Wednesday, January 6, 2010

the beginning of an end

I came home to find a note in the mailbox from my landlord. My stomach instantly went empty. That feeling you get when a plane just drops from turbulence or you miss the bottom step. I stood outside in front of the Subaru's headlights to read the notice in the dark. It said—in a polite and calm tone—that she would be moving back to Vermont this summer and doing renovations on the cabin. She would soon be mailing me a notice to Vacate on or before May 1st.

After I read it I just stood there. I stood there with that same hollowness you feel when you realize something you thought was real, wasn't. Like when you finally understand your love for someone is totally unrequited (I'm actually an expert on this) or Santa wasn't real. Tonight, reading that letter, I finally understood Cold Antler wasn't real either—it was always someone else's. You could have pushed me over with a feather.

I understand that four month's notice is generous and ample time to pack up and move. I understand that a kind note sent to alert me of a notice was courteous and friendly. (I have no ill will towards my landlord, at all. She is just doing what landlord do.) I get all that. I am not an irrational person. It doesn't make the feather-pushability go away.

I want to write something to you about the amazing affirmation the note was. How it was just validating my own plans and dreams, and that the universe is colliding to make my life happen as I visualize it. But honestly, I don't feel any of that. I'm terrified. I. Am. Absolutely. Terrified. I'm sitting in a ticking time bomb and have no idea how I'm going to pull this future farm off. I always thought I would be the one sending a notice to my landlord. I thought this place would be mine for years...That I could live here until I was ready to move onto the next big thing and plan my life around that. But things have changed so much since the holidays started. So much.

If it was just me and the dogs, this wouldn't even be cause to blink. I've done that time and time again within a month, no sweat. But this is no longer moving a girl and some huskies to an apartment in Bennington—this is trying to move an entire lifestyle. I have to find a place for me, a flock of sheep, a coop of birds, and two dogs in what is now just sixteen weeks. I need to either get myself into a position to buy, quick, or find another small plot of land that will let me rent for another year while I save. That second idea means finding a landlord somewhere in the area that welcomes a working small farm. It's not impossible, but unlikely. If I can't buy a small home with a bit of land in time, I will have to find new homes for the remaining animals (not Jazz and Annie - they will never leave my side) and abandon the farmlife for a while. The idea that this is a likely possibility feels like someone just knocked the wind out of me.

Like I said. Terrified.

Now, with all that said, there is a bit of gossip in town that gives me hope. A small house on an acre and a half on the other side of Sandgate might be for sale. It's nothing fancy, but the locals say it's in solid condition and the woman who inherited the cabin recently lives in California and doesn't want it. Which means it mightbe up for sale and in my modest price range. I called the contact that the owners of the Wayside gave me, but I haven't heard back from her yet. I am hoping the rumor is true. Crossing my fingers. Knocking on wood. If it is, it will give me the slightest bit of comfort on a night humming with anxiety.

I know I'll be okay. I know this will somehow work out, even if the situation isn't ideal and involves a lot of heartache. I knew this was all coming. I was just hoping it was coming in late summer, or maybe fall. I just wish I had a little more time to figure this all out. I'll keep you posted, and please, wish me luck on this mess.


Blogger Sarah said...

Oh, Jenna- my heart aches for you as I read this post! I hope the place you heard about IS for sale and that it would be even better than what you could hope for! The thought that you might have to give up your animals, etc. makes me sad and I can't imagine that such a thing would actually happen!
Hoping for the best and sending you warm, encouraging thoughts from MN!
Hang in there, Girl!

January 6, 2010 at 7:22 PM  
Blogger joan said...

Jenna-We're all pulling for you, and praying for you. And if you can't catch your breath right now, we'll all breathe for you.

January 6, 2010 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Rosa said...

I'll do better than that!
I'll be praying like mad!
I'll also be dropping a donation in the pot as we dreamers need to be practical once in a while too. Darn it! ;)

January 6, 2010 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Jenna - I have just finished your book this past weekend and am very motivated as a result of it. I can tell that you are a very motivated person and that what appears to be an end will be the beginning of something larger for you. Best of luck and please keep us posted!


January 6, 2010 at 7:30 PM  
Blogger Rosa said...

I just reread my comment and I'm afraid it came of sounding a little flip which I hadn't intended at all.
The downside of online comments!
I pray that this all works out well for you and that you will find something quickly.

January 6, 2010 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

Rats! Hard news but it isn't over ... just another new beginning. Will continue praying for your current situation & your long term plan too!
Hang on to your (our) dream!!!

January 6, 2010 at 7:34 PM  
Blogger Betty in CA said...

Chin up, head high, Jenna. You're experiencing shock right now, but I know before the end of this week is over, you will have a game plan because you are unsinkable. Life throws curve balls at us at time, but I have deep-seeded faith to know that this is indeed going to work out. Assuming that it is indeeed true that there is a farm up for sale as a result of inheritance, from my professional experience, I can tell you that there's a good chance that that heir would be happy to sell soon, if only because of pure distance alone.

January 6, 2010 at 7:43 PM  
Blogger Duane said...

Jenna, I recently ordered your book and have been following your blog for the past 2 weeks or so. You know what they say about one door closing and another opening? It's true. Have faith, but use your immense intelligence and big heart to get to that place you want sooner rather than later. This could be a big win for you! Can you imagine having the summer to be at your new place! Big garden and all the animals in your OWN PLACE! It can and will happen my friend. Things happen for a reason!

January 6, 2010 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger kayxyz said...

Wish i lived close enough to take the fiddle lessons. Check your state government land conservation grants and reimbursements. Maybe you already know about it, but...check also any college or university, they may have faculty that need house sitting or extra space to live in. Sometimes dorms need dorm residents and the agriculture faculty may be a resource.

January 6, 2010 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger April said...

I think this is a sign from the Universe that you are ready to do this! End of this chapter but the beginning of your next. We are all thinking positive thoughts for you!

January 6, 2010 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Just put you in you my prayer book. Life does throw you curves,but I'm sure this one will be one that you look back on and say "it wasn't so bad"!

Keep looking foward and keep us posted.
Many blessings!

January 6, 2010 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Kerri said...

YOU CAN DO THIS!!!! It's going to be great. I encourage you to keep thinking positive and to be kind to yourself as this is a stressful situation. Washington is pulling for you Jenna!

January 6, 2010 at 8:11 PM  
Blogger beansprout said...

Ya know Jenna, I was just thinking as the New Year snuck right in, that time seems to go on whether we're ready or not. Sure, you'll be in panic mode for a bit; who wouldn't be. But life always has a way of working itself out. You already know this. So hang in there; kiss your dogs and sheep (that's what I'd do...heck I might even kiss my chickens!), and go to sleep believing in good things. They'll come! And in the mean time, we're all thinking of you and praying for that better day!

January 6, 2010 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger Katou said...


Tears came to my eyes when I read your post.

I can't imagine all this is happening to you.

At this time of the year, I'm sure you were starting to plan your garden, you said you wanted bees again, etc. etc.

Let's hope and pray that you'll find a place soon and that everything will fall into place so that your summer won't be ruined.

My thoughts are with you.


January 6, 2010 at 8:27 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Stoltzfus said...

Aww, I'm sorry to hear you had to come home to that sort of note, friendly as it might have been.

Four months is awfully fast to find a place, reach an agreement, and purchase it, but it is not impossible. And renting another place might be a good stop-gap if you can find one suitable for animals. An acre is plenty of room for the animals you have, especially if most of it can be fenced for pasture.

Consider this - if the folks in California are not ready to sell, perhaps you could rent from them with the right of first refusal if they later choose to sell. Another option might be to do a lease-purchase. Think outside the box baby!

Best of luck in all of this.

January 6, 2010 at 8:33 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

If anyone can pull through this situation, you can. You're a huge inspiration to me and a whole lot of other folks. Because of you I'm taking my first steps towards having a farm of my own.... and I'm sure I'm not the only one to watch your journey and think to themselves "If she can do it, then so can I!" You've got guts, girl. More than that, you've got the smarts and determination to pull it off. Sending you positive energy from Texas!

January 6, 2010 at 8:36 PM  
Blogger Rachel B. said...

You can pull through. You're a tough woman! My thoughts will go out to you!

January 6, 2010 at 8:38 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Boy, God's fingerprints are just all over your back arent they? Pushing you along whether you're ready to be pushed or not. I know it's hard -- really hard -- to be where you are right now, but it's just SO obvious that your destiny does not lie where you're living right now, for many reasons. I don't know how your road is going to look for the immediate future, but I do know THERE'S A FARM AT THE END OF IT. Press on. Someday you'll drive by the place you're living right now and tell whoever's with you the tale of all the spills, chills and thrills you went through there before you finally got your own place.

January 6, 2010 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Blessings often come in disguise, for some unknown reason the powers that be felt your move to where you belong was going a little too slow.

The new place sounds promising and just what you may need. If the cost of that little property cannot be obtained right now, you may want to see if the owner would let you rent it with the option to buy. Then you can either save for the down or see if the owner would be willing to self finance the mortgage with you paying extra for rent with a portion going towards the down.

Definitely worth a discussion with a legal council or agent, but it does give you other options.

You have so many people pulling for you, chin up into the wind. I have all the confidence in the world things are going to work out.

January 6, 2010 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger Nikki said...

Whooo Jenna,
That's definitely a sharp smack upside the head. I can understand the terror for sure. (Quick flashback to more than one very cold, very long night with disaster staring me down. Breathing gets so darn hard).
But the worst never actually happened and every time the path opened up at my feet. It will for you too. I don't just 'believe' this now - I KNOW it. The thing is, you don't even have to believe. Just act as if it's true.
So, ask for what you need. Keep ears and eyes and 6th senses open for the answers. The clearer you are about the absolute core things you want, the easier it seems to be for them to spring to life at your very feet. Do your side of the work, and the Universe does the rest.
A donation is on it's way.
"Cold Antler isn’t a place - It’s an idea." And it is still alive and very real.

January 6, 2010 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger Sparkless said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 6, 2010 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger Shannan said...


I am so sorry that this happened, like you said it is different if it is on your own terms. I truely that the place you told us about is for sale or at least something like it. Good will come out of this in the long run, even if it does not happen in the way we thought it would in the beginning. We are sending positive energy your way. Hang in there.


January 6, 2010 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

Jenna, I'm sorry that you are under such pressure. But it sounds like you have a solid lead on a good starter farm.
My friend actually purchased her dream home on a 10 year land contract. She bypassed the realtor and contacted the seller directly and within a few short months was in her own home. Keep your intentions clear and the universe will deliver.
We're pulling for you!


January 6, 2010 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

As soon as I read that there was a letter from the landlord, my stomach fell before I even read further.
I was immediately scared for you but as I read along, even as you are talking about the feather and the uncertainty, I couldn;t help but think about how srong you are and that you will be ok.
I found myself saying "She will be ok. She is so strong and smart and resillient" even though I don;t even know you and I am just a reader of the blog.
You let all of us into your life and you write so well, that we all feel like we are a part of your life. We go out and feed the chickens and sheep with you in the cold mornings. We are mushing with you and baking with you and sitting on the porch playing music with you.
In letting people in and telling them all about your life, you are making so many friends out here. And we really feel like your friends. I wanted to drive to Vermont just to give you a big hug today. I am sure there are other people who feel the same way.
We care about you Jenna and we care about Jazz and Annie and the sheep and chickens and geese.
Do not forget that you have people behind you, even though most of us have never met you.
Have strength, take a deep breath. You have until May. Plan, plan, plan. You can do this.

January 6, 2010 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger Abi said...

Jenna, well that frakin sucks! You shouldn't rush into any real estate purchase. I can think of a few places you could live around here with animals that might be possibilities if you can't find something to buy. Keep the flock together. Heaven forbid you can't find something, bring the girls and guys here too and they'll be waiting for you still. We'll fence those fields in in spring and there will be plenty of room for everyone!

A real estate friend of mine just mentioned that there is a HUGE incentive to buy before March but I didn't really get the jist of it. It sounds like a big deal though, so I can email him and ask. Keep hunting.

But, you know and you've mentioned the ick feeling that has been looming since the initial conflict with your landlord. There is no reason you should have to factor that in to your daily concerns.

It's scary, but it's time I guess, eh? The pressure now from this recent turn of events only supports your own peaceful hearts desire for a place of your own. While they seem in great conflict and quite contrary they are actually different versions of compatible feelings.

Oh, I have so much more to say! Come for coffee and Finn snuggles and Simonne snuggles. It will help you feel better even for a moment :)

January 6, 2010 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger Audrey said...

Hello Jenna - I too trust that all will work out for you. You continue to be an inspiration to many. Keep your chin up girl!
(just as a note, have you ever thought of moving to Canada. My husband and I are building on a lot that cost us $1 (the 11 acres of land is to be rented or leased)in an eco-village in the town of Craik. You can check out our progress and more at: and the eco-village info at:

- just a thought, you'd be a wonderful neighbour! Blessing to you in 2010 Jenna. - Audrey

January 6, 2010 at 9:28 PM  
Blogger Violet said...

I'm sending positive thoughts your way, Jenna.

I'm having some landlord issues of my own. It *is* terrifying not knowing...and trying to build a sustainable life for yourself, only to have someone else remind you that they OWN a bit of your independence.

January 6, 2010 at 9:29 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Hi Jenna,

You are resilient and things will work out, even if you have to rent for a while more.

Check out the properties for sale by the Vermont Land Trust

January 6, 2010 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger panthercreekcottage said...

My mama's heart wants to hug you and say "now now child, it'll all be fine. Then remind you that your the brave gal of the "scrappy green mountain freehold". Mmmhmmm. you know what I'm talkin'about.

January 6, 2010 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Have you ever read "Julie of the Wolves" by Jean Craighead George? Every time Julie feels fear, she remembers what her father told her: If you feel fear, then change what you're doing. So that's what she does, when she's fearful & despondent, she makes a plan and the fear subsides. Pursue this other farm, put feelers out with everyone you know; there may be something out there that's just perfect for you but it hasn't found you. This will all work out. Blessed be.

January 6, 2010 at 9:33 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Girl, if I were the praying type I would be right now . . . but like a lot of others have said, I have to echo that if anyone can turn this around into a good thing, you can. If you were only closer to me (TX), I know someone who would probably be willing to foster your flock should you need it, but I don't think it will come to that at all. I wish I could help, and will (with donations) as much as I can . . . my heart is in my throat as I read your post, but I have hope and confidence that it will turn out okay.

January 6, 2010 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I'm wishing you all the best of luck! Isn't it great to be part of a community that has it's eye out for properties for you! You're very lucky.

January 6, 2010 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger Robj98168 said...

I am reminded of the saying "The Lord doesn't shut one door without opening up another" You will be allright Jenna- I just know it. No matter what!

January 6, 2010 at 9:44 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Cold Antler Farm is you. Wherever you are. Faith, Jenna. Everyone here is holding it for you because we believe in you and the Cold Antler Farm you have created for yourself and for us.

January 6, 2010 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Hang on there girl. It WILL work out. Also, don't settle for less. I read a great quote, "Cold Antler farm isn't a place—it is an idea. Knowing I want it means I am already home. Actually getting there, is moot." Hang on to what you know is true - it's in you!

January 6, 2010 at 9:54 PM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...

What Nikki said, "Cold Antler isn’t a place - It’s an idea." And it is still alive and very real.

There's such a bright and beautiful future for you. Your passion had touched hundreds if not thousands of lives.

Sharing the gut shot feeling tonight but looking for the best for you!

January 6, 2010 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger Tora said...

Sometimes being "pushed" into making a move is the best way - no time to think - just do.

I think you might be a very strong woman and you'll not let this little blip get you down. Just keep moving the the direction you want to go - things happen for a reason...remember that.



January 6, 2010 at 10:11 PM  
Blogger ammamcp said...

My stomach sank as well when I read your first sentence. It's always harder to move when it's not your idea.

You're in my prayers as you walk through another anxious/hopeful time...thanks for sharing the good and the bad with us...

california nancee

January 6, 2010 at 10:24 PM  
Blogger Maria said...


Look at all these friends/fans/farmers (bloggers) rooting and praying for you! You are one lucky girl and God has a plan for you. You just don't know what that plan is TODAY, but tomorrow, who knows?

January 6, 2010 at 10:25 PM  
Blogger sara amber said...

you've got philly in your corner, lady. let me know if you need anything. (seriously - the rav is itching to head north again sometime soon.)

January 6, 2010 at 10:34 PM  
Blogger Hunington said...

3 words: Lease to Own. Even if the current California-lady isn't ready to sell, or your credit isn't in shape to borrow, you could enter into an agreement with her to lease now with an option to buy at a fixed price that you agree upon today. That way, you get to put down some roots and know that the property is yours if you can make the financing happens. Alternatively, make an offer to her to buy it outright today, on a Land Contract -- no bank financing involved, the Seller finances the sale, often with a requirement that you will seek conventional financing at the end of a fixed period and pay off the Land Contract.

January 6, 2010 at 10:35 PM  
Blogger kandy Gray said...


i know how hard it is to be "strong" all the time, to have to walk up hill all the time, to have to fight your way to what you want and dream for, to have that damn proverbial door close in your face so that you have to struggle and get the next door open, and how tiring it can get. trust me, i know, but...

take a deep breath and another step forward, and then another. take time to look at the wild flowers that line the rocky path and never lose your hope, never let go of your dream. because when you do get that door open, and get to the top of the hill, you will be able to see and appreciate the view better BECAUSE it was hard.

good luck my girl and take another step

January 6, 2010 at 10:45 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I know you have the world pulling for ya. Its a hard blow. And when your finding a way, dont cut yourself short out of panic. If your buying or even leasing have a little room to grow, if you think that might be part of your plan. What you need is out there, I'm absolutly convinced of it. I was in your possition back in August and Im on some fab land now. It just happened and its a dream come true. I bet it will happen for you too. Hang in there

January 6, 2010 at 10:51 PM  
Blogger Andy said...

Jenna- I feel bad about your place. I can tell you are a strong woman. One door closes another door opens. Good luck and keep up the good work.

January 6, 2010 at 10:54 PM  
Blogger Rhonda Jean said...

It could also be the end of the beginning. All the good things are difficult. You WILL be okay.

January 6, 2010 at 10:55 PM  
Blogger granny said...

Jenna maybe you could ask the owner in California for owner finance.You can draw it all up with a would be the same standard contract you would have with a bank.Worth a try.They may not need a lump sum,and would be happy with a monthly income(with interest of course).You can only ask :0)

January 6, 2010 at 10:59 PM  
Blogger IanH said...

Jenna, I can only echo the thoughts above. However, have you considered talking to the bankers/lending institutions. I am not up on the American situation, but they often have properties/assets available at a reduced rate such as foreclosures, repositions or properties that people want to get rid of. I am not aware of your financial situation, but as a published author and a person with a lot of "pluck", go in with your head up and see what is existing.

God do with you, and we're pulling for you!

January 6, 2010 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger Finding My Truth said...

Aahh...the universe never waits for us to be comfortable before moving on what we have commanded. If it did, we'd be giving another command to stay put. go girl!!! Take a deep breath, picture your dream again, sit with it and take one step in front of the other until your heart slows down to the pace of your steps. It's all good!

(I say this with such confidence. Its much easier for me to be confident sitting comfortably in my own status quo. But I'm speaking to myself too here!)

January 6, 2010 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger motheralice said...

Thinking of you and your farm family. I'll light a candle.

January 6, 2010 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger sueguzman said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 6, 2010 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger sueguzman said...

Wow, it is an awful feeling.

But I will say this. When things happen like this: cataclysmic, earth shatteringly painful things like this are ALWAYS for the better.

It has happened to me more times than I care to admit. I never welcome it, would never CHOOSE it, but in retrospect, it is always God's way of moving me out of a comfortable situation to something my heart/soul needs.

Have faith and hang in there my friend..
We are behind you 100%..

January 6, 2010 at 11:22 PM  
Blogger bookjunky said...

Good luck. But try not to panic. One thing you learn as you get older is that things always work out somehow. It may not be what you wished or what you planned, but it will be okay.

Try not to get attached to any one solution.

January 6, 2010 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger Cristiona said...

Count me amongst those who felt their stomach drop at your first sentence.

Some good will eventually come of this. I'm not saying it isn't scary and heartbreaking right now, but like the seasons themselves we go through the winter cold to reach the warmth and growth of summer.

I'm sending you mega good vibes from down here in CT.

January 6, 2010 at 11:41 PM  
Blogger Miss M.J. Ma'am said...

Know you will be ok, we are all pulling for you! Wish I have pearls of wisdom....... I'll have to leave that to your other readers! Good luck, and hang in there!

January 6, 2010 at 11:45 PM  
Blogger Joleen said...

Oh Honey - I'm so sorry you're feeling so frightened and empty, but you said it above, "it's not impossible." This little house and land you hear about could be your dream and if not, at least it could be your safe and secure 'home' until you're ready to move up to a bigger farm someday. I'll be sending positive thoughts and prayers your way non-stop! p.s. Did you see the Spiderwoman Knits blog and the darling photos of Finn playing in the snow and looking in the house? He'll be home with you SOON - I know it! (How about publishing a Cold Antler Farm yearly calendar with photos each month from the farm - if you had time, I know it would be a great fundraiser and we'd all order some) Or, on the other hand - we can all help out with some giving from the heart to pay back the universe for the 'help' we've all received at tough times in our own lives.

January 7, 2010 at 12:12 AM  
Blogger Carrie in Wisconsin said...

Aw Jenna! This made me sad. But whoever said it before me is right, this isn't the end of ColdAntlerFarm, ColdAntlerFarm is an idea, a feeling. I remember you talking about that once. Here's hoping that place turns up for sale soon. Sending lots of positive energy your way!

January 7, 2010 at 12:27 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Oh Jenna. This makes me equal parts hopeful and sad. I'm sure the universe will work itself out for you. I just know it.

January 7, 2010 at 12:30 AM  
Blogger Mancelona Woodswoman said...

Jenna ~

Like Amy and others said, CAF is you. Period.

Email me privately if you wish some tips on the legality of said move. I deal with this in my "day job".

January 7, 2010 at 12:33 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

Hi Jenna- an acre and a half doesn't sound big enough for you to buy, but it might be a nice place to rent if the owner is agreeable. I would make quick plans to park your flock where you know they'd be looked after and loved, which will take a lot of pressure off your shoulders.

Then you can calmly and objectively tackle your move. It should give you some breathing space to figure out if you're ready to buy (the bank will probably have the final say, but don't forget about FHA loans) or if you'll be renting a little while longer.

Knowing what you can really do will put more sense into your planning. The last thing you want to do is buy something that's not right or that you can't really afford because you were desperate, or thought you were desperate. Banks will always qualify you for a little more than you can rationally spend for a monthly mortgage payment (because they're greedy cusses who don't care if you struggle or lose the farm). So be rational. I'm pulling for you like everybody else but I very much want the right and best farm for you- not the easiest one to land (no pun intended).

So feel the good vibes I'm sending your way and think about what I said.

January 7, 2010 at 12:38 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

WOW. I don't think another gal in the country has as much positive energy coming at her as you tonight. Your readers are so loyal and have such faith in your abilities, and I know it's well deserved. So tonight, have a glass of wine and maybe a frightened cry and tomorrow get out there and find your future. An acre isn't large enough for you too buy, sweetie. You need more for a herd of sheep. Truly, it would be too hard on you and your animals to try to make that little scrap of a place work permanently. It would also be hard on the land. You'd always be hoping someone nearby would sell and that you'd have the money to annex their place. Nope, you need to activate your extensive network of friends, acquaintances and business associates. SOMEONE has a farm they need to sell to a person who will take proper care of the place. I sense a great-grandmother that needs to move to town out there somewhere nearby wondering why some nice person doesn't knock on her door and make a reasonable offer. Open eyes, sharp mind. You can do this too.

Love you!

P.S. Don't EVER let me hear you say that Cold Antler isn't real again. I think your readers have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that Cold Antler exists in all their hearts, as well as yours, and is very real indeed.

January 7, 2010 at 2:12 AM  
Blogger Majal said...


I have been following your blog for the last few weeks since I first heard about your book. I actually am getting ready to order it tonight! Reading your blog (and I am sure, your book) inspires me so very much. I am a young, single gal who just wants to write and have a little homestead of my own. Seeing you do this makes me think it is totally possible! Please don't lose hope. I really don't feel this is the end for your dreams. Maybe just a little push to make this kind of life even more your own. I will be putting good luck beams out in this world tonight for you!

January 7, 2010 at 4:08 AM  
Blogger Affi'enia said...

Oh Jenna. I read the title of your post and got goosebumps. I just knew, I guess in the same way you did when you opened your mailbox, that this wasn't going to be good news.
I really hope that you find somewhere that fits in with waht you want. If the worst happens and you lose the farm for a while just remember; Cold Antler is real, in your heart and one day you will have a place you can call your own with a sign over the gate saying Cold Antler!

I'm rooting for you. xXx

January 7, 2010 at 4:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big shock for you but spring is a good time to move. The days are getting longer, you can get the new place up and running for the winter. I suspect a friend somewhere would foster your flock and birds if necessary. Lots of people are holding your hand, Jenna, across the miles.

January 7, 2010 at 4:57 AM  
Blogger Gerilee said...

Jenna--holding you in our hearts and in our thoughts down here in Virginia. You will get through this and be bigger and better.

January 7, 2010 at 4:58 AM  
Blogger Steve & Denise said...

Hey Jenna... Have only been following your blog for a few weeks but already know how special you are and will continue to be. All this support, positivity, encouragement - you must be blown away by how much people BELIEVE, how your dream has become their's... Even if nothing else good comes of this, the phenomenal kinship here is a gift. We are rooting for you all the way over here in Montenegro (but goddam it, please add name/ url to this comment box so I don't have to use some randowm google account to communicate! It's the Wordpress/ Blogger divide!) Be strong & bend with the wind... Den, from A Full Monte Life

January 7, 2010 at 5:16 AM  
Blogger Pam said...


I am sorry to hear about the notice. Hopefully this will work out the way you want. I hope the person with the property is able to work with you and you can move to a new place with out too many issues.


January 7, 2010 at 6:38 AM  
Blogger Paige said...

Ug, what horrible news! Maybe Tennessee is calling you back home sooner than you thought....Best of luck as you sort out the hecticness of life. I know the feeling! :)

January 7, 2010 at 6:43 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Good luck, Jenna. I'll be thinking good thoughts for you. I have this feeling that you'll land on your feet. Chin up!

January 7, 2010 at 7:06 AM  
Blogger melinamarie said...

Jenna, I know it is hard right now. I felt so sad when I first read about you possibly losing your farm. I really feel for you. I've enjoyed your blog, your perspective on farming, your ability to write and share your thoughts so well. I know that farming is a part of you and you will never give up until you get that farm. It was only about a month ago that I discovered your book. This is the story I was was driving home. Really wanted to get to my desk and get going on all the things I needed to do. Was five minutes from home and I saw a sign that read detour. This annoyed me. I didn't know how I would get home. I had to go the other way. I kept driving thinking I could find another way to get home quickly. But there didn't seem to be one. So I thought perhaps I am meant to go elsewhere today. I wasn't sure where. I decided I would go to the independent bookstore. I went inside. Opened many books. Just relaxed. Finally I opened your book and I felt like I really found someone I could relate too. I couldn't wait to tell my husband about my discovery. "A designer who farms." I felt so happy. I was even happier to find your blog. Your blog has lend us to many resources and we have begun starting the process to look at land. We are looking at our first farm this weekend. We had so many set back in our dreams in 2009. But I am sure if we keep going we will achieve our goals. You have been a help. Your farm and your perseverance is not just in Vermont. It is many places. Perhaps this is a detour for you. I think it is going to take you to a place that you need to grow. I think that someday you will look back on this moment and be thankful that it happened. May you find strength and community to get you through this difficult moment.

January 7, 2010 at 7:35 AM  
Blogger The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Hello Jenna,

The house in Sandgate sounds like an ideal solution, whether temporary or permanent. You'll still be close to your job, and have enough room for your flock. Hopefully the owner would like to sell as soon as possible, but it might take a while for legal matters with inheritance. As many here have suggested, the offer to lease with option to buy would be great. If renting, it would give you the time that you wanted before jumping in head first. Start preparing but keep an open mind.

Who knows? Maybe some Saturday this spring you'll find us lined up in cars, vans, and pick-ups ready to move you to a new home!

Best wishes.

January 7, 2010 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Fingers crossed for you. Jx

January 7, 2010 at 7:53 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Oh, ouch! It's okay to be scared, it really is. As long as it's followed up with some problem solving! Kathleen said what I was thinking - ask the California folks about a lease option. And certainly look at any and all other possibilities that may come up. Four months is fast, yes, but it's better to rent awhile longer than buy something that's all wrong for you. In any case, as everyone else has said, you WILL pull through and you WILL make it work, because you're a farmer(shepherd, homesteader, etc.) and our lives are "do or die". You'll make it work because you have to, and as always, we're all behind you.

Cold Antler is not Santa Claus - Cold Antler is REAL.

January 7, 2010 at 8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been on the edge of that particular abyss many times. I've never had sheep, but I have six children and know that a move, even with sixteen weeks' notice, is a stressful, anxious (and too damned expensive) thing.

We had lived in our 900 square foot apartment from the time we were newlyweds until we had five children. It never really occurred to me how small it was. The landlord forced us out (not kindly, not professionally, and with nowhere near four months' notice) and it was the best thing that ever happened. We found a house to rent with a huge backyard in a great location with four bedrooms for fifty dollars a month more.

But until we found that house the day before the "evict" order, I was looking at which grocery carts I'd like to live out of.

It can be a hollow-stomached, knee-quaking thing. But I believe it will benefit you, as all your previous moves have. Praying for you and yours.

January 7, 2010 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger karen said...

Jenna, breathe deep and inhale the love! With all this positive energy flowing in your direction and your lovely spunk and spirit, things are bound to work out ok. Blessings to you all at CAF.
Karen in CT

January 7, 2010 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger cathy said...

Good luck! I know you'll find a perfect place in time.

January 7, 2010 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Snyder's Homestead said...

This isnt a mess. This is what you wanted, just not the way you expected. Its not a bad thing, you just needed a kick in the butt. You keep focusing on your goal and remember the things we talked about. You can do this, and yes, its scary. But it was also scary for Zach to quit his job with a family to support to work for himself.
Keep looking for houses. Remember you are in charge of your future so don't rely just on your realtor. You also have 90 days after the letter to continue the home buying process and build up your credit. Remember this is not your last house so think pracitcal on what you need to be self sufficiant and learn the things that you need.
Call me this weekend and we can chat more......You know you can do this, you planned on May anyway as your goal. Your goal is just making sure you stick to it!!!
Love ya

January 7, 2010 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger pgrass101 said...

I'm pulling for you to find you final place, becuase I want to find mine too!

January 7, 2010 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

My book club is reading Made From Scratch and I loved it so much that I started following your blog. Your journey is an inspiration to me and to so many others. We are rooting for you now and sending lots of love and prayers your way. Keep us posted!

January 7, 2010 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger fromthepines said...

Jenna, Sending positive thoughts your way and it will all work out in the end. You will be blogging from YOUR little farmhouse and land and never have to leave again.


January 7, 2010 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger The Scotts said...

oh man, so sorry to hear this caught you by surprise.
Best wishes, I hope you can land on your feet.
I'll drop a donation next week, hopefully that'll help a bit.

January 7, 2010 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger kate said...

Jenna, you will be fine! You have tremendous gifts and ability to create resources. It will work out.

I also was thinking about something. Your landlord likely knows you were already making plans to leave. All she has to do is google your name.

Take your time buying property. It is too expensive to buy and then want another property in a few years because a great one becomes available. Selling property is tough in VT.

I suggest you look at properties in Washington County (NY) too.

January 7, 2010 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger nicole said...

I'm so, so sorry, Jenna. Holding you in the light and hoping that good things can happen to good people.

January 7, 2010 at 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like everyone else I'll be sending lots of love and hopeful energy your way.

That other parcel of land that might be for sale. Find out who the owner is and write them directly. Who owns land is a matter of public record... I've done this just when I wanted to see if a particular of what appeared to be vacant might be for sale (it wasn't but I got a nice letter from the owner).

January 7, 2010 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Jenna, With a different set of circumstances I can so relate. To me it was like Happy New Year!!! and then THUD...the proverbial sh@* happens. When a sense that ones best laid plans have gone awry, the fear/panic that immediately follows and then confonting the changes,sacrifices and reassessments that need to be made in order to carry on. An acceptance that one can only conrol ones own life so much. Life happens. It's said that everything happens for a reason. It's also said that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. I believe you possess the determination, strength and intelligence to see your dream into fruition. YOU WILL HAVE COLD ANTLER FARM. BELIEVE!!! I believe in you. Blessings to you and your flock, Chris

January 7, 2010 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

We just purchased our little "farm" (really an old house in the country at this point but we have plans) with a Rural Development loan that is backed by the USDA. There are some hoops to jump through. First your area has to be eligible and you can't have over a certain amount of income. BUT it is a zero down payment loan with a very good interest rate and no PMI. The info for VT is here:

January 7, 2010 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Nancy said...

One of my favorite quotes comes from the movie "Hope Floats". It goes something like this:

"Endings are usually sad, beginnings are usually need to remember that when you're at the beginning. Give hope a chance to float up. And it will."

January 7, 2010 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Dom said...

I say the beginning of the beginning, and the end of the prologue.


January 7, 2010 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger djp said...

I'm crossing my fingers and toes for you Jenna. I hope everything turns out fine!

January 7, 2010 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger 4 BOYS ONLY said...

Ok, so we are going through a freakishly similar situation here in rural maine. It is making me so naseaus i can't even write about it yet. Luckily we don't have farm animals yet, but 4 boys (which interestingly, some consider to be "like" farm animals), two big puppies and a cat, We have been homesteading here and were under the impression that we could stay indefinitely and are now being phased out in a much less polite way than a letter. I am trying to stay positive, like you but my stomach is in a constant knot, fear of the unknown. Of having to compromise more than i want, I guess we just stay calm and carry on right? My thought are with you

January 7, 2010 at 11:48 AM  
Blogger Goodiegang said...

Everything always looks brighter in the morning.

Lick your wounds, 'regroup' and face the new challenge.

I am sure this is what you fully intend to do.

Godspeed dear friend we've never even met.
Many hugs and much admiration xxx

January 7, 2010 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Speaktrue said...

My thoughts are with you and some money coming your way to help towards the farm goal!! Tracy (-:

January 7, 2010 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Jen Chandler said...

My heart goes out to you! I'm so sorry this came so suddenly!! I'll be praying for you and that you'll be able to relocate the entire farm, not just you and the dogs, and continue with the amazing dream you have!
All the best,

January 7, 2010 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Jenna, I posted yesterday, but wanted to add something I was thinking about last night.

You keep sounding so grateful and talking about this landlord like she's such a wonderful person. I am a landlord, and I am telling you right now, she is not as kind as you think. No one kicks out a perfectly good renter in this bad economy without thinking they have to. She has already capriciously and artitrarily deemed which animals you could keep and which you could not (how in the WORLD rabbits in a cage, or a goat, could be deemed unsuitable for your property while sheep are okay is beyond me). Then, once she did that and you stayed, I am positive she went home and began to think of some other way she could legally get you OUT. That is neither kind, no rational, nor fair.

I am saying all this because you'd better find out right now exactly what she wants -- in writing, in advance -- in order for you to receive your security deposit back, or just to have passed the property back to her in what she considers "good working order". You need to look into what would be considered "normal wear and tear" in your property, because I have a feeling she is going to claim your agricultural practices damaged the land (which may be part of the "renovating" she's claiming she needs to do).

Be wise, be prepared, and be on your guard. She probably gave you the extra notice as a hedge, in case you decided to fight the eviction (which could extend your stay by several months). She is doing what's called a "good faith effort" and she has a very good reason behind it, legally speaking.

I don't suggest you fight her, but I do suggest you be on your guard, especially where any monies owed back to you or things she could charge you for after you're out are concerned.

OK, there it is. Just a few more pieces of info to add to the mix.

January 7, 2010 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger kadfoto said...

You take Cold Antler with you, because Cold Antler IS you. This will work out, I believe much goodness is in store for you. Sending positive energy your way!

January 7, 2010 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger Tina B said...

Good luck, Jenna. I could see and feel your pain in your words. I know it doesn't help, but I'll say what is always said to me when something like this happens (and it has happened a lot lately): Everything happens for a reason. There's obviously something bigger and better just around the corner. Keep the faith.

January 7, 2010 at 1:03 PM  
Blogger hlbrack said...

I'll be praying for you, hoping for you, and keeping my fingers crossed that the 1.5 acre farm works out! Keep your chin up; we're all rooting for you. Cold Antler Farm will never go away.

January 7, 2010 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

I agree 100% with Diane. The only reason a landlord would evict a good renter is because they either want to sell the property (but not to you) or they want *you* out. You don't evict a tenant just to renovate (unless you plan to sell). You'd either do that between renters, or do it while they're still living there (which people do all the time - I mean, who moves out of their house when the time comes to update the floors, or whatever??).

She's absolutely right - watch your back with this one. Get everything in writing.

January 7, 2010 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger BlueGate said...

"Cold Antler wasn't real either—it was always someone else's."
Said in fear and panic I know, but I also know that you know better. As someone else said, Cold Antler is you, wherever you are and "whoever" you take along with you.

January 7, 2010 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Jenna--I'm sick reading what you're going through. I don't feel your landlord is such a good person, but admire that you have given her the benefit of the doubt. You're a much better person than I. I've had some huge life-hanging events in my life and I was stunned and almost paralyzed at first. People kept telling me I was strong and would get through it. I was almost angry that they would say that; I didn't feel strong and had no idea if I'd get through those times. But, I did and now I AM stronger for having weathered the storms. You are Cold Antler and we all love that you share your life with us. You cannot even imagine now how good things will be in the future, but I believe they will be. Just remember, it may not be a fast as you'd like it to be, but it will be better. Mimi

January 7, 2010 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...


I am praying for you. Perhaps this home your talking about IS meant to be ColdAntler.....perhaps you could rent it for now and then purchase later when your credit/finances allow. You might find that to the new owners liking- if buying isn't possible right now. Keep us in the loop. We are pulling for you!!

January 7, 2010 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

What a bummer!!!!!!!! I really hope that the house in town will be yours.

January 7, 2010 at 1:58 PM  
Blogger Kristina said...

Jenna- Life has a funny way of nudging us sometimes. But it also has a way of working out in the end. I'll be pulling for you and hoping that this nudge gets you onto a piece of land you can own and do with what you want.
Good luck, and hang in there!

January 7, 2010 at 2:01 PM  
Blogger Greentwinsmummy said...

Gosh what fantastic comments everyone has left :o) Some real wise words there Jenna x
Dont be frightened.
My life has cartwheeled in the past 4 months, a marriage split & a house move, starting my own business plus a new job & with 4year old twins, 12 hens & a Malory cat :o)
I even got pneumonia in there as well, if it hadnt been for my friends & neighbours I honestly dont know how I would have coped.
What I am trying to say is its not the sh*t that life hurls at us, its how we react to it,what we do after that groundslipping feeling when everything,everything shudders & slides underfoot. I really really know how that feels x x x

Cold Antler farm is YOU. Not a place.
Its in you, where ever you go it will be in there with you.
Prayers that your way shows itself will wing your way all th eway from the frozen Dorset countryside!
GTM x x xx

January 7, 2010 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Okay...we're gonna think positive. The lady is going to sell you the house w/acre-and-a-half by April, on a lease-purchase agreement if nothing else. And you're going to tell us how much short you are when you know what you need, and between us all we're gonna sponsor car washes or somesuch 'til you get it. Know it.

January 7, 2010 at 3:56 PM  
Blogger Unpacking Treasure said...

When you move, I want to STILL be reading about Cold Antler Farm,young lady...Thats just something that goes with my morning cuppa coffee. Cold Antler is intertwined with Jenna and the huskies...and the rest of that delightful menagerie. Chin up...gentle hug...its going to be o:k.

January 7, 2010 at 4:04 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

Jenna- just writing as someone who has been there and as someone who greatly greatly supports you and your dreams.

You are too nice. And admirable trait, but it can hurt you in the end- I agree 110% with Diana and Tara. Watch yourself and be very careful with this landlord. I have a story about a "nice" landlord we once had- but will share it another time. Anyways- just make sure you cross your t's and dot your i's- not everyone does "nice" things out of the goodness of their heart!

That said- move forward but with caution. Don't rush into anything! I also agree that it SUCKS to buy a place that may be right for now, but isn't right for your future. At least not in this economy and housing market. I speak from experience, as we are tied to a jumbo loan on a house we are no longer sure we want but cannot sell. If you are able to rent or lease with an option to buy- that is truly ideal as you can test the place out and see if it will work for you.

My last little piece of advice- Get a LEASE, with animal/homesteading/etc allowances included IN WRITING!! If you do that, then no landlord can come along and tell you to get rid of rabbits or goats or anything else! Protect yourself first Jenna, even if they seem "nice"! :)

You CAN do this. And Cold Antler Farm is real, because not only do we all know its alive in YOU, but we all carry a piece of it as well. We'll keep CAF afloat with you!

Erica in San Jose

January 7, 2010 at 4:11 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

Thinking of you. This will lead to bigger and better things for you which we all will look forward to reading about.

January 7, 2010 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger kerrick said...

What about a farm partnership with an existing farmer? Is there a Vermont LandLink to pair new farmers with older farmers who could use some extra help, in exchange for a lease of their land? California has such a program.

January 7, 2010 at 5:19 PM  
Blogger Connie said...

Wishing you luck, saying a prayer, lighting candles, offering burnt sacrifices, etc. Am checking this blog on an hourly basis for updates. All the best to you and the farm; I hope there is some comfort in knowing that so many people care about you and your dream, and are rooting for you whole-heartedly.

January 7, 2010 at 5:42 PM  
Blogger Sharyl said...

Dang it! Jenna, I'm pulling for you. There's got to be something out there for you.

January 7, 2010 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

I have absolutely no doubt that you will get through this and end up in a much better situation, whether it's buying your own land or finding another, better situation.
I just finished your book and I'm not only inspired by the skills that you have acquired, but also by your tenacity and ability to bounce back.
It looks like the other readers have posted some excellent advice and references, and I'm looking forward to hearing how things are progressing.
Hang in there!

January 7, 2010 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger Monika said...

I just found your blog a few days ago! I hope you'll find a place where you can keep all your animals! Good Luck!

January 7, 2010 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger Pam said...

I don't know Jenna's history with the landlord as far as her being fair or nice but just to add my 2 cents to Diane's comments about being asked to vacate. I don't know if Jenna has a lease or is on a month to month. In most states if you are on a month to month the landlord can ask you to vacate and I don't think they have to give you a reason but they have to give you so many days notice. And if you are on a lease the landlord can decide not to renew it but again needs to give you a certain number of days notice.

Jenna, so while this is a crappy thing to happen, I hope you don't fall into a negativity trap about having to move. It can taint your next move and experiences. Look at it as a new challenge. From some of my readings I have seen that homesteaders some times have to move and start over many times before they find the place to call home.


January 7, 2010 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Jenna - I'm so sorry. I can't even imagine life without my animals. I'm pulling for you!!

January 7, 2010 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

God has a funny way of working sometimes. Sounds like you will finally get your farm:) Sending prayers your way.

January 7, 2010 at 9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I don't know what the laws there are, but I think it's a good idea you find out.

Evicting a good paying tenant because they want to rennovate the unit? That's a poor excuse. Is she planning on living in the cabin herself or renting it out again?

I think now is a good time to find out exactly what your legal rights are. This does not seem right.

At the very least, catching her in the wrong will give you some negotiating power and maybe give you some more time to find an appropriate place. Perhaps you could reach an interim agreement that you will relocate by fall 2010 rather than spring.

It does seem like the universe just wants you into a new place though. There has got to be something better out there for you. The locals will chatter and they'll find something for you. You're a good person, you're well-liked, you contribute to the community and you value their lifestyle. They'll help you, that's what small towns do. It's all word of mouth.

So chat yourself up around town too. Tell people what's happened and ask them to keep their ear to the ground for you, and they will.

January 7, 2010 at 11:00 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

When God closes a door, he opens a window. I wish that I can bring you and all your animals (including Finn) home with me. But believe me, northern illinois is no Vermont! I just know that soon I will be reading your post that says "I found my farm!" Don't be scared, we are all on your side, all will be good.

January 8, 2010 at 8:09 AM  
Blogger Jen R. ( said...


Good luck finding a new place. My thoughts are with you. :)

January 8, 2010 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger ecogrrl said...

I had a year like this not so long ago when it felt like everything I could trust and rely on in the world had turned out to be empty. Two years later, I'm in a new place with a life I could never have imagined -- and it's everything I could ask for right now. Hold on there, Jenna. I hate to sound all preachy, but sometimes it really does turn out alright if you can just grab hold for the ride and keep your focus on what your heart desires.

January 8, 2010 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger Leiflet said...

this is probably something that someone else already said, but alas, i can't read through 119 comments! (see? You're totally big time!)

I would just remind you that you felt the same way when you lost your job in Idaho. Only, that situation was WORSE because you didn't have the financial "stability" that you have now. So yeah, i can't imagine how terrifying it must be... but on the other hand, what's the worst that could happen? You will wake up with J + A, with your experiences, knowledge, supporters, spark and life. You are still Jenna, which makes you still awesome.

Not trying to belittle your situation at all. At all!! But i believe in you- you are extremely resilient- you are tougher than a hillbilly- you are quite frankly very awesome. I know that you will land on the ground running. It might mean that you have a tiny setback... but who knows? Maybe you'll find something in the meantime that will allow you to save towards your farm faster? Not sure, but i am hopeful.

I'm crossing my fingers over the California lady.. but you can't trust those Californians! Especially since their Governator is running the state into the ground. :) I'm really rooting for you, as always, and i will be keenly watching.

January 8, 2010 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Jenna,
I love the way you write and describe things in this post. The crisis hasn't dimmed your creativity! All Best Wishes to you

January 8, 2010 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Colleen Loehr said...

Hi Jenna,
I love your writing and the way you describe things in this post. The crisis in living situation hasn't dimmed your creativity and clarity and honesty. I wish you the best!

January 8, 2010 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Colleen Loehr said...

(Oops! I'm new at blogging and inadvertently posted my message twice- pardon me please.)

January 8, 2010 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger sketch artist said...

Jenna, you have touched so many lives! We are all sending you love and support. Cold Antler Farm is alive in all of us and it will keep going in its new spot. This has been a rocky start to the new year for a lot of us. Hang in there and open yourself to all the good energy, this is just a bump in the road. Much love from Reno

January 8, 2010 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

want a roomie?

complete with 3 dogs and a do it yourself attitude.

January 8, 2010 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Sonya --Dime Store Thrift said...

Dear Jenna, As so many have said before, this is just going to speed up your plans a bit, is all. And Cold Antler, IS YOU! And your doggies and sheep and finn and your bunnies and is all you. Not a dream, ever. You have begun and you will continue on.
My heart dropped when I read your post but know that you can do this. And we are all here rooting for you.

January 8, 2010 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Hey, try to think of it as just another dip on the rollercoaster ride. It will work out fine in the end. Hang in there Jenna, we are all pulling for you.

Steve in PA

January 8, 2010 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger Barb said...

Hi Jenna,

I just saw this Washington Irving quote on another blog site and thought of you immediately:

There is in every true woman's heart, a spark of heavenly fire which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hours of adversity.

Keep on with your journey....all will be well.


January 8, 2010 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger ammamcp said...

@ Leiflet

'but you can't trust those Californians" Too funny - thanks for the giggle!

California Nancee

January 8, 2010 at 9:11 PM  
Blogger Nisaa Askia said...


I have been there when you have to uproot because you were at the mercy of someone else's space. That in turn made me fight and eat ramen noodles to move into my own place sans roommates. These things always happen when you are on the edge of your own plans and just need that light push.

This is your story's arc!

January 8, 2010 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger dogear6 said...

Jenna - Your posts have been very fair towards your landlord and I would encourage you to continue with that. Yes, it sucks to be looking for a new place to live, but she gave you four months.

I know that leaves you scrambling, but it gives you an opportunity to do something to help yourself vs. if she gave you only 2 or 4 weeks to get out.

You've maintained a good attitude towards her and I would encourage you to keep on doing so.

January 9, 2010 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger grammakru52 said...


January 12, 2010 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

We had something similar happen: a home we'd loved and worked on and lived in for ten years (and raised our children in) and the MASSIVE gardens I poured my heart into was suddenly "required" by our landlady, as she started divorce proceedings.

She gave us ONE MONTH. We were devastated. The children were sobbing at her feet, literally, begging her not to turn them out of their home. It was awful.

We didn't think we could buy (bad credit from long bouts of unemployement in our past) and hadn't even tried, in over 20 years of marriage. But, dire necessity is the Mother of Initiative, and my husband girded his loins and approached the bank...and...they APPROVED a loan!

We had just a month to find a place...and it was actually a Good Thing, because my husband had been commuting an hour to his new job, in a small town about 60 miles away. We'd put off moving and he was getting tired of driving.

Did we get the house of our dreams? Nope. There only were about ten properties in our price range, and most of the true farms were too ramshackle to tackle. But, here we are, six years later, in our modest-but-quaint 103 year old farmhouse, on almost an acre of land, on the outskirts of town, surrounded by prairie views and open skies and our neighbor's massive acreage (our very, very old neighbors....we're saving our pennies for the eventual sales)

I have a large raised bed vegetable garden, grape vines, many fruit trees and berry bushes, a fine asparagus bed, and when we can afford to fence the back yard, we're getting chickens. And the best part is that no one can ever "make" us move again!

Best wishes to you for a similarly happy outcome.

January 14, 2010 at 4:20 PM  

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