6 06, 2022

7 Reasons to Read this Summer or Any Time

By |2022-06-05T08:04:38-05:00June 6th, 2022|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

Summertime signals lazy days of relaxing. Time to sit under the shade of the big oak tree, splash in the pool, or lounge on the porch swing, and do my favorite thing…read.

Why read? To quote Joseph Addison:

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”

Research backs up his words. Consider these seven reasons to read this summer or any time.

  1. Reading strengthens the brain. As your reading ability matures, those networks also get stronger and more sophisticated. Readers are two and a half times less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s later in life.
  1. Reading reduces stress. A study showed reading only 6 minutes a day reduces stress by 68%.
  1. Reading can aid in falling asleep. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic recommend reading as part of a regular sleep routine.
  1. Reading helps reduce depression. Reading fiction provides a temporary escape from your world into the experiences of the characters. And reading nonfiction self-help books can teach strategies to help manage symptoms.
  1. Reading fiction builds empathy by exposing us to life circumstances that are very different from our own. We experience the world as another gender, ethnicity, culture, sexuality, profession, or age in fiction. This can influence how we relate to others in the real world.
  1. Reading ignites imagination and stimulates the memory centers of your mind. That, in turn, helps you recall information and expands your vocabulary.
  1. Reading can lengthen life span. A twelve-year study of 3,635 adult participants showed those who read books survived around two years longer than those who didn’t read.

With those great reasons and the plethora of books available from libraries and online stores, why not grab a book and go read now? That’s what I’m going to do.

3 06, 2022

Ducks and Water Part 2

By |2022-05-31T10:21:11-05:00June 3rd, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

It is a well-known and documented fact that ducks like water. What I have discovered recently is that they prefer dirty water.

I regularly empty, clean out and refill the kiddie pool we use as a duck pond.  Now that we have added more ducks, I do this more regularly.  Ducks are very dirty. I’m beginning to think they like it that way.

Exhibit A:  Ducks sitting in the muddy overflow and leaving the nice clean pool completely empty.

Notice Cooper, Rachel’s dog, keeping an eye on the hose.  He likes to “help” me fill the duck pond and prefers clean water.  He grabs it straight from the nozzle as I carry the hose back to the house.

The ducks are very entertaining.  A friend says they sound like they are laughing.  I do believe, however, that dogs are smarter.

30 05, 2022

Memorial Day and TAPS

By |2022-05-27T10:49:03-05:00May 30th, 2022|Holidays, Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

On Memorial Day, I’m reminded of my days living on military bases and hearing TAPS played from the base speaker at the day’s end. We stopped what we were doing and stood at attention. The day had ended.

Hearing TAPS at military funerals always brings a tear to my eyes. I agree with Master Sergeant Jari A Villanueva, USAF:

“There is something singularly beautiful and appropriate in the music of this wonderful call. Its strains are melancholy, yet full of rest and peace. Its echoes linger in the heart long after its tones have ceased to vibrate in the air.”

There are no “official” words to Taps. These are the most popular and the ones that run through my head when the bugler plays.

Day is done,
gone the sun,
From the hills,
from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well,
safely rest,
God is nigh.
Go to sleep,
peaceful sleep,
May the soldier
or sailor,
God keep.
On the land
or the deep,
Safe in sleep.
Love, good night,
Must thou go,
When the day,
And the night
Need thee so?
All is well.
Speedeth all
To their rest.
Fades the light;
And afar
Goeth day,
And the stars
Shineth bright,
Fare thee well;
Day has gone,
Night is on.
Thanks and praise,
For our days,
‘Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
‘Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.

Today, along with the hot dogs, hamburgers, and swimming we associate with Memorial Day, let’s honor and remember those who have gone before.

27 05, 2022

Center of the Universe

By |2022-05-25T21:21:20-05:00May 27th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

This is the curl in the back of my grandson’s hair and for the last week, it has been the center of the universe.

A universe I was part of for his last week as an only child, the last days where the earth revolved around him.

He was blissfully unaware of the fact that he would soon become a big brother.

I played the part of doting Grandma well. We had fruit snacks for breakfast making it the best day ever.

Until the trash truck came just as we arrived home after a grocery pickup.




We played in water and drew with chalk. (He may be a lefty which thrills his great grandfather)




We blew bubbles (notice the freshly bathed fire truck) and went to the library.

It was a fantastic week!

Then his life changed. The universe got bigger with one baby brother.  It was nice while it lasted. Now Alex will learn that the center of the universe is big enough for two boys – at least in Grandma’s eyes.

23 05, 2022

Memorial Day and Weddings

By |2022-05-20T21:16:13-05:00May 23rd, 2022|Holidays, Writer's Life|3 Comments

I’m so excited that Memorial Day  is on May 30 this year. There’s a good reason.

That was the official date (1868-1970) until Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act to create three-day holidays and the last Monday in May became the day to celebrate Memorial Day.

An obscure fact I realize, but there’s a reason for remembering it. Many, many years ago hubby-dear and I chose Memorial Day for our wedding ceremony.

Back then we were financially strapped students from equally financially strapped families. Plus, time off from work for a wedding or honeymoon was out of the question. That particular year Memorial Day fell on Thursday, May 30 which meant an extra day off work for us and our families.

To save more expense, I wore my mother’s wedding dress, which she’d worn twenty-five years earlier.

My mother is in the dress in the picture top left. I’m in the picture below her wearing the dress, and the larger picture is our daughter in the dress for her wedding, twenty-five years later.

Every year Memorial Day changes. Celebrating our wedding anniversary doesn’t. This year, we get to honor family members we’ve lost in service and celebrate our marriage at the same time.

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.

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