I understand most people are today talking about the US Presidential election and how it may/will impact long term politics in America. I too care about the election results, but will leave the analysis to smarter and more informed pundits that will be filling the air waves. I do believe, however, that God is soveriegn over all things, including US Presidential elections.
Instead, I'm posting an image of a gate. Yep, a simple wooden gate constructed in a former gap to our new back garden by a friend here in the Kinsale area. Why, you may ask, would I go to the trouble of snapping a picture like this and posting it? Well, it's not really the gate that matters but what it represents. Next week we will be 'inspected' in our new place, by a new Puppy Walker supervisor from The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind (IGDB) to see if a new puppy will be placed in our care. Our landlord has given us the thumbs up, so we are looking forward to the next step . . . our 4th furry friend.
We don't know when to expect the new arrival but we think he/she will be well recieved in Kinsale as it's socialization and basic training begins. We are only about 25 minutes from the IGBD headquarters in Cork city, instead of 3 hours when we lived in Dublin!
Driving legally in Ireland can be challenging! I (Tim) secured a 'full Irish' license in 2008 after lots of 'Irish Practice'. Driving 50,000 miles a year for decades on the 'right' side of the road doesn't count here. Now it's Kathy's turn! One can drive on a US license, but insurance rates are lower if you have an Irish license . . . so, Kathy has committed herself to getting this done!
Upon our return, 2 months ago, we found that Kathy's provisional license (passing a written test) had expired. So, she got all geared up, studied again and took the computer based test again - missing one question. She then went to the 'Motor Tax' office to turn the 'passed test' into an actual 'Learner' license. It is not exactly an easy size to carry around (see pic below) but it does allow her to get ready for the formal driving test, 6 months or more from now.
The learning curve hit again after Kathy passed her test, for the second time - at the Motor Tax office, when she gave them the new certificate showing she had passed the written test, they told her all she needed to have done was renew her old provisional license! Oh well, she is all studied up on Irish road laws again! Next up - a few lessons, lots of proctice driving, reversing, 3 point turning, etc. and then a driving test sometime next year! Whew . . .
This past summer, when we were spending time in the San Jose, CA area with our son Mark and his family, we learned about the benefits of local Farmer's Markets. I'm sure many of you have long since known about such exchanges, but we had never paid much attention to them. Now, however, we are beginning to get 'in' to them as wonderful places to buy local produce, baked goods, and LIVE CHICKENS! Yes you read that right, LIVE CHICKENS.
Evidently raising and keeping a few of your own chickens saves money on buying eggs and provides excellent nutrition without exposure to chemical often used in huge poultry operations. At any rate, we are finding that whatever the motivation, many people show up at the Kinsale Farmer's Market and we are enjoying meeting some of them every Wednesday morning!
We have now been in our Kinsale house for a month . . . where is the time going? One place is Inchidoney, an incredible beach about an hour away. We met up with Puppy Walking friends from Dublin and took their two pups with us. One dog, Neptune is about to be placed with a new family with an autistic child, the other is their own dog, Toffy.
We are settling in and looking for ways to make new friends in the area. So far we are involved in youth football, youth clubs and regular visits to a couple of restaurants and a farmer's market in town. Lots more to learn and get involved in!