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

©K.Dunn. All rights reserved.




Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Help bring another elder, crippled goat to Apifera



Please consider making a small donation to help offset expenses to bring home our new Misfit. There are reward levels for those interested.


When I saw this story I immediately knew I had to take on one of these elders. And we'll be making the 12 hour drive to pick up this crippled little fellow. I asked Martyn if he might be p for a drive, not telling him to where, and he said "Sure". Even after telling him it was the familiar 12 hour round trip north to get an old goat, he didn't bat an eye. Sainthood must be next.

I immediately liked the name, Ezra, and looked up the meaning. I felt a lump in my throat. Of Hebrew orgin, the name means "help". It was like he was reaching out all along, and was finally heard. It's also the name of the poet, Ezra Pound, and you all know we already have a poet in our midst, so I think having another is a worthy addition.

Ezra is over ten. He was part of a small herd of Pygmies that were relinquished to New Moon Goat Farm Rescue up in Washington {this will be the 15th goat we have taken from them!} . The entire herd of elders was very malnourished, lice ridden, on their knees from foot issues, and most are arthritic and crippled from the neglect. When New Moon was called to take the goats, she went immediately, but two were laying dead in the paddocks, malnourished. She got the herd of six remaining goats to her farm, and I had my mind made up to take the worse off goat, but he died within the week. But as Ellen said, he died in a warm barn, being cared for–she and I have often discussed how a goat like this can get to a place they feel comfortable and safe, and they let go. This is a gift for them and it is part of taking these old ones on-you know they might not make it, but you also know you are helping give them a safe place, to either let go, or thrive for some more months or years. So I hope we get him in time to help nourish him-no matter what, we'll do our best for him.

Ezra is said to be a sweet tempered little fellow, very arthritic and crippled, but gets around okay. I thought he might be a good pal for Scooby Keith. It is very cold out and will continue to be cold until next week-but it is dry. I've seen it repeatedly where a malnourished elder arrives, it turns cold, and they don't have much resistance–sometimes they don't come out of it.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A new workshop at Apifera!



I am beyond thrilled. I don't know what that word would be-"beyond thrilled"- but it is what I am. I have been mulling over workshop ides and have finally set the date for the first 2015 session!

It will be Saturday, June 27th from 9-5. I have an early bird special going on through January 10, so snap it up if you can. The fee is all inclusive [materials and lunch]. You can read all the details at the Workshop site, and also get an idea for accommodations as many of you will be looking at this as a great way to come to Oregon, and maybe explore the ocean after the Workshop.

This workshop is for artists of all levels, and non-artists. While there will be two separate painting sessions lasting most of the morning and day, there will be sessions with the many Misfits of the farm. You can read all about the agenda over at the Workshop blog.

Who is this workshop for?
Artists of all levels and non artists. No painting experience necessary. But painters are encouraged to think of it as a way of opening up to different levels and symbols that can enhance their current work.
Adults only.

This day will be perfect for anyone looking for internal answers, or someone who needs a nudge to go a bit deeper into themselves in a unique way. It will also be well suited for anyone who has suffered a loss, or is grieving, or trying to move on from a 'stuck' point. Or, it might be wonderful for an established artist to come open up under the sky of the farm, animals on the side. The painting sessions will be done in one of the barns, and it will be a supportive and encouraging environment. There is no "Oh, but I can't draw" going one here. We will work abstractly in the beginning, using colors and shapes to help us emote feelings, mysteries, fears, hopes and story onto pine board, with paint. We will explore our own personal symbols-that might already be popping into your life-and use them to dig deeper to share our own stories. The second session will evolve the painting into more of a story, with the abstract work as a base. This is how I have been working for years and it allows surprises all the way, keeping the work real, fresh and soulful.

But we also touch the old goats, commune with donkeys and soak in the farm. My hope is that you leave with a sense of hope, inspiration, and farm energy resonating in your heart forever.

I believe art is a catalyst that can translate our personal stories into color, prompting healing, joy and change in ourselves, but also to those on the receiving end. I also have witnessed how being amongst animals helps the hard surface of any stranger grow softer, and singes a second of joy in the heart of even the saddest person. The Misfits will be out and about, some will surely pop in while we work.Who knows, the pig might even show up.

Visit the Workshop site to read more.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Scooby Keih makes love



Scooby Keith has made love to The Head Troll. I know, because I witnessed it, twice. I say "make love" because of any copulation I've witnessed here, which have been plenty, I must say it was a very gentlemanly encounter.

Scooby Keith is elderly, adopted from Sanctuary One with Aldo the Elder. Scooby had been neglected badly prior to joining Sanctuary One, and when he arrived here he was thin and not the healthiest chap due to that past neglect. He has always been a loner. I kept him down in the lower Misfit village, along with Aldo the llama for his first months here with us. But he was prone to go lie in the cold rain, away from the pack, even though he had ample room in shelter. He just seemed to prefer being alone. But at one point last winter, I knew he didn't feel well, and I started giving him a regime of vitamin shots and such, but he wasn't eating well at all. I talked to the vet and she said I was doing the best for him, but we opted to dose some penicillin too in case it was lung related. It took a few weeks before I took a breath.

He pulled out of it, but never has been a fast or strong eater.

So this winter, I decided to bring him up to the goat barn. I let him stay in the hay barn one night and he liked it. He hasn't left, except for sunny days, which are few and far between here in winter. In the last couple months he has put on a bit of weight, and is eating better. He also seems very content in his hay barn. The only other Misfit allowed in there is The Head Troll, as well as Marcella. Old Man Guinnias used to come in with me every morning. And once and awhile Goose gets in behind me, bringing Moose, then Earnest, and Wilbur and Eleanor and who knows what else and its pure chaos-shepherdess yelling commands and goats leaping here and there hoping Earnest will knock over a feed bin-which he would if allowed even 30 seconds on his own.

But Scooby is perfectly well behaved-leaving the cat food alone and never upending buckets of locked grain.

I thought I'd leave him in a week or so, but he really likes it. His personality has blossomed a bit. He's always been friendly, but with me over the animals. Maybe he was someones main goat. I think he likes the one-on-one he can have with me, and the Head Troll. They even eat side by side. Unheard of!!

So, Scooby had sex and I'm glad. An old guy needs love in any way it comes. Touch is important to healing.

And this is yet another example how care taking these creatures often means watching for small signs of happiness from them-or contentment. Just the small change of moving into another area seemed to make him very comfortable. I'm sure he'll be back in the lower Village come late spring, but for now, i am thoroughly enjoying our one-on-one daily encounters.

Say it with me now- "W love us some Scooby Keith!"

{If you want to help sponsor Scooby and other Misfits, you can do so at reward levels here.}

Saturday, December 27, 2014

So you want to own pigs...



I love pigs. I have learned a lot about piglets in the past few months. They are cute. They are active. They scream. They remind me of rats. They do things in packs-including surrounding your feet while you try to walk with feed buckets screaming the entire time. Their noses are as powerful as an adult.

I'm not sure I'm cut out for pigletting. We shall see. I can't see a life without one or two, especially my dear Earnest, or Eleanor. I love Earnest as much as the sunset. Earnest is charming, low key and besides having the capacity to take down a couple gates when I'm doing morning and nightly feedings, he has posed no trouble. He lets me sit on him and hold him. Eleanor is a real talker, a non stop talker. She has warmed up a lot since I started keeping her in main barnyard. She was not as social as Earnest for some reason, but she is a sweet girl. But man, don't try to get a word in edgewise with that pig!

The part of pigletting [again, I'm aware this is not a word, but it is my word, much more interesting than farrowing, I think] that I find the most difficult, and worrisome in the long run, is what they have the capability to do to the land. If you travel out in the country and see a farm with a few pigs in even a large area/pen, it will most likely be eaten down, and muddy depending on the time of year. I had imagined letting my pigs graze all the time, but if I want to keep certain fields intact, I can't do this. The pigs are rooting a lot.

Note to all pig-owner-wannabes: I don't care what some people say, but pigs root. There is this myth amongst certain KuneKune breeders, and Guinea Hog people [not all, just some] that they don't root.

Not.

Depending on the time of year, they do root, and some seem more prone to it than others-something my friend and Berkshire pig raiser agrees with. In spring, they just love going for worms and grubs. If there is lots of ample grass-good grass with nutrition, they don't root as much. But put them in a low cropped field in winter and they will root something. My two Guinea sows like to root where the llama poops. This is good and bad. Good because the llama poops in one spot generally, and it covers about 5' of space. It's always in the middle of the field, far form compost areas, so the pigs have rooted and turned the soil for me. Along with the roots, of course. We've been meaning to reseed that pasture anyway.

Another myth is that Guinea Hogs don't need supplemental food. Big myth. If you live in a climate that always has fresh forage, with nutrition in it- great, no supplement. Especially if you aren't breeding. These guys can get fat fast and that's not good. But they need supplemental food. The Guinea Hog was the old backyard pig before producers started breeding pigs to be bigger and longer, then people started buying food from large farms, then large factories. So the original Guinea Hogs, that almost went extinct, were back yard scrappers.

I didn't breed sheep this year because I wanted to see what raising the piglets was like, and how it effects my cross pasturing. I'm glad I did that. The piglets have a huge dry area but now in the day they run in Boone's paddock. They will defiantly rid it of dog fennel, which is good, as nobody eats it and Boone's pasture is the last to still have it. Boone gets along fine with them, so far.

Piglets are cute. People see the photos and ooh and ah. But like any livestock, there is a lot of work they don't consider. I have spent so many hours, most weekends, fixing fences, securing better boards at the bottom of fences to keep pigs in, creating dry areas for feeding that they don't destroy with their noses. You turn around and something changes-it's just part of farming. I can not imagine having a huge pig operation-it would take some special fencing.

Now, I'm not trying to poo-poo [sorry for the pun] pig breeding, or ownership. They are lots of fun, if you have the right fencing, and the patience to always be working on fencing. They are not pasture ornaments [but then, what animal is?].

To balance this post out- I would never exchange the experience of breeding some pigs and rearing these fellows up. But I do think I might want to stay with one species for breeding. The cross pasturing, and keeping breeders and non breeders separate becomes much more problematic with pigs, even with my gentle Little Big man, Earnest. 22 acres seems like a lot to some people, but to rotate pastures with a working flock, and keep rams in another working paddock, and donkeys, and one horse-and keep it all healthy, takes some work. Adding pigs intot he mix really works the land overtime.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Dear Father Christmas



I wrote this a few years back for Huffington Post, but I still love sharing it. To me it is one of the messages of Christmas-miracles and hopes being realized, but often in a time frame we don't expect. We can't control our dreams manifestations, but we can never stop believing in them. I hope you will enjoy it. And to all of you who follow along with Apifera and show your gratitude in so many ways-thank you. We wish you a peaceful Christmas and a much light in your heart as the holiday continues. A new year is before us-who knows what it will bring for The Misfits, The White Dogs, Pino, my work and the farm?

Dear Father Christmas,

It has been many years since I've written, but I was reminded of you this week when I saw photographs of the heavy snow fall in my old homeland of Minnesota. As an Oregonian, I rarely experience snow anymore, but I'll admit, when it does come, I think of writing you -- but I always get busy.

Seeing the drifts of white fuzz in a photograph can carry me back 50-some years -- in an instant -- to Christmases where I would wake to fresh snow blanketing the world outside. It was so quiet but snow has a sound of its own, even when at rest. I'm sure you know exactly what I mean. I suppose it is the little flakes melting into their next life as puddles.

I wrote you often back then, always with hope and anticipation. I remember the year you and I actually met, or at least I saw your back as you left the darkened area where our Christmas tree stood. My parents and my older brother didn't believe I'd seen you, but to this day, I knew it was you. The next day I had perfect proof you had been there. The huge imprints left in the thick rug in our house didn't fit any one's boots or shoes. Our feet were all meek compared to yours.

Each year you always came through with many items on my Christmas list, except the one I wanted more than anything -- a horse.

Every year I asked for a horse, and you never brought me one. Oh, you did bring me horses made of china, horse dolls, horse books, horse boots and riding lessons, and horse sketch books. Thank you for those.

But I began to feel your magic had waned, that perhaps you were overworked or even bored with your position as chief gift giver. Or worse yet, that you didn't hear me. My friend said you were a fake, but I told her you were not a fake, and I would prove it to her when you brought me a horse that year. Fortunately, she moved away before Christmas, and I did not have to face her at the neighborhood parade on two feet, versus in my saddle.

It was then I quit writing you.

Not long ago, we had a heavy snow -- the kind that shuts things down in rural Oregon. Martyn and I (yes, I did finally marry even though I wrote you once I never would) took a walk down our long road admiring the beauty of it all. We heard not a truck, human, or even a farm animal, only the faint ticking of the large flakes hitting our coats. But off in the distance, we heard bells, like jingle bells. As we lifted our legs in giant high steps, we came to the main road and the bell sounds grew closer. The snow was falling heavily and there was a mist, making it hard to see. But out of the cloudy distance came a sleigh, pulled by two horses. It was a nearby farmer delivering hay to his cows the only way he could in the heavy snow -- by a Percheron-pulled sleigh.

We stopped and chatted and they went on their way, the bells becoming more distant as they slid down the road. We made our way back to the house, and smoke was coming out the chimney and the barns were all buried in snow cocoons. I heard my horse whinny from his paddock, his red coat stuck out from the white background and his mane was flecked in flakes. I saw the heat rising from his body into the cool air, but I knew without a doubt that mist was really you, Father Christmas.

"My child, I did get you that horse, it just took awhile."

You sounded just as I remember so long ago.

And I had to write you, Father Christmas, and say "thank you" for the horse.

Love, Katherine

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Head Mistress in training



Today the weather is wonderful–arm and mainly sun. To be honest, I had a tish of a hangover after we stayed up late with friends celebrating the Solstice. The best way for me to deal with a hangover is to work outside, so the universe played along with me.

I need to really get the flock together with the White Dogs, in earnest. Benedetto is very calm around everyone, he is more mature than Marcella that way. But Marcella is doing well. She still has a tendency to chase if animals start running. So I hung out doing chores in barnyard and kept the flock in with the dogs. Soon I'll start leaving them together all the time.

I sat with her a lot and when she was calm around the flock I praised her. I walked about the barnyard and anytime she put her head down to begin what looked like a chase, she was scolded, and then praised the second she stopped. Nobody's pregnant this year so I don't have to worry about mamas being chased. I still have some work to do with fence repair before I trust her and Benedetto in the bottom field. Benedetto found a hole to get through Old Barn, and he really had a good run about yesterday and this morning. Marcella went with him. I need to relax about this, it is what i want him to do, but not yet. One more month and I'll feel better. There is still one side of our acreage with ways for animals to escape, and we plan to fence that this coming year. I mainly worry he might go somewhere and chase a cat, and get shot. So I was just really pleased he came back after his long run. And Marcella comes back sooner since she is more bonded with the barnyard. Once he's more bonded with flock, I'm hoping I'll relax.

One of Marcella's habits since a pup-and I've heard of other Maremma's doing this- is she sits in the middle of the hay pile at feeding. Sometimes she even eats some hay. I just love that. She is such a wonderful dog.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Annnual Christmas Garland Festival at Apifera



The Garland Festival has become a tradition here at Apifera. It began after a friend and follower of The Misfits and my art gifted me with a lovely felted garland. It was so pretty and I casually took a photo of the dogs wearing it to share with her as a thank you. Of course it grew from there.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The continuing journey of Francis



I am thoroughly enjoying working on the children's book idea and have finished the main manuscript draft and plot and now am working on spreads. Once the dummy is done I'll assess the next step needed.

It's a bout a drunk rabbit who gets lost in the woods....no, no, it's not although I think that would be a fun story to write. Rabbits are too wise to get drunk though.

I won't give much more away accept that here is Francis, taking shelter under some trees, seeking a warm place out of the storm. But he has entered the forest of The Thing.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Crew of chickens



You just have to accept the crew you are given on any day around here. I'm thankful for this bunch though. While they were right int he middle of hay debris I was relocating to the piglet pen, how could I not stop and look at them, all lined up like little compost guards.

"Excuse me, you can go now," I said. Seconds transpire. "Please."

And off they went.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

White Dog love continues



I have such strong feelings for these White Dogs. In some ways, maybe too much. I grew up with house dogs as pets, they had every comfort they needed. I never had dogs that lived outside and had day and night jobs. It is an incredibly rewarding relationship, although it challenges some of my comfort zones.

One comfort zone is the fear that Benedetto will flea. It has been almost 2 months since he magically appeared out of nowhere on our farm, and it has been one month since he was neutered and chipped. He is definitely happy here, and every day I notice behaviors that show he has established a real comfort for his new role.In fact, it's like he just knew it all along, there seemed to be no transition period amongst the animals. He was meant to be here for some reason.

He is so eager to work, but I want to wait one more month before he can really be out in the sheep fields-only because there are some areas where he could go under fences. I fear more he will get shot in the upper hills-if he went after a cat, or just showed up-there are people like that around here. My vet told me an adult dog when neutered can still produce pups for a couple months, so I figure his wandering eye and nose might be safer to wait another month.

But I have to learn to trust him, and let go a bit. These dogs, as I was told from the start, can find a way to get to where they want or need to be. That's kind of the point. Benedetto and Marcella are not jumpers, but they can contort themselves in ways to allow them to get under the smallest fence openings, I've witnessed it. Benedetto and Marcella get roaming time every day in an upper sheep field, right now where the piglets are grazing, and they can see the flock in the next pasture. Soon I will be putting them in with the sheep at night to bond, and in a month or so, days will be spent with the flock.

The other day I took them down into the lavender field to walk the fence again with them. Marcella found a hole under the fence-a cat and raccoon door for years-and she was under that thing in a heartbeat, and on the road. While we are a rural road, we have a lot of morons around here who drive like their pants are on fire, so I just did a heart flip flop. I scolded her, and she came back pretty quickly, and was praised. Benedetto did not follow her under and listened to me as I warned him not to go. I was pleased with that. Maremmas do not 'come' on command, it is a fact.

So, baby steps. What is wonderful is to watch these two together. I just can't imagine Marcella now without Benedetto. He is one of the sweetest dogs I've met, very agreeable. I like that they can be independent of one another too, and they do have areas that each one seems to clearly favor, as 'theirs'.

But Benedetto wants to work. He tells me every time I look at him by one of the paddock gates that lead to the sheep fields. Marcella is already working in her own way, in her barnyard, and learning from Benedetto who is older than her. She helps the Misfits eat their hay, keeps the pigs in line if they rush a goat, and sits amongst them, watching, listening. She has also alerted me to a couple of pig escapes.

In the huge wind storm we had last week, I looked out in the barnyard after the dusk, everyone was safe and snug in the barn, but there was White Dog. He was standing on the concrete wall by Old Barn, his hair blowing in the strong gusts of wind, head held tall, watching. It gave me goose bumps.





Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Over the river and through the mud



It was not fit for man, beast or sheep today. Or shepherdess. I captured some iphone shots as I went to let the girls in. What is usually a 6" wide rivulet is a torrent in spots, but they know all the right spots to jump. Still if this keeps up, I'll have to move them into another area as a couple of the elders might not be able to jump it if certain areas get washed out. If it rains like this tomorrow, the road will surely wash out.

Today was a classic Oregon down pour-the kind that the entire country thinks we get every day all year round. I must say when it comes down like this it feels like it might never stop, like the arc really does need to be built and it better be big, without holes.

Its also the best way to see how well, or not, I did on my extra drainage work in the last month. I still need more depth to the culvert I made at Stevie's hut, but what I made is holding fine and he is dry. Some of my hog fuel paths-thanks to the darn little munchkin piglets, were blown out by water. Sigh. All that work, and one 30 pound piglet takes his nose to it in an hour of fun destruction.

I will be so happy when the new barn is done. I could sure use it right now, but everybody is well. It's a warm rain, which makes all the difference to me, and the animals.



Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Pino is on Modern Farmer and so is Paco



I wanted to share an article I just wrote on Modern Farmer called, "I Believe in the Healing Powers of Donkeys".

Paco got to be the lead photo and he couldn't look cuter. {This image here was also included, one of my favorites of our Pino}. The article discusses the concept of care farming and how I'm attempting to do that here. I have witnessed the healing powers of the Misfits and the donkeys with a variety of visitors. I also give a shout out to my role models, Sanctuary One, one of the few farms doing true care farming that I know of in the States. Care farming is more popular in Europe especially Britain. Care farming recognizes that there is a reciprocal relationship between land, people and animals.

I hope you'll have time to read the article-I point out one encounter Pino had with a visitor who had recently suffered type of stroke leaving her speechless. It was a really beautiful experience.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Pino sets the date!



Pino has set the date for his big pie party!! Stay tuned for more details come spring!

If you are interested in volunteering this year, email me and I will add you to the list.

Friday, December 05, 2014

I'm blog hoppin'... how ideas percolate



I agreed to participate in an international blog hop today. This is a good way to practice being open to new things-because it often leads to other new things, even far down the road.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

I thought she'd be here forever



{For the faint hearted, I assure you nobody has died.}

The Head Troll is one of those creatures that come along in life and you just don't ever think of a life without them. The life you had before you meant them seems to not have existed, and a future without them in it seems unreal and laughable.

But in the past couple of months I've noticed some behaviors in our fearless leader that remind me she is in fact...mortal, er, gortal. She too is aging. I gave her the name Franklinia on her arrival because I knew I had to call her Frankie. She was a girl with a tomboy heart. Perhaps that is why I overlooked her mischievous ways and rather non cuddly attitude towards anyone. It all makes sense now, she knew back then that being sweet was not going to get her job done. She was to be a leader, a planner of major barnyard events, a notary, a list maker and a task keeper. She was to be one of my greatest muses. In a very short amount of time she was casually christened The Head Troll because before there was Marcella or a grumpy pig or crippled goats, you had to get by Frankie at the gate, and it wasn't easy. I've never know a swifter vessel-capable of squirting her troll body through a man's legs like a speeding bullet. This goat could get anywhere, anyhow, anyway.

Frankie has always come into the hay barn with me where the feed is kept. It boggles my mind that of all the goats, she is the one that does not tip bins over. She is the only animal besides Marcella who is allowed in the hay/feed room. Cats of course reside there, but Frankie is allowed there anytime. It is where she keeps her lists and special buckets to pick names out of. But in the last couple of months she has taken to staying there, carving out a simple bed in the hay area, a spot where she can look out a small hole at the light where the rams eat breakfast, and cats come and go. She is always facing away from me or the gate.

She is not sick, she is simply slowing down. Perhaps the chaos of running the barnyard all these eleven years has begun to take its toll on our Troll.

If you follow along here, you know I have a ritual when an old Misfit is clearly beginning to check out. I let them know it's okay to leave. But with Frankie, it is not okay to leave. I've told her this, a huge burden, I know. But such is our relationship, we don't hold back with one another. She's my rock, my empress, my go to in a pickle gal.

I had a similar feeling when my mother was getting up into her late eighties and things were beginning to unwind. I knew her time was coming–some day– but life without her seemed impossible and if she no longer existed neither might I. I mean, who knew? It was an unsettling feeling, and then I'd move on to other tasks.

And so that is how it feels to see my muse resting in her private little spot of light. Unsettling. And somewhere I can see my mother, rolling her eyes for having just been compared to a goat in some way. It all comes back to my mother.

{Do you like all the stories shared here? This shepherdess is going on the 10th year of blogging you art and story from Apifera. Consider buying books this year for gifts, or supporting a Misfit in other ways. Hoof stomps!}

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Snapshot moments



I'm going to start posting some "snapshots' from the farm. These are taken with an iphone and are unplanned, usually taken with a bucket in my hand and without thought or care, as I have animals all over me while I take a blind shot at a photo. They show glimpses into the chores around here. I will not abandon my photography, but I'm finding these quickie shots -mainly posted on Instagram-to be a fun way to lighten up and just let you get glimpses into daily life - and if I fall in the mud I'd rather lose an iphone than a Nikon. I won't post any words for snapchat moments-however, you can feel free to ask questions or start a dialogue in the comment section.



Monday, December 01, 2014

"Let there be Misfitlians!" declared The Head Troll



I've been bombarded by cyber specials for the past four days. Delete. Delete. Delete.

So I was hesitant to do some shout outs about...well, me. But a shepherdess is not a sheep, she does not lived on legumes. So I must make some non subtle suggestions to you to go be a consumer.

If you don't like the sound of that, I alerted the Head Troll and asked if she could come up with a more inviting, spiritual word for a shopper of Apifera goods.

She was at it all day.

"Misfitlian," she had scratched on a piece of a seed bag.

I do not often argue with The Head Troll. She is a notary for crying out loud. You can't object to a notary.

In all seriousness, if you are a past Misfitlian, or a new one, by buying my books, art, cards, prints or whatever else you can scrounge up from me, it is going right into this wonderful world of Misfits. You can also give a donation gift this season in honor of a friend who has lost friend/family member or animal.

The book sale is going on and remember if you have already purchased either of the two books, you don't need a minimum order to get the low price. Just email me and I'll get it all done for you.

So now all you Misfitlians, go forward in cheer and peace, and buy, buy, buy. With each purchase, a donkey feels their wings.