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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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Blog Trotting

 ~ summer view from my window ~
Cara, over at Blogtrotting, asked me to write a guest post. She has such a great idea, virtual vacations, and I'm happy to help out. If you're interested in featuring your area, please contact Cara. Recently, I've been to some wonderful places that I'd have missed blasting down the highway. Thanks, Cara!

For the most part, my world is Thistle Cove Farm. It's a small, thirty acre homestead in the southwestern Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. Dave's Mothers' people settled this valley a few hundred years ago and his cousin, "somethin' somethin' the 9th" lives in the home place just down the road. Things are slow to change and we consider that a good thing. If you live here, you are known as well as you know your neighbors. Good fences make great neighbors but the commonality of living in a rural community makes us friends as well.
We have a solid four seasons and find it's best to prepare for each in the season prior. Especially winter as last winter we had snow drifts of 5 to 6 feet deep and that was in our driveway! Yes, my laundry is frozen on the line but it makes a great photograph, don't you think? The lower right photo is the same shot, different season, as my header photo and the first photo in this entry.
I have American Curly horses, a hypoallergenic, somewhat rare breed, numbering fewer than 5,000 in the world and not to be confused with the Bashkir Curly horses of Russia. They are loved for their gentle, calm disposition and curious nature.
 ~ Peaches, her foal Dandy and Abbie ~
I also have Shetland sheep, another rare breed, and Romney, Merino and crossbred sheep. Their fleeces are used to spin, felt, weave and make warm accessories used in our cold winters.
 ~ Sophie Shetland ~
It's a hard life but a great life; wouldn't trade it for anything else, any place else. While there's always work that needs doing, there's always time for fun stuff like spinning yarn. The sheep keep us company over the back fence while Shadow, my hound, sits beside Leslie to make sure she's doing it right.
On April 9, 2011 we'll host Sheep Shearing Day where people are introduced to a working day on a horse and sheep farm. Leslie comes to help with the fleece skirting and to demonstrate spinning yarn on an antique wheel. Other folks might show how to make a dulcimer, weave a basket, make horse shoes, weave a rug, quilt, crochet, tat or any number of heritage crafts. It's always best to check before driving any distance as sometimes farm emergencies necessitate time changes.
Thanks for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; come back real soon.

Blessings ~ good neighbors ~ four seasons ~ blog trotting ~ rural communities ~

Merry Christmas,


  1. You live in a beautiful part of the country! Such family history!
    I love all of your unusual animal breeds. And, oh!, how I wish I could come to your Sheep Shearing Day (on my birthdate!). What a wonderful, exquisite day that would be for me! I do hope you will post many pics of the event ~ it would be almost as good as being there!(Well, not really, but it sure would be neat to see all the fun I will be missing!)
    Christmas Blessings!

  2. What a view, what beautiful country... what a big ... rodesian ridgeback?... Good Lord he looks as big as my dane!..

  3. My daughter-n-law spins, so someday, I will do that, I have wanted to all of my life. I love the picture outside spinning with the sheep in the background. I like your horses too. Thanks for sharing. I would love to learn how to do everything on your Sheep Shearing Day in 2011.
    Too bad I am all across the country from you.

  4. I have come to learn that country living is the best. I always enjoy your blog posts, even if I don't always comment.

  5. Anonymous8:42 PM EST

    You live in a beautiful spot and your love of the land and your animals is so evident. Thank you for sharing these awesome photos. vion

  6. Oh, how exciting for you! That sounds like a wonderful way to live. I wish I had more time to spin, I love it so.

    Beautiful place you live in! Thanks for sharing. :)

  7. Beautifully written, Sandra! You did your neck of the woods real proud!

  8. I spent some time growing up around sheep and this post really makes me want to move to the middle of nowhere and get myself a small flock *L*

  9. What a beautiful place to call home. You truly are blessed!

    Thanks for sharing your corner of the world with us blogtrotters ;)

  10. We drive up I-81 through VA every few years to NY (in 20 days we'll do it again). VA is always the prettiest, and your pictures tell that story. What a beautiful place. I'm jealous. :)

  11. I want to know more about the American Curly hair horses!
    My Grandparents lived among the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and my daughter goes to school in Salem, VA...

  12. The photo in your header is enough to take my breath away. I'm trying to imagine that same view covered in snow this time of year.

    Thanks for a wonderful tour!

  13. Your farm sounds so amazing! The views are simply breathtaking. And what an adventure to raise all of those unique animals. It's fantastic that you open up your farm to visitors to see what it's like!

    Thanks so much for the tour!! And for being a part of BlogTrotting!

  14. I'm not a follower after stopping by to visit your lovely farm in Virginia through Blog Trotting. I really like your rooster calendar widget and am going to post about it this coming week (hopefully the 4th) at with a link back here. Hope you will stop by and visit us in Parma, Ohio.


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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