Sunday, October 30, 2016

Pumpkin Table Runner Finished

I finished this pumpkin table runner a week or so ago and thought this might be a good time to show it. Actually, the middle of the runner has been done for a year or so and only needed the borders and to be quilted. I had purchased the kit knowing that it would be a bit too big for my dining room table but just perfect to drape on the back of my living room sofa. The witch on the left is a Sandy Bard Design.  Sandy taught a class at our guild a number of years ago and beside this Halloween doll, I also made her   winter-themed doll.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Small Speed Bump on the Road of Life

Remember that foot injury I mentioned a few times? Well, it turns out it is a tad more serious than originally thought. Just so you know, I did have x-rays taken before my trip to Ireland, but they didn't indicate there was any problem so off I went. Fortunately, a friend on the trip insisted I wear a stocking on my foot to keep down the swelling. When I returned home, a visit to an orthopedist and a different type of x-ray and an MRI revealed there was indeed a problem. . . among other things, serious ligament damage. So, I will be sporting this stylish boot for about six months. Yikes!!! Well, it could have been a whole lot worse.

I am truly blessed to have wonderful friends who have stepped up to lend a hand. Also, this nifty, basic black boot goes with every outfit that I wear. Though Emma won't be having any long walks until springtime, fortunately, I do have a large fenced in backyard where she can run around and chase those pesky squirrels. Actually, she seems quite happy to have me home more as I am always bopping around somewhere, and the boot does indeed make a fine place to rest her head while curled up on the hassock. Another good thing, the boot is not on my driving foot.  Finally, at this point there will be no surgery so It's All Good!!! (After all, this isn't called "a positive outlook" for nothing. )

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Exploring Ireland - Day 8 - Blarney Castle

We visited Blarney Castle on our last day of the tour. Flower beds line the path leading up to the castle.

I had kissed the Blarney Stone when I was in college, so I stayed on the ground.

Here's Paula, our camera club president, on the way to the top.

You looking at me???

We only got to make a brief photo stop along the highway to capture images of the Rock of Cashel. This was the only disappointing part of an otherwise wonderful trip. How I would have enjoyed photographing these ruins up close. Perhaps I will have to return to Ireland some day to do just that! 

Dinner at The Abbey Tavern was a fun way to end our visit to Ireland.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Exploring Ireland - Day 7 - The Ring of Kerry

Day 7 was a very full day with many amazing vistas.

One of the highlight was meeting local farmer, Brendan Ferris,  who in voice and appearance seemed  straight out of central casting. His Kells Sheep Center is along the Ring of Kerry, and his demonstration of herding with his two border collies was an experience not to be missed.

If you look closely at the photo below taken from the bus window, you will see two islands. The larger of the two is Skellig Michael. Skellig Michael, a well-preserved monastic outpost of the early Christian period, is designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. If you are a fan of Star Wars, you will know that Skellig Michael appeared at the end of Star Wars VII as the place where Luke Skywalker is found.

Along the way we made a brief stop in Sneem, a place worthy of a longer visit. This first photo is a bit over polarized, but it seems to work with the brightly colored buildings.

Perhaps the most beautiful spot on the Ring of Kerry was Ladies' View.

It is called Ladies View because Queen Victoria and her Ladies once had a picnic at this glorious spot.

We arrived back in Killarney where Marilyn and I attended evening Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral. Construction began on the cathedral designed by Augustus Welby Pugin  in 1842.  During the famine, it was used as a hospital and a shelter, and there is a redwood tree on the grounds which marks the mass grave of children lost during the famine. The cathedral was complete in 1912. As you can see, the interior is simple but visually striking.

What a beautiful, full day it was!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Exploring Ireland - Day 6 - Cliffs of Moher

I was glad it was our turn for the front seat in the bus which allowed me to snap this photo along the way to the Cliffs of Moher. 

After a lovely ride through the countryside, we arrived at the imposing Cliffs of Moher.

A herd of curious cattle kept a keen eye on the herd of tourists.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Exploring Ireland - Connemara - Part 3

 Today just a few final photos from Connemara. The light at Ballinkill Harbor with a storm approaching was exquisite. This is Derryinver Pier on the Connemara Loop and the Wild Atlantic Way.

I believe this pretty scene is Renvyle Beach .

Aren't these cottages sweet? They are in the village of Tully in Renvyle, Connemara.

The sun was beginning to set over Galway Bay as we came to the end of our tour with Jim Parslow of Ireland West Tours.  . . the perfect end to a truly perfect day.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Exploring Ireland - Connemara - Part 2

This is one of my favorite photos from our day in Connemara and perhaps from our whole trip. These ponies were so friendly and photogenic . :-)  The location was in the Inagh Valley.

Have I mentioned that there are lots and lots of sheep in Ireland? 

Why the two different colors on the sheep? Ask anyone who was on the trip; by now, we're experts on sheep. :-)

Notice the long snaking lines up the side of these hills. Back in the time of the famine, workers were paid a penny a day to build these stone walls hence the name, penny walls. These walls are seen all over Ireland.

I love the stonework in this image. The back of this structure has not fared quite so well.

This concrete giant shows the Irish sense of humor as does the nearby plaque.

More from Connemara next time . . .