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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.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shadow, our beloved Rhodesian Ridgeback

One of my greatest joys is taking photos...of everything but especially my animals, family and friends. I say in that order because the animals are here, on the farm, while family and friends are a ways away.

Shadow, our Rhodesian Ridgeback, loved to let Abigail, our rough coat Jack Russell, do the work while Shaddie stood watch. They loved to dig out groundhog holes but, never quite, managed to dig out the groundhog. Every now and then, they would catch one out of its hole and then it was woe to the groundhog! I've spent entire mornings driving a deceased groundhog up on the mountain but no, I wouldn't dig a grave. My attitude was, and is, regarding groundhogs...the coyotes have to eat too.

We have our share of blessings, more than we deserve, but we have our share of sorrows as well. This month has been one of sorrow...TC our beloved white cat passed away earlier this month and yesterday we, deliberately, lost three more.

Shadow, our Rhodesian Ridgeback, passed away of old age. She was frail yet full of good health and vitality but her body had begun to fail her. Her rear end was weak and she'd begun, more and more, losing her balance and falling. It was painful and embarrassing and while I could overlook her embarrassment, I could no longer endure her pain. She was falling down stairs and even had begun to fall while simply walking across the rug. My last gift to her was to hold her while our kind and compassionate vet, Dr. Anne, administered the injections. Abigail and Grace, our Australian Shepherd x Corgi, helped me give plenty of comfort, while I shed copious tears and whispered words of endearment as we said our fond farewells.

91, our calico cat, also old, frail and beginning to lose weight had a growth around the left jawline that had begun to grow at an alarming pace. Surgery was out of the question due to age and how the growth had attached to her facial bones. We knew Dr. Anne would administer injections for 91 and for Shaddie but what happened next was, somewhat, unexpected.

Bandit, the young kitten wandered in and out of the room, not quite sure what was happening. Over the past couple of weeks, Dave and I had begun to have some concerns about Bandit. He wasn't gaining weight, he was puny, his limbs seemed loose and floppy, he wouldn't play but spent his time resting and he was "not quite right". In general, he was having trouble just being a kitten and would mew pitifully when he was picked up or would get his paw twisted. All those things normal to being a kitten, just didn't seem right with Bandit. For more than forty years I've kept cats and kittens and have racked up plenty of experience. I told Dr. Anne all these things, and more, and said, "I don't know but there's something just Not Right." She watched as he strolled away. As usual, he would wobble a foot or two then stop to rest. Dr. Anne gave him an examination while I watched as her eyes got big, "oh no, that's a big Not Right!" Bandit seemed to have no musculature or, at the very least, very little musculature. His little body just wasn't hinged together with muscles, apparently only with bone, sinew and skin. We'd already had several close calls where we'd find him hanging from a claw from the furniture, crying as if all alone in this old world. We'd rescue him and it would take him a while to physically recover. This seemed so cruel so the decision was made to put Bandit to sleep along with 91 and Shad.

These decisions are hard on the owner but hard, also, on the vet. A vet, like the doctor for people, is trained to save lives and putting an animal down goes against the grain; especially so when one is as compassionate and kind as Dr. Anne. It was a dark day for all involved but we have an aging household and farm. Tempus Fugit and as time marches onward, we all get a day closer to our end. As hard as it is to realize, our oldest horse is twenty, our oldest sheep are a decade and half and Abbie and Gracie are, at least, twelve each. Actually older but as they were foundlings, we're really not sure. Miss Kitty is our oldest cat and even she's had surgery for cancer. We can but do our best for each one and, when the time is right, get a puppy or puppies to bring new life into the household. Life and death are a cycle and, I believe, the best way to honor one who has passed is to give a new one a chance.

Dr. Anne bore all of this stoically but it was hard on her as well; for that I am deeply sorry. For me, grief is such a personal emotion and I tend to forget how events can affect others, especially during such a time as this. She was a complete professional yet so full of kindness and compassion. Dr. Anne...my heart is so full of gratitude for you. Thank you seems so inadequate and words fail me but do know this...I am looking forward to bringing a puppy into this household and taking care of her together...you and Dave and I.

Right now, Gracie is grieving the most and is having the most difficult time. Abigail goes with me as I do my chores and is therefore better able to work through the grief. Work has always been my solution for all of live's ills and the death of my beloved companions is no exception. It's always easier for me to deal with grief when I fall into bed each night and sleep deeply from exhaustion. Abigail, even if she doesn't understand my motives, is still with me as I go 'round the farm and she, too, sleeps deeply. Gracie is having a more difficult time and I've had to cajole her into coming inside in the dark, wee hours. When the weather is warmer, she's permitted to sleep outside but when it's this cold, I want her inside during the night. The one thing that lets me know she'll be all right, eventually, is she still has her appetite for meals and treats. Still and all, we must be allowed to work through grief in our own time and season; for some, it's a longer process than for others. That's okay as there's no timetable to grief. There might be five steps, as Elizabeth Kubler Ross said, but there's no timetable.

There are some who believe animals will not be in heaven or, specifically, pets or companion animals...as they are known here at Thistle Cove Farm, will not be in heaven. I believe those people are right...their animals won't be in heaven but mine will. Every single last one of them, even those who didn't live long enough to be named, they will all...no, they ARE all in heaven, waiting for me to join the happy throng. The same gracious God who has allowed me stewardship over my animals will allow us to be reunited in heaven to sing His praises throughout eternity.

Hebrews 12:1 says, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us...".

Heaven is full of people who knew me, who were testamony to me and others of God's great love, grace and mercy. God's Word says if we, His people, fail to tell of Him, the trees and rocks will cry out. How much more will those who have voice cry out? And they do...every day. During the day, I live without radio or television so I can listen to God's creation. So I can hear the birds of the air, the beasts in the field, my beloved companion animals tell of His excellent greatness. When those huge flocks of Canada geese fly over, crying out to each other words of encouragement, words that tell of His excellent greatness...I join in. I call out to them, to Him words of encouragement, sometimes my pitiful cries beg Him to soothe my wounded heart, to heed my prayers for loved ones. I cry out because if He knows when a sparrow falls to the ground, He surely knows my heart.

To those who have a smidgen of doubt, let me assure you, "cast your cares upon Him for He careth for you." I Peter said it, I believe it and God is a God of promise. He cares for me, I care for His animals and we'll all be reunited in eternity, the other side of the veil.

Won't you, please, join us? "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

Blessings ~ God's promises ~ Shaddie ~ 91 ~ Bandit ~ Canada geese ~ Dr. Anne ~ great cloud of witnesses ~

Monday, January 26, 2009

Count Your Blessings...

Remember the refrain of the old hymn 'Count Your Blessings'? I love that song..."count your many blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done. Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done!"

On those rare, dark nights when I have trouble sleeping, one of the ways I "amuse" myself is by counting my blessings. I've never gotten to the end of my blessings before I'm asleep and doubt if I ever will. God has blessed us, most of us, way more than we deserve but it does pay to remind ourselves of that as often as possible.

One of the greatest blessings God has given both Dave and I is Thistle Cove Farm. We absolutely love living here and I love tending to my animals even when that means I'm slogging my way through snow, sleet, ice, frigid wind sucking cold or the heat and humidity of summer. It just doesn't matter because all I have to do it Look Up and am blessed by the beauty that surrounds this little farm.

The above photograph is of our walnut tree and I love the way its branches are outlined against the skyline. This walnut tree gives nuts for cracking and nuts for dyeing. I love dyeing my own yarn and head to the mountains in the spring to get dyestuffs. For walnuts, though, I only have to go as far as my back pasture.

HayJude, aka HayJ, my American Curly x Percheron black and white gelding is below and yes, he is as big as he appears! He's always been a gentle giant and ever since being cut last month, he's even gentler. He's a magnificent animal, as proud and regal as his sire's mustang genes demand. HayJ is third generation domesticated; his greatsire was taken from the Wild West range during a mustang round-up but there's no disguising those genes, no matter how much Percheron blood now runs through his veins. To my knowledge, there are only two of these animals in the world, HayJ and his full brother Confederate Coal, aka CC, although I don't know where CC now lives. CC has always belonged to someone else and those people are true livestock owners; they buy and sell at the drop of a dollar. That's okay and works for them but it gives me the shudders.

My "three old gentlemen sheep" are below, in the barn, where they now reside. They have access to an outside lot and require daily care. I've got to go to town today, they need cracked corn and I've other errands to run. These fellows, Zacheous, Buster Brown and Thomas, are so old, they are somewhere around 14 to 15, or older and are toddery and frail. They enjoy their lives though and enjoy being spoiled...or, better to say, more spoiled than the rest of the flock, and they eat heartily. As long as they love their food, they will breathe. The only reason I put an animal down is they are in pain; for me, there's no other reason. And, my critters NEVER, EVER have to worry about going to the market.

Recently, someone asked me if I would sell some sheep for a museum but upon questioning, I found out the museum had taken their small flock to the market last year. Why? There were no people living at the museum over the winter, thus no one to tend to the sheep. YIKES! Why on earth didn't those museum folks think about that before getting animals. Yes, animals. They not only had sheep, they had chickens and now want to get a donkey. All that to say, my answer was NO WAY you're getting any of my animals. Different folks have different ways of being a good steward and this is my/our way. We tend to our own, we take care of our own. So, back to counting my blessings. This is extremely important during times of stress. Like Saturday when I found yet another leak in our hot water heating pipes. Fortunately, the leak was in a section of the house that had already seen damage from the freeze, burst, leak last month. That section of dining room ceiling already needs to be replaced as do three of the dining room walls, the parlor, the hallway and, at this time God alone knows what else. In times of distress, Count Your Blessings! That and prayer are the only things that will pull you through.

Blessings ~ Thistle Cove Farm ~ this blog that allows me to share my blessings ~ my animals ~ warmer weather ~ my many, many blessings...Thank You, Lord ~

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Vison and Talent

Without a vision, the people perish. Proverbs 29:18

Isn't this true of life? Without a vision we lack direction yet still end up somewhere but probably not where we might have chosen. We all need goals, even carrots dangling before us, to get where we want to go instead of where we may end up. This isn't about resolutions, New Year's or otherwise, it's about vision, goals, direction, journey and destination.

Thursday evening was filled with vision and talent which, as you know, has incredible energy and, as Proverbs 27:17 says, a friend sharpens like iron, paraphrased. That's what it was like Thursday at the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts in Galax, VA. Folks at the school have this incredible vision to develop an arts and crafts center to bring together teachers and students to learn "how to". It sounds similar to the John C. Campbell Folk School, Penland School of Crafts, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and others and it was/is a blessing to me to receive Penny's e-mail of invitation. Penny, thank you for including me!

My guess is there were seventy-five to one hundred artisans and crafters in attendance. We shared a delish meal then broke into three sessions where writing skills were honed for personal biographies as well as for class syllabus. They also provided a professional photographer to take individual photos and we were encouraged to use our tools as props. I took my spinning wheel, a basket of roving and hand spun wool and my shepherd's staff. Some might have thought it amusing for me to have my staff but my sheep are a huge part of my life and it's important to me that people know my end product starts in my back pasture.

The evening was a tremendous success for everyone, participants and school leaders. Everyone is totally pumped for such a dream to reach fruition and all of southwest VA, the region, the East Coast and, indeed, the country will benefit.

As iron sharpens iron, the Chestnut Creek School of Arts and Crafts will bring together teachers and students to sharpen each other, make each other better, encourage each other and, in turn. to send into the world to make it a better place.

Every major religion of the world has a similar saying: karma, what go's around come's around, you get what you give and Ecclesiastes 11:1, says, " Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again."

So, to all of those folks who are working to make this vision a reality - THANKS and God's blessings upon you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. What you are doing is wonderful and greatly appreciated. Your work will make a world of difference, a world of GOOD difference, in people's lives. What better legacy to leave as you journey towards your destination?

Blessings ~ Chestnut Creek School of the Arts ~ staff ~ teachers ~ students ~ visions ~ dreams ~ hard work ~ journeys ~ destinations ~

Monday, January 19, 2009

One World One Heart

One World One Heart
It's that time again...from now until 12 Feb Lisa has declared One World One Heart!

You must please post to have a chance of winning. "What", you may ask, "will I win?"

Hmmm...how about *a 200 yard skein of farm spun, worsted weight, natural colored gray tweedy heather 100% virgin wool yarn, from a down breed sheep that would make some wonderful socks or hat or, perhaps, a small scarf. And, *a hand crafted book mark and my *third gift is a hand felted, hand embellished tea cozy but you have to invite me to tea.

I should post photos but it's dark, cold and snowy outside and the aforementioned items are outside in my studio so I'll post photos later this week.

You should be a blogger to enter and win and you should leave me some kind of contact information. IOW, no annny mouse comments, please.

Please click on the OWOH button to find more information or, perchance, to sign up yourself. It's a tonne of fun and a way to pass along a blessing or two or three...
Photo

Blessings ~ OWOH 2009 ~ other bloggers ~ gifts ~ Lisa ~ learning something new...how to put a badge on my blog...WOW! ~

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sabbath Keeping

The past few days have been, somewhat, bleak. Skies have been gray, cloud cover low, no sunshine but plenty of snow, ice, sleet and, sometimes, a mixture of all three. All these conspire to remind me of my favorite carol hymn, In The Bleak Midwinter, a poem written by Christina Rossetti in the late 1800's and set to music in the early twentieth century by Gustav Holst.

Every water bucket has been frozen solid, the water trough with the de-icer had ice two to three inches thick and I didn't even go to the far pasture. The last time that tank froze, it was about five inches thick and much too difficult for me to chop. It's also too far for an electrical line so can't use a de-icer to keep the water from freezing. Yes, I think this qualifies as bleak.

In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen,
Snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter,
Long ago.
Our God, heaven cannot hold him,
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When he comes to reign;
In the bleak midwinter
A stable place sufficed
The Lord God incarnate,
Jesus Christ.
Enough for him, whom Cherubim
Worship night and day
A breast full of milk
And a manger full of hay.
Enough for him, whom angels
Fall down before,
The ox and ass and camel
which adore.
Angels and archangels
May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air;
But his mother only,
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.
What can I give him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him —
Give my heart.
Her poem is heart rendering but when set to music is totally wrenching. I never tire of reading nor listening and think my favorite version is by the King's College Choir. I was blessed to see them in concert once and my life is still fuller for the experience.

Sarah Brightman, another favorite, sings this song on her first Christmas/holiday album, A Winter Symphony, released in Nov 2008. Other favorites she sings are Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring and I Believe in Father Christmas.

Jars of Clay recorded their version and I hope to hear it one day. I saw them on a Christmas special last month and thoroughly enjoyed their concert.

I adore music, Christmas music especially and listening to uplifting music is never tiresome. There's another Christmas song I like, one by Ertha Kitt called 'Santa Baby' and done in a style that will never be duplicated. Fact is, she did this one so well, others would do well to not try at all because 1. they will fail and 2. it's just w.r.o.n.g. Ertha Kitt owns 'Santa Baby'; others cannot even pay rent.

Today was the warmest day since mid-week last week; it warmed up to 31 above zero and a lot of ice and snow melted. Tonight, it's snowing again and we're supposed to get three inches of snow. The wind is quiet as are the animals; we're all regrouping and regaining strength for whatever weather this new week brings. My three old gentlemen sheep are struggling in this cold; their appetites are weak and they aren't eating their treats of corn and gain. I keep giving them good alfalfa hay and that's helping but only for a while. They have lived good, long lives, far longer than most sheep and have never lacked for anything. I only wish the rest of the world could say the same; Dave and I can't save everyone or everything so we make sure the animals here are well, happy and healthy. If only for a while, we make sure guests have a safe place here with good, nourishing food and protection from the outside world. We try to 'do unto others as we would have them do unto us', we share our blessings and find we are blessed.

Blessings ~ bleak days because they serve to remind me of the sunshine ~ stirring poetry ~ beautiful music ~ the strength to do the work God has set before me ~ snow because it means water for a thirsty earth ~ a good sleep ~

Saturday, January 17, 2009

5 Loaves and 2 Fishes Food Bank, WV

For those old enough to remember, McDowell County, WV is one of the primary Appalachian counties that lead former President Johnson's 'War on Poverty' back in the 1960's. He declared, "I have called for a national war on poverty. Our objective: total victory." At the time he was in Inez, KY, standing in Tommy Fletcher's yard.

While there are some areas of Appalachia that have done well and there are some that are doing better but, some, seemingly, haven't moved forward. If anything, the struggle is as bad as it was forty plus years ago, and some folks would say even worse because the focus has moved elsewhere.

Times are hard and getting harder; nothing says this like volunteering at a food bank. 5 Loaves and 2 Fishes Food Bank in McDowell County, WV is a 501.c.3 non-profit Christian ministry feeding hungry people and, sometimes, their hungry pets. Their website says they have about 10,000 individuals on file who have applied for a Food Bank card. This represents about 3,300 families in McDowell and Wyoming County and I've met a few folks from across the KY line.

I've written about 5 Loaves and 2 Fishes, the heart and soul of one man. Bro. Bubby as he's known in his corner of the world has, along the way, picked up a fair number of volunteers who pick up the food and deliver it to churches throughout southern WV but it was, and is, his heartbeat. 5 Loaves and 2 Fishes is housed in an old grocery store building that, due to cutbacks, has no heat, no telephone and the electricity is used only if someone is on site or there's food in the freezers.

Bro. Bubby had some disturbing news this week, the coldest week this winter. The primary contributor, a large, corporate foundation is going out of business. Now. Not in the spring or summer or later this year...NOW, this week just ending.

I don't claim to know and, in fact, do not know, the corporate foundation but with all the negative news recently about money disappearing, about the FIFTY BILLION DOLLAR Ponzi scheme ... as reported by Forbes Magazine ... the name 'Bernie Madoff' jumps readily to mind. No, again let me say...I have no knowledge if Mr. Madoff's scheme, or should that be spelled "scam"??? had anything AT ALL to do with a corporate foundation closing in our region, I'm simply saying his name came to mind when I heard the bad news.

What that means for the 5 Loaves and 2 Fishes Food Bank and, ultimately, the hungry folks of southern WV is...more hunger. Bro. Bubby has, maybe, enough money to last two more months; possibly until sometime in March. In the past, the corporate foundation delivered food, paper products, toiletries and, sometimes, pet food to 5 Loaves and 2 Fishes where it was then distributed to volunteers who took the goods to be re-distributed to hungry people, a lot of whom are seniors who are raising their grandchildren. Yes, there are other folks who have given money, time, prayers and other efforts - volunteers in the truest sense of the word...every single one UNPAID...- to the food bank but they cannot make up the vast difference lost by the closing of this corporate foundation.

So, my plea to you is, if you're able, please send donations to the 5 Loaves and 2 Fishes Food Bank at PO Box 297 Roderfield, WV 24881. Will you receive a thank you note? Probably not as thank you notes cost money and Every Single Penny will be spent on food. Not on paper products, toiletries nor, I'm sad to say, on pet food but on people food. Food so human beings will eat and be blessed by your goodness.

Just remember what the old preacher once said, "your benefits will be outta this world!"

God's blessings upon you, yours and the work of your hands and heart.

Blessings ~ Bro. Bubby ~ 5 Loaves and 2 Fishes Food Bank ~ volunteers ~ donations ~ caring people who send money, prayers or some other kind of help ~ warmth in a frosty world gone, sometimes, mad ~ God's love as evidenced by His human creation ~

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 felt...hot 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 sweater...no 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...

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Sabbath Keeping

"Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden."
Corrie Ten Boom

"So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble." Matthew 6:34

Chapter 5, 100 Ways to Simplify Your Life by Joyce Meyer.

Blessings ~ a little country church ~ a pastor who is thoughtful and wise ~ the community of believers ~ rain for a thirsty earth ~ a Sunday afternoon nap ~ Sabbath Keeping ~