Here are some of the questions I've been asked over the past few weeks. I hope my answers answer the questions...

I've seen a barn....do you have chickens?
Deb W

We don't have a barn ourselves, but Big Brother does.... I suspect that's the barn you've seen in my posts. In answer to the 'do you have chickens'.... the answer is, 'No. Not yet'. I have been promised some chickens soooon, so Watch This Space!

Living so close to the sea, I would expect to see more fish and seafood in your diet. ???
Deb W

Mmmm, you would, wouldn't you? But we don't have a great deal of either, I'm afraid. When you're feeding quite a few mouths, and when most of these mouths have voracious appetites, the truth is that we couldn't afford fish very often. However, I do have a brother-in-law who goes rock fishing at times, and it's been known for him to bring us a whole bag of mackerel. Straight out of the sea....


Are you able to leave up those fences/cages/nets/etc. for next year, or do they all have to come down at the end of the season?
Davene Grace

So far, we've taken them all down at the end of 'harvest time' each year, because our winter gales are likely to cause too much damage to them. I did hear the Builder say this year that he was thinking of leaving some of them in situ, but I'm not sure what kind of reinforcing he had in mind for them. It would certainly lessen the Spring workload were the 'cages' and other windbreaks already in place.

Oh! I thought of another one! Does the Hebridean Revival of 1949 have anything to do with your spiritual heritage? Not that you were around then (!!!) but is that in the background of the church you are in communion with?
Deb W

No, I wasn't around then, thank you! But I know, and have known, quite a number of people who lived through the time of this revival. There were quite a few similar revivals on the island over these decades, but this is the one that has been written about the most. Many of the older Christians I knew when I was first saved had lived through, or had been saved during, local revivals. They were amazing times for these people and in many cases the 'fragrance' of these times lived with them throughout their lives. Many of these Christians has such a warmth and Godliness about them; I had the privilege of being in their company often, and to hear them speaking of deep, deep theological questions with the warmth and passion that can only come from a heart-religion was a blessing indeed.

May I ask what motivates this "column"?
Rachel E

Oooh, this one really made me stop and think! I began this blog just over a year ago, and shortly before I began I'd never even heard of such a thing! A friend of mine (you know who you are!) introduced me to a blog, threw in a comment about starting one up herself, said to  me, 'you go for it too!', and that was that! I began with my Introduction, and loved the fact I could 'talk' to cyberspace. My dear husband loved the fact that I could ramble on without him having to listen to all my ramblings, and so this blog was born. I still ramble; I still feel like I'm talking to cyberspace; and I'm still amazed that folks come and say Hi. I love it when folks come and say Hi!

With four kids and homeschooling, I'd become terribly incompetent at keeping any kind of record of the kids. My photo albums date back to the mid-90s, and it would appear that no more photos were ever taken after that. Maybe this blog gives me something  to look back on. I really don't know if that will be the case. When I'm 'retired', will I look back at old posts and remember with fondness these busy, busy days when I never had time to print a photo and put it in an album? I really don't know. At this stage of my life, I don't get out much, so it's become my social like. No kidding.

There are so few being taught at home in Scotland these days that I wondered if you have any concerns about the children's social lives and interaction with other kids?  

I kind of answered this question in the comments section, but in relation to the last question, I  have to point out that the social life of homeschooling mums is probably a more valid cause for concern than that of the children!

To repeat what I said in answer to your comment at the time, Niseach, the answer is, 'No'. That's the honest truth. I have the evidence in front of me every day (three of our kids are well into their teen years)  that socialisation simply is not an issue, but even before I began homeschooling, or even in the very early days, I have to be honest and say that this was never a concern of mine. I just never thought that having up to 30 children of the same age, doing the same thing, learning in the same way regardless of their own interests and abilities, was the best way of 'socialising' a child. I don't want to go on and on, but....! 

This is such a commonly asked question, and I certainly don't mind you asking it! Maybe it's me that's odd because in many ways I just don't 'get' where the question comes from - most of our kids are very, very sociable - that's just the way they are. Other children are less sociable by nature and that's fine. We are who we are, and it'd be a very boring world if everyone was the same way. 

See, I said I wasn't going to go on and on..... and I did!

I'm not sure if this answers your question. I do honestly believe that the 'normal' school environment isn't the best way of preparing kids and young adults for 'real' life, but then, that's just my opinion!

I'm afraid to ask, what is your average temperature this time of year? And also, when are you coming to the states so we can go on a road trip exploring mountains together??? ;o)
Mrs C

This year's May, and last year's too, has been cooler than our normal May. I do hope this is not a trend, because Global Warming would be more than welcome in these parts.
Here, where we are, the average temperature has been between 10 and 14 degrees Celsius. That's 50-57 Farenheit. If you add the windchill factor (which is present almost all the time!), it's going to feel considerable cooler.

The other day I was over at my sister's house (shhh, she's a townie now, but we don't tell that to many people), and we sat in her back garden. It was like being in a different world to being in my garden.... such as it is! There wasn't a breath of wind, and the sun felt hot. Positively HOT! Dear me, I thought, I could live like this quite easily. But then I realised I'd be in town on my own. I know the kids wouldn't come, and I reckon the Builder is staying where he is too.

Oh, and I couldn't see the sea. Not so sure whether I could live there after all.

Anyway, I think I've gone of the subject .... a bit.

In answer to your second question.... ahhhhh, if dreaming about it would pay for it, we'd be there tomorrow! I do hope we'll be able to go to the US again, and we would love to head West. At the moment, these are just delightful dreams, but I hope they'll become a reality at some stage.

My question for your post is, are you really as isolated there on the Isle of Lewis as it appears on Google Maps? I'm not meaning to say it Is a bad thing, but you folks are a LONG, LONG way from even any place in your own country! How does that make your daily life harder AND easier?
Catie Scarlett 

Well, I'm not sure what it looks like on Google Maps! 

(Off to check)

Well, I guess it looks just like it is! The ferry journey from Stornoway to the Ullapool on the mainland takes around 3 hours, but we can see the mainland hills on any reasonably clear day, so that makes us feel closer, I guess. Having said that, our house looks out onto the Atlantic, so there is nothing but sea in our view. Thousands of miles of sea, and nothing else. For generations, the inhabitants of this island have been used to looking West, and many of our young men sailed the world.

Because this is where I grew up, I knew nothing else, and thought little of it. We take things for granted when we grow up with them, don't we. Now that we're bringing our own family up here, I appreciate the life more. There are definite advantages to being isolated from larger cities, I think. Any disadvantages in terms of being far from shops have disappeared with the coming of the internet. We can shop online and have our good within a couple of days - pretty much like anywhere else.

The ferry makes two or three return trips every day, and there are daily flights off the island to Inverness and Glasgow.

I was wondering if your children speak Gaelic, and if you use the language much on a daily basis? 

Gaelic was my first language, and the first language of the Builder. It's also the language our first three kids grew up with at first, simply because it was the most normal thing in the world for me to speak Gaelic to my babies. Our children understand Gaelic, but speak it less and less. The Builder and I speak both Gaelic and English to each other - mostly Gaelic, but when, for example Big Brother, the Builder and I are sitting around the dinner table, it's always Gaelic we speak.

We all learnt English naturally. We weren't 'taught' it.... we just picked it up.


  1. I loved that.. So interesting to someone who loves your islands from afar..

  2. So interesting. I am happy to hear that Gaelic is alive and well in your household! It is just about dead here, but 150 years ago there were whole communities of Gaelic-only speakers.

  3. Great idea to post these answers all together. How cool that you all speak Gaelic! I'd love to hear it spoken; maybe you could give a little video sample sometime? :)

  4. Wow! So much information. Thank you so much for allowing us to see into your life and your location. It sounds so lovely. I think I would choose your place over the city too. I love the open air and country.

  5. How wonderful a whole list of ramblings to read - please please ramble on!!! And you are so right about homeschool moms needing socialization rather than the kids... over here the moms are always trying to start homeschool groups for the kids to mingle and I am saying why don't they just call it a mom's get together and bring the kids. Somehow with eight kids underfoot I think my kids have quite enough interacting going on and the thought of joining a play group or something equally hideous just kills me!!! Perhaps we should move to a remote island too!!! Well we can see the sea from home so no need to move, and I would miss browsing in the local bookshop (about once a year!!!) and real coffee from the coffee shop (once a week, my reward for getting us to church on time - no we are never late!!!) and birthday trips to the ice-cream shop - ten trips a year. Come to think of it... wouldn't be missing too much if we moved to a remote island... I will stop rambling already - but I so could go on...but clearing the leaves out of the gutters before the next storm breaks - kind of calling me!!!

  6. I love this! I love how you took on these questions, from such a wide variety and tackled them! And so much is interesting to me. I think it would be positively lovely to live with a view of the ocean out your windows every single day. I can dream! Thanks for sharing with us! :) -- Rachel

  7. Can't wait to hear future chicken stories.

    Would be happy to share the pickled beet recipe - it's from Taste of Home a few years ago.

  8. As always, I love learning more about life on the Croft. Thanks for taking the time to answer all of these questions. Loved reading through your answers, and would love to hear you all conversing in Gaelic.

    Love your answer on the socialization issue. That was always the biggest hang up for others when they quizzed us about homeschooling our gals. The proof is in the pudding, when you see them in a social setting they are very sociable and kind to others, treating others with respect and love. And *gasp* they learned this in the confines of our home, mostly, imagine that! Big smile!!!

  9. I really enjoyed your questions and anwers. Don't ever stop speaking Gaelic. I love the sound of it so much and so often I have thought about trying to learn it myself.
    I think it is neat you want to come to the U.S.
    Lots here, and I for one really enjoy reading about your life.

  10. Such a pleasure to read this. I wondered if you spoke Gaelic. Thank you for taking the time to answer all these questions. I don't think I could live without the sea either.

  11. So much fun learning about your life! Now I need to check Google, too, and see what it looks like where you live!

  12. I just saw your comment on my blog. Thanks for the advice about the font. I think its better now. I can't believe you're in Scotland! I look forward to following your blog! I don't have any children yet, but I hope to home school one day and I love reading home school blogs. I saw that you are a Christian! That's awesome! I can't wait to get to know you!

  13. Anne,
    Thanks for those answers! It's always so nice to hear about your croft, your island, your life! I'm very glad you started blogging! (And so is my whole family!) We enjoy following along on your daily happenings! We are ESPECIALLY glad to have the common bond of Christ! and to see how He is working in your lives all the way across the ocean! Persevero!

  14. Wow, I love this post. Always like to learn more about people. Thank you so much for sharing!

  15. What a great way to start my morning!!! Thanks so much for allowing all of us to learn more about you!


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