Peaceful Skies

Green Hill Farm I often listen to Pandora’s symphonic music station while I’m in my makeshift art studio.  It’s relaxing and helps my right brain to engage while I’m working on a painting.  Recently, I heard the beautiful “Flower Duet” from Lakmé—a three-act opera composed by Léo Delibes between 1881 and 1882 and based on a novel by Pierre Loti. You’ve probably heard this lovely, ethereal music—either at the opera, or perhaps, you’ll recognize it as the boarding music of British Air. Anyway, I thought it accompanied this peaceful scene from Green Hill Farm perfectly. I hope you enjoy the music and the view! Have a wonderful day!

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Cheerfulness

“Cheerfulness,” 14 X 18, acrylic on canvas by Tonya Rieley Hengerer “Daring enthusiasm And abiding cheerfulness Can accomplish everything on earth Without fail.” ~Sri Chinmoy I love England, especially the Cotswolds, and one of my favorite places to spend an afternoon is Kiftsgate Court Gardens.  It’s located very near Hidcote Manor Garden and is situated above the village of Mickleton in the county of Gloucestershire, in the far north of the county close to the border with both Worcestershire and Warwickshire. The gardens, famed for its roses, are the creation of three generations of women gardeners. Started by Heather Muir in the 1920s, continued by Diany Binny from 1950, and now looked after by Anne Chambers and her husband. Kiftsgate Court is currently the home of the Chambers family. My painting, “Cheerfulness,” was inspired by a photograph I took during one of my visits to this lovely garden. *As always, lots of gratitude to my friend and art instructor, Janet Wimmer for her input and guidance. 🙂 Wishing everyone a wonderful day!

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Honey Hen: Little Chicken, Big Impression

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

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Thank You…

Green Hill Farm     “Thank You” by Tonya Rieley Hengerer   Taking an opportunity to Honor someone by Acknowledging Noble or Kind gestures…   Your gift of this One small phrase of gratitude is significantly Uplifting to the spirit of the recipient.     Wishing you many thankful moments this week!

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Berry and Red Wine Sorbet

A wonderful combination of berries and red wine, this easy and elegant sorbet has aromas and flavors of blackberry cobbler and strawberry preserves.  So refreshing, it’s the perfect light ending to any holiday meal. Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover wine. 😉   Berry and Red Wine Sorbet: *Use organic ingredients whenever possible. Makes: 12 Servings Makes:  6 Cups Prep: 20 minutes Stand: About 1 Hour Freeze: Overnight Ingredients: 1 pound fresh strawberries, chopped 1 pound fresh blackberries 2 cups sugar 1 1/4 cups dry red wine 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla 1/2 teaspoon salt Whipped cream Black pepper (optional) Ground cinnamon (optional) Method: –In a large saucepan combine the first eight ingredients (through the salt).  Cook and stir over medium-high heat until fruit softens and sugar is dissolved. –Remove from heat; let mixture cool to room temperature.  Remove ginger slices; discard. –Working in batches, transfer wine mixture to a blender.  Cover and blend until smooth.  Strain wine mixture to remove seeds. Transfer blended (seed free) mixture to a 13 x 9-inch dish or pan.  Cover and freeze overnight. –When ready to serve, scoop sorbet into wine glasses.  Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with black pepper or cinnamon, if desired. Nutrition Facts: (Red Wine Sorbet) Per serving: 208 kcal, 3 g fat, 8 mg chol., 102 mg sodium, 41 g carb., 3 g fiber, 38 g […]

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Whatever!

Just having some fun with this cheeky, little acrostic poem, because….. you know we’ve all been there at one time or another.  Here’s wishing you a whatever-free day! 😉   “Whatever” by Tonya Rieley Hengerer   When a situation Has reached A perfectly and Thoroughly ridiculous state and Emoting or dealing with it further would be a Very tiring Endeavor, this Really great word just sums it up!

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Heirloom Recipe: Tomato Soup

When we hear someone speak of a family heirloom, we may envision a pocket watch, silver teapot or even a quilt.  Recipes are also treasured pieces of family history passed down from generation to generation.  This tomato soup recipe originally belonged to my great-grandmother, Delia Crumpaker Rieley and dates back to the 1800s.  I remember watching Grandma Rieley making it during the winter months with juice from tomatoes canned the previous summer.  Last week, with temperatures dropping, I decided to make my family’s heirloom recipe for tomato soup; I made it in my great-grandmother’s kitchen with homemade juice from tomatoes grown on our 106-year-old family farm.  I loved being part of that continuity.  In taking time to carry on simple traditions, not only do we connect with the past, but we perpetuate memories that we hold dear. My great-grandmother most likely made this tomato soup with fresh milk from Green Hill Dairy Farm and the summer’s bounty of tomatoes picked from my great-grandfather’s vegetable garden. It is very simple, only requiring 3 ingredients; however, don’t let its simplicity fool you.  It’s delicious!  Just the thing on a cold evening–it really hits the spot!  Serve casually in a mug or in a bowl garnished with a little basil for color (my addition).  Oh, and don’t forget oyster crackers–the perfect accompaniment.  Enjoy! Heirloom Recipe:  Tomato Soup *Use organic ingredients when possible Serves 4 Ingredients: 1 quart tomato juice (homemade is best) 1 […]

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