Wednesday, August 27, 2014

So Thankful for YOUR Support!

Yes - YOU. My readers and supporters.

I have received so many emails and messages of support, work ideas and even a few photography and portrait jobs! How can I ever thank you for helping me by sharing my post? I suppose this will have to do for now and I'll just have to keep sharing good chicken keeping information in an attempt to repay so many kindnesses! :-)

Of the many, many responses I got, 95% were so kind, caring and helpful! I feel so humbled by the outpouring of concern! You all are the best!!

And you know what I forgot to mention on my last post? I have something else to offer those who really do want to help my family! For those of you with young children or grand children, I have a brand new eBook out. It can be read on a Kindle Fire, on a smartphone (through the free Kindle application), on an iPad, tablet, laptop or desktop! It's called The Elephant's Tail and you can find it by clicking the title or the picture below for only $2.99:

(If you do buy the book and your children enjoy it, I would LOVE for you to review the book on - the more reviews it gets, the more clicks it will generate.)
And thank you in advance!


Of course any time a post like this is shared with so many, there will be those who misunderstand the words I have fashioned together. There will be nay-sayers and not-so-nice rumors. I'd like to clarify a few things for anyone who felt offended...

Some folks took issue with the following statements:

"I am personally not comfortable with the idea of asking for money, so I am not going to. If at all possible, I would like to EARN some money.
I'm very sorry to say that in our present situation we will be swallowing our pride and putting in for state assistance. It's a mortifying state to be in for anyone. We lost a house and our life in Texas to medical bills when our youngest was born and we have been rebuilding from the ground up since then. I really don't want to lose our current home."

I received messages and comments from quite a few people who mistook this as a shaming of those who set up fundraisers or receive state assistance.  I'm very sorry if you felt that way, but that is not what I said.

I shared my feelings. "I am not comfortable with the idea of asking for money." Some people are not comfortable around spiders. Some don't like clowns or the idea of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane... that doesn't mean they dislike or wish to shame circus-goers or paratroopers. It is simply an expression of MY personal feelings concerning MY actions. I am also prone to feelings of sadness right now, but I don't hate people who aren't sad. LOL!

Then I said, "I'm very sorry to say that in our present situation we will be swallowing our pride and putting in for state assistance. It's a mortifying state to be in for anyone."

Sadly, this was also seen by some as a personal attack of those who ask for help or who receive state aid. 

OK - for a little perspective, let me start a list of statuses you probably won't see anyone posting on FaceBook:

"Hooray! We've been self-sufficient for years now, but thankfully we will be depending on state aid for a while. What a great feeling to know we are just pennies away from losing everything!"

"I know you have a job and I don't right now. I'm gonna need you to get a higher paying job and give part of your earnings to me, mmmkay? I know you won't mind, so I'm not sorry."

"I had so much fun in line at the grocery store! My SNAP card (food stamps) really started some great conversations. Everyone assumed that I was an honest, hard-working woman with an entrepreneurial way of getting some extra food."

"I need a little help right now, and these memes I see all over the internet are just the boost to my self esteem that I needed!"

Yes - I am well aware that state aid was designed for families in situations like mine... but there are many people who aren't in this world. With so much negativity about those who collect state aid, why wouldn't I feel mortified - even for using the programs as they were meant to be used? If someone took offense at my emotions, perhaps it has more to do with their own feelings about needing state help. If you are sensitive about this, understand that we ALL are. I'm not shaming you. I'm expressing that this is a VERY hard thing for anyone to do.

A few were offended that I expressed I was thankful it was just the loss of a job and not cancer... because they have a loved one with cancer. I'm so very sorry your loved ones have cancer, but wouldn't you agree that cancer is worse than the loss of a job? My point here is that I am putting things in perspective. There will always be someone who has a harder situation than your own. My cup is half full right now and I am thankful our situation is not worse than it is.

Some people suggested privately that my husband and I just have to learn to live within our means. Fear not! We have no home phone, no cable, no manicures or fancy cars. Our youngest car is a well-used 2003 Honda with plenty of digits on the odometer. I, myself have a very well pimped-out 1995 Chevrolet Suburban... and by "pimped-out" I mean an incomplete paint job, decades-old french fries mummifying under the seats and a pervasive odor of... umm... mildew I believe - from the leak in the seals around the back ambulance doors. I haven't been working over the last few years because our youngest has a bit of a chronic pneumonia issue which means we get to go visit all our friends at the hospital a couple times a year on average for a few days. We adore the staff of the PICU, but we try to avoid bugging them too much! Check out what they did a few years ago - my daughter had been in bed for so long she had a hard time walking. To get her up and moving, the staff of Roanoke Carilion Memorial Hospital did THIS:

Finally, somehow, somewhere the rumor mill started grinding out information that I do in fact have a fundraiser going to benefit my family. Better yet, another popular chicken blogger has donated to it! For those who would like to perpetuate this rumor, please attach the link below so I can find it, get the money and buy groceries and feed for my chickens! For those of you who donated to this non-existent fundraiser, I certainly hope you donated non-existent money. And I thank you!

I have NO issue with other people who have fundraisers! None! It is simply my choice not to have one at this time... and if I do start one in the future, it will be attached to some entertaining video I make of myself doing something completely ridiculous so that you feel you got your money's worth... or there will be art involved that you will receive... or some other crazy service. I am a creative genius (well... that's what my mom told me once...) so there WILL be something attached if I get to the point where I need to start something like this. There just isn't one at this time, so don't believe everything someone else says unless they attach a link or some other form of proof.

I am not a catty person. I don't have any arguments or wars going on with any other bloggers or readers. I don't judge others who do things differently. I simply don't do drama - with two special needs kids, there is enough drama at home. LOL!

I am a chicken blogger and I am currently faced with a tough situation. I am looking for ways to earn money so we won't lose our 2.7 acres and super-sexy 1973 singlewide trailer. I am looking for ways to find stability and financial independence for my family.

So I hope I have answered any questions that may be floating around out there.

And to the many, many people who reached out to me with kind words and potential jobs, I thank you from the bottom of my heart! People like you make the world a better place!

~ Leigh


  1. God Bless! I pray your situation improves quickly. Stay positive & ignore the rumor mills & haters.

  2. Please ignore the 5% and dwell on the 95% positive comments.....easier said than done, I know. I care for, and homeschool my 8 year old, special needs grandson. Like you, 95% of the time people are so kind, but it only takes 1 inconsiderate person in line at the store to put a burr under my saddle. A nasty comment can ruin my whole day, and it shouldn't. I/you should consider the source and pray for these people. Remember....'this too shall pass'.

  3. Leigh,

    Ignore those negative posts. Every single feeling you expressed yesterday were the correct ones to have in my mind. You should feel those things. Well, at least I did in my day when I had to have assistance at a low point in my life. I was an unmarried pregnant 20 years old without a stable family to help out. So I applied for help and got it. I planned on going off as soon as my child was born. But then decided I would not be any better off than before, except now I would also be responsible for a child. So why not try to go to school and better myself before I went back out into the work force. I found a 2 year program to become an xray tech and stayed on state aid while I went to school full time. I hated it all. But I did every single thing they required back then. Took a day off school every 3 months to go prove that I indeed did attend and was in good standing. And that I had no other source of income. And that no, I am not telling you who the baby daddy is so you can go after him and cause me to be in constant fear of my life and worry for my child's safety. I hated using food stamps but by golly, I made the best choices nutritionally that I could to make them go the extra mile. I had the worst car possible to get me back and forth to classes and clinicals. My tiny house trailer was freezing cold and I needed to sleep with my little girl to keep us warm enough. But I got thru. And so will you guys with a little help.

    Why are your feelings wrong, I ask? Shouldn't we feel guilty that we can't pay our way in this life? Only someone who has a severe enough disability that work is impossible should be able to escape those feelings. Which means that about 98% of those on aid should be feeling guilty as hell. Even those whose reasons for being on it are very righteous, such as your current situation or mine all those years ago. After all, we want to work and have always worked. Paid enough taxes to support many others who do not work. And think about it. If the taxes we have personally paid in our lifetimes, the taxes that go to support welfare, were now suddenly back in our own bank accounts, would that not be enough to get us thru the hard times? So why can we not sometimes fall back on that same said system? Oh wait, that would be saying we don't need to feel guilty, LOL! Anyway, I hope that soon this all smooths out for your family. Meanwhile, I think you are an awesome blogger and some of the best have figured out how to make a decent living from it. So that is my suggestion for now.

    1. Thank you, CrazyAnn -
      You used welfare *exactly* how it was meant to be used! You took the opportunity to better yourself and make a better life for yourself and your daughter instead of being stuck with working minimum wage jobs and still in need of support for the rest of your life. Kudos to you!

      I will point out that in the horrific job economy right now, it is safe to say that the majority of people who receive state aid are honest, upstanding people who have lost jobs or become disabled. I have done some research on this in the past and found that true "welfare queens" are few and far between in reality. Then again, I like to believe the best in people. :-) The economy has been in the dumper for a while now. My adult son works at a Walmart with a physics professor, a psychologist and an engineer... it sounds like the beginning of a joke, doesn't it?
      So a physics professor, a psychologist and an engineer walk into a Walmart...
      and work an 8-hour shift.

  4. Though I do not collect welfare of ANY kind from the state or federal gov't., I will NOT sit here & presume to know the whole story as to why you and/or anyone else does collect welfare money.

    There is too much abuse of the system, too little training for those dishing it out, & all too often, the so called "leaders" of this great nation, just do not give a rip about the common man/woman as long as their pockets keep getting fatter & fatter from the money they steal from us.

    I realize that everyone goes through hard times; some more so than others. I also realize that when you have a family, you will do WHATEVER you must to feed that family, house that family, & keep the wolf from destroying what you have built.

    I realize this & know first hand of this....

    Still, I have never been on welfare(my choice) & I never will be on welfare(again, my choice).

    If you are waiting for me to condemn you because of welfare, or judge you for the choices you made, it's not going to happen.

    Last time I checked, I did not have the authority to judge anyone other than myself & to my knowledge, Jesus is not hiring*.

    Rest assured, that I shall keep you & your family in my thoughts & prayers, & it is my hope & prayer that blessing will rain down upon you.

    May GOD be with you always.

    James Capernius Reynolds

    1. Thank you, James -
      I will say this... If we had a *choice* about accepting state aid, rest assured we would not. At this time it is not a choice and there are no other routs or venues for us to look to, but hopefully very soon we will be able to get OFF of aid and move forward with our lives.
      Thank you for your thoughts and prayers - I am sure they will help us find honest, gainful employment very soon! In the mean time, I am so VERY thankful for a number of inquiries about photography and portrait/illustration work!!
      Have a wonderful day -

  5. I have recently discovered your web site and love the guidance, advice and general chicken chit chat.
    i am so sorry that you are having difficult challenges in your life at the moment. I really admire your strength of character in your approach to dealing with everything that is thrown at you. You can hold your head up high and be proud of yourself and your wonderful family.

    I am always looking for good books to read for my granddaughter, so i downloaded the Elephant Tail on my kindle. Then your other book Disaster Flambe popped up on recommendations so i downloaded that too. I love your style of writing on your blogs and this book has the same warmth, humor and general joie de vivre - it's thoroughly enjoyable!

    I wish you every success in this and all your ventures, you really are inspirational.

    Kind regards
    Deep in the Shire


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