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Quote of the Day: Thomas Jefferson

November 16th, 2014

It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness.

-Thomas Jefferson

Hopefully you can take find a bit of tranquility today. I find that winter makes it easier to find, it seems natural to spend more time being inactive, particularly in the evenings. Reading, doing puzzles, sewing, crocheting, coloring, all help me cultivate tranquility.

What’s your favorite tranquil activity?

Quote of the Day: Thomas S. Cowan

May 5th, 2013

America is a nation obsessed with finding personal happiness. But the person who sets out to find happiness rarely succeeds. He or she may achieve occasional and temporary satisfaction through financial success or a busy social life, but rarely true happiness. Happiness comes to those people who concentrate on the opposite – who do things for others, who set out to produce beautiful paintings or delicious meals, or who engage in projects that bring beneficial change to the world. Such people not only contribute to a better world as a result but also achieve unexpected happiness. These are the people who move through life with ease, in spite of obstacles and misfortune.

Thomas S Cowan, MD (The Fourfold Path to Healing)

braised duck
I love this quote, so much of it rings true in my life. My happiest moments are when I’m cooking good food for those around me, when I’m cultivating beautiful things in the garden, when I’m doing things that I know bring change in the world. These actions bring happiness and hope to my life, I find much fulfillment in investing my time where I know it truly matters and makes a difference.  (PS: the meal shown is braised duck legs from one of our muscovy ducks).

What things bring you true happiness?

Quote of the Day: Duane Elgin

December 23rd, 2012

“Our life experience is based more on our individual level of awareness than on any particular external experience. Our enjoyment of life is profoundly enhanced by the knowledge that we don’t need much in order to be happy. By consciously adopting a simple lifestyle, we give ourselves the opportunity the be satisfied and happy, whether or not we strike it rich or not.”

Mother Earth News, in article about Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin

Yesterday, as I baked and cleaned in preparation for Christmas and I thought about what I really love. Cooking is one of those things. I was planning on having a really nice dinner for just Mr Chiots and I, but then we decided to invite our neighbor who’s a widower. Since his daughter lives in London and the rest of his family lived in the Midwest, we figured he might enjoy some company on Christmas. Then my parents decided to come for a few days and now it looks like we’ll have a full house on Christmas day. It’s a good thing since I got a 10lb standing rib roast at the farmer’s market.
roasted root vegetables
There’s nothing I love more than spending the day in the kitchen making a wonderful meal, then sitting down with friends and family to enjoy it. Cooking is really one of the simple pleasures in my life and one of my favorite things about the holiday season! Whether I’m cooking an expensive rib roast or simply making soup from a few bones, I’m happy in my kitchen!

What are some of the simple pleasures you enjoy during the holidays?

Some Days…

October 11th, 2012

Some days….

you wake up with a headache and overcook the eggs
and the dog is sick from eating chicken food
it’s a rainy dreary day so you can’t get outside
then you remember there’s laundry on the line

Some days we simply focus on the wrong things.

Because on those same days…

you have a warm and toasty house
with warm wooly socks to wear and fluffy cats to pet
and a honey that brings you ginger tea
delicious locally made sausage and braised cabbage for dinner
along with a few new books on the coffee table to read after it gets dark

Some days it’s not about what happens, but about what you see.

What wonderfully simple things are overshadowing your hardships this week?

Quote of the Day: Paul Sweeney

July 8th, 2012

How often we fail to realize our good fortune in living in a country where happiness is more than a lack of tragedy.

~Paul Sweeney

Last night we had the great pleasure of watching the fireworks display put on by our small lake community. Each year they collection donations from the residents and put on a fabulous display. We’ve lived here for 10 years and have only missed one year. This year we were lucky enough to enjoy the display on a friend’s boat, a completely different experience.

Fireworks have always been a tradition in my family. We usually spent this holiday weekend at the family cabin and we’d stop on a bridge in Wooster, OH to watch their fireworks display on our way home. Then we’d stop for ice cream and the holiday celebration would be complete!

Do you take in a fireworks display for the Fourth of July or any other holiday?

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.