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!

Merry Christmas To Me

March 31st, 2014

Mr Chiots and I didn’t exchange gifts this past Christmas, instead we had a few things we were going to do instead. I wanted my new faucet installed and my range hood exhausted outside. Yesterday, Mr Chiots finally put my my faucet.
Merry Christmas
This is super exciting for me. I wash all the dishes by hand and the other faucet was not very conducive for washing big items. This one also doesn’t leak like crazy, I won’t be wasting as much water now.

Anything new and exciting happening your house?

Quote of the Day: Doug Larson

March 30th, 2014

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.”

-Doug Larson

This quote is perfectly fitting. Yesterday was a beautiful spring day here in Maine. The temperature rose to right around 50, I was able to gather maple sap without my coat. I did, however, end up with boots full of slush, but that’s my fault for not tying up my boots.
Creeping spring in the garden 1
I’m happy to see that the snow is slowly receding from the back potager. Each day it gets close and closer, yesterday one tiny corner of the garden was finally showing mulch.
Creeping spring in the garden 2
Soon enough I’ll be able to start pulling any weeds that overwintered and take stock of all the kale to see if it managed to survive the LONG winter. I’m definitely getting excited for the possibility of a wonderful gardening season ahead!

Do you feel like whistling when you look at your garden?

Slowly But Surely

March 29th, 2014

We’re still not quite finished painting the one bedroom, crazy I know. I was telling Mr Chiots that we added two bedrooms, a sitting room and a bathroom in our old house way less time than it’s taken us to simply paint one room here.
Painting bedroom
painting brick 1
I just finished painting the chimney in this room, which was tedious to say the least. The worst part was that one side of it was only three inches away from another wall. I ended up taking the top off of one of my big artist brushes, it took a while.
painting brick 2
Hopefully this weekend I start prepping another room for painting!

Any home improvement projects on your weekend to-do list?

Friday Favorite: Working With What You Have

March 28th, 2014

I’m not sure why mattresses have to have the ugliest fabric one them, it doesn’t matter for the mattress, but the box springs can be seen. In our guest bedroom, we have no beds so the mattresses are simply on the floor. Hopefully Mr Chiots will be building a few beds soon, but until them we’ll make do. The box springs were hideous! Generally, I cover them with fitted sheets, but I didn’t have any extra twin sized sheets laying around and I didn’t want to buy any.
coffee bag covered box spring 1
I though about covering them with classic blue ticking, but it was too expensive. I was considering burlap until I remembered I had some empty coffee bags (you can buy these for $2 each from Sweet Maria’s). We received ours for free with coffee purchases.
coffee bag covered box spring 2
I pulled out my scissors, staple gun, yarn needle and my hot glue gun and got cracking!  It took me one bag and a half of another one to cover each twin sized mattress. That means it was only about $3 per mattress, not bad!
coffee bag covered box spring 3
I wanted to add a little interest to the top of the box spring, so I whipstitched it around the top. It took extra time, but I love the result and am super happy I did it!
coffee bag covered box spring 5
coffee bag covered box spring 6
coffee bag covered box spring 4
Our guest room is starting to come together, the quilts are finished, the box springs are covered, I’m making a rug – all I have left to do it start painting the walls!

Do you cover your box spring? Is it an ugly design?


March 27th, 2014

I love making the most of everything.  There’s nothing better than eking something else out of something others might throw away or think was past it’s usefulness. Cheese is something I make occasionally, when I do, we end up with loads of whey.
maximizing 1
I use some of it for soaking grains and other things, but there’s simply no way we can use all the whey. On occasion it’s fed to the dogs or the chickens, but it’s much better for pigs. So I put it into gallon milk jugs and put it in the freezer in anticipation for our pigs. Another benefit is that is takes up space in the freezer as I take out meat and makes my freezer work more efficiently (I use jugs of water when I have no whey).
maximizing 2
I love finding ways to make the most of what we have. Making my own cheese saves me money not just in the price of cheese but also because I end up with some pig food as a result. I’m certain my grandmothers would be proud!

What are some ways you maximize things you buy or make the most of what you have?


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.