Thursday, March 1, 2018

Editor's Corner


March 2018


"An attitude of positive expectation is the mark of the superior personality. " -–Brian Tracy
So shall we expect the very best of March? With February we already are experiencing a diverse scale of temperatures and the accompanying weather displays. Snow that is measured by the foot instead of inches, and a heat wave in another area on the same day is an example of March in action. Already there's a forecast for the Sierra's  for a blizzard to blow in at 125 mph. (See pic below)  May your weather be tolerable and pleasant, and your life be filled with positive expectation.
Bruce Clifford shares "Here I Go Again" and Bud Lemire illustrates his poem "The Ice Shack," with a photo from his hobby of photography. John I. Blair sent his half dozen poems, including one called "Epiphany on Davis Drive" which shows how he views his world. "Toadsong in February," "Still Feeding Birds," "Vampire," "Smile," and "Dry Eyes" are his other ones for this issue. "Tribulation" is the result of a father-son collaboration by John and Adam Bradshaw, and "Living Legends" is also by Adam Bradshaw. Both are musicians and these are lyrics to some of the songs they have performed, having also composed the music.

Thomas F. O'Neill's column "Introspective" tells that the fake news tales in America are treated and reported in China as true news. "On Trek" by Judith Kroll, aka Featherwind, discusses Near Death experiences and her insight on the subject.

Mattie Lennon's "Irish Eyes" features an interesting look at the play "Sive" being done for 2018 back to when it originated as one of John B. Keane's stories in 1959. Producer of that was Brendan Carroll, which ties right in to a search being conducted by the "Armchair Genealogy" columnist Melinda Cohenour. She has Part 1 of how to trace the DNA ethnicity reports backward into one's tree which for her includes Carrolls of Ireland.

Rod Cohenour in"Cooking With Rod," brings the recipe treat of Chicken Cacciatore as prepared by his wife. He calls it "Mi Amore Cooks – Ms Chicken Cacciatore!" Dayvid Clarkson's "Reflections on the Day" includes a pic with words also by him.

LC Van Savage's column "Consider This," talks about how being lazy might not be as deplorable as it sounds. Her article "Glorious Succulents Galore" requests input from readers.

See you in April !!!

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This issue appears in the ezine at and also in the blog with the capability of adding comments at the latter. 

Armchair Genealogy


A Mystery: Who Sourced the Ethnicity Story of 

My DNA? Part I

    For those of you who read my column often, you probably know it was my choice to submit my DNA for testing by Ancestry a year or so ago. The results were, for the most part, what I had expected although the percentages of ethnic derivation were surprising. At the time those results were received, I determined to attempt to review my family tree and to pin the actual ancestors to the countries of origin suggested by the ethnic percentages received. Having spent a great deal of time researching my father’s lineage, it had become quite apparent we had a fairly strong Germanic ancestry. Mother’s lines seemed to be associated more with England, Ireland, Scotland, and then the Franco-Germanic lines extending through the Joslin family derivation. To my astonishment, the German bloodlines were not nearly as strong as I had expected. My results were as follows:

Ireland/Scotland/Wales 38%
Great Britain 20%
Scandinavia 17%
Europe West 14%

    But, wait a minute! That is not 100%. What was missing? Well, here was the part that rather amazed me and the impetus that spurred my decision to rationalize and confirm the findings – that remaining block that makes me ME. These were the results as indicated by comparing my DNA makeup with that of hundreds of thousands (if not millions?) of other persons around the world who kindly submitted their DNA to provide the scientists with samples that could be tied to specific locations worldwide not just today but for hundreds of years through time. It is a complex study, one befitting a lengthy education in how DNA works and in making astute observations based on empirical evidence. When certain strands of DNA matches closely the same strands of others, the scientists plot the origin of those genes. They developed a matrix that is not dissimilar to what is used to determine parentage but which is far more complex and, honestly, a bit speculative in nature. For each person throughout time has inherited 50% of their DNA from one parent and 50% from the other. Thus, when a person has a great-grandmother, let’s say, who was Native American, that person MIGHT show up with DNA that confirms a 12.5% (1/8th birthright) bloodline tied to a specific tribe. That assumes, of course, the individual inherited that portion of their parent’s DNA that was the Native American bit and that strand had survived intact from the generations before. That part of tracking lineage is rather basic and much less complex than the worldwide study undertaken by Ancestry (and now other DNA testing groups) – that part that compares not a single family but a community of persons whose DNA has matching elements tied to a specific country or localized region of origin.

    The balance of my DNA ethnicity contained a few more surprises and required a bit of research to try to determine the countries of origin associated with the areas identified by Ancestry. Thus, the remaining percentages making up the 100% whole of my DNA was revealed as shown below:

Iberian Peninsula 4%
Europe East 3%
Europe South 2%
Finland/Northwest Russia 1%
European Jewish < 1%

    The delineation of ancestors who are believed to have contributed this portion of my DNA will be discussed in next month’s column. Now on to the larger portion and my exploration of my genetic history.

Who donated the DNA that, apparently, defines my ethnicity?

    Attempting to go about this in an orderly fashion, the first segment of ethnic origin to explore will be that large 38% segment identified as Ireland/Scotland/Wales. Ancestry offers a neat Search method when reviewing the DNA Shared Ancestor matches that show up on the DNA Home Page. One can search all Matches by Surname or by Birth Location. Tada! If only it were that easy, for as your author attempted this “easy” method of locating those birth locations she discovered the information may be buried within the trees of the Shared Match and oft-times is not readily apparent. Ah, well…let’s go with what we know.

Ireland/Scotland/Wales 38% - THE IRISH GROUP:

    The only surprise associated with this ethnicity estimate is merely that of the high percentage. Also, the fact that my sister’s percentage differed from mine showing me to have inherited a greater amount of DNA from our Irish, Scottish and Welsh ancestors. My known forebears who derived from these countries are quite numerous:

Carroll surname derivation – Paternal Line:

    As a beginning, we have always known that our Carroll lineage derived from Ireland, “…the counties Cork and Kerry, my dearie” as my grandmother King was wont to say. Two declarations by my father come to mind: “The O’Carroll clan was Irish, the MacCarroll clan was of Scots descent” and “Remember when Charles Carroll of Carrollton signed the Declaration of Independence he added ‘of Carrollton’ because the Carrolls were already so numerous in Colonial America they had to distinguish themselves by location.” We were also admonished by Grandmother King on St. Patrick’s Day that no Protestant Irish EVER wore GREEN! (Horror of horrors!) but should be appropriately signified as ruling class by the wearing of ULSTER ORANGE. As a child I never understood this distinction and forever donned the green of the Leprechauns in honor of the day. Perhaps this is now a clue to go forward in my attempt to pin down the Carroll clan of my personal origin in good ole Ireland. Suppose?

    The surname Carroll goes back many centuries to the ancient Clan O Cearbhail, whose ancestral lands were known as Eile Ui Chearbhail or the Isle of O’Carroll. The name means “fierce warrior,” “warlike champion,” or “valorous in battle.” From the website, Irelandroots/carroll.htm:

“The O'Cearbhaills were prominent in the Province of Leinster. There were six separate O'Carroll clans in Ireland, in Counties Kerry, Offaly, Monaghan, Tipperary, Leitrim and Louth. Carrolls of Northern origin descend from the MacCearbhaill clan who were located in Ulster particularly near the town of Derry. There is also a MacCarroll family (anglized to MacCarvill) from the province of Ulster.
In 1014, after constant war and invasion by the Vikings, Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, enlisted a powerful army to fight them in battle at Clontarf. A division of Boru's army, the Eilians, was led by the Prince Cearbhaill of the Carroll race. Brian Boru's principal confessor throughout his reign was Maolsuthian O'Carroll, who never left his side. In 1005 Brian Boru visited Armagh and had O'Carroll write into the famouse 'Book of Armagh'.
The Coat of Arms most associated with the Carroll name is on a silver shield two red lions combatant supporting a sword erect in pale proper in the dexter chief point a black cross flory, the Crest being on the stump of a tree a falcon rising billed proper charged on the breast with a black cross flory.
Alternate Surname Spellings - O'Carroll, Carrol, Karrel, Carol.”

O'Carroll Coat of Arms. Courtesy Glasshouse using elements by Sodadan - Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. 1907; rpt. New York: Crest Publishing Co, 1962, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Joseph Alexander (1756-1839), b. County Tyrone, Northern Ireland – 4th Great-Grandfather (Paternal Line)

    When Joseph Alexander was about nine years of age, he and his brother accompanied their father to America. They came first to Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. Nothing is discovered concerning the father or the brother. Much is known about our Joseph because of his distinguished service in the Revolutionary War. One of my earlier columns concerned his service as a Patriot. Many hardships were experienced by this family including the burning of their homestead in Pennsylvania by the Indians in one of the many uprisings, the capture of his son by the Indians (later released and reunited with his family after searching for their new location), and extensive battles in the effort to create a new and independent homeland. This is certainly an ancestor in whom to find great pride.

Memorial Service provided by the William Henry Harrison Chapter of the SAR in West Lafayette, Indiana. Sugar Grove Cemetery, Jackson Township, Tippecanoe County, Indiana
Richard Malone (1736-1801) b. County Cork, Ireland - 5th Great Grandfather (Paternal Line)

    Richard was the father of Francis Malone who wed Joseph Alexander about 1785 in Pennsylvania after the Revolutionary War. It is known Richard Malone played a big part in the formation of strategies for Patriots as he placed himself and his family in danger by hosting the meetings held in secret at his home. Concerning Richard Malone, the following is taken from the History of Centre County, Pennsylvania:

“According to a diary kept by Richard Miles, Richard Malone lived in April, 1775, six miles from Fort Augusta (Sunbury), up the West Branch, which would be about two miles above the mouth of Chillipueppe Creek. His home was a prominent place for meetings, notably those of the County Committee of Safety during the Revolution. The slight remains of an old account book show Major John Lee, Dr. Plunket, John Hambright, Weitzel, McCord, and other old settlers about the mouth of the West branch as his Guest, in charges for rum, toddy, cordial, etc., and indicate his occupation.”
Joseph Bullard (1732-1788) – Scots-Irish (Maternal line)

    One of my favorite ancestors is Joseph Bullard. His life has been chronicled by another Bullard researcher who has generously provided his extensive findings pro gratis for use by family historians on his marvelous website: The assumption is made that this line of Bullards, like others who migrated concurrently across the ocean to this remote area, were Scots-Irish. This then is a portion of his thumbnail sketch of my 5th Great-Grandfather, Joseph Bullard, from that website:

Joseph Bullard’s birth place is unknown. He was born ~1732. It is reasonable to assume he and his siblings were Scots-Irish and migrated to the American colonies in the early to mid 1700’s from Northern Ireland. What is known is that Joseph Bullard was one of the early pioneers who settled in central North Carolina. He later migrated to the Watauga and Nolichucky River area located in eastern Tennessee sometime between 1775 and 1776. Joseph’s migration route into eastern Tennessee crossed over the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina. There is documentation that Joseph Bullard lived for a time in central North Carolina before migrating to eastern Tennessee. Joseph Bullard was a self made man, possibly an indentured servant , who made passage to America sometime around 1750. He was not a man of letters. He had no known privileged lineage. He was a man of humble origin. He was the quintessential frontiersman. 
It is well documented Joseph lived and fought alongside many well known military and pioneer leaders of eastern Tennessee. As this chronicle unfolds, it will attest to the fact that Joseph Bullard established himself among his peers as a courageous Indian fighter and Revolutionary War soldier. He ascended the ranks of the patriot militia on his strength of purpose and fortitude to protect his family and liberties. On many occasions, he demonstrated hardship and courage in the name of freedom and justice. He owned large tracts of land given to him through land grants bestowed upon veterans of the Revolutionary War. There is sufficient documented evidence and historical events surrounding Joseph Bullard’s life to chronicle a reasonable account of his life as a frontiersman and Indian fighter. Although Joseph is mentioned in many early eastern Tennessee court sessions and tax lists, neither fame nor notoriety is attached to his name. Yet, he is typical of the fiercely independent Scots-Irish pioneers who first settled in North Carolina and the great western wilderness west of the Appalachian Mountains. He not only was a witness to the formative years of the revolution, but also contributed greatly to the annals of American history.

    The research into the direct line ancestors by attempting to identify how they contributed to my ethnic diversity will be a long and arduous journey, but one that is fascinating to me. With nearly 14,000 names in my family tree at this point in time, it is truly a challenging effort. The fruits of my labour shall be the fodder for future columns in the hope that others may benefit from the effort. It is also an invitation for other family historians to contribute to the pool of knowledge.

    Looking forward to next month’s column which will continue this journey of discovery.

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Cooking with Rod


Mi Amore Cooks – Ms Chicken Cacciatore!

     Valentine’s Day is past, but the theme of LOVE remains. This month it’s time to feature an original dish whipped up by mi amore, my darling M, my Melinda in (what else?) the classic Italian manner.

     A few years ago, my little ole wife discovered an application that allowed her to whip up original dishes, then enter the ingredients in their respective amounts, cook it up, see how many it would feed and then – Ta da! – let that marvelous application figure out the nutritional data. Boy! Being a computer geek of the first order (that should read Computer Geek Of the First Order as though it came with a certificate and, possibly a desktop trophy…?) that wife of mine went to town making up new recipes just so she could labor over that diet and recipe application and spit out nutritional facts and data ‘til the world turned rosy. This ole boy never complained. It was a new and exciting dish at least once a week, complete with a whipping boy towel if one desired more than one of those healthy helpings. Oh well, what cannot be changed must be tolerated, right?

     So, for this month our own little Tour of Italy …( and being the loving wife she is, she never even complained when I painstakingly removed every single mushroom from my plate. After all, she would say, she loves mushrooms.)

     Bon appetit!

M’s Chicken Cacciatore

  • 6 chicken breasts, boneless (skinless also if preferred)
  • Small amount oil to brown chicken quickly in hot skillet
  • Dash of Mrs. Dash (original) or salt (if you MUST)
  • Dash pepper to season (prefer cracked peppercorns)
  • 1 small can chicken broth (or ½ cup cooking wine and ½ cup broth)
  • 1 sweet bell pepper, diced.
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp from jar)
  • 1 large onion, diced (or 1 can drained pearl onions)
  • 1 carrot, stemmed, pared and cut into thin dimes
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms, rinsed, stemmed and cut up
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, juice and all (can use stewed)
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar (good salad variety)
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Parsley
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Dash ground black pepper
  • 1 can sliced black olives, drained thoroughly
  • 1/3 cup flat leaf Italian parsley or fresh Basil, chopped or snipped
1. Add cooking oil or lard to skillet and heat quickly to sizzle when water flicked in. Sprinkle chicken breasts with Mrs. Dash (salt, if you MUST) and cracked peppercorns to season. Add boneless chicken breasts to skillet (if with skin-on place skin side down). Brown quickly on all sides and remove from skillet. Pour chicken broth (or broth and wine) into pan to loosen pan brownies, whisk to mix. Add carrots, onions and bell pepper to skillet, cook until liquid is reduced and vegetables have begun to carmelize. Retain juices.

2. Place browned chicken breasts in large stewpot, pour liquid from skillet over. Add caramelized vegetables and remaining liquid to stewpot. Add minced garlic and mushrooms. Add tomatoes. Season with Oregano, dried parsley, Italian seasoning, a bit more black pepper (make sure not to make too hot with pepper – this is Italian, not Mexican!). Bring to low simmer and allow to simmer in stewpot about 20-25 minutes until chicken is done and carrots are soft.
3. Add Balsamic vinegar and cook 3-5 minutes more to infuse flavor.
4. Garnish with drained, sliced olives and snipped parsley or basil to dish.

     Serve with good cold salad, antipasto dish (if desired) and baked hot bread.

     Serves 6 at about 350 calories per for Chicken entrée.

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Irish Eyes



     “There’s a book in everyone. It’s not always necessary to publish it and if you can’t write it yourself, you should let it be drawn out of you by somebody. Afterwards, the world will have a fuller understanding of you and many things about you will be explained in a way that is not possible by expiring silently with the whole secret of your life locked up within you and the whole complicated and monumental tale on its way to total decay, for bones don’t speak and the dust is also silent.” (John B. Keane.)

    One night, sixty years ago, 30 year old John B. Keane went, with his wife Mary, to the Listowel Drama Group’s production of All Souls Night by Joseph Tomelty. On the way home he said to Mary, “I could write as good a play as that.” On arriving home he reached for his favourite Biro. By 6.30 next mornings, as dawn was breaking over Gurtenard wood, he had completed Scene One of Sive. (The idea for the play came to him some time previously when he had an experience as a haggard old man entered the bar, ordered a drink, and told everybody in earshot that a match had been made for him and that he would be getting married soon. He asked John B. to accompany him to the jewellers to choose a ring for his new bride. The ever-obliging young publican, who through no fault of his own was not in possession of all the facts, went with him. Months later John B. learned that the old man had married a very young girl who had since had a nervous breakdown and was in an institution. John B’s daughter Joanna says it, "Troubled my father for a long time after.")

    A fortnight later he had finished the first draft of Sive. He showed it to a few close friends and, as if with one voice, they told him that it wouldn’t work. He was given different reasons by different people; the names of the characters were ridicules. The theme was outgrown. The language was too flowery. He re-wrote it and submitted it to the Abbey Theatre. The script was returned to him without any comment. It was first staged by the Listowel Drama Group in Walshe’s Ballroom, Listowel on February 02nd 1959. They later put it on in the Abbey Theatre for one week. (When the Abbey Company eventually produced the play in 1985 John B. said,” They got the harshness, the bitterness, the poverty of the period . . . At long last a few elderly and semi-elderly playwrights are getting *Cothrom na Feinne “)

    There was an Off-Broadway production but John B. was probably more impressed when the Listowel Drama Group won the All Ireland Drama Final in Athlone with it. When the group was touring north Kerry with the play the playwright was playing Carthalawn, the singing tinker. He gave an unforgettable performance in Ballylongford. One unscripted scene drew mixed reaction from the audience. As the slender John B. was about to exit at the end of Act two his borrowed trousers, which were several sizes too big for him, headed towards Australia. Despite frantic, whispered, instructions to “get off ye eejit” he stood his ground and sang an additional verse of the theme-song with his trousers around his ankles.

    John B. once wrote, “Whatever chance a writer has of getting a good review in the London Times or the Herald Tribune he has no chance at all in a provincial paper.” He was on the ball at the time but the provincial press has for many decades been forced to change its mind.

Original cast for Sive

    Sive has been playing to packed houses at the Gaiety Theatre since 26th January. The current run is due to finish on 03rd March. In the original script the two tinker characters are a father and son. In this Druid production they are a mother and daughter. A couple of reviewers, who can’t ever be pleased with any play, have been critical with this gender change. But in my humble opinion it certainly doesn’t take from the drama.

1959 Sive at Abbey

    Sive tells a story lust, greed conniving and deceit. John B. always had his finger on the pulse of human nature and used his native Kerry as a blackboard to explain universal emotions and especially the role of women in society. Every character in Sive is a complex individual who displays all the emotions to which the human race is heir. It has long won a place in the country’s literary history, cited in The Irish Times’ ‘Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks’ in 2015. The play has stood the test of time over the decades and has remained popular with amateur and professional drama groups and it would be hard to find a parish hall in Ireland where it hasn’t been staged. The time-proof dialogue is still relevant after almost sixty years; like when Mike Glavin points out to his mother that it is very difficult to be a good son and a good husband, “under the one roof.” Everything about this production is first class. Thanks to the digital revolution in the theatre, which some call “tecnodrama” as a sort of mixed compliment, a computer-generated scene in the final act transports the audience to the bog hole so central to the plot.

     In 1964 Listowel’s favourite son wrote, ”I am a kind of writer. Nobody knows what kind of writer I am, least of all myself. My ambition is that people will say, ‘He was a kind of writer. He said things a different way from others’ ”. In the past fifty-four years that modest ambition has been realised many, many, times.
1959 pic of producer Brendan Carroll; Nora Relihan who played the role of Mena Glavin; author John B. Keane
    John B’s son Billy, a literary giant in his own right, who was a nominee for the Kerry Person of the Year 2018, put out a call on RTE radio asking any actress, amateur or professional, who played Sive at any time in the last fifty-nine years to make contact. This search for Sives resulted in an assembly of 50 “Sives” in the Gaiety Theatre on Sunday 11th February. They ranged in ages from . . . Well! This national gathering of Sives met each other over a cup of tea in the John B. Bar and had a group photograph taken on the Gaiety stage. The group included Margaret Ward (pic below courtesy of Nick Bradshaw) who played Sive in that very first production and Gráinne Good who plays the role in the Druid’s latest production.

Margaret Ward, 1959 Sive and Grainne Good who plays the current Sive. Pic courtesy of Nick Bradshaw
Close up pic of 1959 guests of Dan Moloney for Sive held by Margaret Ward in previous pic .

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Reflections on the Day

February 13 at 10:00pm ·
I bask in the clear crisp sky time. The night sounds calm my heart in a gentle caress. The evening creatures stir, especially the owls challenging those that enter the night. I look forward to once again sitting with my Teachers. I am gently reminded that learning is finding out what I already know. Doing is demonstrating that I know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as I do. We are all learners, doers, and teachers. Sleep well, dream deep my Friends. Humble bow, Dayvid.

February 14 at 10:00pm ·
Today there were feelings of humility leading to a great sense of gratitude. I took time to pay attention to these strong feelings. What wonder and what confirmation. I am blessed to be able to have a ringside seat as this journey unfolds. As you retire this eve please look to the sky. Look to all that you have and all that surrounds you. It is a miracle and we are the cause. Thank you Creator… Off now to whisper secrets with Grand Mother Moon. Sleep well, dream deep my Friends. Humble bow, Dayvid

February 15 at 10:00pm ·
Grand Father Sun has gone to rest. Sweet Grand Mother Moon takes over the brood. She shines her light to reveal the stars. At the end of the day, I like to Dusk Walk. A state between awake and dream. I wander the sky; imagine the star patterns connecting the path toward my lessons. It is a most pleasant time, drifting in and out, swaying to the Divine rhythm. I listen to my heart as to an ancient drum leading me forward until I peacefully great my Elders for another class. I am eternally grateful for every moment, every bit of serendipity, that gives my journey a magical synchronicity. Sleep well, dream deep my Friends. Humble bow, Dayvid

February 16 at 10:18pm ·
On a clear evening night, I watch as the clouds gather about Grand Mother Moon and the wind whispers to the clouds, shush. It will soon be time to join that mystical circle and join in listening to the stories. The stories unravel like a ball of multicoloured yarn rolling across the skies. Seeking the answer yet never wanting it to end. The tales will return me to the source remembering who I am. May your rest be serene. Sleep well, dream deep my Friends. Humble bow, Dayvid.

February 21 at 9:49pm ·
The silence of the night seduces me like a wily mistress. The cares of the day melt away as I prepare to be enfolded by the arms of sleep. I take a few moments of gratitude for lessons learned. And then we will dream the dreams of Seekers. We will soar through the heavens allowing the starlight to cleanse and refresh our spirits. We will sit humbly at the feet of Compassion and remember who we are. Sleep well, dream deep my Friends. Humble bow, Dayvid

February 27
Words are like dried flowers, brittle, surrendering as they are crushed flat between the pages. Words can take us on great adventures, yet never come close to conveying what truly lies within us. Your thoughts are the words you speak to yourself. Take the time to rest in silence and listen for your heart song whispering to your soul. Quiet your mind and slow your breath. You deserve the sanctuary of your spirit. Invoke the four directions, stop the words, stop the thoughts and listen to the serenity that is yours. You are worthy of these rewards. Sleep well, dream deep my Friends. Humble bow, Dayvid

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