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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, January 08, 2011

My Little Secret...

 ~ some of my small flock ~
Tuesday morning, after Dave's radiation and lunch at a Japanese restaurant -sushi for him, fried rice for me as I don't eat bait ...chuckle, snort, laugh... - I filled the car with gasoline and left for HOME!
"Peace, that was another name for home." ~ Kathleen Norris ~

"Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest."
~ Henry Van Dyke ~

 ~ Abbie, ready and willin' ~
The pups were glad to see me yet no gladder than I to see them. We went out and played in the snow storm, visiting neighbors as they were feeding their cattle and sheep. In general, lovin' being together.
~ Sadie, riding shotgun ~
~ Clinton, my sheep shearer ~
In our valley, we have several families whose families have been here for generations. Clinton is the eighth generation farming the land and Dave's cousin, Rees B. VIII, wife and son, Rees IV, are living on the family farm. Roots go deep in this valley and, like so many people who farm and ranch, we try to be good stewards of what God has entrusted to us. Of course, the men around here say I'm a really, really good steward because my sheep have names, they die of old age, are long wool sheep, etc. -smile-
~ Sam P. Spade, Secret Agent aka Skunky Sam ~
The test of a mom's love is if she'll sleep with her little boy pup after little boy pup has tangled with a skunk. The answer is yes, especially if little boy pup has had time to roll the stink off, just a tad.
~ neighbor Russell ~
Russell works at a neighboring farm and was feeding cattle this morning. I asked him what kind of fish he'd fish for with that hook and he laughed and said, "a big 'un!"
~ creek, flowing out of a cave ~
Our valley is the largest karst area in Virginia and one of the largest in the country. Limestone caves and caverns mean hard, sweet water though and our well water is the best I've ever tasted! If you've never tasted limestone well water you're missing out and, nope, there's nothing to compare.
 ~ mortise and tenon cabin ~
This old cabin still looks pretty strong; it's standing long after the men who made it have passed away. Mainly, it's used for storage but the mortise and tenon building technique ensures it's still here, generations hence.
My American Curly horses have fabulous coats and, although they have shelter when they want it, they'll stay outside in all save the worst weather. It has to be wind chills below zero, blowing snow and sleep and low temps before they'll choose the barns for shelter. Click on the link above if you'd like more information about these hypoallergenic, gentle, curious creatures who were called "big red dogs" by the Lakota Sioux and only ridden by Chiefs and Medicine Men and, it should be noted, by the winning side at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
 ~ three butts ~
The sheep, like the horses, tend to eat the center first because that's where the best, still sweet smelling alfalfa is located. They eat from both sides, eventually meeting in the center when the top will collapse, and they'll continue eating until all the hay is gone.As the hay is eaten, more sheep can squeeze together and, towards the end, sometimes there will be four fannies to be seen as the heads are in the bale center.

"I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world."
~ George Washington ~

Probably, while you're reading this post, I'm on the road to Richmond. I've picked up my eyeglasses, accomplished some business for Dave and am ready to have Sunday to R&R before Monday and treatments. Yet, as said
~ Emily Dickinson ~ "Where thou art - that - is home."

P. S. for the gift-away, click here, there's still plenty of time to enter.

Blessings ~ treatments going well ~ Dave, feeling strong ~ our pups ~  our horses ~ our sheep ~ Thistle Cove Farm ~ home ~

Soli Deo Gloria,


  1. I awoke in the night last night, and you came to mind. . . so you were prayed for. How lovely to know you are home, even if the visit is short.


  2. So very glad you got a trip home. Sushi for Dave? He can have that? Is he not on a neutrapenic diet?

    We are praying for you still. You are surely getting there.

    Your farm is absolutely gorgeous covered in snow. I wish there were only one thing picture-worthy in my sub-division. It makes me miss the 17 acres of waterfront property I grew up on and the cabin my great-grandfather built that has long since been torn down.

    Suck the marrow out of your weekend home. Be blessed.

    PS The water in all the mountainous areas is delish. The rockies, blue ridge, I love all of it.

  3. One of the first things I did when we got home was have a tall glass of mountain water!
    This bit of home will do your soul good, Sandra! Both you and Dave. And all the critters!
    Nice to have good neighbors, too! I know :)
    Loving you from afar! xo, misha

  4. I love your farm and I love the history of your farm. It is true water from a limestone well is the best. Nothing like it ever. It is nice to remember that taste. I like the picture of the building too. That is amazing.
    I am going to tell my kids about your bait quip next time my kids come in talking about how good sushi is, that is so funny.
    Have a safe trip back to Richmond. I will be praying for you in this new week.


  5. i'm glad you got to go home. if i am reincarnated i want to be one of your animals. heck, even if i'm not i would like to come and be treated like one. hope all goes well with you and hubby!

  6. Enjoyed visiting home with you and seeing the animals and snow. No snow here yet but I am still hoping. My prayers are always with you and Dave. Have a very blessed week.

  7. To God alone be the glory indeed - SO happy you had some intensive Home Therapy - definitely best medicine for what ails you. Take care and girl - I don't eat bait either!

  8. I have been very remiss in visiting my blog friends. I just wanted to stop in and let you know that you & Dave as well as the critters are in our thoughts and prayers.

    I really enjoy seeing the farm in all of its seasons. You really have a wonderful home.

    Take care,

  9. Sandra, you are so dear and I can certainly tell that the trip home has done your heart much good! I love all that you tell us about the farm, family, friends and the animals! I am praying that things continue to go well with you and Dave at home and away!

  10. Sandra, I'm so glad to hear you took a quick trip home. Your words, as always, made me chuckle a bit and brought a tear to my eye, of joy of course as I know arriving in the "cove" was special for you. And I know how happy everyone, two legged and four legged, must have been to see you. Prayers continue for you and Dave.

  11. Your posts, as always, are so uplifting and joyful inspite of your troubles! I love coming here!
    Praying even more blessings for you!

  12. Dorothy said it best, "there's no place like home. Love the sheep butts! :D

  13. I know the animals were so happy to see you. It is nice to sit in the familiar places, let the muscles in your neck relax and untwist. The animals look happy with their hay bales and chilly temps. Ours stay out most of the time and even lay in the snow when the sun is out. Much love and prayers coming your way.

  14. Glad you got to go home even for a little while!

  15. I bet it was so wonderful to be back home again, if evne for just a little while.
    Russell's omment made me giggle. I bet he is a wonderful fella. He has kind eyes.

    It's nice to see pics of your horses, too. How many do you have now, and are they being bred or ridden? The one, third from the left reminds me of my Apache :)

    Oh! And I realy love that old cabin. Such quality long lasting workmanship. I wish I could just chink it all up and move right in. :)



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