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.

Ooh it’s been a lovely few days..

It has been a lovely few days, the weather this week has been really nice and a total surprise because when we looked last week, it said it would be raining this week. So it has been really good

The boys have been outside a lot, playing with water and in their ‘quarry’. The quarry is a bit of the garden on a slope, pretty much out of sight where we’ve allowed J to have a bit of freedom and he can do what he wants with it. So there’s a lot of digging, water drainage cut out in the mud, logs in certain places, water poured in regularly, messy gloriousness. (Not that I always think that, but it is really).

The quarry

We’re still not going out at all, but that’s mainly down to the fact that the jeep needs mending again at the moment, so we do not have transport while Chris is at work. But to be honest, that’s ok, I think I should actually treasure this time in a way, because I think it’ll get a lot busier over the next year or so. I realised one of the supermarket’s in Carrick on Shannon does click and collect so we’ve started doing that at the moment.

The only thing with enjoying it is I fell over last week, well about a week and a half ago, on our drive when I was coming back from the drier in the barn and hit my knee quite hard on a rock. It was pretty spectacular, the laundry basket went flying though the air into the rain and I was sprawled on the floor. It was a proper kiddy fall with scuffed, bleeding knees and everything. With me, sat there, crying and then gathering myself and getting up. Trouble is, I’m not kid sized…. I thought it would get better but it seems to be getting worse…so if you’re into it, prayers for healing would be appreciated. (Even if you’re not into it, try it, for me). It’s really painful when I’m using my knee and afterwards, to the inner side. I’ve been doing some things that I have to do, like cleaning out the chickens, housework, weeding etc but I have to stop after a short time. J is lovely if you’ve hurt yourself, he got me a plaster and put it on and everything.

I’ve also been getting foot pain quite regularly for quite a few months, but it’s worse in the mornings to both feet. The left one, I sort of expect it, it was the one that I broke the heel on and I do have some chronic pain with it, but the right heel pain is fairly new and very painful. So yes, prayer again, would be good. Thankyou.

And yes, I will see a doctor if it carries on…

Anyway, Chris is repairing the cars, he is so good with things like that. So hopefully, they will both be up and running soon.

This weather has been a real blessing. When you sit outside and listen here, it is so quiet, but blink and you miss it, it’s so easy to not hear the silence! Well, when I say silent, there’s sheep and birds and things, but it is so quiet or maybe I should say still. It’s lovely when you stop and just be in it. I think of it as actually stopping and recognising God’s presence. And we all need that.

In God we trust. To use a favourite phrase of mine ‘no matter what!’

Cathy.

Bits and bats.

Well I’ve learnt a fair bit this year from planting up the greenhouse. I’ve had to thin the tomato plants out because I planted too many, too close together and I’ve removed the French beans because they were getting mildew and making that section really crowded and too damp with not enough air flow. So now the squash might start to produce something. A couple of squash rotted because it was so damp. Apart from that, things in there are pretty good. The ones I didn’t expect to do well, the brassicas, ie broccoli, turnips, sprouts, are absolutely thriving. When I first planted them I thought maybe I was making a mistake and they should be outside, but apparently not! I am gong to try to see if I can grow more peas outside though, I know it’s late but we have them left and may as well plant them.

Huge sprout plant!
It’s a beautiful day today.
J’s ‘quarry’

In other news, I have decided to start on the kitchen. Chris will almost definitely not have time to do it this year and it’s been driving me mad. So I’m slowly starting to clear and prep it for painting and tiling. So that’s going to be a slow one, but will hopefully be really nice once it’s done. There’s very, very little storage here, so I’m hoping to figure that one out too.

Chris is currently in the barn working on the car again, because it failed the retest. So he’s pretty busy with that and plenty of other things on his to do list.

It’s been too wet recently to do much weeding or work actually in the garden so I’ve tried to get some done this morning and make the most of the good weather. It was great! Still loads to do, (always) but it’s a good start.

Hi!

So there it is, some snippets from our life.

The wild flower patch. It’s smaller then it looks here, but it’s great.

It’s all a lot rougher than it looks on these pictures. But we all love a pretty photo 😬

Love to you, friends and family 😊.

Cathy.

So I’m sat here..!

So, I am indeed sat here:

More precisely, you see the grey feed box? I’m sat on that. That’s my perch when I come up here.

And the boys are down there, behind a wall at the moment this photo was taken.

It’s gone really nice, after again hammering it down again earlier. Still got the wellies on though. Always got the wellies on…It is Leitrim after all!

So, now that I’ve pulled you into a aah that’s nice. I thought I’d just mention that we’ve started at a new church this last Sunday and that the church is Catholic. I’ve avoided saying it outright, not because I’m ashamed, because I’m not, but because of the reaction this may provoke amongst some. We fully believe it’s where God wants us and as Mary says at the wedding in Cana. ‘Do whatever He tells you’. So there it is, said outright. We are very happy with the decision and are excited about where God will take us and those around us.

It really is beautiful sat here.

So there you are! Jesus is indeed Lord and God is good. I’ll write again soon. The boys have wandered off so I’d better go.

Ta ra ducks 😁 (I never say that in real life even though I lived in Chesterfield.)

Cathy.