How come I’ve got nits and no one else has??!!!

Now I’ve got your attention…:D

It’s true though and I also have no idea where I’ve got them from. I’ve not really interacted that closely with anyone. Doesn’t really matter! I think I’ve managed to oust them anyway. Horrible itchy little critters.

This week has again been a funny one, mainly from inside my own head really. Lots of stuff going on, trying to make decisions, do life, still waiting for transfer of residence to happen so we can sort the cars out properly.

A great thing is, we ordered some plants, a couple of apple trees, pear trees, rose shrubs, raspberry canes, strawberry plants, blueberry and cranberry bushes and Chris planted them yesterday. We will see what happens, the ground is still fairly wet, but hopefully everything will survive and even flourish. We’re trying out training the apple and pear trees along wire cordons to make a hedge of fruit trees, don’t know how clear this is, but like this:

Basically, there’s a little one year old apple tree against two of the posts and we will train it as it grows along the wires (providing it does grow). We saw them like this at Clumber Park near Worksop, UK and they worked really well. Particularly like that I’ve got the bottom of the welly that’s been left in the garden, on the bottom right of the photo.

I wrote about the bottle dump in the wood previously, but as Chris was putting the plants in he found some more interesting looking bottles than the big brown ones:

One of them even has a little cork inside it. Not really sure you can see it very well on the photo but they’re quite pretty. We’ve washed them and I am definitely not bottle banking these.

Finally, it’s quite rainy again, but I’m trying to make sure the kids get outside at least for a bit every day. I love this photo:

It does look deceptively idyllic though, instead of full of “don’t knock your brother over”, “please don’t open the stair gate” “don’t touch the oven, it’s hot”. too much television and me shouting too much… But it’s also cool and exciting and ours, given us as a gift by God for his purposes, which are unknown to us as of yet. Trusting ourselves to God each and every day is the only way.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
  neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
  so are my ways higher than your ways
  and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)

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A Summary of the latter end of this week in Pictures

My eggs arrived! it was a record, they came through the post in less than a day, fully intact and ready to incubate! An Post is great. If it was a courier it wouldn’t have got here nearly as quickly. Sorry but I haven’t actually taken pictures of the eggs yet. They went into the incubator tonight. They should take approximately three weeks to hatch (providing they’re fertile).

Our new fire was installed and (wait for it…) a radiator in the living room, we’ve been soooo warm:

We also had a range installed that runs our central heating, I don’t think I’ve lived in a house with central heating for about 14 years, it’s great! The surroundings will one day match the cooker. I made pancakes this morning, then pizza tonight, to try it out. It is very, very nice. The only thing I really have to watch is keeping the littlest boy away from it because it gets so hot and trying to tell the oldest boy not to put plastic objects on top of it. Might have to get the fire guard back out for a bit maybe.

Finally, Chris’s dream came true, yes folks, he has a tractor!

He just has to get the mower to go with it and he’ll be away up off to the field with it. Up, up and awwaaaaaay, off to sort the field out.

God bless you all and see you soon.

This is a ‘hi!’ post

Just wanted to say hello really. Chris has now got his shed up and with a floor down, almost ready for our still boxed up stuff. He’s also sorted the plinth out for the heating oil tank and it’s all up and ready. The oil is coming tomorrow.

It’s been really mild today so the kids have loved playing out. (It makes such a difference to their moods too!). Our youngest has just got his first shoes and wasn’t keen until he realised he could walk outside properly now. Then he was fine with them.

This is in the little wood.

So hello! And goodbye. Short but sweet.

Purpose?

Purpose has been on my mind recently. My purpose/our purpose, what is important? What is not? Purpose, purpose, purpose..Why do I exist? Does it matter where we are? What is it all about?

I mean, I know my basic purpose is to worship God and to glorify Him. But how does that work out in practice? What am I doing here in Ireland?

I thought I’d actually ask Him and do a little biblical looking up on what God says on this. This is what I found – basically, I did the most basic study ever which was to look up the passages with the word purpose in them. Then, I kept thinking of other passages that related to them or the subject and surprise! It’s all about God’s purposes, not mine! All we need to do is submit!

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)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose..(Romans 8:28)

In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:5-6)

Submit yourselves therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you. (James 4:7-10).

In other words, come to God with honesty, admit failures and wrongdoings, don’t hide behind facade, he knows you. Honour him. He will lift you!

There are so many more verses I could quote, but this has done me so much good. Just looking and reading and remembering once again that my purpose is just to abide in God, through Jesus. That everything else comes from that place… simplistic view maybe, but I like that.

Quirks

I thought I’d share a few quirks of living here that I’ve encountered. Well quirks from my point of view as up to now being very English. The longer I live here, the more I’m becoming aware that it is in fact very different!

These are generalisations, it must be said..

It’s very Catholic, we live in a Parish. If you have read my blog at all you should know I’m a full on Jesus follower. As long as people who say they have a faith are following Jesus, I don’t have a problem with different denominations. But I would like to know how on earth, every time I get into a proper conversation with a female here I somehow start being told about the local priest and how lovely he is…I have no idea how it happens…one minute talking about the weather, the next the priest 😂,

There is lovely food everywhere. Every petrol station you enter usually has some sort of deli/food counter. So do the little supermarkets. The cakes are just gorgeous….and as for tayto crisps…hmm

That’s our tea, not lovely Irish food. Although it is Irish Beef.

The bread tastes different, even the normal sliced loaves. Nice though.

There are also quite a lot of pubs..one of our local ones is also a shop and sells stamps. Another one has a petrol pump and you go into the pub to pay.

Irish people in general seem to be nuts for kids and are usually really good with them. I love this about Ireland. Everywhere you go you seem to see amused/adoring glances and get asked how old they are a lot.

People call round and stop in their cars if you’re outside, to say hello/talk. This is wonderful, but very, very different to England. There’s an older lady who walks everywhere and she calls in of an evening unexpectedly at least once a month. She arrives in the pitch black and leaves in the pitch black (and it is very black at night here).

People really do seem to want to help you, whether it’s information, practically or finding a tradesman, they’re helpful.

They also seem to drive very fast on a different note…lots of overtaking on the roads.

There is a lot of bureaucracy and doubling up of information on coming into the country and trying to get sorted. That’s a government thing though.

Finally! I’m sure there are more, but I’ll leave it here.. the border to Northern Ireland:

The border to the Republic of Ireland (sorry it isn’t very clear):

The only difference is that one is mph and the other kph. I hope it stays that way. It’s cool.

What’s happening at the moment? Jobs…!

So what are we doing at the moment? It’s quite a busy time really. We’ve agreed to have our windows and door replaced, they should arrive for fitting over the next 4 weeks. The range and a new fire are being installed in just over a week (all being well) and an electrician is visiting tonight to check out the electrics (I am so thankful that he is coming).

Chris is currently strimming the field, all 3 acres – he has bought a steel brushcutter blade for the strimmer and it’s getting through it a lot better than the grass cutter blade. It’s very hard work and he’s building a shed today as a bit of break from it. (The future plan is to possibly get a little tractor and use that and to probably get a few goats). The shed will be great to temporarily store all our boxes that we aren’t unpacking yet and will allow us to do up the cottage more easily. I’ve decided I need to re-box a few things to give us more room, it makes more sense than winding our way through stuff we don’t yet have storage for in the house.

There’s a little plantation right next to our cottage which you can see on the above photograph. Eventually, the spruces are going to be chopped down as they’re very tall and quite close to the house and we’re hopefully going to have some native trees there instead. There are a couple of birch already in there but struggling and a lot of holly.

I knew there were some bottles in the wood, but this week I started investigating a little further and there are what looks like hundreds! I’ve started excavating them and am going to keep on doing so. It was suggested that we do a bottle wall, I’d love to in some ways but with everything we have to do now and over the next few years it is currently unlikely – so bottle bank here I come!

So I (Cathy) am watching Brexit and the UK and Irish responses to it with interest and I have to say, since we’ve been here we’ve met with nothing but friendliness and have been welcomed in general but Brexit particularly online seems to be stirring up a lot of anti English comments, I don’t know if that is because of the certain type of people who comment on online posts or if it is a general feeling, but I have to say the English or the UK don’t exactly help themselves sometimes. Whoever started the petition to get the Republic to join the UK is a little bit assumptive or taking the mickey methinks.

So anyway, back to the old homestead….I’m getting hatching egg fever again, I think I’m going to go for the breed Cream Legbar if possible as they are autosexing, you can tell if they’re male or female as soon as they hatch, which is helpful. I’m REALLY looking forward to hatching them, I just need to find a supplier over here. Cream Legbars have green/blue eggs and are bred mainly as laying hens, not for meat.

last year’s chicks 🐣

I’m also going to start reading up on goat keeping as I mentioned earlier, I think we have probably decided on goats as the main/first animal we will keep. Only a few as we only have 3 acres but we will see, there is no rush, as we also have to get the premises ready, as if you have livestock, you have to be registered with the Department of Agriculture as a goat/sheep keeper and be approved. We don’t know if it will be this year or next, but it will probably happen at some point.

Bye for now. May God bless you one and all with the knowledge of Him.

Cathy.

Big difference in a short space of time…

I’ve been thinking…not always good news, but this is pretty positive. What I’ve been thinking about is how much our little house has changed in a short space of time and how much you can forget or take for granted in a short space of time.

When we first arrived on the Friday evening on the 7th December, so nearly two whole months ago! I know I said it was warmer than we expected, and it was, but! we could see our breath whilst indoors, the walls upstairs in the bedrooms and also the bathroom were actually wet and the floor in the kitchen leading from the wall inwards was wet as well, it was really wet. Remarkably, as soon as we started putting heat into the building it all started drying out, but only after a week of not looking forward to going to bed (really not looking forward to it) because the bedding and the air upstairs actually felt wet as well. We’ve since realised we put a lot of heat in and that probably initially caused more damp, as we then didn’t realise a window needed to be opened a crack as well for ventilation (and it’s essential when cooking).

One of our jobs in a morning is to go around drying the insides of the windows and it has gradually improved – it has to be said this was Chris who initiated this. The dehumidifier has been a majorly good investment too in improving the dampness. On looking at photographs I’ve also remembered we took the flooring up in the dining room and bathroom so it could dry out.

We’ve learnt a lot about old buildings since moving in (especially in Ireland) and what to do with them and we’ve read up a bit about damp. Apparently, a lot of what surveyers tell you about damp is not right, it’s about looking at the causes, not treating with injectable damp proof courses etc. The main issues with this place was the lack of drainage around the building and having it all cleared and gullies dug out to drain all the water away from the building was the best thing that could have been done. Thank you God for our friend with his digger who was recommended and came to do all that work. There’s more to be done but that was a remarkable thing to have done within a very short time of being here. Also, he knew what he was doing and we didn’t! Chris also fixed the gutters and made sure the water wasn’t running onto the building.

Before and after photographs above… Gravel has also been put down since on the back to make a drive. The front gardens are going to be flower beds, conditions permitting.

I also watched Terry Waite speaking on a BBC clip tonight and he was speaking about when he was imprisoned and a major factor in surviving was actually living! Each day he was imprisoned, “that was his life” he wasn’t waiting for a life, he didn’t know if he would survive or when or if he would be released. But each day is our life, every minute of every day and while he was imprisoned he wrote poetry, he wrote his first book in his head! I have to admit, I’ve been a little sorry for myself at times recently and this really spoke to me. It is something I normally do believe in, living for that day, but it is so easy to lose perspective.

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:34)

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