Wordless Wednesday – Enjoying a Quiet Moment at the Lake with Dakota

Lake with Dakota

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A Best Friend is Like a Four Leaf Clover, Hard to Find and Lucky to Have

Dakota

I found the quote, “A Best Friend is like a four leaf clover, Hard to find and lucky to have” online, author unknown. It made me think about true friendship. We all have friends that we hang out with but what about the ones who we can go to during our darkest times? You know the ones who we can just be ourselves with and know they will not judge us. They are the ones who want nothing from us but only want the best for us!

I have to be honest and say that my best friend is my husband. He is one who loves me for simply being me… and all that entails πŸ™‚ When I feel low he is always there to lift my spirit with encouragement. He is the calm to my storm, the light in the dark times, and the rock in life’s unpredictable journey. He has shown me that real beauty is what is reflected in his eyes and not in a mirror. Respectful, humble, and caring, are all words which describe my best friend. I think it was a little bit of luck and a lot of fate that made our paths cross. I am very thankful for Dave and feel blessed to not only call him my husband but my best friend.

So as you reflect on this post think about who your best friend is… maybe it’s your partner, a childhood companion, it could be a relative, and sometimes it can even be one of our four legged animal friends. The picture above is of our dog Dakota in a clover patch on one of our recent walks. Ssshhh don’t tell anyone but you were a close second Dakota πŸ™‚

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When Things Don’t Come Up Smelling Like Roses… Sometimes All You Can Do Is Laugh :-)

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“Mom, I gotta go! Hurry! Hurry!” cried the little boy. Mom struggled to find the front door key while keeping one eye on her youngest as he crossed his legs and clutched his stomach. “Hurry mom, I can’t hold it,” he cried as the keys slipped from her hands to the ground below. Both eyes now directed solely on the ground she quickly scooped up the keys and searched for what seemed like a needle in a haystack. “Mom, I’m starving,” chimed in her oldest as her youngest squirmed restlessly by her side. His face now turning all shades of red and blue as he clenched his breath and closed his eyes. Then, just as all hope was starting to fade the magic door key slipped in to the lock like Cinderella’s foot into the glass slipper. Mom flung the door open and her youngest ran to the bathroom while her oldest ran to the kitchen to appease his appetite.

“Uh-Oh,” yelled her youngest as she peaked in to see him standing in front of the toilet, about an inch away, oh so close, oh so very close, to hitting the jackpot. Instead it hit his undergarments, his outer garments, and the floor. He had caught a nasty stomach bug and let’s just say it was going to take a whole lot of Clorox wipes to clean this up! Just as mom was about to help her youngest out of his soiled clothes she heard screams coming from the kitchen. Her oldest in his quest for food had jammed one of his fingers in a drawer. Mom ran to calm her older son and get ice for his boo boo. The inquisitive younger son strolled into the hallway with his clothes around his ankles and all mom could do was chuckle. That was until the dog walked over and decided to squat down and go to the toilet in the hallway… then she yelled a slow motion “Nooooooo” at the dog… and then she laughed… cause what else could she do πŸ™‚

Yes, I laughed that day and I still chuckle when I think about it. Sometimes all you can do is laugh when things go wrong or you have a bad day. Life is not picture perfect and everything doesn’t always smell like roses. My house certainly did not smell like flowers that day. It is how we react to situations… we can let things get us down or we can laugh and move on πŸ™‚

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Dakota

Dakota Ribbons 1 Blog

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Let it Go

Let it Go

It’s Forget-About-It Friday! Let go of any negative thoughts that may have crept inside you this week. Sometimes we try to have happy thoughts and be positive but maybe someone says or does something to pass their negativity on to us. It is hard when this happens but we have to release the negativity and just let it go. No situation, person, or unkind words are worth losing who you really are inside. Don’t allow one person or event to change you.

You can’t live a positive life around negative people – Let them go. Release them and their negativity so that you can focus on a more positive life for you. If you have to see that person on a regular basis just don’t let them get to you. Guard your soul and heart against negativity. Imagine an invisible shield around your body and don’t allow them to enter. They may be close but they will never break your positivity shield πŸ™‚

Don’t hold onto the negativity… release it… set it free… let it go! Have a great weekend my friends πŸ™‚

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Slow Down, Breathe, and Enjoy Life

Enjoy Life

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Scenic Ireland

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today, I am going to let the pictures do the talking and hope you enjoy the Irish scenery. Hop aboard and join me as we tour around the beautiful countryside together. So sit back relax, and enjoy the ride… beep beep!

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A Taste of Cork City

JamesonWhiskey

On our last trip home we decided to go on a tour of the Jameson Distillery. Established in the 18th century, the distillery is located in Midleton, Co. Cork. The “Jameson Experience” is a walking tour with an expert guide through mills, maltings, and other beautifully restored old distillery buildings which date back to 1795. Set on fifteen acres of land it is a must see on a visit to Cork. The tour lasts about an hour and ends with a complimentary glass of Jameson Whiskey. I wasn’t sure if the boys would like the tour but as you can see from the picture below they fit in just fine. Don’t worry, we just let them smell the whiskey πŸ™‚

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After our visit to the Jameson Distillery, we hopped in the car for a quick drive into Cork City. Founded by St. Finbarr and built on the River Lee; the city is filled with grand historical buildings like Shandon Steeple, City Hall, and Holy Trinity church (pictured below). Patrick Street runs through the heart of this city built on water and you will most definitely find what you are looking for when it comes to shopping and dining. Music often fills the streets as buskers (street performers) entertain locals and visitors.

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While exploring the city another must stop is the Old Cork English Market (pictured below). It is a cultural destination just off the main shopping streets in the city. The market is very multicultural and fresh produce from around the world can be purchased there. I can remember going to the market with my mother as a child. We would hop on the number ten or number fourteen bus which would take us right to the city center. The smell of fresh vegetables and produce greeted us at the entrance to this friendly food market. My mom would go up and down both sides of the market picking out fish, veggies, and meat for our weekly dinners. It often took a while as my mom chatted to the market vendors and other customers who would chime in on the conversations too. I remember there were lots of conversations and laughter as we made our way through the market.

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So now you’ve had a glimpse of Cork City, I hope you come back and join me tomorrow as I round up my journey to Ireland. Tomorrow, I will take you on a photographic tour of the beautiful Irish countryside where the grass will be green, the ocean will wave hello, and the land will whisper softly beckoning you to its shores πŸ™‚

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Irish Blessings

An Irish Blessing

CΓ©ad Mile FΓ‘ilte – A Hundred Thousand Welcomes! Ireland is known for many sayings and blessings. “May the road rise to meet you…” is one of the more well-known blessings and one that decorates many Irish homes across the globe. These blessings are little Celtic prayers meant to bring luck, happiness, and lots of good fortune. Today, I am taking two of my favorite Irish blessings and pairing them with two of my favorite pictures from back home in beautiful Γ‰ire. The picture above was taken at Gougane Barra and the picture below was taken at Ballycotton. Tomorrow, I am going to take you to the streets of Cork City and we may even stop into the Jameson distillery for a taste of some whiskey. So sit back, relax, and let’s continue the journey through Ireland tomorrow πŸ™‚

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Irish Angel in the Sky

Welcome to Ireland Blog

Today, I take you from the roads to the skies above Ireland. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland and the only airline I will fly with across the Atlantic Ocean. I can remember the jingle for Aer Lingus and pointing to the sky every time a plane passed overhead singing the words, “Look up it’s Aer Lingus, Going where you’re going, Showing all the birds how to fly, Look up it’s Aer Lingus!” I have travelled back and forth to Ireland many times over the last eighteen years. I can remember my first trip to America and how excited I was to board the plane headed to the land of opportunities. I was to go to America for one year as an au-pair and I could hardly wait! The big Irish bird landed her wings in New York to frigid temperatures and more snow than I had ever seen in my life. It was the blizzard of 1996 and I recall lots of Irish snow angels were made on that first trip πŸ™‚

Sadly, I was only in America three months when I received a phone call telling me that my grandmother May had passed away. I was very close to my Nan so this was devastating news for a young Irish girl so far from home. With a heavy heart I boarded the big Irish bird again and prayed for God to give me the courage I would need over the next few days. As the airbus flew up over the Big Apple I looked out the window and saw a bright star in the sky. I remember thinking it was unusual to see just one big star on its own so I looked around but couldn’t see anything else in the dark skies. That one solitary glistening star stayed with me on my journey across the ocean. As the sun rose over Ireland I looked out the window at my friendly star and said, “Thanks for staying with me Nan.” I put my head down, looked up to see the coast of Ireland, and my star was gone.

I thought about not coming back after the funeral but my mom said that my nan had told her how proud she was of me just a few days before she passed. I decided to return to the U.S. and finish out my year as planned. When I returned there was a card on the table with an Irish stamp placed neatly in the top corner. I recognized the handwriting and with a lump in my throat I opened the envelope. It was a beautiful Easter card and I cried as I read the last three words, “Love from Nan.” I was lucky to have had such a wonderful lady in my life and feel blessed that her last words about me and to me were encouraging, positive, and filled with love. Could she have known that I would meet a young American boy who would steal my heart and be such a big part of my journey in life?

You see sometimes we have to take chances in life. Whether it is an adventure to a faraway land or a decision that may change your life – Listen to your heart, trust your intuition, and take a leap of fate. There are signs and people everywhere to help guide us on our path if we listen and look close enough. As a little girl growing up in Ireland I pointed to a plane in the sky and sang a jingle. I knew in my heart that one day I would get to America and I knew one day that big bird in the sky would take me there!

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The pictures above are of the Cliffs of Moher from land and from the sky. The other pictures are of an Aer Lingus plane on the ground, the welcome sign that greets visitors at Shannon Airport, and views of Ireland from the sky. More scenic pictures and stories to come over the next few days when we’ll be back on land in Ireland. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey with me πŸ™‚

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