Be Inspired

“You are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, the people you meet, the dreams you have, the conversations you engage in.  You are what you take from these.  You are the sound of the ocean, the breath of fresh air, the brightest light and the darkest corner.  You are a collective of every experience you have had in your life.  So drown yourself in a sea of knowledge and existence.  Let the words run through your veins and let the colours fill your mind.” ~Jac Vanek          

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Tuesday Tunes: The Whistling Tree Frogs of Bermuda

The song of the Whistling Tree Frog is one of the infamous sounds of a Bermuda night.  These tiny creatures create a beautiful evening sound as they accompany the gentle breezes with their sweet symphony—all from the sound of a cent!  “Gleep, gleep.” Only about the size of a thumbnail, the tree frogs are slight in stature but big in presence. If you’re lucky enough to see one, you’ll be surprised to discover that such a big noise can come from such a small amphibian. There are two species of Whistling Frogs (Tree Frogs) in Bermuda. The Eleutherodactylus johnstonei and Eleutherodactylus gossei, the first of the two is more common and smaller while the other has almost disappeared. Both are brownish, nocturnal, living in trees near the ground and by day hiding under stones and leaves. They are one of the most characteristic night sounds of Bermuda between April and November. They can be heard island-wide when the weather is warm enough (above 69 degrees) but are most common in the Parishes of Devonshire, Paget, Pembroke and Warwick. They are not indigenous – both were introduced accidentally sometime prior to 1880, most likely on orchids imported from the Lesser Antilles. They can be found elsewhere in temperate and sub-tropical regions, but mainly can be found singing loudly at night. Here’s a snippet of the enchanting Tree Frogs’ melody.  Enjoy!

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Green Hill Farm in Bloom

Our garden has been really lovely this spring and summer.  Actually, I think it’s the prettiest it’s ever looked.  We designed and planted our flower beds around 2005, and every year they’ve filled in a little more. Of course, all the rain we had in April and May certainly helped to create such a colorful palette of blooms. Have a […]

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Friday Farm Favorites: There’s No Place Like Home

I’m truly grateful for this place…Green Hill Farm.  And, what I’ve come to realize is that no matter the challenges of living here, my love for this farm is constant and irreplaceable.  I love it for its enduring ability to lift my spirits, fill my heart, and give my life direction.  The very thought of it…is joyful.   I hope these photos of Green Hill Farm bring a bit of joy to your day.  Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂    

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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, […]

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Something Refreshing

I’m not much of a mixed drink connoisseur.  I usually find that I enjoy wine more:  sparkling, white Burgundy, and Bordeaux styles. However, a few years ago, while visiting with friends in Yorkshire, England, I discovered a cocktail that I enjoyed so much that I asked the bartender for the recipe. It’s called a Hendrick’s Collins.  This cocktail is delicious and refreshing—perfect for a summer afternoon in the garden. Hendrick’s Collins *Slightly modified Ingredients: One 12 ounce Collins glass One shot of Hendrick’s Gin (distilled Scottish gin infused with rose & cucumber) 3/4 shot of St. Germain elderflower liqueur Dash of lemon 3 Cucumber slices Ice cubes Soda Water Cucumber and lemon wedge to garnish *Belvoir Fruit Farms Elderflower Presse *Special Note:  This is a sparkling beverage that’s handmade in the U.K. and mixes well with gin.  I originally had it in England; however, I have purchased it at The Fresh Market grocery store in my area.  It can also be ordered online at amazon.com.  My preference is to use half soda water and half Belvoir Elderflower Presse in this cocktail. Preparation: Fill the Collins glasses with ice.  Full size ice cubes will melt more slowly and dilute the drink more slowly. Add the gin, St. Germain, lemon juice, and cucumber slices into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice.  Cover and shake for several seconds.  Strain into a Collins glass and top with soda water (and Elderflower sparkling beverage […]

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A Lesson

As a child growing up on Green Hill Farm there were two things that I looked forward to the most: visiting with Grandma and Granddaddy Rieley and summer time.  The thing I liked best was neither required dressy outfits or shoes.  I also relished the freedom of an undetermined day, one without rules or routines.  I’d run around the farm sometimes barefoot and still in my pajamas or a mismatched outfit chosen by me; one which usually included an article of clothing made of terry-cloth, a Mork and Mindy tee-shirt, and maybe even knee socks.  I probably resembled something akin to a cross between Little Orphan Annie and a peasant.  Nevertheless, I didn’t care.  I had Grandma to visit, stuff to get into, and I was comfortable–a formula that equalled happiness in my world.  Of course, those days are long gone, because I’d never go outside today without at least a pair of flip flops on my feet.  I also don’t wear terry cloth shorts or knee-socks anymore, either–at least, not together.  However, I still prefer jeans and tee-shirts to dressy outfits, and I’m known to wear my pajamas outside the house on occasion (but never off the farm).  As for those undetermined days, well, I still love them, because you just never know who you may meet or what you might learn. It was a glorious summer day like the ones depicted in those old Country Time Lemonade commercials: […]

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Shhh….We’re Hunting Wabbits

Dash and Bizou   There is no shortage of rabbits on Green Hill Farm this summer.  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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