Million Dollar Question


I get all kinds of strange emails. A lot of the time, it’s people trying to get me to sell something or promote something. Usually these things are totally off-the-wall and not even related to the topics I write about. These emails start out like this: “We have contacted you as we feel your readers/fans/followers might have an interest in (insert whatever they’re trying to sell or promote).” One recent one was a website where people could dish about topics like Kim Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan. I think that’s the first time the words “Kim Kardashian” and “Lindsay Lohan” have ever appeared anywhere on my website, so I’m pretty sure they aren’t hot topics of interest here. I also get all kinds of emails asking me if I sell this, that, or the other. Everything from candles to recently a request for corn husks. Then there are all the advertising companies. I’m very particular about advertising. I work with Federated Media, who provides quality, filtered advertising guaranteed not to offend my readers and help me support the overhead of this website. Not interested in any of these off-the-wall, never-heard-of-them ad companies that might put up porno ads for all I know. I get so many of these that they’re downright suspicious.

I never respond to these types of emails. (Well, usually I respond to the people who want to buy something to explain that I don’t sell stuff.) Most of the emails are in the spammy zone as much as the ones from Mrs. Navara Manolo, who is in a sick bed in the hospital and will be undergoing surgery any time now, but she wants me to know that I’ve won the Loteria Nacional. As soon as I send the fees, they will release my prize money!

Anyway! I did find this recent email interesting.

Hi, I’m the president of an online content company that specializes in running long-established content websites. We are interested in purchasing your website, Please let us know if you would be interested in selling it or not and we will be happy to make an offer.

Like I would sell my website! With all my writing and photography! All my hard work!

I’m pretty sure this is as spammy as anything else and they might offer me $500. Or ask me to pay a fee and then they would release my prize money! But then I was like, hmmm, what would I sell my website for? Would I sell my website at all? What would I do, where would I go, who would I be if I sold my website? What if they offered me a million dollars? As if. But. Would I sell my website for a million dollars? I love my website. I love writing my website. I love what I do. What if I could sell it but still keep writing it? Would I do that for a million dollars? Give up ownership of my website? I would have no control over it. They could start running porno ads for all I know! They could tell me what I could and couldn’t write. And so on.

Would I sell Morgan? It’s almost the same! This website is my baby. It inspires my life, motivates my days, drives me out of laziness and depression, and satisfies my creative spirit. It fills my heart with gladness. You can’t sell–or buy–that.

Besides your family (i.e. PEOPLE), what would you NOT sell for a million dollars?


  1. KarenAnne says:

    Hey, ask them what they’d pay and what the terms are. Who couldn’t use a million bucks, and you could always start another web site.

  2. Barbee says:

    Hrumph! They have no idea what they are asking. And, they surely do not know you!

  3. Anita says:

    Hmm. There’s very little I wouldn’t sell. My pets, and my husband.

    My fourteen year old daughter? That’s negotiable sometimes.

  4. cindy3539 says:

    I like your attitude! I say don’t sell! I don’t have anything that I would part with even for a million dollars. Contentment with what you have is priceless.

  5. prayingpup says:

    I wouldn’t sell my puppies!

  6. Valerie says:

    My donkeys! I am so frequently asked if I would sell one of my donkeys. I have 6, with 1 on the way. They are my Clover, my Annabelle. How do you sell your babies? :heart:

  7. Julia says:

    Hmm, that’s an interesting question. Other than people, is there anything I wouldn’t sell at any price? Well, the pets, but they are almost people, aren’t they? Another dog wouldn’t be the same as the dog we have now. Some photographs, I guess, but I might sell copies. A quilt that my grandmother made for me, and some things my mother knit for me or my sons. Some gifts my sons made for me in school or scouts. My other grandmother’s pearls.

    But just about anything else in the house–if the price is right, they can have it.

    You didn’t ask Susanne, and I respect your decision to not consider selling you website. But this is an interesting question, too: “What if I could sell it but still keep writing it?”

    That might not be so bad. You love writing it, but do you love managing it–thinking about server size and dealing with spam and all those technical issues? You do a great job on all of that, but do you enjoy that part? Couldn’t some company take over those things and leave you free to do more writing?

    IF you want to give it some more thought, you might ask the company to give you some names of other sites they have purchased. How do those sites look? Are they still true to the original vision? Are they reusing the content anywhere? If so, what kind of control does the creator have over that reuse?

    Let me selfishly say…don’t change a thing!

  8. rurification says:

    I wouldn’t sell my privacy. I’m not talking the ‘people know my name and where I live’ type of privacy; I’m talking the ‘paparazzi everywhere, reality show, gossip on The View’ loss of privacy. Yuck.

  9. Auntie Linda says:

    Please don’t ever sell your website – reading it is such a lovely start to my day!

    There isn’t much I would sell, except maybe my step-daughter’s geriatric, incontinent cat…and that only for the price of a new LR carpet! (kidding, sort of.)

  10. BuckeyeGirl says:

    I don’t think Suzanne’s saying she’s considering selling, just that the whole situation made her think about what she has in her life that thinking about selling X, Y, or Z wouldn’t cause a wrench of her heart.

    I don’t have much that I wouldn’t sell for the right price, excluding people and pets (no, not including chickens, that’s livestock and really can be replaced!) I’d sell pretty much anything for the right price. Especially if it allowed me to give my people a better life.

    Even a web site could be replicated and replaced. Sorry guys, but if I were as talented as Suzanne, I’d be considering it, except that they WON’T be offering her $1,000,000.00 for it, it’ll be a few hundred at best. Remember I DID say for the right price, cause it’d be all about what that million would allow me to provide for my people a better life, and we’re Suzanne’s people too!

    Think about it! A “Stringtown Rising” website instead of Chickensintheroad. Although, if it meant selling them the stories about the slanted little house, and Ross completing Boot Camp, or “Princess” (Morgan) and her broken ankle, Nah, that’s too much like selling the kids.

  11. langela says:

    I like rurification’s answer–privacy. There isn’t much else in my life that I wouldn’t sell. I just don’t have much emotional attachment to tangible things. I enjoy them, love them, but can live quite peacefully with memories of them, while watching the poolboy clean my new pool and the maid clean up after my kids. I would love having someone to weed for me, cook for me,… What was your question?

  12. Bev in CA says:

    Interesting. Privacy is high on my list, I value that. After much thought I have to say that anything that is near and dear to my heart has no price. Life without CITR would be so sad.

  13. IowaCowgirl says:

    I wouldn’t sell the farm.

  14. MalagaCove says:

    I think I’d probably sell a large chunk of my “stuff” for that kind of $, but that’s about it. Stuff can (mostly) be replaced. A few years ago, I’d have said my bookstore too, but as I’m selling off my bookstore stock, wholesale, that is obviously NOT true!


  15. mammaleigh says:

    I have to agree with rurifcation, there is no way I could sell my privacy, I mean heck we were in the garden this morning and the most precious thing to to me is to watch my 2 year old run around with out a care in the world, she was also naked as a jay-bird too!
    Most of the things in my home can go, heck some of them I would pay for someone to take! But I guess it would have to be the dog, kids, husband, sentimental things that no one would want to buy because it would be junk to them, like the movie stub to my first date with my husband, or the beaded necklace my daughter made, or the flowers my step daughter picked in the yard while my husband and I were getting married.

  16. holstein woman says:

    I think if you sold it, it would be like selling us down the river. You wouldn’t do that anymore than you would sell your children.

    We ALL (I think) LOVE you.

  17. mamawolf says:

    We love CITR and you just the way we are. Can’t see how a group of absolute strangers could improve on the website. I vote for “not no, but ____ no”!

  18. daria says:

    I wonder if this is something to do with the Google Panda updates. Google is hitting websites who don’t actually have valid content hard – so I’d imagine that people will be in the market for real data to push to the top of search rankings. This could be one sneaky way around it.

    Hmmm, I don’t know what I wouldn’t sell for a million dollars. Privacy, identity, family, of course. But anything tangible I’d probably sell. I could make it again. ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. CarrieJ says:

    Hmm..I thought for sure this answer was going to be BP or Clover. For a million dollars I would not sell….my dining room table and buffet with mirror. My grandma gave them to me when she moved into assisted living and they are well over 60 years old and in MINT condition. I love those pieces and they are going nowhere!

  20. Liz Pike says:

    Everything has a price, even stuff at first we say we wouldn’t sell. Imagine what you’d (rhetorical) give up if someone brought you a briefcase with a million dollars in it! In cases like this it doesn’t hurt to put out some feelers, although in one instance, it did hurt me!

    Many years ago a driver by my farm noticed my black & white paint stud. He drove up the driveway (sorta like yours, Suzanne, an adventure in itself–whenever anyone did that I knew it was serious!), anyway he drove up, got out and admired Jester who was standing by the gate. When I approached, the driver asked how much I’d take for him.

    This for me was the million dollar question as even if the fellow had offered, Jester was not for sale, at any price, waaay too much sentimental value! But, like I said, for the right price…so I asked back, “What are you offering?”

    “Well, how is he, any vices, does he kick, does he bite?” And just as the words come out of my mouth, “He’s never kicked or bitten,” Jester reaches across the top of the gate and bites me squarely on top of the head. And then I swear I think he smiled at the potential buyer. The driver quickly cut the conversation short and scurried to his car. I looked at Jester and said, “Funny.” Of course he’s still never kicked or bitten…since. He just knew I was talking of selling him, and even for him a million dollars wasn’t enough ๐Ÿ˜† (the bite was very minor, didn’t even break the skin or leave a bruise. silly boy.)

    As others have said, you can always start another website because your readers are so loyal, with enough warning, they’d follow you; I know I would!! (If the company is serious, makes ya wonder what exactly are they buying because they can’t possibly replicate your content!)

  21. alienbody says:

    Well…there isn’t a lot that I wouldn’t sell, simply because I’d love to be rid of so much. Aside from my children (who, at times, I’ve been tempted to sell to a traveling circus) and my husband (and maybe a few heirlooms)…it can all go! My own blog is too new-ish to cherish, so I would sell and start over. Sort of sad to realize I can be bought…eh…I’d buy a Gypsy wagon and plant it by the sea and live out my days in uncluttered peace. Ahhhh…

  22. mackenzie93 says:

    Liz, what a wonderful (and hilarious) story!

    I agree that I wouldn’t sell loved ones (of course) or privacy, but there’s also a limit on how much of my time I would sell. I like my work, but people who work around the clock never seem to have time to really live or to enjoy life. so…I’d draw the line at selling all or even most of my time.

  23. GA_in_GA says:

    Money does not buy happiness for me. Found that out many years ago when I was a starving grad student and so very happy with my minimalist life and my two furry, four-legged roomies.

    There are many ‘things’ in my life I would be more than happy to give away to someone who is in need. But the four-legged children and now the two girls in the mini-coop are all significant parts of my life and priceless. My 15 year old daughter is probably negotiable some days. Husband, well he is a keeper for at least another 20 years as long as we have a space for his man-cave.

  24. Miss Judy says:

    I just went to a theater production of “Damn Yankees”…would not sell my soul! I am pretty content with what I have at the moment. I wouldn’t sell my Grandmother’s corner cupboard for any amount of money. Most other things I would let go pretty cheap ๐Ÿ™‚ For the most part it’s just stuff… and stuff is to share and enjoy.

  25. Alexandra says:

    A million bucks? I would think long and hard about it, Suzanne. Your site is precious, but you can, of course, start a new one with a similar theme. Cows in the road? Just think of the fun you would have, and the peace of mind from the financial backing to do as you please. Your followers are, or should be, your most fervent supporters. (that sounds rather priggish, but true)

  26. dm74 says:

    I could never sell my precious little pooch Peanut. Other than that, things are just things and can mostly be replaced.

  27. joykenn says:

    I guess it isn’t too strange that so many of us answer this question the same way–our pets, our family (with the exception of the wish now and then that the circus would one of them when most annoying) and a few momentos. After all, we all read this blog regularly so we value the same things.

    Its funny that when you’re young and don’t have anything or getting older and ready to simplify and give away stuff, we realize how little “stuff” really matters. It’s in the middle of our lives that we can often get caught up in acquisition.

  28. JOJO says:

    Not even times 10–My life for the pass 30 years couldnt be purchased for ANY amount. :happyflower:

  29. denisestone says:

    I wouldn’t sell my goats! People ask me all the time, but sorry buddy, no way! =)

  30. JerseyMom says:

    I’m facing a call-back mammogram and ultrasound tomorrow morning…and my beloved Mom died of the after-affects of the treatment that gave her 20 more years after her diagnosis. Kept her alive when she was diagnosed with very aggressive cancer (double mastectomy, reconstruction) and then killed her 20 years or so later with radiation induced cancer in her ribs and chest wall. So……I’m having a bit of a different perspective. I’m praying that this will be a benign biopsy thing – I’ve had two those already. But if it’s not then I will be giving serious thought to what to do with my life……and my ‘stuff’ My girls (adopted from China and Russia when I was in my early 40s..dh couldn’t have kids….) are the light of my life and so I want everything to center around them. If I’m not going to be here to orchestrate things as we moms do..then…. Sell stuff that doesn’t remind my girls of me. keep things that do remind them….and let’s take what’s left financially and combine it with the time any of us has left…and make memories!

  31. Puma45 says:

    First, can I say how much I appreciate that you went with a conscientious, conservative ad provider? I can’t stand being bombarded with pictures of abused animals or “naked” celebrities every time I visit my favorite sites.

    Other than my husband, daughter and dogs, the only things I wouldn’t sell for any amount of money is a picture of my daughter and my engagement ring. Yes, I love it THAT much!

  32. Chicken Crossing says:

    Suzanne, this site wouldn’t be the same without you. You’re what makes it so great. Please don’t sell! As far as what would I sell for that a cool mil? I’m not very materialistic so I could part with my stuff but don’t mess with my man, my babies, or my any of my critters!

  33. Runningtrails says:

    Hmmm…there’s little I would not sell for 1 million dollars. Hubby is a maybe, depending on he day. lol! but that’s about all. I might not sell my precious Abby kitten, maybe…

    I would definitely sell my website! I could always start another one just like it under another name.

  34. cindi says:

    I have to agree that I wouldn’t sell my privacy for a million dollars either. I always suspected as much, but being deployed to a crowded airfield in the desert, living in tent with a bunch of other people, that definitely cemented it for me.

    As for celebrities not being a hot topic with folks on this site? We haven’t watched tv for over 3 years in this house, and I don’t miss it. It truly boggles my mind, the amount of importance society places on these people, their lives and their opinions. ๐Ÿ˜•

    @ JerseyMom: You are in my thoughts…many prayers for your wellbeing. :hug:

  35. knititblack says:

    I wouldn’t sell my pets (dog and cat, they’re wonderful!), my wedding ring, or the few pieces of my grandmother’s jewelry that I have. Otherwise, most of what I have is replaceable. I have things that are precious or important to me, but really, they’re just things.

  36. farmershae says:

    I wouldn’t sell my freedom (seems like we lose more of our freedoms everyday…) or my good health (already gone, so kind of a moot point) All the stuff can go. I want to be free to farm organically, raise my chickens and meat, and drink my raw milk, without the government telling me that I can’t… you couldn’t buy that for all the money in the world.

  37. Bee says:

    I’m glad you wouldn’t sell. Of course, things are usually different when there is a real offer on the table, but I like what you said about why you wouldn’t sell.

    We had to evacuate our home last August because of a wild fire (isn’t all fire wild?). We moved in that June and had just gotten settled in. We don’t have a lot of “stuff” and most of what we do have is not replaceable. I mean, you can’t just go buy another one at some store. It was really hard to leave some things behind and other things took no effort to decide to leave behind. The fire didn’t come onto our property and didn’t get close enough to damage our home. Once we moved back in, we got rid of all of the things that we decided not to take with us because they weren’t that important.

    It’s amazing how things like the risk of loosing everything, or selling for a huge amount of money can put things back into perspective.

    I enjoy reading your blog and am glad you enjoy writing it.

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