A Mini Update


The car is ok.

The issue was that the new battery wasn’t connecting to the car properly! I never looked – I should have – panic over nothing. Fixed free of charge, and a hook up to the computer to see if anything else is error-messaging. All clear!

Hubby went to work today, he is fine but a bit tired (and got lots of comments on the fact he lost visible weight while in hospital. Worst crash diet ever). He is right now getting the exhaust tied on tighter via a LocalLad Redneck Repair service – otherwise known as a friend with car-ramps and, oh yes, an engineering degree. This could be very good, or very bad!

The car is vital – not just everyday, but this week especially so, for me. On Saturday, I finally get to meet one of my blogging buddies in person! It’s so exciting. There are so many of you that I’d love to laugh in person with. After four years of doing this blog (the anniversary was early last month, whoops), and my not being able to travel the whole time for financial reasons, someone is finally able to come here! She hasn’t posted in ages so I won’t link back, but we’ve had a few Skype and land-line phone conversations and I just think she’s the bee’s knees. I get the feeling we are going to embarrass our respective husbands – sure hope they get along as I think we are going to regress to silly mode right away.

Things are looking up! Wait, what: was that me just being positive? I don’t have a photo for that…

…maybe I do? Enjoy some happy Irish heather that I dug out of a bog and moved to my garden, enjoying October sunshine. 

Ugh, Life


I’ve been MIA lately. Hubby has had a bad scare with his kidneys, out of the blue, and ended up hospitalised for a week. We still don’t know what happened to cause the injury to his kidneys, and he isn’t out of the woods yet – but is improving – albeit slowly.

It’s been scary – he is only 42 – and being in the hospital here isn’t fun. Not that it is fun anywhere, ever. I’ll just say that the nurses are fantastic, the doctors not so much.

We’ll know more next Wednesday.

In other news, our 2003 Mini (with over 140,000 miles) has now developed a new problem, which I think is a dead alternator. Two short trips, turning off the engine each time, and the third ended with click-click-click when turning the key. A new battery died immediately after another short trip, and then a longish drive to charge it up had the headlights dying, the wipers stopping mid-wipe, and the radio turning itself off. Has to be the alternator.

Poor iDJ was the one behind the wheel for all this, too. He’s barely been out of the house for a week, and this was his first time in the car by himself in two weeks, and this shit piles on his head. 

I had this same thing happen to me in the early 90’s (maybe actually in 1990) when I was hundreds of miles away from home trying to make money for my family doing a shitty jewlery sales job and driving my 1979 Datsun 210B station wagon. A dead alternator kills your car. I bought a newish one and installed it myself. No google back then, either. 

I have to go to work on Monday, and we need to go food shopping tomorrow – with no car. I really wish we had something like that old Datsun so I could make it all better with scrapyard parts, but a Mini engine compartment is so crammed with gear there isn’t any room to work. Not to mention all the computerised everything.

I guess I’m officially old when I remember the days we could fix our cars ourselves. Even when being a female with very very limited tools.

A post from me isn’t a post without a photo – so here is our first snow of winter 2015.

Isn’t it pretty? Do you see the whirlwind circle like I do?  

Sedlec Ossuary, Prague – an All Hallow’s Eve Gift


What better for Halloween eve, than a post about bones?

Human bones. Lots and lots of them.

Don’t touch, please? No problem. Can you imagine if all that collapsed?

Especially when you get an idea of how very deep the pile of bones is. 

That is an awful lot of femurs. Impresses me more than the skulls, actually. For every two you see, one person gone.

And there is art.

That’s me that is! Nine years ago, when I used to still dye my hair red (mom was a redhead, I have to have some sort of ginger-provenance).

You could touch some of the work – evidenced by the shiny patina on this skull.

So much going on here, it is hard to comprehend. This is a massive chandelier. 


Amazingly beautiful nonetheless. 

Every artist should sign their work.

Apologies for photo quality – this was 2006 and we had a serviceable but lacking camera back then. I also have to say that the smell of the place really struck me – I’m a “super smeller” and it was an odd, cold but dry smell. Like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. It wasn’t unpleasant, but distinctly odd.


Ganglion Aft A-gley


I went to the doctor today for the lump in my wrist. Said lump has come and gone for years. Usually it hangs around for a week or two and goes back into hiding. Well, this time I have had about five months of looking like I have a second ulna-knob. Hehe, I said knob. It has been aching at work, and if I whack it on something I don’t cry (I do not cry) but I get angry at the pain, which isn’t fun for anyone. 

On Sunday I tried to open a jar and not only did it bloody well hurt, it kinda popped inside my wrist in a very unsettling way. That was enough for me to give up and go for professional help. If I can’t open a damn jar, how can I do my job safely with all the lifting and pulling?
Like my new socks? How about the doggie feet? Action shot!

Doc says it is a ganglion cyst. Not the biggest she’s seen, but not the smallest either (I have another on the side of my right wrist and don’t care about that one as it is sooo weee). 

Ganglion cysts are pockets of thick goo that grow on the sheath to your tendon. Sounds fun! I can’t find the website Doc showed me, but basically you can aspirate it (suck the goo out), or you can pop it (drop a heavy-ass book on it and hope! Doc did make a quip about Bible-bashing, I swear she did! Awesome). But in either of those options, the pocket is still there and likely to refill.

So – surgery it is! It doesn’t worry me, and dudes dig scars, so I’m now on the waiting list. The question is – what should we name my passenger before I cut it out? 

Ha! No the real question is – how long is the wait? Might as well ask how long is a piece of string. I’ll know when I know, and probably with only a few days to a week of notice. Of course I had to post about it today as proof of the time frame. It will be much more interesting to see how long it takes!

I really hope I can take pictures. I totally want to see what this bad girl looks like. Any glimpse of the rest of my wrist-mechanics is also a draw for me! Stay tuned, kids!

I got It – Croagh Patrick at Sunset


I’ve been trying to get this photo for weeks. 

I’ve been taking the big camera to work with me, and bringing it inside instead of leaving it in the car because I didn’t want condensation issues. The two days that the view was similar (but better!) than this, I had forgotten to bring the damn camera to work with me. Once I drove all the way home for it. Of course, when I got back to the perfect place, I was not only too late but the battery was stone cold dead! Auugh! And of course, every day the sunset came earlier and earlier, while I still had to work until the same late hour… So you know now that this took some effort, and wasn’t just luck!

The pointy one is Croagh Patrick, County Mayo’s most famous mountain. An extinct volcano, it has been revered by the Irish for several thousand years, and is now a Catholic pilgrimage site.

From many angles the mountain also named “The Reek” doesn’t look so perfectly pyrimidical. I’ve posted a picture from this same place along the road before – back in March 2012 –  I did the research then and said that as the crow flies, I am taking this picture from about 50 KM or 30 miles away. I think the sunset magnifies the mountain somehow. It isn’t huge – 764 metres or 2,507 feet – so to be seen so clearly from so far away is a rarity. Well, I’ve only gotten it twice in over three years!

*Need I remind everyone that copyright belongs to the blog owner and this picture is not for reuse without permission? I do have it in RAW format if someone wishes to purchase it.

Gerbera Update!


They have been in bloom for weeks now, but holy shit it is hard to take a good photo of them!

Only three have bloomed – one is still thinking about it, and two died. Dammit. I won’t leave them outside ever again!

The youngest, and smallest, of the brood. 

The second one to open. Gorgeous!

This is my favourite. I want so much for you to see how the underside of the petals are a different colour. Can you? It’s impossible, I think, to capture what we see.

Sometimes a picture isn’t enough -these flowers have made me realise that not everything can be expressed or shared to the full extent of reality.

Grow these – buy these – whatever you need to do, but please try to get this flower into your life. Mine are hidden away (from cats) on the windowsill of our toilet! Have to say every time we visit the room, we both talk about the daisies.

Sometimes You Just Have To


Have to buy something that is so terrible, it is good.

This is an Official Leprechaun (the Movie) Halloween decoration. It’s one of those hanging thingies, and I don’t have a place to hang it, but it was just SO bad I had to buy it.

I just tossed the elastic over the top of the kitchen door, and it’s still there. Managed to startle iDJ once! Hehehe.

What every Irish household needs! Especially for €2.99. Who of you could resist?



Hubby came home early from the pub Saturday night.

He walked in the door, took a wobbly double take at me sitting in the living room, and promptly told me that I’m not allowed to talk to him because he is a ghost.

He’s a ghost because usually I wouldn’t have the opportunity to hear his random blather for another two hours, and I’d be asleep by then and avoid it entirely.

Somehow being an incorporeal being (instead of just, um, early home) made the most sense to him.

Love that nutter.



My sister took this photo of her daughter playing in a puddle. I think it is one of the best pictures ever.

I’m not tagging this with anything, so it doesn’t get used and abused. This is just for my friends online, to see if you love it as much as I do!