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Busy, Busy, Busy

December 5th, 2014

You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been blogging much this week. We’ve been fairly busy on our time back in Ohio. We’ve been catching up with old friends and spending lots of time with our nieces & nephew.
Christmas cookies 1
The kids are old enough now to spend the night at my parents while we’re visiting. So we’ve been enjoying hanging out with them in the evenings, hence no blog posts.
Christmas cookies 2
We’ve made Christmas cookies, decorations for the tree, we’ve had pizza parties, brunches and lunches. We’ve been focusing on spending time with friends & family and it has been successful.
Christmas cookies 3
Today we’re celebrating Christmas. There will be a big dinner tonight with ham and all the fixings. We’ll exchange gifts and enjoy time together. Then tomorrow we’ll hit the road back and head back to Maine. It’s been a good holiday in Ohio, but I look forward to getting home and spending a relaxing Christmas at home in a few weeks.

Are you celebrating any Christmases yet?

12 Days of Maine Christmas

December 2nd, 2014

The box is back again this year, our nieces and nephews saved it so we could refill it this year. Each day for 12 days they receive a Maine centric gift. There are clues on the container and they have to guess what’s inside.
Maine Christmas 1
Every day they video chat with us and try to guess what’s inside each bag/box. Then they get to enjoy what’s inside. It’s a great way to connect with family that lives far away during the holiday season. It also teaches them a little about the place we live.
Maine Christmas 2
Last year some of the included items were: Moxie, toothpicks, gummy lobsters and more. I won’t share what’s inside this year, I don’t want to spoil the fun.

Do you have any creative ways to celebrate holidays with family from far away?

A Longggggg Weekend

December 1st, 2014

Thanksgiving is a long weekend for most, a very long weekend for us. The best laid plans of mice and men never seem to work out, that’s very true with us. It all started when they started calling for a nor’easter to come through on Wednesday night, the night before we planned on traveling to Ohio.
snowed in 1
We awoke to 12 inches of snow on Thursday morning, not exactly what you want to see when you have a 15 hour drive planned. The driveway needed plowed and our plow truck is in the shop. Mr Chiots set to work clearing the snow off the driveway with the tractor, not easy or quick, but it works. I dug out the cars, chicken coop and duck coops.
snowed in 2
Three hours later we started digging out the pig fences, which is quite a chore. If we weren’t leaving I would have just left them, but we wanted our house sitter to have the peace of mind that the pigs wouldn’t escape.
We finally managed to set off on our journey at 2 pm – which is way.too.late. The roads were clear and traffic was light, travel was great. At about midnight we decided it was safer to stop and get a few hours of sleep then continue on with the last five hours of our journey the next morning. We grabbed a hotel room, slept for four hours and were back on the road at 4:15 am.
turkey dinner 1
We arrived in Ohio around nine then next morning. After a cup of coffee I immediately started cooking our Thanksgiving dinner. It ended up being delicious, all around, from the smoked local turkey to the cranberry relish I brought from Maine.
turkey dinner
There was of course another Thanksgiving celebration with Brian’s family and then many more things. This week Mr Chiots is down hunting deer with my dad and I’m visiting with friends and trying to catch up on some work while visiting in Ohio. Long weekends are great, but they can be LONG when things don’t go quite as planned. Hopefully the rest of our visit is less exciting than the first two days.

Do you have t travel for holiday weekend?

Evening Chores

November 28th, 2014

Sometimes we need some beauty in our day to make things better. Evening chores are cold this time of year. I often wish the birds would coop up earlier than they do so I don’t have to be outside at dusk when the wind is cold.
sunset 1
sunset 2
But then there are nights like this past Tuesday when the sunset made me linger outdoors long after my chores were finished.

What things are you finding that make life a little more bearable during the not so lovely seasons?


November 27th, 2014

Today is the day we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the US, or at least the day many people celebrate it. It’s actually not uncommon to celebrate this holiday on the days leading up to or the days after. For us, we’re driving today — all the way back to Ohio.
There was snow last night, so the roads are not dry. Thankfully we live in the age of highways, salt, and road crews.
making pie crust
We’re looking forward to lots of delicious food and lots of great time with family. Here’s hoping you have a wonderful weekend filled with delicious things and family/friends!

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Tropical Traditions

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.