Greetings and Blessings to all,
If it seems like a long time since we've written, it is - two months to be exact. Some of you have written to ask if we're alright and we are happy to say all is well - and we're sorry if we caused any of you to worry. We didn't mean to miss the October edition - things just got really hectic, but in a good way, what with anniversary celebrations, birthday parties, visiting an old friend in the nursing home several times, and countless other distractions which served to get in the way of getting the newsletter out. Herself was reminded of a poem by Archibald MacLeish entitled They Come No More, Those Words, Those Finches
Oh when you're young
And the words to your tongue
Like the birds to Saint Francis
With darting, with dances--
Wait! you say, Wait!
There's still time! It's not late!
And the next day you're old
And the words all as cold
As the birds in October
Sing over, sing over,
Sing Late! Late!
And Wait! you say, Wait!
But of course time waits for no man.
We hope this edition finds you and yours in good spirits, good health and good company. We also want to thank all of you who sent us good wishes for our anniversary and Thanksgiving. For whatever reason, both occasions seemed exceptional this year. Perhaps it’s because as we get older, we more keenly appreciate the many blessings we’ve been given. We hope all of our readers in the USA and Canada enjoyed an equally safe and happy holiday.
Abigail, Barney and now Clodagh! Ireland and the UK have been hit with three pretty severe storms of late and we hope if you were in their path, that you and yours are safe and sound. On our end, we are happy to say that the weather in our Ohio Valley has not been as extreme. Not even a hint of a snow flake.
Is this your first issue? Many thanks for joining us and we hope you enjoy our musings and meanderings. If you do, please feel free to share them with your family and friends.
Enough of the blather - on with the update!
IN THIS EDITION
FROM THE MAILBAG
BIT OF THE WIT
DID YOU KNOW
THE WEEK THAT IS & THE WEEK THAT WILL BE
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Also, we are giving away a Celtic WinterBasket. You only need to enter once and you are automatically entered in this contest as well as our normal monthly contest for 2 Irish Pendants.
Last, but certainly not least, if you live in the Silverdale WA area, please come visit us in the old Hollister store. There are over 40 artists showcased and we will be there until Jan 2016.
For phone Orders, please call: (360) 531-1107 10am to 5pm PST Week Days
FROM THE MAILBAG
Our dear friend Bill Deegan sent us sad news about the grand Irish fiddler Marty O’Keefe ...”He was 103 on November 1st and on the 5th he died. I think his dear wife Theresa said we have been apart long enough. So he went to be with her. A good man. A great loss for Co Clare as well as America.”
To watch the dedication his daughter put together for his 100th birthday, please click here:
ED. NOTE: We couldn’t find him playing the fiddle, but he sure knew how to play the squeezebox. Take a look here:
RIP . Mr. O’Keefe..
The Irish Connection to Thanksgiving
We Gather together from the Celtic Women album
Irish People Try Thanksgiving Dinner For The First Time
ED. NOTE: In all fairness to the American traditional menu, the dinner these poor people had to sample was not what most Americans expect. Brussels sprouts? No way!
How do you pronounce 'Storm Clodagh' anyway?
Dublin at Christmas
An Irish Christmas - an excerpt from the show
Moya Brennan documentary about Christmas - Part one of three segments
On-Going: Facebook Page
Have you visited it yet? Every day, we make an effort to publish something that's related to Ireland and the Irish:
SPONSOR: Please visit our good friends, Lollysmith
Find the perfect gift for every occasion at Lollysmith! Anne Jacobs from California says: "LollySmith is my favorite place to shop online. Every order has come in a timely manner. I love the selection and the quality is excellent. I will continue to shop at LollySmith and recommend this store to my friends." See what Anne is talking about here: http://www.lollysmith.com/
"Electronic books are a bad thing because they cannot be accumulated on shelves to remind you of your past, to impress your neighbors and colleagues, and to help prevent divorces thanks to the sheer bother of arguing over who owns what."
ED. NOTE: A 60th anniversary edition of his most famous novel, The Ginger Man, was released this past July. Banned in Ireland when it was first published, ironically, the author just received a Lifetime Achievement award at the Irish Book Awards.
A BIT OF THE WIT
In memory of Oscar Wilde who passed away on November 30, 1900
In the weeks before his death, his friends reported that he spoke of several things more than once. These can be considered the last of his clever sayings:
"I am dying beyond my means. I can’t even afford to die."
"My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or other of us has got to go."
The last one is not exactly Oscar Wilde's reputed last words, but it is close and that’s the one most people believe were his last remarks.
RIP, Mr Wilde
A FAVOURITE JOKE
A wealthy couple from Texas were touring Ireland and found themselves in a tiny rural village at lunchtime. The only place serving food was a somewhat rustic looking cafe which. in their opinion, had seen better days. Having no other choice, they carefully stepped over the pooch snoozing on the threshold and went inside. As they sat down, the husband frowned as he brushed some crumbs from his chair and his wife did likewise as she wiped the table with her napkin. The waitress came over and asked if they would like to see a menu. "No thanks," said the husband. "I'll just have a cup of tea with cream and sugar. "I'll have the same", his wife said. "And please make sure the cup is clean." Unphased by the rudeness of the remark, the waitress smiled and marched off into the kitchen. A few minutes later, she was back."Two cups of tea," she announced in her lovely lilting Irish brogue..."And which one of you was it who wanted the clean cup?"
DID YOU KNOW
According to old Irish folklore:
1. You should chew a clove of garlic to relieve a sore throat, ?
2. Whipped egg whites with sugar added will cure an upset stomach?
3. If you take molasses melted in water, it will prevent varicose veins?
SPONSOR: Please visit our good friends at the Irish Lottery
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First off, the answer to our last Brain Bruiser:
Q. What does this message say?
G T Y O R J O T E O U I A B G T
A. Great Job You Got It
While this one proved to be a bit more challenging for our Riddle People, , we did get a lot of correct answers. However, first in was Frank O'Halloran. Well done, Frank.
And now for our next Skull Scrambler:
Q. A king, a queen and two twins all lie in a large room. How is it there are no adults in the room?
ED. NOTE Our source for this one was 15 riddles to fool your friends from the Irish Examiner. Since they provide the answers, we advise that you check them out only if you have given up on solving our latest offering.
Send your answers to Bridget:
It would be helpful if you put Riddle in the subject line. Thanks!
THE WEEK THAT IS
Article: Spakes from Wicklow
Article: Is Your Shillelagh a Sham?
Article: Irish Linen - The Cloth of Kings
Article: Last call for Ireland's phone boxes?
Article: Oscar Wilde Remembered
Poetry Corner: Joseph Plunkett
The Irish Kitchen: Preparing the Puddings
Basic Irish: Lessons One through four
Kids' Ireland: The Remarkable Rocket
Music Review: We hadn't heard from our resident reviewer William Ramoutar in a while and the reason was that he had fallen and suffered severe torn ligaments and a hairline fracture. He won't be doing any jigs for a while! He is also taking time off from doing reviews so that he can rest up which will help with the healing. Please keep William in your prayers. Meanwhile, we will be filling in. Our current offering isn't really a review, but rather an announcement about the newest CD from the Corrs - their first in seven years!
Circle of Prayer: We're not sure when or why it happened, but somehow, we stopped updating the Novena listing. Since there is so much need for prayer these days, and we know it works, we are encouraging you to continue saying novenas - but beginning and ending on dates that are convenient for you. So, while we won't be reinstating the update, in each newsletter, we will reference the Circle of Prayer page. You can find it here: http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/Blessings/CirclePrayer.html
Shops: 'Tis the season and we hope you will help support our efforts by purchasing gifts from the merchants we feature on our Shopping page. Go raibh math agate!
News: Each day, we feature news headlines from Ireland - but only those stories that have a positive spin. We purposely avoid politics, death, disaster and other mayhem. There's too much of that already.
THE WEEK THAT WILL BE
Article: An Advent Memory
Article: An Irish Christmas - Waiting for St Nicholas
Yes, Kelsey & Maddie O'Flaherty, there is a Santa Claus
Article: A Cold Day in Hell
Article: An Irish Christmas Then & Now
Article: Irish Superstitions for the Christmas Season
Article: An Post at Christmas
Irish Kitchen: Guid Irish Christmas Cake
Basic Irish: Words & Phrases for the Christmas Season
Kids' Ireland: The Remarkable Rocket
Music Review: The Chieftains Bells of Dublin
So there you have it until we write again, God willing, probably right before Christmas.
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.
Did you tie the knot in November or December? Here are your special verses:
If you wed in bleak November
Only joy will come, remember.
When December’s fall fast
Marry and true love will last.
Before we take our leave with our customary Irish blessing and, before we forget it altogether, Pinch, Punch, First Day of the month, White Rabbit!
During the coming Christmas season may you and yours be blessed
With the spirit of the season, which is peace,
The gladness of the season, which is hope,
And with the heart of the season, which is love.
And, as they say in Ireland, mind yourself
Slan agus Beannacht,
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.
LEAVE ‘EM LAUGHING
A Kerryman gets on a bus and asks the driver how long the trip is between Limerick to Cork. "About two hours," says the driver. "So," says the Kerryman "then how long is the trip between Cork to Limerick?" The irritated driver says "It's still about two hours, boyo. Why'd ye think there'd be a difference?" "Well," says the Kerryman, "It's only a week between Christmas and New Year's, but it's a massive long time between New Year's to Christmas!"