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Posts from the ‘Cong’ category

“My Thoughts Exactly, Maeve!”

View from Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland

View from Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland

Today I thought I would post something for my favorite author ever, Maeve Binchy. She was the most popular Irish woman writer of all time and wrote books about the interactions of everyday people; just real people in real life. Maeve had advice about writing that I never forgot. Maeve passed away on July 30, 2012, but every year on St Patrick’s Day I write her a little something. 

Maeve’s advice on writing.

Write like you talk, it is your voice.

She also wrote scenes in her books that were conversations she had overheard. One day she was so engulfed in a conversation by two women on a bus that she actually got off the bus, where they did, and followed them so she could hear the end of the conversation!

She was an excellent listener.

I have been going through my emails and letters to file for family history and came across this email I sent to my sister on Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 at 5:31pm. I thought Maeve would enjoy it too.

J, the November date is good.  Will you be here a week? 

This weekend I made hamburger and hotdog buns, because we grilled out, cooked 21 servings of chili to put up and made two batches of pizza dough, because we ate pizza on Monday, and put up 20 more pounds of tomatoes.  I am trying to get ready for winter.

I slaved over the chili, soaking beans all night before hand and I have come to the conclusion that I don’t know beans about beans.  After soaking all night they were still hard, but I thought no problem because the six pounds of meat, with onions, green peppers, chili powder, paprika, tomato sauce and tomatoes will all cook down in the pressure cooker and the beans will soften up too. Wrong, I pressured the chili and it smelled so good, then when that was done I added the beans and just cooked them down like the recipe said.  For some reason because of the gas from the beans the recipe stated NOT to put them in the pressure cooker with the other ingredients.  The chili cooked down to nothing and those beans were as hard as ever.  SO then SB and I spent the rest of the day picking 3 pounds of cooked hard beans out of the chili!!!!!!!!!!!

I guess from now on I will use CANNED BEANS.  BUMMER!!!!!!,

The news of the day: Ghost hunters every year on the anniversary of a train accident in the 1860’s near Statesville, NC meet up at 430am on the train trestle where the train went over the trestle and killed 35 people.  Supposedly after the train accident a train conductor could be found on the track at this time of morning on the anniversary day, waving his lantern looking for the derailed train.  So ghost hunters have been showing up for years to see the train’s conductor.

This year was no exception.  A group of ghost hunters started walking the track one day last week at 430am.  Suddenly a real train came around the bend and since there is not a stop or anything else there, the conductor did not blow a whistle that the train was coming, nor was he looking for people on the track.  The ghost hunters were caught off guard and were running for their lives on the trestle.  Several jumped off the trestle when the train caught up to them and one man was run over by the train. He pushed his girlfriend off the trestle telling her “he loved her”  and then was ran over.  The others that jumped from the trestle are in intensive care with critical injuries, including the girl.  Now for several days there have been stories in the newspaper about how this episode will now become one of the ghost hunters legends too and they will be looking for the guy that got ran over.  Can you believe it? !!!!!!!!! 

The book for our book club meeting this month is “Serena” and I have never read a book that from the first page git-go, I disliked the main character. A new first!

The relationship among the characters is not believable either.  I am learning about the Smoky Mountain National Park developers versus the timber industry. The mountain families were run off their land or became lumber jacks making little to no money to timber the trees.  The depression was going on and they lived horrible lives because they could so easily be replaced.  I hope it gets better, although I am half way through it and so far I am not impressed.  It is a chore to read and I have to have it read by next Wednesday.

How is K feeling?  S’s wrist/arm has held up in the cast. Today was the back surgery on SB’s mom.  She is in intensive care and in pain, following the surgery and he is on his way to see her.  HMMMM…..  If you are in pain in intensive care when you are so doped up I say you are in a pickle.  Just my two cents worth.  More later. c

Well Maeve, I hope this email has given you a good laugh and something to write about today, because I know you are still writing and the stories up there might be a little too goodie-two-shoes for you! And, you might have a buzz in your head trying to strain to hear all the conversations down here! So I am making it easy for you!

PS I also am sending you a photo I took at Ashford Castle in Cong, Ireland. It is still the greenest country in the world!

Sincerely, Cady

Color Your World: 120 Days of Crayola; Manatee

 

 

Gardener's Cottage at Ashford Castle, Ireland

Gardener’s Cottage at Ashford Castle, Ireland

I have never seen a Manatee. But, I do know it is also called a sea cow.

Since I don’t have a photo of the Manatee, here is the lovely gardener’s cottage at Ashford Castle in Ireland. Instead of having a Manatee, you could have a Cup a Tea here! It has a nice shade of gray in the stone, plaster, and shingles, and I loved the trim of green! Green and Gray for Ireland!

Crayola added Manatee, the grayish color, to their line in 1998.

This post is just one of many in the Color Your World: 120 Days of Crayola Challenge! Enjoy!

The King of Cong

A Look at Ashford Castle

A Look at Ashford Castle

This is Part II in the Going Green to Ireland series.  Today we have made our way to Cong!

Ashford Castle is a medieval castle built in 1228 by the Anglo-Norman de Burgo family. Over the centuries the castle has been expanded and turned into a five star luxury hotel near Cong on the Mayo/Galway border in Ireland, on the shore of Lake Corrib. In 2012 the hotel was voted the best resort in Ireland and the third best in Europe by Condé Nast Traveler. We arrived at the expansive wrought gates and drove down the long driveway to the castle at early dusk. In the shadows I felt just like a maiden returning to the manor. We were shown to a beautiful corner room of the hotel with views of the garden and Lake Carrib.

King George Ding Room at Ashford Castle

King George Dining Room at Ashford Castle

The dining room was our next stop, just like something out of Downton Abbey, but on a much larger scale. It was tuxedos and white gloves for all the servers. Later, we topped off the evening in the castle pub, where the singing was about to begin. The Irish music was so captivating, and I had had just enough drink.  The result: I was coerced to go onstage and sing. It was so much fun! However, there was a group in the rear of the pub who would rather talk than listen and/or sing. Before I got up for the sing-along with the entertainer, he had warned the inattentive group to keep it down. We began our song, reading the lyrics from a tele-prompter. Of course he had a beautiful voice with an Irish brogue, and I was happily trying to sing along and not make a fool of myself.  During one of our subsequent songs, suddenly the entertainer stopped singing and the music stopped. He determined the guests at the rear table were not paying any attention and asked them to leave. So that was my stage debut and my last. But, it was great fun while it lasted!

Guest with Harris Hawk

Guest with Harris Hawk

The next day we toured the Falconry School training area where falconry classes are taught at Ashford Castle, the oldest established falconry school in Ireland. A young American girl led the class and I watched and some participated in a session with a falcon and an owl, known as the Hawk Walk. Falconry is an ancient art and said to be the oldest sport in the world. It was used as a way to catch food for yourself and your family.  Harris Hawks, owls and falcons are brought from their cages and within minutes, with the bird sitting on your gloved hand you are ready for the walk and his performance. Our teacher explains the birds’ exceptional eyesight, speed and agility and how the bird will follow you from tree to tree and at the end return to your gloved hand. Everyone truly enjoyed the falconry class.

The Cong River

The Cong River 

 Later in the day we walked more of the grounds of Ashford Castle. I was particularly interested in seeing the cottages and land marks filmed in the 1951 movie, The Quiet Man, with John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. The grounds of Ashford Castle and nearby village of Cong, formed the backdrop for much of the action in the film. It’s March, time to watch The Quiet Man and listen to Bing!

For information about Ashford Castle see:http://www.ashford.ie/irish-castles.html

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