Saturday, June 23, 2018

New Lace for the Table

When we moved back in here, I was happy to see that the round metal and glass table in the living room was still there. It's a good table that holds an excellent lamp with plenty of room left for my stuff--beverages, stitching needs, books, notebooks and pens, mp3 player, phone, and whatever else I stick on there on any given day. And there is a shelf underneath where I keep my pouch of stitching tools, books, and my little netbook and tablet. It sits between the chair I use and the couch, which I also use, depending on mood and I can twist the lamp to direct the light where I want it. When we moved in the first time, I made a sort of dark royal blue doily for it. I had enough thread in that colour and it matched the blue curtains and worked with the brown furniture that was in here. This time, there is different--and better--furniture, but it's not brown and I wasn't keen on the blue doily there. Besides, I recognize an excuse to crochet a doily when it comes along!

I started one with some variegated brown thread that I'd gotten in Sligo. I loved the way it looked on the ball, but as I started crocheting it, I was less smitten. Still, even though I should know better, I kept on for days, hoping that my feelings would change. Finally, I accepted that it wasn't working and I would not ever like it, so I ripped it out, chose a different chart, got out some thread better suited to the purpose, and began again. Today, I improvised the last couple of rounds and got the ends hidden.
I'm glad I started again instead of continuing with the first attempt. This is much better! It's the perfect size and it makes me happy to see it there. I will use the variegated thread for something else.

The centre and the outer edge are done in brown raw silk thread held double, while the rest is done in ecru size 10 crochet cotton. I used a US B hook, which is, I think, 2.25 mm.

The blue doily now lives upstairs on the dresser.
And now to decide what to work on next.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Three Weeks. Hot Water, and Solstice Sunset

We moved in three weeks ago today and now we finally have hot water in the sinks. Yay! It was actually an easy fix--took the plumber a minute or two, but it's not something we could've done ourselves. We have three ways to heat water for the sinks here (we have an electric shower, which heats the water for that). There's an 'instant hot water' heater in a cupboard. If we are running the boiler (kerosene), it will heat the radiators and the water. If we have an open fire, the back boiler in the fireplace will heat the radiators and the water. This is handy in winter when we actually want heat, but that's only 3 or 4 months of the year, so what we use most often is the switch (electric). It only takes 5 or 10 minutes and the water is very hot. Then we turn it off. The day we moved in, we turned it on and nothing happened. We waited. Nothing happened. Two and a half hours later nothing was happening. The plumber said that at some point, someone probably had the fire going for a long time or the fire and the boiler or something, and the water got too hot, tripping the overheat switch. I asked if we should know how to fix the problem if it happens again, thinking it would be a simple thing, but apparently, it involves removing bits and stuff. Never mind.

After walking a little more than 3 1/2 miles yesterday and the same the other day, my leg is tired and slightly achy today, so I went for a shorter walk. I've been pleasantly surprised at how things are going with that. The muscle that was hurt last summer continued to bother me, but I think walking has helped, because I realized a week or so ago that I wasn't noticing it anymore. The pain had gone.  After only three weeks, I feel much better physically and less stiff--I assumed I would loosen up once I could move around more again. I have still not had a headache, an upset stomach, or sinus problems since we've been back. I rarely even take any allergy meds now. What really hits home for me is how much ease I feel here. It's not that there are no aggravations and stuff. Life goes on and there are good days and less good days wherever one is. But in Moville, the first thing I did every morning when I woke up was to start giving myself a mental pep talk in order to convince myself to get out of bed. Then I would sort of rigidly move myself through each day, again having these mental conversations with myself--one part of my brain talking me into doing what another part did not want to do. What I wanted to do was stay in bed and sleep as much as possible. What I actually did was to keep myself occupied and distracted. It was tiring. When we found out we might be able to move back here, Bill commented that I seemed like my old self again. It is true that I feel different, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Still, even as I was talking myself through each day, I was noticing that I was drawing on lessons I'd learned years ago when living in a different place that was not good for my well being. I was pleased to have learned something at least and to handle a difficult living situation in a better way than I did then, although it took some time for me to get there. At the same time, I was aware of how privileged I am--it's not like I was in fear for my life or having bombs dropped on my house or anything like that.

This week, RTE aired an investigative report about illegal dumping and one of the things they reported on was the fact that there was/is an illegal, contaminated dump outside of Moville. Some guy has a skip hire company--we saw the skips sitting around and being transported all the time--and he was dumping the waste and burning it in the Moville area. The river that runs through town is also one of the most polluted in the country--raw sewage continues to be dumped into it. It's so sad. Moville is a nice little town and very scenic. It's not for me, but I can see, in an objective and removed way, that it is beautiful, full of great people, and has lots of potential. I know not everyone gets sick there, but how many people are getting sick and have no idea why--both visitors and residents? I hope they can clean things up there. The people who live there deserve better.

I happened to look out the window last night just about at sunset (10:10ish) and it was lovely, so I got my camera.
There are so many reasons I am grateful to be back here.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

More Wandering

We both had books in at the library, so we headed off for Donegal Town again today where that was the first stop. Then we decided to go on the Bank Walk, since we were right there. I love that walk with all the big trees and the green--so many interesting textures and shapes. And we can't forget the fairy doors!

After the bank walk, we wandered around town for a while.
our part of county donegal

county donegal

flowers behind bars

We called in at the Animals in Need charity shop and as soon as we walked in, I spotted this on a shelf right by the door--not a colander, but better, because it doesn't take up space.
We also found a wire thing with a mesh bottom that I can keep my cooking utensils in--wooden and slotted spoons, ladle, etc. And we each found a book. The one I brought home is one by Kate Atkinson. I have only read one or two of her books, but I like them and want to read more. She always keeps me a little bit off balance. I think I will always remember one in which the whole storyline was not wrapped up until the very last sentence of the book--and it was a surprising sentence!

It's a lovely day here. I hope it's the same in your part of the world!

Happy Solstice!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Yesterday, as we were walking around in Donegal Town, we saw a sign pointing to a famine graveyard, so we turned down the lane next to the school and found it. It was a sobering moment of reflection, especially as we were in Donegal Town primarily to buy food to stock our freezer.

I am not sure where the circular flower bed mentioned in the round plaque is--there was a spot in a different part of the field where there was a tree growing and some flowers planted around it. Perhaps that was it. In any case, the generosity and care given by the Choctaw is well remembered here. The famines and the experience of being colonized are not far below the cultural surface and you can see how that cultural history still impacts the culture today. Since we've been in Ireland, and I've started to notice such things, I have become interested in how the cultural histories and stories here and in the US differ and how those things shape the ways people view their countries and their societies today. I'd not considered how much the fact of being formerly colonized would still resonate today and I started to see much more clearly how the experience of being the colonizer impacts how USians continue to see their country. It's also interesting and useful to consider that, while the last famine was not that long ago here, and Ireland as an independent nation is also fairly recent, both serve as a reminder that no empire lasts forever. They rise and they fall. Always.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Heading For Donegal Town

We went to Donegal Town this morning. The main mission was to go to Aldi for some frozen food and other stuff. We have a nice stand-alone freezer here, but I had not yet turned it on, since I just had a few things to go in it. I  remedied that today when I got some big bags of frozen veg, some mozzarella for pizza, various sorts of meatless burger/patty things, and some turkey sausages. I moved some other veggies over from the wee freezer compartment in our fridge and switched on the big freezer. Still plenty of room, but now there's enough inside to warrant using the energy to run it.

We had some time to walk around, so we wandered down a road we'd not been on before.

You're never far from a church here, and as we walked down the road, we saw one in the distance in front of us, and when I turned around, there was another one behind--that one is having some work done on the steeple.

We soon found ourselves on a main road that we'd walked partway down before. I had to stop and take a pic of this gorgeous purple flower.
I was recently having an email conversation with a friend about colourful houses, so I've been noticing them more lately. This one stands out, but not in a garish way.
We decided to walk to the edge of town and call in at the Lidl. I was surprised to find what appears to be provolone cheese. I think they've recently had Italian week or something, so this must've been left. It's the first time I've seen provolone cheese, if that is indeed what it is, since we've been in Ireland. I bought four packages--two plain and two smoked--we'll see whether that was a good decision or not!
On the way back into town, I learned that Donegal Town is a fair trade town.
I had no idea what that means, so I looked it up and discovered that there are 4 goals to be met in order to get fair trade town status. First, a community group is formed to facilitate activities and encourage participation by groups and businesses--and they agree to serve fair trade coffee at meetings. Second, they organize at least one activity during Fairtrade Fortnight, while also raising awareness at other community festivals throughout the year. Third, they get schools involved. Finally, they promote increased availability and sales of fair trade products locally. Seems like a good thing.

When we got to the Diamond area, we stopped in at a Eurogiant in the hopes of finding a colander, since we've had no luck at the charity shop. We were unsuccessful here, too, but they had lots of scarecrows!
I think these are not meant to be autumn decorations, but I'm thinking of them that way anyway.

We sat for a while and ate our sandwiches, then went to Aldi, where I was surprised again--this time because they had rye flour--not something I've been able to find.
Finally, I spotted yet another strange crisp flavour. Like the lamb and rosemary, lamb and mint, roast ox, and other unappealing flavours I've come across in the past, I left them there for someone else.
After Aldi, we caught the bus back home. Glad that's sorted!

Hope the week has started off well in your part of the world!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Blue Green Saturday

The day started out cloudy and breezy with a few showers about, but it soon turned sunny and blue. There's still a breeze and it's not too hot though, so I'm OK with that. We went to see the Killybegs veg man, who sets up at the other end of town every Saturday. We have gotten so used to going on Tuesdays, when the Moville veg man shows up, that we'd forgotten to go the past couple of Saturdays. It was a nice day to walk around town.
the newish pier being used

looking back at town

in a planter in town
the truck and awning on the right side of the car park is veg man
Blue and green with fluffy white clouds are the colours of the day here. I hope it's a beautiful day in your neck of the woods today, too.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Women of Mystery: The Lives and Works of Notable Women Crime Novelists by Martha Hailey Dubose

 Once we got through our pile of stuff to the books and put them on the shelves, I chose this one to read. Bill got it for me months ago, but at the time, I was reading books that I knew I did not want to keep, so that when the time came, we would not have to move them. This is a book I will definitely keep. It’s slightly dated now, as it was published in 2000, but for anyone who is a fan of mysteries, it’s a great reference and a great read. The author talks about the early days of mystery writing and the women who were pioneers. I already had a collection of Anna Katharine Green and Mary Roberts Rinehart on my e-readers, along with a couple of the other women she wrote about, but there were a few that I’d not been aware of. I hopped over to Project Gutenberg and downloaded some of their work. She then moves into the Golden Age and ends with a section of more contemporary authors. For each authour, she talks about their lives, their influences, their work, and quotes from their work and interviews about their lives. She ends each author’s section with a bibliography which lists their writing, dates of publication, and film, stage, and television adaptations of their work. I can see that I will refer to this book in future and, having read about the authors, will approach their writing in a different way than I otherwise would have. I will also have a better idea about which authors to avoid because the kind of mysteries they write are not my cup of tea. I am in the mood for a mystery novel next. Maybe I’ll start at the beginning with The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katharine Green.