happy (belated, kind of) birthday to me!

by grace on May 25, 2016

yesterday was my birthday, and it was certainly…different.  i worked in the morning, we had a tasty sushi lunch, and later in the day i went to rehearsal.  no cake at all!  but that’s ok, because cake is going to happen later.

maybe i’ve mentioned it – we’re doing “the dixie swim club” again, this time at Theatre in the Park at New Salem.  I’m excited about doing the show outside.  last night during rehearsal, when i was supposed to be focusing on the scene i was in, i was enjoying looking at the clouds changing color in the sky.

this morning, as a day-after-birthday treat to myself, i’m taking a break from posting about wales to try to get caught up on posts about life here in the present.

well, at least i have some photos of april, so that’s a little bit more current anyway.

i love this shot of chester, who looks like he’s going to start writing.  gee, i shoulda photoshopped all the junk on the counter out…or better yet, i should have cleaned the counter!


lester, on his jungle gym.


i’d like to post a chronological group of these photos, because the hostas are getting bigger and bigger – if i wasn’t so lazy at the moment, i’d get up and take a picture of them so you could see how they look now.  this was taken on april 30th.


this was also taken on april 30th, cute tiny little goslings.


and this was on may 3rd, but i don’t think the goslings got this big this fast, this is another set of them.


mom and aunt sandy went with amy to a zumba event for breast cancer awareness, so mom and sandy got to see what an awesome insructor amy is!  i had rehearsal and couldn’t go.


jill’s cute dogs, after a hot walk.  they get hot pretty quickly, these giant bernese mountain dogs.


when we walked one day i saw this bush with these lovely yellow flowers, and i sure wish i knew what they were.


jill suggested that we walk to rehearsal from her house, so we did that every time we rehearsed downtown.  it was about a three mile walk, and a nice way to get some exercise and relax before rehearsal.


lester, in his backyard.  all that bare ground on the left is now sprouting some new grass, but the unsightly mass of dirt on the right is still there, plus the grass has grown soooo high.  in order to mow, i’d have to unseal the gate which kevin thoroughly secured because les was escaping again.  i also need to bring in lots more mulch, so all of that will have to happen.  but not today.


while working back there on saturday may 7th, i got bitten on the eyelid by a buffalo gnat.  they were swarming around like crazy, and it was pretty annoying, but i just kept working diligently.  after an hour, though, it started to swell.


i kept thinking it’d shrink, but instead it grew at an alarming rate.  i’d go inside every once in a while to check on it, then i’d go back out and work.  but in a few hours it got so big that i decided maybe we should go to the walk-in clinic.


the doctor gave me a steroid shot and put me on a 9-day regime of prednisone.  i assumed that the steroid would start working right away, but this is what it looked like by nine that night.


i sent jill the photo and she said DELETE THAT PHOTO!

it actually looked even worse the next morning, but then it got better and i’m already forgetting about it.  i mean, it was NOTHING like the over 100 yellow jacket stings i got all over my body a couple years ago.

i’m kind of sensitive to bug bites and stings.  i’ve been using more bug spray lately.

look at this lovely little cabin in the woods – it belong to my neighbor bernice’s daughter debbie, and it’s right in her back yard!  she has a big lot with woods in the back, and i’d love to see it someday.


toun’s sister came to visit her – Doyin is from nigeria, but she works for all kinds of relief efforts worldwide.  she’d just been at harvard, doing some training with a bunch of US army and navy or marines.  they were working on survival skills if they got kidnapped.  she was so cheerful about it, and said it was a fun time!


and finally, the last photo in this random collection, i happened to see this charming family swimming by as i was down at the dock.


and that was just on may 10th, so i’m almost caught up with the month, and now i have over an hour of free time for more yard work before work and everything else.

ok then, i hope your wednesday is good,



i forgot to post this video after the entries about the day.  I took some video as we drove around, and i think it’s kind of scenic.  Too much driving!  But we arrived safely in Glendalough in the late afternoon.

it’s funny that the screenshot for the video is the sign for Hollywood Ireland!  it’s not so easy to see when watching the video because we went speeding past it, so i’m glad you can see it here.


we’d reached the summit of the mountain in Glendalough, Ireland, and felt good about reaching it.  but there was a long path down, and a gentle rain was falling, that crazy soft rain that i described before –

we passed a big group of french people who were huddled under a rock, eating their lunch.  we’d gotten a packed lunch from our Riversdale House B&B, but we didn’t see any spot that might be nice for sitting and eating.  but see down there, waaay down below on the right…that’s where we were headed.  it looked like it was probably a nice smooth path down there.




uh oh, dangerous cliffs!  this was a different sign from the ones we saw in wales, and this didn’t seem terribly dangerous either, unless you were suddenly drunk and careening all over the place.


a stream coming down the mountain.


it’s just so beautiful…i think i was more focused on not slipping off the path than thinking about the incredible beauty.




we hiked down and down and down, and i wonder if i have any video of the craziness that we encountered when we got all the way down to the path that looked flat from above?  because it was the opposite of flat – the path was filled with many, many huge rocks that we had to scramble over and around.  i think this spot is higher than the rocky part, but this is the kind of rocks were were navigating on the “path,” which seemed to go on forever.


over an hour passed between that last picture and this one, so that was the scrambling and me saying “WHEN is this going to be over?”  there weren’t nearly as many people on this part of the path, and i’m pretty sure we encountered at least one couple who was coming in the opposite direction and wondering what it was like and we were able to say DON’T GO THIS WAY!

here, we were around on the other side of the lake and by this time we were pretty darn hungry, even though i’m sure we snacked as we hiked.


across the lake was kevin’s bed…not my kevin, but st. kevin.


i don’t think there’s any way to see the spot up close unless maybe you had a little boat.


we finally found a dry bench to snarf down our cheese sandwiches.


it was pretty over on this side of the lake, too, with so many ferns everywhere.


we finally made it all the way back to our b&b, and it felt like the most exhausting hike we’d done.  even though we finally had some lunch, we were still pretty hungry, but too tired to march back to the inn for some dinner.  instead, we had some camping oatmeal, and some fruit, cookies and chocolate we’d bought in Kilkenny.

and i had to take these two pictures, to illustrate one difference between kevin and me.

here’s my stuff from my suitcase:


and here’s kevin’s.  neat and tidy, not like the big slob that is me.


oh, and here’s the sad kitty on the roof, desperate to get inside.  even though the owner told us not to let her in, i should have let her in!  hopefully she’s doing well, there in her remote little corner of ireland.


poor kitty!


although i guess it isn’t really such a remote part of ireland; glendalough and st. kevin’s monastary and cemetery and all get lots  and lots of tourists every year.  it’s pretty close to dublin, one reason why it’s so popular.


ok then,

mrs. g. hughes.



we started our morning at the charming Riversdale House B&B, happy that there would be no driving at all today.  instead, we’d be doing a lot of hiking.  the weather looked a little gloomy, but that was OK.  kevin had healthy oatmeal…


but i opted for a big fry-up including delicious sausage and black pudding.  i’m glad i had such a big meal, because it was a long day of hiking.


we crossed over the big rocks across the stream and headed down the lovely little road towards glendalough.  Once again we passed this stone, and i tried to get a decent photo of it.


kevin decided to walk all the way over and find out what it was.  i figured that this would be a long hike and i didn’t want to waste my energy.  what was it?  maybe kevin will let us know, since i can’t remember.


it would be great to take this lovely walk into town all the time.  btw, this morning we started our hike at the crack of…eleven-ish.



we stopped at the visitor center, but i really don’t think we even went inside.  we passed all the St. Kevin’s stuff, and were a little surprised to see many tour busses parked in the parking lot, and the place was crawling with people.  this made us happy that we’d had such a peaceful and quiet look around the night before.

we got a map and figured out the route we’d like to take – i think it might have been a 9k distance.  there were throngs of people at first, all kind of people in all kinds of foot gear, including women in shoes that were totally inappropriate for walking.  we weren’t too pleased that the crowd was so think, but as we walked higher, the crowd thinned.


after about an hour we got to the 600 steps.  they’re made of railroad planks, and they were covered with a thick mesh so we wouldn’t slip.  that’s a whole lotta steps.


there weren’t so many people at this point, but there were still others, and of course we were totally spoiled from walking on the almost-deserted pembrokeshire coast path.  and most of these hikers were groups, and many were from other countries.  i think these people up ahead were german.


somehow i did manage to get a shot of the empty path, but it was mostly not empty at all.  but it was really beautiful and quiet.


we reached this magnificent spot at about an hour and a half into the walk, and thought this was the top.


i think a french guy took this picture of us.


we walked across more planks, and a very fine rain started to fall.  they call it a “soft” rain, and it’s unique – you can see it coming down, but if you hold out your hand, you can’t feel it because it’s so delicate.

the only problem with the narrow planks is that we kept encountering people coming the other way, and somebody had to step down into the bog on either sog, and it was a very boggy bog.


after another half hour we reached the real peak, and it was quite something.


a perfect photo op!  ta da!


we could see the path way way down below us and i marveled at the fact that i’d managed to make it up so far.  but boy, that looked like a long way down…

more soon.

ok then,

mrs. wednesday hughes.




the end of our first day in Ireland, Wednesday, August 19th

May 14, 2016

and looking back on it, that first day was a little bit crazy with the many different things going on, driving and castle and walking around Kilkenny and then on to Glendalough. Here’s kevin in front of our lovely Riversdale B&B.  they didn’t serve dinner, and the only place to get a bite to eat was […]

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Wednesday, August 19th – first day in Ireland

May 13, 2016

we started our day with a delicious breakfast at the charming Archways B&B, conveniently located right up the road from Rosslare Harbour. they have their own animals and garden and everything, so it’s all homemade.  i had both black and white pudding, a poached egg and some delicious sausage. black pudding is made from pork fat […]

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video from Tuesday, August 18th

May 9, 2016

lots of travel today, from St. David’s to Marloes by bus, from Marloes to Pembroke Dock by car, by ferry across to Rosslare Harbour, Ireland, and then one more rental car. to our B&B.      

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Sailing from Wales to Ireland, Tuesday, August 18th

May 7, 2016

once i came back inside on the Irish Ferry, there was a four-hour ride ahead of us,  so i decided to run all around looking at things.  it’s funny, because it was a large ship, but nothing like the grand Queen Mary 2. This is an historic moment, because kevin is reading a map!  that’s […]

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Tuesday, August 18th – lots of travel, ending up in Ireland

May 5, 2016

we had to get up early to catch the bus to get back to our b&b in Marloes where we’d left the car.  but first – a delicious breakfast at our lovely Coach House B&B.  eggs benedict with spinach instead of ham.  dang, i need to review on trip advisor all the places we stayed on […]

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Monday, August 17th, a brief clip of St. David’s, and then hiking the Pembrokeshire Path north, including Coasteering

May 4, 2016

finally, finally, another video of our Wales trip.  my new goal is to get everything posted before a year has passed since we went.  i think this is attainable. i did take photos of St. David’s Cathedral, and lots of photos of the Bishop’s Palace ruins next door, but i must have been over it […]

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