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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, August 12, 2010

Foggy Morns

 ~ dove, waiting for the feeder to empty ~
 I've always heard for every foggy morning in August, there will be a snow in the coming winter. In past winters, that's always held true. The snow may not be fierce or a goodly accumulation but there have been snows, including flurries, for every foggy morning in August. Thus far, every August morning has been foggy, very foggy and, usually, we can't see more than, maybe, one hundred feet in any direction. Around here, the talk is, "wonder if this winter will be like last winter?" Last winter was fierce in length, intensity and snow depth. There were weeks when we didn't see the fence posts, due to snow drifts, and going to the barn mean breaking waist deep snow merely by falling forward, standing, walking two paces and doing it all over again. The dogs thought it was great fun, the first few times, but then began to wonder why Mom was letting this continue.

Tonight is Quilting Bee at Thompson Valley Community Center and I'm excited because I haven't been able to go for several weeks. What I should do is stay home and prepare for company coming this weekend but, God willing and I don't change my mind, I'll be going to quilting.

The TVCC is always a happening place. Currently, there are plans for a second community cookbook, always a fun project, and proceeds will go toward new playground equipment and software for the new computer lab and WiFi spot. October 2 is the Craft Festival, just in time for Christmas, and a great place to buy quality hand crafted merchandise at excellent prices. There's a small lending library and book exchange and each winter there are community suppers the first Saturday of each month.
~ Abbie and Donna ~
On quilting night, usually, Abbie rides along with me because she loves to go and people enjoy her as well. Abbie is a well behaved Jack Russell because she's been well trained and because she gets copious amounts of exercise to temper the breed's high energy level. I always take a blanket for her, the floors are cold hard and Abbie has old bones and needs her comfort level kept higher than when she was younger. We always have snacks, for the humans, and Abbie always asks, politely, for her share. If we're not forthcoming as quickly as Abbie requests, she'll stand up, wag her little tail and, softly, growl. It's not a mean growl, it's a "are you listening to me or being a stupid human?" growl and, should we not respond to her growl, she'll give a sharp bark. If that doesn't work, she'll stand on her hind legs, usually against someone's knees and bark more sharply.

At first I thought people would get annoyed but these are women who appreciate  humor, especially in little dogs and, after much teasing...probably much more than Abbie thinks necessary -smile-... they share with her.
~ Donna's beautiful Double Wedding Ring quilt ~
 In November, I'll have my four year anniversary quilting with this group of women and I cannot tell you how they have blessed my life. Yes, they have taught me to quilt but I've learned so much more besides. We've gone through weddings, showers, birthdays, deaths, funerals, community suppers and some of us attend the same small country church. When Dave's mother lived with us, in her last days, they listened to my frustration when we were having a rough patch and they never passed judgment, at least not to my face -smile-. They allowed me to rant and rave, cry a bit and I would return home determined to do and be better.

My quilting skills aren't up to Donna's but never have I heard an unkind word about someone's work. All I've ever heard are words of encouragement even when the maker points out little problem areas or uneven stitches or places where they made mistakes. It took Donna several years to finish the Double Wedding Ring quilt and, yes, it's all hand quilted.
 ~ happy quilt ~
Unfortunately, I cannot remember who made this quilt but isn't it happy!? A lot of work as well as all those flowers have many individual petals and pieces. A lot of these women can finish a quilt like the one above in about a week, but that means a week of intense work, doing nothing much else except quilting.
~ more happiness ~
Polly put this bright, colorful and snuggly warm crochet throw together. In your family, are there people who use the wrong, but close, word for things? For example, my Grandmother used to say "isn't this a beautiful African?" when showing off her afghans. Another thing she'd say when people told her she had a pretty little dog, "Tiny is a pure bred Pandamonium!" and, yes, Tiny was a Pomeranian. That memory always makes me smile although Grandma wasn't a person with much of a sense of humor. She'd lived a harsh life with many disappointments but her attitude was always positive. I'd ask about how she grew up and she'd say, "Just like everyone else back then but the future is in front of us. Look forward, not back." Grandma was a believer in positive thinking and hard work long before Norman Vincent Peal.
~ Christmas placemats ~
Speaking of looking forward, Anne made these appliqued Christmas placemats.
 ~ snowflakes ~
Each snowflake is machine embroidered and there are several on each placemat, each different as in life; very nice work indeed.
 ~ veg cookers ~
 Esther made these veg steamers. You place vegetables inside, place it in the microwave and in just minutes your vegetables are steamed to perfection. Clever!
~ hand tied baby blanket ~
Gaynelle made this hand tied flannel baby blanket. She's always making something for someone else and her sweet smile accompanies the work of her hands and heart.

Each year, we do a community project in addition to our individual projects and, last year, each of us made baby quilts and blankets for one of the Shriners children hospitals. The Shriners International provide free orthopedic and burn care to children under the age of 18 and I applaud the work they do. Many decades ago, an extended family member received excellent medical care free at the Richmond, VA Shriners Crippled Children's Hospital. His parent's were young, poor and without the Shriners, my cousin would have had a miserable life. Thank you, Shriners, well done!

~ fennel ~
We're hurtling toward autumn and the nights are getting a bit cooler while the days are still hot and steamy. I've been canning jam, making pesto and preparing for winter and the house is having a bit of work done while the farm buildings are being readied for this autumn's workshop with KC Willis.
 ~ raspberry jam ~
I'm burning daylight and chores need to be done so I can do errands...again! Some weeks it seems all I do is keep the roads hot, running here and there on errands. My to-list is long and, lately it seems, my pleasure in marking things off the list isn't happening as quickly as I'd like although I seem to be going full tilt boogie. Do you have days or weeks similar? Sometimes it seems all I can do is keep my head down, my nose to the grindstone and breath but, today, the carrot in front of my nose is Quilting Bee. So I'll take a project, a snack and Abbie and, for a few hours this evening, leave farm work behind. While I'll be in the here and now, I'll work for the future as fabric for a Christmas quilt flows through my fingers. Quilts are a precious reminder of love made tangible so let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Blessings ~ quilts ~ quilting bee ~ raspberry jam ~ Abbie ~ errands ~ chores ~ work ~ play ~

Dei Gratia,


  1. Beautiful quilts and I just love raspberry jam.We have had several mornings of fog but never heard that comparison to snow. Winters are always long and cold.

  2. It has been way too long since I have visited here. This was just the most delightful stop today. I do know what you mean about nose to the grindstone: I have been trying to get all of my "summer" projects completed before school starts...and it has for the teachers anyway...and students next Wednesday. I love the weather folklore...and as you recall it generally predicted a harsh winter last year...and this heat wave where I live! I think the coming week will be the first day that the high is not in the 90's...or at least I saw an 88 degree day coming up on the Weather Channel. I will definitley be looking forward to your snow stories this winter. Enjoy the Quilting Bee tonite...and give Abbie a special pat from me!

  3. I so enjoy your posts! I feel I'm back home in Virginia. I love the photos of the quilts.

  4. I'm thinking winter is going to be a real booger. The katydids were chirping the second week in August so the frost is expected at the end of September. We have had foggy mornings here in WV as well. I haven't seen any wooly worms yet, but I have found them in recent years not to be so accurate any more. We also have a ton of mast coming down from our oak and hickory trees, so that is yet another sign of a tough winter ahead. Ugh! Enjoy your quilting group, I am quilting today (here at home as well! Becky

  5. Sandra, I love your beautiful pics of the quilts, the outdoors, etc. It is always so peaceful to visit you. Love that jam ...

    I just looked up this winters forecast ... I've been saying all summer that it would be a whoop-banger & they are calling for another one like last year.

    We are in the tornado storm threat as I write.

    Have a great weekend.
    TTFN ~ Hugs, Marydon

  6. Your quilts are beautiful, as is that jam... I wish I had more ambition to can things, we grow enough and I would love to stock the pantry for winter.

  7. The ladies sure do make nice things, and those steamers are a good idea.

    I had to laugh at your Grandma's words, was the little Pomeranian a ball of pandemonium?

    Yes, I have many days, even weeks of so much to do and have to force myself to take a break and savor the life God has blessed us with . Hope your quilting evening was another evening of blessings.

  8. Sandra this is a wonderful post!
    So many beautiful things. I love the jam!I have always heard the fog in August thing too and we have had one light foggy morning so far. :)

  9. You had me smiling! The things your Grandmother would say remind me of the things my Nana would spat out! But, not so much anymore. At 89, her memory has faded.

    Love all the quilts. Someday I will have a *real* one :) For now I make do with a store bought quilt.
    It does just fine.

    Hope you had a wonderful time quilting. Give Miss Abbie a smooch for me!

    xo, misha

  10. Very lovely quilts. It is a skill that is treasured and the quilts last for generations. I am starting to feel a little excitement about Christmas. I get it every year. The kids laugh, but I look forward to it. It is my warm fuzzy. I was raised a Jehovah's Witness but chose another path. I love the holidays. I hold them very special.

  11. The quilts and the ghan are awesome, I do so love bright cheery colors. House nice you have such a warm and close group who are able to spend time together over such a long period of time.

    How bout you come and visit the couple across the street who have 2 Jack Russell's who are truly the most obnoxious dogs I've ever seen. They're inside all day; the couple both work. They let them in the front yard so every car, every runner, walker, child on bike etc is a distraction and something to run after. You get the picture. They've not trained them at all, never take the two anywhere where they really run off that energy etc. I do feel sorry for the dogs, except when they bark and wake me up morning after morning before daylight. They have one of those electric fences and when they come charging people on bikes, walking etc they've frighten more then I can count. Not everyone knows there's an electric fence that will stop them. (sometimes they'v gone right through it). When I grew up people were more responsible and you didn't get a pet if you didn't have a place for it to run, and you weren't home during the day to train it and take proper care of it. Now days, people get one dog they can't and don't take care of...then they get a 2nd one to keep it company during the long hours they're away. It doesn't really work.

    Abbie looks and sounds adorable. I know, let's work out a trade. I'll give you the 2 from across the street in exchange for your 1. lol


  12. Ok, you're about to think I'm nuts but I cried while reading this post. It touched a longing deep in my heart for the sort of community you describe; quilting bees, pot luck dinners, a country church. It reminded me of stories my grandma told and of the life I've always secretly dreamed of. Thanks for letting me share vicariously in yours.

  13. Hi Alice - we've had all but 2 mornings with fog this month; lots of snow this winter!

    Hi Firelight - good to see you again; hope you've been well.

    Hi Deborah - the quilts are lovely, aren't they?

    Hi Becky - I'm expecting a harsh winter as well. We'll see...

    Hi Marydon - hope you weathered the storms safely.

    Hi Karen - my ambition is hunger -grin-.

    Hi KathyB - the steamers work quite well, especially with hard spots.

    Hi Carol - not a lot of snow for you then, eh?

    Hi Misha - memories fade but not our love.

    Hi Kelly - I start to feel excited, then not so much but then Christmas is NEXT WEEK and I'm not ready -grin.

    Hi Sandy - you're right, it's not the dogs' fault. I am sorry.

    Hi Blue Moon - doing anything well is difficult, including community. It takes commitment, time, energy, love, talent, money...find something you enjoy doing and then find a group. There are lots of knitters groups around the Richmond area, find one that meets at a time you can go...have someone sit with Nora... and then GO and keep going, don't give up! You can do it. GO!


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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