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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, January 16, 2009

Jan 2009

Merry Christmas fleece throws - made more than a dozen of these for Christmas '08 and have given them all away. I've still one or two to make for folks but since I'm not going to see them for a few weeks, or longer, I'm not in such a rush.My computer still needs to be downloaded with various software, such as photos, documents, etc., but Dave has devised a stop gap measure. He managed to download my recent photos onto his computer, enabling me to write an entry with photos...o joy! There's been a bunch of living since his Mother passed and for two old folks who live in the country, there seems to be a lot going on. The fleece throws, above, took up a LOT of my time in the month of December, at least the first couple of weeks.

The Sunday before Christmas, this next photo, took up MOST of my time...then and since. We were in the same cold grip as the rest of the USA and that Sunday was, until then, the coldest night. Temperatures hovered at zero, or below, and the wind chill was, somewhere, around fifteen degrees below zero F. The hot water heating pipes on the second floor, north portion of the house froze solid sometime that cold, cold night but...sigh...I didn't catch the problem until Monday evening around 8:30. Usually, in the mornings, I wake up, take the dogs out for a piddle, feed the cats, make coffee, give the dogs treats, drink coffee, give the dogs treats, listen to Alexander Begg, and others, on XM Family Talk, give the dogs treats... Eventually, I go back upstairs to our bedroom, get dressed and then head to the barn to do chores. But, oh no. Not that Monday. I knew it was going to be a busy day/week, so I got dressed before leaving the bedroom and never, ever returned upstairs until that evening.

I walked through Dave's office, opened the door to the hall and was hit with STEAM...WHAT THA???!!! It took me a while to suss it all out which was the heating pipe across the hall, second floor, north front of the house had frozen, burst and thawed. The copper pipes had split in several places and water was gushing like a waterfalls, filling the upstairs bedroom with a couple of inches of hot, steamy water. My wool rugs are ruined. For those of you who know wool, it takes two things to make wool water and agitation. The pipes provided the hot water and all of us tromping across the wool rugs provided the agitation...thus felted wool rugs. Yes, we had to tromp in order to move furniture, the plumber had to cut out and replace pipe sections...sigh...all necessary if we wanted to have heat and O MY YES we wanted to have heat. Our heat is on four quadrants and we keep all four quandrants heated all winter long.

Ahem. No, wool rugs canNOT be washed and returned to their original state. If you don't believe me, give me your best wool sweater, let me felt it and give it back to you to wear. You may choose between breathing or wearing that middle ground.

Anyhoo...we've lost several wool rugs, furniture, a couple of ceilings, some floors, books, a knitting maching and the list goes on and on and... Thank God no loss of life, either human nor animal. Ron G., our angel disguised as a plumber, came at 10:30 Monday night and when he left at 1:30, we had heat. God bless you, Ron!

I'm only putting up one photo as it's too painful to look at them all again, unless forced to. Trust me, this is nothing compared to a lot of problems and we're still blessed well beyond our deserving but it's still a mess and will be a mess until warm weather. There's no way we're tearing walls out to the studs, exposing ourselves to, possibly, more frozen pipes, etc. This morning at 7 a.m. it was two degrees below zero F with a wind chill fifteen to twenty below last night. The ice in the horse trough, with a de-icer, was two inches thick! I'm talking seriously COLD!
Last week, our cat...Dave's cat really because even though I took care of TC, she bonded and latched onto Dave...came to the end of her days. She was a rescue from the animal shelter and, when we brought her home, twelve years ago, she was an adult. TC was an amazing cat. She loved to talk and even though she had a limited vocabulary consisting of one word, "WHAT!?", she used her one word to great advantage. In the evenings, she loved to sit with Dave and they would carry on myriad conversations. All conversations cumulated with TC asking for, or perhaps reminding Dave, she needed "just a smidgen of Half 'n' Half poured into a saucer and all's right with her world". Dave always complied and they both ended their evening on a happy note. She was buried with Rings and Zoe and, in the spring, I'll have a tree, or trees, planted atop them all. We loved you well, TC, and you knew and were secure in our love.
In the meantime, we still have cats...these two are 91, the calico so named because she was found by the side of Rt. 91, and Banjo, since renamed Bandit. Bandit took the moniker Banjo as long as possible but finally said, "Look Ma. With a mask and little mustache like this, how could you possible call me Banjo? It's simply W-R-O-N-G." He's right and my apologies, Bandit. Miss Kitty and Hattie Cat are the other two inside-outside cats and Boscoe resides on the back porch. I'm not going into the barn cats, that's another story.

Like I said, we're in the midst of a cold spell but grateful for warm clothes, hot food and drink, a house with heat and, perhaps best of all, comfy beds. If there's anything in the world better than falling asleep in a comfy, safe bed I'm not sure what it could be. People all over this frosty world fear for their lives, whether awake or asleep and every night when I fall into my cozy, comfy bed I think of Corrie ten Boom. If you don't know this "Tramp for the Lord", you're in for a treat when you make her "acquaintance". Hers is an incredible story, beginning to end, and well worth your time. Her family would hide folks from the Nazi's and, at night, when the Gestapo, the Nazi secret police, would make surprise raids on their home, they would use their hands to test the warmth of the beds. If the beds were warm, the Gestapo would count heads and beds and if a difference found in the two numbers, they would surmise people were hidden elsewhere. So, every night I am grateful for my warm, comfortable bed that thousands, if not millions of military service men and women, have fought, and some died, for me to have that joy. Thank you, men and women, I am exceedingly grateful and keep you tucked in prayer. God bless you all, then, now and to come.

We never tire of the view from our back porch, winter, spring, summer and autumn, it's always beautiful.Blessings ~ comfy, cozy beds ~ warmth ~ a beautiful view ~ Saints ~ Christmas ~ cats ~ dogs ~ sheep ~ horses ~ a loving husband ~ and not in that order...


  1. Oh my ! I totally understand what is going on in your home and life ! Believe me! And yes, you are right, the warmth of a cozy bed and a loving husband , in a room , in a home in a place that is as safe as a place on earth can be...well, that is a true blessing !Plus food, and animals you love....but it is always nice to know your home will be repaired when the warm weather returns! Your view is spectacular!

    Thank-you and you are in my prayers.

  2. You have cats! I like that :-)
    She was very pretty, and I'm sorry to hear that she has moved on to the next great adventure.
    It's so pretty where you live... Gives me homesickness. :-)

  3. Anonymous7:44 PM EST

    Your Ridgeback was my beautiful Rouge's granddaughter.Caroline (jodi's owner) sent me your site (Jodi's was your girls sister). I loved your beautiful note and I have the same mindset - Heaven wont be heaven for me, if all the beautiful animals God has given me aren't there.
    It's so hard not to be selfish and miss them, I keep telling myself God needed them more!
    Bless your lovely family and farm. Annie Witter

  4. Hi KathyB - this old world is, too frequently, frosty and cold; a warm, secure place is heaven on earth!
    Hi Kekutar - it's easy to see why Mohammad liked cats! Come for Sheep Shearing Day, 4 April 09, that should help your homesickness.
    Dear Annie - Shaddie was one half of my heart beat and life will never be the same without her. I am grateful to you and Caroline for the privilege of giving Shad a home...shalom.

    BTW - I'm too computer stupid to make this id read Thistle Cove Farm; it's reading as my county blog but I'll soon fix's more important to me to have my farm blog *always* as my id...I'll do away with the other blog!

    So there! *smile*

  5. So sorry to hear of your loss of your precious animals, I have been there too and miss my kitty the most since I don't have one now. I do have Two Golden Retrieverws and come dog-site by the John Campbell FOlk School, Oh, I want to move there! You have Beautiful property, and so glad you do not take it for granted! Smiles, cyndi


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