New Olympic Event

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

We have had a great deal of rain around here lately. I don’t mean to complain. After many years of drought, the rain is appreciated.

However, it does present some unique challenges on Miller Farm.  The chicken yard is very muddy and very, very slick.  We’ve decided to institute a new Olympic event – Mud Sliding.  Points are not given for speed or gracefulness.  The goal is simply to keep from falling down.

So far we have all earned gold medals.

As entertaining and inspiring as the Olympics are, I will be glad when the Miller Farm Olympics are over. I don’t want to push my mud sliding skills (or luck) too far.

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Words from Mount Rushmore – Abraham Lincoln

All month we’ve honored Presidents Day with Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom from the Mount Rushmore presidents. Today’s words come from President Abraham Lincoln, the last face on the right.Mount Rushmore is known as the “Shrine of Democracy,” an iconic symbol of the United States carved into the southeastern face of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota’s Black Hills National Forest.

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum created the design depicting the faces of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt and oversaw the project’s execution from 1927 to 1941 with the help of his son, Lincoln Borglum.

Borglum along with four hundred workers used dynamite and pneumatic hammers to blast through the rock quickly along with the traditional tools of drills and chisels as the heads of the four presidential heads took shape in the face of Mount Rushmore.

Arduous and dangerous work, it is amazing that no lives were lost during the construction. If you ever see it in person, you will stand in awe as I did.

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Happy Blogiversary!

Anniversaries mark accomplishments and are fun to commemorate. This month I celebrate my blogiversary.

On February 24, 2012, I published my first blog with WordPress.com. You can read that very first blog, here.

My original plan was to blog every day. I quickly discovered creating a daily blog took time from my fiction writing.

That goal gradually evolved into two times a week for me and once a week for my daughter aka Chicken Wrangler Sara who blogs every Friday about Life on the Miller Farm.

Guest bloggers also contribute periodically.

When WordPress.com hosted the blog, I received yearly stats on my blogiversary. I switched to hosting the blog on my own website and don’t have such accurate accounting. I get stats, not cumulative data. But, over the years, I’ve posted hundreds of blogs and had thousands of views, followers, and subscribers.

By the way, it’s easy to subscribe and have the blog appear in your inbox. Simply, go to the home page and enter your email address in the box on the right sidebar.

Chicken Wrangler Sara and I cherish your comments. We respond to every one. We attributed our blog success directly to you readers. As a special thank you, we’re offering a FREE Kindle or paperback copy Love in the Morning Calm to one lucky commenter today.

Blurb for Love in the Morning Calm:

In 1966, while on temporary assignment to South Korea, Green Beret Major Alex (Ace) Cabot meets Lily Reed, a Department of Army civilian at Eighth Army Headquarters. Alex is a high-potential career officer, who should resist the temptation of any woman, but he can’t ignore his interest in her.

Lily is a firm supporter of the budding women’s lib movement. She enjoys her freedom and new life away from her stifling hometown. Her plans leave no room for any man. No matter how captivating his smile.

In an uncertain time, in a temporary safe zone, yielding to temptation changes both their lives forever.

Love in the Morning Calm is Book 1 of my newly created Promises Series, which consists of three published novels grouped into a continuous story of two men and one woman who met at Eighth Army Headquarters, Yongsan, South Korea in the sixties. Each sequel is a standalone novel that chronicles their stories from the turbulent Vietnam War years through the decades that follow.

The book winner will be drawn on Monday, March 2 and notified by email so be sure you include an email contact with your comment.

Thanks for visiting the front porch. We hope to stop by often.

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Sticky Note Wars

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

I’ve always known musicians are a unique bunch. The longer I teach piano, the more I realize how early the uniqueness begins.

This fall I started a new student who is also chicken fan. In fact he has a shirt that says “Chicken Whisperer.”  I am only a little bit jealous.  He is not, however, a fan of cats.  One day he put a sticky note on the piano stating “cats are evil.”

Well I have a group of girls who are very much fans of cats.  In fact I have bought cat stickers specifically for them to use.  (Rachel found chicken stickers for my chicken friend.)  So these girls were quite incensed to find this sticky note.

Thus began “The Great Sticky Note War.”

One student even added cat stickers to drive home her point. Another student doesn’t have a cat/chicken preference, she just likes music.  Yet another one doesn’t quite understand what all the fuss is about.

Eventually the notes overtook my piano, becoming a distraction.

I moved them all to a poster board on the door. There is not quite as much action but I think of my unique young musicians every time I close the door.

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Words from Mount Rushmore – Theodore Roosevelt

In honor of Presidents Day, February 19, Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom will be from the Mount Rushmore presidents this month. Today’s words come from President Theodore Roosevelt. He’s between Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.Mount Rushmore is known as the “Shrine of Democracy,” an iconic symbol of the United States carved into the southeastern face of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota’s Black Hills National Forest.

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum created the design depicting the faces of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt and oversaw the project’s execution from 1927 to 1941 with the help of his son, Lincoln Borglum.

Borglum along with four hundred workers used dynamite and pneumatic hammers to blast through the rock quickly along with the traditional tools of drills and chisels as the heads of the four presidential heads took shape in the face of Mount Rushmore.

Arduous and dangerous work, it is amazing that no lives were lost during the construction. If you ever see it in person, you will stand in awe as I did.

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Why I think President’s Day is a Strange Holiday

Three things strike me as making Presidents Day holiday strange.

1.    There’s no universal agreement on the actual name of the holiday

Most American holidays are clear-cut in what we are celebrating or honoring, i.e. 4th of July, Thanksgiving, or Martin Luther King Day.

Not so with Presidents Day. Ask several people what President’s Day recognizes or why we celebrate, and you’re likely to get totally different answers.

Fact is, President’s Day originated to recognize George Washington’s actual day of birth, February 22. It was the first federal holiday to celebrate the life of an individual and joined only four other national bank holidays – Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, Independence Day, and Thanksgiving.

Then under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1971, which was passed to create more three-day weekends and increase retail and tourism revenue, it became known as Presidents’ Day and included President Abraham Lincoln whose birthday is February 12.

2.    There’s no clear clarification of which presidents are being honored

Popular culture gradually shifted the emphasis from recognizing Washington and Lincoln to a day to recognize the lives of American presidents generally.

Interesting to note that the Federal government still labels the third Monday in February on official calendars as Washington’s Birthday.

3.    There’s no agreement about whether to use an apostrophe or not

Sometimes the apostrophe isn’t used at all (as in Presidents Day), sometimes it is placed between the last two letters (President’s Day), and sometimes it is after the last letter (Presidents’ Day).

No specific title for the holiday is a little confusing, especially if you happen to be an English teacher.

Seems reasonable to say those three things make Presidents’ Day or President’s Day or Presidents Day a slightly strange holiday.

Wouldn’t you agree?

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Beloved Chicken

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

I sometimes read the obituaries. Recently I received several notifications from friends regarding one I had missed.  It was for a chicken named Big Mama.  She had been adopted by a family after her Houston owner decided to have her euthanized.

Big Mama lived out her life with a flock of chickens in College Station.  She made the front page of our paper.I feel a little guilty about all the chickens on Miller Farm who have passed on without a memorial.  Of course, with the size of our flock, I would stay very busy writing eulogies. I do good to keep them fed.

I think I will hide the paper and give our chickens some extra scratch so they don’t feel slighted.

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How to Show Love for an Elderly Pet

Today’s guest blogger is Brandon Butler, a dog lover and vet tech. Welcome back,  Brandon. In keeping with February’s emphasis on love he’s sharing tips on how to show love to an older pet.

All animals have a story and not all of them are happy. But if you have chosen to open up your home to an elderly dog or cat, you can give them a happy ending.

In all my years as a pet owner, I have found caring for aging animals particularly rewarding. They are not puppies, however, and require a little bit of TLC beyond an afternoon walk in the park.

Here are a few things to keep in mind before you open your home and heart to a pup (or kitten) past his prime:

Dogs and cats get cold, too.

“Both cats and dogs have slightly higher resting body temperatures than humans, so when it is colder outside make sure they have a blanket in their bed and an area to sleep in the sunlight during the day. Also be sure to dress your dog in booties and a sweater when taking them outside to potty, because extreme changes in temperature increase risk of illness.” That quote, taken from the Redfin website, sums it up quite nicely.

There is such a thing as dog flu – and it can be deadly to an older pet.

Older animals are more susceptible to illness, injuries, and infection. With the intensity of the current flu season, I’d like to point out that canine influenza is real and has many of the same symptoms as those currently floating around human hospitals. Sneezing, fatigue, and fever are all common. If you notice any of these symptoms in your elderly pet, call his or her veterinarian immediately. And it doesn’t matter what time of year it is, according to USA Today, dog flu isn’t seasonal.

You may have to get creative at dinnertime.

Like older humans (most of us anyway), an elderly pet may have a little less luster for life when it’s blustery and cold or hot and muggy out. PetMD suggest literally playing with your dog’s food to encourage them to eat and exercise. You can also help a food-motivated mutt stay mentally stimulated by packing his food in a treat dispenser that offers a tasty reward when he’s solved a puzzle.

Senior pets make great bedfellows.

Because older dogs are less destructive and usually less active, there are a great option if you like to sleep with your pet. Healthy Pets’ Dr. Becker notes that senior animals probably won’t chew your favorite shoes or “shred the handmade quilt your grandma gave you.”

And because they won’t run and play as often, older dogs are great at snuggling which, according to science, can actually help you reduce stress and anxiety.

While many people prefer to adopt a young puppy, there’s really no reason not to fall head over heels for an older dog. Despite popular belief, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

And though your years together may be few, the quality of those years will leave a lasting impact on your entire family.

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Words from Mount Rushmore – Thomas Jefferson

Mount Rushmore is known as the “Shrine of Democracy,” an iconic symbol of the United States carved into the southeastern face of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota’s Black Hills National Forest.

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum created the design depicting the faces of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt and oversaw the project’s execution from 1927 to 1941 with the help of his son, Lincoln Borglum.

Borglum along with four hundred workers used dynamite and pneumatic hammers to blast through the rock quickly along with the traditional tools of drills and chisels as the heads of the four presidential heads took shape in the face of Mount Rushmore.

Arduous and dangerous work, it is amazing that no lives were lost during the construction. If you ever see it in person, you will stand in awe as I did.

In honor of Presidents Day, February 19, Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom will be from the Mount Rushmore presidents this month. Today’s words come from President Thomas Jefferson. His face is to the right of George Washington.

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Valentine’s Day Random Facts

The origin of St. Valentine’s Day is found in the story of Saint Valentine, who, on the evening before his execution, wrote the first valentine, addressed to the daughter of his jailer, and signed the greeting “Your Valentine.”

That was in the 5th century. Since then Valentine’s Day has become a major commercial holiday.

The National Retail Federation anticipates over $18.2 billion will be spent on Valentine gifts this year. Of that amount, the Greeting Card Association expects $1 billion to go for greeting cards. Flowers will account for $2 billion and candy for $1.7 billion.

Cards, flowers, jewelry, and fine dinners are all very romantic gestures to express love for one’s sweetheart on this special day. But, gifts don’t have to involve great expense. Nothing’s better than a homemade Valentine card or a home cooked meal served by candlelight.

2018 will be a very unique Valentine’s Day because February 14 also happens to be the first day of Lent 2018, Ash Wednesday.

Interesting to note that Easter and April Fool’s Day will also fall on the same day this year. It’s the first time in 73 years.

Stop and think about it though, we shouldn’t be surprised.

We experienced a Blue Moon in January and unique things always happen once in a blue moon.

Have a HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

 

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