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Golden Ireland

Idir dhá láimh daoine fíuntach
Scríobh an agham i mBanba óir
I nglas béinne fial ó nádúir
Fonn ceoil i mBanba óir

There is so much I could say about the emerald isle. Of all the places I roamed in Europe, the Irish were the most friendly to us strangers, and of course having a love for Ireland before I even got there certainly helped. My sister and I rented bikes in Killarney and explored the National Park there, admiring the lakes, mountains, and castle. On our adventures we crossed a small waterway which my sister called a creek, whereat I replied, “No, it’s a brook, don’t you know? We’re in Ireland!”

We bought red Irish cheddar at the grocery store for lunch, and made it up to Dublin, where we saw Riverdance and viewed that ancient old manuscript, the Book of Kells. Not wanting to make a days trip across the island to see cliffs, we contented ourselves with the cliffs of Howth, just outside of Dublin. We stayed in a hostel in Tralee, where I accidentally left my jacket, and subsequently we were scouring all the charity shops in Ireland in search of another jacket, knowing winter was on its way. Due to a disappointing mixup concerning our planned flight to Spain, we stayed in Cork an extra two days, and enjoyed that seaside town.

And I can’t forget the music! My preliminary plans to go to a concert there didn’t work out, but there was no shortage of street musicians, and we enjoyed those immensely. My sister enjoyed the fact that everyone spoke English (I was hoping to hear more Gaelic, myself), and both of us agree that Ireland is definitely on the list of places to return to someday.

Hymn of the Week – Purer in Heart

Poetry: Fannie Davison (1877)
Music: James Fillmore, Sr.
Sheet music
Audio recording

Purer in heart, O God, help me to be;
May I devote my life wholly to Thee:
Watch Thou my wayward feet,
Guide me with counsel sweet;
Purer in heart, help me to be.

Purer in heart, O God, help me to be;
Teach me to do Thy will most lovingly;
Be Thou my friend and guide,
Let me with Thee abide;
Purer in heart, help me to be.

Purer in heart, O God, help me to be;
That I Thy holy face one day may see:
Keep me from secret sin,
Reign Thou my soul within;
Purer in heart, help me to be.

A Peek at the Precise Pangolin

Don’t you just love pangolins? They’re so cute and furry, and… oh wait–are those scales?

If you’re like me, you’ve never seen a pangolin before. In fact, I just had a foggy notion that they were some sort of exotic creature when I found out that the latest version of the Ubuntu operating system was named Precise Pangolin. But be that as it may, I would like to give a brief overview of the OS and tell what I like about it so far. If you were hoping to find out more about pangolins, well, too bad–you go do the research yourself and then come back and tell me all about it.

Since I got a MacBook four years ago I’ve only used Ubuntu every now and then, and I was pretty behind. I forget which version I had installed on my Dell laptop, but it was rather old and no longer supported, and when I found out that Ubuntu 12.04 was to be a Long-Term Support (LTS) edition, I figured now was the time to upgrade. After all, this one will be supported with updates five years hence.

I got it installed with no problems, except that it was slow. I guessed that was to be expected–this was a brand new OS, in the body of a dinosaur computer with 1 GB of RAM. I did a bit of research and found out that I could double that RAM for a decent price, so I went ahead and ordered me some memory. That did the trick, and now my pangolin is more playful than ever.

I must say, I really like version 12.04. Windows is perhaps my least favourite OS, yet Windows 7 has some features I really like, and Mac OS X has some nice features as well. And with Ubuntu 12.04, it’s almost as if someone took my favourite features from both of them and put them together in Ubuntu! That’s pretty nifty, if you ask me. Read More

Spare Beds

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

That is a curious subject, you will all think, and I think so myself; but I’ve got a little tale to unfold about spare beds in general, and one spare bed in particular, and I had just as well get at it.

Last fall Jasper (that’s my husband) and I went over to Luke Singleton’s to spend the day, and, as a bit rain came on in the evening, we had to stay all night.

I was anxious to get back home; but Jasper said not to trouble, for his mother was with the children and everything would go right; so I tried to enjoy myself, and succeeded very well.

Sarah Singleton in one of the best housekeepers that I know. She does more work than half the other women put together, and she laid herself out for a good supper, and got it.

When bedtime came around, she lit a candle and led me out of her room into her spare room, which is in the front part of the house, and comes nearer being a parlor than any other in the neighborhood; for it has a nice carpet on the floor, two rocking-chairs, a big bureau, and a beautiful bed. The white counter-pane was tucked in so nicely, and the big pillows had such pretty shams on them, that I said: “Sarah, I don’t want to muss up that pretty bed. Put us in one of the back rooms.”

“I shall not,” she said, laughing as hard as she could. “This is my company room, and I intend for my company to use it; we don’t.” Read More