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!

Throw Open the Windows

October 27th, 2009

Yesterday we had a nice warm sunny day, it was in the mid 60’s. When we have weather this warm I always open all the windows to get some fresh air in the house.
The cats are in heaven on days like today, and so am I. One of the things I really miss in winter is open windows and being able to hear the sounds of nature.

What are you going to miss this winter?

From a Different Time

October 26th, 2009

Mr Chiots and I went to a Newell auction on Saturday morning (actually 2). This year we started going, because I’ve been searching for old short wide mouth pint jars. I’ve also been looking for a few Griswold cast iron skillets to add to my collection.
Auctions are interesting, sad and hopeful all at the same time. They definitely herald back to a different time when people saved things they though they’d use again, not willing to buy new when they could reuse something they already had.
It’s sad to see these people lives spread out on the lawn, others looking over it decided what they want. It’s sad to see the things people valued enough to save going to the highest bidder, and sometimes not being bid on at all or going for next to nothing.
It’s also hopeful to see people in attendance willing to buy used items, placing value in something that’s been around for a while and already has a story. They don’t need to buy some shiny new homogenized item at the big box store, they want something unique, something that has already seen some life.
One thing I love about auctions is all the unique stuff you find. It’s so fascinating to me to see what people saved.
I was happy to see lots of canning jars for sale, they even had a few of the wide mouth pint jars I was looking for. Sadly, we had to be somewhere that afternoon so I couldn’t stay to buy them.
I wonder if auctions will fall out of favor when all the classic old stuff is gone. Is any of the stuff we purchase now going to last 40 years and still have enough life left for someone to want to buy it? Are we going to save anything that someone will find valuable?
I’m definitely reaching a point in my life where I’m starting to appreciate the stuff that’s been around for a while. I’d much rather purchase something used than something new. It’s not only more environmentally friendly but it’s so much fun as well.
I still buy some new things, but I’m definitely trying to focus on buying used. The things that I do purchase new, I’m trying to invest in good quality items that I’ll be able to use for the rest of my life, and hopefully someone after me will find them useful as well. So I’ll be attending more auctions trying to find those elusive short wide mouth pint canning jars and perhaps a few other treasures that can continue to live on and be useful in our home.

Do you like to buy used items, or do you prefer new?

Quote of the Day: Humbert Wolfe

October 25th, 2009

“Listen! the wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”

Humbert Wolfe, 1885-1940


October evenings are perfect for fires and smores. There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting around the fire, I especially love them this time of year when the evenings are crisp and clear.

What’s your favorite fall activity?

A Day Off

October 24th, 2009

Mr Chiots and I have the day off; well, kind of. Usually we’re working all day on Saturdays and I often don’t get time to make it to the farmer’s market. But today we don’t have to be at a shoot until early afternoon. I’m going to enjoy my day off by getting up and heading down to the farmer’s market. It’s much smaller this time of year with fewer vendors, fewer vegetables and fewer shoppers. There are still lots of wonderful things to see, the colors are so fantastic. The summer’s bright red tomatoes and green bell peppers have been replaced the mellow colors of indian corn and deep orange pumpkins.
I think one of my favorite fall seasonal things at the market are the pumpkins. They just scream fall every time I see them. I can just see the bowls of steaming pumpkin soup, the chilled pumpkin pies and the delicious pumpkin muffins coming out of the oven. Mr Chiots would probably choose apples as his favorite fall item, he’s a big fan of apple pies, apple crisp and pretty much anything that involved apples and sugar.

What’s your favorite seasonal fall item?

Is That an Onion in Your Pocket?

October 23rd, 2009

Yesterday I was working on my computer and Mr Chiots came over to look at something and said, “Do you smell something?”.
I said, “Not really”. But a little later I started noticing an “oniony” smell and was wondering where it was coming from. Then I remembered I had an onion in my pocket.
Earlier that day, I was out working in the garden and I found a small onion while cleaning out one of the vegetables beds. I put it in my pocket and kept working and completely forgot it was there until it revealed itself. I’ve done this before, on occasion I’ll put on a pair of jeans or a sweatshirt, stick my hand in the pocket and find some seeds or some wilted herbs.

Have you ever found anything interesting in your pocket?


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.