a letter for me

today is a sunshine
feeling
on my soul
as i am
sideswiped by
some
free floating feeling
of hope
a little glow
of
happiness like a letter in the mail
but not a love
letter
not a secret admirer
hoping for a
woo
but the letter i see in my heart
a letter telling me
how wonderful
&
talented
how amazing i am
a letter for me
& me
alone
i do not crave an “us” when
this happy happy hits
my heart
this anticipation
of good things
to come
no
i crave a me
all i want
is me.

i realize yesterday i was talking about wanting to be taken care of. and, yes, i do long for someone in my life to love & care for me in the way i need that. however! when i was feeling hopeful on the day i wrote this, i was not hoping for romance. i was hoping for…how do i say it? fulfillment? reaching that place in my life when i am…i dunno. it’s so hard to explain. i felt it in me when i wrote this. it got expressed as a letter in the mail. that special feeling of a letter in the mail.
but a letter that completes me…as a person? does anyone know what i mean? also, this picture was all pen on paper–no forethought. i just put pen to paper & drew. so…brick mermaid? i’m not sure. maybe i will interpret it at some point.

meanwhile, a couple days ago i was driving in my car when i remembered intentional communities. and then thought about how maybe there was a community that would welcome livestock as well.

sometimes i feel like my brain is a very poorly routed labyrinth.
how did i forget about intentional communities? i lived in a cooperative house for four years where my passion for cooperative living was ignited despite the horrible drama of said house.

so i started researching over on the intentional communities site i have always used. and i have found there might be a place for the minions & me & all of our pets.

but the point of my bringing all of this up is that there is a place called teaching drum in wisconsin where a community of people live on property and teach outdoor skills. i went to check out what they are hiring…beekeepers? goat milkers? duck wranglers?…office administration. oh.
then i thought…do i qualify? i have no experience with anything. no one will hire me….

but i started writing my resume and you know what? i have a lot of fucking experience. and some of it even happens to be in an office & doing computer-y stuff. holy fuck, y’all. i have done a lot of things–learned a lot of things–in my 48 years breathing air on this planet. writing a resume incorporating life experience & informal jobs/education can be empowering.
huh.

i have a lot to offer to an intentional community.
maybe this is what that letter in the mail feeling is about. valuing myself.

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tumbling down

i have lived my life
like falling down
a flight
of stairs
except
of course
i was totally pushed
or
at least
tripped
before i fell into my own life
half-assed
&
so totally
not
paying attention
hitting each step
as i fell
(i’m picturing one of those
circular, iron
staircases
you know
one with lots & lots & lots
of unyielding steps)
now i am
sprawled
at the bottom
of my own
life
…fuck it
time to get up
i guess.

so i was living in madison, wisconsin, attending UW madison, studying art & writing. i was pretty happy…except dusty didn’t like to work & did like to have girlfriends on the side.
i was having trouble affording rent in madison…and was losing myself to my fucked up relationship with dusty.
i told dusty he could choose between his girlfriend & me, the mother of his children & his supposed soul mate.
i told him i would leave madison if he did not choose me.
he did not choose me.
so as 2015 ended & 2016 began, i packed up the minions & moved 2 hours north to rent from a friend in manitowoc, wisconsin. there i started to get involved with the grocery co-op they were starting as well as getting involved in the local farm to school program & the local community garden. i felt like i was finally finding the community i wanted to be in.
six months in, after learning that my parent’s place was available to me, my “friend” kicked me out of her house. i still don’t know why. but dusty (who since i had left him all of a sudden decided to choose me) was on board with moving to illinois and had me convinced that the end of times was coming with the 2016 election. did i want to homestead–or was it a reaction to an unstable economy & society? a paranoia that dusty fed every chance he got….
did i want to move to rural illinois…or did dusty? he came with me and lived here for six months before i kicked him out.

now i’m here alone with a yard full of animals that cost more than they benefit…with a house that is too much for me to care for…with no support system or community in sight….

and i’m pissed off.
i thought i was doing what i wanted to do, but looking back, i think i did what i had to do as well as what other people wanted me to do.
and i’m pissed off.

i know that i can live like this if i have to (butchering my own meat & raising livestock.) and i do want to continue with living sustainably and continue growing my own food, but i was doing that when i lived in town & had access to a community. i don’t have to isolate myself to bumfuck illinois to do that.

crap.
dusty always was good at covertly isolating me. now i’m locked in some fucking tower waiting for him to rescue me?
fuck that bullshit.
i’m building a ladder.

INKtober fifteenth

my inner world
has the most
glorious landscape
my inner world
has the most terrifying
landscape
lush & desolate
all at once
leaving me
hopeful
&
heartbroken
every minute
of every
day
i am the madman
i am also
the windmill
i am the happily ever after
i am also
the
to be
continued….

another tribute to my namesake. i borrowed heavily from this image

windmill

not only did i not do it justice…but also could i not figure out who to give credit to. i love this artwork though. it is beautiful. seeing it next to my inking though, i feel like i need to re-do mine. yikes. but as usual, it was kind of a quick sketch (done after a day of digging up sweet potatoes…so i am extra tired.)

INKtober twelfth (beached)

i am paralyzed
no matter which way i go
i am certain
i will fuck
it
up
i am trapped
my life
a torture chamber of indecision
i want to go
i just want to take off
run away
say “fuck it”
& start all over…
but if i do
will i soon regret it?
will i always
always regret it?
i don’t want to be
alone
anymore
but i will
surely
choose
the wrong company
the wrong companion
&
i will
find
myself
missing my solitude…
there is nothing
nothing
i can do
right
i am frozen
frozen
in fear
of
being
me.

so the official inktober prompt of the day (which i am by no means required to use in order to participate in inktober) is “whale.”
while i love drawing whales & am especially fond of humpback whales…it seemed more suitable for me to beach myself.
so this is me
beached.

on a similar note–i realized today that i have no idea how to spell “12th” as a word…good thing my 12 year old knew…(wait–i think i see a pattern)

& i am going through a rough patch. i find myself thinking i should quit the homestead adventure…or, at least, curtail it…. i also want to quit illinois & head back north/northwest (not in a hitchcock way.)
but all this is waaaaaaaaaaay easier said than done when one is broke but with a yard full of livestock living rent-free.
also
i want to be closer to my ex-husband…in more ways than one…& history shows that to be a bad idea…but i am notoriously bad about history.
both of these things are weighing heavily on me. resulting in mental exhaustion & severe bouts of crying as i question every motive i have and every bad decision i have ever made.
it super sucks.
i’m not sure i want to be me right now. i feel like i’m just a complete fuck up waiting for my next fuck up.

inktober starts tomorrow….

i did it in 2016 and it inspired my whimsical ink series which was just me spilling ink & finding images in it.
i started to do it last year, but then petered out. except it did start my self-portrait series….
so, i totally should do it–if for no other reason–to discover/uncover another layer of my art. right?
right.

i have been a bit awol this past week. i am still writing…but i have not done any ink (another reason i should do inktober–to get my pen moving again!)

IMG_1693
i got a new goat (vincent van goat)

IMG_1611
and a new puppy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (bluejean boogie) who i am just a little excited about & preoccupied with training & socializing…& staring at dreamily…who needs a relationship or a new baby…i got a puppy!!!!!!!!!!!!

IMG_1692

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.

update: mild to severe alarm

i’m not sure what i have said about my living situation.
in a nutshell, spring of 2016, i was living in manitowoc, wi, renting from a friend. i was looking around the area for property to buy to start homesteading. this is when my younger sister said to me, “i know some available land in illinois.”
she was referring to my childhood home, a large 3 bedroom house on 5 acres. my parents who have m.s. & parkinson’s disease as well as being mentally unstable, were deemed–by my younger brother–unfit to live alone in rural illinois. he drove them down to texas & dropped them off on my oldest sister’s doorstep. so the property was sitting empty & neglected.
around this time, my friend let me know she was kicking me out.
i had no money.
no child support.
no place to go.
so here i am, a glorified caretaker living rent-free at my childhood home. which is a beautiful place if you ignore the constant intensive corporate farming that happens on every side of the property.

all was well.  without my parents here, all the boogeymen seemed to have re-located.
oh, that’s another thing. i moved out of this place the week i graduated high school & over the years had less & less contact with my parents who are so fucking toxic. so toxic.
then
last christmas/new years my parents decided to visit. i did not feel i had a choice. they stayed for two unbearable weeks. go check out my archives from that time if you want to see exactly what happened to my mental health while they were here.
silver lining–while they were here, my mom declared that they would never return.

as it turns out, she planned never to return…my dad, however, is chomping at the bit to come back up here.
i got an email last night from my sister & her husband informing me that he would be coming up here in the fall to visit.

holy fuck.
seriously, i can barely take care of myself & my four minions. i am struggling on many levels.
how the ever-loving  fuck am i supposed to take care of an abusive alcoholic motherfucker with parkinson’s disease?
maybe i sound heartless & ungrateful. but fuck that bullshit. i get it–nothing is free. if i am here, i am expected to let that son of a bitch visit me.

thing is…i’m not known for doing things i don’t want to do. i just don’t. i quit bad jobs. i quit bad marriages. i quit my parents years ago.
and i am not going to subject my children to that toxic fucking monster again.

so i’m looking for another place to live.
which means i will have to find new homes for some to all of my animals…
and uproot & disappoint my children…
but maybe it is for the best. i never could bring myself to think of this as a forever situation. maybe it’s time for the next step of my adventure.

oh! and i need y’all to buy art so i can afford to move…maybe i should set up a fund-raiser page to get money…the great minion migration.

fuck…i hope i can take my goats wherever i am going…if you know an available midwestern property where i can have goats–let me know!

random dreams….

this morning, before i woke up, i had a dream about hamlet, our turkey.
in the dream he could talk & sounded like “strax” from doctor who (which is how i have always suspected he would sound if he talked.)

in my dream someone who hamlet did not like was visiting so he ran up with his head super red and called the guy a “motherfucker.”
then i turned to my kids and said, “who taught hamlet to say ‘motherfucker’?”

which is exactly what would happen in real life
if we had a talking turkey.

(another glimpse into my parenting skills)

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