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Stress Less – Puzzle More!

February 12th, 2015

One of the things we like to do around here is puzzles. We find them to the perfect stress reducing activity. Last night we finished up Escort to Oshkosh puzzle, which was a great puzzle.
plane puzzle
Maine Puzzle 1 (1)
Now we’re moving on to a Piatnik puzzle, a brand we haven’t tried before. We found this Starry Night puzzle at a local art museum. I’m always happy to find a puzzle featuring classic art, I have the Japanese Bridge by Monet Ravensburger Puzzle and it’s fantastic. One of my favorite, we do it every
van gogh puzzle
Our collection of puzzles is growing quite nicely. Perhaps next we’ll pull out an old favorite. So far I think we’ve tried just about every brand of puzzle, some are better than others. It’s always nice to spend a few minutes in the morning working on the puzzle while I enjoy my coffee. It’s great to start the day with a stress reducing activity.

Do you have any great puzzles to recommend?

Friday Favorite: Old Friends

July 25th, 2014

It’s that time of the year to plan my yearly get together with my college girlfriends.  It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 years now that we’ve known each other, we all met our freshman year of college way back in 1994. We get together each year, sometimes we meet at one of our homes, sometimes we rent a cabin somewhere, often we all meet up back Cincinnati, OH where we went to school. One of our friends lives in Cincy and we all stay at her home. It’s a weekend filled with laughter, tears and lots of catching up.
I’m reading a book by Shauna Niequist right now and came across this quote yesterday – it’s so fitting for this occasion “When we’re together, we do what old friends do: we talk about the past we share and fill each other in on the daily present we no longer share. These women’s faces hold oceans of memories for me, stories no one else would ever believe. They’re like adolescent time capsules, lives lived long ago, and they’re also sounding boards and fellow travelers in similar phases of life.”
old friends (1)
old friends 1 (1)
old friends
old friends 2 (1)
We always enjoy lots of good food and do crazy things. We’ve rented surreys to ride on the riverbank, we went on a duck boat tour, we walk, we laugh, and we thoroughly enjoy our time together catching up.
old friends 1
old friends 2
old friends 3
These ladies have been in my life for more than half of it, we have celebrated many weddings and births and cried at the loss of a husband and sickness of children. We have managed to reunite at least once each year for the past twenty years. Some years it’s all six of us, sometimes only four, but it’s always a wonderful weekend. In October I will be heading to Cincinnati to meet up with my friends, it’s good to have the date on the calendar for something to look forward to.

Do you have any old friends that you get together with on a regular basis?

Friday Favorite: The Fair

September 6th, 2013

I grew up going to the Wayne County Fair in Ohio every year (at least when we were in the country).  It was a BLAST, one of my favorite things.  You can see what that fair is like in the post I wrote about it a LONG time ago.  Last Friday we attending the Windsor Fair with our neighbors.  It was just what a fair should be.  There were animals of all shapes and sizes, foods both fried and sweet (though we didn’t have lobster rolls at the fair in Ohio), there were quilts and vegetables on display and many wonderful educational items as well.
Windsor Fair 5
Windsor Fair 4
Windsor Fair 6
Windsor Fair 3
Windsor Fair 7
Windsor Fair 8
Windsor Fair 9
Windsor Fair 1
Windsor Fair 2
The fair is such a great way to bookend the summer, it’s always something I’ve really enjoyed. Perhaps some year I’ll enter a few of my veggies into the fair.

Do you attend your local fair?

Just Visiting

March 13th, 2013

Last Saturday, I found a Flat Stanley in my mailbox. It was sent to me by a friend’s young daughter. Her class is doing a project where they each send out a Flat Stanley to see where he will end up between now and May 15th.
Flat Stanley 7
Since I was the person they knew who lived the farthest away, he came to my mailbox first. The class requested that Stanley send postcards from the places he visits with details of his journey. I decided he could write a blog post here today for his postcard. Here’s what Stanley has to say about his visit.
Flat Stanley 6
The first morning of my arrival in Maine, I was warmed by a large mug of coffee. You might think this was a bad thing, but it wasn’t. There was actually about a foot of snow on the ground outside and it was very cold. The coffee was a nice warm blanket and it prepared for what I would do the rest of the day.
Flat Stanley 4
After morning coffee, we headed out to feed the chickens and gather eggs. There were 13 chickens in all, 2 big roosters and 11 hens. We gathered 9 eggs that morning for breakfast.
Flat Stanley 3
Flat Stanley 8
Then we went to check on the ducks, they were happily splashing in puddles in the driveway. Even though it very cold outside, some of them were swimming in their little pool. No wonder down blankets are supposed to be so warm!
Flat Stanley 2
Flat Stanley 9
We came back inside from checking on the animals and water the seedlings. There were onions, celery, herbs, and all sort of other little plants underneath grow lights inside.  They will be planted outside when the snow melts and the weather warms.  There were hundreds of seedlings, the garden will be bursting with vegetables this summer!
Flat Stanley 5
After a hearty breakfast of those eggs we gathered from the chickens, we were back outside to cut firewood for next winter. The rest of the day was spent cutting, splitting and stacking firewood. Boy was I tired after that.  It’s certainly true what they say, you warm yourself twice!
Flat Stanley 10
I also made a trip to the coast to see the big boats and the lobsters, but it was raining and I was afraid I’d disintegrate, so I stayed in the car.
Flat Stanley 1
Then I was folded up into an envelope and mailed off somewhere else. Where will I go? Who knows, but I certainly can’t wait to get back to Peri in Kentucky so I can tell her all about my trip!

If you could fold yourself up into an envelop, where would you mail yourself?

Friday Favorite: Beautiful Days

January 18th, 2013

Yesterday was a lovely morning. We happened to wake up before the sunrise and enjoyed our coffee while we watched the sun come up over the horizon. Wednesday, a winter storm rolled through and a fresh dusting of snow blanketed the ground. After putting in a few hours of office work, we headed out for some late morning chores, Mr Chiots plowed the drive and I tended to all the animals and worked on cleaning the garage.
Fun in the Snow 4
Fun in the Snow 5
Next up came the roasting of the coffee for the next couple weeks, meanwhile the ducks played in the snow. These guys are too funny, they definitely make us laugh. They’re just starting to get their wings and they love to run around on their tip-toes flapping them. A couple days ago one of the females made a short flight from the garage down to the house. Our duckies are growing up.
Fun in the Snow 6
Fun in the Snow 7
While we stood by the garage eyeing the fresh snow, thoughts of childhood sledding filled our minds. We grabbed a sled from the garage and took a few quick runs down the hill. Notice the ducks watching us, I was waiting for them to grab the sled and ride on down. They seem to enjoy days like today as much as we do.
Fun in the Snow 1
Fun in the Snow 9
Fun in the Snow 8
Fun in the Snow 2
Fun in the Snow 3
I don’t think either of us have been sledding since college, you certainly notice how hard the bumps are (of course there wasn’t quit enough snow on the ground). On days like yesterday we’ll spend every moment we can outside enjoying the day!

What’s your favorite way to enjoy a beautiful January day?

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.