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!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Story of Opal: The Journal of an Understanding Heart


I am reading a story which I downloaded from Gutenberg.org for my Kindle.  It's called The Story of Opal:  The Journal of an Understanding Heart.  It is actually only the journal of Opal's 6th and 7th years.  This book is filled with light.  I wanted to share it with you, and perhaps you will be inspired to go download it yourself!  Here is a wee excerpt:
And all the times I was picking up potatoes I did have conversations with them.  Too, I did have thinks of all their growing days there in the ground, and all the things they did hear.  Earth-voices are glad voices, and earth-songs come up from the ground through the plants; and in their flowering and in the days before these days are come, they do tell the earth-songs to the wind.  And the wind in her goings does whisper them to folks to print for other folks.  So other folks do have knowing of earth's songs.  When I grown up I am going to write for children--and grown-ups that have n't grown up too much--all the earth songs I now do hear.
I have thinks these potatoes growing here did have knowings of star-songs.  I have kept watch in the field at night and I have seen the stars look kindness down upon them.  And I have walked between the rows of potatoes, and I have watched the star-gleams on their leaves.  And I have heard the wind ask of them the star-songs the star-gleams did tell in shadows on their leaves.  And as the wind did go walking in the field, talking to the earth-voices there, I did follow her down the rows.  I did have feels of her presence near.  And her goings by made ripples on my nightgown.
These are the words of a 6-7 year old!  And one who is orphaned, at that.  Amazing.  Such profundity in this little book.  And it's completely free at Gutenberg.org.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as I am.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hug-a-Sheep Day


Every day is Hug-a-Sheep Day here at Lamb Cottage, so I don't need a reason (how wonderful is that?)...but my blog friend, Sara, over at Equinox Farm, holds (Inter) National Hug-a-Sheep Day every year, and this year my husband and I joined her, in spirit, with our lambs here in Scotland.  It was just us, although Doodle did invite anyone who wanted to join us.  Apparently we don't live in an area where many folks appreciate the sweetness and goodness of befriending and raising and loving sheep as pets.  Ah well.  They don't know what they're missing!  So, on Saturday the 26th of October, we spent a little extra time loving and hugging our lambs, and thinking about the other folks around the world who were celebrating Hug-a-Sheep Day!  

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Place of Our Own


Sometimes...we just need a little place we can call our own.  That Rosebud.  We call him The Curmudgeon, but he is a big ol' pudding.  A real softy.  I adore him.  Sometimes...we just need a little lamb we can call our own, too!

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Peaceful Lambs

More lamb therapy.  Time outside, in the fresh air, with the lambs and sheep, is so peaceful and therapeutic.  Animals are such a gift from God, aren't they?  We love our pets like family members. And yes, sheep and lambs do make wonderful pets.  I can't get over how little lambs are just like they are in nursery rhymes and fairytales...sweet and soft and adorable.  

I know for me, right now, with the various trials my husband and I are dealing with, the outdoor world, and all the animals I see around me, are great bringers of peace.  I hope you enjoy your time in the outdoors and with animals, too!

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Resting

The past week I have felt like I was wading through thick water, like Jello.  I cannot imagine trying to navigate this life without my faith.  Even with the trials of Bell's Palsy, I don't really feel the need to ask "why".  I feel the need to rest in God, trust, and just breathe.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Lamb Therapy

A cheerful heart is good medicine.
~Proverbs 17:22~
My Rosebud.  He was my first lamb ever.  He came to live with us in 2008.  He was a balm in the year that both my dear parents died.  When he was little, I picked him up and hugged him, and he laid his face against my face.  Sweetness and innocence.
My dear husband and our Doodle lamb.  I think Doodle is getting a cookie sneaked to him!
My Shermy.  He came to live with us in 2010.  He was meant to keep Rosebud company when we moved him out of a flock.  I wasn't so sure about Shermy (full name:  Shermy Wiesenheimer).  He has turned out to be a big sweetie, too.  
All the lambs:  Snowball, Doodle, Rosebud, and Shermy.  Note how Shermy is grabbing his share of petting!

Lamb therapy.  My husband calls it that.  Many is the time when he has said, "I think you / we need some lamb therapy."  The lambs never fail to delight, to calm the nerves, to amuse, to love.  I made it out to spend a little time with them today.  The doctor appointment (running an HOUR late) and errands in town took up too much of our day, but we still had a little time with the boys.  Thank you, dear husband, for my little flock of four.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Good Grief

Well, I'm feeling like this.  Definitely.  I came home from the doctor today with a diagnosis of Bell's Palsy and a bunch of high-powered steroids and antiviral meds.  Sigh.  The good news is:  we think we caught it very early, like within the first 72 hours, so the prognosis for complete recovery is good.  But yes, it's a bit scary, and VERY inconvenient, to have part of your face and mouth not work right!  And half the time, I can't talk!  My husband may be very happy about this; I'm not sure.

Meanwhile, I'm resting, stitching, blogging...trying to avoid housework.  And the day turned gloomy and wet and cold.  Typical.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Comfort Food for Fall

Yep, it's Chicken Pot Pie.  Usually, I make it as an actual two-crust pie, but this time around, I somehow ended up with a lot of filling (mostly vegetables, I think!), so I decided to put the filling in a large casserole and bake it with biscuits on top.

It's not really a recipe, but this is what I do:  cook up chicken breast and cut into little pieces (or you can use leftover chicken, if you like, as long as it's cooked).  Cook up my vegetables ahead of time (carrots, broccoli, peas).  Mix all that together.  Add a small can of corn, if you like (I do).  Add a can of cream of mushroom soup (condensed) and enough milk to make the consistency you like.  Add about 8 oz. of shredded cheddar cheese.  Stir it all up, put it in the pie crust, put the top crust on, and bake for about 50 minutes or so.  If you use biscuits, what I did was bake the casserole by itself for about 1/2 hours.  Then, I put the biscuits on top and bake in a hot oven for another 13 minutes or so. It's good!  A nice fall comfort food.  And it heats up well as leftovers, too!

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Keeping Busy...

This was a freebie I offered from my little business:  Fearn Abbey Needleworks.  It is still available on my shop blog, if you'd like it:  Fearn Abbey Needleworks.  I'm stitching away these days.  I have a million designs in my head, but all the stitchers out there know that it's slow going once you actually start to stitch.

The two below are Christmas designs based on my two bottle lambs, Doodle and Snowball.  You can find out more about them on my shop blog, as well.
I'm just finishing up a Halloween design as I write this post, and it will be a freebie, too!  After that, I have a special design half-way stitched, and I'm working on a rather unique (if I do say so myself!) St Nicholas design.  Mostly, I post about my cross stitch designs on my shop blog, but I thought I'd just write a wee bit about what I do in the evenings while my dear husband is at work.  

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Rowans

The rowan trees are absolutely THICK with berries.  This is my 7th fall here (how is that possible??) and I don't think I've ever seen them this thick.  They really are beautiful.
All those berries, and they started coming early on, are supposed to mean we're in for a hard winter.  I hope not!  This Florida girl is not looking forward to that!  Superstitious folk say rowan trees keep away the witches, too.  You would be amazed at how many people still plant rowan trees at the borders of their yards and properties, even to this day ~ just in case.
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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Blustery Fall Days

We're just plodding along this fall...nothing extraordinary or amazing going on.  With all the social media out there, and the access folks have to the internet, and the way we can create these fabulous artificial lives (if we choose), I suppose folks who are rather ordinary, and honest about their lives and themselves, probably don't appeal.
Our days are filled with work (six nights a week for my dear husband), the daily chores (lambs, housework, cooking, etc.).  Or rather, I should say "our days and nights" since we keep odd hours. I'm grateful for the lambs.  They are so sweet and they always make me laugh.

We're having a lot of geese flying overhead these days, and plenty of swans (mostly whooper swans, I think).  It's a lovely sight.  And the sunsets are moving south (from our place on the globe, it looks like the sun sets in the southWEST).  The fields are full of straw bales.  And I'm starting to see more of the "big boys" (tups or rams) out in the sheep fields.
Autumn really is a bittersweet time of year, isn't it?

P.S. ~ So much for PHOTO-A-DAY!  I just wasn't all that inspired by the topics.  I guess I'll stick with my own brand of photos...

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Little Something for Christmas

I don't know how many folks read my blog, but even if only one person decides to do this, it will be worth it.
The Power Of A Simple Gift
If you're looking for a great charity to support this Christmas, why not try Operation Christmas Child?  They are part of the Samaritan's Purse organization, and this is the arm of the charity which gives out Christmas presents to thousands upon thousands of needy children each year.  Fill a shoebox, or several shoeboxes, or go online to their website and fill a virtual shoebox, which they will then fill and send off for you after receiving your donation.  This is such a wonderful charity, and we in the West have a hard time understanding how much a Christmas present like this can mean to a child.

We're doing Operation Christmas Child

Here is the link for my friends in America.  Just click on "what we do" and you will find Operation Christmas Child, or as it used to be known, the Shoebox Appeal.  Deadlines to drop off your boxes are early November, so it's time to start filling them now!

Thank you for considering this charity.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Friends

Well, the weather has turned absolutely horrible here in the north of Scotland!  I can't really complain ~ we were blessed with amazingly good weather for a long stretch ~ but I worry about the lambs.  They do have shelter, and we're going to build them something sturdier, hopefully this weekend (right Dear Husband?).  I have to keep reminding myself that they are Scottish sheep, not a girl from Florida like me!

So, I missed yesterday's Photo-A-Day Challenge.  The topic was DETAILS.  It just didn't grab my attention, I guess.

Today, the topic is FRIENDS.  I have friends scattered all over, most of whom, I just realized, I don't have any photos of.  But here are a couple of fun FRIENDS photos:
This is me and Betty at my wedding in 2007.  My wedding was in Scotland, and Betty came all the way over from the US to be in my wedding.  And the folks in the photo below also came all the way over from the US, and so did others, including my sister and her husband.  These people are all very near and dear to me.
There are lots of others, as well.  And through the magic of Facebook (which I resisted for a long time), I am even reconnecting with FRIENDS from schooldays.  It's hard to put just one or two photos on for FRIENDS.  I need a huge, endless photo album to really talk about FRIENDS!
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Monday, October 7, 2013

Photo(s) A Day(s)

Well, sometimes there aren't enough hours in the day.  I'm still doing the Photo-A-Day Challenge, but I'm going to have to post three days' worth in one post.  Life is messy, as we all know.  So, here's a catch-up.  October 5th's topic was :: ABOVE.
For October 6th, the topic was :: NEW.
And today's topic:  TRAVEL.  I chose to make a collage of a little day trip from Nigg to Cromarty, via the ferry (which only holds 4 cars at a time!).  But really, I could say so much about TRAVEL, and post so many photos.  If it weren't for TRAVEL, I wouldn't have moved from Florida to Scotland!
Top left:  Nigg-Cromarty Ferry; Top right:  Cromarty
Bottom left:  Clarsach at Groam House Museum; Bottom right:  Clootie Well

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Friday, October 4, 2013

Gloomy Days

This was probably not the best day for the Photo-A-Day Challenge topic to be:  I feel.  We all have rough days.  Sometimes, when I visit other folks' blogs, I can get really discouraged about my own, and all that's going on around me, because everyone else seems so happy, cheery, and just plain glad to be alive.  Well, I don't know about you, but my life has ups and downs, good days and bad.  I like blogging because of all the opportunities to be creative, and to merge words and pictures.  But one of the things I REALLY don't like about blogging and social media in general is how easy it is for folks to be phony and put on whatever kind of face they want.  You never know if you're seeing the real person, or that person's creation of what they'd like to be, or how they'd like the world to see them.  I'm trying really hard not to do that.  So... here is my photo for "I feel..."

BLEAK...with occasional blinks of sunlight.

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Share

Today's Photo-A-Day Challenge topic is share.  Lots of things crossed my mind, but then I thought of what I see every day, and how these four little guys from three different farms / crofts have learned to share.  And with such sweet natures!

SHARE

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Birthday Flowers

My dear husband gave me lovely pinky-coral roses for my birthday yesterday.  I love them.  Thank you, my dear husband.

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Organize

That is the topic for today's Photo-A-Day Challenge.  Organize.  I'm constantly trying to organize everything:  my life, my closets, my kitchen, my craft room / office / study / computer room / stitching room.  Did I mention my life?  Well, it was hard to make just one photo, but I decided to take a picture of some (yes, only some) of my earrings.  They are organized by color.
I'm off to keep organizing...
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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I Made It! And...Photo-A-Day

I'm here, and I'm 50!  Whoopeeeeee!

And I'm starting this:
This is the Photo-A-Day challenge from TheIdeaRoom.  As you can see, the first "topic" for this month is "ground."

GROUND 
In the Highlands of Scotland, the word "ground" makes me think of all the tattie fields around us (or taters, if you're from the South).  We are also surrounded by fields of straw bales.  And sheep and cattle.  Good ground is very vital to my neck of the woods.

Thanks for stopping by, viewing my photo, and helping me to celebrate 50-years-old today!!
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