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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.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ennui and Give-Away

 Lately, there's been a sense of ennui around here. Nothing definite, nothing I can, quite, put my finger upon but, a very real, air of ennui. The dictionary says ennui is "a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest; boredom". I am not bored nor do I have a lack of interest; in truth, I have so many interests I tend to be scattered without focus or concentration. As to "satiety", that's not true either except in the idea of being satiated with work. There's always work to be done and I am overwhelmed with work, to the point of being so far behind, I feel I'll never catch up. I owe people yarn samples, have for some time, and am kicking myself to 'just do it!'

Perhaps the ennui stems from the political scene: it seems so overwhelming and unbearable. We, the voters, are so divergent, so contrary in our opinions and beliefs and seem to have a hard core idea of where, how and when the direction this country should be headed. We don't seem to listen anymore, especially our "elected representatives"; they especially seem to be listening solely to WIIFM radio. They only want to know, "What's In It For Me" and no one else matters, especially constituents.
I'm fearful. For us all.

Perhaps the sense of ennui comes from living in a haphazard state. Regardless of what I, or Dave, wanted, our house is still not finished from the water damage of eleven months ago. We're headed into winter with things left undone even though I asked, begged, pleaded and, eventually, demanded the work be accomplished. All for naught but I'm still going to "fix up" like everything has been accomplished to my satisfaction. The dining room will have furniture moved in, hopefully, this week and the drapes and sheers have been hung. I'll unpack those many, many boxes of porcelain, china and "precious goods" that Dave's mother left behind.

Hmmm. Wait a minute. Perhaps that's also a cause of ennui. Dave's mother passed away a year tomorrow. I wouldn't be surprised if my body is responding to what my mind pushes away. That was a time fraught with overload; she became ill on 3 Nov and passed away on the 19th. A short, furious illness that was caused, essentially, by old age; she was well beyond 95 when she passed away. She died on Wednesday, a few moments before midnight, and was buried on Saturday; that time was full of details, details, details that are now, mostly, forgotten. Not the day though. That Saturday was bitter; the temperature was about 24F, wind chill was around 15F above, snow snugged the ground and sleet split the sky. The only good thing about that week were the people, family and friends who gathered to support, pray and love us through that time.

~ Mrs. Mary Crockett Bowen Bricker ~

Yesterday, we took Boscoe to the vet and there's yet another mystery. He wasn't getting better as quickly as he should have and a vet visit was in order. Dr. Anne hasn't a clue what the underlying cause of his epizootics are but she thinks environmental. She also thinks his immune system has crashed and his paws look like he's been "introduced" to chemicals that have eaten away the top layers. He was full of ear mites and fleas - both signs of a compromised immune system - and she stuffed him full of antibiotics, flea treatment, ear mite treatment and steroids. She thinks he'll pull through, we should know in a week to ten days. Bos is already feeling better; he greeted me this morning as a cat should, by stretching and taking notice of what was going on around him. His appetite is excellent and he's shown an enormous appreciation for the canned tuna we've been feeding him. Bos is eating dry cat food but we felt he could do with some pure protein as well; he agrees. He also thinks he should be allowed to go outside but, not yet, perhaps not ever again.

~ Bos Man ~

In the past week, I've mailed a baby quilt, three hats and a fleece throw to folks; have almost finished the quilt top for my nephew's Christmas gift and have knitted two mobius scarves.  I'm thinking some serious studio time might put me to rights or, at the bare minimum, leave me with something to show for my time. There are several quilts to finish as Christmas gifts, some more knitting, some mini-art quilts and a few other smaller projects. I'm having to plot my time carefully so things will be finished and received by folks by Christmas day.

~ Deer quilt, in hunter's colors, for nephew ~

Two days after Christmas I leave for Tomsk, Siberia where I'll spend time in an orphanage and then go to Moscow where Christmas will be celebrated with Russian Christians on Epiphany, 6 January. I love celebrating Christmastide, more so than just Christmas. It's an entire Season from Advent, 1 Dec., through Epiphany, 6 Jan., and prepares us, Christ's disciples, to look ahead to world missions in light of the Nativity.

In the western world, we've gotten away from the Christmas SEASON and are focused solely on the material aspect of the day - the buying, wrapping, giving and receiving of gifts - and not The Gift that makes the rest possible. Christmas begins what Easter finishes: God's Divine Plan.

One suitcase is being filled with little gifts for both children and adults and it makes me so happy to open it and think of the joy they will bring. The Children's Home, as orphanages are called, houses children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Down's Syndrome and those with physical handicaps. Gifts include small hand lotions, vinyl shopping bags, stuffed toys, balls, packets of flower seeds, bubbles, New Testaments, yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks and whatever else can be found before Christmas. If you'd like to send a little something, let me know and I'll give you my snail mail address. I'll try to blog from the road so pray that and the trip will be a success.

A bucket of walnuts, soaking in water, will be used to dye some naturally colored Thistle Cove Farm yarn. I always enjoy using walnut dye on dark yarn as it gives a richness and depth of color that caresses the light in a way man-made dyes cannot.

~ Nut Bucket ~
I visited family this last weekend; we met at Mother and Daddy's cabin in Webster County, WV and rode over to Randolph County to visit my brother. Fairview Farm, his farm, is for sale and is absolutely beautiful! It's about 130 acres, bordered on two sides by National Forest, about 19 miles from Snowshoe, has some pasture, some wooded, all fenced, a pond, outbuildings, two-vehicle garage and much, much more. It's Very Private, with a quarter mile driveway that juts off from a dirt road that juts off from a two-lane, un-lined secondary road.

 Probably, the house and other buildings cannot be seen, photo on right, but this is from the top of the mountain, looking down upon the house.
The house and other buildings are in a small enclave, photo left.

 ~ Fairview Farm ~

It's not good, I don't believe, for me to focus upon myself too much; self reflection tends to result in too much belly button gazing and serves to compound what niggling little problems I think I might have. I much prefer to use my blog to focus on the Good Things but, if you've read this entry and said a prayer, please know you have my gratitude. That's one thing I enjoy about blogland - "meeting" other folks and tucking you into prayer as you are brought to mind throughout the day and week and, hopefully, y'all do the same.

If you're interested in having a first edition copy of Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift From The Sea, leave me a comment and your name will go into the drawing. Please note there is a name and address on the inside cover and that, probably, detracts from the value but it's still a free book, shipping included.

From Gift From The Sea:  
"...I want first of be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can. I want, in fact - to borrow from the language of the saints - to live "in grace" as much of the time as possible...By grace I mean an inner harmony, essentially spiritual, which can be translated into outward harmony...I would like to achieve a state of inner spiritual grace from which I could function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God..."

I'll take names until midnight Friday; draw will be Saturday and book mailed Monday.

Until next time,

Blessings ~ Advent ~ Christmas ~ Epiphany ~ Christmastide ~ giving ~ spiritual grace ~ dyeing ~


  1. Boy, Sandra.....wonderful post. I was feeling "bum" around the 1 year date of my mother's death. I know she is in a better place, but I seemed to miss her terribly at that time. Totally understand though. Does any of your family remember Dorsey or Wanda Marple....teachers in Webster County? They are my parents. Daddy taught Math at the High School.
    There are soooo many "small world" incidents that we share. My maternal grandparent's farm is at Mt. Airy, between Mace and Linwood. Your brother's farm has to be close by!
    We could probably talk for days!
    Hang in there...I'll be keeping you in my prayers. Keep your eyes on Jesus and the rest will all fall into place!

  2. may you soon find peace ~perfect peace~

    every good gift and every perfect gift is from above....


  3. I hope your kitty feels better soon - you too!

    Peace be with you!

  4. Very moving post Sandra. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you still mourn the passing of your mother-in-law.

    I am just bowled over by all of the projects you have going on at once! What cherished gifts you make and share with your family. You are truly a treasure.

  5. Thank you for the introduction to words I've never used*wink* it is good thing to broaden ones vocabulary.

    We have been feeling contrary, overwhelmed, plain ole lost, and have as many projects waiting in line as it sounds like you have. We're wacking away at them as time and $$ allows. We do have a HUGE praise, yesterday we paid off our morgage and we are now no longer indebted to the world, God is Good!

    I feel the same way you do, if I focus on myself it is a path that is dark and never ending, so why waste time venturing down it to start with. I always try to look to the positive side, even when it is far easier to look in the opposite direction. My faith, prayer and loving guidance of the Lord is what keeps my feet firmly planted on the narrow path. Praying your sorrow and mourning are completely healed and that your days are filled with continued blessings.
    Blessings from,
    The Never Done Farm

  6. Sandra, I so enjoy your blog. I discovered it before we moved to the area, and we met once when we had a table of book covers and quilts for sale at the farmer's market once.

    Your post had so many things that touched me-- I am a semi-retired grief therapist and I can tell you that your mind and body can definitely remember the loss of your mother in law last year, at this time. My own son died 18 years ago and I can remember without looking at the calendar.

    Secondly, my daughter has FAS and is now 21. I know that she would love to send something with you to give to the children who have FAS where you are going. It would mean the world to her. She has little money, so they would be small things, but would it be possible for her to send some things with you? My own email address is quilterK at roadrunner dot com in case you'd like to send your snail mail address to me.

    I used to be a dyer, spinner, and weaver (we've talked about this but it has been years ago now) and I miss it terribly. Do you have any ideas where I could get a drop spindle? I don't have the funds for a "real" spinning wheel, but I miss spinning so much that I'd like to start up again. I'm glad to know that you have rovings (we called them "rolags" in college where I learned to spin and weave-- not alcohol related, either!). That is what the wool is called when it is ready to spin, is that right?

    Good to read your blogs, and my prayers are with you. Ennui is a great word, but not so great to experience.


  7. wow your life is so busy! i hope your cat better quick and i hope you can enjoy the holidays!

  8. You are an inspiring woman! I would find it very difficult not to have (or is it, to be?) "ennui" too with all that you have going on at one time. You are in my thoughts and prayers for a wonderful and safe trip to Russia. I do not doubt that spending time at the orphanage will be the cure. Best wishes for your Kitties.

    Sincerely, Leslie

  9. My heart has also been heavy with all the political swirlings. So many seem not to care, or worse-do not know what a state our country is in. So I pray...
    How awesome your trip is that you have planned. I look forward to this!
    Mark the one year passing of your dear MIL by doing something special that she loved. This always helps me in reflection.

    You are a special person, Sandra. Thank you for sharing a slice of your life with us.
    God bless you, Dave, and all the critters.

  10. Sandra, you have stated so much of what I have been feeling many good and well-intentioned projects and so little time. And also, I completely understand where you are coming from!REALLY!!!!I am also impressed with the fact that you are trying to complete projects you have promised on blog and also pack for a coming trip! You blow me away....

    I remember when my father died and also remember time seemed to slip away and was meaningless...even though Dave's mother was so old and death a natural thing, it is still a time of reflection, justification, and practically speaking, of loss and the need to just have time...time to put things like items, thoughts, and reflections in order. Do you think we do not give this enough priority now-a-days?

    Blessings to you Sister, take all the time you need, and accept our prayers for you.

  11. You have my prayers, friend. Especially for your trip. How exciting! I spent two weeks this past May in India, loving on kids in an orphanage there. Life changing is the only word for it.

    I understand your feeling of sadness. My father died two years ago this month. It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Three years ago this month my writing mentor died. November, with all the joy and thankfulness that comes with it, has an underlying melancholy for me.

    Be thankful for what is still here, for what you have to look forward to. That's what I have to tell myself each November. Thanksgiving and Christmastide have more meaning now than ever before.

    Happy Thursday,

  12. Post Script: I left a little award for you over at my place. It is most deserved, friend :) Enjoy.


  13. WHAT???!!! It's impossible to believe you're suffering from boredom, but feeling scattered? Well now yer finally makin' some sense!

    Lord, girl, you've got your hands in a hundred different bags! Is there anything you can't do?

    And you're going to Siberia and Moscow?? Give me your address and a list of what they need, and I'll get right on it.

    Geez, I'm starting to feel like a leetle crumb on a huge platter of cake...

  14. I cannot imagine doing all that you do. What a blessing you will bring to the dear lil children. Have you done this before? Thank you so much for your generous spirit.

  15. Dear Sandra,
    You have so much going on in your life!
    Sometimes it's good to stop for a bit and recognize, and give in to, what we are feeling, then we can move on with new vigor.
    Take care of yourself and remember you are a blessing to many!

  16. What enjoyable posts you write Sandra, and what an amazing life you lead. So full and enriched it sounds. If only mine was half so. All the best for your trip to Siberia and Moscow!
    Thanks so much for the visit to my blog. So appreciate it. x


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