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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.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Mid-October 2005

The calendar may say autumn but we've yet to have a frost. It's a good thing because even though I'm assured of autumn coming this year, I'm still not prepared. It's been a hectic time and compounded by a nagging sinus infection and/or allergies. I've never had allergies and am still not quite sure if I've got them now. Folks who do have allergies, assure me I've got all the right symptoms but I rail against the idea. Being sick is *such* a waste of time and I suppose I bring it on myself by doing too much, not resting enough nor eating correctly. But, gosh, if I'd known I was going to get sick, I would have had more fun getting to this point!

Leslie Shelor - - and I spent a wonderful weekend in Richmond, VA at the 63rd National Folk Festival. We demonstrated fiber arts, both of us spinning on Saxony spinning wheels; she on a hand crafted Rick Reeves and I on the Volkswagen of wheels, the Ashford Elizabeth. Leslie has *much* more faith than I; my Reeves wheel was left at home; I only chanced injury to my Ashford. The Festival committee expected crowds in excess of 100,000 but wet weather kept the numbers down to 70,000. Perhaps the wet weather kept crowd numbers to a minimum. At any rate, please visit Leslie’s blog for more information and photos! She’s such a high and low-tech geek…I’m totally envious!

We stayed with my long time friend Mary Lois and had, almost, too much fun. Mary Lois and I have a wonderful shared history and I always, always enjoy sharing her company with like-minded friends. She’s also the new, proud owner of a small acreage farm in Charlotte County, VA. I’m hoping she joins the Virginias’ Women in Agriculture group at . We’re dedicated to assisting female small acreage farmers in Virginia but anyone, living anywhere, of either gender, is welcome to join. Mary Lois also has a delightful beagle named Lucy who is a total love bug and adores company as well.

Diana Blackburn - - put together a fabulous booth for 'Round the Mountain Southwest Virginia Artisan's Network group where Leslie and I demonstrated. Diana is a vivacious woman, full of great ideas, energy and God's own grace. All who have met and worked with her have enjoyed her professionalism and companionship. The 'Round the Mountain SWVAAN exists to promote and coordinate the efforts of artisans much like the Handmade in America group in western North Carolina. Many times, many ways has such an effort been attempted before but it's taken this particular steering committee and Diana to bring the idea to fruition. Woody & Jackie Crenshaw, Floyd, VA put together an incredible slide show using photos of southwest VA scenery and artisans as well as a brochure that highlighted same. Thanks all for the great job in making everyone look good.

Some folks who are in the Lost Arts Guild: Charlie Butcher - luthier (musical instrument maker), Bud Thompson - ironworks (courtn' candles, Celtic crosses, etc.), Brenda Hash - fillet crochet (Lord's Prayer, etc.), Ica Smith - old timey dolls, Leslie Shelor - fiber arts and works, Lura Cormier - fiber arts and works, Richard Vogel - woodworks (wooden hay rakes, benches, etc.), Joey Thompson - leather roping saddles & tack and Sandra (me) fiber arts and works. All these artisans are represented, here, at The Blue Ewe, the farm store at Thistle Cove Farm.

We've had blessed rain here at Thistle Cove Farm and are most exceedingly grateful. The dust has been tamped down, the pastures are greening a last time before autumn sets in and I'm busy readying the farm for winter. Windows need to be sealed, barns need to be repaired, equipment needs to have a last oil change, etc. and shelter prepared for all the animals. Even though the Curly horses and sheep don't need locking in a barn stall (and indeed will do poorly if kept sequestered there) they all need run-in shelter. They all need a bit of shelter from the wind for it's the wind that causes the most damage. The wind will strip all warmth and do severe damage, especially when paired with rain, icy rain or sleet. Everyone needs to have a space they can seek protection from the wind and the elements. I try to have two separate spaces for the largest group so they can split up. If I don't the more aggressive/assertive mares will push the lesser mares out into the weather. Even with curly coats and an extra layer of fat they may still get cold and that's a bad thing. I've already begun setting out round hay bales to start them into winter with some flesh on their bones. In addition to being hypoallergic, Curly horses are also easy keepers and it's walking a tight rope to see they get just enough, and not too much, food. Too much food is just as bad as too little.

Another friend, Dotsie B., is the brain behind the National Association of Baby Boomer Women - - and if you were born between 1946 and 1964 you need check her out. If you weren’t born between those years, you need to see what you’re missing.

The Queen of humor is found at . Georgia in Alabama is coming to visit me in Virginia…I find that’s a scream but then, I’m easily amused. She and her friend, Nancy, are going to Book ‘Em - An Innovative Book Fair as in Buy a Book and Stop a Crook in Waynesboro, VA later this month. If you’re an avid reader, you’ll want to visit for more information. I believe they will meet Dotsie at Book ‘Em as well…ya’ll have a ton of fun now, ya hear.

This seems to be a day for information dispersal so I might as well admit, I’m now a “smurf”. I had some two-ply, worsted weight white wool yarn at the festival and, for my own and the crowd’s amusement, I dyed it Kool Aid Berry Blast Blue. Today, I decided it needed to be a deeper blue so I dumped in some more Berry Blast Blue. Folks, it pays to have one’s mind on the business at hand. I casually stirred the whole “mess” with my right hand as opposed to using my dedicated dyeing wooden spoon. Yep, my right hand now looks like either the paw of a “smurf” or someone who’s laid out in a pine box. Let’s face it, neither is appealing.

Ah, but laughter at oneself is a gift given by God and He allows me many, many opportunities to freely avail myself of His generosity. You have the same opportunity; here’s hoping you make frequent use of it.

1 comment:

  1. The late first frosts have been wonderful these last three years. It has given us about two months extra growing season. I feel like I'm never ready for winter, for the end of my garden season, for the end of construction projects outdoors. Perhaps this is the upside, the silver lining of global warming. :)


Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.

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