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Not Ready

October 7th, 2014

Usually I’m quite ready for the cold weather to come, this year I’m not quite there. While I am looking forward to fires, soups, and lots of needlework, I’m not quite ready for the warmth of the sun to leave. I’m not quite ready to trade my flip flops for wool socks. I’m not quite ready to have frosty fingers when I do my chores. I’m not quite ready for the short days.
warm toes
Lucky for me the afternoons are still sunny and fairly warm, warm enough to sit in a chair by the potager at noon without a sweater on. I’m soaking up the last little bit of vitamin D that I can, hopefully it lasts me through the winter.

Are you ready for the next season?

It’s Been a LONG Time

October 6th, 2014

Way back in August of 1994 I met five girls when I went to college in Cincinnati. Little did I know that twenty years later we would still be getting together at least once a year to catch up. We had hoped to plan a longer trip, maybe somewhere fun, but with kids, and dogs, and farms, and life that didn’t end up happening. We still had a great time, where we are doesn’t matter as much as being together.
Super 6 Reunion
We are hoping to do something fun in the summer of 2016 when we are all 40 (or almost there). We discussed options this trip, hopefully we can settle on a fun location, it might be in Maine!
super six reunion 2
Mr Chiots and I were talking about how different our lives are now, if we met today we might not all end up becoming friends. I’m thankful I met these lovely ladies so long ago, there’s something very special about friendships that stand the test of time.

Quote of the Day: Shauna Niequist

October 5th, 2014

“I don’t know what season you are in these days, what’s broken down and what’s beautiful in your life this season. I don’t know if this is a season of sweetness or one of sadness. But I’m learning that neither last forever. There will, I’m sure be something that invades this current loveliness. That’s how life is. It won’t be sweet forever. But it won’t be bitter forever either. If everywhere you look these days it’s wintery, desolate, lonely, practice believing in springtime. It always, always comes, even though on days like today it’s nearly impossible to imagine, ground frozen, trees bare, and spiky. New life will spring from this same ground. This season will end, and something entirely new will follow it.”

Shauna Niequiest in Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way
winter 2
Sunny winter morning 3
the first spring blooms 5
When I read this book this past summer this quote really resonated with me. We often want our lives to be always sweet, without realizing that the bitterness is what allows us to savor the sweetness. If your life is sweet right now, enjoy it, relish it, savor it. If your life is bitter right now, look ahead to the sweetness that will come and try to grow from the bitterness that you’re experiencing now.

Nearing the End

October 4th, 2014

Over the past few weeks I’ve been slowly gathering the last of the harvest for the season. Winter squash and pumpkins have been tucked away on a shelf in the office, green tomatoes are sitting on a table on the back porch. Giant zucchini are resting in a cool spot to be fed to the chickens when the snow flies. As the harvests grow smaller and smaller the compost pile grows larger and larger with the remnants of this year’s garden.
butternut harvest
tomatoes on the vine
The last of the tomatoes were picked yesterday, along with a few other edibles that lingered in the garden. Strawberries are being moved, fall lettuce is planted, winter hardy arugula is being sown. There’s definite comfort in the end of the season, there’s no hurry like there is in spring, chores can be done slowly and methodically instead of hurriedly. There’s a deep sense of order that comes from clearing the garden for the season, because there can only be rebirth after death.

How’s your garden season coming along? Is it winding down?

Friday Favorite: My Chariot

October 3rd, 2014

Every time I climb into my little black car I realize how much I love it. It’s cozy and cocoon like, perhaps because it’s small, perhaps because I have the windows tinted really dark, maybe it’s just because it’s a nice little car. We originally bought it because it was inexpensive and we could fit all of our equipment in the back, little did I know how much I would grow to love this car.
This car is my tractor and my farm truck. I haul hay in the trailer and thousands of pounds of grain in the back for the livestock. It works hard and never complains, well almost never.
This car has carried home our Christmas trees and carried us across the country several times. We have headed West and we have traveled South, we have driven East and back again. It has taken us over mountains (just barely when it came to Teton) and through valleys. It’s been a great little car for traveling.
key west
tiny trailer camping 2
tiny trailer camping 4
My little chariot is getting old, she’s well into the six figures when it comes to mileage. The other day as I was driving around I thought about how I have been in this car for just about ever single one of these miles, most of the time behind the wheel. While Mr Chiots and I drive this car often together, it’s my car and it’s always the one I take. Lucy and I spent countless hours in this car heading to my mom’s house each week (two hours of driving each time). I think Lucy loved this car as much as I did, it was very fitting that her final breaths were taken in the back seat. There was nothing she loved more than hearing “Wanna go to grandma’s?”, she’d hop in the back seat stick her head out the window for a while and then fall asleep in the back seat. I truly believe it was one of the things she loved most in life.
lucy in the car
lucy in the car (2)
chiots in the car
Lately I’ve had to get a few things fixed, struts, fuel line and a few others. I’m glad she’s still going strong and I hope that trent continues. I’m hoping to get 4-5 more years from this lovely little car.

Have you ever had a car you’ve loved? What kind of car was it? How long did you have it?

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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.