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Greetings and blessings to all,

It seems very strange to be writing this on a Tuesday evening. If you were worried or wondering, our apologies. It was one of those big birthday weekends in the Haggerty household with Himself celebrating a special milestone. (You'll have to check last week's edition to find out which one). To start things off, we were surprised by Russ' sister and our nephew Ian "dropping by" from Washington DC in the middle of lunch on Saturday. All planned chores, including assembling this newsletter, went out the window.

Saturday night, we went to the O'Flahertys (Bridget's brother) for dinner. The sister-in-law, Therese, is a terrific cook and we thoroughly enjoyed a wonderful meal. Right afterwards, a slew of friends "dropped by." "We were just in the neighborhood" became the standing joke of the evening as a parade of pals put in an appearance to wish the old man many happy returns.

Sunday was a bit of a continuation as kids (and one grand-kinder) showed up to wish Aunt Renee and cousin Ian safe journey back to DC. A photo op not to be missed:

It was definitely a lost weekend - and a Monday, too, as we tried valiantly to catch up as well as overcome computer gremlins (which put us off-line for a while), a kitchen faucet that quit, and a host of other trials and tribulations which are the reason for the tardiness of this edition. We know this is a time when one is supposed to have a positive attitude about gratitude - whoever said that should come right over and see Russ trying to fix the faucet before we have 16 to 20 guests for dinner the day after tomorrow! But, enough about us!

In news from Ireland:

Co. Sligo: An auction at one of Ireland's most historically well-connected stately homes saw a pair of wooden toilet seats fetch £35 and a cardboard box full of flannel aprons and feeding bottles go for £42. More than 600 lots went under the hammer at Lissadell House, which has strong links with Dublin's 1916 Easter Rising and W. B. Yeats.

Co. Dublin: The Casino, at the entrance to Malahide town centre and said to be the most photographed house in the country, has been causing concern to An Taisce since the thatch is rotting. However plans to turn the seventeenth century former shooting lodge into a restaurant have been given the go-ahead and remedial work on the roof this month will be followed by a renewal of the thatch next year.

Co. Longford: The last Friday of this month is the date set for a reunion concert by the Plainsman, led by Clondra man Dermot Hegarty. First formed in 1969, the band had a major hit with "21 Years" the following year and they played in both the Albert Hall in London and New York's Carnegie Hall.

Co. Dublin: Ireland's capital is the fourth most visited city in Europe, according to the latest tourism figures. Chief Executive of Dublin Tourism, Frank Magee, said that after London, Paris and Rome, Dublin attracts the most visitors.

Co. Galway: Galway County Council has approved a new housing development in Carraroe, Connemara, but only on condition that it be confined exclusively to Irish-speaking residents. The builder must enter into a legal agreement committing to the use of Irish by occupants of the development.

Wicklow: The State's first nature reserve, the Glen o'the Downs is to reopen before Christmas. Access to the reserve was closed in the summer of 2000 when signs erected at the N11 car park proclaimed "Closed till end August". The signs did not specify which August.

Links of the week:

Irish Buys Are Thriving: Air, Lodging and a Car for a Bump Over $100 a Day. Book by December 23 and get a six-day/four-night package that starts from a low $399 per person.

Our good friend Audrey sent us:
An easy-to-use web site, designed to enable everyone to look up Family, Friends, Neighbours, Colleagues or even just acquaintances from the past, right from childhood to the present day.

Audrey also sent us:
By looking at a picture of a person, you have to decide if he is a program language inventor or a serial killer.

Another dear friend, Hartson, sent us:
For 25 years, the Northwest's internationally acclaimed Magical Strings has brought the healing light of music, story and dance to the region through its annual Celtic Yuletide concert series.

He also sent us a terrific time-waster - Fly The Helicopter. We'd asked him to find us something to do with Turkey and Thanksgiving, but this one is so good, we decided to avoid all of the inevitable turkey shoots:

Avoid all the turkey shoots? Not quite! Here's a site Hartson found with a bunch of games. Fair warning - we haven't had time to try them out:

Jack H. sent us his latest addition to the beautiful music on his website - The Dawning of The Day; be sure to have your speakers turned on:

For all of the ex-Pats in Europe, we found this one:

Enough of the blither and blather...on with the update:
Please help us to keep this newsletter free - visit our good friends, LollySmith!
The LollySmith elves are putting in the overtime to ensure that they'll have the perfect Irish gift for everyone on your list! In stock now, our always popular teas, coffees and foods from Bewleys of Dublin, authentic blackthorn walking sticks, hats 'n caps, tin whistles, and...drum roll please, for Russ Berrie Angel Cheeks - not Irish, but amazingly, a huge seller with our Irish customers. We look forward to your visit and from all of us at LollySmith, Nollaig Shona Duit - Happy Christmas!
A Bit of The Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know?
Quotes & Quips
Know Your Irish Writers & Books?
New This Week
The Week Ahead
If the cost of the holiday feast has your budget in shreds, you'll love this one from Oscar Wilde:
"The only thing that can console one for being poor is extravagance."
This one is adapted from one sent in by Patricia E. in England - thanks, Patricia!
A priest parked his car in a no-parking zone because he was short of time and couldn't find a space with a meter. Then he put a note under the windshield wiper that read: "I have circled the block 10 times. If I don't park here, I'll miss my appointment. Forgive us our trespasses."
When he returned, he found a citation from a police officer along with this note. "I've circled this block for 10 years. If I don't give you a ticket, I'll lose my job. Lead us not into temptation."
1. Ireland is the best place on the planet to avoid an earthquake? No epicentre has ever been recorded there.
2. Over half a million Irish homes now have a computer, and 80 per cent of those have internet access?
3. Ireland has more dogs per capita than any other EU country?
Source: The Truth About the Irish by Terry Eagleton. Want your own copy? Click here:
A quip in honour of the season and the ringing of the cash registers:
'Tis better to spend money like there's no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there's no money!
Please help support our site by visiting the Celtic Attic
Christmas is just around the corner. Order early to insure prompt delivery. We are now offering Gift Wrapping on our items for the Holidays. Simply place your order and put in the Comments Section that you would like your package Gift Wrapped. There is NO Additional Charge for this! Place your order before December 12th to insure Christmas delivery on all items in stock. Find all of our exciting New Christmas Items here: http://www.celticattic.com/treasures/christmas_all_year_long.htm
And don't forget to enter our monthly drawing - you could win a lovely wind chime:
NOTE: If you visit and place an order, please be sure to mention the code IC46 in the comments section. We will earn a small commission. Thanks!

Last week's answers:
1. A Celtic Christmas - Classic Tales from the Emerald Isle - Mairtin O'Griofa
2. Irish Christmas Stories - David Marcus, editor
3. This Year It Will Be Different - and Other Stories - Maeve Binchy
Bonus: An Irish Night Before Christmas by Sarah Kirwan Blazek

Clap your feet for this week's Irish bibliophiles:

Alexis Freeman
This link has some neat historical maps of Ireland. My students use them in our computer lab exercises and they're very effective!

Helen Dowd
If you like pet stories, check out the "Odds 'N Ends"(Articles) category of my website: http://www.occupytillicome.com/articles/. You will find lots of them there.

Marjorie Cunningham
Michael Londra and Compass Records are holding a contest to celebrate the success of RadioCelt - prize of 30 Celtic CDs! While you're entering, enjoy listening to RadioCelt - you just might catch some of Frank McNamara's songs!

Pauline Dewberry
Editor and devoted slave of:

Déirdre McKiernan-Hetzler
Interested in exploring "real Irish culture and history?" Take a look at our most recent tour and then request our new brochure. We'd be delighted to send you one. http://www.irishbook.com/tourinfo.htm

Patricia Edwards
I found this site by accident and it certainly covers a lot of Irish history (and the like) - will keep you busy for ages!

Hartson Dowd

Judith Flynn
What would Christmas be without crackers?

Tim Shea
Great website for finding hundreds of Irish sites:

Ellen Parodi
Namely Gifts at http://namelygifts.com
Personalized Name Keepsakes and Gifts
Something for every name on your gift list!
Featuring Thanksgiving Day Kitchen Prayer Special:

Want to see your name and favorite site on our list? Try to find the following authors - we assure you, it's really easy! Who wrote:

An Irish Country Christmas
Dublin Carol
Dolmen Book of Irish Christmas Stories

Hint: All three titles can be found here:

Send us the correct answers to two out of three and the rewards are:
1. If you have a web site, send us your URL plus a short description and we'll publish it in the next newsletter. If you don't have a web site, please nominate a favorite. Also, please remember that we list our sleuths in the order of entries received.
2. Receive a correct entry into the current "So You Think You're Irish" trivia contest. (In fairness to those of you who go to the trouble of actually finding the answers to the trivia contest, you'll get a bonus entry!)
3. Click through on the Hint URL above, tell us the title and earn another entry into the Trivia drawing.
NOTE: It would be very helpful if you would send your entries to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
First off, the answer to the last one: What row of numbers comes next?

Susan, from Aireagal was first in. Congrats! Here's her answer:
It's all in how you say it.
1 When you read this first line out loud, it is "One one" for the next line "11".
11 When you read this line, it becomes "Two ones", and is used for the next line as "21" 21
Read this line, "One two, One one", it becomes 1211
One one, One two, Two ones (111221)
Three ones, Two twos, One one (312211)
One three, One one, Two twos, two ones (13112221)
One one, One three,Two ones, Three twos, One one (1113213211)
After that "skullduggery", we feel the need to go a bit easy on you. So...try this one:
Can a turkey jump higher than the Empire State Building?
We'll try to get the home-page updated as early in the week as we can - please be patient with us:
1. Home Page - See what's new at a glance:
2. New - Irish Kitchen: Limerick Ham http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/2Kitch/1Home.html
3. New - Basic Irish Lesson. Sending cards or parcels to or from Ireland? You'll enjoy this week's offering:
4. New - Music Library: To Warm The Winter's Night
5. Featured: Yes, Kelsey and Maddie O'Flaherty, there is a Santa Claus
6. Featured - An Advent Memory
7. Featured - Irish Cards for Christmas
8. Featured: Beannachtaí an tSéasúir - Season's Greetings
9. Featured - Preparing the Puddings
10. Ongoing - Circle of Prayer: Our sixth Novena in this cycle continues through the 27th. The seventh one will begin on Friday. We received good news from Eileen about her son Christopher - but he and Eileen's brother Bob still need our spiritual support; also Debbie's friend Bertha, Rita, Lindsea, Dianne, Claire, C.J., baby Christopher, Sam, Steven & Margaret, and the Mulligan family. We also ask that you keep all military personnel in your prayers or meditations, especially those stationed in Iraq. Whatever your spiritual leanings, we hope you will join us each day
11. Ongoing - Trivia Contest: Haven't entered yet? Only a few days left. All entries must be in by midnight, November 30th, whichever time zone you live in.
12. On-going - Irish News: Headlines for the past week
13. On-going -This month in Irish History:
14. We can't end on 13! Click here for Advent Calendars from Saint's Preserved:

Christmas is definitely top of mind as we feature articles from previous years - and, if Bridget can ever catch up, we may even have something new to add to the holiday offerings. The blessing has been posted, a new quote will go up on Wednesday and we'll be delving into Hartson's amazing recipe collection for "season's eatings!"

As always, we have a few bits and pieces before we take our leave. Many thanks to all the new subscribers. If you've enjoyed your first copy of our musings and meanderings, please feel free to pass it along to family and friends.

In our crazy calendar, because we're so late with this edition, we've missed out on a couple of important dates. Of course, for all of our American readers, the BIG date this week is Thursday, 11/27. We have a special card waiting for you at

If you'll be out on the roads, safe journey there and back. By the way, we hope all readers, wherever you might be, will click on the link above - the sentiment applies to each and every one of you.

Meanwhile, this week we celebrate the following: Womens' Merrymaking Day, Children's Field Day, and National Espresso Day on the 24th, National Parfait Day on the 25th, National Cake Day on the 26th, National Bavarian Pie Day on the 27th, National French Toast Day on the 28th and National Chocolates Day and Square Dance Day on the 29th!

So that wraps it up for another week (and a half!) We hope this edition has found you in good health, good company and good spirits. Until next time, may God keep you and yours in the palm of His hand, but not close His fist too tight on you. And, as they say in Ireland, mind yourself!

Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
Help us keep this newsletter free by visiting the The Irish Lottery:
Remember the Irish Hospital Sweepstakes? It was replaced by the Irish Lotto in 1988. Since then it has become one of the most trusted lotteries in the world. Drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday. Best of all, you don't have to live in Ireland to play and all winnings are tax-free. Do you have the luck of the Irish? Play the Irish lottery and find out! Please click here for full details:
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Our email address there is bnhaggerty@cinci.rr.com. Many thanks in advance for your kindness!
Events & Classifieds
Note: To avoid duplication, we list only those events not mentioned in the comprehensive listing put together by The Wild Geese. To check their Events Page, please click: http://www.thewildgeese.com/pages/events.html
The Irish Heritage Newsletter also lists events - if you'd like to subscribe, just send a note to George at Steeler059@aol.com
And, if you're in Ireland, or lucky enough to be visiting, you can see what's on offer November/December here:

Silver Arm Performances - Greater Cincinnati area
Come out and enjoy Silver Arm at one of our upcoming performances.
Fri. Dec 12: Dilly Deli, Mariemont (513-561-5233) 7-10pm

Huntsville, Texas - November 28-30
Huntsville-Trinity Celtic Festival & Highland Games at the Walker County Fairgrounds in Huntsville. For more information contact Jean North 936-594-0195; vjn_gram@yahoo.com or visit:

Houston, Texas - 11/29
Damien Rice at The Rhythm Room
Irish singer-songwriter; in October he won the prestigious Shortlist Music Prize for Artistic Achievement. Tickets available at Ticketmaster and Ticketmaster outlets: Fiesta,Foleys, Wherehouse Music

Dublin - December 1
Broadcaster to mark tenor's centenary. When It's Moonlight In Mayo - The Forgotten Irish-American Tenor, John Feeney, is a talk with accompanying recordings by broadcaster Harry Bradshaw. It will take place on Monday, 1st December, 6.15pm in the Conference Room, Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144
Pearse Street, Dublin 2. Admission is free and all are welcome.

England - December 6
A Ghostly Christmas Dinner with Simon Marsden and a special screening of THE TWILIGHT HOUR in the spectacular surroundings of the Great Hall of the Castle at Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, West Sussex, England. For further details and ticket sales please telephone 00-44- (0) 207-828-4925

Irish Writer's Centre - Dublin
Writing Creative Non-Fiction Sat 6 & Sun 7 Dec 10am &4pm
Course Tutor: Áine McCarthy Course Price: €110
For more details, please contact Bernadette Larkin: bernadette@writerscentre.ie

Beaumont, Texas - December 6 & 7
Danny O'Flaherty's Celtic Christmas, Crockett Street Entertainment District, Antone's, 240 Crockett Street, Beaumont, TX 77701
For reservations call 409-893-1818. For additional information, email danny@celticnationsworld.com/

Trinity College Dublin - Christmas Homecoming in the Dining Hall
Monday, December 22 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Admission is by ticket only, and each graduate may be accompanied by one guest only. To reserve your place, contact Norah Kelso, Alumni Relations Officer, Trinity Foundation, East Chapel, Trinity College, Dublin 2 or mailto:nkelso@tcd.ie
Include your full name, student number (if known), degree, year of graduation and address to which your ticket can be sent. Please reserve your place before Friday, 12 December.

DCU Business School 2001 reunion - December 29
A reunion for 2001 Dublin City University graduates from BBS/BSI4/IML/IBL will take place at the Sugar Club on Leeson Street on Monday, December 29. Entertainment will include a band, DJ and a late bar. Admission will be EU8 before 9.00pm. Graduates wishing to attend may contact Nicola Riordan at mailto:buzinessdcu01@yahoo.com with a "Yes" in the Subject field of the email.

The Chieftains are coming January 13!. Sponsored by the Society for
Performing Arts. Details to be announced.

Texas Dulcimer Cruise - February 5-9, 2004
Galveston to Cozumel on the Carnival Celebration. There will be workshops, jam sessions, talent show and more. These spots will go fast, so book early! Inside cabins are $430.80 pp, double occupancy and oceanview cabins are $480.80 pp, double occupancy. Ask for Marcy: 281-535-5703 or e-mail marcy@delesandri.com

Galveston, Texas
March 28, 03
Galveston 1894 Grand Opera House - James Galway, flautist Sunday March 28, 2004 3pm

Cais Conference/Reunion - May 26-29, 2004
Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
The theme is "Mother Tongues: The Languages of Ireland." For details, please click

6th Int'l McManus Clan Association Gathering May 25th through May 31st, 2004
For full details please visit our website at:
or contact Phil McManus at Manus@aol.com

7th Clann McKenna Rally - June 25th through Sunday June 27th 2004
For details, please write plunkettmckenna@eircom.net
or click on the following link:
Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
OR click on this link: