Winter came in a weekend..

So I thought I’d start writing earlier, at this particular time it’s Sunday afternoon, Chris is watching YouTube motorbike videos, the kids are playing loudly upstairs and I’m in the kitchen waiting for pasta to boil. The wind is so noisy outside, our wood pile is just outside the kitchen window, it has plastic covering it and it’s whipping about ballooning up a bit. I think it’s secure though. During one of the storms a while ago, the wind was so strong it kept getting ripped off at one side and I kept having to go and secure it so we figured out how to fasten it down better from this experience!

I (usually) actually like wind, it’s very dramatic, a bit like me. I think this love probably comes from many holidays spent on the north east coast of England and a lot of windy walks on Derbyshire when I was little (the love of wind thing, not the dramatics). You can just stand and take a deep breath and enjoy the wind and it’s buffeting. It can also be very destructive though and I don’t really like that bit..

We have some quite tall trees by the side of the house and it’s always a bit of a thought that they may get blown down, it’s probably unlikely, but the thought is always there in the background, much as we try to push it down. It fuels my prayers anyway.

View from the side of the dining room.

Jump to Wednesday, it turned out to be very, very strong wind on Sunday night. Scary wind! I don’t think either me nor Chris slept much, listening to it. I know everyone in Ireland and the UK probably experienced it but it turned out to be pretty horrendous. Thankfully though, there was no damage here, although I’ve heard some pretty bad reports from the English news about damage done there. I think we had at least three power cuts too!

Turns out the postman was right, winter was yet to come and it came over a weekend. Jumping back again, after Storm Eunice? I think. We had snow! it was beautiful but it didn’t last a day. The kids got out in it first thing and then we were in for the rest of the day, it rapidly melted in the rain.

Jumping again, to now, it’s pouring down again, with another weather warning for tonight I think. I guess it is winter after all!

On a different subject, we’ve done our first actual Zoom class today, an art one, it was free, for half term I think. So I thought I’d get over my dread of being seen on Zoom and do it. It was mainly J (the eldest boy) anyway, who was on and it was wonderful! I think it did me almost more good than J. We were doing patterns and things and I (and J I think) really enjoyed it. I think we may sign on for more of them, she does homeschool lessons too during the week. So that’s a first, I pressed the button and did a Zoom class. I may give myself a little clap.

So, hello and goodbye. Au revoir. (Maybe French lessons next?).

Cathy.

Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday, Tuesday

I’m still not sure this regular Tuesday thing is going to work, but I’ll carry on giving it a go for a while. Hello! We’ve been out today for the first time in a couple of weeks at least I think. We took Chris to work and picked him up again later, it wasn’t anywhere particularly exciting, picking up chicken feed and going shopping, but still good! I got a coffee. Love getting coffee.

The weather’s been very wet again and slightly colder, during the night both myself and Chris woke up because there was a brief period where it sounded like there was a massive storm outside, the wind was battering the house and it sounded like it was hailing. It was fairly brief, but it was spectacular sounding. It’s unusual for Chris to wake up, so it must have been noisy.

So, since last week, my tooth where I had the root canal done a few years ago has cracked off (well half of it), I stood up and stood on my glasses and the lens popped out and I’ve felt very, very, very tired and I don’t know why. It’s ok though, I think I just need to start taking care of myself a bit more, I managed to twist the glasses back into shape (in a way) and put the lens back in. So nothing dreadful, just a pain. My glasses don’t feel right, I think I might ask for my prescription and send off for some, it might be cheaper and wiser, I always seem to manage to step on them or drop them at some point.

Oh yes! and I’ve been in touch with someone to maybe start going to a prayer meeting regularly (a charismatic, catholic one). So that’s new. I’m excited, but it does feel weird. I guess I’ve had two or even three years of not seeing many people, so I guess it’s probably normal to feel a bit nervous. It’s probably time though I think. I’ve just found out tonight from the man where I got the poultry feed from, that there’s a choir locally too that I had no idea about! So that’s good to know too. He says they’ll be starting back up soon.

Anyway, there’s probably more than that that’s happened, but that is all I can think of at this moment. So toodleoo. A brief one this week with not a huge amount in it, but It’s always nice to say hello. Hello!

See you soon.

Cathy.

Perfect?

I’ve been thinking. Why do we expect people to be perfect? Do you? Do I? I think I do sometimes, much as I hate to admit it. Or like they aren’t good enough. Like people have to be a certain way, that we have to ‘approve’ of them to love them, for them to get our attention and keep it. Did God approve of us? Was it on our own merits that we were saved by Jesus? No!

Conditional love isn’t love. Love loves. It just does. No matter what someone is like, no matter what they’ve done. It loves. Love doesn’t leave, it doesn’t say you aren’t good enough, it doesn’t put barriers up. Why do we? Love doesn’t say ‘look what you just did’ or sit there silently disapproving or talking about you to someone else. It confronts lovingly or shuts up and accepts. We need to stop the comparisons. We are all sinners in need of Gods grace and salvation.

Start loving. Properly. Not superficially. Forgive. Love is a sacrifice, but not one that says ‘look at me’, it doesn’t wear a pained, martyred expression. It is just love. Accepting, loving, being loyal, praying, helping, being truthful but not because of our pride or wanting to be right but because there’s a better way, God’s way. Being present, being there matters.

I’m just writing this in one go, thinking as I’m going along. There’s some borrowing from the bible as you’d expect. It’s Interesting and challenging.

People’s worth is not determined by what we think. People are made for God and by God and that is that.

Thankyou to those I have known that have shown me this and pointed me to Christ’s love. Because He is who we need to look at and know. He is the one who changes us. We can’t change ourselves in any major way. Only through Jesus who is God. And I can personally say that He most definitely does change us, our most fundamental beliefs can change in an instant with Jesus. Gods mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning (lamentations 3:22-3).

I’ve decided to just publish without refining too much, so there you go! There are probably some sweeping generalisations, but it’s just ponderings and truth about something I think we can struggle with. Well, if I can, I’m presuming everyone else can too. God bless.

Cathy.

There are mooooore Questions than Answers…🎶

So over the past week I’ve been doing two things. One is singing the abovc words over and over again (it’s a song on the album I downloaded last week) and two, trying out a new interpretation of do not worry about what you will eat or drink. I can tell you the new interpretation doesn’t work. Eating whatever I want is a bit of a disastrous thing and has definitely disrupted my lose weight before I visit England thing 😬. Time to start exercising again! (And eating better).

It’s a bit later than I planned, but here is the Tuesday post. I’m trying to remember at this point, what exactly has happened since Thursday and I’ve come up with a couple of things. I’m also writing this whilst cooking tea.

We got a couple of raised beds! As mentioned last week.

Here they are! They’re quite small, 6’ x 3’, but we like that size because we can reach everything that will be growing in them easily. I couldn’t believe how much compost they took. The quick crop website said they would take 300l each, but they took double that to fill them up. We’ve put cardboard underneath and we’re going to try and do it as a no dig type plot. We’re also planning on getting a few more. It’s hard actually deciding what should go where. I need to do some seed planning. Chris is putting small paving slabs between them, mainly because it gets so muddy. It will be a lot easier to manage them with the pavers.

We moved our two ducks back onto the field today, I originally moved them into a large cage for the winter, but ducks tend to make a mess of the ground and this is no exception:

So today, as a temporary measure to try and stop them being eaten, I’ve put the little 25m electric fencing inside the larger 50m electric fencing, and clipped their wings so they (hopefully) can’t fly over and into the fox’s jaws. We got covered in mud and poo catching them too. It was good fun!

The chickens in the main pen have been out for a couple of days, but I’ve shut them back in now for a while, it’s just too muddy to let them out all the time yet.

There’s the main man himself.

I’m hoping to get a coop for the field at some point that will house all of them, plus the four girls we currently have in the poly tunnel. The plan is to move them around the field within an electric fence for a while this summer. Then their normal site will recover and I can reseed parts of it again too. They’ll also naturally fertilise the field! Bonus.

We’re still getting a fair few eggs. It dropped off a little over the winter but is picking up again. we’re going to have to start putting them on the gate I think.

A very poultry based post but as a last thing, we did some kite flying as well yesterday. We haven’t been outside that much recently, so I’m trying to get us back into it. The kite flying was the littlest’s idea. It’s great being outside!

See you soon.

Cathy.

Weekly blog.|

So, I haven’t posted for a while. I haven’t really felt very inspired to write really. But I’ve been thinking and I think I’m going to try posting regularly for a while, on a Tuesday and I’ll see how it goes. I’m not always very good with saying I’m going to do so and so on such a day, things happen and I get distracted. But I’ll try it!

I don’t get on with winter very well in a lot of ways, the darkness, dullness etc, so I’m very glad that it’s starting to feel more spring like, birds singing, a bit lighter. People keep saying we still have a winter to come, so I guess we will see, but I’m actually hoping not now. It’s been so mild this year that we haven’t even particularly needed extra blankets on the beds or anything, despite our lack of roof insulation. Mind, I think part of it is also that the cottage has warmed up, we’ve been in it for three years now, with fires every day in the winter and oil fired heating a couple of times a day and we think it’s dried out and warmed up a lot. J (the eldest boy) is a little disappointed though that we haven’t had any snow worth talking about, so I guess that would be ok. And no, I don’t believe in the whole tempting fate thing in case anyone reading thinks oh no! they’ll get a terrible winter now! No, if we are going to we will, if we’re not, we won’t and that’s that. I believe in God not superstition.

There is something I’m quite excited about. We’ve got some raised beds! Only two at the moment, to see how good they are and try them out. Then we’ll probably get a few more. We are apparently going to put them up on Sunday, near the polytunnel. We’re going to try the Charles Dowding no dig type approach. We’ve been watching him on YouTube, so there’ll be no spraying out or digging the area they’re going onto, just cardboard going on the bottom of them and then be filled with compost. We’re going to buy it this year and then we’re going to try to set up some bins and make our own, hopefully for next year. We’re hoping to use pallets to make some bins, by the side of the barn. So all that will be a work in progress this year, a very welcome one. I think Chris and I are very similar in that we prefer to be doing work outside rather than inside a lot of the time.

I can’t really think of a lot else to write today really, so it’s just a hello and welcome again type post. Also, this morning I’ve had this song on my mind which I thought I’d share. It’s ‘I can see clearly now’ by Johnny Nash. Not to do things by halves, I had it on my mind so I downloaded a best of album. Now my family have it playing over and over and over again haha. I love it.

Goodbye and see you next week!

Cathy.