Saturday, February 19, 2011


"MOTHER NATURE" (Artist Unknown)

I recently received an e-mail from a fellow named Tim Dalton informing me that he had included my blog in a compilation on his website called “Tales from the Past and Dreams for the Future: The Top 30 Celtic Culture Blogs” (link at the end of the post).

On his site, he writes: "Whether you have Celtic ancestry, or you are Irish on March 17th (like everyone else in the world!), these top 30 Celtic Culture blogs will surely keep you entertained. These bloggers have done a great job expressing the beautiful history, sites, and sounds of Celtic traditions."

Dalton's list covers three areas of Celtic blogging: Celtic Music, Irish American and Regional Irish Groups, and Celtic Ancestry. My blog is listed under the third area. Of this category, Dalton writes: "These blogs cover all of the basics and beyond of Celtic History. Not to be missed!"


He also give a brief description of each blog. Of mine, he writes, "This Celtic Lady has a pretty blog that explores everything from art to cats. With her Celtic roots, she does a great job touching on basic to intricate Celtic topics."

I find myself to be quite flattered but not entirely believing he listed the right blog, because I don't think I've ever written about cats. I've posted artwork featuring black cats around Halloween, but that's about it. However, I'll just say "Thanks, Tim, for the nod!"

The listing brings to mind my custom of the past couple of years to write about "All Things Irish" during March. It's no secret that I've been in a blogging slump lately. The world always closes in around me at this time of year and this winter is no exception. As I wrote once, like Persephone I seem to descend into the Underworld during the winter, only to emerge into light and life in April.

In "The Wasteland", T. S. Eliot wrote that "April is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land". I disagree. Because it is my month of re-birth, I love April! But ever since 2008, February has been the month for cruelty toward me and mine. In the past few Februaries I have lost a job, had a devastating car accident, had a car die on me, wrenched my knee so that I couldn't walk for the entire month, etc.

 "FAOLAN, ANA AND DRUSTAN", by Denise Elizabeth Smith

This February is no exception. My latest car had a run in with a light pole as a consequence of my being stuck in a snowbank in our driveway. The winds blow frigidly from the Arctic. I have a very hateful and cruel co-worker who sits nearly on top of me because the two of us are packed like sardines in a "not even proper cubicle" meant for one person. I've been data entering information about all kinds of nasty diseases to the point where I've almost become a germophobe. And we have had scary news that I can't talk about yet.

I was only spared from February's wrath last year, when I didn't work and kept myself immersed in books. By cocooning at home and staying out of her way, I was spared February's "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" aimed right at me.

It's no wonder that I started my Celtic research during winter, in the February of 2009. It was pure escapism for me, to learn about a group of people who were so close to nature, as I had been as a child. A group who believed in magical and mystical things, unearthly things. A group who believed - so unlike us moderns - that the afterlife is just an extention of our earthly life. 

"AVALON" by Mary Layton

It's no wonder that I'd like to be taken out of a world of Alberta Clippers, subzero temperatures, nasty people, flesh- and bowel-eating bacteria, broken cars and worries and woes, and enter into a world of sacred groves and misty lakes, gatherings of enchanted souls, fiery gods and goddesses, beautiful queens and valiant heroes, Druids and dryads, the lands of Avalon and Tír na nÓg, pookas and sprites, selkies and the fae, moon dancing and hidden portals.

Yes, it's definitely time - past time - to start thinking of All Things Irish - nay, All Things Celtic - for my March posts.

Here's the link to Tim Dalton's site:

"THE WAY INTO THE WOODS", Angela Jayne Barnett


Robin Larkspur said...

How wonderful to be included in a collection of beautiful blogs! You must be very proud! Sorry to hear about your blighted Februarys...sending you positive thoughts and brightest blessings. Looking forward to reading your March posts. I am of Celtic heritage as well, Scottish, mostly. Wishing you great things! Robin.

Celticlady's Reviews said...

Hi, Celticlady here, I believe Mr.Dalton was talking about my blog Blog O'The Irish and I post about most things Irish and I also had to look twice at the blogs he had written about. I do love your blog by the way and I found some interesting blogs while there.

Rowan said...

I'm sorry to hear that February is treating you unkindly again - an escape into the magical world of Celtic magic and mystery seems to be just what you need. As always you've found some beautiful artwork, I love the first two paintings and as always the work of Angela Jayne Barnett is wonderful.

WOL said...

Here's what I thought of when you mentioned Tir na nOg:

You collect beautiful things. Coming to your blog is like opening a jewel box full of artwork and ideas.

Julie said...


We're both on the list! You are listed under Celtic Music (odd, but he talks about your Celtic Music Saturday). I'm under Celtic Ancestry.

Congratulations to us both! And thanks for your compliment. I followed your link and perused your blog a bit this morning and will return this afternoon when I have more time. Yours is a very lovely blog and I can't wait to delve into and learn more.


Oh, how I wish the audio on my computer worked. I bet it is a wonderful piece. I did look up the lyrics (Gaelic and English!)Thanks for the link - I will put it in my post when I write about Tir Na n'Og.

Lila Rostenberg said...

Congratulations on the recognition!
Hoping March brings you lots of good times researching and writing about the Irish.
For fun, have you seen "Leap Year" with Amy Adams...????
Cute movie, filmed in Ireland.

100% Irish said...

Some Guinness was spilled on the bar-room floor
When the pub was shut for the night.
An out of his hole crept a wee brown mouse
And stood in the pale moonlight.
He lapped up the frothy brew from the floor
And back on his haunches he sat –
And all night long you could hear him roar –
“Bring on that god dam cat!”

gma said...

You deserve every recognition Julie.
Your writing has always called to me.
Sending warm wishes.

Shopgirl said...

Stop by to say hello and as ever, I love this post. I hope this has found you doing well, and getting ready for spring!! Hugs, Mary

ebrarian said...


Type this phrase in Google to find all the instances of the word "cat" in your blog

cat site:

That's the word cat followed by a space followed by site: followed by the address of your blog.

- Kristen

P.S. In the "About Me" section of your blog, I'm still 27 years old.

Annie Jeffries said...

What a lovely token of appreciation for you, Julie, from Tim, to be included on his list. As a long time reader, I must commend his excellent discernment.

Now what in the world was T.S. Eliot thinking??? Lilacs are fragrant and lush. If I could, I would have lilacs year round.

I hope your latest February swipe has passed into history now and March is fill with new discoveries to share.

Connecting People with Nature, and Writers with Words said...

Julie, I'm so pleased to have stumbled upon your site. I am including a copy of the painting (artist unknown) Mother Nature in my new blog post, with credit attribution and a link to your site. What a great post, and blog, you have! Thank you.

Page Lambert
All things Literary.
All things Natural.