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Wake Up Sleepy Head; It’s Time to Plant

May 1, 2008

Glown Valley

corey says…I was quite tired last night. Shortly after my visit with Anna Mae and Tony, I was sound asleep. Last I looked at the clock it was 9:30pm. I had great plans of ready for an hour to help get me onto Irish time, but I quickly dozed.

I slept very soundly. Not a single interruption…until I heard a knock at the door. I quickly pulled on some clothes and climbed down the ladder from the loft.

Could it be one of the neighbors…Liam’s cousins…who?

It was Tony. He had tried calling, but I wasn’t answering the phone (ends up the plug was loose from the wall), so he decided to stop by. I looked at my watch 11:30am. I had slept for AT LEAST 13 HOURS! I was shocked. The only time I remember sleeping that much was the winter I had mono and pretty much was in and out of consciousness for two weeks.

He was heading to the nursery in Dundrum and asked if I’d like to join him. I took a quick shower, and we were off. Dundrum is a wonderful nursery about 30 or 40 minutes away. They are known for two things…really great prices and the fact that many items either don’t have the prices marked or they are in no particular order.

As we wandered around, we were reminded just how inexpensive their plants were. Many things were half the price of Woody’s DIY, the local hardware, houseware, do-it-yourself chain store.

I picked up several items and was pleased when the total came to €57 ($88)…I was expecting about €100 ($156). Whew.

Tony and I then stopped by the Rectory restaurant next door, but they are obviously out of business and the place seems to be falling apart.

It was then off to Nenagh where we had lunch at Andy’s. The food is consistently good there, and Tony and I had one of the most reliable items on most Irish menues, the chick wrapped in bacon with chips (thick french fries) and veg (mushy peas and sliced carrots today).

I then stopped by one of the shops to enquire about wireless internet. Looks like there “might” be coverage at Knockahopple. I get to test it out for two weeks to see if it works. However, I’ll need to have a bank statement or electric bill some other form of ID from a list of options.

I planned to stop at the internet shop, but realized that in my hurry to get ready (and wake up) I forgot to pack my laptop. Without that, I couldn’t upload my pictures.

I then made a stop at Woody’s DIY for a few items and went home to start planting.

Flower Pots

I did a good bit of gardening today. I cleaned up the flower bed and was amazed at how well the Lupin were doing. I planted them last summer and they were still blooming in October…back home the Lupin only last a few weeks and then poop out when the weather gets warm.

It’s still been pretty cold lately and there’s still a chance for frost, so I brought in all the non-hardy plants.

The weather has been a bit on the chilly side, but the sun has been great. However, there sudden downpours of rain (and even one bout of hail) have appeared throughout the day. The strange thing is that once they are over, the clouds return to blue and the sky is bright and clear again…it’s strange, but it sure beats a day of rain.

After cleaning up my mess of pots and soil, I ran in the house to wash my hands. From the kitchen window I saw a silver car drive up. I couldn’t see anything but the tail end. The car was stopped at the end of the drive…which I figured meant there would be a knock at the door any moment.

Suddenly, the car drove away and I was left wondering what was going on. I returned to the front door and saw the front gate had been closed. This was obviously one of the neighbors playing a prank on me…the most likely culprit was Tom the fellow who looks after the place.

Later, as I was driving to Tony’s I saw our neighbor Mary out for a walk. We chatted a bit, and I was sure to let her know about the ghost who was closing my gate. She immediately stated, “I’d say that was Tom, and you haven’t a ghost at all.” We laughed and she knew to play along when I tell Tom that I think I’m too scared to stay at Knockahopple because it’s haunted.

This kind of teasing is quite common on the mountain, and it’s best to play it out for the craic.

Wild Primrose

On the way to Tony’s, I stopped for a few photo ops. One of my favorite spots is located between Knockahopple and Tony’s place in Glown. It was a gorgeous as ever today. Last summer I captured a great sunset shot with foxglove. This spring it was a similar shot with the furze (gorse) and their brilliant yellow blossoms.

When I reached Tony’s there was still some good light for photos, and then his neighbors Jimmy and Kathleen stopped in. After a short visit they left, and Tony and I tried unboxing the deer head he had shipped over from home. The mount had a family connection and Tony was thrilled it made it over in one piece.

Of course they used some unusual six-point screw to attach it, so he’ll need to get a new bit for his drill to finish unwrapping it.

Then we threw a pizza in the oven, called Liam and watched some Sky TV (satellite) which he had installed last January. We saw the most unusual show called Embarrassing Bodies. This episode focused on men and all the things men don’t like about their bodies…balding, man-boobs, missing testicles, rashes, warts. When the show started with a warning that it contained “nudity, intimate examinations and graphic procedures” we had no idea we’d be seeing men dropping their pants for the camera with full-frontal nudity. Definitely not something you’d see on American TV.

The show was actually very interesting, and the team of doctors genuinely want to educate the public about some very treatable procedures. Considering Tony is a doctor and I’m on the Board of a Sexually Transmitted Disease clinic, we were very pleased with the program. The main message…don’t wait to have some thing checked out – serious situations get worse with time, not better.

You can have a look at some of their self-examination videos for men and women at I’ll be honest, the information they provide could save your life.

When I returned home, the gate was again “mysteriously” closed. I think I’ll this will be an ongoing trick…I just hope it’s Tom and not a leprechaun.

I’ve also decided to keep a running tally of some of the common items I’m purchasing on this trip. I thought this might give some of you an idea of how to budget for some of the most common items. You can find it here or by clicking Expense Report at the top of the page.

This Week’s Photo Album
My Ireland Expense Report

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