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28 09, 2020

Courage and the Cowardly Lion

By |2020-09-22T11:15:08-05:00September 28th, 2020|Make Me Think Monday, Monday Motivations|1 Comment

Surviving 2020 requires a lot of courage. Every day a new drama comes and always COVID 19 lingers. Doubts and fears battle on the inside. At least, for me.

But then that’s the very definition of courage — confronting a difficult, frightening, painful, or disturbing situation when our first instinctive reaction is to flee.

Examples of courage are portrayed everywhere – in the Bible, in fairy tales, in books, in movies, in the news.

It’s usually depicted as physical bravery but being courageous also encompasses much more than physical strength and endurance. Courage involves mental stamina. That’s 2020 courage.

Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D. identifies six different ways to be courageous.

  1. Feeling Fear Yet Choosing to Act
  2. Following Your Heart
  3. Persevering in the Face of Adversity
  4. Standing Up for What Is Right
  5. Expanding Your Horizons; Letting Go of the Familiar
  6. Facing Suffering with Dignity or Faith

Where do we find courage? The word itself gives us the clue. Courage comes from root cour or coeur, which is French for heart.

The essence of courage lies in our heart.

Judythe MorganThink about the Cowardly Lion in the classic film The Wizard of Oz. Along his journey on the Yellow Brick Road, he learned his courage came from within.

On the really hard days when the chaos of our current world threatens to pull you under, call forth your inner COURAGE like the Cowardly Lion.

We will survive 2020.

 

~~The original version of this blog appeared on View from the Front Porch October 8, 2014

21 09, 2020

Pandemic Fatigue and the 2020 Craziness

By |2020-09-20T07:25:21-05:00September 21st, 2020|A Writer's Life, Writer's Life|0 Comments

September is the height of the hurricane season on the Texas Gulf coast. A month loaded with angst as we watch the weather forecasts. This year in particular it’s a nightmare.

Add the pandemic-induced mess of 2020 and I feel like I’m teetering on the brink of crazy.

Days run together. I lose track of what day it really is. My memory’s totally shot. Argh.

Recently, I inserted my Wii Fit DVD into the player to do my exercise. The disc wouldn’t run, I tried to eject said disk. It wouldn’t jump out.

After several failed attempts to get the disc out, I gave up. A short time later, Hubby-Dear asked me what the Wii Fit DVD was doing on the table with the TV remote.

I’d never actually inserted the disc!

Other times, I load clothes in the dryer. Come back later to fold and find I never pushed start.

Attachments don’t make it to emails I’m sending.

Multi-tasking becomes a multi-mess. Stuff ‘s misplaced constantly. Minor things, I know. But, for me it’s frustrating. It makes me crazy.

Maybe, like me, you feel you’re losing your mind while trying to keep it all together and stay focused at the same time.

Well, we’re not crazy because things aren’t normal right now. We’re coping as best we can. Any way we can.

We’re feeling stressed for very real reasons. Who wouldn’t with all the COVID-19 hype? Newscasts filled with horrid visuals of violence and civil unrest. Tropical storms spinning into hurricanes and reeking unfathomable damage. Fires burning unchecked. An ugly presidential election on the horizon.

Any one of which would be troubling alone. We’re got all of the above pounding us daily.

We have “pandemic fatigue,” which means daily stuff may take a little longer to accomplish or may not go as planned.

That’s okay.

We’re getting through these weird times. One day at a time. The next months will likely be the toughest yet. We’ll struggle more, but, I’m confident, we will come through.

All we have to do is stop and breathe. Slow, even breaths. In for one-1000, two-1000, three-1000. Out again one-1000, two-1000, three-1000. Repeat.

Seriously, STOP. Take deep breaths then proceed.

It’s helped me. So do M&Ms, but breathing is so much healthier.

Next time you’re feeling crazy and want to pull the covers back over your head, try taking a few deep breaths. I think you’ll find those provide calm in this uncalm world.

18 09, 2020

Chick Report

By |2020-09-15T17:40:30-05:00September 18th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


I looked out my kitchen window last week to find one of the chicks on top of the duck coop.

I took this to mean that the newest flock of chicks was ready to go in with the big girls.

So I waited for the duck yard to dry out a little bit. I knew I would be chasing chickens around in the dark and wanted to minimize the mess.  I moved them into the big coop at night knowing that is usually the best plan.

The new chicks wake up thinking they had been in their new home forever. They do, after all, have bird brains.

Sure enough, they were not happy about being moved and they expressed their displeasure in a form of “chicken scratch” on both arms.  I managed to catch all 13 birds, clip their wings and put them into the big coop without landing in the mud.  I did have to take a shower to clean the mud off my arms – especially around the scratches.

They all survived the first night locked in the coop and I was curious what they would do the second night.

When I went to check, I did not see them in the big coop or in the chicken yard.  They had put themselves up in the little coop in the middle of the yard that didn’t have a door.

I blocked the entrance with an old wire door and told them goodnight.

Now we just have to wait for them to start laying eggs.

The ducks are getting ahead.

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.

11 09, 2020

Ducks Earning Their Keep

By |2020-09-06T10:59:49-05:00September 11th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|2 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


The ducks are now laying up to four eggs a day! This is fantastic news on Miller Farm.

I use duck eggs in cooking and mix them with chicken eggs to be scrambled. Ducks are very messy and sometimes I am not convinced the sheer entertainment value is worth the effort. Having duck eggs is a different story.

Judythe Morgan, Chicken Wrangler SaraFirst there was a soft egg which frequently happens when a bird starts to lay.

Then we had two hard shell eggs in one day.

Last week I found a green egg which could not belong to Lucy. That means one of the gray ducks is laying.

This week I found a tiny egg – again usually indicating a first egg.  I think Lucy is getting nervous about having competition.

She has laid two enormous eggs.  When I cracked one open this morning it had two yolks!Judythe Morgan, Chicken Wrangler Sara

Don’t worry, Lucy.  You’re still my favorite.  That is why you get all the roaches from the water jugs.

7 09, 2020

Happy Pandemic Labor Day!

By |2020-09-06T08:03:41-05:00September 7th, 2020|Holidays, Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

Judythe MorganLabor Day celebrates our workforce as this vintage postcard suggests. It also signals the end of summer though the fall equinox won’t actually happen for three more weeks on September 21. Still we consider summer gone after Labor Day.

Labor Day celebrations look different this year thanks to COVID-19. No skipping town for faraway places. No firing up the backyard BBQ for gatherings with friends and family.

While pandemic separation may make us miss catching up with cousins and neighbors with hot dogs in hand, it also means less effort preparing for the day. No rushing to cut the grass or clean the pool, or all that other prep that goes into entertaining. That’s kinda a plus.

Bonus: we didn’t have to deal with Cousin Will’s ultra-conservative (or ultra-liberal) political outbursts or the next-door neighbor’s comparisons of yards.

Labor Day does offer a break, a change from daily routines. No school. No Zoom meetings. A day to relax. To slow our pace.

And, trust me, relaxation of any kind for any length is more important than ever in these times of increased stresses.

I like what Brian Basset suggests in a recent Sunday funnies.

judythe morgan

As we head into days with all the back-to-school uncertainties and pre-election day chatter and other things that are sure to increase our stress levels. Let’s take Red & Rover’s advice to heart and embrace the fact that slowing down can lower stress.

Turn off the news.

Skip social media.

Sit on the porch and

Focus on the little things like cooler temperatures, changing leaves, and sitting by the lake with a fishing pool.

Happy Labor Day 2020!

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