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12 07, 2024

Simple Things

By |2024-07-09T20:03:38-05:00July 12th, 2024|Friday on the Miller Farm, Make Me Think Monday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


I have had the privilege of being with our grandsons several times in the past month. Sometimes they were at our house, other times I was at their house. Sometimes Mom and Dad were there, sometimes just Mom, and sometimes just Grandma.

In every situation, there was much laughter and joy.

At our house, our bathroom has a pocket door that pulls out from the wall. Theo was fascinated by the latch.

I turned the knob and it disappeared. I turned it again and it reappeared. We spent about 15 minutes playing “peek-a-boo” with the door latch.

Such simple joy!

 

At his house, Theo has learned to climb on Alex’s lofted bed. When the lamp is on, his shadow appears on the wall. It makes a great playmate. I joined in with my shadow. Simple joy!

Then we went to the park at the end of their street. Alex insisted on going to the “tunnel” to show me what his Daddy taught him. It was a drainage pipe and if you shouted into it, you could hear the echo.

I soon found myself crouching down beside him and shouting into the “tunnel” to experience the simple joy of an echo.

I think growing up is highly overrated. Children know much better how to enjoy simple things.

8 07, 2024

Answering The Dreaded Question

By |2024-07-07T17:52:19-05:00July 8th, 2024|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

When you meet someone new or attend a party, the dreaded question always comes up.

“What do you do?”

We’ve all heard it. We’ve all produced an answer.

My answer is easy, there is one common thread in everything I do.

That thread is storytelling.

As a teacher, I told stories to help my students learn. As an antiques dealer, I told stories about the antiques I sold. As a writer, I create characters and their stories. Stories, which, in turn, are published. We all share stories in social conversations.

When I’m asked the question “What do I do?” My answer is, “I’m a storyteller.” then go on to explain I’m a published author.

Then come the tough follow-up questions: “What kind?“ “Where can I find your stories?” “Have I read any of them?”

The questions do offer the opportunity to mention my titles and hand out a calling card.

Not a bad thing.

I’m grateful my stories take written form in bookstores and libraries. I would love for everyone I talk with and/or readers of this blog to buy my books. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t.

Truth is, either way, is okay. I’ll always tell stories, no matter what the format – oral or written.

For you see, there’s always a story to tell.

What about you, how do you answer the dreaded question “What do you do?” when someone asks?

1 07, 2024

My Red Dragonfly Visitor

By |2024-06-28T18:51:57-05:00July 1st, 2024|Make Me Think Monday|1 Comment

This lovely creature has been hanging around our pond lately.

We have dragonflies all the time. I love them. They eat mosquitoes and gnats. So besides being lovely to look at, they eat those mosquitoes that love to eat on me.

That’s a win-win.

Curious about how common red dragonflies are, I went on a research dive. I discovered red is not the rarest. Dragonfly colors range from pink (the rarest) to grey/black with green being the most common.

There are around 3000 kinds of dragonflies on earth with about 350 species in the United States alone. Dragonflies and Damselfly are often confused. There are differences. Click here to see the differences.

As you can tell I fell down the rabbit hole of research, a frequent occurrence for me. I won’t bore you with all I learned. If you want to learn more about dragonflies, click here.

The thing that fascinated my Irish folklore-lover self the most was that red dragonflies are thought to be mystical creatures from the world of fairies and spirits, a spiritual totem.

Native Indian cultures of America and the Japanese culture view a red dragonfly as a symbol of happiness, courage, love, and strength. A visit from a red dragonfly is a sign of prosperity, good luck, and signals a life change.

We’ll have to see if my red dragonfly brings good luck and prosperity. Until that happens, it’s lovely to see it fluttering around the pond.

28 06, 2024

His Own Flock

By |2024-06-25T09:09:50-05:00June 28th, 2024|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


A friend recently messaged that she was decreasing her flock and asked if we would like some more chickens. We didn’t hatch or raise any chicks this spring, so we took her up on the offer.

We brought home three Leghorns who are laying and four Wyandotte who are a little younger. We added them to our flock at night. We have found that to be the best way to integrate new birds. They wake up in a new place and think that is where they have been all along.

The four Wyandotte seemed a little timid at first. Then one of our roosters adopted them and showed them the ropes. He makes sure they get into the coop at night and protects them from the larger birds during the day.

He seems to enjoy having his own flock. And I don’t have to worry about the younger birds. It is a win-win situation.

24 06, 2024

Fires, Hurricanes, and Evacuations

By |2024-06-22T09:38:32-05:00June 24th, 2024|A Writer's Life, Writer's Life|2 Comments

CBS News reported fires burning in the Ruidoso, New Mexico area recently, which triggered memories for me.

Eleven years ago this month, the West Fork Complex East Zone FIRE erupted where we lived in southern Colorado.

As the name West Fork Complex implies, multiple fires surrounded our home in the Rio Grande National Forest. Lightning started all three fires that exploded into forests of heavy dead timber and pine bark beetle-infested pines.

That experience changed my whole outlook on the words we hear so often during hurricanes, fires, and floods: mandatory evacuation.

Our skies looked like this.

At first, there was no raised concern because forest fires in the summer are a common occurrence in Colorado. We lived with the smoke and kept going. Ashes landed on our decks and in our yards, on our houses and cars, and on us as the fire encroached upon our world.

That’s black ashes. It was everywhere, inside and outside.

At first, there was too much wind, too high elevations, and too much dead tree fuel to risk the lives of firefighters. Instead, they watched the West Fork fire closely.

Life became scary as we gathered in the Community Center to get details and updates.

We heard words I’d only heard applied to hurricanes – pre-evacuation notice. Reverse 911 calls began with updates on the status coming in. At six a.m. on Friday, June 21, 2013, the scary message came:

MANDATORY EVACUATION: be out by 10 a.m.

Thanks to Bob Mayer’s The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide we were prepared. It’s a super book with lists of what you need to have ready in case of any emergency. Buy a copy here.

We finished loading our cars with possessions we wanted to save and left not knowing if we’d have a house when we returned. From our rearview mirror:

By the time the fires were contained on July 15, 2013, a total of 109,049 acres of public and private land had been destroyed. Amazingly no deaths and only a few structures were lost. It was the third-largest wildfire in Colorado history and cost about $33 million to fight.

Hopefully, those affected by the Ruidoso, New Mexico fire left when their Mandatory Evacuation order came. We’ve been there, done that and it’s not easy.

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