Miller Farm Friday

15 01, 2021

Welcome, 2021!

By |2021-01-15T10:52:21-06:00January 15th, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


I was kind of hoping the New Year would bring a little normalcy. On Sunday, January 3 Beekeeper Brian and I both tested positive for COVID.  We only had mild symptoms but were still put in quarantine for 10 days.

My hope of being back in a routine became a struggle to teach music classes from home.

Then on Sunday, January 10 it snowed.

That may not sound like a big deal but in our part of Texas, it hadn’t happened since 2017.  This snowstorm produced the 5th largest amount of snow on record.

We measured 4 ½ “.

This may not sound like a lot unless you are a dachshund whose legs are only 4 inches long.

The chickens were not fans either.  They sent a scout while the rest stayed in the coop.

Got some interesting pictures I never could have imagined – chicken prints in the snow.

And, of course I built the obligatory snowman.  It’s not too bad.

I can’t wait to see what this Sunday brings…

 

18 12, 2020

Best Laid Plans

By |2020-12-17T08:38:41-06:00December 18th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


Putting together music programs has always been somewhat of a challenge.  This year it is exponentially harder.

We cannot perform before live audiences so we must record all the students in advance. We did this for the Veteran’s Day program then had some technical issues at the last minute, so the classes were unable to see the performances.

The principal is determined to avoid this and asked me to plan the Christmas program before we left for Thanksgiving Break. I gave him an outline of what each class would do and spent the week of Thanksgiving filling in the details.

When we returned, he asked me to have all the recording done before testing started the following week.  It was a stretch but I put together a recording schedule and started working with the classes.

I decided to do bucket drumming with the 7th and 8th grade classes.  It would reinforce rhythmic concepts and they seem to enjoy hitting on things.

Not having the budget to purchase official buckets, I gathered cat litter buckets and the students spray painted them red and green.  This took multiple days, but the result was pretty good, and most of the paint landed on the buckets.

The students also wrapped the drumsticks with red and green electrical tape.

All was well until the school closed for two days.  That put the recording behind schedule.  There was no one to do the recording due to absences in the office staff.  I kept practicing with the classes and put recording on hold.

Then the principal decided to proceed with the recording even though testing was happening in my room. We recorded in the cafeteria.

All was well until the 7th and 8th graders had to switch to remote learning for two days.  I adjusted the recording schedule, again, and took the remaining buckets home to finish the painting. Then the decision was made to keep 7th and 8th grade off campus until after Christmas break.

So now we have red and green buckets all ready to go and no one to play them.

I guess we can use them for Cinco de Mayo.

The rest of the program was recorded and is ready to be shown on Friday.

At least that is the plan…

 

11 12, 2020

Not too old

By |2020-12-09T06:47:30-06:00December 11th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


The new flock of chickens is old enough to fly up onto the fence. They are not smart enough to realize there are chicken eating dogs on the other side of the fence.

I have won several games of “Beat Bella to the Chicken.”

Last week I decided to clip the wings of the chicken I had rescued from Bella.  The chicken was not happy about this at all.

In fact I got one wing clipped and it jumped back out of my arms and right back into dog territory.

I got to play another round of “Beat Bella to the Chicken.”  I won both rounds.

I guess I’m not too old, yet.

4 12, 2020

The Next Generation

By |2020-12-03T07:00:54-06:00December 4th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|3 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


When our oldest daughter was decorating for her first Christmas away from home, she asked if she could have the fabric nativity set I had made when she was a baby. I have collected many more nativity sets and was happy to pass that one to her.

She has since gotten married and this year she and her husband are celebrating with their first child – our first grandchild.

I received this picture from her this week:

She wrote:  The nativity set is entrancing a new generation of children.

That thought, as well as the picture make me smile.

20 11, 2020

2020 Addition to Turkey Game

By |2020-11-18T15:58:56-06:00November 20th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


Every November I play the Turkey Game with my classes. I made it up based on a song in an old music book given to me by my aunt on my first birthday titled “The Turkeys Run Away.”

“With a wobble, wobble, wobble and a gobble, gobble, gobble

all the turkeys spread their feathers on Thanksgiving Day!

When they see the farmer coming all the turkeys start a running

and they say “You cannot catch us” on Thanksgiving Day!

I am the farmer and I chase the students as they run from one side of the room to the other.

Anyone I catch becomes a farmer with me.

This year we are doing most of our singing outside – one of the many adjustments to teaching during a pandemic.

It’s really not so bad – except for the holes in the field and the fire ants.

So I guess that means that the turkey song counts as a multi-purpose activity – a chasing game and an obstacle course.

13 11, 2020

Naming Chickens

By |2020-11-13T21:22:07-06:00November 13th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


The fifth grade class at my school has started bringing me their leftover vegetables from lunch to give to my chickens.

One of the students asked if the chickens have names. I explained there are too many for me to name.  I didn’t tell him that I also get too attached if they have names and then when they die, I am sad.

He asked how many chickens I have – a question I seldom can answer with complete accuracy. I told him there are 30.

The next day he brought me a list of 30 chicken names with a few extra for good measure.

Since he had specified names for the fastest, loudest and most patterned, I took pictures of those to show him.

Cookoo – the loudest

Cookie – the most patternedJet – the fastest (I was able to catch her in the nest box)

Today I mentioned how much the ducks had enjoyed the broccoli and cauliflower yesterday.  Tomorrow I will get a list of 10 duck names.  Lucy and Ricky are already named.

I suppose this is another good thing to come out of this year – a new nonmusical connection with my students.

7 11, 2020

Something I Learned on Miller Farm

By |2020-11-07T07:12:29-06:00November 7th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


I have learned many things living on Miller Farm. For example, I know how to tell a girl duck from a boy duck, also called a drake.

Girl ducks are actually louder when they quack.  Drakes make a softer sound.

Drakes also have a curl in their tail.

I guess it is the duck equivalent of really long curly eyelashes on human boys.

I’m not sure how useful this information is but it does make for interesting conversation while waiting in line at the grocery store.

30 10, 2020

Dressed for Work

By |2020-10-29T18:26:22-05:00October 30th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


I have finally accepted the fact that masks are part of my daily uniform. I even put a clip on my name badge cord to hold my mask while I eat lunch.

What has been a harder adjustment is the additional equipment that wearing a mask requires.  For example, my ears are not quite big enough to hold a mask and my glasses securely.  I have a glasses cord that I wear when doing yoga so I’ve started wearing it to work.  Now I can beat the students at “who can sing head, shoulders, knees and toes faster” without my glasses flying across the room.

The other challenge came with talking and singing through the mask all day.  The singing happens outside so I found myself getting a sore throat every day.  Beekeeper Brian ordered a headset with a speaker that I can attach to my belt or wear around my neck.  It is wonderful.  The students can hear me and I don’t strain my voice. One of my students thought I looked like I was working in a fast food drive through window and tried to order French fries.  That was a middle school student – pretty clever actually.

So now every morning after I put on my eye make-up I secure my glasses with the cord.  When I get to work I put on my name badge and mask.  Then, just before my first class, I put on my head set and put the speaker around my neck.

Then at the end of the day, I reverse the process.

When I feed the chickens, however, I do not have to wear a mask, or a cord for my glasses, or a head set.  And for a few minutes each day, things seem “normal.”

23 10, 2020

I Love My Chickens

By |2020-10-22T20:25:01-05:00October 23rd, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


I love my chickens and my chickens love me – especially when I feed them.

I was checking for eggs in the nest boxes this morning when one of the black hens started moving hay from one next box to the other.

I guess she is the designated interior decorator.

Meanwhile, Essie follows me around the whole time I am in the chicken yard.

In fact, I have accidentally stepped on her before. That hasn’t stopped her. This morning, she hopped up on the door to the nest boxes and watched the redecorating process.

She is the only chicken we have who will let you pet her. I guess I now understand how people can have pet chickens. But she’s not coming inside.

I know that is shocking to you, but this made me think of a song.

I have a chicken my chicken loves me
I feed my chicken on tender leaf tea
My little chicken goes bak bak bak
My little rooster goes cockle doodle doodle
doodle doodle doodle do.

Anyone else remember that one? This short video of a teacher singing for her class will jog your memory.

~~~This Miller Farm blog first appeared on View From the Front Porch October 12, 2012

16 10, 2020

They’re Back!

By |2020-10-14T21:08:34-05:00October 16th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


When I pulled the garbage can back up to the house this week, I saw a small patch or morning glories.

They reminded me of a blog I wrote several years ago titled “Lessons from the Morning Glories.”

 

I think the lesson of spreading beauty and cheer wherever you go is even more appropriate in 2020.

So is taking naps.

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