Maria Wulf Full Moon Fiber Art

Driving In My Car

Bud watching the tow truck out the window

Bud had already climbed his way onto the furniture to get the best view out the window by the time I got back in the house.  We both watched as the  AAA guy cranked my car onto the bed of his tow truck.

It was the third time I got into my car and the battery was dead.  The two other times I figured I’d left the lights on or the door slightly open and a friend give me a jump (we can’t use Jon’s car to jump mine because it’s a Hybrid).  This time I just called our mechanic who is just a few minutes down the road and told him I needed a new battery.

Clint kindly drove to the house to jump my car, and when it still wouldn’t start, guessed that the problem was the Starter and suggested I call AAA and have it towed to his garage.

The woman at AAA apologized repeatedly that it would take at least 90 minutes for a tow truck to come.  I was fortunate not to be stuck on the side of the road.  I told her it was no hurry and went back to work.  Ten minutes later the tow truck pulled into the driveway.  He was passing by the house on his way to his next pickup.

Now my car is back in the driveway with a new Starter.  It couldn’t have gone smoother.

I don’t drive it much since the pandemic, mostly just into town and back.  But I like knowing that my car is there when I need it.  Being able to drive and having a car has always been a source of independence and freedom for me.

Partly because I never lived anywhere that had good public transportation.  But also because my mother didn’t drive and my father liked it that way.  He felt that if she drove she wouldn’t be as dependent on him.

Sometimes when I pull out of the driveway, I remember that feeling I had of finally being on my own,  when I first started driving. The feeling that I could go anywhere I wanted.  It wasn’t really true, my 20-year-old car that I paid $100 for often wouldn’t start and would have broken down before I got too far.  But it was still more freedom than I’d ever had before.

And of course, unlike my mother, when I was driving, I was in control.

Mailing My Dryer Balls

I spent the day packing up my Bedlam Farm Dryer Balls for the mail.

I put them in paper bags and tied one of my I’m Not a Ghost cards onto each with a “Thank you”.  Then they went into my compostable shipping envelopes.  I’ll bring them to the post office tomorrow.

After selling two more 8oz balls of Issachar’s roving over the weekend, I had just enough left over to make a few more Dryer Balls which are already spoken for.  One of the women who bought the roving is going to make her own dryer balls, the other is planning on felting some woodland animals.

I already have a list of people who want Dryer Balls next fall.  It won’t be until then that I have more roving to make them with.

If you’d like to get on the list, you can email me at [email protected].

The Three Lambs Sharing Grain

Clockwise…Scotty, Merricat and Constance sharing grain

This morning Constance was the first one to come running into the barn, baaing the whole time, to get her grain.  Merricat was close behind, but it took Scotty a little longer.  He was a little more reluctant to leave the hay already in the feeder.

They share well, each getting their fill of grain without trying to push each other away.  When it’s gone they run out of the barn joining the older sheep leisurely eating their hay.

The Orphaned Woods: Puffballs

It was late summer, Jon wasn’t home and I was sitting on the back porch eating lunch when I heard the tree fall in the woods.

I’d heard a tree fall once before so I was familiar with the sound. But this time there was no cracking or braking, no rumble as it hit the ground.  There was nothing violent about its descent.   It came down slowly, the sound of it falling softened by the branches and summer leaves of the surrounding trees.

It felt gentle. I thought of that trust exercise that people do when they intentionally fall back into someone’s arms, believing they will be caught.

That afternoon when I went for a walk in the woods, there was the big old apple tree, dead for as long as I can remember, laying across the path.  It had toppled from its rotted roots.  It just couldn’t stand upright anymore.

Since then the dogs jump and I step over the fallen tree.  It’s thick enough that I’d have to cut it was a saw to clear it from the path.  Each time I pass it, I think that maybe next time I’ll bring my bow saw and cut it up.

That hasn’t happened yet.

Today, just before stepping over the fallen apple tree, maybe because of the snow topping it off like a hat, I noticed the puffball.  It was about the size of one of my dryer balls and when I bent down to look at it then take a picture, Fate checked it out too.

Fate sniffing the puffball

I didn’t know much about puffballs, except that the first time I kicked one by mistake, a brownish puff of smoke came out of it.

Since reading about them, I discovered that the big white mushrooms that grow in the pasture are puffballs before they turn brown.  They’re basically mushrooms without the stem or gills.

Their spores are the brownish “smoke” that comes out of them.  So when I kicked that puffball, I was actually helping to spread its seeds.  If some animal doesn’t step on them and break them open, their outer skin eventually cracks or breaks off exposing their inside.

Even a drop of rain can kick up the powdery spores and release them into the air.

When I was in kindergarten we took a walking field trip to Duffy’s Park, a few blocks from the school.   It was just an open lot of grass with some trees on one edge. Miss Corin, my teacher, picked one of the dandelions that grew there.   She plucked the yellow petals revealing their fluffy white seed roots.

It seemed like magic to me when she told us that the yellow dandelions turned into those white balls of fluff that I made wishes on.   That I was actually spreading the seeds when I blew on them and made a wish.

I never made the connection between the big round mushrooms growing in the pasture and the brown or purple puffballs I also found there.  I obviously didn’t learn my lesson in Kindergarten but it’s finally sinking in.

Some plants and flowers can be unrecognizable in their many stages of development and throughout the seasons.   The bark on a Black cherry tree looks completely different when it’s young than when it’s old.  And there are so many variations of pine and oak trees I can’t imagine identifying them without being able to also see their leaves, pinecones, and/or acorns.

This spring I’m going to keep an eye on those big round white mushrooms that grow in the pasture.  It might be like watching grass grow, but I’d love to witness their gradual transformation into puffballs.

I’ve also read that some of them are edible.  But I’m not ready to go there yet.

The inside of another puffball I found in the woods.  This one was about six inches round, exposed and already rained on.

Fate knocked the Puffball with her nose, breaking it open.  So I gave it a squeeze to see the spores drift out.

Suzy’s “Winter Fields” Shawl For Sale

Winter Fields Shawl” is 64″x19″. It’s all handspun and hand-knit by my friend Suzy Fatzinger.  It’s $150 + $8 shipping.  You can buy it here. 

I couldn’t help but notice when I looked at the photo of Suzy’s new shawl that in it I saw the same colors as the ones outside her window.

Autumn colors, yes, but look at the green grass and how the ground, beyond it, is the same shades of rust, pale orange, and rich maroons.  Suzy calls the chartreuse  “hopeful spring grass” but I see that as her interpretation.   It’s even speckled with the yellow locks as seen in the gradations of color in the field.

That’s what made me think to call it Winter Fields.

Suzy’s son told her that she has style.  “You put colors together that really shouldn’t go together but end up working”, he said.

I think he’s right.

Suzy hand-spins and hand-knits all her shawls.  Each one is a unique combination of colors and patterns, no two are exactly alike.  She gets her wool from her mohair goats, Lucy, Ruth, April, Alice and Larry.  She also supplements it with wool from her favorite fiber artists.

Her shawls are as soft as they look.  She washes each one in a natural softening solution.

 Suzy’s Winter Fields Shawl is 64″x19″.   It’s $150 + $8 shipping.  You can buy it in my Etsy Shop, just click here.  

Or you can email me at [email protected]

Suzy’s mohair goats April, Alice and Ruth.  They supply much of the wool that Suzy makes her Shawls with.
Winter Fields

Bedlam Farm Dryer Balls, Sold Out

Bedlam Farm Dryer Balls

Between yesterday and today, I made 44 Dryer Balls.  Now they sold out.

But I still have a list of people who wanted them.  So I’m going to use what I have left of Issachar’s wool to make more.

I found a bit of roving from Zelda, so I made a few white Dryer Balls from her wool.  And I had some of Griselle’s roving too, but I have other plans for that.

So next week I’ll be making more Bedlam Farm Dryer Balls.

I don’t know if I have enough for everyone on my list, but I’m already thinking of having roving made from the next batch of wool for Dryer Balls.  Karakul wool is great for felting, so I’m thinking of designating Kim’s wool for Dryer Balls.

I’ve gotten pretty good at making the Dryer Balls.  The first couple I made were bigger because I wasn’t winding them as tightly.  Now they’re close to the size of a tennis ball which is how I read about them being described.

Carol, who bought three Bedlam Farm Dryer Balls, wrote to me and said “I love…the idea that a mini flock of sheep, in a small way, are part of my home”.

I thought that was pretty sweet.

Full Moon Fiber Art