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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.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Big Stone Gap and other fascinating me anyway

~ Lady Gray, recently born in the basement ~

Gina made another video on the farm and asks, nicely, that you click here and view for a minimum of 30 seconds. Perhaps you did that a few months ago but; "please, would you do it again, the sooner the better for Sandra" so asks Gina? Please don't forget; I'll wait while you go now...

~ wending their way home ~

Earlier this week, Nancy and I saw Big Stone Gap, the movie, directed by Adriana Trigiani who was born and raised in BSG. She wrote the book, the first of a trilogy with Big Cherry Holler and Milk Glass Moon following and many other very well received books. I've read some not so nice movie reviews and the first thought that popped into my head was, "Gee, I'd sure hate to be married to you or have you for a boss." Why some people think they have to prove they're a mean, small jackass is beyond me because I think it's fairly evident to those around them.

~ breakfast in bed for Lightly, American Curly horse ~

I thought the movie absolutely charming and loved the stellar cast. It was all warm, funny, sweet (now there's a word you hardly ever hear/see me using) and yes, I did happy cry at the end. In a world gone mad with danger, ugliness, meanness, smallness, negativity, etc. this movie is a keeper. Matter of fact, think I'll go see it again and then buy it (when it goes on sale; haven't totally lost my mind, Big Stone Gap is a feel good movie, filmed down the road in Big Stone Gap, VA and, up til now, probably known best for being the site of the longest running outdoor play production in VA...The Trail of the Lonesome Pine.  No, I've never seen it but, from my childhood, remember a man's deep voice introducing something ???, "And now, from the Trail of the Lonesome Pine"... voice then trailing off. I've asked around and people, generally, think I'm crazy because they don't remember such. But I really do!

~ fire starters gathered from front yard ~

Then again, it might be the intro to the 1936 movie Henry Fonda and Fred MacMurray made which was taken from the book written by John Fox, Jr. My memory is such a poor servant but I'm remembering from the late 1950's or thereabouts...isn't that something like 2 centuries ago...or not.
~ Lady Gray's mother, Girly ~

Or, come to think of it, BSG could be just as famous as being the site sight (little play on words here) where Elizabeth Taylor choked on a chicken bone while stumping for her then husband of six years, VA Senator John Warner. Read here a sweet (there's that word again!) story of Elizabeth Taylor meeting Mr. Trigiani (father of Adriani) in Big Stone Gap in 1978.

~ wending my way home ~

Anyhoo...we have a fair number of wonderful Appalachian writers from, as in born in, southwest Virginia (Sharyn McCrumb, Lee Smith come to mind) but Trigiani is my favorite.

She captures a sense of small community life and, for me, what it was like growing up summers in a coal mining community.

Oh. You didn't know? I'm a coal miner's daughter with a heritage dipping back generations of coal miners, farmers, preachers, teachers and, just to keep things spicy, Great Aunt Mamie Hamrick, the first female lawyer to practice in front of (is that how you say it??) the VA Supreme Court in the early 1900's. We've had other notable folks in our family, then they got to I'm the black sheep. The six year old girl who knew she wanted to live on a farm, have animals and live peaceable with God and His creation. I wasn't born on this farm but made it here as fast as I could. The best one-third of my life has been lived lived! here.

This summer, I've been doing a lot of canning...peach vanilla, strawberry, kiwi, blueberry jams,

apple butter, tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans and bought a jar of apple pie makings as well as vegetable soup. I figure with all this and the 25 pound sack of flour mentioned here, I'll eat well this winter. You know what they say...a good woman provide warmth in the winter and shade in the summer. What I always said is, "I'm built for comfort, not for speed."

Home. Is there another word that stirs up all that is good, kind, loving, warm, safe and tender? Love comes close but when death snatches love, leaving only the memories and pictures, home is what can both calm, and stir, one's heart. It does mine; does it yours?

Blessings ~ Gina ~ Nancy ~ good movies ~ Adriana Trigiani ~ a full pantry ~ home ~


  1. Miss Sandra is being born in a basement like being born in a barn? What a cutie that girl is! You will eat well and I volunteer to help you if I could. Love the video not so much love you have not sold paradise yet. It is difficult at best this sales business. But even more so when so much of oneself is sunk into the land. Prayers and blessings for God to show you his plan for you soon. I for one am not keen on uncertainty and have more patience than before but only because He made it so. Continue to smile and leave the world wondering.

  2. I think you're not so much the black sheep of the family as you believe, but us outspoken women of conviction can truthfully be labeled as a "thorn in the flesh" at times. Hopefully being a woman who makes and keeps a home AND has her own mind and speaks it is of value . I think our husbands agree on that.

    Always interesting to read your blog and I will check out our link to the movie. ( Did not know that about Liz)

  3. This morning I have to hurry, but time enough to enjoy all thesy very special beautiful and speaking photos!
    Text reading later - your friend in Christ from the Bavarian forest, Dori

  4. We have read all of Trigiani's Appalachian books and loved them. It opened up a world that intrigued me, as I knew little about the mountains.

  5. I have just looked at your video. Such a completely beautiful place! And and and given our outrageous house prices in the UK, it seems such great value. The house is gorgeous too. Just what I love. I hope you find someone to love it soon. xx

  6. I looked at the video again . . .
    Each time I catch something new . . .
    Wow . . . you've been "putting up" plenty of yummy pints to feed you this winter!
    Like your fire starters . . . I have been picking a few around here too.
    Buckets of acorns have fallen . . . not sure how I will get them all cleaned up off the lawn.
    I always heard that meant a cold, snowy winter but the TV weather people are predicting a mild winter.
    Hoping that video will catch prospective buyer interest for you . . .
    And then what for you . . .
    I agree . . .Love, Home . . . and I will add Health . . .

  7. I need to check the library for these authors.

    Your cats are lovely.

    I did watch your farm's latest video the other day. What a beautiful place, inside and out! Maybe the right buyer will see this and fall in love and just have to have it.

    **home is what can both calm, and stir, one's heart.** Yes, oh yes, especially since losing my dear husband 34 months ago.

    Happy Fall dear Sandra ~ FlowerLady

  8. What a beautiful post, Sandra.
    I can't wait to see that movie. I read the book.

  9. What a sweet post! Yes, HOME does that. Sometimes it's the last thing in life that does that. It's why old people should be able to stay in their homes as long as they can. Loved the trailer for that fun movie. Looks like a good story! And your new farm video is great!!

  10. Lovely post and the kitten is adorable (as is mama cat). It's hard for me to identify home at this point. My brother has completely redone the house where I grew up, and my husband and I have moved so many times, we don't have a "home" together except where we hang our hats!

  11. My Love moved to heaven 15 months ago and I am just now starting to see HOME as a refuge instead of a painful reminder of everything "him". Still trying to find myself. Learning the value of time. Starting over. Fifty years of togetherness is not easy to just pick up and move on from but I'm trying. Making new memories can be fun and at the same time very frightening but it is necessary and I don't intend to end up a lonely old lady. There's too much life still to be lived and I will give it all I have!!! Love the little kitten and will definitely look into the movie recommendation. Have a wonderful weekend.

  12. Dear Sandra, After watching the video for a second time, I'm wishing we could come stay at your b&b for a week-it is so peaceful and blessed. I believe you are living on Holy Ground. I can't imagine the work though to keep it up, as we age it is harder to care for the land like we did when we were young. Loved seeing all your jams and canned goods-you are amazing. I used to can, mainly fruit, but not so much anymore. I freeze corn and string beans; in fact, I think my daughters have my cold bath canner. Sending you hugs from a girl that always felt I should be living in the country.

  13. Sigh; your farm and home look like heaven on earth to me, and for me, my horse, my Shetlands, my dogs, my cat. Would that God would plant me there for the rest of my life! (However, that would probably require widowhood, which I'm not asking for....)

  14. I loved your video, and to me it is like a piece of heaven on earth, just too beautiful for words. I did read the books, but haven't seen the movie yet, and like you will buy it when it eventually comes out. They are already throwing around that word "sequel", so we'll have to see. Those can goods sound wonderful, it's cool enough now for a bowl of good soup! Bless you, dear heart. Hugs to you, down on the farm.

  15. You have a gift for writing, Sandra. I always like reading what you have to say. I must go see BSG soon. I'm so glad to hear you liked it. There are some not so great reviews out there. Looking forward to seeing a feel good movie--not many of those around--Maybe that's why I don't go to movies anymore. Have a great weekend. ♥

  16. I notice there are no writers in your lineage so you are THE writer :-) The video shows your place off beautifully, very nice job. I've not heard of these authors and have jotted them down with A.Trigiani first :-)

  17. Lovely blog-enjoyed all the photos-

  18. Very nice...I love your little horse...and all your canned goods...we're cooking greens again today as our nice friend invited us over to gather all we wanted...

    ~Have a lovely day!

  19. You have me interested in seeing that movie! (BTW, your place is gorgeous. I did watch part of the video.) :)
    I laughed when I read the part about a good woman being warmth in the winter and shade in the summer. My hubby loved to say that!
    Yes, I was just thanking the Lord for my home. I may not be able to stay here forever, but I'm thankful while I can. It's been such a blessing raising our kids here and making memories. May the Lord's love fill our homes, wherever they may be.

  20. What a beautiful area you do live in! I live on such a small island we don't get those sort of sweeping vistas. Thank you for visiting. I shall look forward to getting to know you better. ~ *Ganeida*

  21. Sandra Beautiful post. My Mamma use to make Tomato preserves when I was
    small. Then Smuckers came out with Tomato Preserves, now I can't find them.
    You are such a busy Lady. Oh Boy! winter is in Maine Oct.18 snow tonight
    Have you had any interested Buyers? I send love and hope you have a mild
    winter. Yvonne

  22. Such a beautiful place you have Sandra! The video is wonderful and wish I had the means to buy it - my daughter is an organic farmer and would love it too! Love all your jams and jellies - I just can't seem to ever make them jell as much as I've tried over the years LOL Bet it's starting to get cold up there. Stay warm and safe! Hugs!

  23. First time I saw the video. What a beautiful place you have. All the details and amenities sound wonderful. I do pray someone will buy it and love it as much as you do. Your mama and baby kitty are beautiful; such nice coloring on both. And your pantry is a joy to see. Guess you won't have to eat just biscuits all winter, right?!
    I will have to check out that movie. Thank you for the recommendation.

  24. Speed? Comfort? I think I must be built for dogged perseverance ;)
    Watched your video - so beautiful! And I went on a Trigliani binge with the audiobooks a couple of years ago. You might enjoy listening to them all over again, while you do indoor tasks. Audiobooks provide the soundtrack to a lot of my night-time knitting.
    I've also been taking a look at my pantry, and am getting ready to defrost my chest freezer for the new base layer of cider. Winter's coming, isn't it, Sandra?

  25. BSG sounds like my kind of movie - thanks for the heads up. Now, wondering where I can find it around my neck o' the woods. As always, I enjoy every post.. you are a blessing and an inspiration! Thanks for the nice thought about the Mr's creations.. I am absolutely certain he would not object ;) Have a lovely week and weekend! -T p.s. I watched the video a while back of your farm.. made me want to move there! Absolutely wonderful. Hmm, if I don't forget.. I can put a link on my blog. Would that be ok?

  26. Thank you for the movie review!
    Your canned goods are so cozy-making...


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