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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.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Cold

It is, as Daddy and Mother like to say, blue blazes cold! We've had snow and more snow and, with the wind chill tonight, it will be around 15 degrees below zero F. All the horses have indoor shelter and the sheep are on the hill, backs to the wind and cozy in their woolen coats.

These trees are in our back pasture; the one in the foreground is a Summer Rambo apple and the two in the background are wild cherries. The Summer Rambo is in process of expiring and every year I think this might be the last apples it gives us. It takes spring and summer and sometimes the autum as well to grow a hard, crisp apple. My favorite kind. Every year I say, "this is the year I'll plant more apple trees" but, thus far, I've only planted a Granny Smith. The Granny Smith is about five years old and it's giving a bountiful harvest...enough to eat, give to the animals and enough for pies for home and sharing. This spring I hope to plant some more trees - a Summer Rambo, Cox's Pippin and a slew of other heritage apples.

Wild cherry trees give shade to the animals but I've got to be diligent that no branches die. If a branch dies, I have to saw it off immediately as the dead leaves give off arsenic which will kill animals and humans alike. I've often thought the farm offers enough tales to write a thousand mystery books.

The little building needs to come down but that won't happen until warm weather. As it stands, it still offers a bit of wind break for the animals. Hopefully, we'll be able to build a run-in building in one of the lower pastures and that will give shelter.
I'm sitting both at the computer and my sewing table, sewing a scarf and a quilt. Weather has prevented me from going to quilting bee for two weeks and for church for three weeks. Church was called off one Sunday because of ice and the next two Sunday's I didn't want to travel icy roads. There are people who get out on icy roads but I'm not one of them. I've not been off the farm, other than one trip to the grocery, in several weeks. That grocery trip was made during the middle of the day on a warm day when the ice had melted. I don't think it ever got above freezing today.

Dave had a business trip to Princeton and stayed the night on Friday. That was a good choice as the weather turned really cold, snowy, icy, windy and it was dangerous on the roads. When using the Workhorse to carry hay to the animals, I slipped and slid all over the farm. I do my very best to be safe all the time but especially when Dave isn't here. I've had one episode when I spent an hour lying on the snow, too sick to move and feel no need to repeat that experience. We don't, usually, have to leave the farm during bad weather, so we don't. Other people have to be on the roads and we feel no need to add one more potential accident to the mix.

Dave's cousin, Kyle, was at the same meeting and afterward, came, with his fiance, Ruth Anne, to overnight with us at Thistle Cove Farm. I spent my time baking, cooking, cleaning...doing all those things one does to prepare for company.

Last night we had a lovely home made, from scratch mind you!, meal of kielbasa bean soup, bird seed bread, toasted coconut chess pies and shortbread - almond and tangerine. The food was wonderful! There are a lot of things in life I'm not good at doing but, as Dave's uncle likes to say, "one thing I can do is put together the groceries!"

On the sewing machine is a cotton scarf followed by a quilt. I have only a couple of seams left, the borders to sew and then it's ready to be pieced with the batting and bottom. That's a job to be done at the quilting bee as they have a giant table that will hold the quilt. Everyone gathers around the table and helps put the quilt together...work shared is work halved while joy shared is joy doubled. Funny how that works, eh?

This is the view from our sunroom and where I spend a lot of time when I'm indoors. One of my spinning wheels is set up here, there's a gas burning fireplace, a cozy spot to read and knit and, very conveniently, located between the kitchen and lavatory. My to-do list is very long this week and there's a ton of work to be accomplished. I've got to move horses around tomorrow so everyone will have barn shelter for the next few weeks. If I take some time, do some moving around now, I'll save myself from having to do it every night. It takes a big chunk of time to do it every night because every morning everyone has to be re-arranged again. This has to be in order to keep the two stallions separated by a pasture; a fence alone isn't enough of a separation. So, tomorrow will see everyone in a new pasture and that will bring some squealing and fuss for an hour or two. Even the animals rail against change!

There are also fleeces to be boxed up and mailed to the processor; a lap quilt to be mailed to a wounded soldier; birthday package to Aunt Esther as well as several other envelopes, etc. Some weeks I feel like I, single handed, keep the US post office in business. I'm one who still sends hand written letters and cards in additions to snippits I find that I know will be of interest to someone somewhere. Let's face it, who doesn't get a thrill when they go to the mailbox and there's something other than junk mail or bills. A "real, live" letter or card hand addressed...what an absolute GIFT and you haven't even opened it yet! Glory Be!

I'm going to try and take this week one day at a time. I only pray I'm not attacked by several of them all at once.

Greatful heart:

*healthy family and animals
*warm home
*cozy beds
*enough food to eat and share
*projects on the knitting needles
*quilts cut out, ready to be put together and then given away



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