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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, January 28, 2014

Chhhhaaaattttiiinnnggg with frozen lips

My Grow Your Blog Part post is here and there are two giveaways.

Time again for Patrice and her Chats on the Farmhouse Porch although, since it's frigid cold she's moved inside...don't let anyone tell you she's not bright as a copper penny! First, Q&A, then a catch-up with farm happenings.
~ white out conditions ~
1. Have you tried any DIY cleaning products or skin care products from the i-net? I did make laundry detergent but it's in need of a boost due to limestone, iow very hard, water here on the farm. I usually throw in a handful of baking soda to boost my home made detergent. Our well is 650 feet deep and gives 75 GPM (gallons per minute); we think we hit an artesian well and it's the sweetest, coldest, clearest water I've ever drank.
I make my own cleaning fluid for kitchen and bath and, to clean windows, I buy the cheapest vehicle window fluid and put it in a spray bottle.
As to skin care products, if it's good enough for MFK Fisher, it's good enough for me and I use the butter wrapper to moisturize my face. I also use EVOO on my face and body and it works wonders, especially in winter but the downside is the dogs love to lick me. Also using a humidifier in the bedroom helps a ton.
It's been so cold the dogs are wearing two sweaters and still shivering. It's 12:30 p.m. and the high for today is around 8 above zero F.

2. Do you like to enter sweepstakes, giveaways or prize drawings. Not so much but I'll enter a giveaway on a blog; that's total fun. I'm participating in Vicki's, 2 Bags Full,  Grow Your Blog Party and, for the second year in a row, it's fun. It'll take me a while to visit all the blogs, there are almost 600, but I've enjoyed those I've visited thus far. I start at the top and work my way down.

3. How often do you visit your library? It's almost 20 miles, one way, from the farm and I'm there, usually, once a week. I figure my county taxes buy me the county library, law enforcement as in sheriff's department and the landfill and I pay a private contractor to pick up trash weekly. Other than that...what, pray tell, do I get for the thou$and$ of dollars the county charges me?
The 'pacas are able to get to the same hay bale as the sheep. As you can see, it's also in the same small lot where the Christmas trees were placed; sheep and 'pacas alike enjoyed having a bit of green in their diet. This time of year, it's a real treat.

4. Do you have a simple mobile phone? It's a straight talk from WalMart, does that give you a clue? There are a lot of advantages to living in a rural area, having mobile phone service isn't one of them. When I move to central VA, I'll go on my sister's plan and buy a smart phone. I said it before, "smart cars for dumb people" and now it's going to be "smart phone for a dumb!" Dave was the high tech geek and I'm still the low tech geek. I'm not as bad as I used to be, I'm now able to watch DVD's on the television. When he was alive it was easier to say, "Pretty please...". Now, if it does, or doesn't, get done around here the person to blame is the one in the mirror.

5. Tell Patrice something new or interesting. Hmmm, I've been knitting hats and scarves to take to a neighbor's restaurant. Ashley and Daddy John have opened Fisher and Co. Restaurant and I wish them well. They have great food and, after getting their sea legs under them, are to a terrific start.
I just ordered the year 2011 of my blog to be printed; should arrive next week, if not sooner. Next to be printed is 2012 and I'll be caught up. If you've never had your blog printed into a book, you should consider it. It took me years to make the decision and now I wonder what took me so long? Especially since Dave died, my soft cover blog books have been such a pleasure for me. That first year is still a total blank, the shock was tremendous and I haven't a clue how I functioned. The only thing I know is God kept me each and every step. Blog2Book has printed 4 books for me and I'm quite happy; what can I say, I started blogging back in the dark ages.
~ corn field ~
We're in the midst of a winter storm, extremely low temps, wind and it's taking a lot of me to keep chores and the wood stove burning. People talk natter a lot about vortex, global warming and the like but all I can say is weather records have only been kept since 1880, according to this site. Who can say, with any degree of certainty, they know squat about the last few million, few thousand or even few hundred years? No one, that's who! Especially those who have made Billion$ off their brand of an inconvenient truth to a kool aid drinking public. If ever there was a man who liked to hear himself talk, it's this one or this one. They're twins from different parents. I do know...when politicians talk, I'm watching what they do and, mostly, the talk is all lies in order to line their pockets. Good luck buying ice water in hell, you bunch of shysters.
~ frozen Maiden Springs cave ~
We've been having a typical Appalachian winter...snow, wind, ice, low temps and it's made chores extremely difficult. Carly Shetland is still eating, drinking and taking her meds twice a day, blind Harry Shetland (sounds like a blues musician) is eating and drinking well (and should be since I carry it to him and put it under his nose twice a day) but poor Sophie Shetland isn't doing all that well at all. She lies down, rolls over, gets cast and can't get to her feet. I'm going to the barn 3 or 4 times a day to get her to her feet where she stands, stunned, until she can move around a bit. She and Harry both have warm water to drink because I bought another electric water bucket. It was just too hard on me, trying to break ice out of black rubber buckets and was less expensive to buy another electric bucket. I'm going to take some of Carly's meds to Sophie and see if they'll help. It's the last thing I know to do.
It's time to get the mail; in order to do that, the Ranger will be put into use. When it's this cold, I'm tentative about walking farther than the barn. It's about a football field walk, one way, to the mailbox and it's cold enough my gloved fingers begin to turn numb before I get down the driveway. Plus, I'm not crazy about the dogs walking on the road as I'm not sure what the highway department has laid down. While I'm out, I'll check on Sophie Shetland and, probably, pull her to her feet. Yes, my back does constantly hurt, now that you mention it.

My brother wanted to know what I do all day so I told him I tend to animals, keep a fire in the wood stove as well as clean it of spent ashes, clean house, do laundry, dishes, am packing stuff to move, sell and giveaway, working on a marketing plan to sell the farm and take copious rest breaks. The older I get, the harder it is for me to recover from the tremendous cold so rest breaks are urgently necessary. On the GYBP someone made the comment reference me and the farm, "...a piece of the simple (ha ha) life" and it made me smile. I think the main difference between me and urban dwellers is, I'm more focused on food, shelter, clothing. Sure, I'd love to live closer to an urban area, say an hour away (book stores, coffee shops, thrift stores), but I'd still spend most of my time at home. Home is where I'm happiest, it's where my animals are and it's where I want to be. I've spent a lifetime getting to this stage and I don't want to miss a second. Other than the name of Jesus, home is the most beautiful word in the world.

Blessings ~ Patrice ~ my animals ~ Thistle Cove Farm ~ home ~


  1. What a great post..I enjoyed reading it..and I love your answers.
    What a brilliant idea to get your blog published I had no idea you could do that
    Have a great week
    Phoebe x

  2. I will have to give some consideration to printing my blog. I have told my daughter to do so on many occasions because she is a better writer.

  3. Sandra, your sense of humor keeps me tickled and laughing out loud when I read one of these posts like today's. :) And I am with you...Home is my favorite place to be as well!

  4. Such a great post... made me laugh. I definitely looks cold there!

  5. Even with 2 sweaters on her, I don't see how you can get Sadie to go outside for more than a pee-n-run in minute!

  6. Oh I love this post chock full of well you which is a wonderful thing.I understand the working out in the cold thing dealing with the ice and snow trying to keep the animals safe and well unless you have ever done it you have no idea. I love that you have your blog posts printed Since I could not afford it I have printed then kept all my stories in binders for my girls they encourage that. I am so glad you are happy in your home that is where I also love to be. Great post. Hug B

  7. What a great post, I'm still chuckling! You ae so right, there's no place like home! On and day like today, it's the best place to be!
    Take care and stay warm!

  8. Hi, nice to meet you. I love the sound of your simple life. We are having snow for the first time in three years here today. Us Southerners are not used to snow and we kind of make it a party when we get it. :)

    Mary-andering Creatively

    Mary-andering Among the Pages

  9. Loved your winter photos! Have a great week and keep warm :)

  10. Anonymous6:28 PM EST

    I am a lover of home, too, and yes, Jesus is the sweetest name I know. Remembering you in prayer as you prepare to sell. I know God has someone special in mind!

  11. Bless you, Sandra, in this cold, cold weather! Keep warm and hang in there.

  12. I've made on of the shower cleaners with Dawn and it works well. I have a long list of other things I want to make. I do love Pinterest. Smart idea to take the Ranger to get the mail. Stay warm and safe. When are you moving? I like my smart phone but I'm not glued to it like others are. I like it more when I'm traveling and not on my computer.

  13. How I love coming here and reading your posts. You are so connected to the real world-living as you do. I sometimes long for simpler times and miss the farm I grew up on.

    You are so right about the weather patterns and not knowing how things were years ago. There is a hundred year high water line for some reason...and then the water "went away", came back and now it is "out" again. It is so cold this year that it is not funny---or comfortable.

    Blessings to you- xo Diana

  14. I had to chuckle at your saying you use butter wrappers on your face. I don't think I could...when I was in high school, at lunch one day in the cafeteria (long tables/benches) a friend sitting next to me put butter on a spoon and flung it at a classmate. The girl thought I did it and promptly got up with a handful of butter and smeared it in MY hair - I went the rest of the school day smelling like butter - not a good smell when it's in your hair! We still chuckle over that but nope, I'll pass on using those on my own face. :) For a home-made cleaner, on my copper bottomn pans, I sprinkle with salt and then pour some white vinegar on a sponge and rub them shiny.

  15. Wonderful post Sandra.. I've been away from blog world for quote some time and while I don't comment often anymore I do check your blog religiously..

    I see you're finally moving? When will this happen? We are finally moving too. We are leaving the South and heading back north, New York State to be exact about June of this year..

  16. Great post Sandra. I like listening and learning. I am a "no place like home" person too. Right now I am falling asleep and comfy under the down comforter. If this zero weather continues I will be wearing two sweaters to bed like your doggies!

  17. What a great post! Your life is full every day.

    I go to the library probably at least once a month, checking out 4-5 books usually.

    When you move, will you buy a place that you can take your animals to?

    I also am a home body, it's my little haven from the crazy world that we live in. I loved this statement of yours "Other than the name of Jesus, home is the most beautiful word in the world." Oh so true.

    Thank you for sharing your life, your thoughts, your critters.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  18. I haven't had the inclination to do much visiting lately, till this morning. Been spending the most wonderful time scrolling and catching up with all the happenings at your place. Pleased to hear that you are proceeding with packing and selling ... I don't envy you in this undertaking.

    May I ask a favor? I have been thinking of doing the blog-to-book thing ... will you show us what the books look like and how the pages are formatted, please?

  19. I didn't participate in the blog party this year since I'm having trouble keeping up with all of my regular blog visitors, LOL. I hope it is bringing you a lot of web traffic! It's a c-c-cold 6 degrees here this morning with a blanket of snow. With taking care of all of those animals, I don't know how you do it.

    I am about ready to jump into the smart phone era (we may be among the few left in the USA) in the near future. I can see where it would be very helpful with our travels. I'll get an iPhone so that the calendars, notes, contacts, etc. integrate with our iPad and iMacs. I just don't relish the thought of a phone bill costing more than the gas heating bill, LOL.

    And we use our library buildings occasionally. But we use their services all the time for e-books on our Kindles. It's one way that we can recoup a fraction of what we pay in property taxes.

  20. I am so happy to be listed as a blessing! Your friendship has been a blessing to me. I feel so bad that you keep hurting your back righting your sheep. I never knew it was such a problem. We have not had sheep for 2 years yet. They are much smaller than the wool sheep. Take care. Stay warm!

  21. Hi Sandra-Sending warm winter hugs to you. It is sunny but cold here today in Colorado but tonight a whooper of a storm is due to hit. This year it has been harder to embrace shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. I know that you had previously mentioned moving off the farm but didn't see anything more-then today saw you are moving closer to your sister??? Maybe I misunderstood. I couldn't find fault though-you do have a tough job, especially without Dave. I'm going to be curious to see if it is in the near future.

  22. Oh golly gosh that looks cold. I cannot imagine it being so cold that you cannot walk outside without freezing. I only had a "stupid phone" and then my daughter gave me her old "smart phone". It does have some uses.... Please stay warm.

  23. I was so excited to learn about Blog2Book that I immediately trotted off to check it out. YIKES! A book for the first year and a half of my blog (started in mid-2006) would cost me $155! While I would LOVE to have my blog in bound form, I don't have the discretionary income it would take. Sad….

  24. I could not agree more!!! I love home!!! And I've loved reading your blog. I'll come back for more. Thanks for paying me a visit. Stay warm!


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