Memorial Day 2015

Today is Memorial Day.

I find saying “Happy Memorial Day” hard because I don’t believe Memorial Day is a holiday about going to the beach or having a cookout.

I’m not saying those things are wrong. Not at all. I enjoy a hot dog or a hamburger with family and friends and celebrating what signals the start of summer same as anyone else.

I’m just sayin’, we should also remember why Memorial Day was originally established.

This day is for those gone, but never forgotten.

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Today we should stop to wave the American flag and salute our fallen heroes.

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Mud, mud, lots of mud

A blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

We have had an inordinate amount of rain recently. Considering we have been in a serious drought, I should not complain.

However, with lots of rain comes mud – lots of mud. This is especially the case in the chicken yard.

I am very grateful for my muck shoes, or sloggers as they are called.

sloggers I only wish they were boots. The mud is more like quicksand. I have to work to lift my feet at each step and usually I end up with mud on my calves.

Recently I was sitting on the front row at my piano recital ready to jump up and turn pages or whisper an encouraging word. I looked down at my leg and saw……mud.

My first thought was “At least it matches my brown dress and shoes.”

Yesterday morning I went out to feed the chickens and slipped and fell – in the mud. It was not a good start to the day.I came back in, took another shower, put on clean clothes and bandaged my hand where I scratched it on the metal fence post.

After work I went out to gather eggs and got mud on my pants. I came in and changed – again – before my first piano student arrived.

After dinner I went to close up the coop. I stepped right out of my slogger and into the mud with my bare foot. I came in, cleaned up and went to bed.

I really hope it doesn’t rain again any time soon.

Sharing My Favorite Writing Blog Links

writers-corner-mediumI recently read that Writer’s Digest named Jane Friedman’s blog one of the 101 best websites for writers. That’s quite an honor and well-deserved.

Ms. Friedman always has great advice for writers. I read her blog regularly.

Writer’s Digest magazine has been compiling a list of recommended websites and blogs for writers for seventeen years. That list is where I’ve found many of the writing sites I visit most often for advice about how to improve my craft or the nuances of the publishing business.

Today, as a break from my regular Make Me Think narrative blog, I thought I’d share links to the writing blogs I read frequently. Each is chocked full of good advice.

I’m sure there are other great blogs for writers out there. Do you have a link to a blog for writers you’d care to share?

Or any other blog links you’d like to share where you find great information…doesn’t have to be for writers only.

Preschoolers

A blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

pre-school2I was recently sitting in a meeting with one of my favorite two-year-olds named Phineas.

(He would be one of my favorites even if he didn’t have such a great name.)

His twin sister Ellen is another favorite of mine.

He was entertaining himself by pulling things out of my purse. He pulled out a collapsible brush I have and asked “What’s this?”

brush-2”It’s a brush” I replied and showed him how it worked.

I put it back in my purse and he pulled it out again. “What’s this?”

“It’s a brush.”

We did this for a while and on the 439th time he pulled it out and asked what it was I said “It’s a hippopotamus.”

comb2-2He opened it up and said “It’s a hippopotamus toothbrush.”

And that, my friends, is why I love preschoolers.

Celebrating Leprechauns Day

When we think of Irish holidays, we usually think of March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. But there’s another celebration of Irish culture today…

National Leprechaun Day lep

You know the elfin creatures in green suits and hats that hide in the woods and mastermind practical jokes. Folklore says leprechauns are evil spirits or fallen fairies, who occupy themselves with mending shoes, causing mischief, and making music.

If you’re in Dublin, you can stop by The Leprechaun Museum and learn all about the mischievous little pranksters, who have been equally adored and feared by the Irish for thousands of years.

No one knows for sure how these solitary beings came to have their very own day. My personal theory involves these wee tricksters coming up with the idea themselves. It’s the sort of thing a leprechaun would do.

Whatever the reason, it’s always fun to speculate about catching a leprechaun. You can find tips here.

Should you be successful, the captured leprechaun must give you his pot of gold.

You have to very careful, though, leprechauns don’t easily part with their gold. They’ve been known to offer three wishes if you won’t take their pot of gold. Best to have your own three wishes in mind now so you won’t be tricked.

If you’re looking for ideas to celebrate Leprechaun day today, check this FB link:

National Leprechaun Day | Facebook

Or you could

  • organize Leprechaun hunts using plastic figurines
  • watch my all-time favorite Leprechaun movie: Darby O’Gill and The Little People
  • play practical jokes on friends and family
  • munch on those chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil
  • have a bowl of Lucky Charms for breakfast

Whatever you do, have a Happy Leprechaun Day!

Mother’s Day 2015

mother's dayYesterday was Mother’s Day. The day set aside to honor mothers and motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society.

For many women it was a happy day, spent surrounded by children and grandchildren.

For others, the day was probably not so fun. Not everyone is a mother. To those, I remind you of this quote by Oprah Winfrey

Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.

But, we all had a mother so we do have someone to celebrate on Mother’s Day.

Where did the idea to honor motherhood come from?

Its roots lie in the British Mothering Day, which disappeared when the English settlers came to America.

Then in 1870 Julia Ward Howe , author of The Battle Hymn of the Republic, conceptualized the idea of Mother’s Day in her Proclamation of 1870. Read the poem here.

In 1872, Howe asked for of a “Mother’s Day for Peace” celebration on June 2 of every year. Only a few states bought into Howe’s idea and eventually the movement died.

However, a West Virginia women’s group headed by Anna Reeves Jarvis adapted Howe’s holiday to be a day set aside to re-unite families and neighbors divided by the Civil War.

That Mother’s Friendship Day evolved into the Mothers’ Day we know and celebrated yesterday.

If you weren’t able to be with your mother, did you take up Groupon’s offer of a perfect child stand-in? For a mere $25,000, Groupon would send an actor to spend the day with your mom. It’s not a joke. Here’s the link.

If you forgot to acknowledge Mom yesterday, you can do it today. She’ll be thrilled to hear from you no matter what day it is.

Or you might check out Groupon. They may have another deal for honoring your Mother on the day after Mother’s Day.

STORY IDEAS

Coming up with story ideas is not usually a problem for me. Like the writer in this cartoon by Debbie Ridpath Ohi, I find ideas everywhere.

OHI0026-AlphabetSoup-v2-600“Used with permission from Debbie Ridpath Ohi at Inkygirl.com.”

Transferring all those ideas into novels is usually my bigger problem, but that’s a topic for a different blog.

What about you? Do you have to hunt in the bottom of a soup bowl for story ideas?