well a lot more than a few). The one below uses a slightly different term but seems to get the idea across and references yet another article.
http://magnoliablossom.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/pound-parties/
 
Veronica needed help with finding inexpensive ties for the staff of a new Irish pub
Pamela Boyd suggested:
Have her go to ebay and type in Irish ties: ties from $ .70 up
 
Mary McCormick wrote:
My mother told me that my grandmother used to make men’s ties, so my suggestion is that the owners find fabric they like, a talented and reasonable seamstress and have the ties made.  It will save money in the long run and they can choose fabrics that are possibly more stain resistant that the expensive woolens ties they’d have to order. 
 
Frank asked for a translation of    
"A hundred Thousand Thanks for Forty Years of Welcomes" Many thanks to Pamela Boyd, Thomas Egan and Bill Smith who all came up with: 
 Céad Míle maith agat as daichead Blianta na bhFáiltí
 
Connie writes:
When we were in Ireland we so enjoyed what we called the pub potatoes. They were usually served with a sandwich much like the American French Fry. These, however were larger and brown and slightly crunchy on the outside.
The Irish Pub cookbooks I have are of no help. Please let me know how these are made.
 
Sabina writes
We are undertaking a project to list all those who returned home to the island of Ireland following World War 1. We have a website which gives details about the project;
http://www.thereturnedww1.com 
Sabina also says if  you would like them to include any of your relatives service details who survived and returned home please write with their names and details  to: PO Box 12186, Blackrock, County Dublin Ireland.
 
 LINKS
Titanic 100
The BBC has put together a special section of articles, ranging from the commemorative cruise on board the MS Balmoral to a Tea Dance Tribute. 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/17488357
 
In memory of Barney McKenna
Young filmmaker Peter O’Brien made this short documentary a year ago, showcasing Barney’s talents and world view. 
http://www.thejournal.ie/video-an-intimate-portrait-of-barney-mckenna-409295-Apr2012/
 
Dublin Handel Festival
This video was taped in 2009 - the 250th anniversary of Handel’s passing on April 14th, 1759. Really entertaining!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIF6_QODdQk
 
Round up your mates for a Guinness
This is hilarious - at least we think so!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=y07at1bU89Q\
 
A St. Patrick's Poem On Shamrocks & Stereotypes - With many thanks to Donna Fetter. http://www.npr.org/2012/03/17/148752482/a-st-patricks-poem-on-shamrocks-and-stereotypes?sc=fb&cc=fp
ED. NOTE: It’s not St. Patty’s Day - it’s St. Paddy’s Day! Kiddies play pattycake - genuine Paddys have nuch more respect for our patron saint and that includes never over-indulging. 
 
Mayo Titanic Cultural Week
 http://www.mayo-titanic.com/_fileupload/Addergoole+Titanic+Society+Events+Guide.pdf
 
Irish Page - Let’s do Lunch
This time around. Jack and Vivian continue their coverage of food and translations. Their latest offering is Lunch and how to pronounce the words and sentences describing  what you might order in Galway where they have the menus in the Irish language or so they’ve heard. Click on the link to view a luncheon menu: 
Click on the link below for a luncheon menu.
http://www.irishpage.com/talk/Talk(2).htm
 
Irish History Podcast - Tellin’ It Like It Was
A remarkable site with an incredible amount of information from the Rise of Brian Boru and the Dái Cas to Changing Times in Ireland and much, much more.
http://irishhistorypodcast.ie/contact/
 
Map Your Vote
Our nephew Ian and his dad Dennis have created a unique and incredibly fascinating web site which involves voting on questions posed by subscribers. We jumped right in with queries related to Ireland and the Irish - for example, What symbol best represents Ireland - the Shamrock, the Irish Flag or St. Patrick. It’s easy and FREE to sign up and there are hundreds of polls waiting for your input. Today’s featured poll is “Do you think Obama deserves a second term”. To visit the site and register, please click
http://www.mapyourvote.com/
 
Life of Flowers
In honour of springtime in the Northern Hemisphere, here is a lovely video set to classical music. With many thanks to our daughter Catherine for sharing this one:
http://player.vimeo.com/video/27920977?title=0&%3bbyline=0&%3bportrait=0href=
 
 
JOKE OF THE WEEK
Seamus O'Brien had been hailed as the most intelligent Irish man for three years running. He had topped such shows as Larry Gogans 'Just a Minute Quiz' and 'Quicksilver'. It was suggested by the Irish Mensa board that he should enter into the English Mastermind Championships. He did, and won a place. On the evening of the competition, Seamus walks on stage, sits down and makes himself comfortable. The lights dim and a spotlight shines on his face. Magnus, the emcee, proceeds: "Seamus, what subject are you studying?" Seamus responds, "Irish history". "Very well," says Magnus, "your first question - in what year did the 'Easter Rising take place?" "Pass," says Seamus. "Okay," says Magnus, "Who was the leader of the Easter Rising?" Seamus responds,"Pass." "Well then," says Magnus, "how long did the Easter Rising last?" Again, Seamus responds, "Pass." Instantly, a voice from the audience shouts out: "Good man, Seamus - tell the English nothing..."
 
SPONSOR: Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good friends at the Irish Lottery:
In operation since 1988, it's one of the oldest online sites in the world. With subscribers in 89 countries it is also among the most reliable. Jackpots are never lower than US $1,500,000 and are frequently worth in excess of US $5,000,000 Here's the best part - you don't have to live in Ireland to play and all winnings are Tax Free! It’s always been a fantasy of ours that one of readers would scoop the big prize, but you can’t win it if you’re not in it. Play from the comfort of home here:
http://www.irishlotto.net/
 
DID YOU KNOW
1. The First Shot of the Rising  wasn’t at the GPO in Dublin - it was in Laois?
 
2. The  Rising took place on Easter Monday - not Easter Sunday?
 
3. It was on Easter Monday, April 18, 1949, that Éire became officially known as the the Republic of Ireland?
 
 
BOOK QUIZ
To begin with, the answers to our previous quiz:
 
1. Discovering St. Patrick by Thomas O'Loughlin
 
2. The St. Patrick's Day Shillelagh by Janett Nolan
 
3. Sacred Ireland by Cary Meehan
 
A round of pints and applause to the following Irish bibliophiles:
 
Francis O'Halloran  Beavercreek, Ohio 
 
Lorraine Creedon
 
Cathy Knapp-Conover
 
Mary Kuhfittig 
 
Deidre Mckiernan-Hetzler
ED. NOTE:  Deirdre is available to escort people on private tours of Ireland. Her father is the acclaimed Dr. Eoin McKiernan, RIP, who founded the Irish American Cultural Institute in 1962 and who also began personally escorting tour groups back to his homeland. For more details, please visit Deidre’s web site:
http://www.tours2ireland.com/small-group-tours-ireland.html. 
 
And now for our next quiz - a feature we are continuing because you let us know you want it to: 
 
Who wrote: 
1. Irish Aboard The Titanic
2. In Search of Great Uncle Pat: Titanic Survivoir
3. Titanic Tears: Leaving Ireland
 
Please send your entries to:
bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
It would be very helpful to put Book Quiz in the subject line. Thanks!
 
 
RIDDLE
First off, the answer to our previous cranium cruncher
You're in a mansion and the power's out. You see a green door and a red door. Pick one (it doesn't matter which.) Now you see a purple door and a orange door. Pick one (again, it doesn't matter which you pick). Now you see a door with a golden handle and a door with a silver handle. Pick one. You finally come to some signs on three doors. One says "Death from drowning," another says "Death from machine guns," and the last one says "Death from electric chair." Then you see a big sign off to the side that says "Or stay in the mansion and starve to death." What do you choose and still live?
A. Death from electric chair (because the power’s out!
As always, our very bright Riddle People had no problem solving this puzze - we had hundreds of correct entries. But congrats to Paul Cavanagh from Seattle Washington  who was first in - well done, Paul. 
Many thanks to all of you who took the time to send in your solution and we hope you have better luck being first with our next head banger.
 
Now on to our next cranium cruncher:
This one was provide by Bridget’s brother Terry O’Faherty across the pond in London England. Go raibh maith agat Terry!
Q: What is the only word in the English language that sounds the same even when the last four letters are removed?"
Please send your answers to Bridget and put Riddle in the subject line. Thanks!
bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
 
 
SPONSOR: Please help us keep your newsletter coming - visit our good friends at Lollysmith Whatever the occasion,   Mother’s Day, birthdays, graduations, weddings or anniversaries, you’re sure to find what you are looking for at  Lollysmith!  Stop by soon and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello. 
http://search.store.yahoo.net/lollysmith/cgi-bin/nsearch?lollysmith
 
THE WEEK THAT IS & HOME PAGE UPDATE
1. Headlines
We comb the Irish newspapers and web sites to find news to start your day with a positive spin. In this section you will also find links to stories from the past two weeks as well as links to the major Irish newspapers, the current time in Ireland and a link to the weather forecast.
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/01News/Home.html
 
2. Weekly County  News
All the news that probably won't make the national headlines. This is a weekly feature we make an effort to publish on Friday.  It is extremely time-consuming and what we need is your feedback as to whether we should continue doing it. Please send your opinions to Bridget at bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com and put Regional Round-Up in the subject line. Many thanks in advance.  
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/01News/HomeCounty.html
 
3. Shops
Looking for the perfect Irish gift for yourself or a loved one? You’re sure to find it in one or more of the Irish shops we feature on our shopping pages. PLUS, when you make a purchase through our site, you are helping to support our efforts - so many thanks in advance!
 
4. Article: Good Friday Haircuts and Seaweed for Dinner
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/GoodFriday.html
 
5. Article: Easter Saturday and a Funeral for a Fish
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/EasterSat.html
 
6. Article: Easter Sunday - The Dance of the Sun at Dawn & a Cake Dance in the Afternoon
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/Easter.html
 
7. Article: Easter Monday Mirth & Merriment at the Market
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/EasterMon.html
 
8. The Irish Kitchen - A Tasty Menu for Easter
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/2Kitch/rEaster2.html
 
9. Basic Irish: Lent & Easter
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/3Focloir/Lessons8.html#Gael33
 
10. Music Review:  This time around, our resident music reviewer William Ramoutar chose The Dubliners - and ironically, it was sent in well before the sad passing of Barney McKenna (RIP), the last member of the original group. May he rest in peace and is hopefully enjoying  a wonderful reunion in heaven with his band mates.
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/AMusic/Ramoutar/Dubliners.html
 
11. April Trivia Contest
The new contest has been posted. All entries must be in by midnight on April 30th, whatever time zone you’re in.
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/TriviaContest.html
MARCH WINNER: Congratulations to Robyn York, USA who chose the Celtic Warrior pendant generously provided by our friends at the Celtic Attic.
http://celticcallings.com/shopping/merchant.mvc?CSC&Affiliate=Bridget
 
12. Circle of Prayer
The third Novena in this cycle began on April 5 and continues through April 14. For your convenience we have posted a list of begin and end dates for this latest cycle on our Circle of Prayer page here:
http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Blessings/CirclePrayer.html
Since last we wrote,  we heard from Patricia Edwards who asked that we keep her and her husband Roy in our prayers. But, Also we ask that you continue to remember Char Marshall who is being treated for a potentially fatal brain tumour. Char is one of our longest and most loyal subscribers and has always been there for us; now, we hope and pray we can enlist your support in being there for her. We also ask that thatever your spiritual leanings,  you remember Joe MckTiernan-Hetzler who was recenly in the hospital,  the Dowds, the family and friends of the McTiernans, the families hit hard by the recent tornados,  and numerous others - especially the men and women serving in the armed forces all over the world. Please God, keep them safe and bring them back to their families soon.
 
So there you have it ...
...until we write again - God willing, at the beginning  of May. If you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event between now and then, we hope it’s an occasion filled with love, joy and laughter. And if you were married in April, or plan on tying the knot this month, here is your special verse:
 
Marry in April if you can
Joy for maiden and for man 
 
We’ll take our leave with this lovely blessing appropriate to Easter:
 
At the breaking of the Easter dawn
may the Risen Saviour bless your home
with grace and peace from above,
with joy and laughter, and with love
And when night is nigh, and day is done
Make He keep you safe from all harm.
 
And, as they say in Ireland, mind yourself. 
 
 
Slan agus beannachtái,
 
Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you’re still on your feet. 
Téigh ar do ghlúine is bí buíoch le Dia go bhfuil tú fós ar do chosa.
ED. NOTE: We put the Irish back in per a request by Mary in New York - but we’re not sure it’s grammatically correct. We know we have several Irish speakers out there,  so please check it and let us know if we need to make any changes. Go raibh maith agat!
 
 
 
EVENTS
Irish Abroad publishes a list of events  here:
http://events.irishabroad.com/List.aspx?public=1&event=1. 
 
The Wild Geese also publishes events on its Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/IrishHistory?ref=ts
 
If you would like us to promote an event, please send details to Bridget and include the word event in the subject line:
bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
 
Cincinnati: APRIL at the Irish Heritage Center From Bodran Classes to Irish Fiddle sessions and much, much more, there is always something going on to celebrate Ireland & the Irish. For complete details about all events, please click
http://www.irishcenterofcincinnati.com/
 
Eleazar Galea, Malta - April 16 to May24
Roger Cummiskey, Ireland and Arcadio Cabrera, Cuba combine their artworks in this beautiful setting – a little piece of Denmark in Benalmadena! The exhibition will be from 16 April to 24 May and can be visited daily at Montebello where you can also enjoy the stunning views over the Mediterranean. For more details, please send an email to:
info@AIA-ArtGroup.com
 
And...
Malaga - One Night Only/April 14
Cinderella at 64". Art Gallery 64. beside El Pimpi.
64, Calle Granada – 1P, Malaga City. For more details, please click
http://artrogersstore.blogspot.com/2012/01/gallery-64-january-4-11-2012.html
 
Harriet Island, St. Paul, Minnesota - August 10-12
Join us on the banks of the Mississippi River for a three-day celebration of Irish heritage with music, dance, family activities and good craic. Since 2001, beautiful Harriet Island Regional Park in downtown St. Paul has hosted the Irish Fair. The festival is recognized as one of the most family-friendly events in the Twin Cities, one of the most authentic Irish festivals nationwide and an amazingly great time by the nearly 100,000 people who attended last year’s festival. For complete details, please click
http://www.irishfair.com/content/festival-information/
 
ON-GOING 
 
FRIENDS OF IRELAND - LOS ALAMITOS,  CA 
Friends of Ireland of Southern California Monthly Breakfast. Events are held on the 1st Tuesday of the month. Please call in RSVP to one of the contacts below one day in advance so we can accommodate you.
Barbara Walsh (714) 739-4195 Kathy Wisdom (714) 572-8277
Tom Kennedy (562) 425-2636 Jim O'Dea (626) 965-0307
 
CEILI OF THE VALLEY SOCIETY - Portland OR
First Friday of the month Céilís and ongoing Tuesday night Céilí and Sean Nós dance classes. Our season runs from October through June and next season we may be moving the dances to Saturday rather than Friday nights. For more details, please click
http://www.myspace.com/ceiliofthevalley.
 
SLIGO EVENTS
http://twitter.com/sligoevents
 
 
LEAVE ‘EM LAUGHING
Actually, in this case, more of a smile than a laugh. But hope you enjoy it.
 
All I need to know 
I learned from the Easter Bunny
 
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
Everyone needs a friend who is all ears
There’s no such thing as too much candy
All work and no play can make you a basket case
A cute tail attracts a lot of attention
Everyone is enttitled to a bad hare day
Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits
Some body parts should be floppy
Keep your paws off other people’s jelly beans
Good things come in small, sugar coated packages
The grass is always greener in someone else’s basket
To show your true colors, you have tp come out of your shell.
The best things in life are still sweet and gooey.
May the joy of the season fill your heart.
Happy Easter!