Sunday, July 31, 2022

I Had No Idea

 When we left Dungloe last year, I was glad to be leaving the damp, moldy apartment without having fallen through the bathroom floor, but I was still sad to be leaving. Before things started going haywire in the apartment, I loved it. I never stopped loving Dungloe. If there had been a different place available there, I would have moved there instead of here, but here was what was available. It was weird going back to Dungloe on a regular basis--it's the first time we've moved somewhere and still had the old place as part of our everyday life. There were days when we walked around there and I felt sad about not living there anymore. Then summer came.

Even before we left, some people had set up a food truck down by the pier. They had a generator running and it was so loud. I remembered the lovely mornings I'd walked around the corner with my tea to sit on the pier and listen to the birds, sheep, lapping water, and the wind. No more of that--now it's just the noise of the generator. I felt like something precious had been lost.

The last few times we were there, I found myself surprised by how crazy it was, particularly on Main St--cars parked everywhere, people dashing across the street, traffic, noise. As I was sitting on the bus, it dawned on me--I had no idea what it was like in town during normal times. For almost the entire time we lived there we were either in lockdown or there were still some restrictions. We never spent a non-Covid summer there and I discovered it isn't really appealing. It was an excellent place for us to be in lockdowns, but I wouldn't have loved it quite so much if I'd been there before the pandemic or if I was there now. I still like several aspects of Dungloe, but I realized that if we still lived in the place we moved from last year, I would have found it quite difficult in some ways. Live and learn.

Update on yesterday's post: Mr Strimmer left shortly after I posted so I was able to listen to some music, podcasts, and videos after all. Most of the yard is still full of tall weeds, with just a strip along the lane cut. When he will be back to tackle the rest of it, I don't know. It's a holiday weekend here and as is typical for holiday Mondays, tomorrow has rain in the forecast. He didn't start until 8-ish last night, so he could be back tonight, too. 

Saturday, July 30, 2022

My Jangling Last Nerve

 One of the many things I loathe about summer is the noise. Like the Grinch before his heart grew three sizes in one day, I sit here grumbling about the noise, noise, noise. 

As I type, there is a guy with his strimmer (weed whacker) across the street. He's been at it for a while and there is plenty more to do. He will be out there for hours. Whether or not it will be hours tonight or spread out over days, who can tell?

The house across the street is on a hill which is covered in weeds. There is no way to ride or push a mower around--the ground looks pretty uneven. We've been here a year and this is only the second time this overgrown, weedy front yard has been cut. 

As I sit here with my last nerve jangling from the roar of the machine, I am having to rethink my plans for the evening. In order to breathe, I have to have the windows open. With Mr Strimmer having at it, I won't be able to listen to anything, even with headphones. I try to tell myself that perhaps the person who lives in the house is elderly and cannot afford to pay someone to come and do this work on a more regular basis. I have never seen the person who lives there. Lights are on inside some nights and not on others. 

The summer we left Alaska was the first time I really noticed all the noise. I'd gotten used to summer noise being the buzz from swarms of mosquitoes, so when I was back in the land of strimmers, lawn mowers, fans, and other neighbourhood noise, it was hard to get used to. When autumn finally came and we could shut windows, my ears actually buzzed for a while because it was so quiet. I look forward to that moment once again. In the meantime, I'll just embrace my inner Grinch!

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain

 I don't remember where I read about this book, but it seemed like a good one so I requested it from the library. I picked it up yesterday, started it, and devoured it.

It's not a long book, but is packed full of fascinating information about the human brain and how it works. The author, Lisa Feldman Barrett, is a neuroscientist, but also draws from research in psychology and anthropology. Each short essay is written in a way that is informal and accessible to people without prior knowledge of these disciplines. She communicates well, illustrating her points with relatable metaphors and real world examples. Her writing is excellent. There are surprises in the book as she looks at some ideas about the brain that have 'gone mainstream' and are taken for granted as understood, but are not accurate.

For people who want to get deeper into the science, she provides more extended notes at the website here.

There is much food for thought in this little book and I highly recommend it. I will never think of my brain in quite the same way again!

Friday, July 22, 2022


between puffy clouds
briefly flying through blue sky
people on the move

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Break Out!

 These flowers and ferns cannot be contained by fences or boulders! They will break out! Perhaps there's a lesson for all of us.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

A Pleasant Interlude

photo turned upside down

looking out a first floor window
watching raindrops form themselves
into patterns on
the awning below--
a pleasant interlude

Tuesday, July 19, 2022


 When we went to Glenties last week, we stayed overnight at Avalon B&B, just visible at the back of the field:
It was a really nice place, just under a kilometer out of town. The owner was really nice, the room was exceedingly comfortable, and the setting was fabulous. It was a last minute trip and we got the last available room at the only B&B within walking distance of the town.

By the time we wandered over in that direction, we were tired. We left early so it had been a long day and we were in the village for several hours before going to the B&B. The backpacks seemed heavier than they had in the morning, even though we'd both packed light. The bag I had over my shoulder felt heavier by the minute. We were both looking forward to getting settled into our room, hydrating, taking a shower, and putting our feet up. 

As we walked up the long driveway, though, I stopped to chat with this wonderful critter:
As I always do when I see sheep, I thanked them for their wool. This one stopped and looked at me, just standing there as though listening to what I had to say. Bill walked up and lifted his camera to snap a picture. This sheep and the other few who were hanging around nearby, turned around and ran away. Bill commented that they liked me, but not him. I told him, 'They know a superfan when they see one!'

The next morning, we were up early since we had to catch a bus. I was sitting in the chair enjoying the quiet when I heard a bleat. Someone in the front field was up and had something to say. 😀🐑

Monday, July 18, 2022

What Do You Need?

 You might just find what you're looking for here!
Main St, Glenties, County Donegal

Sunday, July 17, 2022


 The other day we went to Glenties, a small village in County Donegal, for the day. We had a nice time wandering around a place we'd passed through many times on our way to somewhere else, but had never spent any time in. At one end of the village, there is a small garden with benches. We sat for a while, surrounded by greenery and flowers. It was lovely. Under the grey sky, the colours really popped.

Enjoy the beauty that surrounds you in your part of the world today!

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Very Cool!

 We went to Dungloe today to grocery shop and we had an interesting experience. The bus that goes between here and there turns into the one that does the three town runs. We arrive at 11:30-ish and Joe or Michael, whichever of them is driving, stops on Main Street. Then they drive on in a loop around the town, stopping at the three grocery stores (Aldi, Lidl, SuperValu--all next to/across the street from one another), then the small hospital, then the social services building. It takes about 10 minutes. Then they're off until 12:30 when they do it again. Then again at 1:30. Then we wait until 2 and head back. So people do their shopping and put things on the bus. Today we had to go to the post office, so we did that, went to Aldi, got our stuff, and Joe put it on the bus. He drove off and we went to Lidl, getting on the bus there when he came around again. Lidl is the first stop on the town run and when we got to Aldi, he was concerned because he was expecting a woman, her partner, and their three kids to be there with loads of bags. They live on Tory Island, so would be getting off at the pier, waiting for the ferry, and getting home that way. But if they missed the bus, there was no way to get to the ferry, unless they could get a cab, but it's a long way--probably about an hour. Anyway, there was no sign of them. He asked if we were in a hurry and we said no, so he went into Aldi to look for them. He didn't see them. He said he'd take a run back to Lidl, where he got out again to look, and then to SuperValu. No sign of them. So we got back to Main St and several people go on with their groceries. We took off and I was pleased when Joe drove by the road where we usually turn off. He was going to check one more time. As we passed Aldi, I saw a group with a trolley and one was waving. 'I think they're over there!' I said. He said they were, turned around and picked them up, loading their stuff into the back of the bus. Whew! Then when we got to Bunbeg, he stopped at the pharmacy so the guy could run in. We waited for him. 

Isn't that cool? I thought it was a great illustration of kindness and care on Joe's part. With all of the terrible things going on in the world, I think noticing these moments becomes more important than ever.

Here's hoping your day is abundant with such moments!

Friday, July 8, 2022


 The sky was a blanket of grey.

The wind was blowing the rain up the street.

The air was fresh and cool for the time of year.

All-Classical Portland was playing beautiful music.

Nose in a book, I felt myself enveloped by a cloak of peace and calm.

I relaxed into a smile.

This almost never happens in summer.

What a beautiful gift.