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!

6 05, 2020

Flowers – Food for the Soul

By |2020-04-29T13:00:56-05:00May 6th, 2020|Wednesday Words|0 Comments

About the Graphic

I spotted these little Blue Bonnets on a walk in my neighborhood. Not bad for a cell phone picture. I’m hoping the little bluebonnets will spread all along the street.

About the Quote

I spotted this quote in the April issue of Martha Stewart’s Living magazine. Spring flowers always bring a smile to my lips and I think Botanist Burbank is so correct. Flowers are food for the soul.

4 05, 2020

Pandemic Stasis and The Next Thing

By |2020-05-04T13:28:50-05:00May 4th, 2020|Book Release Announcement|2 Comments

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic reared its head we live in a new world, a new time. It feels like we need a computer reboot.

That’s the metaphor fellow writer Kristine Kathryn Rusch coined for our current pandemic stasis, and I love it. So relatable.

Everyone’s computer has hung up at one time or another. That little circle just whirls and whirls and whirls. It’s easy to make the comparison to this pandemic stupor.

Our days whirl and merge. We wait and wait and wait for normal to return, for our lives to reboot.

There’s relief, when the circle on the computer screen stops whirling, and the computer starts up again … but there’s also worry. Will it happen again and need to be unplugged and rebooted? We can’t predict.

The pandemic quarantine is loosening in some places. That reboot causes worry. Could we end up back in total quarantine again? We don’t know.

Is a return to a pre-COVID19 is even possible? We don’t know that either.

We hope and pray for the best. While stuck in our new world, in our pandemic stasis, we get up each day, put one foot in front of the other, and do the next thing.

We take care of whatever task is next, whether it’s mindbogglingly mundane or breathtakingly scary. And then, after that, we do the next thing, and the next.

My next thing was releasing a new book, my first romantic suspense.

She’s a forty-seven year old widow who views life with rose-colored glasses while raising her grandson after her only child and his wife die in a suspicious car accident.

He’s thirty-four, a divorced, overly cautious ex-cop, who manages her shipping company. A cartel’s bomb killed his twin sons. He trusts no one.

Mysterious threats about Evie’s grandson begin to fill her email inbox at the same time drugs show up in a company shipment. When the nanny she hired against his advice disappears with the toddler, they uncover a web of lies, murder, and drug smuggling in her company.

Searching for the toddler tests their trust, even as it binds their hearts.

Pre-order Seeing Clearly here for Kindle and here for Nook.

What’s your next thing? Mine is be writing the next book.

1 05, 2020

Just in Time

By |2020-04-29T12:27:13-05:00May 1st, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

We started building a separate enclosure for the ducks during Spring Break. We dismantled all the individual Bantam runs and moved the small coop and “duck pond” to that side of the chicken yard.

Matt came and helped Brian build a door, and I strung the chicken wire.

It was finished on Sunday, and we moved the little ducks into their new home along with Lucy and Ricky, the adult ducks.


Now I go out at night to put them in the coop.

We made the move just in time.  Tuesday, the next batch of ducks started to hatch.

Here we go again!

29 04, 2020

Choosing Hope – Reeve

By |2020-04-18T15:39:17-05:00April 29th, 2020|Wednesday Quote, Wednesday Words, Wednesday Words of Wisdom|0 Comments

About the graphic

I found this Pixabay photo on PexelsIt was a perfect match for the Christopher Reeve quote I love.

About the quote

Christopher Reeve was the star of the 1978 version of the Superman and subsequent sequels. But he wanted to do more substantive work, which he did as well as direct and write. In 1995 he suffered a spinal injury in an equestrian competition and he and his wife became major advocates for spinal cord injury victims.

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, now run by their children, is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information, and advocacy.

Read more about this amazing real life Superman here. Once you know more  about him, you’ll see he never gave up choosing instead to hope.

Hope leads to possibilities. We should always choose hope.

27 04, 2020

To Mask or Not to Mask – That is the Question

By |2020-04-27T12:20:47-05:00April 27th, 2020|Make Me Think Monday|1 Comment

Our local county judge issued an order requiring residents ages 10 and over to wear some sort of protective face covering when in public places. It goes into effect today.

Face coverings may be a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief, as long as it covers the nose and mouth. And there are exceptions for eating or drinking, exercising, or doing physical activities outdoors, and if wearing a face covering posed a mental, physical, safety or security risk.

Still the order raised all kinds of social media chatter and protest. Within the day, a legal challenge was issued. Did she have the authority to do so?

Consensus seems to be a resounding NO. But, so far, there’s been no rescinding.

Which led to this to-be-or-not-to-be Shakespeare question blog and my favorite thing – research.

The answer lies in the reason behind wearing a mask. Is a mask worn to protect the wearer from getting infected or is a mask worn to protect others from being infected by the wearer?

And understanding COVID19.

Research seems to show a key transmission route of COVID-19 is via droplets that fly out of our mouths — when we speak, not just when we cough or sneeze. Coupled with the known fact that people can infect others before they themselves display any symptoms — even if they never develop any illness.

Imagine the coronavirus pandemic like a wildfire. People breathing out invisible embers when they speak, cough, or sneeze. Studies show sneezing spreads embers farthest, coughing second, and speaking least.

That’s a scary image and wearing a mask begins to make sense.

Wearing a cotton mask dramatically reduces the number of virus particles emitted from our mouths by as much as 99 percent. Fewer virus particles floating around means a better chance of avoiding infection. And if infected, a better chance of only a mild illness.

Mask wearing is like the emission filter on car exhausts and chimneys. My mask protects you; your mask protects me.

It’s called public good — something we all do to that eventually helps everyone. But how much public good depends on the level of participation.

In a perfect world there be lots of good mask wearing. Unfortunately, emission filters had to be mandated to cut air pollution. I suspect that’s why our county judge put out her order mandating mask wearing.

24 04, 2020

Stormy Weather

By |2020-04-23T12:58:18-05:00April 24th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|2 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Texas is known for its crazy weather.  A couple of weeks ago it lived up to its reputation.

I was teaching piano lessons via Google Hangouts since we are still sheltering in place and a terrible storm broke out.  It made me glad none of my students were actually at my house. 

When I finished teaching, I looked out the back window and saw a tree had fallen.

Fortunately it fell away from the house so there was no damage – just a lot of work.

It took a couple of days and three chain saws (the first two didn’t work) but we (mostly Matt) got it all cut apart, and I carted it to the front yard.

A couple of days later I noticed a chicken in the front bush.  Not a real chicken but one from my wind chime.

I went out and found the whole thing had blown off the hook.  That was some strong wind!  Fortunately only one of the chickens was broken.

The rest are back hanging outside the front door making their clanking sound.

Hopefully, the weather will be gentler for a while.

22 04, 2020

Finding Hope – Tutu

By |2020-04-23T13:06:20-05:00April 22nd, 2020|Wednesday Words, Wednesday Words of Wisdom, Weekly Quote|0 Comments

About the graphic

The background is a photo by NEOSiAM 2020 I found on Pexels, a great website for free graphics.

The dark rolling clouds depict what I feel most days while sheltering-in-place during this dark COVID19 pandemic.

About the quote

Desmund Tutu is a South African Anglican cleric and theologian. In 1986 he received the Nobel Prize for Peace for his role in opposition to apartheid. In 2009 he was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. His life has been about peace and hope and truth.

This quote seemed a perfect fit for the photo. The white light represents the hope and peace Tutu taught.

Personally I need to look on that circle of light (hope) and pray it grows wider. How about you?

20 04, 2020

A Birdhouse Legacy Returns

By |2020-04-20T09:03:00-05:00April 20th, 2020|Writer's Life|2 Comments

When I remember my mother’s father, it’s always in his workshop. At the old house, it was a small dark area shared with my grandmother’s gardening paraphernalia at the back of the garage.

They built a newer house next to the old one after World War II, his shop was a casita with windows and French doors attached to the back of the garage.

He was always working out there. I’d stand in the doorway for hours watching. He’d never let me inside when the jigsaw was going.

He built stick horses with one dimensional heads. I rode those horses for many an hour practicing for barrel racing.

He made rocking horses. The kind you could sit in like a rocking chair.

And he designed a doll bed that flipped from rocking to steady. My dolls and my daughters’ dolls slept many a night in those beds.

My favorite thing he built was birdhouses with tin roofs. He created assorted sizes in different shapes and hung them along the heaves of his little casita’s porch. In the Spring, birds made nests in all the houses. We’d sit on the porch with coffee and cookies to dunk and listen to the baby birds. After Opa was gone, I received the birdhouses.

Today, they hang around my porch.

I think about Opa and what a legacy he left with his birdhouses. He didn’t have social media, no television. Just him in his workshop with his saw and the radio.

One of his birdhouses has a nest this year. I’m excited. This horrid pandemic may have forced me to stay home, but I’m kinda happy to leave the rush and noise to sit on my porch and listen for the baby birds like I did with Opa and Oma.

17 04, 2020

Duck Report

By |2020-04-16T10:09:34-05:00April 17th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

The baby ducks are getting bigger. This is a good thing.  We want to move them outside because they are making a huge mess.

I put them in a cage outside while I cleaned out their tub this weekend. They seemed to enjoy it so I left them all afternoon.

They had a larger water container and spent a lot of time running back and forth in the cage.

It makes me smile.  Hopefully it makes you smile also.

We need to smile a lot these days.

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