Monday, December 19, 2011

tough love

This has been a tough morning.

I started writing all that had been going on here in the last few days and (even) hours while waiting for the chimney sweep to get here. The paragraph was full of drama. A series of accidents and incidents, personal strife, fear, and anger at myself. I looked at my blog post, shook my head, and hit delete. Not because I wanted to hide it from you, dear readers, but because I am fairly certain that writing about strife, fear, and anger just creates more and more of it. It causes me to get sucked into feeling like a victim, or fills my head with notions of things that haven't even happened yet. I don't want to live that way, not anymore.

I'm not saying I won't share bad news about the farm on the blog, or turn this into the fluffy-bunny of homesteading network. But I don't think any of you need to hear about my problems that you already have yourselves... things like money issues, relationships pains, medical problems or any sort of negative talk about politics, farms, bloggers, or farmers.

So here's what I will share about today:

Today amazing things happened. Through a lot of luck, love, community and phone calls disaster was avoided, stress relieved, and problems dealt with in a timely fashion. This farm was full of animals that got attention, feed, water, room to move around in and explore. The dogs have full stomaches. The house is warm. The electricity is on. The truck is getting repaired in the shop. I have a 4x4 rental sitting outside waiting to take me to work. I am blessed. I am lucky. I am grateful.

Tonight I would love it if every reader posted to share something they are grateful for, too. It can be anything, just something that makes them happy and that they truly appreciate. Write it down. I can't imagine the positive energy a list of gratitudes can create, but it has to be stronger than a list of pity-filled comments or there there's. I want to be uplifted, not consoled. I want to be proud of the generosity, kindness, and good will of strangers who sit down to check in on this blog. I want to hear about your grandchild's first steps, your puppy's healing leg, your overcoming cancer, your husband's warmth, your sister's laugh. I want to hear what you are smiling about.

I'll start: I am grateful for all of you who support this farm, in every way. Your comments, donations, workshops, emails...your love is a reason to wake up and create words and pictures and keep this dream alive. Thank you.

183 Comments:

Blogger Cat said...

Well, you hit mine on the head. I AM thankful for overcoming cancer, diagnosed this past January. I'm 37 and mom to five little ones so it's been a tough year, but we've made it through and are doing well.

I'm also thankful for my family and home, and not just any home, but our little suburban oasis with chickens, rabbits and garden. And for all the lessons we're learning for it to be prepared for moving to land eventually.

And last but not least, I'm thankful for blogger like yourself who take the time to chronicle their experiences for the rest of us.

December 19, 2011 at 6:23 PM  
Blogger Toby said...

I'm grateful that my wife is my best friend and love of my life. Blind date...go figure. 16 years later we're still having more fun than ever even with the hard times.

December 19, 2011 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger dagnygromer said...

Great idea. I received a Christmas ornament - a simple yet colorful one made of cardboard - from a coworker. An unexpected gift that made me smile.

December 19, 2011 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger JeanineH said...

I`m grateful that I`m alive now, and via the wonders of technology even though my family is spread across this wide country I can be in touch with every one of them without having to go insanely out of my way to visit each of them.

I`m grateful that I live where I do and have the ability to ``do what I want to, explore what interests me and walk away from what doesn`t until I`m ready for it.

I`m even grateful for the computer I`m using though the keyboard has a couple keys that stick and mess up my punctuation randomly.

December 19, 2011 at 6:26 PM  
Blogger Geeka said...

One of my friends is having a really hard year: she can't go home for the holiday, doesn't have the money or vacation time, and her boyfriend can't get to her either, She hates her job and is having family problems. She claimed to cancel Christmas. I'm secretly sending her Christmas in a box, with a little stocking with candy and warm socks, a new mug and a starbucks card, and a new heating pad. I'm also gonna put in cat toys for her cat and a CD of music.

She doesn't know it's coming, and won't suspect me because I don't celebrate Christmas. Shhh!

I feel like I'm lucky enough to put good things out there. I don't expect anything back, but if I can get someone to smile, or feel better, it was worth it.

December 19, 2011 at 6:29 PM  
Blogger Elsie said...

I feel so lucky to have a job, a fantastic place to live, loving family and a slew of animals that are always happy to see me. My husband can do just about everything from fixing the furnace to building cabinets/fences/barns as well as deal with the router and fixing his graphics card. I feel like we can make it despite being short on cash. I have a great community that I feel a part of and have support from. Truly, what else do we really need?

December 19, 2011 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger wendy said...

I am oh so grateful for the lovely end to my day: a long walk with husband and dog; and coming home to a big pot of New England Squash Soup (we call it Wedding Soup because it was the first course at our wedding meal ten years ago) and homemade bread stuffed with spinach, onion, and cheese. It's good to be me.

December 19, 2011 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger Megan, Rudy's mom said...

Owww you made me cry.
I'm greatful that my Therapy Dog in now a cancer survivor of 1 year. I love that people are greatful to see her every week. As I think of it as something that's the right thing to do if you are able to do. My mom and I went christmas shopping for 2 kids of a family we don't even know. All I could think about was the few toys weren't enough because when I was their age my brother and I had TONS!
I Hope Santa brings good things to the readers of this blog!

December 19, 2011 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger Trekout2 said...

OK there is so much I am grateful for today but most of all my beautiful wife Lisa words can not describe her. Next my brother Bobby is doing better then expected after triple by pass surgery.third my brother Steven is my hero battleing cancer 17 months.

December 19, 2011 at 6:33 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

I'm grateful tonight for snuggly socks, a lovely Christmas tree, a sweet husband who's going to make dinner in a minute, a warm house to come home to, and for this blog. And for you, Jenna!

December 19, 2011 at 6:34 PM  
Blogger Flartus said...

I totally get your resistance to negative energy posts. Not that you don't need to vent or worry in public from time to time, but keeping it around in print feels like wrapping up your garbage and stuffing it under the bed. (Does that make sense?)

I am visiting my parents this past weekend, and I am grateful that, both being over seventy, they continue to be healthy and vital enough to remain independent. We nearly lost my dad 9 years ago, so every healthy day is a gift.

I'm also grateful that we were able to sit down and discuss some of those difficult and important end-of-life questions on this visit in a totally calm and understanding way. That I am considering their Christmas gift to me this year.

December 19, 2011 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger April said...

I am grateful that I have happy healthy children a hubby who loves me and that I live close enough to my job that I can walk to work and not have to deal with the Holiday Traffic. I took my car to work 1 time last year at Christmas and it took me 45 minutes to get out of the parking lot... it's only a 15 minute walk.

December 19, 2011 at 6:36 PM  
Blogger Michael Kilpatrick said...

As a farmer I am so grateful for our customers who allow us to live the lifestyle we do. This evening, I was sitting down and reading over CSA surveys for 2011, our members are sooooooo supportive and caring for us, the farm family.

December 19, 2011 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger TransFarmer said...

I am grateful for my wife and our cat, Nettie. I am grateful that we are going to the dr this week for help in getting her pregnant. We're hoping to start our family soon. I am thankful for the possibility.

December 19, 2011 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger NMPatricia said...

I am grateful for a warm house and some food in the house given that we are a bit snowbound today. I am grateful for the bounty that is within my life.

And, I for one, don't mind hearing your woes. I have felt honored that you would share with "me" over the last couple of years I have been reading. You help me pull me out of me. Hope that makes sense. And I am cheering you on from New Mexico.

December 19, 2011 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

I am grateful for you, Jenna. I enjoy your blog and all you go through. I feel your pain and your excitement as you go through each experience. Farming is not for the weak of heart. There are some heartbreaking times, there are times when you just want to give up. Then you walk into a barn late at night and hear contented chewing and happy breathing and you remember why you do this. Hang in there, you have folks all over who are rooting for you.

December 19, 2011 at 6:44 PM  
Blogger Ryan and Susan Hayes said...

Wow--what a lovely idea and sentiment, Jenna. I have to say that I been going through my own trials and tribulations (mostly minor) and that I am incredibly grateful to come home every day to a family that loves me and supports me. I am also grateful that my hens started laying and that I can collect fresh eggs every morning :) It's the big and the little things!

December 19, 2011 at 6:44 PM  
Blogger becky3086 said...

I am first thankful for my children and my grandchildren who are all doing well and healthy and happy.
I am then thankful for Phil, who is everything to me and has been since I met him almost 15 years ago.
I am thankful that we get to live here. The house may be falling down but I am free to do what I want here.
I'm thankful for all the good food we have here.
I am thankful for my job. Just nothing like dealing with kids every day. One of our kids who lives nearby went home for lunch today but came right back. I asked him why and he said, "wasn't nothin' to eat". So we, of course, fed him. I'm so thankful that my children NEVER came home for lunch and found there was no food.
I truly believe that the best way to pray is to just thank God for everything you can think of. You won't believe how lucky you really are until you do this every night.

December 19, 2011 at 6:44 PM  
Blogger JustCindy said...

I am thankful that my husband has been cancer free since 1999, my 4 grandchildren who bring a smile to my face many times every day, the country I live and for so many more things that it is hard to mention them all. I don't comment often on your blog and I'm a city girl with no desire to live on a farm since I was raised on one and left as soon as I could but I do love reading your blog. Merry Christmas and God bless you.

December 19, 2011 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

I'm grateful for so much, I don't even know where to start.

I'm greatful for my beautiful children, wonderful husband, supportive parents, amazing brother, and his sweet girlfriend. I'm grateful for their health and safety, and for being blessed in being able to share in their lives.

I'm grateful for all of our fur babies who's antics bring me joy every day.

I'm greatful for you and this blog for teaching me so much, and inspiring me every day. Thank you.

December 19, 2011 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger molson said...

Molson said.....

I am thankful for my health, life and
family. I am grateful that I have been exposed to C.A.F.
Jenna, your strength, courage and convictions are admired!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As a survivor, everyday is a blessing, that I cherish.

December 19, 2011 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

I am grateful to God, without whom nothing on this little homestead, or the bigger one we plan on moving to next year, would be possible.

December 19, 2011 at 6:55 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

I'm grateful for my future I have to work towards. My life used to be really hard, but now I'm confidently going forth, and looking forward to the day I have my own farm. :)

December 19, 2011 at 6:56 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

Thanks for the opportunity, Jenna! I am grateful for my health and my healthy family and friends. I am grateful for a warm, love-filled home. I am grateful for the sun, the moon and the earth. For life.

December 19, 2011 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger Tiffrz-N-Kidz said...

There's a saying I like, "FEAR is simply False Evidence Appearing Real". We humans waste SO much energy worrying about things that do not come to pass.

I am grateful to have been given another day on this side of the grass.

My children are healthy and fed.

There is a chicken I raised and processed in the fridge that will be in the crock pot for tomorrow's dinner.

The rest of the animals have full barrels of feed and enough hay to get through the week.

Basically, I am thankful that I have everything I need today.

December 19, 2011 at 7:09 PM  
Blogger Victoria Nidetch said...

I am grateful for my health and surviving rectal cancer. Thankful for my warm home,beautiful children and blessings of good friends. I thank G-d every day for the breath I am given and the ability to see a new day. Also the opportunity to snuggle up to a warm kitty.

December 19, 2011 at 7:12 PM  
Blogger Robyn said...

I'm thankful for my wonderful, funny, supportive husband, my two cats who have never yet failed to make me laugh on a daily basis, friends who ask me over to bake cookies, drink wine and make candles.

December 19, 2011 at 7:21 PM  
Blogger mimi63 said...

love this idea...I'm grateful for living a life that is pure and simple..and for the man I get to spend that life with.

December 19, 2011 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

I am grateful for my health, after dealing with a bum kidney for the past year. I am grateful for a loving husband, a warm home and a budding friendship with my husband's daughter. Life is beautiful!

December 19, 2011 at 7:26 PM  
OpenID kitchensolo said...

Thanks for sharing, Jenna! Though we all understand the need to vent frustration, it's a great reminder that we each can choose our own response to the challenges we face.

I'm thankful to have a job I love after getting laid off and being unemployed for several months this summer. I'm thankful for the wonderful break I had this summer :)

December 19, 2011 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger daisy said...

I am grateful that I realize that I am the only one who can change my life for the better-OR NOT...

Things must go in cycles, Jenna, because I have been feeling just the way you described at the beginning of your post. I'm workin' on gettin' out of the funk.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

December 19, 2011 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger seagoddess said...

Thank you for that post.

I'm grateful for my family's and my sweet dog's love and my new home where I awake every day feeling peace and a new sense of security.

December 19, 2011 at 7:35 PM  
OpenID roseandphoenix said...

I am thankful for having a good life: for my family (who are wonderful), for my friends, for my colleagues. I am so grateful for having a job where I read and teach books I would read on my own (but don't always) -- and the ones I wouldn't know to look for. I am grateful for my dreams, which I am starting to work towards properly; for being done my PhD finally; for finding words to comfort and strengthen me in all sorts of places, like here at CAF. I am grateful for my own writing, which I love, and for having learned to make the time to write, and for feeling tickled pink by my own characters, which is slightly weird but nevertheless something I treasure. And I am particularly thankful for this season of the year, cheer in dark days.

December 19, 2011 at 7:36 PM  
Blogger Sylvia said...

I am thankful for family and home, (and family includes the dog and cat), and very thankful to be able to learn new things every day, some of them from you, Jenna. We all work though the ups and down. The point is to keep going!

December 19, 2011 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger Elliot said...

I am grateful for this crazy old world, every bit of it, and for people like you who remind me of the magic every day.

December 19, 2011 at 7:44 PM  
Blogger jonkatz said...

Grateful for you, Jenna, and your terrific new book and your wonderful gift of writing. That is a light unto the world and tonight it is shining. Good for you.

December 19, 2011 at 7:44 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I am grateful every day for my three grandchildren who make me smile. It makes my heart swell to show and teach them the things I love, and see them learn and enjoy, too.

December 19, 2011 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I'm grateful that I will be with my whole family this Christmas. It only happens every couple of years and I love it. This year my partner will be by my side as well. I couldn't ask for anything more.

December 19, 2011 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger bree said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 19, 2011 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Becca said...

I am grateful for my husband's elite driving skills because without them he'd either be stuck at work or in a ditch right now with a blizzard raging around outside. Not everyone can traverse the roads in a stick shift mustang. But for real, I'm grateful for my husband in general. He puts up with my crap and loves and supports me anyway.

December 19, 2011 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger bree said...

And this is why I read you and love you Jenna. I am so grateful for the fact that I am adopting my new puppy tomorrow. She is a one year old pit bull and my husband and I are just thrilled. She comes to us after losing our beloved dog Steve, who just two weeks ago was killed suddenly. He was with us tweleve years. I cannot live without a dog. I just love dogs. Thanks Jenna for the good energy tonight here on this blog!

December 19, 2011 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I am thankful for a beautiful sofa and love seat that were given to me this weekend. Mine were stained and full of holes. The cushions had been flipped and that side was also beyond repair. I was beginning to consider that I would need to start watching the yard sales to look for replacements next summer. On Friday colleague told me she was getting new furniture and asked if I wanted her old. It is attractive, durable, and in pet friendly colors. It's so neat when God drops those sweet little blessings right in our laps!

December 19, 2011 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Neal and Laura said...

I'm grateful for my pregnant wife and soon to be born little man. 2 weeks to go!

December 19, 2011 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Tami said...

I am greatful for the ability to stay home with my two children.

I am greatful for a the warmth of a home, a plot of land no matter if it is the "dream" or not.

I am greatful for a husband who does so much for us and is willing to do more.

December 19, 2011 at 8:08 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

I was gone all day today and when I got home I checked the mail. Inside was a big ole brown envelope with a drawing of a sheep on the front. Inside was a beautiful painting from a friend of a ewe with her 2 lambs under a beautiful green tree in the springtime. I love it! That so made my day better. Because my 7 month old bottle raised ram could possibly have pneumonia. I am calling the vet in the morning. I love my sheep and he is special. I don't want to lose him. So if anyone feels like it, would you please send get well wished to Earl? He's a sweetie. And does not like to be alone. I have him in a pen away from his girls right now. Thanks.

Jenna, thanks for your blog. I come here every day. I am thankful for you and you are a big inspiration to me. I probably would not have gotten my sheep if not for you.

December 19, 2011 at 8:11 PM  
OpenID destinationisjourney said...

I am thankful for my friends who encourage me in everything that is good for me, hold my hand when I'm scared, and laugh with me when I realize my mistakes. Friends are what makes this life worthwhile.
-Jess

December 19, 2011 at 8:14 PM  
Blogger Rhonda Hoffman said...

When I was diagnosed w/ breast cancer, my father died of a heart condition the day before my 3rd chemo AND my mother broke her vertebra (my son was 4 at the time) everyone kept telling me how do I do it...my motto and still is (I tell people this when they are down)
"Can it be worse? Yes...so REALLY it is not so bad";) Sending hugs...your BLOG makes my day...

December 19, 2011 at 8:24 PM  
Blogger NorthcountrygrlNY said...

I am grateful for my dys'fun'ctional family that I have grown to realize isn't all that dysunctional, we are just us and we have moments of awesomeness that I wouldn't trade for anything!

December 19, 2011 at 8:26 PM  
Blogger Mommyto3 said...

I am thankful that I still have my job today. I am thankful that I only have a badly sprained ankle & foot instead of a broken one. I am thankful for advil. I am thankful I had enough money in our famil account to pay toward both our electric bill and cable bill. I am thankful for my healthy children, my parents due to arrive on Friday for the holiday. I am thankful to talk with the vet today confirming that I get to bring the ashes of our dog Faith home to her final resting place this Friday to be home for Christmas. I am thankful that I am able to express my thoughts and feelings freely in a free country, protected by brave soldiers that give their all. I am thankful for my sister that is always there for me and I thankful for many years I have had with her. I am thankful for my husband and his teaching me patience while he grows into the man I know is in there.

December 19, 2011 at 8:28 PM  
Blogger Chestnut Farm said...

I am grateful for my dear loving husband, that doesn't feel he has to buy me things to make me happy! He builds me things with his hard working hands like - vegetable gardens, cold frames and flower gardens...he's the love of my life!

December 19, 2011 at 8:31 PM  
Blogger Victoria said...

I am thankful for a husband who loves me even when I'm cranky, kids who cook me dinner after a hard day at work, a warm bed, a full fridge, a soft blanket to fall asleep under while watching a holiday movie with my family. why was I even cranky?

December 19, 2011 at 8:32 PM  
Blogger Taryn Kae Wilson said...

Today I'm grateful to be home. We are artists and sell our art at a local Holiday Show. We have a few days at home to regenerate before our final three days at the show. I'm very grateful for that.

Love your blog, by the way! I write a list of what I'm grateful for every Sunday on my blog. I call it Gratitude Sunday.

Here's my list of gratitudes from this past Sunday:
http://www.woolymossroots.blogspot.com/2011/12/g-r-t-i-t-u-d-e-s-u-n-d-y_18.html

Love to you Jenna!
Taryn in Oregon

December 19, 2011 at 8:32 PM  
OpenID amovingtale said...

amoI'm grateful for your inspiration! A year ago in the middle of winter, I sat in my suburban house reading your blog from start to finish, wishing I was somewhere fabulous in the Northeast on a farm too ... stoking my woodstove, enjoying banjo music and eating chicken from my own farm.

An opportunity arose with my husband's job to transfer East, and we took it, leaving our families, my corporate job, and our house (still unsold) behind. A year later, we're here in New Hampshire on 18 acres just waiting for animals. 6 chickens is all we're comfortable with now, but we'll get there. You're an inspiration. Everyday.

December 19, 2011 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger Margie said...

I'm grateful that at 72 I'm still in great health and able to work part-time. I'm grateful that I had the love of a wonderful man for almost fifty years and for our two wonderful "miracle" children. For good friends and loving family members, for the kindness of others, and the memory of those who are no longer alive--all of which daily remind that there is joy to be found in daily living. For the Christmas music which is so reassuring in times of doubt. I'm thankful, too, for friends like all of you whom I'll never be able to meet in person. Thanks for sharing your life experiences.

December 19, 2011 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger kbrow said...

I am grateful for 60-degree weather in December, no matter how wrong it really is. Grateful that my old dog can still run and play like a pup on our walks. Grateful for living in a little piece of woods in a huge urban sprawl, and in a particularly diverse corner of it. Grateful for cleaner food, warm wool to wear to help keep my heat bill down, and grateful for the inspiration of your blog, Jenna.

December 19, 2011 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger KellyV (Kelly the Fifth) said...

Ok - thanks for the space Jenna. I want to say I am grateful for the SCE workers that worked 24 hours a day with only 8 hour breaks for at least 8 or 9 days straight to get my city right after the Wind Event that mowed down the power lines in Temple City. They rock.

Happy Holidays Jenna.

December 19, 2011 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger Daisy Farm said...

I am grateful to have had three children....each without incident or catastrophe. My coworker found out today that her 6-month old unborn son died this morning. I will never, ever think that having a healthy child just happens. I was lucky and never thought about it until today....or really, really thought about it much.

December 19, 2011 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger Caitlin-Cats Critters said...

I'm grateful for a new coop and a blind rooster who is loved by his three hens.

December 19, 2011 at 8:54 PM  
Blogger pawsfurme said...

I'm grateful for a life-changing health problem I had last summer which prompted me to revamp my diet and GET GOATS! I always considered myself healthy, but my body apparently said otherwise. I'm so thankful for my little herd of Nigerian Dwarfs. They make me laugh every day and they make me get outside in all sorts of weather when I would otherwise just sit on my bum and play computer games all night. I'm healthier and happier than I have ever been, even though I am still (soon to be 30) living with my parents. With luck, and a continuation of blessings, I will have my own little farm to call my own in 2012.
I am thankful to my sister for telling me about your blog, and I am most definitely thankful for YOU. By following your life, it has drawn this little city born and bred girl into this new love of farming and homesteading. Without you, I wouldn't be hoping and praying for a little 6 acre farm to expand into raising chickens, turkeys, dairy and fiber goats, and whatever else happens to come up!
There are so many more things I am thankful for, but I don't want to hog all the space. :)
Thank you, Jenna. We all love you and we're here for you. <3

December 19, 2011 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger ASTOLDBYGINGER said...

Today I am grateful that my family and I are heading south for Christmas. I have not spent a Christmas with my family in 15 yrs.
I spend some time at the end of every day and write down the things I am grateful for each day in my Gratitude Journal , I challenge you to do that same.
It'll change your life!

December 19, 2011 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger karental said...

My husband is still here. Triple bypass and a willingness to listen to his body saved his life. One good makes up for all the bad. Now, if he'd just finish that dang chicken coop.

December 19, 2011 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I am thankful for my boyfriend, without whom I wouldn't be able to get through some stressful times. I'm thankful for my cat, without whom I also wouldn't be able to get through some stressful times.

I'm thankful that I was able to go to the doctor's today (and not have to pay anything!).

I'm thankful for my family, no matter how ridiculous they can get. I'm thankful for my great friends who are able to give me so much support.

December 19, 2011 at 9:01 PM  
OpenID barntalkblog said...

I am thankful for my family, no matter how much trouble they can be. Being the oldest of five can be hard, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. I swear that my most favorite blessings are my brother and sisters.

-Autumn

December 19, 2011 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I am thankful that while we all have person stress and drama, currently my entire family has excellent health. My biggest fear is one of our five kids, or my husband suffering a terminal illness. I can't take anything you can throw at me and be damn thankful to do so, as long as it's not that. It also doesn't hurt that we're only a maximum of six weeks away from our move to a farm :)

December 19, 2011 at 9:21 PM  
Blogger windhaven farm said...

I'm grateful that we live in a country that we can farm and start businesses and live the way we want to live comfortably and share our lives with strangers that become friends through the internet. It's a crazy world sometimes, but then, it's always been and life has always been tough, but it's the little things that sparkle and make you smile and love and be happy and content!

December 19, 2011 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I'm so grateful for my loving, thoughtful caring husband/soul mate who shares and inspires my dreams, our beautiful 3 yr old daughter and our new son we will welcome in just a few short weeks.

December 19, 2011 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger DebH said...

I'm Thankful I still have my parents here this Christmas. My oldest boy is home and not overseas..my youngest daughter will introduce me to a new granddaughter in Feb and my home is warm and my stomach full.

December 19, 2011 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Where is Gibson?

December 19, 2011 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger Melanie J. said...

I'm grateful for my holiday bonus, which is allowing us to give the gifts we want to this season. Also for every day I spend with my husband. I'm grateful for the health of my family, and that the family members who are ill are holding on.

I'm also grateful for you, because your adventures on the farm keep my own farm dream alive in my head, even when it feels like we're forever stuck in this crappy apartment. Sending hugs and love! Happy holidays!

December 19, 2011 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger Adam Lazar said...

I'm so grateful for your blog post. It couldn't have come at a better time. Pulling myself out of the dark place is getting tiring and I'm so grateful to have a really loving family and friends to help me do it! I'm grateful for all your readers who posted. Seeing other folks overcome adversity or sadness helps the rest of us dust ourselves off and get back to work.

December 19, 2011 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger DarcC said...

I'm grateful for So.Many.Things. But I am especially grateful that despite huge vet bills and heartache, my mare Tag and I persevered as she was going blind. Now 9 years old, and completely blind for 4+ years now, she is my heart outside of my chest.

She and I now have the great honor of being part of this just-released music video by folk artist Antje Duvekot. A beautiful song with the most beautiful soul I know, the lovely Tag.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZ2mCO6R6Uo&feature=share

December 19, 2011 at 9:47 PM  
Blogger pjo2179 said...

I am grateful that I have a fantastic, supportive husband that encourages my craziness and that my 2 boys are absolutely perfect and healthy. I am very thankful that I get to be a stay at home mom and that we eat dinner together at the table every night. I am thankful that for the most part, my animals are healthy, although I worry about my 2 elderly horses. I am grateful that my parents love and support me and my family. They are here for us, no matter what, no questions asked. I am thankful for my friends who can make me smile even when i've got the flu. I am very thankful for technology (although it is a blessing and a curse) for allowing all of us, from all walks of life, to connect and make the world a better place! :)

December 19, 2011 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

I am most thankful for my husband. He has worked very hard all these years without complaint to take care of our family. I am thankful for his health and that of my children.

I am thankful for my two crazy sisters who keep life interesting.

I am thankful for a good job close enough to home that I can come home for lunch and fill the woodstoves that keep our home warm.

I also like the idea of a gratitude journal so much that I have decided to give these to the most important people in my life so that they can be reminded of what they are thankful for.

And lastly, thank you for sharing, teaching and trusting us with your life story. We cheer you on and wish you nothing but success and happiness. You deserve it!

December 19, 2011 at 10:00 PM  
Blogger unhappybirthday said...

"This farm was full of animals that got attention, feed, water, room to move around in and explore." Um, what do you mean "was"? o_o You still have all of your animals there with you, right?

December 19, 2011 at 10:03 PM  
Blogger Dr. and Mrs. Bob said...

I am grateful for the ability to see my family in a couple of days. We moved from NY to GA in June and haven't been able to see them. My nephew went from being 4 months old and not able to sit by himself to running in these past 6 months. I cannot wait to celebrate his 1st Christmas!!

December 19, 2011 at 10:06 PM  
OpenID parkerpages said...

I am grateful for the job I love and that shows me love back in so many ways that make it a joy to go in every day.

I am also grateful for my brother with whom I have grown up and grown closer to over the years despite the miles.

Finally, I am grateful for this simple but wonderful little life I have with my husband and dog.

December 19, 2011 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger SWEETHEARTS MOM said...

I am grateful to have the ability to get my grandsons what they really really want for Christmas and know they will really appreciate it.

December 19, 2011 at 10:22 PM  
Blogger Glyndalyn said...

I am thankful for so many things: 1Birth of Jesus and the salvation he offers. 2. Husband and home. 3. Our rural community and church. 4 Intellectual pursuits. 5. Work 6. Our animals and garden and property.

December 19, 2011 at 10:34 PM  
Blogger Cottage Times said...

I am thankful that I have a warm home, food and gifts for my boys under the tree. I am also very happy to able to pay off the lay-a-way of an unsuspecting family tomorrow.

December 19, 2011 at 10:48 PM  
Blogger Asia said...

Thanks to you I have decided to every night , before I go to sleep write three things I'm grateful for.
Here is tonight:
Two teenage girls (high school), who still say I love you, make me breakfast in bed and skip with me in public.
After five years of being single,meeting someone, who makes butterflies flutter in my stomach,
Being able to sing in the car on the way to and from work, sing songs loudly, sometimes out of key, laughing hysterically when my voice cracks and I sound like a frog.

December 19, 2011 at 10:54 PM  
Blogger Jinx in the Garden said...

I have recently been in a pretty deep depression. I feel like I've lost my oomph. I've just now started dragging myself out of it, but it's been very rough. Part of it is that I feel like I have no more inspiration, nothing that interests me anymore. In my saner moments, I know that this is not true, but it's been rough nonetheless. There are two main things I've decided to do to help me feel better. One is to dress the way that I really want to dress. This means retro/vintage, with accessories, fancy hats, shoes, purses, jewelry, the whole nine yards. It's been fun to play dress-up every day. (Thank goodness for thrift stores!) The other is to do the 101 in 1001 challenge, which is simply doing 101 things, anything, in 1001 days. I looked at my old list, which I felt that I had utterly failed at. I looked at other's lists for inspiration. And you know what I discovered? I had accomplished so much off of my previous list, and I'd done so much more than I ever expected to do, and that's what got in the way of finishing my list last time. (I am now a blacksmith, welder, librarian to two organizations, manager & donations coordinator of my community garden, and have nearly finished my rather busy garden, none of which was on my original list! Plus a whole slew of other things that can be considered impressive that also weren't on the list!) When I looked at everyone else's lists, most of them were filled with things they wanted to accomplish that I considered second nature! So now I can have some very meaningful things on the list, as well as extremely frivolous things, like find the perfect shade of red lipstick, and find pretty clothes that stand up to blacksmithing, welding & gardening!

So, things that I am grateful for? I am grateful that I have been able to accomplish so much in my life, and so much more than I ever intended to accomplish! I am also grateful to have a stepdaughter that has a natural eye for fashion, and at ten years old can look at an item of clothing that I'm considering buying with a critical eye and tell me if it's wrong or not. (This was an unexpected gift I received just today!)

I am also so grateful for you. I want to eventually own my own little homestead, and reading your blog is an inspiration. It gives me an idea of the grit, gristle & greatness that I can look forward to. You are an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

December 19, 2011 at 10:55 PM  
Blogger Aila said...

I am filled with gratitude that I get to curl up with my dog by my side tonight. I love that I get to spend so much time with my family, year round.

My job is totally stressing me out this week, but I am beyond grateful that I have a job.

I am grateful for dreams and opportunities, and friends that help me through the times in between.

December 19, 2011 at 11:10 PM  
OpenID notherethenwhere said...

I am grateful that after a whole pile of work my dissertation is so close to done that I can almost, almost taste it. What a trip!

December 19, 2011 at 11:19 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

I'm grateful for my sweet, understanding hubby, for our family, for a warm, dry house to live in, for dreams and goals, and for wine! :)
(sorry...this list could go on and on...so much to be thankful for!) And for you and your farm, Jenna!

December 19, 2011 at 11:28 PM  
Blogger Katou said...

Jenna, what a good idea you have. I'm grateful for the people in my life, my family, my friends and all the persons we exchange with on the net.

I'm thankful for the dogs that once, shared my life; I'm thankful for the cat that is presently in my life and for the birds that make my day when they come to eat at the feeder.

I'm thankful for the place I live in, for the wood I have to warm the house for me and my cat.

I'm thankfull for the music I can listen to and for the books I can read, for the things I can knit, crochet or weave.

Finally, I'm grateful for my neighbor who is will be heating my house for me so that I can go to visit my son and his family for Christmas.

And I'm thankful for finding your blog Jenna and the little community of your followers.

Have a nice Christmas with plenty of good food and friends.

December 19, 2011 at 11:38 PM  
Blogger Joleen said...

I am grateful for my children and grandchildren, my kitties, that at my age, my parents are still here with me, for my brothers and their families and the good health and abundance our family is blessed with. I'm grateful for my warm home which shelters me, for food in the pantry, for clean sheets and a soft, warm bed to sleep in at night in a safe home. I'm grateful for you, Jenna.

December 19, 2011 at 11:44 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I am grateful for the technology that allows me to read your blog and all the wonderful comments.
I am grateful for my 3 wonderful dogs and 3 wonderful cats.
I am grateful for the opportunity to foster kittens for our local shelter until they are old enough to be adopted.
I am grateful to be who I am and the gift of my life.

December 19, 2011 at 11:52 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

This is such a nice idea; when I went to summer camp as a kid we used to do "roses and thorns" every night, saying one good thing and one bad thing that happened that day. It was always very cathartic and fun. So today, my thorn is that my back hurts, and my rose is that my back hurts because I spent the day toting around my four-month old son, who makes my heart burst with love every second of the day.

December 19, 2011 at 11:58 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 19, 2011 at 11:58 PM  
Blogger polly said...

Ooooo - we are having a party on wednesday and everyone here is invited. Egg nog and pu'u pu'us - 5pm start, 3rd house on left with the white picket fence. Can't wait to meet you all. ;)

Love the spirit here... I am grateful for you all who send little shivers through me and make my eyes burn. Nice one, Jenna.

December 20, 2011 at 12:18 AM  
Blogger John Taylor said...

I m grateful of my wife of twenty years that I do not deserve. I am grateful for three healthy beautiful girls who are filled with love and compassion and make me proud to call them my daughters.

Grace and Peace,

John

December 20, 2011 at 12:38 AM  
Blogger sheila said...

I'm grateful that my toilet flushes. Cost me $180 for the guy to snake out the line to the sewer yesterday, but still I'm grateful it was that easy.

December 20, 2011 at 12:39 AM  
Blogger Ruth @ Hope, Joy and Faith Farm said...

Today I am grateful for the 1 lb package of yeast my boss (and friend) put in my stocking at work, and for the fact that I get to spend the weekend with my daughters over the Christmas weekend. I haven't seen the middle one in almost a year. And Geeka, what a wonderful gift you are giving. Thank you!

December 20, 2011 at 12:50 AM  
Blogger leafonatree said...

I am grateful for hot tea, the scent of pine trees, and my two fuzzy huskies.

December 20, 2011 at 1:40 AM  
Blogger Sprite said...

I'm grateful for my family.

December 20, 2011 at 1:53 AM  
Blogger Rachel Marie said...

I am thankful for life. Plain and simple.

December 20, 2011 at 1:57 AM  
Blogger Sylvia said...

I am grateful my son and girlfriend are alive!!! What started as a wonderful winter holiday almost ended in tragedy when their truck hit a patch of black ice and they rolled 60' down an embankment almost onto the railway tracks. Nobody saw the accident happen. I`m grateful they weren`t too badly hurt, and were able to scramble up the snow and ice covered embankment and flag down someone willing to help them.

December 20, 2011 at 2:06 AM  
Blogger Patsy said...

Today I received an unexpected package via UPS. I opened it and it was full of doilies which I love. I opened the card and it said Merry Christmas from Your loving sister, June.

My sister died October 31st after being in a coma for two months following a stroke and brain surgery.

My niece had found the doilies and knew I loved them and my sister would want me to have them. Needless to say, I cried until I shook. It was almost supernatural. Thank You Lord.
God bless.

December 20, 2011 at 2:40 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

I'm thankful for second chances. After a very traumatic divorce I basically just sort of thought my life was over and was going through the motions. I then met my husband on a blind date and the rest is history. Life can always surprise you. I made a list of all of the qualities that I wanted in a mate-very specific-then put the list in a drawer and forgot about it. A few years later as I was packing to move to France with my new husband, I found the list and everything on it was him. I guess you could call that A Christmas Miracle. He's a great guy, very good to me and we have a wonderful life. A new grandson arrives somewhere around Christmas too-that's always something to be thankful for.

December 20, 2011 at 3:01 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

This post is right up my alley! I am thankful for so many things which is why my farm is named Grateful Farm. This year, I am most thankful to watch my 5 month old son begin to love our farm. He has been doing farm chores with me packed securely in a front pack since he was 6 weeks old. I love to hear him laugh at the chicken's antics and close his eyes in delight when one of the horses gently blows on his face. I am thankful for the baby that is on the way because children are life renewing itself and, whether it's children or chickens or Swiss chard, that what a farm is all about. That circle of life is a powerful, beautiful, sometimes scary amd magical thing! Thanks for the reminder to pause and notice the grace all around us.

December 20, 2011 at 5:11 AM  
Blogger Peacemom said...

I am thankful for my two beautiful, intelligent, amazing sons. They are my reason to get out of bed in the morning, and I am so proud of them every day.

I am also thankful that I've got a job, it's not one I love, but it's keeping us okay right now.

Merry Christmas, Jenna.

December 20, 2011 at 5:55 AM  
OpenID theminddoeswander said...

I am grateful that I was up early enough this morning to see a little sliver of moon and a whole lot of stars in the dark sky. I turned on the tree lights, got a cup of tea with honey, and soaked it all in before the rest of the house awoke. Gorgeous.

December 20, 2011 at 6:02 AM  
OpenID laundryontheline said...

I am so thankful for my little house in the woods. 7 years of renovations later and we are still working on it, but it is becoming a home that we love, where we have learned and experimented with building and growing things on a small scale, before we do the same on a big scale. It is a place where our dreams have changed and blossomed into something new. Today, IO am even thankful for the painful moments that have helped us build strong friendships, a loving relationship, and refine our dreams. Life is not perfect, but there is so much to be thankful for!

December 20, 2011 at 6:22 AM  
OpenID edgwickfarm said...

I am grateful that after years of planning and preparation and hard work, we are making and selling farmstead goat milk cheese from our own beautiful goats on our own little farm and I get to do it with my beloved at my side.

December 20, 2011 at 6:37 AM  
Blogger karen said...

I am grateful to be able to start my day reading inspirational comments like these! As my first read of the day it always sets the tone for me. I am grateful for my family most of all, they are everything to me. I am grateful for my home which I love and my wonderful neighbors who are so kind and generous. Merry Christmas to you Jenna and everyone else who joins us here. Karen from CT

December 20, 2011 at 7:05 AM  
Blogger Kelpie and Collie said...

I am thankful above all else for my family, who is always there for me. My parents just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and the joy in their eyes at having the whole family there to celebrate, well, it profoundly affected me. Family is everything. Besides that, I am thankful to have a job, a home and for all my animals who center me.

December 20, 2011 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger Barbara Dykes said...

I am grateful because I have strength and health. And those two things will get me my farm.

Love your blog Jenna. Thanks for the daily inspiration.

December 20, 2011 at 7:33 AM  
Blogger Anke said...

One of my oldest friends (and our daughter's godmother) came to visit and spend the night yesterday. We hadn't seen her in over a year and just watching our 13 year old's face light up at the sight of her made my day.

December 20, 2011 at 7:46 AM  
Blogger Odie Langley said...

Wow Jenna I didn't think I would ever get to the bottom where the comment box is which is a good thing considering all the comments from people to really care about you, Gibson and the rest of your critters. I am thankful for my blog family and especially your blog. You are a wonderful writer and have such a way with words that I look forward to every update and have learned so many things about farm life and what is really important from your viewpoint. We do all have our problem like you said but we also are blessed so hang in there Jenna & Merry Christmas from North Carolina.
Odie

December 20, 2011 at 7:51 AM  
Blogger Teresa H. @ Oak Tree Farm said...

Just saw this blog this morning. I am grateful for my husband, my family and my friends who are the people I love most in the world! I am grateful for all the simple gifts of living (as well as the trials and tribulations that strengthen me). I also am grateful for this blog site and this community -- which helps to keep our farming endeavors in perspective. Wishing Everyone a very Merry Holiday and a Happy New Year!

December 20, 2011 at 7:54 AM  
Blogger Teresa H. @ Oak Tree Farm said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 20, 2011 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger CallieK said...

One year ago today my boyfriend was granted permission to stay in Canada (he's from Russian)- that was the best Christmas gift ever!

This summer I got to spend 3 weeks in the UK, travelling and doing family history research with my aunt- who paid for the whole trip!

And I recently got hired as Community Food Animator which means I now get PAID to hang out in gardens and farmers markets, read books (and blogs) on cool food and farm projects, and attend workshops on skills like beeswax candle making! Life is wonderful! Merry Christmas Jenna!

December 20, 2011 at 8:53 AM  
Blogger ADK Massage Girl said...

I am grateful that despite not being able to buy gifts for family or snow tires for my car, I WAS able to pay for new brakes and rotors without touching my credit card or borrowing from family! And I am grateful for my family who completely understands:)

December 20, 2011 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

I have so much to be grateful for. It would take awhile! Suffice it to say, I am grateful for my beautiful family, the love of children and husband, an extended family that supports and loves each other unconditionally, a home that I can say is mine and food in the freezer; friends who are always there and a faith that keeps me grounded. I'm lucky...

December 20, 2011 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger Drummond Farms Alpacas and Woolens said...

I am thankfulfor my faith first and foremost. Without this,I would not be able to have what I have in my life. This life and all it holds for me; my husband Dave, our five wonderful children, our new son-in-law. I have been able to stay home with my children and I feel so lucky to be able to do this. We have had a strange year with our oldest son going off to gradschool and our oldest daughter moving out and getting married. It has been so difficult and wonderful all in the same breath. We are all healthy and we love each other. We are blessed.

December 20, 2011 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

Every time I leave home to go interact with the world, I'm thankful to find that in spite of everything that's wrong, people are still kind, charitable, honest and caring. It's what I know deep down to be true, but seeing it confirmed every time I go out really heals my soul. Thank you, humanity!

December 20, 2011 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger Kara said...

I foster dogs. Three moths ago I was given a pregnant Chihuahua to foster thru the Grace Foundation, An amazing horse rescue in NorCal.

She had her puppies, 4 adorable little ones, but one had a severe infection in both eyes. It appeared she was blind. After lots of medicine for 4 weeks and two vet visits. I think she has her sight. Our little Christmas Miracle!

December 20, 2011 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger The Kelly's Adventures in KY said...

I'm grateful for the debate I was in on whether that was a cow or a sheep in the field. It had me take my foot of the gas pedal just long enough to slow down, and barely miss the oncoming car that crossed the centerline into our lane. It proceeded to take out a brick mailbox and run head first into a tree. A few feet further up the road, and they would have taken us out instead of that mailbox. Don't drink and drive folks! ( They were white cows in the field )

December 20, 2011 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger jim said...

jenna- life is full of the good, the bad and the ugly- in everyones life there will be a lot of situations to deal with- we will and we will survive- that was a tough opening paragraph and then you kinda left us hanging- are you and the animals okay? need a little more information and then we can rest a bit easier. I'm just thankful for family, a loving mate, couple of great dogs, warm house to sleep in, fresh baked bread-could go all day. Positives always ouweigh the negatives.

December 20, 2011 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger steak and eggs said...

Great post Jenna. To make us all stop a moment from our busy lives, and think about what's really important.
I'm thankful for good health. For clean water, electric, warm home in the winter, and A/C in the summer. The things we take for granted. The really big thing I am thankful for now is the rain. After the summer we had here in Texas, I'm so grateful for the rain.

December 20, 2011 at 9:38 AM  
Blogger J.D. said...

I am grateful to the Almighty for giving me the strength, courage, and skill to care for my aging parents.

I am truly grateful to the doctors, nurses and aides who have become my support team as we deal with emerging issues.

Most grateful for those evenings my parents can dine together in the comfort of their own home, rather than a nursing home.

Eternally grateful for my friends who offer their love and listen through good times and bad.

Very grateful to Jenna at Cold Antler Farm for sharing her life, her knowledge, and keeping my dream alive.

December 20, 2011 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger Greentwinsmummy said...

I am grateful for so much x My sweet,loving,clever funny daughters,my sense of courage and determination,my job and my friends,I am grateful for the roof over my head and a clean warm bed to sleep in,

I am grateful to those that have gone before me that showed me such love that I carry it now in my soul like a beacon.

I am grateful to have books to read and a spring in my step.

I am grateful Miss Pretty my sweetest ewe still comes up every morning for a cuddle!

I am grateful to be alive.

God bless x its good to rant and let it all out, but as with all things there needs to be balance, with thankfulness and love
GTM x x x x

December 20, 2011 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger redbird said...

So much to be grateful for—if I had to choose just one thing I would say my sister and brother-in-law who I can’t wait to see in a few days. They are my biggest cheerleaders in life and know me better than anyone. And then I’m so very grateful to have come across your blog earlier this year and to have met you and spent time at Cold Antler in October. You came along via the blog when I really needed something to remind me that hope and determination count for something, and your voice and spirit have no doubt made my life much brighter than if we had not crossed paths!

December 20, 2011 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Helena said...

I am grateful for my husband who spent the weekend watching my daughter so I could go visit my grandmother with my dad and siblings. Also grateful for the time to really talk to said siblings--something we don't get enough of now that we're grown up and living in different places.

December 20, 2011 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Matt_Middleton said...

I'm grateful that I found pure pork sausage. That may sound odd, but it made it feel more like Christmas. See, my grandfather's stuffing recipe is made primarily with pure pork sausage, and this is my first Christmas away from my family since my wife and I moved from my home province to hers. This stuffing is a tradition going back as far as I can remember, and helps me feel connected with my parents, as well as my departed grandfather.

December 20, 2011 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger Floridagirl said...

I am grateful for my boyfriend who does kind things for me daily, a warm house, my job (which was a stretch for me-but which I love), the ability to travel, technological things like a dishwasher and washing machine, dryer. My much-loved but spoiled animals. My extended family and friends. The list goes on and on.... hang in there Jenna, we're rooting for you.

December 20, 2011 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger sweetbugfarm said...

We are thankful for a well paying job! In addition, it is one my partner loves and so it supports us on many levels.
Hope all is well with you~take good care~

December 20, 2011 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger kandy Gray said...

my baby boy and the husband that not only made him possible (very lon story) but who works like a dog so that i can stay home with him.

December 20, 2011 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

I am grateful that on a day like today while each member of my family, including myself, are experiencing a nasty stomach virus, we have jobs that are flexible enough to adjust and extended family just upstairs to provide new movies to watch, pedialite and seltzer water. For the first time in 15 years, I have family around when we are all sick. A gift of peace that I cannot completely express.

December 20, 2011 at 10:31 AM  
OpenID lynwin552 said...

I have a lot to be grateful for,so I'll try to keep this short.

I'm grateful for family,especialy for my husband and our three grown children,my daughters-in-law, and our two healthy,thriving grandbabies.

I'm grateful for our four-legged "family".....our two Labs, two "granddogs" and two cats

I'm grateful that we have a home and food,and that all our kids and their spouses are employed.

I"m thankful for the gift of music in my life and the friends I've made because of that gift.

I'm grateful that we have my mother around to celebrate another Christmas with us,and that my niece Rachel, a 17 year cancer survivor,will be celebrating with us as well.

As I said,I have a lot to be grateful for!!

December 20, 2011 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

I am grateful for my husband. We have had a great run in our first 17 years and the next chapter has just begun! I am grateful for my children who are beautiful and creative and wild! I am so grateful for wrapping presents with my mom this year and listening to my dad's music. We are celebrating Christmas with them early an then heading to Colorado and New Mexico, another thing to be thankful for. We'll see dear friends and family who need healing and love. Just being together will be good medicine.

Thank you, Jenna, I needed that.

December 20, 2011 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger candisrrt said...

I work in a pediatric icu and I see some very sad things. I am so thankful that we are able to work in spurts and then have long stretches off so that I can recharge, garden, knit, sew. I am thankful I am surrounded with healthy children and I have a partner that allows me "my time".

December 20, 2011 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger getawayhouse said...

wow. Look at these comments. Isn't life wonderful?

December 20, 2011 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger christine said...

I am grateful for my new dog Parker. I am grateful that today and every day in her future and mine will be an adventure. I am grateful that my other pets seems to welcome her into the family and to share me with her. I am grateful that she, my other dog and my cats all have full bellies like the creatures at CAF. I am grateful that in all of my desire to make her morning pleasant, I totally forgot to eat breakfast myself. I might not be grateful for that last one much longer, but its almost lunchtime...

http://loisthelibrarian.typepad.com/blog/

December 20, 2011 at 11:08 AM  
Blogger christine said...

I am grateful for my new dog Parker. I am grateful that today and every day in her future and mine will be an adventure. I am grateful that my other pets seems to welcome her into the family and to share me with her. I am grateful that she, my other dog and my cats all have full bellies like the creatures at CAF. I am grateful that in all of my desire to make her morning pleasant, I totally forgot to eat breakfast myself. I might not be grateful for that last one much longer, but its almost lunchtime...

http://loisthelibrarian.typepad.com/blog/

December 20, 2011 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger georgie said...

I am grateful for being able to walk, for good health. For a Mom who still comforts me in hard times-her hugs and voice are better than any therapy or medication. For a man who loves me and says so. For an old dog with many health issues but still wags her tail and greets me effusively every day-her main joy is walking around the block. Another dog who when adopted was scared of everything including people. He now is braver, thinks he is in charge of home security and amusement. An old cat who likes to try to rest her paws and face on my hands while I type. For a job I love and a home that is truly, a home. For blogs like yours that give my brain that necessary kick start to realize how good life truly is. God bless us-every one.

December 20, 2011 at 11:17 AM  
Blogger quiltaholic said...

Perfectly wonderful idea Jenna!

I am grateful that my kids are growing up to love farming as much (if not more) than my husband and me. I am grateful for their flock of chickens that keep us in eggs and meat, even when grocery funds are low. I am grateful for my husband, who doesn't know how to do everything, but knows people who do :) and I am grateful to have wonderful neighbors, who will mow our lawn when we are away, even if we don't ask them to :)

December 20, 2011 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger Plant City Homestead said...

I am thankful for everyone's comments. Really lifted me up.

The greatest joy in my life are my dogs, Grace, for her peace and gentleness, and Oliver for his total enthusiasm for life.

I am grateful for my little house in the country with its furry and feathered companions.

I am grateful that even very bad things can be used for good. My father's death have brought my brother and I closer, and the inheritance bought my new truck that I love.

I am thankful for my faith and friends who have gotten me through the hard times.

December 20, 2011 at 11:36 AM  
OpenID chickadeeworkshop said...

While I'm wishing for retirement, I am beyond grateful that, in this economically distressed time, I have had a very secure job for over 23 years. I'm grateful for a comfortable home with no mortgage. I'm grateful for my family. On a lighter side, I'm grateful for the opportunity to make so many of my gifts for the holidays myself. It gives me great joy to give things that I'm made myself. Doing something that I love to do and giving it to people that will enjoy it is the best part of the holiday season for me.

December 20, 2011 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger Chelseajean said...

Great post- thanks for sharing and causing me to pause for just a few moments and think about what I am thankful for.

I am thankful for the food I have prepare and the family & Friends I have to share it with.

December 20, 2011 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Jimmie said...

On this day, I am thankful most of all that God has allowed me to interact with all the people around me: those I love, those I don't like so much, those I have never met, those who make me laugh, cry, get mad, etc. I'm just so thankful that I am able to be aware of my surroundings and am so sorry for those who are aware, but cannot communicate.

I don't know where this particular thankfulness comes from today, but I'm sharing it with you.

Merry Christmas from Diane in North Carolina

December 20, 2011 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Ivanhoe said...

I am grateful for the sun and the air. They make life thrive. Even through the clouds during the darkest parts of the year there is still a little bit of natural light to be had every day, and there is nothing at all we have to do to keep that going. As for air, it's my constant companion that's always around me and inside of me and keeping me alive. I can never be lonely if there is air.

December 20, 2011 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I am happy to oblige your call for positive vibrations.

I am thankful for my eyes. My late aunt, who lived with us several days a week, was blind since childhood, and while she was an amazingly accomplished woman, I am so glad I have not had to suffer as she did. I have, since I myself was a child, had very poor vision (legally blind, in fact). Every morning when I wake up, before I put my contacts in, I am grateful that I live in the present era--any other time period and I am sure I would have been functionally blind myself. But with corrective lenses, I am able to be a "normal" person with a normal life, and I lead a very visual life--I paint, draw, photograph, write, knit, sew, read constantly. I know, in the back of my mind, that I am always at risk of going blind because of the state of my eyes, but I can't help being grateful for each and every day that I can see the never-ending (and sometimes painful) beauty that is the world.

Good luck with your challenges, and remember that even losing the thing most precious to you doesn't mean the end of the world--just the start a different one.

Happy holidays to you and yours.

December 20, 2011 at 1:17 PM  
Blogger Teresa said...

I am grateful for my warm home in a neighborhood where I know most of my neighbors on a first name basis. I am thankful for my husband of many years who works hard so we can accomplish our dreams. I am grateful for my ability to sew. (Many quilts and pillowcases have made their way from my sewing machine to children in foster care and in the hospital.) I am thankful for my friends and co-workers who think I can work miracles with fabric and thread and have faith that whatever they ask me to create will turn out fine.

I am grateful for my constant four-legged companion, Boomer, with whom I read with kids at the public library twice a month. Although I’d rather be home full-time (seconded by Boomer), I am thankful for my job. It has provided us with a safety net on more than one occasion.

I am grateful for my far-flung family and friends. My family still manages to all get together over the Christmas holidays. I look forward to catching up with everyone.

December 20, 2011 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger sara said...

I have a new dog. I got her a month ago. She is 3 and I am her third and last (I hope) owner. She spent the last year of her life in a barn. We have worked on a new life for her on my little farm & she has done very well.
She has brought new joy & love to my life. So, I am very thankful for the friendship of my new dog.

December 20, 2011 at 1:44 PM  
OpenID meatbagz said...

i am grateful for my family, my friends, and hot tea. i am grateful for a warm and comforting roof over my head. i am grateful for banjos. i am grateful for vacation, my health, and the animals who share their lives with me.
i am grateful for being blessed.

December 20, 2011 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I'm thankful that my mom got thru breast cancer surgery ok - is currently cancer free. Thank God!!!
I'm thankful for my children, my hard-hard-hard-working husband, and my supportive in-laws and parents. For good friends, a home (even though it isn't our forever home, I'm grateful for it), and a sweet kitty who warms my lap each night.

December 20, 2011 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

I'm thankful that everyday I have a warm place with family and food to go home to. I'm thankful for my health and healthcare. I'm thankful to have found people who support me and make my life fulfilling. I'm thankful for my adventurous life experiences that have sometimes been challenging, but have made me the happy person I am today. And finally, I am thankful for a promising 2012 that I believe holds the beginning of an "official" homesteading life.

December 20, 2011 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I'm thankful for my small farm filled with 5 ponies and 3 dogs, a loving husband, wonderful son and my new grandbaby just born to my beautiful daughter and her hubby! Life is good!

December 20, 2011 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger Ellie, As Always! said...

I am thankful that while our fertility treatments this month were a bust, we know that we can afford to do it again. Despite all the heartache, we will keep going. :)

December 20, 2011 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger LindaSue said...

This time of the year has not been our favorite time. Losing a child changes you forever. Yesterday hubby and I had to get out and do some running around. We weren't excited or looking forward to doing it. But, we went and did what we needed and didn't need to do. I got to spend some fun time at Lowe's looking at stuff we are going to need for our little house on our little piece of land. So I am thankful for that because it turned out to be fun. Hubby got a little bonus from work so we went to eat before we went home for the evening. We were lucky to get a little gal who shared a pic of her 10 month little fellow. We had told her about losing our boy, but she stayed positive and shared some of his antics and fun and it picked up our spirits so much. So I have to thank a total stranger for sharing her little boy with us. We miss our boy so much but driving home we related some of our boy's antics and some of the fun stuff we remember. It was a good feeling instead of sadness. Most of all I have to be thankful for my husband. He loves me without conditions, he shows it all the time, makes me feel safe and protected. He is my better half and without him my life would be very empty.
Jenna, continue what you do. You share life in all it's complications. You can never know what your words will do to help someone to become more knowledgeable or just feel a little better.
Hope your holiday is warm and happy.

December 20, 2011 at 2:53 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I'm grateful for all the changes that have come my way in the last few years, and the good sense to recognize them as they came along. I'm grateful to my husband for being one of those changes; I'd stopped looking for for him by my mid-40s, but he was there, and he's added much love, support and joy to my life, and given me a partner for all my urban homesteading projects. I'm grateful for my house, even if it's not smaller, in better condition and in the country; it provides a shelter for us, all the cats, my illegal chickens and my best friend, who would otherwise not have a safe place to live.

I'm grateful to a growing online community who allow me to realize I'm not alone in my journey to change the way I live, and I'm particularly grateful to you, Jenna, for doing what you're doing and sharing it with us all.

December 20, 2011 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger Urban Au Courant said...

I am ecstatically and eternally grateful that I have my partner and lover Andrea, who believes in me, and trusts me that I will not lead her astray. In a few very short months, we are moving to Northern California to try our hand at homesteading and without her by my side believing in me I do not think it could be done. I am so grateful to Our Lord above that he has given me this Angel from the sky to start a family with, and a home with, and a beautiful farm to feed all of it.

December 20, 2011 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger Nancy Jane Smith, MSEd, PC said...

I am grateful that after 15 years of being single and frankly giving up on the idea of quality healthy relationships, this year I MARRIED my best friend and biggest fan. He has shown my the power of unconditional love.

December 20, 2011 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger alewyfe said...

Aw, y'all are gonna make me cry! The good kind though... ok, my turn. I'm grateful for my partner, who is my best friend, companion, and everything I could hope for in a man. I'm also grateful now for all the broken hearts and disappointments I suffered before I met him, and that they put me in the right place at the right time when we met by chance at a party three and a half years ago... which seems both like just yesterday and a million years ago. Our first real date, we racked a carboy of beer into secondary (we flipped a coin at the bar we'd met up at to find out whether we were going to hang out at my place or his as we BOTH had beer ready to rack- I won), and I wooed him with homemade cheese. Second date, a tour of City Farm, followed by a book-reading at the farmer's market by the author of "Robbing the Bees". Third date? Canning peaches from his coworker's tree. He had a pressure cooker, AND knew how to use it. Swoon. My best friend from cooking school said, "you did what? You made jam? You guys are getting married." His (now our) buddy who came over to help with the canning I found out much later told him, "Don't screw this up." haha... oh, and I'm grateful for the wisdom of friends who sometimes see the things we don't or are afraid to admit.

I'm grateful for the home we now have, and that while it probably a year or so from being "done", we don't have a mortgage and could move in now if for some reason we had to. I'm grateful for our big yard (for the city) and garden, and for the lovely elderly neighbor next door who offered to let us expand the veggie garden with another long bed on her side of the fence next year... which is great, because now I'll be able to grow more to share with her!
I'm grateful for the "chicken palace" coop given to us by some friends who are selling their house, and for all the friends who showed up to help and the truck with the boom hoist that let us get it out of their yard and into ours in only two pieces. :-)

I'm grateful for my bikes and trailers that let me go just about anywhere I need to go, and bring whatever I need with me, without owning a car, burning gas, or spending a lot of money. I'm also grateful for the calories I burn while commuting that let me eat whatever I want and still fit into the same clothes I wore ten years ago... and for how the exercise helps lift me out of whatever funk I may be in, and helps ensure my continued good health.

I'm so grateful that I have a job that pays me grow healthy and delicious food, and that I get to work for a friend with a big dream that I believe in... And that I have a flexible schedule so that I can also grow my soapmaking and crafting business on the side, and take care of all the food growing/preserving/cooking/cleaning/misc. homemaking duties that I enjoy.

I'm thankful for my family, who though they live far away are close to my heart and that we have a great time whenever we get together! I'm grateful that though my mom is beyond busy and overworked, she always manages to call me back when I'm having a crisis, and her voice never fails to calm me down, or at least give me the strength to get through it. I'm also thankful for my chosen-family of friends and neighbors who keep me in this crazy town, and who bring so much joy and companionship to this lonely ol' life.

Oh yeah, and for the time to read something inspiring or thoughtful each day... of which coldantlerfarm is an important part! Keep writing; your words touch so many people! I hope to make the time soon to do more writing on my own... you're an inspiration, girl!

December 20, 2011 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger kadfoto said...

I appreciate your focus on the positive, sometimes it makes all the difference. I am so very thankful for the wilderness. My thoughts this past week have been full of exciting ideas about hikes and backpacking trips I want to make in the coming year. I am sending some of that energy your way, right now.

December 20, 2011 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger Stargazer 2 said...

JENNA,
DID YOU RECEIVE A BOTTLE IN A PACKAGE WITH "LAMB" MASON ON THE MASON JAR??? IT HAD THE WHITE PEANUTS IN IT TO PROTECT IT IN SHIPPING!!!
JUST WONDERED!!!
CHEERS WITH A HEALTH DRINK,
& YES I'LL CONTINUE READING CAF BLOG!!!
RONNIE A HAPPY X SEAT WEAVER!!!
http://www.chaircaningdirectory.com

December 20, 2011 at 5:04 PM  
Blogger Baybee Dawl said...

I continue to be super grateful to the love of my life, Shannon. He is my best friend and makes everyday brighter! From him I get unconditional love and acceptance, and he always makes me feel special and believes in me as much as I believe in him. Together I know we can achieve anything and everything, to our hearts content! I am the luckiest girl in the world to have him by my side always and forever…

December 20, 2011 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger esteemed director said...

I would be 159. Are you still reading? I am thankful for you and your gift of words. I enjoy reading about your everyday life with no fluff or fanfare...it is what it is. Your courage to put yourself our there and give so much in so many ways. I am thankful to see your courage by getting up each morning to 'show up' at whatever needs to be done or seen to. Go girl and have a very Merry Christmas.

December 20, 2011 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger esteemed director said...

I would be 159. Are you still reading? I am thankful for you and your gift of words. I enjoy reading about your everyday life with no fluff or fanfare...it is what it is. Your courage to put yourself our there and give so much in so many ways. I am thankful to see your courage by getting up each morning to 'show up' at whatever needs to be done or seen to. Go girl and have a very Merry Christmas.

December 20, 2011 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger bookkm said...

I am grateful for my new granddaughter and for my family and for the fact that my house is warm. I am grateful for this blog and its author and the community that posts comments on this blog. I am grateful.... But I hope you can turn your troubles into a chapter for your next book, Jenna, because you rock in the writing department!

December 20, 2011 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

I am thankful for each and every day I wake up. Your blog makes me grateful to know that strong women continue to people this world.

December 20, 2011 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

I'm grateful that both our children are home from college and they decided to do all the laundry today! yes, its the little things that make me happy! Clean clothes! Merry Christmas Everyone!

December 20, 2011 at 7:00 PM  
Blogger Molly Piper said...

Dear Jenna, what I love is just being alive and knowing I can face any challenge that comes my way! And here is a little surprise that looks like it was made just for CAF! http://www.elion.ee/docs/joulukaart/eng/

December 20, 2011 at 7:09 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I am grateful for just being alive. Earlier this year I had a long run with gall bladder pain which culminated in jaundice, liver failure and an 8 hour open surgery to remove my gall bladder and repair the bile duct. I had a t-tube inserted into my duct for 3 months and have been left with a 25 cm scar across my belly, but by God I'm alive and HOW!

I appreciate each and every day, and each and every person who comes into my life. I came so close to not being here any longer. I find it tragic that it took this experience to make me realise what an ungrateful shit I had been, but I am also thankful. So, so thankful.

I wrote about my feelings at the time, when I was still in hospital (http://buttontreelane.blogspot.com/2011/05/foggy-with-good-chance-of-afternoon.html) but I wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to be thankful in public again.

December 20, 2011 at 7:17 PM  
Blogger Cathleen said...

I am thankful for my mistakes and the opportunities to grow from them and correct them.

December 20, 2011 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger lemontreelane said...

i am grateful that i have a healthy happy family who love me unconditonally... and who let me dream... and i am grateful that i am able to read your ups and downs on cold antler farm... i believe things happen for a reason... hang in there... merry christmas

December 20, 2011 at 8:42 PM  
Blogger tanya Good said...

I am thankful for my health, and the health of my wonderful husband and darling daughter, I can't ask for more than that!

I'm also thankful that you write this blog, it's inspiring and helps me know that someday in the near future we will reach our dream of owning a farm!
thank you!

December 20, 2011 at 9:20 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

You post really registered with me. I have soooo much to be thankful for...a wonderful husband, children, stepchildren, grandchildren and a multitude of extended family due to blending our families! I am thankful that the lonely years of raising two small children as a young widow are over! My gratitude for a FULL life far outweighs the stresses of juggling so many needs and demands!
I am thankful for a job that I love!
I am thankful for our little 4 acre "farm".
I am thankful for a wonderful church family and beautiful music that speaks to my soul!
I am thankful for you, Jenna, and your blog. I read it almost everyday! Merry Christmas!

December 20, 2011 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger Billy said...

Practicing gratitude daily and even hourly,is a wonderful thing, I am finding out. I wake in the morning and am thankful for a roof over my head, a warm bed to sleep in, a vehicle that should get me to work...a dog on the bed and 2 more in their crates waiting to be let out and start the day! Some food in the fridge..hot water in the shower...a job to go to...a bench to sit on at the park...lambs who jump and play with each other then collapse in a heap to sleep. The list is easy and goes on and on if you just try - it doesn't have to be big things. Thank you and Merry Christmas! ;-)

December 20, 2011 at 11:03 PM  
Blogger Caitlin said...

I am grateful for my husband, my family, my dog, my cats, and my rabbit, and a house full of books and yarn.

I'm also thankful for you and your wonderful blog--you are an inspiration to me.

December 21, 2011 at 6:10 AM  
Blogger Joe and Jeannie Family said...

I am so thankful that by God's grace I have been saved. Christmas has such a rich and deep meaning to me this year - I think I finally "get it".

December 21, 2011 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger downeast becka said...

i am grateful for hard simple living, grateful for a stoneworkin friend who came over today to do some water line digging for us, grateful that it was only lightly spitting rain and hasn't frozen solid yet, super grateful for the new stand pipe that is now set up on the site of the new barn to come!!
Even though i had to push myself and cajole the children into cooperating, we are muddy and excited. Blessings on your journey also, i always love to read your blog...
Happy Solstice1!

December 21, 2011 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger mary said...

My mother died just 6 weeks ago from Alzheimer's and I am thankful that she was finally released from that burden and went into the arms of her Lord. I am thankful for my friends and family who have helped me get through my pain. I am thankful that my sons are healthy and happy; that my cats and dogs are around to keep me company and there is good food in the freezor from the abundant crop this year.

December 21, 2011 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

I am thankful for the opportunity to choose the way I want to live. To have a roof over my head and to have people I love near me to share it with.

December 21, 2011 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger Betty said...

I'm grateful for the menagerie of farm animals I see on my way to work,---they're all together in one spot in the meadow, chickens, donkey, goats, sheep, horses and sometimes the family dog. It makes me smile, I love it! Just one of the many things I'm grateful for!!

December 21, 2011 at 8:31 PM  
Blogger rickwick said...

I am grateful for my family and that I have a job and the will to become more prepared and self-sufficient. You are a big help to us.

God bless

December 22, 2011 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger rickwick said...

I am grateful for my family and that I have a job and the will to become more prepared and self-sufficient. You are a big help to us.

God bless

December 22, 2011 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Robbie said...

I'm grateful for 2 things as I get older.

1. That my patience grows.

2. That as my patience grows, my faith in good grows.

I'm not much for faith in general, particularly the religious variety. I don't stand on it.

But as I whiz past the 50 mark and think of my experiences, I notice that the patterns of life become more and more accessible and that they reveal some things. Like:

Things get better. If not now, later.

Things will get worse, too, but the longer you're here, the more tools you have in your tool belt to deal with them. If you put any effort into personal growth at all, you get back wealth beyond measure when the hard times hit.

Things are overall pretty good and will continue to be pretty good. Humans have survived many horrifying things, but humans also learn. Humans grow. It may not seem like it, but overall, we do.

Nothing is ever wasted. Nature doesn't work that way. We can't see all of Her inner workings, but Nature is always busy putting things to rights and anything you've put time or energy into will give you some kind of return, though maybe not the one you expect. You can trust that.

And though, as I said, I don't hold with religion, I do like one Buddhist saying:

"The Universe is unfolding exactly as it should,"

Although that is an infuriating phrase to read during a struggle, over time it becomes more and more vividly true.

I'm so grateful for that.

December 22, 2011 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I am grateful for my good health. At 73, it is amazing and I am grateful for the internet and the opportunity to learn something new every day. I am grateful for bloggers such as you because I was raised in the Maine woods and farm country and I sure miss it after 36 years of being away.

Sandy

December 22, 2011 at 9:35 PM  
Blogger L. said...

often lately i have found myself being thankful for the very simple fact that i have a solid house of my own, and that when i walk in the door from a cold winter day, it grabs me and wraps me in warmth. it is something so small and yet so huge, and i am always thankful for it.

beyond that, i am thankful for my man, and our ever-loving dog-beast, who smothers us with kisses and snuggles whenever he gets the opportunity. unqualified, unfaltering love... can't beat it!

December 23, 2011 at 1:13 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

I am grateful for my family. I am so very fortunate to have met two wonderful men; David, the father of our son and my first husband and Chris my second husband. David and I were married 20 years and 4 days before he passed away from brain cancer. Chris and I have been married since June of 2006. Chris and my son Robert are fantastic friends and loving people. Robert is a sweet, loving young man who cares deeply for others. I am loved beyond measure.

December 25, 2011 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Rural Revival said...

I get to live in the country.

Everything else is just icing on the cake.

December 26, 2011 at 2:55 PM  

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