Friday on the Miller Farm

10 03, 2023

Walking on the Wild Side

By |2023-03-09T20:54:11-06:00March 10th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


We have one hen who much prefers to be on the opposite side of the fence Since Max is not interested in chasing chickens, it has been fine.

Penelope, Max’s sister, visited recently and she is not so considerate of the chicken on the wrong side of the fence.  I tried returning the hen to the chicken yard but several over-amorous roosters chased her around.

I ended up keeping her in a cage in the front yard during Penelope’s visit.

Most of the roosters are gone now so the hen is safe in the chicken yard.  She is not quite convinced and keeps finding her way out. I’ve decided she likes to walk on the wild side.  And as long as it is safe for her, I will allow it.  Hopefully, the other chickens will not get jealous.  I’m not ready for a chicken uprising.

3 03, 2023

Birds of A Feather

By |2023-03-01T21:06:10-06:00March 3rd, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


Last weekend was the Ladies’ Retreat for our church.  The organizers set up a text group to send messages and reminders.  At one point in the conversation, this photo appeared:

It was followed immediately by a message “Oops, wrong text thread!  Sorry, ladies!”

Then came this picture:     Then this one:

It was so fun to see how many of my friends are also chicken wranglers!  I guess birds of a feather do flock together!

17 02, 2023

Chicken Cookies for the Win!

By |2023-02-17T12:12:15-06:00February 17th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A reblog from Chicken Wrangler Sara


Our school secretary/business administrator is a wonderful lady. I’ve always known that the school secretary is the one who runs the school, and that is never truer than in a small private school. When she was gone for a few days taking care of her husband it took 4 people to do her job.

She has two grandsons who were in my music classes when they were at the school.  They frequently visit so I keep an eye out at the food pantry for things they might enjoy.  Each week I stop by the school on my way home to deliver whatever prizes I have found.

Last Friday Mary had a prize for me. She had been working at a garage sale and found a basket of cookie cutters.  Among them was this

She immediately thought of me.

I was thrilled. I have quite a collection of cookie cutters – thanks to my mother – but a chicken was not among them.

Over the weekend, along with canning 6 pints of tomato sauce, 6 pints of spiced apples, 4 half pints of apple butter, and freezing 10 cups of mashed sweet potatoes, I made chicken cookies.

cookies

I took them to school and left them in the teachers’ workroom with a note explaining that they were chicken cookies – sugar cookies shaped like chickens, not cookies made from chicken. At least one teacher was glad for the clarification.

~~~First appeared on February 15, 2o15

10 02, 2023

Real Teachers

By |2023-02-09T18:04:11-06:00February 10th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


“You’re not a real teacher.”  I’ve heard that many, many times in my years of teaching music.

Recently it was from a student. Early in my career, I was told I would never be “Teacher of the Year” because I wasn’t a real teacher. Another time someone walked into my classroom and said “O, you’re teaching” as if that was a surprise.

It used to really upset me. It doesn’t bother me anymore. I know what I do, and I love it.

Music teachers take the students who can’t sit still in “regular” classes, and those who struggle with “real” subjects and dread those classes.  We take all those wiggly little bodies and create ensembles that play and sing together. Music gives those students a chance to succeed.

No, we don’t give standardized tests. We have performances where students learn to work together and make music with instruments or voices in front of live audiences on a regular basis. All the students take part and their self-confidence soars.

If we aren’t “real” teachers, what about superheroes like my favorite teeshirt says?

3 02, 2023

Life Goal

By |2023-01-31T20:56:31-06:00February 3rd, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


When I was in middle school, I took piano lessons from Mrs. Black.  She was an amazing teacher who had a major impact on my life.

Each week I had a private lesson and a group lesson where I learned theory, ear training, and improvisation. She taught in her home and had two baby ground pianos in her studio.  I can still remember her coming down the stairs in her house shoes and playing a second piano part to my Clementi Sonatinas.

I performed in recitals, festivals, and for the National Guild of Piano Teachers.  I loved every minute of it and decided at that point I wanted to be just like Mrs. Black when I grew up.

I did indeed pursue a degree in music education where all the group lessons helped tremendously in my freshmen theory classes.  I began teaching piano in the home of one of the professors who guided me as I began my teaching career.

Fast forward more than 30 years and I am still teaching private piano as well as classroom music.  And I still love doing both.  While I do not have a baby grand piano, much less two, in my living room, I try to impart the same love of music that Mrs. Black passed on to me.

I looked down this week and noticed my feet:

judythe morgan

I have achieved my life goal of becoming just like Mrs. Black – right down to teaching in my house shoes.

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.

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