Factgirl

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A Year Abroad

August12

August 6 marked our first year as residents of Ireland. This has been the most amazing and wonderful journey of my life and I have learned so much. I realize I have not blogged as much as I should about all the incredible things I have been doing - but I have been out doing incredible things! (is that even an excuse?)

If you are remotely interested, here is a recap of this year:

We arrived and set about looking for a house right away. It was important to get the kids settled before school started. We found a semi-detached (we share a wall with the neighbors) in a little town called Glenageary. Glenageary means field of sheep and the towns claim to fame is being the childhood home to Sinead O’Connor. From our back windows we can see the Irish Sea, James Joyce Tower (where Ulyses begins), and a castle.

Our next big job was getting the kids into school. We had organized them places in a local school, but when we showed up the first day they looked at us like we were from another planet. Jelly picked that moment to show off the absolute worst behavior EVER. When the principal offered to shake hands with him, he actually grabbed it and licked her! AAAAAA!!! We were shown the door and I yelled at him all the way home.

To get Hellcat into a school I had to join the parish church to get the pastor to sign an entrance form. so I dutifully churched it up and actually enjoyed myself - until I shocked the entire congregation by slurping the communion wine a little too loudly. Helly got into a lovely little school with one teacher per grade. She is enjoying being a big fish in a little pond.

Jelly was another story. I wasn’t able to find my boy a place in school until December! I tried homeschooling him with some books lent to me by Helly’s school, but we both found that homeschoolers have a special kind of crazy we do not possess. He finally got into a wonderful boy’s school with an aide who is perfect for him.

We set about seeing Ireland and the rest of Europe. We took long weekends in London, Venice and Paris, as well as exploring Dublin, Galway, Cork and even took in an American Football game in Belfast (go Rebels!) Paris was especially my favorite - we had a little apartment close to Notre Dame Cathedral that made us feel like real Parisians.

The things I miss about Los Angeles are my family and friends. At first I was wishing for a CPK Barbeque Chicken Salad, but the withdrawal symptoms soon subsided as I enjoyed Guinness after Guinness and fish and chips after fish and chips.

Poker is stabilizing - I am starting to get my concentration back for the long tourneys and my finishes are getting higher and higher. Baby steps are good right?

I will blog more - now - the kids go back to school tomorrow! ROCK!

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