Life In Pink

“La Vie en Rose” performed by Catherine Carraway Quartet   “La Vie en Rose” is a song that expresses the bliss of being in love.  It brims with pure emotion and beautiful sentiment.  To me, it’s one of the loveliest songs ever written.  “La Vie en Rose” or the English translation, Life Through Rosy Pink Glasses, was released as a single in 1947 by French singer, Édith Piaf and is one of her most famous and beloved songs. Édith Piaf, also known as “The Little Sparrow,” became an icon of France during World War II.  She was a symbol of French passion and tenacity.  Piaf’s signature song was about finding love after a trying time, and many people saw it as an anthem of hope as it was released shortly after the end of World War II. Here’s the thing:  “La Vie en Rose” isn’t just a song about romance; it’s an anthem of love for life, especially when everything around you is considered a source of joy.  Life through rosy pink glasses isn’t about being foolishly optimistic. Instead, it’s about a state of being, where we stop…and, are truly grateful for the many blessings and small miracles that occur in our everyday lives.

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Wine Basics: The Five Ss

Wine requires two assessments:  Subjective and Objective.  Just because we like a wine, doesn’t mean it’s a great wine.  One way to illustrate this point is with art.  You may not want to hang a reproduction of a Claude Monet painting in your home, but you agree that Monet is a great artist. So, getting to the point where you have both a subjective and objective opinion is one of the most rewarding stages in developing knowledge and comfort in wine; thus, allowing you to separate your liking of something from its quality. So, the point is this:  You can love a wine but understand that it’s not a great wine.  For example, I have weekly wines and weekend wines.  Weekly wines are inexpensive wines ($15-25) we enjoy with our simple evening meals; however, weekend wines are the special ones ($50 or more) we may take to a favorite gourmet restaurant that has a corkage fee. Most of us know what we like, but having an objective opinion means increasing our knowledge base. So, let’s get started! The Five Ss: –See –Swirl –Sniff –Sip –Savor All together, they’ll enable you to maximize your enjoyment of your next glass of wine. SEE A wine’s color can tell you a lot: Taste, intensity, condition, and most likely, its aromas and flavors. The best way to examine the color is to tilt the glass over a white surface, such as a white table […]

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Green Hill Farm: A Retrospective #2 — Perseverance

  *This post originally appeared in September 2014.  I was celebrating ten years of living on Green Hill Farm (purchased in 1912 by my great-grandparents) and the restoration of my family’s homeplace. I thought remembering this milestone seemed like a good way to start the 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 2020 marks the 16-year anniversary of living in my ancestral home (circa 1790). 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 […]

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Grace

Green Hill Farm November 2019 “Within sorrow is grace. When we come close to those things that break us down, we touch those things that also break us open. And in that breaking open, we uncover our true nature.” ~Wayne Muller I took these photos one misty day in November last year. It was late afternoon, and I wasn’t looking forward to walking my dogs, Bizou and Dash in the cold, damp, gloomy weather. But, to my surprise, when I reached the top of the hill and turned around, I saw the most striking view…sunlight, engulfed by heavy grayness, cascading warmly over the mountain. I stood there, marveling at the lovely glow, trying to figure out from which direction the sunlight was filtering through the clouds to produce this cheerful rainbow. It appeared to come from no where. Although the sun was not visible, there was still light, warmth, and beauty. And, this uplifting moment of grace, filled me with joy. “Grace” by Tonya Rieley Hengerer God’s way of Reminding us to embrace Acceptance and faith, thus Creating Empowerment to overcome obstacles. Wishing you a wonderful week full of grace!

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Cheerfulness

“Cheerfulness,” 14 X 18, acrylic on canvas by Tonya Rieley Hengerer “Daring enthusiasm And abiding cheerfulness Can accomplish everything on earth Without fail.” ~Sri Chinmoy I love England, especially the Cotswolds, and one of my 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 painting, “Cheerfulness,” was inspired by a photograph I took during one of my visits to this lovely garden. *As always, lots of gratitude to my friend and art instructor, Janet Wimmer for her input and guidance. 🙂 Wishing everyone a wonderful day!

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Honey Hen: Little Chicken, Big Impression

*This is a post I wrote several years ago about my pet chicken, Honey. I’m sharing it today as a reminder of the many beautiful lessons I’ve experienced since having this little hobby farm.  Having just fed the barn kitties, I headed toward the chicken coop to gather eggs.  On the way, I stopped and looked up, closing my eyes. I stood for a moment, letting the warmth of the afternoon sun wash over me.  When I opened my eyes, I saw an autumn sky that was clear blue with wisps of clouds like white gossamer.  The burnt colors of foliage lining the sheep paddock caught my attention; too little rain late in the summer had muted the usual fiery, fall palette.  It was still a lovely sight, and it was perfect weather for Honey Hen to be outside in the fresh air.  But then, I remembered. Honey Hen, a pet chicken unable to walk well or lay eggs anymore, had become part of my day-to-day routine.  Although she didn’t have perfect mobility, Honey was still a fairly healthy, hearty bird.  She enjoyed being outdoors in her favorite spot near the corncrib that Great-grandaddy Rieley built as well as pecking at clover and fanning out her wings in the sunshine.  Everyday I prepared a plate of fruit and vegetables for her–especially when she couldn’t go outside.  On warm days, when Honey was able to go out, I constantly checked to […]

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Berry and Red Wine Sorbet

A wonderful combination of berries and red wine, this easy and elegant sorbet has aromas and flavors of blackberry cobbler and strawberry preserves.  So refreshing, it’s the perfect light ending to any holiday meal. Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover wine. 😉   Berry and Red Wine Sorbet: *Use organic ingredients whenever possible. Makes: 12 Servings Makes:  6 Cups Prep: 20 minutes Stand: About 1 Hour Freeze: Overnight Ingredients: 1 pound fresh strawberries, chopped 1 pound fresh blackberries 2 cups sugar 1 1/4 cups dry red wine 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla 1/2 teaspoon salt Whipped cream Black pepper (optional) Ground cinnamon (optional) Method: –In a large saucepan combine the first eight ingredients (through the salt).  Cook and stir over medium-high heat until fruit softens and sugar is dissolved. –Remove from heat; let mixture cool to room temperature.  Remove ginger slices; discard. –Working in batches, transfer wine mixture to a blender.  Cover and blend until smooth.  Strain wine mixture to remove seeds. Transfer blended (seed free) mixture to a 13 x 9-inch dish or pan.  Cover and freeze overnight. –When ready to serve, scoop sorbet into wine glasses.  Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with black pepper or cinnamon, if desired. Nutrition Facts: (Red Wine Sorbet) Per serving: 208 kcal, 3 g fat, 8 mg chol., 102 mg sodium, 41 g carb., 3 g fiber, 38 g […]

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The Weekly Bleat: Harmony and Joy

Green Hill Farm Scottish Blackface Sheep Summer 2020   “…with an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.” ~William Wordsworth   “Each of us literally chooses, by his way of attending to things, what sort of universe he shall appear to himself to inhabit.” ~William James […]

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