Monte and I decided it was high time we go visit our friend, Bennie, and see her in her new life in Maryland (instead of Taos, where she lived until last year). We took the long trip to the airport, spending a Sunday afternoon visiting the Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe. There we saw a showing of Gee's Bend quilts by two quiltmakers, and a vernacular art show inspired by the quilts...fabulous. The show leaves the museum, I believe, after this Sunday, May 11, so if you're in the area and not seen it yet, I urge you to go.
Then we spent the night in the lap of luxury at The Madelaine,
a B&B right smack in downtown Santa Fe, but down a little dead end street so it's hiding in plain sight. This Queen Anne Victorian is one of only two in New Mexico (the other is in Las Vegas, NM). Imagine yourself knitting away the summer afternoons on her porch. If you're ever traveling to Santa Fe, I highly recommend you stay here...there are also two adjacent B&B properties, owned by the same owner...and oh yes, there is a full service spa right on the grounds next to the house.
Tuesday we flew into Baltimore, and with Monte as my navigator, we managed to find our way to Bennie's home stomping grounds in southern Maryland. She and her mom graciously hosted us for our stay, along with seven Pomeranians, Bumper, the Boston Terrier, and Kitty Dog, the black manx cat who has no idea she's not a Pomeranian, also. Having these little guys around helped me not miss my dogs and cats so much.
Wednesday, Bennie took us to meet her friend Christina Allen.
I don't know how to even begin to describe this wonder woman. First, we met her Jersey Buff turkey, Chip. He's an heirloom breed, and half of those left in existence live here on this amazing farm. Then, we met one of Chip's babies...well, you know what I mean. Christina has a small herd of sheep that get to spend the nights in this fabulous barn (one of my dreams is to have an old barn).
Next door to the barn is Christina's studio, known as Corn Crib Studio. She's a professional water color artist when she's not growing all their food, weaving, spinning, knitting, sewing, making soap, and running a museum quality framing shop right there on her farm. She is one seriously amazing woman and has now elevated to being my new role model (still trying to figure out if she sleeps or not...can't imagine how the rest is getting done in the same 24 hour day I have).
Thursday we visited Bennie's friend Sara.
Her farm is a little off the beaten path in Mennonite country. There she has around 60 sheep, a dog, her 33 year old horse, and Chester, the kissing mule.
I feel seriously in love with Chester, and walked over to get kisses before I actually found out he truly does give kisses!
Next to one of the pastures, to see the sheep. They were sleeping way off in the distance, under a big tree, when Sara first called them.
What happened next was poetry in motion...as they flew across the pasture toward us.
Such sweet girls! Sara, who happens to have a full time job besides running this immaculate farm, is now my other role model/Super Woman model.
On Saturday we followed Bennie and her sweetie, Richard, to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I don't know how to describe it to you, if you've never attended. It was mind boggling. I was on such overload, I actually forgot to take pictures. We hit the fleece sale first thing, and then tried hard to see something of every booth after that...before leaving around 3 p.m., completely exhausted. Parting with Bennie
at the end of the day was hard...we're all trying to decide if she should be living in Taos or we need to be living on one of those beautiful farms in southern Maryland!