Greetings & Blessings to all!
Welcome to our January edition  - we hope it finds you and yours as fit as a fiddle, happy as a lark and on the pig’s back.  A very belated Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New Year and  Happy St. Brigid’s Day tomorrow! In the Celtic calendar, February 1st is not only the feast of St. Brigid, it’s also Imbolc - the first day of Spring. In fact, the snow drops are up in Dublin! So, for all of us enduring the misery of a  deep freeze winter in the northern hemisphere and a hot as hades summer  in the southern climes, imagine the milder weather that’s  ahead of us. Hopefully, that will make all of the recent extremes a little easier to take. 
Congratulations to Karyn Hannigan who won an autographed copy of The Book: Potion, Pope & Perfidy by none other than the good man himself R. Eoghan Haggerty! Thanks to every one who entered - we wish you could all be winners. 
Interested in learning what the book  is about? You’ll find the details here:
This time around, it’s tied to our annual fund drive. Each year, we ask for a small contribution toward the costs of sending out the newsletter and maintaining the web site. We appreciate even the smallest contribution but if you send us a donation of $5 or more, your name  will go in the hat for several drawings of Irish books and CDs.  And we will also send you a shamrock bookmark. So, please send whatever you can to: 
Bridget or Russ Haggerty
5814 Blue Spruce
Cincinnati OH 45224
Or you can send a donation via PayPal. Our account there is:
Go raibh maith agat in advance for your kindness!
We know first hand that miracles can happen through the power of prayer, so we are asking those of you who believe as we do to pray for Denny Devine - a devoted husband, dad and grandfather who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. We’re not asking for a cure - just for a lot more time than he has been given.  Thank you so very much.
Many thanks for joining us and if you like our musings and meanderings,  please feel free to share them with your family and friends. And if you don't mind, do encourage them to sign up. The more of us, the merrier!  

Quips, Quotes, Proverbs & Toasts
A Bit of the Wit
Joke of The Week
Did You Know
The week That Is
Leave 'em Laughing
SPONSOR:  Ireland's Showcase 
A family owned company based in Co Kilkenny, they are dedicated to the world-wide promotion of Irish crafts 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.
 A St Brigid’s card just for you
Hymn to St. Brigid
Sung by Michael Connolly
ED. NOTE: Music by M.S. Words by Mother Cecilia C., Brigidine Convent, Goresbridge, Co Kilkenny. Circa 1911. Here is the link to their web site:
St. Brigid's Cloak
With St. Brigid's Feast Day just hours away, we thought you might be interested in visiting this site which explains the custom of setting outside the brat bhríde, or Brigid's Cloak before sunset on the eve of Brigid's feast day and bringing it back in before sunrise. There's a lot of fascinating information here!
Making St. Brigid’s Crosses
A charming young Irish girl demonstrates how easy it is to make one.
St. Brigid’s Well in Kildare
Amazing footage of all the things people have left in honour of St. Brigid at her sacred well.
Springtime in Ireland
A lovely song performed by Tracey Grant
The Irish Page - Lón - Lunch
The Hennesseys have been having major computer problems - we can certainly identify with that! So, until they’re back up and running, we delved into their archives to bring you words and phrases in Irish and English all focused on the noon time meal. What we really like about their pages is that you can hear the words or phrases being said. 
SPONSOR: 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. Their inventory  includes perfumes and lotions from Fragrance of Ireland, Bog Standard luxury candles from Co Down, a selection of Donegal Hanna hats, Mucros scarves, exquisite Galway crystal,  and beautifully crafted jewelry and accessories from Sea Gems and St. Justin. We encourage you to browse what’s on offer - you won’t be disappointed. 
Now it's St Brigid's Day and the first snowdrop
In County Wicklow, and this a Brigid's Girdle
I'm plaiting for you, an airy fairy hoop
(Like one of those old crinolines they'd trindle),
Twisted straw that's lifted in a circle
To handsel and to heal, a rite of spring
As strange and lightsome and traditional
As the motions you go through going through the thing.
From A Brigid’s Girdle for Adele by Seamus Heaney 
An Irishman will always soften bad news, so that a major coronary is no more than 'a bad turn' and a hurricane is 'good drying weather'.
Hugh Leonard
A Kerryman man and his wife were sitting in the living room and he said to her, "Just so you know, I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug." His wife got up, unplugged the TV and threw out all of his Guinness.
 1. Until the 1920s, on St. Brigid's Day  at Teltown, Co. Meath, couples could legally marry by simply walking toward each other? If the union didn't work out, they could 'divorce' by walking away from each other at the same place exactly a year and a day later.
2. The area of the entire island of Ireland is 32,593 square miles? A mere coincidence that it also has 32 counties?
3. "Saturday's flitting, a short sitting?" In other words, nobody moved house on a Saturday, got married on a Saturday, or embarked on a big project the day before the Sabbath, Also, overnight travel was never undertaken
If you’d like to read more Irish Trivia, please click
SPONSOR: Help support this newsletter and our web site by visiting our friends at The Celtic Attic:
Especially now when you can take advantage of their massive post holiday sale! And, exclusively for Irish Culture and Customs readers, take 10% off your order and get FREE shipping on orders over $50!   The discount will be removed AFTER you place your order.  Just put the code IC01 in the ‘add a gift card’ section! 
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:
First off, the answer to our Turkey riddle - yes, it’s been THAT long!
Q. Where does Thanksgiving come after Christmas?
A. In the dictionary - groan!
We had so many Riddle People tie for first in, we’re just going to say congratulations to all of you who sent us the correct  solution. 
Now In observation of the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Horse, here is our latest Brain Bruiser: 
A man on his deathbed informs his three sons that he will leave them his horses. To the eldest son he leaves half of his horses. To his second son he leaves one third of them, and to his youngest, he leaves one ninth. After he passes away, the three sons went to get their horses, but discovered there were 17 animals. They did not want to sell or kill any of the horses, and they could not think of a way to divide the horses exactly as their father wished. Just then their next door neighbor came riding along on his horse and listened to their problem. Immediately the neighbor thought of a way to divide the horses just as their father had wished.
Q. What was his easy solution? Please send your answer to:
It would be helpful if you 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: Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and our merchants are ready!
4. Article: St. Brigid the Giveaway
 5. Article: Celebrating Candlemas in Old Ireland
6. Article: The Holy Wells of Ireland
7. Article: Celebrating a Name Day in Old Ireland
8. Article: Irish Horn Rosaries
9. Article: The Irish Link to St. Valentine
10. The Irish Kitchen: St. Brigid’s Oat Cakes
11. Basic Irish: The Language of Love
12. Kid’ Ireland: Making St. Brigid’s Crosses
13. Music Review: Celtic Love Songs
14. Home page updates: new blessing, quotation,
and Culture Corner
SPONSOR:  The Irish Lottery:
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So there you have it until we write again - probably in mid-February. If you are planning on getting married between now and then or tied the knot in the month of January, here are your special verses:
Marry when the year is new, always loving, kind and true
When February birds do mate, you may wed, nor dread your fate 
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 lovely blessing in honour of St. Brigid
May Brigid bless the house wherein you dwell
Bless every fireside every wall and door
Bless every heart that beats beneath its roof
Bless every hand that toils to bring it joy
Bless every foot that walks its portals through
May Brigid bless the house that shelters you 
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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Celibacy can be a choice in life, or a condition imposed by circumstances.
While attending a Marriage Encounter Weekend in Dublin , Kathleen and Mike listened intently to the instructor who declared  “It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other."
He then addressed the men,
'Can you name and describe your wife's favorite
Mike leaned over, touched Kathleen’s  arm gently, and whispered, “Odlums,  isn't it?”
And thus began Mike’s  life of celibacy....
ED. NOTE: Odlums is Ireland’s leading brand of flour. Just replace it with the most popular brand in your country so when you tell the joke your audience gets it.  Or you might get some very puzzled stares!