Another Dog?

May 25th, 2017

Leroy, the Boston Terrier puppy.  Photo by Jon Katz

When Jon first talked about maybe getting another dog, I wrinkled my nose at the idea.  “We don’t need another dog,” was my fist reaction.  Then when he said he was thinking of a small dog I was even more against the idea.

I have nothing against small dogs.  I’ve known some really nice small dogs.  I’ve just never had one and have never really been interested in having one.  I kinda felt like if I’m going to have small dog I might as well have a cat.

Jon had a few ideas for what kind of dog he was thinking of.  But in I didn’t want any that have genetic problems, like not being able to breathe well, or being prone to having their eyes pop out, or not being able to naturally breed.

When he mentioned a Boston Terrier, I thought of the time when a friend brought her new Boston Terrier puppy to my house when I had Frieda.  We were outside and that puppy chased Frieda, my Shepherd Rottweiler mix, around and around the house.  I don’t know if Frieda was afraid of her, or just having fun.  What ever was going on, that Boston Terrier impressed me.

What’s going to happen in the winter, I said to Jon, when we have three dogs and two cats in the house? Don’t you think that’s too many animals?  And where will another dog spend her day?  And a puppy, although really cute, is a lot of work.  I’m not sure I want to go through that again.

Talk of another dog went on for a while, then it stopped.  It seemed to go nowhere.

Until today.

I came into the house this morning after getting a massage, feeling all gentle and open, and Jon had this picture of a Boston Terrier puppy on his computer.

It looked like a baby rabbit to me.  And in my book a baby rabbit is right up there with baby goat.  Not  much  else is cuter.

“His name is Leroy,” Jon said.  “I just saw him at the Vet and he’s available.”

Sometimes you just know when something is right.  You can just feel it.  All my arguments about getting another dog flew out the window.  All I was left with was this image of this Boston Terrier puppy that already seemed to belong to us.

I felt the same way as I did  the moment I first saw a photo of Fate.

Jon and I are still talking about it.  He’s very thoughtful when it comes to getting any animal.  So he’s been researching the breed and we’ve been talking about the pros and cons of another dog.  And there really are a lot of both.

Tomorrow I’ll get to see Leroy in person.  For someone who never wanted a small dog, I’m pretty smitten already.

Emma And Robin Visit The Farm

May 25th, 2017

Socks I bought for Robin from Heather at the bead shop

I didn’t know the socks that Jon and I love so much came in baby sizes.   And you get five baby socks for the price of one adult pair.  (I love that there’s five not four or six).

Jon’s grand-daughter Robin and her mom Emma are here.   The fridge is so full of food I can barely close the door.  My office upstairs is transformed into the guest room it also serves as.  Instead of all my shipping supplies there’s a crib and kids books, diapers and wipes.  I even pulled all the papers and receipts that I have pinned to the wall ,with old hat pins, down.   There’s a kids painting of a dog in its place.

I’m not one of the many people who arbitrarily love babies. I’ve learned how to say the right thing when people show me pictures of their  grandchildren.  But it’s not instinctual for me to coo over a baby picture. (Show me a picture of a baby animal and that’s a different story)

But that doesn’t mean I don’t like babies and kids. I just see them as people.  Some of them I like and some of them…not so much.

From what I can see, Robin is a fun baby.  She smiles a lot and is happy to let me hold her, even though she doesn’t know me well.  She’s also very expressive and from what I can tell, has a strong will.  And she loves the dogs.  I have a feeling she’s going to like the rest of the animals too.

So I’m looking forward to getting to know her better.  Which I think can’t help but happen over the next few days while she’s here.




May 24th, 2017

Jon has become the subject of my Polaroids.

From the photos I’ve taken, I like the ones best that have a person in them.  And the only person I’ve taken a Polaroid of, so far, is Jon.  I believe that me knowing him the way I do makes him the perfect subject for me.  He adds a layer of depth I just wasn’t getting from the animals or scenes.

This morning I took a picture of Jon sitting on a chair in the hotel room in Kingston.  But he thought the light soft coming in the widow would make a better photo.  So I asked him to stand by the window and for some reason he draped the curtain around him, almost hiding.

It was so interesting, I’d never seen him do something like that before.  He’s usually reluctant (as I am) to pose for a picture.  But it seemed a most natural gesture.

I snapped the picture quickly and we both watched it develop.

Jon asked me what he thought the photo said about him.

I thought about his book reading last night.  How much he loves being in front of the crowd.   What a good story-teller he is.  How he could have continued the conversation all night.

And I thought how this picture shows the other side of him.   The private and shy Jon.  The one who blushes when I tell him  how handsome he is.

I know I’m capturing Jon in these Polaroids in a way I can’t with my iphone.  The medium and subject are perfect for each other. Intimate and everyday, without the focus of real life.  The blurring of detail, once removed.

Jon’s Reading At Oblong Books and A Hat For Robin

May 24th, 2017

Amy McAden and the hat she made from Bedlam Farm wool for Robin

Jon’s reading at Oblong Books last night was a special one.  The crowd was thoughtful and curious, they  listened, had questions and wanted to talk.

Once Jon got rolling, he was on. I can feel the moment when it clicks, when there’s no going back and he’s in the zone.  The audience helps that happen.  If it’s a good audience, his talk is that much better, like any performer.

After the talk, while Jon was signing books, I got to talk to some interesting people.  We had conversations  about leggings and socks. One man wanted me to tell Jon  he heard him on the radio and he was so interested in what Jon was saying he bought his book and showed up at the reading.  A woman bought Jon’s book for her husband, who is 100 years old, and couldn’t come to the reading.  She said he’s been reading Jon’s books over and over, he loves them so much.

Then I met Amy.  I knew her name from the donations she’s sent to many of the causes Jon writes about on his blog.  She’s one of the Army of Good.  She handed me a bag with a hat in it she made for Robin from Bedlam Farm wool.  (The wool comes from Izzy, Socks, Rosemary, Liam, Kim and Biddy)

“It might be a little big for her right now,” she told me.  I thought it would be the perfect size for the coming winter beside being so beautiful.

Amy has a company called Lulabelle Knits that “specializes in knitwear for children.”

I gave Amy a hug before she left and said I hoped to see her at the Open House.

After Jon signed the last book, we had a delicious meal at a Thai Restaurant in town.   It was a really special night.  One, I know, Jon and I will not soon forget.

Kathleen Nohe’s Bracelets At The Bedlam Farm Open House, June 10-11

May 23rd, 2017

One Of Kathleen Nohe’s bracelets

Mary twisted the bracelet round and round on her wrist.  I recognized the bracelet, it was one of Kathleen Nohe’s.

“I wanted to tell you,” she said, “I haven’t taken a vacation in many years.  It  seemed like there was always something more important to do and  I found it harder and harder to leave home and the dogs.”

“But, when the idea of a vacation came up again  this year, I looked at the bracelet I got at your Open House.  It reminded me of your trip to India.   I thought, if Maria can go to India, surely I can go on vacation.”  “And I did,” she said, “it was one of the best things I’ve done in a long time.”

The bracelet reminded Mary of my trip because Kathleen donated them to me to sell at the Open House last October.   She helped me raise about $300 for my trip to India.

I found each of Kathleen’s bracelets a world of their own and  I asked  if she would make more for the June Open House.

A couple of weeks ago I got a bag in the mail with 20 of Kathleen’s beautiful bracelets.  Looking at each one is like traveling down a different path of polished stones and beads.   Many of them have Turtles, Buddha heads, Hamsa hands, spirals, stars and  Day of the Dead skulls.  (I’m pretty partial to the skulls myself).

You can see more of Kathleen’s work and read about her process here, on her website Wearable Earth Jewelry.

Here’s a few more of the bracelets I’ll be selling a the Bedlam Farm Open House in just a few weeks….

For more information on the Bedlam Farm Open House, click here.

Breathing Between The Branches

May 23rd, 2017

At the end of the winter we had the Birch tree and Apple tree in the side yard pruned.  When we first thought about buying our house, these two trees helped me know that it was the right place for us.  They hold a very old and powerful energy.  I always saw the birch with its arms open wide, like a big hug.  And the apple tree, with its hollow trunk, seems a passage to another world.

I was concerned about them both.  The Birch was dropping a lot of branches even when it wasn’t windy and the Apple tree had some big boughs that are hollow or cracked.

But the the men who pruned them said once they got rid of the dead branches, that the trees were healthy.

And I can feel it.

Now when I look at them, with the large spaces between their branches, I feel the space in my own chest,  the air between my ribs.   As if the congestion is gone and I can breathe easy again.

Apple Tree Branch Sculpture, Come What May….

May 23rd, 2017

This is the kind of Sculpture that changes with the seasons and with the animals.  The donkeys and sheep nibble on it, eating off the bark then chewing on the bare branches.  The sheep use it as a scratching post, leaving tufts of wool behind.

There’s a protected space within the sculpture where the animals can’t get, yet.  I’ve thrown some seeds beneath it, picturing them  growing up through the branches, giving them leaves and flowers again.

But I don’t know what will happen, that is part of the sculpture.  Letting go of control and allowing the forces around it,the animals and nature,  work their own magic.

Ed Gulley’s Wind Chimes, A Video

May 22nd, 2017

On Saturday, June 10th, Ed and Carol Gulley  are  bringing their cow Silly Sally to the Bedlam Farm for the Open House.  If you follow their blog, Bejosh Farm Journal, you’ve seen here there.   The Wind Chimes in the video above are some of the ones I’ll be selling at the Open House.


Elephant Eyes And Goddess Eyes

May 22nd, 2017

Elephant Eyes

Today was a day of making eyes.  Elephant eyes, Goddess eyes, bird and snake eyes.

I had been putting it off because it’s a pain in the butt to get the whole wall hanging under my sewing machine.  But those eyes called to me.  They wanted to be done.

The pupils are marker and the iris’ are stitched.

Goddess eyes

Bird eye

Sewing the eyes on my goddess

A Preview of Ed Gulley’s Art For The Bedlam Farm Open House

May 22nd, 2017

I got a text message from Carol Gulley last week saying that Ed had some new work for the Open House he wanted to show me.

So on Sunday, Jon and I went to the very real wonderland that is  Bejosh Farm.   A place of Animals and Art and two really good and talented people.  We got the tour which started with the sheep that Ed made from  the aluminum that he found in the road from a catalytic converter.

Jon and Ed were at each other from the moment we get there.  It’s all in good fun, you can see the real affection they have for each other, between the jokes and insults.

Ed has a whole new line of work for the Open House this year.  Small wind chimes made of silverware, keys, jello cups and farm stuff.  Signs made from old pieces of metal and harness parts.  A peacock, one leg in the air as it makes its way across the lawn.   And a few surprises, still in pieces in his shop.

Ed Gulley is one of nine artist’s at this June’s Bedlam Farm Open House.  But you can always see his work and read his and Carol’s blog, Bejosh Farm Journal here.

This is the Peacock that Ed is almost finished making.  There’s a few detail missing yet.

Ed made some signs using old pieces of metal and old harness pieces.

“Open” by Ed Gulley

“Horse and Cart” by Ed Gulley