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!

Not going anywhere

Not only did Vienna not happen, but Prague didn’t either! We went to the airport on Saturday morning and our first flight was delayed four hours (not like they let us know until after we had checked in and the departure times came and went twice), which meant we would miss our connecting flight, which meant we may as well go home and forget it. And that’s what we did after I came to terms with no other options except staying overnight in Manchester (for hotel cost) to hopefully get on the next Prague flight Sunday afternoon for an extra couple hundred bucks, which would leave us less than 24 hours in Prague. I lost plenty of money on flights and hotels (which no travel insurance could help, since it doesn’t kick in until you are delayed for more than 24 hours), but I think I’m over it. Mostly.

Another weekend in icy Kinsale.

Then I got sick Sunday night anyway and stayed in bed all day Monday, so it was just as well to be stuck at home. Still bitter, though.

I was able to rebook one flight for free but it had to be back from Amsterdam, so that’s where we’re going next weekend! I hope. It was on our list too, but I’m sad we missed Vienna and Prague.

We took Emmy to the vet tonight and she has protein in her urine. PRAY it’s not her kidneys!! Waiting on bloodwork now.

Now nursing my white-spotted throat with fake Nyquil from the States! hooray

So much for Vienna

The lovely snow and winter harbor from our balcony

We were supposed to fly to Vienna today, but London Gatwick is closed due to snow so our flights were canceled and I went to work instead. Bummer! We’re trying to salvage the second half of the trip by flying on Saturday to Prague, but who knows what the weather will be doing. Let’s hope whatever it’s doing it won’t do it in Manchester.

Emmy stole a tub of butter tonight. Two nights ago she swiped a roll of paper towels and thoroughly enjoyed unrolling and tearing the sheets. Yesterday was her third birthday and I don’t think she stole anything!

Finish line

Well, I think I made it through NaBloPoMo. The weather in Ireland turned cold a week ago and is now snowy and icy. They actually kicked us out of work early and two of three roads away from the plant were immediately blocked by jacknifed trucks. It took me an hour to drive my ten minute commute yesterday because an inch of snow became ice-rink roads. If they treated the roads it would have been fine. And if anyone knew how to drive on “slippy” roads it would have been better, but most locals are trying to go 5-10 mph and then they can’t get up the slick hills. There was a work email advising us to avoid routes with hills. hahahahahaha

Bad weather is all relative: I think this is only the second time in 30 years they closed work early due to snow, and the grass wasn’t even covered when we left. The roads were slushy but fine, but when all that freezes tonight… yuck. I’m kind of glad I went in Sunday to get some work done because this is a three day week for me as it is, and now I’m not as far behind with my projects. A guy at lunch said his kid was 11 before he even saw snow, so I believe it doesn’t happen often! I advised my fellow diners to take home cafeteria trays for their sledding pursuits. Other parts of the country received a LOT of snow so I guess our inch here and there isn’t so bad. But listening to the radio amuses me: today a weather person tried to explain why it felt a lot colder than it was when the wind was blowing (“we call that wind chill!”), there was a proud report of AN actual plow in the western part of the county, and we are getting lots of advice about dealing with the “bitterly cold” temperatures. Oooh… sometimes it drops to upper 20s!

David walked into town for pints with a friend but I opted for a nap on the couch with a Walter foot-warmer. Walter’s been puking for a couple of days and I hope he’s feeling better before we hop a plane Thursday for our next adventure. I also hope the bad weather doesn’t ground our plane!

I’ve got about two posts of pictures left from Spain, so may as well finish those too!

ongoing account of May trip to Spain

When we left the Alhambra to explore Granada, we found flamenco dancers and dressed up horses and riders everywhere. There were celebrations in the streets and several decorated crosses in plazas, which I think must have been our accidental visit during Dia de la Cruz (Day of the Cross) and related May celebrations, May Crosses. We had seen some decorated crosses in Málaga too but there was more of a party going on in Granada.

The last picture is our triumph over hours of wandering to find the ‘right’ food, which I’ll just say was my companions’ attempt to find ‘authentic’ food at some pricepoint I didn’t care about, while still trying to accommodate something I could eat. In the end I wouldn’t say I liked this food, but I’m glad I ate somewhere that was local and representative of the culture and that means it was still a good experience.

The ocean’s fecking free, mate

An Irish Thanksgiving meal: actually it was five Americans and a British guy, who has been quoted as saying the title of this post, which I think had something to do with not paying to swim in a pool. He had pumpkin pie for the first time (made with pumpkin we had our visitors bring from the States because you can’t get canned pumpkin here).

Our Irish coworkers wished us happy Thanksgiving way more times than I’ve ever heard it in the US and asked if we were going to take vacation days. Seeing as how it’s freezing cold here and there’s nothing to do in Ireland in November, we just went to work!

Emmy ate all the bread off the counter again today but we managed to have a nice spread and even heard Alice’s Restaurant on internet radio. Now it’s time for bed!

The first one’s my favorite

Phoning it in tonight… tired from work and visitors. Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow in the States! David’s mom is here and is cooking a dead bird. I made a pumpkin pie and Emmy the dog stole a loaf of bread from the counter, bread crumbs from the trash, and pearl barley and rice noodles from the pantry. Everyone plays a part… kind of glad I’m escaping at work most of the day.

Enjoy these cards from someecards.com and don’t eat too much mash (that’d be mashed potatoes)

Pink footie socks

This is a post about hygiene and personal space, if you ask me.
It’s about protecting relationships and appearances, if you ask David.

We let Walter sleep on the bed, but I’m very particular that it must be on top of the comforter. He stays between our feet. I do not allow dog hair in my sheets! But since David sleeps many hours later than I do, and he has no ability to keep the blankets in any sort of order (he does everything, even sleeping, with flair), and he tends to wrestle with Walter when he wakes up, sometimes I come home to find some dog hair on the bottom sheet near my pillow. This annoys me and grosses me out, but the best I can do is remind my messy sleeper to please pull up the covers and clean the sheets when I find dog hair on them. I am good about keeping the bed made but I can’t help what Mr.-Sleeps-Till-Noon does. (I’m tempted to train Walter not to get on the sheets because I think the success rate will be greater than training David.)

So yesterday I came home and found the covers in a tangle and decided the dog hair involved warranted washing the sheets. But when I pulled them back to take them off the bed: fuzzy pink footie sock-slippers way at the bottom of the bed! Except we don’t own any of those.

Now, another woman might assume her honey was having relations with a pink-socked woman while she was away at work. But I know David well enough to know he hates pink in a way that he would actually pick another person to have an affair with! The obvious answer came to both of us: the dogsitter.

Is anyone else as grossed out by this as I am? She sleeps in our bed and we didn’t know and slept in it too!

I could go on about how this probably came about and her general habits and all that, but the point is EWW don’t sleep in someone else’s used sheets! I’m sure Walter thinks it’s great. David is afraid it will be too awkward to tell her not to sleep there and she might be upset and not dogsit for us anymore. So he wants to be all passive-aggressive and just plan on washing the sheets when we get home from our trips!

Plus, when we give her the socks back (she always leaves something here), won’t she assume it’s ok to sleep in our bed since we didn’t say anything?

Am I crazy?

A pic of the new pup in the armchair

The Real American Heroes

We went to trivia night run by the Lions Club at a local hotel this week and picked a GI Joe motto as our team name. I’m not sure where our friend Kathleen saw the signs but she invited us and our table of four (Kathleen, her sister, David, me) didn’t come in last but sure didn’t win! It was more fun than I expected. We were the youngest participants for sure! They were raising funds for local charities through the entrance fees and raffle tickets. It lasted over three hours! We also got a map of the defibrillators in town to keep in our wallets…

The MC was a dry-humor English guy and he sang Happy Birthday to people when they came out of the bathroom (because it really was the first lady’s birthday; “happy birthday to Sue, she is in the loo”). There was an entire round with questions related to lions.

Things we knew or guessed:
How long is elephant gestation? (I don’t know why I had this stored in my brain)
What was Beethoven’s disability?
Who designed St. Peter’s in Rome?
Who flew too close to the sun?
Year the US civil war began (no other table got it right!)
How many times Armagh won the All Ireland senior championships (I don’t remember now if it was about hurling or football, but we guessed the number, except I think David was reading lips at another table)
Largest cell in a human body
A LOT of questions about songs, from Bonnie Tyler to Tony Bennett to Phantom of the Opera to Eurovision

Things we got wrong:
Neil Diamond being the writer of a Monkees song (I put down Mickey Dolenz but actually had second thoughts about Neil thanks to my brother)
What team some famous soccer player played for (I crossed out Man United but it was right)
What town Gilbert O’Sullivan is from
Most of the names of streets associated with pictures of buildings in Kinsale
What year the Republic of Ireland became the republic (they multiple choiced it, so I guess not everyone here knows?)
Bono’s real name

The big prize was a hamper, which is what they call a prize basket, but it always makes me think of dirty laundry. We even get a Christmas hamper at work with a turkey AND a ham voucher. I’m curious what the mentioned vegetarian option is… and why they mailed a company-headed letter to everyone’s home to ask which butchers they want to use instead of just asking us at work!

Off to Offaly for Amy and Emmy

We brought home Emmy a few days ago!

She came from Orchard Greyhound Sanctuary in County Offaly. David and I visited a few weeks ago and we went back with Walter this weekend to see who he liked. Turns out he didn’t care too much so we got to pick!

More info on Emmy’s page at rescue website

She is a bit shy but definitely has a silly side showing. She has claimed the honking octopus toy and carries it to whichever bed she decides to use–often hogging most of the couch! She likes David best and performs well as a footwarmer under his desk. Walter and Emmy are pretty much ignoring each other (which beats fighting) and I hope they will play together as they get to know each other. She will be three (two? trying to figure out this tattoo registry stuff) on December 1 and supposedly was given the racing name Coolarne Chancer, though I don’t think she ever raced. David keeps trying to call her Coolio but I have to put an end to that. While Emmy is a cute name, it’s awfully close to my own! Not sure if we’ll keep it.

After the first day she’s following me around too so at least she doesn’t only like David. She is a very sweet dog.

I felt it was time to have a new friend for Walter, but Casper’s ghost stays close in my mind. That made it hard to bring home Emmy. I’m sure we’ll develop a lovely relationship but I feel like I’m betraying “my” dog a little right now. Maybe Emmy honking the octopus is channeling when Casper played with it too.