This site is an archive of For the latest information about Susy and her adventrures, visit the Cultivate Simple site.
Thank you for all your support over the years!

Candles, Cookies, and Presents

September 30th, 2009

I was busy all day yesterday getting ready for the my oldest niece’s birthday party, which she decided was going to be a princess tea party. I was in charge of making the cake, which I decided would be fun to make small individual cakes that looked like petit fours (my sister still made a regular cake to put candles on). I decorated them with lavender from the garden, perfectly elegant for a ladies’ tea (the icing was colored with wild blackberries, nothing artificial about that)!
I spent the weekend making her gift, which was a colorful tutu. Since she’s getting interested in ballet she thought it was great, along with the ballet slippers complete with laces.
I picked some flowers from the garden to decorate the table, and my sister got out her best china for all the little girls to use. All the little girls arrived in their frilliest dresses ready for an evening of fun. After several princess themed crafts, they enjoyed eating all the tea snacks which my niece picked out. The menu consisted of: cookie press cookies, little smokies in a blanket, mini muffins, mini tea sandwiches, pumpkin rolls, cake and peppermint tea. Now that’s a menu!!!
It was a fun evening for all involved. The little girls really enjoyed having a tea and the crafts were a big hit.
I have many fond memories of birthday parties when I was growing up. I think this is a party she will remember for a lifetime, have you ever seen such happy little girl?

Any fun, non-garden related events you’ve enjoyed attending recently?

It’s Coming….Fall

September 29th, 2009

I was out working in the garden the day before yesterday planting some lettuce and I noticed that it feels like fall. There’s that chill in the air, you know the one that makes the sun feel good on your back and your fingertips get cold when they get wet. The breeze has been constant and you can hear leaves falling all around.
The fall colors are starting to appear, red, yellow and orange. Around here the first leaves to change are the dogwood trees.
I love this time of year, it’s so relaxing to work outside. I love the colors, the cooler weather, the falling leaves and the brightness of the sky.

What’s your favorite thing about fall?

I Love It!

September 28th, 2009

I love it when I catch a bee mid-flight. I have a few of these photos and each time I capture one it just makes me smile, I don’t know why. I think it’s perhaps because their little legs are dangling or perhaps because these bumble bees look as though they shouldn’t be able to fly.
When I downloaded my photos yesterday this one brought a smile to my face, I thought I’d share a smile with you today!

What brings a smile to your face?

Quote of the Day: Lee May

September 27th, 2009

A child who learns from gardening is a child who is unlikely to robotically walk around with dead eyes.

-Lee May
I grew up gardening, when I was younger we grew most of our own food. To be honest I hated gardening when I was young, most of the time. I liked picking interesting things to plant out of the catalogues, my mom always let us pick fun stuff, like blue corn or blue potatoes.

Do you think gardening is good for kids, for those of you with kids, how do you get yours involved and interested in gardening?

My Favorite Pepper: Cayenne

September 26th, 2009

I picked this great cayenne pepper in the garden yesterday, I thought it looked like a big waxed mustache. I tried to get Lucy to oblige me for a photo, but she doesn’t like to have her photo taken, so this is the best I could get as she tried to bite the stem.
I grew cayenne peppers this year because I love love love hot food, and I find myself often adding cayenne powder or red pepper flakes to my food. I’m not a huge pepper fan, they give me terrible indigestion, but cayenne peppers are a different story.
I’ve been drying them whole and in slices dehydrator. I’m planning on crushing them all to make red pepper flakes.
I also dried some jalapeƱo slices. I’m still harvesting and drying, but I think I should have 3 cups of pepper flakes before the end of the season. That should last me till next year.

Have you ever grown one of your favorite spices/herbs?


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.