26 07, 2021

Three Lessons I’ve Learned from My OES

By |2021-07-26T06:13:25-05:00July 26th, 2021|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

I love Old English sheepdogs. We’ve had five, so I know the breed well. Unfortunately, their life span is only 10 to 12 years. That’s how we’ve had so many. Our fifth OES will be five years old this week.

He came from Bugaboo Kennel in Colorado Springs, and he’s been Velcro companion ever since.

His name is Finnegan MacCool after the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill of Giant’s Causeway. You can read the legend here.


Finn’s our largest OES at 99.6 pounds, and the most loving. He’s always up for a cuddly nap with you.

Or sitting in your lap…wherever you sit.

Besides the unconditional love, Finn has taught me some important lessons.

Trust your instincts.

Finn senses if someone or some animal or some situation poses a threat. He has that inbred instinct to protect me. I trust him.

In life, we must trust our instincts too. Others’ opinions are important. But in the end, we should heed our gut instincts.

Know what you want and be super persistent about securing it.

Finn normally settles under the table at mealtime unless he’s smelled fried eggs or pizza. Then he nudges my thigh throughout the meal reminding me he’s waiting.

The scenario reminds me how important dogged persistence can be. We should not give up on our goals even if there are setbacks or defeats.

Poor Finn doesn’t always get to lick the fried egg plates. Sometimes we have visitors and seeing a dog lick a human plate tends to freak some people out. That’s why there’s a Sani-wash option on the dishwasher. But when he smells pizza baking or eggs frying you’ll always find him nudging my leg not under laying under the table. He doesn’t give up.

Even if we fail, persistence helps us learn what to do better next time or what techniques or approaches work, and what don’t.

Go outside and play.

I tend to spend hours on my laptop. In our technology world, it’s easy to be online and working 24-7. For Finn, it’s boring. After a while, he will drop that big old head in my lap or nudge my elbow with that bigh black nose to get my attention until I push away from the computer, iPad, or iPhone.

I never regret spending time with him. When I return to my task, I’m refreshed, and it’s not imagined. Research suggests exercise can improve our productivity.

What lessons have you learned from your pet?

23 07, 2021

Messy Food

By |2021-07-21T09:15:21-05:00July 23rd, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

This seems to be a very good year for blueberries – they have been on sale for several weeks in a row and they are very tasty. It just so happens that while perusing a magazine passed on to me by my mother, I stumbled upon a section of blueberry recipes. One of them was a triple-layer blueberry lemon cake. It looked delicious.

Beekeeper Brian and I have no business eating an entire triple-layer blueberry cake regardless of how wonderful it may be. I decided to make the cake for our Community Group meeting. I did tell them it was a new recipe.

I bought fresh lemons and grated the peel before squeezing the juice from them. I took the butter and eggs out to bring to room temperature and carefully measured out all the ingredients. The three layers came out beautiful.

Then I made the frosting. That was not so beautiful. In fact, it was quite slippery, and I had to use skewers to keep the layers from sliding around. It was a disaster.

I have always said that the bigger the mess, the better the taste.

This cake proved my point – it was delicious!

19 07, 2021

Are Naps a Good Thing or Bad Thing?

By |2021-07-19T15:22:36-05:00July 19th, 2021|Make Me Think Monday|1 Comment

Nappers (those of us who take regular naps) are often labeled lazy.

But that’s not necessarily true. Nappers may be the wise ones.

Like young children, too many of us soldier on, whether we’re tired or not, to get everything done we think we need to do.

Studies indicate the opposite is true.

The tendency to avoid naps or take breaks to relax during the day can reduce productivity and/or produce results that are less than our best.

Don’t believe it?

Check out this New York magazine video. You may change your mind about nappers. Or become one.

I’m a napper who’s off to take a nap. You may not work from home as I do and don’t have the luxury of a daily nap. But there’s always the weekend!

16 07, 2021

Messy Eaters

By |2021-07-14T06:02:51-05:00July 16th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Marv, our first dog, was a lab/hound mix that lived outside. We put his food in a bowl but as he got bigger, he started picking the full bowl up and flinging the food all over the back patio. We finally gave up on the bowl and just dumped the food on the patio. Marv never went hungry.

Max, our youngest dachshund, is an inside dog. He also throws his food on the floor. He can’t pick the bowl up, so he uses his tongue to fling the food all around the bowl.

Dogs are not the only messy eaters.

Alex, our grandson who just turned one, is also a messy eater.

The difference is Alex is a very cute messy eater.

He makes me smile.

12 07, 2021

Snow Cones, Popsicles, and Sprinklers

By |2021-07-10T17:11:55-05:00July 12th, 2021|Make Me Think Monday|1 Comment

As a kid I loved summer. One lazy day after another for what seemed like an eternity.

Sunshine and splashing in the sprinkler, slurping snow cones and sleeping in. Reading on the porch swing. Playing in the sprinkler for hours trying to chase away the summer heat.

Those were fun relaxing days.

But as an adult, I don’t slow down to enjoy summer that much. Those once lackadaisical days become rushed vacations and busyness.

Slowing down isn’t easy in our fast-paced technology world. But we should intentionally slow down to recapture those relaxed days of summer.

But how?

Take A Deep Breath.

Breathe in slowly for six seconds and out for six seconds. Try it right now. Feel the calm fill your body. Place sticky notes around to remind yourself. Before you know it, you’ll have the habit of stopping yourself to refresh regularly.

Change Your Routine.

Routine and repetition can steal joy. We miss what’s right in our face. Doing something different refocuses us. Why not have breakfast outside on the patio? Look out the bedroom window in a new direction. Focus on what’s changed since the last time you looked.

Or take a different route home from work? Enjoy the new sites.

Or visit a Farmer’s Market and taste something new that you’ve never tried before.

Unplug and Reconnect.

Silence the phone, close the laptop, skip the Netflix binges. Difficult to do, but a necessary component to recapture those childhood feelings of summer. Look around you instead. See the people and things around you. Talk to the neighbor, wave at the jogger. Really connect.

Here are some other Summer-Slow Down ideas to try:

Blow Bubbles for a baby or give a jar of bubbles to a small child. Children help us find the joy of the moment. I think you’ll smile and so will the child.

Grab a snow cone or popsicle and take a leisurely walk in a nature park. Nature is a never-ending love letter from our Creator. Walk slowly and take note of the amazing beauty around you.

Wave down the ice cream truck and treat yourself.  Savor the memories it brings back.

Why not make a list yourself? Enjoy summer like we did in our youth.

9 07, 2021


By |2021-07-06T12:13:16-05:00July 9th, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

The unusual weather in Texas has continued with damp mornings leaving the grass-covered in dew.  This means there are several paths in the backyard when I go to feed the chickens.

One is my path, and the others are made by the dogs.

I assume the straightest path is the one I made walking to the shed.

However, I do have a tendency to wander at times.

Perhaps my path is not always the most direct one.  But I get where I’m going and usually have fun along the way.

That is what is important.

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