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

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Prayer flags for the travelling Misfits

I've asked people to send The Misfits prayer flags so I can hang them in their trailer for their long journey to Maine. They don't have to be fancy. One person just sent a sweet little white rag just like my Prayer Flag Tree this past year, with her state on it; and others draw little things. So if you want to help us on our journey to Maine, send us a prayer flag with your state name on it. It makes us all feel safer and that light will travel with us from the West to the East.

Send to The Misfits, c/o Apifera Farm, 14710 NW Tupper RD, Yamhill, OR 97148. Get them here by 5/11.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Respect the dream currents

People ask me how I could leave this place. It is an evolution when you live anywhere, even places you love. I did not plan it, but I didn't plan my birth either. A full circle has been made, I feel, with the new buyers. When I heard that they will name the farm a Norwegian word that symbolizes "the tree of life" and they will plant a tree to commemorate that, I felt so good, calm and satisfied, and proud, like we were passing the torch onto the next steward–the right steward.

So knowing a good buyer that cares about this place is taking over makes it easier to say good bye. I think the leaving day will be emotional, but we've asked the new buyers to be here, so as I look out my rear view window, I know the farm is in their care, and it is meant to be. We are meant to continue the next step of our dream together, in Maine where Apifera will grow new root stock and shed some old branches too.

Dreams are fluid, like an ocean wave, if you try to hold them back you might suffer and you have to respect their under currents too.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Apifera special public service announcement

Time is flying. The Misfits are packing, or I'm packing for most of them. We will heading out the second week of May. The store will be put on hiatus the first week of May so we can pack and carry on. Once in Maine after the long five day journey, I will need some time to get the store back up and everyone settled.

So, if you are planning to shop for art, cards, prints or sachets, best to do it this week!

During the journey East, I will be sharing our trip on Instagram.

It's getting pretty real! But still time to shop or support the Misfit fund too. I appreciate how the extra help so far! Since I am the sole bread winner for the next few months, my art sales are very important. It is always a bit uncomfortable as a freelancer to close up shop for even a week, but I'm trusting in the Gods this time. I need to give full attention to the journey and the care of my cargo-and to just enjoy America as we drive across her mountains and plains.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Diary of a Pig: Earnest's journal

April 24

There has been much discussion of late about seating arrangements for the trip East. I hope to be near Eleanor, but it is unlikely. The people know me, and I know them. We both realize my yearnings could cause problems. I will hope for some lovemaking on arrival in Maine. It has been too long, me thinks.

The pink pig from Old Barn is problematic. I hope to not be placed in the same riding compartment as her. But what can I do about it?

We have had warm weather and have had many mud baths. We have been informed the travelling mobile has no bath tanks, or mud, and the windows are high so sight seeing will be impossible. But there is some kind of mission to have a secure chair to stand on, so we can take turns seeing America. I have put in a request too, I'd like to stop at some of the national forests, since I've never been to one, now must be my time.

I have a microchip now, we all do. We were assured that it will keep us from going to jail in Maine, and it is even good for European travel. I have taken note of this, and am considering a trip to Paris, or Scotland. But first, we will leave our home here, and see America, and perhaps stop at a drive in too.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Conversation with The World's Grumpiest Pig

The time is moving quickly and we are preparing the Misfits and the trailer for our trip to Maine. I have spent much of the morning in discussion with The World's Grumpiest But-I-Like-Myself-Just-The-Way-I-Am-Pig, aka Rosie. The conversation went something like this:

"Rosie, this traveling crate is how we will get you into the truck to go to Maine. Look, I put your food bowl in there,check it out."

"Hrumpf. Nuwwum squeal, nope," she said.

"It is a temporary bed. You will travel in your own mini suite," I encouraged her.

She stepped one piggy toe in the crate.

"Hrumpf! Not soft!" she squealed.

"Of course, I see, but I will get the finest straw for your bedding," I said.

She let me know in no uncertain terms her thoughts, by grunts and pig motions that only I can decipher at this point since nobody else lives with her but me.

"No, Rosie, there is no room for you in the back seat. You will travel in the trailer or truck bed."

"HRUMPF arsolophis grumpf, humpf!" she said.

"Do you have any idea how much effort I am making for you?" I said as I sat down near the crate, frustrated. "I'm running out of time Rosie. Maybe I'm just...nuts."

"Hmrompo mushes....grumph...." she said in a quieter tone. And she she moved into the crate to eat.

I walked back to the house.

"Can I pull this entire thing off?" I thought to myself.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Days of mud baths

It has been in the high 80's for three days, very hot for this time of year. As you might remember I hate heat. I considered sitting with Eleanor in her private mud bath, but there is so much to do, and how could I interfere with her spa treatment?

And on another note-the newsletter is also out. Hoof stomps!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The mother ship has entered the barnyard!

So we brought the traveling Misfit hotel home yesterday! She is parked in the barnyard where I will feed The Misfits to get them used to it, hoping for a smoother departure day.

But here is the thing. Remember how I said the Kickstarter project would evolve? While this trailer is not at all what I first imagined when I put the Kickstarter online and we had not decided to move to Maine, but I realized the design of this trailer has ways to become my Magical Misfit Book and Healing Mobile! The back door has dutch windows on the top, and when opened, I could be standing there handing out pie, with Misfits in tow with me. There is a front room where I could have my books, and it is plenty big for a couple chairs and a Misfit or two. With some creative draped fabrics and Apiferian raggedy touches, I think this is the start of many good things. You all know I love to get creative with fabric.

Here are some pictures of the first Misfits going in the Magical Mobile. Of course, the challenge is figuring out seating arrangements. The biggest challenge is The World's Grumpiest Pig who will need her private area. Everyone else will be easy after that....although I think Itty Bitty is going to be one ticked kitty.

She [I need to listen to her to hear her name] is brand new for safety, and was quite a bit more than I planned, way more really, but we could not have found anything suitable for less money. I'm not messing around with safety for this journey. If you'd like to help offset the Misfit traveling hotel, feel free [and thank you].

[The GoFund budget is almost 50% less than the price]

I made a deal with the devil, but angels intervened

I have been recovering from a huge mistake I made. I am going to write about it so it might help someone else. Back in February, when we accepted the offer from someone to buy our beloved farm, I had internal turmoil from the minute I met the buyer. There are many details I can not write on a public forum, but I will tell you that my body and internal instincts told me this buyer was not the person he said he was. He paraded around telling us he would care for our sheep and any animals we wanted to leave. With bravado he suggested iphones for us at closing but to me it felt shallow and made me realize he was a wheeler dealer. The second I shook his hand, I had a visceral reaction. But we accepted his offer. That was the day I made a deal with the devil.

All these past weeks, as we patiently waited for a close to come, my body was telling me-loudly-that this person was not worthy of this farm. But I would stuff it, telling myself not to be judgmental. My body reacted every time I had to deal with the buyer. I would have stomach aches, my right side became so tight I was having daily head aches. I was drinking a bit too much at night and going to bed early. I was having dreams of rescue attempts. I would wake at 3 am and cry silently into my pillow. I chalked it all up to the usual stress of a move.

The buyer made many blunders as the weeks passed, including having a shady lender from out of state-who went AWOL in the middle of the deal. Literally disappeared. I googled him. He was someone who had fled Canada for being a pedophile. My body shook. The more I discovered about the buyer's life in NYC, the more sick I became.

Because when you make a deal with the devil, you are not in a healthy relationship with yourself.

We allowed him an extension and he released his large earnest amount. We had after all found and bought our dream farm-pending a successful close here- in Maine and were anxious to leave. We had lots of money down-non refundable-for horse hauling. After the extension, he had a local lender, and I once again told myself 'all was well', but my animosity for him grew. I began to despise him. But what I really couldn't accept-yet-was I despised myself for letting my farm fall into his hands.

Every chore I did on the farm with my sheep I disconnected from them. I grew impatient with my flock. I told myself it was part of letting go.

Because when you make a deal with the devil, you convince yourself of all sorts of things.

As the new closing date of 4/15 approached, there were more signs Mr. Big was not who he said he was. He got stuck in underwriting. Because of the new lending laws, there is a mandatory 3 day period before you can close. If he didn't get out of underwriting by Tuesday 4/12, he would not be able to close, and we were not going to grant him an extension. On Tuesday night, he wrote us an email via his realtor telling us how much he was spiritually connected to the land. I spit at that screen, and deleted it.

And then, angels appeared. I am not using that word lightly. I believe angels were involved, as long as all my inner guides and upper guides. Friends of our good friends had loved our farm back when they first saw it online. They were disappointed it had already sold, but they continued to watch to see if it closed. Meanwhile they looked at many farms, and none compared to ours. Our mutual friend suggested they contact us, as she knew there was some trouble getting to closing.

So they came out, and we loved them. This depressed me even more, as we were in a binding contract with the Devil. While we knew he could not close with a loan by Friday, he could possibly close with his swarmy cash. He had many businesses he was running out of NYC and we legally would have had to let them buy the place if he had cash by 2pm Friday.

I reached out to my healer in Minneapolis, my spiritual guide and teacher who has helped me for years work with my own inner guides and abilities. My mistake was put into perfect words for me- I had made a deal with the devil, I was so eager to begin the next part of my dream that I ignored my relationship and responsibility with my current farm. I had fallen off my track, so impatient and eager to get to Maine.

Meanwhile the new buyers came out twice, and we hatched out a plan for them to buy our farm in a way that we could somehow not lose our Maine farm. I was back working with people that deserved my farm, I was working in 'right relationship' as my healer called it. We just needed to get past 2pm Friday to be free of the devil. At 1 pm Friday, I got word the buyer could not get cash. We were free. My body lifted.

I was given so many gifts of learning. Never, ever, lose your soul to something that you know instinctively violates your beliefs. Never give up your own heart to fulfill one dream if it works against everything you put into the last one. The fact these new buyers came at the moment they did, the fact the timing was what it was-it is as if it was all meant to be-for learning, for the preservation not only of my soul, but for this beautiful place, and my flock.

While we were still dealing with the devil, I told Martyn that when we did drive away from Apifera for the last time, I would leave the sheep in the upper barn, so I wouldn't be able to see them as we drove away. I thought that would be easier on my heart. But I realize now, that was my attempt to forget what I was about to do-leave my farm and flock in the hands of the devil himself. I didn't want to see what I was about to do, I was ashamed and I knew it was wrong. I sensed danger for my sheep but i kept making excuses.

The relief we both feel, knowing this great family will carry on here-yes, with my flock- is huge. I am so happy for them, and us. I sat with my flock yesterday and sobbed. I apologized to them and I told them of all my lessons. I know they don't hold a grudge, but when I look at their faces now, and all the land and living things here, I think how close I came to leaving it in the wrong hands.

I'm humbled by my error, but, also I walk away with new respect for the inner sensitivities I have, that I sometimes push away, due to impatience for a desired result. The devil loves to target such people because he is a manipulator.