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Friday Favorite: My New Lamp

November 20th, 2015

Last week my trusty desk lamp died, poof, dark. It wasn’t that big of a loss since it was a cheap lamp I got on clearance many years ago. It’s actually been broken for years, but I kept using it because I dislike spending money on things that I don’t technically need. I knew exactly what I’d replace it with, I’ve been eyeing this mercury hobnail lamp from Pottery Barn for years.
new desk lamp
Lucky for me there was a wicked good sale and free shipping, so I ended up getting it for a song. Perfection in my little corner of the world. It makes me smile while I work, especially these days since the sun goes down at 4 pm and I need light to keep working. Now on to perhaps build myself a new desk…

Have you gotten anything lately that you’ve been wanting for a while?

Friday Favorite: The Low Sun

October 9th, 2015

This time of year the sun is lower in the sky and it comes in the windows at different angles. Actually, it comes in the windows, bathing the room in a wonderfully warm, golden glow.
Morning sun
In the morning it shines on my favorite chair in the living room, this is where I sit and read sometimes before starting my day. If I must get to work early, I sit here with my laptop. In the afternoon, the sun shines in through my office window. While I love this light, I sometimes have to close the blinds for a half hour because of the glare off of my desk. Thankfully that is short-lived and soon enough the blinds are back up and I’m working in my light, bright office.
sunlight in living room 1
The cats seem to like the sun spots as well this time of year. They are like magnets, often you’ll find one or two cats in each sun spot. They move around throughout the day, following sun, soaking up as much warmth as they can.
Dexter in the sun
I truly appreciate living in an area with seasonal changes, both in weather and in the sun. Growing up on the equator the days were the same, always. The sun came up at the same time every day and went to bed at the same time. The angle was the same and you didn’t get the beauty of long shadows during part of the year.

Do you live in an area where the sun changes throughout the seasons?

Quote of the Day: Pantry

October 5th, 2015

“Winter was nearly here; the foraging was over, the garden harvested, the preserving done. The pantry shelves bulged with sacks of nuts, heaps of squash, rows of potatoes, jars of dried tomatoes, peaches, and apricot, bowls of dried mushrooms, wheels of cheese, and baskets of apples. Braids of onions and garlic and strings of dried fish hung from the ceiling; bags of flour and beans, barrels of salt cured beef and salt fish, ands tone jars of sauerkraut stood on the floor. I counted over my hoard like a squirrel reckoning nuts, and felt soothed by our abundance. No matter what else happened, we would neither starve nor go hungry.”

Diana Gabaldon in Drums of Autumn (Outlander)

Picking apples
Canned applesauce
I’ve been reading the ‘Outlander’ series. This weekend I happened to be reading while canning applesauce and I read this passage. I had to smile to myself, because it’s so true!
onions in the pantry
My root cellar is filled with onions and potatoes, there’s garlic in the basement, the freezer is filled with fruit, vegetables and meat, the pantry is filled with onion braids, dried apples, maple syrup, and all manner of food tucked into jars. It’s a wonderful feeling being soothed by abundance because of the hard work you put in over the summer.

Do you manage to grow enough to preserve or just enough to eat fresh in season?

Bring Them Inside

September 29th, 2015

It’s starting to get cold in the evenings here in Maine, the lower areas were said to be 32 the other morning. The benefit of living on a south facing slope is that it was 45 up here on the hill. That’s a considerable difference! Event though it’s not getting that cold here, it’s still time to bring in all the tropicals. Usually I take this time to repot and prune them all, cleaning them up a bit to make them look nicer indoors. For more on where I got these plants and what varieties they are see this blog post.
tropical houseplants 2
I have a lot of edible tropical plants: avocados, bananas, guava, mango, papaya, citrus, etc. They all live outside in the hottest part of the garden in the summer and they live in the warmest spot in the house during the winter. Most of them are only a year old, but they’re all dwarf varieties that should start producing fruit next year or the year after. I have a few citrus trees that are older and are currently loaded with fruit.
tropical houseplants 1
The banana plant had a few pups that needed to be cut off and repotted. I gave one to a friend, I haven’t decided if I want to keep the rest or find them new homes. I’m pretty excited about this plant, I think it might produce bananas soon. We had a banana plant in our front yard when I was young (we lived in Colombia, S.A.) and watching it produce bananas was such an amazing thing. I can’t wait to see it happen again!

Do you have any edible houseplants?

For more info on growing edible houseplants I highly recommend the book: Growing Tasty Tropical Plants in Any Home, Anywhere

So Long

July 7th, 2015

I’m constantly trying to get rid of things and not acquire more. With moving we definitely trimmed down, but then with chickens and other farm things we acquired a few things. As my lifestyle changes I try to get rid of things I used to use and no longer do.  I’m constantly downsizing and trimming down. Thankfully, I really notice that I have very few things I don’t use on a regular basis. As I was cleaning out the root cellar this week I came across tons of old canning jars.
old canning jars 1
I have some of my own, that came from my grandma and the previous owners left a bunch that they didn’t want. The result is that I probably have 75 or 100 old canning jars. I used to use them for canning, but I don’t do much canning any more. There are a few I’ll keep, mainly the ones form my grandma, but I’m going to get rid of them.
old canning jars 2
I’ve been trying to decide what to do with them, I could probably sell them for a few dollars a piece. The Goodwill probably isn’t the best spot for them, I’d love them to go to places that they’ll be loved and appreciated. There are so many old, interesting things in the garage I was thinking about setting up at Etsy store to list them all. I have a few really neat vintage lanterns and other really neat things. Now I’m just trying to decide if I want to deal with the responsibility of an Etsy store or if I can find a local place to sell everything to.

How often do you go through things to reduce the level of stuff you have in your home & garage? 

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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.