Greetings & Blessings to all,
Welcome to our May edition. We hope it finds you and yours in good spirits, good health and good company. If this is your first issue, many thanks for joining us - and please feel free to share our musings and meanderings with your family and friends.
Meanwhile, if you are wondering what happened to our April missive, we have had to deal with health issues yet again - and in one instance, a visit to the ER. Herself is the very unwilling main character in this on-going Haggerty drama and it’s all related to the heart problems of a decade ago. In any event, please be assured that for the moment, all is well, but you should also be aware that within the next few weeks, Herself  will be going through open heart surgery to remove an aneurysm and possibly fix a leaky valve which is thought to be responsible for an atrial flutter (the reason for the unexpected visit to the ER!) We will let you know exactly when as soon as we have a date and we will be asking for lots of prayers. Many thanks in advance. 

Did you roll naked in the May morning dew. Deliver surprise May baskets to the neighbours? Eat Nettle Soup to keep away the rheumatics? Place primroses across your threshold to protect the house from the antics of "the good people?" You didn't? God willing, you survive all of the Mayhem! Also, pinch punch, first day of the month, White Rabbit. Where this odd phrase comes from, Herself doesn’t know, except that her mother always said it and naturally, her children just had to put the words into action. We’re sure it’s said for good luck, but if you have a different explanation, we’d love to hear it.
While Mothering Sunday has come and gone in Ireland & the UK, most countries will be celebrating her special day on May 11. all the moms, mums, mams, mammies, maters and mothers:
Lá an Mháthair faoi shona dhuit
Pronunciation: law ay-leh on waw-hirr fwee hun-ah gwitch 
Go raibh maith agat!
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who sent us a much needed contribution to cover our out of pocket expenses. A small token of appreciation has been mailed out to each person who donated $5 or more and we have also mailed  an Irish book or CD to the three lucky winners in our drawing.
This time around, we are asking 
“Which Irish stereotype annoys you the most?” There are ten responses - is the stereotype that immediately springs to mind for you among them? Click through the following link to find out:
ED NOTE:  Just so you know, Map Your Vote is a  site created by our nephew Ian and his dad Dennis -   proud descendants of the Shields tribe in Sligo.
Have you visited our Irish Culture & Customs FaceBook page yet? Each morning, we try to find something Irish of interest, so we hope you’ll stop by for a visit soon - and give us a “Like” too.
Enough of the blather, on with the update!
 SPONSOR: Ireland’s Showcase
Dedicated to the worldwide promotion of Irish craft and design, this Kilkenny based family-owned company works with well-known names and yet-to-be famous artisans and crafts people throughout the country. Their collection includes Irish designed and Irish made jewelry, pottery, ceramics, art, sculpture and more - all unique to the hands of an Irish artist, and all unique to the island of Ireland.
Die to current circumstances, this will be an abbreviated edition.  Herself is considering putting together an April issue for the archive which will follow the usual format, including the answer to our last riddle. We will let you know the next time we write if that happens. For the moment,  here’s what’s on tap this time around:

SPONSOR: Please visit our good friends, Lollysmith
Mother's Day is right around the corner -  And right after that are First Communions, Graduations, Weddings and more. 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:
Flashmob at Shannon Airport
Celebrating 37 summer destinations, 9 new routes and the Cheapest Airport parking in Ireland, passenger's at Shannon Airport were recently treated with a talented Flash Mob by Students from the Irish world Academy of Music and Dance
A lovely Irish blessing
This one was sent in by Mike Horan several years ago and it’s well worth repeating. . If you're feeling stressed out, this is really soothing and the music is beautiful. Thanks again, Mike!
20th Anniversary of Riverdance
It’s so hard to believe it’s been 20 years - it seems like yesterday. But oddly enough, it also feels like an eternity ago.
The Irish Page - Deochanna - Drinks
This time around, we delved into the Hennessy  archives and found a great feature on beverages and libations
In pictures: Bluebells carpeting Northern Ireland
These photos were taken in 2012 - but the same  magical carpets of blue can be seen every year from April through June!
ED. NOTE: Did you know that woodlands in the UK and Ireland are said to be home to between 30 and 50% of the world’s population of the common bluebell? We didn’t either! 
The Rainbow Bridge
Our good friends the Pattersons in Auatralia  recently lost a beloved pet and wanted us to share the Rainbow Bridge poem with our readers. It's  probably very familiar to many of you already, but just in case it isn’t, it can bring great comfort when you are mourning the loss of a faithful four-footed or feathered friend
There is but one and only one
On earth there is no other
In Heaven a noble work was done
when God gave man a Mother.
We say Amen to that!
It’s official - Jesus was Irish
He had 12 drinking friends
He trained as a carpenter 
He was unemployed 
He lived with his mother until he was 33
He thought his mother was a virgin
His mother thought he was God.
ED. NOTE: Some readers might find this a bit sacrilegious We hope nobody does. But, if you are offended in any way, we are sorry - no offence is intended. 

SPONSOR: Please 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! Play from the comfort of home here:
1. Two signers of the American Declaration of Independence, William Whipple and John Hancock had Irish mothers?
2. Catherine McCarthy, known as the "jolly Irishwoman of the Lower East Side" was the mother of notorious outlaw Billy the Kid?
3. Co. Cork-born Mary Harris Jones, one of America’s early labor champions, is also known to many as “Mother Jones”?
SPONSOR: Please visit our friends at the Celtic Attic 
Great news:  Celtic Attic now offers Layaway and In House Financing!  Email to find out the details and get terms that will fit your unique situation. They want everyone to be able to experience their Celtic heritage & buy whatever is  their heart’s desire; they thought these two plans might help some of our customers out a wee bit.  Contact the Celtic Attic on line or by phone - and tell them Bridget & Russ said hello!
Tel: 360-813-1113 or 360-531-1107.
On line: 
1. Shopping Section: Naturally, we hope you and yours will do all of  your shopping through Irish Culture & Customs and and the advertisers in our newsletter - not just at the holidays - but all year round. For every sale, we make a small commission which goes a long way toward helping us cover the expenses of maintaining the web site and sending the newsletter. Many thanks in advance for your kindness!
2. Daily Headlines: We keep two week’s worth of headlines and links here: And we try to keep it all positive:
ED. NOTE: In the right-hand margin on this page, you will also find links to many Irish newspapers, a link to the weather, and a clock showing Irish time.
3. Article: May - the month of mirth and merriment 
4. Article: The May Day Dew - should you roll naked in it?
5. Article: How to prevent Mayhem 
6. Article: Beltane Bonfires & Nettle Soup
7. Article: Marry in May & Rue The Day
8. Article: The Bright Flames of May
9. The Irish Kitchen: Recipes in Celebration of Spring
10.  Basic Irish: May & the Month of Mary
11. Kids Ireland: The Story of Bottle Hill
12. Music Review: Our resident reviewer William Ramoutar takes an in-depth  look at the legendary Wolf Tones
So there you have it until we write again 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 May here are the special verses: 
Marry in April if you can, Joy for maiden and for man
 Marry in May and rue the day

ED NOTE: One old Irish superstition holds that May is an unlucky month to get married in, because of its association with the Virgin Mary. This superstition seems to have lost its power, however, since May is now one of the most popular wedding months for Irish people. And, whenever we quote the verse for May, we always  receive a slew of responses from readers who tied the knot in May and are VERY happy! !
Until next time, if you live in Ireland and the UK, we wish you and yours a safe and happy Bank Holiday weekend; if you’re in the states as well as many other countries, don’t forget Mother’s Day is May 11; and last but certainly not least, we extend to all of our readers everywhere the sentiments in this lovely old Irish blessing:
May green be the grass you walk upon
May blue be the skies above you 
May many be the joys that surround you
And may true be the hearts that love you
 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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Thank God for church ladies with typewriters.
Our dear friend Hartson is the one we have to thank for the following gems. These sentences actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services. We've seen quite a few of them before - but they're well worth reading again. Enjoy!
The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals.
The sermon this morning: "Jesus walks on the Water." The sermon tonight: "Searching for Jesus."
Our youth basketball team is back in action Wednesday at 8 PM in the recreation hall. Come out and watch us kill Christ the King.
Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
The peacemaking meeting scheduled for today has been canceled due to a conflict.
Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.
Miss Charlene Mason sang "I will not pass this way again," giving obvious pleasure to the congregation.
For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs.
Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get.
The Rector will preach his farewell message after which the choir will sing: "Break Forth Into Joy."
Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days.
A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.
At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be "What Is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practice.
Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children.
Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.
The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility.
Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.
The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon.
This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin.
Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. Is done.
The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.
Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.
The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance.