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New Skills

January 31st, 2018

I’ve always enjoyed sewing, in fact when I was in Jr High & High School I made a lot of my own clothing. For the past 20 years or so, I’ve mostly made quilts, curtains, bags, and other household items. I’d love to get back into sewing clothing more and have collected a few patterns to try. Last fall, I got a new coverstitch machine and I have been watching a Crafsty class to learn how to use it.

So far, I’m really loving this little machine. It’s easy to thread and actually really easy to use. I just got a chainstitch foot for it, so next up I’m learning how to set it up for chainstitching.


So far, It’s much easier to thread & use than the serger (which isn’t that difficult really). My old faithful sewing machine is at the repair shop, getting what will hopefully be a tuneup to get it running again. There’s not much winter left, so I’d better spend some serious time in my sewing room before the garden thaws and the outside work begins.

What hobbies do you cultivate in winter?

Birthday Meals

January 30th, 2018

When I was a girl, Chicken and Dumplings was always my birthday dinner request. Mr Chiots often requests lasagna. This year, I decided to make Skyline lasagna. We both went to college in Cincinnati and ate at Skyline frequently. We try to eat there when we go back to Ohio, it’s not easy to find outside of the area.

If you’ve never had Cincinnati style chili, you’ve been missing out. There are plenty of recipes on-line, but we prefer to get cans of the real thing. Since we only eat it once or twice a year it’s worth it for us. We’ve converted our neighbors to it as well, they were excited to join us for dinner on Saturday night.

Do you have any regional foods that you have grown to love? Do you still live in an area where you can get them?

Tiny Seedlings

January 29th, 2018

Last weekend, I started a few flats of seeds. One of spicy micro greens, one of cilantro, one of a mix of lettuce, and one of arugula. They all germinated quickly and are growing nicely. The light stand is located in my office, which is COLD. In fact so cold one morning that my computer wouldn’t come on.

I had plans to be growing greens and cilantro under the grow lights all winter, I just never really got around to it. Perhaps next winter I’ll do a bit better and actually be harvesting a few salads a week from the indoor garden.

Perhaps if I kept it a bit warmer these little guys would grow a bit faster, but I’m not really in any rush.

Are you growing anything edible indoors?

The Garden In Winter

January 24th, 2018

I’ve been thinking more and more about the garden winter. As I look around outside, I notice things that add structure and interest to make the garden shine in this dormant season. My two favorite things this winter are the trellises I left in the garden (usually I take them in) and the ornamental grass.




Both are adding much needed interest in the winter landscape. The boxwood hedge out front adds some, not as much as the one around the garden will when it’s filled in and trimmed to neat boxes. Overall, the winters get better and better as I add things specifically for interest in the winter months. Even small things like pruning a shrub or small tree in a very specific way can add some much needed interest in the dead of winter.

What’s one of your favorite ways to add winter interest in the garden?

Winter Wonderland

January 23rd, 2018

Last week we woke up to a winter wonderland, which was quite nice after a lot of rain had melted all the snow. A few inches of snow had fallen overnight and the sun was shining, it was truly spectacular. I ended up going for a snowshoe in the morning instead of working in the office. Here’s what I saw:











What’s the weather like in your garden?

Seeds and Sundries
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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.

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