"Antonio Stradivari was a seventeenth-century violin maker whose name in its Latin form, Stradivarius, has become synonymous with excellence. He once said that to make a violin less than his best would be to rob God, who could not make Antonio Stradivari's violins without Antonio. He was right. God could not make Stradivarius violins without Antonio Stradivari. Certain gifts were give to that craftsman that no other violin maker possessed. In that same vein, there are certain things you can do that no one else can. Perhaps it is parenting, or constructing houses, or encouraging the discouraged. There are things that only you can do, and you are alive to do them. In the great orchestra we call life, you have an instrument and a song, and you owe it to God to play them both sublimely." ~ Max Lucado ~ "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~ "You cannot be lonely if you like the person you're alone with." ~ Wayne Dyer ~ "If you spend your time hoping someone will suffer the consequences for what they did to your heart, then you're allowing them to hurt you a second time in your mind." ~ Shannon Alder ~ "A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval." ~ Mark Twain ~
"Where ever you go,
there you are,
so you might as well enjoy the company."
~ Sandra B. ~
"Self-care is never a selfish act-it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others." ~ Parker Palmer ~ "Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are." ~ Malcolm S. Forbes ~
"You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn't worked.
“I will not be "famous," "great." I will go on adventuring, changing, opening my mind and my eyes, refusing to be stamped and stereotyped. The thing is to free one's self: to let it find its dimensions, not be impeded.” ~ Virginia Woolf~ “Sometimes the hardest part of the journey is believing you're worthy of the trip.” ~ Glenn Beck ~
"If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet;
how important you can be to people you may never even dream of.
Please let me know if you have a name to be placed on the prayer list. Names are kept for one week and then we begin again. My memory is horrible; if you want a name added each week, please let me know.
Prayer Keeping ~ Donna ~ Jim ~ Bill ~ GJ ~ Hilary ~ Sandra ~
There's a last gasp on harvest and produce; we're leaving red and heading into orange season so I decided to do something with cherry tomatoes. Dave told me...hmmm... memory is shaky but I think it was either General Patton or General Eisenhower used to read cookbooks to relax. I bet it was Eisenhower...can't really see "George C. Scott" reading cookbooks, can you? grin Anyway, I adore reading cookbooks for inspiration, ideas and, sometimes, recipes. Although, I think recipes are suggestions and have never been married to one in my life.
When I found some good looking cherry tomatoes, I brought them home and thought bout it for a day or two. I finally decided to slice them in half and put them into a shallow baking pan and sprinkled a few finely diced rosemary leaves over the top.
Some cracked pepper and sea salt were added,
then everything drizzled with EVOO and put the pan into a slow oven to roast. It was left there for about 4 hours at 300 degrees F. which was long enough for the flavors to meld.
Meanwhile, I sliced up a small, rustic loaf of Italian bread and drizzled each slice with EVOO.
When the tomatoes were almost finished, I sliced up a log of goat cheese, dipped each slice into milk, then fine bread crumbs. A tablespoon, or three, of EVOO were put into a hot iron skillet and began to brown. If more crispy brown was wanted, I would have dipped the cheese slices into an egg wash.
When the cheese was a melted, delicious mess, each round of goat cheese was married to a bread slice, then topped with the roasted tomatoes. A taste test revealed another crank of the pepper and salt grinders was needed, but... it was wonderful!
So wonderful, I've had it for supper, several times, in the last week. The tomatoes are also good when added to soups, stews, scrambled eggs. I'm still finding out ways to use the roasted tomatoes and have frozen one batch to use later. The Food Network Magazine has been around ages but I just discovered it recently and have read it cover to cover. It's great and has recipes from a wide variety of folks as well as recipes pertinent to the season. I subscribed and want to give a year's subscription to someone. Preference goes to followers...meaning only those who follow my blog are eligible to win. It's not that I'm trying to gain more followers, I'm saying thanks to those who are followers. The October issue has lots of lovely pumpkin recipes, apple recipes and bread recipes. November's issue has lots of Thanksgiving recipes and Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa on the cover. Her latest cook book is Make It Ahead, and I'm all about making it ahead. My favorite kitchen tools are my slow cooker, enameled covered cast iron and plain cast iron cookware. I'm not sure I could do without any of those; surely don't want to imagine trying! Leave a comment, telling me your favorite Autumnal recipe. It can be your recipe, someone else's, one from the magazine...doesn't matter; just tell me your favorite recipe for this time of year. A stateside winner will be chosen one week from today...next Friday at 5:00 and will be notified by e-mail. You'll have 24 hours to acknowledge and send me your address. If 24 hours pass and that's not done, another name will be chosen. Good Fortune be yours! Blessings ~ cherry tomatoes ~ EVOO ~ goat cheese ~ Humbert Wolfe ~ Food Network Magazine ~
"The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working. Beethoven, Wagner, Bach and Mozart settled down day after day to the job in hand with as much regularity as an accountant settles down each day to his figures. They didn't waste time waiting for inspiration." ~ Ernest Newman ~
"I believe that a trusting attitude and a patient attitude go hand in hand. You see, when you let go and learn to trust God, it releases joy in your life. And when you trust God, you're able to be more patient. Patience is not simply the ability to wait - it's how we behave while we're waiting." ~ Joyce Meyer~
"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." ~ E. M. Forster ~
"The world is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper."
Taking some time off was a Very Good Thing but I can't report that anything wonderful happened. Life went along as usual...rescued another dog, rescued another kitten, made some delicious snacks that turned out to be supper, was going to visit family but ended up spending two weeks sick. It's some sort of upper respiratory infection and I'm in the middle of the second week of antibiotics, feeling some better and expecting a full recovery. Still and all, a blog break let me rest and breath and just be. I highly recommend it!
~ Tigger ~
I wouldn't put my hand on the Bible and swear but the facts are...a man and woman parked at the bottom of the hill, in front of gates(stoopid, stoopid), and got out with their dog. (The Cove is a favorite place to walk in Autumn.) I looked away and, a few seconds later, looked again. I could see a small critter winding around the legs of the dog and the man would stoop down, do "something" and then stand. This went on for a bit so I got the spyglasses to have a look see. What I saw was the bit of fluff above...the man was trying to get himself and the dog away from the kitten. I am so proud of ME! I didn't say any bad words...not a single, nary one! What I did was run to the garage, get the car and speed down the road...dressed in my Lanz nightgown and Ugg bedroom slippers, morning coffee breath and hair sticking everywhere. (I have almost absolutely no shame when it comes to an animal rescue!) When I got to the bottom of the hill, I saw a flash to my left. I stopped the car, got out and started calling, "here kitty, here kitty, meow! meow!" and the bit of fluff ran to me! He was meowing, cold, wet and totally unafraid which makes me think he was dropped. Also, his ears are clean, his coat is clean and he hasn't any fleas. A feral cat will not approach a human and this little thing absolutely threw himself at me! So, I drove on to the nastymeanwickeddisgraceful humans and said, "The next time y'all visit the Cove, please don't block gates. We're a farming community and trying to get silage and hay put up; when you block our gates, you make our job so much more difficult." The woman replied, in rather a snitty voice (at least to my ear), "Well, I suppose we could go move our car." I smiledsweetly grimaced at her, "Oh, it's okay for now but this is your only warning. The next time it happens, we'll just have it towed." Then I snugged the kitten and said, "Come on, kitty; this time you've found someone kind to love you." Then I drove home, leaving the nasty humans to talk about the crazy woman me.
~ Daisy Mae Redbone ~
This beautiful girl was dropped on the mountain and looks to be a pure bred Redbone Coon Hound and is about a year old. Redbones are used for hunting coon, bear, and even cougar. Daisy Mae has a beautiful red coat, lovely expression and feet the size of Montana. smile She's had her shots and is scheduled to be spayed next week. I'd love to find a great home for her but not around here. Around here she would be kept on a chain and beaten...shudder! The centuries old breed dates back to red foxhounds brought over by Scottish immigrants in the 1700's and, prior to the War Between the States, red foxhounds imported by Irishmen. Redbone's are easy to train, eager to please and Daisy is a love bug! Yes, she sleeps with Sadie, Sam and me and I wake to Daisy throwing her front leg over me, snuggled in as close as she can get, giving sloppy kisses in a frenzy of delight. Please, do you know someone who could give this girl a loving home? I'm willing to travel a ways... So, what do you think of OCTOBER? I dearly love October , although it's very confusing as it's name means "eighth"...?...but my absolute favorite month is the one I'm in. Forrest and me...we're alike thataway. (BTW, have I ever mentioned Dave's first name was Forrest? Yeah, he was a Gump too! LOL) Winston Groom's book, made into an award winning movie and, I believe, is Tom Hanks' best work. Ever. He was brilliant as Forrest, in virtually every scene and never fails to astound, delight, bring me to tears and laughter. Brilliant! As the poet said, "I have been younger in October than all the months of spring..." and it's true. Is it the crispness of the air, the crunch of leaves underfoot, the last gasp of harvest before the deep sleep? I'm not sure but the air has a quality of absolute clarity that is stunning and overwhelms my senses. The Milky Way is seen on cloudless nights with stars cast as glitter from overhead to the far distance; its beauty devastates my heart. If you want a challenge, the Shepheardes Calender for October may be read here but I should warn you...it isn't an easy read but it is an interesting one.
~ bread, goat cheese, evoo, tomatoes ~
Later this week, I want to give you a recipe suggestion for a tasty mealsnack hors devours or, as my SIL likes to say, horsey de overs. Let me give you a hint...it involves EVOO, tomatoes and goat cheese. I'm also going to giveaway a year's subscription to the food network magazine. I love magazine subscriptions and only today, found the food network magazine (yeah, yeah, if it doesn't hit Walmart, I'm the last to know) and that magazine is going to ruin me! Oh mercy. October's cover is quick bread...be still my heart! I'm going to make quick bread every day of this month! (Not really but it sounded good.) I am going to make bread...it's that time of year...bread making and my hands need some dough. (Oh goodness. I can go so many different directions with that one! Someone, please stop me!!!) AND...PUMPKIN SPICED COFFEE and NUTS and BREAD and...quick, help me! I'm hyperventilating! Around here, only Mickie D's has pumpkin spiced coffee but the FNM (yeah, I'm cool thataway...my new favorite mag is now called FNM...snicker, snort, guffaw!) has a recipe...wowza! You'll get that as well with the mag giveaway post so stay tuned. Not really all that much happening for taking a few weeks off, eh? Even so, that little break kept me from losing my story...losing my touch. In the end, it's just life and God being good, that's good enough. That's all, y'all! Bye for now... Blessings ~ good food ~ Daisy Mae ~ Tigger ~ October ~ Forrest Grump ~ a good life ~
As I've gotten older (thank God!), my to-do list and my ability to complete that list seem to be in direct conflict. It just takes so much longer and so much more energy to accomplish what needs to be done, leaving what I want to do, still on the list. Ah well. I'm glad I've got that problem instead of "absent in the body, present with the Lord". Don't get me wrong...I'm ready to go but I'm not homesick and, as energy depleted as I generally am, this life suits me fine and dandy.
~ Daddy and Mom, celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, the same day Dave died ~
You may know, I live in Appalachia and Thistle Cove Farm is the result of a prayer made when I was six years old. Daddy and Mom are both from Appalachian mountain stock and farming families, and the prayer of the girl I once was, asked God to, "please let me live on a farm and have animals." His timing isn't my our timing and it took more than three decades for that prayer to come to fruition. Along the way, I've collected photographs of all things mountain beautiful and hope you enjoy as much as do I.
My small flock of Shetlands, Romney's, and Merino's were, generally, easy to deal with. Sometimes, the horns on a Shetland would grow curling into the side of their face. When that happened, Daniel would take a fine wire and saw off the horn tip. Someone had to hold the sheep's head (I wasn't never strong enough) in order to keep things safe for human and animal. I like this photo...the intensity of Daniel as he saws off the horn, the muscle strength of Clinton's arms while holding the sheep.
Old Mother Hubbard goes to festivals and tells stories both American Native and Aesop. She's local color in southwest VA, probably throughout the eastern TN/KY region as well and is a delight. I don't know her Christian name but, if you're interested, you could do a search and find out. She's been written up in several newspapers and been interviewed on various television programs.
The definition of tolerance is " the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with." In other words, please don't send snarky notes about bear hunting or hunters. This gentleman killed this bear for both food and pelt while it was legal to do so...bear hunting season.
In 2013 Dalton, and his sister, Kim, helped demonstrate butter making at the county fair. He took his job seriously yet managed to enjoy the process.
Kim, Dalton's sister.
Leslie Shelor, Greenberry House, demonstrates big wheel spinning around the region.
The Shockley Old Timey Days festival is in Hillsville, VA. It's one of the best little festivals around, imho, and characters abound...like this gentleman and his vintage antique truck. They aren't the best at updating their information so if you want to go, best call first for correct dates.
This old feller demonstrates shocking hay...putting it into huge shocks, or stacks, so weather will run off of and not into the hay. I've traveled in Eastern Europe and this is is the way farmers still store their hay and even leave the edges of the field for others (widows) to glean. It's very Old Testament and Biblical; click here for more information and another way of seeing.
This kindly woman demonstrated churning and had the churn her grandmother used. I love it when generations pass on the tools and the knowledge of how to do things.
Emily, helping John, her son, put up my hay. Emily is also an Episcopalian minister, serving at Christ Episcopal Church in Marion, VA and serves on a number of boards, all relating to agriculture.
Clinton Bell, a neighbor, still moves his cattle and sheep the way he was taught...while on horseback.
Someone told me this woman is 94 years old and she's still lifting a leg to clog at the Whitetop Mountain Ramp Festival in Grayson County. The Ramp Festival benefits the Mount Rogers Volunteer Fire and Rescue Squad. Ramps are a delicacy in the Appalachians with those of us who love them LOVE THEM and those of us who don't...are Philistines. (joke!) Ramps are classified as wild onions and taste like a blend of onion and garlic, are fairly strong and best when fried up with potatoes and sausage.
Bud Thompson, smithy, demonstrates in the area and used to demonstrate on Thistle Cove Farm. This is one of my favorite photographs...looks rather Old World, don't you think?
Charlie Butcher, dulcimer maker who also makes other instruments. I've got one of the first dulcimers he ever made and it sounds just as sweet now as it did almost twenty years ago.
Jeff, my cousin's husband, harvesting Wolf River apples. Wolf River and Summer Rambo apples are my favorite apples!
Robert Woods and Daddy, checking on the bee hives. Neither of them have ever worn bee gear; they believe if you handle the bees gently and calmly, they won't become agitated and sting. Robert added, "And never after having an argument with your wife!"
There are four distinct seasons in Appalachian...at least the Appalachia where I live. Each one is special and loved for its own reasons. My Grandfather died in November 1959, when I was five years old, and it was a cold, wintery, blustery day. It was, in one word: Appalachia. Even though Appalachian winters are harsh, I love them just the same and they call to mind my kith and kin of past days. My people have always been intimately connected with "heat and eat" and it's no different for me now. As long as I have oil in the furnace, wood for the wood stove and propane in the tank and cook stove Appalachian winters can be enjoyed and not just tolerated. Now that my sheep and alpacas are gone, my work load has been cut by twenty-six animals; I expect I'll do just fine this winter. Just like all those winters gone before. Hopefully, you've enjoyed these photos; it's difficult putting "some" on the blog when I've more than 20,000 from which to choose. These aren't all my favorites but are only some of my favorites either because I dearly love the people or the places they call to mind. In a day and age when folks aren't, seemingly, interested in being solely an "American", I am. In fact, I'm proud of the fact I'm a "double" American...an Appalachian American. My heart wouldn't have it any other way. Blessings ~ people ~ land ~ animals ~