3 05, 2021

Busy, Busy Month of May

By |2021-05-02T12:59:07-05:00May 3rd, 2021|Make Me Think Monday|1 Comment

May and December always seem busier months than the other ten.

December is busy with all the holiday preparation and gatherings.

May signals the beginning of summer and all those fun outdoor activities start–cookouts, swim parties, ball games, etc.

Plus, May hosts lots of end-of-school/graduation ceremonies, weddings, and Cinco de Mayo parties, if you live in Texas.

If you have a military background, you know May is also filled with lots of military-centered observances. I’ve listed six below.

May 1 – Silver Star Banner Day – Per Congressional resolution, it is an “Official Day to honor wounded, ill, and injured Veterans”.

May 7 – Military Spouse Appreciation Day – A day that recognizes the service and sacrifices of military spouses.

May 8 – V-E Day – This date commemorates the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany to the Allied forces in 1945, ending World War II in Europe.

May 13 – Children of Fallen Patriots Day – A day to honor the children left behind by the brave men and women who gave their lives while defending our freedom.

May 15 – Armed Forces Day – This day pays tribute to men and women currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

May 31 – Memorial Day A solemn occasion to honor the men and women who died while serving in the military.

I’ve accented the difference between Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day. It’s an important distinction I think.

Armed Forces Day on May 15 honors active-duty service members. It’s the day to say thank you to those who willingly signed a blank check payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount of “up to and including their life.

Memorial Day on the last Monday of May honors those who gave their lives.

Celebrations on both days sometimes expand to include all public service servants like firemen and police officers, but the origins of the days were military-based. Let’s not forget.

This year May will be especially busy around our home. Thanks to the lessened pandemic restraints, we’ll once again have our traditional family gathering for Memorial Day along with three high school graduation celebrations.

How about your May, will you be busy?

30 04, 2021

Hatch Day

By |2021-04-29T08:48:15-05:00April 30th, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


The school where I teach has several classes that are hatching chicks this spring. This includes the 4th grade class where I eat lunch every day.  The students have been counting the days and eagerly awaiting the arrival of the first chick.

This happened yesterday.

They were all very excited to share this news with me and I must confess I was just as excited to see the new chick.  We’ve hatched many chicks but it is still amazing to see them just out of their shell.

The students were served chicken sandwiches for lunch.  They were very careful to keep their food away from the chick so as not to upset it.

I found that very thoughtful.

I got a message from a friend last night who had taken some of our duck eggs to hatch.  This also happened yesterday.

  I guess April 28 was a good day to hatch!

26 04, 2021

Rock Concerts

By |2021-04-24T06:52:50-05:00April 26th, 2021|A Writer's Life, Writer's Life|0 Comments

I recently attended my first ‘rock’ concert recital.

My grandson teaches guitar and drums at School of Rock, which offers lessons, music camps and workshops focused on rock music. Their camps end with a live show performed by the campers. He suggested I should come to their next concert and hear his kids.

All I knew about rock music was it uses amplified instruments and has a strong bass line and driving rhythms. And it’s loud.

Piano recitals, dance, orchestra and band performances are more my forte. I figured why not?

All experiences offer gist for my writer’s mill so Chicken Wrangler Sara, hubby-dear and I went. I’m so glad I did.

I loved watching those kids play their hearts out. The students dressed like and sounded like the famous rock stars I’ve ever seen on television. Clearly, they loved what they were doing. And who knows I might have been listening to the next rock sensation.

So much fun. They even served lunch to benefit the school. Nothing better than music and hot dogs on a sunny day.

Nothing.

Reminded me of another concert I attended many moons ago. Back in the eighties, hubby-dear and I sat on a blanket on a New England hillside and listened to Harry Chapin.

Most people won’t recognize Harry Chapin who was a popular folk/rock singer and songwriter/activist of the seventies and early eighties. His songs are stories set to a blend of rock and folk music. My personal favorites are “Flowers Are Red” and “Cat’s in the Cradle.” You may remember “Taxi” or “30,000 pounds of Bananas.”

I have never forgotten that Harry Chapin concert and still love those songs. This rock concert was totally new music for me, but I won’t forget my grandson’s student rock concert either.

In fact, I can’t wait for the next one.

23 04, 2021

Recipes

By |2021-04-21T09:09:07-05:00April 23rd, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


I collect recipes to help with my stress-relief baking.  I tear them out of magazines, cut them out of newspapers and picked them up at grocery stores, back when they handed out recipe cards.  I even have some that I picked up at the State Fair of Texas including my famous sweet potato biscuit recipe and the kids’ favorite skillet burritos.

I’ve tried to type them all into a data base so I have digital copies, but my memories of these recipes are attached to where I got them. If they are all in the same format in a digital file, I will never recognize them.  I look for the recipe I need based on where I originally found the recipe.

Not a particularly effective way for anyone else to find my recipes, but I know where they all are.

For example, I wanted to make forgotten cookies recently.  This recipe came from my mother.  Shortly after Beekeeper Brian and I got married, she gave me a notebook with note cards of all our family recipes.  It has the forgotten cookie recipe in it along with my Aunt Nita’s mashed potato roll recipe, my Grandmother Hixson’s chocolate and butterscotch pie recipes, and my Mother’s Blueberry Delight.  (Notice the lack of vegetable recipes mentioned. =)  The notebook is falling apart and so I must gently take it off the shelf and gently put it back.

 I suppose I could replace it – but I won’t.  Eventually there may be no need for paper recipes at all but that won’t be until after I’m gone.  I will always use my various scraps of magazines and newspapers, and especially my notebook with my mother’s hand written recipe cards.

 

19 04, 2021

Look Who Came to Visit

By |2021-04-14T15:48:47-05:00April 19th, 2021|A Writer's Life, Writer's Life|4 Comments

Living in a certified habitat for wildlife house means regular interruptions to my writing to check out what’s in the backyard.

Recently Jack and Jill trotted across our backyard and up our fence. No joeys with them, but I suspect they were out prowling for baby food. Of course I had to go see.

Their tails were hairless so not possums with only a p, but opossums. That’s how you tell the difference between the North American marsupial species.

Before you rush to tell me how ugly the critters are, let me say opossums get a bad rap. True, they’re kinda creepy looking, but reality is, opossums are incredibly useful, and greatly misunderstood.

White opossums make great neighbors. They are docile, not likely to threaten pets or carry disease, and, most important, because they help keep pest populations under control. Good reasons to have them around.

Known as Nature’s Little Sanitation Engineers, they eat everything from garbage and dead things to SNAKES and mosquitoes. They can eat up to 5,000 ticks a year. Plus, they aren’t very susceptible to rabies and largely immune to venom from snakes like cottonmouths and rattlesnakes.

They’re fascinating little creatures. Check these opossum facts.

  1. Opossum babies are called joeys. Mom is jill and Poppa is jack. They belong to the same class of animals as kangaroos, wombats, and koalas that raise their young in a pouch. Lifespan is two to four years.
  2. They have sharp claws, opposable thumbs on their hind feet, and a prehensile tail help them scale trunks and hang onto branches. They often nest in tree hollows. Joeys travel on jills’ back or her pouch.
  3. Young opossums make sneezing sounds or a soft choo choo to call their mother, who will respond with clicking noises. Males make those same clicking sounds during mating season. When an opossum is threatened, it may hiss or growl, but Opossums are rarely violent.
  4. “Playing ‘Possum” isn’t pretending. It’s an involuntary reaction that causes the opossum to seize up. Sorta like fainting in humans. In this state, opossums sometimes bare their teeth, foam at the mouth, and produce foul-smelling fluids from anal glands to mimic sickness. An Opossum can remain catatonic for up to four hours.

They demonstrated for me by freezing in “playing possum” mode when I approached.All I wanted was to tell them any animal that eats mosquitoes and snakes is definitely welcome here and please come again.

16 04, 2021

Stress Relief

By |2021-04-15T08:07:59-05:00April 16th, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|2 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


Baking is my stress relief and the past year has had plenty of stress to relieve.  I particularly enjoy making biscuits and scones – really any breakfast food.

With only Beekeeper Brian and myself at home, I have had to find ways to bake and not weigh 300 pounds.  So each Sunday, I take breakfast to the praise team at church.  We meet at 7:00 to practice and stay through the service until almost noon so the gesture is much appreciated and there are seldom leftovers.

Both biscuits and scones require the use of a pastry blender.  I’ve seen a picture on Facebook of one asking if anyone knew what it was.  I was somewhat offended at the suggestion that only old people use pastry blenders.

I have actually been through several pastry blenders in the past few years.  I tried one that had a slightly different design and broke two of them before I gave up and went back to the original crescent shape.  It has held up to my stress relieving routine but sometimes looks a little worse for the wear.

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