Our picnic table was given to us a few years back by some lovely people who handmade it themselves but couldn’t take it with them when they were moving away from the island. It’s been in dozens and dozens of our photos though never itself the subject of attention. Being extra long, makes it extra perfect for our large family, especially when friends and family are added to the mix. More often the tabletop is used as a platform for the children to sit upon and to spring from; this resulted in a board breaking and creating a hole. Just before Nuala’s birthday party last week Johnny refurbished the top using recycled pallet wood and then it was painted with some awesome paint from #Faherty Paints in Galway. It’s substantially heavier but that’s not a problem. I need to pick up more paint to finish the job next trip to the city, but even so, we’re really happy with the results and here you can see the transition for yourself.
Pallets are disassembled…
then pieces are laid out across the top…
and screwed into place.
Ready to paint.
Hooray for having a handy hubby!! 🔨📐🖌
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
Before shot #2
The above picture is an update on my Sept 22nd Instagram ‘before shot’ (left) that I thought some of you here might like to follow the progress of. We’re determined to move leaps and bounds this autumn and winter towards our goal of making a business out of our gardens, therefore fulfilling our dream of working together full time and no longer working out of the home for other people. Continue reading
Not too long ago we spent a beautiful few days and evenings with the visiting family of some island living friends.
Amazing weather makes amazing memories and on this night the swimming, dining, and fishing all at the Kilronan pier offered some fine photo opportunities. Click on any picture to start a wee slideshow.
The ending of a most glorious day begins…
Not much sunlight left…
This robin’s egg blue boat!
A seriously stunning night!
Fishing off the old pier.
Ending the night back home with a view from our back garden.
eat fish pie
as dusk dusts over
the days end
I think any of the pictures could represent this week’s photo word ‘strength’ for many different reasons. Does one say ‘strong’ more than the others to you?
Haiku fun brought to us by Ronovan Writes, thanking him for the two cool words, ‘pie and dust’.
I hope all who read this are well and so are those you love.
Every day won’t be the best ever, but there’s a best part to each and every day. It may not be what you hope or expect. In fact, better on these less than best (hard) days to stop expecting and instead wait with optimistic anticipation for the completely unexpected joys that appear out of seemingly nowhere from unlikely people, places, and things.
If there’s something ostensibly big keeping you from your joy, focus your attention on something small. There are little miracles everywhere in nature just waiting to distract us from our thoughts of ourselves and our worries…
💛💛💛💛💛💛💛💛 Continue reading
Hanging on the front of our house, about four foot by four foot in size.
Have you ever entered an Irish home and wondered what the handmade cross hanging above the door represents? Or perhaps you’ve seen a charm or pendant bearing the symbol that shares pride of place right aside shamrocks, harps, and claddagh rings.
St. Brigid’s Blessing
May Brigid bless the house wherein you dwell
Bless every fireside, every wall and floor;
Bless every heart that beats beneath its roof;
And every tongue and mind for evermore;
Bless every hand that toils to bring joy
And every foot that walks its portals through.
This is my wish today, my constant prayer
May Brigid bless the house that shelters you.
I made a small cross for the inside of our house and using the above willow, I made a giant St. Brigid’s cross for the outside–my welcome to spring offering, traditionally placed near doorways to ward off evil, fire, and hunger from homes.
Here is a photo step-by-step tutorial of how I made the giant cross. Scroll over any picture to read the details of each step or click on any picture to start a slideshow.
A close-up of the finished center.
1) Rub midpoint of willow gently back and forth on an edge to create a bend.
2) Ease the willow branch in half, folded onto itself.
3) A bit of inventive storage-the bent willows resting in the holes of laundry basket.
4) After a couple hours, I removed the willow and dropped into basket for easy access.
5) Four extra ‘hands’ were needed at this point.
6) The beginning–three branches per side completed; probably the hardest part.
Photographed on a fine and frosty morning.
Below is a tutorial of how the cross is woven. It’s the normal size and uses the rushes that are typically used. My friend Bernie shared how to make them with me and a group of friends this past Feb 1st when we gathered to celebrate St. Brigid’s Eve together.
My grandfather loved buying me clothes when I was a child and thought Salvation Army and Goodwill were just ‘neato bandito.’ I remember as a child feeling embarrassed and being teased when he innocently mentioned it to my schoolmates. Obviously insecure, it took me until young adulthood to realize that he was on to something–second-hand shopping was not just a great deal, but it supported some wonderful people and great causes. Continue reading
Just as common sense doesn’t grow in everyone’s garden, neither are we all born with a green thumb when it comes to cultivating a vision for the future. To cultivate anything requires an attention to detail, knowledge of what is being nurtured, a bit of patience, and a smidgen of resilience (for when things don’t go as expected).
There are plenty of ideas and dreams growing on our homefarm; envisioning comes naturally to us. It’s in the journey from idea to fruition that we sometimes go off course. Fortunately cultivating, or nurturing, a vision is a skill that can be refined with practice; with common sense, it’s not so easily done. Continue reading
I’m thinking of a poem that Johnny recalls studying back in school days. He can’t remember his age or grade, but he harks back to the details of the storyline impeccably upon my mention of our found crystal ball/glass fishing buoy.
The poem tells a tale of the unfulfilled hope for a special something to happen in one’s life.
Although my above photo and haiku share the same ending as Johnny’s poem (finding the glass ball), his poem, fittingly entitled ‘Disappointment’, does not end with my same appreciative feelings of happiness and good fortune upon the discovery. Continue reading