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, December 23, 2013

We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

It is blustery and grey, cold and windy, rainy and sleety here.  We are still hoping for a white Christmas!  Even a little dusting would be pleasant.

The lambs received a mineral and feed pail for Christmas!  This is to go along with their daily sweet hay, kibbles, and cookies.

My dear husband is working tonight, and even tomorrow night on Christmas Eve ~ but we're hoping he will get home early.  We'll be having hot cocoa in front of the Christmas tree.  It's a very quiet Christmas for us this year.  Nevertheless, we've many, many things to be thankful for and many blessings to share  ::  For unto us a Child is born!

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Lambs and Christmas Spirit

Look at that little pudgy lamb!  He's actually a little more streamlined than that.  Slightly.
I keep hoping for snow.  I'm SOOO tired of this Scottish wintry weather = rain, wind, sleet.  If it's going to be cold, then I would at least like to see some lovely, white, clean snow.

We're trying to be in the Christmas spirit here...which, of course, means much more than decorating the house, inside and out.  Or baking.  Or shopping ~ thankfully, we do not do presents or any of the commercial stuff.  It's way too much of a distraction; it's way too costly; and none of us (in our immediate families and circles of friends) lives in a world where we have to wait all year to receive a pair of socks or some new perfume.  We try to do our giving to charity and the Church.

I almost didn't make it to feed the lambs today (my dear husband would have suffered the four monsters by himself!).  I haven't felt too well the past couple days.  But I DID get out.  I didn't want a day to go by and not see their sweet, woolly faces!

And...GASP...Rosebud has been rubbing his face against something awfully dirty, and which won't come off!  I'll try to get photos tomorrow.  He looks like he's either getting ready for a minstrel show, or he's heading onto the gridiron.  Crikey!  What a sight to be met with today!

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Exhaustion...and Peace

I'm absolutely exhausted.  Sigh...

I'm fairly certain no one reads this blog.  And that's okay.  Sort of.  I have to sometimes force myself to write and update it.  But I wanted a blog that was mainly for me and my husband, so it's perfectly fine if we're the only ones who read it.  (I'm not entirely sure my dear husband reads it much!)

So Christmas is nearly upon us.  I'm struggling this year.  Worn out by life.  This whole past year has been an enormous struggle for the both of us :: financially, spiritually (there are no very few Orthodox churches in Scotland, and even fewer in the northern Highlands), mentally, emotionally.  Thank goodness for lambs!  And for each other.  And for our faith.

I almost didn't decorate for Christmas.  Which would fit right in with how they do things here in the north of Scotland (they pretty much DON'T).  But I pushed myself, and I'm awfully glad I did.  We are the ONLY people on our street, and nearly the only ones in our village, to have any lights outside.  I do NOT want to fall into the ways of this culture (drink, lay around, watch TV, drink some more, play darts, drink again, gossip, drink).  Well, whatever.  Folks can do whatever they please.  We each have to answer for ourselves.  All I know is, my husband and I are so glad we make the effort :: to celebrate, to decorate, to find meaning, to pray, to look for joy, to keep the world and its culture at bay. And so, we are, in our exhaustion, enjoying some peace.  Our home is quiet, peaceful, full of soft Christmas lights, lovely scents, Christmas carols.  No TV.  And we are slowly learning to be at peace in this chaotic world.

And we are waiting...for the birth of the Christ child...the Savior of the World.

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Cross-Stitched Christmas

I have quite a few cross-stitched things making an appearance in my Christmas decorating this year.  Above is a wreath with my lamb, Doodle, stitched in the middle.  And below is one of a set of three little ornaments I designed and am giving away free on my shop blog.

The wreath below is done all in red and white, and the designs are from a magazine a few years back.

Snowball (my other lamb) has his own wreath, as well!  And all four lambs have little pillow-type cross stitch ornaments hanging on the tree.  You can see those at my shop blog.

This is just the beginning of all the cross stitch Christmas things either finished, in the works, or in the planning stage.  Even after years of doing it, I still always under-estimate the amount of time it will take to stitch a pattern, whether my own design or someone else's!

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Friday, December 13, 2013

More Sunsets!

I cannot get over the incredible sunsets we have been seeing during November and now December.
These photos were taken just the other day from our front steps.  The cloud formations have been amazing.

I have really enjoyed the soft, pastel skies with the pinky-peach and bluey-green colors.  There is nothing like a flaming sky to make one realize that God is, actually, near.  And still creating!

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Beginning to Look Like Christmas...

Yes, I have an aluminum tree!  The original item.  I used to have two others, but in the frenzy and challenge of my move from Florida to Scotland, they got left behind (I have a long list of stuff I wish I had brought...sigh).  This little 4-foot tree is in our front hallway.

And here is an old bottle-brush wreath I picked up a year or so ago at a charity shop right here in the nearby town!  My photo came out a bit blurry, but you get the idea.

For another vintage Christmas treat:  This is a wreath made entirely from tin cans, back when they were tin and not aluminum.  My grandmother on my Mom's side made either 5 or 6 of these wreaths way back when (I'm thinking 40s or 50s).  I'm not sure how many are left now, but I've treasured mine, which was given to me when I was about 20.  I remember my Mom saying that Gramma about wore out her hands cutting up all the cans and shaping each little piece.

And here is a little close-up shot of our big tree in the living room.  I will post a full-length one soon!
Happy decorating, to everyone who is still working on their Christmas decorating.

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Slowly Switching Into the Christmas Gear...

Well, everyone is swiftly moving from Thanksgiving and autumn into Christmas and winter.  I am slowly following along behind.  Usually, I am right in there, going over the top with my Christmas decorating.  This year, it's different.  I'm not sure why.

I am just finishing up our big Christmas tree in the living room.  Photos to follow, for anyone who is interested!

It is SO easy to get caught up in the commercialism of Christmas, and forget what the REAL Christmas is all about.  Even for us.  We do not have a TV, nor do we spend much time in the stores at all (nor do we even have very many up with us), nor are we news junkies, etc.  But we still have to watch ourselves that it doesn't become all about decorating, buying, baking, etc.

Speaking of baking...I love all the many beautifully decorated snowflake cookies I have seen all over the Internet.  I am hoping to do some myself this year.  Last year, I baked something like 12 varieties of cookies.  This year, no.  Maybe 3 or 4.

Thinking of family and friends, and especially those back home, at this time of year.  And those who are no longer with us to celebrate Christmas.  Sigh.  

Christmas is a hard time for many.  May whoever is reading this have a truly blessed and joyful Christmas season (I know; we are still in Advent season, but you know what I mean)!

NOTE:  I shamelessly stole all of these photos from Google images.  If any belong to you and you would like to receive credit, or would like me to remove them, please contact me!

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