A Bunch Of Blarney

Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012 at 8:18 am
By: Doug Lund
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Soooooo. Who do ya think won the first presidential debate?


Don’t answer that.

I mean REALLY don’t answer that because I really don’t want to know. There are plenty of political blogs out there for folks to fling feces back and forth; delighting in anonymous confrontations over which presidential candidate they believe has solutions to all our problems.  What I might be interested in knowing is how many people actually changed their mind about a candidate after watching the debate. I suspect that number to be, oh, roughly zero.

I had fully intended to wrap up our tour of Ireland for you here on the blog with some more pictures and commentary but when we boarded the plane in Dublin for our journey home, I was sick as the lyrics in a punk rock song. That’s no reflection on the Emerald Isle itself, our visit was nothing short of spectacular, but somehow on our last night there, the mother of all colds decided to come a callin’.  I wasn’t the only one either because there was so much coughing and hacking among the passengers that it sounded like a TB ward throughout the cabin during our entire 8 1/2 hour flight back to the U.S.A.   I’m just now feeling back up to snuff, thanks in part to Linda’s TLC (as outlined in our marriage vows) along with copious amounts of codeine cough syrup.

Oh, alright, here are a few more photos from that fabulous tour:

Kilkenny Castle was built in 1195. James Butler bought the place in 1391 and remained in the Butler family as a residence until 1935. It was finally handed over to the city for a museum in 1967. No photos allowed inside.

Kilkenny Castle was built in 1195. James Butler bought the place in 1391 and remained in the Butler family as a residence until 1935. It was finally handed over to the city for a museum in 1967. No photos allowed inside.

Downtown Kilkenny

Downtown Kilkenny

Our group. What a fun bunch!

Our group. What a fun bunch!

Terrific Traditional Tunes in nearly every pub.

Terrific Traditional Tunes in nearly every pub.

Here are a couple more shots of Linda kissing the Blarney Stone.
Linda's turn. There's a guy there and bars to hang on to but it's still scary leaning out over the edge.
Smack! She did it.!
Smack! She did it.!

Della, another lady on our tour, was equally determined to kiss the Blarney Stone.  But as she was leaning back to do so, her wig fell 120 feet to the ground below.  She rose up embarassed but laughing. Her husband gave her his cap to wear and the wig was waiting when they descended. I mention this only because Della is a breast cancer survivor who underwent a double mastectomy several years ago..only to have it recently return..necessitating more chemo and all its nasty side effects. She was deternmined to make this trip and none of us whould have known she was ill had the wig incident not occured. Because it did, though, Della felt free to talk about her cancer and receive the love and support from all her new found friends aboard a bus in a foreign land.


  1. Brenda says:

    GO DELLA!!!!! Added you to my prayers! To my brave mom—-way to rise above your fears and not pass up the chance of a lifetime! XOXOXOXO

  2. GMAX9 says:

    Sounds like a really good time. Being part Irish (the ornery part, as my grandma used to say) I am green with envy that you had such fun in Ireland. Maybe someday I’ll get my turn.

    Your story about Della brought tears to my eyes. What courage and determination, not only to make the trip but also not to let anyone know what she’s been through. I’m glad her wig fell off so all of you could share in her triumph and add her to your prayer lists. Couldn’t help but say a little prayer for her myself.

    Glad you’re getting over your cold, Doug. Have some good hot homemade chicken soup along with the TLC and codeine and you’ll be ready to sneak in a last round of golf when the weather gets a little better one last time before winter! If the cough gets too bad, try a glass of hot wine. My dad used to dose us with that until he figured out we only coughed right before bedtime!

  3. Chad says:

    You have to lay on your back and hang half your body over the edge to kiss the blarney stone? (I’m assuming it’s tradition of some kind or is that so people don’t look down.) Also, is that an optical illusion or is the ground, like 100 feet below? Just asking. Looks kind dicy!

  4. Per Pål P says:

    Velkommen tilbake….Now, when you go to Norway….we’ll expect Linda to take pictures of you looking over the Prekkastolla…. (sp)…That’s that rock that juts out over the Fjord….Glad you had a fantastic trip….

  5. Jeni says:

    Sounds like a fun and worthwhile trip!

    People + enclosed environment (such as bus or airplaine,) = colds. Perhaps with only the “frequent flyers” being the exceptions.

    I vote early. I do so because I can vote on a day that is convienent for me, when the weather and walking conditions are decent (no worry about a winter storm or ice covered walk-ways,) and avoiding long lines at voting sites.) Plus, after I vote, I quickly lose interest in the various campaigns (whether electing people or deciding about the issues.) It is interesting that the campaign ads can seem humorous after I have voted.

    I admire Della and this group of friends. She was able to laugh in an embarrassing moment because this wonderful group of friends helped her feel safe enough that she could do so!

  6. Per Pål P says:

    Hei Doug…

    You need to “google in” Norway preikestolen…..If Linda could kiss the blarney stone…you should be able to walk to the edge of the “preachers pulpit” and look over while Linda snaps a picture or two.

  7. Tom C says:

    If you remember from your shoedog days the “Clarks Wallabee,” many people of Kilkenny would handsew the uppers at home, then bring the shoe back to the factory to be finished with a gum rubber sole. They were paid by the “piece.” Of course, “Wallabees” are made in China now.

  8. Mary J fleming says:

    Della you are a trooper. Keep up the good work God Bless You

  9. Carol S. says:

    Sorry this is off the topic, but whatever happened to Nicole Winters? I must have missed something, but she doesn’t seem to be on TV anymore. Thanks–

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