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!


October 31st, 2012

You may remember that we put our home in Ohio up for sale at the end of August. We’ve had lots of people walking through it and had great feedback. About a month ago we had our first offer, which we didn’t accept because it was too low. Last Friday we received an offer, we countered, and the people accepted.

We spent the weekend working out the details and signing and initialing contracts. Everything has been signed and we’re on the road to closing. We even sold our additional lot along with the house, which was a huge bonus!

We’re optimistic that everything will work out and we’ll be closing at the beginning of December. If so, it will certainly be nice to finally be able to close out that chapter of our lives and feel like we’re 100% here!

How many different houses have you lived in?

Making Do

October 30th, 2012

When we arrived in Maine last Saturday, I wanted to put the ducklings outside but I needed a fence to keep them contained. At first I was going to use my compost bin, but the holes were too big. Then I remember we had some shelves in the garage that we haven’t put up yet.

With a little bit of wire it became a duck tractor. The ducks are loving spending the days outside basking in the sun and the rain. We put a little heat lamp out there for them to warm up under if they get chilly. Every day we move the fence to a new spot so they can eat the dandelions, violets and other greens they enjoy.

At night we’ve been putting them in the office in a container. Thankfully, it looks like they’ll be getting their feathers soon so they can stay outside. I also think I’m finally starting to see the gender of a few of them by their size. There’s one dominant male for sure and two small females. A few of the others could go either way, I’ll be watching.

Mr Chiots will be building them a little house soon, probably about the time they’ll be able to stay outside all day/night.
I also get so much satisfaction when I can make do with something I already have instead of having to buy something!

Have you made do with something recently and saved yourself some money?

Cultivate Simple 4: Back To Ohio

October 29th, 2012

This week we chat with Hannah & Heidi about what it is like to be nieces of the Morrises. We also discuss our roots and how we became gardeners and bloggers.

Full Interview with Hannah & Heidi (unedited):

Blog posts mentioned:

The Mixed Herbal Lawn

Book of the Week


Would you be interested in Susy writing some eBooks as a way to support the blog? What topics would you like to see and how much would you pay? Let us know in the comments.

Help Us Out

Quote of the Day: Bernd Heinrich

October 28th, 2012

As for the “news,” most of what I hear I can do nothing about. This year I want all of my energies and all of my sympathies focused on where they can matter.

Bernd Heinrich from A Year In The Maine Woods

I was thinking about this quote the other day as I found myself annoyed the political conversations that was go nowhere and sensationalized “news” stories that contain no facts and are filled with “unconfirmed” “alleged” information. Due to my distaste for politics and drama, I find myself voting where I feel I can actually make a difference.

I vote every day with my dollars and with where I spend my time. I focus my efforts on building and growing my community and on becoming a better person. Every time I go to the farmers market and avoid the grocery store I’m casting my vote for the change I want to see in my country.

Every time I choose not to buy something and do without, I’m living a little closer to my convictions. Every time I buy what I need from a small local business or an individual who makes it themselves, I’m doing my part to bring the big world a little closer to home. Every time I turn off the TV and read a book or visit with my neighbor I know I’m limiting the advertising I am exposed to, learning something new and investing my time in relationships.

In our society where liking something on facebook is now seen as action, it’s refreshing to meet others who are also investing their dollars and time in something that makes the world a better place. I challenge you to spend at least equal time investing in your community as you do talking and reading about politics and news.

What is one thing you do that you feel makes a difference?

There and Back Again

October 27th, 2012

And so it begins, the long journeys to Ohio and back for family functions and a few work projects. Mr Chiots and I don’t really mind though, long drives are something we got used to in college. The drive ends up being between 12-14 hours each way, depending on traffic and how often we stop.

We spend our time planning for the future, dreaming big dreams, discussing what we hope to accomplish this winter, and so many other things. Riding in the car gives us valuable dedicated time to talk without other distractions.

Another great thing is that there are so many wonderful things halfway. Every now and then we’ll break up our trips with stops in the Catskills, Winterthur, Longwood Gardens, at friends’ homes, and other wonderful places we discover.

After being away from Maine for a week, it’s good to finally be HOME! Yep this is home.

What’s your favorite mode of travel?


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.