Friday on the Miller Farm

23 09, 2022

Plugging the Hole

By |2022-09-22T20:59:10-05:00September 23rd, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


We had some pretty windy days in August. We also have some mostly dead trees in the backyard. This combination has led to falling branches, some landing in the “duck pond”.

It didn’t seem to bother the ducks except it made it a little crowded so I faithfully removed the branches.

When I cleaned out the pond/pool I discovered one of the smaller branches had pierced through the bottom of the pool.

It was tightly wedged in the hole, keeping the water from leaking out.

It made me think of the story of Hans Brinker, the Dutch boy who plugged the hole in the dike with his finger. He stayed until someone came to fix the hole and was hailed as a hero who saved the town from flooding.

Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone will come to fix the hole in our duck pond. And, although the weather is still good for swimming, the stores have replaced swimming pools with Halloween decorations.

I guess the stick will continue to plug the hole. Meanwhile, I’ll watch the curb for discarded swimming pools with no holes.

16 09, 2022

Memories

By |2022-09-15T17:29:31-05:00September 16th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


I’m pretty convinced that Cooper is part kangaroo. That dog could jump several feet straight up in the air.

While it was entertaining to watch, the neighbors were slightly concerned about him jumping over the fence. To quell their fears, Rachel attached several feet of chicken wire to the top of the fence in the corner next to the neighbor’s backyard.

Although Cooper has been gone for more than a month, the extra wire is still there. I noticed this week that the morning glories have started climbing the wire.

 It reminds me of the time with Cooper. It also reminds me how persistent morning glories are.

Both memories make me smile.

9 09, 2022

New Order

By |2022-09-08T18:32:16-05:00September 9th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


Now that Cooper and Penelope have been gone for a month, Max and Coco have settled into a new routine.  Coco has returned to her slightly obnoxious, bossy self without Cooper around.

I suspect she considers herself the “dog in charge”.  This suspicion was confirmed by a recent interaction involving Coco’s bed.

Max was laying in it, resting peacefully – until Coco wanted it.

Although Coco is much smaller, neither she nor Max seem to realize that.  She didn’t even bark at him.  She just stood there until he moved.

Soon the new order was established.

Before you begin to feel too sorry for Max, he does have his own bed.  Coco’s was just closer.  I feel like we have small children once again.

2 09, 2022

Egg Hunt

By |2022-09-01T19:30:12-05:00September 2nd, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


It has been quite a while since I have been challenged by a game of Egg Hunt.

In fact, I didn’t even know the chickens were still playing until Beekeeper Brian found eggs in the brush pile at the back of the chicken yard.

I wasn’t quite sure how the chickens managed to lay the eggs there. Then I caught a chicken in the brush pile.

Perhaps she was expanding the Egg Hunt game to Hide and Seek. If that is the case – she is the champion!

Of course, now that I know her hiding place, I can also find her eggs.

26 08, 2022

A Good Year

By |2022-08-26T08:50:55-05:00August 26th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


I have to follow up on last week’s post about being encouraged by the amaryllis.  Here’s the picture from the blog:

This week we have had rain which has been wonderful.  It waited until after all music and PE classes finished each day which allowed the students to be outside.  Even more wonderful!

Today, 10 days after the first amaryllis picture, I took these:

The first plant has more flowers and two more amaryllis plants have bloomed!

I’m going to take that as a sign that this will be a good year.

Perhaps even a very good year!

19 08, 2022

Inspiration

By |2022-08-19T12:00:54-05:00August 19th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|2 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


Teachers went back to school last week to get ready for a new year. I teach at a small charter school that is not immune to the many challenges facing education right now.

Finding teachers was hard last year and even harder this year. This resulted in some hard decisions for our school. People were not happy.

Then we received our rating from the state based on our test scores last year. Not surprisingly, they were the lowest they had been in many years. More people were not happy.

I was pretty discouraged as I pulled into the driveway on Friday afternoon.

Then I saw our amaryllis.

We have been in a record-breaking drought this summer causing many plants to give up and die. Part of this amaryllis did just that.

Then there is the bunch of flowers that bloomed despite all the challenges. They seemed blissfully unaware of the brown all around them and showed their colors proudly.

I was inspired.

If a nonscientient plant can produce color amidst all the brown around it, I certainly can proudly display my courage to face a new year. Even if those around me seem overcome by the drought, I can continue to bloom.

Maybe others will be inspired, too.

5 08, 2022

Memories

By |2022-08-05T08:31:47-05:00August 5th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


I spent the first part of this week with our grandsons. Our daughter was asked to teach a couple of hours each day so I went to help with the boys.

Monday both Alex (age 2) and Theo (age 2 months) were with me. I was not worried. After all, Catherine and Rachel are 21 months apart so I was confident it would be fine.

What I did not factor in was the length of time it has been since the girls were 2 and 2 months. The memories came back very quickly.

We had a tornado in the living room.

I didn’t remember the key phrase “put one thing back before you get out something else” until it was too late

Holding Theo while playing with Alex was a little more of a challenge than I anticipated.

We moved into Alex’s bedroom, and I opened his closet door for him – tornado number two! I forgot how quickly a two-year-old can make a mess.

We all survived the morning and Tuesday Alex went to school so it was just me and Theo.

I forgot how relaxing it is to snuggle a sleeping baby!

I was hoping to get a picture of me with the boys. What I got was a snapshot of real grandma’s life.

What I remember most from these days is why we have children when we are young!

29 07, 2022

The End of the Corn

By |2022-07-27T12:46:15-05:00July 29th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


I’m not sure when corn harvest is normally over but this year, it is finished. The excessive heat and lack of rain have put an end to the growth of all varieties of corn. The sweet corn was the first to die off and Brian harvested the last of the dent corn and popcorn a couple of weeks ago.

This left the brown stalks standing in the garden. To make use of them, Brian arranged to borrow a chipper from a friend and turn the stalks into mulch for the newly planted black-eyed peas.

Because of my history around sharp objects, my job was to pull the stalks up and pile them by the chipper safely away from the blades. It was hot and dirty but very satisfying.

Our friend fed the stalks into the chipper while Brian spread the mulch. The goal is to hold in precious moisture and keep out annoying weeds.

Most of the kernels of dent corn have been removed and are drying so they can be ground into cornmeal leaving only the empty corn cobs.

Brian recently found a recipe for corn cob jelly.

I think I will pass and just toss the cobs into the compost heap. That sounds like a better use for the end of the corn.

22 07, 2022

Popcorn

By |2022-07-20T19:55:19-05:00July 22nd, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


This was our first year to plant a plot in the community garden.  It was not a good year.  The extremely hot and dry weather prevented many things from growing.

The popcorn, however, was a success. We planted two different varieties which both came up.

We harvested the ears and set them out to dry.  I tried putting them outside to use the natural heat but the squirrels found them.  So, I put them in the oven to keep them from taking so much valuable counter space.

I put a sign on the oven that said “Corn.”  It was not a clearly communicated message and while I was out of town, the oven was used to make pizza and the corn got “preheated.”

It didn’t seem to hurt the ears and, after a few weeks, we were able to remove the kernels.

The next step was to actually pop the corn which we did use a microwave popper for speed and ease of clean up.

It was wonderful!

We also grew dent corn which is meant to be ground into cornmeal.  That is our next project.  Brian ordered a corn sheller to help remove the kernels.  The whole process seems a little labor intensive but I am excited to see how it turns out!  Perhaps I was born in the wrong century…

15 07, 2022

More Lessons from Jigsaw Puzzles

By |2022-07-12T10:54:19-05:00July 15th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


One way I “water” my soul in the summer is by working jigsaw puzzles. We used to spend a couple of weeks in Colorado each summer and I would do a puzzle a day.

I miss those days – especially the cooler weather.

I even blogged about the lessons I learned while doing jigsaw puzzles.

  1. Consider results carefully before making a decision.
  2. Sometimes the only way to know if something works is to try it.
  3. Keep trying until you find what works.
  4. When things aren’t going right, it may mean backing up to see where things went wrong to begin with. Then make it right and move ahead.

A piano student recently gave me a couple of jigsaw puzzles, and I dedicated an entire weekend to complete one of them. It was a chicken puzzle of 1000 pieces and was quite a challenge as I am out of practice.

As I was working, I thought of some different things to learn about life from jigsaw puzzles.

  • Sometimes you have to focus on one section at a time. The whole picture is overwhelming but each chicken is more doable. So is one day at a time.
  • It helps to walk away and come back with a fresh perspective. (That works a lot better than dumping the whole thing over in frustration.)
  • Life doesn’t have to be perfect. If you look closely, you will see that there are two pieces missing. At one point I would have considered the puzzle worthless and thrown it away. Now I can look at the whole picture and see the beautiful chickens without getting hijacked by the missing pieces.

Perhaps these insights come from two years of earth-shattering events. What might be considered catastrophes have taught me some valuable lessons. It just took sitting still at a jigsaw puzzle to see them.

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