homesteading

Workspace View

All summer, I looked forward to my new writing room in the strawbale house we’re building.  I figured it would still need some work, but it would be good enough…

Muddy Road

…and that was the problem. Not maintained, rutted, overgrown on either side, the mile long drive is the only way by vehicle in and out of this abandoned homestead we now spend half the year on….

Where I Write...

More like, “Where I Try to Write.” I’m about to head back to the city for the winter. As much as I’m looking forward to an indoor toilet and indoor shower, I’m also longing for a private writing space (…)

When Life Gives You Weeds...Eat 'Em

With all the rain out over the last few weeks and the challenges of getting the summer garden in, I’ve been grateful for food that sprouts with no effort on…

Shower Under the Apple Tree

People often ask me what it’s like to live in a yurt. As I wrote in an essay published in The Smoking Poet last Fall, much of the living goes…

Domestic Challenges, Wild Beauty

I’m ecstatic to be back on our property in Northeastern Oregon.  There’s lots to do: organizing inside the yurt to make cooking and storage more convenient, building a spring box…

How I Grabbed My Poetry Career by the Horns

I’m honored that my first poem ever to be published — “In the Flat Field” — is in The High Desert Journal. It’s a fabulous regional publication that showcases writing rooted in the Interior West of North America….

Ancient Lessons in Food Storage

One of the things I loved best about teaching high school social studies was shaking up students’ perceptions of history. And one of my favorite lessons was in Ancient History. I’d bring in a a jar of beans and a potato with so many sprouts it looked like an octopus (the fact that I always found one in my cupboard could have doubled as a cautionary lesson in the domestic arts)….

Building the Yurt

It’s easy to be impatient at the pace of progress of in our yurt living adventure. We still need indoor plumbing, shelving, walls on the porch….

Electrified Yurt

Okay, I’ll admit we had some electricity before. With Jerry being an electrical engineer, we’ll always have electricity. But we’re enjoying major improvements now: bigger solar panels and a more centralized system with wiring (still pretty funky) into the yurt. We even have a light switch (more on that in another post)….

My Remote Office

The dilapidated house is home to many packrats, a frog that lives in the old stove, a few birds, and many wasps. But the phone line goes to the house (and thanks to Jerry’s engineering now goes to the shady side), so that’s where I do my online work. It’s a lovely quarter mile walk from the yurt….