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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

~ August full moon, the sturgeon moon ~

The Five Solas

Sola Scriptura
Scripture Alone

Solus Christus
Christ Alone

Sola Gratia
Grace Alone

Sola Fide
Faith Alone

Soli Deo Gloria
To God alone the Glory

Prayer Keeping ~ Donald ~ Jim ~ Donna ~ Sandra ~ 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Loving Work of Hands and Hearts & Apron Giveaway

Do you know Tammy, Flat Creek Farm blog? Recently she posted Mr. W was back in the blacksmith shop, making, among other things, trowels out of railroad spikes...yes, railroad spikes!  Tammy gave the address of Mr. W's etsy shop so I hied myself there quick like a bunny and found the above.


To misquote Keats, a thing of beauty and a joy forever. I've asked Abba if He'll permit me to have this in Heaven so I can garden properly. It's perfectly made...fits well in my hand, has a slightly angled, sharpish edge for digging and it has a PW for maker's mark...Mr. W's initials. I only tell you about this now because, let's face it, once those railroad spikes are gone, they are g.o.n.e. Also, (selfish wench me) I wanted to make sure mine was in hand before I let the world know; they are sure to fly off the shelf, er, out of the shop. Do you know a gardener? This is the absolutely perfect gift for that gardener and s/he is sure to be the envy of their garden club!

Tis the season for craft show and fairs; recently I saw Mr. D who makes things of wood. Beautiful, useful things of wood that I've bought and given for Christmas gifts in years past.

He makes hand turned nut bowls

as well as very large bowls with beautifully fitting lids. He also made a marvelous jewelry box which I'll photograph later and show you.

"An intellectual says a simple thing in a hard way.
An artist says a hard thing in a simple way."
~ Charles Bukowski ~ 

There was a little craft show in the county seat today and one vendor stood out above the rest. I stopped in my tracks when I saw these young folks who are just getting started. When I asked for a business joy. When I asked the name of her joy and she said, "We've been thinking about a name but haven't come up with one. My name is Sarah and his name is Seth and we'd like to, somehow, combine the two. If you have any suggestions, we're open."

 ~ Sarah Jane and Seth are in black shirts ~ 

She took my notebook and wrote her name, e-address and phone number then handed it back to me. I looked at what she'd written and exclaimed, "You've got the perfect name for your business...Sarah Jane Designs" is what I thought of then but now I'm thinking... SARAHJANE Designs or SarahJane Designs or SARAHSETH Designs or SarahSeth Designs!" Actually, I don't think I said 'designs' but it was in my head. (I run into that a lot, stuff in my head that doesn't make it out of my mouth. Then again, far too frequently the exact opposite happens and then I'm done for.)

What do you think would make a good name for them? They do steampunk, repurposing and quotes on wood. The twin light above is made out of leftover bits and bobs and if I'd needed a lamp, it would have come home with me.

Lovely Bukowski quote...I like Bukowski but haven't found many people who know him and, must admit, was shocked, pleasantly so, to find him on Main Street. His poetry could sometimes be dark but then, isn't life sometimes dark? (As an support of my decision to live behind locked gates he wrote, "Do you hate people? I don't hate them...I just feel better when they aren't around." ---yessssss!---) (update note...I don't hate people but I do better when the fewer the better. I'm not good in crowds...INTJ doncha know? and tend to want to take over...which isn't greatly appreciated by some -grin-)

Do you think this would make a marvelous television table? Sarah said she enjoys steampunk and re-purposing things. In my day we called that "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without" then "reduce, reuse, recycle" came along and now it's "the 5 R's...refuse reduce reuse repurpose recycle".

Whatever. Just do your bit.

On Pinterest I found Reduce + Reuse + Recycle here and left in a hurry as I could loooooosssseeee myself on this page! In England it was called Make Do and Mend, which I also like.

In addition to prepping for winter, I've been busy doing this and that...knitting strewn on the porch hats and orange cowl for hunters, followed by a green camo cowl for a hunter, then a cotton green scarf with a tiny baby hand spun, hand dyed woolen hat sitting atop and the wildly yarned hat has bells hanging off. I knitted one for my sister and she wears it on her school bus runs and her "children" find it highly amusing. Steph, my sister, is a wonder! She's been a bus driver for decades and says it's her calling to bring a bit of saneness, love and joy into the lives of "her" children. She's been at it so long, she's now driving the grandchildren of the children she started driving. Hmmm, does that make sense?

Now, coming from the other end...a dark green acrylic 0 scarf, meaning it was joined and has no beginning nor end, but isn't a true mobius. Next is another cotton cowl, then a fat woolen circle that's going to be felted and used to warm my French press coffee press. The next is a green/white scarf then a wool throat scarf.

From my farmhouse kitchen comes blueberry jam, kiwi jam, strawberry jam and peach vanilla preserves. A taste test pronounces them all very delicious especially on my cat head biscuits or my cornbread, both made with buttermilk gotten when I churned ten pounds of butter a couple of weeks ago.

In the slow cooker now are apples, sugar and spices that will, sometime tomorrow, make a few pints of apple butter. (You would not believe how good the house smells!) I ran out of time but was going to make ricotta cheese today; perhaps tomorrow I'll make that cheese and an apple cake whose recipe was given me by Aunt Esther and is incredibly tasty!

"The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it - basically because you feel good, very good, when you are near or with them." ~ Charles Burkowski ~ 

Do you wear aprons? Grandmother B, wore pinafores, true pinafores, and those are the aprons of my childhood. She also wore flannel nightgowns and I still have one or two that remind me of her...plain, serviceable and heavy duty for these cold Appalachian winters.

This pinafore apron was made by a six months from 95 year old woman who passed away unexpectedly. Her daughter was selling the aprons because "Mother made them to sell and that's what I'm doing." I bought several, this bright, cheery yellow one is going to someone who leaves a comment answering "do you wear aprons and if so, what kind?" I'll take comments until Thursday evening, say 5 and then draw a name via and announce in a new post with more photos of aprons the old lady made.

Now. Back to the Two Fat Ladies of my last post...Clarissa Dickson Wright died at age 66 in March 2014 while Jennifer Patterson was first to die in August 1999. They traveled Great Britain in a antique Triumph motorcycle, dropping in on pony clubs, men's choral groups, abbey's and various other groups to make wonderful meals in kitchens not their own.
Jennifer wore rings...lots of them, while prepping and making food and it was a hoot to see her long, blood red manicured nails dipping into a mess of something or other!  They were fabulous cooks...long before Emeril sang out, "Pork fat rules!" these two women were using lard, pure butter and other things the food police have since declared "very bad for you". I'm of the opinion no food is bad for you, it's the lots and lots of food that's bad for you. Then again, both of the Two Fat Ladies were...fat and unashamedly loved their cooking and their food! As did Prince Charles from this account. Both were very interesting women who lived life deeply and, off and on, quite well. Finally, if you'd to see a tribute to Jennifer, click here.

Another aside...there are many, many reasons to love Two Fat Ladies and one of mine is I recognize so many places they go...Kylemore Abbey, Smithfield Market, Connemara and many other places...what great memories!

P. S. For the giveaway, you MUST leave a way for me to contact you...either leave your e-address in your comment or a link to your blog. Several have left comments but their settings are NO-REPLY and that's not good. If you win...there's no way to let you know.

Blessings ~ wonderful folks who still make things by hand ~ Two Fat Ladies ~ Flat Creek Farm's Tammy and Mr. W ~ knitting ~ cooking ~ food ~

Thursday, August 27, 2015

National Dog Day on the Farm

Sadie and Sam are both "good helpers" during farm chores, keeping an eye open for ground hogs, rabbits and other "farm vermin".

Dang. Now that I've loaded all these photos, I check and find out National Dog Day has been changed from Aug 26 to 31.

tough. It's after 9 p.m. and my flannel nightgown wants to go to bed and I must take it.

Gray Tom isn't fazed when Sadie decides to play; the cat takes it in stride, knowing he's really the ruler here.

An enjoyable time is spent sitting on the porch, watching Sadie Lovebug and Sam P. Spade, Secret Agent play in the yard.

Not sure what Sam is telling Sadie; bet it's interesting. These past few mornings the temp has been 42/43 degrees F around 6 a.m. but it's sure to be even cooler at 5...if I'd thought to check.

The county library has Two Fat Ladies DVD's and they are a hoot! Dave and I watched every episode, back in the day, and thoroughly enjoyed them. The Two Fat Ladies are now deceased but due to the magic of film, they can still be viewed and appreciated.

Blessings ~ cooler weather ~ Two Fat Ladies DVD's ~ my best buddies, Sadie and Sam ~ Gray Tom ~ people who pray and if you're one, please tuck me into prayer...a while back I had a bad fall and am struggling to recover, thank you ~

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

~ Kit Carson ~

"Above all else,
 guard your heart
 for out of it are the issues of life."

"Follow your heart, never surrender your dreams. Always believe in yourself and let God do the rest."
~ Simphiwe Ntuli ~

"I could take time to compliment you on your beauty and physical features, but I want to get to know your heart and soul." ~ Raghib Clitso ~

"It's okay to follow your heart but take your brain with you."
~ Nicole Hill ~

"It's never the right time for the wrong people in your life."
~ Sandra Bennett ~

"Women, consider guarding your heart until you find a man who is willing to protect it for you." ~ unknown ~

"It is not your experience, knowledge, or skills. Your heart is your most important leadership tool." ~ Michael Hyatt ~

"The problem with letting people tear your walls down, is that you never who wants to take down those walls just for the fun of it. For amusement purposes. Just to say that he knew that he could. At the end of the day...the things you build should stay built. And you are no scapegoat for the sins of other people, in anyone's life. How dare anyone take down your walls not in order to see you; but only in order to feed their ego. In order to make you pay for the sins not done by your own hands." ~ C. JoyBell C. ~

"Some people need to be loved from a distance." 
~ Sandra Bennett ~

"While God does want us to be open with others, he also encourages us to put boundaries in place as we do. He talks repeatedly about guarding our hearts. So what's the difference? Hiding is a response out of fear, while guarding is a proactive choice to protect what matters most. In other words, we're not to deliberately put something of worth where it won't be valued." ~ Holley Gerth ~

"Keep guard over your eyes and ears as the inlets of your heart, and over your lips as the outlets, lest lest they betray you in a moment of unwariness." ~ Anne Bronte ~

"Be careful who you open up to
Only a few people actually care
The rest are just curious."
~ unknown

"A lion never loses sleep
over the opinions of sheep."
~ unknown ~

"Be angry and yet do not sin. 
Do not let the sun go down on your anger."

Prayer Keeping ~ Jim ~ Sandra ~ bus drivers ~ students ~ teachers ~ 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

My Precious, Amazing Cove Life

  This is my view, every single day...I am blessed.

Bald eagles live here

and sometimes I'm able to get photos.

This bald eagle was eating carrion while the crow dared dance too close.

Milkweed, Monarch butterfly food.

 Amazing, how a fawn this little can jump a fence.

 Difficult to see but three fawns on other side of fence.

 Milk time!

 Several twins and even triplets have been seen this year.

Nice six point buck; hope he lives to an old age.

 It was great, watching these two young folks work cattle.

The bald eagle, going home.

My pace is slow and steady due, in large part, to the beauty surrounding me. When I see a doe and her fawns or a bald eagle or young folks working cattle, I slow down and appreciate what I'm seeing. My life is slow, by choice and necessity and I don't miss fast...not one little bit.

Blessings ~ bald eagles ~ fawns ~ young folks ~ milkweed ~

Monday, August 17, 2015

Little Black Sambo Got Nothing On Me

This gentleman was tending an orphan fawn, about eight weeks old, and telling people about wildlife. The fawn was curious but kept well wrapped so he couldn't leap away and fall on the concrete floor.

Now if my title offends you...keep it to yourself because I'm not one to rewrite history and this was one of my favorite children's stories. Somewhere, packed in a box, I've got my original copy of Little Black Sambo and it's still cherished. In 1899, well before my time should you be wondering, Helen Bannerman wrote, illustrated and published Little Black Sambo in England for her two little girls; the next year it was published in the USA. The story takes place in India but, needless to say, American politics got involved and right royal ejits said it was "racist". I don't see it myself but I also don't see Tom Sawyer, barefoot and palming off his work on others as derogatory. I mean, sometimes a story is just a story and, at any rate, I've got too much work on my plate to waste time casting aspersions on others.

Fred, my friend and lawyer, has asked me to demonstrate churning butter for a few years at the county fair. It's my pleasure to say yes and it gives a lot of pleasure to the Seniors and Special Needs folks who come out. The Seniors tell me stories of how they used to help milk, churn, do farm chores, etc. and the Special Needs folks are simply enthralled. One dear older woman, in the grips of dementia, stood at my side, stroking my shoulder, telling me, "My Mama used to do that; she used to churn. Mama used to churn" over and over and over until someone pulled her away. For the while she was with me, the happiness glowed in her face and that's why I spend my money, time and effort to's my gift for people whom it pleases to remember.
Faith and Becky are my helpers in setting up, tearing down and handing out samples of butter on saltine crackers and they make my job a lot easier. Because I forgot to set the cream out, I started with two gallons of cold cream from Duchess Dairy but because I started with pure cream, I didn't have to separate the milk from the cream. Duchess did that for me, thank you very much! A towel around the wooden dasher keeps the cream from splashing too very much; although I still managed to become covered, head to toe, in spots of cream.
David Browning, The Mayberry Deputy, came by to say hello and take a picture; he was such a nice gentleman!

I won't reinvent the wheel but if you'd like to read more information about cow milk and how it makes a difference in churning butter, click here and, if you'd like to laugh at me and, possibly, with me, click here and here.

When churning for public consumption, I use pasteurized Jersey cream because it's heated and any bacteria destroyed. If I'm churning for personal consumption, I use raw milk; both products give butter, both products are good and both have a different taste. I grew up on raw milk, sometimes milked the cow myself, but now it's illegal to sell raw milk in the Commonwealth of Virginia. boo!

The 100% cream is poured into my Great-Grandmother's crock, dasher lowered into cream then lid placed on top, towel wrapped around dasher and top and the up/down motion begins. If the cream is room temperature, the cream will begin turning to whipped cream in 20 minutes or thereabouts. If the cream is cold, it takes 30 to 40 minutes.

Really crummy photo but I'm tired and want to finish so I can go to bed. A dasher is a long, wooden, dowel type rod with an X attached to the bottom with a screw. Mine isn't all that old but it's not holding up very well and I'd love to find a new, better dasher. I've looked and cannot find one so make do by gluing and using a larger screw. One of these days though it's not going to work at all and then I'll be done for.

Last year my dasher broke when the cream began turning to thick whipped cream, like above, but I made do, and this year, tried the same repair, both gluing and using a bit larger screw, but to no avail. When the liquid cream became whipped cream, the dasher broke.

The whipped cream was simply too thick for the poorly made dasher and I resorted to making butter by hand and,

in a large enamel bowl, I would dip three or four handfuls of whipped cream and begin whipping the cream by hand. It's not skilled labor; just takes a bit of time, patience and effort to go from whipped cream to bits of butter.

The cream began turning into pebble sized bits of butter and as I continued, the butter released liquid which is buttermilk and was poured off and kept for my kitchen. I've already soaked chicken for grilling and made a mighty tasty pan of buttermilk cornbread with this buttermilk. I also gave away a half gallon of buttermilk, along with a pound and half of butter to Faith for her family's use.

Sea salt was mixed with the butter, then the butter formed into half pound blocks which were placed into my butter mold. Click here for photos of my Aunt Bonnie's, possibly my Grandmother's, butter mold that I use. When using pasteurized cream, there's no need to wash the butter; when using raw milk, it's best to wash the butter to soften the tang of the raw milk. Please do click on all the links to see what's not included in this post; there's so much good information on how to do this for yourself and it's a great home school, or even public school, project!

So many people wanted to buy my butter but, again, it's against the law so I had to say no. Broke my heart too, having to bring all that butter home and use it myself -wicked grin-.

Is all this work worth having home churned butter? It is to me because it's not only delicious, it keeps the old ways alive and brings back so many lovely memories to me and the public. I thoroughly enjoy churning butter, spinning, weaving, making apple butter and cider, making bread and meals from scratch and all the home arts. When Dave was alive, knowing I was able to make us a home brought both of us pleasure and enjoyment and strengthened our friendship and marriage. Appalachia runs deep in my veins and heat and eat are both paramount to making and living a good life. I don't apologize for staying close to home, tending to those things that bring not only pleasure but something good to eat or wear or sleep under. I truly believe if more people tended to home life first, this frosty ole world would be a lot better off. 

Let's face it, 
when Mama's happy, ever'body's happy! 

Blessings ~ home churned butter ~ butter milk ~ Dave ~ Appalachia ~ a happy home ~

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

"Taste and see that the Lord is good,
blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him."
~ Psalm 34:8

"Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ, and go out into the irresistible future with Him."
~ Oswald Chambers ~

"Human nature is what we were put on this earth to rise above." ~ Kate Hepburn in The African Queen ~

"If we are going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed; you cannot drink grapes." ~ Oswald Chambers ~

"I never look at the masses as my responsibility. 
I look at the individual.
I can only love one person at a time." 

"We have all had times on the mount when we have seen things from God's standpoint and have wanted to stay there; but God will never allow us to stay there. The test of our spiritual life is the power to descend; if we have power to rise only, something is wrong." ~ Oswald Chambers ~

"The whole trouble is that we won't let God help us."
~ George MacDonald ~

"We are not cisterns made for hoarding; 
we are channels made for giving."

"We are not built for the mountains and the dawns and aesthetic affinities, those are for moments of inspiration, that is all. We are built for the valley, for the ordinary stuff we are in, and that is where we have to prove our mettle...The mount is not meant to teach us anything, it is meant to make us something."  ~ Oswald Chambers ~

"As Christians, we can't love the whole world. But we should remember that God has placed us in a specific community at a particular time. We're called to love those around us. Loving them means serving them--and in doing so, we become the best of citizens." ~ C. S. Lewis ~

"We have to take the first step as though there were no God. It is no use to wait for God to help us, He will not; but immediately we arise we find He is there..."
~ Oswald Chambers ~

"Be like the bird
That, pausing in her flight
Awhile on boughs too slight,
feels them give way
Beneath her and yet sings,
Knowing that she hath wings."

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials."

Prayer Keeping ~ leaders of the world, especially our country ~ rain for the west ~ safety ~ 
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