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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, September 27, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

"Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set on them to do evil. Though a sinner do evil a hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God."

"For children are innocent and love justice, 
while most of us are wicked 
and naturally prefer mercy."

"Our repentance is not so much regret for the evil we have done, as fear of its consequences." ~ Rochefoucauld ~

"The honourable are moved, by the nobility of another's sacrifice. The wicked are moved only by causing it."
~ Justin K.McFarlane Beau ~

"The judge should not be young, he should have learned to know evil, not from his own soul, but from late and long observation of the nature of evil in others." ~ Plato ~

"He who does not punish evil,
commands it to be done."

"If the Divine call does not make us better, it will make us very much worse. Of all bad men religious bad men are the worst. Of all created beings the wickedest is one who originally stood in the immediate presence of God."
~ C. S. Lewis ~

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it conscientiously." ~ Pascal ~

"What a lamentable thing it is that men should blame the gods and regard us as the source of their troubles, when it is their own wickedness that brings them sufferings worse than any which destiny allots them." ~ Homer ~

"The spirit of wickedness in high places is now so powerful and many-headed in its incarnations that there seems nothing more to do than personally refuse to worship any of the hydras' heads." ~ J. R. R. Tolkien ~

"The love of money is the root of all evil..." 

If you'd like a name added to the prayer list, please let me know.

Prayer Keeping ~ Mike ~ Jim ~ Kathy ~ John ~ Sandra ~

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

Seas the Day

Recently I had an opportunity to leave Thistle Cove Farm and drive to Thistle Cove Cottage.

The view from my cottage windows is almost as nice as the view from my farm house windows.

It's not a "beachy" place; rather, it's a place that envelopes, is cozy and peaceful and is the only place in my life where I don't have to take care of animals. This isn't meant as a complaint, merely a comment, but since Dave's death, my life has been work, work, work and more work. It's taken a lot out of me - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually - to keep the farm going and I'm beginning to see the ragged edges of overwhelming exhaustion. Close friends tell me that same exhaustion made its appearance a long while ago but, in my stubbornness (or tenacity as I prefer to think) I've pushed it back in order to keep moving forward. I enjoy work but am beginning to think there's more to! 

While staying on Captiva Island, Anne Morrow Lindburgh wrote
"Don't wish me happiness
I don't expect to be happy all the time...
It's gotten beyond that somehow. 
Wish me courage and strength and a sense of humor.
I will need them all."

If you've wished me these things, thank you and if you've prayed for me, thank you and God bless you for I've needed the prayer more than anything.

A few quotes from her book stand out and here I include two more..."The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is being insincere. That is why so much of social life is exhausting; one is wearing a mask. I have shed my mask."  

This is one reason I now live behind a locked gate and, probably, always will (safety being another reason). As I age (thank God for the gift of birthdays!) it takes harsh amounts of energy to be in the company of insincere people and it's simply easier to avoid them. I lack the patience (if ever I had it) to suss the truth from the lies and would far rather use my energy toward things that bring happiness, joy, niceness, kindness to my life. Years past, I would come home and relate an incident to Dave and asked, "What was that all about?!" and he'd respond, "You just don't get it, Jeremiah (his pet name for me), and you never will. Even so, you may thank God for it." I didn't/don't understand the masks and so have taken the easy road by removing myself from the company of most, especially those with masks.

and another quote...

"I find there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before."  Being without Dave isn't as good as being with Dave but I've learning...again, to cherish the richness, the fullness, the sheer life God has given me and am busy fulfilling the expectation for me to continue to live. (Yes, I am a slow learner but, eventually, I do learn -smile-.)

She writes, "Women need solitude in order to find again the true essence of themselves."

Ahhhh...solitude! Dave and I always gave each other the gift of solitude so when we came together it was all the sweeter. We never felt the need to be in each other's pockets when we could simply be together by sharing the same house, car, farm, walk, plane, etc. We also never felt the need to chatter all the time; we could sit in companionable silence and enjoy each other's company. On the other hand, we could talk for hours and never run out of things to say.

Gift From The Sea was an instant classic and remains so today. If you've never read it, please do yourself a favor, find the quiet time and give this gift to yourself.

One of the Cottage wall adornments is the's to remind people who stay at Thistle Cove Cottage of the important things of life. So many of us get bogged down in making a living that we forget to make a life. Making a life is making memories by doing the important things...reading to the children in our lives, greeting the sun rise with a cuppa in hand, taking a prayerful walk, telling...and showing...those we love we love them, preparing and sharing a meal. 

I maintain one of the most important things in your life should be yourself, your family and your home, followed by friends. In my life, God and morning devotions head up that list and He and the devotions keep me grounded. I shudder to think how angst ridden, nervous, anxious and just plain cranky I'd be without Him! Home is my first sanctuary and is where I'm nourished, cosseted and comforted from the friction and burden of daily living. 

I've tried to spill over these same feelings of sanctuary, coziness, comfort and caring at Thistle Cove Cottage. Last year, one young woman visited with her husband and toddler son and left the above note with drawings:

Advice from the Ocean

1. Be shore of yourself
2. Come out of your shell
3. Take time to Coast
4.  Avoid Pier pressure
5. Sea life's beauty
6. Don't get Tide down
7. Make Waves

Don't you like it? I only wish I were half as clever!

I don't get to my small Sanctuary nearly often enough but enjoy it when I'm there. When I walk through the door, the sense of comfort is physical and unconsciously my breathing becomes slower and deeper.

Thistle Cove Cottage is available for rent; if you're interested, e-mail me or click here and scroll down for the calendar. Blog followers receive a discount because if you've been reading my blog, you deserve to share my Gift From The Sea. If you go, don't forget to sign the Guest Book.

NOTE: I would so love to have this job for a year, here.

Blessings ~ Anne Morrow Lindburgh ~ Gift From The Sea ~ Scoraig, Scotland ~ Thistle Cove Cottage ~ 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

"Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands, obtain guidance."

"The more that you read,
the more things you will know.
The more that you learn,
the more places you'll go."

"Education is not the filling of a pail,
but the lighting of a fire."

"In learning you will teach,
and in teaching you will learn."

"Study the past if you would define the future."

"Education is the kindling of a flame,
not the filling of a vessel."

"Any fool can know.
The point is to understand."
~ Albert Einstein

"There is nothing more notable in Socrates than that he found time, when he was an old man, to learn music and dancing and thought it time well spent."
~ Michel de Montaigne ~

"I am not a teacher, but an awakener."

"Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon." ~ E. M. Forster ~

"It is not that I'm so smart.
But I stay with the questions much longer."

"Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect." ~ Samuel Johnson ~

"All the world is my school,
and all humanity is my teacher."

"There are few things more pathetic than those who have lost their curiosity and sense of adventure, and who no longer care to learn." ~ Gordon B. Hinckley ~

"Ancora imparo"
(Yet I am learning)
~ Michelangelo, age 87 ~

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,
who gives generously to all without finding fault,
and it will be given to you."
~ James 1:5

Please let me know if you would like a name placed on this weeks prayer list.

Prayer Keeping ~ Jim ~ Kathy ~ John ~ Debby ~ Dewena ~ Sandra ~ 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


"'s a funny thing about gifts-
we usually don't consider ours
 as unique or as stunning 
as someone else's gifts
 because whatever ours is,
it comes so easily to us that
 we don't get the big deal about it."

Blessings ~ Patsy Clairmont ~ encouragement ~ laughter ~ gifts ~ YOU ~

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

"Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks,
and look well to thy herds."

"You would not have called to me 
unless I had been calling to you," said the Lion."

"How else but through a broken heart 
may Lord Christ enter in." 

"There is nothing more important 
than your eternal salvation."

"There were ninety and nine that safely lay
  In the shelter of the flock,
But one was out on the hills away,
  Far off in the cold and dark;
Away on the mountains wild and bare,
  Away from the tender Shepherd's care.

"Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine;
Are they not enough for thee?"
But the Shepherd made answer: "This of Mine
Has wandered away from me;
And although the road be rough and steep,
I go to the desert to find My sheep."

But none of the ransomed ever knew
  How deep were the waters crossed;
Nor how dark was the night which the Lord passed through
  Ere He found His sheep that was lost.
Out in the bleak desert He heard its cry--
  All bleeding and helpless, and ready to die.

"Lord, whence are those blood-drops all the way
  That mark out the mountain's track?"
"They were shed for one who had gone astray
  Ere the Shepherd could bring him back."
"Lord, whence are Thy hands so rent and torn?
  They're pierced tonight by many a thorn."

And all through the mountains, thunder-riven,
  And up from the rock steep,
There arose a cry to the gate of heaven,
  "Rejoice! I have found My sheep!"
And the angels echoed around the throne,
  "Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!"
~ The Ninety and Nine ~

"We sinned for no reason but an 
incomprehensible lack of love, 
and He saved us for no reason but an 
incomprehensible excess of love." 

"You have one business on earth--to save souls."
~ John Wesley ~

"Jesus can you show me
Just how far the east is from the west,
Cause I can't bear to see the man I've been
Rising up in me again.
In the arms of your mercy I find rest
Cause you know just how far the east is from the west--
From one scarred hand to the other."

"What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?"
~ Luke 15:4 ~

Prayer Keeping ~ Jim ~ Kathy ~ John ~ Donna ~ Noreen ~ Roberts Family ~ Mary ~ Sandra ~ 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

August is a Memory; September Scurries By

~ at least 4 deer ~

Can you believe August is gone, school has started and Autumn is less than two weeks from today? whewwwww! Tempus Fugit, eh?

Last month I made jam, here, and today I made four more pints of peach vanilla and the slow cooker is full of Wolf River apples, known for making delicious apple butter, and what was purchased as a Granny Smith tree. The first couple of years the apples were bright, solid green and then changed to a mottled green. I'm not sure what they are other than really good tasting and add a depth of flavor to either apple butter, apple sauce or, for breakfast, fried apples atop buttered hot biscuits...with home churned butter of course.

~ Wolf River, top; Granny Smith, bottom ~

Wolf River and Summer Rambo are my favorite apples - crisp, large, and add lovely flavor to home pressed cider. It was growing as early as the late 1700's in his country and recorded in the 1500's in France. All three apples are heritage with Granny Smith being the newest, 1868. The most interesting fact regards Wolf can sometimes reproduce itself, true to variety, by seed.

Labor Day was spent visiting family and watching Steve, my brother, and Dad prep the bees for winter.

The lid is lifted off, the smoker uses a bit of burlap to pour smoke into the hive which calms the bees.

Daddy, using the smoker.

Each hive is checked for honey and if it has none, old honey is put into the hive to help the bees over winter. Duck tape is wrapped around where the hive sections meet, helping keep out the cold. Steve also closes up one half of the entrance which helps keep out the cold and snow.

Daddy smokes the last hive. Usually they don't wear bee gear but since Steve is allergic and Dad is still having mobility problems from his leg operation, it was decided veils were needed.

This cabin has a good start on firewood.

Tommy, my new "boyfriend", washing his ATV.

When I was a teenager, I had a mad crush on my cousins, Richard Lee and Eddie Dale. They were wild as March hares and lived more life than most do in ten. Eddie Dale is gone now but he and Richard Lee were car guys; knows 'em up down outside inside out. Next time we all meet up, I'm taking a tape recorder to save the stories of both his growing up, our family and cars...our family history.

He married his high school sweetheart, Loretta Lee...yes, they both have the same middle names!

Our family has been in West Virginia for more than a couple of hundred years and have a few famous members. One is Rimfire Hamrick; he and his younger brother posed for the statue on the Capital grounds in Charleston and Daddy is a direct descendant.

We come from a Irishman named Patrick who came here in 1654 through the Fredericksburg port, had a bunch of sons who had a bunch of sons get the drift. One of those sons served with George Washington at Valley Head and other places.

Tomorrow, it's finish the apple butter, start more apple butter, finish the peach vanilla jam...usual chores - move hay, sell hay, pay bills...I need a wife -grin-. I'm beginning to understand why, decades ago, women would let other women board with them. Not only did it provide company, it also provided a second pair of hands for the work.

Unfortunately, nowadays, people think work is a four letter word.

Blessings ~ apple butter ~ peach vanilla jam ~ the Hamrick family ~ Richard Lee and Loretta Lee ~ Steve, my brother ~ Daddy ~ honey ~

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Lynne is a Winner, Winner, Lobster Dinner! drew #8, Lynne's name of Irish Garden House as the winner of the apron. Lynne, please send your snail mail address in a private note and I'll mail next week.

As an aside, have you used It's interesting, click on the link to read more but know this...originally, it was developed by Dr. Mads Haahr, a prof at Trinity College in Dublin. I adore Trinity College and were I younger, would seriously think about attending a class or three there. It's a beautiful campus in a beautiful city...perfection!

Short post because I'm absolutely knackered and still have to shower before I get close to drowning myself. Congrats to Lynne and am going to giveaway books next...lovely, lovely books!

Blessings ~ life ~ Trinity College ~ Lynne at Irish Garden House ~ hot water ~ sleep ~
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