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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.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Jesus with skin on

~ reminding me of the Trinity and how Each care for me ~

It's been a little more than six weeks of the "epic mess" and work continues with Gillespie Construction doing the construction side of things, Eddie doing furniture repair and restoration, Faith doing clean up and I've been doing what all else needs doing.

~ sheet rock, up, taped, mudded, ready for primer ~

~ dining room table ~

[As an aside...there are some who have said, "There are cheaper (and they'd be right!) companies than Gillespie Construction" to which I've replied, "Yes, and have you seen their crews? Even I can tell some of those guys are about three days from rehab and I don't want them in on my farm, much less in my home!" Pay now or pay later and no one, but no one, is coming into my home but Gillespie Construction! A lot more than my belongings are at stake...there are my animals and there's ME...safety first, last and always. Not only safety, but the knowledge the job has been done CORRECTLY, the parts seen and unseen. GC doesn't cut corners, they take time to explain answers to my myriad questions and they go the extra dozen miles. knowwhatimean? ]

Gillespie Construction consists of William, Cody, Jason and Jackie (maybe more but those are all I've met)...all easy on the eyes, strong smiles, honest eyes and men who chase after God with their whole hearts. We've had some good church while they've been here and I expect it's not over yet. As a matter of fact, I know it's not over yet...because...

UPDATE on epic mess, here and here...a week ago today, the walls had insulation (last month Eddie put in because I got cold!) and GC finished sheet rock (beautiful installation...mudded, taped, primed), finished sanding and cleaning floors then staining and doing everything needed to return Monday and put down poly. Monday arrived, they arrived and BOOM! The dang pipes were leaking and the floor was wet (stain damaged), the ceiling was wet/dripping (section was damp) and it all had to be done over...at least, those two sections, one in bedroom, one in dining room. The pipes didn't leak since Jan 9 so ??? I called The Furnace Man and Charlie arrived to put things right. Apparently someone (me) didn't turn off the correct zone and the pressure build up caused the leak. However, all is well now with the entire system.

~ floor ruined by burst heating pipes ~ 

BOO HOO. I cried for all of us but after they left . I'm telling you, it was enormously discouraging and has been all week. Mildred, here, sent a note to ask how I was doing and I'm afraid I told her...to recap in two words...I'm tired. 

~ a week ago today, Jason, Cody, William ~

I've needed Jesus with skin on.

Daily, someone from Gillespie Construction would check on the progress...or lack thereof as it takes a while for one hundred fifty plus year old wood to dry. I like to think they were checking on me as well and they were.

Jesus with skin on.

Last autumn I tried to sell a camper and wondered why there wasn't a lot of interest from face book. A few nights ago, I found out why...apparently, there is a 'messenger' portion where people send you private notes (Who knew? I certainly didn't! ) and I had a lot of messages...one as old as 2015 where some woman (whom I don't know and don't want to know) blasted me because she thought I'd been rude to her. (No clue but I hope her meds have started working better.)

~ William & Cody fixing broken heating pipe ~

Anyhooo...I bought two new tires for the camper and Cody and Jason came over and while here..."We thought we'd get those old tires off the camper." Which they did, and then, "We thought we'd have the new ones mounted." Which they did, and then, "We thought we'd move the camper to the house." Which they did,and then, "We thought we'd hook up the electricity." Which they did...using one of their heavy duty contractor extension cords hooking to my heavy duty contractor extension cord and adaptor (bought specifically for this purpose).

~ Jason riding outside shotgun ~

Are you crying now with me?

Jesus with skin on.

Yesterday, Kristen and James from Thomas Cherokee Farm near Wytheville came to pick up three Curly mares. Since Dave's death (you thought I was going to go an entire post and not say it, eh? ) life has been totally overwhelming. I feel like all I've done is tread water with occasional forays into foreign lands. The horse situation has been my biggest (since the sheep left) concern...they needed to go where someone would care for them and use them in accordance with being stewards, not owners. Kristen and James are those people; Kristen has been training horses, teaching riding and driving lessons for close to two decades. Even though they came with the intention of taking my horses home, had I not been comfortable with them, my horses would have stayed here. 


I was more than comfortable; I'm over the moon happy! I was able to help them and they helped me. Curly horses are hypoallergenic and I've never had anyone come to the farm who could definitely say, "Yes, I'm allergic to your horses." It just doesn't happen so for Kristen to have horses that her allergy clients can ride...perfect! Although I didn't have doubts, any would have been put to rest as, just before leaving, Kristen prayed for me! There aren't many people who will pray, much less pray for someone they don't know while that person stands before them. I know of less than a handful and, you can ask the men above, yes, I am one. If I feel you're in need of prayer, you're getting prayer...right then and there. Bless Kristen, she lives the same way...may God bless her and keep her safe.

Last night, after they left, I brushed HayJ and Tumbleweed and we all enjoyed it. My goal now is to brush all four horses, at least, once a week; it calms me, them and the dogs and cats as they watched the proceedings. Truly, it's both blessing and gift...for all!

So, let me leave you with a few photos of how I'm living...brace yourselves, it's not for the weak hearted!


When the contractors needed to begin, they moved my bedroom contents every where they could; this is the spare bedroom. I wasn't home so couldn't provide direction but am fine with what they did. No need to get in an uproar.


Yep, there's furniture there...somewhere.


Another room holds the king size mattress and box springs along with "other stuff".

The bedroom the dogs and I are sleeping in (but not with stain and poly fumes going on) holds the king size bed frame. We just walk around and over stuff and make do until life returns to "normal" or, as they used to tell Dave while he was in cancer treatment...your new normal.

God is, perhaps, taking me out like He brought Dave and I in...living rough. During the first eighteen months we lived here, each morning I would walk through the house, banging a pot with a wooden spoon to drive out the red foxes, racoons, possums and other varmits that sought shelter overnight. It was, and remains, a Peaceful Kingdom although the only varmits in the house are the dogs, cats and myself. Dave and I even lived in a camper while the floors were being done.

UPDATE...contractors just arrived and are going to finish cleaning, staining and putting poly down on floors today. Looks like dogs and I are in the camper for the next week or so.

UPDATE...contractors can't begin to poly until the stain has dried for 8 hours so we're back in the bedroom...for tonight. Fellers will be back tomorrow to begin poly so we'll move to the camper. When one lives in a construction zone, it's best to be flexible...lol.

Y'all take care and ponder this...Christians explain Jesus by daily living out the Bible...how's that going for you?

52 comments:

  1. Amazing! I hope the camper is warm enough, even cozy.

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    1. Pays to be flexible...I'll find out tomorrow...Monday, 2/26. Man plans, God laughs.

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  2. Dearest Sandra, Thank you for sharing all that you are going on and how the Lord is graciously ministering to you through the workers. I totally agree with not having another company do the job-have seen such warfare when construction workers(who are doing drugs etc)are in a home. I imagine the company is receiving blessings just for working for you. You've been through quite a lot this last year and of course the years that Dave was sick. His grace flows over you! I can't even imagine how you coped when the pipes burst to begin with and you had all the damage. So glad it is getting fixed and praying that before you know it, you'll have your house back and things will be settled.
    Sending love and prayers.
    Noreen

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    1. Noreen, when I get myself out of the way, God moves better. Or so it seems. It's been difficult, hard even, and I'm ready for some ease to my life. I told someone this week, "I'm tired of Dave being dead!" Tough. It is what it is and, some days, I scream God's promises back at Him. He has a plan, a good plan.

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  3. This must have been such a horrible time for you, especially the pipes bursting just as things were being put right.
    Totally agree with finding the company that suits you and will do the job properly.

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    1. It has been a horrible time...ready for it to be over! But, it's a long way from being over; tomorrow the floors are to have poly put down and the dogs and I will live in the camper.

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  4. ♥ .. ♥ .. ♥ .. ♥ ..♥ .. ♥ ..♥ .. ♥

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  5. Restoration of a house or a person sure is a process. With remodeling going on in our rock house I found that things go everywhere until the project is completed. For ten years we had projects going on. Then the house fire occurred and we have morphed into a tiny cottage. Tiny. I don't envy what you're going through, but think you'll probably be back to what you're use to in your house by Summer. That will be a time to dance around the place with a big smile on your face. Hang in there. It will progress. What would you think if you had to demolish the entire house? Hugs.

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    1. It will take as long as it takes but I'm ready to be finished now. I'd surely like to live with my things where I could put my hands on them...use them...make things for others and myself. Work is a lot more difficult, time consuming, expensive without Dave. Work is work; no longer a project.

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  6. Oh my gosh I do not envy you with all that construction going on.....but it will all be worth it in the end!

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    1. That's my hope...it will all be worth it in the end. Hopefully now but certainly in Heaven.

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  8. Well no worries there. I know folks whose homes look that way and they have no mitigating circumstances. You Miss. Sandra are coming through in fine fashion despite what you may think. As always being a beacon of grace and light for others in trying situations. You continue to be in my prayers.

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    1. Thank you; my house is total chaos. Haven't seen the kitchen table in ages...seems every flat surface has a pile of stuff. It bothers me but I'm so overwhelmed I just skate along.

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  9. Thank you for this update, Sandra. I am praying every day for you. I just sent you a private message.
    Love and hugs from GA, Mildred

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    1. Mildred, thank you for the prayers and love...welcomed, needed, appreciated.

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  10. Updates - sister I feel for you - this has been a particularly hard row to hoe. Glad you can getaway to nonfumes and reasonable rest - of course you are tired - dagummit this has been a marathon of a mess. But - when it is done - you know it will be done right, will be ship shape and you'll have added a few more stars in your crown - love you my friend

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    1. Mostly, I'm sleeping well...deeply but with a lot of dreams that I don't even try to remember as it seems too much like more work. When we're finished, I'm having a huge hot dog roast for all the workers, friends. We'll celebrate!

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  11. What blessings you have. Such good, good people surrounding you as things get put to rights. I hope God keeps sending those little love notes to you every single day. God bless you!

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    1. I hope I have eyes to see and ears to hear those little love notes every single day!

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  12. Ah yes. I can remember many years (20 or 30?)of "living rough" and not being able to afford to do anything about it. Good to see you've got a good outfit of Christian men on the job. You can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel. Keep on keeping on! :)

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    1. I'm thankful for insurance and hope they treat me correctly. I'm thankful for the Christian men...they've been a balm in Gilead.

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  13. Dearest Sandra ~ You are one trooper! Dave I'm sure is very proud of you! Jesus is your 'strength' and you are being a blessing to others and others are blessing you. That is fantastic!

    It's great that you have the camper, to camp in while smelly work is being done.

    It sounds like you have a wonderful construction crew!!! They are priceless.

    Glad your horses found a good home.

    You inspire me.

    Love, hugs and prayers ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Rainey, dogs and I move to the camper tomorrow as the floors are supposed to be worked in the morning. UGH...the horrific odor! It about killed me the first time, won't make that mistake again.

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  14. Everyone else had said it all in the comments above. So I will just send more love, hugs and prayers to you! You are a blessing to ALL of us.!

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    1. Wellllll, thank you. I just do what everyone does...keep putting one foot in front of the other, keeping my eyes on Jesus. One day, it'll be worth it all, to see His lovely face.

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  15. It has all been said above . . . except for my . . .
    OH MY . . .
    Faithfilled, trusting, kind, pleasant, drug free, "good to look at"
    GILLESPIE CONSTRUCTION . . . thank you . . .
    One more . . .
    OH MY . . .
    Blessings dear Sandra . . .
    and thank YOU for keeping us
    In the loop!

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    1. God has a plan, Lynne. I cling to His promises and that one above all. He has a plan, for our/my good, for a future with hope.

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  16. I read back to what happened and oh my-but you have made allot of progress. How over whelming it must have been at the start.
    I have not been an active blogger for awhile now so am sorry now I was not at least reading everyone's blog post. Glad you found dependable workers to put everything back in order-and those are not easily found any more since there seems to be no work ethic and pride amongst most of the younger generation I have come in contact with.
    there is always a purpose for everything that happens I have always believed-have you uncovered anything that was hidden and needed to be taken care of?

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    1. No worries, Kathy. And, no problems unearthed/uncovered. Dave and I did a good job back in 1995/96 and took care of potential problems then. I agree with you as to pride and ethics in work and younger generation. They want the benefits but don't seem to want to do what's necessary to achieve them. For the most part; these young men are the exception; God bless them!

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  17. Our company is priced 'expensive', yet honest. We pay workman's comp, payroll taxes, etc. Cheaper companies are paying a legal or illegal cash by the hour.

    A current client, many scope changes, was horrified by a recent bill for his sod. When told he got the commercial price, yes we were doing him a favor because his job large enough, he went nuclear, discarded his brain, said he wanted the other price. When given the retail price, he went silent.

    Great story about not having sold your camper earlier. That is what I trust, always, when things don't seem to go my way. There is a bigger reason, it may be in protection for me or in care of someone else.

    Hope you are in the zone of glazing over the chaos, know it's hard, but it will be over, and oddly, there is a reason for all of this. In all give thanks.

    XOT

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    1. God has a plan and it's all part of His plan. He allows the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. In all things give thanks...I am ashamed to admit it, but some days it's easier than others. It has a lot of do with my energy, stress, rest levels...when I take care of me, life goes smoother if not better. It's hard to put myself first as there's so much to do; still, a goal worth striving toward.

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  18. Oh my, Sandra...that would be discouraging to have new leaking when they were so far! And I know living in constructional mess and upheaval is the pits. They sound like a wonderful company...it is never worth cutting corners, choosing workers. They are looking out for you, too...good people. Little did you know you would need that camper to stay in again. I am inspired to be "Jesus With Skin On" more everyday! Keeping you in my prayers! xoxo

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    1. Linda, it was terribly discouraging...for everyone! I told the lads I feel like their project and they've treated me like their Granny. Which is wonderfully fine with me! Such good men, raising good children with good wives...some in church, some not but all striving to be Christians and that's what counts.

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  19. Oh dear Sandra. I'm reading all of this and pondering it all. ( I didn't know about messages for a long time either) It overwhelming ....and I use your words sometimes hourly. I practice my faith until I have faith. Thank you for the update....for being an encourager to many of us.you remain in my prayers.

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    1. Anita, when you get it all figured out, let me know.... I'm surely flummoxed! There are days faith is all I have and remind the Holy Spirit He is to intercede for me because my prayers are silent.

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  20. Seems like it is all systems go at the moment! I'm sure it will all be worth it in the end and look forward to seeing progress pictures :)

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    1. I'm hoping all systems go...contractors return in the morning to start, then hopefully finish, work on floors. Thanks for visiting Thistle Cove Farm!

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  21. Seems like it is all systems go at the moment! I'm sure it will all be worth it in the end and look forward to seeing progress pictures :)

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  22. Oh no, it sounds like a trial to be sure. But I think these people are here to not only put the house back together but perhaps to offer you a little help, kindness and prayers. What nice people to help you with the camper.

    I have you in my prayers and admire your fortitude and trust in Gods plan. I probably would have thrown in the towel long ago.

    Take care of yourself.

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    1. It *is* a trial but it's also brought some folks into my life who have been wonderful. These young men have my utmost respect and gratitude for their kindness to me. Thank you for your prayers; needed, welcomed, appreciated.

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  23. Sandra, just reading this post is as good as going to an old fashioned revival--haven't been to one of those in 20 years. I am so happy to read about people like your construction company. They should use this post in their advertising as it is solid gold. But even better is to know that they have been Jesus with skin on to you. And did you ever need it after more water damage. How fragile would you be after all this without God's love made visible through folks like this and others. I know what my old Sunday School teacher would say: "God's getting ready to use you, mightily." And he was one who would stop right there when someone asked if he would pray for them, and pray he did.

    But if you don't mind, my prayers for you are including a message of "please God, don't you think enough trouble is enough trouble for Sandra? No more leaks, okay?"

    I wish I could send you a brigade of helpers to take over for a while and send you to a pampering spa while all gets sorted out.

    Thank you for taking time to keep us a part of your life, Sandra. I tend to drop out of sight. I'm so glad you don't. I know we are meant to share each other's burdens and joys.

    More joys to you than burdens soon, Sandra,
    Dewena

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    1. YES! "More joys than burdens SOON!" and thank you, Dewena. Fragile is a good word to express how I felt and still, sometimes, feel. I know God has a plan and what I've gone through isn't even to be compared with Christians in jail or being killed for their faith but...(asking for a piece of cheese with my whine...) I am quite ready to not work quite so hard. I'm tired of Dave being dead but that's not going to change so I'm praying...more joys than burdens SOON, dear Lord...soon.
      As to getting ready to use me...not sure how as I'm just an older woman, living in the middle of no where, tending to her animals and farm. But if God can use that/me, He's welcome.

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  24. Congratulation for being a faithful hero in the middle of times like earthquake! But your feet stand on a fix and firm floor, blessings flow over you and everything seems to stand under heaven's shelter.

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    1. "Standing under heaven's shelter"...OH DORI...how I LOVE that imagery...thank you and I'm sure to use it later. My Sabbath Keeping post today is on Heaven...what a joy it will be.

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  25. There's that saying "you get what you pay for". But lately you mostly get less then you pay for. Such sloppy workmanship out there. I'm glad you have people you can trust about your home. Also glad you were able to find a good steward for those horses. May God bless you and keep you...

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    1. Thank you, Ellen b...it's been a trial, am hopeful we're close to being finished with the re-construction. Time will tell.

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  26. Oh Sandra.....I've been behind on the blogs I follow and just read about your problems with the water in your home. I am so very sorry. God bless you dear lady for the strength you've shown. I know.....You have felt week. You have felt tired and have been discouraged, but you're doing what you have to do. You're taking care of what needs to be done. Bless you again for being such a light for our dear savior, Jesus. I'll be keeping all in prayer.

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    1. Don't worry 'bout a thing, LindaLee...I'm behind and can't seem to catch up. We've had setback after setback with the house and help...it's discouraging but God has a plan...a Plan! .

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  27. I can only imagine the day to day living whilst things hopefully progress. I have lived "in the rough" while building a home, re-doing a home, and in the midst of a move. That with children and pets and continuing day to day living requiring my husband gets to work and children get home-schooled. I have been very frustrated, even angry at times about it, but never doubted god was in control. I see you thankful for God's provision and care and living valiantly amidst chaos. I see you see there is an end to the repairs and chaos and you also being thankful for all things anyway.

    Bless you Sandra, and bless the working crew "Jesus with skin".

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    1. Kathy, I'm utterly and totally exhausted and there's no end in sight. Yep, God is in control but I am beyond weary at doing everything alone and it seems everyone and everything is conspiring against me.

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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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