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.





Friday, June 30, 2017

In which I take a bad fall off Boone...and only Boone knows the answer

On Tuesday, I took Boone out for a ride about eleven in the morning. Little did I know that some of the nearby property owners and two workmen who saw me head out on my ride might come into play in my day.

We rode about 1/4 mile up the main road and up a private drive to a groomed path–a path that a horse friend had told me was okay to ride on and the owners didn't mind. When I got to their house, I saw a car, and I called out hoping to meet them, but nobody came to the door. I had ridden the path last week and it was really nice, cleared and safe and led all the way down to the water, maybe a half mile or a 20 minute ride down.

I remember all of the ride, making it to the water, and turning around to come back. I remember trotting a lot, and at some point I asked for a canter. I remember thinking,

We need to walk now because the path is shifting levels...

I don't know if that is when I fell. Maybe Boone stopped sharp, he can do that sometimes since he was a cow pony once. The next thing I remember is being in the first medic truck. I had come out of the wooded trail, and knocked on the house door. Before that I guess I had called Martyn six times [I later listened to the messages in the hospital] and at some point I called 911 and they pinged my location. The man at the house also called Martyn. I was very disoriented.

Boone was gone.

Once in the medic truck, I started getting oriented. But I was clearly out of it. They took me to the nearby hospital ER where they did head and body scans. Martyn arrived. And I could hear one of our local friends in the other room. I heard the doctor say,

"You have blood all over your brain and we're sending you to Portland to see if you need surgery."

Surgery? Blood? Brain?

Off we went. It was all weird and I remember thinking life had changed. I didn't know how much at that point.

The next hospital was well equipped for head trauma. I optimistically thought I'd get out and go home. Not. They admitted me for urgent care and I spent the night. Every two hours they came in and gave me medication and stuff. The man next door was in real pain. I prayed for him. Besides a stiff neck and full head, I felt okay, just stiff.

Early in the morning around six, they did another C-scan and the doctor came in to review it with me. The bleeding was stable. I asked on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst, what scale was it, and he said,

"Hmmmmm, a 3."
 

All day long doctors and PT's and neurological people came in and checked me. They all gave me the green light to go home, with many precautions. But the final okay was up to the head trauma doctor. She finally showed up and told me I had a very bad fall.

I told her I was not taking it lightly. I told her I'd been riding since age five and falling is part of being a rider, but had never had such a severe fall or gone into black out.

She then said,

"The next one will kill you."

I was really shocked. I know I was clear headed, despite all the meds. I told her I would continue to ride. She sort of rolled her eyes. We talked about something else and I just found her...annoying and in the know. My main nurse came in and I told her how upsetting that last doctor's statement was, and the nurse understood.

NOTE: I found the staff at the hospital to be wonderful. My night nurse, the medics, supporting staff, they were all wonderful. My care was very good.

So I got to go home. I am to go back in 4 weeks for a head scan, unless I notice certain tings in which I should go to the ER. At home, I slept. I did everything they told me to do. I am continuing to do that. Like I said, it was serious fall and I don't take it lightly.

So many things cross your mind in a situation like this. I thought of many things, scary things. I thought of Martyn if I died. I thought if they had to do surgery would they shave my head and if they did I thought I will just get more GirlBands to wear. I thought of Boone and what that doctor said, her fear mongering statement that the next fall will kill me. I thought of how I could not wait to get Boone home. I thought of all the people I knew that had serious health issues and had to be in hospital. I thought how lucky I was, how it could have been worse.

I started to put the pieces of the day together, the day of the fall. When Boone left me, he went to a nearby hay field. I always wondered if I had a bad fall would Boone stand loyally by my side. I imainged he looked down at me and I was out cold, and he thought,

Well, she is not leading me right now, I will just go eat grass.

The town clerk saw a riderless horse, and called animal control, but also called a woman who happened to be my friend and another horse owner. She in turn called another man that knows me and my horse and was actually the man who told me to ride that trail. They both rushed down there, and got Boone and the man now has him in with his horses. I am so grateful Boone wasn't hurt. But when I got out of the hospital, I called the town clerk to thank her, and told her grateful I was for my friends and for her for helping. She told me that they weren't the only ones who called. As I left my house to ride, the neighbor across the road saw me leave, but not come back and he at some point alerted the town clerk, or he got in touch with someone. And the two workmen I mentioned, they saw me leave, but then saw the riderless horse and called 911. The town clerk said,

"You moved to the right town."

Boone is not a spooker. My one riding friend who has Boone wondered if he stopped suddenly [which he can do as he was once a cow pony] and I fell forward hitting my head on him hard. My glasses were broken at the nose bridge and I was cut and bruised on my nose. Oddly, I had no cuts or scrapes anywhere else, even on my hands. My left side is more sore, but I had no real scrapes and my pants weren't dirty. My helmet had smudge but no dents. The fall remains a mystery I haven't solved.

Only Boone knows.





Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Goose eats a tree fort

Goose in the naked fort
One of the big branches on the tree by the upper barn came down a week ago. Fortunately nobody was under it at the time. It's not a quick task to get it down and since it was secure we opted to let the Apiferian Clean Up Crew organically help out. Earnest is a bit disappointed as the leaved branches covered his swimming hole where he could bathe and soak in mud baths in the shade of the tree fort.

One by one the leaves disappeared.

I have heard rumor that some are hoping the naked tree fort remains so that they can decorate it for Christmas.

Hmmmm...that would be kind of fun.

The tree fort before The Apiferian Clean Up Crew took over

Monday, June 26, 2017

Big news! Apifera to become a 501c!

I have been working towards this for a long time, and with the move to Maine our situation changed in certain ways that makes this big step a worthwhile endeavor.

Apifera Farm is becoming a 501c!

I have a lawyer preparing the documents, and spent time with an accountant this morning and liked him, we meet again Wednesday and I hope to hire him. There is a lot to understand and 'get right' and I feel we are on that path. Donations will be used for obvious essential-feed, hay, vet care, fencing- but will also help me with outreach programs I hope to begin such as bringing elders to Apifera for healing days with the animal and farm. The latter involves many things such as creating a safe level area for wheelchairs and people with walkers, a porta potty [the Puppet will be thrilled, I'm sure we'll be hearing from him] and a new road for easy turn about off the main road.

I have lots of ideas! But this is going to be a serious venture and will take a lot of marketing too.

Some have asked if they can donate now and get a tax write-off. That will happen on the date we officially incorporate which I think will happen within about 8 weeks.

HOWEVER, I welcome art/book/Etsy sales right now as this is all costing money to hire lawyers and accountants, but it is important work to get the foundation right. And you can donate, and I'm grateful if you do [no tax write of yet though, but there are reward levels]. Donations over $50 get a book, over $25 an Itty book.

Mission Statement:
A non-profit dedicated to bringing animals and elder/special needs people together for mutual healing and wellness. It will also provide a safe haven at its farm for elder/special needs animals [even if it is a hospice case] on a case by case basis.-

Here is my goal:

-Bringing animals and elder people together for beneficial healing and wellness

-Animals interacting with elders helps break down barriers, with a goal that the elders will share their stories. Allowing elders to share story makes them feel like someone cares to listen

-Apifera is currently visiting one specific elder residence twice monthly, developing intimate relationships over time with the seven residents. Opie the therapy goat is the regular, but Pino the donkey and other animal will be brought-it is also a goal to bring elder animals to the elder people for mutual healing

-Apifera will continue to adopt elder and special needs animals to live out their lives at the farm on a case by case basis. One of the needs in Maine is a larger donation pool, because everything here is more expensive: vet care, fencing/feed/ hay. we need a wider donation pool.

-Our goal is to also build some additional structures for more animals, but also to create an environment on the farm where elders can visit [so a need for full time satellite toilet, level foundations, sitting structure to allow wheelchairs and walkers] The garden will be incorporated into these visit areas for further beneficial healing for visitors.

-Apifera also wants to encourage elder people to share story. Animal visits promote calm in people and help break down barriers. Katherine hopes to write about these elders and get their stories out-promoting the idea that elders are as interesting and inspiring as any age

-Apifera also would like to work with special needs people-and hopefully bring special needs animals together in a beneficial healing encounter. For example, the blind pug with one eye working with blind people; the three legged crippled goat showing a child he can still be productive.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Pino and Opie Smile Brigade

There were plenty of smiles yesterday at the summer event at Inn Along the Way. I think if that is all that we bring to people-a way to make them smile-well, we've done our job and succeeded at our mission.

It was a fun day of good conversations with many nice people. We both had a wonderful time and furthering conviction we are meant to be here in this place at this time in our life. While I hardly sold a thing, literally I sold one Bird Ball, it was really about getting out there and meeting people in our community {one must look at tit his way-in optimism}. People came to fly kites, view the proposed Inn and see animals- so it was all good.

Opie did great, he is a real charmer. He met babies, a dog, watched the fiddle players, met the big horses and got led around by many people. I think though I will keep his next visit shorter, 4.5 hours was a lot for him and he got a bit worn out I think. But he did just fine.

Pino...well, Pino is Pino. He got hugged, whispered to, drooled on by babies and got to venture into the barn to hear the fiddlers. {You can see a video of that at Instagram}.

I am worn out but in a very good way. I was glad to see people turn out for the Inn. The Inn Along the Way is a retirement village being built in stages on the old Chapman farm-a beautiful place with a huge, wonderful barn. There will be small homes [very modest and well done] for elders to live independently and have a 'community' feel to partake in with gardens and events. The barn will host events and there will also be hospice suites for caregivers to have respite. The Inn will become a cafe and a place for people at the community to gather, and for visitors to stop in and eat and share. The idea is to create a place that does not isolate elders as they age, but rather allows them to be in a community that feels like a real neighborhood.








Friday, June 23, 2017

Opie and Pino are ready

I'll share photos of tomorrow's event at Inn Along the Way, where Pino and Opie will be holding court to share animal heart and healing. It is the Inn's summer celebration to share their mission and goal of creating a retirement community, and Apifera will be there to support them and share our mission of bringing animal and people to together for mutual well being. I'll also have my books and products there too, of course. And Martyn.



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Do not deduct from my life, she said

I finally got to have a long ride with Boone yesterday. We have not ridden together since October and in Oregon I rode all winter usually 2x a week since I had easy access to a barn and trails, and no icy winters. So it was a long time coming. I wondered if even at 19 if my noble steed might be frisky but he was just fine, and I can tell enjoyed himself. Before anything else, Boone is a trail horse.

The wind was consistently blowing which was perfect for an 80 degree day and heat-hating rider, and fly-hating horse. Boone is really sensitive to bugs so the wind was a pleasant addition to our ride. And we found some new paths to take thanks to a nearby property with horses that made some suggestions. I felt like we were on an adventure and I thought how far we had come since landing in Maine. I felt sturdy and confidant on the ride yesterday, mainly because I am reforming my identity here with new people and terrain, and that takes time.

I was thinking of my old friend Joanne, who died this year at age 85. She was my riding mentor and buddy and we rode right up until we left for Maine. She was the first person I thought of when I knew we were moving, and how I did not want to leave her, or our rides together. When she died I just was so sad even though she had a long life but a car accident took her in the end, a guy ran into her as she crossed a walkway at the hospital and she went into coma at some point, dying at home.

Joanne and I use to talk about aging, and how she did not like how her body was putting limitations on her, but her mind was clear. But she rode 2-3 times a week. She also talked about how others would try to put limitations on her as she aged. I saw this happen to my parents, especially my father who had many physical issues, and one by one he had to give up things like driving, smoking his pipe, walking the dog...things he loved. I had a recent conversation with a woman in her late eighties who wants to get another dog because her beloved pug died, but some think she should not because they think it would be unfair to the dog since she might not be around long. This woman said something that really stuck me: she said she did not like it when others wanted to take things away from her, to deduct things from her life.

I think this is the biggest challenge we face as we age-being deducted, being told we must conform and shrink with age, rather than to keep evolving into things we can handle physically.

I guess there are situations where an 85+ year old should not ride a horse, or buy another dog-but that is up to that person assuming they are of sound mind.
I thought of Joanne so many times on my ride, and felt she had prodded me to get back in the saddle yesterday even though it is a super busy week. I talked to her a lot. And I thought of how glad I was that she had not been forced or felt pressure to deduct riding from her life.

So to all the merging elders, and current elders, I say we must strive to add things into life, not shrink away. When we shrink back, and deduct, then it will be our time. I know at some point, the body and mind deduct on their own, but to be forced to give up things because someone deems it necessary is an unfair stance to put on an elder. Perhaps limitations mean you can't have a dog, or a horse, but perhaps there are solutions that could bring joy to the elder, an addition in their life.

That's why I want to work with the animals and elders in get togethers-it is an addition to their day, not a deduction.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Photobombed by a piglet and Earnest gets an edible fort

I was admiring the already growing pig pool, noticing that Eleanor had started her pool and then the piglets were creating another above it, almost creating a waterfall effect from upper to lower. In time, that pool will hold all nine piglets. I won't let you down and will get a picture of it as summer heats come on. If you don't have pigs, I will tell you that if you give them even drippings of water, by a faucet for example, they will make a wallow in no time. They use their strong snouts to dig the dirt. It is really fun to watch, and also makes you understand quickly the challenges of containing pigs due to those strong noses. They can also lift gates, or bend them if they are securely intact.

I was taking a photo of it and a flying bat came across my lens. They are like little bats right now, flying around the paddock at ease, stopping to sniff, then flying the other direction. When they get going all it once it's like a swarm of polk-a-dot flies.

There was great excitement in the barnyard yesterday morning, or was it Sunday? I came out to hear quite a bit of conversation,

"I don't know, maybe she planned it this way?" asked Goose.

"It's a fabulous gift, a tree fort over my water hole, and edible too," said Earnest.

I looked out to see a large limb had cracked off the nearby maple. Thankfully nobody was hurt. Unfortunately there is another larger limb that is dead, still upright and we will have to get help taking it down, sooner than later. I'm afraid it could easily pierce the barn, or take down the coop roof.

It's always something.

But for now, I imagine Earnest lying under his edible tree fort, sitting in his pig pool, nibbling on maple leaves as he cools his body in the heat.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Rosie the pig continues to blossom, grumpily

I came upon Rosie this morning outside her sleeping suite visiting the grasses and  Ranunculus flowers nearby. When Rosie arrived at the old Apifera, she would roam a bit more, biting off grass blades and napping in the sun. But over time, her grumpiness grew and she preferred her own company, especially after Eleanor arrived. Even Stevie the Kissing Goat didn't seem to be able to entice her out of Old Barn, where she retreated to at one point, living for the last two years of our time there in  a private suite. Visiting chickens were allowed to roost near her, and the sounds and faces of passing sheep and donkeys on the other side of the fence did not bother her.

So each time I find her outside in her private paddock, it makes me happy.

"Rosie!" I always say.

"Rrumpf guru aaaa hrumph," she says. Sometimes she is calmed by having the backs of her ears rubbed, as she was today.

Rosie has also been found lying on the fence line that is shared on the other side by Earnest and the goats. I find him lying there too and it's heartening to see she seems to finally understand,

This is a pig, I am a pig. 

I would love to let Earnest in with her, but I just think it could be a disaster. He has tusks, number one, and he is much heavier and stronger than Rosie who has a weak hind end. If Earnest decided, as he probably would, that love making was needed, I'm afraid he could hurt her already weak hind end. So their get-togethers are like those of prison inmates, meeting at a designated dividing fence where they can touch noses. I can not imagine the pig squeals she would emit if their relationship was consummated. Fortunately, she was spayed before we adopted her, so should Earnest someday make a valiant effort to be with his grumpy cougar girlfriend, there would not be little grumpy Rosies in three months.

Martyn and I have laughed at this thought-Rosie with children. Would she eat them? We imagined them running around like gremlins, complete with horns.

There is only one Rosie and there will never be another one....perhaps this is good. But I've become very fond her royal highness, she and I have learned each other's languages and I am enjoying her new 'tender' side that emerge here from time to time.




Thursday, June 15, 2017

Opie the therapy goat has new elders to love

Opie and I made are way into Wiscasset today for our first visit with the residents of Wiscasset Green, a beautiful old house that now is permanent residence for seven elders.

Let me say right off, Opie is a natural healer. He has the Pino gene.

He strutted in there in his I'm a big boy now way and greeted everyone. We sat out in the home's lovely patio and started to get to know our new friends. We really had a wonderful visit and are so looking forward to getting to know the residents on a more personal level. Already, after a one hour visit, I feel inspired and refocused on making my life here in Maine about bringing animal and people-especially elders-together for mutual healing and sharing of story.

Even in one hour, the personalities of the residents began to emerge. I wonder what their life stories are? I hope to work on that over time, and share their stories. So many people look at elders as...being at the end of the line, finished with doing new things, or uninteresting. I see elders as a unique vessel of knowledge and experience, a child that continued on and led a long life, a human on a journey-with so many stories. Imagine if Abe Lincoln had lived to be 90 and was sitting on a park bench and nobody stopped to talk to him-what a waste! Why do we listen to the young, marvel at the child in the room talking, or the thirty something with a brilliant new novel, but we as a society in the whole aren't excited to sit and listen to our elders?

Well, Opie was excited. He does not choose who to share himself with based on their age, looks or physical limitations [just ask Sir Tripod Goat]. I am really excited to begin this new relationship. I plan to visit twice a month on Thursdays. We are also hoping to have a farm visit in the near future.

Opie's presence immediately brought out smiles. We all had something in common, despite our age differences-we all were inspired to touch and pet Opie. That led us to talking, about lots of things. There were a couple of really shy people there, or, maybe shy is not the right term-I need to interact more over the coming visits to get to know each person.

We also talked about bringing Pino and other Apiferians which was met with excitement. As we said our goodbyes, one of the residents made me promise we'd come back. And we will. Over and over. This is a covenant I have made internally with them. I learned way back when I used to take my old blind pug to visit with Rose, a resident of an assisted living facility, that I really thrive when I can have a smaller group to interact with, and it made it special to get to know Rose one on one. Just as Wednesdays became a light for Rose knowing the pug was coming, I hope that the residents of Wiscasset Green will wake up and think,

Oh good, it's Opie Day!

Warning: this is an ongoing fluid project for me and Opie and the other Apiferians. Stay tuned on this new adventure of our animal therapy.

This is Joe, he was so sweet and Opie rested on his shoulder
"You are so cunning'" she told Opie.

He gave and received kisses

This resident was very reserved but hopefully we will get to know her heart.

Saying goodbye to a chicken, hello to the lupine

I lost one of the hens last night. She was only a year or so and one day ago she took to laying about, not eating. I suspected a bound egg, from her appearance and behavior. I tried the usual olive oil drip and lubricating the vent, and I made her a scrambled egg-yes, I give scrambled eggs to my hens on certain occasions for protein, they love it. Ad no, I do not think it is canabalistic.

So last night I decided to put her back in the coop with the girls. She wasn't horribly weak and was walking a little, I thought she might work through it. But I could feel crunches when I gently massaged her sides.

She was gone this morning. The hens had been busy scratching for bugs and had partially covered her body. I became very brave and tried to do an autopsy of sorts, curious if I would find egg shells. But it got messy, and I buried her.

I hate losing chickens. But as an old farmer told me years ago,

"Chickens just...die sometime."

Or another,

"If you want chickens, you will lose chickens."

 I had named her Gracie because she was the only Sexlink of the Buff Orpingtons flock, The Secret Sisters. Gracie was much more personal than the flock of Buffs. My old Buffs were so friendly, this group, stand offish and a bit flighty for Buffs. So I was sad to say goodbye to Gracie.

To juxtapose the death of a friend who gave us beautiful food-the world's most perfect food,eggs-I enjoyed the Lupine on the drive. One must always look for a juxtaposition to a sad event to survive the human condition.




Monday, June 12, 2017

Little shares his mobile milk bar

That's Little on the far right.
Little was born 15 weeks ago on the coldest night of the season, and all his litter mates died of hypothermia. He struggled a bit in his first days, but he made it. I named him Little Lonely because certain situations require a name and he was so small, and alone. Once you see a litter interact, to see only one with nobody showing him the ropes was sad. But he's a chunk now and in the past few days, the new litter of his grandmother, Eleanor, has been allowed to romp and run outside for the first time. I underestimated how happy it was to see Little with his own kind, a litter he never got to have [which is why he is now a super chunk]. This morning as Eleanor took a break in her wallow-it is very hot today-Cornelia snorted around for dropped feed, and Little graciously allowed the litter to snack on his private milk bar. I sat and imagined the conversation.

"Wow, you're a huge piglet," said one of the litter.

"I'm older than you, I think that's the reason," said Little.

"You have your very own milk bar, wow," said the largest piglet.

"It's okay to have some milk, but don't take it all," said Little.

"What are we going to do today?" asked the little red runt girl, politely.

Just then she got bashed by her bigger brothers, and Little touched her nose.

"You took a direct hit, but you're okay," he told her.

"I'm used to it, but I have gilt power," she said.

Just then Cornelia made an about face and the milk bar was once again on the run.

"It's hard eating and running, isn't it?" asked Little as they all ran by the running teats.


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Crone and donkeys

Available at shop
As an emerging crone myself, I think often of my life with animals, and how my crone-ness has been helped by our silent communions.

When I'm really old, I hope they are still with me.

This piece is dedicated to all the crones out there who live with animals, or once did, but could not continue. I hope you can still feel them. It will be my wish at that time, my hope, to die with animals still around me.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Pino and Opie have a gig!


Pino and Opie will accompany me and Martyn...or maybe I should say we will accompany them, to the Summer Social at Inn Along the Way on June 24th, in 741 Main St, Damriscotta.

It might not look like it in this photo, but this small room in the 100 year old barn will be set up in a very Apifera way, with books and art, bird balls, fiber and other goodies for the public. At my side will be Opie. Opie is turning into our pint size ambassador of love and I'm sure will grow his fan base each time he is out with the public. Pino and Martyn will be outside of the room, and Pino will be ready to give hugs and impart silent wisdoms.

There will also be kite flying, wagon rides, Round Top ice cream and the beauty of the farm.

We became familiar with Inn Along the Way last year when Pino made his first visit there. The Inn is located on what was Chapman Farm, in the same family for generations and now it will evolve into a eldercare community  for residents but will also provide respite and encouragement for families and caregivers helping their elders. A non-profit, the Inn will also be turning the old farmhouse into a cafe and place for visitors to rest, gather and stay over and will also be open to the public.

My hopes are to be a regular visitor there, with Pino, Opie and other Apiferians, to share the healing qualities of animals and people coming together. The Inn also reflects values that are important to me and Martyn-working with community to help our elders, but also engage the outside world while still maintaining nature as an integral part to a happy life-no matter your age or condition.

My work with animals is evolving, something I have been writing about as it emerges to take shape. Ever since working one on one with an elderly woman in a facility, weekly for one year with my old pug at my side, I knew I wanted to work more with elders and animals. At the old Apifera, I had open events but here due to our more central location, and my ability now to have a working trailer, I hope to increase therapy visits. I hope to do things on the farm too-but that will shape itself in time.

I hope maybe some of my readers from the Boston area or other states can pop up to Maine!

This room in the 100 year old barn will be transformed into an Apifera shop of books, art and fiber!

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Animal conversation of the day

"Who are you?" said Opie.

"What are you?" asked the piglet.

"Well, I'm an Opie," said the little goat.




Sunday, June 04, 2017

Pig Sunscreen Drive!



I haven't done the Pig Sunscreen Fund for a couple of years because Rosie was in her private suite in Old Barn and took a hiatus from daylight-despite all our efforts to encourage her outside.

But now in Maine, she has sort of re-blossumed into a real pig, or as real a pig as Rosie will ever be. This morning she was outside sunning and her legs were getting pink. T don't have this problem with the other pigs, but Rosie bolts her hair in spring and gets all naked...and pink.

So I am doing another Pig Sunscreen Drive for her royal highness.
I used to massage her with baby oil at night. Then in morning I add Destin in, and the left over baby oil on her body helps spread out the thicker Destin. But it is much easier to use spray on sunscreen.

If Rosie is in a grumpy mood - a 90% possibility - covering her in rub on sunscreen can be quite a challenge- but anything for our Rosie.


How to help:

Donate: a small amount at the funding page

-or-

Send Sunscreen:
Rosie is accepting spray on sun screen this year. The spray on is much easier to get good coverage on her grumpy body. Send your sunscreen to: Rosie Rosie McDonald McDermot, c/o Apifera Farm, 315 Waldoboro Rd, Bremen, ME 04551

Friday, June 02, 2017

Walking the horse and my pants still fit

I took Boone out this afternoon for our first light walk of the season–and I do mean walk, as I decided to just walk side by side with him rather than riding him.

First I spent an hour or more grooming his mane and tail which I sadly neglected for many months and there were lots of wind knots. But some cheap conditioner from the store solved that. He is shedding out leaving him with his new nude look until fresh hair grows in, leaving him almost dark brown in areas. He came out of winter a good weight.

It felt so good to be with him again. I opted to work on the ground with him since we're both a bit rusty. I used to ride 2x a week but that didn't happen here and doubt it will with winter. I have no desire to winter board him just so I can ride in an arena during icy months. I had a great thing in Oregon with my friend, Joanne, and her gorgeous land and arena, and companionship. I missed her today, but I thought she was probably smiling down on me from somewhere.

I don't do round pen work any more with Boone, just not needed and he and I are both bored quickly with it. But we have a flat area of sand on the front drive so I worked him there for about 15 minutes just to see his mood. Man, he obeyed everything pretty much and was very attentive to me. When I first got him, he would do 30 minutes with barely looking in to me!

So I decided, let's just go for a walk down to the bay. Woman and horse, side by side, walking on the road. I got some looks. It's a small town, people talk–I mean they really talk here, like an episode of "Murder She Wrote" or "Father Brown". We get a kick out of it-but we wonder what they say about us. Something like,

"That woman, you know the one we saw walking a llama once, and then the donkey, and that tiny goat, she was walking a horse on the county road today. Kind of odd."

The lupine are just starting. They are beautiful and just to be able to stand near the sea with my horse, smell his wet coat of shedding hair, and walk side by side with him was so nice. I stop, he stops, one foot forward, one horse hoove forward...and so it goes.We saw our favorite little shack near the bay and I took a photo of it-it is images like that when I go,

Oh yea, I live in Maine, by the sea.

It was a good beginning for me and Boone.

And my riding pants still fit, this is the icing on the cake for the day.

Cake? Did I just say cake? Hmmm.....


Mysteries of the painting

I'll be putting up originals all this coming week at the shop. June is usually not my 'in the zone time' for painting, but I've been working on some new pieces, such as the one at top here which is still in progress. I've painted over it several times. I used to have a woman in many of my pieces back when I started painting. I was thinking it is similar to being of a certain age where one might be propelled to take more selfie photos-maybe to figure out what we look like, maybe to show off that we feel good about what we see, or to help grapple with our identities we project inward or outward.

So it was interesting to have a female figure keep coming in this one. Who knows if she'll stick around.

The little donkey piece was done when I was in Oregon, before we knew we were moving. I was sort of awed today looking at it. Now you know I have a big imagination, but this piece just seems like Maine to me-a deep sky, the stars are very much in the forefront of the night, and the little paddock is intimate. This si not usual-to have a painting know deep facts and upcoming things before my conscious catches on.

Visit the shop to see what pieces are available, or Sundance.