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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, February 14, 2014

no good, very bad, terrible, horrible day

~ Sam and Sadie ~
We had 18 inches of snow and 6 more expected tonight. Going to the barn has been a chore and I should get hazardous duty pay. Drifts were between 3 and 4 feet deep and the dogs, especially Sam, needed me to break a path so he could go down the driveway. Even getting out of the yard was tough; the snow was pushed against the gate so deeply, it was all I could do to force it open.
~ paca nation covered with snow ~
Nancy over at A Rural Journal, hosts Random 5 Friday. Usually it comes and goes and three days later I remember. What can I tell you? Memory is not only a terrible servant; it mostly doesn't even show. Last night, I visited Lynn at Irish Garden House and her post was today's Random 5 Friday. Why yes, it did confuse me just about totally; then again, it doesn't take all that much to confuse me, but Lynn did make me laugh and that's always a good thing.
~ I love my farm! ~
Nancy says share 5 random thoughts but seeing how I want some cheese, I thought I'd just whine.

1. Ten minutes ago, a big whomp noise came from the wood stove. In order to check it, I opened the vent before opening the door so no sparks would fly into the room. This I did and as soon as I opened the door, a Very Large Whomp AND a ball of fire came straight at me. I was far enough away it only singed my hair burnt my hair, eye brows and eyelashes on the left side. It still got my attention and I guess I won't be wasting money on mascara any time soon. Do eyelashes grow back at my age?
~ Harry Shetland ~
2. Two hours ago, the vet came and we put down two old sheep. Harry Shetland has been blind for months and kept contained in a small lot where he had shelter (barn), water (electric bucket) and I carried food to him twice a day. Sophie Shetland, Carly's sister, is just as ancient but hasn't aged as well as Carly and had been living with Harry for a couple of months. She'd turned into a little bird sparrow and was wasting away and had gotten cast, several times, and worn her fleece to the skin in her vain attempts to get to her feet. I was visiting the barn several times a day in order to lift her and she weighed, maybe, 35 pounds. I don't mind taking care of them, it's my job as a good steward, and I despise killing them but, even more, I hate letting them die by inches. It was time to say good-bye and it's my last gift to them to pay Dr. Anne to do it mercifully. She gave them massive doses of "go to sleep forever meds" and they slipped away peacefully. A few years ago, when Dr. Anne came back to Tazewell to practice vet meds, I told her mother, "Anne is a good vet but I believe she's got the makings of a great vet." Anne is now a lot closer to great than good and it's a privilege to know her.

3. Six hours ago, while driving the Ranger it slid down a bank and landed against a fence. Bless God that fence was there because it kept me from flipping and going over the hill. Even so, the Ranger was good and stuck and not even 4-wheel drive helped. Heck, I was in 4-wheel drive when it happened! Using the Toyota truck, I hooked a chain to both truck and Ranger and tried to pull the Ranger out of that predicament. Didn't work and I tore the yard plumb up! If Dave was alive, he'd have my guts for garters but I'm just happy I didn't get hurt. The dang yard can be fixed a lot easier and cheaper than me. It took God and me about 30 minutes to get the truck unstuck and back on even ground. For a while there I was a tad frightened and told God, "This is the last attempt because I'm frightened. I do not want to go over the hill so this is the last time I'm asking for help." Bless Him, the truck got on an even track...after I got on my hands and knees and shoveled snow from in front of all four tires...and we headed to the barn. At the barn, I used that same chain to hook to the truck and to the barn door so I could get the door open. It was snowed frozen shut and that's where the tractor is kept. After getting the door opened, I loaded the tractor with hay then drove up to the yard to pull the Ranger out of the fence and park it on a level spot. Before putting the tractor away, I fed the horses, sheep and alpacas then came to the house, got the Ranger and put it away, after locking the front gate.
~ without the Ranger, I couldn't manager nearly as well! ~
4. Nine hours ago, I went to town to get gasoline for the Ranger. It was almost out and I need that Ranger to help with farm chores. The first 10 miles of the trip, I drove 20 miles an hour in 4-wheel drive; yes, it was that icy and snowy on the roads. Under the wire, I also had 2 ham biscuits at Hardees; love that Marie, she makes very fine biscuits!

5.  Fourteen hours ago, I woke up and decided to get started on my day. Little did I know (thank You, God for small mercies) what kind of day it would prove to be. The good great news is...beasts and human are safe from exertion. The dogs will receive aspirin (if I can get them to wake up) and I'm taking an 800 mg. Ibuprofen along with an adult beverage. I don't know if I deserve it or not but I sure know I want it and my tired old bones say go for the gusto pain relief. So I'm gonna.

In conclusion (finally!, someone says), it really wasn't a no good, very bad, terrible, horrible day. It was physically demanding, emotionally exhausting and fraught with dangers, toils and snares (love that old hymn!). God kept me safe, He gave me strength, the ability to figure out how to do what needed to be done and I'm headed to bed pleased that I was able to do the work He set before me. And, do it safely; bless His name forever!

Blessings ~ safety ~ long well lived life for Sophie and Harry ~ gasoline for the Ranger and Ranger unstuck and tucked into barn ~ truck put away safe and sound ~ I still have a lot of hair as well as eye lashes and an eyebrow on the right side ~ life is good ~


  1. Reading your post today, I felt sadness for your loss, fear for your safety and admiration for your pioneer spirit. You're my hero, Sandra.

  2. hugs and prayers dear friend, hope you rest , and that NEVER have to go all through that again!

  3. No, I think Dave would be proud of you!

  4. Anonymous11:55 PM EST

    I agree that Dave would be so proud. God bless you, dear friend.

  5. I hope you slept well after all of that! I'm adding my thanks with yours to the Lord for giving you the grit, strength and safety to accomplish all of that. --But I hope you don't have to do it again.

  6. Amen! Stay warm and safe and dry, Friend! It won't be long now. Old man winter will bow out to Spirited Spring! Aloha

  7. STAMINA, DETERMINATION! GUTS and FAITH . . . We have to find someone to purchase that farm so you don't kill yourself!

  8. So much! So very much!
    I just want to come and help you!
    You are in my prayers, friend.
    God Bless you ALL!



  9. I am sorry about Harry and Sophie. You bring tears and laughter and I am so pleased that your day ended relatively are an inspiration! Big hugs and prayers.

  10. Sounds like you had a difficult day all round - I think your "adult drink" was probably well deserved, & almost necessary!! You know you did the right thing by your dear old sheep, but a decision like that is never easy - but what a gentle way for them to leave: an injection, and then sleep.

    God bless, Sandra

  11. So sorry about your having to put your sheep down Sandra -- that had to be hard. And I too wish I was close enough to help you -- I almost rolled on a tractor a few years ago and it is really scary. Take care my friend. xo

  12. What a day. So sorry for the loss of your sheep, it is always sad to see them age.

  13. Oh Sandra I do not know where to start. That is an awful lot of awful things in one short span of time. I wish I lived closer I could help you out of most of the situations except the putting down your old friends that one I have never gotten used to.
    I am so glad you are able to take the painkiller and that adult beverage that you surely deserve, I guess I am saying I am so glad you are still here. Take care OK that was a rough one. I do think eyebrows grow back I think. Hug B

  14. sending big big hugs. thinking of ya. ( :

  15. Yes I agree a drink was deserved! Sounds like despite everything you were able accomplish so much! Hope tomorrow is better! :)

  16. Oh dear Sandra ~ In spite of all the hardships of the day, you MADE it. God was your strength, you did all that needed doing, and you gave Him praise.

    I am sorry you had to have the vet come out for your two 'old' critters. They just went to sleep and are not hurting any more. They are scampering with 'The Shepherd'.

    Another commenter said you were her hero, and I have to agree. You inspire me so much. I am so sorry for your loss and mine too, but with God by our side, we are NOT alone and we will make it.

    Love and hugs to you and I pray that today is easier than yesterday.


  17. I shudder at the thought of that fire ball, Sandra. I'm glad you're okay and I think your eyelashes will grow back. If they don't, I'll buy you some fancy false eyelashes.

  18. Sandra, 18"? What a load of snow! I don't know how you keep doing it dear one, but I salute you!

    I am sorry you had to put down two of your elderly Shetlands. I know how you loved and cared for them. The Lord gave you those animals, because he knows you are a good steward. Bless you my friend.

  19. Sorry, sad for the loss of the sheep . . . the wise Grace to do so, I respect . . .

    Dave would be proud . . .

    I am sure he also would want your days to be easier . . .

    Not sure how you do it . . . Except, by the a Grace of God.

  20. I know it was hard for you to put the sheep down, but a loving caretaker does the right thing. Sorry for the loss of your eyebrow! Maybe a pair of the groucho marx glasses would cover it. :) We all still have the flu. Fortunately, college daughter ended up with something less. Every time I think any of us are better, we start the whole fever thing again.God has been an amazing farming partner for you. You are being an amazing steward. You make me think of a pioneer gal- the real kind, not the fluffy blogger. I hope spring comes swiftly. I hope you can have good rest. I love seeing your dogs in their sweaters!

  21. Sending a long hug for you this morning. I hope today brings something better for you. Saw this post as triumph after triumph, as you faced difficult decisions and challenges, rising above them all. I love that you share your world with us.

  22. Thank you for sharing your very hard day with all of us! Complete with pictures! That is what truly amazes you managed to survive another tough day at your farm and take the time to give us a wonderful post! We are all as you are expecting another storm this afternoon in New England..please take good care! xo E

  23. Respectful farewell to two dear old friends - I know it is hard for some people to understand how hard it is once we've lost our spouse how each loss afterward seems sharper and more painful (or is that just me?)
    Girl girl girl - you are super woman and worthy of praise - you do it - one day at a time, plenty of prayer and a brewski or three can't hurt! Love you friend

  24. You're my hero too. I feel sad you lost 2 of your animals, but understand. God bless and keep you, Sandra. You are one of the most special women I've even known. xx's

  25. What a post! Bless your heart. I'm exhausted and saddened at your day but then again, I'm happy that you were able to get through it. I've been in predicaments where I wish someone was with me to help. After it's all said and done, I realize I was never alone; just as you are not alone.

    I said a prayer that your weekend will be restful physically and emotionally for you and your animals.

  26. My heart aches reading your post. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.....((HUGS))

  27. The Good Lord gives us the strength we need just when we need it. As I fed the yard cats this morning, I looked to the Northwest and wondered how you were fairing there. My prayers are with you, dear lady!

  28. You know, cheese goes very well with whine. [grin] Nah, you're not whining. You're TOUGH! I'm really thankful that the hand of God was upon you, so that neither the Ranger, nor the raging ball of fire, nor the bitter cold claimed you.
    I feel deeply sad about losing the animals. That's the part of having animals I don't enjoy.
    How do you find time to write!? You're truly amazing.
    Hope you stay safe and warm Sandra. ~:)

  29. Dearest Sandra- your life on the farm is amazing. What you do every day astounds me-- what you do in the winter is just mind blowing. Two close calls- thank God you are safe. Just reading the stories was scary for me!

    I'm so sorry about your sheep. I know you did the right thing-- and I know you loved them. Being a parent- even to sheep-- means sometimes you have to make the hard decisions.

    I want spring to come for you now. Tomorrow. Bless your heart for all that you do to keep the farm going and take care of the animals. Stay safe--


  30. Dear Thistle, walking with you through this day by reading all, what happened, I must say, that it was a hero-day. I think the lot of snow makes everything more and most hard, even to set one or two beloved sheep into heeavenly sleep. Thanks to the Lord that the vet could come through this terrible snow and help.You are a friend of your and all animals, so they could end with peae, not with disaster.

    Thank to the Lord, that nothing did burn too heavy!! Oh my God!!!

    At the end of such a day there is only one possibility: to kill all feelings and pains with medicine and a good hard drink!

    New day new chance to be better.

    Big hugs, your Dori, feeling with you!

  31. I'll add my 'Bless Your Heart' and praises for your devotion and stewardship to your 'Homeland and Animals. My goodness, what a 'Snow Saga' you are enduring with a spirit that comes from being of Pioneer Stock. Just think of all the writing material you must share in 'the book'. It will be a best seller.

  32. I pray that the warmer weather arrives soon for you - it sounds like a very tough day:(

  33. Oh, my dear, I am so sad about the loss of the two old sheep, and know how hard it was. Coupled with a very, very hard day...all I can say is Blessings to You. The truck episode sounds scary. The weather in VA is supposed to warm up towards the end of the week. I hope it eases things a bit and your life gets easier. Spring WILL come.

  34. My, my. That WAS a day! Fireballs and precariously sliding-stuck vehicles...glad you are still here to tell us about it!
    I think most of life is putting one foot in front of the other, which often seems to involve leaning into a strong wind. Sorry you are having so very much of a strong wind at the moment! Hope it eases up soon.
    Farewell, Harry Shetland and Sophie Shetland. How wise you have been in your choice of shepherd.

  35. A good day's work! Dave is proud! Sorry about the sheep. You did the right thing, of course. Always good to have a great vet around.
    May God give you daily wisdom to get your work done.
    You are good pioneer stock, lady!
    (My parents used to tell me that and it made it more fun to do what I had to do, lol!)

  36. Oh, Sandra! What a day that was! I'm so thankful you are safe at the end of it, and have a warm fire (if singed brows) and animals that are safe. You are so good to them. Bless Carly.

  37. You are an amazing woman / whine all you want! :)


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