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May the New year bring you Success and Happiness

I’ve enjoyed our visits on the porch in 2012. I hope to see you more this year.

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What’s your driving MOTIVATION for next year?

The last minutes of 2012 are ticking away. I’m eager for the New Year. Are you?

Author Joan Reeves quoted English poet Edith Lovejoy Pierce in a recent blog: “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity, and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”

Joan went on to say: If the New Year is an unwritten book and you are the author, then write hard.

Using Pierce’s analogy, New Year’s Eve would represent THE END and tomorrow begins the PROLOGUE or CHAPTER 1.

As we say farewell to the 365 days called 2012 and begin to write our book titled 2013, I plan to focus on

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Hope fuels the engine of creativity.

A successful writer must be creative and that’s not possible without hope.

Embracing HOPE, we move closer to fulfilling our dream as I fulfilled my dream of holding my debut novel, The Pendant’s Promise, in my hands last year.

As writers, we can never give up. Why?

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Our characters demand it. So do our future readers.

Enjoy the New Year’s Eve celebrations today and make the decision to embrace the New Year 2013 with HOPE.

You deserve SUCCESS.

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Ever had one of THESE days? Miller Farm Friday

Chicken Wrangler Sara’s day:

This morning I got up at 5:15, made coffee, fixed breakfast and made sandwiches even though it is Saturday. The kids have All-Region Band auditions and I wanted to make sure they didn’t starve.

After they left, I went back to bed. It was glorious. I didn’t open my eyes again until 7:45. I should have kept them closed, but chicken wrangler duties called.

I got up and let the chickens out. That was ok.

I also let the quail out. That was not ok.

Lately, I have had difficulty closing the long quail cage securely, and we have had to retrieve quail on several occasions. Rachel even made me a sign that says, “Close the door.” Today, I closed the door on the long cage. However, I accidentally left the hutch cage open.

Strike one.

I knew something was amiss as I heard Bella barking frantically. She really wanted the quail to come over and play. I ran back outside and closed the hutch door on the two remaining quail. I decided to finish filling water jugs and deal with the loose quail later.

I washed the very dirty waterer from the quail cage in the coop, refilled the waterer, and reached to put it back. (In case you don’t remember, this cage is high up in the coop and somewhat difficult to reach.) The waterer slipped and the lid came open, spilling water all over me.

I was not happy. This was strike two.

On the bright side, even though it is December, this is Texas so it is 80 degrees outside. There was no danger of the water making me cold.

After refilling the waterer, I headed back to the house, silently praying that fixing coffee and breakfast for Beekeeper Brian and I would be easier.

One more strike and I’m out.

About the same time Chicken Wrangler Sara’s email arrived, I received an email from daughter #2 in Colorado. Her day started with a challenge too.

Woke up to about ten wild turkeys out in the front yard and street. I went out to talk to them and saw a deer.

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He had short antlers. I turned my back on him to take a picture of the front of the house and then turned back around he was coming after me!

I walked, rather briskly, back to the driveway and out of the corner of my eye, I see more deer staring at me.

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I was triangulated by turkey and deer!!

I started walking more briskly to the safety of the fenced front yard. Whereupon I saw deer tracks inside the fence, which led me to believe that the only truly safe place was inside the house until Patrick woke up to protect me!!

Nature. It’s not for sissies.

YOUR TURN: Wanta share how your day’s going?

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The Christmas Scale

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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ASL Merry Christmas

My second language is American Sign Language (ASL). No, I’m not deaf. I fell in love with the language of the deaf through one of my best friends in high school whose parents were deaf.

Christmas carols and songs are such fun in sign language. Today I wanted to share via that language.

Join along with the Deaf Direct in Worcester, signing a familiar Christmas carol:

For fun:

And lastly, my wish for you on this Christmas Eve:

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Chicken chest bump challenges – Miller Farm Friday

Okay, I know today is Saturday, but I didn’t remember yesterday was Friday! I know CW Sara has loyal Miller Farm Friday readers and that’s why I’m posting her  email blog. I do apologize and promise to pay more attention to the calendar and not just the clock in the future. 

Back in the Blog

The chickens must have heard the rumors that they were being replaced in the blog by clothing/craft stories so they provided the following material this morning:

I noticed while observing our young roosters that male and female of every species share characteristics.

Our roosters have reached what I guess is the equivalent of adolescence and have started fighting. I used to believe that people trained roosters for cockfights, but I promise ours fight on their own.  YesterdayI was convinced that two were fighting to the death.

Even Whitey – one of the hens – tried to break it up (just like a momma).

Finally, Samson, the chief rooster, based on seniority not on size as he is a bantam, “explained” to them how things were going to be. They stopped fighting.

Well this morning, I let the chickens out and, as usual, the roosters started their morning boxing bouts. They puff their chests out and bump up against each other kind of like men do at sporting events. Other times they fly towards each other and bump chests as well.

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Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

As I was feeding and watering the birds, I discovered one young rooster was on the wrong side of the fence. I guess he had been “bumped” over.

Fortunately, the only dog outside at the time was Marv, our old mixed breed, and he was more interested in the stale hamburger buns in the shed than in the rooster in the yard.

Poor rooster was very confused so I was able to grab him easily.

He did protest as I tossed him back into the chicken yard. I have the scratch on my arm and the mud on my shirt to show for it.

I asked my son Matthew if I needed to change shirts before I took him to school. (Remember he warned me to stay in the car when I was wearing my special sweatshirt.) He decided that rooster footprints were not as tacky as a sweatshirt with handprints.

However, since I was taking breakfast to Beekeeper Brian at his school, I decided to put on a clean shirt. Embarrassing kids is one thing but husbands are off limits.

YOUR TURN: What do you think are sports bumps and cockfights alike?

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After Friday’s darkness Monday’s Motivation

How do we find motivation after Friday’s act of darkness? I don’t know about you, but I’m having a hard time.

Bob Mayer’s FB status on Friday suggested: “Just mourn. No politics, agendas, rants. Losing a child is an exclusive club you do not want to be a part of. Trust me on that.”

This is not going to be a rant or a political statement. I don’t have an agenda.

What I have is a hurting heart.

My family lived near Newtown at one time. I have an undergraduate degree from Western Connecticut State in Danbury. One of my daughters graduated from New Fairfield High School. Our other daughter took piano lessons from a teacher in Newtown. Somehow, these connections made what happened more real.

I’ve been restless, perplexed, sidetracked by tears of anger and sadness all weekend. How do we make sense out of senseless?

I’m wondering how  God can let things like the massacres in Newtown and Aurora , the rampage in Tucson and Virginia Tech happen?

Seeking answers I emailed  my son, a minister with a Ph.D. in Theology. I share his thoughts with his permission.

It is in times like these that our faith meets sight. It is easy to walk by faith when things make sense. It is when our reality is rocked by some inexplicable and incomprehensible event that faith must really kick in.

 Because I believe that God has revealed Himself to us in His written Word, the Bible, and because I believe the Bible contains everything we need for life, my mind turns to Scripture to seek an answer.  

The crux of the matter in cases like this comes down to “how/why does God allow evil?”  

It is really a question of sovereignty versus free will. If I could solve that, I would be famous indeed.

By its very nature, the sovereignty/free will issue is an antinomy—something that cannot be explained in human terms, to human satisfaction. Scripture reminds us in Isaiah 40:13-14 that God’s knowledge is unique to Him. And Proverbs 21:30 confirms that there is no wisdom, or counsel or understanding higher than His. 

So we are left to trust Him and Him alone as knowing what is best.

For many people, this approach to the question of evil in the world is inadequate and trite. I understand.  

That’s why eschatology is not just a hobby or whimsy of mine. It is the key cog in my worldview. I could not survive in a world where everyone is under the sway of the wicked one (1 John 5:19) if I did not believe that God wins in the end. 

When I see things like what happened in Newtown I get angry and crave God’s divine intervention more than ever. I, too, question why does He wait to claim victory? 

 But I take comfort in knowing that ultimately, God will intervene. A better day is coming. A day of complete justice when Satan and all of his human and demonic envoys will be judged once and for all. It is that promise of Scripture that allows me to keep going when things don’t make sense in the present world. 

So, to summarize: The unspeakable events of Friday are incomprehensible apart from a biblical worldview that promises (1) God is in control even when evil seems to triumph; (2) All evil will be recompensed; (3) Justice will prevail; (4) God wins.

I believe,  like my son, God wins the final victory. But until that THE END happens, I will hug my children more, tell teachers I appreciate them more often, and offer prayers of comfort for the families and victims of these tragedies.

And most important, as a writer, I will write.

So should you.

I love Emma D. Dryden’s suggestions in her blog.

Create something precious for the world that might help to replace the precious the world’s lost. Write, paint, sing, dance, walk in nature, breathe deeply, and love fiercely. As we reach out to friends, to family, to others, so too must we reach inside to be gentle with ourselves. And we must remind ourselves we do carry the light necessary to light the dark corners, vanquishing one shadow at a time.

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