Ordinary Moments

  Green Hill Farm April 2019   “And do not change. Do not divert your love from visible things. But go on loving what is good, simple and ordinary; animals and things…, and keep the balance true. ~Rainer Maria Rilke     “Let nothing disturb you, / Nothing frighten you—/ All things pass, / But God never changes.” ~Sainte Thérèse […]

Read More →

A Summer Fling

I’d like to start with the fact that I don’t normally get emotionally involved or gush over dessert.  Yes.  I enjoy decadent treats in moderation: a piece of Victoria sponge or chocolate cake on occasion.  I don’t, however, just lose my mind over sweet things…….until last week. It started out innocently enough.  My dad is a fine gardener and always has a bounty of vegetables to share with friends and family.  Every summer, he sends my in-laws squash, cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, etc. from his garden; and, in an act of reciprocity, my mother-in-law bakes bread or makes a special treat for my parents.  About a week ago, after receiving an installment of vegetables from Dad, my mother-in-law sent my parents fresh berries with a homemade “cream” topping.  Bless her heart, she even sent some for us. Of course, Farmguy and I had no inkling this wasn’t any normal berry and cream combination.  After dinner, we dished out some berries and dollaped the “cream” on top and proceeded to enjoy our desserts.  After one bite, I exclaimed, “Oh my gosh–This. Is. SO. Good!!  It’s not like any cream I’ve ever had! We’ve got to get the recipe from your mother!”  The next day, I called Farmguy’s mom to thank her for this unexpected treat and to get the recipe.  I went on and on about how much we enjoyed it, and how it was the best thing EVER.  The memory is blurry now, […]

Read More →

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 […]

Read More →

Friday Farm Favorites: Cheerfulness

“Cheerfulness,” 14 X 18, acrylic on canvas by Tonya R. Hengerer   “Daring enthusiasm And abiding cheerfulness Can accomplish everything on earth Without fail.” ~Sri Chinmoy Farmguy and I love England, especially the Cotswolds, and one of our favorite places to spend an afternoon is Kiftsgate Court Gardens.  It’s located very near Hidcote Manor Garden and is situated above the village of Mickleton in the county of Gloucestershire, in the far north of the county close to the border with both Worcestershire and Warwickshire. The gardens, famed for its roses, are the creation of three generations of women gardeners. Started by Heather Muir in the 1920s, continued by Diany Binny from 1950, and now looked after by Anne Chambers and her husband. Kiftsgate Court is currently the home of the Chambers family. My latest painting, “Cheerfulness,” was inspired by a photograph I took during one of our visits at this lovely garden.   *As always, lots of gratitude to my friend and art teacher, Janet Wimmer for her input and guidance. 🙂 Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!    

Read More →

Friday Farm Favorites: The Beauty Before Us

Volunteer sunflower in the garden Green Hill Farm   “When we come upon beautiful things….they act like small tears in the surface of the world that pull us through to some vaster space.”   ~Elaine Scarry   We have had a lot of rain this summer. I’m talkin’ forty days, forty nights kinda rain. It’s rained so much that I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see an ark in the garden.  I mean, we’ve got grass growing where it doesn’t usually grow—in the driveway, in the mulch of the flower beds, in the chickens’ aviary. Plus, the grass in the sheep pasture is more lush and green than it was in the spring.  The sheep are constantly wet; I even think their wool is starting to felt. It’s been a bit dreary, too. And, after a while, all that gray can really get to a girl. This time of year is usually my favorite. The heat and humidity have broken, and the sky is the most vibrant color of blue. The lilies and roses are still blooming, and the garden is a lovely place. But, not this year. Yesterday, I looked out the window, and the grayness covered the backyard and fields like a blanket.  My garden, which is usually fairly neat and weed-free, resembled something more along the lines of a jungle.  However; as I glanced across the overgrown expanse, something bright and cheerful caught my eye.  It […]

Read More →

Through the Garden Gate

  “Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help.  Gardening is an instrument of grace.”   ~May Sarton   Photographs taken by Tonya R. Hengerer at Hidcote Manor Gardens and Kiftsgate Court Gardens in Gloucestershire, England–the Cotswolds

Read More →

A Summer Classic

When I think of summertime, there are a few things that always come to mind.  I guess this is partially because I grew up in the rural South.  But, there’s just nothing like the sound of cicadas singing in the trees on a warm summer evening, a night sky so dark that you can see the Milky Way and almost every constellation, especially the Big Dipper.  And, of course, fresh tomatoes picked right out of the garden, sliced, and enjoyed between two slices of bread with a bit of butter, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper—the classic tomato sandwich. My first memories of this iconic Southern treat were made while visiting Grandma Dooley. As a child, I lived nearby to both sets of grandparents, visiting with them often.  Every summer, I would spend a week with Grandma. She was a Sunday School teacher for many years and also taught Bible School.  While at Grandma’s, I attended Bible School with my cousin, Kim.  I still remember the experience so clearly:  riding the church bus around curvy, back country roads to Mt. Zion Baptist Church; listening to Grandma tell us a Bible story about Jesus and making a special craft in her classroom; singing “This Little Light of Mine” during choir practice; and running around the church cemetery with the other children—after having the customary refreshments of Oreo cookies and Kool-Aid.  But, I’ve gone off on a tangent. 😉 Anyway, it was during one […]

Read More →

The Joys of Gardening

“A flower doesn’t lose its beauty because weeds mocked it.” ~Matshona Dhliwayo   Thanks to all the rain we had earlier this summer, our garden has been an explosion of color—especially the lilies!  It’s also been an explosion of weeds. As with everything, we take the good with the bad. However, one bad thing Farmguy and I like to avoid […]

Read More →