Monthly Archives: August 2013

Kilkenny, Ireland

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Maeve and Joe our hosts at Jerpoint.                                                          Cap herding the Geese.

Jerpoint Park was a wonderful experience!  Joe and Maeve O’Connell are the proprietors of Jerpoint Park and have a true gift of hospitality.   We watched a sheep dog demonstration that was truly amazing!  Watching Cap, a highly trained Boarder Collie, is not to be missed.  He moves the herd of Geese on command of his master, Joe O’Connell.  The command, “come by” is spoke softly by Joe and Cap responds moving the Geese to the Left.  When asked if Cap could hear him that far away Joe replied, “He always hears me but he may not always head me.”  Cap can hear a mile away.
After the sheepdog demonstration it was down the hill and through the kissing gate for the Heritage Tour.  We were able to visit the Lost Town of Newtown a 12th Century town reputed to have 14 taverns.  You feel like you are going back in time to a medieval town which mysteriously disappeared from history.  Walk to the Hunt’s cemetery and see the tomb where St Nicholas is buried.
Then it is off to the Belmore house, home of the Joe and Maeve O’Connell for some of the best homemade scones and tea, or coffee, in Ireland!  The Tea Rooms are open daily and Maeve and Joe grace the experience opening their home and their hearts to their guests.  I really felt like family there!  What a treat and the homemade raspberry jam were wonderful.  The ambiance of the Tea Room was divine.  You can gaze out the window at the beautiful vistas while relaxing with great conversation.  You will come away from Jerpoint with Maeve and Joe as your friends!  You can find more information at the Jerpoint park Website


Kilkenny, Ireland is home to Kilkenny Castle home of the Butler family. This castle has been restored and is open for tours for a nominal fee. Beware that the castle closes at 4:30PM and you will want to allow about two hours for a proper experience. You are able to walk around at your own pace and there is staff in the various rooms to tell you the history of that room and answer your particular questions. You can find more information on the Kilkenny Castle website

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Wasps in the Bedroom, Butter in the Well: Growing Up During the Great Depression by June Kilpatrick

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Wasps in the Bedroom, Butter in the Well: Growing Up During the Great Depression, by June Kilpatrick is a wonderful read. This book is about life in the Depression. June shares life experiences and has a wonderful ability to tell the story of life in that time.

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Memory Lake by Nancy Kyme

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     Memory Lake, by Nancy Kyme is a wonderful memoir about summer camp. Nancy attended summer camp many times and her book reflects that expertise on the subject. I, Jan, have worked at several summer camps for many summers and reading Nancy’s book takes me right back to many memories common to those who have attended or worked at summer camp.


Memory Lake, by Nancy Kyme is a 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Award winner, Inspirational Category

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Parallel by Claudia Lefeve

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Parallel by Claudia Lefeve.  Great read, I will be getting the next book, Paradox, in the Travelers series!  A unique plot that makes for a real page turner – although would love to see it as a movie as well!

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Pennies from a Heav’n by Marvin Josaitis

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Pennies from a Heav’n by Marvin Josaitis.  This book is sure to be a treasure to his family and friends.  I think all families should write a history to pass on to the next generation.  This is a great example of such a book.  I like the meaning behind the title too!

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Living in the Neighborhood by Aaron Smith

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Aaron Smith is a Missionary in the Philippines, he is in part sponsored by my church.  He wrote this awesome book about life as an Incarcerational Minister to the Urban Poor.  I recently read it and I highly recommend it.  It is on Amazon!  “Living in the Neighborhood” by T. Aaron Smith.

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Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Sweet EvilJust finished a great book by a friend from church.  Great read for your imagination – fallen angels, forbidden love, full of exciting twists and turns!  Anna, the good girl next door, meets Kaidan, the boy your daddy told you to stay away from.  Oh the lure of sin and those from the heavens and hell that influence our nature!  A great read!

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Escape Route for Delayed Flight


As a seasoned traveler I, Jan, have experienced many types of travel.  I know when I first started with various forms of travel it was often difficult to find recommendations and suggestions.  So I decided to share some tips of the traveler here on my first blog!  Feel free to post comments and enjoy the travel in the minds eye!

Tip One – Sometimes you have to act fast.  This photo was taken of me on a trip back from Ireland. Our flight arrived  back in to Newark, NJ to find a major snow storm and many flights cancelled. Our flight into Washington Regan Airport was delayed and then cancelled. I had flow through Newark before and remembered the train. Living outside of DC I knew we could get to Union Station in DC and take the Metro Subway back to Washington Regan Airport .  There were about 30 of us in the group. I checked departures for trains on my phone and offered the option but said we have to go right now. Of the thirty only four others agreed to try the rest said they would wait. The five of us arrived back in DC for $67 each about four hours later.  I totally enjoyed the ride on Amtrak  reading my book and relaxing.

Due to the air traffic back ups from the storms some of our friends were in NJ for two nights! That was two nights of hotels, food, cab and other expenses, one friend said it cost her $500, to make the flight when it was finally rescheduled.  Another friend stayed in the airport for twenty-four hours! Meanwhile the five of us were back home! So remember think options and act fast!

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The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson


The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson was a wonderful novel that has been awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize. From the first word on the book jacket I was engrossed I this amazing novel. It gives a glimpse into life in North Korea. There are plot twist ad turns that I refuse to in anyway spoil for the reader. I am not generally a fan of historical works, so the idea of a novel that allows you to peek into a closed country intrigued me. I hope you will consider this wonderful woven suspenseful novel that has some harsh truths and lessons. It has a flavor for those that like various genres. It has some military, tales from the sea, every day life in North Korea, and a little love story of sorts. I really can not classify this book as any specific genre but it is certainly imaginative and gives one pause to imagine life in other countries. It is truly a fascinating and remarkable read. Enjoy!

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