Welcome to the Irish Culture & Customs newsletter which is published every weekend and sent out to nearly 1200 readers all over the world. You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it - God Bless you! If you'd like to read past issues, they are archived at: http://www.yourmailinglistprovider.com/pubarchive.php?Herself
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Greetings & Blessings to Everyone,

It was a dark and stormy night - the beginning of the worst novel ever written seems an appropriate way to start off this week's edition. True, it is the tornado season in this part of the world, but the past several days have been way worse than usual. We have been very lucky here in S.W. Ohio - touch wood; but, all around us, folks are digging out from the mess left by violent storms that have strafed the mid-section of the country - and continue to do so. We have several subscribers in areas particularly hard it - Kansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee - and we pray that you and your families are safe.

For us, it has been several nights in a row of being awoken by the angels bowling in heaven. But, we are very thankful that all we have lost is a few hours sleep. We're not out of the woods yet. As the temperature and humidity continue to increase, we'll have the right conditions for unsettled weather for the rest of the month. In fact, the sirens went off earlier today. Fortunately, this storm system passed us by with nothing more than a lot of rain. But, that's May in the midwest and, as with hurricane season down south, you just have to live with it... Or move to Hawaii. Now there's a thought. Except that there they have active volcanos. Oh well.

Except for the nasty weather, it's been a great week. We are tickled to report that advertising space for the newsletter is officially (i.e. paid for) sold out for the next several weeks. Please do us a huge favor and visit our advertisers, Celtic Attic and Old Irish Prints. They have given us a great vote of confidence and we hope you will prove that they made the right decision by taking a look at what they have to offer.

We're also very happy to tell you that we received two very generous donations as a result of our fund drive. Which led us to think that we may have been a bit precipitous by closing down the effort after only one week. Procrastination is just so Irish- and just may be, you've been putting off sending in that contribution. In any event, we're going to leave the fund drive going until the end of the month. If you enjoy these ramblings and meanderings, you can help keep us going by sending a donation of $2.00 or more to Himself/Herself, 5670 Meryton Place, Cincinnati, OH 45224. And, to cast the bread on the waters a bit further, at the end of the drive, we'll take a percentage of all the donations received and make a contribution to the Northern Ireland Children's Project.

While your donations would be of tremendous help, we don't want to overlook how much we appreciate your support in other ways as well. Many, many thanks to all of you who have bought things through our various affiliate programs - we don't know who you are, so we can't thank you personally, but please know that any time we see an order recorded, Bridget grins ear to ear. She also gets a big silly smile on her face when she reads the many lovely messages you send us every day. But, and this is important to all of the students out there - she has decided that while she will help you with your homework in any way that she can, she isn't going to do it for you - no matter how much you tell her you love the site!

Enough of all that. It's a long way from the beginning of this letter to what it's really all about - welcoming you back - and hoping that this week's issue finds you and yours healthy, happy and contented. We especially want to say a warm hello to all of our new subscribers. Do we usually go on and on with this much blathering? Well, yes, but, some weeks are worse than others. That said, if you'd like to forward this issue to family and friends and encourage them to sign up, we'd really appreciate it.

As for the site...we did a lot but didn't come close to doing everything we wanted to. Tomorrow's a clean slate and hopefully, we'll fill it up with all the things we promised to ourselves - and to you. In the meantime, on with the update:
Please help us to keep this newsletter free by visiting The Celtic Attic:
Shop on line for everything you need to decorate your home and life with a Celtic Twist: Art, Crafts, Irish & Scottish Baskets, Suncatchers, Wind-Chimes, Music and Celtic Gifts. We offer a delightful variety of Celtic Jewelry: Pendants, Crosses, Rings, Hair Ties & more. All your Irish Bath, Beauty and Herbal needs are in one
convenient location! The Majority of our products are Irish, Scottish, Welsh made.
http://www.celticattic.com Phone orders 360-765-0186
Note: Please be sure to enter the code IC46 in the comment area of the order form so that they know you came from the Irish Culture and Customs newsletter. Thanks!
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
It was so windy that one of our chickens laid the same egg four times.
(Excerpted from an Irish mother's letter to her son)
Two lovely old biddies had been friends for many decades. Over the years they had shared all kinds of activities and adventures. Lately, their activities had been limited to meeting a few times a week for a cup of tea and a natter. One day they were sipping their tea when one looked at the other and said, "Now don't go getting upset with me...I know we've been pals for a long time.....but I just can't think of your name! I've thought and thought, but I can't remember it. Please tell me what your name is. Her friend glared at her. For at least three minutes she just stared and glared. At last, she said, "How soon do you need to know?
1. Two signers of the American Declaration of Independence, William Whipple and John Hancock had Irish mothers?
2. William Barclay "Bat" Masterson - gunfighter, buffalo hunter, frontier lawman, and newspaperman - was the son of Catherine McGurk who was from Northern Ireland?
3. Oscar Wilde's mother, Lady Jane Francesca, wrote under the pen name "Speranza?"
Your little brother came home from school yesterday crying. All the boys at his school got new suits, but we can't afford to buy him one. Instead we're going to buy him a new hat and just let him look out the window.
(Excerpted from the same Irish mother's letter to her son)
The answers to last week's quiz:

1) Water Horse, a book of Irish poetry - Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill
2) The Irish Derby-1866-1979 - Guy St. John Williams and Francis Hyland
3) Racing and The Irish - Sean Magee

A round of applause (or pints) for this week's Irish bibliophiles:

Danny Hennessy

Hartson Dowd
Irish Genealogy - Search for your Roots.

Helen Dowd
Will you be thinking about Mother's day this week? Check out:
http://occupytillicome.online-ministries.com/poetry/messages/95.html for a Mother's Day poem - Ode To Stepmothers. Need an angel? Visit my website at: http://occupytillicome.online-ministries.com/ Helen Dowd.

Deirdre McKiernan-Hetzler
Who has the longest continuously running tour from the States to Ireland? According to Terry Flynn Tours of Ireland it's the McKiernans of Irish Books & Media: http://www.irishbook.com/tours.htm

Anne Mulvey

Judith Flynn

This week's quiz - who wrote:

1. All the Green Gold - An Irish Boyhood
2. An Irish Country Childhood - Memories of Bygone Days
3. The Magical Realm - An Irish Childhood

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!)
Hint: All three titles can be found on amazon - please click here:
Send us the correct answers to two out of three and the rewards are:
1. Article: Mothering Sunday in Ireland
2. Article: A Powerful Woman
3. The Irish Kitchen: Simnel Cake. In recent times, this cake has become associated with Easter. But in the old days, it was the traditional gift given to Mothers on their special day.
4. Poetry: In anticipation of Summer, you'll find a bit of Thomas Moore, and a bit of Frances Ledwidge
Russ has also been busy with the Poetry section in general. Check out Goldsmith and Joyce in the poetry index
5. Basic Irish: Our lesson this time features words and phrases related to the festival of Bealtaine (which is the word for May in Irish) and the Month of Mary
6. Kids' Ireland - Our tale for May is Old Whiskers Wins a Wife
7. New Books: We've added several titles appropriate to various articles. For example, a terrific read called The Mammy is in the margin with A Powerful Woman:
Looking for a particular Irish book we haven't listed? Grab a cuppa or a pint and browse this list of 600 titles - all in alphabetical order:
8. May Trivia Contest. Many people have written to say they like our new format for this month. Haven't tried it yet? Take a look and let us know what you think.
9. Circle of Prayer. Our second Novena in this cycle began on May 5 and will continue through May 13. Requests for prayers this week include Steve who was badly injured in a fall. We'd also like you to remember Sam who is just 5 and battling cancer, as well as Gayla's brother-in-law whose cancer has returned. There are so many in need of our petitions - if you would like to include them along with your own intentions, please join us in prayer and meditation at a time that is convenient for you:

Between all of the bad weather when we always shut down our computers and then working on income-producing projects when the weather allows it, we haven't had time to add new content. But, we'll do our best to give you something fresh and new to read in the next few days. In the meantime, our regular features will make their usual appearance - daily news and history, a new blessing on Sunday, quote on Wednesday, and a new recipe from Hartson toward the end of the week.

So that's the lot until next time; we hope that in the coming week, you and yours will be held in the loving care and protection of God's gentle hand. We also leave you with this lovely Irish verse, in honor of International Mother's Day tomorrow:

There is but one and only one
Whose love will fail you never
One who loves from sun to sun
With constant fond endeavor
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

To all Irish mothers everywhere, Lá Mháthair shona dhuit - God bless You On Mother's Day.

And, as they say in Ireland - mind yourself (and your mother!)

All the best,

Bridget & Russ
Get down on your knees and thank God you're still on your feet
Please help us keep this newsletter free by visiting Old Irish Prints:
Looking for an out-of-the-ordinary gift for Mother's Day, or other special occasion? Why not get her a quality framed print of the county or town in Ireland her ancestors came from, or just an area she is fond of in Ireland? The Old Irish Print Company has framed prints of old Ireland starting at $35. Include the code 333 with your order and receive free shipping in the US, 50% off outside the US. Go to: http://www.oldirishprints.net
Send an email to: bhaggerty@irishcultureandcustoms.com
OR click on this link:
Note: To avoid duplication, we are listing 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

Inis Mór, Aran Islands: Celtic Spirit Culture Week - July 14 to July 23
Dear Irish Culture Friends: This is a message to remind you, that the enrollment for this programme finishes on the 10th of May. You will find all the details here:

Voyage of the Jeanie Johnston
Charleston South Carolina: the Jeanie Johnston will be arriving on Thursday, May15th and departing Monday, May 19th
For dates and details of other ports, please click

Boston, Massachusetts:
The McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College is hosting a highly-acclaimed exhibit entitled Eire/Land, which explores Ireland's landscape with artifacts ranging from medieval manuscripts to contemporary mixed-media items. Open until May 19, the exhibit comprises roughly 100 manuscripts, archaeological artifacts, early maps and prominent Irish landscape paintings from the National Gallery of Ireland, the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery in Dublin and the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork, as well as private collections.

Texas: The Brazos Valley Celtic Association meeting on Tuesday May 13 will feature Keltic Cross-Fire doing a presentation consisting of traditional Celtic dance tunes, vocal stories and original music. For more information, please contact Claire Byrne - bvcelt@alpha1.net

7th Clann McKenna Rally - June 25th through Sunday June 27th 2004
For details, please write plunkettmckenna@eircom.net
or click on the following link:

Like to write? Our Cincinnati Celtic Music and Cultural Festival has just announced a brand new writing competition. If you're interested, you can get the rules and other details here: http://home.fuse.net/cfl/festival.html