Sunday, November 10, 2013

Happy Birthday Marine Corps

Happy 238th Birthday United States Marine Corps

Formal commemoration of the birthday of the Marine Corps was begun on November 10th, 1921. That date was chosen because it was the date that the Second Continental Congress resolved in 1775, to raise two battalions of Continental Marines. The rest is history.

The Marines performed with honor at the first war proclaimed by our new nation. In 1801, when Thomas Jefferson became president, he refused to accede to the Barbary pirates of Tripoli’s demands for an immediate payment of $225,000 and an annual payment of $25,000. This refusal brought about the first war the United States would fight as a country. The first line of the Marine hymn, “from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli,” references the 600-mile march across the Libyan Desert of a group of Navy men and others to capture the port city of Derna, Tripoli. It took a concerted effort by England, France, Spain, and the United States to end over four hundred years of Muslim piracy on the Barbary Coast.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Jacobsville First Grade 1947

My first grade class, Jacobsville, in Pasadena, Maryland. That is me, in the second row, fifth from the left. I started first grade here on my birthday, September 4th, 1947.

Magothy Methodist Church
I believe this is the church building that my first grade class used in 1947, 1948, as overflow, or at least it was a building that was on this location at that time, and I believe that the teacher pictured was Miss Webber.

Magothy Methodist Church

Monday, October 28, 2013

Battle of Bristoe Station

October 2013 was the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Bristoe Station in which two thousand American soldiers were killed or wounded. The sunlight, wind and temperature were perfect for this picture of a cannon at the Bristoe Station Battlefield Park in Prince William County, Virginia.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Happy Leif Erikson Day

Today, Leif Erikson Day, is an annual American observance which occurs on October 9th, honoring Leif Erikson (Icelandic: Leifur Eiríksson, Old Norse: Leifr Eiríksson or the Norwegian: Leiv Eiriksson), the Norse explorer who led the first Europeans known to have set foot in North America. Leif Erikson 

However ... In reality, it was Bjarne, who was America’s Discoverer in 986 AD. 

Most people have no idea that the first European to discover American was a Barney. They think it was Leif Erikson or Christopher Columbus or John Cabot. When Leif found the coast of America he was following Bjarne’s discoveries. Bjarne Herjolfsson, a Norwegian Viking from Eyrar, Iceland, found what is now New England in 986 AD. He went back to Greenland where his family was living and told his father, Harold, what he had seen. Harold was a member of Erik the Red’s sailing team. Erik the Red then ordered his son, Leif, to go and find the lands that Bjarne had described. The rest is history, and Christopher Columbus ended up getting the credit, for even though he never set foot upon North American soil, he had a great publicist. Leif came in second place, and Bjarne was forgotten.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Barney's Poker

This is the famous Barney's Poker game that our Barney family loves to play whenever they get together. The proper name is "Seven card high-low, Roll your own, Bring 'em back."

Here are the Rules for Barney's Poker:

  •  1. Deal 3 cards to each player, all face-down.
  •  2. Each player selects one card which is turned face-up. The player with the highest card(s) showing has the opportunity to start the betting round -- else he can check or fold.
  •  3. Deal another face-down card to each player (4 total cards); then each player selects a card to turn face-up; betting as in step 2.
  •  4. Deal another face-down card to each player (5 total cards); then each player selects a card to turn face-up; betting as in step 2.
  •  5. Deal another face-down card to each player (6 total cards); then each player selects a card to turn face-up; betting as in step 2.
  •  6. Deal the final face-down card to each player (7 total cards). Now each player has 3 face-down cards and 4 face-up cards; betting as in step 2.
  •  7. Each player selects the 5 cards which make the best high or low poker hand, and discards the other two. Then he arranges the five poker-hand cards in the order that they are to be revealed to the other players.
  •  8. All players turn up one card and there is a betting round as in step 2.
  •  9. All players turn up 3 more cards -- one at a time -- and betting rounds as in step 2.
  • 10. There is one card remaining face-down. Now each player declares whether he is going for a high hand or a low hand (We always do this by hiding chips in our fists and holding our fists over the table -- no chips for a low hand, one chip for a high hand -- when everyone is ready then all fists are opened and everyone's declaring chips are shown at once).
  • 11. One more betting round, as in step 2 (but see House Rule #4). Then the winning hands are shown.
These are the Barney House Rules for this game and most other poker games:
  • 1. A player cannot check and raise in the same betting round, unless he has called at least once before raising.
  • 2. The lowest hand is Ace-2-3-4-6. (Ace-2-3-4-5 cannot be low, as it is a Straight.)
  • 3. Small flushes and small straights count as high hands, but cannot be used as low hands (i.e., you can't go both ways in Barney's Poker).
  • 4. If one player goes high (or low) and everyone else goes the other way, then that "odd man" player bets first, and cannot ever raise.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Benbow's Farmhouse and the Mormons

A Picture from Edna

This past Spring, a friend of mine, Judy Z, gifted me with a piece from her David Winter Cottages collection. She gave me "Benbow's Farmhouse" and described it as having a very interesting connection to the Mormon church.

Researching further, I found that Benbow's Farmhouse by David Winter Cottages was a commemoration piece to honor the 150th anniversary of the arrival, from America to Britain, of the first missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon).

In 1840, Apostle Wilford Woodruff of the LDS Church arrived at Worcester, England in a horse-drawn carriage and then walked about fourteen miles to Hill Farm (Benbow's Farmhouse) at Castle Frome, Herefordshire. There he presented his Gospel message to John and Jane Benbow, members of the United Brethren. In a barn at the Benbow's farm was held a religious revival, in those days a huge event. At three meetings that day, over a thousand people heard the message of Apostle Wilford Woodruff. In John Benbow's farm pond more than six hundred converts were baptized by immersion into the Mormon faith. Many of these converts soon made their way to America to join the Mormons in Missouri, Illinois and later in the Utah Territory. John Benbow himself was instrumental in the first printing of the Book of Mormon in Great Britain.

David Winter Cottage
The image, David Winter - Benbow's Farmhouse, was originally uploaded by Edna Barney. It is posted here from Barneykin's flickr account.

Thursday, August 08, 2013


This is the pie that I made for July 4th, 2010. It is the Best Blueberry Pie Ever!
Slice of Blueberry Pie

CRUST: One double recipe for Edna’s Perfect Pie Crust.(Here are some good substitution recipes: Simply Recipes)

  • 2 pounds (6 cups) fresh blueberries, rinsed and stems removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (for thickening)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Prepare the crust, doubling the recipe. Roll out half of the dough on a lightly floured work surface, about 13 inches in diameter. Fit the dough into a 9-inch pie pan, and trim the edges to a 1/2 inch over the edge all around the pan. Chill in refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, mix sugar, flour, cinnamon and lemon zest. Place blueberries in a separate large bowl and add lemon juice. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the large bowl and then transfer the entire mixture to the bottom crust of the 9-inch pie pan. Roll out remaining dough to the same size as the first. Place on top of the berry filling. Tuck the top dough over and under the edge of the bottom dough, and crimp the edges with your fingers. Sprinkle the crust with granulated sugar.
  3. Optional for Superior Results: At this point you may place the entire pie to the refrigerator to chill until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
  4. Heat oven to 425°F. Remove the unbaked pie from refrigerator. Score the top pie crust with three cuts to allow steam to escape during baking. Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven with a lined baking pan on the lower rack to catch any spills. Bake for 20 minutes at 425°F. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 40 minutes more or until juices are bubbling and have thickened. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before serving. Makes 10-12 servings.
Blueberry Pie
Slice of Blueberry Pie Originally uploaded by Edna Barney

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Neddy's Easy Chili Recipe

  •  2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey 
  •  1 onion, chopped 
  •  1 bell pepper, chopped 
  •  1 carrot or celery stalk chopped (optional) 
  •  1 can stewed tomatoes 
  •  2 (16 ounce) cans tomato sauce (chili-flavored) 
  •  1 can diced Rotel tomatoes (mild or spicy according to your taste)
  •  1 can ranch style beans
  • 1 can pinto beans 
  •  1 can kidney beans 
  • Dash of dried Italian Seasoning to taste (optional)
Cook and crumble ground meat with onion and pepper. If you used lean meat, there will be little or no grease, however if you used lower quality hamburger, drain grease before proceeding. Add tomato sauce and canned tomatoes. Simmer for one half hour (30 minutes). Add all remaining ingredients, partially draining canned beans if you prefer a less soupy chili. Mix all together in a big pot, and simmer at least another half hour or longer.

NOTE: If I have it on hand, I will add a small smoked sausage (sliced) with the ground meat. I usually freeze half of this to serve later in the month. When I get to the remainder of the leftovers, I often add cooked elbow macaroni when reheating to stretch it a bit (Chili-Mac).

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Robin and the Sparrow

"Said the robin to the sparrow,
'I should really like to know,
Why these anxious human beings Rush about and worry so.'

"Said the sparrow to the robin,
'Friend I think that it must be,
That they have no Heavenly Father,
Such as cares for you and me.'”

 ~~Unknown Author

I memorized this verse when a young girl from seeing it hanging upon the wall of a friend’s kitchen. At that time I did not memorize the author nor the title, which I have since discovered to be "Overheard In An Orchard" by Elizabeth Cheney.

Editor's Note: I first published this post in 2006, and since that time I have received the following comments (copied from the now defunct blog).

  1. Thanks for the words of this poem. I also have known it since childhood, but wanted to confirm the wording in a few places.
    Comment by Sunroi — July 19, 2006 @ 12:50 pm
  2. Since the publication of this post, I have since found that the author of this old poem is not “anonymous”, but seems to be Elizabeth Cheney and the poem she wrote was titled “Overheard In An Orchard”.
    Comment by Neddy — August 10, 2006 @ 9:16 am
  3. I’ve memorized this poem as a child from an old picture my mom had framed with the poem–I was wondering if anyone knows where this picture can be found?
    Comment by barbie — August 20, 2006 @ 10:05 am
  4. When I was a young man the poem was on a plaque just above our wall phone and I read it each and every time I used the phone. I still qoute it often when I need these words of inspiration.
    Comment by Jim Robbins — August 26, 2006 @ 9:00 am
  5. I also memorized this poem when I was a young girl. I never forgot it, and was hoping to find it written somewhere again. It had been on a plaque that hung in our dining room near our phone. It seems this poem has meant a lot to many people and touched them when they were young. It was great to find the poem, and to hear about other peoples experiences much like my own.
    Comment by Dorothy Bennett — September 21, 2006 @ 4:20 pm
  6. Here’s a pic. I found. Just google ‘robin and sparrow’ under images if this doesn’t work. :)
    Comment by Lauri Mayberry — January 4, 2007 @ 2:20 pm
  7. My Grandmother had this plaque in her kitchen and every time I visited her we would say this together. after she passed away I had the plaque for the longest time and then through many moves I lost it and have been looking for another one ever since. If I ever find another I will hang it in my kitchen by the window just like she had her’s.
    Comment by pam — January 24, 2007 @ 9:17 am
  8. I Love This Poem! I have it in my desk drawer.
    Comment by Judy — March 27, 2007 @ 9:37 am
  9. My first try on goggle, and I found the poem I was looking for. I am going to be the speaker at a mother daughter banquet at our church and I want to use this poem. Great!
    Comment by Joy Grassu — March 28, 2007 @ 5:01 am
  10. I first read this poem in my literature book while I was doing home schooling!! It was good, and I was really blessed. Thanks for posting it and the info about the author!
    (i know this is post was posted 2 years ago, but I just thought I’d comment anyways).
    Comment by Daniella Raj — March 29, 2007 @ 7:37 am
  11. I also memorized this poem from a beautiful wall plaque hanging in my grandmother’s home. I found it recently in an old storage box and now have it hanging in my home. I am interested in the author, Elizabeth Cheney. How ironic that she so loved birds while our Vice President with the same last name takes such great pleasure in killing these lovely creatures.
    Comment by Debby Castellitto — June 6, 2007 @ 1:02 am
  12. In fairness to the VP, he was hunting game birds, not killing robins and sparrows for pleasure. All of God’s creatures can be lovely in appearance, including chickens, turkeys and lambs, which also can taste delicious when harvested as food.
    Comment by Neddy — June 6, 2007 @ 8:20 am
  13. The author is Elizabeth Cherry. I love this poem…
    Comment by Rachel — July 21, 2007 @ 10:58 am
    Comment by JOE R. FORD — March 10, 2008 @ 7:55 am
  15. Thank you for posting the words!
    I learned them from a friend who sang this as a song, but have since forgotten some of them, but remebered the tune. Thanks again, you made my day!
    Comment by Cynna — May 12, 2008 @ 12:09 pm
  16. Where Can I get a framed copy of this
    Comment by Nelma Korthals — June 19, 2008 @ 9:53 pm
  17. I truly love this poem. When I was little me and my sister would spend weekends with our grandparents, they had this poem hanging on our bedroom wall. Our grandparents have long past and me and my sister have been trying to remember the words to the poem, together we were able to piece it together. Does anyone know where we can find a plaque with this poem on it? I would love to surprise my sister and get it for her as a gift as well as one for myself. I took a chace a googled it, I couldn’t believe I found the words. Please let me know where I can find a plaque.
    Comment by Tami — June 24, 2008 @ 8:18 am
  18. there is a 2nd verse I know “So the Robin and the sparrow Sang their chorus, Oh how sweet,don’t you know that Jesus loves you, come and gather at His feet. He who feeds the Robin red breast, He who marks the sparrows fall, He’s the one who died to save you. Come and trust Him one and all”
    Comment by trish lear — July 7, 2008 @ 7:37 pm
  19. I too would like to find the plaque. I can see it plainly in my Mothers farm house kitchen. Any one find it yet……..Let me know
    Comment by Sharen — August 30, 2008 @ 8:22 pm
  20. It was on a platter to keep waxed flowers in when I was a kid in the 50″s and has helped me through all my rough patches in life ever since.
    Comment by gail — September 15, 2008 @ 3:50 pm
  21. The Robin and Sparrow was one of the many poems my Mother would sing, say and read to her family when we were children. Several years ago I wrote, Illustrated the poems and dedicated the poetry book to her with all the familiar old poems and sayings. I had 22 books printed for her children and grandchildren. I did the book in Calligraphy with the illustrations in crayon.
    Comment by audrey Jervis — September 18, 2008 @ 4:33 pm
  22. to comment # 11 Debbie Castellitto I am desperately look for this plaque with both the robin and sparrow and apple blossoms. In was my Mom’s hanging in kitchen. Is there some way I can get in touch with you? Sharen at
    Comment by Sharen — November 20, 2008 @ 5:42 pm
  23. I have the Robin poem memorized and say it often. Another one that has been a real inspiration to me is this one:
    More than hearts can imagine
    or minds comprehend,
    God’s bountiful gifts
    are ours without end—
    We ask for a cupful
    when the vast sea is ours
    We pick a small rosebud
    from a garden of flowers,
    We reach for a sunbeam
    but the sun still abides,
    We draw one short breath
    but there’s air on all sides —
    Whatever we ask for
    falls short of God’s giving
    For His greatness exceeds
    every facet of living,
    And always God’s ready
    and eager and willing
    To pour out His mercy
    completely fulfilling
    Just give Him a chance
    to open His treasures
    And He’ll fill your life
    with unfathomable pleasures,
    Pleasures that never
    grow worn out and faded
    And leave us depleted
    disillusioned and jaded—
    For God has a “storehouse”
    just filled to the brim
    With all that man needs
    if we’ll only ask Him!
    Hopefull you will find it an inpiration as well.
    Comment by Fe Erickson — January 13, 2009 @ 3:32 pm
  24. Hey guys, My Dad’s name is Massie Tice and he was in a band back in the sixties called Morning Star Band, they used to sing a song called Robin and The Sparrow with music to these same lyrics. Just thought I’d throw that out there. Have a good one.
    Comment by Manasseh David Israel — March 12, 2009 @ 4:38 pm
  25. I just learned of Overheard In An Orchard and I am surprised I haven’t heard of it earlier. I am definitely going to keep this around for my young son and Sunday school class. I am definitely going to commit Beyond Our Asking to memory. Thanks for sharing those poems.
    Comment by Kimberly Herrington — March 16, 2009 @ 9:02 am
  26. I remember this poem vaguely from childhood. Yesterday, I visited a 93 year old dear friend. She said she had suddenly remembered this after years of never thinking about it, and recited it word for word. We had a lovely time discussing it and how special it is. I am going to send it to another 93 year old lady to see if she remembers it.
    A true blessing to us.
    Thanks to all those who have fond memories and left positive comments.
    Comment by Cherry Hamilton — November 29, 2009 @ 5:00 am
  27. Back in the 60’s I and my Jesus freak Gospel band “Morning Star were visiting Koinonia Farms in America Georgia (the seed that grew into Habitat For Humanity.) I found this poem on the wall of the house that we were given rooms to stay in while visiting there. I grabbed it and put the words to music and it became part of our repetoir. We sang it wherever we went and I am overjoyed to be reminded of the beautiful song that Father blessed me with to sing of His love for us. Now I’m 65 and still singing and will remember to sing this song anew. After suffering a stroke I have forgotten many of my songs so it is a blessing to be reminded of The Robin And The Sparrow. Now I am reminded of the sweet folks that I was blessed to get to know through Koinonia Farms near Americus Georgia. God bless Clarence Thomas founder of Koinonia Farms which morphed into HABITAT FOR HUMANITY! And Millard Fuller who took over Clarence’s work and molded the organization that has created shelter for a growing multitude of folks.
    Comment by Masie Tice — March 30, 2010 @ 6:13 am
  28. Back in the 60’s I visited Koinonia Farms outside of Americas Georgia with my Jesus freak gospel band. I found the poem on the wall of the cabin that was lent to us while we visited there and grabbed it an gave the lyrics music and we performed the song everywhere we performed all over the Eastern states. I haven’t performed it in many years and now that I have senior memory can’t recall many of the songs that we used to do. I am so happy that this one has come back to me and will (Father willing) resume singing this beautiful song that Abba gave me back in the sixties. Our group, Morning Star Band loved to sing our song, Robin And The Sparrow.
    Comment by Masie Tice — March 30, 2010 @ 11:20 am
  29. I also memorized this as a child with the help of a dear sweet person that I will always love.
    Comment by Carol Wakerley — May 28, 2010 @ 8:11 pm
  30. Phil Keaggy also included the quote in his song “A Time and a Place” in the early/mid 70s. Perhaps he heard it first from Morning Star.
    Comment by Bob Morris — July 18, 2010 @ 9:04 am
  31. I grew up with the plate hanging on the kitchen wall. The plate broke and my mom glued it back together. Does anyone know where I can find a plate in god shape?
    Comment by Susan — December 28, 2010 @ 5:34 pm
  32. Susan - Try Ebay for finding the plate.
    Comment by Neddy — December 31, 2010 @ 10:28 am
  33. As a child I saw this poem on a plack that hung on my grandmothers kitchen wall,I was so taken by it that I have always remembered it.
    Comment by joyce l. bischoff — August 30, 2011 @ 1:58 pm
  34. Thanks for posting - I’ve been looking for this poem to publish in a young mens magazine “Servants Heart.” Heard it in passing one time in a sermon.
    Comment by Jared — September 13, 2011 @ 12:42 pm
  35. Does anyone know when elizabeth cheney was born-I have another plaque “Faith Came Singing”-
    Faith came singing into my room
    and other guests took flight,
    Fear & anxiety,grief and gloom,
    sped out into the night.
    I wondered that such peace can be,
    but faith said gently,”dont you see,
    they really cannot live with me?”
    -Elizabeth Cheney
    it has a great tit in the left top corner with As thy days,so shall thy strength be.Deut 33:25
    also at top Lord,increase our faith.Luke 17:5
    I want to list it on ebay but would like to know more about the author for listing information.
    any help would be appreciated,also enjoy this little poem.
    Comment by joanne devlin — October 25, 2011 @ 5:03 pm
  36. this poem was in the first edition of our hospital newsletter 46 years ago. i only remembered “said the robin to the sparrow” so i googled that and found it. it is as inspirational today as 46 years ago.
    Comment by BRENDA NEILL — October 27, 2011 @ 4:08 pm
  37. Our family of 9 had this on our wall & memorized it too. It traveled all through CO, TX, AK and we moved often. It was one of the few things we took with us. My brother has the plaque. All of us would like to have it. I would love to find copies if they are out there. Call me -.
    Comment by Anna Thomas — November 29, 2011 @ 11:39 am
  38. Our plaque went with us through all our moves and I think all 9 in our family memorized and enjoyed the poem. We would all like a copy but my brother has the original plaque. If anyone knows where I can get one, please call me, XXX XXX XXXX. Thanks.
    Comment by Anna Thomas — November 29, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Hard Times Come Again No More

Here are the young Stella Sisters singing the Stephen Foster classic “Hard Times Come Again No More” in beautiful harmonies. The young Stella Sisters – Lennon and Maisy, appear on the TV series “Nashville.”

Friday, March 29, 2013

Entombment of Jesus

A Picture from Edna

Good Friday - It is finished, but it is not over.
And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave [him] leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.” (John 19:38-42 KJV)
Mural of Jesus from the Crypt at Washington National Cathedral The chapel that contains this mural is located on the crypt level of the cathedral. It contains New Testament imagery that show the promise of eternal life: Jesus’ birth, his death and entombment, and his resurrection. This somber mural tells the story of Jesus’s entombment following the crucifixion. I snapped the photograph at the CHAPEL OF SAINT JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA. Joseph was the wealthy man who gave his tomb for the burial of Christ's body after the crucifixion.

The image, Mural of Jesus, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Neddy's flickr account.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Easter Moon

Watch the Easter Moon of 2013 shine all night tonight, from Sundown to Sunup. Welcome Easter this coming Sunday. Wherever you live worldwide, look up to the heavens tonight for the brilliant full Easter Moon to illuminate the darkness from dusk till dawn. The moon will be low in the East at dusk and at its highest point in the sky around midnight. It will be low in the West before Sunrise tomorrow.

The Easter Moon tonight in Northern Virginia, March 26th, 2013.

  Moon FAQs

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saint Patrick Shipwrecked

Legend has it that about 1,500 years ago Patrick, a native Briton of Roman parents, was stranded on the tiny island of Ynys Badrig, also known as Middle Mouse, off the north-east coast of Anglesey, north of Wales. He then swam the treacherous one mile to Anglesey and lived in a cave before building the church of Saint Llanbadrig, which still stands today at Middle Mouse. The Briton is more familiar as Saint Patrick, one of the world’s most beloved saints and Ireland’s patron saint. He was said to have driven the snakes out of Ireland, and to have taught the Irish the mystery of the Trinity by using their own native shamrock. His legend is celebrated across the globe on March 17th each year.

In 2004, the tiny island where Saint Patrick was shipwrecked, Middle Mouse, was on the market for a mere £895,000. The island made history 1,500 years ago when the Irish patron saint was stranded on Ynys Badrig, off the north-east coast of Anglesey, off north Wales. He then swam a treacherous one mile to Anglesey and lived in a cave before building the famous church of Saint Llanbadrig. Since the Saint’s days Saint Patrick's Island - also known as Middle Mouse - has been much improved, with additional lands added to its holding making it to be a 160-acre estate. The island's rugged terrain also includes a six-bedroom country house, the ruins of a clay works, and a private beach. Real estate agent Elfyn Hughes, of Beresford Adams, said: "It is real one-off" in case anyone knows what that means.

Saint Patrick’s Benediction


According to ancient folklore, Saint Patrick lit the first paschal fire on the Hill of Slane in defiance of the druids and the pagan kings of Tara. When they saw the flames, the followers of Patrick were arrested, however Ireland's future patron saint spoke so eloquently to King Laoghaire that the pagan ruler pardoned him and granted him the freedom to preach across the Erin Isle. The rest is history, as they say, and today, more than 1500 years later, we celebrate Saint Patrick, as always, on March 17th. The future "Apostle of Ireland" was born as Maewyn Succat in Scotland between 387 and 390. At about the age of 16, he was kidnapped from his village on the British mainland and transported to Ireland as a slave. While shepherding in the mountains he spent his time in prayer until he had a dream commanding him to return to Britain. After escaping bondage, he studied abroad in continental monasteries, becoming a Priest and later a Bishop. Pope Saint Celestine sent him to evangelize England, and then Ireland. During his 33 year mission he effectively converted all of Ireland turning it into the "Land of Saints". During the Dark Ages, the Irish monasteries became the great repositories of Christian learning in all of Europe, all a consequence of Patrick's ministry. Patrick died 461-464 at Saul, County Down, Ireland.
"I came to the Irish people to preach the Gospel and endure the taunts of unbelievers, putting up with reproaches about my earthly pilgrimage, suffering many persecutions, even bondage, and losing my birthright of freedom for the benefit of others. "If I am worthy, I am ready also to give up my life, without hesitation and most willingly, for Christ's name. I want to spend myself for that country, even in death, if the Lord should grant me this favor. "It is among that people that I want to wait for the promise made by him, who assuredly never tells a lie. He makes this promise in the Gospel: 'They shall come from the east and west and sit down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.' This is our faith: believers are to come from the whole world." ~~from The Confession of Saint Patrick
Happy Saint Paddy’s Card

Saint Patrick Shipwrecked

Saint Patrick's Blessing:
May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rains fall soft upon your fields and, Until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
The statue of Saint Patrick is located at the top of his mountain in Western Ireland. The image, The Benediction of Saint Patrick, was originally uploaded by starbeard. It is posted here from flickr

Delicious Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

One year, I resolved to make Irish Soda Bread for Saint Patrick's Day, but before I got it made, Easter had arrived. This bread actually tasted a lot better than it looks in the photograph, and it sliced beautifully. Oh, was it ever easy!

I cannot remember if I ever made this before, so I went to my favorite on-line Recipe Book - Elise's and sure enough she had a nicely illustrated recipe. Then I got to pondering myself: "how authentic would it be to use a recipe from a Californian?" So off I went seeking something a bit more authentic, ... meaning Irish. The first I found claimed to be the "world authority" for "authentic" Irish Soda Bread. All I could find at that site, besides the pop up ads, were warnings of what ingredients NOT to use. No nuts! No raisins or even currants! No orange rind! No sugar, honey or treacle! What's treacle? No eggs! No shortening! No whiskey! NO Whiskey?? And, ... if you dare to use any of those forbidden ingredients  - you will be making CAKE  not bread!  So there! Since I never did find Any recipe at all, I got bored and a bit rankled. Let them eat soda bread! I tried another Irish site, and it was the opposite -- too many recipes using too many ingredients, most of which I did not have on hand, especially the hot peppers. And again it was so full of advertising that I felt myself in a maze. So it was back to Ms. California Elise's and I kinda followed her instructions and all went well. Of course, as always, I improvised. I halved her recipe and since I didn't feel like hunting to see if I had any pastry flour, I just used what was in the flour bin. I used table cream with vinegar instead of sour milk. I used a whole egg, instead of a half, since I halved the recipe. Yes, I used the sugar, even though the Irish site said it was verboten. And just to be extremely devilish, I tossed in some freshly grated orange rind. I think that made the bread extra tasty. HA! Next time I go for the whiskey. After-all, it is IRISH bread, isn't it?

I cooked it in a Corning ware dish instead of cast iron and used a much lower temperature - 325 degrees, as I was in no hurry, and I didn't want it to come out as brown as the one in Elise's picture. Here's Elise's recipe:

 The image, Irish Soda Bread, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin's flickr account. Visit Neddy's Archives for more of Edna's writings.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Raglan Road - A Poem

On Raglan Road of an autumn day
I saw her first and knew
That her dark hair would weave a snare
That I might one day rue
I saw the danger and I passed
Along the enchanted way
And said let grief be a fallen leaf
At the dawning of the day

On Grafton Street in November
We tripped lightly along the ledge
Of a deep ravine where can be seen
The worth of passion's pledge
The Queen of Hearts still making tarts
And I not making hay
Oh I loved too much and by such by such
Is happiness thrown away

I gave her gifts of the mind
I gave her the secret signs
Known to the artists who have known 
The true gods of sound and stone
And word and tint I did not stint
I gave her poems to say
With her own name there
And her own dark hair
Like clouds over fields of May

On a quiet street where old ghosts meet
I see her walking now
Away from me so hurriedly my reason must allow
That I had loved not as I should
A creature made of clay
When the angel woos the clay
He'll lose his wings at the dawn of day

The poem "On Raglan Road" was written in 1946, by the great Irish poet, Patrick Kavanagh, of Inniskeen In County Monaghan. Kavanagh's poem was set to music using the traditional air "Fáinne Geal an Lae" composed by Thomas Connellan in the 17th century. Patrick Kavanagh died almost penniless in Dublin, Ireland.  

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Words from DaVinci

Quotes from Leonardo da Vinci:

  •  "Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been, and there you long to return."

  •  "As every divided kingdom falls, so every mind divided between many studies confounds and saps itself."

  •  "Anyone who invokes authors in discussion is not using his intelligence but his memory." 

  •  "As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death."

  •  "Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art." "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

Friday, March 01, 2013

The Groundlings

I know I am really ancient now because, even as my eyesight diminishes, I see Groundlings everywhere. Groundlings have conquered our American culture. They appear upon movie screens, home televisions, tablets, adorned in fancy tattoos and skimpy clothes, spewing four-letter words, singing of once unspeakable acts, and preaching inclusive diversity for all, except for those whose faiths condemn the base behaviors that the Groundlings enthusiastically celebrate.

Don't be a Groundling! And don't be a Gudgeon either!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

George Washington at Age 19

A 19-year-old George Washington

“A good moral character is the first essential in a man.” ~~George Washington

Very few Americans today appreciate the indispensable role played by George Washington in the formation of the United States of America. Without General George Washington, there probably would not be a United States of America today. George Washington was America’s First Great General. He was an indispensable leader of the American Revolution.

I snapped this photograph of a nineteen-year-old George Washington at the museum at Mount Vernon Plantation, Virginia.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Highly Effective Mediocre People

Sometimes we can feel good about ourselves ... but not now:

Audie Murphy, Medal of Honor Winner

2LT Audie L. Murphy, USA
Audie Leon Murphy, son of poor Texas sharecroppers, rose to national fame as the most decorated U.S. combat soldier of World War II. He was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest military award for bravery given to any individual by the United States for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.” He also received every decoration for valor that America had to offer, some of them more than once. He was awarded five decorations by France and Belgium.
Audi Murphy became a legend within the 3rd Infantry Division and quickly rose from Army Private to the rank of Staff Sergeant, and was then given a “battle field” commission as 2nd Lieutenant. He was wounded three times, fighting in nine major campaigns across the European Theater, and survived the war.
This Memorial is on display at Collingwood Library, Alexandria, Virginia. You may sign the Audie Murphy Presidential Medal of Freedom Petition Drive at Petition Drive for Audie Murphy. Thank you!
The image, Collingwood Library, was originally uploaded to the Internet by Edna Barney. It was posted here by Neddy of flickr.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Growing Older with No Regrets

"Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege that many never enjoy."

A neighbor was working in his garden when he was startled by a late model car crashing through his hedges and settling on his front lawn. He rushed to help an elderly woman from the vehicle as he exclaimed: "My goodness, You appear quite elderly to be driving." The woman proudly replied: "Well, yes, I am young man. I'll be 97 next month, and I am now old enough that I don't even need a driver's license anymore." The neighbor was astounded and questioned her about it. "Why yes, it is true. The last time my doctor examined me, he asked if I had a driver's license. I said yes and showed it to him. He took his surgical scissors and cut the license into a dozen pieces, tossing them into the rubbish bin, saying, 'You won't need this anymore.' So I thanked him and drove home!"