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The Weekly Bleat: An Important Lesson

Apparently, huge temperature swings are something that we’re just going to have to get used to this time of year.  Lately, we’ve been experiencing what I like to call “yo-yo” weather.  Our forecast this week is 65 degrees F. today, 72 degrees F. tomorrow, and snowing on Saturday.  This weather isn’t great for people, but it’s especially not good for sheep and chickens.  Their bodies acclimate to the cold, winter weather, and when there’s an unseasonably warm day–they may feel overheated.  After a week of balmy, warm days, a 40 or 50 degree drop in temperature is jarring to these animals’ systems and may cause illness.  So, to help, Farmguy and I feed the sheep and chickens extra grain to supplement their diets, especially on cold days. Yesterday, I was feeding the sheep their afternoon grain, when I noticed the grain bin was getting low. Well, let me just say, getting caught with no grain on Green Hill Farm is definitely a no-no.  Anyway, it reminded me of a lesson I learned last year.  And, I thought I would share it again.  🙂 Last weekend, Farmguy and I gathered our sheep for their spring shearing.  We’ve had a number of warm days since early April with temperatures in the 70’s and 80’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 rain as […]

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Sunrise on Green Hill Farm     “The Light”   When traveling through a valley of shadows, Take heart— The crest of the hill is within sight. And, with a little faith and perseverance, Grace will be found…. By dwelling in the light.   ~Tonya R. Hengerer

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Heirloom Recipe: Colonial Queen Cakes

  I found this recipe for tea cakes in a cookbook called Southern Cakes.  It features some of the most delightful and delicious desserts associated with Southern baking:  everything from sweet potato pound cake to red velvet cake.  Reading this cookbook and admiring the lovely photographs of beautifully baked cakes so reminded me of Grandma Rieley.  My grandma was a wonderful Southern cook, and she loved to bake.  She also appreciated a well-baked cake.  I can still hear her saying what to do or not do for a cake to turn out just right–not too dry, but perfectly moist with good texture. Watching and helping Grandma Rieley bake was one of my fondest memories.  I think she would have approved of these small, elegant tea cakes. According to Southern Cakes, Colonial Queen Cakes were enjoyed in Virginia homes during Colonial times.  Popular long before baking soda and baking powder debuted in the kitchens of the mid-nineteenth century, queen cakes depend on well-beaten eggs to make them rise, just as pound cakes do.  Their texture is dense, closer to a delicate corn bread than to today’s muffins and cupcakes.  This tea time treat is scrumptious and simple to make.  So, go ahead and put on the kettle, they’ll be ready before you know it! Colonial Queen Cakes: This recipe is from Southern Cakes. * Use organic ingredients when possible. Ingredients: 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground mace or nutmeg […]

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Friday Farm Favorites: Sudeley Castle Gardens

Whenever Farmguy and I visit the Cotswolds, we always make a point of spending the day at Sudeley Castle near Winchcombe in Gloucestershire, England.  The present structure was built in the 15th century and has nine individual gardens.  These lovely and historical gardens are associated with four of England’s queens—Anne Boleyn, Katherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey, and Elizabeth I.   […]

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A Surprise and an Honor

I started my blog, Fourth Generation Farmgirl about 2 1/2 years ago.  It was the tenth anniversary of moving back to my ancestral home at Green Hill Farm.  Green Hill Farm: A Retrospective  Green Hill Farm includes the main house, a cottage, a big barn, pastures, and many outbuildings.  After some research at our local county courthouse and public library, Farmguy […]

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Waiting for Spring

It’s been so warm and sunny here lately that daffodils are blooming and the pastures are turning from dull brown to vibrant green. So, this past weekend, Farmguy and I decided it was a good time to gather our sheep to administer their yearly vaccines and attend to other routine care practices like trimming hooves and de-worming.  After we finished, […]

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Something to Ponder

Before Christmas, I read an article along the lines of self-empowerment and jotted down some highlights that made an impression.  I know I’ve heard much of this advice at one time or another, but seeing it all together resonated.  I looked for the article the other day, but unfortunately, I misplaced it.  I did, however, manage to find my scribbled notes.  I thought they were worth sharing.   —Be Bold. Go for what you want and don’t be afraid of hearing “no.”  Embrace your choices and own them.   —Know when to walk away. Cultivate a no-B.S. attitude.  Never invest your time and energy into something or someone who isn’t offering respectable returns.   —Communicate your needs and set boundaries. Never sit silently in front of someone who disrespects you.  Set a boundary right then and there…and move forward.   **–Bounce back from problems. Look for a solution.  Learn the lesson, apply it to the future, and move on.  Don’t waste time regretting.   —Actions speak louder… Never rely on words.  Only through actions can we gauge the true motives and feelings of others.   —Know when to say “no.” Don’t be a pushover.  And, NEVER apologize for doing things that make you happy.  Never bend yourself backwards, forward (and backwards again) to please people who wouldn’t do the same for you.   **–Don’t play the victim. You’re in total control of how you react to a situation.  When things […]

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