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Create a Fairy Garden Sure to Invite

IMG_8718Would you like to find a dainty fairy and her friends in your own backyard garden? It’s not easy to spot them but if they feel specially invited to their very own fairy garden then they may just settle in for a visit.

Fairy gardens first debuted in the United States in 1893 as a twist on the Japanese bonsai dish gardens at the Chicago World’s Fair. The New York Times ran a feature on the fascinating miniature creations and it began a fad in gardening that is still going strong.

Tiny gardens are popular because they are easy to maintain and rather adorable. But the best reason to love them is because of their wee residents – the fairies themselves. Create a garden inviting enough and you may get lucky to play host. Just remember that you have to watch closely for any hope of a fairy sighting.

No one in Ireland has likely ever had to create a special fairy garden as the “little people” are known to populate the island woods in great numbers. But this Easter brings a special grand opening of the Kilmokea Gardens – a unique attraction for both children and fairies that will be worth a look the next time you visit Ireland.

Just remember back on your own little patch of earth…decorate sweetly, tend carefully, share bountifully (fairies especially love tiny cups of alcohol and sugary sweets), and watch diligently. If you still haven’t had a sighting, perhaps it would help to sing the fairy song:

Come one, come all

Good Fairies hear my call

I believe in you and your kind too

Dance on my garden’s flowers

Stay and play for hours

Good fairies, you are welcome here

We hold your magic and lives dear

Good fairies, you are welcome here


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St. Patrick’s Batallion Fights for Mexico

the-san-patricio-battalion-4-728What do a good Irish whiskey and a good Mexican Mezcal have in common? You can use either to raise a toast to the soldiers of el Batallón de los San Patricios (St. Patrick’s Batallion) – Irish Catholic immigrants who deserted from the U.S. Army to join the fight for Mexico during the Mexican-American War of 1847.

The men of San Patricios are still celebrated in Mexico as heroes who came to the aid of their fellow Catholics. Indeed, many historians believe that exactly what drove the men to desert and move to Mexico was the minority status and subsequent mistreatment that Irish soldiers experienced in the U.S. Army. Being Catholic was especially difficult when having only two priests for the entire Army meant most were forced to attend Protestant services where their religion was often vilified.

The Mexican Army capitalized on the Irish soldiers’ discontent and offered better promotions, a higher salary, and a promise of land once the war was over. The San Patricio battalion, led by John Riley, had a bright green banner that read “Erin Go Bragh” along with the Mexican coat of arms and the slogan “Libertad por la Republica de Mexicana” to symbolize the unity between the two nations.

Sadly there was no happy ending for the San Patricios. Their demise came at the brutal Battle of Churubusco where the Irish demanded to keep fighting when other Mexican soldiers wanted to fly the white flag of surrender. In the end, the Americans prevailed and almost 100 soldiers from the battalion were captured. After trials for desertion, most of the men were executed while the remainder were branded with a “D” and otherwise tortured. A handful of the San Patricios escaped and today some Mexican citizens can trace their lineage back to those soldiers.

Each year Mexico celebrates St. Patrick’s Day by honoring those Irish-American soldiers who they believe followed their collective conscience and fought to defend a smaller Catholic nation.

Soldiers fighting for what they believe in and hold dear is worth a Sláinte, a Salúd, or – in this case – both. Come join us on May 2 at The Celtic Ranch as we honor these soldiers with an intimate Mezcal/Irish Whiskey tasting where we will “hear their story, taste the history.”

 


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The Tree of Life – Ancient Celtic Symbol

Edna O’Brien wrote, “When anyone asks me about the Irish character, I say look at the trees. Maimed, stark and misshapen, but ferociously tenacious.”

Join us April 25 for our special Arbor Day celebration!

Join us April 25 for our special Arbor Day celebration!

The Celtic Ranch will celebrate trees and all they represent on Arbor Day. Stop in on April 25 for professional tree-care advice from Norman Landcraft’s Paul Norman. And for $1 you will go home with a Red Oak seedling of your very own.

Trees are universally beloved and celebrated. All cultures and religions point to the mighty tree as a symbol of life and strength and trees serve as the subjects of many myths, legends, symbols and artistic creations. The Celtic people have been celebrating trees since ancient days. Indeed, some of the earliest carvings of trees can be found on the British Isles dating back to 2000 BC.

The Druids believed that trees were actually ancestors to man, and as such served as a beautiful and mystical connection to other lives. The Celtic alphabet was created by naming each character after a special tree expressing the belief that true wisdom comes from the trees themselves.

The Tree of Life symbol is present in almost all cultures and religions. It may represent wisdom, fertility, immortality, and strength. The deep roots and outstretched branches serve as a visual and constant reminder of the connections between heaven and earth.

Certainly trees are also revered for what they give: shelter, food, and warmth. They are celebrated and respected through art, music, story and tradition. And,of course, in Irish poetry-

“Beloved, gaze in thine own heart; the holy tree is growing there.”

-William Butler Yeats


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Six Reasons Ladies Love a Man in a Kilt

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1. It takes balls to wear a kilt. You can be assured that in most movie theaters, home improvement centers, ball games, and suburban parties you will be the only man in a kilt. Other guys, out of insecurity, will crack jokes about your “skirt”. No need to punch them. Just slide your arm around the nearest lady and walk away to grab another Guinness.

2. Wearing a kilt is actually good for your balls. Science has spoken – the freedom of a kilt is great for your fertility. Women will notice.

3. Your knees are sexy. Aside from how cute they are and how much your hairy legs remind ladies of your masculinity, glimpsing a guy’s knee is sure to make a woman think of a gentlemanly marriage proposal and ignite some very romantic feelings.

4. Wearing a kilt shows you mean business. Kiltman says it best, “In terms of an article of clothing, this indicates being functional, versatile, and strong.” There’s not a lady on the planet who doesn’t prefer her man functional, versatile, and strong.

5. Wearing a kilt shows you honor history. There’s the beautiful history of both Ireland and Scotland reflected in that kilt. And she’ll be thinking of Braveheart, Rob Roy, Brigadoon, Legends of the Fall, Outlander (need we say more?) every time she looks at you.

6. “When you’re wearing a Kiltman kilt, you’re always going somewhere.” Kiltman speaks the truth. You’re going places and ladies will want to follow.


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