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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Snakes and Chiggers and Ticks...OH MY!

The previous owners left lots of goodies (and, yes, I have written them a thank you note! ) but I was a trifle skittish of the swing they left. It was a lovely Cape Hatteras style swing whose glory days were passed and it's taken a while to find a replacement. The above double swing does nicely; it's made by Mennonites (there's a large Mennonite population in central/southside Virginia) and this one was found at Miller's Country Store near Farmville. Today Tori, a young friend, and I removed the old swing and put up this new a downpour no less. This part of the country has had rain, rain and more rain, a "real frog strangler" as Andy Griffith said in his comedy routine. (I tried to find it for you but was unsuccessful.) 

Back to the swing...there are cushions but only to be used when sun is shining, although Tori and I did a test sit in that heavy downpour. Nearby Powhatan County has had more than nine inches of rain my brother in Amelia County has had 8 and I'm not sure of the amount I've had but know more is expected for the next week, at least.

Above, Inky, he of Pixie and the Inkspots, is seen stretching on the left side of the swing posts. The three raised beds have yet to be filled with either dirt, horse manure or vegetables/fruits. Last month was my introduction to Medicare and it seems it takes more and more time as well as more and more me to get everything done. I've yet to fish that pond or take the kayak or john boat for a ride but that's due more to safety than anything else. My rule is if you're in the boat or kayak, you must have on a life jacket and if I'm here with no other humans, I stay on terra firma. 

In our haste, that rule was broken a few days ago when Ronnie (doing some tractor and other farm work) saw movement on the pond. He knew a condition of fishing and hunting here was to kill muskrats, and when he saw the water break, he thought it was a muskrat and pumped that sucker full of 410 shot, got into the john boat (without a life jacket...neither of us was thinking clearly!) and I pushed him into the pond. He rowed to the spot, I ran for the camera and when I got back, Ronnie had this nasty brute stretched out on the ground. It's a 2.5 foot copperhead that was still opening/closing his mouth so, using a square blade shovel, Ronnie cut off his head and threw it into the pond where fishes or turtles would eat it and the body thrown away.

The dining room furniture was delivered...WOOHOO...and it looks fabulous! More photos later but wanted you to know even Gypsy approves as she found her spot on the lower shelf before the rest of the china was added. At least, the rest of it that's unpacked; there are still a few dozen boxes of "stuff" in the basement and I'm hoping to find kitchen knives, rest of dishes and Lord only knows what else. John Robertson, owner East Coast Primitives, did a fabulous job and it's nice to have available dishes, tea sets and other things that hold so many memories. (When he first arrived, John exclaimed, "You sure do like your solitude, don't you?!" My response, "Yes, I like people in small numbers and from a great distance." which is not surprising considering I am INTJ. (Dave was also INTJ and was in process of applying to MENSA, while I'm hard pressed to pass algebra. LOL)

A while back, Daddy and I went for a Gator ride; he wanted to show daffodils that were blooming at the site of an old homestead. Hard to believe that man will be 90 this year; still going strong and has almost finished planting his more than one acre garden! The other morning, while I was doing barn chores, he left a message, "I can't seem to find my start button this morning. Have you seen it?" I had to laugh; it was almost 10:00 and I was just going to the barn for my morning chores; some days the start button stay hidden better than other days! I tend to rise early but devotions take a good portion of my morning.

 Double headed daffodil ~

 Oh...the "chigger" portion of the title...if you aren't familiar with chiggers, count your BLESSINGS! As the ole feller said, "Chiggers done near et me up!" Trombiculidae are in the mite family (I know, gag...right!?) Even worse (oh gets worse?!!!), these obnoxious pests are classified as arachnids...yes, the spider and tick family! (I think I liked being ignorant better!) If you're truly interested in more information, a search will give you lots and lots more info, including how to ease the pain from bites. Any time of anti-itch cream helps but my old standby is plain bleach because I don't want to ease the pain, I want those suckers d.e.a.d. and bleach will do that job rather nicely. Bleach isn't all that good for human skin so I wet a paper towel and take a swipe over the bites. A friend uses a Q-tip which takes entirely too long to suit me but to each their own.

This part of Virginia is also bad for ticks and I've grown accustomed to doing a body search on a nightly basis. When I forget, I certainly depend on the incessant itching produced when such a critter has found a (temporary) home.

Truth be told, I'd grown rather indifferent to snakes, chiggers and ticks because the mountains have no chiggers, few ticks and the snakes didn't venture into the valley. Much. At the last farm, folks would ask, "Why do you have so many barn cats?" (Frankly, I didn't think eight or ten cats were too many at the barn.) and I'd reply, "I can cats or I can have rats and I'd rather have cats." I still feel the same way and am hoping the snakes stay at the upper end of the pond, I'm mowing all the tall grass and fallen leaves and expecting "wild life" to keep their distance. (Please God, answer my prayer!)

~ Sadie surveys her kingdom

We're all enjoying our new location and doing our part...the studio has a new shop vac to suck up the saw dust and dirt, all furniture has now been delivered and put into place, mowing and harrowing of fields is taking place, gathering yet more clothes and household furnishings to giveaway, flowers are ready to go into pots, a few herbs wait for their turn, etc. All is well.

There's time for other fun as well and Rose Patch Creations owner, Kimberly, has started a Featherweight Sewing Club. Jan, my cousin, has a shop in West VA and sold a Featherweight machine to me and the upstairs study (where the television is also located) will hold a small sewing table, chair and other sewing accommodations. First on my list is a quilt for Maxine who is now home and making progress. She's in desperate need of prayer while she gains strength to begin chemo and radiation for the same malady as has John McCain. On the good news front, Mom is doing much better and a noticeable improvement has been made since she's been in the nursing/rehab center. She's now able to go to the lavatory without assistance, has PT twice a day, five days a week and is expected to do more in the way of skills this coming week.

Almost daily, a rehab person will give her quizzes such as "Name a president who was assassinated." Most would name Kennedy but Mom, being a history buff, named Lincoln, then Garfield. The rehab person was surprised; apparently, she'd forgotten about Lincoln and didn't know about Garfield. I told Mom if the rehab person said, "Name two days of the week", Mom should reply, a la Forrest Grump, "Today and tomorrow." Mom said, "No, I don't want to give any "smart" answers; they might want to keep me and I'm ready to GO HOME!" She's been a trooper and we hope for her release by month's end.

That's not all the news but it's taken me three hours to update so will say thank you for reading, for your prayers, your good wishes, your kindness to me. All greatly appreciated. God speed, be safe.

Ponder this ~ "Simplicity is the highest goalachievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Chopin

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sabbath Keeping - Mother's Day

~ Mom, Sister and Great Grandson ~ 

"Honor your father and your mother,
so that you may live long in the land
the Lord your God is giving you.":
~ Exodus 20:12

"Next to God,
thy parents."
~ William Penn

"Appreciate your parents. You never know what sacrifices they went through for you."
~ unknown ~

"Love your parents. We are so busy growing up, we often forget they are also growing old."
~ unknown ~

"Don't use the sharpness of your tongue on the mother who taught you to speak."
~ Ali Ibn Abi Talib ~

"It takes courage to be a mother."
~ Sandra

"But there's a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother's story, because hers is where yours begin." ~ Mitch Albom ~

"If you can't go back to your mother's womb, 
you'd better learn to be a good fighter."
~ Anchee Min

"But kids don't stay with you if you do it right. It's the one job where, the better you are, the more surely you won't be needed in the long run." ~ Barbara Kingsolver

"Forgiveness does not mean excusing." 
~ C. S. Lewis ~

For a lot of people, mother's day (or father's day) is indescribably difficult. So many haven't had a Godly parent or had a "godly" parent who was abusive (especially behind closed doors). Some were given into foster care or adoption, others abandoned outright, others abused physically, emotionally, verbally. When God say "honor your father and mother" He doesn't ask us to give up ourselves; as  Lewis says, "Forgiveness does not mean excusing". Some people are meant to be loved from a great distance, others with no contact at all. If this day has been difficult, God knows and understands; give it to Him, let the bitterness, anger, resentment fade. Only He is able to heal your hurts, be a balm in Gilead, restore you to wholeness. Let Him.

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
Honor your father and mother - which is the first commandment with a promise -
so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."
~ Ephesians 6:1-3

Please pray for ~ Maxine ~ Gladys ~ yourself ~

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Sabbath Keeping - God Time

"For you, 
a thousand years are as a passing day,
as brief as a few night hours."

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. 
Don't be trapped by dogma which is living with the results of other people's thinking. 
Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. 
And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."
~ Steve Jobs ~

"Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. 
The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."
~ Thomas Edison

"Let us never know what old age is.
Let us know the happiness time brings, 
not count the years."
~ Ausonius ~

"I wish it need not have happened in my time," said Frodo.
"So do I," sand Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times.
But that is not for them to decide.
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."
~ J. R. R. Tolkien ~

Someone said, "Time heals all wounds." 
While I that may be true, I prefer to think time wounds all heels.
~ Sandra ~

"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, only this time more intelligently."
~ Henry Ford ~

"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago."
~ Warren Buffet ~

"Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity."
~ Jean de La Bruyere ~

"Never cut down a tree in the wintertime.
Never make a decision in the low time.
Never make your most important decision when you are in your worst moods.
Be patient.
The storm will pass.
The spring will come."
~ Robert Schuller

"The time is always right to do what is right." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. ~

"How did it get so late so soon?" ~ Dr. Seuss ~ 

"But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: 
With the Lord a day is like a thousand ears,
and a thousand years are like a day."

Please pray for ~ Maxine (five hour surgery to remove cancerous brain tumor, couldn't get it all so she'll have to have chemo and radiation) ~ Mom (in rehab for fractured hip, pelvis and chipped right ankle from being T-boned in car accident) ~ 

Monday, April 30, 2018

Bye-bye's your hat, what's your hurry?

It seems April just got here but considering the events thereof, I'm happy to see her leave. Oh, it started out just fine...April Fool, Easter and full moon...a triple if ever there was one. As to remembering's like the ole feller said when asked about a fairly recent event, "Well, that's a foreign country and the borders are now closed."

Yeah. April.

Now there were good things in birthday for which I was gifted with Medicare. It hardly seems I'm old enough to drive and the government kicks me to the curb, deny's (is that correct?!) me the "privilege" of paying $1,100+ a month for insurance and says, "Uncle will care for you now." Whoa! That's enough to put the fear of God into an atheist! Beloved Sistah had an April birthday as did friends (Marti, Sharon, Chris, Millie, Mary, Mat). If you'd like to know what happened on your birthday, click here; as to what happened on my birthday...not much and that's fine with me.

The Powhatan Fiber Festival was this past Saturday and I had a lovely time! It's been a very long time since I've been to a fiber festival and this little festival was fine, fine, fine. I didn't purchase much (don't need much) but the yellow felted woolen slippers managed to come home with me and will be used as studio footies.

Dyeing 2 Spin's Becky Blake did an indigo dyeing demonstration and won me over. She has home workshops and I've already sent an e-mail stating my desire to enroll.

I've done a lot of dyeing but never indigo and it's fascinating stuff! When the yarn comes out of the jar, it's greenish yellowish but the longer the yarn is exposed to air, the bluer it turns.

Ain't God grand!

So many beautiful

and sweet things.

But the BEST, by far, was the's closer to being finished! Joe (Cabins and More in Tazewell, VA) did the inside work using R-13 insulation covered with roofing paper which was covered with my rough cut hemlock. He said I should be able to heat it with a candle this winter (grin).

There's enough wood left to do another building...if I build a farm stay cottage, will you come?

The studio isn't nearly finished...I need to vacuum the sawdust and dirt then find a roll of vinyl flooring to put down but I'm closer than I was. In my head, I'm already designing the space...ceiling fans, chandelier, a kitchen cabinet area (with a smallish fridge, microwave, electric at Sandra's!), a hospital bedside potty (brand new at a thrift store) with mosquito netting to make a "room"), a corner cabinet for bits, bobs and beading, a beautiful brown leather sofa (thrift store), areas for spinning wheels, rug looms, small quilt frame, a beautiful wool rug for underfoot, window air conditioner, propane gas fireplace, center table for cutting, piecing, etc., it's going to be glorious!

It's difficult to see but one of the Inkspots is stalking one of the Canada Geese. Inky is just right of mid-center studio and the Canada Geese is ahead, just in front of porch center. I never lack for amusement and since moving here, always take time to stop and enjoy the animals, scenery and simply being here. There's a lot to be said for simply being.

Other happenings in April ~ Thistle Cove Cottage was sold and I'm refocused on Thistle Cove Studio. Yes, it was rather sad but that season of life has past, it's time to move forward.

A lot of time and energy has been gladly given to my Mom; she was T-boned in a car wreck and has fractures on hip, pelvis and a chipped ankle bone. She has a long recovery ahead but she's tough and has already begun physical therapy with an aim toward beating the doctor's prognosis. Maxine, my friend of longest standing, had surgery today to remove a cancerous brain tumor. As soon as she's able, she'll begin chemo and radiation so please keep both women in your prayers. Max and I have known each other for close to 50 years and throughout it all it's been a friendship of mutual respect and unconditional love. When necessary, we agree to disagree and have given each other room to grow. We know things on each other I'm sorry God knows but I'm also deliriously happy God forgives then forgets!

That's my April; it's been chock full and I've reached the end tired but with enough energy to continue. Bless God for the gifts of His strength, patience, love, mercy and grace...always grace.

Ponder this ~ "In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity"
~ Rupertus Meldenius ~ (in the past, this quote has been attributed to Augustine of Hippo but it's rightfully Rupertus Meldenius, a Lutheran monk of the 17th century; click here for back story).

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Sabbath Keeping ~ HE IS RISEN!

"We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet He did not open His mouth."
~ Isaiah 53:6-7 ~

"The cross is the lightening rod of grace
that short circuits God's wrath to Christ
so that only the light of His love 
remains for believers."
~ A. W. Tozer ~

"Our old history ends with the cross;
our new history begins with the resurrection."
~ Watchman Nee ~

We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining - they just shine." 
~ D. L. Moody

"The great gift of Easter is hope." 
~ Basil C. Hume ~ 

"God loves each of us as if there were only one of us." ~ Augustine of Hippo

"God proves His love on the cross. 
When Christ hung, and bled, and died, 
it was God saying to the world,
'I love you.'"
~ Billy Graham

"Jesus Christ did not come into this world to make bad people good;
He came into this world to make dead people live."
~ Lee Strobel ~

"God has defeated Satan through the death and resurrection of of the Lord Jesus Christ. Through this overwhelming victory, God has also empowered you to overcome any temptation to sin and has provided sufficient resources for you to respond Biblically to any problem of life. By relying on God's power and being obedient to His word, you can be an overcomer in any situation." ~ John C. Broger ~

"Today we celebrate the gift of victory
 over every fall we have ever experienced."
~ Jeffrey R. Holland

"Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection not in books alone but with every leaf of springtime."  ~ Martin Luther ~

"Death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity."
~ William Penn

~ Matthew 28:6

Please tuck in prayer ~ Vicki and Dave ~ Debby ~ Dormouse ~ Pam ~ Darcie ~

Saturday, March 31, 2018

In Good Company

This week, hallelujah! it's been warm enough to have my first meal on the deck overlooking the pond lake pond lake...whichever it is. You decide. Grilled salmon with honey sauce and roasted asparagus with EVOO, S&P and the gifted flowers which brighten up the table immensely.

Ste Chateau Michelle 2009 Riesling was the wine and thoroughly enjoyable. I'm not a fan of sweestish wines, unless dessert wine, but I did enjoy this. Heck, I enjoyed it all two nights in a row. Some years ago, I served Dave supper (we're Old School) and he commented on how good it was and how much he enjoyed it. I said, "That's great because when you see it again tomorrow night, please act surprised." Some meals are simply too good to eat only once.

All sorts of beasties kept me company; above is Pixie, she of Pixie and the Inkspots, born of Ole Bones whom you met last post. The cats give me heart palpitations each time they walk along the ledge. Said ledge is, at the shortest, perhaps seven or eight feet above the ground and, at the most, somewhere between fifteen and twenty feet above the concrete apron leading into the garage. I'll be SO glad when the deck is screened and they are no longer able to sashay on the ledge.

Sam P. Spade, Secret Angel Agent with Inky 1 and Inky 2, of the aforementioned Inkspots. The Inkspots are entirely black, as is Smudge Moonbeam (an elder kinsman) with not a hair of difference between the Inkspots. Smudge might have one or three white hairs but not more.

My first spring on this farm and I'm seeing all sorts of lovelies coming into bloom. I haven't a clue what this is but it is extremely pretty...and I'm usually no pink fan.

In the powder room, gazing upon the semi-bird cage is my Knight in Shining Armor. I haven't a clue who this is supposed to be but it's quite old...guessing 1930's...? He's hung on every wall of every place I've ever lived, a reminder of all the good in the world and, to my way of believing, God always triumphs (because His ways are not our ways...)

The "semi-bird cage" has Bible verses written on index cards which are trimmed with scissors cutting a pretty border. Anyone who visits is invited to add a verse and the goods to work with are in this

little egg basket, hand crafted by my Mom's Mother some 40 years ago. The milk stool belong to Aunt Bonnie, Dad's oldest sister and the same who taught me how to churn and instilled in me a love of farming, tending to animals, etc.  One Christmas season Grandma asked me, "What do you want for Christmas?" I asked for one of her hand made baskets. She said, "That's not enough. What else do you want?" I replied, "Two of your hand made baskets." That Christmas she gave me two baskets and a "Christmas" sweater which has gone the way of all flesh but those two baskets are still in service and Grandma is thought of with love every time my eyes rest upon either basket.

Yes, the scales do work; much to the dismay of folks who use them. (I can usually hear the screams of "OH NO! That CAN'T be right! ~LOL~)

Also in the powder room is this ancient bowl and dish. Memory denies me the pleasure of where or when the bowl was purchased...or did someone give it to me...? It's been carried with me for donkey's years and when I moved here, the dish under was being used on the back deck, holding cat food. Well. thrift stores are full of perfectly useful cat food dishes so I married my bowl and the cat's dish, bringing both inside and put into service as a soap dish. It brings me enormous pleasure every time I go into the powder room...small things can be SO joyful, can't they?

Whilst on the deck, one can look up at the second floor windows which is where Mellow likes to live. He's a rescue (What? No gasps of surprise?! haha) who has been with me for a week today. Beloved Sistah's neighbor moved, leaving all her cats, including (Marsh) Mellow (the first part of his name was dropped Post Haste!) to fend for themselves (yeah, don't get me started). Mellow had been de-clawed and was supposed to be an inside cat but... grrrr. Anyway, when Beloved Sistah would go out of town, I'd drive 60 miles, round trip, to feed the felines (and glad to do it!) and we'd decided I was going to bring Mellow home with me as he was already gentled. (After all, when there are so many to feed, what's one more, eh? However, at this point, I have stopped all rescue...all I'm saying...ALL!).  Wouldn't you know it!? The woman who'd abandoned the cats had the County Animal Control Officer go get three...leaving, at least, three more, one who is extremely old, eighteen or older and blind in one eye! Beloved Sistah told me, we talked about it and I said, "I cannot leave that cat in the shelter to be destroyed. I just can't. Mellow is a loving boy with a gentle, sweet disposition and acclimated to the household in two or three days. Five days into the household, Mellow and Sam were touching noses, getting acquainted and, once again, all seems to be well with our little world at Thistle Cove Farm. (Now, about the old boy, blind in one eye...yes, we're working on him...)

And, as on the back of my farm sign says...Y'all come back soon, ya hear!

Ponder this ~ 

"The power of finding beauty in the humblest things 
makes home happy and life lovely." 
~ Louisa May Alcott ~ 

Monday, March 26, 2018

A Splendidly Perfectly Beautiful Day

~ Hello Spring, Welcome Winter ~

Every morning, after tending to cats and dogs then having devotions, I sit and think. I ponder the day, consider the weather and decide what needs attention on my to-do list. There are times I simply rush into the day and put out the fire that's needing the most attention but as that's not such a judicious use of my time, I usually sit and think.

Lists are my best friend as are notebooks and this morning my to-do list got a good deal of attention. By 9:30 I was at the barn (not such a big deal considering I was up at 5:30), feeding cats and horses. The to-do list was left in the house so I took a gander and decided to ride up the driveway. I like to take a quick ride every morning, check out the pond, shed, land, etc. and make sure things are good and nothing needs immediate attention. I noticed a few tree branches that needed lopping then rode to the shed and noticed some branches behind the shed were rubbing the shed. It's easier to take care of problems before they get worse so I returned to the barn for my Fiskars 24 inch Titanium Anvil Ratchet Lopper.

When I saw these in the store, I had to talk myself into buying them; at almost $50 (not including tax) these babies aren't inexpensive (not to my way of thinking anyway). Now that I've used them for a while...I'd gladly hand over $50! The packaging says it'll handle branches of 2 inches but I know for a fact it'll do better than 2 inches! It has a ratchet, meaning once the titanium blade bites into the branch, I open the blade, let it back up until it clicks (yeah, you've loving this tech talk, aincha?! ) and bear down again. I keep doing this until the branch is cut and falls to the ground. 

This is about half the brush I cut and it'll stay here until I can get help; I don't like to burn by myself, too dangerous. While cutting brush, I discovered a 14' galvanized gate someone had pushed to the side; it still has the hinges attached and brand new costs more than $300! I mention prices because it absolutely amazes me someone would leave $300 on the ground; essentially, that's what they did by not putting this gate under shelter, taking care of it. Fortunately, galvanized steel is strong and lasts; this gate is going to be put to use at the shed where it'll keep tractor and equipment (blade, bucket, mower deck, hay spear, pallet forks) behind lock.

While I had the tractor out, I decided to move the plastic pallets from behind the barn to the shed. I eyeballed the HayHut and noticed the horses were finished their hay bale so moving hay was the next chore. Perhaps I've mentioned the HayHut before, but if not and you have horses, this thing is a gem! The HayHut covers an entire round role, preventing rot from weather and giving the horses some measure of protection while they're chomping down.

Nothing is ever easy, is it? This 800 pound hay bale is mostly off the pallet so....I had to get in front and push that sucker onto the pallet. Fortunately, round is easy to

Some days I take a lot of case there's an accident, I want to be as much help as possible in assisting the law in figuring out what happened. (gallows humor)

Ready to roll!

Using the pallet forks, I lift the HayHut off the old bales and move it to the new bale. (The black line, lower left, is some dumb thing I managed to do...please ignore.)

Please note the terrified beast standing left of the HayHut as it's being lowered over the new bale. Dandy Man decided he HAD to begin eating and was severely put out the HayHut made him move. No Fear Farm is our new name.

HayHut positioned over bale as pallet forks are lowered so I can back away. Dandy Man is still totally unconcerned with entire process. Later, I misplaced (lost...haha!) some keys and searched for them in this pasture. Dandy Man decided we hadn't had much lovin' so he followed me so he could rest his head on my shoulder while I whispered sweet nothings in his ear. The keys were, eventually, found near the shed in the exact last place I searched.

The rest of the afternoon was spent searching for Pixie and Inky who decided to go walkabout but were both found, crying like lost orphans. Animals aren't encouraged to wander from the house and barn but when they do wander, I look for them until they're found.

This is Ole Bones, Pixie and the Inkspot's mother. About two years ago, Bones wandered up the driveway, malnourished, thin as a whisper and said, "Please take care of me." It took about six months of constant TLC, de-worming, food full of calories, fat and protein (the other cats were jealous!) before she started looking any where near fit. I asked Dr. Anne, "Do you think she's healthy enough to be spayed?" Dr. Anne said, "For 120 years old, she's in pretty good shape!" Now, we all know Bones isn't 120 years but she is ancient; however, ten weeks later she delivered four kittens...three black males and one Siamese female. Those four are Pixie and the Inkspots, aka Inky One, Inky Two and Inky Three because there is NO difference between them!

You know you run a lax household when you find a potato on the floor...apparently, one of the kittens pushed it out of the bowl and was playing with it like it was a ball!

Someone mentioned from a distance, Sadie looks like a fawn. I immediately put this hand knitted blaze orange scarf around her neck. Just before going to the barn, she comes to me, looks up and waits for her scarf to be placed around her neck.

Sam doesn't have a scarf, yet, but both wear sweaters when it's nasty cold. Like it's been this "spring". Ahem. As you can see, Sadie wears both scarf and sweater like to the manner born.

I mentioned my raised beds...Quin at Comptonia is having a seed giveaway. (psssttt...Quinn did the beautiful watercolors on the seed packets!) My plans include ordering apples from Tom Brown in NC from Apple Search. Tom is a lovely man, truly dedicated to finding and saving heritage apples and buying from him aids in saving those apple varieties. Big Horse Creek Farm, in Ashe County, NC, also saves old apple varieties. If you do visit them, be sure and visit Ashe County Cheese for some of the best butter and cheese you'll ever eat!

In Virginia, the Vintage Virginia Apples at Albemarle Cider Works is the place to buy apples and drink cider. I adore cider and, years gone by, my family has gathered to press apples for cider. Remember Johnny Appleseed? He planted spitter's, so called because they were so tart when you bit into one, you'd immediately spit it out. But those spitter's make the BEST cider, ever!

Spring sprung with a (hopefully last) blast from Ole Man Winter. We had three inches of snow, schools and churches were cancelled and I stayed home.

The day after the snow, this heron wandered the pond bank, walking all the way 'round to the upper side. He's a frequent visitor, along with the Canada Geese.

Daffodils are showing their beauty everywhere; spring must be close!

Ponder this ~ "No winter lasts forever. No spring skips its turn." ~ Hal Borland

P. S. Not ONE solitary thing on my to-do list was marked off today. NOT ONE! Note to time, stuff list in pocket.

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