Personally…

February 24th, 2013

As a blogger, it doesn’t matter if you write about something as trivial as a dislike of a pop singer, or something as private as a decision to breastfeed… someone, somewhere is going to take it personally.

We are allowed to disagree.  I don’t have to like everything in the world, and I certainly don’t expect the world, my friends or even my husband, to like everything about ME and my choices.  It would be absurd to think it could be any other way.

I don’t know if it was the steady stream of vegans ramming my inbox with what I felt was an agenda completely detached from reality (this is where the blogger is obligated to write “but not ALL vegans have no clue what actually happens on my farm!”), or the folks telling me I am going to kill my children by not giving them the flu shot (“but you are free to make a decision about vaccination that is right for you!”), or the Little Monsters crying into my .Mac account that Gaga’s skimpy clothes are part of her humanitarian efforts, how DARE I insult the princess (“but we all have different tastes, and we should honor her feminist efforts!”)

I don’t know what exactly the final straw was, but it gets to be a drag when sharing ANY aspect of my life, or my opinions I have to write (or feel concerned about NOT writing) some pathetic hand holding caveat.  It’s lame.  What is more lame, NO CAVEAT, is if my blog hurts your feelings because I don’t want to buy chicken from the grocery store, or send my kids to public school, or write endless caveats.

I wrote this blog to share my experiences, in hopes of inspiring others who might want to follow a similar path.  I wrote because it came naturally, and I enjoyed doing it.

I would like to think that it is egomania that leaves people so high strung that they think every post is about them.  That every step of my life, if it is out of step with theirs, is a put down on my part, to them directly.  That they should take everything… personally.  I think that erring on the side of overconfidence would be preferred to my secondary feeling.  The sadness I feel for someone, taking offense on behalf of farm cats, pastured pigs, performance artists (“but who will stand up for the kitties!” cries someone, somewhere out there).

I hate to end this with a colloquialism but, my question to those  personally offended on behalf of The Kitties is, how far do you think you can walk with the weight of the world on your shoulders?

50 Responses to “Personally…”

  1. Tiffany says:

    Good for you! It continues to amaze me how pathetic people can be. As if they are so hard pressed to change someone’s opinion to match their own agenda. If you are willing to share a part of your life with others that’s totally awesome and if people have a problem, guess what, they can just do what normal people do and just click that little back arrow and find someone else to read about, it’s a great big world out there. Thank you for having enough self respect by not letting random douche bags bring you down because I for one enjoy reading about a family that does things a little differently and it inspires me to do the same.

  2. Twwly says:

    Thank you, Tiffany. I appreciate your taking the time to give positive feedback!

    I hope you are having a great adventure on your own path. :)

  3. Jules says:

    Yikes, that’s really the feedback you have been getting of late?! That’s super lame & I’m sorry to hear that. I have really enjoyed your blog. Great food for thought, examples for further reading and tangiable examples of personal options to lead a more independent and sustainable lifestyle…Bravo. Thanks for sharing your journey and ignoring the whiners. :)

  4. Twwly says:

    Jules, it’s just the feedback I have gotten the entire time. There is certainly positive feedback, but the hate mail is just really unfortunate!

    Thank you, eh. :)

  5. Zayin says:

    Oh dear, I’m sorry to hear about the hand-wringing emailers out there.

    Your blog has been a phenomenal source of inspiration and information to me (and no doubt others). Mainstream media offers very little in the way of female role models who do their own thing, and define their own identities with common sense, honesty and intelligence, and your blog is an oasis in that desert of contradictory crap. As a young woman I followed your exploits on SG in my early 20s, and later here, and really have nothing but good things to say.

  6. MissNomer says:

    Ugh, I’m so sorry. I’ve been missing your updates, but I understand why you stepped away from the blog if that’s the feedback you’re getting. I’ve learned a great deal about food and food politics from you–your writing and links are a big reason I went vegan–and for that I thank you.

    I made the decision to go vegan because the work I would have to do to eat meat and dairy ethically far, far outweighed the enjoyment eating meat and dairy for me. I’m not a farmer, I don’t want to kill my food, and hell, I don’t even drive, so getting to those cute little local farms is a pain in the ass. I also practice Buddhism, and for me, eating animal products didn’t fit into my practice. I have a difficult time finding like-minded individuals in the vegan community because I believe that people who eat the way you do are eating ethically, but that runs counter to the vegan party line. Equating your farm with a factory farm is absurd, and needlessly polarizing, and it pisses me off that a bunch of preachy vegans are now helping to close off an avenue of learning for people who may be questioning where their food comes from. I hope you don’t stop blogging, but gosh, I certainly understand why you would.

  7. kirsty says:

    I love your sexy hipster homesteading mama site! don’t bother listening to the drivel. I checked your space a few times this winter and was bummed that you weren’t saying anything.
    Guess what’s nailed to a piece of plywood in my yard? Salt and allum tanned bunny skins! And sweet and sour rabbit was delicious, and their poop is fantastic!
    xo

  8. kayla says:

    I used to follow you on SG, you were always one of my favorites. Because of you I co-slept with my daughter and used cloth diapers. Thank you for introducing me to those “new” concepts (new to ME!).
    I have loved your blogging since forever and hope that you’re around to follow for a long while.

  9. Octohawk says:

    I love your blog and I love your conviction. I may not agree with everything, but it’s not my life! A couple of years ago, I wrote on my blog about my hunting experiences (after being a vegetarian for years) and was barraged with nonsensical anonymous criticisms. It’s so funny, because I wrote more about WHY I was doing it (wild meat, being able to have a personal relationship with your food, not being a moral coward, etc) than anything else and still had idiots write me just to say “well, I hope you at least plan on eating that”. That was the whole point! The internet is a good place to hang out if you want to lose your faith in humanity. It brings out the ugliest aspects of people- like an obligation to spout one’s moral self rightetousness or to criticize without the threat of actual confrontation. But being that I met my husband and my best friend through my blog, along with a lot of other awesome people, I know there’s also a lot of good left in it, too. The trick is filtering out and ignoring the morons and trying to focus on the good. I know how annoying it is, but you’re way above these idiots on so many levels. And I know you know that.

  10. Sara says:

    Your blog has been so important as a source of fresh thinking – I really do appreciate that you’ve been willing to share your experiences and the reasons behind your choices, especially now knowing what the cost of that has been to you. I don’t really think that I will ever understand what it is about the internet that makes people go crazy with their own narrow agendas (especially those that are somehow enticed to seek out people they disagree with and harass them), but I do hope it is some comfort, however slight, to know that your blog has made a positive impact on others (me included).

  11. Alex says:

    Good for you lady! A blog is so personal and subjective. I don’t know why people feel the need to take it upon themselves to go out of their way to argue/disagree with what you’ve said. I hope it hasn’t put you off from sharing with us again in the future. I love to hear people’s personal opinions about things, be it as a side note to an original post or as its own dedicated entry. We’re all different, and it would be pretty boring if we all agreed on the same things all the time. And if we don’t agree, then maybe we learn something new? Your opinions are a part of you and your personality. The fact you share anything at all is a gift and people should respect that doing so takes a lot of time, emotional and personal commitment. Whereas hiding behind an email or screennamed comment does not. I did miss your updates but completely understand why the break. At least it didn’t stop you from posting to Instagram!

  12. Nikki says:

    I second Kayla in saying that I too used cloth diapers and co-slept with my son because of the information your blog provided about it. My son was an unexpected blessing. I had no idea where to start when preparing for his arrival and your writings have been such an inspiring reference for me. It’s shitty that you get so much negative feedback. I suppose folks like me (who has been reading your blog for almost 2 years now) should maybe throw in a few positive comments now and then to spread the love a little bit. I’ve really appreciated the things you’ve had to say and hope you continue to share your infinite farmer/mama wisdom.

  13. Twwly says:

    Thank you so much ladies, for the feedback. It’s great to hear.

    I am thrilled there are rabbits nailed onto boards, ethical food choices (be it veganism or hunting!), and off the beaten path baby rearing being done that I may have had some part in. What a wonderful feeling. Man.

    Blogging has definitely not been bleak, it has been a very colourful experience. I have had hate mail for years, but it is seems to have become so much more concentrated in the last few. So much more personal.

    I really do enjoy Instagram. People don’t generally get too upset about pictures of sunsets and kitty cats, though they do try occasion, to have a go.

    I hope you’re all happy & healthy out there, and I want to thank you for reading and writing.

  14. Charley says:

    Funny, this isn’t the first blog I’ve read in the last week or so covering the same ground. I’ve also encountered the same sort of stuff over the years online, although I seem to get it more in the ‘IRL’ domain and it drives me utterly crazy. Something about not conforming or fitting into any one particular pigeonhole that makes people want to put you in your place it seems. I was bought up to respect people’s different opinions and also to keep any negative opinions or judgements I have to myself, it’s always a shock to find that other people are less inclined to do so. Like everyone else I have loved reading what you have to say over the years and I have utmost respect for your way of life. It’s been a huge comfort over the years and bless the internet for that

    Anyway, miss those blogs but totally understand why! x

  15. Amandette says:

    I was surprised, at first, when you said you get hate mail. Then I remembered the internet is the perfect place for people to be jerks. Thank goodness not all who grace the internet are jerks, or I may never use it. Of course everyone in entitled to their own opinion, but to be constantly defending your own…is tiring.
    Stay as strong as you are, and I hope you continue to keep blogging/instagraming. You’ve inspired me endlessly! From your tattoos to your way of farm life, you have shown me you can have it all.
    Thanks to you!

  16. Layla says:

    Hate mail is a form of flattery, though it’s usually very difficult to see it that way. The hater actually took the time to write to you, which means they actually read your writing and that you reached them on some level. They didn’t just glare at the computer screen and move along to the next blog post.

    I got hate mail, hate comments and even a hate website for 10 years and, while I did grow a thicker skin, it always stung. I clung to the positive comments and letters and phone calls. I reminded myself that those good people were moved enough to extend a compliment. But sometimes it wasn’t enough; sometimes one mean person could overpower a host of good ones.

    A police chief once told me, “People don’t call the police to say they’re having a good day.” I’ve repeated that line countless times, often in relation to life. People don’t always comment or email if they liked a blog post, because they simply agree, smile and move along. Those are the people who silently support you. Hang in there.

  17. Sue says:

    Well if it makes any difference, I am a vegan and think you are wonderful, b/c your animals have a good life. I don’t think it’s wrong to use animal products..I think it’s wrong to do it when the animal has had a tortured life because of it. maybe I’m not a real vegan b/c of that, I don’t know. Quite honestly if I had the energy to do what you do, I wouldn’t be a vegan. I’m far too lazy though to raise my own animals, which I think is the only humane way to obtain animal products. And so I’m a vegan, b/c if I can’t raise my own happy animals to get food from, at least I can avoid contributing to the suffering of animals. But good for you. Fuck em.

  18. Jeff Putz says:

    I may not see eye to eye with you on stuff, but I very much enjoy your writing. My Web reading is less diverse without you.

    I’ve been writing my bullshit on the Internet now for 13 years, and encountered plenty of haters. I just ignore them. I write for me. You should too.

  19. Katie says:

    I love your blog! I still don’t know how I stumbled on it sometime last year, but I’m so glad I did. Your writing is educated, passionate, remarkably articulate, and reflects the experiences of someone that I don’t know and yet find fascinating. This is, in fact, the only blog I read.

    Please don’t let a few bad apples ruin the whole bunch and deter you from sharing your fantastic life. – because of this blog, I’ve learned to make cheese, bread, soap, and discovered the fantastic Michael Pollan. I’ve never felt as though you’re pushing your opinions on your readers, but rather that you’re encouraging them to research the ideas and information that you’re putting forth. It’s quite admirable.

  20. Quinn Batcho says:

    It deeply saddens me to hear that most of the e-mail you receive from your blog is hate mail. The word alone makes my skin crawl. I followed you from SG over to your blog and have enjoyed watching your family grow. Your go getter mentality about farming actually inspired me to start raising my own backyard hens. It was the best thing I ever did, not only for my own family but the entire neighborhood. Giving our youth the knowledge of where our food comes from is an invaluable lesson.

    I agree with Katie “Dont let a few bad apples ruin the bunch” keep the blog going and keep up your kick ass attitude !

    Sending you much love and respect!

  21. Krissy says:

    I followed you here from MDC years ago. I comment rarely but I absolutely read religiously. I find you incredibly inspiring. I live a life very different from yours. I went to a Lady Gaga concert last month. :) I’m ok with you disliking her presentation. I think that is so totally ok that I have no more ok to give.

    I’m sorry people say mean things to you because of your opinions. In my view you are an incredibly honorable person working as hard as you can to bring joy and love and goodness into the world. I’m glad you are out there doing what you do.

    You have taught me a lot over the years, from how to make cheese to how to care for goats. I had no idea. You make them seem like skills I might be able to honest-to-goodness learn. That’s kind of over-whelming to someone who grew up in the projects in LA. For a while I lived in Compton and experienced drive by shootings. As an adult I live in the bay area near San Francisco. You *really* represent a different life.

    I hope that the haters don’t chase you off the internet. I think you have been enormously influential on my life. I now do a lot of gardening because of you. I’ve been very brave. Right now I have managed to keep several dozen plants alive for more than five years often following things you post here.

    You existing has been truly wonderful for me. I hope you keep posting. I’ve missed your posts something fierce but begging for more writing seems kind of in poor taste given that you don’t know me.

    I’m so sorry people are being rude to you. It isn’t about you. I promise you that you do not deserve their vitriol.

  22. Tabitha says:

    I personally am inspired by your drive and strength to live the way you desire. I am thrilled to see a new post. I have been following you for many years now and I often find hope when I can sit for a few minutes and be a part of your cool world for a few minutes. So thanks. Hope you have a good one.

  23. Julia says:

    I miss your posts too.
    I follow a couple of people big on tumblr who seem to get a barrage of hateful comments on a daily basis, and it makes me sad and anxious even though its not about me. I’ve unfollowed people just to avoid seeing the hateful comments THEY receive. I know that if it was me I could not handle it and would probably shut the “networking” down.
    It seems as though there are people on the internet who dont realise that if they disagree with you they do not have to come to your page and read about your life. That or there are a bunch of folks who make a hobby of stalking people with opinions of their own. Its all a shame really.

  24. Penny Rene says:

    As a wise man once said, People are bad. People are real bad. Send ‘em back to Personnel.
    I’ve been writing publicly since I was 24. I’m now 41. It will always be like this when your thoughts are public. Good people say good things; well meaning people over-step boundaries; and there are a minority who are just assholes. The longer you do this, the less you will care that there are assholes out there, that they write to you. You’ll learn to scan those emails and delete them, knowing which ones are relevant, and which ones aren’t.
    But don’t stop doing what you love to do. Write when you want to write. Publish when you want. You certainly have enough people who like to read what you say, including me.
    xo

  25. Heathre says:

    As Jeff Ross once said, “they hear? fuck ‘em!”

    I have enjoyed your blog since I found it a few months ago. It was great to read, and whatever you choose next, I wish you all the best!

  26. lauren says:

    Please keep sharing…..
    You words are hopeful, thought provoking, honest and delightfully refreshing.

  27. Sarahfina says:

    Wow. I don’t even know what to say. Wait, yes I do. Don’t these people have anything better to do? It’s not as if you’re spamming these “vegan” communities or pop star fan clubs with your page or better yet, holding a gun to their head and making them read it. I have been a loyal reader for many years now because I enjoy both your wit and your loving and refreshing outlook (and beliefs) on family life. I’ve always been intrigued by cloth diapering, baby wearing, organic and sustainable living but I have your blog to thank for pushing me to do more research. I believe that because of what I read here, I now realize something that a lot of people never will… they have choices as to how they raise their children. And now more than ever, I’m glad to have your journey in the back of my mind as I bring my first child into the world this coming August. Write in recollection and amazement of yourself, first and foremost. Secondly, your words are there for the people who want them, no one else. So I guess what I’m saying is these people should pound sand. Rock on, sista!

  28. Priscilla (@reptilegrrl) says:

    I’ve really enjoyed yuor blog and missed your posts. I hope you don’t give up. As a recent ex-vegetarian, you’ve been inspiring sometimes and annoying other times. Isn’t that part of interacting with other humans? No matter what, I’ve always enjoyed reading your entries. You are interesting and express yourself in interesting ways.

    I hope you know you are appreciated and admired, and that you keep writing.

  29. regina says:

    longtime reader from MDC. and former vegan. gawd, i hate preachy vegans. especially when they’re dead-wrong.

    dont stop blogging. everyone gets preachy, i know, i am sure i did (parenting, vax, food, etc). ignore and know that they’re still learning & growing…

  30. eli says:

    damn … thanks for posting again ! how i’ve MISSED this blog. we are like minded, but different women, and i value your perspective.

    don’t let the turkeys get you down.

  31. eli says:

    (i’d like to add that i truly hope that this isn’t the end … and that you are just taking a break. no pressure. but seriously. don’t stop. ;-) )

  32. Holly says:

    I hope you can just delete those comments. It’s great that you disregard their forceful agendas and stay true to your own values. I’m a new reader but I appreciate your frankness.

  33. Melissa F. says:

    PREACH. High five, lady.

  34. Jackie says:

    There is nothing I respect more than a person who is true to themselves unconditionally. That trait is something I always admired about you in high school (that tricky time when it’s hard to know who “you” really are)…and when I discovered your online presence a couple years ago I thought – how lovely! – she is still unique, outspoken and brave!

    I would be lying if I said I agree with every single thing you’ve ever said on here…but I don’t agree with my own husband most of the time so please don’t be offended ;) A world where we all think, feel and act the same is a world that I would rather not be living in thank you very much!

    So keep thinking, keep feeling, keep acting and PRETTY PLEASE WITH A CHERRY ON TOP – keep writing!

  35. kristen says:

    Dearest Lady, Your knowledge and wisdom are very valuable. Blessings and Peace…love is what wins the Day and your love shines through!

  36. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry to hear this. I’ve disagreed with stuff on your blog, but at the same time, stumbled across your blog when I was struggling with breast feeding and found comfort in your breast feeding posts. I remember at the time, my father passed, I was a new mom and felt very lonely. Your blog was inspiring as a mom who followed her heart.

  37. Ni says:

    I’m sorry to hear this. I’ve disagreed with stuff on your blog, but at the same time, stumbled across your blog when I was struggling with breast feeding and found comfort in your breast feeding posts. I remember at the time, my father passed, I was a new mom and felt very lonely. Your blog was inspiring as a mom who followed her heart.

  38. Druggist says:

    I feel like the only people who have the time and energy to insult people online and judge their lives lower than their own have no semblance of a life themselves. Just hateful people who hate on themselves internally so much to the point where it spews out of their mouths and into your ears, manifesting as a petty insult and judegement. Fuck em!

    Your blog has been such a unique experience for most of your readers, myself included. You are living a dream-ful life to most. Would I personally make the same decisions as you? No, but that doesn’t mean I don;t admire you for being true to you and maybe that gives readers the courage to be true to themseves as well. Keep on keepin on, Twwly!

  39. redpatentmaryjanes says:

    This is without a doubt my favourite blog to read and have been sad to see a decline in posts.
    I can’t believe people take the time and energy to spew hate, as another commentor said, all they have to do is find another blog where they can get their fill- or better yet? Step away from the computer.
    As a homebirthing, co-sleeping, breastfeeding Mom who dreams of the country life and loves her meat, there is no shortage of reasons why I love to check in with this here blog.
    Keep up the good work, don’t let the haters get you down, and hope to read more from you in the future.

  40. Leah says:

    While I am stoked to see a new post, I am really dismayed at the need for the topic. I adore your blog. I am shocked you are getting so much hate mail. I find your blog incredibly inspiring, and have gotten SO many great tips, insights & ideas from you – from planting my tomatoes in tires to making my own cheese.
    As a wife & mama who makes her own bread, cheese, and snacks, buys only what she can’t grow, and cooks everything her husband brings home from a hunt or fishing trip, I appreciate your posts so much.
    Please don’t let the pathetic hatemongers get to you. Unfortunately, people who are happy with what they read don’t feel the need to tell you as much, as opposed to people who get their poor little feelings stomped on who get offended when you voice concern regarding a celebrity they have never even met, who flap their mouths (or hands, in your case) ceaselessly. I mean, c’mon, these are the same kind of idiots who won’t let their kids run because, “Oh my god, they might fall and get hurt!”.
    So I implore, you, keep us posted and “fuck ‘em if they can’y take a toke”!

  41. jack says:

    gosh. some people. this is why it’s so important for folks who make their own way to be loud & proud.

    i enjoy reading your blog & seeing your instagram photos pop up on my feed!

  42. laura says:

    I have been reading your blog for some time and it has taught me a lot and introduced me to some new great things.I may not agree with everything you say but yoou have been a source of inspiration and caused me to think about things and question things I otherwise may not. I thank you for that, and find it sad that people can be so petty when confronted with opinions different to their own. Dont let them stop you lady. Bunch of wankers! X

  43. kate says:

    I used to follow you in IAM years ago, and read this on a weekly basis. I JUST followed you in instagram because I’ve always adored your photos, your strong sense of self, your writing style, and your family life.

    This entry scared me into thinking you are done writing online. Please know that your genuine fans far out-weigh the insecure critics threatened by your admirable successes in life.

  44. estrojennie says:

    I love your blog. It’s a privilege to be able to get a glimpse of a family who live such an interesting lifestyle. I am constantly amazed at what an incredibly strong, intelligent, talented woman you are.

  45. pomegranatetears says:

    I love your blog. I find your life so refreshing as I am stuck in the city. I find people who feel the need to criticize silly – how awful would life be if we all felt the same way? I think reading other people’s opinions have made me a better person.

    I think you’re awesome.

  46. Kate says:

    This is so sad – I’ve followed you for years. You inspired me to start growing food and get chickens, we ended up with the bug so badly we moved to the country! (I’m in the UK!)

    I would hate it if you stopped blogging, but even more so if it was because of people getting to you. I would just be reitterating what others have said if I said any more.

    Too many people love you for a nasty little few to matter xxx

  47. MONTE says:

    Why is it that for way too many being Vegan is a religion (not all, just too many), and worse yet one that preaches to others about how bad they are instead of just keeping to their own ways. Since when did the practice include telling others what they are doing right or wrong? I’m a firm believer in ‘if you don’t like it, don’t do it yourself’. I live in a place where I’m free to do as I like, hopefully everyone else is too. But there needs to be more respect for that choice. If you people are so irritated by what you read or see then just stop, and go elsewhere. This blog isn’t being forced on you, nor are you made to read it. When did it become your job to tell others what is good and what is bad? You just go and be you and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing.

    I love all that you post. It all shows that you have the biggest heart because you put it into everything that you do. Don’t let your ability to show that big heart to others be ruined by inconsiderate people who think way to big of their own personal choices and feel that their ideals should be forced on you as well. Continue to kill them with kindness.

    Love and miss you!

  48. more info says:

    Hi, its fastidious article about media print, we all be aware of media is a enormous source of facts.

  49. Amy says:

    I just found your blog through a mutual friend on Instagram and have been devouring it for the past 2 hrs (tomorrow is going to hurt). I’m vegan for the same reasons that others have mentioned above, and I think that the way you are doing things is amazing and inspiring. You give a shit!!! I love all the pics too. I hope that you keep doing what you are doing and don’t stop because of a few very vocal asshats.

  50. ~M~ says:

    So incredibly well put! It’s been a while since I read your blog and I still enjoy all your thoughts and experiences family-ing and farming! I appreciate your honesty, especially on the “So you think you can farm” post. You put it out there the way it is! Thanks for great reading! Good luck on the farm this fall and winter! I look forward to future posts!

    ~M~

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