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





SPINNING AND KNITTING FOR A PROJECT-BOOKS I AM READING-IRELAND IS CALLING-NEW LIFE ON THE FARM

21 09 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GREETINGS

We had a bout of cool days and cooler nights now its very humid.  The leaves are changing so fall weather approaches.

SPINNING AND KNITTING FOR A PROJECT

Usually I just spin and don’t really care what I am spinning.  I have such a supply of wool that I want to get spun that it doesn’t really matter.  This year I skirted Carol K and Maude’s fleeces and threw the skirting’s into a bag.  I usually throw away the really messy stuff and keep the rest for a small project.  But this year there was a lot.  I decided to dye it and use some one old dye and another dye that I had plenty of.  They were both Pro Chemical dyes, Mallard Green and mustard. I love the way the colored blended together.

Well then  this Debbie Bliss pattern book, which I bought a long time ago surfaced and I found a pattern that was simple and I liked .  So this is what I am spinning and knitting..  I want to get the sweater finished and make an outfit to wear on my November trip.  I am not a good finisher I have loads of started projects around and am determined to finish a lot of them this winter and get the sweater done by mid October.   I am working on it every day.

 

THE FRANKLIN COUNTY FAIR

I do love doing this fair, meeting old friends and new customers.  People love to stop and chat while I am spinning and I do enjoy answering their questions about spinning.  It was a lovely two days.

BOOKS I AM READING

Rag Rugs of England and AMerica

I was able to purchase this book online and am so glad that I did

.Rag Rugs of England and Americait has wonderful stories and pictures of old rugs.   The two people who influenced my rug hooking most were Heather Richie and Deanne Fitzpatrick.  Both of them in totally different ways inspire me to do things in a different way.   To breathe while rug hooking and not worry about straight lines . This book reminds me of Heather as it has a story which she told in class and the same picture that is in the book she showed us.  The print is called Geordie ha’ ad a Bairn by Ralph Hedley around 1890.    In the picture is a clippie rug which Heather showed us how to make.

 

Geordie Haa'd the Bairn

Lots of pictures of old rugs with interesting information about them.  A must read for rug hookers and historians..

IRELAND IS CALLING

My daughter Cindy, grandson Chris and I are heading back to IRELAND in November.  Its been 4 years since we went last.  A hiatus for Cindy to attend Law School.    We are heading to Cork to show Chris that beautiful county with side trips to Kerry and a few other counties.   We rented a beautiful stone cottage and I know there will be at least a day of fishing for Chris.  I can’t wait to get there I have always felt at home in Ireland.  We may take a trip to Tipperary to see an odd breed of sheep called Zwartbles, they look like badgers!  We got wonderful prices on Norwegian Air and will fly from Providence directly to Cork.  Counting the days.

DOT AND HATTIE

This week I picked up two hens from the Chicken Man.  It is hard for people and chickens to adjust to new living situations but they are adjusting,

                          DOT

Dot has ventured out once and I see her getting accumulated to the flock soon. Hattie is living with the Bantam’s and is now sleeping with them.  Morticia treats her like her daughter, bossing her around.  She is young and probably won’t start laying till the end of November.

HATTIE

Dot is really a rescue.  She is a two-year old bird who the chicken man said is spent. What he means by that is worthless, she probably won’t lay anymore and is sent with another 25 or so birds to the auction (an awful and terrifying place).  He is of the mentality, which is old school, that hens lay very few eggs after their second year.  Well I have never found that true..  My  13-year-old hen laid  beautiful blue eggs almost every day of the summer before she passed as most of my other old hens do.  Change in animal care comes slow here in the states but in other countries like England it is way ahead of us.   I am so glad to see new farmers give animals loving care and a chance  to live on green grass and fresh air the way their suppose to live. (My rant for the day.)

Many thank for reading my blog on this cloudy fall day.  Leaves are slowing  changing.  Carole





PICKING LEAVES-IRELAND-WORK ON THE KITCHEN

17 10 2015

GREETINGS

It’s  very cool morning here with temps just rising to the mid fifty’s today.  It will be  cold weekend with some frosts coming.

PICKING LEAVES

This has been  tradition since I was a child.  I have been out twice and will go out today looking for more.  I especially am waiting for the oak leaves which offer an array of colors.  They aren’t quite ready yet.  It’s a wonderful thing to do with children, that is how I learned to tell a maple from an oak.

My Mom would put a square of wax in an old pan and put the pan in simmering water so the wax would melt slowly.  We would have  cookie sheet lined with waxed paper at the ready and I would hand her the leaves.  She would carefully dip them into the wax and  hand them to me.  I would let them drip and lay them on the sheet. These leaves would be used in decorations around the house .  Years later I would send her waxed leaves when she lived in Florida  and missed the fall.

Another method of preserving leaves is with glycerin.  I have used this method to preserving the leaves right on the branches.  Happy leaf hunting.IMG_5974

GIFTS FROM IRELAND

Cindy often sends me things from my beloved Ireland.  This time it was the cherished items that we loaded our suitcases with .  Fairy Liquid and Radox.  Since we have rented houses in Ireland for the past 20 years we have to supply the simple things such as dish detergent and groceries.   When I smell the above two products it just sends me back to the place I love.  Thanks Cindy.  Now to light up a brick of turf and I am happy.

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KITCHEN RENOVATION

My kitchen has needed renovation for years.  There has always been more important things to fix in this old farmhouse.  I have bought a double Soapstone sink for $75. many years ago and it sits in the downstairs barn area waiting to be installed.  Maybe next year that will happen and it will make , canning, dyeing wool and making soap so much easier.  But for now I am fixing up some of the walls with beadboard.  I am inspired by Kristen Nicholas with her colorful farmhouse and using colors that I would not ordinarily use. 

The kitchen  was made by combining two areas many years ago.  A wood shed  and the original kitchen.  Both have no cellar and are only a foot or so above the dirt which is why pipes freeze so easily in the winter.  My neighbor , Pat redid most of the wood shed portion some years ago, insulating the walls and adding a new window.  I love how that looks   

Chris and I started this project while he was here.  Neither of us are carpenters but we forged ahead and got it done with .  One wall done and painted.  I hope to get another wall started today.  It will probably take most of the winter to get all the walls done and painted.  Some of the  walls will have beadboard only half way up and the upper walls painted another color.  I am going to paint some sunflowers on the walls , thank to you Kristen for the wonderful ideas of color and design.  Look for more pictures of my progress in the future.

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The small window comes from my Great-Grandmother’s house i Maryland.  When they were tearing it down I saved some of the windows.

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Hope you have a wonderful day and many thanks for reading my blog.  Carole