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!

Staying Warm with Local Wool

November 17th, 2009

For the last couple years we’ve been trying to live more locally, not just in what we eat but in all areas of our life. I try to search out a local source for just about everything I need. Since Mr Chiots is taking up hunting this year, he’s going to need a nice warm scarf. I decided a wool one would be ideal and set out to find a source for local wool. I finally found Trinity Woolen Mill through Local Harvest. Luckily they were going to be at a nature arts festival nearby so we went to see what they had.
I bought some lovely brown yarn that was from “Pansy” a Blue Faced Leicester. I love that the yarn came with a photo of the sheep it came from, how wonderful is that? Their yarn is all natural, they practice sustainable husbandry of their flock and they use bio-degradable, non-phosphate, dye-free, fragrance-free potions in the processing of the wool.
I haven’t knitted since I was in jr high, so it took me a few minutes to get back into the swing of it. It’s like riding a bicycle though, so in no time I was back in the groove. Mr Chiots even tried his hand at knitting after a quick lesson.
Knitting is something I’ll definitely be doing a lot more of in the future. It’s such a wonderful evening activity, perfect for those cold winter evenings. I just found an alpaca farm that makes hand spun yarn not too far away and I’ll be searching for more sources of local fiber. I can’t wait to make myself an alpaca scarf or a pair of fingerless mittens.

What kind of hobbies do you take up in the winter to make up for the loss of gardening?

Quote of the Day: Cree Indian Saying

November 16th, 2009

“Only when the last tree has died and the last river
been poisoned and the last fish been caught
will we realize that we cannot eat money”

Cree Indian, 1909

Mr Chiots and I are big fans of camping and hiking, it’s our vacation of choice. We just watched the PBS National Park special and we really enjoyed it. I visited most of the National Parks with my family growing up but Mr Chiots hasn’t been to very many.
We’re hoping to go on a long vacation next year to add a few to his list. He’s particularly excited to visit Mt Rushmore and I can’t wait to go back to Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park. The place we want to visit most is Alaska!
We’re thankful for all of those that came before us that saw it fit to set aside the parks and continue to save them for all of us to enjoy. We want to see as many as we can and enjoy the beauty of this great country we live in!

Have you ever visited any National Parks? If so which is your favorite?

**All of these photos were taken at the Great Smoky Mountain National Park during 2 different trips (one with our very best friends, hence 4 sets of hiking boots).

Calming Allergies with a Neti Pot

November 15th, 2009

This time of year I start having allergy problems, particularly when I spend time outside working in the dusty leaves. I wake up the next morning kind stuffy, my ears burn and my throat hurts. Several years ago I started using a neti pot to help with my allergies so I wouldn’t have to take medication. I am now a HUGE fan of the neti pot and I use it all the time. It not only keeps my allergy symptoms at bay but it’s extremely useful for keeping colds/flu away and for helping with congestion when you have a cold/flu.
Many sources will tell you to only use kosher salt for your neti pot, but I use sea salt. I don’t like the idea of using refined salt in any application. Some people swear by using Himalayan salt, I just use what I have around for cooking.
You can get the natural kind without the minerals, but I use Real Salt with minerals (I just mix in a canning jar and pour out all but the last little bit to keep the minerals in the jar). I also add a pinch of baking soda to my neti water. Here are some other great recipes for the neti pot.

Have you ever used a neti, or it is out of the question to pour water through your nose?

‘Tis the Season for Christmas Cards

November 14th, 2009

It’s that time of the year to start planning Christmas cards, if you’re going to send them out. Mr Chiots and I are hoping to do a short movie this year. We are waiting for a lovely snowy day though, then we’ll get to work. Hopefully the weather cooperates so we don’t have to scramble for another option late in the season. Yesterday I went to my parents house and took photos of my nieces & nephew for my sister’s Christmas card. My parents will most likely be using a few of the photos as well for their card.
We came up with a great idea for her family card, I’m sure you can guess the theme. How can you go wrong putting these cuties on your Christmas card???
I still need to make a few minor changes, but this may be the final card.

Do you make your own Christmas cards, buy them, not send them, or have another interesting option?

Chiot’s Run Calendar Contest!

November 13th, 2009

I finished up my calendar yesterday. Since a few of you mentioned you’d be interested in purchasing one, I made them public on Lulu. I have a large one (13.5 x 19) and a small one (11×17). I ordered a bunch for Christmas gifts and I even ordered an extra to giveaway to one of you! All you have to do is comment on this post and I’ll hold a drawing when the calendars arrive in the mail. Good Luck! Here’s what the final product looks like.
I think December might be my favorite photo, which is yours?

Mr Chiots made a random number generator to pick the winner of the calendar, who did it choose? See the winner here.


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.