Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Sign by Pam

It's that time of year when we go a bit crazy with an annual Halloween bash at our house.

And that means an opportunity to build costumes.

Years past have seen us as

  Caveman and Gecko

  Godzilla and Japanese school girl

  Crown Royal bag and Jose Cuervo bottle

  Joker and Batman

  Leonard and Penny from Big Bang Theory.

You get the idea.

In 2012 we decided to go with a Mayan Calendar-Mad Max theme...

Mad Max in a post-apocalyptic world. Not sure about the Challenger though...

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And our friends get into the spirit with some great costumes...

Sophie & Oleg from Two Broke Girls
Farmer & Adele

Titanic Ghost

Beyond party planning and house cleaning, we have been enjoying a lovely Fall in Indiana...
Eagle Creek Park

Bedroom window view

View from the car 

And Hurricane Sandy has been ever present these past few days.  We watch the coverage and try to comprehend the size and power of this storm.   Over 700 miles away from the Jersey shore, Indianapolis was in the path of the storm.  We experienced 40-50 mph winds and rain, but we were fortunate that there was no damage.  Here's an eerie view of the line of hurricane clouds moving into the area...

Hurricane Sandy cloud line over Brownsburg

My thoughts and prayers go out to the folks on the East Coast dealing with the aftermath of this storm.  And I am reminded to not take anything in my own life for granted...


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ireland on my mind

OK, Ireland is still on my mind.   A few things caught my fancy...

Hot tea everywhere.  Ah, life is good!  

Great fish and chips didn't really need advertising...

Anything hairstyles.

A few interesting signs...

Kilkenny sandwich shop

Beer garden and temperance hall???

One way to get the message across.

An egg a day is ok.

Safe home from Kinsale (also in Gaelic)

Going "nose to nose" with a Kilkenny statue

A ship as big as our hotel

Trident Hotel on Kinsale Harbor
The mysterious case of knit hats on Dublin statues.  
       Winter is coming?

And the mere hint that I may have gotten carried away with my camera...

And it's been a busy few days on this side of the pond.  We saw a great Paul Thorn concert on Saturday night as part of the Acoustic Cafe Series.  On Sunday we watched the Colts play the Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium.  Of course it helped that the Colts won, but we had a fantastic time with other Rose-Hulman alums attending the game.  Mike reminded me that I've come a long way from the days when I described football as "a brutal game".  

Last night we saw Seth Meyers from Saturday Night Live perform at the University of Illinois in Champaign. We laughed non-stop for over an hour at his rapid fire jokes ranging from presidential debates to relationship issues.  

Crazy busy times abound in retirement!  And I wouldn't have it any other way!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An Irish Road

What do you get when you mix the following ingredients:
  • The band Switchback
  • 40 great Switchback fans
  • A crazy bus driver named Mick 
  • The incredible beauty of Ireland 
  • The wonderful Irish people
  • Irish whiskey and beer
  • Fantastic Switchback concerts
You get an amazingly wonderful vacation!

Mike at Kyteler's in Kilkenny

Switchback organized this tour of Ireland which they have been doing annually for many years.  We heard them perform about 5 years ago at an Irish Fest in Peoria, and we loved their music.  During that concert they mentioned their upcoming tour of Ireland, and I remember telling Mike how touring with a band would be a fantastic way to see Ireland.  Amazing how some things come to pass...

They performed 3 concerts during our trip including the Sirius Arts Center in Cobh,  DeBarra's Pub in Clonakilty and at the Cabra Castle in Kingscourt.  We thoroughly enjoyed a mix of Irish tunes and other familiar songs from their albums.  We also heard several songs from their new album which will be released early next year.

Marty and Brian at Sirius Arts Center in Cobh

I doubt I can find words to describe the lush  beauty of Ireland.  The countryside was a quilt in shades of green stitched together by hedge rows and stone fences.  I didn't really know the color green until Ireland.

Bridge near Kinsale

Beara Peninsula

Kinsale boat

We spent most of our time in Kinsale, Ireland which was a lovely harbor town with narrow winding streets, wonderful old buildings and fantastic seafood.

Kinsale harbor

Stone Mad in Kinsale

Last night at Cabra Castle
We thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie of the folks on this tour. Together we spent quality time sampling Irish beer and whiskey, listening to great Switchback music and learning the history of Ireland through our wonderful bus driver Mick.

And somehow folks found out I was trying the various Irish whiskies.  Next thing you know Switchback was performing at DeBarra's Pub, and they dedicated to me a new song  called "Pour Me". What can I say...

Who knew beer was good for you?

And yes, we enjoyed our Murphy's...

We visited ruins of abbeys and castles and actually spent two nights at Cabra Castle in Kingscourt.

Bigger than Cabra Castle?

I thoroughly enjoyed taking pictures of wonderful old buildings and architectural details.


Row houses in Dublin

Enjoying dinner at Cabra Castle

We totally fell in love with Ireland.  The beauty of this country and it's people is hard to get out of your head.  In fact, we're both still having dreams about  Ireland, and Switchback songs echo in our minds. I totally agree with our friend Chuck who says "Ireland stays in your heart"!