Winter Quotes – Steinbeck



It’s Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King’s calm civil disobedience and charismatic leadership inspired men and women, young and old, here and around the world.

He inspired so many that, in 1964, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize – the youngest man to receive the prestigious honor.

Through his lectures and dialogues, he stirred our conscience. His words continue to be as meaningful today.

President Ronald Reagan signed legislation in 1983 to establish a yearly federal holiday to honor the man and his accomplishments. Today has been designated as that day.

As you honor Dr. King today, pause and consider these MLK quotes.

On Leadership

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

On Love

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

On Getting Along

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

On Faith

“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”

On Service

“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

Additional legislation passed in in 1994 establishing Martin Luther King Day of Service to encourage citizens to use the federal holiday as an opportunity to give back to their communities. Why not let this MLK Day be the start of a year in which you make a positive impact?


Custard the Rooster

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Among the specialty breeds that Rachel hatched last spring are some Croad Langshans. The breed originated in China and was brought to Britain in 1874 by Major F.T. Croad. They are a large breed and lay dark brown eggs – at least the hens do.  The roosters just strut around looking handsome.

We have one black rooster who does just that until a hen comes around. Then he runs away.  Rachel decided to name him Custard after the dragon in the Ogden Nash poem.

The poem is one my mother read to us enough times that I still have most of it memorized. It tells the story of a cowardly dragon named Custard who gathers enough courage to gobble a pirate. I found the book at a used book store.

We have many animals on Miller Farm.  We may not have a dragon but we have Custard the Rooster who is just as cowardly and lovable.


Winter Quotes – Kahlil Gibran



Old Man Winter’s Arrived

The hustle and bustle of the holidays is over for another year. We’re settling into winter.


Old Man Winter is playing hardball with the poor folks on the east coast. Even here in Texas, we had a full week where temperatures didn’t rise about freezing.

Our little arctic cold snap only lasted a week, but it wiped out many of my flowers even though I had lovingly covered them. Plants and houses and cars in Texas don’t do cold weather very well.

Some folks thrive in the cold weather. For those folks, winter means snow and snow brings skiing and ice skating, snowmobile rides, curling up by a fire with a good book, and the peaceful silence of a walk after a fresh snowfall.

Others dread the winter with its snow and wild weather. All they can think about is shoveling, snow blowing, icy roads, and frigid temperatures.

I like winter with its cooler temperatures. I didn’t even mind the shoveling and snow blowing when we lived where it snowed. I avoid icy roads by huddling inside with a roaring fire and a good book. And, I positively love the aroma of a good soup or stew simmering in the crock pot on a chilly day.

Another thing I like about winter is the slower pace.

Animals are hibernating, trees have shed their leaves, and daylight hours are shorter. Nature beds down for winter, storing energy for spring.

Perhaps we should mimic Mother Nature and use wintertime to renew ourselves. Get more sleep, read more books, and eat good soups. Take a step back from busyness and noisy days to replenish our spirit in the quiet and calm of winter.

I’m thinking if we did, the arrival of spring would likely find us refreshed and energized ready for its promise and possibilities.

What do you think?


The Christmas Scale – Joy to the World

This is my all-time, very-favorite Christmas video. Since I post it every year, I guess you figured that out.

If you have a piano around round your house, try playing the C scale. Start on middle C and play up to the next C. Then play back down the scale again. Start on the 8th note and pause on the 1st note, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 7th and 8th.

Listen as you play. What you’ll hear is the good news for Christmas .

 “Joy to the World! The Lord is Come.”

Chicken Wrangler Sara and I will be back in January. Enjoy a wonderful Christmas week with your family and friends.

Merry Christmas!


Nativity Scenes

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

I began collecting nativity scenes before the birth of our first child, Catherine. Beekeeper Brian was selling pens at craft fair booth and traded a pen for a wooden nativity set.  We thought it would be something our child could safely enjoy.  I also made a cloth set which has since gone to live with Catherine.

Our collection includes a plaster of Paris piece which I painted at a vacation Bible School when I was in elementary school and another clay set Matthew made in junior high.

The one I brought back from our time in Mexico is painted tin and very light weight.  As such, it tends to fall over and last year I didn’t set it out.  This year I hadn’t made a decision about it but the grandmother of a piano student from Mexico saw it and lovingly bent each piece so it would stand upright.And they are still standing.

Each time I walk past the coffee table, I remember her kneeling and arranging each piece of the nativity.  It is amazing to think that the birth of a child so many years ago still has an impact on people today.