I wear two hats with different names: Madison Woods when I’m wearing the artist hat, Roxann Riedel in real life and real estate. I'm a rock-smashing paint-making artist & a sales agent for Montgomery Whiteley Realty. Hailing from the wild Ozarks in Kingston, Arkansas where my husband and I work toward a sustainable lifestyle.

You can text or call to reach me by either name (see above):
(479)409-3429, or email madison@wildozark.com

Coronavirus Hermit | Journal Entry for the week of 032020

So what does a hermit do with her time during coronavirus slow downs? Pretty much the same thing I’ve always done with my time out here. Except now with less internet useage, ha. And there’s an extra little body in the house to be a hermit with during this whole coronavirus deal. We’re coronavirus hermits.

The internet has become so bogged down lately that I can’t even add photos to my blog post. I think it’s because of the sudden increase in traffic with everyone staying at home and trying to keep up with the news. Or maybe they’re playing video games. I don’t know. But I do know that the internet here in the wayback woods of Madison county has now become almost useless.

The Colicky Horse

I forgot to note the passing of the vernal equinox yesterday. Instead, I was busy nursing a colicked elderly horse that day. The last bout was with Comanche. This time it was Shasta.

Shasta is one of our two horses. I don’t know exactly how old she is, but she must be somewhere close to 25 or 30 years old. She’s getting to be a ‘poor doer’, meaning it’s hard to keep the weight on her. If I’m not vigilant, she’ll lose a lot of weight very quickly. The other horse, Comanche, on the other hand is an excellent doer. Which means he’s hard to keep from getting overweight. But mainly, he’s just greedy. Since Shasta eats so slowly, Comanche will gobble his own food and then run her off of her bucket so he can eat hers too.

I think this is the problem with her weight loss moreso than her age or general health. She’s just less aggressive and dominant than she used to be. And so now Comanche makes the rules, and the odds are always in his own favor.

She colicked, I believe, because I had to switch brands of food suddenly, and didn’t have enough of the old brand to transition her slowly. Horses are touchy like that. So for two days I’ve been keeping an eye on her to make sure she didn’t stay down for too long, but letting her rest, interrupted her attempts to roll, gave her deep belly massages (which she did not like much) and fed her warm feed mash with Epson salt until she finally had a bowel movement. Horses can’t go too long without doing the pooping. 24 hours of no passage can kill them. If they’re nothing else, they’re poop machines. Whatever goes in must come out on a regular schedule. So it’s good that we’re back on schedule with all that.

Doing Other Things

So once the horse crisis was calming down some, we went out to see how high the water was on the bridge. It was high enough to keep me from trying to cross it. But I could see that the road graders had been down it and had already repaired the on and off ramps.

While the bridges are flooded, we do have a back exit route I can use most of the time. Sometimes during the actual rain event, even that becomes too dangerous to cross. It’s good right now. I just don’t need to go anywhere this day. And plus, they may or may not be flooded at the moment. I began this post a few days ago, but with the slow internet have not been able to upload it yet. And in the meantime I’ve been adding bits to it here and there. If it doesn’t load soon, it’s going to be a very long blog post, ha.

At the creek we got out for a little while to look around. When it floods like this, there’s always a nice new crop of rocks left behind. What I could find so far was promising. Once it goes down enough I’ll go back to look some more. I don’t really know why I’m doing it, though. I have enough rocks to last the rest of my paint-making life already at home. I carry them back with me every time I have a look around like this. So this time, I will just look. I promise. I did good with today’s looking and I didn’t bring any back. But I would if I found something really nice or unusual.

Losing My Sanity?

If you recall that dear hubs is working overseas still, fear not. I have not lost my mind. Although I do tend to talk to the animals and plants, I have not yet begun to refer to myself in plural. By “we”, I am referring to myself and the grand-daughter Chloe. With school out of session now and for the foreseeable future, she is sheltering in place here with me while my son continues to work at Tyson.

While I am steadily trying to get some admin-type work done, or clean and organize the house, she is relentlessly undoing all that I get done. I’ve found I can’t paint very well with company, so that’s temporarily on hold while I try to adjust. Mainly I just want to get the house-wrecking under control. Or else find a way to ignore it and not let it bother me so much… This is a habit of hers that will change by the end of our coronavirus crisis, I think. One or the other of us will break. In spite of it, I am enjoying our time together.

Rob being in Qatar during all of the world’s coronavirus reactions keeps me in a state of worry. For a while there, it was the tension between Iran/Iraq and the US that had me concerned. Believe it or not, that’s still a concern. It’s just not in the news so much because everyone wants to hear about the virus and not so much about the on-going airstrikes and retaliatory airstrikes. So that concern is in addition to the new contagion concern. And actually, while the virus itself is a problem, what immediately concerns me so much is the economic impact, various quarantine measures being taken, lockdowns, and how that will affect his ability to return home.

Dreams of Gardening

It’s been raining so much for so long that I can’t remember the last dry spell we had. The ground is saturated and muddy. Once it dries out a bit I’m going to begin my garden. This year will be the first year I’ve attempted to grow one in many years. This year might turn out to be the year I really need it, too, and I’m getting a late start. The ground isn’t prepared yet, even. So I’ll do all of it in raised beds. It’s going to be a really small garden, too.

Rain, Rain, and More Rain

With all the recent rains, the waterfall in the gully next to the house is flowing nicely. So I went out there to do a little plein air painting. Chloe joined me. Turns out the ticks were there ahead of us. I didn’t say for long but got enough captured in the moment so that I can tell whether or not it’s going to be worth finishing later from the photograph. I do plan to try it. What you see and what I paint are not always the very same thing. While it’s similar, if I tried to put in every tree and branch that’s really there, it would drive me to throw all the paints and brushes into the raging waters and wave goodbye. So I improvise.

One day, if the internet ever returns to its normal slow speed, I’ll upload the pictures to go with this post. For now, though, your own imagination will have to suffice.

Carrying On

I’m used to living a good part of my time here alone. And I’ve ‘worked from home’ now for seven years. So the shelter in place practice isn’t a whole lot different than my usual practice at this point. If we aren’t allowed to go out for hay, water, or food… then that will be different.
Anyway, that’s a summary of how the week has gone so far. My biggest adjustment is getting used to having another creature who talks in the house all day every day. Usually when I talk, nothing talks back… the critters half the time don’t even look at me when I talk to them, and if the plants did anything to acknowledge the conversation I have with them, I’d be worried. If I can get the other grandkids over here too for a few days that’ll really liven things up a bit. All by ourselves we’ll reach close to the limit of recommended gathering populations. It’ll be fun.

My Art Economy

This is probably a lost cause for now. But. I’ve been busy trying to get my Etsy shop revived, in the hopes that there will be people out there wanting to buy art by mail to brighten up their lives. I have prints, notecards, and original art listed. I haven’t yet caught up with adding the same things to my shop here at the website. For a long time I’ve resisted doing both Etsy and my own shop.


It’s a lot of work to keep up the listings on both platforms. I think I’m going to keep the Etsy shop and just link to it in the listings at my own shop. Why bother? Because Etsy has a greater reach than I do on my own. And I don’t want to give up my own web shop because a shop at Etsy is sort of like a business on rented property. I own the property at my own website, at least. If Etsy ever goes belly up or moves to a fee I feel unaffordable, I at least have a little bit of traffic to build on here at Wild Ozark. So it’s sort of hedging my bets, I guess. My site here is a ‘Plan B’ of sorts and I want to keep it at least minimally viable.

Signing Off For Now

Oh, and by the way. If at some point in the future it appears that I have suddenly dropped off the earth because you don’t see any of my usual social media frequency… it’s because the internet has slowed here to slower than a snail’s pace. If this post gets loaded to the blog, even with no pictures at all, it’ll be a miracle. I realize we live way at the end of the line, but really, it’s as bad as it ever was on dial-up. I’m about to give up, retreat completely from the world, and just go mend fences and make gardens. I’ll be back when the internet returns.

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