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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A Different Kind of Gratitude

Green Hill Farm   Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. ~Romans 12:2   It’s easy to be grateful when things are going well, and we’re surrounded by positive experiences or an abundance of blessings. However, it becomes a bit more challenging when life throws obstacles and negative events in our paths—challenges that emotionally stretch us and push all our buttons. Although feeling grateful in these moments is hard, it is also an opportunity for us to grow…instead of feeling wounded or victimized. Certainly, feelings of gratefulness for the things that comfort us is more natural. But, if we can also embrace the difficult times in our lives—the ones that grow our souls, we will be free from suffering. Getting to a place where we’re grateful—For. It. All…..allows us to see adversity as an opportunity. An opportunity for soul growth…and, ultimately, a chance to free ourselves. Once we’re able to move past life’s challenges, we’re able to see how these experiences grew us. We begin to move beyond our victimhood and glean the gifts of such traumas. We can understand how they helped strengthen us; how we learned forgiveness, self-reliance, and compassion; how we came to appreciate the preciousness of life, or how we fought for life even when part of us wanted to give up. We can also see how we learned what was really important to us, to stand up for ourselves, and to trust our […]

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Tuesday Tunes: Some Things Are Meant to Be

Farmgirl and Lambs Summer 2018   “Where you are is who you are. The further inside you the place moves, the more your identity is intertwined with it. Never casual, the choice of place is the choice of something you crave.” ~Frances Mayes “Any arbitrary turning along the way and I would be elsewhere; I would be different.” ~Frances Mayes       Green Hill Farm Through the Years     “The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools.” –Henry Beston   Green Hill Farm Fall 2014   Happy Tuesday!

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Rosebud’s Lesson

 Butterbean, Sweet Pea, and Truffle stoically watching their fallen friend.   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 […]

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Ruin Is a Gift

  Our new lambs–Tino, Sweet Pea, Butterbean, and Truffle Spring 2018   Please bear with this somewhat stream of consciousness post.  I kept going around and around about what to say, how to say it, and whether to even say it.  But here it is.  Suffering at the hands of someone you love and who is supposed to love you, […]

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The Weekly Bleat: Study Buddies

Bizou, Farmguy, and Dash studying for the WSET Level 3 exam   Farmguy and I just finished three months of coursework for our Level 3 certification through the Wine and Spirit Education Trust—WSET (London based program).  Now, we have a review period before our exam. After driving four hours to attend class every week in Washington D.C. for the last […]

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Friday Farm Favorites: A Renewal

Celebrating our 20th anniversary September 2017   Last September, Farmguy and I celebrated our 20th anniversary by renewing our vows at the scenic mountain resort, Primland on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  It was a private and quiet affair with only a minister and photographer in attendance.  And, although our celebration was restrained, the emotion was not.  The exchange of vows […]

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