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Friday Favorite: My Mom

June 2nd, 2017

If you’ve been reading here long, you know that my mom is an avid gardener. She cultivated my love of gardening from an early age. Whenever she went to the greenhouse to get annuals for the flowerbeds, I was allowed to pick out a six pack to plant. When we ordered seeds for the edible garden, we were each allowed to choose some variety of vegetable to grow (I remember always choosing something blue for some reason). When I lived in Ohio we cultivated an edible garden space in her yard together.


My mom battled breast cancer six years ago, it metastasized to her bones last year. She was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer last September, after discussing various options she decided she only wanted palliative care. Her last 8 months of life were good, considering what she was fighting. Her battle with cancer ended on May 19th, four days after my parents celebrated their 46th wedding anniversary.

She lives on in the gardens, both at her house and in mine. My garden is filled with plants I got from her, her garden is filled with plants she got from me, both of our gardens contain plants we got from her mother’s garden. We enjoyed gardening together, we enjoyed visiting gardens together. She will be sorely missed.

Quote of the Day: Ian Fleming

December 28th, 2014

“History is moving pretty quickly these days, and the heroes and villains keep on changing parts.”
― Ian Fleming in Casino Royale

007
Between Christmas and New Year’s, Mr Chiots and I have the tradition that we try to watch as many James Bond movies as we can. I’m not sure exactly when this tradition started, we’ve been doing it for a LONG time, probably 10-12 years ago. It all started way back when one of the movie channels did “the 007 Days of Christmas” and showed the movies 24/7 during that week. We started watching and then purchased the complete blu-ray set a few years ago.
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So far this year we’ve been able to watch five movies and we still have five more days to go. Hopefully we’ll get to watch at least half of them. It’s a really fun tradition, something a little out of the ordinary, especially this time of year. We’ve even convinced a few of our friends to do it as well.

Do you have any uncommon traditions around the holidays?

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!
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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?

Under the Weather

August 21st, 2014

I’ve been feeling under the weather since last friday, a trip to a health professional resulted in antibiotics for a nasty infection in the bone. It’s going to take a week or so to bounce back from this illness along with a follow up procedure next week, which may add a few more days to my recovery. I’m trying my hardest to give my body the rest it needs to heal. While I try to heal my body in the most natural way possible, I’m very thankful to live in a time when antibiotics are easy to come by and medical procedures are well advanced.  I’m also thankful for the holistic team of medical professionals we have been able to find here in Maine.
under the weather 2
The result of my illness is lots of time spent in bed resting, wavering between that state of consciousness and sleep, just barely aware of my surroundings. I’m tired from both the infection and the medication, this is exactly what I need right now. Most often there is a cat snuggled up next to me, which we have coined as “medicine pets”. I’m also drinking lots of tea made with astragulus, dandelion, kelp and ginger to help my body fight off the infection and lessen the toxicity of the treatment.  Probiotics have also been a mainstay in my regimen, something that should help me return to full health much more quickly than without, they are well worth the expense when taking antibiotics.
under the weather 1
Rest doesn’t come naturally to me, I’m an on the go person by nature. Being sick though, I’m quite tired, so it hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it would to spend my days resting.  I still get a bit fidgety at times, so decided it might be a good time to finally tackle the rainbow merino afghan I bought yarn for a few months ago. If I have something to keep my hands busy during parts of the day I will be more likely to get the rest I need. Perhaps I’ll even be able to get it finished during the coming weeks, but I’m trying not to set a goal so I don’t feel obliged to work on it if I don’t want to.

What’s your favorite restful activity? Do you have any great immune boosting tonics to share?

18 Years and Counting

September 3rd, 2012

Way back in 1994 I was a college freshman in Cincinnati, OH. That fall, I met five other girls with whom I would form a close friendship. Little did we know that 18 years later we’d still be getting together yearly for a reunion. This past weekend was our 17th one. Throughout the years we’ve reunited in different places, rented cabins, at each other’s houses, until we settled on traveling back to the city where it all began.



One member of our group still lives in Cincinnati, thus we all stay at her place. The rest of us drive in from our respective locations in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. Not all of us can make it for each gathering, but there are always at least four of us. We have celebrated weddings, rejoiced at births, comforted after divorce, and cried at a funeral throughout the years.

Even though we don’t talk much throughout the year, when we come together it’s like we were never apart. We laugh as we tell funny stories from the past and much time is spent filling each other in on what’s going on in our lives.

It is a weekend filled it lots of laughter, great food, and good company. This past weekend we went to the Findlay market, walked down the by the river, rented a quad surrey and went for a ride in the park. Of course, all the Cincinnati specialities like Graeter’s and Skyline Chili were checked off the list as well.





It’s really hard to believe that I’ve known these lovely ladies for 18 years, time really does fly. It seems like yesterday when we were eating key lime pie out of the pan in our hotel room of our first get together the summer of 1995 the summer between our freshman and sophomore years.

Do you have any friends that you reunite with on a regular basis?

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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 moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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