COUNTY CORK IRELAND 2017

17 01 2018

 

 

VIEW FROM THE COTTAGE

RAINBOWS EVERY DAY

GREETINGS

After months of planing the trip was finally here.  On the 22nd of November we drove to Providence and boarded a Norwegian Dreamliner for the flight to Cork Airport.  All unfamiliar territory for us.  We are used to flying Aer Lingus and going to either Shannon or Dublin.  We couldn’t pass the cheap tickets offered in the spring for 200 plus tax round trip for each of us .  We were not sorry about Norwegian Air,  great flight and service each way and we loved Cork Airport.  Smaller than Shannon but with all the amenities that Shannon had to offer, and much easier to get around.  We ran into a few difficulties finding our way to N71 and made our first stop the Dunne’s Store.    We had packed light so we wouldn’t have to pay for a checked bag so we needed a few items of clothing.  This is something we wouldn’t do again.  We Would pay for one check on bag for the three of us.

For those of you  not familiar with the Dunnes Store they are a Macy type store dotted all over  Ireland.  Some sell groceries also.  The quality of their clothing we feel is superior and most of it is made in the EU and prices are reasonable.

Our sweet stone cottage was located near the town of Schull (pronounced Skull) which is a town that Cindy and I had stayed in before.    It’s a quaint town located on Bantry Bay.  The house has mountain views and the sea in a distance.  The kitchen was perfect with everything one could want with views of pasture land.  The bedrooms were amazing the internet was good . We had a small turf burning stove which we used every night.  This was one of the best cottages we ever rented in Ireland.I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of recycling done at the cottage.  

There are Farmers Markets  everywhere and we went to the one in Bantry on Friday.  In the market were soaps and herbs, fresh caught fish, meat and lots of veggies.  Spring flowers were potted up coats and jumpers and so much more.  I did find Martin O’Flynn the willow basket man.  I have many of his beautiful baskets.  It was good to have a chat with him.  

We traveled to the Beara Peninsula which is another  place we have been many times.  We stopped in at the Tibetan Buddhist Retreat and chatted with a gentleman from Scotland who was volunteering a months time there.  They are  building a Temple which will be beautiful.  The Retreat sits on a point with the Atlantic in front, people come from all over the world.

 

  After  a cuppa tea and hot chocolate for Chris and Cindy we headed back to find Dunboy Castle one of my favorite places .  For years it was a derelict castle which cattle were in and out of .   Sitting near one of the giant firepLaces you could close your eyes and see what it must have been like when it was built.  Five or so years ago someone bought it with thoughts of making it into a higher end resort.  Cindy and I were excited at the prospect of someday maybe staying there for a night.   They redid the castle, made more paces to stay in back and a pool and gym and ran out of money and now it sits empty again with fencing all around it. 

So sad.  Wish someone could open it again.

Off to the only cable car in Ireland at the end of the Beara connecting the mainland to Dursey Island.  If you want peace and quiet Dursey is the place to go.   There are two villages on the Island.  The island is about 3 miles long and Cindy and I did walk it on one trip.  Unfortunately the cable car had gone and it was getting late in the day. 

You never now who will ride in the cable car with you.

I did find two cottages that were available to rent and maybe someday we can spend a night or two there

I will continue on our wonderful trip to Ireland, Cindy, Chris and I had the time of our lives on this trip and we are looking forward to more trips in the future.  Many thanks for reading my blog on this winter day.  Carole

NANCY THE HORSE ME CHRIS AND CINDY

 

 





NOVEMBER-THE KITCHEN-BOOKS I AM READING-CHICKENS

7 01 2018

GREETINGS

I am back from Ireland and have a working kitchen now.  My next blog I will share the trip to Ireland with you.  Hope to catch up in this blog.  December into January has been super cold  The temps last night went down to over 20 below zero and with wind chill it was way below that.   This morning the temps are eking up but at 11 am its still not above 10 below.  For the first time in 19 years my kitchen is warm and no broken pipes!!!!!!! (knock on wood)

NOVEMBER

I hardly remember November it went by in a whirlwind.  Getting ready for the crafts of Colrain and the trip to Ireland and 2 shows the weekend before I left.   But all these things were getting me ready for the best trip.  Peaceful, fun and adventurous 

THE KITCHEN

The front part of the kitchen is done and it looks great.  It is wonderful to have a kitchen that works and has places for everything.  I wonder how I worked in the old one for so many years.  I have all new appliances and a huge sink or zink as my Mom Mom Morrison use to call them.  Everyone helped and cheered me on when I was washing dishes in the bath tub.  Even though it was a difficult few months it certainly showed me how important family and friends are in one’s life.  I am so grateful.

The back part of the kitchen where the wood stove was will have to wait till warmer weather as the floor has to  come up and a new base for the wood stove has to be built  I sure  do miss the wood stove on these cold days  but it needs to be done  The floor has sunk down about 5 inches.  I am planning on replacing my Vermont casting stove with a smaller more efficient Jotul  wood stove.  I  Don’t need that big of a stove anymore with the new insulated walls.

 

BOOKS I AM READING

I bought some books in Ireland and my favorite magazine    The Lighthouse Keeper a memoir by Gerald Butler  I had read a review on in a newspaper and decided it would be a book I would search for  Every book store was out I was beginning to think that I wouldn’t find it but on a trip to Baltimore in the tiniest of stores there it was   I started reading it that night  It is about the life of one of the last lightkeepers in Ireland.  His great-grandfather was a light keeper and so was both of his parents  Most of his lightkeeping days were on the west coast of Ireland where we were staying    Many exciting tales of his rescues and of his time at Fastnet Lighthouse with waves coming over the top of the light house  A great read

The sea and lighthouses always have fascinated me.  I always though I would live near them.

COUNTRY LIVING MAGAZINE UK

 

As many of my followers know I have been getting this magazine for years  I finally found it at the end of my trip thanks to Cindy and Chris  With stories about topiary, making casks, and so much more.  I find it a back to the rural life plus views of the city magazine   If you have never read this magazine its worth buying  or borrowing a copy .  

 BACKYARD CHICKENS by Dave Ingham

I found this wonderful book at Avoca Weavers on Molls Gap in Ireland.  I do have lots of books on Chickens but love to add to my collection    Every person raises chickens  differently and new ideas and how to handle illnesses are something I always look for in a new book  This has them and  it is a delightful read too

MARGARET

Margaret is in for the winter she is now in the cage I bough for Helen   She is in back part of the kitchen  She has had the sneezing and coughing thing before I left and was in the house  briefly and seemed to be better  But a few days after I got home she was sneezing again   She still has some problems but  is back to her old self talking and cooing  I let her out everyday as it is a smaller cage  She loves the private sleeping area  She will be back with the flock in the spring 

MYRTLE

MYRTLE came in today  I found her standing still just trying to keep warm today not eating or drinking . Like Humans some hens just can’t take the cold and need some  help.  This is exceptional weather we are having and I think she would have been fine with normal winter weather.  She will return out in the spring.

The personalities of these two birds is like night and day.  Margaret is demanding and wants wants wants.  Myrtle is happy with anything  you do for and asks for little.  

JUNIPERS WITH BLUE BERRIES

I have wanted to get 3 of these trees for some time  Not many places carry them but I plan to go to a tree nursery in Hadley, Mass this spring and see if they have them  to further my dream of having all my live Christmas decorations right in my own yard  As a child I remember them in cow and horse pastures 

I found some this Christmas season in a place where I would have never thought to look, Home Depot an it was the last bunch there  I have scattered them around the house and catch their scent when I walk past .

Juniper Oil has been used in many things for years  I love it for a bath  It is said to help arthritis .

Many thanks for reading my blog on this cold winter day.  Carole





CRAFTS OF COLRAIN-TICKS-MISSING COSMO- SURPRISES-SHEEP SHENANIGANS -LOCAL RUG HOOKERS

12 11 2017

 

 

 

GREETINGS

Winter winds were blowing off the mountain a few days ago and bits of snow-covered some of the branches.  I think the cold weather is here to stay.  I still have the coop to finish winterizing.  It will get done this week. 

CRAFTS OF COLRAIN

The tour started yesterday and the crowds came .    What a delightful day seeing old customers and friends and meeting new ones.  Today is the last day, stop by and visit, see  how the kitchen is coming and Eddie (the rooster) will give you a greeting too.

TICKS

Yikes, Sammy and I both had ticks embedded in us a few days ago.   It’s so funny that the other cats don’t get any on them.   I have decided not to hang my clothes out as I think this is where they are coming from.  And next spring I will find some spray for the side yard. 

MISSING COSMO

The vet felt that the cancer had spread throughout his body.  For the first time in well over 20 years I only have three cats.  Shorty who is 19 (and the last of the Maryland cats) ,  Willie who was abandoned in  a house in my neighborhood and he is 10, and Sammy who is 4 and still is active like a kitten.  Shorty will have nothing to do with his shenanigans but Willie gets caught up in the chasing and playing.

  Cosmo lived upstairs and wanted no part of the other cats.  I think this was because of the loss of his eye which happened right before he came to live here.  It took him some time to adjust he loved sleeping on a blanket that was my Dad’s.  I hold a special place in my heart for him. 

  Another cat or two will come my way when the time is right, they always do.  They never replace ones that have gone on before them but serve as a memory of them.

YESTERDAY’S SURPRISES

Life does hold surprises.  Yesterday Cindy and her friend Nicole came  as they always do and brought a package for me from my Son in Law Rick.  A beautiful  hundred year old map of Ireland,  Beautifully framed.  Its perfect and  its up in a perfect spot . 

 

Ricky stopped by and helped me too.  He is in college and working so time is precious and I loved him stopping by.  The day ended with a lovely meal with my son and his family.

SHEEP SHENANIGANS

Charlie went up to feed the sheep yesterday and found them all together.  Somehow, Sally, Carol K, and Lucy got into Maude’s area.  It looks like things may work out after all this time so we will take  it day by day.  It sure does make it easier.

RUG HOOKERS IN MY AREA

A wonderful Lady new to Greenfield but not new to Rug Hooking wants to get together with other hookers.  It would be wonderful to have a group in Franklin County.  Please e-mail me wspines@aol.com and we will try to get something going.

Many thanks for reading my blog on this chilly, November day.  Hope you can stop and visit today.   Carole





GOODBYE COSMO

9 11 2017

GREETINGS

 

Cosmos has had cancer since September of 2016.  Of course he didn’t know his diagnosis so he kept right on being  Cosmo.  They gave him up to 6 months but he kept on.  Every night I would say a little prayer that he would live longer, he had been through so much, changing homes and having an eye out right before he came here. He loved the Fancy Feast and Baby food and occasional treats but stopped eating yesterday.  I knew it was time even though I didn’t want to think about it.   The cancer had spread.

.   I will miss him so much and am grateful for Sue and Genevieve  for picking me to be his caretaker and companion.

Thanks for reading my blog today Carole

 





TORRENTIAL RAINS-THE KITCHEN-TICK BITE-CRAFTS OF COLRAIN

6 11 2017

 

MR. PEEPERS AMD PHOEBE

 

GREETINGS

Getting ready for winter, shows and The trip has kept me busy   The weather has remained reasonably warm so getting things cleaned up in the yard has been possible  Not to say that I am done but I am not wearing mittens and

 

TORRENTIAL RAINS AND WIND

There are still people who don’t believe in climate change, to me its astonishing .  I never remember having rains like we have had this year  It comes down in bucket fulls  I am so grateful that the grading of my land in back of the barn has worked, although several times this summer I have had to remove dirt  Last week alone we have had two storms with winds and torrential rains  Trees have fallen and electric has gone out, rivers rising to their banks and in a few days it’s all normal again      We have done it to ourselves and now have to accept what is happening   I do hope that we can figure out a way to not use fossil fuels

THE TICK BITE

The weather has been perfect for tick breeding and there are tiny ones all over the place   On a Friday night several weeks ago  my arm ached and when I went to look at it I found a tick deeply embedded with swelling and redness around it.  My son tried to take it out but it was in deep so a trip to the ER was necessary   I have been holding onto a RX of antibiotics and hoping to start them after my trip  Taking antibiotics for  long period of time is a balancing act.  Probiotic’s have to be taken either two hours before the antibiotics or two hours after  Who wants to be thinking of that while on vacation.  Well I will be doing just that and glad that I found the tick and hope that I started the med’s in time to avoid symptoms.  I really wish that Lyme’s disease would be addressed seriously  One doctor at the clinic I go to told me antibiotics was a waste of time obviously he has not had lyme’s disease or he wouldn’t say such a thing.    Anything you can take to alleviate  the symptoms is worth it

CHICKEN CATCHING

Last week Charlie and I spend an hour trying to round-up 5 Bantams and on regular size hen   What a calamity  The ground was muddy and very slippery from torrential rains from a few days ago.  The chickens decided that they want to remain in the caravan.  Finally we got them all and they are safe inside the barn.  There area is temporary but safe.  They look like a bunch a sad sacks for a while but now have gotten  adjusted.

THE KITCHEN

The plumbers came last week and within three hours I had a water connection and new forgiving pipes from the cellar.  The new to me door is on and the drywall is up.  It is snug and warm in there for the first time in 19 years!   The counter top is here  and the faucets will be bought this week and the stove comes on Thursday.   It certainly is an experience putting in a new kitchen, not for the faint hearted, but now I can see an end and its coming out quite nice.  Family and friends have gotten me through.  Soon the plants will be back in the windows and everything will be easily accessible and in working order.  

CRAFTS OF COLRAIN

Come visit me for the Crafts of Colrain next Saturday and Sunday.  You will be greeted by a sign explaining the kitchen and the porch will be loaded with boxes of kitchen things and cabinets etc.  But this is real life on the farm and the dining room and living room will be inviting and cozy.  Hope to see you here.

COSMO TESTING THE NEW CAT TOYS

Many thanks for reading my blog on this rainy day.   Carole

LAST ROSES OF SUMMER

 

 

 

 





A DAY AWAY-THE WEAVERS TRAIL-SALEM CROSS RUG HOOKING DAY-BARN WORK-SURPRISE PACKAGES

28 10 2017

GREETINGS

We have been getting some wonderful days and just the right amount of rain.   Although I think we have had enough rain for a while.    It seems to come down in inches now.

I even took some time to sit in the sun and knit one day.  The Chestnuts from my Son’s trees are falling and getting them collected before the Chippy’s and squirrels get them is a feat for his family.   At this time of year many restaurants in the Boston area love to have them.  Today the weather has turned sharply cooler with winds but beautiful sun..  We may have a frost tonight and more torrential rains on Sunday.

A DAY AWAY

My friend Jane asked me if I would like to ride along with her to Adams , she needed to go to social security.  It’s a beautiful ride along route 2 ending with The hairpin Turn.  It’s a ride that I have taken since I was a young child.  The store where my Grandfather  bought my little drum is still there!   The leaves are slow to change this year so it was mostly yellows and browns with the occasional red thrown in .    We had a leisurely lunch and she took me on a tour of the town.  Jane was a Vicar there for  a few years.  It’s a town of Church spires and much beauty. The social security visit was quick and we took another route home 8A which was even more beautiful than the ride over.  A wonderful day with a good friend.  We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful and diversified state.

Mt. Graylock

 THE WEAVING TRAIL

A new venture was started by some local weavers and I attended  one venue of it.  It was well attended.  My Friend Lisa had her handwoven and some handwoven and hand spun towels and on her spinning wheel was some flax that she was spinning.

 Another friend Emily,  had  towels, napkins and a whole array of handwoven things.  She was giving tours and answering all kinds of weaving questions.  Both weave on Swedish looms.  

Emily

DEHYDRATOR  

I  have dehydrated all the catnip and hope to do some other herbs but right now there are hot,red peppers being done on the porch. Then will come the orange slices which will go into potpourri .   The house always smells good at this time of year.

SOME BARN WORK

Last week my grandson Charlie and I cleaned the barn.   He also put up the extension cord for Maude’s hot water bucket.    We need to cover the window with plastic and clean up around the entrance to the barn and the sheep will be ready for winter.

I hope to get the downstairs front chickens  sorted out tomorrow  I would like to separate the bantams from the regular hens.    They get picked on .  I have figured out how it will be done and need to get working on it.  The trip to Ireland is coming fast and these things need to be done.

HOOKING AT THE SALEM CROSS INN

It is one of my favorite days of the year.  Deb and I have been doing the Woolen Memories Hook Inn for 17 years.  Starting in Hardwick, Ma and now at The Salem Cross Inn.    This year we had a lovely group  of gals 7 in total.  It was a wonderful day.  It was  close to 70 out, usually we have snow flurries!  The vendors were great carrying things from wool to needle punching things, cookies to antiques.  Looking forward to next year.

Ahhhhhh Homemade apple pie with whipped cream

SURPRISE PACKAGES

Every once in a while I get a surprise package in the mail from my Cousin Gary.  It could be a box of black walnuts or some sheepy item he found.  I don’t know where he ever finds these unique sheepy things but I do love them.  This rain gauge is so cute and the last torrential rains we had there was over 3 inches in the gauge.  I have always wanted a rain gauge.  Of course he will be coming in soon and go back out in the spring.   Thanks Gary for brightening up my day.

 

Many thanks for reading my blog on this windy day.   Carole





HATFIELD HARVEST FAIR-BOOKS I AM READIG-THE BRICK MEETING HOUSE-BUCKLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY

9 10 2017

GREETINGS

Fall is slow coming this year.  We do have the cooler temps at night, but the leaves are slow to turn.  Turkey’s are gathering in groups on back roads though,

and haying machinery has been stored for the winter.

 Rains from the most recent hurricane have poured down upon us today, we do need the rain.

HATFIELD HARVEST FAIR

I haven’t spun at this fair for 4 or more years.  It has changed so much with more vendors, fresh Hatfield veggies for sale, who can resist Hatfield potatoes or onions.  Library book sale and so much more.  I was with the Springfield Weavers who let children weave on Structo Looms and gave them a card with a hand woven piece of cloth in it for their efforts.  

We were in  the tobacco barn with all the wonderful old things.  The day went by quickly with lots of questions from children and adults about spinning and sheep.  Looking forward to next years show.

BOOKS I AM READING

I have read this book some time ago and am revisiting it for my next trip to Ireland.  The reviews say it’s a unique travelogue for the mobile but not agile.  I remember when reading it before that it contained some really unique out of the way places which we hope to explore on this trip.   A good read for anyone thinking of traveling to Claire, Kerry and West Cork.

THE BRICK MEETING HOUSE

Brenda and Cookie who bought The Brick Meeting House had  Oktoberfest on Saturday.  It was quite successful 3 vendors, face painting and games for the kids, good Homemade food.  Lots of people stopped by on their way to vacation destinations and many towns folk came to support the project.  They still haven’t decided what will be in The meeting House but are open to suggestions.  They will be having many more of these events and maybe a farmers market next year.  A great addition to  our town.

BUCKLAND HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Yesterday was their open house.  I was there spinning with Marti Ferguson and Sandy Cardinal was weaving on an old barn loom.  The setting was lovely, there were a team of Oxen and some ponies there.

 The house was open for viewing.  It is a beautiful historic house.  Hope you will put this on your list for next year.

View from the bathroom widow

SOME PARTING THOUGHTS FROM THE WILDER HOMESTEAD

I couldn’t resist taking this picture.  The view to the hills with rain clouds and crisp white curtains,  made me think how many people looked out this window in the past, checking  out their fields and animals, worried about wars, and freedom, not so unlike today.  I would have thought things would have changed in these over two hundred years but alas I think they have gotten worse.  Bigotry, racism, white supremacist, and other hate groups abound.  People are all upset about kneeling in front of the flag.  The flag is a symbol of our freedom and that is it.  It is cloth.  People show their patriotism in many ways and when people don’t have the freedoms that the rest of us have they should let it be known.  That is what this country is all about.  We all should have the same freedoms and rights not just a limited few.  It really bothers me that people are all over the kneeling but won’t do anything about some laws to prevent mass killings.  We have let the wrong people have too much influences over our elected officials.  What is the matter with people?  Somehow they missed history in school at least in the schools that I attended we had many lessons  of what it means to be a patriot. My rant not for the day but ever since these evil people have come out of the woodwork.  
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