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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.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fall Festivals

 ~ Otis' Eats ~
Don't you love autumn and all the wonderful festivals? We have several in our little county and one of the favorites is the Burkes Garden Festival. It's a harvest festival, none of that halloweenie stuff for us, we celebrate Christian holy days...thank you very much, and I enjoyed myself today. Burkes Garden is, thus far, the only agricultural heritage area in the Commonwealth of Virginia but we in the Cove are trying our best to attain such status.
 ~ donations accepted for parking ~
This handsome gent was collecting donations to park and, as I was leaving, he allowed me to take his photo. He remembered me fondly as, earlier, I'd slipped a fiver into the boot. I told him I'm a Cove VFD volunteer and know what it takes to keep a volunteer fire department going. Then, as I crossed the mountain, on my way out of the Garden, another volunteer fire department was accepting donations. Yep, I dug deep again. People, as in urban folks, don't stop to think what it takes for a rural community to survive. Heck, do they even stop to consider the services their tax dollars afford them and, for their sakes, the folks who put their lives on the line each and every day? I think not, mostly. Our rural young folks are leaving by the droves to seek jobs, "better" lifestyles, spouses and, "how ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm once they've seen Paree?"
 ~ Two favorites ~
In order to respect their privacy, I won't tell you the names of these two dear people, just know they are highly thought of and well loved by everyone who knows them. We always chin wag, just a tad, when we meet and we had a few moments of gentle fun with each other earlier today. They are Godly people but you can tell that, can't you? The Shekinah Glory radiates from both of them.
~ Bud Thompson, farrier ~
Bud was my farrier and he's trying to slow down a tad; although, if you ask his wife, she'll look thoughtful and then say, "Welllll..." Bud tells stories as he beats on the anvil and his stories keep folks standing around for thirty minutes or more. He's an amazing man, excellent farrier and what he doesn't know about horses feet doesn't bear knowing anyway.

Dave's mothers' people was from the Cove, where we now live, and the Cove people and Burkes Garden people, for generations, had a friendly rivalry. The Garden folks would tell Cove folks, "The Garden
is prettier than the Cove" and the Cove folks would tell Garden folks, "maybe so but the Cove is more beautiful than the Garden." You know how it is; we're still arguing over the Late Great Unpleasantness also. Especially seeing as how some d*** Yankee came here and bought what is now Thistle Cove Farm and thousands of acres of land for $300 in back taxes. The sheer nerve of that carpetbagger! I don't believe Mr. White nor his offspring married with any of the locals and, eventually, in the late 1940's they moved on, as in out of the area.
 ~ politics ~
Americans for Prosperity were out in force, telling how "our" current Congressional representative has betrayed us in southwest Virginia. You see, in this part of Appalachia, the coal industry represents a lot of jobs...a lot of jobs. Also, a lot of retirement and Mr. Boucher voted for the Cap and Trade Act. Naughty, naughty Mr. Boucher! Perhaps you thought folks weren't paying attention but they were paying attention. It's a little...maybe a asking the fox to watch the hen house. For example, Obama trashes BP just about every chance he gets but has he offered any viable solutions? Or, any solutions whatsoever for that fact? Not really, unless it's been of extreme late, and, as a matter of fact, he wouldn't over ride the Jones Act the first week of the BP oil spill when, according to the Wall Street Journal, thirteen foreign governments volunteered to help us. Wait, I almost forgot. Mr. O. took American Tax Slave $$$$'$ and sent them to Brazil so they could drill for oil! I kid you not; check out the Wall Street Journal article.  Naughty, naughty Mr. O. Then, there's Al Gore who, with his right hand don't let the left hand know what it's doing talent. Dear Lord. The manure is so deep, one needs wings to rise above it all! I don't even think "some folks" realize just how sick and tired the populus is getting of being railroaded by "our" representatives. Sick and tired and mean...a very dangerous combination. You elected officials and others of your ilk should really start paying attention. November 2 is coming and we don't want to hear any whining after the fact so y'all just pull up your big girl and boy pants and do the right thing now or look for a new job later. I know how I'm going to vote and I suggest you get that resume updated. Heck, I'm so conservative, I make the Republicans looks like raving liberals! There are a lot of folks who are sick of "bidness as usual"; I'm just saying...
 ~ Burkes Garden ~
It was a good day; an enjoyable day and, as usual, I saw many folks from other parts of Tazewell County. We're blessed to live here; yes, we are so very blessed.
~ pumpkin harvest ~
Blessings ~ harvest ~ good people ~ volunteer fire departments ~ festivals ~

Grace and Peace,


  1. We just love the festivals here too! Our big one is the weekend of Oct. 9-10. J's Dad and stepmom are coming for it! Nothing that is not handmade can be sold at it! And the food? Yum!

    And yep, they called us Dam* Yankees also when we first moved here. Until they found out we were originally from Ohio but moved to Tennessee from Florida.
    Then they began calling us
    "half-backs"! I had never heard this term...LOL!!!!!!

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful day, Sandra!
    xo, misha

  2. Got to love small town festivals .. they are the best!

    I'm sooo ready for Election Day and hope others are ready to get out and vote for a change.

    I finally got your new button added to my blog. I had a bit of trouble but Angela set me straight. =)

  3. hi sandra!

    i loved seeing and hearing about some
    of the lovely people from your neck of
    the woods. such sweet faces.

    i have always felt the same about
    halloween, which is inconsistent with
    my love for being scared by a good
    movie. just never thought it was a good
    idea to celebrate it.

    i much prefer your Christian holy days!


  4. Hi, visiting from BYW class. Love the views from your world. I'm a farm girl living in Los Angeles. Miss the green, the mountains and much more. I miss a real fall as we have our real summer during the fall season then we just skip to dark and foggy winter.

    Love to sneak away to locations with real Autumns. I would LOVE to visit some fall festivals in the south in the fall!

  5. Sounds like you had a marvelous time at the festival, and from the photo's nice enough weather to enjoy it. We're experiencing what I call the ugly days. Drab, damp, cold....ugly.

    My problem of late with people bashing the government is, it's so 2 sided. Republicans on the tube say they want and believe in small government. A government that doesn't interfere. Then a few minutes later they bash the same government for not interfering. Makes a person wonder. And I think your facts aren't correct when you say he's nothing about the oil spill. If he hadn't stepped in, people still would not be paid for their losses.

    Bash BP, but it's not President Obama's fault there was an oil leak.

  6. I enjoyed every bit of this post Sandra, and I think your little nook of this country is not alone in suffering the consequences of nasty, self-serving (or oblivious) politicians and their ways.

    I met one of your Curly Horse Lovers at the Fair. She was showing off American Curly horses of her own and said she reads your blog~ I will do a post and show her picture later this month. ( Heather Keller of Olympia, WA)

  7. I'm sure autumn is just lovely at Thistle Cove Farm! You truly are blessed...

  8. "how ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm once they've seen Paree?"

    I haven't heard that in years! :-)

    Hopefully this November we can start to clean out the skunks that have stunk up the Congress.

    And in 2012 clean out The White House before we become a third world nation like Mexico or Cuba!

  9. We're hoping to get up to the N.GA mountains this fall to visit some festivals (or at the least, get some apples and boiled peanuts).

    Keep speaking your mind about what a mess the government is in. More and more people are and I'm praying the message gets across to those who NEED to care: the voters.

    Happy weekend,

  10. Hi Sandra! Wanted to let you know that you were the winner of my book & surprise gift giveaway at my blog. Could you email me your mailing address at ? By the way, thanks for adding my button to your blog!!! It made my day :)

    We've been visiting the local county fairs and attended a wonderful festival in Goochland County called Field Days which celebrated pioneering & steam operated farm equipment. Although we had a great time we were a tad disappointed that they didn't have much of a showing of draft horses (they advertised there would be, but only about 4 were present :( ) We love draft horses! You wouldn't happen to know of any draft horse events around Virginia would you?

    Hope you'll be posting lots more photos of Autumn on the Farm! I so love visiting your blog and being reminded of what's truly important and beautiful in life.

  11. Hi Sandie Sweetie...
    I am your newest follower Country Wings in Phoenix. My very dear friend Marydon,(I call her Sis), asked me to drop by and say hi. She said I would so love your blog home. I do too.

    I would have loved the Fall Festival. I miss them being here in a big city, not like the Festivals back in Oklahoma. So many wonderful people and so much laughter. I love your Two favorites, they just radiate don't they?

    Bud would be an interesting one to hear tell stories. I love the stories of old and the times that have passed that they so love to share. That is how we keep history going, sharing our love from years gone by.

    Thank you Sandi for sharing with me today. I have so enjoyed myself.

    I will be back often. I pray you and your family are well, as I do with all my blogger friends. Please stop by and say hi. I would so love to have you visit and join my blog as well. I love meeting new friends.

    Backdoor guests are always best sweetie. The tea is always on and banana nut bread fresh in the oven. I love my snack at 3. Come on in.

    Many hugs and so much love, Sherry

  12. G'eve sweet Sandra ~ What a wonderful write for those swarthy politicians. Even Harold commented on how great you write ... love it.

    Love the pictures of the festival ...

    Hugs of love, my precious friend. I wrote you an email.


  13. A hearty HIP HIP HOORAY!for Sandra and her country fair, and for her common sense and good thinking, I am with you all the way on these perverted politicians...I think our forefathers would be so appalled! I am not even one of them and I am mourning for what we have become!

    Thanks for speaking up, and for being one of those who can be called "the salt of the earth"...we need salt very much to keep the rot away!


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