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27 01, 2023

Safe chickens

By |2023-01-26T06:11:17-06:00January 27th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


judythe morganWe are down to two dachshunds now. We have Coco, who is a grumpy old lady and Max who is a handsome young man.  Max loves to help me check the chickens.  He runs at the fence barking fiercely.

However, some of the hens have started venturing over the fence.  Max is not quite sure what to do.

His aunt Bella would have caught those chickens in a heartbeat. In fact, we regularly played “catch the dachshund before it catches the chickens.”

While I miss Bella, I do not miss the extra workout I would get.  I need all my energy for Grandma duty!

23 01, 2023

Shivering

By |2023-01-20T13:08:54-06:00January 23rd, 2023|A Writer's Life|1 Comment

Another freeze snap came our way in December. What we call a hard freeze in Texas. Three nights of temperatures below freezing. But no precipitation. That was good.

Nothing like the great Ice Apocalypse of 2021 when we had subzero temps for days and ice came down in sheets. Resulting in no power for days.

This time the power grid paid attention to the weather forecasters. Homeowners made ready covering plants and dripping faucets.

Many still lost electricity as dead tree limbs fell.

Attention, people: You have to keep the limbs away from the electric lines. They break transformers and power lines in any weather or wind if you don’t.

Winter ice storms are uncharacteristic for our area and when they happen the whole place shuts down. Severe cold days for long periods can shut things down too. Ice and snow freeze freeway ramps and turn roadways into ice rinks. Most people stay inside trying to stay warm.

Rain can be as bad as ice. Heavy rainfall leads to flooding. That’s why we have flood stages predictions with rain forecasts here. Water has no place to go. It sits on roads and in fields for days.

Problem is, most local drivers don’t manage either ice, snow, or rain very well. Southerners know how to sweat. Not slip, skate, and slide.

But let me tell you, the Gulf Coast Texas can get COLD. Very cold. We’ve lived in the high mountains of Colorado where temperatures drop below zero but the humidity here makes even thirty degrees feel like -30.

I spend every winter cold snap shivering. But I don’t let shivers stop me. I bundle up, grab a mug of hot chocolate, and let the words blaze.

Don’t let cold weather shivers keep you from what you need to do either, hang on Spring will be here in sixty-four days. Click here to check how many days and hours.

20 01, 2023

Chicken Socks

By |2023-01-20T11:57:01-06:00January 20th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


My black socks were dirty when I went to find them last week so I pulled out my chicken socks.  They are black – with chicken legs and feet on the front.  I was wearing pants so I figured no one would notice.

The problem is my shoes have an opening on the top of the foot just big enough to show the chicken feet.

judythe morganThe younger kids sit on the floor right at my feet so in every class at least one student noticed my socks.  In fact, one girl told me her grandmother has the same socks.  I am glad I am not the only goofy grandma.

The older kids sit in chairs and so they did not see the socks.  Or if they did, they didn’t say anything.

The next day the students wanted to know if I was wearing my chicken socks again.  I explained they needed to be washed.

Perhaps I need to get another pair.

16 01, 2023

The Fitzpatrick Series is finished so why am I sad?

By |2023-01-08T12:10:00-06:00January 16th, 2023|A Writer's Life, Book Release Announcement|0 Comments

Judythe Morgan Fitzpatrick seriesWhen Love Comes Home, the last of the Fitzpatrick Family Series, released in December 2022. I should be excited and anxious to plunge into a new manuscript, only I’m not.

I do have a sense of relief along with exhaustion considering the amount of energy and focus it took to “birth” Sammy and Tiffany’s story.

But there’s also this lonely feeling that keeps creeping in. I found comfort in knowing I had a Fitzpatrick sibling romance to work on every morning and dream about at night.

I miss the arguments where the siblings tried to persuade me to change my outline. I must admit, sometimes what they came up with was better and more interesting than what I’d planned.

After sharing my feelings with writer friends, I’ve discovered I’m not alone. Sluggishness, a lack of motivation, and energy are common when a writer finishes a book. When an author finishes a series that has taken years to complete the feelings are stronger.

It will subside they assure me. Time for me to move on and do the next thing they advise, reminding me all the Fitzpatrick siblings – Andy and Darcy, Becca and Ethan, Sarah and Nick, Josh and Mara, Faith and Blake, Sammy and Tiffany – have found their soulmate.

And that’s true.

So I’ve started a new manuscript. The new characters and I are doing that first 50- or 60-page dance of discovery. Soon they’ll begin to talk to me, and argue, then I’m sure I’ll be able to bid Sammy and Tiffany and the others farewell.

Want to meet the Fitzpatrick Family? Click the links below. Each novel can be read as a standalone story.

When Love Blooms

When Love Returns

When Love Endures

When Love Trusts

When Love Wins

When Love Comes Home

If you have an Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscription, you can read all the books for FREE.

13 01, 2023

Counting Fire Hydrants

By |2023-01-11T15:52:21-06:00January 13th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


Our daughter brought the boys to see us the week before Christmas while her husband was at work.  She wanted to introduce Theo to his great-grandfather, Theodore who lives about two hours away.  I went with her to be an extra pair of hands.  I mostly entertained Alex while Catherine and Theo stayed and visited with Opa.

Alex loves to be outside and the arctic air had not blown into town yet so we walked around the block.  Actually, we ran – Alex doesn’t walk very often.

I must confess, normally when I walk, I focus on where I’m going and don’t pay much attention to what is around me.  With Alex, however, we examined the many different Christmas lights and decorations we passed. He gave a running commentary – “Christmas lights, reindeer, Christmas tree, Santa”

The decorations that were not inflated were “sleeping.”  They wake up at night. I tried to teach Alex the world ‘nocturnal” but he didn’t quite get it.

We also counted fire hydrants –  there are seven fire hydrants around Opa’s block.  Alex touched everyone.

For small children, every day is a new adventure.  So, the next morning, we walked/ran around the block again.  There were still seven fire hydrants.

It is such a joy to be reminded of the wonder in the world as seen through the eyes of a child.

9 01, 2023

Instead of Resolutions

By |2023-01-08T09:54:49-06:00January 9th, 2023|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Judythe MorganIt’s that season again. Time for New Year’s resolutions and goal setting.

I set objectives every new year. It’s a holdover from my teaching days and another name for goals. Sometimes I achieve my objectives. Sometimes I don’t.

The fact is, too many of us end up in a mire of guilt, weighed down by our failure to meet our expectations.

Many years ago, Juliet Marillier offered what she called magic wand gifts to use instead of goals and resolutions. Ideas that would help increase productivity and creativity.

I’ve adapted her list below. They’ll be my objectives this year.

  • Feel the wind in your hair, the rain on your skin, the sun on your back, the richness of freshly turned soil underfoot or in your hands. Plant some flowers or veggies in pots if you don’t have gardening space. Take regular walks and use your five senses to experience nature.
  • Have more social interaction, and I don’t mean online! Online socializing is not great for physical or mental health. Make the effort to go out to coffee with a friend once a month or once a week, join a book club, walk your dog at the park, and meet like-minded people in person.
  • Write or do whatever you do because you love it; love whatever you do. Because otherwise what’s the point? Life’s short. Enjoy the ride.
  • Realize motivation for getting on with things – your work in progress, your diet/exercise plan – does not come from the note on the fridge, but from deep within you. Change your mindset. Do the right things not because you ought to, but because you want to.
  • Most importantly, take time to breathe. Stop whatever you’re doing periodically. Step away, go outside and breathe slowly for a few minutes. You’ll be amazed at how your perspective can change.

If you’re not one to set goals or resolutions or even if you do, give Marillier’s magic wand gifts a try this year.

You can read the full blog here.

19 12, 2022

An Irish Christmas Blessing

By |2022-12-18T12:43:34-06:00December 19th, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

As this year rolls to an end, it’s time for Chicken Wrangler Sara and me to begin our annual holiday break.

Before we leave, we want to offer a special holiday greeting to our blog community and let you know how much your thoughtful comments have brought pleasure. Thank you for being a part of our community all these ten years.

We leave you with an Irish Christmas Blessing to keep you through the holiday season.

See you back right here in the New Year with more thoughts and views from the front porch and Miller farm. Until then enjoy the archive posts.

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