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My “Vulture” Wall Hanging is Sold

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

vulture ok

I put the last stitch and drew the last line on my “Vulture” Wall Hanging this afternoon.  Then I sewed the backing on it.  I’ve written about it so much (under the name Raptor) that I don’t know what else to say about it.

Except that I came across a poem by Hafiz that, to me, speaks to the piece.  Here it is:

That Believe In Gravity    by Hafiz

The wind and I could come by and carry
you the last part of your journey, if you
become light enough,

by just letting go of a few more things you
are clinging to…that still believe in

It is 58″x71″ and I  sold it for $500 + shipping.   Here’s some details….

vulture ok detail

vulture ok detail2

vulture ok detail6

vulture ok detail4


Breakfast At Bedlam Farm

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Still Working On My Vulture Quilt

Thursday, July 21st, 2016
Detail from my Vulture Quilt

The pieces I started sewing on my Vulture Quilt today.

I think this is the longest I’ve ever work on one piece.   It’s just slow going.  I know I’m just about finished with it now.  I placed what I believe are the last pieces on the quilt.  (although that can change tomorrow)  But I’ve not been feeling well the past couple of days.  My stomach has been off and I get tired at odd times during the day and have to stop and sleep.  I’m betting I caught it from Jon who had the same thing last week.

The good part about it is I only want to eat bread and sweet stuff.  I had a croissant for breakfast and a muffin for lunch with lots of tea in between.

So I didn’t get all the pieces sewn onto my quilt today.  I just didn’t have the energy to finish it.  But I’ll get at it tomorrow.  I’m already feeling much better than yesterday, so I think  tomorrow will be better than today.

“It’s not a house, It’s a home”

Thursday, July 21st, 2016


There were a few old houses in the post WWII suburban neighborhood, on Long Island,  where I grew up.   Walking to school I loved peaking between the giant old trees and bushes that shaded and obscured the houses from view.  I’d make up stories about the people who lived there, how they’d invite me in.  The rooms would be big and dark, rambling on an on.  Just the right amount of spooky. They were always warm, with big fireplaces.  And there was always a wood-paneled library,  books from the floor to a ceiling that was so high it receded into shadow.  There was a big stuffed chair and lamp, just waiting for me.   Those old houses were safe places I could go in my mind, to escape my life.

Later, I got to know old houses in a different way.  By living in them and working on them.  I became a bit of an Old House snob.   I would drive by a Victorian house and scoff at it, if it was painted the wrong color to be historically correct.  “The trim isn’t supposed to be a lighter color than the body of the house.”  I’d quip.  I was annoyed, these people were doing it all wrong.

But I was the worst when it came to windows.  I gladly climbed the aluminum ladder to the second floor of the house carrying storm windows, almost as big as me,  replacing  the screens in the fall and doing the reverse in the spring.

The windows are the eyes, to the soul of the house was my mantra.  Aluminum storm windows repulsed me.  And replacement windows (especially with the fake mullions between the two panes of insulated glass) were even worse.  I had no sympathy for the occupants of the house.  I’d rather be cold in the winter and have insects infesting the house in the summer rather than have “fake” windows on my house.

And aesthetics won out over the environment every time.

I started to mellow a bit about such things when I moved upstate.  The farm houses I saw in Washington County were a hundred years older than the houses in the neighborhoods  where I lived on Long Island.  It wasn’t unusual to see a house with foam board insulation plastered on top of the clapboard.  How cold the house must be, how few choices, I thought,  people must have to do such a thing to an old farm house.

And I began to understand that to them it wasn’t an old historic farm house, it was their home.  And it got really cold in the winter.  Cold enough to stretch plastic over the windows the way pioneers used to use oil cloth instead of glass to let the light in.

Restoring houses,  as close to their historic condition as possible, and still being able to sell them, became the driving force in my first marriage.  For over 20 years we moved from house to house, sometimes owning two at a time, working on them simultaneously.  How much money we made fluctuated with the market.  The work was exhausting,mostly unfulfilling and endless.

When I think of it now I wonder that we weren’t unconsciously trying to fix a broken relationship by creating the “perfect” house.  Then, of course, when you get the perfect house, the only choice is to move on.  That, or look at the real problem,  which had nothing to do with where I lived.

Last year Jon and I put inexpensive aluminum storm windows on our 1840’s farm house.  I was so grateful to be able to open my widows in the summer without having to remove every wooden storm window. I no longer want to spend my time and energy removing and replacing storm windows.   And I’m just as grateful in the winter not to feel the breezes that blew through those ill fitted storms.

Yesterday, our friend and handyman, Jay came to take the last of the shutters off the front of the house.  Before we even lived here, I used to pass this house, driving on route 22, and think it so perfect, so sweet with its porches, attached woodshed and green shutters.

But honestly, shutters are a pain in the ass to maintain.  They’re awful to paint and ours began falling apart, it seems, the moment we moved in.

We got rid of most of the shutters when we had the house painted earlier in the summer.  We decided to put the shutters back on just the front of the house.  But when the person who painted the house put them back on, a couple of the shutters to the small windows on the second floor were broken beyond repair.  So he screwed two pairs of large shutters on the sides of the small windows.

I’m no longer a snob when it comes to old houses.  I understand that everyone who owns an old house may not want it to look historic.  They may want it to work for them.  And although I wouldn’t judge anyone else, there are still somethings I just can’t do.  And shutters that are too big, or too small for the window is one of those things.  I would cringe every time I drove up the drive way.  I actually stopped looking at the front of the house, it bothered me so much.

In a  perfect world I would have interior storm windows so the mullions  of the windows would be visible on the exterior of the house.  Making the windows once again the eyes to the soul of the house, something I still believe strongly in.  Then the shutters, which aren’t original anyway,  would be aesthetically obsolete.

But I don’t need a “perfect” house anymore.

What I want now, and maybe have always been looking for,  is a good and loving home.  And that’s about what goes on with the people inside inside the house,  not what it looks like on the outside.   That doesn’t mean I don’t want my house be look a certain way, I obviously do.  But my priorities have changed.  And I’ve found  I like not living in a “perfect” house.  It reflects who I really am.  Far from perfect.



Fate and The Bedlam Farm Tote Bag

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

fate and tote

I made a few more Bedlam Farm Tote bags for some people who had asked for them.  Then I made a couple more, because I was so into it.  I put this one on the floor to take a picture of it and Fate came over and sat down right next to it.

I couldn’t resist.

This Tote is for sale and I have another one too, that I still need to photograph.  It’s $40 + $8 shipping.  If you’re interested in it, you can email me at


Three Sister’s Garden, Making Sense of My World

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

corn (1)

I have to keep a close eye on my Three Sister’s Garden, because there’s something new growing everyday.

The giant leafs of the corn plants brush against each other in the breeze making a soft swishing sound.  It’s like a gentle caress and I can’t help but imagine that because the plants are able to make physical contact in this way, they’re “happier” and growing better in each other’s company.


This morning before breakfast I pick three pea pods and Jon and I shared them as we looked at the Dahlia gardens which is just beginning to flower.  They were so  sweet!


I  saw this pumpkin growing a couple of days ago.  At first I thought it was a zucchini, because it was so long,  but today I saw the zucchini, so I know this is a pumpkin.


I could eat zucchini every day.  I like it simple, grilled or sautéed in a little olive oil.  It’s a good thing too, because I know how zucchini grows like weeds.


For the past few days I’ve been picking the string beans and eating them off the vine.   I don’t have a lot of plants in my garden.  There won’t be enough for canning or freezing.  It’ more like the idea of a gentleman farmer.  A hobby not a living.

But even growing this small amount of vegetables has made me feel more connected to the earth and appreciate all she has to offer us.  It makes me want to be kinder to her.   Also, I think I’ve always appreciated the earth for her beauty , but now I’m experiencing  her life-giving powers in a more direct way.

It’s like eating my chickens eggs.  Somehow in witnessing directly  where my food comes from, living with it’s source and taking care of it,  the world around me makes more sense.

A Video of Rosemary, the Sheep, Coming to Bedlam Farm

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Rosemary, Another Romney, Comes to Bedlam Farm

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016
Rosemary, in Donna's car on her way to Bedlam Farm

Rosemary, in Donna’s car on her way to Bedlam Farm (those are clouds reflected in the window not Rosemary’s wool)

I didn’t expect to be shearing a sheep today.  Actually I never expected to shear a sheep.  But when we got to Donna’s farm to help her round up the Romney we’d be taking back to Bedlam Farm, Donna, said she wanted to clean her up first.

We called her Rosemary,  and Red, with Jon’s direction rounded her  up so Donna  could slip a lead rope around her neck.

Soon with help from some of Donna’s friends, we had her on the ground and the shearing began.  I was just watching until, Treasure, who was using the buzzer got up to stretch her back.  Donna handed me the buzzer, told me how to use it and I continued cutting the matted wool, cover in feces, from Rosemary’s hind quarters.   There was so much wool and it was so thick we didn’t know if Rosemary had a tail or not.
(we carefully discovered her tail was docked)

Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t doing the work a professional Shearer would.  I was just hacking off the dirty, matted wool as best as I could, being careful not to buzz too close to the skin.  When Treasure came back, I took the scissors and cut the wool around her face.    While Donna practically sat on Rosemary, Treasure buzzed and I clipped.

When I thought about it afterwards it was surprising to me how smoothly it went.  I’ve only met Donna and Treasure a couple of times, yet we worked together as if were old friends.  There was no tension, everyone just trusting each other to do their job.  And we all did.

It’s not the best shearing job I’ve ever seen, but we got the worst of the wool off of Rosemary.   Then we walked her out to the car,  picked her up and put her in.

Unlike Izzy there was nothing to salvage of her wool. ( I’ll won’t get Izzy’s wool back till next spring)  We’ll get her shorn again in the fall when we have the rest of the sheep done.  So I won’t have her wool till next fall.  From what I could see of the wool closest to her body, I know it’s going to be beautiful.

Once at Bedlam Farm, Rosemary jumped out of the car and found her new flock.  She’s been baaing on and off,  more than Izzy did.  Maybe looking for her old friends.  But she’s hanging around with Izzy and surprisingly, with Chloe too.

Rosemary has a presence about her.  She holds her head high and chest out and struts around.  I told her I thought she would like it here, once she got used to it.

Rosemary at Bedlam Farm with her new flock

Rosemary at Bedlam Farm with her new flock



Izzy’s Wool

Monday, July 18th, 2016


Izzy's wool

Izzy’s wool

Jay gave me Izzy’s fleece when he brought her back after having her shorn.  Turns out much of it is in good shape.  Jon and I skirted it yesterday.  We had to throw a lot out, some of it was matted or just too hard to pick the brambles out of.  But we got about seven pounds of good wool.

I’m getting in touch with Deb at the  Vermont Fiber Mill today to see if I can ship it to her and have it processed with the other wool we dropped off last weekend.  If so, I may decide to mix it with Socks’ wool as my friend Suzy suggested.  Then I’ll have a new  kind of yarn to sell in the fall.

Yesterday we cut a broken branch off the apple tree and gave it to the animals to munch on. The sheep especially liked it. That's Izzy to the right getting her fill.

Yesterday we cut a broken branch off the apple tree and gave it to the animals to munch on. The sheep especially liked it. That’s Izzy to the right getting her fill of leaves.

Good Monday Morning From Bedlam Farm 7/18/16

Monday, July 18th, 2016

A quiet morning on Bedlam Farm, everyone seems happy just to be.