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

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.

Mad Plum Woman

yet I will be joyful, not numb. Yet I will be human, not machine. Yet I will love the wild plums, and the cat who curls up at my neck, and put my hope in trees.

Strong Woman | Still Married (VIDEO)

This video didn't make it out on Thursday, but that's not the only thing that's unusual about it. I have so many times (especially lately) avoided getting into anything like "issues," and so often that's [...]

Flat Out

I don't know if I'm moving fast enough, to meet all the expectations over me right now. I don't know if I can. Honestly, I might be headed into some awkward moments. I can only hope that though I'm stretched thin I'll still be laughing.

Why I Avoid Conversations About Ethical Shampoos (VIDEO)

This week's Thursday chat is is a little hard to pin down, with vague references to snobbish quilters (maybe?), competitive homesteaders (almost certainly), and some unnamed person who really needed to tell me off about [...]

We’re Going to Make It

You'll be happy to hear that our little tantrum-plagued Sadie is coming through the worst of it. She felt frustrated this morning and emptied two shelves of picture books onto the floor. But then she [...]

Latest From Instagram

  • 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
  • Afternoon in the woods. #home
  • Hard to believe for this family of introverts, but we've had guests all week long. The perfect end to a busy week was a visit from my sister and family! My sister and I made plum jam together and dished about #allthethings the way only sisters can. Sadie, as usual, stayed right in the middle of things, though she could barely keep those little eyes open. #family #yurtvisitors #beautifulthings
  • Spiral staircase treads. #mountaindreamhome #beautymatters #bluepine
  • This is @dirtpatcheaven sitting on my front steps. Sadie is monopolizing her attention, which surprises no one . :) We all love living in the boonies, but we also love having friends who are brave enough to make the trek! #youtubers #homesteading #dirtpatcheaven #internetfriendsarerealfriends
  • Does this look as fun as it felt? We gave Marcia Franklin of Idaho Public Television a tour of our #offgrid life and in return she gave us a tour of the television studios! I was there for the sneak peek at the production side of things, but the kids liked the giant Big Bird best. ... They don't have any idea how cool their lives are. #offgridkids #homeschool #fieldtrip #publictelevision #publicmedia #bigbird
  • This kid. This hillside. So much happy. Also, If he gets anymore involved in this book, he'll fall in. #percyjackson #bookworm #offgridkids #lightningthief
  • Wanna guess what I'm making tonight??? #homesteading #homesteadwife
  • This kid made me a mom, nine years ago today. He changed my game completely, and has the privilege and challenge every day of teaching me what comes next. I'm so grateful. #happybirthday #offgridkids #forcedthatsmile
  • Apple plum butter. It makes me so happy, and please, I am not complaining, but...MY KINGDOM FOR A CROCKPOT. #woodstovecooking #homesteadlife #offgrid #outdoorkitchen  #justkeepstirring #justkeepstirring 😬😬😬😬