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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.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

"They asked, and he brought them quail;
he fed them well with the bread of heaven."
~ Psalm 105:40

"The hunger for love is a lot more difficult 
to remove than the hunger for bread." 
~ Mother Teresa ~

"How can a nation be called great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?"  ~ Julia Child ~

"All sorrows are less with bread."
~ Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra ~

"Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts."
~ James Beard ~

"Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse - and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness -
And Wilderness is Paradise now."
~ Omar Khayyam ~

"Here is bread which strengthens man's heart, and is therefore called the staff of life." ~ Matthew Henry ~

"Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all."
~ Nelson Mandela ~

"A loaf of bread, a jug of wine and thou." ~ Omar Khayyam ~

The sky is the daily bread for the eyes." ~ Emerson ~

"In the Lord's prayer, the first petition is for daily bread. No one can worship God or love his neighbor on an empty stomach." ~ Woodrow Wilson ~

"I am God's wheat and I shall be ground by the teeth of beasts, that I may become the pure bread of Christ."
~ Ignatius of Antioch ~

"Truth is, I think, if God just gave us our daily bread, many of us would be angry. 'That's all you're going to give me. You're just going to give me enough to sustain me for today? What about tomorrow or next year or 10, 20, 30 years from now? I want to know that I'm set up.' And yet Jesus says just pray for your daily provisions." ~ Francis Chan ~

"Bread for myself is a material question.
Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one."
~ Nikolai Berdyaev

"Bread Upon The Water" By The Gaither Vocal Band
"Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. 
Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, 
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." 
~ John 6:35

Do you have a name for the prayer list? (btw, someone gave me a name and...I am so very sorry...but I cannot find the e-mail and I cannot remember the name. Please tell me again.)

Prayer Keeping ~ Mia ~ Mildred ~ Donna ~ Gretchen ~ Alan ~ Rainey ~ Terry ~ Daddy ~ Mags ~ Vicki's family ~ "E" ~ Stephanie ~ Beth ~ Sandra ~ 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

New Photos of My Country Kitchen

My farmhouse kitchen is large huge, about the same size as most rooms in this house...20'x20' and eight people can sit comfortably before resorting to perching on the hearth or moving a dog off their bed. The kitchen is painted Martha Stewart's Bee Balm Red and curtains were never used because the window valences allow the 9'x3' windows to let the outside in. 

The cabinets, hand built on site, are birch and have piano hinges; some cupboards have glass windows. The pass through, to the living room, was made to allow both conversation and light to pass between both rooms. Hand made baskets are lined up over the sink and most were made either by my Grandmother or me. The metal dipper is for grabbing a drink of water so I don't dirty a glass (well, that's the way we've always said it). 

The table came out of the old Pembroke Bank in Giles County VA and still has the leather top and screw holes that held down an antique adding machine and two drawers are on one side. 

On either end of the table are sturdy chairs; one is a Morris type Chair and the other is a chair with heart cut-outs. I've had the heart chair for, maybe 40 years, and the Morris chair was given by a friend 10 years ago. Alongside the length of the table is an antique three seater choir pew and when additional seating is needed, I bring out the bench Daddy made two decades ago.

If you're getting the hint there's nothing much new in this house, you'd be right. I believe the wormy chestnut rocking chair is newest and it's made of re-claimed barn wood.

The stove is a refurbished 1914 Acorn cook stove; it has seven propane gas burners and three ovens with a warming oven on top left. For the story behind the stove, click here and here

The fireplace was re-built using slave made brick from the original farm house (which burnt during Christmas 1899) and in lieu of a mantle, now boasts a slab of wormy chestnut. The original lithograph is The Gleaners, an oil painting by Jean-Francois Millet, finished in 1857 and hanging in the Musee d'Orsay in France. The three peasant women glean a field of wheat after the harvest and remind me of Ruth in the Old Testament. The story behind the painting is here and I hope to visit the original at some point in the future.

The mantle is lined with trip treasures...a copper coffee container Dave purchased when he visited a Romanian Gypsy village (I stayed in the vehicle due to feelings of unease about our belongings being left alone...a good thing, as I was in the back of the van, a man climbed aboard and was quite startled to see me!), sugar and tea containers hand crafted by the nomad Bedouin's in the Sahara Desert. Dave bought those while we were in an antique shop in the Marrakesh souk. The kerosene lantern is from the 1800's but the hand thrown pottery flower vase is newish, purchased from an old friend who was laid off from the coal mines then taught himself to throw pottery. The vase is only 15 years old so it's almost brand new -lol.

The gas log insert broke and was replaced with a propane fireplace that brings more heat into the room and I enjoy more than the gas logs insert.

All the crocks are original and handed down through Daddy's family; the smaller crock sitting on the propane fireplace, and the larger crock to the far right, are both from my Great-Grandmother and still in use when I churn butter. The smaller crocks are used to make pickles using my Grandmother's Bread and Butter recipe.

The rocking chair on the right is made of re-claimed wormy chestnut barn wood and was Amish made to sit alongside Dave's Amish made casket at the wake. It's a nice, sturdy chair and gives me good memories amongst the painful ones.

So, that's part of my kitchen and a portion of the stories. The Welsh type cupboard can't be seen and if anyone is interested, I'll post about it of if you'd like to see something close up, let me know. The kitchen is a Working Kitchen and everything in it earns a living by doing what it was made to do. Someone asked, "Aren't you afraid you'll break _____?" and I replied, "If I do break it, it'll be broken while in service and not being dusted.

Life was meant to be used, hearts were made to be broken and, when we're most blessed and fortunate, all put to rights again. Please don't put "whatever" on a shelf or keep in wrapping paper; put it into service today! Have your memories be good ones...when you were on holiday and bought ___ or the family said, "Sandra would enjoy having that rocking chair" or salvage something from your family...or even the thrift store...give it a home and make your own memories so you can tell your own stories.

Because memories are the key 
to both our past and our futures.

Blessings ~ The Gleaners ~ 1914 Acorn stove ~ Morocco ~ holidays ~ memories ~

Thursday, April 23, 2015

"What Are You Busy About"

“It is not enough that you are busy.
The question is, What are you busy about?”

Lately, I’ve been on a Downton Abbey kick due to buying the first four seasons for a pittance on Boxing Day. As an aside, do you think of “small things” like paying little for such pleasure as blessings? I certainly do for in the evenings, when I’m holding down the sofa after a day of, seemingly, endless activity, to escape into a beautiful world that was and, probably, will never be again, a pleasurable blessing. 

During the night, should the dogs or I need to get up, that’s a time of prayer for folks on the prayer list, family, friends, my country, me and the list is endless. One recent night, I got up in the wee dark hours and found myself praying for Cora and Robert Crawley, Tom and his baby and his status as a new widower...then, caught up short, I thought, “Wake UP you crazy woman! These are characters in a television drama, stop wasting prayer on them!” Thus the power of JulianFellowes and his wonderfully crafted script, Downton Abbey and another favorite Gosford Park.

~ borrowed photo ~

When I asked a friend if she watched Downton Abbey she retorted, “I tried watching it but it’s nothing but a soap opera and I’m not wasting my time!” But, isn’t most of television, outside of game shows, soap operas? They may not sell soap but they have a cast of characters whose story goes on and on and on, week after week after week. I think it comes down to choose your crazy...I mean soap opera aside, Downton Abbey has captured me, heart and mind, if I admit to praying for them during the night when I’m half awake/asleep...crazy woman!

During the daylight hours, I am busy about a lot but find I’m too scattered and disjointed to be always effective.  I’ve always been a great list maker, much to Dave and my MIL’s amusement, but if I don’t have lists, I get less done. Time management studies say “focus, focus, focus” and my question is, “How does one focus where there’s SO much to be done?” I’ve pared down, especially since Dave’s death, and no longer do volunteer work off the farm. Instead, I knit orange hats and scarves to give to shelters as well as orange hats to give to neighboring hunters but say ‘no’ to everything else. (And, I say ‘no’ with absolutely no guilt whatsoever!)

I’m thinking of assigning different days of the week to different tasks but that’s not a great solution. Farm work has to be done on sunny days while house work can be done any day and I keep Sabbath on Sundays except when there's a "have to' situation.

Some say writing down the __ (fill in the number) most important things you must do today and focus on those things and that’s where I get off track. When you’re flying solo, everything is important and there’s no sharing of tasks so I choose the 5 most important areas and chip away at those making sure to leave some porch sitting time because personal renewal is always important. Along with porch sitting time, Bible devotions are done in early morning but neither porch sitting nor devotions are on the list.

This morning, walking to the barn, I spent thirty minutes taking photos of an eagle; there's always time to squeeze in the important! 

And more time taking photos of Kit Carson:

So, to answer Thoreau’s question, what am I busy about? 

I am busy about the task of life and am blessed to be able to have this as my business. So many people are on the “career treadmill” and some are caught up in a daily grind that chips away at personal satisfaction and even life itself. When I see bloggers who are making a living blogging, I raise my cuppa in salute! It’s wonderful when people are able to schedule their lives in a manner that enhances their life, the lives of their families and making money to pay bills is an added plus. Well done!

How do you handle “time management”? Are you a list maker? How do you handle the many hats you wear? Do you find you get a lot done or a little done about a lot? 

What are you busy about?

Blessings ~ fresh air ~ eagles ~ Kit Carson ~ time ~ Kensington Station, such memories! ~ Downton Abbey and Gosford Park ~

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

"Be still and know that I am God."

"Everything takes time. 
Bees have to move very fast to stay still."

"Whenever there is stillness there is the still small voice, God's speaking from the whirlwind, nature's old song, and dance." ~ Annie Dillard

"Being still does not mean don't move. 
It means move in peace." 

"I have often wondered whether especially those days when we are forced to remain idle are not precisely the days spent in the most profound activity. Whether our actions themselves, even if they do not take place until later, are nothing more than the last reverberations of a vast movement that occurs within us during idle days.
In any case, it is very important to be idle with confidence, with devotion, possibly even with joy. The days when even our hands do not stir are so exceptionally quiet that it is hardly possible to raise them without hearing a whole lot."
~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~

"Listen to the murmur of water and you'll hear Mother Nature.
Listen to the stillness beneath, and there you'll find God."
~ Donald L. Hicks ~

"Don't just do something; stand still!" ~ Sandra ~

"The sound of 'gentle stillness' after all the thunder and wind have passed will {be} the ultimate word from God."
~ Jim Elliot ~

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
~ Romans 12:2 ~

Memory is a poor servant; please let me know if you've a name for the prayer list.

Prayer Keeping ~ Gretchen ~ Stephanie ~ Donna ~ Whitney ~ Rainey ~ Terry ~ Vicki's family ~ "E" ~ Vic ~ Jim/Daddy ~ Sandra ~

Monday, April 13, 2015

Memory Lane, Wedding and Winner, Winner, Lobster Dinner

In a couple of trips down memory lane (because I just realized I've never downloaded the photos), here's a photo of Kit Carson, nursing Sam P. Spade, Secret Agent Angel. Sam is a sweet boy; he knew the kitten was too young to be abandoned so Sam allowed Kit to nurse for the emotional benefit. I still had to feed Kit kitten milk and chow until he was old enough to eat 'big boy' food.

Beloved Sistah, Stephanie, pins a corsage on Mom at her 80th birthday celebration, October last year.

Here, Steph pins JW, her son who was married Saturday.

~ Steph and Mom ~

~ Jerry (JW's Dad), my Daddy, JW ~

~ Jerry, Stephanie, Daddy, JW ~

~ Steph, Mom, Dustin, Stephanie's youngest son ~

Nothing like being late to your own party, is there? My reason (because, let's face it, excuses are a dime a dozen and over priced at that!) is...this past weekend my nephew was married on my 62nd (yeah, I really am that old!) birthday and the wedding was fabulous! He married Katie, a beautiful young woman, a nurse by profession, and just as lovely on the inside as out.

~ Katie ~

~ Mr. and Mrs. Williams ~

~ first dance ~

It was a lovely wedding and there are a lot more photos but not tonight. Now, it's time for the Pacsafe winner and then aspirin and bed for me.

Last Monday, at 5:00, using random I pulled the names of three people who left me no way to get in touch with them so they didn't win the Pacsafe travel bag. Finally, Judy's name was chosen and she's been sent an e-mail and has 24 hours to respond. If she hasn't responded by 5:00 Tuesday evening, another name will be chosen. Whew! I never realized it was so difficult to give something away -grin-.

(My apologies for the varying font sizes...exhaustion forbids me to figure out what I've done wrong.)

Blessings ~ family ~ weddings ~ JW and Katie ~ wonderful memories ~ 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

"The Lord shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow."
~ Deuteronomy 28:12 ~

"I don't know that there are any short cuts to doing a good job." ~ Sandra Day O'Conner ~
"Service is what life is all about." ~ Marion Wright Edelman ~
"We have always been trained in the past to a life of service and I am afraid that as these new changes come about there may be a loss of real values. " ~ Empress Nagako ~
"Take each good day and relish each moment.
Take each bad day and work to make it good."
~ Lisa Dado
"Never turn down a job because it is too small, you don't know where it can lead." ~ Julia Morgan ~
"Laziness may appear attractive,
but work gives satisfaction."
~ Anne Frank
"I thank God for my handicaps, for through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God." ~ Helen Keller ~

"I believe that in our constant search for security we can never gain any peace of mind until we secure our own soul." ~ Margaret Chase Smith ~

"Jesus saith unto them, 
My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, 

and to finish his work."
~ John 4:34

Prayer Keeping ~ Whitney ~ Katie and JW ~ Mary and family ~ Donna ~ Noreen ~ Gretchen ~ Sandra ~

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

"Nevertheless, though I am sometimes afraid:
yet put I my trust in thee."
~ Psalms 56:3 ~

"Now it is you alone that I love,
you alone that I follow,
you alone that I seek,
you alone that I feel ready to serve,
because you alone rule justly.
It is to your authority alone that I want to submit.
Command me, I pray, to do whatever you will,
but heal and open my ears
that I may hear your voice.
Heal and open my eyes 
that I may see your will.
Drive out from me
all fickleness,
That I may acknowledge you alone.
Tell me where to look
that I may see you,
and I will place my hope in doing your will.
~ Saint Augustine of Hippo ~

"Bring out that creature," said Aslan. One of the Elephants lifted Uncle Andrew in its trunk and laid him at the Lion's feet. He was too frightened to move.
"Please, Aslan," said Polly, "could you say something to-to unfrighten him? And then could you say something to prevent him from ever coming back here again?"
"do you think he wants to?" said Aslan.
"Well, Aslan," said Polly, "he might send someone else. He's so excited about the bar off the lamp-post growing into a lamp-post tree and he thinks-"
"He thinks great folly, child," said Aslan. "This world is bursting with life for these few days because the song with which I called it into life still hangs in the air and rumbles in the ground. It will not be so for long. But I cannot tell that to this old sinner, and I cannot comfort him either; he has made himself unable to hear my voice. If I spoke to him, he would hear only growlings and roarings. Oh, Adam's sons, how cleverly you defend yourselves against all that might do you good! But I will give him the only gift he is still able to receive."
He bowed his great head rather sadly, and breathed into the Magician's terrified face. "Sleep," he said. "Sleep and be separated for some few hours from all the torments you have devised for yourself." Uncle Andrew immediately rolled over with closed eyes and began breathing peacefully."
~ C. S. Lewis, The Magicians Nephew ~

"Brothers {and sisters}, we do not want you to be ignorant
about those who fall asleep, 
or to grieve like those who have no hope.
We believe Jesus died and rose again
and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus
those who have fallen asleep in Him."
~ 1 Thessalonians 4:13 ~

Happy Resurrection Day! 

Prayer Keeping ~ Whitney and family ~ Gretchen and family ~ Rainey ~ Mr. Claud ~ Roy ~ Peggy ~ Alan ~  Mags ~ Terry ~ Sandra ~

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

and this explains why I, sometimes, feel like a wandering cow...

(for the Pacsafe Travel Bag giveway go here; good until 5:00 p.m., April 6.)

"Creatures, I give you yourselves," said the strong, happy, voice of Aslan. "I give to you forever this land of Narnia. I give you the woods, the fruits, the rivers. I give you the stars and I give you myself. The Dumb Beasts whom I have not chosen are yours also. Treat them gentle and cherish them but do not go back to their ways lest you cease to be Talking Beasts. For out of them you were taken and into them you can return. Do not so."
~ C. S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew ~

Blessings ~ the merry month of...April ~ C. S. Lewis ~ Narnia ~ the dumb and the talking beasts ~ God's creation ~
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