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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.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Year's Eve

"Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve.
Middle age is when you're forced to."
~ Bill Vaughan ~

"So teach us to number our days, 
that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."
~ Psalm 90:12 ~ 

Blessings ~ another year of God keeping me safe ~ His blessings ~ His plans ~ hope for the coming year ~

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sabbath Keeping

"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven, 
to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. God then made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day , and the lesser light to rule the night: He made also the stars. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven, to shine upon the earth. And to rule in the day, and in the night, and to separate the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day." 

"Nothing happens until something moves."
"I may perceive the God whom I find everywhere in the external world in like manner within me."
~ Johannes Kepler ~
"Astronomy is a science more divine than human." 
"This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being." ~ Isaac Newton ~
"Who created these laws? There is no question but that a God will always be needed."
~ Barry Parker ~
"Why should things be easy to understand?" 
"If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning." ~ C. S. Lewis ~

"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, 
with one trifling exception, 
is composed of others." 
~ A. Holmes ~ (by way of Kathy at Cedar Pond)

"O the deepness of the riches, both of the wisdom, and knowledge of God! 
how unsearchable are His judgments, and his ways past finding out! 
For who hath known the  mind of the Lord? or who was his counselor? 
Or who hath given unto him first, and he shall be recompensed? 
For of him, and through him, and for him are all things: 
to him be glory forever. Amen." 
~ Romans 11:33-36 ~ 1599 Geneva Bible ~

If you've a name to be placed on the prayer list, please let me know and, if I've forgotten anyone, please let me know.

Prayer Keeping ~ Jim ~ Donna ~ Bill ~ GJ ~ Rainey ~ Mom ~ Daddy ~ Steph ~ Steve ~ Gwen 
~ Mary ~ Pam ~ Steve ~ Sandra ~ 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

People of a Distant Country, Wending Our Way Home

"I believe in the Virgin Birth in the fullest and most literal sense; 
that is, 
I deny that copulation with a man was the cause of the Virgin's pregnancy."
~ C. S. Lewis

Especially on holy days ...holidays... we people who are aliens upon this globe, with one eye on the here and now, the other on the hereafter, celebrate His story. The greatest love story of all time, meted out in one small Book, giving only glimpses of unspeakable joy because our hearts are small.

For those who have loved ones gone ahead, when you're able, because of hope, choose joy. In a brief instant, this life will be over and we will celebrate His Story, His Father throughout eternity. Our minds cannot conceive no fear, no pain, no sorrow rather an eternity of unlimited, unbounded joy with the Creator of the universe.

Dare I suggest God has saved the best for last?

"I have come so that you may have life and have it more abundantly." 
~ Jesus

Choose joy and life everlasting; 
please join we people of a distant country, 
wending our way home.

Blessings ~ God, the Father who sent His only begotten Son ~ Jesus Christ, the Son who gave His will freely to do His Father's bidding ~ Christians, we people of a Distant Country, wending our way Home ~ eternity in heaven ~

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hooves, Footwear and Leather

Jared Brown, my farrier...or rather my horses' farrier, came by last week to trim the feet of Peaches and Lightly, mother and daughter. Jared gave me a hand crafted hoof pick, a double blessing because it's a gift of his talented hands and, just a few weeks ago, I mentioned to God I really needed another hoof pick. This pick is meant to be used either left or right handed and the curve means it fits into the palm of my hand easily. It also means I'm able to do a better job because the tool fits quite handily, giving me the benefit of all the weight brought to the task. Did I mention what a real gift and blessing this tool is?

Both Peaches and Lightly are American Curly horses and Peaches has lived here since 1996. The next year, Lightly was foaled (born) here and has never stepped foot off the farm. Lightly is an "easy keeper" and has always had problems. Years ago, an extension agent told me pasture is richest in three places in the world...Argentina, Kentucky and southwest VA. Most of the year, Lightly is kept off the richest pasture, put on the poorest pasture, and still, she founders. It's a trial for both of us. In addition to hand feeding her medications twice a day, I keep pads on her feet. These pads are made of plywood, trimmed to her specific hoof size and put on with duck tape. When weather is wet or, as evidenced above, when I've not put them on with enough duck tape, they pull off her feet.

sigh. All that hard work for naught. Her feet are tender so I choose the hoof that's less tender, lift it, hold the plywood to the bottom and, quickly, begin applying duck tape. The pads give her support, and, when stepping on stones, prevent her from additional pain. Once one hoof is finished, I give us both a few minutes to recover (my back, my back) and then begin on the second hoof. True, it's a stop gap measure but will give her relief from the pain of tender feet, give her additional, pain free time to continue healing and allows me to give her one on one time...sorely needed for both of us. Lightly is a good mare, she helps as much as possible by standing quietly, not fidgeting, then nuzzling me when I'm finished.

American Curly horses have extremely curly hair, are hypoallergenic and have calm, gentle, sweet dispositions. They are the perfect horse for children and old women -smile-.

A lot of people I know, in the evenings knit, spin, embroider, quilt, clean guns or some other work. It comes from wanting to keep busy, it comes from having so much to do, it comes from being industrious.  In the evenings, I vary between all those things and, lately, have been on a leather cleaning mission.

After all leather has been wiped with a clean cloth, Kiwi products are used to clean and treat the leather. This site gives wonderful explanations and photos. 

The cleaning and polishing takes the better part of a month, beginning with boots, then including shoes, luggage and finally handbags. It's a pleasurable task, one I take true enjoyment in and am left with good looking results that also feel good when in use.

~ paper towel card boards are used to keep tall boots upright ~
Dave and I would do this several times a year, more for foot wear that was in constant use. The leather suitcase, above, has a matching purse, both were purchased at a consignment store, many years ago. True, the case doesn't have wheels and must be hand carried but, to my mind, that's a small concession for such a beautiful piece of luggage. Old fashioned? Yes, but still with decades left of useful life and service and it came with the original key!

I'm almost ashamed to admit I've not done any of my leather goods since Dave's death. But, time has moved forward and now seems a good time to begin again. I'm fond of Ariat boots, above and filthy, and Tony Lama boots but can't remember ever paying retail for much of anything. Do you know about Sierra Trading Post? You's a fine place to buy just about everything...foot wear, clothing, home goods, camping and sports gear and all at great prices.

My Ariat riding boots clean up nicely, are well conditioned and, once again, soft and supple to the touch.

These Double H boots have had only one treatment and the difference is clearly visible.

Same with these boots...all the treated boots will be allowed to sit from one evening to the next and then the process begins again. They'll all be treated several times before I'm satisfied and the next load of leather goods brought downstairs so I can watch DVD's while working. The other good news is, I have no need of new boots in the next couple of decades ever. Most of these boots are twenty or thirty years old and, when properly taken care of, will last another twenty or thirty years my lifetime.  A good cobbler can put rubber tapes on heels or soles can be replaced.

I don't have a photo but gave a pair of Dave's combat boots to Dalton, son of friends, and we spent a few nice hours cleaning and shining our boots. He wears the combat boots to school where, he says, he's the envy of other thirteen year old boys. Dave wore those boots while in the Army, in the 1960's and now, close to fifty years later, they've been given another life and purpose.

When I've finished the boots, shoes, luggage and bags, the saddles and tack will be brought to the house and I'll start on them. By the time winter is over, all the leather goods should be finished and most, if not all, put back into use. There are those who might find such work onerous or dirty but I do not. Taking care of equipment means, in the long run, spending less money and, ultimately, taking care of me. When my equipment works at peak performance, it leaves me time to worry about the work needing my attention, not the equipment. That and it just plain gives me enjoyment and pleasure keeping my equipment nice. It makes me happy to know I'm being a good steward of what God has entrusted me; I believe it makes Him happy as well.

Merry Christmas, God bless us everyone.

P. S. For those who read this post when first published, you noticed several spelling errors, now corrected (at 4:34 a.m. When I get a bee in my bonnet, it must be answered.) All I can say is, that's what comes of exhaustion and watching a movie while apologies.

Blessings ~ hoof pick ~ Jared Brown ~ Kiwi products ~ leather boots, shoes, suitcases, bags, saddles, tack ~ small things giving great pleasure ~ Lightly, my sweet mare ~

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sabbath Keeping

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: 
The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son,
 and will call him Immanuel."

"The Old Testament is a book of 
unfulfilled prophesies, 
unexplained ceremonies 
and unsatisfied longings 
all of which are resolved in the New Testament, 
the focus of which is Jesus Christ who fulfills in His life the prophesy,
explains in His death the ceremonies,
and satisfies in His resurrection the longings."

"And what kind of habitation pleases God? What must our natures be like before He can feel at home within us? He asks nothing but a pure heart and a single mind. He asks no rich paneling, no rugs from the Orient, no art treasures from afar. He desires but sincerity, transparency, humility, and love. He will see to the rest." ~ A. W. Tozer ~

"When we give each other
Christmas presents in His name,

Let us remember that He has given us
the sun and the moon and the stars,
the earth with its forests and mountains
and oceans--
and all that lives and moves upon them.

He has given us all green things
and everything that blossoms and bears
and all that we quarrel about
and all that we have misused--

And to save us from our foolishness,
from our sins,
He came down to earth
and gave us Himself."

"Adorned with craven gems and gold
 The sages bore from eastern lands
Gifts for the tiny new-come King.
 Came He with empty hands?--

Stronger than frankincense and myrrh,
 There followed Him across the dark
The dawn-clean breath of better life
 To fan the immortal spark.

And the stars greyed in the slow dawn;
 The shimmer of the gold grew dim
Beside the deep far-shining light
 That poured from Him."
Gifts of the First Christmas ~

"Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine,
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.
Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign."

"The Second Person in God, the Son, became human Himself: was born into the world as an actual man--a real man of a particular height, with hair of a particular colour, speaking a particular language, weighing so many stone. The Eternal Being, who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only a man but (before that) a baby, and before that a foetus inside a Woman's body. If you want to get the hang of it, think how you would like to become a slug or a crab." ~ C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity ~

"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; because he was of the house and lineage of David: To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And so it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart."
~ Luke 2

If you have a name to add to the prayer list, please let me know.

Prayer Keeping ~ Donna ~ Jim ~  GJ ~ Bill ~ Pat ~ Rainey ~ Patty ~ Mom ~ Daddy ~ Steph ~ Gwen ~ Mary ~ Wendy ~ Ann ~ Noreen ~

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

After a Brief Rant, Then Back to My Regular Fluff and Nonsense

~ red sky at night, sailor's delight ~
These are the days of insanity, where up is down, right is wrong, black is white and some folks seem hell bent on destroying the USA. Then I remember: we aren't wrestling, fighting or struggling against flesh and blood (although I can see why some...including me...are confused), we're fighting against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil and wickedness in the heavenly realms. My rant, dear reader, is brought on by some of the latest insanity perpetrated upon us by BO and minions, both Dems and Republicans.
Yes, I am against granting amnesty to illegal aliens and my biggest reason has to do with that pesky lil' word, illegal. President Theodore Roosevelt put it best, "In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any many who says he is an American but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flat, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language. And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people." For more of President Roosevelt's thoughts, click here.

~ Sadie and Daisy ~
We aren't Irish Americans, Polish Americans, Afro Americans, Anglo Americans or ______ (fill in the blank) Americans. Everyone has a heritage and even the Native Americans, American Natives, Indians, Redskins (or whatever is PC these days), came here from somewhere else. But, dang nabbit, if you're a resident of this country, you're an AMERICAN and, to be exacting, a North American.  Lest you think I'm on a tear re. Dems...the traitor John Boehner has included a provision (pages 958 and 959 of the 1,603 omnibus spending bill) giving social security benefits to illegal aliens under BO's amnesty order.  Yeah, I have a problem with that, in part because I know 80 year old widows who have been denied, time and again, Social Security benefits. 2012 figures say the USA has borrowed $363,000,000,000 from China...$1,492,000,000,000 from Japan. We're the largest debtor nation in the world, borrowing money to give it away and the US House and Senate elected officials make $174,000 a year, here while people go hungry and homeless. It's obscene and I weep at our indifference.

Yes, this is the Christmas season and yes, I'm still against illegal's a slap in the face of those folks who came here legally and sweated, prayed and studied so they could take the difficult
citizenship test. It's a slap in the face of those who are living on $1000.00 a month and still paying taxes so illegals can have social security and food stamps. Yeah, I have a problem with that and yeah, my kith and kin are from across the pond...Scotland, Ireland, Wales and England to be exact, but they came here legally, well before Ellis Island, and assimilated themselves into the warp and woof of this country. Legally.

Ah well. What can be expected when people live for the here and now and not the hereafter? When people have no fear of an Almighty God, when they live to suit themselves with no regard who gets ripped to pieces in the bargain. It's obscene and I weep at their indifference.  end of rant...for now...

Dalton, son of my friends, and I filled the wood rack:

The tractor was filled with small feat because a container of diesel weighs well over thirty pounds and it's impossible for me to, safely, lift and pour. So, after lifting the diesel container onto the tractor floor, climbing onto the tractor then lifting the container to the tractor hood, I used a hand held pump to disperse the fluid into the tank.

I finished checking and topping off all fluids in all vehicles.

watched a calf born:

cleaned algae out of a water tank:

watched a buck leap the fence:

wandered around the farm and house, camera in hand:

In five days winter will be upon us but this is Appalachia and actual calendars mean little o' nothing. The weather does what the weather wills and all I can do is be as ready as possible. I've finished pointing the foundation...meaning I've used mortar to patch the places where the mortar has fallen out. This house is 114 years old and has held up extremely well but, like everything else, from time to time needs a bit of patchwork. The inside temps stay toasty and the wood stove is in use only when the temps drop below freezing or it's raining/sleeting/icy with a stiff wind.

The county library has a nice selection of British mysteries on DVD; they're getting a good workout even as the dining room turned sewing room calls out to me. It's the season of nesting and after working so hard to prep farm and house, I feel lethargic, lazy even, and my energy level is low to non-existent. Earlier today, Anita wrote me, "I too need to get my nose out of the book. It has been gloomy here for over a week. So easy to let the hours slip away. OK, I need to start moving!" When she wrote these words, she had no idea of the encouragement she gifted me. There's so much to be done on the farm, in the house and there's so little of me, so little energy and I feel I not only don't keep up, I continually fall behind. Even so, today I told myself I was going to inject some play into my day...after doing some outdoor work, I took some things to the camper. While the weather is a trifle warmer, I'm determined to enjoy tarting up the "canned ham". I'll have a few photos later, along with my recipe for breakfast of champions.

For now, it's time to say good-night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite...ugh...does anyone remember that saying from their childhood?

Blessings ~ never experienced bedbugs ~ my companion dogs ~ blogger buds ~ new life ~ a leaping deer ~ full wood rack ~ vehicles, farm, house prepped for winter ~ red sky at night ~

Sunday, December 14, 2014

"The sun will no more be your light by day
nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you
For the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory."

"Before the paling of the stars,
Before the winter morn,
Before the earliest cockcrow,
Jesus Christ was born:
Born in a stable,
Cradles in a manger,
In the world His hands had made
Born a stranger.

Priest and king lay fast asleep
In Jerusalem,
Young and old lay fast asleep
In crowded Bethlehem;
Saint and Angel, ox and ass,
Kept a watch together
Before the Christmas daybreak
In the winter weather.
Jesus on his mother's breast
In the stable cold,
Spotless Lamb of God was He,
Shepherd of the fold:
Let us kneel with Mary maid,
With Joseph bent and hoary,
With Saint and Angel, ox and ass,
To hail the King of Glory."
~ Christina Georgina Rossetti ~
"I salute you. I am your friend and my love for you goes deep.
There is nothing I can give you which you have not got;
but there is much, very much,
that, while I cannot give it, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts
find rest in it today. Take heaven!
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden
in this present little instant. Take peace!
The gloom of this world is but a shadow.
Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. Take joy!
There is radiance and glory in the darkness
could we but see, and to see, we have only to look.
I beseech you to look.

Life is so generous a giver, but we,
judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as
ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering,
and you will find beneath it a living splendor,
woven of love, by wisdom, with power.
Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the Angel's hand
that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial,
a sorrow, or a duty; believe, me that Angel's hand is there,
and the wonder of an overshadowing presence.
Our joys, too: be not content with them as joys.
They, too, conceal diviner gifts. Life is so full of meaning
and of purpose, that you will find earth
but cloaks your heaven. Courage, then, to claim it:
that is all! But courage you have;
and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together,
winding, through unknown country, home.
And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you.
Not quite as the world sends greetings,
but with profound esteem, and with a prayer
that for you, now and forever,
the day breaks, and the shadows flee away."

"Nor crown, no robe, nor spice I bring
As offering unto Christ, my King.
Yet have I brought a gift the Child
May not despise, however small,
For here I lay my heart today,
And it is full of love to all
Take Thou the poor but loyal thing
My only tribute, Christ, my King!"
Eugene Field  ~

"In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When he comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty
Jesus Christ...

What can I give him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part--
Yet what I can I give him,
Give my heart."
~ Christina Georgina Rossetti ~

"And when the chief Shepherd appears
you will receive a crown of glory
that will never fade away."
If you have a name for the prayer list, please let  me know. Each week you must let me know if you've someone who needs prayer.
Prayer Keeping ~ Jim ~ Donna ~ GJ ~ Bill ~ Mary and family ~

Monday, December 08, 2014

The Wheels on my House Go Round and Round...

Kathy, at Cedar Pond, asked for a post on my vintage canned ham, a 1968 Serro Scotty Sportsman Goucho; look here for the layout and  here for lots of photos of (clean) Scotty's of various types and colors. Membership in the National Serro Scotty Organization is nominal, a one time fee of $25.00 but, really, can a price be put on fun? This great group of people have camp outs, cruising, rallies, etc. I've not been on any of those, indeed, there's a story behind my Scotty and you'll read about it below...if you keep reading.

My little Scotty is 13 feet long and boasts a living room, three bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, bathroom, closet and a fair amount of storage. Amazing! you say? Yes, with a little imagination all that is accomplished in only thirteen feet. You will notice my Scotty is dirty, extremely dirty, and that's because it's been kept in the barn since November 19, 2011. I still haven't gone camping but am planning an inaugural trip next year, perhaps to the National Cornbread Festival which is sponsored by the 100+ year old Lodge cast iron cookware. Lodge is a favorite around Thistle Cove Farm and any Southern cook worth her, or his, salt knows about Lodge and has a skillet, or dozen, in her, or his, kitchen.  

The camper themes are patriotic, cottage and rooster with the central pillow stating my allegiance to the King of Kings. That little pillow says "The King Lives Here" and so He does. During the day, this area at the camper back is the living room and becomes bedroom at night. I still have much to do to get it ready for comfort but believe I've got a good start. The white cushion, underneath the red, is a five inch foam custom fit for that area. It needs a bed ruffle...I have one in mind that I need to take from the house...but it's Very Comfortable, both to sit upon and for sleeping. I do have a sweet little duvet for my feather comforter and a couple of nice bed pillows for sleeping. All in all, I believe I'll be quite comfortable especially after I figure out what I'm going to do for curtains at the three back windows.

oops...looks like I neglected to take a photo of the loft's above this "room" and you can see how the ceiling slants. That's because the loft bed is chained in an upright position to allow for more head room and is used solely for storage. It's supposed to hold around 90 pounds but I'm not comfortable sleeping, or even sitting below, and having that much weight as a potential/possible crash on top of me. Nope, storage it is and storage it'll remain.

John Serro came up with the idea of a "mini" camper and Scotty's were built from 1957 until 1997 in a plant in Ohio and in Georgia and my camper is original save for the refrigerator. I'm not crazy about the pink paint; actually, I despise pink but until I've put a lot more thought into it, pink it'll stay. At least the outside and stove are the original turquoise, which I do like. In 2007, a PA business man bought the Scotty name and began manufacturing new, vintage looking Scotty trailers. If you'd rather buy new, click here; the new ones are nicely laid out and a big advantage over the vintage is the's one flat piece. In my vintage Scotty, there are almost more levels than Carter's has liver pills (a Southern saying that's been around a coon's age). When I step up, into my Scotty that's one level; second level is a step down into the kitchen; third level is a step up into the dining room and the final level is a step up into the living room...that's a lot of levels to manuevar, especially at night when sleep is close should nature call.

My coffee table and night stand have two shelves, making it doubly useful. Most of the camper lights are electric but there is one propane gas light as you enter.

My clothes chest is a vintage Hartman leather suitcase and will hold all the clothes needed for a weekend or week and is stored on the loft bed.

The bathroom is behind a closed door and doubles as a storage closet when in transit. While it's true it won't flush, it's also true I won't have to traipse around an unfamiliar campground at 0'dark first, last and foremost! The 'I love Lucy' sign came with the camper; perhaps she looks shocked at being in the

In transit, the bathroom becomes storage space for the three directors chairs, American flag to be flown on site and a few other odds and ends to make life easier. Why three chairs? As Thoreau said, "one for solitude, two for companionship and three for company."

The dining room will make into a bedroom and sleep one comfortably, two cozily and four may dine, elbow to elbow. In all fairness, this little camper is designed to sleep and feed three people, max. (I forgot to put on the tablecloth or set the table with my Emma Jane dinner ware...sorry.) I never intend to have more than one other person or, should more be invited, a pop-up tent will be used outside.

When velvet curtains are drawn, the mood is sweetly romantic. There are solid red velvet curtains at either side of the table and all are a good block against the chill of the night. I do have an oil filled radiator heater that will be called into use when the nights turn from chilly to cold.

Above the stove and sink is the double cupboard holding necessities for cooking, baking and making beverages. So much of what is contained in this camper is vintage, both from my childhood and collected over the years. A teapot, variety of teas in sealed tins, aluminum pitcher and tumblers, aluminum ice bucket and even aluminum custard cup holders and glass cups, to be used for ice cream, and other things wait to be put back into loving use.

The four burner gas stove has an oven and the sink is just large enough to do a few dishes. I do have an enamel dish pan to be used for rinsing dishes or, along with a plastic dish pan, will be taken outside and put into use there. This area has a rooster and chicken theme...measuring cups, hot pads, storage containers, etc. all sport fowls. The tiny cookie jar says "In Thy presence is fullness of joy" and the two platters are used for transporting food and beverages from one spot to another. There are three lanterns, two shown here, that are hung on shepherd hooks, outside, with citronella candles for bug control and atmosphere. The camper has a stripped awning and I need to take a smallish, perhaps 5x7 rug, both for outdoor use.

Daddy gave me this Rayovac, "powering American since 1906" light and it fits perfectly with the vintage camper theme. Yes, I do have LED flash lights as backup but this is the go to light.

Sooooo, if you're still with me, here's my Scotty story...In October 2011 Dave asked me to take him to the beach; he was battling cancer, had gone through a lot of radiation and some chemo treatments and was so very weak. We rounded up a farm sitter...thanks, Melvin!...and off we went to Myrtle Beach, SC where, Sandra, or S2 as Dave called her, a friend of decades lives. Our plan was to stay for a couple of weeks, then go to Vicki's condo in Florida; that's Vicki of 2 Bags Full. Dave had been given his death sentence and it wasn't long; bless God's name, it turned out it wasn't as long as we'd been given but, like babes in the wood, we had no clue just how short it was going to be. All that to say, he wanted to go to the beach and I was going to take him.

While in SC, my sister called and said, "I've found your camper", then sent four e-photos. She was right; it was MY camper and Dave said, "If that's what you want, let's buy it." So we did, sight unseen and based solely on Stephanie and her husband's viewing and comments. We arranged for the money to be transferred and Steph and Walt, her husband, moved the camper from its old home to their home. Dave and I would retrieve when we were home from the beach but Dave told me, "This is your dream and I'm not going camping. The last time I camped, Uncle Sam paid me and it wasn't nearly enough then." It was similar to when he told me, "The farm is your dream; I'm not doing physical labor but will support you in your dream because I want to live there, too" and he did.

So, Dave and I left SC, went to FL and had a wonderful time...we didn't do much...ate at wonderful restaurants, sat on the balcony and watched the ocean, was what we needed and all we needed.

It was perfect.

We came home and two weeks later Dave asked me to tend to some business for him. It meant a few days away from home and he didn't feel well enough to travel. I left him on Tuesday afternoon, with my trip to finish Saturday at my parents' 60th wedding anniversary party and I'd return home the day after. On Friday night Dave and I spoke. He had plans to play nickel dime quarter poker with friends who came to the house and the last words we said to each other were..."I love you, be careful". The next morning he died of a massive heart attack, probably due to his heart being so weakened by radiation treatments and certainly due to God's timing.

Yes, I did host Mom and Daddy's 60th anniversary party; it was what Dave would have wanted. He didn't like histrionics or making a scene and I refused to disrupt my parents festive celebration by announcing Dave's death. But Daddy did. After I finished my opening comments, I asked someone to pray and as I walked away, Daddy stepped up to the podium. In a voice broken with emotion he announced Dave had died, only a few hours earlier.  It's been said, and is true, when two people marry, they are at least six people marrying...the husband, wife and both their parents. It's the same with death. When someone dies, there are so many people, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, co-workers and the list goes on and on. People have to deal with a death in their own way and it might be offensive to some while others understand. Just be gentle with each other, be very forgiving and, eventually, you'll get through it. I wasn't offended when Daddy announced Dave's death and now, three years later, believe it was a good thing. I had the support of people who loved Mom and Daddy, who cared about them and, by extension, cared, and care, about me.

It was a blessing.

The next day, Sunday, Stephanie and I hitched up the Scotty trailer and came home, to Thistle Cove Farm. Dave never saw the camper except in photos taken by someone else.

The Scotty has been in storage since but I do believe next year I'll put it into use. I want to join Sisters on the Fly, here, knowing they'll be kindred souls who hold each other in esteem. They 'have more fun than anyone' and some sisters meet at the National Cornbread Festival; I plan to join them. After all...'no men, no kids, no pets, be nice' sound good as I, tentatively, dip a toe into the waters of life again.

Like I've said all along, "it takes as long as it takes". I believe it's time; what do you think?

Please, wish me well and keep me in your prayers.

Blessings ~ my Scotty Sportsman Goucho camper ~ the blessing of Dave ~ Vicki, a sister in Christ ~ my beloved sister, Stephanie and her husband ~ Lodge cookware ~ National Cornbread Festival ~ ~ the prayers of many ~ the grace, mercy and love of God ~

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Sabbath Keeping

"The lion has roared -
Who will not fear?
The Sovereign LORD has spoken
Who can but prophesy?

"When the Lion had first begun singing, long ago when it was still quite dark. [Uncle Andrew] had realized that the noise was a song. And he had disliked the song very much. It made him think and feel things he did not want to think and feel. Then, when the sun rose and he saw that the singer was a lion ("only a lion," as he said to himself) he tried his hardest to make believe that it wasn't singing and never had been singing--only roaring as any lion might in a zoo in our own world. "Of course it can't really have been singing," he thought, "I must have imagined it. I've been letting my nerves get out of order. Who ever heard of a lion singing?" And the longer and more beautifully the Lion sang,
the harder Uncle Andrew tried to make himself believe that he could hear nothing but roaring. Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed. Uncle Andrew did. He soon did hear nothing but roaring in Aslan's song. Soon he couldn't have heard anything else even if he had wanted to. And when at last the Lion spoke and said, "Narnia, awake," he didn't hear any words: he heard only a snarl. And when the Beasts spoke in answer, he heard only barking, growlings, baying, and howlings."  ~ C. S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew ~

"Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home." ~ Carol Nelson ~

"I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year." ~ Charles Dickens ~

"No, he [Aslan] is not safe, but he is good." ~ C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe ~

"Christmas is the gentlest, loveliest festival of the revolving year - and yet, for all that, when it speaks, its voice has strong authority." ~ W. J. Cameron ~

"The message of Christmas is that the visible material world is bound to the invisible spiritual world." ~ Author Unknown ~

"Isn't if funny that at Christmas something in you gets so lonely for - I don't know what exactly, but it's something that you don't mind so much not having at other times." ~ Kate L. Bosher ~

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
~ Author unknown, attributed to Bobby, 7 years old ~

"Christmas is the day that holds all time together." ~ Alexander Smith ~

"Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts." ~ Janice Maeditere ~

"for the spirit of Christmas fulfills the greatest hunger of mankind." ~ Loring A. Schuler ~

"The message of Christmas is we are never alone." ~ Taylor Caldwell ~

There has been only one Christmas -
the rest are anniversaries."
"And one of the elders said to me,
Weep no more:
behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah,
the Root of David, has conquered..."

If you'd like a name added to the prayer list, please let me know. My apologies because I cannot remember from week to week; please, don't be upset with me but gently remind me. Other and I are happy to pray but you must let us know.

Prayer Keeping ~ Jim ~ Donna ~ GJ ~ Gretchen ~ Sandra ~

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Giving Tuesday

We had Black Friday, Cyber Monday and, now, Giving Tuesday.

Anne Frank said, "No one ever became poor by giving" and Gladys B., my Mom, says, "You can't out give God."

It bemuses me we now seem to be a society that 1. has to have a reason for giving and 2. a site for giving. When I was growing up, giving was a way of life. On Saturdays, my parents would do their own work and then help other family and friends do theirs. I well remember working on my uncle's tobacco farm, for no pay, because he needed the help and I was available. We didn't give on Tuesday, we gave every day, a way of life then and a way of life now.

Further, I must admit the concept of a day dedicated to giving confuses me but I do have some suggestions about giving. If you're a Christian, do you know about the ECFA? The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability "enhances trust in Christ-centered churches and ministries by establishing and applying Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship to accredited organizations."  The ECFA, founded in 1979 provides accreditation to almost 1,900 members and represents almost $22 billion in annual revenues.

During this season of gimme, gimme it's nice to know there's someplace to go to find out if an organization is legitimate. I don't believe in, nor give to, the middle man such as united way; I've never seen the need to give to a middle man when I can give directly. That and people have told me the united way shuffled money away from some organizations to other organizations they wanted to receive more money. Legal? Of course not but such things happen all the time and one is naïve to think, or believe, otherwise.

When I give, I start locally and then, if funds and interest allow further, I branch out. For example, The Salvation Army is a charity I support because they live and work close to the areas they serve. According to this site, the average Program Director's salary is $43,700 which is 44% less than the national average. The Program Director's live and work on site and receive a modest allowance for their vehicle.

Generally, I don't give to organizations that receive federal, state or county tax dollars because my attitude is, "I've already given". It pains me so many tax dollars go toward the killing of the unborn; it pains me the President supports that killing. God alone knows the loss to the art world, the medical community, corporate American, etc. because those babies have been killed. There are some places I give that aren't an ECFA member and my reasons are personal...centers that assist pregnant girls and women have their babies then keep the babies or put into adoption; a little girl I taught in Sunday School, now a woman, who is on the mission field with her husband and children; friends...true friends...who are going through hard times; the church and other places of my choosing.

With 1,900 members there are a lot of places to give and give wisely; it's important to me to be a good steward of what God has entrusted me and the ECFA is a tool I've found useful. Perhaps you'll find it useful as well.

Blessings ~ stewardship ~ ECFA ~ Salvation Army ~  Anne Frank ~
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