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Z is for ____________

August 31st, 2011

ZUCCHINI LOVER – I love summer because it’s zucchini season. We eat it almost every day when I can find it locally or grow it. I put it in soups, saute it, and stuff it in to omelets.

ZIPPERS – You’ll rarely find me wearing something with long sleeves that doesn’t have a zipper in it. For some reason I prefer it if my sweaters and sweatshirts have zippers up the front and hoods on the back.

ZEALOUS – When I discover something new, or get convicted about something I become very zealous about it. That’s why you won’t find any prepackaged food in my pantry, my gardens are mostly edible and you’ll find me shopping only at local markets.

What words/phrases describe you that start with a Z?

Thanks to all of you who joined this challenge:
Nic at Nip it in the Bud
KB from My Old New House
Chas from Heritage Acres Homestead
Erika from Our Homegrown Family
Candie from Finding My Roots
Louisa from The Really Good Life
Judy from My Freezer is Full
Xan from Not Dabbling in Normal and Mahlzeit
Amy from I Love Nubians, Make Mine Mini
Jaspanelle from Paganites
Greg from plot 52 is doing beautiful illustrations!
Lisa from Realisa Building an Authentic Life
Emily from Sincerely Emily
Joanna from Zeb Bakes
Misky from Misk Cooks
Compostwoman from The Compost Bin
Tracy from Back to Basics
Susan from Penless Writer
Whit from Knitty Whit
Lynn from Edging Toward the Good Life
Join the Alphabet in August Flickr Photo Group

(if you’re joining in on your blog let me know so I can add you to the list and please link to the daily post here at Chiot’s Run when you post and a pingback will show up in the comments here so people can head over to read your words).

Y is for ____________

August 30th, 2011

YOUNG – not as young as I used to be, but I’m still fairly young in my adulthood. I work hard to be healthy so I can keep some of my youthful exuberance into my old age.

YEARNING – I seem to always have a yearning to learn more, do more and experience more. I’m not happy to sit around doing nothing, if I have a spare moment you’ll find me working towards the newest thing I’ve been yearning to learn or researching a place I long to visit.

YUCCA LOVER – I grew up in South America so I learned to loved to love yucca early on. I don’t get it much since it’s not a local item, when I get up to Cleveland I usually buy some to enjoy. I usually cook it in chicken broth , but it’s quite good fried like french fries as well.

What words/phrases describe you that start with a Y?

Who’s joining in:
Nic at Nip it in the Bud
KB from My Old New House
Chas from Heritage Acres Homestead
Erika from Our Homegrown Family
Candie from Finding My Roots
Louisa from The Really Good Life
Judy from My Freezer is Full
Xan from Not Dabbling in Normal and Mahlzeit
Amy from I Love Nubians, Make Mine Mini
Jaspanelle from Paganites
Greg from plot 52 is doing beautiful illustrations!
Lisa from Realisa Building an Authentic Life
Emily from Sincerely Emily
Joanna from Zeb Bakes
Misky from Misk Cooks
Compostwoman from The Compost Bin
Tracy from Back to Basics
Susan from Penless Writer
Whit from Knitty Whit
Lynn from Edging Toward the Good Life
Join the Alphabet in August Flickr Photo Group

(if you’re joining in on your blog let me know so I can add you to the list and please link to the daily post here at Chiot’s Run when you post and a pingback will show up in the comments here so people can head over to read your words).

X is for ____________

August 29th, 2011

I couldn’t come up with any words that started with an X so I used the EX sounds.

EXAGGERATE – I have a tendency to exaggerate time, if you ask me what time it is I’ll tell you 3 pm if it’s 2:35. This trait was handed down to me from my dear dad.

EXUBERANT – I’m a joyful, energetic person. Many people don’t see it because I’m such an introvert, but some folks at the local markets and some of my friends see my exuberant side.

EXACT – I am very exact about certain things in my life, not so much about others. When I cook I barely follow a recipe, but there are other areas of my life where things have to be done a certain way – like folding towels, loading the dishwasher and other things.

What words/phrases describe you that start with a X?

Who’s joining in:
Nic at Nip it in the Bud
KB from My Old New House
Chas from Heritage Acres Homestead
Erika from Our Homegrown Family
Candie from Finding My Roots
Louisa from The Really Good Life
Judy from My Freezer is Full
Xan from Not Dabbling in Normal and Mahlzeit
Amy from I Love Nubians, Make Mine Mini
Jaspanelle from Paganites
Greg from plot 52 is doing beautiful illustrations!
Lisa from Realisa Building an Authentic Life
Emily from Sincerely Emily
Joanna from Zeb Bakes
Misky from Misk Cooks
Compostwoman from The Compost Bin
Tracy from Back to Basics
Susan from Penless Writer
Whit from Knitty Whit
Lynn from Edging Toward the Good Life
Join the Alphabet in August Flickr Photo Group

(if you’re joining in on your blog let me know so I can add you to the list and please link to the daily post here at Chiot’s Run when you post and a pingback will show up in the comments here so people can head over to read your words).

Quote of the Day: Ralph Waldo Emerson

August 28th, 2011

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier,
not that the nature of the task has changed,
but our ability to do has increased.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It never fails that people often wonder how I know how to do so many different things. It’s not that I was born with the skills to do everything I do – I’ve spent a lot of time and effort learning. Just like you, when I started doing many of them, I had no idea what I was doing. It took much longer and I made mistakes. Sadly that’s where many people stop. They meet one failure or think that it will always take a lot of time and they abandon their efforts. The thing is, if you persist, eventually it will become second nature. It’s not that you won’t ever make mistakes, but you develop a proficiency for that task and you will be able to complete it with less effort, fewer mistakes and a better final product.



Cooking is a prime example. I’ve been cooking for so long that it’s second nature to me, I don’t have to think about what spices to add to the chicken I’m roasting. I know that thyme and lemon will be really great, or sage and butter would also work well. When I make beef, a healthy dose of freshly ground pepper and salt is usually all I add if it’s good pastured beef. When I’m cooking tougher cuts of venison, I usually braise them in wine or bitter beer to enhance the flavor. When I make bread I know what how the texture of ciabatta dough differs from regular sourdough or a sweet roll dough. It’s not that I always possessed these skills. I baked a few sourdough bricks and ciabatta with no holes until I got a feel for the dough. I had some OK chicken until I discovered what ingredients work best. It takes time, it takes persistence, it takes the willingness to try again and again after defeat, and it takes observation to notice the small differences.



The longer I persist in doing these things, reading and trying to learn how to do them better, practicing and learning from my failures, the better I will get. I will most likely never: take a photo with the skill of Ansel Adams, cook a meal as delicious as Ina Garten, paint something as beautiful as a Monet, bake a loaf of bread as good as Peter Reinhart, have a garden as beautiful at Longwood, or write as well as Ralph Waldo Emerson – but that’s not going to stop me from taking photos, cooking, painting or writing. I won’t let the fear of not being great steal the joy of the creative process, the growth that comes from learning and the contentment that comes from being proficient. I believe that our minds are like a pool of water, if we keep them active they stay clean, clear and able to support life, if we stop learning we become stagnate, murky and devoid of life.

What new skills have you been working on or what are you planning on learning soon?

W is for ______________

August 27th, 2011

WORKAHOLIC – Since Mr Chiots and I are self-employed we work all the time. We work pretty much from the time we get up in the morning until we go to bed at night. We don’t take a lot of time off. Hopefully we’re reaching the point in our business that we’ll be able to take more time off.

WIFE – Mr Chiots and I have been married for 13 years. I think when you’re married it definitely becomes a big part of who you are.

WOOLEN – I love natural fibers, especially wool. You’ll find that most of my socks are wool as are all of my sweaters and many of my sweatshirts. I have wool blankets on my bed and throws on the couch.

WESTON A PRICE – After reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration and it made a profound difference in the way we eat. We now try to follow the parameters set up in Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. If you’ve never read either of these books I’d highly recommend them.

WALKING – I love to walk and often wished I lived a little closer to town so I could walk in to the post office and the library. A short stroll in the evening is the perfect way to end the day in my book.

What words/phrases describe you that start with a W?

Who’s joining in:
Nic at Nip it in the Bud
KB from My Old New House
Chas from Heritage Acres Homestead
Erika from Our Homegrown Family
Candie from Finding My Roots
Louisa from The Really Good Life
Judy from My Freezer is Full
Xan from Not Dabbling in Normal and Mahlzeit
Amy from I Love Nubians, Make Mine Mini
Jaspanelle from Paganites
Greg from plot 52 is doing beautiful illustrations!
Lisa from Realisa Building an Authentic Life
Emily from Sincerely Emily
Joanna from Zeb Bakes
Misky from Misk Cooks
Compostwoman from The Compost Bin
Tracy from Back to Basics
Susan from Penless Writer
Whit from Knitty Whit
Lynn from Edging Toward the Good Life
Join the Alphabet in August Flickr Photo Group

(if you’re joining in on your blog let me know so I can add you to the list and please link to the daily post here at Chiot’s Run when you post and a pingback will show up in the comments here so people can head over to read your words).

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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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