My Profile

I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Slow Living

 
~ white tailed deer ~
It's been a winter to remember and it's not over yet. We've had snow on the ground since 18 December and more expected this week but not the two plus feet projected at last weeks' end. Everyone is tired, weary and to the point of exhaustion. Farmers in our valley are struggling to get out every day, twice a day, and feed livestock. In the worst of the weather, farmers are out no later than 8:00 a.m. and it takes them until close to noon to feed. They go home, ostensibly for lunch but, more than likely, for a toes up so they can recover and be out by 2:00 p.m. to feed again. It takes a lot of hay and silage to keep cattle, horses and sheep fed when the temperatures are below freezing and the wind chills at, or below, zero. In the last few days we've had a respite and weary hearts are grateful. We even had sun on Sunday but, true to form, we're back to overcast, gray skies, rain and, no big surprise, more snow expected all week.
 
~ the group of white tail deer at Dry Run ~
 Forgive me for what may seem like complaining; truly, it's not meant to be whining. The stark reality is folks all over our valley are physically tired but, thank God, not sick and tired. We seem to have escaped the influenza that's been going around and haven't had that particular drain on our resources.

This winter has been slow living at its best -smile-. Most of us have moved at a snail's pace, slower than usual, in order to keep our feet under us and stave off injuries due to slipping on snow and ice. Those ski poles my brother gave me have sure come in handy this winter and it's rare I venture off the back porch without one and, sometimes, two in hand.

Lately, I've been running across the words slow, deliberate, movement and the like. It appears what was old is new again and, in this case, is a good thing, a Very Good Thing. Year's past, both Dave and I worked in corporate America and have done our stint to help earn someone else money and to promote the agenda of others. We've had offices in DC, NYC and Richmond, VA but they don't hold a candle to our home office on the farm. I was raised in a lifestyle that promoted family, community, church and friends. We ate meals at a family table, went to church several times a week and the only time I heard the word "hurry" was in conjunction with meal time or going to church. "Hurry up and wash, it's suppertime." "Hurry and get your shoes on, it's time to leave for church or school."

There's nothing wrong with music lessons or sports but it seems families are in such an all fired hurry these days. Rushing hither and yon, trying to cram thirty hours in a twenty-four hour day, leaving too little time for things that matter - family meals, church, chores, sleep. So many children are cranky and ill-tempered, fed a diet of sugar and caffeine and expected to be at the top of their game. It's difficult enough for adults to keep up but to expect children to keep up is insane.

For curiosity, I searched the words "slow living" and came up with some interesting hits. I already knew about my friend's daughters' blog, Appalachian Feet. Anne, or Eliza Ann, as she's now called...lovely name, btw, but I'm imprinted since I knew her when she was but a gleam in her Daddy's eye, and will forever and a day think of her first as Anne...is an urban gardener and writes a mighty fine blog about the process. She has some exceptional links, useful information and is quite informed about her topics. She doesn't have a friends column on her blog so, for updates, you'll have to cut and paste to your own sidebar. Do visit Appalachian Feet and bookmark; it's a keeper.

You've heard about the Slow Food movement, right? It's a great place for information about happenings of interest such as a Canadian dairy farmer winning the right to sell raw milk. Yeah, that's right...he had to fight for sixteen years for the legal right to sell his farm product. It's illegal in most USA states to sell raw milk and all because government employees and officials think they can guarantee food safety. Lord A-Mercy! Only God can do that but leave it to government employees and officials to push God aside in their quest to control the populous. I was raised on raw cow's milk and milk products and firmly believe it gave me an edge due to the good bacteria it provided. Not to mention the flavor; OH MY GOSH, the FLAVOR! Even now, every so often I'll obtain raw milk and churn butter, make buttermilk and all sorts of good stuff.

It seems the Slow Movement begun in opposition to a proposed McDonald's being built on the Spanish Steps in Rome. No, this isn't a joke and it's not remotely funny, imo and although McD's has had some brain burps, this ranks among the most severe. How could one possibly imagine placing a fast food hamburger joint in such a location? The mind positively reels! However, from those humble beginnings, the Slow Movement now encompasses Slow Travel, Slow Money, Slow Parenting, Slow Art, etc.

Elaine Marie Lipson, Red Thread, has coined the term Slow Cloth and started a group for those who enjoy the process. Others, including Just Enough Time, Jude Hill of Spirit Cloth, quilter Beth Ferrier and Sharon B. all speak to the Slow Cloth way of doing things. Good reads all, thought provoking and the eye candy is icing on the, proverbial, cake. 

This past weekend I was able to leave the farm! Yes, it's true...I went to A Likely Yarn's Yarn Camp and had such a lovely time, met some truly nice folks and thoroughly enjoyed myself. For the weekend, I lived a little faster than normal but, more than likely, still lived slower than most. I knitted a simple hat, part of a set of scarf and fingerless mitts as gifts for my Be-Loved Sistah. I didn't do all I wanted to do, I forgot to ask someone to show me how to cast on a Moebius and how to repair a Orenburg shawl that's had a bit of moth damage but good times and good memories are still mine.
 
~ Yarn Camp happy feet in hand knit socks ~
Essentially, all this talk about slow this, slow that is about living with intention and deliberately with passion and process...at least this is how I think of the whole slow thing movement, in all its forms. It's getting back to our my roots, keeping to the path, living joyfully and mindfully, enjoying the journey and not worrying, so much, about whether something is done perfectly or even correctly. After all, aren't those merely words that mean different things to each of us? For me, it's knowing I'll never be finished...not in the sense I'll complete all the work my hands and heart want to complete. If I die at a thousand years, there will still be wool to be spun, yarn to be knitted into shawls to gift a heavy heart, a quilt to warm a body, a meal to be cooked, shortbread to be baked, life to be lived, puppies to walk, kittens to nuzzle, babies to hold, a lover to cherish, sunrises and -sets to be savored...life to be lived!
 
~ coming home ~
Slow living is helped when the weather is such that slow movement keeps one to the center of the path and at a snail's pace. Learning to accept the down times, to embrace the slow times, to revel in the journey that leads home and to comfort, security, peace, calmness, love and joy. Come join me.

Until next time,

Blessings ~ slow living ~ slow food ~ slow craft ~ slow movement ~ slow cloth ~ slow ~

Thanks for visiting Thistle Cove Farm,
Sandra

15 comments:

  1. Thanks for the slowpoke post (delightful!), and the blog mention! I do have a Google Friends Connect box (and Facebook's Networked Blogs friends box) on the righthand column of my blog... is that what you mean or do I need something else?

    I'm newish at this and I use Google Reader to keep up with my subscriptions. I've been trying to learn what people prefer to use.

    ReplyDelete
  2. your feet look so warm and cozy in your cute socks! :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amazing enough, Sandra, I think you have had as hard a winter as we usually have! We had another wintry blast early today but all is calm again. I think I am yearning for spring more than I ever have before, and simply cannot wait till we see some real green here!
    Excellent post with much food for thought.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Slow living, my ideal way of living. I think I will be back to read this to fully appreciate 'slow living' .Thank-you Sandra.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Our hearts echo what your topic is - seems each year everyone around us is BIZZY and we keep stopping to enjoy moments we know won't come again. Facing medical crisis pushes us into our slower pace but it is also a giftedness - those of us who can know - this moment is important - get more out of our moments than some poor bizzy bee types get from their months or years. Thank you for the wonderful words and emotions - slow and steady wins the race.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I loved taking this journey...never been to 'yarn camp' in fact, never heard of it! I love how I come away with so much stuff from here, political news, down-home earthy details and humor on top. Good stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What beautiful writing! I always enjoy my visits here. Can't be enough said about 'slow living'. It's a great life - we just seem to need reminders to sloooow down on a regular basis! -Tammy

    ReplyDelete
  8. I miss the slow living. Its been years since we've been back in tazewell. Some of my ancestors grew up around liberty hill, not to far from the cove. The view of morris knob mountain and the cove area are one of the most beautiful in the state. We enjoy following your blog. Hopefully one of these days we can pay a visit to tazewell again. God Bless

    -David in Texas

    ReplyDelete
  9. What peaceful snow pics... it makes my gray-colored sludge outside look down right dreary! I need a trip to the countryside!!!
    Toma

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh what I would give for the slow life once again. I watch my SIL carefully feeding her toddler healthy food and healthy books.
    She will truly embrace that life, as we all should!
    'Hugs, Nancy

    ReplyDelete
  11. What a lovely inspiring blog you have...thank you so much for visiting me the other day. Your socks look amazing...I am kinda a sockaholic...my feet are always cold so I adore pretty ones. Hope you have a great evening. xo

    ReplyDelete
  12. I really like that last photo.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh...you are so wise, and your words so perfectly put about the way we "think" we must live, and we moved to the country to get away from the feeling of "we must keep up"....

    I live across the road here in the country from a man whose lawn must always be perfect and whose cars (the list goes on and on) must always be clean and I REVEL in the thought that I DON'T HAVE TO DO ALL THAT to be a wonderful person.

    Mind, I'm not a neighbor that's a slob or anything, but I do have a little bit of clutter in my garage and some jobs in the yard from time to time that are undone...but it's okay! I love living to please the Lord instead of others. That's something that our country, as it has wandered away from God's ways has forgotten and I'm glad there's folks like you to remind us.
    XOXO
    Joni

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ah, slow living. The words fall off my tongue like honey. I savor them, roll them around and swallow. Then sigh. This winter has been a perfect reminder to slow down. Unfortunately, corporate (and business as usual) America can't grasp it. I answer phones for an IT company who handles medical practice software support. I don't think I need to tell you how demanding most of the phone calls I receive are. Not to mention to ask for time off is like pulling teeth. This is the first job I've had that I've been told no to requested time off. It's a struggle. I'm thankful for the work for now, but as soon as I can, I'm out of the desk and into the sun!

    Thank you for the links and the reminders. I am doing "slow" reserach myself and I've come across many people who share these sentiments. It's good to know I'm not alone and, until I get there, I have plenty to encourage me along the way.

    Cheers,
    Jen

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Eliza Anne - seems to me you've got a great handle on the blog thing. I just didn't see the followers button, eyesight is aging just as quickly as the rest of me -grin-. I'm following you, want to follow me? There have been some questions regarding blog things so will do a post on what /little/ I know asap.

    Hi Viva La Fashion - unfortunately, not my feet in those cute socks. Wish they were.

    Hi Farmgirl Cyn - the only green I'm seeing around here is either on my knitting needles or my green eyes. Ah, Narnia...where it's always Winter but never Christmas. How sad!

    Hi Kathy B - slow living is what I do best; I think I've forgotten fast.

    Hi LindaSue - and busy doing what, pray tell? Does anyone have much to show for busy? Maybe I'm just behind the eight ball, ya think?

    Hi Deborah Ann - you're SO kind; I always enjoy catching up with you.

    Hi Tammy - thank you and slowing down gives us time to both think AND enjoy, don't you agree?

    Hi David - thanks for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; the Cove is still as beautiful as ever. If you return, look us up.

    Hi Toma - glad you got to enjoy OK this past Christmas season; I always enjoy your posts and thanks for visiting Thistle Cove Farm.

    Hi Nancy - it's all about choices, isn't it? To embrace slow living, we must give up something else but I've not found I've missed that 'something else'.

    Hi Koralee - you're welcome and many thanks for returning the kindness. This frosty ole world seems to be in short supply of kindness, doesn't it?

    Hi Country Girl - I'm within a 1/4 mile of the farm so you can tell how rural is this area. Thanks for visiting Thistle Cove Farm.

    Hi Joni - our nearest neighbor is about a mile away so don't have to worry about much. Generally, we'll run into each other at the YMCA but that's about it. I'll have a picnic every summer and invite the community, year before last we had about 50...we had family, friends and neighbors so it was a rather large gathering.

    Hi Jen - SUN?! You have SUN?! I've seen the sun once or twice, short periods of time only, in a month or more. It's been a winter to remember.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.