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

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©Katherine Dunn.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Mrs. Dunn frets about weather but then let's go


I hope I'll see some of you at our October 7 event! I learned that you have to get to at least 5 day forecast before you really worry about weather report and actually 2 days out is the most accurate. Looks right now like a few 'sprinkles' at 'some point' in the day. Come on Universe can I catch a break this year with my timing?

But then I thought, no, we shall just have Plan B's in action-we have The Lovey Mobile ready, the barn will be open, and the trailer whicjh I might make into a Peso love hut and put Harry elsewhere so we can sit in trailer.

I still think the weather might just be fine, overcast and 65 and maybe a sprinkle but i am going to remian excited and optimistic.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Available now...a hay barn by the sea


"Hay Barn By the Sea" is now available at the online shop. It might go elsewhere so if you have interest act now.

30 x 40" on canvas.

 I tried adding a woman and pony, but I covered it up. I find with abstract pieces it is always tempting to put something recognizable in it-like a bird or tree, and sometimes i do, only to cover it. It's almost like it takes courage not to add a bird or animal, I don't know how else to say that.


Monday, September 18, 2023

Mrs. Dunn has a garden hose in her body

 Today’s post is graciously written by Earnest the Pig. Mrs. Dunn edited his copy to ensure it was accurate. This is her latest from her monthly column Tails & Tales.

It felt like a usual morning. The sun rose, the rooster crowed, the dogs barked. But when I heard the front door of the house open, and close, I didn’t hear the sounds indicating Mrs. Dunn was coming with my breakfast.

And in fact, my breakfast did not come as usual. Nor did anyone else’s.

“Earnest, where is Mrs. Dunn?” asked Pickles.

Hannah came running out to the conversation.

“Is she dead?” she cried.

“Oh child, she’s not dead. I saw her leave early this morning with Mister Dunn,” said Poetry the wise elder goat.

“Maybe she found Her Imaginary House By The Sea and she’s left for good,” said Puddles, always one to create some angst.

“Mrs. Dunn would not abandon us,” said Auntie Bea, another elder goat.

Just then, we heard the familiar sound of a truck pull in, and then the front gate slid open and there was Mrs. Dunn. We all ran to the gate to greet her.

“You really are alive!” said little Hannah, near tears.

“It seems I am,” said Mrs. Dunn. “I had to go the hospital to have a procedure, but everything is fine,” she said, as she began to get our breakfast.

I put my arm around her, and said, “Mrs. Dunn, are you really okay?”

The animals all stood in silence, waiting for Mrs. Dunn to answer. “Earnest, I’m fine. I had what they call a routine screening colonoscopy.”

The newly arrived baby goat, Pancakes, jumped up on Mrs. Dunn and asked, “What is a color house copy?

“Colonoscopy. Well, it’s like a hose that’s coiled up in my body, and it takes the food I eat out of my body,” Mrs. Dunn said. “They use a magnifying glass to make sure it’s healthy.”

I grabbed the garden house and coiled it up on the ground, and then drew a body. I explained to everyone how our food is digested and the leftovers have to come out.

“A human colon is about five feet long,” I told them. “That’s a little shorter than Mrs. Dunn.

Everyone gasped, including Mrs. Dunn.

“But where does the food go,” asked Pickles.

“Well, it gets made into poop, and then you poop,” Mrs. Dunn said.

“So let me get this straight,” said Puddles. “Mrs. Dunn has a five foot long garden hose inside her body and it makes poop?”

“Yes,” Mrs. Dunn and I said in unison.

Hannah screamed.

“But your color house copy is okay, it’s not sick?” Hannah asked.

“My colonoscopy was normal, and it’s okay,” Mrs. Dunn reassured Hannah.

Mrs. Dunn returned to the house and we all enjoyed our breakfast. We were happy Mrs. Dunn was in fact alive and that her garden hose was healthy.

“So, if Mrs. Dunn has a garden hose in her body, does she have other stuff, like shovels?” asked Puddles.

And Hannah ran to the barn crying.

Monday, September 04, 2023

The Barn protects

 I wrote this awhile ago, but came upon it and liked it...

The barn is an anchor to every creature that lives here. And it is an anchor for me too. I can think in there and just feel very much of me. Like the animals, the barn does not judge my appearance, weight, mood or flaws. It forgives a mistake such as leaving a hose bib run and flooding her side wall. It blocks out the wind but feels so safe when you are inside her listening to the wind-like my old sumac fort I had as a little girl. The barn holds baby birds in her arms and has bodies of importance buried under her and around her. I know exactly where I am walking above my beloved Birdie the llama and Cornelia the pig. Raggedy Man died on her side wall, sunning in the vegetable garden.

I don’t worry about saying the right or wrong thing in the barn. There is no social media available there. The Hungry are not invited in. The Hungry are people in the outer world who project their expectations on to other people, and are always, in the end, crushed that their expectations aren't met. The Hungry that I have encountered in my life never seem to have healthy boundaries. Some of them give fall in love with you from one encounter online…”I love you so much,” they say. Beware of quick I love you’s. Love is important, and to love is a compassionate human. But my experience has always shown that a direct I love you after not even knowing someone always comes from the boundaryless person seeking something. The Hungary give lots of doting attention, but in the end, they are never satisfied with what they get in return from you because they don't think they are getting back what they deserve, they seem to always think they have not been appreciated properly. And if you try to explain your boundaries to The Hungary, they are hurt, or mad, or both. The Hungry seem to swoop into your life, and can often just disappear silently, and never speak to you again. I'm learning to recognize them more quickly but not always.

So, that is another wonderful part of a relationship with a barn. She respects boundaries, and has gates-sometimes they are open, sometimes they are closed, and she and I choose which. {You will notice the symbol of the gate is prevalent in my art}.

The barn has no expectations of what our relationship is going to be, or should be. But she gives back so much, without asking-shelter from wind and snow, dappled sunlight for old and young bones, a sandy bottomed floor to sit down on and just listen to the cud chewing meetings. The roof creeks a song and the big doors when opened might reveal a myriad of surprises-life, a death, or  a wandering cat come to stay…or turkey eggs.

I'm sticking around to be with the barn. She's not of The Hungry.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

It begins! Help Apifera bring in the hay and more!

 UPDATE: We have raised just over $5,000 of our $20000 goal so we are 1/4 of the way there! Thank you!

So...I was going to wait until Sept to start fundraising but have decided to start now and will be attempting some new efforts to do that. I want to raise hay money which is double this year, and more to cover the costs we incurred over the summer. So a minimum of $20,000.
I normally put a fundraiser up on FB, but I can't add offline payments. I'm doing posts on Facebook and Instagram asking for money as we go along. I'm not sure if followers have a preference, but thought I'd try it that way for the first month. Of course, if you read the blog you can donate here too on the blog.
-Also, if all 2700 followers gave $10...imagine that
- if 100 people raised $100 on FB imagine that
I plan to do art giveaways, photo giveaways...calendar gifts too and will treat each post I do to raise money as a new pitch.
For starters, everyone who donates today or in coming posts, will have their name put in a bucket and Pickles will be in charge of it. This is a bit risky but she understands the importance of her role. Puddles is banned from being near the bucket. 
The first give away you might get for donating is this art print below retailing for $195 [©Mrs. Dunn]. [Somehow Pancakes is in charge of picking the winner which won't happen until late fall]
Here are recent cost incurred: vet costs from summer $4,000; Lumber for Bigg's winter mini barn $2,000; each ton of Canadian hay we are bringing in is $525, and we are bringing in 17 tons [$9,000]. But I just found out it is going up a $1 a bale so that is $700 more]. We buy about $300 a feed a week. That doesn't include cat food/supplies which are 75% donated.
I hope to make the give aways enticing. And if you can do a matching donation, message me!


Friday, August 18, 2023

A message from Ruthie

Good morning. I have something very intimate I'd like to share about Ruthie and from her. I have to tell you I did not want to get up this morning, the vision of finding the body and all that it all seemed like a waking nightmare. But something really helped me this morning and I thought it might help others.  

Back in the late '90's I began working with a healer/intuitive in Mpls. I still work with her when I need to. She helped me immensely in my younger years to learn how to stay grounded, and not always float away which I had done since I was a child. She taught me so much-about boundaries, about asking 'who says' when someone tells you something, about putting on my pink bubble suit when I need it. She taught me about how to navigate a human world in an intuitive body. I continue to learn about myself with her guidance when needed. She is a gift to me and she is the real deal. 

So yesterday I reached out to her, asking if she might reach out to Ruthie. Before I tell you what she said, I should also mention that yesterday morning before I went to the outer barn, I was in the cat room, and looked down and there was a white feather. Probably from The Goose. But another friend of mine always looks for a white feather after one of her horses dies, to let her know they are ok, and one always appears, eventually. So I took note of that. I thought it was from the duck that disappeared. 

So here is what my healer heard from Ruthie. 

 "She knew it was coming and wanted me to reassure you. I was gifted two turkey feathers, found on the ground outside where I was teaching: one yesterday and one today [note from Mrs. Dunn, this was before my healer knew of Ruthie's death]. First time ever. She wants you to know she met her death like a warrior and that you gave her the best friendship ever. You opened one another’s hearts even more. She really thinks of herself as as samurai. Sitting on the nest gave her such beautiful dreams, and peace… her life ended in a poem. This was all from her…what a beautiful being. Her head is high and she was not afraid. She was waiting for the inevitable day." 

The photo posted here is one I took a few days ago. I was so pleased she was off the nest and out and about, running to me when I arrived in the pasture, following me about. That day I sat on a rock, a beautiful breeze. The duck had disappeared that day. Ruthie just was taking it all in, the breeze, my presence. It was a quite, beautiful communion we had that day. She looked up at the sky, over and over, and I took this photo. I remember wondering if she was looking for the owl or knew something was in the sky [at that point I thought an owl had taken the duck]. But hearing my healer's conversation with her...I see this photo in a different light. 

I love thinking of her as a samurai. I think we humans think so differently than our more intuitive animals...even though we have our intuitiveness...but this idea she knew it was coming, is so, Indian, so...part of what it is to live within and amongst nature-not on top of it but WITH nature. I continue to grieve this one hard. I think in some ways it is one of the hardest death-acceptances I've faced since starting this work in 2004.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Ruthie the turkey's great egg dream


My latest from the Tails & Tales series. If you like my writing which is always free to you, you can support in any quantity when at this link. 

“Mrs. Dunn, it’s day 25! Did the turkey have any chicken babies yet?” asked Pickles.

It all started back in late spring. Ruthie, the resident turkey, had been laying eggs as usual, and I collected them each morning. After weeks of laying, she stopped laying, which is normal, but there was one egg left in her nest and she wouldn’t leave it. I decided to let her set on her egg. I knew the chance that a passing Tom turkey had stopped in for a romantic evening was highly unlikely, even though we do have them passing by in the back woods. Knowing the egg was likely unfertilized, I played along, thinking she’d eventually leave her nest to return to normal life. But part of me wondered, maybe she knows something I don’t.

After 30 days, I said to Ruthie, “There’s no baby in your egg. You need to move on, Ruthie. I’m sorry.”

She said not a peep.

The next day, I arrived at the barn, and there was Ruthie, sitting on her empty nest. Except it was not empty, she had dragged a graham cracker into the nest to set on.

“Oh Ruthie,” I said. There’s no baby in the graham cracker either.”

She seemed unfazed and sat tight.

This went on for days. I had hoped she would give up on her nest but she didn’t. So I visited the hens and politely asked if I might take some of their eggs, knowing they were possibly fertilized.

“Excuse me? You want to my prodigy to be raised by a turkey?” asked one of the roosters.

The hens flocked together in an uproar of clucks. Everyone gathered to see what was going on.

“Rooster! Only I have control over my eggs!” said the lead hen. More clucking.

“Ruthie seems so intent on being a mother,” I said.

Earnest the pig stepped in. “Hen, I can vouch for Ruthie, I think she would be a fine mother.”

“I will get you more mealy worms,” I told the hens, as I knew they swooned over them.

“Now we’re getting somewhere,” said the hen, and she gave over some eggs. Earnest and I took them to Ruthie and placed them under her in the nest.

“Thank you, Mrs. Dunn. Earnest, would you like my graham cracker, Mrs. Dunn says it has no chance of becoming a baby,” said Ruthie.

“Thank you,” and he ate it in one bite.

Well, 35 days went by, well past the usual 21 days to hatch chicks.

“Ruthie, it wasn’t meant to be this time. I’m sorry,” I said, and I took the eggs away.

The next morning as I entered the barn, Earnest the pig sat with his arm around Ruthie as she sat on her empty nest.

I reached under her and there were some rocks. “Ruthie, rocks can’t have babies,” I said gently.

“I know, but I’m practicing for spring,” she said.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

The Goose Visits Mrs. Dunn's House By the Sea


Today, The Goose took a trip on his own to Mrs. Dunn's House By The Sea...a place you can only find in her head, and heart. Don't worry, he is already back at the farm. 

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Have you read "Pig & Bucket"?


This is an illustrated story I did last fall. It originally was only available to Patreon members but I shuttered Patreon and now anyone can read it, for free but if you like it feel free to share a tip here The story takes place in present time, with Earnest the pig meeting an old abandoned bucket, named Bucket, who was freed from a debris pile by a Nor'easter. The two become friends and eventually are joined by Mrs. Studley, a rat with a very unique past. The story meshes historical facts form former owners of our farm, with Earnest and Bucket's story.

Monday, August 07, 2023

Just let me be old. I merged into it. It's fine.


This photo is us back in Oregon farm, I was maybe 50 I think. Recently, I realized that I have been slipping my age into certain conversations, such as, "Well you know since I turned 65..." and I realized I am growing into that new identity. I am no longer young [do not call me young, as I am not, I am older now] and I simply want to be what I am, older. I just want to be 65, naturally. Why do we post old photos? I think it is two fold-to show ourselves where we are now and try to merge with what we see in a mirror versus a photo from what seems like yesterday, but also to kind of wave to the younger set "Hi, it's old me, I was you once, I'm fine here though but I was once a young something."
I read where the beautiful actress Addie McDowell was critiqued for not dying her beautiful silver hair because it made her look older [she is stunning] and she said, 
"I do think there is the importance of seeing beauty at every age and it's not limited to a certain age," said MacDowell, adding, "Every once in a while, I'll say to someone, 'I'm old,' and they'll say, 'No, you're not!' Like it's some horrible thing to say." MacDowell continued, "And I'll say to them, 'But what if I say I'm young? Don't have a problem with that, do you?' The truth of the matter is, I'm old and that's OK. That's what I really want people to think about. We're towards the end," she explained. "We have no time to waste feeling shame."
Nor do I have time to try to look young. Think about it, why should I try to "look" young. I'm old. When I was 20 nobody tried to make me look older, why do we create products called anti aging. Why is anti? We are evolving bodies. Do we tell the little sapling in the yard, 'Please don't ever get old".
At some point in this whole aging thing I thought, I'm not ashamed of my aging, but I have to keep it to myself, I don't have to declare my age-because if I do people will start watching...is she still okay working with those animals? Oh, she fell, she said, is it getting to be too much? I wondered, maybe people won't donate to the non profit because they wonder how long I can do this.
Then I came to my senses. It took a bit of merging into the entire age of 65 though.
I am not young, but I'm living as I am until I won't be alive. I'm actively living, which means I'm aging. I am not young. I am no longer pretty but I'm not ugly, I'm just like the old animals, I am what I am. I shine really brightly, so much so that that is why I'm looking older now-it takes energy to shine. A flower shines and shines but it can't be the same flower as when it bloomed.
"You can't do everything forever," said Bob Dylan. 
And I'm smarter about many things-like what I will and won't tolerate, what I just don't care about and what I do care about. I don't tolerate drama queens or kings, grifters or phonies. Gotta use my energy for my healing, my animals and my art. Most of the time, I know what I am supposed to be doing and I do it.


Monday, July 31, 2023

Harry the llama and lovey will be spreading flower power


I’m going to take Harry out in the Lovey Mobile and like I told you earlier I’m going to park at the hospital campus by Cove’s and Harry and I will give out flowers to share love. Lots of medical staff take walks around lunch and it is supposed to be nice that day so I hope it stays that way. I’m aiming for Wednesday this week at noon. Just look for the handsome llama. I will try to take photos!

Friday, July 28, 2023

The In My Head Vacation To The House By The Sea

Harry and I made it to The In My Head Vacation To The House By The Sea and with today's high heat, Harry sat out in his little boat. I sat on the shore under a canopy and slept with my toes in the water that came to shore. That's about all we did but it was what we wanted to do.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

In My Head Vacation To The House By The Sea...with the llama


Today on my In My Head Vacation To The House By The Sea I decided to take Harry the llama to the house. Despite the fact we know nothing about boats, we managed to get in, without tipping and the sea air feels good on this muggy, hot day. This is Harry's first time to even see the sea and I imagine now I will have to take each animal to the house by the sea...or get a bigger boat but the latter is problematic. Martyn works at large estates on the ocean and some of them have full time Captains that take care of the boats. Perhaps that is what we will do...but it sounds a bit too much, and interfering with our private time at the In My Head House By The Sea.

Acrylic on watercolor paper, 12x12" protective varnish, signed on back. 

Available at shop >

Monday, July 24, 2023

Conversation of benches....my mother is around

I’ve had so many conversations on this bench. My parents had these two teak benches in their garden in Mpls. At the time I was single and would have coffee regularly with my mom. So many fun chats, or teary ones. In time my parents moved and gave me the benches. They would come to my house and we’d chat away time. We jokingly named the benches Bob and Kelly, their names. The benches went with me to Portland and the to the farm where again my parents would visit and we’d sit on Bob and Kelly. And now they are in Maine and Martyn and I sit in them nightly. I often can see my mom on one-with her striped bucket hat with sunflower. I still talk to them on those benches.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

The animals discover The Lupine Lady


Mrs. Dunn, can you read us a story before you go?” asked Hannah.

I was just finishing chores on a very hot afternoon and was looking forward to a shower.

I don’t have a book out here,” I said as I tried to escape to the house.

Pickles the goat suddenly appeared before me, with a book.

We really like this one, Mrs. Dunn,” she said. “Miss Rumphius.”

Where did you get this?” I asked.

We have hidden library bucket in the hay loft,” she said.

Who knew?

A circle formed around me of goats, chickens, Earnest the pig and of course, The Goose.

Donkeys! She’s going to read Miss Rumphius!” Pickles called out to the pasture.

Running hoof steps were heard, and they joined the circle around me.

And so I started to read the story of a little girl who promised herself she’d travel to far off places, and someday live by the sea. And she made a third promise–to make the world a more beautiful place. The girl grows up and travels to many places, and eventually she finds a house by the sea. In time she finds the way to make good on that third promise-by spreading lupine seed all around the land and on the roads nearby. People began to call her the Lupine Lady.

I closed the book and asked everyone, “Did you know the Lupine Lady lived not far from here, in Christmas Cove?”

Everyone gasped.

Can we visit her?” asked Hannah the young goat.

Earnest put his arm around her, “She’s not alive, Hannah.”

The Lupine Lady is already dead! I just met her!” Hannah cried.

Such a sensitive sprite,” said Poetry the old goat.

Mrs. Dunn, have you been to far off places?” asked Pickles.

As a young woman I travelled all over,” I said. “But I always wanted a farm. It took a lifetime, but I got one, and all of you.”

Will you ever have a house by the sea, like Miss Rumphius?” asked Hannah.

We could all have boats!” said Pickles, “and row about all day.”

It would be wonderful, wouldn’t it, summering on the sea? But there’s no money for a house by the sea. Sometimes dreams are just dreams, and how could I leave you all while I was in the house by the sea?” I asked.

We would all come with you! Could we have bunk beds?” asked Puddles.

There will be no bunk beds because there will be no house by the sea,” I said.

Let’s focus on Miss Rumphius encouraging us to put beauty into the world,” said the pig.

Is leaping off rocks beautiful? It’s mainly what I do,” said Pickles.

I put my poems up in trees for the birds to read,” said Paco the poet donkey.

I am simply beautiful just standing in the wind,” said The Goose.

Hannah started crying again.

Child, what is it now?” asked Earnest the pig.

I still can’t believe Miss Rumphius is dead,” she wailed.

She lives in the lupines,” I said.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Fog comforts after a death, I think

The fog after death always feels heaven sent to me-like all the departed souls who left come together to cover us in comfort. We had very loud thunder storms the nite after Luci died. I was upset Luci was not in the grave but we had to wait until morning to dig a proper grave–it takes time. Everyone was out grazing and observing the grave digging. She’s in her grave now near the sunflower patch. All is well.

Farewell, dear old lady

I found old Luci cast yesterday afternoon about 3pm. I had stepped out of the house and saw a cast black animal in the distant granite dust. The animals like to roll there, so I called out and the mound did not move. Then Peso came running out of barn, and he was agitated. When I got there, Luci was cast, exhausted, and somewhat stuck, her feet in the sand. I was able to roll her up into the cooch position, and began massaging her throat-upwards- in case it was choke. But I knew it was more. I didn't have my phone, ran to house and was able to talk to the vet on the road. She dropped everything to get to me, as we both knew this was most likely a case of putting an old animal out of suffering asap.

There were many, spiritual and beautiful moments that would come in the next 30 minutes while I waited for the vet. You must understand, Luci is a survivor, she is independant and not prone to letting anyone in, not wanting attention of pets or small chit chat. So the fact that while I sat with her, the birds chirping in Old Apple, the fact she laid her head into my chest, I knew she was so ready to go. I did not have one ounce of regret, not one bone felt uncomfortable knowing we would put her down. She was ready. I've been at many euthenazias and this was the most ready I've ever seen.
The vet came, and agreed. The swollen nodes in her upper neck could have been thyroid issue, but could have been other issues too. It was not choke. Luci arrived here 4 years ago, having been bred all her life, including in her 20th year, even though she was very thin. We got some weight on her, but she never put much on. But she was strong. I knew the coming winter would be problematic, and just the other day was thinking that as I fed her.
Did she hear my thoughts?
All the donkeys had gathered at the nearby fence. And Peso and the sheep were nearby, looking, then grazing. I took a small daisy and put it in her hair. For that one photo, I thought, she looks happy in that photo. But she was tired. She went immediately. I was so grateful for how the afternoon unfolded. I had decided to not go to Coves with Lumpy due to humidity, and if I had, I would not have been here for Luci. The fact the vet was 30 minutes away, and got me so fast was a blessing. Their were thunder storms coming, but they passed over us. I was there to hold her and keep the many horse flies off of her. The vet, at her own expense, later would take a sample out of the two neck lumps. It was clear and she felt that showed it was not a thyroid issue. But she will get back to me -as an educational point for all of us.
Luci, I will miss your teethy smile. But more than anything, I'm so happy for you, that you could go out with dignity and that I was there for you, and your mates were all around, and birds sang you to the heavens. Luci was 25.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Woman by the sea

I've been able to live on two coasts, the midwest, NYC, upstate NY, Oslo...and I'm content here, in this house. The only thing I think about is having a little house, little, by the sea-not a cove-the sea. It will never happen, I am a dreamer but a realist. So I paint myself there.

20" canvas, ready to hang, protective varnish. Signed on back.Now on shop.

Friday, July 07, 2023

Art pillow covers-BIG SALE

I have drastically reduced the price of the beautiful merino wool art pillow covers. I want to clean out, downsize 'stuff'!! More room for my brain and art and thinking process.

The price was $150, now $50 each plus shipping.

NOTE this price is for the COVER ONLY - you have to buy your own 20" pillow, but I can share my online source for that if needed.

Visit the shop now >

Monday, July 03, 2023

Is happiness the same as contentment? I ask the pig.

I was pondering this in recent days, I guess I had read something in a headline that stuck in my head, and as I lay in bed–the place I do a lot of my creative thinking-I thought to myself, What is the difference between contentment and happiness?

So I turned to Nature, as I usually do, for answers. And who else better to go to in Nature than Earnest the Pig?

We sat in his hut later that day, I had brought him some raw eggs-he loves those.

“Earnest would you rather be happy, or content?” I asked, getting right to the point.

He did not hesitate, “Content. Happiness is fleeting,” he said.

Interesting point, I thought.

Paco the Poet was on the other side of the fence, lying about as he often does in morning. Being a donkey poet, he is always interested in discussing language.

“When I’m told at breakfast that I will get graham crackers for a late afternoon snack, it makes me happy. But after I get my crackers and have eaten them, I am content inside for hours and hours,” Paco said.

“Happiness is driven by your brain. Contentment is in your heart,” Earnest said.

We all sat silently, well, except for the loud smacking and chewing as Earnest the pig ate his eggs, mouth open. It is one way he is not very gentlemanly-he eats with his mouth open.

“So, happiness is active, and contentment is quiet?” I asked.

More loud chewing. 

“When you get happy about something, there is always something that can distract you and take it away. But contentment lives deep inside you. Happiness has to come from the outside,” said the pig.

“I feel very content sitting here, in the morning sun, with both of you. But it makes me happy to see your faces too,” I said.

“You can be content, but sad. And you can be happy, and not content,” said Earnest. “Contentment doesn’t come from things. And that’s why nobody can take it away from you.”

“Mrs. Dunn, would you like to share some graham crackers with us?” asked Paco.

And I did. I walked around all day, content. When I went to town to do chores, I looked at all the people walking by and I thought how powerful it felt that nobody could take my contentment from me, because it was in my heart. The happiness I felt as I opened the box of fresh crackers was fleeting, but the contentment I gained from eating them with my two friends was still there.

{My blog is free to all. But anyone can voluntarily show support for my writing and art at this link [you pick what you want to give. I recently tried Patreon and just didn't jive with it.}

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

We have a Pickles, and a Puddles, and now we have a Pancakes!


This weekend we picked up an old goat to bring to Apifera. She was a working girl for ten years and needed a new home after being retired. This often happens and I am happy to help these animals that have 'worked' for a living a now get to relax for their remaining days. Her name is Helen and she is actaully in good shape and I hope stays that way for some time. While I was there, there were some young kids running about and one had been given the name "Kevin". They name them to keep track of who is who. Well, our little Opie was the same color and he also was givien the name Kevin. Opie was a bottle baby, and Opie was a healer of natural born talents. While I know he will never be replicated, I just let my heart take over and take on another youngster. Maybe Opie was helping. Maybe my heart was in charge. I like having youngsters mixed into our elder community-just like in the old days when generations grew up, and died, in the same house. The young animals bring such joy to our elder visits too. Like putting a baby on the floor, bringing a baby goat over brings joy. Many names were discussed, as Pickles explains in the video. Even I am surprised by the outcome and I owe it to Pickles and Puddles, and my ability to stay open on naming day.

Friday, June 23, 2023

We say good bye to Jim Bob

I have sad news. Jim Bob died last night. I took this photo two days ago. Of all the goats I never would have guessed he’d go now. He is ten, which is old but not ancient. He was in excellent condition and showed no sign of anemia or parasite issues. Two days ago I found him trembling in the morning. He ate and drank. I checked his eyes and they were healthy and temp normal. I gave him probiotics and a pain shot. He was up and about and normal for the next two days. 

Yesterday I noticed after breakfast he separated from his herd and went to sleep on his own. I took note of that. Jim Bob has always been a bit of a boss in the herd so this was not normal. Last night he was lying down and seemed distant. But there was no sign of dehydration or pain. I knew he wasn’t himself. I did sit with him for some time and talked to him and rubbed his ears. He is not a touchy-feely guy so the fact he seemed to respond to it also gave me pause. 

I’m glad I took that time with him. This morning…that feeling…first thing I did was look into the stall and he was dead, lying in the same spot, no signs of a struggle. He was quite stiff so I’m sure he died not long after I said goodnight. I covered his head and he’s lying in state until Martyn gets home. His stall mates were eager for breakfast and to get in the sun-they know long before a death something has shifted…and they move on after acknowledging it in their own way. I don’t know what happened but I’m grateful he had such perfect weather to sun in.

Jim Bob arrived with Roscoe in 2009. He was healthy and robust and stayed that way right until the end. I've been doing this since 2004 and each situation allows for me to learn. This situation I don't feel I will learn anything that might help in future incidences. Was it dehydration I wondered last night, but his eyes weren't really that recessed, they did look a bit dull. But he'd been drinking. One can google things and be left with more questions than answers. The only way would be to do an autopsy, and I've done one at the old farm on a young sheep who died-she had a shard in her lower tract. But there was no sign of that here, nor of poison, nor of anything I've experienced. And it was so fast. I think with many animals, once you see them outwardly ill you've sometimes lost them. So knowing signs of various things is important. I'm not beating myself up on this one. There was no reason to call a vet two days ago since he rebounded immediately, and even if she had come out and taken blood work, he would have died before results. Dehydration is serious though and maybe she would have seen something I didn't but I saw no signs of it.

I've had deaths here that the vet just says, 'It could have been this, or this, probably not that..." and of course, it could have been cancer I suppose.

The main thing, he did not appear to suffer. If he did, he held it inward very well-no teeth grinding, pacing, up and down-none of that. So in my experience, Jim Bob had a good death, with his mates around him, before fly season, and had the warmth of a perfect Maine day for his final hours. We should all be so blessed I guess.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

PRE SALES of the Apifera Farm 2024 calendar [100% net to Apifera]


The pressure is already on about who is on the cover. I'm getting pleas and bribes from the barnyard. Maybe I'll do a throwback to the Beatles with a white cover. 

Anyway, pre-order your calendar! The price includes USA/CAN s/h. {International orders would be adjusted as needed].
I have included an OPTIONAL tip on the shopping cart button if you want to add a little more support. The intial investment is $2,200 but once 500 copies are sold Apifera will net $5,000. Pre-sales help me offset the printing charges. We need to sell about 120 calendars to break even and then if the remaining quantity is sold we will net about $5,000 for the farm/non profit. 

And course, selling them before the end of the year is essential.

If you want to buy a larger quantity for gift giving, just let me know and I can provide a separate link to buy from. I wanted to keep it simple.