Miller Farm Friday

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.

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.

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