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With Love, From the Little House

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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

  • Look at these big girls! We're stacking wood in the little barn that used to be home to our goats. Fall is coming on fast because I tried so hard to hold on to summer. ... It's a beautiful life. I don't want to miss any of it. But fall is here for real. The wind is cold. Rain is falling. Even the tomatoes are slowing down. We're cleaning out the rocket stove for another season of crackling fires and applesauce in mason jars. ... It's good that there is beauty in the fall and winter, too, even if I don't feel quite ready for how fast the seasons turn!
  • Garden love. ❤️
  • Little girl + elderberry tree. 😍😊
  • It looks like a workshop. Except it doesn't have any walls on it. Ahh!! No progress is visible as Nick is building some beautiful custom doors for somebody other than us today. But he did finish drawing up the plans for the real workshop -- which really will stand right where this makeshift set up is! -- and sent them off to the engineer to be checked out. So there's something to smile about. Now to get the sleepy little one off to bed. Sweet dreams everybody! I hope you can celebrate your small steps today, even if the big task seems untouched.
  • We caged our tomatoes today. All except for one that refused to be caged. We are calling it Franken-tomato and letting it stand (or lie, rather) as a cautionary tale. "Here lies Franken-tomato, who as a young tomato, failed to be staked." The rest are more or less caged, though. And however they grow, upside down or sideways, we are going to have a lot of tomatoes this year!!
  • Though we don't live in it anymore, our yurt is still my favorite thing we've ever made. It's the play room, the guest room, the office, the only room we have with a couch in it, and today a drying shed for the bundles of herbs that I grew around its perimeter. Right now Nick and I are doing a lot of thinking -- deep digging and long range planning. It's just the phase we're in as we plan for all our next steps. And I find myself looking at the yurt as inspiration. If any of us ever needed proof that you could do a lot with a little, that little DIY yurt is standing tall. #thelittleyurtthatcould #inspiration #diy #homesteadlife #gratitude
  • The catnip is taller than Milo!! #oops #shouldreallyharvestthat #gardenwild
  • It's our funny 4th ofJuly tradition that we set our simple dinner table somewhere it has never been before. Then when we eat and celebrate over our homemade French fries and cherry pie, we bless the space where we're sitting. 
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This year we blessed our future shop space. It's such a push to build another building. I kind of feel like I just can't and can I go back on vacation now? But this will be literally a dream come true for my carpenter husband, who has for so long wished he could just stay on property and make amazing custom furniture and homestead and hang out with us and have that be his life. Well...that and French fries and cherry pie. 
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This dirt pad will get (much) uglier before it gets prettier, but I'm all in. Here's to making dreams come true.
  • Anybody want some homemade cast iron skillet cherry pie? I know you do!! I got this home canned cherry pie filling from a neighbor last year and just found it again while getting organized for this year's canning season. I hope I gave her something really good in return -- I can't remember but I hope it was my best pickles -- because this stuff is the bomb!! #thanksneighbor #yum #happyfourthofjuly #homecooking #homesteading #foodstorage #castiron #castironcooking #noplacelikehome
  • Speaking of celebrating the ordinary beautiful...what is more ordinary beautiful than our resident garden toad? Sadie loves all creatures great and small...a bit too much, possibly. I might have to tell her the lie that toads cause warts just so that sweet toad can live his damp beautiful little life in peace!!!
  • We all slept in until 10:00 am this morning!!!! Maybe I wasn't quite as rested as I thought. But the sweet kids got up and made pancakes all by themselves. And the smoke alarm only went off once!!! ❤️❤️Happy Saturday, folks. If you need some burnt pancakes or a joyful noise this weekend you are welcome to share mine. :) #offgridkids #joy #Saturdaypancakes #noplacelikehome
  • We're home! And our homestead is welcoming us with open arms. These lettuces that Milo just harvested are self seeded and not irrigated at all, and there are tons of them. We have a thick wood chip mulch and a sheltered slope to thank for our no-work (we weren't even home!) harvest. 
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I'm way behind on making videos. That was bound to happen, as tired as I started out this unusual summer. But gratefully I can say I'm finally rested -- at least more rested than I've been in several months. I'm looking forward to waking up in my own bed tomorrow, and then sharing what I've learned with you!