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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Irish Jokes for St. Patrick's Day

If you're planning on celebrating St. Patrick's Day the traditional way, you'll probably find just about anything funny tonight. If you're not into the Irish pub thing though, here are some jokes that you won't need to down green beer to laugh at. Thank you Author Donn Taylor.

Irish Jokes for St. Patrick's Day
by Donn Taylor

Joke #1: Guess Governors Aren't Too Popular in Ireland
O'Brien tells this story: 'Twas a beautiful St. Patrick's Day, and I went for a drive. 'Twas so beautiful that I didn't watch where I was going, and I rear-ended the car ahead of me. What's worse, 'twas the governor's car that I hit. And yet worse, a big, red-faced policeman saw it all and came straight to my car.
            "So ye didn't watch where ye was goin'," he said. "What's yer name.?"
            "Me name is O'Brien," I said.
            "Well, Mr. O'Brien," the policeman said. "Me name is Shaughnessy." He lowered his voice.
            "Tell me now, Mr. O'Brien, just between us Irishmen: How fast was the governor goin' when he backed into ye?"

Joke #2: Irish Poker Humor

Six Irish men are playing poker when one of them plays a bad hand and dies. The rest draw straws to see who will tell his wife. One man draws the shortest straw and goes to his friend’s house to tell the wife.
The man says to her, “Your husband lost some money in the poker game and is afraid to come home.”
The wife says, “Tell him to drop dead!” The man responds, “I’ll go tell him.”

Joke #3: Actor Jokes

Q: What's the difference between God and O'Toole?
A: God doesn't wander around Dublin thinking he's O'Toole.

Joke #4: When You Just Don't Recognize God's Hand

An Irishman was flustered not being able to find a parking space in a large mall's parking lot.
"Lord," he prayed, "I can't stand this. If you open a space up for me, I swear I'll give up drinking me whiskey, and I promise to go to church every Sunday."
Suddenly, the clouds parted and the sun shone on an empty parking spot. Without hesitation, the man said, "Never mind,I found one."

Joke #5: We All Have THAT Co-Worker

Two paddies were working for the city public works department. One would dig a hole and the other would follow behind him and fill the hole in. They worked up one side of the street, then down the other, then moved on to the next street, working furiously all day without rest, one man digging a hole, the other filling it in again.
An onlooker was amazed at their hard work, but couldn't understand what they were doing. So he asked the hole digger, "I'm impressed by the effort you two are putting in to your work, but I don't get it - why do you dig a hole, only to have your partner follow behind and fill it up again?"
The hole digger wiped his brow and sighed, "Well, I suppose it probably looks odd because we're normally a three-person team. But today the lad who plants the trees called in sick.'"

Joke #6: Smart-Aleck

Billy stops Paddy in Dublin and asks for the quickest way to Cork.
Paddy says, "Are you on foot or in the car?"
Billy says, "In the car."
Paddy says, "That's the quickest way."

Joke #7: Picking on the Media Goes Way Back

Gallagher opened the morning newspaper and was dumbfounded to read in the obituary column that he had died. He quickly phoned his best friend Finney.
"Did you see the paper?" asked Gallagher. "They say I died!!"
"Yes, I saw it!" replied Finney. "Where are ye callin' from?"

Joke #8: Always Ensure You Read the Fine-Print

Father Murphy walks into a pub in Donegal, and says to the first man he meets, "Do you want to go to heaven?"
The man said, "I do Father."
The priest said, "Then stand over there against the wall." Then the priest asked the second man, "Do you want to go to heaven?"
"Certainly, Father," was the man's reply.
"Then stand over there against the wall," said the priest. Then Father Murphy walked up to O'Toole and said, "Do you want to go to heaven?"
O'Toole said, "No, I don't Father.
The priest said, "I don't believe this. You mean to tell me that when you die you don't want to go to heaven?"

O'Toole said, "Oh, when I die, yes. I thought you were getting a group together to go on a trip right now."

One Liners for Your Evening

Irish sayings: There are only three kinds of men who don’t understand women: young men, old men, and middle-aged men.

Never iron a four leaf clover. You don’t want to press your luck.

The Irish gave the bagpipes to the Scots as a joke, but the Scots haven’t got the joke yet.

The Irish way - Now don’t be talking about yourself while you’re here. We’ll surely be doing that after you leave.

Irish Blessing - As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way.

Old Irish Curse - May those that love us love us, and those that don’t love us, may God turn their hearts. If He can’t turn their hearts, may He turn their ankles, so we’ll know them by their limping!

Irish diplomacy - The art of telling someone to go to hell in such a way they’ll look forward to the trip.

Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he earned a PhD in English literature (Renaissance) and for eighteen years taught literature at two liberal arts colleges. His poetry is collected in his book Dust and Diamond: Poems of Earth and Beyond. In addition to his historical novel, Lightning on a Quiet Night, he has published two suspense novels and a light-hearted mystery. More are on the way. He is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences and groups. He lives in the woods near Houston, TX, where he continues to write fiction and poetry, as well as essays on writing, ethical issues, and U.S. foreign policy.

Read Post 6 in the St. Patrick's Day Series:
Read Post 5 in the St. Patrick's Day Series:
Read Post 4 in the St. Patrick's Day Series:
Read Post 3 in the St. Patrick's Day Series:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

St. Patrick's Day: A Time to Buy Your Children Adorable Clothes

As a mom of a little boy, I don't often get to dress my child in adorable clothes like all you moms' of girls do. Last week, when I tried to put a mildly cute sweater on Joe-Joe for church, (it was blue, manly, I really wasn't asking that much), he yanked it off within five minutes, all the time making whimpering noises about how horrible a mother I was for trying to make him wear it. But I loved reading about author J'nell Ciesielski's fun dressing her daughter for St. Patrick's Day.

St. Patrick's Day: A Time to Buy Your Children Adorable Clothes
By J'nell Ciesielski

Dancing leprechauns, glittery shamrocks, and oversized green hats. It can only be that time of year again. St. Patrick’s Day. A day to celebrate Christianity being brought to Ireland by Saint Patrick, but now mostly serves as a day to pretend you’re Irish and get drunk. Though my family does have Irish in the blood, we’ve never really celebrated the day. At least not in all the greenified glory that some take to with gusto. Perhaps if we drank more green beer and gave out sloppy kisses to strangers … on second thought, no.

There is one tradition that I grew up with and still carry on now with my own family. You have to wear green or you’ll get pinched. Legend has it that wearing green makes you invisible to leprechauns who like to sneak up on people and pinch them. The only reason I think this tradition persisted in our family is because my mom wanted to take out her aggression and pinch us all day. Whatever the reason, it’s something I’m carrying on because, why not? It’s fun and though my husband finds it weird, our two year old daughter will find it hilarious. 
ETSY: JessStuffWtihLove

Plus, I just bought her a green Minnie Mouse t-shirt that she’ll look adorable in. A green shirt on the day is standard, but I’ll take nail polish, shoes, socks, and even underwear. Though with underwear you can get away with pinching because you can claim you never saw the green underneath!

Born in Florida, I spent a happy childhood splashing on the sugar white beaches only known to the Sunshine Stare. While in middle school, my dad got a job transfer to Texas where I graduated from Texas A&M with a B.S. in Psychology. Not knowing what else to do with my life and seeing as how writing wasn’t paying the bills yet, I joined the Air Force. Stationed in Germany I was privileged to travel to France, Austria, the Netherlands, England, and my favorite Scotland. I also met my awesome husband over there. Finding him was worth wearing camouflage and combat boots every day. After serving our four years, we now live in Virginia where I’m a stay at home mom to a busy two year old and a very lazy beagle. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

St. Patrick: A Saint for All

What better way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day than to visit Ireland. For those of you who don't have a plane ticket to Ireland in their budget (that's me! :), take a quick trip to Ireland through Cindy Thomson's guest blogpost below.

St. Patrick: A Saint For All
By Cindy Thomson

After my two trips to Ireland, I found it interesting that there are more sites historically linked to St. Patrick in Northern Ireland than in the Republic, and yet St. Patrick’s Day is more widely observed in the Republic than it is in Northern Ireland.

If Patrick is considered to be a Catholic saint, then perhaps that makes sense. The Republic of Ireland is about 84% Catholic as opposed to Northern Ireland’s 48%. But as The Saint Patrick Centre in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, points out, Patrick reaches across both Catholic and Protestant traditions. Patrick was born in the late 4th century somewhere in Britain. He was kidnapped and brought to Ireland to work as a slave. Sometime later he escaped, went back to Britain, and studied in the church. The manner in which he decided to return to Ireland, and thus Christianize the island, is the stuff of legends.

From my book, Celtic Wisdom:

            One night a man named Victoricus visited him in a dream, bearing many letters from Ireland, much the way Old Testament figures received angelic messages from God. This vision gave one of the letters to Patrick that read, “The Voice the Irish.” Immediately Patrick heard the voices of those he’d known in Ireland crying out together, “We beg you, holy youth, that you shall come and shall walk again among us.” Later confirmation came in another dream when Patrick heard the words coming from “within me or beside me, saying, ‘He who gave his life for you, he it is who speaks within you.’”
            And so Patrick returned to his place of prior enslavement.

Patrick belongs to both Britain and Ireland, and he lived when there was only one church. Thus it is the mission of the Saint Patrick Centre to unite people using the story of Patrick. Visit them online here:

Downpatrick is one my favorite places. My ancestors lived there before immigrating to America in the 18th century. On the grounds of Downpatrick Cathedral you will find the burial place of St. Patrick, along with the other two patron saints of Ireland, St. Brigid and St. Columcille. There are other sites in Northern Ireland where it is believed St. Patrick traveled. A driving trail covering 92 miles and 15 sites has been marked out for visitors. You can learn more about it here:

I’ve been to many of these sites, and few in the Republic of Ireland also attributed to the patron saint. I find his story inspires me to find the common ground when I encounter people of different religions and cultures. There is so much more to celebrate on St. Patrick’s Day than green beer and parades, at least for me.

Cindy Thomson is the author of seven books, including her newest novel, Sofia’s Tune, the third book in her Ellis Island series. She is the author of Brigid of Ireland—a novel about the saint—and is at work on the sequel, Pages of Ireland. She also writes genealogy articles for Internet Genealogy and Your Genealogy Today magazines, and short stories for Clubhouse Magazine. Visit her at, on Facebook at and on Twitter: @cindyswriting

Read Post 4 in the St. Patrick's Day Series:
Read Post 3 in the St. Patrick's Day Series:

Friday, March 11, 2016

When You Find Yourself In a Pinch

Excited to welcome Angela Dolbear to my blog for my St. Patrick's Day series to talk about one of the more painful St. Patrick's Day traditions.

Fun Fact: I hardly ever wear green on St. Patrick's Day, and I can't remember anyone actually pinching me. No one ever tried to rub my stomach when I was pregnant with "Joe-Joe" either. I guess I have a really good evil glare. 

When You Find Yourself in a Pinch
by Angela Dolbear

          I don’t like snakes. I never have and probably never will. Maybe it’s the sly slithering, cold-bloodedness that puts me off, or the fact that they don’t have fur and won’t ever play fetch. And when they wag their tails, it doesn’t mean they are happy to see you. Or maybe it’s an “Eve” thing. As a woman, I suspect hanging out with snakes won’t end well.
         At any rate, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day should be a good thing to me, since as legend has it, St. Patrick is responsible for running all the snakes out of Ireland. But the Irish-oriented holiday has always brought a bit of anxiety and dread. Why? I have an unreasonable fear of being pinched.
           So I wonder…where does this tradition of mean-spirited violation of personal space for not wearing a certain color originate? Results from a quick browse of a reliable sites on the inter-web say that folks in the 1700’s believed that wearing green would render an individual invisible to leprechauns who were apparently inclined to pinching people.
           So, say if a colonist’s wardrobe was void of a garment with hues such as mint, malachite or moss, that person would suffer a good pinching from the community at large to remind them that they are susceptible to being seen by a leprechaun, and thus opening themselves up for another pinching.
           Seems a bit of circular reasoning, but perhaps a pinch from a leprechaun is more drastic than I may think it would be coming from the likes of the charming little fellow pictured on the boxes of beloved marshmallow-infused breakfast cereal.
            So, does my deep-seated fear of being pinched stem from a subconscious fear of leprechauns’ pinching? Probably not, since I didn’t know about the legend before I researched it.
             But whenever I’m out shopping and I see a green-colored garment that catches my eye, my default mental response reads, “That would be good for St. Patrick’s Day.” And the response carries no festive traditional note. No. It’s a predication of prevention. A strategy for survival:  To stave off the dreaded pinch for not wearing green on St. Patrick’s Day.
             In my clothing arsenal, I have a green buffalo plaid button-down shirt with a matching green cardigan to wear just for the holiday in mid-March. And if that wasn’t enough, I also have several bottles of nail polish ranging from shamrock to deep forest green, so I would be certain to be safe, and beyond pinch-able.

             It seems more likely that my pinch phobia stems from my childhood. I come from Italian-American descent where there is a mandate that all senior members of the ethnicity are required to greet the younger members by pinching both of their cheeks. Hard. And for a prolonged span of time, all the while a term of endearment is spoken over the youth, with vigor through gritted teeth. And always in Italian. Unfortunately, my knowledge of the Italian language is quite limited consisting of almost exclusively terms for food and profanity.
            In any case, I partake in the tradition to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day every year. I just don’t want to get pinched. And you never know when a leprechaun is lurking about.
But adoring zealous Italian relatives? That’s a different story.

With much divine prompting, singer/songwriter and author Angela Dolbear retreats nightly to her cozy home office in Austin, Texas, faithfully flanked by her Labrador retriever, to carry out her calling, which is to write. Her third and latest novel in her New Adult genre series, THE GARDEN KEY TALES, entitled FISH OUT OF WATER, is the tale of expectations, purpose, and patience.
The second book, MINDOVER MADELEINE, is a tale of fear, forgiveness, and the Loch Ness Monster (released in 2014). And the first book in the series, THE GARDEN KEY, is a tale of lust, redemption, and really good cheeseburgers, which was released in 2010 to rave reviews and emotionally spent readers. THE GARDEN KEY STUDY GUIDE is a companion Bible study guide to the novel and excellent for individual or group study.
Angela was born and raised in Southern California where she graduated from Biola University. She is a worship leader at her local church, writes and records adult/alternative music, and is quite fond of all things mid-century style.
To learn more, please visit her website, or for book and music information. Email:
Instagram: authorangeladolbear
Twitter:  @AngelaDolbear
Facebook: Angela Dolbear

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Psalm for St. Patrick's Day

Since St. Patrick risked his life and freedom to bring the gospel to Ireland, I thought it only appropriate to share a passage from that Bible that he taught the Irish. St. Patrick served six years as captive in Ireland before escaping through the encouragement of a dream. Psalm 126 is about the joy Israelite captives felt when God granted them freedom.
View towards signal tower, Bray Head, Valencia Island (Espresso Addict) / CC BY-SA 2.0

The author of Psalm 126 is unknown, but we do know that it was written when the people of Israel returned from the Babylonian captivity. During the 6th century B.C., the inhabitants of Judah were taken into captivity as slaves in a foreign land for seventy years.
We all felt great concern  for the brave American captives imprisoned in Iran for three or four years. Imagine if ISIS captured you and held you in the Middle East. Then, seventy years later, you were able to get free and return to America with your children and grandchildren who had never set foot on American soil. That's the kind of jubilation these Israelites felt when they returned to their land and people. I can almost hear the joy in their voices as I picture them singing this Psalm.

Psalm 126 NIV

A song of ascents.

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
    we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, Lord,
    like streams in the Negev.

Those who sow with tears
    will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
    carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
    carrying sheaves with them.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The History of St. Patrick's Day

The first step in celebrating St. Patrick's Day is figuring out what the holiday is all about. Excited to welcome author Karen Wingate to my blog to tell us a little about how St. Patrick's Day came to be. (And check out her delicious St. Patrick's Day recipe below.)

The History of St. Patrick's Day
By Karen Wingate

I love St. Patrick’s Day! It’s my favorite of the second tier of holidays.

My family, who knows of my secret passion for anything with potatoes, would accuse me of wanting yet another reason to eat my favorite food since the Irish also love potatoes. I admit, I do love Irish food—Irish Stew, Corned Beef and Cabbage (although that didn’t become popular until the Irish moved to America where beef was more plentiful), and Irish Soda Bread.

I can do without the green beer, the McDonald’s mint milkshakes, and shamrock shaped sugar cookies. I cook Irish food and wear green or shamrocks on St. Patrick’s Day only to symbolize that I’m observing a very special day.

Why? Am I Irish?  Um, I thought I was until I talked recently with a cousin on my father’s side. Nope, not a drop.

The commemoration of St Patrick’s Day goes back as far as 1762. George Washington is noted to have allowed his troops to celebrate the day in 1780.  It’s become known as a holiday with parades, the ever present green beer, and dinners of Irish food.   Yet to the Irish, it is more a religious holiday than a day of decadence and celebration. Here’s why and here is why this day is important to me.

According to a Breakpoint article by Charles Colson, Patrick was born to a middle class British family in about 390. As a teenager, he was captured and taken as a slave to a remote part of Ireland to serve as a shepherd. In his lonely hours, Patrick began seeking after God. Six years later, God miraculously freed him from his servitude. But Patrick was a different man when he came back to England. He would return to Ireland with the purpose of bringing the Irish to Christ. He was the first missionary to a non-Roman civilization. Through Patrick’s work, God brought thousands back to himself. This was no easy task. The Irish were known as a cruel and violent people.  Patrick returned to the land of his captors, fully aware of the dangers of death and enslavement.

For me, St Patrick’s Day is a day to remember Christian heroes and missionaries.  I spend the day praying for my missionary friends. As I eat my corned beef and cabbage, I thank God for my Christian heritage and wonder at God’s ability to use one man to change a civilization.

I think of other Irish missionaries—my friends Mark and Kelly Nickel who moved to Ireland in 1989. In the 17 years they were there, they started a church that only consisted of 10 adults.  They had a youth group that had 15 kids.  Many looked at their work as a cult.

While in Bible College, Kelly discovered she had a brain tumor.  In spite of this, she married, had children and moved to Ireland.  Kelly’s brain tumor came back and Kelly died in November of 2004.  Even though their work was so difficult and what many would term unproductive, people throughout the world were touched by Kelly’s faith in spite of extreme suffering.  Throughout their time in Ireland, a number of interns came to work with them.  As one intern, Thea Smith, says, “she portrayed the love of Christ to everyone even when it got to the point that she couldn’t talk.”

I’ve learned some lessons from St. Patrick and Kelly Nickel.

1) Just because a church is established in a certain locale does not mean it will last.  The seven churches of Revelation no longer exist.  Despite St. Patrick's work thousands of years ago, Ireland once again desperately needs Christ.  The church and the faith in your family is always one generation away from extinction.  We must work hard to maintain and preserve the faith, whether in our family, our home church, or on a foreign mission field.

2) When we think of foreign missions, we often think of places like Haiti or India.  But Europe desperately needs the “unadulterated” gospel.  The need for Christ in Ireland is extreme.  Pray the Lord of the harvest to send workers into His fields.

St Patrick’s Day is a great day to thank God for the many unknown missionaries who aren’t honored with a day of their own and to pray that God’s Word become known among the nations. Want to join me?

Irish Fact: St Patrick used the shamrock to teach the Irish about the Trinity.

For more information about St. Patrick, check out the book, “How The Irish Saved Civilization” by Thomas Cahill, Anchor Books, 1996.

Karen’s Crock-Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage

Rinse and pat dry one corned beef. Discard spice packet.  Place corned beef in crock pot. Place cabbage wedges and red potatoes on top. Cover and cook on high 4 hours or low for 6 hours or until potatoes and cabbage are fork tender. Serve with Irish Soda Bread or pumpernickel bread.

Karen Wingate is an author, Bible study leader, and women’s ministry coordinator in Roseville, Illinois. She is the author of several books in the Rainbow Publisher’s series, Five Minute Sunday School Activities along with numerous magazine articles and Vacation Bible School curriculum. She is currently working on a series of historical novels set in northeast Ohio. You can enjoy more of Karen’s thoughts at

Monday, March 7, 2016

How to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day: In 4 Easy Steps

St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner. Can you believe that in all almost thirty years of my life, I've never celebrated St. Patrick's Day?

Castles of Leinster: Trim, Meath, Mike Searle

 I decided this was the year that would change. So I enlisted four awesome authors/bloggers to write guest posts about how they celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

This week you'll be hearing from each of them on my blog. Here's hoping you get some great ideas and I'm excited for my first year celebrating St. Patrick's Day.

In the meantime, check out this recipe for Irish Soda Bread. I hear it's not completely authentic Irish, but it looks delicious.

Read post 2 in this St. Patrick's Day series here:
Read Post 3 in the St. Patrick's Day Series:
Read Post 4 in the St. Patrick's Day Series:
Post 5 in this series: