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Love My Job

February 18th, 2014

I always enjoy my job, but twice a year I really love it. February marks the beginning of the school year in Colombia and that means I’m sending out scholarship forms to sponsors. Each year I see these faces on my desk. These are kids that are being sponsored to receive a great education.
They also write heartfelt thank you notes to their sponsors, which I love to read. These kids know how valuable this gift is, not only for them, but for their families as well. With a good education, these kids will be able to bring their families out of the depths of severe poverty. It’s an opportunity that they don’t take lightly. Most of them start in preschool and continue through graduation (which is grade 11 in Colombia).
scholarship picture
I’ve been working with this program for 20 years, not only by finding sponsors for them, but also by being involved in other ways. I’ve worked raising funds to buy microscopes, computers and other supplies for the school. I’ve also helped raised funds to build classrooms so they can expand and teach more kids. My parents have been involved with this charity since it’s inception back when I was a kid. It was started by Colombians as a way to help the poor in their community and has make a huge impact!
colegio peniel kids
There’s nothing better than knowing the work you do makes a huge impact in someone’s life! Doing these scholarships are a highlight of my work year.

Are you involved with any charities?

Sick Day

February 17th, 2014

We took yesterday off from recording a podcast, sorry to all of you who will miss it on your commute or while cleaning your kitchen. Why? It was a sick day, nothing terrible, I was just not feeling well all day.
Snowing 1
It’s not a cold or a flu or anything like that, I think mostly sinus pressure from the big snow storm that moved through Saturday night & Sunday morning. I decided it was best to rest up and hopefully feel better on Monday than do too much and risk ending up not feeling well for a few days.

Does the weather ever affect you in this way?

Quote of the Day: Charles Mingus

February 16th, 2014

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.
Charles Mingus

Popcorn (1)
I came across this quote earlier this week and had to smile. Mr Chiots and I live complicated lives, yet I feel like our lives are very simple. We revel in the process and really relish the little things. We work long hours and yet we somehow we’re accomplish more than most other people. We’re constantly being asked how we find time to do all we do. I truly believe it’s because we appreciate and are content with simplicity.

What simple things are you enjoying this weekend?

Maximizing the Harvest

February 15th, 2014

I grow most of my own onions, as a result I end up with some smaller onions that can be a bit of a pain to peel if you need lots of onions for a recipe. These smaller onions are perfect for making stock.
Onion peels contain a lot of vitamins/minerals but they’re not very palatable as is. Throwing them in stock is the perfect way to glean some of that nutrition. Some people I know even save all their onion skins in a bag in the freezer along with carrots peels and celery trimmings to use when making stock. I love using them because I can make use of even more of what I grow in the garden.

Do you use your vegetables trimmings for making stock?

Friday Favorites: Lights

February 14th, 2014

I love big Christmas lights, the C7 and C9 sizes are my favorites. For our Olympic party we strung up lights in an area of our kitchen. I love the low ambient light they cast so much I’m thinking about leaving them up. I’m really sensitive to bright lights, so lighting like this is perfect for me.
christmas lights 1
They produce the perfect amount of light, it’s not too bright and not too dark. It casts light into the kitchen, bathroom and dining room allowing us to not have to turn on lights when moving about the house in the evening hours.
christmas lights 2
Lest you think this is a little crazy, it really fits right in with the eclectic look of this place. In this room there is outdoor board and batton siding, deer antlers and an old glass ball light, which were all here when we arrived. The lights fit right in! I was thinking about getting cafe lights for our back porch, but I might get a string for this room. They’d be slightly less kitschy than the Christmas lights.

What’s your favorite kind of lighting in the evening hours?

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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.