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

On Power, and Politics, and Where Our Dignity Comes From

I've had it up to here with the news cycle. Part of it is just hilarious, all the ridiculous things famous people are doing, and then the funny things entertainers say about those ridiculous things. But mostly we're laughing through clenched teeth.

Seeds and Water and Cold Days in May

I'm still fighting the good fight, trying to love this ordinary life, even when the world is so full of shiny things and distractions.

Big news, beautiful people

We slowed down and ate a lot of fried potatoes, and promptly TED released my TEDx talk on YouTube and Zondervan released my gorgeous book cover and Chris Verkerk found us a swarm. But it's cool, really. This is normal. It's just spring.

Swinging Back Home

This week I’m swinging back home. I’m spreading chips and planting seeds and clearing weeds of all kinds.

In Which I Have an Emotional Hangover and a Baby Goat

My birthday is in a couple of weeks. I'm turning 37. And of all the things I'm grateful for, I'm most grateful for this: that I'm so much better at letting myself have things that make me happy.

Fouch-o-matic Off Grid FAQ page

Fouch-o-matic Frequently Asked Questions: *** How big is the Mountain Dream Home? The house is designed to be 892 square feet, not counting attached greenhouse or food storage.

In Which We’re Really All a Mess

Things are a bit of a mess around here right now. Spring is a little messy for me anyway. (Exhibits here and here.) It isn't my best season. Add on a couple of extra things, like, oh, I don't know, a TEDx talk, and I'm about an inch of dark chocolate away from a meltdown.

Sun and Hail and Some Worries

I don't usually tell people I'm a prepper. In fact I often say the opposite. But of course I was born the child of a prepper. I'm grandfathered into prepper-dom. I'm a born prepper.

Ready or Not…

Right now I'm feeling it's completely glorious that there are so many people of like mind in the world.

Latest From Instagram

  • Homeschool.
  • Mother-daughter weekend coming to an end. We miss our family but we're not tired of each other. This selfie is for Stella and she picked the purple filter. 💜💜💜💜#stellabella #offgridkids #shelovespurple #travel #homestretch
  • My brother got married yesterday. There was a strict no-photos policy, but I cheated. I'm his little sister and I get away with things. Congratulations, Jacob Emery!
  • A real thing that just happened at our house:

Sadie: "Can I have some more green vegetables?"
DAD: "I'm sorry, there aren't any more."
MOM: "I can go get you some chicory." (Goes out, gets chicory, distributed to all three children, all three children eat it.) Sadie: "I was hoping it would be broccoli."
  • Delicious rhubarb bread with Stella's birthday breakfast this morning. Yum!
  • I have a new website. It's pretty beautiful. I feel like I just got a beautiful new dress. Except I don't wear dresses, but you know what I mean. The link is in my profile. AND If you find your way around it, you'll see my book cover and my TEDx talk!! #writersofinstagram
  • Yurt in spring. Happy May Day, everyone!
  • I was making a video, selfie style, when Tulip came up to give me this kiss. Maybe she dreams of a life on the screen? She sure is cute. #photobomb #goatbomb #glamourshots #homesteadlife
  • Here we go again! #cheepcheep #dontgetattached #chickensofinstagram
  • Stella's got a new craft! #knitting #offgridkids #stellabella
  • I think we just scheduled next week so that we're getting new chickens on Wed, new bees on Thurs and pouring the floor on Friday. Sometimes I don't know about us, y'all. #crazytime #orjustcrazy #homesteading #offgrid
  • I'm thirty-seven. I'm old enough to know my constraints (I should minimize travel, regulate social media, avoid social anxiety and never try to do big projects quickly.) AND old enough to appreciate my quirks. (I put tonic water in my herbal infusions and sing show tunes while gardening. #noshame) 
You guys, I love 37. And I would never have dreamed ten years ago, when I so feared getting old before I had accomplished enough, that the real prize would be this: the power to celebrate the things that I already had.

#realmagic #gratitude #beautifulthings #yearofslow