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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.

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

From the Crown to the Sole to the Roots at Thistle Cove Farm

MERCY! The photo options are set on 320 dpi, lowest I can get it, and it still takes between 2 and 3 MINUTES to load a photo...lordy! I'm thinking this post will be heavy on verbiage and light on sights.

Recently, my old house needed new gutters. It needed new gutters because the company who put on the gutters in 1997 either didn't know what they were doing or didn't know what they were doing...choose one. So, I checked around, had some, mostly scary, folks come out to give estimates then decided on William Gillespie Construction Company. William is the son of Ron, whom I've known for 20 years or more. When Dave and I first moved to the farm, Ron was starting out in business and we gave him all we could. Ron is a fine man, raised a fine son and both of them are the kind of men I can say, "Here are the house and farm keys; I need to be away for a week...make yourself at home, fix the ____ (fill in the blank) and send me a bill." I know two things...1. in the house, everything will be as it was when I left and 2. the job will be done correctly and well.

Due to the age of my house, there aren't ready made gutters fasteners so William fabricated them. He did an outstanding job and I'm over the moon pleased! William has done other work on the farm and house and always, always, always I've been pleased with William, his men and his work. Come to think of it, when he and his men put the gutters on the house, I was away. They came, they worked, they left and I never saw them...only the lovely finished job. If you're in need of construction, call William; he's honorable, has integrity and does a fine job.

Next up...the boundary fence between a neighbor and I needed replacing. My guess is the original fence had been in place since the 1940's when my farm changed hands. A little history...In the late 1760's a hunting party was asked to also be a scouting party with the promise of l.a.n.d. which is enough to make almost anyone's heart flutter, at least it does mine. This hunting party had one of Dave's umpty ump great-grandpaps in it and that's how they ended up in this valley. Down the road a piece, is Fort Maiden Spring (then singular, now plural due to the mistake of some government employee who refused to correct his mistake..true story!) also known as Rees Bowen Fort after the Bowen who also named Maiden Spring. Dave's mother always said her umpty-ump grandpap was hunting, became weary, took a nap and upon awakening, spied a maiden deer (young doe) drinking from the spring. Dave always said it was because his umpty-ump grandpap was hunting and killed a maiden deer at the spring...both stories are plausible.

Anyway, the Bowen's settled this valley, as did the Ward's and after The Late Great Unpleasantness, my farm, with original holdings consisting of thousands of acres, was sold to Shadrach White for $300 which was the amount owed in back taxes. I've been told different versions re. Shadrach White - the realtor who showed/sold us the farm said Shad was a carpetbagger from OH, others have said he came here from Russel County and others said he was born in Tazewell County. I haven't a clue but he owned this farm until 1948, when he sold to Dave's cousin's grand-pap. In due season, the farm came to Dave's cousin and we bought it in 1995.

It needed fences. whew...back to the point, eh? In Virginia, a border/boundary fence is to be shared by both land owners 50/50. I found a fencing company, Waddle Fencing, from over in Chilhowie and, in due time, he sent his men to construct a border/boundary fence. The road from Chilhowie, Rt 91, is the only dirt primary road in the Commonwealth of VA and, generally, folks, especially tractor trailer drivers, don't pay much attention to the "no trucks over XXX in length" sign. They look at a map or listen to GPS and think (if they do think), "Well, this is a primary road, it's got to be good and it's a short cut." Wrong, wrong, wrong. Okay, it is a primary road and it is a short's especially short when their rig fails to make the S or U turn and goes over the mountain. Seems like every summer someone thinks they know better than the sign and look out Dudley, it's all over but the cursing.

Anyway, there aren't any stores, not even a Mom/Pop store and most of these fellers don't pack a lunch. The first morning, I made them sausage biscuits, the second day I made the sugar cookies and the third day I made them more sausage biscuits (morning) and also gave them bottled water (afternoon). I'm pretty sure they didn't mind working here...grin...although I told them their photo would be on the blog last week. Sorry!

Not only did they build a border/boundary fence, I had them replace a section of fence along the L of Maiden Springs Road and Cove Road. Probably, it could have stood a few more years but it seemed the prudent thing to do as the men and equipment were here. Good looking bunch of young men! Matthew, second from left, was one of the equipment operators and he could moonwalk that machine...WOW! All the men had nicknames but I can't remember, then or now, but do remember Matthew because his name means 'gift from God'.

Their fences were straight and true...a thing of beauty and a joy for many years to come. I do love tending, and making beautiful, this old farm!

Now I get to the roots part of the's dang difficult to make a straight line, as evidenced by:

There are two rows of tomato plants, one ending in sweet peppers and am getting ready to put in a few rows of sweet corn and Roma beans. Some squash and pumpkins would be nice as well. And, no, the rows don't get much straighter than this...but I bet the stuff will still grow...grin.

This is why I didn't blog about the fence fellers last week...little over a week ago, coming home, I rounded a curve and this bit of fluff was in the road. I just sighed. "God, I'll stop but I'm not chasing it. If I call and it comes, I'll take it home and do my best to save it."

Looky, looky who comes when called. I should name him Samuel but Sam P. Spade, Secret Agent/Angel might get in a huff. My guess is...s/he was about 5 weeks old; still had blue eyes, was so thin every rib was visible but had a voice like a hog caller. S/he gets feed warm kitten formula, made fresh each time, about every 2 to 3 hours then, a few times a day, has a little nap while tucked inside my shirt. Over the years, I've found rescued kittens do better when they get some heartbeat time and it doesn't hurt me to take a break either. No clue what the name is...has yet to say but it'll come... in time.

No, I really didn't want another mouth to feed or something else to take care of but...God has a plan. Mom asked me, "Why do you rescue so many animals? They must cost you a fortune!" My reply, "Why does God keep sending them to me?" and no, I haven't a clue but when He puts them right in front of me, I do my part. I'll grow this one far enough so s/he can have vaccinations and be spayed or neutered then find it another home. That's my plan, anyway.

So, God...while You're up there tending to business, how about finding...and sending...the next steward of this farm? Please God, work that plan and thanks.

Thank you for visiting; next post I'll show photos of Poppet...I've been tarting her up and she's right purty now.

Ponder this ~ carry your happy with you ~


  1. What a lucky kitty!

  2. Had one sweet love bug who looked just like that little kitten. Named him Simba (sigh Lion King) and he lived a short (not enough kidney function for a full life)4 years. Kiss the fuzz butt for me. Shame you don't have a soft spot for critters. <3

  3. What a sweet little cat! I wonder what you will call him.

  4. Aw! The cutest kitties find you!
    Yes, prayers for the farm sale!

  5. I wonder what God was saying here . . .
    I think I know . . .
    Love wins for two . . .
    (I liked reading the history, new gutters, gutter man, fence men, you . . .)
    I really like . . .
    "carry your happy with you"

  6. Great post, enjoyed reading about repairs, etc. done there on the farm, your new veggie garden and your sweet little rescue kitty.

    Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

  7. You are such a hard worker, and faithful to those that He has sent you. The pictures of kitty under your shirt make my heart melt.

    Mighty fine fence you built there. And a good looking crew of men who appreciate your biscuits, l'm sure.

  8. Sandra, I'm always in awe at your lovely farm! Your corbels are beautiful and I'm sure glad you have your new guttering in place.
    I think God knows who to send his creatures to. I predict you'll be keeping that sweet little Samuel. Enjoy your day! ♥

  9. It seems to me that God is sending you more creatures to love and more creatures to give you unconditional love.
    You are, indeed, blessed with those honest and skilled men to help you keep your beautiful farm in tip-top shape.

  10. Love everything about this post. Seems to me that the new little kitty's name has to be either Matt or Mattie! Hugs from PA!

  11. Sandra,

    Your emails are always so heartwarming; I love your writing style.
    Tazewell has a special place in my heart; it really is beautiful.
    Love all the hills and husband says all the cows
    have short legs on one side or the other, depending how they stand
    on the hill.
    We come to Tazewell occasionally to visit a pastor friend, Henry
    Johnson, preacher at Trinity Presbyterian Church.
    Will continue to pray for the sale of your farm which will come in
    God's perfect timing.

  12. Hi Sandra,
    What a wonderful post to catch up with you and the adventures at your farm. You are truly blessed and I love seeing all that you have going on. What a sweet little kitty sent your way. Everything happens for a reason. Praying the farm finds the right buyer soon. Looks like such a great strong crew to help you and the fence is awesome. Happy June and many blessings be yours! xo

  13. So nice to read about honest people who work, it seems like there are fewer all the time.
    I could use a moon walker here! Grin
    Pretty kitty, must be nice to hear a loving heart!

  14. Your gutters look so nice...and it's so nice that you have helpers you can rely on...

    ...such a sweet little glad he found you!

    ~Have a lovely day!

  15. Lovely kitten :)
    And yes, on getting the other work done while you've got a good crew there. Fencing is one of the toughest jobs here in the stony parts New England. I dream of straight, strong fences the way other people dream of, well, I don't know what. Other stuff I guess - LOL! I've never heard anyone else rave about good fencing the way I do.

  16. Sandra or should I call you WonderWoman,
    That is some big place. I would be afraid to be so isolated.
    The guys having your Sausage and Biscuits must have done a happy dance.
    I too am working a garden this year again. Last year was a wash out.
    This year I added compost, hope I didn't kill everything like I did
    with the weed killer. My yard looks like a checker board.
    Bless you and your Garden Cat and house.

  17. What a lovely post full of news and kindness and love. God bless you & your dear Rescue Kitty and may he send the right person to Thistlecove. There must be a reason for the delay...Just waiting for *exactly* the right person!

  18. What a sweet looking kitten - and so very fortunate to have found you!

  19. Yes, good help is hard to find these days. You're blessed to find some good workers!

  20. It breaks my heart when people leave little animals in the road to die. God Bless You for stopping to help. All my cats have been rescue cats, or have been "dumped" in my yard! Yes, I think Simba sounds like a good name.


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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