here comes trouble

last night veronica was born to my goat, agatha. agatha is my escape-goat. she will not stay in a pasture for anything. i am hoping veronica changes that….
but maybe i just now have two trouble makers.

meanwhile, claudia, who is now one week old is doing awesome. she is fluffy & bouncy. this morning while i was milking her mom, magdalene, claudia kept jumping on my back–trying to scale me like a small mountain.

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new kid on the block

i’ve been spending a lot of time in the shed today. so much cuteness.
but i am getting some art done.
a little.
claudia the kids is nursing successfully & has dried off so she is actually adorable now.

& i’m trying really hard not to obsess about death….

i don’t know what i’m doing

in the mid-90s i was all set to go to school
to study
animal husbandry
i was living with my folks to save money
but then
they did what my folks do best
& i was all
fuck y’all
and got in my car & drove off
leaving my dreams of college behind

flash forward to the fucking mania that convinced me i could just wing it.
i don’t know what i’m doing.
this cute thing showed up this morning & i’m just thinking, “god i hope i don’t somehow kill you–or inadvertently cause your death due to my own ineptitude.”
i don’t know what i’m doing.
both the babe & her mama are looking like they have no clue. i’m looking like i have no clue.

the clueless homestead, that sounds about right.
i need a hunky shepherd with the patience of an oak tree to come and rescue me–i mean, assist me.
stat!

happy imbolc

both blue
& i
saw our shadows
confirming
that we are halfway between
the winter solstice & the spring
equinox
but considering it was 20 below
just three days ago
& is now 40 above…
who the fuck knows
what spring has in mind
for us
nevertheless
happy imbolc!

super dooper cuteness

when i was a kid
my name was
mary
so, of course,
i was obsessed with lambs…
i still am.

these two were fresh born this morning to our ewe, elsa. their dad–whom we sold last autumn–was shaun the sheep.

the dead of winter

after a quiet start to winter, central illinois got a snowy blowy storm that dumped like 8 inches & then sculpted those inches into knee deep drifts that have turned my yard into an obstacle course requiring a workout just to get to the goats & ducks.

also, i had to dig out my driveway, both for the mail delivery person as well as for my own plans to ever leave the house. i don’t have a snowblower or a plow. i did it by hand & was more than impressed with how strong i am as well as how fit yoga has kept me. i don’t even have a sore back.

this morning we got the added element of frosting on all the trees & bushes & anything sitting still enough to be frosted.

homesteading blues

as i try to figure out
where i want to be
who i want to be
who i am…
shopping for a new home
means leaving behind some things
i love
but regret i could not love
enough
once upon a time
i was a girl with a gentle spirit
who loved animals
but that spirit was cruelly
broken
& now i am so conflicted
am i a homesteader?
or an urbanite?
can i be both?
can i live without
wide open spaces?
can i thrive
without a ready
community?

i cannot imagine myself staying here without going completely fucking nuts…but when i go to list my critters on craigslist, i struggle to imagine a life without them.
except that it would be a life with less things to worry about.
and that does sound nice.
but no geese wandering through my front yard? no goats taking care of the lawn for me? no ducks randomly flying onto the roof? no turkey to be ambassador to my property?

of course, i have no where to go right now. i just know i cannot stay here. i looked into intentional communities, but all of the ones equipped to house a family our size, are way way too expensive for this mom who does not prioritize income.

random thoughts on the last day of summer

holy fricking christ that’s a cute puppy, right?

i know, i know, you are all like, but aren’t you kind of overwhelmed as it is, emje? do you really want to be getting a puppy right now?
well…you know…want vs. need. oh my god, i need a puppy!
look how cute she is!
i am due to adopt her next week. she is a cattle dog. my very most favorite breed. i remember the first time i ever saw cattle dogs, & it was love at first sight.
(who has noticed that moses jones has a cattle dog?)
i tried adopting adult dogs, but they were not socialized to our life. it is so so hard to find an adult dog socialized to being around kids & livestock & country roads, etc. i know dog socialization. I know dog training. i can do this.
it might even be good for me?

meanwhile, fall equinox tomorrow! at last! balance! the caterpillars & i shared a crop of basil just now. my garden still grows despite my neglect.

also!
today in the mail i got jars & jars of salmon in exchange for an inking i did. i feel like the luckiest artist in the world! once i got texas pecans for a zine & now i get alaskan salmon for an inking.
i feel so successful & loved right now.

and i started a new page of moses jones & i think i finally got the art the way i want it!! after only a bajillion pages.

meanwhile, i am goofing off on okcupid again–which is always strangely flattering & bizarre in a fun way…and meeting cute local farmer boys through my selling livestock on craigslist.
and it’s finally fall, y’all.

it’s a beautiful day.
(& i’m getting a puppy next week!!)

heavy heart

one of those lives
where it feels like
you can’t do anything right
grand ideas
living by example
trying to change the world
but your bees die
your garden grows
away from you
and no one can find
the duck eggs
you’re ready to throw in the trowel
on this homesteading gig
go back to town
have neighbors who don’t poison
the fields around you
kids for your kids
to play with
long walks to parks & libraries.
sure you have to give up
big clear skies of endless stars
& listening to the coyotes & bullfrogs
sing at night…
bury away a couple dreams…
but
you’ll dig up new ones.

i am sucking hard at homesteading right now. and this will be the third time i have used the joke “throw in the trowel” without one single chuckle.

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