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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

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!

The Magic of the Woods

I've just finished my October (sort-of) fast from social media. I let my phone sit out of reach. I didn't answer all my emails. I didn't produce as much content as I sometimes do, or [...]

Latest From Instagram

  • Also flowers. Dead flowers. From last year. But still. #spring #homesteadspring #smallgoodthings
  • Pine cone and pine needle sand castle. First week of spring. Pond is overflowing, but safely through the overflow pipe. No mudslides here. We are tired from a long winter, but we are going to make it. #homestead #homesteadspring #sandcastlesofinstagram
  • First spring picnic of the year. There's hope! #sadielady #offgridkids #spring
  • Look at all these beautiful people! Holding our Night Prince. Stella is having a great time with her cousins who are visiting from the other side of the country.
  • Did you hear I was on PBS? I was on Dialogue with Marcia Franklin, talking about #WhatFallsFromtheSky and my off-grid life and my mom. Here's the coffee cup they let me keep after the show. You can see the show on Idaho Public Television one more time at 5pm today, or hear it on our local NPR station this evening, and I'll share YT and live stream links in a YT video update tomorrow. Stay warm, y'all. Stay hopeful. ❤️❤️
  • Goat babies!!!
  • For those who are like...but what does this homemade underwear made from t-shirts LOOK like? Here you go. We'll do a tutorial one of these days, I promise.
  • Here's proof that our rocket mass heater does the job, as there's Stella in her tanktop with a WALL OF SNOW on the other side of the window. :) #sweetestgirlsintheworld #happyjanuary #esthersbackoninstagram
  • We're totally buried. Send cookies.
  • Friends, if you're in winter hibernation OR winter over stress, do yourself a favor and check out this lovely conversation on The Open Door Sisterhood Podcast @theopendoorsisterhood. It's helpful, maybe even inspiring, and super frank. Link in profile.
  • Preview of the #fouchomaticoffgrid homesteading goals for 2017. A little easier than last year because wow. But also we're not letting ourselves off the hook. Video to come soon!
  • I just went on Channel 7 and it was great! I took Stella because (a) she is my muse (b) besides Nick she is my number one person to make me feel calm and grounded and (c) girls should see women doing awesome things!!! Thanks for having me on, @ktvb7!