Belief and Perseverance

Farmgirl Green Hill Farm Summer 2019   Yesterday was Women’s Equality Day. You may have missed it, because like most of us, you were probably celebrating National Dog Day. ūüėČ At the behest of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 and passed in 1973, the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.” The date was selected to commemorate […]

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Unbridled Joy

Bizou & Dash Green Hill Farm Summer 2019 *Many thanks to Alison Creasy Photography for these lovely photographs   ‚ÄúA person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the […]

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GRATITUDE

Farmgirl and Dash All photographs courtesy of Alison Creasy Photography   “In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” ~Brother David Steindl–Rast       Wishing everyone a wonderful week!  

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Ordinary Moments

  Green Hill Farm April 2019   “And do not change. Do not divert your love from visible things. But go on loving what is good, simple and ordinary; animals and things…, and keep the balance true. ~Rainer Maria Rilke     “Let nothing disturb you, / Nothing frighten you—/ All things pass, / But God never changes.” ~Sainte Th√©r√®se […]

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Honey Hen: Little Chicken, Big Impression

*This is a post I wrote several years ago about our pet chicken, Honey. I’m sharing it today as a reminder of the many beautiful lessons I’ve experienced since having our 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 […]

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Portrait of a Cat Named Winston

Of course, he wasn’t always called Winston. ¬†When this black and white feral kitten first appeared on Green Hill Farm in the early 1990s, he was just another no-name, country kitty looking for food and shelter. ¬†You see, in the country, we don’t buy or go get a cat; it just shows up. ¬†First, it takes up residence in one of the barns or sheds—a safe place with an occasional mouse treat. Next, you may catch a glimpse of it under a bush or behind some flowers. ¬†As it gets more comfortable, it begins sunning itself on the front porch and leaving dead rabbits at your door. ¬†Before you know it, the cat has had its mail forwarded to your address and now considers itself a full member of the family. ¬†At least, that seems to be the story with this congenial cat Grandma and Grandaddy Rieley took a liking to and adopted many years ago. ¬†Besides supplementing kitty’s diet of mice and rabbits with cat food, my grandparents also allowed him in the house at night to watch television with them. ¬†As I mentioned, my grandparents became very fond of kitty, and Grandaddy began referring to him as—wait for it, “Nyning-Nyning.” ¬†I’m not even sure I’m spelling it correctly as it was more of a noise than a name. ¬†Anyway, Nyning-Nyning was well-loved and became a permanent fixture on Green Hill Farm. ¬†He enjoyed hunting, despite receiving two or […]

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Green Hill Farm: A Retrospective #3 — Faith

  *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 fifteen 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 last week.   In looking back on the experience of saving my family‚Äôs homeplace, I‚Äôve 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‚Äôt 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‚Äôs 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, ‚ÄúJohn, how many steps are there?‚ÄĚ He quickly replied, ‚ÄúSixteen!‚ÄĚ He told me that he knew the […]

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Green Hill Farm: A Retrospective #2 — Perseverance

  *This post originally appeared in September 2014. ¬†Farmguy and I were celebrating ten years of living on Green Hill Farm after the restoration of my family’s homeplace, and it seemed like a good way to start my 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 2019 marks¬†our 15-year anniversary in my ancestral home.¬†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 had started was surreal. It was a hot, humid day […]

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