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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.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sabbath Keeping

“For I am the Lord, I do not change;
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,”
Says the Lord of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.

 The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to.
The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

"Not in rewards but in the strength to strive, the blessing lies."
~ J. T. Towbridge

"Our prayers should be for blessing in general,
because God knows what is best for us."
~ Socrates

"When I started counting my blessings,
my whole life turned around."

"When we lose one blessing,
another is often, 
most unexpectedly,
given in its place."

"It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them."

"Prayers go up and
blessings come down"
~ Yiddish proverb ~

"Ask God's blessing on your work, but don't ask him to do it for you." 

"Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way."
~ Anonymous~

"Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel."
~ Anonymous ~

"Get rich quick! 
Count your blessings!" 
~ Anonymous ~

"our very best plans
are counterfeit to what God has in store for us."

"Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, 
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted. 
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst 
for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
Blessed are you when people insult lyou, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." 

If you'd like your name added to the prayer list, or, if you've had an answer to prayer, please let me know.

Prayer Keeping ~ Yvonne ~ Leontien ~ Courtney and family - Chuck Colson family ~ Lynne ~ Mary, Donald and family ~ Pruitt Family ~ Lora ~ Stacie ~ Annie ~ Val ~ Kary ~ Mary ~ Kerrie ~ Ray ~ Ruth ~ Kathy ~ Anne ~ Timi, Miki, Mira, Mark ~ Sandra ~ Adrienne ~ Karena ~ Roland ~ Debbie ~ Beckwith Family ~ Lea and family ~ Mildred and John ~ Noelle ~ Geoffrey ~ Terry, Angela, Penny and family ~ Daniel, Meredith, Morgan, Tosh ~ Susan ~ Stephanie ~ Winnie ~ Wanda ~ Steve ~ Gwen ~ Leslie ~ William and Catherine ~ Becky and Rick ~ Misha and J ~ Linda and Skip ~ Ryan ~ Roy ~ Tonya ~ me ~

Monday, April 23, 2012

Blackberry Blizzard

In the past, I've written about Blackberry Winter in 2005, 2008 and 2011. There are probably a few other posts but these three give you an idea; it was also a trip down memory lane for me...a happy trip, let me add. For those who might not know, Blackberry Winter is the reverse of Indian Summer. It's that time in Spring that we've had a warm/hot spell and the blackberry bushes are in bloom. Then, WHAM! Ole Man Winter comes for a visit and we're slammed with winter...but today it's not just Blackberry Winter, it's Blackberry Blizzard!
We're having high winds, sleet mixed with snow, low visibility and the horses and calves are not happy. Can't say as I blame them; I'm not all that thrilled myself. I've had terrible cabin fever and was going to Abingdon today to meet Chris. We were going to go to the bookstore, do a little shopping, eat lunch and, generally, catch up with each other but not now. Dave and I always made the agreement to not travel dangerous roads. When the weather was terrible, unless it was a have to case, we always stayed home. There are folks who have to go to their job and Dave and I didn't want to add to the mix. Tractors are holding steady to the road but I can hear pick-up trucks slipping and sliding all over the place. Yep, made the right decision to stay at home!
I was at the barn at 6:30, throwing out hay to the horses and feeding barn cats. One of the horses was shivering, not a good sign, as horses generate heat from the belly out. They needed food and quickly! So, I gave them a double portion of hay which should tide them until this afternoon when I give out more hay. The barn cats, used to me showing up an hour later, weren't in evidence but the food was put out for them anyway. So, my day is now going to be spent doing a bit of estate paperwork, cleaning and making something to eat for myself.

When Dave was alive, we gloried in food prep and eating and would spend quite some time thinking about food, buying food, preparing food and then sharing meals. Not so much anymore. It's such a drag, all the above and, the truth hurts here, I don't really care. In the morning, I'll make a two country egg spinach cheese omelet, sometimes with home made sausage or bacon, sometimes with bread and that will hold me until yogurt for supper. Those of you who live alone or have spouses who work away, what do you do? Do you fix full meals? How do you feed yourself?

How's the weather where you're living? Blackberry Winter, Blackberry Blizzard or Spring? Whatever; it's good to be above ground!

Blessings ~ weather ~ hay ~ omelets ~ blogging ~ strength to do the work God sets before me ~

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sabbath Keeping

~ "Mt. Pilot" ~
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, 
thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." 

"How you think when you lose determines how long it will be until you win."

"Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples 
don't count on harvesting golden delicious."
~ Anonymous ~

"When I'm getting ready to reason with a man, I spend one-third of my time thinking about myself and what I am going to say and two-thirds thinking about him and what he is going to say." ~ Abraham Lincoln ~

"Drag your thoughts away from your the ears, by the heels, 
or any other way you can manage it." 

"Thought takes man out of servitude into freedom." 
"I never ask a man what his business is, for it never interests me. What I ask him about are his thoughts and dreams." ~ H. P. Lovecraft ~

"Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another." ~ Napoleon Hill ~

"To me the meanest flower that blows can give thoughts 
that do often lie too deep for tears."

"The secret of living a life of excellence is merely a matter 
of thinking thoughts of excellence. 
Really, it's a matter of programming our minds 
with the kind of information that will set us free."

"We need men with moral courage to speak and write their real thoughts, 
and to stand by their convictions, even to the very death." 

"The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration." ~ Pearl S. Buck ~

"For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." ~ 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 ~

If you'd like your name added to the prayer list, or, if you've had an answer to prayer, please let me know.

Prayer Keeping ~ Courtney and family - Chuck Colson family ~ Lynne ~ Mary, Donald and family ~ Pruitt Family ~ Lora ~ Stacie ~ Annie ~ Val ~ Kary ~ Mary ~ Kerrie ~ Ray ~ Ruth ~ Kathy ~ Anne ~ Timi, Miki, Mira, Mark ~ Sandra ~ Adrienne ~ Karena ~ Roland ~ Debbie ~ Beckwith Family ~ Lea and family ~ Mildred and John ~ Noelle ~ Geoffrey ~ Terry, Angela, Penny and family ~ Daniel, Meredith, Morgan, Tosh ~ Susan ~ Stephanie ~ Winnie ~ Wanda ~ Steve ~ Gwen ~ Leslie ~ William and Catherine ~ Becky and Rick ~ Misha and J ~ Linda and Skip ~ Ryan ~ Roy ~ Tonya ~ me ~

Friday, April 20, 2012

Beguiling Time

Glenda, over at Gg-Notes on the Journey, has written she's cutting back on her posting; her hands and her time tell the tale. I wrote her to say I wear braces on both hands; they help rest, support and protect my hands. At night, I slather my hands with muscle rub, making the dogs crinkle their noses and question if they want to sleep with me. Really? After the stuff they roll in and eat!
Glenda says she'll continue to read blogs of those who comment on her blog; as well, she must be captured and drawn into the plot within three sentences. Eh, no pressure there (haha) but I value Glenda and want the gift of her present on my blog.
As do I want yours. In the darkest grief days, of those that have come, I would visit your blog, yes YOUR BLOG, to see normal. My normal was gone, upended and poured from me when Dave died. People said, "now you have a 'new normal' but, I didn't. There wasn't anything normal about my life, nor was there anything new. Just the same tired old story of love gone ahead, leaving a vacuum even nature couldn't fill.

I questioned God, still do sometimes, as to His timing which, has proven to be excellent and, always, proving He had/has my best interest in His great heart. Yet, some days there are nothing but questions.
He understands.

Dave died in November and after burying him beside his first wife, Cathy, in Hollywood Cemetery, I returned home to begin the real struggle. Dark days, dark nights and even darker thoughts. What was the use? What was my purpose? Did I want to live?
Now, now. Before you blast me with, "and you call yourself a Christian?!" Know this: YES, I am a practicing Christian because I've never gotten it quite right and I never will.
God's grace (giving me what I don't deserve) and God's mercy (not giving me what I do deserve); Christ, at His Father's right hand, interceding for me and the Holy Spirit to comfort me have carried me. As John Newton said, "I am a great sinner but Christ is a greater Savior."
Your prayers as well, as God brought me to your mind, have carried me; you've stood in the gap and may God bless you tenfold as you have blessed me.
At some point in blogging, I added Prayer Keeping to each Sabbath Keeping post. Some of your names are there and many people pray, including me, for you. It's a privilege and honor to pray, one for another. It's been said, time is the gift of eternity and I believe prayer should be our first resource and not our last resort. Pray as if life depended upon it...because it does.
Dave always slept later than I, sometimes by hours, but when he got up, we'd begin our day by sitting in the sun room, drinking coffee or tea, always enjoying each other, our beasties. Dave was a java man; he liked his coffee straight, hot and black while I drink about half cream and half coffee so my poor stomach doesn't suffer. Sometimes we'd talk, a lot, other times we'd sit quietly, enjoying the view you see in the header photo. We were planting deep roots to withstand whatever might come. For all of us, the mission field is under our feet so bloom where you're planted. Grow deep roots, build strength for the journey, pray and read your Bible daily and, if you don't have a Bible, let me know and I'll see you get one.
Pilgrim, prepare yourself. If you don't use the sunny mountaintop days wisely, you'll perish in the valley darkness.
Where ever you are...BLOOM! 

Blessings ~ valleys ~ mountaintops ~ grace ~ mercy ~ foals ~ Cathy ~ Dave ~ YOU ~

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Farm Life

~ laundry on the line ~
Do you notice as the days, weeks, months, years pass there's less of you and more of work? It seems more difficult to get as much out of the days as before. Before what? you may ask. Well, before that last birthday; actually, before the last decade of birthdays. Seven loads of laundry means the washer is going all day and with the wind blowing at 15 mph, it also meant the laundry dried lickety split. A good thing because I could get more laundry done; a bad thing because it meant I kept doing laundry all day. And, come to think of it, I didn't get all the laundry finished. The children spent Easter with me and all their bed linens still need to be washed. Lawz, there's always something!
While I was on the ground, taking the first photo, I decided to take a photo down the valley. Or, rather, up the valley as the farm sits at the toe and the head of the valley is the direction you now see.
As of yesterday, the house still smoldered but rain began last night and it's still raining as of Wednesday night so the fire should go out. It's been a full week; the fire started last Wednesday. I caught up with Russell's wife, daughter and grand-son; they said Russell is terribly despondent. I asked them to ask Russell to please call me as I have some good news. People have donated a lot of, household goods, clothing, food, personal items, money...and we'd love to help them set up housekeeping. My heart breaks for the family; they have so many troubles beyond their home being lost; please keep them in your prayers.

Yesterday, Donna made me a delicious lunch and we caught up for the first time in ages. People are being so kind and it's so appreciated; small acts of kindness are a gift and a blessing. It's been a rich week because today
Peggy met me for lunch and asked how was I doing. I told her I thought okay and then, when I went to get in my car and leave...the battery was dead because I'd left the lights on. Yes, as a matter of fact the bell does ding but, for whatever reason, I never heard the bell. For the second time since last Wednesday, I never heard the bell and my battery died. Neither one of us had jumper cables so I asked a gentleman in an equipment store if he would help me. He worked in a store that sold small farm and home equipment and said yes and brought this handy machine to my car.
It jump starts the battery, has a handy light on the side, it can be plugged into a regular wall socket to charge and it has a hose so a flat tire can be pumped up...WOW! I'm buying one of these things and, no matter what vehicle I'm driving, this little item is going in the trunk. I'm telling you, it's handier than a pocket on a shirt! The feller was telling me I needed to go to Sam's Club and buy one, pronto! He said, "just think, if it's dark you no longer have to worry about flagging someone down. It's a safety issue." He is so right and God bless him for helping and for his suggestion. I'm making him a pan of shortbread and taking it to him tomorrow. 
Daniel disced the garden last night so it's ready for potatoes. I'll drag the potatoes up from the cellar so I can get those in the ground. Daniel wants to bring the 'tater planter because he said it makes straighter rows because it's drug behind the tractor. Apparently, he doesn't like my curvy rows even though I can get more 'taters planted in a curvy row. (smile) He said, "humor me and we'll do straight rows this year." Welllll, okay!

There's no more of 'me' left for today; it began early but I'm stopping now. Daniel, Morgan and I trimmed horse feet and de-wormed horses then re-arranged horses this evening. American Curly horses are bad to founder on spring grass so I've got three on a short lot. Meaning they can only eat what I give them...diets! Daniel trimmed feet and Morgan and I handled most of the rest. Although yesterday was beautifully sunny, today was rainy and chilly, a combination that sucks the life, heat and energy out of the body. 

Blessings ~ Daniel ~ Morgan ~ gardens ~ gadgets ~ beautiful days ~ rainy days ~ Donna ~ Peggy ~ 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sabbath Keeping

"Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee." 
"Be careful of the words you say,
Keep them short and sweet,
You never know, from day to day,
Which ones you'll have to eat."
~ unknown ~
"Duty is the sublimest word in our language. 
Do your duty in all things. 
You cannot do more. 
You should never wish to do less." 
"Good words are worth much and cost little." 
"The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words, 
when one will do." 
"One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart 
that you can't utter."

"The six most important words: I admit I made a mistake.
The five most important words: You did a good job.
The four most important words: What is your opinion?
The three most important words: If you please.
The two most important words: Thank you.
The one least important word: I"
~ Anonymous

"A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.
I say it just 
Begins to live
That day."
"Words may show a man's wit, but actions his meaning." 

"Watch your thoughts, they become your words
Watch your words, they become your actions
Watch your actions, they become your habits
Watch your habits, they become your character
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny."
~ Anonymous ~

"Half the word is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it." ~ Robert Frost
"Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken."
~ Orson Rega Card ~
"When you have spoken the word, it reigns over you. 
When it is unspoken you reign over it."
~ Arabian proverb ~

"But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless words they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." ~ Jesus Christ

If you'd like your name added to the prayer list, or, if you've had an answer to prayer, please let me know. 

Prayer Keeping ~ Lynne ~ Mary, Donald and family ~ Pruitt family ~ Lora ~ Stacie ~ Annie ~ Val ~ Kary ~ Mary ~ Kerrie ~ Ray ~ Ruth ~ Kathy ~ Anne ~ Timi, Miki, Mira, Mark ~ Sandra ~ Adrienne ~ Karena ~ Roland ~ Debbie ~ Beckwith Family ~ Lea and family ~ Mildred and John ~ Noelle ~ Geoffrey ~ Terry, Angela, Penny and family ~ Daniel, Morgan, Meredith, Tosh ~ Susan ~ Stephanie ~ Winnie ~ Wanda ~ Steve ~ Gwen ~ Leslie ~ William and Catherine ~ Becky and Rick ~ Misha and J ~ Linda and Skip ~ Ryan ~ Roy ~ Tonya ~ me ~

Thursday, April 12, 2012


~ a neighbor's home ~
Boy - size 6 pants and shirt, size 2 shoes and lost all his toys, he walked out barefoot
Adult female - 2X shirt, 38 pants, size 9.5 shoes
Adult female - medium shirt, 34 pants, size 8.5 shoes
Adult male - XL shirt, 30/32 pants, size 10.5 shoes
If you want my street address, send me a PM and thank you. The family is staying in a hotel while they look for a new home.
Regarding donations...if you want to send a check,make it out to my name so I can cash it and give it to the family. The money I've collected was going to be spent on clothing, household goods, etc. but I think they need the cash for rent and utilities in order to get started again. People are being so kind and donating furniture, clothing, etc. but they need rent money too. Hopefully, tomorrow I'll meet with the adult daughter and find out more information.

Last night,just before 5:00 I opened the back door for the dogs to go outside and, as usual, I always step onto the porch and sweep the valley...just in case. Last night, I noticed black smoke rolling from behind the nearest neighbor's house. That neighbor lives about 1/2 mile away and, at first, I thought he might be burning brush. But the smoke was black and brush smoke is white. I grabbed the telephone and called Daniel, our Fire Chief and left a message on  his voice mail. Understand now, the house wasn't on fire as in the above was simply black smoke pouring from the far side and difficult to see. I walked on down the driveway, binocs in one hand, phone in the other and my unrest rising quickly and considerably. I told Daniel's machine, "I might be crazy but I think Russell's house is on fire" and hung up quickly.
Then, I called another neighbor and as soon as he answered the phone I said, "Russell's house is on fire!" and hung up so I could call 911. I dialed 911, told them Russell's house was on fire and the woman knew, almost immediately, where the house was located. It took only one sentence to make it completely clear. I gave her my name and said, "not all our firefighter's have pagers, I have to make other calls!" then started calling other firefighters and leaving messages for them.
~ the thick of it ~
The water hoses are heavy and tend to fight and snarl; it takes two men to direct the spray of the heaviest hose. The Cove Volunteer Fire Department responded within fifteen minutes (perhaps less) which is pretty excellent when you consider we're all volunteers and most men were still at work somewhere in the pastures or on the mountains. 

When I arrived, I took photos from the road where I also assisted Morgan and Ashley with directing traffic. I let two cars go by before it dawned on me...DONATIONS! So, every vehicle that passed, I would flag them down and say, "the people and animals got out alive but they lost everything; please donate." Most people did and some folks, from a neighboring fire station, stayed to help. Eventually, Thompson Valley Volunteer Fire Department was called in and they brought two more trucks plus a pick-up outfitted with specialized gear.
Believe it or not, not all of the Cove firefighters have gear so I'm in process of writing a local grant, asking begging for money to buy gear for all our firefighters. Some of the men were even sharing gloves!
They fought the fire from around 5:15 until after 9:00 and were called out again at 10:30 and stayed until around 1:00. I had just collapsed onto my pillow when my telephone rang and Ashley said, "they just got called out again. Can you go and put another set of lights on the house?" So, I got the pick-up truck because it's higher off the ground and headed down the road. As it turns out, the fire was now, mostly, at the back of the house and I couldn't get into position to be of any help. 
This afternoon, around 3:00, it was still burning and firefighters were still dousing it with chemicals and water. It's now almost 8 p.m., more than twenty-four hours later and it still smolders! 
The family spent the night in a hotel last night and are re-grouping while people from all over the County are rallying to help with, clothing, furniture, etc. 
Not the greatest photo but do you see the wee face in the lower left right hand corner? I don't know her name but she's asleep at my feet and I'll keep her until the family is back on their feet. She's a sweet little thing and is holding her own with the pack already living at Thistle Cove Farm and that's saying a lot for her big heart!
HURRAH for the Cove Volunteer Fire Department, for the gentleman who stopped to donate money and stayed to help fight the fire, to the Thompson Valley Volunteer Fire Department, to folks who donated money, to folks who helped with traffic, gave water and everyone who held holding out...a helping hand. I have to tell you though, Hillary was wrong. It doesn't take a village, it takes a community and I live in the Very Best!

Tomorrow, I'll update the Cove Community blog and put up different photos. It's absolutely amazing what volunteers do and, for the most part, are totally unsung heroes. Please, include Russell's family and our grant application in your prayers; our CVFD NEEDS equipment!

P. S. Thank you all for your kind birthday wishes; it's one I'll never forget!

Blessings ~ CVFD ~ TVVFD ~ volunteers ~ folks with big hearts ~ Russell and family, they got out alive ~ 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy Birthday

"The more alive you are, the more you are aware of death."

Refusing  At Fifty-Two To Write Sonnets
It came to him that he could nearly count
How many late Aprils he had left to him
In increments of ten or, say, eleven
Thus: sixty-three, seventy-four, eighty-five.
He couldn't see himself at ninety-six --
Humanity's advances notwithstanding
In health-care, self-care, or new-age regimens --
What with his habits and family history,
The end he thought is nearer than you think.

The future, thereby bound to its contingencies,
The present moment opens like a gift:
The greening month, the olden week, the blue morning,
The hour's routine, the minute's passing glance --
All seem like godsends now. And what to make of this
At the end the word that comes to him is Thanks."
~ Thomas Lynch ~

"For what I did
And did not do
And do without
In my old age
Rue, not rage
Against that night
We go into,
Sets me straight
On what to do
Before I die --
Sit in the Shade,
Look at the Sky"
~ Samuel Menashe ~ 

"Hope is easy and belief is simple in a warm green world. Winter is the time when man most needs the securities of unshaken certainty, whether it is the Winter of the soul or the harsh Winter of the year. I must know Winter if I am to know Spring and Summer. And here is Winter, with its own wondering and its quiet and its own discoveries, its solstice and its turn."  ~ Hal Borland ~

"My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird --
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work.

which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pastures, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all ingredients are here.

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleep dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever."

A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun.
Enjoy the trip. 
~ Author Unknown ~

Many thanks to Marie Horvath's blog for some of these poems. 

Happy Birthday to Chris, my friend; we share today but she the elder by mere hours. Happy Birthday to me; may God grant me the desire of my heart which is to follow Him all the days of my life.

Blessings ~ Chris ~ another year ~ April, the cruelest month

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Sabbath Keeping

~ He is Risen! ~
~ excellent photographer unknown to me ~

"The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior! 
He is the God who avenges me, who puts the nations under me, 
who sets me free from my enemies. 
You exalted me above my foes; from violent men you rescued me. 
Therefore I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; 
I will sing praises to your name." 
~ 2 Samuel 22:47-50 ~

"On Easter Day, 
the veil between time and eternity thins to gossamer." 
~ Douglas Horton ~

"Easter is not a time for groping through dusty, musty tomes or tombs to disprove spontaneous generation or even to prove life eternal. It is a day to fan the ashes of dead hope, a day to banish doubts and seek the slopes where the sun is rising, to revel in the faith which transports us out of ourselves and the dead past into the vast and inviting unknown." ~ author unknown but quoted in the Lewiston Tribune ~

"He takes men [and women] out of time and makes them feel eternity." 
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

"And he departed from our sight that we might return to our heart, 
and there find Him. 
For He departed, and behold, He is here." 
~ Saint Augustine of Hippo~

"Be thou comforted, little dog, 
Thou too in Resurrection shall have a little golden tail." 
~ Martin Luther ~

When I behold Thy Peerless face, beaming with love, O Lord,
What fear have I of earthly woe or of the frown of sorrow?
As the first ray of the dawning sun dispels the dark.
So too, Lord, when Thy blessed light bursts forth within the heart,
It too scatters all our grief and pain with sweetest balm.
When on Thy love and grace I ponder, in my heart's deepest depths,
Tears of joy stream down my cheeks beyond restraining.
Hail, Gracious Lord! Hail, Gracious One! I shall proclaim Thy love
May my life-breath depart from me as I perform Thy works!
~ Anonymous ~

Lord of he world, He reigned alone
While yet the universe was naught.
When by His will all things were wrought,
Then first His sovereign Name was known.
And when the All shall cease to be,
In dread lone splendor He shall reign,
He was, He is, He shall remain
In glorious eternity.
~ Solomon Ibn-Gabirol ~

"How happy will be our shout of Alleluia, how carefree, how secure from any adversary, where there is no enemy, where no friend perishes. There praise is offered to God, and here, too, but here it is by men who are anxious, there by men who are free from care; here by men who must die, there by men who will forever. Here praise is offered in hope, there by men who enjoy the reality; here by men who are pilgrims on the way, there by men who have reached their own country.
So, brethren, now let us sing Alleluia, not in the enjoyment of heavenly rest, but to sweeten our toil. Sing as travelers sing along the road; but keep on walking. Solace your toil by singing--do not yield to idleness. Sing by keep on walking. What do I mean by "walking"? I mean, press on from good to better. The apostle says there are some who go from bad to worse. But if you press on, you keep on walking. Go forward then in virtue, in true faith and right conduct. Sing up--and keep on walking.
~ Saint Augustine of Hippo

"Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. 
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 
For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; 
he is to be feared above all gods." 
~ I Chronicles 16:23-25

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

Prayer Keeping ~ Stacie ~ Annie ~ Val ~ Kary ~ Mary ~ Kerrie ~ Ray ~ Ruth ~ Anne ~ Kathy ~ Sandra ~ Timi, Miki, Mira, Mark ~ Adrienne ~ Karena ~ Roland ~ Debbie ~ Beckwith family ~ Lea and family ~ Mildred and John ~ Noelle ~ Geoffrey ~ Terry Angela, Penny and family ~ Daniel, Morgan, Meredith, Tosh ~ Susan ~ Stephanie ~ Winnie ~ Wanda ~ Steve ~ Gwen ~ Leslie ~ William and Catherine ~ Becky and Rick ~ Misha and J ~ Linda and Skip ~ Ryan ~ Roy ~ Tonya ~ me ~

Thursday, April 05, 2012

5 Months...but who's counting...

Here we are, in the tropics of Alaska, also known as Barrow. When we were packing for this trip, I told Dave, "Honey, you need to take a jacket or sweater." He barely glanced my direction. "Oh no. I'll be fine; it's not going to be that cold." I looked askance. "Dave, it's Alaska and not only Alaska, we're going to Barrow, the northernmost point in Alaska." Did he listen? Oh no. So, when we got off the plane in Barrow, the first thing we did was go shopping! Let me tell you something, shopping in Barrow, Alaska is swift and sweet because there's only one store and if they don't have it, you don't need it.
So, he bought his black hooded zippered jacket and wore that baby constantly! It looked great on him too -smile-.
It's five months today and, guess what? I'm okay. I'm actually doing okay; nothing great or fabulous but, mostly, I'm remembering to breath normally, I'm eating one decent meal a day and I've been on a mile walk because Sophie decided to go walkabout and I had to chase the dratted thing!
Grief is funny and strange. Sometimes I natter on because I'm so overwhelmed by grief that I need to pour it all out. I also need your comments; I cherish your comments and your prayers and know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that a lot of days, it's your prayers that keep me going forward. Today, I'm talking about grief because, unfortunately, some of you will, eventually, need to know.
Grief is funny and strange. It's a visitor that shows up at will; like an On/Off switch but I haven't a clue where to find that switch. Grief comes, me, totally unbidden...stays as long as it wants, does what it wants, is as terrible as it wants, extracts whatever price it wants, and then, suddenly, one morning it's gone. Gone for how long, only God knows.
Some of you know exactly what I'm talking about; you've been there, before me, and you know you do the best you can, most of the time, and sometimes even that isn't good enough. Still, one struggles and muddles through, knowing God is carrying the load, when we allow.

If you're interested, you can do something to lighten someone's load. Send a card, bake a casserole, take someone to lunch, offer to clean house, take their car to be washed, return books to the library, buy stamps or take their mail to the post office, take lunch and tea to their house and share a quiet hour or two. There are hundreds of ways to tell let show someone you care! Why should you? Because one day, dear heart, it's going to be you waiting, waiting, waiting and if you've sown sparingly, you'll reap sparingly and who wants or needs that? Sow with abandon, broadcast good works and deeds among everyone you know and yes, even that one person you don't really care for but s/he needs someone to care. It could be you making the difference between them making a stupid mistake in their life. Some of you have sent cards, e-notes, e-cards and all have blessed me. Sometimes those cards have arrived at a time and made the difference between grief and despair; bless you mightily for doing not such a small thing!
Last week someone mentioned to me they were out of town when someone they know passed away. This woman asked me, "I haven't called the family or sent a card and it's been a month. Is it too late?" Bless her for asking! No, it's not too late and if a phone call makes you uncomfortable...what shall I say, what if they start crying, what if, what if, what if...then, by all means, send a card. It's safe and easy and, from personal experience, know your card will be kept in a special place and read, re-read over and over and over... Is there anyone who gets tired of knowing someone cared enough to send a card? Not me! I told someone, "If God can't get me through this (grief), I won't go!" But He will, He's faithful and I choose to trust Him.
A few minutes ago, I looked at the statistics for this blog. More than 100,000 people have visited my Thistle Cove Farm blog and I am shocked; thank you so much! I started TCF blog in May 2005 and it's chronicled our life on the farm and our travels. It's been a great way to meet so many wonderful people both virtually and in person. Bless you; God bless us, everyone!

Blessings ~ TCF blog ~ travels ~ friends ~ faithfulness ~ a good few days ~

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Larry, the Cable Guy

~ everything borrowed from an e-mail sent to me ~
"Everyone concentrates on the problems we're having in our Country lately: illegal immigration, hurricane recovery, alligators attacking people in Florida... Not me--I concentrate on solutions for the problems -- it's a win-win situation.
*Dig a moat the length of the Mexican border.
*Send the dirt to New Orleans to raise the level of the levees.
*Put the Florida alligators in the moat along the Mexican border.

Any other problems you would like for me to solve today?

Think about this:
1 Cows
2. the Constitution
3. The Ten Commandments

COWS - Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the state of Washington? And, they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

THE CONSTITUTION - They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq...why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore.

THE 10 COMMANDMENTS - The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse is this -- you cannot post 'Thou Shalt Not Steal', 'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery' and 'Thou Shalt Not Lie' in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians; it creates a hostile work environment.


Blessings ~ laughter ~ Larry, the Cable Guy ~ 

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

~ Gypsy Rose Lee ~
Praise be to the Almighty! I've had two good days...yesterday and today...where I was able to do something other than cry. I've been catching up on bill paying and took my laptop and printer to Kewloff Computers and put everything in the capable hands of Jason and Tara, the owners.  Dave found Kewloff when the shop first opened and Jason has proven to be most excellent at his job as well as public relations. Tara is just as wonderful and I first met her in WalMart. She was buying kitty "stuff" and (of course) I had to give her my opinion. She's since forgiven me...right, Tara?...and both Jason and Tara are sturdy, responsible, conservative folks who will, hopefully, be in business a long, long, long time. Tara is one of those people who picked up the phone and called me one day. "You're on my mind; how are you doing?" If you've never had someone ask then you can't possible know what those few words meant/mean. She called during a low spell and it meant the world that an acquaintance would ask. God knows few friends were asking. So, never, never, ever underestimate the power of a phone call or a note; God may want to use you in such a way so don't disappoint Him or the person He wants to bless through you. The mission field is under your feet; bloom where you're planted.
I'm trying to make the most of the good days and get a lot accomplished. It seems I'm moving forward although I seem to focus on what's left on the ever-growing to-do list and not on what's been marked off. How about you? What's your focus?
Gypsy Rose Lee came to me via Freecycle in Abingdon. This was shortly after Dave died and someone needed to find a home for Gypsy and I responded. She was spayed and had her shots; how could I say no? Are you familiar with Freecycle? It's all over the USA, perhaps internationally as well but I'm not sure, and where people off-load "stuff", bicycles, animals, clothing, electronics, appliances, etc. The key word is free so I try not to look too closely at their listings -grin-.
It's raining although the thunder and lightening have passed to the east; there might be a little while left where it's comfortable enough to sit on the back porch. I need to relax a bit after getting so much accomplished today. Tomorrow will, hopefully, be another good day and there's plenty more left on the to-do list.
I'm getting the children for Easter break so need to get the house ready so we can do some outside work, weather permitting. Those little ones are great with the wagons!
BTW, please say a prayer for my Beloved Sistah; she's sick with upper respiratory epizootics and severely under the weather. That's about it; bless God for a couple of good days and something accomplished other than tears.

Blessings ~ the strength to do the work God sets before me ~ a good day ~ the children ~ my Beloved Sistah, the best one in the entire Universe! ~

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Sabbath Keeping

 ~ a rooster blew in from God knows where ~

"The fool hath said in his heart, 
There is no God."
~ Psalm 14:1 ~

"An atheist was seated next to a little girl on a plane and he turned to her and asked "Do you want to talk?  Flights go quicker if you strike up conversation with your fellow passenger"
The little girl who had just started to read a book replied, "What do you want to talk about?"

"Oh I don't know" said the atheist, " How about why there is No God, or No heaven or hell or No life after death", as he smiled smugly.

"Ok" she said. "Those could be interesting topics, but let me ask you a question first". A horse, a cow and a deer all eat the same grass, yet a deer excretes pellets, while a
cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?"

The atheist, visibly surprised by the girls intelligence, thinks about it and says "I have no idea", to which the little girl replies, "Do you really feel qualified to discuss why there is no God, no heaven or hell or no life after death, when you don't know s^^t manure?"

And she went back to reading her book...."

"Judge not according to the appearance, 
but judge righteous judgement."
~ John 7:24 ~

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

Prayer Keeping ~ Stacie ~ Annie ~ Val ~ Kary ~ Mary ~ Kerrie ~ Ray ~ Ruth ~ Anne ~ Kathy ~ Sandra ~ Timi, Miki, Mira, Mark ~ Adrienne ~ Karena ~ Roland ~ Debbie ~ Beckwith family ~ Lea and family ~ Mildred, John ~ Noelle ~ Geoffrey ~ Terry ~ Angela, Penny and family ~ Daniel, Morgan, Meredith, Tosh ~ Susan, Stephanie ~ Winnie ~ Wanda ~ Steve ~ Gwen ~ Leslie ~ William and Catherine ~ Becky, Rick ~ Misha, J ~ Lilnda, Skip ~ Ryan ~ Roy ~ Tonya ~ me ~

Blessings ~ laughter ~ 

P. S. Please wish Misha a Happy Birthday today!
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