Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

Apifera Farm is a registered 501 [c][3]. #EIN# 82-2236486

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©Katherine Dunn.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Teapot's step challenge...and I think I crashed

Announcing The Teapot Step Challenge! This week my goal is to give The Teapot 2000 extra steps...500 in the morning. She needs it and it helps me too even though it’s not a lot but with winter I don’t get my usual 6000 steps of barn work. And for every 10 steps The Teapot hopes to raise $1 for our year end fundraiser. Let’s help me and The Teapot keep on our step goals! Visit the FB page fund or donate at the blo.

I am trying to catch up this week after the computer crashed last week and I'm almost there. But now I have to get Harry's Christmas newspaper ready, and the ornaments we collected need to get to our elder friends at Cove's Edge. We will be putting up our own red ball tree this weekend-our little apple tree is hung with giant red balls and Martyn lights it up-bringing us such joy as we sit inside by the fire.

 I feel like I have not had time to decompress from the election chaos. No matter what 'side' you were on it was a lot to take, and a culmination for me of four years of chaos and sadness. I know some of you don't share that sentiment, but I share it because it has effected my focus and concentration and flow of creative ideas. I am hoping for calmer waters, and more time to percolate without manic distraction from the news cycle. I am just beginning to peal the layers away and I am realizing just how stressed we both were with the situation. I'm sorry if others are now feeling stressed-but we now have that in common, we know what that feels like. COmmon ground has to start somewhere.

In fact, I am really looking forward to this season. We are ready to celebrate in our house. After a lot of loss, I want lights and food and wine and movies and music...art, reading and more. What does next year hold in store for us?

Monday, November 23, 2020

Halfway there

Thank you to all who have donated to our year end fundrasier! We are halfway there! 

Your donations are tax deductible and go directly to the care of the animals here. We do not take salaries for our work but we love what we do. It was a hard year on so many levels-loss, Covid, world events...the list is wide and long. But...being appreciated helps! 

You can donate here on the blog, or over on the Facebook fundraiser page. And of course checks are just as a cceptable.

Thank you! Tail Swishes! Hoof Stomps and brays!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Earnest visits with my mother [dead since 2013]


The note slipped under the front door that morning was written in dirt on an old page from a feed catalog.

I recognized the writing. It was Earnest the pig’s.

“Meet me at the Small Rodent and Bird Cemetery at dusk…alone,” it said.

Now even though Halloween has passed, the barnyard is super charged all year for energetic encounters. Our 1760 house, one of the first houses in Bremen (then Bristol), is brimming with history. From the minute we entered this house, the energy was warm and welcoming. With the exception of the northwest section of The Wood, our land feels free of demons. It can be spooky on any night here, with the breeze from the cove blowing through The Wood, for the night life there is its own entity.

The cemetery I was to meet him at is near the front barn. Dusk turned to darkness.

“Hello,” I heard Earnest’s voice say. There he was, appearing at my feet seemingly from out of nowhere. “I’ve drawn a picture for you.”

As I looked at the image, squinting in the dark, I could see my mother’s face. My mother died out west at age 87 in 2013.

I gasped very quietly.

Earnest and I began walking back to his hut, which sits next to the outer equine barn, where the natives were restless for hay. I asked him how he was able to draw my mother’s likeness so well without a picture.

“Oh, I see her all the time,” he said.

My little hairs wiggled on my neck as a wind blew in just then from The Wood behind Earnest’s hut.

“Does she speak?” I asked.

“No, she smiles though,” the pig said. “She also sits above your bedroom window sometimes, and tends to the hydrangea, dead heading the old flowers.”

I thought for a moment and realized sometimes while I lie in bed I’d hear rustling in that old tree. It is as tall as our two-story house and well over 100 years old, they say.

Earnest went into his hut and started bedding down in his straw. The night was crisp and breezy and the deep Maine sky was glittering with stars, one of the many gifts of life on midcoast. I sat with Earnest for a spell, as I listened, watching for my mother.

Earnest looked up at me. “She usually doesn’t come on weekends.”

So I did my barn feedings and started back for the house.

She comes and visits my pig and not me, I pondered.

I stopped to look up at the old hydrangea by my bedroom window. Turning back for the house, a gust blew, and I could hear the dried, dead hydrangea flowers rattle. Several blew off, landing at my feet.

I picked them up, and placed them in a bowl as I entered the house.

The next morning at feedings, Pickles came to me.

“Mrs. Dunn, do you know that woman who sits up in the hydrangea tree?”

Thursday, November 12, 2020

FInal Year end fundraiser

We are raising $4,000 for our year end fundraiser over on Facebook. They take no fees. However you can donate here on the blog too, or you can send a check. 

Money goes to care for the the animals. We have had an expensive year due to more vet calls with many losses this year of animal friends. It has been grueling but I always say this is part of the gig here-when we take many of them on, we know there time is limited and we just do our best. But so many old friends died, it has been very sad, and many of our in home companions-Muddy, Mister Mosely...Hughie last July.

 We do not take salaries for our work, nor do we charge the elder homes we visit.

I want to thank all of you who support us, be it through donations, cat food, emotional hugs and sharing our work too. Some of you consistently give through the year and we really feel good about that, and it is so appreciated. 

It has been a heck of a year, hasn't it? For everyone, everywhere. I am looking forward to a new year, and am full of ideas-including getting my Lovey Hut running [more on that later], more equine therapy I hope, and more than anything, I hope we can get our elders out of lockdown.

Monday, November 09, 2020

My soul cat...Mister Mosely came as a leaf

Mister Moseley died early Sunday morning. We knew he was close Saturday night. I am so grateful he waited until morning as I was able to hold his little cold paws and clean his eyes and give him one last goodbye. I am deeply sad. I waited my entire life for a cat like Mister Mosely and when our eyes met at the shelter I knew. He was supposed to be my ‘grow old along with me” cat but nature was in charge. I am so grateful he could die with us in his home in his little spot...with Bear’s baby llama blanket under him.


The photo above was the last picture I took, maybe two days ago.One thing about being able to caretake a dying animal, you learn to look and accept that they are not the same animal they were...and you start to want them to let go, and you start to let go.  Mister Mosely's bile duct issue took over fast, so rapid. The weight fell off him in the last week and a half. And when I looked back at photos of him...it was heartbreaking... but also helped me accept it was time for me to let go and help him know I was ok to let go. I sent so much time with him this last month, but especially in the last week, cleaning him [something he'd stop doing], talking to him, making sure he got some water for comfort...but being so intimate with him was and is part of helping a caretaker see 'it is time now'. I'm grateful he could die at home.

His eyes said it all.

We have lost three of our house companions since last summer-Hughie the pug, Muddy, and now Mosely. I miss them all, and today as I washed all the Mosely blankets it brought back visions of Hughie sleeping in them, and how Bear used the llama blankie as a puppy.

There is a space between actual death and spirit awakedness  for me. In other words, the body is gone, and I feel that as a caretaker I need a small space of not seeing the body anymore before I can witness spirit. But yesterday, as I walked back from the barn, I saw this one lone leaf, it had just come off a tree and was falling so gracefully, and so slowly. It felt like it was Mister Mosely and I will accept it as such.

I buried him by The Lovey Hut which I spent all day in yesterday painting the walls. It is where I will have art and books, and animals for healing visits and art sales. Mister Mosely will grow sunflowers too. It dawned on me that Hughie, Huck/Muddy and now Mister Mosely form a triangle with their burial plots. I don't know what that signifies, but I felt it meant something to me to have noticed it.