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!

Still Going Strong

February 7th, 2018

I always have an African violet by my sink. It’s something my grandmother always did and something I started doing four years ago when I purchased my first one. When my mom got too sick to take care of her houseplants, she gave me all of her African violets. They were gifts from me five years ago or so (I got her a collection from The Violet Barn along with some gloxinias too, which I remember her always have when I was a kid). There are a few, so I rotate through them as they bloom. Back in October, right around my mom’s birthday, one of the ones she gave back to me started blooming.

While the other violets that live upstairs do OK, they really thrive by the kitchen sink. I don’t know if it’s the extra steam from doing the dishes, the light that comes in through the low window, or the extra fertilizer they get each morning (I water it daily with the water I rinse my coffee cup with). I can’t believe this beauty has been blooming for so long.

Do you have any houseplants just because you have memories of family members or friends having them?

Seed Starting Station

February 5th, 2018

For my entire gardening career, I’ve started seeds on the kitchen table. It’s not a big deal, but here in this house we don’t have a light in the dining room. Thus we have a strand of Christmas lights. They’re OK for ambiance during dinner, but don’t offer quite enough light when starting small seeds.

This winter, I added a station upstairs for my mailing and other work projects. It happens to be PERFECT for seed starting as well. The counter height is perfect, no more stooping over. As long as I work during the day, the light is much better as well (though I still have a strand of lights for added light).
Overall, It’s the perfect space for, not only the work I do there, but for starting seeds as well. I’m hoping to add cork behind the tabletop for pinning up charts and other necessary items.

Where do you start your flats of seeds? Do you have a dedicated area for garden necessities?

Filing, Filing, Purging, Organizing…

February 1st, 2018

I developed a great filing system years ago, it works well for me. However, I have about 15 years worth of personal and business files that I need to purge. Tax returns and a few other important documents will be saved, all else will be shredded.

I’ve been going through boxes little by little, with this I resolved to be ruthless about what I save and file, only the essential items. I also need to make a master list, in case something happens to me, it will make life much easier for those that have to deal with all the finances.

After dealing with my mom’s death last summer, I realize the importance of streamlining filing systems, purging frequently, and having a master list of all important accounts. My mom didn’t do this, and unfortunately the responsibility has landed on me to figure it all out. Going through 50 boxes of files to make sure nothing of importance is in them take countless hours. Not having a master list of retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and other important things makes it frustrating to try to find out what’s current and what’s not. If you haven’t done this, please consider doing it. Exchange lists with a trusted friend or family member. Have someone that knows exactly where things can be found.

How’s your filing system? Do you keep a master list of all important accounts and information?


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.