Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ireland Week 2

I'm writing this entry sitting on the train about to depart for Galway. Apparently, I've timed my visit to Western Ireland to perfectly coincide with another storm, many of the passengers are on cell phones discussing the unusual weather this fall, much of which I've seen on my visit! We've witnessed the front page news hurricane that hit the southern coast of Ireland when we were in Wexford, an early icing in Dublin that made for a treacherous playground trip, and now this! I'm hoping all this fuss about the storm bound for Galway is just the another overreaction on the part of the Irish who only know fair weather. I've decided to call all of this stormy weather "rainbow opportunity weather." Case in point:

Brey was a gorgeous town with a cliffside path and beautiful views of the sea. Unfortunately, I turned back after a few minutes because of insane winds and rain. On the way back down to the car a rainbow appeared! We were able to see end to end but just couldn't seem to find that pot of gold. This is one of the few times I've seen both ends, and yes it was a double rainbow! If you missed the pop culture reference search YouTube for "double rainbow" and enjoy one man's exuberant reaction (that may be too light of a word) to a double rainbow over one of America's National Parks.

The sun peeping out from behind the storm clouds made for some interesting lighting. The tufts of grass just seemed to glow. I found a small footpath to follow down the hill and came upon an unmarked ruin, perhaps a home or church?

The waves were ridiculously huge and violent, what a site! Watching the sea birds in the wind was fantastic, they barely had to flap their wings.

Galway adventures to follow, Claire and I have just arrived for our little solo trip and will be walking about the city and doing some day tours in the west.

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Taking Ireland by Storm

I've been posting photos of our trip to Ireland to Facebook but thought Id
better share a few here as well! Claire and I are having a grand time and have enjoyed spending the past few days with the Admirand family and all their pets. Claire is just loving the dogs, especially the sweet natured pointer, Belle...unless Belle is trying to hop into Claire's bed in which case Claire throws all of her weight (all 30 pounds or so) into a shove that never seems to evict the needy-snuggler, Belle.

We've spent the last four days locally in the Rathfarnham area celebrating Kaitlyn's birthday, exploring the Wicklow Way, and just hanging out and catching up. There's been a good deal of fighting and loving as you can expect from four children under one roof, but Claire has greeted each new day with a smile and "where are my friends?!"

Jack who is in second grade (or second class as they say here) is tolerating Claire's affection very well, she's always on the lookout for him and will slip her arms around his neck in her chokehold version of a hug whenever he's off his guard. Four year old Kaitlyn and Claire either play really sweetly or are engaged in a tug of war over some toy or another, quite on par for the age and family standing. And last but not least, my uber snuggly Godson Chris and Claire have been caught numerous times snuggling on the couch...until Claire snapped the arm off a lego dude. She still hasn't been forgiven for that one but things seem to be on the mend.

This weekend we're having a girls only trip down in County Wexford. This is the first time I've been to the coast of Ireland (aside from Belfast) and I'm hoping the weather holds out for us. We've packed some rain gear for the girls and are keeping our fingers crossed that the "hurricane" heading for us isn't too bad. And here is my favorite photo so far:

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Autumn Splendor (Part Deux)

I know, two foliage posts in a row. I just can't help it though, haven't the leaves been beautiful this year? Walking with Claire in the yard always turns up a few gorgeous specimens to work with. I picked up a few $0.99 frames while at Ikea recently. I thought I would put some letters in them or label things on our nature table (more to come on that another day) but Claire thought a small maple leaf might look nice in there too. I love that we can see both sides of the leaf.

What do you think?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chalkboard and Autumn Admiration

Since we spend a lot of time here:

Looking up at this:

and this:

of course, it was only a matter of time before there was a tree in our house decked out in colored leaves of its own:

This chalkboard hangs in our kitchen and sometimes I'll write out our dinner menu or a fancy birthday greeting but most often we're using it for school. Claire loves to draw on it while standing on a kitchen chair and most recently we created this cool tree using coffee filters and watercolors. Forget the brush on the coffee filters, eye droppers are the way to go! The wrong sized coffee filters gathering dust in your cabinets are best to use, I'm not that smart though.

Claire really wanted to tape up this interesting branch with berries she found in the woods so we added that too. I'll have to bring out the colored chalk and we'll add some brown and grey to the trunk. I do think Claire's "burls" are a nice touch.


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