All Around The World

Here is a map. The countries highlighted in green are the places all of you have visited from in the past year.

Countries who have visited this site in the last year

The world is an amazing place! You are all amazing!

I hope that in the years to come I can visit more and more of these places. I dream of seeing it all, but in reality some places I will never get to. Seeing this map leaves me feeling like I’ve gotten to be a part of these places, even if just a little bit. Thank you! I’m better for all of you.

Let see how many more places we can touch in the coming year.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Color

Colour. Color. No matter where you live or how you spell it, colour is what gives our surroundings oomph, sparkle, and delight.

I’m so glad I can see colour. I’m so thankful there is color in this world for us to see.

In February I was fortunate to be able to visit Malta for a Creative’s Retreat. We spent time together creating and sharing our art. It was really great to have artist’s from different mediums together. It enhanced and challenged my thinking and perspective.

Malta is an island in the Mediterranean Sea south west of Italy. It’s an independent country and part of the EU. It feels like no where else I’ve been in the Europe. With multiple European and North African influences, the palette of Malta reflects all these cultures with beautiful mixes of boldness and subtlety. Sandstone, the most common stone, and used in many buildings, is a beautiful BLOND, TAN colour. It’s very different from the damp GREY stone so commonly seen in Ireland. There are also bright bursts of color in doorways, windows, walls and a miscellany of other things.  The Sea was so BLUE and the fields were already blooming GREEN.When we arrived these colours struck me. It felt bright (and warm!). It’s the sunniest place in the European Union and you could feel it. A welcome change from the freezing temps we’d been experiencing in Ireland

We soaked up the sun and the change of scenery.

Each day we had contrasting word themes to inspire us as we went around and experienced the islands (Malta and Gozo). There was writing, photography, painting and inspiration. There are more things to share about this experience than I will be able to here. But here’s a few more:

Eventually the week ended and we flew home to Ireland. I found it striking how several of us, at different moments, individually commented as we looked out the window at our own very, GREY, yet very, GREEN country, and said “What would we do without the green?!” and “At least we have all this green.”

Sometimes it only takes a few days to make you appreciate something you forget to see.

Beautiful Home

Beautiful Home

I Had A Brother

I had a brother.
His name was Roger.
He was born on April 2, 1980.
I was 2 1/2 years old when he was born.
I don’t remember life without him around as a child.
He was my annoying little brother. We fought and endured sibling rivalry like many do.
I know we played too, although I would have never admitted it when we were young.        He liked to push my buttons like little brothers do.

For a significant portion of my teen years my brother was not around.                          Addiction introduced itself to Roger. They got involved, really involved.                        Things changed.                                                                                                                      It was hard.                                                                                                                              A couple of times it was scary.                                                                                               It was definitely messy.                                                                                                            I was 16 at the height of things. My baby sister was 6.                                                           It was hard – for everybody.

Eventually Roger found a sub-culture he seemed to fit in. For a few years he would visit from time to time when he passed through town.
He met my first son as a newborn and held him so gently and carefully, being aware he wasn’t the cleanest. It meant a lot to me that he came to meet my son and hold him.

Being himself, he would tell us wild stories of the adventures he had. They were never dull. At the same time you could see there were many more stories that went untold simply because they were painful and we became, whether real or perceived, too distanced to relate or even make the attempt.
For a majority of the time since they met, addiction stayed involved.                                  He tried hard, over and over but it’s grip was strong.

Eventually, his addictions caught up with him.

An overdose…revived at the scene…vegetative…1,177 miles from his birthplace…surname given…family contacted…days…decisions…waiting…

I had a brother.
His name was Roger.
He died on April 2, 2004.
I was 26 1/2 years old when he died.                                                                                        I will remember life without him now and wonder what may have been.                                He was my annoying little brother. He liked to push my buttons like little brothers do.

I miss him. Especially today.

Stacey & Roger

Dublin Time Lapsed Beauty

Sometimes after you’ve lived in a city for a while you can forget what makes it beautiful. You get caught up in the things that are frustrating about it. Then something happens. The wind shifts, a new song plays, and you are reminded again why it’s beautiful in its own way. You remember why you love it.

Matthieu Chardon’s video just did that for me. It’s made up of time-lapse sequences but truly it’s made up of so much more. It really captures the history and a heartbeat of Dublin.

It was striking. The stillness in the movement and the changes in the constant.

All at once. Separate. Together.

Watch it and think about it. (I promise. It’s short. And lovely.) Tell me about it. Do you know Dublin? Have you been there? If you haven’t been yet, what did you see? Or if film and media are your thing, tell me what you saw in the film. What was your one beautiful thing?

(yes, the clouds really move that fast. and yes, they are there most of the time)

Serviettes, Craic, Trolleys and Sessions

photo credit: Sheryl McElwee

It’s not something I’ve written about in too much detail up to now, but I had the pleasure of being interviewed recently over at MOVE Guides on what it’s like to move abroad and live cross culturally. (Thanks Stephanie!) Here’s your chance to learn a little more about me and my experiences moving abroad and living cross culturally. Go on, I know you want to find out more…;-)  Here it is: An American Moves to Dublin

Bonus points if you can tell me what the four title words mean! (No Googling allowed! ;-) )

Weekly Photo Challenge – Delicate

I like this weeks Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate.

I love it when we’re given a theme that leaves room for interpretation.

For our own eyes to translate, word to picture.

Much of Ireland’s landscape is quite rugged. There is an abundance of stone. For example, The island of Inis Mór (Inishmore), one of the Aran Islands, is barely 12 square miles, yet it has around 900 miles of stone walls covering it! Stone is everywhere.

People tend to think of green when they think of Ireland. It’s true, it is a green place. It’s a good thing too because of all the grey, rugged rock. Green and grey offset each other.

There is a place here called The Burren. On your way to the Burren you pass green fields and beautiful landscape. Once you enter the Burren it becomes another world. Limestone fissures consume the landscape. Soil is scarce. Green is scarce. The Burren is about as rugged as you can get.

But then you look down and you start to see the most delicate of things. It’s quite a sight. Rugged and delicate. Sharing their space…

Delicate Persistence

Delicate Persistence

Burren Flower

Against The Odds

Against The Odds

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Renewal

Going places like this…

Poulnabrone Dolmen, The Burren, Ireland

With people like this…

Beara Pennisula, Co. Cork, Ireland

On days like this…

Pulleen Loop, Co. Cork, Ireland

Weekly Photo Challenge – Geometry

I’m a bit late to the game this week due to some wonderful holiday time with the fam! More pics on that later.

This week’s theme is Geometry. I’ve been mulling over what to post here. Looking through my photos, I’ve realised that I’m not one for geometry in my photography. I like bends and swirls, off centres and odds. That being said, I did find some lovely photos.

These all come from a trip to Malta I took in 2010. It’s a beautiful island. It was February and it was warm! If you’ve read anything from me before you’ll know that I crave warmth.  Hope you enjoy seeing a few pieces of Maltese Geometry.

Photo

Glass shards for adding colour at a glass making factory.

Photo

Cathedral Clock Tower

Photo

Narrow Walkway

I love the shapes that the walkway and signs create. The blue sky adding colour to the sandy brown that is everywhere in Malta.

It makes me smile every time I look at it.