Farmgirl Circa 1975 “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” ~Oprah Winfrey “Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” ~Maya Angelou Wishing you a wonderful week!
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!
Farmgirl Green Hill Farm 2019 Photo Credit: Alison Creasy Photography “The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.” ~Steve Maraboli “Miracles can be found in the most unlikely of places. I found the light not by swimming to the surface, but by letting myself drown in the seas of my deepest fears. […]
Farmgirl & lambs Green Hill Farm “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson Wishing you a wonderful day!
*This post originally appeared in September 2014. It is the last post in a trilogy titled, Green Hill Farm: A Retrospective. I posted the second part of this journey yesterday as I am celebrating the completion of the restoration of my home and sixteen years of living on Green Hill Farm this month. A kind thank you to everyone who took the time to read or re-read Retrospective #2. In looking back on the experience of saving my family’s homeplace, I’ve realized that not only was it a gesture of love, but more importantly, it was an act of faith. Faith, or wearing my rose-colored glasses as I like to say, sustained us through difficult times and propelled us forward. I don’t know where we would have been without it. At the beginning of this journey, shortly after my parents offered us the homeplace, my mom and I took a walk through the house. I remember walking through the dark, dimly lit downstairs hallway, the musty smell of rooms left undisturbed for too long, and cobwebs carefully covering yesterday’s treasures. I remember slowly climbing the stairs, counting each one as I went up. It made me think of Granddaddy. He once shared a story of the time his Grandmother Rieley visited when he was just a boy; She asked, “John, how many steps are there?” He quickly replied, “Sixteen!” He told me that he knew the answer because […]
*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 […]
Butterbean, Sweet Pea, and Truffle stoically watching their fallen friend. *This post was originally published November 1st, 2018 Although I wrote this post a while ago, I think the story of Rosebud may be a timely lesson–a reminder that we can do hard things, find our strength in the midst of suffering, and decide not to be defeated by circumstances we cannot control. xoxo I squatted uncomfortably in the pasture. My left shin gently pressing on Rosebud’s back with the remainder of weight shifted to my right leg. My left hand disappeared into the coarse wool on her chest, above her heart. As I carefully caressed Rosebud’s face, the feathery sensation of her long eyelashes brushed against my hand as she opened and closed her eyes. Her heartbeat was faint. Although Rosebud was still grazing and eating grain regularly, we recently noticed she had lost weight and seemed to be lying around more. She was nearly 12-years-old now–elderly for a sheep. However, even though a bit slower, she was always grazing with the flock and never missed an opportunity for a grain treat…until Wednesday morning. After feeding the sheep, I walked back to the house, feeling my chest tighten and heaviness gather in my shoulders. Once inside, I picked up the phone and dialed our local vet’s office. A young girl answered, “Bedford Animal Hospital.” I was struck by the contrast of the cheerful, sunny voice at […]
For those of you who follow this blog, you may remember a post titled, Above and Beyond: An Everyday Hero. A couple of years ago, a major water pipe in our home broke, and a very kind and determined person rescued us. We thought he was just our plumber, but he turned out to be much more. He was our hero…answering an emergency call late on a snowy, Saturday night, problem-solving a difficult situation, and working undeterred until, once again, we had water. During this dire situation, our plumber, Mike Walker dug five gallons of dirt out of a tiny access hole, and then, climbed into this small, dirty space. He ignored his own safety, well-being, and comfort to repair our out-of-reach pipe, but also to preserve the hardwood floors in our 200-year-old family home. He did all of this, unselfishly, to save us from a significant amount of stress, inconvenience, and heartbreak–a true hero. Since that night, I’ve been thinking a lot about this concept of “everyday heroes.” And, here’s the thing: Heroism lies within all of us. Each of us has the power to make our lives and the lives of others better. Sometimes we may feel that life is always trying to “start something” by throwing a challenge or a truly dark situation at us. However, it doesn’t matter if the problem is “too high to get over, too low to get under, and we’re stuck […]
I think someone once said that life is supposed to be challenging. Well, yes, the statement is true enough. But, somehow, many of us believe that things should go smoothly a good part of the time. Most of us work towards this end, and we count on it. Then, when life goes awry, we’re upset, angry, and disappointed. We dread challenges and vexation. I’ll be the first to admit that I work very hard to keep my life on course. I’m an “all your ducks in a row” kinda girl. I follow the rules, keep my word, and act decently–treating others as I would like to be treated. I basically over-analyze most situations, teasing out the pros and cons before making a decision. However, despite my good intentions and best efforts, challenging stuff still happens. Maybe, if we modified our view of challenging circumstances as a normal part of life, we wouldn’t be so surprised and upset when they occurred. Also, what if we stopped interpreting the stuff that happens as positive or negative. It’s happening, let’s try to accept it, and move through it. You know, let’s stop judging the stuff. Of course, this is easier said than done. On the surface, some stuff looks pretty negative–even devastating at times. Which brings me to a quote by Elizabeth Gilbert that I absolutely love: “Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.” What if the […]
Butterbean, Sweet Pea, and Truffle stoically watching their fallen friend. This post was originally published November 1st, 2018 It’s hard to believe it’s been a year. However, the lesson is still there. I squatted uncomfortably in the pasture. My left shin gently pressing on Rosebud’s back with the remainder of weight shifted to my right leg. My left hand disappeared into the coarse wool on her chest, above her heart. As I carefully caressed Rosebud’s face, the feathery sensation of her long eyelashes brushed against my hand as she opened and closed her eyes. Her heartbeat was faint. Although Rosebud was still grazing and eating grain regularly, we recently noticed she had lost weight and seemed to be lying around more. She was nearly 12-years-old now–elderly for a sheep. However, even though a bit slower, she was always grazing with the flock and never missed an opportunity for a grain treat…until Wednesday morning. After feeding the sheep, I walked back to the house, feeling my chest tighten and heaviness gather in my shoulders. Once inside, I picked up the phone and dialed our local vet’s office. A young girl answered, “Bedford Animal Hospital.” I was struck by the contrast of the cheerful, sunny voice at the other end of the line to the worried, grayness of my inner landscape. The receptionist informed me that the doctors’ schedules were full, and that no one would be available for a […]