22 01, 2014

Resolutions Checkup – One Word Wednesday

By |2018-01-17T08:43:16-06:00January 22nd, 2014|one word Wednesday|0 Comments

We’re three weeks into the New Year. How are your resolutions working out?

Goal setting reminds me of eating at a cafeteria. All those choices and, as my grandmother would always say when I could barely lift my food tray–my eyes become bigger than my stomach.

That happens with setting goals. We’re so energetic and eager to start over after the hustle and bustle of the holiday season that we overextend. We set our expectations too high.

If you’re like most of us, those good intentions for a new start to the year are slowing falling away. Why? I think it’s because we set vague or unattainable goals like these.

medium_New_Year_Comic_for_WritersSo if you’re feeling down because your resolutions aren’t happening, look at your goal. Have you set the standard too high?

Adjust and move on.

If you’re a writer, take to heart the advice in the poster. I bet you’ll discover your eyes aren’t bigger than goals.

20 01, 2014

Ideas for Change on MLKJ Day

By |2014-01-20T06:00:07-06:00January 20th, 2014|Make Me Think Monday, Monday Motivations, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Martin Luther King, Jr. preached about justice, empowerment, love and peace. MLK

Dr. King believed life’s most persistent and urgent question was

‘What are you doing for others?’

Through his nonviolent activism during the civil rights movement, he changed things for others.

Today offers an opportunity to reflect on the past, think about the present, plan for the future, and reminds us of what is truly important.

 Here are some ways to honor Dr. King and impact change in your community.

Find other ideas here

Check here for  MLKJ Day projects in your specific area.

You can also check out Todd Goldfarb  50 Ways You Can Be The Change here.

Whatever you choose to do today, I leave you with one of my favorite King quotes:

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve.

You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve.

You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

17 01, 2014

Under Construction – Miller Farm Friday

By |2014-01-17T06:00:29-06:00January 17th, 2014|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|2 Comments

A blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Our neighbors are moving.  It is a good thing for them, but sad for us.  It means their house is for sale and real estate agents get grumpy when they have to sell a house next door to chickens.

We’ve been through this with the neighbors on the other side. We prayed and prayed and God sent a single woman who loves the chickens.  She even comes outside to watch them.

The new neighbors on the other side will not have that pleasure.  A privacy fence is going up.

fence1I don’t take it personally.  Not everyone loves chickens the way we do.

The process is actually very stressful for the entire Miller farm.  Strange people are walking around next door, which requires a certain amount of barking on the part of the dachshunds. Of course, some of the dachshunds (Bella) believe that life requires a certain amount of barking all the time.

Then there is the dreaded air compressor.

Fortunately, I have experience with air compressors. Experience being that there is one in the garage, which moves on the front porch when Bee Keeper Brian is building something.

I know that it randomly comes on and makes noise so I’m not startled. The chickens, on the other hand, have never seen the air compressor in our garage and so when the one next door started making noise, they all rushed to the opposite side of the yard.

The fence is finished now. fence2

No more strange people or noises next door. We actually can’t tell what is next door.  All we see is this beautiful fence.

bella and fence2

Tucker is confused. He can’t see his friend Gus, the miniature schnauzer who lives next door, anymore.

Bella keeps barking at the fence hoping to scare it away.

The good news is the chickens won’t be flying into the neighbor’s yard on that side. They can’t see that the grass is greener.

As I stood in our back yard I couldn’t help but think of the show “Home Improvement” and wonder if our new neighbors will be named “Wilson.”







15 01, 2014

Express Yourself for National Hat Day

By |2014-01-15T06:00:28-06:00January 15th, 2014|one word Wednesday|2 Comments

Today is the day set aside to wear and enjoy a hat of your choice and style.

It’s not really a “National” day. There’s been no act of Congress declaring it so. Some hatter wanting to sell his product probably originated the celebration.

Hats do come in all sizes, shapes, colors and styles. There’s a hat to fit every head size and personality.


Hats can …

  • make a statement.
  • identify your occupation or promote a cause or product.
  • keep your head warm or the sun from your eyes.

In the early 19th century, a woman didn’t go out without her hat.hat1

Today women can choose whether they wish to wear a hat or not unless they are attending the Kentucky Derby then a hat is necessity. After all, The Derby is a chance for a woman to express her inner Southern Belle.

National Hat Day is a fun day to express yourself. Wearing a hat is much like getting into costume, you might be pleasantly surprised to see what type of character you become.

Grab YOUR chance to display your favorite headgear. From the fantastic to the sublime, no rules or no limits.

Why not wear several different hats throughout the day?

13 01, 2014

A Week Gone Awry and the Magic Fix

By |2014-01-13T06:00:12-06:00January 13th, 2014|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

It’s been an upsetting week around the porch. You know one of those weeks where if it could go wrong, it did.

The black screen of death appeared on my husband’s laptop.

We received bad and sad news from friends and extended family.

Satellite cable went out, which meant none of our favorite programs would be recorded until Direct TV can find our little mountain hideaway sometime next week. No Downton Abbey, no Castle, no Good Wife, no NCIS. Now that’s too much!

Unsettled and struggling for a blog topic, I surfed the web mindlessly for inspiration.

I ran across this wonderful video Scott McKinley Productions created for a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation ad campaign.

The soundtrack is licensed by Kenny G. who just happens to be my most favorite jazz saxophonist. The music alone is awesome.

The short video, shot on location in Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, won Best of Category at the International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula Montana.

It’s a gentle and soothing reminder of the wondrous world around us. A dose of peaceful nature. Watch and see if you don’t agree.

An extra special thank you to Patti Shene for sharing on her blog.

10 01, 2014

A Dog and His Ball – Miller Farm Friday

By |2014-01-10T12:31:08-06:00January 10th, 2014|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Guest Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Linus has a blanket.

Christopher Robin has a bear.

Tucker has a ball – an orange jingle ball to be exact.  He actually has several balls – a blue one, a green one – but the orange one is his favorite.  Perhaps it’s the jingle noise it makes that is so attractive. tucker and ball

Whatever it is, Tucker has been known to fall asleep with this ball between his paws.  Whenever he is feeling stressed, he finds his jingle ball.

If you throw the ball, he will bring it back – again and again.

Rachel trained him to drop it right at her feet.

For a while, our morning routine consisted of whoever sat in a particular chair threw Tucker’s ball for him. If I happened to be in the kitchen fixing breakfast, the thrower would yell “incoming” as a warning.

On several occasions they forgot and I got pegged by the infamous orange jingle ball.

If he is feeling ignored, Tucker will throw his ball under a piece of furniture or the stove.  Then he will bark until someone retrieves it.  I would say he has us well trained.

One time a visiting young boy accidentally threw the orange jingle ball on the roof.  Tucker was inconsolable.  We lasted about two days before someone had to climb up and get it.

After that we insisted that the orange ball be his inside ball.

Unfortunately the green ball was too difficult to see outside in the yard, so I allowed Tucker to bring his orange ball outside for me to throw as I took care of the chickens. I did accidentally throw the ball into the chicken yard a couple of times.  The chickens thought it was food.

This fall the leaves in our Texas town were particularly pretty.  Not quite as stunning as when we lived in Connecticut but beautiful for here.  It did present a problem – though.  The orange jingle ball was difficult to spot.

orange ball in leaves

We have begun the search for a replacement ball in case this one really disappears.

So far we have had no success.  So we will continue to guard Tucker’s security ball for everyone’s sake.

8 01, 2014

It’s Letter Writing Week

By |2017-01-08T19:26:22-06:00January 8th, 2014|one word Wednesday|0 Comments

That’s right. January 8th through 14th is the official week for letter writing.

My friend Janie Carver clued me with her blog.

Then Edie Melson listed Letter Writing Week in her January holidays blog.

The intent of the week long observation is to

W-R-I-T-E a letter

with a pencil, chalk, marker, crayon or ink pen

not with your fingers on a keyboard or a touch screen.

That means you dig out some of that ancient stationery you’ve been meaning to pitch, grab a writing instrument and put words on the page.

letterwritingNo word-processed message.

No email message.

No text message.

No typewriter. (Do people even use those anymore?)

Not a clever card even if you add a personal message.

I suggest a thank you for a Christmas gift, a hello to an aging friend or relative, a note of gratitude, or reconnecting with someone you haven’t seen in a while.

As a collector of vintage postcards, I find the handwritten notes on the cards dating back to the early 1900s touching.

pcard 1-f

Don’t you wonder who Dear “old girl” is? 

Especially since he signed the card Brian and family.



No doubt these parents were thrilled to receive this postcard from their son Ralph.

Think what a treasure you’ll create when you participate in letter writing week.

I guarantee you’ll put a smile on someone’s face.

Now go write a letter.

6 01, 2014

Bye, bye 2013!

By |2014-01-06T06:00:03-06:00January 6th, 2014|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

2013-20142013 is gone.

2014 is six days old.

A new year signals the time for goals, resolutions, and predictions.

I’m a goal setter. Last year I shared a blog about how I set my yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily SMART goals. You can check out my method specifics here.

This year I’ve read several great blogs with ideas for how to be successful in 2014.

After reading Joe Bunting’s If You Want to Have a Great 2014, Spend an Hour Doing This, I knew the topic for my first blog of 2014.

AARs (After Action Review)  are already a major component of my goal-setting method so following Bunting’s advice works well for me. Click here if you aren’t sure what an AAR is.

So without further ado, here is my 2013 in review (with AARs):

Writing: My second novel, Love in the Morning Calm released in November. For a list of all my books on Amazon, click here.

AAR for novel writing: It’s taking too long to get the stories out there! I need to write faster.

I wrote 143 blog posts, which drew 6,400 views and 96 followers. According to WordPress, my blog visitors came from 113 countries.

AAR for blog writing: Thank you, blog readers for stopping by now and then.

Travel: My husband and I traveled to Ireland with a tour. The idea was to research my book set in Ireland that will coming out this year. Traveling with twenty-six other delightful people does not leave much time for writing research.

AAR on overseas travel tours: Guess we’ll have to plan another trip.

Not exactly travel, but major locales change. We sold our Houston, Texas, home of thirty-three years and moved to our summer home in Colorado.

AAR on our move: Loving it!

Around the house: Life has been crazy since our move with projects! We remodeled our little cabin and added a garage, which is still not complete.

AAR on home improvement projects: Patience, patience, patience.

Life in General: We survived the June 2013wildfire in the Rio Grande National Forest. We are so thankful. So many lost homes and lives in Colorado wildfires last year.

My dear sweet aunt, a shining light in my life, went to heaven to join her husband, her parents, and her sister. Her passing brought home the reality of mortality and established me as the oldest living relative on my maternal side. Now that’s a sobering thought!

AAR on life: Cherish every moment!

Whether you choose to end the old year by setting goals or making resolutions or reviewing your accomplishments, I wish you a 2014 filled with success and happiness.

Thanks for starting your New Year with me.

YOUR TURN: So how was your 2013?

To celebrate 2014, I’m offering a free copy of Love in the Morning copy to one lucky commenter.

1 01, 2014

Happy 2014!

By |2014-01-01T22:03:18-06:00January 1st, 2014|Holidays|3 Comments

This postcard greeting from my vintage card collection was originally sent in 1912 and it’s my wish for you today.

new year 1

Chicken Wrangler Sara and I will start our 2014 blog schedule next week. See you then…


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