Masthead header

Being Grateful… and a Contest!



This week, I’m grateful for good friends like Angela at St. Fairsted Farm




And for the incredible weather we’re having here in Virginia




Look! Short sleeves in February!!




I’m grateful that my girls are happy and have a wonderful school to attend and lots of friends




And that we’re all healthy (save for some winter colds here and there)




So I want to pass something along to y’all – a magazine subscription. The best part is that YOU get to pick which one… Southern Living, Cooking Light, Cottage Living, Real Simple, Health… the list goes on and on.  Whether you have a touch of spring fever and want to spruce up your house or if you are having trouble sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions, there’s something here that I think you’ll like.

But first – you have to tell me what YOU are grateful for!

Contest ends Monday,  so get your entry in!

February 12, 2009 - 9:57 am

Jennifer D - I’m thankful for
1) my hard-workin’ husband and my sweet girls
2)that we live such a sheltered life, we hardly know that there is a “recession”
3) my and my husband’s parents live within 10 minutes from us
4) green grass in February (even if it is rye grass!:)
5) the fish will be bitin’ soon!

extremely random things, but all necessary:)

February 12, 2009 - 10:06 am

Carrie T - I am grateful for NASCAR starting this weekend! j/k

For real, I will be extremely grateful if the skies open up tomorrow like they are suppose to and drop the 9 inches of snow that are being called for. We need it so bad. Don’t know if we’ll have a wheat harvest without it!

February 12, 2009 - 10:18 am

Fencepost - Most of the things you mentioned. Especially the shirt sleeve weather!
A life partner I wish I had met the first time around.
And all my bloggy friends, including you!!!

February 12, 2009 - 10:36 am


February 12, 2009 - 10:59 am

Melissa - I am grateful that it’s above zero (yes, I said zero) and the sun is shining, my husband and 5 yr old son, sugar n’ spice lattes and a whole lot more!

I enjoy reading your blog…I stumbled on to it one day.

February 12, 2009 - 11:04 am

Klutzy Mama - I am thankful for my family and for the fact that we have food and shelter during this most trying time.

February 12, 2009 - 11:07 am

the Cotton Wife - We haven’t stopped thinking of you, KlutzyMama.

- Jennifer

February 12, 2009 - 12:36 pm

St. Fairsted Farm - Thank you Jennifer! I too am grateful for our friendship!

It’s been a rotten day for me. My elderly neighbor who fought cancer last year, found out today it has returned to her liver.

So today I’m grateful for the tears I’m able to shed for my friend, today and the few remaining days she will be with us and for the pleasure of knowing such a lady.

I’m sorry to be such a damper on a wonderful contest but thank you for provoking me to sit in gratitude rather than pity.

hugs, ang.

February 12, 2009 - 1:06 pm

ellie k - I am thankful for my family, especially the safe return of my son. He served 16 months in Afghanistan and returned home without a scratch. Thank God for that.

February 12, 2009 - 1:40 pm

Susan Marie - This couldn’t have come at a better time, cuz I’ve been letting some things get me down, and it’s time to say “enough!”, and be grateful for…
The man who has loved and supported me and made me laugh and been by my side for the last 35 years.
Three beautiful daughters, two wonderful sons-in-law, and three incredible granddaughters (and they know their Nonna, even though we’re 1100 miles apart!).
Our home in the country, the jobs my husband and I both have, and the pet Beagle named Sam who keeps us so entertained!
The promise of wildflowers in a month or so, in spite of the ongoing drought, and most of all…
The assurance that no matter what happens, God does take care of us.

February 12, 2009 - 5:16 pm

Kate - I agree, I needed to be remined to be thankful for some things…my husband has been away on bussiness for the past two weeks and will be gone next week as well. Despite that, I am thankful for the fact that he has a job in today’s economy, even if it means that he has to be away from me and our two little ones three weeks in a row! (at least he has been able to come back on the weekends and he is not gone for months on end like our country’s millitary families)… I am also grateful for the fact that I am able to stay at home with my children. Despite the occasional feeling that I am sacrificing my own personal career goals to do it, I wouldn’t trade a single second of it…the smiles, the accomplishments, the tears, the being right there, all the time, is worth the sacrifice to me right now…thanks for giving me the opportunity to reflect on this Jennifer…again, I really needed to do this!

February 12, 2009 - 5:17 pm

Kate - Sorry to the teacher in you- “reminded”

February 12, 2009 - 8:15 pm

cheesychick - I’m grateful for my goofy youngins’, my Cranky husband, my old, forgetful folks, my blind, annoying brother, this old farm that needs so much work, my come a visitin’ way too often friends, plenty of really good food to eat and all the other good stuff in my life. I’m grateful for such a great life.

February 12, 2009 - 8:23 pm

kat - Memories of a wonderful mother who taught me what it is to be a mother and so much more in the short 23 years I had her.

A father and 2 brothers that I know would be at my side at any time if I needed them.

Mercy and Grace I do not deserve but receive every day from God.

A husband that for 25 years has overlooked my faults (most days) and loved me in spite of myself.

Being a mother to two wonderful, healthy boys. All of the happy times, tears and trials and all to come. It’s what being a “mom” is all about.

February 12, 2009 - 11:08 pm

Christy - I’m thankful for a God-loving husband, sweet hearted children and a warm house. And that we live in a FREE country. God Bless the USA! We’re expected to get 7 to 9 inches of snow this evening! Yikes! I was liking the sun!

February 13, 2009 - 9:21 am

Amber - I am grateful for:

1) The beautiful family I grew up in, crazy and lovely they are!
2) My husband, and that he left the country he grew up in to be with me.
3) That my nephew and niece are happy and well adjusted little sproglings.
4) That my blog helps me to meet new friends! (Thank you for commenting over at Bluebonnets and Brownies!)

I think your blog is gorgeous, and so are your girls!

February 13, 2009 - 9:39 am

Karen - I am thankful for this beautiful country we live in and for the men and woman who daily through out the ceturies have fought for her ideals.
I love that I have a family that loves me no matter what.
I am forvever grateful for so many woman in this world that set a good example for me to follow.
Thanks for the reminder that we really do have much to be thankful for.

February 13, 2009 - 7:09 pm

Liz A. - I’m also thankful for the lovely weather we’re having down here in Tennessee.

The fact my husband still received some percentage of a bonus this year.

Being married.

And Advil since I hurt my back last week.

February 14, 2009 - 1:08 pm

Cara - I’m thankful for two little ones who made it through their first major stomach flu. I’m thankful for a hard-working, loving husband. I’m thankful for a church community we adore and dear friends surrounding us. I’m thankful for Valentines Day sugar cookies with red and pink icing! I’m thankful for a new life growing inside me. And I’m thankful for a Savior who makes it possible for me to enjoy all of these other good things.

February 14, 2009 - 8:50 pm

Krystal - Hi I also stumbled upon your blog several months ago and have enjoyed reading it!

I am so thankful for my wonderful hard working husband. and the amazing dad that he is to our 3 children. I am thankful for all the blessings my heavenly father has given to me. I am thankful for a wonderful relationship with my family and especially my little brother who I couldn’t imagine my life without. Wow that felt good! Maybe this should be a weekly think! Happy Valentine’s Day!
Krystal in TX

February 15, 2009 - 5:27 am

Penny - I am thankful to have a job that I love; for my family; especially for all my nieces and nephews; for several amazing girlfriends; and for the sweet new man in my life.

February 15, 2009 - 11:18 am

Dana - I’m grateful for the three-year contract we just received that keeps me employed through the recession, and I’m grateful for Drill Sergeant Gorham, who’s taking care of my older daughter in Basic Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

February 15, 2009 - 5:38 pm

simply sarah - I am thankful for my faithful husband and head of our home, Jake. I’m also thankful to be doing the job of my dreams, waking up to two sweet little boys who call me “Mama.” Lastly I am thankful for my Jesus who loves and forgives me a jazillion times over…

February 15, 2009 - 5:50 pm

Patty Hall - Just found your blog.

I’m grateful the the little bit of snow we got week before last, now I’m ready for spring.
I’m grateful for the warm-er weather we’ve had this past week.
I’m grateful for the joy of seeing the first eastern bluebird of the yr this week.
I’m grateful I’m off the next 3 days!!!
I’m grateful (beyond description) of the things I’ve learned thru Gods’ word and bible study this week.
Patty H.

February 15, 2009 - 7:24 pm

chickadee - i’m grateful for sunshine in february. it has made the winter fly by.

February 15, 2009 - 8:51 pm

LizKS - I am thankful first for the Lord Jesus Christ who died to save me from eternal separation from Him.

I am thankful for my children who are happily married and for the 5 grandchildren they have given us. I am also thankful that they are all saved and in churches and have many blessings in their lives.

I am thankful for a wonderful husband who takes such good care of me that I dread the loss of him. Not only because he does take such good care of me but because I love him and would miss him so very much. I am thankful that we are still together going on 41 years this month.

I am thankful for talented children that make me laugh, smile and feel proud when they use those talents and make others feel that way too.

I am thankful for everyday God gives me and the friends I have made all over the world.

That’s not all I’m thankful for but that’s enough for now ;)

February 16, 2009 - 7:32 am

Marilyn - I’m grateful you won the cookbook contest even though I REALLY wanted to.

I like your blog : )

February 16, 2009 - 10:17 am

Debra - Maybe too late. But, I am thankful my children all have jobs,everyone is healthy and that we have God and Jesus watching over us and giving us blessings we don’t even realize.


Playing With Fire



Every country kid I’ve ever known has had a certain fascination with fire.




I remember my cousins and I were once allowed to toss things into a fire at my Aunt Ophelia’s house…




and it was the highlight of the day. Until someone (I won’t say who. It wasn’t me! I swear!! You’ll never prove a thing!!!) tossed something too large and unburnable (is that a word?) onto to fire and it died out.  Bummer.




Even now at parties  everyone seems to congregate outside to stand around the bonfire.




There must be something about the smell, the sound of a crackling fire and the light that keeps the fascination alive.




And now, for the millionth time – I wish my old, rickety chimney could withstand a large, warm, crackling fire. Even though it’s supposed to be 70 here tomorrow.

February 9, 2009 - 7:01 pm - I can SO relate! I want a fireplace so badly!!!

February 9, 2009 - 8:02 pm

Fencepost - I have a fireplace. And everyone still congregates around the bon fire.

February 10, 2009 - 4:20 am

kat - Roast one side then the other! Sitting and stareing into a fire is mesmerizing. We had a fire barrel and my two brothers would frequently throw in an aresole can to liven things up a bit!

February 10, 2009 - 9:35 am

Carrie T - When we go to the lake my Inlaws have a fire ring. I love to sit as close as I can stand it. I just love the heat on my face. I melted flip flops one time….oops!

February 11, 2009 - 6:57 am

Carrie T - My contest is underway!

February 11, 2009 - 8:18 am

ellie k - My son always loved to play in fire. He would get a stick on fire and want to carry it around. I think some of the things we had fun doing in the past that are considered dangerous now are not near as dangerous as what kids do now. We may have push an outhouse over or stole a watermelon but drugs and drinking did not enter most of our minds.

February 11, 2009 - 1:01 pm

Susan Marie - Hi, Jennifer! It’s been a while since I’ve visited, but I do so enjoy your website. Just wanted to tell you I really like the photos in this post… reminds me of looking at my grandparents’ old photo albums, where the pictures were pasted on black scrapbook pages.

We’re having serious drought here in Texas, and it seems like the outdoor burn ban has been on forever, with no relief in sight. Sure would like to get rid of some junk out of the garage!

February 11, 2009 - 1:11 pm

the Cotton Wife - Thanks Susan!

Our “no burning before 4″ ban goes into effect soon – this weekend maybe. Hope y’all get some rain soon!

- Jennifer

February 11, 2009 - 1:20 pm

Karen - You are welcome to come build a fire here. It is suppose to snow all week. I would give a left toe for 70…..70 degrees.

Also, lots of those pyro kids grow up to be rocket scientists. I have never seen a group of people who like to play with fire and explosions more than them.

I lost you for a while again. Something weird is going on with my reader. So glad you are still here.

February 11, 2009 - 1:51 pm

the Cotton Wife - Glad you found me again, Karen!

As nice as this weather is, I would like a chance at seeing snow this year. Oh well, the grass is always greener I guess!

- Jennifer

February 11, 2009 - 4:41 pm

jenny - Hi- First timer for me at your site- Nice to meet you!
thanks for the memories of raking with my dad, and the smell of burning leaves. That is what everybody did with their leaves when I was a kid. We had a special can with woven-wired sides that was used only for this purpose. The odor of burning leaves was as normal for the fall, as the smell of freshly mowed grass is in the spring.

February 12, 2009 - 9:50 am

Kath - We enjoy hanging around the bonfire! Marshmallows, hotdogs, and lemonade!


You Know You Live in a Farming Community When…

this is the stained glass image on the front of the church.




I love this so much. It fits in perfectly with the surrounding farmland and the people who live and work here.



February 5, 2009 - 11:34 am

anna - Okay, Cotton Wife told me I had free run on this one. The stained glass window in this church was put in memory of my husband’s great grandfather, Henry Burleigh holdsworth, Sr. by his family. This is the church where we were married and we farm most of the land around the church. It’s a special place to us.

February 5, 2009 - 11:45 am

Carrie T - So much history! The church I was raised in sits empty today. Most of the people have either moved away or died. It’s really sad. I always wanted to get married there, but there just wasn’t anyway we could.

February 5, 2009 - 5:00 pm

kat - Is this Carsley? My 95 yr young Nanny still attends this church. You can tell the faithful members love this church by how well it is maintained.

February 5, 2009 - 5:01 pm

kat - Is this Carsley? You can tell it is well loved by the care taken to keep it so beautiful.

February 5, 2009 - 5:18 pm

admin - It is Carsley!
And thanks Anna, for helping me out!

- Jennifer

February 6, 2009 - 12:59 pm

Judi in Pa - I wanted to comment yesterday but did not have time. Good eye, you have there. Well, obviously with your photography skills, it’s no wonder. That is something I would have probably overlooked. I attended a church for awhile, not because I liked the people, or the minister, or the sermons, but because it sat right smack in the middle of farm fields…nothing else in sight.

February 6, 2009 - 1:06 pm

the Cotton Wife - That sounds like a good reason to me, Judi. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said,

“What is a farm but a mute gospel?”

- Jennifer

February 6, 2009 - 3:46 pm

Daniela - I love old churches. My dad used to travel with work. Instead of taking the highways, he would take the back roads and take photos of all the old country churches. We have albums full of them.

February 6, 2009 - 4:54 pm

Dana - Jenn, great picture. But you need to get the stained glass window from the inside, with light streaming through it.

I love exploring old churches, from big cathedrals to small country churches. Every building tells a story, and the craftsmanship in even the simplest churches is usually tremendous.

February 7, 2009 - 8:24 am

Jemm - That is really pretty. What a cute little church. It looks like the men inside should all have on wide brimmed hats and the women would be wearing bonnets that tie under their chins.

February 7, 2009 - 2:49 pm

Caution - Do you all need a middle-aged English teacher down there? I think I could adapt to Virginia pretty nicely!

February 7, 2009 - 4:27 pm

the Cotton Wife - If you were single, I feel sure I could find someone to pay all of your moving costs.


- Jennifer

February 11, 2009 - 1:22 pm

Karen - So beautiful! What a neat peice of history to have.