After my day trip to Rhode Island, I headed out to northwest Massachusetts on an invitation to spend the night at Kristin Nicholas’ farm. During the week before when she had extended the invite over the telephone, it took all I had after the call not to jump up and down as if I were on a trampoline and scream “Oh my GAAAAAWD!! I’m going to Kristin’s FAAAAARM!! I may get to see SHEEEEEEP!!” over and over throughout the rest of the day. Okay maybe I did do that a few times…
The drive to Leyden Glen Farm was just as I imagined. The houses along the countryside reminded me of rural Virginia, and I sighed as I thought of my trips to Anna’s and David’s home. Since Anna Zilboorg and Kristin are also friends, I grinned at how we three seemed to be in a particular circle of understanding life. When I arrived, Kristin had just rounded up the chickens. We exchanged warm greetings, brought my things inside, and that is when Julia popped her head in to say “Hi!” Here is what I thought as I hugged the young teenager, “Boy, has Julia grown!” I then noticed a little lamb the size of a cocker spaniel in the kitchen. Turns out that he was an abandoned newborn twin and Kristin was bottle-feeding him. Because I was curious about the sheep, Kristin offered a quick tour to see the flock.
While she led me out to the pasture where the ewes and lambs were, Kristin enlightened me on how ewes will sometimes abandon their newly birthed lambs without explanation. She and her husband will do their best to help these newborns survive, but there might be an intuition of sorts working in that the ewe knows the newborn will not survive. Upon arriving at the fence, several lambs came up to Kristin immediately. She grinned and said that these were the lambs who survived being bottle-fed and obviously think she is their mother (and thus the main supplier of their food). Their bleats blended into lulling music as we headed back to the house to prepare dinner.
Throughout Kristin’s home are splashes of color. She has assorted collections of vases, pitchers, urns, and they are all complimented with her colorful textiles. I even snapped a shot of stuffed toy bunnies hidden amongst her books.
I always feel that a kitchen is the heart of a home. Kristin’s beats of country gentry and earthy classics mixed together. If I had thought about it, I would have photographed how her seasonings and canisters were organized and how her kitchen’s layout was set up. Everything just flowed. Oh, and if you really must ask what was for dinner? We had lamb burgers, a la Greek style, with a salad. My job was to dice up cucumber for the tzatziki sauce. The local yogurt, fresh herbs, and cucumber were such a great combination that I kept dipping potato chips into the sauce. I then used it as dressing on my salad, and even put it on top of my burger along with the cheese. Add the red wine, and we had a veritable feast. Now out of all the meals that I photograph, did I remember to take a picture of this one? Nope. Do I regret it? Not one bit because I have the delicious savory taste as a souvenir.
After dinner we three gals took the lamb with us into the den to watch the “Dancing with the Stars” finals. During all our cheers and applauding, one of the kittens paid no attention to us at all as it slept in the living room. Not even the flash of my camera could wake this kitten! Since Kirstie Alley is Julia’s favorite, I could not resist telling how Kirstie had at one point a physically handicapped pet rabbit. I may have brought thoughts of house rabbits into Julia’s mind. Hmmm…
The room that I slept in was Julia’s bedroom. It had two antique four-poster beds, and was decorated with touches from Kristin. If you click on the photo on the left, you will see a close up of the lamp. Please do, because it is GORGEOUS. If you click on the photo on the right, you will see a neat blend of old and new — like the Lambchop puppet on the bedpost against the pop artist posters on the wall.
Before I left to see Melissa Morgan-Oakes (who happens to live twenty minutes north of Glen Leyden), Kristin graciously gave me a very cool tour of her studio. I looked around awestruck all the while Kristin was giving me the history of how her studio originally was the kitchen. Gazing out of the windows, I spied the sheep and buildings that I have seen on her website. Everything was so green thanks to the recent storms.
Out of my pictures taken in that room, I do have a favorite…
Hopefully this visit will not be my last! I am grateful that I can call Kristin my friend. 🙂
Bunny hugs for now,