Wednesday, February 8, 2012

not looking forward to tuesday

I'm not an anti-Valentine's Day person. I think the notion is sweet. But as a long-time single woman it can be frustrating, sometimes lonely, often just mentally awkward. A long time ago I posted this little essay, and it I got four emailed responses. Two were lesbians and the other two were parents trying to set me up with their adult sons. All of the inquiries were sweet and well intentioned, but not right for me. I forgot about it until today. I was picking up pantyhose at the drug store and as I turned towards where they were lying in wait, there was this tunnel of love candies. "Cartoon Hearts" was what it said, and I laughed. That was always my problem right there.

A farm doesn't need a farmer with a partner to run it. This farmer doesn't need a boyfriend, a husband, or children. She doesn't need candy in the shape of cartoon hearts or frilly laced underwear or bright red roses. But that doesn't mean she doesn't want them. The moon sees that, too.


Blogger Robin said...

I know how you feel (except for the no children). I was single and my own person for many many years. When I was 45 I met my husband and married him 4 years later. Whatever is meant to be, will be. It's best to wait and hopefully the "right" person and comfortable relationship will come along. It does get lonely at times though.

February 8, 2012 at 6:59 PM  
Blogger tanya Good said...

Hi Jena,
I'M CERTAIN that your farmer prince is out there, these things just take time.
Love your blog

February 8, 2012 at 7:01 PM  
Blogger tanya Good said...

Hi Jena,
I'M CERTAIN that your farmer prince is out there, these things just take time.
Love your blog

February 8, 2012 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger betsyohs said...

The best Valentines Day I ever had was the one where I was studying abroad. Somehow my program had ended up with 40 girls and no guys. And all but one or two of us were single. I actually don't even remember what we did to celebrate, but I do remember thinking how nice it was to be surrounded by all these other girls who didn't have boyfriends, just like me.

I'm also certain your man is out there, too. And I'm hoping this is the year you guys find each other!

February 8, 2012 at 7:06 PM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

Maybe celebrate with an older widow or widower?

You're not alone, this girl is in her late 20s, single and running a small farm with a full time job as well. Don't dispair!

February 8, 2012 at 7:25 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I like Meredith A's response.

The elderly have wonderful memories that they share in some pretty awesome storytelling.

February 8, 2012 at 7:33 PM  
Blogger Cat Eye Cottage said...

I didn't get married until I was in my 30s, so all in time. Don't sweat it.

February 8, 2012 at 7:36 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Jenna, not to make comparisons but if I can find a great partner in a sea of NYC that wants this sort of life too, there is hope for you to have the same. I know that it is hard when every other aspect of your life is in the place you'd like for it to be except for this one thing. It's a glaring discrepancy that can be hard to live with. My unsolicited advice: try to attend more farmers mixers and conferences if you can get away from CAF for the day. And keep hosting events! You'll shine when you're in your element...worst case scenario you continue feeling great about what you're doing, best case you catch someone's eye!

February 8, 2012 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger Ngo Family Farm said...

Same with me as The Weekend Homesteader. But it's okay to feel the way you do--humans are pack animals, and it's much harder to go it all lone wolf (although you play that part beautifully, too!) Good things come in due time; nobody knows how many moons it will be.


P.S. I can't stand wearing pantyhose and was sorry to hear you have to buy them; unless, that is, you're using them in some farm-related way? ;)

February 8, 2012 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger PansWife said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 8, 2012 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

Please don't let this faux holiday get to you. You have created an amazing life for yourself, and someday you'll find an amazing man to share it with you.

February 8, 2012 at 8:03 PM  
Blogger PansWife said...

I loved that essay you wrote.
I didn't meet the right man until I was 34. I bought my farm by myself when I was 29. Yes, life is easier when you have someone working alongside of you, but being part of a caring community is also rewarding. We somehow expect to meet Mr/Miss Right in our 20's, but it seems a rather narrow time frame for something so important to happen. You still have a big chunk of life ahead of you. I think back on the guys I dated in my 20's and know I probably wouldn't have stayed married to them based on who I am today in my 50's. Just keep an open mind, an open heart and continue to do what you love. Personally, I think Valentine's Day is for children and the companies who sell cards and candy.

February 8, 2012 at 8:05 PM  
Blogger Moose Hollow Farm said...

I don't see why we need Valentine's Day when every day is an opportunity to show those you love how important they are to you. It doesn't need to be a husband or boyfriend ~ why not a card or phone call to a parent, a sibling or a friend? Jenna, don't worry about finding someone ~ you'll find each other when the time is right.

February 8, 2012 at 8:18 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

Not sure if you're the type or not, but don't be afraid, if you meet someone who catches YOUR eye, to do the asking. Guys are shy. I'm pretty certain that if I hadn't asked my husband out on our first date, we wouldn't be together today (15 years later).

Also, don't pass up opportunities to talk to/hang out with single guys, even for just a few minutes casually during the course of your day. It's easy to get an idea of what you think "your" guy will look like, only to not recognize him when he actually comes along. Test drive, test drive, test drive.

February 8, 2012 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

Personally, we don't really "do" Valentine's day in our house. I do, however, see it as an opportunity to indulge in delicious sugary confections!

February 8, 2012 at 8:20 PM  
Blogger Strychnine said...

Hey, you've always got George! ;)

And from the 'grass is always greener' department, I grew up an only child and I _dearly_ value my alone time. Which can make relationships a challenge, to say the least :P And while it may not be quite the same, there's no law against getting yourself a little heart-shaped box of candy ;)

February 8, 2012 at 8:21 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Hey Hon, I feel ya. (Love your pic, too.) It just struck me this week that I cared much more about Valentine's day when I was single than I do now in a long-term relationship. How dumb is that? But that's how we women are. (Can't speak for the men.)

I'll spare you all the platitudes, 'cause they don't fill your empty arms. Maybe you should buy that Spongebob thing, set it on fire outside under the moon, and give Gibson a kiss on the forehead. Thank God for dogs, at least.

February 8, 2012 at 8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now why can't Arbor day have an aisle at Rite Aid? That's something we could all get behind.

Anyway, I was just randomly looking through old posts written before I found the blog (a great way to avoid grading papers...) and saw one that touches on this post's theme. Take a look at June 30th, 2010.

February 8, 2012 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger Indio said...

How about trying one of those cowboy singles website? I remember how much you enjoyed the rodeo sights @ the county fair.

February 8, 2012 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger Wonder KY said...

Someday there will be another pair of muddy boots beside your wood stove. Enjoy your journey.

February 8, 2012 at 9:22 PM  
Blogger avw said...

Jenna, just to chime in with Tara's suggestion to "help things along" where necessary. I had to do the same with my husband (met him at age 35). Just keep yourself wide open to possibility, cast a wide net (I met my husband at a volunteer thing). If you feel uncomfortable doing the asking, then you can also try making it easy for the guy to ask--make it clear that you will say yes, if he does, that is :). I also echo the remarks that you will find that partner--the cliche is true that he will likely show up when you least suspect it.

February 8, 2012 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger David Shearer said...

It's also possible to find yourself lonely with a partner/spouse. Just saying...

February 8, 2012 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

I adored your the "this will just take a minute" post and reread it many times. Valentine's Day is a crock of shit made to make single people feel badly. Debi's comment is dead on. Keep on keepin' on and when you and the universe are ready, he will appear. Trust me on this.

February 8, 2012 at 10:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a single guy, a single parent, and I've been reading your blog for some time since stumbling across "made from scratch" some time ago in my local library. I expected some dry "how to" book on homesteading, and was instantly captivated by your entertaining, capivating, and humorous writing, and just could not put the book down, so captivated to see what would come next.......

You are very inspiring to myself and so many others in the way that you persue your goals and dreams so whole heartedly. Sometimes building a grand life for oneself can be a bit of a solitary thing, though - it's tough to find "the one" with an identical or even similar dream to our own..... we as humans are all so dang individual. I'm single this valentines day. It doesn't bother me much that I am, though it seems to hit women a bit harder (at least it seems that way to my primitive, testosterone addled male brain lol). I think New years at midnight was tougher than valentines day for me.

I've learned over the past years that drama and bad relationships are far, far worse than none at all, and have begun to have faith that "the one" will appear and I will know it when it happens. In the meantime, I enjoy and explore life as much as I possibly can.

You are a wonderful, funny, extremely talented woman who is not afraid to chase her dreams at full throttle. And you're cute as heck too.

The right person, will appear, at exactly the right time. Not sooner or later. In the meantime, we can either coast, or get busy livin'. And you seem to be doing that livin' part quite well;)

Hope the lonliness passes for ya.

February 8, 2012 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger admin said...

Ugh, commercialism. I’m with Katie and Deb.

Valentine’s Day means refereeing preteens hyped up on sugar and surging with hormones, I dread it…it’s a lost day all the way around. I’m sure if I even had a date I’d be out of energy to enjoy it…which means on the evening of the 14th I’ll be happy to kick off my shoes and crash on the couch with just the dogs and some wine and good music. Valentine’s Day also rings sour due to the fact that one of the worst relationships I was ever in started around that time of year I think probably due to the fact that the guy was feeling lonely and the holiday obligated it. I appreciate waiting and going it alone more and more as most of my friends get divorces and go through custody battles— it can get lonely sometimes, but I’d rather be alone than with the wrong person …guess this “holiday” brings out the cynical in me for sure. Yes, keep on keeping on…and then when you least expect it someone right will saunter in, I know it—know that doesn’t help right now though.

February 8, 2012 at 11:03 PM  
Blogger pawsfurme said...

*waves hand* Life-long single here, too! I rarely got valentines from "peers" in school, so I've always hated the holiday.
I've actually always felt bad for all my friends who couldn't live without a boyfriend. If...God forbid...they broke up, they didn't know what to do with themselves and dove right into another relationship, for better or worse. It still amazes me how many of my friends can't do or aren't interested in learning how to do things typically taken for granted, even if their boyfriends can't or won't. Granted, I can't cook worth a d*** (the kitchen is a tad full with 4 adults, 3 large dogs, and 3 cats in the house...I'll learn when I move out)
but I can mend clothes, drive a lawn tractor, I frequently use all the power tools in our house (I use them more than my dad does!), carry heavy loads, change a tire, repair my business trailer as needed, tend to livestock. The list goes on.
Even though I have never had the opportunity to live on my own, I will consider myself quite capable when the time finally does come. The older I get (I recently turned 30), the less I like relying on others (never been a team player). I'd rather just do it myself. That's not to say I don't long for companionship and big strong arms wrapped around me, and someone else to carry the heavy loads or do repairs...I do. But that longing has never ruled my life like it has for so many of my girlfriends. My time will come and in the mean time, I enjoy the challenge of learning to do new things myself.

February 8, 2012 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

If it helps, I think Valentine's day is totally lame, and I'm happily married. Everyone is right - you'll meet the right person at the right time, and it'll be when you least expect it. You're busy living your life right now and that's the most attractive thing a person can do.

February 9, 2012 at 12:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is actually one of the reasons I dislike Valentines Day. The gesture is sweet but it puts pressure on people and with all the commercialism (and junk!)becomes something else entirely. I am in a long standing relationship but do not celebrate valentines day. I made this decision at the age of 16 and my opinion hasn't changed through the years. Don't let yourself feel left out because of this holiday. And as for being alone I believe that as long as you are staying true to yourself all will work out. Would you want true love to be represented by a cardboard box and a bunch of chemicals that was assembled in china?

February 9, 2012 at 12:34 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Just wait 'til Wednesday......then that candy will be on sale and you can stock up on ironic chocolate.

February 9, 2012 at 12:56 AM  
Blogger John Taylor said...


Sometimes you just have to take a chance. I met my wife in a country bar in New York. SHE asked me to dance...I said no the first time...the second time she asked I said yes. Five months later we were married and living in Arizona....As of May 22 we will be married 20 years! Sometimes you just have to take a chance on someone. We did not have everything in common or at that time most things in common, but we had all the time in the world to work it out. Now I'm not saying hit the bar scene but you may have someone who likes you that is afraid to ask. Look at those people in your life and who knows there may be a husband in there. I hope you one day find what you are looking for! Sharing your life with that special someone is the best experience you can have. I will continue to hope and pray for you that you find what your looking for.

Grace and Peace,


p.s. Did you like the Civil War book I sent you? Since it dealt with U.S Grant I thought you might like it.

February 9, 2012 at 2:28 AM  
Blogger Beth of the Rocks said...


If you don't get a valentine, you have only yourself to blame. At least, that's what I've told myself for the last 11 years of singledom on Valentine's Day.

I hear you about the not needing it but wanting it. Well, sometimes, sometimes I'm so glad I'm single and don't have to worry about all the things that come with being in a relationship.

February 9, 2012 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Jim Cobb said...

Jena, Remember that song about some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers? Don't worry about it. When you least expect it, it will nail you right between the eyes. I was put up to asking my wife out on a date by one of her co-workers while standing in line at the bank she worked at. Cold turkey, I did, 24 & 1/2 years later I can't get rid of her!
Sometimes we celebrate Valentines sometimes we don't. It's not the day. It's got to be everyday or its not real. Slow down, and enjoy it's coming.

February 9, 2012 at 10:09 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

I'm bringing up a some Brooklyn treats so delectable you'll be glad you don't have to share them with some piglet boyfriend...though Jasper might try to get a nibble in if you don't watch your back!

February 9, 2012 at 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen the trouble some of my friends have had finding someone post-college (and they are great people!). Don't discount the internet - there are a lot of great sites out there and I know of at least two couples in very happy marriages that started on the web. I'm convinced there's someone out there for everyone who wants someone, but you may have to do a little searching to find him.

February 9, 2012 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger sash said...

I'm almost 50 years old and happily single - that's not to say I wouldn't love a mellow, cool man in my life, but G-d hasn't deemed it the right time yet. What gets me is that why isn't there a "Happy For Being Singles" Hallmark Day? Or as Carrie Bradshaw said in my favorite "Sex and the City" episode entitled, "A Woman's Right to Shoes...'and where's the flatware for going on vacation alone!?'"

February 9, 2012 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

I'm not trying to brag or anything like that, but I just re-read the post you linked to and you've pretty much described my husband to a T. I'm not saying that to make you feel bad or jealous, just to let you know that these men DO exist--sometimes in unexpected places. I met my husband in high school, when we were just friends and our imagined futures seemed worlds apart, and it wasn't until we reconnected a few years later that we realized we really wanted the same things. Now we're happy and in love and looking for to rent farmland in Pennsylvania. Don't give up hope--and remember, even people in love can get sad around Valentine's Day. It's the only holiday that is built around our collective societal insecurities.
Good luck. Keep doing what you love--more love can grow out of it.

February 9, 2012 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Bonnie said...

I know people feel differently about Valentine's Day. I personally don't really get it. It seems set up to make the men feel obligated to buy something and the women to set their hopes ridiculously high. I don't celebrate it and wouldn't miss it if the whole holiday disappeared...although I would miss the chocolate sales that happen directly following!

February 9, 2012 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger ME said...

...and you will have them. You are honest and true and you live your life the way you want. THAT is very attractive. Someday you'll have a farmboy to fetch you things, as you wish! ;-)

February 9, 2012 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Joke said...

Look at the bright side; you do inspire people (who can say that!). And..not only in the US. I'm Dutch (Europe), read two of your books and love them.
The result; the veggie seeds are waiting on the shelf for planting and in the summer I'm going to do a course in goat milking and other farm stuff.
So, keep going girl!

Joke (which is pronounced like Yoku and not a joke)

February 9, 2012 at 11:58 AM  
Blogger farmgirlwanabe said...

To add to what Panswife said and what Tara said (sorry wrote)...
I purposedly dateed jerks when I was in my 20's so as not to risk having them propose to me at that time as I wasn't ready - the advise my mother gave me is one day you will wake up and it will be time - and that is exactly what happened I woke up one day (in the hospital after having major knee surgery due to dislocation from a backpacking accident living in a ne city where I knew no one except the people I worked with) and said ok its time I need someone in my life - 6 months later I found him volunteering for the red nose program in Calgary Alberta on New Year's eve (volunteers drive party goers so as to keep the partygoers off the roads) and we got married one year later on new years day - it was totally unexpected as I was volunteering because of my bad leg and was brand new to Calgary ( he too was a volunteer and I figured any military guy volunteering his time on new year's eve instead of being out there getting driven because of being drunk has got to be a good guy -and he is a great guy.)

and I also wholeheartedly agree with Tara - a good friend of mine (a guy) once told me 100 girls will go out with the big jerk who prowls the bars for pickup and these 100 ladies will think guys are jerks not realizing that for every jerk there are probably 99 other guys out there who are nice, kind, gentle but strong and are very shy. I watched one night this friend and three of his buddies - one was the jerk prowling, but the other two would sit there and say 'wow' as all these girls walked by - I said to one of them why don't you go ask one of them to dance - response: 'uh no she'll just slam me down' - they are shy believe me - even my husband told me he was one of those guys who was shy. (by the way the same goes for girls - one spoiled diva with big time attitude can cause a bunch of guys to think girls are b.....s - its a two way street)

so he is out there - you will most likely find him when you least expect it and when you're not looking. I met mine when I was 32, got married when I was 33 and have been ecstatic ever since)

February 9, 2012 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

i'm surprised no one has commented on the TRUE meaning and history behind valentines day. it is said this day is to honor St Valentine who became a martyr defending the right of couples to marry.

the name valentine is derived from valens which means healthy, strong, powerful, worthy, etc.

if it is in my plan to marry and have children, the name valens will be used as a middle name. also seems fitting for a large noble gelding.

February 9, 2012 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

I like the old school version better: Lupercalia!

February 9, 2012 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger jules said...

Outdoors 1968: what a sweetheart you are. Words of wisdom. Nice.

February 9, 2012 at 2:46 PM  
Blogger PansWife said...

I'm also a fan of Lupercalia! The Christians have swiped all the really cool pagan stuff. Here's the wiki version for peolpe who might not know: "Lupercalia was a very ancient, possibly pre-Roman pastoral festival, observed on February 13 through 15 to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. Lupercalia subsumed Februa, an earlier-origin spring cleansing ritual held on the same date, which gives the month of February its name." I believe the idea of spring house cleaning also comes from this tradition.

February 9, 2012 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger becky said...

valentines is a made up holiday so don't despair. you will find your soul mate when you least expect too

February 9, 2012 at 6:13 PM  
Blogger ddu said...

Jenna, ditch the holiday and keep the dark chocolate. You be you, which is enough. Best wishes!

February 9, 2012 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Jenna - I can't stress this enough: enjoy where you are! Enjoy what you can do. Enjoy your peace, your quiet, your everyday aloneness. When it changes (and it will), you may look back on these days and wish you had fully lived them - and by that I mean with joy.
I am married, after 34 years of singlehood (only one date in all that time, too). I spent all those adult single years sad, but trying to appear chipper. I wasn't. Now, I look back and realize what a gift that time was. I learned new skills/hobbies/went on trips/was free to eat a bowl of peas for dinner if I wanted to. Don't get me wrong - I love my husband and am so so so happy to be a wife and mama. But - I really regret wishing away my singlehood.

February 9, 2012 at 8:41 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I feel for you. It wasn't until I was 22 that I really started dating and had my first kiss. It was extremely hard going through high school and almost all of college never dating. It didn't matter how many times I told myself that "Someday it'll happen."

I've been dating my boyfriend for two years now and am extremely glad that I found him. I do wish that I was easier on myself during all those years, as I'm now thankful for that time to really figure things out on my own and (as cheesy as it sounds) discover who I really was. I'm sorry you don't have someone special to share your experiences with now (it does suck), but when you do find someone, know that you will have a solid footing in who you are and what you want from life.

February 9, 2012 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger Monster Librarian said...

Do what I do--celebrate Natl. Singles Awareness Day. Have some beers, watch funny movies and hang out with your friends...or dogs. :)

February 9, 2012 at 9:48 PM  
Blogger Misty said...

Someone once told me that I would find someone and fall in love so fast, as if lightning had struck. True to my life, though, it wasn't like that at all. It was like how Spring arrives every year... creeping up so slowly you don't notice until you look up and are amazed that everything has gotten that green tinge all in the matter of an hour (usually happens during a thunder storm).

February 9, 2012 at 11:47 PM  
Blogger Misty said...

Thanks, everyone, for making me appreciate I am not the only one who didn't date, didn't party and didn't kiss until I was the ripe old age of 35. But I did travel the world. I did work. I did have friends and enjoyed my life. I knew who I was and what I did and didn't like. Being mature helped me realize what I wanted to ultimately end up with. When I did find that someone, I waited and wanted to be absolutely sure that this was going to be a one time thing. (I think he asked me to marry him every week for a couple of years before I said 'yes'.) Just goes to show that having a little maturity in your pocket gives you the upper hand in choosing a life partner. Never settle for good enough. Good enough doesn't last.

February 9, 2012 at 11:55 PM  
Blogger Monica said...

Hey Jena,

I'm really glad you wrote this post because all these comments were just the pick-me-up I needed.

February 10, 2012 at 12:26 AM  
Blogger heather said...

wait wait wait...WHY, for the love of pete, are you buying pantyhose??? is it for some farming-type purpose? when my hollywood costume supervisor friend told me, "no one is wearing pantyhose," first i thought: "egads! my spider veins!" and then i thought: "hooray! no pantyhose!" when it's supercold, and i have to be in a dress, i wear tights. otherwise, i jergens foamy-tan for a day or two beforehand, which is still irritating, sure, but makes me feel like i'm mildly disguising my spider veins, and also, F-O for paying that close attention to my leg veins. plus: NO PANTY HOSE!

dude, i'm the biggest unitarian on the planet, but i've come to embrace "cast thy bread upon the water," or whatever g-d thing it is. you want kindness, put kindness out there. you want grace, put grace out there. you want a partner? put "awesome partner" out there (which you are! and KUDOS!).

you never, ever, ever know when one random exchange, relationship, conversation, or connection will turn into Something (and by all means, pursue any lead (or let it pursue you)! i figured my husband was a Summer Fling. aaand here we are). and, at the same time, you are a massive rock star, fully capable of taking care of yourself + a galaxy of other living things. so anything that comes along will be subject to your approval, not your need.

it is what it is; whatever, whatever. life is long. i'm one of a chorus of many singing you a happy life right now, and always, no matter what. :)


February 10, 2012 at 3:26 AM  
Blogger Catharine said...

Hi Jenna, I understand completely. I've been a single gal with lots of critters for a long time. My grandmother recently asked me how I could be happy when I'm not married and don't have children. I told her happiness is found inside and I am happy just the way I am. I'm always open to new things, but I know what makes me happy - and this has taken a lifetime to discover. Happy Valentine's Day from one single gal to another.

February 10, 2012 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger SHJeffers said...

I hear you, my friend. Happy Lupercalia day or Valentines day or Throw another Log in the Woodstove day!

February 10, 2012 at 3:21 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

so true.

February 10, 2012 at 7:56 PM  
Blogger Samantha Joelle Honey Lamb said...

Gosh....I hear you... I could not have put it into better words.... Hahaha, I am going to a farm mixer today though...ya just never know:)

February 11, 2012 at 7:16 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home