Thursday, October 29, 2015

Monksgrange House Festival Tour and Myles Fenlon

Today's tour was to the Eastern slope of the Backstairs Mountains to hear the history of Monksgrange House and do a bit of a tour. The hosts, Jeremy and Rosie Hill are the current owners and residents of the house. Jeremy was charming and told the history with insight and humor. And during his recital, he mentioned that the house was saved from a burning during the uprising by none other than Myles Fenlon. I looked up the House on Google when I got home and found this:

I took some photos of the house and the gardens, but was not allowed to take pictures inside. We had a lovely day again for our explorations and I was pleased to again ride with John and Sarah.

When we left the estate John drove us to Enniscorthy for lunch. We were planning to go to a restaurant they had frequented in the past that featured Portuguese food, but it was no longer in business. So sad. Instead we went to the Riverside Hotel and had lunch in the Promenade Bar. We ordered from the sandwich menu - I had an egg salad on toasted brown bread with homemade tortilla chips and a small salad. Yummy! John and Sarah treated me. Such nice people and they live quite close to me.

When we got back to town I asked them to drop me down on the quay as I needed a walk. I went into the Driver License office to make inquiries, but there were too many people there already and the wait time was predicted to be in excess of an hour. I headed for the bridge when it began to rain. I walked home, got my library books together and took them and my umbrella to the library. I brought home four more books and have almost finished the first one. 

I'm having a quiet evening reading and listening to music. I am so pleased that for both of the tours I went on (thanks to John and Sarah) the sun was shining and the temps were lovely until we got back home and then the rain came. 

Looks like it is getting colder in Michigan these days. Time to get out the woolies and hot cocoa!


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Garda, A Festival Tour, New Friends and More

Another busy day. I woke up to sunshine so decided to go to the Garda on my way to the Talbot Hotel car park where the meet up for the festival tour to Kilmore Quay was assembling at 10:30. I had a very pleasant young immigration officer who looked over my documents, took my fingerprints, gave me the direct debit form for €300 to take to the bank at which time she would order my residency card which would be good for a year. The last thing I had to do was do fingerprints on a computer and then sign. Everything went fine until trying to sign on the pad. Neither of us could get any mark to show up on the computer. I will have to go back in and try again. She will call me.

From there I walked down to the car park and met up with a dozen people or so and the leader of the group, naturalist Jim Hurley. I rode with John and Sara Gillespie and a man from Northern Ireland who was now living in Rosslare. The day was perfect, the little village charming and the naturalist was both knowledgeable and charming. I took a ton of pix, but having very little experience with phone pix (yes, I forgot my camera) I had parts of fingers in many of them. Here are a few that turned out.

Those are the Saltee Islands in the distance.

Lovely marina

Gotta love the sky and those rocks

And even more sky and rocks

Lots of seaweed on the beach

A lovely if precarious house.

After we returned to Wexford, I walked to the bank to take care of the residency fee then walked back home and got the mail. There was a check from my previous address in the states with a safety deposit refund. Yay!! I walked back down town and deposited it in my account. I then stopped into Eir to see if anything had been figured out on my bill and international minutes. Martina was there today. She was the person I originally worked out my contract with. She texted me later to say they were aware they had charged me too much and were making a credit to the bill and that even though the international minutes weren't showing up, I could be sure I had 50 minutes to use this month.

I wandered around for a bit and then realized it had been almost six hours since I had a bowl of Muesli this morning. I just happened to be outside Simon's again so I went in and John and Sara were there and invited me to share their table. They were almost done eating, and John had errands, but Sarah stayed with me and then we walked around a bit and did some shopping around for a bathing suit. Totally wrong time of year. She is a member of White's Hotel Leisure Club. She only uses the pool, but I want both the pool and the gym. I didn't bring a bathing suit with me, but figured I'd find one somewhere. She had part of her bill to pay so we stopped there on our way back home and I joined and they sell bathing suits there, €25. And you must wear a swimming cap there! So I got one of those too.

It was a good thing I do have international minutes because the insurance company in the states took a direct debit for the month of October for a little over $200. I had to call them and was on hold for about 20 minutes. It was finally discovered that even though I had called and cancelled, I didn't cancel both the dental and general insurance. For crying out loud. I will get a partial refund for canceling today.

I thought I could get back to the Garda to drop off the bank receipt showing I'd paid the €300, but the immigration officer was gone for the day. She will call me tomorrow and I will stop. I also didn't bring work out clothes with me, so I went to SportsWorld and bought two pairs of capri length workout pants and two tees for a total of €27 - a virtual steal! My salesgirl was quite friendly and her name was Niamh (pronounced Neev).

Sarah is interested in joining the TidyTown volunteers so I gave her number to Phil to see if she wants to  join us to plant daffodils near the graveyard on Rosslare Road on Saturday. I do like planting so much more than sweeping and picking up cigarette butts.

My back is almost completely better today. I think I will put some of the Voltarol on again at bedtime just to make sure. My weather app says it will be in the mid-50s tomorrow, but cloudy. I am hoping for another fabulous outing.

I had the Lamb Tagine for dinner again - lip smacking good!!

Hope all is well where you are,


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Mom's Birthday and Other October Doings

My Mom celebrated her 91st birthday on Saturday, October 24, in the commons room at her apartment building. I spent a few minutes FaceTiming with her and some of the sisters and nieces who were present early on.

Doesn't she look great!
I was sorry not to be there to see some of the family I haven't seen in awhile, but I was certainly there in spirit. I sent my Mom a nice letter once I had an address and am waiting for her to reciprocate so I can respond to hers.

I walked yesterday morning by heading out to the hospital the opposite way from last time I went. That way I would end up on the quay and could continue over the bridge and back before heading home. At least that is what I had planned, but I took a wrong turn somewhere past the hospital and ended up on streets I'd never seen before. Still a good walk, but at one point I ended up at the light on the corner where the hospital is. I had apparently traveled in a circle. My feet burn after about 5 miles so I just headed back home instead of continuing down to the bridge. I decided I need to spring for a good pair of walking shoes.

I headed out around 10 yesterday morning to go to a sports shop and buy some walking shoes only to find that all the stores were closed. A woman on the street told me that bank holidays are actually national holidays so stores don't usually open. Who knew? I was aware that Monday was a bank holiday, but thought it would only mean no banks open and no mail delivery.

My back was still quite sore so when Phil called to ask if I wanted to go to Tesco with her, I took her up on the offer. I talked to a woman in the pharmacy and explained about my pulled muscle and icing and heating and she recommended a product called Voltarol. It was expensive - €20 for a 100 g tube, but I think it is doing the trick. I also picked up a few groceries, but when we got up to the checkout it was to discover they couldn't take my Visa card without a chip. I do have a debit card from AIB so I tried to use that, but apparently I don't have the correct PIN memorized yet. Phil wound up paying for my groceries. How embarrassing! One of the things I bought was an 8-pack of Orchard Thieves Cider. I am having one right now. It's pretty good. It is a beer, but cider flavored.

Woke up at 6:30 this morning to a bit of rain. Made coffee and got around and read for awhile before heading out to buy some walking shoes. I took an umbrella with me and found a good pair of walking shoes for €77. They are quite colorful and very comfortable. I put them on in the store and decided to wear them. This is the day I walk with a group across the bridge. The first time I was going to go it was raining a bit so I didn't only to find out later that they walked anyway. Took my brolly and my handbag back home and headed out. It wasn't raining very hard, but I was quite wet by the time I got to the meeting place and nobody else was there, but I was a bit early so I waited. Three others plus the leader showed up. I was planning to sit by the fire in the hotel on the corner to read the paper and dry out until they returned, but a girl behind the front desk said she had an extra rain coat in her car and she loaned it to me.

By the time we got about halfway into the walk the rain picked up a lot and I was soaked by the time we got back. I got wet even through the rain gear and it was a short jacket and my jeans were soaked from above the knees down. The leader gave me a ride home and I took a hot shower - bliss!! The most important thing I have learned since moving here is that the cupboard in which the hot press (hot water heater) is located is a great place to dry things. I put my shoes and jeans and shirt in there when I got home and they are almost dry.

Later this afternoon I went out to stop at Eir and chat about my bill that came in today's mail and didn't seem to be quite right and about the fact that my international minutes have not been added for this month. The young man who was helping me was on hold first for 20 minutes and then he disconnected and tried again and was into 12 minutes before he assured me that I could go on about my business and just stop back to find out the status. I walked over to Simon Lamberts and was planning to have fish, but they said they don't offer fish the day after a bank holiday because it is not so fresh - good thought! I had lamb meatballs with marinara sauce, roasted root vegetables and chips with a glass of cider from Cork. Yummy.  Stopped back by the phone/internet store to find that they are working on it and I can call him tomorrow and he will update me.

From there I was going to head over to SuperValu to get some Lamb Tagine for dinner, but saw Peter Mark hair salon on the way. Phil had gotten her hair cut there and was quite pleased with it, so I thought I might as well try it, too. I thought I would have to make an appointment and come back, but the receptionist told me that if I could wander for about 1/2 hour, Lainey would cut it for me. I wandered over to Shaw's to look at rain gear. I have a winter coat that is waterproof, but nothing to wear when it is warm and raining. I wanted something a bit longer than the one I borrowed today, so ended up in the men's department where I found a lovely one with a zip out liner. Perfect!

I got back to the hairdresser just about the right time and Lainey came over and introduced herself. I told her I liked a pixie look and that I was ready for something a little different. I was really nervous since I've had the same hairdresser for years and was very happy with her, but I was put right at ease. I had a cup of tea and talked while she went to work. I like the cut and really liked her. She will see me again when I need a trim. I stopped by SuperValu and picked up some tea biscuits and some Lamb Tagine on the way home.

It's been a great day. I've walked 6 and a quarter miles today and feel great! I am in my jammies lazing around the house. Payton FaceTimed me earlier and I was surprised that she called an hour before I thought she was due home. Seems like we changed our clocks back last weekend and in the US they will not do so until next weekend. Who knew?

Well, I think I've talked your ear off today; hope you aren't tired of my carrying on. Hope to have another report later in the week. One of these days I have to go to the Garda, but am afraid they might want €300 for a residency permit and they don't take credit cards, so for now I am holding off. I'll check it out next day without rain and let you know how it goes.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Festival Doings

My back is still quite sore, but I am being more aware of it and trying to relax more and not carry heavy things. I stopped at the corner pharmacy and bought another gel pack. That way I have one to heat and one in the freezer. The heat has felt good, but so far no noticeable improvement over the long haul.

I am enjoying some of the ironies of life. Remember I was going to make stew the other day, but didn't have a can opener and the recipe called for tomato puree? Well I made a trip to Argos and purchased a basic can opener and then later in the day when I was ready to make the stew I got everything assembled only to find that the tomato puree had a pull tab on the top. Haha, joke on me.

I wasted several hours yesterday going back and forth to the library trying to scan a page I had to sign and then sending it back as a pdf. For some reason it would not send it to my email; finally as a last resort (at that point I was planning to take a snapshot of it with my iPad and send it as a jpg) the librarian scanned it and sent it to herself and then forwarded it to me. At any rate, job completed.

I was hoping to go to more art exhibits yesterday, but spent the afternoon in bed with a hot gel pack on my back. I got up in time to get ready for the Jack L concert and even had time to FaceTime Payton. She makes my day!

I got to the concert early but soon met up with Anne. She and I went in to the bar to wait for the earlier show to get over and wait for the rest of the TidyTown folks. They didn't have Clonmel beer, which is my Irish beer of choice, so I followed Anne's lead and had a hot whiskey. It was a shot of whiskey in hot water with a lemon slice with cloves in it. It was okay, but I don't think I would order it again. I am not particularly fond of the taste of whiskey.

The Jack L concert was fabulous; I had listened to some of his songs on youtube and expected a crooner, but in addition to his own songs, he performed Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Rolling Stones - amazing. Quite the stage performer, he spent a good amount of time getting the audience involved and walking through the crowd while singing. Here is "Open Up Your Borders" a very timely song.

I got home after 1 am and was not quite ready to shut down, so I FaceTimed Adam's little girls in the bath. Boy how I miss my girls - all 5 of them - Payton, Katie, Morgan, Zoë, and Harper. The girls were in rare form last evening; Harper is changing the most as she transitions from a baby to a kid. She says "Hi" now and I am hoping to hear a "Nana" pretty soon. She interacts with the picture of me in a fun way, jibberjabbering all the while. And Zoë always keeps me entertained. Then just as I was getting into bed around 3, Cathy messaged me to ask about family offspring and birth order so she can share it with Joe's Sara when she arrives today to help celebrate Mom's 91st birthday. I am sorry to miss it, but I am planning to FaceTime while the party is in full swing. It will be great to wish Mom a happy birthday face to face.

I received my insurance card in the mail yesterday, so now I have all the pieces I need to go to the Garda to get permission to stay here, but I think it will wait until next week to report. I actually have until November 23, and am thinking I may have to pay €300 for a residency permit. The local Garda station doesn't take credit cards, so I will need to have cash. I am still waiting for my cashiers check to show up in my account and will take care of this business once it appears.

Also yesterday, my bathroom light bulb burnt out. It hangs from the ceiling and I have no means to climb up to it, nor do I want to do any climbing. I sent a text to the landlord and was immediately answered by Eileen telling  me that Stan was on the way with a ladder. He came by and changed the light bulb and was carrying a package (reading lamp) with him. He gave it to me and then said he had more of the things I had asked about earlier in the week in the car. He brought me small plates, a floor lamp, a folding outdoor chair, a small frying pan, and tongs for the companion set by the fireplace. Best. Landlords. Ever.!! 

It is warm again today and quite breezy, expecting rain this afternoon. I don't know if I will get out before it begins or not. I am still in my pajamas. It is 13º C, which translates to about 55º F. Very pleasant! Looks like it is quite cold in Michigan. Stay warm my dears!


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Opening Day of the Festival

I began my day with a load of pain in my upper back. I think carrying the firewood and starter logs wasn't a very smart thing to do. When the chemist opened I went over and got some BioFreeze to put on it. I also bought bandaids because yesterday while moving furniture I got a toe under a chair leg and it was sore and bleeding. I had to buy a battery for the clock as well.

I had no clean clothes, so I went downtown to the Jean Depot and bought a new pair of jeans and two jumpers, then headed home once more. When I got home I decided to make the stew before putting on the BioFreeze, but found out early in the process that I didn't have a can opener. That will be on tomorrow's agenda. I walked to the laundry instead and got 4 pairs of pants and 4 shirts washed, dried and folded for €12. I thought that was a pretty good deal.

When I got back home I put a generous amount of the medicine on my back and went to bed. I slept for 2 hours and then stayed in bed dozing for about 30 minutes. Then I got up, took a shower and got dressed as I was meeting the TidyTown volunteers downtown for the opening night of the festival. I walked over to the Talbot Hotel where I met Philomena and walked around at an art exhibition. Really nice watercolors and the artist was very nice too.

We then went outside where the whole quay area was crammed with people. The highway along the quay was closed and the Garda was out in force. We walked around and met up with Fiona and then after waiting to see if any others were joining us we headed over to the quay. What a celebration! The kids were in heaven with all kinds of lighted paraphernalia from mohawk shaped lights on heads to princesses and butterflies on wands, and there were light sabers. Before the fireworks began, there were speeches by assorted dignitaries, including the mayor.

Then finally the much awaited fireworks. Payton had FaceTimed me while we were waiting in the crowd. I couldn't hear her much, but it seems she forgot her house key. I tried calling her back once the fireworks began so I could share them with her, but she didn't answer.

This is just a selection of the fireworks. I wish I was a better cinematographer.

After the fireworks, Fiona headed home and Phil and Dennis and I went in search of something to eat. We stopped at the bullring and had a burger and fries - just €5, a deal indeed. The chips (fries) were actually crispy and wonderful. After we ate we headed to White's Hotel, which just happens to be on my way home to look at more art exhibits. What fun. This is the first time I've been out after dark. I felt just like a grown up!!

I took a couple of stills on the quay.

The bridge was lit up nicely, but hard to get a good pic with all the people in the way.

Do you see tinker bell there near the bottom on the right?

I am home now and pretty worn out and sore. Believe it or not I actually got my 10,000 steps in today. Just think what I could have done if I hadn't slept for 3 hours. Time to slather some BioFreeze on my back and hit the hay. Tomorrow is another day with art exhibits during the day and free tickets to the Jack L concert in the evening.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Busiest Day Ever

I got up just after six and decided since sunup was predicted for 7:59 I would have my coffee and then head down to the quay. It was quite cold, but I stayed pretty warm walking and wearing my gloves when I wasn't taking pictures. I'd like to share a few of them with you. Hope you don't get tired of looking. I couldn't decide which one I liked the best

After that first walk of the day, I went home and had a toasted bagel for breakfast. My cupboards and refrigerator are bare, so I will have to do a bit of grocery shopping later too. I was just about finished with the last of my five library books, so I finished that before heading out again to walk across the bridge to meet the group for a walk on that side. It was a good walk except I left my gloves at home and I really could have used them. We stopped at the Riverbank House Hotel for tea again, then Marie and I walked back across the bridge, traded phone numbers, and headed our separate ways.
By this time I was starving so I went back home to get my library books and took them back to the library. I then headed for the ATM so I could buy lunch.

I decided to try Cistin Eile (pronounced Kishteen Ella in Irish). I had the fish dish of the day which was pan fried Plaise on a bed of salad with roasted potatoes and cabbage. There was some citrus aioli on top - it was a bit much for me, but the dish was fabulous. The fish was very mild and quite moist. The salad was delightful. I wasn't able to finish all of if, but I did a good job of it.

On the way home from lunch, I stopped at The Book Centre and bought The Pocket Guide to the Common Birds of Ireland. I am hoping to be able to put names to all the birds I've been seeing and hearing. Then I headed for the grocery store where I purchased the makings for Roisin's Mom's beef stew recipe, plus some bread, crumpets, spices....You can see my haul below.

This cost €25.11, which I thought was pretty good considering I bought meat, face scrub and spices, plus all the rest you see here.

I got the groceries put away, then went back to the library to get books for this week. I picked out 5 again, but this is going to be a very busy week what with the festival and all the associated activities, but I am not obligated to finish them in a week anyway.

I brought my books home and then headed out to the fuel yard where I purchased a bag of wood and three fire starter logs. I had to set them down half a dozen times on the way home - heavy!! I had one more trip in me - I went down to the Selskar Bookshop and bought an acrylic clipboard for doing crosswords.

I tore out a crossword puzzle and put it on the clipboard, then looked at the clock. It read 2:10 and I thought holy smokes I got all this running around done and it is only 2 in the afternoon, then realized the batteries in the clock must have died, as it was actually 6:30.

I put some ice on my back/neck and worked a crossword puzzle and then decided I'd better post to my blog before I fell asleep. I don't think I am going to last very long this evening. I really put the miles on today.

Hope you continue to enjoy my escapades here in Wexford, Ireland, and that you will keep in touch with me.


Monday, October 19, 2015

Rough Couple of Days

I woke up yesterday morning with a bit of  headache that I thought I might chase away by walking in the fresh air. I walked my usual walk along the quay and over the bridge, then stopped at Dunnes for a few things. I was pretty sure I had some Aleve at home, so I didn't look at medicine while I was there.

By the time I got home I had a full on migraine and no Aleve. If the chemist across the corner had been open I think I could have managed to get that far, but I certainly didn't have it in me to go two blocks with this stabbing pain. I got into bed and put pillows over my head and tried to relax, but I was really hurting. I got up after a couple of hours feeling a bit better so I headed down to Dunnes and bought something called Paradol. I took two and it finished off my headache. By this time I also had a pulled muscle in my upper back - was it from a sneeze or from my frenzy trying to get comfortable during my headache? I don't know, but it is even worse today.

I haven't done much today - just a bit of house cleaning and a load of wash. The landlords came by today to pick up the TV and made a list of things I wished I had here at the apartment and will bring them another time. After they left I went to the chemist and bought a gel pack for the freezer. I've used it twice on my neck today, but I am still in a great deal of discomfort.

After the first icing of my upper back/neck I went on a walk to Penneys (not the J.C. that we have in the states) to return a jumper (pull over sweater) that I'd bought that was too small and then walked around town a bit looking for firewood. I found a place that sells it, but they were out and expecting more tomorrow. I will stop there to check again after I walk with the group across the bridge tomorrow.

I am reading another book by Tim Weaver. It is called Fall From Grace. It has the same missing persons investigator as the other one I read earlier called You Will Never Find Me. It's quite good and complicated. I will probably finish it this evening before I head to bed. I am looking forward to taking these books back to the library tomorrow and finding more.

I still haven't gotten my insurance card in the mail, but expect it soon, at which time I will check in with the Garda so I can get permission to stay beyond the two months I was given by immigration at the airport when I arrived.

Now that I have my real coat, I am hoping to get out one morning early and catch a sunrise. I will look ahead at the weather to see which day looks like it might be clear. We have had a number of gray days lately.

We don't have nearly the color you have in Michigan, but we do have color.

Hope to have more for you tomorrow.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Need to Find Some Firewood

I had a wonderful visit with Roisin and Malcolm in Bennettsbridge overnight last night. The bus ride over was pretty quick and I changed buses at Clonmel, which just happens to be the town where they brew the beer I like here.

Had lunch at The Playwright and wanted to try the fish and chips. The fish was quite good, the chips were underdone (this seems to be a recurring theme), and the mushy peas were not very good at all. A C- overall. I then went to Trespass to pick up my jacket and purchase a backpack. I had carried my overnight clothes, jammies, and bathroom kit in a shopping bag from Shaw's. Made the switch over to the backpack and walked a bit. Kilkenny is every bit as lovely a town as I remembered from my last two visits.

I decided to do a bit of shopping - I went to Penneys and found a pair of boots for €25. I put them on in their dressing room after I paid for them because they were too big to fit in my backpack.

Here is the jacket I bought at Trespass in August and had them hold for me because I knew I'd be back and it wouldn't fit in my carryon. It is waterproof, windproof, breathable, and has taped seams. It was originally €139, but I got it on sale for €39; couldn't pass it up. 

I learned lots of things from Malcolm and Roisin including how to build a fire using a fire starter with coal and wood. I have some coal that was left by the previous renter, but he only left scraps of wood. I need to get some firewood to build a better fire. I must say I got quite a bit of heat out of it, though.

Just got off FaceTime with Payton and then Morgan. Morgan and I did her homework together. She is happy to put "Vicki (Nana)" on her paper as her homework helper and this time she added "in Ireland". What fun! Adam FaceTimed me this morning as I was riding the bus, but FaceTime is a bit noisy so I just talked for a few minutes and got a big smile from Harper as she was busily sharing her breakfast with Tank. Too cute. Zoë was still sleeping. Adam had mandatory overtime this afternoon, but has tomorrow off. I will FaceTime him once I know they should all be up.

I think I need to decide what is for dinner; it is 8 pm; maybe I'll have sardines and crackers, a favorite of mine. What are you planning for dinner? Did you get snow today? I see my sister, Anne, in Marquette woke up to some. I'm not expecting any here.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

October is Half Over Already

This month is speeding past. Halloween decorations are in all the windows and kids are getting excited. People are starting to talk about Christmas. Yikes!!

I got up early this morning and had a cup of tea and a piece of toast before embarking out for a walk. I walked my usual path but in the opposite direction, so that I would end up near Argos where I knew they had  simple drip coffee makers. I walked down to the corner and turned left on Abbey Street and took that to Slaney Street, cut through Redmond Square and across to the water side of R730, which at that point is also called Wellington Place. I walked to the bridge and over to the other side and then back. I then walked the quay all the way down past the Talbot Hotel as far as Parnell Street and then turned around and walked back until I was across from the Supervalu which is adjacent to Argos. I purchased the coffeemaker I wanted and then walked down to Redmond Square again and into Dunnes where I bought coffee (They don't have much of a selection; I may have to buy some in Kilkenny tomorrow), bagels, 2 chicken pies, and a package of Crawford's Shorties (my favorite tea cookie). I took a few pix while I was walking the quay.

This is John Barry, father of the US Navy

This is the view from Crescent Quay toward the bridge

I walked back home and tried out the coffee pot. At first I tried making just 2 cups and I put in 2 scoops of coffee. It was too strong, so I added 2 more cups of water - pretty good. I then had one of the chicken pies for lunch. I checked my mail to find I had missed the mailman this morning and he had a package for me. I ordered 3 crossword puzzle books from Amazon and they estimated November 6 as the delivery date. I'm so glad they came sooner. I expected to just walk down to the post office and pick them up. But when I read the form, the package pick up site is about a mile and a half in the other direction. I checked my map, found the street it was on and took off. By the time I got there I was hot and sweaty, but it was a great walk. The walk home was even better because now the huge hill was downward.

There had been men digging in the courtyard out front all day. They were installing water meters. I think we are going to have to start paying for water. Drat! They were jackhammering and digging all up and down the block. I am amazed at the busyness of this town. Every day, there is painting of buildings on Main Street, street cleaners, window washers - it is a really clean town.

I was going to go out after dinner for another walk, but decided against it. I think I've done an admirable job of it today, don't you agree?

Tonight I am going to pack some pjs and a change of clothes in a carry bag and plan to catch the bus at 10 in the morning. I should be in Kilkenny between 2 and 3. I will pick up my jacket at Trespass and walk around town a bit before I meet Roisin across from the castle for a ride to her b&b where I will have dinner with them and spend the night. I am really looking forward to this visit.

Hope all is well with you. I will try to get some pix in Kilkenny tomorrow to share with you. It is a very nice town.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wednesday, 14 October

I was up before the sun today but it was in the low 40s so I am still waiting to get my jacket this weekend before heading down to the quay to watch the sunrise. I drank my tea and thought about what I had on my calendar for the day - not much, really. See the doctor and see about getting a prescription for my migraines, a trip to a store to buy cleaning supplies, and then a trip down to the bullring to water the flowers we planted last weekend.

I planned to pay cash to the doctor, so headed for the ATM machine at my bank before heading for the office. Imagine my surprise when I announced myself for a 10:40 appointment and went into the waiting room to find about 20 people waiting. Of course, I showed up at 11:30. Imagine my even greater surprise when I realized that the doctor whose rooms were on the second floor was coming down to get his own patients and then following them up the stairs. It took a bit over an hour for me to be seen, but he was great. I explained about my Duloxetine and showed him my prescription bottle and then told him what the chemist had told me about not having 20 mg or 40 mg of that product, but that she told me about something that I thought started with a Y that was also a generic for Cymbalta. He looked it up on his computer and found it. He was interested to hear my story as he had never heard of this product being used for this purpose. He told me that gave him another option for migraine treatment and he was pleased to hear about it. He gave me a prescription with enough refills to get me through 6 months. I thanked him and then went down to reception to find out the damages. Talk about a day of surprises. The cost of the visit was €60. I paid in cash, got a receipt and a thank you and headed out.

I went home from there, put on snugglies and started the third of my 5 library books. Got right into it, but at about 3 I realized that I needed a walk, so I set out. I walked down to the far south part of the main drag and realized I was hungry so I stopped again at Simon Lamberts. Today they had baked sea trout with peas and grilled root vegetables - even better than the pan fried variety. From there I walked the quay, across the bridge and back, and then stopped to pick up cleaning supplies. My fitbit vibrated before I got home.

Spent a bit more time in snugglies reading and then got dressed again to head down to the bullring to water plants. When a few others arrived I found out they had watered last night, but we got out the long-handled picker upper gadgets and set about picking up cigarette butts and small papers from the area. Then Sue and I headed down to Sharkey's and came up Anne Street and then headed down Main back toward the bullring where Dennis and Anne were working. I got home about 7:30.

This isn't my pic, I found it on google, but it is a nice one of the road that runs along the quay.

Now I'm in my snugglies once more writing my blog and planning to FaceTime Momo when she gets home on this early release day. Later tonight I hope to FaceTime Adam when he gets home from work.

Just checked my fitbit. I have just over 6 miles and 13,161 steps for the day. I think this has been a lazy/busy day - I'm not sure if that is lusy or bazy, but all in all a good day.

How has your day been? Hope it's been great and that you miss me as much as I miss you! Hoping to get some visitors here one of these days.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I've Found A Walking Group

Stayed up until the wee hours finishing my book and so didn't get up until almost 8 am. I was going to walk over the bridge to meet up with a walking group Maria had told me about the first time I joined the TidyTown group. A pretty cold morning - 49 degrees when I got up, but sunny and not windy so not too bad. I must say I am looking forward to my trip to Bennettsbridge this weekend to get my jacket. The warmest thing I have right now is a hoodie and it is working out okay, but if I am going to get down to the quay to greet the sunrise next week I think I am going to need something a tad warmer.

Another friendly, fun group at the swimming facility to meet to walk this morning. We walked on a back road and around on a busier road around in a bit of an oblong circle. I walked with Judy and had great conversation on the way. I am finding out so much from the people I am meeting. We walked for about an hour and then stopped at the Riverbank House Hotel for coffee. I had tea. I have totally given up on coffee, but think I may have to find a coffee maker and get used to making it before I get company from the States. I haven't found any coffee in eateries that I like, but I think making my own might be more like what I am used to.

I sat next to a woman named Maria - not the same one in the TidyTown group who first told me about these walkers. She was a wonderful source of information; another friendly, helpful woman. Interestingly, these have the same look of wonder on their faces when they find out my path here. Eventually, though, they have to agree that what I got rid of was only "stuff".

After coffee three of us walked back across the bridge to Wexford and they suggested that if I wanted fish and chips I should try Sharkey's. Although everyone at coffee agreed that the best fish and chips was at some Quay about 1/2 hour south of Wexford. Some sunny day I will take the bus there and see if I agree. Meanwhile, there are quite a few more places in town that offer fish and chips so I will continue on my quest to find the best. I rated Sharkey's a C. Last week I had fish and chips at the Library in White's Hotel and would have to rate them a D - although I must say their chips were superior to Sharkey's.

Sharkey's fish and chips, the mushy peas were the best!

I received my weekly stats from fitbit - not too bad. I'd really like to get my weekly total up to 50 miles, but for now I am doing just fine.

And here are today's stats:

When I got home from my walk I did some laundry, underwear and socks. One of the women suggested that instead of bringing them in damp at the end of the day and hanging them in front of the fire, that I put them on the shelves in the closet with the water heater. She does that at her house and they are dry in the morning. So I hung them out for several hours and then put them on the shelves and will see what the morning brings.

For my second walk of the day I walked down to the news sellers to get the Ireland Times for the puzzles in it. I learned that from Maria today. I was also out of lettuce so I bought some. I had a ham sandwich with tomato and lettuce for dinner followed by a few tea biscuits with a mug of tea. I did enjoy the Simplex Puzzle, but didn't quite finish. Wasn't even able to get started on the Crosaire. It is one of those cryptic puzzles with clues like "It's all the talk of Liverpool, in a manner of speaking (7,8)". I'm going to have to work these with someone for a while until I get into that kind of outside the box thinking.

I have started a new library book called The Why of Things by Elizabeth H Winthrop. I am liking it so far and am about halfway through. I will probably finish it this evening. Tomorrow morning I have a doctor appointment in mid morning and am meeting with the TidyTown group to water the planters at the bullring in the evening. In between I will get out and walk; maybe I will find a new path...

My landlady is coming on Thursday morning to get the tv and I will get a chance to ask her a few questions - like what is the funny yellow gadget the gas company sent me? Can I get the closet doors adjusted so they close? Do the shower doors need to be adjusted so they close completed? What is the box by the front door? What happens if I am expecting a package, how do the deliverers get in the gate, is there a bell outside they ring to get my attention? If I can find a floor lamp for reading and decide to buy it, can I be reimbursed? Lots of things to find out!!

Hope all is well back in Michigan,


Monday, October 12, 2015

Errands All Day

I've been up, down, and all around the town today. I actually got in more than my 10,000 steps and didn't really go for a planned walk at all.

I began my day by going by the alterations/laundry place around the corner and found out that the price was definitely worth it. I paid €14 to have all my darks washed, dried and folded. I dropped them off around noon and picked them up around 4:30. I am finding it very difficult to get my clothes to dry on the line this time of year, especially my trousers. This may be the answer.

I then went to the bank because my debit card was in the post which enabled me to set up a standing order for my rent to be paid directly from my account on the first of each month. I also took advantage of that visit to have the Mrs on my account changed to Ms. After all, I am no longer a Mrs.

I went to the library to take back the four books I took out last week and then continued on to Shaw's to take advantage of their sale. I purchased sheets, pillowcases and a quilted throw for the double bed and found that the blanket that I purchased for the couch was far too big there so put it between the top sheet and the comforter. I think double beds here must not be a standard size as the comforter is touching the floor all around. The bed does look nice though.

Later I went back to the library and picked out 5 books for this week. I only took out 4 last week and found I was done with them by Saturday and the library isn't open on Sunday. I didn't know what I was looking for, so just started at the end of the alphabet and started reading the flyleaf until I found something appealing.

I realized earlier when I was getting my laundry ready to take to be cleaned that most of my shirts are quite old and are starting to fade, so I went to Penneys and found a great sale on jumpers (I call them sweaters or pullovers). They were selling for €7 each so I bought a grey and a black. I think the black will go with the long skirt I brought with me and will be suitable for the shows I may be seeing during The Fringe Festival.

These are the jumpers. I don't know if you can tell, but they have v-necks.

Here you can also see the new bedding.

It was another beautiful day here in Wexford - sunny and in the high 50s, perhaps low 60s, just my kind of weather. Perhaps next week after I collect my jacket from Kilkenny, I will walk down to the quay early enough to catch a sunrise. I'll be sure to take my camera.

I hope all is well where you are and that your Indian Summer continues.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Looking Forward

I'm looking forward to another busy week. Monday I am going to check into a small business around the corner where a woman does alterations and laundry to see what she has on offer. Tuesday I am planning to walk with the group over at the swimming facility across the bridge. Wednesday I have a doctor appointment to see about getting my migraine prescription renewed. He is right around the corner, too. Wednesday evening I am meeting a few of the TidyTown group to water the planters that we put together on Saturday. Don't know what I have planned for Thursday yet, maybe I'll be ready to pay a visit to the Garda. Friday I am planning to take a bus to Bennettsbridge where Malcolm and Roisin are keeping the jacket I bought in Kilkenny when I was here in August. It wouldn't fit in my luggage and I knew I would be back so I left it at the store. Malcolm will bring it home on Friday. I am spending the night with them and then returning here on Saturday.

As for today, I got up with every intention of lounging all day, but then decided I wanted to try Map My Walk here, so I got dressed and headed out. Generally the device sounds off each mile, but just about the time I figured I had about a mile in, she announced that it had been 16 minutes and that I had traveled .2 miles. Really?? I just kept walking and ignored her. It was fun at the end to see the map of the route I'd taken. At least that was accurate.

I was also wearing my fitbit and it seems to think that I walked about 5 miles. Who knows, at any rate  right now my fitbit reports that I have walked 11,878 steps and 5.44 miles. So much for lounging.

I have found one rather serious annoyance here. I need to keep my eyes on the deck when I am walking as dog poo is everywhere. Apparently they do not have pooper scoopers here. I do suppose the stuff is biodegradable, but I certainly don't want to step in it. The annoyance is not enough to stop me from exploring this lovely town, to be sure.

I stayed up way too late last evening watching two British murder mysteries. That meant, though, that I was able to FaceTime with Morgan in the evening. Such a little sweetie, but such a teaser! She and Dana were watching a movie with the lights out and instead of turning the light on to talk to me she wanted to play hide and seek. I did get to see her because she eventually turned a light on.

The weather here is what I expected except there isn't much change throughout the day. I check in with Wexford, Marquette, St. Ignace and Jackson. They all mostly start out the day around 55. The difference is that in those other places the high temps tend to be 10 or more degrees higher. Here there is only a 2 or 3 degree difference. Mind you, I am not complaining, just noticing.

I'm going to try to get an early night as I didn't get my 7 hours last night and didn't nap during the day today. Hoping for another beautiful day in the mid to upper 50s. Hope all is well in Michigan.


Saturday, October 10, 2015

A Busy Saturday

I began my day at 7:15 with a mug of tea and a toasted bagel. Then slowly got around and met the TidyTown Volunteers at the bullring. This morning was as much work as last Saturday, but it was a lot more fun in my opinion. We pulled the old plants out of the big round planters (except for the centerpiece) in order to replant new ones. That idea alone gives me hope for the mildness of the Fall and Winter here. Someone had already emptied out all the planters that are up on sills around the outside of the building.

This is the area known as the bullring.

This is the same area but closer to the market.
This is one of the big planters after we were done.

These turned out so well.

There was a window box in every other opening. Big job!

I took these photos after I'd gone home and cleaned up a bit and had a bit of leftover rice from dinner last night with a couple of over easy eggs over it. I went down to the bullring first so I could show you what we did in our couple of hours meeting this morning. Then we sat across the street with our tea or coffee and a selection of cakes and baked goodies from Joanne's before breaking up for the day.

For today's walk I decided to head up away from town and walk by the town hall and hospital. It was quite a good walk mostly uphill and my fitbit vibrated before I got back. Here are some pix I took on the way.

Here is the Spiegeltent from the street side.
Someone's driveway that I found to be beautiful.

The Slaney River which goes under the Wexford Bridge before emptying into the Irish Sea.

This says "Presented by the Metropolitan Drinking Water & Cattle Trough Association
This spot of color caught my eye.

Tell me you would ever have thought these kind of trees would grow in Ireland.

I love architecture like this.

I got home just in time for tea and cookies and then took a brief nap. I tried to nap on the couch, but still hadn't bought a throw to use, so I went to the ATM and got some money from CP Federal back home and headed for Shaw's. I'd been told that they had better quality goods and that there was a big sale going on. I got a humongous cuddly throw and two pretty nice bed pillows for €50, which I thought was a pretty good price.

I carried those home and then headed out to Dunnes for some food. I bought one of those little chicken pies that I showed in my shopping photo the other day. I can't believe how good they taste and they are only €1.49. I also bought a loaf of bread, some tea biscuits, some frozen mushy peas and some frozen fish sticks. I am planning to go to the fish market next week and try my hand at cooking something from the Irish Sea.

This is a quick shot of the fresh fish market inside the building where we planted this morning.

It's just about 7:30 and I am in for the night listening to music on the iPod and enjoying my place. I met some new women at the planting this morning and each one I meet is friendlier than the last. A couple of us talked about going to one of the musicals during the Fringe Festival. It will be nice to get to know each other better. After all, we can't do too much chattering when we are working. I definitely owe a big thank you and hug to Roisin for suggesting joining this group as one of the first undertakings in my new town.

Hope to have more for you tomorrow.