Toddler vs. Cow

This 100% happened last week.

Before you have kids, you think to yourself about how your kid would never whine, scream, freak out, or shout–I’m here to tell you that anything can and will happen with a toddler, including a simultaneous obsession and fear over cows. Yep, he still loves his little toy farm set cows, even after this incident!

I think he’ll stick with the smaller, plastic kind of bovine for now…

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The Chicken Saga: THE END!

And thus ends the months-long Chicken Saga comic! Thanks so much for staying tuned through thick, thin, and the holiday season. Although this tale has been a bit embellished (ok…maybe quite embellished), the story is real: One day I got a weird note from a neighbor in my mailbox claiming they had one of our chickens in the yard! Since we had no missing chickens, I was convinced they were hallucinating, or at least mistaking an unnaturally large mourning dove for a chicken in their bushes.

Sure enough, it was indeed a runaway chicken, they did indeed name her Dolly and yes, I did make Malcolm go and grab her after his work and classes in the middle of the night!

We were a bit unsure of how Dolly would fare at first. (This is partly why this story took so long to illustrate–I didn’t know how things would turn out and I was pretty much making these comics up on the fly.) For a little while, she wasn’t really doing that well. She had clearly lost a lot of weight during her wanderings and was extremely stressed and losing so many feathers the chicken coop looked like a ripped pillowcase for several weeks. She refused to eat, we weren’t sure how much she was drinking (if at all) and she had an injured beak, to boot. She spent most days wedged up on a high roost we made for her.

Slowly but surely her hunger and curiosity got the best of her, and the rest of the flock took to her quite well, all things considered. There were a few pecking-order skirmishes, but nothing other than the usual fowl brawl that happens now and again.

Now, I am happy to say that Dolly has gained back her lost weight and re-grown her feathers, which are coming in silky, cream-white, and fluffy! Even better? She is actually laying beautiful blue-green eggs in the middle of winter!

We love our Dolly, and I am so glad you, dear reader, could take part in this saga with us.

Dolly the chicken, as of January 2023.
Eggs in the winter! Woohoo!

A Hopeful New Year

“Juggler Bear” – soft pastel and colored pencil ©Katie Kath 2023. Do not reproduce without permission.

Happy New Year to everyone!

I used to dislike New Years. Being such a Christmas fanatic, the New Years holiday seemed more like an anti-climactic ending to such a festive time of year–like Christmas’s sad, ugly, forgotten cousin who had a birthday that everyone felt they needed to begrudgingly acknowledge–than a real cause for celebration.

But, in the past several years, I have grown to increasingly love New Years because it is a holiday that is filled to the brim with hope. It’s the holiday of endless possibilities: you can sit down and list out all of the things you’d like to do or aspire to in the next year, no matter how wild the ideas are that cross your mind, AND you have 365 days to do all of those things! Not a week! Not a month! An entire year. There is no rush, no limits, and my daydreamer self loves that concept.

Here is to a happy, healthy New Year for everyone.

Something Other Than

I had a realization yesterday afternoon that just about shook me to the core.

I was toying around again with the idea of going back to a personal project I had shelved more than a year ago, (more on that to come), and had even hauled out my watercolors to start painting, when a distinctly and increasingly uncomfortable feeling began creeping up my spine. As I watched the painted sections dry, a sudden awareness came into focus like a developing polaroid: I no longer like to work in watercolor the way I have been. The worst part? I can’t remember a recent time when I did.

“Ol’ Paint, the Dapple Hobbyhorse” – ©Katie Kath 2022. Do not use without permission.

For an artist whose current career has been built on a certain medium, this is akin to waking up one morning and suddenly realizing that you have been in a souring relationship for many years and despite your numerous, desperate attempts to save it, it has, in fact, gone permanently south.

And, like many relationships that fall apart, there have been obvious (ignored) signs along the way. So many signs that you feel like a total idiot for not recognizing them in the first place. (Or, perhaps, it was the refusal to recognize them).

I’m not saying it’s time to chuck, along with my brushes, every single tube of Daniel Smith and Winsor & Newton out the window, but this is a sure sign I need to step back, scrub out my old painting palette, reevaluate, and ask myself some questions. Maybe I need to expand my current color palette? Maybe I need to try some dyes? Maybe I need to take a seriously long break from watercolor altogether.

The long and short of it is, the current situation of this “relationship” needs to drastically change. I don’t know what it will look like in the end, but for now, there’s a road ahead of me and I have to travel it.