Monday, May 28, 2007

Day 4 Part 1: Connemara and County Mayo

I intended to post this yesterday, but it turned into another day in the ER with Mr. Eli. His cast was causing him major discomfort, and of course, it was a holiday, so we got a chance to spend the day with a million other sick and injured children in the germ tube...whew...what a day! He's doing good now- new cast, and hopefully he'll be getting it off on Monday. Yay!

So, here we go with day 4 part 1

The coolest part of our morning, was stumbling across (in my case jumping across) the Quiet Man Bridge.

This bridge was in a beginning scene of the movie The Quiet Man, featuring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara. I've always had a special place in my heart for the Duke, so this was especially cool :)

This is the view to th e West of the bridge...gorgeous...

My mom and I both agreed that this part of Ireland was THE most beautiful, from what we had seen. Connemara and County Mayo. The scenery became more rugged, the people became kinder, but it definitely got colder!! I think you can see this in the way we are huddling with each other in the picture :) The water behind us is Lough Corrib.

The Maumturk Mountains.

A very rugged sheep, but so handsome. Oh how I coveted his wool...

The next post, will be Day 4, part 2...Ashford Castle!!!! We're off to the park :)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Day 3 Glendalough to Oughterard

Before I get started on the Ireland pics, I want to say a quick thank you to Cheryl Lynn in Corpus Christi, Texas, for the awesome dishcloth swap package! I love the butterfly motif on the dishcloth and the V.S. Love Potion Body Butter is to die for! Thanks for making the swap so much fun!

Day 3 in Ireland was pretty much a driving day with a few stops along the way. We drove from the East Coast back to the West Coast, to stay overnight in Oughterard, which is a small town outside of Galway.

The one "big" place that we stopped at, after almost giving up on finding it, was Leap Castle. It was closed to visitors, but we did get to roam around on the outside for awhile. This is purportedly the most haunted castle in Ireland, complete with a bloody chapel, staff of ghosts, an oubilette, and an elemental. Sounds like a party to me! Here's some links if you're interested on more history: info and photos . My mom and I both got a really creepy feeling walking around this place, but couldn't figure out if it was just because we were told it was a creepy place.

Here's some creepy swans..kidding! They're so pretty and serene.

That's about it. Like I said, it was a driving day, so there's not a whole lot to write home about.

Monday, May 21, 2007

First finished skein!

Well, here it is! My first official finished skein of handspun!!! I posted a picture of it yesterday while it was drying. 500 yds/8 oz, single ply...what to do with it now... Any ideas?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Detour for yarn

Taking a short detour from the Ireland photos, I thought I'd share a picture of some of my handspun yarn, done on a drop spindle. It's 100% merino roving from Ashford, approximately 500 yards. I'm very pleased :) It only took me three months to spin!! haha!

The second photo is of a skein of yarn I'm working on for a certain someone out there! I'm attempting to capture the elusive Tiffany Blue. :) Being a person who has never had the good fortune of receiving one of these little treasure boxes, I'm going purely on internet photos. There's a few subtle color gradations of Blue with a hint of White, symbolizing the ribbon.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Day2- Dublin to Glendalough

We started our day out early, with the excitement of going to Dublin coursing through our veins, 1 part nervousness, 2 parts anticipation. On the way, we found a very pretty unnamed castle off the main road. Well, I'm sure it has a name, we just don't know it.

This place was so cool. It had a great vibe to it. Hard to explain. Kind of felt like I'd been there before :)

Once into Dublin, we immediately started shopping and my mom bought this lovely woven wool wrap for pretty. I just adore these colors.

We pretty much stuck to the City Centre, saw the Book of Kells and the Trinity College Old Library... another sigh... we even saw Art Fotle there (inside I'm going to say this really quietly and maybe you won't notice... we had lunch at Burger King...gasp!

Isn't this sidewalk art incredible? I had to give him a Euro for his time.

We made a quick stop in the Gin Palace Pub for a pint as we were wrapping up our time there.

We were spending the night in a hostel in Glendalough, so we gave ourselves a bit of time to enjoy the ride through the Wicklow Mountains. We found this gorgeous old church and took a few pictures within the ruins of it. (note my mom's snazzy new socks- my gift to her for Mothers Day- I used the Sockotta yarn that Cary sent me).

Down the road from this church, was a very pretty field full of sheep :) sheep :)

We also noticed that the countryside is full of this shrubbery with bold yellow flowers and HUGE thorny spikes, called Gorse. This stuff looks brutal to walk through.

When we reached Glendalough, we grabbed another pint and a GORGEOUS $50 piece of chicken...I'm sure it wasn't that much, but man oh man, the US dollar does not go very far over there.

Like mother...

Like daughter... :P

After dinner, we strolled through the old monastic village of St. Kevin. Supposedly this place was founded in the late 500's by this guy who sat in a tree, had a bird lay an egg in his hand, talked a doe into nursing some king's baby, and had a pet cow who licked his clothes...ummm, OK... whatever you people say :P It was a very pretty place, very peacefull, nestled between two mountains with a lake at the top and at the bottom of it.

My mom's building rockets...shhhh.... :) This is actually a storage tower that also served as a place of refuge during Saxon raids...or it's a rocket...

Day three tomorrow. We're heading back towards Galway on the West coast.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Whew...I'm normal at last :)

Long story short, I'm back, Eli has a broken arm, which is now on the mend- he decided to stage dive out of his crib while I was away. No one told him that in order to successfully stagedive, one needs actual people on the other end to catch him...No, I'm not making light of his injury, I was horrified by it, I'm just making the best of the situation now. 2 weeks, 4 days and that sucker comes off!! Woo-hoo!!

I also had a nice bout of the stomach flu the day after I returned, so I was not having a good time of it...That's the bad stuff, now on to the good! My mom is getting married (Sadie, Sadie, married lady- anyone get that reference?) *grin* I'll be taking Eli on his first airplane trip in June, and I'm actually looking forward to it :) Thinking positive...

I have a gazillion photos from my trip, some coming at a later date from my mom's camera, so I'm just going to post a few every day. Ireland was AMAZING. There was a suspicious lack of yarn though, for a country so rich in sheep...hmmm...I guess I didn't have the secret handshake :)

The trip started off great, with free champagne on the plane!! Hooray for free booze! Delta came out of bankruptcy and wanted to get all their passengers drunk :) I only made one small mistake in my knitting...

Our first day was spent in Cashel. There aren't a whole lot of photos from this day, because we were a bit jetlagged and out of our minds :) I do believe the Cashel was the place where St. Patrick offered a clover to one of the chieftan's in order to explain the trinity of Christianity...I think...maybe he thought the guy just needed more fiber in his diet.

Contemplation on the Rock of Cashel...or maybe she's catching up on her sleep...either way, my mom and I both agreed on the beauty of the vista. There's a name to the countryside and for the life of me, I can't was the horn of plenty or the vale of goodness or something fruitful like that.

I do think that my favorite area in this town was the monastic ruins of the Hore Abbey...get yer minds out of the gutter people! Monty Python and Mel Brooks had nothing to do with the name...It was named after some Hore guy...OK, I'll just stop now...

Well, that's all I have for Day 1- like I said, I was not in my right mind that day! Tomorrow we go to Dublin!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Gone Fishin'

Well, not really, but I've always wanted to say that :) I'm off to Ireland- I hope everyone stays happy and healthy!