Month: May 2018

The Successful Search for Roses!

Hey Everyone!

Following up on my post from Yesterday, I went out and found roses today. I went to 2/3 places I know have Rose Gardens here in the city. The third place will have to wait for another day.

By the time I got up the International Rose Test Garden, parked my car, paid for parking and walked back up to the Rose Gardens it was going on Noon. I was also amazed at how many people were up there today. It’s a Thursday, and not even all that “nice” weather wise, in the mid-50’s, overcast and trying to rain. I guess that is Portland for you. There were also field trips going on up there. I didn’t let that deter me from going, and getting pictures.

There are more pictures up on my Facebook Page, as well as some of the best are up on my Instagram, so you should be following on those as well if you are wanting to see more pictures ūüėÄ.

Once I was done at the Washington Park Rose Gardens, I ran up to NW Portland and got some tea (it was like a 15 minute trip), and from there I went over to North Portland and went to the Peninsula Park Rose Garden.

From where I was in North Portland, my favorite bakery was less than 10 minutes away, so I stopped there on my way home and picked up a couple gluten free / vegan Lemon Lavender Poppyseed Cupcakes.

All this running around the city, using multiple freeways to get from one place to another, sitting in traffic and being gone for hours at a time, with each place miles from the next, reminds me why I want to keep my time spent in the city to a minimum. It’s fun on occasion to come into the city to go do something, but the whole living here, city mentality and lifestyle wore off long ago when I realized that I am a country girl at heart, and I want to be able to live that lifestyle. Part of why I have been wanting to explore these Rose Gardens is so that I can get ideas, so one day, when I have the property and room to have a Rose Garden of my own, I have a better idea of the types of Roses I want to grow in my own garden.

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Setting Out in Search of Roses

Hey Everyone!

The last few days I have been wanting to go out and visit some of the various rose gardens in the area since this part of the country is one of the best places in the country for growing Roses. The city I live in is also nicknamed “The City of Roses” since it is one of the things we are known for here.

There was this one rose garden and store/nursery store that had a great variety of roses that I had visited a couple years ago. I went back out there today and they were closed to visitors, and all the roses they had planted in the ground for visitors to look at were gone. It was sad, and I was very disappointed. I had even looked it up before I left the house since it is a little bit of a drive to get there from the city. While I don’t mind the drive so much, I am sad that all the roses are gone.

I will be going back out and going to rose gardens here in the city, that I know are still in existence and open to visitors at some point in the next few days.

IMG_3506While I was out, I went to the little town of Saint Paul, Oregon. It is one of these little towns kind of in the middle of nowhere. The only thing it is known for is the rodeo that takes place there every Fourth of July. It is a cute little farming town here in the Willamette Valley.

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This little church, is in the heart of Saint Paul. I had seen it once before, when passing through the town of Saint Paul, after the previous trip I had been to the rose garden that no longer is open to visitors in the area. Beings that I knew the church exists in the town, and I love older church buildings, I wanted to stop by again and take more pictures.

On my way home I had also gone through the town of Mount Angel, which hosts an amazing Oktoberfest¬†every year. I had wanted to stop at the Catholic Church there in Mount Angel, but it’s right next to a school, which was letting out for the day so the area was pretty busy and an inopportune time for pictures.

I love driving two-lane country roads, that aren’t that heavily traveled. They are so pretty.

Over the past twelve years, I have fallen in love with the small towns of the Willamette Valley between here and Corvallis. While I ¬†am not a huge fan of living in the city or even the metro area for that matter, I do love living in the Willamette Valley. This is Home for me. While I would consider moving if I found a job I could support myself on elsewhere, there is also a huge part of me that wishes I could find a job somewhere here in the valley (though haven’t had much success in the eight years I have been looking and trying……). I know what grows here, and what doesn’t grow in the valley, that I would want for canning and eating either grows in the Gorge which isn’t too far away, or in Southern Oregon and finds its way up north.

 

My Predictions for this Summer

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If this May is any indication of what this coming summer is going to be like, it is going to be a long, hot, dry summer. We have already had many 80 degree days and a couple 90 degree days and summer hasn’t even started yet. At this rate, I will have plenty of days where it will be hot enough to easily dry my handknit socks in a short amount of time. Now, I just need to work on getting more socks knit up. I have the yarn, I just need to turn the balls of yarn into wearable socks.

I have wondered if the fact that I was a winter baby has something to with the fact that I don’t tolerate the summer heat that well. It’s not that I don’t like summer, because I like the whole, it’s warm enough to sit outside on a summer evening and have a campfire thing and all the summer produce. I just can’t stand the heat. I would just as soon live at the coast or in SE Alaska. Autumn is my favorite season, as I love the changing colors and the fact that the temperatures are cooling off. I love the sights and smells. Autumn is when there are pumpkin patches, and apple harvest season and the leaves are changing colors, and it’s time to start pulling out the jackets and cooler weather clothes.

While I am hoping to get as many pairs of socks done as I can this summer, I am also hoping to be able to read through the Outlander series. I have read the first two books, but I had gotten away from reading for a bit so I am going back and rereading these two books before I move on to the third. ¬†There are eight books that are published, and a ninth that is expected to be published. I have the eight that are published, and I have plenty to read in the meantime until the ninth comes out. I also have the Game of Thrones books to read, well at least the books that are published anyway. I also have several other books that I have sitting waiting to be read. I haven’t watched any of the¬†Game of Thrones seasons on TV, I have seen the first season of Outlander. I prefer reading the books before watching the TV Shows / Movies that they are based on. There are five Game of Thrones books out, with two more (at least) expected. I have the five that are published.

While I enjoy watching TV Shows, Youtube videos and documentaries¬†while I work on my various knitting projects, I love reading books. I really didn’t like reading while I was in Elementary School. Once I got to Middle School (grades 6 – 9), it was like a switch flipped and I couldn’t stop reading. In High School, I was bored with most of my English classes, as I found that most of the books that we were forced to read to be boring. It wasn’t that I didn’t like reading, I just didn’t like the required reading material. During my time attending University, I had started out as an Early Childhood / Elementary Education major (yeah, that lasted all of five terms), then I switched my major to Social Science with a minor in Literature. I loved minoring in Literature. There were terms that were tough to get through all the books, in addition to my other course loads, and there was at least one term, by about midterms that I was so far behind in the readings, by the end of the term I was about where we were at midterms, and there was one book I didn’t even start. I still have most of my books from my upper-division literature classes packed away in my book box. I look forward to the day when I can have a wall of bookshelves and have all my books out and be able to read any of the books I own without most of them being packed away in boxes.

There is nothing like curling up on a cold, rainy day with a nice hot cup of tea and a good book and getting lost in the story. There have been nights where I have stayed up past 4 am in the morning, reading a book cover to cover. There was one term while I was in College, that once the term had ended, I had started a book the evening after my last final and I finished reading the book as the sun was coming up the next morning before going to bed after the sun was coming up.

I am not quite the book – nerd that a couple of my cousins are, but that doesn’t mean I love reading any less.

 

It’s All About the Simple Things

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Today I had gone for another hike. After the past couple days being so hot, I took advantage of the cooler day and went for a hike.

One of the things I love about hiking, especially in the woods, is when it’s quiet, and you can just listen to the bird songs back and forth through the trees.

I love being out in nature, any time of the year, but my favorite parts of late spring to early autumn, while we still have the migratory birds still around, is listening to the song birds chirping and singing. It’s even better if you are somewhere where there is a stream or a creek and you can hear the water flowing as well.

I have often thought that it would be amazing to be able to distinguish between the bird calls, as in being able to identify the different birds by their songs / chirps and know which birds I am hearing without seeing them.

I have also had a bit of an interest in at least elementary / basic Botany. For example I know I saw poison oak while I was out hiking today, but to easily identify it amongst the brush as I hiked up the trail, I could not. I want to be able to differentiate poisonous plants from non poisonous plants so I can easily identify plants such as Poison Ivy, Poison Oak ad Poison Sumac from other non poisonous native plants.

Through the years I have also enjoyed doing some amateur tracking / animal identification based on tracks and scat left behind by the animals that naturally roam the woods. I have seen some coyote tracks as well as deer tracks as well as what my friend and I concluded to be coyote scat.

I definitely stay on the trail that has been cleared, between any habitat restoration / conservation that is going on, not wanting to come into contact with poisonous plants I don’t recognize and the potential for seriously hurting myself on some unseen hazard / drop off / cliff, I follow the rules of staying on the trail that has been made. I also believe in packing out what I packed in, and leaving the trail in as pristine condition as I can so others can enjoy it as well.

This past year I have really been learning about slowing down from the fast paced on the go all the time rhythm of the city, which I have been back living in for the past eight years. The constant go go go of the city lifestyle doesn’t jive with who I am at my core, and it doesn’t make me happy, and I am not at my best when I am doing the whole typical city thing. That is a lot to do with why I have been getting away from the city as much as possible.

 

Getting Lost in My Own City

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Today, after dropping off my parents ballots at the library I decided to run back up to the tea shop I went to last week, to buy some more tea. Yeah, I know, I just bought tea. Here’s the thing, Good Tea, yarn and good books are essentials in my life. I drink enough tea that I will have no problem drinking this tea before it expires.

I had noticed that traffic going southbound on Naito was slow at several points while I was heading north to the tea shop, so I knew I would be taking another way back. After I got done at the tea shop I plugged the info I needed into Google Maps to get me home, and let’s just say, between taking a wrong exit and missing a turn I took the very scenic way home, while spending a lot of time I wouldn’t have otherwise spent on the west side of Town (and by town I mean city).

I had picked up another box of the bungalow tea that I like, and I also picked up a box of the Portland Breakfast tea that I tried the last time I had gone to the shop and really liked.

Yesterday and today have turned out to be scorchers. Yesterday hit 90 degrees and today is in the upper 80’s. This is typical summer, and even then anything above 86 is hot even for summer in this part of the country.

Since today has turned out to be nearly as hot at it was yesterday, and I had a couple pairs of socks I had finished knitting up, I am taking advantage of the heat and I washed them. They are now hanging out on the line to dry.

The rest of my day is shaping up to be at home in the air conditioning. I have the last episode of season 7 of Call the Midwife to watch and more knitting to work on, in addition to the dinner my mom wanted for Mother’s Day (while that was yesterday, she was ok with me cooking it today).

Considering Going Back to School

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Pretty much since the year after I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree, I have toyed with the idea of going back to school and getting a second Bachelors Degree and then potentially pursuing a Master’s Degree.

Over the past almost 7 years that I have been considering going back to school, I have debated on what I would study, and where I would go.  I have a pretty good idea of what I would study, and the career outcome of what I want to do after I go back, and the whole reason to go back to school, I have narrowed it down from three options I have considered. I have also looked into projected industry growth over the next decade, and the path I am leaning toward has a higher than average projected industry growth, which is promising.

The School I want to go to, at least to get my Post – Bacc degree (second bachelors), would allow me to live in a state I have been dreaming to live in for years, and even if I moved elsewhere after I finished my degree(s) should I be able to stay at said school for my masters as well, I would get to live in said state for a good 4 to 5 years. That would be a dream come true in and of itself.

If things were to work out, I am still a little over a year away from starting school. It will take hard work and dedication to even get there in the first place and have everything fall into place that I need to fall into place, and then even harder work put in while I am there to make it happen.

I know this is a bit vague, and I am purposefully not saying what I plan to major in or the school I want to attend for privacy reasons, and should it not be the right course to pursue, and not work out, then the fact that going back to school is all anyone needs to know.

I feel like my 20’s were a time of self discovery, and figuring out who I am, and the path I am supposed to take. I have been able to do a lot of amazing things in my 20’s, and I have learned a lot about life and who I am, the things that I enjoy doing and that making me happy, as well as things that fulfill me and give me a sense of purpose. Due to the fact that I didn’t really have an idea of what I wanted to do career wise after college, and with the social science field being so broad and without a specific career outcome, I feel like I spent part of my 20’s being a bystander and inactive participant in my life and watched it go by, without being able to control much. I have felt lost, empty and confused at times and like the world was just passing me by.

If all goes according to plan and works out, this change will allow me to have a definite plan career wise and have an end game goal so that I know what I am working toward.

Part of why I had started my blogs in the first place, is because if I could help even one other young woman to see her full potential and set challenging yet attainable goals for herself and work hard to achieve it, and not listen to the haters and those whose goal is to distract us from what we are able to do, then I will have been successful at one of my goals.

I have had plenty of people tell me that I can’t do something for whatever their reason, but I am the kind of person that when someone tells me I can’t do something or that I shouldn’t do something, (highly dangerous to myself/others and illegal / immoral things aside), I make it my mission to do what I am told I cannot do, and prove people wrong about me. They aren’t living my life and they haven’t walked a mile in my shoes, so who are they to tell me I can’t do something and judge me for living my life the way I believe and know is right for me.

I am taking back my life, I know that going back to school, especially after being out for 8 years now (and likely 9 by the time I start school again), is going to be hard. I am willing to put in the hard work, and get the help I need while I am there, and take advantage of office hours, and ask a ton of questions.

What I am working toward has been on my heart for a few years now, roughly two or three as specific as it is, closer to six in the broader scope of the goal.

I still intend to keep up my blogs as much as I can, and share my experience of going back to University and pursing a second bachelors and then a masters, in my 30’s.

Knowledge is power, and education is so important. I am really beginning to see how important having and education is, whether that is in the traditional sense of post secondary education (here in the US we call it High School, other countries call it something different), or learning a trade after completing high school.

One day if I ever do have children, I want to teach them about how important their education is. I do realize and know that the statistics show that children whose parents have a higher education tend to also go on to have a higher education.

In my own life I have seen how important it is for a woman to be able to navigate and conduct herself in the business world. Even if she is able to and wants to be a stay at home wife and mother, she should also have skills that are useful in the outside world. What if her husband gets sick and passes away, or is seriously injured, or if he takes off, then what? In this day and age she needs to know how to build a resume, look for a job, go on interviews and work, in order to support herself and her family. Especially in urban life, needing to have two incomes is pretty much a necessity.

I am trying to not get my hopes up yet, as its still in its early stages, but should it all work out, I also look forward to the adventures I will be able to go on because of the change and move.

Where do they get off Thinking it’s ok?

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I am going to preface this with stating that I have instagram accounts where for each of my main blogs (Homemaking, Adventures, Knitting, and Life), where I post pictures about what I am doing. In doing so, I am always careful about not posting where I am at while I am there, if at all, and other safety measures.

Now this is where I am baffled, where do some men get off think that it is ok to PM/DM (Private Message / Direct Message) me on these accounts trying to chat me up? I’m sure I’m not the only one this happens to.

When in our society and societies around the world break down to the point where strange men feel that it’s perfectly acceptable to message a woman (or anyone who is presenting themselves as female on a social media platform for whatever reason), wanting her to talk dirty to him?

if you were to take a look at the public instagram profiles I have, they are all family friendly, and they are G rated for a reason.

So it doesn’t make sense to me, why these creepy morons think that I would want anything to do with them.

Where do these creeps get off thinking that based on my profile I want anything to do with them or that I want to 1) talk to them, period, or 2)lower myself to their level or 3)go behind the back of any significant other I had at the time and have a virtual affair on said significant other. It just baffles me. It’s not like my profiles contain pictures of me or any other female half dressed or scantly clad, or containing any image that I would be embarrassed or ashamed of if my mother or grandmother were to see. It’s the kind of thing that one would expect on an app like Tinder, not on an instagram profile for homemaking, outdoor adventures, or knitting. It’s sad and unfortunate that our world is at the point where some guys have no respect for women, proper boundaries, proper communication guidelines, no respect for loyalty, or proper relationships or that no actually means no, or when they just need to disappear into a big black oblivion.

While I may not be a prim and proper society lady, I do have enough self respect, common sense and maturity to give them the “bye Felicia” and hit the block them.

The sad thing is I know I am not the only woman they target. What is even sadder, is the fact that I know there are men out there who do this kind of thing. It’s bad enough when they target adult women, like myself. What’s worse is I know there are perverts out there who prey on young girls.

I’m not saying that all social media is bad, especially when used responsibly. The sad part of it is that with this invention has also opened the door for predators to prey on their young victims. It has also opened the door wide open for Cyber Bullying. If in person bullying wasn’t bad enough, our kids have enough to worry about on a daily basis without having to suffer at the hand of cyber bullies.

I was a teenager when Myspace came out, and it was a cake walk in comparison to what is out there today. Then there was Bebo, which lasted a short time, and then Facebook was launched while I was in university, and now I could only name a few of all the social media sites out there.

As of yet, I don’t have to deal with having kids of my own who want their own social media accounts, and if I ever have children their father and I will have long discussions about when they will be old enough to get their first account, what they will be allowed to have, and how we will monitor their activity. I know kids are sneaky, looking back on my own teenage years, and what I did without my parents knowing, and that was before the days of smartphones, let alone having my own cell phone hadn’t happened yet. On the whole I was “a good kid”, who people trusted, and didn’t get into a lot of trouble, but I still got away with more than I should have. So, any parents out there who are reading this, if you are thinking that you have a good kid who you can trust, even when you are doing your best to know what is going on in their lives and what their online activities are, there are still things you likely missing.

I am not surprised at all that things like this happen, it’s not only guys who don’t respect the boundaries of females, it also happens in platonic relationships of two people of the same gender. I have had other women not take no for an answer, who have tried to force their will on me, and I have had to repeatedly say no, and they still don’t “accept” it as a legitimate response, as they have continued to try to bully me into submission. So the disrespect of personal boundaries can and does happen to pretty much everyone, and you are lucky if you have never had someone disrespect and step over the boundaries you have set of what makes you comfortable vs uncomfortable. It’s never ok to cross someone else boundaries when they have told you no and that you need to back off, whether in real life or on social media.

Tea Makes Everything Better!

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Today has been a somewhat chilly, but not cold, and overcast spring day.

I have been wanting some more Steven Smith Teamaker Bungalow Tea for a while. I have also been wanting to try the Portland Breakfast Tea as well. That being said, it was the perfect day to drive over to Northwest Portland, to the Pearl District and go to the Steven Smith Teamaker Teahouse. I picked up a box of Bungalow Tea, and got a to go cup of the Portland Breakfast Tea to try. I hadn’t ever had the Portland Breakfast Tea before, so before spending money on a box of tea (and these boxes aren’t cheap), only to have a cup and and not like it, especially at places like Smith Teamaker, I prefer to order a cup of tea to go of whatever I want to try. Then if I don’t like it, I’m only out that one cup and don’t have 14 more teabags sitting around potentially going unused. Beings that I liked the Portland Breakfast Tea, I will likely pick up a box the next time I go to Smith Teamaker.

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Driving 8+ miles through the heart of the city, from SE Portland to the Pearl District in NW Portland, just to get tea, sounds crazy to some, and daunting to others. I am trying to enjoy it and take advantage of the fact that I still live here, while, you know, I still live here. Portland does have quite a few great independent and locally owned tea shops that do their own tea blending and packaging (and sales) right here in the Portland Metro area. Portland also has it’s own fair share of locally owned and operated coffee roasters for those who like coffee. There are also still a handful of locally owned and operated yarn stores here in the metro area, despite the largest one that was downtown as well as the one that was my favorite over on Hawthorne closing up shop in the past 15 months.

I was curious to know how many cups of tea the average Briton drinks per day, so I looked it up. The average Briton drinks 876 cups of tea per year, or roughly 2.4 cups a day. From September through May or June, I could definitely pass for a Briton based on how much tea I drink.

This afternoon, since I got home from going out, while enjoying my cup of Portland Breakfast Tea, I have also been knitting. I tend to get a lot of projects going so when I don’t feel like working on one project, I have another one to pick up and work on.

Time to Hit the Books

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This spring I am making some changes. One of this biggest changes I am making is to spend more time reading books.

I love books, but I haven’t spent much time reading during the past few months.

I am going back and starting to read the Outlander series from the beginning. I have read Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber so far, but I finished Dragonfly in Amber months ago. I am starting from the beginning again, and plan to read them through, and get through the 8th book.

I also have the game of thrones series as well as many of the books that Gail Tsukiyama wrote. I had read The Samurai’s Garden in my freshman year of high school and actually enjoyed it, which is a shock since I hated most of the books I was forced to read in high school English.

My love of books and reading is why I minored in Literature while I was in University.

The first six books of the Outlander series were published before I went to university, but I didn’t learn of the series until after I graduated.

The Hunger Games series came out while I was in college, which is when I was reading them. The Divergent series came out after I graduated from college.

I always a trip through book stores, especially independent locally owned book stores.

The Way that was Paved for Us

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Last night I had taken the time to fill out my ballot for the May Primary. Beings I live in Oregon, and Oregon is a vote by mail state, I could fill out my ballot right at home. Today, I went out and made sure I dropped my ballot off at the post office. To me, voting is important, and I try to vote every election. While women and non land owning men and minorities have been able to vote for longer than I have been alive, I still don’t take for granted the privilege I have to vote. Oregon is one of the states that passed laws allowing women to vote before women gained the right to vote in 1920. Women in Oregon have been able to vote since 1912.

All the rights and privileges I enjoy today, came at a cost for those who have come before me. Often times I take things for granted like voting, driving, having a college education, being able to work, manage my own finances, and so much more. There are times I am stopped in my tracks when I remember that there are those who have come before me, who have fought for these things I take for granted and are common place in my life. I also have to remind myself that still to this day in other parts of the world there are women who don’t have the same privileges that I take for granted.

We are no where near reaching Gender Equality even in the “Industrialized World”, which is a whole topic unto itself. With that being said, even at where we are right now, women in the westernized world are a lot better off than women living in the developing world and in third world countries.

After I dropped my ballot in the mail, I ran a couple errands and then came home. Since I have been home, I have been working on one of the pairs of socks I have in the works. I am working on the second sock, and I am trying to get it done by the end of Monday. I am nearly to the heel, so getting it done by the end of Monday, should be do able. Looking at the weather forecast, while the high temperature for tuesday has been forecasted to be anywhere from 81 to 88 degrees, I want to take advantage of the warm weather and get at least a couple pairs of socks washed and hung out to dry. I already have one pair done, and I am going to try to get a second pair of socks done. I try to use as many of the warm to hot days as I can to dry the hand knit socks I have made out on the line. They dry better out on the line, as well as the fact that you don’t have the smell of wet sheep in the house longer than you have to. Hanging them outside also helps air out the scent of the washes that I use. While I like the scents of the two main washes that I use, ¬†they tend to be a bit strong. By hanging the items outside, it helps to air them out, so the scent isn’t as strong.

While I am not at all a fan of the warm weather, it is good for a few things, like drying socks, and growing plants and produce. As long as I can hang out inside with the AC during the heat of the day, and go out and tend the garden in the mornings and the evenings, I’m good. I also try to get my socks and other hand knit items that I have washed out early to maximize the time they have to dry, so I can put them away completely dry.