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With Love, From the Little House

For Esther words from the little house right to your inbox, plus a free ebook called “Twenty Tiny Stories from the Woods,” sign up here.

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

In Defense of Doing Hard Things (VIDEO)

This talk is for you if you're spinning your wheels, or if you need a call to courage, or if you need to be kinder to yourself. This talk is for you if you're doing something hard and you need a friend. And certainly it was for me, because I needed all those things.

Getting Stuck in the Snow, and What Else I’ve Been Up To

Hello, friends! If you follow me only when I write words you're a little bit behind. I've been short of words lately. Run clean out of words. But don't worry, you didn't miss much. We [...]

It’s Here!

In some magic world, launch day is the day to say wise, conclusive things about the importance of story and the importance of community and how wonderful it is to share our gifts with the world. HAHAHAHAHA.

Deep Snow and Soft Mercies

I'm so ready for Christmas. As so many of us are. Whether it's the coming of Christ or the coming of the snow or a needed vacation, or all of the above, so many of us just could use a little bit of star-shine right about now.

The House in the Woods

The first snow of the year and the kids were too sick to play in it. The head cold is working its way through from youngest to oldest. Sadie had it first and now she’s [...]

New Days and Superpowers

It's November and the yurt is pierced with cold. We've entered the darkest season of the year. Night falls long before you want it and sticks around long after its welcome is worn out. The worst part is that this isn't even the worst part. For the next four weeks -- the weeks of Advent -- the days will get shorter and shorter yet.

Secret Messages and Beautiful Things

I read somewhere in the midst of my Facebook feed yesterday that God's voice through all this is saying, "I love you. I love you. I love you." It may be drowned out by all the things. Real trauma, real nonsense, real dialogue. But it is still there, through the mist: this beautiful truth that we are loved.

A Fireside Chat (VIDEO)

Today's Thursday video is a hopeful and restful chat beside the fire, with emphasis on self care and the question of whether you can identify a certain obscure literary reference.

Lessons from a Life Without Electricity (VIDEO)

The video I posted this morning is a sweet story for hope in dark places, and also a glimpse of my life without electricity. Enjoy!

Latest From Instagram

  • On the Dear Daughters podcast, @susiedavis asked me what advice I would give to my twenty year old self. This is what I came up with. We also talked about my book, #whatfallsfromthesky, and other books I love.
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What advice would you give your younger self?
  • These sweet boys were sold today. I tried not to get attached, but humans are softies, and I hope we always stay that way. I'll miss them. 
#tumblebabethegoat #thorthegoat #homesteading #homesteadlife #goats #goatsofinstagram #wethers #nubians
  • The next challenge is on. Nick has one week to get all these logs milled into lumber and this spot clear. That way we can do the dirt work to level the site for the new shop before we leave on our summer trip. 
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That's a pretty good problem to have, really. Do you think he'll make it?
  • Have you read (or listened to) my ebook "Twenty Tiny Stories from the Woods?" It's all short stories from our life in the yurt -- all mad and beautiful the way those days were -- and it's going out to all my newsletter subscribers TODAY! 
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If you want some Esther words right now, click the link in my profile. And if you're already on the list, check your email! #happyMonday #nicethings #goodmailday
  • My special peach tree is in bloom. Whether it was a good idea to grow a peach tree up against the yurt in the long term we can't say for sure.
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On a south facing wall it is warmed by the canvas behind it, which is great for getting early blossoms and ripe fruit in our zone 5 climate, but freezing and thawing in winter may cause damage to the trunk over time. 
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Still, for an impatient homesteader in a harsh landscape...growing up against the wall has been a great way to push this little tree to give us delicious fruit! Plus...points for looking so pretty. 
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Go little peach tree, go!
  • I'm so grateful for every kind word that has been said about my memoir, What Falls From the Sky.
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As soon as my book hit shelves I braced myself for the worst. My precious, vulnerable, not perfect story out there for all the world to see. ... And it's not even about homesteading. 😬😬 __
But you've been so kind to me. You've said, "me, too." And you've said, "I see you." You've said, "Write more." And you've said, "I thought it would be more about homesteading...but I liked it anyway."
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Thank you. I'm coming up on the end of this six month run of being a published author and I don't have enough thank you's. It has been hard and beautiful, like everything that matters. 
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You've challenged me to give better, be less guarded, come down off my mountain now and then and live every day less afraid. 
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Thank you. This matters. You matter. Here's to the next six months. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
  • My little warrior queen. ❤️❤️
  • I was reading fiction to my kids last night (the way I do) and I was struck by a line completely out of context. "You're no good to anyone dead."
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Our homestead life is about independence...and preparedness...and self reliance. But it's also about simple pleasures and simple joys. Because we can't do good work unless we receive hope and healing from all the beautiful ordinary things. 
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Loves, if you're doing hard things and dreaming big, I love it. But do me one favor? Remember to take pleasure in the little things? See colors, hear sounds, be in relationship, let your well be filled up? 
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You deserve it. ❤️❤️❤️ This message brought to you by the second book in the Land of Stories series and the Fouch-o-matic senior hens, with their ordinary beautiful offerings. ❤️❤️❤️
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What fills your well?
  • Clearing the future site of the Fouch-o-matic shop. #homesteading #spring #buildingseason
  • Stella's favorite so far of the books the hive mind recommended her. I could curl up in it myself to tell the truth... #offgridkids #bookwormsforever #stellabella #sistersgrimm
  • The girls got spring haircuts. Sadie thinks hers is pretty cute. 😂😂
  • Little yurt on a misty morning. #ilovemyhomestead #spring