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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. present. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, books, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. jam, bread maker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. writer. traveler. homebody.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

A Handmade, Homemade Life

~ tired, old fence ~

Can anyone tell me why restaurants say, for example, "homemade ice cream" when it's clearly not homemade? Just another something to puzzle me.

April came and went and, mostly, so did I. Seems I was always getting ready to go, going or coming home. Lest you think it was for fun, it was, mostly, more work, different location. Except for that lovely first weekend spent camping with delightful SOTF women and, thankfully, I have a wonderful farm sitter which works well for both of us.

Last month I decided to make homemade sausage...as in sausage made at home. If you're interested in dong the same...either purchase ground pork or buy a roast and grind it at home. I purchased about six pounds of ground pork


then added my own spices


Himalayan pink salt, crushed red pepper, garlic powder, Hungarian safran (saffron), Hungarian sweet paprika, Italian herbs and crushed Malabar black pepper.


Then, I decided the mixture needed a tad bit of Spanish hot paprika to give it a little lift.


From top, clockwise:

2 tablespoons Italian herbs
1 tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1 tablespoon Spanish hot paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 huge pinches Hungarian safran
and generous grindings of salt and pepper


Six pounds of pork made approximately three and a half dozen sausages
~ cooked, homemade sausage ~

and they were tasty when made for breakfast the next morning. The mixture was allowed to rest, covered, in the fridge so the flavors could meld.

~ Sadie, one of my constant companions ~

Looking forward to May - plant the garden (thanks John and Daniel for plowing and discing the garden!),

~ plowed, ready to disc ~

new fencing, a quick trip to Cabala's for Ladies Day Out and (hopefully) taking my little 1965 Serro Scotty...her maiden voyage! I say 'hopefully' because Donald has to help me get her road ready.



The sugar maples are leafing out nicely and spring has arrived on Thistle Cove Farm and on neighboring farms -


I've been huffing rosemary like a crazed woman but, apparently, it's not helping as I can't remember if I've said or not...last October the farm sale fell through due to lack of financing on the other side. The farm is back on the market, here and here to name two places. Like I've always said, God has a plan. As much as I love living here, I believe it's time to move closer to family...Mom and Daddy, siblings, nephew and his family...and settle into the next season of life. In the meantime, or p'raps I should say, "In the good time, I'll continue with my stewardship of this farm, these animals, this home and pray for God's perfect will be done.

Ponder this ~ "I am a creature of God, and He has an undoubted right to do with me as seemeth good in His sight. I rejoice that I am in His hand--that He is everywhere present and can protect me in one place as well as in another." ~ Ann Hasseltine Judson

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Sabbath Keeping


"Then when you call the Lord will answer. "Yes, I am here," he will quickly reply. All you need to do is to stop oppressing the weak and stop making false accusations and spreading vicious rumors! Feed the hungry! Help those in trouble! Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you shall be as bright as day. And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy you with all good things, and keep you healthy too; and you will be like a well-watered garden , like an ever-flowing spring."

"It's not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving."

"The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate,
but in what you give away."  ~ Wayne Dyer ~

"Gracious acceptance is an art - an art which most never bother to cultivate. We think that we have to learn how to give, but we forget about accepting things, which can be much harder than giving... Accepting another person's gift is allowing him to express his feelings for you." ~ Alexander McCall Smith (while you're reading this post, click on this link...happy music!) ~

"Happiness doesn't result from what we get 
but from what we give." ~ Ben Carson

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another." ~ Charles Dickens ~

"Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." ~ P. J. O'Rourke ~

"We make a living by what we get,
but we make a life by what we give."

"Do you know know that God entrusted you with that money (all above what buys necessities for your families) to fee the hungry, to cloth the naked, to help the stranger, the widow, the fatherless; and, indeed, as far as it will go, to relieve the wants of all mankind? How can you, how dare you, defraud the Lord by applying it to any other purpose?" ~ John Wesley ~

"You can give without loving,
but you cannot love without giving."

"The wise do not buy into other people's perceptions of who they are and what they are capable of. Instead, they bypass a person's public persona and see who they are in their highest expression. When you see actions taken with integrity, instead of words only, you will then know a soul's worth." ~ Shannon L. Alder ~

"It is the heart that does the giving; the fingers only let go."
~ proverb ~

"For if you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give - large or small - will be used to measure what is given back to you."  ~ Luke 6:38 ~

Please pray for ~ Anita ~ Patty and family ~ Bonnie and family ~ Vicki's family ~ Jim ~ Diana and her Hero ~ Sue and her family ~ Julie and Nancy ~ Ronnie ~ Sara and family ~ Steph and family ~ Sandra ~ 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sabbath Keeping


"Where there is no vision, the people perish."

"Blessed is he who has learned to admire but not envy,
to follow but not imitate,
to praise but not flatter,
and to lead but not manipulate."

"The first great gift we can bestow on others is a good example."
~ Thomas Morell ~

"To handle yourself, use your head.
To handle others, use your heart."

"Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others."
~ Robert Louis Stevenson ~

"You manage things;
you lead people."

"I must follow the people. 
Am I not their leader?

"A leader is one who knows the way, 
goes the way, 
and shows the way."

"We must truly serve those whom we appear to command; we must bear with their imperfections, correct them with gentleness and patience, and lead them in the way to heaven."
~ Francois Fenelon ~

"A man who wants to lead the orchestra 
must turn his back on the crowd." 

"Don't follow the crowd
let the crowd follow you."

"When people talk, listen completely."

"The important things is this: to be able to give up in any given moment all that we are for what we can become." ~ DeSeaux ~

"You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand."
~ Woodrow Wilson ~

"In everything set them an example by doing what is good.
In your teaching, show integrity, seriousness 
and soundness of speech."

Keep in prayer ~ Vicki's family ~ Bonnie's family ~ Diana and her Hero ~ Anita ~ Julie and Nancy ~ Ronnie ~ Patty and family ~ Jim ~ Steve ~ Sandra ~ 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Thankfully, it is Friday.


Nancy, A Rural Journal blog, has brought back Random 5 Friday where folks join in by posting five random facts about any or everything. Frankly, I'm over the moon happy it's Friday and am seriously considering a tub of hot water, Marcia Willet's A Prodigal Wife, a tot of Jack Daniels with honey followed by my flannel nightgown.

1. Above, my American Curly Horses are having a lie down during a windy but warm and sunny day. From the left...Dandy Man, Dani Girl, Peaches, Tumbleweed, Izzabella and Meri Go Lightly.


2. In the same upper pasture, Daisy, a redbone hound, gambols with Sadie, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, and Sam, a basset hound spaniel terrier mix. I'm partial to hounds, can you tell?


3. My two favorite house boys, Sam and Gray Tom. Shortly after Dave, my husband, died Tom walked up the driveway and said, "Honey, I'm home." Two months ago, Tom died and I'm still reeling from the loss. Since November, there have been a lot of deaths on this farm and each death cuts me to the bone.


4. Not sure if you can see this clearly but the Mama doe has her tongue hanging from the side of her mouth. Her twin fawns are nursing rather energetically and Mama is nearing the weaning stage.


5. My valley has a fair share of eagles and, ever now and again, I catch a good photo. I've heard a number of preachers say an eagle won't eat the carrion of others but I know for a fact that's not true. Eagles eat their kill and the kill of others and I've watched them eat stuff that's a day old. Isn't it funny how we latch onto something, believing it to be truth and just keep telling and re-telling the same ole sorry lie?

Those are my photo contributions and hope you like them. It's the bet I can do after a day spent outside in harsh winds but sunshine. There were so many outdoor chores...pruned the fruit trees and bushes, cleaned out a dozen flower pots to get them ready for plantings, tied the tarp on the camper (again), moved the blueberry bush (not the right time of year but if it makes it that'll be a lot better than being run over where it was), swept the front porch and re-arranged the furniture...still need to put up those little upside down question mark -?- hangers for the hanging baskets...and gave it all up late afternoon so I can join Nancy then take care of me.


~ The End ~

Ponder this ~ "We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started." ~ Henry Ward Beecher ~

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Laughing in the Wind


On Monday, the 11th of April, I had business meetings which wasn't an auspicious way to celebrate my sixty plus birthday but at least I celebrated above ground. So many don't get the chance, do they?

 ~ Nancy and Stacy ~ 

Sisters On The Fly had an outing at the Kings Dominion Campground and twenty-five or thirty of us met for a good time.


When you think you're too old to have good clean fun, consider Barbara...she began her seventh decade April 1 and drove her T@B from Maryland to Doswell, VA. It's a smaller camper with a kitchen on the outside back with the inside basically for sleeping. Her T@B had a television, DVD player, radio and good lights for reading.


I cannot believe I didn't get a photo of her purple T@B! Women were laughing about their lack of attention spans and "OH LOOK...sparkly!" was mentioned; it certainly applies to me as well.


The eye mask was a gift from adoring Sisters; looks wonderful on her, doesn't it?

~ from top down, Nancy, Diane, me, Lori ~

Some of us didn't want to drive our vintage campers such a great distance so we stayed in a cabin. I do not recommend the lofts for adults...about three steps from the top, I (a short woman) had to bend over to keep my head from pounding against the ceiling. By the time I turned the corner I was just about kissing my knees and literally fell onto the bed. When I needed to get around the room, I crawled but, on the other hand, those lofts were perfect for children and I can imagine them having a good romp.


Kim owns this camper, believe it's called a Teardrop, and she can stand up in it. There's a small kitchen, television and just as AAAdorable as it can be.


Bettina owns this new Vintage camper...ALL the comforts of home including a lovely, large shower, full kitchen, queen size bed and the list goes on and on.


Amy owns this cute yellow camper...maybe a Teardrop...I'm not so good with my campers...yet.


Jan is the second owner of this 1959 Shasta...drool!


Claudia, above with her Hokey Pokey camper, and Jan were the hosts for the weekend and did a fabulous  job; many thanks to both! Claudia taught me a lot...how to make a kitchen/living room


using four Easy Up's with sides, bacon and eggs on electric skillets, of course coolers with bags of ice, hanging light fixtures and lots more. When one has vintage campers, it pays to be inventive.

My apologies for not pre-posting Sabbath Keeping and much appreciation for your continued reading of same as I'm always preaching to the choir but like it when others enjoy as well. As to the title, Laughing in the Wind, it's an old Van Morrison tune. Do you like Van Morrison? I certainly do; he's probably my favorite male singer...LUV his music, voice, style and he's from Belfast, one of my very favorite cities!

I came home to fence fixing, grass mowing, hay moving, feet trimming and lots of other farm chores. This week is sunny, thank God, and they'll be a lot of farm work accomplished with good memories to share my day. Lots of interest in the farm but no offers so keep praying, friends! Take care of you and come back soon, ya hear?


Ponder this ~ Do you look or do you see?

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Sabbath Keeping


"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk 
  through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
  for you are with me;
your rode and your staff,
  they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
  in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
  my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
  all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

"The function of prayer is not to influence God,
but rather to change the nature of the one who prays."

"Prayer is not asking.
Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts."
~ Mother Teresa ~

"Let us never forget to pray. God lives. He is near. He is real. He is not only aware of us but cares for us. He is accessible to all who will seek Him." ~ Gordon B. Hinckley ~

"There is a mighty lot of difference between saying prayers and praying." ~ John G. Lake ~

"Prayer is not a check request asking for things from God. It is a deposit slip - a way of depositing God's character into our bankrupt souls." ~ Dutch Sheets ~

"The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer, tears in my eyes, and say, "Oh God, forgive me' or 'help me'."
~ Billy Graham ~

"Until you know that life is war,
you cannot know what prayer is for."

"Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy. 

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved, as to love.

for it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."

"In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart." ~ John Bunyan ~

"God warms his hands at man's heart when he prays."
~ John Masefield ~

"God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede." ~ Oswald Chambers ~

"The man who says his evening prayer is a captain posting his sentinels. He can sleep." ~ Charles Baudelaire ~

"Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?"

"Our Father in heaven
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil."

Please pray ~ Diana and her Hero ~ Bonnie Jean and family ~ Jim ~ Anita ~ Patty and family ~ Gina ~ Julie and Nancy ~ Ronnie ~ Sandra ~ 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Woman Escapes From House, Last Seen...

"Spring won't let me stay in this house any longer!
I must get out and breath the air deeply again.'
~ Gustav Mahler ~

While the outside temps stay confused this time of year, with frost two days ago which isn't unusual as frost date is May 15, the calendar says SPRING and my vote is with the calendar. The farm is looking mighty fine...all but two vehicles are under/behind locked shelter, gates re-hung, horses turned loose in the yard to mow graze and a slew of other chores started and finished. John or Daniel are going to plow the garden, clothes need hanging on the line and the list of chores g r o w s but... I took time to play in the Scotty.


Some have read my Scotty story, here, which continues in the making and in the decorating.  For some time, I've been thinking it's a 1967 but checked the title, finally, and it's a 1965...funny how the memory plays tricks. It's stored in the barn, under a tarp and has a few minor booboo's and a lot of dirt dust on it. I'm hoping to find someone to help fix things like the electrical which needs to be done correctly because it looks like I did it (extremely frightening thought!) but I didn't and there's a small leak at the front top window. While camping, that's easily remedied by tying down a tarp over the front upper half and should I be caught in a rain storm while traveling down the highway, I'll seek shelter.


The welcome mat will be placed outside the door while the sunflower mat will stay inside. Camper 'theme' is sunflowers and, eventually, will have happy sunflowers painted on the outside. Before someone starts in on "that's not original" neither is the nasty pink paint someone used to cover the beautiful birch paneling...ugh! I've bought a lovely linen colored paint and cannot wait for warmer weather to begin.


The sunflower mat is in the middle of the camper...stove behind farm name and bathroom behind red rocker.


The living/bedroom area is under the storage area and back in the day, a small child could sleep in the upper bunk, now a storage area.

I keep a cute towel draped over the upper bunk which helps protect my noggin from being cracked on the board. I'm a short woman and this upper bunk, even when raised, is still about forehead high. My bedding...down duvet center with feather pillows right, foam memory mattress and feather top along with the outside rug, left, is stored on the upper bunk.


Lots of pillows...mostly vintage but some picked up in travels with Dave - Armenia, Georgia (the country), Spain, Morocco - and others at thrift stores in the USA. The small black fan is a Tornado brand fan and really stirs the air.


My nightstand fits perfectly and with two shelves holds living room and bedroom things. It all needs a bit of tidying but still serviceable and picture worthy; don't you agree?


Oh yes, I'm a huge believer in good mattresses and good shoes; we spend one third of our lives on one and the other two thirds in the other and all needs to be superior. Above is a five inch foam mattress atop the original mattress


and will be topped by a three inch memory foam mattress which will then be topped with the above feather top. What pea? smile


The small fridge is electric but as soon as I can find something that fits and works better, will be replaced. The ice bucket and tongs are aluminium and antique/vintage. They were part of my MIL's wedding gifts back in the 1930's.


The cupboard above the stove is a bit of a jumble and my vintage Mikassa dinner ware with a sunflower motif is peeking over the top shelf. I'd like to buy matching dishes but it's difficult impossible to find this particular pattern. The Pusser's Rum mugs are a souvenir from the British Virgin Islands; that was the first trip Dave and I took, back when one needed only a legal driver's license, no passport. We rented a thirty-six foot yacht and, for a week, sailed around the islands. The little Scotty dog mug is new.


The original Scotty colors were tuquoise, like the outside, and the stove will be kept turquoise but the pink (shudder!) walls, cupboards and door will be painted a lovely soft, gentle linen, sooooo much more relaxing and calming and will make this little thirteen foot camper, ball hitch to bumper, seem larger. Living space is around eleven feet, I believe.


Most everything is original... two electric and one propane lights, the table, cushions, stove. The kitchen table is perfect for two people and again with the vintage pillows! The tea set is vintage Laura Ashley with antique/vintage mismatching creamer and sugar bowl. I'll probably trade out the tea pot for another one that's prissier...a wonderful thing about having this big house...I go shopping and it's free! Susan Branch calendars hang in the window.


It's true most dishes are pottery and could break but some are enamel and used for storage, holding food, washing up, etc.


Here's a great story about the sunflower cup, saucer, napkins and table cloth...while at a thrift store, I started talking to the gent standing  behind me (no one is safe from my mouth; I live alone and will talk to a donkey thinking it could happen again) who was looking at something (??) and mentioned it was similar to what he used while in the Army. I thanked him for serving and he asked about the sunflower goodies. I told him I was buying sunflower "stuff" for my antique/vintage camper and when it was my turn to step up and pay, I found I'd left my wallet in the car. I asked the clerk to put my stuff aside and scooted out of line; when I returned...surprise!...that gent was paying for my sunflower goodies. He said, "Pay it forward" and made my day...such lovely kindness and when I remember him, he's tucked into prayer. I've always paid it forward but this was the first time someone treated me...lovely!


The four burner gas stove with oven is beside a smallish sink and the Eveready light is one Daddy gave me and is so old the battery has to be special ordered! The Jagermeister bucket does double duty as a wine cooler and utensil holder.


Behind this door is the bathroom/closet/storage room.


The bedside potty chair works just fine, especially with the addition of a heavy duty trash bag and kitty litter (a camping tip).


A hanging wicker mirror matches the bedside table and trash can and can be removed and placed elsewhere. The "I love Lucy" sign came with the camper and as soon as I find someone who has a Lucy theme, will go live with them. That metal contraption is a sofa side table, has a black vinyl top and is the perfect size for sitting outside, beside my red rocking chair...or hammock when I buy one.


My bathroom battery candle nightlight.


As Jack instructs us, "choose joy." This basket holds my bathroom necessities...towels, washcloths, hand mirror, bath gel, slippers, etc.


This room is also a broom closet where I store the water hose and a few other camping necessities.


The beach umbrella is the perfect size, came with a heavy duty metal holder and can be moved as the sun demands. "Not all who wander are lost" hangs alongside a metal S with encouraging statements on magnets.

If you want to see other vintage campers, click here then here. There's still a Part 3 for Sisters On The Fly Saddle Up so the vintage cuteness isn't over with this post. Thanks for reading; do you have the vintage camper bug now?

Ponder this ~ from J. R. R. Tolkien reading ~

"All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.



From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king."
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