a lack of enthusiasm for inktober

so october 7th i drove the minions through the flatlands of illinois to collect this new member of our homestead:

we left in the morning and did not get home until almost five when poultry has to be fed and sheep watered all while trying to get the new baby to eat (he was pretty pissed off about being taken away from his family–no wonder–and it was a day before we could get him to accept the bottle.) plus i had to relocate the bunnies to a puppy pen so i could use their dog crate for quixote’s “stall” in our sunroom.  as well as feeding the minions, collecting eggs, putting poultry away….
so it was after seven before i got a chance to catch my breath.

and i just did not feel like doing inktober. so i phoned it in and used an inking in progress as my seventh day:

inktober7

which i then finished for the 8th of inktober.

which brings us to yesterday, the ninth. i wasn’t sure what to do. i decided to just do some journal inkings.

my first one came out like this:

inktober9

and i was all like, “what the fuck, em?” i thought about posting it…but felt really conflicted about it, for some reason.
art for me is a meditation and an exorcism.
what is going on here then?

so i tried again:

inktober9(2)

and ended up not posting this one either. i was convinced people would hate them and be, like me, wondering what the fuck is wrong with me.

i want to keep doing inktober–because it is fun for me and keeps me creating….
but i’m not sure i want to share anymore.
it feels like i am putting myself out there…to no avail.

i’m just weird.
misunderstood.
a misfit toy.

…a strange lady.

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pages 15, 16, & 17

just two more pages to go
and INKtober starts on sunday.
whoa.
am i going to do it again?
it was really good for my art last year…in fact, i can’t believe it is time for it again already. it seems like just yesterday.
i did buy more paper & more ink.
because…well…you can never have too much paper & ink (what if a zombie apocalypse happens & i can’t get to the art store??)

speaking of zombie apocalypses–i was planning on doing moses jones after i was done with the mistress of mud.
and/or playing around with just using brush & ink….
but i suppose i could do both of those things during INKtober…
yes?

meanwhile, bees to get ready for winter.
tomatoes to turn into canned sauce.
basil to make into pesto.
pumpkins & squash to harvest.
lambs & turkeys to butcher.
winter gardens to plan.
new pastures to build.
oh!
and i am planning on buying and raising by bottle a billy goat all my own….

and, of course, raising & unschooling four minions….

speaking of all this. i am entertaining the idea of renting the basement out to dusty on the conditions that:
1. we are not in a relationship
2. he pays rent & buys his own food
3. he gets a job
4. he quits smoking

what could go wrong?
see, it’s just that i need need need the help, and no matter how hard i try, i cannot seem to lure peoples of a non-dusty nature to come here & help me.

sigh.

i know it’s not a good idea. but i will kick him out again if it all goes south.

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!)

IMG_5294

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

IMG_5296

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…

IMG_5293

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

where am i?

the last time i smiled
was two years ago
in pictures since
it’s like i’m trying to smile
but i can’t
my smile is gone
he took it
& which is the greater sin?
that he took my smile–
or that i let him?

& daddy 034

there it is. my last smile. two summers ago when i first left dusty due to his refusing to stop seeing his girlfriend…of course, since i had left him, he was being super sweet to me…and that might be why i am smiling. fuck it. fuck that bastard.

i feel so lost lately. i am on auto-pilot. spirals of self-pity & anger. is this part of healing…or just another level of my own personal hell?

i don’t like that i have lost my smile. sometimes my smile was the best part of me. once when i worked as a baker behind a big glass window that people would knock on and i would smile at them (okay, that makes me sound like a zoo animal–nevertheless), a person slipped me a note that said, “i would walk a million miles for one of your smiles,” and i’m sure i still have that note somewhere.

who am i without my smile?

sometimes i wonder when exactly my heart fell into its current state of decay.

i try to do dating sites, but then i think, “who the fuck would want to deal with this?” meaning me, my life, my being trapped on a homestead, my four overwhelming minions, my general fucked-upness….

i have $45 in my bank account. i am seemingly unable to figure out how to make money. which is another trap. poverty. do i continue to borrow from my credit card? that seems like a bad idea…but what happens when i need gas for the truck? or toilet paper? there are only 4 rolls left. do i go pick leaves? switch to cloth?

a friend told me about a grant for moms who are artists or writers. i am both. i could enter in like four different categories–at least–i have that much material. since becoming a mom, i have done more art & writing than ever….
but what if it all sucks? surely everyone else is better than i am.  i could never win a grant. no one will publish me. i always get the, “we really enjoyed this, but…” rejections. which are probably just standard rejections designed so i don’t stick my head in the oven.

i started working on the inking shown at the top of this post a couple of weeks ago.
this is as far as i have gotten.
and i haven’t gotten any more work done on the project i have half a summer to finish….

what is the matter with me?
how do i pop myself out of this puddle of misery?
i’m not dancing. not smiling. & my dreams are a soup of anxiety.  the highlight of my week was getting two dairy goats. since then i have actually told them, “you complete me.”

i think maybe i was a shepherd in a past life…or a herd dog.

still-life for sawyer

today is my birthday
so
of course
i deleted my facebook page
and turned off my phone
not
because
i don’t want people to celebrate me
but because
i so desperately do
want that.
so if it doesn’t happen
i will be hurt
and if it does happen
i will be suspect
once a year?
once a year you remember me?
once a year you stop by
to say “hello.”
i know.
everyone is busy with their own lives
and how often do i reach out?
but don’t you see
how difficult it is for me to reach out
when all i expect is rejection
and disappointment?
today is my birthday…
i want fireworks, fancy chocolates, and fancy drinks
with loud & happy people…
but i suspect that won’t happen
i’m not that special
no one would even remember me if it weren’t for facebook
so i hide
from disappointment
& insincerity
i curl up in a ball
& cry
because
today is my birthday

it’s like dusty. all of a sudden he is saying all of the things that i wanted to hear ten years ago. and he expects me to just jump into his arms and eat up the bullshit.
but i can’t
because it is bullshit. ten years too late and said in a voice that makes me think he is being coached by someone. someone else. he never listened to me when i told him what i needed from him. now he is listening to another voice that is telling him what to say to get me back. maybe an inner voice…maybe an outer one. should i be flattered that he is trying so hard? to win me back?
but i’m not
because it is insincere. it is trap. it is manipulation. it is his trying to survive by pulling me under and floating to safety on my body. i have to remind myself of this–that his sweet words cover up a poisonous person.

and when i reject his come-ons…he resorts to talking child placement. he starts talking about how he wants the minions half-time. it’s like his next move after i block his move to capture my queen. talking about what an excellent father he is and how much he loves them.
he never did value me as a mother. i have put everything into being a mother, and for a while, i even believed i was a good mother. but he spent the past 12 years belittling my role as a mother. 12 years basically ignoring the minions. he was a dad when it was fun to be a dad–but when it wasn’t fun, he abandoned ship. his character in my moses jones comic wasn’t intentional. i didn’t set out to make him be an absent father figure…but dusty is an absent father figure. he is literally here, but he is gone. away. making himself unavailable to us even though he is right in front of us. it’s a weird gift, i guess, knowing how to make people not ask for your help or your contribution even though you are right there and completely able…and now because i won’t play his game, his next move is to remove the minions from their primary caretaker on a homestead with room to run and a life to live, to live with him half-time. where? at his mom’s house? or when he meets another woman–her house? dusty isn’t one to get things done  himself…he likes to take the easiest route possible. how will he care for four wild minions half-time?

and it’s my birthday.
and i’m broke.
i can’t even bake myself a cake because i have no money to go grocery shopping, and i somehow didn’t get the renewal for my foodshare (yes, i am on foodstamps) so i am desperately trying to get the state to renew my foodshare so i can buy groceries. fortunately, we have a garden giving us potatoes, beans, herbs, & greens. chickens for eggs–though they do so reluctantly. and a small store of dry goods–but no flour or honey for a cake.
and i was supposed to buy two goats this week…but i don’t have the money. obviously…. i am torn–it seems like a good investment, but how do i pull money out of my ass for goats when i am not sure how i am going to take care of every thing else?

i need a life coach. i need a fucking life coach. there has to be a way to make money. i do so much every day. surely it’s worth something to someone?

fuck.

happy birthday, me.