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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.

Friday, September 07, 2012

life beautiful giveaway

~ Lily, waving hello ~
While at the barn, recently, I hear mewling. Eventually, I followed the sound to the hay loft where I found this little one. Kimberly, a young friend, named this little one Lily which is odd, because in the last month or so, two human Lily's have crossed my path. Anyway, Lily it is and she's quite young, perhaps 5 weeks and I've been feeding her with an eyedropper. Yesterday, I broke down and bought a kitten bottle and she'll drink from it but doesn't enjoy it. Could it be the little rascal has already become accustomed to being fed instead of feeding? Oh dear. I hope she's not a liberal Democrat a conservative.
~ my barn loft ~
She came to the house, stuffed inside my shirt, because of the huge barn owl perched overhead, staring in disapproval because I'd snatched his warm meal almost from his mouth. Lily lives in the bathtub until she's big enough to move to the bathroom and, eventually, to the rest of the house. She's fed every 2 to 3 hours during the day but, selfish me, I only feed her once in the middle of the night.
The feeder had to be moved so, using the Ranger, I piled everything on and everyone in, and changed location. You can, just barely, see the white face of a black Angus peering from the side of the building. Once moved, the feeder was filled with mineral salt.
Could it be the boys are enjoying their minerals? I take my stewardship seriously and provide quality minerals, feed and clean, cold mountain river water for all my animals. 
~ doe and twin fawns ~
A lot of evenings are spent on the back porch, watching this mama and her two babies. If someone drives by, slows down and stops, I jump to my feet and begin screaming, whistling and, in general, making as much noise as possible. This alerts Mama to call to her young and flee. No, as a matter of fact I don't trust people; there are far too many instances of me finding deer dead in the field because some stupid idiot...or is that an oxymoron?... has shot a deer out of season and from the road. I don't mind hunters and know they provide a service both to nature and to their families, and, around here, the men hunt to put meat on the table. They'll spend hours, even days, tracking something they've shot and wounded. It's a sad fact of hunting but not every shot is a kill shot. 
~ 22.5 round bales~
John, my neighbor down the road, and some buddies, perhaps even Ashley, his wife, put up my hay. God blessed us with good weather and twenty-two and a half bales were cut, kicked, raked and baled DRY! Thank You, God! And, thank you John and all!
Once again, another month anniversary of Dave's death has come and gone with me not remembering. Thank you, God. I think. Is life beautiful? Yes. Is life difficult? Yes. Do I miss Dave every single solitary day? Yes. A friend asked, "Do you ever go into a room and start to speak to Dave, then realize he's not there?" I didn't answer her then but will now. The answer is, "not hardly. There's never a day that I don't remember he's dead. There's never a day that I don't miss him." But, for two months in a row, I've missed the anniversary date of his death so, I'm healing...right? I'm growing ahead. I'm beginning to understand again, in a heart sense, life is beautiful
Are you familiar with the magazine for your journey? I buy it whenever I see it and, probably, should subscribe. Today, I found the summer 2012 issue and picked up two copies. When I finish this blog entry, I'm taking the magazine and a glass of tea to the back porch where I'll spend a few minutes, relaxing, before getting on the mower and getting back to chores.
I want one of you to relax, so, please leave me a comment and let me know your favorite way to relax. This time next week, Friday, September 14, around 3 p.m., using, a name will be chosen to receive a copy of this issue.
In the midst of life's hardships, let's is beautiful!

Blessings ~ healing ~ calves ~ deer ~ fawns ~ dry hay ~ Lily ~ life:beautiful ~


  1. Such a beautiful – and blessed – kitten!

    My relaxation comes with a knitting (or less often, spinning) project in my hands, or reading through my favorite blogs – like yours. :-) Thanks for the comment on mine today!

  2. Such a beautiful – and blessed – kitten!

    My relaxation comes with a knitting (or less often, spinning) project in my hands, or reading through my favorite blogs – like yours. :-) Thanks for the comment on mine today!

  3. Lily looks so cute!!! And you are a very good Mom! :o)
    I am glad you got help and your animals are safe for the winter!
    Favorite way to relax? Being alone and quiet..and praying...and reading the Bible...waiting for God to show me the way...:o)

  4. My favorite way to relax is reading blogs of some of the wonderful ladies out there. I enjoy finding the writing of women who are on the same journey I'm on. It's also refreshing to read of journeys that I have not experienced. This way of relaxing can often be enhanced with iced tea or hot tea, depending on the time of year.:)

  5. Hello Sandra:
    Lily is absolutely adorable. If only we were closer, we should wish to make her ours...middle of the night feeding and all!!!

    You do seem to be doing very well with all the chores around the farm, and it has filled our hearts with joy to think that you are finding time for yourself to simply be. How wonderful to while away some time on your porch, magazine and drink in hand, looking out over that beautiful countryside. Bliss. Life is indeed good!

  6. Hi! :)

    My favorite way to relax lately has been with a cup of herbal tea, a baked good, and any one of the many good books by 'Miss Read'- happy and calm girl at the end of a good chapter.

  7. Anonymous4:05 PM EDT

    Hi Sandra, What a sweetie Lily is. You know how I love cats. I enjoyed all your photos. I was talking with a neighbor today whose 99 year old mom just passed away. He says he often picks up the phone to call her still.
    I'm thankful for those who helped with you hay. I'm thankful that you share your feelings re missing Dave with us and I hope you know I keep you close in my heart and prayers.

  8. Anonymous4:24 PM EDT

    I forgot to say that I am not familiar with the magazine you mentioned but it looks great. My favorite way to relax is in my comfy swivel rocker with a cup of coffee and a dog or cat in my lap!

  9. Very, very great photos, Thistle! And not only the photos - the reality, which stands behind all these situations is full of spirit. Thank you, I love all the scenes!

  10. I was touched by this post because of the tenderness you show your animal friends as well as the honesty about your healing process.

  11. I find it hard to relax. I tell myself that a nice warm bath will do it, but I jump back out before I have time to settle in. Or sitting down by the river, yes? But I can't make myself stay for more than a few minutes. Sigh. However ... watercolor paining! That I do find very relaxing. I don't know why. I can't relax while doing nothing; I need to be focusing, creative, almost still.

  12. You, my dear, take your stewardship so very seriously. What a perfect example of gentleness and honesty and not taking anything for granted. Life, indeed, is beautiful!

    My favorite way to relax is on the front swing with a cup of coffee while staring at my big red barn. We have been so blessed this year (and every other), and I like to relax by thinking about it. :)

  13. Anonymous6:12 PM EDT

    I relax by sitting on our pergola listening to waterfall in my fish pond and wind chimes, usually with our dog on my lap.

  14. That's kind of a hard one. I fell like I have finally gotten my life to be exactly how I like it. As a result I find almost everything I do to be "relaxing". I sew and quilt a lot, I do my dyeing and I even enjoy my ironing because I listen to a book or watch a show on the computer. Maybe relaxing for me is doing anything that allows me to listen to an audiobook.

  15. I am in love with your barn. It's beautiful. And the hay in there? It's perfect. What a lovely picture.

    Lily just won the lottery.

    Congrats on missing anniversaries. Baby steps.

    I want to read your Life: Beautiful magazine. I've never heard of it but it looks like a wonderful diversion.

  16. Anonymous8:30 PM EDT

    My favorite way to relax is knitting, with a cat sleeping in the crook of my arm. And look! You've already got half the "equipment" right there, you lucky person!

    Actually, come to think of it, the knitting is optional! You are fully equipped for my favorite form of relaxation :)

    (p.s. Sandra, please don't include my name in the drawing, as I won a lovely giveaway from you some time back. I only posted a comment because the kitten made it irresistible to share my 2-cents-worth. I hope you get lots of ideas for ways to relax!)

  17. Anonymous8:35 PM EDT

    Your sweet friend Vicki Welsh pointed me toward your blog. We are friends from the online quilting world. I lost my beloved husband on May 22, 2011. Once in awhile something happens that makes me immediately think "oh, I have to tell Greg"...then I remember I can't. I never walk into a room talking to him, though. I never seem to forget that he is no longer here, in the house, except for his ashes in the urn. One of my favorite ways to relax is a nice glass of wine and some good music. :)

  18. That looks like a wonderful magazine, Sandra!
    I relax with coffee or tea, looking out the window. I relax when I read. I'm not a go, go, go person by nature.
    The animals on your farm are plentiful!

  19. What a cutie Lily is! There is something about a kitten.
    My granddaughter's name is Lily and she loves cats. So I'm smiling at the name.
    Have to wonder what happened to Mama Cat?
    I love living where the word neighbor means something. I'm glad you have kind and gentle ones.

    Relaxing - sitting on the front porch in one of my rockers either reading a book or just sitting and rocking looking at the sky or listening to the birds. :)

  20. i love that magazine! my favorite way to relax is to take a long, hot shower (which i hardly ever get to do because of all the kiddos running around). second to that, would be to curl up on the couch or recliner with a cup of coffee and read a magazine! :) thanks for chance to win!! blessings, lora

  21. My favorite way to relax is to put my feet up in the sunporch, with a cup of coffee and a magazine! I love Life Is Beautiful! Lily is adorable...

  22. Lily is very fortunate to have you in her life. Although I'm not a cat person, I must admit she is too darn cute!

  23. You are so incredible. When Dave first died, I really feared you would take your own life, isn't that terrible? I would pray because I was so afraid, I knew you were strong and I knew God was with you and I know you are brave, but I was still afraid. I would pray and pray. To see you now and that you have went through the anniversary twice without remembering just makes me so relieved. If God ever gives me that gift, the one no one wants, I hope that I can be a good soldier like you have been. You are such a blessing to me.

  24. life IS beautiful, messy, painful and terrifying and so worth it all! OK I love that kitten - cheeky little survivor - my kinda critter. My favorite way to relax? listening to good music, reading, baking for someone.

  25. I go sit in the backyard with our 5 hens while they come over and beg for dandelion greens, walk on my legs and tell me soft chicken tales! They are so cool to really interact with, rubbing their wattles and scratching under their wings. Or sit with the hairy shedding maniacs-two terriers, or listen to Keaola Beamer play wonderful slack keyand dream of Hawaii!
    Now that is one seriously cute kitten! She looks like eider down! Thanks for this posting

  26. I just recently found your blog and have enjoyed the beautiful pictures and have been touched by your life story.
    My most favorite time to relax is early in the morning, before the day begins around the house. In the quiet moments, I love to work (knit) prayer shawls and read the bible and devotions. It centers me for the day. Evening relaxation comes on our screen porch- watching our two cats watching the birds! :)

  27. What a sweet kitty. Lily is lucky that you found her. Glad to know that you are getting help on the farm. You have some amazing friends.

    My favorite way to relax is with my iPad. I read blogs written by some amazing women or listen to Christian music.

    My 5 year old grandson recently introduced me to Where's My Perry which we had to put on the iPad. Now there's a stress reliever!

  28. What a lucky kitty Lil' Lily is!

    I like to relax by sitting on my patio, next to my garden, with my fountain splashing and listening to Stanley Turentine or any kind of great jazz. That's the best investment I ever made -- wiring my outdoor space for music!

  29. I love your little Lily...

    I sew and hand stitch to relax. =)

    I love reading your posts, even though I don't always comment. You touch a lot of people's hearts...

  30. Oh the kitten is so adorable ~ what a blessing for you ~ I know your busy with a farm but she is so cute ~ I am widow myself so know from whence you speak ~ It is hurts so deeply ~ sending you lots of healing hugs as you move ahead into your new life ~ (A Creative Harbor)

  31. The kitten is so cute. i do enjoy reading your blog and Life is Beautiful. I am glad to see you are healing, it is difficult. My dad has teminal cancer and wont be much longer on the earth. It is hard being so far away but I will visit in Dec. Hope he lasts that long. God Bless You...Time heals.

  32. One of my favorite ways to relax is to read blogs like yours!

    Also, gardening and reading are great!

  33. You always make everyone how thankful we should be for the simple being one of them.
    Love you Sandra

  34. Sweet post Sandy. What a cutie that little kitty is!! How wonderful it was that you rescued her from the barn owl...dear me! :)

    Yippee for all that hay stored up for winter...what a blessing! :)

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  35. Anonymous8:51 PM EDT

    I love kittens. We've had several cats and dogs through the years but just one large dog right now. Lily is a very lucky girl! Since I work full time, I enjoy sitting on the porch just listening to the sounds of nature. I also enjoy a long walk with my dog. However, it's hard to say who is walking who at times!
    ECsmith, NC

  36. I already love this magazine, so won't join the giveaway ... but love the sentiment and how it reflects the healing amidst the missing of your sweet Dave. I am so proud of you.

    This is a beautiful post, Sandra.


  37. Lovely and a sweet little kitten! My relaxation is photography, editing my images and reading blogs.

  38. I am so glad to hear you say "life is beautiful" again. Even if I am a liberal Democrat. :)



  39. You are amazing. I could have fed the sweet kitty for you last night--I was up. every. hour. My sister lost her husband and struggles, too. I think my favorite way to relax is the same--reading and a glass of tea.

  40. Wow that kitty is so tiny - was the poor baby all by herself? Lately I haven't done much relaxing but if I ever do, I prefer to find a comfortable chair and get lost in a book.

  41. Oh my gosh. That little sweetie's ears are not even standing up yet. So new to the World and God made sure you found her. I am so grateful for that!

    We had another poaching incident last week. They shot a buck from their truck, drug it in our old barn and left. My neighbor heard the shot,as he was working in his hay field and I was on my porch. I met him down at the old barn and we called 911 and the Game Warden. The game warden took the buck and then along with the sheriff's deputy they came back at dusk, parking in the barn, and waited for those two SOB's to come back and claim their kill. And they did. Of course, they went to jail, but bonded out. And when they go to court the only thing that will happen is they will each lose their hunting licenses!!
    Like that matters since they were poaching!
    What a sad mess. And this is the 4th time in 8 years. Life is so beautiful, I just wish people with no heart, could grow one...

    Happy Monday. Hope this week brings you wonderful weather and snuggles with your new little sweetheart!
    xo, misha

  42. Oh my what a beautiful farm. The scenery and your pictures are just beautiful. Reading your blog is restful. I am sorry about your husband but so glad to see how God is blessing and keeping you. I like to sit drink my morning coffee early in the morning before anyone else is up and read like this wonderful post. I also like to go out onto the porch and listen to the wildlife and the chickens and dogs it is a wonderful peaceful thing.

  43. Hi Michelle - Miss Lily is a cutie pie and growing like a weed!
    Hi Timi - I like to read the Bible but a lot of times don't find it very relaxing. God tends to let me know where I'm going wrong -smile-.
    Hi Patrice - or the time of day... early mornings means hot coffee/tea and afternoons mean cold -smile-.
    Hi Jane and Lance - I am finding pleasure in life...kittens tend to do that to me. I wish there was a way for me to bring Miss Lily to you; she's a doll!
    Hi Jennifer - I love those Miss Read books, they are fabulous!
    Hi Mildred - your prayers are most welcome, needed and appreciated. My private response to those who e-mail me telling me, "it's time to get over it (meaning Dave)", I tell them, click the delete button.
    Hi Dori - whenever I see you at Thistle Cove Farm, that's a very good day, indeed!
    Hi Mexican Hillbilly - if I didn't have such a tender heart, I've have a lot more money -smile-.
    Hi MK - a hot bath sounds wonderful but a hot shower is faster -LOL-.
    Hi Mama Tea - you're so wise; relaxing by counting your blessings. God says 'thank you'.
    Hi Vicki - man plans, God laughs. Don't hold on so tightly you'll fall apart when things change. This, my dear, is the voice of experience.
    Hi Dawn - Lily winning the lottery was cute, gave me a chuckle and it's SO true!
    Hi Quinn - Lily is a dear and growing like a weed, thank God!
    Hi Allenquilts - my heart goes out to you; it's something that I've not gotten used to...having Dave not here. It's a huge gaping hole that leaves me empty.
    Hi Pom - never any end to the animals around here, that's for sure!
    Hi Carletta - Mama Cat is still at the barn and that particular day was probably hunting, getting a drink of water or eating. Lily came to the house to live because she was gong to be eaten by the barn owl. Lily is happy, happy, happy!
    Hi Lora - they won't be little forever so enjoy them NOW!
    Hi Linda - any time we get to put up our feet is a very good day!
    Hi Gail - Lily is so darn cute!
    Hi Farm Girl - your beautiful heart and words leaves me speechless. Thank you for your gift of love and kindness; Dave's death has been the worst thing that's ever happened to me and I've had some nasty things happen. God has been faithful and I continue to trust Him; He is faithful.
    Hi Linda Sue - the best thing for getting out of bed is to have critters that need feeding. They don't much care what troubles I've got going on; just GET UP AND FEED US. And I do.
    Hi Mary Ann - thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; I hope you come back soon.
    Hi Robyn and Pam - you both need to leave a way to be contacted and thanks for visiting Thistle Cove Farm.

  44. Hi Midlo Mom - Lily is a lucky, kitty!
    Hi Amy - you're about in NYC right now, hope you're having a GREAT time!
    Hi ArtMuseDog - I don't much like this new hood...widow hood; it stinks!
    Hi Alice - I am so saddened about the news of your Dad; you're both in my prayers.
    Hi Gretchen - thank you for your kind words and waiting, waiting, waiting with you and yours.
    Hi Marsha - life is a beautiful gift and even though I'm ready to go, I'm not homesick -lol-.
    Hi Camille - Lily is a fun little ball of fluff and now she's eating wet food...hurrah! My life just got easier -smile-.
    Hi Glenda - thank you, it's so hard for me to see I'm healing; it's good to know it's taking place. Thank God!
    Hi Liz - Lily is a cutie pie but hard to photograph, she's always in motion!
    Hi Val - you are loved! I should have added Republicans...don't like them much either - haha!
    Hi Pamela - hopefully, you're getting some sleep!
    Hi Jill - Lily's mother was, probably, eating or drinking or hunting but that barn owl was watching, watching, watching. Lily is better off at the house, safer too.
    Hi Misha - Lily was probably between 3 and 4 weeks; very young but the owl would still have eaten her. Mama was probably eating, hunting or drinking and thought Lily was safe.
    I hate hearing about poaching but so glad you were able to get them arrested. Won't they lose their guns as well? They would around here.
    Hi Dolly - oh yes, the farm is beautiful and the work enormous. I'm tired most of the time -lol-.


Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.

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