homesteading artist

some of y’all might not know that in addition to my doodles, i also am a mother of four children (11, 8, 5, & 3) and am working to turn five acres in rural illinois into a homestead.

so today
i woke up and took care of the dogs & chickens
washed dishes
and cleaned the kitchen
started making yogurt
and granola
and tomato sauce with the tomatoes that i gathered before the frost last week
and i made
bacon & eggs & biscuits for the minions
took care of the sheep
worked on the garden–turning soil
(oh crap i forgot to plant the cover crop…i was totally going to wait until sunset so the chickens wouldn’t think it was for them & i completely forgot)
worked on the compost heap
delegated tasks to the minions
weeded the cold frame
fixed the hoop house
looked into building a movable pasture for the sheep
found a source of hay in case the sheep run out of pasture
cleaned up the yard
covered plants that i planted this fall
dug up the last of the carrots
fed the dogs a raw diet
canned the tomato sauce
used extra sauce to revive a 3rd day of leftover chili & noodles
did more dishes
made brownies with homemade caramel and chocolate chips

then! then i got a chance to draw. and this is as far as i got before i was too pooped to go on. a good start, i think. i’m not sure what is going on here…but i am looking forward to finishing it tomorrow.

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accordion to the bat

this is my second post of the day
but i didn’t post the past two days
so i suppose it all evens out.

this is the doodle i started.
here it is finished.
i added ink & then some ink.
a little more ink.
it’s a pretty busy picture.
some of it i like…some of it not so much.
but that is what’s cool about this art therapy…i find things
that i could use later
in a different piece.
i find things
that might become a piece of their own.
i find things
that i like to do with ink that i never did before
things i’ve never drawn before.
but also.
i sometimes find complete pictures.
the whole story.

i’m very tired.
it’s been a long journey…my life.
i’m going over a hill right now…so maybe i will get to coast a bit on the other side?
or maybe there is another hill right after this one?
i guess we will see.

yesterday fidgit asked me i had had a midlife crisis.
i said, “not yet. but maybe i haven’t reached the middle of my life yet.”
he said, “good point.”
then i told him i would wait until i was 60 to have my midlife crisis so i could live to be 120.

here is the ink stain

inkstainaccordion

bat accordian rough draft

so i guess today is the first day of the rest of my life
i know things won’t magically get better
just because i ousted the man
who helped me make myself
miserable
but i felt a ray of light
and thought,
“i’m just going to relax.”
when i faced this first day
officially on my own.
then i felt the need to defend my decision
to relax
as if i was doing something wrong.
but, fuck it.
i’m going to sing & dance & play
and be ridiculous if i want to be
the person
who made me feel as if
i had to be the grown-up
while he did whatever he wanted to do
is gone.

i spent the past two days taking dusty his stuff and severing those ties. we now live in separate states. separate physical states. i think we always lived in separate mental states.

so maybe the spells & stones worked after all? maybe i had to go to that dark dark dark fucking place inside me to find the strength to separate myself from him and all he has taught me i am in the years we have been together.

to let go, i had to die a little.

but it worked. i am free. maybe for the first time in a decade or more. maybe for the first time in forever.

i am free and i am going to work all this anger out of my bones. all the anger i have absorbed over the years. i am going to work it out and learn to believe that i am worthy of love.

that will be weird.

if i believe i am worthy of good things?
that would be amazing.

so while on the road, i only got this doodle done. so i missed two days of posting. but i’m back now and will finish this doodle. here is what it looks like with just the first ink on the ink stain. more ink to come!

sleepover

i found something to do with my anger.
i was striking out at everyone i cared about, seemingly without remorse. well, there was remorse, but i tucked it away.
i was getting uglier and uglier.
then it occurred to me, that i could use this absence of remorse to stand up to the person i never have the absence of feelings to assert myself to.
if that makes sense.
in my head, i am always telling him i want him to leave, but in reality i only say it during fights. then he dismisses it as soon as the fight is over.
so today, knowing my heart was cold
i told him not to come back.
you know what a cunt i am? he is in wisconsin for the death of his grandma. i took that opportunity to tell him not to come back.
that’s how cold, hateful, frozen and dark my heart was today.
i told him, “there is no good time to do this. there just isn’t.”
and that is true. but it doesn’t make me think i am being something of a cunt by kicking him out right after his grandma died.
but the thing is.
this horrible depression started as soon as he left for wisconsin. this horrible hateful madness. which is weird–usually i am happy when he goes.
but i realized i was depressed because i knew he would come back.
that he would come back.
that he would be back in my home.
tormenting me.
that i would be right back stuck in a terrible situation
of his living here and refusing to leave.
fuck me.
i felt better after i told him not to come back.
i felt better after standing up for myself.
even if it does make me a cunt.
i stood up for myself.
i said the words i have been thinking for months now.
god,
what a fucking relief.

i don’t feel good about it,
but i’m glad it’s over.

this is from an ink splatter i did
a few days ago
when i was feeling this terrible energy.
you can tell,
the ink is pretty agitated.

inkstainsleepover

so much anger in this one

if i were a dude
the brontes would write a book about me
but i’m a chick…so i just get ostracized
for my anger.
smile, it’s not so bad.
smile, you’re beautiful when you smile.
smile, don’t you know anger is pointless?

you mean, anger is not” feminine”
not “attractive.”
if i were a dude,
i could start a war with all this anger in me
and i would be lauded for my bravery &
my masculinity.

but i’m a chick.
an angry chick.
and that is only cute for a minute or two
depending on how cute i am.
then it becomes something
you walk away from.
everyone walks away
from me.

is that why i am so pissed off?
except,
they say i “drove them away.”
they say i “put up walls.”
but what if i was pushing
so that you would pull me closer?
what if i put up walls
so you would knock them down?

then i would know
you really loved me.
i don’t believe anyone has ever loved me.
i really don’t.
i don’t believe my parents loved me.
the hordes of boyfriends…yes, hordes,
because when you’re looking for someone
to love you
you look everywhere
but non of them loved me
not really.
my dogs don’t even love me.
and if they tried,
i gave them reason not to love me.
i joked that i had kids
so that someone would love me best.
now i wait for the day
they realize what an asshole i am
and stop loving me.

i’m a fucked up mess. i read about empaths being “light bringers” but all i feel inside of me is darkness. deep & black & oozing. darkness. i want to forsake everything and embrace the darkness inside of me. i don’t know why i feel this way. maybe the older i get the crazier i get. i never felt this deep & dark before dusty got a hold of me. i had my anger. i had my feelings of being lost & unlovable, but i never had this darkness in me until he showed me exactly how little i meant to him…. and now i struggle to get him out of my life–out of my house, and i feel like i have no control of the situation. for a person like me, a lack of control is like being buried alive.

so maybe the anger is the only thing i have right now.

(this drawing is a watercolor i did for a class when i was journaling about the topic of my choice. i chose to journal about me as a mother.)

the gathering

so y’all remember when i became obsessed with lynda barry and tried to get her to be my friend?
no?
well, do you remember when i became obsessed with amanda palmer and tried to get her to be my friend?
fine…nevermind.
so i’m reading jenny lawson’s book furiously happy and i’m trying really hard not to message her or anything because i really don’t think i can take more rejection right now. i tried to comment on her blog…and the comment never showed up. so now i’m wondering if she just deleted it for being irrelevant? or i fucked up posting it? but i can’t risk trying again because…you know…the rejection part.
maybe if i had had more than just imaginary friends as a kid.
and as a grown-up.
i’m probably fucking up my kids by homeschooling them & not being enough of an extrovert to get them out to meet other kids and now they will someday stalk celebrities that they feel a false sense of connection with….

wait.
that was not where i was going with this.
so i’m reading her book….
i just lost my train of thought because poppy will not use the toilet on his own–he is completely capable–but will not do it. if i don’t take him, he screams at me until i do…then if i forget & wander off without carrying him back to where we started, he screams until i do. yesterday he broke a mirror because i didn’t carry him from the bathroom when he was done peeing…but that’s not where i was going with this either.
but it kind of was.
i cannot handle my life.
i fucked up by trying to have a life.
i cannot handle my dogs.
my kids.
my house.
my yard.
my chickens.
my sheep have overgrown toenails that apparently it is up to me to trim and i just don’t want to do it. i just don’t. i don’t want to do any of it. i want to quit.
quit.
quit.
quit.
but that’s not really an option. is it? i mean, i could sylvia plath…or kramer vs. kramer…but those options have a lot of terrifying consequences.

there it is!
so i am reading her book, and i am confused by her husband. first he seems like a pain in the ass. but she seems to really like him? i keep thinking of him as being played by colin firth and was going to message her that…but, you know, rejection.
so!
then i realize, he is like the voice of sanity in her life. he is her port of safety. then i think, i would really like someone like that in my life. you know, instead of always being in relationships with men who are looking for mothers & try to make me the sane one–the responsible one–the grown-up.
i’m not.
and all these years of having to pretend to know what i’m doing…
it has done it’s damage.
so i need jenny lawson’s victor.
except…i don’t think i could find a sane man (or woman) who would love me & take care of me and that would be asking a lot since i also want that person to help around the house…so i realized that i have to hire someone to be my port of safety.
i need a companion.
a nurse.
a personal assistant.
someone who can talk me in off the ledge.
and buy me ice cream.
i have to hire someone to fill this position. but i have no money. so i have to sell my art to make money to hire someone to take care of me.
that is my new plan.

(crap, looking at the original ink stain, i think i could have done more with this…but my brain feels like a bag of broken glass…so….)

inkstains-5

this is not the person i am supposed to be

i feel like a failure.
what’s worse is that i feel like i am a failure at being a failure.
other people seem to be able to make a life out of failing.
i can’t even do that.
i want to tear a hole in the world with my teeth.
there is so much pain inside of me.
and when it comes out–
i feel even worse because i am causing pain.
i won’t tell you.
but i am a monster.
an awful horrible monster.
and that is not who i am supposed to be.
i don’t know why i am a monster.
i want to be a good person. a helpful person.
a loving
and nice
person.
i can see that person in my head.
but i am not that person.
i am a monster.
i can see in my head
the person i was supposed to be.
kind & nurturing.
not a complete fucking mess
so angry at the world that it tears me apart
and spills ruination on anyone
everyone
around me.

i tried to so spells
wear stones
to help me find balance
let go of negative thought patterns.
i failed.
i think i somehow charged the stones
to do the opposite.
now i am an even bigger mess.

i started reading jenny lawson’s book
furiously happy
which highlights her struggles with mental illness
you know
in a funny & heartwarming way….

fuck me
i am frankenstein’s monster.
i am
i wanted to love…
but all i can do is cause fear
and disgust.
an abomination.
i am an abomination.

i was once a sweet child.
a hopeful child.
but i grew into an abomination.