An Artist’s Date… to the Feed Store

The snow has finally melted back enough for the crocuses to start poking through the ground! It’s going to be a cold week, but those tender looking stalks are actually quite tough, so they’ll be fine. The pussy willow hasn’t started fuzzing yet, but I can’t wait to clip some of those sweet little branches and bring them inside to add even more life to our late winter home! (The picture in this banner is not an actual picture of my crocuses. My crocuses are simply just starting to leave the earth – only brave little nubs.)

This weekend I decided to take myself out on an Artist’s Date. Have you read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron yet? She sets two mandates in it: write morning pages every day and go on a weekly artist’s date. I’ve been incorporating the morning pages for a couple of years, but the weekly artist’s date seemed way too ambitious for me. It’s supposed to be a time when you can go somewhere to be inspired, to tap into that small voice inside of you, and feel a bit of joy. Of course, you can go anywhere to do that, even your own literal backyard if you find that it invigorates your soul.

It’s hard for me to get away by myself, even for an hour. It seems like such a production to leave the house just to go to work, which is not at all a selfish thing to do. To take myself out on a date for an hour? Oh, the guilt! But I knew I needed the time away and we needed chicken feed, so I decided to combine the two into one beautiful hour.

The feed store is one of my favorite places in the world. I love how it smells. How friendly the staff always is. I love exploring all of the different aspects of the outside world – bird feeders, beekeeping gear, and a killer greenhouse. It’s especially wonderful in late winter, when all of those possibilities are finally within my grasp!

I spent an embarrassing amount of time looking at the seed packets, especially flowers. In reality, it was less than 10 minutes, which feels luxurious when you’re not being pulled on by three impatient beings. I usually gravitate to the packets that look like they’re drawn by hand, like Renee’s Garden and Botanical Interests. I loaded up on foxgloves, poppies, hummingbird mixes, and cottage garden mixes. I even got a packet of pole beans. My husband and I will pick out our summer garden seeds together, but I just couldn’t resist those beans!

I bought a new wooden broom, which I hope will brush away all the pent up energy we’ve been holding onto this winter and allow a freshness and purity of thoughts. I once read a book on Magical Housekeeping – hey, I’ll try anything once – and was really drawn to creating my own mantras while cleaning. When mopping, I think about purifying my home of all negative thoughts and energies. When washing dishes, I think about nourishing my family with delicious food. Stuff like that. I know that I’ll never be able to memorize any actual “spells,” so I just make up my mantras as I go along. It works for me, even if it feels a bit silly.

And I bought two new houseplants. One to replace the dead one in the bathroom – I chose a snake plant because it can grow in very low light. And I picked up a pothos for my desk at home because it prefers indirect light. Before moving into our house and having babies, I had a ton of houseplants but they all died when I became overwhelmed with life. Now I’m slowly adding them back into my weekly routine and finding hidden corners to ensure that curious little hands aren’t able to dig up the roots. And I continue to cull our home of things that aren’t necessary which opens up these hidden corners for LIFE!

We’ve been here 5.5 years and it’s finally starting to feel like my home. We’re starting to make it ours which is such an awesome (but slow!) process. And day by day, I get better at finding routines that work for me, but remain flexible because my life isn’t my own right now. And minute by minute, I wrestle with that realization, which gets easier in nonlinear sort of way.

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4 thoughts on “An Artist’s Date… to the Feed Store

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    1. Thanks Jordy! I’m remembering how much I loved watching houseplants grow, The real challenge is going to be whether I have the patience to actually water them based on what they need, rather than some rote roles that I give myself. Wish me (or them!) luck!

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    1. They help! Sometimes it feels totally ridiculous and sometimes it fits the moment perfectly, especially when I’m feeling really stuck. Plus, I like that it gives a bit of purpose to the chore, like I’m blessing my home or something. I’m the last person to have the ability to give something a “blessing,” but oh well.

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