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.

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eclectic quixotic mama

i’m going to be the only blog
where someone makes art
talks about said art
draws & writes comics
art journals
memoirs
& ink blot compositions
writes poorly constructed poetry
denies it is poetry at all
tells you her dreams
and analyzes those dreams for you
shares her tarot readings
and other pagan witchy rituals
talks about homesteading
sustainability & low-impact lifestyles
trying to be a locavore
gardening
bees
goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, & geese
maybe turkeys too
and parenting
and depression
anxiety
and other demons perching on one’s psyche
isolation & life as a pariah
horrible relationships
betrayal
emotional abuse
toxic parents
also randomly volunteering recipes
& book reviews
while begging someone to talk to her
or at least to marry her
and she may or may not
mention  her menstrual cup
and how that is working out….

this is my solemn vow to you, dear reader. also, i challenge you to find another blog that offers you all that. and if you do know one, get me in touch with them so i can run away with them & we can be red-headed pirates together.

(i decided just today that i want to be a red-headed pirate…so my to-do list is to become a redhead & then become a pirate.)

speaking of dreams. i have been having crazy-ass dreams. i’m not sure what’s going on there. and i keep making out with dusty in my dreams and then waking up all pissed off. i need to figure out why i am having those dreams…and remember what fish mean in my dreams. i used to know, but i seem to have forgotten, and now i am having fish dreams like crazy.

also, i just put in a kencove fence to make more pasture because i am not sure i have enough hay for my ruminants. it occurred to me, just recently, that i could actually buy hay in the summer and store it for winter. however, i did not do that and now everyone is running low on hay (or have already sold it to someone else) due to the cold, snowy winter.
but the day was warm & pretty, and i put up this SO EASY to put up temporary electric fence. so now i have a third pasture. yay! and dreams of getting more so i can pasture in another chunk of yard where weeds & canada thistle have gone crazy mad.

plus i am working on a comic about a chicken who died this winter.
yes…a dead chicken comic.
it’s gonna be good.

stay tuned.

i listen for the little voices it is night time when their voices are loudest

longest title yet for one of my inks.

this drawing made me think of my anxiety…it made me think of all the stuff going on in my head all of the time…especially at night, laying in bed.
i don’t mind the little voices too much. not the constructive ones anyway. the destructive ones can fuck the fuck off. you know, the ones who blather on and on about how you should have said this instead of this and now everyone thinks you are a great big idiot? i am learning to tune them out…except of course when i most need to tune them out….

littlevoices3

but!
the constructive little voices…the ones obsessively trying to figure out how to save the world…how to be the best mom ever…how to finish a piece of art…how to start a short story…what project to tackle next…how to deal with this problem, or that one. those voices rock. it’s like i’m doing the prep work while i’m laying in bed. i work it all out and then i’m ready to go.

those little voices convinced me, after reading a carrie fisher memoir followed by a carrie fisher novel (the two overlapping quite a bit) i realized, i should be writing my memoir…as fiction…or creative non-fiction…or in long hand! with illustrations! and i can publish it as zines!

littlevoices2

alas, the destructive little voices were stressing about yesterday’s post and telling me it was pretty fucking dumb & unhelpful…then the constructive little voices started suggesting follow-up blog posts on sustainable living–talking about all the things i do every day. i mean, if i want to be a trend-setter, i do have to start sharing more my awesome trends in sustainable living…(okay, awesome to me, the destructive little voices are going to have a hay day with that.)

or i can turn it into a zine too–with illustrations!!

okay. i just had a cup of coffee. i haven’t had one in days because one of two appliances i own–my coffee grinder–broke.
but today i realized that my other appliance–the blender–is actually just a giant coffee grinder!! another step in sustainability–no specialized appliances!

but i do need to get a mortar & pestle for grinding spices…or make one.

littlevoices1

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:

turquoise sun

i didn’t go to the women’s march yesterday. i thought about it. and if i still lived in madison, or somewhere where the closest march was not an hour & a half away, i would have been there. but waking up and getting four kids ready and packing food because we can’t afford to buy food. and filling water bottles. and driving. and finding parking. and herding four kids through crowds.

i let it overwhelm me.

if you read yesterday’s post, you know my mindset was not in the best place for movement.

after a day of reading facebook posts about the marches around the world, i did feel i wanted to be there. my mood lifted. seeing the solidarity. seeing the positive feelings. feeling the lift of potential darkness. glimpsing hope.

i realized one thing. i do march every day. i live my life the way i want the world to change. i truly do. i am marching every day. raising four white kids (three of whom are boys) to understand that all people are equal and all people deserve rights and respect. raising four children to honor the earth and live a low-impact lifestyle. teaching them to work with the environment to grow their own food. i can’t list everything i do right now…my mind doesn’t work like that–i will think of more later when i am doing something else. (i will eloquently explain what i am trying to express now later…in my own head…as i do yoga or dishes.)

i am marching every day. and i will continue to march. always. i will always be marching for women. for people of color. for lgbtq people. for the disabled. for the environment. for anyone who isn’t being listened to and honored. i will be marching.

em is for messy.

you know how some things stick with you?
i don’t know if i read it in just one book. or if it was a re-occurring theme in books about the noble poor, but the summation in describing said poor kids:
they clothes were worn, but clean.
as if by keeping them clean, their mother somehow made up for the sin of being poor.
& for some reason this seems to echo in my mind decades after i would have first read it.
now, with four poor kids of my own.

when we go out, which isn’t too often because we are homeschooling homebodies. even my extrovert prefers being at home–he just requests that i bring people to him.
so we don’t go out too often
but when we do, as soon as we get somewhere, i notice what my kids must look like to others.
we shop second-hand (even if i did have money we would still shop second-hand) and i let my kids dress themselves. i let them choose their style. i let them choose how long or short they have their hair. i encourage them to be individuals. sometimes misha only wears princess dresses when we go out…sometimes she wears star wars pjs.
i like this about them.
but then there is the public eye. which might not even be a legitimate thing. it might just be a filter i have created to judge myself by…and now to judge my mothering skills via how my children appear in the public eye.
if you understand that at all?
i have a little voice saying to me, “your kids look pretty damn scruffy.” and i have to silence it. i have to silence it by remembering who i am and what is important to me.

don’t blame them; their mama is an artist & very distracted.
don’t blame them; their mama believes in low-impact living & does not buy extra cleaning/stain-removing product…and even before that:
don’t blame them; their mother is a terrible laundress.
don’t blame them; their mama feeds them real food that is messy–not packaged neatly & individually.
don’t blame them; their mama encourages them to play like children, to get messy.
don’t blame them; their mama has them do chores that involve the outdoors & dirt.
don’t blame them; their mama believes that there are more important things in life than making sure you put on a good appearance for the public eye.
more important things to spend your time doing than worrying if you are clean or not.

plus!
art! gardening! pets! livestock! exploration! adventure! cooking! baking! mucking about!
we do a lot of messy things around here.

okay…so i just had to get that out of my head because it was rattling around in there all morning. it has probably been percolating for weeks if not years…now it is out.
whew!
exorcism complete…now i can get some art done.