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007 Days of Christmas

December 27th, 2011

For quite a few years now Mr Chiots and I have been spending the week between Christmas and New Year’s watching as many James Bond movies as we can fit in. It all started years ago when Spike TV had the 007 days of Christmas and playing James Bond movies 24/7 during this week. We used to watch them on cable, but then we cancelled that. Then we had Netflix and would get them from there and the library, but the library copies never played very well and we cancelled our Netflix. This year we decided we’d start buying a few of the 007 movies on blu-ray each year until we have the entire series.

We especially love the old James Bond movies, there’s just something fun about them. I don’t know if I have a favorite Bond, I like them all for various reasons. I’m certainly looking forward to the new one that’s scheduled to come out in late 2012.

The blu-ray copies are fantastic, they remastered them from the original reels and they did a great job. We’ve only had time to watch two so far, but we have the rest of the week to go and we’re looking forward to seeing the rest. ¬†We’ll actually be taking a few evenings off, popping up some popcorn, and snuggling up on the couch to get our fill of James Bond!

What’s your favorite old movie?

Before I Gardened…

December 16th, 2011

Mr Chiots and I were talking the other day and I said “what did I do with all my time before I gardened?”

Before I gardened I ran, lots of and lots of miles and I spent time lifting weights. I trained and ran races and I thoroughly enjoyed the exercise. Then I started having to decide whether I should spend an hour weeding the garden or spend that hour logging some mileage. More often than not, the garden came first and soon enough I had to retire my running shoes for my wellies. I don’t really miss it though, I feel like I’m actually in better shape from gardening that I ever was from running. Gardening provides such a wide variety of activities to work all your muscles including your heart. I could still run in the winter when my garden in sleeping, but I now choose to do yoga instead because it keeps me in better condition for gardening chores than running does.

Had cable TV and enjoyed watching shows. Then little by little I spent more hours in the garden and had to spend my evening getting my work done (I work from home). Of course I should attribute this one to this blog too, as blogging takes up much of my extra “free” time nowadays. I don’t mind though, I cancelled my cable and save myself a good chunk of change each month.

Before I gardened I sewed and did other fun crafty stuff. Then my winter slowly became engulfed in ordering seeds, reading gardening books, and tending to tiny seedlings in the basement (my seed starting begins in January with celery, leeks and onions). This year at least I’ve been able to do a little more craftiness because of my job at Ethel.

Before I gardened I kept my floors clean enough to eat off of. I started choosing to spend my time cleaning out the flower beds instead of cleaning the floors. Instead of sweeping and mopping twice a week, the floors only get it once a week or sometimes every other week! With a big dog and three cats running around it can get a little “furry” in between those cleaning times.

Before I gardened I kept my home much neater and more organized. I used to hate clutter, it drove me crazy. Then my seed collection started to grow, I had flats of seedlings that wanted to be warm upstairs instead of cold in the basement, and the stack of gardening books on the table started to grow. I acquired miniature indoor citrus, ginger, figs and too many potted herbs. I started blogging about my garden and spending my spare moments snapping photos of everything. Now my house is much more “lived in” that it used to be, but I’m learning to be OK with it. I now am happy that I have some clutter and hope it makes people feel more relaxed when they come visit.

The truth is that I could still have time for all these things if I hadn’t chosen new hobbies. If I didn’t blog I could still run, if I didn’t take as many photos I could still sew, if I didn’t garden I could clean my floors several times a week. My priorities have changed and thus my time is spent differently. My job is also more of a priority than it used to be, I’m focusing on turning what I love into a career. I think that many of us mature into adults between the ages of 25-35 and this is the time I happen to have lived here at Chiot’s Run. As a result I have hone in on those things that make me happy and have learned to make time for them.

Have you given up any hobbies for more time in the garden?

Staying Warm with Local Wool

November 17th, 2009

For the last couple years we’ve been trying to live more locally, not just in what we eat but in all areas of our life. I try to search out a local source for just about everything I need. Since Mr Chiots is taking up hunting this year, he’s going to need a nice warm scarf. I decided a wool one would be ideal and set out to find a source for local wool. I finally found Trinity Woolen Mill through Local Harvest. Luckily they were going to be at a nature arts festival nearby so we went to see what they had.
I bought some lovely brown yarn that was from “Pansy” a Blue Faced Leicester. I love that the yarn came with a photo of the sheep it came from, how wonderful is that? Their yarn is all natural, they practice sustainable husbandry of their flock and they use bio-degradable, non-phosphate, dye-free, fragrance-free potions in the processing of the wool.
I haven’t knitted since I was in jr high, so it took me a few minutes to get back into the swing of it. It’s like riding a bicycle though, so in no time I was back in the groove. Mr Chiots even tried his hand at knitting after a quick lesson.
Knitting is something I’ll definitely be doing a lot more of in the future. It’s such a wonderful evening activity, perfect for those cold winter evenings. I just found an alpaca farm that makes hand spun yarn not too far away and I’ll be searching for more sources of local fiber. I can’t wait to make myself an alpaca scarf or a pair of fingerless mittens.

What kind of hobbies do you take up in the winter to make up for the loss of gardening?

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.