Another Ten Useless Facts About....Me

1. I love the fact that my darling brother-in-law has sheep. (Keep it to yourselves, but.... think Lamb Curry)

2. Coriander (cilantro, I believe, is what you call it across the Pond) is my favorite herb.

3. I had to throw out all my coriander plants last month because of greenfly.

4. I hate greenfly.

5. As I write this, I am watching the Atlantic crash onto the Butt of Lewis throwing waves dozens of feet into the air.

6. I love calm seas when I'm on the ferry.

7. I love rough seas when I'm sitting in the Family Room watching the waves.

8. The kids are in the garage playing Table Tennis right now.

9. I haven't stepped onto my Treadmill yet.
(But the flu I had is the reason. Honest)

10. I thought when my first child was born it would be impossible to love another child the same way I loved him.

(Then I had a second. And a third. And a fourth. And I realised it just doesn't work like I thought. Thankfully)


On the Reason for Sheep...

You know, something tells me that some of you readers out there are under the misapprehension that I have no time for Big Brother's sheep; that I don't cherish them as I ought; that I don't appreciate the work that's involved in rearing them; that I don't value them for the top class Blackface sheep they are.

I have no idea how you guys could have come to these conclusions.

I show you photos showing the stupidity wisdom in working regardless of the weather.
And of how dense intelligent these animals are - going just where Big Brother and Builder want them to go
(You see the two of them near the top of the photo? You'd never guess they were brothers, eh?)

I show you them prancing in the road in their newly manicured pedicured feet. (I feel I should be stroking 'feet' out too. I'm sure that's not what they have, but I can't get the word...paws? hooves? Is it hooves?? I daren't go ask.... just how thick can a crofter's wife be? 

I'd appreciate if none of you answered that, thank you)

And here they are looking lost when there really is only one road to follow.

And they're guys, so they wont be asking directions of anyone.

Well, enough of the past. You are now all convinced of my appreciation of these animals.

And, as for myself, well, I have to admit that on occasion ... it has been known to happen ... I do question BB on why on earth he would spend every spare minute of his waking life tending to his beloved pets sheep; how on earth he can tell one from the other; and why he doesn't swap them for cows.

But today, I realised why we he has sheep.

Lamb Curry.

It makes it all worthwhile.

Apologies to any vegetarians out there. Maybe I ought to have posted some warnings at the beginning of the post like I did the other day.

On the other hand, I doubt any vegetarians drop by here. But if you do, er... you are most welcome. Honest.


Confused? You will be.

Conversation between Catherine and I this evening:

Cath: So, who was the man that died?

Me: ...a brother of Alastair Ban.

Cath: Oh yeah, sits behind us in church.

Me: that's right. And did you know that his wife is a sister of Domhnall Ban, our elder?

Cath: Really? I didn't realise that.

Me: And did you know that Domhnall Ban's wife was related to me?

Cath: On your mum's side?

Me: Yep. And you know Uncle Iain, Dad's uncle?

Cath: Uhuh. 

Me: Well, he was only dad's uncle by marriage. His wife - Auntie Mairead - was Dad's aunt. But Uncle Iain was related to me.

Cath: Er... I thought he was Dad's uncle??

Me: But only by marriage. He was related to me.

Cath: So, Dad's uncle isn't really his uncle, but he is related to you.....

These kind of conversations could only happen in Lewis.

Or maybe in the deep South!!

So, just to clarify: Dad's aunt's husband's sister's husband's sister's husband's brother.... is the one who passed away. Got it?

My Favourite Sky Photos

Taken in November, when the sun sets mid-afternoon, and so I'm looking south whilst taking this photo. To the left of the photo, the silhouettes of the village houses are seen, with one of the churches in the district rising above the houses.

....looking like it's on fire...

...and looking like it's gonna fall down on us!

The day we were at the unveiling of this monument was so emotional. 
But the rays of sunshine behind the sad scene spoke of hope and the ongoing-ness of generations.

The day we were showing OMSH the world. I like this 'sky' because it's blue. Blue!! What a novelty for us!

Chosen, simply because it reminds me of a fun night. Guy Fawkes. 

Another winter sunset.

This kind of sky always reminds me of the awesomeness of God 
combined with His love and His mercy. 

And this simply speaks peace to me.


Only for Southerners ;)

*Alert*  *Warning*  *Achtung*  *Cunnart*  *D'alerte*

You know how newscasters often say something like, 'If you do not want to know the scores, please look away now'.... well,

- if you're a Northerner


- if you're not a Southerner, 

I reckon y'all should 'look away now'

You away? No? Oh well, I did warn you...

We lent one of our DVDs to friends a while back, and just got it back the other night. Have a guess what movie I'm watching, while wallowing in my state of illness on the sofa with the kids rallying round me. Ahhhh, it's a hard life!

Here are some quotes from the movie. I need say no more.

"I never thought I'd see the day when the President of the United States would raise an army to invade his own country. No, Mister Blair, I cannot... I will not lead it."
General Robert E Lee

"We serve a loving God, Thomas."
Anna Jackson
(Oh, I love this scene. Their love was so beautiful. So deep. So dignified. So self-sacrificing. Have you read the book, Beloved Bride: The Letters of Stonewall Jackson to His Wife? It's worth reading)

"It is well that war is so terrible... or we should grow too fond of it" 
General Robert E Lee
"Look! There is Jackson standing like a Stonewall! Let us determine to die here today and we will conquer, Rally behind the Virginians!"

Captain Smith: General Jackson, how is it you remain so calm in the midst of battle?
General Jackson: Mr. Smith, my religious faith teaches me that God has already fixed the time of my death; therefore, I think not of it. I am as calm in battle as I would be in my own parlor. God will come for me in his own time.

At the beginning of the movie, every time I watch it, I want to shout, 'Oh, find some other way! Find another way!'
It is, as Gen Lee said, as well war is so terrible.....and it is.

Below is a YouTube clip of the song played at the beginning of the move. It breaks my heart every time I hear it.


During the holiday, we had some wonderful winter weather. It was reasonably sunny; it was dry; it was cold. 

And so, what better way to spend an afternoon that sledging on the machair.

(The photos are all from Catherine's mobile, so some of them aren't so clear.)

Here's DR getting the Wee Guy set up. As you can see, the parts that aren't white with snow are thick with ice. Perfect for sledging!

On his back for this one, though they soon discovered that lying on their front was the best way.

And he's off!

Then came Dad. Clearly I wasn't there, or I'd have been first on it.
Yep. I stayed home so others could have a go.

Or maybe it was to make dinner. 

They say there's no fool like an old fool.

The next photo proves it.
This is my Dad. Yes, My Dad!

The kids' Grandpa.

Isn't he supposed to be by the fireside in his slippers and smoking his pipe?

Not that he smokes a pipe, but you know what I mean.
Oh, it's definite I wasn't there. I'd have been at the end of my tether.

I'd have been nagging, and pleading, and talking, and warning, and....

Oh, hold on. I may have been there, doing all that. They just weren't listening. It's been known to happen. Occasionally.

But time passes and the sun sets.


Time for them all to come home. Safely, and in one piece.

Actually, that's not strictly true about the Wee Guy, who went on one of the rides on his tummy - like the others had - only the sledge didn't stop where it had stopped for the others. It carried on and on. He had no way of stopping it. It came off the edge of a brugan (can't think of an English word.... a .. er, hump, or something), into mid-air, landed with a thud and carried on.

I'm not kidding. It was the sand dunes that stopped him in the end. He was terrified. He was also so far away, it was the van that came for him - they'd all have taken too long to walk!

He had cuts and quite a few bruises. His darling uncle - the Baby Brother - took him home. We got him into other clothes, gave him a hug (or two) and he was off again! 

My Wee Soldier.

From my relating of this story, it's now clear to you all that I most certainly was not there. I wouldn't have survived that trauma.


Sermon for the Lord's Day

This sermon is by Rev B Elshout. I reckon he's Dutch, although he is a pastor in BC, Canada.

I've never met the man, but every time I listen to his sermons, they speak to my soul. He just gets. right. in. to my soul.

This sermon is part of a series of sermons he preached on Ruth, the Moabitess. If you're able, have a listen.

Hope y'all have a blessed Lord's Day. 

Saturday Night Charades

I am too ill to move. (Thought you needed to know that ;)

So I lay on the sofa.

And watched the others play Charades.

Er, give us a clue...

Oooh, ballet dancer? Fairy?

Nope. I don't have a clue either.
Hey, chill out, dude.
Yep, 2 words... got that...
Ok, DR, haven't a clue?
Glasses? eyes? seeing?

This was our biggest laugh of the night.

Well, the second biggest, but anyway...

DR had a lasso - that much was clear. So the shouts came:

Cowboy! Horse! Cattle! Herding! 

On and on we went until eventually in despair, he shouted, 

"Oh, for crying out loud, the Pioneer Woman lives on one!"

Ohhhhh. Ranch!

Why do you sometimes take total blanks when trying to guess these things?!

The Wee Guy had a habit of going through about a dozen cards before he found one he wanted to act out. Of course, he got off with it!

The Builder had to act out: Bleached Blonde

2 words - yep, got that

2nd word. Got it.

pointed to Katie - girl? lady? blonde?

Yes! 2nd word - Blonde

1st word.

Acts out: sitting on a toilet seat
(immediate shouts of toilet! pan! loo! Quick shakes of head to shut us up)

He then stands up, and clearly acts putting bleach along the toilet rim.


Yes!! Bleached Blonde.

Katie: Uhhhh... I don't think I like being in the same phrase as a toilet.

Oh, Katie, how we need your laughs!


My Christmas Present...

"I am so ill, I can hardly speak."

....you know the scene in Persuasion?! If only the sight of a few walking friends would do the same for me as it did for her!

Anyway, that's not what I came to tell you.

My Christmas present arrived yesterday. (Hey - different time zone. What can I say ...?)

Well, before I show you what it is: 

Have y' all seen Father of the Bride with Steve Martin? You know when his daughter receives the Juicer from her fiancee as an 'anniversary' present? You remember?

And you remember that she, er, ... let's just say she 'lost it'.

"What message is he trying to give me, Dad?"

"Er... that a juicer would be nice in your kitchen, maybe??"

She then rants and raves about what the stereotypical 1950s housewife connotations of what he bought her were.

(Of course, the thought that anybody could imagine me as the stylish, elegant, skillful homemaker that was the 50s housewife.....well, we can but dream.)

My Christmas present isn't a juicer, but you can bear in mind the fact that us women often wonder what a gift-giver had in mind when a certain gift was bought.

You want to know what the Builder gave me?

A treadmill!

I'm in bed with the flu and so can't even test it out. But I am well enough to ask the Builder, 'Er, what exactly are you trying to tell me?'!!

Seed Potatoes

As I said the other day, it feels like we should be hibernating.

Sunsets in the middle of the afternoon, sunrises, er, ...um, sometime during the day.

But, it's time to prepare for Springtime. The other day, a heavy box was delivered to our door.

The girls were so excited. Until they opened the box.

In the box there were...
...potatoes. Seed potatoes, ready for planting in Spring.

We were asked to lay them out on a tray and store them in a light, airy place, free of frost.

So the Builder gets to making suitable trays.

Yes, they needed to be sanded. Potatoes are fussy that way.

So we now have a couple of seed trays.

Red Roosters, Red Duke of York and Accords.

We will plant, but we pray that God would give the increase.
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