Saturday, November 26, 2005

Belated Thanksgiving

Today John and I made Thanksgiving dinner for some of my mates. I know that Thanksgiving was on Thursday but I had to work so I couldn't make dinner then. So we got up about 6:00 AM to continue thawing the turkey by putting it in cold water. Since I was exhausted and have a cold, I made John get up to put the turkey in cold water in the sink. As he started running the water, he realized that the turkey was too big for he sink (it wouldn't get covered). Since we didn't have a big bucket that was clean, we decided we had to use the bathtub. We ran lots of cold water to cover the turkey but it started to float so we had to use the new glass baking dishes to put on top of the turkey and keep it covered. Finally, we got the turkey covered, changed the water regularly and got the turkey thawed.

About 10:00 AM I started cooking and John started cleaning the dishes as I dirtied them. He was very helpful. The meal was done about 3:30 and we ate about 4:00 because a couple people were late (I told them to be at my place at 3:00). We had turkey, sweet potato/regular potato garlic mash, stuffing that I made from scratch, squash, bread, green bean casserole, corn, turkey, and pie. Lots of pie. Last night I made pumpkin and apple pies. I bought a pecan pie this morning because it was cheaper than making it. A mate made a lemon meringue pie that was also tasty.

I think everyone had a good time and we ate lots. Tomorrow I will buy a bigger pot or a slow cooker and make turkey soup so I can use some of the left over turkey. We have a lot of leftovers that I get to eat all week.

On Friday John got offered a 2-3 week contract in the London area so he will be flying out tomorrow. He is still looking in Dublin but there doesn't seem to be anything right now and having a European contact/reference should be good. He should be able to come home for Christmas also. :)

Friday, November 25, 2005


On Wednesday I went shopping to try to find gingerbread cookies and/or a gingerbread ornament/stuffed thing for a lesson. I couldn't find either. When shopping in Marks and Spencer and looking at the cookies (biscuits), a lady asked out loud but seemingly not to me what the sticker "5 for 4" meant. When I didn't respond she looked at me as asked, "What does that mean?" So I told her that if you buy 5 of the little chocolates, you only pay for 4. She didn't really seem to understand but said "OK" and I walked away. As I turned around, another lady looked at me and said, "Are you Irish?" I responded that I was not. She then asked if I spoke English and I responded that I did. She explained she was French and had a voice mail message that she didn't understand because the lady talked too fast and wondered if I would be willing to listen to it and explain it to her. I said OK because what else was I supposed to say? So the message was basically a lady calling the other one saying her name and asking the recipient to phone her back. The French lady asked me what the lady calling wanted and I said I didn't know since she didn't say. After a bit, she processed that she knew the lady who called and she just wanted the French lady to phone her back. She still seemed confused as to why the lady called to begin with but I couldn't help her with that. I then continued my shopping in a different store.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

mistaken taxi

So this morning, the taxi that I ordered was 12 minutes late. This made my whole day late since it was on a very tight schedule. So, I was calling the taxi company to try to get them to come pick me up and take me to the train station when this guy pulls up who looks like a taxi driver I have had twice before. He waves at me so I go around to his car, see there is a child seat in the back, and get in the front seat. I tell him that I am sorry that I am late and he looks confused. Well, he wasn't the taxi driver. He was going to the school and wanted to know if that was it. But he offered to take me to the train station and did! Because of his kindness, I made my train and got to where I needed to go on time no less!

John asked how I mistook a normal car for a taxi. That is easy. Taxi's in this town aren't labelled with a little "taxi" sign. They look like normal cars with normal liscence plates. Sometimes they have an extra antenna, sometimes not. Oh, the car the guy drove was also similiar to the one the taxi driver I thought he was drives.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Christmas season

The Christmas season is in full swing here in Dublin. There are Christmas decorations on the streets and in the malls. The shopping centres are quite decorated. The one we went to today had a Santa thing that looked pretty realistic and went up and down rope. He was carrying a sack of toys that many were falling out of. There was also a display of 3 Santa helpers (figurine things) that were life sized and pretending to play instruments. There wasn't any music coming from the display, though. Just the sound of motors making the things move.

Friday, November 18, 2005


Ok, chips here are "french fries." Chips as Americans know them are called crisps here. So, last night we took John's cousins T and J to an Italian restaurant. Tom got the lasagna and he had a choice of baked potato or chips with his meal. He ordered the baked potato but due to an error, the table got chips, too. Chips come with almost any meal here. Before I moved, people told me to expect potatoes with my food. I guess chips are a type of potato but not really what people meant. When we were in the North, we were served chips with mayo on them. It is more common to eat them with mayo or vinegar than catsup here.

Monday, November 14, 2005


When we went up to the North, I was surprised at how cheap some things were. I had forgotten how expensive food is here. Here is a list of prices of some items we get frequently. All prices are in Euros.

store brand tortilla chips: 33 cents (large grab bag size, the size you usually get in gas stations)
Petrol (car fuel): 1.17 a litre (that is about 4.45 a gallon)
Grapes: varies but usually over 2.00 per pound
Pineapple: 2.99 each for Costa Rican free trade
Skim Milk: 90 cents for a litre (3.42 a gallon)
Apples: usually about 1.70 a pound
Cheese: 8.00 kilogram (about 4.00 a pound)
store brand large semisweet chocolate bars (the big hershey size): 95 cents
Movie at the movie theatre: 8.75
Bell Peppers: 99 cents each

Dinner out is usually at least 15.00 Euro a person. We have discovered early bird menus which usually end at 6:30 or 7:00 where you can get some two or three course meals for 10-20 Euro depending on the place and number of courses.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Chieftans concert

On Thursday evening, John and I went to the Chieftans concert at the National Concert Hall. It was a very similar concert to the last time we saw them in Chicago but still a good show. The president of Ireland was there. There was a special "VIP" section that appeared to just have different color seats and that is where she sat. There were also three dancers: two from Canada and one from New York. All in all, it was a great concert and people who I talked to at the concert were quite surprised that I had already seen them multiple times in Chicago.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


On Thursday I was informed that it was now winter. The soltices are the middle of the seasons here, not the beginning or end. I looked on line and the scientific seasons are with the soltices. It did feel like winter last night, though. I guess I have to stop teaching about autumn now but can still do my lessons on leaves. The seasons here are:
Spring: Feb, March, April
Summer: May, June, July
Autumn: August, September, October
Winter: November, December, January

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Because it rains so much here, rainbows are fairly common. Some people don't even notice them anymore because they happen so often! I still like to take pictures of them and here are some of them. This weekend I even saw a double rainbow. This is the first one I have seen in real life and I guess they are pretty rare since some of my (Irish) coworkers have never seen one. John wouldn't stop the car to take the pictures of the double rainbows because we were on the highway. He didn't even slow down. I still got some ok shots but that is why they are a bit blurry.

Dunluce Castle

On Sunday we went to the Bushmills area. We tried to go to the old Bushmills Distilary in the morning but they didn't open until 1:00. Guess we weren't supposed to drink before noon on a Sunday. So we went to the Dunluce Castle first. It was a haven for me to take pictures. As usual, I took a ton but will only post a few. :) I love my digital camera.

Giant's causeway

So Sat. we hiked to the Giant's Causeway. Since I have already posted pictures approaching it, here are some of the Causeway. Legend says that an Irish giant built the causeway as a bridge to Scotland (there is an identical formation there) to go kill some Scottish giant. However, when he got to Scotland, he saw that the giant was much bigger than he was so he got scared and ran back to Ireland. The Scottish giant's wife knew/found out that the Irish giant was there, so she sent her husband over to Ireland to kill the Irish giant. So the Scottish giant walks accross the Causeway. When the Irish giant's wife sees him coming, she decides to dress her husband up in baby clothes and put him to sleep. When the Scottish giant sees the "baby," he gets scared because if the baby was that big, surely the adult would be really huge. So, he runs away, tearing up the Causeway bridge with him. Thus, Scotland and Ireland were separated.

Monday, November 07, 2005

more hiking pictures

The scenery was so beautiful I had to post more pictures of the hike.

hiking on the north coast

This past weekend John and I hiked along the northern coast of Northern Ireland. We started at a castle's ruins and then walked about 5 miles to the Giant's Causeway. It had amazing scenery and was a pretty good walk. There are lots more hills than in Chicago but that doesn't take much. We pretty much hiked on the edge of farmer's fields between the edge of the field and the cliffs' edge! It felt good to hike for a few hours. It took us a long time because we stopped to admire the scenery so much. I am not going to include the giant's causeway pictures in this post because I can only post 5 pictures at a time. :(

Sunday, November 06, 2005


This weekend, John and I went up to the north coast in Northern Ireland. We walked about 8 miles on Saturday through the countryside on our way to and from the Giant's Causeway. While walking, the sheep ran away from us. When one started to run, they all started to run. I was able to take some pictures of them grazing before they ran way. The cows posed often, though.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

hallmark, the crime show channel?

Tonight John found "Law and Order: Special Vicgtim's Unit" to watch on tv. It was on the Hallmark channel! During the show, they advertised other law and order shows/episodes on different nights. After the show was done, they showed clips from "Diagnosis Murder." Basically, all the shows they advertised were murder mysteries. So, that leads me to wonder if the Hallmark channel isn't the touchy feely channel here but the murder, crime show channel!

Today I had to go back to work after 6 days off. It was hard.  John relaxed at home all day and walked the dog a lot.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

aren't they cute?

Christine had fun taking pictures of Darshin and Caineal when she was here, so here are more pictures of our furry companions.