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Tuesday Tunes: A Girl Like You

Birth of Venus  by Sandro Botticelli, 1486 Uffizi Gallery Florence, Italy         Liberty of Poetry by Pio Fedi, 1870 Santa Croce Florence, Italy   Atop playwright Giovanni Battista Niccolini’s tomb in the basilica of Santa Croce is a statue remarkably similar to New York’s Statue of Liberty. Both depict a woman in neoclassical robes with a crown of rays, standing on a broken chain, her right arm uplifted.  Pio Fedi started to design the Florentine statue, known as Liberty of Poetry, in 1870.  It was the same year in which Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, designer of the New York Statue of Liberty, was in Italy, fighting alongside General Garibaldi during the Franco-Prussian War.   The Coronation Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I by Unknown English artist oil on panel, circa 1600 National Portrait Gallery London, England   Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss Front view Marble by Antonio Canova (1757-1822) Musée du Louvre Paris, France   Venus Bordeaux, 2001 Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte by Jim Dine (American, b. 1935) Bordeaux, France   The Kiss Bronze by Auguste Rodin Outside the Musée de l‘Orangerie Paris, France  

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The Faces of Bizou

Bizou   Since it’s National Rescue Dog Day, I thought I’d share some pictures of Bizou. He’s the sweetest little fellow with such a lot of personality….and very persistent. These shots are from this past weekend, and chronicle an average day with this cutie. You see, Bizou is staring at me in hopes that I’ll get up and serve his […]

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SUCCESS

Green Hill Farm   13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin   1. Waste time feeling sorry for themselves. It’s futile to wallow in your problems, exaggerate your misfortune and keep score of how many hardships you’ve endured. Whether you’re struggling to pay your bills or experiencing a serious health problem, throwing a pity party only makes things worse. Self-pity keeps you focused on the problem and prevents you from developing a solution. Hardship and sorrow are inevitable, but feeling sorry for yourself is a choice. Even when you can’t solve the problem, you can choose to control your attitude. Find three things to be grateful for every day to keep self-pity at bay. 8 more things successful people don’t waste time doing 2. Give away their power. You can’t feel like a victim and be mentally strong; that’s impossible. If your thoughts send you into victim mode—My sister-in-law drives me crazy or My boss makes me feel bad about myself—you give others power over you. No one has power over the way you think, feel or behave. Changing your daily vocabulary is one way to recognize that the choices you make are yours. Rather than saying, “I have to work late today,” edit that sentiment to “I’m choosing to stay late.” There may be consequences if you don’t work late, but it’s still a choice. Empowering yourself is an essential component to creating the kind of […]

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Portrait of a Cat Named Winston

Of course, he wasn’t always called Winston.  When this black and white feral kitten first appeared on Green Hill Farm in the early 1990s, he was just another no-name, country kitty looking for food and shelter.  You see, in the country, we don’t buy or go get a cat; it just shows up.  First, it takes up residence in one of the barns or sheds—a safe place with an occasional mouse treat. Next, you may catch a glimpse of it under a bush or behind some flowers.  As it gets more comfortable, it begins sunning itself on the front porch and leaving dead rabbits at your door.  Before you know it, the cat has had its mail forwarded to your address and now considers itself a full member of the family.  At least, that seems to be the story with this congenial cat Grandma and Grandaddy Rieley took a liking to and adopted many years ago.  Besides supplementing kitty’s diet of mice and rabbits with cat food, my grandparents also allowed him in the house at night to watch television with them.  As I mentioned, my grandparents became very fond of kitty, and Grandaddy began referring to him as—wait for it, “Nyning-Nyning.”  I’m not even sure I’m spelling it correctly as it was more of a noise than a name.  Anyway, Nyning-Nyning was well-loved and became a permanent fixture on Green Hill Farm.  He enjoyed hunting, despite receiving two or […]

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Green Hill Farm: A Retrospective #3 — Faith

  *This post originally appeared in September 2014.  It is the last post in a trilogy titled, Green Hill Farm: A Retrospective.  I posted the second part of this journey yesterday as I am celebrating the completion of the restoration of my home and fifteen years of living on Green Hill Farm this month.  A kind thank you to everyone who took the time to read or re-read Retrospective #2 last week.   In looking back on the experience of saving my family’s homeplace, I’ve realized that not only was it a gesture of love, but more importantly, it was an act of faith. Faith, or wearing my rose-colored glasses as I like to say, sustained us through difficult times and propelled us forward. I don’t know where we would have been without it. At the beginning of this journey, shortly after my parents offered us the homeplace, my mom and I took a walk through the house. I remember walking through the dark, dimly lit downstairs hallway, the musty smell of rooms left undisturbed for too long, and cobwebs carefully covering yesterday’s treasures. I remember slowly climbing the stairs, counting each one as I went up. It made me think of Granddaddy. He once shared a story of the time his Grandmother Rieley visited when he was just a boy; She asked, “John, how many steps are there?” He quickly replied, “Sixteen!” He told me that he knew the […]

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Green Hill Farm: A Retrospective #2 — Perseverance

  *This post originally appeared in September 2014.  Farmguy and I were celebrating ten years of living on Green Hill Farm after the restoration of my family’s homeplace, and it seemed like a good way to start my blog, Fourth Generation Farmgirl.  Every May, I like to re-publish this post for new readers.  It’s an introduction to this blog, but even more, it’s a nice reminder for me of the importance of continuity. May 2019 marks our 15-year anniversary in my ancestral home. For those of you who may have already read this post, I apologize for its repetition; however, if you choose to read it again, you have my thanks. : )   There’s a sign that hangs in our vestibule or small covered porch that reads “PERSEVERANCE,” and it’s been our mantra since moving to Green Hill Farm. My husband and I were in our early 30s when we decided to take on this project. Sometimes when we look back at pictures we say, “WHAT in the world were we thinking? Were we INSANE?!!” Whatever the answer, it was the path taken. This path has lead us on a journey that has been difficult and challenging at times but rewarding and enriching, too. Anyway, we all know that anything worthwhile isn’t easy. Which brings me to the next piece of our story. The first day we visited the house after construction had started was surreal. It was a hot, humid day […]

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Friday Farm Favorites: Shhh….We’re Hunting Wabbits

Bizou and Dash   There is no shortage of rabbits on Green Hill Farm this spring.  I’m not kidding!  We are Plum. Covered. Up.  There are big rabbits, little rabbits, and even teeny-tiny rabbits. They’re everywhere: running across the driveway, darting into bushes, chasing each other around the vegetable garden, sunning themselves on the lawn, hanging out in the sheep pasture, munching on clover in the back garden, and sitting under the window in the dogs’ play room—tormenting poor Bizou.  We simply have too many rabbits! Don’t get me wrong.  I love all critters, especially cute, furry bunnies.  But, lately, they’ve been making our lives somewhat stressful.  These wascaly wabbits are driving Bizou and Dash to distraction, and me right along with them.  Bizou is completely obsessed.  Once in a while, I’ll hear a groan and a moan and then a whimper.  This melodic trio quickly escalates into many high-pitched whimpers, followed by lots of frantic whining and running around the room.  And, of course, jumping up on window sills—all in a vain attempt to glimpse rabbits. Understandably, this behavior isn’t good for Bizou, the window sills, or my nerves for that matter.  So, whenever the rabbits decide to hang out under the windows, I usually encourage Bizou to leave the room, and I shut the door. The other day, Bizou was so wound-up, running in circles and launching himself at the window to get the rabbit that no amount […]

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The Weekly Bleat: Grain Treat

A few weeks ago, Farmguy and I gathered our sheep for their spring shearing.  We’ve had a number of warm days since late March with temperatures in the 70’s, and the sheep were appearing a bit stressed by the heat.  I was happy to finally get a shearing date, but also a little nervous about the possibility of upcoming cold and rainy weather. On shearing day, the sun managed to come out and stay out, at least until all of the sheep were sheared, dewormed, and had their hooves trimmed.  However, cooler weather was in the forecast. Of course, around here, when it’s 70 degrees in March, go ahead and expect it to be 30 degrees in April, especially when you’ve just sheared seven months of wool off your sweet, lovely sheep.  I’m sure they were thinking, “We’ve been baking in all this wool, and now you think it’s a good time to remove it?”  Needless to say, I felt terrible.  But, I knew a grain treat would help. Typically, we only give the sheep grain in the cooler months as a treat and to increase their body temperatures.  Once spring arrives, the pastures are lush with lots of grass, and the supplemental grain isn’t necessary.  However, we made an exception recently due to the cooler temperatures, and the sheep loved it!  It doesn’t take long for them to get into a new grain routine as they’re pretty spoiled rotten. […]

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The Joys of Springtime

“The Zen master Ling Chi said that the miracle is not to walk on burning charcoal or in the thin air or on the water; the miracle is just to walk on earth. You breathe in. You become aware of the fact that you are alive. You are still alive and you are walking on this beautiful planet….The greatest of […]

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