14 03, 2022

Nothing like Irish music to Put Ya in a St. Patrick’s Day Mood

By |2022-03-11T05:55:46-06:00March 14th, 2022|A Writer's Life, Holidays, Make Me Think Monday, Writer's Life|0 Comments

St. Patrick’s Day brings all things Irish out around my house, even more so than usual. We feast on Irish stew and soda bread and start our day with scones. The air rings with Irish music.

But traditional Irish music isn’t limited to St. Paddy Day. You’ll often see a bit of toe-tapping going on around here. I could listen all day. And often do.

Music is the heart of Ireland. Whether the fiddler on a corner in Dublin or the man on the country lane blowing his Irish whistle or a late-night session at the local pub, you’ll find toe-tapping, hand-clapping music everywhere. Our visits to the pub sessions were the highlight of all our trips to Ireland.






One night, as a session broke up a native Irish speaker leaned over to me and said, “Ah, I tell ya, it was great music, ‘twould make the water stand out in ya eyes.”And indeed, tears did sparkle in my eyes that night. Nothing is more wonderful than the combination of traditional music and dancing.

Every visit to Ireland should include an Irish evening of traditional music, song, and local dancers. We still talk about our long-ago visit to Bunratty Castle’s Irish Evening at the Corn Barn.

Here’s a commercial video describing the event. I promise it will put you in St. Patrick’s Day mood.

21 08, 2019

Quote on Change

By |2019-08-19T10:03:55-05:00August 21st, 2019|Wednesday Quote, Wednesday Words, Wednesday Words of Wisdom|0 Comments

About the graphic

I took this photo in 2015 of one of the many church yards we saw on our trip to Ireland. Unfortunately, I was too busy enjoying myself and didn’t make good notes on specific locations so I don’t know exactly where it is.

About the quote

The end of August brings changes. Changes in the weather are anxiously awaited. Other changes not so much. I prefer status quo. This quote makes change, which is actually inevitable anyway, more palatable to me.

28 03, 2016

Irish Blarney and the Writer

By |2016-03-18T16:34:54-05:00March 28th, 2016|Make Me Think Monday|2 Comments

Rivers in major cities all over the world have run green this month. Bars filled with people wearing fake beards, green top hats, and sunglasses shaped as twin four-leaf clovers. After all, with or without any Irish heritage, everyone’s Irish at least on St. Patrick’s Day.

For sure, there’s been lots and lots of craic (Irish fun) and blarney (talk that is not necessarily true, but eloquent) going on.

If you’ve read my Wednesday posts, you’ve read a lot of Irish blarney. Some words less well-known idioms and blessings, some more familiar and oft-repeated quotes and sayings  of Irish humor and insight. I’m thinking some of the lessons were  clearly learned the hard way.



To receive the gift of Blarney, it’s said you should kiss the Blarney Stone located in the tiny village northwest of Cork in Country Cork within the Castle.

The castle itself was constructed in 1446, but the history of the place goes back two centuries before that time. The origins of the Blarney Stone as a magical stone is a mystery.

Some believe the stone at the castle is the stone Moses struck to produce water for Israelites during their exodus from Egypt. Others believe it to be Jacob’s Pillow brought to Ireland by the prophet Jeremiah and became the Lia Fail, or ‘Fatal Stone’, oracular throne of the Irish kings.

Still others tag it as the Stone of Ezel, which David hid behind while fleeing King Saul, and brought to Ireland during the Crusades. Ultimately to be used as the Coronation Stone of Scottish monarchs and St. Columba’s traveling altar throughout Scotland.

After Columba’s death, the stone came to Ireland to serve as the Stone of Destiny, the prophetic power of royal succession.

It is known that the word Blarney itself entered the dictionary during the time of Queen Elizabeth I, when Dermot McCarthy, castle ruler, kept delaying to surrender his fortress to the Queen as proof of his loyalty. When the Queen heard his excuses, she said “Odds bodikins, more Blarney talk!”

Shortly thereafter the Francis Sylvester Mahony, an Irish bard of the early nineteenth century, wrote:

There is a stone there, that whoever kisses,

Oh! He never misses to grow eloquent:

Is all that history true? Who knows? The Irish are, after all, the world’s greatest story tellers.

Whether any of the blarney is true or not, Blarney Castle and its magical stone attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

I’ve been.

And let me tell you kissing that stone is quite a feat. First, you climb up 90+ feet inside the castle stairway then execute a back bend that would cripple a skilled gymnast.



The higher I climbed the more my fear of heights and dark, narrow stairways kicked in. I never made it to the top. Instead taking the first exit to enjoy the garden and gift shop.

Personally, I think there’s a touch of the o’blarney in all writers whether they’ve ever been to the isle and kissed the stone or not.

Don’t you agree?


16 03, 2016

Irish slang

By |2016-03-04T16:14:54-06:00March 16th, 2016|Wednesday Words of Wisdom|0 Comments

leprachuanWednesday is words of wisdom day on the blog. For March, I’ve been sharing Irish blessings, curses, and sayings.

Today I’ve a chart of Irish slang for you. The Irish do have a way with words.

a useless fellow He’s fit to mind mice at a crossroads.
someone who committed some small fault ‘Tis only a stepmother would blame you.’
a tall, large woman That’s a fine doorful of a woman.
a gossiper She has a tongue that would clip a hedge.
a poor, thin creature The breath is only just in and out of him, and the grass doesn’t know of him walking over it.
a coarse, ill-mannered person using poor language What would you expect out of a pig but a grunt?
trying to change a stubborn person’s mind You might as well be whistling jigs to a milestone.
very bad music Aw, that’s the tune the old cow died of.
one who overstays their welcome If that man went to a wedding, he’d stay for the christening.
a talkative person That man would talk the teeth out of a saw.
a person who paid too much for a cow He bought every hair in her tail.
a clever thief He’d steal the sugar out of your punch.
praise of strong whiskey I felt it like a torchlight procession going down my throat.
a woman who made a bad marriage She burnt her coal and did not warm herself.
bad aim in shooting He wouldn’t hit a hole in a ladder.
an impish child That one suffers from a double dose of original sin.
an unfortunate one He is always in the field when luck is on the road.
very wet weather It’s a fine day for young ducks.
someone who always plans carefully If he’s not fishing he’s mending his nets.

Find anything you could use?

13 10, 2014

It’s finally here – Claiming Annie’s Heart

By |2014-10-13T06:00:08-05:00October 13th, 2014|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

I’m interrupting my regular Make Me Think Monday blog for an announcement of my latest book release – CLAIMING ANNIE’S HEART.

CAH_cover_1800x2700No, I’m not turning View from the Front Porch into a promo blog for my books–it’s just this Irish love story is special to me.

Why? Because Annie’s story is set in Ireland.

And, as most of you know (if you’ve read my ABOUT ME page, that is), Ireland is my most favorite place on earth, and I’m crazy about all things Irish.

The idea for Claiming Annie’s Heart began on one of the many, many trips business trips to the Emerald Isle with my husband.

We toured an Abbey on the rugged west coast. An English doctor built the lovely place as a home for his wife and child. When they died, the doctor left and sold the home. The castle became an Abbey and girls’ boarding school. That’s the place pictured on the book cover.

As we walked the castle and fabulous gardens, I talked with the schoolgirls. My writer’s imagination kicked into overdrive with story possibilities.

On a different trip, we spent time in Belfast during the Twelfth of July Orange Order marches. If you’re not familiar with the marches, read here. To learn more of the history of The Troubles in Northern Ireland read here.

Each trip provided a very different experience, which I combined into Annie and Chad’s love story. Here’s the plot blurb:

Annie Foster remains in Ireland after boarding school to nanny a widower’s infant daughter. Five years later, she accepts the widower’s proposal.

Her first love Chad Jones, whom she believed deserted her, arrives on an undercover assignment weeks before the wedding investigating her fiancé’s connection with terrorists. He’s determined to change her mind and her heart her because he’s never stopped loving her.  

Annie’s heart is torn between the man she’ll always love and the young daughter of her fiancé whom she’s promised never to abandon.  

Which man will win?

To find the answer, get your copy of Claiming Annie’s Heart from one of these bookstores:






14 07, 2014

Wasting time or recharging?

By |2014-07-14T06:00:51-05:00July 14th, 2014|Make Me Think Monday|4 Comments

I like this place

Edie Melson posted this image from her recent trip to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. The scene and the quote made me think about how much time I sit on my porch enjoying the quiet and nature all around.

It’s so peaceful listening to the hummingbirds dive-bombing the feeders and the birds chirping at the birdfeeder filled with birdseed.

I love waving to the neighbors and summer folk walking on the street and meeting them at the fence to chat.

It’s like the Shakespeare quote says, “I like this place and willingly waste my time in it.”

I don’t like to consider that I’m wasting time and I feel guilty when I willingly do nothing.

I find myself thinking of so much I should be doing instead of idling way time (…like writing) and usually get up and go to work.

What about you? Do you enjoy willingly wasting time in a favorite space or place?

Besides my front porch, there are other places where I love to kick back and relax. My favorite would be wandering around in Ireland.

I don’t even feel guilty when I do. It’s as quaint and quiet in the Irish countryside as it is on my front porch nestled in the Rio Grande forest.

After years and years of the hustle and bustle of a major urban area, I love the slower paced lifestyle offered  in our little part of Colorado and Ireland. It’s what keeps us here and draws us repeatedly to Ireland.

I’m working to retrain my Type A self to bury the guilt and use the down time to recharge my creative juices.

Not an easy task, but I am improving.

What places do you love that make you want to waste time? Do you feel guilty or do you relish the time and draw rest and strength from the quiet places?

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