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Cultivate Simple 49: The Year in Review

October 14th, 2013

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we’ve started Cultivate Simple. Tonight we look at our first year in Maine and discuss some of our plans for the future.


If you need some good viewing, check out Sean’s Allotment Garden.

Brian’s Geeky Corner

There are forums to fix just about anything. Brian has been using and will be using this coming week to research a fix for our second refrigerator.

Books of the Week

26 Comments to “Cultivate Simple 49: The Year in Review”
  1. Henry on October 14, 2013 at 11:17 am

    I always enjoy the look back at what we have accomplished in the past year. Three years ago I started walking around taking pictures of the house projects on January 1st. We are in the process of renovating our house bit by bit, and it is great to have the big picture that we made progress because sometimes it feels as if we don’t make any progress. We are very much debt adverse as are you guys, and as a result we do all the work ourselves using as much of the resources as we have on the land (lumber sawn off our land).
    I also sympathize with the short term fix (painting the barn). I just put a new metal roof on our woodshop that in 15 years or so we plan on rebuilding. The problem is that we can not afford a complete rebuild at this time, not to mention that I need the wood shop so that I can work on the inside of the house. I have come to accept that sometime intermediate steps are needed to achieve the long term goal. So in this instance I accepted the need for an intermediate solution (the roof was leaking), however I choose to use metal barn roofing that I will be able to reuse for a future building.

    Reply to Henry's comment

    • Susy on October 15, 2013 at 8:28 am

      Taking photos of projects before/during/after is such a great way to see how much you’ve accomplished. It can be so easy to forget through the years how much work has been done.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Ronda on October 14, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Hi Suzy,

    Just a quick question…I tried going to “Your Day With Suzy” at Ethel’s gloves and “Mechanix” came up. Did I miss the news that they were being bought out or something? Thanks…couldn’t find anything when I googled it.

    Love how the barn is looking! :)

    Reply to Ronda's comment

    • Susy on October 20, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      They were actually reabsorbed back into Mechanix, which was their parent company. I actually have all the blog posts save and will start publishing them here on Chiot’s Run when I can get the photos re-uploaded.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. John on October 15, 2013 at 12:42 am

    I’ve always had someone else process my deer. After watching the Meatsmith videos on youtube, I think I’m going to try to process my own deer this year as well. Hope they help!

    Reply to John's comment

  4. DebbieB on October 15, 2013 at 10:40 am

    I really enjoyed the year in review episode. I never mind the trips down the “rabbit holes”, they usually yield interesting information. :) Thank you so much for starting and continuing your podcast. I love to listen to the reasoning behind the lifestyle changes you’ve made, and I can say that my own life is enriched by the changes I’ve made in response, even here in suburbia. Love you guys!

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

  5. DebbieB on October 15, 2013 at 10:44 am

    Oh – also, I’ve been meaning to say for awhile – the “Books of the Week” never show up for me. I see the heading, but never any books listed, though I presume you are adding them, since you’re adding the Geeky Corner links. Are the book suggestions listed in a different sort of code that my computer isn’t reading properly?

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

    • Susy on October 15, 2013 at 11:00 am

      HM, that’s strange. Do the links in the sidebar for books show up for you?

      Reply to Susy's comment

  6. Becky on October 15, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Hi Susy, thank you both for another great podcast. I too, listen to it on my hour commute to work each day. I’m surprised no one has mentioned an animal at all yet! I vote for cow. Those Scottish Highlands have an amazing head of hair!

    Reply to Becky's comment

  7. DebbieB on October 15, 2013 at 11:08 am

    No, they don’t. No links for Book recommendations. I’m using Firefox and also Chrome, and don’t see it on either. That reminds me to do a browser check. Aha – I just checked it on Safari and IE, and they do show up, as photo-links. My usual browser is Firefox, that’s why I never see them!

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

    • Chris on October 15, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      Just to make it more confusing, I do use chrome, and the books do show up for me. I’m using Linx/Ubuntu though. :)

      Reply to Chris's comment

      • DebbieB on October 15, 2013 at 4:55 pm

        Problem solved – it’s my ad blocker. I just disabled it for Chiot’s Run (no problem there, since Brian and Susy don’t serve up ads) and the books miraculously appeared!

        to DebbieB's comment

      • Mr. Chiots on October 17, 2013 at 9:19 pm

        I was going to suggest that you had an ad blocker running. Good find.

        to Mr. Chiots's comment

  8. Jennifer Fisk on October 15, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Being that I’m a lover of red and white barns and outbuildings, I can’t offer an opinion.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  9. Erika on October 17, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Love the barn!

    Brian I agree on the debt free it is a relief and a comfort having it is such a stress and feels so burdensome. Its sad that the norm is debt for most americans

    We slaughter between 25 to 50 chickens a years and every other year about 15 turkeys. I can most of it since we lost 30 of them in the freezer when Katrina came through. We had just slaughtered them a week or two before.We make a production line out of it and we skin them hubby has his part in the process and I finish up with cleaning gutting etc. Though for next season we have a plucker.

    Love the Podcast!


    Reply to Erika's comment

  10. PennyAshevilleNC on October 17, 2013 at 8:46 am

    I love the barn! I was skeptical until I saw the pictures… what a lot of work! I have enjoyed listening each week and have learned something each time.
    I agree with Debbie B the “rabbit holes” are fun– my husband and I are similar in the way we relate, so I usually don’t notice how far “off topic” you are until you say it.
    Thank you for sharing your lives with us !!!!

    Reply to PennyAshevilleNC's comment

  11. DebbieB on October 17, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Becky’s right, I totally forgot to vote for an animal addition. Sorry, Brian – I vote “Donkey” because they’re great guard animals. And they’re cute!

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

    • Susy on October 19, 2013 at 8:35 pm

      YAY for donkey!!!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  12. Colleen on October 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Here is one more comment to make the tech guy shake his head at the number of legitimate comments you have on your site.

    Thanks for the “year in review”, it was interesting to hear what the two of you picked out as highlights to your very busy and productive year.

    The barn looks beautiful. Thanks for the audio tour of your home and I say, go ahead and at least paint some of the important-to-you rooms inside the house, you will be looking at them a lot more in the coming months.

    Congratulations to a very fruitful year. I enjoy the useful information you both share with all of us. My personal library is growing and we need to build bookshelves, because of your “book of the week” list. Our dinner menus are improving and our gardens are expanding. Your sense of humor makes the podcast fun to listen to and even though we have never met, I almost feel like I know the two of you. Thanks for your constant encouragement, in so many areas, I will some day (soon I hope) figure out the perfect home business to do. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication each and every day to this podcast and blog. I admire your focus. Looking forward to year #2 !

    I know I am pushing the limit here, but can’t decide, can I have two votes please? One for donkey and one for cow. At first I thought, donkey, they are so very cute, but then you mentioned what kind of cow and I just can’t make up my mind. They will both be useful to you. And so cute!

    Reply to Colleen's comment

  13. Pia on October 18, 2013 at 9:49 am

    I always enjoy your podcasts and since I find so much wisdom in them I was wondering why you don’t like blogspot? It sounds passive agressive when you read it, but it isn’t meant that way at all, just general interest. I have a blogspot year and I’m working on improving it and considering moving it.. I would love to hear what you think.

    Reply to Pia's comment

    • Susy on October 19, 2013 at 8:34 pm

      I have used Blogger as a CMS and just didn’t like the back end interface and usability. I also don’t like their comment section, usually it’s not necessarily blogger, just the default settings that some people don’t change to allow commenters to comment just using their name/URL. I dislike having to sign in to some third party account in order to comment and usually I just won’t do it. Blogger just isn’t a nice CMS in my opinion, I’ve used many and WordPress is my favorite as far as usability, cleanness, and organization.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  14. HH on October 18, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    I love the color of the barn. And your cat matches your barn :)
    I enjoyed listening to your routines of the animals. I have a similar routine for my dogs. I give them dehydrated food, coconut oil, tumeric, kelp, oatmeal, sometimes pumpkin seeds, fish oil, some vegetables from my garden, once a year a 6 week course of milk thistle and last but not least GREEN LIPPED MUSSEL!! My 13 y.o has mild arthritis and mild hip dysplasia. Nothing that caused her pain, but her hind legs does quiver when she gets excited or after a long walk (that’s when we took her to get X-rays and found out about her arthritis and hip dysplasia) My vet told us to give her glucosomine and continue with her normal routine. I did not see any improvement after 8 months and after a little research I found out about green lipped mussel. After 8 weeks on green lipped mussel her quivering greatly reduced and after 11 weeks it has completely stopped.
    I have joints problems due to old sports injury and I started to take them. My knee is a lot better now and I can go on longer runs! Yay.

    Reply to HH's comment

    • Susy on October 19, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      Very interesting about the green lipped mussel, I’ll have to get some of that for Lucy.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • HH on October 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm

        If its possible, do let me know if it made a difference to Lucy.

        to HH's comment

  15. HH on October 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    By the way I say get hair sheep so you don’t have to shear them.
    I watched something on Natgeo. And there is a sheep farm that rents out sheep for weed control to vineyads because they won’t eat the grape vines. And they have sheep dogs (Not great Pyrenees but the other white one) that goes out with the herd to protect and herd them. They would make sure that the sheep go down an aisle and turn them to the next aisle. It was so cool!!
    If you are interested in hearing more about different sheep and the wool aspect of it on a small scale. Check out the farm report podcast. They’ve done a series on wool and several on sheep and goat. I enjoyed the wool series. It was so interesting to learn about wool and how raw fleece turn into wool. By the way, they also talked about how great raw fleece is as mulch.
    The episode of the Tunis sheep made my mouth water. I want to try it..
    They also talked about a goat program called “no goats left behind” which I wish more places have them
    Great show and keep it up!!

    Reply to HH's comment

  16. HH on October 21, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Here’s the link for the no goats left behind if you are curious

    Reply to HH'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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