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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, October 18, 2013

TGIF and Random 5 Friday

Today, a gentleman from Virginia Currents e-mailed me and asked for  farm photos to use in a television news magazine segment featuring Virginia farms. He asked for four photos and I sent eight; yes, I can count, but having no understanding of what he needed, I sent him twice as many photos so he can cull fifty percent. Whenever possible, I like to make other folks' jobs' easier. 
~ chestnuts, ready for roasting ~

Another gent, from across the mountain, likes to hunt ground hogs in our valley and I like for him to hunt ground hogs on this farm.  They are pesky rodents who dig huge holes that are a safety hazard for my horses, sheep and alpacas. Me too, remembering now the huge hole I stepped into in mid-summer. Anyway, the hunter brought me a coffee can of chestnuts and I plan on X'ing them and roasting them tonight and all weekend. I've never found a nut I didn't like and chestnuts are a favorite. 

~ London travel journal, right ~
Dave and I began traveling overseas in 2008 when I was asked to teach Agri-tourism in Russia. the program was through the U. S. State Department and run by a West Virginia Bluefield State professor. That was the beginning of a entirely new set of adventures for Dave and I. In January 2010, Dave sent me to London because, "I want you to learn to travel by yourself. I'll be here, at home, for a safety net, but you'll be on your own." I planned that trip...airline, hotel, sights, etc....and, yes, it was frightening but also exhilarating! When my plane landed, my transportation to town wasn't there and never arrived. I finally took the Tube into London and my Earls Court stop where I wandered for an hour looking for my hotel. All this at midnight, in the cold, snow and worst winter London had in twenty-five years...exhilarating!  The memory of the red fox and I, crossing on opposite street corners, remains a favorite memory. 
~ July - August 2011 travel journal ~
I'm getting to my point, please forgive a tired, slow the summer of 2011, Dave sent me to Eastern Europe, amazing because, at that time, Dave was recovering from cancer treatment and, needless to say, I didn't want to leave him. He insisted and gave me the same reason he'd given when he sent me to London the year before. So, that fabulous trip was to Hungary, were I met Timi and her family and Jane and Lance, then went to Serbia, Romania, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Austria
I'm going to submit, for possible publication, my journals to Stampington Public. I haven't a clue they'll accept them but I'm pretty sure the answer is no if I don't ask. This is a huge step for me; when I was in elementary school, my "art" teacher (using the term most loosely!) told me, "You have absolutely no talent whatsoever; I have no idea why you even try." 
My answer after all these decades is, "Life is risky and the answer is always "no" when the question isn't asked."
Through no work of their own, the dogs are ready for cold weather. Their sweaters were washed and line dried this week and bought a smile to my face. 
We had a jail break today; the alpacas found a gate I'd left open and made their way into the yard. They were so funny, looking like they were tiptoeing around the yard. The dogs don't even bark anymore when the animals go where they aren't really supposed to go. Eventually, I got them all back in the same pasture and all is well on the farmstead.

This post is linked up with Nancy's Random 5 Friday at A Rural Journal. Please visit her and see the other participants.

Blessings ~ clean sweaters ~ animals in their correct places ~ chestnuts ~ American Curly horses ~ travel journals ~  alpacas ~


  1. If your journals are like this post there is no reason why they shouldn't accept them, you have a delightful way of writing. Bravo for the solo travel and smart husband I see in more ways than one, boo to your teacher. Lovely alpacas, I visit a farm near us, from outside side their fence I find these animals fascinating a bit homely but don't tell them I said is their teeth. Good luck with the journals.

  2. I love the memory of you and the Fox in the snowstorm. Fabulous.

  3. Yes, best wishes on your journals! I used to say if you don't try, you are "guaranteed" to get a no.

  4. i've never traveled alone ... sounds fun. you can go all the places you love & enjoy most. eat the food you want. i could go on ... but i will behave & play nice. ha. ha!! ( :

    happy weekend.

  5. I loved the alone journey stories, what a wise man he was to send you on! I truly enjoy the way you write, I say "go for it"!!!! I once & only once met the mother of that "woman" who is beginning filming that big stone gap movie tomorrow. She told me a couple of wise things, the first applies to you "everyone needs something of their own". Get them published, who better to tell the story than you? hugs!

  6. It was good that he taught you to travel by yourself, that is a good skill to have regardless of your circumstances. Love the dog sweaters on the line.

  7. What is it with art teachers? I had an art teacher just like that. My husband is an artist who teaches art to others occasionally and he would NEVER say such a thing to anyone. I admire your husband for pushing you to travel alone abroad, and admire you for doing so. I felt brave just traveling to NYC by myself. I think you should publish the journals, even if you have to self-publish.

  8. What is it with art teachers? I had an art teacher just like that. My husband is an artist who teaches art to others occasionally and he would NEVER say such a thing to anyone. I admire your husband for pushing you to travel alone abroad, and admire you for doing so. I felt brave just traveling to NYC by myself. I think you should publish the journals, even if you have to self-publish.

  9. Good for you, looking to publish your journals! Go for it. Your travels sound fascinating. You are quite an adventurer. Let us know what happens with the publisher!

  10. My folks live close to an alpaca farm. Intriguing animals. Like the photo of them tiptoeing their way to freedom, lol.

  11. Beautiful photos!
    Greetings, RW & SK

  12. Love your new header photo, looks almost like a painting. And, you are very artistic with your camera, hope your art teacher found another profession since it does not sound like she was a good teacher. If we all had equal talents the world would be a very boring place.

  13. Roasting your chestnuts sounds so cozy :)

    One of the "You might Also like" photos was of the Star of Bethlehem quilt..I took a look at that post...who could resist :) Such a lovely quilt :)

    have a great weekend ! :)

  14. Love your post and photos, and admire you for traveling on your own that is next on my bucket list, thanks for visiting my blog.

  15. Anonymous6:10 AM EDT

    I love those last two photos - makes me smile! You have had some marvelous experiences. I've traveled alone twice in my life, in my 20's...not my favorite thing!

  16. I say...if you don't try to succeed in what you want out of life, then the 'no' will always be your lifeline. Good for you --by the way, that teacher that said you have no talent was wrong!!!

    I hope you update us on which photos of your farm was chosen.

  17. Wow - I'm guessing your art teacher would have said the same thing to Picasso. It's fabulous that you've been asked for photos - and best of luck with your journals!

  18. I think your journals sound fascinating.
    The photo of the dog sweaters is priceless!
    Have a peaceful weekend, Sandra.

  19. This is the first time I have visited your blog and I really enjoyed reading it. The pictures to go with your writing are fabulous. I have never thought of it before, but you are right, if you don't ask the answer is no. I'll have to remember that.

  20. Dog sweaters? Hehehe! My Cody has grown a little too much around for his dog coat. Monkey3 tried to strap it on him this chilly (38*F) morning, and he looked a bit like an overstuffed Ridgeback Sausage.

  21. I'm fascinated and curious about your independent trip to London. I suspect you could keep me entertained for quite a few cups of coffee.

  22. Good for you, keeping up with your various writing projects, not to mention running the farm. I'm glad you keep up with us blogging friends, too. Sending love to you today, Sandra!

  23. I so enjoyed this post Sandra -- so much I didn't know about you!

    I would be terrified to travel overseas by myself and don't think I could do it. Bravo to you for being so courageous. In my book anyway. :)

  24. Exciting life!

    Lovely dog-jackets!

    I like also the "colored sheep"-photo!

    And the open range in autumn-colors, so very beautiful!

    Lovely horses and lamas!

    Incredible, EXTRANO life, Thistle!

  25. Good for you, ignoring that art "teacher" and every other automatic nay-sayer who has tried to rain on your parade. Good luck with this new venture!

  26. I THOROUGHLY enjoyed your post! The pictures are beautiful. I especially enjoyed hearing about your trips abroad...both the ones you and your husband took, as well as the ones he sent you on. I understand exactly what you are saying when you say it was exhilarating. I had the same feeling when I traveled to foreign soil when our daughter was on the mission field.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  27. How exciting to travel alone like that! You must have felt like you had conquered something wonderful. I will think good thoughts about your journal getting published. I got a kick out of your alpacas tiptoeing around the yard...hehehe

  28. Goodness! So many comments! I like your new text in your blog banner. So comforting. I love your memories from your travels -- what a gem of a husband Dave is! A red fox, in London :)

  29. I also have a fascination with alpacas. Good luck with your journal and the publisher!

  30. Lynn, thank you both for your kind compliment and for visiting; you're always welcome at Thistle Cove Farm.

    Lisa, I hope to remember that red fox for many years.

    Lottie, you're SO right!

    Beth, I'd far rather travel with Dave but since that's not possible, I'm not staying home just because he's dead.

    Annie, Dave was a wise man and still can't believe he married me -grin-.

    Sarah, traveling alone is a good skill to have, I plan to use it as much as possible.

    Nancy, needless to say, that "art" teacher isn't one I remember fondly.

    Sharon, always striving for something else...keeps life interesting.

    Abrianna, alpacas are curious creatures.

    RW & SK - thank you!

    TL, truer words were never spoken!

    Deb, that is a pretty quilt and lovely story.

  31. Viv, traveling on one's own is frightening and exciting, I want to do it until I'm an old woman!

    Mildred, traveling alone is frightening but I want to keep doing it.

    Anni, I just didn't have her kind of talent -grin-.

    Karen, it would have been nice for the requester to have said "thanks". Ya know?!

    Karen, clean dog sweaters...their joy knows no bounds -hahahaha-.

    Susan, thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm and for commenting, you have blessed me.

    Vic, you need to get that sweater adapted to the "sausage" or it will be chilly, chilly, chilly.

    Alices wonderland, the London trip was fabulous, lots of wonderful memories. Come for a visit, we'll chat.

    Gretchen, thank you and keeping busy keeps me out of trouble and not sinking in the mire of grief so much. Crazy reason but there you have it. love, hugs and prayers to you.

    Nancy, it's easier when you know the language but having a book of phrases helps too.

    Dori, God has blessed me and kept me safe through a lot of life and I'm grateful!

    Quinn, it's best to ignore all the nay-sayers, right? Right!

    Dianna, you just take a deep, DEEP, breath, say your prayers and GO...right? Right!

    A spirit, it was exciting and I felt like I'd done something wonderful...still do hehehehe...

    MK, love that new header photo; it means a lot to me.

    Lisa, want my alpacas? You can have them!


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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