death of a turkey…

when i was a kid
there was so much violence
so much abuse
so much animal death
my pets gone–just like that
that i learned to disconnect
to stop loving
to stop caring
to stop bonding
and as an adult this continued
this disconnect
i had trouble with relationships
sure that they would leave
or god forbid they had self-destructive tendencies
it was too much for me
i disconnected
i could not bond
and i would try to have pets as an adult
but it was easier to hate them then to love them
love is a fragile thing
so easily killed
i was repulsed by neediness…repulsed by being needed
i closed down
shut off
i often wondered if i could ever even have kids?
was i capable of love at all?
sometimes i still wonder….

shortly after the above picture was taken, a raccoon killed one of my turkeys and injured the leg of another. i named the injured turkey isabeau and took her into my house. i dressed her wound, fed her blue berries and honey and put apple cider vinegar in her water and bathed her when she got too stinky.
months went on. spring turned to summer. her leg healed, but she stopped walking. her non-injured leg became palsied. one wing became disfigured by her always laying on the same side. i would try to put her on her other side–or in a sling–but nothing seemed to help.
and while her brothers & sisters grew huge and mature

she remained frozen in her juvenile state, a third the size of them.

i felt myself turn off. i mean, i cannot pinpoint the exact moment, but it happened. i started being annoyed by her. frustrated with her. dreaming at night that she finally got up and walked again, while watching every day as she just kind of flopped around. i admired her perseverance…but in the end, she just gave up.

i just wish i hadn’t given up first.

i thought i would be relieved when she died. she had become a burden…a difficulty…one more thing to take care of on a busy day. i mean, i knew she would die eventually. there was no way she could continue on like that–what if she tried to lay an egg–that alone would kill her–painfully. she was so vulnerable….
and now she is no longer suffering….

so why do i feel like i failed her? because my heart shut down? because i could no longer muster the energy to care about her even though i was still caring for her?

i don’t like that i learned to shut down when there was danger of pain by abandonment (be it death or whatever.) i want to feel the pain & live through it. i want my heart to warm back up and not be so quick to disappear.

i cried today. i did not expect to cry over my dead turkey.
but, like most mourners, i am not crying for her…i am crying for me.
as i try to assure my kids we did everything we could for her…in my cold heart i feel as if i should have done more…i wish i were capable of having done more.

 

don’t let the crazy leak out

don’t let the crazy leak out
hold in
breathe in
keep it in
don’t let the crazy out
don’t show your hand too soon
get under his skin
become a rash
he doesn’t know he has
an itch he just has to scratch
be charming
drop those red flags
like dainty, lace handkerchiefs
that he will pick up
and find endearing
before he realizes what they are
and then it is too late
he’s stuck with you
voila
love.

so, when i think about starting a relationship, i am like elsa in frozen. (for those of you who don’t have princess-loving children, that is a disney movie loosely based on hans christen anderson’s story “the snow queen.”) when she is trying to hide her strangeness, she feels she has to hold it in–but once she flees society she feels she can be whoever she wants to be.

yeah.

that’s me with relationships. dainty red neurotic flags…oops, did i drop that?

so even though i have been determined to marry my homestead & live happily ever after without a man in my life, i found myself cruising “plenty of fish” and online shopping for a relationship…again.
i didn’t expect to find anything. it was mostly restless energy & hormones. longing for an adult conversation.
i don’t know if i have found anything, but my heart is doing that stupid fluttery thing. wow. i haven’t felt that for awhile.
but he’s too perfect. too pretty. so i am bound to fuck it up.
wait.
stop.
don’t think like that.
be positive.
i am a precious jewel. i am a fascinating creature. i am strong & beautiful woman. i am intelligent & creative & just super fucking awesome…i am worth the trouble….

he says he’s an empath. he seems–dare i say it–relatively sane?

so i will fuck it up.
(no no no. not there again.)

i was “chatting” with some other guy who was all like, “you seem like a catch. why are you single?” and i responded, in typical em style, “oh no. i’m difficult. & strange.” yup. never heard from that guy again.

no one gets me.

but what if this one does? ah crap. i need to check my bee hives. build a new chicken coop. do laundry. muck a sheep stall…what am i thinking?

(ps. i gave up on my idea of cultivating mushrooms when i realized you have to have a clean–super clean–house to do it in. i was all like, “sign from the universe, you are meant to forage for mushrooms!” ha!)

spring garden

my spring garden
my spring garden keeps me from getting any art done
i am so tired by the end of every day
it feels like i never sit still
i go to do one thing,
and i do three other things on my way
because
well
they have to be done.

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so my inkings are few & far between as i am overwhelmed with garden, livestock, a yard to tend, a house to keep clean-ish, four kids to feed & care for….
spring is a busy time.

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now i have to focus all my art on finishing a project
i agreed to illustrate
i am excited about it. yet my sketchbook eludes me.
i think about working on it all the time
but i need to sit & actually put pen to paper.
i need to be sketching the characters ever day
to get familiar with their faces…

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i also need to learn to cultivate mushrooms, grow herbs for health, become more confidant about checking my bee hives, build a bigger house for my ever expanding poultry, and learn more about goats (i’m getting goats next!)

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homesteading
alone
with four kids
is just non-stop

attack of the buttheads

i started writing this post a couple of weeks ago.  unbeknownst to me, dusty started reading it over my shoulder & got all pissed off.  you know, instead of initiating a conversation about it, just got pissed off & hateful towards me.  so i stopped writing it & haven’t felt like trying to write ever since.  last friday, i made dusty leave again.  go back to wisconsin.  again.  & i realized i would rather be alone than to be put in a box.  i would rather be alone than to be told who i am.  i would rather be alone than to not be heard.  to not be understood.

i don’t know if he reads my blog or not….i guess i will find out.

what do you do
when the one person
you always want to tell your thoughts to
funny stories
what happened today
just now
what happens when you no longer
feel safe
talking to that person?
when you feel it might be a bad idea
to open up
to that person?
what happens when the person
you used to wait for to walk through the door
what happens when you start dreading
his walking into the room
when you feel like you have to guard yourself
your heart
your thoughts
for surely he will find something
to criticize
something
to attack
some flaw in you to burst wide open
and leave to spill onto the floor
as he walks away

the other day i was in tears. in the barn. yelling at the sheep. the other day i let my sheep get the best of me. i wondered–loudly and with a great many curse words–what i was even doing here, on this half-assed homestead, trying to get milk from meat sheep who clearly hate me, running from me, and in the case of tyler durden the ram, stalking me and ramming me in the thighs until i cry.

what am i doing?

the other day, i tried to talk to dusty.

stop. right there. that was my mistake. i tried to talk to dusty. i tried to talk to dusty. dusty. who on the day of my brother’s funeral (8 years ago) asked me what was wrong, and when i told him i was upset that he didn’t bother dressing up for my brother’s funeral, he responded, “well look at what you’re wearing.”

dusty.

he likes to ask me what is wrong, and then punish me for having feelings. lately he asks me why i don’t respond when he asks, “what’s wrong?” but the weird thing is, i don’t remember him asking me. i think i have learned to tune him out so that i do not even hear him ask because then, if i hear him, i want to answer…and then i get punched right in my emotions.

so i don’t even hear him anymore.
i don’t look forward to seeing him.
i don’t tell him anything.

or i try not to. i can be a bit of a blabbermouth, forgetting who i can & cannot trust with my feelings. i am like that. soft in the head.

so i tried to talk to dusty, about “us.” it was, of course, somehow interpreted as an assault on him…maybe it was an attack. i don’t know the fuck anymore. but i tried to talk to him. i used the wrong words. then it got ugly.
he accused me of being a facebook junkie (i’m not)
and i responded by slamming shut his video game
and possibly breaking his laptop?
and then
he murdered three of my potato plants.
and tried to knock the internet dish off of the roof
with a steel t-post.

this is where i stopped writing.
his laptop is fine. my potatoes are trying to recover, but look like my heart feels.  wilty & broken.  undernourished.  struggling to survive.

 

let me illustrate

a friend asked me to illustrate her story. this is an ink i did in my process of figuring out how i want the characters to look. it’s just a mess around rough draft, but i really liked how it turned out. my months of doing ink stain work has shaped my drawing skills and given me lots of fodder for other projects.
i’m excited about working on this project. it is my first chance to work as an illustrator. other than my own stuff, that is.
i like collaborating. i always have. i have found that i work well with others. either flushing out their ideas or letting them help me flush out my own.
i hope that this is the first of many collaborations & illustration gigs.

i haven’t gotten much art done.
i have tried to milk sheep with minimal success.

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i have been growing seeds for spring.

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i have been putting in beehives.

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and raising up more chickens.

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and planting potatoes…(no picture here because planting potatoes is not really a photo op)
ah. the life of a homesteading artist.
with kids.
and dog.
and sheep, chickens, and bees.

and, of course, the dysfunctional relationship that i am working really hard to avoid dealing with.

trying to save the dead

i have been working on the same inking for days now. playing sick (and actually being sick with a vicious head cold) from my art and blog life.
i think i am afraid to finish a new picture because i will have to blog something here about my life…& i’m not so happy about my life right now.seems i am back in re-runs again…but the inking is almost done, and i will post it tomorrow.

…so i buried a newborn lamb this morning.

not the cutie in the picture, but the twin that was later born…stillborn…sometime in the night or early morning. i found her curled up in her sac. perfect, still, and cold. i buried her, and then spent the rest of the day–first obsessing that i should have checked on buttercup (the mom) through the night and earlier in the morning. and then obsessing that maybe the baby wasn’t dead and that i just needed to get her out of her sac, rub her vigorously, warm her up, maybe give her mouth to mouth….

and then i wondered if i was doing the same thing with my relationship with dusty. obsessing over all of the things i’m doing wrong…trying to resurrect a dead thing.

because this just isn’t working out.

again.

his being here.

what went wrong?

other than everything.

it’s very possible i cannot be in a relationship with anyone. i have a touch of the OCD and am very particular about so many things…and he takes it personally. i have been trying to not let it get to me–you know, when he moves things from the place i keep them…or leaves things in a state that i would not have…. when i was nineteen, i thought if i ever got married i would have separate houses.

and then there are his issues. he goes on the defensive. he has started accusing me of gaslighting him (after i pointed out how he gaslights me.) he goes on the offense when he feels he has to protect himself. like mean & shout-y offense. an offensive offense.

and then i shut down.

and the circle spins. our vicious circle.

the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. but i get so hopeful & deluded so easily.

maybe it’s not hopeless…but it sure as fuck feels that way.

listen up sheeples

born of evie the sheep, sired by tyler durden…it’s lambchop II.

i was outside yesterday, checking on my wayward minions, when i heard a weird bleating coming from the pasture. i found evie the sheep on the far side of the pasture, in labor. she would lay, heaving & pushing, then she would get up–re-position–and lay back down to bleat & push. i noticed when she stood up that there was a pair of legs hanging out of her sheep vagina. since i am new to the who sheep raising business, i don’t know if this is normal or not.

but i didn’t panic. i trusted that she knew what she was doing…or nature would take it’s course. i was told that hair sheep are pretty good at taking care of the lambing themselves. so i waited & watched. then i let evie know–she is a pretty timid sheep & doesn’t let me near her–that i was there to help. and asked her if she needed help.

she didn’t seem certain one way or the other. so i waited a little longer.

finally i got the feeling that she was pushing, but not much was happening. so i got up and went to her and held her up and encouraged her. i could see the back legs of her lamb hanging out… and the little tail wagging! so i gave that little lamb butt a tug and the lamb came right out.

i caught a baby lamb while my minions watched from the sidelines.

that’s pretty cool, right? see what i’m teaching them?

which brings me to why i got on here to make a post in the first place.
the world is fucked, y’all.
it’s fucked.
i am a mess because i am an antenna for all the bullshit going on all day long all over this fucked up planet.
sure, there is good stuff…& people trying to make a difference…but evil is more powerful than good. good is more persistent, but evil is more powerful.(my latest epiphany while watching star wars: episode III last night with the minions)
most people–even if they are aware of the problems happening–do not have the discipline or whatever to actually change their lives. they just kind of shrug and say, “oh well.” and those are the ones that actually have pulled their heads out of the sand to have a look around. most people prefer to hum loudly & close their eyes.

very few people are actually willing to change their lives.

i know i should be trying even harder than i am. i look at the packaging on the groceries i buy and i want to cry. how do i buy groceries with less packaging when no one will produce groceries with less packaging? often times the organic red peppers or cucumbers and individually wrapped for fuck’s sake! why does a vegetable need to be wrapped in plastic? fuck me running. i try to buy good products…but then there is packaging. so much fucking packaging. i will never buy sandwich cookies again. seriously? so much fucking packaging.

so i know i am just one lunatic screaming into my ham radio…preaching to the choir probably, because why would someone listen to this unless they already agreed with me?

so the world is fucked and i need to figure out a way to not let this turn me into an screaming lunatic…but still keep working to save it. to hear & feel the world around me…without letting it kill me. to keep trying…even if it feels like i’m using a spoon to dig out the grand canyon.

fuck. i need to meditate & do some fucking yoga..maybe go watch my sheep for a bit.

oh! and i need to finish these two inks i started a few days ago but have been too fucked up by this fucked up world to work on since: