Remember the refrain of the old hymn ‘Count Your Blessings‘? I love that song…”count your many blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done. Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done!”
On those rare, dark nights when I have trouble sleeping, one of the ways I “amuse” myself is by counting my blessings. I’ve never gotten to the end of my blessings before I’m asleep and doubt if I ever will. God has blessed us, most of us, way more than we deserve but it does pay to remind ourselves of that as often as possible.
One of the greatest blessings God has given both Dave and I is Thistle Cove Farm. We absolutely love living here and I love tending to my animals even when that means I’m slogging my way through snow, sleet, ice, frigid wind sucking cold or the heat and humidity of summer. It just doesn’t matter because all I have to do it Look Up and am blessed by the beauty that surrounds this little farm.
The above photograph is of our walnut tree and I love the way its branches are outlined against the skyline. This walnut tree gives nuts for cracking and nuts for dyeing. I love dyeing my own yarn and head to the mountains in the spring to get dyestuffs. For walnuts, though, I only have to go as far as my back pasture.
HayJude, aka HayJ, my American Curly x Percheron black and white gelding is below and yes, he is as big as he appears! He’s always been a gentle giant and ever since being cut last month, he’s even gentler. He’s a magnificent animal, as proud and regal as his sire’s mustang genes demand. HayJ is third generation domesticated; his greatsire was taken from the Wild West range during a mustang round-up but there’s no disguising those genes, no matter how much Percheron blood now runs through his veins. To my knowledge, there are only two of these animals in the world, HayJ and his full brother Confederate Coal, aka CC, although I don’t know where CC now lives. CC has always belonged to someone else and those people are true livestock owners; they buy and sell at the drop of a dollar. That’s okay and works for them but it gives me the shudders.
My “three old gentlemen sheep” are below, in the barn, where they now reside. They have access to an outside lot and require daily care. I’ve got to go to town today, they need cracked corn and I’ve other errands to run. These fellows, Zacheous, Buster Brown and Thomas, are so old, they are somewhere around 14 to 15, or older and are toddery and frail. They enjoy their lives though and enjoy being spoiled…or, better to say, more spoiled than the rest of the flock, and they eat heartily. As long as they love their food, they will breathe. The only reason I put an animal down is they are in pain; for me, there’s no other reason. And, my critters NEVER, EVER have to worry about going to the market.
Recently, someone asked me if I would sell some sheep for a museum but upon questioning, I found out the museum had taken their small flock to the market last year. Why? There were no people living at the museum over the winter, thus no one to tend to the sheep. YIKES! Why on earth didn’t those museum folks think about that before getting animals. Yes, animals. They not only had sheep, they had chickens and now want to get a donkey. All that to say, my answer was NO WAY you’re getting any of my animals. Different folks have different ways of being a good steward and this is my/our way. We tend to our own, we take care of our own. So, back to counting my blessings. This is extremely important during times of stress. Like Saturday when I found yet another leak in our hot water heating pipes. Fortunately, the leak was in a section of the house that had already seen damage from the freeze, burst, leak last month. That section of dining room ceiling already needs to be replaced as do three of the dining room walls, the parlor, the hallway and, at this time God alone knows what else. In times of distress, Count Your Blessings! That and prayer are the only things that will pull you through.
Blessings ~ Thistle Cove Farm ~ this blog that allows me to share my blessings ~ my animals ~ warmer weather ~ my many, many blessings…Thank You, Lord ~