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Liebster Award

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As is always the case in the month of May, at least since my children hit secondary school (middle school/high school), I am desperately behind in life! You’d think with all my natural ability to Martha-Stewart the heck out of things, I’d be better organised and ready for May each year…but sadly…no. I am always caught off guard.

My excuse this year is that I took a quick side-trip to Las Vegas back in April to visit with friends and to attend a national conference for the oldest mother-daughter organisation in America called National Charity League, Inc. I had such a great time, learned loads, and loved the dancing, socialising, (ehem!) meetings. Here’s hoping someday NCL will be a global organisation: hint, hint…Ireland maybe?

So, with May nearly over, I finally sat down at my computer to blog. What a surprise to discover that In an Irish Home has been nominated for a Leibster Award! Hmmm…maybe I should take more frequent breaks from writing?! Anyway, a big THANK YOU to the lovely Jovana Smith, “Jo”, over at The Inquisitive Writer  for the nomination. I’m absolutely chuffed and I accept!

But before I get on with the rules of being nominated for a Leibster Award, here’s a little bit about Jo: She lives in New Jersey and enjoys writing whenever the spirit moves her. Lately she’s been inspired to write about gardening, custom Lego building, Washi tape, and how to have a happier life. What I especially appreciate about Jo’s writing is that she’s 12! What?! I know, right! Amazing!! Kids these days have so many distractions (did I mentioned I have two…kids…not distractions). It’s really incredible when you meet a young person who is focusing their energy and creating something special. So hats off to Jo…and please go check out her blog when you can.

So, what is a Leibster Award?

If you’re not familiar with it, a Liebster Award exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. Its origin is unknown, but many believe it started in Germany. Liebster means: dearest, sweetheart, favourite, endearing in German. The award follows the principles of a chain letter in that it is given and then forwarded to others. It’s also seen as a marketing tool: a chance to promote not only your own blog but others too. The rules vary and are changing all the time, so in essence there really aren’t many rules. And, finally, the choice lies within the receiver to accept the Leibster Award and pay it forward or end it all together.

What are “The Rules”?

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to his/her blog.
  • Answer 11 questions from that blogger
  • Give 11 facts about yourself
  • Nominate up to 11 bloggers (it’s ok if you don’t know enough people yet to nominate!!)
  • Ask 11 questions for them
  • Ask them to give 11 facts about themselves

Now, with all that out of the way…here we go…!

Jo’s Questions to Me:

1. Would your change your name? If so, what would it be and why? Nope! Funny, I’ve thought about that question before and know, unequivocally, I like my name.

2. Do you believe in luck? If so, why? Kind of…I believe in luck and hard work. Why? I’m not sure…I just believe there are miracles out there.

3. Where would you prefer to live besides where you live now? Nowhere. I like splitting my time between Ireland and America.

4. What book or magazine are you reading currently? Just finished reading Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians and am waiting for his next book China Rich Girlfriend to come out.

5. If you had another blog, what would it be about? DIYs? Cooking? Traveling? It would be an anonymous blog about raising kids.

6. Would you live in a tiny house? (aprox. 100-500 sq. ft) Absolutely!

7. Which decade are you most? (20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 2000s, or 2010s) 1950’s.

8. What is your Zodiac sign? Libra.

9. Which time of day do you prefer most: morning light, daytime sun, a 7:00 p.m. sunset,  or a full moon? Sunset.

10. If you had a chance, would you meet up with all of your readers (for your blog) for coffee? Maybe not all of them, but definitely some of them.

11. If you could go back in time, which period would you go back in and why? I’d probably go back to the mid-1800’s in America when the West was being settled. The freedom of the period is exciting and it also seems to be a very romantic time too.

Offer 11 Facts about Yourself:

1: I’m very private.

2: When I’m under pressure, I don’t talk a lot.

3: I like being alone sometimes.

4: I’m a sunset girl, not a sunrise girl.

5: I’d love to be a race car driver.

6: I’m married to the best guy ever.

7: I love to read magazines.

8: I don’t like butter on my sandwiches.

9: I still believe in miracles.

10: I play the piano.

11: Some day, when I grow up, I’d love to do something that changes the world for the better.

Who are Your Nominees for the Liebster Award? My nominees are:

1. Campari & Sofa

2. Emerging Adult Eats

3. Nourished Peach

4. Kitchen Feasts

5. Cooking with a Wallflower

6. Jittery Cook

7. Eat Like a Girl

8. A Silver Voice from Ireland

9. Retirement & Beyond

10.The Travelling Pantry

11. Peters Food Adventures

* Please be sure to link back to me so I can read your answers!

My Questions to My Nominees are:

1. How did you decide on the title of your blog?

2. If you were to start another blog, what would it be?

3. Sweet or savoury, what’s your preference?

4. What’s your favourite dessert?

5. What’s your drink of choice?

6. What blogs do you read regularly?

7. If you could be anything (rock star, politician, doctor, parent)…what would you be?

8. Are you living to your potential? If so, how do you know?

9.) What’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self?

10.) Why did you start blogging?

11.) What do you think is the most important character trait?

Thank you again Jo over at The Inquisitive Writer! And to all…happy writing!

 

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Are ye getting tired of me yet? If so, tá brón orm (I’m sorry)! 

It’s quiet in our Irish home at the moment…which has given me time to read the many St. Patrick’s Day messages that have been popping into my in-box, Twitter feed, and Facebook account all day from people around the world.

It’s truly amazing the effect this tiny island has had on the world!

So…I’m making this post short and sweet…here are the “Best of the Best” video messages others shared with me today.  I hope they make you smile too!

1. A Chinese man walks into a pub in Dublin…no, it’s not the start of a joke:

 

 

2. What a warm welcome from our national airline, Aer Lingus:

3. Sure it’s Tourism Ireland…but still…we’re like no place on earth:

4. Ireland…the country that inspires:

5. Dublin’s Parade from 1951…75,000 people turned out even back then:

6. Making Shepherd’s Pie with Donal Skehan on The Today Show in NYC:

6. A Guinness ad from my friends in Australia:

 

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“Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh!” …or Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you! What a wonderful day to be Irish…here or wherever you call home.

This day two years ago, Dublin Airport posted a message on Facebook about St. Patrick’s Day which was absolutely hilarious…so much so it was carried around the world. Last night, just to be sure everyone remembered it…they re-posted it as a video:

 

St. Patrick’s Day as we know it…is not really an Irish celebration at-all. But, to be sure, we’re not about to be outdone…hence Ireland has caught the St. Paddy’s Day bandwagon by its hoop-de-doo wheels and turned it into an event that brings more 370,000 people to our tiny island and a good few hundred million euro to our coffers.

There’s a lot about St. Patrick and St. Patrick’s Day the world-at-large does not know (some Irish citizens aren’t aware either!). Here are just a few of the facts:

* The 17th March celebration is actually the death date of St. Patrick. He is thought to have died on March 17, 461 and is said to be buried in Down Cathedral, Downpatrick.

* The good saint himself was, according to legend, born Maewyn Succat. It is said Maewyn changed his name to Patricius (or Patrick), which derives from the Latin term for “father figure,” after he became a priest.

* Blue, not green was originally the colour associated with St. Patrick. Some say it was the Irish Rebellion that officially tied Ireland to the colour green…other’s say it evolved over time and is linked to our “many shades of green” landscape.

* Originally drinking was not legally allowed in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day, due to the fact that the day falls during Lent and Ireland is (was, and probably always will be) a very Catholic country. The law was repealed in 1961.

* In 1762, the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade, was held in New York City…not Dublin, Ireland.

* Ireland didn’t officially start celebrating St. Patrick’s Day as something other than a religious holiday until 1903, when Irish politician James O’Mara introduced a bill in Westminster that made it an official public holiday in Ireland.

The first ever St Patrick’s Day parade in Ireland was held in Waterford in 1903. The first official, state-sponsored St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin took place in 1931.The first St. Patrick’s Festival was held in Dublin over one day, and night, on March 17th 1996. It has since grown to a 4-5 day celebration.

At that brings us to today’s St. Patrick’s celebration in Dublin. There’s so much going on this year…here are just a few of the highlights:

In the Footsteps of St. Patrick Walking Tour – Over two hours, take a very special walk in celebration of Ireland’s national patron saint. Led by  renowned Dublin historian and author” Pat Liddy, walkers will see the places most tourists and many Dubliners miss. Discover the fascinating truth behind the legend of St. Patrick and the Dublin of his time. The tour starts at the corner of Suffolk & Andrew streets, beside the Molly Malone statue, and finishes at St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Funfairs: City at Play – This is an event my family has always enjoyed! From waltzers to family attractions to the carousel, there is something for everyone at the Funfairs.

St. Patrick’s Festival Parade – There are St. Patrick’s Day parades far older than the one held in Dublin…but our event is swiftly becoming the best of them all! This year’s theme, “Imagine If“, is the final stage of three years of parades highlighting Ireland’s past, present and future. Inspired by the imagination of the young people of Ireland…the parade will be a young person’s vision of Ireland over the next 100 years.

Big Day Out – At Merrion Square from 12-6pm, this free event will be bursting with energy, colour and whimsy. Children can enter The Book of Learning inside a Georgian House where UNESCO City of Literature opens up a world of magic, craft, creative writing and pet rats!  Just around the corner, SFI Science Zone gives budding scientists a chance to experiment with the enchanting world of science through amazing workshops, explosive shows and enthralling exhibitions.  Kids of all ages will enjoy getting their hands dirty at the Keelings Love to Grow Children’s Garden, where the first Irish strawberry of 2016 will be revealed. This and so much more make The Big Day Out event a true family affair.

Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credits:

 

* For more information about Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day, please click here.

** When did Ireland go from being blue to being green? Learn more here.

*** For more information about St. Patrick and his life, visit Catholic.org.

 

 

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There is a very old prayer attributed to Saint Patrick called “Patrick’s Hymn” or “The Lorica”. In Ireland we know it more commonly as “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” and “The Deer’s Cry”.

For centuries it was believed Saint Patrick wrote the hymn and sang it on the occasion when he and and a group of companions were on their way to the Hill of Tara to convert a great Irish king to Christianity. More recently, scholars suggest it was written by an anonymous author in the late 7th or early 8th century.

Whatever the case, it is a prayer/poem/hymn that reflects the spirit of the patron saint of Ireland. So, on this the feast day of Saint Patrick, I offer you his cherished prayer. God bless and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Saint Patrick’s Hymn

I arise to-day

Through a mighty strength

With the invocation of the Trinity,

Through belief in the Threeness

Thorough confession of the Oneness

In the society of the Creator.

 

I arise to-day

Through the strength of Christ with His baptism,

Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,

Through the strength of His resurrection with his ascension,

Through the strength of His descent for the Judgment of Doom.

 

I arise to-day

Through the strength of the rank of Cherubim,

In obedience of angels,

In the service of the archangels,

In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,

In prays of Patriarchs,

In preachings of Apostles,

In faiths of Confessors,

In innocence of holy Virgins,

In deeds of righteous men.

 

I arise to-day

Through the strength of heaven:

Light of sun,

Radiance of moon,

Splendour of fire,

Speed of lightening,

Swiftness of wind,

Depth of sea

Stability of earth,

Firmness of rock.

 

I arise to-day

Through God’s strength to pilot me:

God’s might to uphold me,

God’s wisdom to guide me,

God’s eye to look before me,

God’s ear to hear me,

God’s word to speak for me,

God’s hand to guard me,

God’s way to lie before me,

God’s shield to protect me,

God’s host to save me

From snares of devils,

From temptation of vices,

From everyone who wishes me ill

Afar and anear

Alone and in a multitude.

 

I summon to-day all these powers between me and those evils:

Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul;

Against incantations of false prophets

Against black laws of Pagandom,

Against false laws of heretics,

Against craft of idolatry,

Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,

Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.

 

Christ to shield me to-day

Against poison, against burning,

Against drowning, against wounding,

So that there may come to me abundance of reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,

Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,

Christ on my right hand, Christ on my left,

Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in every mouth of everyone who speaks of me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

 

I arise to-day

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity;

Through belief in the Threeness,

Through confession of the Oneness

Of the Creator of Creation.

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It’s been an exciting year for Ireland and its film industry and the proof is in the pudding…or maybe I should say “the Oscars” because, for the first time ever, Ireland has several Oscar entries in several categories. And this year it is very possible that an Irish co-produced film or an Irish actor/actress/director will take home an all important gold statue.

Here is the breakdown of the Irish at Oscars 2016:

Best Picture: Brooklyn and Room.

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Best Actor in a Leading Role: Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs. Though Michael was born in Heidelberg, Germany, and his father is German, his mother is Irish. His family moved to Killarney when he was a toddler.

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn and Brie Larson in Room. Saoirse was born in New York to Irish parents. When she was three the family moved back to Ireland and Saoirse grew up in County Carlow. Brie Larson is a native of San Francisco, California. And while she’s not Irish, she is being recognized for her role in an Irish film that was directed by Irishman Lenny Abrahamson, who is from Dublin.

Best Director: Lenny Abrahamson for Room. Lenny was born in Dublin. He studied physics and philosophy at Trinity College, where he also directed short videos with the Trinity Video Society, which he co-founded with Ed Guiney. He graduated in 1991 with first class honours (gold medal). Previously he directed Adam & Paul, Garage, What Richard Did, Frank, and, for television, Prosperity.

Best Short Film (Live Action): Benjamin Cleary for Stutterer. Benjamin is an Irish writer/director from Dublin. He completed a Screenwriting MA at the London Film School. Stutterer is his first short film, which he wrote, directed, and edited.

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Room, Screenplay by Nick Hornby and Brooklyn, Screenplay by Emma Donoghue. Emma was born in Dublin in 1969. She is an award-winning writer, living in Canada. Her first feature film is Room, which she adapted from her novel by the same name. Her novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange Prizes and has sold over two million copies. Her latest novel is Frog Music, a mystery inspired by a murder in San Francisco, 1876. She is adapting it into a feature film for Monumental Pictures.

How to Watch The Oscars from Ireland:

The 88th Academy Awards takes place tonight in the Dolby Theatre, Hollywood and it will be an all night affair for anyone watching it from Ireland. The famous red-carpet-walk kicks off at midnight Irish time and the ceremony itself starts at about 1.30am. The whole celebration will finish around 5am.

If you have Sky, you will have a few ways in which to watch the glitz and glamour. The E! channel will run its broadcast from 10.30pm-4.30am. Sky Living will start its live broadcast at 11.30pm. And, I believe, Sky will have a dedicated Oscars channel: Sky 331/Virgin Media 307. Alex Zane and Zoe Ball will host the previews until Chris Rock takes over at 1.30am.

Also, The Irish Times will have a live blog of the red carpet pre-event and the ceremony itself.

If you can’t be bothered to stay up all night (and who can blame you…personally I’m only interested in the Irish nominees!), it will be possible to catch up on highlights on Monday evening at 9pm on RTÉ2, when the event will be condensed into a (thank goodness) two-hour package.

Irish Oscar Win Odds:

What are our chances of the Irish bringing home the gold? Well, Laurence Mackin of The Irish Times predicts, “Don’t expect a haul. Brie Larson is 1/33 to pick up an Academy Award of Merit (the Oscar’s official name) for her stunning turn in Room. Variety recently threw its weight behind Benjamin Cleary’s chance in the best live action short category (Stutterer is at 3/1). The others though remain outside bets. Room and Lenny Abrahamson are at 66/1 and Brooklyn is at 200/1.”

I’m going to remain positive, however, and cheer the Irish on into the wee hour of the night. Here’s hoping Ireland wins big.

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Patience. Some say it’s a “virtue”, others say it is “a companion of wisdom”. I say, when exercised correctly, patience is an act of love. We practice patience with our children, particularly when they are young, with our spouses when they make us crazy, and sometimes…if we remember…with our parents…especially as they are aging.

My sister-in-law, Rosaleen, is a person with infinite patience. As her mum’s health slowly declined, Rosaleen’s patience exponentially increased. Everyone in our family watched in awe (and with gratitude) as she courageously stepped into the role of caregiving daughter and lived in that space for many years without complaint.

When Mama wanted to go to bed, Rosaleen was there to assist. When Mama asked the same question for the twentieth time, Rosaleen answered with kindness. When many of us thought Mama should enter a nursing home, Rosaleen resolutely disagreed. Taking Mama out of her beloved home was not an option to consider. Instead, Rosaleen got outside help to come to her and together everyone practiced patience in helping my magnificent mother-in-law leave this world.

By the grace of God, Rosaleen was near to Mama when she took her last breath…but she nearly missed the moment. The doctor, having been called to the house, examined my mother-in-law, and asked to see Rosaleen in the hall. For a few tense minutes they whispered about the inevitable and reentered the bedroom where Mama was resting. Not a second later, Rosaleen saw her mum turn to look at the sepia coloured wedding photograph of herself and Dada hanging on the wall. Mama then took one more breath and that was it. She was gone. Someone not practicing patience might have missed it, but not Rosaleen. She was there.

She was there in that moment and she was there for everything that happened in the whirlwind of a week thereafter. She made the arrangements for a celebration of life to honour Mama. She arranged the wake at home, the removal, and the sit-down lunch at the hotel after the burial. She cooked and baked and fed our large family and the many visitors that called in. She made endless cups of tea and opened more bottles of wine than any of us want to remember. Ah, sure, she’d tell us it was nothing with a wave of her hand or she’d say “many hands make light work” or give the credit to someone else. But we know…it was her. And now she quietly and patiently goes through a home filled with a lifetime of memories and cherished objects, passing things on to the next generation or recycling and giving away what she can whenever possible.

So today, on this the Month’s Mind of Mama’s passing, we not only remember the woman we called Mother, Granny, Great-grandma, admired Mother-in-law…we stop to thank the person who practiced the most loving patience we ever witnessed. Dear Rosaleen, we are so very grateful. Thank you.

Additional Reading & Listening:

http://www.rte.ie/radio1/doconone/2011/0715/646810-radio-documentary-house-strictly-private-irish-wake/

http://farmette.ie/2010/03/03/the-irish-country-wake/

http://blog.funeralone.com/grow-your-business/unique-services/irish-funerals-can-teach-us-celebrating-life/

http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/Ancient-Irish-funeral-and-wake-customs-recalled-this-Halloween-season.html

https://www.funeralwise.com/customs/irishwake/

http://www.irishcentral.com/opinion/others/it-may-be-a-stereotype-but-the-irish-do-great-funerals-138564194-238119711.html

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Mary Rose

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 3.15.08 PMIt is with great sorrow that I share with you the tremendous loss happening in our Irish home. After several months of illness, my wonderful mother-in-law, Mary Rose, passed away peacefully on the evening of 8 April 2015 surrounded by her loving family.

Mary Rose was our matriarch. Her beloved husband, Dan, passed away some time ago. She was in her ninety first year when she left this world and she is remembered with love by her twelve children, their husbands and wives, her twenty-eight grandchildren and her eight great-grandchildren.

Mama (the name her family called her by) was a woman of strong Catholic faith. She passed the tradition she felt so passionately to her children and their families. She attended mass daily until she was no longer able and for many years she participated in the Perpetual Adoration of her local church. She prayed the Rosary every day.

As those of you who have followed this blog for a long time will know, I was blessed to learn much from Mama. She gently encouraged and showed me how to cook, bake, garden, knit and sew. She was before her time in thinking about eating organically and maintaining good health ~ a passion we shared. In her quiet way, Mama also showed me how to be a good mother. Once, when I asked her how she managed to hold back her tears as she said goodbye to her children when they left Ireland, she told me a mother should never burden her children with such sorrow.

We will miss Mary Rose greatly. I leave you today with a poem that was read at her funeral mass:

Miss Me – But Let Me Go

by Edgar A. Guest

When I come to the end of the road

And the sun has set for me

I want no rites in a gloom-filled room.

Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little but not too long

And not with your head bowed low.

Remember the love that we once shared,

Miss me but let me go.

For this is a journey we all must take

And each must go alone.

It’s all a part of the Master’s plan,

A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick of heart

Go to the friends we know

And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.

Miss me but let me go.

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