Quotes to Inspire your Writing – Nancy Thayer

About the Quote

Nancy Thayer, the author of thirty-one books about the mysteries and romance of families and relationships, offers insightful advice with this quote. Revising should always an option in life and fiction.


The Squirrel War

There’s a war going on in our backyard.

My husband fills the bird feeders and the birds gathered. We love watching them from our kitchen table. Too often when we look out, the squirrels are on the feeders snarfing down the birdseed.

That wasn’t too bad. We kept refilling the feeders.

Then the critters got greedy and started on our peach tree.

For the first time, we had 20-30 baby peaches on our backyard tree. And, sadly, the furry-tailed rodents leaped from the wires above to the high tree limbs and worked their way down the tree one peach at a time.

When the entire crop of peaches disappeared, that easy-going squirrels-have-to-eat-too attitude changed. It was the last straw.

Hubby studied the ascent of the squirrels on the bird feeder pole for several days. It’s a thin metal pole which unfortunately is also close to the wires running from the electrical pole to the house.

He researched on Google and discovered a slinky-type contraption that could be wrapped around the pole that was supposed to stop the squirrel invasion.

Of course, the proximity to the wires still provided access, and feeders continued to be emptied within hours of being filled.

Determined now to stop the squirrels from stealing the birds’ food, he moved the pole to the center of the yard far away from any trees, shrubs, or wires. For a few days, the feeders fed the birds. Then the evil little rodents figured out how to shimmy up the slinky!

That was too much.

Determined now to stop them, he applied grease to the pole and the slinky.

So far, the squirrels haven’t mastered the slinky and the slick pole. We can look out and see cardinals and jays and sparrows feasting away again.

Score battle one for the human!


Quotes to Inspire Your Writing – Quincy Jones

About the graphic

This is the path around Capulin Volcano National Monument, located between Raton, NM and Clayton, NM. The site is on a direct route between Texas and Colorado. We stopped to hike the rim on one of our trips.

About the quote

The quote comes from an interview Quincy Jones did. Born March 14, 1933, in Chicago, Jones is an American musical performer, producer, arranger, and composer. His best-known works include Michael Jackson’s Thriller, the all-star charity recording “We Are the World,” the film The Color Purple, and the television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air .


Summertime is Burger Time

Photo by Skitterphoto from Pexels

I read that Americans gobble an estimated three burgers a week. That comes out to 156 burgers a year. Multiply that times the U.S. population and the number is around 50 billion burgers eaten a year.

That boggles my mind.

I’m not a three times a week burger eater, but I must admit there’s nothing better than the taste of burger straight from the grill or the smell of a burger grilling on a summer day. And, I’ve been known to enjoy a plain ‘ole fried-in-the-iron skillet burger on occasion.

This year I’ve noticed some interesting twists on the standard burger. Toppings like coleslaw, grated zucchini, avocado, mac ‘n cheese instead of regular cheese. Additions like fried onions, fried eggs, shrimp, mushrooms, and Jalapenos.

There are also some interesting recipes for making burgers. Basil burgers, garlic herb salmon burgers, Cajun salsa, bacon burgers with peach mayo, or barley beef.  Lots of recipe options from Taste of Home’s “34 Incredible Burgers to Grill This Summer” here.

I sometimes vary my burger choice with chicken, turkey, salmon, or veggies patties instead of beef, but that’s about as far as my experimentation goes. Some of those add-on options are too wild for me.

I’m a burger purist.

How about you? Is your burger plain-and-simple or piled with whatever you can find in the refrigerator?


Another Children’s Book

A Blog By Chicken Wrangler Sara

Rachel has worked as a personal assistant for a woman named Jane who is visually impaired and has somewhat limited mobility.  Rachel takes her the places she needs to go and helps her around the house.  Last April Rachel and I took her to see the Texas Tenors for her birthday.  Jane enjoys music very much and in fact we sit together at Bible Study so I can sing alto to her soprano when we sing the hymns.

Before we even went to our seats, I stopped at the merchandise table.  This is usually a bad idea but in this case there was a newly published children’s book entitled Ruckus on the Ranch.  It was a gift we could all enjoy.It tells the story of two horses, Wyatt and Ruby, running amuck on a ranch being chased by all the farm animals as well as the cowboy and cowgirl.  They eventually get tired and lay down to rest.  All is quiet until… Wyatt gets stung by a bumble bee.

Of course, there is a song sung by the Texas Tenors that goes with the book.  At the part where all is quiet, the three men sing “Oh what a peaceful ranch” in beautiful harmony. It is my favorite part not only for the music but also because when I play it in my music class, all the kids lay quietly.

Then when Wyatt gets stung, they all jump up and start galloping around again.  It is the perfect song for when the classes need to get some energy out – like the month of May.  It also gives me a workout as I gallop around with them.

Sometimes on Miller Farm the chickens run amuck.  Then I put food out and they all get quiet. In that moment I hear in my head “Oh what a peaceful ranch” and hope no one gets stung by a bee.


Quotes to Inspire your Writing – Linda Rondeau

Photo by Edward Eyer from Pexels

About the quote:

I heard this quote  in a writing class taught by Linda Wood Rondeau many years ago. Story has guided my writing ever since. I hope you’ll remember it too as you work on your stories.


My Zinnias Are Blooming

I love the bright, daisy-like flower heads of Zinnias. They’re easy to grow, bloom profusely, and provide a great splash of color in a pot or flowerbed.

A primarily warm weather flower, I missed seeing them when we lived in the mountains. The blooms are fun to cut and bring inside to my kitchen table vase. The flowers also attract butterflies.

This year I decided to plant seeds in the large clay pot by our backyard pond and discovered lots of stuff I didn’t know about the flowers I enjoy as I read the seed packets.

Zinnias grow in a variety of shapes – beehive, button, and cactus, and have distinct kind of blooms – single, double, and semi-double. I selected two different seed kinds and planted in the big pot.

Within a week, I had little green seedlings poking through the potting soil. All the rain slowed the blooming process, but once we finally had some sunny days, buds formed then my Zinnias bloomed with a burst of color.

Both seed packets went into the same pot so I’m having fun deciding which blooms are what. What do you think-beehive, button, or cactus?

I can’t decide.

The plant is an annual, so the plants will die off in January or February. I’m thinking next year I’ll plant single varieties in multiple pots.


Circle Dogs

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

My collection of children’s books includes one with the title “Circle Dogs.”It begins “In the big, square house live the two circle dogs” then goes on to trace a day in the life of two dachshunds repeating this line at the end.

I could write a similar book.I would have to change the first line to “In the not-so-big square house live the six circle dogs.”


Flower Quotes – Lady Bird Johnson

About the Image: Finnegan MacCool in the wildflowers taken along a Texas hill country road.  As Lady Bird Johnson and her husband, Lyndon Johnson, crisscrossed American on the campaign trail, she saw the opportunity for roadside restoration to bring regional identity to areas that otherwise might be lined with billboards and invasive species.Thanks to their Highway Beautification Act of 1965 drives along highways in the springtime do offer opportunities to stop and snap pictures and be touched by regional flowers.


Memorial Day – Pause to Remember

Today we stand in awe of those who knew the risks, who accepted the odds, and who marched onward anyway. Those who made the ultimate sacrifice.