one turn of the seasons later

Oh, hi there! Thanks for stopping by. It kinda baffles me since, once again, I’ve gone about a year without writing anything. Yes, I still see visitors pop by out here now and again. Usually, I just think they’re lost — took a wrong turn while looking for something else — but occasionally someone leaves a comment. It’s those comments (and the gentle prodding from folks following my Instagram and Facebook accounts) that led me back here to write. Because if you weren’t lost — if you really were hoping to find something here — I’d hate to disappoint you. (If you were lost, backtrack a link or two and try taking a left at that big rock. Just keep going until you see the highway. You’ll be back on track before you know it.)

The end of last month marked my first full year in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, about a half-mile from the land on which I hope to live in the not-too-distant future. I’m living in a rental that keeps me (kinda) warm and (mostly) dry — a space for which I’m extremely grateful, given the scarcity of housing here. If I wanted to move farther out, there are a few lofts and sweet cabins that come up every now and again, but they don’t often take dogs the size of my Golden Retriever, which is non-negotiable for me. Besides, I can’t beat the proximity to Joyous Gard, which is what I call the 11.6 acres of mostly-wooded land I’ll call home.

When I look back, I see how much progress I’ve made despite both the usual and the unique challenges of the past 12 months or so. At the tail end of 2019, I had a 12×24 foot shed delivered to the property, which I’m using as a storage barn and intend to convert into a kitchen and bath building over time. I’ve done a little more clearing — some along the tiny stream that borders the property on the west and some around the home site — and I’ve had a bit of the wood from those felled trees milled for flooring and paneling.

Probably the most exciting parts of 2020, however, were getting the yurt deck built and…

(drum roll, please)

…the yurt put up.

Oh, yes. The structures are both in place. I have soooooo much to do before I can move in (which means spending waaaayyyy more time than I’d like in this crazy little patched-together rental house), but:

The yurt. Is. UP.

I’ll backtrack a bit so you can see parts of the journey I’ve taken without you, with a little bit of (BONUS!) video along the way so you can visualize what’s happening (or not happening). I’ve had to make some decisions about writing out here, which has meant having to face some pretty hard things about my schedule and setting expectations. But some of you have inspired me to start up again with kind words and encouragements.

You know who you are. And I appreciate you.

Christmas Day 2020 – Joyous Gard

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Susan Michelle Weisman says:

    Congratulations, that is great progress!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Denise says:

      Thanks, Sue! xoxo


  2. You never disappoint…..and as much as I thoroughly enjoy getting to vicariously hitch a ride with you on your exciting journey…..I’ve intentionally not complained about the lull in this blog. I knew your plate was full….and I knew you’d find your way back here. I just didn’t want to add Catholic guilt to come back to this place before you were ready to do so. So glad you’re back. And I know you still have a ton on your plate, so if it’s just a brief visit, thanks for stopping by….I’ll be here when you get back again….hugs….Lowell


    1. Denise says:

      Love you, my friend. Thanks for all your support and encouragement.


  3. vegancuckoo says:

    Oh wow DeniseπŸ’™ I have been on & off social media during 2020 so have gotten behind with your Incredible Journey to Beautiful Self-sufficiency in your Mountains πŸ’™ So wonderful to read this post & I’m off to reconnect with you on IG πŸ’™ wishing you so much Peace & Comfort πŸ’™


    1. Denise says:

      This means so much to me, especially as I’ve so enjoyed (and learned much from) your IG posts. Thank you for following me. Just…not too closely. Y’know, in case I go off a cliff or something. πŸ˜‰


  4. As I arrived here just a few months ago, I am delighted to be a little more current with your path when you find yourself in a good space to share. I am inspired by your courage and reassured by the humour with which you approach it. I too, am living vicariously through your adventure and I’m good with that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Denise says:

      Thank you, Lynda! Your encouragement means a lot to me.


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