Thursday, February 4, 2010

the hail mary

So here is the updated story so far. The house is mine. The mortgage is (by some grace of god) totally affordable. I could own my own farmhouse, acreage, and small barn for what my rent in Sandgate is combined with my old car payment. It is totally doable.

Paying my mortgage isn't the hard part folks—it is getting in the door in the first place. The realtor is moving forward as if all is perfect. The contract is on the way to the lawyer, the home inspection is getting set up, and the broker is frantically hunting down a mortgage with the USDA. But here in lies the drama. My credit score is seven points below the number the Lender wants to finance my loan. Seven measly points.

So, In a last ditch effort to try and raise my score, I took all my (non-house-buying allotted) savings and paid down my last credit card this morning in hopes it will report to the credit bureaus in time for the home loan to go though.

If I do not qualify for the USDA mortgage, it means I need to go through the FHA program. This is good and bad. It means I may still get a fixed rate mortgage and get the farm, but I would need that 3.5 percent down. I have that saved, but it's all I have saved. I was planning on using that money to cover the home inspections, closing costs, and all the other things you need to take care of when moving in. Things like U-Hauls and updating the outbuildings. If is use it to pay for the house, which I can, it leaves me high and dry. You get the jist.

It may very well come down to how much I can dish out. I am within a wolf's breath of this farm, friends. I can taste that Jackson Dirt. I don't want to lose out on the perfect home right when I need it because of seven points.

With all that said (taking a deep breath) if you are motivated to help. Here are some things you can do.

1. If you live nearby, and can help set up the new fences, move the sheep shed on the back of your trailer, help take down CAF VT, or lend a hand with boxes. Let me know.
2. If you want to sign up for the fiddle workshop the weekend after President's Day, please do. I only have two so far. It is a hundred dollar donation for four hours of instruction, materials, and an amazing first step in becoming a mountain fiddler. You just need to bring the violin.
3. Buy something off the Etsy Shop (though the wait may be a few weeks or until all this dust settles)
4. Order a watercolor (though the wait may be a few weeks or until all this dust settles)
5. If you own a business that caters to the homesteading community, consider advertising here. Email me for rates.
6. Or, if you are so motivated, just put one dollar in the donation jar. If each reader does that, I am home free.

I don't mean to sound selfish, crass, or rude. I am just trying to pull off some sort of Hail Mary at this point. I may get some mean emails for this post. In fact, I'm certain I will. But in the long run, owning my own farm wins over pride. A home for my flock, geese, chickens, Finn, and bees on the way is too important to worry about public perception. Farm > me. For those of you reading, know you're at the climax of this story. Let's try and change the ending together?


Blogger Stacey said...

Woohoo! I hope it all works out for you! Let cranky people be cranky. The reality is that people helping other people is what makes this world a beautiful place to's called a community caring for one another. :) P & PT!

February 4, 2010 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger John Taylor said...


This is so exciting for you. I really home all goes your way. I will be helping with a donation on Friday. Also will continue to keep you in my prayers.

Grace and Peace,


February 4, 2010 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Janice said...

I've been reading your blog for a while, but have never commented. I'm so excited for you. There's nothing like owning a home. I sent you a little something, wish it could have been more. I'll be keeping good thoughts for it all working out for you.


February 4, 2010 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger RabbleRoost said...

Ohhh I hope the house passes inspection with flying colors!
There's not much worse than having everything all ready to go only to find out there's something seriously wrong.

It'll work out. There are so many people rooting for you (and chickens and other farm animals - that hope to never find out what "homeless" is - "roosting" for you) that it has to work!

Keep upbeat. Don't stress yourself out - even though it's hard to take that advice when everything is happening all at once!

February 4, 2010 at 10:42 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

So excited for you! Just sent over a small donation to help along the way...

February 4, 2010 at 10:43 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Very excited for you. Are you taking into account the first time home buyers credit? That could bring you some cash. Also you mentioned that the payment is your rent plus car payment. Did you figure in the tax deduction you will get by having a mortgage? Usually by figuring that in, you are ahead.
Sending good vibes your way that you not only get what you want but that it turns out to be what you need.

February 4, 2010 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger Affi'enia said...

I wish I could buy lots more watercolours but 1 was all I can manage. I'm rooting for you all the way over in England.

February 4, 2010 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger PeterMShirley said...

Well, shoot, if $1 per reader is all you need... I've sent you a little something, enough to cover my dollar with some extra for good measure. Sorry to see you leaving New England, but that part of upstate NY is nearly as good :).

Folks, at the risk of sounding like an NPR fund drive, consider the value you get from reading the CAF blog. If you've enjoyed it as much as I have then consider helping out right now. One dollar isn't much (and it's a whole lot less than most NPR stations ask for :D).

Whoops, off my soapbox now. Good luck, Jenna!

February 4, 2010 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


I don't mean any disrespect -- only a reality check. I want this to come through for you. I want it all to work out. It sounds great!!

I heard your name on local public radio this morning -- you made a donation today during the fund drive. Fine thing to do, nearly all the time.

But this radio station raises money 3 or 4 times a year, and would take your money any time -- say in April, or May, when the crunch was passed.

I was on my way to send you some money, and then I caught myself, wondering why you are giving away money, and looking for it saying you need it the very same day.

I am not asking anyone to see this the way I do -- just want you to slow down a bit. I know there are excellent reasons to give to public radio too -- and I do!

It is about timing. That's all.


February 4, 2010 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

I sign up so that WAMC gets to take a small amount out every month. Public Radio is very important to me, and they need public support. I could not send them 100 bucks like they asks, but I did what I could. Since I don't have TV I depend on the station for my news and entertainment.

I also donated before I found out about the FHA option this morning...

If you feel that means you shouldn't donate, plese do not.

February 4, 2010 at 10:57 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

(I also felt it would be good karma to aid a NY radio station..silly i know)

February 4, 2010 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger Aranea said...

Everything will work out as it should. With all the people wishing this for you, it has to turn out if it is ment to be. Here's my hoping and praying added to the list.

February 4, 2010 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger ecogrrl said...

Just left a little something in the Paypal jar. I'm hoping it will pay forward a few years from now when my husband and I are looking for our own small acreage to call home.

February 4, 2010 at 11:06 AM  
Blogger cpcable said...

I've been a long-time reader but I've never commented before. You have all of my best wishes of good luck. I've enjoyed reading your writings because your dream is my dream; to have a small corner of the world that is my own where I can farm and raise animals. To see you succeed means that we can all do it. We can all make it happen. Heading over to the Etsy shop now...
All the best,

February 4, 2010 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger Jo Griffith said...

Put in my donation to the dream via Paypal. Sending good vibes your way!

February 4, 2010 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger Jo Griffith said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 4, 2010 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

Jenna...though it's not much I just donated $25 to your cause. I believe in you girl and if I can help in some way to make your dream come true I will. My fingers and toes are crossed. I know you will be in your new home by sometime March at the lastest. Just wish I lived closer so I could help with the move. Take care of those precious animals and I just bet Finn is so excited knowing that he will be back with his mommy soon. God bless!!!

February 4, 2010 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

"It's all happening!" I know exactly what you're going through. We spent months trying to buy our first home, lost one contract in the process after shelling out for the inspection etc, and then finally got our house which needs tons of work. It's only the beginning!
I'll check out the Etsy shop and happily wait a couple of weeks for you to get to my order. All the best for you and the farm family!

February 4, 2010 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger MarikoMS said...

How exciting!! Jenna, you are such an inspiration! I've sent a small donation your way to help keep the dream alive... Best wishes!

February 4, 2010 at 11:13 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

Sent you some. It isn't much, but I am pulling for you SO hard.

February 4, 2010 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger denise said...

i don't see why every person who reads this blog shouldn't at least put in a dollar. i will never own a farm and i live through jenna's. if you don't want to or can't, okay, but for all of us do and can, i say let's DO IT.

February 4, 2010 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger Danielle said...

I've been meaning to donate for a while but never got around to it. I contributed a dollar for every human, goat, dog, chicken, horse, and cat we have on the farm. So, from my little farm to yours, we wish you the very best!

February 4, 2010 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger omnicharm said...

Yay, Jenna!! Do whatever it takes to make it happen. Those who don't want to be a part of it won't be.

February 4, 2010 at 11:22 AM  
Blogger Holly Hall said...

Just sent a teensy donation your way. Hope it all works out for you.

February 4, 2010 at 11:23 AM  
Blogger Kelley said...

I've been reading your blog for a while - you truly inspire me! I visited Vermont/NH last August and feel deeply in love, so to see that a single gal can make it there is so wonderful. My husband and I want to set up a recording studio somewhere in Vermont and live on a farm... so this is my pay it forward - I hope it will help us someday when we are looking for our own homestead!

I sent a small donation to hopefully push you on. Good luck to you!

February 4, 2010 at 11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I travel around New England a lot, and I've got a CRV - I've crammed a mind-boggling amount of stuff in that vehicle. I don't have a lot of weekends - contact me to get penciled in.
(kragorewolf at yahoo dot com)
I've done a lot of moves for friends, so I've got experience.
keeping my fingers crossed,
- K.

February 4, 2010 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Candace Trew Camling said...

I never understand why people get so bent out of shape when you ask for money!!

What's the harm in asking?

I really hope this works out for you!

February 4, 2010 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...

How does that $8,000 first time home buyer thingy work out? Can that be used toward a down payment? Pretty exciting!!

February 4, 2010 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

That 8k refund is only given to you after you close on the house, and file that year's income taxes. The earliest I would see it is Summer or next year?

February 4, 2010 at 11:35 AM  
Blogger girlandcat said...

Jenna-I am also in the process of saving to buy my first place although my dream is a year or to in the future i know a little bit of how you feel, and i am happy your dream is so close to coming true, congrats! I have loved reading this blog for the last few years and agree that the pleasure alone is worth a donation, but more than that I agree with Stacey that people helping each other out is what makes the world the kind of place I want to live in. My prayers and donation are on the way. - Heather

February 4, 2010 at 11:37 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

Couldn't do much, but figure every little bit will help.

Good luck!!

February 4, 2010 at 11:37 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


I just donated a dollar because I want you to get your farm!

Someday I (a single young woman) too hope to run a small farm on the side while keeping down a full time job. You are an inspiration!

Rooting for you!
(long time reader, first time poster!)

February 4, 2010 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger HotFlashHomestead said...

I too will go over to the Etsy shop and have a look. By the way, love the title of your post and the pic attached. Hail Mary pass indeed! I have an image of you throwing Joseph over the goalpost and right into his new home in Jackson!

February 4, 2010 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger DarcC said...

Sending a dollar to help a sister-farmer. I'm still a wannabee but getting closer everyday. I'm mortgage shopping now too!

February 4, 2010 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger NMPatricia said...

Just left $25. And here's hoping for you. You inspire the sense of community I want and after reading you, I keep trying in my new town. As others, I live the farming life vicariously through you. My fingers are crossed.

February 4, 2010 at 11:50 AM  
Blogger MG said...

I have loved your blog for a long time! Selfishly, I would like to contribute so that I can continue to be an "armchair homesteader". Am I missing the Etsy link on your site? As well is there an address where I can send a gift? MGBB

February 4, 2010 at 11:53 AM  
Blogger Bex said...

The homebuyer's credit is good even if you are only under contract. Obviously there are time constraints, but if I remember correctly you can claim the credit on your 2009 tax return as long as you close on the house before June 1, 2010. Of course, talk to a qualified professional and all that.

Sent a couple of dollars your way. Good luck.

February 4, 2010 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Also kicked in a few bucks... hope it works!

February 4, 2010 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger Karen Sue said...

You have to buy the house and then you'll get it when you file your taxes for 2010. It could be used to add stock or do some renovations in 2011, but don't spend it yet! Also keep track of anything you do for energy savings-doors, windows, insulation, new furnace, water heater, those type of things. But again, you won't realize benefit $$ until you get a 2010 refund in 2011.

February 4, 2010 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger greendria said...

This is all very beautiful. 10 bucks coming your way. Not much, but I'll pack my lunch two extra times this month for something so important.

February 4, 2010 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger drkpeters said...

hi jenna,
thanks for keeping the barnheart in this "living in the city for now" gal alive with your musings. you'll get your place b/c you're one determined woman. i gave a bit to help you get there. warmly, kp

February 4, 2010 at 12:11 PM  
Blogger MIB said...

Hi, Jenna. I just bought a CD over at your Etsy shop & dearly hope that you're able to join the ranks of us upstate NY farmers.

I know what a HUGE relief it was for us to finally buy our place after years of renting it--plus I now have a flock of Soay. (I *love* those sheep!)

Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of supporters and give a little back to you for the community you've been nurturing here by speaking from your heart. Sending you all good wishes for things to work out the way they should for you.

-Melissa at Hermit Thrush Hill

February 4, 2010 at 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jenna,

I work with Taylor Schena at Emma, an amateur gardener/musician, etc. I've sent you a little something to help. I enjoy your words and your gumption. Good luck!


February 4, 2010 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger steph said...

I'm all for bartering, trust me...but asking for donations seems like a bit much. Shouldn't we be donating money to those in need in Haiti or people in our own backyards and across the seas who can't afford food, let alone a mortgage? If only they had a blog. Sorry Jenna, you've lost me as a reader.

February 4, 2010 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...


I am so excited and ahppy for you and I just hope it all works out.

My husband and I have sent what we can your way thru paypal just now. A small contribution for all the stories and inspiration.

Keeping our fingers crossed that you will be a New York-er soon!

February 4, 2010 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger Meredith said...

Happy. We are Happy for you.

Forgive the poor spelling.

February 4, 2010 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger JD said...

I'm a semi- old lady that has been thru and seen a lot in my life.
One thing I know is that when you walk thru the door of "that" house
there is no doubt in your mind that it is the one. This has happened to me three times out of
four houses I have bought. We have moved 16 times mostly with the military. There are houses to live in temporarily and then there is the one. When it is meant to be nothing -including credit scores stands in the way.
Just go out to your porch take deep breaths and find that inner strength because its there. Say "Thy will be done". Accept that and keep working toward the goal.
I'm sending a little something.
I've been listening but not commenting.
God be with you and all you hold dear. JD

February 4, 2010 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger denise said...

okay, steph, like i said, if you don't want to DON'T. it's her blog and she can do whatever she wants.

February 4, 2010 at 12:32 PM  
Blogger Jordan said...

I had the same problem years ago when I was buying my first house. The bank let me use a "gift" from my mother as the downpayment, or maybe it was that I lived off of that "gift" and saved every single penny I made. In any case - can your parents help with a loan of some sort?

February 4, 2010 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Reason's Whore said...

Sounds like you are there one way or another.

How about asking your folks for a loan (this is considered a "gift" as far as the mortgage company goes)? That is how I bought my first home. That and a loan from my 401K.

Good luck!

February 4, 2010 at 12:38 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

Jenna, I sent you an email about commissioning some artwork (I'm in no rush to receive it, but I could send you an upfront deposit).

February 4, 2010 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 4, 2010 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger Reason's Whore said...


GMTA I guess.

February 4, 2010 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger Lil said...

Jenna, don't let anyone guilt you into feeling bad about asking for help. You've put a lot of time, effort, as well as heart & soul into this blog and into your farm. A lot of us, myself included, farm vicariously through you. Why shouldn't you benefit from that every once in a while? You're a good person - don't ever, ever forget that. I can't send any money right this second but as soon as I get my next paycheck (in a a week & 1/2), some blog "subscription fees" will be coming your way. Good luck in getting Cold Antler a permanent home. :-)

February 4, 2010 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger Yvonne said...

This is for "Steph"....good riddance!! If you didn't want to donate...then you didn't have to. No need for your negativity. Jenna has enough followers that I'm pretty sure you won't be missed. For those of us who truly want this girl to succeed, we will pitch in a few bucks.

February 4, 2010 at 12:44 PM  
Blogger Tuliegirl said...

Yay-Jenna! A little something from New Mexico coming your way. I have enjoyed your blog, your book, your progress and you have been a total inspiration to me! Now, if that isn't worth a contribution, nothing is. I want you to succeed and keep on inspiring us to do the same. Blessings!

February 4, 2010 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger jackieh said...

Sending positive thoughts your way and I will be thinking of you, hoping everything falls into place. Looking forward to hearing that the mortgage is secured! Sent a donation tuesday.

February 4, 2010 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

My folks aren't in a position to do that. I'm sure they would if they could.

Sorry steph. I did mention to donate one dollar, and only if you wanted to help. I certainly did not mean to offend anyone.

February 4, 2010 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Lil said...

And just because we donate to the Cold Antler cause doesn't mean we're not donating to Haiti or other charity efforts as well. There's absolutely no reason one can't do both.

As for asking for money to get the farm, that's a completely different thing than the monthly living expenses. Getting a mortgage and buying a home is a large one time expense. As Jenna mentioned, closing costs have to be paid and are borne for the most part by the buyer. These are not things that will occur every month. I used to be a home loan processor and all those inspections, notary fees, fumigations - they all add up fast. So give the poor girl a break, people.

You go, Jenna. And thank you so much for letting us all go along for this ride with you. :-)

February 4, 2010 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Hey Jenna, you're doing it! My next stop--paypal.

--Steve in pa

February 4, 2010 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger Heidi said...

Since my computer has been on the fritz (read: infected), I haven't been keeping up with things on Cold Antler. Wow! So much seems to be going down all at once. Life tends to throw things at you like that. From my personal experience, this type of chaotic frenzy can lead me to make rash decisions. Sometimes they have worked in my favor and other times not. I always have to remind myself to breath. AND to remember that whatever it is, it isn't the only option coming my way.

This house sounds glorious Jenna, and I really hope it works out. But if it doesn't, I know that there will be something even more perfect waiting for you on the horizon. You have set the wheels in motion. You will find what you need, even if it isn't the place in Jackson. It took my husband and I awhile to get his credit score where we needed it to be in order to buy. But we did it and in a much shorter time than we thought it would take. Now we have our own little homestead in San Fran (The Itty Bitty Farm in the City) and it is the most wonderful thing to not be under the thumb of others in regards to our living quarters (our last landlord was clinically insane and that solidified it for us that we would need to own our own home). You WILL get there.

I'm sending you a little donation for the simple fact that I read your blog religiously (and that I checked out your book from the library rather than purchasing my own copy). It's free and it keeps me inspired on my own little farm. I'm not sure why readers such as Steph would be so offended. You didn't ask people to just shuck out money to you so that you could make a down payment, you asked your readers to purchase the items and services that you have available and maybe make a donation of a buck if one felt so moved (which I see as not a lot to ask given that blog reading is free and you offer a lot of helpful tips - the pancake recipe alone should be worth a greenback :) )

I'm sending a lot of good thoughts your way.

February 4, 2010 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Good luck Jenna. Just know that things can come out in the home inspection that you aren't expecting. This can be good: things that could help lower the cost of the house. Or bad: things that are too big to take on yourself to fix.

I've been where you are. And I lost the house. But the house I ended up with is amazingly more perfect than the original place.

Things have a way of working out.

SO, with that said, good luck. Be strong. And TRY not to stress out too much about it. :)

February 4, 2010 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger heathert said...

I can't believe how negative some of the responses are on this thread. I never actually replied before but have been reading Cold Antler since last summer and love it.
Mabye this needs a bit of perspective- Jenna gives her time and energy to this blog on an almost daily basis. I gather that many of us having been reading it for quite some time and I know I for one absolutely enjoy it. We struggle bit here month to month and this blog with a strong cup of tea give me a lot of joy.

If you donated $6.00 to help her with getting the new farm you would in essence be paying $.50 a month over the next 12 months as you continue to read her blog. Just imagine all her new adventures, insights and photos that she'll share with us. Pretty good investment for fifty cents a month or two cents a day. In addition you'll have the personal satisfaction of both helping out a friend and supporting independent farming.

Hope this comes together for you Jenna, my $6.00 are in the pot.

February 4, 2010 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Marisa said...

It never hurts to ask for what you need and want! Ten bucks (and a whole lot of hope) coming your way.

February 4, 2010 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger Cheryl Connell said...

Doin what I can... I am amazed at the responses! This is so cool and shows what we can all do together.

And to just ASK.

Just one thing I want back Jenna.

TONS of photos of the house, barns, land everything!! When you are moved in and settled. :)


February 4, 2010 at 1:10 PM  
Blogger Leiflet said...

I think i owed you some late rent or something from the Knoxville Meditation Room anyway. You can consider it a donation, or consider it an order for any/all music you make. Take your time, but i wanna hear it someday.

I understand those who don't wanna jump on board. Money's touchy. No judgment here.

However, i will say that maybe we (humans) shouldn't be so finicky about giving to those who are asking. Yes, people in Haiti need help. yes, NPR needs help. Yes, my friend needs help.

And yes, i need money myself. But, what goes around will come around, and if not, i won't need that money i just gave.

You can do it, kid. I believe in you. Be awesome, and i will be sure to visit and exchange produce this summer.

February 4, 2010 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger k10 said...

Hey Jenna!
donation made my dear! I don't comment much but I read your blog everyday and am so inspired by all you've accomplished since school! You help remind me every day to go for the things i have a passion for and to believe without a doubt that somehow they will work out!
I am so happy for you and i can't wait to see what you can do with some land of your own!

:) Kristen

February 4, 2010 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Jenna if everyone gave the spare change in their couches to help out their neighbors, in cyberspace or otherwise, then this world would be a better place. You got my vote and donation!

February 4, 2010 at 1:22 PM  
Blogger Rene said...

I sent a little something along. Hopefully I did it right. Paypal and I don't get along. Sorry I can't do more. If I were on that side of the country I'd be there to help you pack boxes or put up fences.

Thank you for everything you've given me by sharing your life and your enthusiasm for it. Whatever happens, life is going to change for you soon so I'll be hoping it changes for the better. You deserve a break for once.

February 4, 2010 at 1:28 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Long-time reader (book and blog), first-time commenter, first-time donor. Good luck from maritime Canada.

February 4, 2010 at 1:36 PM  
Blogger DebH said... here and I need a link to somewhere for I can send SOMETHING for you!! Where do I search on Etsy?? and where is that piggy bank of yours!!! :)

February 4, 2010 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger the karlos said...

Hope this all works out for you. I thew $10 in the hat for the cause. Please keep us updated.

February 4, 2010 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

good luck! Hope it all comes through for you. You never get anything without asking for it, my fingers are crossed.

February 4, 2010 at 1:51 PM  
Blogger CorinneLouise said...

Just sent a small donation from France, good luck Jenna, you are a true inspiration.

February 4, 2010 at 1:53 PM  
Blogger Rene said...

For those of you looking where to donate, there's links on the right side of her blog for her Etsy shop (just click her name below the pictures) and a yellow donate button for PayPal.

Etsy shop is here:

The PayPal link is kind of wonky so I suggest using the button.

February 4, 2010 at 1:55 PM  
Blogger GreenAnthropology said...

You go, girl! A donation is on its way! I applaud you for having the courage to ask for help. It's a hard thing to do. But I think many of us readers consider you our friend, and if you can't ask your friends for help, who can you ask? You've been doing everything the right way and for the right reasons. We are all part of your community- I feel we are here to support you.

Good luck & good vibes!

February 4, 2010 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

To donate or not to donate? While filling out a form for an upcoming convention, I elected to not pay for the convention T-shirt that I will never wear again. Instead, I am sharing that $18 with Jenna.

When I bought my house, I was single and twenty-something. I had no money and nobody to ask for help who would actually help me. I was broke. I was willing to sell everything I owned and sleep on the floor. I know what it feels like to be "so close," and I'm sure many of you do too.

I consider Jenna a friend, and I want to help my friend. Would she not bake me a pie if I showed up at her house hungry? To me, she's not a stranger asking for money. She is a Friend who is asking for help.

February 4, 2010 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Oh and Jenna, just to clarify- my comment about the house inspection wasn't meant to be negative. Just a friendly heads-up.

It'll all work out. Can't wait to see you settled somewhere, even if we're no longer in the same state. :)

Good luck, girl. You'll get there.

February 4, 2010 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

Gosh, I am so excited for you. I hope it goes together smoothly. I can't wait to see it.

February 4, 2010 at 2:14 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Donated to your dream...good luck Jenna...please spoil us readers with pictures and stories when you get it!!!

February 4, 2010 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I just wanted to say that I'm proud of you for asking for help when you need it. I wish more people would!
So many of us are just waiting to help others we care about in whatever ways we can...we just don't always know how.

Kudos. I hope my small contribution helps get you onto the farm!

February 4, 2010 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger Tom Rasely said...

I never, never, never, ever send money to people I don't know, hardly ever send it to those I do BUT I just emptied my paypal account to donate to your farm (don't get too excited, it was $4.37)'cause I admire your guts and determination. I expect to hear that you will soon be joining us rural NYers. Good luck.

February 4, 2010 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger kate said...

Frankly, I don't see anything wrong with Jenna asking graciously for help when she needs it -- or with the very mild and polite comments from a few people who explained their issues with it. This topic is being handled well.

I gave to the Farm Fund already, about a month ago. I think Jenna is doing a nice job including people in her story, and people have surely shown an interest in being part of the journey.

February 4, 2010 at 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps I can offer a little perspective on what some have claimed to be "negative" posts. First, all I read were a few people deciding to not donate and share their reasons why. I didn't read anything mean or vitriolic in those messages (as opposed to some of the responses to them!). Here's my take. A lot of people tend to bite off more than they can chew financially, and then it's often the rest of us who end up paying for it (mortgage/housing crisis last year ring a bell with anyone?). My husband and I deliberately bought a house for much less than we were approved for, and made sure we had the money for all other costs. If Jenna has a job with a steady income and benefits yet is still asking for help ($$), I can see why some people are reluctant to donate. If she can't afford all the costs involved without leaving herself completely strapped, perhaps, as much as she might *really* want it and as much as we might all *really* want it for her, it might not necessarily be the *right* thing for her to do at this time. JHMO.

February 4, 2010 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

This is such exciting news! I happily donated a little something towards the house, and it was well worth it. Your blog is the first thing I check in the morning - this city girl lives her farm dream vicariously through you and Maud and Finn and the rest of the animals. My fingers are crossed that it all works out, and someday I hope to have coffee and play a little guitar with you on your farm.

February 4, 2010 at 2:37 PM  
Blogger Greystone said...

Just ordered a print! I am pulling for you also! Enjoy your blog very much and wish you the best!

February 4, 2010 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger cindy d said...

Ask for manual underwriting on your mortgage. That way a real live person sees your information, and can look at your situation, not just checking the boxes on a form. I remember being so frustrated in the process of buying my first home (as a single, 20-something divorced mom), and the mortgage people tried to suck as much of my joy away as they could. Good luck, and Godspeed to you. Sending you something because I know I needed all the help I could get once,too.

February 4, 2010 at 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't do a post like that and NOT include a link to your etsy shop!


February 4, 2010 at 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just made a donation to the Hail Mary fund. Good luck, Jen - I'm pullin' for ya girl!

February 4, 2010 at 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have money and I am too farm away to help physically, but I am praying extra hard for ya, cause I am in the same sort of situation myself, my husband and i live in a camper, and we are trying to get a small house and farm going, but with me laid off and no hope for a job, it's hard! I think about ya and say prayers everyday, and I am sooooo excited for getting a house, and getting finn back, I cried when you had to take him away for a while! Good Luck! And know that there are people from all over rootin for ya!

February 4, 2010 at 3:18 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

sent a little via Paypal. Good luck!

February 4, 2010 at 3:26 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

As Jenna is one of our closest friends, we also thank you for helping. As long as I've known Jenna (when she was in junior high), she has ALWAYS thought of others. Jenna is genuine and giving and a blessing to have as a friend. She has called us many times over the past few months on different homebuying concerns and we have helped her out along the way. Jenna feels like a man without a country right now, and last year at this time we could understand. I think its amazing how we have come together to help one of our own. This is what farming is all about. We have enough people in this world who are against the things we do. So thank you to everyone for helping Jenna. She deserves it.... We love you Jenna and keep your chin up. Great things happen to great people :)

February 4, 2010 at 3:27 PM  
Blogger Peacemom said...

Hey Jenna! I can't give you any more right now as my husband got laid off last week...that's something I don't wish on anyone!! I will say, I read with agreement Laluna's post. I relayed that story to you earlier about having a lousy home inspector when we bought our home and having to replace the boiler system and hot water heater 10 days after closing on the house. That was a $5,200 bill after just closing on the biggest purchase of our lives. Going totally cash strapped is not a good idea if you can at all help it, you never know what can happen. BUT, I also know about using everything you have to to get your dream. I wish I could do more to help you, but just can't now. However, you're in our prayers (my husband is an avid reader of your blog as well!) and hope your way is shown to you sooner then later. Best of luck to you! ~Vonnie, NH

February 4, 2010 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

$20 on the way...wish it could be more. We're praying for you.

i know you'll keep us posted.

February 4, 2010 at 3:56 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

YAY for WAMC! We donated today as well :)

I'm going to see what I can do in a bit, kiddo just got home, but I'm definitely going to help.

I can also bring you boxes. It may be tricky, I may have to do it while the kid is at school, but if you need some, I've got some in my basement.

February 4, 2010 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger Kirsten Smith said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 4, 2010 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger Rosa said...

How brave of you to take the scary risk of asking!
As my kids always say. . .
"There's no harm in asking!"
I too feel as though I am visiting with friends when I stop by here and enjoy both your words and all the comments.
I've been steadily praying and have sent what I could to make a fellow Barnhart's dream come true.

February 4, 2010 at 4:10 PM  
Blogger walter and me said...

Hi Jenna, so happy to make a little donation - every dollar helps. Best of luck!

February 4, 2010 at 4:11 PM  
Blogger nancmcp said...

My experience with this blog is there are lots of us that would love to help and you offered us several ways to do that, partly I suspect because of the outpouring of 'how can I help?' when this started a while back. Simple.

I agree that folks have the right to their opinions and their money. My experience is people's reactions (you lost me as a reader) are based on their own stuff, so please quit apologizing!

I have no problem plunking down $4 or $5 for a magazine or book if I really want it and I support public radio as well. this is in the same category for me. As good as any of the stories I hear on PR!

And I generally contribute to disaster aid and have volunteered my services as a nurse if needed.

Hang in there, Jenna! I too am an 'armchair homesteader' through you for now.

February 4, 2010 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

You're living my dream...hope the $20 helps you out!

February 4, 2010 at 4:21 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I'll gladly support what you stand for. I sent a small donation via paypal, all I can afford right now.

February 4, 2010 at 4:26 PM  
Blogger Melanie Dane Mom said...

Donation sent with best wishes from the heart of California.

February 4, 2010 at 4:32 PM  
Blogger Debbie said...

Wohoo! Donation sent via paypal. Reading your blog is one of the best pasttimes a barnheart could have.

February 4, 2010 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Liane said...

Just sent you a little something to help out from one farm girl to another. Don't waste your energy worrying about the negative people, you have enough to worry about as it is. You give us readers so much of yourself in your blog that it only seems right to give a little back (for those of us that can). Besides that's what friends are for and you really do make us (well most of us anyways) feel like your friends. I'm praying everything works out for you.


February 4, 2010 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger RayMan said...

I'm about the hundredth comment in this thread.
I, too, have just emptied my PayPal account for my donation to CAF as a one-time donation rather than the $10 a month I was sending. I want to "say" this to everyone that reads this blog (once or every day) and I don't care who (if anyone) doesn't like it.
You wanna read about the antics of CAF? Then pony-up for the content! Stop whining about how bad things are for you and kick-in a few bucks. The sun will STILL be in the East in the morning. I too have been broke to the point where I couldn't buy a McD burger when they were $0.50. Now, I'm not so broke and I'm sharing what I have. Not because I'm gonna get something for it but, because it's the right thing to do. I know it and so do all of you.

February 4, 2010 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger karental said...

I love these posters. Jenna - the next CAF chapter is right around the corner and right across the state line. Our monthly Maude-support is on its way...

February 4, 2010 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

One more dollar in the kitty, Jenna! I wish I could have given more, but payday isn't until next week and I decided that a little now is better than a lot too late.

Bravo for having the courage to fight for what you love! I hope you and all of the animals will be well settled into your great new home by this time next year :)

February 4, 2010 at 5:08 PM  
Blogger kate said...

RayMan, I hear a lot more negativity from the critics of the critics, a lot more whining about the "whiners".

It seems out of place on Jenna's blog.

February 4, 2010 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger hlbrack said...

Some people just like to be the 'bah-humbugs' of the world! No matter, if Steph no longer considers herself a reader that's her problem (and loss, mind you.)Jenna, a small donation was just sent your way. I am rooting for you! And for CAF!

February 4, 2010 at 5:15 PM  
Blogger DebH said...

Ok..not sure why the etsy doesn't show up for me, but a link somewhere Please!!?? I am reading others don't find it either, so I don't think I am missing just isn't there. I opened this blog in two different engines and it still doesn't show. Any Help?

February 4, 2010 at 5:44 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Have faith - you will get the farm you so rightfully deserve. Even though I face a likely layoff myself in the near future, I left you a little something in your PayPal account. Good luck on the house and, in the awful eventuality where you don't get it, don't lose heart. Things have a way of working out for good people, and you, my dear, are good people.


February 4, 2010 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger jpark22 said...

Jenna, I'm happy for you but if your finances are so tight you have to beg for donations just to get started, what is going to happen in several months from now. Those monthly payments get really old month after month after month. I truly worry about you. I hope you can keep your credit score up. Enjoy your blog and best wishes with your new farm.

February 4, 2010 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger cheryl925 said...

You are such an inspiration to me as a city dweller with a garden and a bad case of "barnheart". I have learned so much from you (I bought your book) and have enjoyed following you on your journey. I have donated to your cause and know that you will get his house--you certainly earned it!

February 4, 2010 at 6:12 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Good luck! I'll cross my fingers for you.

February 4, 2010 at 6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really apologize to everyone else for "highjacking" this conversation-in-posts, but RayMan, yours is probably the most negative post here! And you do realize that Blogger is a *free* service, don't you?

February 4, 2010 at 6:22 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I'm a long time reader but first time commenter & donor. You've saved me oodles with your masonade recipe alone. I remember I was scraping up couch change when I bought my first wishes to you Jenna!

February 4, 2010 at 6:41 PM  
Blogger Andy said...


You are a wonderful woman. I knew everything will work out great for you. I wish I live closer to you. So I can lend you a hand to help you move or do other handy things around your new property.I will make a donation.


February 4, 2010 at 6:48 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

Okay folks. ENOUGH ALREADY about whether to donate or not, whether to ask for money or not. Everyone just do what you think is best and carry on.

February 4, 2010 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Sending positive energy your way! Remember the law of attraction! Start thinking that the farm is already yours and it will be. I put some pennies in your bank. I am hopeful Jenna. Hugs, Cathy

February 4, 2010 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Oh and you definitely need to photograph and write about your experience starting your homestead. That would make an excellent book!

February 4, 2010 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger Spring Lake Farm said...


Here's what I can do, if you are interested. I don't have a lot of extra money but I do have vacation time coming. I also have a $500 travel voucher from my 5 year anniversary at work. After you are in the house and assess the work that needs to be done. Why don't you set a weekend, announce it and let people come help you work on the projects you will need done (i.e. fencing, repairing sheds, etc...). I've never been to the NE so I'll load up my camping gear and head up that way for a weekend of help. I can use my voucher for gas and campsites, I get to see a new, and from what I hear, beautiful part of the country, meet you (and hopefully other followers) and be a part of getting CAF settled into it's new home. What an adventure!

Let me know what you think. In the meantime, positive thoughts and visualize yourself in your new home!


February 4, 2010 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I found my dream place last year, now it's time you find yours. Sounds like this one is it. Good for you!

February 4, 2010 at 7:39 PM  
Blogger Midlife Traveller said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 4, 2010 at 7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sort of owe you.

When we were going through land-hunting hell I had a moment of insanity where I almost convinced myself we should buy a condo. Your book helped snap me back to reality. You can read about it in my blog post here:

You wrote today asking if everybody could send in a dollar to help with your dream. I thought my PayPal account was empty, and I haven't used it in years. Well, when I went to check it out today there was the equivalent of 1 US dollar. Seems it was waiting for you. Hope it helps.

February 4, 2010 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Melanie J. said...

Sending support and positive energy, and hopefully $1 this weekend...wish it could be more. People who poo-poo your begging don't understand the dream. I've only been reading you a week and you've motivated me so much. You're proof it's possible. Thank you!

February 4, 2010 at 8:10 PM  
Blogger Sonya --Dime Store Thrift said...

Jenna, just left a small donation via paypal and am sending wonderful prayers and thoughts your way. Wishing nothing but the best for both you and Cold Antler, whether it be this farm or another one.

February 4, 2010 at 8:33 PM  
Blogger IanH said...

Jenna, I have jput a donation via paypal. Just a suggestion, take all the correspondence from this posting with you to the banker and show them what sort of backing " The Gal with Heart" has. Good luck!

February 4, 2010 at 9:26 PM  
Blogger John said...

Jenna, if I were there, I'd pinch you myself, because this IS happening!

February 4, 2010 at 9:27 PM  
Blogger Jenna and Thomas said...

Hi from a small farm in northern Canada! My husband and I have been reading your blog for months now. We're so thrilled for you and hope everything works out just fine with the purchase of your dream place. We just put in a donation and wish you all the best!

February 4, 2010 at 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm praying to every god I've every heard of that this will happen for you! I also picked up a couple of prints to help ensure that that happens. ;)

February 4, 2010 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger Aaren said...

I often give away my last dollar as a continued lesson on humility, grace and compassion. I admire your donation to NPR and love your reasoning. That is why you get my last dollar.

Also in NY you can get an agricultural assessment on your property taxes after 2 years of living there if you have 7 acres in production and gross an average of $10,000 per year from some form of agriculture 2 years in a row. If you have less acreage, that number jumps to $50,000. Just a thought.

February 4, 2010 at 10:34 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Jenna - love your blog and I just bought your book. After 15 years in the suburbs, my dream came true and I'm now on 4.5 acres with sheep, fiber alpacas and chickens. I market my wool and eggs through a CSA model. Biggest lesson so far? "Self-sufficient" doesn't exist - we need each other, and the more we let others help us out and share the dream, the more abundant our dream fulfillment becomes. I'm happy to be part of your dream - so many people are a part of mine! God bless you, girl. Keep it up.

February 5, 2010 at 12:03 AM  
Blogger sublimenigma said...

I've been reading all the back posts for the past few weeks.

So...I just put my "2 cents" in the donation jar. The least I could do for the entertaining reading, and also for inspiring me to chase down my own dreams.

Thanks Jenna.

February 5, 2010 at 12:12 AM  
Blogger motheralice said...

Just chipped in a bit, Jenna.
Fingers crossed. Touched wood.

~~~~Good Vibes~~~~~

February 5, 2010 at 12:14 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Jenna: Ah, fate! Retired acct. here, spent a couple hours on the IRS website 2 days ago as we are about to buy our retirement place in a few weeks. You CAN, repeat CAN take the 1st time home buyers credit on a 2010 purchase on your 2009 tax return. Check it out yourself, but here's the gist: under contract by 4/30, close by 6/30 and you must attach the settlement statement to your return. So file an extension request by 4/15 for your 2009 return, close your deal and get some much needed cash back! If you don't want to be bothered, go ahead and let one of the national tax prep chains help you. You GO girl!

February 5, 2010 at 12:45 AM  
Blogger Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Okay, Jenna. I have dropped a few nickels into the paypal jar. One of my dearest friend's first daughter is named Jenna and when I began reading that name-twin thing was what drew me.

Came for your name; stayed for your animal stories and the hope of some day seeing you have your own place. I have mine and you deserve yours too.

Snuggle a bunny for me, I wish I could have them for the angora!

February 5, 2010 at 2:08 AM  
Blogger Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

One more quick note for the readers who cannot find the links to Etsy and Paypal-- click in the Title box and a new page will open with links down the right side and a bunch more blog entries.

Took me a few minutes to figure it out. I came over via Google Reader and then had to click in the box to get Jenna's links.

February 5, 2010 at 2:35 AM  
Blogger jen said...

Jenna, I can't send money right now because my husband has been laid off since Labor Day, but I am sending you my deserve this! Thank you for entertaining me every day, and when I'm able I will help in some way.
Good luck!

February 5, 2010 at 2:42 AM  
Blogger Robj98168 said...

I hate drama! Sending good thoughts your way!! every time I look at My Chuck K water color I want you to get the farm!
BTW I nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger award!

February 5, 2010 at 2:54 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

I have been watching an old dream of mine being lived out in your life and blog, I have confidence that you will pull it off. I sent my couple cents your way.

I guess we will all be expecting a book about your adventures in the future, with stardom comes responsibility, I'll be among the first to purchase one! Made from Scratch was great!

February 5, 2010 at 3:33 AM  
Blogger ordinarymagic said...

I love dreams and dreamers...lets stand together! I used to belong to an extraordinary online community that really did help each other emotionally and financially, it was very powerful. Happy to donante a few coins that will hopefully join a bigger river and make your dream come true Jenna. Your blog is one that I read regularly, for me, and I am thankful for it.

February 5, 2010 at 7:06 AM  
Blogger Morgen said...

Timing can be the weirdest thing. We borrowed money for the downpayment/closing costs on our first house which was affordable for our budget, we just hadn't planned on it for another year. Sometimes something shows up that is perfect, just early, and teaches us gratitude for those who believe in us and our future. We are behind you! Keep dreaming girl!

February 5, 2010 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger Daughter of the American Revolution said...

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." My favorite Thoreau quote an the anthem of those with a dream. It was a pleasure to donate.

February 5, 2010 at 7:57 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

I sent a little donation your way with a prayer that it works out for you. You motivate me and I live my dream through you. Good luck!

February 5, 2010 at 8:00 AM  
Blogger Meredith said...

When I asked my husband yesterday "Do we have anything extra in the account this month and can i have it?" he asked me "what for?".
I actaully had to stop and think about about for a minute. Did I want to go into all the CAF details with him (I called him at work and this would take a while). Or do I say it's for a good cause or to help out a friend? Or can I say it's because we are lucky to have a couple acres and a barn and I would love someone as wonderful as Jenna to have the same thing. And I remember how heartbreaking it was for me to read that she had to adopt out her wonderful animals. This will let her get them back.
Or is it the hours of entertainment we get from reading about CAF?
I ended up saying, to keep it short, "it's for a donation to a farm that i really like."
He was ok with that.
Whatever the reason you donate or don't, it's your personal decision.
Maybe that's why I found it hard to put into words why I wanted the money.

February 5, 2010 at 8:01 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...


Just wanted to tell you that I visited Down to Earth this morning and it is so neat to see your book in her post today!! All the way in Australia! How cool!


February 5, 2010 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

A leap of faith, isn't this what you're doing, Jenna? Sometimes, you just have to do it.
Best of luck from a couple who's made that same leap, and while some days are a struggle, the rewards more than make up for them.

February 5, 2010 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Lorri said...

I've been in situations where just a small bit on someone else's part made a world of difference to me. I'll send something to you shortly - hope you get the place! The house looks great :) DFH and I are both cheering you on!

February 5, 2010 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger Leiflet said...


Just click the banner at the top of the page (Cold Antler Farm logo). The list of links is on the right hand side (beneath "Buy it, son!").

There is a list of links, and sandwiched in the middle is "Etsy Shop."

February 5, 2010 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger Monty Loree said...

Interesting post.. I used it as a discussion example on our site..

I was interested in the fact that you're trying to raise your score by 7 points. I'll see if we can get some more ideas for you!

February 5, 2010 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger Jeannie said...

Been following your blog for a while and I really love it. Am sending you some dollars on paypal.

The best way for all of us to get by in this world is to help others so, hopefully, when we are in need someone will help us.

Good Luck!!!

February 5, 2010 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Montero said...

Good for you for being ballsy and putting it out there. We've all been desperate and had to ask for help sometime in our lives.

I just sent you a donation. It was money I would have spent on a cuppa coffee but I'm excited to think it could be a farm instead.

February 5, 2010 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger Jodi and Dana LaRue said...

I havent read all the 150 comments posted so If I am repeating prior knowledge, pardon me. I just wanna be sure you get the info and you find your dream home coming true....If you do an FHA loan you can ask the mortgage broker about a "down payment assistance" program. I used to do these loans all the time. You can build the downpayment assistance in your mortgage amount. Research online through for the details...

Your home is in the works, its just the details that stink. Kind of like when you went to college, if you can make it through the registration process you can graduate!

Make it a great day! no matter what!

February 5, 2010 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Albert said...

As from monday I`ll have a real job for at least 3 month. So I made a small donation.
The house looks great, would it was affordable here in The Netherlands.
Praying for you.

February 5, 2010 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger mommypie said...

Good luck, Jenna! I just bought your chicken watercolor--I can't believe my good fortune that no one else had snagged it first (smile). I will also throw a little in your paypal account. Wish I lived close enough to attend your mountain music workshop, too. Sigh.

I hope as much goodness and light comes your way as you have long been sowing with your book and blog. It is a treat to sit down with either and cup of coffee.

February 5, 2010 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger mommypie said...

Good luck, Jenna! I just bought your chicken watercolor--I can't believe my good fortune that no one else had snagged it first (smile). I will also throw a little in your paypal account. Wish I lived close enough to attend your mountain music workshop, too. Sigh.

I hope as much goodness and light comes your way as you have long been sowing with your book and blog. It is a treat to sit down with either and cup of coffee.

February 5, 2010 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger mommypie said...

Good luck, Jenna! I just bought your chicken watercolor--I can't believe my good fortune that no one else had snagged it first (smile). I will also throw a little in your paypal account. Wish I lived close enough to attend your mountain music workshop, too. Sigh.

I hope as much goodness and light comes your way as you have long been sowing with your book and blog. It is a treat to sit down with either and cup of coffee.

February 5, 2010 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

I wanted to offer an alternative opinion for those who think other comments have been negative. I haven't read one negative comment yet, just different perspectives on her post asking for donations to live a life her income can't alone provide her.

Some people think charity is for those in need, not for those in want. Most people would donate to someone who is hungry, fewer would donate to someone who has food but would prefer a fancy dinner instead. Its all a matter of perspective.

Being said its been wonderful to read the outpouring of support for Jenna and this new chapter in her life, and I too look forward to reading as this new series unfolds.

Good luck and I hope everything works out!

February 5, 2010 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger KristenAnn said...

$5.00 coming your way - good luck and best wishes! :)

February 5, 2010 at 10:56 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Jenna - You are so close to your dream come true!! I am behind you all the way and sending you positive energy. Made a small donation to help you out :-) Remember what you focus on becomes your reality - that's how the universe works! Keep your focus girl!!

February 5, 2010 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger BJ Gingles said...

I am crossing my fingers for you and sending my "subscription". I am looking forward to reading all about your adventures in settling in on your new farm.

February 5, 2010 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger countryelvis4 said...

Go Jenna Go@ I just sent $5 your way...hope you get your dream farm.

I'm living my dream too, my little 10 acre farm in Central VT is living on love :)
I think it's great that you've asked your community to help you accomplish your goal. Self Sufficiency is a great idea, but in reality, we all need community. Set your plan, do what you can, ask for help with what you need, accept and appreciate that help, success happens. Worked for me, and I'm sure it will work for you too!
Get down wit yo bad self!

February 5, 2010 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Barb said...

Hi Jenna,

I just went & bought your book. Hope that helps to make your dream come true.

We are in a similar situation. We live on 20 beautiful acres that aren't ours. We live in a parsonage that was blessed with acreage so I can have my sheep, llamas, chickens, garden, etc. I ache to know that this is not mine and never can be. So I have my own house fund and work very hard to keep building it up. The ache is very real....I can totally relate to your yearning for your own place.


February 5, 2010 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger dwr said...

I will donate if you promise to continue your blog for at least another year. Deal?

February 5, 2010 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger little farm life said...


I just made a humble donation to your farm dream....something I wouldn't usually do for somebody I have never met living hundreds of miles away (I am a Canadian Prairie girl) but aside from the fact that I really do want you to be able to buy a home with land- your blog has provided me with inspiration and the push to follow my own farm dreams- you put into words what I have never been able to get out- Good Luck with everything- the wonderfullness of your blog each day is worth much more than the price of a cup of coffee and paper!!

February 5, 2010 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

another thought, with a house that size and a property that large have you consider taking in a renter or leasing a field or two?

February 5, 2010 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

As I think back over the years that I've known you and the number of people you've helped without hesitation and received not even a whit of a "thank you" or payment, I must say that it's about time you got help in return. As your readers have said, you provide them with joy several times a week without charge. This donation serves as an tiny investment in that continued joy.

Peace, Jenna!

February 5, 2010 at 2:05 PM  
Blogger The Food Hippie said...

A small donation headed your way yesterday. Good luck! Remember that your dream is our dream too, and that's so many of us are invested and want to see what happens next!

February 5, 2010 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Good luck Jenna! I added what I could to your pay pal.

February 5, 2010 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger kate said...

Jenna, any news today? Usually, in these realtor situations (where they blaze ahead) time doesn't stand still...

Did your efforts to deal with 7 points on your credit score make a difference?

Hope so!

February 5, 2010 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger Celia said...

I am so happy for you!!! Like many people that read your blog, I am living my dream through you. I love reading your blog and I will do what I can to help you reach your dream.

February 5, 2010 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger Story said...

jenna! i just send you a little something...hope it helps...wish it could have been more. I think it's awesome you asked for help. I have a story I want to tell you about....

February 5, 2010 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...


This IS going to happen for you! Positive thought only here!

Take a deep breath every once in awhile!

February 5, 2010 at 7:00 PM  
Blogger waitingforcider said...

Updates! Updates! We're dying here! What's the scoop!!! Crossing all fingers and toes...

February 5, 2010 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger Texan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 5, 2010 at 9:08 PM  
Blogger Shari said...

I added a drop in the bucket for you. I'm wishing you the best Jenna!!!

February 5, 2010 at 9:49 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Jenna, I truly do wish you the best of luck in making your dream a reality. My comments will no doubt upset this blogosphere applecart, but this reminds me of a coworker who was stressed during the holidays because she did not have much if any disposable income to purchase gifts, yet she arrived at work every morning with a purchased steaming hot cappuccino, ordered take out lunch 2-3 times a week. I have followed your blog and read your book (via the local library system) and as a single widowed full time working mother of 2 (who brings homemade lunch and beverage from home everyday) I have had to make hard but practical decisions as to how I spend and budget my hard earned money. I contribute yearly to Heifer International, purchasing chickens for those who have so much, much less than you and I could ever imagine, unless we took the time to live among them. The gifts are truly designed to pay it forward. I can readily scroll back through your posts about fabric, yarn, music, book purchases, etc...all of which I would love to purchase as well, however...reality check sets in. I would love to order the bees I have yearned for the past 5 years, I would truly love to order my chicks for springtime, but the health insurance premiums have gone up, everything has gone up...and believe me I live the art of frugal living. I do not feel we are poor, this family of 3, at $35,000 a year, but we also know the difference between what is essential and necessary and what is luxury. A home of ones own is a righteous and honest desire yet your plea for financial help seems contradictory to a self sufficient life style...girl, you are a web designer, an author, a freelance writer contributing to quite a few magazines...sure I want to live my dreams, but I will earn the dream through my hard work

February 5, 2010 at 9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’ve been checking in on this thread several times a day to follow the conversation. While I think that Chris and other “whoa Nelly!” comments have a point, I think that the “If you can’t afford to do this entirely on your own, you shouldn’t do it” school of thinking is something that needs to be, well, re-thought.

On our own we are exceedingly limited. We’re hog-tied, all of our effort is spent on our own survival. But banding together as a community and pooling our resources, we can accomplish more than we can do as individuals isolated from each other.

Jenna can afford to carry the farm, and in the long run it is in her favour to pay her money towards a homestead mortgage than in rent. We’re talking seven points in credit and a couple of thousand dollars that makes a major difference in her life. It’s a timing issue more than a financial one, and getting over this hump will open up her options, she’ll have the capacity to expand the farm and begin make larger shifts towards self-suficiency and be able to contribute to her community in a larger way.

There’s this idea that we should “make it on our own” but most people *don’t* make it on their own. Rich people inherit riches. Plenty of people get financial assistance from their families. As a single woman and mother, have you never asked for help? Have you never received assistance from others?

I have to bring up the whole “single woman” aspect of this issue too – single women have far less resources than single men or married/partnered people. It’s a fact. Women earn less and without a partner, everything is harder. Raising kids is harder and running a farm is harder. Jenna’s doing *on her own* what most people don’t attempt until they’re married - that’s awesome! Our life’s happiness should not have to coincide with the timing of having a partner in our lives. Jenna’s a tough, resilient, kick-ass woman who everything almost entirely on her own. If anyone deserves to put the call out to her readers, it’s Jenna. We’re reading her book and blog because of the sheer effort she puts into her life, it’s inspiring, it keeps us coming back for more. She doesn’t have just one life partner, she has thousands of readers.

We’re tempted to forget that we’re all connected. I look at my good fortune and I can link it directly to help from friends and family. I would not be living in this beautiful part of the world without the help of my partner, her family and the amazing tiny community we’ve moved to. Communities exist as individuals helping each other to achieve more than we can do on our own.

February 5, 2010 at 11:34 PM  
Blogger Rene said...

Jenna, you are right that this is a story that has come to its climax. Unlike a typical story, though, is the fact that we readers do not have to be passive witness to a story unfolding. You are both a story and a real person some where out there in Vermont a couple thousand miles away. Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of your story, even if it's just throwing my change in your change jar. I want this for you as badly as I want it for myself and I feel no shame in giving close to my home and heart. Maybe you or I cannot make your dreams come true on our own but I know that as long as you have the strength to live the story there will be people with you to help you reach for them.

February 6, 2010 at 1:45 AM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

that's the life, there's a reason our nation is one in great debt. our people want what they want and when they want it. many of us wish for things greater than us right now but because of "time or money" its not available to us at the moment.

i myself am a single girl making it on my own. i have no more animals than i can afford to care for and house while trying my best to find rentals that accommodate us all on my own salary. its a hard life but living within my means is what allows me to continue to survive.

there's nothing wrong with waiting to own a farm, a property, or even a home on a small lot until you can properly care for and afford it as well (if that means waiting for a partner or a second source of income, that's fine). there's something to be said for putting in your dues as a youngster while saving up to purchase the property that one can call home.

the community is an important tool and i too agree that more can be accomplished when we help those around us who are in need. i personally also dont think comparing a single mom with 3 kids needing help to a single girl and her wants.

its amazing how different all our perspectives on this matter are, the comments on this page are certainly a testament to that!

February 6, 2010 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Donna Conover said...

I just sent a small donation to help with your farm purchase. My husband and I have spent the last six years or so working and saving and counting pennies so we can move to Alaska and live on a small piece of land we purchased there. The idea is live on an island self-sufficiently completely off-grid. After reading your book, I have been following your journey on the blog and dreaming of my own adventure to come. So good luck and best wishes! We're rooting for you!

February 6, 2010 at 12:58 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Jenna Can you consider a homesteading day seminar a girl from brooklyn NY with a dream of a small farm would love to pay to attend
Katty G

February 6, 2010 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger nancmcp said...

Well said, that's the life. We all have the right to our own opinions, but reading someone's blog doesn't give me the right to tell them how they should be living or offer judgements.

It's all right to ask for help and it's all right to say no without an explanation, rather than tell you why it's morally right for me not to give and not right for you to ask. Just my opinion.

February 6, 2010 at 5:12 PM  
Blogger aerogramme said...

Hey Jenna,

I just made a small donation today, that was what was left on my paypal account after I made my monthly "lend" on kiva, not much just $1.67. I hope you will pass on that money once back on your feet in a year or two to someone else who might have the ability to use it.

I hope everything turn well for you, I just put in my order for chicks this morning and I understand what you are going through. I have been blessed to inherit my piece of land, built my cabin and barn. I can now live the life I dreamed of for such a long time. I'll die poor, I live frugally but boy am I rich leaving the way I want.

You are right swallow your pride if needed and go for it.

I wish I was close by, my livestock trailer will had your zoo moved in a mater of hour. I'll bet you'll find someone around to lend you one. In the mean time take care ...

By the way those Toulouse are gorgeous, I wish I was around to snap them up.

February 6, 2010 at 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey --- I'm having a hard time reading your blog lately because I am so nervous for you. And what I'm feeling isn't even a tenth of what you must be feeling!

I'd totally come to the fiddlers workshop but the fiddle I bought is the crappiest thing ever. =( It doesn't stay in tune at all and now it just sits. I thought even a crappy one would do for me to learn on but apparently that's not true.

I'm going to make a small donation---it's not much but it's still something, right? And I'll check out your etsy, burn candles, say prayers, do voodoo and all of that. =)

February 7, 2010 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger nancmcp said...

Nytesong - you might try having it restrung with better strings. I did and it helped. Also had a fiddle repair shop down the street from me and she rebuilt my bridge to give it a better sound. Not great, but better, for around $40 total.

February 7, 2010 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It's going to work out -- it will. The picture of the house is great -- a perfect farmhouse. What about the first-time homebuyers credit? Does that come into play here -- it would certainly help cover closing costs.

February 7, 2010 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger Left-Handed Housewife said...

I started playing fiddle after reading your book. I am inspired by your blog. I made a little donation--wish it could be more, but I hope it helps.

Good luck!


February 9, 2010 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

A teeny-tiny donation sent your way. If I was closer, I'd donate the boxes and packing supplies we have after our last move.

Good luck!

February 11, 2010 at 11:05 AM  

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