2/28/2017

Guest Post ... from Niseach





I'm going to give you a glimpse into a couple of days in my life this past week ....

I woke up on Thursday morning to this.



And I thought Christmas had come early this year.


I could hardly believe it, because this white stuff had been on the ground a wee while back, but Calum was telling me that winter was pretty much gone, and now that the days are getting longer, we will soon be able to spend pretty much all day outside playing football.

Well, I love playing in the snow, except for one thing: it goes into clumps on my fur and when I try to take the clumps off, I hurt myself. The amazing thing is that when I come inside, and mammy wraps a towel around me, these clumps of snow all go and I'm just a wee bit wet.

I can't wait until mum begins homeschooling me and I'll get to learn why all this stuff happens.



Once I've been dried off a wee bit, I curl up in my corner for a snooze. Mammy always makes sure I'm cozy, and I don't push the blanket off me because I know she likes me to look cozy.

(Calum is teaching me how to make Mum feel good when she wraps us up and gives us loads to eat. Calum is a real pro at this making-Mum-feel-good stuff.)



He's also a real pro at going outside for a kick-about without me. 



When he does that, I jump up onto the window sill and put on my cutest, poutiest face.

And I wait for him to pity me enough to let me out to play ball with him.




I wait, and wait ...





And then I realise that he prefers playing football without me.

I'd almost fall out with him except for this ....




He takes me to the top of the world ...




I mean the actual top of the world ...




Or maybe it was another world altogether. Wherever it was, it was the best walk I've ever had.

Hope y'all enjoyed that wee insight into my life here in Aberdeenshire. Mum and Calum are always talking about how beautiful it all is. I'm sure it is, but I'm just happy being with them. 

2/21/2017

Language ...




I posted this picture on my Facebook page the other day, asking those reading to choose one of these pills.

I chose the red one because even though it's been a life long dream of mine to play the piano, to be able to communicate with anyone, anywhere in the world, in their own language would be one of the most incredible experiences we could have, don't you think?

One of the Facebook commenters said: 

"I'd choose the red pill, and then I'd sit in cafes all over the world, listening to the conversations going on all around me."

Wouldn't that be amazing!

It reminded me of when I worked in the Barber shop in Stornoway. When I'd be cutting someone's hair and making the usual barber-customer conversation, I always remember how different that conversation felt if I was able to ascertain that the customer had Gaelic, and we would then blether in our native tongue. There is an immediate bond between people who speak the same language because language is more than letters making up words.

It's more than a collection of words. In the world I inhabit, everyone speaks English and understands English, but only some were Gaelic speakers. There was intimacy and a bond that comes only between people who speak the same language, and I think if that language is what may be termed a 'minority language', then finding others to speak with in this tongue becomes even more precious.

When I was thinking of this the other day, my mind was taken to thoughts of what Heaven would be like. There will be no language barrier there! And, much as Gaelic speaks to my heart, I am pretty sure the language of Heaven will not be my beloved mother tongue! Every member of Christ's family will communicate with each other and the bonds will be unspeakably stronger than those bonds I used to feel with the customers in the Barber Shop. The language of Heaven will be a language with which we will all be able to communicate our love to the Saviour without stumbling and flailing over insufficient words. We will be able to speak of God's amazing glory in more meaningful terms than the weak expressions we can muster right now. Don't y'all look forward to this! 

Right now, I am so often frustrated when all I can say is 'Oh, it's amazing' in countless situations. I see a photo like this ...


Volcano Hummingbird (Selasphorus flammula) in Panama by Miguel "Siu" on flickr

 ...and I wonder at the immensity of the Creator's detail and beauty, and my soul sings, my heart pounds in praise, yet all I can muster is, 'Oh, that's amazing!'. 

Ah, but in Heaven, I will be able to express how I feel. And not only will my language be appropriate, how I feel will also be absolutely spot on. There will be no sin, no lack of appreciation, no deadness of soul to dull the praise for my Saviour, my Creator, my Lord.

I am frustrated with my insufficient language too when I think of God's amazing (yes, there's that over-used and yet lacking word again) works of Providence, which has caused me to have a life that most certainly fits these words in Psalm 16:

Lord....
You maintain my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance. (Psalm 16: 5, 6)

   
What a pleasant and privileged childhood and adulthood He has given me, and when I think about my lot, I am overwhelmed, yet have insufficient words to express the thanks I feel. 

Ah, but in Heaven, we will all have the language to express our thanks perfectly!

And then, I think of God's amazing (yup, it appears again) salvation. All that was done within the Trinity before the world was ever created; and all the blood that was shed in the Old Testament sacrifices, so beautifully yet so insufficiently speaking of that great sacrifice on Calvary. All that Christ has done to secure salvation, and then to have that salvation gifted to me. Me! My heart sings, my breath is almost taken away, and there are simply no words to express my gratitude and my astonishment at what God has done.

Ah, but in Heaven! No language barrier. No fumbling for words in English - or in Gaelic. No frustration at not being able to say what I want to say. Not even a desire to have every earthly language! Because there, the language of Heaven will mean perfect communication, and perfect understanding between every single person there.

In Heaven, our words will be wonderful; but The Word - that Word that was 'made flesh and dwelt among us' (John 1:14) .... He will be 'altogether wonderful'! When I think about these things, I sometimes feel like I can't wait!




2/08/2017

Photos from my Mobile


I was emptying my mobile of photos, and thought I'd give y'all a wee taste of my phone gallery.

A surprising number of photos have a Tea theme. Now, I love my tea, and drink numerous cups of tea every day, but I must say that I found the frequency of tea-related photos rather odd. 





The first of my tea-themed-photos was taken in the pick-up, and has a mix of my china mug, the Builder's plastic-from-the-top-of-the-flask cup, and the Builder's arm. Y'all can decide for yourselves which part of the photo is my favourite.

If you want a clue, it doesn't include tea.


*      *      *

Then there was this tea-related photo.




This was taken at a friend's house when I visited with my sister and Catherine and Katie. Our lovely hostess gave herself and the other three beautiful china mugs, but I was given the most delicious Royal Albert cup and saucer.

Oh, she's learning ....


And then, yet another tea photo.




I was in Ness the other day at a funeral. Although the man was not related to me, I found the day difficult for a number of reasons, not least the fact that I'd grown up for twenty years right next door to this man and his family. There were a lot of memories that day, so I truly appreciated my sister-in-law serving me Victoria sponge and tea in this china cup. 

Yes, tea absolutely tastes different when served in this kind of loveliness.


*      *      *


Now, they say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and the next couple of photos will tell you all you need to know about my love of tea, and my particular love of tea in china.

A couple of weeks ago, my mum was in hospital for a couple of hours, and before she was ready to leave, a nurse asked if she'd like a cup of tea. Well, can a duck swim? Of course Mum wanted a cuppa. My sister was there too, and she told me that the nurse arrived with the tea while Mum was in the bathroom. When Mum came out, this is what she saw ....




Marina said that when she saw it, she almost passed out, but came to herself enough to say with absolute horror, "Mo chreach mhòr, 's ann a tha sin nas coltaiche ri mias" (Goodness me, that's more like a basin!).

When the nurse saw the shocked horror on Mum's face, she immediately offered to serve her tea in a, erm, more suitable vessel.

This is what arrived....




And so, I realise I truly am becoming my Mum. Catherine, our daughter, realises she's only a few decades behind us. She has come to accept that she is slowly but surely turning into me, and then the progression will mean her becoming Granny.

C'est la vie, I tell her.


*      *      *

You know, I was going to show you more photos because, yes, I promise you, I do snap more than just tea. But I think that's enough for one blog post. I'll post later in the week with the other photos.

Now, go and have a cuppa.

In a Royal Albert cup, if at all possible.

Have some Victoria Sponge too. And if that's not possible, have a chocolate biscuit. Dip it in the tea. And then y'all can pretend I'm right there with you. Wouldn't that be fun .... for me!

(the next lot of photos is a mix, but there are definitely quite a few of a certain fluff ball in her younger days....)

1/24/2017


One more post about Mum's birthday day.

This lady on the left ...  




... had something to tell her audience.

Oh yes, she had some wonderful news to share on that evening.

It went something like this:

"We put an offer on a house today."

Cue lots of oohs and ahhs, and 'Oh, Catherine, that's great news!' 

She went on:

"There are three bedrooms. So, that's our room, the guest room, and ...

come August, the third will be used as a ...




nursery."

Bit by bit, the news sank in ...



deeper and deeper ...




until it had finally sunk in.

And the joy could no longer be contained!




That was until someone explained that if Catherine was having a baby, then my baby sister was going to be a ...



Great Aunt!



Great Aunt sounds WAY older than Granny!

Imagine, my baby sister finally may have to grow up!





Out-takes of our Photo Taking ...


In the previous post, I showed y'all all the lovely photos that made us seem well-behaved and even - dare I say it - normal.

But to get to the publishable-photo stage, we had to go through bits and bobs of, well, drama.




See, this is the kind of thing that happens when you put two sisters next to each other in a photo line up. 

'Hair all sorted for the photo, right?' 

'Well, I'll soon sort that...'




Meanwhile - take note - my folks and all the boys are completely well behaved and beautifully posed.




It's always the girls that cause the problems. Always the girls. 

You just ask any mum with sons .... in particular, ask my own mum. Isn't that right, Marina?!

Mums and their boys. It's simply the way of the world...




Well, finally we pretty much had order restored and we were able to take some pretty decent photos.


*      *      *

Below is a photo of Mum and Auntie Jessie. 




Here, they are beautifully presented and have their 'for the camera' faces on.

But a short while later, I was able to take a photo that totally and completely and utterly sums the pair of them up ...




This. 

This is them. Everyone who knows Mum and Auntie Jessie can actually hear them as they look at this photo. 

Honestly, it is them, summed up in a few inches of photo!


*      *      *

And then we had Neil and Donna and the boys. Remember the lovely photo of them all yesterday?




Well, shortly before the 'good' photo was taken, we had this. Now, all looks fairly normal, but take a look at Mark's hand ...




And now take a look at Mark's face ... He's up to something.




And NOW, see Neil's face! 

That 'butter wouldn't melt in my mouth' nephew of mine had had great fun - very much at his dad's expense.

Dontcha just love kids!




Order almost restored ... but a re-writing of the will may be on the way.

Ross is smiling. And well he might.





1/23/2017

Mum's Birthday


Last week, we were able to have an amazing family get-together for Mum's birthday. Over the past few years, my brother, Neil, has missed so many family events because of his work, but this time even he was with us.... 

Marina and I always laugh at Mum with 'her boy', so undoubtedly the day was made doubly and trebly special for Mum with 'her boy' being there. Isn't that right, Marina?!



Although the Builder was missing, all Mum and Dad's children and grandchildren were there - including Catherine who'd come from Northern Ireland - as well as Mum's dearest friend, Auntie Jessie. It was a wonderful providence that had us all together.



In this post I'll show you only the 'good' photos. You know the ones .... the photos that make us all look well behaved and even normal.

It's nice to kid on to folks sometimes.



Mum, her daughters and her granddaughters. Don't we all scrub up well?



And here's Mum and Dad with their three children. Yes, I use the word 'children' advisedly. I am just beginning to learn that no matter how old your family is, they are always your 'children'. This is definitely the case with the wonderful parents God gave us.


*      *      *


Seeing we had families together, I thought I'd click away and get family groups. 


This is Mum and Dad's baby girl with her husband and family. She doesn't need to 'scrub up well', because she is always scrubbed up. When I grow up I want to be like her ...




As I say, in another post, I'll show some of the out-takes ... but in the photo below, Neil's son, Mark, look absolutely like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth, right?

Who says the camera never lies...




Of course, the Builder wasn't there, but I still got some photos with my kiddos.




Family is so precious. What a gift God gave us when He placed us in families! What pictures we have of the love God shows toward His family within our own family units. Right now, we are all giving thanks for the opportunity to have met this way because now that so many of the children are older and living in different places, it's always more difficult to actually get everyone in one place at the one time. God is so kind.



1/11/2017

Niseach's Deep Questions


Sometimes, I like to philosophise in the snow. I'm a deep thinker, and the silent whiteness of a day like this helps my mind focus on the really important things in life.



Things like:

When will I get my next Rich Tea biscuit?

How can I convince them I need to stay out longer, when I've already piddled-and-pooed?

Why did Daddy take that boot off me when I'd only just begun to tear it apart?


More importantly, why do these sheep act as though I'm not at all frightening? Why do they look at me as if I'm a walking, barking teddy bear?




Every day, the response is the same.




"Mehh, what is that fluffball?"





These are deep and meaningful questions, and I wish not to be disturbed whilst mulling over them.




Not disturbed, Mum, I said.

Unless you have a Rich Tea for me.



You do?!

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