Letters from the Yurt

Receive our quarterly letter from the yurt once each season as the seasons change. Thank you so much for being part of our homesteading journey.

A lot of people told me that speaking for TEDx would be fun. Or, what an amazing opportunity. Or wow, that must feel great. I love these people. I think these people, in general, are geniuses. But also that was not exactly true. I think what I needed to hear was something like, “You will get through it. And then you can go to bed right afterwards.” That’s the kind of wisdom that I need painted all over the walls, and maybe on the back of my hands, too, whenever I work on vulnerable, soul-baring, challenging, creative things.

Latest From The Blog

The Case for Joy (VIDEO)

One thing about living off the grid is that it's very inconvenient. Here's my explanation of how it isn't the cold showers that make me happy...and what does.

Cupcakes in the Dark

The lights went off in the middle of Sadie's birthday party. I hadn't been thinking much about our batteries, or how full they were. ...

The Cost of Hope (VIDEO)

Today's Thursday chat is a bit deeper than some, and maybe less conclusive. Bring your patience and your appreciation of potential contradictions. But this is the truth of where I'm sitting right now, in my contemplative fall. I'm doing some thinking and some chewing and also a bit of rejoicing, and mostly thinking about how hope doesn't come for free.

A Good Rest

Do you ever wake up one day and realize how tired you’ve been for an entire year? I do this pretty much every year, when I take my October Internet fast. First I think, “wow, there are a lot of hours in the day.” And then I think, “oh my gosh, I need to sleep for all of them.”

Why I Didn’t Really Quit Homesteading After My First Year (VIDEO)

Sorry for the long title. This is just another chatty Thursday talk, with barnyard animals, the reason why I came back to homesteading even when I had every reason to stay quit, and some talk [...]

Ordinary Days of Fall in the Woods

I put up 200 pounds of tomatoes this weekend. I also turned off my Internet for a couple of days. The tired had gotten all the way down into my bones, and when that happens the only rest is good hard work --- best of all good hard work done leaning slightly on the porch post with a view of the hills turning to autumn.

The Secret to Slowing Down Your Life (VIDEO)

This is a special one. Also, you can watch the ducks swimming on the pond.

Love in Emoticons (and Other Thoughts About the Internet)

it is a huge part of my story -- a huge, crucial part of my story of becoming more myself and more whole and more human -- that I went for a year without the Internet. It is also a huge part of my story -- another huge, crucial part -- that I'm now the modern kind of off-grid homesteader, which means that electronics and electronic communication are integral to my daily life. Which is how it's true that I really can't go a day without emoticons.

Why I’m Not a Reality TV Star (VIDEO)

Here's a story I've told before, but this time in video, on the best commissioning I ever received as an insult.

Latest From Instagram

  • Spiral staircase beauty.
  • Instagram Image
  • Using all my magic powers to slow down time today, as my littlest turns four years old. May she never forget the joy of chasing a balloon. 😍😍#offgridkids #yearofslow #sadielady #allbigkids
  • Green tomato salsa! And I had to re-jar one pint of the red salsa because Nick opened it thinking it was sauce. 😮🌋😂😂😂which turned out okay for me because now he is motivated to put shelves and lighting in our little cellar. You know, to protect himself from unexpected cayenne in the future. :) #foodpreservation #thehomesteadwife #welikeithot
  • One quart jar of what Sadie calls our "homemade honey." Thank you, honeybees. Thank you, beekeeping mentor Chris Verkerk. We left the rest of the honey in hopes they'll make it through the winter. But this feels like a pretty awesome haul!!!
  • We're calling it on the tomato patch today. Good night, tomato patch. Picked everything (looks like green tomato salsa is happening, huh?) and let the chickens in. We are grateful for a good tomato year!
  • Elderberries!
  • Fourteen years today. We've lived a lot of lives together, but we're still so much the same. Happy anniversary, Nick Fouch.
  • Stella's ready for winter! #craftykids #crochet #offgridkids
  • Kid in a tree. #offgridkids #fall #slowdown
  • Last batch of wild plums. Probably. Actually, no promises. But probably. #homesteading #summer #madjamlady
  • Firewood time! #homesteading #offgridlife #fall