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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.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Hello, Goodbye....

HA! Bet you might have thought something else, eh? Recently, it was my extreme pleasure to go on a small group tour of the Lake District, UK with Helen Bertram of Whitecroft Traditional Tours. It was, in one word, excellent; to use two words...most excellent. All I had to do was show up and be taken care of; long time blog readers know that for an amazingly rare treat. To say it was a shock, coming home to the lovely cacophonic reception of dogs, cats, horses who ALL wanted me to get back to the job of tending to their needs...I ask you...is there a recovery program available for me? 

But I digress. I'm at the library, again, sigh, and am uploading photos of the trip with the actual travelogue to come later...when internet at home has been restored and, more importantly, when someone teaches me how, using my extremely high tech language here, make smaller my photos. Since the "powers that be" decided Picasa needed to die, I have NO idea how to (high tech verbiage again) make smaller my photos...they are extremely dense and need to be around 350 dpi for upload.
I've just learned I can make an appointment with the library high tech geek and see if they're able to help...please, God, make it so.)


Each day/evening had special delights, each evening we would say, "Best day ever; it can't get any better!" and then...and then...BETTER! My notes are home so I can't remember (ducking and running from those women who do remember! sorrrreeeee!) the name of this home but we had dinner here one evening. All our gamboling was done within a 40 mile area, thereabouts, and we still didn't "see it all". This man had three black labs, all of them totally sweet and he, the man, was over the moon when we squealed (you know women...), "We'd LOVE to see your dogs!" The pleasure on the man's face was over the moon happy...people wanted to see, and love on, his canine companions.

Not all photos will be of humans and dogs; some are meant to whet your appetite; the last photo is for Sue, she of Oregon fame.


I haven't received permission to put names to faces, so you'll have to enjoy sans names, except for Helen and Betsy, Helen's cohort in crime tour.


(photographic evidence of Betsy loving on a dog.)




 Helen Bertram, Whitecroft Tours, on right



New Jersey


Our host and Helen, seated at head of table.


Mrs. Heelis and Mrs. T.


Helen and Mrs. T celebrating H's birthday and the arrival of Mrs. Heelis.


listening to Mrs. Heelis


(I would tell you where...but I've forgotten...I do remember this is a private home)


enthralled by Mrs. Heelis


practicing for retirement


and, because people always tell me..."We never see photos of you, Sandra; where are you?" Well folks, here am I.

I took about 1,000 photos and it'll take time to do the travelogue...especially as I have to come to town to access i-net. Be patient...God willing and the crik don't rise, it'll happen.

Ponder this ~ "The world is a book and those who do not travel, read only one page." 
~ Augustine of Hippo ~

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Sabbath Keeping


"Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and
healing to the bones."
~ Proverbs 16:24 ~

If you can't say anything nice
Don't say anything at all. 
~ Mom ~

For most folks, it doesn't cost anything extra to be nice.

"Not only do I think being nice and kind is easy, but being kind, in my opinion, is important."
~ Dwayne Johnson ~

"I still get weepy when I see a father being nice to his child. It so affects me." ~ Pat Conroy ~

"Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." ~ Mark Twain ~

Kindness is never wasted.

"Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you." ~ Princess Diana ~

"Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate." ~ Albert Schweitzer ~

"Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them and they bless you, the giver." ~ Barbara de Angelis ~

"It's nice to be important
but it's more important to be nice."
~ John Templeton ~

"I'm just one woman away, my mother, from being the same as Mike Tyson. I would have ended up like him if my mama had not been so tough and strong. A lot of people, including Mike, don't know I came from the ghetto. They think I'm too nice and proper. But that's the way my mama raised me - to look people in the eye and respect them." ~ Evander Holyfield ~

"Wherever there is a human being,
there is an opportunity for a kindness."
~ Seneca ~

"Three things in life are important.
The first is to be kind.
The second is to be kind.
The third is to be kind."
~ Henry James ~

"Always be a little kinder than necessary." ~ J. M. Barrie ~

"There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity." ~ Nathaniel Branden ~

"Be kind to one another,
tenderhearted, forgiving one another
as God in Christ forgave you."
~ Ephesians 4:29 ~

Please pray for ~ Katie, JW  & Mason ~  and me, as there might be great change in my life ~

(Apologies all...my home internet isn't working and, lately, life is chaotic, thus, no blog updates nor blog visits and am at the county library doing this update.  I've used this time to take a vacation (see photo above and tell me where...), try and catch up with mowing, take a quick trip to visit family, celebrated July 4th and dealing with "the rest of life". To those who've written to say, "You're missed"...many grateful thanks and to those who've stuck with me...many grateful thanks. It's been a mess and as Dave would say, "Some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you." As Julian of Norwich said, "All shall be well..." and so it is.)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sabbath Keeping


"I know the plans I have for you",
says the Lord.
"They are plans for good and
not for disaster,
to give you a future and a hope."

"God is not concerned about our plans. He does not say-"Do you want to go through this bereavement, this upset?" He allows these things for His own purpose. The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, nobler men and women; or they are making us more captious and fault-finding, more insistent upon our own way. The things that happen either make us fiends, or they make us saints; it depends entirely upon the relationship we are in to God. If we say- "Thy will be done," we get the consolation of John 17, the consolation of knowing that our Father is working according to His own wisdom. When we understand what God is after we will not get mean and cynical. Jesus has prayed nothing less for us than absolutely oneness with Himself as He was one with the Father. Some of us are far off it, and yet God will not leave us alone until we are one with Him, because Jesus has prayed that we may be." ~ Charles Spurgeon ~

"Don't ask God to guide your steps
if you're not willing to move your feet."

"...we all die, and the length of our life has been set before the earth was formed. Sometimes God takes the little ones to keep the eyes of the rest of the family on Heaven. They will never forget where this road leads if one of their own has already come to the end of it." ~ Susan Claire Potts, Burning Faith ~

"The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, 
and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety."
~ George Mueller

"We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be." ~ C. S. Lewis ~

"I just follow God's lead. One step, one day and one opportunity at a time. The hardest part is not becoming distracted." ~ Carlos Wallace ~

"Sometimes you have to walk through fire
in order to reach your calling."
~ Shannon Alder

"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes into rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominable and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards, You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself." ~ C. S. Lewis ~

"God has a plan."

"And we know that God causes all things
to work together for good to those
who love God, to those who
are called according to His purpose."

Please pray for ~ Jim ~ Stephanie ~ Sandra ~ 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sabbath Keeping



"My son, keep your father's command and
 do not forsake your mother's teaching." 
~ Proverbs 6:20 ~

"I remembered my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. 
They have clung to me all my life." 
~ Abraham Lincoln ~

"The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother."
~ Theodore Hesburgh ~

"Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else's happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you're not sure what the right thing is...and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong."
~ Donna Ball, At Home on Ladybug Farm ~

"But behind all your stories is your mother's story because hers is where yours begins."
~ Mitch Abram ~

"My mother had a great deal of trouble with me but I think she enjoyed it." ~ Mark Twain ~

"There is nothing in the world of art like the songs mother used to sing." ~ Billy Sunday ~

"My mother thinks I am the best. 
And I was raised to always believe what my mother tells me."
~ Diego Maradona ~

"My family is everything. I am what I am thanks to my mother, my father, my brother, my sister... because they have given me everything. The education I have is thanks to them."
~ Ronaldinho ~

"Expectation is the mother of all frustration." ~ Antonio Banderas

"I'll be a wife and mother first, then First Lady." ~ Jackie Kennedy

"I don't agree with the whole 'my mother's my friend' approach because you're their mum, and there has to be a difference between the generations." ~ Jane Asher ~

"Happy is the son [or daugher] whose faith in his [her] mother remains unchallenged."
~ Louisa May Alcott ~

"If your mother did not know how to love herself, or your father did not know how to love himself, then it would be impossible for them to teach you how to love yourself. They were doing the best they could with what they had been taught as children." ~ Louisa L. Hay ~

"As Jesus was saying these things a woman in the crowd called out, 
"Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you." 
Jesus replied, 
"Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it." 
~ Luke 11:28-28 ~

Please pray for  ~ Millie ~ Stephanie ~ Sandra ~ 

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Sabbath Keeping


"Let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises 
kindness, justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,"
declares the LORD."
~ Jeremiah 9:24

"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others;
for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness;
and for poise, walk with the knowledge 
that you are never alone."
~ Audrey Hepburn

"The greatest thing a man can do for his heavenly Father 
is to be kind to some of his other children."
~ Henry Drummond

"You cannot do a kindness too soon,
for you never know how soon it will be too late."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Want to snatch a day from the manacles of boredom? Do overgenerous deeds, acts beyond reimbursement. Kindness without compensation. Do a deed for which you cannot be repaid."
~ Max Lucado ~
"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." 
~ Aesop

"Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again." ~ Og Mandino ~

"Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate." ~ Albert Schweitzer ~

"Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning." ~ Frederick W. Faber ~

"There's no use doing a kindness if you do it a day too late." 
~ Charles Kingsley ~

"Kindness is the sunshine in which virtue grows." 
~ Robert Green Ingersoll

"Let us hide our pains and sorrows. But, while we hide them, let them also be spurs within us to urge us on to all manner of overflowing kindness and sunny humor to those around us. When the very darkness within us creates a sunshine around us, then has the spirit of Jesus taken possession of our souls." ~ Frederick W. Faber ~

"Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness." 
~ C. S. Lewis ~

"Unseasonable kindness gets no thanks." 
~ Thomas Fuller ~ 

"No matter how low down you are; no matter what your disposition has been; you may be low in your thoughts, words, and actions; you may be selfish; your heart may be overflowing with corruption and wickedness; yet Jesus will have compassion upon you. He will speak comforting words to you; not treat you coldly or spurn you, as perhaps those of earth would, but will speak tender words, and words of love and affection and kindness. Just come at once. He is a faithful friend - a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." ~ D. L. Moody ~

"God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him
 in the heavenly realm in Christ Jesus, 
in order that in the coming ages He might show 
the incomparable riches of His grace, 
expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus."
~ Ephesians 2:6-7

Please pray for ~ Stephanie ~ Rose ~ Jim ~ Dewena ~ Laura ~ JP ~ Maxine ~ the Roberts ~ Diana and her Hero  ~ President Trump and other leaders ~ Sandra ~ 

Saturday, May 06, 2017

What You Need For A Reading Nook of Your Own


April's Full Pink Moon arrived on my birthday...a joyous gift!...and, absolutely knowing how to LIVE LARGE, (like you!) I treated myself to a frozen yogurt...smile! When the kind woman found out it was a birthday treat, she plopped a huge strawberry on top.


There are all manners of good things, on a daily basis, that, almost always, outweigh the not so good. Little kindnesses, treats that are both coming to us and, if we're smart, being given from us. One of the absolute best ways I give myself both grace and kindness is with a dedicated reading space.

After the Epic Mess and putting the bedroom to rights, I made a sweet little Reading Nook. I'm a firm believer that everyone should have a spot to call their very own, where they can sit and read or sit and think or sit and do nothing...all of which are done in my little nook.


The leather chair was a great find...not usually a fan of recliners but this one is on the shorter side and fits my body nicely...so nicely I've been known to fall asleep...wry smile. The sheep fleece keeps me comfortable, no matter the season, and, some years back, I knitted the purple wool shawl and use it to drape 'round my shoulders. The pillows are used to give back support and under my legs when the chair is reclined. A good reading light is a must and little touches like the battery operated candles lend coziness. Behind the candles is a green cafetan purchased in a Marrakech souk and hung for pleasant memories. Yes, that larger rug is Persian and was destroyed in the flood; while it can't be used in public areas, in the privacy of the bedroom, it's "okay".


Another cozy non-necessity is an electric fireplace that gives both ambiance and a little heat. It doesn't get very hot so the radio on top isn't in danger, neither is it hardly ever turned on. While reading, I'd rather have my imagination in use as opposed to warring with raucous noise.



The bookshelf under the candles contains books, magazines, writing boxes holding stationary, cards and colored pens to send notes and letters. It's not only reading I do in my nook.


The glass carafe was a gift from Sandra 2, my SC friend of many, many decades. It rests atop a small coaster from The Jefferson and another pleasant memory of a weekend with my husband.

This particular Reading Nook is in my bedroom and differs from others in the house and is only used prior to going to sleep. I love my space...each object has been placed with thought and consideration and every night, prior to sleep, great enjoyment is found here. Perhaps that's the secret to its success - loving the space, choosing each object with care, good lighting, comfortable chair, great reading material. It's a (not so small) way I, every night, take care of me gently and enjoy both space and act.

We're all different but the following are things that are a Must Have for my Reading Nook(s) and cozy contentment:

~A comfortable chair with good support...sides and back with pillows, throws, shawls or similar to cozy 'round shoulders should a chill arrive. The chair should have room to stretch out...a recliner or, perhaps a leather chair with ottoman, because one certainly needs a place to put up feet.
~A side table to hold book(s), beverage, essential oils, lotions, etc.
~a small aromatherapy diffuser with lavender essential oil. The diffuser doesn't have to be expensive as it's only going to be used for short periods of time and by the time I've read a chapter or twelve, my eyes are heavy with sleep and the room gently scented with lavender which is sleep inducing.
~Excellent lighting - I highly recommend OTT lights! There's an OTT light in every room in my house and my old eyes are greatly appreciative!
~A book case to hold old favorites and those to become favorites.
~While some do, I don't like cut flowers in a bedroom because their scent is overwhelming.

Do you have a Reading Nook? If so, what makes yours special for you and your situation?

Ponder this ~
"A reader lives a thousands lives before he dies. 
The man who never reads, lives only one." 
~ George R. R. Martin ~ 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sabbath Keeping


"He is like a [good] father to us,
tender and sympathetic to those who reverence Him.
For He knows we are but dust and that our days are few and brief,
like grass, like flowers, blown by the wind and gone forever.
But the loving-kindness of the Lord is from everlasting to
everlasting to those who reverence him."
~ Psalm 103:13-18 ~

"Pray
and let God worry."
~ Martin Luther

"The antidote for covetousness is contentment. the two are in opposition. Whereas the covetous, greedy person worships himself, the contented person worships God. Contentment comes from trusting God." ~ John Macarthur ~

"The more you go with the flow of life and surrender the outcome to God, and the less you seek constant clarity, the more you will find that fabulous things start to show up in your life."  ~ Mandy Hale ~

"I had no real communication with anyone at the time, so I was totally dependent on God. And He never failed me." ~ Diet Eman

"Faith isn't the ability to believe long and far into the misty future. It's simply taking God at His Word and taking the next step." ~ Joni Erickson Tada

"Faith is believing that God is going to take you places before you even get there."
~ Matthew Barnett

"Trust in God alone, and lean not on the needs of human help. Be not surprised when friends fail you; it is a failing world. Never reckon upon immutability in man; inconstancy you may reckon upon without fear of disappointment." ~ Charles Spurgeon

"We have very little faith in the Lord, very little trust. If we trusted the Lord as much as we trust a friend when we ask him to do something for us, neither we as individuals nor our whole country would suffer so much." ~ Thaddeus of Vitovnica

"Faith talks in the language of God.
Doubt talks in the language of man."
~ E. W. Kenyon

"I am optimistic about the future. Brethren, for our part, we must remain steadfast in hope, work with all our strength, and trust in God." ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf ~

"We are not saved by making promises to God. 
We are saved by believing God's promises to us."
~ Warren Wiersbe ~

"...it is presumptuous in me to wish to choose my path, because I cannot tell which path is best for me. I must leave it to the Lord, Who knows me, to lead me by the path which is best for me, so that in all things His will may be done." ~ Teresa of Avila

"Dedication is writing your name
 on the bottom of a blank sheet of paper
 and handing it to the Lord for Him to fill in."
~ Rick Renner

"Let your life reflect the faith you have in God. 
Fear nothing and pray about everything.
Be strong, trust God's word, and trust the process."
~ Germany Kent

"But the more you make the choice to live above your feelings, 
to trust God instead of what you may feel like doing, 
the stronger your faith becomes.
It's not about being perfect.
We will always bee on a journey of growing closer to God."
~ Tim Tebow

"I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
 may have power, together with all the saints, 
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may 
be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
~ Ephesians 3:17-19

Please pray for - Rose ~ Jim ~ Katie ~ President Trump and all government leaders ~ pastors ~