In the Peats ...

Today, the Builder and I went to the peats.

To get to the stage seen here, 

the peat bank is turfed ...

... and then 'cleaned' with the spade.

Then the taraisgeir - the peat iron - is used ...

to slice into the peat, 

and cut one out of the bank.

This peat is then lifted out, 

and thrown, either on the top of the bank, as seen here, or on the bottom.

The peat is then left to dry in our beautiful warm, dry weather, and will be ready for the next stage - the lifting - in a couple of weeks.

If the weather doesn't oblige, that time scale will be increased.... ;)

By the way ...

Have you ever been anywhere where there is absolute silence?

When the Builder and I sat to have our cuppa, we sat for some time listening to ...


In between the occasional sound from a bird, there was simply no sound to be heard. Nope, not even the wind today!

Have you ever heard silence? It is actually a most wonderful sound.

This was taken on our way home. It was brighter in towards the villages, and the blue skies were a welcome sight. 

I would like to make clear that I was using the taraisgeir and the Builder took over only for the photos. I can assure you, I have the aching shins and arm muscles to prove it.

You can link up to the Morris Tribe today and see how other folk are homesteading in their part of the world. 

This is the first stage of our work in the peats. We will have to lift them when they've dried off a bit, gather them when they are totally dry, and eventually take them home! All being well, this peat will keep us warm all winter, and in addition to that obvious benefit, we will also have the the smell of burning peat. 



Chatting Again ...

1. Do you prefer wallpaper or paint?

Our whole house is painted, but it was newly built when we were painting. Sometimes, the walls don't make painting easy, but I like the simplicity of painted walls.

Actually, paint choosing and I are awfully good friends. When choosing paint, I buy about twenty tester-pots. I try them out and the Builder humours me by allowing me to try them all out on the prospective wall. I hum-and-haw for days, looking, wondering, and questioning.

I then make my decision.

Magnolia! (or at least a member of the Magnolia family)

And the Builder smiles that smile which says, 'I could have told you that in the very beginning.'.

2. What qualities make a good friend?

I love friends who will listen a bit, but who will talk. Although I'm a bletherer myself, I really love to hear friends talk. After the small-talk stage, I like to really get to know a person, so I think having friends who will open up about thoughts, feelings, troubles and joys is a real treat.

3. Are you planning a summer vacation?

Nope. We still dream of getting back across the Atlantic for another holiday some day, but for the time being, we will enjoy our summers here at home.

4. Do you have a garage, carport, park on the street, or park in your driveway?

We have a garage attached to our house, and you probably remember that, last year, we had an, er ... incident in it.

You remember this:

5. Tell me something interesting about your week.

I had a great week! A family I'd only known online came to Lewis and we met up twice this week. 

We spent time at the fabulous Dunes Playpark in Eoropie, and also visiting the lighthouse, 'our' beach, and Port of Ness. I'll show some photos of the park just now, and post some of the others in another blogpost.

A pair of cuties on a see-saw

Yep, this little one has DR wrapped around her little finger ;)

Give me strength, Katie! It's not quite the Arctic!

Catherine, and the wee fella who has her wrapped around his little finger.

This family I met for the first time homeschool family from London (that's a big city in a foreign country, a long, long way from here, in case you didn't know ;)

It was such a blessing to meet others who love the Lord, whose kids were a joy, and with whom we had an immediate bond. Yep, it was a good week.


Another Job off the To-do List

Why are The Boys so interested in this lorry? 

Ah yes, it's because it's heading our way.

...right to my front door. We've only been in the house for six years, so you couldn't expect pavements to have been done before now, would you?

You would?

They Guys all worked like a well-oiled machine, all of them doing their own jobs. Concrete was poured, then spread, and then the screeding was done - that's what The Builder is doing here.

The back of the house, and the boys are on the home straight.

But I see a lot of banter and blethering going on here, whilst we (notice the 'we' again) still have work to be done.

Thankfully, we have someone who doesn't leave the job until it's done.

Yep, the Wee Guy carried on, 

and on,

and on....

until his job was done.

Apparently, the drying cement gets swept to give it 'brush lines'.

Some of our smiling squad.

...and washed wheelbarrows.

This is a 'major' one off The Builder's To-do list. Sadly, my list of To-dos just keeps growing and growing.


Maths Class Skipped for .... Life 101

The Wee Guy was just getting ready to begin Maths this morning when Big Brother came a-calling. Now, when BB calls, we jump.

"Yes, Sir. Anything you say, Sir."

We're a well-trained bunch, us lot.

So, instead of keeping up with his 8-times-table, and learning more about fractions, the Wee Guy got to spend the best part of the day moving sheep, and working in the fank down on the machair - and all in glorious sunshine. 

I thought of re-naming the class Biology. Or Agricultural Studies.

In the end, I went for simply: Life 101. Yep, I think that sums it up, and tomorrow, he has more of the same.

The Mamas who had twins were brought down from the croft beside us to the fank.

So cute. Aye, both lamb and boy ;)

The lambs stuck close by their Mamas at first,

but after their markings were done, they seemed happy to relax in the sunshine.

Big Brother and the Wee Guy were able to relax and admire.

Aye, mate, it's a hard life isn't it?

And tomorrow all being well ... you'll have Part 2 of LIFE 101.

(Tomorrow, I'll let y'all know some of the whys and wherefores of what was happening with the sheep. For now though, just enjoy admiring the sheep and my boy.  Oh, and Big Brother at work ;)

Linking to ...


Dropping in for a Quick Chat with Patrice

Am I late on your porch again, Patrice? I'm going to get straight to your questions so as not to keep you even longer :)

1. What's the last big gathering you attended? (wedding, funeral, graduation, party, riot, etc)

We were at a very unusual wedding recently, and you can see photos from it here. It was nice to meet folks there who I hadn't seen for ages, and have a good ol' blether.

Here I am with a fellow-guest, who's reading from a school notebook she'd written in Primary 3.

"Last night my friend and I went for a walk. We saw a lady looking out of her window. I think she was a witch. I had nightmares through the night."

Can you tell we found the whole thing hilarious?!

Oh, and Patrice, I love that you threw 'riot' into your question, as though it'd be as normal for me to attend a riot as a wedding.

Oh, hang on.... maybe it's because you really do know me!

2. Do you switch over your seasonal wardrobe, wear the same things year round, have a huge closet to put it all in, or throw everything out and buy new each season (I threw the last one in there to see if you're paying attention ;) ?

Aye, Patrice, you threw that last part in just for me. I like to renew my clothes every year to keep up with the latest fashions.

"Isn't that right, girls?"

Er...for some reason, silence was the loud reply...

Of course, as you know, our weather varies so little from season to season that there are staple items of clothing we wear all year round. For example, ahem, My Boots. In summer, I normally need a cardigan or jumper of some description (remember, you Americans, a jumper is a sweater), and in winter, we seldom have conditions that are colder than a degree or two below zero.

Oh, and I never use an umbrella, because the wind would turn it inside out within seconds, meaning I'd be just as wet as I would have been had I never taken the unruly instrument out of the house. 

Wet and fighting with the misbehaving contraption versus Wet. No contest.

3. What sweetener do you use most often?

Er, is this a trick question?

Sugar. I don't take sugar in my tea; it's demerara sugar in my coffee; syrup and castor sugar in the pancakes; I don't eat breakfast cereal often, but if I do, I don't add any sugar. The Builder has porridge in the mornings, but doesn't add anything to sweeten it. If I had to eat porridge, I'd smother it in demerara sugar.

4. Slippers, socks, or barefoot?

I always used to be barefoot, but since I have, er, how shall I say it?.... er, 'grown more advanced in years', I feel the cold so much. I now wear socks and slippers in the house. And it aint just one pair of socks either. Oh no... two or three (though I'm pushing it to call them 'pairs'. I blame the washing machine for that, but my feet don't seem to mind non-matching socks.) Catherine is always barefoot, and I catch myself time and time again saying, 'Oh, Catherine, go and put something on your feet. I'm freezing.'

I'm very logical.

5. What questions would you like me to ask the group over the next few weeks?

Och, Patrice, I'll leave this one to the more imaginative ones. They always come up with really good questions. My only question at the moment is, 'What's for dinner?'.


Lambs in the Sunshine

Saturday evening, and the sun came out, so I sent Katie out with Big Brother's camera to take a few photos of the twins.

This guy was so curious and friendly,

He just kept a-coming.

There is something so sweet about twins when they sit together.

The wee fella found a really warm spot, snuggled in and had a good snooze....

...until he realised Katie was taking photos of him.

Himself and his twin

The Mamas expecting twins were put in a different field after the scanning. Big Brother then feeds the expectant Mamas according to how many babies they're carrying.

Of course, I've never been expecting twins, but my policy was always to eat as much as I could. Eating for two was serious business.

It was great fun too...
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