Red Dirt Farm and Studio

Living a creative life artist farmer dreamer

The Hiatus

Kim of Red Dirt Farm and Studio

Oh my, it’s been awhile, hasn’t it?

The first frost of the season arrived during the night, covering our little farmstead with a white sparkling blanket of chill.

Warm freshly laid eggs are in my pockets keeping my fingers warm as I unlock the coops and head out to open the farm stand.  Each step is crisp and a bit slick with a thick coating of frost.

Changing weather with frost on the way found me picking the last of the season’s bounty this past weekend, followed by a flurry of activity in the kitchen.  Producing so many quarts and pints of chow-chow enough to last us and the rest of the county through the winter months.  Where in the world will I store all this?

Peppers have been roasted and dried and canned and still, there is a very large basketful waiting for me to turn into something.  I also have a large box full of pears we picked last night.  I’ll begin work on those shortly.  Pear jam and pear butter.  The last of the flowers have been cut and brought inside for one last bouquet.  It is always bittersweet to put the gardens to rest for the next few months.












During my hiatus from this place, I had many days of quiet with no words, just trying to get through.   There hasn’t been room for reading or writing.  Just survival.  Truth is, I have been in a very dark place.  I need to acknowledge this.  I live my life trying so hard to be positive and grateful for all the good things, that I was living a lie.  I spent so much time putting on a happy face and trying to be there and be positive for other people; I wasn’t being honest with myself.  I wasn’t able to fully embrace and accept that a lot of crappy ass shit has happened in my life in recent years.  I’m not saying I’ve got it any worse than anybody else, I just wasn’t acknowledging these truths and facing them as they needed to be faced.  Then hurt and anger took over.  I’m working hard each day with this truth.

Seasons have come and gone. So much life and death have happened.  So many decisions have been made and many more left unresolved.  So many changes.


A lot of it.

  One thing is for sure things won’t and can’t remain as they have been here at Red Dirt.  What exactly our lives will look like is unknown.

 I want to say hello, but I’m not sure what to say.  Maybe just test the waters. Is there anyone out there? Am I able to write again?  Am I able to listen again?  Am I able to share again?

So many stories – good ones and not so good too.

It’s all trick and no treat, Mr. Cottage and I have another big challenge to face that is going to take our all to get through.  He will be having surgery on Halloween and will be as they say “laid up” for at least the next 6 months.  At least six months without an income.  A long road to recovery and obstacles to face.  My heart hurts for him and what he is about to go through.  Wish it could not be.  I’m scared too.

But this is our life and we must find the courage to embrace it.  All of it, and to acknowledge tough times are ahead for us.

Hello again.








27 thoughts on “The Hiatus

  1. LaDy says:

    Kim – When I saw your email pop in, I was excited to read and jump back into your world of artistry in pictures and words. I’m still excited that you have reached out and have shared your honesty with your readers. My arms are open with hugs for both you and Mr. Cottage and my heart aches for the “tricks” you have been experiencing over the last few years. Life isn’t easy is it but then again, no one ever said it would be as an adult. Why can’t we just go back to our innocent days of being a child. As children, we want to grow up so fast, fake that we’re older than we are, do grown up things, and pretend. However, as an adult, it’s difficult to pretend isn’t it. I mean, we can certainly pretend but only for a short while before it comes back to bite you in the a**. Yep, that’s being an adult – lots of bites in the royal behind but yet we keep trudging along and hopeful for each little glimmer we receive.

    As always, know that I’m here and have always been. I value your need for space and privacy too. Just know that I’m a quick phone call away and my numbers haven’t changed.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. LD – I appreciate and thank you for your heartfelt kindness and generosity. I acknowledge that I don’t respond and embrace the kindness of others’ in the way most normal people do. Then again I never said I was normal. I do get a warm fuzzy knowing that someone is out there and cares and maybe someday I’ll be able to embrace the outstretched arms. Thank you for letting me know that you are out there and for taking the time to write a response. xo kim


  2. Lisa says:

    I was so happy to see your email. I think of you and the cottage often and send happy thoughts from Texas. Life does have a way of giving us both tricks and treats. And, I think its ok to say that that sucks. Even hibernate for a while when it is needed. Please know that your posts and photos brighten the day of people you have never met. And we’ll be here whenever you feel like sharing.

    Tell Mr Cottage that he is also being thought of. He seems like a pretty active guy on the farm and six months down will be very hard for him. Maybe he will pursue some new artistic endeavors. That’s how I came to mixed media art (and met you 🙂 ). I was on crutches for nine weeks and couldn’t do glass. There can be silver linings.



  3. Ah Lisa – so nice to hear from you. I was so uncomfortable writing again, worried of all kinds of negative responses and thoughts from those afar. I appreciate your support. It seems strange and somewhat uncomfortable and oh so egotistical to think that my stories of life on the farm and photos matter to anyone other than me. It made me tear up, your words that maybe my sharing brightens the day of someone else. Thank you.

    Mr. Cottage is an active guy here on the farm and I rely on him beyond words could say, but his business clients would say the very same I’m sure. He actually does have some artistic abilities that sneak out every now and again. Mostly he is a great guy all around – then again I’m partial.

    So glad to hear from you.
    xo kim


  4. Ginny says:

    Kim, I have been reading and enjoying your blog for some time and have never responded until now. My daughter, who is an author, introduced me to your writings and she and I have truly missed your entries in your absence. …..I just want to say you are loved and missed. Your writings are deep and wonderful and ring with your strength and faith. Don’t ever doubt yourself, you bring such hope and joy to others with your words, photos, and your love of our world. God loves you and He will guide you through this time. I wish I could know you in person. Prayers and sunshine are sent your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ginny – I’m quite emotional with gratitude for your words. Funny not knowing about folks that are out there reading my little blog. I assume mostly I’m writing to the wind and feel ridiculous most of the time and then occasionally see it as an instrument for my own self-healing. It is touching hearing from you and very much appreciated in this place I am in my life. I’m an introvert and not at all comfortable meeting people or being with a group of people and writing helps me meet people at a more comfortable level. Things happen in life for a reason, I truly believe that, even when I don’t like it or understand it, I believe there is a plan out there. I feel angels and hope and kindness from strangers and maybe someday we will meet in person – you just never know. Thank you so much for writing a note to me. xo kim – oh and thank you to your daughter, she is a gift.


  5. Sandy ONeill says:

    You are being so brave to so fully put yourself out there. You are stronger than you know. I have been where you are. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and you can walk yourself out of these dark times. Truly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sandy – brave – perhaps foolish? Mostly I feel like I have to explain myself and be honest. Why? I don’t know. If that’s putting myself out there then it is scary. Oh yes, most certainly doing the one foot in front of the other walk. It is comforting to know there are people out there that have been in a bad place and gotten through it and are cheering me on. Bless you – xo kim


  6. Gerri says:

    Prayers for you during this difficult time. ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Gerri – I couldn’t ask for anything nicer. xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

  7. DA Squires says:

    Dear Kim,
    I have thought about you often during your hiatus… and I was so happy to see Red Dirt Farm in my inbox today, yet also worried. The length of absence must have concerned all your readers… and my heart aches for what lies ahead, and I wish there was a way to alleviate some of the stress and fear. We never grow up enough not to feel scared, and sometimes I think it is harder as an adult. We understand consequences, and that we must shoulder all the real world responsibilities, and somehow find the strength to do this. I think if you lean into your blog, now more than ever, this is where you will find strength. Your community will stand by with compassion, words of encouragement, support, and kindness. We are all listening, and will send you bunches of wildflowers throughout the winter months…so write to us… and we will write back… Debbie xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Debbie – I missed you and your uplifting words of encouragement and support. Time has passed ever so slowly and yet in the blink of an eye. I feel like I have lived a lifetime this summer. I’m so surprised by the support readers have shown, didn’t even know they were out there. I cope with my problems by internalizing them and I grow very silent. I find it so hard to find words, to speak much less write. Writing is hard for me, really hard. Moving forward and facing uncertainty, it is so nice to think there is a small little crowd cheering me on. Thank you as always. xo kim


  8. pennross says:

    We all get dark and need to turn inside. It takes courage to talk about it and seek support. It’s nice to see your return, if only to test the waters. As always your images are so intriguing. Maybe fall and all it’s colors and crisp air will be refreshing. Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Penny – how are you? Thank you for reminding me I’m not alone in feeling this darkness and that it’s ok for me to be lost in my own world for a bit. I think I need to hear that. My photography has remained my steady – I can’t find the words most of the time, but my camera is always my companion. Cool weather has arrived the leaves have not started to turn yet. Hoping for an easy winter. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I recently just discovered your blog (it was recommended to me by another blogger), so am sending prayers your way. Putting on a happy face can be exhausting, and it is hard to cope when you are exhausted. If you feel writing your blog will help you cope then by all means do, but if you feel it is another chore to do, then it’s okay to lie fallow for awhile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome – sorry I don’t know your name – but all the same welcome I’m glad you were sent this way. Your words ring true it is exhausting putting on a happy face and always being there for other people just caught up with me. I’m such an internalizer and writing is so hard for me, I don’t know if blogging will help or not, but is nice to hear someone say it is okay whatever I decide to do. Thank you for your support. xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s Joan…..and you’re welcome! Take care of yourself.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Linda says:

    Yes, Kimmie, your stories of life on the farm matter to us. I wondered where you had disappeared to and I wondered if you would come back. Some bloggers I followed just stopped writing one day and that was it. Over. No explanation. So glad to have you back. We all have “crappy ass shit” that hits where it hurts. Sometimes for years on end. And then the sun shines again. I will keep Mr. Cottage in my prayers. Is Father Cottage doing okay?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Miss Linda – I hope you are okay – I did disappear it was both intentional and not – if that makes sense. And yes, I thought it would be easier to not come back at all, like those other bloggers. I have some that I too enjoyed and then boom they were gone. I guess life just happens. I also think there are a lot of bloggers that are using Instagram to replace their blogs.
      Yes, I know I’m not alone in bad stuff happening and for years on end, my goodness sometimes it just feels like the earth opened up and swallowed me. Thank for the prayers.
      Father Cottage is doing ok – he has moved on to a new life and will not be joining us here…
      xo kim


  11. Sarah says:

    Hi Kim, Sorry to hear things have been hard over the last few months and you now have another challenge to face with Mr Cottage surgery and recovery. As you can see there are still many of us to welcome you back and wish you both good luck in the months ahead. Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sarah – Thank you for welcoming me back, I’m not sure what back will look like but I guess it is just a one step at a time kind of thing. I do look forward to seeing what other folks have been up to and of course reading your posts and seeing your lovely photos. xo kim


  12. lindasschaub says:

    Dear Kim – I’m happy to see you back. I’ve thought of you often. I’ll keep Mr. Cottage and you in my thoughts and prayers. I was writing a comment here last night and my internet went out – grrrr. I’ve missed your cheery posts and this one I see you are a little down and I hope things get better for you. I just sent the link to your blog to a fellow blogger last week. Her writing reminds me of yours. I told Joan I’d let her know when you returned to your blog; she said she liked your blog so much, she went ahead and subscribed. Welcome back – you didn’t lose your touch BTW. Take good care of yourself. – Linda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Linda – So good to hear from you. You are such an inspiration with your blog – such a prolific writer, I envy how your stories seem to come so naturally with ease and sincerity. Looking forward to getting back to reading again. Thank you for sending Joan this way – that was thoughtful, we did meet and I look forward to getting to know her through her blog. Take care of those squirrels and walk safely my friend. xo kim

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lindasschaub says:

        Thanks Kim – I worried when you were not on here for so long and I enjoyed your posts immensely. I knew Joan would enjoy them as well. I hope things have calmed down a little, despite the impending surgery that you are concerned about. Then the holidays are here – hopefully not too taxing on you. {{{ Hugs from afar }}}


  13. Debra says:

    Oh my sweet friend. You are so very brave. How well I know the fake living stuff…I hate it too. One thing I do that really helps is to write all the crap out in a journal. I even heard that writing for 20 minutes a day helps you heal from life’s hurts. I do feel better when I do that. There’s SO MUCH that I just can’t write on my blog-I know it would scare people away if I just let my heart spill out…One thing I wrote that expressed my hurt, but it still hurts to even read it again is “Somewhere along the way I got turned into a nobody, by trying to please everybody. If I happen to please God it is by accident.”
    So that’s being honest, and I do think it’s a first big step. I feel like I’ve said too much already, probably not helping you at all-just more of my own junk…but the real point is I do care so much for you and have prayed for you in your absence from blogland. I will keep Mr. Cottage in my prayers too. I love you. I’m sorry if I said too much here…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Debra – sweet friend, true words spoken from the heart are never too much. I have a local friend that I don’t see that often but every time I am with her, I feel as though it is two people, her and you. I think you are kindred spirits. She makes me feel like what it would be like to be with you in person – does that make any sense? This past year she has been fighting her second round of cancer, quite frankly I didn’t feel it was going to be a good outcome for her at all. But her very strong faith pulled her through and she is doing well and looks incredible. All thought her battles, she held God’s hand and prayed for him to look after me. How amazing is that? She also told me that she thought writing in a journal would help me. My Mom was a journal keeper too, and I used to be, so I went out and got a new notebook and started writing. It helped me during my lowest point. Oh my so much I too could say, but feel this isn’t the right platform. Always you are in my heart. xo kim


  14. Mrs. N in Japan says:

    So I saw this post last month when we had just moved into our new house and didn’t have internet-only slow and tar limited data. I wanted to comment and couldn’t because it wouldn’t work.

    Firstly- I was just happy to see your post. Judging from the comments above many people felt the same.

    I think those of us who have these “happy” blogs….where we put time and effort into thinking about our readers…..and work hard at trying to create content that will give our readers joy…I think we struggle when we come to those places in our lives when suddenly everything goes black. At least I know that I do. All of a sudden- wham- the rug gets pulled out and takes your peace, sanity, and inspiration along with it. I really understand that.

    But when that happens it’s amazing – when you come back and find that so many people that you have never met-missed you and care about you! I’m glad you are back. Blog thru the tough times- we will be here to listen…..and to understand. xo


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