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In My Cup

September 22nd, 2014

I enjoy morning, always have. My parents said, when I was a wee little girl, I’d be up before anyone else watching Charles Kuralt, an odd choice for a four year old to be sure. I’ve also enjoyed coffee for as long as I can remember. I spent much of my childhood in Colombia, South America, and as a result I started drinking coffee in the womb, something not frowned upon in other countries like it is here in the United States. I remember my mom making us cups of coffee when we were little, we’d all sit down in the afternoon and enjoy a cup together. This is a habit I’ve carried with me to this day. (I’m the one in the curlers on the left)
wendy Susy Tea
My coffee has, however, changed throughout the years. When I was in Colombia, I loved cafe con leche, which is strong coffee mixed with scalded milk. When I lived in the U.S., regular brewed coffee filled my cup. Thirteen years ago, when I tried espresso for the first time, everything changed. Espresso is now my beverage of choice, usually in the form of a latte with steamed milk added to the espresso. I don’t just drink any espresso though, I have to admit I’m a bit of a coffee snob. Mr Chiots has spent the last thirteen years honing his brewing skills, upgrading machines, and learning to make the best shot of espresso around. Usually, if we’re out and about, we don’t even bother buying coffee, even at a small coffee shop. We find the majority of espresso to be lacking in flavor and depth.
There’s nothing like starting your day with something that you truly enjoy, for me that’s a cup of good coffee and a few chapters in the latest book on my reading stack. I get up a little earlier in the morning so I can have time to savor what’s in my cup. I firmly believe in living life to the fullest and making the most of everything. If I’m going to drink coffee in the morning it’s going to be the best cup of coffee, I’m not settling for something mediocre. That’s why we roast our own coffee beansĀ and why we get our milk from a local farm. Every morning you’ll find my alarm going off a half hour early, just so I have extra time to enjoy the pleasure of a cup of coffee and a bit of reading before I start my day.

What’s in your cup in the morning?

Gardening Neighbors

July 10th, 2012

Mr Chiots and I love to go on evening walks with the chiots. We walk the streets of our little lake community admiring gardens as we go. Since we’ve lived here for 10 years, we’ve been watching a few gardens grow and change, while most pretty much stay the same. We always used to talk about this beautiful little yellow how with lovely gardens.

We watched as they added a fence, new cherry trees, a retaining wall, a seating area, and edible beds. The residents of the house were a mystery to us, until last fall. A sign about the oil/gas in the area was prominently displayed in their front yard, so we stopped and chatted with Jimmy. A few days later, Heather stopped by our home and a friendship was born.

The first thing that came out of her mouth was, “I LOVE your gardens. I’ve been watching what you’ve been doing to them every day when I drive by on my way to work. This house and gardens was so ugly until you guys moved in!”. A gardening friendship was born!

Now Heather comes over at least once a week and we chat over coffee about gardens, plants, herbs, local foods, cooking and many other things. We also walk through each other’s gardens during different seasons talking about plants we love. Hardly a week goes by when plant isn’t exchanged between us.

When I decided to start a new series over on the Your Day Blog at Ethel, I know that Heather’s garden would be the first one featured. I really wanted to feature real gardens, like yours and mine. Sometimes we can spend so much time looking at perfect gardens in the glossy pages of books and magazines that we forget that real gardens are like real gardeners; they have flaws.

Head on over to the Your Day blog to see and hear about Heather’s garden. She lives just a few houses down. If you would like your garden featured in the Real Garden Series contact me using this form.

Do you have any neighbors that you can share your love of gardening with?

The Humble Mason Jar

August 2nd, 2011

Over the last couple years I’ve come to appreciate the humble mason jar. It’s a workhorse, not only in the kitchen but around the house as well. Mason jars have replaced all sorts of things I used to keep around from pitchers to ramekins, which is wonderful since I have a small kitchen. Head on over to the Your Day Blog to read about my love of the mason jar and to share creative ways you use mason jars in your home.

What are some unique ways you use canning jars in and around the home?

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.