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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, October 11, 2008

Thistle Cove Farm Life

TEMPUS FUGIT...and does it ever! How can it possibly be October already??? I remember thinking...sometime just as summer was creeping onward...soon, all too soon, it will be autumn, then winter, then Christmas.'s autumn for crying out loud! It's just about TEN WEEKS until Christmas! And, speaking of Christmas...these handsome critters reside in Bland County, next door to Tazewell County. You can't tell it from the photo but they are molting and looking a bit, maybe more than a bit, ragged.
HOW ON EARTH DID THIS HAPPEN??? The time thing I mean...

Yeah, yeah...I know how it happened...truly I do but sheesh...I didn't even leave the room for a cup of coffee...I simply blinked and WHOOSH!

I am stunned. I've got, at a bare minimum, three quilts to finish for Christmas gifts and one of those has to be finished by the first weekend in December.

Here's a quilt I made for the latest member of the Butcher clan. I've gotten away from those first few baby quilts that were done in "baby colors"...yuck on "baby colors". I've found I much prefer Colors, the bolder the better, and in flannel. Now, there's something to cozy under while being wrapped not only in quilt but in prayers and love.Here's another quilt, made for the tractor crazy little fellow living down the road. The little fellow's mother told me he's not been without his quilt since I took it to him...if you see him, you see his quilt. That's thanks enough for me to keep making quilts for little ones!

There have been two quilt shows in the County, one in Burke's Garden and the other in Richlands. Both were fabulous with great examples of Very Traditional quilts displayed. No art quilts here, ta very much. I could live, and quilt, another twenty years and never approach the skill of the women whose work was featured. Quilting is underappreciated, especailly when one can purchase a twenty dollar Chinese made quilt. Folks really have no clue what goes into a quilt, especially a hand made quilt. That means...all the top stitching is done By Hand...not a machine. It's easy enough to have a few hundred, if not a few thousand, hours in a hand made quilt. But...I'll write about the quilt shows on another entry.

I took a quick trip to visit WV family and we picked the last of the Wolf River apples. The apples I love are now "heritage" apples. Seems like everything I love is becoming heritage or antique or loved before. I go into an antique store and see my kitchen and pantry on sale and at Very Dear Prices! Anyway, Wolf River apples are beautiful, large, crisp and make lovely pies; I've made four pies in the last week and given all but one away to folks who assure me the pies are delicious. I believe them too, mainly because they are standing in line waiting on more pies.

This threesome were in my brother's front yard and two of them are bucks, sporting their first growth of horns. My brother has stopped hunting and now finds greater pleasuare in watching wildlife. A couple of months ago he witnessed Mother Nature at her grimmest. He watched a bear sow, a female, chase and pull down a baby deer just a few months old while the baby's mother ran crying, in circles but she was no match for the sow. The sow had a cub to feed and with cold weather coming on, they both need the calories in order to make it through winter. If they don't get enough calories to sleep through, they will waken and seek out food in the early spring months and at any time, a sow with a cub is a dangerous animal.

That's one of the hard things about living in a rural area...watching Mother Nature at work, knowing that for something to live, something else has to die. I watch buzzards whirling in the skie on a daily basis, sometimes waiting on something to die and other times just riding the wind currents. It's a constant struggle...that of life and death. Dave's Mother is 95 and lives with us; her body has begun the process of dieing but only God knows if it will be days, weeks, months or even years. She's feeble, frail, physically exhausted and the dementia worsens on a daily basis. It's difficult for her to endure and equally difficult, perhaps more so because we don't have dementia, for everyone else to watch. A lot of days it seems we get started just about the time we're headed to bed and at this season of life we strive just to get meals cooked, laundry done and stay clean. I haven't been in my studio for days and my daily devotions, I'm sad to say, are too frequently prayers thrown heavenward as I'm struggling with my MIL's needs. There are many days the first opportunity I have to sit down is at the supper table and, by then, I'm usually falling asleep with fork in hand. Now there's a pleasant visual...not! All that to say, keep us in your prayers, please. Our struggles don't compare with the struggles of some but I'm happy to put your name on my prayer list and where "two or three are gathered together"...God does hear and heed.

I'll leave you with two more photos...these rocking horses are just the ticket for your little ones and, at $50 each, are an absolutely great deal! They currently rock at the health food store in Richlands and, no, I don't get anything except the pleasure of helping another on life's path.

The Canada geese fly over almost every night and I've seen several flocks of sixty or more. They are beautiful and I adore hearing them call out to one another as they fly over. Did you know they call out to encourage each other to keep going, keep flying, keep on the path? I can hear them while they are miles away, my ears are tuned to them and I always stand and wave as they pass over. Every now and again, they will fly just clearing over the house or barn, and fly low enough so I can hear the beating of their wings...THROMP, THROMP, THROMP...mixed in with their voices.

I call out to them...words of encouragement to keep flying, keep going, keep on the path. Those are my words to you, no matter what your struggles...keep going, keep on the path, keep throwing your prayers heavenward. God hears you and no matter what else you have to hold onto in life...hold onto this...God hears you and loves you with a fierce love; an eternal love called Christ, His son.

Blessings ~ God's love ~ quilts ~ apples ~ geese ~ babies ~ old folks ~ and all of us in between! ~


  1. I guess we just really have to love quilting for the sake of quilting, because monetarily we cannot beat the price of handmade quilts from China. And even though it is common and popular to criticize the quilts from China, they too are the products of hours of hand stitching. But yes, after finding out that buying the fabric alone was cost prohibitive, I decided I would only make and give quilts as a labor of love !

    Love your blog, thank-you.

  2. To answer your question on the RTR blog, the warehouse in Wytheville is on the corner of Main where the old Acme building's across from the Family Dollar and the Pizza Hut going out of town South on US 11. Hope that helps!

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog today! Reading your blog is like getting a little piece of home. I'm from Henry County (Martinsville area) and my Mom's family is from Galax - not quite as far West as you but similar beautiful scenery.


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