Lulu in the Snow

March 14th, 2017

Apple Branch Snow Sculpture

March 14th, 2017

The snow is already falling quick and hard.  We’re supposed to get from 12-24 inches.  This time of year, where there’s little grass and it’s often covered in snow and ice the animals like to chew on branches and bark.

Last week we had our apple and birch trees pruned and we threw some of the branches from the apple tree (they especially love the apple branches)  in the barn yarn for  Chloe, Fanny, Lulu and sheep to nibble.

Better that than the barn.

Scattered on the ground, the branches were already mostly covered in snow by the time we went to feed the animals this morning.   So I gathered them up and piled them on top of each other.  Even if we do get two feet of snow, there will still be branches high enough off the ground for the animals to get at.

As I was placing the branches on top of each other,  I realized how intentional I was being.   Interlocking them so the structure would stand without falling. Walking around the pile to get an overall look at it.  Putting the branches in the “right” place.

That’s when it became a sculpture.

Then I thought of how it would change throughout the day as the snow continued to fall.  How eventually it would have  a base of snow.  How the snow laying on the branches would create delicate, swirling lines.   How, if it got really windy, the whole thing could roll away like a tumble weed maybe creating a giant snowball.  Or, how covered in snow, the branches might create the frame-work of a shelter for a small animal.

Then I thought of  what will happen when the animals start chewing on it.

I’ll return the my sculpture throughout the day. Maybe my imaginings about how it will change are more dramatic and intriguing that will actually happen.  But that’s no longer in my hands.  It’s up to the snow and the wind and animals from now on.

“Show Your Soul” Posters For Sale

March 13th, 2017

Show Your Soul Posters

I picked up my Show Your Soul Posters today and I’m very excited about getting them out into the world.  I’ve already sold most of the ones I got today,  but I do have more available and can also order more too.

The Posters are 11″x17″ and are printed on a heavy paper.  Jon took the photo I used for the poster and you can see all the details so clearly, including the texture of the fabric.   Sara Kelly did a wonderful job designing the posters.

I’m selling my Show Your Soul posters for $10 each + $6 shipping for 1-2 posters.(Shipping is a bit more outside the US)

So one poster is $16 with shipping and two posters is $26 with shipping.

If you’d like a poster, you can email me here  at Just let me know if you’d like to send a check or I can email you a paypal invoice.

I was inspired to make the posters when a read, “We Were Made For These Times” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

There’s so many ways to show our souls, this is one way I’m showing mine.

“One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.                                          Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Endings and Renewal, The Nature Of Life

March 13th, 2017

Chloe and Fanny

“It’s the putting back together again, the renewing, that ultimately makes something stronger.  That is true of our houses, our language, our relationships.  It’s a fine balance, making something that is not so flimsy that it falls apart too soon, yet not so solid that it is permanent.  It requires a sort of grace.  That sort of constant renewal is the only permanence we should wish to attain.”  Martin Prechtel

It’s actually the nature of life, isn’t it?  I wrote to my friend Cindy.   She too has a horse that one day she feels she’ll give to someone who can spend more time with her.   As sad as it will make her.

And as soon as I wrote it, I saw it more clearly.  Of course the coming and going of animals, people and things is a natural part of life.  Children go off to live their own lives, people die, relationships end, property is bought and sold, natural disasters and war uproot our lives.

Some of these things we have more control over than others, but as the philosophy of Wabi Sabi dictates, nothing is perfect and everything is in a constant state of change.

It’s  the nature of life.

It was Jackie who sent me the Martin Prechtel quote above.   About the other side of things ending.  About renewal.

I don’t mean to paint a rosy picture.  Some endings are sudden and brutal, others long-suffering,  then there are those that ease their way out of our lives.  More of a moving on.

And that’s how I see my choice to give Chloe to Treasure.  A moving on, for her and me.   Allowing her to be in a place where she will thrive.  Where the people around her will benefit from her presence.  And allowing me to renew my focus on the things in life that pull at me.

I never think of getting Chloe as a mistake.  The whole process of bringing her home, and living with her and finding her a new home has made me stronger.

Living  with Chloe has given me a confidence I didn’t have before.  She’s opened my heart a little more.  Her presence has allowed me to experience the long-held bond between horses and humans.  It has awakened something ancient in me.  An understanding of animals as their own beings, their own nation, with their own lives and needs.  Something I may be a part of, but being a human, not something I will ever completely understand.

As Chloe leaves for her new home, I’m finding  strength in my renewal of purpose and focus.  And Chloe is going to a home where she will be a  part of the purpose and focus of Treasure, her children and grandchildren.

Renewal will come for all of us.


Good Monday Morning From Bedlam Farm 3/13/17

March 13th, 2017

Spending Time with Lulu

March 12th, 2017

Lulu was so affectionate today.  When all the other animals were grazing she came and stood next to me.  We spent some time together, just being near each other.  She put her head on mine, then I leaned against her.  Then we were just still together.

Eventually she walked away to graze with Fanny.  I found being with Lulu very grounding.

Grazing On A Sunday Afternoon On Bedlam Farm

March 12th, 2017

It’s cold out there, but the sun is warm.  Snuggling with Chloe and Lulu I can feel the sun in their coats.  Warm enough to take off my gloves and give them scratches,  without my hands freezing.

Talking About My Trip To India, At The Mansion

March 10th, 2017

Giving a talk about my trip at the Mansion

Generally, I’m not comfortable talking in front of large groups of people.  I have a hard time with so many people looking at me.

And I wasn’t so sure of myself when I sat down in the activities room at the Mansion (an assisted living facility in town) this afternoon to show the residents there some pictures and talk about my trip to India.

But I’ve gotten pretty comfortable with many of the people who live at the Mansion, so it was more like talking to a group of friends than anything.

I spent the morning selecting photos from my trip and putting them on an album in my computer.  (this actually took me three hours, not because I have so many photos, but because I’m not technically savvy and had to figure out the best way to display the photos).   I didn’t realize there’d be so many people coming to the talk, so once I got there, I decided the best way to show the pictures was to walk around with my computer.

Maybe not the most efficient way of displaying photos, but it worked.

I gave a chronological account of my trip, talking about the different foundations we visited and the work I did with girls and women with the tote bags and potholders.

I talked about the animals in India and got lots of questions about them and many other things.

Peggy wanted to know about the food.   Barb had a comment or two about some of the good-looking men in my photos.

I told them how we picked up the baby goats roaming around the village of  Bolpur.  Since they had a visit from Treasure and her baby goats just last week, I knew it was something we could share.

I ended the talk by showing them a photo of me in my sari and explaining how they’re worn.  (I wish I had thought to bring my sari.  I could have done a demonstration).

Red was there, of course.  He went from person to person giving and receiving love.   And Jon was there too, being generally supportive and taking pictures (of course).

It turned out to be a lot of fun.  I think most of the people there enjoyed it and I know I did too.

That’s Hannah, Me and Kiera in our Sari’s. And that’s the owner of the hotel where we stayed,  behind us. His mother taught us how to wear the saris.





The Next Bedlam Farm Open House, June 10 -11, 2017

March 10th, 2017

Minnie and White Hen  Photo by Jon Katz

This year the Bedlam Farm Open House will be on Saturday and Sunday, June 10th and 11th.  Hours are from 11am-4pm.

It’s earlier than in the past couple of years.  I changed the dates because June is a busy month.  In the past our Open Houses have fallen on Graduation Day in Cambridge.  That means a lot of local people are busy with ceremonies and parties.  Father’s Day takes up another weekend.

I think earlier in June can be nicer weather wise too.  We’ll see.

I still have to work out all the details.  Of course I’ll have an art show in my School House Gallery and Jon will herd the sheep with Red and Fate (well, Red anyway).  There’ll be visits with Fanny and Lulu and with the dogs of course.  And I hope to have poetry readings by Mary Kellogg and Jackie Thorne.

I’ll have more details soon.   And I’ll let you know them as soon as I do.

And for people staying overnight, there’s a new motel in town.  The Motel Cambridge is just about 5 minutes from the farm on Route 22.  Click here to see more about it.

You can also click here to get to my Events Page which has more information about places to stay and things to do in Cambridge.



What I’ve been working on since coming home

March 9th, 2017

This is the first piece I’ve worked on since coming back from India.   The elaborate rectangle in the center is a pillow sham I got on my trip.  I grew the quit around it.   I want to write more about it tomorrow.  But I wanted to put a picture of it up.  I’ve been working on it for a few days, and haven’t posted the process as I usually do.

I still have to tack it.  More tomorrow….