*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 […]
Green Hill Farm “Everything is grace” ~St. Therese Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!
Green Hill Farm 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin 1. Waste time feeling sorry for themselves. It’s futile to wallow in your problems, exaggerate your misfortune and keep score of how many hardships you’ve endured. Whether you’re struggling to pay your bills or experiencing a serious health problem, throwing a pity party only makes things worse. Self-pity keeps you focused on the problem and prevents you from developing a solution. Hardship and sorrow are inevitable, but feeling sorry for yourself is a choice. Even when you can’t solve the problem, you can choose to control your attitude. Find three things to be grateful for every day to keep self-pity at bay. 8 more things successful people don’t waste time doing 2. Give away their power. You can’t feel like a victim and be mentally strong; that’s impossible. If your thoughts send you into victim mode—My sister-in-law drives me crazy or My boss makes me feel bad about myself—you give others power over you. No one has power over the way you think, feel or behave. Changing your daily vocabulary is one way to recognize that the choices you make are yours. Rather than saying, “I have to work late today,” edit that sentiment to “I’m choosing to stay late.” There may be consequences if you don’t work late, but it’s still a choice. Empowering yourself is an essential component to creating the kind of […]
*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’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 […]
*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 […]
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 […]
Rainbow Over Roanoke, Virginia January 2019 “Have a sincere desire to serve God and mankind, and stop doubting, stop thinking negatively. Simply start living by faith, pray earnestly and humbly, and get into the habit of looking expectantly for the best. ~Norman Vincent Peale It’s hard to believe that just a few days ago we were celebrating St. […]
Margaret Thatcher, The Iron Lady National Portrait Gallery London, England The beginning of each year brings new goals and aspirations for many of us. Since we’re going into the second week of January, I thought a little Monday motivation may be helpful to remind us to embrace our resolve and “fight on.” “You turn if you want to. […]
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, […]
Sunrise on the Blue Ridge Parkway Meadows of Dan, Virginia “You may encounter many defeats, but you must NOT be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ~Maya Angelou Happy Tuesday!