Hunting for my Genes

I have been talking to dead people. Searching for long lost people.
Hoping they will speak to me, or at least tell me where they- and I-
come from.
My parents divorced when I was two years old. They both remarried,
but I never saw my father again. Times were different. Choices were
made and new lives were forged… At what cost…? He didn’t show any
interest in knowing how I turned out, whether that was his choice or
not, that is how it was.
From time to time I wondered the how, why, and what if, of this.
Obviously he had no interest in me, so, as a young man, I had no
interest in him. We lived in the same city, but to my knowledge we
didn’t run into each other, though later I found out that we lived six
blocks apart, and drove the same model auto.
As I got older, this subject appeared less and less in my life. I
had, and have, a good, no, very good life. A wonderful wife, a
fulfilling time on the planet. Music, adventures, close friends, all
the things that make a good life.

One afternoon, after we got home
from work, I was wandering from one room to another, the television on
in the background, five o’clock news on. A fire. A death. A name. Wait! What?! My
father…  That can’t be the name I heard. It was… Killed in a
fire. I quickly double checked the phone book for an address, like
that would make this a big bad mistake. But the phone book
chimed in its bad news. It was him…

Time has passed. Lives are different, so, there was no need to involve myself. However, my lovely wife, and my sister went to the visitation, to see who these people were, that abandoned me… They were all a bit surprised. Both my family, and ‘the other family’.  A half sister that didn’t know I existed, met Maggie and my sister. My sister knew the half sister through work connections. “What are you doing here?” ” My brother is your half brother”. “Well, that explains the photo of the little boy, Timmy, on dads dresser, all these years”… Whoa… That was a showstopper….

Jeannine got my half sisters email address, so we corresponded a little, but, none of the other family were interested, and, the half sister fell by the wayside, after a couple weeks.  So much for a reconciliation…  But since then, I have been drawn more and more, to searching my roots/ancestors/genealogy.  I know I am 3/4 Irish, and have this low constant rumble of want to know where in Ireland my bloodline is located. I can’t say that I want to meet any of my living family here, since they are not interested in me, but, I am really drawn to the ones who have passed on, that made the journey to the United States, for a better life.  Who were they, what were they like, where were they born, lived, and decided to leave?

Hoare Abbey

I have in the last week, spent hours trying to find out those answers, but, they are very good at keeping a secret.  I have found my great grand father, on the male side. Where he came from, before crossing the Atlantic, is still a mystery. The Great great Grandmother was a little easier. Her family is from Count Cork, but that is the end of the trail for this week…

Rathbaun Farm


Maggie was going through recipes today and found some recipe cards from the farm we toured last year in Ireland. Rathbaun Farms, over two hundred years old, and still in operation by the family. It’s a tiny farm by our standards, but it was one of the most interesting, authentic sites on our visit.
Rathbaun Farm

We watched a sheep dog ‘rangle’ the sheep. Then, one of them got a shear haircut. After the tour of the farm, we were led into the dining room and served the best brown bread and scones we have ever had. We still think of it often. One of those things you will always remember.Brownbread & scones

Anyway, the 1st anniversary of our trip is coming up and we are thinking back fondly and longingly to Ireland. So, I wanted to share it… Check out the site, Rathbaun farm, cuz there are recipes of the scones, brownbread, Guinness Fruitcake there.
A little piece o’ Ireland…..
See ya…

It’s a sad story



Ground Zero for handcut crystal

Ground Zero for handcut crystal




we were in Ireland in July. You all know that if you are friends, or read us.  One of the many places we toured was the Waterford crystal complex in Waterford. I know, to some, Waterford is something your parents or grandparents had on top of the piano or a shelf somewhere.  Hunky and not all that attractive. That isn’t the crystal we saw in our tour of the factory. Craftsmen, some of which were there for 30 plus years, hand crafting beautiful pieces to wish for.

          However, the world economy has beat them down for several years now. On Monday, the company went into receivership, or, a bad case of bankruptcy.  We feel for the employees of the institution of glass in Ireland.  They deserve better than this for the future.

I can’t do better than that


I have been trying to get the time to continue to post about our trip to Ireland. However, life gets in the way constantly. 

So, if you want a much better reading experience of our trip, go to for the best posts.  Maggie has been doing her usual wonderful job of sharing her thoughts, this time on our tour.   Go there for the indepth read of our Ireland adventure.

I’ll try to get caught up, but she really does a better job.



The wearin’ of the green

Boy, where do I begin?

How are you all doing? We are starting to get back in the swing of things here in the midwest. Not really knowing what time it is, or where I am, this is a bit of a challenge.
Oh, if you want the in depth, semi professional blog experience, then you need to go to If you are here for my ramblings, good for you.
I shall try and keep this as brief as I can in my scenic road trip manner.

We flew into Dublin last Wednesday morning, around 9 am, Dublin time. We got on the plane around 7pm cst, Tuesday evening, so, in the magic of time zones, we turned a 7 hour flight into a 14 hour adventure. Be honest, which of you is able to sleep for more than 20 minutes @ a time on a plane? Bouncy, noisy, uncomfortable, one is doing well to sleep @ all. Fortunately, when we arrived @ the hotel, our rooms were ready. We tried valiantly to jump out the taxi door, and go tackle the largest city in Ireland, but, fatigue met us when we got out and slapped us in the face. We went to our room and napped for 4 hours. Collapsed would be more accurate. Getting up after a couple hours, we headed out on to the streets. Ok, the sidewalk. IMG_0828 We both had our maps, so we kinda had an idea where to go. We had set up with our friends that we would be in front of a B&B around 6 dublin time, noon cst, and they would see us on a traffic webcam. We got there in short order, and to my horror, since I have been watching this camera for a month to test it, the camera wasn’t pointing @ the B&B. We hung around for a while, and then figured that nobody was watching or care. Later, we found out that several friends did see us! Way cool. They saw us standing on a street corner in Ireland. Evidently, the camera that was pointed @ us, was not visible, or, a small, unobtrusive camera. Anyway, we were seen in the midwest, while being in Dublin.IMG_0839
After an hour or two, we wandered back to O’shea’s, the B&B for dinner. Ah, our first experience with bad Irish food. A nice interior, that was what one thinks of with an Irish pub. However, dinner was not even mediocre. Oh well.

Thursday, we wandered around town again. We went back to Temple Bar again. It’s an area downtown that is way cool and hip. Old shoppes, tiny streets, cool things. IMG_1945_2
Breakfast was much better than dinner the night before. A neat little restaurant with a hip feel. But not too hip. After breakfast, we headed in the general direction of the Dublin Castle. A building that was started around 900 ad. Whew. We wandered around the outside, but, the tours were booked up for the rest of the day, so, we caught a taxi to the Guinness brewery. Our taxi driver’s name was Patrick O’brien. Seriously. And what a nice man. Pleasant, easy going, and good @ what he did. We had a wonderful 10 minute tour of the area we were in. One of the nicest persons we met in Ireland, or, one of the most outgoing people.
Anyway, one has to go to the Guinness plant, whether or not one drinks it. It’s kind of like going to San Francisco, and not going to Fishermans wharf. The plant isn’t actually a plant, it’s a mini museum of stout. 7 stories tall, with a 360* view of the city. We finished the tour, had our pint, and then back to the hotel. We were about to meet our tour group.
The tour actually started @ 3 pm Dublin time. We came in a day early to start the adjustment to euro time. Some of our tour members were picked up @ the airport, and brought to the hotel to drop off their luggage, pee, and then back on the bus to head out to see the city. Or, actually, nap on the bus. The did not come in a day early to adjust to a time zone 6 zones ahead of some of them.IMG_0878 We went around the city, and, stopped @ Trinity college, to see the book of Kells. It’s a book of the gospels that was one of the few that wasn’t destroyed in the ‘my god is bigger than yours’ wars. It was found in a peat bog, after around 800 years. Way cool. It’s those decorative fancy starts to chapters drawings.
IMG_0830All around the town, and then back to the hotel for drinks and dinner. Met some of our team mates, and then on to bed for the next day. Out to the country.
More later. . .