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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, July 28, 2014

Eagles, Mowing and Farm Sell Update

~ I love this photo! ~
Grace, over at Buttons Thoughts, has been putting up hay; she's at 410 bales and counting. (I am green with envy!) This summer is the wettest in my memory which only goes back almost twenty years in this place so others' mileage may differ. There's good news and bad news...the bad news is, for the first time since living here, hay hasn't been made; it's simply been too wet. The good news is I've planned carefully and have both round bales plus square alfalfa bales and my horses will still eat well this winter. Thank God!
~ upper field ~
On this farm, there are two hay meadows that haven't been cut and, truthfully, I've wanted to fret but every time I'd start to fret, God would whisper, "Trust me, Sandra, trust me..." and remind me of Exodus 14:14 "I will fight for you Sandra, you only need to be still." What He's saying to me is, "Cast your cares upon me because I care for you" and, most importantly, "hold your tongue and I will work everything out for your good. You may not see it, it's the long view but trust me, Sandra, trust me." When I'm able to quiet myself and trust in Him, life has a way of seeming to be smoother and I'm better able to handle the stresses, and those who stress, much better. It's a difficult, daily lesson.

~ mowing the upper field ~
So, after considerable thought (and checking with Daddy) I decided to mow both pastures. the growth is dead, gone to seed and, instead of buying seed to re-seed the fields, mowing it will allow the seeds to go plant and fertilize themselves. Dad said, when possible, it's good to do this every so often; the Bible says to let a field lay fallow every seven years so, once again, God is taking care of me and His creation.
~ frightened doe ~
It takes me a very long time to mow a field and that's due to two things: the first is I drive slowly because I'm not terribly comfortable on a tractor on hills and the other is, I'm always looking ahead for wildlife. This doe was nestled in the tall grass, perhaps with her fawn, and was frightened when I passed by. She stayed close, snorting and stamping her feet, which made me wonder if she had a fawn; I took a lot of time, moving slowly, watching ahead carefully but never saw the baby. After a couple of passes, I decided to mow the upper side, back and forth, back and forth, and not do a complete circle. It took longer, much longer, but no one was injured and that made it worth the extra time.
Several rabbits made their escape.
Difficult to see but all the "dust" are seed heads...lovely, lovely free seed heads. I could have gone to the farm supply store and paid hundreds, if not thousands, for seed but God supplied these.
After mowing the field, six of the horses were turned loose and showed their approval by stretching their legs. Above, Lightly, DaniGirl and Izza took a turn 'round the field, while below, Izza strutted. 
Part of the joy of living here is the wildlife. That's also another reason it takes me so to get stuff done...if there's something to watch, I'm going to take time and watch. I consider it a gift and I'm not one to take gifts for granted.
The eagle was in the top of a tree, about one-half mile away, so the picture is blurry. Still, it's easy to see this is an American bald-head eagle and I watched as this one and a juvenile had a disagreement over carrion. 
While I was writing this post, I noticed John and Daniel, mowing my lower pasture. I hastened to tell them, "don't bother" but John said, "it's good hay" when I said, "I'm going to mow it, let it re-seed and fertilize the field." This is one of those "life lessons" times and, standing there, talking to John, I almost started crying, not due to anger, but simply due to anxiety, frustration, stress and exhaustion. I don't want to put up, nor will sell, crappy hay but John assured me, "it'll still re-seed and there's good stuff underneath" so I said, "all right, go ahead." So, I'm hoping and praying for clear weather enough to get the hay put up.

Farm sale update: I'm not sure why I continue to be amazed at how fast gossip...iow, my business, travels and at how eager people acquaintances people are to give me advice. Lately it's been, "I heard Mr. X was interested in buying your farm. Don't sell it to him, we don't want his kind in Tazewell." Now, I'm not sure what "his kind" means but I think politics plays a role. You see Tazewell is heavily Democrat (because that's how my Daddy voted, that's how my Granddaddy voted, that's how my Great-granddaddy voted and that's how I vote) and Mr. X is Republican. (Yes, boys and girls the playground is full.)

Actually, I'm a registered Republican because when we first moved here and went to the courthouse to register to vote, we were asked, "How do you register?" I replied, "Independent" and was told, "That's not an option, around here it's Democrat or Republican." So I asked which was the largest party and was told, "Democrat" and I said, "I'll register Republican then." (The words of Queen Victoria come to mind..."We are not amused.") 


Anyway, the price on the farm has been lowered and if it doesn't sell by end of September, will be taken off the market. I've got oil and propane, water, food and shelter for all of is good because God is good. Yes, there are frustrations, stresses, anxiousness, exhaustion but...the good news is, it's because it's my (and God's)'s not a cubical with someone lording it over me because they can. When I remember some of the crappy jobs I've held (and some of the crappy men for whom I've worked) a stressful day on the farm beats a great day in the office every time!

Blessings ~ wildlife ~ eagles ~ deer ~ farm life, it's the only life for me! ~


  1. Maybe just when you get ready to be there another winter . . . you'll turn around and someone will be there to purchase the farm. Kind of like, when you least expect!
    All the best to you . . . haying, seeding or playing with the wildlife!

  2. Sorry about your hay this year but glad you have plenty to go around. That sounds like a good plan and pray that the fields will reseed themselves. I love how happy the horses look to be out running the field. People are always full of advice and it would be nice if they just let you be. Praying that someone will buy it soon!

  3. it seems as if there is something special for you just around the corner...

  4. Anonymous7:21 PM EDT

    I won't offer any advice; I will just continue to pray for you and the sale of the farm. I sure enjoyed seeing your horses.

  5. I always enjoy posts like this. Love the story about registering to be Republican, LOL. I am the renegade Republican in a family of radical lefty Democrats who somehow think I am a nut case for holding conservative views.

    And I also loved how you described slowing down with the mowing to watch nature unfold around you. Speaking from experience, it is such a pleasure to spend some quality time on a tractor and marvel at the beauty all around us.

  6. Oh Sandra I am sorry about your hay but your Dad is very wise that mowing will make for a nice field next year after reseeding itself. Oh I always take time to notice the wildlife and love the way you take care of it. One year 400 bales was all the hay we had and we had to sell half our herd so I am counting my blessings. It has been raining all week and cool here so I am hoping that is not the end of haying we are only half done meaning not enough to get us through the winter so there are always many worries while farming.
    I wish your farm would sell easing the worries but I like you believe there is a plan or a reason for everything and it will work out some way some how.
    Funny about the politics thing I guess it is different here in Canada because people don't care who buys your land as long as they keep their fences up:)and give a wave and a smile when you pass by:)
    Take care Sandra it is going to work out. HUGS B

  7. I guess I missed your post about selling the farm. It is absolutely Awesome. I loved the tour of your property and homes( both farmhouse and condo) I did some sidebar clicking!
    I can understand how hard it must be to upkeep but I
    ll bet your horses love the new range to wander and run! They are beautiful and the stable sounds like heaven for them in the cold.

    We have had the wet weather too here in Western North Carolina. My tiny garden is filled with water and my lavender has rotted. I am trying to replant them out of the garden in pots.
    That is so minor compared to your crops you depend on to live and expenses.
    I love your trust in God and maybe I should take your advice and trust more also for stress relief.
    We just live in a tiny rental cabin in the forest which I love but hard to settle in to the cabin. I need to de-clutter and make it livable.
    This is the hardest times of our lives that we have ever experienced. I need to Trust in God more because I find no other answers except frustration.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I hope whatever is meant to be goes well for you!
    Blessings Sandra,

  8. Dear Sandra ~ I loved this post! Very encouraging to me as to how our great God is taking care of you. You have so much more to handle than I do, but to me my load seems to be rather large at times. God carries our loads no matter the size and He works all things out.

    This was a positive post and I thank you for it.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  9. My husband told me that Virginia is heavily Demoncrat. I didn't know. We're Libertarians too.
    You know, maybe God want's you to stay on the farm for now? Part of the problem is the economy is tanking big time. There's no money for buying extras for most citizens. When the stock market crashes, gas shoots up to over $8 a gallon, the epidemics start (i.e. illegal invasion is spreading diseases on airplanes, public places, etc.) and the electricity no longer works because O'Liar cut everybody off with his EPA thugs, people will start to die in droves. I wouldn't live in a city right now on a $2 bet. We country folks will be able to help more people when dark times hit. Oh, and they're a comin'.
    I always enjoy seeing photos from around the farm. It is lovely there. If we lived closer, I'd be begging you to let me mow. That's one of my favorite things. ~:)

  10. I think you are absolutely right - that doe had fawns. And I also think (for what it's worth) that you are also absolutely right to not put all your eggs in the "selling the farm" basket, but to persevere and have faith that "you only need to be still."
    Of course, I must admit I have a lot of trouble being still at times! Some days I hear the gears going around and around in my brain and I start feeling fretful, and then I have to take myself in hand and say firmly, "Is it all going to fall apart TODAY? No? Good. Now take a few deep breaths and go do what you can."
    I sometimes add, "Lazypants!" at the end, but that's only because I don't work anywhere NEAR as hard as you do! ;)

  11. Sandra, I know how much work the farm must be, however, I cannot see you leaving it behind. The deer, the rabbits, the horses...everything needs you and all of them are used to you. Keep thinking, please...

  12. I know it is frustrating....and I'm glad you are paying attention to God's urgings and not those of the "political" ilk. I think your horse Izza is just so beautiful!! I love grey horses and this one is gorgeous! Hang in there. Maybe you will be able to stay on the farm long enough for me to find a way to visit you.....I have wanted to for years!! I still wouldn't be surprised to find we were related since you had family on Dry Branch! We could share genealogy notes!

  13. I have an impossible dream of buying your farm and making it our home. My best friend is moving to VA on Sunday (near Luray), which makes your lovely piece of heaven even more appealing. But I think the Lord knows I would love it too much to leave it willingly (like Lot's wife), not to mention that Rick's business and our life is here, so here we will remain. UNLESS you happen to know that there is plenty of business for another equine/large animal vet in the area!

  14. I sure am with you on the sentiment that farming stress is preferable to stress on a bad job! God is taking good care of you. Learning to lean on Him is a great stress reliever, though, like you say, it's a daily lesson! Glad you're taking the time to enjoy nature as you work. :)

  15. Dear brave Thistle, what an adventurous hay-story!! I love this yellow old late-summer grass!

    Thanks goodness you have enough hay for the winter!

    I love your dialogue with the Lord, your friend! Yes, it's HIM, who speaks to you! I recognize His words from own dialogues with Him. He always is full of support and grace. Wonderful, Thistle! I love your faith between doubts, distress, questions and being open for his Grace!

    O, Thistle, if ALL farmers would take care of the sensitive wild animals living in an old uncut meadow!

    Loving greetings from Dori

  16. Oh, Sandra! The horses are gorgeous! Way to go, mowing safely! Yay for you!

  17. God bless the work of your hands and tractor.

  18. No matter how long it takes I know you will enjoy every minute that yo get to spend there.

  19. Funny what Sparky said about God wanting you to stay on for now. I got that same feeling while reading your post. Perhaps there is more to your journey there. Perhaps the next person is not at the point in their journey yet to be there. You have so much and care for it so well. Just perhaps God is enjoying your stewardship of His farm very much.

  20. I loved tis post and I am at the stage of life where I might have a lot to do but if something marvelous and awesome , funny or beautiful appears, especially flora, fauna, my animals, grandchildren, or sunset catches my attention...why then I will take the time to soak it up and ponder on it.

    God is good Sandra and He knows when the time is right for you to leave Thistle Cove. I can tell you know and accept that too Sister. Praise Him !

  21. Oh my- it's just so beautiful here. I love the pastures- the animals----
    I'd love to come and stay here for a week- it would be heaven on earth.

    I'm praying that all goes well with your desire to sell- I know you want a simpler life-- I'm praying the perfect person will want to buy your farm and love it as you do--

  22. Just getting around to answering my own comments, sorry it's taken so long! You're very welcome, I'm glad you enjoyed your package. I tried to find something I thought might fit you and I'm glad you liked the LHN piece. Thank you for the good pregnancy thoughts too, almost there now with only 2 months or a little less to go!

  23. I know the farm involves so much work and I know it is difficult for you.. I know you trust the Lord and trust Him to take care of you.. I know He will.. Stand strong and continue to believe.. Things are working out and will continue to do so.. Blessings for all the provision you need.. by the way, the pics are great...horses are beautiful and the eagles....well, what a blessings to see them in person.

  24. What a stunning view! I can't imagine mowing all of that pasture.
    I chuckled at your political stuff.. I am a registered democrat ( because Maryland is such a left state) that only votes republican.

    Have a wonderful weekend. : )

  25. Hi Sandra, what a joy to read your words and feel your uplifting spirit.
    You are busy but God has provided care. I love seeing the horses run free to enjoy stretching their legs.

    I won't give any advice, but I will keep you in my prayers.

    Blessings always,

  26. I can't believe they said no independents How dare them.
    I am really worried about the state of this country. yvonne

  27. I'm weeks behind in my blog-reading, but want to thank you SO much for your wise words here. I needed them today. God does fight for us when we are still. I need to be still. God has the long view. I need to trust his view. He will provide and give wisdom in his time. Thank you, friend. May he give you deep, abiding peace as you go into another winter. I know you didn't want to go there, but may he make it a winter to remember -- a winter of closeness between you two.


Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.

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