To Catch a Vision

The expression has some currency in the world of christian media, we talk about catching a vision ... but this may be stating the obvious ... you are supposed to catch a vision, like catching a butterfly, not like catching a cold.
It is easy, I have discovered to find that you have quite literally 'caught' a vision, in the contagious sense, and the downside to that, is - it ain't your vision!
My friend Cat has been talking at length about authenticity and honesty, especially when it comes to brokeness.
But what's also important is that the small treasures we hold, unbroken, remain precious and are acknowleged as our own.
I have too often been swept away in a 'vision' of homesteading and the values and virtues of 'Plain'. I have gained so much from all that, and to this day, still sneakily curl on a quiet afternoon, to read slim sections from the pages of The Plain Reader, once they have been shuffled back into place, having long since fallen out with over use.
My whole notion of church and education (home schooling) has been forged on this anvil of the Western Expansion, the cultural patchwork quilt that is Rural America.
But, I don't live there. And given that God doesn't make mistakes, nor was I intended to.
Some days I awake and realise that my own life, my very own life, which does not in any way match with the desirable vision toting big blogs of homestead land - is in fact, a perfect, perfect microcosm of quiet chapel history, the Sunday meetings, morning and evening, the English kitchen where home grown veg meet up with a local roast, and pudding comes with custard - the knitting of a cardigan, the walking of a dog, the working of a dog, a booted husband who shepherds sheep and hauls hay, and children who will be in a preciously recreated environment - a little village school with a christian curriculum.
And for generations of quietly devout and devoted, non conformist chapel women, the daily routine was much like mine - my grandmother's family was one such, though sadly I was robbed of a lot of the stories, by my staunchly Anglican mother, who wiped out as much of the chapel baggage as she ever could - but I know this to be the case, and it's a precious thing.
It's an awesome thing to realise that you already have it ... that all the precious gems of the quiet English world, beloved of many quiet generations, the girls on ponies in a milky dawn (or a drippy afternoon), the golden stubble (which once called us to gallop in an autumn frenzy for weeks, and now, blink and you miss it, they disc that stuff overnight, we had to stop to gaze on stubble today, because by the next time we will certainly drive by, next Sunday, it will certainly be gone) - and next week, even, the green tented Guide camp .... these are the testimony of quiet, christian England, these are a glimpse of a simpler time, but in this land, not far away.

it's all about home, not a far off land

Little House on the Praire

it's all about truth, not dreams.
it's all about now.

"nothing is real until you do it"

Erm.... Dear USA

We know you love Scotland, and that you love to trace your heritage there, and wear the tartan, and sing the songs.
Yet funnily enough, I have just heard an excerpt from your news broadcasts, with regard to the Lockerbie Bomber, crying 'Why did Great Britan do this?'.

Ahem. We didn't. It was Scotland.

I know, I know, we don't have cute tartan, or any of those really cool names. But please, credit where it's due, we also did not release the Lockerbie Bomber. That was Scotland. Devolved government. Not England. Or Great Britain, or the United Kingdom. Scotland.

Och Aye. :0)

What to read ?

1 comment
Has anyone who has read Nella Last's War/Peace found anything remotely able to follow them?
I read 'Our Hidden Lives' afterwards, and found it a slow starter, but eventually engaging, and have since read 'Can Any Mother Help Me?' - again, a compelling collection but ... oh how I miss Nella!
I am tempted to re-read her too soon, because I so miss her inspirational take on life, and the astounding stories of everyday courage and tenacity - but I would really prefer to find a worthy successor.
Any suggestions?

Fly Past

I don't know, I just seem to be so busy.
I'm in the middle of: making bread, making cake, painting Boo's bedroom, supervising the girls who are caterpillar picking out in the cabbage patch, remembering I must put another load of laundry on, and trying to make a list of other things I must do.
Saturday: small show, Boo did well, coming second in an awesomely tight timed jump off. H survived the day on the stroppy little welsh pony, who is due to go home soon.
Sunday: To the inlaws - chuckling because I'd berated Dorothy for driving past my door last week and not stopping by, so just to keep things even I drove past hers this week - but the day was, at best, challenging, and Boo got stung by a wasp and her arm is still swollen.
Monday - dropping with exhaustion, but managed an hour in the (much neglected) garden and a lot of other dashing around. At 6pm when supper was all systems go, my dear husband decided he need all hands on deck to move some sheep. We ate at 9pm. Need I say more?
A young girl answered the children's bantams for sale ad in the local feedstore, and arranged to come and buy some. She turned up with her 'hard bitten farmer' grand father (although, to be honest, the little tinny dihatsu truck didn't enhance the image) who proceeded to try to rip my children off.
Not a chance, though I did take details, 'in case they change their minds' - though they are not going to. So, Mr S--- of M--- Farm, in S----, I have your name, and in more ways than one, I have your number, chum.
Today - see above.
Oh and my camera's broken. Which is not fair. I need to put pictures on here.

I am still here.

Unbelievably. I am still here.

Back from two weeks of pony club camp, both girls did fantastically - Lynn, in answer to your question, both are now off to school in September, we are excited about this phase in our life, as I research a return to Country Markets, and an expansion of my Usborne Business, as well as ever more frugal and creative homesteading.

Today we made an early start and the girls rode lot number one before breakfast. The two who have just been to camp are rather fit and buzzy and if not worked, get above themselves, so they rode for an hour or so in the paddock and jumped both of them.

Meanwhile, I made bread, and got to work on some soap, for my soap course - OK ladies, I still have not sent out invoices, I have had one cancellation and now have a couple of places left, am going to get to promoting those locally soon - can't wait for the course, it's going to be sooooo cool!

*If you are interested, Soap and Sisterhood takes place on 26th September, and is my inaugural homeskilling course, so it's a bargain price of £20 for the day, including a light lunch - can't wait, can't wait, can't wait .....

I made a lovely melt and pour tea tree soap today, it smells divine - need to get that up for sale soon too, first I'd like to make some reclaimed/vintage fabric bags to complement the soap ....

Then had a friend coming to pick up five dozen eggs and also had to get stuck into making cucumber relish, eight pounds of, for our own use and for selling on Country Markets.

Lunch, then out in the garden to prepare a bed in the polytunnel for winter salad, oh the garden is getting away from me, the blight is setting into the potatoes, despite my having sprayed with Bordeaux Mixture, and everywhere is a total jungle! My Dig for Victory Garden has become a Collaborator! Rats! There's always next year. Again!

Dot into town to buy lamb nuts, and dog food, and pin up the girls' ad for bantams for sale. £7.50 per hen, cockerel free with two hens. Can't say fairer than that - anyone want some bantams?!

It's just the best life! By the time I was making supper, the girls were riding the second lot (my old cob and the outgrown shetland!) and dusk was falling, for high summer is over, and the days are drawing in ...

We are so blessed.
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