Month: June 2015

Being “Auntie” is Awesome!

Hey Everyone!

I have had a very busy and productive Monday. I switched my weekday off so I could watch two of my friend’s kids for a couple hours while she was getting stuff done here in town. Prior to watching the kids I had gone to the post office and ran up to NE Portland to my favorite bakery to get a treat.

My friend had asked me this past Friday, if I could and would switch my week day off to watch her 6 and 2 year olds while she got things for her family organized for a church convention that is coming up, here in the city I live in. I told her I would gladly do it. Beings that she trusts me, and it is easier to get something done when you don’t have two little’s under foot, and they would have more fun getting to play and go on an “adventure”.  I had also gotten my little 2 year old “Niece” (my friends little girl) to say my full first name, as for the past few months she could only get “Ecky” of it, and while I still am called “Ecky” by her, she is able to say “Erica”. I had grown up around this particular location so I knew it like the back of my hand. It has changed a fair amount since I was 2 & 6, but it still holds so many childhood memories for me, many are bittersweet as they included my dad’s mom who passed away when I was 13.

Today, I really got thinking about how much my life has changed in the past 14 years, and how the good and bad have shaped the person I am today, and have shaped the person I want to be in the future.

I had also gone to lunch with my friend, her mom, and her kids, and had a great time. Afterward I had gone by the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, but sadly it was closed (I had forgotten that is not open Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday), so I came back to the house, and eventually went for a 2.5 mile walk (after getting in 2.3 miles in the course of errands and watching kids).

I get to end the evening getting more food, and getting ready for work tomorrow.


When your world keeps changing

Hey Everyone!

What a weekend. I have been pretty busy, all while staying in the metro area. Friday I ran errands and got my hair done. I decided to get blonde highlights with summer here and other stuff going on. 

Yesterday I had gone to a wedding reception of a couple I know who recently got married at the coast. Afterward I had gone to a couple of craft stores looking for a yarn ball winder and finally found one.

I stopped back by the house got some food and then went to one of my “little sisters” high school graduation. 

Today is Father’s Day, so we had a family dinner for my dad. I also spent this afternoon cooking up some chicken for dinner during the week, as well as gluten free & dairy free banana nut muffins for breakfast. 

I have loved cooking and baking since I was young. That part I inherited from my maternal grandmother. Since I developed food intolerances 3.5 years ago it threw a new twist on cooking and baking. In many ways I had to learn to cook and bake all over again. The past year I finally felt like I have good handle on it, and know how to deal with it on a day to day basis. I have learned which brands are safe and can generally go to the grocery store and just shop. Because of having food intolerances, I have had to think about food more than “normal” people who don’t have food related issues. Knowing where I am going and knowing whether I need to pack food or if food that I can eat is available is helpful, though when I am in doubt I always take food. It hasn’t been easy, but it has taught me a lot about labels and it has made me a stronger person. 

The past couple of weeks I have had a lot of ups and downs, while I am not willing to go into details at this point, I have had to reevaluate what I am working for twice. While I am still working toward my original goal, I am also not completely giving up on why I was reevaluating my life, I am just not changing my dreams completely yet. I know I could be happy if my dreams do change, but at the same time, it isn’t time to be changing them yet if that makes any sense at all. 

This weekend I have had a sense of purpose come back to me that I have had before. I have been through a lot, seen and experienced more than anyone my age should have. I know I am supposed to use that experience to help others. 

Found my passion

Hey Everybody!

I finally decided to write a short life update post, since that has been a lot going on the past few months that I haven’t necessarily talked about in the blog. 

I had to part ways with a “friend” a few months ago, just because I was tired of everything being about her. After I had decided to part ways with her, my life really started changing for the better. 

I finally felt and feel free to pursue what I am passionate about, and keeping the friends who understand me, encourage me, and help build me up and want to see me become a better person. 

As the weather has been nicer I have been going to the coast fairly often, about every other weekend since the end of February, which has been amazing in and of itself. 

The people I have gotten to met, and gotten to know a little bit has been amazing. 

I have really noticed that with my weekend adventures my life has become so much more enjoyable and I alway look forward to my weekends and being able to go and do what I love and am passionate about and sharing it. 

Is the risk worth it?

Hey Everyone!

Where to begin about today. I am going to preface the day’s events with the fact that the person I will be talking about, I had had choir with several terms in college, and he knows one of my cousins (and inquired about this person from her),  we are both adults (2 years apart), it was a public place, and I would not meet up with a complete stranger like I did today, so I had a pretty good sense of whether or not I should go. I may be a bit to cautious, but in this day and age, women do need to use some common sense, before they meet up with a man they meet online. 

I also trusted my gut, because my gut never lies to me, if something inside of me senses unreasonable danger I have learned from experience to trust it, and I was comfortable and confident with the situation I was walking into. 

Today was amazing, but it could have been completely different if I had not done some Intel gathering, or had had classes with him in college and if my cousin had warned against getting to know him or my gut had been like “whoa, bad idea.” 

At this point he and I are just friends and that is all I want to leave it as, we have several interests in common and had many of the same professors in college. I won’t be talking about him much more if any, I just wanted to share this experience with other women and girls. While my experience had a good outcome, it could have gone the complete opposite, and I am fully aware of that. 

It’s been half a decade

Hey Everyone!

I hope you all had a good week. I have had a decent enough week. 5 years ago today I graduated with my bachelors degree, which seems crazy to me, yet I can believe it all the same. I have done and seen so much since I graduated, yet it seems like just a couple months ago that I was attending classes and such.

Beings that I have been reflecting a lot this week on college, I thought I would share a few memories of my college experience that stand out.  one of my favorite memories from having been in college, was actually my first term there, and I had been in choir. (it was fall term, and the term ended in early December) That term we rehearsed and performed most of Handel’s Messiah. It was incredible. That same school year I was also had the opportunity to go to Hawaii, to see my brother while he was stationed there. It was there, and having spent most of the first full day I was there in Pearl Harbor and on Ford Island. I had gone through the museum they have there while waiting to go out to the Arizona Memorial. Being out there in the harbor looking down at the wreckage of the Arizona. I had also had the opportunity to tour the U.S.S. Missouri, which was also an incredible experience. It was really that trip where I became passionate about History. in my K-12 education I had found history rather boring and all about names, battles and dates. Being there in the place that had launched the U.S. into the Second World War made me realize that it was so much more than just names, battles and dates, that history was about people’s lives. People who were no different than you or I, just going about their lives, pursuing their dreams, trying to make a better lives for themselves and their families. Though it would be another 10 months or so until I would change my major and study something I was actually interested in, but I did change my major to Social Science, and minored in literature, and that was a decision I don’t regret making.

Today, to kind of celebrate being out of college for 5 years, I went up to the International Test Rose Garden in Washington Park. It was a perfect day for it, it was in the mid 70’s, and sunny. I had been wanting to go back up to the rose garden, and see all the roses, and June is the perfect time of year, as this is the time of year that they are at their height of bloom.

Every Weekend there is an Adventure

Hey Everyone!

I hope you are all having a good week! My week has been going well enough, nothing earth shattering has happened, which is good. I only have tomorrow and then I am off for three days. I am super excited for Friday. I have been going on a lot of adventures in the past few weeks which have been amazing. I have really been enjoying getting out of the house and going and doing stuff. I don’t got to the beach every weekend. (I have been 6 times in about 3.5 months, you do the math).

This weekend I will likely be sticking around town, just because I have been gone a lot. I do have plans for an adventure on Friday. I will leave you all in suspense about what my upcoming adventure entails, until after I have gone on aforementioned adventure. All I have to say is that it is going to be a lot of fun.

This year will be the best year for adventures. While I know that going to Hawaii (week leading up to and including Memorial Day 2007) and New York (week centering around the 4th of July Weekend) are pretty amazing, being able to take off and go where I want on my day off is liberating and amazing.

Today I was also thinking about that this coming Friday will be 5 years since I graduated from University. A lot has happened in the past 5 years, I how grown up and changed a fair amount in that time. It hasn’t been easy, but it has made me a stronger person.

The Pacific Northwest is an amazing place to go on adventures, though I am ready to settle down and finally have a home of my own. Adventures are fun, and are keeping me busy until I can find the job that I can support myself on, in a place I want to settle down.

Love my weekends!

Hey Everyone!

Today was an amazing day, I slathered on the sun block and I went to the beach. I had been watching the forecast for the last few days, and today was supposed to be a hot one (around 90 degrees Fahrenheit) and it was, so I ditched the valley and went to the coast, where it was the perfect temperature. 

I waded in the ocean for a while, vlogged a bit, and just chilled on the beach. The ocean was a nice temperature today, it was still cool, but it was not the frigid feet numbing cold that it usually is. As I was winding down being on the beach, it was still to early in the day to head back for the valley so I drove to Astoria and went to Fort Clatsop. I walked around a bit there as they have some nice trails to walk along. The reconstructed fort smelt amazing (no joke, it really did smell good).

In recent weeks I have been going on adventures pretty much every weekend, and I am loving it. It gives me something that I enjoy to look forward to and to help me get through to the weekend. I also love having something that I enjoy doing to blog about, I know it makes it more interesting for you guys. 

Since I have been back in the city, and got cleaned up and fed I have been working on the baby alpaca wool scarf I have in the works with the yarn that I bought at Happy Knits. I am really loving how it is turning out. It is so soft, and the scarf itself is sturdy but pliable if that makes sense. The yarn itself is a sturdy wool to work with, but the fact that is super soft means that my scarf is soft and not super stiff. That means that it will be easy to wear how I want or need to wear it. 

I also spent a lot of time talking to my friends today as well which was awesome. 

Summer is Coming!

Hey Everyone!

Today has been a very busy day. I got up around 8, and didn’t stop until about 5:00 pm. This morning I got to the post office, gas station, Fred Meyer, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods before going to a parade that the near by elementary school along with the middle school band does each year. 

After the parade I went to Safeway to finish my grocery shopping, before coming home and showering before having dinner and working on my vlog for the first week of weekly vlogs. 

Today was so warm, and tomorrow and Sunday are supposed to be even worse. The heat wore me out. I love cool weather, in part because I can bust out a lot of stuff and still have energy. 

I edited my vlog and am uploading it, so it will be up on Monday Morning. 

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Hey Everyone!

Upon watching Ellie and Jared’s one year of daily vlogging video, Jared had used that quote at the beginning, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

If I weren’t afraid of not being able to support myself, I would move to SE Alaska in a heartbeat, where I would continue blogging, and would be writing about how living in Alaska was new and different, and what I was learning about the culture, and working to fit in where I was living.

Scotland was the original dream, though through research, the easiest and most logical way to legally move there would be to marry a man who has British Nationality. It could happen, but it is not likely.

I am fully aware that moving anywhere is a difficult transition, but with the right attitude it can totally be done.

I would love to work at a retreat center that is built in a manner that is traditional to where it is located, and is cohesive with the land around it. Living in Alaska is a beautifully rugged state that isn’t for the faint of heart. The landscape is awe inspiring, and making that a large part of the retreat center and keeping with the history of the area is hugely important to me. Living in a cool, coastal climate where it rarely (if ever) gets above 75 degrees is also something that is appealing to me. I don’t like the heat, I love knitting warm accessories for myself, and would love more opportunities to use them. They are no good to me sitting in plastic tubs, I would much prefer to make use of them on a regular basis.

I am also one of these people who would make it work. If and when I move up there, moving back down south isn’t an option. Alaska, like many other things in my life, I would prove people and statistics wrong about. I have seen reports that most people that move to Alaska don’t last more than 5 years, while there are some who actually do. I intend to be one of those who actually lives there for the rest of my life, given the opportunity to move there in the first place.

Due to the fact that moving to Alaska in in my 5 year plan, I am trying to as much stuff down here in the lower forty eight that I have on my bucket list that I can, so that I will be taking advantage of as many opportunities as I can.

Over the last few years, while big city life has had a few advantages, the frustrations and disadvantages have been ever present and on the rise since I graduated from college 5 years ago. While there are still areas of small town life that amaze me, they remind me that living in the big city, for me is more than overrated.

My first choice of places to live, in Alaska is Ketchikan, and that is the goal that I am working toward, My plan B, is Juneau. I prefer the smaller town, in the middle of nowhere, way of life, but at the same time I do understand that i have food intolerances (and while making trips to Juneau to do stock up trips on certain items is totally doable), living in Juneau might be a bit less of a struggle, in terms of food availability. I know if all else fails that ordering online is also an option (which I would be doing anyway for my gluten free stuff from Bob’s Red Mill).

I would love to pack up, and taking my blog, my knitting, and my love for the great outdoors to Alaska, I am looking for, waiting on, and praying about the financial means to take me there and support myself on.