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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.

Monday, January 29, 2018

I'm so far behind I don't know if...

~ Hay Jude, American Curly x Percheron gelding ~

I've found my rope or lost my horse! Seriously, it was wonderful having so much help packing and moving last August but the packing was done higgly piggly and I'm still unpacking boxes! The living room is three boxes deep in (a) stuff to give to church yard sale (raising money for missions), (b) trash to go to the dumpster and (c) empty boxes I want to keep to mail the last of the sheep fleeces to mill to be made into blankets and throws. Today was spent sorting out the metal bread rack in the laundry room; it holds cast iron cookware, enamel ware, food, spices and other sundry items needed at hand but not directly in the kitchen. The laundry room is smallish and holds one metal bread rack, washer, dryer, rolling cart and a smaller wooden floor cabinet for laundry supplies. I've got a vintage spice cabinet to attach to one wall and will put a hanging rod over the washer and dryer to utilize that real estate. I'd debated on shelves but think a hanging rod will better serve.

I would like to know...actually would love to know how a set of glasses or dishes or whatever...but a set...could get packed in so many different boxes! The kitchen island and dining room table (you are so going to love the dining room table...hand crafted cherry with live edges...stay tuned!) are both stacked with solo items, waiting for their partner(s) to be found so they can be either put away or put in the yard sale boxes. Someone told me I could sell this stuff on ebay and I snorted. Yeah, I need more work and the church is having a yard sale...a match made in heaven!


Friday night my family met at a local restaurant and this little charmer blessed us all. Mason is my great-nephew and his Dad is my go-to guy for help in the house, barn, studio and farm. JW is an electrician and has already done a lot of little jobs making my life so much easier. Seriously. Why would any decent electrician put the exhaust fan switch first on the light plate and then the light switch? Or, put the light switch to the basement at the bottom of the stairs? That's just plain dumb! JW fixed the switch so it's turned on from the door at the top of the stairs...much safer!


Steve, left, is my brother, and beside him is Daddy who'll be 90 this year. I think Daddy looks great, for any age, but especially for almost 90! He's the oldest living man in his family and Mom's family also has longevity; hopefully so will I.


Three generations, Mason's Dad, JW, is across the table and you can see a bit of Katie, Mason's Mom, in the right background. Mom (great-grandmother), Stephanie (my sister and Mason's grandmother) and Mason the first only boy on both sides of our family...big shoes but he'll handle them!

The crowd...parents, siblings, nephew, his wife and son, brother in law and Daddy at the register paying for this great crowd...THANKS DADDY! We ate at Hillside Family Restaurant which is just plain Southern cooking or, as I told Daddy, "Nothing fancy, just good grub" but I go for the company anyway. Anytime I can be with family, it's a Good Time!


Last week I bought 40 bales of hay and had to borrow Daddy's trailer to get it all home. There are six bales in the back of the truck and it took me 90 minutes to unload and stack it all in the barn. It's not the best hay but the horses like it and that's all that counts. I've got another source and will talk to him later this week.


I can hear Daniel Miller now..."Well, you got it stacked!" Daniel has got to be one of the top three nicest men I've ever known! I've never heard him say a bad word about anyone and if I said to him, "Yeah, it looks a train wreck but I got it done", he would gently, but with a chuckle, say, "Well, you got it stacked out of the weather and that's what counts." What that man doesn't know about farming isn't worth knowing and he's handy at just about everything...farming, vet doctoring, carpentry, trimming horse/sheep/goat feet, repairing vehicles, farm equipment, plumbing, electricity. Seriously, he can put his hand to anything and make it work. Gosh, I miss him!

The Canada geese are nesting on the island and delight almost daily. When I see them, I go outside on the deck and talk to them...it's funny how they quiet so they can listen. I tell them, "Good Morning Geese! This is the day the Lord has made, rejoice and be glad! You're welcome here, please make your nests on the island where you'll be safe."


When I finish talking, they take flight, headed straight toward the house and I manage to get a couple of photos. They aren't good photos because I'm so busy being delighted, I forget to aim the camera! Yeah, I'm laughing at myself.



The first week in January it was bitter cold, snowy, windy and just plain miserable yet beautiful. This is the first home I've ever lived in with an HVAC system or water in the barn. I had sense of mind to get the HVAC system tended to...serviced for the year and also had a filter system for mold put in, but wasn't as savvy about the water in the barn. I forgot to unscrew the water hose from the faucet and the dang (Christian curse word...lol) froze, burst, thawed and it was horrible! I figured out how to turn off the main water supply and, thank God, it was separate from the water supply in the horse paddock. When I found Roark's Plumbing, I told them, "I'm making do so put me on your list and take care of the true emergencies." They came last week and turns out the problem is much worse than I thought; the break extends to underground, near the cut-off valve so they'll come this week to finish and to put in a frost free spigot which should stop this silly problem.


Last week it snowed 8 inches on the farm, even so, Sam P Spade, Secret Agent had to have surgery to remove an abscessed tumor on his neck. It took 40 minutes to drive 6 miles to Blackstone and then another hour to get to the vet clinic. All is well and Sam is back to his beautiful self; I'm grateful to Anytime Vet Clinic for their professional care and TLC (but I still miss Dr. Anne!).


On nice, meaning not raining/cold/windy, days the dogs and I go for a walk. Let me amend that: the dogs, a lot of cats and I go for a walk. Sadie is standing on the far side of the pond (some call it a lake), just above the 'c' in Cove. We were going to walk all the way around but I didn't feel like trudging through the underbrush; we turned and came back. I like this picture...it looks calm, peaceful and COLD! Temps dipped into the minus zero...as in 4 degrees below zero F, which is minus 15.5 degrees Celsius...COLD! As to electric bill...I have NEVER had an electric bill like this month! Gosh, I'm looking into alternative heat sources.


The driveway entrance is beautiful in all seasons but especially winter and spring. Those are Bradford Pear trees, not my favorite but as they die out, they'll be replaced with something else...perhaps fruit trees or river birch. I'm not sure yet.

I'm slowly figuring out how to find photos on the laptop...more updates coming, especially the Christmas special at church...which was hilarious! It was fabulous and so enjoyable. Another reason for slow posting...it takes me a l.o.n.g. time to put up a post with photos. There must be a faster, easier way but I don't know it so... . There are photos of the house and farm taken when I first moved here...can you believe it's been SIX months!? Yes, I'm still over the moon HAPPY!

Speaking of happy...don't forget tomorrow night is January's blue moon and supposed to be stellar.
Y'all be safe, take care of each other and be kind.

Ponder this ~ "Take time to work, it is the price of success.
Take time to think, it is the source of power.
Take time to play, it is the secret of perpetual youth.
Take time to read, it is the foundation of wisdom.
Take time to be friendly, it is the road to happiness.
Take time to dream, it is hitching your wagon to a star.
Take time to love and be loved, it is the privilege of the gods.
Take time to look around, it is too short a day to be selfish.
Take time to laugh, it is the music of the soul."
~ Old English Prayer

25 comments:

  1. Mason is such a cutie. How nice to meet up with your family at the restaurant. Wow, Daddy really looks great for 90! Note to self...get a frost free spigot. We are moving to a part of Washington where this will be important. We were looking at the great moon tonight. Hope I remember tomorrow night, too. Have a good week and I hope your pipes are an easier fix then anticipated.

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    1. He IS a cutie with the jolliest personality. Re the spigot...you might still wrap in heat tape but this type spigot is a lot handier than the "normal" house type.

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  2. Oh, my, Sandra, you are busy!! But leave it to a busy woman to add one more thing, that is, to write a lovely post about all the blessings that are filling your days with work and beauty.

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    1. Hopefully, Gretchen, when the boxes are emptied and things put to right, life will if not slow down, at least be more manageable. Right now, it's still chaos from the move.

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  3. Always so interesting to read what you have been doing recently.

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    1. Mercy, Elizabeth, you ARE kind! Tomorrow I might blog about last Monday...it was sheer madness!

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  4. So glad to read this post from you dear Sandra. Your Daddy does NOT look almost 90.

    I'm glad you have and find good help when you need it.

    Enjoy unpacking, getting rid of and living each day.

    Love & hugs to you ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Rainey, as you know, good help is hard to find. I'm getting connected with the Mennonite community here so might find some good folks there. No, Daddy doesn't look almost 90!

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  5. It's good to see your family and hear about all the goings on at your place! I always enjoyed hauling hay with my hubby. Yeah, selling all that stuff on ebay would be quite the job. The church yard sale sounds like a good idea. Sorry about the heating bill. Hope you get some wise ideas about another way of heating. That's the pits. Keep enjoying your little piece of paradise!

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    1. You'd laugh at me tonight...Sunday. PeeWee the neighbor's beagle (one of them) is asleep in my living room. I gave him a baby aspirin and brought him inside; it's too cold to leave him out although that's where he's been living prior to me moving here. (I am a sucker!) I also feed him a hot meal twice a day, de-worm him and, in general, treat him like one of the family. (Come to think of it, I guess he is!) lol

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  6. Lovely post, Sandra! I chuckled when I read that your cats go on walks with you and the dogs! Our cat does that, too! Funniest thing to watch! Have a great week and stay warm!

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    1. Hi Kimberly - when I lived in a more rural area, having so many cats wasn't such a big deal. Now that I've neighbors who can hear me calling, I'm afraid I'm known as the Krazy Cat Lady. Well. at least they're calling me Lady, eh? lol

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  7. Same thing happened to an outside faucet on our house. Flooded the inside of our house when the kids washed the foster dog. Now we are trying to gather funds to replace the laminate flooring that got wet. Even with a frost free faucet you still have to unhook the hose in the cold. And it may pay off to insulate the handle/spigot, and the vertical water pipe.

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    1. I'm grateful this happened at the barn and not the house; Jan 2017 was enough to last a lifetime. Only last week I received the final check from insurance company. Yes, to heat tape to help insulate and I won't have to use the hose because the spigot will hover above the water tank. Thanks though; all help gratefully appreciated!

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  8. Dear Sandra, Somehow i've been out of the loop-did you sell your historic home and farm? Sounds like you moved, but I'm not sure to where? Loved seeing your family and of course your critters. Praying all is well with you!
    Noreen

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    1. Yes, Noreen, on July 31 I closed on a farm in southside VA and moved the last of August. It's been fabulous...wonderful farm, great house that's only 19 years old, set up for horses, a church home I LOVE, pastor/wife live about a mile from me...I am OVER the MOON HAPPY! God's plan is incredible!

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  9. It is always nice to be with family! I love seeing that things are not as arduous for you at this new house or if they are you are not saying. I hope that you have a wonderful day, thank you for sharing your stories.

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    1. Right now I'm still unpacking boxes; hopefully, in a few months, I'll have the studio going and will hunker down with sewing, spinning, etc. You are so welcome; thank you for commenting Miss E.

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  10. I love reading about your adventures...and they are adventures! We moved 2 years ago.....cleaned out and still had too much stuff. Not any more.... I was on a mission. I do remember the boxes. So good to see and hear about your family. Glad they are closer. And thankful you are moving electrical switches to more convenient and safer places!

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    1. ANita, tomorrow I may blog about last Monday; it was enough to turn my gray hair back to blonde!

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  11. What fine snow-photos1 and happy hay with happy cats! And such a fine horse! Pretty dog! People full of a loving heart! And such a blessed Sandra in the middle of an "extrano" lifestory! I love the old English prayer!

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    1. Dori,you are SO right...blessed Sandra! God is good and has a good plan for our lives so He might be glorified! xoxo in Him.

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  12. It's so so wonderful that you have SO much family, so much love and support, right there near you!! I'm happy for you. Looks beautiful in all that snow! Stay warm - I agree about the heating bill. It was awful.

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    1. It truly is; Saturday was spent visiting my parents. For several hours, we had a lovely chin wag. About the heating bill, I'm looking into alternative sources...HVAC and propane ...because I'm too old to start with the wood stove again. lol

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  13. Hi Sandra,
    The snow is so pretty...and family is such a blessing...I hope you're having a wonderful winter in your new home...so sorry to hear about the plumbing probs...
    ~Affectioknit-ly,
    Teresa

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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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