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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.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Week in Two Parts

~ two of my alpacas ~
Some have said they really enjoy my farm posts and, in that interest, I'm going to encapsulate the last week for you. This is Part 1 and Part 2 will be on Monday, after tomorrow's Sabbath Keeping.

A week ago Thursday, or maybe Friday, I noticed an alpaca wasn't acting "right". Anyone who works, or lives, with animals notices when something is "off" and my general attitude is, it's always easier and less expensive to stay well than to get well.  'Paca Rose seemed a bit off and I started keeping a close eye on him. It didn't take long because he went down, rolled on his side,stayed there and he couldn't get up without help. I de-wormed him with Panacure, helped him to his feet and he went on his merry way. The next morning, he was down again so I de-wormed him with Ivermectrin, helped him to his feet and kept an eye on him. 

This goes on for days...him down, me getting him up...but he's in good spirits, is alert, is eating and drinking, but when he lays on his side, he cannot get up. (Maybe he's too fat???) He gets up just fine when he sits down upright; it's a puzzle for sure.

Dr. Anne, Daddy John's sister and one of the best vet's around, and I ran into each other at Big Lots. She and Henry, her husband, and I, sat on the furniture for sale and caught up, during which, I told her about the 'paca and said, "Is it time to call you?" She grinned and said, "Naw, you're doing what I'd do except I'd give him a shot or two." 

{As an aside, don't you love a vet who teaches and trains you to look after your own animals? Her attitude is, "call me for the emergencies" and I love her for it. When she first came back to Tazewell, I told her Mother, "Anne is a good vet and I think she has the makings of a great one." I sincerely thought so then and time has only strengthened my opinion.}

Anyway, Thanksgiving morning, we had six inches of snow on the ground with drifts of two feet and more. At dawn, as is my habit, I start going from window to window, counting animals...26 sheep, 8 horses, 4 alpacas, 3 guinea's...and found only three alpacas. 'Paca Rose was missing. I waited until the sun was well and truly up, 7:00, before donning four layers, Muck boots, Dave's old ski coat and hat, put sweaters on the dogs, then headed outside. I decided to use the Ranger as it provides not only transportation but shelter. The dogs ride with me and, should I be injured (unless I was unconscious), I could always crawl back to the Ranger, start it, be warm and possibly even get to an outside fence where I could flag down a passing farmer.

Yes, with God's help, I'm pretty sure I could do all that because the first September Dave and I lived here, while carrying a basket of laundry, I stepped off the back porch, a distance of six inches, and heard, then felt, my right ankle snap like a twig. I'll have to admit a curse word ran through my mind; it was my intention to put up the laundry, collect the truck keys then head to Princeton to pick up my cat at the vet's office. Zoe had been there for three days with some mysterious illness and I'd called every praying, animal person I knew to pray for her recovery. That morning, the vet called to say, "Zoe's going to make it, you can pick her up this morning." I was going.

The pain wasn't that bad extreme but I started limping immediately. Dave asked, "What's wrong? What did you do to yourself?" I explained I'd twisted my ankle (mostly true) and it hurt (totally true). He said, "Why not wait until Monday to get Zoe?" 

I just kept walking toward the truck. The neighbor he called said, yes, she'd ride with me and soon enough, we were headed to Princeton, and I was driving. When we'd navigated the fifty-mile one way trip, the vet explained he had no clue what was wrong with Zoe. He knew she was jaundiced but didn't know why and had pumped her full of liquid antibiotics and she'd recovered. I explained about the many folks who'd been praying for her and he said, "That works too." 

I handed the truck keys to my neighbor and said, "I broke my ankle, will you drive home?" She blanched and said, "When did you break your ankle?" I explained and she said, "I cannot believe you drove up here; you could have come on Monday!" 

Yeah, yeah, already heard that this morning. The vet offered to x-ray my ankle but I said, "Why bother? I know it's broken, I heard it break. Right now I just need to get home and get off it" so we got back on the road, Zoe in my arms and me crooning to her like a loon.

When we got home, Dave made me get back in the truck and he drove me to the emergency room where they said (big surprise!), It's broken." They wrapped it, gave me the number of an ortho specialist and for six weeks, I limped around on crutches. 
~ my helpers, Sophie, Sam, Sadie - front to back ~
That's why I'm pretty sure if I get hurt and I'm not unconscious, I can crawl back to the Ranger and go for help. Or, at least have shelter until, hopefully, someone notices the Ranger sitting in the same spot and comes to investigate. I suppose I could carry a mobile phone but...there isn't any cell phone reception around here. 

Anyway, back to the original story...the Ranger needs a battery and wouldn't start. I had to get the jump starter (thank God I bought one last year), start the battery and begin my search. I searched for two and a half hours before I gave up. During that two and a half hour period, I got the Ranger stuck in a huge snow drift, had to dig out three times, using only my hands, and to lend more humor to the story, had to re-stack the hay in the back of the Ranger because Sam stepped on the UP button, raised the hydraulic bed and emptied it.
Hey, you might as well laugh because it's all funny and the statistics are out of one will, eventually, die. At my end, I want to be singing "Jesus Loves Me" or, at the very least, laughing my way into heaven.

By this time I was anxious, coldish, tired and still no dang alpaca! I decided to ride down the road and ask Daddy John if he'd help me (remember, this is Thanksgiving morning). He was filling the whatever it's called with silage so he could feed his cattle and, bless him!, he said, "Let's look now", turned off his tractor and got in the Ranger. I asked him to drive so I could, hopefully, keep the three dogs off him; they were thrilled to have someone new to love on and, promptly, tried to climb in his lap. I pulled the dogs into my lap and, as we're pulling into the road, my door swings open and I begin falling...out. I think I yelped, grabbed the steering wheel while John made a swipe at me, and pulled the door shut behind me. No one fell out so it's all good.

We headed back to the farm, went through the lower pasture and, in the center pasture, found the 'paca stretched out on the ground, dead, we thought. He was only four feet from one of my passes but, in my defense, he was on my upper, blind side, and at that particular point, I was busy trying to figure out how to not turn the Ranger over and go downhill. Daddy John has way more experience than I and he knows, better than I, how the machine will handle on a steep hill. (I knew he'd love driving it and figured he should get some fun for his trouble in helping me -grin-.)
John got the animal to his feet and moved him a short distance, into another lot, where he could be kept captive. We bedded him on hay, then piled hay around him so he could sleep warm and eat without moving. Frankly, I was amazed, shocked and surprised we got him this far. When we first found him, he wasn't moving and we both thought he'd frozen to death. As we approached him, his ear twitched and John said, "He might just make it, let's give him a chance."  I only had Gatorade on hand, so cut open all the packages, mixed powder with warm water and then drenched the alpaca meaning I poured it down his throat. The Gatorade gave his system much needed energy in the form of sugar and!  
Throughout the day I watched him and would visit him to talk, lay hands on him and pray (yes, I am one of those Christians) and breath into his nostrils. I wanted to try and warm him up and breathing into him was the only thing left. I would match my breaths to his...when he breathed in, I would breath out...into my cupped hand surrounding his nostrils. When he breathed out, I would ready myself to breath warmth into him again. At dusk, I left him for the last time and walked back to the house; it was always up to God but now, more than ever.
Friday morning, it was 9 degrees F and when I looked out the window, I didn't see movement. I thought the worst and prepared myself, emotionally and physically, for the work before me. Andy, the young man who did some farm work this summer, came at 9:00 and I brought him up to speed. He headed to the stable to get the tractor while I headed to the alpaca. When I'm approaching animals, I always talk to them, especially if they can't see me. I don't want to frighten need in wasting precious energy in I speak in low, comforting tones..."hey boy, easy boy, how ya doing boy, feeling better?, it's only me"...and so on. It does seem to help. Anyway, he was still alive (!!!!) so I helped him to his feet and stood with him, giving support and crooning in a low voice. Andy came 'round the corner of the barn and looked surprised, "He's alive? Did you get him to his feet?" Yes to both so Andy took over my job while I went to the house for vehicle keys so I could drive to Dr. Anne's, to buy electrolytes, a Vitamin B-12 shot and a (I think) potassium sodium shot which I promptly brought home and gave to 'Paca Rose.  I mixed the electrolytes with warm water , gave it to him to drink, and he did.
~ Merry Christmas ~
{In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit I looked longingly at that Vitamin B-12 shot. Very longingly.}

All day Friday, he wandered around his small lot, a little unsteady due to being weak but on his feet. This morning, Saturday, he was down again but when I helped him to his feet, he immediately stood and has been up all day. 

Getting a roughly 200 pound animal to his feet is no small task. Fortunately, he has a long neck and once I get his neck headed the right way, I can heave/roll him to his knees and he lumbers UP. He's eating, drinking, defecating, urinating, eyes are clear, and, while up, seems to be fine but, should he lay down on his side, he cannot get up without help. I'm flummoxed, exhausted and am going to pour a big glass of something alcoholic to drink. Do you think it would hurt to take two Ibuprofen?

Part 2 on Monday.

Blessings ~ Daddy John ~ alpaca ~ Vitamin B-12 ~ electrolytes ~ 800 mg Ibuprofen (for me) ~ Dr. Anne ~ my helpers, the dogs ~ 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Proclamation

 Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor--and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great an glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be--That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions--to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

George Washington, President of the United States

Blessings ~ Thanksgiving ~ George Washington ~ (photos taken at Shockley Days)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Snow Day on the Farm

It's been another great day on the farm, albeit extremely cold, windy, snowy and exciting. At some point last night, the rain turned to sleet and, early 0'dark thirty, sleet turned to snow. Since Dave died, my sleeping arrangements are...crazy. The three dogs and I sleep together and there are mornings I awake and we're piled up like a litter of puppies...but we're warm and cozy and, in this ole farmhouse, warm and cozy are passwords to nirvana.

This is the de-icer, put into the livestock water trough, to keep ice from forming. It might be hard to imagine how much of a thrill this is in my life, but think...Sunday morning I was chopping two inches of ice in this trough and, at dusk, had to chop ice again before "installing" the de-icer.

I'm not the only one who is thrilled, the gold fish are happy to be warmer. Ummm, those orangey spots in the water are the gold fish; bought three for $1 at WalMart and have done what guppies goldfish tend to do...procreate. If anyone wants any, they're yours for the asking...and getting.

The weather report says six inches of snow before morning and we're halfway there now. The right photo was taken about 4:00 and the one below was taken about fifteen minutes later...see the difference?
 Against my better judgement, I had to go to town today. Roads were icy and snowy but the trip still had to be made and when I got home, chores had to be done. In the winter, I do chores twice a day, about twelve hours apart so I can give the animals a bit of extra food as well as cast my eye over them to make sure everyone is okay. Even so, there are times I'll still need to go outside later on to check on someone, open a gate, give extra food, etc. Today, by 3:30 I was in flannel nightgown, bathrobe, warm socks and wool slippers with the intention of staying inside until daybreak tomorrow.
Then I noticed the bird feeder was empty and the internal argument began...fill it now or wait until tomorrow? Self said, "You're already in your nightgown, robe and slippers; you should wait until tomorrow." At the exact point I was ready to agree, a sparrow flew to the feeder and found it empty. AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!! So yes, I got a container of bird seed and very slowly, very carefully went down the snowy, slick back stairs, filled the feeder and then crept back up the snowy, slick stairs and then inside the house.

I am such a sap! On the other hand, I'll sleep well tonight, knowing that the birds will have food when they show up at 0'dark dawn in the morning.
Remember these green boots? Useless, I tell you...totally useless! At least in the snow they are useless. "Why", you may very well ask? Because they are rubber, have no traction and are slick as greased lightening. Useless! After filling the bird feeder, I came back inside and looked out another window and saw sheep at the back gate. So...for this trip I slipped off my woolen slippers, slipped on these rubber boots, grabbed a walking stick and headed outside. Where my feet promptly slipped out from under me and I landed, flat on my back, in the snow.  AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!
Nothing broken, not even my pride, and the sheep are now finding the open gate and beginning to wander into the yard where they'll have grass and warm water to drink.  Things like this...making sure the animals have food, shelter, water make me happy even at the same time I'll feeling tired from the exertion. Yes, the work is physically demanding but it's good work, meaningful work (to me at least) and work I love.  The sheep, below, is one of Carly's relatives, another Shetland and happy to find food. Can you tell the poor little thing is nothing but skin and fleece? Not! -chortle-
 It makes me happy, knowing Carly has an extra ration of sweet feed with her arthritis meds. it makes me happy, knowing I've done my best for her poor arthritic bones. It makes me happy, knowing her last days are filled with as much caring as it's within my power to give. What doesn't make me happy is not knowing when to say good-bye to her. There's a saying: if you have live stock, you'll have dead stock and that's true. The big question is: when to say good-bye? When is she in so much pain the meds aren't enough any more. It's the age old question for me...when?

So many folks tell me, "take them to market, sell them off. They're too much work for you" but I'm not listening to those folks. Dave and I had an agreement, never take anything to market and, as long as I'm able, I'll honor that agreement. Just because he's dead, doesn't mean our commitment is void.

When I first got animals, I would brush the snow off their coats and break the icicles to make the animals more comfortable. It took me a while to learn that snow is a great insulator and breaking the icicles doesn't make any difference at all. Leaving the snow on their backs keeps them warmer and more comfortable; brushing it off makes them colder.

High in the maple tree, two guinea's are roosting, huddled together, gripping tightly their hold on the branch. The white guinea was wandering around, on the ground, and I'm not sure if s/he's confused, hungry or what, perxactly. There's no way of knowing so I scatter food on the snow, hoping the guinea will, eventually, wander over and find it. I bought a bag of chicken scratch for them and am trying to gentle them by feeding them. I'd love for them to become tame but it's going to take some time. The dogs like chicken scratch, I suppose it's the molasses and corn combination, so I am constantly shooing dogs away from guinea food. It's a delicate balancing act, keeping the animals fed, sheltered, watered and in good health. It's also my job and I like to think I'm good at it; so far, anyway.

Blessings ~ snow ~ guinea's ~ sheep ~ dogs ~ work of my hands and heart ~

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Talking when I should be napping!

~ wild turkey ~
Patrice is hosting Chats Number 118 and here I sit, at the computer while watching it pour rain outside. It's supposed to turn to snow and I wish it'd get to it. The dogs and I walked to the mailbox...correction, Sam and Sadie walked with me to the mailbox while Sophie watched from the upstairs window. Sophie can, sometimes, be a diva and between rain and cold she has an easy decision to make. After finishing Chats, I am seriously considering a nap and the idea of a warm woolen blanket, a down pillow and three dogs, help the decision making process quite a bit. Yes, there are several dozen things on my to-do list but like Dave always said, "Goofing off isn't any fun unless there's something else you should be doing." God in heaven knows, there's plenty I should be doing but my most expensive piece of equipment is me and, right now, it needs some Tender Loving Care. If you read comments from yesterday's post, you saw what Val, Pretty Little Rough Patches,  wrote...there's sage wisdom in taking care of me first, no matter if me is me, you or Val. We all need to recognize it's a fine balancing act...but when the care giver (me) goes down, it all comes to a screaming halt.  So, next time you're trying to decide me first or something/one  else first, think about the extended ramifications. Choose wisely, Hen.
 ~ flock of wild turkeys ~

1. If you are celebrating Thanksgiving, what are [you] looking most forward to on Thursday?  -- I'm looking forward to waking up above ground and things getting better afterwards.

2. My favorite Thanksgiving dish is -- the one someone else made although Mary tells me her favorite dish is my cranberry marmalade. (Yes, Mary, I'm making more.)

3. Do you ever go through periods of time when you get hooked on a specific food?  -- I don't think so, can't really remember.
4. What's the best stuffing for a turkey? -- I haven't a clue but, maybe, one of these days I'm going to make all the stuffing recipes I have so I can make an intelligent decision. Or, maybe not.

5. When you were a child, were you ever in a Thanksgiving play, pageant, mock pilgrim dinner or anything different to celebrate? -- Childhood was so many decades ago, another country universe actually and the borders are now closed. Patrice, stop with the age questions already! People keep telling me...and I memory isn't all that good but ya gotta figure...the older I get, the more there is to remember and the less room to hold it all. 

Gee, Wendell...may I come with you? I've got carrots!

Blessings ~ Thanksgiving ~ food ~ carrots ~ Patrice ~ Wendell ~ Sophie ~ Sam ~ Sadie ~

Monday, November 25, 2013

It's Beginning to Look Like Winter...

~ left, week's worth of wood ~
Snow is expected, 70% chance, from Wednesday through end of week. Tomorrow, 70% chance of rain and temps are low, low, low and I've been beavering away at outside chores to prepare animals, farm and myself. The wood rack is full and the wood stove is readied as well, all it needs is a lit match laid to the kindling and heat! I always like to wait until 1 Dec to start the wood stove but I'm no hero and when it's wet, cold, windy and just plain nasty, that's reason enough to light the stove and get cozy. 

I like to combine trips to town, make my gasoline count as well as my time but, lately, I've had to run errands every single day. It seems I just can't get a grip on life but, rather, life has me by the neck and is running me ragged. When I do go over the mountain, I always see this bee's nest, right. I think it's a paper wasp nest but empty now that's it's cold. It hangs over the edge of the road and, in warmer weather, I hardly ever have the moon roof open when I pass. 

Gray Tom Cat, left, likes to curl up with Sam who is resigned to his fate. Tom isn't above slapping someone when he doesn't get what he wants and Sam is the gentlest dog it's ever been my pleasure to know. Tom has almost figured out, I'll slap back, but Sam just heaves a sigh and pretends it's not happening.

Twice a day, I've been chopping ice in the livestock water tough and yesterday, made a mad dash to Tractor Supply to buy a de-icer for it. Chopping ice is no fun, especially when I tend to drench myself from the stomach down. Then, I have to deal with ice, freezing water, single digit temps, sub-zero wind chill and all while in wet clothes. I don't mind admitting I've stood there, chopping ice and cried the entire time. The livestock tank has had an air lock for more than a week and, every day, I've taken a broom stick and rammed it into the overflow pipe, hoping to break the air lock. Today, thank God, the air lock broke and water is flowing freely again. 

Carly, the 19 year old Shetland living in the yard, presents a problem regarding her drinking water. Her water has been freezing several times a day and drinking water is just as critical for four-legged animals as two-legged. The blue bucked has an electrical cord which is plugged into the studio outlet. Now, Carly, the dogs and cats have warm water 24/7. I only have to remember to fill the bucket every week and to clean it every couple of weeks. The only downside...I had such a $40 bucket last winter but sometime between then and walked. I've got a pretty good idea where it went but the game isn't worth the candle so I bit my tongue and shelled out money for a new bucket. 
~ left, blue electric water bucket ~
~ Big Red Jack, right ~
Lately, I've been buying equipment that Dave and I should have bought years ago. I don't know why I've waited this long...sometimes something can be right in front of my face and it takes me years to see it. Like the mortar work on the foundation. Since we've lived here, our foundation has had gaping holes where, over the decades, the mortar has fallen out. In October, my eyes beheld the holes yet again and, as the light dawned, I thought, Quikrete! See here where I bought some Quikrete, mixed it up and filled the holes and it's made a difference in the comfort level inside the house. 

In the above photo, the Big Red Jack is being used to lift the lawn mower so the tire can be replaced on the wheel. While mowing leaves, I cut the wheel too sharply, too often and the tire came off...what a drag! Everything is fine now...tire back on wheel and mower back in barn.  I always talk to the folks who work at the store, ask their advice, etc. and was told this jack is strong enough to handle an SUV or pick-up truck. It makes sense to upgrade just a tad in order to have a piece of equipment that will serve many masters.

This winter, I'm going to make it as easy and safe on myself as possible. The round hay feeder has been moved from over the hill to behind the stable and barn. I've frightened myself silly way to many times, driving the tractor, carrying a huge round bale of hay over the hill in slick, snowy, icy weather. The location isn't totally protected from the wind but the stable and barn are blocking the wind quite a bit and the horses have shelter just to the left of where they're standing. Boys and Girls, this is as good as it gets this year; Mama is tired and winter is yet to arrive! 
This skull is...your guess is as good as mine! and is what happens when I let the dogs enter the house without checking to make sure they have nothing in their mouths. Should I be ashamed to admit that?

Oh well.

Thank you for reading and for those who follow...following. There are close to 500 followers to this blog and when the number reaches 500, I'll have a giveaway. The treat will be a $50 debit card...just in time for Christmas. You bless me so much and I am so grateful; God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart!

Blessings ~ a day of national celebration this week ~ yesterday's Sabbath Keeping, it sure blessed me! ~ work to keep me busy and healthy ~ good equipment ~ a full wood rack ~ electric water bucket ~

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sabbath Keeping

"Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; 
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 
Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. 
For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. 
In His hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. 
The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land."

"Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving." ~ W. T. Purkiser ~
"God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. 
Have you used one to say, 'Thank you?'"
"The very quality of your life, whether you love it or hate it, is based upon how thankful you are toward God. It is one's attitude that determines whether life unfolds into a place of blessedness or wretchedness. Indeed, looking at the same rose bush, some people complain that the roses have thorns while others rejoice that some thorns come with roses. It all depends on your perspective."
"This is the only life you will have before you enter eternity. If you want to find joy, you must first find thankfulness. Indeed, the one who is thankful for even a little, enjoys much. But the unappreciative soul is always miserable, always complaining. He lives outside the shelter of the Most High God." ~ Francis Frangipane
"When our perils are past, 
should our gratitude sleep?" 
"I pray for you, that all your misgivings will be melted to thanksgivings. Remember that the shadow a thing casts often far exceeds the size of the thing itself (especially if the light be low on the horizon) and though some future fear may strut brave darkness as you approach, the thing itself will be but a speck when seen from beyond. Oh that He would restore us often with that 'aspect from beyond,' to see a thing as He sees it, to remember that He dealeth with us as with sons." ~ Jim Elliot ~
"If we allow, Thanksgiving prepares us for the gift of Christ." 
~ Sandra ~
"You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink."  ~ G. K. Chesterton
"Who does not thank for little, 
will not thank for much." 
~ proverb ~
"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
~ William Arthur Ward ~

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 

If you'd like a name added to the prayer list, please let me know. Names will be kept for one week; around the world, people are praying.

Prayer Keeping ~ Maxine ~ Kurt ~ Annie's husband ~ Joshua ~ Timi and Miki ~ Dustin ~ Dolly ~ Sandra ~

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sabbath Keeping

"Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. 
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, 
and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: 
when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, 
neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.... 
Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable 
and I have loved thee..."

"It's not stress that kills us, it's our reaction to it." ~ Hermann Hesse ~
"To preserve peace in time of trouble our will must remain firm in God and be ever directed towards Him, that is, we should be disposed to receive all things from the hand of God, from His justice, and from His bounty, with humble submission to His blessed will. Good and evil, health and sickness, prosperity and adversity, consolation and dryness, temptation and tranquility, interior sweetness, trails, and chastisements, all should be received by the soul with humility, patience, and resignation, as coming to us by the appointment of God. This is the only means of finding peace in the midst of great troubles and adversities."  ~ Thomas A Kempis ~
"God didn't do it all in one day; what makes me think I can?" ~ unknown ~
"Anxiety is like a rocking chair. 
It gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere."
"Nothing is permanent in this wicked world - not even our troubles." ~ Charlie Chaplin ~
"Don't let your mind bully your body into thinking it must carry the burden of its worries."
~ Astrid Aluda ~
"Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom." ~ Soren Kierkegaard
"Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength - carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength." ~ Corrie ten Boom ~
"My need to solve the problem is the problem." ~ unknown ~
"How can a person deal with anxiety? You might try what one fellow did. He worried so much that he decided to hire someone to do his worrying for him. He found a man who agreed to be his hired worrier for a salary of $200,000 per year. After the man accepted the job, his first question to his boss was, "Where are you going to get $200,000?" To which the man responded, "That's your worry." ~ Max Lucado ~
"Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety." ~ Plato ~
"Every tomorrow has two handles. 
We can take hold of it with the handle of anxiety or the handle of faith." 
"All growth in the spiritual life is connected with the clearer insight into what Jesus is to us. The more I realize that Christ must be all to me and in me, that all in Christ is indeed for me, the more I learn to live the real life of faith, which, dying to self, lives wholly in Christ. The Christian life is no longer the vain struggle to live right, but the resting in Christ and finding strength in Him as our life, to fight the fight and gain the victory of faith." ~ Andrew Murray ~
"The next hour, the next moment, is as much beyond our grasp and as much in God's care, as that a hundred years away. Care for the next minute is just as foolish as care for the morrow, or for a day in the next thousand years--in neither can we do anything, in both God is doing everything. Those claims only of the morrow which have to be repeated today are of the duty of today: the moment which coincides with work to be done, is the moment to be minded; the next is nowhere till God has made it." From an Anthology of George MacDonald, Edited by C. S. Lewis ~

"Be careful for nothing; 
but in every thing by prayer and supplication 
with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 
And the peace of God, 
which passeth all understanding, 
shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." 

If you'd like a name added to the prayer list, please let me know. Names will be kept for one week; around the world, people are praying.

Prayer Keeping ~ Maxine ~ Kurt ~ Timi and family ~ Linda ~ Annie's family ~ Joshua ~ Sandra ~

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sabbath Keeping

"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him."

"The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become - because He made us. He invented us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be...It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own." ~ C. S. Lewis ~
"Start by doing what's necessary,
Then do what's possible,
and suddenly you are doing the impossible."
"Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." ~ L. Frank Baum ~
"No, this is not the beginning of a new chapter in my life; this is the beginning of a new book! That first book is already closed, ended, and tossed into the seas; this new book is newly opened, has just begun! Look, it is the first page! And it is a beautiful one!" ~ C. Joy Bell C. ~
"You raze the old to raise the new."
~ Justina Chen, North of Beautiful ~
"I guess it's going to have to hurt, I guess I'm going to have to cry, and let go of some things I've loved to get to the other side. I guess it's going to break me down, like fallin' when you try to fly, Sad but sometimes moving on with the rest of your life starts with goodbye."
~ Carrie Underwood ~
"A bridge of silver wings stretches from the dead ashes of an unforgiving nightmare to the jeweled vision of a life started anew." ~ Aberjhani, The River of Winged Dreams ~
"Realize that if a door closed, it's because what was behind it wasn't meant for you."
~ Mandy Hale ~
"I often sit and watch the leaves change colour and fall from the tree. to me, those leaves signify the constant change in our own lives and all he beautiful colours signify our own emotions. As the leaves, change and fall from the tree's with such grace and gentleness, they're reminding us to be gently with ourselves as this chapter ends and the next journey begins in our lives."
~ Annalee Hopkins ~
"There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting." ~ Buddha ~
"The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possibly can." ~ Mike Dooley ~
"The beginning is the most important part of the work." ~ Plato ~
"Do what you can
With what you have
Where you are."
"We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves, otherwise we harden." ~ Goethe ~
"The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: 
Decide what you want." ~ Ben Stein ~
"If all you can do is crawl, 
start crawling."
~ Rumi ~
"He has drawn back, only in order to have enough room for his leap." ~ Nietzche ~
"Some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner ~

"And they sang a new song..."

My apologies, I cannot take names for this week's Prayer Keeping.

Prayer Keeping ~ Max ~ Kurt ~ Timi and family ~ Sandra ~

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Rest in Glory Eternal

~ Dave, in Florence, Italy, alongside the Arno River ~

"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come,
From God who is our home."

Dave, to paraphrase Lewis, 
"your absence is like the sky, spread over everything." 
Today, marks two years of utter despair. Had I not the Godly example of 
Aunt Esther, Aunt Bonnie, Grandmother Hattie and Grandmother Margaret, I don't think I could have borne your death. Had I not watched and waited for you for six years, the surprise would have completely overwhelmed me.

Had I not God and His promises, 
surely I would have done something awful. 
Even so, dear God in heaven, when does it ever abate?

Bless God for His faithfulness, mercy, love and grace. 

Blessings ~ to have been Dave's companion and wife for twenty-two years ~ to be God's daughter, safely kept ~ God's promises, known and unknown ~ God's blessings, known and unknown ~

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Sabbath Keeping

The Lord is far from the wicked 
but he hears the prayers of the righteous."

"Father, give me eyes to see and a heart to respond to which will come to me this day. Forbid that I should miss its graces by looking ahead to some tomorrow. Let me accept the newness each moment brings with awareness and gratitude. In the name of the one who makes all things new I pray. Amen." 

"Begin to pray this week that the moments of your life may themselves become prayers. Whether they are in the joy of a birthday party, in the weariness that comes from labor, in the majesty of the setting sun or in the pain that comes with tears. Pray that each in its turn will cause you to lift your voice to Him." 

"Father, so much of my life seems to be devoid of events that can be labeled important. Its content and quality will more likely be determined by my responses to the ordinary. Let me see your hand in the providences and circumstances of this day. Amen." 
~ Disciplines For The Inner Life
"Prayer is not a check request asking for things from God. It is a deposit slip - a way of depositing God's character into our bankrupt souls." ~ Dutch Sheets ~
"Work as if you were to live a hundred years, pray as if you were to die tomorrow."
~ Benjamin Franklin
"Prayer does not equip us for greater works - prayer is the greater work. ... Prayer is the battle, and it makes no difference where you are. However God may engineer your circumstances, your duty is to pray. Never allow yourself this thought, "I am of  no use where I am," because you certainly cannot be used where you have not yet been placed. Wherever God has placed you and whatever your circumstances, you should pray, continually offering up prayers to Him." ~ Oswald Chambers
"There is a mighty lot of difference between saying prayers and praying." ~ J. G. Lake ~
"You may pray for an hour and still not pray.
You may meet god for a moment and then be
in touch with Him all day."
"More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of." ~ Lord Tennyson ~
"Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer 
is too small to be made into a burden."
"We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties." ~ Oswald Chambers ~

"This, then, is how you should pray:
"Our Father in heaven,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

I'm unable to take names for the prayer list this week; my apologies. 

Prayer Keeping ~ Maxine ~ Kurt ~ Timi and family ~ Sandra ~

Friday, November 01, 2013


~ brrrrrrrrrrrrrr! ~
No sun-no moon-no morn-no noon,
No dawn-no dusk-no proper time of day,
No warmth-no cheerfulness-no healthful ease,
No road, no street, no t'other side the way,
No comfortable feel in any member-
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, November!

I'm taking a short blogging break but have Sabbath Keeping posts scheduled. 

Blessings ~ November has only 30 days ~
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