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Dinner on the Hill

January 21st, 2016

Last summer we started “Dinner on the Hill”, which is dinner at our house on Friday nights. It’s not every Friday, but it ends up being three Fridays each month. We make the main dish and the first 6 people to RSVP come and bring sides/wine/sweets.
Dinner on the Hill 1
It’s not my original idea, I read this article on Serious Eats and knew I wanted to do something similar. There were¬†so many people we wanted to get together with, but busy scheduled can make it difficult to find a time when everyone is available. We decided an open invitation to our place on Friday night was the best way to go.
Dinner on the Hill 2
We’ve enjoyed a wide variety of dishes with wonderful sides and desserts brought by others. What a wonderful time we’ve had at each and every dinner!
Dinner on the Hill 3
Dinner on the Hill 4
It’s been wonderful, we’ve been able to enjoy dinner with friend we don’t see often enough and we’ve had the pleasure of meeting new people and making new friends. If you’ve ever wanted to find ways to build community, try hosting a dinner like this each week.

How often do you have people over for dinner?

Still Holding On

January 20th, 2016

I admit, my Christmas tree stays up until long into January. Since we travel to Ohio during Thanksgiving and the beginning of December, usually our tree is put up a little later.
Christmas tree 1
I’m always reluctant to chuck it out the door when it’s still going strong. I do watch for dryness and needles on the floor, as soon as that happens it’s in the chicken run. Until that happens, it stays in the living room, bathing our long, dark nights in the gold glow of the big old fashioned lights. I think this little tree still has another week of life or so in it. I have only spotted one or two needles on the floors.

When do you take down your tree?

My Favorite Houseplant

January 19th, 2016

I’ve pretty sure I’ve mentioned this here before, but my favorite houseplant is this pothos that lives in our bedroom. This plant was on the stage at our wedding almost 18 years ago and has been moving from apartment to apartment and home to home with us every since.
It really should be repotted, it’s in the same pot with the same soil – quite amazing. I give it a little bit of liquid kelp every now and again, but for the most part it’s pretty much an indestructible houseplant. This plants has spawned many an offspring, which are living in the homes of my friends and in other rooms of our home. It’s a fantastic and easy care plant if you are new to houseplants and want something along those lines.

What’s your favorite houseplant?

Decluttering the Houseplants

January 18th, 2016

I’m one of those people that doesn’t really have trouble getting rid of things, in fact I’m in a constant state of going through the house and taking loads of stuff to Goodwill on a regular basis. The longer I live the less stuff I want to have in my home to clean around and organize. This past weekend I decided it was time to reduce the houseplants. I got rid of plants that I no longer enjoyed. Some were plants that never lived up to their expectations. Like a piece of clothing that never quite fit right, sometimes plants just don’t quite perform as expected. These all went into the compost bin.
houseplants 6
Houseplants that were staying also received a good pruning and then a dose of liquid kelp. I have a lot of houseplants that I love, these lovely little succulents in a tiny window in the bedroom.
houseplants 1
This lovely dwarf papaya tree lives large on my bedside table. I’m hoping it will produce fruit this summer when I move it outside.
houseplants 2
The dwarf banana in the living room is growing like crazy. It will probably be another year or so before it produces fruit. I repotted it a few months ago but it already needs a much bigger pot.
houseplants 3
Under a big window upstairs, I have a few containers full of lettuces and herbs. I like to grow a variety of edibles during the winter.
houseplants 4
houseplants 7
Just like reducing clutter in other areas, getting rid of houseplant clutter gives me more space to breathe. Not only do all my plants look better, I feel better as well. Tomorrow I’ll show you my favorite houseplants, one that I’ve had for almost 18 years.

Have you pruned and reduced your houseplants recently? Do you have a favorite houseplant?

Friday Favorite: Seedlings

January 15th, 2016

I love seeing little seedlings pushing their way through the soil. Last week I potted up all the cherry seeds that had germinated after stratification.
sour cherry seedling
I’ve been waiting for them to push their way through the soil, checking them every single day. Low and behold, I spotted the first one coming through yesterday morning. What a lovely sight! I’m really hoping these little trees do well, I have grand plans for them that involved pruning a few of them into a pleached form and planting them here and there throughout the garden.

Have you ever grown a tree from seed?


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.