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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, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

"I have come so that you may have glorious, eternal life in heaven. I alone am the true path; I alone am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to God, the Father, except through me. There are no other paths, no other is only through me. No one else loved you so much he died on a cross for you. No one else descended into hell, separated from Our Father and His pure holiness. 

Before time began, I knew this would happen, yet I chose His will above my own; all because of My love for you... only because of My love for you. You see, I asked Our Father if He would allow the suffering to pass me by. I pleaded with Him, I begged Him, I cried so hard I sweat great drops of blood and still, He shook His head 'no'. 

On that cross, I thought about you. I knew the choice you would make and rejoiced my suffering wasn't in vain. I knew the choice you would make and the sorrow shook me to My marrow, the knowing that upon your death we would be separated for eternity. And yet I stayed, hung between two thieves, one who understood, the other chose poorly. It is even so today; those who choose wisely, those who choose poorly. Days of rejoicing, days of sorrow but I don't regret I chose Our Father's will over My own. I did it gladly and would do it again if it meant you might choose Me.

Come to Me; I alone know how you seek peace, love, acceptance. I alone give you all that unconditionally; I alone will help you carry all your burdens. It's true it won't always be easy but you will always have My shoulder to lean on. Your tears are precious to Me and you'll always always always have Me to help carry your load. You don't have to do life by yourself; you can have Me.

I'm that small whisper in your heart...
come to Me, I alone will give you rest.

~ Jesus Christ

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Santa Claus wants some lovin'...

you may thank me after you listen...grin...

blessings ~ smiles ~ nice voices ~ 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

"The Lord is compassionate and gracious 
slow to anger and rich in love."

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion
If you want to be happy, practice compassion."

"The dew of compassion is a tear."

"Without suffering, 
there would be no compassion."

"That's the difference between pity and compassion: 
Pity just feels sorry!
Compassion does something about it."

"When action meets compassion
lives change."

"Don't treat people the way they treat you
Treat people the way God treats you."
~ Dave Willis ~

"Use your voice for kindness,
your ears for compassion,
your hands for charity,
your mind for truth,
your heart for love."

"How would your life be different if...You stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? Let today be the day...You look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey." ~ Steve Maraboli ~

"Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries."
~ Dali Lama XIV ~

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
~ Leo Buscaglia ~

"Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it's at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others."
~ Sam Levenson ~

"Be kind and compassionate to one another
forgiving each other
just as God forgave you."
~ Ephesians 4:31-32 ~

Prayers going up for ~ elected leaders, especially those who serve themselves and not their constituents ~ Jim ~ Maxine ~ Jerry ~ Anderson family ~ Vicky and family ~ persecuted Christians ~

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

~ he makes me smile ~

"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow
the more knowledge, the more grief."
~ Ecclesiastes 1:18

"Be not troubled; for it troubles abound, and there be tossing, and storms, and tempests, and no peace, nor anything visible left to support; yet, lie still, and sink beneath, till a secret hope stir, which will stay the heart in the midst of all these; until the Lord administer comfort, who knows how and what relief to give to the weary traveler, that knows not where it is, nor which way to look, nor where to expect a path."
~ I. Penington ~

"The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day." ~ David Foster Wallace ~

"In times of grief and sorrow I will hold you and rock you and take your grief and make it my own. When you cry I cry and when you hurt I hurt. And together we will try to hold back the floods to tears and despair and make it through the potholed street of life."
~ Corrie ten Boom ~

"There are days when my heart is troubled, and just being in the Lord's presence and thinking about his love for me fills me with an inexplicable peace and joy."
~ Joseph Prince ~

"A bend in the road is not the end of the road...unless you fail to make the turn. ~ unknown ~

"If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience." ~ Robert Fulghum ~

"Even in troubles, there's usually 
something to make us smile." 
~ Sandra ~

"Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions." ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ~

"Kites rise highest against the wind,
not with it." ~ Winston Churchill

"If you can find a path with no obstacles,
it probably doesn't lead anywhere."

"Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are." ~ Arthur Golden ~

"If you're going through hell, keep going."

"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."

"In these troubled times we live in, we should remain vigilant, and see through populist arguments."
~ King Albert II ~

"More people are troubled by what is plain in Scripture than what is obscure." ~ Roy L. Smith ~

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, 
that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not; 
and it shall be given him."
~ James 1:5

If you have a prayer request, please send a private message.

Prayer Keeping ~ Jim ~ Rainey ~ Diana's hero ~ Kimberly ~ people out of work ~ 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Latest Winner, Quilt Book Giveaway, Winter Vehicle Prep

The Best of Vogue Knitting 25 Years of Articles, Techniques and Expert Advice was won by Donna of Brynwood Needleworks; the next giveaway is at the bottom of this post but the useful information is first.

I'm a great believer in taking care of equipment and this is due mostly to Daddy and partly to Dave. Dad always has his tools nicely oiled and put away while all vehicles are located year 'round, under shelter, out of the sun and weather. Many times, Dave told me, "Take better care of yourself; you're the most important and expensive piece of equipment on this farm. While you may can be repaired, you cannot be replaced." I still heed his wise advice.

This winter I am overjoyed that all vehicles are not only under shelter, most are behind locked doors. I'm a great believer in strong fences and gates with good locks. It's not that I don't perxactly trust people, I just like helping them make easier choices to go elsewhere to do their wicked deeds. I am also over the moon happy the tractor is now in the lower part of the barn where I can get it out to use no matter the weather. These past years, sigh, the tractor has been stored in the upper barn where it's virtually impossible to move without extremely careful planning and either the snow drifts or ice builds up and the barn doors cannot be opened. Last year I was trapped on the farm for a couple of weeks due to a sudden, unexpected storm that kept me from getting to the tractor or a 4-wheel vehicle to drive out of the valley. Being trapped on the farm is no hardship but to walk to the barn I had to, literally, fall off the back porch into the huge snow drift...get up, walk two feet, fall again into the huge snow drift...get get the idea. It would take me 30 or 40 minutes to get to the barn then do chores. Getting back to the house wasn't as difficult due to the broken path I'd made going down.

Do any of you keep a calendar for chores? If you do, is it something you'd care to let me see? I need help, lotsa A yearly calendar is one way to keep up with the work and make sure everything...oil changes, fluids topped, license, tags, insurance, etc., is taken care of in a timely and economical, manner. I am proud to say, winter vehicle prep is now finished and the vehicles are as ready as I can make them for cold, sleet, snow, ice, etc.

Two years ago I did a winter vehicle prep so this won't cover those suggestions. Rather, these are new or updated suggestions...

Some claim fuel treatments don't work but according to several mechanics I've spoken with, they swear by fuel treatments. They say it maximizes fuel efficiency and smooths rough idling and weak acceleration. I wouldn't know about the weak acceleration because due to being extremely cheap thrifty, I don't do jackrabbit starts. Why burn gas money I don't have to? There are many brands but Lucas is the brand my mechanics recommend so that's what I buy in a gallon jug which is more economical and when poured into a smaller container is easier to pour into each gasoline powered vehicle.

As you can see, I buy everything in a gallon jug; might as well save money where I can. You've read where I recommend Rain-X on windscreens/shields but I also recommend Rain-X in the wash container as a supplemental aid. Let's face it, driving is dangerous and I want to do everything possible to keep me and mine safe.

My mechanics suggest heavier weight oil for winter or for high mileage or older vehicles and I follow their advice. If you experience harsh winters, it's a good suggestion but if you live in a milder winter climate, it's all right to keep using your regular oil.

Most Important of All...keep antifreeze away from pets! For some reason, dogs and cats like to drink the stuff and it's extremely poisonous...your beloved pets will DIE should they drink it. Make sure your antifreeze is rated for your winter temps; you can check your owner's manual for their recommendation. I use antifreeze rated for my vehicles; for example, my farm truck gets a high mileage antifreeze while other vehicles get 'regular'.Your mechanic may suggest draining and flushing antifreeze but I've spoken to others that say Do Not Do It! I never have; I only top and fill antifreeze and have never, thank God, experienced any difficulty.

My tractor is diesel so a diesel fuel supplement is used to help prevent gelling and to prevent the fuel filter from becoming plugged with ice or wax. If you drive a diesel vehicle, check your owner's manual or do an i-search.

That's it for winter vehicle prep; if you've questions, suggestions or do things differently, let me know. I love learning from other people!

Upcoming giveaways...Kids' Travel Journal for you folks traveling with children, Campfire Cookery Adventuresome Recipes and Other Curiosities for the Great Outdoors for all you Camper Glampers and....... TA DA! To celebrate Season 6 - The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook from Lady's Mary's Crab Canapes to Daisy's Mousse au Chocolate - More than 150 Recipes - from Upstairs and Downstairs!

Now, the latest

Quilts, BABY! 20 Cuddly Designs to Piece, Patch and Embroider . (Yes, that is my flannel nightgown sleeve; it's been a long post and I'm burning daylight. I need to finish, publish and get busy doing chores.)

All patterns are cute and directions are given on how to get started, how to quilt, put together quilts...even a beginner can make a quilt with this book.

Let's see...leave a comment telling me if your vehicles are winterized or if you're a quilter. Contest will end Tuesday, 5 p.m., winner drawn by

Merry Christmas!

Blessings ~ quilting ~ vehicles winter ready ~ good mechanics ~ fun giveaways ~ Downton Abbey ~

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

~ Kit Carson and Guinea Bird ~

"An angry man stirs up dissension,
and a hot-tempered one commits many sins."

"The best fighter is never angry." ~ Lao Tzu ~

"Let this truth be present to thee in the excitement of anger--that to be moved by passion is not manly, but that mildness and gentleness, as they are more agreeable to human nature, so also are they more manly. ...For in the same degree in which a man's mind is nearer to freedom from all passion, in the same degree also is it nearer to strength."
~ Marcus Antoninus ~

"Anger is a short madness." ~ Horace ~

"Anger is a weed, 
hate is the tree."

"Angry people are not always wise."
~ Jane Austin, Pride and Prejudice ~

"Anybody can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy." ~ Aristotle ~

"Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which is is poured." ~ Mark Twain ~

"Whatever begins in anger ends in shame."

"The best remedy for a short temper 
is a long walk."

"Anger begins with folly 
and ends with repentance."

"Getting angry doesn't solve anything." 

"Everyone should be quick to listen,
slow to speak and slow to become angry,
for man's anger does not bring about the 
righteous life that God desires."

Prayer Keeping ~ Jim, health ~ Jerry, health ~ elected leaders in our government ~ military ~ persecuted Christians ~ 

Friday, December 04, 2015

Anna, Last Post's Winner, Vogue Knitting Give Away and Recipe

~ Anna Grace ~

It's a rare occurrence I come home late and almost as rare I come home after dark. It's a dark drive across the mountains so plans are carefully laid so that errands are finished well before dark.

~ taken the day after she arrived,still hungry ~

One night last week, I came home late, after dark and when I parked the car, got out and walked into the yard I was met by this darling face, lungs bellowing "I AM HUNGRY! WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?" So, I hurried inside (I live to serve), poured cat kibble and put it on the porch where she tucked in eagerly while Girly and Lady Gray watched and waited their turn.

Although Sadie is huge compared to the kittens, she's gentle with them. The other kitten is Lady Gray, named for her color and my favorite tea.

This is Girly, mother of Lady Gray; Girly came here late winter, set up house keeping in the basement which is where she eventually had Lady Gray. In time, they both moved to the back porch, making it ever so much easier on me because I was going to the basement, twice a day, to feed them and mostly in horrible winter weather. Yes, all three females...oh joy.

Lady Gray is about 5 months, Anna's features are similar to a Lilac Siamese, and about 4 months and in January they'll all three be spayed. That is, if I can catch Girly who isn't as gentled as the other two.

Are you surprised to know Anna moved inside? I seem to recall it took her less than 24 hours.

Quinn, Comptonia blog, asked about cranberry recipes and posted a Cranberry Apple Mosaic Cake that looks super delicious. I made Banana Cranberry Chocolate Chip Bread Muffins because I couldn't find my bread pan and, truth be told, it tasted even better as muffins due to the crunchy tops. I added a few chocolate chips because I thought it would offset the tartness of the cranberries. I don't do a lot of food pictures because I assume you know how to mix butter and sugar, etc. If not, visit Martha Stewart or Pioneer Woman; they go in for tons of food photos.

Banana Cranberry Chocolate Chip Muffins
6 large muffins

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup mashed banana (2 medium)
1/4 cup milk
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped nuts - walnuts, pecans (optional)
1 1/2 cups cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Grease 6 large muffin tins.
Mix sugar and butter very well.
Add dry ingredients, mixing til moist.
Stir in nuts (I didn't add), cranberries, chocolate chips.
Spread evenly in tins.
Bake 1 hour 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Remove from pan and cool.

Last blog post Kathy, Kathy in Ozarks, won J. Stephen Lang's The Christian History Devotional: 365 Readings and Prayers to Deepen and Inspire Your Faith. The next give away is The Best of Vogue Knitting: 25 Years of Articles, Techniques and Expert Advice.

Click on Vogue Knitting for a photo and review. (I've been on the tractor all afternoon and am crying for my bed.) So, if you're a knitter and would like a chance to win, leave a comment and a way to get in touch with you. Comments will be taken until Tuesday at 5 p.m. when a winner will be drawn via Random.

Blessings ~ a good recipe ~ great books ~ Anna Grace ~ Lady Gray ~ Girly ~ Sadie ~
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