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My Well-Documented Life

April 30th, 2011

I started this blog to keep track of my garden. Mostly for myself, I never really figured people would start reading it. Along the way I picked up some readers, they started commenting and this blog became about much more than just documenting my garden. It’s now a chronicle of my efforts to cultivate a simple life. One of the benefits of blogging is that now my entire life is documented through my camera lens. Just about everything I do is photographed from every angle. Take yesterday for example:

Mr Chiots was away for the day so I had a simple lunch of sauteed mushrooms, asparagus, olives and some cheese. I enjoyed a book while eating my delicious meal and of course I took a few photos. Yesterday was kind of a day off for me after a long busy week. I spent most of the day reading a book I picked up from the library called The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love. I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking for a good book.

I bought a trout when we were in Cleveland earlier in the week to cook up for dinner and of course the process was documented as well. The ingredients, preparation and cooking were all snapped. I take a lot of photos that never even make it to the blog, some go on Flickr, other’s just sit in my photo organization software waiting for a future post. On a “normal” day, I take between 50-100 photos.

Mr Chiots even came out and took a few photos of me cooking the trout over the fire. I know you’re loving this colorful cooking outfit, boots and all!

We enjoyed the grilled trout with a side of brown rice with asparagus, garlic, lemon, ramps and a dusting of good cheese. Quick and simple as most of our meals tend to be.

After we ate, we were sitting in the living room and the sun was streaming beautifully through the window. Naturally I took a photos.

Of course there’s the customary photo of one of the pets as well, that’s taken throughout the day (does everyone do this?). This time it was Lucy posing so majestically in the woods while I was cooking the fish.

That was my yesterday. Simple, boring, and yet fully documented and now on the internet for all to read about. For some reason other people seem to enjoy reading & seeing all about it.

I like having a journal of my days and I most likely wouldn’t be doing it without the encouragement of having people reading each and every day. I do appreciate that you all stop by and comment each day, it keeps me posting.

Do you keep a diary or a journal of your life and what you do each day?

20 Comments to “My Well-Documented Life”
  1. Tam on April 30, 2011 at 7:34 am

    I love your posts, you inspire me to live a more simple, meaningful life. I read “The Dirty Life…” a few months ago, it was fantastic! Have a great Saturday.

    Reply to Tam's comment

  2. FarmgirlCyn (Cindy) on April 30, 2011 at 7:49 am

    I also take lots of pictures and try to post on a fairly regular basis. Bits of my life, kids, pets (LOTS of pet pics!), trials and tribulations…both in and out of the garden!, and real food recipes. Whether folks are reading or not, blogging keeps me accountable!

    Reply to FarmgirlCyn (Cindy)'s comment

  3. Melanie G on April 30, 2011 at 8:18 am

    I do keep a journal, though for some reason I stopped writing for a while. I’ve recently picked it back up again and I’m so glad. There’s something therapeutic for me about writing by hand (even if that means no one else can make heads or tails of it ;-).

    I actually love photography and when I was in high school, I was much more aware of taking pictures regularly. I’ve gotten away from that, too, and now it feels like there would be so much for me to do to get caught up on photography that I can’t imagine taking the time. I’m starting a garden this summer for the first time, so maybe that will inspire me :-)

    Reply to Melanie G's comment

  4. Misti on April 30, 2011 at 8:28 am

    Wow, you sound like me! I spent last night processing so many photos from this last week! I don’t think I take that many photos daily, maybe every few days, but I feel like I have to write it all down. Blogging has turned into my scrapbook and I’m ok with that!

    PS: I am glad my brother had a link on his blog to yours one day so that I could read your wonderful site!

    Reply to Misti's comment

  5. Melissa on April 30, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Don’t worry- you’re not alone, I take several pictures everyday as well. Last nite I took lots of pictures as my husband released our first fish into our aquaponics system. I also take several pics of my dogs everyday. That’s a great pic of Lucy by the way!

    Reply to Melissa's comment

  6. kristin @ going country on April 30, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Yup. If you can call my daily posts a real record of my life. They sort of are, I guess, though only one or two paragraphs to record 24 hours at Blackrock means that only about two percent of my life is actually posted.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  7. Nebraska Dave on April 30, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I is an amazing time in which we live. Isn’t it? My mother was an avid letter writer and had over 100 penpals that she and wrote letters to them on a regular basis. She hand wrote 30 some letters a month. I’m not talking about just a little one side big writing kind of letter. These were multiple pages, both sides, and small writing. She died in 1997 but would have loved this new world of communication with e-mail. She was an avid photographer as well. We have a bookcase of picture albums that my sister guards at her house. There’s one album for each year. These albums cover 50 years of her life and our family’s life. It’s kind of fun just to grab one and see what was going on in the family that year.

    I have a blog as well, but I don’t blog as regular as you and many others do. I do enjoy reading about the lives of others through their blogs. You are one of the must read blogs even on busy days.

    Have a great blogger day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  8. Tasha @ Voracious on April 30, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Simple? Yes. Boring? Not at all! Your life is fascinating, and inspiring. And delicious! Your meal looks incredible, and I love the photos.

    Lucy is SO CUTE! I think she would get along well with my Jack. And he would adore romping through the woods…although, he would probably snatch the fish right off the fire!

    Reply to Tasha @ Voracious's comment

  9. Diane on April 30, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I enjoy what you write every day and love the photos. You must be a person with lots of energy to accomplish all that you do. I take a lot of pictures of the sky (which takes no effort at all on my part ;-)

    Reply to Diane's comment

  10. risa b on April 30, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Loving the colorful cooking outfit!

    We keep a supply of trout in the freezer, caught by ourselves. As they are stocked and not wild, figure we might as well. Not great at fishing, but it’s a change of pace.

    Reply to risa b's comment

  11. Songbirdtiff on April 30, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I take many, MANY photos of my animals. They’re so darn cute!

    Reply to Songbirdtiff's comment

  12. stacy on April 30, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    I read your blog because your pictures are beautiful and I would love to be able to live the lifestyle you lead.

    Reply to stacy's comment

  13. Elaine on April 30, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I really enjoy your blog. Overall, do you think you save money by your approach of living simply? To me, it seems like doing or making things myself can be more expensive than buying them. I don’t have a lot of tools or equipment, so (almost) every project requires purchasing extra items, which adds up. I would love to hear your thoughts on the financial aspect. Thanks!

    Reply to Elaine's comment

    • Susy on May 4, 2011 at 8:57 am

      I do think I save a lot of money by living more simply. The longer you do it the more you save. At first you do spend money purchase tools and things you need, but if you do some research and invest in good quality items that will last a lifetime you do save money in the long run. You can also save money by buying good quality products second hand from auctions. Or ask around, often we can find someone that will lend us what we need.

      Plus the farther you travel down the road to simplicity the less you realize you need so the less you spend.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  14. KimH on April 30, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I love your well documented life.. I used to write in journals..then I found a message board with private forums so they turned into my “voice” online for the last 8 years but Im veering away from that and thinking about starting my own blog.. about my life.. about what captures my attention from day to day.. and like you, to document my gardening and other endeavors. I love that friends & family can read it if they wish..

    I also take loads of photos… and have thousands and thousands on the computer & online.. I’ve recently been ordering prints to put in albums one of these days.. just in case. ;)

    Love the boots, Lucy, trout (YUM!), and all your photos.. They all just “feel good!” :D Have a glorious day!

    Reply to KimH's comment

  15. Alicia on April 30, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Simple? Boring?

    Surely you mean idyllic.

    Reply to Alicia's comment

  16. deedee on May 1, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    hot lady in the boots:) the picture of lucy is amazing!!!!

    Reply to deedee's comment

  17. Andrés on May 2, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I love your posts, thanks for sharing your progress in attaining your “simpler life”. I just finished riding “The Dirty LIfe” and love it. I am now reading “A Time to Plant” and am also thoroughly enjoying it.

    Reply to Andrés's comment

    • Susy on May 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      Thanks for the book recommendation, I’ll put that on my list!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  18. Angela on May 2, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    I kept journals when I was a kid, and now I wish I still had them. It would be fun, and probably very embarrassing, to re-live my thoughts as a 12-14 year old. As an adult, I began “journaling” my garden via a blog as a way to organize our attempts to grow our own veggies and keep track of what we harvested, what worked, what didn’t, etc.

    I think it’s great and very kind of you to share your life online. I just started “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” and am always impressed by people who are committed to a simpler way of living. :)

    Reply to Angela's comment


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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