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Back At it Again

October 30th, 2014

Back when I was sick a few months ago, I started a rainbow afghan. Of course once I was well again, it was put in a box and my time was spent catching up on garden chores. Last week during the days and days of rain, out it came once again and I started assembling it.
afghan (1)
It’s not my normal style & colors. I typically don’t go for bright primary colors, but I really wanted this to be classic. I can’t decide if I want to keep it or give it to a friend. One thing I can say is that the local hand dyed merino wool yarn does not make for an inexpensive project!
Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 6.37.48 PM
I’m pretty excited about winter coming as I have amassed quite a collection of projects I want to work on. There is fabric in my sewing room for two new quilts and I have an idea for a third. I have a shirt I want to make, along with a skirt as well. There are also a few new skeins of a mustardy yellow wool I picked up earlier this week for a warm cowl that I will hopefully be wearing this winter.

Do you pick up any sewing, knitting, or other handicrafts during the winter months?

Thinking Outside the Bowl

October 29th, 2014

I’ve been trying to add more vegetables to my diet, which means I’ve been adding them in at breakfast. All too often my breakfast consists of scrambled eggs and a little sauerkraut on the side, not unhealthy, but not as diverse as it could be. Salads have been my go-to breakfast recently, with a side of smoked salmon, bacon, smoked sardines, or some other kind of protein. It’s actually a very convenient way to eat up dinner leftovers if you don’t have enough for dinner or don’t feel like eating the same thing a few nights a week! It’s also a great way to eat up the extra vegetables from the garden in the summer before they make their way back to compost.
breakfast of champions
Yesterday morning I had venison cooked up with taco spices, mixed with onions, peppers, and sweet corn (leftovers from Sunday night’s dinner). The homegrown mix of scarlet mustard greens, lettuce, cilantro, and arugula were dressed in a cilantro lime vinaigrette with a sprinkling of dulse (which is seaweed for those who haven’t heard of it). I enjoyed a grapefruit on the side and a spot of kimchi as well. The only thing lacking was avocado, which I sadly didn’t have. It was delicious and kept me going late into the afternoon. I really felt like got a ton of vitamins/minerals/antioxidants, more than I get from my all to often plate of scrambled eggs. So far I’ve managed to keep up the plate full of vegetables for breakfast for the past two weeks and I notice a big difference in how I feel. Definitely something I’m going to keep up with!

What’s your favorite way to enjoy vegetables for breakfast?

Lighting a Fire

October 28th, 2014

There’s nothing that will light a fire under a gardener like seeing SNOW in the 10 day forecast.  That will turn the slow rhythm of fall cleanup into a frenzy of work, at least it does around here, perhaps I’m the only one.
Fall cleanup 1
Yesterday was spent madly mowing and mulching leaves, planting a few remaining perennials and emptying all the pots of summer annuals. The soil from these containers don’t get composted yet, I’ll put it into a few long planted boxes, add a sprinkling of kelp and mineral mix, then seed cilantro, lettuce a few other herbs for winter harvests.
Fall cleanup 2
It’s looking rather bare outside now, no pots over flowering with blooms. Sometimes in the winter I take the pots and fill them with pine greenery and grapevine stars, I probably won’t get around to doing that this year. There is definitely something therapeutic about cleaning out the containers and all the remains of summer from the garden. It’s a bit like cleaning out the closet, you feel lighter when you’re finished. Now I can spend my winter dreaming about the creative things I can do with containers next year!

Any snow in your forecast yet?

A Bit of a Facelift

October 27th, 2014

While Mr Chiots was in Israel for work last week, I decided it was a good time to paint the office. We’ve been needing to pull everything out to reorganize anyways, this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I painted the ceiling and the walls, along with all the trim. The floor will get a coat of paint as well here in the near future. Yesterday I started the LONG task of cleaning the windows. Which means taking off all the storm windows and screens and cleaning the insides and outsides of each piece. It takes FOREVER to do each one, probably an hour and a half or more for each window.
clean windows 1
It involves using my razor scraper to get all the polyurethane off the glass. It means getting out the Bon Ami to scrub the years of caked on dirt from the windows. Unfortunately I forgot to take before photos, so you can’t see the amazing results. When I took these photos I still needed to do one or more cleanings to get the last residual soap off (as you can see by a few streaks).
clean windows 2
Clean windows are something I’m always working towards. The wonderful thing is that now that I have them clean it will only take a few minutes every few months to keep them clean! I always love starting the winter season with super clean windows, I don’t want anything reducing the already lesser amount of sunlight.

Are you a clean window person or do you not mind a little life on your windows?

Quote of the Day: The Sun!

October 26th, 2014

When the sun is shining I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble too difficult to overcome.

Wilma Rudolph

Yesterday the sun finally came out, you could almost hear a sigh of relief from everything: the pigs, the birds, the trees, the humans…
the sun 1
the sun 2
It was refreshing to our spirits and to our souls. I spend as much time outdoors as I could, hanging laundry, feeding animals, hiking, and cleaning up the gardens.
The quote above is very true, I am ver much affected by the level of light. This becomes clearly evident this time of year, when I am lazy to get work done if it’s cloudy and gray. The sun is like fuel for me, perhaps I’m more connected to the grass and earth than I realize.

Do you find yourself affected by the sun?

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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.