Tuesday Tunes: Jerusalem

The Cotswolds   Unofficially, the beautiful hymn, ¬†“Jerusalem” is often seen as a national hymn by many English people.¬† “Jerusalem” was originally written as a poem by William Blake in 1804.¬† The lyrics, written by Hubert Parry,¬†were added to music in 1916 during the gloom of WWI when an uplifting new English hymn was well received and needed.   “Bring me my bow of burning gold! Bring me my arrows of desire! Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold! Bring me my chariot of fire! I will not cease from mental fight, Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand, Till we have built Jerusalem In England’s green and pleasant land.”     After visiting a number of wonderful art galleries in the Cotswolds as well¬†as spending the last week in¬†England’s “green and pleasant land,”¬†I was inspired by this country’s¬†many breathtaking landscapes to pass an afternoon painting. ¬†Here’s the result. ūüôā “Sea Dreams” 8.5 x 11.5″¬†acrylic on canvas. by Tonya Rieley¬†Hengerer   Enjoy your day!

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Through the Garden Gate

  “Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help.¬† Gardening is an instrument of grace.”   ~May Sarton   Photographs taken by Tonya R. Hengerer at Hidcote Manor Gardens and Kiftsgate Court Gardens in Gloucestershire, England–the Cotswolds

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Tuesday Tunes: You Learn

Sunrise on the Blue Ridge Parkway Meadows of Dan, Virginia   ‚ÄúYou 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.‚ÄĚ ~Maya Angelou       Happy Tuesday!

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A Summer Classic

When I think of summertime, there are a few things that always come to mind. ¬†I guess this is partially because I grew up in the rural South. ¬†But, there’s just nothing like the sound of cicadas singing in the trees on a warm summer evening, a night sky so dark that you can see the Milky Way and almost every constellation, especially the Big Dipper. ¬†And, of course, fresh tomatoes picked right out of the garden, sliced, and enjoyed between two slices of bread with a bit of butter, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper—the classic tomato sandwich. My first memories of this iconic Southern treat were made while visiting Grandma Dooley. As a child, I lived nearby to both sets of grandparents, visiting with them often. ¬†Every summer, I would spend a week with Grandma. She was a Sunday School teacher for many years and also taught Bible School. ¬†While at Grandma’s, I attended Bible School with my cousin, Kim. ¬†I still remember the experience so clearly: ¬†riding the church bus around curvy, back country roads to Mt. Zion Baptist Church; listening to Grandma tell us a Bible story about Jesus and making a special craft in her classroom; singing “This Little Light of Mine” during choir practice; and running around the church cemetery with the other children—after having the customary refreshments of Oreo cookies and Kool-Aid. ¬†But, I’ve gone off on a tangent. ūüėČ Anyway, it was during one […]

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Friday Farm Favorites: Oreo

Oreo Our Sweet Foster Kitty   For those of you who follow this blog, you probably know that Farmguy and I love animals. ¬†This affection for ‚Äúthe furry‚ÄĚ extends beyond our own little hobby farm. ¬†Over the years, Farmguy and I have advocated for many animals by adopting, fostering, or matching people and pets together. ¬†I also happen to be […]

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The Joys of Gardening

“A flower doesn’t lose its beauty because weeds mocked it.” ~Matshona Dhliwayo   Thanks to all the rain we had earlier this summer, our garden has been an explosion of color—especially the lilies! ¬†It’s also been an explosion of weeds. As with everything, we take the good with the bad. However, one bad thing Farmguy and I like to avoid […]

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Georgia Caprese Salad

This is the second recipe I’ve shared from the fantastic cookbook, Southern My Way—Simple Recipes, Fresh Flavors by Gena Knox. ¬†However, I have to say, this Georgia Caprese Salad with Lime Vinaigrette is my very favorite. ¬†Not only is it simple and delicious, but it also makes an elegant entree to serve to company. ¬†I’ve already made it twice this summer: ¬†a few weeks ago when I invited a friend to have lunch, and tonight for a simple weekday dinner. This Southern spin on an Italian classic screams summer. ¬†And, when it’s made with fresh, local peaches, you can’t stop it.   Georgia Caprese Salad with Lime Vinaigrette *Use organic ingredients when possible Prep Time 15 minutes Yields 4 servings Ingredients: Dressing Juice and zest of 1 lime 1 tablespoon champagne or white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon water 1 tablespoon honey 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup olive oil 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint Salad 2 (4-ounce) balls fresh, water-packed mozzarella cheese 4 (room temperature) ripe peaches, unpeeled, each cut into 8 wedges 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves Method: First ¬†To prepare dressing, combine lime juice, zest, vinegar, water, honey, and salt. ¬†Slowly whisk in olive oil and set aside. Next ¬†Cut cheese into 1-inch pieces and gently toss with peaches and basil leaves. Last ¬†Whisk mint into dressing and toss about 2 tablespoons (or more to taste) with salad. ¬†Season with freshly cracked pepper and serve.   The vintage linens […]

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