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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Getting to know me

There are quite a few new readers of my blog so I thought it might be useful to tell them a bit about myself.



I'm Irish and I'm married to an American. We currently reside in the United States where some of the best doctors in the world can be found and where the insurance company that should be paying for my husbands care is located.  The Hubby has multiple injuries to his back and thus far has undergone three major surgeries.  We anticipate that he will have two more surgeries this year.

Together for over 25 years, we have two children. Some of you who are on Facebook with me have come to know our daughter, The Spawn. We also have a son whom we adopted when he was 8 years old. Both of his parents were drug addicts and when his mother died, his father was unable to cope. No one wanted this little boy, so we took him in and have raised him as our own. 

The last name O'Leary is my last name. I did not take the Hubby's name when we married because I refuse to give up my national identity. Although I have dual citizenship, I am and will always be, Irish.

What may not be apparent in my posts is that I am very lonely here and most of the time, very sad. The cost of living in the city is quite high so our home is located in a small rural town.  Like many small towns around the world, these people do not take kindly to outsiders and they are not in the least bit shy about letting me know that. Cultural differences can be overcome. Hatred born from ignorance cannot. So we endure.

I hope this helps me get better acquainted with some of the new people I am following and who have been kind enough to follow me in return.

Thank you.

81 comments:

  1. You forgot to mention, your love of music, painting skills and wicked (warped) sense of humour Anne.

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    1. My sense of humour can take a bit of getting used to. Back home it's fairly normal and they call people like me mad Irish. I think it's good to go a bit mental every now and then!

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  2. You're never lonely with toy soldiers...

    Sorry to hear about your husband's illness and the isolation, chin up though, you've done a great job of adopting. If only more people were that caring the world would be a better place!

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    1. It is difficult to place children at that age. He also was born with some physical problems and that made placing him almost impossible. He's 21 years old and 6'5" now and I still call him my baby boy.

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  3. Fight and resist Anne ;-)
    I live in a small village too but was born in a "more than one million inhabitants city"...and in a small village things are as to say.

    Fortunately I often come back to the city ;-) ...by the way next post a mix of city, miniatures, planes and sexy Easter...

    Marzio.

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    1. It took me over a year to stand up for myself against my neighbor. When I did, the street was shocked. They'd never seen an angry Irish person. Scared the a bit too :)

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  4. You have a very kind Heart Anne, you will never be lonely with your blog whoring skills

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    1. Hahahaha- as a blogger I do "get around"

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  5. That is fantastic of you to adopt the wee boy like that. Sad to hear that you feel lonely but you have heaps of friends here.

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    1. He's a sweet boy who needed to be loved and needed a stable family environment. It was through our daughter that we came to adopt him. She knew his story and asked if we would take him in. If it were up to her, we'd be raising dozens of children!

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  6. I hate to hear such stories of ignorance and bigotry in small cities, but unfortunately it is not limited to there alone. Stay as a foreigner in any one spot long enough and it rears it's ugly head. Am in the same spot with living in Turkey, though originally from Canada. So can understand how you feel ( though I am more angry, upset, and vocal in my discontent than sad ).

    Cheer up though as you are not alone at least thanks to the blog-o-sphere and those in the miniature world to support you!

    Also great that you have still enough love in your heart to take in another person, of any age, into your home and care for them. Those stories always cheer me up to hear!

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    1. Small places like this exist in every country and the behavior is similar. When we first moved here there were some people that thought they could drive us out but thankfully the police here put a stop to it. The first six months were scary, but now they pretty much leave me alone.

      It has been a great help to find this community as there is a sense of oneness about it no matter what country you're from.

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    2. Man, did it get to that?!

      Sorry to know. If you were in my village, you would have to put up with many intrigues, but they wouldn't want you to go. That would spoil the "fun"! And that's not because of one's origin, they do it to everybody! :D

      My best friends are people I met at college, wich is sad when I live side by side with "friends" I've known since... ever!
      So, even if I am at home, this internet thing also helps me out.

      Most important, we all hope that your husband gets better soon.

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    3. Yeah it did. This elderly gent called the police on us for nothing almost every day for about 3 months steady. The local police stopped responding to his calls so he started calling the State Troopers. When the local police found out about that, they talked to the State boys and they told him to lay off. He'd done this kind of thing to people all his life from what I heard. His wife was terrified of him.

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  7. A heart filled with love can often seem a lonely place, particularly when that love is not requited, but t is also a place that needs to be cherished, a place to be nurtured and a place to celebrate. You give so much love Anne, to your husband, family and of course to us - a loyal rabble of followers that try to help by knocking the edge of that loneliness!

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    1. Amen to this!! Very well put Michael!

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    2. Thank you so much for your kind words Michael. The acceptance I have found with you gentleman has been of great help. The sense of fun and of play is a balm for me as well.

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  8. Sorry to hear that even after all your time there you're still treated like an outsider like that. At least you have the hubby, the kids (if any are still at home) and your little soldiers. You can take the woman out of Ireland, but you can never take Ireland out of the woman. Stay true to yourself.

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    1. My MIL says that "we like our immigrants to assimilate our culture". She's never seen Star Trek so she doesn't know that she sounds like a Borg. She won't change me and she won't change The Spawn either.

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  9. Small town mentality...odd one that. You´d think they´d be more likely to want to Support and help in such a place than in an anonymous big City Setting.
    Like MR Lee, being not of the Country I now live in, I´ve experienced some A-Holes, not many granted, but there´s always one or two wherever you go. Usually it´s just a bit of fun (their opinion) and so far nothing nasty but it can be a bit of a shock..especially when the Person who Comes out with it is a so called "upstanding member of Society".
    Mostly..hatred isn´t Born just from ignorance alone..it´s Born from fear as well.
    One way around it...imagine whoever sitting on the toilet trying to press one out....reduces them down to normality.
    The idea works well at interviews as well...even the biggest most arrogant Boss Looks harmless on the bog with his/her trousers around thier ankles :-D

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    1. I'll have to remember that one. lol!

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    2. There's no way to integrate here. They just won't have it. A family from India bought a hardware store here and the locals drove them out of business pretty quickly. Last summer I found time to finally go visit the antique stores on the main street. By the time I'd worked my way to the last store, the police were waiting for me. The shopkeepers called and reported a "suspicious person". That was humiliating.

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    3. They Sound like a right bunch of gits! Do any of them Play Banjos by any Chance?
      Do´nt any of them make any sort of contact?

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    4. They're a pickin' and a grinnin' here. And inbred as well.

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    5. WTF!!!! -"suspicious person"!!!Unbloodybelievable.

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  10. Nice to know you a little better Anne. Hope things pick up for you and your family.
    Rod

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  11. The only worse thing is living in a village. We've done that. No more than 600 souls; everyone else is an outsider and remains such, everyone is curious and there always is gossip. I have learnt not to care during that time.

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    1. They don't like people even from the next county over, so it's not because I'm Irish that I get treated badly. The gossip is terrible in most small towns. Everybody in everyone's business and what they don't know, they make up.

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  12. That's why blogs are such great things, none of us will probably ever meet, but we can chat online and take the piss, as though we've known each other for years. Have a great Easter Anne.

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    1. You and the big fella have been a great help to me as boys like you are the kind I grew up playing with. I can play with you guys like I'm still fourteen years old!

      You have a good one too Ray!

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  13. I am touched by what you have written Anne. To adopt an older child is FANTASTIC, if more people could do things like that the world would be a better place. I feel richer as a person for having corresponded with you, even is this limited form.

    The Nail that stands out is the one that gets pounded.
    Stand proud!
    You are strong, you are resilient and you are Irish.

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    1. There are so many unwanted children in the world. Placing a newborn is easy, placing a child is really hard. Our daughter plans on adopting children when she gets married so I think we've done something right in showing her that it can work.

      We Irish never stay down for long. Endurance is coded into our DNA. I will get home again one day, I just have to be patient.

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  14. I'm really sorry to hear that Anne. Hope you have a good Easter and good on you for keeping your identity! More people could do with being proud of there roots!

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    1. I won't give up my identity just to fit in and really with my accent being as thick as it is, there's no way to hide what I am.

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  15. i am sorry you are lonely anne...its got to be hard esp with the challenges that your husband faces as well...and i am impressed by your strength...not only in the face of your husbands challenges but also with the neighbors...that sucks...but hey you got us...smiles.

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    1. This is just one of those places you know. But the cost of living is so low that we can make it work financially so there's the benefit in it.

      You guys are a pretty good bunch and the atmosphere here is inclusive rather than exclusive.

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  16. It is hard to adjust to small town life, especially when your family and friends are far away. Thankfully, my family is just a few hours away, and friends are somewhat closer. We have lived here eight years now, and they still refer to us as the folks that live in So-and-So's old home. We do have some new friends now, and any haters are leary of the big half breed that runs through the woods and "works with guns"!
    Still, my wife was bombarded with sympathy cards and gifts for the still recent loss of my Panda Bear.
    My kid's are thought of as locals though! ;)

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    1. It's good that your children are thought of as locals though. In Ireland we can be hard on transplants too. There's a family I know back home that moved to Ireland 13 years ago. Their children learned to speak Irish and they have embraced the culture, yet there are still some people that give them a hard time.

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  17. I'm sorry your husband has to endure so many surgeries. I didn't realize you lived here in the US - thought you were over in Ireland. Now I understand why you miss home.
    Fitting in to a small town can be challenging, depending on the area and size of town. (Sounds like a really small town.)
    You're both in my prayers, Anne.

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    1. I knew a couple of people didn't realize that and I thought I should clear that up. This town isn't representative of the U.S. as a whole. There's still active members of the KKK here and these folks are proud of that. That should give you a sense of the type of people I'm dealing with.

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    2. KKK???? Oh, dear God, Annzie :((((((

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    3. They have rallies here on the main street every summer. No one bats an eye over it. Scared me to death when I first saw it. None of them bothered me but I went home and locked my doors for the day.

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    4. oh, sweet sister, I am now officially horrified and petrified.... not that we don't have racist and nationalistic pigs here too, but still.......
      I will grant you an asylum if you want to move over here, darling!

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  18. Anne, I'm sorry to hear that you're far from home and treated poorly here. That is unacceptable. I'm thinking back to my days as a military brat and moving across America 9 times in 18 years. There are regions that are more unwelcoming to outsiders than most. I won't name them as I don't want to piss anyone off but if you're not born and bred in the exact spot you live in, you're an alien-never accepted, always watched. That's BS and I'll never understand it.

    As for small towns, my dad retired back to the small town he was born and raised in. 20 years had passed and my parents discovered that they'd become "outsiders" in that time and had to move out. Is there a sliver of hope that maybe after the surgeries, you could move somewhere more welcoming? I tell you, we need more Irish in my neighborhood!

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    1. There are some really nice places and people in the States and I have to remember that. We hope to move back to Ireland as soon as we are able too. My family is in Cork, but I've been looking at property in County Galway as I've wanted to live there since I was a little girl.

      When I go back home to visit there are those few people who treat me like I'm not proper Irish. But I can just yell at them and they remember I am!

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    2. It's good to hear that you've got a path and dream to get back where you want to be. I hope that comes true sooner rather than later.

      I don't understand how people can be so small. I'm tired of people like me. I want to meet people who've seen more, lived more and are different from me. Is there something wrong with me? ;-)

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    3. I like travelling to different countries as well. I've been to Panama, the Philippines, Alaska, Hawaii, Australia, Poland, England and France. I want to go to Spain, Italy and Singapore before I die. With the expense of oversea flights now and the weakness of the dollar, it's really hard for Americans to go to other countries. It's good to be curious and open to new experiences. And new food!

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  19. Nice to know a little more of you Anne ~ You are a strong and kind woman ~ If you are lonely (like myself on some days), well the online blogging community is a great friend ~ Have a good Easter Sunday ~

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    1. Bloggers are fun people and there is so much diversity here. I like interacting with people from different countries and have gotten pretty good with reading French again because so many people blog in their native languages.

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  20. Thanks for sharing your story Anne, hang in there untill you're able to get back to the Green Isle ;-)

    Cheers Sander

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  21. told you before, dahlink, you should so write a book about your life! It could be inspiring to so many people!

    You don't have any friends in the town? :(( I can imagine it, since I know small places and I know how people in such places can be narrowminded and unsociable towards outsiders.

    One day you will return to your Emerald Island where your heart belongs, darling!

    Hope the son is well!

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    1. Most of the women here grew up together and had their babies at the same time, so really a new person wouldn't fit. And not even The Hubby has found a friend here. He does keep in touch with his school chums online though and they are very supportive.

      The Boy is doing fine. He's been coming home about once a month to stay a weekend. And he doesn't bring me has laundry to do!

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    2. is that a sad or a happy thing that you don't have to do his laundry? :PP

      You would feel most welcomed in some other parts of the world, darling. Here in Vojvodina we welcome everyone, strangers especially, even in small villages. People are happy to see new faces. Those neighbours of yours are strange kind :( Do they have any meetings or clubs or whatever, where you could possibly hang out with them? But then again, you're an educated woman and you probably stand out as such in such an environment.
      I will be keeping my fingers crossed that you manage to move away as soon as possible.

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  22. Blah to the KKK, just read that under another comment at your bay. Would not want to live in such a town, should bury those folks in something brown, a whole lot of manure. That of which I'm sure. And knew all of that, except the last name at your mat, as the cat has been around and around for a long time at your grounds. Never seen you post so much though, on a roll at your show.

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    1. The KKK is alive and well here and African Americans don't even drive through this town.

      Yeah, I wouldn't change my name. The MIL wasn't happy about it but I stood my ground.

      I've got so many new people and I felt it was time to catch them up in a single post.

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    2. Yeah the newbies need the info and pfft to the KKK, no wonder you want to get the hell out of there.

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  23. I grew up in a place with active members of the KKK. One of them even ran for governor. And almost won. Horrid state.
    I was just listening to this thing on NPR about all the prejudice against the Mayan people in Mexico. The have to come into the US to find acceptance.
    There's just no excuse for the way people act.

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    1. Despite progress in multicultural diversity, there are still those areas that holdout. Area's where the KKK is active are really bad as it gets handed down from generation to generation. The people here have never really known any African Americans or Jewish people, so their hate is based on nothing.

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  24. Thanks for the update (For me anyway). I didn't know that you and Hubby were here in the USA. Well...welcome! The picture of the rural scene here reminds me of my uncle's farm, and me running down the hill, with a cane pole slung over my shoulder, to the slow running stream down in the woods, where big fat catfish were waiting for me to feed them worms.

    I'm praying for the family, Anne.

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    1. I was getting the sense that a lot of people didn't know so I wanted to clear that up. We've been here fOR going on 2 years.

      I grew up on my grans farm and there was such a sense of freedom. After chores were done the day was yours. I used to fish quite a bit, but I've lost the knack for it. I can get the fish to take the bait, but I can't get the hook set anymore. They all get away from me.

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  25. Thanks for the rundown also...I always thought you lived in the land of green overseas (I am Irish by decent also, that and Native American about 1/5 twice over). It says a geat deal about the chaacter of a person that adopts a child, I work for the State I live in in goverment and I am invovled in a distant way with outfits that contract to the state to administer child welfare services. My wife and I are going to have a kid soon or adopt, we are just not sure yet when.

    I also agree we do have good healthcare in the US but also the system has a great deal of red tape, my job had me at one point working with public assistance which included healthcare befoe I moved over to other areas in technical and now contracting. I see the trouble some people go through including my wife's father trying to find the issue with his back and get it solved. My brother in law also has back issues where some of his spine was crushed when a military truck came of the jack and landed on him when he was a mechanic in the army. It crushed two vertabre and he has had various surgical procedures over the years and I have been a blood donar many times due to my type and lifestyle. My experience with the system is keep trying and never give up on the matter.

    I can imagine it is hard to live away from your country and home, I have been out of the states a few time but dream to visit Europe including Ireland to see my ancestors home (well what is left of them, damm English blew up our family castles).

    What state do you live in? Just curious because I have lived and traveled the US a great deal and yes, there is many spots filled with idiots and there ae spots filled with good people. Sometimes it is a matter of looking in the right spots.

    Also, my wife with my support has not taken my last name either. She has kept her family name which her father is Cuban/American (first generation) and her mother came here to the US from Canada. Her brother will never have kids, her sister died a few years ago so if anyone carries their family name forward it would be her. I was raised by a mother that taught history so family lineage is impotant and the identity of a name is also as much in my eyes.

    Faith in all things is what keeps us going. All things can be overcome in time. Later Anne!

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    1. The thing about healthcare in the States is that not everyone has it. That and the insurance companies making medical decisions. But I think because the medicine isn't socialized, the doctors make more money and that attracts the best doctors.

      I'm the last of the true O'Leary's in my family. My sisters have a different father than I do and they don't carry the O'Leary name and I felt very strongly about not giving it up. The Spawn will carry it on in my place though.

      I'm glad to hear that you were able to make it back to Ireland to your ancestral home. I'm doing a post to honor our patriots during the Easter Uprising tomorrow.

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    2. I have not gone yet, but I do plan to go. It's on my bucket list.

      I was decended from the Gambles and the O'Sullivans (think that is the right spelling).

      As fo the KKK, I live in the south, yea you see it in the more rural areas and is sad....I laughed the one town I passed though and they was standing around in uniforms asking for donations....I just said no thanks and drove on. The KKK was scarey but now are just a bunch of redneck club really, they rarely do anything other than spew out crew. Same for the Black Panthers the black version of the KKK...I just laugh at the stupidity.

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  26. Nice little update for the people who have came to your blog without really being introduced to you Anne. Your blog has definitely changed grown in readership and views since it became 95% model figure orientated so it's good everybody gets an update.

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    1. It's been almost a year since I've written about any of this and I realized there must be a large number of people who didn't know.

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  27. I'm glad your husband has the best medical and surgical care thanks to insurance. May it facilitate his return to good health!

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    1. The insurance company doesn't want to pay, so we have to haul them into court repeatedly to get them to comply with the judges orders. These next two surgeries really need done, but they denied it. Our lawyer just filed another brief with the State last week. It will take months, but his doctors won't bow down to the insurance company. Not all doctors would do this, but the Hubby's chief neurosurgeon is a pretty big name and won't be pushed around. He's well known and has appeared on telly before.

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  28. Nice to meet you Anne and I have to say it is a pleasure. I so hope that these operations help your hubby out. Would you be returning to Ireland once the hubby is all well and better? As for small towns it is sad to see and hear how people treat people and but happens everywhere.

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    1. We're definitely going back to Ireland. My family is in Cork, but we want to build a house somewhere between Clifden and Connemara. The Hubby loves it there and I was really surprised at how well he was accepted. He's strong willed and very quiet and the men are very comfortable him.

      This is common in small towns everywhere. In Cork they give Dubs a hard time.

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  29. Oh I forgot to add Happy Easter to you and your family

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    1. Thank you PK and you do the same!

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  30. I did finally figure out you were in the US and not Ireland (otherwise how could you know about all the leprechaun crap we sell for St. Patrick's day?). But I didn't know you were stuck in one of our narrow-minded small towns. I had to live in a small rural town for about twelve years, and the people were very conservative and would close ranks quickly when they felt threatened. But, you know, even in the bigger town I've moved to (thank goodness) I still don't know many people. I'm happy being an introvert, so it doesn't really bother me. Most of my friends are online now, and it suits me fine. :)

    But here's hoping you get to go to Ireland again soon!

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    1. I'm not particularly fond of living in a city either. I prefer to have a home that is out a good bit on it's own with a couple acres of land and some livestock as well. You can deal with people only when you have to that way.

      I'm a pretty solitary person, so I can survive it. It's the active hatred that is difficult to take.

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  31. Thanks Anne for this useful post!
    Honesty I've missed (or didn't understand!) a lot of things about your life.
    A lovely life in fact because all what you do is a miracle!
    I don't believe in God but I believe at the Humanity: you're an example for all of us!

    For your living place: in the bad place, in the worth time!
    In France, I don't think that we have a lot of villages like that, except in some parts where the people claim that they are not french (I prefer not mention which ones...)!

    I live in my small hometown and it's quite nice and peaceful despite the social difficulties and the "minorities" integration.
    I've lived in small villages too when I was younger without wife and children, and I liked !
    I think that I never will live in a big town.

    Like many people here and there, I'm with you and your Hubby and your children.

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  32. I knew you were Irish and living in the US and were feeling lonely for Ireland at times, but what I didn't know is a significant reason was because you were being shut out in your community. As an American I know that some places can be that way and I find it pretty shallow and sad it is so. I'm sorry for your situation and hope it gets better.
    Btw I live in Germany and by and large the people in my town are conservative, but nice and if you reach out to them they will talk with you and not shut you out. So, making friends here wouldn't be to hard if one wants to. The thing is I'm a bit of a hermit and prefer to keep to myself most of the time(except for other wargamers, wife, daughter and work colleagues), but I'm friendly enough and so do make small talk with the neighbours when I see them around.

    Christopher

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  33. F***ING HELL after reading comments on the way down I am sincerely shocked by what you have to go through. We never had any of that here, nobody here is local. We are a small town here too growing but still pretty small in the grand scheme of things, sure there are Racists and some ignorant bastards here to as there are everywhere but KKK are you serious I would would go nuts.

    New Zealand must sound great the way I advertise it but when its compared to a place like that it seems so much nicer. My favourite story of the week is a couple of decent Kiwi blokes (best represented by Ken and Ken... which is actually 2 lesbian sisters dressed up as men... only in New Zealand). these blokes (not the lesbian sisters) went off to war in Korea, one was a white guy the other his large Polynesian friend. they were in a bar when a hot headed, racist American pilot stormed in and started mouthing off. these 2 blokes got up from their corner, the big polynesian guy proceeded to pick the little S**t up and with his friend they put him into a "flying position" took him to the door and said "well then fly boy, lets see you fly" and promptly threw the dick across the road.

    ok times have changed, but for sure I don't think that a couple of blokes like that would have come from that town back in those days. And if ever they say something rude just tell them that the slide is waiting for them... I am sure if its boiling oil in the slide with them they'll learn a lesson or 2. boiling oil, boiling water or acid either way its going to be a painful trip down the hill.

    Stay Safe Anne! don't let their mindless S**t get to you and if ever they do something like that police crap again tell them I said its was mindless s**t and f they have a problem with it to come and get me.

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  34. Very candid of you Anne.
    I hope your husbands condition improves.
    Best
    Scott

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  35. trapped in hicksville USA. Bummer. You have quite the way with words/art/photography/music and pretty much everything, here's to your husband's recovery and to the both of you living in a more welcoming environment, where all your talents can shine.

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  36. I'm glad to know more about you, and I'm sorry you have such difficulties in life. One of my friends married to a man, who has 60% loss of walking ability after polio. But what keep them together and happy is their love and constant support to each other.
    You've done so well by adopting a child who needed parents...there are not many people who would have done it, even living in better conditions.
    I wish your family be strong and find support in each other! Wishing your husband to recover soon!

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