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

Quote of the Day: Sparrow

April 12th, 2015

The earth is designed with four seasons – at least in the higher latitudes – one of birth, one of florescence, one of harvest, one of contemplation. Despite war, and acts of ruthlessness, nature preserves her subtle intent.

Poet Sparrow – in the Sun December 2001

snowdrops 2
It is the season of birth here in Maine, finally, it is here. The maple trees have pretty much stopped producing sap, the snowdrops are coming up, the apple buds are swelling. Spring has arrived!

What’s your favorite season?

Quote of the Day: Marilynne Robinson

April 5th, 2015

“I was struck by the way the light felt that afternoon. I have paid a good deal of attention to light, but no one could begin to do it justice. There was the feeling of a weight of light–pressing the damp out the the grass and pressing the smell of sour old sap out of the boards on the porch flood and burdening even the trees a little as a late snow would do. It was the kind of light that rests on your shoulders the way a cat lies on your lap. So familiar.”

Marilynne Robinson in Gilead

the first spring blooms 5
I am greatly affected by light. I find myself noticing light more than I notice just about anything else. Light is particularly important in photography and I like to use natural light as much as I can. There’s really nothing like the hour or two right before sunset. I call it the golden hour.
sun 1
susy (1)
golden hour
light 2
golden hour 1
light 1
golden hour (2)
light 3
motoring_at_the_golden_hour 4
While the winter light is still nice, it just doesn’t reach the intensity of the summer light. I’m really looking forward to the light this summer.

What time do you most notice the light in the garden?

Quote of the Day: Charlotte Brontë

March 29th, 2015

“It had been a mild, serene spring day–one of those days which, towards the end of March or the beginning of April, rise shining over the dark as heralds of summer. It was drawing to an end now, but the evening was warm.”

Charlotte Brontë (in Jane Eyre)

spring_thaw (1)
The days are noticeably warmer, particularly when the sun shines. The days are much louder now, there are noises that have been silent for many months. Going outside brings the sound of water running, dripping, moving; snow changing back to liquid and soaking deep into the earth. I’m beginning to spend more and more time outdoors, lingering when I do chores, finding excuses to go outside. Though spring isn’t here quite yet, we’re on the cusp, waiting with bated breath!

What’s your favorite sound of spring?

Maine Maple Sunday

March 23rd, 2015

Yesterday was Maine Maple Sunday, a day of sweetness all around Maine. People flock to the local sugarhouses and eat all sort of sweet maple goodness. My neighbor and I went to four different places, some large, some small, each unique.
Maine Maple Sunday 1
Maine Maple Sunday 2
Maine Maple Sunday 3
Maine Maple Sunday 4
Maine Maple Sunday 5
Maine Maple Sunday 6
Maine Maple Sunday 7
Maine Maple Sunday 8
Maine Maple Sunday 9
Maine Maple Sunday 10
Maine Maple Sunday 11
Maine Maple Sunday 12
Maine Maple Sunday 13
Maine Maple Sunday 14
Maine Maple Sunday 15
We ate waffles with maple cream, pancakes with maple syrup, maple bread, maple cookies, maple donuts and the kids had ice cream with maple syrup on top. Even though it was bitterly cold and there were gale force winds it was a lovely way to celebrate the arrival of spring.

Do you have any local spring festivals that you like to attend?

Useful and Fun

March 18th, 2015

This past Saturday Mr Chiots and I took a spoon carving class at the Shelter Institute. We were joined by a friend who took the photo of me. It was lots of fun, a full day of fun. Our teacher carves spoons and sells them at local craft fairs. He brought along all the tools we’d need and explained the process in depth.
spoon carving class 1
spoon carving class 4
spoon carving class 2
spoon carving class 3
spoon carving class 5
Mr Chiots made a small spoon and I made a spatula, both were made using walnut.
spoon carving class 1 (1)
spoon carving class 2 (1)
One of the reasons we wanted to take this class is to make use of some lovely apple wood we have. Hopefully I’ll be able to find the tool we need at the local antique tool store. Then we can start making spoons and other cooking utensils. No doubt friends and family will love receiving these for gifts.

Have you learned any fun new hobby recently?

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!


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.