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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, November 30, 2007

Gray Hair, Knitting, Quilting and Christmas

It absolutely amazes me that women *still* color their hair! Why? What's the point? Does anyone think our true ages can't be seen on the backs of hands or throats that are, sometimes not so faintly, reminiscent of a turkey's beard? I've got one by the way...turkey beard, jowels, wattle, whatever you want to call it, and it's a link to my Daddy's Hamrick side of the family. If I weighed fifty pounds less /yeah right, in my dreams/ I'd still have this wattle throat/neck. It's as much a part of who I am as my hair that's about four different shades and/or colors of gray, blonde, silver, red and possibly brown.

I colored my hair, once, in the seventh grade. Remember Sun-In? It was, probably still is, if it's still around, a, mainly, peroxide based, spray on hair lightener. I used it because that's what *everyone* was using in the seventh grade.

UGH! Nasty stuff turned my hair green and no, I wasn't going to the pool, the ocean, the lake or even to the back yard. Whatever the formula, it turned my hair green. Not all over mind. Just in spots. It would have been terrific for Haloween...maybe.

Back to my Roots: A Diary of Going Gray is one woman's "struggle" to accept her hair color and, maybe, to accept herself. Anne Kreamer chronicles her eighteen month change from dark, dyed hair to gray, her natural color for MORE magazine. It's a good article and I enjoyed listening to her strength becoming stronger as her hair became more and more "Anne" and less and less "Clairol". Or whatever she used. Going Gray: What I Learned About Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity, and Everything Else That Really Matters is the book she eventually wrote of her experience. BTW, she has beautiful hair...naturally.

It's always amazed me that women colored their hair; it seems such a waste of time and money. There's a lot more I'd rather spend my hard earned cash on than a bottle of dye...unless, of course, it's for my fleeces.

Here's a question I've been pondering...when, exactly, do freckles become age spots?
On the knitting front, I've just finished a hat for the young feller down the road and a shawl for me. The hat is in camo yarn /his dad's a hunter/ and the shawl is in a lovely, deep purple wool. It's a trifle small, not as large as I like my shawls but it's warm and cozy. This big ole farmhouse is chilly, even with the vast sums of money we send to the oil man, and a shawl is just the ticket on a cold winter's night.

I've been working on a moebius scarf using some of Leslie's angora and mohair yarn. The yarn is a lovely combination and uses the finest of her angora with some of my merino plus it's hand dyed! It traveled with me to Spain where I enjoyed knitting at a tapas bar in Ronda. The chocolate croissant and cafe au lait made the perfect combination...knitting, chocolate and something to drink...lovely!

Thanksgiving was lovely and the alter at church even more beautiful by the gift of someone's hands.
For the last three weeks I've been sick. It seems I say that a lot lately, hmmm. Anyway, I'm finally on antibiotics and feeling some better, at least better enough to check e-mail and blog update. Quilting has been put on hold and I've only two quilts ready to hem and pack for Christmas. That means I've two more quilts that need to have their blocks sewn together, then pieced with batting and back, then hand quilted and hemmed.

Panic is seeping 'round my mind's edges and the evil thought that I might not be finished in time is niggling at my brain. I wanted to visit family between now and Christmas as some of them aren't doing well and their time is growing short.
Ah well...time for my supper of mashed potatoes; it's the only thing my throat can stand.
Blessings - quilting, knitting, gray hair, hopefully...wisdom, Thanksgiving, the time we've got coming to us and, always, love

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Art For 1000 Wells

Original Artwork = Saving Lives

Starting Saturday, 24 November, for ten days, through 4 December, 2007 Art for 1,000 Wells, an international group of artists, artisans and crafters will offer their original work for the common goal of raising mondy to benefit Blood:Water Mission's Thousand Wells Project.

From the Blood:Water Mission website: "When Dan Haseltine, Jars of Clay's lead singer, visited Africa in 2002, he had to struggle to accept what he saw. Poverty and physical and social suffering in Africa shook him, challenged him, and changed him.

"The 1000 Wells Project is building 1000 wells and clean water projects in 1000 African communities. Businesses, churches, schools, artists and individuals are collecting funds so they can sponsor the construction of wells in Africa. In the process, they are learning about how HIV/AIDS affects African communities, and what it means to partner humbly with communities to pursue transformation."

To find participating eBay listings type the keyword term TWBW, standing for Thousand Wells Blood:Water, but there are more artists than currently show on eBay. Check out Art For 1000 Wells for more information and links.

"Buy Once, Give Twice" - from the Art For 1,000 Wells site.

Blessings ~ another beautiful day ~ hay for the animals ~ the WWW and yes, even dial-up! ~ being on the well side of sick ~ the wind blowing the leaves out of the yard ~ people who care and do what they can, where they can, when they can

Sunday, November 18, 2007


It's been a rough week. I've been sick and, for the most part, staying in bed. I've got a nasty cough, congestion, itchy eyes, laryngitis and, to make matters worse, forgot to send out invitations to my pity party.

'Tis the Season. Ho Ho Ho

Dave bought me a warm steam vaporizer and it's been out-putting almost non-stop for days. Throat lozengers, cough syrup, expectorant tablets, Sambucol, aspirin, vitamins...could I possible be missing anything in my get well arsenal?

It almost never fails...we go on a fabulous trip and I come home sick. At least this time I wasn't hurling in public. As in, full blown public in the luggage carousel area of the LAG airport. Or, privately as in the toilet of the airplane, give me some credit...I did manage to wait until we were only forty-five minutes from landing. And, I did try to clean up my mess but it's still a mess, in a very confined place on a, suddenly, very small plane.
On the plus side, we did manage to get through customs in a hurry. I've had all vaccinations necessary, and then some, for overseas travel so I'm pretty sure this is just a nasty cold.

While we were in Spain, we managed to find a road that wasn't on any of our maps. It ran next to the Mediterranean Ocean, just to the east of Tarifa and had just a few houses sandwiched between the small piece of land and the ocean. It was amazing and beautiful! I love photos where there aren't a lot of colours but the contrast is between similar colors, in this case gray and green, forcing the eye to find beauty in starkness. What must it be like to live here, this close to the ocean, during a storm? The houses are nestled in the labre of the ocean and the earth and the buildings show the harshness of the environment, the fight to survive in such a climate. Another photo I especially like is this one, taken from the car as we were hurtling through a mountain pass. Not bad for a photo taken on the fly. Again, I like the contrast between the green that's scratched from a layer of topsoil thinner than my fingernail, and the colours of the stone and other earthern building materials. What's the story? Who lived and died and ate and loved here? Why did the people leave the house and was that the day the house started dieing? The day its people left?
Another photo...this one reminds me of Easter..."up from the grave He arose...with a mighty triumph o'er His foes"... I think the angel is right behind the hill, just there...on the left...see the light?

This afternoon, Dave went over the mountain to buy provisions and came home with the DVD Amazing Grace, something on my Christmas wish list. It turns out there are up sides to being sick, after all.

Blessings - thankful I'm feeling better all the time ~ photos, they make memories better ~ pure, clean, cold, sweet mountain water ~ a comfy bed for restorative sleep ~ Amazing Grace - in all its forms ~

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Spain, Morocco, camels & travel

Mary Lois, Dave and I have just returned from Spain, Morocco and Gilbraltar where we had a fabulous time! It's a treat and privilege to see God's creation, meet other of His children. Like this fellow...our camel driver in Tanjer. I rode this female camel and as soon as I got off, her little one came over for a warm drink. is a great website for more information about camels, I believe the correct name for "baby camel" is "calf" but "little one" is safe as well.

Camels are mentioned in Genesis, chapter 24, and the story of Rebekah drawing water for Abram's man servants' camels continues to amaze me. Drawing water is hard work and made even harder when one has to pull up a clay pot hanging on a rope, made heavier by the weight of the clay plus it's soaked with water and full of water. Until a couple of years ago, I had to draw water, carry water and fill a horse trough for one of our horses. It was usually below freezing, usually a brisk wind and I'm using two five gallon buckets to carry water 150 feet. It was challenging. And, all I had to do was fill the trough...not fill a camel who drinks 30 gallons at a time. YIKES!

Not for the feeble hearted yet Rebekah volunteered to do this task. She wasn't asked, she volunteered. My guess is...she cheerfully volunteered as well.


I've, mostly always, had a good attitude when tending to my animals. I adore my work and am amazingly blessed to live on this farm and do the work necessary to keep everyone going. But. These are my animals and this is my farm. Rebekah gave water to the man servant and then volunteered to water his camels. All ten of them.

I'm math challenged, so to speak, but even I can figure out that's about Three Hundred Gallons of water...roughly ten gallons at a time.

The mind boggles!

Wandering through the souk we saw many strange and wonderful sights. Not many women though...women reign at home while the men tend to business outside the home. Most of the women we saw were either tourists or Berber; the few Muslim women we saw were heavily robed and, more often than not, veiled.

This woman is selling a few lemons and peppers alongside the street. Just consider...just as this woman, Rebekah would have been robed and veiled as she watered those ten camels.

Needless to say, when I'm carrying water I'm dressed in insulated coveralls, long underwear, wool sweaters, socks and hat. Mostly I'm cheerful but my level of cheerfulness lessons greatly the more I slosh freezing water on myself as I'm carrying those buckets. Life on the farm lends itself greatly to understanding, on a Very Intimate Level, what it must have been like all those thousands of years ago.

Food was killed the day it was eaten and, even today, one finds sheep, goat, and chicken carcasses throughout the market. Remember Abigail? In order to appease David she "made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses."

Now, I don't care how hurriedly one prepares a meal nor how many servants one has at their disposal, there's more than a day's work in baking two hundred loaves and slaughtering and dressing five sheep. Abigail has already seen to it her household has food put by as evidenced by the "five measures of parched corn, hundred clusters of raisins, wine and two hundred cakes of figs."

Look up "prepared" and you'll find Abigail's picture. This woman is a jewel, a credit to herself and her household and her oaf of a husband, Nabal, is a drunken lout, even called wicked.

UGH! Spare me from such a marriage and a man. I wonder if Abigail was sold into marriage, perhaps traded for debt or land or livestock. Her life couldn't have been rainbows and roses being married to Nabal yet she didn't let that stop her from being the best she could be.

Oh Dear. There's another message for me but it's bedtime and, like Scarlet, I'll think about this tomorrow. Unlike Scarlet, I'll probably dream about this tonight.

Travel is broadening, sometimes even frightening, but I love, love, love to travel. Only death will separate me from Thistle Cove Farm but I dearly love to meet and greet other of God's children, see His creation, find new people and new things to pray about.

I leave you with some quotes on travel but if you cannot least read about traveling.

"I met a lot of people in Europe. I even encountered myself." ~James Baldwin

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." ~Mark Twain

"The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see." ~G.K. Chesterton

"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. " ~St. Augustine

Blessings ~ travel ~ good friends who make a good journey better ~ people who share their wisdom ~ KJV ~ lessons learned both the easy way and the more difficult ~ a great marriage

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