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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Friday, February 20, 2015

February 2015 Snowstorm

It's beautiful but it's also treacherous. I'm wading through 2.5 feet of snow to get to the barn and the dogs let me go first so I can break a path. It's just about to my knees and by the time I get back to the house, my pant legs are soaked. The snow is too deep to use the Ranger, which is in the shop anyway. Matt said he's going to try and bring it to me tomorrow (even though it's his day off!) but I waited to cry at his kindness until after we'd said good-bye.

 Yes, those are chains on the bird feeder; it's to keep it from being blown about by the wind and all the seed falling out. Those are two lengths of chain, about two feet each that's wrapped around the feeder and attached to the metal hanger. After all that, it didn't work so well so now the chain is in a long U around the feeder and then wrapped around the metal hanger. Tomorrow morning I'll be able to tell how well it works.

A gift this morning...a male cardinal at the feeder and such a bright spot of color in an otherwise white landscape. 

Another gift...a woodpecker who didn't want to wait his turn at the feeder. There are times the woodpeckers will eat birdseed but the feeder needs to be vacant.

I don't have photos of the ice in the horse'll have to trust me when I tell you this morning it was 3.5 inches thick. I'm using a crow bar to break the ice and a pitchfork to lift it out of the trough. By the time I get back to the house, I no longer feel my hands and that's a good thing because when they do warm up, they've moved from aching to actual pain. Quinn and I e-mailed, she's in the same boat...joints aching from use/abuse, weary from slogging through snow to tend to the animals, exhausted sleep. Heck, it's winter in Vermont for her and it's winter in Appalachia for me...although, come to think of it, it might be winter in Appalachia for her as well. hmmmm...

Sam and Sadie wear their sweaters when we go outside; Sadie is cheerful about wearing her sweater but sometimes Sam says NO! He's funny, I'll call him, "Come Sam, put on your sweater" and he'll look at me, lower his head and turn his back. That's when I say, so freeze you ejit! The dogs are standing in one of two bare spots, where the wind blew the snow off the ground. 

Tonight there were thirteen deer at Daddy John's silage pit; the snow is laying deep and it's getting harder and harder for the deer to find food. Sometimes you can see them lined up with the cattle, eating hay that's been spread on the ground.

VA Dept of Highways and Transportation have a plow or snow blower, not sure what it's called but it's fabulous! When the driver came to my driveway, he stopped the blower so he didn't block my driveway...BLESS HIM!

After morning chores, on my hands and knees I...and the Good Lord above...worked on getting the snow and ice away from the granary doors so I could get the 4-Runner out. It took a lot of work, a lot of prayer but, eventually I was successful and drove down to Daddy John's to ask a favor. I asked if he would use his tractor to mush down the snow in my driveway because the young men are delivering a load of black locust to my back porch tomorrow (!!!!!!!!!!...ah, excuse me while I have a joyful fit!) but the driveway was full of snow. He said, "No problem, I told you to let me know when you needed help."

Well, I hate to ask unless it's something I simply cannot do and I don't want to wear out my welcome so I'm sparing when it comes to asking for favors. When I came home from errands (dog food, cat food, cat litter, dog treats, and coffee and apples for me), the driveway was PLOWED! Daddy John didn't just mush down the snow...he PLOWED the driveway! O HALLELUJAH! I drove my car right up to the back porch, unloaded the not so heavy stuff and will ask the young men if they'll unload the dog food and cat litter tomorrow. (I'm saving my strength to carry square bales of hay to the horses...not kidding either.) I'm fixing the youngin's a pan of shortbread to hand to them with their money. (pssssttt...they charge $70 for a truckload of black locust that they deliver and stack exactly where I want it! jealous yet?)

I know this post is disjointed and stiff but I'm just happy to still be able to do what I do. I go to bed early, get up early and in between time do physical labor better suited for someone half my age. Thank God I'm able to do it but, yes, I am looking forward to warmer temps and, eventually, spring. Weather report is calling for another six inches of snow by tomorrow late afternoon then a "wintry mix" which means cold, icy, sleety krap falling from the sky and making everything life threatening. I use two ski poles to get to the barn; the good news is every time I've fallen down, it hasn't hurt...blessing! I'm not even promising to visit around Faith says, "I'm not being mean or anything but I. am. wore. slam. out and it's all I could do to give this update.

Your prayers are welcome, needed and greatly appreciated. If you're covered in snow, be careful and don't go if you don't have to go. Today was the first time off the farm since last Saturday and not sure when I'll be able to leave again but not sure I care much either. Someone asked me, "Oh, aren't you loving all that time to read, knit, etc." I hate to admit this but by the time I get in from chores, pretty much all I do is sit, stare out the window or listen to preaching and rest until it's time to go back out; thank God I'm able to go.

Be safe out there, ya hear.

Blessings ~ Daddy John plowed driveway ~ soft snow ~ able to go to town for errands ~ fire wood delivered ~ ski poles ~ birds at feeder ~ dog sweaters ~ considerate VDOT employees ~ 


  1. I wish I mlived there so I could come help you. I could use the exercise and spending time in such a beautiful place would be a treat. I hope Spring arrives for you soon!

  2. Hi Sandra - I'm the same way about getting chores done and not much else lately. Every morning I think of a few things I want to get done in the house after barn chores, but when I come in from chores and hang up my soaked clothes to dry (Round One; there will be two more before nightfall) I am so totally drained all I can think of is getting flattened out to rest my back, and wrapping in my electric blanket to get warmed through again. Just exhausted, and from doing the bare minimum. And like you, I am SO GRATEFUL to be able to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and for the animals being healthy. Cranky from lack of exercise in this deep snow, but healthy!
    Counting blessings ...

  3. Dear Sandra ~ My heart and prayers are going out for you as you take care of your home/farm and critters. Bless your heart! Today is a new day and I pray you will feel God's love, peace and STRENGTH 'surging' through you as you go about your day.

    Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady

  4. Hello Sandra I just want to re-iterate Lorraine's beautiful caring words!
    Take care dear woman. You certainly have God at your door!
    Bless the dogs, the deer and the little birds too. What a beautiful sight in all of this treachery is that sweet cardinal against the white snow!
    x Suzy

  5. Maybe when the farm sells, you could consider moving a bit further South? :) Our winters are not nearly so treacherous. Anyway, you've definitely got my prayers my dear. Do be safe. I'm so glad you can update so we won't be so worried about you. God bless and keep you, and the animals, safely wrapped in prayer. ~:)

  6. Sandra, I wish I lived closer. I would come and help you. I read every word and you have certainly got your hands full there. God has been good to you in many ways-the most important being that you are still able to do all that you do.

    Don't even think about deserve every moment to yourself that you can get.
    Blessings and love- Diana

  7. Ditto on all the comments above and the ones to come. Lordy, Lordy but you have have the faith, strength and gumption of Forty! Funny...Sweaterless Sam. My Dolly refuses the sweater and will hold it until we clear a path and then rushes right back in. So much for knitting that sweater. Stay warm by the locust wood fire.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

  8. Sandra, I really feel for you, as I think back to years on the farm in the snow in Illinois. Be careful, get some rest, and work in short sessions, if you must. That fire will do wonders.

  9. Hi Sandra, I too wish I lived near by to help you. Your spirit is amazing and God Blesses you each time you conquer another chore. Where this is a Will these is a way and you prove that everyday. Be careful, get some rest and
    enjoy being fireside.
    Prayers for you on going~~
    Hugs, CM

  10. I really enjoy reading your posts, even the not so cheery ones. God bless Daddy John! The Father is taking such good care of you! Spring will come!

  11. Dear Lord, keep Sandra safe and give her the energy and stamina she needs for her chores. Please send a kind soul to help her when she needs it. Wrap her in your loving arms. Keep her healthy and warm. Amen.

  12. Hi Sandra, I am writing from my sunroom as I can feel the temperature rising. Last night it was -13 when I went to bed, now it is + 18... What a difference! I cannot imagine the physical work you do , let alone the mental challenges that come with that too. I am glad you have people to help you and I now have a habit of praying for you each time I stop by here. I'm glad you journal your activities, you have quite the story to tell. Love the dog sweaters and that chain on the bird feeder is brilliant. All of my seeds are on the ground, tossed there by the wind last night. Stay safe..

  13. Dear Lord, take the prayers and desires from all of us who would willingly bundle up and help Sandra with all her chores if we could be there with her, and infuse her with our energy and love – or better yet, with YOURS!

  14. Sandra, thank you for this post. God bless you!

  15. I was raised on a farm doing all this in deep snow and cold and I do miss it all but I couldn't do it now a days ! Hats off to you for being able to still do this farming is hard work but a labour of love ! Lovely photos , Thanks for sharing , Have a good weekend and stay safe and cozy !

  16. Take care Sandra. March is in sight!

  17. ...we've had a lot of snow too...and really really cold temperatures...Jack is wearing his sweater too...and I'm worried about the little do they keep from freezing...

    ~stay warm and have a lovely day!

  18. You are such a strong woman! Hope this next storm spares you.

  19. What's to say tat hasn't already been said! Keep warm when you can! I have you in my prayers too! The Crap is falling here now and the snow is everywhere! Now ice I think a lot by tonight but it is around 20 yipee! You write so well and I always enjoy your photos. Keep safe!

  20. God Bless!!! Spring is on the way thank you Lord....

  21. You are totally amazing, Sandra, and as I read every word I began to worry, first about the deer not having food, then the frozen horse trough, the dogs, of course...but then about YOU !!!
    I've said it so many times before, no woman is supposed to do all this alone. Goodness, I wish I lived closer so I could come sit by the fire, feed the animals, watch TV, and love on the dogs, and be with you. much much love and admiration.....

  22. I really don't know how you do it all. I get exhausted just reading about it. And then I feel like such a weeny. I keep praying that your farm will get sold so that you can have it MUCh easier next winter!

  23. Dear Sandra,
    I just want to take a moment to lift you up sweet sister. Father God, please bless and be with Sandra. Give her the strength she needs to continue. Send her help when she needs it, even if she does not ask for it. Give her rest when she is weary and peace when she is overwhelmed. Thank you for the goodness in her heart, and the love she has for You. Keep her and her household, visitors and neighbors safe. In Jesus name, Amen.

    Blessings and a cup of tea,
    -Heather Elizabeth

  24. Brings back memories of hubby and me taking care of goats, cows, horses and dogs in winter! It is a lot of work and takes ingenuity to figure out how to deal with things. Glad so many were helpful and kind to you! What a blessing! I'm plum worn out after a day at work, and usually my good intentions go by the wayside when I get home. Sometimes rest is just a necessity so we can get up and do it again! God bless you and your critters!

  25. Lord, have mercy, Please! Amen! I was reminded today that His mercies are new, so am asking for us, but esp. for you!

  26. Oh BRAVE Thistle and friends and birds!!

  27. Knitting and reading? For you, this time of year? Goodness, Sandra you are a WORKING WOMAN on a farm! Glad for the firewood that's come your way, and for helpful neighbors and an attentive DOT. We have snow today for the first time this winter, and we're not going out. Nothing is treated, and nobody knows how to drive in it.
    And those young men are so fortunate to get your shortbread. There's none better!
    Tell Sam Spade hello from me. I miss his adorable face.

  28. Dear Sandra, stay warm and safe, and may your beloved animals stay warm and safe too.


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