Month: March 2017

Portlandia Lifestyle

Hey Everyone!

A little background on me: I was raised very mainstream conservative, where at the age of 10 I started shaving and has a certain standard of personal grooming drummed in my head growing up, and that has lasted into early adulthood.

After college, I moved back to Portland, where for a while I still held to the whole standard of appearance, shopping at the local supermarket, eating highly processed, chemical filled products, and not questioning anything, because I wasn’t supposed to be one of those alternative – think for your self, care about what your actually eating types. Then I got really sick, and that messed up my digestive system. This was after having a horrible yeast infection under my arms for a few years.

Once my digestive system had gone haywire, leaving me so I couldn’t ingest any dairy, including trace amounts, or eat much gluten, or eggs or coffee, my views of food, what I was putting in my body, as well as personal hygiene items began to change.

I will also mention that when I had the yeast infection under my arms, I had stopped shaving my arm pits because that made the irritation worse. I guess you could call it laziness, because I have never liked shaving my legs, and most of the time I can’t be bothered. As I got older, and began living a more natural lifestyle, shaving became more than just something I didn’t do, not just out of laziness, but as a general rule. Even for women, growing hair on our legs and armpits and other places, is a natural process once we hit puberty. It is natural for adults to have hair on their bodies. As I have gotten older, I have also not really liked the feeling of having hairless legs. You can call me a hippie, earth muffin, flower child or whatever, but for me, it’s more about what works for me, and is best for my body.

At this point in time, I don’t see myself going completely alternative, especially when it comes to clothes.

I do definitely prefer grocery shopping at New Seasons, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. If I could afford to do all my grocery shopping at those three stores and Bob’s Red Mill, I wouldn’t miss Safeway or Fred Meyer any.

Even though I am definitely living more natural, I still shower daily, and believe in good personal hygiene. I use Native Deodorant, it is the best brand of deodorant I have found yet. I also don’t use make up, and I also use Perfectly Posh, which uses way more natural ingredients in their products. I also haven’t dyed my hair in about a year and a half, and I am trying to let it grow out a bit more.

Living in Portland, Oregon has definitely helped shape my thinking, and who I am. Out here is very much a diy, self sufficiency, get back to nature, getting back to our roots, natural living, urban homesteading, homesteading, counter culture way of life.

I didn’t choose to have to go dairy free, gluten free, egg free, or have to use natural deodorant. All of those changes came out of necessity of life events. I did consciously go coffee free, and I consciously choose what products I use now to avoid all the synthetic chemicals that so many mainstream products and foods contain because of the rise diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and so many more that have been exponentially rising as main stream America uses an ever increasing amount of synthetic chemicals.


Coming to terms with where I Belong

Hey Everyone!

This week I have spent some time cooking and baking, and a lot of time knitting. 

I finally got the pie of socks I was working on done. I had used 100% Merino Wool that was two strands. Man, I am glad to be done with that yarn. It was a royal pain in the rear to work with. 

I have since started another pair of socks with my favorite brand of sock yarn, and it is definitely knitting up a lot easier. 

While Portland has its chain coffee shops like Starbucks, Dutch Bros, Black Rock Coffee (which I haven’t tried yet), and the human bean, it also has its own small locally owned neighborhood coffee and tea shops that have a character all their own. I prefer these coffee and tea shops to chains like Starbucks.

I am all about buying local. While I am still not a total fan of living in Portland, I have been coming around to it more and more. As I have been exploring and spending time in the smaller neighborhoods, especially those that have a shopping district that makes it have a community and/or small town feeling to the area, are my favorites, and make living in the city more tolerable.  Not to mention that most of the city can get good internet speeds, as I would like to be making more YouTube videos once I get a new job and place of my own. 

While I am not a fan of how hot it can get in the summer, I do love the wet, mild, generally not snowy winters, as well as how well produce grows here. I should also mention that urban homesteading is big here, which I am totally on board with. It would be nice to have a garden and some chickens in the backyard. 

Getting a new Transformer

Hey Everyone!

Today’s excitement was having the power company come out, and replace the transformer on the utility pole outside of the house. The power company had gone around and left paper notices on the doors of houses over the weekend, letting the residents know they would be doing this work. I wasn’t surprised that they were going to be replacing the transformer on the pole outside the house, since there was a posting on the pole for a while about possible back feed.

Today I have also been working on knitting up socks today. I started this pair over the weekend, and I am still working on the first one. I am hoping to get it done either today or tomorrow, and get the second one knit up quicker than the first one. The yarn I am using has been interesting to work with in terms of socks. I had used up most of the 1,500 yards of the wool on a shawl, and i am just using what is left over to knit up socks since I have enough. After I get this pair done I still have a couple more pairs of socks to knit up out of other sock yarn that I have before I dive back into to knitting socks up out of the KnitPicks Palette yarn I have. I have enough Palette yarn to make up several dozen pairs of socks. I realize that I am going sock crazy at the moment. I am working on so many pairs of socks, because I want many pairs of socks for Hiking, and traveling, so I can go on adventures and have enough clean hand knit socks to have at least one clean pair for every day I am away.

I started watching the show Indian Summers yesterday. It is a British show, done on Channel 4 in the UK, and PBS here in the States. It is set in 1932 in India. It depicts the social politics relating to the decline of the British empire and British hold on India. It also takes a look at the social class system of India at the time, From the White, English, Aristocracy, to how the native Indians are treated by the white aristocracy, even if said Indians are land owners and business owners, all the way down to the mixed race (white/native Indian) children who are shunned by society, and appear to the be lowest of the low class wise since they are fully Indian, but they are not white either, they are “half cast”. That seems to be the case every where you look in History. The mixed race – half white have native children are the worst of, and are worse off than the natives who are treated like savages and less than human as it is. It is the way it is, but it is sad.

“Just because it is, doesn’t mean it should be” – Hugh Jackman as the Drover in Australia.

I have only watched the first three episodes so far and I am wanting to watch the rest of the first and second seasons.

The first season begins in 1932, which is a few years after when the ending of Downton  Abbey is set to have taken place (1926). The second season is set in 1935, which is 9 years after the last episode of Downton Abbey is set. According to what information I have gathered, at some point in one of the seasons of Indian Summers, Ralph Whelan is 33. IDK yet if he is supposed to be 33 in the beginning of Season 1 or at the end of Season 2. If he is 33 at the beginning of the show, that would mean he was born in 1899, if he is 33 at the end of season 2, he would have been born in 1902, meaning Alice would have been born in 1904 or 1907, as it has been established that she went back to England when she was 8, and Ralph was 13 at the time.

While I know that Indian Summers and Downton Abbey are in no way actually connected or that they tie into each other. I just got curious about what the age differences would have been between the characters of Ralph & Alice as well as the 3 Crawley Sisters would have been beings that these two shows are period dramas, involving the British aristocracy and upper class, and one show is set only 6 years after the other one’s ending set date. Ralph would have been a few years younger than Lady Sybil. Though Alice, age wise would have been somewhere between the elder two Crawley Sisters and Sybbie – Sybil’s daughter. Lady Mary and Henry Talbot’s child would have been born in 1927, making that child about 4 – 4.5 years older than Alice’s son, Percy, If Lady Edith and Bertie Pelham had any kids of their own, they would be close in age to Percy. While there is a larger age difference between the Crawley Sisters and Ralph and Alice, Matthew Raworth – the missionary couple’s son would have been the same age as Master George, also making him about about a year younger than Miss Sybbie and about a year to a year and a half older than Miss Marigold.

While I know that these shows are fiction and unrelated, I find it interesting to see which of the characters would have been about the same age, and under other circumstances could have moved in the same social circles.

Sad to see Grimm ending

Hey Everyone!

Back in the fall of 2011, I was looking for shows to watch. 

This was the period where shows like two broke girls, new girl, person of interest, Hart of Dixie, homeland, once upon a time and Grimm were all debuting their first season. 

Two broke girls, new girl, person of Interest and homeland were shows that were of no interest to me. I didn’t get into Hart of Dixie at the time, but have since watched the entire series. I started out watching Once upon a Time, but to me, it stopped being good, and making much of any sense in the plot continuation after season 2. Grimm, I have watched from the first episode of Season 1. It definitely helped that it has been filmed here in the city I was raised in. 

Now that I have been watching Grimm for 6 seasons it is sad to see it ending. 

Over the past several years, they filmed part of an episode in my neighborhood, and I have also seen Silas Weir Mitchell (Monroe) and David Guintoli (Nick) in my goings on around town. It was kind of cool, and a good reminder that they are people too. 

A Simple Day in the City

Hey Everyone! 

Today was kind of a lazy Saturday. I got to sleep in, which was nice. I still feel like I am trying to catch up on sleep. 

I spent a lot of my day knitting. I also got one of my last KnitPicks packages (for the time being) in the mail today. I was super excited when it showed up, as it was the package with the two pattern books I had ordered in it. I had ordered the Highland Knits book and the Little Luxuries Collection book. The little luxuries book is the collection of the patterns shown in the latest KnitPicks catalog. The Highland Knits book is full of patterns based on the knit wear Claire wears throughout much of the first season of Outlander. 

My mom had wanted to go do something this afternoon, after she got back from the grocery, so we went to my favorite bakery, which makes amazing gluten free vegan baked goods. They had a lemon lavender poppyseed mini cake, so we got that to split, then stopped at new seasons on the way home, to pick up some coconut milk coffee flavored ice cream bars. 

Spring is Coming!

Hey Everyone!

Spring is finally coming!

After a very wet and grey winter, and the wettest February on record, it is finally starting to feel like spring. The temperatures have finally normal for this time of year. After it being below average for a while, and having several snow and ice events back in January and early February. I am so ready for spring. 

Yesterday I had spent the day cooking and baking, today I have spent the day working on some knitting. I am also working on looking for a new job. 

I am finally getting in the last of the yarn and stuff that I had ordered before my job ended. I have been working on filming videos to put up on my YouTube channels, as well as writing several blog posts over the last few days. 

I have missed having stuff to create blog content about. I didn’t have a lot of free time to create the kind of content I love writing about, such as what knitting projects I am working on, or what kinds of tasty gluten free & dairy free food I create, as I didn’t have a lot of time to spend doing what I love and am most passionate about. Knitting, Homemaking stuff and being outdoors (hiking, adventures, exploring, etc) are what I am passionate about. We all have to eat, and having a place to call home is a must. A lot of what I knit for myself, is to make being outside in the cold weather that much more fun, and to be able to stay out longer while being comfortable. 

Life Update

Hey Everyone!

I haven’t really talked about what I was doing for work on this blog, mostly because I didn’t really want to talk about it, and really didn’t feel that it was appropriate at the time to talk about what I was doing. From mid – November 2014 until recently I had been working for one of the local phone/internet companies as a contractor, where my title was Engineering Assistant. I was hired to help with a big project that they had going and needed help with. Now that it is wrapping up, they didn’t need as much help with it, so I am now looking for a new job.

This job had given me about 2.33 years of work experience at the same job, which is a huge deal for anyone my position, who graduated from college during the recession who had also struggled to get work experience. Each of the jobs I have held have been learning experiences, in who I am, and what I am supposed to be doing career wise with my life. While I don’t see myself having a career as an engineer or with the phone company, I don’t regret having taken this job, nor do I see it as a mistake or a bad career move. Like I previously stated, it gave me more than two years of work experience at the same job, It also gave me an income during that time, during which I was able to make some progress in paying off my student debt. It also allowed me to work on growing my personal library. I have purchased plenty of books during the past two years. It also allowed me to buy yarn, in which I have and will be able to knit up into some amazing items. It also allowed me to pay for some weekend adventures, which have been a blast.

In the course of the adventures I have been on, and being able to really get out and see more of the city I live it, and experience it, I have learned a lot about who I am and the direction my life is going in. I love this part of the country. This is my home.

I have had the opportunity to go on more hikes, and spend more time at the beach, and that has been amazing. I love hiking, it is one of those things that I will keep doing for as long as I am able to.

Over the past couple months I have been stocking up on Sock Yarn, so I can knit myself socks that are sturdier, warmer, and of a better quality than store bought socks for Hiking socks. I am all about doing as much DIY stuff as possible, and I love making hand knit goods for myself that are not only pretty, but also functional and useful to my lifestyle. I definitely love being outdoors, exploring the are around me.

My love of History, especially that of Women’s roles, and what women did throughout history, has been a passion of mine that has been thriving. Between knitting, and learning more about homemaking, cooking & baking healthy dairy free, gluten free, egg free food.

This winter was hard, normally I love winter, and I love the rainy, grey days. This winter I have been in a funk, largely due to stress. Now that we have had a few nice, semi warm (like 58 – 60 degrees Fahrenheit) and at least partly sunny, so that has helped me get out of the funk. I am doing fine now, with some sleep and a nice day.

Today, I have been working on a pair of socks I am working on, I also got a load of laundry done, as well as relaxing which is really important right now. Burn Out and negative stress are not healthy, and I am working to get back to a good place when it comes to the stress thing. I also got my resume updated, so come Monday, I can hit the ground running to find a new job as quickly as possible.

Getting my Period Drama Fix

Hey Everyone!

Since I got a new external hard drive for my computer, since it does not have an internal one, and my last one wore out a few months ago, I have now been back to binge watching some period dramas. 

Since Downton Abbey ended (and yes, I own all 6 series), I went looking for more period dramas. I have watched both seasons of Mercy Street, I am currently watching Lark Rise to Candleford (which Brenden Coyle aka Mr Bates from Downton Abbey, appears in), I also have Indian Summers to watch. Five Mile Creek is also a go to classic period drama. 

I enjoy period dramas and old tv shows, though they aren’t the only shows I watch. I love the shows that were made from the 1950’s to the early 1970’s. I am fascinated by the styles, architecture, set design/interior design of that period of time and watching how it evolves and changes. I Love Lucy has a very different look from the Brady Bunch. Or how much the Star Trek series have evolved and changed since the original series. 

With the old tv shows, especially if they are set in that era, or in the case of the original Star Trek, they are like being able to get a glimpse into a specific era. That is what fascinates me – getting a glimpse of an era that was really not all that long ago, yet before my time.