20 05, 2022

Ducks and Water

By |2022-05-19T19:54:47-05:00May 20th, 2022|Uncategorized|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

A friend of ours recently asked us to hatch ducks for them. They have a large pond and several of their ducks had disappeared.

We set an incubator full of duck eggs but there was a malfunction and only five ducklings hatched.

Ducklings are very cute – once they dry off. What amazes me about ducklings is how they are attracted to water from the time they hatch.

Rachel put water in their tub for them to drink but they all insisted on getting in it.

She quickly realized they needed more room so she moved them to the bathtub for a quick swim.

Now they are out with the big ducks. The first thing they did was find the mud puddle. Ducks are attracted to water wherever it is.

7 03, 2022

The Gonk Has Returned

By |2022-02-26T10:30:35-06:00March 7th, 2022|A Writer's Life, Uncategorized, Writer's Life|2 Comments

Don’t know what a gonk is? Meet Gonk.

The Gonks’ signature features are a small, spherical body and two googly eyes. A gonk is not a gnome or a leprechaun though there are family resemblances.

Gnomes have a pointy hat and face full of hair. Gonks don’t.

Leprechauns sport green hats and orange beards. Gonks don’t have orange beards or stovepipe hats.


Gonks are the creation of English inventor Robert Benson. They were quite literally the first toy craze in England post-World War II. Endorsements by Ringo Starr and Peter Sellers aided in their popularity.

Gonks also appeared in the 1964 movie Gonks Go Beat. The film is a take-off on the Romeo and Juliette theme. Two musical communities, one who likes rock and roll and one who likes ballads, become reunited through a couple who love across their communities.

With the publication of this 1960s Simplicity pattern. Gonks became homemade toys. Children loved them and they could be made from almost any material and any size.

The Gonk-guy below was created from the pattern by hubby-dear’s sister, seamstress extraordinaire.

Her Gonk creations were much desired and cherished.

Around our house, we have many of Nita’s Nitawork needlework creations including Mr. and Ms. Santa Claus, a holiday door wreath, and a Texas State Fair First Prize-winning wall-hanging of the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Sadly, our University of Texas gonk met his demise years ago.

That’s why I was so delighted to discover this round, cuddly guy with a great message on his shirt when helping Nita’s son clear out his sister’s apartment.

A treasure that brings back fond memories.

21 02, 2022

It’s the Big Ten

By |2022-02-13T21:39:51-06:00February 21st, 2022|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Anniversaries mark accomplishments and are fun to commemorate. February 24 will mark View From the Front Porch’s tenth blogiversary.

I’m not sure you’ll find blogiversary in the dictionary but when talking about an anniversary for a blog,  blogiversary makes perfect sense

My original plan ten years ago was to blog every day. That quickly fell to the wayside when I realized writing blogs ate into my fiction writing time. Blogging became twice a week with a once-a-week blog from Chicken Wrangler Sara aka my daughter on Fridays about Life on the Miller Farm.

We also host guest bloggers periodically. If you’re interested in sharing a story or a word of wisdom, you’re invited to check out guest guidelines here. Authors are always welcome to introduce old or new releases, email me and we’ll discuss.

We’ve covered lots of topics over the years. You can read my very first blog, here. Or, Miller Farm’s first post here.

Our decade of blogging includes 1,295 posted blogs, 29,761 views from all over the world, 1,592 comments, and 175 followers.

By the way, it’s easy to subscribe and have the blog appear in your inbox. Simply, go to the home page and enter your email address in the box on the left sidebar below the purchase links to my published books.

Chicken Wrangler Sara and I send a big thank you for your support of View from the Front Porch this last decade and hope to see you more in the years ahead.

18 10, 2021

Southern Porching

By |2021-10-18T10:13:38-05:00October 18th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

It’s porch time on the Texas Gulf Coast. Gone are the oppressive high humidity and summer’s scorching heat. There are still warm days, but the evenings cool off. Unfortunately, mosquitoes still hang around. Sad to say, life in the south is never without mosquitoes.

If you take a ride on a country road, through suburban neighborhoods, or the tiny historic streets of cities like Charleston or New Orleans, you’ll find a wide variety of front porches. Southerners love porches. Entertaining on porches (porching) is a way of life in the South.

Going for rides is another Southern pastime, but that’s a topic for another blog.

Porches can be wide, spreading the width of the house. Wraparound ones circle the home. Some are small bungalow porches with columns of timber, stone, or brick. Others are portico porches also known as entry porches.

Every family home has its own anatomy for its porch.

But you’re guaranteed to see a welcome mat, real plants, a swing, a place for a dog, a ceiling fan on most, and even have a fireplace.

If you look closely, you’ll probably see a blue ceiling. The reason is muddled in folklore. It’s said “haint blue” wards off evil spirits. Haint being the southern word for ghost. Others say the color repels insects. Most simply fancy the elegant sky shade.

Screened porches make it possible to enjoy sitting outside on rainy days and stormy nights. Plus, the screen keeps out pesky bugs and insects. Screened back porches are particularly nice for a quiet “resting” place to read or a nap.

Fall is when seasonal decorating of porches begins in earnest. On your ride, check out all the lovely fall/Halloween decorations.

If you need ideas for your porch, check out 46 Fall Porch Decor Ideas That’ll Get You Ready for Autumn

17 09, 2021


By |2021-09-14T12:05:04-05:00September 17th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

I was using sourdough long before it became popular. In fact, my starter is over 20 years old and has been shared with many people including our oldest daughter.

One of my favorite things to make with my sourdough is orange pancakes which are served with homemade orange syrup.

As I was making this recently, I thought about the time I sent the leftover syrup with one of our kids for lunch. I thought it was applesauce.

When I asked them who it was, Rachel quickly responded, “best lunch ever!”

I am only packing my own lunch now. Perhaps I should “accidentally” put in leftover orange syrup. Some days I could use a “best lunch ever”.

2 08, 2021

Are you a Purple Cow?

By |2021-08-07T09:52:05-05:00August 2nd, 2021|Uncategorized|1 Comment

There’s a short little poem by Gelett Burgess titled “The Purple Cow” that I dearly love.

I never saw a Purple Cow,
I never hope to see one;
But I can tell you, anyhow,
I’d rather see than be one.

The full title is “The Purple Cow: Reflections on a Mythic Beast Who’s Quite Remarkable, at Least.” Most people leave off the second line of the title.

Pity too because that’s where the essence of Burgess’ poem lies. A purple cow stands out, a Mythic Beast Who’s Quite Remarkable. Most people don’t want to be Purple Cows. Conformity is comfortable.

The poem appeared in the first edition of his humorous little magazine The Lark in 1895. It’s fun. It’s silly and that was Burgess’ trademark.

I’ve quoted the words a gazillion times myself. As did United States President Harry S. Truman when asked if he’d ever seen a UFO. He substituted UFO for the purple cow.

But Burgess tired of the poem’s popularity and pinned this rebuttal, which he published in The Lark three years later.

Ah, yes, I wrote the “Purple Cow”—
I’m Sorry, now, I wrote it;
But I can tell you Anyhow
I’ll Kill you if you Quote it!

Maybe Burgess didn’t personally want to be considered remarkable. In reality, he was. Some say his works inspired Dr. Seuss.

The Gelett Burgess Center for creative expression, organized to honor his creativity, gives The Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Awards yearly. It’s not the Caldecott, but still a prestigious honor for a children’s book.

Burgess also coined the word blurb in 1907. He introduced the term on the cover copy of his book, Are You a Bromide? using a quote from Miss Belinda Blurb.

His definition is “a flamboyant advertisement; an inspired testimonial.” I’m not sure such a blurb on a book in our 21st century would be as well received.What do you think?

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