MY BEAUTIFUL FARM IS FOR SALE! Please click here and see video here

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

and this explains why I, sometimes, feel like a wandering cow...

(for the Pacsafe Travel Bag giveway go here; good until 5:00 p.m., April 6.)

"Creatures, I give you yourselves," said the strong, happy, voice of Aslan. "I give to you forever this land of Narnia. I give you the woods, the fruits, the rivers. I give you the stars and I give you myself. The Dumb Beasts whom I have not chosen are yours also. Treat them gentle and cherish them but do not go back to their ways lest you cease to be Talking Beasts. For out of them you were taken and into them you can return. Do not so."
~ C. S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew ~

Blessings ~ the merry month of...April ~ C. S. Lewis ~ Narnia ~ the dumb and the talking beasts ~ God's creation ~

Monday, March 30, 2015

Travel Tales and Pacsafe Giveaway!

"I am not the same 
having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world."

~ Dave and I in Russia ~

Dave and I began traveling in 2008 when "Dr. Jammy", a professor at Bluefield State College, asked me to go to Russia and teach Agritourism which is, simply put, agriculture married to tourism. Dr. J. had written a US State Department grant, which was accepted, and there was room in the budget for me...woohoo! Dave went, paid his own way, and for that I am forever thankful. Long story short...Dave and I flew into the Sheremetyevo International Airport where we were...not greeted...hmmm. Dave plopped me down to guard our luggage while he went in search of our group who had flown in the week prior. He didn't find them but he did find a couple of men who looked like "alphabet soup guys". Of course, I wouldn't put my hand on the Bible and swear to it but there's a certain swagger (and sometimes bulges, iow guns) that ABC (what I call alphabet soup) guys, maybe women but haven't met any of them, have that sort of screams CIA, FBI, DHS, NSA and, in this case, KGB. gulp.

~ Dave and I in the Sahara Desert ~

One man spoke better English than I do Russian (I know about six words in Russian) and said, "Jammy said you come with us." I looked at Dave...umm, I don't think so and now that I've thought about it another second, I know we're not going with you! The Russian gent showed us a photocopy of our passports and I said, "I need to speak with Jammy." Only then did he led me to a phone booth and dialed an out of country number for Jammy. Turns out there'd been a slight problem which resulted in more than a weeks' delay and Dave and I were to get in a van and these men were going to drive us five hours to another city. GULP.
~ Dave and I, with Pacsafe purse, in Alaska ~

It turned out, as far as teaching, I was on my own for a day or three longer than a week so Dave and I made the best of it. We had each other, we had each other's backs and life was very good, fun and exciting! Although, our Russian/English translator did have a slight problem with alcohol...meaning he was gripping the table so hard his knuckles were white and this at 10:00 in the morning. That man could put away some alcohol and if that sort of thing impressed me, I'd be very, very impressed with his abilities. However, I was never really quite sure what he was translating. No one ever got angry with me, some were really excited and I hope that was in a good way -grin- and, in one word, the trip was fabulous! That was the first time I'd ever had a passport and, four years later, I had to get a new one because the old one had so many stamps that border guards and customs folks were peckish when they had to thumb through the pages looking for an empty spot to stamp. Oh la, get over it!

~ Dave and I, with Pacsafe purse, in Tarifa, Spain ~

Over the years, I've gotten better at packing and, toward the end of our travels together, Dave and I had one rule...never carry more than we could run with. Dave could travel for a month with his "man bag" (as he called it) and an under the seat case that he could fit three pairs of pants, three shirts, socks, undies, some toiletries and a few other goodies. I had a Pacsafe purse and a twenty-one inch carry-on suitcase on wheels and we each wore travel vests with about a dozen pockets where we'd stuff things we needed at hand. Now I have added another rule which is..."if it don't roll, it don't go" which is horrible grammar but helps strengthen the point. (I've strolled London streets, alone, at 1:00 a.m. searching for my hotel and loving/cursing my rolling suitcase for the noise it was making over the cobblestones.)
~ Dave and I, with Pacsafe purse, in the Azore Islands ~

There are some things that, in addition to passport, credit cards and money, always, always, always go with me on my travels: my Pacsafe purse or wallet, my Macabi skirts (look silly on me but love the convenience) and Mephisto walking shoes. As an aside, Mephisto shoes are expensive but I bought mine on sale about ten years ago and they still look new and an added plus is Mephisto will resole the shoes when needed. I have literally been in those shoes for more than twenty hours and my feet were the only part of my body that weren't screaming in exhaustion. They are...the best shoes I've ever worn!
The Pacsafe purse is a dandy and looks new due to the care it's been given. It's not new but it is now out of production.It has two straps with a velcro strip that encloses both straps and gives a cushion when thrown over the shoulder. The sleeve in the front of the bag is open, top and bottom, so it can be put over a suitcase handle and rest on top, letting the suitcase bear the weight.
The opposite side of the bag has a large pocket, with velcro, where travel tickets, agenda, maps, book, etc. may be stored within reach.
Inside the bag are more pockets with velcro, slots for credit cards, identification, pens, two elastic pockets on either end of bag and an inside sleeve that zips shut and is the length and height of the bag. This zippered sleeve is where I kept passport, boarding passes and other things that needed safe keeping.
Safety features include top zipper locks to keep anyone from dipping into the bag
and locks to secure the bag to a chair or table.
What makes Pacsafe THE bag to carry can't be seen because it's the eXomesh beneath the fabric shell (that may be cut) and prevents the bag's contents from falling out or being removed. Click on eXomesh for full story on the many security features. I know a woman who was targeted for a slash and grab in Rome; she was getting off a bus and a man offered his hand to help her down the steps. She accepted but didn't realize his true intent was to step into her personal space, slice the bottom of her handbag with a box cutter and steal her wallet. By the time she realized what had happened, it was over and he, with her money and identification, had disappeared. I never travel without my Pacsafe bag or wallet (sometimes both); they give me added security for keeping my money, credit cards, identification and my precious passport safe.

The Giveaway: You must be a follower of this blog, you must leave a way for me to contact you, you must answer this: where is your dream vacation/holiday and why? If you win by random drawing, you'll receive the Pacsafe bag shown in this post and a few goodies for good measure that will aid in your wanderlust. A week from today, Monday, April 6, at 5:00 p.m. a name will be decided randomly. You'll have 24 hours to respond to the e-mail stating you've won; after 24 hours, another name will be drawn.

May you use for many travels in good health and happiness!

Blessings ~ travel ~ Pacsafe ~ Macabi ~ Mephisto ~ Dr. Jammy ~ travels with Dave and now by myself ~

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

"The righteous perish and no one ponders it in his heart; 
devout men are taken away, 
and no one understands that the righteous 
are taken away to be spared from evil. 
Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; 
they find rest as they lie in death."

"The life of the dead is placed in the memory of the living." 
~ Cicero ~

"It is not death a man should fear,
but he should fear never beginning to live."
~ Marcus Aurelius ~

"Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings." ~ Anais Nin ~

"Death ends a life, not a relationship." 
~ Mitch Abrams ~

"Whoever said that loss gets easier with time was a liar. Here's what really happens: The spaces between the times you miss them grow longer. Then, when you do remember to miss them again, it's still with a stabbing pain to the heart. And you have guilt. Guilt because it's been too long since you missed them last."
~ Krtistin O'Donnell Tubb ~

"When his wife was at his side, she was also in front of him, marking out the horizon of his life. Now the horizon is empty: the view has changed."
~ Milan Kundera ~

"Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there's a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see."
~ Helen Keller ~

"One lives in the hopes of becoming a memory."
~ Antonio Porchia

"He gives light to the sun."
~ St. Patrick ~

"Die not, poor Death, not yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be.
Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go.
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings and desperate men.
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke, why swell'st thou then!
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die."
~ John Donne

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
love leaves a memory no one can steal."
~ an Irish headstone

"For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

So many deaths this week of Palm Sunday; if you have a name for the prayer list, please let me know.

Prayer Keeping ~ Gretchen ~ Terry ~ Roy ~ Peggy ~ Alan ~ Sandra ~ 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

~ Morris Knob, Tazewell County, VA ~

"Be not wise in thine own eyes;
fear the Lord,
and depart from evil."
Proverbs 3:7 ~

"Lord I know not what to ask of Thee; 
Thou knowest what I need;
Thou lovest me better than I know how to love myself.
O Father, give to Thy child that which he himself knows not how to ask. 
I dare not ask either for crosses or for consolations; 
I simply present myself before Thee. 
I open my heart to Thee.
Behold my needs which I know not myself; 
see and do according to Thy tender mercy...

The expression of Christian character is not good doing, but God-likeness. God's life in us expresses itself as God's life, not as human life trying to be godly."
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest ~

"Knowledge of God's word is a bulwark 
against deception, temptation, accusation,
even persecution. 
Edwin Louis Cole ~

"What men stand most in need of, is the knowledge of God." 
~ Fenelon ~

"Be the type of person who leaves a mark...not a scar."
 ~ unknown ~

"True wisdom consists in two things: 
knowledge of God and knowledge of self." ~ John Calvin ~ 

"The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God 
and the church is famishing for want of His presence." 
A. W. Tozer 

"I hold that we have a very imperfect knowledge of the works of nature till we view them as works of God, - not only as works of mechanism, but works of intelligence, not only as under laws, but under a lawgiver, wise and good."
James McCosh ~

"Of all treasures of knowledge,
the most vital is the knowledge of God,
His existence, powers, love and promises."
Spencer W. Kimbell ~ 

"God will not suffer man to have the knowledge of things to come; for if he had prescience of his prosperity, he would be careless; and, understanding of his adversity, he would senseless." ~ Saint Augustine ~

"Sometimes you're delayed where you are
Because God knows there's a storm where you're headed."
unknown ~

"Nothing reveals character more than self-sacrifice. So the highest knowledge we have of God is through the gift of His Son." ~ William Torrey Harris ~ 

"Refuse to be content with just the knowledge of God.
But insist on experiencing His presence.
Kerri Weems ~

"People will always have opinions about you.
But you live for God, because He's the only one
Who has intimate knowledge of you."
unknown ~ 

"For this very reason,
make every effort to add to your faith goodness;
and to goodness, knowledge. ..."

Do you have a name to be added to the prayer list?

~ Prayer Keeping ~ Roy ~ GJ and Bill ~ Peggy ~ Pat ~ Anne ~ Vicky ~ Sandra ~ 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Saint Patrick's Day and Prayer

The Prayer of St. Patrick

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.
Christ shield me today
Against wounding

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of creation

Blessings ~ my Christian faith ~ other Christians ~ Saint Patrick ~ saints gone before ~ prayer ~

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sabbath Keeping

~ Daisy Mae, she ain't nothing but a hound dawg ~

"With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
with the blameless many you show yourself blameless."
~ Second Samuel 22:26 ~

"there is a God, there always has been. I see him here, in the eyes of thepeople in this [hospital] corridor of desperation. This is the read house of God, this is where those who have lost God will find Him...there is a God, there has to be, and now I will pray, I will pray that He will forgive that I have neglected Him all of these years, forgive that I have betrayed, lied, and sinned with impunity only to turn to Him now in my hour of need. I pray that He is as merciful, benevolent, and gracious as His book says He is." ~ Khaled Hosseini ~

"A God all mercy, is a God unjust." 
~ Edward Young

"For children are innocent and love justice,
while most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy."
~ G. K. Chesterton

"Who will not mercy unto others show,
How can he mercy ever hope to have?"
~ Edmund Spenser

"I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice."
~ Abraham Lincoln ~

"One of the simplest of all Christian prayers, this consists in a single brief sentence, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me." Ten words in English, in other languages it is even shorter--in Green and Russian, no more than seven words. Yet around those few words many Orthodox over the centuries have built their spiritual life, and through this prayer they h ave entered into the deepest mysteries of Christian knowledge." ~ Igumen Chariton of Valamo ~

"Grace is when God gives us what we don't deserve
Mercy is when God doesn't give us what we do deserve."
~ unknown ~

That is the gospel. 
The whole of it in one word."
~ E. H. Chapin ~

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! 
According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again
to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading,
kept in heaven for you."
~ First Peter 1:3-4 ~ 

If you'd like a name added to the prayer list, please let me know and please, do not rely on my poor memory.

Prayer Keeping ~ Donna ~ GJ and Bill ~ Whitney ~ Peggy ~ Mary and family ~ Alan and Mags ~ Quinn ~ Noreen ~ Jacqui and husband ~ Sandra ~

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Obituaries of Days Gone By

Thank you all for watching the beautiful video Gina made; every time I watch it I end up crying...for all the dreams that came to fruition, for all those good and bad times and for all those dreams that will never be now that Dave is dead. But, believing God has a plan Plan, I continue to trust Him.

Richard Lee, my cousin (and yes, we always use first and middle names in our family) sent me a very dear collection of photos, genealogy and papers on our family. The Hamrick's came to this country in 1654, landing at Fredericksburg, VA and making their way west until they arrived in what is now West Virginia. We have a fair amount of information on the family but what I wanted to write about is Abigail Hamrick's, my Great Grand Mother, obituary.

What follows is her obituary, her "spiritual" obituary which was very common back in the day but, for the most part, has unfortunately fallen into disuse. [As an aside my Great Grand Father's name was Sampson and his mother's name was Delilah...truly.]

"Mrs. Abigail C. Hamrick
Wife of Mr. S. B. Hamrick of Bernardstown, died last Wednesday morning of complication of diseases at her home there. She was born on Dec. 19, 1866, in Nicholas county; the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Robert H. Townsend and moved to Webster Springs with her parents when a small girl and was reared there. She was married to Mr. S. B. Hamrick in 1884 and lived all of her married life at Bernardstown; was the mother of twelve children, seven of whom are dead and five living. Four boys and eight girls. Three boys and four girls are dead. The children living are: Clarence Hamrick, Mrs. Grace Hamrick, Mrs. Gay Bennett, Mrs. Effie Gregory, and Mrs. Ruth Sakales, all of the Bernardstown community.

She has four sisters and one brother living: Mrs. Nellie Watson, Chicago, Ill, Mrs. Maggie Curry, St. Petersburg, Fla.; Mrs. Mae Skidmore, Webster Spgs, Miss Lyde Townsend, Valley Bend, Charley Townsend, Bolair. She has twenty living grand children.

She was converted after her marriage and joined the {difficult to read but her husband was a Methodist minister) Church and for forty years or more lived a devoted Christian life. She had been in poor health for some years. She was an old-fashioned mother  who always considered her first and best place was ever at the  home. The funeral was held Thursday afternoon by her pastor, Rev. A. F. Gregory at the home in the presence of hundreds of relatives, neighbors and friends. Interment was made in the family cemetery on the home place.

In the passing of Mrs. Hamrick her neighbors, friends and kinspeople sustain an irreparable loss. She possessed a loveable disposition which endeared her to all who were lucky enough to know her. She has joined friends who have gone before and is free from the ill of this life and her friends know where to find her.
To our good friends, her husband and children, we join the hundreds of others in extending condolences in their dark hour of distress but to the husband and father whom we know as a genuine Christian gentleman, we can only say, keep the faith and all will be well. May peace be your lot until you follow your loved one to the other shore, where death does not enter."

What a lovely woman she must have been, don't you think? I mourn the loss of such gentility; such a way with words. It gives comfort to those left behind, leaves a legacy and, for future generations, these are the ties that bind.

"Keep the faith and all will be well. May peace be your lot until you follow your loved one to the other shore, where death does not enter." Words to live and die by; wise words then and wise words now.

Blessings ~ family ~ spiritual obituaries ~ the faith of our fathers and mothers  ~ may peace be your lot ~ 
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