pages 12, 13, 14, and a do-over page 1

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after taking this picture, i looked up about how messy desks are a sign of genius. i mean, wow. look how smart i am.
ha!

i am enjoying this project. it allows me to experiment.

page 14

and being–once again–optimistic about my art, i spent money i didn’t have on more art supplies.
but, in my defense…art supplies!
i don’t buy shoes, clothes, or technology.
but i do splurge on art supplies
seeds & plants
and
of course
livestock.

i dunno.
i think i have my priorities straight.

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the whole wide world

so yesterday morning
i had a dream that is a reoccurring theme for me
the dream has me
desperately
trying to reconcile with dusty
desperate
to be with him again
so i spent yesterday
pissy
& wondering
does my subconscious really really?
want me to reunite with dusty?
really?
& i guess my subconscious was listening
because this morning
i had the same dream
but with a different ex
desperate
again
to reunite
to be in love
happily ever after
now i know it’s not dusty
my subconscious is messaging me about
but i am still in the dark
is it as simple as my own desperation
to be loved?
to be happily ever after?
or does it go deeper….

i’m not getting art done. the minions are crazy, & i am crazier. i need to get art done. because, well, deadlines…and because it is something that keeps me sane….

but late summer is acting like fall and i have bees to get ready…goats to find a stud for…lambs & turkeys to butcher…winter gardens to plan…chicks being born and deserted by their fickle mama hens…

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i did get around to signing up as a place for travelers to come & help out. i am on helpx and on wwoof. today a couple of girls contacted me about hanging out here in september.
did you know that not only can i feel like an imposter as an artist, but also can i do so as a homesteader?
i’m all like–is my homestead actually a homestead? are they going to be disappointed in my homestead? like take one look and go–you call this a homestead???

aw fuck.

relationships, art, writing, motherhood, and homesteads…it’s all one experiment in rejection….

speaking of, a work of creative non-fiction i submitted to a magazine that was doing a theme that screamed of my story, rejected my story before the email submission had even cooled…and i cried…and then felt like an idiot for crying when there are people losing their homes to fire, flood, and fascism….
but it still hurt.

ps. if anyone is good at dream interpretation & wants to take a crack at my dream, please do so!

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!)

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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

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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…

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

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.

 

birdie

i finally finished this.
it’s the 12th of february and i have only done 3 inkings.
but that’s okay.
sometimes maybe i get stuck.

okay. lots of times i get stuck.

yesterday, however, i made 10 valentines & mailed them out.

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10 of these in one day. that’s something. they are all just an inkstain with one inking done by pen. no ink brush. no final scribbling with the pen. so a few steps shy of what i would call a finished inking. ┬ábut i did 10 in one day. i did that.

fuck christmas cards (i always forget to send them)…but i sent out valentines…you know, to 10 people. more next year if i get some addresses written down.

so that was fun.

but i’m still a wreck. i wake up every morning thinking i will be able to handle the day. but by sunset, i’m pretty sure i did not handle the day very well.

fuck.

and i need to learn how to milk a sheep.

i’m such a half-assed homesteader. i’ve got sunflower micro greens, potatoes, and spinach growing in my sunroom despite my inability to remember i have things growing out there.
i have spinach & lettuce growing in my cold frame despite my inability to capture and formerly punish the groundhog who keeps raiding it.
and i have broccoli somehow growing in a hoop house despite my inability to keep the structure sound.

and i have livestock reproducing in my yard despite my inattention to the process.

plus i’m going to put in bees and a full garden come spring?

when will i draw? i’m going to have to actually pay attention to my homestead one of these days…not to mention my parenting.

i might be a bit overwhelmed.
i might be a bit stressed.
i might be a bit lonely and wishing i had someone here to tell me that i got this.
because sometimes i just feel like i’m drowning in it all.

alone & drowning.

but i finished another inking.