I am delighted to meet you.
I've heard so much about you.
I am really curious about what will come out of us working together.
I really enjoyed teaching Genealogy courses in 2013.
I met some wonderful people.
I made new friends.
I learned many new things.
I had a truck load of fun. .....
Heritage can mean property or an inheritance, something that is passed down from preceding generations. My inheritance was love. My small Granny gave me love. I always felt welcome in her house. I always knew that she wanted the best for me. In a confusing world, I felt safe in her house.
Granny's house meant hugs and apple pie....
I think you know how much you love your work when your car breaks down and you can't get to the meeting and you come home and start searching online databases for long lost families!
This is me today...
This small house
This small house is part of who I am.
I never lived in it but this is the house my great grandmother Bessie (Elizabeth) married into in 1897.
It is the house in which my grandmother Catherine Hurley was born, in 1905...
Even as a very small child, I always wanted a brother. He would have been wise and strong and would have stood up to the bullies on the playground for me. When I was in my twenties I discovered that I do indeed have a brother. It was the first I had ever heard of my invisible brother Michael.
I will never be six feet tall and I will never not be Irish...
Click on the title to read on.
Blogs of specific interest to people with Irish Roots
A gift from my father
The Rose of Tralee
My brother Michael and Cillini
It's family time
Stuck in Grief...
Remembering my daughter Hannah
Sticking my neck out
Finding Uncle John
Duty and Choice
People leave Ireland for a reason
Cillini, burial of the unbaptised
What would the neighbours say?
Being Homesick isn't cool
"Don't want to be Irish anymore"
I am not blind
Justice for baby Marion Howe
An open letter to survivors of institutional abuse
She strode into the classroom, her long robes making a snapping sound. Her face was white and pinched. Everyone fell silent. It was going to be a hard day with Sister Mary. As the day went on, tension choked all sound. She asked one of the orphanage girls a question........
If there is one skill that we need in life,
it is the ability to draw the line.
A friend of mine is going through a separation.
Her marriage is ending.
I started to think the other day about this use of the word separation.
Years ago, I only knew it as a baking term.
Do you remember it?
'Separate the yolk and white of one egg.'
This Kerrywoman is heading for the hills... the hills of West Limerick that is!
My volunteer work with Ireland Reaching Out has grown and grown until I could not ignore what my heart was telling me. So when a job came up in West Limerick (about an hour up the road), I threw my hat in the ring....
There is a rhythm in everything.....
Lately, I am deep in the realisation that there is more life behind me than in front of me.
Daily, I am aware that life is short and that dreams can no longer be put on the long finger.
Though I still feel 37 inside, the outside says at least 47!
(Actual age 51!)
Questions come up.
The awareness rises again that life has not turned out as I planned...
Some things are easier to let go of than others.
The hardest thing I ever had to let go of was all dreams of mothering my daughter Hannah.
Hannah was born and died in 2004.
To read more click on the title or the picture
It's hard to let the light in when we are blaming ourselves for the death of our babies.
The secret that we all share is that we all do it.
'Maybe my baby would still be here if I hadn't lifted that box/taken part in that exercise class/eaten that soft cheese/had that glass of wine/had sex that night.....'
I haven't met a Mom who hasn't asked herself these questions......
...one of the most fruitful questions in life 'What matters to me?'
What matters to me may not matter to you.
It may be illogical.
Some might even consider it childish.
But none of that is important.
If something matters to you (or me) then it is important.
I gave thanks on Paddy's Day...
We have all had times in our lives when everything felt just right.
Times when we felt that everything fitted together.
Everything made perfect sense.
I invite you ......
To have work that we love matters so much.
But we also need balance in our lives.
We all need to know when to work ... and when to stop working.
Click on the title to read more.
Irish Genealogy from a researcher 'on the ground' full of helpful hints and snippets I find along the way.
My small granny kept a holy water font beside her door.
(this water had been blessed by a priest or came from a holy well)
Every time we left her she sprinkled water on our heads.
In this loving action she blessed us and wished us a safe journey and a speedy return.
Today I send a blessing to all my friends....
I don't fit neatly into any one category!
I am Irish, a writer, a mother, a genealogy researcher, a community worker, a mother whose baby died, a music lover, a lover of simplicity.....
So you will find one blog called My small granny and other stories which is about life and loss, family, roots and identity and another called Kerry Snippets which is about #IrishGenealogy
I hope you enjoy your visit.
What if it is true?
What if it is true that 'your soul knows the geography' as John O'Donohue says.
If your soul (and mine) knows the geography then we need have no fear.
I remembered my small granny telling me when I was little that 'a person can only sleep in one bed.'
I felt her words of wisdom sink down into my bones in a new way.
Even if I own ten beds, I thought to myself,
I can still only sleep in one.
I can only drink from one mug at a time,
wear one set of clothes,
live one life.
I yearn for the sun ...
It struck me once again today how much of my life I spend replaying yesterday and rehearsing tomorrow.
I cannot change yesterday.
I cannot control tomorrow.
A better 2014
Who doesn't want 2014 to be better than 2013?
Who doesn't want to learn from their mistakes, take better care of themselves and just enjoy life more?
Who doesn't want life to be just a little easier, just a little kinder, just a little bit more fun?
Most of us are too hard on ourselves...
Have you ever just sat and watched the water of a spring or a small river? Have you noticed how it meets an obstacle and just flows round it?
Yesterday, I felt tired after a busy week.
You know that kind of good tired of a job well done,
of goals met and attentive work.
I knew I needed to refill my energy bank...
A young boy in rural Ireland was told a story that he never forgot.
His neighbour said 'Do you see that jug on the dresser? Well that came from Mrs. O'Connor's house... Click on the title or the photo to read on.
the only thing
and the life
is a decision?
Most people try to run away from their broken hearts.
And it just doesn't work.
No lasting change can happen in our lives unless we begin to have compassion for ourselves. This world is full of people who do not know how to be kind to themselves. Compassion begins like everything, with small actions...