Friday, January 29, 2010

"If you want the rainbow, you gotta also put up with the rain"

I hope I haven't already posted this- found it under "drafts".

I took this picture on my way to work a while back. At a set of red lights (obviously!). It was taken through the windscreen, timed to get between the wiper motions.

I drove right under that rainbow, so glad to have it brighten up my day.

Then later in the afternoon, I let the raindrops build up on the windscreen, to form this image.

Looking at it now, I think it looks like a black-and-white photo, but it was taken in full colour, with the same camera setting as the first shot. Pretty dismal day then.

And one final shot, just to show you that there was a snippet of colour on that street.

I'd love to know who Sheridan is (first image)- there aren't any elections going on here at the moment....I think!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

I know, this is a bit of a cheat, but what the heck! It does have red in it! Actually, it would also qualify for Mellow Yellow Monday, but I won't push my luck that far.

The lovely Heidi over at Cake Crumbs gave me this award, and I'm only able to get my head round it now. The snow fuzzed my brain!

Thank you so much, Heidi, not just for the award, but for the sweet words too. I so enjoy my visits to your site, and you have such fantastic ideas and photos. As I said to you before, I wish I lived closer to you so I could order one of those yummy cakes.

Now to the passing-on-the-award part. It's to recently-discovered blogs, but as I'm quite new to blogging, most of my discoveries are recent.

To Maggie May over at Nuts in May- you are a courageous and funny lady, and your blog is an inspiration.

To Lola at AGLIO, OLIO & PEPERONCINO, whose mouthwatering photos, stories and recipes are well worth a visit.

To Robin at Around the Island for beautiful photography (and good stories). Look forward to meeting you in person soon.

To Carletta at Carlettas Captures- your photography is amazing, every time.

To Sharon Rose at Dances with God- you've touched my heart on many occasions.

To Eternally Distracted for so many good laughs- the kind that hurt your sides. If ever anyone needs a laugh, go there!

To Stephanie, at Hookin,Knittin& Livin - your blog is a lovely mix and you introduced me to MYM and RT.

Ok, I've done 6, but really, I want to pass on this award to all the people whose blogs I follow. I value the connection with all of you, and look forward day after day to logging on and seeing what you all have to say. Honestly, I never tire of it, probably much the same as yourselves.

It's a good life!
For more Ruby Tuesday posts, click on the picture below, and go visit Mary T who kindly hosts this fun meme. Have fun!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

No hurry

There are times when I just love Ireland!

Monday evening was one of those times. The father of a dear friend had died, and was being "waked" in their home. I'm not sure if you know what "Waked" is, or whether it's practised in other countries, so a brief explanation.. the body is laid out, in a coffin, in the house overnight and family, friends, neighbours, come to visit and pay their last respects. Prayers are also said- many Rosaries would be recited throughout the wake.

It is a tradition that I love, much more than the modern practice of a funeral home. To me, it's more personal, and somehow signifies the person's last connection with their home, and gives everyone the chance to say goodbye in a cosy, not clinical setting. And family, friends and neighbours bring food, and take turns making large pots of tea for those who have come for that last visit. Stories involving the dead person will be recounted throughout the night, sometimes stuff the family would never hear otherwise.

Now I do realise that sometimes it's not practical. And also wakes have gotten a bad reputation over the years as drinking sometimes was a big part of the whole affair.

Back to the story. Myself and a friend, T, travelled down the country to this wake on Monday afternoon. We had the address of the local church and Hubbie loaded up this gadget

so we wouldn't get lost. The intention was that we'd stop and ask somebody for directions to the house when we reached the church. I didn't want to ring the bereaved friend for directions.

So, Garmin directed us down a narrow, winding country road, and both T and I decided this couldn't be right, so we U-turned and went back to the main road. On to a petrol station a little bit down, and we stopped there to ask for directions. Two old guys were leaning on the counter having a chat:

Us:" Do any of you know Patrick Smith who died a few days ago?"

Old guys:" Ah poor auld Pa Smith, shurr we knew him well, are ye goin to the wake?"

Us: "Well yes, but we're a bit lost"

Old guys: "Now what part of the country would ye be from?"

Us: "Dublin. Could you give us directions to the house?"

Old guys: "Would ye be friends of his daughter? He had 4 daughters but only the wan son".

Us:" We are, we're friends of E, she teaches with us. Could you give us directions to the house?".

Old guys: "Above in Dublin, is it? Ah yes, I remember E when she was a little wan. Lovely family, the Smiths, they all were lovely children."

Us:" Could you give us directions to the house please?"

Old guys, bringing us to the door of the petrol station and pointing down the road:"Go down there, take a right, drive down a little bit. Now you'll come to a cross roads, but go straight through, then you come to a V and take the left then......."

Us: "Sorry, could you say all that again?"

Old guys: "Do you know what, just follow our car, we'll drive down to show you where it is".

Garage guy:"But I thought you were waiting to meet your brother from the bus?"

Old guys: "Just tell him to hang on, we'll be back in a little while, we're gone to show these ladies the way to Pa Smith's wake".

So, true to their word, they drove, making sure we were following and took all the correct turns, and pulled up outside Pa Smith's house, bid us goodbye and went back to the petrol station to collect the brother! No big deal, just what you would do for a neighbour, dead or alive.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bloggers for Haiti

Tara at Sticky Fingers has posted about a brilliant fundraising idea to help the poor people of Haiti., and I'm with her all the way.

We want to buy one of those boxes to send to Haiti. Hell, we'd like to be responsible for sending LOTS of boxes to Haiti. And so we are supporting the work of and encouraging as many of readers, commenters,friends and family to donate through a Justgiving page.

Each Shelterbox costs nearly £500 and contains urgent supplies for disaster relief, including:

  • A 10-man tent designed to withstand extreme weather conditions

  • A stove for heat
  • Cooking and dining equipment

  • The containers themselves can be used as a waterproof cot for a small babyThermal blankets for warmth

  • And a children's pack including drawing books, crayons and pens

One of these packs could save a family.

Every single pound counts, so we can all make a difference by joining together. You can donate using either a debit/credit card or Paypal. As I write, £890 has been raised, so we are well on the way to the 2nd box, and maybe a third...

If you feel you can join in, then please create a post on your blog and encourage your fellow bloggers to do the same. To donate, just click on this Justgiving link.

And if you feel you don't want to join in this fundraising activity that's fine too, but please just pass the word around. These people need us, it really could be any one of us in this situation, it's just the luck of the draw who in the world needs whom at any given time.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What happened to my head?

How quickly things can change! I was too sad to post this yesterday, and here ends all mention of snow...some readers will, I know, be relieved!

The thaw came much more quickly than predicted, and there's barely any trace of snow now. Schools are getting back in most parts of the country, although some smaller roads are still quite dangerous.

Today we have gale force winds, some floods and water rationing.

Well, it was good, so good, while it lasted.

And the lesson I've learned is to enjoy stuff in the here and now, cos life has no guarantees. And I'm glad I did!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What's seldom is wonderful!

We're still having snow! It's not melting like it usually does, it's sticking and it's snowing more (in bucketloads!).

I just have to share these photos with you, my friends, from the walk that Hubby and I took this morning in our local park.

The first one is children having fun sliding down the hill, the lake below is frozen at the sides, children were walking on it. Unheard of in this country!
Somebody told me that election posters were being made into great toboggans!

I wish I knew how to take and upload a video clip, because the noise was amazing, just screeches of laughter!

It reminded me so much of 3o'clock in St. Johann, when everyone comes down the mountain, and it's all just sliding around and having fun. I love how families have come out together to enjoy this rare event.

Then we went for a walk in the woods, and again, I felt I had to pinch myself and keep telling myself that this is Ireland!
This robin played a game with us, hopping from branch to branch. I wasn't sure if he was showing off, or teasing us!

We walked and walked! I could walk forever in this, completely losing track of where I am and of time. That, to me, is wonderful, takes me to a place outside myself and makes me remember what a small creature I am in the universe.

Can you see the robin in this next one? Click to enlarge..

Some pictures are Hubby's, some are mine. No prize for guessing which belong to whom.

And it's still snowing some more!

Tonight we made a snowman in our own garden, I'll post some photos of this tomorrow. It's so weird having confidence that the snowman will still be there, no melting! It's like birthday and Christmas and a ski holiday all rolled into one, only better, cos we have our home comforts too!

And for all of that, and the health to enjoy it, I am very grateful.

Thank you Lord!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Gets better and better

Maggie May, look away!

This is another post about snow...

Well, this day just got better and better. First, it snowed all morning, till about 11 o'clock, which was when I awoke to everything dusted in a fresh coat of icing sugar snow. Oh, it just looked so beautiful!

Then the weather forecast tells us that we'll have (maybe) more tomorrow, and definitely more on Sunday, lots more.

And this evening the Minister for Education announced that schools will be closed next Monday, Tuesday AND Wednesday!

How good is that! It doesn't affect this little fellow, but at least we'll be here to refill the feeder all day!

This year is starting off so well, and getting better and better.

Pics are again courtesy of Hubby. Artwork on snowmen by my kids, many years ago, but nostalgic me still puts it on the window each Christmas. And I haven't taken down the decorations yet! Will do tomorrow- it's a job I hate, cos it signals the end of my favourite time of year, and I always wonder what the interval until next Christmas will bring.

PS..I am not forgetting that for some people this snow is a pain and makes life difficult. But I really do love it!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pics of our snow

Update: Schools closed today and tomorrow! Yippee! More time for all to enjoy this Winter Wonderland!

The snow has slowed us down, made our lives move in slow motion, made us prioritise our journeys.

"No unnecessary travel" is the mantra.

So instead of a New Year shopping frenzy before the return to school (tomorrow, if weather permits), we're spending time together, calmly looking out at a pure and pristine landscape, undisturbed by the usual rush of daily life.

Sustenance for the soul.


What a wonderful start to 2010.
Pictures courtesy of Hubby, taken in our local park.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

I was wondering what to post, if anything, for Ruby Tuesday, then inspiration arrived from Stephanie in Canada! She has posted a lovely tea cosy that she knitted...
I bought this tea cosy on Etsy just before Christmas, but when it arrived decided it's way too nice to use only occasionally as a tea cosy. So it has become a hat, it's really warm, which is exactly what's needed at the moment. On my head, not on the teapot!

So I'll knit a tea cosy instead, it will also get rid of some of the yarn I have stashed in the attic. I'll try to incorporate red, and then I can post it for another RTwhen it's finished (probably next January!).
Mary T hosts Ruby Tuesday, click on the pic at the top to go visit her and get more inspiration like I did!!

Mellow Yellow Monday

This was the scene here on New Year's Eve, just after midnight.

It's not a great photo, but I don't want to crop out the pole in case of ruining the light and the snow. Or even the memories! Can't you just feel the stillness?

The snow is still with us, and the weather forecasters say they can't see anything but snow and ice for the next week or so ! Yippee!

Drowsey Monkey hosts this fun meme, and you can click on the logo at the top to go over to her place.