An Irish Love Story

To keep the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day going…

A little suspense. A little romance. A lot of Ireland.Buy links:






In Search of An Eraser

I read recently that Edward Nairne was the inventor of the rubber eraser. Before Nairne accidentally picked up a piece of rubber, bread was an eraser.

Two facts I did not know.

The bread as eraser sent all kinds of scenarios in my head. Made me want to write a Regency novel and use the interesting fact in a story.

It also peeked my curiosity about how we’ve corrected writing mistakes in the past.

I have an 1840s porcelain inkwell that contains a sand shaker. So, at some point in history sand corrected mistakes in writing.

Most often I suspect wadding up the page and starting over was the most common means.

I know, before word processors, I used a ton of paper starting over to get a perfect copy, especially when I wrote with a fountain pen.

I’ve used dry marker erasers for white board writing or a handy Kleenex. I’ve even used fingernail polish when I accidentally used a permanent marker instead of the washable pen.

Back when the typewriter was our professional option, I used correction tape and write out. That was a giant pain lining up the tape and blotting only the incorrect word and not smudging the wrong one.

In drafting, I kept a Pink Pearl nearby along with the shape shields. With those old Leroy Lettering tools, there was no hope of correcting mistakes. You had to start over. Indian ink is very unforgiving.

I used art gum erasers in art classes. I still keep Pink Pearl and art gum erasers handy. Using oils or acrylics, I washed over the canvas with a neutral shade and started again whenever I was unhappy with the results.

Nowadays, I mostly use the delete key or backspace for correcting mistakes. So easy. So fast. So neat and clean.

Sometimes I love technology.


Farewell Kaboodle and Custard

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Although we call it Miller Farm, we actually live in the middle of town on 1/3 acre lot one block off a major street.  The pie shape of our backyard has allowed us to keep the various birds and stay within city ordinances – until now.

Apparently some city dwellers are not happy with crowing roosters.  The latest ordinance that has passed the first reading bans all roosters in the city limits. This is sad for us.

Most of our roosters are nameless and so I’m not attached.  Kaboodle and Custard, however, are in another category.  Not only do they have names, but each one has his own blog post.


Read Custard’s blog here.






Read Kaboddle’s blog here.

A piano student’s mom posted about Kaboddle and Custard   somewhere and we got a message from some friends of ours who were looking to replace their rooster.  They live outside city limits and have 4 children living at home.I explained to the boys that they would be moving to a new home with lots of room and no crowing restrictions.  They were not impressed but hopefully they will settle in.  I’ll check on them later.

Farewell Custard and Kaboodle!


March is for Irish Toasts-Quotes-Blessings


St. Patrick – Did You Know?


We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with parades, dancing, special foods, and a whole lot of green whether you have an Irish heritage or not.

In Ireland the day was a mostly religious celebration. In fact, until the 1970s pubs were closed on March 17. “You just donned your homemade St Patrick’s Day badge or pinned a fistful of muddy shamrock to your lapel and went out to Mass to sing Hail Glorious St Patrick.”

Do you know these other facts about the patron saint of Ireland?

  • He was not Irish, but British.

He was born in Roman Britain in the fourth century. Kidnapped by Irish raiders as a teen, they took him to Ireland to work as a shepherd. He escaped and returned to Britain. He spent the next 15 or so years in a monastery, preparing for his missionary work. Pope Celestine I consecrated St. Patrick as Bishop of the Irish around 431.

  • He was never a saint canonized by the Roman Catholic church

During the Church’s first millennium, most saints received their title if they were martyrs or counted to be extraordinarily holy. St. Patrick was the latter. He converted many from paganism and became known as the Apostle of Ireland and made the patron saint of the isle.

His familiarity with the Irish language and culture made the Irish receptive to his teachings because he took familiar Celtic symbols and Christianized them. That led to many legends attributed to St. Patrick.

Celtic cross -St. Patrick combined the Irish pagan symbol of the sun with the Christian cross creating the Celtic cross, the icon of Ireland and Irish faith.

Shamrock -He explained the trinity to the Irish pagans with the three leaves of the shamrock. Though there’s no proof he ever did this, the shamrock metaphor remains strong in Irish Christianity.

Snakes – Allegedly when snakes attacked him during a 40-day fast, he chased them to the sea. Ireland doesn’t have snakes so this is total legend. More likely, he used snakes as a metaphor for the evil Druids and pagans.

Lent Fasting – He’s said to have climbed Croagh Patrick, County Mayo and fasted at the summit for the forty days of Lent. True or not, thousands of pilgrims make the trek to the top of Croagh Patrick yearly. I’ve been to Croagh Patrick, but, not to the summit.

Beannachtí na Feile Pádraig 
Happy St Patricks Day

March is for Irish Toasts-Quotes-Blessings

March always stirs my Irish roots. Wednesdays this month I will be sharing memes of Irish toasts and quotes and blessings. Some are serious and thoughtful; others for a laugh. Irish scenery backgrounds will be pictures taken on trips to Ireland.




Saga of the Long Driveway

Our driveway is long. Very long. It also has a killer S curve.

We noticed it when we looked at the house. But, there was so much to love about the property with the yard and interior we decided it wouldn’t be a problem.

The length wasn’t an issue for my husband because he’s an expert backer-upper.

Me, backing is not my strongest driving skill. We won’t go into details.

Instead of letting the view when pulling out of the garage paralyze me. I came up with a plan.

I’d back partway out, pull forward to the side yard and turn around with a short backup so I could head out instead of going backwards the killer distance.

That worked well until two things changed.

One, I started driving alone more. When we’re together, hubby drives and backs down the demon path while I sit in awe of his skill.

Second, a wet, wet fall and winter mean the side yard is rarely dry. My solution of turning around to drive out forward doesn’t work so well. I’m executing a tire-twisting maneuver on the soaked, soggy ground. The ruts are growing. I’m making a mess of the side yard.

Not good. Not good at all. I’m being forced to learn to navigate the killer driveway in reverse.

I inch backward. Very slowly. Pulling forward and adjusting for those silly curves.

It takes a good ten or fifteen minutes. I have to allow extra time whenever I’m going out on my own.

My husband assures me with practice I’ll get better. Maybe even someday be as good as he is. I have my doubts.

At least I haven’t hit the big pine tree yet.


Crazy Weather

A blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

The weather in Texas has always been a little unpredictable. I’ve learned to carefully watch the forecast and then step outside to see what is actually happening.

Lately it has been warm and sunny – almost like Spring.  In fact our bluebonnets have started to bloom.

They were planted in 2015 and they have spread nicely.  We are hoping to cover that half of the yard.

This morning when I let the dogs out I was completely taken aback by the frigid air.  I knew it was going to get cold, but I thought it would be next week.

As I walked past the bluebonnets I thought “I hope they make it through this crazy Texas weather.”

I also hope I make it through.


Love Quotes for February – Tzu


What’s a Happiness Habit?

I recently read a blog about happiness and habits. The blog’s conclusion: happiness is an automatic response based on habits you establish.

That got me thinking. What makes people happy?

This 1970s embroidery sampler that hangs in my hallway offers some ideas.

Thanks to University of California professor Sonja Lyubomirsky there’s a list of things happy people have in common.

1. They devote a great amount of time to their family and friends, nurturing and enjoying those relationships.
2. They are comfortable expressing gratitude for all they have.
3. They are often the first to offer helping hands to coworkers and passersby.
4. They practice optimism when imagining their futures.
5. They savor life’s pleasures and try to live in the present moment.
6. They make physical exercise a weekly and even daily habit.
7. They are deeply committed to lifelong goals and ambitions.
8. The happiest people do have stresses, crises, and even tragedies. Their secret weapon is the poise and strength they show in coping in the face of challenge.

Then I wondered can the things on her list become habits.

In a 2014 TIME article, Eric Barker suggests we schedule most of our life – doctor appointments, hair appointments, Sundays for church. Why not schedule happiness?

Specifically, he proposes we should make happy things part of our routine, part of our schedule and our lives.

I decided to test his theory.

Flowers make me happy. I love when spring blooms burst forth like they are beginning to do in our yard these days.

I decided to establish the habit of keeping a vase of fresh flowers on our kitchen table.

After two months, buying a flower bouquet when I did grocery shopping was habit. My vintage celery server on the kitchen table was always filled with flowers.

And, you know what, making those flowers part of my shopping routine was quite easy.

Now when I come through the backdoor and spot perky blooms or sit down for a meal with cheery flowers, I’m happy. I smile.

Developing a happiness habit worked for me, but then I think Ben Franklin already knew it would.

Franklin proposed the same idea long before Eric Barker wrote his article when he said, “In the beginning, man makes the habit. In the end, habits make the man.”

What makes you happy? Can it become a happiness habit for you?

You can read more of Barker’s article for ideas on happiness habits here.