Art that dies on the easel and I'm down to 4 goats!

Dec 31, 2022

It was a busy week here at the farm. I follow someone who calls this week, "Seal Week" where the goal is to loll about in bed, roll over, sleepily blink at the wall and wonder what day it is. Even if I do manage to get a nap in, there are still animals to feed and clean up after twice a day :-) Plus the weather has been divine, I want to be out in it!

We got our small portion of winter around Christmas where the horses and donkey wore blankets for 3 days straight and we had to deal with breaking ice in the freezing water tanks and buckets:

I'm really appreciating the fall, winter, and spring here because the summer is brutal.

I think my most favorite Christmas gift this year was my new easel:

It's quite a bit larger and heftier than my previous, which just wasn't meant to hold the heavier, larger canvases.

I'm also enjoying B-Rad's Big Blanket Company 10x10' blanket! My aunt, uncle, and I had to see if it was big enough for three (and we are sitting on it and it's still folded in half):

Years ago when we were tiny, my Mom started the tradition of opening matching jammies on Christmas Eve and reading the 'Twas the Night Before Christmas poem—and while I didn't manage to get them wrapped on Christmas Eve or read the poem, at least we wore them to bed lol.

We had our older kids and their spouses over for dinner on Christmas, along with my Aunt Katy and Uncle Chris. My brother and Nic stayed home in Pennsylvania and my Dad stayed home because he was getting over covid, boo. But it was still lovely to have everyone else over and have a yummy Christmas dinner of beef tenderloin, scalloped potatoes, creamed spinach, salad, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie. Did I manage to take a photo of all of us together at the table? Sigh. But I did get a before picture!

And! I did manage to use these cute little name holders that I've had for years but always forgot to use! Unfortunately at their very first use, the paint started flaking off so, one use was all they were good for after all!

Let's talk about this table! 18 months into living in this house and I still don't have a real dining room table. This is one of my two 4x7' art tables that B-Rad and I made in Colorado so I could hold classes. They have two metal sawhorses as their base and I love them so much! Honestly I could almost do with something similar—but longer and with real legs. We've been talking about it, we'll see what we come up with. I have a good size dining room and I would like to have maybe...a 12 foot table? My style is pretty eclectic (notice the limoges china with my burlap/canvas-y placemats ;-), so I'm good with simple/a little rustic for this table. These chairs are also an art studio thing, so I will need chairs too but I will likely mix and match wood chairs. It's really fun to plan these things with B-Rad, he's a good mix of his mom and dad: artsy and engineer and we make a good team.

Speaking of brother and I were recently discussing how we both had a piece of art that was just dying on the vine or the easel as the case may be (my brother is an abstract artist.) We had tried all we could think of and nothing was making us happy.

So, I wanted to talk about that!

I can remember being a young artist and thinking I was an absolute failure because something didn't work out. Haha. Turns out, even artists that have been painting for decades have stuff that just isn't doing it for them. My brother and I sent each other pictures of what we were talking about and it was funny how each of us could still see the potential in the other's paintings—and yet, we were just done with them. We've both decided to gesso over them using a palette knife to cover any thick areas and just paint something new.

Here's the one I'm going to paint over:

And this is all he would let me show of his lol:

That was actually what he wrote when he gave up πŸ˜‚ And that is how it sometimes feels! "I just can't get this right! What in the world?? Eff this! Starting over!"

And that's okay! To any young artists out there, it happens, paint over it and move on! It's normal. You won't love everything, it's just not possible. And you don't have to put stuff out in the world if you don't love it!


This week on the farm was a big one for everyone. A few weeks ago I sold one of our breeding bucks (Heart) to a small farm near Charlotte. We've been chatting about the does I was thinking about selling ever since. She decided to buy all six of them and came to pick them up a couple days after Christmas. We went from this group sunning themselves in the morning (more in the barn):

To this little group of four:

Left to right: Snickers, Denali, Alaska, and her baby Dancer.

I wasn't sure how we would all do being a smaller group. Would they be okay? Would I? But it turns out, it's quite lovely! Chores take a lot less time now and that frees up time to sit in the sun with the goats and hug and kiss and scratch them. I trimmed their feet this week—two on one day and two on another day and was done. Oh joy! It's good, really, really good. It's quiet in their barn and they seem to be soaking it up:

I kept my most favorite girls. Snickers is our grande dame, she's 10. She's always loved attention and has a lot of funny poses. That's how this little piece of art that I made earlier in the year came about:

You can get a tshirt with her on it here.

Next up is Denali. If you're familiar with our goats, she is the mother of Poppy, Nettle, Jake, Marbles, and Sparkles. She makes beautiful and sweet babies and is herself a fabulously friendly goat. Scratch her shoulders and she will love you forever:

And then there are the two peas in a pod, Mama Alaska (on right) and her daughter Dancer:

Alaska is particularly gentle and sweet. I just love her personality. And if you've been around awhile, you know how I feel about her daughter Dancer!

I know, I know, she's almost adult size now!

And speaking of babies and adults, since the last week of Mom's life, we've had the occasional family of bald eagles that hang around our ponds and fish. Two adults and an all dark, but large, baby. This week there were three adults and the baby! I spent a stunning, awesome morning watching them fly back and forth and swoop and dive over the water! Happiness!


A few more funnies from the week:

My friend Jenn, who knows my feelings about kale, sent me this πŸ˜‚:

And I received what was probably the best Christmas card of all time from my friend Lisa who said:


No words for all the shit.

Hope this finds you all alive and breathing.

So sorry for all you're going through.

I think of you often.

F&ck the holidays?!

Love, Lisa

Honestly, I read that over and over and laughed and laughed—it was the thing that kept me moving forward this year.


Well this would be nice. I'm strong enough, thanks:

Oh this is so true of anyone with a farm! The animals still need to be cared for, no matter how cold you are!

Turns out, I loved snowboarding way more than skiing!

I like mine up on Thanksgiving and down a few days after Christmas. My house is so spacious now!

I've been doing this for a few years now and I love it. This year my jar isn't very full, it was a tough one. I wish I had been able to write more because even the small stuff matters a lot in a hard year. I save each year in a sandwich bag :-)

I hope you all have a happy New Year and may this year exceed all of our wildest hopes and dreams!

Let me give you a big ol' hug!

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