16 September 2012

Maria’s New Studio

Maria's New Studio

Maria's new studio is not named, really, she just calls it the "Studio" and I expect that name will stick. It is a simple place a beautiful place. In its life, we suspect it has been a country schoolhouse, a chicken coop and shed, a workshop. It has been filled with old furniture and wood for years and this week, Ben Osterhaudt is going to turn it into an artist's studio. Maria is keeping the walls and floors pretty much as they are, adding insulation and some repairs to the ceiling and windows. It will be an exciting and creative place for her to work, and I love seeing how excited she is getting about it. Maria kept offering to wait until Spring to renovate this amazing space but that is too long. I wouldn't wait that long for an office, neither should she.

No matter what else we can or can't do, no matter how many things we have to postpone or cancel for now, the studio is getting finished. This week.

Posted in Farm Journal, General

Getting Brushed, Getting Touched

Getting Brushed. Getting Touched.

Rocky is not really the same pony I met two years ago out in his freezing pasture. He listens for Maria, for me. When he hears our cars or voices, he tilts his head, whinnies, makes his way into the stall in the barn, where he goes to escape the sun and the flies. He loves being brushed, being touches, being talked to. Every day, Maria brushes him, talks to him, sings to him, picks the burrs out of his hair, scratches his favorite spot on his neck, presses against him.

What is it that makes it so satisfying, so rewarding, so enriching to love an animal with patience, care and perspective. Rocky is like a cat or a donkey – he is independent, has his own  life, does not want to be in your lap or face all day. But as he needs food and care, he needs attention and contact, I have seen him come to life, attach to me, to Maria, get more animated, responsive. A pleasure. It does not get old. Every time I bring a photo I see something new in this pony and his relationship to the world. An inspiration for me, a lesson.

Posted in Farm Journal, General

Perspective: Barn, Fences, Studios And Offices

Big Week

This is a big week in our lives and the life of our new home. Fences go up, electricians come to rewire, workers from Common Sense Farm will help us remove the wood from the collapsed barn, and Ben will finish the Pole Barn and start on Maria's new work space the Studio Barn.

She and I are tearing apart my office, demolishing the closet, scraping the wallpaper and then we will do some painting. Work and money will flow in a might river. Yes, I am nervous and excited. I will keep you posted throughout the week. I am putting a video together showing how Rocky is handling the new construction and also some first scenes from Maria's Studio Barn. More happening than I can quite keep track of.

Posted in General

Maria’s Studio Barn

Maria's Studio Barn

This morning we ran into a couple from Cambridge, N.Y., who knew Florence Walrath well and they thanked us for working on the house. They were very nice, but we have been a bit surprised to learn that a lot of people are following the work on the New Bedlam Farm. Florence was well known and much-loved. "We know you'll take care of it," said the man. We will.

This is very big week for us and the new house. Ben expects to finish up the Pole Barn Monday and get to work on Maria's Studio Barn. We believe the old building was a schoolhouse, as there are two doors in the front, a boy's and girl's entrance probably. Florence used it as a chicken coop also. Ben will insulate it and repair some of the damaged wood and windows. Monday Todd Mason will start work on the fences that will line the road and separate the pastures. A new sheep pasture, and an electric fence behind the barn, another thing for Rocky to adjust to. He is doing very well. I shot a video of him navigating around the new barn and he is a pretty smart and adaptable pony.

Later this week, some people from Common Sense Farm will arrive to help us take down the rest of the old collapsed barn. Those are the major projects,and the last of the money, too, so we'll have to improvise from there. Big week for the New Bedlam Farm.

Posted in Farm Journal, General

Kissing Simon

Kissing Simon

Okay, okay, I admit it. My day begins with kissing a donkey on the nose, kissing Simon. I love Simon and when he sees me he comes braying and running, and even my wife won't do that. I have such a special bond with this creature, we connected on so many levels, kissing him on the nose every morning seems a natural thing to do. And he expects it. Photo by Maria and I'll put up a brief album on Facebook.

Posted in Farm Journal