Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Autumn Wreaths

Although it may feel like summer is still lingering, and there are those who refuse to concede to the change in the air, the fall season is officially upon us. This is one of my favorite times of year, when the trees bursts into flame-like color and the air grows crisp and fragrant. So to embrace this change I decided to make a wreath, and welcome Autumn whole heartedly. (above) My supplies. There was a sale at the craft store, so I stalked up flowers, and the harvest inspired squash and gourds. Also, the grapevine wreaths were only two dollars! So I decided to have twice the fun and make two wreaths.
Tah-dah! Behold my creations. (Aren't I dramatic?!?) I am pleased with how they turned out. I really liked how simple they looked without adding ribbon, so now I have extra ribbon for another project down the line. The flower wreath is now hanging in my husband's office as part of our fall decor, and I figure in November for the "Thanksgiving Month" I'll hang the one which was inspired by food.
I really enjoy crafting for multiple reasons, but recently, and I know I've said this before, but recently, when ever I create something with my hands I can't help but think about my Aunt, and how she inspired me. I feel close to her when I'm surrounded by projects.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hope

I use this blog to share with friends and family, both near by and far away, things that have meaning in my life, moments worth remembering, and events worthy of retelling. For the most part this blog is fairly superficial, highlighting the joyous occasions. However, in the past year there have been times when I have used my writings as more of a therapy to release frustrations, or deliver sad news.

I am aware that I have asked for more than my fair share of your attention, goodwill, and prayers, and for all of that I am truly grateful. This year has tested my strengths to the limit, and I attribute part of my resilience because of the help and concerns I've gotten from those who care.

I've said in the past year that I've learned to ask for help. I still struggle with it on a daily basis, but this morning I really felt a need to let you into my world, and share my request. My grandmother, my Nana, has been diagnosised with stage three colon cancer. She will start radiation therapy this Monday. After weeks of this, she will then move to chemotherapy, and if these two methods do not work, they will have to perform surgery. Nana is being as brave as she can be, and I'm truly inspired by her strength.

I have asked for your prayers so many times this year, but I now come to you once again, humbling asking for them to help ease my grandmother's suffering. She lost her daughter only three months ago, and now she dealing with this. The amount of physical pain she is in would make many crumble, and the overwhelming emotional anguish from losing her child is never ending.

The video message below was one that rang in my ears this morning. I share it with you now, and ask that you simply listen to the talk being given. It's not very long, less than three minutes, but the message is powerful. It helped me reaffirm that He does hear us, and He is by our side in times of need. Thank you for all your support once again.

Friday, September 11, 2009

FYI

Just in case I haven't shared the news, I'm back in school now, after taking year off for my shoulder to heal from three surgeries. (I still have one surgery to go, but I have planned it for my winter break, so it shouldn't interfere with my studies.) I'm a student at Kean University, studying Speech-Language Pathology and Deaf Studies. I've got to dust off those cobwebs in my brain that have formed during my year sabbatical. hee hee

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Our journey


Just a little side note for those who are interested. Here is a map of Ireland, and if you follow the blue line in alphabetical order you can follow our journey through Ireland! Have fun.

Luck of the Irish?

Christian and I have returned from our trip to Ireland. It was truly a vacation that we will never forget. That being said, by all means it was probably one of the most exhausting vacations we have ever been on. I won't go into detail, but lets just say, missing a plane, being a day behind because of it, flat tire hours before we leave for Ireland, getting from Dublin's airport to our hotel while driving on the left side of the street in a monster of a car, which was a stick shift, with no street signs and everything written in Gaelic, returning the rental car because it's too big, another flat tire, this time in the middle of Ireland on the second day of our trip, the tire shop is closed till the morning, and on the flight home mechanical issues with the plane, so we were delayed over five hours.

Other than that, it was simply beautiful!

I took so many photos that I feel that easiest way to view them would be through my ever popular collage method. If you wish to see them closer up, simply click on the collage and it should enlarge.Christian wanted to visit the Guinness factory, where not only did we learn about Arthur Guinness and his 9000 year lease of 45 acres in Dublin for 45 pounds a year! (Smart move!) but Christian learned how to pour the perfect pint. Needless to say I gave Christian my ticket for my glass. We toured the Kilmainham Gaol, a prison that opened it doors in 1796 and held inmates till it closed it's doors in 1924. If it looks familiar to you, it has been used in many motion pictures.A few of the sights along the way. The big picture of the mall above was where Christian and I stopped to use the "facilities" only to learn that there is a charge of 20 cents to relieve yourself.Our tiny little car, which Christian later named the silver bullet. Castles and Cathedrals strune about Ireland's country side.This is Corkscrew Hill. It's a breath taking view from the top, but reaching the top is quite the nail biter. See the road doing a tight switch back? The roads are extremely narrow and the bus drivers are fearless. This is a dangerous combination.

Corkscrew Hill does have a great pay off though. Once you reach the top, and travel a few more kilometers, you arrive at the Cliffs of Moher! Words could hardly capture the essence of such a wonder. The wind gusts are strong enough to knock a small child off their feet. The sound of the waves crashing into the cliff side is so thunderous. Even the salt spray defies gravity, rising hundreds of feet to gently kiss your face as you gaze out into the open vast ocean. We visited the Ashford Castle which was built in 1229! This place is simply jaw dropping. It's huge, and stunning, and truly medieval engineering at it's finest!After leaving the Ashford Castle was were surprised to stumbled upon an old ruin what once was an Abby.One of the shots I'm proud of.

From the ruined Abby to the Kylemore Abby, which to this day still house the Nuns of St. Benedict. Again, the sheer beauty was astounding. Who wouldn't love to live in this setting? Kylemore Cathedral. The stone work was so delicate it looked like lace. Their working garden was a place of true peace and serenity. They grow everything from simple flowers for their table tops, to medicinal herbs, and every vegetable imaginable. This is a sport that I'm sure many of you have never heard of it. It's called Hurling. It's a tough sport with some very interesting rules. Players need to balance a tiny ball on their paddle as they run down field, then they hit the ball like I baseball either to another player who catches it and can only turn to their left in a circle, or they try to score a goal by hitting it into the net. It's very popular. We drove down to the Dingle Peninsula, which is a working fisherman's wharf. The village was so quaint that Christian and I feel in love with it, spending the entire day there.We also took a boat out into the bay, and were greeted by a local celebrity. For 26 years a dolphin has lived within bay. He resides in the small caves in the cliff side, and during the day he swims out and plays in the wake from the boats. We were lucky enough to see him.
Press the play button
video
One of our last stops was a visit to a limestone cave near Shannon. Crag Cave. Of course I had always heard about the lush rolling green hills, and the ocean front, but never have I heard of caves in Ireland, so I was intrigued. In a way it made me feel like I was home in Oregon.
Like I said, the trip was truly memorable. It had it's moments of frustrations, but over all the wondrous and magical spirit of Ireland took a hold of us and showed us why so many people dream of visiting.