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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.

Monday, April 28, 2014

End of an Era

The last couple of weeks have been full and interesting. There's been a spring blizzard where the snow struck the valley ground and melted, almost immediately upon impact, but hung around on upper levels.

There have been lashings of rain where I couldn't see much in front of me and the roads were three inches deep in water. There's been sunshine, grass growing, the earth looks greener and flowers are both blooming and spent. In other words, it looks like spring! However, just in case I've grown accustomed to the warmer temps, spring is teasing with frost bitten nights that are precluded by dragging in of plants, small and large. 
The hummingbird feeder was put out 1 April and on Easter Sunday the first bird arrived. Since then, there have been three and more are expected. "Experts" say, "Put out feeders 1 May" but they are wrong and here's proof positive. I also keep feeders up until end of September because the humming birds like to stay later than first of September.
Lots of turkeys have been spotted; one day a rafter of more than two dozen and today, seven. Ben Franklin wanted to make the wild turkey our national bird but the vote went to a carrion bird, the American bald eagle. 
I managed to get a, blurry, photo of turkeys flying across the road...always an amazing sight!
M R Dks! 
This spring has been the most poignant, bittersweet of any since I've lived here, or, any I can remember. Last spring, the first second after Dave's death, surely was the same but I can't remember; that entire first (and second) years is are such a blur and, unlike the ducks, I barely kept my head above water. No one died so I must have done my job as a steward but, in order to gather any inkling of anything that happened, I have to refer to this blog. It's the only memory I have of that first those years. 
Regular readers know what an extremely bitter and difficult winter I had; February and March were brutal in the extreme with low temps, blizzards, high winds and it took all the physical strength I had to plow through. This winter made a bitter pill easier to swallow; the sheep and alpacas have been given sold to someone who will care for them as I or any other good steward should. 
One alpaca was gathered in with the sheep while the other three were put into the back of the truck. They only had a couple of hours journey and the new owners report everyone is fine and have recovered nicely from their ordeal. I was strong and didn't keep even one ewe, not even Carly's sister because I felt she'd be better off with her flock. They've been together close to twenty years and it would be upsetting to separate them. Carly was separated only because it was her choice. She wandered up the driveway, into the yard and one day announced, "Mom, I'm home!" She lived in the yard for the last few years of her life and loved the extra attention, food and arthritis meds twice a day.
It's the end of an era at Thistle Cove Farm. Yes, I did cry when they left but I know the new owners are good stewards and gave me permission to visit.  It's strange, to look over the pasture and not see sheep or alpacas; counting noses doesn't take as much time these days. 

Many thanks to you who have prayed for my Beloved Sistah, Stephanie. She goes for tests and we're hopeful a determination will be made that will provide direction for new meds. She's holding up, praying and, within her new limitations, trying to live a normal life. We're all still praying for a full and complete recovery; please, won't you join us in prayer?

God willing, there are more changes coming, In His time and will; this I accept. Bless you for reading, and if you pray or comment, bless you for that as well. If you want to send a PM, it will be gratefully accepted and responded to; if not, that's fine as well. As time permits, I will be around to visit, keep the kettle on and brownies made, you are loved.

Blessings ~ good home for sheep and alpacas ~ sunshine ~ turkeys ~ mallards ~ hummingbirds ~ gentle rain ~ spring blizzard ~ change ~

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sabbath Keeping

"This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it."

"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. 
Let me learn from you, love you, savor you, bless you before you depart. 
Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. 
Let me hold you while I may, for it will not always be so. 
One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky, and want more than all the world for your return."  ~ Mary Jean Irion ~
"Today you are you!
That is truer than true!
There is no one alive who is you-er than you!
"I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I am going to be happy in it." ~ Groucho Marx
"For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something." ~ Steve Jobs
"Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a 
long time ago."  ~ Warren Buffet
"God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. 
Have you used one to say 'thank you?'"
"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its 
strength." ~ Corrie ten Boom
"I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday. " 
~ Abraham Lincoln
"Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today." ~ Mark Twain ~

"While it is said, 
Today if ye will hear his voice, 
harden not your hearts,
as in the provocation."

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

Prayer Keeping ~ Jim ~ Stephanie ~ Sandra ~ Kristine ~

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sabbath Keeping

"But you, Bethlehem, David's country,
the runt of the litter-
From you will come the leader
who will shepherd-rule Israel.
He'll be no upstart, no pretender.
His family tree is ancient and distinguished.
Meanwhile, Israel will be in foster homes
until the birth pants are over and the child is born,
And the scattered brothers come back
home to the family of Israel.
He will stand tall in his shepherd-rule by God's strength,
centered in the majesty of God-Revealed.
And the people will have a good and safe home,
for the whole world will hold him in respect-
Peacemaker of the world!"

"We are all immortal creatures, destined either to live an eternal, resurrected existence with Jesus Christ or destined to successfully have avoided God and his claims and to live in a Christless eternity. These are our only options. And this truth should make a tremendous difference in the way we plan and live our lives.
Lewis also said, "Christianity is a statement which, if false, is of no importance, and, if true, is of infinite importance. The one thing it cannot be is moderately important." But that's what most church-goers choose; isn't it? Most people choose the third option, the one that is really no option at all. We regard the truths of Christianity as moderately important. The fact is, though, that it's either all or nothing, everything or not anything. If this radical stuff is true, then it has the most profound and compelling implications for all of our lives and destinies. It will define our destiny, because, in life, the journey is always defined by the destiny." ~ Dr. Kenneth Boa ~

"Life can only be understood backwards;
but it must be lived forwards."
~ Soren Kierkegaard ~

"With wandering eyes and aimless zeal,
She hither, thither, goes;
Her speech, her motions, all reveal 
A mind without repose.

She climbs the hills, she haunts the sea,
By madness tortured, driven;
One hour's forgetfulness would be
A gift from very heaven!

She slumbers into new distress;
The night is worse than day:
Exulting in her helplessness;
Hell's dogs yet louder bay.

The demons blast her to and fro;
She has not quiet place,
Enough a woman still, to know
A haunting dim disgrace.

A human touch! a pang of death!
And in a low delight
Thou liest, waiting for new breath,
For morning out of night.

Thou risest up: the earth is fair,
The wind is cool; thou art free!
Is it a dream of hell's despair
Dissolves in ecstacy?

That man did touch thee! Eyes divine
Make sunrise in thy soul;
Thou seest love in order shine:-
His health hath made thee whole!

Thou, sharing in the awful doom,
Didst help thy Lord to die;
Then, weeping o'er his empty tomb,
Didst hear him Mary cry.

He stands in haste; he cannot stop;
Home to his God he fares:
'Go tell my brothers I go up
To my Father, mine and theirs.'

Run, Mary! lift thy heavenly voice;
Cry, cry, and heed not how;
Make all the new-risen world rejoice-
Its first apostle thou!

What if old tales of thee have lied,
Or truth have told, thou art
All-safe with Him, whate'er betide
Dwell'st with Him in God's heart!"
~ Mary Magdalene by George MacDonald ~

"Aslan turned to them and said:
"You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be."
Lucy said, "We're so afraid of being sent away, Aslan, And you have sent us back into our own world so often."
"No fear of that," said Aslan. "Have you not guessed?"
Their hearts leaped and a wild hope rose within them.
"There was a real railway accident," said Aslan softly. "Your father and mother and all of you are--as you used to call it in the Shadow-Lands--dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning." And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before." ~ C. S. Lewis

Jesus said:
"I have come that you may have life more abundantly."

"I am the way, the truth and the life"
No one comes to the Father except through me."

Jesus Christ is the only Son of the Living God and died for all our sins. If you've never trusted Christ for your eternal salvation and would like to, please send me a private note. It would be a privilege and honour to show you The Way.

If you'd like a name added to the prayer list, please let me know. Around the world, people are praying.

Prayer Keeping ~ unspoken requests ~ Jim ~ Stephanie ~ Gwen ~ Sandra ~

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Prayer Request

~ view of the Cove, from half mile tree ~
We're in the midst of a spring blizzard, howling winds, low temps, snow and sleety ice pouring from gray sky. 

Stephanie, my Beloved Sistah, was taken to their doctor this afternoon. Doctor didn't like the looks of symptoms and admitted Steph to hospital. She's there, medicated, lots of i.v. to help with dehydration and, hopefully, help with other symptoms. No one is sure what's wrong, more tests tomorrow. 

Please include her, and our family, in your prayers; thank you.

Blessings ~ Stephanie ~ nurses ~ doctors ~ family ~ friends ~ prayer ~ God ~

Monday, April 14, 2014

Get Nekkid

Did you notice I changed the header photo? More bulbs have earth sprung and it's still pretty even though the patch needs weeding. Once, someone told me, "Every time I see your header photo, those weeds drive me crazy." So I told her, "Feel free to come weed; weeds don't care who pull 'em from their roots." Funny...she never did show up.

Toyota had a recall so that meant taking two days to take the truck to Christiansburg, leave it and then go back to retrieve it. It seems like the past two or three weeks have been spent dealing with problems caused by someone else. Have you noticed, there are times when you're doing what you can to right someone else's wrong and they say, "Gosh, isn't it nice you're getting this done for free?" 


So, I smile sweetly (I like to think sweetly) and say, "Gosh, it sure is. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to afford it considering how much it's costing me in time and vehicle expense to bring the truck to Christiansburg to correct Toyota's problem." 

To quote Queen Victoria, "We are not amused" and I think that means both me and them. Oh well. Fiddle dee dee, boys. If y'all had done the job correctly the first time, there'd be no second time recall.

So that's how I spent my 61st birthday on Friday...dealing with Toyota problems that cost me a lot of extra money. Nope, I am not amused although I am a year older. Shazamm! 
~ Derrick Spangler ~
On another note, last week was full, I mean to say FULL of nothing on the schedule other than getting nekkid. And we did. Twenty-two of us are running around bare butt nekkid and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. The rest of us are I am taking copious quantities of Ibuprofen, liquid refreshment to boost said Ibuprofen, Epsom salts baths, Tiger Balm patches and rub, sleeping on a heating pad and, when all else fails, crying like a baby and bawling like a calf. 

Yes, it does help, all of it. I say this from vast actually does help!

Wednesday evening, Derrick Spangler, Lord Willin' Shearing, aka DNA Shearing, and his crew spent the night in their camper parked in the driveway. They ran an extension cord from the barn to the camper and I'm not sure how long they stayed awake because when I came back to the house, I went to bed. I'm two generations older than some of those young folks and I knew Thursday was going to whup me. At 6:00 a.m. I began my day with coffee and devotions then started breakfast. I'm a huge fan of breakfast and made buttermilk biscuits, pepper gravy, scrambled eggs and sausage with coffee and milk rounding out the meal. Eventually everyone ate then we all headed to the barn to set up for shearing. 
Derrick likes the sheep close and tight; he says it's easier on him. Chad, the young man standing on the left, helped jury rig a small pen. I'd put the sheep up on Wednesday morning so they were dry and already in the barn so no one had to chase sheep and there were no escapees...hurrah!
It might be a tad difficult to see but Derrick is laying over a padded U shaped holder. The holder is attached to the barn rafters and it helps support his back, a very good thing. 
Here's a better photo. The contraption allows him to move about yet offers full support.
Derrick not only shears sheep, alpacas and llamas, he also will trim feet and de-worm. Derrick...I love you, man! 
My sheep get pedicures; I get to pay for my sheep's pedicures. Me? I get no stinkin' pedicures but that's all right as I'm sorta funny about people I don't know touching me. Other than Derrick, Britney (his girlfriend) and Chad...I'm good with hugs from them -LOL.
~ Derrick de-worms a Merino ~
Derrick has been to New Zealand to shear and told me, "If you can't shear 300 sheep in a day in New Zealand, you get to go home." Good gosh! I'm not sure I could take pictures of 300 sheep in a day!
Sadie found a friend in Britney. Britney also helped me skirt fleeces although Derrick is a shepherd's dream. He skirts the nasties as he goes along...the tags consisting of manure, urine and lanolin, from the rear end, are sheared first, then swept to one side. When Derrick hands over a fleece, it's all good. Because I keep my pastures clean (meaning I spend hours and hours, days and days in the summer, chopping weeds with a stirrup or hula hoe), my fleeces are fairly clean of VM (vegetable matter). 
At the height, my small flock numbered 50; now, they are twenty-two and elderly. You may have read Carly was 20 when she died in mid-February. Dave and I used to laugh about our having "loyalty problems" as in, we were (and I still am) loyal to, sometimes, my detriment. Animals are put down only when it's in their best interest; it's never because it's inconvenient for me to take care of them. It's my job and a privilege to care for those lives on this farm and, for a variety of reasons, I expect to hear, "Well done thou good and faithful servant" when I see Jesus. 
Time to close and will leave you with more beauty; even with all the hard work, it's still a beautiful day on the farm.

Blessings ~ Derrick ~ Britney ~ Chad ~ nekkid sheep ~ tulips ~ daffodils ~ 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sabbath Keeping

"Give your burdens to the Lord,
and he will take care of you.
He will never let good people down."
~ Psalm 55:22 ~

"People with nothing to declare, carry the most." ~ Jonathan Safran Foer ~
"Duty is heavy as a mountain,
death is light as a feather."
~ Robert Jordan ~
"You think when someone you love passes away, everything becomes clearer, that your priorities and perspectives align in a way they've never aligned before because of the sobriety of it all.
But it doesn't.
Those revelations just become skewed and distorted until you're forced to rewrite them entirely. You can't walk straight on a new path when you have too much luggage on your back. You just keep swerving, trying to find a way to accommodate the weight, but it's all dead and you know it's going to take you down. The only answer is to reroute. "
~ Rachael Wade
"Make sure you don't carry the burden of the whole world on your shoulders, just in case someone needed them to cry." ~ Nema Al-Araby ~
"All I know is that the closer I get to God, the deeper I get into the Bible, and the heavier the burden seems on my shoulders." ~ Tim LaHaye ~
"It is easy to tell the toiler
How best he can carry his pack
But no one can rate a burden's weight
Until it has been on his back."
~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox ~
"Are you in pain, Frodo? said Gandalf quietly as he rode by Frodo's side.
'Well, yes I am,' said Frodo. 'It is my shoulder, the wound aches, and the memory of darkness is heavy on me. It was a year ago today.'
'Alas! there are some wounds that cannot be wholly cured,' said Gandalf.
'I fear it may be so with mine,' said Frodo. 'There is no real going back. Though I may come to the Shire, it will not seem the same, for I shall not be the same. I am wounded with knife, sting and tooth, and a long burden. Where shall I find rest?'
Gandalf did not answer." ~ J. R. R. Tolkien ~
"Our love is our burden." ~ Julianna Baggott ~

"Bear one another's burdens
and so fulfill the law of Christ."

Prayer Keeping ~ unspoken requests ~ Jim ~

Monday, April 07, 2014

Quick! Advice Needed and $50 Giveaway

After posting yesterday, I realized Sabbath Keeping's post was number 1,000! It totally surprised me because it's like this:

~ not sure where I found this fabulous quote ~
To celebrate post number 1,000, I'm giving away a $50 gift card, entry rules at end of post.

I'm in the market for a smart phone and am getting either the LG G2, here, or the Samsung Galaxy Note, here. When I rent Thistle Cove Cottage, here, it's imperative I have the capability of Square and only a smart phone can handle Square. Currently, I'm using a Walmart phone that was bought on the advice of employees who assured me it used Verizon network. Trusting idiot me, believed them, even though I told them I only get Verizon, never AT&T, on the farm.

Their phone does not use Verizon, it uses AT&T. (boo, hiss, shame on those employees!)

So, I am being drug, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century. (That is right, right?) 

Dave was the high tech geek. He would, 99 times out of a hundred, come to me and say something like, "Would you like an MP3 player?" and I'd say, "What's that?" He'd look at me rather sadly, go away and a few days later hand me a little something and said, "it plays music and you can listen to audio books." Well, he knew he had me at the "listen to audio books" part! The Christmas after his Mother died, he bought us Kindles; I had no idea what a Kindle was but if he wanted one, so did I. 
~ LG G2, photo borrowed from here ~
I narrowed down my smart phone choices to the LG G2, or the Samsung Galaxy Note. (I can "hear" Dave saying, "And if you get the Note then you've got to get the Galaxy Gear as well." Well alrighty then, if you make me!)
~ Galaxy Note and Gear , photo borrowed from here ~
The LG G2 is $99.00 and the Samsung Galaxy Note is on sale for $179.00 at HHGregg which seems a tad expensive (but I'm not claiming to know much about electronics) but, on the other hand, with all the Note does, it might not be expensive. The Galaxy Gear is more expensive and, would you say, probably more of a toy while the phone is a business tool. Anyway, the watch isn't a consideration just now...I'm interested in the phone only and it has to be Verizon network which both phones meet that requirement.

? for you...Do I have to purchase a Verizon network plan at the same place I buy the phone? Is it less expensive to go someplace like Sam's to buy the network plan? Should I buy the network plan at the same place I buy the phone?

To enter, leave a comment and answer:

*which phone you believe to be best and why
*where should I buy the network plan and why

Thanks everyone; your advice is greatly appreciated. If you're not a high tech person, another $50 giveaway is coming up next week and it's low tech.

Thanks for your comments; this post is closed as of 9 April 2014, 10:45 a.m.

Blessings ~ the wisdom of my readers ~ smart phones ~ Kindles ~ giveaway ~
C. S. Lewis ~ 

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Sabbath Keeping

"Whenever Moses entered the tent, 
the pillar of cloud would descend and 
stand at the entrance of the tent; 
and the LORD would speak with Moses."

"Solitude sometimes is best society." ~ John Milton ~
"I live in that solitude which is painful in youth
but delicious in the years of maturity."
~ Albert Einstein
"Love is, above all, the gift of oneself." ~ Jean Anouilh ~
"I had three chairs in my house:
one for solitude
two for friendship
three for society."
~ Henry David Thoreau ~
The best thinking has been done in solitude. The worst has been done in turmoil."  ~ Thomas A. Edison ~
"If you're lonely when you're alone, 
you're in bad company." 
~ Sartre ~
"Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away...and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow happy about your growth, in which of course you can't take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don't torment them with your doubts and don't frighten them with your faith or joy, which they would be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn't necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust... and don't expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it." 
~ Rilke ~
"I care for myself. 
The more solitary, 
the more friendless, 
the more unsustained I am, 
the more I will respect myself."
~ Charlotte Bronte ~
"Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep out alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no when you don't want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important that finding out what you're doing here. Believe in kissing." 
~ Eve Ensler ~
"I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people:
that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other."
~ Rilke ~
"Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life."  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~
"Sometimes I get so immersed in my own company, if I unexpectedly run into someone I know, it's a bit of a shock and takes me a while to adjust." 
~ Kazuo Ishiguro ~
"We live, 
in fact, 
in a world starved for 
solitude, silence, and private; 
and therefore 
starved for meditation and true friendship." 
~ C. S. Lewis ~

"In the early morning, 
while it was still dark, 
Jesus got up, 
left the house, 
and went away to a solitary place 
and was praying there."

If you'd like a name added to the prayer list, please let me know; around the world, people are praying.

Prayer Keeping ~ unspoken requests ~ Everett ~ Adam ~ Toby ~ Jim ~

Friday, April 04, 2014

12 Reasons to Line Dry Laundry

~ if it's above freezing, or not, clothes are line dried ~
1. It annoys the Home Owners Association. Frankly, I don't understand people who carp about the environment and then use a dryer. So many HOA's have rules against clothes lines where clothes can be seen by other residents. Seriously? You're going to get annoyed because you see my unmentionables? How old are you?

2. It saves a lot of money. Dryers use a lot of electricity and the older the dryer, the more electricity it uses. According to some sites the energy hogs are heating and cooling (think heat pump), water heater, lighting, washer/dryer, refrigerator, oven, TV/DVD/VCR, dishwasher and finally, computer. The next water heater I purchase is going to be an “on-demand” gas powered water heater which should really push down the electric bill. I mean, why pay to keep water heated 24/7 when it's only used a very few times a day?

Daddy retired from VEPCO, now Dominion Resources, and used to say, “If you're leaving the room, turn the lights off; you're not paying for a dime more electricity than you use.” He's right and now I'm very conscious of my electrical use. Last year, I bought a convection oven and it's used most of the time and costs far less than my 1914 Acorn stove oven, plus food bakes in a lot less time. This is very important when I've misjudged my time and am ravenous.

I no longer have satellite television and only watch a DVD a couple of times a month. It's a time consideration; most of my time is used on the farm or in the house and there's little to no extra time for watching DVD's. Now that I'm without sat television, I'm more aware of the amount of hours I wasted watching television, even “good programming” such as PBS, Nat Geo, History, etc. Yes, I do miss it but my decision was easy based upon time and needs not to mention how much money I was spending to watch half dozen programs. Do I miss it? Yes, there are many nights I'd love to sofa crash, turn on the tube and get lost but since I've removed that temptation, I don't. 
~ clothes line dried year 'round ~
3. It's more exercise. My washer and dryer are upstairs, which is where Dave wanted them because he said, “Most of our laundry will be generated upstairs.” While that's true, it's also true I've always line dried my laundry, all year 'round and lugging a huge basket full of wet laundry downstairs then same basket of dried laundry upstairs, means some serious exercise. In winter, if it's snowing, sleeting or doing some other nasty kind of weather, I use a clothes rack, also known as a clothes horse, to line dry inside. The upside of that is the increased moisture in the air means no static electricity.

4. Clothes smell better. Really, clothes just smell better when line dried in the sun. Nothing, not even lavender, beats the small of sun dried laundry and using dryer sheets in the dryer means, eventually, your towels and wash clothes aren't going to absorb water as well.
~ photo take very quickly in Romania ~
5. Sunlight is a disinfectant. There's no need to use bleach and if you want to boost your detergent's whitening and disinfecting power, use a half cup to cup of baking soda.
6. No wrinkles. On a windy day, clothes will line dry with few to no wrinkles.
7. Clothes last longer. In a dryer, clothes are being rubbed together, somewhat violently, which produces lint. Lint is the result of clothes losing fiber and will eventually wear clothes out much more quickly.
~ Sandra with Romanian weaver ~
8. Eliminates static cling. Lovely in and of itself!
9. No shrinkage. Have you ever, mistakenly, shrunk something because the dryer was on an incorrect setting? Yeah. Me too.
10 Softer clothes. If you must use a softener, use white vinegar.
11. Time spent in nature. All right, so it's not a walk on the beach or a traipse in the forest, it's still outside in nature. On a beautiful day, it's glorious, even if you are hanging out laundry or getting it off the line.
12. Line dried sheets with line dried nightgown...'nuff said!
~ I made these spider web fabric shawls ~
Good equipment is paramount in any operation, including line drying clothes. A double T pole, opposite ends with good, plastic covered wire stretched between means long years of drying pleasure. My lines have been replaced three times in nineteen years which is remarkable, considering the winds that scream down this valley. Just last week, we had winds of sixty plus miles per hour and empty lines take a toll; when lines are full of wet clothes, the lines are ripping back and forth, back and forth continuously.

Yesterday, I replaced one line, probably should have replaced the other but I was expecting Donald, Mary's husband, after work to put up barb wire on a fence line, and fixing one was gracious plenty. What it takes a man 15 minutes to do, it takes me an hour, not including the figuring out time.
~ I hand crocheted this rag rug hung on fence ~
I've some of my grandmother's clothes pins and would love, dearly love, to replace them with exactly the same kind. That's not happening because, as we all know, they just don't make 'em like they used to and 'em means everything. Please, whatever you do, do NOT buy cheap clothes pins; you're wasting time, money, effort and, probably, clean clothes when the pins break and clothes fall to earth.

As an aside...Dave once bought an expensive gas grill and his friend said, “Good grief, Dave, don't you ever buy anything cheap?” Dave looked at him and said, “No, I can't afford to.” There's a lot of wisdom in that simple statement.

If you don't know about Lehman's, Simple Products for a Simpler Life, in Ohio, visit when you have time and plan on spending some pleasurable time perusing their it. Lehman's is the primary source for old order religions such as Mennonite and Amish; most of what they offer is non-electric, hand's on and stuff you've not seen for years, even decades. For example, they have pant stretchers which I've not seen since I was a teenager. For 25 clothes pins you'll pay $6.95 but if you buy 2 packs, you'll pay $6.00 each.
~ clothes, frozen on line ~
In Vermont, if you can believe it, a law has been passed “protecting the right to dry laundry outdoors” even though “many people—due to community, landlord, or zoning restrictions—are still prohibited from letting their clothes dry naturally in the sun.”

Oh yeah but they're “environmentally correct” in all other ways...snort, chuckle, guffaw, laughing out LOUD! As an aside, does anyone else see the absolute and total irony in the words “community restrictions”? Can you say o.x.y.m.o.r.o.n.? Can you say s.t.u.p.i.d.? Can you say... ain't no way I'm living that kinda life! These are the same people who passed a law stating truckers cannot leave their truck motors running when they're catching the few winks required by law. Let's see now...we want our “stuff” but we want to be environmentally correct and not release any smog into the air and, by the way, it's okay to let the truckers freeze to death. Sheesh!

But I digress.

The Vermont Country Store, another delightful mercantile, has clothes pins; Theirs are 25 pins for $9.95 but the words RIGHT TO DRY are printed, in red, on each and every pin, letting your neighbors know where you stand. Unless, of course, you live in a “community” where such shenanigans as line drying your delicates are prohibited.
~ crazy quilt, circa mid to late 1800's ~
The last place I found to purchase wooden clothes pins is Lee ValleyTools and is, probably, where I'll buy my pins. I plan to as they look very similar to my Grandmother's pins and, at $4.95 for 50 pins are more than reasonably priced.

I will admit to using the dryer...sometimes. Like today, the day started out bright and sunny so I threw my blankie into the washer; by the time blankie was finished washing, it was raining. That blankie is important to an excellent night's sleep for me so it's going into the dryer.

What about you? Do you line dry? Why or why not? Nosy minds want to know! 

Blessings ~ clothes lines and pins ~ clean blankie ~ Romania ~ gift of travel ~ gift of line dried clothes ~ the work of our hands and hearts ~

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Ash and Roses, Chat Number 133

Oh mercy. Spring wants to be was warmer, sun shining and clothes hanging on the line. Dogs and I went for long pasture walk, not long enough due to that four letter word w.o.r.k. but still better than not going for a pasture walk. Dandy Man, or someone, managed to knock down a section of fence and he was standing in the alfalfa field, happily grazing, while everyone else stood on the other side and hated him. Tumbleweed stood in place A Very Long Time and when I went to check on her, her back leg was caught up in a piece of wire that had unattached. She's a sweet ole thing and stood quietly while I got her untangled; thank God for Curly horses! They are the sweetest tempered horses with an extremely calm disposition; I'd a been killed twelve times already with "regular" horses.

It's a trick, making sure Dandy goes back into the horse pasture while keeping the others from escaping. Copious amounts of sweet feed are needed, lightness of foot (for those of you who've seen me in person, stop giggling!) and prayers interspersed with Easy, Dandy, Easy...Please God, keep us all safe; don't let them run me over...Easy, Dandy Man, Easy... All safe and sound and the fence is fixed, not really, but best I can do for now. I NEED HELP!

Patrice, Everyday Ruralty, is hosting Chats, Number 133 and I'm playing along; her questions, my answers then I'm going to show you my roses. 

1. What's your favorite method of travel? Airplane, first class, but I've only done it once and that was an upgrade. I love to travel by train and cruise ship but, usually, travel is done by vehicle with me driving. 

2. If you wear jewelry, are you more likely to wear silver or gold? Both, either and often together. Who made up the stinkin' rule you have to wear silver OR gold? It's not brain surgery or rocket science, wear what you want!

3. How often do you wear sunglasses? Been wearing glasses for more than 50 years and now have those lenses that change when you're in the sun. Hate 'em. Would rather wear sunglasses but doc can't fit me correctly. I'd love to have that surgery to correct vision but if the doc messed up, I'd have to kill his first born...when I could see better.

4. Which would be easier for you to leave undone (for a short period of time), dishes or laundry? I can pretty much leave both undone indefinitely and with no apologizes to anyone. If someone doesn't like it, they are more than welcome to do both dishes and laundry. That would sure free me up to do something else on the 1,462,839 item to-do list.

5. On a scale of 1-10 (1-hardly any+ 10- house is full), how much clutter have you collected. Hmmm, between Dave bringing 25 years+ of stuff, me bringing 25 years+ of stuff and his Mother bringing 50+ years of stuff, I'd say the clutter scale is off the charts. 10 just ain't gonna cut it. I've given away a lot of furniture...bedroom suite, 3 chairs, bed with mattress and box spring and the bare space is hardly noticeable! Seriously! Dave was a pack rat but I'm a fan of history (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!) so can't bear for stuff to be thrown away. Then, I have to find the exact perfect person/place for it to be, help I'm drowning in stuff...

Well, let's face it; I'm a big, fat liar. Don't mean to be but there it is; I'm a big, fat liar. I keep saying, I'm going to get around to responding to comments and, dang!, it's all I can do to post every now and again. Life is overwhelming and I'm drowning in keeping it all together. Today's to-do list wasn't manageable but I thought I'd get some of it done. HA and double HAHA as it didn't happen. Between spending a couple of hours on the phone with La Quinta Inn, trying to get them to honor their word, and working onbillsandthatpasturewalkand laundryandfencefixingandeverythingelse...sigh. 

Roses. Yellow Roses. Aren't they beayoutiful?! Stateside, Dave used to bring me yellow roses and when we lived in Hawaii, he'd bring Pink Minks. My favorites but terrifically difficult to get in the Appalachian Mountains of southwest Virginny.
~ start with good help ~
Anyway, I use this old McCoy vase which is, probably, as old as me and I'm getting ready to get older, and cut the roses to fit...each one with a trifle difference in height to add interest (dang, sounds like I know what I'm doing!) A big bamboo bowl is filled with water and the roses cut to size while being held underwater (help help I'm drowning!!!).
Cutting them underwater means the water, not air, is sucked up through the stem and this means they'll last a tad longer than if air cut.
The roses are, immediately, put into a vase of clear, cool water where about half a packet of chrystals (their spelling, not mine) are added. You can use aspirin or white vinegar but I use the stuff that comes with the flowers. When that's gone, I'll use ground aspirin. 
 Here, are all the stems which are thrown into the yard (recycling, doncha know) and the water poured onto my house plants. (Speaking of, need to get them off the back porch in case of frost tonight.)

The wood stove needs cleaning but the bucket first needed to be dumped of ashes. Old timers say to put the ashes near fruit trees to help stop fruit borers from ruining the fruit. 
Make sure not to get ash ON the fruit trees but pour between the trees. I think ash will scald the bark, that's why you only want ash on the ground.
This chore was done when the wind wasn't blowing so hard; that means the three minutes between noon and 11:30.
Last and least, I took a selfie. Which I find difficult to even type...who on earth comes up with such silly names...a selfie?! GAG! Anyway, Yvonne was talking about a good haircut and thanks to Sarah, of Rock, Paper, Scissors in Tazewell, I've got a great cut. About six months ago, I wanted short hair...BIG mistake but I've made it she cut it short then shorter and, as usual, I've decided to let it grow out. Again. My life is so dull, I think getting a haircut is exciting. So, I was in the bathroom, looking into the mirror (is this tmi?) and thought, take a picture! So I did. My favorite cut and my favorite cut on me is a bob because, Bob is always right, isn't he? Bob's are easy to care for...just look at the above picture which was taken upon rising from my bed and without being brushed...Sarah, ye done good...the cut is rather timeless and classic in style and, when mine finishes growing out, will look even better. Now, if I could just do something about that wattle...

Blessings ~ pasture walks ~ good haircuts ~ Sarah of Rock, Paper, Scissors ~ yellow roses ~ pink minks ~ Dandy Man ~ Tumbleweed ~ 
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