One of the best things we purchased when we arrived in Ireland was the Heritage Ireland
card for our family. As the Heritage Ireland website reads "The Heritage Card guarantees free admission to all fee-paying
managed OPW Heritage Sites located throughout the country for one
year." There are a lot of State managed sites in Ireland.
If we have any more playdates this year, we will not be visiting the pigs.
We don't have a pig bucket under the sink anymore for non-compost food scraps.
We had ham for dinner.
Since we arrived, we've seen the life cycle of beef cows, from birth (and another birth) to freezer, literally. I can't say that I'm hardened to the process or that it doesn't make me a little uncomfortable, because it does, but my attitude has changed.
I feel far more connected to my food and appreciative of the work that goes into raising a healthy animal, humanely. I 'get' why organic/grass fed/biodynamic beef costs more and believe it's worth it.
I also appreciate that raising animals is someone's livelihood and farms contribute greatly to the landscape and culture of Ireland.
We sing this song together before every meal:
For sun and rain and grass and grain, For all who toil on sea and soil, That we may eat our daily bread, We give our loving thanks to God.
May the meal be blessed.
At the end of every meal, we say together:
Thank you for the meal.
So, farewell little piggies and thank you for the meal.
...past the old main house with moss covered steps and a peacock on the front porch
down the rose petal strewn path
under the hedge
to the lily pond
through the forest
down the ice age glen
to the river
and back up 100 steps
to the meadow
over the bridge
and back to the garden.
A wonderful loop.
After our walk, we drove to Dermot's house near Kilkenny to pick him up after the long weekend. His mother served us pavlova and tea. I must learn how to make pavlova. With fresh cream and strawberries -- it's heavenly.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.
~ Mark Twain