2 12, 2022


By |2022-12-01T19:10:36-06:00December 2nd, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

I have a tendency not to take things very seriously – including myself.  Perhaps it started in my first music education class when the teacher told us to leave our inhibitions at the door.  During that semester we danced, played, sang, and played instruments as if we were school children.

At that moment I knew I had chosen the right career.

I realized as we spent time with our children last week, that I just might have passed on some of those goofy traits.  I went shopping with Rachel and we ended up with Thanksgiving headbands.  She is, after all, a kindergarten teacher!

Catherine is a mother of two, a private oboe teacher, and a professional musician.  We took family pictures at Thanksgiving.  My favorite part of the picture is this:

I am wearing pumpkin pie socks and she is wearing Christmas socks.

I suppose I could leave a more serious legacy…. Nah.  This is much more fun.

Matt and Brian do not always join in the goofiness.  Someone has to keep order.  I’m just glad it isn’t me.

28 11, 2022

Is It Time to Pitch Your Turkey Leftovers?

By |2022-11-27T16:58:25-06:00November 28th, 2022|Holidays, Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

If you live in the U.S., you probably sat down at a Thanksgiving table loaded with enough food to feed a third-world country for a week.

We sure did. And we had leftovers.

For me, leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving. I love the smell of the stripped carcass simmering with onions and celery in our traditional turkey brown rice soup on Black Friday.

With only two of us now, cooking the whole turkey carcass into soup is too much. This year’s bare Tom Turkey bones went with a granddaughter and her growing family. Instead, we took enough slices of turkey for sliders on Black Friday.

I’m guessing many are still moving leftover turkey or dressing or sweet potatoes around in your refrigerators to eat next week…but is that safe?

It depends upon how long the leftovers sat before being stored. Did you refrigerate perishable foods quickly after your meal?

If not, it may be time to pitch the leftovers or risk foodborne illness – isn’t that a lovely way to say food poisoning?

Bacteria don’t typically change the taste, smell, or look, you can’t tell until the nasty germs attack your digestive tract. Happily, most cases of food poisoning can be prevented with proper food handling.

According to this Forbes article, you should follow these six guidelines for leftover food storage,

  1. Store leftovers within two hours of serving.
  2. Use clean airtight containers or wrapping
  3. Remember the three-to-four-day limit for refrigeration of leftovers.
  4. Froze the leftovers? Remember the three-to-four-month limit for freezers.
  5. Check refrigerator temperature is 40° Fahrenheit or lower.
  6. Heat leftovers to at least 165° Fahrenheit before eating.

My advice, check any leftovers, Thanksgiving or otherwise before you eat them. Better safe than sorry.

21 11, 2022

Thanksgiving Blessings

By |2022-11-15T15:57:16-06:00November 21st, 2022|Holidays|0 Comments

The American holiday is not celebrated in Ireland. Likely as not, my Irish forefathers never heard of an attitude of gratitude. All the same so many Irish blessings and quotations show a deep awareness of the importance of showing appreciation for our blessings.This is one of my favorites:

“Hem your blessings with thankfulness,

So they don’t unravel.”

Chicken Wrangler Sara and I will be gathering with our family this week to count our blessings. See you next week.

18 11, 2022

Duck Ears

By |2022-11-14T10:31:11-06:00November 18th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Roosters have the reputation of being the noisiest birds on the farm. However, the ducks on Miller farm are really loud. A friend told me it sounds like they are laughing. I try to remember that when they annoy me.

The amazing thing is they seem to know when I open the back door and they start “laughing.” This gets the chickens started causing quite a cacophony at 6:00 in the morning.

I was wondering aloud if ducks have ears when Beekeeper Brian informed me that ducks actually have good hearing. This explains the effectiveness of duck calls in the hands of hunters. It makes perfect sense.

So then, I wondered what a duck ear looks like. I had to look at pictures because the ducks were not cooperating when I tried to examine their heads.

  I saw nothing resembling ears.

So I did what any tech-savvy person would do and googled “do ducks have ears?”  Up popped the article “Understanding Waterfowl:  The five senses.”

According to this article “Waterfowl ears lack external appendages and are located slightly behind and below the eyes. The ear openings are covered with soft feathers, called auriculars, which offer protection and help muffle the sound of the wind when the birds are in flight.”

Very interesting! Now that I have learned something new today, can I go back to bed?

14 11, 2022

Gratitude begins with Thankfulness

By |2022-11-14T07:25:56-06:00November 14th, 2022|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

Blogging about thankfulness and gratitude in November is cliché.

On the other hand, there’s no better time than the month when our nation pauses for a whole day to give thanks.

Ralph Waldo Emerson suggested we should “cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.”

Here are two ideas that can help focus an attitude of thankfulness.

Use social media

Author friend Daphne Dyer is doing 30 Days of Gratitude posts this month. She suggests daily topics and gives her answers. Check out her posts on Facebook for daily gratitude inspiration.

Another friend Shelia Athens uses every Thursday to share gratitude posts all year.

Keep a gratitude list.

It can be hard to think of something to be thankful for, especially when those terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad days gang up. Research shows over time the act of physically writing out a daily list can produce a grateful attitude.

Writing’s not for you? Try grateful beads to help recall things to be thankful for.

I use a string of ten beads. Three beads remind me to be grateful for three people who touch my life. Six beads for six things, events, and occurrences, and the final bead reminds me to give thanks to our creator.

There are many options on Etsy  Pinterest also has lots of ideas.

I discovered an M&M thankful game. Pick a color, name something I’m thankful for, and eat the M&M. Now that’s a game I can get into. Bring on the M&Ms.

Being grateful is a choice. Wouldn’t it be lovely to seek out things to be thankful for daily rather than only one day or one month per year?

11 11, 2022


By |2022-11-03T18:25:36-05:00November 11th, 2022|Uncategorized|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

I am not sure there is a rougher week for teachers than the week of Halloween. And if Halloween is on a Monday, as it was this year, the week stretches into almost two weeks.

Our Fall Festival was on Friday then they had a Haunted House at the school on Monday evening. We are still feeling the effects two days later.

In times like these, I find myself doing more correcting than cheering.

As I greeted students this morning, I noticed one of my “happy notes” in the outside pocket of a backpack.  These are just small pieces of paper with a positive message that I hand out to kids who have done a good job in music. It made me smile. I forget how much it means to students to be recognized.

In a culture that gives trophies for everything, sometimes just a small note can make a huge difference.

I am determined to look for students doing a good job from now on. It is an important reminder as we head into more weeks of craziness between now and Christmas.

9 11, 2022

Veterans Day Gratitude

By |2022-11-06T09:54:13-06:00November 9th, 2022|Holidays, Wednesday Words|0 Comments

Veterans Day is the day set aside to honor all those who have served our country in war or peace — dead or alive — although it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.

Pause a moment this Veterans Day to say “thank you” to a friend, relative, or co-worker who is a U.S. military veteran or actively serving.

Spectators and veterans hold up “Thank You” signs during the 2012 Fayetteville Veterans Day parade, Nov. 10, 2012 in Fayetteville, N.C.

7 11, 2022

My love of Robots

By |2022-11-06T14:03:42-06:00November 7th, 2022|Writer's Life|1 Comment

Machines that do repetitious jobs using AI are manpower savers. Industry has employed robots for years.

As a longtime Star Wars fan, robots and droids fascinate me. I love watching these guys.

Back in my elementary school teaching days, I taught a robotics unit where we designed robots with Legos and wrote essays about the robot’s use. No automation, but each design had to have a purpose.

The kids loved the designing part…hated the writing part.

Legos advanced to motorized remote control robot kits and robotic competitions. Two of my grandchildren competed in several and won several

Robots are marvelous things for industry and movies. Now we have robots designed for repetitious household tasks.

I never realized how much of a good thing a household robotic vacuum would be until C-3P0 came to live at our house. I was always skeptical that a machine could vacuum as well as a human. Then our OES Finn was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that causes him to lose his hair.

Sick and tired of having to vacuum every day, we took the plunge and bought a robotic vacuum. Named after the Stars Wars robot, C-3PO is a marvel.

Using a phone app to control where he goes, we watch C-3PO buzz along sweeping the floors over rugs and door thresholds.

So does Finn.

When C-3PC’s finished, he gives a beep-beep like a roadrunner and heads to his station to recharge.

From teaching kids about robots to owning one—life’s amazing!

What next?


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