Hey dudes/dudessa’s,

I’ve realised recently that I haven’t written anything for over a month! So I think I’d better rectify it, I’ve had writer’s blog….haha. Rubbish but spectacular joke right there (and true).

How’re you doing? We’re good. In a nutshell, we’ve hatched five Khaki Campbell ducklings (who are terrified of us despite regular attention/handling).

The greenhouse and three raised beds (all new this year) are all planted up with quite a wide variety of salad/veg and growing quickly.

I’m reading up about water bathing and pressure canning (only reading at the moment) as ways of processing and storing food and we’re very busy with the garden/field and house. I always forget how busy spring/summer is, there’s never enough time to do everything, but it is also very good, especially with the longer days. All the grown chickens are now on the field with an area of electric netting, the broody is still separate and in with her five chicks and all seem healthy and there are six young cuckoo maran in another separate run as they aren’t yet old enough to go into the main one. There are four girls and two boys, so the two boys will have to be either rehomed or culled to eat when they’re a bit older. They’re growing very fast.

The paler one with the larger comb is the male.

We’ve started back at church meetings again for the first time in probably nearly two years (in person). It has been great! It’s a local Catholic church and if I’m being honest I was dreading it and had been putting it off. For purely selfish reasons really, like noise from the kids, feeling out of place, not knowing what to do, being different from what I’m used to. And it’s been amazing, I seem to have just been able to put aside all the fears, trust in God and just go and be with Him and everyone else who is there without worrying about doing the ‘right’ thing and the only way I can describe it is so ‘sweet’, a real sweetness of God, His presence in a real way, that just negates everything else. It’s been beautiful. I’ve also found I get really emotional when they get to the eucharist part. It’s profound. It’s not like where we’ve been before in a lot of ways, not everyone sings, just a small choir who are also sat in the pews, but it does not change the beauty of the worship. I’m still swaying and singing in my heart and saying Jesus’ name to Him. So different, but not different as well. I went through a massive doubt phase earlier in the year, not about Jesus, but just about doing the Catholic thing, and I’m now convinced I had to do that and examine the decision and go through it with God in order to move forwards. I’m sure it’s not all going to be sweetness and light, haha, but so far so good. I am available, as the song goes. All these different forms of worship are actually so good in their differences, in my humble opinion anyway.

We had a fire the other day and cooked sausages on it for tea, we have a permanent bit set up for it near the chicken shed. We’re taking advantage of when it’s dry, we had a dry spell of a few days and it was lovely.

Would like more dry weather though (obviously), we were also busy cutting the grass on the field that day and resiting the chickens. After a couple of weeks on the grass we have to move them. They’re great fertilisers, as are ducks, as long as you move them before they wreck the grass.

I’d forgotten how messy ducklings are, they’re inside at the moment in the old bath, they soak the shavings every day and really smell! No matter how you try and give them their water they still spread it everywhere, so I’ve given up with fancy ways of giving it and am giving it in a little bucket that they can reach over with their beaks but can’t climb into. They’re gorgeous, but very messy! In a week or two I’m planning on moving them to the chicken shed, I need to build a little pen though, so I need to see what we’ve got lying around to do it with. They’re still too little to put outside unless they’re completely penned in, the rooks or magpies would probably have them. I’m in a war with those particular birds at the moment because they keep stealing my lone duck’s egg every day. It promotes inventive thinking anyway! I managed to nab one yesterday, she laid it while I was there – one to me!

There’s obviously a lot going on in the world, but I’m not going to write anything on that at the moment apart from yes it is absolutely heartbreaking, but always trust God and pray (talk) to Him. If you don’t know Him, get to know Him and no matter what is happening, trust Him, talk to Him, try to listen and be aware of Him always. Walk in His ways, tell Him everything, do what He tells you and again, trust.

So, just a catch up really. I’ll write more soon.

Love, Cathy.