Quotes to Live By…

Oscar Wilde

We often purchase items that have quotes on them that ring true for us. There are many quotes I’ve come across over the years that I’ve immediately connected with, and I often will refer to them as a source of strength, inspiration, and/or amusement. Here are a few of my favorite…

Well behaved women rarely make history…. Laurel Thatch Ulrich

I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made… Franklin D. Roosevelt

Your DNA must cry itself to sleep at night… Steve on Coupling

I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to a man; they are far superior and always have been… William Golding

Where there is a woman there is magic… Ntozake Shange

Be yourself; everyone else is taken… Oscar Wilde

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity… Dorothy Parker

What about you? What are some of the quotes you’ve encountered in life that have rung true to you? Share in the comments section below.


Recipe: Banana Bread

Whenever the Fam is looking for a reasonably healthy and easy snack, our go-to is banana bread. You simply cannot be a nice slice of banana bread. It not only gives you energy to tackle whatever you’ve got planned, it provides a great way not to waste those overly ripe bananas sitting in your fruit bowl.

Why I love this recipe is it provides the right balance between moist and dry. I hate banana bread that is so moist that it seems like it isn’t cooked all the way through. I am also not a fan of banana bread that is so soft (i.e. moist) that it falls apart when you pick up a piece. However, I’m also not a fan of banana bread that is so dry that you need to take a drink of something just to choke it down. Here is a recipe that is quick and easy that is firm enough to stay together, but is also so moist there is no need to add a schmear of butter. And if your banana bread cracks at the top… Don’t worry about it. It just makes it rustic.

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 2/3 Cup Shortening
  • 2 1/4 cups sifted multi purpose flour
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed, over-rip bananas
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cups chopped pecans

Instructions

Stir shortening to soften. Sift in dry ingredients. Add bananas and half the buttermilk; mix until all flour is incorporated. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. Add remaining buttermilk and the eggs. Beat 2 minutes. Fold in nuts.

Bake in paper-lined loaf pans at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Use the toothpick method to ensure it is cooked thoroughly. Cool for 10 minutes in pans and then remove.

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Freebie: Genealogy Worksheet

I have been doing genealogy research for a very long time now, and I’ve accrued stacks of documents that provide a wealth of information. And while I do utilize a program to catalog and keep all the information, I still rely heavily on worksheets to track the data I’ve collected. There have been too many times where my program froze or my hard drive simply stopped functioning. Sure, I back up everything but it came be time consuming and cumbersome to access those back-ups. It’s just easier to glance at a worksheet.

This worksheet is one that I’ve created to track the most basic information in genealogy research, but it also adds a little more. I thought I would offer it up as a tool for you to put in your toolkit and utilize as you see fit.


Top 5 Irish Genealogy Sites

If you find you have branches of your tree that trace back to Ireland, here are a list of five useful genealogy sites that provides information on Ireland and (hopefully) your ancestors.

Library of Ireland… Besides a selection of village, town, and city directories, there are texts of several books on names that should prove useful in searching through Birth, Marriage, and Death records, and in pinpointing locations in which a particular family is most likely to be found.

Irish Genealogy… The website is now home to the historic records of Births, Marriages and Deaths of the General Register Office. These records join the Indexes to the historic records of Births, Marriages and Deaths that were already available on the website.

Irish Genealogy Tool Kit… You’ll find page after page of relevant advice on this website plus the very latest information on genealogical resources in Ireland.

From Ireland… Here you will find millions of free records, compiled by Dr. Jane Lyons, including: gravestone records, gravestone photographs, 1901 census records, 1911 census records, 1931 trade directory records, birth records, marriage records, death records, Lewis’ topographical records, Griffith’s valuation records, and more.

The National Archives of Ireland… All of these records are free to access, through searchable databases and linked images of relevant pages. Eventually, the site will contain all of the important and easily accessible genealogical material in the custody of the National Archives.

While sites such as Ancestry provides a lot of information for researchers, I tried to stick with free websites. Ancestry is too expensive and provides little more than free sites such as Familysearch.org. Check out this list, and stay tuned for Friday – when I’ll be posting a freebie: A family sheet that helps you track your information.


Top 10 Places I Want to Visit In Ireland

St Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, so I thought I would share my Top 10 list of places to visit in Ireland. Ireland is near and dear to my heart. I have ancestral links back to the country on both sides of my family tree, so I have always felt a special bond with that country.

While I’ve been to the country, I haven’t seen much of the country. So, when I go back, these are the top places I intend to see/visit…Cliffs of Moher… As equally gorgeous as it is dangerous, the Cliffs of Moher is on a lot of “must see” lists.

Giant’s Causeway

Giant’s Causeway… Technically, this is located in Northern Ireland, which is a part of the United Kingdom, but I still count it.

Inis Mor… Part of the Aran Islands, located in the western reaches of Ireland, this little island has become quite a tourist destination especially with the release of the movie, “The Secret of Roan Inish.”

Dun Aonghasa… If you’re into history, you’ll love this place. Also part of the Aran Islands, Dun Aonghasa is one of many prehistoric hill forts on Inishmore.

Dingle Peninsula/Ring of Kerry… Located within Killarney National Park, this road trip takes the visitor to a variety of sites including castles, waterfalls, and stone forts.

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle/Blarney Stone… If you want the gift of Blarney, it is said if you kiss the Blarney stone – you’ll have the gift of eloquence. However, my grandfather was certain that if you had Irish flowing through your veins, you already have the gift.

Kinsale… A fishing village in Cork that is incredibly colorful. Little row houses painted in yellows, greens, blues, pinks, purples, and every color in between.

Rock of Cashel

Rock of Cashel… Also known as Cashel of the Kings and St. Patrick’s Rock, is the traditional seat of the King of Munster.

The Burren… Located in County Clare, the Burren is a cracked pavement of glacial-era limestone, with cliffs and caves, fossils, rock formations and archaeological sites. And if I’m ready for a break, I can head over to Doolin village to rest my feet and listen to traditional Irish music.

Trinity College… Located in Ireland, this university has many wonderful sites but the one thing that is of particular interest to me is their library. The long room has an impressive book collection and even served as inspiration for Hogwart’s library in the Harry Potter books.

How about you? What places would you see, if given the chance to go to Ireland? There are so many wonderful sites, it was difficult for me to narrow it down to just ten.