Greetings & Blessings to all
Welcome to our mid-November, pre-feast of gluttony Thanksgiving edition. Quite a few of our readers are in the US where the media is already in a feeding frenzy over which stores will be open before the traditional Black Friday get -mauled- at- the mall madness. We don’t know about you, but our good selves will NOT be a party to it. Besides, we don’t even understand what many of the the door busters are all about:  Tab 3 7.0 Tablet with 8GB Memory  - huh? One local warehouse store, God  bless them,  does have a  deal on a set of Rubbermaid storage containers.  We might  go for that - but not before dawn, not before the last Friday of the month - and certainly not  before Thanksgiving Thursday! 
Congratulations to Mary B in NYC, Mary C in Connecticut, Lorraine Scollan in Georgia, Nancy K in  Colorado and Rita in Maryland. By now you should have received a personal message from the author Cindy Thompson and you might tave already received your copy of Grace’s Pictures 
This time around,  we are offering a signed copy of Russ’ novel ‘The Book: Potion, Pope & Perfidy.’ Learn more about it here: 
If you would like to enter the drawing, please send an email to Bridget with The Book in the subject line:
Last month, we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to send us greetings and a special thank you to our daughter Catherine who set a brilliant surprise trap for us. We had announced that we were going to be at our son’s pub for a celebratory drink and invited family and friends to join us. Not only did she arrange for a night at a romantic B & B and a limo, SHE flew in from Boston; she then sprang a vow renewal on us when we arrived at the bar, including the minister, ring exchange, flowers, wedding cake - the whole nine yards. It was amazing. And what was also a total surprise was meeting our subscribers the Turleys who drove all the way from South Bend, Indiana to join in the celebration. Herself was moved to tears more than once that evening.
But wait.  there’s more... 
This Friday evening, November 22, we will be at the B-List  arpund 7:30 pm  to celebrate Russ’ 70th birthday - just so hard to comprhend. Once again, we’re asking family and friends to stop by and toast this momentous occasion. Herself is still trying to get used to the idea that she’a married to an old man! 
.Enough of the blather...
 Is this your first edition?  Many thanks for joining us and if you like our musings and meanderings. please feel free to share them with ypur family and friends. And do encourage them to sign up. The more of us, the merrier! And for all of our readers, we hope this issue finds you in good health, good spirits and good company. 
On with the update...
Quips, Quotes, Proverbs & Toasts
A Bit of the Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
The week That Is
Leave 'em Laughing
SPONSOR: We are delighted to feature a new sponsor:  Ireland's Showcase...
... a family owned company based in Co Kilkenny. Dedicated to the world-wide promotion of Irish craft and design, they work 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.
JFK’s Visit to Ireland
In June, 1963, President Kennedy was welcomed with great love and affection to the home of his ancestors. This documentary follows that historic journey.
Thanksgiving in Ireland
Created by Ukele Seamus, who says Happy Thanksgiving to all Irish people - even though you don't celebrate it, you should!
A Thanksgiving gift for our American readers
In appreciation for being loyal members of our Irish Culture & Customs newsletter group,  here is a special song by the Irish Tenors. Enjoy!
TV Commercial for Tullamore Dew
We must have watched this a dozen times or more. Hope you like it as much as we do - the surprise twist at the end is awesome:
Shop small  - Saturday , November 30 
With the exception of major corporations  such as amazon, the majority of our sponsors are like us - mom and pop outfits struggling to survive in a very tough economy. Which is why  Saturday, November 30 has been designated as the  day to to skip the mall and shop small - in  your  neighborhood or online. So, we hope you might consider visiting our main shops page and explore what’s on offer from merchants  who will be very thankful for your patronage!
The Irish Page - Transportation
This time around, the Hennessy’s give us words and translations related to various modes of travel;
ED. NOTE: We couldn’t help but notice that they left out “Shanks’s  Pony (or mare) - a euphemism for walking which Herself learned from her Galway-born dad. Anyone out there know how to write/say it in the Irish?
SPONSOR: Please visit our friends at Celtic Collections
Celtic Collections is just what the name implies…a collection of beautiful Celtic themed giftware and delectable delights presented to you via their online showcase. And just in time for the holidays, they  have over one hudered items on sale now and through all of December. In addition when ordering online,  you need only type in the coupon code NOEL13 during check out to receive an additional ten percent off your order.
A quote that could be appropriate for the Thanksgiving feast:
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde
Herself who is rather fond of the Chardonnay loves this one:
If a big turkey is called a gobbler, what do you call a little turkey? 
A goblet
There have been many times when this could have been one of our children! 
 The wife had invited a houseful to Thanksgiving dinner. At the table, she turned to her six-year-old daughter and said, "Would you like to say the blessing?" "I wouldn't know what to say," the girl replied. "Just say what you hear your mother say," the father suggested. The daughter bowed her head and said, "Dear Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"
1. The fastest time to pluck a turkey is held by an Irishman?  According to the Guinness Book of Records, Vincent Pilkington from Cootehill in Co. Cavan, plucked a turkey in 1 minute 30 seconds live on RTÉ. His record still stands.
2. In Ireland, the farmer's wife would take her turkey hens in a basket to a neighbour's turkeycock to have them 'tramped'. All eggs were fertilised at the one mating and a turkey hen would, on average, lay 10-12 eggs. *
3. Turkeys are susceptible to the 'pip' or the 'roup', that is, worms in the windpipe. The old remedy was to feed them chopped nettles in their oatmeal, *
*Source:  Georgina Campbell’s Talking Turkey
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!
First off, the answer to  our last bit of skullduggery: 
 You can find me in darkness but never in light.
I am present in daytime but absent at night.
In the deepest of shadows, I hide in plain sight.
Q. What am I?
A. The letter D or the letter A
As always, our Riddle People were right on top of this one with a veritable landslide of answers, but first  in with the latter D was Maureen S and first in with the letter A was  Tom Mc - well done to both of you and many thanks to everyone who took the time to send in a solution. 
And now , in keeping with the up-coming holiday, here’s a poser that’s a bit of a turkey!
Q. Where does Thanksgiving come after Christmas? 
Please send your answers to Bridget and put Riddle in the subject line. Thanks!
1. County News: The bits and bobs that used to come by mail are now on line here:
2. National News: We keep two week’s worth of headlines and links here:
3. Shops: It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
4. Article: A Gathering of Christmas Gifts 2013
5. Article: Irish Superstitions for the Christmas Season
 6. Article: Many Years Ago - a Christmas story by John B. Keane
  7. Poetry Corner: William Allingham
8. Article: In My Father’s Time - a Trbute to Eamon Kelly  
9. The Irish Kitchen: Preparing the Puddings
10. Basic Irish: Holiday Shopping
 11. Kids’ Ireland: The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde
12. Music Review: Our resident music man William Ramoutar does a review of the recording ‘On Christmas Night’ by Cherish the Ladies music
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:
So there you have it until we write again - probably  about the beginning of December.
If you are planning on getting married between now and then or tied the knot in the month of November,  here is your special verse:
If you wed in bleak November
Only joy will come, remember.
And, if you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special event between now  and our next edition, we hope it's an occasion filled with joy and happiness. We’ll take our leave with this old Irish blessing which is especially for those of you who will be travelling over the Thanksgiving holiday:
A blessing for those taking a journey
The love and affection of the angels be to you,
The love and affection of the saints be to you,
The love and affection of heaven be to you,
To guard and to cherish you.
May God shield you on every step,
May He aid you on every path,
And may He hold you safe on every slope,
On every hill and on every plain; 
On earth and on sea until you are home again. 
And as they say in Ireland, mind yourself!  
And, as they say in Ireland, mind yourself. 
All the best & God Bless,
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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This is a reprise of what we ran a few years back  - and we think it’s worth running again. We hope you agree! 
Why was the United Nations worried when a waiter dropped a platter of turkey? It meant the fall of Turkey, the ruin of Greece, and the break-up of China.
What does a turkey say? 
Gobble, gobble, gobble . Not always! Here are some alternatives:
A jewelry-lovin' turkey: Bauble bauble bauble 
A dyslexic turkey: Boggle Boggle Boggle
A turkey in the shoe repair shop: Cobble cobble cobble 
A turkey who was an old-time movie fan: Gable, Gable, Gable 
A turkey with a sore throat : Gargle Gargle Gargle 
A turkey with a sore leg : Hobble hobble hobble
A football turkey: Huddle, huddle, huddle
A dieting turkey: Nibble, nibble nibble 
A one-legged Cockney turkey 'Obble 'Obble 'Obble
A turkey who argues a lot: Squabble squabble squabble.
Then there was the Turkey who drank too much Wild Turkey and went: Wobble Wobble Wobble! 
T'was The Night Of Thanksgiving

T'was the night of Thanksgiving, but I just couldn't sleep.
I tried counting backwards, I tried counting sheep.
The leftovers beckoned,the dark meat and white,
But I fought the temptation with all of my might.
Tossing and turning with anticipation,
The thought of a snack became infatuation.
So I raced to the kitchen, flung open the door,
And gazed at the fridge full of goodies galore.
I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes,
Pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.
I felt myself swelling so plump and so round,
Till all of a sudden, I rose off the ground!
I crashed through the ceiling. Floating into the sky,
With a mouthful of pudding and a handful of pie.
But I managed to yell as I soared past the trees...
Happy eating to all! Pass the cranberries, please!