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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.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Good Morning, Lord!

~Miss Emma ~

Miss Emma has turned the corner, please God, and we think she's going to make it. She's had a severe respiratory illness, not quite sure but it could have been pneumonia, and she was a sick little kitty for several weeks. Her breathing has softened and we can now hear her purr without the raspy, watery, labored breathing she's struggled with since bringing her home. She's been on a couple of rounds of antibiotics, an immune builder and other meds that seem to, finally, be working!

Someone once said they wanted each day to be the kind of day when they rolled out of bed and said, "Good Morning, Lord!" instead of "Good Lord, it's morning!" Most of my days begin with the former and I'm thankful for that gift. I've read the meaning of Sandra means "helper" and Kay means "happy" so, I suppose that means I'm a happy helper -big smile-. Not always, no, of course not but mostly I am a happy helper.

These beautiful end of summer days are full of getting ready for winter chores, both inside and out. We bought 20 small containers of mums and now I need to get them into the ground. Mums are so cheerful and, when planted with copious amounts of horse manure, will grow sturdily and return to bloom for years.

The house is getting some work as well; Ron and Bill are here today working on our heating system. We had a major hot water heating pipe freeze, burst, thaw last December and many of our copper pipes and heating coils need to be replaced. Ron said if we put that big ole ugly pipe insulation on our inside pipes, as well as our basement pipes, it would help the situation so that's on the to-do list. By the month's end I'll exchange the summer curtains for the winter, insulated drapes and that helps with the heating bills. This is no mean feat as we have close to thirty windows in this big ole farmhouse and almost all of them will need draperies exchanged for curtains. Most of those windows are about nine feet by three feet so that means dragging the ladder from window to window, room to room, meaning...a full day's work.

I'm a cold weather kinda gal and firmly believe in the usefulness of wool - sweaters, vests, socks, shoes and wear all inside the house. There's absolutely no reason to be cold and it's always easier to add another layer. Mom always said, "it's easier to get warm in the winter than cool in the summer. You can always put on another sweater but you can only get so "nekkid" before people start complaining!" That's so true! -smile-

I'm fairly ashamed of the numbers of books I've allowed to pile up. We must have a couple of thousand and a lot of them are leaving this place. Thompson Valley Community Center has started a small lending library and I'm over the moon happy to give them A Lot of books to share 'round. We've been giving away furniture, rugs and other household belongings and people have been fast about putting their names on the "I'll take it" list.

In the course of cleaning, de-cluttering and general organization I've been using and keeping a list of some useful tips. Some of these tips Mama passed along to me, others have been read in the new Country Living Simple Country Wisdom book. This is a nifty little resource book, "501 Old-Fashioned Ideas to Simplify Your Life" by Susan Wacconer. She's done a bang-up job and I may even have to buy a copy after returning this library copy. Today I'll focus on laundry and tackle other rooms later in the month; the first tip isn't laundry but it's been my focus for a few weeks...aarrgghhh, puppies and kittens!!

*A spray bottle filled with water is Mighty Handy at keeping the animals "honest". Sadie is a True Rhodesian Ridgeback and due to her great size is Very Adapt at counter surfing, stove top stealing, cat food sneaking and the like. The kittens are Very Adapt at shredding curtains and I'm keeping spray bottles up and down stairs so I'm at the ready. I'm thinking I'll put the kittens in the bathroom at night to keep them from playing "Hang Kitty" on my curtains. Thus far, they have shredded two sets and I am now out for blood. Theirs.

*Vinegar and baking soda poured into drains will keep the drains smelling fresh. To keep the washer smelling fresh, occasionally run a small, empty, cold water load with a cup of vinegar.

*Laundry dye magnets placed into the wash will keep clothes from bleeding into each other. These magnets are treated "sheets", similar to dryer sheets and handy as a pocket on a shirt! I'm never without dye magnets for the laundry.

*Adding a cup of white vinegar to the wash prevents lint build-up and cuts the soap residue in clothes.

*When washing jeans or other heavy items, run them through an extra spin cycle to decrease dryer time (if you're not line drying).

*Use a laundry rack to dry clothes. In the winter, especially, drying clothes on a rack will add moisture to the air and decrease electrical costs because you're not using the dryer.

*I never use as much laundry detergent as recommended; it's simply not necessary, especially if I pre-treat stains. The result is I save money and my clothes aren't over soaped resulting in stiffness.

*Wash and dry as many loads as you have dirty. Wash lighter items first, then place in dryer while heavier items are washing; you'll use less electricity because the dryer only has to heat up once.

*For stains, there are laundry sticks or sometimes I'll daub the stained item with dish washing or liquid laundry detergent and then soak it soak in the tub overnight. That will usually remove stains. When whites get dingy add a full cup hydrogen peroxide to a full washload and let it soak for half an hour. That should get things sparkly white again; if not, simply repeat the procedure.

~Storage barn and run-in shelter on the farm ~

I love any view of Thistle Cove Farm and the Cove, especially in the early morning and early evening and, basically, any season. Each season brings its own delights and wonders and, even though the scenery never changes, it's always different.

~ A little country church on the way to White Top Mountain ~

This week I found a new to me blog and have enjoyed reading it. Today, the author said on Free to Be Me something that resonated like a gong striking a bell. "satan didn't take Martha out of the kitchen; he just stole her purpose for being there!" YEOUCH! I'd never considered that I allow, sometimes even Give Permission, to satan for stealing my purpose or stealing my reason. This week I'm putting on my thinking cap to study on this, new to me, idea and see if I can, with the help of God, tilt my life back level, on the straight and narrow course. Are you in?

Until next time,

Blessings ~ clean, fresh laundry ~ well behaved fur babies ~ morning, evening and all the rest of the day ~ a healthy Miss Emma ~ country churches ~ new blogs that speak, deeply, to me ~ barns that still serve useful purposes ~


  1. Yep, count me in too! I just got done visiting "Free to be me" and agree with she had to say as well as seeing myself in some of Martha's traits. I find myself elated when I can wake up praising God, doing my chores with a merry heart, and enjoying sweet fellowship with HIM. I just wished I did that every day and that has been something I have been working on.
    Thank you for all the updates that is going on in your life. It is so interesting to take a peek into another's life. I enjoy my visits with you.
    Have a wondrous day...blessings

  2. I am so happy to hear that Miss Emma has made a turn for the better. What a fighter she is. Thank you so much for the book, Sandra, it is lovely and so useful. I enjoyed your post today as usual.

  3. Great that Miss Emma is on the mend.

    Am going to check out Free To Be Me this evening.

  4. Thank you for the household tips.I just love pictures of barns and old country churches. When on drives I always want to stop and take a picture but I don't have one of those kind of cameras(professional) just a little digital.

  5. More beautiful pictures and I am so glad your kitty is on the mend. i am going to check out that blog!

  6. i'm in, ms. sandy. i'm on the reading mode right now -and your post is so FULL, i am letting it simmer.
    - hope ms. emma continues to feel better

    - if you need help with all 30 curtains, all three of my boys are 'sandra kays'

    - i am totally ashamed of myself for just STARING at so many of my unread books (reading two at a time at the moment)

    - i will definitely try the laundry tips

    - is THAT your church? so QUAINT.

    - satan's such a PITB

    i have to go feed AJ. he's busy playing and is completely ignoring his food. love yah lots! take care!

  7. "Someone once said they wanted each day to be the kind of day when they rolled out of bed and said, "Good Morning, Lord!" instead of "Good Lord, it's morning!" Most of my days begin with the former and I'm thankful for that gift."

    I love that. Writing it in my journal as I want my mornings to begin like that also. Might make it easier for me to give up the night and get to bed earlier. Glad Miss Emma is better.

  8. Welcome Diane - your heart will be blessed visiting Free To Be Me; let me know how it goes.

    Welcome Leslie - hopefully, Pumpkin is having good days and you're most welcome for the book. I know it will be useful.

    Welcome Carol - you'll enjoy your visit with Free To Be Me.

    Welcome Woebegone Cottage - just take pictures, lots and lots of pictures and then...delete the worst ones. You'll end up with some mighty fine photos!

    Welcome Katherine - thanks and I'll let Miss Emma know you said so.

    Welcome Cherie - sent you a PM so will just say, glad you're here!

    Welcome Midlife Job Hunter - like you, I keep the good stuff written down so I can refer to it again and again; helps keep me honest -smile-. Oh yeah. I LOVE going to bed early...most nights I'm in bed by 9 and lights out by 10. One day this week I went to bed at 7:30; the dogs thought it was grand.


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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