Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 144: Painting in the Rain

Each day of our painting course with Judi Whitton  we went on location to paint a local view.  On day three we went to the lovely Bantry House in Bantry a short drive from Schull.  The estate has exceptional gardens and buildings.  Their web site is worth a look.  This was the only day we had rain while we were painting.  Ron took this picture of my setup for rain-art.  Tomorrow I will post the image of the painting I did from this vantage point.  

Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 143: Dublin Memories

For the first time we flew home in the front of the plane.  Air Canada has these lovely PODS which flip down such that you can actually stretch out and sleep.  Not bad, eh?  It has been a wonderful trip.  As I get home and have more time I'll post more images.  Hooray for Ireland, the land of my ancestors.

Travelers home

After a wonderful trip . . .  there is truly no place like home. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 142: Dublin Streets

After turning in our car at the Dublin airport and stashing our luggage at a nearby motel we decided to spend the day in the city riding the double decker on/off tourist bus.  We stopped at a fabulous National Museum which was featuring a collection of Asian art from a donor who lived in San Francisco.  And we couldn't miss taking another look at the Book of Kells at Trinity College.  This photo is of a colorful alley in the Temple Bar area. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day 141: The Farmers Market in Dingle

On the day we drove out of Dingle we happened upon a local farmer's market.  A weekly Saturday event, the market was strangely like farmer's markets in the USA.  Besides some fresh vegetables, there were tables of home made jams, fresh baked goods, some olives and the odd craft.  A bunch of those carrots which I bought had 24 enormous carrots.  Perhaps if the Irish had tried to grow carrots instead of potatoes they might not have lost 4 million peoplein the 1850's.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 140: Red bedroom at the Rock Cottage

The living room of our rock cottage had a grand art book of the work of Henri Matisse. Inspired by his bold, simple works I did my first painting in Schull of the bedroom of our cottage.  The place has been completely redone in the latest Danish modern Ikea-like furniture.  The red bedspread and red/orange rug is eye catching.  

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 139: Rock Cottage 2 in Schull

This lovely 1800 stone building, Rock Cottage 2 has been renovated into a state of the art guest house on a working farm outside of Schull in Cork, Ireland.  We are staying in this paradise for a week while I paint with Judi Whitton and a group of 16 painters from around the world.  We go daily to sites of interest: the harbor and the Bantry House, for example.  When I'm back stateside I'll post some of the artwork that comes from this adventure.   

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 138: A glass of soda

A glass of soda in an Irish pub.  I wanted to see if Ron's camera could give us a clear, sharp picture.  He focused on this glass and the result is quite lovely, don't you think?  

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 137: The square in Kenmare

Ron snapped this photo of me sitting in the square in Kenmare.  I was sketching something.  While Ron is busy with his camera grabbing images a mile a minute my great travel pleasure is to sit on a bench and draw or paint the scenery.  This week I join Judi Whitton in Schull with a group of painters ready to paint plein aire.  I'll be posting photos of the scenery and my work on my Facebook page.  So readers of this blog might check there for updates on my art work.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 136: Another tea cozy

All right . . .  here is a tea cozy to be admired.  Can't you imagine the little lady who knit this?  Ireland is full of treasures and precious things.  Pardon me for posting another tea cozy, but I couldn't resist.  

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Day 135: Tea Cozies

Did I ever tell you that I have a passion for tea cozies?  I think they are among the most useful and clever items on earth.  They warm the teapot allowing time to savor the warm cup of milky brew.  I collect tea cozies, by the way.  Here in Dingle at the Bees Teas I found a sweet collection of hand knit cozies.  They look a little like children's hats.  I bought a teal blue one to take home. 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Day 134: Colored Houses

You may have noticed that I have posted photos of a fair number of buildings on this trip.  More pink storefronts and not so many sheep.  I love the bright colors of the buildings in Irish towns.  When we visited Ireland in 2004 we came to this shop, Dingle Crystal.  We ordered a set of four goblets and had them safely sent to the USA.  To this day we think of the gentleman who did the carving on the crystal whenever we drink a glass of ice water from these precious glasses.  Ireland has a grand tradtion of cut glass.  All the world knows of Waterford Crystal.  Dingle Crystal is an equal treasure.  

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 133: Duck Salad and Swiss Cottage

Eating while abroad is always a treat.  We stopped at a small cafe called the Ladyswell Cafe in Cashel for a lunch.  Ron ordered the "Duck Salad." Look at this luscious pile of greens with a fresh grilled duck breast on top.  Heavenly.

Later we took a healthy walk to see the Swiss Cottage nearby.  Built in 1810 (and reconstructed several times) this cottage was part of the Romantic movement in which the wealthy pretended to play like the villagers.  These cottages were luxurious in the extreme.  

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day 132: The Bees Teas

The deepest pleasure in traveling for me is finding small tea shops, especially those gems in villages all over the UK.  Yesterday in Dingle, Ireland we found the Bees Teas along Green Street in a little alley. These scones are prize winning and the salmon sandwich on brown bread was perfection.  Life is good. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Day 131: Ryan's Daughter

Coming to Ireland is always coming home for me, as my ancestors are Ryan's from Tipperary.  While we know that my great-great grandfather was Michael Ryan from Tipperary, born in 1827.  And that he immigrated to the Philadelphia during the potato famine in 1850.  However this information isn't quite enough to find his family here.  Seems, according to the many kind genealogical helpers that there were over a thousand Michael Ryan's in this area at the time.  We'll need more tips.  Still it is wonderful to be in the land where my father's father lived.  

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

DAY 130: Tipperary Tips

The village of Cashel is full of delights.  We are staying at a wonderful B & B just out in the country.  The name of the place is Tir Na Nog, which means land of eternal youth.  Our hosts, Joan and Tom Maloney, full-on Irish folk, have been taking care of us like family.  We recommend their wonderful care. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 129: The Magic of Irish Music

One of the best things about being in Ireland is the music.  On Ron's birthday we saw a show at the Bru Boru Cultural Center in Cashel.  It is a place that preserves the grand Irish traditions and keeps them alive.  This tiny clip is from a video we saw.  A visit to Tipperary should always include taking the time to hear and see this music.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 128: The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
— Wendell Berry

I recently stumbled upon this special poem.  I found it on the same day my sister, Kathleen emailed me this photograph of this colossal heron taking off at the river.  She is making a beautiful life for herself.  One of the things she does regularly is to get up at dawn and go down to the river for a connection to nature.  She plays her wooden flute and sometimes takes photographs.  I believe this poem was written for her.  

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 127: Happy Birthday, Ron

Today is the 65th birthday of my beloved husband.  On this day we are in Tipperary, Ireland.  Here a poem for you, dear one: 

For your Birthday
by John O'Donohue

Blessed be the mind that dreamed the day
The blueprint of your life
Would begin to glow on earth,
Illuminating all the faces and voices
That would arrive to invite 
Your soul to growth.

Praise be your father and mother,
Who loved you before you were,
And trusted to call you here
With no idea who you would be.

Blessed be those who have loved you
Into becoming who you were meant to be,
Blessed be those who have crossed your life
With dark gifts of hurt and loss
That have helped to school your mind
In the art of disappointment.

When desolation surrounded you,
Blessed be those who looked for you
And found you, their kind hands
Urgent to open a blue window
In the gray wall formed around you.

Blessed be the gifts you never notice,
Your health, eyes to behold the world,
Thoughts to countenance the unknown,
Memory to harvest vanished days,
Your heart to feel the world's waves,
Your breath to breathe the nourishment
Of distance made intimate by earth.

On this echoing-day of your birth,
May you open the gift of solitude
In order to receive your soul;
Enter the generosity of silence
To hear your hidden heart;
Know the serenity of stillness
To be enfolded anew
By the miracle of your being.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Day 126: The Ryans and Families

This series of photos are all of the Ryan clan.  In the center is my father, Harry Michael Ryan, Jr.   On the left is my mother, Louise Ryan when she was a fashion model in New York. She stands famously with Oleg Casini.  To the right is Peggy Ryan, my father's fourth wife with my brother, Michael.  The bottom right hand photo shows my mother with her parents, Dempsey and Josie Pittman and sisters, Eulalia and Hester, and brother's Dewey and Junior.  The top left photo is my brother Michael, sister Kathleen and me. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Day 125: The Madsons . . . various clans

These photos all show a Madson family grouping.  In the center is Ron's father, Correll (kneeling) with his three children, Ron, Joan and Gary and all of their families.  Taken in around 1990.  The two snow bunnies are Ron and me at the top of Mt. Fuji.  The wedding photo is of Ron's father and mother, Lucille.  

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Day 124: The Rognlie Reunion 1905 "Love One Another"

This framed photo is of the Rognlie Family Reunion in 1905 in Halstead, ND.  The article below is a copy of a newspaper article which reflects on the venerable qualities of this family.  Their motto was "Love One Another" and the article tells us that they were notable in the area for doing good works.  "Always ready to extend a helping hand in time of trouble to a needy one, and always upholding the right and the true, they have lived among us and won by these characteristics the lasting respect and esteem of all who know them and have made their name a sinecure for all that is up right and honorable."  

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Day 123: The Rognlie's and the Madsons

This group of photos are old ones of the Rognlie's and of the Madsons.  The bearded gentleman on the left is Peter Gunerius Zachariasen Rognlie.  He's the patriarch.  In the center is Martin, Inga and little Correll Madson, Ron's father as a baby.   

Monday, August 9, 2010

Day 122 - All the Madsons

In the center of the top of this montage is the wedding photo of Inga and Martin Madson.  These are Ron's grandmother and grandfather.  Martin, as the story goes, simply took a trip to Chicago leaving his wife, Inga and son Correll on the Good Hope farm in Buffalo, ND.
The fellow with the trombone is that same rascal. This was a postcard send from far away to his family left behind.  Where he went and what happened to him is one of the Madson family mysteries.  

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Day 121: The photo that started it all - The Rognlies

This photo which Ron found in his father's papers started his investigation into family history.  What will follow for the next ten days are montage photos and other collections of those to whom we are related.  While you may not be able to see details of the individuals in the photos, I hope you will get an idea of how Ron is collecting our tribe.  Below find his explanation of the photo.  These are the pioneers who came from Norway to start a new life in the Red River Valley.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Day 120: First Day of Genealogy Week

My husband Ron has become absorbed in family history since his retirement several years ago.  He pursues this interest full time around his other household duties.  In the past two years we have attended four major family reunions around the country. The Ryan family reunion recently was held at Virginia Beach.  Past photos were a testament.  Today I am starting a week of genealogy photos.  Along with the catalogue of over 23 thousand names of people connected to us Ron has done considerable research on the nearest branches of our family.  These two large charts (each over four feet wide) show the architecture of the families.  The upper photo is of the Phillips family through the ages and the lower chart shows "The Madsons Through the Ages".  While the charts are only a partial view of the family tree they give some sense of how we are connected.  Each day I'll add a montage photo of a family grouping.  All of the photos that follow on this blog can be found on the walls of our study in El Granada. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Day 119: Ron's Octagonal Window

This octagonal window is on the stairwell going down to our basement/garage.  Ron made this window to replace a clear one which lived at this spot.  The color in this photograph isn't quite right.  The flowers are a rich purple.  It shines when the shop light is on illuminating the glass.  Ron has promised to make several more octagonal windows for the house.  When he does I'll post photos.  Until then I'll enjoy these eight pieces.  Colored glass is a rich art form.  Thank you, Mr. Tiffany.  

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 118 : Lamp in my study

This Tiffany style lamp has a beautiful shade. The pink flowers are camellias.  This lamp sits on the desk in my study downstairs.  This room is also the guest room.  I like the way a stained glass shade gives a radiance to a small room.  

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 117: The fairy light

I call this lamp "the fairy light"  because these shapes remind me of little toadstools that might be in a Hobbit House somewhere.  It doesn't give out much light, but it glows so sweetly.  This lamp lives in the entryway on the first floor. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 116: My Heart Box

This gorgeous wooden heart box with stained glass inlay is a gift from my beloved husband Ron.  He made this for me in his shop.  I put the watch in the photo to give some idea of scale.  The box is about 12 inches tall and 11 inches wide.  Inside it has a felt lining.  I use it for jewelry and other treasures.  Studying the design one notices something extraordinary.  The stained glass, which is fragile, is next to three pieces of bamboo, twigs from a tree in our yard.  Bamboo is strong and resilient and lasts for a long time.  I read it to mean that Ron's love for me is like the bamboo: eternal.  What beauty.  Thank you, Ron.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 115: Tiffany lamp design

This lamp follows a classic design of a Tiffany style shade.  This lamp was purchased at a shop in San Francisco on California Avenue.  In the evenings it creates a warm glow in the living room next to Ron's favorite chair.  

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day 114: Bamboo Leaves over the dining room table

This beautiful hanging lampshade is over our dining table.  We had this piece commissioned at a studio in San Francisco.  The designer picked amazing glass for the many colors of the leaves.  The filler glass is a warm, golden color.