On Being A Blow-in

Clouds blowing smoke

In small rural Irish villages the term ‘blow-in’ is often used to classify anyone not born in the immediate surrounding locality. In other words a blow-in is a person who has relocated to an area, who has no roots there. Image Credit Using Irish terminology  I am a ‘blow-in’ to Kentucky. In fact I’ve been […]

Irish Myths And Legends Audio Book Giveaway

Irish Myths and Legends - Album Cover

Ireland is a land of myth and legend, with epic tales from days gone by describing mysterious worlds, where nature and magic exist side by side.  Irish children grow up hearing stories of brave warriors and fearless saints. Today I’m delighted to publish a guest post by David Murphy, co-author and presenter of two new […]

The Thatched Cottage As A Symbol Of Ireland

Traditional Irish cottage

The thatched roof cottage with whitewashed walls is a powerful symbol of Ireland, often featured on postcards. This quaint, traditional image immediately represents Ireland for many people throughout the world. I love thatched cottages. Every time I see one on television, on the internet, or smiling at me from the pages of a magazine, I […]

Irish Poems For Mother’s Day

The_Irish_Mother_by_Alfred_Downing_Fripp

Ireland is a land of poets and poetry. What better way could there be to celebrate Mother’s Day, than to explore how Irish poets have immortalized mothers in lyrical words and verses over the years. Image Credit If you have visited my blog before, my love of poetry will be no surprise. Little ditties, Irish […]

Introducing Crestleaf – An Outstanding Genealogy Website

crestleaf-logo

Sifting through family history resources and genealogy websites can be a daunting task if you are one of the many Americans eager to trace your roots.   Image Credit However, if you are one of the 33.3 million Americans of Irish ancestry help is close at hand.  The good folks at Crestleaf have compiled a […]

Bring Me Back A Rock!

Seaside rock - a gift from Ireland

A stick of rock! Who remembers these tubes of hardened sugar, we savored as kids.  In Ireland these traditional, cylindrical, boiled sweets were usually dyed pink and white, or sometimes festooned in our patriotic colors of green, white and orange. When a friend or relative was heading to the beach, or seaside as we say […]

History Of The Aran Sweater Plus A Giveaway From Standún, Spiddal

Men's Aran Sweater from Standun

Hand knitting is an ancient craft, perfected by the people of Ireland, where sheep and wool are plentiful. The Aran sweater has evolved into a national icon, and I consider it to be Ireland’s most significant contribution to international style.  In today’s post we’ll explore the origins of these traditional Irish sweaters and I’ll introduce […]

If I Were A Lady …. I’d Wear A Hat

Kentucky Derby Hat

It’s Kentucky Derby weekend, and the people of Louisville are donning their finest attire for a day at the races. Ornate hats will balance atop the heads of well-heeled ladies, as they watch the Run for the Roses tomorrow. Image Credit These fashion statements of Churchill Downs may be relics of the past, yet Kentucky […]

Knocknarea And Queen Maeve of Connacht.

Knocknarea as seen from the dolmen at Carrowmore

Knocknarea dominates County Sligo’s skyline, and together with Ben Bulben, these two peaks are the most striking landmarks in the entire county. Today I thought it’s high time for a scenic interlude, and what better subject matter or mountainous model could there be for a blog post, than the magnificent Knocknarea in County Sligo. So […]

Irish Primrose Superstitions And Lore

Two primroses in Ireland

When I think of Ireland, I imagine hedgerows of delicate primroses in spring. I love to see these yellow blossoms in shady banks, damp woods, along the roadside, or peeping between the blocks of old stone walls. I wasn’t one bit surprised to learn this wild flower of Ireland was considered sacred by our Celtic […]

Rules Of The Irish Clothesline

Washing on the line in County Mayo

Hanging out the wash – oh how I remember the drill.  With clothes pegs (or pins) balanced precariously between my teeth, I hung shirts and skirts, hankies and socks, sheets and towels, all in neat and ordered rows. In the Ireland of my youth the clothesline dance was learned at an early age.  Today electric […]