Friday, August 7, 2015

Dear Ginger,

I do without many things I can't afford, Ginger. I do think a safe vehicle is something I can't do without, not living alone in the north country. And I think 2 grand is humble budget to have for a used farm truck.

Ginger, I have no problem asking for loans from people I don't know. I don't know the people who funded my mortgage, nor do I know the people that financed my old truck. I never knew the people who signed the checks at the accounting office for the office jobs I had before, either. I'd much rather borrow 25 bucks from 63 people who know me through the blog and are cheering me on than through some institution of faceless numbers, but that's me.

Oh, as for the part time job? I have about a dozen. I am not just a blogger who rides her pony and lives on hand outs. The donations this farm gets is appreciated, but can't cover the feed I go through in two weeks, much less run a household. I'm an author, freelance magazine writer, pig farmer, music instructor, speaker, archery teacher, essayist, poultry slinger, ad salesman, graphic designer and more. All those things make up living a life I can wake up and respect myself for. I'm damn proud to ask for a couple grand I don't have from strangers when the money I do have is paying back Chase Bank for the farm I've managed to buy, maintain, and keep for half a decade. It's proof positive I don't have to be a part of some sad system of corporate banking or quivering before bosses when things get tough.

I've been in this blogging game long enough to know any negative comments and backhanded compliments tell me a lot more about the commenter than they do about me. If I click on your name and it's a blank profile, Hell, that always makes me smile. It instantly discredits you. Head over to GOMI if you think wit is the same as snark. It's not. Just like being confident isn't the same as being an asshole.

And that, of course, goes for all the positive comments, too. I can't believe the praise any more than the snark - both are just manifestations of how the person typing feels about themselves and the world. What I write here is a manifestation of how I feel about the world - that's what my entire blog is. Happier people write happy things. Miserable people make up screen names and tell people living a life they see as unfair to get a job. My life isn't unfair, it's just my life. It's the choices I made - like asking on a blog for help buying a truck. If you see that as weakness or shameful, that's your shit. That has nothing to do with me, at all.

Oh, and the farm thing is working out splendidly! Thank you for asking! Money is always tight but I don't consider having money success. That's a recipe for a garbage life. This morning I took care of my animals (and the animals of friends and neighbors I am feeding) and came inside to work on graphic design clients with my new puppy chewing a bone at my feet. I took a break from that to run 5 miles and now I am getting ready to shower, run errands in town, and start laying out my novel Birchthorn for the editor (its' due to the fine people in New Jersey on the 15th).  I'm busy, creating, writing, and producing food and art. I'm losing weight, making new friends (last night was awesome at the Argyle Brewery!) and last week met with a movie producer about helping out with a an indie filming in the area in the fall. There's a local radio station here that plays Radiohead and the Ramones and even though I live in the middle of nowhere the local pizza place will still deliver if I'm too tired to cook and just want to binge on Paranormal Activity Movie Marathon on Amazon Prime. But I am eating a lot less pizza these days and feeling healthier and sexier than ever, oh, and about to get my dream truck. Ginger, I'd sooner starve to death under a bridge than go back to the life I hated living in some office chair. Which is exactly why I never will. But go ahead and hold your breath.

Anyway, I can't think of things "working out" any better way.

How's your day going, homie? Pretty good? I hope so. Cause if this commenting on stranger's blogs thing isn't working out you may need to make a change.


Blogger Matt_Middleton said...

Nice response :) I applaud going outside the "usual" system to get the help you need with the truck - as you say, better to borrow from people who have some idea of who you are, than from the giant conglomerate banks.

August 7, 2015 at 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HA! Love it.

August 7, 2015 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Rachel Sundberg said...

Yay, Jenna! Stay awesome!

August 7, 2015 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Bitha said...

Love it! I think Kiva style loans are Way better than a bank/credit loan. I have helped fund 2 women and it makes me feel good to get to help a person I can know a little bit about.

To Ginger: often times when we are judgemental towards others we are judging those things within ourselves. Maybe try quitting your dream job and living your passion in life

August 7, 2015 at 2:06 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Rock on Jenna!

August 7, 2015 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger mdoe37 said...

I was waiting for one of "those" people. Let me comment....

Ginger dear, unless you are really, really disabled, there is absolutely no reason your income is fixed. That's on you. If you require government assistance, I don't care....but realize someone (we and including Jenna) fund you. I know personally this household could do TONS more if I didn't have to pay all those taxes.

You need to change your thinking "Do With" instead of "Do Without".


I thought the truck was quite modest.....hopefully the beast serve you well.

A name, the truck needs a name. And maybe a set of antlers on the hood.

August 7, 2015 at 2:38 PM  
Blogger Barb Davis-Pyles said...

Farm and ROCK ON, Jenna!

August 7, 2015 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

You are my hero ...
Denise in TN

August 7, 2015 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger kathie said...

I'm not sure what it says about me, but I think this is one of your finest posts. Farm on, farmer!

August 7, 2015 at 3:58 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

That was just rude, you, not Ginger.

August 7, 2015 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger renate said...

you. are. awesome.

August 7, 2015 at 4:21 PM  
Blogger Mel Baker said...

Amen, Sister!!!

August 7, 2015 at 4:22 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Thanks guys!

August 7, 2015 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

And Karen, yes, sometimes I am rude. I'm a human being and full of many, many, many faults. If people are going to go out of their way to hassle or judge me on my own site, they better brace for what's coming.

August 7, 2015 at 4:45 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

*standing ovation* You rock, Jenna. That's the most polite, articulate slap down I've read in a while.

August 7, 2015 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger jay lemmon said... has to do what one has to do... I've read several articles about people who have had accounts with gofundme to raise money to help in situations... seems to be the thing these days...

August 7, 2015 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

I just don't understand that attitude from a stranger. Even if you are screwing up your life, that's your business. And if your fans are stupid for supporting your screwed up life, that's their business. I'd rather be a happy screw-up than a judgmental upright citizen with a superiority complex. To paraphrase Billy Joel, the screwups are much more fun.

August 7, 2015 at 7:34 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Micro funding works in many third world countries - why shouldn't it be benficial here? We need to see more of this....people helping people. Like what is $2000? It's nothing, yet it's HUGE....

August 7, 2015 at 7:39 PM  
Blogger Heather-Anne said...

I am happy to help. I am able so I do. Just helping each other out.

August 7, 2015 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger Suzy I. said...

I have an observation about those who have firsthand knowledge of poverty, either because they used to be poor or are currently experiencing it. I am in the former category, thank goodness, and I am not going to tell you "how bad I had it." Trust me, it was bad. But I think that many people who describe their financial difficulties in online comments wear it as a badge of honor, and use their status to hector those who they feel aren't "being poor" appropriately. Anyway, my observation is that people who are having, or who have experienced poverty, fall into two camps: Those who have empathy towards others who are facing lean times, and those who are sanctimonious harpies.
Jenna, I've walked a mile in your shoes, and if there was a Kiva when I hit my rough patch, I'd have been all over that like a chicken on a junebug.
Ginger, lighten up.

August 7, 2015 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger Kyler and Sylvia said...

Wow. Jenna, I think what Ginger wrote was fairly written.
You've done a good job of establishing a loyal following.
As you may know, we've been following since 2011.
Cheers, and I hope you find what you're looking for.

August 7, 2015 at 9:24 PM  
Blogger happytobe said...

I agree with ginger and you should be embarrassed begging for money which is what you are doing no matter what funding vehicle you call it...earn it yourself...which you also say you are?

August 7, 2015 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger mdoe37 said...

I'm still shaking my head. Clearly some have no clue that most farms are a shoestring operation.....not everybody is from old money and gifted the silver spoon.

Somebody send that woman some cheese to go with her whine.

August 7, 2015 at 10:05 PM  
Blogger Nate Madd said...

It is encouraging and inspiring to hear about how you live your life. Your honesty and confidence are refreshing. The part I find hilarious about this, is that so many people take out a loan for a car they can't really afford, but someone is offended that you want a loan for a practical vehicle. I appreciate how you answered, it didn't sound rude at all, just stating facts.

August 8, 2015 at 12:13 AM  
Blogger Shahira_06 said...

Good answer, Jenna. It's sad that others have to make your business theirs. You are entitled to live your life how you do and share about it however you choose. Like you said, you are happiest doing what you're doing and that's all that matters. It may at times be hard, but you're making it and are the happiest you've been. You have so many opportunities to meet people, try different things,lose weight and write about it. What person has never had a loan of some sort? These people writing their negative remarks are just negative people who have nothing better to do than build themselves up by tearing other people down that they are jealous of. I am happy you were able to get a truck and I am happy about the life that you can live. I am happy about your achievements and the encouragement you bring to others. Life is too short to stress about the crap people that come and go. They don't deserve the dot at the end of a sentence much less a whole reply. Maybe that's their little moment of fame to get a response from Anyways, live your life and enjoy it.

August 8, 2015 at 1:13 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

Obviously your dozen part-time jobs aren't providing enough income than to barely cover your living costs. You should re-examine your personal/business financial plan to see what changes need to be made to improve your financial situation. Be it getting an off-farm job temporarily, evaluating your livestock choices to increase their income/bartering leverage or whatever you may think of until you've established some sort of cushion. Owning a house/farm/homestead can be a blessing, or a curse.

I suggest you check out Dave Ramsey's financial ideas. His basic concept is to live today like no one else so later you can live like no one else. His plan is based on the common sense of our grandparents to succeed with money.

August 8, 2015 at 1:53 AM  
Blogger Desert Willow said...

It's interesting to me that a few may have missed the point entirely. Debate always makes things more interesting, at least debate with a real flesh and blood person, not so much with a cardboard cut out. I just think that if a person has put their life out there for all to see if someone has something to say about it good or bad we should at least be able to see a bit of who they are. I guess it's easy to drop bombs from 10,000 feet nobody knows who you are. So for those with blank profiles that have all this good advise let's have a look at your blogs and/or profiles, do you have something to hide or do you actually walk around in public wearing a ski mask?

August 8, 2015 at 8:31 AM  
Blogger Robin Follette said...

Sixty-three people want to pitch in to loan money. What business is it of theirs to tell anyone of those 63 people how to spend their money?

August 8, 2015 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Peggy said...

I read your blog quite often. I too am a single woman trying to make a go of farming. I find your outlook on life very inspiring and always root for you and hope you never have to give it up. You are very creative in finding money but do feel that you haven’t got quite a handle on it, even after “half a decade”. The people on this blog are very kind and generous and it can be very easy to simply come on here and ask them for money knowing you will get it. Asking money from banks is an entirely different scenario. That is what banks are meant for. That is their purpose, that is how they make money. I also need a truck for the winter. And a tractor, a trailer, firewood, etc. The list could go on. That is my problem. I chose this lifestyle so I have to figure it out without asking for handouts. Try getting more creative in your investments. Make money work for you rather than you constantly working for it. Start pocketing a little bit of savings here and there. If it is just as easy to pay a small loan back, it should be just as easy to save for one without the added interest burden. Good luck!

August 8, 2015 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Jenna - I was so happy to see you meet you loan needs (and probably could've exceeded) with the people who believe in what you do. I appreciate your approach to paying off people who want you to succeed verses the bank. I'm not one to comment, just read the blogs and books, but I'm compelled to as I enjoy teaching about your adventures, failures, successes and surprises. I'm not far away in Central New York and visited Warrensburg for years on end growing up. Keep doing what you're doing in the style you want to. You live how you want to, you blog how you want to and you say f*ck it to those you want to. (Empty profile for me, but just due to little ones at home and the lack of being an avid commenter)

August 8, 2015 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

I appreciate all the comments, but I think the assumption that a Kiva Loan is a handout isn't correct. First off, it's a loan. It's the same as any loan given from any bank but instead of loaning from a bank I am loaning from this community. All 63 people who chose to loan did so because they wanted to. Again, I have zero problem with asking folks to loan. If you have a problem with it, don't get a loan from Kiva?! And that's the end of that.

You guys who don't like that I asked for help also need to realize I have been writing this blog and my books for nearly ten years. There is a lot of work that goes into that, and building this audience. If you think over 4,363 blog posts (and that's just this blog) and five books doesn't count as the work, you are mistaken. The fact people are even here to help with that truck loan is because they keep reading. I am not a woman standing on the street corner with a cardboard sign asking for money. You're hear supporting me or complaining about me because I keep writing, here. Sometimes that feels like I am in a barn I built plank by plank over the past ten years and people are yelling at me because someone saw that barn and donated the paint. The person offering the paint isn't a victim, they're a patron. They like the barn, they like the barn builder, and they chose to add paint.

There are barn burners out there. I know. But the longer I keep this place the less I care about the people holding the matches. It's just not a part of my life. If you don't want to support CAF, don't. But if you keep reading this blog because you disagree with me and dislike me, don't you realize you are just adding view count numbers and helping keep my energy going? Comments like Gingers feed my internal fire and while some of you keep telling me to call it quits, I just keep going. I'll always just keep going. If that pisses you off, it's time to be a little kinder to yourself and stop reading. I don't visit any websites that anger or frustrate me. I don't watch Reality TV to feel superior to people who are edited to look like idiots. I don't punch myself in the face. I don't heckle people I don't agree with. I don't do any of that because why the hell would I choose to spend my short time on this earth volunteering for unhappiness? I like me, a lot. And I think that is the root of people's anger with me. They don't like that I like me.

What do you think that says about you?

August 8, 2015 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Holly Brown said...

Jenna, I subscribe to you and have for at least a little under a year now. I do it because I believe in you, and in what you represent. I totally understand(and agree) with your response to 'Ginger' but I can't help but think maybe you're weighing too much thought on the bad messages. 'Ginger' didn't need a response, you dont have to waste your time and energy on people like that. Those who understand, understand and those who dont will just pick apart any response you give. I only know you from the blog and your books but you seem a person who sometimes gets caught in the casual cruelty of others. Please dont. You are amazing and fabulous and talented and you inspire me and so many others.

Dont feed the vultures Jenna. Rock out with your bad self to our applause.

-Holly Brown

August 8, 2015 at 9:40 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Holly, you are dead right. I shouldn't. My response to Ginger was a build up of years of hearing from people leave similar comments. Thank you for your sweet message.

August 8, 2015 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger bookkm said...

Ask, as the Bible says, and you will receive. You ask, Jenna. No one needs to answer. We do and we do not begrudge what we donate. You have offered me uncounted hours of vicarious farming, good reading and information. I have been willing to pay for that.

August 8, 2015 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Wow! It's a freaking LOAN! A lot of you are acting like she started a gofundme! Not like it should matter if she had chosen to go that route. People spend too much time being judgey assholes. I thought your response was perfect. People shouldn't feel so comfortable telling others that they should feel ashamed of themselves. Get off your high horses!

August 8, 2015 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger smilin' amy said...

Hey, Jenna! I don't comment often, but I will now, if you don't mind. :)
First, I love the blog, love the books, the farm, your can-do attitude, your animals, and the way you put it all out there (the good, the bad, AND the ugly!), but most of all, I love rooting for you.
Re: Ginger... Just remember, opinions are like assholes. Not only does everybody have one, some ppl are not as aware of when they should keep them to themselves vs. when to share them with the whole world. (I have a cousin with a horrible habit of mooning people.). I think Ginger, in a manner of speaking, "mooned" you.
I have found the best way to deal with ppl like Ginger is to smile and say, "I'm sorry for you. I'll pray for you." They usually are disarmed at that point and don't know WHAT to say. When you think of how unhappy ppl like her must truly be, you can feel pity for them instead of feeling like you need to defend yourself or become angry.
Remember the TKN rule: is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?? If not, it doesn't need to be said.
I hope I didn't just MOON you either, LOL!! Good luck and godspeed!

August 8, 2015 at 6:21 PM  
Blogger Goose Goose said...

While walking around a small mountain town yesterday, I overheard a woman say to a man, as they were passing by me in the opposite direction, 'You can do whatever you want. My rules are for me, not for everyone else.'

This is a big one. We have to mind our own lives and let the others run theirs. We all could learn a few things. What's good about your blog is that you, in fact, welcome some opposite opinions and it is all OK. :) Now, where's the cassette box? I may have tossed it some time ago....

August 9, 2015 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger Pilates Paula said...

Good luck Jenna, and happy driving. You're living your life for everyone to see which is just amazingly brave. My dream isn't a farm, exactly, but I still get so much inspiration from you. I've also come to realize that some people just are judgmental and negative, just like some people just are short or tall. They can't help it, and have never been anything else so they don't even see it. Others just want to help out when they can. It takes all kinds.

August 9, 2015 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger Pilates Paula said...

Ha! Apropos of this discussion, this just came up today: "For about three centuries the Western economy has been dominated by jobs that require fixed, repetitive actions. A large number of these jobs, up to…um…all of them, are now vanishing."

August 9, 2015 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger annette said...

You have so much energy. I love your work keep it up! People like me are inspired by you.

August 9, 2015 at 8:43 PM  
Blogger Nushi said...

damnit this is why you're my role model. Thanks for the daily dose of hope!

August 12, 2015 at 11:22 AM  
Blogger CherylZ said...

You go girl! And, keep your chin up! You're living your dream and maybe some people are a little bit jealous!

August 12, 2015 at 5:37 PM  
Blogger DiademB said...

I know it's not exactly on topic since this was a loan but I would suggest watching Amanda Palmer's TED talk "The Art of Asking".

You put out quality content and you shouldn't be ashamed to get paid for it.

August 14, 2015 at 1:40 AM  

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