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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.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Good Morning

It's a well known Thistle Cove Farm it's perfect one day and beautiful the next. If the sun is shining, it's streaming from the east, over the valley, and cast its light into the kitchen, mudroom and pantry. It reminds me of the old hymn, "The Eastern Gate" by I. G. Martin:

I will meet you in the morning,
Just inside the Eastern Gate;
Then be ready, faithful pilgrim,
Lest with you it be too late.


I will meet you in the morning
I will meet you in the morning
Just inside the Eastern Gate over there;
I will meet you in the morning
I will meet you in the morning
I will meet you in the morning over there.

I will meet you!
I will meet you!
I will meet you over there,
I will meet you!
I will meet you!
I will meet you over there.

If you hasten off to glory,
Linger near the Eastern Gate,
For I'm coming in the morning,
So you'll not have long to wait.


Keep your lamps all trimmed and burning,
For the Bridgroom watch and wait;
He'll be with us at the meeting,
Just inside the Eastern Gate.


O, the joy of that glad meeting,
With the saints who for us wait!
What a blessed, happy meeting,
Just inside the Eastern Gate.


It was my privilege to hear Aunt Bonnie sing this, acapello, at her little country church one Sunday many years ago. It's one of my sweetest memories, hearing her now, in my mind, giving her gift of song to her Lord and Redeemer. She sang all the verses, just as it's written and it's one of the most holy moments and memories of my life.

BTW, sorry about the large font size on the above song, if indeed it is large. It seems to be different on every computer I've checked thus far. I've changed it to "normal" several times but, for whatever reason, it refused to be "normal". God must want it to be large, eh? Perhaps someone needs this as a Balm in Gilead.


There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin sick soul.

Some times I feel discouraged,
And think my work’s in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit
Revives my soul again.


If you can’t preach like Peter,
If you can’t pray like Paul,
Just tell the love of Jesus,
And say He died for all.


Jeremiah said in chapter 8, verse 22, "Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?" I think, to have no 'balm in Gilead' is to have a soul that mews piteously and, as Augustine said, "our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee."

Joan of Arc, in a carefully preserved book, said the following, copied in part. It's an interesting read and well worth your time, especially if you find the story of Joan of Arc fascinating.

IX. 203

"Had wrought unwonted sternness. From the dome
They past in silence, when with hasty steps,
Sent by the assembled Chieftains, one they met
Seeking of the msision*d virgin, as alamVd,
The herald of ill tidings.

Holy Maid P
He cried, "they ask thy counsel. Burdundy
Comes in the cause of England, and his troops
Scarce three leagues from our walls, a fearful power
Rest tented for the night.

Say to the Chiefs,
At morn I will be with them, *she replied.
Meantime their welfare well shall occupy
My nightly thoughts.

So saying on she past
Thoughtful and silent. A brief while she mus'd,
Brief, but sufficing to impel the soul,
As with a strange and irresistible force,
To loftiest daring. Conrade P she exclaim'd
I pray thee meet me at the eastern gate"Sadie Lady and Abigail cavorting in the back yard. The little shed in the background is the old chicken house, now the garden shed.
Sam Spade checking out the morning and, probably, the kittens. The cans of Kilz are being used on the house restoration. Are we almost finished? I know I certainly am but the house has a way to go -smile-. It seems we take three steps forward and two steps back but how fortunate we are that we're able to restore the damage. Some folks are living under bridges and eating at soup kitchens. Thank you, Lord, for my home.
Sadie Lady says hello to Miss Emma and Maddie; Maggie is somewhere else, I believe. Maddie and Maggie are sisters; remember the half drowned kittens of a couple months ago? They have sure cleaned up nicely!
To some, milkweed is, simply, a weed. For the monarch butterfly, it is life itself. Dave and I encourage milkweed to grow on our farm even though we're treading uphill. Most farmers consider it a weed and must be eradicated. Not so the monarch butterfly as it's the food source that keeps them alive and well. When we first moved to Thistle Cove Farm, there were hundred of milkweed plants and, that first Autumn, thousands of monarch butterflies. We've watched them become fewer and fewer over the years and have decided to dedicate a patch of yard to the growing of milkweed and other plants that feed both hummingbirds and butterflies.
What would Thistle Cove Farm be without the thistle? Half again less, I'd say.

This beautiful snowball bush, also known as mophead hydrangea, is from Grandmother's funeral. She passed away on my birthday several years ago and I was blessed to receive this plant after services. It grows simply, sturdily and is still small but it always has the most beautiful bloom or, in some years, blooms.

Three of our four dogs are checking out the front of the yard. During the night, other critters make their way across the property, leaving their scent, marking territory and it drives the dogs bonkers. We have the yard...securely, we hope!...enclosed with double fencing and give the dogs free rein to do their dog stuff. Even though we live in the country, there are still many hazards for the animals. Should they get out of the yard and explore across the pastures, there are mountains in which to be lost, coyotes to threaten their lives, snares to entangle them, poison and the list goes on and on. It's simply best to contain them and, as our yard is an acre in size, there's simply not that much hardship on the dogs. Oh, if you'd ask them, they would say they are being contained against their will. If you ask me, I say, "too stinkin' bad!" -grin- I'd rather have them put out because they only have an acre than put down because they were lost on thousands of acres.
Isn't this view of the hemlock tree beautiful? Unfortunately, the hemlock is being killed off by the wooly adelgid but, thus far, ours seems to be all right. We have several old tree species and have planted others. This Autumn it's my intention to plant more trees - fruit, shade and nut. Work is never done but it is waiting on me now; make your day the best you can and as Roy Rogers said,

"May the Good Lord take a liking to you!"

Blessings ~ trees ~ morning ~ Joan of Arc ~ "weeds" ~ songs to uplift us and praise God ~ dogs ~ cats ~ plants ~Roy Rogers ~ the Eastern Gate ~ ready to go but not homesick yet! ~


  1. i am dead beat, ms. sandra, but your auntie's song is like balm to my tired soul....

  2. Howdy!
    Sweet sweet songs.
    Balm in Gilead is one of my favorites.
    To heal the sin sick soul...

    You truly are blessed.
    Such a beautiful place you have to enjoy.
    Everytime I see the gentle rolling hills, I say ahhh.

  3. wow! what an amazingly beautiful place to live!!! i am coventing
    and so are my dogs!

  4. Thank you for making my day! Beautiful post :)


  5. You do indeed have a beautiful view in all seasons there at Thistle Cove. I love seeing the antics your critters get up to and into.

    The songs and verses were an encouraging read, thank-you Sister!

  6. Good Morning Cherie, you didn't ask but your name is on my prayer list -smile-. The song ministers to all our tired souls.

    Good Morning Deanna, yes, to heal all our souls -smile- and it's another lovely day. I woke up above ground and it just keeps getting better!

    Good Morning Life is Good, Just Ain't It! Life is SO good, thanks for visiting and come back again.

    Good Morning Misha, thank you for your kind words, they are always welcome as are you.

    Good Morning Kathy, the critters are hard at it this morning, playing inside. It's raining and Sadie is a TRUE Ridgeback - absolutely HATES the rain and cold and HATES getting wet. I've always wondered how they would do at the ocean...? You're welcome for the encouragement; it was a balm to my soul as well.

  7. Beautiful pictures and I love seeing Sam Spade.

  8. thistle cove, what you said at leslie's blog was so true. your pics are wonderful and it is nice to see and read how much you love your farm.

  9. I love the blue color of the hydrangia. Mine are usually from a pinkish to blue depending where they are growing and what the soil contains.


Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.

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