Friday on the Miller Farm

27 01, 2023

Safe chickens

By |2023-01-26T06:11:17-06:00January 27th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


judythe morganWe are down to two dachshunds now. We have Coco, who is a grumpy old lady and Max who is a handsome young man.  Max loves to help me check the chickens.  He runs at the fence barking fiercely.

However, some of the hens have started venturing over the fence.  Max is not quite sure what to do.

His aunt Bella would have caught those chickens in a heartbeat. In fact, we regularly played “catch the dachshund before it catches the chickens.”

While I miss Bella, I do not miss the extra workout I would get.  I need all my energy for Grandma duty!

20 01, 2023

Chicken Socks

By |2023-01-20T11:57:01-06:00January 20th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


My black socks were dirty when I went to find them last week so I pulled out my chicken socks.  They are black – with chicken legs and feet on the front.  I was wearing pants so I figured no one would notice.

The problem is my shoes have an opening on the top of the foot just big enough to show the chicken feet.

judythe morganThe younger kids sit on the floor right at my feet so in every class at least one student noticed my socks.  In fact, one girl told me her grandmother has the same socks.  I am glad I am not the only goofy grandma.

The older kids sit in chairs and so they did not see the socks.  Or if they did, they didn’t say anything.

The next day the students wanted to know if I was wearing my chicken socks again.  I explained they needed to be washed.

Perhaps I need to get another pair.

13 01, 2023

Counting Fire Hydrants

By |2023-01-11T15:52:21-06:00January 13th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


Our daughter brought the boys to see us the week before Christmas while her husband was at work.  She wanted to introduce Theo to his great-grandfather, Theodore who lives about two hours away.  I went with her to be an extra pair of hands.  I mostly entertained Alex while Catherine and Theo stayed and visited with Opa.

Alex loves to be outside and the arctic air had not blown into town yet so we walked around the block.  Actually, we ran – Alex doesn’t walk very often.

I must confess, normally when I walk, I focus on where I’m going and don’t pay much attention to what is around me.  With Alex, however, we examined the many different Christmas lights and decorations we passed. He gave a running commentary – “Christmas lights, reindeer, Christmas tree, Santa”

The decorations that were not inflated were “sleeping.”  They wake up at night. I tried to teach Alex the world ‘nocturnal” but he didn’t quite get it.

We also counted fire hydrants –  there are seven fire hydrants around Opa’s block.  Alex touched everyone.

For small children, every day is a new adventure.  So, the next morning, we walked/ran around the block again.  There were still seven fire hydrants.

It is such a joy to be reminded of the wonder in the world as seen through the eyes of a child.

16 12, 2022

Caroling Report

By |2022-12-15T20:48:52-06:00December 16th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


The day we planned to go caroling was predicted to be a stormy day.  This is Texas – no one can accurately predict the weather.  It did storm for about 30 minutes in the middle of the afternoon but by the time we gathered to start walking the neighborhood, the skies were clear.

We divided into two groups and began caroling.  My group finished our houses first and went to join the other group thinking they were almost to the end of their route as well.

They were not.  In fact, they were less than halfway through their list of houses.  We combined groups and continued caroling.

After an hour, most of the group was ready to return.  We had told the students we would be gone for about an hour.  When I mentioned this to Mr. Kipp, who was leading the second group, he said “but there are still more people expecting us.”

I explained that we had only allotted an hour and his response was “You knew how many houses there were.”  And he was right.  I had misjudged the amount of time it would take.

Those who were ready to be finished went back to the school with another teacher.  I kept going with Mr. Kipp and those who were willing to continue.  I must confess, I was ready to be done, too.  As we kept walking we were greeted with smiles and “thank yous”.  Some people even joined in singing with us.

We finished and went back to the school for hot chocolate.  As I reflected on the experience, I wondered how many of those people would have sung “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” if there weren’t a group of schoolchildren in their front yard singing.

I believe we brightened the Holidays for those people. Well done, students, well done!

9 12, 2022

The Joy of Christmas

By |2022-12-08T08:03:16-06:00December 9th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


Christmas is a busy time for everyone but I honestly believe music teachers are particularly busy.  Music is an integral part of the season so concerts and programs start the day after Thanksgiving.

The newly formed choir at the school where I teach sang Christmas carols at a retirement home this week.  This was their first performance and the students did an outstanding job.  It was good practice for next week when they will be leading out in caroling in the school neighborhood.

One of the older gentlemen in the neighborhood frequently substitutes for teachers at our school.  He volunteered last year to arrange for us to carol at specific houses, guaranteeing a good response.  It went so well that this year we are dividing into two groups and going to twice as many houses.  Mr. Kipp was excited to be able to help again.

On the day of the choir’s field trip, he came to the school to show me which houses would welcome carolers.  I was pretty tired and had no desire to think about the next performance.  I could tell he was determined so I walked the neighborhood with him while he told me about the houses.

At one house he told me there was an older lady who lived alone so we needed to sing extra songs for her.  Another house had declined the offer and another was vacant. He called out to a man in his yard to remind him we would be back next week to sing.  In the end, we had mapped out what would be a successful evening of caroling.

As I thought about it the next morning, I remembered Mr. Kipp’s wife died this past year.  He lives alone in his house and really loves being involved at the school.  This was not just another Christmas performance for him.  It was an opportunity to talk to his neighbors and bring them the joy of children singing.

I was reminded that one of the privileges of being a music teacher is spreading the joy of Christmas. Now to remember that during the next two weeks of performances.

2 12, 2022

Legacy

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.

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?

4 11, 2022

New Challenges

By |2022-11-01T19:41:29-05:00November 4th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|2 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


Life has presented many challenges over the past few years, the most notable being the COVID-19 pandemic.  Teachers had to rethink everything they did to protect themselves and their students from an unseen virus.

The current challenge also deals with protection, this time from threats of violence.

Schools across the state are being required to implement new security procedures including various drills to prepare for different dangers.  In my school, we have had all the doors fitted with crash bars allowing them to be opened from the inside while remaining locked on the outside.  This required that all the locks be replaced.

Since all doors are now required to be locked at all times, teachers are carrying multiple keys.  While I understand the rationale behind these measures, it makes getting around the campus a little more difficult.

I now carry five keys: one for the sanctuary where I teach, one for the teacher’s workroom, the office, the cafeteria, and the room where I hold choir rehearsal.

I also have an Allen wrench to keep the door unlocked during morning assembly so students can enter after eating breakfast.

It is a little complicated and somewhat overwhelming.

Once we are safely in our room, though, we can sing, move, listen and play to our heart’s content, forgetting, if just for a moment, that the world is becoming increasingly scary.

28 10, 2022

Crayons

By |2022-10-28T08:10:27-05:00October 28th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


Every year at Halloween I think about the costumes I made when we lived in Mexico.

Catherine was 5, Rachel was 3 and Matthew was almost 2. In a moment of creativity, I made crayon costumes and I was the box.

Now the crayons have left the box.

While it is sometimes sad, it is also fun to watch their colors grow brighter as they find their way into adulthood.

21 10, 2022

Guard Chickens

By |2022-10-16T13:28:40-05:00October 21st, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


We recently put a lock on our gate into the backyard after we found it open. Fortunately, Max had not gotten far and he knows he has a good deal here so he came right back.

No one knows who opened the gate but no one can open it again without a key.

This is slightly inconvenient for the city workers who need to access our backyard for various reasons. There is a power pole that needs to be replaced and it has required multiple visits from multiple entities including the gas company and the power company.

One of the men who came to the door asked if it was safe to go into the backyard. I assured him we would keep the dogs inside. He explained he was not concerned about the dogs. I figured he was asking about the bees which were also not a threat.

It turns out he was most worried about the chickens. I almost laughed and then I realized we did have this sign in the window:

I promised him the chickens would not bother him. It’s good to know our sign is effective – at least as far as the gasman was concerned.

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