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Legends of the Celts

Qualilty Crafted Items from Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales,
Cornwall, U.S. and other Celtic Nations


Happening, Events, Tidbits of Knowledge pertaining to the everyday at Legends of the Celts.

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Spirit of America in a Small Town

Posted by Barbara Hand on February 21, 2013 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (130)

Today starts the 40th Annual American Birkebeiner event.  This is known as the largest cross country ski race in North America.  

What some people don't know, is that this is held in a Northwestern Wisconsin town with a population just under 2000.  That is correct, not 20,000, just 2000.  It was started and promoted by Tony Wise, a man with an entrepreneur spirit and vision that few people have.  He believed in something and he went for it.  I don't know if he saw the potential that it has grown to or if he just wanted to create something that would boost the economics of a small town or maybe it was purely selfish reasons to promote his Skiing resort hidden way back in the woods near Cable, Wisconsin.  Whatever the impetus, it worked.  

What makes this the spirit of America? It is a small town coming together to host visitors from all over the world.  Coming together to do something good, to support their community, to provide an entertaining and enjoyable event for virtual strangers, to smile and be kind to people as they accomplish a dream, physical endurance or in some cases overcoming a handicap or illness.  It is with pride and selflessness  that volunteers give of themselves and their homes.  

This event and many others have been going on for so long that this is now a culture of the community.  Volunteer, give of yourself, do for others, support your community, love your home town, state and country, have pride... all ideas, traditions that I fear are lost in some areas but are still alive in actually two  Small Towns in Northwestern Wisconsin... Hayward and Cable.

You have to love a place that puts that kind of smile on a young persons face and life.

You can watch a live webstream  at http://new.livestream.com/xcountrylive/events/1894604?query=2013%20American%20Bi&cat=event


Life changing decisions

Posted by Barbara Hand on September 18, 2012 at 8:30 PM Comments comments (8)

First of all an answer to the previous blog.  Yes, you can go home again...even if the home land is in your ancestral background.  There is something that calls a person, an inherent connection.  Going to Newhall, California did just that for me.  It felt so much like HOME.

Just returned from Celtic Marketplace in Lombard, Il.  This is a trade-show hosted by NACTA, North American Celtic Trade Association.  Through this marvelous organization we have become acquainted with so many wonderful people. We have something in common, our love of Celtic life, music and people.

Before attending Steve and I were reflecting on our former careers and what brought us to this point.  We had good means of supporting ourselves and enjoyed well enough what we were doing.  Something was missing, but we didn't know it.  Changes in our work places began us thinking about taking a risk, albeit not life threatening risk, but a life changing risk.

People everyday are brought to these life changes not always by their choice, especially lately during the economic times we are living in.  Often times it is devasting but, please, if you are in those circumstances give yourself a chance to try something new, don't look back. Take the challenge. 

As we sat in a round table with other store owners, they mentioned their previous careers.  I believe they felt as Steve and I do that this was the best life changing decision we had made for ourselves.  We now have acquainted ourselves with people we never would have had the chance to meet, wonderful, wonderful people. . . this includes the many customers (friends) we now have.  We have seen Ireland, learned so much about the Celts, and, of course, have made Music an huge part of our lives. 

We wish for everyone, whether the decision is voluntary or forced, that the outcome is great and wonderful.  Let your mind take you to the ultimate, life is only once.

You Can Go Home Again

Posted by Barbara Hand on April 30, 2012 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (4)

An old adage, maybe true in some respects but I think I have found one time in life when it is not true.  As generations pass and people move about the world to live in new locations but choice or by need, we become displaced people of sorts.  But I believe, a part, maybe a small part of home, ancestral home remains in each and every one of us. 

I remember the first time Steve and I traveled to Ireland.  An exciting journey, made all the better accompanied by Steve's mother Alberta and sister Mary.  Steve always wanted to go to Ireland, a place where his ancesters left during hard times. 

We arrived in Dublin in the early morning after a night flight from Chicago. Steve never (hardly ever anyway) sleeps on airplanes.  It was all new to us, the airport at that was small and maybe not in the most modern condition but we found our way around, got the baggage and then out to the cab que.  Once into the cab I looked at Steve, sitting next to me.  The calm, the look of satisfaction and togetherness took over his whole demeanor and the words out of my mouth were "You look like you have just come home".  He said he felt something he couldn't explain, but he felt that way too.    Throughout the journey, between Alberta, Mary and Steve they all have feelings of familiarity, deja vue and contentment.  I think you can go home again and they did.  I think the remnants of living in Ireland were passed from generation to generation and once those memory chips were activated they revealed living in the past.

I am making a similar journey to California where my ancesters back to my great-great grandmother lived and raised families, the Santa Clarita Valley.  Thanks to the internet I was able to find information and get a glimpse into the past but I want to feel it and perhaps have that same "You are home" sensation.  I will let you know.

Girls Night Out ..... Great Night Out

Posted by Barbara Hand on April 17, 2012 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (3)

I should do more research as to when this started and by who, but without giving credits where they are due, I would like to commend the persons who started GNO.  Barbara Bolitho (Woodland Realty) heads it up with e-mails and keeping and arranging the schedule.  She also includes information about goings on at the Park Theatre, Specials at local establishments and other events of interest.

Splendid Things (Sophies Dog Bakery) and Legends of the Celts hosted the GNO on April 11 at the McCormick House.  First let me say,  what a nice group of women, how organized and congenial they all are.  They arrive with bottle of wine and glass in hand, as well as a dish to pass, some very creative ones  indeed.  

We held the event at the McCormick House, which is an attraction in itself.  Jan (from Splendid) and I brought some of our new and highlighted items to show and sell.  Jan has two stores in one building so she wanted to let women know that she has a nice variety of Hats, Boot Toppers, Leggings, Coobie Bras and More.  I wanted to dispell the myth that you have to be Irish to come into the Legends of the Celts Store. 


Some don't know that Legends of the Celts has a wonderful line of cosmetic face creams, face mask, body lotion and shower gels.  We also have a fantastic range of fragrances.  One that is very well known worldwide is Inis, but in addition to that we have Moonlilght Inis, Sonas, Caru, Lavendar and Heather and Moss.

We also have pewter jewelry which is very affordable.  You will be amazed at the styles.  They are bold and striking in style.  They are made in Ireland but do not exhibit the Celtic style as much as they are contemporary fashion.  They are a must see.  

Anyway, back to the GNO.  Jan and I had a great time hosting.  All the women were wonderful.  The conversation was non-stop.  If you haven't been to one, consider going, bring a friend.  You will meet a host of women from Drummond, Cable, Namakagon, Birchwood, Hayward, Stone Lake.  You will have an evening of enjoyment which will boost your energy, give you a reason to smile.  We all need that.

Have Fun!!!!

St. Patricks Day in Hayward

Posted by Barbara Hand on March 19, 2012 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (4)

You may not think much happens in a traditionally Scandinavian twn on St. Patricks Day but in Hayward, Wi it is a glorious and fun day. 

It starts with Steve and Grandson's Colin and Gavin playing bagpipes at area schools, senior center and nursing homes.  Grandson Darby marched when he was little but in his teenage years now so he may pick it up again in the future


These little boys just picked up the pipes on their own and march and perform like professionals.  The really draw ooohs and aaaahs from the crowd and contribute to the fun of St. Patricks Day.

On the day, in the evening Steve picks up with Molly and the Danger Band at the Pavilion in Hayward and from there they pub crawl to Karbs, Vets Center and Anglers and finish the night at the Pavilion.  Playing jigs, reels, well known Irish tunes, the crowd really gets into the music.  So even if people are not Irish or just a little Irish, they enjoy St. Patrick's Day in Hayward.  Every year gets bigger and better.  Make plans next year to join us.  You will have fun.

Birkie 2012

Posted by Barbara Hand on February 25, 2012 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (18)

Beautiful Day, Fun Filled Town, Great Snow and Weather Conditions.  Another Birkie, 39 in all, and a great success it has been.  The town filled with happy and excited people.  Skiiers whom you have to admire for their stamina, courage and extreme effort.  They are what makes the day.  The crowd shows their appreciation by standing on the sidelines all day and cheering the skiiers as they near the finish line.  The elite skiiers came breezing in just over 2 hours after the start.  They obviously get the most out of their skis and strides.  The first place skier this year had a good lead over the others, but the  2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th came in as a pack and with last efforts it could have been anyone's next place. 

It is great to see people milling about, smiles on their faces and enjoying the out of doors.  We enjoy hosting the visitors because they are so much fun to talk to, some with stories of their ski adventures or family members.  At Legends of the Celts, we also hear stories of visits to Ireland and we truly enjoy those.  We can usually recognize the areas people have visited and can picture in our minds where they have been and can agree that they visited some of the best places in Ireland.

Today, Steve was given a wonderful compliment on how he had impacted a family, in particular the two young boys.  They had heard Steve playing the whistle outside our Store one summer.   They bought the Whistle - CD Pack and the boys began their career in Irish Music.  They have dedicated much time and effort to playing and the rewards have been many.  They play in a band, have played with an orchestra, all in all have become musicians.  Young boys, even yet, they have much to look forward to and music is a huge part of their lives.  We are delighted to know that Steve's passion rang through to these young men and they have carried on in their own passion and efforts to a reward of one of life's best pleasures - MUSIC. 

We look forward to the rest of 2012, so far at the end of February the year has been good, happy and enjoyable.  If you have not yet been to Hayward, please consider a visit and be sure to stop in and see us, we love to talk.


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