Getting used to living with animals

Starting the day crying because I miss my coffee machine so much has continued with a lot of unnecessary and unprovoked crying about American things I miss. These are not the things I should be crying about missing like family and friends, instead I am crying about coffee, nachos, brick oven pizza and a comfy couch. At least I have started to make a list of things to do during my June visit so no time will be wasted.

One week in I have completely run out of ideas of things to cook for dinner. We have chicken thighs to cook in the fridge and I cried because I could not think of anything to make with them and I don’t want to make anything with them. Today is a day full of melodrama!

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We are semi dog watching the best dog. He has cheered me up substantially by placing his very large head on my lap, the closest thing I have had to a Chihuahua lap cuddle in weeks.

I have enjoyed a few new animal “firsts” this week. It is taking me a little bit of time to get used to all of the different animals but I am learning and loving (some of them)!

Cattle: After winter in their cattle barn (which I have learned is to keep them safe and warm during rainy, dark winter) it was time for the cattle to be released into their first field of the season! Cows are so slow and gentle this would be no problem, right? wrong! After spending the morning fixing and checking the electric fence (C did this, I hid in the tractor) it was time to free the cattle. They went nuts! Bucking out of their barn, getting tangled in the fence and running so fast away from their barn to the far corner of the just repaired fence. A few minutes later the fence is secured and the cattle are roaming around, checking their borders and meeting new cattle friends. (No photos taken during this as I had to pretend to look like a serious cattle mover).


Cats: There are four cats roaming around the house. Two cats I hate and two cats are very cute and sweet and love to be brushed with a broom. The whole outdoorsness of the cats scares me the most. They are so wild and their claws are so sharp! One cat  loves coming in the house and stalks the back door waiting for me to be too slow so she can come in and sit on the chair by the fire like a luxurious cat queen. Even when I push her out with the broom and digs her claws into the floor trying to stay. Her determination usually wins. Yesterday, Baby cat brought a nice big mouse present into the house for me. Luckily Loppy dog came over and vacuumed the mouse up from the cat like a little snack. Disgusting!

Pig countdown has started and chickens have been promised so I better start getting used to these animals living in our cottage with us.

Week one living in Ireland complete

One week down here in Ireland! After spending the the last year visiting every few weeks it is such a nice feeling to not be dealing with a ticking clock before I have to get back on a plane. If I want to remain jetlagged a week after I arriving I can sleep until noon and not worry!

Well not really. Last week when sleeping in the middle of the day I was caught. I woke up very frazzled, sweaty and covering myself in blankets. I think I caught a small break for being sick since a thermometer and some medicine was sent home to me later in the day.  At least I quickly learned we have different visitors in the house throughout the day. Today I was just out of the shower when we had a visitor I went and hid in my closet. Getting used to it slowly! Definitely waking up tomorrow before ten am.

Spring is coming quickly so lots of farm jobs will come with the sun. Pigs will be picked up this week, cattle will be moved and all of the vegetables will have to be planted keeping everyone busy busy busy. So we made the most of this nice mix of spring weather without spring jobs and went on a long walk around Donerarile Park with his family. The park was packed! We finished the day with a Sunday roast lamb with his family and a few hours escape to kick footballs at the GAA pitch.

Now that I am feeling better hopefully this week will be a bit more ambitious and maybe a list of things can be done.. or at least written.


Arrived, sick, excited and jet lagged

After an extremely tearful goodbye to family it could only look up after checking in at Dulles Airport for my move to Ireland. Thank goodness it did.. for a few hours anyway.  My thousands of business miles on American Airlines allowed me access to the fancy fancy British Airways lounge for my pre-flight waiting.ireland 2

A bit hesitant that they would actually let me in wearing my yoga pants and hoodies followed my hesitancy on what I was allowed to do in the lounge I soon learned it is the most wonderful place in the world. Even though I was severely under dressed (why are people wearing suits on an overnight flight) Free drinks! Free food! Free wifi! I had some snacks and champagne and watched old Pretty Little Liars episodes (the only thing keeping me from crying the preceding days) and all of a sudden the once very full lounge was empty and I was late for my flight. Continue reading “Arrived, sick, excited and jet lagged”

South Florida and Harry Potter World

I once spent three days in South Beach and it was just enough to last me my entire life. The senior style of the surrounding beach towns are much more my pace than the Miami club life. I have luckily visited family in Delray & Boyton which I absolutely loved. Not to say South Beach isn’t absolutely worth visiting. It is definitely a one of a kind city just a little bit loud for me. Recently when visiting family in Boyton we traveled up to Universal Studios to visit Harry Potter World for a dream come true vacation. Favorite parts about visiting South Florida and Universal:

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What to do in Washington D.C. Top Ten

I travel around Washington D.C. and New York City often enough that they receive a special top ten post from not quite a local but not quite a tourist either. My trips to D.C. have been a mix of visiting friends, frequent business travel to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and family day trips when foreign visitors are in town. Washington D.C. is beautiful, historical, busy,packed with transplants, eclectic, maneuverable and a place I thought I may move before I decided to move to Ireland. Who knows, maybe we will be back!

Top Ten D.C. Activities: 

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Searching for the 12s in Seattle

Well I did not have to search long. The 12s are everywhere, EVERYWHERE. This city LOVES their football team and I guess back to back Superbowl appearances only encourage the fan enthusiasm. Every manicurist in town must have perfected the tiny sea hawk nail designs for the amount I saw during my week visit. Although I was unable to catch a game and experience the very loud crowd I thoroughly enjoyed Seattle’s many, many other offerings.

Dreading a long flight home and having my favorite mushroom friend as a travel companion we decided to avoid a red eye and add a day to a Tuesday- Friday trip giving us a bit of extra time to enjoy the city and surrounding wilderness.  Here are a few of my favorite things caught between board meetings and late night dinners:

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Weekend Trips to Boston

A short, direct flight gets me easily to Boston for quick weekend work trips. As much as I love the West Coast I dream of easy East Coast trips that get me there and home as quickly as possible. Last time I went to Boston I was able to fly from Philadelphia to Florida for an early morning meeting and up to Boston in time for a late afternoon event. That was definitely a bit (a lot) stress inducing but we are spoiled with how easy it all is to get around. I have visited Boston a few times for conferences and food festivals, always in the summer, and feel like I see a different part of the city every time. Whenever I go back I want to move there immediately. Here are a few of my favorite work trip escapes and event  successes from my recent trips: Continue reading “Weekend Trips to Boston”