New to Miller Farm

by Guest Blogger Chicken Wrangler Sara

Rachel went to a birthday party recently for a set of twins she babysits. Their grandmother wanted to purchase some bantam chicks from Rachel (which of course, she has) so she carried two chicks in a box with her to the party.

She returned a couple of hours later with a different box and said, “Mom, come see my babies.”

I was confused, as usual.  Had she brought the bantam chicks back home?

I looked inside the box and discovered her new babies were baby rabbits, not chicks.

baby rabbits

Rachel found them abandoned in the yard where the party took place.They don’t even have their eyes open yet, but they make noise just like a squeaky toy, which was driving the dachshunds crazy.

The momma rabbit was nowhere to be found, and the four babies were in danger of starving. Something Rachel could not allow.

Becoming rabbit rescuer Rachel, she loaded the babies into the box then stopped to purchase formula and syringes on the way home so she could feed the rabbits every two hours.

This morning a friend brought her boys over to Miller Farm to see the chickens and quail. Little did my friend know that today we would also have baby rabbits. 

Every day is an adventure here on Miller Farm.

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One Word Wednesday – Poetry

April is National Poetry Month. That’s why I chose Poetry for our word today.

I read in Cynthia R. Green’s blog “A Mad Obsession’: Poetry on the Brain that poetry is a good way we can keep our brains challenged and vibrant.

To quote Dr. Green: “Numerous studies have shown that intellectually engaging activities such as reading or writing poetry can be critical to maintaining our mental acuity and potentially reducing our risk for dementia over our lifetimes.”

Here’s a Writing Prompt from Edie Melson’s The Write Conversation to stimulate your brain today.

Poetry of Life

Now go read or write a poem.

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Tipping Point Phase 3 – The Saga continues with a hiccup!

Our downsizing journey began in the fall of 2012. If you haven’t been following the saga, you can catch up on Phase 1 and Phase 2.

We planned to leave on our new adventure after the New Year and be settled in our Colorado home by spring.

Our son and his wife came to help us, selected furniture they wanted to stay in the family. That’s Wendy’s head above the open box on the floor. Packing with Wendy

After they left, the months betwixt and between our anticipated departure date found our thoughts focused on the new place when reality was living in the old place that no longer resembled our home. ???????????????????????????????We’d find ourselves going to a cabinet to put something where it had lived for thirty-three years only to realize that that cabinet was no longer there!

It now lived in our son’s home.

Every thing was on schedule until Mother Nature threw a curve into our plans. Sub-zero temperatures in Colorado created an electrical outage at our destination home.

Unfortunately, when the electricity returned, our furnace didn’t reignite. Pipes froze. Four pipes burst. ???????????????????????????????

We quit packing our Houston house, drove to Colorado, and found:?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Living - hall (2)Amazingly, tear-out went smoothly and restoration was fast. Replacement floors arrived as promised. The house was ready for the arrival of our daughter and her family for spring break. While they played in the snow, we returned to Houston and finished packing.

Finally, on a ninety-degree day in March, we pulled away from the home we’d lived in for thirty-three years. With all our worldly possessions loaded into a trailer and a U-Haul, we headed to our new home in the Rio Grande National Forest where the final phase of our adventure began. vans pulling out2More about that next Tuesday.

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How can we help West, Texas?

 In a week filled with horrific events, West, a small Texas town 19 miles north of Waco, experienced a fiery explosion at the Texas fertilizer plant located there. Fourteen people, mostly volunteer firefighters who rushed to the fire at the plant, died. Two hundred people were injured, and dozens of homes and businesses were destroyed.

west

Click these links to see the details, if you missed the news reports.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/key-facts-plant-explosion-west-texas-18990641

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/04/20/west-fertilizer-plant-explosion-recovery/2099591/

Rachel Firasek, an author who is a member of the West Community, shared the following first-hand account:

“I wanted to give everyone an update. I actually live about 10 miles away, but my children go to school in West and my husband grew up there. We felt the blast all the way at our house. The noise was deafening, even that far away. We’re still desperately waiting for word on names of the fallen. I know that my hubby has already lost one cousin and a very good friend is in critical condition.

We lost three of the four schools. The only thing left is the elementary school. My kids will finish the school year at schools 30 miles away. It’s going to be a hectic next few weeks for all of our family and friends, but this is a tight community and they are already rallying.
 

Please don’t feel obligated, but thanks for anything you can do for these families.”

So how can we help West, Texas?

Authorities said Friday that charitable organizations have received more donations of food, clothing and other items than are needed in West. Excess donations will be distributed to surrounding areas.

Cash donations to the Red Cross or the Salvation Army would be welcome.

With schools destroyed, donations to the education program are desperately needed. Rachel provided this link with for details.

Other places to donate and help:

  1. Donate to West Fire Department – mail donations to:
    West Fire Department, PO Box 97, West, TX 76691
  2. Donate to the victims – PointWest Bank: POINTWEST Bank – Home Page
  3. Donate Blood – during the next few months schedule appointment to donate blood. Blood will be needed and it has a limited shelf life. Go to Donating Blood | American Red Cross for additional information and to find a location near you.
  4. Contact donation facilities for specific items still needed at this time:
    Extraco Events Center (254) 776-1660
    First Baptist Church of Lott (254) 829-2321
    **packing materials are going to be needed when the families can enter their homes again

Medical help for animals is also needed. Contact these area animal clinics for specifics:

  1. Happy Endings Animal Clinic 254-666-8240
  2. Brazos Valley Boarding Kennels 254-854-4104
  3. La Vega Vet Clinic 254-744-1948

And for those who want to share a word on social media sites:

 https://www.facebook.com/PrayersforWest

https://www.facebook.com/WestFirefighters

Anything you can do, especially prayers, in this devastating time will be welcomed.

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Chivalry in the Chicken World

A Post by Friday’s Guest Blogger Chicken Wrangler Sara

Meet Elliot our bantam rooster.

Elliott

He is quite a character and has been assured a place in the flock by having a name.  He does crow, but not loud enough to disturb the neighbors yet.

One of the reasons Elliot earned a name is his CHIVALRY.

Dictionary.com defines chivalry as the sum of the ideal qualifications of a knight, including courtesy, generosity, valor, and dexterity in arms.

Chivalry isn’t often thought about in a barnyard, but Rachel pointed out Elliot’s kindness to his hens.  She saw him jump up and get some leaves off a low hanging branch and set them on the ground.

Then he crowed for all the hens to come help themselves, definitely Knightly behavior.

Chivalry is alive and well in the chicken world. At least on the Miller Farm.

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One Word Wednesday – GENIUS

photo-genius

Today let your talent be on fire. today.

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Unpredictable Days

Life happens. Plans get disrupted. Things we don’t expect (or we do expect) happen to sabotage our writing intentions.

Least that’s been my situation for the last month.

Everyone faces times where no matter how well we plan, we cannot stop unpredictable days from occurring.

You probably ran into at least a couple of days with unexpected roadblocks last week. I’m sure we’ll all have at least a couple of unpredictable days this week.

And every week for the rest of our lives. That’s how life works.

So how do you to stick to a daily plan when unpredictable things happen?

You can’t.

Unpredictable stuff can’t be avoided.

If bad stuff happens two days out of the week, it’s OK. Three off days isn’t a tragedy either. In fact, statistically, three unpredictable days out of seven is about normal for most of us.

What I’ve discovered is that I can usually count on having at least one extremely productive day a week. In one excellent day when life cooperates, I’m always surprised how much of my week’s work gets done.

Problem is I never know in advance which day will be excellent, and I can’t let that stop me from planning what I’d like to accomplish daily and weekly. If you missed my blog about how I plan, here’s the link: http://judythewriter.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/failure-to-plan-is-planning-to-fail-a-plan-for-success/

But I digress, we’re discussing unpredictable days.

Days when something goes wrong are always going to happen, however those rare days when everything does go well can make up for all the rest.

I find I can whip through my daily list at light speed when everything goes right, and that means I can check things off my weekly list.

In fact, I’ve learned if I have TWO or more great days in a week, I complete just about everything off my weekly list.

Impossible? No. And there’s a way you can test my theory.

Tryout this experiment from Randy Ingermanson’s The Advanced Fiction Writing E-zine.

  • For the rest of this week decide what you want to accomplish for the week then make daily lists. (Writers that means a writing goal for the week then daily ways you’ll reach that weekly goal.)
  • Keep the daily lists for five days and, at the end of each day—even the unpredictable days, count how many things you accomplished.
  • On the fifth day, check those daily lists against your weekly goals.

I’m predicting, even if you didn’t have a single “successful” day where you accomplished everything on your whole daily list, you’ll find you have at least one or two highly productive days in which you made huge progress toward your weekly goals.

You might discover that even if every day is “unsuccessful” the week as a whole is a SUCCESS just like I do.

“What,” you say, “how can five bad days add up to one good week?”

According to Randy, the reason is that we tend to overestimate what we can do in a day, but underestimate what we can do in a week.

Now test Randy’s theory and my results by doing the experiment yourself, and I think you’ll see Randy and I are correct.

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