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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, February 25, 2014

At War

~ back porch wood rack ~
This post is going to be, somewhat, free of photos. Due to the physically demanding couple of weeks I've had, my back and nether regions are in spasms due to pulled muscles. Using the camera requires more energy and effort than I can bring to the task right now.

Mercy, it's time again for Patrice, Everyday Ruralty, and her questions. I swan, between Patrice and her questions and Wendell and his carrots, it seems time spills over completely into life.

1. What is your favorite kind of bread? Either sourdough or my own bird seed bread; not sure which but both are delicious and wonderfully good for what ails you.

2. Would you go to an opera...? At one time in my life, I held season tickets...I adore opera but only if there are subtitles. I want to adore opera, not work at opera. See, I really did have a life before the farm. (smile)

3. What is your favorite kind of citrus fruit? Kiwi in hand but love orange in juice.

4. Are you doing any home renovations or decorating projects? Just advertised for someone to clean house to free me up to continue to sell/give/keep/pack. I'm saving renovations and decorating for my new farm home, whenever and where ever that might be.

5. If you could sit in a rocking chair and view a beautiful scene, where would you be and what would you be looking at? See that header photo, above? That's the valley from my front porch and sun room porch and that's where I spend warm afternoons...on the sun room porch, with the dogs and cats, admiring the view and counting my blessings.

Sadie and Sam get roasted pig trotters whenever I find them on sale. One of the clerks, an Asian woman, always smiles enthusiastically at me and comments, "In my country, we eat these too." I've not had the courage to tell her I'm fixing them for my dogs because I only eat the tasty bits of pig - bacon, ham, sausage, tenderloin, roasts and the like.

February might be the shortest month but, nods to April, February might also be the cruelest month as well. After the past two weeks of slogging through three foot drifts to get to the barn for chores, putting down the aged and ill, keeping bodies and souls together for beasties and woman...this ole girl is ready for a rest. Which, by the way, I've had for the past few days because I pulled all kinds of muscles in my back and nether regions. By the time I was ready to come home from town yesterday, I was tip toeing on one leg and dragging the other...a pretty sight to be sure and people looked at me as if I were contagious. More Ibuprofen, aspirin, a slug of Scotch and a hot Epsom salt bath and today, I'm good, can be expected. The snow and ice have melted and we're due for more snow today and tomorrow; the rest of the week is to be clear, please God.

Between the winter that is and the winter that was, following Dave's death, I have finally learned there is within me an invincible God (a nod to Camus). Your kind words and comments are sore welcome and much needed but any strength I have is all due to God. He's the one who allows me to do this work He has set before me and He's the one who gives me the mental capability to suss out things and make wise decisions. My daily prayer, after devotions is, "Please God, keep me safe and give me wisdom" and then I begin my day.

However, I am at war with myself. It used to be Dave kept store for me, now that he's gone, I must keep store for myself and, too frequently, I overspend, having only myself to blame while time is stolen from work in order for the body to heal. It is a fine, delicate balancing act (isn't it Quinn?) to do...but not overdo, work...but not overwork, strain...but not over strain all in order to keep pain at bay and body and soul together.

When Dave and I first moved to the farm, I worked seven days a week. On Sunday, after church, I'd come home, change clothes and head right out to the barn or pasture. It didn't take long for me to realize burning the candle at both ends was a guaranteed way to burn out. If God could take off one day out of seven, let it be a lesson to me and I changed my evil ways. Mostly, I still take off Sunday other than basic chores or emergencies and my life and body are the better for doing so. If you're trying to work seven days a week, I urge you to try taking off one day, resting your body and seeing how quickly you recuperate and have better energy and mental powers for the tasks at hand.

Finally, the good news is, February is on his last legs; we're in the homestretch and March beckons but with no indication if he'll be a lion or lamb. My vote is lion so April can descend quietly, with an umbrella of grace and mercy, like a lamb.

Blessings ~ fire in the wood stove ~ wood on the back porch ~ wood in the barn ~ walking upright ~ pig trotters for the babies ~ February ~ March ~ April ~


  1. Hope you're feeling better soon. I like to soak in an epsom salts bath when my body aches from over doing it.

  2. Im sorry you are suffering at the moment, relaxing in that rocker on the porch right now would do you the world of good.
    Great answers btw.
    And that photo of the pigs trotters brought back such memories for me, as my Grandad had a little butchers shop in the village where I grew up. My Grandma used to cook them on Saturday afternoon
    Have a great week and get well soon
    Phoebe x

  3. That view is awesome....I think that's my favorite of the questions this week. I'm enjoying reading all the "rocking chair" answers!!!

  4. It's going to be tough to give up that view, I know, but I see why it has to be done. I'm glad all the critters will go with you.

    Beautiful post. You sure can weave a tail ... opps, tale. *giggle*

    Hope you have a glorious day. ~:)

  5. A few years ago, I came to the conclusion that I needed help. My husband had been offering me a cleaning lady for a while, and I stubbornly resisted. On a particularly bad day, I realized that there was no way that I had the emotional or physical energy to keep house in this big place AND make any sort of progress toward our goals of garden, renovation, or life in general. So, cleaning lady it is. I am still very uncomfortable having someone here every other week cleaning MY house, but I am grateful for the time that her presence means for me to do other things. I hope this is a big a blessing to you, as you redirect your energy toward wherever your life is headed.

  6. Sorry you are in pain. Taking Sunday off is the right idea.

  7. Dear Sandra- this winter has been brutal for us all- but especially so for you. I hope you are able to sell your farm this spring giving you time to get settled into someplace new-- a place a lot less demanding of your time.

    Sending you love-

  8. love the view out your windows. the trotters, I will pass on, too! hugs for the journey. blessings and peace, may they unfold in manifold ways, rest as you can!

  9. If there was anyone I know who I wish I could drop in on with some of my lovely daughters and help. it would be you. How I would love to give you some help, company, and a few extra hands with the animals. Unfortunately, it is not to be. I hope your back gives you some relief soon. As I see our farmer and our employees work, I think of you working. You are one strong lady. You have a lovely "rocking chair" view. That's a funny story about the trotters! Hang in there, my friend. April will be welcomed with open arms!

  10. Hi Sandra, I know the view there is priceless to you. I am so sorry you have hurt yourself trying to keep up. I am praying for you to find a new home. I remember leaving Nalley Valley for the last time...the beauty, the dreams, mama's last days. It was hard but God IS stronger. I pray for you daily. May God give you wisdom and strength for each day. With love. M

  11. Well my mercy, I sure hope your muscles and nether regions heal up quickly. My muscles have been in a dither as of late, themselves. But, not from working a farm and such....but from one hellacious trainer at the gym. He shows no mercy! To answer your question about chiggers....I sure do know them. And the grands do too. They like to spend time playing in the woods. Take care! And I can't say it enough...I love your blog.

  12. I am hoping in my world it comes in like a lion with wind and rain, lots and lots of rain and hail and wind.
    But we will see.
    I bet you will be so glad to be rid of February this year.
    Rest if you can, nothing scares me to death like back injuries.

  13. you are one brave woman!
    Get to feeling better right away.
    Bless you,

  14. Overspending the body brings one to a big time stop . . .
    I don't think you have had much choice in this "overspending." Not sure what to say other than to encourage you to be careful . . . Dave would want that for you.

  15. Wish I was near to you so that I might share with you my containers of Rebuild / Wonderful and/or Achey Painy suave from Kat at Fir Meadow. Wonder filled for both woman and beast they are. Trust you are by now snoozing soundly. Again Shepherdess your feats touch on amazing and God powered or I am farm girl hear me roar powered I raise my class of Honey Mead to you!

  16. Hello dear Sandra:

    We do worry about you. And whilst we know that you are already considering changing your life quite dramatically [which when it happens will not be easy either physically or emotionally] it is the here and now which needs to be kept in check.

    That you are seeking help in the house is one very positive step. What about help for some of that very heavy, arduous and tiring farm work? Think about it!!

    Take care. Love and prayers as always.

  17. Help is good and why not treat yourself to regular body massages as well, you well deserve pampering-hope your parts feel better soon. You work so hard but the rewards must be amazing at the end of your day, you are totally amazing.

  18. I have always felt that February is the longest month in the year. Seems like this year someone stuck a few extra days in February. The days are getting longer and we are seeing a bit more of the sun. Spring can't be too far off.

    I hope your aches and pains subside soon. Praying for warm sunny days for you and the critters.

  19. Hope to read soon that you have a dependable and competent house cleaner - I know it would be grand to also have help outdoors with all that work but also have learned even in my much easier situation - it is harder than most imagine to find someone dependable and competent to do all the this n thats.
    Dang - I'm sitting here with various body parts hurting but heat pad and meloxicam beginning to release the tighter parts!

  20. Oh my. You have a full plate, don't you? Hope you are feeling better now. Of course, I am going to suggest that you start doing yoga-especially Holy Yoga. Good for the body and the soul!

  21. I agree with your view, how could anyplace get much lovelier than that?? Sorry I've been so absent lately, lots going on trying to figure out a new normal...

  22. I am very happy that February is coming to a close. Spring just can't get here quick enough to suit me. Is Kiwi a citrus fruit? If so, that's new to me. Actually, I never thought about where it falls. Kiwi reminds me a wee bit of strawberries. Maybe, it's all the seeds, I don't know. Here's hoping your back feels better soon.

  23. I have really enjoyed reading this!

  24. I was without internet last week while at my parents' and am just now starting to catch up on All Things Online. I hope you're feeling better.

    "Life before the farm" made me smile. And like I just said in response to your last blog comment over at mine, I'm glad you're taking the day a month all for yourself now. That's a wise tradition to begin.

    Good for you for looking for cleaning help too. Too many people try to do it all themselves. This spring should feel so much brighter for you in so many ways, after so much work, Sandra. ♥


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