Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon


December 17th, 2014

I mentioned last week that I was waiting for a light dusting of snow so we could get our Christmas card photo. This past Friday morning we work up to the perfect conditions for our photo. Out we went to work on our plan…
Christmas Card 1
Christmas Card 2
We took a bunch of photos, some which included the two of us. Our friends are always telling us to include ourselves in our Christmas card photos. After playing around with the photos and supplies from my office and sewing room, I came up with a lovely card:
Christmas Card 4
Christmas Card 3
I worked for a few hours yesterday and am about halfway through the construction process for the cards. Next up, addressing and getting them to the post office to be delivered far and wide. Now I can start thinking about what I want to do for next year. I love making Christmas cards because it gives me something creative to do. Each year I spend so much time trying to come up with a fun idea that is unique. Here are a few of our past cards:
Christmas Card 2009
Writing Christmas Cards 2
Christmas Card 1 (1)
Christmas Card 2 (1)
Last year I didn’t end up doing a card because we ran out of time. With the slaughtering of the pigs and a 10 day trip back to Ohio after Thanksgiving I simply wasn’t able to get photos finished in time for printing. That’s one of the reasons I’m printing and making my own cards this year instead of having them printed professionally. I hope our friends and family enjoy our cards as much as I enjoy making them.

Hello Sunshine

December 16th, 2014

With the shortest day of the year fast approaching, citrus season comes just in time to add a little sunshine do our days. Late last week I received a box of delicious organic citrus from G & S Groves in Texas. This week I’ll be ordering a box of Meyer lemons from Lemon Ladies.
grapefruit 1
Blood oranges will be ordered in a few months, along with boxes of lemons and limes as well. As local as I try to eat, I will never be without citrus in my fridge or pantry! Thankfully my small lemon tree is starting to produce quite nicely so I’ll need to order a little less this year.
My favorite citrus is grapefruit, with limes coming in a very close second and Mr Chiots loves oranges the most. This time of year I can never get enough of the tart zingy fruits, there’s just something about that flavor when the air is so cold outside my window. It really does bring a bit of sunshine into my day. I’ll be ordering another box shortly because I’m pretty sure my first box will be gone in a heartbeat!

What’s your favorite type of citrus?

Protective Pine

December 15th, 2014

Now that the ground is starting to freeze it’s time for me to start putting pine boughs on all my plants that can use a little extra protection during the cold winters.
Pine for protection 1
I have lots of small pine trees along the edges of my back field that need to be cut down so they don’t start taking over the open areas. They provide a nice supply of branches for all my plants. When I lived in Ohio I’d get a supply of pine boughs from our Christmas tree farm for free.
Pine for protection 2
I was able to get all my small hydrangeas protected and my newly planted roses. Pine boughs have always provided just right amount of warmth for my plants that don’t appreciate the cold as much as others.

What do you use to protect your slightly more tender plants?

Quote of the Day: Brett L. Markham

December 14th, 2014

“Home food production is an important proficiency that contributes positively to the physical and financial health of the family. Along with this, it provides and important physiological and spiritual boost by reaffirming our connection with nature and nature’s laws, reconnecting us with our ancestral roots, and providing the feeling of competence that comes from ensuring the supply of a basic necessity – food.”

Brett L. Markham (Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre)

pigs 1
Today is the day for our piggos to go to Iceland. It’s a somber day, not a day we look forward to and a day that is difficult to talk about. In fact it takes a week or two of preparing yourself mentally for what happens on this day. It’s not easy, but we feel like it best honors our pigs and the lives we tried to let them live. It brings us peace knowing that they don’t have to take a trailer ride or spend the night in a strange place. They can have a peaceful end in the place they feel at home. Peaceful for them, not peaceful for us.
pigs 2
We are happy knowing that they led happy piggy lives, rooting and wallowing, running and eating, snorting and being with another of their kind. It was especially nice that the last week has been warm so they could spend their last days happily rooting in the woods, exactly what pigs relish doing.

Friday Favorite: FaceTime

December 12th, 2014

Technology is pretty amazing, it can enhance our lives in so many ways. I mentioned earlier that we did the 12 days of Maine Christmas with our nieces & nephew. Their FaceTime wasn’t working for a few days, not we’re back up and running. It’s so much better to be able to watch all of them trying to guess what’s inside the box.
chatting with the kids
Being able to video chat is one of the great things about the times we live in. It’s so nice to be able to see someone face to face while talking. The introvert in my hates talking on the phone, but I don’t mind video chatting at all.

Do you use video chat to keep in contact with loved ones far away?

Also Find Me At
Reading & Watching

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

Tropical Traditions

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.