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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, January 14, 2018

Sabbath Keeping - Beginnings


"And I sent messengers unto them, saying,
"I am doing a great work, 
so that I cannot come down.
Why should the work cease,
whilst I leave it and come down to you?"

"With the possible exception of the equator,
everything begins somewhere."
~ C. S. Lewis

"To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance."
~ Oscar Wilde ~

"Become the friend you've always wanted and you'll always be in good company." ~ Sandra ~

"There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth - not going all the way, and not starting." ~ Buddha ~

"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward." ~ C. S. Lewis ~

"Be willing to be a beginner every single morning." ~ Meister Eckhart ~

"The beginning is the most important part of the work." ~ Plato ~

"You can't go back and change the beginning but you can start where you are and change the ending." ~ C. S. Lewis ~

"The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones." ~ proverb ~

"Start by doing what's necessary; 
then do what's possible;
and suddenly you are doing the impossible."
~ Francis of Assisi

"The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works." ~ Augustine of Hippo ~

"Just as we end our holiday activities, we have this new year to celebrate. This is not a one day event, but our chance to live every precious day we are alive. Our lives are made up of one meaningful moment after another." ~ Alexandra Stoddard ~

"One of the great things about life is that you can start over. With God there are always new beginnings and second chances. He specializes in giving people fresh starts. While you may feel overwhelmed at times and held back by painful recollections, haunting fears, remorse, shame or guilt, God's power in your present life is not limited b what took place in your past. When you are governed and manipulated by your painful memories you allow your past to control you future. But when you choose to give God the controls He can do amazing things with the rest of your life. You can start now and have a brand-new ending." ~ Sue Augustine ~

"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells."
~ 2 Peter 3:10-13

Please pray for ~ Daisy ~ Mat and his son ~ Steve ~ Jim ~ Rebekah ~ Gloria ~ Janice ~ 

Last week the computer slept in, thus no Sabbath Keeping. This post is a welcome to 2018 and a suggestion to search (because I couldn't find it) for Andy Stanley's video on Nehemiah 6:3 entitled "I am doing a great work and cannot come down." Essentially, his message was: "What's that one thing you need to finish in order to make 2018 a better year for you and those around you?" It might be getting out of debt, putting down the booze, getting off drugs, stop gossiping, lose weight, finish that book, stop being negative, stop complaining, or ______________________. Fill in the blank with what's your thing to bring to completion? If you have two or three things, write them down and put them where you can see them every morning. Join me and every morning, focus on doing something to whittle down your thing(s) and move forward in joyful anticipation of a job well done.

NOTE: THANKS to Rainey for the Andy Stanley video link...here.

Welcome to 2018; choose to do your great work and be happy. 

Monday, January 08, 2018

My Holy Space is a Thin Place

Every now and again the flat top (as Daddy calls the lap top) computer likes to sleep in. Yesterday was such a day; for whatever reason, it wouldn't start and that's the reason there's no Sabbath Keeping post. That sort of threw my entire day off kilter and, after church, I spent the day inside except for tending to horses before dark. I was so off kilter I completely forgot about the new Bible study starting at 5 p.m. and only remembered twelve hours later when I was having morning devotions at 5 a.m.


Folks have sent e-mails asking for more of the story as well as photos; here 'tis:

Above, the place Dave and I married and built a life together was built around 1870 (click here for photos) and we were the third family to live there. That farm, with many, many acres for sold for $300.00 in back taxes to Abindigo White; this would have been around the time of the Late Great Unpleasantness. Dave's mother was dandled on her Grandfather's knee, he being wounded during that War and claimed he was unfit for labor thereafter. Somehow he managed to sire more than two handful's of children, a fact Dave and I found enormously humorous. Dave's mother didn't see that same humor and was sorely put out with us. 

During Christmas holidays, 1900, the original brick house caught fire (some say it started in the kitchen) and burned to the ground. When a farm hand rode a quarter mile to Joe White's Store, where Mr. White was playing poker, to tell Mr. White his house was burning, it's reported Mr. White said, "Let 'er burn. I'll just build me a bigger and better one!"  Mr. White was known for his fondness for poker and after Mr. Thomas Hawkins, Master Carpenter, finished the job, Mr. White proposed they sit down to a game of poker. The stakes? If Mr. White won, he didn't pay Mr. Hawkins and if Mr. Hawkins won, he'd get double.

Mr. Hawkins walked away with the whiskey in his belly and went on to build many fine homes in southwest Virginia.

In 1948, Mr. White sold the farm, with many, many acres, to Mr. Gillespie, a relative of Dave's through his mother, and in 1995 Dave and I purchased the broken down homestead, outbuildings and almost thirty acres of land from the original Mr. G's grandson and Dave's cousin. 

It was here God gave me the reality of the dream He put into my six-year old heart. Both Mom and Daddy's people were agrarian's, both families being raised on hard scrabble farms in Appalachia. Daddy's Mothers' people were Scot's (Scotch being the tape...ahem) Irish and Mom's people, near as I can tell, were also from the United Kingdom. Dad's oral history, from his oldest sister, my beloved Aunt Bonnie, says our people came across the English Channel via Brittany or Normandy but almost certainly before either were so called by their "newer" names (newer being a relative word).  It's interesting, to me at least, I'm the fairest in the family and am easily identified as Celt, Scots or Irish. I've been blessed to live twice in a land I describe as a thin place; a holy space where God is close. Then again, that could be because I've walked the land and dedicated both farms for His use and glory. God's glory cannot be contained in either a beautiful location or between two people; God's glory, like God Himself, simply IS.


Christian Celts, or Celtic Christians if you prefer, believed there are places where God's presence or spirit is more accessible than other places. A place where heaven and earth seem to touch, rather reminding me of the Sistine Chapel ceiling where God and man almost touch fingers and where the Holy meets human, reminiscent of the Garden, prior to the Fall. I believe it's possible for two humans to experience, between them, such a thin place. A place where the Holy Spirit is at work in such a way as to pull back the Veil and a glimpse of Heaven disturbs the normal and make us Homesick if only for the briefest of moments. God's grace is both mysterious and a gift and it makes some uncomfortable. If they can't understand it, it must not be "real" Christianity or so say some modern preachers. In millennium gone by, mystics such as Julian of Norwich or Hildegard, were revered and I find it unfortunate modern day folks have to drag feminism into the fray. Just as the Twilight series dirties the blood of Christ, feminism dirties the purity of mystics.

How like us to decry that which we do not understand. As Shakespeare's Hamlet said, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." I say, "Let God out of His box; He's more than capable of handling His affairs than are we!"

The Celts said, "Heaven and earth are only three feet apart but in thin places, closer than three feet." Perhaps the most famous thin place is Iona, where Christianity in Scotland began and is on my "to-visit" list...soon.

Gosh! That was some tear, eh? 
Someone help me down off this soapbox, please!


My new home is a manufactured home, meaning it was built in four sections in a factory, trucked to this location and fitted together. In its own way, it is as amazing as the first farm house. Inside walls are twelve inches thick, it has lovely insulation, propane fireplace, house generator and, thanks to my nephew it has a whole house surge protector! While it has three floors, everything I need is on the center floor...master bed and bath, living room, half bath, kitchen/dining room combination, sun room turned into office and a laundry room. From the laundry room is a deck which will, soon, have a roof and be screened in so I can have an outside room.  Upstairs has two bedrooms, full bath and a sitting room. with a marvelous view due to an entire bank full of windows overlooking the pond. (Other photos here and here.) I intend to have a small chapel, perhaps seating six people, placed on the other side of the pond...no heat, no a.c. but with lots of windows with screens and a small alter. to kneel in prayer. A place to sit and ponder God's Word, His holiness; a place to sit, pray then meditate. Among the Holy Place a Holy Space to partake and witness the Thin Place thick with His love.


This view is while standing at the kitchen sink, over looking the pond and, into the distance, my far field. Current plans include a raised garden bed for veggies and cut flowers and a small orchard. Putting all between the back driveway and pond ensure water when summer's heat threatens the life of the plants.


This was one of the first photos, taken from the pond's dam, looking toward the house with that beautiful view blocked by lots and lots of trees.


All the one hundred foot pine trees have been cut down and the other trees, both beside the pond and beside the studio (to the left of the house) have been trimmed. Pine trees have very shallow roots and I didn't want to take one stormy night with my house caved in half. Yes, the pond is frozen but not totally over; it's not safe to skate or walk across. 


The original pole shed are the three bays on the left. The three bays on the right were added right after I moved in and already it seems the space is used in full. The tractor and equipment are hidden from view and when it's warmer, I'll re-arrange again. I like a tidy place, can you tell?

Yet again, God has blessed me with His grace, mercy, love, holding me in tender loving care. Once again God has brought me to a place where He not only cherishes me but lets me know I am cherished. None of us could count His myriad blessings. Oh, we could count the ones we know...breath in our body, food and drink, clothing, a Bible...but there are too many to count of His unknown blessings...safety when we didn't know we were in danger, protection from the ill will of another and on and on and on...

I've downsized in home, about half, and increased in land, more than half again and am, again, caught in one of His thin places. Like Daddy says, "I'm ready to go but I'm not homesick" and will enjoy God's peace, calm, joy, content to rest and work in Him until I go Home. Folks say, "Be blessed" and that's all right but I say, "God bless you" because I want His blessings. I ask for His blessings and I also give His blessings away because God cannot fill an already full vessel.

We are blessed to be a blessing.

Ponder this ~ Thomas Jones, a Welsh preacher, said, "

"Our Lord is great, and great His praise
From just this one small part of earth,
Then what of the image of His greatness
Which comes from the whole of His fine work?
...What of the greatness and pure loveliness,
Of God Himself?"

What indeed?!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sabbath Keeping ~ New Year's Eve 2017


"Forget the former things; 
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up;
do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland."
~ Isaiah 43:18-19 ~

"All discarded lovers should be given a second chance,
but with somebody else."
~ Mae West

"What are you allowing to stop you from letting go and starting over?"

"You may have a fresh start any time you choose, for this thing we call "failure" is not the falling down but the staying down." ~ Mary Pickford ~

"For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning."
~ T. S. Elliot ~

"The beginning is always today." ~ Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley ~

"The first step towards getting somewhere 
is to decide you're not going to stay where you are."
~ J. P. Morgan

"The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become - because He made us. He invented us. He invented all the different people that you and I were intended to be...It is when I turn to Christ, when I give up myself to His personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own." ~ C. S. Lewis ~

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." ~ Seneca ~

"The chief beauty about time
is that you cannot waste it in advance.
The next year, the next day, 
the next hour are lying ready for you,
as perfect, as unspoiled,
as if you had never wasted or misapplied 
a single moment in all your life.
You can turn over a new leaf every hour
if you choose."
~ Arnold Bennett

"When someone you love dies, you are given the gift of "second chances". Their eulogy is a reminder that the living can turn their lives around at any point. You're not bound by the past; that is who you used to be. You're reminded that your feelings are not who you are, but how you felt at that moment. Your bad choices defined you yesterday, but they are not who you are today. Your future doesn't have to travel the same path with the same people. You can start over. You don't have to apologize to people that won't listen. You don't have to justify your feelings or actions, during a difficult time in your life. You don't have to put up with people that are insecure and want you to fail. All you have to do is walk forward with a positive outlook, and trust that God has a plan that is greater than the sorrow you left behind. The people of quality that were meant to be in your life won't need you to explain the beauty of your heart. They already understand what being human is---a roller coaster ride of emotions during rainstorms and sunshine, sprinkled with moments when you can almost reach the stars." ~ Shannon L. Alder

"You are never too old to set another goal or dream another dream." 
~ C. S. Lewis ~

"God reminds us of the past lest we get into a shallow security in the present."
~ Oswald Chambers

"And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been."
~ Ranier Maria Wilke ~

"And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command 
but one we have had from the beginning. 
I ask that we love one another. 
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. 
As you have heard from the beginning, 
his command is that you walk in love." ~ 2 John 1:5-6

Please pray for ~ Sharon's family and friends as they wend their way through the shadow lands ~ Rebekah ~ Jim ~ Betty ~ 

In 2018 may you be overwhelmed with God's grace, mercy, love, favor, kindness, and, in turn, shower those in your sphere of influence with love.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Sharon answered Him saying, "Lord, I believe"


Sharon D. died last week. We've known each other for nigh on thirty years and while our friendship wasn't deep it was abiding and based on a mutual faith in and love for Jesus. Her celebration home going and memorial service was this week and the band of family and friends gathered were bonded through a mutual love of Jesus and Sharon. She was a Christian, a Godly woman of strong faith who lived her faith in small ways and large, both quietly and strongly. If she said she was praying for you, you could consider it fait accompli.

As I sat in the small chapel I thought over the years and was startled to realize Sharon and I mostly knew each other through our leaving. One or the other of us would leave central Virginia for Texas or South Carolina or Southwest Virginia. These leavings were always preceded by Bible study and prayer.  One of the very few times in my life God spoke to me using another person, He used Sharon. I was in a dither, trying to be at peace with a decision to uproot and move to S.C. Sharon quietly opened her Bible and said, "God is impressing upon me to read this verse" and she did. That same verse was one I'd read earlier in the week and a few days later was quoted by my Mom. To this day, other than me (and, of course, God) no one knows the connection or the verse.

God still speaks but we must daily be in His Word to perceive His whisper. 

Later, I told Sharon how God had used her to help me, both of us knowing it was another of His mysterious ways of dealing with His daughters.

Years later I met Dave and after a six year courtship we decided to move and marry on the front lawn of Thistle Cove Farm. Sharon was there in spirit and prayer then visited later with her best friend, Marti.

Sharon and I weren't intimates. We didn't delve into each other's lives and plumb the depths. We were women who held the other in high esteem and prayer, celebrating Jesus, secure in the knowledge we'd end our earthly days "absent in the body, present with the Lord".

Sharon was five days younger than I and has a daughter, Cat, who has a fiance, Will. The three of them had one last wonderful adventure when they traveled to Europe this Autumn. The photo montage shows extreme happiness on those three faces as they traipsed across alpines and villages. I think watching that video again and again will help with the grief process but as I told Cat, "Grief takes as long as it takes. It can't be rushed or ignored else it show up later in ways you don't want or need to deal with." As C. S. Lewis said, "Sorrow is not a state but a process." Dave's been dead six plus years and the grief still catches me unaware. I'm not in a puddle on a daily, or even weekly, basis but the grief is as real as it ever was with the gaping emptiness just as huge. (And please don't e-mail me with the advice to "get over it" but if you want to give words of encouragement, edification and love, those are gladly accepted!).

"Talk to me about the truth of religion and I'll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I'll listen submissively. But don't come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don't understand." ~ C. S. Lewis ~ 

Grief is a foreign country with an unknown language and there's no guide book. Most of us don't want to visit but if we live long enough, we'll get to to that land. God alone knows how long we'll reside there but He is with us (me) each and every moment. Had He not been, I would have followed Dave.

Sharon, don't rest in peace. You're free from pain, suffering and all the ties that bound you to earth. No doubt you heard, "Well done thou good and faithful servant" and have joined that great celebration choir. Who knows the plans God has for us and for His glory but, for those who love Him and are called, those plans include Heaven for all eternity. He has work yet for each of us; I know, beyond a shadow of doubt, you'll work joyfully as you gaze upon Jesus' face. Just as you've done.

The last time we saw each other we held hands and I whispered a quiet prayer into your ear. I also wanted you to tell Dave, if allowed, I'm doing okay but as my greedy brain cast about for the right way and words to pray, I forgot my question.  People tell me Dave is watching over me and hears me should I talk to him but I'm not comfortable with that notion and can't find anything Biblical to support it. I am comfortable knowing God watches over me and gives His angels watch care as well. In ways large and small God lets us (me) know He cares. When I arrived at the chapel, the greeter handed me a yellow rose. Yellow roses were the number two choice Dave always gave me and in being handed that yellow rose, God let me know He knows and He cares. I hope He was as loving toward the others in that room.

Sharon, once again our friendship is based on leaving. I was born first and you're leaving first. Now, as does Gabriel, and with that great cloud of witnesses gone before, you're standing in the presence of Almighty God! That makes me shout and dims the grief; Praise God!

Ponder this ~ "Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even though they die and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

And Sharon answered Him saying, "Lord, I believe."

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Sabbath Keeping - Christmas Eve 2017


born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
born a child and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever,
now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal spirit
rule in all our hearts alone;
by thine all sufficient merit,
raise us to thy glorious throne."

"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart."
~ Luke 2:1-19 ~

Please remember in prayer ~ those family and friends of Sharon D. who passed away this week ~ Rebekah ~ Jim ~ military members ~ all those working on Christmas Day ~ EMS ~ law enforcement ~ hospital staff ~ ...thank you all for your service!

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sabbath Keeping


"The Lord God is my strength, 
and He will make my feet like hinds' feet,
and He will make me walk upon mine high places."
~ Habakkuk 3:19

"Sometimes God will put a Goliath in your path for you to find the David within you."

"Nothing is so strong as gentleness,
nothing so gentle as real strength."
~ Francis de Sales ~

"In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength."
~ Robert E. Lee ~

"Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light." ~ Helen Keller ~

"It is not the cares of today, but the cares of tomorrow, that weigh a man down. For the needs of today we have corresponding strength given. For the morrow we are told to trust. It is not ours yet. It is when tomorrow's burdens is added to the burden of today that the weight is more than a man can bear." ~ George Macdonald ~

"Deny your weakness, and you will never realize God's strength in you."
~ Joni Eareckson Tada

"Only he who can say, "The Lord is the strength of my life" can say, "Of whom shall I be afraid?"
~ Alexander MacLaren ~

"No one enjoys feeling weak, whether it is emotionally, spiritually or physically. There is something within the human spirit that wants to resist the thought of weakness. Many times this is nothing more than our human pride at work. Just as weakness carries a great potential for strength, pride carries an equally great potential for defeat." ~ Charles Stanley ~

"Faith upholds a Christian under all trials, by assuring him that every painful dispensation is under the direction of his Lord; that chastisements are a token of His love; that the season, measure, and continuance of his sufferings, are appointed by Infinite Wisdom, and designed to work for his everlasting good; and that grace and strength shall be afforded him, according to his need."
~ John Newton ~
"I am mended by my sickness,
enriched by my poverty, 
and strengthened by my weakness."
~ Abraham Wright

"When I have kept Him waiting when I ought not, He has waited even then. Always waiting - so patient with my foolishness, my weakness, my fear. Our fellowship is with God, and fellowship is friendship, and friendship means that partnership which, on His part, is the accommodating of His strength to my weakness." ~ G. Campbell Morgan ~

"If we desire our faith to be strengthened, we should not shrink from opportunities where our faith may be tried, and therefore, through trial, be strengthened." ~ George Mueller ~

"Remember, is is not your weakness that will get in the way of God's working through you, but your delusions of strength. His strength is made perfect in our weakness! Point to His strength by being willing to admit your weakness." ~ Paul David Tripp ~

"Do not work so hard for Christ that you have no strength to pray,
for prayer requires strength."
~ Hudson Taylor

"Prayer is the acid test of the inner man's strength. A strong spirit is capable of praying much more and praying with all perseverance until the answer comes. A weak one grows weary and fainthearted in the maintenance of praying." ~ Watchman Nee ~

"The remedy for discouragement is the Word of God. When you feed your heart and mind with its truth, you regain your perspective and find renewed strength." ~ Warren Wiersbe ~

"Occasions of adversity best discover how great virtue or strength each one hath. For occasions do not make a man frail, but they show what he is." ~ Thomas a Kempis ~

"It is the consciousness of the threefold joy of the Lord, His joy in ransoming us, His joy in dwelling within us as our Savior and Power for fruitbearing and His joy in possessing us, as His Bride and His delight; it is the consciousness of this joy which is our real strength. Our joy in Him may be a fluctuating thing; His joy in us knows no change." ~ Hudson Taylor ~

"God will not permit any troubles to come upon us,
unless He has a specific plan 
by which a great blessing can come out of the difficulty."
~ Peter Marshall

"But the Lord is faithful,
and He will strengthen you
and protect you from the evil one."
~ 2 Thessalonians 3:3 ~

Please pray for ~ Rebekah ~ Jim ~ Sharon ~ Molly's son ~ Rick ~ 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Quiet Mornings Begin the Day



Mornings, for the most part, get off to a quiet and slow start, just like this post.


When the front door opens, this is the facing wall; a few things that mean something to me or make a statement about me. All photos with natural light, untouched so therefore, sometimes, difficult to make out. Just like life a lot of times, eh?

Starting at top, going clockwise..."LOVE RULES. Hold Hands ...Often. Say I Love You. Encourage Each Other. Stay on the Same Team. Remember why you fell in love. Be the first to say I'm sorry. LAUGH Everyday. Kiss Just Because. Live Happily Ever After."

A photo of an Irish cottage in a rough barn wood frame.

The Road to the house of a friend is never long.

Bless This Home brass plaque and in the center:

HAPPY IS A home THAT SHELTERS A friend.

These things bless and warm me every time I enter my home; I hope others feel the same.


Needful things...a place to hang keys that's handy but out of sight of the entrance. This is an old rake head, topped with a beautiful braided fabric...I call it a fob but there's probably a more correct name. Again, something old, given new life and future...just like me, bless His Name forever.


This photo probably shouldn't be included but as I've little reason to bow to convention now...it's under the key rake and where I perch to put on work boots in the morning. The bench is hand crafted and has been with me for twenty, or more, years. Under the bench is a boot tray to catch dirty and wet boots and the strange object to the left is the boot remover Daddy and Mom made me a few decades ago.



This metal deer is on the wall in front of the boot tray and reminds me of unicorns which I believe were hunted into existence some thousands of years ago. Did you know the Bible mentions unicorns? People say they don't exist and they are correct, they don't now but I truly believe they used to exist. This site tells the numbers of extinct animals; in 2006 it was 784 and today it's 905; it's happening too rapidly and it frightens me. We humans are given stewardship over the Earth and, for the most part, I'm thinking we're not doing a commendable job.


This old ladder is hand crafted with rope rungs and holds a small collection of rugs amassed by Dave and I while traveling the world. The wooden grain shovel is also hand crafted and has a chip due to use in days past.


Morning light cast lamp shadow against the wall; the sofa table is in the living room, behind the sofa and a favorite spot for yellow roses, a creche, a non-working antique clock and on either end, two glass lamps filled with shells. The wooden case to the left holds CD's of favorite music and a candle holder made by a WV friend.

I


There are several book cases in the living room but none of them are yet put to rights. I'm still unpacking boxes, and will be unpacking boxes by Valentine Day is my guess, so I'm putting things out that bring me joy...as I unpack them. This photo of Mom and Daddy, married 66 years, rests beside my little Irish tea pot and mug. The mug wasn't made in Ireland but has a little sheep on it so compliments, I think, the tea pot. It all rests in a trugg atop a handmade book given me when I taught in Russia.


OH JOY! One thing unpacked is my collection of animals bells. A dear friend, ML, gave me a little sheep bell she purchased on a trip to London and that started the collection. There are horse, sheep, goat, cow bells from Romania, Poland, Russia, Hungary, Czech Republic...mostly Eastern Europe.


This little creche was purchased at a thrift store with figures surrounding Jesus. Some folks "stage" a creche so Mary and Joseph are on one side with Wise Men, shepherd and animals facing. That's good but I like Jesus in the middle with everyone in a circle...like He is in our hearts, you know?


Somewhere is another block with an R but who knows where?


This poster has been with me since 1989, the year Dave and I met and, for a short while, lived in Maui. Lion Coffee is my favorite brand and Kona my favorite coffee. Is it silly for a senior citizen to have a poster in her home? I surely hope not because this isn't the only poster that's going to be put on my walls!

No idea who did this stitch work of the Lord's Prayer but, again, it's not the only stitch work going on the walls. More to follow, eventually.


Over the dividing wall between living and dining room is hung this crochet piece. It's held to a couple of pieces of old barn wood and looks wonderful! (I think so anyway.)


That's it for now; don't want to bore the socks off you nor strain your eye sight -LOL-. I always feel "funny" showing photos of my home...who's interested anyway? There's a lot LOT of calm, peace, quiet, serenity with hand crafted pieces and memories galore. If you've read my blog for any time atall you know I'm big on stories and almost every single thing in this house has a story; sometimes the story goes back a few generations.

Even so, all this stuff isn't as important as the folks who visit whether for a few hours or days. It's the folks I want to make welcome, to say, "Sit a spell, relax, put down your worries for a while. We'll have some short bread and tea (hot or cold), chin wag or not and before you leave, I'll tuck you in prayer." Life is shorter than we think and probably want so take time daily to treat yourself, to remind yourself you are made in God's image. Then, when you've gotten your gumption going, share your special self with a stranger. Give them a smile, a piece of Dove chocolate, pay their toll or buy them coffee. Tis the season of giving so give to be emptied and God will fill you again.

Ponder this ~ "To have been spared in the war and seen victory, to have been given the chance to rest and to re-adjust myself, to have fallen in love completely and unreservedly, makes all one's personal and even the world's troubles seem small and petty." (In a letter written to Princess Elizabeth, around 1946, according to Philip Eade, author of Young Prince Philip: His Turbulent Early Life.)"

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were married 70 years on November 20, 2017. 
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