Tag Archives: goats

An Awkward Rescue

When asked what type of goats we keep we answer as best we know by saying ‘island goats’. They’re wild and hardy and prefer to roam the day in whichever large field they’re currently stone wall fenced into. Whatever the weather, they sleep outside under the evening sky with their herd of a half dozen or so. While they’re far from constrained, there’s a tendency for them to go through periods of rebellion where day after day for a week or so Johnny spends hours searching for which direction they’ve headed off to explore. It’s often not as easy to find them as one might think, especially if they decide to lie down and take a nap under a high wall. The children and I have helped their dad look plenty of times and there’s no doubt we’ve walked right past them on more than one occasion.

On this day, a month old kid had gone missing. After a second search within the same day, Johnny found him at last. Having fallen four feet down between a narrow crack in the stones, the goat was a huge challenge to rescue. What else would Johnny do but try and try again until at last successfully looping a noose around his neck and lifting him to safety? As if he would have been able to focus on anything other than helping save Hop’s life. Wild they may be, but they’re each named and cared for as best as possible.


A very scared baby Hop and an awkward rescue for Johnny.

No doubt, Hop learned a valuable lesson about keeping an eye on where he’s bouncing about in his playfulness. Considering that these cracks are a common part of their terrain, it’s a wonder that this doesn’t happen more often. Gratefully, it’s a rare occurrence though.

Taking part in in the One A Week Photo Challenge with my ‘awkward’photograph. Next week’s word is ‘gate’. Have an idea? Join in!

Cheers, Melissa Xx

Homefarm Happenings

I returned from my r & r holiday last evening feeling another r & r, refreshed and ready to go.  With unbelievable amounts of time spent sleeping, I also managed a couple sea swims, pool swims, spa time, late night chats, and a meeting or three over tea and/or food with girlfriends.  Feeling completely rejuvenated I am!

Today was a happy busy first day back home for me– happy to be busy doing some of my favourite things that support our desires to be creatively self-sustaining.

Instead of devoting an entire post to individual projects I’m going to summarize the latest going-ons here with a few pics.

We went clamming today at noon as there was a super low tide.  Johnny gathered razor clams while I got more mosaic treasure…can picture the mosaic in my mind’s eye now.  Afterwards, we both foraged for mussels.  We just finished a delicious dinner of our catch of the day sauteed with wild garlic leaves, mushrooms, and onions.

Before leaving on my trip, I had a sewing class for one of my daughters and two other young island girls to make Irish dancing skirts for a feis this coming weekend.  Running short on time during the class, I finished pressing the pleats of one of the skirts today before delivering it back to the little seamstress.  I’ll get a picture of the three wearing their entire outfits this weekend. I’m feeling very proud of the girls and am sure they’ll have much fun and success wearing them.

While I was away, Johnny surprised me by starting making our much needed larger window boxes as well as placing the tiles over the Stanley range heater in our dining room.  The children helped with the tiling.


Five new baby goats have arrived in the last week.  I posted the first few to be born on my fb page on Mother’s Day (in March here).  These two are the newest set of twins who arrived a couple days ago.  Such cutie-cutesters and as cuddly to us as we want to be with them…like all animals, goats have their own personalities and aren’t always that fond of people’s attention and affection.IMG_20160309_184830

And with that, I wish a happy weekend to one and all, Melissa Xx

Rainy Day Ramblings

The wind and rain doesn’t seem to stop the many visitors who gear up and brace themselves for the 4+ mile journey from Kilronan to the islands main attraction, Dun Aenghus Fort.  However, I did wonder this day how many of them would’ve boarded the ferry in Galway had it already been lashing.  But the rain started late morning and they had already arrived.  So while cyclists buzzed by our garden during yesterday’s wonderfully wicked weather, I was welcoming a day off from the hotel and garden to stay inside the house.

i live here in aran blue star

Blue star is where we live.  Map source.

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In The Middle Of A Pot In The Middle Of The Day

Doing nothing is actually doing something of value.  With all the expectations people have for themselves and the drive to accomplish, many don’t take time to stop.  But everyone’s entitled to guilt-free breaks.

It’s easy to get away from it all here on the island, to find a quiet spot to just sit in a sheltered nook or to amble along off the beaten path while listening to the songs of the sea and the birds.  The challenge lies in making the choice to do so.  There is a difference between having the time and taking the time, and often one is used as an excuse for not doing the other.

baby goats in plantpot

firmly pitched, planted-

take time for some daydreaming

of unbound frolic

Animals are a constant reminder to relax and be carefree.  If their basic needs are met, they don’t plan new things to worry about and don’t scurry about bound by to-do lists with no mental break.  Being the animal of greatest intelligence, humans have more choices of activity.  Intelligence does not necessarily equate with good sense, and not taking regular daily breaks from activity and technology is unwise. Take a cue from nature, go out and observe- no book, no music- just you, your undistracted senses, and Mother Earth.

Do you take meaningful daily breaks?  What do you do?  Where’s your special quiet place?

This Haiku was written for Ronovan’s weekly Haiku challenge words ‘pitch & time’, and the photo is for Jamie’s weekly photo challenge word ‘middle’.  Anyone can join one or both at any time.  Curious?  Go on over and check them out.  And then have a fantastic weekend.  Melissa Xx

Hiking At A Snail’s Pace

With a nip in the air and the sun shining high we set out for a hike.20150520_120028

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A Visitors View of Our World

I am happy to repost the following Inis Mor. Dun Aengus fortwhich was written by Bob Singer for his own blog after his visits to the Aran Islands.  We became friends earlier this year and I mentioned him in a previous post. We are honoured to have this post as part of our blog, and we think you’ll agree that, in his words and photographs, he really captures the magical charm of the islands, both Inis Mor where we live, and Inisheer our neighboring island. Enjoy, and then pop over and view his other beautiful posts about his past year living in the west of Ireland.

Man of Aran

What is it about islands? Why do they have such appeal to us? All around the world they are treasured as special. Sometimes the residents are fiercely protective. In Australia we have many that hold a singular place and I was lucky enough to live on one such of these – Magnetic Island on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. There are others though; Rottnest Island, where you can’t live but it is still very dear to the heart of Perth people, or Kangaroo Island off South Australia, or the beautiful Lord Howe Island among them. Ireland has a few too, such as Tory, Achill, Skellig and of course the Aran Islands.

Mention the Aran Islands and you immediately have my attention. The place has a mysterious lure. Despite knowing little about it (except that it is where the Clancy Brothers got their jumpers from and one of the most omnipresent tunes in sessions around the world is named after one of the Islands) it was a place I felt I must visit. I have been on two separate occasions. First, on a freezing summer’s day in July 2014, to Inisheer for an overnight stay; and more recently over three glorious sunny, warm days in April 2015. That’s Irish weather for you – freezing in Summer and hot in Spring!

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No Rain, No Rainbow


Today was one of those days.  Several things didn’t go as planned or expected and we were left feeling a bit out of sorts.  Johnny and I discussed, found a bright side to each one, and moved forward.  We decided to venture off to where our goats were grazing and collect the newest addition and it’s mum, the birth being just a few hours before.  Rugged as they are, the weather has been cold with wintry showers and we wanted to bring them closer to the house. Continue reading

Writing 201– Poetry Day 2: Combine ‘Journey, Limerick, Alliteration’ & Other Works In Progress

limerick poem

Writing 201 — Poetry Day 2: Combine ‘Journey, Limerick, Alliteration’

I’m really enjoying this week of poetry.  This limerick came easy for me…maybe the Irish influence 🙂

My fourth sewing tutorial is in edit and nearly ready to be published along with another recipe and my 52 weeks of photos/RonovanWrites combo post.

So many things are composing themselves in my always busy brain.  With my change of plans, we have refocused on this years garden and have just ordered some great seeds to grow veg and flowers for ourselves and for selling.  Regarding the animals, we are due a couple of our first spring kids any time in the next week or two.  The chickens are loving the extra daylight and celebrating so by giving us more eggs.

I am bouncing around in joy today after receiving a text last evening that my favorite swim pal in the world is coming to the island for the next three days with her four gorgeous children.  Got to love spring break…now bring on the sunshine.  But rain or shine, we’ll be taking a dip or two–she’s tough as nails and a great motivator!

May you all enjoy this Happy Pancake Day/Shrove Tuesday/Mardi Gras wherever you are.  We’ll be having sweet potato pancakes for dinner, hopeful to be served aside some fresh fish.  Johnny and I are off to go fishing now, so with luck on our side, we will have something for the table and freezer upon return.  Take care, Melissa Xx

I Should Have Been A Weather Girl


It’s hailing outside right now, a very unusual sight here on the island.  My thoughts are on Johnny who’s checking on the goats at one of our walking distance (but too far to just run home quick) fields. He should have taken the fleece neck warmer I tried to force on him, but who could have predicted this?  Well, smarty pants, they didn’t–it wasn’t forecast and right now even the brightest of Irish meteorologists are surprised… the only job you could fail at so consistently and still have a faithful following.  I should’ve been a weather girl.  I’d be good at it too as I’m okay with making lots of mistakes, I have no problem admitting them, and I have been long admired for my “if at first (2nd, 3rd…) you don’t succeed…” attitude. Continue reading

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