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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, October 12, 2016

Living a HeartFul Life and Giveaway

~ kitchen fireplace warms 
the heart of the home on cool mornings ~

Although nights are getting cooler, we still haven't had frost in the valley. I'm sure someone, somewhere wants to say, "Global warming..." but as weather records have only been kept for the last 100 years, or thereabouts, I'm not sure of such definitive statements. As Dave would say, "Where you stand depends upon where you sit."

~ lanes are filled with wildlife; 
this straggler turkey last in a dozen ~

Last week, two days of rain gave a parched earth a brief respite even as the East Coast was pounded by torrential rain and wind brought forth by Hurricane Matthew. Usually, November brings rain and, combined with cooler weather, means a lot of woolens, flannel lined jeans, jackets, scarves and hats. Meanwhile, the farm, house and animals are being prepped for winter and before hard winter gets here, I'm thinking a mare needs to be put down. Lightly, the first horse born on this farm, was put down last November; it seems next month, her mother will be put down. Both easy keepers and hoof problems plagued them; it seems cruel to force Peaches, her mother, to walk on frozen ground for the next four months, especially as she is 27 years old. She's lived a wonderful life, better than most people on this earth and she'll be given a gentle death, then burial, on this farm.

~ antique livestock scales ~

The wonderful men from VA Dept of Agriculture and Consumer services came and certified my antique/vintage livestock scales. Scales are a necessity on a cattle farm...cattle are weighed prior to taking to market and money paid by the pound. Like everything else on this farm, the scales are well made, old and still giving great service. (Well, okay, my body is giving me good service but as soon as I finish healing, I'll be back to

Beautiful days follow beautiful mornings and neighboring farmers are busy cutting corn for silage to feed their cattle this winter. I watch them as I mow pastures, cutting weeds so the horses have an easier time at grazing summer's last grass. Two days ago, I mowed the garden, several times as the weeds were so tall, the job had to be done with the tractor mower in various levels. As I mowed, mice and moles, perhaps voles but it was difficult to tell due to their quickness, were stirred and the dogs gave chase.

For your prayers and good wishes, thank you. The same week I returned from Ireland, I had unexpected outpatient surgery and ended up with MRSA. The seventh day I finished antibiotics, I came down with an upper respiratory "problem" and am still recovering. I still have laryngitis and am battling a pulled or strained back muscle, but am on the recovery road; at least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it! -lol- Thank God for walking sticks!

With winter pushing hard against autumn, I've been relentless in my attack and prep work. Probably, I won't finish but I'll make a good enough dent to notice and that's helpful. The convection oven, slow cooker and pottery egg cooker are getting a good workout and ensure I feed myself almost as frequently as I feed the animals.

 ~ hand thrown microwave egg cookers ~ 

Do you remember Mr. P, the woodworker? I'm giving away one of his hand crafted nut bowls, complete with nut cracker equipment. If you'd like a chance to win a random drawing, you must be a TCF blog follower and leave a comment with an e-address no later than 5 p.m., October 20, next Thursday. Winner notification by 9 p.m., via e-mail (thus the need for your address) and you'll be given 24 hours to accept with your snail mail address. The nut bowl is good for continental USA residents only but if a non-USA resident wins, you'll be sent a Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland bookmark.

Y'all take care, be safe and don't forget to live a life of gratitude; we've all something to say "God, thank You". (My short list includes Tiger Balm patches, flannel nightgowns, heating pads, kitchen fireplace fires, kitchen aids, etc. ...)

Ponder this ~ How would you like to be married to you?


  1. the wood bowl is beautiful, a one of a kind treasure!!

    i don't know if i would want to me married to me, i am a lot of work ;)

  2. I am so so sorry that you have had such health issues. MRSA is NOTHING to fool around with.It can be deadly. Hoping the respiratory issues are soon behind you and that your back improves, too.
    I always love you homey posts and how connected you are to the world around you. I'm with Dave- Where you stand depends on where you sit. I have never heard that saying before and I love it.
    Please give someone else my chance to win the beautiful bowl. I am getting rid of stuff as I speak and have so much stuff already. Someone is going to get very lucky with that handmade bowl though!!!!
    Hope you have a wonderful rest of the week. xo Diana

  3. Hi Sandra!
    I'm so glad you are on the mend.
    I love the things you are thankful for.
    What a gorgeous nut bowl. I think I'll win.
    I love those egg cookers, too. I am so thankful for the incredible edible egg.

  4. On, Sandra !!!
    Your health. I had no idea, of course. What a course you've gone through. Please take good care of YOU.
    And, the mare. I would probably bring her in the house if I could. I know you know what to do, but it is just so sad isn't it? Sad to think she could suffer through the winter, sad to think of her not suffering through the winter. The Lord will tell you. Life is hard for all of us single women. It doesn't matter if we live in the country or city, there are challenges X10. You know I love & admire you.

  5. MRSA? URI? Strained back muscle? I think I needed to read this post this morning, because I only have a strained back and am having trouble mustering enough mental energy to get going on my relatively easy day. I am impressed with the positivity (thankfulness) and think I will decide to be inspired by it as well. Thanks, Sandra. Oh, and I am SO glad you are mending!!

  6. So enjoy your posts and glad you're feeling some better! The nut bowl is beautiful wood - would love to win it!

  7. sorry to hear about your horse, but sounds as if she has had a wonderful life at Thistle Cove. also so sorry about that MRSA as that can be difficult to get rid of. Love your nutting bowl and would be happy to be the recipient of that! What a lovely giveaway for fall. We have a lot of pecan trees in our yard and are always overridden with pecans in the fall. best to you!

  8. Dear Sandra, I'm so sorry you had to have surgery and ended up with MRSA-it is so nasty and I'm thankful that you recovered. Drink lots of warm teas and broths for that upper respiratory bug. While I love Autumn, it is my favorite season, I'm aware that too quickly it will pass and the snow will be here.
    I love the nut bowl and having a hubby who is gifted with wood working skills, I know how valuable this is.
    Please count me in. Hugs and blessings,

  9. I'm so sorry to hear of your medical goodness that's a lot to handle. I couldn't make it without my walking stick. It's a hit at PT. Take care ....I always like reading your posts. There is always something to praise.

  10. Would I be married to me? Depends on the day. Hah! I love the wood worker giveaway. I remember the post with a great mention of his talents and I swooned. Gee I don't remember swooning since the Beatles were here. Yes Please and if I am the lucky one Thank you. And may your days be brighter!

  11. Dear Sandra ~ You are such an inspiration to me. How you keep positive through so many situations, and how God gives you the strength you need to do what you have to do.

    I'm so glad you are on the mend. I never heard of the Tiger Balm patches. TB is great stuff, used it on my dear husband and he loved it for easing his pain.

    It is a 'tad' cooler here. Yay!

    As Nana Diana said, please give someone else my chance to win.

    Love, hugs & prayers ~ FlowerLady

  12. Happy you are recovering . . . as others have said , MRSA is nothing to fool with . . .
    I too like Dave's words, "where you stand depends on where you sit."
    Beautiful hand made wooden bowl, nut cracker set . . .
    Let someone else be a winner . . . at my old age I am trying to find places for
    my many things . . . not much room left in this inn for more.
    Keep on healing my friend . . .

  13. Your positive attitude is a gift of God and an encouragement to all your readers. So glad to hear you are on the mend. The nut bowl is beautiful and I would love to win it.

  14. yikes being married to me would be a hot mess! I'm both a bit moody and can be a tad lazy! I've been blessed with hard working, patient husbands - God does a good job of pairing me up for balance.
    Lovely woodworking - such a skill
    and I do love visiting your farm here on the blog Oh I share you pain at prospect of putting down an animal - recall too well the agony of putting down a dear old goat of mine - she was beyond helping and in such agony. Our responsiblity in "having dominion over the beasts" included being merciful when the time comes. Bless you my friend

  15. I do so hope you're feeling better...we're probably going to have our first fire of the season...we cleaned our chimney and fireplace last weekend...

    ~Have a lovely day!

  16. So happy to know you are feeling better. Take it one day at a time, and keep your eyes on the Father!! He is with you every moment. Enjoy every single day. They are blessings from above. Prayers for you today sweet friend!

  17. Good to know you are recovering♥ The bowl is a little beauty♥

  18. So sorry you have been ill and grateful you are getting better! The nut bowl is beautiful and I love nuts! We are getting ready for Winter here too! So sorry about your mare, it is hard to have to know when on cherished old friends. You are in my prayers!

  19. Anonymous12:36 PM EDT

    Sorry to hear about all of your health issues - hope you are truly on the road to recovery. Follow your blog via email, and am well aware of how hard you work to keep everything going. You are an inspiration. Thank you for the opportunity to enter your giveaway. I love items make from wood. It's amazing how much beauty can come from a piece of wood (or pieces of wood) in the right hands. Take care and get well. Ranee (N)

  20. I didn't realize you were battling MRSA as a special parting gift from being in the hospital, Sandra! Good gracious! Take care and don't push TOO hard on your recovery...your body is working overtime on healing, along with all your chores and activities.
    And no, I would NOT want to be married to Me. The list of tasks would just become twice as long if there was another pair of hands here LOL!
    I do remember your woodturning gentleman, and the pictures of his creations. You know how I feel about wood. I recently bought a tabletop "lazy susan" at a tag sale, because even though "refinish a lazy susan" will be pretty low on my priority list, it's nice hardwood and so beautiful I could not resist. Wood, and Pyrex weaknesses!

  21. Love reading your post but I was sorry to see you have been under the weather. Feel better soon.

    The wooden bowl is absolutely beautiful!

    I would not want to be married to me. My husband of 45 years is a saint!

  22. I am sorry to hear you have been so under the weather, Sandra. And I'm sorry to hear about your horse, too. I hope the antibiotics grab in, and your back starts to feel better, too!
    The bowl is a beautiful and useful piece of art!

  23. Praying for quick and complete healing for you, my friend!
    I think you're doing the right thing for your mare (as if you needed my opinion!). When my husband passed away we kept only one of his mares. She lives at my daughter's farm and she's 25. (Same age as my daughter.) She's come close to dying, but she's always been a fighter, and my daughter's 4-H games horse. They've had lots of fun over the years and I think she may have a year or two left to give rides to little granddaughters. It's a hard decision to make.
    Enjoy the beauty of autumn as you work on your sweet farm. :)

  24. It's good to catch up with you. Ireland is glorious. Surgery and MRSA are not. Beware of even the tiniest little glimmer of a recurrence.

  25. I'm so sorry to hear that you've been going through so many health issues Sandra. And yet you accomplish more than the rest of us put together! I'm sorry about your horse, a tough call, but you know what is best. I love to hear how people get ready for winter coming. It will be so cozy on your farm. xo Deborah

  26. What a beautiful giveaway. I had to check to make sure I'm a follower of yours (I am - I just lose track of things like that ;) 5acreasandadream @ mail . com.

    Gosh, MRSA is one of those really scary things - I'm so sorry to hear you've had to battle it. Was it a contributing factor to the respiratory problem? Do take care of yourself.

  27. Wow so much at one time, praying your better soon. I have really enjoyed your writings, and enjoy learning from them. Your hubby does wonderful work thank you so much for doing a give away to whoever wins,it was nice of you. Have a wonderful day.

  28. Ah you see, you just throw that last wee question in there, as if it was a throw-away thought of gossamer light consequence. Phew. I think not.

  29. Sandra- I can't believe you've been so sick-- I'll be calling soon to check on you!! I know you are busy trying to ready the farm and all the animals for winter. I'm sorry about Peaches- I remember her well- she is beautiful. I think about you often. Looking forward to hearing about your trip...

  30. Oh, PLease take care of yourself you have not been so lucky these last months as far as your health. The winter is coming and I do understand how hard that is and what it means on the farm. I think your horses are very lucky you care enough to give them a good death and 27 years is a long good life for Peaches. Take care and rest rest. hug B


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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