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December 27th, 2010

Even though we had a relaxing day on Christmas day, we had a family get together my family yesterday. It was a busy day for everyone, even the reindeer chiots. I didn’t have any energy left to write a meaningful blog post so here are a few photos of Lucy the Chiots enjoying the family Christmas.

Hopefully you all rest up this week for the New Year’s weekend ahead!

How many family Christmas events did you end up going to?

A Day in My Life

November 10th, 2010

Sustainable Eats tagged me to do a “Day in the Life” post. I’ve been thinking about doing one of these, so I figured I’d give it a go yesterday. My days are often very similar, get up, work outside when it’s warm and sunny, do my office work when it’s dark or raining, make lunch and dinner, read and go to bed. On days we film we get up early, leave, spend all day filming and then arrive home too late, often after midnight. I tried to pick an interesting day that was indicative of my “normal” day to share in this “Day in the Life of” for you. So here goes, my boring life broken down in hourly segments.

4:15 am – up at at ’em. This wasn’t really the plan, we were going to make good use of the time change and start getting up at 6 (which was the same as 7 which is when we were getting up), but we both woke up super early. Mr Chiots made us some coffee and we both got to work in the office. I like to work inside in the morning when it’s cold & dark outside, then I can spend the warm sunny afternoons outside. It was cold this morning, in the high 20’s, with a very heavy frost on the ground, there was even a skim of ice on our small pond. I chuckled and thought of Thomas Jefferson saying “Whether I retire to bed early or late, I rise with the sun.”

5:00-8:00 am – Since Mr Chiots and I both work from home, we spent our extra hours this morning working in the office. I worked on accounting and receipting some donations. I work for my parents who are missionaries, I take care of all the donations, receipts, accounting, newsletters, publicity, etc. for the Colombian Christian Mission. Mr Chiots and I also have a small production company (2nd Mile Productions), so he spent his morning working on a website and rendering out some videos.

8:00-8:30 am – Usually I’d just be starting to work in the office at this time, so I’m happy to have already put in a few hours of work! Generally we eat a simple breakfast of scones or toast with our coffee. Since we were out of bread, I decided to make some scones. I had pulled some sour cherries out of the freezer earlier that morning, and used them to make a batch of cherry macadamia nut scones. (for all of you wondering, that is a cast iron pizza pan that I baked them on) Mr Chiots made some coffee and we enjoyed our breakfast.

8:30-10:30 am – More office work, accounting, bills, lists of things to do in November, answering e-mails, etc. Not very exciting, but it pays the bills and I enjoy it.

10:30-11:00 am – Spent some time chatting with my dad, he came over to head down to Cabela’s with Mr Chiots to get some supplies for hunting season. When they left I mixed up some sourdough bread dough.

11:00am-1:00 pm – I noticed it was warming up nicely outside, now sunny and 45, so I headed out to start crating the hydrangeas. The large hydrangea up front had some beautiful dried flowers on it so I cut a 2 bushels of blooms. I won’t use these in my house, I usually save them in the attic and give them to friends or sell them at a garage sale. While I worked outside Miss Mama and Little Softie scampered about being very entertaining. During this time I was wearing a stop watch so I could remember to come in and fold my sourdough at the appointed times.

1:00-1:30 pm – Around one I started to get hungry and came in to warm up some lunch. I had 2 small potatoes in the fridge, so I fried them up in some bacon grease with some onions. I roasted some cauliflower in the oven and ate part of it as a side, the rest went into the fridge for tomorrow. As I enjoyed my simple lunch I spent some time checking e-mail, blog comments, writing a bit on this post, and a few other little tasks. (recipe for roasted cauliflower over at Not Dabbling today)

1:30-3:30 pm – Back outside to water the hydrangeas. I’m making sure I give each hydrangea 30 gallons of water since it was such a hot dry summer. I wan to make sure they go into winter in the best condition, and I have to empty my rain barrels for winter. This is hard work, the 3 gallons watering cans are heavy, so I usually do 5 trips, then work on another task for a while. During these breaks I took some photos and I added some burlap over my garlic and shallot beds to keep the cats from using it as a litter box. This works like a charm if you have trouble with cats using your beds throughout the winter. Dexter came out with me after lunch and spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the beautiful day.

3:30-3:45 pm – Came inside for a short break and to enjoy a cup of afternoon coffee. Mr Chiots made me a latte before he left, a big thanks to Mr Chiots!

3:45-5:45 pm – Spent more time watering and wrapping hydrangeas, plating a few remaining plants, emptying pots, moving things into the garage that can’t be left outside throughout the winter and I also spent 10 minutes looking for Dexter, who decided to go on an adventure into the woods.

5:45-6:30 pm – Downloaded all the photos from today, tagged them and picked out a few for this post. Spent some time reading and responding to e-mails, approving comments for my blog, and of course writing this post.

6:30-7:00 pm – Enjoyed a nice hot shower after a day of gardening. While warming up some leftover venison roast with carrots and potatoes for dinner, I unloaded the dishwasher and formed the bread dough into loaves. It was nice to spend some time sitting down to eat! While doing this my printer was busy printing off some newsletters to give to my dad when he got back with Mr Chiots from a gun auction.

7:00-8:00 pm – Selected photos, did some editing, uploaded them and put the final touches on this post. Mr Chiots arrived home from Cabela’s and the gun auction and told me all about his trip. I gave my dad a few little plants I had started for him and he headed home.

8:00-10:30 pm – More work in the office, receipts, invoicing, answering e-mails, stuffing envelopes and other things on the to-do list. I also took a few more photos to fill in a few spots in this post, like the alarm clock one at the beginning, there’s no way I would have been cognizant enough to take that at 4:25 this morning. During this time I also baked the 4 loaves of sourdough that I started that morning. We enjoyed a cup of mulled cider and a quick slice of sourdough with butter for an evening snack.

10:45 pm – Off to bed, so tired from getting up early and an active day. I’m not always this busy, some days we spent an hour or so watching TV or reading in the evenings. I am, however, not much of one to spend a lot of time sitting during the day unless I have to. I prefer to busy myself with things, so I love days like this! We had a beautiful sunset this evening with just a tiny sliver of a moon, quite lovely and a perfect way to end this post.

As I was proofreading this post last night, I thought about Thomas Jefferson saying “Whether I retire to bed early or late, I rise with the sun.” I must admit, getting up early really helps me be more productive during the day, I feel like I get so much done before breakfast. I don’t think I’ll be getting up at 4:15 every morning, 6 is good for me right now. Perhaps after hunting season we’ll start getting up earlier as Mr Chiots will be used to getting up at 5 am.

Are you an early or a late riser?
What about at the end of the day – night owl or early to bed?

I’d like to encourage you to do a day in the life of post on your blog. If you do, link back in the comments so we can all go check them out.

You Know You’re a Gardener

June 20th, 2008

You know you’re a gardener when you realize you just spent twice as much for a load of manure than you spent on groceries for yourself for the month!!!

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.