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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, December 29, 2009

Blog Land

~ every day, a new beginning ~
We're at that awkward time of year, the week between Christmas and New Year's when things are either piling on and we're scurrying like mice trying to finish out year of end projects or we're working on some serious down time. Funny how there never seems to be an in-between yet I'm trying to do both - finish projects and work on down time as well as get ready for my January adventure.

I've not mentioned the studio and haven't because it's seriously gloomy. Boscoe Mancat now lives in the studio, healing from God alone knows what, and he's doing much better. His paw pads have completely healed, his coat is looking better, his eyes are bright but he still acts like the spirit has just plumb gone out from him. He shows no interest, whatsoever, in heading back outside and that's fine with me. I still need to do a bit of housekeeping studio keeping in order to place his food and water dishes and litter pan where he can get to everything but I don't have to keep stepping over them and must be easy to swoop up when the dogs enter the studio. The dogs show a most unseemly interest in not only the cat food but also the litter pan. The studio is only 12x12 so it's going to take some pondering to place everything and still keep the dogs bed in the corner.

~ Thistle Cove Farm studio ~
Earlier this month we had some torrential rain storms and I showed photos of the flooding in the valley. What I didn't show you were photos of the studio when the rain blew so hard it soaked the wall, the rug, materials and other things. I'm still not ready to take photos of the interior, bear with me. sigh.

Enlisting help, the wet rug was pulled up, taken to the barn to dry and then we placed a small heater in the studio so, hopefully, the floor wouldn't warp.

It's best to never become too cocky or overly confident, eh? It all happened again The Very Next Week..."deju vu all over again" as Yogi Berra once said. BTW, if you're not familiar with Yogi Berra, please do visit the link; the man was a true wit as well as being an outstanding baseball player. Yep, torrential rain storm, studio flooding, rug/wall/materials soaked...again..., another rug pulled up and taken to the barn...sigh. So, between the rains and the eye injury, I've not been in the studio the entire month of December. I have, however, been amusing myself, most recently, on the i-net; visiting interesting blogs where people are doing some beautiful work. I've also been reading Somerset Publications, Interweave Press and going through my personal library; the county library has been getting some serious use as well.

It's stinkin' cold here, temps is hovering...and none too about 20 above and the wind chill is flirting with zero, below zero actually. It's almost not worth getting out of bed especially as the bedroom temp was a frosty 47.7 degrees F above zero this morning. But I did crawl out of bed and I've finished morning chores and there are many, many things I should could ought to be doing but I'm going to spread some cheer so, please, visit these blogs. It's only a small sampling so enjoy!

KC Willis, Lipstick Ranch, had a fabulous 2009! She's discovered how much she enjoys teaching, she spreads plenty of joy, she's been published in many publications and made teaching DVD's. She's in Colorado and one of my goals is to take a class from her in her studio; what a blast that's going to be! Visit her, via the link above, and see what she's doing and, as importantly, where you can take a class. The Guardian Angel is her gift to anyone who spreads the go ahead...check it out.

Vicki at Field Trips in Fiber is drawing to a close on her December challenge. Somehow I missed it and just found it today. Brave woman actually posted her 2010 goals! Go thou and do likewise and I'll think about it -grin-!

Jude at Spirit Cloth is always doing beautiful work; it's a visit that will spark your creative juices, to be sure.

I just found Bee Creative and have enjoyed my visits. Each year, she "adopts" a word to explore and then plans her projects with that word in mind. Her word for 2009 was "intersection" while her word for 2010 is "direction". It's an interesting concept, one I'll consider.

Jo, Where Women Create, has a visual stimulating blog and publication. She also has dozens, if not hundreds, of links to other visual stimulating and creative blogs and sites.

Beth's blog, Sew, Mama, Sew! appeals on a variety of levels and to a variety of people. Her Handmade Holidays III had tutorials, recipes and a plethora of give-aways; those daily links will keep me busy for months!

Purl Bee is far more creative than I'll ever be but I enjoy visiting, just the same.

Hand Eye ezine is a wonderful publication; very informative and well written.

K. Baxter Packwood is a serious artist who says, "the quilt is the medium, not the subject!" Hmmm, how interesting, I like it. I like it a lot!

Alicia, at Posie Gets Cozy, has a cheerful blog, full of wonder, smiles and good things to make.

Pam, Pam Warden Art, is a gifted woman whose art makes you h-a-p-p-y! It's worth a visit just to stretch your face.

Jenny Doh, former Editor in Chief and Director of Publishing for the Stampington and Company Publications is starting a new venture called Crescendoh and will certainly set the arts community on its ear. Again. She's one of those women you just know would intimidate the socks right off of you yet is, more than likely, as kind and down to earth as is possible. For certain, she has more energy than Superwoman and I'm looking forward to Crescendoh as well as the new Editor in Chief ??? for all those wonderful Stampington magazines.

Lisa Swifka is hosting One World, One Heart, for the fourth year, and that's always the highlight of any year's beginning. It takes place 25 January to 15 February; this will be my third year of participating and what FUN! There are always new blogs to visit, new things to learn, new people to meet...come and join Lisa and the rest of us; you'll like it, I promise! There are only a few, but necessary guidelines, to, hopefully, prevent unhappiness. Last year I gave away four gifts  and am pretty sure those gifts were received. I believe so 'cause the woman I didn't hear from was the same woman who complained her gift "was late" -smile-. Oh well, it takes all of us to make the world go 'round, eh?

My sidebar, Cozy Visits, has a list of interesting, informative, fun, creative, faith inspiring blogs to visit. In looking at the sidebar, I'm reminded of the babies...and the foals...born in 2009, of the saints gone on before, of jobs lost and jobs gained, of families divided and reunited, of wonderful meals, excellent projects, new homes, marriages, beginnings, endings, trials and short...I'm reminded just how small this ole world truly is. When I count my blessings, each of you are included; when I say my prayers, your name is on the prayer list. Yes. You are.

~ light the candles  ~
These dark, winter days keep your candles lit and the blankets piled on the beds. Stay warm and cozy, make plans and goals but save make time to enjoy the experience of now.

Until next time,

Blessings ~ you ~ me ~ excellent publications ~ fun blogs ~ quilts ~ candles ~ good memories ~ goals ~ plans ~ beginnings ~ endings ~ a new year ~

Monday, December 28, 2009

After Christmas Glow, with gratitude

~ Santa came to Thompson Valley! ~

If your Christmas was as fabulous as mine, you're a very happy and blessed person! Yes, we had some wonderful gifts, both given and received and some yet to come but it's more that we spent it together, Dave and I with the critters, here on the farm. We spent this Christmas in preparation for the year to come; soaking up the tranquility of the event and day, making memories, basking in each others' friendship and love. Some of Christmas day was spent on the telephone, calling family and friends, wishing them well, asking about their day and families. Christmas Eve saw Santa giving out bags of goodies: oranges, apples, candy, coloring books. Santa's helpers put up signs, ensuring traffic would slow down and, for those with children in the car, stop and visit.

~ all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth... ~

From the gleam in his eye, I'm not sure this young feller is asking for two front teeth.

~ Jolly ole Santa ~
I don't know about your Santa, but our Santa is a right jolly ole thing. He's not adverse to the big fellers climbing on his lap and asking for presents.

Can you see this upside down picnic table? It's made entirely of wood and the wind storm flipped it upside down! We've had fierce windstorms, gusting between 60 and 70 mph. Right now, it's 24 degrees F above zero and the wind chill is 4 degrees F above. I'm thinking about taking nap just to get under the covers...yes, it's that cold! Fortunately, the wind has been coming from the south and that means our bedroom stays above 60 degrees F. When the wind comes from any other direction, We're lucky if the bedroom temperature rises much about 50 degrees F and am grateful for the three dogs who share space and warmth.

The weather has been so life threatening, church and all activities were canceled. We had our Christmas play last night and, I must say, I enjoyed it more than if it'd been prior to Christmas. It was more poignant and precious...and I'm not a person who uses the word "precious" lightly.

Our little country church is delightful. We have a preacher who is in touch with God and has a personal relationship with the Trinity and the people are kind and caring; one with discernment can tell these things, you know. Oh, we all have our foibles but the uniting factor is we love Jesus and a lot of us are born again Christians. There are those who come to church for a myriad of other reasons and, as far as I'm concerned, that's okay. I'm just happy folks are in church for we have a better chance of hearing the Gospel when seated in the pew; and, we've a better chance of showing the Gospel when we leave the pew.

Our Christmas play was very traditional and used a baby, children, teenagers and a few adults. They told the story of the first Christmas, the birth of Jesus and there were more than a few sniffles to be heard.

~ the first Christmas ~

~ the littlest angel ~

Yes, this is terribly out of focus...or perhaps it's Gods' way of saying, "fill in the pieces, ponder these things"... but it's my favorite photo of the evening. All the photos were taken without flash, holding the camera as still as possible. This particular picture reminds me of angels who were sent to sing of the glory of the new born King. The littlest angel, seemed not quite sure what she's supposed to be doing, looking to an older angel for guidance and the rush of angels wings were heard all 'round. Truly, I believe we are surround by angels but we drown them out with the radio, the television, the telephone, rushing to and it no wonder we can't hear them? Is it no wonder we miss God's whisper?

 ~ Mary, did you know? ~

~ Swallowtail Shawl of alpaca ~

Perhaps you remember friend Millie who is a Master Knitter Extraordinaire! That's a title I bestow upon her, gladly, and with much appreciation. She's a knitter who knits anything, and I mean anything, she wants to knit...socks, gloves, lace, Zimmerman's Pi Shawl...which won a first in the SC State Fair! The link isn't Millie's shawl but just as beautiful... and she even knits steeks. Oh lawz. If she wasn't so dang nice, she's intimidate the socks off me. But she is nice, extremely nice and there are hundreds of people who will attest to that fact. Millie and I don't see each other nearly enough and we mail Christmas and birthday gifts. This year that was a Very Good Thing because when I opened Millie's gifts, I began to cry. I try to hide everything underneath a tough exterior and that tough exterior was helped by a stint in import export sales in New York City but, the truth of the matter is, the older I get, the more tender-hearted I become. It's not that I feel things any more deeply or strongly, it's that I'm more unable to hide the fact and when I opened up Millie's Swallowtail Shawl, I boo-hooed in earnest. It's an Evelyn Clark design, one of my favorite designers and can be knitted in a variety of yarns and weights. Millie also added heavier wool yarn and the pattern so I can knit my own Swallowtail Shawl, free pattern here. That's another thing about Millie...she's so encouraging and, obviously, thinks of me as being a Much better knitter than I know myself to be. Case in point: what's on my needles is some brown wool yarn that's being knit and knit and knit and knit and knit get the point, surely! into a scarf for Dave. He likes things plain and simple; no fancy cables...which, by the way I can yarn overs because they are too lacy, nothing much except Knit. So, he's getting a knitted scarf and then I'm getting started on my Swallowtail Shawl, hopefully, in January. Wish me well and I'll keep you updated.
One of the gifts Dave and I gave were small, handmade baskets. We filled some baskets with half pint jars of strawberry jam which I'd made this past spring; with those jars we included a French ceramic jam jar and spoon. Other baskets were filled with hand knitted wash clothes and home made soap. The baskets were hand made by Mary M., who is a Lost Arts Guild member. She sells her baskets throughout southwest VA and, if you're interested, please let me know and I'll put the two of you in touch with each other. She also makes larger baskets but all are useful as well as beautiful and made in the old timey style.

~ Peace with dove ornament ~

Remember the month long Handmade Holidays III hosted by Sew, Mama, Sew? Bless me, I won! See the lovely ornament above? It's hand decorated and has a dove on one side with Peace on the other. We no longer put up a Christmas tree but no matter; this beautiful ornament will hang in the studio where I can see it Every day, not just a few days a year. Many thanks, Affectioknit for the graceful work of your hands.

BTW, if you're interested, Sew, Mama, Sew! is looking to add to their board. See their announcement and when you're famous, I can say I knew you when -smile-. I only wish I was good enough to apply myself!

 ~ I won fabric! ~
Please, contain yourself; I know you know it's beeyouutifull and doncha LOVE those colors?! I do. They make me h-a-p-p-y and they make me smile...a lot. You can see them better at Pippinsequim and you can visit her blog. She's a crafty gal and also an wrap your little gray cells around that, why doncha?! Many thanks, Pippinsequim and I'm glad to have met you via the blog and SMS.

And, in closing...a few months ago I announced I was headed to Tomsk, Siberia on a missions trip. For reasons quite personal and best left unsaid here, I am taking the wise council of Dave and my parents and have decided not to go. I am not abandoning my heart for missions, however, and am still sending boxes of goodies to Syktyvkar, Komi Republic, Russia. Dave and I visited Syktyvkar in the summer of 2004 and spent time in orphanages, hospitals and other facilities. Once again, I made a fool of myself when I broke down in tears in The Children's Home; some of the girls gave me gifts of their delicate crochet doilies and it was so unexpected, it caught me totally by surprise. When we came back home, we started the Komi Kids Yarn Project and have shipped a few dozen boxes of yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks, knitted hats and sewing supplies to The Children's Home. It's an ongoing project, supported entirely by donations and Dave and I spend our own money for postage. The only year we've missed sending boxes was last year and that was because Dave's mother fell ill and passed away.

The children are special needs and all learn traditional life skills. Girls learn knitting, sewing and crochet work while boys learn gardening and wood working skills. The girls sew bed coverings, curtains, knit and crochet hats, gloves, sweaters, etc. and the boys keep vegetable and flower gardens. They make their own flower boxes and other items to beautify the grounds and buildings. 

~ goodies, destined for Russia's special children ~ 
Julie and Mike sent the above box of goodies for me to take to Siberia; instead, I'll mail this box along with some yarn and other supplies. She also included a couple of gifts for me - this beautiful thistle dish destined to go into the may well ask, how in the world will I ever get another thing in that studio?!...but, trust will happen. Where there's a will, there's a way. Isn't this dish too cute?

She included some pomegranate sauce, which she made and canned, and says it's for ice cream. Hmmm. Maybe. I'm thinking it's for home made bread or biscuits; will let you know which. Don't get me wrong, I like ice cream but I love bread -smile-.

Thank you Julie, Mike and your critters! You have blessed me beyond measure, both with your trust and with the gifts of your heart and hands. I am grateful.

Gosh! If you've read this entire post, you deserve a reward. Leave a comment and I'll have another prize drawing; not sure what I'll send, perhaps rug mugs or a skein of yarn, your choice, okay?

Until next time,

Blessings ~ Christmas ~ Santa ~ gifts ~ The Gift ~ ornaments ~ pomegranate sauce ~ fabric ~ the littlest angel ~ goodies ~ Komi Kids Yarn Project ~ a small thistle dish ~ ornament ~ hand crafted baskets ~ hand knit alpaca Swallowtail Shawl ~

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sabbath Keeping

~ Morris Knob ~

"I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly."  ~ Jesus Christ, KJV John 10:10 ~

Merry Christmas, until next time,

Blessings ~ life, abundant and full ~ Jesus Christ ~ Christmas ~ salvation ~ eternity ~

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

 ~ Nativity in Winston-Salem, NC ~

For more than fifty years, every Christmas eve, we've read the second chapter of Luke. Mom started this tradition when we were small children and I've continued it as an adult. It's just not Christmas without reading about Luke's account of the birth of Christ on Christmas eve.

Recently I read someone's account of the story and she wondered at the "non-essentials" of the story. That just goes to show how different we, all of us, including Christians, are one from another. For me, there are no "non-essentials", rather bits and pieces of the story not told but just as important, perhaps even more important.

Mary would have been a young girl; a young, pregnant girl not formally married to Joseph. Frankly, I don't think it was much different then as now. Ah, you know...the sly looks, the glances, the whispers at Mary and, probably and unfortunately, from the church ladies. The men would have been nudging Joseph, giving him "attaboy" pats on the back, proud looks that suggested coupling outside of marriage was something he should be proud of as opposed to something any beast of the field did. But probably not Mary's menfolk; they would have been angry their sister and daughter was in the family way prior to the wedding vows being spoken. Mary's mother would have, possibly, been heartbroken.

Are we, any of us, including Christians, any different today?

God forgive me, I am guilty.

These tales would have followed Jesus as he grew into manhood. People have long memories, especially when it comes to "bad news" and there would have still been whispers and sly looks. How did Jesus handle those whispers and looks? Did he become angry or was it then he learned to hold his tongue and bide his time? Was it then He learned how to forgive? How much it cost to forgive?

When Mary delivered her Son, who assisted as mid-wife? Who helped birth the baby? Who caught Jesus when he slipped from the birth canal?  It certainly wasn't Mary's mother; the woman who would have been there, holding her daughter's hand, wiping her brow, whispering words of endearment and encouragement. Was it Joseph? There's another stigma to overcome during the years ahead. Traditionally, men were kept from the birthing tent or room; that was the work of women alone and considered by the Jewish to be Very Unclean.

I've heard during the time of Christ, when poor people traveled, they wore their death shrouds under their robes. If misfortune befell them and they died, their robes would be sold for the money that would help bury them. So, they would be buried in their death shrouds thus preventing the corpse and family  from bearing the shame of a nude burial.

When Jesus was born, Mary wrapped him in swaddling clothes. It's been said those swaddling clothes was her death shroud, the first portent of the bitter end He came to fulfill some thirty plus years later. The Magi brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh and I've always thought Joseph used the gold to provide for his small family when they fled to Egypt to escape Herod's slaughter of the innocents. The frankincense and myrrh were used for both embalming and burnt as incense in religious worship but, as importantly, used to anoint newborns and infants.

When Mary pondered these things in her heart, do you think she made the associations? Do you think she was weeping as she wrapped her baby, the Christ child, in her death shroud and, now, His swaddling clothes? When the wise men brought their precious, expensive gifts, did Mary wonder at the association between life and death? Did she make that leap? And then, did she make that leap of faith, again, as when she had said, "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."

Mary, did you know?

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
 8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
 15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
 18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
 19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
 21And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb."

Merry Christmas, until next time,

Blessings ~ Mary ~ Joseph ~ Jesus Christ ~ magi ~ angels ~ shepherds ~ room in a manger ~

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Week

 ~ American Curly horses, waiting for breakfast ~

 I've not ventured off the farm since the snow storm but the needs of the animals will always make me go. The horses and sheep both needed minerals and anyone who knows me knows I'm keen on minerals. I firmly believe good food, good water and minerals make the fleece as well as the sheep. The horses look much better when they, too, have adequate minerals.

~ waiting for breakfast ~

~ Polly and Sally, Merino twins ~
Polly and Sally are Merino twins who are pigs in sheep's clothing. These big girls EAT and will knock me down if I'm not paying attention. Yes, they were bottle babies and have never gotten over being held and fed and still firmly believe it's their due. As you might expect, this is Not A Good Thing. Just
imagine, sheep are about knee high and, when rambunctious, are perfectly capable of taking out a knee. At their very worst, they are capable of butting someone to the ground and then killing them; it's been known to happen. BTW, the sheep don't really look wonky; I think that's due to my making the photos smaller so the page will load more quickly.

~ Abbie, Sam, Sadie ~

It tough, having to perform one's toilette when the snow is belly deep and there's an audience. Perhaps now the dogs know what it's like for me...ya think? -smile- Having dogs is like having children; I've always got an audience, I'm never alone and someone always wants to poke their nose in and ask, "watcha doing? Even so, it's still not as bad as needing to go when I'm caught at the barn. There's nothing like taking a quick wee and having a horse's nose investigate. OH MY!

~ Morris Knob ~

~ earth home of my heart ~

Coming home, we round the curve on Rt. 91 and see Home. There aren't many times I fail to, at the very least, slow down...but mostly I stop...just so I can glimpse home. It always quickens my spirit, catches my breath and makes me count my blessings; God is so gracious and kind to us.

The homestead is just smaller than thirty acres; all that's left over from a pre-Revolutionary War land grant multi-thousand acre farm. The full story to be told later, after Christmas, but, for now, just know it's home.

~ in the midst of the snowstorm ~

Each day I check the round bales of hay to make sure the horses still have plenty to eat. The dogs and I take the Ranger and even in the deep snow, in four-wheel drive, I'm able to go where I need to go. Coming back from the lower pasture, I stopped to take this picture. It shows the starkness of the area but it also shows the beauty of home.

"Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest."       ~ Henry Van Dyke ~

"Home is the one place in all this world where hearts are sure of each other.  It is the place of confidence.  It is the place where we tear off that mask of guarded and suspicious coldness which the world forces us to wear in self-defense, and where we pour out the unreserved communications of full and confiding hearts.  It is the spot where expressions of tenderness gush out without any sensation of awkwardness and without any dread of ridicule."                     ~ Frederick W. Robertson ~

"I had rather be on my farm than emperor of the world."  ~ George Washington ~

Merry Christmas, until next time,

Blessings ~ home ~ Thistle Cove Farm ~ sheep ~ horses ~ dogs ~ minerals ~ home ~

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Quilting and Snow, Snow, SNOW!

~ J.W's Christmas gift ~

This is the quilt I made for JW, my nephew. He loves to hunt and is a real home-boy, steady, reliable, courteous and spends his evenings, mostly, at home. Last year, I made him a fleece throw and he uses it constantly. Unfortunately, it's a tad short and he has to choose to have either his chest uncovered or his feet. This quilt is about double sized, perhaps a bit larger, and should cover him more than adequately. The colors were chosen because they look camouflage but, I don't think, as distracting. In fact, I think they are rather pleasing and I wouldn't mind having a similar quilt with a different back.

It's a Turning Twenty pattern on one side and on the other side, a stag deer pattern on a solid piece of material. Due to my recent eye injury, I was unable to hand quilt so had this one machine quilted with maple leaves and then hand hemmed and am over the moon with how nice it looks. I am now, officially, a huge fan of machine quilting!

I tried to get close up so you could see the stags but it looks slightly wonky due to the surrounding snow.

Perhaps this is better:

JW has a brother, Staff Sgt. D., who is serving in the Air Force. I have material to make him a quilt and will, hopefully, have it ready for his May birthday. Every year it seems I'm getting ready for Christmas sometime in late summer/early autumn and then WHAM! it's here and I've not finished everything I wanted to make for folks. Fortunately, the nephews are forgiving lads and as long as I keep the gifties coming, they are kept happy. -smile-

 The back porch is always a good place to sit and watch the pastures, the valley and Morris Knob. This hand built chair is lovely with the snow piled upon. Did you know five inches of snow equals one inch of water? We had about twenty plus inches over the weekend, and more since, so Mother Earth is drinking her fill, slowly.

~ back porch resting place ~

Recognize the studio? We didn't have that much snow but we did have snow drifts that large. Boscoe Mancat now lives in the studio and he's grateful when I make my way there with his canned tuna, fresh water, cat food and fresh kitty litter.
 Christmas decorations are simple. Inside several Nativity sets adorn separate rooms and outside wreaths hang on gates, studio and barns.

  The puppies love LOVE the snow and spend hours playing; so much time playing outside that when they come inside, they are covered in snow. Sam more than Sadie and he has huge snow balls hanging off his feet and face. He just gives me a goofy grin and jumps up for lovin'. Sadie does her attack stance while Sam watches thoughtfully. Sadie runs...

  Sadie pounces...
  Sadie rolls Sam into the snow...
 Sam escapes and runs back...yes back! for more fun.
The sheep aren't so impressed but then, for the most part, they are aged. I've got a couple of old guys who will be put into the barn and short lot when if the snow melts anytime soon. Now, I just feed them as separately as possible from the rest of the flock and they seem to be doing as well as possible...considering their age. They must be close to 15 or 16; I brought them, from someone else and to Thistle Cove Farm in 1997, or thereabouts, so am not really sure of their age.
Peaches and her son Dandy Man both eat from the same flake of nutritious alfalfa. Peaches is Queen and although she allows Dandy to share her food, she makes sure he doesn't eat more than she allows. They are both American Curly horses and Peach has a wiry, poodle coat while Dandy has a straight coat.
 Sam has springs where his legs should be. If he wants to jump up, not a problem, he simply looks at where he wants to be and then POOF! rises to that point. It's absolutely amazing and he's constantly surprising me with how high he jumps.

One of the things that brings me great joy is a barn loft FULL of lovely, sweet smelling alfalfa. We put up more than 300 square bales of hay this summer as well as a couple of dozen round bales. The square bales weigh anywhere from 50 to 75 pounds and the round bales are 1300 pounds; enough for us and anyone needing hay for their livestock. Happiness is Hay, especially when you've mouths to feed!

Merry Christmas, until next time,

Blessings ~ snow ~ quilts ~ machine quilters ~ water ~ beloved sister, mother of beloved nephews ~

Monday, December 21, 2009

When I Grow Up...

I want to be an old woman. -click to view you tube video.

By the way, Paula won a pair of rug mugs...err, make that mug rugs... but left no way for me to contact her. If you'd like them, please leave a comment and will choose someone by Wednesday, 7:00 a.m. I'll try and mail them Wednesday afternoon barring snow storms preventing me from getting to town.

Re posting - I've decided to try and make a few entries at a time and then have them posted regardless of my weather situation. When we've severe cloud coverage or storms, we don't have internet connections. Fortunately, we have lots of audio books, printed books and there's always the spinning wheel, quilting and weaving looms, knitting needles and sewing machines to keep me busy! In severe weather, chores take up huge amounts of my day; just getting to the barn takes a lot of time as I have to break snow drifts so we can all walk, somewhat, freely. When I return to the house, I spend a while, sometimes a couple of hours, simply recovering. You know what they say: old age ain't for sissies! And my's better than the alternative!

All that to say, if you e-mail me and I don't i-net. Be patient and I'll get to you, sometime or other -smile-.

~ Thistle Cove Farm studio in winter's light ~

Merry Christmas and until next time,

Blessings ~ good health ~ good role models ~ women after God's own heart ~ growing old ~
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