Dublin, Ireland

Well, through an evil coworker I was shown a new airline that is promoting cheap flights. For less then a weekend in the states I was able to go to Dublin. I’ve never been to Ireland before and I was looking forward to a long weekend away. So that is how I ended up in Ireland. I arrived at about 8am. I was able to find the bus to an Airbnb I had reserved. I recently discovered that google maps lets you download area maps. This was amazing and I easily found the place. I was renting a small room that was within walking distance to downtown. It was a very brisk morning more cool then I expected it to be but bundled up and a quick walk kept me warm. I worked my way towards Phoenix park. In the park was the Dublin Zoo. I am a sucker for zoos and aquariums. With such a cold morning most of the animals wereinside their warm homes. However, a few brave creatures were out in the sun soaking up the rays. Jet lag hadn’t set in yet and I worked my way towards downtown. I passed Jameson and Guinness breweries. Followed the River Liffey to a pub for lunch. Beer and soup. Yummy. I continued to wander around looking at ancient cathedrals, Dublin castle, and the Chester Beatty Library. This library holds some of the oldest manuscripts ever found. Antique Bibles, Qurans, and Buddhist texts. The artwork alone was amazing but to actually witness these documents was humbling. To think these writings from BC and AD made it long enough for me to witness them. It was wonderful. Starting to get a bit footsore I worked my way back to my home-stay for a nap.

I did get up for a bit to have a fabulous dinner at a local pub. However, I had an early day for a ride to Northern Ireland. In case you forgot, Northern Ireland is a separate country from Ireland. Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and uses the Sterling Pound for currency. Ireland is part of the European Union and uses the Euro. I have to say I had to be reminded of this fact. We worked our way north to the Carrick-a-rede bridge. This bridge was constructed so that fisherman could get a bit farther out from shore. The bridge is constructed of two 2×12 boards and about 100 feet long. I must admit I got a bit weak kneed halfway across but I managed.

 

 

 

 

 

After the bridge we went toward the Giants Causeway. Now this is a natural formation of basalt rock. The story goes that a Scottish Giant (the formations go all the way to Scotland) came across the causeway to conquer the Irish giant. Through the wisdom of Mrs. Irish Giant the Scottish one was sent running home with his tail between his legs. The formation and the walk to the causeway is amazing. Huge cliffs and roaring sea add to the the giant atmosphere. We past this ruined castle on the way back to Dublin. Ireland, it seems, holds more ancient structures then I ever expected. The Bushmill Brewery, which we also passed, was founded in the 1700s and is one of the oldest working brewery in Ireland. Just amazing. Just wow.

The next and my final full day in Ireland I went to all the museums and touristy sights that I didn’t get to on my first day. The natural history museums had some of the most antique specimens I have ever seen. Many from the early 1900s or late 1800s. The grouping of creatures was amazing. Not just one twig of the species tree but whole branches. The National Gallery held such wonderful works of local artists. I brought home a reprint of J.B. Yeats White Horse, among others. My final last half day I visited the Botanical Gardens and the Gasnevin Cemetery. Both were beyond imagination and quite P1060202.JPGfantastic. The entire trip was perfect getaway. Great way to recharge the batteries. I recommend checking out Norwegian Air in your area. The one bit advice, be aware that the 10kg is for both of your bags. So either check (extra fee) or pack extremely light. Now back to the daily grind. I might have accidentally, on purpose, signed up to work the next three weeks straight. I will be on midnights so that should be fine. I will just be a hermit. Until my next trip… which might be Costa Rica.

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Home Sweet Home

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So I have been in Maine three months now. I have been looking for a home to purchase. This is a big step for me since I am a diehard renter. I have finally decided a place to “home base” from and this is good as any. I looked at everything available in my area, in my price range, and ever lowering standards. I couldn’t find my ideal house in the country and have decided that a simple, in town home will suit my needs at this time.

I have been relying on my mother as a sounding board. She has had so much experience purchasing homes since we have moved around so much. However, the more I ask for her advice the less she is willing to be supportive. She began to give half answers and snide comments. I was really beginning to bring me down. I was starting to be deeply distressed.

I have made my decision. I feel so good in the choice. It isn’t the perfect place but really who’s first home is that perfect place. It will be a home. It will be great. I can continue to seek out the perfect place. Until then it will be HOME; MY house. And you are all welcome to visit!

Now starts the fun part with everyone looking for their pound. Why do I have to go through 15 people just to buy a home. The stress is driving me crazy and what makes it more difficult is I am working nights. Hard to sleep all day and still get all this taken care of. But it is coming. I am getting it squared away. Sigh….

Sunday Meditations

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Life is stressful. That is part of life. There is always something going on or something to do. It is important to take moments to relax. I booked a trip about 6 weeks ago to Dublin. I had no real idea how busy my life would be at the time of the trip. Really it probably isn’t the best time to leave. However, it is only for the weekend and nothing will burn down while I am away. It is important to take opportunities as they present themselves. Instead of being stressed that I am leaving I will focus on enjoying my weekend. Hope you enjoy yours.

Off to see the Wizard

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I was just away for a weekend to my moms’ to help do chores around the farm. It was a very productive trip but we always butt heads if we are together more then three days. I was there three and a half. Today I packed again for another trip. Yes, I pack way ahead of time. This way I can add and subtract as needed. Anyways, I got wicked cheap tickets for Dublin for a long weekend and couldn’t say no. There is a lot going on right now. Stress is really high. However, to take a moment to myself is much needed. I plan to take full advantage of it.

Sunday Meditations

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It is a new year. 2018! We have survived last year and are braving on to this year. A month has already gone by and the news isn’t any better. As we revel in our strength and courage we must remember to be humble. Be strong. Be courageous but be humble. It is a very fine line to walk and very few can do it well. I often fall off the wagon and must labor to get back. If everyday we attempt to remain humble soon it will be a habit and then a skill. We can do this!

Book Review: January

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Another great start to the new year. Finished last year with 53 books. Not bad!

Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury: Wow! What a crazy collection of stories. It is good fun and fun to read. A very easy and enjoyable read. I have it on audio and the narrator is great.

Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey: I have been putting off these books of Pern for no good reason. I don’t know why I was so stubborn because these are really great stories with a fantastic premise. If you like a good fantasy book with dragons and crazy planets read these books.

The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer: After all the drama of the Twilight movies many people have blacklisted her books. Meyers is a great author. Just because of the poor acting that made the movies a joke doesn’t mean her other books are bad. The Chemist is another great story. Another strong woman main character that works to keep from getting killed. A must read for any mystery/ action lover.

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin: This is an award winning SciFi book. It is a fantastic read. While it takes a bit getting used to the “language” of Planet Winter, the most interesting thing is the inhabitants are genderless. Being a genderless culture has really affected the growth of the planet. If you love SciFi or just want to read something new. Try this book!

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood:  Another great Post Apocalyptic story. It talks about genetic enhanced animals and a world gone awry. A young man, with flashbacks to his childhood, tries to make sense of the world around him.

Sunday Meditations

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Often times we hear that we should be “in the world but not of the world.” I do agree with that but I have noticed something. We aren’t even “in the world” any more. All we do is have stare at our devises and ignore our surroundings. So I say to you… BE IN THE WORLD. Interact with strangers, friends, and family. See the flowers and the shapes of clouds. Be as a child and embrace your life!