Lulu, The Nest And The Egg

Lulu grazing in the pasture

Maybe Lulu heard the nest fall, or saw it.  Something made her go back to the pole barn by herself this morning.  It’s a rare thing for Fanny and Lulu not to be together, but  this time, Fanny didn’t follow her.

When I got back to the pole barn a few minutes later, Lulu was eating the fallen nest, which was mostly made of hay and old leaves.    It was the Starling’s nest that I wrote about a  few weeks ago.   The one that had been built on top of the barn swallow nest.

Last week I found two dead, featherless, baby birds under the nest in the pole barn.  Both times I was surprised how intact they were, as if the sheep and donkeys purposely avoided them.

Lulu finished eating and moved on.  There was not a piece of hay or leaf in sight.  But there was a gray feather and a small, brown, speckled egg.

A Barn Swallow’s egg.

It was whole, about the size of a penny, obviously abandoned when the Starling took over the nest.   It had fallen from a height of at least 15 feet and then Lulu had carefully eaten around it, without breaking it.

The Barn Swallow egg

It makes me think that there’s so much nature happening right in our barn, domestic and wild.  And this is only the stuff I’m seeing.  I can’t even begin to image all that goes on that I don’t see.

Between the insects and the animals, there are life and death dramas going on constantly.

Last week I nestled the dead baby birds in the weeds growing around the apple tree.  Today I tucked the Barn Swallow egg in the Sedum ground cover on the edge of my garden.

By doing this I become a small part of the story.  By observing it, and caring enough to tell that story, I become a witness.

It doesn’t change anything, but still, I feel compelled to tell the story.  As if it holds something of value, even if I’m not sure what it is.

All Those Pillows….

My three latest pillows.  

A part of me wishes I had all seven of my pillows made around the silk embroideries, so I could see them all together.  But the other part of me is glad they’re in or on their way to their new homes.

The Loons are sold and I finished the Owl Pillow and sold it this morning. Just after posting this, I sold my Parrot Pillow too.   My Parrot Pillow is still available.  You can buy it in my Etsy Shop (just click here) or email me at [email protected]   It’s 23″x23″ and is $90 including shipping.

I have a tiger, a chipmunk, goldfish and reeds (which may be spoken for) that can still be made into pillows.

But I might take a break from them, because I keep thinking about that book I read by Rob Dunn, Never Home Alone , about all the microbes and insects we live, and some dragonfly and moth coasters that Fran sent me, and a quilt.

I saw Carolyn, who gave me the silk embroideries, and she said she was so glad they were finding a new life.

Carolyn has a fascinating blog about all the cats she’s lived with (and there are lots!) and  her life growing up in Cambodia and other places around the world. (She gave me lots of fabric from her world travels).   I especially love seeing the old and new photos that accompany her writing.  Her blog is called CatsinCambridge  to get there, just click here.

The  four silk embroideries I have to make into pillows.

Izzy The Lone Sheep, A Symbol of Individuality

Jon thinks she’s getting dotty, but I think Izzy just has a mind of her own.  Either that, or a stomach with a mind of its own.

Whatever the reason, Izzy is making a name for herself as The Lone Sheep, not something we see too often among sheep, whose name itself  has come to mean “to follow blindly”.

Izzy has become a symbol for me of the individual, the one who looks inside herself and finds her own path, but also understands the importance of community.  Even with her odd ways, Izzy is never rejected by the rest of the flock, but alway welcomed back.

My Parrot Pillow For Sale

My Parrot Pillow is for sale in my Etsy Shop.

I had awful dreams last night about having an accident (and possibly hurting three or four small children)  while driving a van that I couldn’t control, and then discovering that I was still married to my ex-husband.

I knew the dreams came from writing about money last night, and first thought they were a premonition of my life being out of control.    But once I came fully awake, and was able to think rationally,  I was just relieved that the dreams weren’t true.

I’ve heard that nightmares are sometimes about the things we’re afraid of.  It’s like the subconscious is showing us our fears, so when we wake, we can see or fears aren’t based in reality.

That’s how I chose to interpret these dreams. To see that my life as the opposite of being out of control,  because of the relief I felt when I woke up, but also because I know it’s true.

So I went into my studio this morning feeling grateful for my life and optimistic about my work and finished sewing my Parrot Pillow.

And now it’s for sale.

My Parrot Pillow is  $90 including shipping and is 23″x23″.  You can buy it in my Etsy Shop, just click here  or by emailing me at [email protected]  


Now I’m trying to figure out the colors for the Owl…..

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Grazing At Night


On these hot days the sheep and donkeys stay in and around the pole barn all day.   Between the heat and bugs, they won’t venture out to the pastures even if we left the gates open.

But we don’t, we close them in the morning and open them at night.

I know there’s some good grass out there and they’re feasting at night from their bellies.    I also know  that last night Fanny ate a lot of clover from the bubbles dripping from her mouth this morning.

I like how this photo shows how the sheeps wool is growing in and highlights the different textures and colors.


My “Loon Pillow” For Sale

My Loon Pillow  is for sale in my Etsy Shop.  It’s $90 including shipping.

It’s the motorcycles and campers that drive by our house this time of year that made me choose the silk embroidered Loons to create my latest pillow around.   Because when I see and hear them go by, I always assume they’re headed up Route 22 to vacation in the Adirondacks, that’s when I think of Loons.

My Loon Pillow is $90 including shipping and is about 25″ square including the edging.   You can buy it in my Etsy Shop, just click here, or you can email me at [email protected]

This embroidery is a little more delicate than some of the others, so I won’t recommend using it to lay your head on.


Humans and Donkeys, Timeless Connection

Jon and the donkeys

I didn’t see it when I took the picture, but when I posted it yesterday, I noticed the body language between Jon and the donkeys, how they were mirroring each other.  But then Elizabeth left this comment on my blog…

“Wow Maria, this is a powerful photo. The weirdest thing is I don’t recognize Jon in it, he looks like a 40-something man to me. I keep trying to see him but I just see this younger but weary “everyman”.   Thank you for the donkey wisdom.”

I thought it interesting, but then forgot about it, until I saw Barbara and Barb’s comments on my blog this morning.

They both agreed with Elizabeth that Jon looked years younger and Barbara wondered if it had anything to do with Jon’s recent encounter with, who he thought might be an angel. (He wrote about it on his blog you can read it here).

So I looked at the picture again, and weirdly, I can see just what they mean.  Jon looks in the photo like he did in some of the pictures I’ve seen of him at old Bedlam Farm before I knew him.

The thought that came to me was that at that moment, Jon and the donkeys had formed a timeless connection.  A connection that transcends time.   Humans and donkeys have been living and working together for thousands of years.  Maybe that’s what we’re seeing in the photo.

As for the angel, I think of angels as being moments more than beings.  Even if they seems to appear that way to us a people.  For me angels are enchanted moments.

So Jon’s experience, in the store buying water,  makes sense to me in that way.  And so does the moment I captured in this photo.


Front Porch Cats


Flo and Minnie on the back porch

I looked up from my computer to see Minnie hopping up the stairs to the front porch.  She walked straight to me, meowing as if announcing her arrival.

I’ve never seen Minnie on the front porch.  It’s Flo’s domain.  Minnie spends her days on the back porch or high on the hay bales in the barn.

Flo was already sleeping next to me on the wicker bench, so picked Minnie up and put her on the cushion on the low table in front of me.

Now they’re both curled up next to me, as if we do this every night.

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