Something you want and something you need: Making the holidays special on a budget

Christmas present

I always feel a sort of push and pull at Christmas time. For years, I’ve been trying to learn to live more frugally, but, in the last year, as we’ve worked to simplify and work less, sometimes, I do feel like things are a little too austere around here. I should provide context. Austere for […]

Preparing for winter power outages in rural Maine

Maine Winter picture

Brace yourselves. Winter is coming, and that means more power outages for those of us who live in rural Maine. When our family moved to rural Maine six years ago, we didn’t really know what to expect in terms of power outages. We asked a few questions about it, but what we heard didn’t prepare […]

Why I’m choosing Small Business Saturday for my holiday shopping

cookies from Bagel Central

I’m not a fan of Black Friday. As both an introvert and a person working diligently on my goal to buy less, it’s easy to see why that shopping day is just not for me. But I also take issue with the way Black Friday has been sneaking into Thanksgiving time, taking workers away from […]

A recipe for adding a little history to your Thanksgiving tradition

corn harvest

I love Thanksgiving. It’s a lot of work and we have no family here in Maine to celebrate with, but our little family has developed some Thanksgiving traditions that are fun and important to us. While I’m a big believer in telling children the truth about our history, I’ve found myself hesitant to deliver to […]

“Prepping” for the election: It’s a thing!

image of chickens

Whether inspired by Thoreau or the current state of affairs, there’s no denying that there’s a movement afoot in Maine and across the United States toward self-sufficiency. But, for some, self-sufficiency feels more urgent now than ever. My husband and I began a few years ago moving toward a more self-sufficient lifestyle. We’re making progress […]

A guide to surviving the holidays for introverted mothers

mom in winter

I have a confession. I’m an introvert. I mean I’m an INFJ, which, according to researchers, is the “rarest” personality type, which feels like a nice way of telling me “you’re weird.” But I know I’m not alone in my introverted ways. In fact, there are now websites devoted to the woes and perks of […]

Creepy superstitions about your favorite farm foods—just in time for Halloween

pumpkins

What do tomatoes and witches have in common? Where did the tradition of carving pumpkins come from? What ominous events loom if you get a double-yolked egg? A lot of the farm foods we consider a little on the boring side actually have some fascinating and even creepy backgrounds when you look at history, folklore, […]

A defense of Maine: How I fell in love with this state and found my home

winter in our yard

Recently, Maine has been getting some bad press, and I don’t think it’s fair. In a segment comparing Governor LePage to Donald Trump, Samantha Bee from TBS dissed our state, calling us “the unheated crawl space between Quebec and New Hampshire where America hides its heroine,” and Five Thirty Eight noted our struggling economy and our […]

How to save your money and your time by buying it once

image of Bean Boots

“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.” ― Henry David Thoreau This is one of my favorite quotes. If you think about, it’s really a philosophy for everything in life. We all have a […]

Backyard chickens: Preparing your flock for the cooler temperatures ahead

chickens in snow

It’s that time of year. Tonight is our first freeze in the Bangor area, and last week, our chicky girls laid fewer eggs than they ever have. There’s some molting going on, and the days are getting shorter. I saw a post on a chicken Facebook site (yes, we have those) that read “Let the […]