10 09, 2021

New Acquisition

By |2021-09-04T05:37:31-05:00September 10th, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|2 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


A friend of mine regularly posts pictures of things she is giving away.  I am quite impressed with her dedication to decluttering.

One week she posted a picture of nesting dolls with instruments.  I could not resist.  I messaged her to say that I “needed” them and arranged for porch pick up.

Once I had them in my car, I immediately started taking them apart.  I was amazed at the number of different dolls there were.

I was showing them to a piano student who is particularly fond of arranging things – especially the things on top of my piano.  I would think it is a distraction technique, but he is making good progress so when he asked to put all the individual dolls on the piano, I allowed it.

I am very happy with my latest acquisition.  It makes me smile!

27 08, 2021

Why teach music?

By |2021-08-24T10:16:45-05:00August 27th, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

Chicken Wrangler Sara is on a brief hiatus from Friday blogging. She’s waving, but I’m posting for her. =)

As a former teacher I know, the first six weeks of school are so busy and so chaotic.  New schedules, new students, and often new curriculum to figure out. Hardly time to breathe.

Miller farm is also busy (as always) then there’s her piano teaching to organize for the new year and that new grandbaby to love on.

Lots to juggle. She’s sharing a poster that helps us understand why she teaches music. It also explains why we wouldn’t want her to stop.

13 08, 2021

Good Start

By |2021-08-11T06:13:35-05:00August 13th, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara.


Teachers went back to work this week. We always have training before the students start. Most teachers resent having to spend their valuable time sitting through training when they would rather be setting up their classrooms.

As a music teacher, the trainings are often irrelevant, and I struggle to find a use for the information. This year the first day was a 6-hour workshop on classroom management – an area I can always improve. I was more excited than usual to start back to work.

Before the training, we were each handed a big tote bag full of stuff. I glanced through it and settled in at the computer for the training.

Partway through the morning, we were instructed to take out a small lunch bag from the larger tote. Within that lunch bag was a harmonica!

I was thrilled!

This particular classroom management strategy uses a harmonica to get students’ attention. The presenter gave all the scientific reasons behind the strategy, but I didn’t pay attention.

I was too distracted by the fact that every teacher was now going to have a harmonica. I was also busy playing the beginning of Piano Man – a song I have been working on with one of my piano students.

This is a very good start to 2021-22!

6 08, 2021

Animal Phases

By |2021-08-04T17:25:36-05:00August 6th, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


When I was growing up, we had cats. There was Snowball who gave birth to Cinnamon who gave birth to Otnot. Otnot is Tonto spelled backward. She was also named because we “ought not” to have kept her.

I remember one of the cats having her kittens in the vacant lot next door. Then there were several nights of feeding kittens with an eyedropper so they would not succumb to distemper.

When I was in high school, my family moved to Texas, and we became exclusively dog people.

Fast forward many years to a new generation and my husband and I have had a veritable zoo at our house. We started with one dog as promised to our three children. That became two dogs when a puppy needed a home.

Then Rachel’s teacher gave her a guinea pig. That became a herd of guinea pigs that numbered close to thirty.

We then adopted my niece’s leopard gecko which quickly became a breeding colony complete with an incubator in the closet. During the reptile period, we also had a bearded dragon and several snakes. This required a steady supply of mice.

Somewhere in there, we started collecting dachshunds with six being the maximum.

After selling the leopard gecko setup, we began our current chicken phase which has included turkeys and ducks.

The next generation – our daughter and son-in-law, have two cats. When I stayed with them last week, Minnie adopted me.

She sat on my lap while I was working.

Then she climbed into the box I brought.

She might have thought I would bring her home.

However, the “cat phase” of my family ended many years ago. We’ve moved on to chickens, ducks, and dogs.

I don’t think a cat would fit.

30 07, 2021

Through the Magic Gate

By |2021-07-29T09:36:57-05:00July 30th, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


The morning glories are doing really well this year. In fact, they are once again taking over everything in their path.

I suppose I could try to contain them to the side fence, but I am inspired by their tenacity. Our back gate is covered.

Every time I walk to the back yard, I feel like I am going through a magic gate. It is much more fun to think of it that way than to think about the reason I am going – to mow the grass, check on the chickens, fill the duck pond, or any other number of farm chores.

I’ll trade my mundane tasks for an imaginary magic kingdom any day.

23 07, 2021

Messy Food

By |2021-07-21T09:15:21-05:00July 23rd, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


This seems to be a very good year for blueberries – they have been on sale for several weeks in a row and they are very tasty. It just so happens that while perusing a magazine passed on to me by my mother, I stumbled upon a section of blueberry recipes. One of them was a triple-layer blueberry lemon cake. It looked delicious.

Beekeeper Brian and I have no business eating an entire triple-layer blueberry cake regardless of how wonderful it may be. I decided to make the cake for our Community Group meeting. I did tell them it was a new recipe.

I bought fresh lemons and grated the peel before squeezing the juice from them. I took the butter and eggs out to bring to room temperature and carefully measured out all the ingredients. The three layers came out beautiful.

Then I made the frosting. That was not so beautiful. In fact, it was quite slippery, and I had to use skewers to keep the layers from sliding around. It was a disaster.

I have always said that the bigger the mess, the better the taste.

This cake proved my point – it was delicious!

9 07, 2021

Paths

By |2021-07-06T12:13:16-05:00July 9th, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


The unusual weather in Texas has continued with damp mornings leaving the grass-covered in dew.  This means there are several paths in the backyard when I go to feed the chickens.

One is my path, and the others are made by the dogs.

I assume the straightest path is the one I made walking to the shed.

However, I do have a tendency to wander at times.

Perhaps my path is not always the most direct one.  But I get where I’m going and usually have fun along the way.

That is what is important.

18 06, 2021

Oops

By |2021-06-17T10:11:56-05:00June 18th, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


Feeding the birds this morning was interesting. They always rush to get their food as if they had not eaten in days.

Some of the chickens are convinced what the ducks are eating is better. It is a case of “the feed is better in the other pen” when actually it is the same. Nevertheless, every morning at least one chicken flies over the fence to get a closer look at the duck feed.

This morning, the chicken got stuck.

It remained remarkably calm while I took a picture.  Then I carefully untangled its foot from the chicken wire and tossed it back where it belongs.

There doesn’t seem to be any damage from the acrobatic endeavor, and I am hoping it will be cured of its curiosity and stay on the chicken side of the pen.

11 06, 2021

Ducken

By |2021-06-09T09:04:19-05:00June 11th, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


One of the school chickens we adopted into our flock of chicks seems to be tired of the littles.

When I opened the top of the brooder to put grass in, she flew out.  I attempted to catch her, but she was determined to join the flock of big girls.  She isn’t that much smaller, so I let her stay.

The term “pecking order” must have originated in a chicken yard.  The new hen was definitely at the bottom.  She wasn’t being harmed but was spending most of her days running away.

I figured they would all work it out eventually.  The solution was not at all what I anticipated.

The newest hen flew into the duck pen.  You might think, seeing as the ducks are larger and louder than the chickens, that the hen would be less comfortable in this new location.

However, I learned in the past that ducks are really not very brave and in fact, they are scared of the chickens.

They stayed behind her while she ate.

 

After a week, they were all eating together.

I call the hen my “ducken.”

Perhaps there is something to be learned from this group.  Accept those who look different and share the same food bowl.

 

4 06, 2021

They’re Back!

By |2021-06-02T08:28:23-05:00June 4th, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


I was stopped on my way to work last week by one of my coworkers from the district office.  She asked if I had chickens.

Being accustomed to totally random questions, I said yes, what do you need?  She had seen the chickens in the coop in the courtyard and was quite concerned for their safety.  She had them moved temporarily to her sister’s house and was wondering if there was a long-term plan.

I explained the goal of having them live on campus so the students could interact with them regularly.  I also acknowledged that this was a little more complicated than the principal first realized and assured her I would provide a long-term home if necessary.  They had already spent a weekend on Miller Farm and had a standing reservation.

She called me Friday as I was driving home from Beekeeper Brian’s retirement celebration.  It seems her sister was hosting a graduation party that evening and the chickens were not invited.  She asked if I could move them.

I had taken the whole day off work and was hoping to get a nap, but I agreed to unload my car, grab the chicken travel cage, and go to her sister’s house.

When I arrived, I discovered they were free-ranging in the backyard.  Fortunately, it was a fairly small area, and I was able to catch them all within a short time.  I loaded them into my car and headed back to Miller Farm.

All in a day’s work for a Chicken Wrangler.

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