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The Sun Shone Brightly and the Sky Was Blue

November 30th, 2010

Don’t know what got into me but when I sat down to write this post last night I decided to write a silly poem. Hope you enjoy it.

It was the perfect day to put up Christmas she knew,
The sun shone brightly and the sky was so blue.

Out of the attic came the decor, where it had been put away.
It was nearly 50, so no frosty fingers on this beautiful day.

Out came the step ladder and up went the pine,
white lights and pine cones along the roof line.

Stars, watering cans, and pots nestled by the front door,
Pine was draped down the sides that reached to the floor.

The sun was setting when she was all through,
She turned on the lights and took in the view.

Simple, natural decorations are the theme around here,
Shown to inspire others around the big blogosphere.

Do you put up outdoor Christmas decorations? What kinds?

Update: people are always asking where I got my grapevine stars. I’ve had them for many years, you can find them for a good price here on Amazon.

Eating Alone

November 29th, 2010

Mr Chiots is off hunting with my dad, hopefully filling our freezer with lots of venison for the year to come. As a result I’ll be eating alone all week. At least I have a ton of leftovers from Thanksgiving, so it’s quick and easy to warm up something while I’m working.

I find the quickest way to warm up dinner is to put it all in a small cast iron skillet and throw it in the toaster oven for 15 minutes. While it’s heating up I can do something else, when it’s done I eat right out of the skillet. The skillet will also keep the food warm for a while in case I’m in the middle of something and can’t eat right away. This works equally well for two, just divide onto plates, or share the skillet – not as romantic as sharing a milkshake.

Being an introvert, I appreciate solitude and quiet and I’m getting plenty of that this week. Perhaps this is why I like gardening so much.

Do you enjoy being alone or do you relish in being around other people?

P.S. For all you other introverts out there I’d highly recommend the book The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World, even if you’re not an introvert this book would help you understand your friends & family members that are.

Quote of the Day: Dr Seuss

November 28th, 2010

“Don’t cry because its over, smile because it happened.”

~ Dr Seuss

I’ve been going through my photos trying to trim down the numbers and I was reliving the beauty of summer in the garden. I sure am sad to see it go along with all the color in the garden, but I certainly appreciate the beauty of winter and the rest that it brings not only to me, but to the garden as well. Here’s an ode to summer.







I think I’m going to miss the color green the most. At least I have a lot of photos to get me through.

What are you going to miss the most about summer now that winter is coming?

Sending Out Some Holiday Cheer

November 27th, 2010

Mr Chiots and I always send out Christmas cards to friends, family, business associates, and clients. We usually send out around 100. We’re not ones to buy cards at the store, we try to come up with an interesting idea each year for our card. I’ve been trying to come up with something creative all year long, earlier this week it finally hit me. I’ve spent some time over the past couple days playing around with lighting, focus and angles to get the perfect photos for our cards. Here are a few of the options that didn’t make the cut.






We sent the final files off to the printer last night and in a week or two I should be busy addressing our Christmas cards (which are actually 6×9 post cards this year). I’ll have the final files on the blog later so you can see what I ended up doing for our 2010 Christmas Card.

Do you send out cards each year? How many do you send out? Do you make them or buy them?

Friday Favorites: Stuffed

November 26th, 2010

As most of you know, yesterday was Thanksgiving here in the U.S. Mr Chiots and I celebrated as most folks, with a big turkey meal with all the trimmings. I’m not a big fan of turkey, or most poultry for that matter, so Thanksgiving meals aren’t that exciting for me. I am however a HUGE fan of stuffing, or dressing.

I make mine with homemade bread, usually a mix of whole grain, white and sourdough. It’s easier if I have saved stale bread for the last couple months, but Mr Chiots and I are bread lovers, so we rarely have bread go stale on us. I ended up baking a few batches of bread for our stuffing (at least I was able to put half of the loaves in the freezer for Mr Chiots to take hunting).

I like my stuffing with lots of celery, onions and sage. This year I harvested fresh sage and celery from the garden for my stuffing. My sage was planting just for this meal, and this was one of the celery’s main purposes as well (along with my tomato soup).

I really like my stuffing to be more like bread pudding, really soft and wet on the inside and crispy on the top and the edges, and smothered with good gravy on the my plate. I use turkey or chicken stock as the liquid and sometimes a little cider. I ate my fill of stuffing Wednesday and yesterday and have a big container in the fridge to feast on for the rest of the week.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side? If you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, what’s your favorite side dish for poultry?

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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.

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