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Friday Favorite: Photos

August 14th, 2015

I almost always have my camera with me to take photos of anything and everything I come across. The result is that each year I take around 15,000 photos. Every now and then, I have to look through all my photos when searching for something specific for a client. It’s never a chore, in fact it’s something I rather enjoy doing. Yesterday I came across a few gems from the past, I’m so glad I take so many photos, there’s really no better way to record life!
rocking chair
tiny trailer travels (1)
brian working
hiking at Crater Lake National Park
heather vahila
tiny trailer travels
vintage camper garden shed
None of these images are amazing or dramatic, but each one is connected to a memory that brings up strong emotions. This is why I take photos, not just to capture the beauty in the world around me, but to capture the memories and those little pieces of life that might otherwise be forgotten with the passage of time.

Are you in the habit of collecting images of life?

Quote of the Day: Shauna Niequist

July 26th, 2015

“I believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield a glittering handful of diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without even realizing it.”

Shauna Niequiest in Cold Tangerines

meals with friends 4
I was working in the garden yesterday and thinking about this quote and about this idea. An acquaintance passed away yesterday after a long illness. She was young, not much older than I am. She leaves behind her husband, it’s sad, very sad.
mclaughlin garden illuminated 11
Death is never easy, yet it will come to all of us. We know it will come, we just hope it will be when we’re old and when we think we’ve lived enough of our life. None of us has the guarantee of growing old, another day, or even another minute. Life is fleeting, even if we live to be 100.
And yet somehow we still find ourselves going through our days without noticing the things that actually make up our lives. So often we are waiting for perfection to start living and enjoying. We are waiting for that big moment, for that trip, to reach a certain place.
office art 2
Our lives are lived in every moment, and often these are the moments that are most important. We live our lives in our offices, in our kitchens, in our gardens, on our sofas. All of these seconds add up to our lives. When we look back at those moments with loved ones who are gone, they often revolve around these moments and not the big events.
sunlight in living room 2
I have fond memories of shelling peas with my family and making up songs while we worked (I can still remember the songs). There are memories around the dinner table, of playing cards, conversations in the car on a drive, an evening walk; these are the little moments that are the glittering diamonds in our memories. Enjoy these moments. Savor each day, each task, each flower, each person, each interaction. Life is fleeting, don’t waste it waiting for something big!

Quote of the Day: Shauna Niequist

October 5th, 2014

“I don’t know what season you are in these days, what’s broken down and what’s beautiful in your life this season. I don’t know if this is a season of sweetness or one of sadness. But I’m learning that neither last forever. There will, I’m sure be something that invades this current loveliness. That’s how life is. It won’t be sweet forever. But it won’t be bitter forever either. If everywhere you look these days it’s wintery, desolate, lonely, practice believing in springtime. It always, always comes, even though on days like today it’s nearly impossible to imagine, ground frozen, trees bare, and spiky. New life will spring from this same ground. This season will end, and something entirely new will follow it.”

Shauna Niequiest in Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way
winter 2
Sunny winter morning 3
the first spring blooms 5
When I read this book this past summer this quote really resonated with me. We often want our lives to be always sweet, without realizing that the bitterness is what allows us to savor the sweetness. If your life is sweet right now, enjoy it, relish it, savor it. If your life is bitter right now, look ahead to the sweetness that will come and try to grow from the bitterness that you’re experiencing now.


November 19th, 2013

With the slaughter of the pigs on Sunday and butchering happening today, our days have been filled with very heavy things. Luckily there’s still a lot of beautiful life around Chiot’s Run that keeps things from getting to be too much.  Here are some sweet things that I captured with my camera yesterday:
cuteness 1
cuteness 2
cuteness 3
cuteness 4
Death brings a greater appreciation for life, I’m certainly loving all the beauty in the lives that still surround us.  All these animals bring a deep richness to our lives.

What beautiful things are filling your day with life today?

Quote of the Day: Carol Deppe

February 24th, 2013

Before you were a gardener, you might have filled your schedule. Most non-gardeners do. But anything unexpected then results in overload. And most of life in unexpected. So you were always overloaded. You never had time for anything spontaneous or unscheduled. (And when a friend or family member needs you most it’s likely to be spontaneous or unscheduled.) You also seemed to live from crisis to crisis. You might have even thought your going from crises to crises “putting out fires everywhere” was because you were so important. In actuality, being always too busy for anything unscheduled or spontaneous are signs of a life not being lived as well as it could be, a life full of missed opportunities, a life too full of busyness for most of what makes life worth living.

Carol Deppe from The Resilient Gardener

realxing on the front porch
Mr Chiots and I have spent the last 4-5 years trying to cultivate simplicity in our lives. Simplicity doesn’t mean uncomplicated, it just means that you’re focusing on this things that truly bring you joy and happiness. Even though we don’t have much time to sit back and relax, the things that we spend our time doing are relaxing in their own way.

Have you found that gardening helps you manage your time better?

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.