Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year Traditions

In Peru it is a tradition for those who plan on traveling that year to go outside with a suitcase or some other piece of luggage and run around the block (as quickly as possible.

In traditional Spain (and Latin America), it is customary to eat 12 grapes when the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve.

Though this custom is also practiced in Argentina and Chile, nations which are not typically categorized as "Andean", the burning of dolls is a major staple of New Year's celebrations in Andean countries, being particularly popular in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. What people do is make dolls, usually of old cloth or rags, in the semblance of someone who that person wishes to forget and to symbolically leave in the past

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Irish New Year's Toasts

'Go mbeire muid beo ar an am seo arís.'
May we be alive at this time next year.

'Athbhliain faoi mhaise duit!'
A prosperous New Year!

In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship but never in want.

Monday, December 27, 2010

the boutonniere

The idea of the boutonniere comes from the ancient Greek, who believed that the flower and shrub could be used as a sort of charm or talisman to protect the groom and bride against evil spirit.

The boutonniere is usually a collection of one or two small flowers, with perhaps an accent of a bit of baby’s breath or fern. Most often, the boutonniere is worn for formal occasions, such as weddings or proms. It is always pinned to the left lapel of the tuxedo or suit.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Winter either bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail.

Blow, blow, thou winter wind, thou art not so unkind as man's ingratitude.
~ Shakespeare

Merry Christmas from Connecticut!

Kaelin's First Christmas in America

Saturday, December 25, 2010

An Irish Christmass prayer

Guímid ar son ár muintreacha agus ár gcairde
sa bhaile agus thar sáile ar an Nollaig seo

We pray for our family and friends at home
and abroad this Christmas.

Guímid go raibh grá agus síocháin Dé ag soilsiú
orthu gach lá.

We pray that the love and peace of God shines on them every day.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Mistletoe facts

Mistletoe is toxic to people, but the berries and leaves provide high-protein food for many animals. Many bird species rely on mistletoe for food and nesting material. Butterflies lay their eggs on the plants and use the nectar as food. Mistletoe is also an important pollen and nectar plant for bees.

American mistletoe, the kind most often associated with kissing, is one of 1,300 species of mistletoe worldwide but one of only two that are native to the United States. The other is dwarf mistletoe.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Irish Toast

May you never lie, steal, cheat or drink.
But if you must lie, lie in each other's arms.
If you must steal, steal kisses.
If you must cheat, cheat death.
And if you must drink, drink with us, your friends.

Irish Christmas Fact

Christmas whitewashing: Around Christmastime, you’ll still find the odd farm building out in the Irish countryside that looks like it’s just been whitewashed. Long ago, farm families cleaned and then whitewashed every building on the farm in December. They were covered in white paint or limewash, to symbolically purify them for the coming of the savior. The tradition traces back thousands of years, not just through Celtic culture, but through other Central European cultures as well.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Irish Christmas Fact

Before Christmas trees: Having an evergreen-type Christmas tree is a relatively new phenomenon in Ireland. Years ago, whole families went out to find holly bushes and ivy to decorate the mantelpiece and other parts of the house. Finding a holly bush with lots of berries was considered a harbinger of good luck in the coming year. Holly was also used because it allowed poor people to decorate their homes in the same way as those who were better off. The bush was so common in Ireland in winter there was plenty for everyone.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Irish Christmas Fact

"Little Women's Christmas," on January 6th, is a traditional day for Irish women to leave their housework behind and go out with each other to have fun. It's a very old holiday, kept alive today by a few enthusiastic Irish ladies.

It’s considered bad luck to take down holiday decorations before "Little Women's Christmas" (sometimes simply called "Little Christmas") on January 8th.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

a joke

A middle aged man is on a sea cruise when he notices a handsome woman watching him.
After several such occasions the man approaches the woman.

Man; "Good day madam! Do I know you?"
Woman; "You don't know how much you look like my third husband!"
Man: "Really! How many time were you married?"
Woman: "Twice!"

Irish Christmas Fact

A welcoming candle: A Christmas candle in the window, still popular not just in Ireland but here in the US, was long displayed as a symbol of hospitality (though Ireland never had a rule quite as strident as Scotland’s “first footing,” the New Year’s tradition dictating that one had to take in and lavishly entertain the very first person to enter one’s home after midnight). Window candles in Ireland were a symbol that the homeowner would welcome the Holy Family – unlike the inn keeper in Bethlehem who bore the guilt of having turned them away.During times of intolerance for Catholicism in Ireland, window candles also were meant to announce that it was safe to say mass in a home.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Irish Christmas Fact

On December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, virtually all schools in Ireland are closed for the day. It is traditionally the nation's number one day for Christmas shopping.

Children in Ireland are accustomed to finding presents left by Santa in their bedrooms, often in a sack at the foot of the bed. An occasional big gift may be left under the Christmas tree, but it’s usually unwrapped.

Friday, December 17, 2010

What To Eat in a Cold Winter

According to one source, the winter diet should have the following characteristics:

"Eat staple food. Protein, fat and carbohydrate are known as heat nutrients. Therefore, we should in winter increase the intake of staple food and grease to ensure the supply of high quality protein. Lamb, mutton, beef, chicken, venison, shrimp, pigeons, quail, sea cucumbers and other foods rich in protein and fat."

"Food rich in calcium and iron can increase the body’s ability to keep out the cold. Calcium foods include milk, soy, kelp, seaweed, shells, oysters, sardines, Shrimp, etc.; iron foods are mainly animal blood, egg yolk, liver, soybeans, sesame seeds, black fungus and red dates and so on."

jpr comment: This is the basic Eskimo diet!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Do Guardian Angels Exist ?

From the web....

"Years ago, when I had little desire to continue living but no longer suicidal, I was driving my car to visit a friend. As I approached her house, I didn’t park in my usual spot which was on a street about 75 feet from her house, a street which was above her house - to the left of a hill (she lived at the bottom of the hill). For some unknown reason, I pulled my car to the right on the bottom of the hill and still had my gear shift in drive and my foot on the brake when - a large car came speeding over the blind crest of this hill, ripping off the guard-rails which separated the street at the left from her house below. The car landed on its hood and would surely have crushed me to death had I parked in my usual spot for I would have been directly in its path as it came over the hill. What made me pull my card to the side where I did not normally park? That event convinced me that we do in fact have Guardian Angels."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

gold in the USA

Gold mining in the United States has taken place continually since the discovery of gold at the Reed farm in North Carolina in 1799. The first documented occurrence of gold was in Virginia in 1782. Some minor gold production took place in North Carolina as early as 1793.

US gold production greatly increased during the 1980s, due to high gold prices and the use of heap leaching to recover gold from disseminated low-grade deposits in Nevada and other states.

In 2007 the United States produced approximately 240 tons of gold, making it the fourth-largest gold-producing nation, behind Australia, South Africa, and China.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

the deepest well

On Russia's Kola Peninsula, near the Norwegian border at about the same latitude as Prudhoe Bay, the Soviets have been drilling a well since 1970. In 1985 it's depth reached 40,000 feet, making it the deepest hole on earth (the previous record holder was the Bertha Rogers well in Oklahoma--a gas well stopped at 32,000 feet when it struck molten sulfur).

It is not oil or gas that is being sought with the Kola well, but an understanding of the nature of the earth's crust.

That's 7.57 miles down showing how thin is the earth's crust.

Monday, December 13, 2010

An Irishman is a man who?

May not believe there is a God,
but is darn sure of the infallibility of the Pope...
Won't eat meat on Friday,
but will drink Jameson for breakfast.....
Has great respect for the truth,
he uses in emergencies...
Sees things not as they are
but the way they never will be.....
Cries at sad movies,
but cheers in battle....
Hates the English,
but reserves his cruelty for countryman....
Gets more Irish the further he gets from Ireland.....
Believes in civil rights,
but not in his neighborhood...
Believes to forgive is divine,
therefore doesn't exercise it himself....
Loves religion for its own sake,
but also because it makes it so
inconvenient for his neighbors....
Scorns money,
but worships those who have it...
Considers any Irishman who
achieves success to be a traitor

Friday, December 10, 2010

You are from Canada if

You design your Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.
You have more miles on your snowblower than your car.
You have 10 favourite recipes for moose meat.
The most effective mosquito repellent is a shotgun.
The trunk of your car doubles as a deep freezer.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The next generation

Despite what it looks like, this is not a sea monkey or The World's Most Amazing Alien Baby. This is a 2.5 inch human offspring currently at 12.5 weeks, but like most of its relatives, a little larger than normal, measuring at 13 weeks. I am due June 18th. Prayers, well-wishes, and general hoopla welcome.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Mikey

May you live 10 years longer than anyone you know,
And may the devil take your worst neighbor by mistake on your last day!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

rated 2nd most popular poem


Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

~~ Langston Hughes

Saturday, December 4, 2010

rated the most popular poem

Do not go gentle into that good night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

~~ Dylan Thomas

medical benefits of pimentos

Pimento is better known as Allspice in some countries. The reason behind its name Allspice is that its aroma can be described as a mixture of scents of clove, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper and a few other spices.

Contains an Anti Oxidant: This property is in great demand these days as it is being viewed as the key to ever-youth and longer, healthier life.

:The Essential Oil of Pimento has a relaxing effect on the muscles, nerves, blood vessels and the brain. This way, it gives relief from stress, anxiety, anger, nervous afflictions, convulsions, hypertension, mental unrest, depression, insomnia etc.Tri

Friday, December 3, 2010

The health benefits of olives

Due to its antioxidant compounds, olives and olive oil help the body protect itself against heart disease, colon cancer and other types of cancer. Olive oil’s anti-inflammatory effects help reduce the severity of symptoms of diseases such as asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

longest poem

The longest poem ever written by one man is the Shah Namah, or “Book of Kings,” written by a Persian poet named Firdausi in the 10th century.

This poem, a complete history of Persia, contained almost 60,000 verses, occupied 2,084 pages, and filled nine big volumes. It took the poet 35 years to finish the work!

There was a reason why Firdausi wanted to write a very long poem. The Sultan of Persia offered the poet one gold piece for every verse he wrote. But when Firdausi had finished his long work and asked for his 60,000 gold pieces, the sultan sent him 60,000 silver pieces instead.

Firdausi was so angered by the sultan’s act that he gave away all 60,000 silver pieces, he even gave 20,000 of them to a beer-seller for one glass of beer!