Sláinte! The Great October Fair

The Ballinasloe October Fair is one of the oldest fairs in Ireland. While now predominantly associated with horses, in its heyday it served as a market for the sale of cattle and sheep by the farmers of the west to their counterparts in the east of Ireland. ℘℘℘ An Irish adage advises: Go East for a woman; go West for a horse. When I was a girl I had a bicycle. I...

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Sláinte! Clean Green

Summer is in full bloom! The days are longer, and the light is brighter. But with the drapes pulled back, and sunshine illuminating the corners of every room, suddenly everything looks a little dingy. The windows could benefit from a good washing. The chandelier has lost its gleam. Ditto the furniture. And while everything outdoors smells fresh and green, everything indoors seems a bit...

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Sláinte!: The Lace Place

Imagine Ireland. What do you see? Patchwork green fields, stone walls, crystal streams, ancient ruins, horses…and lace. From manor house to country cottage, windows are draped with the delicate webwork. Sofas, tabletops, dressers, beds, and tea trays hold lacy runners, scarves, and antimacassars. Brides seem like angels haloed in billowing veils. Casual observers see only frilly bits here...

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A little girl enjoys the rainfall.

Sláinte! Rainy Day Comfort

“Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain.” – Anonymous ℘℘℘ When people who live elsewhere than Los Angeles phone me and ask “How’s the weather?” I often reply, “What do mean ‘weather’? We only have sun.” Call me an ingrate for grousing about the bounty of sunny days we experience, but constant sunshine has a real downside....

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Illustration to Robert Burns' poem "Auld Lang Syne" by J.M. Wright and Edward Scriven.

Sláinte! Auld Lang Syne

With the New Year in mind, Edythe Preet writes about Robert Burns: Scotland’s Immortal Bard. ℘℘℘ In case any reader has ever wondered how a gal named Preet could claim Irish ancestry, here’s my genealogy: my maiden name was Burns, my father was George Burns (mom heard many a “So are you Gracie?” wisecrack), and dad’s mom was a McCaffrey, born in County Fermanagh. Like thousands of...

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