28 05, 2021

Visiting Chicken

By |2021-05-27T10:35:20-05:00May 28th, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Last week the 7th grade students discovered a chicken on the playground at school.  It was much larger than the chicks we had hatched so they knew it was not one of ours. One of the girls brought it to the front office.  I wish I could have been there to see their reaction!

Since there was already a coop put together for the chicks, the principal moved it into the courtyard and put the visiting chicken in it.

Eventually, they moved all the chicks in with the bigger hen and everyone seemed happy.

Until feeding time, that is.

Apparently, the larger hen had not been eating well out in the wild and was quite insistent on getting more than her share of the food.  Once she realized she would be fed on a regular basis, she calmed down.

No one knows where she belongs. Maybe she heard that our school was a safe place for chickens and decided to join us. We don’t mind.

The little flock has been temporarily moved to a home in the country.  The kids are gone for the summer and one of the teachers was concerned the chicks would not be safe without a hundred little eyes watching them.

I assured her that chickens are quite accustomed to being on their own. Nevertheless, there was not a place for them to live all summer at school and no one is sure when the secure chicken pen will be finished.

Being a chicken wrangler, I volunteered to keep the chickens on Miller Farm if they wore out their welcome in their current home.

After all, we will hardly notice 6 more chickens on our farm.

24 05, 2021

Warm Weather, Clotheslines, and Me

By |2021-05-16T06:19:28-05:00May 24th, 2021|A Writer's Life, Writer's Life|1 Comment

Warm weather makes me want to dry the wash outside on the clothesline. That was my job growing up. Hang the clothes out and bring them in when they were dry. My sister’s job was to fold.

Back then, we didn’t have a clothes dryer, so everything hung on the line outside on sunny days, inside on the back porch line if it was rainy.

Mother washed every day rain or shine, so we’d always have clean clothes. We didn’t have that many.

Every spring I wash our linens and hang them out to dry. I love bringing the smell of the outdoors inside.

We have a king-size quilted bedspread. Heavy thing. Normally, I’d hauled it to a laundromat.  But we have a large capacity washer that could handle it now. No rain predicted, it’d dry when I hung it on my umbrella clothesline.

What a keystone cop comedy routine that turned into.

I had to enlist hubby-dear to help me lift the wet quilt to hang it. As soon as the last clothespin went on, the whole clothesline tilted from the weight of the wet bedspread. Then toppled over.

I grabbed the pole and pulled it upright while Hubby-dear searched for rope. He tied the rope to the nearby pine tree, wrapped it around the umbrella pole to counterbalance the quilt’s weight.

Worked like a charm. Looked kinda Beverly Hillbillies weird, though.

Lesson learned. Take the heavy stuff to a laundromat if it won’t fit in your dryer.

21 05, 2021

Chick Sitting

By |2021-05-19T08:38:33-05:00May 21st, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

The chicks at my school are growing quite nicely.  In fact, several of them have gone to their forever homes.  There were ten, however, who needed a place to stay last weekend.  I checked the schedule and Miller Farm and booked them into the brooder outside in the chicken yard.   It is plenty big enough and it is out of the way of any curious chickens or dogs or ducks.

I was a little concerned because their previous lodging had been indoors.  They did fine outside and will make the transition to their new outside coop very well.

Monday morning I put them back in the travel cage and set them on the ground while I gathered their bowl and feed.  The big chickens came to say goodbye.

I returned them to the grass outside the classroom.  Someone else is on chick duty during the week.

I believe one of the students is taking several home.  The rest will move into the chicken coop at the school – as soon as we build a raccoon-proof fence. That may take some time.  I understand raccoons are pretty smart.

Maybe I should make another reservation for the chicks at Miller Farm.

17 05, 2021

The Bird Mating Saga Rerun

By |2021-05-09T15:49:25-05:00May 17th, 2021|A Writer's Life, Writer's Life|1 Comment

For the last three years, spring has been such a lovely time of year with fresh sprouts popping out of the ground. Birds singing and gathering at the feeders. Our happy time before the Texas heat arrives

But not this year. The same springtime problem we had when we lived in the Rio Grande National Forest has cropped up. The birds see their reflection in glass and fly into the windows and doors thinking they’ve found their mate.

In Colorado, we wrestled the robins, who would spot their images in our windows and crash-dive into the glass. Several killed themselves.

Here in Texas, it’s the cardinals.

And let me tell you, these Texas cardinals are determined birds. They have attack-bombed both hubby-dear and me if we sit on our back porch, obstructing their path.

Having tried all the Google-suggested ways to get rid of the persistent birds when we lived in Colorado, we didn’t bother with any of these suggestions.

Fake Owl – nope, didn’t work

Shiny strips – nope, didn’t work

Pulling the blinds – nope, didn’t work

We went straight for the preventive that did work – cover the windows and doors.

We weren’t going through the constant thud as the cardinal divebombed the glass or see him knock himself crazy or worse, die.

It’s been several weeks now and we’re testing by removing the towels today.

Fingers crossed all the Cardinals have found their life mates and are now focused on building the nest.

In case you missed our 2015 battle with the robins, you can read all about our Colorado robin war here, Wrangling A Persistent Robin

14 05, 2021

Thanksgiving in May

By |2021-05-13T19:23:21-05:00May 14th, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

My mother recently gave us a turkey she had in her freezer. They had gotten it for free at Thanksgiving last year and thought we would be more likely to be feeding a crowd sooner than they would.

I cooked it yesterday and we took it to our Community Group for dinner last night. Other people brought sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, dressing, rolls, cranberry sauce, and we had Thanksgiving in May. It was a huge success!  The weather was even unseasonably cool.

We all decided we should have Thanksgiving dinner more frequently. As a teacher, I am even more thankful in May at the close of the year.

10 05, 2021

National Leprechaun Day is Coming!

By |2021-05-04T09:03:07-05:00May 10th, 2021|Holidays, Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

May 13th is celebrated as National Leprechaun Day. No one knows the origins of the holiday. I’m guessing one of the tiny creatures came up with the idea for a day in his honor.

Being a bit Irish meself, I think it’s delightful to have a Leprechaun celebration separate from St. Patrick’s Day.

Leprechauns are portrayed  as sly and sneaky elves who dress in waistcoats and hats in Irish folklore. While they are small in stature, they are quick as a whip and masters of practical jokes.

They are also keen musicians who play tin whistles, the fiddle, and even the Irish Harp and love to dance. It’s said, they love dancing so much, they wear out their shoes and constantly have to make new ones.

You might see a leprechaun if you go to Ireland. Tis been known to happen.

For sure you’ll see one if you go to the Leprechaun Museum in Dublin. I know it’s a fun and interesting place to visit.

But catching one of the mischievous pranksters is another matter entirely!

The wee people hide because, if someone finds a leprechaun, then the leprechaun has to either give his pot of gold to the finder or grant him or her three wishes.

These devious little creatures should never be trusted. They will do anything to escape once caught.

If you do happen to catch one, be aware the leprechaun will use all his magical powers to grant you three wishes in return for his freedom. He might even offer you a pot of gold, but he’s also likely to trick you. Best to follow these tips on How to Catch a Leprechaun.

Most people celebrate this day for fun and luck by:

  • organizing Leprechaun hunts,
  • throwing Leprechaun parties,
  • playing practical jokes, and
  • eating and sharing gold foil-wrapped chocolate coins

Happy Leprechaun Day!

7 05, 2021

Mother’s Day 2021

By |2021-05-07T07:32:57-05:00May 7th, 2021|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

On Mother’s Day 2005 I made of list of things I had learned from my mother and gave it to her.


What I Have Learned from My Mother

  1. Be flexible (moving 18+ times). Any place can be home as long as family is there.
  2. Never give up on your dreams. (she graduated from college when I was in high school)
  3. Put things back where you found them (I have really learned the value of this-now if my kids would listen).
  4. Never be afraid to speak your mind (need I say more?).
  5. Make use of what you have (canning and freezing).
  6. Follow your husband where ever he goes (especially if it is to Ireland =))
  7. Stop and help when you can (as in dogs that have been hit by cars).
  8. Animals are people too (this must have been genetically passed on to my Rachel).
  9. Finding a church home is top priority when you get to a new home.
  10. You never stop being a mom (having your grown daughter move back in with her three children and husband for 6 weeks).

For Mother’s Day 2021, I would like to add to that list:

  1. Be hospitable (even when it means having company all summer long at your lovely home in Colorado).
  2. Sometimes the best view is seeing your family come through the door on a regular basis (moving back to Texas from Colorado).
  3. The best way to handle a difficult situation may be to huddle up under a blanket and wait it out (ice storm 2021).
  4. Being a grandmother is the best thing in the world (welcome to my Alexander!).
  5. A mother’s love just gets deeper and deeper. So does a daughter’s.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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