The Battle is Not Ours

If feels like there are so many world crisis right now reeling out of control; the Israel & Gaza conflict, Christians persecuted in Iraq,  the crisis at our own borders with children and immigrants, the aggression of Russian in Ukraine, the Ebola plague in West Africa and numerous others.  Often we feel concern but are basically untouched until it hits home, then it becomes personal. The crisis takes on a face and a name and we feel the weight of the battle.

For our family it is the Ebola plague that has us watching, waiting, worrying and praying.  I wonder, will I still care about Liberia when our family is safely out of harms way?  Will I still pray for the thousands of suffering, dying people trapped in superstition and hopelessness?  Will I still pray for wisdom, safety and strength for the numerous faith and health organizations on the front lines of this crisis?

Sometimes our unconcern stems from the fact that we feel helpless, unable to do anything.  What can I do about missiles in the Middle East?  My voice is small and weak at the injustice in our own land.  I can not get my arms around the tragedy of children stuck in “no-man’s land”.  I can’t tell Putin a piece of my mind or stop his aggression.  I can not stop that horrific Ebola virus but I can pray.

When the reality of the our family situation hit this past Sunday I thought immediately of the verse in II Chronicles 20:15b,  “The battle is not yours, but God’s”.   That very evening, would you believe what I read in my daily devotions…..II Chronicles 20! I am using the Daily Bible and that was the reading for the day. Isn’t God good?!!!

Jehoshaphat was king of Judah and he received word that a vast army from numerous countries (Moab, Ammon & Syria) were enroute to battle against him and were already at En Gedi.  This was the biggest external threat of his reign and he was greatly afraid.  King Jehoshaphat humbled himself and sought the Lord. He called his people to Jerusalem and proclaimed a time of prayer and fasting.  The King stood before his people and prayed.  He not only acknowledge God but proclaimed their unfailing trust in God even in the midst of incredible odds. “Even if disaster comes on us-sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine-we will stand in this temple because this is where your presence is.”

An amazing thing happened. The Spirit of God fell on Jahaziel and he prophesied, “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.  You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you.”

The King and the people knew they had heard the voice of God. They fell on the ground and worshipped.  Then they rose up and sang praises to God. What a time of spiritual refreshing that was.

The next morning they were up early and the King stood before his army and said, “Believe in the Lord your God.”   After consulting with his people they appointed everyone who could sing to go before the army and sing praises.  Can you imagine an army coming at you in battle with a huge choir in front singing about the goodness and holiness of God?  The forces of evil were turned into total chaos and the advancing armies turned on each other and the battle against themselves was so intense that no one escaped.  Victory came in a strange but powerful way.

There are so many good lessons to gleam from this incredible story of God’s goodness, His faithfulness, His care and protection. Sometimes I feel crushed by the onslaught of attack against me.  But I am struck how powerful praise births victory over insurmountable battles in my life.   When I face difficult circumstances, the dark season of night in my life I usually retreat in prayer  but true victory comes when I began to sing.  Psalms 22:3 explains that God is enthroned in the praises of his people.  Somehow prayer releases the power of God. Somehow praise becomes oil of joy for a weary, burdened soul.  Whenever and wherever God’s people praise Him, God moves in their midst and miraculous things happen. It may not be as expected but like the people of Judah we experience God.

This past week in church we sang “Put on the Garment of Praise” and that has become my heart cry this week.

Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness

Lift up your voice to God.

Praise with the Spirit and with understanding

O magnify the Lord.

All you that mourn in Zion, I have authority

To appoint unto you in Zion, oil of joy that will set you free.

Lift up the hands that hang down. Lift up the voice now still.

Give unto God continuous praise. Sing forth from Zion’s hill.

Sing to Yahweh, alleluia. Worship and praise our God.

Praise and adore Him, bow down before Him, O magnify the Lord!

We don’t know how God will work or intervene in Liberia.  But we do know He knows what is happening and His heart breaks at the pain and suffering.  I wonder why the life of a young doctor, 33 years old with a wife and young children, and has a heart for medical missions, is hanging in the balances?

 I am reminded of be moving story of Jim Elliot and other four men who were killed by the ambush of Auca Indians as they were landing their plane in the jungles of Ecuador.   They had felt the call of God to bring the gospel to an unreached people.  God was able to use their seemingly untimely deaths to bring about what life could not give and the hearts of many Aucas were changed as a result.

His story can be found at

Maybe these battles are not ours to fight.   Maybe if we just declare His praise and then stand back we can watch God’s glorious victory!

Praise the LORD

For His mercy endures forever.

II Chronicles 20:21

Ebola in West Africa – Too close home

(Journal of events as they have unfolded for our family this week)

There is much unrest and very dangerous situations happening in the world right now. They sometimes are hard to grab ahold of,  understand and feel compassion for until they hit home and you have family and/or friends there it can suddenly feel very personal. Right now this is happening with the Ebola crisis in Liberia in West Africa.


Sunday-July 27, 2014: I don’t know if you are following the news but there is a very serious situation in Liberia with the Ebola outbreak. It is getting worse as the day progresses…. Here is the situation my brother’s (Richard) family is dealing with.

My niece, Melanie, and her husband, Jake, are serving with Samaritans Purse (SP) in Liberia. The outbreak has now hit their compound and their house. They live in a duplex and the doctor next door who shares the duplex is the one making world news today. He is the lead doctor and now he has Ebola. He is from Texas and they were due to go home for a family wedding and much needed vacation. His wife and children flew home last week and he was due to leave today. Today word has come that a nurse also has contracted Ebola.

Yesterday morning Mel talked to Dr. Brantly on their front porch.   Later in the day on Saturday he realized that he too had become a victim of the dreaded disease. Yesterday Mel & Jake were given 5 minutes to evacuate their house. They are temporarily living with another family. Their home will probably be turned into a hospital unit and probably their possessions burned. It is questionable if they will be able to retrieve anything else.

 Mel and Jake have 2 children and are expecting a third. This is a scary time for everyone and particularly for family back home waiting, watching and praying.

Tomorrow morning SP is having a meeting and it is highly likely that only essential personal will stay and everyone else sent home before doors close and the country does not allow anyone to leave. Much is at stake. You probably haven’t been really following the situation as we have. Here is a little clarification.

The compound where the Neiss’ are at was not a medical compound. Jake works with maintenance keeping all of SP helicopters in the area running for the larger ministry. When the first wave of Ebola hit this spring SP sent Mel and the children home for six weeks until it abated. (It was only in their area) In the mean time SP felt that they were there in Liberia “for such a time as this”. They set up a hospital on the compound and have been on the front lines helping the Liberian people. From Mel’s fb page it sounds as it the hospital just started receiving patients a week ago.

This disease is brutal and swift. They will know in several days if Dr. Brantly will live or die. There is a 90% death rate. It is unreal what they have to do to work in these conditions. Here is a link to a SP video from that unit that is a real eye opener.

This is a huge blow to SP ministry there and a dangerous situation for all the workers. Please join us as we pray that SP will have wisdom how to proceed and move forward and how to protect their workers.


Monday July 28: Here is word from Rich & Marj this morning…… Keep praying.

This is the word from Melanie after their meeting this morning. Samaritan’s Purse is evacuating their whole team from Monrovia. They’re leaving for the airport today at 3:00 their time (11:00 ours) and flying to to an undisclosed location. They will all be together at a motel for the next 21 days, which is the gestation period for the Ebola virus.  She didn’t know how much they’d be able to get from their house. Someone does need to go in for their passports, at the least.   I didn’t think to ask what they’re doing with Dr.B. In answer to my question as to how he’s doing this morning, she said, “very bad”. Keep praying for him!!

 Marj wrote to family…”One may wonder (here where we’re nice and safe) about Christians pulling out at a desperate time of need like this. However, the culture there is quite different. Superstition and distrust often supercede truth and the reception of assistance. The clinic has been receiving serious threats and last p.m. there was an attempt to take life. Please continue to pray for mission agencies who have tough decisions to make, and for the individual people like Jake & Mel who are there because the LORD led them there. We are confident that none of this is a surprise to Him. May He be exalted, even now.”

 PS: An informative article about ebola is There are many other sites you can google if you’re interested.

 Here is a blog from the sister–in-law of Dr. Brantly.


Tuesday-July 29: The prayer concern today is not only for the doctor (last evening the word was he was in grave condition) and nurse but also for the safety of the rest of the SP staff that did not make it out of Liberia. After the group that Melanie and Jake were in was evacuated the border closed. It’s a bit more tricky now and they say to stay could be a life and death situation. This is being taken into consideration. You will find more info and details about what’s happening at this at Samaritans.Purse link.

The word from Melanie this morning is….”we made it out of Liberia this morning. We had no hassle at the airport except for temp checks and some new forms asking us how our health is and where we are staying. Lucas slept for only 1 hour during the flight, so we are super tired!!! Both kids did very well. The plane food was delicious—meat!! SP put us up in a small Christian hotel and it has a restaurant. The temperature here is very cool for us sea level people.:)

I’m overwhelmed with gratefulness to be able to have my most precious people with me- my family. Jake was able to get some things from our house, so we have clothes and money etc. There are many more SP staff that still need to be evacuated. They flew oxygen machines in for Kent and Nancy but we have no updates on their status this morning. We are trusting and hopeful.”


 Wednesday-July 30: Last evening word came that the doctor’s status is deteriorating.  My heart aches for his wife and children as they watch, pray, and worry from a distance.  All the staff was involved in helping in some way; washing clothes, sterilizing, recording, etc.  They are monitoring their temperatures and we are praying that all are safe. As of last evening SP has not yet been able to evacuate the remaining staff. This is a very dangerous situation because of death threats and attempts on the lives of the staff. There is much superstition and distrust of the native people as they think the Americans are bringing them Ebola. The article below explains that situation.

Death and Denial in the Hot Zone:

Update today from Samaritans Purse:

Slight Improvement for Doctor with Ebola


Thursday, July 31:  There is a very informative update today from  Samaritian’s Purse on the status of Dr. Brantly and Nancy. 

Samaritan’s Purse physician gives experimental serum to stricken colleague


Note from Pat:  It appears that most of the news reporting is fairly consistent with what we are hearing through family however Melanie says that it is much worse there that what we are told. The fatalities are also much higher than the numbers being reported as so many are buried out in the bush and never reported.

Note: I will be adding to this blog rather than writing new ones as more information comes in. You will need to check back to keep updated.


Boney Fingers

Do you ever sit and ponder life?

Sometimes I sit on the deck in the cool of the evening and wonder; why do I do all this stuff called work?  Why do I work from sun up to sun down and then some?  Does anyone appreciate what I do?  Is it worth anything to have neat flower beds, mowed lawn, and clean floors? I can’t take it with me.  I ponder the brevity of life and then the finality of death. Do the cares of this life matter?

King Solomon pondered this and wrote, “What profit has a man for all his labor which he does under the sun?” (Ecclesiastes 1:3).

Sometimes I look at my hands and the hands of older” folks.  They  often look worn, wrinkled and boney. I am reminded of the song….

Boney Fingers

by Hoyt Axton

“Work your fingers to the bone – whadda ya get?
( Whoo-whoo ) Boney Fingers – Boney Fing-gers”


As Solomon pondered he wrote that life is tiresome, wearisome, unfulfilling, uncontrollable and it is all vanity.  Vanity means useless and meaningless-literally breath of breaths like the wind.  He saw that generations come and go, the sun rises and sets, the wind blows to the south and circles around and blows from the north, all the rivers run into the ocean but they are never full, the eye is not satisfied with seeing or the ear with hearing, a man dies and leaves his heritage to a man who has not labored for it, and the flesh is never satisfied.  He said, “for all his days are sorrowful, and his work burdensome; even in the night his heart takes no rest. This is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 2:23).

But as Solomon wrote and pondered a change began to happen. These words sprang from the depths of his soul…  “Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God”. He began to see that God had made everything beautiful and there was a season and time for every purpose on earth.  He saw that God requires an accounting of what is past in our lives and there is vanity to selfish toll.  The saw the value and strength of friendships. He gave some warnings; walk prudently when you go to the house of God, do not be rash with your mouth and make hasty vows, the love of silver, gold and abundance is never satisfied and greed is a severe evil and obey the king.  He admonishes us to know our Creator in our youth before the difficult years come. And then he says, “as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him the power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor-this is the gift of God. For he will not dwell unduly all the days of his life because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.”

Then Solomon said death comes to all, rich and poor, wise and foolish. All die and return to dust.

Does it matter what I do in life?  Does it matter how I care for my space of green earth?  Does it matter that I work and toil to feed and provide for my family? Does it matter that sometimes the routine things in life seem mundane?  Absolutely.  Solomon said there is no end to the books we can write and too much study is wearisome to the body but he said, “Here is my conclusion…

Fear God and keep His commandments for this is a man’s all.

For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.”

Ecclesiastes 12: 13-14

 When I look at wrinkled, worn hands I don’t just see boney fingers.  I see tired fingers from years of  hard work done with a heart of love.

Independence Day


Today I took a drive on Route 60 east and then on Route 13 into the village. I wanted to see how are people were celebrating July 4th-Independence Day.  I took some pictures.








Most of the local businesses were closed.














 Every street light in the village was flying a flag.



The Community Cemetery had quite a few flags by graves.  I wondered…did they die fighting for our freedom?







When you left the main road and drove the side roads where the locals live, flags were flying. There were people in their yards preparing for backyard picnics.   Most of the “pop & mom” local businesses were closed.  Even in the village of Powhatan it was quiet and the restaurants were closed. They dared to have a free day to be with family and friends or to do things at home, travel or just relax.  The “box” stores; Walmart, Tractor Supply, Food Lion, were open for business as usual as well as the national chain stores such as Pizza Hut, Subway, and McDonalds.


It struck us how here on the farm it was so quiet and peaceful.  I grilled hamburgers for lunch and we sat down on the patio to eat and relax instead of grabbing and running.  We worked at numerous projects but also enjoyed a beautiful evening relaxing on the patio with a grilled barbecue chicken supper.

Independence Day is a celebration of who we are as a nation.  We were founded by people of faith, seeking religious freedom.  The Christian faith was important and if you read the speeches, letters, documents of our Founding Fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence you will see the importance of faith in God and morality.  The whole back page of section A of the Times Dispatch today has some of these statements.   “In God We Trust” became our national motto and we believed that as long as a nation trusted and believed in God it would prosper.  Psalms 33:12 says “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord“.  Belief in God and Jesus Christ and the Bible as the inspired Word of God was the basis for education, the judicial system and executive powers.  Those who “hate” America today are those who are trying to turn us into a godless nation and they are winning this battle.  As a people we need to repent and return to our Creator, acknowledge Him, honor Him and worship Him.

It also does a community good to pause, reflect, rest, and to take a day off from the usual hustle and bustle, buying and selling.  When businesses are closed people do things together as families.  A big shout out to the businesses that honored the day. It is good for a community to come together and celebrate whether by picnics, fireworks or fun events, It would be good for us as a community to remember our roots and to give thanks for the wisdom of our founding fathers.


Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie

I have always loved this song-just ask my family!  The beat is so catching and the lyrics crack me up. I could just imagine being that girl!

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini

(click on the song title to hear the song)

It was written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss and first released in June 1960 by Brian Hyland with orchestra conducted by John Dixon.

She was afraid to come out of the locker
she was as nervous as she could be
she was afraid to come out of the locker
she was afraid that somebody would see

Two three four
tell the people what she wore

It was an Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
that she wore for the first time today
an Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
so in the locker she wanted to stay

Two three four
stick around we’ll tell you more

She was afraid to come out in the open
so a blanket around her she wore
she was afraid to come out in the open
and so she sat bundled up on the shore

Two three four
tell the people what she wore

It was an Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
that she wore for the first time today
an Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
so in the blanket she wanted to stay

Two three four
stick around we”l tell you more

Now shes afraid to come out of the water
and I wonder what she’s gonna do
now she’s afraid to come out of the water
and the poor little girls turning blue

Two three four
tell the people what she wore

It was an Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
that she wore for the first time today
an Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
so in the water she wanted to stay

From the locker to the blanket
from the blanket to the shore
from the shore to the water
yes there isn’t any more.

I was reminded of this song in a weird sort of way today.   I decided to go take a swim in my son’s swimming pool. They put in an above ground pool this spring and I have been invited to go dip but just hadn’t done so.  Independence Day-our store is closed and I have a day for me and whatever I want to do–let’s go for that coveted swim!

Now, I have not had my swimming suit on for about 10 years. I dug it out of it’s hiding place and proceeded to put it on.  Oops! Something has happened to the suit!  It used to fit and suddenly it felt itsy bitsy teenie weenie.  Thank goodness I have a “modest” one-piece swimsuit but it seemingly has shrunk.  Suddenly this song from the antique files in my brain sprung to my mind.   Here I was struggling to put on 2-size too small suit and singing…it was an itsy bitsy teenie weenie…..  I stuffed, pulled, huffed, puffed, jumped, and lifted and I made it.  Then I was almost afraid to go out of the bedroom!  The coverup was too small so I wrapped a towel around me. I got to their house and there was a note on the door “napping”. Thank goodness no one could see!!! I paddled and floated around for about half an hour and then made a dash back home.

And no, there are none and will be NO pictures.  So, now I have this crazy little song playing over and over in my brain… it was an Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini that she wore for the first time today.   An Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini  so in the locker she wanted to stay!  Two, three, four..stick around we’ll tell you more….


A few days later…. at a family get together I was given a gift from my sister-in-law.


In it was…… a size 3X thrift store bikini.


Thanks Marj for the great laugh and gag gift!

42 Years!

Tonight we celebrated our 42nd anniversary with a very pleasant evening at the Bonefish Grill. We reminisced and talked about life.


Way back in the old days, June 24, 1972,  I said “I do, I will, and I take…” to a handsome young man who has become my soul-mate, my friend, my love and my partner.  That day with stars in our eyes we never dreamed where this journey would take us.

Now here we are, for better and for worse, in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, through lean and success, and we are still looking forward to many more years.

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I am so grateful for a godly husband who shares the same faith and same values in life. I can trust him with my heart and know that he will faithfully stand with me.  He is a good dad and grandpa to his offspring.  I am blessed and look forward to walking into our sunset years together.

Happy 42nd anniversary dear!


Tongue Lickin’ Good!

After the storm this evening I rode with Gene to put Wind & Rain mineral out to the cows.  We pulled up to the gate and Gene revves the motor on the truck. That is his “call” to the cows. Instantly dozens of ears come up, mouths full of grass look towards the gate and across the field they come in a run.








We went to another field and the brood cows with their calves were all standing at the bottom of the hill in a corner. Again he revved the motor and they came running.




Is this the same as “finger lickin’ good’????

They would bury their noses in the mineral and then lick it off their noses.






This poor little calf got his face at the wrong spot at the wrong time. Yes, that is fresh manure all over his face!  His mama will probably lick him off later.



Pet Peeve #1: Vegetarian Fed

Sometimes there are things that get under your skin and pet peeve #1 is one of them.  Take a good look at this egg carton and see if you can tell me what is wrong with it.


Let’s zoom in for a closer look.


Anyone selling eggs should know better but it boils down to being ALL about advertizing and appealing to the consumer’s misguided perceptions.

First of all it is illegal to sell feed with meat, meat by-products  or bone meal in any form to chickens. So by saying it is “vegetarian fed”  implies that some chickens are fed meat.  This is not true. Period.

Secondly,  it shows the stupidity of our world.  Chickens love bugs, flies, crickets, grasshoppers, worms and will even eat a mouse or small snake if one happens to across their path.  There is no way you can  keep a chicken from eating any of the above “meats” unless they are kept in cages with very sterile conditions and use  lots of pesticides.  The customer then cries “foul” (excuse the pun!).  They want cage-free, free-range hens  that are running around outdoors laying their eggs.  Ironically these same customers will  buy meal-worms treats to hand feed their “vegetarian-fed” hens!  The only part of the formula for free-range chickens being  “vegetarian-fed” is what the human puts in their feed trough.  Of course free-range is the most natural and healthiest way to raise chickens but just remember, free-range are technically not just ‘vegetarian-fed”!

It is also amazing to me the use of the word “fresh”.  Webster says “fresh” means “just recently as in recently laid egg”.   Now, really, who wants to eat something old?  But have you noticed you can hard-boil eggs you buy in the store but not freshly laid eggs?  That means means they are at least a week or more old by the time you buy them.   So if “fresh” (farm fresh, country fresh) applies to eggs purchased in a grocery store, what word applies to true “fresh” eggs?  There is nothing wrong with store-purchased eggs but they aren’t really “fresh”.  The eggs in a store come from a poultry farm producing high quality eggs meeting the highest of USDA standards but it takes time to get the eggs from the farm to the consumer. It is amazing it happens as quickly as it does.

Just for the record, I am in no way questioning the quality of store-purchased eggs.  After all, they originate from a hard-working farmer striving to provide a quality product for the consumer to eat. The grocery store is one avenue to get the product to the consumer.  I am “pet-peeved” about the advertizing!

Sometimes I see ads for “vegetarian-fed” beef.  Just for the record;  NO COW EATS MEAT!  Cows only eat grains and legumes or grasses.  Again, it is illegal to put any meat, meat by-products or bone meal in any form in cattle feed.  But the consumer sees the ad blip and translates it into a fact; “this beef is healthier and better for you because it was not fed meat”.

As a beef and egg producer it irritates me how the media is so subtle in how it misguides the consumer. I understand that most consumers are too far removed from the farm to know the “truth” but the same consumers are often a vocal voice and “experts” in their misguided information.



A Sunday Afternoon Drive


My friend Donna and I took a several hour Sunday afternoon meander through the back roads of Powhatan today  just to take pictures.  If you want to touch history, capture the heart and soul of the county, and  catch a glimpse of the photogenic spots, leave the busy, main thoroughfare and cruise the back roads, the roads less traveled.  I condensed my 75 pictures to these….



Come with us on our jaunt and enjoy the pictures.


Flatrock is named after this rock and is on the little side road behind Davis-Merchant Equipment.

Flatrock, Powhatan is named after this rock and it is on the little side road behind Davis-Merchant Equipment.

If someone knows the history of this rock….it would be interesting to post.

See the indentation in the rock. The Indians used this rock for grinding corn.

See the indentation in the rock. If I remember the history correctly, the Indians used this rock for grinding corn.


The second big indentation on the rock.

The second big indentation on the rock.


A large rock on Three Bridge Road by Millview Farm.

A large rock on Three Bridge Road by Millview Farm.

The golf course at the Foundry on 711.

The golf course at the Foundry on Lee’s Landing Road.








Beautiful huge old oak tree on 522. I have always admired it's ability to survive and look so good.

Beautiful huge stately old oak tree on 522. I have always admired it’s ability to survive and look so good.


My friend, Donna.

My friend, Donna.


The Old Cosby Dairy on Cosby Road.

The Old Cosby Dairy on Cosby Road.


An old store run by the Cosbys that they have restored.

An old store run by the Cosbys that they have restored.


Love the stone foundation pillars and big rock for the front step.

Love the stone foundation pillars and big rock for the front step.

Old farm equipment resting in peace on the Cosby Farm.

Old farm equipment resting in peace on the Cosby Farm.



Wheat or barley field.

Wheat or barley field.







Several links about the history:

Belmead on the James

Belmead Mansion

Belmead Stables and Riding Club

St. Francis



Old cemetery at Belmead.

Old cemetery at Belmead.





Historic barns made into a beautiful equine facility.

Historic barns made into a beautiful equine facility.





While taking the above picture of the flower bed I was standing beside this small spruce tree. A startled bird flew from the tree. I looked and found her secret...5 little eggs nestled in the branches.

While taking the above picture of the flower bed I was standing beside this small spruce tree. A startled bird flew from the tree. I looked and found her secret…4 little eggs nestled in the branches.



A crop sprayer sitting by the edge of a corn field.

A crop sprayer sitting by the edge of a corn field.



James River

James River

We call it the "Mighty James" but it is actually a very calm, beautiful river. It is not very deep west of the 522 bridge.  A lot of it is waist deep or less but with a few deeper pockets.

We call it the “Mighty James” but it is actually a very calm, beautiful river. It is not very deep west of the 522 bridge. A lot of it is waist deep or less but with a few deeper pockets.

There are a lot of beautiful rocks protruding from the river at different spots.

There are a lot of beautiful rocks protruding from the river at different spots.








I wish I had looked at the signs, especially at Belmead, and gotten a little of the history. If anyone can fill in any history on these spots please add a comment.


Some comments:

  • Wanda Starke:  We went to Belmead when they had something going on and they had a book with the people who were buried in the graveyard. It was real sad, because most were infants and I can’t remember seeing but one or two over the age of 34. I remember sitting in church there in the 50’s listening to the cadets doing drills. There used to be a row of shops where the men learned a trade. Otto taught the blacksmiths. I remember a tailor, barbershop and I’m not sure about others.
  • Linda Smith:  The original owner and builder of the house was a distant relative of the Cocke family that I work for.  They are and old Virginia family who’s forefather’s immigrated from England in the 1600s.
    It’s lovely that it’s being saved, even though the pace is slow.  My 92 year old neighbor well remembers when it was being used as a trainer center for young men from ‘the north’.


Wrong Question

I am still learning there are some questions you do not ask a hard-working, dawn to dusk farmer.  Did you do anything today?  Is that all you got done?

On Saturday afternoon I went to the hay field to check on my farmer where he was mowing hay and to take him a cool refreshing drink of tea.  He finished his circle around the field and stop by my car.  I innocently asked, “Is that all you got done?”  Sounded like a fair question to me!!  There were quite a few mowed  windrows but still a big uncut block in the center. I had expected him to be about done.  After all, he had been there most of the day.


I got a little lecture about what he had to do before he started mowing, the size of the field, and also pointed out another piece he had cut over the crest of the hill that I had not noticed.  End of conversation.


That evening at supper he informed me that Kenneth, the owner of the farm he was mowing, said that it was a 40-acre field and it takes 69 rounds to get it all mowed.  Hum. Now I know that I not only asked a stupid question but my question was making headline news!  I guess someone needs to give the farmers something to talk about.  After all, going around the field 69 times can be rather boring but who cares. They are counting circles!



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