The Bud and Suzy Affair

I’ve never seen any of my dogs interested in a sheep the way Bud is interested in my Border Leicester Suzy and vice versa.

Usually  Bud will go up to Suzy and touch noses with her, then she starts to wiggle her butt at him.  This time, as you can see in the video, Suzy hung back from the rest of the sheep and waited for Bud.   When she wigged her butt at him,  he got interested, but not enough to keep Suzy from joining the rest of the sheep.

A Thousand Small Things


Bud getting my attention by standing in the pile of fabric scraps on my studio floor.

I tried focusing, doing one thing at a time, but my head was all over the place.  It felt like I had a thousand small things to do. Each time I thought of doing one, another popped into my head demanding attention.

So I made a list.

I finished up sewing my Potholders then spent the rest of my day on the computer.  I was tying up loose ends.  Answering the emails I hadn’t gotten to in the past few days and contacting the people who bought my Sea Turtle Potholders.

After that I made some decisions on how to process this season’s wool.

I have orders for 44 dryer balls.  That means more roving than usual.  Since Rosemary died and Merricat’s wool was too short to shear, I don’t have any white Romney wool to mix with Liam’s.  In the past, this wouldn’t have been a problem, but ever since I started mixing the wool together, I’ve found it makes noticeably better yarn.

So I’ll use Liam and Kim’s white wool and some of Asher’s dark brown wool to make the dryer balls.  Then I’ll mix Biddy, Socks and Pumpkins wool and dye it two different colors.  I’ll mix Lori and Suzy’s wool together, dye half, and keep the other half natural.  Issachar’s black wool will also be natural.

On Sunday we’ll drop the wool off at the Vermont Fiber Mill and get it back in September or October.

After I post my Potholders for sale in my Etsy Shop, I’ll have crossed everything off my list except my bookkeeping.  That can wait.  I’m just about ready to sit outside and watch the light settle on the mountains while sipping a glass of wine.  If I don’t get there before the sun goes down, maybe I’ll get to see the moon high in the sky.

Skirting Wool And Josie’s House Socks

Bud and Liam’s wool. Bud kept close by as I skirted the wool.

When my shearer Liz told me of a woman she knew who was spinning with raw wool and said the smell was so bad it made her sick, I was at first confused.  It never occurred to me that someone wouldn’t like the smell of raw wool.

I’m happily smelling it right now and feeling how silky the lanolin from my wool has made the skin on my usually dry hands.  At the moment, my whole studio is infused with the smell of raw wool because I spent the morning skirting the wool (picking out the organic debris)that Liz sheared from my sheep last Friday.

I put about 2 lbs of Rosemary’s wool in a separate bag for Suzy who wants to add it to her mohair goats wool (we did a trade, wool for one of her scarves) and the rest of it will go to the Vermont Fiber Mill on Sunday.

I still have to figure out exactly what I’ll be doing with it all.  I know for sure that I’ll be keeping Issachars black wool natural and making it into yarn.  And I have preorders for the same blue that I had last time so I’ll be dying some that same color.

Because I didn’t shear two of my sheep, Suzy and Biddy, I’ll have less yarn, but I’ll make up for that next fall after I get my three new Romneys.

Josie just sent me a picture of the house socks she made using my blue wool. “They are nice and soft! Your wool is wonderful to knit with!”  She wrote me.

I love seeing what my wool turns into.  So if anyone out there has photos they’d like to share, I’d love to post them on my blog.

The house socks that Josie made from my blue wool.



Meet My Sheep and Their Wool That’s For Sale

Some of the Bedlam Farm wool for sale in my Etsy Shop.

Most of my Bedlam Farm wool sold yesterday, but I still have some for sale in my Etsy Shop.  Just click here to see and buy it.

I have one 200 yard skein of 3 ply Dk from my sheep, Suzy.  It’s a natural gray and 100% Border Leicester.  Some of you may remember Suzy from this spring when she and Bud had a spring time romance.

Bud and Suzy getting friendly.

The rest of my wool is 3 ply worsted and all the skeins are 200 yards.

I have six red skeins from Socks and Izzy.  It’s a mix of Border Leicester and Romney.


Socks is one of my first sheep and Izzy is also known as The Lone Sheep because she’s often off by herself.

I have 7 skeins of Pumpkin and Griselle’s natural gray wool a Border Leicester/Cheviot and Romney mix.  (It’s a gorgeous light gray that works well on its own or with other colors.)


Pumpkin is Socks’ lamb, a sweet whether and Griselle is one of the Romneys that we rescued from a nearby farm.


And for the first time this year, I made a Barber Pole yarn with Kim and Biddy’s natural wool.  It’s gray and white, a mix of Karakul and Romney.  I have 5 skeins of that.  Kim is our only karakul sheep who I often mistaken for the puppet Lamb Chop.


I also have just 3 skeins of Biddy’s wool in its natural gray.  That’s 100%, Romney.  Biddy is one of our friendliest sheep always ready for a treat.  We rescued her along with Griselle.


So if you’d like some Bedlam Farm wool, there’s still some available.  Just click here to see and buy it.

Full Moon Fiber Art Etsy Store



Suzy A Good Sheep


If I were going to breed  just one of my sheep it would be Suzy.

She was an attentive and protective mother, gave birth with no problems and has lots of lovely gray wool.

Suzy, Socks and Tess (who died some years ago), all Border Leisters, were my first three sheep.  They were given to me by a farmer who brought his sheep to Old Bedlam Farm to graze.

Suzy is friendly and loves to get her back scratched.  Her big, bulging eyes easily distinguish her from the other sheep.

I named Suzy after my friend Suzy Fatzinger, who is a spinner and knitter.  Suzy sold her handspun and knit,  fingerless gloves and shawls at the Bedlam Farm Open House.

This spring Bud was interested in Suzy and she seemed to be smitten with him.  She would wiggle her butt at him and a few times they even touched noses.

Suzy still hangs around Liam much of the time.  They’re often sitting or grazing next to each other.

If I didn’t have other sheep to compare her too, I might think that all sheep are good mothers like Suzy who stay connected to their lambs.  But I’ve seen this isn’t true with Socks and Pumpkin or with some of the other sheep we’ve had.

I do have a soft stop for Suzy and Socks since they were my first sheep.

That’s Suzy on the right behind Tess.  Socks is next to Suzy.  This photo is from when I first got them all in 2012.  Suzy and Socks were only a year or two old then.  You can see how much darker Suzy’s wool was.


An Afternoon With The Sheep, Donkeys and Dogs

Bud and Biddy.  I was sitting on the ground and Lulu came over for some company when I saw Bud and Biddy going at it.

Jon and have figured out how to separate Zelda and Griselle from the other sheep so we can feed them grain.

It wouldn’t be healthy to give the other sheep grain this time of year, they get enough nutrition from the grass and hay.  But Zelda and Griselle are old and are having a harder time eating and keeping weight on.  We couldn’t see how skinny they had become until we had them shorn.

To separate them, we get all the sheep in the pole barn then open the gate letting out all the sheep but Zelda and Griselle.  Hopefully, when they understand they’re getting grain everyday, they’ll hang back from the other sheep and it will make everything easier for all of us.

After graining the two of them this afternoon, Jon and I spent some time in the pasture with the sheep and donkeys and dogs.

My sheep Suzy,  was enjoying my scratching her back, when  Bud came over and started sniffing at her, they even touched noses ( I think Jon got pictures of that).   Then Suzy started wiggling her butt at Bud and he responded by sniffing that.

When Suzy laid down next to me, Bud sat next to her.  I could swear I was watching a budding romance.

But Bud soon got distracted by Biddy who, for some reason,  he just had to try to chase.  Biddy wasn’t in the mood.  They got in each others face and eventually ran Bud off.


Bud and Biddy framed by Lulu.


Welcome Bud

Bud, looking as healthy as he is.

I haven’t written about Bud much.  And I haven’t been thinking about him much either.

Not because I don’t care about him.  I’ve been protecting myself.

I didn’t want to get too excited about him or get to know him long distance just in case something went wrong and we couldn’t get him.

After Gus dying and the disappointment of Gus’s mother, Hannah, not getting pregnant, I wasn’t up for anymore great dog disappointments.

A few days ago, when Jon wrote the letter to Gus on his blog, I told him I wasn’t going to read it.  Jus the idea of it made me sad.  Then he gave me a copy of the new chapter for his next book to read.  It’s the story of Gus, told by Jon who is basically talking to Gus.

So I got to cry about Gus again, anyway.

But it also made me think how with Bud coming, it’s another kind of goodbye to Gus.  Not that Bud will replace him, but I’ve experienced this a couple of times before.

I thought  and dreamt about my dog Lestat for years after he died.  It wasn’t until I got Frieda, who was similar in some ways to Lestat, that I stopped dreaming about him.  I noticed that Frieda took up the space in my mind that Lestat used to.  Not that I forgot about him, just that he didn’t occupy the same place in my life that he had.

The same thing happened after Frieda died and we got Fate.

So I know what will happen.  And thinking about made me cry even more.  Because now that I’m   aware of it, it felt like a betrayal of sorts.

I texted my friend Suzy about it and she wrote back that Bud was going to fill the hole that Gus left.  She wrote… “the home you provide Bud after his struggle and hard little life prior to finding his way to you is going to continue the healing from the loss of Gus”.

I liked that idea.  Again the thought of us all being connected came to mind.  If it’s true, then the line from Gus to Bud is clear to me.

I’m writing about this all now because we just got word that Bud tested negative for Heartworm, which means we’ll be able to pick him, in Brattleboro up on Saturday.  He’s coming all the way up from Arkansas in a truck filled with dogs that will be stopping along the way to drop off dogs to be adopted.

I think now that I’m aware that Bud coming home is another kind of good-bye to Gus, I’ll do something to mark it.  Maybe a meditation thanking Gus for being in our lives and for paving the way for Bud.  Maybe I’ll leave a biscuit on Gus’s grave and see if Bud finds it.

For the practical part of the ceremony, I’ll get out Gus’s old crate and the small dog beds from the attic.  Then, Jon and I will go to Petsmart and get whatever else we need.

And I’ll try to let Fate know.  I’ll look at her and picture Bud and images of her and Gus playing. Then picture Fate and Bud playing.   I’ll imagine what it might be like when Bud and Fate meet for the first time.

Maybe she’ll pick it up and if not, she’ll get it when Bud really does come home.  Red won’t need this kind of introduction, he’s accepting of whoever comes to the farm.

The reality that we’re  actually getting Bud will take a while to sink in, when it does, I’ll be able to get excited about it. Now I’m ready to enjoy that part, the anticipation of him coming home.


The Place of Little Miracles

The first thing I do in the morning is let the dogs out and follow them around picking up their poop.  Fate usually bring me the frisbee. Sometimes I throw it, other times I tell her it’s pooping time, so get busy.

Many of the mornings little miracles occur behind my studio, where the giant maple and Bud rule.

This morning Asher and Suzy sat facing each other as the sun threw shadows and pale orange light through the bare branches of the apple tree.

I felt as if I got to peer into their world a bit.  To see them as they are with each other without my presence to distract.

This Morning


The days are damp with mist every morning. The grass is carpeted with soggy leaves from the maples,  and still more cling to their branches.

Cool in the morning, summer hot in the afternoon.   As I sit writing this, I see waving shadows from the fabric drying on line.  I’ll use it in my Woodland Animal quilt for Kathy.

I think of the picture that Suzy sent me last night of her next shawl,  how even with all the natural whites it reminds me of the night sky.

Bud and Zinnia sit together in my studio doorway looking out, waiting for an Amish buggy to go by so they can bark at it.

I hear the coo of pigeons, the chatter of a murmuration of starlings, the swish of a car and the touch of one leaf falling on another.

First Snow

The first snow of the season is soft and wet and muddy.  It’s already raining and I imagine it won’t last long.

The donkeys were reluctant to come out of the pole barn until they saw the hay. They don’t mind the snow but they’d rather stay out of the rain and wind.  The sheep come out in all kinds of weather.

Jon was out with me this morning, in his boots and bathrobe taking pictures of the snow.  So I was able to get a picture of him for a change.

I just bought a winter jacket at Bev Consignment shop in town and it proved to be a good purchase. Not only it is lightweight and warm, but it kept me dry too. It’s a Columbia Thermal coil coat and it was $30 which I think is a good deal.

This morning I’m going to The Mansion and we’re making felted soap.  I did a practice soap last night using some of the colored roving  that Suzy sent me and some roving from Socks and Kim that I had left over from a few years ago.

I still have the roving because Bud got into it and pulled it all into pieces so I couldn’t sell it or make it into dryer balls.  But all those short pieces work find for felting soap.


Me mucking out the barn in my new winter coat. Jon took this photo.
Full Moon Fiber Art