The last day of April.

Since the last post, the little chick that I helped hatch, has died, which I found very sad, but the other five are still healthy and getting a little bigger and more little feathers on their wings. They’re a week old now. I now have a spare heater too, in case we need it, so that’s good (I ordered one for the sick chick).

Chris has nearly got the polytunnel/greenhouse up, I helped him a couple of days ago to put the sheeting over it and hold it down whilst he fastened it down. It looks great, it’s really exciting too, it will extend the growing time for veg etc and we should be able to germinate the flowers in there. In fact, it’s so wet and windy here a lot of the time that we will be able to grow things that we otherwise couldn’t. I’ve ordered some seeds today, we’ve got a few but we ‘needed’ some more. We’re a bit behind again in relation to growing things, but we should catch up.

I’ve finished digging the front garden too, there’s some plants growing already, that have self seeded from last year, the borage that’s self seeded is ridiculous, but then we’re growing quite a few others from seed too. I’ve added in some perennials (Achillea Cerise Queen), to help fill it up when it’s out of season for the annuals and we’ll keep adding as we go along. We tend to grow from seed because it’s so much cheaper and we actually love seeing them grow too.

J has also found some tadpoles which he is currently keeping outside in a box and he’s loving helping Chris and myself with all the jobs. He’s loving Chris being at home, I also have to admit it’s really nice.

The quail is in that chicken house at the moment, I’ve ordered a little ark for him to have and the chicks are going to be inside the coop in the picture, inside a much bigger enclosure. That’s the next job! to get the enclosure ready and fox proof. God is good and we will make the most of whatever we are given.

God bless you and bye!

Cathy.

Chicks and things.

A few things happening again at the moment, Chris is definitely keeping himself busy. He’s moved all the trees that he chopped down from the side of the field, to the bonfire at the top of the field, it took quite a while. Apparently we can have a bonfire on the 23rd June, otherwise it’s illegal, for any reason, so we’ve been told and on looking into it, it seems to be so… The 23rd of June, Irish bonfire night, or St John’s Eve, or Midsummer, whatever you would like to call it really is when people have them. Here’s an article I found about it, I don’t endorse some of the views, (especially the burning of protestant bones, we’ll just be burning wood) but it’s an interesting overview of the celebration. http://www.castlebar.ie/Nostalgia_and_History/Bonfire-Night-in-the-West-of-Ireland.shtml

Then, yesterday, he started getting the greenhouse ready, doing some welding to repair and make the joints stronger and painting the reinforcements he added to the frame to make it stronger (to protect them from rust). It gets very windy and wet here and so needs to be as weather proof as possible.

We had five Buff Orpington chicks that hatched last week and appear to be very healthy, they’re already getting bigger and even have signs of feathering already, on their wings. There was a sixth one that I helped hatch, I didn’t want to, as I already know it can cause problems, but it wasn’t progressing, it had broken the shell (pipped) in the wrong place and had got stuck. I left it and left it (over 24 hours) and then took the decision to help it. It was completely ready to hatch and wasn’t attached to the shell, it just didn’t get the chance to push out and it isn’t walking. I’m trying to treat it, I’ve read up and learnt about what to do, but I’m still not sure whether it will survive. It’s very sweet and I’ll do my best, but I still don’t know. I’m waiting for another heater to come, so the chick is mainly spending it’s time on me, for heat, at the moment. ‘Helping’ it is just one of those decisions you make and have to be prepared to take the consequences really. I’m just glad the other five are so healthy and well and hatched without any problems.

In relation to life and God and everything… I’m feeling we’re in some sort of transition/change period, not completely sure what yet, I just know the feeling. Nothing radical like moving again or anything, (as far as we know anyway haha) just something. I guess we’ll see! I’ve felt this before and things have generally happened, so I’ll just trust God with it! Cryptic…

See you soon!

Cathy.

Spring.

It’s so beautiful at the moment isn’t it? Round here (Leitrim), the primroses are starting to flower on the verges, celandine and various other wild flowers are flowering and growing, the gorse is bright yellow and gorgeous and the cuckoo and swallows have returned over the last week. There doesn’t seem to be as many swallows as last year, but maybe it’s still a bit early.

Listen and you can hear the cuckoo or two.

Having said Chris’s next job was the greenhouse, it’s been a little too windy for him to do what he needs to do, so he’s been dragging all the trees and branches he cut off earlier in the year at the side of the field, to make a bonfire, but also separating out a load for chipping for the paths between the fruit trees in the front garden. It’s been hard work and his arms were covered in scratches but he seemed happy at the end of the day to have got at least some of it done. We’ve had some gorgeous days, but it’s still quite windy where we are.

Finally, for today, we’ve had some chicken eggs in the incubator for the last three weeks and they’ve started hatching today, we only have one chick so far and it looks really healthy, there’s five more eggs and we’re hoping that they hatch, I don’t know whether they are all viable because I didn’t candle them, I just left them in the incubator this time and tried not to disturb them. We’d love for all six to hatch, but that doesn’t usually happen, it seems really unpredictable. So we’re waiting at the moment, the brooder is all set up and ready for tomorrow, so I guess we’ll have an update then. I could hear the one that’s hatched, chirping from inside it’s shell this morning, it was a lovely sound.

And…We have some space!

Since lockdown and Chris being off work, there’s been some ‘right work’ (Derbyshire speak) done on the house. The bathroom and dining room are now painted and just about sorted and are fully useable, the table and all the clutter have (almost) been removed from the living room and put into the dining room and we have space! We also have the stereo up and running in the living room and can play music (that’s not YouTube), the first time in about a year I think. Chris has worked and worked on those two rooms over the past couple of weeks and it’s really paid off. To have that space after a long time living in the one room most of the time is just so good. The bath is back in too, the plastic plaster bath has been relegated to the barn, yes! The taps aren’t plumbed in yet because Chris hasn’t got the parts, but we can use it if we fill it up with an attachment from the sink. Still got a lot of clutter to sort, but it’s definitely better!

They’re not the best pictures, but if you’ve seen the rooms before, it’s quite a difference.

It was such a job whilst we were moving everything around and back to where it should be, for a while it seemed we had less space and more clutter, and we were definitely getting on each other’s nerves. But most of it’s done, for now, anyway. We still need to get curtain rails, lamp shades, pictures etc up, but it’s like a palace compared to before. It feels sooooooo nice.

While Chris has been doing the inside, I’ve been doing the outside, well, the front garden. I’ve been uncovering the edging stones, putting some of them back in place, digging out the little stones that cover the drainage pipe, leaving them on the path to dry out and clean off and then replacing them. It’s been a labour, but I’ve really enjoyed it. The weather’s been good, the kids have been playing out, I’ve had worship on and been on my knees sorting stones and weeding. The right side, looking out from the house has been done, I just need to do the left now! We’ve also been planting some flower seeds to eventually plant in the front garden. Germinating them gradually, in the windows, as the greenhouse isn’t ready yet.

Chris says the greenhouse is his next job, he needs to do some work and some welding to get it sorted. He also went off with the tractor to get a great big pile of poo that a neighbour who has cows said we could have. That’ll sit and rot for about a year, then we’ll use it in the green house.

I’ll leave you with that then.. Til the next time…..

Cathy.

Happy Easter.

I want to say hi today, hello! On this day when we celebrate the one my heart longs for, the one named Jesus, who was brought back from the dead and defeated death and sin forever. If you don’t know God, ask Him if He’s there, search for him, seek Him (Matthew 7:7). Even if you don’t know it, you need Him. Through Him is the only way you can be the person you were made to be, without the layers, without the hardness, without the sin and the shame and the guilt and the regrets, just you, with Him.

If you are grieving for any reason at the moment, I’m thinking about you and praying for you. In my opinion grief can be the most horrific pain imaginable and there are people who have lost a lot more than myself. God knows of and has experienced your pain and he cares, more than you can possibly imagine. He can be there with you through it.

There’s a lot of reasons for grief, but I’ve been thinking a lot about death as well as life over the past year or so. Dad died, then there were a couple of other incidents that really got me talking to God and thinking. Thinking about what I want my life to look like, what it should look like, what is important? Why am I here? What does God want for me? Is he really there? What does He want me/us to do? But also, how extremely, horrifically sad it is when you don’t know where someone is when they’ve died.

For example, someone I used to work with died, a former colleague kindly let me know. I was her boss, the nurse in charge of the team, so that got me thinking about how I’d treated her? Did I treat her well? Did I fuss about things that just didn’t matter? Did I show her love? The answer is probably far more than I realise, but the answer I’m aware of is; not always, no. So off I went to God asking Him to help me love people more, to make me more like Jesus, then all this virus stuff happened and made me think even more, then I read a book about near death experiences and it was just so good to read about people’s experiences. Experiences of God asking ‘what did you do with the life I gave you?’, giving them their life journey flashback so to speak, God asking ‘how have you loved those I’ve given you?’ Images of heaven, a real glimpse into what we call the afterlife, but what I suspect is actually our real lives, the place we will be in for far longer than this world, the place my heart actually longs for, where we will actually be in the presence of God all the time, where his light will light everywhere, where there is no more pain, or death, or sin, where he wipes away every tear (this is in Revelation 21). Where we are free, just free, to be us.

This however only comes through us accepting God through Jesus as our saviour and Lord of our life. This may sound harsh or like an unjust condition, but it isn’t. God gave and gives us all life, every good and perfect gift is from Him (James 1:17), Jesus actually sustains all things.

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Hebrews 1:3).

The thing is, we have all gone wrong and He knows that, that’s why Jesus’ sacrifice was necessary. He changes everything once we come to Him, we can’t change through rules, but we can and do change through His love and sacrifice.

God loves you, he really, really, loves you, he hates sin but He loves you. I used to think I didn’t believe in God, but I did, I was just really, really, upset and angry at him, unjustly, I have to say, but I was and He can take that, tell Him how you feel and take it from there.

Sorry if anyone feels this is lacking anything, I just write from my heart, the heart that God changed. I’m becoming more and more aware of how much I just do not know about God and His ways, but what I do know a little of is God’s love and it is perfect, lacking in nothing. The best is yet to come, should you choose to accept this mission…

Goodbye for now.

Cathy