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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.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

And now...for the rest of the story...

~ fence posts are almost buried ~

Recently I posted I might take a long break from blogging and it may still happen but not sure when. Saturday, my left ACL tore and I've been advised to have surgery. That'll happen when I find someone to do the surgery; I'm still researching while both knees are tightly wrapped when doing chores. This morning, someone e-mailed to ask how I was doing in this snowstorm/blizzard. Here's my edited reply: 

~ waiting for breakfast ~

All is well here; going to barn, feeding horses and barn cats 2xday. Climbing into hay loft to toss down 60-75 pound bales of good alfalfa hay so the horses can have quality hay along with their round bales. I've got the wood stove fired up, propane fireplaces fired up, oil furnace fired up...the only thing not fired up is me. The house temps are like the dang tropics and much better than the 48 degrees F it used to be in my bedroom (when the furnace was broken and I had no idea...grief is a frightening hindsight).  
~ deep snow drifts ~

Yesterday, I took a toes up between feedings and John Fisher cleaned out my driveway as a kind surprise. THANK YOU JOHN! There were/are snow drifts to my knees...yeah, speaking of knees, both are wrapped tightly and, Thank God, have held. Who needs Kings Dominion when I've got the Ranger in 4-wheel drive, yelling at the dogs beside me to "STAY STEADY!"? At one point I got stuck in a drift, furiously switching the steering wheel back and forth to work my way out, I found myself yelling, "PUSH, JESUS, PUSH!" And you know what? He must have because I got out of the drift! (PTL!)

~ Adam ~

This morning I made it to the barn, heard a noise, turned around and it was Adam (neighboring farm worker), climbing out of his truck, smiling broadly and shouting, "HONEY, I'M HOME!" He checked, then started, the tractor while I loaded the bucket with square hay bales. He drove to each horse lot and we tossed hay to them then I climbed into the loft to throw down more hay (I like being prepared for the next feeding.). Adam cleaned my barn lot, both driveways and a portion of the yard of snow...the snow is now stacked 8 feet deep in the barn lot. I brought him to the house, made him sit in front of the wood stove, gave him hot cocoa to both thaw and warm him, then wrote him a check. I was soooo happy to write that check because my knees were screaming like babies before going to the barn! My morning plan was to clear a portion of the yard of drifts to make using the Ranger easier but Adam's plan was so much better! Thank you, Adam!
~ notice drifts in relationship to front wheels ~

After Adam left, I called to check on my parents then sweatered up the dogs and we all went back to the barn to do a second feeding. We finished, came to the house and sat down to eat a Mrs. Somebody or other pot pie, cleaned up and prepared to settle down and knit which...didn't happen. The VDOT driver came to back porch, half frozen, needing assistance because some IDIOTS (yes, I AM shouting!!) thought it would be fun to ride around and take pictures. They ended up two miles down my dead end road with their Suburban rear end plunked down in a huge ditch while the front end was stuck so far in the air one could walk underneath. VDOT plow didn't have chains so I sweatered up the dogs (for the third time today), got my knees wrapped (for the third time today) and we went to the Ranger (bless Dave's name and memory for buying that Ranger for me!). I drove all of us...dogs aren't stupid, they ride up my garage where we found a suitable chain then I drove VDOT driver to his snow plow. He got in the plow and I followed on the road he'd already cleared. Seems the "folks" were elderly (which is what I thought I was so they must be ancient!) and we weren't sure how they were doing after a 30 minute wait. If need be, I would offer them a warm meal, hot liquid and a bed for the night but all the while hoping they were able to continue home. My face, all too plainly, shows my thoughts and my thoughts weren't very kindly toward people who would go joy riding in a blizzard putting themselves, and most of all others, in danger.

No, I did not hurry. They had heat and it would do no one (least of all me) any good if I hurried, slipped and finished tearing my ACL. I brought the VDOT driver inside, put him in front of the wood stove while I got the dogs and I ready. 

~ VDOT ~

At the bottom of the hill we met Jim, whose son/family live in the head of the Cove. He pulled over to let us know he had a chain and pulled those folks out of the ditch. That was no mean feat because Jim, due to health problems, isn't supposed to stress himself! (GO JIM!!) As Jim was relaying his message, the VDOT supervisor arrived so Jim left and I turned around to go home. As I pulled alongside the supervisor I opened my door and said, "I don't get to have any fun!" He started laughing and said he'd been pulling people out of ditches all day long so one more wasn't any big deal. Both men thanked me for my help and I reminded them they could always come to the house for warmth, food, hot liquid or sanctuary. Those men (and some women) have a difficult, frightening job and I like being available should they need help. The Deputy Sheriff's Dept knows the same; I like helping the folks who are helping keep me safe. 
~ the header photo in today's blizzard ~

A while back my brother asked me, "It's not like you have an actual job; what do you do all day?" I just laughed and said, "Come to the farm and try to keep up."

And, as I wind down...I look out the window and my neighbor is still out feeding his cattle. He's a mile away but I can see his lights as he spreads out either hay or silage so his cattle will have food for this dark and frigid night. One of the largest life lessons I've learned on this farm is...the work is never finished. A farmer only reaches a stopping point and then...stops. I've always strived to be as prepared as possible for any storm and then I sleep well at night. When I've done what I can do, I can do no more except trust God will see me, the animals and the farm safely through the night.

If you're breathing, thank God.
If you're reading this...thank a coal miner.
If you ate today...thank a farmer.
If you want to help with chores, call me for directions.

Blessings ~ God's answered prayer for strength and help ~ VDOT ~ Jim ~ coal miners ~ farmers ~ chores to keep me going ~


  1. Lord 'a mercy!
    Bless you.

  2. I've had you on my mind in this storm. I keep you and your animals in my prayers.

    God will keep you all safe.

  3. Someone should make a movie of your life, dear friend. Your life astounds me.

    I'm thankful for the good people in your life and I pray that you will not do further damage to that knee. I almost don't know what else to say because you have to do what you're doing but there has got to be a limit to what one person can do and take.

    God keep you and bless you and may He remind me to never again complain about losing our electricity yesterday!


  4. I can't believe that you, manage all of that by yourself. You are my hero! I hope you have your surgery in Richmond so I can visit and meet you.

  5. Well, I should've known you'd be out there helping others when you need help yourself. Torn ALC. Surgery. And, you're still in the loft throwing down food for your animals. You are a WONDER !!! Now, tell do the horses hold up to this freezing weather and snow? I really want to know. I may be in Texas, but most of the horses around Houston are in a stable owned by some wealthy folks. Out on the real ranches that's not the case and in North & West Texas it gets very very very cold and windy. In Houston today we were about 45f sunny and clear. The dogs and I went for a long long walk and played around a bit. Now, they're buried in their deep & soft beds right here beside me. I love you, ladybug !!

  6. PRAYING for you.

  7. Very glad you posted, Sandra - been thinking of you and yours. Wish I could help out with chores while you have ACL repaired. Take care. Stay warm - most of the time.
    And thanks so much for your beautiful comment on my most recent blog post. Meant a lot.

  8. What a life you lead! How wonderful to have kindly neighbours to help out. And how wonderful that you were prepared to go to a rescue too.

  9. Dear Sandra ~ I was going to email you this morning after seeing how bad the blizzard was in your area. I was really concerned for your safety. I was glad to see this post from you.

    Bless your heart, your body, your giving/helping personality even when in pain.

    Bless Adam and Jim and all who look out for each other.

    I'm so glad Jesus pushed you out of your stuck position. Yay, Jesus.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    It is 42 here and feels like it is 33 at 5:35 a.m. EST. That is COLD for us down here in s.e. FL. I've got my radiant heat heater on and it should warm this place up nicely. I'll be heading off to church later and the heater should work in the van. :-)

    Have a good day dear Sandra ~ FlowerLady

  10. You are a wild, fun and amazing women. Hope that knee is fixed soon.

    Sending love and prayers from Chicago.


  11. I knew your knee thing was something more than you thought it was. Drat. Farmgirl you work too hard but you know that already and I get it as you know there is no other choice. Once a hardworking farmer always a hardworking farmer.
    It is wonderful all the help you have. Scary stuff happens and you have always handled it because you are one of the strongest women I know. Take care keep warm even though it sounds like you have that covered:) HUGS B

  12. YOU dear lady ARE MY HERO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Unbelievable . . .
    Oh My Goodness Woman . . .
    You are a dynamo . . .
    Resilient, helpful, kind, humble, giving, patient, faithful, faith-filled, fun, honest . . .
    Injured, uncomfortable, in-pain, keeping on, true, selfless . . .
    I could go on and on . . .
    I got a smile out of this thought.
    I counted 7-8 photos of fences in this post . . .
    Perfect for Theresa who has a meme named Good Fences.
    And my favorite fence look too . . . WIRE . . .
    I hope your knees hold out and you get "fixed up" soon . . .
    And I thought you were taking a blogging break . . .
    Stay with us girl . . .
    Love and hugs!

  14. thank goodness for awesome friends-I was wondering how you were making out in that storm-take care of You-most of all hugs

  15. I don't know how you do it. You are one amazing hard working woman!!!
    Stay safe and warm....((Hugs))

  16. God bless you dearly. I feel like a lazy bum! I also hope you find a good doctor to do your surgery...

  17. Thank goodness for good neighbours and kind people. I do hope that you will be OK and that your surgery will be soon and that you will have a good and swift recovery. Take care of yourself in the meantime. xx

  18. Keeping the farm running in good weather is a job, which just gets harder during the winter months. It's good that you have lots of folks around you who are willing and able to help and look out for you. I will never understand why anyone feels the need to get out in bad weather, be it snow or rain. I'm more than happy to stay put. So sorry to hear about your knee. I know the pain as I had surgery on my left knee when I was in 8th grade and have had problems with it ever since. Take care, Tammy

  19. Sandra, I admire you! You have the best attitude and the most giving spirit! I'm hoping that you will soon be able to have your knee repaired. Please be careful, my friend! ♥ PS send this post to your brother!

  20. This is as perfect as this ol' world gets – people helping people. Others helped you; you helped others. Love it!

  21. Thank you very much to tell about this all! Dear Sandra,I wish you the best, the best for you and for your animals and neighbours - a wonderful team! They are sent from God to you - and you to them. Here in radio we heard a lot about the blizzard. My thoughts are with you! Blessings, shelter courage and greetings!

  22. So sorry to hear about your ACL, Sandra...glad you had Adam to help you clear things out. Hope things settle down soon! xoxo

  23. I grumble and complain about living in the warm-winter suburbs of too many neighbors and dream about living like you do on a farm with animals and beautiful views, but then after I read a post like this one, I realize how much of a lazy wimp I am and I "ain't gettin' any younger". I'm afraid a winter like yours would do me in. May God richly bless you!!!

  24. This takes me back to many a snowy adventure when my hubby was here. Heat from the woodstove always felt so glorious after being out in the snow doing chores. I feel blessed to have those memories. Thanks for stirring them up again. My life has gotten pretty tame these days, but I hope to live on my kids' farm in the future, so I may yet have more of this kind of fun! :) God bless you, dear!

  25. I think of yu and your animals and pray that you will be safe this winter. God keep you safe, warm and blessed.

  26. wow -- Sandra, you are Wonder Woman! God bless you and all those friends and workers helping to keep everyone, and animals, safe and warm and fed. Tell your brother to read your blog!!
    Blessings to you, and I do pray you get a good surgeon and have a successful surgery. xo Deborah

  27. Sandra.. Hello!.. I've been away from blogging for a long time.. I actually had been trying the "YouTube" thing for a while but I missed my blog and reading blogs. Especially yours because I've always enjoyed your writing. Well, I finally started writing on mine again but switched over to Wordpress because there's more traffic there than on Blogger.. Can't say why, I havent' a clue

    Anyhow!.. I was hoping you had sold the farm and had moved here to Myrtle BEach to your cottage but I see you're still on the farm.. Are you still trying to sell?.. I am SO sorry about the knees!.. My gosh Sandra, the work you have to do each day and now with all that snow is SO much.. I honestly don't know how you do it.. I don't know how you keep up every day.. I couldn't handle a quarter of it...

    I really did enjoy this post and I am once again enjoying your blog..

    I hope you're well and safe tonight..

    God Bless You

  28. I wish this were fiction..what can I say...I'm a horrible commenter. So sorry about those knees and sight see-ers. Oh good grief. And I thought our house could get cold. Prayers always.

  29. Thanks, Annie.

    Thank you, LesleyAnn...that storm is over and another begun.

    Dewena, you are kindly funny! Who would watch such a movie but I am thinking of blog writing "Thistle Cove Farm Epistles"...what do you think?

    Hi Vicki, I don't want to have surgery at all, grin, so am figuring out a way to avoid it.

    Marsha, it's what one does when help is required. Rarely do I turn down a request for help as I may very well, one day, need it myself.

    Quinn, you're often in my thoughts and prayers as I struggle to do my chores. You struggle with pain and I know it's difficult for you as well. As to surgery, I'm re-thinking that; as long as I can wrap my knees, I think I'll stay away from the knife.

    Some days, Elizabeth, it takes my breath away but I do enjoy living here; it's been the best one third of my life!

    Rainey, hopefully it's gotten warmer for you; it's COLD here but the house is warm and toasty.

    Glenda - how have you BEEN? You've been missed and hope you're blogging again.

    Buttons, we both work too hard but what else is there? There are times I have help but those times are rare. For every time I have help (expensive help) there are months where I'm doing it alone.

    Not sure about that, Sherry; I feel rather worn and tattered; we're in the midst of another snow storm and it takes all the energy I can muster to do chores.

    Lynne, I'm about worn out, slogging thru this latest storm to take care of everyone. But your kind words are appreciated.

  30. Kathy, that old storm is over and a new in its place; a foot of snow on the ground and another expected. We do have good neighbors in this little community; it's a blessing.

    God's strength, Debby, God's strength.

    Some of my neighbors are wonderful, Amy...Daddy John comes to mind and others, sometimes, wave as they go by.

    and, Tammy, it gets harder the older I get...I'm really feeling my age this winter. I'm re-thinking surgery...if I can keep the knees wrapped well enough, there's no need to get them cut. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

    Martha, I try to keep safe while I'm being busy; this latest storm has really tried my strength and abilities.

    Michelle, I almost helped others; as it turned out, someone else got there first.


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