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The Tall Ships Regatta

September 15th, 2016

The first thing we did after picking up our car is head to the harbor in Gothenberg to see the tall ships that were in town for the The North Sea Tall Ships Regatta.
We had heard that they were going to be in town when we were planning our trip and hoped to be able to see them during the short window we had. Lucky for us, it worked out perfectly. We spent an hour walking around and admiring these amazing ships!
After our time at the festival, we set off through the countryside to our next stop, a lovely castle on a lake…

A New Car + a Vacation

September 14th, 2016

On the 4th of September, around 1 pm, we arrived in Gothenberg, Sweden after a long red-eye flight. We had left Maine at two the previous afternoon. After checking in to our hotel, we set off to see a few of the city sights. Even though we were both super tired, we were determined to reset our clocks to avoid too much jet-lag.
You may wonder how we ended up in Sweden, it’s not really a popular destination spot. When I was in third grade, the people up the street from us had a brown Volvo station wagon, I thought it was amazing. Now that we live in Maine and have a very long, steep, curvy driveway, I’m in need of something with all wheel drive and something larger than my little HHR. We weren’t about to get anything new until the old chariot was to the point of not being reliable, so we waited, and saved our dollars. Around 6-7 years ago, I learned about the overseas delivery program from Volvo. You buy a car and can pick it up at the factory in Gothenberg, Sweden. They give you airline tickets, a night in hotel, a few meals, and you get 2 weeks of auto insurance so you can drive your car around while on your trip (did I mention you also get your car cheaper than if you just buy it from a dealer?).
After picking up our car and going on a tour of the Volvo factory (which is pretty amazing), we headed off to the Volvo Museum to check out all the vintage Volvos. If you happen to find yourself in Gothenberg, you can tour the factory without purchasing a vehicle, I highly recommend it.
It was pretty amazing, seeing the history behind the company. I’ve been a fan of their cars for many years, I especially love their dedication to safety. We can all thank them for inventing the seat belts we all wear to protect ourselves. Mr Chiots is especially happy about their safety ratings as he’s frequently on the scene of auto accidents with the local volunteer fire dept. Check back in the coming days to see where we drove our new chariot when we were in Sweden.

Back Home

September 13th, 2016

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we spent last week in Sweden. We spent the week eating delicious food, visiting lovely gardens, soaking up Swedish history, and enjoying a bit of time away from our jobs. It will take me forever to get through all these photos, but I guarantee you’ll love seeing all the lovely gardens I was able to see while there. Here are a few highlights of the lovely things we saw last week.
Check back this week and next to see posts dedicated to all the wonderful things we saw during our week in Sweden.

Do you have any trips planned in the near future?

Quote of the Day: Harvest Time

September 11th, 2016

The rush of harvest time came. The oats were ripe, standing thick and tall and yellow. the wheat wasgolden, darke than thte oats. The beans were ripe, and the pumpkings and carrots and turnips and potatoes were ready to gather.

There was not rest and no play for anyone now. They all worked from candlelight to candlelight. Mother and the girls were making cucumber pickles, green-tomato pickles, and watermelon-rind pickles; they were drying corn and apples, and making preserves. Everything must be saved, nothing wasted of all the summer’s bounty. Even the apple cores were saved for making vinegar, and a bundle of oat straw was soaking on the back porch. Whenever mother had one minute to spare, she braided an inch or two of oat-straw braid for making next summer’s hats.

Laura Ingalls Wilder in Farmer Boy

When I was in Vermont with a friend at the beginning of August, we decided to take the short trip up to New York to visit Almanzo Wilder’s homestead. The Little House series was one of my favorites as a child, and I admit that I’ve read them four or five times as an adult as well. It was quite amazing to see the original house, it’s been restored to what it would have looked like when the Wilders lived there.
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We peeked down into the cellar and toured the barns as well, unfortunately no photos were allowed inside the house or the barns, so I only have images of the grounds.
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There was one enormous sugar maple tree in the front yard that would have been standing when Almanzo lived there. A few of the apple trees looked old enough as well, but those haven’t been dated to see for sure if they were.
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The gardens were smaller than they would have been at the time, but they did have a small one they maintained. The large lilac behind the house that would have been by the outhouse was still standing, it has grown and almost has taken over the back yard.
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On our way home we listened to the audiobook and were delighted to be able to put real images with the things we’d only imaged as little girls. If you’re a Little House fan and happen to be in Northern New York, I recommend taking the trip to the homestead. It’s nothing fancy or overdone, but it’s amazing to walk the grounds, tour the house, and place all the things in the book.

Did you enjoy the Little House series as a child?

Friday Favorite: Springtime Cassis

September 9th, 2016

This spring, I started seeds for Springtime Cassis. They germinated beautifully and I had a mass number of plants to use in the garden. When they started blooming I loved their variety of colors.
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I expected them to quit blooming once the hot weather and the drought hit, but they just kept on going and going. They’re still looking fantastic and blooming beautifully.
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Generally I’m not a huge fan of annuals, they’re a big showy and flamboyant for my tastes. These beauties are different, from now on I’ll be starting a flat of them every spring.

What’s your favorite annual for long term color?

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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.