Wednesday, July 21, 2010

100 Follower Contest

Let me say first, my excuse for seeming lax in the comment department of late is, wait for it, my computer. It is so slow that writing a comment is taking what seems like forever. I can boil the kettle, make the tea, wait for it to draw and pour it, before the comment window comes up. Once I type my comment and click post, I have time to go off scouring the fridge for chocolate or cake as I wait for the verification window to appear. I have washed a sink full of dishes while in the process of one comment. In some cases by the time I have gotten to the comment box I have forgotten the witty little ditty I planned to write and end up with boring lifeless “Good Post.” Geeez….I am suppose to be a writer; you would think I could come up with something better than that.

Moving right along, last week I was thrilled to discover I had 90 followers. Yes, 90!!!! Big grin on my face. Had my time finally come for a 100-follower contest? The following day, as I pondered the contest question, I checked my blog and grin was wiped off my face. I was back to 89 followers. Did I jinks myself? Is this a new trend? Who was it, I wondered  clicked the notorious un-follow button! I couldn’t tell, because my computer will not load visuals, pictures etc. I was in the dark…which is probably just as well because I might have stalked said lost follower in an effort to discover why they had abandoned me.

Today I am back to 90 followers again and even as I type have acquired my 91st follower.  I am now feeling confident enough  to introduce a 100-follower contest.

On Monday night I attended a talk given by Barbara Kingsolver in DunLaoghaire, Co. Dublin. I have a signed copy of “The Poisonwood Bible” and “The Lacuna” to give away. One will go to, fingers crossed, follower 100. The other will go to a follower who leaves a comment here and advertises this contest on their blog. Names will be drawn from a hat or maybe a bowl. Haven’t worked out the finer details yet. Contest ends August 4, 2010.  It is a short one, due to  fear I may become overly attached to these signed copies!!!

I would like to say a big thank you to all my followers. I really do appreciate your wonderful kind and supportive comments. Thank you for sticking with me.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Different Kind of Birthday

Today is my birthday. Old Kitty at Ten lives and second chances, also celebrates her birthday today. Pop over and say hello!

This time last year I was in Florence. I spent my birthday walking the Boboli Gardens and the Pitti Palace. I received text messages throughout the day from husband, children, sisters and two close friends. I felt loved, as I soaked in the beauty of those breathtaking gardens and reading my text messages. Later that evening I went for dinner to what had become my local restaurant, Antico Fattore. Roberto the maitre’de took charge. I was led to what had become my table. Roberto snapped his fingers and the waiter Joseph appeared with a half bottle of Chianti.  My usual, which Roberto poured for me with a flourish. It seems my Florentine landlady; Rosella had told them it was my birthday. Did I feel like a princess? YES!!! After the royal treatment, I headed to an open-air performance of Carmen.  A memorable birthday, a dream come true!

Today will be different. After I try to tame my wild, unruly hair I will slap on some lipstick. Then I will take the lilies I have cut from my garden and visit my mother and father’s graves. I will thank them for bringing me into this world. For giving me life! I will thank my mother who one day a very long time ago, held me in her eyes and said, “A good and happy life is waiting for you, Ann. I promise.” Her conviction resonated in my soul and stayed with me. Today, I will thank her for giving me that precious gift of surety, as I reflect on the numerous blessings life has afforded me. Especially those pictured below.

          Thanks Mom!                  

Monday, July 5, 2010

Guest Post for Olive!

Olive O'Brien asked me to do a guest post for her blog Write Olive.  Needless to say, I was chuffed to be asked, yet nervous at the prospect.  After all I am an "unpublished writer." A state which doesn't lend itself to an abundance of confidence.   I doff my hat to Olive's bravery!   I hope you find my meanderings adequate for Olive's wonderful blog.

Pop over to Olive's  blog, Write Olive,  and check it out. 
Have a wonderful Monday!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

You Have to Laugh Really!

Cartoon by Cathy Thorne

For those of you who don’t know me, this little tale might seem unfortunate. It might even glean a smidgen of sympathy. For those  who do know me, it is just another episode in the life of Ann. And as usual, you may smile; laugh even, while shaking your head in wonder. The simplest of things tend to become very complicated in my world …

 I arrived home from Portugal yesterday to find my car was dead. To be precise my car battery was dead. I was not fazed because I have a battery charger, which I attached and waited, as one does. After what I thought was adequate time to charge the battery, I sat into the car and turned the key. I needed groceries. I cleaned out the fridge of all perishables before my five-day sojourn to Portugal.The car coughed once and returned to its comatose state. I was going no-where. Checking the charger I discovered its fuse had blown. I disengaged the battery charger, closed the bonnet, and retreated back into the house flopping on the sofa in abject defeat. Later scouring the cupboard I found four chocolate goldgrain biscuits and a packet of crisps. Dinner!

With the new dawn, defeat was shaken off and I was ready to tackle this dead battery thing again. I walked into town and purchased six fuses just to be on the safe side. Today was market day in the square and I purchased a few tasty treats for myself. I thought I deserved it.  When I got home after changing the fuse in the charger, I again connected it to the car. Sighing with relief, came inside made my first pot of Barry’s tea in a week and a plate of my tasty treats with brown bread. Proper dinner!

After what I thought was ample time for said battery to charge, I went outside to give it a try. Did you guess…"Dead Jim," as Scotty would say to Captain Kirk! I had made arrangements to meet my sister-in-law, Breda in town for coffee and a chat. I was walking again. I consoled myself with thoughts of, this is good for me, look at all the exercise I'm getting and it is a beautiful fresh sunny afternoon.

Now I brought my notebook computer with me, because I was also having an issue with that. But hey, one issue per post!

I related my long-winded dilemma to Breda and her husband Hank. Hank said he had jump leads and would be happy to help me out. I was thrilled. Things were looking up again.

The car had to be moved out of the driveway to attach the jump leads. All went very smoothly. Jump leads did their job, car turned over. I closed the car door, put it into gear, pulled out into the middle of the road and it died just as Breda and Hank rounded the corner and out of sight.

Next issue! I tried to call Breda on the mobile phone, but for some peculiar reason I kept getting the signal you get when dialling incorrectly. Keep in mind here that the car is still in the middle of the road!!!! Frustrated at this point, I put it  into neutral, and tried to push the thing into the driveway. Needless to say, I did not succeed.

Time was marching on and I had a ticket for a cinema screening of an opera that was starting at 7PM. I couldn’t leave the car in the middle of the road and go to the opera. I ran down the street and knocked at  Joe Foley's door, a friend of my husband’s family, who owns a garage. I gave him a quick synopsis of my dilemma. He very graciously came up to the house and jumped the car again. It worked again. He then connected my little battery charger with its new fuse, telling me it would take about three hours to fully charge.

By this time it was too late to go to the opera. So with a sigh of resignation, I gave up that ghost. Joe called back three hours later to see how things were progressing charge wise.

Tomorrow morning, he is calling at 9:30. He will jump the car and follow me to the garage so I don’t get stranded. The time has come to pull out the big guns!!! You have to laugh really.