Your Favorite Blogs

When I typed in those very first words in 2012, I was unaware yet of the amazing world of blogging.  It wasn’t just being able to sit down and chronicle our journey; the blog opened up more than that.  I have two long time pen pals that I met through my blog that are as dear to me as any friend I see regularly.  I have learned from farmers all over this land.  I have given consolation and have been given support.  I have read the most wonderful literature.  I have followed people on their journeys around the world, have sat in homes in other places, and have been privy to the world inside via their blog.  Blogging has made me a better writer, more educated, and more connected.

I have noticed that most bloggers do not blog for very long.  I will follow a blog for awhile, commenting on each other’s articles, seeing the day to day in someone’s life, having a friendship of sorts, and then they stop writing.  For one reason or another, hundreds of blogs that I have read over the years have vanished from the blogosphere.

So my questions is to you, dear readers and friends, what are your favorite blogs to read?  What do you write if you are a blogger?  Let’s all get to know one another here and share each other’s writings and worlds and your own favorite blogs.

I love having a cup of coffee, and after writing my own blog post, be able to read inspiring, funny, and true pieces.

Blogs make the world smaller.  Sharing ideas and our lives with each other makes the world a more compassionate and comforting place and gives writers a platform.  I am looking forward to hearing about your favorites!

Pull Up a Chair and Introduce Yourself

Come in, come in, so glad to see y’all.  Better set awhile.

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You know a lot about me after all these years.  Blogs make the world just a little smaller.  They connect us in commonality and friendship.

If you read Farmgirl School every day, or maybe just coming back to it, peek in once in awhile, or are new ’round these parts, welcome.  I want to hear about you!

Introduce yourself in the comments.  Where you from?  What are your goals?  What brings you ’round this way?  Let’s make this world a little smaller!

I’ll put on another pot of coffee.  I can’t wait to hear from you!

Farmgirl School Turns Two

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Time does scurry along, doesn’t it?  My second anniversary starting this blog came and went this week.  This blog has become a seamless beginning to my morning, an outlet to the world and new friends, and a way to share our crazy farm happenings.

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But a blog is nothing if it doesn’t have readers and I am always so humbled and grateful that I have readers.  Thank you from the bottom of my spiral scribbling, chicken hoarding, pumpkin growing heart.  It is always fun to look at the stats this time of year and see what numbers Farmgirl School has obtained.  495 followers (up 200+ from last year), 51,552 hits to my blog (up over 30,000!) and the three most popular blog posts of the year were Ten Things to Know Before Moving to a Small town, How Much is it to Have a Farm Animal, and A Visit to an Amish Home. 

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This last year was particularly eventful and you were with us every second with support and cheers of encouragement.  You learned about our journey to our first farm, dreamed with me about our invisible homestead, cried with me when my farm girl in crime and dear friend, Nancy died.  Then when our goat and other animals died too.  You were there when Maryjane turned one, when Shyanne graduated, when my son, Andy, got married, when the interns came, through the planning and skill learning of getting ready for God to grant our greatest prayer of a homestead, and the day we learned we had found one to rent, you cheered us on and sent congratulations!

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The world got smaller as I started writing to a fellow blogger and met her last week for the first time.  I have met some of my readers at farmer’s markets.  I have found a whole new set of friends and family as the spance of time and space shortened, friends around the world and the country, all from writing.

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I am so happy when I learn that I have inspired people to move to the country, pursue their dreams, become herbalists, get chickens, or that I am brightening the days of those that just want to laugh at our antics and remain where they are at!

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All these things have been a great gift to me.  I read an interview with the author of “The Alchemist” who talked about finding one’s true calling in life.  One true passion.  Not becoming a mommy, or a job necessarily, but what your one true purpose is.  It is the one thing that you do not have to fight, or think about, that comes completely naturally, that is a part of your very being.  Mine is to write.  I am a writer.  Every thought process and happening in my life floats across the screen in my mind as a blog post or poem, as a letter, in words.  A writer can write but is much more fulfilled when there are readers.

Thank you for sharing our life with us.  For following in our adventures and for letting me pursue my one true purpose.

Breaking Writing Rules (and a poetry contest)

e.e. cummings changed the way I write. You are allowed to do that? I thought.  It was my first time seeing a rule breaking writer.  He wrote everything in lower case letters.  Being a bit of a rule breaker myself, I loved him instantly.

“let’s live suddenly without thinking…” e e cummings

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I started writing when I was nine years old as I described to you before (click here to read) and had steadily been taking in the knowledge of my teachers.  Paragraphs, spelling, diagraming sentences, proper pronouns and tense.  I spent my time at the park on the weekends feeding the squirrels and writing poetry.  I never had a tremendous amount of friends so I had plenty of time to write and dream and befriend the squirrels.  I was able to take the ABAC format of a poem and discard it.  Some poems all rhymed, some not at all.  Wisps of thoughts and dreams, and especially symbolism, which is my favorite literary tool, came to life on paper.  I used symbolism heavily in the poem I wrote for yesterday’s blog post.  A direct parallel.

Later in high school I learned I could get away with making up words and no one was the wiser.  Written just right, it appeared to be a proper word and the meaning was evident so it was overlooked.  Still today, in this blog you may find made up words that really ought to be real words.

Then college came later.  An English major with too much imagination doesn’t do as well as one would think.  You must wright like THIS.  No emotional connection to one’s writing.  No clichés.  No….I dropped out and became a writing, teaching herbalist.  After twenty years of writing, I didn’t need a professor to tell me that I was writing all wrong.

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There is no wrong way to write.  It is art.  A few people have told me they wish they could write a blog.  It is free.  Do it!  Writing helps to clarify our thoughts, helps us learn, helps us see things in new lights, helps us reach out to other people.  Not just squirrels.  Write about things you know.  That is one of the best pieces of advice I received from a teacher.  Mrs. Ling was ever patient with us freshmen.  We learned sign language and passed notes and talked in class the entire time.  But even with all the distractions, I learned a great deal on how to write successfully from her.

Don’t want to use capital letters?  Fine.  Don’t want to speak in proper tense, want to make up words, want to use clichés?  Fine.  Just write.  It is one of the freest activities for the mind and spirit one can find.

In honor of this, I invite you to write a poem in the comments.  We’ll call it a contest, but it is an expression.  And everyone is a winner.  I will create a basket of goodies from my farm as the prize for the one that speaks to me personally the most.  Write away!

Farmgirl Swap

Hi, my name is Katie and I am computer illiterate.  Ok, I can find my way around a computer but anything more than folders on the desktop, email, and Facebook and I turn it over to Doug who is a happily retired computer guy.  Just like overhead lighting, anything with a red or blinking light gets unplugged.  I dream of gadget free households, unplugged, off grid, by candlelight.  Doug looks at me in horror when I say things like that.  So, why on earth am I asking for a laptop and camera for our anniversary as well as a spinning wheel?  To blog.

Such a simple thing, to write stories and ideas and share memories and hopes for the future but once I started putting pen to paper…ahem…fingertips to keyboard (I do miss my old typewriter) I am enthralled, complete, and inspired.  Here in our little corner of the world I have friends, I love the people we surround ourselves with, I love our town.  In any time period before, this is all I would know.  I have been enlightened by farm girls (and guys) all over the country….nay, world through this blog.  Farmgirls choosing what chickens to get this year, what to plant this year, how to afford land of their own, how to raise children, what to can this year.  I have kindred spirits in other states, secretly holding each other up, cheering each other on, laughing at jokes, and sharing recipes and experiences that have thus far only been found in library books.  Real people, real friends stretched out across the globe, together.  This blog has helped the world get very small for me and comforting.

I am so thankful for all the other bloggers out there, as well as for the friends that see me nearly every day that still read my blog and comment.  You have no idea how much that means to me.  I have been inspired to go back and finish what I started, a writing degree.  Grandma is going back to college!  Luckily Metro State has lots of late thirties students….I think.  I dream of teaching writing and literature part time at a community college, getting a book deal, supporting a homestead which we both want so much.  All because of a blog.

The laptop is so that I can write outdoors when the weather warms up.  I don’t like being cooped up!  The camera is so I can stop stealing Doug’s ITouch to take pictures.  But, then that is all, no more gadgets!  I just need enough to connect.

Now, you are probably wondering where the farmgirl swap comes in.  I was reading  http://simplyhomesteading.wordpress.com and Eileen was making aprons. We are like two farmgirls split at birth, I swear, we write about nearly all the same things.  Except for the butchering stuff, I have never had a deer on my dining room table and if there were, we probably would be petting it and wondering where to keep our new pet.  But, she is a homesteading girl of humorous words, and a similar life and ambition and I just adore her.  I suggested we make each other aprons.  An apron swap.  This is what we came up with.  I made her the one with the rooster on it.  I was so pleased with it, I am going to make some more to sell at the farmer’s market.  And she made me this sassy Mennonite number.  I love it.  And through the world wide web, two farm girls connected and now have lovely aprons to get us through our chores!

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