Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Delayed Gratification

Olympia hosts two major Arts Walk events each year, in Spring and Fall.  Spring's festival coincides with Earth Day, and is the larger of the two.  Downtown streets are closed to traffic, so they fill with performers and festival-goers.  On Friday night, there is a beautiful luminary parade, and the Procession of the Species on Saturday afternoon is the highlight.  An amazing number of residents parade through the streets in celebration of animal and plant species, dressed in costumes, dancing, walking on stilts, playing instruments, or walking inside of something like a  huge whale that spurts water from its spout.  So many people participate in the Procession that it takes 2 hours to watch them all pass the throngs of enthusiastic onlookers.  Each business features local artists, so it is an opportunity to see all of the creative work being made throughout the community.

Spring Arts Walk was this past weekend, so I've been working hard to have everything finished for a group show.  As I've mentioned, business has been painfully slow since Fall, so I was feeling optimistic that I might catch up a little bit this weekend.  I did sell a few small things, and I received a lot of enthusiastic feedback from visitors.

Spring is moving very slowly this year, which has been the main topic of my posts.  I keep planting seeds for greens, but only a handful have sprouted, probably because we are still getting frost at night and not nearly enough sun.  Our chicks and ducklings are growing fast and seem to be doing very well, and we get our turkey poults tomorrow, which does help to remind us that it really is springtime.  Somehow, it feels like the delay in the season is strangely connected to this lull in commission work and art sales.  I am awaiting deposits on two potential projects, but I have learned not to plan around such possibilities as they often fall through.  I have applied for several exhibits, but I won't receive confirmation until June for events that begin in July, so I have work that I can't sell at all, and my summer plans are up in the air.  Ah, the life of an artist...

Two days ago, while feeding our newest bees, I wore gloves with cloth on the back (instead of leather.)  A bee stung me through the fibers on my right thumb, and the reaction has been quite severe.  At first, it was merely painful, but I kept working, cleaning the house and moving my workspace back to the outdoor studio (I've been working in the warm house all Winter.)  By evening, the whole backside of my hand had swollen and the skin was extremely sensitive.  It bothered me all night, making it difficult to sleep.  Yesterday, the swelling spread to the pads of my hand on the front, partway up my fingers, and a couple of inches down my wrist on both sides.  I wasn't able to work at all.  This morning, it is still swollen, but less painful.  I have had to continue basic tasks like making meals, cleaning dishes, and taking care of animals, but I'm clumsy and must do most of it with my left hand.  I've tried every remedy I could find online, but nothing works.  Benadryl has no effect on the inflammation, but it does help me sleep through the discomfort. So, I think my frustration with my work is exacerbated by my billy club of a hand.  Typing is one of the only things I can do with it, so I'm catching up on all computer-related tasks.  Submissions have been typed, receipts entered, inbox organized, and now I've written a long, boring blog entry that can't possibly of much interest to anyone.

I need to go back out to the new hive today to see if the queen has been released from her little cage yet, but I'm actually quite nervous for the first time.  I can't even fit my hand into a glove at this point, and it would seriously suck to get stung again.  Where's my farmhand?

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