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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 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 ~


  1. I would love to learn to quilt! And with grandparent #3 on the way, that looks like the book for me! I would also be interested if anyone has a good maintenance type schedule/ calendar. Angela

  2. Good advice to take care of one's self. Our car is winterized and has the benefit of a garage to ward off the elements. My quilting skills are limited. I did complete a quilted postcard. Definitely a fun project. Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. We winter prep our cars - and we call it that! - but in a slightly less drastic way than you do in that we pack in things like blankets, clothes, water and food etc etc. It is good to be prepared though isn't it. Don't enter me in the giveaway please, it is wonderful, but I am not a quilter so it would be much better with someone else! Very kind of you though! I hope that you have a safe driving winter. xx

  4. I count on my hubby to take care of winterizing the vehicles and I have to say, we have never had a problem with the cars freezing up after 47 years, so I suppose he has done it already. His retirement job has been dominating his time lately so maybe a subtle reminder is in order. What a thoughtful thing, giving away such a nice book! I love sewing for babies and collecting craft books. The quilting book would be a wonderful one to my little craft/sewing library! Wishing you all the best!

  5. HI Sandra, our vehicles are winterized too-thankfully but I need some blankets in the back of each vehicle. Yes, I am a quilter. Sending you hugs, love and prayers for a blessed Christmas!

  6. Congratulation for your professional preparing! Good plan to pose the tractor this year on a lower place. I remember several blizzards crossing your farm, a lot of ice where you go - old sheep needing urgently your help in the middle of deep snow... happy dogs kept warm in funny coloured dress...

    Good, to hear Dave, saying

    "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."

  7. Hello dear friend. My dad was a mechanic for many years and I enjoyed your post very much. I won't enter the quilt book giveaway, but I know someone will be so thrilled and put it to good use. The photo of your home/fence is very beautiful. May God richly bless your weekend.

  8. Is that your house at the top picture? I adore big white farmhouses like that. Have always wanted one... My parents had one we lived in when I was seven and it was a happy time. Anyhow, yours is beautiful.

  9. Sandra ~ It looks like you are keeping on top of things there at the farm. I pray your winter will be less harsh than last year.

    Happy Christmas holidays ~ FlowerLady

  10. Hi Sandra, Loved this post and Congrats to the winner of your giveaway. I know a quilter will love your newest giveaway as well.
    Great info for preparing for the months ahead and the care for tools and equipment. My Dad did the same thing and my hubby does as well. As for me, I do the same for all my art tools and brushes. They need care to work well!!
    I hope your winter will be a mild one this year.

    Merry Christmas my friend, xo

  11. I always learn something here and will pass on the info about winterizing to Bruce. I wish I was a quilter...the next part of my old age perhaps? (o:

  12. its always a pleasure to read your blog, and this informative one was no exception. The little book looks like a great idea, and would be much appreciated if I got the chance to win it, however I am sure that you will have chosen correctly whoever it will be... You have been so brave carrying on after the loss of your dearest one, and I hope to see you back here again and again..Happy Christmas to you and all your family.. may 2016 be a much better year in all ways for you.. x

  13. Great advice on winter car care. I so admire you for your knowlege on these things and your ability to do so many things many of us never think of. Love the pic of your house in the background behind the pretty wreath on the fencepost. Love big white houses. :D
    Please don't enter me in the contest. I have all kinds of books from my mother in law on quilting and don't seem to get around to it. Give it to someone who will use it!
    I thought retirement was extra time!
    Re-tire; getting tired all over again. Retire.
    Merry Christmas!

  14. Well I only have one small car! Does that count? I did go out last week and clean it even though the weather was awful! When I wash the car in the winter, I use a bucket full of hot soapy water. Larry was very surprised when he saw me going out with the steaming bucket. He asked me why I used hot water because in Tennessee he only used cold! I told him to take the bucket and try cleaning the car with the hot water... he did and found it a whole lot more pleasant that way. I use two buckets of hot soapy water and two of cold for rinsing.I do have a hosepipe but it means dragging it round the side of the house and frankly I can't be bothered most of the time. The car looks good now.
    I love the baby quilt with the monkeys on it. I have a special reason for wanting one of those but mum's the word at the moment!

  15. excellent tips for the car-we haven't done the fuel treatment for awhile-so good reminder awesome giveaway (but don't enter me)

  16. I start with winterizing myself. As I am now at the laptop in front of the fire with a medicinal helping of Baileys Vanilla Cinnamon Cream. We as your hubby said "take better of yourself . . . . Our winter will be serious this year. Already very cold with snow and rain.
    The creeks one long term seasonal across the street and ours true here today gone tomorrow seasonal are gushing. Being in the true northern California only four years hear tell this is just the iceberg of what a real winter is up here. I am loving it!

    Vehicle maintenance is second nature to Geoffrey. However with the herd of LaMancha dairy goats, chickens and two trusty barn cats big winter issue is the maintenance of the barns. When Geoffrey was very ill this fell to me and I will come clean. No one got sick or died but it wasn't to the caliber of what Geoffrey can do. So this year was a real treat as he got so ill just after the barns were done and the succeeding winters that showed all the opps and weak spots he couldn't do much. He got the roofs chalked to stop leaks, build up the ground inside to help prevent water coming in. We are on lava flows (Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park is only thirty minutes away) so we tend to flood in heavy rain. 6 inches in the milk room last Christmas Day. Reduced me to tears and I did the best I could.

    Trenches were dug and I am happy to report that all four barns are dry and snug. What a blessing to wake at 2 in the AM to pouring rain and blowing winds and realize I can roll over instead of hitting the ground suiting up and checking to determine where more straw needs to be dumped.

    A very Merry Christmas to all.

  17. Hiya, Sandra! I'm happy to say that we won't be doing much vehicle winterizing, with our 85 degree Christmas down here. It's hard to believe we live in the state next door to you! I'll pass on the quilting offer and let a real quilter accept that particular prize :) Too much weaving going on here -- haha! I do admire those quilters. I hope your Christmas was merry! Thank you for the lovely e-card. I loved the skaters.


Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.

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