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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

~ Kit Carson ~

"Above all else,
 guard your heart
 for out of it are the issues of life."

"Follow your heart, never surrender your dreams. Always believe in yourself and let God do the rest."
~ Simphiwe Ntuli ~

"I could take time to compliment you on your beauty and physical features, but I want to get to know your heart and soul." ~ Raghib Clitso ~

"It's okay to follow your heart but take your brain with you."
~ Nicole Hill ~

"It's never the right time for the wrong people in your life."
~ Sandra Bennett ~

"Women, consider guarding your heart until you find a man who is willing to protect it for you." ~ unknown ~

"It is not your experience, knowledge, or skills. Your heart is your most important leadership tool." ~ Michael Hyatt ~

"The problem with letting people tear your walls down, is that you never who wants to take down those walls just for the fun of it. For amusement purposes. Just to say that he knew that he could. At the end of the day...the things you build should stay built. And you are no scapegoat for the sins of other people, in anyone's life. How dare anyone take down your walls not in order to see you; but only in order to feed their ego. In order to make you pay for the sins not done by your own hands." ~ C. JoyBell C. ~

"Some people need to be loved from a distance." 
~ Sandra Bennett ~

"While God does want us to be open with others, he also encourages us to put boundaries in place as we do. He talks repeatedly about guarding our hearts. So what's the difference? Hiding is a response out of fear, while guarding is a proactive choice to protect what matters most. In other words, we're not to deliberately put something of worth where it won't be valued." ~ Holley Gerth ~

"Keep guard over your eyes and ears as the inlets of your heart, and over your lips as the outlets, lest lest they betray you in a moment of unwariness." ~ Anne Bronte ~

"Be careful who you open up to
Only a few people actually care
The rest are just curious."
~ unknown

"A lion never loses sleep
over the opinions of sheep."
~ unknown ~

"Be angry and yet do not sin. 
Do not let the sun go down on your anger."

Prayer Keeping ~ Jim ~ Sandra ~ bus drivers ~ students ~ teachers ~ 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

My Precious, Amazing Cove Life

  This is my view, every single day...I am blessed.

Bald eagles live here

and sometimes I'm able to get photos.

This bald eagle was eating carrion while the crow dared dance too close.

Milkweed, Monarch butterfly food.

 Amazing, how a fawn this little can jump a fence.

 Difficult to see but three fawns on other side of fence.

 Milk time!

 Several twins and even triplets have been seen this year.

Nice six point buck; hope he lives to an old age.

 It was great, watching these two young folks work cattle.

The bald eagle, going home.

My pace is slow and steady due, in large part, to the beauty surrounding me. When I see a doe and her fawns or a bald eagle or young folks working cattle, I slow down and appreciate what I'm seeing. My life is slow, by choice and necessity and I don't miss fast...not one little bit.

Blessings ~ bald eagles ~ fawns ~ young folks ~ milkweed ~

Monday, August 17, 2015

Little Black Sambo Got Nothing On Me

This gentleman was tending an orphan fawn, about eight weeks old, and telling people about wildlife. The fawn was curious but kept well wrapped so he couldn't leap away and fall on the concrete floor.

Now if my title offends you...keep it to yourself because I'm not one to rewrite history and this was one of my favorite children's stories. Somewhere, packed in a box, I've got my original copy of Little Black Sambo and it's still cherished. In 1899, well before my time should you be wondering, Helen Bannerman wrote, illustrated and published Little Black Sambo in England for her two little girls; the next year it was published in the USA. The story takes place in India but, needless to say, American politics got involved and right royal ejits said it was "racist". I don't see it myself but I also don't see Tom Sawyer, barefoot and palming off his work on others as derogatory. I mean, sometimes a story is just a story and, at any rate, I've got too much work on my plate to waste time casting aspersions on others.

Fred, my friend and lawyer, has asked me to demonstrate churning butter for a few years at the county fair. It's my pleasure to say yes and it gives a lot of pleasure to the Seniors and Special Needs folks who come out. The Seniors tell me stories of how they used to help milk, churn, do farm chores, etc. and the Special Needs folks are simply enthralled. One dear older woman, in the grips of dementia, stood at my side, stroking my shoulder, telling me, "My Mama used to do that; she used to churn. Mama used to churn" over and over and over until someone pulled her away. For the while she was with me, the happiness glowed in her face and that's why I spend my money, time and effort to's my gift for people whom it pleases to remember.
Faith and Becky are my helpers in setting up, tearing down and handing out samples of butter on saltine crackers and they make my job a lot easier. Because I forgot to set the cream out, I started with two gallons of cold cream from Duchess Dairy but because I started with pure cream, I didn't have to separate the milk from the cream. Duchess did that for me, thank you very much! A towel around the wooden dasher keeps the cream from splashing too very much; although I still managed to become covered, head to toe, in spots of cream.
David Browning, The Mayberry Deputy, came by to say hello and take a picture; he was such a nice gentleman!

I won't reinvent the wheel but if you'd like to read more information about cow milk and how it makes a difference in churning butter, click here and, if you'd like to laugh at me and, possibly, with me, click here and here.

When churning for public consumption, I use pasteurized Jersey cream because it's heated and any bacteria destroyed. If I'm churning for personal consumption, I use raw milk; both products give butter, both products are good and both have a different taste. I grew up on raw milk, sometimes milked the cow myself, but now it's illegal to sell raw milk in the Commonwealth of Virginia. boo!

The 100% cream is poured into my Great-Grandmother's crock, dasher lowered into cream then lid placed on top, towel wrapped around dasher and top and the up/down motion begins. If the cream is room temperature, the cream will begin turning to whipped cream in 20 minutes or thereabouts. If the cream is cold, it takes 30 to 40 minutes.

Really crummy photo but I'm tired and want to finish so I can go to bed. A dasher is a long, wooden, dowel type rod with an X attached to the bottom with a screw. Mine isn't all that old but it's not holding up very well and I'd love to find a new, better dasher. I've looked and cannot find one so make do by gluing and using a larger screw. One of these days though it's not going to work at all and then I'll be done for.

Last year my dasher broke when the cream began turning to thick whipped cream, like above, but I made do, and this year, tried the same repair, both gluing and using a bit larger screw, but to no avail. When the liquid cream became whipped cream, the dasher broke.

The whipped cream was simply too thick for the poorly made dasher and I resorted to making butter by hand and,

in a large enamel bowl, I would dip three or four handfuls of whipped cream and begin whipping the cream by hand. It's not skilled labor; just takes a bit of time, patience and effort to go from whipped cream to bits of butter.

The cream began turning into pebble sized bits of butter and as I continued, the butter released liquid which is buttermilk and was poured off and kept for my kitchen. I've already soaked chicken for grilling and made a mighty tasty pan of buttermilk cornbread with this buttermilk. I also gave away a half gallon of buttermilk, along with a pound and half of butter to Faith for her family's use.

Sea salt was mixed with the butter, then the butter formed into half pound blocks which were placed into my butter mold. Click here for photos of my Aunt Bonnie's, possibly my Grandmother's, butter mold that I use. When using pasteurized cream, there's no need to wash the butter; when using raw milk, it's best to wash the butter to soften the tang of the raw milk. Please do click on all the links to see what's not included in this post; there's so much good information on how to do this for yourself and it's a great home school, or even public school, project!

So many people wanted to buy my butter but, again, it's against the law so I had to say no. Broke my heart too, having to bring all that butter home and use it myself -wicked grin-.

Is all this work worth having home churned butter? It is to me because it's not only delicious, it keeps the old ways alive and brings back so many lovely memories to me and the public. I thoroughly enjoy churning butter, spinning, weaving, making apple butter and cider, making bread and meals from scratch and all the home arts. When Dave was alive, knowing I was able to make us a home brought both of us pleasure and enjoyment and strengthened our friendship and marriage. Appalachia runs deep in my veins and heat and eat are both paramount to making and living a good life. I don't apologize for staying close to home, tending to those things that bring not only pleasure but something good to eat or wear or sleep under. I truly believe if more people tended to home life first, this frosty ole world would be a lot better off. 

Let's face it, 
when Mama's happy, ever'body's happy! 

Blessings ~ home churned butter ~ butter milk ~ Dave ~ Appalachia ~ a happy home ~

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

"Taste and see that the Lord is good,
blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him."
~ Psalm 34:8

"Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ, and go out into the irresistible future with Him."
~ Oswald Chambers ~

"Human nature is what we were put on this earth to rise above." ~ Kate Hepburn in The African Queen ~

"If we are going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed; you cannot drink grapes." ~ Oswald Chambers ~

"I never look at the masses as my responsibility. 
I look at the individual.
I can only love one person at a time." 

"We have all had times on the mount when we have seen things from God's standpoint and have wanted to stay there; but God will never allow us to stay there. The test of our spiritual life is the power to descend; if we have power to rise only, something is wrong." ~ Oswald Chambers ~

"The whole trouble is that we won't let God help us."
~ George MacDonald ~

"We are not cisterns made for hoarding; 
we are channels made for giving."

"We are not built for the mountains and the dawns and aesthetic affinities, those are for moments of inspiration, that is all. We are built for the valley, for the ordinary stuff we are in, and that is where we have to prove our mettle...The mount is not meant to teach us anything, it is meant to make us something."  ~ Oswald Chambers ~

"As Christians, we can't love the whole world. But we should remember that God has placed us in a specific community at a particular time. We're called to love those around us. Loving them means serving them--and in doing so, we become the best of citizens." ~ C. S. Lewis ~

"We have to take the first step as though there were no God. It is no use to wait for God to help us, He will not; but immediately we arise we find He is there..."
~ Oswald Chambers ~

"Be like the bird
That, pausing in her flight
Awhile on boughs too slight,
feels them give way
Beneath her and yet sings,
Knowing that she hath wings."

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials."

Prayer Keeping ~ leaders of the world, especially our country ~ rain for the west ~ safety ~ 

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

"And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God...he did it with all his heart and prospered."

"Coincidence Is When God
Chooses To Remain Anonymous."

"Every failure I've ever had is because I said yes when I should have said no." ~ Moss Hart, paraphrased ~

"Be calm in arguing; 
for fierceness makes error a fault, 
and truth discourtesy; 
calmness is a great advantage."

"A real book is not one that we read 
but one that reads us."
~ W H Auden

"If you would tell me the heart of a man, 
tell me not what he reads 
but what he rereads."

"All men wonder to see water turned into wine. 
Every day the earth's moisture, 
being drawn into the...vine, 
is turned by the grape into wine, 
and no man wonders."

"So absolutely good is truth, 
truth never hurts the teller."

"No one can be wrong with man
and right with God."

"There are three stages in the work of God:

"Watch, O Lord, with those who wake, or watch, 
or weep tonight, and give Your angels 
and saints charge over those who sleep. 
Tend Your sick ones, O Lord Christ. 
Rest Your weary ones. 
Bless Your dying ones. 
Sooth Your suffering ones. 
Pity Your afflicted ones. Shield Your joyous ones. 
And all for Your love's sake." ~ St. Francis ~

"I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the all glorious Father, may confer on you the spiritual gifts of wisdom and vision, with the knowledge of Him that they bring. I pray that your inward eyes may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope to which He calls you, how rich and glorious is the share He offers you among His people in their inheritance, and how vast are the resources of His power open to us who have faith."

Prayer Keeping ~ each and every one of us ~

Thursday, August 06, 2015

This Week in Hay, Horses, Cows and Butter

Keeping in mind the Sabbath was made for wo/man, this past Sunday saw me moving hay from the meadow into the hay lot. Donald and Dalton came by to get hay for their horses and Donald said, "Well, while I'm here, let's move some hay." With him in the truck, pulling the trailer and me on the tractor, we moved about half the hay and he left with 2.5 round rolls stacked on the trailer and another in the bed of his truck.

~ Sam figured out the truck had a.c. ~

While moving the hay, I would load 2 rolls on his trailer and one in his truck bed. It took a few loads for me to get comfortable with a roll on the front spear and on the back spear. When moving hay into the hay lot, it was very dicey due to the lot being on a hill and with ground hog holes. Donald would stand at the worst of the holes so I wouldn't tip the tractor over and be thrown off.

~ doe and fawn, round bale shade ~

I'm so short, I have to sit on the edge of the tractor seat so I can reach the pedals and, even then, my knees ache like a toothache when I'm finished. The angle of my leg puts a lot of stress on the knees and it simply cannot be avoided. And, yes, the seat has been moved as far forward as possible. Monday, early evening, I moved the rolls from field center to field side; this prevents dead spots in the field.

~ heavyweight Belgians, 3301+ pounds ~

Monday evening I visited the Tazewell County Fair to watch the Belgian pull teams and they were fabulous! Unfortunately, someone got confused in the office and messed up the scheduling so there were only four teams showing. There are usually a dozen and the pull goes on well into the dark of the evening. These animals are magnificent! Were I starting over, I believe I'd go straight to the draught horses...the English Shire (of which Her Majesty is the Patron) or the American Cream or the Gypsy Vanner. An acquaintance owns Silver Feather Gypsy Vanner Horse Farm and has incredible horses.

~ Beautiful Belgians ~

Wednesday I headed to Rural Retreat and Duchess Dairy for Jersey cream, milk and yogurt drink. On the way, I stopped off at The Dutch Pantry (Facebook page only) for lunch and home made sausage.

~ entering The Dutch Pantry  ~

~ putting out freshly made bread ~

From the Duchess Dairy website, "The facts show that Jersey milk taste better; Jersey milk is more nutritious; and the Jersey cow is friendly to the environment. She has a carbon footprint that is 20% smaller than that of the Holstein (black and white) cow and it takes 32% less water and 11% less land to produce cheese from her milk." As an aside, Jersey cows are known as Alderneys and date from the 15th century from...yes really...the Isle of Jersey off the coast of England. Jersey has 4.9% milk fat and 3.8% protein vs 3.7% milk fat and 3.2% protein of Holsteins.

Holsteins comprise about 90% of the national dairy industry and even though their milk is of lesser quality they produce more gallons per milking, more than 8 gallons per day. Also, the government, God bless 'em!, decided We, the People were too stupid to control our own dietary habits and slowly, yet surely, moved dairy herds away from Jersey to Holstein. (Frankly, considering the huge numbers (no pun intended) of American people who are obese, the government, this time, may be right.) The 1935 U.S. Census of Agriculture estimated there were 23 million dairy cows in the US. 42% were Jersey, 40% Holstein, 16% Guernsey  (4.7% milk fat and 3.6% protein), 2% Ayrshire and 1% Brown Swiss (4.1% milk fat, 3.5% protein).

Does all that really make a difference? Absolutely! In taste, cooking, baking and in churning butter. Which is what I did today; I demonstrated churning butter and from 2 gallons of pure Jersey cream, I made 10 pounds of butter. I'll show photos and explain in another post but suffice it to say I did it the Old Fashioned hand. As the cream thickened, my dasher broke and I ended up making butter in an enamel bowl using only my hands (which now feel like incredible due to being in butter fat all morning).

One last photo..."The Mayberry Deputy: David Browning" entertained today (Senior and  Special Needs Day) and was a delight. I watched as he worked the room and young and old alike, sometimes impatiently, waited to have their photo taken with him. You may remember Deputy Sheriff Bernard (Barney) Oliver Fife played by Don Knotts who was born in Morgantown, WV where Dave went to University.

Right after this photo, he said, "Do you remember the episode where Aunt Bea dated the egg and butter man? Andy said, "He buttered her up and she egged him on!"" Gosh, I loved Andy of Mayberry and miss those simpler comedies where we laughed belly laughs at such silliness. To watch the first pilot, click here and for more information click here. Andy was from North Carolina and Mt. Pilot was Pilot Mountain, is close to Mt. Airy (Andy Griffith's birthplace) which was known as Mayberry in the television series.

Oh my yes. Good times, good days, good memories. Until next time, when I show you how to make butter and buttermilk and maybe even cat head biscuits.

Blessings ~ so many, where do I start...home made butter ~ David Browning who gave so much joy today ~ draught horses ~ hay ~ doe and fawn ~ Donald and Dalton ~ 

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

~ Peaches and Dandy Man, her son ~

Eph 1:4  -         I am chosen by God
Eph 1:5  -         I am adopted by God
1 John 3:1  -    I am a child of God in His family
1 John 1:9  -    I am forgiven by God for all my sins
Rom 5:10   -    I am reconciled to God, in harmony with Him
Col 1:21, 22 -  I am seen by God as holy, blameless,
                       above reproach
Eph 1:13    -    I am sealed with God's Holy Spirit
Rom 8:28, 30 - I am called to accomplish God's purpose
Ep 2:19    -   I am a citizen of the household of God
Rom 5:1  -   I am justified - declared right in God's sight
Eph 1:7   -     I am redeemed-bought with Christ's blood
1 John 1:7 -  I am cleansed by Christ's blood for my sins
Rom 8:16, 17 -  I am an heir of God, a joint-heir with         Christ
Col 2:10 -    I am complete in Christ
2 Cor 5:20 - I am an ambassador for Christ
Rom 8:29 -  I am being conformed to the Character of Christ
1 Cor 6:11 - I am sanctified-set apart by God's spirit

(Please highlight the Bible verse, then right click on your mouse to go to the Bible verses.)

If you've accepted Christ as your Savior, you are His.

Prayer Keeping ~ Fred ~ Jim ~ Mary ~ Sandra ~ 

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