5 10, 2020

Wistful Thinking

By |2020-10-03T09:18:55-05:00October 5th, 2020|Uncategorized|1 Comment

This is where we find our Buster most days. Sitting and staring out the back door.

Not wanting to go out. Just looking out all lost like.

That’s how I find myself some days in this pandemic world. Not motivated to do anything though there’s plenty to do.

I feel like I’m Alexander in Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Only this hasn’t been just one bad day. These Alexander days just keep on coming… piling on top of one another.

Like Alexander, I must decide what to do with these terrible, horrible, no good, very bad COVID-19 pandemic 2020 days.

I can grump and gripe and complain. Be immobilized like Buster in the kitchen door.

Science writer, Tara Haelle says my feelings are okay in a Medium article I read recently. 2020 has depleted our  surge capacity for handling disasters by piling on endless calamities with no breaks.

“We can kick and scream and be angry, or we can feel the other side of it, with no motivation, difficulty focusing, lethargy… or we can take the middle way and just have a couple days where you feel like doing nothing and you embrace the losses and sadness you’re feeling right now, and then the next day, do something that has an element of achievement to it.

Read all Halle’s suggestions for recharging our surge capacity in the Medium article here.

Another choice… Alexander fixes his bad day when he alters his attitude in the Viorst book. I can alter my attitude.

BTW, if you haven’t read Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,  you should. It’s available on Amazon or any online book store. It’s a delightful children’s book that will warm your adult heart during this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year we’re having.

Our Buster embraces both solutions. He sits for awhile then gives a celebratory woof or a take-that-world bark and settles next to the chair where I’m writing. His safe place.

14 09, 2020

Who’s the Boss?

By |2020-09-13T14:36:08-05:00September 14th, 2020|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Our little ten-pound Maltese is fearless. Just ask his younger brother an eighty-five-pound Old English sheepdog.

Part of his pluckiness is his small dog Napoleonic syndrome. Not really a bad thing considering he’s always shared his home with someone so much bigger than him.

Old English sheepdog, MalteseWhen Buster first came to live with us, we had our Toby. Old English sheepdogs are big but very gentle and easygoing. Buster loved his big brother Toby.

Then Toby crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 2016. Poor Buster moped around missing without him. We hoomans missed having an Old English sheepdog around, too.

That’s when Finnegan MacCool came to live with us.

Buster’s world was turned upside down. Toby had been four-years-old when the two met. Finn was a ten-week-old puppy.

Old English SheepdogWe knew about eager, playful puppies. Buster didn’t.

Only took a bit for him to train Finn. They became great pals.

Except at bedtime these days. There’s a nightly showdown. Buster guards the bedroom door warning Finn to stay out.When I give Finn permission to enter, which sometimes requires picking Buster up, Finn takes a flying leap onto the bed.I guess it’s some kind of power play for Buster because once Finn’s on the bed, Buster is fine. They settle on either side of me and all is well.

But you’ll notice Finn’s little play of defiance… his paw rests over my knee just to show Buster he’s really king of the household.

24 07, 2020

I Have a New Title

By |2020-07-20T07:46:52-05:00July 24th, 2020|Uncategorized|2 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

I usually write as Chicken Wrangler Sara or Music Teacher Sara.  On July 9, 2020 I earned the best title of all – Grandma!

Chicken Wrangler SaraOur oldest daughter and son-in-law welcomed their first child, our first grandchild, Alexander Cain and he is wonderful!

I’ve always heard how wonderful it is to be a grandparent.  Now I understand.

So even after I am finished singing silly songs in the classroom – there will forever be at least one child who listens to me sing.

Chicken Wrangler SaraGet ready, Alex. You’re used to hearing your mom on the oboe.

However, a whole world of silly songs by Grandma awaits you.

15 06, 2020

Ouch That Hurts!

By |2020-06-14T16:27:38-05:00June 15th, 2020|Uncategorized|1 Comment

During a recent storm, we heard the dreaded loud bang in the wee hours of the morning and lost power. The transformer in our back yard had blown.


It happens with every storm because the shrubs are so tall and thick. Wind blows limbs against the wire and trips the switch.

At daylight, power company line workers macheted through and reset the transformer switch.

Same thing happened the next week when another windy storm blew through and knocked out power again.

To give you an idea how tall the shrubs were, the transformer (now visible) was surrounded.

The privacy is nice, but electricity is better.

My brother brought over his pole power saw and removed the top five feet. Our backyard was covered with the tree branches.

Limbs were still too close to the wires.

Now that we could reach them, we dug out our smaller power saw and finished the job.

That’s when we discovered the killer vine.

Let me tell you, those thorns hurt like the dickens when they poke you.

Just ask little Buster who, in his quest to help, got one tangled in the hair on his ear. He yelped in pain from the vicious thorns.

I clipped the vine loose and the vet cut the remaining piece out for us. No way could we hold Buster still to remove it ourselves.

It’s a sneaky, sneaky vine.

You cut it down and it pops back up attaching itself to the shrubs, the fence posts, anything, and everything creating a deadly tangled mess.

Dowsing weed killer does no good. It seems to thrive and reappear.

The war is on. I now suit up like a jousting knight and trim the vine whenever I see it spring up. Wish me luck.


20 05, 2020

Flowers and Friends – Wednesday Quote

By |2020-05-20T06:29:05-05:00May 20th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

About the graphic

These gladiolas are from a special friend’s garden. They were so gorgeous I couldn’t resist taking a picture and using it as a background for this week’s quote.

About the quote

I found several people named Celeste Barnard in my web search. The quote came from a Country Living magazine that only identified the author by name. So Celeste Barnard, if you see this, please let me know these are your words, and I’ll add a short bio.

What I liked about the quote was that it reminded me of my friend who brought this lovely, lovely bouquet of gladiolas. The amazing thing is she grows these beauties in her yard. She’s such a lovely person to fill my world with beautiful gladiolas and books she passes on to me.

11 05, 2020

Be A Magnolia

By |2020-05-10T08:16:20-05:00May 11th, 2020|Uncategorized|1 Comment

May means flowers. Maybe not if you live in one of those states where you’re still getting snow, but down here in the South gardening shops are buzzing with home gardeners picking out their blooms. Flowering trees are showing forth their glory.

Magnolia are budding and I love Magnolias. If I were a tree, I’d be a Magnolia.

Their flowers are so dramatic and showy—a welcome a sight after a dreary winter. Their leaves so waxy and green. Mine was magnificent this year.

Seeing those pink buds made the world feel new again. Interestingly, the magnolia tree’s origins go back millions of years. In fact, dinosaurs may have nibbled on them.

There are so many varieties besides the fragrant white blooms associated with southern plantation homes. This chart from Martha Stewart Living magazine shows the variety and beauty of their blooms.

Thinking about magnolias also brings to mind the original 1989 version of Steel Magnolias, a movie worthy to be part of your watch list during these quarantine days.

It’s has a cast of magnolias – Dolly Parton, Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, and Olympia Dukakis. A group of actresses as varied as the Magnolia blooms and strong enough to survive the challenges of the script with zinger comic one-liners.

The story’s set in a small town beauty shop in Louisiana. Not much has changed in southern small towns, trust me. It’s a funny and heartwarming story of life, love, and loss. Sorta like this Corona virus time we’re living in.

The dark moment comes with Sally Field’s brief monologue when she asks God “Why?” The question we’ve all been asking since 2020 began.

Steel Magnolias is a humorous and dramatic picture of a southern woman’s world. They work and cook and sew and mend and fight and make up. They get their hair and nails done. Well, they did before the virus struck and will again someday. Just ask one.

And when tragedy, or a pandemic virus, strikes, they have the strength and the character to smile through their tears and go on.

They’re magnolias. They laugh a little and cry a little and keep on keeping on. Their roots go deep, maybe not to the age of dinosaurs but deep and strong.

Be a magnolia. A steel magnolia.

8 05, 2020

It’s True What They Say About Ducks

By |2020-05-07T17:00:51-05:00May 8th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Since my music classes at school have been put on hold, I have been helping the science teacher grade papers. She makes a key for me which helps for grades 5-8.

In 3rd grade, though, I was pretty sure that saying having ten toes is a learned trait was not the correct answer.

This has made me reflect on all I learned in science classes, particularly about ducks.

For example, we learn that ducks have webbed feet.  This allows them to swim.

Sure enough, the first thing I noticed when our first duck hatched was its webbed feet.

Then within the first 48 hours, that little duck was in the water even though it was meant to be a drinking bowl.

One day after I moved the ducks from their outside pen back into their tub to bring in for the night, I noticed my hands were oily.

I realized this is also an adaptation – the feathers have an oily substance that repels water.

Who knew all those things I learned in science class actually existed in real life!

9 04, 2020


By |2020-04-05T20:23:45-05:00April 9th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Only two more days! Contest ends on Saturday!

If you haven’t entered to win a brand-new Coach Tote filled with romance novels, a special author gift pack, ebook prize packs, and MORE, do it now!

Books included are by award winners and New York Times and USA Today Best Sellers!

All you have to do is follow me on Facebook and others on social media accounts.

The more profiles you like and follow, the more times you’re entered.

Here’s the link:


Good luck and happy reading!

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