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Early Christmas

October 30th, 2018

When my sister and the kids were up last week, we celebrated Christmas. Typically, we head back to Ohio around Thanksgiving, but this year we knew we weren’t going to be able to make it. Mr Chiots took the kids out and they selected and cut a balsam fir from the back 40. We set it up and the girls added some decorations. While they were doing this, I was making our Christmas dinner, complete with ham, green beans, and mashed potatoes.

It’s always nice to extend the holiday season out a little more. Instead of a mad rush with lots of gatherings, we end up celebrating them here and there over the course of a few months. The kids loved cutting a real Christmas tree, it was a new experience for them.

Do you celebrate any holidays at off seasons?

My Christmas Gifts

December 29th, 2012

Yesterday, Mr Chiots and I finally celebrated our Christmas. What did I find under the tree?
First off, Mr Chiots and I bought each other snowshoes. Technically they weren’t Christmas presents, but around this time of year just about everything gets labeled as a gift. They’re nothing fancy, just the cheapest ones offered by L.L.Bean. We took them out for a test hike yesterday and LOVED them. No doubt we’ll get more than our money’s worth with these.
Brian Snowshoeing
I also received a few cookbooks: The River Cottage Cookbook and River Cottage Every Day
Books 1
Lucky me, I even found a Clarington Forge long handled shrubbery spade and potato fork under my tree. I would have never purchased the potato fork for myself, it’s rather pricey, but I’ll take it as a gift. Clarington Forge tools are well made, this potato fork is a beastly tool, heavy and very well made, it will certainly last me the rest of my life and probably long outlive me.
Clarington Forge Tools
Mr Chiots and I are very practical gift givers, generally we buy useful stuff for each other. He lucked out with a nice Filson wool shirt, a wool sweater, new suspenders and a few books as well.

What did you find under your tree this year?

Poppies for Remembrance

May 28th, 2012

I always remember people selling little red paper poppies at the Post Office when I was a little girl. My mom usually purchased one since my grandpa was a veteran of WW II. There are no poppies in my garden, so these are my mom’s.

I did some research and found that Moina Michael conceived of the idea of wearing poppies for remembrance. She made some to wear herself and sold them to her friends to raise funds for servicemen in need.

She also wrote this lovely poem:


Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the Faith
With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.
In Flanders Fields we fought

This Memorial Day weekend, take some time to remember those who have fought and given their lives so give the rest of us the freedoms we so enjoy! Our flag is at half staff until noon in their honor.

How do you celebrate Memorial Day?

Goodbye Christmas, Hello Winter

January 6th, 2012

We love having our Christmas tree, the glow of the lights sets the perfect mood for a relaxing evening. I’m always dragging my feet to take down in January. Our tree is still pretty fresh, so it will stay up a few more days I think.

I’m not the only one that will miss the tree, Dexter will too. He’s our Christmas cat, every year he camps out under the Christmas tree from the day we put it up until the day it comes down.

When does your tree come down?

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

December 10th, 2011

This past Thursday, Mr Chiots and I went down to the local farm to get our Christmas tree (yep we still call it that not a “holiday tree”). It’s a cute little place, run by an old man and his wife. We had planned on going earlier in the week, but it was raining. Thursday turned out to be a beautiful day, sunny and bright with beautiful blue skies. It was cold too, except for a lack of snow on the ground, it was the perfect day.

We walked around and selected the perfect little frasier fir. I voted for a charlie brown one, but Mr Chiots is more keen on the full ones, he won.

Mr Chiots and I are serial entrepreneurs so we always talk about ways we’d improve businesses when we are at them. We’ve also talked about having a little Christmas tree farm someday. We talked about all the ways we could make our farm the most festive and best one around from having local hot cider and delicious cookies on hand to making garland and wreaths from tall the trimmings for an additional revenue stream.

We chatted for a while with the man that owns the farm, mainly disussing the oil/gas industry. He signed over all of his mineral rights and it looks like the big Keystone pipline is being laid right through the middle of the farm.

We packed up our little tree into the car along with a few armloads of extra branches to decorate the rest of the house and we set off toward home.

Out came the heirloom cast iron tree stand that my parents used to use and the evening was spent adding a few pearly white twinkle lights and a few etched glass balls to our tree. Red glass beaded garland finished it off and our perfectly simple Christmas tree is now filling our home with the a warm glow and the wonderful scent of pine. I was happy to spot a tiny little spider while decorating the tree.

What kind of tree graces your home during the holidays?

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.