Emmy’s injury

I spent five or six hours at the emergency vet today with Emmy, who hurt her foot/leg yesterday while on squirrel patrol in the yard. It’s not broken (unless the radiologist sees more than the emergency vet did), but her foot is swollen and she’s limping. She scrapes up her feet and legs a lot in the yard, but this is the first time her limping lasted more than an hour. It’s been over 24 now. She has a slight fever and is resting a lot. I’m glad it’s not worse!

image

Meanwhile, I had planned to go to work all day but those plans were scuttled. I did some work at the vet during the long waits and now I’m still plugging away at reports here at home. Last week I was in a four-day project at work that did not allow me to get normal work done, and the previous week I was on vacation, so I feel VERY behind. Someday I’ll catch up. (I’ve been saying that for years.)

My mom had a scary medical incident a few days ago and we are all grateful she’s home and feeling good now!!

Not much else to report. I rode my bike to the Irvington Halloween Festival this weekend (funnel cake!! Did you know there is different batter for an elephant ear, which has cinnamon sugar, while the funnel cake gets powdered sugar?) and I’m working working working. Clover continues to heal. Happy Halloween tomorrow! I haven’t busted into the candy yet.

10th anniversary of deitchley.com!

April 5 is the tenth anniversary of this website! I can’t believe that much time has passed. For an example of how it looked in times past, check out old deitchley.com. I had an even older site hosted in college (I was the first person in my dorm to be able to see — get this — PICTURES on the web using my data phone in my room), but that’s been, oh, 15 some years and it makes me feel old to think about it.

Now that that’s out of the way, no real news. I’m slowly organizing things at home after being away. With every item that goes to Goodwill or the used bookstore or the shredder or the free junk spot that is our curb, my mind clears a bit. Arliss also has shared her thoughts on being back home at her blog, including a few pictures.

Come on spring! The weather here is really crazy/unpredictable compared to what it was in Ireland.

Back in the saddle?

Wow, that was a long unplanned blog break!

I am back in the United States. My year in Ireland turned out to be a year all over the place! Actually, looking at my complicated tax calendar:

I would definitely do it all again, but of course there were some low points too. I think those would have happened at home anyway so it doesn’t change my opinion of being abroad nor make me any less thankful (especially to my employer) for the experience.

I hadn’t been feeling well for a couple of months again beginning around Christmas. I guess I’ll attribute to that malaise why I haven’t been posting here, and I definitely feel better now after a bit of medical intervention in the midst of a lot of overwhelming stuff (largely managing a very demanding job with a lot of hours while trying not to be overwhelmed by another international move!). I’ve been home since early March and just now feel somewhat settled. We still have a lot of things to unpack and we haven’t properly restocked the pantry, but I’d say things are getting back to normal.

I still hope to catch up here on the missed travels, including Sweden, Tenerife, Amsterdam, Belgium, and around the rest of Ireland. I have lots more pictures to share.

Ms. Vegas bunny passed away less than a week before I got home, which was very sad. My other pets have come home now, including Arliss bunny with her much younger boyfriend (everyone is much younger when you’re an 11 year old bunny, it seems), the guinea pigs, and the frog. The dogs made it back ok and don’t seem to care where they live as long as we are with them.

Here’s to catching up!

Sea kayaking

Two weekends ago, David and I did an all day sea kayaking course. Our group picnicked on Sandycove island which got smaller and smaller as the tide came in, saw a seal poking its head out in the harbor because boats mean fishermen feeding them, and explored caves in the cliff walls from Kinsale Harbo(u)r down to the Old Head Pier. Neither of us fell in! Can’t say the same for some other guy who was adjusting his shirt one moment and slipping into the sea the next. I was INCREDIBLY exhausted the next day; not sure what was up with that but it made work a challenge.

Wildlife was mostly cormorants, jellyfish, and mussels, plus all the seagulls. Anyway the kayaking was fun but I opted out of course day 2, while David and our friend Kathleen did that this past Monday. They had to practice getting back in after intentionally falling out of the boat, and it doesn’t sound like the water was particularly comfortable even with a wet suit!

Flashback: I found a disposable 35mm camera at a petrol station (€12!) and used it during kayaking, then found a place in town that actually develops fillum. (That’s film but we can’t get over the way it’s pronounced here.) Fortunately the processing was cheaper than the camera itself. The pictures aren’t the quality I’m used to with my digital, but the risk of drowning a good camera was too high to try for snazzy photos. Also, I didn’t think paying a fortune for a special case to take my camera underwater was worth it.

And now, time to reminisce about working nights at Qualex… are they even still in business? [nope!] On busy summer nights we’d develop, print, cut, and package 40,000 rolls of film. The slowest night still had 15,000, the amount of film used by northern Indiana, southern Michigan, and a few remote MI towns that flew in their orders! The couriers would drive to every pharmacy, grocery, and photo shop within a couple hours and that’s how all your next-day and two-day processing happened. Didn’t matter if you took it to Target or Kroger: same place made it into prints.

At the time I couldn’t predict there wouldn’t be a market for any of it just a few years later. Those nights in factories make me appreciate where I am now! I did enjoy that kind of work, though.

Here you go, scanned fillum photos!

Does Egon drink Guinness?

Our second day in Dublin (last weekend) included a trip to the Guinness brewery. Here’s how a conversation went after seeing the old flower ad above: How do you define flourish? Then looked up fleur de lis. That’s the symbol of the Three Musketeers. They were in Slumdog Millionaire: what were their names? Athos, Porthos, and had to look up the other one. Aramis, but can only think of someone in Ghostbusters… Harold Ramis!

Ireland is a country in love with its courgettes and aubergines. Now, I thought I loved zucchini and eggplant, but darn it, I’m getting tired of them. At home every token veg dish is pasta and here it’s pasta with aubergines or some other variation of aubergines with courgettes tossed in for good measure. Hasn’t anyone heard of BEANS? I miss beans.

There are no screens in the windows. Cheerios taste like sugar cereal here and are marketed by Nestle, not General Mills.

The letter Z is pronounced zed here. We have a lot of abbreviations and acronyms at work, so I hear zed just about every day. And I always think of General Zod from Superman II.

I found this handy from Wiktionary: (Latin script letter names) letter; a, bee, cee, dee, e, ef, gee, aitch, i, jay, kay, el, em, en, o, pee, cue, ar, ess, tee, u, vee, double U, ex, wye, zee/zed. But I’d also like to note that H is not aitch here, but rather haitch, so it’s p-haitch at work and spelling my name includes haitch in the middle too.

I’m sure it’s not dominating the US TV and water coolers like it does here, but the World Cup is going on in South Africa right now. The Irish folks at work said they would be rooting for the US since they didn’t want to root for England. We get a lot of British TV so I’m seeing a lot of support for England as it is. David and I watched the England/USA match last night and I still think soccer is boring. Somehow the US is considered to have “won” even though it was a tie game. And there was this horrible buzzing noise from the crowds the whole time. Oh well, I’m going to have to live here longer to understand this one.

Some good news from the States:
California bans plastic bags
Pet-friendly license plate will be available next year in Indiana!

Albuquerque bans companion animal sales in pet shops: “Since the ban started, animal adoptions have increased 23 percent and euthanasia at city shelters has decreased by 35 percent.”

And yes, I get almost all my news from Facebook.

Pack, purge, panic

Some random thoughts to prove I’m still alive.

I did indeed have cadaver bone put in during my osteomyelitis treatment! It was irradiated, powdered, and mixed with what is basically plaster of Paris, but it still sounds exotic. Unfortunately I’ve had some additional dental pain recently. You’d think I traumatized my teeth or something.

Arliss had her fourth surgery a week ago (vet and I agreed she didn’t need a CT scan after all) and she’s doing great! She even gained weight in the last two weeks.

Loving the Indy Winter Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. The place is PACKED and I love seeing cyclists with panniers riding in the snow! Note: the local chickens went on strike when it got super cold the last couple of weeks, so eggs were harder to come by. I like being able to get a half dozen a month since we don’t use more than that, and then I can take the carton back to the farmer to use again.

I discovered recently-reopened El Sol de Tala. This town has more Mexican (I use that as a geographic/ethnic term loosely) restaurants than you can imagine, but this one place stands out. They even have a veggie menu. It’s not the same old enchiladas anymore, people!

Following a craving, I had French toast at Denny’s, and even if they hadn’t ruined it with cinnamon and powdered sugar, it still was nowhere as good as Dad’s. He also blows away every pancake on earth.

I’ve finally heard from some of the relocation folks and the target start date in Ireland is March 1. There’s so much to do that it’s hard not just to plop on the couch with 81 SVU reruns on Tivo and ignore the obvious (that’s how many were scheduled in this two week period). One of my current focuses (okay, foci) is pantry raid: use up all the groceries that line our cupboards and freezer. In the past week we had breakfasty stuff to use up biscuits and fake sausages and last night I made chik’n and rice casserole. My freezer has several fake meat products that I’ve always kept as backup, but usually have been creative enough not to need for most cooking. I see a lot of chili in our future for the ground ‘beef’ crumbles…