Our story so far….June 2019…Hello!

Our story at the moment is that we moved from a terraced house in Derbyshire, England to a dormer style cottage in Southern Leitrim in the Republic of Ireland at the beginning of December 2018. The cottage is in a rural area and we have approximately 3 acres to play with as well as the cottage. We are in the process of doing the cottage up and although stressful at times, it is going well so far! You’ll have to read back over old posts for the details if you are interested. It’s changed a lot so far! It’s now dry for a start….

This is where we now live – a little bit different to a terraced house..

‘We’ consists of myself (Cathy), my husband Chris, and two of our children who are almost 2 and 4 (at the moment obviously). We have two other grown up children as well who are still in the UK.

We are Jesus followers who try to listen to Him and follow Him constantly. We feel that He did bring us here, but I get that a lot of people will think that’s not a real thing..(it is).

I do talk about God quite a bit and what we think He is doing in our lives and I will try and persuade you to seek Him for yourself and ask Him if He is there. The reason I do this is because as far as I’m concerned he is the cure for us all. He is who we all need and it would be very selfish of me to not to try and tell you about Him. Also, our lives are completely entwined with Him and it would be impossible to do a blog without talking about Him to be honest.

Jesus saved my life, He saved my husband’s life, He saved a lot of my friend’s lives and He can save your life…give Him a try.

I do also have a sense of humour and it is quite interesting stuff 😀

Mowing the runway.

Welcome, please read, enjoy, ask questions or whatever, I love doing this blog and I do try to be very honest and open. There were various aims of doing it, to give a realistic view of relocating to a different place/country, specifically a small holding, to tell people about Jesus, to give me an outlet (I love writing) and to keep friends and family updated. I’m hoping some people may also just find it plain old interesting!

Toodle pip…

What a difference a week makes….

Well, just over a week ago I was sat on a rock waxing lyrically about the ducks and all that. Since then, two have been killed, one last night, so this afternoon was all about moving them to the top of the field and trying to proof their run. It’s a little bit of a mystery how the duck was killed last night because it was dead in the run with some wounds, hadn’t been taken or eaten, and the others were ok. One of the drakes definitely got taken under the netting earlier in the week, there was nothing left but a few bloody feathers. I thought I’d sorted the problem by mowing it again and repositioning the electric netting, but obviously not.

But anyway, when I was trying to catch the remaining seven to take them up the field in the dog cage, one went missing, so we now only have six. Maybe it will turn up, but I’m doubtful somehow. Such is keeping ducks… It’s sad, but I’m really hoping that’s it now (and by some miracle the missing one turns up). It was hard work this afternoon, carting everything up the field including the ducks. That particular task involved lots of running and trips up the field one duck at a time, they are very skittish and don’t like being caught. They’re lovely animals. It’s a pity foxes and minks think so too.

It will get me fitter anyway, walking up the field every day with a wheelbarrow and water. (There was a hosepipe at the bottom of the field, that’s why they were there.) It’s also a lot drier at the top, I think I’m going to have to move the pen every week during the winter to try to keep the ground ok. It gets so wet and ducks just stick their beaks in there and make it into a swamp. So it’s a lot more work but necessary if I’m going to keep them.

Managed to get two in the cage, the others had to be taken up individually.

I enjoyed quite a bit of it, I quite like work like that, it’s challenging and I enjoy the challenge, but it did start to get to me towards the end. I have trouble with my feet, have done for quite a while now. The left one was pinned and plated quite a few years back now and the heel/ankle joint can be stiff and painful, but my right heel has been really painful for months and months now, it’s terrible in a morning and after today it is too. If anyone has any suggestions on what to do they would be gratefully accepted. I’m guessing I need to start stretching it out, I’ll look it up at some point. I keep thinking about a word I was once given saying ‘look after your feet’ and wondering how I was meant to have looked after them. At the time I just thought it was a metaphor for my spiritual life, but now I’m thinking it was a lot more practical than that! or maybe there’s a link, I don’t know. Anyway, any suggestions welcome.

For those who read my account about our youngest’s fall and his cut face. It looks like it’s healing fairly well, it’s still difficult to tell properly but he is well in general and it looks ok. Thanks so much to those who asked about him or said they would pray. And praise God for looking after him and us.

Like I’ve said in previous posts, we haven’t had the car much recently and don’t expect to have it much in the near future. Because of the weather, Chris is mainly using it for work. So if we want it we have to take him and then pick him up again. But on Friday it was good weather, so Chris went to work on his bike, and I decided to stop everything and take the boys to the beach. It was wonderful. They love it on there and there’s just so much freedom on a beach to run and play and just be themselves. They don’t seem to notice the cold much either, it wasn’t planned, I thought they’d keep their wellies on, but they took them off and were running and paddling in the sea and making channels and sandcastles and just loving it. That was a good afternoon. A much needed release for us all. I love the beach, I love listening to the sea and the birds and the smell of the seaweed and looking in rock pools and collecting shells. Just breathing it all in. All made by God and pointing to God. Things to enjoy.

Bye for now. Have a good week.

If you’ve got this far, thanks for reading too!

Cathy.

Well hello.

I maybe shouldn’t be writing this, I feel like utter rubbish today, so it may not be a good idea, but I guess we’ll see. I’ll try not to let it affect the writing adversely.

There’s a few reasons, most of which are personal, but also, littlest fell yesterday when we went out. We actually had the car for the first time in ages, so I took them out in the late afternoon, it was beautiful. Until he fell on a sort of boardwalk which has metal things hammered in to stop your feet slipping. He went face first and lacerated his forehead (small but punctured) and above his top lip, that one was a bit deeper than I’d like, it was gaping a bit, so I decided after agonising about it, to try A&E in case it needed something more than steristrips. I also rang the GP and the receptionist told me to take him to the hospital because of the head injury….

So, I picked him up, sat him down, applied pressure to the bleeding with my jacket, when it stopped we had to walk back to the car, that took about ten/fifteen minutes. The journey to Sligo hospital then took an hour. You have to pay for parking, I didn’t have any money, so thankyou God, a fella came along and gave me his ticket. I took them in (J was with me too). You have to go to a sort of portacabin to be initially assessed (and either give health insurance or medical card details or pay the fee). Then you go through to the actual waiting room. There’s barriers all over in the hospital because of COVID, it felt so weird. The waiting room was packed. It was obvious that ambulances were coming in quite regularly too and my heart sank. It had already been over an hour and a half since he’d cut his lip. So we waited and waited. It got to about half 7 ish and a member of staff came and asked people to reconsider why they were there and that was the prompt I needed as I had two uncomfortable kids in the middle of a crowded waiting room, in a hospital where it’s been known to have outbreaks of Covid. One of whom had been wailing not too long before. So we left. Then it was another hour to get home. So, all in all from him doing it to getting home it was probably about 4 to 5 ish hours. By that time, his lip had swelled, so stripping it wasn’t that effective really. I’m not an expert in facial stuff, but I’m really hoping it heals well and doesn’t get infected. Praying. It’s not too uncomfortable today, but it’s still oozing and the strips are only to give it a bit of covering really. His head seems ok. Thankfully no signs of problems there either.

I was only saying the other day, I needed to get a proper medical kit together. And by that I mean a proper one, not the terrible ones with useless things in that you get as a pack. I think this has confirmed it. At least I have some knowledge of what to do too. During lockdown I had to repair little one’s head twice, he fell on stones. They healed well. Just leaving it, providing it’s clean, seems to do it. (covered with the strips). But this time, the lip injury made me feel unsure. Thankfully, his teeth are ok too. Bless him. We’re an hour from the nearest hospital, so good to be prepared..

This is my opinion and my opinion only, but I think the health system in this country is dire. We were so spoilt in the UK, with minor injury units, fast tracking, proper assessments.. Children’s units…Yes, there are problems, but nothing like over here. I’m not even sure here what you have to do to get things like smear tests and all that. (I’ve just looked it up, you’re supposed to get them free from 25-60), don’t know whether you need to chase them…but for most things there’s a cost. Children don’t get free dental care either, or regular check ups, they get one in school I think and that’s it, as mine aren’t in school, they won’t. I think if you’re seriously ill in this country, you have a problem, because of the structure, not the staff.

God bless the NHs and God bless the Irish system, may it actually benefit the people and not harm them.

I know his injuries weren’t that serious, that’s not what I’m saying, there’s just no support for health here as far as I can see. It’s very much laissez faire..as far as I have experienced and see. I’m very grateful we have a medical card at the moment too.

Cathy.

And it’s Saturday..

Running out of title ideas haha. Anyway. I’ve just done the birds, it’s the afternoon time and I’ve come to sit down on a rock at what J calls his quarry, it’s at the side of the field. It’s beautiful at the moment, sunny, warm, the kids are playing up near the chickens, so I’ve got a moment.

These are my current views:

It’s nice isn’t it?

The ducks are just about living in a swamp now, I’ve just text Chris and said one day I’ll go in and never be seen again because I’ll have been enveloped by mud. They seem to like it though. And thankfully, they’ve started laying inside their house. They were just dropping eggs in the mud before. So I’m thankful both from a mud perspective and because crows and magpies have been nicking the eggs and they don’t seem to when they’re laid in the kennel.

That brown square is their pen. Edit: you can see my rock in this picture.

I’m thinking whilst I’m sat here, phone in hand, thinking what’s new! Not loads. Chris is working 6 days a week now, so I’m here with the kids most of those days. I’ve planted some perpetual spinach in the poly tunnel and we still have tomatoes that are still reddening. There’s peppers too, but no sign yet of them changing colour. I’m hoping they will but I can still use them if they’re green. There’s loads of sprouts and some beetroot that are almost up to size. I do love planting, it has to be said. The front garden is still flowering, the rudbeckia anyway, and a few others, needs tidying, but I don’t get much time for that at the mo. I’ve had to gain a new perspective on weeds this year and had to accept I can’t get rid of them all!

The turkeys are doing nicely, still have 6, they’re nice and healthy, and seem happy enough. I moved their electric fence yesterday to new grazing, so they had a bit of time out on the field. It was hilarious, the kids were out too and J helped me herd them back in. They’re quite easy to herd really.

That’s them before I moved them, I was actually looking at the wagtail at the time.

I’ve put a new little house in for the quail:

Continue reading And it’s Saturday..

Tolerance?

I always find it funny how God speaks the same thing through others when he’s also been speaking to you at the same time. This morning I listened to a preach where the speaker basically said that themselves on their own are not patient in the slightest and it really reminded me of a blog I was going to do earlier in the week. Well, I started it in my head and then never got round to doing it.

Basically I got told earlier in the week that I was ‘very tolerant’, I replied with ‘I am definitely not tolerant’ to which was replied ‘you are’, and I just said ‘well you’d better thank God for that’. Because the truth is, I’m not. Me, by myself, I really, really am not. I’ve lost count of the number of times I just want to verbally rip into someone or tell them not to be so stupid or just be very impatient and unkind. That’s where God comes in. He speaks to me and works in me and makes me learn to be quiet when I would really love not to be. He teaches me through mistakes I make too. He gave me a new heart. It’s hard judging what is right to say and what is not sometimes, but telling the truth in love as the bible says, definitely does not involve ripping someone a new one, so I’m learning and learning to love rather than take offence. I still do sometimes, but as I said, I am learning.

I also thought today of some of the stupid things I’ve done since knowing Jesus, there were immense amounts of stupidity before, but there’s been some pretty awesomely jaw dropping moments since then as well. It’s been thirteen years of knowing Jesus this year. So, if I have been insensitive towards you either in person or on t’internet or on here, I apologise. I was quite insensitive when lockdown first started and I couldn’t see why people were complaining, I am a bit of a this is what you’ve been given so get on with it type personality… I was also quite touchy when I first spoke about becoming catholic, I just love unity in the church and hate division and it comes out wrong sometimes. I also just love Jesus and think we spend far too much time talking in general and about issues that aren’t that relevant.

I also thought today of when I was a very new, enthusiastic christian and sent my daughter off with people she barely know to a youth christian camp. They were very nice people, but still…. I basically sent her because I listened to others too much rather than actually being sensitive and caring and actually listening to God and just loving her, so I apologise for that too! She didn’t really want to go and I shouldn’t have sent her. You can’t force faith.

I’ll leave you with that thought!

Humans haha, process is good…!

God bless you one and all.

Cathy.

Oh don’t we complicate matters?…

I asked J this morning (one of our sons) ‘why did Jesus come?’ and he simply said ‘to save us from our sins.’ In a world that seems to be getting so complicated and the gospel being unclear to so many. I love that. Because that is exactly why he came.

I was interested, because I’d just written down on a piece of paper, What is the gospel? I wanted to clarify it in my own mind, partly because I think we do complicate matters so much, I wrote:

The good news. Jesus is the good news.

Lived a sin free life, died on the cross, was separated from God at the point of death because he took our sins onto himself.

He descended into hell.

Was resurrected.

Ascended.

Will return.

There was more, and there is more to it than that, but I’ll leave it there. Read one of the gospel accounts and you will see (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John).

I’d also just watched a short satire video about an interview between a present christian and a first century christian, it is funny but also uncomfortable because of some of the truth that is in it. If you want to watch it it’s here: https://youtu.be/7Zrve6NMWxk. You can make your own mind up.

So, If you are aware of being stuck in your sins/things you’ve done wrong, patterns of behaviour that aren’t right, of looking to this, that and everything to try to remedy matters, in need of hope. It’s simple, you need Jesus. He will cleanse you from your sin and make you new. The journey then starts! and what a journey it is. It is one that I have never, ever regretted.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9).

I am a simple being, but I like it that way :D.

Amen.

Cathy.

It’s Autumn but Still Sunny!

Hi, so we’ve been out a fair bit recently, making the most of the good weather. We’ve been walking, playing, we met another home ed family for the first time earlier this week, it’s been great. But just for now it’s stopped, the jeep needs a bit of work, so we’re at home again this week. Which is actually completely fine with me. There’s so much to do at the moment and it’s mainly stuff I really enjoy, so bonus!

As people who see my instagram will already know, I posted about my morning, I made passata from cherry tomatoes, I got the recipe from a lady who has a facebook page called ‘the Cottage Garden Dromahair’ and again I will repeat, it’s worth looking at if you’re interested in gardening/cooking etc as I think it’s brilliant.

I also did some chopped tomatoes, I got this method from another facebook page called ‘The Preppers Pantry’ and again, I love her page too, it’s actually got some pretty unusual things up. There’s a few jars of chutney from the beginning of the week as well and I got J to draw the labels this morning. I got going early this morning as it was supposed to be raining, but the weather is actually still quite good. I also froze some eggs for the winter as I’d lost track of what were old and what were new, so I just decided to start again and freeze them for our own use. You just mix them up like you’re making scrambled eggs and freeze them.

The flower growing is quite exciting, I love that we’re growing our own plants. There’s some that we might have to overwinter in the greenhouse in pots and then plant in the spring as it gets so windy and rainy it tends to kill plants that aren’t well established. I have lots of lemon balm, ox eye daisies, snap dragons, aqualegia, chives, lupins and some others. I also ordered some new vegetable seeds from a new Irish online store called Sow and Grow and they arrived the next day and were really well packaged. One of the principles (I think) behind the company was to minimise waste and not to put too many seeds in the packets as so many seeds often don’t get used. I will definitely be using them again. I’m also going to start growing some half hardy annuals this autumn in the greenhouse in the hope that we may have some early flowers for the garden next year.

The homeschooling or home education as I am tending to prefer to call it nowadays has started in earnest this week. J had started complaining he was bored early in the day (he wanted to go on games on the phone), so I’ve started doing our formal type work (which is still quite minimal) early in the day and it’s gone well so far.

A short local walk yesterday.

Generally, as in this morning, I have been trying to get jobs done early and then do the language arts and maths after that, but what I find, is I then try to rush everything. I was getting stressed trying to rush the jobs and then not concentrating on time with the kids so I changed it. I’m finding that being more in the moment and making the effort to actually ‘be’ with whoever I am with and concentrating on what we are doing at the time is a lot better for everyone. I also really, really like ‘to do’ lists, so they help. I just like notepads and pens really.

This morning, the kids were playing really well, therefore I did do the jobs. They were jobs I really enjoy as well, such as seeing to the animals and sorting the greenhouse and making (cake and passata). And then we’ve done the formal stuff. What I have found that we didn’t do any official ‘learning’ over the summer, but we do talk about words and numbers in everyday general life and situations, and J actually hasn’t really forgotten anything, if anything he knows more than when we finished in July. So I can see how the unschooling approach could work really well.

I’m hoping to do some woodwork and some sewing/making this year as well with him, because he is very practical and enjoys doing. I love choosing what we are going to learn about and tailoring it to us, discarding what doesn’t go well and adjusting our path to what is needed and will work. The only thing I need to sort is starting to learn Irish, so I’m going to look at a couple of websites that schooldays.ie recommends and take it from there (I know virtually no Irish apart from failte). So I’m looking forward to it too. There’s something called Rosetta Stone that I’ve seen advertised and seen people commenting that they use and recommend, but I think that’s probably for in a year or so’s time, when the boys are a bit older. (I haven’t used it, this isn’t a recommendation!)

So it’s going quite well, we’ve started to meet other home schoolers in the county and surrounding area. Early days yet, but looks promising. We are in a gorgeous place, loads to do, but I actually quite enjoy that and I am very thankful that I have the privilage of actually being at home with our kids. It’s a miracle that I do really! Thankyou God.

Right, I’m going, see you all soon. Love to family and friends.

Cathy.

Happy Tuesday.

Evening! I don’t know what it’s been like elsewhere because I haven’t looked, but it’s been really warm and lovely again over the last week here. So this morning, I’d just written out a to do list as long as my arm (seriously) and done the essentials, as in the animals and the greenhouse. I looked around, breathed in the air and just decided we were going out. I’ve been feeling some stress recently, having difficulty prioritising what I need to do and balancing it out with spending time with the kids but I think I definitely made the right decision today. When the weather is bad, we don’t tend to have the car, and J (eldest boy) really likes going out. So off we went, in the Jeep with the scooters in the back.

The first stop was Drumshanbo park. It’s a lovely place, next to Acres Lake (there’s also a boardwalk) and it was less busy because most children here have already gone back to school. Our August bank holiday is earlier than in the UK. The kids loved it and littlest conquered his fear of going up the big slide. He went halfway up the ladder a few times and came back down each time, then I turned my back to look at something J was doing and he was up! There was no stopping him after that. He loved it. I LOVE that he did it and in his own time too, he was very determined and kept trying.

It was nice as well, because there was another English woman there who I got talking to who lives in Drumshanbo. I’d never met her before and It was really lovely to have a conversation and just chat. We both miss England too, so we had that in common! Haha.

Next stop was for food and toilet. There aren’t many public toilets in Ireland (hardly any where we are), so that had to be Tesco’s in Carrick on Shannon. (Hardly any bins either and still generally very clean.) So after that, we parked up next to the waterfront, the parking is free on the road and took the scooters out and had a walk up there. There’s a long path that goes along parallel to the road but far enough away to be safe with kids and it’s lovely. There’s a wild area at the beginning with some wild flowers and long grass and willow sculptures/tunnels.

I’d love to do a willow structure.

Then we walked/scooted and the boys climbed on the wall. J insisted on going on his scooter on the wall. Which sort of scares me but I know he’s really agile and good with his balance and I like him to push himself a bit, so I asked him to watch where his wheels were going and left him to it. There’s no way I would have let littlest do it though!

There’s also a bridge with benches that goes partway out over the water.

After that the boys enjoyed playing at the water’s edge for a short while. look at the reflections, it was beautiful.

It was very peaceful

Finally, theres a free library at the side of the path. We took a couple of books and we will take a couple back at some point soon. I think it’s really funky. It’s a brilliant idea. I’ve heard of people doing them for seeds too in different areas. My head keeps filling with ideas I’m not sure what to do with! I’m sure it’ll come clear at some point!

Then it was home time. The turkeys keep getting out so I’ve clipped their wings again tonight with the hope that it’ll stop them. I’m not sure that it will!

Run! Ruuuuunnnnn, be free!

Anyway, it’s far too late now. I’m off. Thankyou God for a beautiful day. Good night and God bless you all.

Cathy.

Ooh it’s been a scorcher.

Last week that is, it was absolutely boiling hot, mid 20’s upwards, brilliant, but I now understand why God didn’t send us to somewhere a bit hotter than Ireland, I’m not so good at dealing with constant very hot weather, haha. Anyway, it’s back to some rain this week and the temps are more like between 15 and 20 (celsius), so it’s nice.

It’s bank holiday weekend this coming weekend and it’s looking dry, so we’re really hoping it stays that way so Chris can finish or at least get a couple of coats of paint on the house. He’s been gradually hacking away at it, it was very hard for him last weekend and the weekend before as it was so hot and he was up on the roof in a very precarious position painting the chimneys. He’s done it though! Which is marvellous. Now the second coat on the walls and window sills etc to do. It looks brilliant (picture on last blog post).

The ducks are still all in together and ok, it’s funny, the original 5 and the newer 6 (females) they still gravitate towards their original groups.

The front five are the original ducks.

In the hen pen, the broody hen is now back in with all the other chickens and the three chicks will remain separate until about 16-18 weeks old (ish). It’s looking good, the chicks look like they might all miraculously be female.

The turkey’s are growing well, they’re about 5 weeks old now, They have a dog kennel for shelter, which after they’re gone, we’ll use for the ducks. We had to clip their wings as they kept escaping, and so far no more escape attempts. They don’t go far, but I really don’t want the cat or other wildlife to get them.

It’s summer! We’re taking a break from any formal schooling stuff we do for August, but will still be doing lots of other things. J is currently busy with the hot glue gun making things out of ‘popsicle sticks’. I need to mow around the chickens and it’s looking like I might have to do it in the rain, I’ll give it a bit longer. The trouble is, the grass has grown up around the bottom of the electric fencing and that means it might not be working properly. So it definitely needs doing. Littlest is legoing in the living room.

The veg in the greenhouse is brilliant, I got a beetroot larger than my hand yesterday. I grated it up for a salad and it’s lovely, not woody in the slightest. It’s also the first time I’ve ever grated up a beetroot for salad!

We’re also still growing flowers, there’s some more lupins growing in pots and aqualegia, plus other bit and pieces. The front borders look lovely at the moment, but a lot of what is filling them is annual flowers so come autumn/winter it’ll start thinning out somewhat, so I need a plan.

This may be me being a little defensive but, someone asked me a question the other week, a question I am somewhat tired of, it hasn’t been asked loads, but enough..it was ‘how are you getting fed?’ (as in spiritually, God and all that). Believers – it is perfectly ok to get your ‘feeding’ directly from God and by knowing and sometimes talking to other believers from different backgrounds and watching/reading other reliable sources of sustenance. I get you have to choose carefully and I do but pleeeeeaaaaase, stop thinking that if believer’s lives don’t look like how you think they should look, that they’re wrong. God does things his way and his way does not always look like our ways and we often have to wait on him and this life is for the long haul.

I love writing to Him and drawing and writing down any thoughts I have whilst praying or just being with Him, writing down things I think are from Him and just being in his presence. I love being outside being aware of the beauty and His creation and presence, I love being in my kitchen with God, talking, singing, listening, ranting, just being. I love being in bed at night in the pitch black thinking and listening. No matter what ‘church’ you are part of, you are still part of the bigger church family and we are all connected by God. I’m still waiting with eager anticipation for Him to do more great, great things, things we don’t even imagine. One of the things I love most about God is how He can work in us, how he can turn our worst messes and self pity and rubbish into beauty. As the bible says, he gives beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3). I love how he can change your day at the drop of a hat, or your life. I am far from perfect, but Jesus is my peace.

My main prayer for the past 8 years has been ‘lead me in your ways and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation, for you I wait all day long’. (part of Psalm 25, it’s a beautiful one, as are many of them, try reading it) and I will continue praying this, because this is what I want for our lives, nothing else will work.

Thankyou for reading.

Cathy.

Ferality (is that a word?) and other stuff.

It has come to my attention how feral I and the kids have become. On the emerging out of lockdown thing that seems to be going on but not going on, but going on, but not going on….repeat as necessary. And because of living where we are living and the start of doing things or starting to do things like plan to meet people, go to mass, go out in public in general… I have realised we lack a plethora of things. Such as shoes (we have wellies), clothes that don’t have holes in or stains on, which aren’t bleached by the stuff that we cleaned the house with, or actually, actual clothes, a regular bath time, clean ears, an ability to converse with others and actually be bothered about talking to them, decent hair cuts, a clean house with clean windows (I’ve been very preoccupied with the outside) and etceteraaa etceteraaaaaa. There is slight exaggeration going on there…slight…

I actually don’t mind feral, but I think we might have to reign it in a bit to actually mix with others. Y’know, like not smell of chickens and have hands and knees covered in mud sort of thing.

So I think we’re off to the beach in a bit, feral doesn’t really matter there. Chris is the more civilised of the lot of us really, (he has to go to work).

In other news, we still have the turkey poults, they’re now three weeks old and outside, I put them out yesterday, they were making the house smell a bit. They’re very healthy and friendly, I think I might attempt to sell them in a few weeks, I’m now not sure I fancy rearing turkeys, I’ll let you know.

The little ducks have gone in with the big ones, there is a bit of bullying going on, but they seem ok, no damage done anyway and they’re getting closer together.

The chickens are all fine, the three little chicks are about five weeks old now I think, still with the mum and doing well. They won’t need her really from now on, so she may come back out and with the rest of the flock soon.

Chris has started painting the house as many people have seen, it looks lovely already and it’s only had a watered down coat on so far. The garden is also blooming! It looks really nice, but it’s a work in progress still. I still need to fill it with more plants and get more ground cover in. The weeds are a nightmare, there’s horsetail growing all over the place, buttercups, bindweed and more. But it looks brilliant considering!

Chris’s silver birth trees that he is growing from seed are also doing really well, as is the greenhouse. I tried to keep the growing simple this year, as I didn’t want to end up with loads of wasted produce (which is always very possible). So far we have a glut of cucumbers (from two plants) and loads of tomatoes, of which some are starting to colour up. We still need to get an honesty box and stand up and running as we have loads of eggs too, I’m just having to use them in baking etc at the moment. I don’t think quail eggs are going to be a big hit round here, they’re a bit little and fiddly, I’m mainly using them for egg mayonnaise for Chris’s pack up at the moment. I don’t think I’ll be hatching any more quail, they’re lovely but not that practical, egg wise.

So goodbye from our feral selves. I think I prefer this life to the sterility of having to conform every single day! It is good for today, only God knows what the future holds! So all is well.

I would talk about the fact that Chris now has a motorbike, but I know absolutely nothing about them, so I’m afraid I won’t be! But he loves it very much and is planning a good future with his bike :D. (It is very nice and I’m glad he enjoys it so much). He now gets me to drive the boys and he rides his bike to wherever we are going.

Hello to everyone!

God bless you!

Cathy.

So this morning..

I actually wrote this earlier in the week but then decided not to publish. I think it’s strangely apt now so I am polishing it and publishing it!

So, yes, this morning I was doing the washing up whilst listening to Lauren Daigle (Look up Child). I found myself thinking about things that had happened in the past. Not particularly the distant past, more the last decade or so. It was quite emotional, to be reminded of things, things that hurt, things that I’d done, things other people had done. Actually, it was very emotional and quite a release really, as I thought and thought and cried and spoke to God and tried to listen.

What then occurred to me is that if we all knew all this stuff about each other, because we don’t, we don’t in general know much about others, we would probably be absolutely horrified and others would be horrified to know certain things about us. In some cases we probably wouldn’t want to even associate with each other. And we would almost certainly almost revel in putting each other down and talking about each other.

But God is actually the only one who will ever and does know absolutely every little thing about us, every thought, every action, even before they happen and still wants us and loves us.

‘Oh Lord you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. (Psalm 139:1-5).

He is also the only one who if we go to, will forgive us, but not only forgive us but put our sins as far from us as East is from West. He cleanses us and makes us whole, makes us new, through the blood of Jesus. As the popular scripture says in 1 Corinthians 13, ‘Love keeps no record of wrongs..’ and;

‘if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’. (1 John 1:9).

Isn’t that amazing? God, God! who knows every last thing about us, every good thing, every bad and terrible thing, will forgive us and cleanse us. He does forgive us and cleanse us.

So, who are we to look down on others? Us, who have done so much wrong in our lives but been forgiven? As scripture also says…

You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:5).

There should be truth and there should be love. And part of that is walking in truth with each other and telling each other when there’s a problem and also being able to go to trusted people when we have problems. Also, if there’s any abuse, that should most definitely be dealt with openly. Closing ranks should never be an option. But! God loves us and forgives us, that should be and is a game changer.

For those who don’t know Him, I will reiterate, He is the only one who will ever know anything and everything about you and still want to know you, love you and not keep a record against you. All because of Jesus and His life, death and resurrection. He will change you, but only in good ways. Why wouldn’t you want to know someone like that?

Amen!!

The picture is simply because I think Sweet William’s are gorgeous!