Bedlam Farm Open House, Opening New Doors

One of Liz’s Sheep that she’s offering me. 

This is the frist Columbus Day Weekend, in many years that Jon and I didn’t have a Bedlam Farm Open House.

I believe that when we stop one thing, it opens a door for something new to come in.

All the years we had Open Houses at the farm I loved doing it.  It was a lot of work and it had its problems, but I always felt it was worth any trouble that came from it.

When we decided not to have an Open House this year, I felt relief.

Relief at the thought of not having to empty out my studio, relief at the idea of not having to put a hold on my work for the three weeks it took to prepare and doing the finishing work after the Open House was over.

There were, of course, many good things about the Open House too.  It was complex.  But I was ready to let it go.   And I believe that left a space for something else to come in.

This weekend two things happened that did just that.

The first was my dancing in the Worldwide ATS Flash Mob with my fellow dancers of the Bennington Beledi Bellydancers.  Dancing was in a way the opposite of the Open House for me.

One of the things about the Open House was that I was in complete charge of the part of it that was about the art and artists.   And there was safety in that for me.  I was choosing the artists, making the rules, controlling things as much as possible.

Dancing on Saturday evening, Bellydancing, in general, makes me vulnerable in a way I’ve never voluntarily allowed myself to be before.

Every class I make a ton of mistakes that are visible to me and the people around me.  I’m often singled out and in front of everyone try again and again to move my feet in a  way that they can’t seem to move.

But this doesn’t bother me.

In the past, I would have been afraid of making mistakes, or even well-meaning criticism.   Now I feel like I just want to learn.  And I’ll do what it takes to do that.

The other thing that happened this weekend is that our shearer Liz offered me two of her sheep.

They’re a Cormo/Romeny and Blueface Leicester mix.  A wonderful combination of wool sheep. I’ve been thinking and talking to Jon about whether to get them or not all weekend.

To me, these sheep feel like another possible way of filling the space the Open House has left.  Taking on two good wool sheep would be like making a renewed commitment to the flock and my business of selling wool.

If I add two new sheep to the flock I will have too much wool for the Fiber Mill I use now to process.  So this is an opportunity for me to get creative about how to sell the extra wool.  I’m just beginning to explore the different options and have the feeling that I can figure something out that I never would have thought of before since I didn’t have to.

Last year I was certain we’d have more Open Houses even if in another form.  But now I’m not so sure.

I like these new directions I’m taking.  Being more committed to and active on the farm (whether I get the sheep or not), and stretching my creativity in a new way through Bellydancing.


Emily, me, Kathleen and Julz dancing Saturday evening.

4 thoughts on “Bedlam Farm Open House, Opening New Doors

  1. It sounds like you’re leaving room in your life to expand and go into the unknown with creativity as your guide. To expect the unexpected with curiosity and openness. It’s inspiring.

  2. I’m thinking back on how your other sheep have added to your flock over the years, some as ‘rescues’ others like Kim offered by people you know / trust. All the additions have stayed, providing you with new sheepy friends to spend time with, providing photo opportunities for you and Jon, they have all added to the character of the farm, provided you with fleece, which when made into yarn, always sells, their manure benefits your vegetable and flower gardens.

    I don’t feel that you’ve ever gone out looking for flock additions, they just seem to find you, and it always seems to work out….. so a big vote for yes to 2 new sheep. Of course I’m not the one who pays for the hay, or has to manage the pasture – (although until recently with Zelda in the flock, in reality overall numbers would only be increasing by one sheep).

    Very kind offer from Liz, someone you have known for years, and trust as a great shepherd to her flock, to gift you 2 new sheep. If your main concern is about the mill handling the wool, why not make some enquiries amongst your yarn buyers, maybe some of them are spinners, who would happy to buy ‘raw’ (unwashed, uncarded) fleece, directly after shearing, to process themselves. My shepherd friend sells many of her Shetland fleeces this way every year., and it would cut out sending those fleeces to the mill altogether.

    Look forward to reading / listening more about how you and Jon make a decision on this topic.

    1. Yes, Hannah, I’m thinking the same thing. I even have someone who may want to buy a fleece already. I was just talking about different options for the wool with my friend Suzy today. Thanks for your thoughts, I’m open to suggestions and ideas. And it’s true that the sheep do just come to me. It’s an interesting thing…

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