Greetings & Blessings to All,
We’re deep in the summer doldrums which happens every year, but it’s particularly hard this season; what it means is that visits to the web site are way down and that has a hugely negative impact on everything from click-throughs for our Google ads as well as sales through our shops. So, we’re sending out this mid July update in hopes it will encourage you to stop by the site and explore what’s on offer. Many thanks in advance!
Meanwhile, we hope this additional edition to our regular newsletter finds you and yours in fine fettle and on the pig’s back. As for ourselves, here in our Ohio Valley,  we’re doing our best to cope with more than two weeks of horrendous  heat and bone dry conditions.  The grass has pretty much gone dormant but the positive side of that is not having to mow as often! Wherever you are, we hope your weather is better than ours!  One notable affect on us was a lengthy power outage at the beginning of the month - we lost our internet connection and our emails for several days. If you wrote to us during the period between July 2nd through 5th, we probably didn’t receive your message - so please re-send. 
SPONSOR: The Celtic Attic
What ever the celebration,  you will find the perfect gift at the Celtic Attic. Come browse and buy- PLUS, exclusively for our 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: 1-360-286-2307
On line: 
Herself is reading a light and lively new novel by Michael Loynd called All Things Irish. Set in a quirky Wisconsin fishing village of diehard Scandinavians, it’s about what happens when a native of the ould sod opens an Irish shop. While a full review will be forthcoming, thus far, the read has been thoroughly enjoyable. Best of all, Michael is generously offering our readers the opportunity to win one of five books. To enter the drawing, please send Bridget a message with All Things Irish in the subject line. Send your message to:
1. NEWS: Links to headlines in the Irish newspapers
2. COUNTY NEWS: Bibs and bobs from all 32 counties for the week ending Friday July 13
3. MAJOR  EVENT: Details about Ourland - A Celebration of Irish Culture in America, taking place at the Lincoln Centre in NYC on July 29th. 
4. NEW POLL QUESTION: If you live outside the island of Ireland, will you be going over for a visit in 2012. To cast your ballot directly, please visit Map Your Vote at the following link:
ED. NOTE: While you’re on the Map Your Vote page, be sure to check out the video from Discover Ireland - well worth watching!
5. DO YOU KNOW YOUR JOYCE FROM YOUR JEDWARD? This quiz is a little ways down on our home page and we hope it pique’s your curiosity about how tourists in Temple Bar, Dublin responded to questions on Irish Culture - and also how you might have responded.
6. ARTICLE: Watching the Weather on St. Swithin's’Day. Did it rain where you are on July 15th? Id didn’t in our Ohio Valley and we could sure use some of that famous “Irish sunshine” Ironically, in Ireland, they’re praying for an end to what’s been one of the wettest summers on record, but if the St. Swithin’s myth carries any weight, their prayers won’t be answered for 40 days!
7. ARTICLE(S) - The Galway Races are right around the corner and we have several articles on this popular event. Here’s the link to the first and you’ll find links to the others at the end of the article.
8. ARTICLE - Driving in Ireland, Part 2. Helpful hints from himself!
9. IRISH KITCHEN - Grilled Mountain Lamb and Salad from Gerry Galvin, one of Ireland’s culinary pioneers:
10. BASIC IRISH - Words and phrases related to Golf -  a passion shared by many an Irish man and woman like us - even if we are total duffers!
11. KIDS’ IRELAND - a story about emigration during the famine
12. MUSIC REVIEW: Our resident reviewer William Ramoutar, tells us all about the legendary Wolf Tones.
13: JULY TRIVIA CONTEST - so far, we have just one entry and sad to say, this feature has been getting fewer and fewer efforts each month; if you’d like to see it continue, please try your hand - it’s not that difficult, you could win a good prize and all of the answers are somewhere on the site:
14: CIRCLE OF PRAYER: The fifth Novena in this cycle began on July 13th and continues through July 21st. Just one addition since last we wrote: please keep our granddaughter Caitlyn in your prayers as she is going through some difficulties at the moment. Thank you so much!
So there you have it until we send out our regular newsletter at the end of the month.  We’ll take our leave with this lovely irish blessing:
When the wind is howlin' in everyone's ears,
May you hear a soft, lilting breeze;
And if the rain is lashin' down,
May it only be dew at your knees.
If the ground 'neath your feet
should quiver and shake,
I hope you'll be standin' with ease;
And never go hungry or wantin' for much;
May God grant you all that you need!
And as they say in Ireland, mind yourself!
Slan agus beannacht leat! 
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.
Celtic Blessing - sung by the St. Coca's Choir, from Kilcock, Co. Kildare