When I think of old houses or antiques, I’m reminded of the Japanese philosophy called wabi-sabi. Loosely translated, it’s the art of finding beauty in imperfection, revering authenticity above all. It celebrates cracks and scratches and all other marks that time, weather, and loving use leave behind. A good lesson in appreciating old houses, and…life in general. Some of the things that I love best about old houses are the creaky, uneven floors, the lack of right angles, wavy glass windows, hand-planed woodwork, and hints of the lives of those who lived there long ago. It’s this character, charm, and history that attracted me to the idea of restoring a 200-hundred-year-old house that’s been in my family for over 100 years—my family’s ancestral home or homeplace. I relish the sense of continuity; I literally follow in the footsteps of my ancestors as I walk through this house and around the farm. As one can imagine, caring for and maintaining this home is of the utmost importance to me. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the other thing I love as much as an old house is a well-appointed, everything in its place, clean house. I know that it’s mainly because I’m wired this way. However, the other view is that restoring my family’s homeplace was a significant effort and expense, and I value and want to take care of it. So, messy, unclean rooms, scratches on the floors, and dings […]
Green Hill Farm This moment is yours—
I absolutely love fizzy and sparkling wines! And, since New Year’s Eve celebrations are fast approaching, I thought it may be fun and helpful to share some information about Champagne and sparkling wines. Champagne: First, all that sparkles isn’t Champagne. Sparkling wine can only be called Champagne if it’s from the Champagne region of France and made in the traditional method (méthode champenoise). The traditional method is a labor intensive, multi-step process (two fermentations) that contributes to the expense. Champagne can be made from three grapes: chardonnay and red-skinned pinot noir and pinot meunier. Sometimes the label will use the terms “blanc de blancs” meaning the wine was made from white grapes, or “blanc de noirs” indicating that the Champagne is a white wine made from the dark pinot noir and pinot meunier varieties. There are also different levels of dryness/sweetness in Champagne: Brut Nature/Brut Zero: Bone dry. No residual sugar. Extra Brut: very dry Brut: very dry to dry Extra-Sec or Extra Dry: off-dry to medium dry Sec: medium dry Demi-Sec: sweet Doux: super sweet *Special note: More Champagne houses from France are opening vineyards in California: Roederer Estate (by Champagne Louis Roederer), Domaine Chandon (by Moët & Chandon), Mumm Napa (by G.H. Mumm), and Domaine Carneros (by Taittinger) are a few of the French producers in California. Sparkling Wines: Crémant: French sparkling wine that is made outside of the Champagne region in France but produced using the traditional […]
I will turn my attention to what is uplifting, positive, and good. “Hey baby when I’m looking at you I know this vibe is true There’s love, There’s hope for love, THERE’S BEAUTY IN THE WORLD.” ~Macy Gray
In life, we often go through our days interacting with others, but not really connecting. It’s just the way it is. Most days we are busy, stressed, and distracted—replaying yesterday and worrying about tomorrow. It can be difficult to be in the moment, to observe and listen, to be present—to look and actually see. Not that we mean to or want to, but sometimes we operate on a superficial level. This is partly because we are so engaged in our own worlds, disconnected and unable to relate to something outside of ourselves. I’m reminded of an experience I had one summer while visiting my favorite place—England. My husband and I were spending the day in a Cotswolds market town in Gloucestershire, a charming place with honey-colored, stone architecture and baskets full of colorful, cascading flowers adorning the front of every other building. As we made our way along the busy highstreet, a courtyard with shops and galleries caught our attention. We walked into the brightly lit space with sunlight streaming down from the skylights above, illuminating the shops before us. I immediately noticed the simple but stunning jewelry in one of the galleries. I walked in and began to browse. My gaze landed on an understated, wide, silver band with an anticlastic shape. It was lovely. I wanted to try it on, but I didn’t see anyone. I looked across the hallway, and sitting opposite the gallery, in a studio, […]
I. LOVE. Peanut butter. So, it makes sense that I would also love peanut butter cookies; however, it’s not just the taste that endears me to this special treat. It’s also the memories. When I was a girl, peanut butter cookies were always the cookie I wanted to make with Mom. I so enjoyed rolling the little balls of dough in my hands and using a fork to make the crisscross design atop the cookie. And, very often, peanut butter cookies were the treat awaiting Santa Claus on Christmas Eve at my house. This recipe for peanut butter cookies is unbelievably easy, only requiring four ingredients: sugar, peanut butter, an egg, and vanilla extract. The peanut butter flavor really shines through, especially since there isn’t any flour. For such a simple recipe, the taste is amazing! A few years ago when making these cookies, I decided to modify Mom’s recipe a bit. I really like ginger. So, for a twist, I added ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and crystallized ginger. Oh, and I also placed a few chocolate chips on top for good measure. The result: yummy, yummy cookies! These peanut butter spice cookies turned out to be delicious; and, if you’re looking for the perfect wine to pair with them, a Malmsey Madeira works well. Enjoy! Peanut Butter Spice Cookies: *Use organic ingredients when possible. Ingredients: 1 cup peanut butter 1 cup sugar (1/2 cup raw cane sugar & 1/2 cup […]
Green Hill Farm No more BAAAH HUMBUG…just some BAAAH and a little CLUCK, CLUCK, because the Green Hill Farm Christmas tree is FINALLY up! I’ve been collecting sheep and chicken ornaments for a while now, but I recently have enough to decorate a full length Christmas tree. Oh joy!! 🙂
I LOVE wandering around vintage/antiques stores. You know the kind—where there’s everything from beautiful, old quilts to those tacky Smurf drinking glasses you just had to collect when you were a child. The fun thing is you never know what you may find….treasure or trinkets. But, it’s all good stuff! Well, recently, while enjoying a lazy afternoon in one of these delightful shops, I discovered an item that grabbed my attention…a pillow with small, red bells on the corners and the phrase, “Get Your Jingle On.” I laughed out loud! Anyway, the more I thought about this whimsical pillow, the more I decided that I really needed it. I thought, “What a good reminder of this season of love and goodwill.” So, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, tired, or stressed-out, put on some festive music, remember your blessings, and think about all the wonderful things you can do to reflect light into our world by offering a kind word, a bright smile, or a helpful hand. Go ahead, “GET YOUR JINGLE ON.” As you can see, Clementine, Dash, and Bizou love the pillow, especially the bells. 🙂 Wishing you a week full of joy and lots of jingles!
Farmgirl and Buttermilk Green Hill Farm Summer 2019 PC: Alison Creasy Photography “I do not understand the mystery of grace–only that it meets us where we are, and does not leave us where it found us.” ~Anne Lamott, author Enjoy your week!
One of my favorite sheep, Clover, watching the chickens scratch in the grass and chase bugs.