Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Mythical Readership

Here's what I have learned from over five years of blogging. When it comes to online etiquette people are far too sensitive about what they read and far too insensitive about what they say in response.

Nothing I write here is aimed at anyone personally. Not because I don't care about you, simply because I do not know you. I'd like to meet you all but that isn't really possible. If you take offense at something I write understand it is not like taking offense at the words of your family, children, or friends. If your sister in law knows your a vegetarian and says "Vegetarians are stupid" at a dinner party you are attending, then it makes sense to snap back. I would never say Vegetarians are Stupid, but I might very well share a hunting story, pig slaughter, or lamb recipe on my website. Writing something contrary to your core values is not an affront to you.

I am not perfect.
I make mistakes.
I write it all down.
People yell.

I have older readers who send me emails as if I am their daughter who stole their car on prom night, and younger readers who think eating a chicken is on the same level as setting fire to a church. When people send angry comments or emails it does not change what I think or do. It just seems batshit crazy. Like a person waving their hands and yelling at headlines of a newspaper in a crowed grocery store. There is no validation or dignity in yelling at the internet. I delete those messages and comments. Heck depending on the email address or name, I don't event read them anymore. I just hit delete. It is a powerful tool for self preservation.

Level headed readership online has become as mythical as a unicorn. Something people swear they once knew long ago, but no one has seen evidence of for a long time. But I know they are out there, because most of my readers are thoughtful and kind people. Many folks find ways to converse about disagreement through email or in comments in a civilized and respectful manner. Those folks have my full attention. But anger falls on deaf ears here. No one is allowed to treat me, or my farm, or my readership that way. So I invite all level headed readers, as mythical as you may be, to step up and be heard.

I want this blog full of unicorns.

128 Comments:

Blogger Ben Fruchter said...

I don't know if I ever commented before but I'm a former Orvis co-worker (who sadly left the company before I read your books and didn't get a chance to meet you), and I live over in Greenwich. I just wanted to write to say I enjoy the blog and of course don't agree with everything you write, because we're not the same person. Do other people not realize that the only voice they agree with 100% of the time is theirs? And from the wild ranting.. I'm not even sure that is true of all of them.

Also:
This

October 2, 2012 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger Erika said...

Amen sister!
Love, Your Unicorn Friend in BSpa :)

October 2, 2012 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger Ben Fruchter said...

I don't know if I ever commented before but I'm a former Orvis co-worker (who sadly left the company before I read your books and didn't get a chance to meet you), and I live over in Greenwich. I just wanted to write to say I enjoy the blog and of course don't agree with everything you write, because we're not the same person. Do other people not realize that the only voice they agree with 100% of the time is theirs? And from the wild ranting.. I'm not even sure that is true of all of them.

Also:
This

October 2, 2012 at 2:21 PM  
Blogger Becca at Rabbit Moon Farm said...

I guess I'm a unicorn then cause i consider myself level-headed when it comes to reading things on the internet. Unless someone is being deliberately insulting to a group of people, I take no offense. And its far easier to ignore other people on the web than it is in real life. So call me a unicorn.

October 2, 2012 at 2:26 PM  
Blogger DarcC said...

Ah, I posted a manifesto about this on my own blog back in the day. I wasn't as polite about it as you've been! I turned the blog off shortly thereafter. Don't be like me, keep writing!

October 2, 2012 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger Marci said...

It is really sad. We are to give each of them the right to believe what they want, but our only right is to believe what they believe as well.

I am glad you are able to let it roll off your back!!!

October 2, 2012 at 2:31 PM  
Blogger Ashling said...

Wow. Guessing the pheasant hunting didn't go over well. I'm with Becca at Rabbit Moon Farm...another Unicorn. If I have real issues with a blog, I simply stop following it. I enjoy your blog because it's about someone who had a dream and made it happen, a dream I might have opted to pursue myself if I were 20 years younger. I applaud what your hard work and vision have wrought.

October 2, 2012 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Manufactured outrage is the fuel of the internet

October 2, 2012 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Ben! nice to meet you. Where did you work at the Fish? And when? I don't remember any bens.

October 2, 2012 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Nice to meet all y'all Unicorns.

No pheasants yet...

October 2, 2012 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger Amy Patterson said...

I don't know you.
I don't always agree with you.
I find some things you say silly.
I find some things you do silly.

I CHOOSE to read about your life.
I CHOOSE to get to know you through your words.
I CHOOSE to cheer you on.
I CHOOSE to wish you well.
I CHOOSE to spend my precious time reading the words that you put so much time and care in prepare for all of us that you don't know.

Thanks.

October 2, 2012 at 2:41 PM  
Anonymous geekette said...

One thing I've learned in life is there's a LOT more mental illness out there than I ever thought possible... and I swear it's in full view on the internet.

I enjoy your blog. While it's not a life I aspire to, it's great to see all you're achieving.

October 2, 2012 at 2:47 PM  
Blogger Joie said...

Count me among the unicorns! I applaud your use of the delete button.
Know what's nice about unicorns? We poop rainbows :)

October 2, 2012 at 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Kathie in Kentucky

Amen, Sister!!!

October 2, 2012 at 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Batshit crazy! Ha!

Pooping rainbows, haha!

~Dawn

October 2, 2012 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

Ben F. and Amy P., I couldn't have written it better myself!

Jenna, I think you are making wise choices when it comes to your blog-space. It will only save your sanity. If I don't like something, I don't read it. It amazes me that people take others' choices as a judgement on their own, especially on the Internet. I have close family and friends who do this as well, not just Internet "friends." And it is "BATSHIT CRAZY!"

Oh, and Ben - that picture is awesome!

October 2, 2012 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Can you talk about this issue at the Words & Wool workshop? Weirdo hostility is the main reason why I don't want my blog's readership to expand beyond family and close friends! Now that I'm starting a small farm business, I'm being encouraged to publicize my blog. But I'm scared to death! Who needs such negativity from strangers!?

October 2, 2012 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

I don't even agree with me more than 82% of the time.

October 2, 2012 at 3:12 PM  
Blogger Dina Rosbeck said...

If you don't like it, you don't have to agree and if some people disagree with you so much, they don't have to read your blot. I think some have nothing better to do than to waste your time bitching about YOUR life. I enjoy your blot and if I disagree with something I figure we can all be adults and agree to disagree.

October 2, 2012 at 3:14 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Well written! Unicorn Christine checking in. When my local friends run into those people we call them BSC when describing them. Too bad you've got them too.

People forget they have a delete button and many need a mute button that others could push!

Hang in there sister! Keep hunting, butchering, playing music and writing about it all! I'm so excited to see when you have new posts. We unicorns've got to stick together!!

October 2, 2012 at 3:17 PM  
Blogger Abby said...

As a former local journalist, I know the comment section can be a scary thing. My newspaper finally did what you did, required a name or email address in order to post, and that shut most naysayers up.

Just as you hit delete for power, readers have power too -- they can stop reading your blog. I just don't get why people would intentionally go to a blog they know upsets them.

You have never offended me, I have a tough skin. Keep it up, I know I am only one of hundreds that is behind you.

October 2, 2012 at 3:36 PM  
Anonymous Wendy said...

By the time my last blog was approaching 4 million hits, I had more crazy commenters than sane ones. Thankfully they didn't follow me to the blog I have now, or at least didn't stick around long. I don't post anonymous or nasty comments. All the mean people gave up once they realized they had no voice on my space. Sorry you have nutcases commenting on this blog. Those folks have no life or gumption, so put down people who do.

Wish we had been contemporaries. I used to cook at The Buttery next to Orvis and then at an inn in East Dorset. I had a cabin half a mile back in the woods along the Mad Tom River. I also spent 18 years in an underground house in central Vermont. There I was a homesteader and had a CSA. Unschooled my kid who is almost 29 now. Spent 3 years gardening in the Adirondacks. Lately I have been all over the country.

Good to see you keeping on with who you are :-)

My husband is blind. I was tickled to see your book on digital media through the blind library. I ordered it for him.

October 2, 2012 at 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Wendy said...

By the time my last blog was approaching 4 million hits, I had more crazy commenters than sane ones. Thankfully they didn't follow me to the blog I have now, or at least didn't stick around long. I don't post anonymous or nasty comments. All the mean people gave up once they realized they had no voice on my space. Sorry you have nutcases commenting on this blog. Those folks have no life or gumption, so put down people who do.

Wish we had been contemporaries. I used to cook at The Buttery next to Orvis and then at an inn in East Dorset. I had a cabin half a mile back in the woods along the Mad Tom River. I also spent 18 years in an underground house in central Vermont. There I was a homesteader and had a CSA. Unschooled my kid who is almost 29 now. Spent 3 years gardening in the Adirondacks. Lately I have been all over the country.

Good to see you keeping on with who you are :-)

My husband is blind. I was tickled to see your book on digital media through the blind library. I ordered it for him.

October 2, 2012 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger Nuno said...

Since trolls and whiners are way more vocal/visible than the level-headed people, this creates the false notion that they are the majority even if they're nothing but a fringe.

Much like the way much of the media highlights the crazy people in politics, giving them an undeserved influence.

Don't give it any more thought than the moment it takes to click delete.

October 2, 2012 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger DJ's Farmette said...

Good for you for hitting the delete button without reading the negativity!! I have learned so much from your blog and your mistakes!!

October 2, 2012 at 3:54 PM  
Anonymous Bonnie said...

Hello, Jenna. I have been reading your blog for years and have read some of your books. I love your writing style and find the topics interesting . Although I have no desire to have a farm, we do share an interest in local, healthy food, canning, gardening, and creating. This is my first comment. I was inspired to step out and let you know that one more positive person is out there. Rock on!

October 2, 2012 at 3:54 PM  
Anonymous Candy said...

I'm a new Unicorn who entered your fold after your presentations at the Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs.
While I have very mixed feelings about hunting, I also have very vivid memories of the delicious taste of the pheasants my father hunted...
Keep focused on your dream, Jenna!

October 2, 2012 at 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Candy said...

I'm a new Unicorn who entered your fold after your presentations at the Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs.
While I have very mixed feelings about hunting, I also have very vivid memories of the delicious taste of the pheasants my father hunted...
Keep focused on your dream, Jenna! It is a very worthy goal, and more like you are sorely needed in this world.

October 2, 2012 at 3:59 PM  
Blogger Doug Pitcher said...

I actually like reading things I don't agree with. I find it enlightening to see others viewpoints and thought processes even if I don't agree. I'd hate it if everyone agreed with me. What would be the fun in that?

October 2, 2012 at 4:02 PM  
Blogger anita said...

I agree with Gayle I think.

October 2, 2012 at 4:06 PM  
Blogger seagrrlz said...

Maid, you gotta be who you gotta be!

If everyone agreed with everyone else 100% of the time what a bland world this would be. I know that I don't poop rainbows(lol @ Joie) but I love the Mythical. I will admit I do sometimes yell @ the News , print or televised bc sometimes I don't understand the things people do. I try not to yell on-line bc sometimes people "say" things without thinking about it first and if what they're saying is so negative,hateful or horrific I don't want to give them the pleasure of knowing they ruined my day.

October 2, 2012 at 4:14 PM  
Blogger kwdiving said...

Unreal... Again the people with nothing better to do than snipe from the web. Why not put that anger to good use? Go protest factory animal farming, Monsanto, child slavery, air polluters, something. Why target someone who is just blogging about their life? If you dislike the blog so much, why waste your time reading it?
Hang in there Jenna.

October 2, 2012 at 4:19 PM  
Blogger Melanie J. said...

Sing it, sister! Sending bunnies and rainbows, so the unicorns have something to play with and look at!

October 2, 2012 at 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna, I think people should either be grateful that you put so much time and effort into this blog and try to appreciate the lessons they can learn from you, or they should stop reading.

Suzanne from the Netherlands

October 2, 2012 at 4:27 PM  
Anonymous KC from TN said...

Jenna, you are becoming part of the family. My husband is beginning to expect a rundown on your latest doings every morning. I have never followed a blog before yours and I absolutely adore you. You are so real and honest and some of your entries are so inspiring that I print them out and carry them around with me. I am sorry that you're getting so much ugliness sent your way. I'm sure the bulk of it has to do with animals (whether it's drinking their milk or eating them.) I worked at an animal hospital for a few years and never met as many crazies as I did there. Some folks need to just take it down a notch (or two!). Keep spreading the cheer, sister!

October 2, 2012 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Moose Hollow Farm said...

Jenna ~ Where are these non-unicorns coming from & why do they continue to poison this blog? I hope that you know that 99.9% of your readers are unicorns & that the remaining .1% are not worthy of this blog. Keep up the good work, Jenna ~ looking forward to your new book. Do you know when it will be available? I can't wait!!!!! I think I have all of your books & I bought the movie Farmageddon & the book Mad Sheep. Gotta keep up with the good stuff and the bad stuff happening to our fellow farmers.

October 2, 2012 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger greendria said...

Woohoo! Another unicorn here! I'm sooooo glad you moderate now. I used to dread certain commenters, they would make my heart ache thinking of you reading their terrible words.

October 2, 2012 at 4:37 PM  
Blogger redhorse said...

I have older readers who send me emails as if I am their daughter who stole their car on prom night,

I think that's kinda cute. It means they care.

I don't know who your latest detractors are, or what kind of messages they've sent you, but I've noticed there seems to be a minority of commentors on all blogs who react with outrage to the silliest things. They want you to either change your beliefs, or stop talking. Keep hitting the delete button, and let those who've learned to play well with others keep playing.

October 2, 2012 at 4:44 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

I like to think that I am level-headed. I enjoy reading your blog and watching you as you learn and grow. I am a bit older than you and have gone through some of the same learning experiences with farming, etc. I, however don't have a thick enough skin to put myself out there the way that you do. I have noticed that the best (IMHO) bloggers often attract the most loony toons when it comes to comments ...like geekette said:-)

October 2, 2012 at 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Susan P. said...

Wow - I'm really sorry that you are continuing to experience such abuse from your readers. If they disagree with you so completely, perhaps they should find a blog they like better! I find the chronicle of your life and farm experiences extremely interesting and thought provoking. I'm sure that I would enjoy talking to you in person, even though we are quite different in some ways! However, I learn from reading and thinking about what you say and do, and am also getting a nice virtual tour of Washington County! Keep it up, and ignore the hateful voyeurs. I suspect that they have time to criticize only because they're doing nothing with their own lives. (Have you ever heard the William Shatner songs, "Has Been" and "You're Gonna Die"? You really should find them on the internet!)

October 2, 2012 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger gooddogboy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 2, 2012 at 5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would you read a blog just to complain about it, criticize it, and why would you think that the writer would care about your opinion? Everyone's free to live how they want, I can't stand people who have to try and force their values on everyone around them!
IF IT BOTHERS YOU FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO READ!!!! WOW, WHAT A CONCEPT.
Oh and if I was writing a blog my normal word's the f word not the "s-word" omg!
Keep on keepin on Jenna, lots of us love how you write!
Erin in PA

October 2, 2012 at 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna, I read you instead of the news, and I use to read the news rather compulsively. I read other honest, healthy, robust, and brave blogs too - none of them deserve misdirected anger or futile hostilities. I'm so glad you got Merlin, and Jasper and your goats and sheep and lovely dogs and that you choose the direction of living your dream. You are a wonderful example of a life lived well, a perfect life without mistakes is not possible - that is not the point. Unicorns, rainbows and bunnies abound. xo Suzy

October 2, 2012 at 5:42 PM  
OpenID landlessons said...

You share so much on your fine blog that one hates to ask for more... But please share all Cold Antler unicorns with the world of politics, all sides and virtually every issue, and especially political commentary (or what poses as it).

Thanks, Jenna.

Keith

October 2, 2012 at 5:44 PM  
Blogger bree said...

I agree Jenna and you should know that we readers set the same standards. I have unplugged from other writer/bloggers web sites who have porven themselves to be vengful, dishonest and meanspirited. I have thrown away all of his books about dogs because of my bad experience with him. I don't always agree with you and your choices. I don't always find what you write about to be interesting to me but I do find that you are always authentic, you are always respectful and you are always kind. That goes a long way with me.

October 2, 2012 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

You rock! That post just made me smile from ear to ear. Boundaries, people, Boundaries. Cheers to lovers, unicorns, acceptance, thoughtful debate and boundaries!

October 2, 2012 at 5:50 PM  
Blogger Erica said...

You rock! That post just made me smile from ear to ear. Boundaries, people, Boundaries. Cheers to lovers, unicorns, acceptance, thoughtful debate and boundaries!

October 2, 2012 at 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Christina said...

Jenna, you are living your dream, you are a very brave woman, I love reading your blog every morning, you are my breakfast company and I check it before i go to sleep ( and. Yes I do have a social life too :) ) I debated for a long time to take over our family farm which has been in the family for 300 years, unfortunately it is just not feasible. Reading your blog, keeps my connected to farm life and reminds me on very happy days on our farm. I love following your development with Merlin. I might never have a farm, but I will defintely have a horse in my garden one day. I enjoy reading your authentic blog , also if it is aout goat sex, hunting, eating meat, etc.... I like that I never know what i will read abiout next on your blog. i think it is great how you promote your workshops. thank you for being there, being a real person with character and edges, and sharing your story. Your loyal unicorn from Germany, Christina

October 2, 2012 at 6:00 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Only praises here, I see. Focus on that :)
I don't always agree with myself, either.

October 2, 2012 at 6:03 PM  
OpenID outdoors1968 said...

There are many folks online and in the real world who feel that everyone should live their lives according what "they" believe. I guess "they" aren't very evolved yet, lol. One reason I enjoy your blog is that you live your life as you see fit, not according to what everyone else feels you should do. It's the rare person indeed, these days, who chooses the life they dream of, rather than going the route of, eh, sheeple.
Good for you, Jenna!

October 2, 2012 at 6:15 PM  
Blogger pawsfurme said...

Another pair of Unicorns checking in! (My mom and I)

October 2, 2012 at 6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the first time I have commented on your blog althought I have been reading it for some time at the suggestion of Jon Katch on his we site. Although I do not hunt personally I fell that those who hunt and use their "kill" for food are admirable. I'm just not a supporter of trophy hunting; hunting with a machine gun, etc. You have the rigth to live your life as you see fit. I hope that you feel that I have the same right.

October 2, 2012 at 6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to get a bumper sticker that says:

Don't believe everything you think


Isn't expanding our horizons one of the reasons we read anything?

October 2, 2012 at 6:29 PM  
Blogger Big Sky Chicken Ranch and Victory Garden said...

The pooping rainbows comment made my afternoon. I really like the cartoon of the bad-ass unicorn that Ben posted. I am realizing we all need to make boundaries for ourselves on the interweb-worldwide, lest we let crazy people into our living rooms. Thanks!

October 2, 2012 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Big Sky Chicken Ranch and Victory Garden said...

Thanks for having the balls to write about unicorns! I was not aware that they both smoke AND poop rainbows! Now I know. Awesome!

This post makes me grateful my blog only has 12 members. HAHA. But no matter how wide my blog readership becomes, I'll never invite in the mean people, which is what we do when we allow their comments. They will have to go somewhere else, like Wendy said.

October 2, 2012 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger Cait said...

I'm afraid yours is the second blog out of the handful I read regularly that had a similar post to this one this week. What a shame!

We all come to your blog for different reasons - inspiration, to gain knowledge about something we're interested in, living vicariously for the city folks etc. Its too bad there are others who seem to have a different intent but good for you for not giving them a voice!

The space you've created here is a true inspiration for us as we begin our own farming adventures and the comment sections often host other interesting stories from readers doing similar things. A big thanks to you all!

October 2, 2012 at 7:02 PM  
Anonymous Heidi said...

I don't agree with everything you say; I get bored with workshop postings (only because I will never be in northern NY to attend one) but I kind of think your blog is an extension of your home and I wouldn't come visiting to trash talk you, or your way of living or those you love. It's just rude. I visit (read) because I like what you have to say and how you say it. It makes me think and that's a good thing.

October 2, 2012 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger Bitha said...

Jenna,
I have only been reading your blog for a couple of days now, but you are a total inspiration. Where you are at in life right now is where I aspire to be one day. Reading about how you transitioned from a traditional job to a non traditional job has given me hope that one day I can make that transistion to. Your writing is smart and intersting and most of all its about your life. No one elses. So tell all the haters to hate elsewhere:)

October 2, 2012 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

I read your blog, and Jenna this is the best post that you have written.

October 2, 2012 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

I have thought you were awesome since I stumbled upon your book at the library! Your blog is a daily inspiration for me too! Screw the negative comments, there is soo much negative in this world who needs it! I think it's great your going to keep it up, don't let the negative change you, so many people like YOU just the way YOU are!!!!!
~the chicken eating unicorn~

October 2, 2012 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I will never understand why people go to the trouble of reading something they disagree with to the very end, and then feel the need to comment how very much they disagreed. Life's short people, go read something that doesn't upset you. Good for you for moderating comments and hitting delete. The delete button is often the most powerful thing on your computer.

Looking forward to Antlerstock this weekend, two days among the Unicorns.

October 2, 2012 at 7:36 PM  
Blogger Bran said...

I've had my share of "batshit crazy," this week, and wish I had a good platform on which to say exactly what you said. You go, Girl! Ignore the batshit craziness & just keep on keeping on & being you. :)

~Brandi

October 2, 2012 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger daisy said...

All I can tell you is that you gave my passion a name, inspired me to start my blog and continue to be a guiding force in my life. All this without ever meeting you. Rock on, farmer.

October 2, 2012 at 7:45 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Here's a unicorn from West Virginia. I'm glad you have thick skin Jenna. Keep it up. I read your blog every day. I laugh and cry with you. I am old enough to be your mother and people still never cease to amaze me. Unfortunately, there is no cure for stupid, just carry on my dear.

October 2, 2012 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Here's a unicorn from West Virginia. I'm glad you have thick skin Jenna. Keep it up. I read your blog every day. I laugh and cry with you. I am old enough to be your mother and people still never cease to amaze me. Unfortunately, there is no cure for stupid, just carry on my dear.

October 2, 2012 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

fI'm sure I've commented before that I,m amazed at some of the judgement thrown your way, and how well you seem to handle it. You gained even more respect from me when you started moderating comments.

I try to be a unicorn everywhere on the web. When I think you're doing something crazy, I just keep my mouth shut. Ain't my farm, ain't my life, and we ain't family. When I come up there and help you run the place, that's when I'll feel like I can tell you what to do.

October 2, 2012 at 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Christine said...

You know what Jenna....post all those nasty comments here but make sure all your fans can see their email address and we'll take care of them! Just kidding. But in the words of the great philosopher Forrest Gump "Stupid is as Stupid does".

October 2, 2012 at 8:12 PM  
OpenID Billie said...

Jenna, you rock and don't let anybody else tell you any different! Keep doing you and we will stay here for the ride.

SNL even made a skit about the idiots who always leave negative posts on everything...just shake it off.

BTW, You were awesome at the Mother Earth News Fair and I hope you're coming back next year. And it's all your fault that I'm now on the search for a jadeite coffee mug. :)

October 2, 2012 at 8:12 PM  
Blogger Missy said...

And I should clarify my comment above. I love learning about others, especially if they are different than I am. I like learning about different opinions and ways of doing things. I wouldn't have received a degree in anthropology if I didn't. However, for my own peace of mind, if there are things on the Internet that are super offensive (which is difficult to do with me) or I feel myself getting super emotional about something (rare, but it happens), I have to take a step back from it instead of lashing out at someone like many of these negative commenters do.

October 2, 2012 at 8:14 PM  
Blogger Stephen Andrew said...

Haha. People are so weird. Picking battles behind the veil of secrecy--arguments, accusations, and and insults they would never dare say in person. Oh well. I'd rather not be a unicorn, I'd like to be Stevie Nicks..if that's okay.

October 2, 2012 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger Billie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 2, 2012 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger LeaningDuckFarm said...

You've said it before - haters gonna hate. I appreciate that you delete the jake comments. I come here to read what you write and I dont read what I don't like. Heck just reading anything that isn't instructional for me is a rarity. Keep up the great work.

October 2, 2012 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger LeaningDuckFarm said...

You've said it before - haters gonna hate. I appreciate that you delete the jake comments. I come here to read what you write and I dont read what I don't like, heck reading anything that isn't instructional for me is a rarity. Keep up the great work.

October 2, 2012 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger Sparkless said...

There's always a few nuts in every bag and you can't let them spoil things.
I usually type in comments and then delete them. Just typing them is cathartic enough. I don't need to add to the bunch of people out there shoving their ideals on everyone else. People are free to be and say as they choose and I choose.
As a wise bunny once said "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Words to live by.

October 2, 2012 at 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just keep doin' what you're doin'...people don't need to be reading this if they have issues with your life....which, by the way, is how WE ALL lived many years ago!

October 2, 2012 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger Kelly McMichael said...

I had a feeling you'd get some flack about the hunting. BUT--hunting is necessary to keep animal populations in control. Those same people who complain about hunting would likely be horrified if they realized that too big of a population results in starvation. What is better--hunting an animal for food or having them starve because there are too many and not enough food. Well, I love animals and I don't hunt but I know from first hand experience which one is better for everyone.

October 2, 2012 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger Karen C said...

I continue to not understand people taking issue with someone else's personal choices on their own blog. If someone is not okay with eating meat and/or raising it themselves to the point that they can't tolerate it in a blog they're reading, why are they reading the blog? And how would they feel about their own lives being opened up to that kind of criticism? When one is invited to read the diary of someone's life, one does not treat that invitation with disrespect.

October 2, 2012 at 9:17 PM  
Blogger Suzzanne said...

another unicorn here, from southern California, and I'm surrounded by batshit crazy, by the way. I don't always agree with what you do or say, but like Alison said, it's not my life, it's not my farm, it's not my decision. I was raised to treat people the way I would want to be treated, internet or not (and I, too, am old enough to be your mother--young lady, I hope you brought that car back with a full tank of gas! bahaha). Try not to take it to heart. There are many more of us that are inspired by your words and look forward to your latest adventures, but I, for one, am just a shy lurker. Hang tough, girl.

October 2, 2012 at 9:19 PM  
Blogger Joleen said...

Good for you Jenna!

October 2, 2012 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger kringsrud said...

Hi Jenna --

I read your blog faithfully. I love it. I would never do some of the things you do, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy reading about your experiences.

However, I almost never read the comments. This is true for most of the blogs I read -- love the bloggers; their readers, not necessarily so much.

October 2, 2012 at 9:33 PM  
Blogger jls said...

I find unicorns offensive. Nah, not really. :-)

October 2, 2012 at 9:45 PM  
Blogger bellananda said...

***applause***

October 2, 2012 at 9:54 PM  
Blogger bellananda said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 2, 2012 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Hear hear! I love when blog communities find a way to be that unicorn on the internet and I love how hard you emphasize that here.

October 2, 2012 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Jenna, really respect you and all that you're working for. Nobody is perfect, that is for sure, but I don't get angry comments across a blog either...doesn't make any sense to me. I hope you keep believing in yourself and in humanity. Unicorns, like myself, are far more plentiful but often too quiet...it' usually the crazy bears that are heard.

October 2, 2012 at 10:16 PM  
Blogger Finding My Roots said...

Pink sparkly unicorn over here! I think that sometimes people think that they know you because they read so much about your life and forget you do not know them.... or maybe they are just tolls that eat unicorns.

October 2, 2012 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

I say...for the first time the other day I found a gal who wasn't very nice towards you. I made myself read it and when I was done I read it again....because I couldn't believe what I read. I don't know you but I know the 'you' of your blog...and I cannot fathom where she came up with her opinion. But it's her opinion. And I'll leave her to it.
The lovely Dita Von Teese has said, "“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”
Yes, I like her and I like working in a barn. So sue me.
(I don't have a penny to my name so good luck with that one ;)

October 2, 2012 at 10:39 PM  
Blogger Mary Schroeder said...

Unicorn reporting in!
I don't understand the hate either. I can understand civil disagreement.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion but it doesn't mean you have to listen to it. :)
Keep on, keeping on.

October 2, 2012 at 10:43 PM  
Blogger maddie said...

Woo woo! Go Jenna!

October 2, 2012 at 10:55 PM  
Blogger Karen Rickers said...

I am level headed, but I don't want to be a unicorn. Please, may I be a dragon? I would like to fly. I promise to use my fiery breath only for good. :-D

October 2, 2012 at 11:16 PM  
Blogger madpotter1 said...

Back to the mother earth news fair......

Trolls be damned, unicorns full speed ahead! I propose more blogs on happy goat sex while being serenaded to Garrison Kellar..... Do they smoke after?

October 2, 2012 at 11:18 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Jenna, Keep posting on your blog...I look forward to your stories of your life. I just donated to the farm to help you out. I can only imagine the hardships. Take Care.

October 2, 2012 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Hi, I don't comment very often, but thought I would today. I am a vegetarian and I read your blog in the spirit it is intended. You are a rare woman living the life she has dreamed of. I admired and respect your determination and moxie. As I said I don't eat meat but it is not my place to put my values on others. Your animals have a far better life than many. You keep truckin on and don't let the buttheads get you down.

October 2, 2012 at 11:43 PM  
Blogger a.rogue (Alice) said...

I don't even agree with myself sometimes! I only recently found your blog and I have been enjoying it for several weeks - wish I lived closer and found you sooner so I could learn to fiddle with you :)
My personal motto is if you don't like something, then don't read it!
Just stop reading, unfollow, take off your list...
You are an inspiration to so many - it was nice to read all the supportive comments that followed this post!
Chin up and stand proud of what you do!
A fan and future unicorn :)

October 3, 2012 at 12:18 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Unicorn here - you go girl!

October 3, 2012 at 5:11 AM  
Blogger mdoe37 said...

I just think its simply too easy for these folks to plink away on their typing devices and say what they think. Used to be, you didn't say what you thought to people unless it was face-to-face or over the phone. They wouldn't have the brass to say what they do on these blogs face-to-face.

Its called discretion.

P.S.

Believe it or not, farming is a legal profession. Even pimping out goat hookers.




October 3, 2012 at 6:04 AM  
Blogger RamblinHome said...

I love reading the comments from fellow followers of your blog, because it reaffirms my faith in the decency of most compared to the idiocy of the few (who often get more attention than they deserve). There seems to be this rash outbreak of inconsideration, entitlement and a lack of manners with the general public lately. I used to think it was just the younger generation, but lately, it seems widespread. Its disheartening and makes me not want to venture out into the public some days. Thanks for keeping it positive here Jenna! Tiffany*

October 3, 2012 at 6:33 AM  
Blogger Wittgenstein's Watering Can said...

I think that people, in general, are still working out how to behave online. I know this internet thing's been around a while now, but we still seem to be working it out.

Some people seem to assume that if you're putting what you think out there in public, you're saying you're right and that everyone else should think the same way - that doesn't come across in your posts Jenna, but if someone assuming that is going to think they have to argue.

It feels very personal when you read a blog, you get to know a lot about someone's life and their words are right there on your screen in your house, so there's a sense that that person is talking to you and so I can sort of see why people react that way. Especially when there's the 'safety' of a wall of distance and anonymity added in. But that doesn't make it right, and hopefully if you and other bloggers make a stand more people will start to realise that real world standards of politeness and debate rather than attack work well on the net too. Of course some people don't have those standards in real life either, so I'm not sure there's any hope in those cases!

I used to do my fair share of ranting online, getting into arguments on forums etc. But these days, I think before I post, and try to have reasoned debate, ask questions, rather than say "NO, you're WRONG!" because I know what it's like to be on the end of harsh words, when you can't see someone face to face and explain what you mean. It's upsetting and hurtful. I am definitely learning to be a unicorn :-)

October 3, 2012 at 6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the best things about reading a blog such as this is genuine, heartfelt way it is written. It's one thing to read about a quiet, sustainable life and romanticize it... it's far more productive to 'keep it real' and give the full disclosure that it comes with sacrifices, financial woes. heartbreaks, etc. It is only by trial and error that we learn to avoid some mistakes and when you do make a mistake, Jenna, you own it and share it with us so that we can learn from it, too. We're not just sharing the journey, we're riding the learning curve along with you. One of the best things I've noticed about the readership of this blog is the synergy that exists. Yes, we are learning through your experiences but also through suggestions made by others. There is a wealth of farming knowledge here when we share it with one another... without judgment and shared in the spirit of such a great community.

October 3, 2012 at 7:19 AM  
Anonymous Victoria said...

I'm with the people who don't always agree with what they themselves think! Jenna, I'm glad you moderate your comments, because it means for the most part I enjoy reading them. I'm sorry for the hate emails. But I bet you have more unicorns here today than you get hate emails!

Thank you for having the courage of your convictions.

October 3, 2012 at 7:38 AM  
Blogger Farmin in WV said...

batshit crazy is my favorite saying!!!

I find that most people have lost the art of discourse!! You are either for them or against them and there is no middle ground. It is a shame. I love a good argument. That being said, a good argument is not insults thrown because you don't agree with someone's beliefs. Whatever happened to agree to disagree?? Or change the damn channel, radio station, blog, whatever if you don't like what you read or hear! Why tear someone else down?

I like your blog. Even when I don't quite agree with it!

Write on! Ignore the batshit crazy!!!

October 3, 2012 at 7:41 AM  
Anonymous Linda P. said...

I'm a 62-year-old vegan dealing with an incapacitating illness, so I will never hunt, milk, or raise meat animals. I live far away from your town, so I will likely never attend one of your workshops. However, what I share with you is that I'm still a dreamer, and I love reading about a younger woman who is going after her dreams. I also share a desire to grow the food I eat, as much as is possible, to play my violin, although my illness means my fingers no long cooperate to produce the music exactly the way my head hears it, to exult in the companionship of my dogs. Congratulations on all you have achieved and stand assured that many of us who choose differently still admire your efforts.

October 3, 2012 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Brooke said...

Another level headed reader here. I rarely comment, but always read what you write. I don't know why people have lost common sense and take everything so darn personally. Ignore the crazies and keep on writing!

October 3, 2012 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger feathers217 said...

Batshit !! Exactly ! You are such a strong person , and I say that only from reading your blog everyday for the past 4 plus years. I think the ones that show their hollow thoughts with ugly replies to your blog are just jealous because they want what you have and are to lazy to even try to reach for the stars as you have. You show us all that following your dreams may not be an easy trail to ride but it is well worth the effort if it is truly in your heart. No I do not know you but I feel your presence and can close my eyes and feel I am riding on the trails with you each and everyday thru your sharing here.
I thank you for sharing and for following your heart and showing us that strong women do exist outside of a normal working enviroment of an office and such.
Yea , I join your herd of Unicorn's and surround you with love & support ! You Rock !!

October 3, 2012 at 10:07 AM  
Anonymous Awfulknitter said...

You can call me a unicorn if you like! I usually think of myself as a lurker - I have thoughts, but I keep them to myself!

I read something a blogger wrote (I think it was the Yarn Harlot) about how she expected people to respond to her blog, and to other commenters - she said that people should act as if the blog is her living room, don't say anything that you wouldn't say if you were sat in her living room. This made so much sense to me (she was much more eloquent and concise!).

Life is too short to waste time getting mad when you don't have to, and when you can't do anything to change things. And who wants to be the internet equivalent of the crazy person shouting at strangers in the street? (Too many, alas...)

October 3, 2012 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Lori said...

I really enjoy your blog! I often learn something new and am inspired to do more with my own suburban homestead. "Accentuate the positive - eliminate the negative!"

October 3, 2012 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger Katie Swanberg said...

I find your bravery about blog topics refreshing. There are things I shy away from because I know they will polarize, so I commend you. I write about how much my life has changed on my blog since I almost died a couple years ago, before that I was a "garden blogger." I would love to talk about hunting, fishing, cleaning and cooking game (we have some awesome recipes) along with the gardening, but I'm just not ready to go there. I'm glad someone is.

And cultivating a kind comments section isn't easy. My solution? I'm ruthless. If you don't have something nice to say, move along. People who's comments are deleted tend to move on after a while. I also decided to stop acknowledging them period by writing posts about it. The few I had realized they were't getting any air time and left! (Also, WordPress has the ability to block commenters by IP address, just a thought).

Thank you for what you do and for having the courage to share it with us.

October 3, 2012 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger Ellen Rathbone said...

Here's another unicorn for you!

You are handling it with grace.

October 3, 2012 at 1:47 PM  
Anonymous Lynda said...

Love this blog. Visit almost daily. Don't understand why some think it's okay to tell you how to live. Sign me up as Unicorn. :)

October 3, 2012 at 2:22 PM  
Blogger Kara said...

I agree 100% with Linda P. I've been a vegetarian for 25 years, there is no chance I'm changing the way I eat. I don't read this blog to get mad at the entries that focus on meat, I read the blog because someone is documenting how they are achieving their dream and doing it well! If someone doesn't like something stop reading it, I would.

I also appreciate the heads up when the blog has graphic images, I just don't read those days.

Keep it up Jenna!

October 3, 2012 at 2:40 PM  
Blogger Greentwinsmummy said...

In clip clops another unicorn x its one of those things that confuses the hell out of me as to why anyone would go to a place to read thing by someone they for their own reasons find annoying, wrong,irksome, pick your adjective.

I avoid certain shops because my blood boils in them, I avoid certain large gatherings as the same happens, why then would I go read a blog where I want to pick a fight with the writer?

If I was in a pub and someone near me starting talking about something I found vexing, I would move away, I wouldnt stand right near to them all night?

Some folks are deeply miserable with their lot and the thing thats easiest to do? pick on someone, pick someone elses life to bits because they are too damned scared to examine their own.

As you know I work a pheasant shoot here over in England and the utter twaddle thats been written about hunting and shooting recently is incredible.

Ignorance and envy are close bedfellows, and anger a close third. All best avoided.

Head down, a*se up as we say here and keep the fingers typing gal.

GTM x x x

October 3, 2012 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

I'm another unicorn.

I haven't had pheasant since I was a wee lass, and I miss it. It was always fun to find the stray buckshot from my dad's gun. Luckily no one broke a tooth. lol.

Good luck with the hunt.

October 3, 2012 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

I was just thinking, if all of us unicorns pooped out rainbows and the naysayers slipped and fell in it, they'd be covered in rainbow poop and we could spot them walking down the street and maybe we could trip them.

Actually, I'm so glad you screen comments and delete the offensive ones, I was starting to think I was gonna have to start kicking some butt. These batshit crazies just need to go someplace else.

Carol Bailey

October 3, 2012 at 3:49 PM  
Blogger Greentwinsmummy said...

Me again! go to you tube and either put this link in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGKfrgqWcv0

or type in Mumford and Sons

I Will Wait For You.

Turn the sound up LOUD and if you are not singing that next time you are riding on your black horse feeling ALIVE I will eat my tweed flat cap

{grin}

GTM x x x

October 3, 2012 at 3:53 PM  
Blogger Sewing Machine Girl said...

Your life is not for me to agree with or disagree with. I come to read daily to see some darn fine writing, to observe the passion of your self chosen path, and to be happy to read something positive. Why some folks get upset is beyond me. I've never read something that I considered out of whack here. I think their anger must stem from a feeling of powerlesness, and they want to take your obvious power down. Hard to be a public figure. I just want to see what new music you are groovin on....

October 3, 2012 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger Wendy Halliman said...

Another unicorn here (Can I pls. be a pegasus instead?!?!? ) I love reading your blog, it's like modern pioneering!! I think I told ya at Fiddle Camp how hubby and I did the same thing as our kids were growing up. Raised our own food, gardens, hogs, chickens, eggs, etc. Kids are grown now, barn only holds motorcycles and garden stuff...but reading your blog takes me right back to all the fun/exciting/trying/heartbreaking times we had homesteading. Write on brave Celtic Woman!! SMIB :)
Hugs,
Wendy from Fiddlecamp

October 3, 2012 at 8:30 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

So sorry you're still dealing with unreasonable people. Keep being your wonderfully unique self. That's what drew me to your blog in the first place and what, I imagine, keeps your loyal readers coming back. Besides, I love unicorns! Be well!

October 3, 2012 at 11:11 PM  
Blogger Sue at Sweetgrass Ranch said...

Well said, Jenna.

October 4, 2012 at 1:30 AM  
Blogger Robbie Knight said...

Beautifully said. The idea that it is OK to assail, interrupt, insult or abuse someone was missing from my childhood. I was raised to disagree respectfully if disagreement were needed, to always reinforce positives and to try to learn something in discussions. These ideas are absent from the act of attacking someone verbally, in person or on paper.

Unicorns can bring back a bit of gentility, I hope...

Love what you do, Jenna. Thanks for the address so I can try to find a unique, old-timey Halloween card!

October 5, 2012 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Jenni Whicker said...

Well, Jenna, I may not agree with everything you say, but I still LOVE to read your blog for the things that we share in common. I someday want to start my own farm and am making progress towards that (baby steps).

Just because I won't be brewing my own beer any time doesn't take away the worth and value I find in your posts.

I sincerely hope you are as strengthened and inspired by your readers from here on out as we are strengthened and inspired reading your stuff.

And for those who don't like what you have to say, may I offer a gentle reminder that they don't have to read it?

October 5, 2012 at 12:20 PM  
Blogger Jenni Whicker said...

Well, Jenna, I may not agree with everything you say, but I still LOVE to read your blog for the things that we share in common. I someday want to start my own farm and am making progress towards that (baby steps).

Just because I won't be brewing my own beer any time doesn't take away the worth and value I find in your posts.

I sincerely hope you are as strengthened and inspired by your readers from here on out as we are strengthened and inspired reading your stuff.

And for those who don't like what you have to say, may I offer a gentle reminder that they don't have to read it?

October 5, 2012 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger Linzleh said...

Love your writing and keep it up. Life is messy and disagreeable at times and reality is often hard to stomach. You only grow if you experience both pleasures as well as those opportunities for disgust or outrage. Yin and Yang. By the way, I can make it through the slaughter and hunting stuff and it gives me a lot of respect for you and our forefathers to whom all this lifestyle was the norm. Keep it up Jenna!

October 5, 2012 at 4:02 PM  
Blogger Linzleh said...

Love your writing and keep it up. Life is messy and disagreeable at times and reality is often hard to stomach. You only grow if you experience both pleasures as well as those opportunities for disgust or outrage. Yin and Yang. By the way, I can make it through the slaughter and hunting stuff and it gives me a lot of respect for you and our forefathers to whom all this lifestyle was the norm. Keep it up Jenna!

October 5, 2012 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger Jburd said...

No criticism or unsolicited advice from me! I just enjoy reading your blog everyday from down here in Georgia, wanting to do the same here one day. keep up the good work.

October 6, 2012 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Krista said...

Cheering you on from Missouri! And in keeping with the unicorn theme:

There was mother unicorn and she had 3 baby unicorns. The first baby unicorn came and said "Mommy, why did you name me Daisy?" The mother replied "Because the day you were born, a daisy fell right on your forehead." She said "Ah thats sweet." She kissed her on the cheek and left. The next baby unicorn comes in and she said "Mommy, why did you name Rose?" The mother replied "Because the day you were born, a rose fell right on your forehead." She said "Ah thats sweet." She kissed her on the forehead and walked away. Then the third baby unicorn comes in and she was like "DERREDUBUDUBJEHDK" and the mom said "SHUT UP CINDERBLOCK!"

October 6, 2012 at 6:03 PM  
Anonymous Leigh said...

Save some of the best crazy posts and put them into a special Batshit Blog Post in honor of Halloween!

October 7, 2012 at 12:14 PM  
Blogger Angela Boyko said...

Unicorn Angela here. I read your blog to discover another way of living and to think about changes I could make to live more naturally. In no way am I about to buy a farm, but I enjoy reading about yours.

You may do things that I wouldn't do, but it's your life and your choices. I choose to continue reading and be a grown-up about it. :-)

October 7, 2012 at 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your blog, keep writing despite the silly folks. For a girl in Illinois who wants to live on a farm someday and have every animal under the sun, your writings are an inspiration! To me it is like having a window into the kind of life I dream about, hunting trips, pig slaughters and all.

~Shawna

October 8, 2012 at 6:58 AM  

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