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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, May 31, 2011

Last Day of May, 2011

~ dancing, frozen on the line ~
It was 90 degrees F here today, this last day of May. Needless to say, the clothes on the line today didn't resemble the above, no, not in the least. It's so hot, I can't get into the garden until after 5:00 or I chance a heat stroke. At dark, I'm coming in so tired, I can't hit the floor with my hat but the garden is beginning to look really, really good. The first fifty pounds of potatoes are getting bushy and green, the onions are popping their little sprouts above the ground, the Alaska peas are...well, they'd rather be in Alaska but I took a chance. I should have planted them two months ago but you know how that goes.

Tonight I planted thirty-six marigolds and they look so cheerful edging the tomatoes. Seven sugar baby watermelons I grew from seeds also went into the ground. Tomorrow morning, early, at sunrise, I'll put in the sweet corn and, if I've still time before the heat, perhaps more sun and other flowers.

In closing, please remember, Jesus loves you.

But I'm His favorite!

O come on...don't tell me you didn't smile!

Blessings ~ gardens ~ seeds ~ plants ~ rain ~ humor ~ Jesus ~

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day, 30 May 2011

~ Boy Scouts raising and saluting Old Glory ~

In Flanders Fields by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

Lieutenant Colonel John McCraeIn Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields



Blessings ~ Men and Women of the US Military...THANK YOU FOR SERVING!  

We remember...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sabbath Keeping

~ going home ~
"When I am afraid, I will trust in you." 
~ Psalms 56:3 ~

"Father in Heaven, when the thought of Thee wakes in our hearts, let it not awaken like a frightened bird that flies about in dismay, but like a child waking from its sleep with a heavenly smile."
~ Soren Kierkegaard ~
"The Servant: 
Lord, what wilt Thou teach me?

Eternal Wisdom: 
I will teach thee to die and will teach thee to live. 
I will teach thee to receive Me Lovingly, 
and will teach thee to praise Me lovingly. 
Behold, this is what properly belongs to thee.

The Servant: 
Eternal Wisdom, if I had the power to fulfil my wishes, 
I know not whether, in this temporal state, 
I ought to wish anything else, as to doctrine, 
than how to die to myself and all the world, 
how to live wholly for Thee. 
But Lord, dost Thou mean a spiritual dying or a bodily dying?

Eternal Wisdom: 
I mean both one and the other.

The Servant: 
What need have I, Lord, of being taught how to die bodily? 
Surely it teaches itself when it comes.

Eternal Wisdom: 
He who puts his teaching off till then, 
will find it too late."

 "Dreams are illustrations...from the book your soul is writing about you." 

"My times are in thy hand."
My God, I wish them there.
My life, my friends, my soul, I leave
Entirely to your care."
~ Unknown ~

"We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they're called memories. Some take us forward, they're called dreams." ~ Jeremy Irons ~


"I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long. If we're in each other's dreams, we can be together all the time." ~ Calvin & Hobbs ~

"Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, 
for tomorrow will worry about itself. 
Each day has enough trouble of its own." 


If you'd like your name added to the prayer list, please let me know.

Prayer Keeping ~ Liz and her sons ~ William and Catherine ~ Leslie ~ Becky ~ Rick ~Misha ~ J ~ Linda ~ Linda and Skip ~ Ryan ~ Roy ~ Tonya ~ Dave ~ me ~

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday - Planting Potatoes

~ Canadian organic seed potatoes ~
Do you like potatoes? Do you like Yukon Gold Potatoes? In the hopes the sun will shine again, I've readied twenty-five pounds of Yukon Gold seed potatoes for planting. Actually, the bag was fifty pounds but I shared with Daniel, our neighbor and "adopted" son. That's how we treat him and that's how we think of him. Daniel does the "heavy" work in our garden; the plowing, discing, tilling, etc. and he and I share the rest of the work. When I'm whining complaining talking to Dave about not being able to keep up with Daniel, Dave asks me, "How old is Daniel?" I say, "38". Dave asks, "How old are you?" "58," I grimace. Not because of my age, I love my age and will, gratefully, take any birthday anyone else doesn't want. I grimace because while it's true, almost, I can do anything I used to be able to do, it's also true it takes me about three or four times as long to do it, on a good day. sigh
~ seed potatoes with eyes ~
In USA, or UUUUsssaaaa, said long and drawn out, as we're called in some parts of the world we've traveled, Lewis Grizzard, deceased as of 1994, was a prolific Southern writer. Every time I see a potato, I think of his book, Don't Bend Over in the Garden, Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes.  He was as Southern as Southern could be and, some time prior to getting started as a writer, he was called "too southern". He replied "Why, that's an oxymoron. There's no such thing as being too southern."  Amen!

I'm a "southern by birth but a Virginian by the grace of God" and, for most of my life, have lived south of the Mason Dixon line. It always, but always, amuses me when Maryland and West Virginia both claim to be southern states. Last I heard, both of them managed to get themselves counted with the Yankees, north of the Mason Dixon line, during the Late Great Unpleasantness or, as some called it, the War of Northern Aggression. Probably, I should stop here as Dave is a Yankee, born in Ohio and raised in West Virginia, however, I don't hold it against him as he had the influence of a fine Southern Gentleman, his Grandfather.

Anyway, Mr. Grizzard was a humorist and always makes me laugh although it helps I've a childish sense of humor. I find it unfortunate some people have to laugh at the expense of others or by using foul language, etc. I'm grateful I can find pleasure, joy and laughter in simple things. Least you think I'm a total cretin, I have done some interesting things. A few years ago, I taught in Russia and, prior to leaving Moscow, I reported to the Ambassador's Aid of the US Embassy Moscow. I mean, I do know which fork to use, for goodness sakes! -LOL-

And what does any of that have to do with planting potatoes??? Geeze Louise, I sure can stroll and wander!
~ potato with several eyes ~
Potatoes must be cut into sections and each section needs to have an eye. In the best case, the potatoes should have a few days to dry out a bit before planting them into the ground.
~ cutting potatoes ~
This potato will be cut into several pieces, at least three and each section needs to have an eye in order for the plant to grow. We've had rain, rain and more rain so no photos of planting potatoes; those come, hopefully, later.

Gorta Mor happened well after my Daddy's Mothers' people left Ireland, about one hundred years after,  but all over the world, people still talk about The Irish Potato Famine where one million people died and another million left the country. About one-third of the Irish population was dependent upon the potato and when Phytophthora infestans, an oomycete, caused late blight or potato blight, people starved to death. Ireland's population dropped between twenty and twenty-five percent; it boggles the mind!

Yes, as a matter of fact I do sleep like a baby...when I remember to take my aspirin or Ibuprofen, my "recreational drugs of choice" -LOL-. Yes, I do work hard and, yes, I do love my life, including the work. Someone said success is living the life you want to live so that means I'm among the most successful people I know. Thank God! It gives me enormous pleasure to be responsible for my own food, from seed to table, and it pleases me to stock a pantry full of canned goods, dried goods, frozen goods as well as the cellar full of root vegetables. It pleases me greatly to put a meal on the table, to serve loved ones, with food that I know is pure and clean. 

Dave and I are having a picnic next month and the guest list is, currently, around 80. It's a "bring a dish to share" affair and I'm sure the food will be fabulous! We'll have lots of home made food, we'll churn ice cream, pitch horse shoes, drink sweet ice tea...another Southern tradition!...and make memories against the cold winds of winter. Food isn't just for the body, it's for the soul and we're doing our best to "live large" in the midst of "new normals". Yes, it's difficult but, glory be to God, it's SO worth the effort. You're invited; are you coming and what will you bring?

Blessings ~ seeds ~ plants ~ food ~ gardens ~ pantry ~ freezers ~ refrigerators ~ cellar ~

Monday, May 23, 2011

Farm Days

~ Garden Angel ~
Spring means work and a lot of it when you live on a farm. The garden and orchard share a field, about an acre in size, perhaps a bit more or less, and Dave keeps asking, "do you have any room left?" Geeze Louise, do I ever! I keep putting more and more seeds and plants in the ground and the ground seems to swallow everything I throw at it and beg for more! At the kitchen door, which is also our back door, a grapevine angel stands watch over the flower and herb garden. I've put lavender and rosemary into this flower bed in the hopes the house will be enough of a wind break that both will over winter; time will tell.
 ~ Larch behind the Hemlock tree ~
In the front yard the larch and hemlock trees tower over the house. The winds come from the west, roaring down the valley, and, throughout the generations have forced the trees to grow at an angle. A few years ago, the larch confier was in bad shape due to some sort of infestation. We called a tree specialist who told us, "You can't have a larch; they don't grow this far south." Dave said, "okay, will you come take a look anyway?" The guy said "yes" and when he pulled into the driveway his mouth dropped open. Yes, it is a larch, I believe a European variety, and other varieties are well known in Canada, Russia, the Apennines and the Carpathian Mountains. The larch is a conifer and a deciduous tree and loses its leaves in autumn and really is unknown this far south of Canada. After spraying an oily residue on the drip line, the larch is doing much better and is more beautiful than ever.
~ Miss Abigail Von Rotten the Terror ~
It's been a busy, long day and Abbie is plumb tuckered! She keeps up, mostly, and does extremely well for an older gal and has been my heartbeat since April 1998. She was an adult when I adopted her so her exact age is unknown. Last week, I stopped in at the vet's office and met Lucy, a stray that has adopted one of the vets. They tried to give Lucy to me but I told them her heart would be broken if she were separated from her new Mom. Lucy bonded with the vet who saved her from certain death...as well she should have bonded...and there was NO way I would have broken that bond. The vet and I were talking about dogs and how much we loved them; I told the vet, "I want to die the day after I can no longer have a dog." She looked at me in surprise and said, "Me too!" I've always thought God gave us such a marvelous gift when He gave us dogs and I've always pitied Jews and Muslims because they think dogs are unclean.

I've been busy starting seeds -vegs, fruit, flowers, herbs-, weeding beds, cleaning off porches, moving things from the house to the farm office, getting ready for the Farmers' Market, trying to get the garden shed in decent order, etc. I get up with sunrise, have devotions then burn as much daylight as possible, getting work done but by the time I come inside, it's 7 or later. Then there's supper to fix, eat and clean up and, before I'm ready, it's late and way past my bedtime. So, all that to say, blog visiting is sporadic but when you're brought to mind, you're tucked into prayer. I'm sure you'd rather have prayer than a visit anyway, eh? -smile-

Blessings ~ sunshine in the day, rain at night ~ seeds ~ four legged companions ~ trees ~ angels ~

Sweet dreams, all,
Sandra

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sabbath Keeping

 ~ growing apples ~
 "He led them forth by the right way."  
~ Psalm 107:7 ~
"...By honor and dishonor, by evil report and by good report, by plenty and by poverty, by joy and by distress, by persecution and by peace, by all these things are the lives of your souls maintained, and by each of these are you helped on your way. Oh, believer, do not think that your sorrows are out of God's plan; they are necessary parts of it." ~ Charles Spurgeon ~

"God loves each of us as if there were only one of us." 

"Love begins by taking care of the closest ones - the ones at Home." ~ Mother Teresa ~

"O let my trembling soul be still,
And wait Thy wise, Thy holy Will?
I cannot, Lord, Thy purpose see,
Yet all is well since ruled by Thee."
~ Charles Spurgeon ~

“Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, ‘Life is not pleasant anymore.’ Remember him before the light of the sun, moon, and stars is dim to your old eyes, and rain clouds continually darken your sky. Remember him before your legs—the guards of your house—start to tremble; and before your shoulders—the strong men—stoop. Remember him before your teeth—your few remaining servants—stop grinding; and before your eyes—the women looking through the windows—see dimly.” (NLT) ~ Ecclesiastes 12:1-3 ~


“And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. 
These are the sacrifices that please God.” (NLT)  
~ Hebrews 13:16 ~

If you'd like your name added to the prayer list, please send me an e-mail.

Prayer Keeping ~ Liz and her sons ~ William and Catherine ~ Leslie ~ Becky ~ Rick ~Misha ~ J ~ Linda ~ Linda and Skip ~ Ryan ~ Roy ~ Tonya ~ Dave ~ me ~

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blackberry Winter

~ thornless blackberry bloom ~
In the heart of Appalachia, indeed all of the USA East Coast, we have a saying: Blackberry Winter. It's that time of May, around the 10th, or second weekend, or Mother's Day, when the blackberry bushes bloom. It's also when we experience Blackberry Winter, the inverse of Indian Summer, and temperatures plummet to just above freezing. There have been times when we've had a frost as late as the last weekend of May and I've had to re-plant the garden. Grrrrr...a loss of both time, labor and money.
~ white potatoes from the cellar ~
We're in the heart of Blackberry Winter now and the night time temps have gotten in the upper 30 degrees F. Chilly but great sleeping weather! The garden has two one hundred foot rows of white potatoes, Kennebec in one row and possibly Kennebec in the other row. I used potatoes we didn't quite get around to eating in the second row and, while they might be Kennebec, I couldn't say for sure. There's still twenty-five pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes and five pounds of fingerlings to plant...IF the rain ever slows down. All this talk about potatoes reminds me of Al Gore, whom I never much trusted.

Planting potatoes is fairly easy and the rewards are prodigious. I might not get as many with my older seed from the cellar but they will still produce. And, considering they aren't good for eating now, some is better than being thrown away.
 ~ a, somewhat, straight potato row ~
Back to Gore for a moment, if he was penniless and pushing global warming, his words would carry more weight but anyone who stands to become a billionaire should the global warming agenda be pushed through, then HA! Heck, if women, indeed, his own wife, can't trust him, then why should I? Yet I know people who still worship at the Church of Al Gore and Global Warming. This is due, in large part, IMHO, because the media continues to ignore Gore's financial tie$$$ to global warming.

Oh wait. That agenda has been pushed through and foisted upon us by our very own elected officials ejits officials, the US House of Representatives...and I use the term very loosely. So what does this mean to you and I? It means our energy bill will increase, depending upon your perspective, to a great degree, a few hundred dollars, and some say to a ginormous degree, more than a thousand dollars. My perspective is any increase is a ginormous degree especially since the worms lied to us. But, what can one expect: the speed of the leader is the speed of the team.

I'm reminded of the kindly academician in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe who said, "What on earth are they teaching young people in school these days?" Certainly not to think for themselves! A lot of people come to mind are folks who act as though they think there's a free lunch and a chicken in every pot. Some of them, it seems to me, seem to think there's a get rich quick scheme that everyone, but them, knows about and they sit around waiting to be handed their bucket of gold. This, while speaking in sound bites and talking about tolerance which their actions decry.

Ahem. Excuse me. Would one of you, please, help me down from my soap box? To get back to the garden...twenty-nine tomato plants wait to be sunk into the ground. They range from Evergreen, an heirloom, that stays green and is for frying, to Green Grape, a sweet, juicy green tomato to those tried and true favorites, Big Boy, Early Girl and Better Boy.
~ Greenhouse in a Box ~
Then, there are the peas, Alaska and snow, a bit late for them but when planted in the shade might produce yet. The Alaska pea is the earliest of all and at 58 days fulfills the gardens promise early. The gourds, pumpkins, watermelons, cantaloupes, cucumbers, beans and flowers are all started and doing well in a wet, but not sunny, greenhouse. I start a lot of sunflowers from seed and love, love, love sunflowers. They are so beautifully cheerful and provide food for humans and animals; a total win-win.
~ sunflower seeds ~
The Shelter Logic "Greenhouse in a Box" was purchased from Tractor Supply and cost $149, no sales tax since I have a farm account with them. It's 6x6.5x8 and was placed inside the dog kennel to keep it safe from puppy harm. I don't have tables but the arrangement I do have works just fine. As you can see, I need to water again and I also have a lot more seeds to get started; I'll have to drag a table into the greenhouse in order to have a bit more seed starting room.

Might as well get some seeds started; it's raining, again, and I can't get into the garden. Perhaps this weekend will bring us sunshine; I think the low pressure system is supposed to move elsewhere. One can hope.

Blessings ~ rain ~ seeds ~ sunshine ~ gardens ~ plants ~ food ~ flowers ~

Monday, May 16, 2011

Her Best Side

 ~ no passing lane ~
So, how's traffic where you live?


Blessings ~ rural living ~ cattle ~ a sense humor ~ Saturday ~

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sabbath Keeping

~ American wild turkey ~ 
"The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace."
~ Numbers 6:24-26 ~
"I am serene because I know thou lovest me. Because thou lovest me, naught can move me from my peace. Because thou lovest me, I am as one to whom all good has come." ~ Gaelic Prayer ~
"Avoid popularity if you would have peace." 
~ Abraham Lincoln ~
 "Peace is not the absence of conflict but the ability to deal with it." ~ anonymous ~ 


 "Jesus, My Lord, I look to thee; 
Where else can helpless sinners go?
Thy boundless love shall set me free
From all my wretchedness and woe."
~ anonymous ~
"Peace is more important than all justice; and peace was not made for the sake of justice, but justice for the sake of peace." and "Peace, if possible, truth at all costs."  ~ Martin Luther ~
 "The purposes of the United States should not be doubted. The Security Council resolutions will be enforced - the just demands of peace and security will be met - or action will be unavoidable. And a regime that has lost its legitimacy will also lose its power." ~ Colin Powell ~

 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, 
give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." 
~ John 14:27 ~

Prayer Keeping ~ William and Catherine ~ Leslie ~ Becky ~ Rick ~Misha ~ J ~ Linda ~ Ryan ~ Roy ~ Tonya ~ Dave ~ me ~

Pax, Shalom, Peace,
Sandra

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I'm So Green...

 ~ lilacs, can you smell them? ~
Recently, Raeann, over at The Lady Farmer Parables, had the following on her blog and it spoke to my heart. Actually, it yelled and I think I even felt a tiny little head slap, ala Gibbs -grin-. Have you ever been lectured by a sweet young thing on being "green"? Anyway, major gripe rant coming on here...if you're young and think you know it all, I'm happy for you because...heh heh heh...I know it's not true and it won't last. It didn't with me, thank God, and it won't with you either. Daddy says about someone who is acting bigger than their britches, "they are gonna set the world on fire, just as soon as they find their box of matches." snicker, snicker...ain't that just the truth?! So, when you run into a young chit at the grocery or market and they come down on you like a load of bricks for not having your own shopping bag, think about this e-mail. By the way, Raeann is a lot nicer than I; she'd never stoop so low as to say what I've just said so don't think poorly of her; it's all on me.

"In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the green thing back in my day."

The clerk responded, "That's the problem today ~ the previous generation did not care enough to save our environment."

He was right, that generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But they didn't have the green thing back in that customer's day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.

But she was right. They didn't have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby's diapers because the didn't have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts- wind and solar power really did dry the clothes.

Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers and sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that old lady is right; they didn't have the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV or radio, in the house - not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of Montana. In the kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn't have electric machines to do everything for you. When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then they didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right; they didn't have the green thing back then.

They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water. They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or rode the school bus instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint!

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were, just because they didn't have the green thing back then?

There's more so please go to The Lady Farmer's Parables. As for me, am I green? In some ways yes and other ways no, but I do try to be a good steward of what God has entrusted to me. And that, dear friends, is of far greater importance, imho.

"A gray head is a crown of glory" ~ Proverbs 16:31 ~

Blessings ~ wise bloggers ~ funny bloggers ~ the wisdom of Proverbs ~ lilacs ~

Military Bumper Stickers

~ the storm ~
Bumper-Stickers Seen On Military Bases.
 
"When  In Doubt, Empty The Magazine"
 
"Marine Sniper - You can run, but you'll just die tired!"
 
"Machine Gunners - Accuracy By Volume"

"Except For Ending Slavery, Fascism, Nazism and Communism, WAR has Never Solved Anything."

" U.S. Marines - Certified Counselors to the 72 Virgins Dating Club."

" U.S. Air Force - Travel Agents To Allah"

"Stop Global Whining"

Naval Corollary: Dead Men Don't Testify.

"The Marine Corps - When It Absolutely, Positively Has To Be Destroyed Overnight"

"Death Smiles At Everyone - Marines Smile Back"

"What Do I Feel When I Kill A Terrorist?  A Little Recoil"

"Marines - Providing Enemies of America an Opportunity To Die For their Country Since 1775"

"Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It"

"Happiness Is A Belt-Fed Weapon"

"It's God's Job to Forgive Bin Laden - 
It's Our Job To Arrange The Meeting"

"Artillery Brings Dignity to What Would Otherwise Be Just A Vulgar Brawl"

"One Shot, Twelve Kills - U.S. Naval Gun Fire Support "

"My Kid Fought In Iraq So Your Kid Can Party In College"

"A Dead Enemy Is A Peaceful Enemy - Blessed Be The Peacemakers"

"If You Can Read This, Thank A Teacher..  If You Can Read It In English, Thank A Veteran"
...and finally
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. 

But the U.S. MARINES don't have that problem."     ..... Ronald Reagan

You may have figured out by now, I'm so conservative I make Genghis Khan look liberal.  I support the USA military by word, thought and deed and have several family members serving in harm's way in various place in the world. I well and truly believe we live free in the USA because big men do dark deeds behind the scenes; God bless them all.

Blessings ~ Army ~ Delta Forces ~ Air Force ~ Navy ~ Marine Corps ~ Seals ~  Rangers ~ Coast Guard ~ Army Reserves ~ Army National Guard ~ Navy Reserves ~ Air Force Reserves ~ Coast Guard Reserves ~ Marine Corps Reserves ~ Air Guard ~

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday - Plain and Simple

~ evening peace ~
1- Just one God- Put nothin' before God
3- Watch yer mouth
4- Git yourself to Sunday meetin'
5- Honor yer Ma & Pa
6- No killin'
7- No foolin' around with another feller's gal or another gal's feller
8- Don't take what ain't yers
9- No tellin' tales or gossipin'; if ya gotta carry, carry food
10- Don't be hankerin' for yer friend's stuff

 Now that's plain an' simple. Y'all have a nice day!

Blessings ~ wise words ~ sunshine ~ clean air ~ good food ~ physical labor ~ seeds ~ plants ~

Please plant something,
Sandra

Monday, May 09, 2011

Farmers' Market

Tazewell County, Virginia is a funny place. It seems to me everyone is in competition with everyone else including each other. While competition should be a good thing, most generally around here, it's not so good. There's a fair bit of carping, hissing, complaining and downright rancor over the latest farmers' market. 

Years ago, I helped start the first Tazewell farmers market and then was told I couldn't be a part of it because I didn't sell food. My farm products are in the way of fleeces, roving, yarn, finished goods but the "powers that became" said, "no, it has to be food". Then, a few years into the market, the manager came to me and said, "we'd like you to come and demonstrate because you'd draw a crowd." I asked, "will I then be able to be a vendor?" She said, "oh no, you don't sell food." Needless to say, I declined her kind offer. 
A couple of weeks ago, the new Tazewell Farmers' Market Manager called and said the YMCA was hosting the new farmers' market and asked if I'd be a part of the new market. I said I didn't sell food and he said, "I know and look, you probably won't make a lot of money, if any money, but you'd be a draw and crowd pleaser for us and we'd sure appreciate it." WOW!  You bet I said, "yes!" All of us want to be appreciated and when someone kindly asks, especially without letting on they think we're too stupid to know smoke is being blown up our skirt, I think we should say yes, whenever possible, and help out. Not that Bill came across thataway; he was, and is, quite pleasant and serious about making the market work.
~ free cookout! ~
To open the first market day, a free cookout was provided for both vendors and visitors. Additionally, folks working out at the YMCA could grab and fill a plate while a band played and a great time was had by all despite the downpour and sudden chill in temps. The two gents above, Rob, a YMCA orange shirted employee, and John, our extension agent, work the grills.
 ~ plants, home baked goods, early root crops ~
It's early days, seasonally speaking, but some farmers have hoops and they already have beets and new potatoes while others sell baked goods and potted plants, including flowers, herbs and vegs.
 ~ Ginny ~
Successful farmers markets have a lot in common; they allow vendors to sell food, hand produced crafts, have music and crafts for the kidlets, they advertise locally and regionally, have websites and blogs. On Saturday, our farmers market had the set-up for children to make potted plants for Mother's Day and both days the market has been open, musician's have played a variety of tunes; excellent draws all!

I set up the first day, last Tuesday, and my neighbor on one side was Anderson Grass Fed Beef and granddaughter, Ginny. They have a farm in Bland County, a neighboring county, and were selling beef and other farm products. Ginny and I became BFF's and hung out most of the afternoon and when she wanted to spin she crawled onto my lap and lessons began.

~ spinning Ginny ~
And this, photo above, is why I spend money to lose money...for the love of the children. She had a great time, as did I, and we spun a lot of yarn. Ginny also made her singing debut when I held her on the musician's stool and she sang "Jesus Loves Me" for the crowd. Could we have had a better time? I think not. BTW, Nancy is standing behind us and she sold home made sorghum molasses, free range eggs and rhubarb. I was her best customer -grin-.

If you've not yet noticed, you will soon, food prices in grocery stores are UP, UP, UP! and going to continue to climb due to oil reaching $100 a barrel. It's costing the earth, literally, to transport food from Point A to Point Z and the consumer has to pay the price. If you're not shopping at your farmers' market, you should start. Prices are reasonable, you're cutting out the middle man and, if you've allergies, eating honey made locally is said to lesson allergies. If you're not sure where your markets are located, check out Local Harvest; they have a fabulous listing of nationwide markets and there's sure to be one somewhat close. We have several markets within a fifty mile radius and my favorite, after the new Tazewell market of course -smile-, is the Abingdon Farmers' Market.

Oh, and as to the recent unpleasantness alluded to earlier, the former market manager has eaten sour grapes. Apparently, she's not in favor of the new location nor new manager and has, allegedly, threatened to do all possible to ruin the new market...sigh and chortle...as if she has that much power! Hey you, grow up, why doncha? In the words of Rodney King, "why can't we just all get along?"

Blessings ~ farmers ~ markets ~ food ~ crafts ~ song ~ children ~

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Sabbath Keeping

 ~ after the storm ~
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." 
"We know that in the moral, as in the physical order, nature abhors a vacancy. Consciously or unconsciously, as the years go by, all men more and more submit their lives to some allegiance; with whatever uncertainty and changefulness, some one motive, or group of motives, grows stronger and stronger in them; they tend, at least, to bring every thought into captivity to some one obedience. For better or for worse, things which seemed difficult or impossible a few years ago will come almost naturally to a man a few years hence; he will have got accustomed to take a certain course, to obey certain impulses or principles wherever they appear. We may indeed distinguish three states in which a man may be. He may be yielding his heart more and more to the love of self, in whatsoever way of pride, or avarice, or lust, or sloth. Or he may be yielding his heart more and more to the love of God, falteringly, it may be, with many struggles and failures, but still really getting to love God more, to move more readily and more loyally to do God's will wherever he sees it. Or, thirdly, he may be like the man of whom our Lord spoke. He may, by God's grace, have cast out an evil spirit from his heart; he may have broken away from the mastery of some bad passion, some tyrannous hunger or hatred; and he may be poised, as it were, between the one love and the other. Ah! but that can only be for a very little while. That balance never lasts; one way or the other the will must incline; one service or the other must be chosen, and that soon." ~ Francis Paget ~

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."
~ Lao Tzu ~

"Don't wish me happiness-I don't expect to be happy, it's gotten beyond that, somehow. 
Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor-I will need them all."  
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh ~

"Solitude is strength; to depend on the presence of the crowd is weakness. The man who needs a mob to nerve him is much more alone than he imagines." ~ Paul Brunton ~

"There are two ways of exerting one's strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up." 
~ Booker T. Washington ~

"If God sends us on strong paths, we are provided strong shoes." 
~ Corrie ten Boom ~
 
"Some people think it's holding on that makes one strong - sometimes it's letting go." ~ unknown ~

"I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will 
empower you with inner strength through his Spirit." 
Prayer Keeping ~ William and Catherine ~ Leslie ~ Becky ~ Rick ~Misha ~ J ~ Linda ~ Ryan ~ Roy ~ Tonya ~ Dave ~ me ~

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Giveaway - Chateaux de France

Chateaux de France is a delightful black and white, hard cover book, printed in 1951 and covers the great chateaux of France. It's printed on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper, written in French and includes 64 beautiful chateaux.
 Above, left, is St. Germain and on the right, Sully-Sur-Loire.
This book is a tiny piece of history, the glorious history of France.When you visit the links, you'll see changes of the areas and regions but the chateaux, essentially, remain as beautiful as ever. I believe the  author to be Charles Ferdinand however I do not not read, nor speak, French so this is a guess.
On the left, Bourges and on the right, Brissac. 
Dave and I have been to France, both the isle of Corsica and Nice and loved them. Our favorite was Corsica, probably because we had such a delightful day of walking around and ended up at a little seaside cafe where we enjoyed cheese, bread and a lovely, local, crisp white wine. There were  American's at a neighboring table enjoying American brand soda; Dave and I wanted to walk over to them and say, "OH NO!" But we didn't -smile-. We're rather adventuresome and have had some questionable meals but we've never regretted any of them. We've also not known what some of those meals were but they tasted pretty good or, at least, we didn't get sick -smile- and we've all those fond memories.

This little gem has been in my library for many years but it's time for a new home. You'll have a week to comment - tell me if you've ever been to France and where, or, if you've not been to France, would you like to go and where? Comments close Thursday, May 12 at midnight; winner chosen by random.org and, if you know someone who is a Francophile, please tell them about this giveaway. This little book deserves a home where someone will love it dearly.

Au revoir,
Sandra 

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday - Say, Make Your Life Better

 ~ Multi-flora Rose ~
There are some things, when said, that simply make life better, easier, more blessed...more.

I'm sorry.
Thank you.
You're Welcome.
You're the best.
I love you.
Please.
Excuse me, please.
May I help you?
I care about you.
I like you.
It's a great day to be alive.
God is good.
Would you help me, please?
May I pray for you?

How are you doing...really?
I'm glad you're here.
I don't know.
You look great!
Please forgive me.
Let's pray together.
I was wrong.
You're special.
Jesus loves you.
Would you, please, pray for me? - Today, remember me in your prayers. That's all. No questions, no comments, just, please, remember me in your prayers.

Blessings ~ thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm ~


Thankfully,
Sandra

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Sabbath Keeping

 ~ open doors ~
"Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother
and hold fast to his wife, 
and they shall become one flesh." 

"Keep the eyes wide open before marriage and half shut afterwards." ~ Benjamin Franklin ~

"Marriage is commonly a meal wherein the soup is better than the desert." ~ Austin O'Malley ~

"When most people enter marriage, they have only had an "up close and personal" view of a small number of marriages, perhaps only one (i.e., their parents' marriage). Although you likely have known many married people throughout your lifetime, your vision of most marriages is limited to the images that the couples project to the world. You can never really know what another person's marriage is like behind closed doors. Therefore, most people enter into marriage with gaps in their understanding of what marriage entails." ~ Christine Murray ~

"Romance is a great "salt" to sprinkle on the hard work of sharing a life with another human being, but the main ingredient of a happy marriage can never be romance." ~ Mark Gungor ~
"To keep your marriage brimming,
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it,
Whenever you're right, shut up." 
~ Ogden Nash ~ 
"My new found meaning of Marriage is a place where you can be yourself and has breathing space to grow personally and spiritually as and when I want without having to consult my partner about my changes. It is a beautiful place without suffocation, a place where you can learn and teach each other, a place where you do not feel prohibited and a place where you do not have to log in and log out." 
~ Jeanette De Jonk ~

"Possibilities for the success of a marriage are endless. 
But you have to be willing to search for them."
~ Jason Redmond ~

"Marriage is one long conversation, chequered by disputes." 
~ Robert Louis Stevenson ~

"Unfortunately, a marriage license doesn't come with a job description or a set of instructions. There is definitely "some assembly required." In fact, putting together a modern-day marriage can be likened to assembling an airplane in flight."
~ Patricia Love ~

"Marriage is divine in its institution, sacred in its union, holy in the mystery, sacramental in its signification, honourable in its appellative, religious in its employments: it is advantage to the societies of men, and it is "holiness to the Lord."
~ Jeremy Taylor

"I do not want a husband who honours me as a queen,
if he does not love me as a woman." ~ Queen Elizabeth I ~


"Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband." ~ Ephesians 5: 21-33 ~

Prayer Keeping ~ William and Kate ~ Leslie ~ Becky ~ Rick ~Misha ~ J ~ Linda ~ Ryan ~ Roy ~ Tonya ~ Dave ~ me ~