Friday on the Miller Farm

14 07, 2023

Old Ladies

By |2023-07-12T09:14:37-05:00July 14th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

One of my favorite things about my job is getting to read to children.  I have a vast collection of children’s books, most of which are songs.  In almost every class I will read (sing) one to the students.

A friend of mine owns a children’s book and toy store in our town called Whimsy & Wild Emporium

I asked her if I could come read for Storytime during the summer and she said yes!

The first week I took my old lady puppet and sang “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.”

The puppet includes all the animals that she swallowed so it is great fun.  It has all the animals except the spider which “wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.”

I took it out to use it while singing “Spider on the Floor” and it must have crawled off.  I explain to the children that we will have to pretend to make a spider with our hands.  It is still great fun.

What was even more fun was introducing our grandson, Alex, to the old lady. He loved taking the animals out and then having her swallow them over and over.

It is like reading to my classes multiplied 1000 times.  He particularly liked the “tickle spider” part.

Sometimes when I look at pictures of myself, I see an old lady.

Then I also see a grandchild – the greatest perk of getting old!


7 07, 2023

Ah, Summer!

By |2023-07-06T07:45:45-05:00July 7th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Some people believe that teachers chose their profession so they would have summers off. That may be true for some but I really enjoy my job all year long. During the school year, I can play, sing, and dance five days a week. During the summer, I spend the time differently.

I bake. (The pound cake was great. The angel food cake needs a little more practice.)

I work jigsaw puzzles:

But most importantly – I take naps.

I went by my school recently to drop off some keyboards I have acquired. I’m hoping to teach class piano at some point.

Anyway, I talked to the secretary who told me they are moving some people around. I will actually get my own room which is very exciting!  I won’t have to set up every morning and move everything back into my office when classes are over.

The only problem is I have to move all the things out of my office into my new room.I’m thinking I will need to take more naps before that happens!


16 06, 2023


By |2023-06-13T15:50:43-05:00June 16th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Over the last 18 months, the number of dogs on Miller Farm has dwindled to two.  Bella, Tucker, and Sadie passed away after leading long, happy lives.  Cooper and Penelope moved out with Rachel.  That left only Max and Coco who is of the same era as Tucker, Bella, and Sadie so we are watching her carefully.

This has been difficult for all – humans and dogs.

Max has been exceptionally stressed whenever we leave. Beekeeper Brian decided it was time for action.  He began searching Dachshund Rescue sites and we began the process of adopting a rescue dachshund.

When I say process, I do mean PROCESS.  We filled out an application including references.  One friend told us he had never been called for a dog adoption reference.

Then there was the “home visit” where we had a video phone call that allowed us to show the house including the perimeter of the backyard.  Even though we had successfully owned up to 8 dachshunds at one time the process was just as extensive as for a new dog owner.

We considered several dogs but were not matched to any of them.  Finally, Brian saw a 4-year-old female named “Fire.”  We set up a meeting and it was a perfect match!  She went right to Brian and never looked back.

She fits in great with Max and Coco.

We renamed her “Mini” short for Miniums Dachsamus.  She is a perfect match for Maximus Dachsamus!


The best news for me is that she fusses at the turkey.

This distraction allows me to take care of the ducks and chickens without being stalked.  Overall we are thrilled to have added to our pack.

We are on the list for a puppy which will be ready in July.  We are trying to avoid having dogs who are all the same age.  We can’t face losing them so close together.  This way there will be a dachshund on Miller Farm for many years to come.

9 06, 2023

Back in the Flock

By |2023-06-02T07:42:59-05:00June 9th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Brian sent me the following text last week.

He had extracted the “Templeton” eggs that the wayward chicken had laid under the shed. She had indeed been sitting on the eggs but none of them were fertile.  They were just stinky.

He was also able to extract the chicken as well and put her back in with the rest of the flock.  He told her resistance was futile.  She would be assimilated.

For those who are not Star Trek fans, that is a reference to the Borg – the biggest enemy of the Enterprise crew.

She seems perfectly content to be back with the flock.  I kind of miss having her follow me around the yard.  But it is nice not to have hazardous eggs under the shed.

2 06, 2023

Hazard Pay

By |2023-05-26T12:09:54-05:00June 2nd, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

The turkey has decided he does not like me.  In fact, he puts his head down and charges me every time I am in the chicken yard.  He has even flown at me a couple of times.

I now carry a stick to shoo him away. He has never followed me into the chicken coop – yet.

Last week I was cleaning out the nest boxes in the chicken coop.  Of course, the grumpy chicken was sitting in one and kept pecking at me as I shoveled the mess out.

The turkey was standing just outside the door watching as I threw the dirty shavings out of the coop.  He took that as a personal attack and flew at the door.

It was most disconcerting.

I threw some clean shavings at him and he backed away.

With my heart still racing, I picked up the grumpy chicken and threw her out of the coop.

I was ready for her to charge back in and attack my legs but she went around the corner.  The turkey followed her.

I am afraid they are conspiring against me.

I think I need hazard pay.

26 05, 2023

More than A Teacher

By |2023-05-25T07:04:34-05:00May 26th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

One of the fifth-grade boys in my class asked me if I could fix his backpack. His friend had grabbed the strap and pulled it completely out.

I figured one of his classmates had referred him to me. I had reattached the arm to her stuffed monkey earlier this year. I’m not sure how I ended up with that task.

Before I agreed to make the repair, I asked several questions. First, was there anything in his backpack that he needed? He assured me he had no homework to do. Since the next day was Field Day and a Friday, I figured he was being honest.

Then I asked if he had any food in there. I did not want anything to spill or spoil while it was in my possession. He assured me there was no food in his backpack.

Finally, I asked if there was anything living in his backpack. I once had a fifth-grade boy of my own who may or may not have brought living things home from school. He told me there was a duck in there but it was a toy duck. I told him that was good because I already had several ducks and did not want any more.

Once all those questions were answered, I agreed to fix his backpack.

It was a quick, simple job. It reminded me, though, that I am more than just a music teacher to some of these kids. That is ok. They are more than just students to me.

19 05, 2023

Still Using Sticky Notes

By |2023-05-19T06:28:24-05:00May 19th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

As my brain gets more and more full, I find myself using more and more sticky notes to remember things.

For example, my last piano student today was telling me about the Talent Show at her school.  She will be playing piano along with some of my other students.  I wrote all the pertinent information down on a sticky note and stuck it on my computer, right next to the sticky note where I have written what levels of theory books to order for next year and my reminder to check on the theory awards.

My student agreed that putting them on the computer was a good plan.

This reminded me of the Sticky Note Wars blog I wrote on February 23, 2018.  Students wrote sticky notes and attached them to my piano. You can read it here.

After more than 5 years, I am still using sticky notes.


5 05, 2023

Full Circle

By |2023-05-04T09:41:38-05:00May 5th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

I had my Spring Piano Recital this past weekend.  I usually have two recitals a year and over the past few years they have become more informal.  My goal is for the students to perform in a supportive environment.

When I first started teaching, I held my recitals in an art gallery on the Texas A&M University campus.  There was a beautiful nine-foot grand piano and the sound was wonderful.

I held many recitals there and my mother and I played a duet on that piano at the Christmas Recital one year.  It was the same year our daughter also played.

When the building that housed the gallery was renovated, the piano was put into storage. I had to find other places to hold my recitals.  The pianos were not as impressive but the goal of having fun was always achieved.

The piano was recently relocated to a church near our house and was once again available for recitals. This is where the recital was held this weekend.  The sound was better than I remembered and my students all sounded amazing!

It was somewhat bittersweet.

One of my students is a senior this year so this was her last recital.  She is the youngest of three siblings I have taught since moving back to Texas. In fact, she attended recitals in the art gallery as an infant while her sister played. She was able to finish her time with me on the same piano her sister had begun her lessons.

Things have come full circle.  It may be time to retire…….or not!  There are still many students who need to learn that playing the piano is fun!

28 04, 2023

Templeton Eggs

By |2023-04-26T16:40:06-05:00April 28th, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

My NAP (not a pet) chicken has grown accustomed to roaming the backyard. She has wandered all the way up to the back porch and even follows me into the shed to get food.

Things were going fine until Beekeeper Brian made an alarming discovery under the shed.

The silly chicken has been laying eggs under the shed.

They are completely out of reach and so far, are all intact.


I thought about Templeton, the rat in Charlotte’s Web. The goose gave him an egg that was not going to hatch so he would leave the goslings alone.

Avery, Fern’s brother, accidentally breaks the egg sending horrible fumes through the farmyard.

The children run away, forgetting all about their plans to catch Charlotte. So, I guess, in that case, the rotten egg served a good purpose.

I just hope the eggs under our shed stay in one piece. We have no spiders or pigs to be saved on Miller Farm.

21 04, 2023

Examples from Nature

By |2023-04-20T08:23:24-05:00April 21st, 2023|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

I found a song in one of my old music books about a bee that I have incorporated into my Spring lessons every year. It tells about a bee working in the clover, resting on a flower, and hurrying home. It allows for movement and the kids really enjoy it.

I always start by explaining what clover is and how bees will fly from one flower to another gathering pollen to make honey. There are dots on the floor where I teach so I use those as the “clover.”  I must confess, my favorite part is when they rest on the flowers. Anytime I can get a group of 4-year-olds to sit still, I consider it a win.

Our playground is covered in clover and right now, the bees are working in the clover just like the song says. I managed to take some pictures of them to show the kids.

I tried to be very discreet when taking pictures so as not to attract attention to the bees.


Singing about them in music class is one thing but I’m not sure the students would be excited about sharing the playground with them.

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