Finally over the bulk of my summer work at the County Fairs. One more to do, but this in the fall.
What did I learn from all these summer shows and festivals? Lots of how to endure heat and lots on economics in poorer trade conditions - the hotter it gets, the tighter wallets get. Trying to sell non-essentials to farmers in a drought - like icecube makers to natives by the North Pole in the middle of a winter snowstorm.
Spent most of today recovering from the hot weather I've endured the last three days - out in the sun and weather with not a lot to protect me. Sold enough to cover my costs, but not enough to make a living at it. I was told that the early years are the slim ones. Next season will be something better, doing airbrushed T-shirts.
I have a great deal to talk about, a great deal to write. My room, through all this summer, remains a wreck, so I'll be finishing up jobs I've got hanging around in order to get to all these writings and other art. First off is getting some portfolio essays done for a college in order to wrap up a long-overdue college degree. Just have to bite the bullet and see what else I can learn from the process. Goal is to be able to train others in design, in communication and perhaps even a practical life philosophy - something which actually works.
Lots of stuff is rolling through my mind, getting worked up and never reaching any actual or virtual page. Just have to keep working away at things, getting stuff done and taking my small steps toward whatever I leave as a legacy. The stuff I've worked out seems pretty useful to me; I hope that others find it as useful.
Meanwhile, the farm must be worked. My mother and I get the help we need from friends and neighbors with far more experience than the two of us. Meanwhile, I simply work to learn what I can from books and my own observations. The conclusions I come up with aren't those which others have made. But I come into this farming scene with a background in counselling and philosophy, plus some graphics arts. So I have completely different comparatives to apply to this scene.
Hoping to buy a pull-type combine this week. Means I'll be able to harvest our own grain again (got rid of our old 44 combine a couple years back and only able to pick corn since). Then I'll be able to get this place over to a lower overhead scene where we can make the place buy what we need and maybe even make a living at it.
But that's the farm.
So you see the three things running my life: I have my own closure to achieve, with it this new set of understandings which might be quite useful to others if it is communicated well; I have my artwork to do - a calling which has haunted me my entire life, a calling I've tried to ignore or dismiss, all to no avail; and the farm, which has its own problems to solve, but which will enable my own family and extended family to experience the plesantries of farm life as farm lands continue to become rural residences and hobby farm tax write-offs. A fourth - having to do with each of these - is to work out a living which is comfortable in the present term and also some funding for my "retirement" - at least whenever that comes.
To each of these, I spend my time in turn. So as I have done art this summer, I now turn to getting a degree in the month before I have to go back to the warehouse to make some dough and cover my debts from credit card spending/borrowing. But that's life. So I'll push this degree through before Xmas - a year later than original planning - and have it done. Then take that same work and go for yet another degree at a different college, which will make the possibility of getting a teaching job locally possible - something where I can have my summers off for artwork and a retirement that can be counted on. As well, I can schedule my farm work in the am's.
While I dislike the problems and politics of schools, this still seems the better work to do - at least until I can win the lottery - where I could drop out the warehouse work, but would still have to keep up with the farming. I'd then go ahead and get the degrees I need while I invest the earnings in some more land, cattle and equipment to get some dreams done; plus keeping my family cared for.
But beyond all these dreams, I must blog - which you'll be able to see more here in the coming months. Simple to get a half-hour here and there, even with some hard work going on.
Catch you later...