This site is an archive of For the latest information about Susy and her adventrures, visit the Cultivate Simple site.
Thank you for all your support over the years!

A Funny Thing Happened…

January 9th, 2012

I use this blog as my notebook of sorts, whenever I’m reading, I have my laptop by my side and add quotes as I find them. As a result I have a huge collection of quotes that haven’t been published yet. A few months ago I started scheduling them for the Sundays when I thought they would be relevant, then I add the photos the week before. This quote was scheduled for yesterday:

In civilization we try to combat winter. We try to modify it so that we can continue to live the same sort of life that we live in summer. We plow the sidewalk so we can wear short shoes, and the roads so we can use cars. We heat every enclosed space and then, inadequately clad, dash quickly from one little pocket of hot air through a bitter no man’s land of cold to another. We fool around with sun lamps, trying to convince our skins that it is really August, and we eat travel-worn spinach in an attempt to sell the same idea to our stomachs. Naturally, it doesn’t work very well. You can neither remodel nor ignore such a big thing as winter.

Louise Dickinson Rich We Took to the Woods

The funny thing is that the weather over the past couple days has been fantastic. On both Saturdy and Sunday I washed laundry and hung it on the line, and I’ll have some out later today too. The temperatures climbed up near 40 and the sun was shining brightly. There was no curling up the couch with a hot cup of tea, there was no darting out to the compost pile in Mr Chiot’s huge hunting jacket and my big rubber boots, there was no dark afternoon. In fact I spent Saturday afternoon mulching the tulip hillside with leaves in my sweatshirt, jeans and no hat.

These bright sunny warm days won’t continue, we will have many more days of winter. Those dim days are what make me appreciate these rare bright warm ones all the more! Those bitter cold days me make these days feel warm, even though it’s only 35 degrees.

It’s a great reminder that we aren’t in control, there’s something bigger than us out there. Learning to let go and simply go along with the weather is a beautiful thing. I was just telling Mr Chiots how funny people are, last year everyone around here was complaining that the winter was too cold, too long and there was too much snow. This year everyone is complaining that there’s not enough snow and it’s too warm. It’s as if we just want to complain because we can’t have what we want, or we want what we don’t have. I for one am happy with whatever the day brings, if it’s warm & sunny you’ll find me outside taking advantage, if it’s cold & rainy/snowy, you’ll find me inside working away so I can spend the nice days outside. Learning to love whatever season you’re in whether it’s the weather outside your window or your personal life will make life that much more enjoyable!

What would you describe as the perfect weather day?  Do you have a “perfect” day for each season? 

20 Comments to “A Funny Thing Happened…”
  1. alison@thisbloominglife on January 9, 2012 at 5:37 am

    How funny. Everyone here is complaining because the summer has been so mild – the tomatoes just refuse to flower and ripen. For my part I am happy as it means the long grass is still sort of green and thus the bridge bushfire risk lower. What a perverse bunch we humans are!

    Reply to alison@thisbloominglife's comment

  2. KimH on January 9, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Wasnt it absolutely beautiful yesterday? Today bodes to be much the same! I had my windows wide open much of yesterday.. the sunlight was phenomenal! I for one am loving the weather this winter.. Its a rare day you hear me complain about the weather.. but last winter, I was ready for Spring to arrive.. it was indeed long in coming.

    Reply to KimH's comment

  3. Kathi Cook on January 9, 2012 at 7:09 am

    What a great attitude. I agree with you. I am loving the weather this winter. Sat. it was in the 50’s and 40 yesterday. Usually I am hiking in January with crampons on my boots, but yesterday we took a wonderful 8 mile “spring hike”. Good thing we can’t control the weather, I think we humans would just mess it up anyway.

    Reply to Kathi Cook's comment

  4. Sofie Dittmann @thegermanfoodie on January 9, 2012 at 8:37 am

    70s, sunny. :)

    Reply to Sofie Dittmann @thegermanfoodie's comment

  5. daisy on January 9, 2012 at 8:42 am

    I’m with you on this one, Susy. Going with what the day brings is a wonderful way of embracing what is meant to be. Love seeing those linens blowing in the wind!

    Reply to daisy's comment

  6. Allison on January 9, 2012 at 9:40 am

    That is a good way of looking at it, Susy! I always feel a tad of concern in the back of my mind, like ‘global warming, global warming…’ when it is way above avg. temps, but I like you outlook better :)

    Reply to Allison's comment

  7. K.B. on January 9, 2012 at 10:03 am

    As much as I HATE being cold, warm winters worry me, because they mean bigger pest problems in the garden this coming summer!

    As for the perfect weather – I don’t really have any in mind, but my two favourite days of the year:

    The day in the fall when it first SMELLS like fall, and the day in the spring when it first SMELLS like spring.

    Those two days, more than the hot days of summer, or the cold of winter, are, to me, perfect weather days :)

    Reply to K.B.'s comment

    • Susy on January 9, 2012 at 10:30 am

      Very true about the increase in pest/disease problems, but more pests equals more food for the beneficials & birds and healthier populations of those. More disease means stronger plants in the future because the weak will be weeded out.

      It’s interesting how often what we see as a negative has positive impacts that we don’t realize. I’ve been reading recently about the important disease is for developing future health (not just in plants but for humans as well). Seems that’s the natural order of things, that wave cycle of birth, disease, death, decay and rebirth. Some years different parts of the curve are more exaggerated than others.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • K.B. on January 9, 2012 at 10:44 am

        I guess my years in plant pathology research gives me a bit of a different perspective :)

        And when your tomatoes get hit by blight, or your squash crop gets decimated by cucumber beetle-transmitted bacteria, well, “natural order” doesn’t fill the larder!

        Plant disease complexes are, well, complex, and natural selection doesn’t really provide the entire answer, especially with annual crops. But I’ll stop now, before I start droning on about fungal genetics and multi-nucleate genera ;)

        to K.B.'s comment

      • Susy on January 9, 2012 at 11:00 am

        Very true, it’s tough to lose an entire crop to something and it doesn’t fill the larder. But it can be an important lesson to teach us to work on growing healthier soil which helps plants withstand difficulties much better, to develop a more complex web of plants in our gardens and to plant a variety of cultivars to find the ones that work in our particular climates best. It’s a very complex thing that most people would rather answer with a quick spray than the time needed and risk of loss.

        You’re right natural order doesn’t provide the entire answer and trying to mitigate disease artificially really doesn’t help either. I do believe that part of the reason we have so much trouble now is because we have lost a lot of genetic and regional diversity and we coddle our plants too much from disease & pests. Add to that, that we’re trying to grow annuals in our climates where they’re not native and you’ve got a recipe for big problems.

        Ideally, we’d all be working to establish a permaculture system with native species to develop the healthiest most natural disease resistant gardens – but then we wouldn’t be growing tomatoes in Ohio – and who wants an edible summer garden without tomatoes?

        to Susy's comment

  8. Donna B. on January 9, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Firstly that quote is way too perfect for what you portray through this blog. I love it!
    It can be as cold as it wants – as long as I have sunshine I’m a happy camper.
    This weekend was absolutely gorgeous, and I found myself planting my “christmas” Holly; Ilex ‘Centennial Girl’ as well as preparing the edges for some new garden beds… coming inside from the cold with dirt on my jeans means I got my workout, hehe!

    Reply to Donna B.'s comment

  9. goatpod2 on January 9, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    It has been lovely here as well but we’re not far from you!


    Reply to goatpod2's comment

  10. Rocky Top Farm on January 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I appreciate all weather and as you said we aren’t in control, thank goodness, so enjoying what comes seems to make sense. With that said, my very favorite weather is a cold snowy day when the family is home and our fire (our only source of heat)is roaring and a cat is curled up on our lap! That is a fine, fine day!

    Reply to Rocky Top Farm's comment

    • Susy on January 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm

      Count me in – that sounds like a wonderful way to spend a cold winter day (especially since there’s a cat involved).

      Reply to Susy's comment

  11. Sincerely, Emily on January 9, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I think we always want what we can’t have or don’t have right now – at this moment. Some with straight hair want curly hair. Some with curly hair want straight hair. I know I gained wisdom with age on somethings. I take they days as they come. I watch the weather on the computer to know what to plan for tomorrow. Can I do laundry? with no dryer it makes a difference.I have drying racks but when it comes to things like sheets – outside is the only way to dry. And will I work outside or inside. We are getting a nice light rain today. Much needed and it makes me smile.

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

  12. Rick on January 9, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    We too have had an extremely mild January so far. In fact we had one day last week that was 59. That is unheard of in northern Utah, it set a record. But then mother nature humbled us over the weekend with 30’s and snow. :)

    Reply to Rick's comment

  13. Melanie W on January 9, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    I’m with you! We had a glorious weekend, and put off some inside chores we’d planned for Saturday in favor of spending several hours outside, walking and enjoying the sunshine.

    When I asked a colleague how she enjoyed the weekend, she said she thinks she and her housemates spent more time kvetching about how it wasn’t the way it’s “supposed to be” than actually enjoying it! I say, whenever we get winter sunshine, I will be out in it :-)

    We live in Maryland where we get four distinct seasons, and I love different things about each one. I’m usually ready when it’s time to transition into the next season. But you won’t find me complaining one bit about the gift of a surprise warm, sunny day in January!

    Reply to Melanie W's comment

  14. Wendy Buss on January 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    We’ve had an unusual number of rain-free, sunny, and somewhat warm days so far this winter. I was just out this morning clearing out a raised bed, and as soon as I got started it began to rain. I stayed until I was finished, enjoying the splat of the rain on my face and the foliage around me. I say, roll with it!

    Reply to Wendy Buss's comment

  15. Greg on January 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Susy, I just wanted to make it clear that I am not complaining about the not-cold-enough winter just because I like to complain … ;-) (For one, I never ever say it’s “too cold”) :-) But, I really would like to use this backyard ice rink we built……. :)

    Love the quote, though. It’s so true. So many people spend so much time complaining about what they don’t have, what circumstances are not, they miss all the chances to enjoy (to live?) life.

    Oh, and I actually wrote something similar to this topic that posted on my site today I believe. Titled Seasons. It’s really just much better to live where we are! There’s a time and a place for everything.

    Reply to Greg's comment

    • Susy on January 9, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      Yes, it just so happens that the year you decide to build an ice rink in your back yard it’s one of those warm winters. But you should get lucky with the weather next year and by then you’ll have all the kinks worked out!

      Reply to Susy'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.

Read previous post:
Quote of the Day: Sarah “Sally” Broadhead

"People were running here and there screaming that the town would be shelled, no one knew where to go or...