4 09, 2023

Celebrating Labor Day

By |2023-09-02T09:48:26-05:00September 4th, 2023|Holidays, Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

Happy Labor Day!

Unlike most U.S. holidays, Labor Day is a strange celebration without rituals, well, except for shopping and barbecuing.

Peter J. McGuire, United Brotherhood of Carpenters founder, and Matthew Maguire, secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York, are considered founders of the U.S. Labor Day.

Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal in 1882 and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic. Workers agreed and staged a strike to get a day off work on the first Monday in September.

Twelve years later, in 1894, Labor Day became an official federal holiday though the bill did not give everyone a holiday. Only federal employees were authorized the day off by the law.

Over the years, emphasis changed from protests and demands and Labor Day shifted to honoring the labor movement and the social and economic achievements of all American workers.

Though the holiday has no rituals, addresses by union officials, industrialists, government officials, and others do receive coverage in social media, newspapers, and television.

Labor Day mostly signifies a three-day weekend filled with retail sales, an extra day away from work, and the unofficial end of summer.

Unless you work in retail then you’ll have some long working hours. Police, firefighters, nurses, and doctors will also experience heavy workloads because Labor Day is the second most dangerous holiday to drive on U.S. highways.

I’ll not be driving. I’ll be following Douglas Pagels’ advice.

“Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.”

Why not join me? Relax, grab one last hot dog, and slide down your rainbow beam.

1 09, 2023

My New Title

By |2023-08-29T08:40:39-05:00September 1st, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Last Friday I looked out the kitchen window to find that Mr. Grumpy Turkey was on the wrong side of the fence.

My first thought was “Who can I call to help me?”  Beekeeper Brian was at work as were both children who live in town.

My next thought was “Who is available to take me to the hospital?”  Mr. Turkey is not fond of me and the feeling is mutual. I was imagining a fierce battle.

I came to the conclusion that I would have to wrangle this turkey on my own. I started the coffee brewing, grabbed the rake, and prepared to face my nemesis.

He was much less brave when he was on my side of the fence. I was able to guide him back into the chicken yard through the gate. It was almost anticlimactic.

Feeling triumphant, I returned to the kitchen to enjoy my coffee and new title as Turkey Wrangler.

28 08, 2023

Labor Day, Yellow School Buses, and School Supply Sales

By |2023-08-25T15:57:21-05:00August 28th, 2023|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Fall Equinox will arrive on September 23, 02:50 A.M. EDT

Labor Day is upon us. The day that signals the time to bid farewell to the carefree days of summer and the return of high school football and fall festivals.

This little poem by Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt says it best.

It is the summer’s great last heat,
It is the fall’s first chill: They meet.

Down here where I live, we’re not experiencing or expecting the chill but I’m a former teacher and the return of the yellow buses brings waves of nostalgia. Not because I’m longing to be back in a classroom again, those days are long gone.

To be a teacher again, I’d have to give up too much time and energy I prefer to devote to writing.

But fall also means school supply sales. Necessary stuff for all the munchkins heading off to school and impossible for writers to pass up.

At least this author.

Never mind, I have plenty of pencils, pens, and notebooks. I simply can’t resist. I have to stop to check out all the displays.

Nothing jumpstarts my creativity like a shiny fresh notebook and a sharp new pencil or a bright colored pen.

Plus, who can resist a sale?

How about you? Do Back-to-School sales entice you?

25 08, 2023

Extracting Honey

By |2023-08-24T08:19:19-05:00August 25th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Beekeeper Brian’s bees have been pretty productive this year so we were able to get honey for the first time in several years. I had forgotten what an interesting process it is.

We decided to move the extractor into the kitchen instead of using it out on the driveway. The Texas heat has been oppressive.

First Brian removed the frames of honey and comb from the hive. He used a special spray designed to drive the bees away. This was especially important since we were bringing them into the kitchen.

Then the very edge of the comb is cut to remove the wax caps.


The frames are then placed into the extractor.

Then it is a matter of physics – specifically centrifugal force.

The metal tub containing the frames is spun forcing the honey to vacate the comb.



The liquid gold is then put through a sieve to remove large pieces of comb and collected into a five-gallon bucket.

The last step is to put it in bottles to be used in tea, on yogurt, or just licked off a spoon. At the end of the process, there was sticky honey everywhere in the kitchen including on the heads of two dogs.

But having honey from our own front yard makes it all worth the effort.

21 08, 2023

Garage Sailing

By |2023-08-19T17:48:16-05:00August 21st, 2023|A Writer's Life, Writer's Life|1 Comment

Unfamiliar with the term garage sailing? No surprise. I made the word up to describe the habit of perusing garage/estate sales.

A habit or addiction that I share with many others. I can’t resist a sale sign stuck by the side of the road. I’ve been known to make U-turns on busy streets to follow the arrows.

Do I need anything? Heavens no!

My house is overflowing with stuff and I should be downsizing not collecting.

Should I be writing my next book? Of course. But the thrill of the hunt is too hard to resist.

You just never know what you might discover while garage sailing. And, if the seller is motivated to get rid of stuff, the prices can be cut-rate.

Finds are hit or miss. One time I scored flowerpots for $1.00 that retail for $30 or more. I’ve replaced broken water glasses with matched sets or found the exact glass.

Another time I found nothing. No treasures or great buys, but I met interesting people, who shared fascinating stories. That was still a win for me. I store away lots of ideas for character traits and plot twists.

Outdoor sales where I live are held pretty much year-round. Spring and summer temperatures near broiling this year cut down on my garage sailing. Not too many sales and way too hot to be outside shopping.

I fed my habit from Facebook Marketplace and other online markets in the air-conditioned comfort of my home.

But it wasn’t nearly as much fun.

I’m looking forward to fall and cooler temperatures so I can garage sail again.

18 08, 2023

New Music Room

By |2023-08-16T09:14:15-05:00August 18th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

For the past 5 years, I have taught music for a small charter school.  Most of the classes meet in portable buildings while the rest of the campus occupies what used to be a church.

Music class has been held in the sanctuary which is also used for morning and afternoon assembly.  All the musical instruments and materials are stored in what used to be the “cry room” at the back of the sanctuary.

It was cozy, to say the least.

           The classes met in an area partitioned off at the back of the sanctuary. I made it work.




This year I have my own music room!








I am ridiculously excited! This will be the best year ever!

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