pages one, two, & three

i wrote the following poem/facebook post for my new moon manifestation

internet dating
with it’s oozing
toxic
masculinity
both the profiles
(sports! sports! & sports!)
and the interactions
(ass-hole-io!)
have caused me to swear off men…
a new moon
(new beginnings!)
& an eclipse
(feminine moon blocks out masculine sun)
methinks i should explore
the ambidextrous nature
of my heart.

so ever since i said i’m not dating men anymore, men keep approaching me via facebook. friend requests, message requests, and–today–one “god fearing” man offered himself to me (or any other of the single ladies) on a post i had written about how much internet dating sucks ass. i suspect my frequent postings about internet dating has put me on some sort of demented facebook singles page.
gross.
what really really really pisses me off is that not a one of them took the time to see who i am. seriously? all my information is right there–pagan anarchist single woman seeking other women. how difficult is that to research?
do you research, fellas.
i’m done.
so done.
i just want to do art. hang with my minions & other critters here. contemplate the mysteries of the universe…and not be a single lady.
no more.
i am not single.
i am complex. and amazing. and wonderful.

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while the ink dries…

so i started working on the finished project of “mistress of mud.” i have page one and page two more than half way done (only 17 more to go!)

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homesteading…artist…mama.

except, if the minions were here, i would not be able to take over the kitchen table like this.
and while the ink dries?
check the beehives
give treats to the sheep & goats
move last mama away from her lamb for weaning
weed the lawn & garden
plan for future landscaping
mow the massive lawn
(or let the livestock to it)

hang the laundry to dry
do the dishes
make lunch (apparently i still need to eat when the minions are away)
pick veg out of the garden

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do something with said veg to make it last through winter
feed the hordes of animals which includes catching bugs for the toads
clean cages
collect eggs
pet the kitten–or stash him in your hood so you can update your blog…or binge on netflix…

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what else?
oh!
don’t forget to go back & finish your pages once the ink has finally dried.

would i read this book…?

you know how your own voice
sounds so fucking weird
when you hear it recorded
and played back to you?
my art sometimes
hits my ear that way
i hear my speaking
and it is irritating
and i wish my voice were huskier
and more
melodic
i want my art to sing to me
like tina turner
but
instead
it is off tune and without soul

when i check out picture books for my kids–or look at graphic novels, i almost totally choose stories based on their illustrations.
you can see me in the library pull a book off of the shelf, open it up, blurt “ew!” and quickly re-shelf it with a wince.
so as i am making illustrations for my friend’s story, i keep wondering, would i choose this book?
except it’s difficult. like looking at your own face in the mirror and trying to figure out if you are pretty. what do other people see when they look at you because all you can see is that one eyebrow is higher than the other and your nose is asymmetrical.
ack!
so i don’t know if this is actually a finished page…or just one more step towards getting it almost right…
close enough that i’m not embarrassed by it, at least.

on a side note, i think my inner catholic is peeking out again as i try to illustrate this story.

update: i literally just started this inking, but i already like the sound of its voice better….

mom (2)

my cat curse

as i seek balance
a little of yin
a little of yang
i find that my life
is a braid
not a teeter totter
bits of me
winding together
into a tapestry
making me beautiful
& bringing me peace

have i told you about my cat curse? it is a sad story. i am cursed so that if there is a kitten to be found–i will find it…and for some reason…it is usually a brown tabby of some sort.

but that isn’t the sad part.

midnight was my first cat. as you can guess, he was a black cat. i got him as a kitten when i was eight? nine? my sister adopted his brother, tiger, a brown tabby. tiger died before he could grow up. he was slammed in a car door. one of my early (but not my earliest) pet traumas.
but i digress.
midnight grew up to be a massive tomcat. being country people, my folks did not neuter him or let him in the house. he was always coming home with bits & parts of him missing from fighting, and i loved him fiercely.
one day my baby brother was given a pet rabbit. one day my older sister put the rabbit on the deck in a cardboard box.
midnight did what came naturally to a big–never a housecat–tomcat who finds a prey animal in a cardboard box outside. he broke nester the long-eared rabbit’s neck.
my dad promptly, and with a smile, shot my cat.

salem was my next attempt to love a cat. he was black also. i got him from a pet store when i was barely old enough to be a grown up. he came complete with an upper respiratory infection. his sickness repelled me in that i could see his mortality…and i failed to bond with him. i found him a new home.

sylvia was a black kitten given to me by my ex-boyfriend when i asked him if i could cat-sit his brown tabby, mishka,  while he went to study abroad in russia. i didn’t want a real cat. i wanted a temporary cat. sylvia was adopted by my roommate.

then i started finding kittens–or were they finding me?

jack was a brown tabby kitten i found while i was visiting home in illinois and walking country roads. he followed me all the way home. i took him to the vet to get shots, and he mauled the vet who then told me, “this will never be a pet cat.”
i never returned to that vet, and i was able to find jack a home with my sister & her husband where he lived to be an old cat.

gruesome was a brown tabby kitten i found in northern kentucky where i was squatting with my redneck boyfriend. gruesome had the upper respiratory infection that many cats get–he was crusty & snotty &, well, gruesome. i reluctantly agreed to my horrible, awful boyfriend’s proposal that we should just put him out of my misery. then i changed my mind & decided that i would take gruesome & leave my boyfriend…but i was too late.

gomez was a brown tabby kitten i found in downtown lexington kentucky. when i took him to a vet, i found out he had feline AIDS and could not be around other cats. i thought, “perfect, then i cannot adopt another cat.” and i took him in & my dog loved him and then one day the neighbor’s dog burst into my apartment and chased gomez away. i never found him again.

maude was a one year old torti-tabby i found in athens, georgia when i was taking my girls from the at-risk shelter to visit the animal shelter. we were going to go to the dog shelter, but one of my girls had the wrong shoes on–so we went to the cat shelter and i fell in love with this beautiful cat named “moonshine” and ended up adopting her and changing her name to maude. things were going well with maude until…

lola, a torti-tabby kitten, and  her brother came running up to me in my backyard in rural georgia. lola matched maude, so i thought it was kismit. however, maude had been surrendered after having a litter of kittens that her owners kept–deciding to get rid of maude instead. needless to say, maude hated kittens. she began over-eating and pooping everywhere and i spent a lot of money to save her, but my bond with her was disrupted (as i am unable to bond when i think i might lose someone–it’s in another post about my dead turkey….) and lola was a bit of a jerk–so i never really bonded with her either. i did keep both of them for many years before lola was surrendered to the humane society because i was afraid she would bite the kids…and maude ended up at my mother-in-law’s house where she died naturally.

at some point when i was in georgia–someone i knew found a pair of neonatal kittens and didn’t know what to do. being one of those people who volunteers to do things when no one else will–i took on the kittens and learned how to care for neonatals. they were later adopted once they were old enough.

in wisconsin, working at a humane society, it was discovered that i knew how to care for neonatal kittens, and being that no one else was very willing to take on this task, i started taking care of litters of kittens that came in. i figured it worked for me because i am one of the few people in the world that kittens have power over, and i would gladly give them back to the humane society once they were old enough to be adopted. then came…

moose who was a brown tabby kitten…maybe one week old? (she was so named because i was also fostering a squirrel baby at the time–get it? moose & squirrel?) she was a singleton and the humane society usually just euthanized singletons because they used up the time of volunteers who could be caring for an entire litter, but it was no longer kitten season and i had no other litters to raise. so i agreed to take her on.
another reason singletons are risky is due to the fact that not having litter-mates & a mama to learn manners from, they can turn into violent, little jerks. moose, at six weeks, started showing the personality of psychopath kitty. i had maude & lola…and my huband had a beige tabby named max…but i knew that if i returned moose to the humane society and she bit someone, she would be euthanized. so i adopted her. she was always good with us–only biting company–and remains my favorite ever cat, but after i started having kids, i started to worry. then one day maude had a stroke, and after that moose got even more squirrelly. i was able to place her with “friends of ferals” recognizing that she did not want to be an indoor cat and that she was half-wild.

pepper is a brown tabby me & the kids adopted from the humane society in wisconsin when we lived somewhere where the only allowed pet was a cat and my kids were going insane about wanting a dog. pepper’s shelter name was “talisman.” he is wonderful with kids and still lives with us, but i still struggle with the whole having a cat reality. he has become more of fidgit’s cat than anyone else.

then we came back to rural illinois–stray cat central. both springs we have been here, i have been taking the kittens of a feral calico into the humane society (yes, i know, i need to trap her & get her spayed–it is on my to-do list.)  this spring i even had to use my neonatal skills when we found one of the kittens too soon. i thought i was in the clear for the rest of the year…but then, driving down the road while dusty was visiting, i spotted a kitten. we passed it and ran errands as usual and then driving home, dusty slowed down.”
“are you looking for the kitten?” i asked jokingly.
he was not–he just drives slow sometimes.
“well, there it is,” i said, spotting an 8 week old kitten, brown tabby of course, hanging out on the side of a country road.
dusty, a cat person, stopped.
i got out, and the kitten meowed & ran up to me. little fucker seemed to know me…so as i write this, he sits on my lap. sleeping. watery eyes as he fights off an upper respiratory infection and he is not using a litter box–pooping everywhere–because he is a wild baby who has never seen a litter box and i do not have the money for another pet or for vet bills and it is just a bad bad bad idea…yet somehow i cannot bring myself to drop him at the humane society as i have every other kitten i have found here (seriously, they probably spot me coming & know i have kittens for them)….

am i ready, universe? am i ready to accept this talisman and to let the wounds heal? the betrayals i have felt by my pets when they have turned out to be…mortal & flawed? the deep anger i have at myself for my own human flaws and inabilities to love and be a good person?

am i ready now?

homesteading artist mama

i call this poem:
stream of consciousness while trying to sneak a few more minutes of sleep before getting up & conquering the world

why do we have political parties?
why do we have nations?
why do we have so much division?
why not invite peoples
who live in scary parts of the world
to migrate somewhere safer?
& we can say, “welcome!
here’s a cake i baked for you!”
were things this bad
when our cultures were
matriarchal?
or did the great
mother-goddess
just say,
“knock it off!
you & your brother can either
work things out
or
clean out the chicken coop
together.”

i am not getting any art done. i did this rooster doodle in the homesteading journal i have started, and that is the closest to art i have gotten in awhile.

every day i stare at the art that waits on my desk for me to finish it…

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but inspiration escapes me.

my minions are going to be with dusty this next week…so maybe i will get something done. i hope to get something done. i have ordered some movies from the library so i will have a distraction. the art part of my brain works better if some of the other parts are distracted. movies & tv are good for me to do art to.

meanwhile, my garden is growing. my bees are buzzing. my goats are providing me some much needed therapy.

and my brain idles…kind of on auto-pilot.
pulling weeds
feeding poultry
correcting minion behavior
each day
somehow surviving….

(this is quite possibly my most boring post ever. is it that i need sleep–or inspiration? or am i at peace and peace is just…well, boring. wait, is this peace–or defeat?  i don’t know if i would know if i were at peace or not having never actually been there. would it be like niagara falls where–duh, obviously you are there…or is peace more subtle? i just feel kind of…blah. if you have read this far without wandering off–kudos!–you are more focused than i am…oh! it’s my song–gotta dance.)

burning bridges…i brought my matches!

klu klux kraken

life is too short
to tolerate feelings of hate
comments of hate
& oppression
overt or covert
directed at women, people of color,
homosexuals, transgendered people,
people with religious differences, immigrants,
or anyone else who is just trying to live their life
in peace.
seriously.
in idle conversation
in heated arguement
in snarky
clueless
comments on social media
i will not tolerate any of it

(i did the above comics in early 2016 when people were getting hurt at his rallies…i wish they could have been filed away and that i never had reason to share them again. i wish we had stopped this when it was just starting to crawl out from under its rock….)

i am quick to burn a bridge. i barely speak to my parents who are abusive, narcissistic, and destructive. i liberally use the “unfriend” option on facebook. i recently told my younger sister–my polar opposite–who voted for trump because he was “god’s choice” who is a total racist despite (??) adopting a black son who loves to tell everyone else how to live their lives who grew up poor but hates poor people who once told me, “don’t vote for so&so because he is for gay rights,” thereby bursting my bubble where i believed everyone has rights….
i stopped talking to her when she voted for trump and  have since let her know that i have no time for her hypocrisy–via a letter she sent me which i returned unopened because i knew already what i would find inside….

so it’s difficult & confusing for me to see the posts of friends on facebook who engage with their racist friends–nicely & with tolerance. and then i wonder–are they better than me? or is their friendliness flawed? at first i thought they must be better people than me. kind to those who are evil or whatever. then i thought, “no. if we treat these motherfuckers with kid gloves–they will never realize they are motherfuckers.”

this helped…i saw this on facebook today:

racism

so i am going to keep on burning my bridges.
life is too short.

 

if you’re not nice to the mama…

“i’m a good father!”
he tells me
& tells me
& tells me
and to paraphrase shakespeare,
i think the fellow doth protest too much.
who is he trying to convince?
and i say to him,
“but you are a crappy partner.”
and something eggs at me
until i realize
you can’t be a crappy partner
and a good father
you just can’t…
to be a good father
you have to be good
to their mother.

(i had a full post written…and i lost it. so now i’m pissed off & trying to remember what awesome things i had written….)

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dusty came for the weekend because it was misha’s birthday and maybe–just maybe–i was trying to sabotage myself because i was feeling too happy…too healthy…too on top of my life….

was i trying to sabotage me?

well, if i was, it didn’t work! the day after he left i finished my application for the sustainable arts award for moms who are artists &/or writers. i got my shit together and even figured out how to make a pdf file of my pages of moses jones.
two days after he left, i finished all my rough drafts for “mistress of mud.”

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of course, why he was here, i was sick to my stomach. literally. nauseated the entire time. so so sick.
my body does that.
if my brain won’t listen…my body goes on strike and some sort of illness manifests. so many boyfriends have resulted in flu symptoms.
meanwhile, dusty is telling me what a good dad he is and thinking that my passivity due to nausea means i am flirting with him?

holy crap.

we were having a good conversation one night. we went out and watched the moon rise and stars fall out of the sky. it was amazing & awesome and we were there together.
then
i was like, “okay, i’m going to bed” seeing as i am always up at sunrise and pretty much always sleep deprived.
and it was a light switch.
gone was nice dusty
& out came hostile dusty.
fuck that bullshit.
he thinks we are going to somehow someday have some fucking happily ever after? and if i don’t reciprocate, i get treated like garbage?
i don’t want to lead him on. i want to be honest with him that it is over and would take a miracle of biblical proportions for us to ever be a couple again…
but i am afraid of his reaction.
i feel stupid for it. silenced.
why can’t i be civil to him without  him thinking that means he is going to get laid?
i want to be able to say, “no” without it turning into an attack on me.
fuck this bullshit.

fuck it.

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