Red Dirt Farm and Studio

Living a creative life artist farmer dreamer

What a messy heartbreaking year 2022 has been for us.


This year has brought one challenge after another, the final cruel blow –  losing my dad.

This photo was taken Thanksgiving weekend, sadly, just two weeks later, my dad passed away. Here, dad was so happy and smiling his sweet smile.  He really loved our once, feral, three legged cat.  That Cat had a very difficult early life before he came to live with us.  Consequently, he was skittish and very distrustful of humans.  It took many years to gain that trust where he would sit in my or Charles’ lap.  He has only ever let a few people rub him.  Dad was one of those people.  Dad told That Cat in the early years that they were going to be buddies as they were kindred spirits, with TC missing his left front leg, and dad missing his fingers on his right hand.  They did indeed become great buddies but as much as dad would try, TC would never jump in his lap to be held, until this day.  Oh gosh my dad was so very happy.


A few days after dad passed I found TC in dad’s room just laying in his bed.  This was something TC had never done before.

After living with so many different animals and witnessing them in nature, I have felt that animals know more than they are given credit, I believe they feel things we don’t necessarily feel.  I also believe their compassion for love and forgiveness far surpasses most humans.  Did TC know that dad had limited time when he sat on his lap?  Did he go to dad’s bed because he knew he was gone, and wanted to feel his presence?

Have you been witness to extraordinary wisdom and action of animals?









I am so grateful that I decorated for Christmas before dad passed, as otherwise I might not have done so.  My parents both loved celebrating Christmas. Dad loved to write poems and clues that led to a scavenger hunt to find another clue that eventually led to the gift.   It was always so much fun and it is a tradition that I will certainly miss.  All my life I have only had 2 Christmases that I wasn’t at my parents house on Christmas Day.


Christmas week was bitterly cold, thankfully dry as so many suffered through that horrible blizzard.  We had frozen pipes, and frost bitten chickens.  Frankie Roo, became quite ill from infection from frostbite.  I brought him in the house so I could care for him, which kept my mind busy so as not to dwell so much on the sadness in my heart, all the while hoping he would recover.  I feared losing him on Christmas Day and that would certainly have put me over the edge.  He is better but not 100% yet.


I sit with the knowledge that perhaps I am a bit broken right now. I also have to believe that once again I will find joy.

This post by Donna Ashworth I feel is worthy of sharing, If you are struggling I hope you find a bit of peace with these thoughts as I have.


I had planned to share this post before the new year, but I just couldn’t get my shit together in time.




The next few weeks I will take time to reflect on what has come to be and how I will move forward. I finally took a bit of time at the end of December to spend creating, it has been months until I could come to the table and feel my creative spirit.  After Hurricane Ian destroyed our retirement community in September, I have been at a complete loss and now losing my dad my world is unthinkably dark. Painting is therapeutic for me, and I think I need more of this kind of healing.  My first creative love is photography and now videography.  I can feel the feels with the camera that I can’t express with words. I guess that is also very true of my painting.  I’ve been away from social media for quite some time, and it has been good for my soul.  I don’t know when or if I will go back to posting again.  I will say the kindness of folks that I have never met in person but have had the honor of meeting through this internet thing has been quite comforting and uplifting.

I also want to say thank you to you for showing up in this space, leaving me messages.  If you have liked, or commented on my social media accounts or purchased my art, I am truly grateful.  Thank you.


I hope you will enjoy this little video.  These mixed media pieces have been created with a combination of photos I have taken in our gardens, then painted over.  A mix of collage and painting, soft pastels and vintage papers and handwritten notes and letters from my mom.  Mom was a school teacher, in these pieces I use her class notes – for me there is something comforting about seeing her handwriting mixed with my painting.



I wish you all good things for this new year.

Until next time,


10 thoughts on “the knowing of animals

  1. Robyn says:

    Hugs to you. Wishing you the best in the new year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Robyn – much happiness to you.


  2. Lynne Wesenberg says:

    Sending you hugs and love as you go through so much loss. Do whatever it takes to find your light again. It’s in there, just overshadowed by the sadness. Keep creating in whatever way you can spark your joy. And keep sharing with us if that helps too. Will keep you in my thoughts❤️


  3. Ruth says:

    Hi Kim. I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad. Yes, I believe the cat knew. I love the pictures and the video especially the rooster. You are so talented. I hope 2023 treats you kindly. Take care of yourself. Sending you a big hug.


  4. Judith says:

    I wish I could reach through my computer screen and take away the pain. I absolutely believe that animals sense things we humans simply cannot, and what joy That Cat gave your beloved Dad. You have such creative gifts, Kim. Every time I see one of your videos, it makes me feel as if we’re having a lovely sit-down with each other. I believe art and words and beautiful images can be very healing. Do what you are able and know there are people out here who care deeply for you. 💗


  5. Debra says:

    Oh my friend-I am sorry. Last year was very hard. It is a time to mourn.
    I pray you will find joy-your art shows you have. I do believe animals have a sensitivity we humans are missing. I hope your rooster is better now. I’m hugging you. Your videos are wonderful.


  6. Linda Schaub says:

    Kim – I hesitate to “like” this post due to your devastating year with your dad and your retirement home and the near-loss of Frankie Roo, but your paintings and decorated house and video have to be rewarded with a “like” – it is always such a joy to scroll down through each of your posts, though they are, like this one, often filled with heartache in between the paintings and Christmas treasures. I believe you are right about that magical connection with your dad and That Cat and they say animals sense things that people do not. Look how happy your Dad was there stroking That Cat and visiting with Mr. Red Dirt – then looking forlorn on the big bed afterward. They made a connection and an important one and you thankfully recorded it in your mind and with your camera. Take care Kim and please have a better 2023.


  7. Debbie says:

    Dear Kim… I have thought of you so often in the aftermath of the devastating storm and damage to your Florida home… and now to hear your Dad passed away… it was a very hard year. The photo of your Dad and That Cat is a treasure, his joy is so obvious. And there is no doubt he somehow knew, as animals seem to, that the time was near, and his eyes on the bed tell so much… animals are more sentient and emotionally complex than we will ever understand, at least this is what I believe. They are a gift to us and somehow are better, purer, than we are. Your art is beautiful and will be a refuge as you go through what only time can heal. Wishing you a peaceful, healing new year, and I sincerely hope you will continue to post when you can… your videos and photos and words are so special because they are filled with love.


  8. inkspeare says:

    Losing someone we love is never easy, that is for sure. The empty space remains, the sadness, the strong desire of seeing them again … all of it. But with time, we learn to think and enjoy the good days with those loved one, and the goof memories take the place of the sad ones, and the empty space starts filling up with all those good memories. You have been through a lot lately for what I can read, and you have shared here. I hope that you can find a place inside you, where you can feel some kind of comfort and peace. You have lost much for sure, but so much remains. God bless you always.


  9. Cornelia says:

    I wish I had been here during this time. I’m so late with my comments. I was off line for a long time too…..🌹. It feels good reading your blog again…. Let’s move forward through whatever comes next. Hugs….


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