Miller Farm Friday

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.

9 10, 2020

Through the Eyes of a Child

By |2020-10-08T08:43:52-05:00October 9th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|2 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


This year has been hard. I could just stop there but let me be more specific.

As a music teacher, it has been hard to teach without singing, sharing instruments or playing any passing games. In fact, I wrote a poem telling about this. You can read it here.

To be honest, I have spent the first 6 weeks of school wondering why I keep going.  I could quit and be a grandma full time.  That sounds much more rewarding than struggling as a music teacher.

Things are getting better.  Last week a student gave me a picture they drew of me.  There were several details in that picture that made me smile.

Chicken Wrangler Sara, Judythe MorganThe first thing is the eyelashes.  When I started recording lessons last Spring for the students at home, I realized my eyes always looked half closed.  I decided to start wearing eye make up to help me look awake.  This student noticed!

Then there are the earrings.  I usually wear large, dangling earrings. I read somewhere that they make you look 10 pounds lighter.  That helps with the COVID 20 I have gained.

I am particularly happy that she drew the earrings as music notes.  Not all my earrings are music notes.

When the face mask mandate went into effect, I was frustrated that I could not smile at people.  Smiling is very important.  I borrowed a button maker and made a button:

Chicken Wrangler Sara, Judythe Morgan I wear my name badge in a pouch around my neck.  In the pouch I keep all my necessities – my office key, a tuning fork, an Allen wrench, the USB drive with all my music information and sometimes a peppermint.   The button is on the cord holding my name pouch.  This student included that detail.

Things have been hard.  They may never return to the way they were before.  However, when I look through the eyes of a child, especially this one, I know it will be OK.

2 10, 2020

Good Neighbors

By |2020-10-01T09:05:21-05:00October 2nd, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|2 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


The house on one side of us is owned by a couple in the next town who purchased it as rental property when their daughter was here. She has since married and moved to Scotland. The house has had a variety of renters.  I always try to introduce myself and encourage them to let us know if the noise from Miller Farm is bothersome.

Chicken Wrangler Sara, Judythe MorganRight now, the couple who lives there have a dog.  I am extra sure to meet any dogs that move in nearby.

This is a Great Dane named Connor.  He is an older dog which is good because a younger Great Dane might come over the fence to play.

Max thinks that would be fun.  Since Max is afraid of the chickens when they are on the same side of the fence as he is, I am pretty sure he would run from Connor.

It is nice to have good neighbors. Especially when there is a fence between us.

18 09, 2020

Chick Report

By |2020-09-15T17:40:30-05:00September 18th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


I looked out my kitchen window last week to find one of the chicks on top of the duck coop.

I took this to mean that the newest flock of chicks was ready to go in with the big girls.

So I waited for the duck yard to dry out a little bit. I knew I would be chasing chickens around in the dark and wanted to minimize the mess.  I moved them into the big coop at night knowing that is usually the best plan.

The new chicks wake up thinking they had been in their new home forever. They do, after all, have bird brains.

Sure enough, they were not happy about being moved and they expressed their displeasure in a form of “chicken scratch” on both arms.  I managed to catch all 13 birds, clip their wings and put them into the big coop without landing in the mud.  I did have to take a shower to clean the mud off my arms – especially around the scratches.

They all survived the first night locked in the coop and I was curious what they would do the second night.

When I went to check, I did not see them in the big coop or in the chicken yard.  They had put themselves up in the little coop in the middle of the yard that didn’t have a door.

I blocked the entrance with an old wire door and told them goodnight.

Now we just have to wait for them to start laying eggs.

The ducks are getting ahead.

11 09, 2020

Ducks Earning Their Keep

By |2020-09-06T10:59:49-05:00September 11th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|2 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


The ducks are now laying up to four eggs a day! This is fantastic news on Miller Farm.

I use duck eggs in cooking and mix them with chicken eggs to be scrambled. Ducks are very messy and sometimes I am not convinced the sheer entertainment value is worth the effort. Having duck eggs is a different story.

Judythe Morgan, Chicken Wrangler SaraFirst there was a soft egg which frequently happens when a bird starts to lay.

Then we had two hard shell eggs in one day.

Last week I found a green egg which could not belong to Lucy. That means one of the gray ducks is laying.

This week I found a tiny egg – again usually indicating a first egg.  I think Lucy is getting nervous about having competition.

She has laid two enormous eggs.  When I cracked one open this morning it had two yolks!Judythe Morgan, Chicken Wrangler Sara

Don’t worry, Lucy.  You’re still my favorite.  That is why you get all the roaches from the water jugs.

4 09, 2020

Teaching Music in a 2020 Pandemic

By |2020-08-27T20:10:19-05:00September 4th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


As I was preparing for my first in-person music classes in many months, I realized most of the things I kept on my music cart would not be usable this year.

I said goodbye to each thing as I put them in a box for after this pandemic is gone. I thought of “Goodnight Moon” and wrote the following poem:

Goodbye Music As We Know It

Goodbye chicken, goodbye button,

Goodbye apple on a tree.

So long doggie, keep your bone.

Fare thee well, closet key.

                                judythewriter.com

Frog can stay safe in the meadow

Lucy’s pocket has been found.

Charlie caught me in the ocean

No more bean bag going ‘round.

So long goodies from the mailman

Now the lady has her comb

Goodbye rock for Obwisana

“Love somebody” heart stay home.

Goodbye riding on stick horses

Goodbye bouncing high and low,

All these things we use in music

Transfer germs so they must go.

judythewriter.com

Music class is looking different

There are things we cannot do.

So I’ve thought throughout the summer

Of some things to share with you.

We can listen very closely

From our dots six feet apart

Making rhythms with our bodies,

Keeping music in our heart.

 

Students came back this week.  It has been rough but we are all learning how to make it work.

I tried using an imaginary bone.  It actually worked pretty well.  Perhaps the kids will adjust better than I thought – certainly better than me.

28 08, 2020

New Neighbors

By |2020-08-25T20:41:15-05:00August 28th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|2 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


The chicks quickly outgrew the brooder. I didn’t fully understand the ramifications of this until they started dying.

Rachel took one look at them when she was visiting us and said, “they are too crowded.”  The question became where to put them.

The chicks that were obviously roosters went into the rooster pen.

Rachel suggested putting the hens in with the ducks since that part of the pen was secured against escape. And there is a small coop in there to lock the chicks up at night.  I was concerned that the ducks would bother the chicks.  Rachel assured me the ducks would be afraid of the chicks.

Sure enough, Rachel was right.judythemorgan.com

The chicks stayed in their corner…

judythemorgan.com And the ducks stayed in theirs.

So far everyone is getting along.  The coop has been repaired so when they start bothering each other, we can move the chicks out into the big yard and safely lock them up at night.

Another successful move on Miller Farm.

21 08, 2020

Rough Week on Miller Farm

By |2020-08-17T10:23:25-05:00August 21st, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|4 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


Last week was rough on Miller farm. It started with the death of one of our roosters.

While this is unfortunate, it was not terribly upsetting. None of the current roosters have names and I am not attached to them.

Then we lost three of the chicks that were in the brooder.  This was a little concerning.

After consulting with Rachel, the chicks have been relocated and are now receiving high protein pellets.  That’s a blog for another Friday.

Chicken Wrangler Sara and Lili, judythemorgan.comThen my beloved Lily died.

She is the hen who let me hug her every morning for a while.

I’m not sure whether it was age, heat, or simply 2020 that caused her death.

I am sad and I will miss her, but there is still much life on Miller Farm.

Lili chicken, judythemorgan.com

RIP Lily

14 08, 2020

Ear Training

By |2020-08-06T06:54:01-05:00August 14th, 2020|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara


Part of my music education was ear training.  This involved identifying different instruments, different parts of a music selection and even specific notes and rhythms in a song. These are very useful skills as a music teacher.  I teach these skills to my students on a simpler level and the youngest classes get very excited about writing rhythms.

These astute listening skills can be a detriment, however. When a song we play on the praise team at church does not end the way my ear believes it should,  I confess there are times when I quietly resolve the chord just for my own peace of mind.

I can also identify nonmusical sounds.

For example, a couple of weeks ago Beekeeper Brian and I were lying in bed, reading, and we heard an unusual noise.  It sounded like the ceiling fan was blowing a piece of paper but that wasn’t the case.

We looked around for a minute then the sound stopped.  When it started up again, my aural memory kicked in and I said “that’s a click beetle.”

For those who don’t know, it is a beetle that makes a clicking noise as it tries to get from its back to its stomach. I guess it is a step up from a roach that just stays on its back until it dies.

Here’s a picture of one in the kitchen.

judythewriter.com, judythemorgan.comEric Carle has written a book about a click beetle. I read it to my students.

judythewriter.com, judythemorgan.com So we began a search of the floor and sure enough there was a click beetle under the bed.  I think Beekeeper Brian was a little surprised.

I, on the other hand, was thankful the skills I learned earning my music degrees continue to be useful.

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