Greetings & Blessings to All
Well, it ‘s  been another long gap between newsletters. It seems to be the norm these days - and we wish it weren’t. But as with our previous “missing in action” missives,  it all comes down to a myriad of distractions -  a family reunion in Rhode Island as well as a visit with Russ’ 90 year old Aunt Lois the next day, an all too short stay with our daughter and her family in Massachusetts,  a few days in Maine with friends, and too many other activities to list here - most good - some not so much. But, Herself has promised that whatever shape it’s in, we will get something out to you before September gives way to the witching season! To quote Bridget’s Dublin mother: Half done is better than none. 
Here in our Ohio Valley, the frost isn’t on the pumpkin yet, so we can’t really say the warm spell  is due to Indian Summer which usually follows a cold snap. That said, the leaves are beginning to fall and as always happens in our area, the trees began changing color on the first official day of Autumn in the northern hemisphere - September 22nd.  And while we’re not looking forward to the cold weather ahead, the festive season is right around the corner - and to help get in the spirit of gift-giving, here’s exciting news:
From Cindy Thomson, author of the hugely popular Brigid of Ireland novel  comes Grace’s Picture - the first in the Ellis Island series and “an eye-opening story about what life might have been like for a young Irish immigrant to America in the early 1900's.”* If you’re a fan of historical fiction with an Irish theme or know someone who is, we encourage you to enter our drawing  for one of five copies generously provided by Cindy and her publisher. To enter the giveaway please send Bridget an email with Book Drawing in the subject line. Bridget s email address is:
“Excerpted from a Good review. 
We really like this Fall 2013 membership campaign by our good friends over at The Wild Geese. The basic idea is that you join their community and then invite all of your family and friends to do the same. The person who gets the most people to join wins a pair of round trip tickets to Ireland. For more details, please click
Do you shop on line for products made in Ireland? That’s our question on the current home page.  To answer directly, just click Map Your Vote here:
ED. NOTE: Map Your Vote is the brainchild of our nephew Ian. We are very proud of what he’s accomplished with this web site - it’s fun, easy to navigate, and fascinating to find out what people all over the globe think about certain issues - from serious to silly. 
We find it incredibly hard to believe that on October 5th this year, we will have been married to the same person for half a century. Herself still feels like the wide-eyed teenager she was when she stepped off the plane on June 1st, 1963 at was then Idlewild in NYC . Himself met her at Immigration and just a few months later, we began The Voyage. We were hoping to dance to that sentimental Christy Moore ballad at a huge party for family and friends, but alas, circumstances have intervened to postpone that for another time. However, if you are in the vicinity of our son’s bar - the B List in Bellevue, KY next Saturday night, we’ll be there around six or seven toasting these many years together and we’re inviting people to join us. And if you’d like to hear Christy sing the song, here’s the link:
Herself can’t help it - she’s listening as we write and bawling like a baby. 
Many thanks for joining us and if you like our musings and meanderings, please feel free to share them with your family & Friends.
If, for whatever reason, you think you might not have received one of our previous newsletters, they are all archived beginning with the newest one first. Here’s the link: 
Enough of the blather - on with the update:
We would like to welcome Celtic Collections to our newsletter:
While they have been on our shops page for quite some time, this is their first appearance here.  And,  just what the name implies, with Celtic Collections,  you will find collections of beautiful Celtic themed giftware and delectable delights presented to you via their online showcase or in a private home show setting. Whether you visit them online or attend one of their Cupán Tae Home Parties, you will always find a wide range of imported gift items including perfumes, candles, chocolates, gift baskets and more.

Quips, Quotes, Proverbs & Toasts
Did You Know
For The Riddle People
The Week That Is
Leave ‘Em Laughing
SPONSOR: Please visit our friends at Lollysmith
Cold weather is just around the corner. To help make the winter months a little more manageable, the Lollysmith family  has selected comfort gifts like Irish Soda Bread Dishes and Pub Ware to keep the warmth inside, Blackthorn walking sticks for navigating outdoors , and Tree of Life Tokens to remind us of the warm gift of Family. Whatever the time of year and whatever the occasion, you are sure to find what you are looking for at Lollysmith.And tell them Bridget & Russ sent you!

Seamus Heaney, RIP
As with everyone who loves his poetry, we were totally unprepared for the deep sense of loss at his sudden passing. It still seems unbelievable  that he is really gone. The BBC published a litany of tributes:
The poet himself reading ‘Digging’
It’s one of his best, but then, we find ourselves saying that whenever we hear or read any of his poems. We hope you enjoy watching this video as much as did.
The Irish Page: Feast of St Francis-October 4th
The famous Peace Prayer of St. Francis can be read here in both English and Irish
Hear the prayer said
Accompanied by a haunting melody and interspersed with gorgeous scenes of Ireland, it’s really nicely done and well worth the time to watch:
Irish History PodCast - Tellin’ it like it was 
Starvation, Misadventure & Murder is the title of the latest episode about medieval Ireland. As might be expected. life in Ireland back then was often violent and the author doesn’t sugar-coat what happened, Be forewarned.
RTÉ Big Music Week
For the fourth year running, RTÉ Big Music Week celebrates the very best of home-grown musical talent by bringing live performance to audiences in Ireland and all over the world. Click through the link for complete details on how you can get in on the celebration.

We thought it only appropriate, given the loss of such a great figure in Irish literature that our quote be from Seamus Heaney.  Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.
“ cant think of a case where poems changed the world, but what they do is they change people's understanding of what's going on in the world.”

SPONSOR:  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:

1. Irishman John Tyndall was the first scientist to ever be specifically referred to as a physicist?
2. The only man ever to win both a V.C. and an Iron Cross was Dubliner William Manley?*
3. As of this writing, Ireland is the only country in the world where one female president was followed by another: Mary Robinson was the first female President of Ireland.  She was followed, with little fuss, by Mary McAleese.
*Source: Wikipedia

First off, the answer to our last Cranium Cruncher:  
There was a green house. Inside the green house there was a white house. Inside the white house there was a red house. Inside the red house there were lots of babies. 
Q. What is it? 
A. A watermelon
As always, we were inundated with correct answers, but first in was Bill Smith in North Carolina. Well done, Bill!
And now for our next Brain Bruiser:
The man who invented it doesn't want it. The man who bought it doesn't need it. The man who needs it doesn't know it. What is it?
1. Article: Celebrating St. Michael’s Day in Old Ireland
2. Article: Give Me Your Hand - Music for an Irish Wedding Ceremony
3. Article: Tribute to Irish tenor Frank Patterson
4. Article: Making a Match in Lisdoonvarna
5. Article: A Taste of Ireland: Guinness for Strength
6. Poetry Corner: Flann O’Brien
7. The Irish Kitchen: Michaelmas Pie
8. Basic Irish: Hobbies & Sports
9. Kids’ Ireland: The Salmon of Knowledge’
10.  Music Review : De Dannan- Legend, Not Myth by William Ramoutar
So there you have it until we we write again - God willing, in mid-October. If you or a loved one is celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other important milestone, we hope and pray it’s a happy occasion filled with much love and good wishes. 
Were you married in October or planning to tie the knot? Here is your special verse:
If in October, you do marry,
Love will come, but riches tarry.
We can certainly attest to that!
And not to overlook September nuptials or anniversaries, , here's your special verse:
Marry in September's shine,
Your living will be rich and fine.
We will take our leave with this lovely old Irish blessing in honour of St. Francis:
God bless the cow that gives us milk
God bless the lamb that gives us wool
God bless the hen that gives us eggs
God bless the pig that pays the rent
God bless the horse that we may ride
God bless the cat that catches mice
God bless the dog that herds the sheep
God bless the geese for our feather beds
God bless the lark for her morning song
God bless the swan upon the pond. 
God bless all friends of fur and feather And St. Francis protect them in all weather.:
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.


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2013 was one massively amazing  hurling season but in the end, just one team can take home the Liam McCarthy Cup. Congratulations to Co. Clare and our condolences to Co. Cork and all the other teams. By way of sympathy, here are a few hurling jokes at the expense of Co. Clare. Except the last one. No offence intended if you’re a Banner or a Rebel fan!
What’s the difference between a taxi and the Clare goalie? - the taxi only lets in 4.
Dublin Fan, "My dog watches all the Clare games on TV. Every time they lose, he lies down and cries his eyes out." Friend, "That's incredible. What does he do when they win?"  Dublin fan, "I don't know, I'll let you know when it actually happens."!
Clare are the most religious county in ireland because they gave up hurling and football for Lent
Did you hear about the dublin bra?
All support and no cup!!
A Clare fan driving to Croke park saw a sign "Croke park left"
so he went home
Not a joke but one of the funniest lines  " There wont be a cow milked in Finglas tonight " Keith Barr after '95 final.
We saved the best for last:  Cork were playing  and someone was continuously shouting COME ON THE REBELS! UP THE REBELS! and some old boy a few rows back shouted down THE ONLY REBEL YE HAD YE SHOT HIM! 
For more fun stuff about Ireland’s oldest sport, visit the Hurling Banter Page