A Variety of Posts for you to Read

Instead of writing a blog post today, I'm going to encourage you to visit other posts. Let's share the joy!

Apparently, today marks 83 years since the remaining islanders of St Kilda were evacuated from the remote archipelago to build a life on the Scottish mainland.

A Visit to St Kilda is the first of three blog posts from last year, in which our friend, Calum, wrote of his trip to this remote island.

When you've read that, take a look at St Kilda - Some History, and then pop over to the third post, St Kilda - Wildlife.

*      *      *

Losing your spouse is one of the greatest losses imaginable. Tim Challies has some wonderful thoughts as well as two unmissable videos in Oh Sweet Lorraine and Missing Hope. You really do want to read this, and watch these two clips. Oh, just one thing: have the tissues at the ready.

*      *      *

Dr David Murray is Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, and has written a wonderful poem to teach us some of the meaning of the books of the Old Testament. 

The title of the post, My attempt to Mimic John Piper, does not really give an indication of what's ahead in this blog post. Head on over, read the poem and then listen to his Scottish accent speaking it to a group of gathered children.

*      *      *

Some western nations (the US in particular, but the UK too) have made - it seems to me - an idol of democracy. Despite what they ought to have learned from Iraq and despite what they are now seeing in Egypt, our leaders refuse to admit that there is a whole lot more to having a peaceful nation than an occasional trip to a voting booth. 
Making an Idol of Democracy states the case - and states it well.

*      *      *


Catch-up from Facebook Posts

Here is a wee catch-up for all my blog readers who do not follow along on Facebook.

Last Saturday evening, the girls came home with this lovely package for me.

When packages are this bonny, I feel reluctant to open them. Who wants to tear the lovely tissue? Or break the pretty ribbon?

When I did open it, this ...

is what I found.

What precious girls I have.... so much more than I deserve.

*      *      *

The weather has definitely got a cooler feel to it, and we lit our stove for the first time in some months.

It was lovely to smell the peat again.

*      *      *

This photo was taken the day of the Glasgow wedding at which we were.

I kind of like this photo. 

I kind of like the greenery. I kind of like the boys. Oh well, okay, I love the boys.

And yes, I love the kilt too.

Have a great weekend, folks. I'm am looking forward to my Day of Rest Tomorrow ... Here's a sermon I listened to this past week (whilst on my treadmill. Yep, that's the truth.) The sermon is called The Seventh Trumpet, and is worth listening to. (Click on either of the two links.)

Blessings to y'all. Have a wonderful Lord's Day.


Back from Gallivanting, and Blethering with Patrice Again

I've missed our chats, Patrice. The summer holiday can often be a bit all-over-the-place, and this year was no different. But here we are at the beginning of the Scottish school terms, so that means it's coming close to my break coming to an end too.

I'm sure I'm not the only homeschooling mum who thinks of holiday time as their holiday more than that of the kids'. 

Any of you homeschoolers feel like this? Mind you, although the schools here in Scotland will be opening their doors to pupils tomorrow, we normally don't begin properly until the following week, so our Wee guy still has two or three more days of total freedom.

And I have another couple of days to get organized.

And I can relax on your porch, Patrice, for our wee blether ...

1. Do you have any type of air cleaner in your home?

Yep. It's called opening the windows, Patrice. Opening windows and doors in our climate normally means a rush of wind blowing through the house.

Is it fresh? Yup.

Is it clean? Sure is.

Is it free, and plentiful? Yes to both!

2. What do you do with the spare change you accumulate in your car, purse, pockets etc?

Hah! I've begun keeping any money I find in the pockets of clothes that have been put in the laundry basket. I thought it would make the kids more careful about emptying pockets before dumping their clothes in the wash basket but .... no. However, it has given me some extra pocket money. 

What do I do with it? I'd love to say that I stored it all in a piggy bank and that I'd present it back to the children on a special birthday, or when they were leaving home.

Or even that I kept it in a jar to begin our holiday fund.

Or that I gave it all to a specific charity.

Sadly, it simply goes from their pockets into mine, and from there into my purse and to a shopkeeper from there.

3. What's the one chore you wish you never had to do again?

Umm ... Ooh, Patrice, you've got me there. Is 'cleaning the house' too broad?

Am I allowed to keep the ironing and hand over everything else? 

No? Well, I'm kinda stumped with this one.

Oh hang on, I've got it: I'd be happy never, ever to have to do household admin again. No banking. No paperwork. No opening of mail, or sending of it. 

Yep, that's my choice made. I assume you're able to work this out somehow, Patrice...

4. Are you outgoing, quiet, shy, reserved, or the life of the party?

How is it that I am never able to answer a question with a one-word answer? Or even a one-sentence answer??

I can actually find all of the above in me (though others may not). At home, or in a smaller group, I'd comfortably be outgoing. In larger gatherings, I like to find a couple of other guests, find a corner and get to have meaningful talk with them. 

I tend to find small-talk tiring. And, after a while, tiresome. But I do love to have a really good natter with one or two people.

5. Have you understood your parents more as you've got older?

Yes, definitely.

I actually remember when I had my first child feeling differently about my own mum. I remember thinking, 'I had no idea just how she felt about us'.

And in the years since then - especially as our own kids have got older - there are so many things I understand in a new light. 

(Of course that doesn't stop me saying, 'When my kids have kids, I will never ....'. Often. 

Anyone else say that?! )

*      *      *

It's now almost midnight, Patrice, and there's one chore I have yet to do. I can not believe I didn't think of it when you asked Question 3.

Have y'all guessed it? Yes of course ... bloomin' pieces!


The Peats are Home!

Today, we took home the peats we'd cut and lifted, so that's the whole 'peats' thing done for another year. 

So many things about the peats feel so good:

my boots get worn - not much that feels better than that;

fresh air and hard work;

kids experiencing work and pleasure at the same time.

It really did feel good to see the peats being loaded onto the trailer in the knowledge that this will be a source of lovely warmth throughout the winter.

Last winter, our homeschooling was so cozy with our little stove warming our kitchen.

Today, all we had to do was to throw the peats that had already been gathered into the trailer.

The peats had already been cut, dried, lifted and stacked - now they are at home and will be made into a peat stack beside our house.

This is the same peat bank. Now that the peat is in the trailer, all that is left are the 'dregs' - the caoranan - which were taken home in bags and are now stored in the garage.

While the tractor was at home with the first load of peats, Catherine, Katie and I filled the bags with all the bits of peat that had been left. These caoranan are too small for the peat stack, and are taken home in bags.

By the time the Builder and the Wee Guy had come back, we'd finished the bag-filling.

The bags we use are the plastic bags Big Brother has had for the sheep's feed throughout the year.

I guess this is what is called recycling nowadays. 

It used to simply be 'waste not, want not'.

As well as being thankful for this wonderful resource today, we couldn't but feel very thankful for a day's work in the peats with no midges.

Anyone who has spent some time involved in The Peats knows that the midges can make working on the moor unbearable! Today's breeze made sure we had a midge-free day.

That, along with the peats being home and ready for burning in the stove makes for a ... Yipee! moment.

That, and a "Thank You, Lord, once again, for this gift - this free source of energy on our doorstep. Thank You for the health and the strength to work in them, and for the gift of sunshine and wind that has ensured they have dried, making them suitable for burning."

Whether in providence or in grace, we have countless blessings for with to be thankful for.


Our Trip 'To the Mainland'

We were on the mainland for a few days. 

(By the way, does the phrase 'on the mainland' sound weird to those of you who are not from some place off the mainland?)

Anyway, weird or not, that's where we were: first in Glasgow and then in the bonny town of Inverness. Yes, I know Inverness is now officially a city, but it feels like a town, and still looks like a town. I'm hoping it always stays that way.

Most of the following photos were taken from a moving car. Even the Builder, patient as he is, has his limits on how many times he will willingly stop and allow me to wander around clicking with the camera.

Inverness-shire is so bonny.

Many parts look green and fertile, but still have that rugged Scottish-ness which (I think) makes the scenery special.

This photo was taken up the hill from Dores, overlooking Loch Ness.

Looking east over Lochan an Eoin Ruadha, on Essich Road

Coming back into Inverness from Essich Road. Towards the right of the photo, you can see the Kessock Bridge.

When we head home from Inverness, we pass through the Dingwall and Beauly areas, which have lovely, rich, fertile farmland. The softness of the hills and the growth on the farmlands are sights to savour. 

But then, as we drove further north and west, towards Ullapool, the terrain takes on a decidedly more raw look.

The hills, the heather and the lochs - all of which look as though they've been untouched since the aftermath of The Flood - all telling me I'm coming closer to home.

Loch Broom, with Ardindrean and other villages sitting peacefully on the other side. The houses nestled into the hillside ought to speak beautiful things to me, but all I ever think of are ... midges!

I think it's because I'm coming close to Ullapool, coming close to the dreaded ferry journey which turns my stomach simply by entering my thoughts that I think negatively, rather than of beautiful things.

I apologize for ending this post with negative thoughts. I ought to have begun with the ferry journey and it would all have been uphill from there. As it is, I've had to bring y'all down with a bump. That three-hour ferry journey .... Bleugh! 

Related Posts with Thumbnails