Welcome

Welcome to Lamb Cottage. It's a real place, and this is where I live with my dear husband. We even have lambs. This is a personal blog, especially concerning life as an American expat in Scotland, life as an over-50, life with lambs, and life as an Orthodox Christian. You're most welcome to come and visit awhile. I hope we can be friends!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Less Than a Day To Go

Photo by David Moynahan :: Myakka River
Well...my dear husband went off to work this evening (he works a horrid schedule, 6 nights a week ~ that's how devoted he is to keeping us together body and soul), and I was 49.  When he gets home in the wee hours, I'll be 50!  Just like that!

I was never a one to care about ages or turning a specific number, like 21 or 30 or 40.  But all of a sudden I think...WOW...50.  It makes you take stock.  And wonder about the future.  And want to do better.  

Like I said a week ago, I was going to focus on dreams-come-true, and blessings.  So today, I'm thinking about my home ~ Florida.  I was blessed to be raised there, go to school there, teach there, live there...for most of my life.  I'm working hard to think of Scotland now as my home, but of course, my REAL home will always be Florida.  I guess that's just how it is when folks move around. Someone who is also an expat here in the UK and is also from Florida recently said to me that we were lucky because we were living the dream, twice.  We got to live in Florida, and now we ventured across the ocean, following love, and are living another dream.  She is so right.  I'm keeping this in mind as I head for 50!
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Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Piano

I think I was 7 when I started playing the piano ~ with lessons and all.  Through the years, I have had pianos, and then gone long stretches without.  It always felt like a vital piece was missing whenever there was no piano in the house.  Lean times do not lend themselves to purchasing a piano, and I've seen a LOT of lean times.

Shortly after I moved to Scotland and was married, my dear husband brought home a big ol' upright piano in a rather ugly cabinet.  The keys stuck.  It was out of tune.  The moisture of many of the stone buildings here must have gotten to it, because it was never right, and was awfully hard to play.  My husband even took the entire keyboard out - more than once - to try to fix some of the sticking keys. His heart was in the right place, knowing that I had left behind a lovely piano when I moved across the ocean.  Unfortunately, our wallets couldn't afford to be where his heart was!

My sister, who also loves music and art, blessed me with a wonderful digital piano (no fear of sticking keys or falling out of tune) about a year ago.  And the wonders of modern technology allowed us to work together, looking at pianos online and hearing demonstrations, and deciding on which one she would purchase from the US, but which was already here in the UK.  Thank you, Sis, for this generous and thoughtful and kindred-spirit-like gift!  Chalk up another dream-come-true!

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Friday, September 27, 2013

Lambs

This past May, my husband got us (me) two bottle lambs.  When they came home, they were only 2 days old!  Now, some folks are dog people; some are cat people; some are horse people, etc.  Me ~ I'm a sheep person.  I love, love, love sheep.  Even when I lived in Florida, I started a collection of little china lambs.  When I came here, I started adding stuffed animal lambs to the collection.  Then, in 2008 I fell in love with a little lamb on my husband's croft.  This lamb wasn't supposed to be born. There weren't supposed to be any lambs that year since the family was getting out of crofting.  But, seems most of the ewes came to be "with child" when some other irresponsible crofter let his tup go in among the ewes in the common grazings.  Long story.  But the good news was:  I ended up with my first lamb.  That was Rosebud.  He is the senior lamby ~ a big 5-year-old now.  In 2010, we got Shermy when we had to move Rosebud (he prefers to be called Bud) to another field closer to home, after we moved to a different county.  Shermy came to keep Bud company.  Then, this year, we got Snowball and Doodle.

Our little flock of 4 is such a blessing.  We keep our sheep just for pets.  Sheep make wonderful pets. They are sweet-natured, funny, soft and cuddly, and smart.  And so cute!!  Plus, you can spin their wool and make stuff with it.  What's not to like?

So, here is another dream come true:  my flock of 4 sheep.  You can see more about them HERE.

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Scotland

I know lots of people who dream of living in Scotland.  Many Americans seem to have a love affair with Scotland.  I should know.  I was one of them.  And coming from Sarasota, with its Scottish immigrant heritage, its Kiltie Band at Riverview High School, and people playing bagpipes everywhere, I know the dream is very much alive.  Heck, I learned to do Scottish Country Dancing in Florida, not Scotland!

Well, the dream and the reality are a lot different.  I'm sure folks going in either direction across the Atlantic would say that.

Nevertheless, I'm here.  And not only do I live in Scotland, but I'm blessed to live in a less-populated area, so I am surrounded by beautiful scenery, including the North Sea, various inlets and firths, rivers, and lochs, as well as mountains and hills, and some gorgeous farmland.  I prefer the more fertile, verdant areas like where I live now, and this photo was taken just this morning, looking into the sun across a ploughed field and towards the North Sea.  Fall is here, but summer is definitely hanging on tenaciously at the same time.  It was a beautiful, bright, crisp day...a blessing.  And a dream come true.
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

One Dream

Most of my life, I have been working hard to keep body and soul together.  It hasn't been easy.  Mainly, I've been a teacher.  But I've held a whole lot of other kinds of jobs, too.  And I'm not afraid of hard work.  However, I always wanted to be at home ~ to be a homemaker, and to be able to create things, play music, and so on.

Well, now I am.  Not that we can really afford for me to be.  It was sort of a forced situation.  Where I live, jobs are scarce ~ at least, jobs that pay a living wage.  We have one car.  My dear husband needs it because he is the one with the full-time job that keeps a roof over our heads.  And, he has a tough schedule, which we both keep.  This all means, I can't work out of the house even if I wanted to.

My dear husband is very encouraging and supportive.  He constantly pushes me (in a good way) to create and make stuff and work to follow my dreams.  Aside from being a wife and homemaker, another dream is to design and sell cross stitch patterns and kits.  And I have finally begun to do that.  I have a blog about it {Fearn Abbey Needleworks} and an Etsy shop and so on.  So, as I come a day closer to 50, I guess I can say I am living another dream, even if it isn't how I planned or it isn't perfect.  It's still mine, and it's still another block for us as my husband and I build our life together.  I'm thankful.
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Count-Down Begins!

In one week from today, I'll be 50, God willing.  I think that's worthy of notice.  And also worthy of great thanks to God.

The photo above was taken about a year and a half ago when my husband and I went to Cawdor Castle.  The castle is probably about an hour or so from our home.  It's really a lovely day out, and I would recommend it to anybody.  I chose this photo for today because I'm going to spend this week heading up to my birthday thinking about dreams come true, and just what that means.

When I first came here to be married to my dear husband, back in the late spring of 2007, a dear friend of mine from Florida said, "You're living a fairy-tale!"  Well, it didn't quite turn out that way (although I did get my prince).  But now, I'm thinking...why not?  We can make our own fairy-tales, right?  Something to ponder over the next few days...  

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Buntings

Buntings.  They've been all the rage for awhile, at least here in the UK.  And there are some exorbitantly-priced ones out there.  I like buntings because they add a festive, celebratory feel to just everyday, ordinary life.  They can be made out of virtually any lightweight material, whether fabric, paper, or plastic.  

I made a bunting like the one above to express some of my favorite things.  It was easy.  I used images from the computer (some my own; some from Google images) which I sized and fit into a predetermined shape.  Then, I printed them, cut them out, and laminated them.  From there, they are simply layered onto three types of paper, the bottom layer being a heavy cardstock.  Finally, each flag is glued and stapled onto a ribbon, and over some of them, I have glued vintage pink crepe paper trim.  Ta da:  easy homemade bunting.  This one hangs over what used to be a boring sliding closet door.  

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Slow Day


Sundays are usually a time for some serious rest here at Lamb Cottage.  Dear Husband works six nights a week; our church meets on Saturdays once or twice a month (the priest is in Edinburgh ~ five hours away); we're exhausted by the time Sunday rolls around.  Today...on this first day of Fall, we were blessed with sunshine and warm breezes (still needed a sweater, but for Scotland, this was a lovely warm day).  We had great time just cuddling our sheep and lambs, and this evening...big bowls of hot, buttery popcorn.  Yum!

Hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Sweetest Story ~ A Good Start to My New Blog

It's my new blog!  I've been out of personal blogging for awhile, but I decided I missed it.  This is my personal blog, and all opinions and expressions are my own.  It's okay if you disagree.  And it's okay if you choose not to stop back by.  It's not okay to leave mean-spirited comments!

My sister sent me the link to this video.  It is such a sweet story, and it makes me think of my dear Mom and Dad, now deceased.  Be sure you have your tissues handy before pressing play!