a taxin' life

i made $13,683 for the 2011 tax year. which is a little less than $3000 over the poverty line. which is a nice, comfortable spot for me. i don't believe $13,683 makes you rich in this country. especially not when douchebags like this guy exist. and i won't pretend that paying my taxes this year wasn't insanely hurtful. i owed $323 to north carolina, for reasons i can't understand but that turbotax insists are legitimate. taking $323 from somebody that only made $13,683 is kicking a man while he's down. and i don't understand it. i don't understand most tax laws though. i happen to think i make a pretty damn good contribution to society by growing food for its members. but the government insists i need to give more. and so i do. and so we all do.

feeling rather angry and empty-pocketed and emotionally drained after finishing my taxes (i quite literally screamed, cried, laughed, and threw things throughout the blasted process ---poor nick) and mailing off my checks i thought i'd take stock in the things i do have. that make me irrationally happy. because its not in the money that you have but the life that you lead. and i love this life. despite all the crap, taxes, and farming regulations the federal government throws at us.

so in photos the things that brought me joy this weekend:

1. chocolate chip cookies. my cure all.
2. my little duck, pascal, who started laying these beautiful big eggs just this week.
3. discarded, dying, lillies from the farm store that i took in. their smell floors me. every. time.
4. the seeds that finally arrived. thank you sophie for the hudson valley seed library tip.
5. my boyfriend makes a bomb kombucha.
6. a tray found at a rummage sale on sunday.
7. a cold glass of raw milk in place of tea this morning.
8. seeing my printed words in the winter issue of wilder that arrived this friday. which was a first.

and not pictured, my old man who came into town to have lunch with me today. and for a little stroll. dads are the best.

*editors belated post script i do not intend to liken my financial situation to those truly struggling through this country and to whom living on/near/below the poverty line is a very serious and life altering situation. i don't have any school debt and my livelihood revolves around making food, so i am never hungry.  nick and i are very fortunate to have four parents who are tirelessly supportive of our lives and have vowed to 'never let us go hungry'. i live a very beautiful and blessed life and i don't mean to imply otherwise.  i do intend, someday to write a post more about the subject of the financial feasibility of farming. but that topic is a bit to much to wrap my little taxed head around right now. 


  1. Ugh! Sorry to hear about the whole tax issue. Looks like though you've definitely got your head and heart in the right place! Love the photos!

  2. I know the feeling. I had a baby this year, and somehow, all the tax credit from having him disappeared. We barely broke even. How does that happen when you barely make enough to pay the bills? Good thoughts for you.

  3. i have to say, you make a $13,683/year life look beautiful, desirable, fulfilling and worlds away from $3,000 over the poverty line. your life inspires me and makes me want to run away to a farm someday. thank you for doing what you love and sharing real life.

  4. @james.stephanie said it best. =)

    Concur on the douchebaggery displayed by those poor, poor rich dudes in the Bloomberg article. I was floored when I read it the other week. Was it a journalistic equivalent of a joke? Was it actually a very serious piece? Or....was it meant to draw the ire of the proverbial 99%? Either way.....it made me sick to read.

  5. Yep, total douche bag. You know what's real and truly important in this world. I know that doesn't make paying taxes easier, but you're going to be a much happier person in this life because of the life you lead.

  6. It is amazing what you can truly LIVE on, it really does come down to your attitude. This year I quit my job and started a small business, and even though my husband makes WAY above the poverty line and we have MORE than enough, I still catch myself whining and complaining that I want this or that and entertain the though of going back to work JUST so I can have those things (even though my business is exactly what I've always wanted to do and love it!).

    You guys are truly inspiring, and I hope one day that you are rewarded for all the hard work you do - goodness only knows where we'd be without farmers!

  7. I Love this thing you said so much, I'm keeping it as a quote forever: "its not in the money that you have but the life that you lead."

    That's why you and your posts are so wonderful. You are leading a beautiful, interesting, important life.
    I thank you from the receptionists desk :)

  8. I'm in the same boat. Taxes are a killer! xo, rv


  9. I hope you write more about this in the future. It frightens me that you owed taxes. I worry we will lose farmers as time goes on. Farming is by no means a glamorous life with a large paycheck.

  10. Aren't the HVSL art packs the best? I've been thumbing through mine on a regular basis since December, just for the happy feeling they give me. And for pete's sake, don't sit down with a calculator to determine the financial feasibility of farming (unless you add bonus line items to the income side like Feeling Sunshine on My Skin, Spending Time With Animals, Coaxing Food From the Earth). I know you already know the worth of those things. Not small things at all. Congrats on being published! I hope to get there, too, someday.

  11. those seed packs are so pretty!
    we owed 1,000 dollars last year ( i still don't understand HOW) and it HURTS to write that check. That article is laughable, it seems like a joke.

  12. I've shared that article with so many people since seeing it on here (strength in irritated numbers!!) I really hope that this man's sentiments are the exception to the rule, but if not, at least I don't have to invite him to thanksgiving dinner.
    And yes, those seed packets are beautiful!!! They almost look like they could be the covers of some of fantastic books.


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