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…

Let’s Celebrate!

We’ve had our wedding anniversary, our seventh, to be precise! Which is awesome. I’d got to a point where I didn’t really believe I’d get married when I met Chris. I wanted to, but I’d almost (almost not totally) given up on the idea. Then we met.

We met about seven months before we started actually going out. In August 8 years ago, I went to Chesterfield Church in the Peak on a Sunday morning as it was bank holiday weekend and the Matlock one was not meeting. I can remember someone in the meeting actually saying ‘I would have a weekend off if I were you’, but I’m very glad I didn’t. I went to the Chesterfield meeting, we met, we didn’t say much to each other, sort of smiled and I got made a fool of from the front of the room as usual. I think we were flying paper aeroplanes but I can’t remember why :).

Then over the next seven months we just seemed to ‘bump’ into each other. I also started helping with a Freedom in Christ course at Chesterfield which Chris was on. But I ended up not finishing the course with them. It just felt wrong at the time, so someone else took them through it. I went to join a new home group from the Matlock church which had started meeting on the same night. But again, as I said, we kept ‘bumping’ into each other. I even saw him one night when I was Street Pastoring in Chesterfield Town Centre and had a chat. It was really lovely to see him.

Then, I think it was around Christmas 2012 ish or maybe January, I got a face book friend request. So we started skirting around one another on there, commenting on things, having conversations, then in March Chris asked me out. The thing is, I said no, not because I didn’t want to but because I was going to our church group night that night. I’d been single a long time and made mistakes whilst being single so I was convinced that God needed to come first. I think that confused him and it took a little while but then he asked again and we met and went for a walk one Saturday for the first time. then we met the next day too and then most days/evenings after that from March time I think.

The walk was lovely, it was at one of my favourite places in Derbyshire. Time after that went quite quickly, it was accompanied as usual by many emotions and things accelerated fairly rapidly. From going out for the first time in March, we got married in October 2013 and then started living together and it’s been a journey ever since!

Chris is one of the most faithful men I’ve ever met, he is hard working, he is straight forward, he can turn his hand to almost anything. He is not all sweetness and light (who wants that) but he is definitely the right man for me and I’m the right woman for him. We compliment each other.

Marriage has been a roller coaster, getting used to one another, trying to learn just to love, not put each other down for being different. Trying to manage the stress of life whilst still loving one another is difficult! But it is so worthwhile. The main thing as well I’ve found about marriage is that the promises made to each other and in front of God is the most difficult part but needs taking seriously. For better or worse is a promise and it means you stick together through everything. When one hurts the other, you forgive. I’ve made some massive mistakes in our life together and so has Chris, but we are together and will remain so. God is the glue.

Nuts..

I thought about the last blog, not long after writing it and thought ‘I bet people will think I’m nuts talking about God telling me not to bother about going out to home school things or meeting people until at least after Christmas’. Either that, or think that I’m escaping from life.

Well if you think I’m nuts, that’s ok, I don’t particularly mind. I just know that God speaks and is concerned about our everyday lives. Also, I’m not hiding, believe me, I’ve questioned whether it’s that and it’s not. I just asked God a question and I felt Him answer. He wants the good of our family even more than Chris and myself do. And…Ireland has just decided to return to what they refer to as a level 5, which basically is a lockdown similar to what happened in March/April and limits you to exercising within 5km of your home. They are keeping kids at school, but as we are home schooling, that isn’t relevant to us.

If you’re interested, this is a link about what the level 5 measures means for people in Ireland. https://www.leitrimobserver.ie/news/home/582363/what-level-5-involves-and-how-it-will-impact-you.html.

I will also say, about this blog, that what you see on here is a mere snippet of our lives. I purposefully don’t put many personal details or stories of people we may know or things that happen because I believe that would be infringing on privacy, so unless I have express permission, I very rarely talk about people we know and what may be going on in that area. Which obviously limits the conversation slightly. So welcome to me talking about me again…ha. Also, I know it’s a bit of a strange blog in some ways, it’s not homeschool/smallholding/Irish life/Christian specific, it’s just life, our lives, here and that’s why I like it, God is in everything and works through everything.

Something happened when I came to Ireland, I got scared. I guess it’s a big move really, I was really excited, then I got scared, I didn’t know people, everything was different (and believe me it is), the work we had to do on where we lived was intimidating, we both thought at times ‘what have we done??!!’ and then my dad died, which just threw everything. I couldn’t believe I’d left when he was so ill and then I was here and my family was in England. It hit me that they wouldn’t see the kids growing up and that we’d taken a lot away from them and that and the grief has been very hard to deal with. Grief is hard to deal with, that’s how it is. But all that is part of the life we’ve chosen, but I did get scared and lost a lot of confidence. It’s funny how much of our confidence is based on what we know and situations we know and people we know. So it’s been a process. A process which is personal and common I think as well. But as I said on the last blog God works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28). And I can see it too.

See ya.

Cathy.

Stop doubting.

I came downstairs this morning and felt a massively strong urge to sit down with my notepad and write this.

You see, I’ve found that doubt in my life leads to all sorts of bad outcomes. When I’m worrying, when I’m stressed over non specific things, when I get angry and I don’t know why and all sorts of other things that I won’t list because it would be massive. It is, I’ve realised, very simply, because I am not trusting God, I am leaning on myself or others and not Him.

He understands what is going on and why and we don’t. I’m not even particularly talking about Covid, I’m talking about life in general.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.

Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

Proverbs 3:5-8.

Just think of the lightness we actually have in God through Jesus, should we let ourselves go there. Just think!

..do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus… (Phillippians 4:6-7)

Supplication in this context apparently means ‘a call for help from God’, to ‘plead humbly’. So doing the happy clappy smile and saying everything’s ok when it isn’t, is not what this is all about, but going to God, asking him for help and ‘yielding’ as a good friend of ours is fond of saying, is.

One example I will give of listening to God and not people is I asked him a month or so ago what to do about meeting people, especially in relation to home schooling and the context of covid, because we still don’t know many people here. The answer I felt He gave was (paraphrased) ‘chill, don’t worry about doing any of this until at least after Christmas, enjoy your time’. Now this has been difficult at times because of what everyone else seems to think, events have been on that I would have like to have gone to in some ways, but I felt Him say no. So I didn’t and actually it took a load off. So thankyou! It makes sense as well, because we would have had to stop going to the event I had in mind, with restrictions that have been reintroduced, and that would have been harder on the kids. So yes!

He loves me.

God is good and good is great.

Bye!

Cathy.

Elephant in the room…

We are becoming Catholic.. I know I’ve mentioned it but I thought I’d just be a little more open.

We are indeed becoming Catholic, all being well, it’s a funny time to do this in some ways, as I mentioned yesterday, the churches have closed again here and we haven’t a clue when it will be official. But y’know…God’s timing, not ours and all that.

The Catholic thing will be a shock to some, not so much to others, some won’t care, some will think we’re downright heretical/idolatrous by joining Catholicism, or being fooled.. some will even be happy. Some will think we’ve become ‘religious’ or rules based and don’t know God’s love and grace properly. As far as that is concerned we just try not to be hypocrites and let the love and will of God guide us, not men. I’ll let you into a secret…Believing Catholics know God’s love and grace too…(and His gifts).

It’s been quite a journey, looking back, I can see on my own journey and how God has brought my personal journey and Chris’s together, that He really has worked in us individually and together to bring us to this point.

I will tell the story at some point as best as I can (mine, anyway, I can’t speak for Chris). But for now I’ll stick at this. What I will say is, I think it’s been happening since before we even came to Ireland, maybe even for years.

What I will also say is, I’ve been through the theology, the history, the objections, wrestled with myself and God, asked a ton of questions, worried, mourned, examined the sacraments, felt deep joy and peace as well as being perplexed at times and it is not a blind decision. We also continue to read and watch and talk to God. We feel it is the right decision, one we very much feel that it is where God wants us. It wasn’t an easy decision, mainly because of where we come from and how easy it would be to just stay there. It’s very much the start of a new part of the journey for us and I don’t think it should exclude us from being a part of the general ‘Christian’ world either.

Jesus is Lord and remains so. Always.

So, may God bless you with knowledge of Him! And I’m still Cathy. There’s just a little difference, I’m now Catholic Cathy (as Chris has been calling me)……. or just a woman of God really, a worshipper, someone who God has placed in His heart and He in mine, a sinner who now belongs to Him. To put it in short, I am His and He is mine.

Ta ra 🙂

What to talk about…what to talk about….(drums fingers on desk..)

Well! I haven’t really felt the urge to write much recently, until today. I’ve had a bit of a blog block! But what to talk about? So much happening still around the world…. So much I could say…but I think I’ll stick to here today.

So! Life carries on here in much the same way at the moment. Home schooling J for a short while in a morning, learning mostly through just doing life though. Although Ireland has gone to what they call Level 3 in relation to Covid and increasing cases. So you stay within your own county, still limit your contacts and there’s no indoor gatherings etc, well, apart from schools I suppose, and workplaces. Church services have been stopped again, although church buildings are open for private prayer.

So many jobs to do for both of us. Life here is never boring, I’ll definitely say that. We have such long lists! (in our heads, I haven’t written everything down). So getting the balance between family and jobs can be difficult. What I mean is, spending actual one on one time with the boys for example, can get sacrificed a lot because of doing things. Most of the house still needs tidying up and decorating, we haven’t got any storage or surfaces in the kitchen. We don’t really have light shades or curtains up yet in most rooms, the ones we do have up are held up with garden canes which were up when we came. I think we need to get another dehumidifier for upstairs too as we get into the winter months, it gets so humid. But, on a lighter note! It’s so much better than it was, I love that we can take a bath actually in a bath rather than a plaster bath and that it’s in a proper bathroom! It’s so easy to get complacent and forget how much of a blessing it actually is.

Outside, it is seriously neverending, we’re still sorting the trees that got chopped down, there’s such a lot of work just to get those sorted and there’s still loads of trees left to cut down and process too.

The field needs cutting regularly to get rid of the rushes and Chris can’t always do it if it’s very wet as the tractor can’t be used on it when it’s like that. But it is looking good! We need to sort out fencing on two sides of the field too, but that won’t be doable until we’ve sorted the trees out, partly because some trees are lying across the fence. There are fences there, but the posts need replacing. It also isn’t an urgent ‘now’ job.

There are also the chickens to take care of, there is chopping wood to ensure we have enough to burn (but we have a lot of wood, which is great) and taking it down to the house, weeding the garden, growing plants to try to fill the garden, weeding, sorting and planting the greenhouse. Processing anything we need to from the greenhouse. Keeping all the grass cut around the house and loads more. Chris mends the cars himself if needed, and there’s been a lot of that over the past couple of years and there’s obviously the normal everyday housework and jobs too. I can just stay here every day and always have something to do. Chris also has his full time job to do too, which is also very hard work. He has some serious stamina, I have to say.

So, it is hard work, but hard work is good for you and we do enjoy it on the whole. It’s mainly the prioritising and choosing what’s most important that can be difficult. The lack of space and clutter when cooking can get very frustrating too, but its doable. I’m trying to get the decorating and preparation for decorating done (very slowly) in the kitchen. The boys have started helping with certain tasks, such as loading the wheelbarrow with wood and transferring it to the box in the house and they (in general) seem to enjoy, they also really like the greenhouse, although I have to be careful they don’t knock over the plants. As the plan is to get a few more animals in the future too (not completely decided on what yet, or when (not this year)) there will definitely be more to do then too!

I try to spend time with God every day, what I’ve found recently is that I can superficially come and go ‘hello’ ‘I’m praying’ whilst doing other things, which is sort of fine, but there is a space to come into, a ‘silence’ in which I can enter into His presence more deeply. It is this that sustains me, this intentional (even if it’s not a long time) coming into his presence and His love. I often fail, I often get frustrated with life and get short tempered and irritable and He is always there, He knows me and loves me anyway (you too) and changes me, sometimes gradually, sometimes quickly.

The posture of how I see worship whether it’s either mentally or physically…by that I mean it doesn’t have to be obvious, you can be sat quietly with this same posture internally.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23).

The greenhouse has almost been cleared now, apart from Brussel sprouts, turnips, lettuces, leeks and garlic. I’ve covered the spare beds with cardboard and mown grass in an attempt to stop weeds from growing before next spring and I suppose it will warm the soil too. I’m growing lupins in pots from seed and they will stay in the greenhouse until the spring when they’ll go into the front garden. I also plan to try growing some sweet peas, I’ve never tried them at this time of year, but it’s worth a shot.

There’s a couple of robins and a wren who always seem to be around at the moment, everywhere you go when you’re outside, or you can often see them through the kitchen window on the wood pile, they’re lovely. It’s really nice to hear a flutter and see the robin really close to you. The swallows have gone now, there’s a few wagtails about and J has decided they’re the smallest birds in the world! Nothing I say can persuade him otherwise. Most of the flowers are still going strong in the garden and the wild flower patch, they seem to come into their own later here than in Derbyshire. The Cosmos and cornflowers are really going for it all of a sudden, amongst others. They’re beautiful but I really need to sort the weeding out, otherwise the ‘garden’ is going to get swallowed up by grass etc over the winter and it’ll just look like another part of the land.

This is helping because it is me taking almost a more objective look at what we need to do and whether we actually have as much as I think. What I do know is you can just keep on working all the time until you drop unless you make an effort not to. Whilst that is ok sometimes, it’s not if you still have the kids bedtime to do, so! priorities, priorities!

Having said all this, it sounds like we have a never ending lifestyle of wholesome outdoors running about life, today, we don’t, at this precise moment we have the tv on, the kids were watching operation Ouch but now Sooty is on and I’m attempting to get some energy up and get going and decide what to do, if anything. My motivation is not there at this precise moment (and I’ve eaten too many biscuits!).

Good bye!

Cathy.

We’ve been on holiday!

So, firstly, hi, and secondly, my knee is better. So thankyou to anyone who prayed for me, it is very much appreciated. It has literally gone from being so painful that I couldn’t move it or use it properly and using it brought me to the point of tears, to being what appears to be totally better. So thank you God!

Thirdly, we’ve been on holiday for a week, to county Kerry. We’ve never been before and it was so good. It’s also the first time we’ve been on holiday together for about 2 1/2 years I think. It was a good break for all of us. Having a rest and spending time together really does make a big difference to everything really.

This was at Torc waterfall. There’s walks you can do around the area.

Kerry is beautiful, you seem to have a permanent backdrop of mountains, wherever you go.

We stayed near Killarney and travelled around the county a fair bit, visiting quite a few different places. Killarney itself was a little bit too busy for us but we travelled to Cork and went to Blarney Castle (where the blarney stone is), the gardens are lovely and we went to a couple of beaches near to Tralee, the best of which was in a place called Castle Gregory, it was wonderful.

I think this beach was called Banna Strand.

My happy place is often the beach anyway, the wilder the better, it was sunny when we went and windy and it was so good. The beaches stretch out for miles and are sandy and back onto sand dunes. I think it was around the bay of Tralee. The boys all loved it. It was a very beautiful place. There were a few surfers and some horse riders, but not many other people. We also got stuck in a sand drift on the road and I had to push the car, a man came to help and it got free, that was quite funny. There was a little gap between the beach and the road and the wind was continually blowing sand onto the road, it was quite deep!

I saw some wild goats too, up on the rocks at the side of the road, when we drove around the Ring of Kerry. A brief glimpse, but it made me very happy. No one else saw them either, just me. I’d said that morning that I’d love to see some and then I did.

There’s some really cool names, we stopped to get a sandwich at a place called Sneem which was on the Ring of Kerry. Don’t you just love that word? ‘Sneem’. I love travelling round and seeing new sights, We’re not really a town/city type of family any more though. Busy roads like in the middle of Killarney now do our heads in! To use a very British expression..

We’re home now and we spent Sunday cutting grass and tidying up around the gardens/barn/chickens etc (and my knee isn’t even aching!), I was mowing and Chris was strimming, the boys were playing outside mainly. It’s been good, but it’s all back to normal from today, well, as normal as it gets! so onwards.. I do feel a little sad that it’s over, but happy too, because we’ve had a really good holiday.

So, just a quick update.

Thanks for reading!

Cathy.

Children.

Children see so much more than what I think sometimes. I was in the kitchen doing the washing up and yes, I was crying. I’d had a memory of my dad that’d hit me a bit the evening before and I was thinking of it. Basically, I was falling asleep on the chair downstairs last night and I heard my dad’s voice like when I was a little kid and I needed to go up to bed. I heard him saying ‘Cathy, come on, come on Cathy, up to bed’ in a nice gentle voice. It was a memory I didn’t particularly remember until last night, then I did. So I was very grateful for the memory but it also made me very teary. Anyway, I was in the kitchen, washing up, crying, J (5 year old) was in the dining room with his little brother, they were both drawing. I heard his voice. ‘why are you crying mummy?’. I was honest, rather than saying I wasn’t. And that was that. But it hit me a bit that they know a lot more than we realise a lot of the time and hear more.

So again, in relation to children. As I mentioned in a previous post we’ve started going to a Catholic church. Prior to this we’ve been mainly Charismatic Evangelical with a hint of pentecostal :). So anyway, it’s a lot different to what we’re used to. Good, but different! It’s very quiet when you walk in, well in general really. So you walk in, get directed to your seat/pew and sit down, some people kneel. Anyway, J (again 5 year old) can manage to sit and be just about ok now, the youngest who is 3 has discovered his voice and looks around, beaming at everyone and a couple of weeks ago, had a melt down. So I did the walk of shame down the whole length of the church with him under my arm and out of the door. It was a lovely day thankfully and there were a few families outside because they couldn’t fit into the church due to the 50 person limit. It was hilarious, our youngest loves an audience and he got himself right in the middle looked round at them with a massive grin and turned round with his arms outstretched almost looking like he was taking a bow, grinning at them, they (in general) smiled back at him, but then wanted to listen so I took him for a walk.

It again reminded me of my dad’s funeral. He did exactly the same thing there, refused to keep quiet (he was less than 2 years old though), went to the front of the crematorium and stood there grinning at everyone. It was like oooh, an audience. It was cringeworthy and beautiful and hilarious all at the same time. I think my dad might have laughed. Kids certainly are well placed to teach us lessons about humility and minding what people think, amongst other things. God certainly knows what he’s doing when he gives them to us. It’s encouraging though, because J was like that and now he isn’t so much, so meh, it’ll settle. It must be nice to have next to no self consciousness and it doesn’t last long in terms of years. Keep going, keep instilling what you want and it’ll happen. At some point.

I also love kids artwork. Seeing how they draw things at certain ages, what they draw, how it looks. I think as well as being fun, it can also tell you a lot! I also like the way they just do it without worrying what it looks like. So I’ll leave you with a couple of drawings, our littlest has literally just started drawing faces, just this week. The eldest is drawing his dad a lot at the moment, and fruit!

Bye!

Cathy.

I went to the doctors :)

So yes, I went to the doctor’s. Chris had the morning off to drive me up and look after the kids. Like everything nowadays, I didn’t know what to expect when I got there. I was told I needed to ring when I got there and it would be taken from there.

So we got there and were parked up, it was pouring down and I was sort of hovering half in and half out of the car wondering whether they’d ring back or whether they’d appear at the door, which I couldn’t see. Then I got a phone call, the doctor (a locum) asked me whether I had a temperature/fever and another question which I can’t remember, to which I obviously answered no, so he said come on up.

So I came up, the door was opened and I was gestured towards an alcohol gel hand station. So I did my hands, leant forwards slightly and my wonky glasses fell off onto the floor. The doctor made a slightly desperate gesture with his hands and said sort of half laughing, now you’ve got to pick them up and you’ve just done your hands. So I did pick them up, put them on and they promptly steamed up so I could hardly see him. Aaaah, it’s all a learning curve at the moment. My wonky glasses definitely need replacing, they fall off and steam up at every opportunity. And yes, I do tuck my mask in.

We went into the room and then my glasses fell off again, just behind the door, I was going to leave them where they were, but he said to pick them up and directed me again towards a bottle of hand gel and paper towel to wipe my glasses with… hand gel, hand gel, everywhere.

He was actually really nice, he even tried to hide a smirk when I told him how I’d hurt my knee (you know, went flying with a wash basket down by the barn). Well, he didn’t try that hard, but I sort of agreed with him really, the description is quite funny. So blah de blah de blah. My knee was examined, well both knees etc and my painful heel which I told him about whilst I was there. He decided I’d hurt one of the ligaments in my knee, but I don’t need anything else doing, yes!!!! That was what I was slightly concerned about. He said it might take quite a while for the knee to heal and that it may always be slightly dodgy, but I left with some exercises to do, some instructions and a prescription for pain killers had been emailed to the chemist. So all good really!

I keep missing the gel stations when I go into places, I’m so concerned about my mask and getting it so it doesn’t steam my glasses up and not slipping with my dodgy knee at the moment, that I forget about other things. I did it when I went into the chemist too :). Ah well, he was a great doctor, full of advice and chat. He also, didn’t like my shoes and did the ‘do you always wear these sort of shoes?’ question, haha. I was wearing Toms which are a little flat. So I’m now enjoying perusing shoes online. Thank you very much for all the shoe suggestions, people on face book and beyond.

It’s definitely a different experience at the moment, going anywhere. Interesting! to say the least.

Also, I am so pleased I didn’t have to go to have anything done or any scans or whatever, everywhere is so far apart here, I would’ve had to leave the kids in the car with Chris too whilst I was getting it all done. So whoopeeee!

Also! I’ve found I get a surprising amount in the house done when I do some things slowly and then rest the leg and then get a few more things done carefully, then have a rest. Rather than rushing around, definitely a tortoise and hare scenario. Slower time with kids is always a bonus too.

Anyway, interesting times!

(we also got to have a takeaway kebab and chips too later on, always a BIG treaty bonus.)

as Chris said ‘we are simple folk’ 😀

Cathy.

We grew some veg! (and my knee still hurts..)

I wrote most of this yesterday, I’ve been pondering over the last paragraphs, but I think it’s about right now… and yes, it does talk about God after talking about growing veg. So hello and welcome!

Yes, I’m very proud of my veg today. I realise lots and lots of people are growing things but I’m still very pleased that I managed to supplement our Sunday dinner today with things we had grown ourselves. Here they are!

Thankyou God for food you can grow yourselves, thank you even more for the greenhouse/polytunnel (I’m never quite sure what to call it, it’s polytunnel shape but with polycarbonate covering). I really don’t think we’d have much at all if we didn’t have that, The weather isn’t that conducive here to growing a lot of outdoors crops. Peas, carrots and cabbage/kale would work I think, but I’m not sure about much else. Also, I probably wouldn’t weed as often as I would need to on the outdoors beds. One reason being the rain, the other, there’s a lot of work to do and I probably wouldn’t get round to it.

I’m still really restricted at the moment, the inside of my left knee is very painful and gets a lot worse when I’ve been on it for just short periods of time. I can’t walk normally and it feels tight and heavy and weird. I’m thinking about ringing the doctor tomorrow. I’ve been trying to rest it and elevate it, and I have succeeded a bit more over the last few days, but obviously I still have things to do too…It’s nearly three weeks now so I guess I probably should have it looked at?? I don’t know. I’d rather it just got better! My right leg’s getting strong though, bonus!!

Anyway, back to the polytunnel, I’m refining what I grow in it for next year, I’m not going to bother with broccoli or squash next year, we aren’t that keen on squash anyway, it’s a huge plant for what you get. The peas (and probably carrots) will be outside instead of inside, I’m going to try for more salad and herbs too I think. More everyday things that’ll be used or stored. We want to do potatoes and onions next year too, we didn’t get round to it this year, although I am going to try for Christmas potatoes, planting them soon. I really want to get it so we have at least something to pick and eat for most of the year. I’m also hoping to get more fruit bushes for around the side of the house, so far we have a couple of blueberry bushes (which haven’t grown much so far) and two gooseberry bushes. So we’d like currants and raspberries to start with.

When I was weeding the other day, in the front garden, I tried to get a huge weed out by the side of one our cornflower plants and I couldn’t because it was going to uproot it, so I had to leave the weed in, otherwise I’d lose the flower.

It made me think (probably obviously to some) of the parable of the weeds. I had to look it up because it was one of those I knew about but couldn’t remember exactly how it went and I was going to put something about it here, but, I don’t think I can do it justice, it’s more complex than I thought, so, it’s Matthew 13:24, read!

The simplistic version is, the Kingdom of heaven is compared to a farmers field in which an enemy has planted weeds in amidst the wheat whilst the men were sleeping. The weeds should not be taken out while the wheat is growing because that would uproot the wheat. There is an explanation given as well in Matthew 13:36 onwards too.

It’s real and raw and confronting, well worth some contemplation. It’s certainly made me look at what it says in greater detail and think about it. It’s serious stuff. What I will say is it might at least suggest that perhaps who is wheat and who is a weed is really not something for us to obsess about… it’s not our job to sort it and actually we don’t know….. It is our job to follow God and do what He tells us, to trust Him. We are responsible for our lives and for not getting entangled in things that are wrong, and if we’re honest, we’re all tempted to sometimes.. and do sometimes..! The way out is Jesus. Point to Jesus. Live for Jesus and with Jesus.

If that’s confusing, I apologise. It’s made me think. Am I committed to God? Do I take Him and sin in my life seriously? Do I spend more time judging than living my life for Him? Am I getting distracted? and for me, am I telling others how to live it whilst not doing it myself? I think everything comes from your own relationship and intimacy with God. All good questions. And no, not condemning but freeing.

Bye for now.

Cathy.

Storm Ellen.

Wow, it’s been a week since I last wrote anything. Well, I’d better rectify that. When I wrote the last post it had been a spell of beautiful weather. Well, now it’s reverted back. It’s pouring down today and we had a storm on Wednesday night, Storm Ellen this time. It was pretty horrendous, things don’t usually keep me awake, but this did. It was so loud upstairs with the wind and rain. Plus, I left the windows on the greenhouse open and we realised at 3am, so Chris went out to shut them before the greenhouse blew up, so I wasn’t really in the good books for a while. There were some huge branches that blew down, the tarpaulin over the chicken run got pierced by one and got blown off and tangled in some barbed wire, so Chris has taken that off. I was praying/talking to God so much during the night, praying that the roof stayed on and that branches/trees didn’t come down on the house. That people who live even higher than us were ok, that the greenhouse was still ok in the morning. Plus other things. It’s so good to know that God’s there no matter what and even if things don’t go our way or bad things are happening, he’s with us.

A good thing from that is the chickens actually went into their house last night instead of trying to roost on top of it. We’ve definitely got one rooster because he was crowing this morning when Chris went to let them out, I’m waiting to see on the others, we definitely cannot have more than one. So any others will become Sunday dinner at some point probably. I’m waiting at the moment because apparently Buff Orpingtons can be difficult to accurately sex and they’re not even 18 weeks old yet. I’ve bought some chicken leg bands so I can put one onto the rooster we want to keep, or maybe on the ones we don’t, not sure yet.

Another thing with the storm is we had a couple of power cuts, when we were awake in the middle of the night (around 3am) we realised the power was off and we had to use my phone for the torch and it didn’t come back on again until about dinner time (12 ish) and then it went off again later on (around 7:30pm I think) for an hour or so. I think some people in different areas had even longer times without power. That’s when I see the sense in having the solid fuel ranges rather than the oil one we have. (we do have a fire though and some electricity in the caravan, from a battery, to boil a kettle etc).

It was sort of cool, the evening power cut especially. Putting the kids to bed and talking to them and reading by the torchlight. Having candles out for the meal. Because the electric is off, the router doesn’t work and we don’t get much 3g reception inside the house, so you can’t go on your phone or use the tv, so not so many distractions. You can see how relationships might be better without loads of distractions all the time. That’s if we decided for it to be like that. Also, electricity is sooo good, when it comes back on, I’m very grateful for it. I’ve seen a video on facebook of somewhere near us where a tree fell on the electricity line and it set on fire, I’ve never seen that before! He was basically warning people not to try and sort it themselves (with saws), because it looked ok one moment and then was on fire.

All this is sort of appropriate, I’ve been working my way through all the little house on the prairie books over the last week or two, so the power cuts added to my imagination of how their lives were. haha. I haven’t read them since I was a child I think, I’ve really enjoyed reading them again, they’re really interesting, and eye opening! They worked so hard…much harder than me!

I’m still contemplating hatching more quails again and trying again with them. Maybe in a few weeks, I’ll have to sort housing out for them etc, I’m going to have a think and then I’ll probably write more about it.

Anyway, hello! and good bye!

Cathy.