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Holiday Cheer

November 30th, 2015

Yesterday afternoon, all the ladies loaded up in the car and headed to Kingwood Center in Mansfield, OH for their Christmas event. It was a nice event, there were gingerbread houses, outdoor lights, decorated Christmas trees, and of course hot chocolate and cookies!
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Of course the gardens were lovely in their nakedness, the structure of all the trees and shrubs really come through. The tags on the plants are also much easier to see without all the foliage in the way.
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All in all, it’s a wonderful event and quite a bargain at $5. I’d definitely recommend going closer to dark as the indoor activities don’t last long. I don’t mind walking around the garden looking at the plants, but the non-gardeners in our group weren’t as excited about that.

What holiday events do you attend every year?

Merry & Bright

December 26th, 2014

It was balmy here in Maine yesterday, around 50 degrees. We took advantage of the nice weather to get a few outside chores finished up. Mr Chiots washed the cars and I cleaned out the duck ponds.
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Breakfast was overnight French toast with maple syrup, then we watched Christmas Vacation. There wasn’t a big fancy meal, we had a meat/cheese plate and some wine. Then off to the neighbor’s house for desert, I baked Bourbon Pecan Pie to take.
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We had already opened up our gifts the night before. It’s always been a tradition in my family to open gifts on Christmas Eve. That way the parents could always sleep in. Even after we all got older the tradition stayed, there’s just something nice about opening gifts when it’s dark outside. As usual, Mr Chiots and I are very practical gift givers. Many times they are things we’d be buying anyways, it just seems more fun to wrap them up and put them under the tree. These are the things we found beneath the tree:
Christmas 2014 1
A handmade terracotta egg crate for all those lovely eggs laid by our chickens. Truth be told I could use about 5 of these in the summer when I’m getting a dozen eggs a day. This will be perfect to have sitting on the counter to keep the eggs within easy reach.
Christmas 2014 3
Mr Chiots is always complaining of congestion the day after spending time on the tractor or cutting/splitting firewood. A Respro mask seemed like a perfect gift. It’s supposed to be super comfortable and the filters keep out the toxic fumes from diesel and small engines along with small particulates.
Christmas 2014 4
Mr Chiots is always complaining of lint & cat hair on his clothes, I found this wonderful wood & rubber lint brush made my redecker. It works very well and now there is no longer a need to buy those sticky lint rollers.
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Our neighbor made us these sweet little felted bacon ornaments. Handmade gifts are the best of all and these are so cute!
Christmas 2014 6
Mr Chiots has been in need of a new set of hair clippers. After going through a cheap set every year or so, I decided it was time to invest in a professional pair that should last for years to come. After much research, the Oster Classic 76 was the pair I selected. They are made in the USA and get great reviews. If you have someone who cuts their own hair, this would be a fabulous gift!
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Being a Tolkien fan, this new book of his art was a perfect gift for Mr Chiots. This was actually purchased as a birthday gift (which is in January), but one of his Christmas gifts didn’t get finished in time. So it will be given at Christmas and this was given now.
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We’ve been needing new outdoor thermometers, ours are falling apart and not accurate at all. Now we have a large French enameled thermometer that should give us accurate temperature measurements.
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Mr Chiots also got me a Kindle for Christmas, definitely not a gift I’ve been pining for. I’m a tactile person and love the feel of an actual book, though it will be nice to get Kindle books from the library. It will also come in handy when I travel, I’m usually stuffing five or six books in my bag, now I can have an entire library in my purse.
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All of my kitchen towels are getting old and warn, we did get most of them for our wedding sixteen years ago. Mr Chiots got me a few waffle weave linen towels from Fog Linen. When it comes to kitchen textiles linen is the best since it gets softer, more absorbent, and better with age.
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Last but not least was the lovely men’s grooming kit I got for Mr Chiots. He’s always been meticulous when it comes to keeping his nails cleaned and trimmed. He has this really crappy set of nail clippers, the kind you get at a gas station for 99 cents. Now he has a lovely set that will last the rest of his life!

What did you find beneath your tree yesterday?

Sending Holiday Cheer

December 10th, 2014

I love Christmas card, I love to get them and I love to send them. We have yet to get our photos taken for our personal cards, but I’ve been working hard on the Christmas cards I mail out for work. I usually mail out around 500 for that and roughly 100 for ourselves personally. The result is that I spend a lot of time during the month of December working on them.
Christmas card
This year I printed our cards for work, I found a sweet little nativity stamp on Esty to use on them. I took them to Ohio and my nieces helped me fold them and stuff them into envelopes. All I have left to do is address and stamp them and then I move on to our personal cards. I’m waiting for a snow so I can take the photo I’ve been planning. My mailbox is starting to fill up with cards from family and friends as well. I’m always happy to see how much everyone’s kids have grown, Christmas cards are one of the beautiful things about the holiday season!

Do you send out cards to family & friends? Do you enjoy receiving cards?

Merry Christmas

December 25th, 2012

No doubt we’re already busy working on our traditional Christmas dinner, complete with standing rib roast, Yorkshire pudding, oyster stew and a few other delicious things. We hope you have a wonderful day filled with good food, family and friends and lots of love.
Merry Christmas from Chiots Run copy

The Sweet Angel Chimes

December 22nd, 2012

The sounds of angle chimes ring through my Christmas memories. When I was a little girl, we always had Swedish Angel Chimes playing in the background at Christmas. I don’t remember how many nights we lit them during the holiday season, but we probably went through a ton of candles each year. The funny thing, there’s nothing super special about these chimes, they’re actually kind of cheap; yet somehow they’re magical, even now.
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A few years ago, my mom gave my sister and I each a set for Christmas, we were both delighted. That may have been the same year my dad got a nice wooden Christmas pyramid, which is also a hit with our nieces & nephew.
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Mr Chiots and I have been lighting our little set of angel chimes in the evenings. The ringing of the bells goes perfectly with the Christmas music in the background. I should buy an extra set to keep in my Christmas box in case this one breaks. They still sell them over on Amazon and probably other places on the internet. Someday, I’ll buy a wooden pyramid like my dad’s, but there will always be a set of these little golden angle chimes ringing here at Chiot’s Run.

Is there something like this that you remember from Christmases long ago?

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.