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Quote of the Day: Linda Tatlbaum

August 26th, 2012

No matter how hard you will ever work, you can never gain control over a wild wood, which teaches you something about human effort and the grandiosity of a life’s plan. I like to think the woods represent a limit to the humanly possible, a place where you can talk all you want but you’ll never convince the trees to obey.

Linda Tatlbaum from Carrying Water as a Way of Life: A Homesteader’s History

One can’t help but feel very insignificant when surrounded by a very old wood. As gardeners, we try to bend nature to produce the look that we want. When you travel into the woods you realize that nature really does do it better than we every could.

When was the last time you spent time in the woods?

For Sale

August 25th, 2012

It’s Official! There’s a sign on the front hillside…and this photo shows me I need to get out and trim the grass in the ditch out front. When Mr Chiots saw the crooked sign he went out and straightened it. The listing isn’t on the website yet, not sure when that will go up, hopefully soon!

We’re in the process of buttoning up the upstairs project, no showings can happen until that’s finished. Today we’re installing doors and laying the floor in the bathroom. All the drywall mudding will happen on Monday. Depending on how long that takes, painting will happen Tues or Wed. All the fixtures and trim will most likely go in on Thursday or Friday and we’ll be FINISHED!

It’s good to finally have the house up for sale. This is the first/only home we have owned so it’s a completely new experience for us. We shall see how this process goes, should be interesting.

Have you ever sold a home or two, or three?

Friday Favorite: Homemade Ice Cream

August 24th, 2012

As I sat down last night at 10:30 once again with no blog post written drawing a blank, then Mr Chiots handed me a bowl of homemade black raspberry ice cream with some dark chocolate on top.

We’ve been putting that old fashioned hand crank machine to good use. Each week I mix up a batch and we enjoy some every night. I have developed my own recipe over time, one that works well with raw milk. It is essentially: cream, whole milk, egg yolks, a small amount of maple syrup or honey, and a dash of salt. Then we mix in whatever flavor we want. When I get a few spare minutes of free time I’ll be adding my recipe over on Eat Outside the Bag.

A few weeks ago I steeped 2 cups of the whole milk with fresh mint leaves from the garden for mint chocolate chip. The week after that we stirred in organic cocoa and a few shots of espresso. This week it’s wild black raspberries. You certainly can’t beat homemade ice cream. One of these days I’m going to try a recipe for savory ice cream. Since I don’t have a sweet tooth I find this idea intriguing, Mr Chiots however isn’t so keen on the idea.

Savory ice cream – would you love it or would it be too weird?

On Being Descriptive

August 23rd, 2012

Mr Chiots and I always have a great time laughing at real estate listings. When we were looking, we’d read through the description and look at the photos and joke about what was the real meaning behind words like “rustic”, “quaint”, “needs love”, etc.

Hopefully, there won’t be too much of that in the listing for this place when it finally goes on-line, I may write the description myself with the help of a friend. I’ll definitely be writing the garden portion. Unfortunately, our real estate agent is not the least bit interested in gardening and it shows. That’s kind of sad, because the outdoor area of the home is almost as important as the inside and, as a gardener, something I found very lacking when were looking at houses.

Yesterday, I spent some time taking photos of the house and collecting all the garden photos I wanted to share. After showing them to a friend I have a few new ones to take today to round out the collection.

Trying to figure out how to describe the house/gardens without being too wordy can be a challenge. The photos will speak better than the words anyways, so I’ll focus more time on those. I’ll be writing the full description today to give to the real estate agent this afternoon along with all the photos.

It’s really hard to describe your house and gardens in just a few sentences since it’s so much more than just a house, it’s a home. I guess the people who will buy this place will make it their own, so to them it is just a house.

If you had to describe your garden for the real estate listing what would you say? Any great suggestions for things you like to read in real estate listing?


August 22nd, 2012

I’m constantly amazed by what plants will do the survive (at least some of them).  If you remember, I purchased some lovely succulents earlier this spring. Whenever I notice that a leaf has fallen off a succulent, I often try to root it. When my ‘Black Knight’ lost a few leaves I scooped them up and brought them in the house. With all that is going on here, I completely forgot about them.

I was just telling Mr Chiots last week that I remember gathering these leaves but I had no idea where they’d ended up. A few days later, I discovered them in a drawer. Amazingly, they had sprouted roots and leaves.

A tiny pot was filled with potting soil and I laid the little plants on top. Hopefully they’ll root and I’ll end up with a nice collection of these beauties! The wonder of plants will never cease to amaze me. We certainly can learn a lot about tenaciousness from our gardens!

Have you ever had surprise propagations like this?

Reading & Watching

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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 moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.