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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.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sabbath Keeping

 ~ January 2010 Wolf Moon ~
"Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow."
~ Psalm 51:7 ~

"As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool." ~ Proverbs 26:1 ~

 "Every one of our greatest national treasures, our liberty, enterprise, vitality, wealth, military power, global authority, flow from a surprising source: our ability to give thanks."  ~ Tony Snow ~
 "So comes snow after fire and even dragons have their ending." ~ J. R. R. Tolkien ~

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,

stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons.

It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags.

And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.

What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.

What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.

~ Dr. Seuss ~

 "To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold." ~ unknown ~

Monday, January 25, 2010

One World One Heart

~ OWOH 2010 ~
There are some things that simply make January and February better...chocolate, warmth, afternoon naps under toasty throws, a juicy orange. I'm sure you've got your own list and, probably, our lists overlap a tad.
Lisa Swifka is hosting, for the fourth year, One World One Heart and that's something that makes January and February better. The OWOH location has changed to her wonderful blog, A Whimsical Bohemian, and that's a good change. I love wandering around her blog, seeing her art and what's she's doing; she's incredibly talented and there's always inspiration to be found.
The primary purpose of OWOH is for kindred souls to find each other and, I believe, in the finding of each other, to encourage, uplift and, when you find kindred souls, to follow each other. The world is a frosty place but OWOH makes it a warmer place and the world a more comfy place. That's an enviable, but reachable, goal and last year more than nine hundred bloggers from twenty-eight countries took part in OWOH...WOW!
This is my third year and I'm proud to be a member of the OWOH community. It's true that not everyone always plays by Lisa's rules, nor does everyone always say "thank you"...shame on you, your Momma raised you better!...but that's okay. I'm only responsible for myself and my part. There are a few rules to form the OWOH community, to make it, hopefully, a better place for all involved. The event goes to 15 February; a good long time to visit everyone's blogs and see what's being given away.
God willing, at noon, EST, USA on 15 February, I'll announce Thistle Cove Farm blog winners. If something prevents me from making that announcement at noon, it will be made before midnight.'s the giveaway list:
~ three emery boards with Frida's image - international
~ one mini-art quilt inspirational wall hanging - USA

~ two hand made felted, to be further embellished mug rugs - USA

~ one pair black pearl pierced earrings - international 

~ one pair purple and silver pierced earrings ~ USA

To enter my giveaway, please leave a comment. That's all. You don't have to follow but if you choose to, know you'll always be welcome and appreciated; you don't have to jump through hoops, you don't have to sign up for anything or visit a shop. You don't have to do anything...other than leave a comment and a way to contact you should your name be picked by the random  intgenerator.You have until noon, 15 February to comment. 
Thanks, Lisa, for One World One Heart. Thanks, Visitors, for coming by and hope you're inerested in winning one of my gifts. No matter how cold, snowy, icy, windy it is outside, OWOH makes it toasty warm and inviting inside. Welcome, all!
Until next time,
Blessings ~ Lisa Swifka ~ One World One Heart ~ visitors ~ Frida Kahlo ~ goodies to win ~ giveaways ~

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sabbath Keeping

~ morning breaks at Thistle Cove Farm ~
"Cast your cares upon Him, for He careth for you." ~ I Peter5:7 ~

"Love begins by taking care of the closest ones, the ones at home." ~ Mother Teresa ~

"A great many people seem to embalm their troubles. I always feel like running away when I see them coming. They bring out their old mummy, and tell you in a sad voice: "You don't know the troubles I have!"

My friends, if you go to the Lord with your troubles, He will take them away. Would you not rather be with the Lord and get rid of your troubles, than be with your troubles and without God? Let trouble come if it will drive us nearer to God.

It is a great thing to have a place of resort in the time of trouble. How people get on without the God of the Bible is a mystery to me. If I didn't have such a refuge, a place to go and pour out my heart to God in such times, I don't know what I would do. It seems as if I would go out of my mind. But to think, when the heart is burdened, we can go and pour it into His ear, and then have the answer come back, "I will be with him," there is comfort in that!

I thank God for the old Book. I thank God for this old promise. It is as sweet and fresh today as it has ever been. Thank God, none of those promises are out of date, or grown stale. They are as fresh and vigorous and young and sweet as ever." ~ D. L. Moody ~

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." ~ Thomas Jefferson ~

"Our principles are the springs of our actions. Our actions, the springs of our happiness or misery. Too much care, therefore, cannot be taken in forming our principles." ~ Red Skelton ~

 Until next time,

Blessings ~ another day above ground ~ good principles ~ the teachings of D. L. Moody ~ sunrise ~ hope ~ charity ~ 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Home again, home again, jiggety-jog...

~ Periwinkle Colored Bowls ~

Do you remember the old Mother Goose nursery rhyme "To market, to market..."? It goes:

"To market, to market, to buy a fat pig,
Home again, home again, dancing a jig;
To market, to market, to buy a fat hog;
Home again, home again, jiggety-jog;
To market, to market, to buy a plum bun,
Home again, home again, market is done."

I've been to market, several actually, and loved them all. Petticoat Lane, Old Spitalfields, Borough Market,  Old Truman Brewery Market and others. That's when I wasn't wandering around museums or getting lost on foot -smile-. One place I found myself was Covent Garden and spent a pleasurable hour at a small tea shop before venturing, again, into the "unknown".

Londoner's are mad for "vintage" and I couldn't believe the prices! Wool coats from the 1960's were $100 and better. A long, champagne colored Victorian petticoat was $80 but "just for me" the price was reduced to $70. Shoes that had seen far, far better days bore rather precious prices as well. Now, I don't mind wearing thrift store clothes...after all, there's the washer and dryer...but I draw the line at OPS's...other people's shoes. That makes me a trifle squeamish and I've had my arm up to the shoulder in the rear end of a ewe, helping out with the birthing process.

I'm home and settling into a familiar routine. When I got home, a week ago today almost to the hour, the temperatures were above freezing since the first of the month. We've had our share of fierce January winter weather and the warmer temperatures and rain have melted the snow. We're now seriously into mud season but that will change as temps drop again before true springs arrives.

Today is Vintage Thingie Thursday over at ColoradoLady and I've several offerings, beginning with the periwinkle bowls at top. The one on the right belonged to my MIL and we just purchased the left one at a recent auction. These are beautiful bowls and the left one has a "raw" lip where women would sharpen their kitchen knives. I've seen Grandmother Bennett do it time and again and always thought having a bowl serve more than one function was quite useful. These are my 'go-to' bowls for making cat head biscuits and they are "just right" for making six to eight biscuits. 

~ Hand made Scottish tea cozy ~
This lovely little tea cozy was hand sewn by...??? Someone's Gran, do you think? It has a bit of lace, some batting to keep the tea pot warm, an embroidered thistle and the words "Frae Scotland"; frae means from.

~ Thistle and "frae Scotland", embroidered all

~ Top handle ~
This is so clever; the center square where the thistle is located, has an opening and this little rectangle was stuffed inside. It's to hold the tea pot lid on whilst pouring tea; I love this! It shows someone actually meant for this tea cozy to be put into good use and so it shall.

Home Sweet Home and it's dear to me even with the rain and sleet that's absolutely pouring from the skies as I'm sitting in the sunroom updating my blog. It's below freezing and the wind chill is horrid, taking the temps to around 10 above so it's a good dayi to put the tea pot and cozy into good use. I'm headed to the studio and will play Loreena McKennitt while I work, perhaps an audio book later. I promised to catch up with everyone and I will, eventually. I want to visit your blogs and see what I've missed.My desktop computer crashed and the computer doc has been called and will arrive sometime today to take said computer to the shop. Hmmmm...didn't I just say that a few months ago? Seems like an all to recent happening but maybe it's my memory that's playing tricks, once again.

My studio time these past few days has been productive. I've finished one fleece throw, have two more to finish, a scarf for me and a couple of baby quilts pieced with batting and bottom and ready to be sewn. I am so blessed to be able to stay home and work on things that bring happiness so many times beginning when I purchase the fabric and begin to think of the project. Happiness is such a simple quality yet so necessary to our daily existence; so many people struggle to be happy and that is so sad. I find happiness in such simple things: a breath drawn deeply, a good body stretch, a baby's face when they see their quilt for the first time, an adult's face when they realize they were thought of and then action followed thought. Does that make me a simple person? Probably so but it also makes me a happy person.

Until next time,

Blessings ~ tea cozy ~ periwinkle bowls ~ home ~ warmth ~ happiness ~ simplicity ~

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sabbath Keeping

~ Tower of London ~
 "They must realize that the Sabbath is the Lord’s gift to you." ~ Exodus 16:29 ~

"A world without a Sabbath would be like a man without a smile, like a summer without flowers, and like a homestead without a garden. It is the joyous day of the whole week." ~ Harriot Ward Beecher  ~

"Fresh glides the brook and blows the gale,
  Yet yonder halts the quiet mill;
    The whirring wheel, the rushing sail
      How motionless and still!
        Six days stern Labour shut the poor
          From nature's careless banquet-hall;
            The seventh, an Angel opes the door,
              And, smiling, welcomes all!"
   ~William Henry Lytton Earle Bulwer, Sir Henry Bulwer ~

"This will be a Sabbath day of complete rest for you, and on that day you must deny yourselves."
~ Leviticus 23:32 ~

"The seventh day this; the jubilee of man:
  London! right well thou know'st the day of prayer:
    Then thy spruce citizen, wash'd artisan,
      And smug apprentice gulp their weekly air:
        The coach of hackney, whiskey, one-horse chair,
          And humblest gig, through sundry suburbs whirl;
            To Hampstead, Brentford, Harrow, make repair;
              Till the tired jade the wheel forgets to hurl,
                Provoking envious gibe from each pedestrian churl. ~ Lord Bryon ~

"The Sundaies of man's life,
  Thredded together on time's string,
    Make bracelets to adorn the wife
      Of the eternal, glorious King.
        On Sunday heaven's gates stand ope;
          Blessings are plentiful and rife.
            More plentiful than hope."       ~ George Herbert ~

"The Sabbath is not a day to feast our bodies, but to feed our souls." ~ Marie Josephine ~

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." ~ Exodus 20:8 ~

"Sunday, that day so tedious to the triflers of earth, so full of beautiful reposes of calmness and strength for the earnest and heavenly minded." ~ Maria Jane McIntosh ~

"He that remembers not to keep the Christian Sabbath at the beginning of the week will be in danger to forget before the end of the week that he is a Christian." ~ Sir Edmund Turner ~

"O what a blessing is Sunday, interposed between the waves of worldly business like the divine path of the Israelites through Jordan! There is nothing in which I would advise you to be more strictly conscientious than in keeping the Sabbath day holy. I can truly declare that to me the Sabbath has been  invaluable." ~ Dr. Samuel Wilberforce ~

Saturday, January 16, 2010

London III

~ Sumerian woman ~
This is, possibly, how a Sumerian woman of royal birth would have worn her jewellery in the City of Ur, located in now modern day Iraq. According to some, Sumerian writing is the oldest writing discovered by archaeologists.

The city of Ur of the Chaldees was the birthplace of Abraham, Father of Nations as later decreed by God. At age 75, Abram, his name not yet changed to Abraham, left Ur, taking his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, both families and all they owned, to, eventually, settle in his new home, the land of Caanan. Prior to settling in Caanan, they settled in Haran where God blessed both men greatly with  tremendous wealth and many possessions but soon the land couldn't support both of them. New grazing grounds were needed and Abram gave Lot first choice. Lot decided to pitch his tents on the plain of Jordan, near the city of Sodom while Abram moved on to Caanan. At this time, Abram and Sarai were childless and, in fact, beyond "normal" child bearing years, at least Sarai was too old, biologically, to bear children; her normal course had ceased. Bearing children was a woman's sole identity, especially the bearing of sons, and for Sarai not to have born her husband children, was considered a curse. She gave her handmaiden, Hagar, to Abram and Hagar became pregnant and bore Abram a son, Ishmael, when Abram was 75 years old. When Hagar knew she was pregnant, she began to despise Sarai and was mistreated by Sarai so Hagar ran away, to die in the desert. An angel of the Lord found her and told her to return to Sarai and Abram and to submit to Sarai. The angel of the Lord promised Hagar her yet unborn son would have too many descendants to count and "he will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers".

Twenty-four years later, God appeared to Abram and told him he would now become a father for the second time. God made a covenant with Abram and promised, "you will be the father of many nations and your name will no longer be Abram but Abraham". This covenant also included all males, eight days or older being circumcised. God continued, telling Abraham his wife, Sarai, would also have a name change to Sarah and, through her son, "would be the mother of nations and kings of people would come from her". Both Sarah and Abraham found this too fantastic to be true; after all, Abraham and  Sarah were both aged and they laughed at this idea but the next year, Sarah did indeed bear a son, Isaac.

Many things happened prior to Isaac being born. According to God's decree, all males, eight days and older, were circumcised this when Abraham was 99 years old and Ishmael was 13 years old. Additionally, Abraham was visited by "three men" who came to tell Abraham Sodom was going to be destroyed due to the extreme wickedness of the citizens. Abraham knew his nephew, Lot, and Lot's family resided in Sodom so Abraham began to bargain with the Lord.

Note: those middle easterners have always been great hagglers, it seems -smile-.

In due course, after much bargaining, the Lord agreed if ten righteous people could be found in the city, the Lord would stay his hand from destroying Sodom. The men left Abraham and made their way to Sodom and Lot's home. It gets rather graphic, at least in my mind, because the men of Sodom or Sodomites as they were known, went to Lot's house and demanded Lot give up his guests for the purpose of sex with the Sodomites. Lot refused and went so far as to offer his two virgin daughters for that purpose but begged the Sodomites to leave the guests alone.

Perhaps you know the end of the story...? Ten righteous men could, in fact, not be found but Lot and his family were given the opportunity to flee Sodom. The wife was turned into a pillar of salt because she looked back after being told to only face forward. I've thought about that often and wondered how many blessings I've missed out on because I've neglected to look to my future because I was focused on my past. Only God knows.

The story of Ishmael and Isaac is the beginning of the "tension" between Jews and Muslims. Brothers, one illegitimate and the other legitimate, fought amongst themselves and their offspring continue to this day. They were both raised in the same household, one the son of a slave girl the other the son of the  mistress and both have many, many, many descendants. There is a lot more to the stories of Lot and Abraham and it's all interesting and relevant to modern day events but I've gotten off track.

~ In this same room at the British Museum, there were other mummies ~

 ~ Staffordshire dig ~
Move forward through history a few hundred years and we come to Great Britain and the Staffordshire Hoard. It's the largest Anglo-Saxon hoard ever found and the first pieces were found in July 2009. When the dig was finished, more than 1,500 pieces, totally more than five kilograms of gold were in Her Royal Majesty's collection.

~ Gold strip with Latin inscription ~
The Latin inscription reads, 'Rise up, Lord, and may Thy enemies be dispersed and those that hate thee be driven from thy face'. Numbers 10:35 The purpose of this strip is unknown and there are spelling errors in the Latin.

I've already shown the photo of the British Museum but wanted to show it again. There's something I missed telling you and I find it fascinating.

In this photo of the left section of the British Museum, do you see the lion in the lower left corner?

That is this lion, the Lion of Knidos, weighing seven tons! It comes from a Knidos tomb in a cemetery in south-west Turkey. It looks extremely large in the above photo but when placed in context in its position in the British Museum, it pales in comparison. Amazing how perception changes things, eh?

As one exits the British Museum, this apartment building is directly across the street. I've lived in NYC and Washington, DC and this brings back memories of "flat living". I'll take Thistle Cove Farm, ta very much! -smile-

Until next time,

Blessings ~ traveling safety ~ this fabulous trip ~ figuring out the Tube ~ making it all fit, history, that is ~

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

London, England II

~ British Museum ~

The British Museum is AAAmazing; it's absolutely mind-boggling to walk in and be surrounded by so many centuries of history. I could spend a week here and never see it all, it's impossible because there are so many artifacts. I started to say, "of special interest..." but then began laughing at myself. They are ALL of special interest and I found myself being diverted again and again and again as something would catch my eye and I would be pulled into a different room to gasp in amazement as I peered at something new to me.

 ~ The Lion of Knidos ~

The lion weighs more than seven tons and stood at the Knidos harbor entrance in southwest Turkey.  It's dated from 370 B.C. to 2 B. C., folks disagree as well they should because no one truly knows, do they? Not knowing doesn't take away from the lion, it's still imposing.

 ~ The Egyptian Room ~

 ~ British Museum, left view, from second floor ~

~ British Museum, right view, from second floor ~

 A vessel called a ciborium, from about 1215-1230, Limoges, France. While it looks like a drinking vessel, the note said it was for holding the "consecrated host" or the bread during Holy Communion. The writing on the edge is Kufic or Arabic and shows the Islamic influence.

~ gold cape ~
The cape is gold, from Mold, Clwyd, Wales and from the Bronze age, about 1900-1600 B. C. Can you imagine how small the woman or girl would have been? She would, probably, have been of a wealthy family or perhaps a religious order...what do you think?

~ A fragment of tablet ~
 The Royal Library at Nineveh, in its day, was among the best...if not the the world and this tablet dates from about 668-631 B. C. There were thousands upon thousands of such tablets in the Royal Library and to think of the knowledge that's lost...makes me want to weep. Do you remember the Biblical story of Jonah in the belly of the whale? He was trying to escape God because God wanted Jonah to go and preach to the people of Nineveh and Jonah said, "no" and then ran to Joppa where he boarded a ship for Tarshish. There was a storm, Jonah was found asleep by the sailors and then, subsequently thrown overboard because he asked to be thrown overboard and was swallowed by a whale. He spent three days in the belly of the whale and then was vomited onto dry land.

He commenced to Nineveh where he preached to the city of 120,000 where, led by their King, the Ninevites turned from their evil ways and turned toward the Lord God Jehovah.

If you visit this link, near the Narrative section, you can hear the Golden Jubilee Quartet sing, "Oh Jonah"...fabulous!

And on that pun intended...I leave you. It's time to catch the Tube for Charing Cross and the Wyndham Theatre to see An Inspector Calls.

 Until next time,

Blessings ~ bits and pieces that lend blood and teeth to Holy Scripture ~ museums ~ theatre ~ Tube ~

Monday, January 11, 2010

London, England

 ~ British flag flying high ~
St. Augustine said, "the world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page."  He's right, wouldn't you agree? Even if travel is to town or to the next town or adjacent state or country, or even across the pond.

I'm "across the pond" in London, experiencing, along with everyone else, the worst winter Great Britain has seen in more than twenty-five years.

It's amazing, wonderful, exciting, exhilarating, fabulous, exhausting and I'm lovin' every single second. Even those seconds where my eyes are closed and I'm breathing deeply and renewing my physical self for the next day and more of all the above.

Perhaps you remember I was to have gone on the missions trip to Tomsk, Siberia, Russia? For personal reasons the wise advice of Dave and my parent's was taken and I decided not to go. The London portion was already arranged so Dave gave me that trip as a Christmas gift. It's positively incredible to have found a wonderful man whose dreams match exceed my own.


Due to the major snow storm all over the East Coast, the trip began earlier last week and I'm now firmly ensconsed in the London Lodge Hotel near Earl's Court station.

When I arrived at London Heathrow Airport, Sky Shuttle a driver and car was supposed to pick me up and deliver me to my hotel. Unfortunately, said driver decided, for reasons unknown to me, to abdicate his/her responsibilities and not show up. Not exactly what I wanted to hear at 11:30 p.m. Fortunately, the Underground, or Tube as it's known here, was directly beneath my feet so I visited the ATM, got some English money, pounds sterling, and took the Direct line to Earl's Court station, my exit. So far, so good.

~ the Underground or subway system ~

The tube employees are fabulous and stand ready to help and I've never run into any who are ill tempered or ill mannered. I asked directions to the hotel and was given some which were, unfortunately, totally wrong. An hour later, after walking around a residential area in the pouring snow, cold and ice I found the hotel at 1:20 a.m. I thought the directions might be a little wrong but when I questioned the Tube employee, he said he was sure he was right. He meant well but he was wrong...totally wrong.

It turns out the hotel is about 4 or 5 blocks from the Tube station, straight down Earl's Court Road. You know what...other than someone "borrowing" my brand new gloves and not returning them -smile-, it's been, Thank God, smooth sailing. I'll take it any day...a wonderful and safe time for the price of a pair of gloves and a few long walks!

My time has been spent visiting museums, The Tower of London, a tiny bit of shopping and miles and miles of walking. The walking has been great because I'm not going to exercise class and one subs for the other, eh?

The Natural History Museum is a testimony to Victorian-ism, if you'll forgive the word. It's fabulous and half a day wasn't enough time to see even a small portion of contents.

~ Double Decker Bus ~

~ Grit, used for dusting icy sidewalks ~

~ statue at Victoria and Albert Museum ~
The Victoria and Albert Museum has a quilt exhibit...beginning I wandered around looking a the amazing statues. I neglected to get the artist name but I dearly adore this statue.


A Beefeater explaining when the ravens leave the Tower of London, the monarchy will fall. To safeguard the ravens from leaving, there are six or nine ravens, depending upon whom you ask, who have residence at the Tower. I noticed bands on both legs of all the birds.

There's plenty more but time for bed; we're five hours ahead of you and it's time for me to find some shut-eye. Please, please accept my apologies for not keeping up with each of you. I'll be home soon and will make amends.

A Moorish proverb says, "he who does not travel, does not know the value of men." How true!

Until next time,

Blessings ~ travel ~ London ~ tube ~ Beefeaters ~ museums ~ proverbs ~ safety ~

~ Sandra ~

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sabbath Keeping

 ~ Maiden Spring, the Cove, Tazewell County, VA ~

"How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he mediates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers."       ~ Psalms 1:1-3 ~

"I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines."   
~ Henry David Thoreau ~

 "Do not be afraid of going out on a limb...that's where the fruit may be found." ~ proverb ~

"A tree falls the way it leans." ~ Bulgarian proverb ~

"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit." ~ Matthew 12:33 ~

"He that planteth a tree is a servant of God, he provideth a kindness for many generations, and faces that he hath not seen shall bless him." ~ Henry van Dyke ~

until next time, 

Blessings ~ trees ~ travel ~ fruit ~ servant hood ~ seasons ~  

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Sabbath Keeping

  "...and your strength will equal your days." ~ Deuteronomy 33:25 ~

"He that hath so many causes of joy, and so great, is very much in love with sorrow and peevishness, who loses all these pleasures, and chooses to sit down upon his little handful of thorns. Enjoy the blessings of this day, if God sends them, and the evils of it bear patiently and sweetly, for this day is only ours, we are dead to yesterday, and we are not yet born to the morrow. But if we look abroad, and bring into one day's thoughts the evil of many, certain and uncertain, what will be and what will never be, our load will be as intolerable as it is unreasonable."  ~ Jeremy Taylor ~

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
~ II Timothy 1:7 ~

"Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sin. Use the pain as fuel, as a reminder of your strength."  ~ August Wilson ~

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." ~ Deuteronomy 31:6 ~

"Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop."  ~ unknown ~

"Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future."
~ unknown ~

"LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." ~ Psalm 16:5-8 ~

Until next time,

Blessings ~ faith ~ heat ~ nourishing food ~ a sunny day ~ joy ~ our allotment of days ~

Friday, January 01, 2010

Hogmanay and Happy New Year 2010

 It's New Year's Day and, hopefully, you've celebrated in a manner that's left you full of life and looking forward to this new year and all the promise it holds. We celebrate quietly at Thistle Cove Farm, no mad dashing about, no frantic parties, no serious consumption of spirits, no overeating. Heck, we don't even stay up to see the Times Square ball drop, hear the clock chime or clink out glasses together in a toast. My attitude is the new years have managed to get here without my help for lo, these many centuries; I see no need to change my ways now. -smile- The dogs and I did get up in the wee hours, for an outside visit, but it was too overcast to see the Blue Moon, the last full and Blue Moon of 2009 and the decade as well as the first Blue Moon of 2010. I believe there's a Blue Moon on New Year's Eve about every seventeen years or thereabouts so this was another rarity. The next Blue Moon will be later this year, in November.

"Full moon is a blue moon on New Year's Eve 2010" reads NY Daily News. Ummm...does anyone want to help out staff writer, Tracy Miller or the editor? New Year's Eve 2010 isn't for another twelve months, folks, you've got it All Wrong.

 ~ Boscoe Mancat ~

We ended our year just as we'd begun our saying good-bye to a beloved family cat member. Boscoe Mancat passed away and is being cremated and will, eventually, be buried with our other deceased companions. He just couldn't seem to pull through and, we think had cancer. Bos was a good little cat, well mannered when at all possible, and spent his last few months in a quiet, warm place with lots of canned tuna, cat food and fresh water. He loved to be petted and would purr his happiness loudly. We've lost eight companions this year and, frankly, I'm happy to see this year, and the body count, end. We had many blessings though, among them Sadie, Sam P. Spade, Miss Emma and Mama Cat who is now called Mama Cass because she's a fierce consumer of calories. Thank God our animals, and ourselves, had good health this year with no accidents or injuries.

 ~ Sadie Lady and Sam P. Spade, Secret Agent ~

Yesterday, was spent in the Scottish tradition of Hogmanay. There are many theories as to how the word derived, visit the link to take your pick. For many centuries, Christmas was banned in Scotland and it's only been since about the 1950's it's been celebrated but Hogmanay has been celebrated for hundred of years. "First footing" means to welcome the first foot, or person, in the house after midnight. The "first foot" should be a dark male and never a light male because that harkened back to the days of Viking invasion and a light colored male meant Trouble. The dark male was to bring coal, shortbread, food, whisky and salt which symbolizes prosperity, enough food to eat and plenty to drink; salt is necessary to live and for food preservation. Like most of Christian holy days, or holidays as its come to be known, there are plenty of pagan rites and activities closely associated with Christmas and Hogmanay brings its fair share. It is interesting and, in some of the byways and smaller, older Scottish communities, those ways are still inter-connected. BTW, it's spelled whisky in Scotland and whiskey in the rest of the world.

While I don't participate in all Hogmanay activities, I do clean house, sweep porches and, if we had wood burning fireplaces, would have cleaned them as well. My donations were mailed so folks would receive end of year credit, bills were paid and I worked on getting calendars ready for today. It seems to Dave and I, we lead quiet lives but for all that, I keep four calendars. There's the photos of Scotland kitchen calendar, my Franklin Covey/Day Timer book, a spiral bound desk calendar at the computer and the erasable monthly calendar on the refrigerator door. I also worked on my notebook where I keep a prayer list, quotes that prick my heart and mind, notes on various sermons I've heard, etc. For a few months, I've been working on clearing the giving things away, gathering my studio projects in the studio, moving furniture around, hanging photos, paintings, general, making this house a home. Many people in the south eat black eyed peas on New Year's day; Aunt Esther has eaten black eyed peas and pigs feet for seventy or eighty New Year's. -shudder- I just can't get my mouth around pig's feet and she swears I don't know what I'm missing. I do though...know. I'm missing pig's feet and am much happier for it!

How do you keep your family organized?

I've never made resolutions, have never seen the need and as Daddy always says, "if you're living right, there's no need to make resolutions." Goals are another thing and I do spend some time thinking about the coming year, what I'd like to accomplish and then make some plans, write some goals and forge ahead. I've a goal that's been held over from two years ago and should be ashamed to say it but there it is! This is the year I want to finish that goal and am making room, daily, to spend time to accomplish that end. Another goal that goes from year to year is to read five chapters of the Bible each day and, thus far, I'm pretty much on target. There are a few days I don't plan well and only manage to read a smaller portion but, rarely, do I miss Scripture reading entirely.

~ Do you see what I see? ~

Robert Burns wrote Auld Lang Syne which is traditionally sung every New Year's Eve midnight. We didn't sing it last night but I did think about it as I was going to sleep.

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o kindness yet, for auld lang syne."

I wish you well, this coming year; also peace, prosperity, happiness, good health, wisdom and enough love to share.

Until next time,

Blessings ~ new beginnings ~ goals ~ organization ~ traditions ~ good health ~ promises ~ blue moon ~
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