It was an ordinary day today, an ordinary day in Ireland that is.
At 6 am I woke up to the sound of lambs bleating outside my window. I dawned my robe and went outside; the gate was closed so they must have found a hole somewhere in the fence. As I tried to chase them out the front gate they ran around the house and jumped the fence into my neighbor’s field and kept on running. I hope they found their way back to the front eventually because their momma was waiting somewhere along the road.
My little girl loves to sing “Mary had a little lamb” and “Ba ba black sheep;” I realized that these nursery rhymes that held no meaning to me as a child are very relevant to her. Our landlady’s name is Mary and she owns a bunch of sheep. Both black and white sheep are scattered all throughout the enclosed fields surrounding our home and along the road and public land nearby. Often Jewel and I will be eating breakfast when she spies a few sheep standing at our gate hungrily eyeing my flowers. “Bye bye sheep” she says with a wave.
I did a load of wash and then hung them out to dry. Though it was an overcast day the cool breeze was still able to dry them adequately by mid-afternoon.
One of my friends stopped by for a visit and I put the kettle on the boil. We chatted about life and the weather over a nice cuppa (cup of tea) and homemade scones. It was silent for a moment and I realized that my toddler was out of site…silence is a wonderful thing when you don’t have a toddler or when you are certain said toddler is asleep…but otherwise, it is dangerous. I found her in my bedroom with a black ballpoint pen coloring on her stuffed animal; the contents of my purse were scattered about the room. She looked at me with innocent eyes and told me that her toy was “dirty.”
I learned a new Irish phrase that I’ll be adding to my collection. “You’re bringing on the kip,” or “I feel like kipping;” meaning, “you’re bringing on the sleep,” and “I feel like napping.”
For the noon meal we ate cottage pie that I learned to make from one of my adopted Irish aunties. A dish of minced beef (hamburger, for you Americans), veg (corn, peas, and diced carrots) and spices, topped with mashed potatoes. I often make two casserole size dishes and then freeze one of them so I get a few meals out of one cooking session. Because of that wonderful trick, this was one of those fabulous days where I didn’t have to cook, but did feed my family well…I love that!
After nap time I bundled my two children up and went to the store for diapers and a few groceries. We arrived back at home to find both black lambs and their momma back in my garden. Jewel enjoyed chasing them around the house and back out the gate.
The afternoon sped by with taking the clothes off the line, looking after the children and skype calls to family abroad. Now I sit here in a writing mood, my babies are actually asleep and the husband off to a game of basketball with the guys.
I just saw two beautiful rider-less paint horses running down the street back and forth in front of my house on the main road. The sun is setting with pretty pink clouds hovering above green fields and gorse ulex bushes with their prickly green spines and yellow flowers. I hope the owner finds his horses.
I’ll finish my evening with another cuppa and a happy heart. I’m so grateful God lets me live in Ireland.