Juniper Moon Farm
Not so long ago, I left my job as a network news producer in New York City in search of a “more authentic life.” I was pretentious enough to actually use those words. Out loud. To strangers. A few months later, a chance encounter with Storey’s Guide to Raising Sheep in a California bookstore changed my life in one amazing moment- I was born to be a shepherd. One year and many, many books later, I purchased a farm, five sheep and my first livestock guardian dog. Every day since has been an adventure. For almost ten year, I devoted my life to tending my ever-growing flock of fine wool sheep and running my business. The days were long, especially in the early days when I was getting Juniper Moon Farm off the ground. Having no family of my own meant that 18-hour days were possible. Juniper Moon Farm and the flock were my whole life and I thought they always would be. I considered myself the luckiest person in the world– I was living my dream.
But life has a way of surprising you. A few years ago, I got very sick. It took a while to get a diagnosis but eventually I found out that I had a genetic marker associated with a host of auto-immune diseases. I became very weak and lost 50 pounds in a matter of weeks. I will never forget the day I realized that I was no longer physically capable of taking care of my sheep on my own. I couldn’t do my job and I didn’t know how I was going to take care of myself for the rest of my life, and I wasn’t sure how long that life would be.
It was humbling, to say the least.
I am now in remission but my life will never be the same. The 18-hour work days are over, replaced by 8-hours of sleep at night, a healthy diet and time with friends and family. I turned the farm over to the capable hands of my friend Amy and put my creative energies and ideas into Juniper Moon Farm Yarns, the commercial yarn line that I curate for national yarn shops.
And then, out of no where, a second chance encounter changed my life forever. I met the most amazing man who ever lived, my soulmate. Today, I live outside Washington, D.C. and have a family of my very own. I get down to the farm on weekends and, during the week, I test new yarns, pick colors and put together pattern collections.
And, just between you and me? I consider myself the luckiest person in the world. I am living my dream. It’s a new dream and it’s better than anything I could have imagined for myself.