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14 06, 2024

Final Project

By |2024-06-10T10:28:48-05:00June 14th, 2024|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


I have been blessed to teach both private piano students and classroom music for the last 16 years. I’ve known that I could not keep both jobs forever. The schedule is too demanding. Every year I ask God what I should do.

This year, He made it clear to me that it is time for me to leave the classroom and focus on my family and my private students. It was a difficult year but there are always challenges in teaching. This year, however, the challenges began to overtake the joys. It is time to step away.

My principal asked me to reconsider and talk to him again at the end of June. I agreed although I do not anticipate changing plans. I did not say anything to the students. Perhaps that was cowardly, but I prefer to think of it as self-protection.

I am the only music teacher they have had for 6 years so saying goodbye would have been difficult.

I had an idea back in April for a project to celebrate Earth Day. The students were planting flowers in the flower beds along the sidewalk. I suggested we all paint rocks to put along the edge – like a caterpillar. It didn’t happen during April, and I was determined to get it done. I thought it would make a great memory for years to come.

So, on my last day of teaching music, I painted rocks with all 133 of my students. They each chose whether to paint the rock blue or yellow. When they dried, the students could write or draw on them with permanent markers. Then on their way to dismissal, they could put their rocks in the flower bed.

It turned out nice.

I had enough rocks for the teachers to paint one. When we left on the last day, I was the only one who added to the rock caterpillar.

 

It was important to me to leave a lasting memory as my final project.

10 06, 2024

Distractions and Writers’ Success

By |2024-06-05T08:54:22-05:00June 10th, 2024|Uncategorized|0 Comments

As summer begins, distractions abound for writers. Excuses/distractions will keep too many writers from their work.

Self-discipline will give way to sunny days sitting poolside or reading under the shade of an oak tree.

Other things will always distract too. Family. Work. Social Media. Travel. The list goes on.

It is hard to stay focused without self-discipline.

Zimmerman & Kitsantas (2014) defined self-discipline as conscious control oriented towards successful outcomes by overcoming obstacles or impediments.

Self-discipline includes planning, self-monitoring, and sustained effort.

Not me, Not my dog, but you get the idea.

Lately, I confess I’ve been less than self-disciplined about my writing.

For very, very legitimate reasons, of course. Aren’t excuses always legitimate in our minds?

What’s slipping is my self-discipline.

I haven’t spent enough time at my computer with my work in process. A manuscript normally takes me around four months to complete. I’ve been working on this one since before Christmas and the first draft is not finished yet!

I’ve let other things keep me from my butt in a chair, fingers on the keyboard routine. I’m determined to refocus and get back on track with my word count.

Have a problem with your self-discipline like me? Want to get back on track too?

Check out the terrific tips in these blogs:

Kristen Lamb:  Traits of the Successful Author: Self Discipline.

K.M. Weiland          How to Get Some Writing Done: Discipline vs. Enthusiasm

Writing discipline: 7 strategies to keep writing your novel

Let’s go!

7 06, 2024

Send Help!

By |2024-06-06T07:54:47-05:00June 7th, 2024|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


I am staying with our grandsons while their parents go on a mini vacation this week. We were at the playground by 9:00 the first morning.

After the customary time on the swings, Theo announced, “I’m going to play in the cage” and ran to the dome-shaped monkey bars. He easily climbed through and then called to me “Come in, Grandma.”

We were the only ones in the park, and I was fairly certain no one was watching from their window so I very ungracefully climbed through the bars – without landing on the ground, I might add.

As soon as I maneuvered into the center where I could stand up, I turned around. Theo had climbed out to get Alex.

I have been bamboozled by a two-year-old. Send help!

3 06, 2024

June Weddings and Wedding Dresses

By |2024-05-25T13:20:08-05:00June 3rd, 2024|A Writer's Life, Make Me Think Monday|2 Comments

June is the most popular month for weddings. 

But why?

According to Bridetide, there are several reasons:

Weather

Temperatures are moderate in June, not too warm and rarely too cold, making outdoor weddings a choice.

Flowers

June offers a wider (and cheaper) choice of colorful flowers to help lower the cost of a wedding.

Favor from Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage.

Romans planned weddings in June believing their marriage would be showered with luck and good wishes from the gods above. The tradition continued.

Historical reasons include:

Harvest

Wedding dates in the past were chosen based on peak harvest times. If you married in June, a summer pregnancy would still be early enough in the season that a wife could help with manual work during that year’s harvest period. A spring birth meant the recovered bride would be able to help in the next year’s harvest.

Bathing

At one time in our culture, regular bathing was a once-a-year event usually during the last part of May or the beginning of June. A June wedding meant the couple would have had their “annual bath” and were the most presentable (less stinky).

Back in 1938, my parents scheduled a June wedding most likely because of the weather. We live in Texas and it’s not yet unbearably hot. Her mother made her wedding dress of imported Alençon lace.

It’s a wedding dress with a unique story to tell.

Twenty-five years after my mother and father’s June wedding, I wore the same dress.

We chose our non-June wedding date for practical reasons. Back then, the Memorial Day holiday was celebrated on May 30 and that year it was a Thursday, the day we married. We honeymooned nearby over the weekend and returned on Monday to classes and jobs.

Twenty-four years later, our daughter aka Chicken Wrangler Sara wore the dress at her wedding. Sara chose the second most popular month for weddings – August.

Three times a firstborn daughter has worn the beautiful hand-stitched dress. Each time with only minor alterations.

My mother was only four feet eleven inches tall, so my grandmother let the hem out for me to wear, then I added lace to the hem for my daughter, who was a couple of inches taller than I am.

Between weddings, the dress stays tucked safely in a cedar chest which was originally my mother’s hope chest.

31 05, 2024

Volunteer Pumpkin Patch

By |2024-05-28T14:20:13-05:00May 31st, 2024|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


There is a vine growing just outside the chicken yard. It has pretty yellow flowers that look like squash blossoms.

Bill was at the house this week and asked about the plant. When I couldn’t identify it, he looked it up. It turns out that it is a pumpkin plant.

I was very excited until he told me there must be a male and female plant to produce fruit.

Then I discovered another vine closer to the front gate

Maybe this one is the mate of the other one.

Perhaps we can have our own pumpkin patch by Fall!

24 05, 2024

Memorial Day Weekend

By |2024-05-23T09:13:24-05:00May 24th, 2024|A Writer's Life, Holidays|2 Comments

Hearing “Happy Memorial Day” greetings is hard for me. I understand we equate the weekend as the beginning of summer and that is a happy thing.

BUT Memorial Day is not about going to the beach or having a cookout.

Those things aren’t 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 saying that we should also remember why Memorial Day was originally set up.

Memorial Day is for all those soldiers who are gone but never forgotten.

If you are a military family, it’s a day filled with hard memories, not a carefree day. Even if you have no military connection, most likely you’ve lost friends who served. Memorial Day is a day to remember them.

The whole month of May is designated Military Appreciation Month which makes confusion understandable.

Armed Forces Day (May 18) and Veterans Day (November 11) give Americans a way to thank current service members. Thank you for your service, greetings are welcome.

Memorial Day honors those who have paid the ultimate price in service to our nation. If you know a Gold Star family, perhaps a Sorry for your loss is more appropriate than Happy Memorial Day.

This chart explains.

Sometime during this Memorial Day weekend why not stop for a minute to remember our fallen heroes?

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