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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 28, 2017

"I am here to serve you."


As we slide toward January's closing, a few photos to give you a glimpse of Heaven on earth. The above is similar to the header photo; the valley view I see daily and it's always fresh and new.


A volunteer among the Jade plant; the amaryllis came from...? I haven't any idea but it's a lovely, unexpected surprise.


Maiden Spring is absolutely roiling; I've not seen it this full in some years. Please note although road signs says "Maiden Springs" there is but one spring, no more. When I pointed this out to a VDOT employee, I was told, "Well, it'll cost to much to change everything so we won't." I have a hunch this error was made due to the VDOT sign that references the fort that was nearby. That sign says, "Maiden Springs Fort..." and thus the error continues. The fort was established by Reese Bowen, an umpty-umpth grandfather of Dave's, and garrisoned in Dunnmore's War in 1774. Dave's mother always told the story of one of her umpty-umpth Grandfather, c. 1750 who, while on a hunting expedition, saw a maiden deer drinking from the spring and thus the name. She always claimed her kin were the first settlers while I always claimed they were the second as the Shawnee were the first...rightfully. We never agreed to disagree...lol.


Whenever I cross the mountain to buy groceries or gasoline, I pass by Maiden Spring, sometimes seeing deer, cattle and, on this day, Canada geese.


Pulling the car to the side of the road, I visited for a while and enjoyed watching them perform their ablutions. 






There were dozens, both sides of the creek, making huge splashes and talking loudly to each other. It was easy to hear them over the roar of the water.


If you're curious as to how the house restoration is going...it's going slowly. Low temps (in the 20's F) and high winds mean the house is cold. Thursday I caved and Eddie and I went to Lowe's where I purchased enough insulation to cover the outside walls.


I'd already purchased two heaters built to heat 1,000 square feet to knock the edge off the cold. Both rooms are about 18x18 feet so knocking the edge off is a very good thing...especially at night while sleeping because the bedroom has no heat save that little heater. The other heater is for the upstairs bathroom which is much less expensive than more frozen pipes.

Now I'm searching for radiators for the bedroom but so many people are going to heat pumps (UGH!) the call for radiators is minimal. I've made inquiries (thanks Ashley!) of two separate folks who might have the old fashioned radiators and might be willing to sell me a couple. Someone else (thanks John!) told me the people who make those outside wood stoves also deal in radiators.

Earlier this week, I spoke with a man who deals in Persian carpets and rugs; we made an appointment for me to take my (ruined) rug to him for evaluation. When that day dawned, it was snowing and sleeting so I called to reschedule. When I apologized for being too timid to drive two hours in inclement weather, his response was, "Please don't apologize. I am here to serve you and we can always reschedule when weather is better."

WOW! "I am here to serve you" has resonated with me ever since that conversation. Have you ever had a stranger tell you, "I am here to serve you"?
Have you ever had a Christian say those words to you? Have you ever said them to anyone? Does the idea of saying them to someone, a stranger, attract or repel you? It's been a clarion call to me and I question how well I'm serving Christ by serving others.


My planner serves me both daily and long term...the calendar pages I use are by Kathy Davis Studios and for each month she has an admonition. For January, it is "Seek Peace"....hmmmm...just can't get away from peace, can I? Nor do I want to get away from peace...lol.

Yes, this month has been "challenging" and the problems, not issues!, continue but, throughout it all, peace has been both blessing and gift. Although there is much to be done to restore house and belongings, I am beginning to slow down. Helpers come and go but I'm here 24/7 and the burden of all that needs to be done is wearing me thin. Laundry has been enormous due to salvaging by washing and drying my quilting materials and supplies instead of simply throwing them away. Throwing something away when it can be saved by some hands-on work goes against my Appalachian thrifty soul. The dining room furniture is being glued and, in time, will be restored to the best of Eddie's ability but there's no need to hurry as it will, ultimately, only hinder the process. Therefore, I believe I'll begin taking weekends off and will focus on doing those things I've been neglecting. Such as meal preparation, sewing, cleaning (notice where this is in priority...lol) and other things to be a balm and solace to ME. In other words, for a while, I am going to add me to the mix and I am going to serve...me.

Ponder this ~ "Home! And happy to be." ~ Truman Capote ~

35 comments:

  1. I am glad you are taking some time for yourself, too. Repairing your home is a huge task, and you will need your strength...mentally and physically. xo
    I love watching Canada Geese, too...

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    1. Linda, I did just that today...went to Hobby Lobby then to Bob Evans then home to scurrying around for oil delivery man. It's not 4 and I'm ready for bed! lol

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  2. What a stressful time you have had, try to take some time for yourself if possible. Calming visits with geese are nice. Stay warm!

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    1. It's above freezing today, Elizabeth, so staying warm is easier. Just fed the wood stove and am settling down to finishing watching Ian Carmichael as Lord Peter...woohoo!

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  3. I often feel like I'm lacking in the "serving others" category. I try to at least serve in my family by helping with grandchildren, but I want to do more. Get out of my cozy place and help out somewhere. I trust the Lord can give me some ideas. Meanwhile, it does seem like a good idea for you to look out for yourself and rest up a bit. It's a marathon, not a sprint, as "they" say. :)

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    1. A marathon is exactly what it sounds like but running full blast, Lisa. When I go off the farm, I try to honor those with whom I come into contact...some days easier than others...thinking here of the 3-axe handle wide woman who simply cut others off with her shopping cart. When I, very politely, said, "Excuse me..." and pointed to the store employees who were on their side of the now blocked aisle, she back up just enough to still keep me blocked. I burst out laughing. Seriously! **This** is what she'd do for a free candy sample? What on earth would she do if the gain were greater? I shudder to think. lol

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  4. So sorry you have had to go through this, maybe we all can relate on a miniscule scale to your huge major one. Messes and problems sure do come and go. I wish my current ones would go!
    Hoping for better days for you and the farm!
    Hoping your friend can bring back life to the house and furnishings.
    I loved the rug mans comments. I have never heard that, or uttered it either probably.
    I do sometimes remind myself, such and such is service to you, Father. One of the chief ones being when I cut my husband's hair.
    I should think more on what you said, it's a cold brisk home keeping day, and a good day to ponder the deep things God reveals.
    Bless you, and hugs!

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    1. Deep thoughts, Annie, seem to come more frequently when the outside noise is filtered or even stopped. When Dave was sick, I was an unrelenting tiger on his behalf. If he needed, or wanted, "it", I made it happen. There are those who didn't, and don't, understand but that is of no importance to me; my purpose was to take care of Dave. There were a couple of times we had words but, for the majority, I did my job.

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  5. Sandra, what a relief to see the spring which is so beautiful, and the wildlife. I've been spending some time with my daughter & family in the Texas Hill Country and absolutely hate coming back to the city. Everything seems so much more precious there, I love seeing the deer walk around, the herds of cattle & sheep, all different, but beautiful. And, I love the little tiny town of Wimberley where everyone knows everyone else. I'm seriously thinking of moving. Seriously! And, with that said, now I don't know how you could leave Thistle Cove Farm & the animals. Let the Lord decide & we shall see what happens to both of us. Sending love, my precious friend.

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  6. Marsha, it wouldn't take me long to decide to move to the country...a New York second...maybe...? lol God willing, I'll never live in an urban or suburban area again in my life. If you're able...financially, physically, spiritually...to move...move. You might miss restaurants, theatre and the like but those things make for a nice weekend getaway. We've only got so many days left...use them wisely! love and prayers to you, dear heart.

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  7. Good idea to take the weekends . . . your restoration project will take some time, and no need to burn yourself out on the things there's time for. In any case, I continue to pray. Brr . . . I get cold thinking of you!!
    And yes, what a wonderful comment by the carpet guy.

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    1. Deb, I'm a slow learner...but eventually I do learn. I'm close to burn out now due to exhaustion and dealing with various folks. Bless God...the house is warm and the bedroom bearable with the space heater.

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  8. I am so sorry that you have had to go through so much this year already, Sandra. If it hasn't been one thing it has been another. I am glad you took a few minutes to stop and watch nature at it's best.
    I am glad you got a couple of heaters to take the edge off the cold that has invaded your house. God has certainly given you the strength and fortitude to see all this through. xo Diana

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    1. Thanks, Diana, you and me both. In the scheme of life, this is but small but, I do admit, to feeling a lot put upon. At the point where the darkness was dimming into light and I felt there was life again...life happens. -wry smile-

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  9. Good Sunday morning dear Sandra ~ I think you've done really well handling what came your way and you inspire and bless others with your thoughts.

    I'm glad you were able to stop and enjoy the geese. Sometimes all we need when we are going through rough times, is just a minute or two to take in our surroundings and see the beauty that God has created and in this case, put right before you to enjoy.

    That was a wonderful, wise comment by the rug dealer/restorer. Kindness when you needed it and also a gentle reminder of how we all should be to all we meet, servants, even if it just a smile or a kind word that we serve.

    Love, hugs & continued prayers ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Rainey, thank you so much...I need to be inspired and encouraged for I am weary beyond belief and there are many miles to go before I can rest. Every time I slow down and think about taking a nap, thoughts crowd my mind as to how much there is to do...spoiling the nap idea. Do you ever think about marrying again? Sometimes I think about it then realize I don't need another project...lol.

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  10. Hi Sandra...I have been silent for a long time, but continue to read your posts each week. I have been praying for all the disaster that has occurred at your beautiful home! Today's post is inspiring. I am here to serve you! How wonderful is that? I will remember that line! Hugs to you...you are an inspiration to me!

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    1. You're always welcome at Thistle Cove Farm, Avery Claire. I don't believe I've told you...my nephew and his wife named their second daughter Avery Marie...your and her names are SO beautiful!

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  11. The photos of the full, fast, flowing spring . . .
    The frolicking Canadian Geese . . .
    Oh my . . . gifts of the moment.
    Had you not been there, you wouldn't have seen . . .
    The pictures were saying . . .
    "I am here to serve you."
    Inspiration you are Sandra.
    God Bless You . . .

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    1. Lynne, if I'd had a blanket and pillow, I would have taken a nap! Many thanks for your encouragement.

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  12. Good to get this informative update on the "situation" - dang it is a long project to restore isn't it? glad you'll take some time to (yuck)clean - I've been in hog heaven since Michael gave me the gift of a cleaning lady each week -
    you remain in my thoughts and prayers - and thanks for the glimpse of geese - honkers are such fun to watch and hear

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    1. Dave did the same...said he didn't marry me to clean house... whatta guy! There just so much to be done, Linda, I may very well hire someone and fight with insurance later.

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  13. The spring is beautiful! Glad you're able to stop and smell the roses even amongst the grit of getting your homestead back together.

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    1. Karen, I'm going to take more time too...exhaustion is making me weary...to the point of stumbling and that's not a good thing. Plus, winter is back...just in time...found a tick on Sam's head...a TICK in January! That's just wrong!! lol

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  14. Sandra, your area is just so beautiful and I enjoy all the beauty you share here. The spring is so lovely with the geese. I know you must have enjoyed that respite, no matter how small.
    I know you are weary and I'm so glad to hear you are going to take weekends off of the pain that has come your way. Hugs and prayers to you, my friend. ♥

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    1. Martha, Appalachia is beautiful and my heart is here even though I want to move to be closer to family. Right now, a big fat yellow tom cat is on my lap...purring loudly and all's right with his world. Mine too, come to think of it...God has a plan.

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  15. Hi, thank you for visiting! I love your view. It is foothills of appalachia? I grew up in KY in the foothills of the appalachia. There is nothing like it. The land is beautiful! Stay warm and keep the faith. "I serve," has been my motto for all of my adult life. Great reflection of your days you wrote about.

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  16. I'm smack dab in the middle of Appalachia...surrounded by mountains and have spent the best one third of my life at Thistle Cove Farm. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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  17. "I am here to serve you." What blessed and gracious words. All that rain and wetness outdoors looks great!

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    1. They sure are! I'm meeting him today and cannot wait to shake his hand!

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  18. May you have already experienced the worst of this winter, Sandra. ♥

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    1. Please God, make Val's words TRUTH and amen!

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  19. I agree that the views in these mountains are always "fresh and new". Every subtle change in sun and shadow and season casts a fresh perspective. My walks have followed the same route for fifteen years and I haven't tired of the landscape yet. : )

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    1. Leonora, certainly I never tire of the views!

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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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