;

May! And a Question for You

May
2


My porch steps could use a good power-washing. Not sure that will do a thing to clean off the chickens, though.


It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

There’s a Christmas song like that. I think that song is wrong. The most wonderful time of the year is May! Beautiful weather. Green bursting forth everywhere. Wildflowers springing up along the banks. Sun shining. Birds singing. Seeds going into the ground in an annual rite of faith that Nature will provide for us if only we will believe.

May also marks the one year anniversary of the launch of Farm Bell Recipes. I’m very excited about that (giveaways! go see!). Farm Bell Recipes is my baby, just like Chickens in the Road is my halfway grown up baby. CITR is three and a half years old this month. Where has the time gone? Sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I hadn’t started CITR. Only…. I can’t imagine.

Recently, a thread sprang up on the Chickens in the Road forum called Things I’ve Learned from CITR. Here’s JeannieB’s list:

Baking Grandmother bread-thanks to Suzanne

Making laundry soap-thanks to GeorgiaZ

Making bath powder-thanks to Rose-UK

Using baking soda as shampoo-thanks to Pete

More canning and buying all associated stuff-thanks to DeeDee, CindyP and Suzanne and many others

Container gardening-thanks to so many to list

Soap-thanks to CindyP and Suzanne, finally got the nerve to face lye

Making Vanilla flavoring-thanks Suzanne

What I want to do:

more dehydrating and learning to use my embroidery machine

You know what is the most beautiful thing about this list? SHE DIDN’T LEARN ALL THAT STUFF FROM ME. And in fact, I have learned many things from all of you–and been inspired to learn more and adventure more because it’s such a joy to share it all with you. I’m inspired, every day, by all of you. Thank you so much for being here. The community here is awesome.

On a related note, as this (and any) website grows, there are mostly good but sometimes a few negative side effects. One concern has been noted repeatedly in the past few months, and I want to open it up for discussion here. This is your community. I’m very open with my comments section. There are some big websites where every single even slightly negative comment is deleted. I rarely delete a comment. I delete comments if they attack another commenter or if the commenter has proven a regular, longstanding pattern of attacking me. (I generally allow people to attack me a number of times, LOL, before deciding that attacking me is all they are here for.) But recently, along with some commenters who apparently read regularly but still want to know if I care about my animals, there has been a rise in what I call “drop-in attackers” who leave first-time comments like this one on my Stirred-Curd Cheddar post:

a tuff life.. spending the day blogging and making cheese
sue p

Dear sue p, you left out the part where I eat bon bons on the couch the rest of the time!

A few days ago, a first-time commenter named “dink” left this comment: “Tuff life eating out.” That was on my post about seafood in South Carolina. Maybe that was dink’s first visit and he/she doesn’t realize that I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve eaten at a restaurant (including fast food restaurants) in the entire past year and that I make all of our food from scratch every single day, all the way down to growing it, canning it, and milking a cow, and that I wash loads of dishes two and sometimes three times a day. (NOT complaining! I love my life and I am so lucky, and double-lucky that I could take my kids on that trip, a trip I saved for and paid for myself and the first real vacation we’ve taken in six years.) Both dink and sue can’t spell tough and they both seem concerned with my laziness, so maybe they are even the same person!

Anyway, I left sue p’s comment, in line with my usual stance on negative commenters, but I deleted dink’s, which is out of the norm for me. After all, that was dink’s first time slamming on me. Doesn’t dink deserve another chance? I think I just felt a little worn out on rude comments, and I realized that is what some of you have been expressing, too. (And dink’s and sue p’s comments weren’t even THAT rude, just sort of snide. As many of you who read the comments section know, there have been much more insulting comments than that in recent months. If you haven’t seen those, go here for a taste.)

By the way, I also leave every negative comment on my recipes (of which there aren’t that many), except in special circumstances where I feel the commenter is not being truthful about their experience with the recipe. For example, I deleted a comment on my very popular Homemade Hamburger Helper post last week. The commenter stated that they had tried the recipe three times and every time it was so bad that even their dog wouldn’t eat it. I made the judgment call that if they thought the recipe was so bad after the first time that even their dog wouldn’t eat it, they wouldn’t have made it TWO MORE TIMES. (I mean, seriously….. I had to laugh at that one. And then I deleted it because it just brought nothing useful to the conversation about the recipe.)

Not all negative comments are funny, though, and while I like to think I have a thick skin, I am beginning to find some of the negative comments to be in conflict with the purpose of this website. The purpose of this website is to inspire, entertain, inform, and encourage. Some people don’t like me. That’s okay, though not specifically relevant to the purpose of this website, which begs the question–to what extent do I have a duty to protect the environment and prevent those people from causing a disruption for others? There are some websites that thrive on conflict in the comments. Readers go to those websites looking for that, and expecting that. I don’t believe that this website is one of them. I believe people come here looking for a soft place to land.

And yet you hear quite a bit of criticism of websites that moderate out every single negative comment. It’s assumed that those negative comments are weeded out to protect the writer of the site. There’s another reason to do it, though, and that’s to protect the community. I had to question myself as to whether I was “wearing” my negative comments like a badge of honor when in reality they are a detriment to the community. Am I trying to prove something by leaving those comments there? Look at me, I don’t delete negative comments! Is that something to be proud of? Or is it actually a little selfish? If I start regularly deleting negative comments, I will be criticized as one of those websites that only allows sunshiny comments. (Apparently many people already assume that as so many negative comments start with: “I know this comment will be deleted….” Of course, I don’t delete them, so that opening zinger always looks a little silly.)

I also realize that I’m starting to moderate myself more than I like. This blog is a story about a farm. Most of it is wonderful. Sometimes it’s not. This is a real farm and these are real farm animals. A few days ago, Carmen at Old House Kitchen left this comment: “Cute little one! Congrats! Our goat finally kidded. She had three but two (boys) died. We have a precious little doe named Pixie. She’s [a] little ball of fluffy wuffy-ness.”

And I felt very guilty because when I wrote the post about Clover’s new baby, while I never said she only had one baby, I never said that she had two, either–but she did. The second one died shortly after it was born. To leave that out is not fair to the readers here who experience these same types of losses and it may create an atmosphere in which people wonder why they can’t have a “perfect” farm like mine where every animal is born whole and healthy. I left it out because I was tired of being insulted about my care for my animals. I don’t want to censor my stories–and I’m starting to do that because of the comments some stories may elicit and the disruption those comments create. Still, censoring difficult stories feels wrong to me, and I’m going to make a promise to myself and to you today that I’m not going to do that anymore. And that’s going to mean more negative comments.

Whether it has been at times altruistic and at other times selfish for me to have let negative comments stand in the past (and it’s probably a little of both), I don’t want to make the decision as to how to handle them going forward by myself. I want to include you.

And so I’m bringing this question openly, publicly, to those of you who are regulars here, those of you who read the comments section and want to enjoy the comments section–because these comments don’t just affect me, they affect you. How do you want me to handle snide, negative, or outright attack comments? Would you prefer that I continue to keep the comments section very open, only deleting a small number of comments based on the standards outlined above, or do you find negative comments so disruptive to your experience here that you wish I would use the delete key with greater abandon?

This is a difficult issue that presents an ongoing struggle for me. I want to hear from you! Please let me know what you think.

NOTE: See an update to this post here. Thank you for your suggestions and your support!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on May 2, 2011  

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234 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 5-2
    1:44
    am

    Suzanne, I come here because I love your writing style, your love for your life and your family, and your openness regarding life on a farm. I found this blog through my search for mobile butchers because I decided I needed to learn the ins-and-outs of farm life if I was ever going to have one of my own.

    The community you’ve built up in such a short time is made up of [almost] all wonderful, caring, compassionate and POLITE people who really love participating in the forum you’ve built and this website. I can think of a few sites where every negative comment is deleted (I know that you know one in particular!) and reading the sycophantic praise gets so old.

    But this site isn’t one of those. The people here talk to one another with respect and they use their manners. I’ve learned countless things here, and I understand the dilemma you’re facing as your site grows. It’s my opinion that you should continue to do what you’re doing, deleting comments that attack/harass you or use personal flames. Or like the one who repeatedly commented on the recipe. This is ultimately YOUR site that YOU built.

    I really like the way you’re doing things. And it doesn’t matter if you were to eat out every single night and post about it (I know you don’t) it’s still your blog and your voice. You’re doing a great job, keep it up!

    And I’m very sorry to hear about the baby, poor thing. I understand why you left it out considering recent goat posts, but for the sake of real farm living, I would have liked to hear about it even if it made me sad. I think you know that many people who’ve been reading you for these few years have really grown to care about you, the kids and your animals (as often happens when you post details of your life online). So when you’re in pain, a lot of us share in that and want to tell you that we’re supportive, or at least commiserate so you don’t feel alone in whatever it is.

    That’s my $0.02. Sorry for rambling, but I think you should know that I, as one of your readers, wouldn’t be here if I didn’t like this site or what you present here(hint to snarky drive-by commenters).

  2. 5-2
    1:54
    am

    Lindsay expressed my own feelings so well I don’t know what I could add. I’m always sorry when I read a rude comment on your blog, but by including some you are showing your own generous tolerance. When I see a comment like that I assume the writer either just wants to stir up trouble or is someone who likes to strike from the shadows, secure in the belief that no one knows who he/she is.

  3. 5-2
    1:58
    am

    I don’t see that leaving really rude comments serves much of a purpose. I read here to be inspired in my efforts at self-sufficiency; although I don’t have a farm or animals, I can learn things from you. If a negative post has a real purpose, such as a recipe that didn’t turn out or something, then there is a reason to leave it. If the rudeness is someone just being rude for the sake of being rude, delete it. This is your blog, you have that right. But for the readers, too much negativity can affect the experience of reading the blog, and make it unpleasant. I think that even people who have a criticism can be held to a politeness requirement, and that will benefit both you and the readers.

  4. 5-2
    2:00
    am

    I come here because I like YOUR writing and YOUR photography. I rarely read the comments; for that matter I haven’t written all that many. But I say write what YOU want, do what you want with the comments, and I will keep coming to enjoy CITR.

    P.S. I’m really sorry about the snarky comments you DO get. Just delete them; those kind of people are rarely open to another point of view, so your response or responses from other commentors aren’t going to change their mind — so what positive effect can they have?

  5. 5-2
    2:11
    am

    You are living the life I dream of living, but for many reasons cannot. I don’t understand why someone would visit your site and then post bad comments. If someone doesn’t like your blog they have the ability to leave – no one forces them to come and read. Sigh.
    I love your photography and your daily stories. Thanks for sharing your life with us, your readers.

  6. 5-2
    2:15
    am

    Suzanne, I basically trust you to moderate comments in a way that is truthful. If you feel negative comments are a detriment to the positive nature of the site, than I trust you to delete them for that reason rather than to make yourself look good! I sincerely enjoy every post that you publish so please keep up the great work!

  7. 5-2
    2:55
    am

    Suzanne, I think that, if a commentor is disagreeing with you, and their statement of disagreement shows that they’ve read your entire post for that day, then you might want to leave it in, as long as it isn’t profane.

    But these silly, short, “Tuff life” ones? Whoever is writing those (and “Tuff life” two days in a row makes me think it’s the same person with different emails) isn’t following your blog. They’re not even reading the whole posting. They’re just reading a sentence or two and writing something negative because they’re miserable people who just want to make someone else hurt. They probably hit 25 blogs a day…just to spread misery.

    That said, it’s YOUR blog. Do what you want! (But I strongly urge you to keep the animal photos coming!)

  8. 5-2
    3:00
    am

    I agree with most of the others. Delete the rude trolls and let the constructive criticism stand. It’s one thing to have a difference of opinion and another thing to just spout hate or rudeness.

    We’re all supposed to be adults and as such can either conduct ourselves in social acceptable ways or face the delete button. In other words, we can disagree without being disagreeable.

    There are “trolls” out there that do nothing but go to blogs to start trouble and contention – much like the people whom invent viral programs to destroy computers. It’s done out of hatred and to destroy, to get attention drawn to themselves, not to better anyone or anything. And just like we all run an anti-virus program (or at least SHOULD) to keep our computers safe, you should use the delete button on the trolls. They have no “rights” – they gave those up when they lashed out at you – and the rest of us, trying to take away our happiness or joy in reading your blog and yours in writing it.

    Just my .02 worth

  9. 5-2
    3:35
    am

    Suzanne, I use my computer for three things. I read your website everyday (love the recipes but it’s the stories that ultimately keep me coming back). I also play Warcraft, and read a game-related blog. I love baking bread and playing silly computer games, what can I say? The latter though has taught me an important rule: Don’t Feed The Trolls.

    Delete their posts. Some troll posts are as obvious as a pink elephant standing in a goat yard. Others fall into a grey area. Ultimately whether or not a post is delete worthy is your decision.

    Ban the account. I am not certain of the specifics of your service, but every message board service I have ever used has a feature allowing you to permanently ban specific accounts. For persistent trolls, this is an unfortunate but necessary step.

    Ban the IP address. For really, really persistent trolls that make new account after new account to continue leaving stinky piles of nastiness that you can’t throw on the compost pile, this is the ultimate extermination method. It will ban anyone using that specific IP address from creating a new account and leaving steaming piles for you clean up.

    Last but not least, if your site gets too large for you to handle the moderation on your own, I am completely certain you have enough volunteers that you trust around to help out. The wonderful people of the CITR community will stand behind you, don’t doubt that for a second.

    I hope this helps.

    *hugs*

    Sarah aka Sheya – Uldum server

  10. 5-2
    3:52
    am

    Vote to delete negative posts. They come across as destructive judgements instead of constructive concern.
    Love your blog, look forward to it daily, thank you!

  11. 5-2
    3:53
    am

    Lindsay pretty much captured anything I have to say. I am so sorry about the 2nd kid. It must have been awfully hard to leave right after that happened. Thank you for including us in your decision making.

  12. 5-2
    4:44
    am

    Wow — that is a tough question. I enjoy coming to your blog because I enjoy your writing, your sense of humor and your animals. I admire you for putting yourself out there every day — something I choose not to do. I grew up on a farm and despite our best efforts, stuff happens and that is the way it is.
    Sorry about Clover’s baby too, though I understand why you didn’t mention it — I bottle raised a baby goat many years ago when the nanny dropped over 3 days after kidding for no apparent reason. Stuff happens. I enjoyed your trip and I know how much you enjoyed the company of your children.
    I agree with the way you are handling things now.

  13. 5-2
    5:26
    am

    I came for the bread and stayed for everything else! Everything else means EVERYTHING else. You have so much to share with us and give us the opportunity to share what we’ve learned with everyone else. It takes a lot of work and love to keep CITR (and everything under it) going.

    After the recent attacks on you (that have just gotten worse and worse the last few months), I can understand why you just couldn’t deal with writing about the poor baby. You grieve already, the snide people who don’t read the entire story, just make you grieve even worse.

    I know you’re not the type of person that needs to be told “You’re great” every day and that’s NOT why you work so hard every day to make CITR what it is. AND I also know farm life isn’t a golden place or more people would be doing it.

    Write what you want…if you’re sad because a baby died, you should be able to write about it. Let us be sad with you. For those that think you’re dumb and retarded because a baby died, they don’t need to be included. They evidently have not read anything other post you’ve written that clearly shows the love you have for your family and your animals.

    Delete what you want. There are trolls that live only to be trolls. Constructive criticism is one thing…destructive troll behavior is another. They don’t need to be included.

    THANK YOU, SUZANNE! :heart:

  14. 5-2
    5:51
    am

    I enjoy all of your posts and while I rarely comment I want you to know that I start each day reading about how you live your life. I love reading all of it, the fun and the sorrow of farm life. THANK YOU.

  15. 5-2
    6:03
    am

    I never really understood negative comments on blogs. If you don’t like it just click away! Spreading negativity brings us all down. I think you should delete gratuitously nasty comments and criticism. I’m not reading this blog to critique you and your farm. You are sharing your experiences as you choose, and we can read them as we choose or not. Personally I want to hear the realities of farming. We had our first kidding season this year and one week later our one doeling accidently hung herself on a hay manger. It was tragic and very sad and I actually thought about you and your farm losses and the horrible things people have said about them. If I had to hear that kind of stuff I would have closed up shop a long time ago! Thanks for all you do.

  16. 5-2
    6:46
    am

    :happyflower: I’ve come to the conclusion that some people are just mean!! I come here to be inspired and learn.(AND I HAVE!!) KNOWONE is perfect. Your blog is the real deal.Please dont leave parts of stories out. Farm life is good and sad. And if someone wants to be mean or negative I say delete!! I say if you have anything negative to say in anyway keep it to yourself and dont read.lol Go away mean people..lol Thank you for a great job Suzanna and friends!!
    Granny Trace
    http://www.grannytracescrapsandsquares.com

  17. 5-2
    6:47
    am

    ooops sorry Suzanne!

  18. 5-2
    6:47
    am

    If you are trying to share with your readers the truth of country life, you can’t be editing your experiences down to just the nice, happy things. Anyone who lives in the country knows that would be a fantasy.

    If you are trying to just give your readers a nice fifteen minutes every morning, then maybe it’s ok to edit out the bad things. But in my opinion that would not be sharing “ordinary splendor.” It would be “edited splendor.”

    Same with the comments. People who say usefully constructive things should be part of the conversation, even if it’s not always glowing praise. That’s how life is. Comments that are outright rude with no other purpose, they get tossed out with the poop.

  19. 5-2
    6:48
    am

    You have a right to protect your space. I remember what happened to that mean raccoon who got the little banty hen, and I wish you could do that to the trolls too. Deleting nasty comments is certainly within your rights to protect your–our–home. Many of this live in our dreams on your farm, Suzanne!

  20. 5-2
    6:51
    am

    I agree with Jan; if the comment has any merit, leave it. But for comments left by people who can’t spell “tough”, delete them. It’s sad that some folks’ sole mission in life is to be mean.

  21. 5-2
    6:52
    am

    I totally agree with what everyone above has said. This is YOUR blog and if you feel you have to delete a comment, do it.
    There’s so much negativity in the world today that it is a breath of fresh air to come here every day and read positive things. Too bad some people have to always dwell on the negative. Delete them!
    And please don’t feel as though you have to report every little thing that goes on in a day. Some things, like the death of the baby goat, are private matters and the world doesn’t have to know every little detail.
    My husband and I just love your blog. We come here the first thing in the morning to see what you and the animals have been up to. Keep up the good work!
    Just my opinion…

  22. 5-2
    6:53
    am

    Others have said it much better than I could.

    I never miss a day visiting your farm.

    What I don’t like is when a blog or forum becomes a fight zone with commments back and forth….I leave permanently when that happens. I leave the judgment entirely up to you when to delete negative comments. If they are constructive negative comments or they disagree with how you do something….a few of those seem normal to me.

    Personally, I would also tell about some of the very bad things that happen on the farm. As you can tell, a great many readers are hoping to live on a farm with animals as we both do. I share some very real and unpleasant things on my Blog/Journal. I want them to understand that is isn’t all pretty and we have to learn to deal with it.

    You keep on doing what you do and don’t monitor yourself too closely. You can’t please all of the people all of the time!

  23. 5-2
    6:55
    am

    I say, use your own good judgement. If the comment is something you feel is worthy to address and they whole community can be better for it, it might be worth keeping. If the comment contributes nothing but negativity, delete it.

    Some people feel that tearing others down builds themselves up. Or they have agendas. Most of us read CITR to connect, feel good, learn, and live vicariously off of your learning to become a self-sufficient farmer.

    In the end, it should be your call answering the question, “How does this comment contribute to the good of the whole in CITR?” If the comment is toxic, dispose of it properly!

  24. 5-2
    7:05
    am

    I’ve been a daily visitor to your site for over 2 years now and darlin’ you’ve been doing a great job! I guess you can compare monitoring the site as similar to walking through the fields around your house in the spring: the variety of people on the site are like the different types of flowers and animals. There’s beauty everywhere. Sometimes, however, you step into a pile of something that downright stinks! You just have to wipe it off your boots and keep on going!

  25. 5-2
    7:14
    am

    As others have said, I come here because I love your writing and your photography and I enjoy the sense of community. I remember the recent “tuff life…blogging and making cheese” comment. It felt like someone had given me an unexpected sharp poke. I was left with my mouth hanging open thinking surely that isn’t how that comment was meant to come across. And then I had to conclude that was exactly how it was meant. I can only imagine how it must have felt to have been personally on the receiving end instead of just a bystander.

    Count me in with those who agree you should delete the comments of obvious trolls. I would prefer not to think that every post expressing a negative opinion will be deleted, however. There is integrity in allowing people to express rational and reasonably presented points of view, even if they are negative or different from your own. There is none in allowing people to use you as a doormat. For any particular post, it may not be so easy to decide on which side of the line it falls. Given both the difficulty in determining where to draw the line and that the attacks/insults are against you personally and not me, I think ultimately it is your decision to make in how to handle rude posts. I have offered my opinion because you asked, but I will not criticize whatever decision you make.

    On the subject of self-censoring bad news, I would rather hear about the losses. I don’t need to know every graphic detail, but I don’t think it is healthy to go through life trying to pretend that only good things happen – or for that matter that bad things only happen to people who deserve it (which seems to be what the trolls choose to believe). I also look at it from an educational standpoint. You have a lot of readers who live or have lived on farms and they know what it is like. They know without being told that there will be losses and setbacks. Clearly you also have a lot of people who don’t live on a farm but dream of doing so. I get the impression that at least some of those don’t know what farm life is really like. I truly believe that if they reach their goal, their chances of happiness will be greater if they start with a realistic picture of farm living. That being said, I also understand why you have chosen not to share some stories. It must be very painful to be attacked unfairly by total strangers – repeatedly, in fact.

    Whatever you decide, please know that many people appreciate how much you give.

  26. 5-2
    7:19
    am

    I just want to say “Keep up the good work”.

  27. 5-2
    7:32
    am

    My response to negative comments is: “Thanks, I will take that as a compliment”. If the negative comments is the the only thing they can leave they must be miserable….Let it roll off your and ours back…We know they whole story….Keep up the good work.. :pawprint: :pawprint:

  28. 5-2
    7:33
    am

    I agree with the others. I come here to enjoy what you have to wright about. And that I have learned so much from you and the others who post in the form as well. I wish I had more time to spend here. I do not have a farm. But anyone who has animals, who lives in the reality of life knows that sometimes bad things happen on a farm. Babies die for one reson or another. Not from neglect but that is how nature hadles things. Its just life. Post the good and the bad if you like. No matter i love hearing about your life. Its not fancy or easy but its very real. Keep it real.
    If people feel the need to post negitave comments then they are only trolling and most likely do that on other sites as well. Just bann them and forget about them. I dont think anyone seems to worry about it anyways. I know i dont. I just pass over them.

  29. 5-2
    7:37
    am

    truthfully, I never read comments. I think there are lots of people out there who enjoy trying to stir up poop and/or be insulting just because they can. This blog is yours and the beauty of it being yours it that you can delete what you want. I really enjoy this site and look at it almost daily. Having a farm myself with dairy goats/chickens/dairy cow and veggie garden, it is nice to know that you are in the same boat. (you should add hogs, we have three and they are a hoot and taste good at the end of the year!)

  30. 5-2
    7:44
    am

    Suzanne, I really feel that “a day without Chickens in the Road is like a day without sunshine”. I read your blog every morning and love every word, picture and video. I grew up on a farm, so reading about your adventures brings back good memories of those days when I was young.

    I don’t think you are obligated to those people who live in the negative and wish everyone else to be there with them. Let them go, is how I feel. Don’t give them a way to spread negative words and feelings. I wish I could be your real neighbor, except I wouldn’t like that long road I’d have to travel back and forth. Keep giving us the great stories and you have my permission, if needed, to delete comments that have no purpose but to hurt you and bring attention to the writer.

  31. 5-2
    7:50
    am

    Suzanne you should never feel like you have to censor yourself. Yhis is your blog and you should write about whatever happens. It’s reality. Please don’t let negative posters make you stifle yourself. If they bother you just delete them.

  32. 5-2
    7:50
    am

    Suzanne – I don’t usually read the comments, I come here to read you! I am grateful for the openness you have taken on to share your life with us, and letting us know the good and not-so-good of farm life. It helped me tremendously when one of my animals inexplicably died. I think most of your readers, it sounds like, feel that way. I agree with Johanna (#18) and Urbanite (#25) and others as far as the comments go. Some disagreement, I think, should be polite enough to leave in. But certainly, I don’t think many people come here for conflict. Either way, I’m still going to come here to read about your life. Just read, not make judgments. Thank you for being so willing to let us in!

  33. 5-2
    7:55
    am

    I love your website, true, tough, funny, sad, etc. The rudeness that some people portray, they are Rude! Negative comments happen in life too. You are growing and having growing pains. Keep up the excellent writing about all the wonderful things, and some not so wonderful!

  34. 5-2
    7:59
    am

    I once included an excerpt about the last days of our baby’s life; the excerpt included the morphine/suctioning marathon critical for his comfort. Anyone who had been reading the blog knew the circumstances (spinal muscular atrophy, a progressive neuromuscular disease), but one reader apparently had not visited before. I thought his purpose for commenting was solely to stir up trouble, so I deleted his accusation that I had killed our baby with morphine. I wrote a very brief private note to him, intending to write again and explain more, but I never found the time to do it justice. As just thinking about it kept me revved up, I eventually just deleted it from my must-do list.

    SO… if it bothers you to have a negative comment, delete it; however, you have WAY more important (and fun!) things to do than worry about negative comments unless you get substantial feedback from your ‘infinity’ loyal fans that it’s affecting the tone of the community. I think most of those who keep up with others’ comments would simply consider the source and move on.

    By the way, I really enjoyed the pictures of your recent trip to Charleston, mostly because we were there just days before… and we get to go back for our daughter’s wedding in June!

    Actually, you’ve never written posts or posted pictures I haven’t really enjoyed, and I feel confident I can speak for the masses :)

    ‘Lucy’

  35. 5-2
    8:03
    am

    I think you should include the bad with the good. Reading rude comments of some makes the rest of us rally around to defend you and your lifestyle and builds a better sense of community. There are good and bad people in the world and good and bad things happen. I wouldn’t want to read about a perfect farm because I would wonder what I’m doing wrong! Nobody is perfect. We love you warts and all :lol:

  36. 5-2
    8:20
    am

    I agree with the above posters. The site is yours to do with as you please. CITR is the start of my day as much as my coffee – the days I have missed being here just are not complete. Being able to go back on line after a long illness/hospitalization was the start of my return to “normal”. Reading about your life and the comments of readers gave me a sense of wellbeing. I say delete and/or bann the comments of discontents out to stir up animosity. We love you Suzanne.

    Euni

  37. 5-2
    8:29
    am

    I start my day with you. As you said, I’m looking for a soft place to land. I say delete what you feel like deleting and leave what you feel like leaving. Your tolerance will probably increase and decrease depending on what else is going on in your life. No need to worry about whether you’re being consistent or not. We don’t come for the comments.

  38. 5-2
    8:34
    am

    Some people live to create havoc. Personally, I’ve learned so much from your website that it brings out the “Mama Bear” attitude in me when I see the negativity, and I’m ready to pull out the pitchforks and torches, lol. The thing is, this website is about YOUR LIFE. There are things in life that are not pretty, as in the death of one of Clover’s new babies. But, this website is a community. We rally around and support you through the good and the bad. Please don’t water down your posts…although our troubles are all different, I think it helps us all relate…and as for the jerks who post the negative? That’s why the delete button was invented. Constructive criticism is one thing, but hatred breeds and I’d hate to see my favorite website become a place of contention and arguing. I have too much left to learn from this great community to have it tainted by jerks. Keep up the good work, Suzanne.

  39. 5-2
    8:34
    am

    I read the comments on your posts on a pretty regular basis. Most of the negative comments I have seen on here were of the non-constructive variety, which is a shame. I think that some negative comments are fairly harmless, and while they don’t contribute to the conversation, they don’t detract either. However, there are sometimes comments that are purely destructive. The destructive comments are those that are purely insulting, do not offer a suggestion for improvement (in the case of recipes), and often distract from the post in such a way the the rest of the comments are in response to it, and not the subject of the post. Those, in my opinion, are best deleted. They only create negative drama for you to deal with, and they are taking away from the value of the site by not allowing the reader to focus on the post and the discussion stemming directly from it.

    Those are my thoughts. I love your blog, and I respect that you want to absolutely maintain the integrity of it. I think the most important thing to me is that you don’t censor yourself! We all love this site for the honesty of it, not simply for portraying an idyllic farm life.

    Thank you again for this wonderful blog, I have turned many people to it!

  40. 5-2
    8:44
    am

    Dear Suzanne,

    You can’t please everyone all the time Darlin. No matter how well you moderate posts or try to put a rosey spin on a sad subject, someone somewhere will find fault with it. Stay true to you and your thoughts and ideals. If you don’t want to edit out or moderate your posts, then don’t! We will share you sorrows and celebrate your joys with you.

    As for the deleting of negative posts…constructive critisim is one thing, and down right nastiness is another. If you feel that a negative post has nothing to offer the community then you should do as you see fit.

  41. 5-2
    8:45
    am

    Suzanne,
    My wife and I read your blog almost daily. I’ve posted once or twice, but I thought you should know that I like the way you write, and I like when you share the real stories of life and death on a farm (and vacation and eating seafood too). My wife and I have a farm with cows and horses and a couple of goats, so we know your struggles, and we know what it feels like to have an animal die. We both have to work full time to support our farm and feed everyone. So we think you’re awesome. Unfortunately when you choose to share your life openly like you do everyday, there are those who are going to criticize. I wouldn’t let them get to you, and I wouldn’t delete them. I would pray for them. That’s what I do when I read them, because I feel sorry for anyone that hasn’t experienced life on a farm, and for someone who would try to make someone else feel badly that is living her dream and sharing it with all of us. I would venture to say that there are a lot more people like me that understand what you’re going through and support you than there are “dinks” in this world. So keep sharing, and I look forward to hearing all of your stories. Sometimes we celebrate with you and sometimes we mourn with you, but that’s life. And you are part of our life.

  42. 5-2
    8:46
    am

    Whatever happened to “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”? I am getting really tired of the people out there that foist their crud onto everyone else. Life is tough. We should support one another.(We can point out bad behavior–to correct it when we see it, but Suzanne—you know that’s not you!)
    You are doing a terrific job raising your children, caring for your animals, and running your farm. This site makes me laugh, and learn—-I check in each day with my morning coffee.
    This is your site, you should feel comfortable writing about your life.Delete the trolls, they have nothing to add.

  43. 5-2
    8:48
    am

    Suzanne, I visit with you every single morning and sometimes two or three times during the day just in case I miss something. I love this blog…I come here for many things and I am never disppointed. My husband’s all time favortie dish…Sour Cream Enchiladas…and just Easter Sunday I made Georgia’s Italian Cream Cake and it was to die for, truly!
    I love all your animals, I love your children and all the great things you share with me about them. I have laughed so hard that my husband thought I had lost my mind and I have cried like a baby when your Mama passed and when Ross left for the Navy.
    Two great truths in life, among many….
    1. Farm life, like any life, isn’t always sweetness and joy. It has tragedies and pain and sickness and death. You promised us you would always warn us of unhappy posts and you have kept your promise so I can come here unafraid of seeing something disturbing.
    I trust you.
    2. There are a lot of small people in this world who resemble, more than anything, the south side of Jack when he is walking northbound.
    If they post a negative comment and it’s relevant, post it. If they post a mean spirited or just-nasty-for-the-sake-of-nasty comment, delete it.
    You are a smart girl…you know what’s post-worthy and what isn’t. I trust you on this.
    In the meantime, keep on doing what you do. I will keep coming back daily, and more often, because I love this place. And, as you must know, I am not the only one.

  44. 5-2
    8:51
    am

    Some people make it their life’s goal to make others as miserable as they are. If they don’t like your site and what you post they have the choice to not visit. Honestly, why do they, if they don’t like what they read?
    You have stated before that this is your “Happy Place”, you should do what makes you happy. Afterall, this is “YOUR” happy place, we just happen to choose to enjoy it with you.
    If a comment bothers you, delete it. If it really gets under your skin, call the commenter out, post it. The rest of us will be there to defend you.
    Unfortunately, any of us who live on a farm know that everyday is not all sunshine and roses. If you want to post the bad things that happen, it’s your choice. It is your “Happy Place”, do what makes you happy!

  45. 5-2
    8:52
    am

    Suzanne…
    This is YOUR blog and you have the right to delete whatever comments you choose.

    You can’t please everyone. And like has been said before, there is an entire community of people who do nothing but bully other people. They kill forums, don’t they?

    I notice many bloggers are not allowing comments to be posted until they have been approved. I don’t see anything wrong with this. As for myself, it wastes my time to read abusive comments, especially where there are large numbers of otherwise interesting comments, many of which add something worthwhile to the topic.

  46. 5-2
    8:53
    am

    Suzanne, I come here to read and learn from your experiences and very rarely read the comments section – little time on the computer makes that impossible for me.

    I think most people come here to read your wonderful, heartfelt, and sometimes humorous stories. I guess what I’m trying to say is I think you should do what YOU feel is right for YOU about the comments but please don’t change the way your write to try to avoid offending some people because I think there will always be someone out there that will find something wrong with everything.

    Unfortunately there are people in the world that seem to live for being negative and hurtful to others. Those people surely must be miserable themselves and try to bring others down with them.

    Please don’t change a thing about how you write – I for one enjoy the good, bad, and ugly about farm life.

    Hugs,
    Connie

  47. 5-2
    8:53
    am

    My thought is that this is your atmosphere, it should reflect you. In my blogging of our farm life, I occasionally leave out the nitty gritty, but in all honestly, I choose to ignore those small negatives in my daily life. I don’t want them to rise up and discourage me or taint my view on life. I choose to view life on the rosy side all of the time, as my personal preference as an individual. I feel like I am sharing an honest portrayal of myself and that’s all that matters. I will occasionally share when animals die, but not always if it’s not jiving with my mood. As far as the comments go, you’re still in charge of the feel of the atmosphere here. My Mom is a forum manager and the rule of thumb there is: an attack on another person is an immediate delete, while an attack on you is forgiven only once or twice (depending on how bad) but if the attacker proves it’s only purpose there is to be nasty, it’s oughtta there!

    Happy Spring!! :snuggle:
    Mary :)

    http://lundkids.blogspot.com

  48. 5-2
    9:04
    am

    I think if the comment is made with respect, it can be negative because not everyone agrees with everything. I have found that most of your readers who disagree are respectful when they comment. Then there are the ones just commenting to be rude. I have no problem with those being deleted. I don’t care to read when it’s a Jerry Springer-like atmosphere. Too many blogs thrive on that kind of disrespect of other people and I think it’s sad. I’m here to learn and share, not fight.

    Please don’t censor your posts. Those of us with farms know life is not always happy or easy. And those dreaming of having farms need to see that, too. Personally, your sad posts actually help me realize it’s not just me that has farm troubles. I also learn so much from the comments as your readers always like to offer their advice or helpful hints.

  49. 5-2
    9:07
    am

    I love this site because it inspires, motivates, and uplifts me like no other site I’ve found. I enjoy the realities of life with all of the happy moments as well as trials and tribulations. However, I do not care to read the snide, negative comments from readers. For all the people that care to slam you for going out to eat, how you care for your animals, etc., I say, if they don’t like it…move on. You have a right to live your life like YOU want. YOU aren’t imposing on anyone. For readers who don’t agree with your choices, they don’t have to be here and destroy the joy that the rest of us get from reading your blog. I’d rather you delete the comments of those that are obviously miserable in their own life and want to make everyone around them miserable as well. I love this site for all the sharing, positive reinforcement and constructive comments that abound from all of those that make this site the BEST!

  50. 5-2
    9:12
    am

    I have been reading/enjoying your blog for nearly a year now. What brings me back each day is your love for your farm and family and your honesty (though tempered) about the work it takes. It amazes me that you can run a farm, maintain a household from scratch, AND blog! And still blog while on vacation. You rock!

    I am sure that for EVERY comment left on your site (even the negative ones) there are 5 or 10 more people who read and don’t comment. I don’t comment often, but I frequently share one of your stories with my husband or show your animal videos to my toddler or explain something I learned to my mother.

    If the negative comments become too frequent, I suggest requiring all commenters to register. Perhaps the extra step might make people less likely to comment negatively? Your regular readers who make positive comments are likely to be registered anyway. Of course it may also mean less people comment overall…

  51. 5-2
    9:17
    am

    Suzanne, you have every right to delete any post that is not uplifting and/or positive. What I gather from following your site, you are trying to uplift and encourage others into not being afraid of learning new skills. You have shared both triumphs and things that have not gone as planned, I really appreciate this. To those that feel compelled to be negative, have you heard of the saying, IF you don’t have something nice to say, say nothing?? As far as recipes go, if something is not turning out as you expect, play/alter the recipe to make it work. I love recipes as a basis BUT I always adjust recipes to my liking. So Suzanne, keep doing what is in your heart, do not allow negative comments affect you one little bit. If you feel the do not uplift, delete them…You have never claimed to be perfect and if a person truly follows your blog they would not question your integrity or goals. Suzanne keep on, keeping on!

  52. 5-2
    9:20
    am

    I’ll stand in line behind the majority and keep my normally verbose comments brief. My opinion (since you asked) is: delete the trolls, leave in respectfull, constructive or questioning comments and keep being open and honest with your writings.

    Chin up, Suzanne! You’re experiences and sharing of them are reaching and teaching a lot of people. They’re inspiring many and entertaining others. Nothing worth doing is ever easy, this blog is no exception. Keep doing what you’re doing!

    p.s. I recently bought two bred goats…one is due any day now and being the first time for both of us, I’m nervous as a cat in a room full of rockers…

  53. 5-2
    9:21
    am

    I’m sorry to hear about the baby. I think that is just the way it is sometimes and it has nothing to do with improper care. Little ones die. It happens everyday.

  54. 5-2
    9:25
    am

    I think you should tell the truth in your own posts. There is a big difference between Clover having a healthy baby and her have two babies, one of which died. If we don’t know the latter, we’re living in fantasyland.

    As to snide comments, if it’s something a courteous person wouldn’t say, I’d delete it.

    Now as to failed recipes :-) I lost track of how many times I tried to make grandmother bread and failed – 4? 5?. I posted about it several times, and kept thinking I could get it to work if I just found the right thing to vary. I think we decided the problem was the altitude difference. I eventually gave up. But there’s a difference between posting that and being nasty.

  55. 5-2
    9:28
    am

    I know that there will always be people out there that don’t like something that you have said or have done or whatever, but I think you handle the negative comments well. I honestly think that if it is an out-right attack on you or your family. Then yes by all means delete away! I have seen it happen on here that some people will banter back and forth with each other I think you should leave that. I mean as long as they are not getting rude. I would also open up more, like the fact that Clover had 2 babes and one died, I know that is somewhat what stirred everything up last time but hey that is a farm.
    I don’t want to come along and just blow smoke, if I thought that you should do something different when it comes to the blog I would say so. But I think it is great the way it is.

  56. 5-2
    9:32
    am

    Dear Suzanne; I love your site. It’s a warm and comfortable place to visit each morning with my 1st cup of coffee. That being said, please know that your loyal followers are quite aware that you are not constantly surrounded by rainbows and pixie dust. Sometimes confusing and bad things happen. I can’t stand the thought that you may continue to limit your comments or censur the truth because of what a few “trolls” might think or say.

    So, I place a big vote for telling it like it is Suzanne…warts and all. I also vote for eliminating the nasty comments. They are disruptive and lend absolutely nothing to any possible solutions or closure. Nasty is as nasty does…blah to them. Wishing you a wonderful spring day. :sun:
    Camille

  57. 5-2
    9:34
    am

    No question! Cut the negatives out of this blog!

    Hurts you, hurts me to see them! Life is too short to put up with negative intruders! They don’t deserve the space you give them!

    So, I say, purge them all!

    And then go ahead and tell us the real truth, the good and the bad! I come to your website for the unvarnished truth, not white-washed, and certainly I don’t come to read nasty comments! I come to see my friend Suzanne, who is a really GREAT farmer-lady!

  58. 5-2
    9:36
    am

    Suzanne–I trust your judgment when it comes to deleting negative comments. All I can think of is how unhappy those people must be. Keep smiling.

  59. 5-2
    9:36
    am

    If it’s not constructive, and exists only to be rude, delete it. Don’t give these people the satisfaction.

  60. 5-2
    9:37
    am

    Suzanne,

    I start my day each and every day with reading in CITR, and I truly enjoy each post in some way or another. I envy you in that you are living the life I would be -were it not for the constraints of making a living on my own now for me and my three kids. I believe that some people thrive on being negative and don’t care who or what they hurt in the process. I have learned so many things from reading CITR and I am very grateful that you have it all laid out there for everyone that wants to read it.
    Your writing style appeals to me, and even though I don’t personally know you, I almost feel like I do – if that makes any sense. I feel as though I would have no trouble inviting you in to my home for a visit.
    Keep up the good work, and if Negative Nancy’s post comments that are rude or profane – delete them. It is your blog and you have every right.

    Have a blessed day!

  61. 5-2
    9:37
    am

    Dear Suzanne, I love your blog. I have learned so much. Everything about CITR is wonderful. Also the comments. It is great to hear from people who live far from our home. They all have such perspective to offer us. On that note I believe you have the right to allow what you want to be posted. We all have different ideas, that’s fine. Hurful and mean shouldn’t be allowed. They are zealous. I think that everyone pretty much sums up what I feel. Share anything you wish with us.
    Thank you and thanks to all who help you provide such a great joy everday!

  62. 5-2
    9:38
    am

    The first thing I read EVERY morning is your blog….I start my day off with it…I am a born and bred city girl WISHING I could live on a farm….sure…it’s not all peachy keen having a farm…things happen. BUT…I DO NOT like starting my day out reading attacks…Those attacks are more than likely from people who have NO idea what it’s like to live on a farm..However..I did read one comment awhile back from someone who does live on a farm and attacked your viciously…My mama always said: “If you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all!” People have the right to voice their opinions but you ALSO have the right to delete them! My daddy’s side was raised in South Carolina on a FARM and we would visit every year…that was my taste of country and farm life…NOT an easy job but one I would imagine that is VERY fulfilling…Keep doing what you’re doing, Suzanne…YOU and your farm animals are MY little bit of country living! :)

  63. 5-2
    9:44
    am

    I don’t always read the comments to your posts. I didn’t realize there were so many negative ones. I trust you to do what you think is right. It’s your blog and forum and I love it just the way it is. I love your animals and admire you and the kids. I look forward to reading and visiting with you in the future.

  64. 5-2
    9:45
    am

    People really do not know how the world works these days, especially nature. Oh sure, everyone wants to preserve nature and certain ways of life but they forget, in our sanitized urban existence, that life and death go hand in hand. I read a quote form an article where a man was chastising people for hunting & killing animals for meat. He wondered why they didn’t go to the grocery store and get their meat just like everyone else? He was under the impression that the meat in the grocery stores came that way and no animal was killed to obtain it. I’m serious.
    I think it is important to show the deaths as well as the births on the farm. I would be one of those frustrated newbies trying to figure out why my stock was dying at a faster rate than yours. ‘What am I doing wrong??’ I would have wailed. Even knowing that animals die. It is a shame that not everyone who reads your posts is supportive and comforting. How hard their hearts are. I feel sorry for them. I don’t usually read comments on a blog because I’m here to read what you write. I only know there is an issue when you post about it. Even if you delete the comments (I have no problem with that it is YOUR blog you have the right to delete what you like) you still have to read them to know if they should be deleted or not. For that I am sorry. There you are dealing with whatever issue and then there is the evil of other people you have to deal with on top of everything else.I’ll close with this since the evil comment writers seem to have forgotten it:
    If you cannot say something nice, do not say anything at all.

  65. 5-2
    9:46
    am

    First of all, I rarely read the comments. They’re not directly under the post and I have to click another time or two to get to them, so I seldom go there unless I want to leave a comment myself, which I rarely do because I have to click another time or two… you get the idea.

    Second, you’re right that I come here looking for “a soft place to land” and don’t like reading all the negativity. How can people accuse you of not caring for your animals??? It’s very obvious to me that you care about them! I have goats and chickens too and know the “realities” of farm life.

    I don’t mind if you delete the negative ones.

  66. 5-2
    9:49
    am

    Your blog, your call. You should not feel one ounce of guilt over deleting nasty, rude comments. Too bad the people leaving them have such unhappy lives.

  67. 5-2
    9:54
    am

    Suzanne, I just found your blog a few weeks ago and I thoroughly enjoy it! I drink my coffee with you every morning and consider you a friend already, as we have so much in common. I would delete the comments, you know those people are “dinks” haha and their opinion doesn’t matter anyway. We are here to enjoy your posts funny, sad or crazy! I can see you love your animals and your life and you deserve to use this blog as a positive enviroment for you as well. Keep up the awesome work! ps I’m not a romance reader, but going to check out your books at the 2nd hand store next trip to the city :)
    love ya hun
    tracy

  68. 5-2
    9:54
    am

    I come here because I love your farm. I have always tried to teach my children Thumper’s Father’s rule, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. That applies to comments I leave. If I don’t have something constructive to say, I’m just not going to say it. I don’t live on your farm, in your work boots. I don’t know that I could do a better job of running a farm. I’m sure I couldn’t. I dislike it when people bash you over your care of animals. As far as your recipes go, I love your Grandmother Bread! I wasn’t successful my first 2 attempts, but I didn’t bash your recipe, I just tried again until I got it right!

  69. 5-2
    9:55
    am

    Leave your blog exactly as you have it… Life on a farm is not always perfect.. We have goats and chickens also.. I just put my new little chicks (12 of them that I raised this year) in the coop yesterday afternoon and this morning 3 of them were killed by bigger chickens.. They are now seperate from the big ones but I just hated it! We have also had babies that die after being born (still born or not) and it is heart wretching. Some people just don’t understand because they are not the ones there trying to figure out why. I love your blog, read it every day and will meet you one day since I only live about 10 miles from you.. Keep up the great work and GO NAVY!!

  70. 5-2
    9:57
    am

    Suzanne,this is your blog, your life don’t let what others may or may not think. Personally I don’t think you should change one thing on how you write your blog. Know that at least for me, when I read you have had a loss (and that’s life be it farm life or not),, I am sad right along with you. When you have something happen that is wonderful I’m glad right along with you. That’s what I have loved about this blog, your honest, down to earth and when you write I feel like I’m there. For a country gal living in the city its my one bright spot in the day I can count on, and yes even the sad posts are still a bright spot, because lets face it life isn’t always roses and farm life sometimes even less.
    As for deleting negative comments, again your blog, your life, do as you will, haters are going to hate, the positive always out weighs the negative.

  71. 5-2
    9:57
    am

    Life is too short to be unhappy. If you read something that makes you unhappy, delete it and move on with your day. Your blog, your decision, just as we all choose to come here and read your blog.

  72. 5-2
    10:01
    am

    I am here because of what YOU have to say. I care about you, your family, and your animals. I love to visit your farm through your eyes. I love learning all that you have to teach. I do read the comments, although sometimes the amount is fantastically overwhelming, and I kind of skip through, reading here and there. As fas as the negative commenters, I am sorry for them. They must have a bitter life to have to read through a wonderful site and then leave comments such as they do. (but I suppose to each their own) I think leave the negative if they are constructive, delete the ones that are just plain mean and don’t serve a purpose except for the author’s own mean feelings. I don’t write very well, did that make any sense at all???

  73. 5-2
    10:02
    am

    Sorry to come back for a second round, but I just wanted to clarify that when I encouraged telling the whole truth, I meant about the animals and the farm. I’m pretty sure that’s what the rest of you mean, too. Of course Suzanne and the people in her life deserve privacy when they want it.

  74. 5-2
    10:06
    am

    I’d be one of those oddities who reads the blog every day, but seldom reads the comments because of the negatives! They detract from the joy of your blog entries for me.

    You have my permission (as if you need it!) to do whatever it takes to remain true to your original mission, whatever it takes. Only you can and should decide what contributes to the over all objective. Some days that means to delete comments, some days it won’t. Any of us who expects perfection in that regard is in for some disappointment.

    Keep up the good work, gal! You are doing a fine job of it!! Some folks can never be happy, so let’s not waste any energy on them.

  75. 5-2
    10:10
    am

    Hello Suzanne, I just want to let you know my opinion of those that leave negative comments. They just want to see what kind of a reaction they could get and some of them feed on that reaction. If you delete their comments, they may keep writing more things that could be even worse because they are angry. If we ignored their comments and they aren’t getting what they want, then maybe they will leave this site or better yet, start reading your blog and find out what kind of lovely person you truly are. I would not take what they say to heart. Those kind of people just need our pity because they are so miserable.

  76. 5-2
    10:14
    am

    Darlin’ you do whatever your heart tells you. We all love you and will stick by you through thick and thin. I would ignore the insensitive persons. Keep letting us know about your life and the farm. We love it, or we wouldn’t keep coming back.
    MN Mona

  77. 5-2
    10:17
    am

    I love this site!!!You are living my dream, and it is hard work living on a farm. Some people are just mean. I support you what ever you choose to do.

  78. 5-2
    10:18
    am

    Suzanne, I live outside a big city and will never live on a farm, except vicariously through this sight. I love all of it. There are always naysayers around, either they do not have a life or they are jealous, or both. I don’t think all negative comments should be deleted, they make us take notice and think of why we disagree with them. However, rudeness and hurtful comments are another thing, not worth passing on. But, if it makes your life harder to decide which to delete and which to keep, then let them go. We want you to be happy, to do what you need to do for your peace of mind. This is your site, that we are privileged to take part in.

  79. 5-2
    10:19
    am

    I agree that CitR is a place to learn, laugh, and enjoy, also with all the comments about your very good writing and the fun family stories and fantastic photography. I also agree that it’s a soft place to land, that expresses the feeling of CitR very well.

    I’ve had to wipe coffee off my computer monitor when some “ivory tower” type person has made a crack implying (or outright saying) your animals are suffering. These people have never dealt with actual animals! Not to mention the others who obviously have NOT read your post before they comment because they ask about or remark on something that you clearly already stated in the post.

    I know where to find blogs that deal with controversy and such, this is where a community has grown that comes here to enjoy your writing, photos and the camaraderie. Some criticism is reasonable, but then there’s the trolls… we know the difference, you do too so delete away. There’s been a couple that really got me angry (got my goat?) and that is NOT what I come here first thing in the morning for! I respect that you leave most of them, but I trust you to delete and/or ban the really obnoxious ones and wish you’d do it a bit more.

  80. 5-2
    10:20
    am

    Ya know, I don’t understand spreading vitriol on someone’s blog. It’s their blog about their life (or whatever) and… you don’t have to read it if you don’t like it!!!

    *ahem*

    Anyway, I’m in favor of deleting the ridiculous trolls and leaving criticism that has some sort of point. I think you’ve been doing fine. Mostly, I don’t read the comments though, so take that with a grain of salt.

    As far as your posts go, I’d be interested in reading what you have to say about your life, even if it’s not always so happy and lovely.

    So yup. In case I haven’t expressed this before, love your blog! :wave:

  81. 5-2
    10:21
    am

    THREAT: if you sanitize this wonderful blog, I’m outta here!!

    Suzanne, you know I think this blog and your life are great! Being a farmer and freelance librarian I feel I have a little link to your burgeoning ag-world and your literary persuations. Life, as we all know, is not always easy. I understand physical/bovine/ovine/canine/etc-vine issues and hope you never vary from YOUR insight… That is rather convoluted, but in essence, peer pressure is not important. I agree with your policy on deleting and not deleting comments. Disagreements are fine with me, but attacks are stupid and not constructive.

    gotta go…have an orphan calf to feed..

  82. 5-2
    10:23
    am

    It took me a long time to figure out that some people are just unhappy with their lives, so they seem to take it out on everyone around them. These people are jealous of anyone who is happy and content with just living. I am so proud of you, your blog is the most honest, open and real one that I read, if fact it is the only one that is part of my daily life. I love you, keep your chin up and don’t let anyone’s unhappy vibes be part of your life!!!

  83. 5-2
    10:26
    am

    Life is too short to read/listen to mean folks. Delete with abandon!

  84. 5-2
    10:39
    am

    I have loved your site for a long time…got here because of the Kaluha recipe and never left. You have an unusual talent for writing and a positive attitude that is contagious. I hope you will continue with the “realness” of the stories. It would’ve been sad to hear of Clover’s other baby, but we all have those sad things to deal with, and we would have liked to have shared. As far as the comments go…If they are Rude or Mean I think they should go. It is just spite or jealousy, and the commenter is only “telling on himself”. It may also encourage him to continue if they are left. If they are just a negative opinion on something and not mean I would leave them…as you have done. Thank you for all you do.

  85. 5-2
    10:39
    am

    Hi Suzanne, I prefer your blog as you’ve been presenting it. I find nothing uplifting or enjoyable reading what unhappy people write in order to criticize you. Snarky people are really only critical of themselves and project that on you and your style. It’s unfortunate that these angry judgemental folks can’t be happy as others are, but they should keep quiet until they get a life of their own. Sal

  86. 5-2
    10:42
    am

    I have to agree with the others. I go through the death of a new born and sometimes we need a shoulder to cry on even if it is an animal.
    I come here to learn also and have learned many new things and some I still want to do. Sometimes I feel my comments are too critical and if they are PLEASE FORGIVE ME. I have quit writing for the most part because of my time being so taken up with life here that I just have too much to do.
    I think you should delete EVEN MINE if need be. And please share with us when something goes wrong, we are only people who want to know and live right like we know you are trying to also.
    I am so glad you and your children got to go on your much needed vacation. What did the complainers think you would do, pack food for the whole trip??? Stupid!!

  87. 5-2
    10:43
    am

    What can I say but “ditto Lindsay, comment #1!!!” About the nasty comments though, I get in a snit when I read them and get all defensive! lol I take them almost personally….go figure!? Maybe I’m afraid you’ll tire of all this and stop writing and I would so miss my daily fix of you and CITR!!! <3

  88. 5-2
    10:45
    am

    Suzanne,
    Something I learned from a very bad boss some years ago–You cannot please those who DO NOT WISH to be pleased. In other words, the obvious “trolls” should be deleted without another thought. I trust your judgement as to which they are.
    I also trust your judgement as to when to post about sad topics and when to keep some happenings private. That is your call–this is your blog and I am priveleged to be able to visit.

  89. 5-2
    10:47
    am

    Some critical comments end up educating your readers, such as the time you were criticized for the way your cow looks. It never occurred to me that she might be too skinny but apparently it had occurred to others and if you had deleted the comment there may still be others out there who didn’t understand that your cow is healthy and fine. I, personally, am very turned off by a couple of well-known blogs whose commenters rave about the blogger as if she is the second coming.

    As for the trolls? Delete them. They are only looking for a reaction so if they are deleted, they don’t get one. I never feed the trolls!

  90. 5-2
    10:52
    am

    While it may be a community which you opened it is at the core still your roost to rule. Negativity harms the main source of content: YOU thus as your reader I’d say if the comment is negative but does not add value delete it. If a comment is negative but is civil disagreement (thus potentially valuable) keep it.

    As for censoring I’d rather keep it real. I abhor farm blogs that don’t show what it is really like sometimes. I understand being selective but everything is not always happy and perfect sometimes we are faced with real and sad happenings and choices. It is nice to know there are others out there who also have had some of the “not fun” farm days.

    often reader seldom commentor

  91. 5-2
    10:57
    am

    What Lindsay said! She covered my opinion well.
    I really don’t even know about the negative comments unless you mention them. I usually read what you wrote and don’t get too far into the comments. Not that I don’t think people have good info to add, but unless there is a specific solution I am looking for, I pretty much just like to read what you wrote.
    The animals are cute, the flowers are pretty, the work load is more than I have on my farm. Sometimes I envy you, sometimes I don’t. In the end you are a good story teller and I like reading your blog.
    Thanks for being here.

  92. 5-2
    10:58
    am

    I know I have come for the inspiring well written stories. Be real with us as you can tell people exactly how hard it is to live the rural life in such a good way. You also know when to delete the negative comments.

  93. 5-2
    11:03
    am

    Suzanne,
    I enjoy your blog every day & have come to feel I really do know you & your wonderful animals.

    I am so sorry to hear about Clover’s baby. She’s a special lady. I would rather know the good & the bad but I grew up on a farm & know it does happen.

    IMHO if a comment might be useful & seems meant that way, I’d let it stand. But mean stuff, I’d just delete. Anyone who thinks farming is all fun & games deserves to be deleted (again IMHO) Anyway, it’s YOUR blog–do what you feel is right.

    Love you & your animals & your kids. You’ve done a great job!

  94. 5-2
    11:05
    am

    I love CITR and whatever you decide to do about negative comments will be fine with me. I’ve only seen those that you referred back to in today’s post – apparently the person who left them is a neighbor or lives in the area. At the time I appreciated that you left her comments alone because it demonstrated just how mean-spirited and insensitive people can be, and it became obvious that her feelings actually originated not from grief, as she pretended, but from jealousy, bitterness, and resentment. those who read you daily knew precisely what was going on. You kept it real, and I loved that.
    the latest “tuff life” comments are pretty transparent too, and I don’t know what I would do about them, I trust you to decide Suzanne. this is your blog, and I can see how you would be torn over how to deal with negative comments. I was surprised to learn that you left out a part of the equation in Clover’s recent birthing experience, but I also understand why you did it. it’s a tough call to make. I empathize with your dilemma, and trust that you know in your heart what to do in order to have a genuine, authentic, honest site here. that’s what CITR has always been for me, and I believe that will continue to be the case. because that’s who you are. this is the most beautiful time of year, and your farm is so lovely. keep giving us photos and stories of that beauty and real farm life, and we will come. guaranteed! have a great day Suzanne. :hug:

  95. 5-2
    11:06
    am

    I think think that what you are doing is a good thing. We come here to learn from one anouther and here our stories of our lives. People who don’t have anything nice to say should not say anything at all.
    I love this sight and have learned alot. So keep up the good work and don’t let them get you down.

  96. 5-2
    11:07
    am

    Suzanne, I think Karo said it very well. Sometimes negative comments can be used constructively. But it’s pretty obvious when a comment is a troll – just get rid of them.

    I sometimes read comments, but mostly I’m here because I love your writing, your photography, and your grand courage in making the life that you want for yourself really happen. And I think you should include the bad with the good, unless it is too painful for you. That’s part of life, like it or not, and your honesty is what keeps a lot of people coming back.

    Keep doing what you’re doing, because you’re doing it really well!

  97. 5-2
    11:11
    am

    A. I agree with the vast majority of people. This is your blog, and letting negative people dictate what you post or how you word things detracts from the awesome, open, blog we have all come to love. I only have one other option to suggest: On posts that you know might be contentious (like ones with sad news from the barnyard), is there a way for you to immediately lock the comments section? I realize this would preclude the vast majority of us from commiserating with you, and offering empathy and support, but it also will immediately remove the possibility of filthy vermin bringing everyone down with their negativity. Just a thought!

    *hugs* Hang in there. One of the reasons I keep coming back is that you’re one of the only bloggers I read that ever shows their vulnerability!

  98. 5-2
    11:13
    am

    “I also realize that I’m starting to moderate myself more than I like. This blog is a story about a farm. Most of it is wonderful. Sometimes it’s not. This is a real farm and these are real farm animals.”

    I love this website because you’re brave and you’re human and not perfect and you do the best you can. I think that’s a great inspiration for the rest of us.

    So my vote is for you to keep on being true to your voice and your farm and educating the rest of us.

    I think your current moderation/deletion policy is fine but I don’t often go back and read the comments.

  99. 5-2
    11:17
    am

    Be honest about the tough stories, we all want to hear the good, the bad and the ugly. Delete the troll posts (non-regulars who stumble in here and want to stir things up) and the Debbie-Downers who aren’t adding benefit. I don’t want to read someone doubting the care of your animals. I know that’s ridiculous and I won’t get those three seconds back. I want to read someone’s post who may disagree with something someone else has said and then makes valid points as to why.

  100. 5-2
    11:22
    am

    I come to your blog because I love your writing and the pictures. This is the first time I bothered to read the comments. My interest is in your farm, cooking, projects, photos……..I could go on and on. I am here to read what YOU have to say! I am just sorry that there are some people out there that obviously have no life to speak of and feel they have to put something hateful on a blog. I guess it’s a cheap thrill for them.

    Please know that I am sorry that you have been treated badly. YOU most certainly do not deserve it.

    By the way I hardly ever comment on any of the blogs that I follow. But you deserve my support of whatever you decide to do with the negative comments.

    Please give Clover an extra cookie and tell her I feel bad about her baby.

  101. 5-2
    11:25
    am

    Suzanne, I don’t even remember how I found your blog but I’m here to stay. I personally don’t like the rude, snarky trolls. Constructive comments are one thing just being nasty is another. I feel like most of the nasty (4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a goat has to die)comments are from people that don’t have a clue. Farm life is tough, it is trial and error alot of the time and trying to find a vet that works on large or farm animals is hard and if you are remote it is even worse. With my goat that passed yesterday, I didn’t write that we were on the phone until 4am with the vet who was out of town, him trying to talk us through the procedure to help the old girl. We tried everything and it didn’t work. I feel horrible, what could we have done extra? Is it my fault, did we do something wrong? We just have to suck it up at this point and go on. Your site helps me do this, even as I am sitting here crying now. Some people just want to judge and they dont’t have a clue. If they want to come and learn, great! If they just want to be negative Nancy’s is say DELETE! I love most of my animals like they are my children and I think you do too. Sorry for all my rambling, I am still mourning. Do what you feel is right and those of us who care will still be here.

  102. 5-2
    11:33
    am

    Suzanne, I read your blog everyday! I find it inspiring and entertaining. I have learned so much from you and I thank you for putting yourself out there for us to share! You are so brave to write about all aspects of your life. You do not deserve to take the bad comments. It is your space, so you should do what YOU want! That is the joy of being the creator of CITR! Keep doing your wonderful work!

  103. 5-2
    11:36
    am

    Count me in with those that say to delete comments that are intentionally mean or inflammatory. Let constructive criticism stand if truly is constructive. As far as the baby – or anything along those lines, I think to get a true picture of farm life you need to see the bad alongside the good. If it’s more hurtful to you to write about it then leave it out, but otherwise include it.

    I’m so glad you got to take the kids and go away. The older mine get the more I realize how very, very short our time with them is. Soon they will have lives of their own and all of us need to store away the memories we make while we are together so we can take them out and look at them later.

    Keep up the good work, Suzanne…and give Clover an extra cookie for me, please.

  104. 5-2
    11:37
    am

    Delete the Naysayers, post haste!

  105. 5-2
    11:38
    am

    For most of us here, we find it hard to believe that anyone couldn’t like you, Suzanne!! :heart: But I guess some people just aren’t right in the head…LOL.

    On most posts, I don’t read all the comments. Just depends how involved I am with the topic, I guess. But I think if they bother YOU, get your blood pressure up, or tend to stay on your mind throughout the day, by all means–you go ahead and do what you need to do.

    Objective criticism is one thing. Sometimes a negative comment might add a little more information or a different perspective…but if someone is just being downright rude, nasty or ignorant, I say can ’em! Most people who leave dumb and mean comments are the ones who have TOO MUCH TIME ON THEIR HANDS. I’ve met my share of people whose purpose in life seems to be only to annoy others. The bigger CITR gets, the more of those losers you’ll probably encounter. Don’t let them bug you and don’t feel bad for deleting them.

    BTW, it cracks me up to no end that you mention the Christmas song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. I was just humming that the other day, thinking the exact same thing! I was going to title a blog post that, but now I can’t be a copycat!

    Keep up the good work you do here. I enjoy all of your anecdotes; the good, the bad, and the ugly if need be! I’ve often wondered the same thing about following up stories on my blog. Sometimes things don’t turn out like we’d hope. People will still want to know how things went, so go ahead and break it to us gently when bad things happen. Those of us living the farm life know first hand the cycles of life and death as they surround us every day. We’re big girls…we can take it. ;) :hug:

  106. 5-2
    11:42
    am

    Delete! Delete the negative stuff that isn’t useful. This is a blog for information, smiles, community building, and for those of us chained to a desk – a little escapism.
    Delete away!

  107. 5-2
    11:47
    am

    “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Age-old adage…still true. If people have something rude to say and don’t seem to enjoy your blog, why on earth are they reading it? I say delete them…pronto. They are getting some sort of sick satisfaction from seeing their words in print and the controversy that follows!

    I, personally, love your blog. I read many, many blogs, but there are days I don’t have time to read them all. I never fail to read yours and 3 others…they are day brighteners!

    Keep blogging, please!!

  108. 5-2
    11:48
    am

    When you raise animals, you learn that things aren’t always pretty, or happy. You have to deal with death (as I recently learned) and as sad as it is, you need to develop a thicker skin to deal with the pain…otherwise you will give up or need professional help for the depression.

    It’s kinda the same thing with blogging, and running an open community webpage…it’s not always pretty, it’s not always happy. There are going to be negative posts no matter WHAT you do. Leave the negative comments? People complain it’s a let-down. Delete them? People complain that you are hiding something. Post about the death of an animal? People accuse you of being a bad owner. Don’t post about the bad stuff? Then you know others are wondering “Why do things go perfect for her? What am I doing wrong???”

    In the end, the only right thing to do is to be true to yourself. If you made the decision to keep this blog as open and truthful as possible, then do so, regardless of the naysayers and accusers. Because, no matter WHAT you do, some people are going to be cruel about it – so you might as well do what makes YOU feel right.

  109. 5-2
    11:48
    am

    Hi Suzanne~ It sounds like a lot of people come to your site for their morning dose of unicorn farts and pastoral placebos. There are so many other blogs out there that can fill that need. So, very selfishly, I implore you to continue teaching us how to really do the things you do. Your honesty about day-to-day life on a farm makes me feel that when I get my own farm (we’re making an offer this week!) I can really trust your advice and lean on your experience. Furthermore, if one of my goats dies, I can say to myself “Well, so did one of Suzanne’s.” It’s your blog, of course, but would you deny me that consolation?
    In a nutshell, I come for the dirt and grime, the smell and the hardship, and the thusly increased value of the life the little one that does somehow manage to make it!

  110. 5-2
    11:49
    am

    Suzanne,

    I read your blog each day. Sometimes I laugh out loud, more than once I’ve cried. That’s life. We wouldn’t know joy if we didn’t experience pain. My mom used to say “If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger”. It bothers me when people write unkind remarks or question your farm management. If they’re genuinely trying to learn from their questions that’s one thing. To tear down and destroy, to be deliberately mean has no place on this blog. Trust your gut in your response to the comments.

    Please don’t censor your writing. When I read that Clover had only one kid it struck me as odd. Today I found out my initial reaction was correct. For you to feel the need to “pretty-up” farm life is so wrong. Farm life isn’t pretty many times, sometimes it involves stepping neck deep in poo. I appreciate you sharing your “poo” experiences with us as well as the joyful ones. Keep it real.

  111. 5-2
    11:51
    am

    Your blog is great. I live on a small farm and can associate with your challenges and accomplishments. Keep up the good work. I don’t need to hear from any more professional complainers and “finger shakers”. Weed out the rudeness.

  112. 5-2
    11:54
    am

    Farm life isn’t perfect. You are not perfect. No one is perfect. There’s no reason to pretend things are perfect by leaving things out, so you don’t offend or start the poo flying from commenters. I like your blog because you are real and honest. Please don’t ever change!

    I have been on forums for 11 years, and YES, people come to places like this and try to cause trouble… because they can! They want a reaction, and they get it. I don’t know why people bother “trolling”, they must be really bored with life or something?? *shrug*

    If someone doesn’t like your blog, they don’t have to read it! They don’t need to come here and leave rude or snarky comments just to get reactions. Don’t feed the wildlife! *wink*

    You use WordPress like I do. You can grab the IP address of any commenter and ban it in your settings. Or it may be a plugin… I rarely have to use mine so I don’t remember. :-p That’s also a good way to know if someone is posting under more than one name. Same IP, same person. I believe you can ban other things, like email addresses, words, names, etc. I understand you don’t want to be *Mrs. Censor Happy*, but there are things you can do to try and keep the “trolls” away.

  113. 5-2
    11:56
    am

    Please use your delete key. I visit the blog daily and enjoy the comment section. The negative comments upset me, even though there have been many times over the course of the past year that I not only did not agree with you, I thought you were downright nuts to do whatever it was. It is your blog and all we have to do is enjoy what you choose to share with us. It is my job to read, enjoy and use my adult filter key to be polite,calm and reasonable. that includes shutting the heck up if I have nothing positive or helpful to the writing table. BTW I love Farm Bell, have had more success than boo boo’s with the recipes.I consider the boo boo’s MY operator error. :heart: :smilerabbit:

  114. 5-2
    11:56
    am

    Dearest Suzanne, it sure looks like your readers have rallied! As one of the daily followers of your wonderful, lovely, inspiring, educating, entertaining and honest blog, I am inclined to add to the growing list of comments.
    Lots of folks are unhappy, miserable, jealous, etc. and it is natural for them to try and spread it around…I for one choose not to pay much heed to these people, other than to wish for their evolution. It’s their own bad karma that they’re perpetuating, and rather than get caught up in defending you, I choose to let it go. I would suggest that we who are regular readers not be tempted to get pulled into the distraction of drama, but as one commenter suggested, pray in your own way for the ones who post something nasty and move on.
    As far as deleting comments, I say use your own discretion. As so many others have said far more eloquently than me, if the comment crosses the line then deal with it accordingly. As far as censoring your posts to avoid the scrutiny of others…Don’t do it! Anyone can find ANYTHING to criticize if they look for it. Most of us know that life, especially a life so closely connected to animals and nature, can at times be heartbreaking. That is just reality. And as we know, too, that same life is full of beauty and joy.
    To me, that’s just one thing I love about CITR, it’s REAL. Not sugar-coated or contrived. Keep doing what you’re doing, Suzanne. Your words, photography, perspective, humor, personality and lifestyle are what keep me coming back each day.
    I love peering through the window to your life that you’ve given us; you have my love, gratitude and support!

  115. 5-2
    12:01
    pm

    I think you have a great blog here. There are many more people commenting on how much they love reading about your life than otherwise. You’re living a dream that most people can’t have. That being said, those few people commenting on how whatever you did was/is/will be wrong can do just that. If you want to censor them, fine, but removing them would give this blog less of a “realness”. In life we all deal with rude people. You just have to take their “suggestions” in stride and move on.

  116. 5-2
    12:01
    pm

    P.S. I do read the comments here. Not every single one on every post because I just don’t have time to. But I like that people can discuss things here, offer their own advice, offer constructive criticism, ask questions, get answers from others, etc. That is way different than someone coming here to stir up negative reactions for no good reason.

  117. 5-2
    12:03
    pm

    Suzanne,

    I must say I appreciate your candor and enthusiasm for your daily life even when things are not all rosy! Please continue to share however your heart tells you to share. If the moment feels that it should be private, then let it be. If you feel that we (the community at large) can learn from your moment, then share. As for negative comments, I feel that how you delete un-helpful or constructive comments is spot on. Sometimes a voice of dissent helps clarify a point or further discussion. Snarky comments just draw boundaries and barriers between members working on building a community. Thank you for sharing so much…you have helped me learn new things and appreciate that the many ways people live life all take hard work.

    Thanks again!

  118. 5-2
    12:07
    pm

    As far as I’m concerned, all unworthy (offering nothing constructive) and disrespectful comments should be deleted. If someone can’t disagree in a constructive manner or can’t treat others with respect, then their comments don’t deserve to be published. If someone wishes to write such nonsense for others to read, let them publish it on THEIR OWN blog. I think of CITR as being your HOME and we, your readers, as being your visitors who have become your friends and friends of each other and who carry on respectful conversations like normal friends do. I can’t imagine inviting someone who doesn’t like me or who wants to harm me or who would upset my other guests into my home so I say stop them at the door before they enter but make note of who they are and don’t hesitate to report them to authorities if it appears they may be a physical threat to you or your family or anyone else.

  119. 5-2
    12:28
    pm

    I would like to hear more about the downsides of the farm. It does seem too “perfect” sometimes and I know that it’s not that way. Hearing that you go through the same things as everyone else – and more importantly, hearing how you solve the problems – is every bit as educational and uplifting as the happy, fun stories.

    I’d like to know that Clover had two kids but one was unfortunately lost. I don’t think it reflects on you as this is simply farm life, but I can see how some people might. I have no problem with such comments being either deleted or disemvoweled. Still, you write this blog and if you don’t want to deal with the negativity (and I frankly don’t blame you a bit), then if censoring a bit works, that’s okay too.

    While I don’t comment very often or participate in comments much, I also think that you have a really fantastic group of readers and overall, you would get much more out of it than you would lose.

  120. 5-2
    12:35
    pm

    Suzanne, it’s a shame that there is such risk, when following our dreams, from basement people, but the good and the bad do lie cheek by jowl, to use a farm-y reference.

    Although, like many others, I don’t usually read or participate in the comments, my vote is that you use your judgment in monitoring them, as you seem to be more than fair about criticism and considerate of your readers.

    As for self-censoring, CITR is YOUR site, YOUR story to tell. As Elizabeth Gilbert was advised, “Tell the truth, tell the truth, tell the truth.” YOUR truth. Use discretion, but don’t sanitize. Anyone who does not like your content or your life needs to vote with his/her click away, not with spiteful words.

    You apparently have many loyal, caring readers. Focus on them. And be yourself. It’s working for you so far.

  121. 5-2
    12:35
    pm

    I would just like to say that I admire the way you are creating a life for you and your family. I think some people are just unhappy with their lives and feel the need to use the anonymity of the internet to share some of that unhappiness with others. I’ve liked that you don’t white wash your life and that you allow those sour apples to show their true colors in the comments sections. The rest of us know that these people aren’t worth our time or yours. In the end I would say keep doing what you are doing. I will keep coming back everyday because you and the other posters inspire me to try a better way to live. Next stop…I’m going to try making rose petal jelly. I’m crossing my fingers and I’ll let you all know how it turns out. Thank you for sharing your life with us, warts and all.

  122. 5-2
    12:36
    pm

    I visit your website everyday. I love it! I don’t comment very often but sometimes I read the comments.I don’t think that you should censor the comments too much. Sometimes people are mean. That is just a part of life. Your loyal readers usually stick up for you when someone leaves a negative comment.

  123. 5-2
    12:43
    pm

    I feel your comments show a good balance and I’m able to ignore ignorant misery makers if they are only on occasionally. However, they actually serve no constructive purpose so there is no reason you cannot just delete them. They don’t serve your mission statement, so why allow them? You don’t have to prove to your fans that you are being ‘fair.’ One of the things that makes this site so good is not just the quality writing, photos, recipes, but the general spirit of the community. It is positive and upbeat. No cursing, no harassing, no hatefulness, but rather a genuine spirit of help and encouragement. You are probably correct in your self analysis; you felt it proved your fairness. You don’t have to prove anything to us. We love just what you do and what you share. And you mustn’t edit your writing; we need to know when the farm fails or life happens so that when it happens to us, we know that it’s normal.

  124. 5-2
    12:43
    pm

    Don’t feel guilty, Suzanne. I totally understand where you are coming from. If it were me I would delete every comment that was nasty, snide, a put-down, snarky, and otherwise negative. I think those comments are meant to tear you down, not build you up and they have no place here. Those sorts of comments send your regular happy readers into a tizzy and we feel the need to correct those inconsiderate wrongs. It’s your blog and you have the right to hit the delete button whenever you want to. If those people call you out for deleting their mean comments then feel free to delete those comments as well. More power to you sister! ;)

  125. 5-2
    12:45
    pm

    P.S. … tell us whatever YOU want to tell us. Don’t worry about the naysayers. We love your blog for what it is…not what we think it should be. **hugs**

  126. 5-2
    12:51
    pm

    I rarely ever read comments or leave comments on blogs. I read the blogs I enjoy (like this one) and take nothing but the pleasure of the read from it. I rarely get comments on my own blog except for a faithful three who I knew and was friends with before I even HAD a blog so I can’t imagine having to deal with criticism or mean spiritedness. (For which I’m thankful!)

    To that end, I’d say as others have said, delete the truly mean ones and leave the ones that are merely criticism/mildly negative. But one thing other commenters could do to discourage these sorts of negative comments is to IGNORE the negativity. Don’t blast the negative commenters for their bad behavior because then you only FEED that negativity causing them to come back. Some people just thrive on being catty and LOVE it when they get a ton of feedback and response. That’s just my two cents. ;)

  127. 5-2
    12:54
    pm

    Suzanne, I think you do a remarkable job with your life, your animals, your kids, and your website. I know I couldn’t do all you do so I don’t even try. I trust your judgement about comments that are inappropriate. I commend you on your honesty about your successes as well as the not-so-successful ventures. As far as the loss of the other kid… as anyone knows who has raised livestock, stuff happens and little ones die no matter what we try to do for them. I was very fortunate not to have lost two little ones this spring from weather issues. Next time I may not be so lucky. Bottom line…keep up the great work. You are an inspiration to many.

  128. 5-2
    1:17
    pm

    I have been reading our blog for 2 years and this is the first time I have ever posted! I never even read the comments!!! I only read your wonderful stories & look at your wonderful photography. I love your animals as if they were mine. They are the reason I started reading this everyday. Just remember everytime anyone says something bad ten of us say something good. Keep up the good work!

  129. 5-2
    1:23
    pm

    I was a very unskilled worker on a sheep farm one winter. My job was the midnight shift in the lambing barn and the grafting barn. As this was a [not very well run] working farm, it was ‘easier’ to let a ewe labor with a prolapsed uterus until she died of exhaustion then to call out the vet. Therefore, the grafting barn was to try to confine and get ewes who’d had stillbirths to accept lambs harvested from the dying ewes. What a great deal of misery.

    You care DEEPLY for your animals. We know it and treasure you for it.

  130. 5-2
    1:23
    pm

    Suzanne, you have given so many people so much through CITR that it would be wrong to edit yourself or the nasty comments (excluding profanity or whatever else is not correct). You are a free spirit; you have inspired a lot of us to do things we never dreamed of doing, please don´t allow the usual haters to win. We´re all mature (old?) enough to cope with these comments, we can do what they should do in the first place: don´t read that, and go somewhere else.

  131. 5-2
    1:26
    pm

    Suzanne,
    My heart goes out to you for the loss of Clover’s baby. Sometimes you can do everything right, and things still go wrong. That is part of farm life. I try to remember that the good things are what keep me in this life! And there are many things about farm life that are wonderful, and rewarding. Sometimes people who have not had the benefit of living this life don’t understand how things work. Some people are ignorant, but some people are just wanting to cause trouble. It is your blog, if they don’t like what you are doing, they shouldn’t come here,and you have every right to run your blog how you want, trust your gut! I personally can tolerate polite disagreement, but plain out meaness is intolerable.

    Keep up the good work! I enjoy reading your stories, I understand that farm life is not strictly rainbows and sunshine. I understand the hard work involved, as I experience it myself. It is great to know that someone else experiences things similar to me. You would do your readers a disservice if you watered down your experiences, to those who live this life, and those that do not live this life. Some people do see this way of life as easy. No matter how ignorant, it is their opinion. You are doing a wonderful job, you have helped so many people learn, and make positive changes in their life. Keep up the good work!

    Butterbean

  132. 5-2
    1:26
    pm

    Do whatever you want with them! I never read the comments, either. I don’t know why anyone would continue to read a blog they didn’t like or agree with, let alone criticize someone’s point of view. Your website and blog are very informative and most importantly, honest. Keep it that way!

    “If you don’t have anything nice to say…”

    Get a life, trolls, and lurk somewhere else.

  133. 5-2
    1:26
    pm

    If the criticism is not constructive, I say delete them! What good will they do anyway but rile many of us up?

    Like others have said, use good judgement and you’ll be fine. I love to read your blog a lot and have laughed along with your funny anecdotes! :hug:

  134. 5-2
    1:41
    pm

    Like so many others here, I absolutely agree with Lindsay. She said it so very well. I start my day reading your blog – and have laughed and cried while reading it. You have inspired me to try so many new things, which my family has greatly enjoyed (at least, when they are a success. Sometimes, I have to repeat a few times to get it right. But those have been my failures, not yours or that of any other poster to the blog.) I have been a faithful reader since I heard an interview with you aired on WVPR several years ago, and refer to the website over and over again during the day in my conversations with others.

  135. 5-2
    1:44
    pm

    I think this is your website and for some reason I can not fathom some people feel the need to be negative just for the sake of being negative. I have a hard time reading negative posts from or to anyone…..kinda brings me down. If this were my site I would delete because I don’t want to be brought down. On here it is your choice.

    I personally really enjoy your website and check in regularly….I enjoy the recipes…learning how to do new things and the animals.

    Keep up the good work and grow in a possitive direction.

  136. 5-2
    1:44
    pm

    Hi Suzanne,
    I will admit that I don’t read every comment (I don’t have time), but feel that this is your blog and you need to do what makes you feel good about yourself. Life in general is not honky dory all the time. People die, animals die, injuries happen etc. I enjoy your blog and I usually start my day by reading what new adventures you, your family and animals have been up to recently.

    I feel that if I read everyday your life was perfect I’m afraid I would stop reading your blog. Your giving us a true view of your adventures is more of what I am looking for in this type of blog.

    As far as the negative comments I see nothing wrong with you removing items that bother you. I know that I distant myself from those who only see the bad side of life and must comment about it to make it worse.

    Always be honest with yourself and I am sure this adventure will be good for you and your readers.

  137. 5-2
    1:49
    pm

    it’s your blog, delete and censor at will!

  138. 5-2
    1:51
    pm

    I really love your blog and read it every day. I hope you will not censor your stories to sugar coat them. We all want to share in the good times and the bad because that is real life. It happens to all of us in some way and you are fortunate that you have so many here on this forum who want to support you. I agree with Merlin “If the criticism is not constructive, delete it”. Those kinds of comments aren’t worth your time or ours stewing over.

  139. 5-2
    1:54
    pm

    I agree with deleting the comments from obvious flamers and trolls; but I’ve noticed, and mentioned on one occasion, that some had recently been (at the time)a little rude and it was causing tension. For those who are regulars that can express themselves too rudely sometimes, I think a pm is in order at least, but by one designated person so the one being out of order doesn’t get 5 messages and feel attacked. Because maybe they just had a bad day. But if it’s ongoing, maybe they need to receive a warning and later blocked if it continues. This is your site; it’s not fair to you to be attacked by people who simply have no lives and nothing better to do than troll around and be nasty to people. I say delete at your own discretion. HeatherB

  140. 5-2
    1:57
    pm

    As others have said, we trust you to know who is just being rude and snarky as to someone that really is trying to figure something out. And as sad as it makes me, I too would like to share in the bad as well as the good. Glad Clover has one left to mother. We :heart: your site!!

  141. 5-2
    2:05
    pm

    I admire any who let a diverse set of opinions on their space. After all, everyone will not agree with what is said. Some are ignorant of the situation or don’t really get it. Some are just mean and spiteful. I think that outright attacks should be deleted.

    Some may just need a little convincing. Others will stick to their guns, but if they and you are able to agree to disagree, it might help someone else. If something is going cause a major division, then by all means snip it in the bud.

    I think some are like me. Like my dad says, “Opening mouth without engaging the brain”. I’ll type something I thought was cute and light, but reading it again, I’m embarrassed that I was so rude and thoughtless. That is why different people get different things out of reading the same book. Where we put the connotations is based on our experiences. Face to face to me is always much clearer.

  142. 5-2
    2:09
    pm

    I read your blog to learn. I want to know what it’s like living in the country with animals and growing your own food. I want to know it all so please, give it to us. Good with the bad. It’s what life is. Sugar coating just moves the pain down the road.

    Useless comments should be deleted. I have better things to do. I come to read YOUR blog and others opinions only if they add additional information on subject. It drives me nuts when people leave a comment after a recipe that says oh, I want to try that. SO? Do it and then let us know how it came out. Add to the discussion.

    For what it’s worth.

  143. 5-2
    2:29
    pm

    I don’t think one needs to be mean to leave a comment that differs. IF one is truly wanting to understand or learn through their comment it will be more in line of they heard, read, saw or they are asking in a civil manner. I don’t agree with everything I read but it doesn’t require that I remark on it!

    I come here to read and ejoy some time to sit down a spell. By doing so, I’m virtually and literally entering your domain so am a GUEST at your place. Therefore, I should bring my guest manners with me. I think if people would do that, our virtual world could be a much more enjoyable place, the same as our physical world could be.

    I’m sorry you’re having to deal with bad manners. I’m also glad you choose to exclude what you do. I like what you do here and I CHOOSE to return (a lot). I don’t return to site that allow people free-rein to be jerks.

    You’re doing a GREAT job and your site is very much appreciated by the vast majority who come to sit and visit! I wish the next year here to be much more enjoyable for YOU, Suzanne!

  144. 5-2
    2:32
    pm

    Hi Suzanne,
    I’ve been reading your blog for 3 years and really enjoy it. You bring a lot of joy and information to people. In my life time I have realized that you can not please everyone. These people are miserable and unhappy people who have to lash out to others just to make themselves feel good.Let them have there say,and take it with a grain of salt, unless it is nasty. Take the good with the bad. When I read the comments and if they are negative I just stop reading it. This is your blog do as you please….I will keep reading you got me hooked.

  145. 5-2
    2:37
    pm

    I have been reading your blog for a couple of years now and can count on one hand the number of times I have left a comment. I love to read about Clover and the other animals and the everyday farm life. I would still let everyone comment but delete the not so nice ones.

  146. 5-2
    2:38
    pm

    Suzanne,
    I started reading your posts about 18months ago.
    I love your writing style.
    I think the way you are handeling the negative comments right now is good.
    You are never going to please everyone, and any of the regulars here know when someone is just blowing smoke.
    :clover:
    Pat

  147. 5-2
    2:43
    pm

    Don’t feed the trolls…just delete them or ban their IP! My Grampa always used to say “Don’t waste your time gettin’in a pissin’ contest with a skunk”.

    I love your blog. Although it is sad when something happens to one of your animals, it’s life. I don’t think you should have to moderate yourself, and it saddens me that you feel that way.

    You are an inspiration to many. Keep up the great work. I would be lost in the morning without you! I’d have to read the paper, and we all know that is far from uplifting!

    Hugs, Pam

  148. 5-2
    2:44
    pm

    Suzanne –

    Your blog is such an inspiration to me! You’re doing what my family wants to be doing in the next five years. We currently live in suburbia, but we are learning all the skills we can while we live here to help us when we finally are in a position to move to a homestead. Please let us know your failures as well as successes… it breathes in a fresh air of reality to our expectations and hopes for our own future.

    As far as the trolls go – here’s been my observation with my own personal trolls. Some people just can’t stand seeing other people do things to enrich their lives. If I can applesauce for my family, there is bound to be someone that thinks it’s essential that they tell me it’s a waste of time… and if I deign to give them the time of day and dig a little, it’s generally because they feel deep down like’s it’s something that their own family would benefit from, but since they’re too lazy to do it, it just chaps their hide to see me doing it and thus forcing them to confront their own laziness. This has happened more times than I can count in the past five years. I’ve reached the point where I remind myself when yet another person makes some snide comment about “You can buy that at the store, you know!”, I think to myself, “That comment springs from your own feelings of inadequacy, and if you apply that to all things homely, then I feel for your family!” … and I smile, nod, and say, “Yes… but mine’s better!” and walk away.

    If you were doing everything in conformity to society’s ‘normal’, then you’d have nothing to teach us and you’d have no opposition.

    Please continue to inspire those of us that are – not exactly following in your footsteps – but trying to create our own paths that run somewhat parallel to yours. (Or are just along for the great view.)

    Thank you for being Suzanne of CITR! There’s only one… and we need her!

  149. 5-2
    2:44
    pm

    Suzanne, I love your blog. Please don’t censor yourself or your stories. I like to read about what goes on on a farm. I have learned so much from you! I even wondered, when you wrote about your newest addition, whether another little goat had been born, because in the past you’ve said that goats usually have two or more babies….see!!! It would have been interesting to hear about the loss of the other baby. As far as negative comments, you simply cannot take things personally. Unfortunately, you’re opening yourself up in a public forum and not everyone will agree with everything. I personally would not like to read a bunch of hateful comments though, so I don’t know, would it be possible to change the format of the page and have a negative comments side and a positive comments side? Then those who like to argue would have lots of room to pick each other apart, and the folks who enjoy your blog and have something nice to say could say it with other like-minded readers. Just a thought!

  150. 5-2
    2:55
    pm

    Dear Suzanne,
    What a difficult question. I do not have the temperament or courage to blog myself, and I admire those who do. I just have trouble revealing that much of myself. I read your blog almost every day. I have no problem skipping over negative comments or just acknowledging an idiot had also stopped by. I suspect the trolls come with becoming a more popular blog. If you want to delete them, then you should — obviously, we readers will not know or care. The problem, it seems to me, will come only if your reaction affects your own honesty and integrity when YOU write. THIS will affect all of us readers. So you need to do whatever you need to do to prevent that because it will eventually show through. And that would be a sadness. Life on a farm (or off) is not always delightful; sometimes it is very very hard. Your strength as a writer (one of them anyway) has been in the balancing of all this and your willingness to share with us. I would hate to see that change as a result of some mean and meaningless comments that cause you to censor yourself to avoid others like them. I come here to read primarily what YOU think and say.

  151. 5-2
    2:57
    pm

    Suzanne, I found CITR trying to find a recipe for a homemade yellow cake last year and finding you has been the best thing that has happened to me in a long time!!!! I know I’m not a very active member but I find a lot of joy in reading about your life and those of the others members. I’m just amazed at every thing you do in a days time. I couldn’t come near to doing all that!!!!

    I agree that this site is yours to do whatever you see fit to do. I will continue to read it religiously because it is my saving grace every day!

    Sincerely,
    pattyb. of Ohio

  152. 5-2
    2:59
    pm

    I guess if I were in your shoes I’d only leave negative comments that provided “constructive criticism”. Otherwise I’d hit delete. But as your following grows, does this task become a greater and greater challenge?

    Love all that your share about real daily life on a small farm. Too bad your positive attitude can’t rub off on some individuals who find some pleasure in spreading negativity.

  153. 5-2
    3:12
    pm

    I love your blog and do find it a soft place to land. :) I read it everyday. I don’t live on a farm (would love to one day), don’t have anything but a small garden and cats and kids. I find your blog very inspiring, informative, educational, emotional, I could go on and on. I read comments, the negative one’s make me feel very defensive and want to protect you if I could. But, I guess it makes it a reality that not everyone feels the same. It’s a shame. It’s hard not to take these personally, I’m sure, but the good outway the bad. Delete or not to delete? That is a good question. Keep doing what you do, I think the majority of us support you in anyway you decide to deal with these. We love ya! No matter what!

  154. 5-2
    3:12
    pm

    Suzanne I love CITR and all it offers you have done a great job and inspired me to try things I have been wanting to do for a long time. When you post detailed instructions and pictures it is helpful and inspiring to try my hand at it. I don’t always have time to read the comments, but I do usually make time to visit you site even on my very busy days. You are doing a great job, keep up the good work. Do with the rude and nasty comment as you would like to do. Just keep up the good work we appreciated it.

  155. 5-2
    3:18
    pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for a year now, and I love my daily dose of farm life – the good and the bad. I wouldn’t want you to start censoring your writing, and I certainly support deleting accusatory and negative comments. However, even if you start deleting them, that means you’re still going to have to read them all, and at that point the damage is done. None of your loyal readers are going to be influenced in our opinion of you by a negative comment (especially those who have any farming experience), but you’re still going to have to deal with the hurt and insult.

    I’ve seen some websites that have a volunteer comment moderator, and all comments have to go through that moderator before they appear on the site. If you have a friend or loyal poster who you would trust to be level-headed, and who wouldn’t get defensive and block all negative posts, even those with constructive criticism, maybe that’s an option you could explore. Your readers aren’t the ones who need protected from trolls – you are.

  156. 5-2
    3:24
    pm

    Oh Suzanne. You have built something beautiful here that brings such joy to so many. Why do people have to be negative? As a blogger myself putting my art out there for all to see I had a very hard time in the beginning. People would comment to criticize when they don’t know crap about art. The lessons I learned are these:
    1) Don’t take it personally. It’s not about you, it’s about them and their shortcomings, whatever they may be. Let them work on them. You can’t fix them.
    and 2) Never wrestle with a pig; you both get dirty and the pig likes it!!!

  157. 5-2
    3:36
    pm

    Suzanne, I have loved your site for a long time. I have learned so much. I also tell everyone about your site. I appreciate that you keep it real.

  158. 5-2
    3:38
    pm

    Wall of text!

    When I used to be a moderator for a forum a few years ago, I noticed that the people who freely judge what you are doing think they “know” what’s going on behind the scenes. But your blog is a production, and no one sees exactly what goes on behind the scenes (or ever will) besides yourself. I don’t think that you candy coat your life on the farm and I don’t think you should start. Most people who are attracted to this kind of blog know that there are ups and downs.

    Unfortunately there is not a sound policy for picking which comments stay and go. Some days the comments that should bother you don’t, and sometimes the ones that shouldn’t do. Best is if EVERYONE just ignores the ones that are crass and hurtful.

  159. 5-2
    4:25
    pm

    I find it really relaxing to read your blog .
    I don’t find it relaxing to read the trolls comments or critisim of my favorite writers blogs or lives . I find myself wanting to defend the writer and the writer’s lifestyle and choices .
    I do not believe your openness and willingness to share your life online , should equate to a readers right to critisize your lifestyle or choices . I feel that is really none of our business . We read your blog , we don’t own your life .
    If you choose to ask for an opinion from your readers , then a respectful discourse can ( if you so chose) contain some disagreement .
    My favorite blogs delete the negative . The negative comments serve no purpose other than creating disharmony .
    I really enjoy the warmth and kind nature of your blog . Thank you for asking and for writing .

  160. 5-2
    4:26
    pm

    So sorry readers . I meant to spell check before posting !

  161. 5-2
    4:26
    pm

    Suzanne,

    I started reading your blog over a year and a half ago. I used to read all the comments….until I moved to the country and got a farm!!! Now I just plain don’t have the time. I’m truly in awe of how you keep up with this blog and your farm. I will say this. I’ve noticed your writing changed and I couldn’t put my finger on it until just now. You said it yourself…..you were sensoring yourself. Your writing had become less honest and personable. I’m not trying to slam you. I just want to encourage you. Be yourself. Tell the stories of your farm like they happen. You’re so GOOD at storytelling. I don’t know what you should do for the rest of the community. For yourself, get some scales out and put a seed, or button, or cheerio in each side. One for positive and one for negative posts. You are a GREAT writer and kind, loving animal caretaker. I think you will see the majority of the CITR community agrees. Just be you. You created this community, kick ’em out. :)

  162. 5-2
    4:29
    pm

    I think people who say things like “tuff life…” are a little jealous of what they see on a blog. No need to be snarky. I’d just delete the comment and make like the nastiness never happened. :)

  163. 5-2
    4:32
    pm

    Hi Suzanne,
    Never feed the trolls. I vote for the deletion of disruptive, mean-spritied, hateful comments. I don’t enjoy sites and blogs that thrive on the rants that follow. I guess some people do. Not me.
    Thanks for sharing your projects with everyone. I love to stop in here and be inspired.
    Best,
    Anastasia Rabiyah
    :D

  164. 5-2
    4:41
    pm

    Suzanne – I read your blog regularly and look forward to your posts. The main thing that keeps me coming is the fact that you and our stories are “real” life. If I wanted surgarcoated fantasy I would be someplace else. Farm life comes with challenges and I commend you for stepping out there and doing it. A part of life is death and I know it is never easy to see death. If you acted as like you didn’t care, then I’d be skeptical. As far as your treatment of our animals, one doesn’t put bonnets and tiarras on a pet that they don’t care about. Your animals have a voice and that is because you spend enough time caring for them to hear that voice and share it with us. I realize other people have forged their lives out of the country and kudos to them. But a lack of respect for someone else doing it differently then you did makes me want to tell them just where to put their post. I love our blog and wouldn’t want you to change a thing. I love that you are not perfect. None of us are and the simple honesty that you share with us gives me a comfortable place to visit. I say anyone who wants to comment that is not being constructive should be deleted and don’t feel bad about doing it. It’s your sandbox and if they can’t play nice then they can’t play. I am so glad to have found your site and I thank you for sharing your life with me. I wish you the best.

  165. 5-2
    4:42
    pm

    I think the way you have been handling the comments is levelheaded and, furthermore, trustworthy of your widespread audience. I come to your blog because I love your writing and photos. I love your animals and I care about your darling family. (You have reared such wonderful children! Truly!) I honestly don’t read the comments unless I’ve been alerted to something negative being in there, and then I go find it so I can huff and puff and maybe leave one defending you. I think using your discretion as to negative comments is perfectly fine. And, being an aspiring tiny-farmer (when I retire in like 30 years), I hope you’ll continue to show us the hard times, even when they make you cry. Especially when they make you cry.

  166. 5-2
    4:44
    pm

    WOw lots of comments. Sorry you lost a baby clover :(
    It’s so easy to sit and jusge about something you know NOTHING about. I bet you don’t blog about 20% of your life. Hey what about your sex life? what color are your shows? What about Morgan’s personal life? This is merely a SNIPPET of Life on the Farm and I appreciate it and I know I could never do what you do… as much as I would like to… just too lazy and uninspured. So what if you make cheese and Blog all day ? Jealous are they ? uhmmm oh well! I love living vicariously through you and applaud your efforts.. Ignore them delte them yeah delete and BLOCK them yeah tahts the ticket!

  167. 5-2
    4:53
    pm

    I love your blog. Sometimes I read the comments, and sometimes I comment. Mostly I just read.

    I don’t believe trolls should be tolerated, imho. Anything you feed will grow, though, so I can relate to the dilemma. Most trolls are just looking for a reaction, and being mean just to be mean. A simple delete works wonders.

    But it’s your blog, and your domain, and you must do what you feel is best.

    I think many here would like a better world, and having kindness and ignoring nastiness is one way to get there. But that’s only my opinion!

    I will continue to read your postings and thoroughly enjoy my vicarious visit. Thanks for all your hard work, Suzanne! :happyflower:

  168. 5-2
    4:56
    pm

    Suzanne hang in there! I agree with the consensus of many who said to keep on doing what you are doing. Many of your readers have listed so many wonderful and true reasons for visiting you everyday that there is little to add. Just wanted you to know I am here. I will be here tomorrow and I will be here as long as you keep writing your beautiful educational and funny stories. I absolutely don’t garden, have animals (except Kitty), make candles or soap, or any other thing you do……but I “get” to do it through you. Everyday after reading your posts, I have a peaceful morning and go about my daily plans. But “in my mind” I am taking care of a farm in West Virginia!

  169. 5-2
    5:01
    pm

    Keep it real, Suzanne. I don’t want you to censor your stories. I usually read all of the comments (except when there are soooo many, like today)! I’ve read some nasty comments, and like some others have commented, I tend to take it personally. From what I’ve seen, the negatives are few compared to all of the positives. :heart:

  170. 5-2
    5:26
    pm

    First of all, Suzanne, I don’t want you to censor. And I can tell at times, lately, when you’re blogging about something particularly with your animals that you feel like you have to cover every-single-base when sharing about something that’s happened or some decision you’ve made concerning one of your animals. This makes me sad ‘cuz I know it’s because of comments you get from commenters that make “drive-by”, judgemental posts.

    I think we, as a community, can do a lot to help you in that regard by the way we react to a person who is being really judgemental in their posts. I have seen those type of posts for myself. There was some not that long ago regarding when the baby goats squished one of your other baby goats.

    I wonder if the best way to handle someone like that is to completely ignore them? And maybe you should ignore them too? I know you feel like you have to justify yourself to these accusatory posts and it upsets me when I see you feeling like you have to explain every cotton-pickin’ thing to these judgemental people. I go from feeling like I want to defend you and blast these people to wondering if they should just be ignored. I’m thinking the best thing is to let the community handle it. I think those of us who are your loyal readers will do a lot of defending for you.

    I don’t know the whole answer. I think the stupid little snide remarks could be deleted. Those serve no purpose.

    I hope you get a better idea on how to handle it ‘cuz I can see how this would make a person constantly second guess themself. I hope you can come up with some guidelines from all this feedback for yourself and our community. :happyflower:

  171. 5-2
    5:39
    pm

    Suzanne, I think you have done a fabulous job with your blog, and with the comments. Some of the comments that were particularly nasty and judgmental; like those about how you care for your goats- were likely from someone who, perhaps, has little to no understanding about the difference between pets and farm animals. Although I am certain their comments stung – they certainly made me wince – I would hope that whoever made those comments, then saw the replies and explanations of how things “really” are, and that they learned something from them. I think that although sometimes these comments make us feel uncomfortable and angry (or sad), perhaps they do serve a purpose… although as you said, sometimes there are comments that are pointless and for them to be deleted – or not, is fine. I think most of us can see them for what they are, but if you like to “throw out the trash”, fair enough! I wouldn’t change what you are doing though, I love your site – and overall I think the comments are a very positive thing.

  172. 5-2
    5:49
    pm

    Suzanne, I really don’t care what you do with the comments section, but I don’t want to see you getting burned out. If you’re getting burned out on the negative comments, and deleting them would make you feel better, then delete them. You have to take care of yourself ya know? And I hope that you’re not holding out on us because of them. I learn so much from this site that I apply to my life, so I want to know that you feel safe enough here to be honest with us. Hopefully it’s a safe place to land for you too. I wouldn’t want something bad to happen to my animals and then think that nothing bad ever happens to Suzanne so I must be doing something wrong. Those of us who arrive for independence through agriculture will always have sad stories. That’s part of the life. And you shouldn’t have to feel like something bad is going to happen if you share yours. :hug:

  173. 5-2
    6:20
    pm

    Honestly I don’t read the comments, I come here to read about your farm because I want to learn, and I enjoy reading your posts. You write about many things I hope to be involved in someday soon, and it’s nice that you were sort of on a learning curve when you started this. Keep doing what you do and don’t let the jerks get to you!

  174. 5-2
    6:33
    pm

    Love your blog…..read it every day. Don’t read many comments because I’m not interested in their opinions. If I want to learn something I go to the forum.

    Like many said above, it’s your blog and you can do with it what you will.

    Death is going to be a part of life and there’s really no way to sugar coat it when it happens.

  175. 5-2
    6:36
    pm

    Suzanne, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!!! Every single post. I have laughed so hard I have almost peed my pants. I have cried a little too. I have made several of your recipes. And never once was any of my home made hamburger helper bad. Please continue to write just the way you always do. Why try to make every body happy? Ya just can’t There are sad miserable people out there. You are my 3rd blog that I read every day. I have a farm and do many of the things you do every day. But I like to read about others on their little piece of heaven on earth. I love your stories! Thank you so much for such a great blog.

    BTW, so sorry about the loss of the other kid. That is so sad. I myself have not had a kid die. But I have had 2 calves die. And some ducks too. And guineas. And chickens. But that is life on a farm. It is NOT perfect.But that’s the way it is. And my dogs look like crap most of the time too. And I don’t bath my goats.

  176. 5-2
    6:41
    pm

    Life’s too short to deal with trolls. If they’re being nasty, delete them. If they’re just dimwitted…=) your call.

    I come to this blog every day and rarely comment….but know that 99 percent of people LOVE this place.

    And I’m sorry Clover lost a baby…

  177. 5-2
    6:53
    pm

    Ok, here goes. I don’t post. I’m a lurker. But you got me worried. I love this site. I read it every day and check back sometimes multiple times to see your posts. I don’t usually read the comments, but sometimes I do. It saddens me to see negative ones. Especially knowing that they could influence you to change your story. Some of us really need your story. You are living the life I hope to lead one day. I learn from your successes and failures. Its a true story, not a nice fiction all wrapped up in a pretty bow. Life is hard. It has its ups, downs. If you only share the successes, it diminishes their powerfulness. Sharing the failures paints the entire picture. If people make negative comments that are so disruptive to the story and the easy “family” that you have built here, then I say go ahead and delete. If people have nothing better to do but slam someone else, then they should have to create their own forum to do that rather than use someone else’s site. Disagreement is one thing. Out right snide commentary and bullying and disrespect is something else completely. You share your life with us. Most of us appreciate it. Those of us who don’t should be banned from the site. I don’t know much about WordPress, but I’ve used other social networking sites, and I would go as far as to ‘ban’ some users just because they have no purpose here.

  178. 5-2
    6:57
    pm

    Suzanne, I read your blog almost everyday. I receive your newsletter just in case I have missed something. I love your stories. Not everyday is going to be a perfect day on your farm, but you always manage to write down your thoughts for the day. I think you should do what you feel comfortable with. My mother always said not everyone is going to like you. Keep smiling, have a great week!

  179. 5-2
    7:06
    pm

    Living vicariously thru you Suzanne – I’ve learned SO very much from your blog and your contributors. Take heart from those who “follow” your life, that it adds to our lives. Those individuals who tend to be negative are entitled to their opinion, just because it’s wrong is certainly no reflection on you! This is your project. You can exercise your right as the owner and from the sound of it, your followers will endorse whatever action you deem appropriate. Go for it!

    On another note, so sorry to hear about the wee one.

    My best to you!

  180. 5-2
    7:11
    pm

    Suzanne,

    I can’t believe some people need to bring others down. Your writing and pictures are creative and wonderful. It is my soft place to land. I think you are doing a terrific job! Keep up the great work! And just remember that people who say negative things just have nothing better to do than to pick on someone else. I love love love your animal stories on Daily Farm, especially when you make believe the animals are being interviewed by the local sheriff… HAHAHA. News at 11!

  181. 5-2
    7:23
    pm

    I don’t read the comments most of the time (it’s not that they’re not interesting and informative, it’s a time issue for me) so I haven’t noticed the negative posts.

    But I have 2 cents anyway. :)

    It’s your site, so you should deal with them as you feel is best, of course. Having said that, if they’re personal attack posts, I’d delete them. If they add nothing to the discussion, I’d delete them. Heck, if they’re rude, I’d probably delete them. I just don’t like to invite that kind of stuff into my life.

    As for posting the bad along with the good: I think it’s important that you represent your farm with honesty and integrity. We all like to think no bad things can happen, but that’s not real and that’s not life. So, while withholding information is certainly your right, if it were up to me, you wouldn’t do so in order to keep things sweet and nice for readers. Keep it real and dirty (as in mud, not nasty lol). That’s why I’m here.

  182. 5-2
    8:02
    pm

    I don’t come here to read someones little rant. I read for the real life stories you are living and, as such, some are just sad, but part of life. I believe in constructive assistance, ideas, suggestions. Those can occur with out being rude. And the only censorship I would like to see is deletions of comments from those whose aim is to cause controversy and dischord and not the censorship of your stories. Sad to say, there are some who are just not happy with the way ANYONE does things unless it meets their so-called expert approval.

  183. 5-2
    8:09
    pm

    Suzanne,

    Making your life so public will always have it’s downside. But I think the upside here is so much stronger. Personally I like when you post the not so pretty side of farming. It lets people know that it’s not always “bright and sunny” living this life.

    I live a very similar life to you and know first hand what hard work it is and what heart break can come with it. No matter what you post, there will always be people who will have negative things to say. There is no way to get around that.

    I personally have much more respect for bloggers who leave the good and not so good comments.

    I think you have a long history of handling situations with grace and hope you continue to do so. Your blog is the only one I make a point not to miss.

    Heidi

  184. 5-2
    8:12
    pm

    Some day I want to have a farm like yours, right down to the chickens sitting on goats and bratty calf ;). And I want to hear it ALL. I want to know exactly what it is like. Early mornings, things that don’t go as planned, the good and the bad.

    As far as the comments go, if it were me, I would delete anything that is just nasty for nasty sake, but leave a comment if it was just a dissenting view point. That means somebody can think your methods are not the best, but I don’t mean they should attack you personally.

  185. 5-2
    8:18
    pm

    Hey, I read every post but almost never comment (or read the comments). What would make this a real tragedy for me is if you keep censoring yourself — which I’ve noticed recently, and has actually made me think about not reading anymore. The reason I fell in love with CITR is because it’s real rather than trying to paint farm life using just rosy colors. It reminds me that farm life is *really hard* and that I probably *don’t* want to own a farm someday. But I love reading about it anyway, and I love you for living it. Please keep doing what you started out to do!

  186. 5-2
    8:29
    pm

    Suzanne, I’ve read the comments others have made and they have expressed my feelings more beautifully than I can. I love your blog and read it daily. I have learned so much from you and have signed up for the retreat to learn even more. This is your blog and you have the right to express anything you want to. If there are those who don’t like it, Why are they reading it!!! There are enough of us that love what you do!!!

  187. 5-2
    8:36
    pm

    I’m a new regular reader. I think it’s important to have the “truth” on a blog like this. There are many who want farming to be so romantic. They don’t know how hard and long the work is. If you only post the good stuff without the bad it leaves a reader thinking they are “doin’ it wrong”.
    Keep on keepin’ on.
    People’s comments reflect on them….not on you.

  188. 5-2
    8:47
    pm

    Dear Suzanne,

    So many folks have already posted thoughts that I agree with. Like Tow Lady (#38), I’m with her on those pitch forks to support you when trolls show up! And like Carol Langille (#43), I check your blog the first thing in the morning, several times during the day, and the last thing at night. I do have a life, but your writing and photos are now a part of it and bring much joy to my life. I’ve shared many, many of your posts with my husband and my 26-year-old, married daughter, and SHE now asks frequently, “What’s going on with Suzanne and the critters?” You bring joy to her life, too. We have been on the phone at midnight many nights in wild fits of giggles as I’ve read the posts to her. I love hearing about you, daily life on the farm, things happening with your children, and all the recipes and daily items you share. I’ve told many folks about your blog and commented that you are “real” – you share the good, the bad, and the ugly; I truly appreciate your sharing.

    For the life of me, I haven’t understood the nasty comments that have appeared (from the trolls). If people don’t like what they see on your site, they should move on to one they can enjoy and agree with. (Nasty comments are quite different from differences of opinion and questions.) My feelings are hurt for you when I see nasty comments because you aren’t required to share with the world and you’ve even been polite enough to leave the trolls’ comments on here.

    All that said, here’s my vote: NUKE the nasty comments! Don’t think twice about them; if they seem nasty to you, they are. Delete, delete, delete. (Or give your delete button to Tow Lady. She will handle the trolls for you!) But please do share with us the difficult side of farm life so we can support you. After all, you give so much happiness to us, we can give something to you in return. That’s a community, and you have created a wonderful one.

    God bless you and your family as your continue this wonderful journey! :happyflower:

  189. 5-2
    8:50
    pm

    I read this blog almost daily. (Since I found you 2 years ago) I read it because I admire you. I don’t always agree with you, but that’s reality – how boring it would be otherwise! You do many things that I find interesting – I only bake (and have made several of your recipes) and have made freezer jam once in my life…and I have some flower beds. I also don’t read the comments very often; there just isn’t enough time with 3 teenage boys, 2 dogs, 3 cats, a full-time job and a supportive husband!
    Keep up the good work! Keep on being Suzanne! Yay optimism and a can-do attitude!
    Thank you for blogging!

  190. 5-2
    8:51
    pm

    Suzanne, p.s. – I’m so sorry about Clover’s other baby. I know you will provide lots of love and cookies for her. She is a lucky girl to be so loved by you. Her barnyard friends will gather round to support her, I’m sure. And we love you.

  191. 5-2
    8:54
    pm

    I really don’t care whether you delete them or leave them. I don’t come here to read the comments section anyway. I come here for the wonderful interesting life you have on the farm – the farm animals of course are my most favorite part – your writing is just outrageously funny and make my entire day happy. If people choose to be negative well let them. It doesn’t change my opinion or the opinion of all your faithful fans – they obviously have nothing else to do in their lives but try to get a rise out of someone entertaining and talented – something they aren’t (the negative comment people that is). I think everyone has an opinion and the right to their opinion but when it hurts or appears hateful then they need to just keep it to themselves. Your talent speaks for itself – enough said. Glad you had a great vacation!

  192. 5-2
    8:55
    pm

    Is this a record number of posts? 189 so far compared to how many negative posts? Just keep reading the good stuff :snoopy:

    We love you!

    Tina

  193. 5-2
    9:03
    pm

    This news surprises me. Honestly I have never one single time read the comments that come after your posts. I do not come here to see what other people have to say I come here to see you. Frankly I am shocked that anyone could find anything negative to say. I believe that someone who comes here just to be mean has deep latent issues..It’s your blog and you are doing a great job… delete the weirdos if you want to-like I said it’s your blog.

  194. 5-2
    9:04
    pm

    Suzanne…Yes, you do have a “tuff” life. I certainly don’t do 1/2, no, 1/16th of the chores you do every day. I’m so proud that yon let us into your world and I don’t begrudge you a diddly darn thing you get to do (like eat seafood twice a day). You deserve our praise and a big “THANK YOU” for sharing every little detail of your life. We love your blog!

  195. 5-2
    9:12
    pm

    Suzanne,

    Believe it or not – back in ’09 I stumbled on your website by googling “what are pop tarts made of” because I was having a horrible week at work and before I knew it me and my dog had downed 3 pop tarts. Granted when I am nervous and under a lot of pressure I could probably eat salted shoelaces as long as they are in a large quantity. As I was recovering from my heartburn induced state, I really wondered about what the heck these things were made of.

    Instead of finding some ingredient list of words I could not pronounce, I found your website, and immediately was drawn into the 100 year old farm house. I realized how much I really wanted to pick up my family and run from my corporate/stressful job. You do things that I know my Grandmothers did, you not only do them, but you “SHOW” how to do them. That is major!

    I may never get my goat or my farm, BUT, I can make artisan bread (and almost lose it behind my stove, but that’s another story!), I can make homemade poptarts, candles, brown sugar scrub, and when I get the nerve I am going to can and make cheese too. Ok, so I may have a completely different view of milking a cow, or tending to goats, if I was out there doing it, but you do it, and you invite us into your home, family, farm.

    As far as I am concerned, I don’t need to see any negative comments, because I can tell you now I see and hear way too much negativity at work, on the news, and on facebook.

    However, I have to agree with others who have mentioned before me – this is your creation, and I believe you are entitled to censor, not censor and post whatever the heck you want to.

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU because this website makes my day! I live my “Mammy Jane” life vicariously thru you and the other people who post here!

    May you be blessed for the joy you bring!

    Kathleen

  196. 5-2
    9:24
    pm

    Delete them they arent worth anyones time by leaving them on here for others to read.

  197. 5-2
    9:26
    pm

    Suzanne, I come to visit you nearly every day. Thank you for being “real”. For showing your care to your family and loved ones and your beloved furry farm animals. I come to visit because you make me smile and think about ways to improve my own life. That being said, I rarely read the comments.

  198. 5-2
    9:34
    pm

    I love reading your blog, however I don’t really read the comments very much. So many blogs, so little time…have to draw the line somewhere on my reading time. That being said, I think it’s up to you. I think a lot of websites draw the line on comments that get to be obscene or of an attacking nature (does that make sense?). If it is just kind of snide, you can leave it. If it’s downright mean, take it down. Too many people think that because they aren’t in your face they can say anything…follow your instincts.

  199. 5-2
    9:55
    pm

    There are always going to be people unhappy with how you run your site, no matter what you do. I think you need to decide how you WANT to run it and then just do it. Most of us are here because we like reading what you write, and most of us will stick around unless you have a major personality change.

    I trust your judgment about whether to delete or not. Personally, I would delete first-time posters who fit the troll profile. Someone who posts just to tell you you suck or call you names, insult you, etc. isn’t adding to the conversation. They aren’t providing another POV. They’re just stirring up trouble, and there’s no reason to permit that any more than you’d allow a stranger to s*** on your front porch.

    Beyond that, Don’t Feed the Troll. If your loyal readers know to ignore the rude idiots, that does a good deal to take the wind out of a troll’s sails. They’re doing it for the attention, so we shouldn’t reward them with what they’re seeking, even in an attempt to “defend your honor.”

  200. 5-2
    9:57
    pm

    Write what you want-share what you can-don’t feel bad about doing either. Delete ugly comments. You are right about the community. Unless the ugly comments make you feel really crappy (tuff heh skin or not) in which case, publish them and let us take care of getting your back

  201. 5-2
    10:04
    pm

    I am a newish reader of your awesome website. I have begun reading daily because I was drawn in by your candid and often humorous writing style. It’s a relaxing break in my day. That being said, I agree with others who mention that too much negative commentary really spoils the experience. You don’t go on a vacation to hear the other tourists whining and complaining. You go to unwind. That’s what your blog is to me. A little daily vacation to your farm. Anyone who would complain that deletion of rude commentary ruins the authenticity of their reading experience needs to join a support group for drama dependency. ;)

  202. 5-2
    10:08
    pm

    Nothing new to add here–It’s your blog, you decide what you are comfortable sharing and doing. I read you every day, and I want to hear the truth, not half truths, but I know somethings may be too private or too painful to write about. So you decide.

    Regarding the negative comments–Feel free to delete them. But maybe one way to stop the click-through trolls is to moderate all first posts. There is probably some automatic way to set that up.

    Regarding negative, borderline rude comments. Well, that is tougher, isn’t it? People shouldn’t be rude, and you should feel free to delete if that’s what you want to do. But sometimes they do add to the discussion in an unexpected way. For example, I never thought much about the dog house in the goat house. But because of that negative comment, you explained how the goats love to snuggle and so we all learned something new. (Well, except for the readers who already had goats)

    You have had some good suggestions in these comments. It seems clear the consensus is we want to hear what you have to say and it’s OK with us for you to delete any comment you want.

    Thanks for asking!

  203. 5-2
    10:22
    pm

    200 comments so far. WOW! Wish I could say I read them all, but I just got in from work and can’t. I have been reading this blog since your house was almost completely finished. I love this site, your farm and animal stories, love your writing style, your recipes and just everything. Have even gotten other people hooked on it. It really hurts my heart when there are rude comments left by people. I don’t always read the comments, but I do feel the need to defend you when I read negative remarks. There is such a thing as constructive criticism. If there is something that a person can teach you, that’s fine, as long as it’s presented in a respectful manner. But the attacks on your care for your animals by knancy and others, and those pathetic “tuff” comments I would rather do without. It really takes the enjoyment out of it. You are a sensitive person, too, and because you choose to share the good and bad of farm life with us, you shouldn’t be a target for people who lack a life. It’s so easy to be an ass when you don’t have to leave your real name and can hide behind a computer screen. How much more difficult to show your life, the good and the bad, to the whole world. Please keep doing what you do, and delete the idiots!

  204. 5-2
    10:25
    pm

    Here’s my thoughts. You’re not the government and people don’t have 1st amendment rights on your blog. Delete them. There is enough nastiness most of us have to deal with in life without having to read cutting comments on blogs. It’s one thing for a poster to gently and politely point out how you might have gone wrong or how to improve things, but attacks or snide comments are not constructive.

  205. 5-2
    10:30
    pm

    I do not often read the comments or comment myself but I am an avid reader who has thoroughly enjoyed your blog for years….Thank you!!! I enjoy truly your positive sunny outlook and trust totally your judgement.(I also like your books.) It seems to me you are doing great following your heart. Please keep up the good work. I do also recommend your site to others. You are definitely one of the best ones out there IMHO. I will keep voting that way too.

    Sincerely.

  206. 5-2
    11:14
    pm

    Delete the mean, rude comments. They are a waste of time and are not what this site is about. There is enough negative drama in the world. We come here for help, education, beauty, laughter and all the good things kindred hearts seek.

  207. 5-2
    11:41
    pm

    Suzanne and friends of CITR –

    You have very good instincts. My thought is “go with it”. You have an innate sense of right & wrong, good & bad. I agree with the majority of comments which have come before – some of the non-helpful comments probably should be deleted. Others are potentially helpful to some if not all of your followers.

    Hope this hels,
    WVG

  208. 5-3
    12:51
    am

    Ultimately…you know which comments are helpful and which are just snide and nasty….delete the stuff that is not helpful….

    Sorry about Clover….my two cents? don’t censor your experiences, I learn from them everyday….

    Hang in there! The site is wonderful!!

    :purpleflower:

    MintaMichelle

  209. 5-3
    6:50
    am

    Like CindyP said “I came for the bread and stayed for everything else!”
    Thats the same for me too!!! The Grandma Bread Recipe has transformed my life! Its so great to be able to make wonderful bread, my daughter wants to eat it immediately it comes out of the oven, I keep telling her “no baby, wait for it to cool down”.
    The other items you write about are different to my usual interests, e.g canning, etc but I just skip them and go to my favourite sites/forums on chicken in the road.
    I have never gone to a site, found that I dont like it and then wrote bad things, I simply close the page and go to the next site that has the info I need or that apeals to my taste.
    So like the others have said, keep contructive critisim but by all means delete the destructive, hateful comments.
    Am sure most of us are only interested in learning about how we can make better bread, do the canning better, for those with farms – how to do farm stuff better etc, like you said we are looking for a soft place to land.
    Cheers!!!! :fairy:

  210. 5-3
    8:02
    am

    Suzanne, for me CITR is like meeting a group of friends every morning for tea before starting the day. Your gardening, cooking and animal tales (and those of others) encourage me when things are far from perfect. When you are with a group of friends you do not expect to be attacked or unfairly criticized, if it was face to face we could stand up for you, as it is my vote would be delete what you want to, it is your blog.

  211. 5-3
    8:27
    am

    Suzanne,thank you for sharing your life and family with us. I and so many of us all love your blog and visit every day to see what is happening. Now don’t forget that you don’t have to tell us every thing, some things just got to be private. Just carry on as before but….. don’t feed the Trolls we don’t need them upsetting the apple cart….. they hurt us as much as they hurt you. Love you Chick keep up the good work. xx :hug:

  212. 5-3
    9:39
    am

    Suzanne, I have gone to your website almost every day for over a year and this post of your prompted me to register so I could respond to you.
    I love everything you do on the site – sadness and all. Please continue to be true to yourself and know that there will always be naysayers out there. They do not reflect the vast majority of your readership.

  213. 5-3
    9:56
    am

    Hey! When did we have to start logging in to post? Good thing I wrote it down! It’s been a really long time.

    I’m with the others-it’s your blog and you can run it how you see fit. Why should rudeness and negativity be tolerated anyway? And please don’t censor yourself, unless it’s to protect the innocent (your kids!). I like to read about the triumphs and trials of self sufficiency. Delete away!

    ~Debbie

  214. 5-3
    10:41
    am

    Hi Suzanne:

    Since getting a new boss back in October I haven’t been able to keep up on a daily basis with what is going on but I’m throwing my 2 cents worth in the pot. I’ve been reading you for a couple of years and I love living your farm life existance vicariously. I think your animals are all well loved and cared for. It is obvious that you are a good mother since you so diligently drive through mud, snow and all sorts of other stuff to get your kids where they need to be. I admire your strength in taking your kids to a crooked little house to die, and I wish I had a Clover and Annabelle. I think you are incredibly brave to share so much of your private life with total strangers on the web but you are funny, interesting and resourceful. I’m older than you and had my years of huge gardens in the backyard of my midtown home, spent hours over a hot stove, canning and freezing food during the summer and made the trek back and forth to my kids school (elementary only) approximately 5,240 times (I counted). Keep up the good work. I have no problem with you deleting negative comments–it is your blog I just don’t want to see you stifled by people who just want to be mean. There are more of us positive people out here in the blogosphere than there are negative nellies. BTW, I love Clover.

  215. 5-3
    11:02
    am

    Woo hoo! I just joined this fine bunch of folks! Suzanne…I have noticed on any website you are always going to get the ugly stuff.
    I greatly admire you. I don’t have a clue how you do all you do! Saving to take your kids on vacation is an admirable thing that not many do these days. I would advise you to delete comments that you feel are not nice. After all girlie, It is your website!

  216. 5-3
    11:34
    am

    Suzanne, I came here looking for a West Virginia Fried Bologna Sandwich when you were living in the slanted little house and incubating chickens.I continue to visit you because you are a breath of fresh air.I’ve cried when you cried, rejoiced with you when you found a new barn or outhouse to photograph(lol)and watched your children grow.
    I read in awe about how to make cheese, candles,bread,the list goes on and on.
    Delete the haters. They are no good for anybody.Keep on keeping on. :heart:

  217. 5-3
    12:19
    pm

    I think your idea of letting the readers decide if a comment should stay or go is a good one. I have also been the victim of unprovoked attacks and I know it hurts. I also have come to the conclusion that some people are just plain mean and honestly feel joy from inflicting pain to others. I’ve never understood those poor souls and never will. All you can do is pity them. I love this site, your farm and your animals….not to mention you and your family. Keep up the good work and be assured that you are loved and respected by all who count.

  218. 5-3
    12:23
    pm

    This is my soft place to land! there is enough negative things in the world today, I personally don’t want to read them here!! I love this site, and am sorry there are people out there that feel the need to post snide comments, probably just miserable souls, I wont’t make any more snide remarks about them. I love the community here, upbeat, inspiring! Thanks for all you do Suzanne!!!! :snoopy: :snoopy:

  219. 5-3
    1:15
    pm

    Suzanne,
    My opinion is to just keep doing what you’ve been doing!
    Those of us who come to your site do so for friendship, advice, knowledge and those wonderful snippets of your life and family, and do so voluntarily. Okay, maybe habitually, too!
    I’m sorry that there are those who don’t like what they see or read, but they can just go away…..if they are so rude as to voice or vent any, well, we didn’t ask for them so delete them, I say!
    There are other sites where such comments may be welcome, just not here.

  220. 5-3
    7:26
    pm

    I think you should post the good and the bad that happens on your farm. It helps you to do so. It’s a step in the grieving process, letting us share that with you. It helps us to see that others suffer loss too. We all know what it’s like to lose a pet, even at birth.

    Reality is what it is. There’s no escape from it, that’s real life. I think it’s wrong of society to teach it’s young people that life is about fairness. It isn’t. Life is not fair and no one should expect it to be so. It is full of love, life and loss. Sharing those things is what makes friendship and brings people closer.

    I think you take wonderful care of your animals! People who think otherwise have obviously never kept animals! lol!

  221. 5-3
    7:28
    pm

    I think you should delete snide, hurtful and mean comments but not every negative comment fits into that category.

  222. 5-3
    8:11
    pm

    I agree with Runningtrails ! :happyflower:
    Thanks for all you do ! :hug:

  223. 5-3
    11:59
    pm

    I agree with most of the posters above.
    I don’t read comments all that much, just due to lack of time, but I start my morning and end my day here. You’re inspiring, honest and open. I like that.
    I think you should delete anything that upsets or offends YOU. It’s YOUR blog. Nobody makes the negative posters come here and if they don’t like it, leave.
    I agree that some negative posts can be constructive, but mean is just mean. Call it what it is. People like that aren’t interested in changing. No point in “dimming the light” for everyone else.
    I trust your judgement and don’t feel that you’d delete something negative just because it might be a difference of opinion.

    Carry on as you’ve been doing. I love this site and won’t be going anywhere, negative comments or not.
    You have a loyal following of polite people who are interested in what you write.
    The negative posts are THEIR problem, not a reflection on you.

    Deanna

  224. 5-4
    10:47
    am

    Suzanne, I started reading your blog when you lived in the slanted little house because I wanted to read blogs by people in my home state. I found yours and fell in love with it. I read it everyday and has taught me many lessons, much comfort and too many smiles to count. When I work in Charleston and people mention Spencer I want to say I have friend that lives there! I want you to know that you have touched my life in times when I needed it…my granparents passing and my Mother is terminally ill. Reading your blog brings me home to the farm that I grew up on….

    Your place in my day is priceless…Thank you for being you! Thank you for this wonderful blog that I make my way to each day.

    Ignore the negative remarks..delete them all you want! You are a blessing in my life!!!!

  225. 5-4
    1:13
    pm

    Being a big fan of yours (and wishing I had the life you live!) my heart felt heavy reading this post. I heard a few days ago that no matter where you are in your life, there is an average of 10% of people that will not like you/criticize you. Don’t get let down by the negativity of others, post what you feel you need to post. People (rational, logical people) understand that everything lives and dies, even if its is for the briefest of moments…

    I come here to read what you have been up to, to relish the days(s) that you have either by chasing, milking, baking, loving, etc. I don’t usually read others posts unless its in the recipe section, and that is only for my personal adjustments if necessary.

    I say, keep up the good work. You have a big fan here in the middle of the Canadian prairies!! :purpleflower:

    Dianna

  226. 5-4
    1:56
    pm

    Suzanne: After reading the above comments, what can I say? What you have contributed to our lives is beyond measure. This is YOUR website. You do what you feel best…and what makes you feel best.

    There are, unfortunately, people in this world who are mean spirited and spiteful. They make themselves feel better by making others feel small. But what happens is, in doing what they do (leaving spiteful posts), they make themselves look small. The love and appreciation from your followers far surpasses the few spiteful posts. There are always weeds in a beautiful garden.

    Keep on keeping on…you’re doing great. Don’t let the few overshadow the many. We love your website; you do a great job caring for your animals; you’re a great mom; you have been a positive influence to all of us…. you are adored by the multitude!!!! :happyflower:

    BOTTOM LINE: It’s your website. Your faithful followers are more than happy with how you have inspired and enriched our lives. AND, we love you just the way you are!! :heart:

  227. 5-4
    3:26
    pm

    Be true to who you are……flick the naysayers away with a brush of your hand. Be real. Only the truth survives in the end- and you are called to be courageous and speak the truth. A wise writer once told me that we should treat our stories like John Wayne treated bad guys. “Shoot first, ask questions later and let God sort them out.” Speak the truth and don’t hold back- it only makes for bad writing and you will be rewarded for your bravery- it’s what had brought you this far- just the act that you have questioned your hesitation tell me that you know it is wrong too………..

  228. 5-4
    5:46
    pm

    I just found your site today. Have spent over 4 hours looking, reading and enjoying. I really did not see anything that I would complain about. I have really enjoyed the time. I will be a visitor to your site quite often, I am sure. I applaud you for your many successes. As one who has moved from a big city to a 100 acre plot with no electricity, water, phone, or even a decent road, etc. I really enjoyed seeing the pictures of your road when you first began your trek. It reminded me of our challenges of 34 years ago.
    Keep up the good work and I’ll be checking back often.
    Pudgie from Indiana

  229. 5-4
    7:30
    pm

    Suzanne- Thank you for addressing this subject.I’m fairly new to your sight and actually didn’t log in for quite some time. And this is why: There is another website called BackYard Chickens that had a lot of useful information on raising chickens . I logged in, shared an experience and the person who had something like, 1200 posts told me I was an idiot. My opinion is delete the mean-spirited comments to keep your sight puposeful and welcoming. And from my heart: don’t take it personally. There are mean people in this world. You’re love for your animals shines through the pain you’ve shared over your losses. And I am sorry for the losses. But share,…thank you!

  230. 5-4
    9:21
    pm

    Things aren’t always rosey at our farm either. Just yesterday “Stupid White Chicken” went out in the road and got splattered. Her name was very fitting.

  231. 5-5
    8:55
    am

    Suzanne, I’d say just plain rudeness is a far cry from constructive criticism, or an opportunity to use a comment as an educational point.

    My facebook page is just my personal page and certainly has no following like yours does, but I had the same experience with someone leaving negative comments on there recently, and I chose to delete.

    The bottom line is (as I realized in my own case) that it’s YOUR blog. I realize that with the participation and interaction with your following, it’s also “our” blog but, first and foremost, this is your forum to tell your stories, and that’s what brought us all here to start off with. If you are pushed into moderating yourself, I feel it will take away from the experience we have of your writing. I also feel that the saying, “To thine own self be true,” is very applicable here.

    Thank you for sharing your blog and your life experiences, and keep on being yourself! Delete away anyone who is here for the sole purpose of denigrating you or your writing just out of plain nastiness. Those people contribute nothing, and you don’t need to put up with it in what is an extension of your home.

  232. 5-5
    4:20
    pm

    I read you religiously after years, but I stopped reading the 24/7 My Amazing Perfect Country Life blogs long, long ago. Because omgzzzzzz.

    You are just such a lovely, sensitive writer I am certain that you could – if you choose to, and if you really truly WANT to- write about even the downsides of farm life without upsetting normally balanced people, which is the large majority of people here, right?? I admit there have often been times that it seems, merely by fact of omission, that a big old force of nature has made a silent drive by in your blog, and I admit that I think that is as much a part of the story as the happy silly wonderful bits, and miss the details. Maybe make a new category for Really Real Farm Life (no, really) so that anyone who doesn’t want to know, won’t.

    As for rude comments, I don’t care whether you delete or not, because I usually skip over any weirdly negative (or weirdly adoring) stuff, it’s just not interesting. I wouldn’t miss it and anyway it’s your blog, woman! It should make you feel good to “be” here, not cause additional anxiety because of what some silly unhappy anonymous person projects and dumps on you. Suffering abuse doesn’t give you street cred or brownie points in heaven (or wherever), just agida in the here and now.

  233. 5-6
    2:42
    pm

    Just want to let you know I have been a reader of your blog from the get go….people can be so blasted mean…they don’t think…..plus the added fact “no one knows them” seems to give them the power of writing whatever. (Sorry about that run on sentence) Anyway, I think you have more readers in the positive corner than the negative….and besides that who cares! It is your blog, your life and you are doing a mighty fine job…so you go girl…. goooooooooo

  234. 5-6
    3:41
    pm

    Suzanne, though I’m not a regular “poster,” I am a regular reader/enjoyer! I think the basic criteria you’ve been using for moderating have been just fine. I also think you should make yourself comfortable..it is, after all, your blog. If you can stand the post in question, leave it. If you think it is entirely out of line, delete it. Pretty near all of us have enough experience with the internet to discern trolls from politely-expressed opinions; the community may rumble some, but I think for the most part won’t suffer.

    Just as an aside, I enjoy your photography very much. I’m from rural upstate NY, and it reminds me of home.

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Discussion is encouraged, and differing opinions are welcome. However, please don't say anything your grandmother would be ashamed to read. If you see an objectionable comment, you may flag it for moderation. If you write an objectionable comment, be aware that it may be flagged--and deleted. I'm glad you're here. Welcome to our community!

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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