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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, October 18, 2015

Sabbath Keeping


"Then came the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph: and these are the names of his daughters: Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah. 
And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, "Our father died in the wilderness and he was not in the company of Korah; bu died in his own sin, and had no sons. Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father. 
And Moses brought their cause before the LORD. 
And the LORD spake unto  Moses saying, "The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father's brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them. And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel saying, "If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter."

"Ask and be patient to wait for an answer."

"Sometimes you ask God for something and you don't know what you're asking." ~ Mahalia Jackson ~

"I used to ask God to help me.
then I asked if I might help him.
I ended up asking God to do His work
through me."

"Man finds it hard to get what he wants because he does not want the best. God finds it hard to give because He
would give the best and man will not take it."
~ George McDonald ~

"Praying, we usually ask too  much. I know I do. Sometimes we even demand. I think I am learning to ask enough for the moment--not for the whole year, utterly veiled in mystery; not even for the week, the month ahead; but just for today.
Jesus said it all when He told us to pray: 'Give us this day our daily bread.'
That bread is not only material, it is spiritual; in asking for it, we ask for a sufficiency of strength, courage, hope and light. Enough courage for the step ahead--not for the further miles. Enough strength for the immediate task or ordeal. Enough material gain to enable us to meet our daily obligations. Enough light to see the path--right before our feet." ~ Faith Baldwin ~

"What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer." ~ Joseph Scriven ~

"And even when you ask, you don't get it 
because your motives are all wrong--
you want only what will give you pleasure."

(The first Bible verse has always amazed and given me courage. Five sisters, changed the course of history when they approached Moses and asked, "Why...? Prior to their question, only males inherited and, to be sure, heads turned, mouths dropped open, vile mutterings were heard and all because those courageous five sisters asked, "Why...".  May we all be so courageous when we approach God and ask with pure motives.)

If you have a name for this week's prayer list, let me know.

Prayer Keeping ~ Mary ~ Jim ~ Mike ~ Stephanie ~ Norman ~ Deanna ~ Sandra ~

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Big Stone Gap and other fascinating stuff...to 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, donchaknow....smile). 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 me...smile. 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 ~

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sabbath Keeping


"Cast thy burden upon the Lord,
and he shall sustain thee: he
shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."

"God cares about every area of our lives,
and God wants us to ask for help."

"When trouble comes, 
focus on God's ability to care for you."

Might I not be able to love God in the ways that Katie (Don Holt's cat) was loving me? A desire to be close, to be in touch, to receive strokes and and caresses from the External, to feel warm and safe and comfortable with God? Was this not exactly what I longed for -- the experience of stretching out, so to speak, on the breast of God, purring in contentment, safely supported by the everlasting arms?"
~ Don Holt as quoted by Allen Anderson ~

"A woman's heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her." ~ Max Lucado ~

"We are to make a plan for the day, pray over that plan, and then proceed with that plan. When we are willing to regard the unexpected as God's intervention, we can flex with the new plan, recognizing it as God's plan."
~ Elizabeth George ~

"Prayer reminds me it's not just about me. It's about all the people with whom I share this planet, and all of whom God has created, and all of whom he cares just as much about as he cares about me." ~ Mike Huckabee ~

"God loves each of us 
as if there were only one of us."

"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.
I just wish He didn't trust me so much."

"Been taken for granted? 
Imagine how God feels."
~ unknown ~

"Remember, you are special because I made you. And I don't make mistakes." ~ Max Lucado ~

"No pillow so soft as God's promise." ~ unknown ~

"You Are Mine"
listen here

"Casting all your care upon Him
for He careth for you."

Prayer Keeping ~ Mike and Marnie ~ Roy, Faith and family ~ Jim ~ Dewena ~ Mary and family ~ Sandra ~

Friday, October 09, 2015

I'm So Far Behind, I Don't Know If It's Dusk or Dawn


There's been a little of this...Yellow Tail Sparkling Wine...on the front porch where I sit and sip. There's not nearly enough of this, compared to the work, but I'm getting a better handle on the proportions. I think.

Last month, I took sisters Faith and Becky to my Cherry Grove condo (Thistle Cove Cottage); neither had ever been to the beach nor seen the ocean except in photos. sigh, generational differences. Yes, as it happens that is a mobile phone in her hand...I often forget to turn mine on and she's glued to hers. Just goes to show you...she has a lot more going on outside her life than do I. I don't know that many people I want to be connected to.


Tis the season for fall festivals; this one has been happening, so says memory, for 28 years. I went because I wanted to buy 'lasses but no one had any; they had tons of apple butter which I did not buy because I've been making apple butter. Quarts and Quarts and Quarts and pints and pints and pints and half pints of the stuff. I'll just buy a 25 pound sack of flour and this winter will eat biscuits slathered with home churned butter AND apple butter. Overkill can, sometimes, be a Very Good Thing! (After leaving the Garden, I found 'lasses raised and made by Jaimie; the son of my former mail carrier. He's a delightful young man and he and his father farm...pretty much everything!)


Burkes Garden has signs for residents...you just drive around until you see who/where you want then head in that direction. Essentially, Burkes Garden is a circle; some say a thumbprint; a lot of photos here. I won't show the most famous photo because I don't have permission and consider property theft to be a very bad thing. (Local government has no such pesky conscious and regularly use other people's photos without giving compensation or credit to the owner. I've found my photos several places around the i-net from when the county used them without permission or credit.)

For a donation, the Amish would give folks a wagon ride. No, the gent you see isn't Amish, he's a passenger (just in case you were wondering).

How many remember doing this...front little girl standing on the pedals while sister sits on seat and pushes her feet on the road to propel them along. Both had pretty smiles and were having loads of fun.


I got lost decided to take a road I'd never taken that started out asphalt, quickly turned to gravel then to one lane. Fortunately, it had a (very) few pull-offs so when I met a car we'd both pass slowly. About a mile before the top of the mountain, I met a truck, no pull-offs, and decided he could hit the ditch to pass me while I hunkered in the almost middle of the road. I had my window down so I could apologize, "I'm sorry...it's been raining so much and I'm afraid of soft shoulders. I didn't want to get close to the falling off edge. Can you get around me?" He smile big and said, "Don't you worry none; we're just fine. Do you know where you're headed?" I said, "I think this might be the road to Ceres; is it?" He nodded and said, "You're about a mile from the top of the mountain; at the top, you might want to turn around and come back this side. The other side is a mite slick today."


That's exactly what I did after some folks took a picture of me standing at the Appalachian Trail.


One more reason it takes me so long to do everything...Kit and the rest of the animals all have to be a constant, immediate part of my life. And I wouldn't have it any other way!

Canada Geese came back August 1 and, every morning, just like clockwork they come to the cut corn field across the road. It's impossible to get them all in one photos; there must be hundreds!

Hunting season: hunters watching me watch them. I was impressed because they're wearing blaze orange; a lot of them don't. I left a note on their windshield letting them know; they probably think I'm crazy.


Home of the free,
Land of the brave.

Things to stay away from:



And, finally, I think this might be my new header photo.
Do you approve?


Blessings ~ Canada Geese ~ Appalachian Trail ~ my life ~ my farm ~ my animals ~ sparkling wine ~ Burkes Garden ~ the Cove ~

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

~ Ireland 2013 ~

"The unfailing love of the Lord never ends. By His mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each day."

"Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely.
Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly.
Though we may feel lost and without compass, God's love encompasses us completely. ... He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken." ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf ~

"Consider what you know to His immutability. Though you have changed a thousand times, He has not changed once."
~ Charles Spurgeon ~

"God will not permit any troubles to come upon us, unless He has a specific plan by which great blessing can come out of the difficulty." ~ Peter Marshall ~

"You are not what others think you are.
You are what God knows you are."
~ Shannon L. Alder ~

"God loves us too much to indulge our every whim."
~ Max Lucado ~

"We should be astonished at the goodness of God, stunned that He should bother to call us by name, our  mouths wide open at His love, bewildered that at this very moment we are standing on holy ground." ~ Brennan Manning ~

"Too much of anything is dangerous unless it's God's Love."
~ Reign ~

"The sin underneath all our sins is to trust the lie of the serpent that we cannot trust the love and grace of Christ and must take matters into our own hands." ~ Martin Luther ~

"God proved His love on the cross.  When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, "I love you."
~ Billy Graham ~

"The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good, because He loves us." ~ C. S. Lewis ~

"...but God shows His love for us 
in that while we were still sinners, 
Christ dies for us."
~ Romans 5:8

Prayer Keeping ~ Jim ~ Kathy ~ John ~ Sandra ~