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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.

5 10, 2020

Wistful Thinking

By |2020-10-03T09:18:55-05:00October 5th, 2020|Uncategorized|1 Comment

This is where we find our Buster most days. Sitting and staring out the back door.

Not wanting to go out. Just looking out all lost like.

That’s how I find myself some days in this pandemic world. Not motivated to do anything though there’s plenty to do.

I feel like I’m Alexander in Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Only this hasn’t been just one bad day. These Alexander days just keep on coming… piling on top of one another.

Like Alexander, I must decide what to do with these terrible, horrible, no good, very bad COVID-19 pandemic 2020 days.

I can grump and gripe and complain. Be immobilized like Buster in the kitchen door.

Science writer, Tara Haelle says my feelings are okay in a Medium article I read recently. 2020 has depleted our  surge capacity for handling disasters by piling on endless calamities with no breaks.

“We can kick and scream and be angry, or we can feel the other side of it, with no motivation, difficulty focusing, lethargy… or we can take the middle way and just have a couple days where you feel like doing nothing and you embrace the losses and sadness you’re feeling right now, and then the next day, do something that has an element of achievement to it.

Read all Halle’s suggestions for recharging our surge capacity in the Medium article here.

Another choice… Alexander fixes his bad day when he alters his attitude in the Viorst book. I can alter my attitude.

BTW, if you haven’t read Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,  you should. It’s available on Amazon or any online book store. It’s a delightful children’s book that will warm your adult heart during this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year we’re having.

Our Buster embraces both solutions. He sits for awhile then gives a celebratory woof or a take-that-world bark and settles next to the chair where I’m writing. His safe place.

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.

28 09, 2020

Courage and the Cowardly Lion

By |2020-09-22T11:15:08-05:00September 28th, 2020|Make Me Think Monday, Monday Motivations|1 Comment

Surviving 2020 requires a lot of courage. Every day a new drama comes and always COVID 19 lingers. Doubts and fears battle on the inside. At least, for me.

But then that’s the very definition of courage — confronting a difficult, frightening, painful, or disturbing situation when our first instinctive reaction is to flee.

Examples of courage are portrayed everywhere – in the Bible, in fairy tales, in books, in movies, in the news.

It’s usually depicted as physical bravery but being courageous also encompasses much more than physical strength and endurance. Courage involves mental stamina. That’s 2020 courage.

Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D. identifies six different ways to be courageous.

  1. Feeling Fear Yet Choosing to Act
  2. Following Your Heart
  3. Persevering in the Face of Adversity
  4. Standing Up for What Is Right
  5. Expanding Your Horizons; Letting Go of the Familiar
  6. Facing Suffering with Dignity or Faith

Where do we find courage? The word itself gives us the clue. Courage comes from root cour or coeur, which is French for heart.

The essence of courage lies in our heart.

Judythe MorganThink about the Cowardly Lion in the classic film The Wizard of Oz. Along his journey on the Yellow Brick Road, he learned his courage came from within.

On the really hard days when the chaos of our current world threatens to pull you under, call forth your inner COURAGE like the Cowardly Lion.

We will survive 2020.

 

~~The original version of this blog appeared on View from the Front Porch October 8, 2014

21 09, 2020

Pandemic Fatigue and the 2020 Craziness

By |2020-09-20T07:25:21-05:00September 21st, 2020|A Writer's Life, Writer's Life|0 Comments

September is the height of the hurricane season on the Texas Gulf coast. A month loaded with angst as we watch the weather forecasts. This year in particular it’s a nightmare.

Add the pandemic-induced mess of 2020 and I feel like I’m teetering on the brink of crazy.

Days run together. I lose track of what day it really is. My memory’s totally shot. Argh.

Recently, I inserted my Wii Fit DVD into the player to do my exercise. The disc wouldn’t run, I tried to eject said disk. It wouldn’t jump out.

After several failed attempts to get the disc out, I gave up. A short time later, Hubby-Dear asked me what the Wii Fit DVD was doing on the table with the TV remote.

I’d never actually inserted the disc!

Other times, I load clothes in the dryer. Come back later to fold and find I never pushed start.

Attachments don’t make it to emails I’m sending.

Multi-tasking becomes a multi-mess. Stuff ‘s misplaced constantly. Minor things, I know. But, for me it’s frustrating. It makes me crazy.

Maybe, like me, you feel you’re losing your mind while trying to keep it all together and stay focused at the same time.

Well, we’re not crazy because things aren’t normal right now. We’re coping as best we can. Any way we can.

We’re feeling stressed for very real reasons. Who wouldn’t with all the COVID-19 hype? Newscasts filled with horrid visuals of violence and civil unrest. Tropical storms spinning into hurricanes and reeking unfathomable damage. Fires burning unchecked. An ugly presidential election on the horizon.

Any one of which would be troubling alone. We’re got all of the above pounding us daily.

We have “pandemic fatigue,” which means daily stuff may take a little longer to accomplish or may not go as planned.

That’s okay.

We’re getting through these weird times. One day at a time. The next months will likely be the toughest yet. We’ll struggle more, but, I’m confident, we will come through.

All we have to do is stop and breathe. Slow, even breaths. In for one-1000, two-1000, three-1000. Out again one-1000, two-1000, three-1000. Repeat.

Seriously, STOP. Take deep breaths then proceed.

It’s helped me. So do M&Ms, but breathing is so much healthier.

Next time you’re feeling crazy and want to pull the covers back over your head, try taking a few deep breaths. I think you’ll find those provide calm in this uncalm world.

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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