Whine, Wine and Weed

Whine

I would like to humbly suggest that an urban homesteading lifestyle requires a certain degree of letting shit slide.

You have two choices: make peace with weeds, kitchen dishes, chicken shit and dirty fingernails or go crazy fighting the inevitable.

I would like to humbly suggest that blogging also requires a certain degree of letting shit slide.

You have two choices: make peace with assholes, content thieves and trolls or go crazy fighting the inevitable.

I’ve been going a little crazy lately. See, I don’t just want a productive garden, I want an attractive garden. I don’t just want a pantry stocked with home canned foods, I want a (relatively) clean stove top. I don’t just want quality time with my kids and a fun-filled home, I want organization that allows me to find stuff when I want it. I don’t just want to do all this crap, I want to write about it. I don’t just want to write about it, I want to not wake up to hate email attacking me.

My battle with setting goals that are quite frequently at odds with each other has reached something of a fervor lately. Much of this is related to how much time (and, more critically, emotional energy) I allow my blog to consume. Too much, as it turns out. There was a good several-week period recently where I was pretty sure Al Gore made a terrible, terrible mistake when he invented the internet.

See, I am still learning how to brush off the “realities” of being a blogger – like periodically being told things like:

You write like an 11th grade fat girl, who is poor, and cannot afford to eat right. Do us a favor and write about something youre [sic] proficient in..like shopping at  Grocery Outlet and be [sic] single. Don’t dump your inadequacies on those seeking legitimate nutritional advice. Youre [sic] neither qualified, nor worthy to be leading people down your clearly desolate path.

Hugs and kisses to you, too, asshole.

Bump around the internet long enough and eventually you get sprayed with the hatespew of some real fuckheads. My turn to catch spew came a few weeks ago, and it was just one thing after another.

My blog has been very much an extension of a certain part of my life: the home stuff and garden stuff, and periodically things about my family and kids. Perhaps other bloggers keep better distance from their writing, I don’t know. I think most writers get rather attached to what they write, whatever the topic, or they wouldn’t do it.

People who don’t blog (and many who do) say that comments like the above gem are a sign that a site is popular enough to have trolls – and that is a sign that a blogger is doing great! Maybe so. But it doesn’t feel great – it feels exactly as if someone broke into your house, took a shit on your couch and then left you to clean it up. Was any permanent damage done? Well, not really…but I’m scrubbing shit and the loose-stooled perpetrator is down the road, already busy soiling someone else’s furniture.

I suppose the most gracious way to describe this would be “learning experience.”

Wine & Weed

Alright, enough of that. I didn’t actually intend to write about internet trolls, but the topic has clearly been clogging up my fingers, because any time I sit down to write, out it leaks.

Here’s the part of this post that isn’t butthurt navel-gazing. One of the reason that the urban homesteading world has an amazing and (mostly) supportive virtual community is because many of us feel like there aren’t many real-life people in our real-life world who are particularly interested in this Grow Your Own stuff.

All of us recognize that many hands make lighter work, and most of us want some degree of real life community. But you can’t sit around and wait for someone come knocking. If you want a community, you have to make it.

So, I would like to share my secret to making a Productive Home Friend. I call it the Wine and Weed.

Weeding Tool

Weeding Tool

If you know someone casually, maybe at work or from around the neighborhood, and they seem cool and interested in gardening (they don’t have to be hard core), ask if they’d be interested in setting up a few labor trades over the summer. A couple hours one week at your place, then a couple hours a few weeks later at their house.

Hosting house supplies wine. This is the important part. You aren’t just offering manual labor for manual labor. You are throwing a Mini Productive Home Party. It’s fun! There’s booze!*

Pick someone reliable, and make sure you are reliable, and keep “swapped hours” pretty equal so no resentment builds up. If you have kids, a Productive Home Friend with compatible age and temperament kids is a huge bonus.

Walking around a garden with a friend for 90 minutes, drinking wine and pulling weeds or raking out mulch can get an unbelievable amount done for almost no perceived effort. There is a synergy that happens when you work together with someone that really does lessen the burden.

If you have a particularly close friend, you could even host a “Wine, Whine and Weed” trade, akin to the “Stitch and Bitch” parties knitters host.

The point is to introduce the concept of friendly socialization while still getting shit done. People really go for it – I just floated the Wine and Weed concept at a coworker of mine last night and her response was, “sign me up.”

…And pass the wine.

Do you have a real life community of support for gardening, canning, and other productive home activities, or are you the only kook in your town doing this stuff?

*Substitute beer, margaritas, homemade pizza (“Pizza and Pruning”?) or whatever as appropriate to your style and consumption habits. Also, please don’t do something deeply stupid like climbing up on a ladder with hedge clippers while drinking. This is not a Wine and ER Visit party.
Can You Heat Your Home With Bricks and Twigs? Paul Wheaton Thinks So.
Giveaway: The Drunken Botanist (Because I Can't Buy All Of You A Drink)

Comments

  1. Trolls are nothing but pussies because they are too scared to own their comments by putting their real name on it. Just sayin’.

  2. I think you’re a genius, and those trolls can just up and die. No, really. Anyone that feels the need to lash out like that when visiting/reading your blog on their own power deserves horrid, limb rending punishment. As a fellow blogger, I’d say, yes…trolls mean you’re doing something right…but internet drama and animosity can kill a blogging buzz that not even 100 awesome comments can ease. Perhaps I, too have thin skin, and am too attached to my writing, but I’m right there with you… Let’s both work on the attachment thing though, agreed? You burning out on blogging would be like a light going out. For serious.

    PS. Your idea is forehead smacking awesome, just sayin’.

  3. Screw the trolls, they’re just jealous you’re so much more awesome than them. They don’t have the courage to do what you’re doing; that is writing about the things that you’re passionate about, baring your soul (and kids, and hubby, and life, and home) to the world. That takes guts. The trolls are just there to comment on the things they don’t have the balls to do (and they’re commenting anonymously, to boot). I personally find your blog inspiring (and your pantry, can you come do mine?) Keep up the good work, because for every troll who tries to bring you down, there are 1,000 of us who really do care.

  4. Trolls can go suck a duck! You are awesome and I am very grateful for your writings! You are an inspiration for me. God bless you!

  5. Trolls mean you’ve hit the blogging big time, so….a good thing??? :-)

    In any case, Wine and Weed sounds like teh awesome. I’m going to have to figure out who to booze up pronto.

  6. Gabrielle says:

    I say keep telling it like it is. I read your blog because you’re real. Like me, you are trying to make a difference in your own life. Making or experiencing things that are important to you, not some troll. Not everyone can taste the difference between fresh roasted coffee and folgers. Seriously, if they don’t get it, they should just move on. I don’t see a subtitle in your blog name that says it was written for a particular person.

  7. Wine and weed is SUCH a great idea!! Thanks so much for sharing it w/ us!:) We moved next door to our best friends and have really been an encouragement to each other w/ gardening! We even water each others gardens while one of us is gone. Our neighbors even started gardens after hearing about ours! The culdasac looks remarkably better, too, w/ all the flowers and plants growing each year!

  8. Don’t let the bastards grind you down. I love your blog, and think you are an excellent writer. I look forward to your new posts. Love from Colorado!

  9. sandyksk says:

    OMG. What an asshole. There are so so many more good people to write for…delete and don’t even finish reading such trash. Once you get the ‘jest’ of an email…delete it if it doesn’t ~smell~ right. No need to put your nose so close…you can’t shine shit…it’s best to ~flush~ it quickly. Your site offers up more goodness than a ‘shit-head’ could ever understand. Sounds like their reading skills are lacking. Keep up the good work, if I had the same resources available to me when I was your age, well, let’s just say, I’d want to be just like you! Love your site, love all your stuff…keep your fingernails dirty…and your mind clear…you are doing a great job! :D

  10. Ah trolls that comment on poor grammar, and then use poor grammar themselves!
    Send me the trolls :)
    I have no problem telling internet people where they can shove their comments with offers to help them figure out how.

    But for every troll, you have so many more commenters who enjoy your writing and your subjects. Thank you for your gardening exploits, recipes, and frugal tip notes, to name a few things that come out of your blog.

    Also, thank you so much for your particular usage of expletives when appropriate! And not being afraid of four (three, five, six?) letter words. A woman who is not afraid to add a random “fuck yeah!” in context is the second best part of your blog after content. ;)

  11. K. Coghlan says:

    Re the whine portion, the people who say nastygrams are a sign your blog is popular are right, and that’s the way you have to take it. Think how incredibly pathetic that person is, they can’t spell, they hardly make sense, and they are so, so jealous because you have family, home, garden, interests in life, etc. You have to let it go, judge how to spend your time, playing with your kids, or obsessing over drivel like that, it’s pretty obvious which you choose.
    (Of course, you could always publish their email address :-).

  12. AllenIn AK says:

    Ha! I read the title wrong! I thought that was your coping machanism. A little weed, a little wine… Weeding. Got it! So sorry to hear about the assholes. Its never fund dealing with them, let alone anonymous assholes. If it were in person you could at least hit them, or know whose car to deflate the tires on later. Love your blog. Would hate to see you go. Just take to heart that some of us really really appreciate it.

  13. I love your honesty. I just recent came across your blog – a friend of mine shared your post ‘the terrible tragedy of the healthy eater’ and I seriously fell out laughing! I think you’re doing a great thing, sharing your perspective and tips for how to lead a better life, and although not everyone will agree or understand, you’re being true to yourself. Those who do get it will be enriched, and vice versa. Fuck those trolls! And I love the wine and weed concept, sign me up too

  14. AllenInAK says:

    It was probably a Dr or dietician from the sound of it…

    • I agree, it’s probably an MD or maybe even a dietitian, but I’m an RD (Registered Dietitian) and I love you blog! Well, a holistic dietitian who often disagrees with MD’s. I love real food and not that diet crap, and love to culture vegetables! I just made my first fermenting crock (with the airlock), thanks to you, for relatively cheap, and had the most delicious apricot jam! Next time I make my kraut, I’m using my new airlock crock :)

      Please don’t let this get you down, you have a lot of great information, so keep it up!

  15. it is refreshing to read something so honest. I actually can’t believe what people spend the time to write just to bring another person down just to make themselves feel better with their own inadequacies. and they only do it because they would never have the balls to say it in person. I was scared to even enter the world of blogging due to trolls. You are doing an amazing job.

    I have a huge pile of dishes in my sink everyday to spend sometime to garden, look after my kids or blog. I take a messy fun house over a clean un fun house that lacks a creative energy. I have too many hobbies, my house shows it.

    I love your weeding with wine idea. WHY have I never done that before?!

    Your awesome. keep it up.

  16. Andie in NZ says:

    I’m halfway round the world and I love reading your blogs… even tho sometimes I have to wait for a season or two for the advice to apply to our climate, but hey it gives me a good chance to get everything organised early :D

  17. AllenInAK says:

    I must confess though. I thought the title was describing your mechanism for coping with the trolls. A little weed, a little wine… It is always hard to deal with assholes. Especially anonymous assholes. In person you can at least note which car to deflate the tires on. Just take to heart that there are a lot of us who really really appreciate your efforts.

  18. This is very, very important. I do this with my brothers and sisters and parents. We combined the May birthday parties last year with a painting party for one sister with a new house. Got 6 rooms painted, then had supper and cake.

    My parents have people begging to let them help with cattle work. Neighbors, cousins, etc., beg to be able to be out riding a horse in -10F weather, or 107F weather, if the work calls for it.

    I have a great friend that used to come help me with hosts of projects. Creating a brick path, sewing a Halloween costume, sanding my wood huge patio, painting my house. I helped her too, but she had an apartment! :) We now live 2 states away from each other. I wish she lived down the street again.

  19. Mud Bailey says:

    this is FUCKING fantastic. Sorry about the shit and runner – as small online business owners, we suffer most from people copying our shit and other people wanting us to give it to them for free because they’re famous. Not exactly awesome either. Flattery is the best we could come up with too, but damn if it doesn’t suck.

  20. Love this idea. I definently would get more work done with wine and a buddy. Sorry about the trolls. I don’t have enough traffic on my blog to have had this joyful experience, but I am sure my day will come. Keep writing for you, that is what it’s all about.

  21. Some people are just assholes…and there isn’t anything you can do about it. You’re apparently doing something right by having the following you do, so ignore the trolls. Or call them out on their shit talking nonsense so the rest of us can mock them! :)
    I grow a bunch of veggies in my garden, preserve my food, keep chickens, and attempt to keep a clean house but sometimes it’s not all that presentable. Why? Because I’m gardening, preserving food, or cleaning up after chickens. I’ve given up on having a house where people stop by and go “oh my gosh! your house is spotless!!!”. I feel my friends and loved ones know that I’m a busy girl, and that they can always count on a good meal, an ice cold beer or big glass of wine, and clean bathrooms. I ALWAYS make sure to clean the bathrooms. But scrubbing the floors? Dusting? That’s reserved for rainy days. Or non outdoor chore days. Or days I don’t feel like blowing off chores and doing something fun. Life is short. You have to live it doing what makes YOU happy. The dusty end tables and lint on the carpet will still be there long after we are gone from this world. So I’ll deal with a less than perfectly clean house and dirt under my nails if it means I get to know where some of my food comes from while getting fresh air and living life! Keep up the insightful posts. And keep dropping the curse words. There just isn’t always an acceptable non cussing replacement!

  22. Sorry about the pesky trolls! One day, an effective Troll Repellent will be made.

    I like the idea about the Wine & Weed!

  23. I find the whole troll-thing fascinating primarily because it’s a bit mind-boggling. What is the impetus for such an email?

    I mean that seriously, you know, as a question: why do trolls exist?

    Perhaps the problem is that I’m trying to think about this logically and not fully grasping what value is derived from sending such an email or how that value could possibly exceed the cost one must incur to take the time to pen it.

    I would love to know the answer to this question and yet I hesitated to comment because it was unclear to me that the value of knowing (assuming there is an answer and I would discover it if I posted) exceeded the effort required to post. Given that, I can’t imagine why anyone would take the time to spew hate in an email.

    It has to be more complex than people simply being mean, right?

    • They are bored and have nothing better to do with their time other than to be argumentative. They think that they are being clever and derive a superiority out of it. Seeing how grotesque they can behave is like a sport for them. In a sense they are a joker and want to watch your world burn. At least that has been my experience with trolls, or my occasional drop into trolling back trolls.

    • Trolls are bullies that don’t get enough bullying done in their real life.

      I feel sorry for bullies, even though I have been the object of a bully. And that was in the work place, with my job depended on keeping the bully happy! That is stressful!
      I believe bullies don’t know how to behave or fit in with people. They spew out their negativity in a grasp for power over you due to their lack of understanding that love begets love, and hate begets hate. They have only received hate them selves, sadly. Someone bullied and diminished their self worth, likely when they were young, and they don’t know how to reclaim their value. We will never get rid of bullying by saying we won’t tolerate it. Bullies need intense therapy to change their ways, and that isn’t going to happen on the internet is it?!

      In this venue they truly do have to be ignored.

      But I am glad you outed this one in a way. It motivated me to leave a comment, when I am not one to normally comment. I love your blog, and hope that you know most people read and are inspired and are able to continue on …. with their day being brighter and more hopeful because you did take the time to write and share your perspectives. And I love the Wine and Weed. Brilliant!

  24. Dropping in on your site is like slipping into a little café for tea and scones or juiced carrots and ginger, if that is what one prefers. It is a sweet part of my day where the great info and pretty pictures uplift and get me moving on my own projects. A delight!

  25. I read your blog all the time but rarely comment. However, after reading the above negative load of CRAP I felt the need to tell you that I LOVE your blog, I love your sense of humor and OF COURSE IT HURTS to have ugly comments directed at you. I am sorry that one (or a few) of my fellow humans have so much time on their hands (and hate in their hearts) that they choose to spend their day on the internet offering “helpful advice” to folks like you….when clearly they should be spending that time taking a high school grammar course.

    Hugs to you and yours!

  26. Dealing with trolls and stalkers is just one of the nasty side effects of sharing our minds in this format. The anonymity opens up channels for people to behave in horrible ways. For a few years I had a crazy stalker following me from blog to blog, post to post, email address to email address, slamming me with dozens of awful hateful letters and comments every day. We were actually friendly at one time, so that made it even more awful, that she wasn’t completely anonymous (though we never met in person). I gave up blogging altogether for several months because she just wouldn’t stop. Wish I could say I found a way to rise above it, but I couldn’t get past it; it hurt so much to be torn apart like that, several times a day.

    I think you’re fantastic. A reader suggested your site to me a few months ago and now it’s one of my favorites. Keep on truckin’.

    • Hi Chandelle.

      I had the same problem with a friend of a friend (Debi) who was loathsomely vitriolic about myself and other friends of Debi’s on-line, so myself and another friend ‘named & shamed’ this demented sick creep on-line and sent her back to the hole from which she had crept.

      Please do not allow or let these jealous / unintelligent / vicious …. …. people to stop you writing.
      Just think of how their faces must look as they drip their poison on-line.. just like witches, with bitter screwed up lips and squinty eyes. They may think it is doing YOU damage but it is not, it is actually causing their own Soul & Spirit to be seriously harmed.

      Now think of a happy person who laughs and is overjoyed to find and read amusing / informative / etc Blogs (such as Erica’s) and wishes other people joy in their lives and you will see a completely different face. A happy face.. smiley, open, approachable, friendly.. do I have to go on?

      God help the people who are connected with the Trolls for they are doomed to be with an old witch.. ugh.

      Go back and pick up your pen ‘writing woman’ and tell the witches what my mother said to a London cabbie who tried to cut her up, “Dear man, go and make love elsewhere”.. think about it!

      Sara

  27. (Also, just curious but what post was that troll responding to? I just paged through and can’t find anything where you’re claiming to offer “legitimate nutritional advice,” much less dumping on anyone seeking it.)

  28. Wine & Weed is a great idea! I already kind of do this with my sister, Mom, and one of my friends… but until you JUST said it… I hadn’t thought of including wine. Which I will now be doing. :) Starting this weekend! Sorry to hear negative comments are getting to you, must be grade school (he wouldn’t throw rocks at you if he didn’t like you!) mentality. I’m a fan cause you keep the Pacific North West gardening vibe alive for me when I’m stuck inside at a desk job on fantastic sunny days like today. So thank you for that! Hope that somehow helps counteract the trolls. :) ~ L

  29. Heather says:

    I appreciate you and the quality content to produce so much. Thanks for continuing to write even when life gets crazy and detractors pop up!

  30. I have said it before and will say it again: you are a genius! Seriously. This town is full of people doing this sort of work, but I love the idea of combining socializing with gardening. I know just the right person too. Thanks for the idea!

  31. Erica, I love your Weed & Whine idea. It’s brilliant! Now to find friends who are interested in the weeding part…
    As for the trolls, like many things in life, it is a lesson in balance, attachment, response and even grace. You are brave enough to put yourself out there and as a now public person you will catch shit for that from a small minority as long as you are in that sphere. I encourage you to keep doing what you are doing (cause you are hilarious, inspiring and way better than my Western States Gardening Encyclopedia) and try not to take a the rantings of hateful, jealous and sometimes just plain crazy people to heart.

  32. laura h says:

    Aww, I thought you were going to talk about cannabis.

  33. Love, love, LOVE your blog. I’m so sorry you’re getting crap from idiots that can’t write proper English and have nothing worth saying. Keep doin’ your thing. :)

    Wine and weed… totally awesome.

  34. Dang it! I thought you were offering weed but it turns out you’re only offering wine. :o(

  35. I too, (being from Colorado), thought you meant some other kind of weed. ;)

    I actually love this idea. Two summers ago I started canning with a friend. It makes ALL the difference in the world. I’ve never invited someone to garden with me, but canning together was a huge hit, and we both went home with great stuff.

  36. Meh, trolls are just weak little bullies. Ignore them and most of all don’t feed them. What you are doing is of actual use to a great many people. It’s inspirational, uplifting and informative. It’s also quite humorous at times and your style of writing is accessible and fun, much like a friend. Chin up, and carry on!

  37. More love coming from Colorado. I love your blog. I cannot thank you enough for the many laughs, valuable gardening and preserving info and introducing me to Mr. Money Mustache’s blog as well. Brush off the asshole and keep up your amazing work!

  38. YOU ROCK!!! Your blog is my favorite and today you held top spot hands down! You broke the “F’ barrier with such grace! I have been visited by those god awful trolls also. Then you go on to offer a fantastic idea for getting shit done. Going to totally steal that idea!!!
    PLEASE don’t stop, keep it fun, keep it real…… AWESOME!

  39. Time is too precious and life too darn short to waste it on the negatives. As soon as the first negative word pops up, delete the comment. Who needs them? Besides, you’ve a Wine and Weed to get moving on! Take care now.

  40. Unbelievable. I cannot believe the crap that people will write to each other in this anonymous Internets world. Even if I was truly, verifiably angry with someone, I could never compose such a message to another person. Jaysus. Keep on plugging Erica, your blog is awesome and a serious inspiration for folks such as myself who don’t yet have the option of gardening. You rock, and trolls can go eff themselves.

  41. Trish Gannon says:

    Erica, I’m not a blogger, but I do publish a magazine so I have some experience when people decide they just have to be a total asshole about something you’ve written. (And yes, that type of comment goes beyond disagreement or constructive criticism, of course). Personally, I tend to tell myself a story about someone where everything is going wrong in their life and they’re in a bad mood and taking things out on other people and how sad it is that they’re in that position.

    That’s not a great way of dealing with it, though, so I want to share with you The Bloggess’ way of dealing with this. When you get a comment like that, change it. Edit the comment to say the exact opposite of what the person said – wow, you’re awesome, you’re great, blah blah blah. And then publish it. It will freak them out, and give you, at the least, some less than charitable giggles.

    Honestly, you write a blog because you have something to say. You invite comments for a conversation. But none of us is required to put up with abuse in real life, and we’re not required to do it in electronic life, either. Remember that the world is full of people from all levels of the emotional spectrum, and one of the lower level just found your blog… sad for them, but it doesn’t have to be sad for you. If they want ‘free speech’ – they can start their own blog.

    Let me know if you try the ‘change the comment’ scheme… I think it would be hilarious. (Not appropriate for my site, unfortunately.)

  42. Yeah, I’m not a huge fan of the, “You’re so popular that monkeys fling shit at you. And that’s good!” So, that means you get to fuck all the female monkeys, right? Or does it mean that as long as you are hiding behind a rock masturbating while looking at the alpha female, you won’t get your ass kicked? I can’t remember. These primate behavioral studies are so confusing.

    Anyway, I had to laugh at that email you quoted above. Has that moron not seen your mad cooking skillz and your amazing 6 pack abs? Wait, a second, maybe I need to start flinging shit at you, too.

    And I’m always up for a w/whine and weed. As long as it’s always hosted at my house.

  43. Lanette says:

    I am lucky enough to be a part of the Virginia Urban Homesteaders League, and it is such a blessing. Members host classes to share their knowledge, we have seed and Larder Swaps, a great Facebook community, an active meet-up page, and, most importantly, AMAZING people. It really helps so much to have like-minded friends.

    • Dixiebelles says:

      Hi Lanette, maybe you guys could be our ‘sister’ group… I am from The Urban Homesteading Club (Canberra & Surrounds) in Australia!!

  44. This old mom attempts to get the 19 & 23 yr. old to watch their language, but I have to say, I love your blog and either learn something or get a good chuckle reading it. Wish I had someone to wine & weed with, but too many moves have left us far away from most friends and family. Plus, except for the 23 yr. old, I think most people think I’m a bit kookie btwn the garden, chickens and cultures brewing in every corner of the house. I never can understand why if a person doesn’t agree with something, such as a blog they are reading, they don’t just walk away and quit reading. Just remember what we tell our children…sticks and stones, right? Thanks for all your great blog posts.

  45. Rxshauna says:

    That was such an ugly posting from the troll it hurt MY feelings just reading it. I envy your spunk, I would have folded and gone home :( thanks for hanging tough and giving us all your brilliant postings! You are appreciated more than you know.

  46. Mary W. says:

    Even if you WERE an 11th grade fat girl, this is the best NW gardening blog I have seen so far. So, your troll can take his/her poor, badly-nutritioned, single, Grocery Outlet impression and stick it in his/her heiny so that I can read more blog posts.

    Please keep them coming!

  47. Allan E says:

    butthurt navel-gazing bwhahahahahahhahahahaha funny chit girl!!! On topic…yeah, let the a’holes slide and enjoy your day. You are doing soooo much good, helping us along, sharing your successes and failures. Never doubt that you are a breath of fresh air in the often toxic world that has become the social media.

  48. Stinkin’ trolls! We can just hope they don’t get back to their caves in time and the light of day turns them into stone… About having a clean house–Always spiff things up the first time a person comes to see you. Forever after, they will just think you’ve had a really rough day when they come over and things are normal. Works!

  49. Wow, that was a nasty troll! As someone who is a bit overly schooled in Nutrition, I feel you are fully qualified to give sound advice…just sayin’. I loved your post and laughed along the way as I read, but I was also feeling your pain. It does hurt even when you know it’s a troll who has nothing better to do. Carry on sharing your wisdom, I am enjoying it all!

  50. I was just going through the latest spam on my blog and I’m wondering if that “11th grade fat girl” comment was spam. I’ve noticed that lately, the spam messages have changed from gibberish to stuff that sounds almost legit – except that it has nothing to do with what I wrote about. Like this:

    “The next time I read a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as considerably as this one. I mean, I know it was my selection to read, but I in fact thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is usually a bunch of whining about something that you simply could fix if you werent too busy searching for attention.”

    LOL! It sounds *almost* like a legit comment but still has that weird awkwardness, like the 11th grade fat girl comment. In any event Akismet flagged it as spam. The “author” has a gibberish name and also sent several other (different) spam messages. My guess is that spammers are finally figuring out how bad their English is, so are now just cutting and pasting stuff they’re lifting from Facebook and elsewhere instead of trying to compose their message themselves.

    • But… what is the goal of these posts?? Are they linking to some virus laden website or something? It’s not like they’re trying to sell Viagra.. or are they?

      • The goal of the spammers is to get you to approve a post so a link to their “business” appears on your page. Actually, I’m not sure a real person is behind any of these since they don’t appear to skew my stats; my guess is the stuff is posted by bots. The quote I posted above was from ‘Prealayzell’ who has also authored 4 of the 14 new spam messages that I have this morning. Each message is different; some praising, some criticizing the post they’re on, but in a way that indicates they never read the post. If I approved them, there would then be links to “cheapchinajordans” and “buynfljerseys” on my blog.

        This morning, ‘Sarthersagews’ commented with something similar to what I posted above:
        “The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as significantly as this 1. I mean, I know it was my option to read, but I essentially thought youd have some thing fascinating to say. All I hear is really a bunch of whining about something which you could fix if you werent too busy searching for attention.”

        So they’re just reusing the same themes in quotes, hoping one of them will get through.

        Sarthersagews also links to “cheapestjordans”. Cheap Jordans (shoes?) and NFL Jerseys seem to be what they’re pitching the most by way of spam comments.

        I highly recommend the Akismet plugin for catching spam. It’s about 99.9% accurate and separates out all the spam so you can delete it permanently. It’s available for WordPress, but I’m not sure if it can be used on Blogger blogs or not.

        • I got that same one the other day and it actually had me pause, head tilting thinking to myself “the hell?”

          Then I shrugged and deleted it. Its kind of ridiculous and I always wondered if people got paid to put up comments like that on blogs who would obviously delete them, but bots makes a lot more sense.

    • No, that comment was in direct response to a prior comment (by the same commenter, nearly as vile) being deleted for violating my “don’t be a dick” comment policy. Akismet, my spam filter, is amazingly good at catching those spam type comments.

      You can tell the trolls because the return email address they give when commenting is something like: gofuckyourself @ yahoo.com or shutup @ bitch.com.

  51. Mary Hall says:

    I subscribe to a lot of blogs. I mean a LOT. Everything from decorating, to gardening, to recipes. What can I say–I have varied interests and I’m always hungry for information, or at least someone to distract me from all the things I should be doing. You know how it goes, I’m sure. That being said, amongst all those emails I get everyday from bloggers, there are few that stand out. And Northwest Edible Life is one that stands out for all the good reasons. It makes me think, it captures my attention, it educates me, and usually makes me laugh.

    To hell with trolls and anyone else who has a bone to pick about the subjects, writing, or whatever petty piece of crap they’d like to whine about when they visit Northwest Edible Life. Tough shit, I say. I like what you dish out and hope that you’ll keep it up.

    I’d hate to have you drop from my list of favorites.

  52. I was actually wondering what you thought about trolls the other day when I was reading some of the comments on a post on fb. I have to say reading the comments here is effin awesome. They mostly seem to be from inspired, interested fans and fellow gardeners but some people seem not to get it. They get me riled up and they’re not even talking to me. I can imagine how you feel but it’s nice to see the support for you. Hell hath no fury like a person whose couch was shit on who also has admin editorial abilities. Thank you for every fucking awesome thing you write.

  53. Jody Prestine says:

    Love your blog! Love the creative, quirky, waaay cool, practical (I could go on and on…there’s lots of complimentary adjectives I could use) links you provide. There’s so much good advice and talent out there that I probably wouldn’t have found but for you. Like the Rocket Mass Heater! We’ve already shared that with 2 other people and have decided we need to incorporate one into the design of our new home. So don’t let the bastards get ya down. Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one…just some are bigger than others!
    Keep your chin up, ( it’ll be easier to keep from smelling the shit )

  54. Julie Peterson says:

    I love the way you write, your recipes have more than intrigued me, and I see why Lauren likes you do much. And I promise not to shit on your couch – LOL!!

  55. Chicks with bricks says:

    Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t think that wanting to blog about your gardening exploits should have to be at odds with not wanting hate mail. Is it really too much to ask of the human race to just keep the negative bullshit under wraps? Ugh, how rude!!

    • I completely agree. And I don’t even really understand what that troll comment was trying to say. You would think if you’re going to bash someone online, you would at least want to make sure the insult you aimed at them was clear.

  56. It’s sad that some people feel they have to say something nasty about things. I think the annonimity of the internet brings out the trolls. Anyway…I for one LOVE your blog and look forward to seeing it come up when I open my e-mail.

  57. I don’t understand trolls. Are there really people in the world with so little to do that they go on blogs they’re not even interested in and then SPEND TIME being angry about what other people do in their free time? Any psychologists out there want to enlighten me about this? Also where do people get so much time to read stuff they don’t want to be reading? I mean I guess that’s what I’m doing right now, by writing about trolls, but- NO! I’m on this website because Erica is a hilarious writer and tells it like she thinks it and makes me feel better / laugh about being an imperfect and striving urban-hippie chick! (Thanks Erica, you rock it out.)

  58. Chris Alkire says:

    Your blog is one of my favs…I was bummed I couldn’t include the NW Garden Show in my budget this year cuz I thought it would be interesting to see you in person. I love what you do and what you write about and it encourages me to try more STUFF. I live in Seattle and we have a mutual friend…I would love to wine and weed with you…email me and I’ll tell you our mutual friend :)

  59. I love the wine & weed idea. I’m definitely going to search for interested friends. If we get another couple in house, maybe two can weed and two can cook! I sometimes long for communal living but think some of the headaches might outweigh the benefits. A little weekend wine & weeding might be a much better way to go.

    I’m glad you could vent about the nasty comments. It’s hard to hear that stuff, even when you know it’s not true. Have you read Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly? It might be encouraging to you right now…she speaks well into some of this stuff.

    • Just thought of one more thing. I am unsubscribing to a lot of blogs these days because I need to better focus on my priorities and not get sidetracked. Yours would be one of the LAST to go if I had to cut them all out. Thank you for your work!

  60. Okay, that asshole troll was clearly a sniveling weenie, but toward the end of that paragraph, I just started cracking up. The ending thing about your “clearly desolate” life just put me over the top. I had tears in my eyes I was giggling so hard. What an utterly inane diatribe! I, too, blog, but unsuccessfully, as I’ve never had an encounter with trolls. And I’m glad for that, as I think it really WOULD hurt my feelings. Your blog is wondrous. Simply and honestly wondrous. Keep it up! We need you.

  61. I’ve read several of your blogs; you are witty and genuine. forget about the trolls. A farmer geek with a dirty stove has a innocent lil’ crush on you.

  62. I’ve read several of your blogs; you are witty and genuine. Forget about the trolls. This farm geek with a dirty stove has an innocent lil’ crush on you. Keep having more fun than ‘they’ do!

  63. Sounds like a great idea, making a dull chore into a party!
    The person who said that trolls are a sign of success are right, I’m afraid. Anther blog friend of mine has been suffering recently. Only solution is to ignore, but I agree it is very hurtful – blogs are by their nature personal, so it feels like a personal attack. The alternative is keeping your blog so low profile that hardly anyone reads it and even then you’re not guaranteed absence of idiots! Just remember that they are really talking about themselves and their own inadequacies, not you!

  64. I’m not going to bother wasting any time or energy on the troll thing. Just wanted to say that your Wine & Weed idea is brilliant! I don’t have a garden, but love gardening, so I’m going to suggest it to my neighbor in the hopes that they want help and are willing to feed me wine!

  65. I read You for Your wit and humor. And yes, community. Thank You, “Don’t let the bastard’s win”, is how the saying goes.

  66. First off, your wine and weed sounds like an EXCELLENT idea. And I’m already thinking about who to bring it up to in order to get my wine on.

    Second, I don’t reply often, but am a regular reader here- you are fantastic. Your writing makes me either laugh or think- and often both. I know it’s impossible to ignore it. Blogging is a clear window in to ones life, and by doing it, it is going on display for all to see. And it *hurts* when asshabedashers are not just critical, but down right nasty about it. But someone making comments like the one you shared – that’s a reflection on *them*, not on you. Someone who has nothing better to do than bring someone down (because none of the complaints they had are either true or valid {you have never claimed to be a nutritionist for example}) is a sadm despressing individual. And I’d feel more sorry for them if that aspect didn’t involve baseless vitriol at someone so clearly working their rear off anf being amazing at sharing her experiences with others.

    That got longer and wordier than I intended, especially since you don’t know me, but I feel like I (and many of your readers) know you at least to the extent we possibly could. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there like you do. And you have my respect for it and everything else that you do.

  67. Ditto all of the above! And thankyou for your frankness in your writing…I so enjoy and appreciate it.

  68. Personally, I am offended if I do not receive some hate now and then. It is like high octane fuel. I have not been following your blog very long, but so far I am impressed.

  69. If it makes you feel any better, a few days ago, someone called me a fat ugly bitch who needed to go on a diet just because I tried to (politely) present a differing point of view ;) Fortunately, a long background in customer service told me that this diatribe wasn’t actually directed at me, but at the world in general, and the scope of overreaction was just so damn funny to me that I literally spent the rest of the day laughing about it :)

    *hug* You are doing an awesome job, I hope you never tire of it, and kisses and unicorn farts to the sad sack who had to resort to personal attacks about your appearance to make him/herself feel better.

    Rock on, Erica :)

  70. I’ve been meaning to write the opposite of the troll comment here for awhile – and I see I’m not the only one! Here’s more like the gushy “OMG I think I love you!!!” slightly obsessed fan mail comment (but not the creepy kind, really) ;) . Seriously, yours is one of the few – and perhaps the **only** – email newsletters that I get truly excited about when I see in my inbox. Like I get a hit of endorphins just seeing “Northwest Edible Life” in my inbox. BTW – such a vanilla title for such an oh-so-saucy and rich and funny and smart and cool and-and-and just plain awesome friggin blog (hmmm I searched the page and counted six whole properly written FUCKS! – see you inspire us! hehe) Anyhow, I’m thinkin’ a name like “Rock Your NW Edible Life” or something that at least hints of the awesomeness that lies within (and see the rock is a double entendre for cool and like, rocks in the garden – right, sorta!) ALSO – saw you at the NW Garden Show and you are as cool and smart and funny as a presenter as you are a blogger – Top Chef producers would probably salivate over you. And I think like you should OUT yourself more than you do here for your professional chef training and how that translates over into your love of growing your own food and doing amazing shit with it! Okay, keep rockin it on, sister! Lining up the girlfriends for the wine-n-weed parties in my head as I type! :)

  71. Ah, trolls. Aren’t they fun? It’s amazing how we can receive ten thousand compliments from people, but one miserable jackass with a chip on their shoulder can wiggle through and make us question our abilities.

    You’re a brilliant writer, and unbelievably inspiring. Remember that, and know how much you inspire so many of us.

  72. Kymberly says:

    I just have to say that your above rant has only cemented my desire to hear what you have to say in your blog! You can’t make everyone happy all the time, and even worse it isn’t that you made them read what you had to say, right? Your blog is about your personal experience and what you have learned from doing. As far as I am concerned your input ranks much, much higher on the scale of valuable information when compared to someone who learned what they know from a book. To many people these days are failing to go to the human source for needed knowledge and information and that is something we should fear. Nothing can replicate the human variable in any situation regarding lessons learned and skills obtained. I could read hundreds of books but would still value the opinion of a person who has with some background actually done a thing and learned from it and I would not be to above myself to be appreciative of the gift of learning from someone else’s experiences. If I don’t agree with what you have to say, then I can easily find the answers I am looking for by searching elsewhere. Lord knows that in today’s time no matter what the answer is we are searching for we will inevitably find at least one sole who agrees. Thank you again for showing us that you are just like us, another valuable lesson learned from Spencerian and shared so we don’t have to learn it on our own, that is unless we are to full of ourselves to listen.

  73. I LOVE this! Love, love, love it! I would suggest composting such a comment, but that might ruin your compost pile and poison the chickens!

    I love the wine and weed idea, but no one here drinks wine but me. Oh well, more (wine) for me. Cheers!

  74. Well, I hate your troll with a burning fucking passion. I ran a completely different blog and shut it down because the audience really wanted me to bleed for them. It was an emotional rollercoaster, so I shut it down and started something more positive. Turns out, I love blogging, but don’t really need the Interwebs inside my innermost thoughts.

    Your blog is kickass. As a newbie here, I’ve already spread it out because it’s got all the elements that I look for.

    Getting back to whine, wine, and weed, I move a lot, so it gets tough to form real connections where I live… my job ends up being my community (I’m in the Coast Guard). But, I think the garden is essentially a community asset that is primarily curated by the owner. To be really great, is should be shared in some capacity. I think this is a major purpose.

    Unfortunately, my garden looks like shit right now. We just moved there less than a year ago (typical) and made haste with our late planting last season. The soil sucks, the chickens shit everywhere, and I work too much. My life’s plan is to change this. I want to be a master gardener and embrace the full spectrum of what it means to be productive.

    You are truly productive. Somebody emailing you something shitty is so typical of somebody who just doesn’t understand what it takes to produce something of value. It’s difficult work that is often shouted into a black space. Don’t worry about that assclown.

  75. I have stumbled upon your blog through reading Natural Awakenings. Wow! as I myself is trying to grow our own food and become self-sufficient, but I am still a novice; started only in 2010. So, I have a lot to learn from you and your blog.

  76. Thanks for the post and the idea! I was part of a community garden for a couple of years and I had some pretty smart garden leaders. We had a work day once a month where we weeded the common areas, fixed the compost and did other tasks to keep up the garden. Historically, these days had extremely low turn out (even though you sign something when you get your plot agreeing to help). Although there is no realistic way to make sure every gardener participates, my garden leaders realized that offering coffee and food increased attendance numbers dramatically. Plus, once they started bringing food, a few of us other gardeners brought fruit and baked goods also. The result was that the work day turned into a potluck brunch with work. It was great. You could meet people and exchange ideas and go over problems you were having. They even had a couple speakers come and discuss different topics. This laborious work day is the part of the garden I miss the most. Now, if they had offered wine, I can only imagine what a party those work days would have been! great suggestion.
    -Maureen

  77. Matt Jarvis says:

    We do the Saturday morning bloody mary routine… as long as the bloodies keep flowing, the work keeps going… and after a while you just say screw it and have another bloody and park your butt and watch the chickens…. it just ain’t all that important…

    Matt Jarvis
    Eugene, Oregon

  78. Does it really matter what people say or don’t say. We are here because we want to be and looking for like minded people to express ourselves and learn from each other as much as possible. Every morning I look forward to receiving your email, reading and absorbing what I need to know. So therefore keep it coming because the majority rules around here … and that’s us. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences, knowledge and wisdom with those you need and want it …. just me !!

  79. I must not read very many blogs compared to other people, because while I had heard of trolls I had not read any of their “communications.” I was horrified at the one you posted (and horrified by the grammar!) and am sorry you were subjected to that. It took my breath away reading it, and it was not even directed at me! Only a cowardly excrement extruding orifice would write something like that, and I hope all the positive comments you’ve received balanced out his/her comment.

  80. I just want to thank everyone for these amazingly kind comments. You guys are wonderful.

  81. Wheaton’s Law, indeed! Love the blog, look forward to it whenever I get the chance to go online. Thanks for all you do and the wonderful, human, tough-while-being-fragile perspective you provide. Pay no heed to those who would rather tear down than build. It has been my experience that most people who do that are actually demonstrating the failings and shortcomings in their own lives and are trying to drag the rest of us down to join them in their cesspools of self-pity.

    Grow, build, share and have a wonderful life. Still waiting for the cookbook, though. Could you speed that up a little? :)

  82. I generally enjoy your posts, Erica. Not every one is Pulitzer material, but every one seems to be thoughtful, informative and heartfelt. That Heartfelt position is the one that will cause you pain. I don’t know how one balances personal, emotional investment in one’s writing with the indifferent detachment required to deflect trolls, but you are figuring it out.

    “To thine own self be true.” Someone with great literary merit said that. (just can’t remember who; don’t have time to google it.)

    In a perfect world, hate speech would trigger at least a camera shot of the writer at their keyboard, posted along with their bile. Then, you would see what truly pathetic and tortured cretins waste their time in such negative air. Until then, Keep Calm and Carry On.

  83. Dixiebelles says:

    Well, for starters, that dickheads’ comment doesn’t make any sense. Plus, you are a talented writer, a generous blogger, and all-round awesome in general. So those idiots who leave completely shitty comments or emails can fuck off.

    Now, as to balancing all this stuff we have decided was a good idea to take on, we must be soil sisters (my phone auto corrected ‘sole’ but that’s OK, we can be soil sisters instead) as that crazy shit messes me up too. I just don’t see why I can’t do it all & do it awesomely as well. But in the words of Samwise Gamgee, just let it go! (Can you tell I watched Return of the King again last night!) but us soil sisters, whilst we want to drop that potato like its hot, we still have this burning desire to keep that potato and turn it into a 12 dish degustation with enough left over to preserve it in three different ways. But that concept (and the potato… and the ring too) need to be thrown into the firey lava of Mount Doom.

    I started a group called The Yeban Homesteading Club in my local area, for just that reason. I needed real life interaction with people who were happy (eager) to talk compost, chickens, heirloom seeds, preserving etc. We’re still going, chatting on our Facebook group, getting together once a month to chat, swap, share, do the occasional workshop. But I am thinking we could def. have weeding & more drinking!! Good idea!

    Now, go have a glass if wine and have your husband and kids tell you how awesome you are. Works for me!

    • Dixiebelles says:

      Yeban. Ahahahahahahaha! Urban. Stoopid autocorrect!

      • Dixiebelles says:

        Oh, and yes, not soul sisters, but ‘SOLE’ sisters, I meant it as Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical… which was having a go at myself, because I am always using that acronym because I think it makes me look clever. Let’s just stick with soil sisters, and I’ll shut up now.

  84. One reason your blog is so popular, and seems to be growing quite nicely, is your sincerity and openness. You have goals, some of which are pretty hard to reach, and you’ve shared when you can’t reach them and discussed the conflict you, and many of us, feel when our aspirations run smack dab into our reality. It seems like that kind of openness would go hand-in-hand with taking the nasty comments personally, even when it’s clear that the comments illuminate much more about the one who send them than the one they were sent to.

    You’ve created a wonderful little corner online, full of ideas and inspiration for newbies and more experienced gardeners alike. I hope you can find a way to let the ugly complainers roll away like water off a duck’s back and still share such wonderful urban homesteading/productive living/gardening posts with the rest of us.

    Cheers to you!

  85. I love your blog and your willingness to share your wonderful knowledge. Please keep it up!

  86. sunny crips says:

    Erica you add enjoyment to my day. Some assholes like to piss on everyone’s parade cuz it isn’t theirs.. They are Bullys
    It is hard to be creative and thin skinned.. so F$%K em and forget em…. I love that you have a mouth as dirty as your knees…..LOL makes you so much more real…. Thanks for all your sharing. North Carolina loves you

  87. I love yor blog! The troll’s comment is hysterical to me because it’s so pathetically off the wall and off target! But, if it were a comment on my blog? I’d be blubbering in my room, lol. Trolls are particularly mean becase they can be anonymous and not be held accountable for their bad, rude and generally antisocial behavior. Ignore the troll with the sad life, wine and weed and blog on!

  88. I have worked customer service in much of my career and it always surprised me that people felt it ok to take their life frustrations out on the phone or via email. I have had the option of hanging up/deleting, but it still feels yucky. So may the good energy replace the bad. I like glug and garden idea. I have had friends who would weed with me and it was always more fun. Good idea to formalize a bit. Could share out plants like berries or other divisions or bulbs in an easy take it home kind of way.

  89. I enjoy your blog. Don’t let the trolls get you down.

  90. “NON CARBORUNDUM ILLEGITIMI” = Don’t let the bastards grind you down
    This little aphorism has been on my desk since my college days, rendered in Sharpie on cardboard or just pencil on the back of a sales receipt, saving me from giving up or giving in countless times.

  91. I actually had a good laugh at that excerpt from the loser who commented on your blog. What does a fat 11th grader write like???? I’m hoping they have a better handle on their grammar and spelling than that moron. I know a lot about food and nutrition and your advice is sound and mostly common sense. Ignore the idiots, think how much time they must spend going from blog to blog leaving nasty comments. There is always the temptation to turn the comments off but then for every steamer someone leaves you there will be dozens of us leaving you our thanks for your entertaining, funny and intelligent words.

  92. Carla Barnes says:

    Remember, trolls can only write about what they see in the mirror! Keep up the good work, you’re a blessing.

  93. Erica, don’t let the assholes get you down! I know that’s easier said than done, but there are an extraordinary amount of us who are so happy to be on this journey with you, so try to forget comments from trolls. Love the idea of a wine, whine and weed party ;) May have to try that out :)

  94. Hi Erica…I just found your blog and LOVE your writing and your topics. As a fellow blogger I am glad to see you persevering in spite of all the trolls and naysayers and writing about what it true and perfect for you (and many of the rest of us!). And I also LOVE your idea of wine, whine and weed party! While my raised bed garden doesn’t really need extra help–the idea of pulling in friends to connect with and create something is very valuable. Keep writing–it is appreciated!

  95. “Don’t let the bastards get you down”….

  96. Gretchen says:

    Hey just wanted to say that I stumbled randomly onto your site a few weeks ago and even though I don’t garden or can or pickle or keep chickens or do anything really remotely related to the stuff you write about except eat food (when I can find the time), I was totally inspired. What you are doing with your life is art, and sharing your struggles and inspirations so honestly through this blog is very brave. I’m sure that there are many more people appreciate your work who don’t stop to comment.

  97. Well, it’s clear that your troll is getting no love here!
    I concur with all of the above. You provide a huge service to the “grow your own” community and you rock.

    I’m really intrigued by your wine and weed suggestion. There aren’t a lot of urban h’steaders out here in suburbia (the land of homeowner’s associations) but the lure of red wine just might do the trick. I’m all over it!

    Hang in there…and bookmark this page so you can reread all the love (119 comments and counting) the next time some idiot decides to take a dump in your blog.

  98. I am a real [sic] big fan!

  99. Hi Erica,
    I just read the above post and want you to share my thoughts. I enjoy your site and think it is a great resource with a personal, friendly feel to it. You are willing to put time, effort, and resources into writing it- if people like that commentor above feel that your site is so bad, why did they take the time to comment? Shouldn’t they just stop reading and leave?
    I don’t know why people feel the need to sit behind a screen name and act like assholes. On my business blog (education) I disabled comments before my first posting because I can’t take the nasty jerks out there who criticise but offer nothing. Don’t like my opinion? Fine, tell me politely about other viewpoints and let’s have an enlightening conversation. This just doesn’t seem to happen anymore.
    When did so many people decide that personal attacks and poorly-written comments are the proper debate tools?
    Anyway, I think you are great. Your blog teaches me things and makes me laugh. Plus, you swear; I dig that shit :)
    Thanks for bringing us together.
    p.s. my husband and I just built on 50 acres. We did it ourselves (except for skilled trades) and both of us are hands-on people. I have been making yogurt, cheese, lacto-ferm stuff, bread etc. and one of my students likes to see the pictures from the house and my cooking/canning. When I showed her my maple syrup adventures from this last weekend, she threw her hands up and said’ “Why do you make everything? You can just buy syrup, you know!” I thought it was pretty funny. Most kids think I am nuts, but I (and you, and your followers) am really just doing great-grandma stuff. Funny how our relationship with food has changed so much over three generations.
    Sorry for the rambling post. In case you gave up and started skimming- I said nice things about you.

  100. Matt Jarvis says:

    Ya know folks, if we REALLY wanted to show Erica our appreciation we’d venture on over to that Tip Jar thingy she’s got over on the right side…

    I haven’t climbed down off my wallet just yet to do so, but I’ve been offering up a book for a giveaway (Erica – HINT HINT – read your email!)…. hey, it’s at least something!

    Matt Jarvis
    Eugene, Oregon

Your participation makes this whole thing work, so join in! Comment policy: Wheaton's Law enforced here.

*