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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, July 31, 2012

Stranger Than Strange

~ the original friends: Shaddie, Grace, Abigail ~
Yesterday morning, Gracie went to join Abbie and Dave. Gracie was much older than Abbie and, frankly, it surprised me when Abbie went first. Gracie had been diagnosed with a possible tumor in her nasal cavity but, with meds, she seemed to be enjoying life. Over the weekend, she seemed to slip downhill, just a tad. On Saturday, I doubled her pain meds and she seemed to rally. On Sunday, doubled meds and she spent the day, with us, her family, on the back porch where she enjoyed the fresh air, sunshine, bird song and watching the cats play. But I we knew it was time. On Monday, I drove Sophie, Sam and Grace to the vet office and we all said good-bye. 
It's been said before; grief is strange. Just when a person thinks I think I'm getting a grip, it flies in my face and, like Yogi Berra said, "It's deju vu all over again."
About 1:30 a.m., the night Abbie died, Jake shows up at the back door. I'd given Jake up for dead; it's been three weeks, perhaps longer, since he'd been here. Then, I heard he was living down the road and wondered why he didn't come 'round any more. Jake is his own dog, he comes and goes at will and Dr. Ann had given him a rabies shot. There's no keeping Jake in the yard, unless it's on a chain and I can't do that. I hate seeing a dog chained! Anyway, Jake comes, stands tall and puts both arms on my shoulders and nuzzles his head in my throat. He loves to give hugs and he's a really good hugger! 
Gracie died yesterday morning, and this morning about 1:30, Jake is at the back door. Again, he comes in, gives me a hug, eats, sleeps in the kitchen and leaves this morning. How is it a dog knows what to do and goes about doing it? Unconditional love...we could all learn something from Jake and the other animals at Thistle Cove Farm.
~ Miss Emma ~
Remember Miss Emma? A few weeks ago I posted she was missing; had gone missing about three weeks and had no idea what had happened to her.
~ Miss Emma tonight ~
A while ago, I came upstairs, sat down at Dave's desk and a cat came to rub against my leg. Absently, I bent down and began rubbing her ears...I only have female cats...and glanced down. It was MISS EMMA!!! She's a lot thinner, but healthy, and starved for affection and attention. Where has she been all this time? It's been more than a month! Let me tell you, it was a trifle spooky when I realized it was Miss Emma! She ate a bit of supper and has been in my lap ever since; she and I can't get enough of each other!
~ part of the current crew ~
Sadie, Gypsy, Sophie and Sam are part of the current compliment of critters on the farm. With Miss Emma returned home, Hattie Cat and Tippy Cat our little family is complete. Or, as complete as it's going to get this side of the veil. 
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Isn't that true in life? Firmly, I believe we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses that we cannot see with earthly eyes...humans and animals alike... God uses His animals to work His will. Remember Balaam's ass and the colt Christ rode into Jerusalem or when the rider "Faithful and True" will ride the white stallion? The Bible abounds with stories of animals interacting with humans; those stories continue today, although, I must admit, I'm as gobsmacked as Balaam when I think about Jake, Miss Emma, etc. There are more things in heaven and earth than I could possibly dream!

Blessings ~ Shaddie ~ Abbie ~ Gracie ~ Miss Emma ~ Sam ~ Gypsy ~ Sophie ~ Sadie ~ Hattie Cat ~ Tippy ~ and all the rest of the crew at Thistle Cove Farm, seen and unseen ~

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sabbath Keeping

"Jesus told a parable about a master who gave his servants money and went off to another country (Matthew 25:14-30). On his return he asked the servants what they had done with the money. Some had put it to work to make more money, but one servant simply gave it back to the master saying that he simply kept it safe. The master was angry with that servant. The lesson from the parable is that when you are given a gift, you have to use it. You have to deal with the responsibility and dilemmas of it. You cannot run from it. You cannot hide your light under some bushel of safety and hope that it just goes away. You've got to face the consequences of who you are and what your vocation is."
~ Walk On ~ The Spiritual Journey of U2 by Steve Stockman ~

"Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift." 
~ II Corinthians 9:15 ~

If you'd like a name added to the prayer list, please let me know. Unless otherwise requested, names will remain for one month. Around the world, people are praying.

Prayer Keeping ~ Maxine ~ Raeann ~ Cindy ~ Robin ~ Linda Sue ~ Angela, Penny and family ~ Webb family ~ Timi, Miki, Mira, Mark ~ Jane and Lance ~ Chris ~ Anne ~ Jill ~ Yvonne ~ Lynne ~ Lora ~ Kary ~ Quesenberry family ~ Stephanie and family ~ Steve and Gwen ~ me ~

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Week...Thus Far...Long Post

It's said when cattle, or any other livestock, continue to graze in the pouring rain, the rain is here to stay. Knowing there are those in the USA who would give years off their lives for rain, I hesitate to say this...but, we've had about two inches of rain every day for about two weeks. My teeth are soggy and I think those are mushrooms growing above the window!
Some have read about my week, thus far, but the following is what I sent a friend via e-mail. It covers the high points; frankly, this has been A WEEK and pain has blocked out some of it. Thankfully. I think. Anyway, this post isn't for the weak hearted; while the photos aren't graphic, some of the text is very graphic!
Sunday - 17th wedding anniversary, first without Dave, need I say more?
Monday - fell on large rocks in driveway; sprained left thumb, entire right leg from knee down severely bruised with large bump extending from knee to ankle and have numerous bruises on front of right shoulder where I landed on a large rock. I have NO idea what moment I was walking, the next I was on the ground with horses side stepping me. Sadie, the Ridgeback, managed to knock into me as she was dodging the horses. The big putz is afraid of the horses! Thankfully, the horses are good about giving me room and only came close to nuzzle and see if I was going to get up. Which I did, after far too few seconds on the ground. I remember the yard gate was open and didn't want the horses going into the yard; they could garrote themselves on the clothes line...ugly! So, I made my way to the house, very unsteadily, and took an 800 mg Ibuprofen and sat on the back porch while I sorted through my assortment of aches, bruises, lumps, etc.
Tuesday - stayed home and took Ibuprofen to stem pain.
Wednesday - had to go to Courthouse to get buy more Certificates of Qualification re. Dave's death and me being heir and Executrix. Of course, being Executrix makes me think of leather and horse whips...I'm twisted thataway and have a dark past that's cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb. Thank God or, as we used to say, PTL -praise the Lord. Anyway, back to the Certificate of Qualification...I bought and paid for several many copies in January but, apparently, that's now not new enough. Say that three or four times very fast! They must be thirty days or newer. And, yes, evidently that would have been too excruciating to have been told three weeks ago when I sent in the originally requested information and paperwork. 
I also went to the library to download books on my Kindle which, turns out, wasn't working. Using the Brand New USB cord, I tried charging the battery but, nope! It's not still not working. I called Amazon and they are sending me, gratis, another brand new USB cord. Those folks at Amazon are wonderful! 
Thursday - went to my GP for a physical because, ahem, it's past time. He's not happy with my blood pressure but he's happy with my cholesterol. I told him fifty percent sounded great to me and he could take those odds to Vegas! So, he tells me the BP has to come down, that's just after he asked me how I was doing in the months since Dave died. 
Note to self...look up oxymoron in dictionary...
Then, back to the Courthouse to get buy MORE Certificates of Qualification. Perhaps I should buy many, many copies...? Yet another "entity" needs an "updated" Certificate signifying I am who I say I am. Gee, do you think it's entirely possible I could have changed my identify since January? NOT! HELLO! I am NOT Jason Bourne!
Back home to find my Beloved Abigail Von Rotten the Jack Russell Terror screaming in pain; her right shoulder is dislocated. I pile Abbie, Gracie and Sophie because she's faster than greased lightening and is out the door before I can catch her...into the car and back to town we go. 
Dr. Lois comes out to the car to meet us!!!!! I pray to God all of you who have beloved companion animals have vets who are as kind and compassionate as Dr. Lois and Dr. Anne! Abbie has quieted, her shoulder has slipped back into place and we all trudge into the examination room. Dr. Lois listens while I explain what's been happening and I tell ask her if "it's time". She nods quietly. I'm afraid this will happen one night at 3:00 a.m. and Abbie will be in such terrible pain and I can't get her to the emergency room, and then, I'll be forced to shoot my own dog and, while I could do it, I'd rather Please Please God, don't ask it of me.
I always pay the extra money for the relaxation shot first. It calms the animal, makes them sleepy and eases their way Home. That's exactly what happened with Abbie. Dr. Lois gave her the relaxation shot while Steven and I held Abbie, then the kill shot, and then...she just slipped away with me whispering in her ear messages to give Dave.
Yes, I firmly believe Abbie, and all our my other beloved companion animals are in heaven. God loved them first, He made them first and we're all made for His glory and pleasure.
If you don't believe this, then you're right as well. Your animals will be in heaven but you won't recognize each other. It's best that way; they won't recognize you and be confused when you don't recognize them. And you, because you lack the faith of a child, will never know. God is kind that way.
Abbie will be cremated and then buried with our other Beloved Friends who have gone ahead. As for me, it was a three night beer. Yes, I do drink beer, wine and, sometimes, a cocktail. These days, I'm not a big drinker but, trust me, last night called for three beers. Abbie was my heart beat for more than sixteen years; it's not the same as Dave going ahead but, believe me, the pain is still raw, especially since it's been less than nine months since Dave went ahead. 
Friday - It's back to town...I swear, I should just get a town job...kidding! Just kidding! smile and as I was going down the driveway, a red fox vixen comes out of my barn and goes up the driveway carrying a kitten. I slam on brakes, she turns and looks at me long enough for me to take her picture.
It's difficult to tell but that small reddish spot between the second and third fence posts to the left of the gate is Mama Fox. Now I know what all the yelping is about; Mama Fox has kits and they are hungry so she's been feeding them kittens. Mother Nature and Father Time take care of us all...eventually and in one way or the other.
Then, I head down the road to a neighbor's house to pick up a table to use in the little town festival tomorrow. Ziggy, their ten month old Great Dane comes BOUNDING to greet meet and I...dumb, dumb, out, "Hi Ziggy; whatcha doing Beautiful?" Well. Ziggy goes crazy with joy and begins leaping and running and cavorting around and...this is the "bad" part...crashing into me, over and over and over...Now I've started to yell, "NO ZIGGY, DOWN ZIGGY, OFF ZIGGY" and Ziggy is SO happy because here's a New Human AND she knows MY name! OH THE JOY!!! At Ziggy's last pass at me, and before I dash to the house, I put up my hands to, hopefully, try and keep her from slamming into me and knocking me into the ground and...and... I'm not quite sure what happened next. See Monday's note about falling...
Either I "put" my hand into Ziggy's mouth or Ziggy "puts" her tooth into my hand...either way, I've got a puncture wound in the pad of my right hand. Ziggy is such a puppy, albeit a huge puppy and her first humans got her and then didn't want her because, "Gosh, we had no idea she'd get to be so big!" 
Trust me, you can't think or say anything I've not already thought or said! Some humans simply make you wonder if they're worth their salt!
Anyway, Ashley, good soul that she is, rescued Ziggy and, when Ziggy quietens down a trifle, she's going to be a fabulous dog! She's already a beauty and just needs some more TLC and training. I know this because Sadie is just like her only not quite as big. Perhaps I could start working with them both to give teach them some manners...? 
A half bottle of peroxide later, I'm, almost good as new. It's only when I get to the AAA office they ask, "Why are you so filthy and why is there blood running down your arm?" OOPS! Ziggy clipped me and I missed it. Laura said, "I think Dave is trying to tell you to slow down." I looked at her and said, "That's easy for him to say!" We all laugh.
I'm almost finished and so is my week...are you still with me?
Now, it's late afternoon, I'm exhausted, the dogs need to be let out and fed and I'm headed down the valley when...the dang gas light comes on. I'm almost out of gasoline! So, I turn around, windshield wipers beating time get that reference? and head back to the convenience store and gas tanks. I lift the nozzle freshwater pearl bracelet snags, breaks and pearls roll everywhere! While the gas is going into the tank and the rain is pounding down, I drop to my knees and start gathering up my pearls.
No, as it happens, this is not a good time to recall the Bible verse...pearls before swine!
Did I mention I'm exhausted? Tomorrow is a little town festival and I'm going to sell raffle tickets for a VA Tech fleece throw I made. All money is going to our volunteer fire department but I've already said, if it's raining, I'm not going. 
We've had rain every day for two weeks and you know what?
I'm praying for rain tomorrow!

Blessings ~ humor ~ pearls ~ rain ~ puppies ~ vixens ~ Gracie ~ Sophie ~ Sadie ~ Abigail, my heart beat for more than sixteen years.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Your Input Needed and The Weaver

Your input is needed, please and thanks. As a working title, which do you think is the best fit and why?

~Put Your Affairs In Order - Saving Money Beyond the End
~Life Preparedness Training
~Ready To Go - Leaving Your Affairs in Order
~Proactive, Not Reactive ~ Putting Your Affairs in Order

Daily, it seems, I'm putting new information in the e-book. In talking with people regarding their experiences, one woman told me about "hardship circumstances" and her dealings with the bank. Her husband died suddenly, leaving her with no cash flow and a large mortgage. She spoke with the bank and they worked with her to reduce her mortgage and she's living in their home until she decides it's time to move forward. Let's face it, banks aren't in the home ownership business; they are in the banking business and, generally, will work with folks to arrive at a solution that benefits both. 
I'm not kidding myself. This book won't be popular among some industries. Those industries whose business it is to separate you from your hard earned money won't like what I'm writing. Tough! It's what we need to know to make our lives, and the lives of our loved ones, a tad easier during what is going to be terribly difficult circumstances. It's also what we need to know to keep more of our hard earned money in our pockets!
This week has been difficult and, again, I'm reminded of one step forward, two back. I'm also reminded God is in control and, this week, I've needed to call on Him more than usual. The grieving and healing process is...strange. While I can't say I'm happy, I can say, I'm not as unhappy as I was and that's moving forward.
I am blessed to have meaningful work, a few bone deep friends, good health...yes, even including that nasty fall, animals who are healthy, a beautiful place to live. this has been a week of focusing on the blessings.
When I was 18, Mom sent me away to a Bible college. She thought it would build character and, in retrospect, she was right. What I remember most about that year was the poem, The Weaver. She gave me a bookmark with that poem and the image of a loom printed on the bookmark. I still have it, it still speaks to my heart.

My life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me,
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.
Oftimes He weaveth sorrow,
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I, the under side.
Not till the loom is silent
And the shuttle ceases to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas 
and explain the reason why
The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
What's the pattern of your life?

Blessings ~ good health ~  bone deep friends ~ a beloved sister ~ companion animals ~ meaningful work ~ hope ~

Monday, July 23, 2012

Late for Church...again...

~ white tailed deer ~
Yesterday I left 35 minutes early for a 15 mile drive, thinking, "surely I'm leaving enough of a cushion to make it to church on time...?" I made it about a mile from the house, rounded a turn and there she was, standing in the road, trying to decide to go over the fence and down the hill or over the fence and up the hill. It took her a while.
She finally decided to turn and go up the hill. I gave her all the time she needed; I didn't want her to panic and injure herself. When I glanced in the rear view mirror, there was a motorcyclist, seated on a rice burner, aka crotch rocket, and not exhibiting any patience. 
My attitude is the jerk should buy me an ice cream cone because I, probably, saved him from wrecking his motorcycle and, probably, injuring himself. 
Yep, a few miles up the road, he decided to pass on a double yellow line. And motorcyclists wonder why car drivers don't respect them. Well, when they start respecting themselves and the laws of the road, perhaps they'll garner respect. Or not.

So, I was late for church, again, but only by a couple of minutes. Not too bad, eh?
A recent thrift store find...
A Singer serger although someone told me they thought it was also an embroidery machine. What do you think? Whatever it is, it was an absolute find for $8.95. The best find in a long while...hurrah!
~ Gracie, in the forefront; Sadie, behind and Abbie, far right ~
Dr. Lois, the vet came today, to see Gracie and Abbie, my old girls. The diagnosis is, probably, nothing serious other than old age...which is terminal, as we all know. While Dr. Lois and Steven...or is it Stephen, not sure...were here, they trimmed Gracies nails. Poor dear old thing; she cried, moaned, barked, squealed like a girl. All that was before they started cutting her nails; when they actually started, she quieted down. She went on arthritis meds about two months ago and now feels like a young gal; so much better!
~ Abbie ~
Abbie is going on arthritis meds as well; she has old bones and I want both Abbie and Gracie to be as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. They've been good friends, great companions and I believe in taking care of my own. 
As for me, I had a bad fall tonight, not even sure what happened but I found myself crumpled on the driveway rocks while the horses milled around. Fortunately, the all sidestepped me but Sadie knocked into me as she ran away from the horses. Basically, I'm okay but you'd think otherwise if you could see the bumps, lumps, bruises and vibrant colors. It's at times like this, as well as every other minute of the day, that I really miss Dave. He'd notice if I didn't make it back to the house and come looking for me. Now, I'm on my own. This farming business ain't for sissies! smile

Blessings ~ my furry family ~ good health ~ Steven ~ Dr. Lols ~ 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sabbath Keeping

"You will be secure because there is hope; 
you will look about you and take your rest in safety. 
You will lie down with no one to make you afraid 
and many will court your favor." 
"There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with the other, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life. 
"Live then, and be happy, beloved children of my heart, and never forget, that until the day God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words: Wait and Hope." ~ Alexandre Dumas ~
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering, 'it will be happier'"
"There is a saying in Tibetan, "Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.' No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that's our real disaster." ~ Dali Lama XIV ~
"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for." ~ Epicurus
"Hope is a verb with its shirtsleeves rolled up."
"Hope itself is like a star-not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity." ~ Charles H. Spurgeon
"Everything that is done in this world is done by hope." 
"Therefore, since we have been justified thorough faith, we have peace with God thorough our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and, character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us."  

If you'd like a name added to the prayer list, please let me know. Unless otherwise requested, names will remain for one month. Around the world, people are praying.

Prayer Keeping ~ Maxine ~ Cindy ~ Robin ~ Linda Sue ~ Webb family ~ Sandy ~ Timi, Miki, Mira, Mark ~ Jane and Lance ~ Chris ~ Anne ~ Jill ~ Yvonne ~ Lynne ~ Lora ~ Kary ~ Steve and Gwen ~ Stephanie and family ~ Mildred and John ~ Misha and J ~ Quesenberry family ~ me, Dave and I were married 17 years ago today...another first without him ~

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Winston Churchill is said to have thoroughly enjoyed paraprosdokians.
Say WHAT!? 
Henny Youngman was a master; remember, "Take my wife...please!" or Groucho Marx, "I've had a perfectly wonderful evening...but this wasn't it!" P. G. Wodehouse is always a favorite. "She looked as though she's been poured into her clothes and forgot to say 'when'." 
For those who know I cannot let black humor pass, there's this one by Emo Philips, "I like going to the park and watching the children run around because they don't know I use blanks." 
Another by Winston Churchill supposedly about Clement Attlee, "A modest man, who has much to be modest about."
Not sure who said these, but some are really funny:
*If there's a will, I want to be in it.
*War doesn't determine who is right. Only who is left.
*To steal from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
*I didn't say it was your fault. I said I was blaming you.
*I thought I wanted a career. Turns out, I just wanted a paycheck.
*The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's on my list.
*I used to be indecisive. Now, I'm not so sure.
*Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
*You're never too old to learn something stupid.

Blessings ~ paraprosdokians ~ humor ~ humorists ~ another beautiful day ~

Friday, July 20, 2012

Simple Joys

You'll understand why the poor photo quality when you understand I was sneaking up on the doe and her twin fawns and trying, quite unsuccessfully, to dodge rain, and, more successfully, dodged the thunder and lightening.
There's been an abundance of wild life in the valley, bear, Golden and Bald eagles, deer, turkey, grouse, skunks, possums, foxes...perhaps the lack of water and rain has driven them from the mountains to the pastures.
It's all I can do to capture a glimpse, getting a photo, even a blurry photo, is almost a miracle!
Much more difficult to see the twin fawns but, trust me, both are there; standing close to Mother. I'm not sure but, perhaps, if you double click the image will enlarge...? Might be worth a try. When I say I was sneaking up...I was still a couple of football fields away!
To all who have said a prayer I would get some help on the farm...thank God for answered prayers! A neighbor's son, 16, has been helping me this week and we're both glad...he for the money and groceries, me for the help. I'm old, really, I am! think know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This young buck shows up...bless him!...with no food in his belly. How on earth can he expect to use his equipment with no fuel in the engine?! So, I make sure he gets a meal before we get started...usually it's a pepperoni cheese roll stuffed with fried egg and sausage, lots of protein and carbs. Then, I feel better about working him like I own him! 
Oh, give it up and laugh. It's a joke! Besides, you know I don't; I work him like Mom and Daddy worked teach, instruct, build character and, hopefully, be a good influence in his life.

Blessings ~ farm help ~ doe and her fawns ~ rain ~ work ~ wild life ~

Monday, July 16, 2012

Late for Church

I used to tell Dave, "I'm trying" and he'd reply, "You certainly are trying!" One of our little verbal games...that I miss. Generally, when we'd go to church, we'd invariably be late. Not by much, just a minute or two, but late nonetheless. Today was no exception. I was flying down the road...on time for once...when I saw the above critter trying to cross the road. I slammed on the brakes, hit the emergency flashers and jumped out of the car, camera in hand. 
He's pitiful and my guess is he fell off his mother while going from hither to thither. I took a couple of photos, motioned traffic to go around and then s/he wandered back into the side of the road brush. 
I wish him well.
Then, cow break out! This has been going on for a couple of weeks now. The fences are horrible where these cattle are located and they wander, seemingly at will, back and forth between pasture and road. Everyone is upset but that doesn't seem to count for anything; the cows are still wandering around loose.
So that's why I'm usually late for church; it's just so dang interesting between here and there. So much to see, so much of God's beauty to enjoy, so much of NOW to enjoy.
I visited a new to me church today; the Pastor was enthusiastic, knew his Bible and preached the Word! Then, he stood at the door and greeted people as they left the service. DO WHAT?!!! I'm excited; it's been a while since any of those things happened and yeah, I'm going back. 

 The humming bird photo is blurry but can you
see all the hummers? Today, I counted ten...10!
flying around the feeder. 
They are having a fine ole time, almost as much fun as I'm having simply watching them.
Have you read this Elisabeth Elliott quote? "The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian makes me a different kind of woman." 
What kind of woman are you?

Blessings ~ humming birds ~ possums ~ cows ~ Elisabeth Elliott ~ new to me preacher ~ Dave ~

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sabbath Keeping

"May the Lord bless thee and keep thee. The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord life up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace."
"May God, the Lord, bless us with all heavenly benediction, and make us pure and holy in his sight. May the riches of his glory abound in us. May He instruct us with the word of truth, inform us with the Gospel of salvation, and enrich us with his love, Through Jesus Christ, our Lord." ~ Gelasian Sacramentary
"A sense of blessedness comes from a change of heart, 
not from more blessings."
"The blessing of the Lord rest and remain upon all his people, in every land, of every tongue; the Lord meet in mercy all that seek him; the Lord hasten his coming , and give us, his people, the blessing of peace." ~ Bishop Handley Moule
"Not in rewards, 
but in the strength to strive, 
the blessing lies."
~ J. W. Towbridge ~
"Change, like sunshine, can be a friend or a foe, a blessing or a curse, a dawn or a dusk." 
~ William A. Ward ~
"May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
May God be with you and bless you; 
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune, 
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.
May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you.
May true be the hearts that love you."
~ Traditional Irish Blessing ~

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst
for righteous,
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 children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted
because of righteous
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you,
persecute you and falsely say all kinds of
evil against you because of me."
If you'd like your name added to the prayer list, please let me know. Unless requested, names will remain for one month; around the world, people are praying.

Prayer Keeping ~ Maxine ~ Cindy ~ Robin ~ Becky ~ Webb Family ~ Linda Sue ~ Timi, Miki, Mira, Mark ~ Sandy ~ Chris ~ Anne ~ Jill ~ Jane and Lance ~ Yvonne ~ Clint ~ Lynne ~ Lora ~ Kary ~ Quesenberry Family ~ Stephanie and family ~ Steve and Gwen ~ Mildred and John ~ Misha and J ~ me ~

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Work, Work, Work...and rain...

This week has been full of lovely and in the low 60's F each and every day, rain, overcast, drizzly... Did I mention we've had lots of lovely rain? Cool, refreshing, gentle, rain that is glorious in its comfort and healing.
"The richness of the rain made me feel safe and protected; I have always considered the rain to be healing -- a blanket -- the comfort of a friend. Without at least some rain in any given day, or at least a cloud or two on the horizon, I feel overwhelmed by the information of sunlight and yearn for the vital, muffling gift of falling water." 

Roger Miller said, "Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet." Ain't it the truth!
Do you walk in the rain? Long strolls, sans umbrella, perhaps wearing a hat because it keeps your glasses from being streaked but smelling the rain as it washes the earth of dust, looking for the rainbow because, as Dolly Parton said, "If you want the rainbow, you've got to put up with a little rain."
One more poem before I talk about my calves.
"At night I dream that you and I are two plants
that grew together, roots entwined,
and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,
since we are made of earth and rain."
~ Pablo Neruda, Regalo De Un Poeta/Gift of a Poet ~
I am healing but, but... but.
I'm putting in 12 to 14 hour days; beginning at dawn with I need those!... then heading to the pastures to chop thistle and, in the heat of the day, paperwork dealing with the estate and other matters. All that to say, once my day has "ended", I'm too exhausted to get on the computer; thus, no visiting around Blogland nor updating my own. Ah, winter...time to do only what's absolutely necessary and then back to the warmth of the farm house!
Today, it rained this afternoon, after we worked the calves in the morning. For the first time since Dave and I established Thistle Cove Farm, I'm raising calves. Eight black Angus and two red Angus with the eight, eventually, going to market and the two being raised for folks who want clean meat. 
The calves have been on pasture since 13 March and have put on about two pounds a day. That's pretty amazing for grass fed calves! I'm going to finish the two red Angus on pasture and grain and will sell them by the quarter, keeping one quarter for my own freezer and, hopefully, having a couple of rugs to sell. This is a new venture for me but as I've learned more and more about food, iow meat, production I can't say I'm excited about buying my meat at any grocery store. Food, Inc. is the movie that changed the way a lot of people look at food production and while I've never seen it, I have been in a few poultry houses and seen, first hand, those conditions. Fast Food Nation is another movie that's bound to scare the socks off you and, possibly, change the way you eat.
I was raised on clean food...Daddy has had a garden since the mid 1960's, he would cure his own hams, Mom and I would spend days canning and freezing in the summer so we'd have food in the winter. It took me a long time to figure out what all the fuss was about... folks talking about buying local, etc. Heck, for us "local" was walking outside and pulling corn off the stalk, taking the salt shaker to the garden, rubbing the dirt off the tomato and eating it warm and slightly...okay, very salty...while juice dripped off my chin. When I found out everyone didn't eat like that, I was amazed! 
If you're interested in buying a quarter and are within driving distance...I'll drive three hundred miles to deliver...let me know. I'm taking orders now and already have one calf, tentatively, sold. Apparently, clean food is important to a lot of people. Is it to you?

Blessings ~ rain ~ poetry ~ calves ~ clean food ~ work ~ 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Liz England, GOOD NEWS!

~ Liz England, borrowed photo ~
Don't you just love "feel good" stories? Stories about folks who do well, prosper and are nice as kittens to boot? This is one of those stories. 
Fred, my lawyer, asked me to go by his office and pick up some things for Mrs. Webb.
While I was there, he said, "Want to hear a great story?" Of course, I said, "yes!".
Liz England grew up in Richlands, a small town in our county, and went to Highlight Christian Academy. As a freshman at Clemson, she participated in the U-23 Freshman Development Camp and began her rowing career. Did you catch that? She began her rowing career!
During her Junior year at Washington State University, Liz continued her rowing career and was selected to attend the USRowing 2011 Under-23 National Team Selection Camp. 
Beginning today, July 11, she's in Lithuania, participating in the World Rowing Under-23 Championships in Trakai
Other members of her crew are Daphne Martschenko of Fairfax, VA who attends Stanford; Cathy McDermott of Cazenovia, NY who attends Yale and Molly Bruggeman of Dayton, OH who attends Notre Dame.
In a related interview, Liz said, "For me, it's a culmination of four years of really hard work. As a freshman, I attended the USRowing Freshmen Development Camp. Over the summer of my sophomore year I attended another USRowing development camp. Then, last year I was also accepted to the U-23 Team Camp. It feels like a little pat on the back to be accepted, but it also seems like an open door and an invitation to continue to train hard and push myself and test my limits."
Her parents, David and Patricia, are vintners and her Dad played basketball at Emory and Henry College. just across the mountain and brothers John and James share sibling pride.
Liz is a woman to watch, which will be easy as she stands 6'4". -smile- Please forgive me for injecting the word "I" into this blog entry but I am as pleased as punch and over the moon happy for Liz and her family! Fred tells me she's an exceptional Christian woman, both in sports and in disposition. The world could use another few million just like her, imho. -smile-
Just think...815 athletics from 56 nations will compete in the Championships; Liz is one of them!

Blessings ~ Liz ~ her family ~ rowing ~ Lithuania ~ God given talent and ability ~ feel good stories ~

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Sabbath Keeping

"For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the Lord,
thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
~ Jeremiah 29:11 ~
"Thinking is the greatest torture in the world for most people."
"Never express yourself more clearly than you are able to think." 
~ Niels Bohr
"One must live the way one thinks or 
end up thinking the way one has lived."
~ Paul Bourget ~
"Thoughts are things: they have tremendous power. Thoughts of doubt and fear are pathways to failure. When you conquer negative attitudes of doubt and fear you conquer failure. Thoughts crystallize into habit and habit solidifies into circumstances." 
~ Bryan Adams ~ 
"You are today where your thoughts have brought you;  
you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you." 
~ James Allen ~
"You live with your thoughts so be careful what they are." ~ Eva Arrington ~  
"If everybody thought before they spoke, 
the silence would be deafening."
~ George Barzan
"No matter how hard you work for success if your thought is saturated with the fear of failure, it will kill your efforts, neutralize your endeavors and make success impossible." 
~ Baudjuin ~
"The power of thought,
the magic of the mind." 
~ Lord Bryon ~ 
"Thought is the parent of the deed." 
~ Thomas Caryle
"Sooner or later, 
false thinking brings wrong conduct." 
~ Julian S. Huxley ~
"Why should we think upon things that are lovely? Because thinking determines life. It is a common habit to blame life upon the environment. Environment modifies life but does not govern life. The soul is stronger than its surroundings." ~ William James
"Thought takes man out of servitude, into freedom." 
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ~
~ anonymous ~
"If you make people think they're thinking they'll love you:
but if you really make them think, they'll hate you."
~ Don Marquis ~
"No brain is stronger than its weakest think."
~ Thomas Merton
"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind think on these things."
~ Philippians 4:8 ~

If you'd like your name added to the prayer list, please let me know. Your name will be listed for one month unless you update me; around the world, people are praying.

Sabbath Keeping ~ Maxine ~ Cindy ~ Robin ~ Becky ~ Webb family ~ Linda ~ Timi, Miki, Mark, Mira ~ Sandy ~ Chris ~ Ann ~ Jill ~ Jane and Lance ~ Yvonne ~ Clint ~ Lynn ~ Lora ~ Kary ~ Quesenberry family ~ Stephanie and family ~ Steve and Gwen ~ Mildred and John ~ Misha and J ~ me ~ 

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Hot July Saturday

In the summer I use a lot more sugar than any other time of the year. It's canning season and it's humming bird season; those little friends can suck through some sugar water! The high count for the two feeders that are close to the back porch, is twelve. That's right, a dozen humming birds fighting over two feeders! Still, it doesn't match Aunt Esther's count of thirty-six...36! Of course, she had half dozen feeders and some of those were plastic liter bottles. Humming birds loved Aunt Esther! 
These two little misses were at the parade Tuesday night. Things went swimmingly until the driver became enthralled waving at her adoring public. The passenger kept one hand on the windshield, the other hand near the steering wheel and both eyes on the road. When, seconds later, the driver began driving toward the side of the road, the passenger screamed, grabbed the wheel and began straightening the vehicle. The driver, thoroughly miffed, turned to scream at the passenger, whereby the passenger raised her hand to slap the driver. OH THE DRAMA! Mom, walking beside them, stepped into the melee and got both girls straightened and, for the moment, peace reigned. Perhaps the disagreement began over which young miss could be the driver...I don't really know.
One of my favorite floats...the youngest resident of the garden is three and a half months while the oldest is a woman ninety-one years old. Please note the calf, draped in red, white and blue bunting...big city parades got nothing on us, I'm here to say...proudly!
These were the only two horse riders in the parade and that's a mighty fine palomino gelding the gent is riding. For those who don't know a gelding is a cut, or castrated male horse.
Miss Gypsy Rose Lee is the climbingest cat I've ever known! In the mornings, she goes to the barn with the dogs and I; we do barn chores and then back to the house. She'll climb fence posts, into barn windows and this is the clothes line with bird feeder attached. I don't feed birds in the summer months; there's plenty of forage for them. I do feed in the winter months, starting about November, or earlier, if the weather is bad.
I would dearly love to play around on the computer the rest of this H.O.T. day but lime pickles await as does shredding zucchini for the freezer. I love making zucchini bread in the winter time and with cream cheese it makes either a dandy breakfast or a fine snack. Keeping two cups in baggies means I've always got just enough for a couple loaves of bread.
I've been canning for forty-six years and started by making jelly out of what we called fox grapes. I'm not sure what variety grapes they were but do remember they were large and white in the height of summer. They made delicious jelly!
Gosh...almost forgot...the radio broadcast yesterday isn't going to be put on-line on their site. They are sending me a copy and I'll either figure out -haha- or get someone to help me put it on my blog...IF I have bandwidth...rural areas and bandwidth don't go together.
So, I'm in process of putting my hard won earned information into a book. No, I'm not being morbid but there's SO much one can do to prepare for the death of a loved one. Even if that loved one is you -wry smile-. Come you really want the government to step in and decide where your children are going to live...think foster home!... or take a huge piece of your hard earned money or belongings? There are legal ways to take care of your affairs and some of these legal ways don't cost you a dime...not now, not later! 
You have my permission to keep me on focus; please ask, every so often, "How's the book coming along?" Unless things change, it's going to be an e-book and at an affordable price. As the Good Book says, "a workman work woman is worth his her hire" and, yes, I'll have to charge for my labor. 
Is there anything in particular you'd like me to include?
In the meantime, please pray for me...I need help on the farm because there are chores I'm simply not strong enough, smart enough or have the equipment to handle. I also need wisdom to make intelligent choices regarding my affairs and I need strength to do the work God has placed before me. 
God bless you and thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm today.

Blessings ~ summer ~ harvest ~ canning ~ parades ~ prayer ~ book ~ writing ~ 

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Radio Interview Today at 3:00

NOTE: If you click on this link, you can go to the LIving Better at 50 website and listen to the interview. It's the July 5th broadcast; Freedom in Christ: Woman and the Widow.

Today, July 5 at 3:00, Living Better at 50's Prudence Lay is interviewing Carol Marie of He's my Husband ministries. Prudence has graciously included me in the interview and we're discussing the experience of widowhood. If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know this is a club I was dragged into kicking and screaming! While I am a willing, and grateful, participate of the radio show...not so much the club. -smile-

Hope your schedule allows you to listen and then, let me know your thoughts, please and thanks. If you go to the Living Better at 50 radio site, you'll find instructions on how to listen to the interview. Please, let me know what you think and, if you're so inclined, please leave a comment on the broadcast site.

As an aside, this morning is the 8th month anniversary of Dave's death and this morning was the first time since Dave died, I awoke, having dreamed of Dave. It was a sweet dream and thank God for both the dream and the man. I am blessed.

Blessings ~ as much time as Dave and I had ~ Living Better at 50 ~ Prudence ~ sweet dreams ~ precious memories ~

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy July 4th

~ VFW, Richlands, VA ~
"We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc.
Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the Northern Parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for other general good of the Colony, unto which we promised all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini 1620.
Source: William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647 (Samuel Eliot Morison, ed. 1952, 75-76."

~ Little Miss and Miss USA ~
"It is impossible to govern without God and the Bible." 
~ George Washington
First President of the USA ~ 
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. ...
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
24 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence had a seminary degree!
"Republicans believe every day is the 4th of July, 
but Democrats believe every day is April 15th."
~ Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the USA ~
"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical." 
~ Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, 1787 ~
"Well Doctor, what have we got--a Republic or a Monarchy?"
"A Republic, if you can keep it."
~ Benjamin Franklin ~
"Love your country but never trust its government." 
~ Robert Heinlin ~
"The power to tax involves the power to destroy...the power to destroy may defeat and render useless the power to create..." ~ Chief Justice John Marshall, 1819 ~
"The end move in politics is always to pick up a gun." 
~ R. Buckminster Fuller ~

Blessings ~ veterans ~ Veterans of Foreign Wars ~ Declaration of Independence ~ Mayflower Compact ~    
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