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19 04, 2024

Favorite Book

By |2024-04-18T09:00:54-05:00April 19th, 2024|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


My current favorite children’s book is From Head to Toe by Eric Carle.

I heard about it at the Music Teacher Convention in February. I bought a copy on a recent trip to Barnes and Noble with our daughter. She bought several books of five hundred pages or more and I bought one children’s book. That’s how it usually goes.

As I read it to my classes last week, I realized what a marvelous book it is! Each page has an animal with a corresponding motion. Many of the motions are the same as the stretches I do.

There were head turns with the penguin.

 

Head nods with the giraffe

And back arches with the cat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now when I run out of time in the morning to do my stretches, I read my favorite book to my classes.

It is a great use of multitasking!

 

15 04, 2024

An Author’s Conundrum – Getting Book Reviews

By |2024-04-14T07:36:04-05:00April 15th, 2024|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

I’m a writer and I’m a reader. When I finish reading a book, I write a review.

Why do I take the time? To help the author and other readers.

Independent epublishing has generated a flooded marketplace of book choices. That ocean of available works makes knowing which book to select difficult. With book-buying budgets limited, book reviews can help readers make decisions.

So when I read an enjoyable book, I share the news by writing a review.

As an author, I also recognize that reviews posted on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or iBooks are critical for sales whether you’re a new or established author.

Yes, I know some authors defraud the online review systems, and some reviewers use their power to target and destroy. Thank goodness, those types are in the minority and quickly dealt with.

I’m not saying don’t post a critical review if you don’t like a book. Most authors welcome an honest evaluation of their work if it’s in the form of constructive criticism, not trashing.

Finding reviewers is a major conundrum for authors. The validity of a review by family and friends can be questionable. You’ll find most retailers don’t allow family and friend review postings, if the bots catch the link between reviewer and author.

Reviewers who are paid to write book or movie reviews can be extremely expensive. Small publishing houses and indie authors can’t afford to use those services, instead, they rely on readers spreading the news.

Why is coaxing a reader to write a review so hard? Maybe because it brings back painful memories of those dreaded book reports we had to do when we were in school.

Whatever the reason readers don’t write reviews, I wish more readers understood how helpful reviews are for an author.

The process of posting a review is easy. Many Kindle books offer a link to review at the end. Reviews don’t have to be lengthy or formal. You can also leave star reviews.

Next time you finish a book, why not leave a review or stars?

8 04, 2024

It’s Poetry Month!

By |2024-04-07T07:44:02-05:00April 8th, 2024|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

April is National Poetry Month. Poets.org has provided opportunities and activities to celebrate poetry and poets.

One of my favorite poems is about a realio, trulio, little pet dragon named Custard by Ogden Nash. I read the poem to my children, greats, and grands so often most of them memorized it.

“The Tale of Custard the Dragon”

Belinda lived in a little white house,
With a little black kitten and a little gray mouse,
And a little yellow dog and a little red wagon,
And a realio, trulio, little pet dragon.

Now the name of the little black kitten was Ink,
And the little gray mouse, she called her Blink,
And the little yellow dog was sharp as Mustard,
But the dragon was a coward, and she called him Custard.

Custard the dragon had big sharp teeth,
And spikes on top of him and scales underneath,
Mouth like a fireplace, chimney for a nose,
And realio, trulio daggers on his toes.

Belinda was as brave as a barrel full of bears,
And Ink and Blink chased lions down the stairs,
Mustard was as brave as a tiger in a rage,
But Custard cried for a nice safe cage.

Belinda tickled him, she tickled him unmerciful,
Ink, Blink and Mustard, they rudely called him Percival,
They all sat laughing in the little red wagon
At the realio, trulio, cowardly dragon.

Belinda giggled till she shook the house,
and Blink said Weeck! which is giggling for a mouse,
Ink and Mustard rudely asked his age,
When Custard cried for a nice safe cage.

Suddenly, suddenly they heard a nasty sound,
And Mustard growled, and they all looked around.
Meowch! cried Ink, and Ooh! cried Belinda,
For there was a pirate, climbing in the winda.

You can read the rest of the poem here: https://internetpoem.com/ogden-nash/the-tale-of-custard-the-dragon-poem/

I do love Ogden Nash. Reviewers of his work often criticized him for taking liberties with spelling and rhyme.

Liberties that I find delightful because I have this habit of adding syllables and phrases to words and names too. Grandchildren became Brook E, Abby-Me-Gail, Faith-e-foo, Morg-from-org, and Rachel-Roo. Children: J.Beetle, Sa-RA, Stefoney, etc. It always brought a smile to their faces until they hit their teen years.

I love the Custard dragon poem so much when I saw this dragon welded from spare farm parts at a craft fair, I had to add him to the guard the patio.

Enjoy poetry month! You can find a chronological list of other poems by Ogden Nash here: http://www.ogdennash.org/ogden_nash_titles.htm

5 04, 2024

Perfect As They Are

By |2024-04-04T09:13:54-05:00April 5th, 2024|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


I really enjoy going to the grocery store. I know that is weird. I plan my menu, make my list, and check the sales and coupons.

Many people take advantage of the curbside pickup including both of our daughters. Not me. I like to go up and down every aisle and see what is available.

Recently there was an Oreo display in the frozen food section. I guess they thought Oreos and ice cream go together. There were several variations of the iconic cookie. I’m not sure why it needs any variation.

One package in particular caught my attention.

I picked it up and started to put it in my basket. Then I put it back and walked away.

I circled back and looked at the package again. There was something not right about this.

I consider myself a connoisseur of Black and White Cookies. My best friend in high school worked at a bakery that sold them. I visited the bakery regularly. After graduation, I moved to Texas where they did not have any equivalent of Black and Whites. Good Housekeeping magazine printed a recipe in a Christmas issue, and I have made them every year since.

I could not bring myself to buy a cookie that combined “my” Black and Whites with anything, even an Oreo.

Some things are perfect just as they are.

1 04, 2024

April Fools’ Day

By |2024-03-30T08:28:29-05:00April 1st, 2024|Holidays, Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

Today is officially the day when pranks and pranksters abound. Be alert!

An April fool is the victim of a joke or trick played on April 1st hence the name April Fools’ Day or All Fools’ Day.

A little aside here, finding a grammatically correct meme wasn’t easy. The day is April Fools’ Day. There are multiple fools in the world. This is their holiday hence the s apostrophe.

Although dictionaries show both fools’ and fool’s, the plural possessive makes the best logical sense to me.

Whichever way you spell it, playing jokes and tricking people has been around for centuries, but no one knows its origins for sure.

My favorite theory is April Fools’ Day is of French origin and dates to 1582 when the Council of Trent required the French to switch from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.

Those who embraced the new calendar started to mock the reluctant ones, offering false presents, and playing tricks on them. Those tricked or fooled are called April fools or Poisson d’avril (April Fish).

Eventually, the fish name-calling tradition evolved into the exchange of fish-shaped cakes and then paper fish associated with jokes and hoaxes.

School-aged children in France design paper fish to stick on the backs of unsuspecting people.

Much like children in the US create kick me signs.

April Fools’ Day is a popular, widespread day but not an official public holiday in any of the countries where it’s recognized.

No one seems to want to grant formal recognition to a day that allows attaching paper fish or playing pranks on unsuspecting folks.

Wherever April Fools’ Day originated, it’s a perfect day to enjoy some laughter with family, friends, and coworkers.

Smiles and laughs are important for a balanced life, don’t you think?

29 03, 2024

Easter and the Paschal Triduum

By |2024-03-28T18:23:45-05:00March 29th, 2024|Holidays|0 Comments

For the Christian world, Maundy Thursday ushered in the Paschal Triduum, the three days ending with Lent and leading to Resurrection Sunday (Easter).

The term may be familiar to Protestant denominations like Lutheran, Methodist, and Reformed as well as Anglican churches that observe Lent.

Other denominations may or may not be familiar with the term.

In our Methodist Church, the Triduum is called “the Great Three Days,” and on each day except Saturday, there are church services.

Maundy Thursday services remind us of Jesus’ command (to love one another) as He washed His disciples’ feet and shared The Last Supper with them. This service concludes with the Stripping of the Altar as the church readies itself for Good Friday.

Good Friday services can include a Fish Fry after the meal, the congregation gathers in a “bare” church setting to reflect on Christ’s Passion and His time on the Cross with songs, readings, and prayer. Church members leave in silence preparing to return on Easter morning in anticipation and celebration of His resurrection.

Holy Saturday or Black Saturday is a day for silence, fasting, and quiet contemplation focusing on personal spiritual journeys while remembering Jesus’ crucifixion. Holy Saturday falls as the Jewish Sabbath before Jesus’ Resurrection for those of Jewish faith.

Roman Catholics have celebrated the Paschal/Easter Triduum as a formal separate season since 1955. Many Catholic churches hold an Easter Vigil through Saturday night.

This season leading to Resurrection Sunday is the holiest time of the year for Christians. Participation in Paschal Triduum activities can enhance the season but is not required.

The important thing is having a thankful heart for what Easter represents. Without what He did on the cross, we would be forever lost.

May you have a most Blessed Easter.

25 03, 2024

A Reminder: Back Up Your World on March 31, World Backup Day

By |2024-03-24T17:15:10-05:00March 25th, 2024|Make Me Think Monday|2 Comments

 We’ve heard news stories of data breaches at corporations.

Too many of us have had at least one notice of our secure data being captured by the ever-increasing threat of ransomware and viruses.

Yet, most of us haven’t ever heard of World Backup Day unless we’ve worked in a tech field.

Way back when computers were first entering the world of education, I taught computer literacy.No, not computer science. I’m not a techie. I have no formal computer science training.

I taught seventh and eighth-grade students word processing, databases, spreadsheets, and basic programming. That gave me a healthy appreciation for backups and protecting data.

In the early onset of computing, we used external discs for storage, and I promise there is nothing sadder in the world than a twelve or fourteen-year-old whose disk went missing or became corrupt and all their work lost.

To this day, I have backups of backups following the  3-2-1 rule.

  • Three copies of everything
  • Stored on two different pieces of media,
  • One of which is off-site and immutable.

I back up daily. All my published books have a zip drive along with at least one hard copy. Personal files are saved to an external drive. I use multiple cloud storage services, zip drive USBs, and print critical files.

Like I said, I believe in backing up and not just one day a year.

Do you back up your data?

We can’t be responsible for corporations or other places where our data resides, but personal computer data is our responsibility.

That’s why I’m sharing this infographic about World Backup Day from the University of Washington.

22 03, 2024

Lifelong Learning

By |2024-03-19T17:54:31-05:00March 22nd, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

A blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


Our church recently hosted our annual Spring Break Bible Camp.  It has evolved over the years, and now we meet at the land where our building will be. This year we have a pavilion so the threat of rain was not worrisome.

One of the activities is run by a family that has developed a science curriculum.  Actually, it is more than just a curriculum.  They have renovated an Airstream to be a mobile science lab.  It is really neat to see this program expand. https://www.sciencebetweenthepages.com/homepage.html

They planned projects to reinforce the concept taught at the beginning of the evening.

Tuesday night we talked about how we cannot see God but can see evidence that He is there.  It is like the wind so for our science project, the younger students made wind socks. The older kids made anemometers.

That was a new word for me and I have tried to use it as often as possible.  An anemometer is a device that measures wind speed.

We used two straws, four small dixie cups, a pencil, and a straight pin. It was so  fun!

I was reminded of our principal who always encourages students to be lifelong learners.  I, for one, am taking his advice to heart.

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