This is Hestia. Goddess of the hearth, home, family, and the state. She is the soul of the home and the fire that never extinguishes.





This is Demeter. Goddess of the harvest, agriculture, and fertility. She oversees sacred law and the cycle of seasonal life and death.





This is Athena. She is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, strategic warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, as well as arts and crafts. She is the goddess of basically everything that is awesome. And she is a total badass.




This is me.

If I were a goddess, it would be of those trying to get their s@&! together.


Unlike some of the amazing domestic goddesses I know (*glares over at Elizabeth Leonard, guru of Life, Simpler*), in the last year I’ve killed almost every herb I’ve tried to grow, including, but not limited to, two basil plants, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, and oregano. I also played assassin to about a dozen pepper plants, a peace lily, two sunflowers, and a cactus.

A cactus. They can survive in some of the harshest environments on earth, yet not my living room.

What can I say? Maybe you accidentally leave your cups of baby pepper plants in a hot, dry, enclosed place while you go to work for the day. Maybe someone mistakes your oregano for a weed and whacks it accordingly. Maybe you are so focused on keeping the new human in your household alive, that you forget to water your indoor plants. For weeks.

Maybe by “you”, I mean me.

Sometimes the bread you thought turned out so perfectly was actually a rock-encased ball of dough … even though it was advertised as “impossible to screw up.” (That’s me, goddess of accomplishing impossible things.)

Bread, delicious.

But that’s ok. This is the loaf of bread I made a few days ago. I tried the recipe again.

Sometimes your bread is so good that it’s gone before it even cools. And sometimes your garden stretches across your yard like your own, personal, mini-Eden that is going to feed and nourish your family.

And that feels like a homemade-bread, garden-grown awesome sandwich washed down with a glass of home-brewed hell-yeah.

I’ve got a lot to learn and some big goals. I have questions. I am going to screw up … many times. And it is probably going to be kind of hilarious.

So if you are beginning this process too – or just have a bit of an inkling about starting to simplify life as Herself has defined on this website – I invite you to walk with me down this path. We can learn together. And any mistakes you make, take heart that I’ve made them too. And any triumphs that you have, know that I’m doing that same victory dance in my kitchen when it all goes according to plan.

My husband and I have been geeking out over our plans for a while now. Simplifying, homesteading, getting back to the way people have been doing “life” for thousands of years – whatever you want to call it, we’re in.  We have defined several initial goals. These are the types of things I will be chronicling in this Beginning, Simpler column.

  • Composting

The only time its ok to litter

  • Making homemade sauerkraut

I’m from German stock. An inherited understanding of fermented cabbage is in my bloodline somewhere. I’ll find it.

  • Capturing the rain

Rain barrels. That’s a thing people do, right?

  • Conquering bread

I’m not saying I’m about to enter the Great British Bake Off. (Oh, how I love that show.) I just want to be able to identifying what I did wrong when things do go a bit wonky.

  • Making candles

No we’re not giving up electricity. We’re that weird yet. I just think this seems fun.

  • Reducing food waste

I hate wasting food, yet I’m strangely terrible at freezing things. Seriously – how do you screw up putting something in the freezer? Yet I manage.

  • Begin making kombucha regularly.

Repeat after me. I will not spend $4.00 a bottle on kombucha. I will not spend $4.00 a bottle on kombucha. It is not a necessary part of my grocery shopping experience.


There are more goals. Oh, so many goals. Gardening goals. Canning goals. Cooking goals. Giving the proverbial middle finger to big companies who want my money in exchange for crap that is low quality and not good for me goals.

I work full time. I have a new baby. I have other interests and responsibilities. I understand that we can’t be the goddess of everything all the time. But we can all make the conscious decision to walk in the direction we want to go, one step at a time.

Jackie Cichowicz
About Jackie Cichowicz

Jackie believes that life’s most satisfying pursuits all have the potential to be a sort of meditation, centering us and bringing us back to our true selves. Eighteen years of martial arts study, a deep love of yoga, and a lifetime of writing have all influenced this philosophy. Jackie and her husband strive to apply this mindset to their home for the benefit of their new baby daughter as well their two other tenants … a ridiculously high-energy boxer-mix dog and a cat who, let’s face it, is actually in charge of the entire operation.