Happy hour is back!...A good time to define our goals...

A pair of look-alike cows may be a mom and a calf.
"Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland"
"Connemara is also the name of a brand of Irish whiskey produced at the Cooley Distillery."

Over the past four months, since Dr. Theo discovered my heart issues from a cardiac stress test done in his office on a Saturday morning, I've contemplated
whether or not to continue drinking a few glasses of wine now and then.

After asking the three doctors I worked with, the surgeon, the cardiologist and Dr. Theo, they encouraged me to enjoy red wine regularly.  I contemplated and researched dozens of studies on how red wine affects the arteries.  I couldn't find any consistency in the pros and cons of drinking a glass or two (no more) on occasion.
Note the dots on this cottage.  I refer to this as the polka dot house while Tom refers to it as the nipple house.  Typical male.
For over 20 years I didn't drink any alcohol assuming it was better for my health based on my genetic profile.  I only began drinking a bit of red wine in the past few years, mainly on cruises and then at happy hour in South Africa.  

The condition of my arteries, according to the doctors, occurred over the past 20 years or more. It didn't happen overnight.  Who's to say that drinking wine or not drinking wine made a difference especially after I abstained for over 20 years.
We see this larger fishing boat almost daily in Bertraghboy Bay, where we're located.
Good grief, I've thought.  I have multiple hereditary medical conditions and according to the recent diagnosis, my prognosis for the future isn't optimistic. I already restrict myself by eating a special diet for the past eight years. 

I haven't had a cookie, a cracker, a potato, a pasta dish or a sugary dessert all these years.  The benefits of this low inflammation diet made me well enough eight years ago that we eventually decided to travel the world which would have been impossible before the diet change.  

A painful heredity condition was eradicated through the diet, not necessarily "cured" but allowed for a pain-free lifestyle. But, through heredity, this drastic situation with my arteries ensued.
Fishing boat in the bay in front of our holiday home.
Thus, the thought of never drinking a glass of red wine again, as one indulgence of few, makes sense to me since I don't seem to have any ill effects from drinking a dry red wine.  If it's good for me, great.  If it's not, I'll never know since my ongoing cardiac issues won't change either way.

The first time I drank wine since the surgeries months ago, was last Saturday night at a pub/restaurant.  It was such a joy to sip on the silky flavor of a good Malbec.  I drank about 1½ glasses and must admit I felt a bit tipsy after not drinking for four months.

This Tuesday when we grocery shopped, we purchased two bottles of red wine for me and a bottle of Courvoisier for Tom.  Happy hour was about to begin again.  It's not so much about sipping the tasty liquids that appeal to either of us.  Its the ritual associated with setting aside time to talk, to dream to plan while enjoying our respective drinks.

Sheep on a hill.
We rearranged the living room furniture and put two comfy chairs with an end table in between in front of the big windows overlooking the bay. We can sit there comfortably for an hour a day, and then switch to ice tea or mineral water for the remainder of the evening.

This one hour has already become special to us.  It's a perfect time to discuss the research we've done throughout the day.  With inclement weather, we haven't ventured out this week other than to grocery shop in Clifden on Tuesday.  

Again, today, it's foggy, misty and rainy hardly a day to inspire us to get out sightseeing.  Hopefully soon, as we get closer to summer, we're hoping we'll enjoy more sunny days.  

We don't mind the cool weather.  But, its no fun touring on rainy days when the chill goes right through us.  We're accustomed to the hot weather in South Africa, often hot and humid throughout the day and evening.  It's quite an adjustment especially with the clothes we have on hand.

There are numerous islands in the lakes in Connemara.
Plus, the remaining instability of my legs prevents us from walking on wet surfaces due to a risk of falling.  This is not exactly how we envisioned as our time in Ireland but this is a reality we've had to face.

So, now as we plan and dream for the future during our pleasant "happy hour" as we look out to the sea, we've begun to shape some goals of where we'd like to travel after January 2020.  At this point, we won't necessarily be booking any adventure-type activities until we know my legs are fully healed.

However, we are researching where we'll live for 62 days while in the UK between August 23, 2019, and October 24, 2019, while we await an upcoming trans-Atlantic cruise out of Southampton, UK.
On upcoming August 11th, we board a cruise out of Amsterdam to sail the Baltic Sea for 12 days ending in Amsterdam at which point we'll then fly to the UK for the above mentioned 62 days.  We're hoping to wrap up a holiday home for this period this week.
That's all folks!  Have a great day!

Photo from one year ago today, May 30, 2018:
"Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, if you like then you should have put a ring on it!"  This wildebeest pose reminded me of the song by Beyonce at the 47-second mark in the video.  Watch the video to see what I mean. (Click the above link).  For more photos from this date, please click here.


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