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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, February 28, 2016

Sabbath Keeping


"...but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you. But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward."

"Disobedience and assurance 
don't sleep in the same bed."

"God does not will He should follow what man initiated. Other than following God's direction, we have no right to direct him. We have no ability to offer save to obey God's guidance."
 ~ Watchman Nee ~

"Faith never knows where it is being led
but it loves and knows the One who is leading."

"Every great person has first learned how to obey, whom to obey,
and when to obey."  ~ William A. Ward ~

"Only he who believes is obedient and only he who is obedient believes." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer ~

"If you look up into His face and say, "Yes, Lord, whatever it costs", at that moment He'll flood your life with His presence and power."  ~ Alan Redpath ~

"God has no more precious gift to a church or an age than a man who lives as an embodiment of His will and inspires those around Him with the faith of what grace can do." ~ Andrew Murray ~

"Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord's will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is." ~ George Mueller ~

"We might come closer to balancing the budget if all of us lived closer to the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule."
~ Ronald Reagan ~

"Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God." ~ Jim Elliot ~

"Obedience is the key to real faith."

"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; 
but he that doeth the will of my 
Father which is in heaven."

Keep in prayer... ~ Bonnie Jean ~ Mary ~ Ronnie ~ Jim ~ Anita ~ Diana and her Hero ~ Patty and her daughters ~ Nancy and Julie ~ Sandra ~ 

Monday, February 22, 2016

"And though she be but little, she is fierce."


~ MeMe's Playhouse ~

If you're enthralled with vintage campers, you're going to love these photos and next few posts. Last night, I returned home from a Sisters on the Fly Saddle Up event, sponsored by Pigeon Forge, TN where I joined other like-minded women who "Have More Fun Than Anyone". It will take me a few days to show you all the beautiful campers, or trailers as they're called north of the Mason Dixon line, but, trust me, it'll be worth the wait! 


 MeMe's Playhouse won Best Over All as voted by folks who visited the event. See the beautiful chandelier? Yes, the Sisters do go camping, sleep, cook and eat in their campers. They may be gussied up but they do work and get the job done.


I apologize but can't give the names of all the campers nor their owners. My job was "floater" which meant I visited each camper, introduced myself as "floater" and asked if the owner needed a restroom break. At the same time, I was taking as many photos as I possibly could...both to blog about but the ideas...the ideas!!! Just about every camper I looked, I said, "Gosh, I've got one of those at home...it would look wonderful in my camper." 


Almost all the campers are vintage but there were a few 2015 reproduction Shasta's and it's hard to tell the difference when gussied up.


As you might imagine, cowboy themes ran high.



1977 Prowler:






JennCola's Hen Pen:



 Notice the working sink and faucet between tiny fridge and toaster oven.

and the working toilet...at least I'm pretty sure it works.


The Tolkien quote, "Not all who wander are lost" was a favorite. 


Hopalong Cassidy, aka, William Boyd, (black) visited as did the gent in the white hat John Wayne (thanks Sharon Deel!) standing with DeBorah from GA who owns this 2015 Reproduction Shasta:


Gabby Hayes, me and the gent in the white hat John Wayne sure wish I'd asked his character because I can't remember worth a toot! When I asked about Gabby's gun, he had all of us in stitches. He pulled it out of his holster and said, "I'm really Superman because I can bend pure steel with my bare hands" and proceeded to bend his rubber gun in half. Then he said, "Oh look, I can also shoot around corners" as he bent the barrel at a 45 degree angle. I apologize to the actors because I didn't get their real names. For a six year old girl who had to be threatened/pried out of her Dale Evans outfit, complete with twin six shooters, meeting "real", live hero's from my childhood just about did me in. 



Notice the bunting that says SOTF and her sister number.


Clever idea (yet another)...the brooches on the curtain are her Grandmother's...LUV this idea!

The afghan was, I believe, made by her Grandmother...I have one of my Grandma's afghans...guess where it's going?

That's all for now but I've about 250 - 275 photos; no, I won't bore you with all of them but you'll see a fair number before I'm finished. Seriously, for those who've known my history (Dave's death, etc.) finding this group of women has been a balm in Gilead and a welcome, most welcome, addition to my life. 

Almost everyone names their campers and I've been thinking about Sunny Day or Sunshine...something similar because the 1985 Real Lite has a sunflower and rooster theme. The 1967 Scotty has yet to be named but now I'm thinking My Happy Place but it's all due to change. You know how it is...when a name is right, you know it...boom! I'm still waiting for that boom. 

Now, I've gotta go search 'round the house...camper stuff is calling my name.

Ponder this..."and though she be but little, she is fierce." 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sabbath Keeping

"Watch the path of your feet 
and all your ways will be established."

What shall I give at Christmas is from an old newspaper clipping, probably the 1950's but the information is as relevant today, or any month, as it was at Christmas then.

Give Ear to those who cry for crumbs-- hold their homely larders high, for Lo! the Joyful season's here--and Christmas comes!

~ Give Hands to those who need a guide nor cast a thought of race or creed, since Brotherhood is all worth while at Christmastide.

Give Steps to those who cannot plod on their own errands to and fro above the crisp December sod as others go.

~ Give Thought to what you best can do to cheer the heart and sooth the  mind and make the world seem good and kind to those less fortunate than you.

~ Give Smiles to all whose weary load brings gloom and pain and gray despair, and bends them low o-er life's steep road; for smiles with them are rare.

~ Give Knowledge to the dull, untaught, for some there are who do not know with what our Christmastide is fraught; and speak of Him, the Manger born, beneath the Eastern Star's pale glow.

~ Give Courage to the fearing band that needs the clasp of friendly hand, and cheering smile and all good will; give courage, then, to such as they this day.

~ Give Heed to others and their need. They know, they feel, they have desire; nor is it what you think is best, but rather what they most require, that you should give and do and say on Christmas Day.

~ Give Laughter--not the scornful sort, but laughter that abounds with happy, wholesome, merry sounds, and so infectious as to bring a like retort.

~ Give Heart--the heart that beats for all upon this day; the heart that greets the lowly and the high; the heart that glows with sympathy and knows but love for those who pass you by.

~ Give Joy to all--it may be bread for one, or just a smile, or yet a simply toy, or words of praise or even gold--but give them all and you will give but joy.--Selected.

"For
God so loved the world, that He gave His
Only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not
Perish, but have
Everlasting
Life." -- John 3:16 ~

There is, in this one verse, the Gospel; both materially and spiritually. One can gain sufficient knowledge from this
GOSPEL-IN-ONE-VERSE

Prayer Keeping ~ April, Averey, Kinsley, Dustin ~ Jim ~ V's DIL ~ Rainey ~ Donna ~ Sandra ~ 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sabbath Keeping


"The LORD appeared to me in a faraway place and said, 
"I love you with an everlasting love. 
So I will continue to show you my kindness."

"The heart has its reasons for which reason knows nothing."
~ Pascal ~

"Every fear, every doubt is a crime against My love."

"Faith goes up the stairs that love has built and looks out the window which hope has opened." ~ C. H. Spurgeon ~

"Love is friendship that has gone viral."  
~ Sandra ~

"Don't forget to love yourself." 

"I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too big a burden to bear."

"Love doesn't make the world go 'round.
Love is what makes the ride worthwhile."

"Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning, a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep burning and unquenchable." ~ Bruce Lee ~

"You can always give without loving
but you can never love without giving."

"Nothing can bring a real sense of security 
into the home except true love." 

"Where love is,
God is.

"God teaches us to love by putting some unlovely people around us. It takes no character to love people who are lovely and loving to you." ~ Rick Warren ~

"In the New Testament, love is more of a verb than a noun. It has more to do with acting than with feeling. The call to love is not so much a call to a certain state of feeling as it is to a quality of action." ~ R. C. Sproul ~

"What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like." ~ St. Augustine of Hippo ~

"Do not waste time bothering 
whether you "love" your 
neighbor; 
act as if you did." 

"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need, but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth."

Prayer Keeping ~ Anthony and family ~ Mark and John ~ Anita ~ 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Planners and Planning


Do you use a planner? If so, what kind? I've tried Filofax, Franklin Planner and, eventually, settled on designing my own to suit my needs and not that of someone who has to show up at the office and dance to someone else's tune. In all cases, my planners must have a zipper both to stuff full and to keep stuff inside.



This is a Filofax mini-planner and designed to be both planner and bill fold. The front zipper container has a place for business cards, small note paper, holder for pen


and on the back side a zipper change purse and two sides with an envelope for bills.


The middle planner is is a much larger planner by Franklin Planner and has a zipper on the inside left that holds money, personal notes and things of the sort. The slots hold business cards and the plastic sleeve holds paper clips, stamps and other things that help make life easier. Behind the plastic are note paper, calendar, sticky notes and a pen holder on the far right. If you use a Franklin Planner, click here for sale items.

Filofax and Franklin Planners have six rings while my current has three and I always buy replacement pages with six rings so they'll fit both six ring and three ring planners. The mini planner has it's own smaller pages and must be purchased separately.


I switch between all three and am currently using a three ring leather book that I've had more than 25 years and is hardly broken in. On the left side are business card holders, pen holder and a sleeve where I tuck sticky notes. The cardboard is to provide a barrier to protect the inside of the notebook.


The plastic sleeve holds an eraser, pins, mechanical pencil, small ruler, stamps, envelope and paper clips. Probably a few other things as well as I find necessary.


The first page is a six year calendar and the page on the right side has birthdays and anniversary's noted. It's the only way I can nudge myself to send cards, letters and notes.


On the left, the plastic sheet holds eight business cards and on the right, plastic sleeves hold my coupons. Don't you hate getting to the store and realize you've left your coupons at home? This prevents that from happening.


On the right, two questions that guide my days as well as a couple of quotes. The two questions: What can I do today to further the Gospel and What can I do today to make my life better? The first can be something as simple as doing a kindness and the second something as simple as updating my planner. No pun intended, but frequently, during these cold, hard winter days, updating my planner takes more out of me than I've got to give.

The two verses: "The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty but those of everyone who is hasty surely to poverty" from Proverbs 21:5 and The Lord will work out His plans for my life" from Psalm 138:8.


One grouping is a Health & Fitness Tracker that reminds me to work out, eat healthfully and, very important, drink seventy-four ounces of water daily.


Behind the Tracker is this blank page is where I write my To-Do lists that seem to grow, rather than shrink, daily.

 Here's where I list oil changes, tag renewals, insurance, etc. for vehicles, both personal and farm.

Book sections include blog posts (where I keep ideas for blog posts and have far more ideas than time to write about); finances (need to re-write my will and living trust; studio (a list of projects both to start and to finish); TCC (Thistle Cove Cottage with a list of projects, important dates, reminder to send rental agreements and a tag showing a sham I need to purchase); TCF (Thistle Cove Farm with paint chips, a list of house and farm chores for me and hired help);


The goal section is saved for four or five projects that need constant attention to keep me on track. I am so easily de-railed, especially in this cold weather it seems all I do is either feed animals or recover from feeding animals so I can return to feeding animals. Right now, around 7:30 Saturday evening, it's 8 degrees above zero and supposed to dip below zero. The wood stove is hot and two loads of wood inside so I have no need to go outside before day break and I'm struggling to stay awake. (If this post makes no sense, put it down to fatigue.)

The last two sections are writing and new home/farm and, yes, this notebook is heavy but is kept in a leather satchel, readily at hand. Those little bits and pieces of paper drive me mad and having a planner keeps my life in some semblance of order.

Do you use a planner? What kind and what do you both like and dislike about it?

Blessings ~ planners ~ wood stove ~ load of wood~  

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Again, up to my Boots with SNOW Plus a WINNER!


Only yesterday I awoke to a passel of cows and calves in my lower field. They'd broken through the fence because my field is, primarily, a hay field while their field is grazing and hay. My field hasn't anyone eating it down so was lush to their way of thinking.


These men are neighboring farm workers and I don't believe are afraid of anything! A few months ago, I told one feller his rooster had flown the coop and was living in my barn. He said, "I'll be up after work and get it" which was better than fine with me. That blasted cock had talons that looked like eagle talons and every time I went into the barn, he gave me the stink eye. It was only a matter of time, or so I believed, that bird would attack me and then, as they say, the fight would be on! He might get a meal but I have the upper hand...due to thumbs, don'cha know...and don't hesitate to shoot anything that throws the first punch. You've been warned, I told the bird, but he acted not at all impressed and again with the stink eye.

Anyway, by the time I left the house and got to the barn, Ty walked out of the barn, cradling that bird and petting him like a kitten. For a fast moment or two I was embarrassed but then took a look at those talons and felt better about it all.

So, back to the above photo...one man is riding a four wheeler while the other man is leading the cows through the fence. The most amazing thing is, the man walking is carrying a feed sack full of grain. I don't know about you but there is absolutely NO WAY I'd walk in front of a bunch of pregnant cows rattling a feed sack! I mean, anything pregnant is always hungry...right? B.R.A.V.E.


Today, it's a foot of snow on the ground with drifts of two feet and another foot of snow expected by Thursday because it hasn't stopped snowing since it started. So much for the "1 to 3 inches" we were told.


The dogs and I sweater up and go to the barn twice a day to throw out hay for the American Curly horses. They could do without because they have a round hay bale in the pastures, but it makes me feel better taking such good care of them. Miss T, the black mare, has ice hanging off her coat but due to the extra layer of fat and the hollow core fiber coat, she's in good stead. All Curly horses have hollow core fiber, extra layer of fat and used to be range horses out west. Miss T was an abused horse that Dave gave me for my birthday when I begged like a toddler. Finally, he gave in and let me go get her and bring her home but his words were, "You mean we have to BUY a rescued horse?" Well, yes, but she's been a good 'un and I've never regretted the decision. All the horses have run-in shelter but they rarely stay in the barn which is all right with me; I figure they know how to be a horse better than I.


The front fence is covered in snow and presents a lovely sight


while the view from the main road shows home with Short Mountain in the background. Short Mountain is part of the Clinch Mountain Range and the Clinch Mountain Wildlife Management Area is the second largest, but most biologically diverse, in the Department's management area system. There are vast differences in elevation and the 25,477 acres are spread over four counties...Tazewell, Russell, Smith and Washington.

So blogger buddies...I'm a bit chuffed at you. Yes, that's right YOU. Not a single one of you sent me a note to remind me of my terrible memory! Or....don't you remember? LOL Last month I had a giveaway for the Downton Abbey cookbook and #4 Martha won. She's been notified she has until 6 tomorrow night to claim it or I'll have to have another name. My apologies, all, for my memory.

Blessings ~ safety in this snow storm ~ a warm and cozy house ~ healthy animals and human (for the most part) ~ Downton Abbey Cookbook ~ American Curly horses ~ great neighbors ~ Clinch Mountain Range ~ 

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Sabbath Keeping


"Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world."

"The word LISTEN contains the 
same letters as the word SILENT."

"The sound of gentle stillness after all the thunder and wind have passed will be the ultimate word from God." ~ Jim Elliot ~

"Everything takes time.
Bees have to move very fast in order to stand still."

"When you change the way you look at things, 
the things you look at change."
~ Wayne Dyer

"Whenever there is stillness there is the still small voice, God's speaking from the whirlwind, nature's old song and dance..."
~ Annie Dillard ~

"When you are in doubt, be still, and wait; when doubt no longer exists for you, then go forward with courage. So long as mists envelop you, be still; be still until the sunlight pours through and dispels the mists -- as it surely will. Then act with courage."
~ Ponca Chief White Eagle ~

"Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen - that stillness becomes a radiance." ~ Morgan Freeman ~

"Once I knew only darkness and stillness... my life was without past or future... but a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living." ~ Helen Keller ~

"And He awoke and rebuked the wind
and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still! 
And the wind ceased and there was great calm."

Prayer Keeping ~ those in the path of the next storm ~ Hancock family who lost a matriarch ~ a blind gentleman whose home was burned to the ground ~ a young woman who was able to move from a tent to a trailer but the dwelling has problems ~ 

Monday, February 01, 2016

FeBrUaRy, the Longest Short Month of the Year

~  February's first heart ~ 

May I be the first to say, Happy Valentine to you? While cleaning the porch of snow...which is to say I found the edge of the mat and pulled up...this heart was my gift.


~ January's Wolf moon was stellar! ~


The driveway had drifts of about three feet but my Ranger was able to move about albeit with some difficulty. Daniel Miller, using John Fisher's tractor and snow blower, cleared the driveway...a wonderful gift!

~ Polaris Ranger ~

Each day, the Ranger was parked next to the house, out of the worst of wind but with the nose exposed to the first rays of sun to warm the engine. Have I mentioned how often I bless Dave's name and memory for buying this work horse for me? It has never failed although the wind shield wiper no longer works...not sure what the problem is and will have to ask around for ideas.

~ white tail fawn ~

One morning I woke up to this sight...this white tail deer was asleep in the field next to the house. Fortunately, deer in this valley always eat if they find the pastures where silage is put out for cattle and hay for horses and sheep.

~ Here there be dragons ~

There resides a cast iron dragon atop the wood stove and when the stove heats up, vapor pours out of the dragon's nostrils. While it's true, it's not a lot of vapor, it's also true the dragon provides me with amusement on a daily basis. I am so easily entertained!


Thistle Cove Farm can't be seen in this picture unless you know where to look, but it doesn't subtract from the beauty, does it?


My neighbor's barn against the backdrop of Morris Knob. One site says it's 4,455 in height while another says 3,500; I suppose it's a matter of...you choose. According to this site, Morris Knob was named for Morris Griffith, part of a hunting party in 1767-1769. The hunting party was put together to encourage expansion and anyone interested being a member would be given a land grant. The names in the hunting party have heirs still in Tazewell County: James Burke (for whom Burke's Garden is named), Rees Bowen (Dave's clan), William Harmon and others.


VDOT did an outstanding job of clearing our road; it took several passes daily but they persevered and a clear road is the result. Their diligence allowed me to make a run to the grocery and feed stores, all the eaters at Thistle Cove Farm are most grateful.

How did you manage January's snow storm?

Blessings ~ clear roads ~ enough coffee, food and milk to keep the human take care of the animals ~