Monday, August 31, 2015

Ireland Trip Blog #69: Haunted Marsh's Library

Entryway to Marsh's Library
With just a couple of more blogs to go about our 9 day trip to Ireland, Blog #69 takes us back to Dublin. After returning the car, we had a couple of hours of daylight left, so we decided to find Marsh's Library because it's reputed to be haunted.

WHAT IS MARSH'S LIBRARY? -  Its a library established in the early 1700s library with thousands of rare books on original oak shelves. It is located on Saint Patrick's Close, Dublin 8, Ireland, adjacent to  St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin

Marsh's Library Sign
OUR ARRIVAL/THE GHOST- We arrived 5 minutes after the library had closed, so we didn't get a chance to go inside. However, I (Rob) didn't need to go in. After taking some pictures of the entryway, I stood near it and picked up on feelings emanating from the ghost inside (which I would later learn about). I sensed feelings of sadness, guilt and frustration. All of those feelings made sense when I learned who the ghost was and why he was there!

WHO IS THE GHOST IN THE LIBRARY? -   Marsh's Library has a particular ghost of its own, the ghost of an old man who has been seen at midnight browsing through its ancient bookshelves, the ghost of its founder, Archbishop Narcissus Marsh according to
      Marsh was Archbishop of Dublin from 1694 until his appointment to Armagh nine years later, but the transfer did not terminate his interest in Dublin and in 1707 he founded his library, on ground belonging to the House of St Sepulchre, then the Palace of the Archbishops of Dublin.

Front door to the Library
    The most recognized explanation for Archbishop Marsh's haunting the library  is because his favorite niece, Grace, fell in love with  a man the Archbishop forbade her to be with.  In the book  Irish Ghosts by John J. Dunne (published by Appletree Press), the author says Grace's lover was a sea captain. IN the book Haunted Ireland, the story says the man was a handsome clergyman from Castleknock. Regardless, it was someone that was not in the Archbishop's favor. 
     As a result, the young couple eloped. Later, his niece wrote the Archbishop a letter asking for forgiveness and mailed it to him.   The story goes that Archbishop Marsh received the letter, didn't open it and put it in a book. Now his ghost wanders the library in search of the book that holds the letter.   


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Dog Who's Waited 11 Years For A Family Hasn't Given Up Hope

This article appeared in the news on August 17, and this is just tragic. A dog has been in a shelter for 11 years (after losing his parent), and is still waiting for a home. Unfortunately, he needs to be the "only dog." - It is such a tragic story.

 Dog Who's Waited 11 Years For A Family Hasn't Given Up Hope By Caitlin Jill Ander

Shelters take in so many dogs each year that sometimes a few slip through the cracks. It's no one's fault, but when we realize these dogs have been overlooked, it's important to do what we can to find them a loving home.
Yonkers Animal Shelter Olive is a senior dog who has been at the shelter as long as she can remember — and that's because she's been there essentially her whole life. Olive has been living at the Yonkers Animal Shelter in New York on and off for 11 long years. Many people have tried to find her a home. Kelcy Kimmerer of Second Chance Rescue NYC learned of Olive recently and became one of her countless supporters. "I know her because my fiancé and I went to visit another dog at Yonkers Animal Shelter and I saw Olive and she just did something to me," Kelcy told The Dodo. "I felt an instant heart connection to her and I felt this deep need to help her — to be her voice."
Kelcy Kimmerer Olive came to the shelter as a puppy, and four years after arriving she was about to be adopted by a volunteer. Right before the big day, the unthinkable happened — the volunteer unexpectedly passed away, and heartbroken Olive was once again alone. Another volunteer paid for Olive to be in a boarding facility for a while, until she was finally adopted — but that family turned out not to be the right fit, and so back to the shelter Olive went.
Olive just can't seem to catch a break, and so many people have been rallying behind her cause. John Bartlett, an award winning designer, animal advocate and founder of The Tiny Tim Foundation, has taken a special interest in Olive after learning of her story, and visits her often. So many people see something special in this dog, and no one can quite understand why she hasn't found her forever family yet.

Olive is an expert cuddler and the perfect low key companion for anyone looking for a dog to love. She's been without a home for so long that the stress has weighed on her, and she would do best as the only dog in a home with only teenagers or adults. She's been dealing with shelter commotion her whole life and desperately needs a quiet home to retire to. Anyone interested in adopting Olive would need to do a meet and greet at the shelter before taking her home.

Olive has never known a couch to sleep on or a human to snuggle with while they watch TV on a cozy evening at home. She has never known what it's truly like to be part of a family — and no dog should be denied that. The volunteers and shelter have done everything possible to make Olive's life happy, but they know a home is what she truly needs.

If you or someone you know would like to add Olive to your family, contact the Yonkers Animal Shelter at to get the process started and finally give this love bug the home she deserves.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Good Book! The Exodus Quest by Will Adams

I found a hardcover of Will Adams' book 'The Exodus Quest" on sale in Barnes and Noble so I bought it based on the
book jacket. It came out in 2010 and was a good buy. I had put off reading it for awhile but finally did and recently finished it- and was glad to have read it.
  It involved an archaeologist in his 30s named Daniel Knox, and digs in Egypt. It reminded me of an Indiana Jones-eqsue type story, and was enjoyable. 
  There are several main characters and the antagonist is a right-wing-nut Christian priest who is leading a student excavation trying to prove the christian bible's exodus of Egypt (BTW-, there's no record of that in reality, although there are records of even 2 people being thrown out of Egypt- so it's likely that never really happened)
   Anyway, the priest discovers something that goes against his view and tries to destroy it, to "preserve" his religious beliefs... and he goes off the deep end.. which causes Daniel and people he knows a lot of serious trouble. 
   The chapters are written well, and are broken up in short (easier to read) sections, each focusing on the different characters. The only thing I couldn't follow were all of the Egyptian references and names... I had to gloss over them, because it was simply too much information (but it made it all the more realistic). 
I enjoyed the book and would recommend it!  - Rob   

AMAZON BOOK SUMMARY: On the trail of the lost Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeologist Daniel Knox stumbles upon a theft in progress at an ancient temple near Alexandria. Then a senior Egyptian archaeologist is violently killed, and the finger of suspicion points at Knox himself. To add to his mounting worries, his partner Gaille Bonnard is kidnapped while showing a television crew around the ruins of Amarna. She manages to smuggle out a message, pleading with Knox to rescue her, but he's locked in a police cell on suspicion of murder hundreds of miles away. His only hope of clearing his name and saving Gaille is to crack one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the ancient world...before it's too late.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Ireland Blog #68 : Dublin's GPS Spiral!

In Ireland Blog #68 we finally return to Dublin where we experienced the GPS Spiral! Before we get to it, if you're in Ireland check out the radio station "4FM" or 104.7 FM because it plays pop music from the 80s, 90s and oldies. :) Okay, well, those are oldies. Onto the GPS Spiral! 

The GPS unit seemed to work pretty well in Ireland (except for really, really short notice to turn in cities and towns). However when we were trying to return the car the GPS went into a spiraling fit! 

MR. MONK DRIVING IN DUBLIN - Driving through downtown Dublin is a little nerve-wracking since I'm (Rob) not used to driving on the left side of the road, and Mr. Monk (Tom) was in the passenger side, cautioning me not to run people over or drive on the curb. 
When it comes to being a passenger these 2 are the same guy,

INTO THE SPIRAL -  We programmed the GPS unit to take us to the "Enterprise Rental Car" store on Russell Street, Dublin. The GPS brought us close to the neighborhood then started spinning round and round. It took us in circles for about 40 minutes and the only way we knew we were close was because I pulled over and asked someone! Of course, the person had no idea where "Russell Street" was but said they've seen an Enterprise Rental car in the area. They did know that it was near a stadium, and fortunately, that's a big enough landmark to see, so we were able to find it by driving around and around it!!!

U-turn over and over
ARRIVAL!!! - We arrived and I think I had to pry my fingers out of the steering wheel,as I dug them in so tightly. Remember, when you return a car, you have to get there by a certain time... fortunately, we made it. 

NOT THE ONLY ONES - The rep at the rental car company asked if we had any issues with the car or GPS and we explained that the GPS went into "spiral mode" trying to find the car rental place. The rep said that someone before us arrived earlier that day had the same exact problem with their GPS. It couldn't find that street address. 
WHY?- Well, it was of course, programmed by someone in Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. who had likely never been to Dublin.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ireland Blog #67: Downtown Cashel, the "Pipe" and a Graveyard Ghost

Rob and Tom outside an old gate
In blog #67 we'll cover the "Pipe" and St. Dominic's ruined Friary in downtown Cashel, Tipperary County, Ireland  and thought we'd add in the story of a graveyard ghost from the same county. 

The former "PIPE" now a fountain
Gargoyle fountain head
WHAT IS THE "PIPE" - A fountain with three spigots brought water to the residents of downtown Cashel in 1842. It was called "the Pipe." The water was discharged through the mouths of three gargoyles into troughs. In 1986, the structure was restored and converted to a fountain.  


Cashel Palace Hotel
St. Dominic's Friary
St. Dominic's Friary Ruins
This friary was founded in the year 1243! It was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1480. New windows were even installed in the building at the time. By 1540, however, the friary was dissolved and the building abandoned. It then fell into disrepair and ruins as it stands today. 


So, thanks to Paranormal, this little story of a ghost seen in  a graveyard in the county of Tipperary  seemed interesting enough, and it only happened 16 years ago! 
Here's the file from the Paranormal Database:
Location: Ballingarry Thurles - Old Church graveyard  Manifestation  
Date / Time: Circa 1999
Cr: Matt Alexander, Ballingarry Parish Journel
Further Comments: Two brothers, aged eight and ten years old, noticed a man peering over the wall of this grave yard. His head and shoulders were visible, and the figure wore a white shirt with dark glasses, and had curly hair. The man also looked like he had been crying, and ignored the children when they spoke to him. The children told their father, who pointed out the wall was eight feet high; upon hearing the description of the figure, the father recognized it as being a friend of his who died four years previous! 


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Ireland Trip #66: "Hore"-ing Monks of an Abbey Near Rock of Cashel

Hore Abbey in the distance from the Rock of Cashel
As we near the end of our Ireland Trip Blog #66 gives you a quick overview of the Rock of Cashel's Hore Abbey.

Hore Abbey is a ruined Cistercian monastery near the Rock of Cashel (fortress/cathedral), County Tipperary, Republic of Ireland. We could see the ruins from the Rock of Cashel, which lies to the north of the ruins. There's a couple of things you need to know to understand this place. 1) What does "hore" mean and 2) What is a Cistercian. We'll explain both.

WHAT IS HORE? - The word 'Hore' is didn't refer to a loose nunnery. Okay, I couldn't resist. Actually it was thought to come from the word 'iubhair' the yew tree.

WHAT IS A CISTERCIAN? - A Cistercian is a member of the Cistercian Order -it's basically a religious order of monks and nuns. According to Boydell &
The Cistercians (White Monks) were the most successful monastic experiment to emerge from the tumultuous intellectual and religious fervour of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. By around 1150 they had established houses the length and breadth of Western Christendom and were internationally renowned. They sought to return to a simple form of monastic life, as set down in the Rule of St Benedict, and preferred rural locations "far from the haunts of men". But, as recent research has shown, they were by no means isolated from society but influenced, and were influenced by, the world around them; they moved with the times.
WHO GAVE IT TO WHOM? - The former Benedictine abbey at Hore was given to the Cistercians by Archbishop David MacCearbhaill (in 1270), who later entered the monastery. He endowed the Abbey generously with land, mills and other benefices previously belonging to the town.

This is all that's known about this Abbey in ruins:
·         1269 Archbishop David MacCearbhaill made profession of the Cistercian rule though remaining as Archbishop of Cashel

·         1270 Founded from Mellifont. The last Cistercian foundation in Ireland before the dissolution of the monasteries

·         1540 Dissolved and property transferred to James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormond. Monks continued to serve the local parish. Later occupied as private dwellings

·         1561 Lands granted by Elizabeth I to Sir Henry Radcliffe


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ireland Trip #65: Some Odd Carvings and more Inside the Rock of Cashel

This is the last blog about the Rock of Cashel in Ireland. In blog #65 we'll show you some odd carvings that lie in the ruins of the Rock of Cashel (that fortress/cathedral, an ancient christian mural and a photo Tom took of Queen Elizabeth's signature (why I have no idea). 
ornamental carvings on door frames

carvings on a tomb or altar

INTRICATE CARVINGS - These carvings I believe were either altars or tombs. I didn't write it down and can't find anything on-line!  Regardless, there was a lot of detail in them.
3 MINUTE VIDEO TOUR (by xdaznx) - I found this great 3 minute video tour if you want to take a "walk" through the main area of ruins and see where these tombs/altars are located. In the video you'll also see a christian painted mural that historians and archaeologists uncovered. There is now a copy of the original painting next to the mural to show you what it originally looked like. A pretty fascinating find.

 NEXT: Some "Hore"-ing Monks :)  (It's not what you think)


Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

Great Books by our friends

Great Books by our friends
Check out these great books (yeah, Rob's are in there, too)

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next

Podcast of Rob's 50 min. interview on Paranormal Filler Radio 7/13/14

Article on Rob's books in Baltimore Gay Life

Writer Jen Vance interviewed Rob about his books and abilities and published an article about him in Baltimore Gay Life newspaper in Nov. 2013. (It's on the 2nd to last page). LINK: