Sunday, May 29, 2011

Month's Mind

This Sunday morning Bert and I did something we've never done together before. We got up early and went to church. And on the way we picked up Hannah and Jakers and they went too.

It was Matty's Month's Mind today.

I did not cry at my father's funeral, nor did I weep at Matty's. It was far too soon, far too raw and for everyone's sake I had to hold myself together. But I did feel emotional today. Father F., who had been with her when she passed, said the Mass and we were all very glad that he did because he had been a wonderful support to Matty, and to us all, throughout the time of her illness.

Looking around that little chapel today I saw so very many friends. family and neighbours who had helped Matty and helped us all throughout her illness and before it. She was a very fortunate woman to have lived in such a caring community.

Many people have told us that we, as a family, did a fine thing keeping Mammy at home during her illness and ensuring that her quality of life was good right up until her final weeks. I do think we did a fine thing although, at times, it was very difficult. It wasn't the looking after our mother that was the hardest part, it was the fear that we would not be able to sustain it. But we did. We helped each other and we were helped in so many ways by so many different people.

That is why I felt emotional today. Today I was part of a community that I'd once belonged to, a community that my mother belonged to right up until her final moments. And also a family. A big family, an extended family, who look after each other and are there when it matters. I often told Matty how lucky she was to have so many people in her life that cared about her. Now I realise that I am lucky too.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Husband!

Happy Birthday Bert. I nearly missed getting this one in. A picture from the olden days when Danny was young, slim and gorgeous. And so were you! And you still are.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Petting Zoo

When Clint bought our previous place it was rather wild and woolly. A bit like us really. Our back lane was like a tunnel it was that overgrown, there were trees everywhere and there was a garden. Peter the Weatherman had two tunnels full of leylandii and the ones he hadn't sold were rooting into the ground. It didn't take Clint long to begin clearing up. He cleared the lane and cut the hedges. Some hedges he pulled out and he felled many trees. He rooted up all the flower beds and replaced them with geese, sheds and flattened goose-shitty grass. He knocked down stone walls and old houses and built a big agricultural shed. Well. It was his place. He could do what he liked. Except all that vegetation actually provided much-needed shelter.

As a consequence Monday's stormy weather hit him hard. Bert went down to check how his livestock were doing and came across a scene that was close to carnage. There were young trees down and two of his wooden sheds had left their moorings and had blown away. One was in 'juggins' and another had rolled and broken through a wire fence and was standing on its roof. An ornamental holly tree had broken its fall. This was the shed that held 35 baby chicks and goslings and Bert just got to them in time. He gave me a call to help him and while he sifted through six inches of litter I carried the birds away in buckets to a safer place. They were all saved and how I do not know.

Yesterday Martha and I took a dander down the road to see how the little birds were doing.

First we had a look round the place to see the smashed trees. Martha said, "Broke'"

Then we checked the baby birds. Martha liked them very much. She said, "Nice."

We'll go back to see them next week. And they will be much bigger. There is a country saying,

...growing like a gosling.

Ah well. Clint might have given our old place a serious pruning and tidying but at least he keeps a petting zoo for there are three little calves and two young goats as well on the property. He should get a donkey and some rabbits. I must mention this to him.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The End of the World As We Knew It.

It was in October last year that Nellybert went to Donegal. To say that the trip was disappointing would be no exaggeration. We decided to give it another try.

The weather was not as good as it had been on our last outing. But that was in October so, of course, you'd expect it to be glorious. You cannot look for blue skies in May and they turned out every bit as grey as you'd imagine.

We sat at Five Fingers Bay where the tide was in. I scrambled on the shingle to collect wee square pebbles to fill in the spaces in the paths where the Bann brick is crumbling away. Bert sat in the van and watched as the tide started to go out again. He said he'd never seen such a thing before for he doesn't get out much. I said if he noticed it going out really fast and far we should jump in the van and race for the hills as it would mean a tsunami was coming and we were expecting the end of the world. Strangely I wasn't that concerned. If the end of the world comes, it comes.

The gloom of the weather did not perturb us and we headed for Doagh Famine Village which turned out to be a most interesting and entertaining experience. Deserves a post of it's own really. I might call it 'Play Down The Famine' Village which was a new and very interesting view of the National Tragedy. Can't say I disapprove.

The weather did not improve and we drove to the Mamore Gap, stopping at the famous shrine where I prayed a bit and made a small offering. I thought I was praying to St Colmcille but it turned out to be Padre Pio. Apparently he comes highly recommended by those in the know. So Ganching, if something good happens to you next week - let me know and I may start my own shrine to Padre Pio on the Dreen Road beside our wee spring or Holy Well as I now call it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

She Was Clean When She Got Here

Martha always comes to me perfectly turned out but after a few hours here she's working the Infant Bag Lady look. Today we had dress-up. That frock was picked straight from the ironing basket and her hat was originally intended for Romanian orphans. The vintage jewellery is courtesy of Pearlie. Not sure how she got her dirty face but I am sure she enjoyed getting it.

She was stung today by a honey bee on her ear lobe. There were tears but not many of them.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Clearing Up

Three weeks ago since Matty died.

We tidied her grave yesterday - removed the wreathes which were beginning to fade. I saved the cards and the little card-holders. The card-holders will be useful for marking where seeds are sown in the raised beds. Matty would have approved. She loved a garden, be it of flowers or be it of vegetables.

It was one of her biggest regrets, as she grew older, that she wasn't able to keep up with her garden. Since she died I have been gardening like fury.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Magic Word

PEAS! what Miss Martha says when she wants to bend me to her will.

She is a great one for the single word commands.


She likes to explore the outside and spends a great deal of time in the poly tunnels.


When Granny sits down it can only be for one reason. To read to her grand daughter.


Sometimes a cuddle is needed. But soon she'll be commanding...


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Two Weeks

bluebells 2011, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

Every now and then I hear something or someone tells me something and I think to myself, I could blog about that. Then I sit down to write and I cannot remember one single thing to write about.

Two weeks ago since Matty died.

I saw an awful lot of bluebells. That's something at least.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

mammy and joe

mammy and joe, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

The young bro and Matty.

the man with the lurcher

the man with the lurcher, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

This dog is so unruly it needs two leads in case one breaks. The man on the other end of the two leads is a true dog-lover, says if that dog ran off it would never come back it's that wild. He was very sweet - loved our Judy, says she's a lurcher too.