Monday, March 28, 2016


Visiting the west coast of Ireland would not have been complete without a visit to the Ring of Kerry.  Yes, we did visit the Cliffs of Moher on our last trip to Ireland in 2012.  Our bus tour of the Ring of Kerry would cover 110 miles and take over 6 hours.  Even though this would be a longer tour than we desired, we thought it was preferable to trying to drive it on our own.

Our first stop was at the Kerry Bog Village (photo above).  We saw Irish wolfhounds, peat bogs and Kerry Bog ponies.  We learned how to make Irish coffee and of course needed to sample one (okay, we drank the entire thing).  It was delicious!

Continuing on our tour, we saw the Dingle Peninsula and Slea Head (the most western point of Europe) and the Askill Islands.  We stopped again and watched a demonstration with two border collies displaying their skills at herding sheep.

Our next stop was the shores of Ballinskellig Bay.  We walked along the shore, admiring all of its natural beauty and of course taking lots of photos!

We stopped for lunch at Scariff Inn in Caherdaniel, where we enjoyed amazing views of Derrynane, Kenmare Bay and Bantry Bay.  Continuing on our tour we also saw Dunloe Gap, a spectacular glacial valley.

Our last stop (and my favorite) was at Ladies' View, which has an absolutely gorgeous view.  Supposedly this site was named "Ladies' View" after this area was admired by Queen Victoria's ladies in waiting.

I am in awe of all of the natural beauty in Ireland.  It is so peaceful and so beautiful!

Sunday, March 27, 2016


What should we do on our first full day in Killarney?  We wanted to see some of its natural beauty but not spend all day on a tour.  Killarney National Park is close by and I hear it is beautiful.

Cars are not allowed in Killarney National Park so we took a 1 1/2 hour tour of Killarney National Park in a jaunting car (a 2 wheeled horse drawn vehicle).  Killarney National Park was the first national park established in Ireland.  It is the home of red deer, black Kelly cattle and cypress, linden and holly trees.

We saw St. Mary's Cathedral, Mt Tomis, Loch Leane (the lower lake) and Innisfallen Island.  We stopped and visited the grounds of Ross Castle, which is located on the edge of Loch Leane and is the ancestral home of the O'Donoghue clan.

Later my daughter would tell me that visiting Killarney National Park was on her favorite highlights of her trip to Ireland.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


After meeting our daughter at the Dublin Airport (we were arriving from Amsterdam and she was flying in from California) our plan was to drive to the west coast of Ireland and in particular to Killarney.  It is rather amazing to me that we can drive from the east coast of Ireland to the west coast of Ireland in about 3 hours when it takes days to do that in the United States.

After driving through the counties of Kildare, Laoise, Offaly, Tipperary and Limerick, we stopped for lunch in the town of Adare and had a delightful lunch at Pat Collins' Bar.

After lunch we decided to explore the town of Adare just a bit -- after all it is a heritage city where the Desmond Castle and friaries are located.  We visited the Trinitarian Priory and Trinity Church.

Since it was raining (well it is Ireland) and our daughter was exhausted from her flight, we continued driving to our destination of Killarney and more specifically our vacation home rental.

The Killarney rental house has lots of space with four bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a backyard (even a washer and dryer) and was only a 15 minute walk into town.   Our Irish Adventure begins ...

Thursday, March 17, 2016


The corned beef is cooking in the crock pot (corned beef won over Guinness stew this year at our house) and the Guinness chocolate cupcakes are baking in the oven.  When the cupcakes are cooled they will be topped with a Jameson whiskey caramel frosting.

As I am sipping on an Irish coffee, I am thinking about my Irish ancestors and my two trips to Ireland.  Since last St. Patrick's Day, I found out that my Sherlock ancestors actually originated from the Scurlogs who lived in Wales.  In the last month, I also found out that my Chambers ancestors originated from Abbotshall, Fife, Scotland.  I also spent 10 glorious days in Ireland but more about that in a later post.

I have more hope that my Kilroy and Caffrey ancestors have deeper roots in Ireland than the Chambers and Sherlocks do.  Currently I can trace my Kilroy ancestors back to Patrick Kilroy, who was born in 1730.  Of course, I still need to do a lot more research on the Dever, McLoughlin, Caffrey and Denning ancestors.

While I was in Islandeady in County Mayo this past August, we were visiting St. Patrick's Catholic Church.  It was the childhood church of my Great Grandmother Bridget Elizabeth Chambers Sherlock.  My husband took a photo of a picture that was displayed in the church.  It is the photo below.  I just love the little boy and his dog praying!

I would like to share one of my favorite Irish blessings --

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand

Wishing you all – 

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!  (Happy St. Paddy’s Day!)

Monday, March 14, 2016


I am continuing on my quest to watch as many of my Grandpa Charlie's moves as is possible.  This past week, the three movies seemed to have a common thing -- murder and prison.  The first movie was the 1935 "Murder in the Fleet", starring Robert Taylor and Jean Parker.  The movie was about murder and sabotage aboard a naval ship.  Grandpa Charlie played the role of a yeoman who was taking messages from the civilians on board to send to their families.  It was fun to hear Grandpa's voice, with lines such as "One at a time!" and "Lady, please!

The second movie I watched was the 1940 "Castle on the Hudson", starring John Garfield, Ann Sheridan and Pat O'Brien.  The movie was the story about a man in prison at Sing Sing who for superstitious reasons refuses to take part in a prison break.  Grandpa Charlie (the far right in the above photo) played the role of a prison guard who shoots the tear gas.

"Picture Snatcher" made in 1933 was the third movie I watched.  James Cagney played the role of an ex con who tries to go legit and works for a newspaper, taking sought after photos, including one of a woman who is being put to death in the electric chair.  Grandpa Charlie played the role of a reporter who is witnessing the execution.

It is rather amazing the variety of movies Grandpa Charlie had roles in.   I wonder which ones I can find to watch this week.

Friday, March 11, 2016


In August of 2012, my husband and I visited Ireland for the first time.  We visited the Heritage Center in Cobh, the Cliffs of Moher, the cities of Dublin, Galway and Westport and my ancestral town of Islandeady in County Mayo.  Ever since that trip, I have had a yearning to introduce Ireland with its natural beauty and warm welcoming people to my children.  What better time to do that than following my Rhine River cruise?

While this trip to Ireland would include visiting some notable tourist sites such as the Ring of Kerry, Killarney National Park and Dublin, it was also important to me that we would visit my ancestral villages of Islandeady in County Mayo and Demailestown and Lady Rath in County Meath.

During the planning stages, it also became apparent to me that staying in vacation home rentals would not only provide us with more room and flexibility than hotel rooms but also would give us a different perspective.  We could add to that experience by staying in homes in different locales -- one a few blocks from the town of Killarney while the one in Mayo would be in a more country or rural setting.

So the airline and lodging reservations were made, itineraries for travel were created and we were ready to go.  Here's to hoping for a most memorable trip for all four of us!

Monday, March 7, 2016


Last week, I watched two more of my Grandpa Charlie's movies. The first one was the 1935 "The Woman in Red", starring Barbara Stanwyck, in which she plays Shelby, an equestrienne.  Grandpa Charlie (2nd from the left in the above photo) played the role of "Mike", the 2nd photographer.  Charlie really gets into this role taking photos from all angles and even getting hit by some old man.

The second movie I watched was the 1935 "Devil Dogs of the Air"starring James Cagney and Pat O'Brien.  The movie takes place in San Diego at North Island.  Cagney plays a rogue rebel pilot who is joining the marines as a pilot.  Grandpa Charlie plays a student trainee with the marines. At the end of the movie, there is a mock invasion training session where they invade by land, air and sea.  Where did they invade?  La Jolla!  I guess that was much more likely in 1935.  I can't imagine that happening today!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


I would be remiss if I didn't write about my Dad (Donald Sherlock) today since he would have been celebrating his 87th birthday if he was still alive.  He died in 2001.  I have written several posts about him over the past 4 years.  So the only question is what should I tell you about him?

My Dad loved science and math.  He would always help us with our math homework.  Of course, he could always come up with the answer even if it was a different way than they taught us in the "new Math" (whatever that was!).  His studies in science at Los Angeles City College were interrupted when he was drafted into the Army to serve in the Korean Conflict from 1951 to 1952.  He eventually returned to his studies, even while having two little ones at home and earned his Associate Arts degree in June of 1955 from LA Valley College.

After working as a mail carrier for the US Postal Service (before and after his deployment), he was hired by Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank as a template maker in March of 1956.  By that time another baby was almost due!  When he was layed off of work in November of 1957, he then started working for Lockheed Missiles Systems in Van Nuys as an instructor, teaching Shop Math and Advanced Blue Print Reading.  Don then went back to work for Lockheed Aircraft in 1960 and worked there until his retirement in 1991.

In 1972 he completed training for computer graphics for drafting purposes.  In the late 1970's, he received a certificate after completing 100 hours of computer graphics operation. In May of 1975, he was featured on the cover of Machine Design Magazine.  The above photo is from that magazine.

What was amazing to me is that this all took place in an era when there were no personal computers in the home and probably not a lot in the workplace.  In fact, I remember him calling this "working on the scope" instead of calling it a computer.  When I see this photo, it reminds of me the Apollo XIII movie where they are trying to get the spaceship home, using a slide ruler.

Dad, you would be very happy to know that all 3 of my kids (your grandkids) have followed in your footsteps (either working in fields of math and/or technology).

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!!   Miss you and love you!