Greetings & Blessings to All,
Céad Míle Fáilte to our August Edition
Distraction, distraction, distraction. If you’ve wondered why our newsletter is so late, first it was the Olympics - congrats to gold medalist Katie Taylor and Team Ireland for the grand efforts; then it was the PGA golf championship - well done to Rory McIlroy who seems to have finally regained his form; and then it was countless other goings ons which served to take us away from finishing this newsletter - started, by the way, over a month ago. In no particular chronological order, here’s what caused the delay:
Maeve Binchy. RIP
One of our subscribers, Elise Williams, said it better than we ever could; she wrote on her Facebook page: “Go dtuga Dia fáilte a chur roimh tú le arm a oscailt agus leighis a sheoladh chuig leo siúd a chailleann tú. May God welcome you with open arms and send healing to those who will miss you.
My Heart is very heavy with the loss of the great writer, Maeve Binchy. She captured the true nature and personality of the Irish people without losing sight of their humanity. The people of Ireland, myself and those who treasured her generous spirit and kindness will miss her terribly.”
Con Houlihan, RIP
When it comes to Irish sports, he was an icon. His passing leaves a gap so huge, it will be generations before we will see the likes of him again - or it might be we never will. Roy Curtis of the Sunday World wrote a great tribute to him - well worth reading.
Facebook LIKE button
We’re not that fond of Facebook, but it seems as if the whole world is “connected” ...so, we thought it might be a good idea to at least acknowledge the popularity of Social Media by putting a Like button on the web site.
Russ has finished his book!
Literally ten years in the writing (about the same time we started Irish Culture & Customs), Himself has put a full stop on the final sentence of his first novel. What this means is that Herself, having previously read most of it already - but in sections at different times over the past decade - is now reading the complete book.
It came and went quickly - no fanfares, no fireworks, no parades. It’s so hard to believe that this time a decade ago, we were just getting Irish Culture & Customs started. Back then, we had a grandiose idea: to be the biggest and best Irish site on the internet. What we didn’t anticipate was a good many people who had the same objective - and who had bigger and better resources than we did. But, for a mam and da operation - always just the two of us - we like to think think we’ve done pretty well - So, if you don’t mind, happy tenth birthday to our good selves!
Back to School
One grandchild is going into kindergarten and another is starting high school. Such is the age spread in our family. As of this writing, our oldest grandchild, Caitlyn, has been accepted at Marian HS in Framingham, MA - the same school from where astronaut Krista McCauliffe graduated. Earlier this year, Caitlyn was also recruited by Boston College because they want to enroll more young women who excel in Math & Sciences; Caitlyn is a straight A student in all subjects and we think she should do well in this next stage in her academic career. We think she could do better if she wasn’t worried about the costs associated with a private, college prep school; so we’re investigating how best to help her. And maybe you can help - if you know of any scholarships awarded to students of Irish descent for example, or perhaps Math & Science foundations that award financial assistance, we’d really appreciate you letting us know. Meanwhile, we wish all young people going back to school a happy and successful year.
‘All Things Irish’ Drawing
We asked the author Michael Lloynd if he had a special date he would like the drawing to take place. Turns out that August 9th would have been his late mother-in-law’s birthday; he says she was a great person and was a huge fan of Ireland and the Irish. So, we respected his wishes and held the drawing when he requested. The Winners have been notified by email and will receive their books directly from the author. Congrats to: Judi, Amy, Mary-Ellen, Regina, and Mary Jule, all located in the US. And many thanks to all of you who entered the drawing - literally hundreds! Sorry you couldn’t have all won.
Of a stinking summer, computer melt downs & unexpected power outages
We complete this newsletter intro with a nod to the summer of 2012 which in retrospect is/was a stinker. Hot and dry in the US. Wet and worse in Ireland. Even more extreme elsewhere. Here in our Ohio Valley, we had some very stormy weather which caused widespread power ourages and took our host server down. That resulted in being off line for a few days, but worse was losing a good many emails If you wrote and we didn’t answer, that might be why. In fact, if you don’t hear from us after sending a message that should generate a response, please write again. We do try to respond to all of your emails as soon as we can. In the meantime, we hope this latest edition finds you and yours in good spirits, good health and good company. We would also like to thank all of our newest readers for subscribing. We hope you enjoy our musings and meanderings and please feel free to share them with your family and friends.
SPONSOR: The Celtic Attic
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IN THIS ISSUE
From the Mailbag
Quips, Quotes, Proverbs & Toasts
A Bit of the Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
Know Your Writers
The week That Was
Leave 'em Laughing
FROM THE MAILBAG
James O’ Connor writes: I am trying to find a shop in USA that sells this new book on the Blaskets: Scéal agus Dán Oileáin by Mícheál de Mórdha
Arlene asked for a translation: Could you please tell me the correct spelling and definition of
For the inquirer about the meaning of "Stainte Wallegah", I'm sure her grandmother was saying: Slainte abaile guit" meaning " Welcome home"
What a wealth of info and wit you bring ... and I am not even Irish!
I picked up a book by accident and it has proven to be one of the best things I have ever read. The book is called "A Course Called Ireland" by Tom Coyne. I know nothing about golfing (and care even less) but the book is about a man who decides to golf the entire way around Ireland and he is doing the entire trip on foot. The book is full of TONS of trivia information about Ireland that I never knew and is so wonderfully funny that I laughed out loud at least once per chapter. It is the best mistake I have made in a very long time!
ED. NOTE: We bought the book and thus far, it’s hilarious.
Becky doesn’t like her school
A Dublin eight year old makes a prank phone call to a demolition company asking them to get rid of her school. It’s a classic that’s been around for a while, but it’s well worth listening to again
Catholics don’t have a sense of humor?
You may change your mind when you watch this video which has gone viral. We hope you think it’s as funny as we do and many thanks to Joe McTiernan for sending it to us:
Irish Olympic Sailing Commentary
Joe also sent us the link to another funny video, but fair warning, there’s a bit of bad language. If that doesn’t bother you, then take a look - and enjoy what the irish do so well - laughing at themselves.
Timpeall an Chistin - Around the Kitchen
This time around, Jack and Vivian Hennessey of the Irish Page bring you Irish words and phrases associated with the kitchen. Please click
Dublin Horse Show
A great site where you can find out everything you ever wanted to know about the most important horse show on the Irish calendar.
A word from our Sponsor: Lollysmith
Whatever the occasion, Lollysmith is sure to have exactly what you are looking for! And, since 1999,they have earned a well-deserved reputation for their quality, great prices, quick shipping, and friendly personalized service. Plus, new Items are being added all the time, So stop by soon and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello.
“An Irishman will always soften bad news, so that a major coronary is no more than 'a bad turn' and a near hurricane that leaves thousands homeless is 'good drying weather”.
BIT OF THE WIT
An irish newspaper published the headline:
Half the council are crooks, but was asked to retract it. The following week it ran the heading: Half the council are NOT crooks.
JOKE OF THE WEEK
Our good friend Joe McTiernan also sent us this one recently; it’s actually been around before, but it’s well worth another read. Hope you think so, too - and thanks, Joe!
Two Irishmen, Patrick & Michael, Were adrift in a lifeboat following a dramatic escape from a burning freighter. While rummaging through the boat's provisions, Patrick stumbled across an old lamp. Secretly hoping that a genie would appear, he rubbed the lamp vigorously. To the amazement of Patrick, a genie came forth. This particular genie, however, stated that he could only deliver one wish, not the standard three. Without giving much thought to the matter, Patrick blurted out, "Make the entire ocean into Guinness Beer !" The genie clapped his hands with a deafening crash, and immediately the entire sea turned into the finest brew ever sampled by mortals. Simultaneously, the genie vanished.
Only the gentle lapping of Guinness on the hull broke the stillness as the two men considered their circumstances. Michael looked disgustedly at Patrick whose wish had been granted. After a long, tension-filled moment, he spoke: "Nice going Patrick!
Now we're goin' to have to pee in the boat!
DID YOU KNOW
1. In the old days, it was the custom for the oldest girl in an Irish family to marry first and her sisters according to age afterwards?
2. John Tyndall, a physicist who was born in Leighlin Bridge, Co. Carlow, was first to discover why the sky is blue?
(Don't you just love it that it was an Irishman)?
3. Donkeys were useful in Ireland because of the way they put down their hooves? They do it in a pattern different from horses which allows them to traverse bogland in a gliding movement.
First off, the answer to our last mind mangler:
You are in a car at a constant speed.
On your left side is a wall and on your right side is a fire engine traveling at the same speed as you.
In front of you is a galloping pig which is the same size as your car and you cannot overtake it.
Behind you is a helicopter flying at ground level.
Both the giant pig and the helicopter are also traveling at the same speed as you.
What must you do to safely get out of this highly dangerous situation?
A. Get off the merry-go round!
Many of you get an honourable mention for the answer “wake up”...but first in with the correct answer was T. Mitchell - well done!
And now for our next brain bruiser:
Sean went to the hardware shop to make a purchase for his house. He asked the shop assistant, "How much will one cost?" The assistant said, "Three euro." Sean said, "Well then, how much will twelve cost?" "Six euro," replied the assistant. Sean scratched his head and said, "If I were to purchase two hundred, how much would that cost?" That," said the assistant, "will cost you nine euro."
Q. What is Sean buying?
Please send your answers to Bridget and put Riddle in the subject line. Thanks!
KNOW YOUR WRITERS
To begin with, the answers to our last quiz:
A Course Called Ireland - Tom Coyne
Emerald Fairways - James W Finegan
The Life of O'Reilly - Ivan Morris
Deirdre McKiernan Hetzler
National Board Member, Irish American Cultural Institute Tom McGuire
ED. NOTE: No doubt we had more entries but they were lost during our power outages. If you sent in an entry, please let us know and we’ll give you amention next time. Meanwhile, here’s the list for our next quiz:
1. The Matchmaker of Kenmare
2. In So Many Words
3. Light A Penny Candle
THE WEEK THAT IS
1. NEWS: Links to headlines in the Irish newspapers
2. COUNTY NEWS: Bibs and bobs from all 32 counties for the week ending Friday August 31st
3. MAP YOUR VOTE POLL : Would Ireland's weather make you think twice about visiting?
This poll and many others related to Ireland can be found on Map Your Vote - questions such as - Can you speak Irish, have you kissed the Blarney Stone and what's your favorite Irish whiskey? There are also hundreds of other polls not related to Ireland, including questions on politics, the economy, people, science - even the World! So please take a look and then cast your vote. It’s fun, it’s fast and best of all, it’s free Please click
ED. NOTE: Just so you know, Map Your Vote was developed by our nephew Ian Shields and his dad Dennis. We’re trying to help spread the word, so we hope you’ll take a look. Go raibh maith agat!
4 ARTICLE: A tribute to Liam O'Flaherty in honor of an August birthday
5. ARTICLE: The Old Lammas Fair
6. ARTICLE Haymaking in Ireland Long Ago
7. ARTICLE: Season of the Corn
8. ARTICLE: Putting out the hare, putting on the harvest knots
9. ARTICLE: Making a match in Lisdoonvarna
10. IRISH KITCHEN: Traditional Irish Toffee - Yellowman
11. BASIC IRISH: Back to School
12. KIDS’ IRELAND: The Salmon of Knowledge
13. MUSIC REVIEW: Our resident reviewer William Ramoutar, tells us all about the legendary Wolf Tones.
ED. NOTE: We’re hoping for a new review in a few days.
13. JULY TRIVIA CONTEST: Wow, did the ice ever break! We had more entries for this contest than we’ve ever had in our entire history - thank you! The winner was Franklin Lamberth USA who selected a print of Joyce by Dublin artist Roger Cummiskey.
http://www.RogerCummiskey.com. Well done Franklin.
In the meantime, we have just one entry for the August quiz, so please give it a go. There’s still time, but all entries must be in by midnight on August 31st whatever time zone you’re in.
14: CIRCLE OF PRAYER: Our first Novena in this new cycle began on August 27 and continues through September 4th. Since last we wrote, it’s with a very heavy heart that we learned of Char Marshal’s passing, RIP. A loyal reader for many years, Char lost her short but valiant battle with a very aggressive brain tumor on Friday, August 3rd; we’ll miss her daily messages and especially her sign off “...and have a rainbow-filled day.” Please remember Char’s family in your prayers or meditations. Also Hartson Dowd, his wife Helen and their family, the family and friends of the McTiernans, those who are struggling with financial problems, the brave souls fighting serious health issues, , the victim’s of the extreme weather in the USA - especially those in the path of hurricane Isaac and those still trying to recover from the devastating forest fires; and last, but certainly not least, all the men and women serving in the military all over the world. Please God, keep them safe and bring them home soon. http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Blessings/CirclePrayer.html
ED. NOTE: Char’s son put up a page on his site with photos of his mom. If you would like to see it, here’s the URL:
So there’s the long and the short of it until we send out an update in mid-September In the meantime, Pinch, punch first Day of the month, White Rabbit: and if you were married in August, here’s your special verse:
Whoever wed in August be
Many a change is sure to see.
And if you tied the knot in September or intend to, here’s your special verse:
Marry in September’s shine
Your living will be rich and fine.
We’ll take our leave with this old Irish blessing. Given the weather, it seemed most appropriate:
When the wind is howlin' in everyone's ears,
May you hear a soft, lilting breeze;
And if the rain is lashin' down,
May it only be dew at your knees.
If the ground 'neath your feet
should quiver and shake,
I hope you'll be standin' with ease;
And never go hungry or wantin' for much;
May God grant you all that you need!
And as they say in Ireland, mind yourself!
Slan agus beannacht leat!
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
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ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS
Irish Abroad lists many events taking place all over the world. Check them out here:
If we receive a unique event not mentioned there, we will be happy to list it here.
Esopus, New York - August 27-September 1
Daltaí na Gaeilge will hold their week-long Irish Language Immersion Program, from Monday morning through Saturday noon. This year Daithí Mac Fhlaithimh will be back to instruct the very fluent students. And they will be offering a pre-school program and separate classes for children as well. For General Information, Directions and a Registration Form, please click on the link:
Cincinnati. OH - September 7
Join Silver Arm as they entertain during and after the art exhibit opening reception for "American Celtic" - the dynamic exhibition of works by five of the foremost illuminators of this style in the US. Maybe you saw their work at the recent Dublin Irish Festival? This show is now hanging at Cincinnati's Irish Heritage Center through Nov 17. Opening Reception for "American Celtic". Friday, Sept 7 from 6-8pm, wine, snacks and live music
Irish Heritage Center, 3905 Eastern Avenue, Cincinnati, 45226
Cincinnati, Ohio - September 29
Join us on September 29th when “The Best Instrumental Band in the Business” - Brock McGuire - arrives at the Irish Heritage Center to Kick Off their USA Tour. Best seats are available now at Cincyticket.com. Tickets for this unique Irish Group from the West of Eire go fast. For more information call 513-533-0100.
For a listing of all events, please click through the following URL:
IRISH HERITAGE CENTER - CINCINNATI. OH
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
IRISH AMERICAN CEILI CLUB - HOLLYWOOD , FL
Their 41st year is just around the corner. The venue has been booked. The bands have been signed. The next meeting is October 10, 2012. For the full schedule please visit the web site:
Questions? Please contact Patrick O’Dea, President:
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 an 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
LEAVE THEM LAUGHING
In celebration - or maybe not - of the new school year commencing pretty much all over the planet, we found a few quotes that. while they may not evoke belly laughs, we hope you enjoy
Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught
Oscar Wilde, “The Critic as Artist,” 1890
At Trinity Law School, the professor asked a student if he knew what the Roe vs. Wade decision was. He sat quietly, pondering this profound question. Finally, after giving it a lot of thought, he sighed and said, "I believe, sir, this was the decision George Washington made prior to crossing the Delaware."
Your little brother came home from school yesterday crying. All the boys at his school got new suits, but we can't afford to buy him one. Instead we're going to buy him a new hat and just let him look out the window.
Excerpted from an Irish mother's letter to her son
The most important thing I would learn in school was that almost everything I would learn in school would be utterly useless. When I was fifteen I knew the principal industries of the Ruhr Valley, the underlying causes of World War One and what Peig Sayers had for her dinner every day...What I wanted to know when I was fifteen was the best way to chat up girls. That is what I still want to know.
From the Secret World of the Irish Male by Joseph O'Connor
But there are advantages to being elected President. The day after I was elected, I had my high school grades classified Top Secret.
Let schoolmasters puzzle their brain,
With grammar, and nonsense, and learning.
Good liquor, I stoutly maintain,
Gives genius a better discerning.
Education is a process which makes one rogue cleverer than another.
Dublin University contains the cream of Ireland. Rich and thick
If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers.
Edgar W. Howe