Falconry at Adare Manor Castle Hotel in Ireland

IMG_2060I’ve always been fascinated by eagles, falcons, and owls. They are powerful and mysterious. So, I was excited when my ex/husband suggested that after our daughter’s graduation (University of Limerick) that we head over to Adare Manor Castle Hotel (Adare, Ireland) for some Falconry and Archery.

Right now, they are doing a lot of refurbishing at Adare Manor, so, I was unable to take a picture to share with you.

Our Falconry Instructor was a nice fellow. He had a variety of birds for us to look at. First, he would tell us about the bird. Then with heavy glove on he assisted us to hold the birds, being very careful of their feet/talons. With the falcons, we could FEEL the strength in their feet through the glove. When they go for their prey, watch out!

Sometimes in photography, we get a FUNNY shot. For example, if you look at this owl, at first glance the owl appears to have headphones on, BUT then if you zoom in, you’ll see that when I took the photo, the eagle was directly behind the owl. Very amusing!

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Here are a few more photos I thought you might enjoy. Owls have amazing eyes! I have never seen one up close, have you?

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Next, a falconry show must have a falcon, right. Here you go…

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Now, this owl had enormous FEET.

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Finally, the Eagle…

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And for the grand finale… drum roll please… I bet you were wondering how I did in Archery. Well, I got a bulls eye, right in the middle of the apple – 3 times too! I have two brothers, so you KNOW I’ve been bragging about my Archery skills! A friendly bit of competition is good.

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Ireland is beautiful and a lot of fun. Similar to Seattle with the weather and they really enjoy their outdoor sports, I like that.

The Falconry fellow said Adare Manor should be open to the public November 2017. THEN we can go back for Trap Shooting! I smiled and thought, “Good marketing! I’m on board for that!”

Self help – “Elf-help books” (Indiana -> Ireland)

IMG_2523Life is interesting, we come across certain things when we need them. For example, I was reading a Blog called, “It Starts with Me,” where the blogger had a personal post called, “Anxiety of the Unknown.” She tells the story of her fiancé who signed a sports contract that led them to a move across the world to the UK. After getting adjusted to a new life in England, her fiancé suffered a sports injury and as they await the results of the MRI, she is faced with the “unknown” of their future, which is worrisome.

When I went walking, I had her story on my mind.

I came upon a bookstore in Limerick (Ireland). I was amused when I saw these “small” books with little Elfs on them. Turns out they are “Elf-help Books” that have been around since 1987. They are illustrated by R.W. Alley, who is known for his Paddington Bear illustrations.

Imagine my surprise to learn that these books are published in Indiana, not Ireland. Sadly, Abbey Press Printing closed in June 2017. Not clear if there is a new Publisher, but books are still being sold on Amazon.

The “Worry” book caught my attention. This would be PERFECT for my Fellow Blogger who is concerned about the “unknown.”

Here are a few pages to read.

We all have worries in life. Somehow, I was brought to these books by a “little Elf.” They have adult and children Elf-help books.

If you were able to zoom in and read the pages I’ve shared with you, you can see that the worry message is simple, short and motivating. The illustrations are adorable in an innocent old fashioned way.

You can visit “Elf-help Books” at www.elf-help.com. 

I just read on Wikipedia that Abbey Press Printing was started in 1867 by Saint Meinrad Archabbey, who are Benedictine Monks in Southern Indiana. They’ve been marketing their products around the world and can be found in 25 English speaking countries. More than 20 foreign companies are licensed to print books in other languages.

So, the big question is “WHY, after 150 years, did they have to close their printing press this year?”

Artist, Bordalo II, honors the endangered “Red Squirrel” in Dublin, Ireland

IMG_1633When I sold advertising, I was always canvassing the San Francisco Bay Area for “prospects” to call on. If I was not scanning through magazines for new advertisers, I was in my car sitting in traffic writing down “potential advertiser names” from trucks that would go by (flooring, landscaping, security systems, Google delivery, and more). You’d be amazed at how many potential advertisers you can find just sitting at a traffic light. Finally, I NEVER forgot to look at “billboards.”

Once something is taught, it stays with us. Even now, years later, I STILL find myself looking at advertising. I enjoy a great ad.

You can imagine my wonderment, here in Dublin, when I looked up to see a billboard of a HUGE Squirrel! Clearly, this was made out of trash from the junk yard. What kind of advertisement was this?

Here is a close up of the squirrel, so you can appreciate the details. Look at the squirrel’s fingers, his whiskers, his legs and tail that match in fuzziness, and the detail in his eye. BUT what is he carrying or trying to eat? I can’t figure that out.

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My next thought was… WHO created this? Google to the rescue.

Artur Bordalo (aka, Bordalo II) is an environmental art sculpturist/street artist from Lisbon. He uses paint and trash (chicken wire, tires, appliances, car parts, toys, plastics and more) to create his 3-D masterpieces. Through his art, he wants to bring awareness to waste, how it’s causing pollution and harm to our planet and the animals he creates.

For sure, we are noticing Bordalo’s street art, it is on such a grand scale. I “hope” that we go beyond just “smiling” though and actually do something to help the environment.

IS ANYONE FAMILIAR WITH HIS WORK?

FOUNDATION? – I could not find anything indicating that he has a Foundation where we could support his global environmental mission. His art is still new, maybe a Foundation will come in the future. If you know of anything, please share with us.

View more of Bordalo’s work on Facebook. His sculptures are around the world, i.e. a rat in Paris, a snow leopard in Russian, a turtle in Canada, a frog in Italy… it’s endless. Each one spectacular!

A little bit of Paris in Dublin!

IMG_1653Today it was late afternoon and I was looking for a place to take a break, rest my feet and get some tea. I looked across the street and felt like I was in Paris when I saw “Le Petit Parisien.” You know a place is good when you walk in and it is vey crowded.

They had different desserts to choose from, I chose a lemon meringue. Here is what arrived, lovely and delicious. I’ll have to ask my Seattle Blogger friend, “Travel-Gourmand,” how this bakery compares to her write up on Seattle Bakeries. If you are headed to Seattle, you’ll want to see her post, “Seattle Bakery Recommendations.”

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An Irish fellow Blogger (Hope I can find her name and thank her.) recommended I try a place called, “Queen of Tarts.” I tried to go there, but it was raining and people had taken shelter inside… good plan!

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There are a lot of wonderful cafes/bakeries to go to.

Makes me wonder, if there is ONE FOODIE BLOGGER out there who has focused on visiting/writing about different cafes around the world. I’d love to see a Blog focused on that.

Anyone have cafe recommendations for Vienna? It’s on my Bucket List.

By the way, I looked up “cafe” to see if it had to have an accent or not. Sounds like BOTH work. What does the Chicago Manual of Style say?

Now, how do I find that specific cafe Blogger? Does this Blogger exist?

 

 

Back in Ireland… Keep your rosary handy when crossing the street.

FullSizeRender 2I’m back in Dublin and I am THANKFUL for these messages painted on the cross walks. I almost got hit by a car. I forgot they drive on the LEFT side (wrong side) of the road! Or like a funny Pub goer said, “Depending on how many beers someone has they might drive on any side of the road.”

As you can see, they must have had this issue in the past with foreigners crossing when they shouldn’t, because they CLEARLY write, “Look LEFT” or “Look RIGHT.” This is full proof. Thank goodness!

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My daughter has been living in Ireland for 4 years, so she’s an expert at walking fast and just crossing at a moments notice. I find it amusing when she reaches the other side of the street and looks back at me with the expression of, “Mama, WHAT are you doing over there?”

THEN, like a true Italian, I give her a frustrated look while I move my hands pointing to this huge commuter train that could have smooshed me and that I was “trying” to STAY ALIVE! We both chuckle at that!

On a lighter note, here is a map of the main part of Dublin. I think you can probably enlarge it. Then you will see that I was exploring the Trinity College area.

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IMG_4415I was looking into taking the “Hop On, Hop Off” tour bus. As I was doing this, I heard Italians speaking. There was a big group of them. Made me think of my Mom. They told me they were from Milan.

Which reminds me. When I was at the airport there was a Spanish speaking woman in front of me. It didn’t look like she had flown before, because she asked me “in Spanish,” if I could help her. I spoke to her in Italian (some words are similar) and moved my hands to show her that she needed to take her shoes off, throw water bottle away, put her purse in her main bag, etc. She was sweet and hugged me. It is a bit stressful, even if we are a seasoned traveler, because we are trying to get through the x-ray machine at the same time our carry on comes out.

It feels good to help someone! That good feeling stays with us for a couple of days!

The week is not over… SHARE YOUR STORY of helping someone!

 

Enjoying nature, finding love…

IMG_0885Isn’t there that saying that “you never know what you might find?” Well, I can say it is TRUE. I was walking on the beach with the goal of getting exercise. There weren’t many stones or shells, so I was walking at a good pace.

Suddenly, I reached an area full of rocks, shells, wood and so on. Having to walk slower, I decided to look at the rocks to see if there was anything interesting. As a child, we were always collecting Indian beads. The goal was to find Indian beads with holes in them, so we could make a necklace. As you can see from the rock photo, we really had to “search” to find just “one” Indian bead, but it was FUN!

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Feeling like a kid again, I started my hunt for an Indian bead. LOW AND BEHOLD, I looked down and saw this piece of glass in the shape of a HEART. I picked it up and turned it in different directions, verifying that my eyes were not deceiving me and SMILED. Yes, it was indeed the shape of a heart!

What a special find!

So, when I say, “finding LOVE,” it felt that way. My “own heart” grew 100 times at that moment. A reminder to appreciate life and that love is around us.

Moral of the story… go out, take a moment to really enjoy nature AND feel like a kid again! You might find your special heart too!

Great post on removing friction! Go for the GOLD!

IMG_1601We’ve all been there, we are trying to make progress on our goals, but we feel there is too much “friction” around us. I’ve been feeling that way, I even looked outside last night to see if there was a Full Moon going on. I noticed the days are getting shorter already, summer is almost over. BUT Fall means we are in the “home stretch.” The count down to December 31 is approaching. WHAT will I still accomplish in 2017?

As I was focusing on this BIG question, I saw an email come in from a fellow Blogger named, “Tynan,” writing about “Removing Friction.” I’ve been following him for a few years. His message today was right on target, he talked about getting rid of FRICTION. There MUST be a full moon, you see he was feeling “angst” too!

He’s a goal oriented guy, always trying to improve his life or situation. I was raised that way too, so I appreciate his message today. Read it, feel encouraged!

He doesn’t tell us anything we don’t know. The reason the message was motivating to me was because I am on a similar path of getting rid of “friction” in my life, so I can BETTER focus on important goals.

Friction = Fears

Get rid of fears, get rid of friction.

My Dad had no time for fears. As soon as they crop up, deal with them he would say! It’s your life, if you want to cry in a corner and feel sorry for yourself, so be it. You are a grown up, I’m not here to coddle you. You are the ONLY one to change your life!

Fears are anything that hold us back. Like Tynan says in his post, it can be as simple as buying a new set of pliers to get a job done, organizing our files, cleaning out clutter, creating a spread sheet, hanging those curtains, negotiating a new phone plan, etc. Make a list of ALL the things you have been avoiding, and tackle each one head on!

Let’s have a goal… by Monday ALL frictions are removed!

Like this guy on his motorcycle taking that tight corner, we are going to tackle our fears “head on!”

We’ve GOT THIS!  We are “In the RACE to WIN it.” We are going for the GOLD, not Silver or Bronze — GOLD, we are Olympians!

Post your goal below… THINK of December 31… and THEN own it!

Let’s see who gets to the FINISH line first!