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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, December 31, 2005

New Year's Eve Day

The last day of 2005 found me using the tractor to set out round hay for the mares, gelding and weanling and one for the younger stallion. It's a beautiful day, sunny, around mid 40's F but with a stiff wind blowing. Still, a grand day to be outside especially as I was wrapped up like a babe in swaddling clothes. I'm ending this year with the same respiratory infection I've had for months but at least I believe I'm on the mend. I feel better anyway.

Dave and I went to town to get some free Christmas trees. I feed the non-sprayed green color trees to the sheep who think they are candy. This makes six I've given them and the first three trees are almost bare of needles. The wooly fleeces are just lovely; most are at least 4 or 5 inches in length and the gray ones have silvery highlights that catch the light in a pleasing way. I'm so pleased with the sheep and the fleeces they grow; they are such a loving flock and respond well to good food, sweet water and tender care.

We're having a quiet day and evening; Dave is making corned beef and cabbage with black eyed peas. I believe he's hedging his bets and trying to cover all his bases. We'll have a smidgen of sherry or B&B to toast the New Year but probably earlier than it actually arrives. My attitude is I've stayed up late to welcome in many a New Year and it arrived with, or without, my help. That's good sleeping time I'm wasting waiting for what will happen anyway.

I have every intention of choosing more time for knitting, spinning, weaving, enjoying my husband, home, animals, family and friends. I hope to make wiser choices and to know more quickly when I've choosen poorly; to work more with the horses, to play more with the sheep, dogs and cats; to laugh more frequently, play harder and appreciate the blessings and gifts I'm given. I want to travel more with Dave, to make and build more and better memories. In short, to try and make the most of the time and the life I've been given. Oh, and to finally figure out how to include photos in my blog!

Happy New Year; my prayer for one and all is

May the Worst of 2006
Be from the Best of 2005

Friday, December 30, 2005

2005 Year End

My Dad has always said if one is living right, then there's no need to make resolutions at year end/beginning. He's probably right and I've never made New Year's Resolutions but this change from 05 to 06 might be different. Since starting this blog, I find I don't make the time to journal with regular frequency. And, in turn, find myself wondering if I don't make the time then why should I continue. The answer is because I do enjoy keeping a blog or a journal. I like the accountability, seeing my thoughts in black and white, knowing that, sometimes, others find my words and thoughts useful to them as well. Like so much of life, it's simply making choices and then sticking with them. I want to make the promise to me that I'm worth taking the time to, frequently, write in this blog. To visit the blogs of friends who, through their writing and photographs, help keep me centered. Leslie at is one such site and a visit to her blog is a treasure worth sharing.

As we approach the end of this year, I've made lots of changes...the largest one being to downsize my life. My urban friends want to know how is that possible, when I already have downsized far more than some of them are able. What I am doing is thus: instead of adding to my life; I'm taking away, I'm paring down to the essence or at least closer to the essence. I've stopped doing so much volunteer work that takes me out of our home and off the farm. My volunteer work now consists of knitting for family, friends and charity or weaving a rag rug for someone's floor. The Komi Kids Yarn Project is still a special project and I want to learn to knit slippers for service men/women. The Round the Mountain Southwest VA Artisans Network is special also, but I want to keep my projects, my life, manageable and easier to handle.

I'll still make lists; there's no way, at least I don't think there's any way, I can live my life without lists and get anything accomplished. For me, lists are mini-goals to keep me on track. Dave and I find ourselves wondering when we last had the house painted or when were the air filters last changed. I'm resolved to start, and keep, a house book that will aid us in taking better care of what God has entrusted to us. I've kept records for the animals but the humans and the house are in need of update.

For years I've felt there was beauty and, yes, even glory, in the plain things of home life and I want to spend more time in pursuit of those beautiful, simple things. When I sip a beverage in our sun room in the early mornings, I watch the sun break over the valley and across the sheep and horses as they wander our pasture. My hands are busy with knitting or the Good Book and my eyes wander to the knitting or book and back to the large windows. I'm daily reminded of the beauty in our world and how much of a blessing it is to have such a visual feast. Somehow, it's a bit easier to confess to God those sins of commission and omission when His beauty and largess is spread before me. It's easier to forgive, although does one ever forget?, the hurts caused to one by others, as well as the hurts caused.

Does it sometimes take you time, lots and lots of time, to reach a point where you're able, or even willing, to ask forgiveness of either someone or God? Sometimes I find giving forgiveness is easy, quick even and other times the hurt festers until it ruptures into pain so great only God can hold it all.

In this year to come, what will I do with my life? What changes will I make? How will I grow? Where will I go and with whom? How will I worship and where?

I thought of those questions as Dave and I sat watching The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, one of the Narnia books made into a movie. I saw the "original" BBC production which was brought to the USA by PBS in the early 1990's. Both are equally stupendous and do a respectable job to, what I believe is the intent of C. S. Lewis' books. He was such an incredible writer, depths upon depths of levels of meanings in his work. If you've never read The Screwtape Letters, read it as soon as possible for it's another, seemingly simple, tome.

Perhaps the questions are the result of advanced middle age and not just the years' end. Perhaps the questions are the result of wondering too much, of living my life in such beautiful silence. We rarely have the television on or even the radio. I believe silence is the ultimate white noise and my spirit craves it as much as the flesh needs food.

Even so, this year has had its share of gifts and blessings; of joys and sorrows; of friendships given and taken away. As this year ends and the next looms, I'm reminded of Psalm 65:11 "You crown the year with Your goodness." As long as I/we rest in His hands, we rest well and peacefully even in the midst of trials and tribulations, knowing the joy of the Lord is our strength. And frankly, it's His strength upon which I rely because my own strength is ebbing far too quickly.

Tempus Fugit
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