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

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Simple Things

 ~ cautious, cautious ~
 Do simple things give you much pleasure? If so, we've a lot in common. This week, I'm trying to lay low, take it easy, stay in the studio or kitchen and tend to hearth and home. This month, there have been three funerals and two of those, necessitated a trip out of state. It always catches me by surprise when my energy level flags once I've returned home. I suppose it's the adrenalin that keeps everyone on their feet, doing what needs to be done whether that's assisting with the funeral, helping the family or just being a shoulder to lean upon. Once over, my energy collapses and I find even the simplest of responsibilities too much. When Dave's mother passed away, we tended to the wake and burial decisions with the last being hosting a luncheon at the farm for anyone and everyone who wanted to come. I'm grateful to my family for coming, helping and staying the weekend but after they left, Dave and I fell into chairs and just stared at each other. Then we took naps followed by chair sitting followed by eating followed by sleep followed by get the drift. That went on for about two weeks before we pulled out of it and "it" still catches us by surprise at the oddest moments.

All that nattering to say, it's been a month! The deer was photographed while nibbling fallen apples and gave me such pleasure to watch.
 ~ hidden by thistle ~
At first glimpse, this is what I saw and believe the deer was, slowing, going towards the stand of apple trees. The thistles in this field are so tall, it's difficult to see the deer but God gave me an eye to see what's not supposed to be there...or so Dave tells me. I thought everyone could see what's not supposed to be there but no. Dave tells me I have the ability to see the king is wearing no clothes and laughing at us in the bargain. Sigh. Those with eyes to see and ears to hear...
~ hay! ~

Bless God, we have fifty-seven and a half 4x4 round bales of hay and, as we put them up on shares, that means we now have twenty-nine bales of hay waiting for winter feeding! The other folks got the half bale and we got the full bale because we moved all their hay off our pasture. Trust me, it's fair.
 ~ electric kettle ~
 One Very English thing I like is electric kettles and now I've my very own...hurrah! I know it probably doesn't make any difference but I don't like water heated in a microwave. I just don't but, now, Sunbeam has brought the electric kettle to the US and I've got my very own. Works like a charm too.
~ tea, at the ready...almost ~
 Why this pleases me, I just don't know. It's not like I don't have tea pots that are cute, pretty, functional but this little number is just fine as elderberry wine. The jacket, on left, is to keep the tea hot while the strainer will hold either tea bags or loose tea and screws into the lid for safety. More importantly...there!, I finally the way it can be used, sans strainer for presentation tea. When Dave and I were in London, we bought presentation tea from Harrods and I've been searching, ever since, for a clear tea pot. Yes, I could have sought out a glass tea pot on the i-net but this was more fun and certainly more serendipitous. Next thing you know, I'll be searching out a presentation tea chest.
  ~ tea for one ~
I'm working on a series of giveaways and this will be one...a delightful cup, saucer and box of Twinings Earl Grey tea. Forgive me for harping but, while in London, Dave and I also went to Twinings shop just because. We didn't buy anything but it was so cute; been in the same location for a couple of three hundred years, or thereabouts, and smelled delicious! So, this is one giveaway, coming next week. I'm thinking each day I'll give something away; hope you like it all.

As you know, we live in an area called the Cove and about a year ago, some Cove folks asked if I'd start a blog. Cove Community Virginia was born and the reasoning was, we'd all contribute. Well, that's not happened but I'd still like your opinion on the blog. Please visit and let me know, okay?

Speaking of blogs, you're probably dizzy with all the changes on this one. I'm trying to doozy it up a bit but not with cutsey stuff; I don't do cute. I want calm, peaceful, serene; a place you can visit, take a deep breath and simply relax. Does this do it for you?
~ my monkeys ~
Nothing earth shattering, there's far too much of that in this ole world already. "Fatigue makes cowards of us all" and that's certainly true. This quote has been attributed to Vince Lombardi but before him, it was said by George S. Patton. When I find I'm overwhelmed, anxious, fretful that's when I find I'm fatigued, weary, tired and in need of sustenance of the spiritual and physical sort. I need to stay close to home and focus on those things that bring me full circle - a good meal, Scripture, studio time, just holding down porch furniture, drinking a cold drink and chatting with Dave.

Simple things.

Blessings ~ folks who lived ready so they were ready to go ~ hay ~ deer ~ dogs ~ tea ~ Dave ~

Dei Gratia,


  1. I love my electric kettle too! Aren't the flowering teas gorgeous...

  2. I love your monkeys! Sorry about the losses in your life. This seems to be year particularly filled with them, or maybe that's just what happens as we get older.

  3. Yes, your blog always makes me feel calm and that picture of the dogs makes me want to be sitting on that step right now petting them! Here is to strength and grace for you for the rest of the week. Hugs!

  4. Anonymous2:23 PM EDT

    Always a pleasure to visit with you ~ just like sitting across the breakfast room table talking with you. The deer was a precious, peaceful "gift" from God to enjoy! Thanks for sharing the picture. I've tried to simplify and calm my blog too. I think we all have enough busy-ness in our lives elsewhere.
    I visited London when I was 20 or so. Thoroughly enjoyed the shoppes, and your experience in the tea shoppe sounds delightful. Hope you have a nice afternoon.

  5. Hi Sharon - I do love the new look of your blog. In particular I noticed the quote you have from Psalms that states God is our hiding place. I listen to a Catholic monk's music, and have followed his career since the 1980s when I was first introduced to his music. And one of his CDs is called Hiding Place, the title song being based on your Psalm verses. I, too, like to fiddle a bit with my blog, add some peaceful things, especially in dealing with calming/meaningful quotes and some Bible verses - to me those aspects are very peaceful in a rather unpeaceful world. I hope you can rest up some, and am sorry that there has been so much death around you lately. Your farm is your haven from the goings-on in the "outside" world. May you find peace and tranquility, and strength this week. Take care, from KY.

  6. 'fatigue makes cowards of us all." such an
    apt statement by a war hero.

    now i know why i am always such a coward!

    i love your peaceful blog changes, but please
    don't change your header. it's my favorite of
    all blog headers!

    i had to look up the 'glamping' comment. so
    fun to have a new term in my pocket.


    ps, put my name in for one of your favorite
    bloggers to get an extra chance for the
    lovely tea giveaway.

  7. Holding down porch furniture seems mighty appealing to me, my "cuppa tea" you might say. Simple things, such as taking each day as it comes and not sweating the small stuff is more and more my goal.

    I greatly enjoy "the simple things" , the precious things, when I visit you Sandra. I also know that exhaustion you speak of, I am almost there...but I am joyfully exhausted!

  8. I totally understand that sense of fatigue that accompanies the aftermath of attending funerals. It takes a while to recoup energy and move forward.

    Our deer are down eating the apples off the trees and a beautiful sight to watch.

    I'm envious of your hay. We keep thinking about bringing our hay fields back into production.

    The Thistle Cove blog was very attractive.

  9. Hi affectioknit - I bought another one for the farm office!

    Hi Deborah - aren't they beautiful monkeys? -grin- Thanks for visiting the other blog and letting me know what you think.

    Hi Whimsey - slowly, but surely, I'm catching up with myself. Today I'm making pesto and peach jam.

    Hi Mildred - you are SO kind; come on over for a cuppa and chin wag any ole time!

    Hi Kathy - that quote used to be at the bottom but with Blogger's fabulous new options, it's now a 3 column blog with the quotes on the side. Go Blogger!

    Hi Lea - Glamping sounds FUN not like the ole tent with bag on the ground camping. Feather beds, lights, comfort...oh yeah!

    Hi Kathy - "joyfully exhausted" must come from tending to your beautiful blessed are you!

    Hi MW - I'm thinking you should shoo the deer away and make some apple sauce and butter for winter. Some dried apples for pies would be nice too.


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.

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