11 05, 2020

Be A Magnolia

By |2020-05-10T08:16:20-05:00May 11th, 2020|Uncategorized|1 Comment

May means flowers. Maybe not if you live in one of those states where you’re still getting snow, but down here in the South gardening shops are buzzing with home gardeners picking out their blooms. Flowering trees are showing forth their glory.

Magnolia are budding and I love Magnolias. If I were a tree, I’d be a Magnolia.

Their flowers are so dramatic and showy—a welcome a sight after a dreary winter. Their leaves so waxy and green. Mine was magnificent this year.

Seeing those pink buds made the world feel new again. Interestingly, the magnolia tree’s origins go back millions of years. In fact, dinosaurs may have nibbled on them.

There are so many varieties besides the fragrant white blooms associated with southern plantation homes. This chart from Martha Stewart Living magazine shows the variety and beauty of their blooms.

Thinking about magnolias also brings to mind the original 1989 version of Steel Magnolias, a movie worthy to be part of your watch list during these quarantine days.

It’s has a cast of magnolias – Dolly Parton, Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Daryl Hannah, and Olympia Dukakis. A group of actresses as varied as the Magnolia blooms and strong enough to survive the challenges of the script with zinger comic one-liners.

The story’s set in a small town beauty shop in Louisiana. Not much has changed in southern small towns, trust me. It’s a funny and heartwarming story of life, love, and loss. Sorta like this Corona virus time we’re living in.

The dark moment comes with Sally Field’s brief monologue when she asks God “Why?” The question we’ve all been asking since 2020 began.

Steel Magnolias is a humorous and dramatic picture of a southern woman’s world. They work and cook and sew and mend and fight and make up. They get their hair and nails done. Well, they did before the virus struck and will again someday. Just ask one.

And when tragedy, or a pandemic virus, strikes, they have the strength and the character to smile through their tears and go on.

They’re magnolias. They laugh a little and cry a little and keep on keeping on. Their roots go deep, maybe not to the age of dinosaurs but deep and strong.

Be a magnolia. A steel magnolia.

8 05, 2020

It’s True What They Say About Ducks

By |2020-05-07T17:00:51-05:00May 8th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Since my music classes at school have been put on hold, I have been helping the science teacher grade papers. She makes a key for me which helps for grades 5-8.

In 3rd grade, though, I was pretty sure that saying having ten toes is a learned trait was not the correct answer.

This has made me reflect on all I learned in science classes, particularly about ducks.

For example, we learn that ducks have webbed feet.  This allows them to swim.

Sure enough, the first thing I noticed when our first duck hatched was its webbed feet.

Then within the first 48 hours, that little duck was in the water even though it was meant to be a drinking bowl.

One day after I moved the ducks from their outside pen back into their tub to bring in for the night, I noticed my hands were oily.

I realized this is also an adaptation – the feathers have an oily substance that repels water.

Who knew all those things I learned in science class actually existed in real life!

9 04, 2020


By |2020-04-05T20:23:45-05:00April 9th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Only two more days! Contest ends on Saturday!

If you haven’t entered to win a brand-new Coach Tote filled with romance novels, a special author gift pack, ebook prize packs, and MORE, do it now!

Books included are by award winners and New York Times and USA Today Best Sellers!

All you have to do is follow me on Facebook and others on social media accounts.

The more profiles you like and follow, the more times you’re entered.

Here’s the link:


Good luck and happy reading!

19 02, 2020

Love Quote – Hepburn

By |2020-02-02T13:04:00-06:00February 19th, 2020|Uncategorized|1 Comment

About the Graphic

I found this photo by Cassia Tofano on Unsplash. Then while reading this month’s Good Housekeeping online, I read the Audrey Hepburn quote. Perfect match I thought.

About the Quote

I couldn’t agree with Hepburn more. The very best thing in life is having someone who loves you to hang onto. I’m so glad I have my Valentine.

14 02, 2020

Away from Miller Farm

By |2020-02-13T10:10:32-06:00February 14th, 2020|Uncategorized|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Chicken Wrangler Sara is in San Antonio at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention where she will be reminded why she teaches and inspired to continue.

Please tune in next Friday for your regularly scheduled installment of Miller Farm Friday.

3 02, 2020

Smiling Eggs

By |2020-01-26T13:52:35-06:00February 3rd, 2020|Make Me Think Monday, Uncategorized|1 Comment

Monday, Again. Time to get to work.

Though writers don’t punch a time clock, Mondays are Mondays, the official notification the weekend is ended. Time to start weekday commitments.

After loose weekend schedules or overly busy weekends, writers have the same reactions as other workers. Ugh!

This particular Monday, I decided to fix a hearty breakfast to fortify me for the busy week ahead.

I pulled out the eggs Chicken Wrangler Sara brought over the weekend. Smiley face eggs on the recycled egg carton grinned at me.

Then I opened the carton and had a special note from Emma the hen who supplied my breakfast.

And a heart that made me smile. I whispered a thank you to Emma. It was a great start for a good week.

Bring it on, Monday. I’m ready.

15 01, 2020

Thoughts for the New Year – Panara

By |2020-01-13T16:37:16-06:00January 15th, 2020|Uncategorized|2 Comments

About the graphic

This graphic was in a Signing Savvy newsletter I received recently and the quote resonated with my writer self. I love that written words can ring out loud and free when verbal words are unheard by deaf.

About Robert Panara

I first heard Robert Panara’s name in my sign language classes. He was a pioneer in deaf education who developed new ways to teach those who are deaf. Interesting fact, his wife Shirley was the first deaf librarian at the Library of Congress. Read his full biography here

12 04, 2019


By |2019-04-11T20:26:07-05:00April 12th, 2019|Uncategorized|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

I cut this comic out of the Sunday paper recently. I have quite a collection of comics.  Some are about dogs or chickens or music.  This one is about perspective.

It has made me think differently.

My students at school are always getting excited about ordinary things – like butterflies or flowers. One brought several rocks to me this week and said, “aren’t they smooth?”

Until that moment they had just been rocks to me. But now I’ve decided to trade places and let my students teach me about perspective and finding the wonder in life.

Maybe it will make “adulting” easier.

21 12, 2018

Christmas with a Music Teacher

By |2018-12-13T21:09:18-06:00December 21st, 2018|Uncategorized|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

My Christmas tree is out – out of the closet. Perhaps after my last Christmas performance on December 21st I can get it out of the box.  Such is the life of a music teacher.  I had forgotten how busy and stressful the Christmas Season could be.  After 10 years at my previous school I was running on autopilot.  I knew the kids. I knew the program and what was expected.

Not so true this year.

Having 6 times the number of students sounded great and presented endless possibilities. I may have been a little over ambitious given the fact that their knowledge and skill base was different than I had anticipated.

There was a complete set of marching drums in my new office and I decided a drum line would be fun. (I completely ignored the fact that I have never played drums much less directed a drum line.) That all sounded wonderful in August before I had met any of the students.  They were not all excited about the plans I had made.  Many moments of frustration and “what was I thinking” have gone by.

But the day before the Christmas parade there were 6 students on drums marching around the parking lot keeping a remarkably steady beat and not tripping over each other.  Even our son Matt, the percussionist, was impressed with them.

Next week I will be fine-tuning the bells and voices for our rendition of “Carol of the Bells.” I’m not sure getting twenty-seven 5th and 6th graders to participate cheerfully was ever a realistic goal. But again, there are enough that want to play and sing so we’re giving it our all.

The 3rd and 4th grade recorder players have been a pleasant respite. I’ve taught recorder forever and these kids were excited to learn.

The final performance on Dec 21st is at the preschool which is much less pressure.   The younger students are cute and their parents love them regardless of how they sound.

Then, on December 22nd, I can put up our tree.  In some cultures the tree traditionally goes up on Christmas Eve.  Perhaps music teachers should be part of that culture.

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