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

Apifera Farm is a registered 501 [c][3]. All images ar©Katherine Dunn.





Thursday, May 17, 2018

Always learning, and doubting, then not doubting..me and Opie carry on

Joe always has a smile no matter what 
Opie and I went to Wiscasset today to visit our friends. It was the first day we could all be outside which was welcome...and a lot easier since Opie didn't need his indoor attire. He did a little weeding while he was there too.

Opie needed this as much as we all did. I think he has been confused by Ollie's arrival, he has not been acting his usual vim and vigor self but he is starting to play with Ollie. So today, he was back in his natural form, just sharing himself with the elders.

I sensed today that Jeanne was tired. I wondered if it was a shift in her journey. Best not to play universal detective, but I am always so relieved to see all their faces. Jeanne is 97 and such a nice woman, always dressed with colors and accessories. Opie is totally into buttons and beads, so today Jeanne thought she had outsmarted him by not wearing her usual necklace of beads...but she had delicious, enticing leather buttons on her self-hand-knitted sweater. What is a goat to think when he sees a line up of leather buttons?

When I look around their little garden area, I so want to go buy a bunch of stuff and come landscape it with Martyn. One of the assistants was planting some annuals in pots, and we were talking about the worn out grass, needing lime and seed, but lack of sun makes it hard. She mentioned they'd like to extend the patio area. I just immediately thought,

Oh I have to make this happen. How can I make this happen?

It takes money. I am still learning what works and doesn't, what projects I can pull off at this early stage of our 501[c][3] and which ones I can't, and...which ones I should take on in my heart. I realized I need to let this grow organically. And it will.

Another thing I'm learning is the realities of what the staff can do. We had invited all the Greens residences to a morning visit with Opie, Pino and Birdie, and we are having it at Inn Along the Way next Tuesday. Initially it was a way for me to introduce myself to all seven residences and I thought it was a fun outing for all the people to be together. The residences are spread around midcoast, and there are only two vans, and only one has a lift. Each residence is in charge of their own small staff and the logistics of going out to an outing with support staff, and still having someone at the residence is a challenge. It is also impossible for everyone to get there do to the lack of transport.

This is one of the reasons we have created an area here at our farm for the elders to come visit, in small groups, or even one person at a time when the care managers have the staff to bring them here. My Wiscasset friends are excited about this and we hope to make that happen in June for the first time. I realized too that, and I never asked any of them, but I don't think it is important for them to be together with all the other residences. I think getting out is healthy, but sometimes, or often, just sitting out on their chairs in their own residence on a nice day is plenty for them. And these folks have plenty of activate too, bingo, puzzles, they visit gardens....

My mother loved to sit. She played golf and got out and of course drove right until the end, but more and more as she aged, she was content to sit, chat a bit with a guest, but she really loved to sit and listen to the birds...look around at the flowers. I'm the same way. I think I miscalculated this upcoming get together. I had my heart in the right place, but I think I have always been more inclined to be in small settings, one on one, and the plan to have people come here in small batches, or even one person at a time, is the right path for us, and in the long run, a better thing for the residences.

{If you like the work we are doing with animals, and people, please consider a donation. Thank you!}

Jeanne in her hand made sweater she knit years ago
Mary holding Opie

"I really want to eat her leather buttons"

Ruth got the 'happiest socks" award today

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~