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Quote of the Day: Shauna Niequist

July 26th, 2015

“I believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without even realizing it.”

Shauna Niequiest in Cold Tangerines

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I was working in the garden yesterday and thinking about this quote and about this idea. An acquaintance passed away yesterday after a long illness. She was young, not much older than I am. She leaves behind her husband, it’s sad, very sad.
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Death is never easy, yet it will come to all of us. We know it will come, we just hope it will be when we’re old and when we think we’ve lived enough of our life. None of us has the guarantee of growing old, another day, or even another minute. Life is fleeting, even if we live to be 100.
And yet somehow we still find ourselves going through our days without noticing the things that actually make up our lives. So often we are waiting for perfection to start living and enjoying. We are waiting for that big moment, for that trip, to reach a certain place.
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Our lives are lived in every moment, and often these are the moments that are most important. We live our lives in our offices, in our kitchens, in our gardens, on our sofas. All of these seconds add up to our lives. When we look back at those moments with loved ones who are gone, they often revolve around these moments and not the big events.
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I have fond memories of shelling peas with my family and making up songs while we worked (I can still remember the songs). There are memories around the dinner table, of playing cards, conversations in the car on a drive, an evening walk; these are the little moments that are the glittering diamonds in our memories. Enjoy these moments. Savor each day, each task, each flower, each person, each interaction. Life is fleeting, don’t waste it waiting for something big!

Quote of the Day: Tamar Adler

July 19th, 2015

“But there is dignity in allowing oneself to keep clear about what is good, and it is what I think of when I hear the term “good taste.” Whether things were ever simpler than they are now, or better if they were, we can’t know. We do know that people have always found ways to eat and live well, whether on boiling water or bread or beans, and that some of our best eating hasn’t been our most foreign or expensive or elaborate, but quite plain and quite familiar. And knowing that is probably the best way to cook, and certainly the best way to live.”

Tamar Adler from An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace

Recently, we started having Friday night dinners at our home. We have an open invitation to the first 6 people that RSVP. They bring sides and wine, we provide the main dish. Mostly, I make simple food: meatballs, meatloaf, carnitas, etc. It’s a way for us to see the people we’d love to visit with and empty our freezer of all of our home raised pork. The food is simple and delicious, the conversation is better than the food.

It’s all about people and relationships, we feel that happens best over a delicious meal, especially over a simple meal. There’s no much fretting on my part, nothing that takes a long time to cook or takes prep while everyone else is eating.  It’s perfect, we’ve been enjoying the evenings and so have the people in attendance.

What’s your favorite simple meal to prepare? 

Quote of the Day: Sen Soshitsu

June 21st, 2015

“If you fiddle this way and that with the flowers and consequently they wither, that will be no benefit. It is the same with a person’s life.”

Sen Soshitsu XV The Wabi-Sabi House: The Japanese Art of Imperfect Beauty

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Stop and smell the roses and read The New Codependency: Help and Guidance for Today’s Generation, you’ll be glad you did!

Quote of the Day: Gary Cadwallader

June 7th, 2015

“Flowers should be placed, in their most natural form, into vessels that enhance their beauty”

-Gary Cadwallader from Wabi Sabi House

Poppy in vase
This week I’ve been enjoying poppies in my little vase on the kitchen window. I try to cut one flower to put in there a few different times each week.

Are you cutting any flowers from you garden this week? What’s your favorite container and place to display them?

Quote of the Day: Charles Dickens

May 31st, 2015

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which everyone has many.”

~Charles Dickens

Yesterday, Mr Chiots and I celebrated our 17 year wedding anniversary – crazy, I know. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. We usually aren’t big on celebrating events, so we spent our day working outside and had a dinner harvested from the garden.
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Mr Chiots did surprise me with a pig statue for the garden. I admired this particular statue at Fieldstone Gardens when we were there last Sunday. He left work early yesterday and picked it up for me.
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After a little though we decided it should sit right by the front door. It’s a lovely piece and it’s quite perfect since we’re not getting real pigs this year. I do miss having them around, so this beauty makes me smile every time I see it.

Do you have any statues in the garden?

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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.