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.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

It will be okay

If you love dogs, animals, pets, dachshunds, love, hope, tulips, and toast and banana in the morning, please consider supporting the new 'comfort book' "Little Tulip, fully illustrated, hard cover and open for presages now.

I have self published four books, all illustrated, and all labors of love. By setting up a pre-sell page for you to order copies, it helps an indie publisher with shallow pockets to avoid getting into debt. This is really crucial when making books. I do not make money on these funding events for new books, I basically hope to break even, and then move on and sell all the copies to help make a small profit.

Little Tulip is the first of what I'm calling a comfort book. I suppose all my books have promoted comfort through word and art, but I want to do a couple books a year that are printed in small quantities, so I can financially get some of my simpler story ideas out there.

I may be partial, but I love "Little Tulip". It was a joy to work on, even when it brought up some sad feelings. But the main thing I hope everyone feels when they read it is,

It will be okay.

Pre-order a copy today >

Monday, April 23, 2018

I'm an optimist...I can't imagine how the pessimists felt

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm already making my list for winter prep. But first did I mention that we actually felt Spring, right through our skin into our old bones? What a long awaited day we had this weekend, sun and sixties. Oh my, I told Martyn I wasn't sure I'd ever see and feel this kind of day again, and I'm an optimist so I can only imagine how the pessimists were doing this spring in New England.

I much prefer to know my animals can roam around, and this winter was hard on all of them with so much snow and ice, one storm after another.

But yesterday, that disappeared. We have hope again...at least until the flies arrive, and arrive they will.

I got so much done yesterday that it reminded me of my mother telling me when I was young I would work and play all day from sun up to sun down, and then collapse on arriving in the house. That's how yesterday felt, but what a blessing to feel warm but not hot, the breeze wasn't chilly, and just seeing the animals sun napping made me happy. We worked on the garden and the area where we plan to have our elder visits so that is all coming together.

But, warm weather is also the time to get things done for winter. Our road to the outer barn is very soggy in wet spring days, so come summer, I like to get the majority of our hay in, some 800+ bales this year were used, up from 600 due to the hard winter. I'd say we have a month supply left, but soon we will have the pastures open.

But I need to begin to collect money for hay for 2018-2019 winter and will have some hay fundraisers soon. It is always the biggest achievement to get the hay in the barn, it feels like you are really taking car of things, for the animals. I'm glad we found two good sources now for hay, a load off my mind. Hay was really tough to find when we first got here, and it is more expensive than out West so I was a bit agitated by it. But all is well.

We also will be doing a lot of tree work and hopefully clearing for more pastures. A huge undertaking. The third barn is beginning in June or July and there is lots of reorganization to do with fencing and such before that begins, and then it will all have to be arranged once the barn is built.

But for now, it's warm and sunny, and I'm going to focus on that today. I worked all weekend, going to give myself an hour with Boone, it will be or first work together since last fall. We have a lot to accomplish this summer, or I do, after our accident last year. I need to work on some things in that regard.

Friday, April 20, 2018

The President of The Old Kitty Knitty Club calls order

Anna turns eleven today. She is considered a youngster in the Elder Cat Suite. I'm so glad we could bring her home. She came to Apifera along with Sir Tigger, and Yume and they were the first elders we adopted when we arrived in Maine. Anna is the one who scratches the inside of the suite door when she hears me doing morning feedings, and she has a spot that only she is allowed to eat, up by the bird houses.

"The celebration will come to order!" said Papi.

Being president of The Old Kitty Knitty Club has allowed Papi to grow confidence in his organizational and leadership skills. I guess he is like a cat version of The Head Troll.

I said, "The celebration will come to order!" Papa repeated sternly.

Sir tigger stretched, Noritsu yawned, Yume hid, Miss Spring stared at him, and Anna jumped off her perch.

"Listen to Papi!" Anna said.

Sir Tigger stretched again, Noritsu cleaned his face, Yume hid, and Miss Spring still stared.

Papi is learning that sometimes inspiring others is a difficult job.

{We graciously accept donations for our non profit to help animals and elder people.}

Thursday, April 19, 2018

ANNOUNCING! A NEW book of comfort

The PRE ORDER Page is officially ready for your orders! Books should be ready to ship late June/July if not sooner. As always, the order page includes reward levels, including original art from the book.

I have an ongoing series of "comfort books" I will be producing. I'm really excited about this. These will be illustrated books with an overall goal of bringing the recipient comfort, and a smile of course. I will be producing these in smaller quantities versus lage print runs like my illustrated memoirs. When they sell out, that's it, they will not be reprinted. By making smaller print run, I will make less money in the long run, but will be able to produce these sweet offerings once or twice a year.

The book: The first in the comfort book series is called, "Little Tulip" {It Will Be Okay}. It is 6 x 9" hardcover book, 56 pages, fully illustrated, and the book will be enclosed in a beautiful 'case'. The illustrations are emotive, simple and in black ink. There are also some color pieces.

Inspiration: I was inspired to make this story come to life for several reasons. How many times in life are we faced with something-be it loss, fear, a challenge, a change-and we just want to know it will be okay? How comforting is it to hear someone we love say, "It will be okay."?

No matter how old we are, we want it to be okay. No matter what creature we are, we want it to be okay.

In the book, an elder woman wants to get another dog for company. She hears all the reasons from others why she should not get a dog at her age. Even the shelter won't let her adopt one. Meanwhile, Dorthea the dachshund has a litter of pups and the little runt yearns for a home.

It's the story of many people who age and find themselves faced with others wanting to 'detract' from them.

It's a story about the flow of life.

It's about the simple things that make a life worth living.

It's about conversing with those that are gone in a new language.

I hope you will keep it by your bedside when you need to know, "It will be okay."


Ready for pre-orders now

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Yume- we have success!

Yume a couple weeks after her meds kicked in-looking good!
A quick update on Yume, the only Japanese speaking Apiferian, oh wait, I forgot about Earnest the pig.

I'm pleased that the meds we were trying from the vet seemed, knock on my head, to have done the trick. I am glad at this point we did not have to go through a lot of trials with different meds. So, I hope Yume will continue on without flareups but if she does, we can at least know there is a drug to help.

I have collected $100 as of this morning to help offset Yume's $200+ vet bill. If you can chip in, wonderful-it helps cash flow for the 501[c][3] and is much appreciated.

And to those who have sent some help, we say,

“Doumo Arigatou” 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Opie writes a letter...companionship to the elders is the best gift

Opie wrote his first letter. I thought it would be fun to send letters to our elder friends in Wiscasset inbetween our therapy visits. And besides, Opie is practicing his penmanship...or is it pengoatship?

I didn't want to share the letter before our friends received it, but thought I'd share it now. They really got a kick out of it. I also made a puzzle for them with their photos with Opie and they liked that too. Puzzles are great for all ages, we always had a table with one going when I was growing up.Just a nice way to gather, use your eyes, brain and maybe have some chatter too.

I have no intention of buying a bunch of stuff for our friends. My mission with my elder work is simple: bring animal and nature to them, stories of the farm for cheer or conversation, and just be friends. Gifts are nice, or even essentials, but I want my main focus to be on companionship. I like bringing handmade surprises, or eggs, and the wrist warmers this fall from our sheep wool is a way to bring the farm to them. And pie...have to bake a pie. I also share eggs with residences when I can too.

Keep it simple and from the heart. Don't need to start buying 'stuff'.

I made special stamps for Opie's letters too. I might have to have him write me so I can get one in the mail.

{We do not charge the elder residences for our therapy visits. We are not taking a salary from the 501[c][3]. If you would like to make a donation we are always in need of them. It helps feed and care for the animals and allows us to continue our elder therapy work. Thank you.}