Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Sixty degrees may not feel very warm for a house, but after spending two hours outdoors on a windy hillside it felt amazing walking through that front door. I couldn't feel my toes and my fingers were heading towards numb. My father's rifle was slung over my shoulder, and I gladly set it down against the doorframe to the living room. I had not so much as caught a glimpse of a deer, much less had the chance to shoot one, but I remain optimistic. Maybe this will be my year yet.

Today was a day of simple success on this homestead. I woke up in a chilly house (around 48 degrees) and got to the work of my AM triple threat: fire tending, chores, and coffee. That holy trinity of woodstove, a hot mug, and the bundling up in armor and the physical work of moving hay, bales, and buckets in the far-colder outdoor temps makes even a 50-degree home feel warm. Especially by that fire. So I did the chores, fed the crew, and enjoyed that mug of cheap coffee and gas station half and half. It's enough to make me happy. A simple happy. And that instant-nostalgia of a farm enjoying its recently acquired breakfast and all those fat animals made me smile during that second long sip. Coffee tastes so much better when you convince yourself you earned it.

After that was time for sweeping floors, straightening up, and listening to music. I start my days with music, and try to keep finding new music I love. I have a theory that the unhappiest people in the world stopped caring about sex and music and this let their cores die like old trees. They are still alive on the outside but inside they are just waiting to fall over and rot. A day with both is amazing. A day with just music is fantastic, still. There are no days with just sex unless I go deaf. I'm an animal but I'm not a monster.

After the place passed for civilized (meaning I wouldn't be mortified if someone dropped by for tea), I got to the work of design and writing. I wrapped up two clients today, earned a new one, and therefore I made more money than I spent and that is a reason to celebrate with another cup of coffee (or 5). Animals, art, music, caffeine. How dare I ask for anything more.

Homesteading doesn't come with a trigger warning, but if it did I think it would focus on presence. Those of us who keep fires and livestock, especially those who do so alone, don't travel. The holidays are here again and Thursday will be a feast with friends and music and hunting and booze (in that order). After that the wheel turns darker and colder, and as Yuletide creeps up I'll be comfortable knowing I will be here on the farm with friends, too. There is no traveling. There is no traffic, TSA checkpoints, and not a single trip to a mall (or even get in my truck unless its to visit friends farms) on black friday. I have zero problems with other people celebrating however they want, enjoy all that fuss, but I'll be here with a record player, knitting, and a LOTR movie marathon and spiked eggnog. I do love my whiskey...

I got a short jog in today, just down the mountain and back up. It was two wretched miles of water weight jiggling and PMS. Imagine a plastic bag full of milk being pushed downhill on a skateboard on a gravel road, that was me. But like any physical activity I felt a lot better having plodded through it and throwing in some sit ups and push ups in front of the fire for good measure. It made me feel strong.

Now it is dark out and the moon is full and gorgeous. I am sure from my windows I'll see those harts and hinds out in the glow, safe from my guns in the dark. I'll be here with the dogs and that fire and a warmer house. I've got plans to turn in early tonight with some comedy specials on Netflix. I don't see a reason not to fall asleep laughing. We get to choose every day how we feel, and I choose that.  Especially on days when I run like a bag of milk. A girl's gotta go easy on herself sometimes.

Hope you are all enjoying your holiday week, and that you have time with loved ones, safe travels, and smiling faces. Hug those dogs, tolerate those cats, and ride those horses folks. Winter is on the way!


Blogger Sharon said...

Hey, I like your plans for today, to be free of the crazy lifestyle. I cleaned out one cabinet and gave all of the excess stuff to a local charity store. This store prices everything extremely low. I feel that I am helping the very poor people that I see walking everywhere. I could choose to give my extra stuff to a huge national group, such as Goodwill. I do not, because the store prices everything too high....and they pay their regional managers huge salaries, like 1 million each year.

November 24, 2015 at 6:36 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I've got another hour before sunset. Just enough time to saddle one of those shaggy beasts outside and watch the moon rise over the snowy mountains.

November 24, 2015 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger eidolons said...

music you might like: The Crane Wives - specifically their latest album Coyote Stories (though I've been a huge fan of their work for years and highly recommend their other albums as well).

November 24, 2015 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger Bobbie Brown said...

That sounds like a simply wonderful existence.

November 24, 2015 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Thank you for the music rec, Eidolons!

November 24, 2015 at 7:35 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

I agree, Bobbie! thanks!

November 24, 2015 at 7:36 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Sarah I am jealous!

November 24, 2015 at 7:36 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Congrats on the declutter Sharon.

November 24, 2015 at 7:37 PM  
Blogger Good Shepherd Homestead said...

Sounds like you had an exciting day. Congratulations on the clients. Good for you and a holiday wish for a many more. You deserve to be happy.

Do you ever sell your knit goods? Maybe that could be a good winter income opportunity for you. Everyone can use an extra scarf or hat!

November 24, 2015 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger Goose Goose said...

The moon is full here too. So very nice.

Enjoy your peaceful holiday.

November 24, 2015 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger Heidi Jimenez said...

Thank you! Loved what you wrote!

November 24, 2015 at 11:30 PM  
Blogger Jedediah Verstraeten said...

It's a strange story how I found my way to your blog but I'm happy I did. You write well. Keep it up. Happy Thanksgiving.

November 25, 2015 at 1:44 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

As for new music, may I recommend my local radio station's internet stream? http://www.thecurrent.org/listen It's from Minnesota Public Radio, their music station. It's how I keep from stagnating, music-wise. They're always playing new stuff, local stuff, indie stuff, and fabulous old stuff I've never heard. I love it, and I hope you enjoy it.

November 25, 2015 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger Pamster said...

Thank you for this wonderful update. I love that you choose to fall asleep laughing. What a fantastic approach to life. Thanks as always for sharing your heart with us.

November 25, 2015 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger daisy g said...

Your way of life is a daily celebration. We have much for which to be thankful, including that you share with us your adventures. Be well this Thanksgiving, farmer. May your blessings multiply.

November 25, 2015 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger Valerie Willman said...

Lovely essay, Jenna. You make me smile.

November 26, 2015 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger meigancam01 said...

Great article! I appreciate your post. Thanks so much and let keep on sharing your stuffs keep it up.

November 27, 2015 at 11:35 AM  

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