day 25 & i get to take a shower

just in time
for cooler temperatures
when dips in the creek
are not so desirable
i finally have
a hot water heater
in madness manor

i made a little garden
with some plants grown
at a local greenhouse
my first garden
at madness
manor
and seeded the yard with clover
for a happier lawn

with no kitchen
still
to speak of
here is one way
we get our food
& entertainment

all in all
we have survived
25 days
at our new home
amidst
the madness

day ten

day ten at madness
manor
temperatures in the 90’s
& internal
conflict
afoot
who am i?
& why does that little
voice
whisper
“fat…ugly…old
irrelevant”
no!
i chose this
i did
i took this path
because i am not like
them
my bohemian spirit enjoys
doing dishes in a clawfoot
tub
digging through a cooler
for food
hanging laundry amid the trees
to dry…
this is who i am
i chose
this.

after a couple of days of spinning out. i came to this conclusion.
i did this. i want this. i made this my life.
there is method to my madness at the manor.

madness manor day five

i have moved into my new house which, like me & the rest of my life, is a work in progress. i have had no time or energy or mental focus for any other creative endeavors.
mostly i have been spending my time cleaning, moving, or having clusters of panic attacks…sometimes all three at the same time.
this is a big fucking change.
it’s my house.
again, like me, it needs lots of love.
lots & lots of love.

sun porch / pantry / temporary kitchen

it is really tricky feeding four children with only an electric griddle, toaster oven, and outdoor grill. i keep going back and forth between getting an electric stove or a wood stove. i really want a wood stove, but i am having trouble wrapping my brain around it–especially during panic attacks. i also haven’t committed to having a fridge…but i do have a freezer. i want to put in shelves…but i suppose i have to put up walls first, huh.
thank god it’s summer.

my office / future tarot reading & tattoo parlor

everything is in piles which wreaks havoc on my ocd. i want to organize everything…but of course, eventually i will have to unorganize it again to work on the walls & floor.
i want to do everything sustainably & for as little money as possible. i have started frequenting the “amish walmart” in this area & am planning a trip to check out a nearby habitat for humanity restore as well.
i want to be creative and unconventional.
any ideas?

my view

here is what i see from my front porch as well as from my office. last night i was able to hear the frogs in the nearby creek…of course, i can also hear the traffic from a nearby highway…but that’s what happens when you can’t decide between rural & urban.
so far the town is nice. it’s just 700 and a handful of people. my kids aren’t yet convinced it’s the place for us…but i love it.

smother me

i keep catching myself
trying to
smother me
in worries
in
things that have
to be done
now!
or else!
or else what?
i sometimes
think to ask
&
the voices
sputter out
take a step back
to plan
a new attack.

slow & steady wins the race, right? i am making myself purposely move slowly. trying to think more slowly. i was freaking out about the lawn at my new house. i use a reel mower (or as i call it, an amish mower) & the lawn was getting longer & longer.
so i asked my friend to borrow her mower. and for some reason i had to do it that day. even though if i had stopped to think, i did not have time to mow. plus i was running late for an appointment. but i ignored the voices telling me not to worry about the mower & went to get the mower anyway.
and i threw out my back lifting the mower.
and then decided i shouldn’t use it anyway.
so i took my reel mower out to amish land to have the blades sharpened. as well as getting my scythe & other lawn tools sharpened.
then, a week later, i told my boys i would pay them to mow the lawn.
sure the lawn looks like it was a victim of a slasher movie…but i am honoring my desire to live a low-impact life, giving my boys work experience as well as life experience, and taking my time instead of getting it all done now!now!now!
and my back feels much better.

(i borrowed from gustave dore again for inspiration for the inking)

outside the box

i live
outside the box
yet still find myself
listening to the voices
shouting out
at me
from that fucking box
still find myself
projecting that box shape
onto my own life
only to berate myself
for coloring outside the lines
scribbling outside the lines
creating whole worlds
outside the lines
i could cut off my arms
cut off my legs
remove my head
& i still wouldn’t fit
inside the box
& why
why why why
would i want to stuff myself
inside
knowing i would die
kept in a box
i live
outside the box
& that
is the perfect fit
for me.

every day of my life tends to be a reminder to me that i don’t fit in. most days i am totally fine with that–some days anyway. even as a kid i wasn’t all that interested in fitting in. and the older i get, the more i realize just how non-non-conforming i am. how unconventional i am. never doing what everyone else is doing. with my flip phone, no internet, unschooling, buy-nothing-new, free store mentality….
people assume i am going to do what everyone does when they are fixing up a house. but i’m not. i’m going to be me…& that house will be an extension of me. of me & my minions.
it will be complete madness
in the best way possible.

(speaking of which, i am looking for foraged/salvaged materials & ideas for sustainable renovations. so if you have experience with this or know any good sources–let me know! also! who wants to come over & help me build walls & floors & maybe a rocket mass heater from whatever we can find to do that with?)


cautionary tale

i aspire
to not become
a cautionary tale

(i probably already am a cautionary tale…)
on a related note…i was trying to think of a name for my house. i am thinking of naming it “madness” after the band who wrote “our house” as well as a wink to the state of mind in buying a house that needs as much love as mine does on top of my four children & myself all being a bit mad….

my house & my dog
what will one day be my studio, office, & tarot/tattoo parlor

honey bee

he woke up suddenly. wondering. trying to remember
the last time he had seen a honey bee.
he can remember summers as a boy when it seemed
every clover crawled with them & running barefoot
would surely result in a stinger in the arch…
between the toes.
calling out in pain to bring mother running so she
could soothe you with an ice cube and soft whispers
of how you got hurt…but the bee died.
he wanted to be a farmer all his life. he lived
for tractor rides. hide & seek in the cornfields.
the smell of fresh cut hay.

lately my stories begin with scribbled thoughts inked over with drawings. i am not sure ever if i will continue the story or if it will live out it’s life as a post on my blog…. maybe one day i will come back through my journals & collect them all.

meanwhile at the free store

i have two rooms now, well, two & a half…. one for household items & shoes (so many shoes!)
& one for clothes & toys. i figure put the toys in with the clothes so moms can look for clothes while kids make a mess with the toys.

speaking of messes…i almost closed up the shop…turned the bus around…i was so frustrated with how people don’t pick up after themselves. i mean, nothing major, but with enough people not putting things away…. i already have four kids to pick up after….

but i am trying to keep the faith. the free store doors remain
open
(two doors now!)

ps. if i have to deal with another bag of single socks, i might just freak the fuck out…so pair up your socks, people. no singletons or i will hunt you down.

free store sheep fingers

i’m a little behind on my free store updates.
it is still going strong. the ebb & flow is a bit off however, more coming in than going out.
so!
i’m working on expanding it into the next room over. the building i am in is an old church that was reclaimed as an art & community space. the next room over was an abandoned workshop. i have been clearing it out & trying to clean it up & hopefully not inhaling too much lead paint dust….
one wall was crumbling paint, so i painted over it, but that didn’t seem to be enough, so i took the opportunity to make some life sized sheep fingers. i don’t know about you, but something about sheep fingers just makes me so happy.
soon this room will be finished & set up & the free store at the commons will be much easier to navigate…& my ocd can calm down a bit.

circles

the free store i started is a month old now. it is packed full of goodies. so many awesome people donating.

i have only noticed one problem.
all the accolades i have been receiving have triggered my impostor syndrome & sent me into some serious dark & downward spirals.
weird, right?
like when people tell me i’m doing a good thing, i feel like i am somehow fooling them.
when one woman said, “way to pay it forward,” i flinched. of course, for me it is not about karma. it is about giving the people what they need; keeping crap out of landfills; putting one over on the man….
but am i a good person for doing it?
i don’t feel like a good person…
then i start to wonder…if my art took off, would i suffer in a similar way? spin out to a dark & devastated place where i fear everyone will realize i am actually a fuck up in sheep’s clothing?

however, i can’t help hoping all the spinning i have been doing will leave me standing still

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