Thoughts On Douche-Waffles Who Poop In Your Pool

When the USS Enterprise is in a big ol’ space battle, there comes a point where Captain Kirk, or Captain Picard or whoever is sitting in the big chair, has to “direct all power to the shields.”

Everything else gets sent into reserve-power-mode: lights dim, warp speed is out of the question and the photon torpedoes might as well be phasers set on stun. All energy is being given to the shields. Because that’s how they protect the ship.

All my emotional energy has been given towards shields these past few days.

I wasn’t going to talk about this, but then I thought – meh, fuck it. I’m constantly answering questions and teaching and thinking about how I can give to my readers – I can ask for a little payback – a little take – and put up a post where I just rant and vent and talk my shit out.

There are moments when I really hate blogging. I mean, moments where I come this close to hitting “delete” on my entire Facebook page and throwing my laptop out the window.

You know why? It’s not because I don’t like writing (love it), or sharing on Facebook, or the weird technical side of maintaining this website.

It’s because some people are just douche-waffles. Not many – most people are great – but it doesn’t take a lot of shit in the pool to ruin the swim for everyone, does it? There are mean, petty, crazed-by-righteous-anger or owned-by-petty-hate people out there and I despise that this blog makes me vulnerable to them.

I know this goes with the territory – ah, yes, the ubiquitous internet troll – because apparently we’ve become a people who expect responses that couple Klan-member-esque levels of divisive hate with Kindergarden-level grammar and spelling served up with everything. Got an opinion? Apparently you should feel totally reasonable presenting your opinion in the form of a personal attack – everyone else does. Maybe throw in a good racial slur or the word “fag” for good measure, because this is the internet. Go ahead, be an asshole! Everything is anonymous anyway!

And the horse you rode in on

My friends tell me “the wind blows hardest at the top of the mountain,” and “they are just looking for an audience so you should be flattered you are big enough to get those comments,” and other very sage advice that somehow fails to change my heart.

See, I really hate waking up to emails, comments on my blog and Facebook posts on my page that express gleeful joy at the idea of disemboweling me (true story, happened last week). I hate the emotional drain of having to bounce back from people who go out of their way to let me know how eager they are for me to die (that was this morning). I’m not keen on being called a “vile sadist wretch of a so-called human” or a “cold heartless bitch” (both direct quotes) and I particularly loathe that time and mental attention that should go to my husband, or kids, or garden gets syphoned off to dealing with these assholes.

Even if the time this stuff takes is just clicking “delete” and “ban user” on Facebook or “unapprove” under the comments section of my blog’s administrative panel, I’m left to manage my own emotional reaction. And while “just ignore it” and “you can’t control other people” is exceptionally good advice, it’s not always so simple.

I am far, far less tender-hearted than I used to be about this kind of thing. I used to internalize every criticism because I just wanted to do a good job as a writer and as a teacher and as someone who shares information. I was open to hate because I was open.

Now? Well, let’s just say it takes a lot more to rattle me than it used to. My skin is, ever so slowly, thickening.

But growing thicker skin doesn’t happen overnight. At the beginning of spring, if your hands have grown soft from a winter of living inside, and you pick up a rake or a hoe or a shovel and spend hours preparing soil or raking bark or something, you don’t end up with thick, strong calluses on your fingers – you end up with blood blisters. Push it too far and you just end up wounded.

And so it is emotionally. My ability to withstand this kind of bullshittery has developed in response to experiencing it. And while your run-of-the-mill trolling and criticism doesn’t affect me at all anymore, dramatic upticks in the levels of hate still cause the emotional blood blisters until I can adapt, process, move past. And in the meantime I protect myself from the onslaught of hate by directing all energy to the shields. As if I have time to practice my dedicated non-attachment when the kids need lunches packed. Damnit, Jim I’m a gardener, not a monk.

The thick skin comes at a cost. For me, because this isn’t a job, this isn’t an obligation, this isn’t something I get paid to put up with – I find it hard to find the enthusiasm to be open, to compose posts, share ideas and build community, when I am so busy inside, closing myself off, walling things off.

The truth is, I don’t really know if I’m cut out for this. Part of this culture that I am a part of – this online culture – it sickens me. Having this noisy, braying rabble spew their pathetic, impotent hatred at me for no reason other than that I’m here – I’ll admit it knocks me off-course in a way that might make it impossible for me to truly last online. Being just the latest human being who gets turned into a people piñata for the entertainment and amusement of others – well, it’s not really what I was going for when I started this blog to teach people in my own hometown when to plant their cabbages.

Knowing I’m just one of hundreds or thousands of bloggers dealing with the same shit right now….that doesn’t make me feel some kind of rah rah solidarity, it just makes me feel discouraged.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a cry for atta-boys. I don’t need to be lifted up, or told nice things. I’m not depressed, I’m just tired, so very tired. I know how supportive and awesome and amazing you, my real, regular readers are. I know, I do. And I appreciate it so much and I thank you.

There are moments when dilution is the only solution – and so I’m going to stop trying to protect you guys from my “professional problems,” and from the reality of what it sometimes costs me to pay-to-play here as your friendly local blogger. So I’m leaning in to you, I’m diffusing this off my shoulders through good old fashioned bitching, not by rising above.

In fact, fuck rising above.

Yeah, right now, I’m not going to pretend that I’m all Zen Cool about random strangers wanting me dead. I’m not going to “let it go” and “not hold on” and all those other namaste things that I’ve been trying to do because that seems like what I should do. Nah, for a change I’m just going to let myself feel good and pissed-off that sometimes the douche-waffles show up and poop in my goddamned pool.

My friend told me a great thing the other day. She said, “Oh when people ask how it’s going, I just say ‘F.I.N.E.’ and leave it at that. Of course, F.I.N.E. is an acronym for ‘Fuck, It Never Ends’”

So how are you doing? Me? Oh, I’m F.I.N.E. Thanks for asking.

Digging For God
Beyond PB&J: Easy Sauces To Use Your Preserves

Comments

  1. I’ve had some of those F.I.N.E. days too. My ears can take it. Let it out when you need to. Hate those emotional blood suckers. I love your style of writing and I love the information you give to us so freely. Hugs to you.

  2. Man, I am really glad this wasn’t a recipe post.

  3. I have not had your responses, but then again, I don’t have your (sized) audience either. And while my posts are very middle of the road and possibly of no interest at all to some ( ho hum, Sunday dinner with the family where everyone gets along-boring!) the same thing happens silently over here, a quick drop off of followers. And while I never started this to be popular or get rich, at the same time, this behavior is selfishly rude. When I see a post such as yours, I am feel shame, because for some reason we as adults in this world, should have better manners to each other. Yet we don’t. What we do is take great pride in the “selfie” photos that we post on various social media platforms, and take every available opportunity to spew endless hatred, while erroneously acting like it is mature and our right to be rude, thoughtless and worse of all wrong. Opps, did you hear that? Yeah my numbers just fell…..

    PS not giving “atta boys” but this old dog looks forward to the posts you offer.

  4. Andrea Richards says:

    Getting it off your chest is good. Big Hugs from NW UK.
    love Andrea.

  5. Mary Hall says:

    “People piñata”, ha. Head up, girlie and carry on. Hang in there. People are assholes, and I’ve learned there is very little anyone can do about assholes.

  6. You write about onions and jam, not the Tea Party or the Affordable Care Act. What the hell is there for people to get so mad about? I hardly ever comment on here, but I read every post, and I would sure as hell miss you if you stopped. You’re also responsible for my Mr. Money Mustache obsession, so there’s that.

    I hope you’re ok. I’ve read enough of your stuff to know that a post like this only happens when people are seriously getting you down.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Seconded.

    • Thirded!

    • This is pretty much exactly what I was going to say. WTF.

    • Oh Sarah, you took the words right out of my mouth! For the life of me I can not fathom why anyone would want to spew hatred over the best way to grow carrots and squash!

      I believe the anonymity of the internet has truly allowed the free reign of the here-to-for hidden sociopath!

      The Northwest Edible Life is the bomb! You keep it up girl! Post some of those sociopath’s comments and let us have at them for awhile!

    • What they all said. Gah.

      I’m not in the Pacific Northwest (southern California), and so I can’t use a lot of your suggestions, but I still LOVE your writing and your posts and smile when I see something from you in my in-box.

      • Ditto here.

        I, too, am in So Cal and really appreciate your writing style and everything you share with us.

        There are far too many assholes in the world. Please don’t take them seriously, they have no lives and just want to make others miserable. Don’t let ‘em do it to you, Erica!

        Big hugs to you!

    • Couldn’t agree more! I also read every post, look forward to them, and would miss you like crazy. I’m sorry you are dealing with trolls. I am not going to try to give any advice, but I’ll say that for everyone of those terrible people there are 50 of us that love your blog and all you have to offer.

      Thanks for what you do!

    • My thoughts too!

    • Yup. This.

    • Seriously though…I was having the SAME EXACT thought as I was reading this. How the hell can anyone be so angry and want someone to die because of the way she grows a garden? I am truly baffled by the way some of our fellow human beings’ brains operate. I really can’t even begin to understand where comments like that would come from, especially over a gardening blog for god’s sake!

      • P.S. “…but it doesn’t take a lot of shit in the pool to ruin the swim for everyone, does it?” Best quote ever!

    • What Sarah said (cause she said it better than me). Glad you are still writing and not giving up the blog!!

      PS
      Double thanks for sharing Mr. Money Mustache.

    • Leigh Anna says:

      Exactly what I wanted to say. You have a ton of fans out here who love your posts, and maybe a couple of trolls. Whose opinion matters more?

      Hang in there, Erica! We love love love NW Edible Life!!!

    • I’ve never commented before, but just wanted to say:
      1) Hear, hear! to all of the above, and
      2) I almost chocked laughing about your poop in the pool quote. So perfect.

    • I wasn’t exactly salivating to read this particular blog, based on the title, but I couldn’t help it. And even though I have never intentionally watched a Star Trek episode from start to finish, I had to keep reading. Your writing is that damn good, in large part because it’s honest. Please don’t deprive us of your blog. Just tell us where the trolls are, and I, for one, go after them with a pitchfork!

  7. Thank you for sharing F.I.N.E.! My day just got brighter!!!

  8. Keith Armour says:

    HUGS!

  9. From a friend who enjoys your blog: It’s hard to respond since you said you aren’t asking for atta-girls. Let me just say this: I LOVE the image you posted with this entry ( “Yes, that’s correct…and the horse you rode in on.”) I can just see a full-size poster of it or a set of postcards or coffee mugs. Great find!

  10. Christina says:

    I love food and gardening blogs. Yours is one of two (of a huge amount) that I look most forward to in my inbox. I can imagine how awful the awful side of running such a popular blog can… nay, must be. I am so glad to have your thoughts and wonderful practical information and your gardening tools (spreadsheets and such) in my life. I hope you can find the strength to ignore the ass*&^(@ of the world. My world would be quite the poorer without you in it, and since I don’t live on your street, or even in your town, this is my only source for my fix! :)

    Your post reminds me of a David Lebovitz post entitled WTF (Welcome To France) http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/02/wtf/

    Thanks for the new tool (F.I.N.E.) I expect to use it (along with W.T.F) often! I hope you can find a way to heal your wounded heart and to continue to add your brand of wonderful to the internet and all your subscribers. You are greatly loved.

  11. Christina says:

    PS: Mine too is not an “atta boy”, just a sincere appreciation of all of your work and hopefully a verbal salve to the bruises that you suffer today just like we all suffer occasionally when having a FINE or Welcome To France day.

  12. Sorry to hear about the blobs bothering you…..and I’ve gotta say that was THE BEST rebuttal ever! Sometimes it’s good to get it off your chest!

  13. Did writing this all out help? I hope so! I can empathize about taking such attacks so personally. Friends and words of wisdom also offer little resolution. I’m going to offer some humor because a hearty belly laugh is quite refreshing. I’m the one who commented earlier this summer and referred to my heritage turkeys as heirloom turkeys. LOL

    • It really did. Writing this post helped more than anything, actually.

      • Hi Erica. I read your posts every time they come up. I think this is my favorite post. Funny that I really needed it as well. My beloved youngest son is getting married tomorrow to a mostly sweet girl whose mother is a professional shrew. With an enormous fortune that is not used to feed the hungry but is instead used as a weapon of influence and bribery. She is a covetous jealous woman who has turned the head of a woman I have been “friends” with for over 30 years (apparently being called her bosom friend has no special meaning after all). The wedding colour is blue, and said friend has opted to wear said colour, and to call herself my son’s other mother-we will have to see how well her picture taken with the bride and groom turn out. All this shit in my pool has only become apparent in the last few days. I REALLY appreciate the F.I.N.E. acronym. I will be F.I.N.E. tonight at the prenuptual dinner held at a Bar- did I mention the no taste thing? I will be F.I.N.E. at the pig farm where the vows will be taken and the reception will be held. My new name is Grace “really- this is how you are going to behave”)
        and I will be F.I.N.E.

  14. Got your back, girl!! Sad thing is that these people have the right to vote. Keep smiling and skip along on your path of creative writing for our enjoyment. That is the part we know and love about you!!!

  15. Seriously how have I never heard of Wheaton’s Law before?! I LOVE IT! And I love you! Don’t let the bastards get you down – which I know is difficult, but know that the world would be less rich without your blog. Here’s another one for you – T.I.T – This Is Temporary – it’s my favorite to remember when you’re going through a shit time… Hugs to you my friend!

  16. Linda McHenry says:

    Love your blog, love your posts. If it’s any consolation, the older you get the less the hater shit matters. I’m pushing 70, an outspoken progressive liberal in a regressive conservative wasteland……hated by half our city officials (although Tuesday’s election brought a progressive majority back to the council…yay!), and despised by the business & development community. I actually derive pleasure from turning the venom back on them, figuring the more they spew, the better job I’m doing.
    Keep up the good work!

    • Just as an aside – go Linda! I have become more outspoken the closer I get to 70, and have gotten some pretty ugly posts on FB. And Erica, it is true (although you have a VERY long time to go to get to my age) that things get easier as you get older.

    • I was once told by a dear friend as activist, as I’m sure you already know: They don’t have to like you, they just have to respect you. (The City, County, State officials, etc.)
      This helps me whenever I piss off another person in power.
      Best,
      Heather

  17. First – HUGS!! Love what you are doing and I so appreciate it. Unfortunately, these rude crude critical people (we need to come up with a term for them) are all over. I went through a moment this week wondering if I should quit Facebook because I get so tired of that crap – some of it from friends and family postings. On a gratitude posting I did this week, two of my family members tried to turn it into a political ranting which actually just showed their ignorance. But my FB posting was not the place to do it. Anyway, I used to enjoy reading the comments posted on articles too. I don’t go there anymore.
    I think no matter how thick-skinned you are – some days it just gets to you. We are all here for you when it does.

  18. My ‘F.I.N.E.’ means Fucked Up Insecure Neurotic and Emotional….you’ve evolved beyond me!

  19. Erica,
    You are so good, you just wrote a high grade article about people pooping.
    Anybody who has a problem with you has a problem with the many thousands of us who follow your ship and power your shields.
    Dump it on us! We can take it!
    We all wish right now we could smudge that poop in those trolls’ faces and we would if we could.
    For you!

    You should start a new blog where you publish all the poop?
    Call it “In your face”

  20. I love your blog and have been reading it for a long time. I love how you unselfishly share your wonderful gardening knowledge and I have a beautiful cattle panel arch trellis in my back yard to prove it. Please don’t let those few assholes get you down and please don’t stop writing.

  21. Claudia Swan says:

    This made me like you/your blog even more than I did already, which is crazy lots! But I am really sorry to hear about this. Pooping in the pool, okay, but crapping all over your kale?! C’mon. Keep up your FINE work!

  22. Ditto what everyone else has expressed in their comments, Sarah, and I just want to add : What an exceptional piece of writing you just created from organizing your thoughts around this distressing situation. You have already risen above it in your articulation of the problem. Sending you uplifting vibes to cancel out any hate mail so that you may continue on with your excellent work that we all so appreciate. A++

  23. I love your blog. Great advice. Awesome ideas, professionally written. Thank you for doing such a great job with it.

    And, because I think you could probably use a laugh – I noticed that three of the four ‘suggested posts’ that followed this morning’s post were:
    Crappy Composter’s Secret to Perfect Compost
    Battling Mulch Mountain at the Coop Door
    Chicken Coop Update: Sand Bed – Deep Litter Hybrid System
    All it needed was the ‘How To Use Pee in your Garden’ and it would have been four of a kind (or a royal flush?) :)

    Here’s to keeping the poop in the compost where it belongs and OUT of the proverbial blog pool!!

    Stay well. Cheers!

  24. Nancy Sutton says:

    Well, attacking you is attacking me, because you are what I love and enjoy, immensely. And dilution/venting is probably really healthy – typical of your wiseness. How does it go… “Joys shared are doubled, and sorrows shared are halved.” Hope yours are halved by now. Now I have to deal with my personal indignation….I’ll try to see them as the blind tortred bats that they are…not knowing what they do or say. Thank you for letting us share the barrage. Sharing and honesty are your hallmarks…. don’t change, and keep it up….. we can take it :)

  25. Wendy Myers says:

    I like reading your tales of NW gardening. As a former NW gardener, I mourn the days of growing onions and carrots. I live in Denver and gardening is next to impossible here.

    I bought a pomegranate yesterday and I am going try your method of seeding it.

  26. Good for your righteous rant. I’ve decided some people’s sole purpose in life is to spew poison and unwanted advice. Sigh.

  27. Just wanted to pop in and say your writing is amazing. I don’t even garden and I love to read your blog.

    I’m sorry to hear about the trolls. They are kind of like the guy who gets road rage at you for something that was actually his fault. You know you shouldn’t care that he flipped you off but you just can’t stop thinking about the incident ALL DAY. Stupid jerks.

    I have a small, technical blog that is growing in popularity and have had to deal with this particular problem, but not as extreme as what you’ve run into. It’s not easy, and I’m still figuring it out. I reached out to one of my business heroes and she wrote about me in her newsletter. Maybe there’s some useful advice in there for you too?

    http://slash7llc.createsend5.com/t/ViewEmail/r/3A96E25F6DACB8FF2540EF23F30FEDED/CB0B853C8C72D99984E5AAD5A6C37FC6

    Best of luck. Again, I love your blog and you are awesome! :-)

  28. Ugh. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. :-( Some people are just vile and they have nothing better to do than troll the Internet. Don’t delete your blog or Facebook page, delete the trolls. As soon as you see a rude word: DELETE, DELETE, DELETE!!! GONE!

    If I’m blogging or FBing on a topic that I feel may draw some nasty remarks, I put a warning in my header that all confrontational, hateful, etc. comments will be removed. Take your trash elsewhere.

    Good luck to you!

  29. For what it’s worth, I don’t think you should ever have to apologize for venting and expressing yourself on _your_ blog. I enjoy reading your blog (I love the fact that I get it in my email in box) and I enjoy your writing voice. If you wanted to write vent-y posts once or twice or thrice a week it still wouldn’t put me off because, honestly it makes you more human for me. (that said, I’d prefer people didn’t send you horrific emails and be general cretins to you.)

    I understand how you feel about the DWWPIYP but yea, that’s life and your friends are right about the wind.

    Keep blogging, and know that you are freakin’ awesome!

  30. Can’t believe anyone would want you dead. You’re so cute & harmless with your gardening and canning. Thanks to you I’ve discovered Mr. Money Mustache and have implemented some of his ideas (and yours) so that, one day, I can actually retire with money in the bank.

    I love to read about your gardening and canning. Glad to know that the younger generation is not forgetting these traditional skills.

    So, THANK YOU for all you do!

  31. If changing the world were easy, then everyone would do it.
    Well-ranted, my friend!

  32. I think all your fans share your pain and wish we lived in a kinder, less radicalized world of angry individuals. Your hurt and rage certainly are justified and I truly loved your sharing the F.I.N.E. response. It is now in my arsenal of strategies for a happy life. As a blogger that is just getting going, I appreciate your honesty and wish you 10x success in the coming weeks. I love your blog!

  33. Douche-waffles — first thoughts were 1) dang, even using the French meaning that is one unappetizing recipe name and 2) was looking for baked oatmeal but will take a look at this anyway. No platitudes here. Just hope the scales tip where you need them to in order to let you do what you love.

  34. Darlene Granberg says:

    And even in your rant, you are still teaching you neighbors how to “grow their cabbages”! Because the next time I have one of those days, and someone asks how I am, I will say “F.I.N.E.!” And as pissed off/irritated as I may be, it’s going to make me smile, because I know what F.I.N.E. really means. Sorry about the trolls!

  35. First I’ll start by saying that I freaking love the hell out of your blog. And that I’m sort of thrilled right now that my own blog has such a small following, and is pretty much only read by my Mom. And If she starts sending me hate mail, well… I know where she lives. So I’ll tell you the same thing that I tell my husband every time he comes home from a crap day at work where he had to stay late again because one of his employees called out because they ate too much Halloween candy, or their grandmother died for the 15th time. “They’re not all against you, they’re just all for themselves.” This is the internet. No one has these people chained to a chair with their eyes glued open, forcing them to read your blog. People who don’t like the content of your blog have the freedom to overt their eyes. If they’re attacking you for what they’ve read on your blog then they were just looking for an excuse to attack anyone. Humans have a horrible habit of only thinking of their own needs. So these people who are sending you these hateful things are just feeling lousy about something, and you happen to be the most conveniently close punching bag.

  36. Cathy Crisenbery says:

    Oh you are such a good writer. I honestly don’t know how you find the time to create such wonderfully written pieces. Do not let these ignorant and hurtful people shape your thinking. Yes it hurts and yes they are vile. Call them out here just as you’ve done. You have a community of folks here who value you and your work. I’m glad you are F.I.N.E. Here is another acronym for you, B.I.T.C.H. (Being In Total Control of Herself). Credit to Saffire, The Uppity Blues Women
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1S_cmVkwcI

  37. I have a challenge for you.

    Don’t read them.

    It’s hard (it’s so SO hard) not to. You want to, (you really REALLY do). Some twisted little thing in your brain wants to read every hateful, ignorant, vile ridiculous word because in there somewhere, maybe that second line from the bottom, maybe buried in the middle, in there somewhere is a little bit of good! Or a question that actually needs answered!

    No, there’s not. There’s nothing in there but shit in the pool.

    I’ve been a customer service agent, lead and now manager for 20 years and this is the best thing I have learned. When someone sends that shit, you are not duty bound to read it, process it or respond to it. You are allowed to hit delete te second you realize it’s from a douche waffle and move on with a little less shit in your pool.

  38. Damn, I love it when you let loose and tell it like it is, I just wish the tirade wasn’t because of a bunch of internet asshats.

    Also, I’m another non-gardening, non-NW living fan!

  39. Janette W says:

    Love your site! Do not let those “happiness vampires” take anything from you. Delete, click, block is all they deserve. Then move on. Misery loves company, refuse to accompany people who want to stay stuck in their misery! You are doing a great job and I appreciate it! So enjoy your candor and knowledge! Thank you for sharing your gifts with we who wish to learn!!

  40. You’re the best and don’t let anyone tell you differently. Just DELETE the lower than whale shite scumbags. Love, love, love your writing and have incorporated so many of your gardening and canning ideas into my own little homestead here in SW Wash. Live long and prosper and make it so. \/

  41. Hang in there, Erica. We’re rooting for you and I totally support you telling it like it is. Don’t suffer in silence. A little public flogging is absolutely in order for the dimwits who are spewing hate.

  42. Amen. Fuck ‘em and feed ‘em beans.

  43. The way you write is perfect and encapsulates the truth about douche comments. Lots of love and hugs headed your way!

  44. I wonder if the uptick in hatred and vitriol means you got reposted somewhere on some website or twitter account of some King of the Dipshits. “Hey, let’s all go over here and tell her we want to kill her and rape her chickens! Hur hur hur…”

    I have that super thick skin. Always have. What I lack is the oomph to actually care enough to deal with it. I’m so impressed that you do what you do, all the time, and that you have that passion and drive. Also, I am totally going to remember that F.I.N.E. thing forever now, and make it my standard response to a few specific douchecanoes who inhabit my workplace…
    Hang in there.

    • Yes, that’s exactly what happened. I’m not going to go into specifics because I’m not going to send the haters any curiosity traffic, but that’s precisely what happened.

      • Just call it what it is, cyber-bullying. These people are cowards hiding being avatars with assumed names. It’s pretty nasty stuff. I used to post comments at a favorite religious site. But soon saw a pattern of vicious replies any time I posted. I guess they checked regularly for my comments – sheesh, get a life. It did hurt at first; and you can understand why some teens have even committed suicide from personal attacks of cyber-bullying.

        Your blog is in one of 10 I check regularly. I think you can tell there are more of us your fans, than them.

  45. Just another reason why I’ve been reading your blog since 2011, your blunt honesty! I live in South FL so I can’t plant when you plant or what you plant, but you talk about plenty of great ideas that I can and DO follow….but I think what keeps me coming back for more is your honest, heartfelt, not afraid to step on toes writing! So like some other readers said, for every hateful person who is stalking your blog, there are probably 50 of us who love your blog…so post their comments for us to see, let us take some of the burden from your shoulders, let us rip them apart!

  46. Love the blog. Only found you a couple months ago and ravaged the site reading everything. You are so down to earth and I love that you don’t have a “I’m better than you” attitude like some bloggers. Thanks for every and.. you know what.. fuck the haters. :)

  47. Perry Cahall says:

    Don’t let the trolls get you down! Just imagine how pathetic their measly little lives are if they don’t have a single better thing to do than attack a helpful volunteer. As long as the internet exists so will they. Ignore the assholes and be grateful you weren’t cursed with a similar brain disease. Besides, who’s to say some of these aren’t just bratty 11-year-olds (literally) giggling at their moms computer during their slumber party. Keep doin what you do, it’s great!

    Here’s a useful acronym to live by: F. E.

    (fuck ‘em)

    • Made me think of this: “Never waste a minute thinking about people you don’t like.”
      ― Dwight D. Eisenhower

  48. OMG, good for YOU to just lay it out there! Fuck those people! Easier said than done, I know, but please don’t let those asshats in your head! I LOVE your blog! Keep up the good work, and know that you are appreciated!

  49. Erica, there is nothing wrong with receiving praise. This is John putting his arm around your shoulder and patting you on your back and saying, “There, there dear. Everything is going to be OK.” And it is going to be OK.
    “bullshittery”, I love that new word. May I use it in some of my comments? FYI, if we start seeing F.I.N.E. appearing in other blogs and comments, you maybe able to collect royalties. Be like Brenda in her most southern accent, “Thank you, thank you very much”.

  50. /Sigh. Seeing this kind of thing is so disheartening. I’m not sure what could upset someone the most – the fact that you fermented kale or that you tried using sand in your chicken coop instead of straw (the humanity!!) Then there’s your garden planner – who knows what witchcraft lies within! Enslaving soil bacteria for your own benefit will not be tolerated.

    I saw a comment on a National Geographic blog this week that I thought was both funny and a little too close to home. It doesn’t apply directly to hate mail or other horrific verbal attacks but I do think it sums up some of the BS bloggers unfortunately have to deal with from the lesser members of their audience. I offer it here purely because I think a smile would be nice today:

    “You do know how comments on blogs work, right? I skim a well-researched, interesting article written in an accessible and easy-reading fashion telling me things that I hadn’t known before about a curious bit of the world and then I leave a supercilious comment about an utterly trivial pedantry to show all the world that I am smarter than them dummies on the Interwebs. I’m not interested in adding anything of substance and certainly don’t care about how much time I spend caviling in public. This is basic narcissism.” – ‘Vizzini’ 1/3/13

    Be well and keep inspiring us.

  51. So sorry to hear about all the crap you take; especially when your blog and Facebook posts remind me of the wholesome way I’d like to be living in my community….When Facebook first started, they were quite adamant about requiring accounts under your real name only – perhaps we should gravitate back, through an unwritten code of internet etiquette, to minimal anonymity and more interaction where one has to think twice about stepping forward and making comments. Just like writing a letter to the editor , when you sign your name to something, you have to own up to it and there you are, out in public.

  52. This is a Triple A rant! Good for you.
    Hate that comes out of nowhere, for no reason, is very painful for me too. I don’t blog so I’m glad you shared your burden; I had no idea it was that bad.
    In my practical mind, I just imagine the trolls as being…oh I better not say here, because I don’t want to push anyone’s buttons about gender, body type, skin health, and sexual potency.
    In my more Mother Theresa moments, I remember that these are people who see themselves as unloveable. Or who are unloved. Or never were loved. I guess hate spewing gives them a low level of pleasure but on the grand pleasure continuum, they’ll never get beyond a 2 on a scale that goes at least to 100.
    It’s understandable that they go after a goddess such as yourself!

  53. So there you have it people. A perfectly wonderful venue to enjoy but you have to put your hate on it until someday it may not be here anymore. Eventually there will be nothing left to enjoy.

  54. I, too, love your blog and can’t imagine what would bother someone so much that they would resort to such asshattery!

    I found this website with some helpful links:
    http://www.examiner.com/article/threatening-people-over-the-internet-is-illegal

    A paragraph from the article:
    If you are a victim of Internet threats and you feel your life is in danger, you should immediately contact your local police. If you do not feel you are in immediate danger, you can go to the Internet Crime Complaint Center website here to file a complaint. You do not have to put up with being threatened or harassed over the Internet.

  55. I am glad you trust your regular readers enough to let us help you as diffusers! Like so many others, I read every one of your posts… and though I’ve commented a couple of times at FB, I don’t believe I’ve ever commented here…

    I know you’re a big girl and you can handle it… but my heart is hurting for you today. And I know I’m not alone in saying that I’d rather see you rant when you need to in order to feel better than to see you go away… Peace to your heart today, Erica.

  56. I’m VERY interested in the psychological study of why trolls like trolling. When I’m a little jerky to someone to save my own skin, I still feel terrible about it. I own it, but I can’t find any pleasure in it whatsoever.
    I will never understand how a human with a heart and soul can ENJOY being cruel, for pleasure’s sake. Trolling is so far beyond me. I feel pretty strongly about it, so whenever I post a dissenting opinion online, I use my real name when possible.

  57. Such a well-written rant.

  58. There’s something in the air…even here in southern Ontario, people seem to feel obligated to share their passionate opinions about normally demure topics. Maybe it’s the diminishing light in the northern hemisphere…who knows. I normally just (figuratively) clean the poop out of the pool, chlorinate, let it sit for a bit, and then go swimming again. But sometimes there’s something therapeutic in flinging the poop at someone/something and watching it smack the object and then diffuse. So…happy poop-flinging. Know that you’re appreciated.

    • I don’t normally go in much for astrology, but apparently Mercury is in retrograde right now. My astrology-following friends tell me the world goes insane when that happens. Perhaps they are right? Who knows. :)

  59. Erica,
    There’s not much I can add to the comments above. I too find it incredible that people would spew such hatred at you for even suggesting that they might plant something. I’m glad you could rant — I know it helps — ‘a problem shared is a problem halved.’
    We’re hoping to relocate to Whidbey in the near future, and your blog will be even more useful than it is now in the northeast.
    Keep up the good work. There are many more likers than haters out there. And for them, may I share my favorite prayer, “Dear Lord, Please give them everything they deserve.”

  60. Enjoy your writing so much. To co-opt a gardening term, I think you’re going through a process of “hardening off”. It’s stressful, but you will end up a better plant ( person, writer) when you work through it. Just remember there must be a thousand of us that appreciate your skills for every weirdo that doesn’t.

  61. Missy yanchuck says:

    Keep up the fine writing! We would all miss your well written blog! Don’t waste your good energy on someone else’s bad energy, as I tell my kids…

  62. Cristin M says:

    Wow – I loved the rant. There is just no explanation for why people feel the need to randomly tear someone else down…anonymously of course. None of these people would have the balls to say it to your face and, honestly, if they passed you on the street they wouldn’t have a clue who you are. It’s almost like Internet trolling has replaced the crank calling “heavy breathing” crap that went on when we were all teenagers. These are random hit-and-run passes and eventually these sad people will find someone else’s blog to heavy breathe all over.

    I only recently found your blog through Pinterest and live in the Puget Sound area so PLEASE don’t go anywhere! Looking forward to planning next spring’s garden with all of your advice and I look forward to your posts each time they pop up in my inbox :)

  63. Mary Frances says:

    Know that you have many, quiet, appreciative readers who love your fantastic writing style – even (or perhaps especially) the rants! I know that when I’ve run up against a prime douche-waffle (great phrase, by the way) at work, I like to pull out my “feel-good” file of all the thank-you notes, and “atta girls” that I’ve received and it makes me realize that the positive and appreciative people far outnumber the other type – plus, I repeat to myself a phrase of my grandfather’s … “What do you expect from a pig, but a grunt?” Somehow that makes me feel better, too. Hang in there, Erica.

  64. You didn’t ask for atta-girls, but I can’t help it. Crack pots are just that, cracked pots, they can’t hold anything substantial, not even hot air. I adore reading your blog and FB posts. I don’t often comment, but I do often hit “like” because I like to read them, like is terribly insufficient though. Please don’t stop blogging because of these cracked pots, I like to know when to plant my cabbages.

  65. Douche Waffles. I’m going to steal that!

  66. First, stellar job of venting. Venting keeps us from exploding, exploding is yucky.

    Second, back to the garden, or my indoor approximation of a greenhouse: got any suggestions for organically decimating the fungus gnats that are troubling my indoor lettuce? I’m gettin some yellow sticky cards. Do you think Safer soap would be helpful?

    Thanks, Erica!

  67. I hope you feel better, or at least lighter now. If you are smart & sassy in this virtual community, you will attract some scum – just like using organic soaps in your shower will inevitably lead to slime on the tile. But you do sound tired, and maybe a break would be healthy for you? You might ask David Roberts, who recently sabbatical-led from Grist.org
    http://grist.org/author/david-roberts/ what his thoughts are – burnout is no fun, and no it doesn’t mean the scum-suckers ‘win’ if you take a break.
    Wishing you well.

  68. Wow… haters are going to hate. But this amazes me…what the heck do you espouse in your blog/fb page? I love your style and info, please dont stop. Maybe someone else needs to stepp in and monitor your elails and leave you a list of ones that are worthy of reponse…
    But you are engaged in a very rebellious act… GARDENING and GROWING YOUR OWN FOOD! Smiling and laughing, hugging and offering you a cup of whatever you need… wink winks. I want to be a blogger like you. Keep up the good work.

  69. I am one of many who love your blog and your writing…..please don’t stop! Your post about the season turning to fall (not that long ago) is my favorite blog post ever. Ranting helps to get it out, in my opinion, and I’m glad you shared this with us. I don’t have any words to share that you haven’t already read and heard about dealing with asshats that feel the need to share their asshattery, and really, that’s not what you asked for – just know that your would be sorely missed if you stopped writing and posting. I thank you, too – I’ve now learned a new acronym (F.I.N.E.) that will be put to immediate use.:-)

  70. It would seem that there is no limit to the ingenuity for inventing ways to convert positive energy into toxic waste. The physiological hit from landing a sucker punch must be as addictive as some awful drug. I feel sad when I think about how miserable these people must be, and at the same time I’m angry at their power to pull others into their vortex, and indignant and bull-headed enough to spend way too of my own energy trying to not let them win at their sick game of poisoning our shared well. The challenge is to be able to listen with a good ear to all the noise and pluck out the interesting possibilities for valuable life choices. Keep going, girl. You’re onto something good, and your realness inspires.
    @Bill (above commenter): guffaws and belly laughs!!!

  71. I’d love to join in on the bitchin’ for a moment…I’m a reporter at a small town weekly paper and not at all anonymous. My name and photo appears in every issue and most people in my community recognize me. Because there are a grand total of three of us and one sticks to sports, sometimes I can’t duck and I get to cover the stories that are bound to piss someone off. I don’t get the vile hate mail, but I do sometimes get the cold shoulder in real life. And it sucks to field snarky comments or have to defend myself in public for just doing my job the best I can. All of which is to say thanks for being authentic here and though you made it clear you’re not asking for it, I’m gonna go ahead and offer you a little fist bump of solidarity anyhow.

  72. Wow, found your blog via a friend, and so glad I did! Sounds like we’re living parallel lives (we, too, live on a 1/3 acre lot, I’m a Mom, blogger, family, etc.), and I think we may have encountered the same lot of assholes, but simply on opposite coasts. Thank you for articulating so well what I was stewing over in my mind, just this morning. ~Mary B from Virginia

  73. Erica, I’m so glad you shared this with us. We all want to have your back, as much as possible! I think it would feel incredibly scary to get those kinds of emails. As much as the rational part of my brain would say, “I’m going to be fine” the other part would counter with all the things I read in the media about wacko nut-jobs hurting people. I am really sorry you have to experience this sort of emotional abuse. It’s really upsetting. (What would happen if you reported this? Does anything change? Just curious…)

    On a lighter note, I read this Oatmeal comic ( http://theoatmeal.com/pages/retarded_emails ) and thought you might benefit from a laugh. #11 was especially funny to me. I think he has stopped comments on his blog & only has them on facebook. That might be a way for you to have higher accountability on comments, less anonymous crap. Your serious followers would still send you occasional emails telling you how awesome your posts are :) Even if it just gave you a temporary respite…through the holidays or something…

    Big virtual hug, lady! May the shield be strong!

    • PS- I am sensitive to the word “retarded” so I don’t appreciate that part of his post. But, his responses to emails made me laugh. I don’t have that thick of skin and am amazed when people fight back like that.

  74. A few things:
    1. Thank you for all your posts, relevant information, and regional tips for the Pacific Northwest.
    2. I would agree with not blogging about it, but only if you feel that the rewards from sharing your information don’t balance. Who would any one be to tell you to keep it up.
    3. The sad truth of the Internet hate machine is that it continues to escalate indefinitely. For me the escalation rendered the commentary inane. After all the vulgarity and crude visceral nature of most of those comments makes it impossible to view their author as anything but a denigrate.

  75. Kate Rogers says:

    I’m not sure what a “douche-waffle” looks like, but I like and respect this post. You do good work. Hang in there.

  76. Right on! You write (in an interesting and charming style) what so many of us feel, and the fact that you dare to share it publicly is fantastic! I am all for saying “fuck it” thank you for reminding me of the power of that!
    Thank you also for all the interesting and fun information you share on a regular basis, when you are not ranting – it is all good!
    Cheers!

  77. So my first response, of course, was “No! Don’t leave us! We love your writing!” But after thinking about it a bit, I totally take it back. Like most of your loyal readers, I would be totally heartbroken if you decided to stop writing your blog because some stupid douche waffles, but if it’s dragging you down and you want to quit, you should. Your loyalties should be to yourself and your family. We’ll understand. You shouldn’t have to put up with a bunch of bulls**t like this on our account. I do want to say though, like many of your readers, I totally owe you my thanks. You totally inspired me to get started with this awesome vegetable gardening thing. When I read your first garden post (“Don’t Be An Urban Homesteading Asshole,” I believe. Oh boy, is that a classic or what?), I think I planted a zucchini plant. As zucchini plants tend to do, it went crazy. Yada, yada, yada…. now I have a 400 foot vegetable plot with drip irrigation, 4 fruit trees, 2 grape vines, 4 blueberries in pots on my patio, and separate flower beds for my kid to experiment in. In other words, all it took was one really well-written article (yours!) to get me thinking, “Oh, I could give that a try” and before I knew it, I was completely hooked. So thanks for that. Also, you’ve given me some really good laughs along the way too.

  78. If you stop they win. I love your blog, and I don’t read many. It is SO wonderful to have a fellow NW to learn from.

  79. Good for you. You’re a terrific writer and you expressed yourself beautifully (as always). I never write on your blog or FB page but I am a faithful follower. It’s important to lean in, lean on, sometimes. It takes courage to vent but it’s necessary in order to give to your family, your garden, yourself. Otherwise you’ll blow up (an unfortunate possibility when all power goes to the shields, right?). So anyway, this is just another hug to you. Thanks for being you, for being real, and for the courage you have to open yourself up.

  80. Perhaps you should treat every threat as ‘real’ and report them to the FBI. I assume that a few phone calls from the feds would stop these trolls in their tracks and if it doesn’t then they truly are out to get you. Now maybe that would be over kill but maybe not. I tend to like to end things like that very quickly and if it means pulling out the big guns I’m game for that, lol! Of course if you can block people like that then perhaps blocking is a good first response.

    • I agree. A death threat is a death threat and deserves to be taken seriously and reported as such. This is one situation where an abundance of caution really cannot be called overkill.

  81. I am practically in your neighborhood (Shoreline), and I consider you my virtual garden mentor. Thank you for the NW garden love, and keep up the good work. I’m learning so much from your blog. BTW, I stopped in to hear your talk at Sky Nursery. I hope you do another one in the future.

  82. Wow, absolutely nothing I can add to all the aforementioned posts. I never comment anyway, but wanted to this once. Ditto, ditto, ditto and more dittos! I also cannot imagine what in the world people take offense at in your blog. I appreciate you taking time to share. Perhaps you can take some time off to spend with your family, regroup, recharge, enjoy the Fall for awhile! I think we’ll all understand. Thankfully, most of us are not douche-waffles!

  83. Carolyne Thrasher says:

    Thank you for letting us know what is going on. Your blog is one of my favorites and I have learned a great deal from you. I still can’t believe that you responded to a message I sent you on facebook and only in a matter of minutes! That tells me you have a very generous heart which is good but sometimes we have to guard our hearts a bit. You are wise to recognize that these attacks are draining you emotionally and that this is costing you emotional space you need for your family. I know you will make the right decision for yourself in this matter. Best wishes, hugs, and prayers to you.

  84. I so totally love this post. It shows you are human. And I love every single curse word and bit of reality in the post. Sometimes you just have to say Fuck It. Ive been there too many times myself. Positive thoughts from NE PA. keep rolling with the punches. :O)

  85. When I wrote a blog, I always found myself being way too cautious about ruffling other people’s feathers, even though it was not uncommon for me to write about politics (and if that isn’t a feather-ruffler, nothing is.) I think I quit writing it, not because anybody got upset, but because I found myself censoring my own opinions, on my own blog, out of fear of provoking a negative response. My readership compared to yours was the equivalent of a firefly next to the Enterprise’s warp core, but still I held so much in, from basic, stupid fear. I admire what you do, and the way you do it, enormously. I’m glad you are choosing, at least for now, to fire the photon torpedoes, rather than retreat behind the shields. What you say, both in words and the way you live your life, obviously speaks to and teaches so many people, myself included. I know you said you didn’t need a pep talk, and you are getting a ton of them anyway. I’m hoping you find encouragement somewhere in the flood of words, and praying peace will be your shield, so a calloused heart is not required.

  86. Screw those sad, pathetic people who say nasty things. I love your writing and look forward to reading your posts even though I get lots of emails everyday. I also love your recipes. I’d send off a bottle of nice red wine to you (to go with some of those great recipes calling for it) if I could, just to alleviate some of that ‘stuff’ you have to go through. I’ll do the next best thing; I’ll raise a toast to you with a nice Merlot (and to whatever recipe I’ll try of yours tonight.)
    Cheers,
    Diana

  87. Well…..your last line in the initial post reminded me of an old refrain from an obscure punk bank song-”rise above, rise above…..you gotta rise above”! There are sites that I used to post at that I don’t bother with anymore, as the hate/love that came my way was just to silly to understand. Can you get a filter that screens emails for the proverbial expletives deleted? And then delete? Isn’t it amazing that even if you’re waxing poetic on the vagaries of slugs attacking anything you’ve just planted, some ass-hat decides that is something they must, MUST abusively comment on, and drag into it enough cussing to make a porn star proud! Oh, and I do hope you will post the yummiest Douche Waffle recipe in your next post! Will there be Gooseberry syrup on the side? Perhaps you could start by suggesting that they need to also go snipe hunting for their ingredients, make sure that they only use 100% cotton pillow cases, as Snipe are a chary group to hunt. It’s better to laugh at your enemies than to hate-as Mel Brooks (Jewish) pretty much said when he made the Producers-he even wrote the classic song “Spring Time for Hitler (and Germany). Yeah, it ain’t easy, but ya gotta rise above, rise above!

  88. queen of string says:

    thanks for posting about this. I would suggest that, if you are having to at least skim read things before deleting, then your subconcious is absorbing what you’re are reading. The comments on you your blog/page are directed at you and are going to have a bigger effect on you than they would on say, me.

    I wonder if it would be worth either a) employing someone to spend 30 mins a day blocking and deleting the crap, leaving you only the appropriate content to wade through. or b) doing a trade with another blogger to do the same for each other.

    Reading crap directed at someone else is likely to do less psychological harm than constantly being subjected to crap directed at you. Reading things directed at you can eventually cause trauma. I am not sure that “toughing it out” is a psychologically healthy approach, long term.

    I really like your stuff, it is useful to me and your pages feel like an assembly of people with whom I have something in common. I also like that you happen to say fuck quite a lot. I believe we would get along :-)

    • My thoughts as well, have someone else read them & delete the haters. Having a buffer is healthy. Ine of my mentors gets plenty of hate mail but her staff protects her from most of it. You deserve to be happy and feel safe & appreciated serving your readers!

      I love your posts, you are gifted at what you do :)

  89. Some #@!?* poops in all our pools every now and then, some are bigger poops than others, and yes if the big ones get shared amongst all, you barely notice what’s left floating… Don’t lose the enjoyment :-) Northwest Tasmania

  90. Keith Fisher says:

    Something my mama used to tell me. Well… at least you’re cute as hell…there’s always that. Hang in there.

  91. Can you find a volunteer or hire someone to screen comments and email for you so you don’t ever have to deal with the negativity? Might be worth it. I know, why should you have to? And I agree. But if the reality is that you do, then I’d recommend just doing it.

  92. As many others wrote, what on earth does your blog have that can make people angry! You write about gardening, food, cooking, home and living an authentic life. These are your stories and your opinions, nothing else matters. No-one is forcing people to read it either. I don’t understand some people.

  93. Last year I was the victim of online bullying, via Facebook. It was a kind of surreal experience to go through that as an adult, and gave me a lot of insight into what kids are dealing with these days. (FYI, I’m scared for my kids.) Thankfully it lasted only a few weeks, but those were a pretty bad few weeks. And that made me think a lot about how integral the Internet, and social networking in particular, have become to our lives. It’s an uncomfortable truth. A few family members suggested I quit Facebook, but could I really? Could I give up the regular interaction with far-flung family and friends? Could I give up blogging? I don’t think I can. And I can totally relate to having earned my thick skin the hard way. :/

  94. So, while I’ve never commented before, I’m breaking my silence with a suggestion. Maybe find a volunteer who would like to filter your emails for you? Reading things like this, about someone else, isn’t nearly as difficult as it is about yourself. I, for one, would totally volunteer! I am in the PNW too, so it’s almost like we’re neighbors! That way, all the bile can be handled without you ever knowing anything about it.

    I really would LOVE to help with this, if you would like. Please feel free to email if you are interested.

  95. It always blows my mind when I’m on someone’s blog and I’m reading through comments and people make judgemental or snarky comments about the subject or the writing style. Even when they aren’t even necessarily vicious, but just judgemental, like “Has nobody ever complained about your article structure before?”, lady, it’s a blog about felting your wool. I don’t think anybody is here to learn world domination, so a relaxed writing style is OK, just be thankful that somebody decided to post information on the internet for you to lazily look up so that you didn’t have to drive your ass to the library and find an encyclopedia and look up felting in hardcover.
    Erica, people are weird, people are fucked up, people are amazing and people are loving, but the shit usually finds a place to stick to you and bum you out (no pun intended AT ALL), and you get to be exposed to all types by taking the time to put out information that most of us appreciate a lot. You don’t need to swallow it, venting can be a great way to process other people’s bullshit.
    I wish there was a way to delete a comment that sends them a message that says “Your comment has been deleted without being read in it’s entirety because the owner of the block or FB page thinks your a waste of their time…oh and your grammar and spelling suck…loser” (haha, good thing for spellcheck I almost posted this with grammar spelled as grammer, boy would that have been embarrassing)

  96. Trina Bernice says:

    You (and your blog) rock. I honestly look forward to reading it.
    And I’m happy you are “venting”, as my mom calls it. Vent, rant… get it out of your system, it’s good for you. Your real readers are happy to listen :)
    As for those f*kheads like that, I always think, “Well, it must really suck to be them. They spend all their time judging and complaining and spilling out hate– it must be really horrible inside them. I’m sure I am only seeing a small percentage of what they have; and the responses they must get day in and day out from everyone that hates dealing with them, well, it must just suck living like that”.
    I honestly think about that, how they are living their lives, and I feel some sympathy for them. Just a little– not too much. And then I brush them off and keep on keeping on with what brings me joy.
    People like that are like cancer– you have to cut them out of your life and move on– or they will just keep spreading turmoil.
    That’s my 2 cents, for what it’s worth LOL.
    You rock.

  97. Hey Erica,

    Do you have a handful of regulars who you trust and who check your blog soon after you post? Could you give them power to flag posts, and if enough of them flag inappropriate posts, it disappears off the page and lives somewhere else where you can choose or not choose to look at it? When a comment to you starts going sour, or when your peripheral vision notices too many exclamation points or all caps, are you able to just stop reading it? We all understand that you have to draw a line about how much negative energy you allow into your life. Which sounds really New Agey, but I am a Seattleite too, so you know what I mean.

    Your blog has been a huge inspiration to me for what is possible, how to juggle it all with kids and a “normal” suburban, working life, and how to develop interests and hobbies into a way of life and pass something fundamental onto the kids. My husband and I live in Berlin, Germany and recently bought a quarter acre lot on a former farm with the vision to live more sustainably, organic, and more like each of us were raised by our farm-raised parents. It would be a huge loss to the blogesphere to lose sites like yours which connect values, hands on “how to” tutorials, great ideas, photography, ethics and politics. It feels like you would be a great neighbor to invite over to dinner – I mean this in a totally non-creepy way – and I get the sense that that is the atmosphere you want to foster on your site. Sorry about the trolls. Some people are sad, lonely, and frustrated but there are only so many times that turning the other cheek works. Maybe there is a way we or others can help you keep the shields up.

  98. Thank you for some of the BEST new phrases!!! Douche waffle and the thing about shitting in the pool – hilarity. Your posts are AWESOME. Vent away. Everyone else can go FUCK themselves if they don’t like it.

  99. Love the F.I.N.E. But when I use the term it will probably be followed by one of MY favorites – I’m F.I.N.E. See You Next Tuesday!

    (For those haven’t had their morning coffee: First two words = their letter sound + the first letter of the last two words)

  100. Erica
    This is quite a tribe you have here. Count me in!
    This blog is epic! How many ways can we use the word “fuck”?

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