Posted in Angels, Animals, Bealtaine Cottage, Cats, celebrations, Christmas, Dogs, Spirituality, Thoughts

Angels and Animals in an Irish Cottage on Christmas Eve

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Christmas Eve at Bealtaine Cottage.

Snow has fallen.

The air is cold and a bitter wind blows.

It rained hard last night and the streams are in flood.

The blackbirds are hungry and have taken to stealing cat biscuits from the bowls on the veranda!

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The blackbirds are clever creatures and have watched both cats enter the lodge through the cat door, where they now sleep away the day, their bellies filled with food and milk.

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Jack stays by my side, in and out of the cottage, as I work.

Jack looks out for me and is a wonderful friend and guardian angel!

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This is a difficult Christmas for many who are without basic necessities.

I am thankful to have a well stocked pantry and woodpile.

For many, food and heat are major problems in their everyday lives.

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 It’s good to give thanks for a warm home and a full plate.

May you all enjoy both this Christmastide…

www.bealtainecottage.com 003An Irish Christmas Blessing

The light of the Christmas star to you
The warmth of home and hearth to you
The cheer and good will of friends to you
The hope of a childlike heart to you
The joy of a thousand angels to you.

Happy Christmas!

**********************

This will be my last blog for a little while as I am taking some time out.

Blessings to you all X

Posted in Bealtaine Cottage, Current Affairs, Growing Food, Inspiration, Permaculture, Personal, Thoughts, Uncategorized

What Your Government Fails to tell You…

Bealtaine Cottage Barn

Television News Stations do not tell you the news.

They give you the views of the elite, who own them and run them.

Bealtaine Cottage Willow CatkinsThey feed your children dumbed down shows that make them feel inadequate.

Bealtaine Cottage steps down into the gardenYour doctor does not ask about how YOU are, what you ate last night for dinner, how you slept over the past week.

Bealtaine Cottage Vegan FoodDoctors prescribe drugs on behalf of the multi-national drug companies who offer them lots of incentives to do so.

Bealtaine Cottage Organic Potatoes grown under PermacultureThe US government fails to support the integrity of the consumer, or even afford integrity to the consumer, by refusing to allocate information relating to GMO’s on food products!

Bealtaine Cottage permaculture gardensMy Irish Government are allowing GMO potato trials and refuse to discuss WHY this is so allowed!

Celtic Knot at Bealtaine CottageGovernments do not remind us that THEY are TRUSTEES of the people, the nation, our country.

growing organic seeds at Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureWe have placed them into a position of TRUST.

They are OUR servants!

Posted in Baking, Cats, Country Living, Folklore, Food, Garden, Growing Food, Herbs, Inspiration, Life, Permaculture, Smallholding, Tea, Thoughts, Vegan

Keeping Good Health This Winter with Dracula!

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureOne of the mainstays of good health…organically grown onions here at Bealtaine Cottage on the veranda, drying out before stringing.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture Onions, Apples and Blackcurrants, organically grown, will provide an enormous amount of protection from colds and viruses and at the same time help to keep the blood free from oxidants.

All this because prevention is better than cure!

Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureA pot of tea, comforting and refreshing as well as being a powerful anti-oxidant

organic garlic, Bealtaine CottagePermacultureGarlic…not just for keeping vampires away!

Garlic at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture garden 015Traditionally, whole bulbs of wild garlic were placed under the thatch of Irish cottages, just above the door, to keep away evil!

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It is no surprise that the writer of the book, “Dracula,” was, in fact an Irish man, Bram Stoker.

Garlic keeps the blood clean…apparently!

A slice of garlic placed on a cut will kill all infection!

rosehips Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureStudies now suggest that Rose-hip extract can reduce the pain of osteoarthritis.

Rosehips at Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureIn the past this was used to make a poultice which was then applied to painful joints in hands, knees and hips.

 Bealtaine Cottage PermacultureIt has an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect and will successfully treat the inflammatory condition AND is free of any side-effects.

Rose Arch at Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture GardensThis is a very easy to grow cure and has many other uses…for example, the hips are packed with Vitamin C!

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture breadAnother case of prevention being better than cure…sunflower seeds, used in bread-making will provide a good source of Omega to the body and be powerful in the protection of good health all round.

I add the hulled seeds to bread and flapjacks.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture catsWe should enquire of the older generation what it is that has kept and continues to keep them in good health.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture home made soupHome made vegetable soup is one of the best sources of goodness to keep good health throughout the winter.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture pumpkinsI make this in batches, using pumpkins from the pantry and keep it in the fridge, along with home made bread.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture PumpkinsPumpkins will keep for the entire winter if stored in a cool pantry.

Bealtaine Cottage Permaculture TreesThe Elder tree was used as the mainstay of good health in village life long ago.

The leaves, bark, flowers, berries and roots were all used in folk medicine and herbal cures.

Bealtaine Cottage interior designThis is another easy to grow tree that keeps on giving…Elderflower Wine is absolutely scrumptious!

If you wish you can subscribe to the latest website from Bealtaine Cottage…”Bealtaine Cottage Good Life”…simply make a donation of 12 euros for a full year and access the long list of blogs now on site. Quote: “Bealtaine Cottage Good Life” with your donation.

(Please note that this small donation sustains the work on this website, Bealtaine Cottage YouTube, Bealtaine Cottage Podcast and Bealtaine Cottage Magical Gardens FaceBook.)

 

Posted in Animals, Autumn, Bealtaine Cottage, Country Living, cows, Garden, Inspiration, Ireland, Life, Permaculture, Smallholding, Thoughts, Uncategorized

An Autumn Afternoon in an Irish Cottage Garden

Colours of the season, dogwoods ablaze and Loosestrife turned to straw.

Birch and Beech turn earthy tones.

Near the lake, the cows move slowly in the afternoon heat, seeking shady spots to stand and stare.

Old driftwood from the ocean salutes the cottage.

The horses come to look over the fence, waiting for a treat they are sure to get!

A last flush of yellow on the Hypericum bush holds the moisture from the October air.

The Beech trees will cling onto their leaves for most of the winter, even though the life within has passed.

And little Newts seek a place to over-winter, resting on the back door mat as they make their path towards hibernation.

Posted in Autumn, celebrations, Celtic Mythology, Celts, Country Living, Culture, Earth, Fairies, Folklore, History, Inspiration, Ireland, Permaculture, Poetry, Samhain, Spirituality, Thoughts

A Time of Early Shadows

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Autumn is a time of early shadows as the season of summer passes over.

Scents of woodsmoke and compost fill the air.

Samhain is close.

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The Celts divided the year into two parts…the light and the dark.

Samhain is the crossover point into the dark.

Seamus Heaney wrote a wonderful collection of poetry entitled, “Into The Dark.”

One of my favourite reads at this time of the year.

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Poetry is like that…it can be turned over again and again, extracted from the past into the present and enjoyed afresh.

The turning of the year towards the light is heralded in the Feast of Bealtaine.

www.bealtainecottage.com 054Bealtaine also means, “May,” in Irish and is why I named this cottage Bealtaine Cottage…for it was in May I first spied it!

Bealtaine celebrates the beginning of summer as we turn towards the light and short shadows.

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In Ireland the Tribes gathered for Samhain, at the ritual centres across the land to celebrate this most important festival of the year.

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It was a time to reconnect with the past, a time of early shadows and light veils of separation.

A time of magic.

Posted in Animals, Inspiration, Politics, Uncategorized

Fighting Cats and Fighting Irish

The land is wet and the streams are gushing down the hill behind the cottage. it’s not really the day to be outdoors, but, as usual, I got side-tracked into just that!

On a trip across the garden to the compost heap to empty some more stuff, I realized that there was prunings from the apple trees scattered about, so I paused and…well you can guess the rest! Two hours later, here I am, indoors writing this blog!

So here she is…still with us, Missy the fighting cat…well, fighting her illness! Following her steroid shot from the Vet yesterday, Missy is back in form and looking a bit friskier than before, as well as eating heartily. This will keep her in better spirits for the time being at least. We continue to wait for the results of her tumour…

The Beaut!

Or, Pumpkin Mouser, as she is known affectionately!

Before I sign off for today, I have posted a video link for you to follow…just in case you thought that the Irish had completely given up the fight for justice…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpUjl4LvQM8

Oh and by the way, when I posted this on Twitter this morning at 10am, it showed 7,000 views! As I write this, it has clocked up over 24,000 views! Oh happy day!

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Culture, Garden, Inspiration, Permaculture, Personal, photography, Thoughts, Trees, Uncategorized

Permaculture Cottage ~ A Ramble aound the Gardens at Bealtaine Cottage

Working in the gardens today. The evening has arrived. It’s hot and still and sweat appears effortlessly. To chill out I decided to just ramble around the gardens here at Bealtaine, mug of coffee in one hand, camera in the other.

These are some of the poppies grown from seed this year…all are different shades of pink and red and white and, I hope, perennial.

The girls are happy! I deposited heaps of fresh barley straw all around their extensive runs today. They enjoy scratching around…

I have often thought that what we need more than any religion in the world today is a spiritual order that will teach a sense of belonging to Earth and communion with Nature. I say this because working on this land over the past seven years has brought a sense of spirituality into my life that was never before experienced. This spirituality is creation centred and allows me to see the Divine in so much of Nature that it sometimes takes my breath away.

Even though all our institutions and governments are in debt, it isn’t money that we lack in our lives today…it is that spiritual awakening we most need and it is that which will change our lives and our communities.

Over recent decades we have been exposed to great materialism, yet drug and alcohol abuse increases daily. Here in Ireland, a study out just today, has put Irish motorists at the very top of European drivers surveyed for drug and alcohol abuse. Even here, in this green island paradise, there is a deep disconnect!

Growth on all of the trees planted here has been amazing this year. As I walked through the land I stopped often to look at trees that I had simply forgotten I had planted…they now towered above my head and appeared to look down at me. I almost felt like an intruder!

Posted in Ecology, Food, Growing Food, Organic Garden, Permaculture

Growing Off the Ground ~ Permaculture Ways at Bealtaine, West Ireland

The birds are nesting again in this little bird box. They come and go with little fear of people walking close-by.Bealtaine Permaculture Smallholding has been free from all chemicals for seven years next month. May, or Bealtaine in Irish, will be the seventh anniversary for this permaculture paradise. This Saturday will be the last time to visit, for a while… Bealtaine will be open for all to come and see a permaculture smallholding in real time. Visitors are welcome from 10am until around 6pm. Buds are continuing to develop on the climbing Rose. Lettuce and strawberries continue to grow well in the hanging baskets, high above the ground in their slug-free zone!

Posted in Abundance, Bealtaine Cottage, Beltane, Culture, Earth, Eco-Living, Ecology, Food, Gaia, Garden, Growing Food, Inspiration, Ireland, Leitrim, Organic Garden, PermaGoddess, photography, Politics, Roscommon, Sligo, Smallholding, Sustainable Living, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Woodland

Permaculture Photos from an Irish Smallholding. Bealtaine Cottage, West of Ireland.

 

3 acres, over 500 trees.

From monoculture to increasing biodiversity. Gaia now creates her own fertility.

The Water of Life…it is our sacred duty to ensure this supply for all is kept clean, above all else!

Growing food wherever we can helps to keep us healthy and INDEPENDENT!

Biodiversity happens because CHEMICALS are BANNED!

Everyone has choices… I chose Permaculture.