Category: Adulthood

Peopled Out

Hey Everyone!

This past week has flown by, and I have been fairly busy. When I have been home, I have spent a fair amount of time, that I haven’t been sleeping, outside in the garden.

Over the weekend I made pineapple curry with chicken, which turned out really good. I made it on the mild side since I don’t like things super spicy, but like the flavor of the dish.

The garden is seriously taking off this summer. I have gotten my first batch of jam made from raspberries picked from the backyard. A couple weeks ago, I got the tomato plants staked, which was just in time. Had I waited any longer and they would have toppled over and been a mess. I have been seeing quite a few flowers which is looking promising. The vines are well above the top of the stakes now, and when I staked them they still had room before they got to the top.

This past week I have also been spending some time at a church convention. It’s local so I am able to sleep in my own bed, not really worry about food, as well as go and come as I please. It has become a tradition that the one minister I want to hear preach, gives the sermon for the evening meeting on the Fourth of July. I have known him, and his wife my whole life, and they have known my family since they started coming to the church (45 years ago), my grandpa had been their first pastor. So they are like family.

I am hoping that this next week is a bit calmer. I am hoping to spend some time with a good friend of mine from Tacoma, who I have also known my whole life.

Last night I totally hit the wall of social situation overload and now I am peopled out. Fortunately I can come home and hide for a little bit. Especially being an introvert, I can only handle so much social interaction before I am exhausted by it, and need time to recharge.

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American Honey

What is more All American than Baseball, Grandma’s Apple Pie, White Picket Fences and the Fourth of July?

The concept of what is “All American”, is a bit of a foreign one to me, that I have tried to grasp at different times over the past decade.

The closest I have gotten was while I was in college, living in a small town in the middle of farm country, in the summers when I didn’t come back to the city.

Songs like “All American Girl” by Carrie Underwood and “American Honey”, have made me wonder, do these small rural towns, especially in the Heartland, still, have that “All American” feel, or is it something that was left behind in the 1950’s.

Anyone else know what I am talking about? The whole white picket fence, front porch sitting, lemonade (or sweet tea) sipping on a hot summer day, barbequing burgers on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, watermelon on the Fourth of July, Fourth of July Parades, Fireworks, Going shootin’, muddin’, 4 Wheeling, Going to the lake or the river on a hot summer day, knowing your neighbors, and the town turning out for the Friday night high school football games, way of life? does it still exist? if so, Where?

Growing up in a city that had the nickname “Baby Beirut” in the 1990’s, where Old Town, China Town, and North Portland were places you didn’t want to venture alone during the day, and not at all past dark. Portland has changed over the years, but some things haven’t changed for the better. The homeless problem has only gotten worse, There are still Protests on a semi-regular basis (just not as often), some that still turn violent (even less often, but they still occur). Portland has become less punk rock/alt rock/grunge, and way more bougie and posh, with the Pearl and Nob Hill, and Goose Hollow. The Hipsters have taken over and turned Portland into a city I don’t recognize. If I ever find my way out, I would only come back to visit my family and for Bob’s Red Mill, my favorite bakery, and the Tea. Portland was never one of these places where the whole, White Picket fence, knowing your neighbors, Fourth of July Parade, block party’s and barbequing happened.

Like I mentioned earlier, the summers I stayed in the small towns I lived in while in college were the closest things I had to having the “All American” lifestyle. I would like to get back to that way of life, especially if I ever get married and have kids.

It Rained on the Parade

Hey Everyone!

This weekend was pretty wet, with fairly consistent showers through out. Some were much heavier than others.

It even rained on the Grand Floral Parade. Saturday and Sunday were in the low to mid 50’s for highs.

This allergy season has also been particularly bad. I had been trying to make due without taking allergy medicine, but I have finally started taking some allergy medicine to try and help relieve some of my symptoms.

I had gone out earlier to pick up allergy meds, I got the store brand of Claritin, the active ingredient of which, is: loratadine.

While I was out, I went for a bit of a drive, and went out to Estacada, and then from there I went up into the foothills of the cascades. I love it out there. I am for sure an outdoorsy girl, who loves the mountains and the ocean. I had to pick one to live in / by I would have to choose the mountains, but stay close enough to the ocean to go visit.

Even with having lived in this part of the country, while on one level I do take the mountains for granted, I still love seeing them. Every time I see Mt. Hood, I am still like “wow, it’s beautiful”, even in the dead of summer when it is more grey than white and needs snow.

I can only speak for where I am, but the mountains, and how they look vary so much between the seasons that they are dynamic rather than stagnant.

It’s kind of crazy that from this past weekend to the middle of next week there is supposed to be about a 40 degree spread in our highs. One of the days this weekend really didn’t get above 53, and next week is supposed to be in the low to mid 90’s.

It look like next week will be a great time to wash socks and the shawl I have done. Now I just need to get the two pairs of socks I am knitting up out of KnitPicks yarn done. I am working on the second socks of both pairs. One is closer to being done, but if I keep working on them, I should have them done before we see 90 degree temperatures.

Anyone who know me, knows I don’t do heat, and that when it starts getting over 75, I am staying inside with the AC, only going out to check any of my socks that I washed.

Tea Time in the City!

Hey Everyone!

I had just been at the Smith Teamaker a few days ago, like last Thursday. But I couldn’t stay away that long considering one of my mom’s first cousins is in town and wanted to go.

She and I had gone for tea, and had a nice afternoon chatting while we had tea. We share English ancestry, as well as the fact that I am also part Scottish has a lot to do why why I can drink tea any time anywhere.

Now that I have had about a week of crazy busy, on the go, taking the city by storm, days I am ready to settle back into life and knitting. I definitely want to get the socks I have been working on for what feels like ages done. I am ready to have a ton of socks ready to wash whenever it is so hot outside that they will dry in a couple of hours and I can get more than one round washed and dried in a day. A round for me is four pairs since I have four sets of sock blockers. Now I have more than enough tea on had to plenty of tea choices to make and sip on while I knit.

Before picking up my cousin to go get tea, I had run a couple errands to pick up a few last things and something I had kept pushing off because I didn’t want to bother picking it up. I had gone to Fred Meyer first, but didn’t find what I was looking for, so I ended up at BiMart at well, and found what I was looking for. I was looking for a plastic wash tub, you know like the ones you would use for dishes. I hadn’t found anything like it at Fred Meyer, but I found what I was looking for at BiMart. I have been needing to get one for when I get around to washing shawls. I really don’t want to wash them straight in the sink, I want that tub as a middle layer between my nice shawls and the sink. While I was at Fred Meyer I had grabbed a 10qt bucket (it was $2), just in case I couldn’t find the tub, so now I have both, and am saving the bucket for when I get a place of my own. A bucket is a useful thing.

The city does have its advantages and variety, as well as a better selection. That abundance can and often is overwhelming. This is part of why I would prefer to be living outside of urban sprawl of the city, yet close enough to come in and pick up those items I want / need that I can’t get in the near by town, yet the nearby town has the basics.

Where My Heart is At.

Hey Everyone!

This week has been pretty busy, and I have spent a fair amount of time in the car going on adventures in the Valley, which I have been documenting and sharing with you all over the past few days.

This morning I had to run some stuff down to Polk County, for a friend of mine. This is the second time this week I have left the counties that encompass the metro area.

While I was in Polk County, I had gone back to where I had attended college. Part of me still kinda (just a little bit) misses living there, but at the same time, I have come to terms with the fact that that particular chapter of my life is over and it is time to move on and have new adventures and see where life takes me. It’s time to call someplace else home. I still love that area, and I left a piece of my heart there, and it will always have a place in my heart – being the first place I really considered home, It’s now time to find a job someplace else and a new small town call home.

The other day I had driven through Mt. Angel on my way home and had hit it at a bad time for stopping by the Catholic Church for pictures. This church is particularly pretty. I am not Catholic, but I do love the architecture of these older churches.

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I had made it a point today to stop by on my way home since I was going to be passing through the area earlier in the day. Beings there is a school across the street, that was letting out the other day when I was there, it wasn’t the best timing on my part. Beings as I was passing through Mt. Angel between Noon and 12:30 pm today, it worked out well to stop and get some pictures.

Like I mentioned earlier in this post, this week has been busy, and I have been on the go pretty much all week. Between that, being off my regular schedule and consuming more caffeine than I am used to (including two lattes and an energy drink in addition to my normal amounts of tea over the course of the week), I am exhausted.  I would not trade the activities I have been doing or the adventures I have been on this week for anything.

I have come to love small towns in the heart of the agriculture and timber areas in this part of the country. The city is a fun place to visit and go do stuff on occasion. I am more at home and at ease with a bit more elbow room, where I have the room to garden and not have other houses and neighbors right up on my space.

I have been fortunate that I have always had what I needed and some of what I have wanted. As I have gotten older, part of my disdain for the city, and city life is seeing how wasteful people are and how many people have a sense of entitlement while their neighbors and others living in the city are struggling to have the basic necessities. I know there are people in this city who work so hard, and work multiple jobs and are unable to make ends meet. Yet I see people throw out good food just because they don’t want to eat it, or it might not be their favorite thing. Food costs money, money doesn’t grow on trees. It infuriates me to see people being so wasteful. I am not exempt from this, there are times when I have been wasteful, especially when I was younger. The more I have struggled with unemployment, and making due with what little I have had, and have, has really been an eye-opener to me. This is part of why I am choosing to live a simpler life, and not spend money on things I don’t need, or will only watch, wear, or use once then move on. I have no real desire to become a true minimalist, as I do want a home of my own and be able to have more than just a tiny home, but I also don’t want much more than I really need. I don’t want a bazillion things that only have one function, or to only be able to make one thing that I rarely make. Especially when it comes to kitchen gadgets and such, what I want in my kitchen will have to have more than one function, or at least be something that I (or others in my future family) would use regularly (like a waffle iron or a coffee pot). While I would love to have a stand mixer, I don’t need all the extra add-ons that only have one function that I wouldn’t use all that often. The stand mixer in and of itself (and a few of the mixer heads/blades) would be something I would use regularly.

In many ways I am so glad I live in the 21st Century, with indoor plumbing, and modern feminine hygiene products, and so much more, but there is something to be said for the older ways of life, where kids grew up learning the value of hard work, and helping others, contributing to society, and more practical skills (like how to fix things that are broken).

 

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 😀.

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.

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.

 

Considering Going Back to School

Hey Everyone!

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.

Plethora and Perturbed

Hey Everyone!

What a day. Today flew by. The day started flying by when I went out for a walk this afternoon. I took a three mile walk around the neighborhood. It was so easy, like a walk in the park. That being said I have done more hikes than walks lately, so that probably has more to do with it than anything. My normal walks don’t have a lot of elevation ascents or descents, and is paved versus dirt, rocks and exposed roots.

Other than the fact that it is clearly spring, with the flowers blooming, and the trees are also in bloom and the leaves are still their pretty green of early spring, it felt more like autumn, like late October. It could have just been me, and the fact that I love everything autumn, and wish it could be October all year long.

After I got home and showered, I got a couple loads of laundry going (yay for adulting), and got my chicken marinating. I am letting it sit in the fridge overnight since I got it marinating so late in the day.

I was thinking about something that happened earlier and I was trying to figure out how I felt about said situation and I was like “I am annoyed and perturbed, but mad, nope, just perturbed”. Then I was writing a post for my knitting blog and I was describing how I have a lot of projects going and even more yarn sitting, waiting to be knit up. I had phrased is along the lines of “and I have a plethora of yarn waiting in the wings to be knit up”. I totally thought to myself “There’s the Lit Minor coming through….I want to read more books. I miss books”.

I watched the latest Call the Midwife episode tonight, the one where Sister Monica Joan gets the cataract surgery and Barbara is diagnosed with Septicemia by Dr Turner and is rushed to the hospital. Having read the spoilers from when it aired in the UK, it is to the point where I just want to see the next two episodes which will bring me to the end of series seven. The last several episodes have been kind of meh for me storyline wise. I am hoping the last two will pick up a bit more. With Helen (who plays Trixie) being on leave because she was clearly pregnant IRL when she left and had her baby and then comes back (after having her baby) in the last episode (again spoilers), and with the Turner’s storyline being on the back burner after the departure of Magdalena, it’s just not the same. While I don’t miss Jenny much, I do miss the dynamic there was with Jenny, Cynthia, Trixie, Chummy and the days of Sister Bernadette and the early days of the Shelah / Dr Turner relationship. I get that Max’s role of Timothy was reduced so he could focus on school and preparing for his GCSE’s in real life and not miss school. The last several episodes, Dr Turner and Shelagh have been minor background characters this season, which has been kind of sad. I hope we see more of them and at least Angela and Teddy in series 8 – 10, with the random appearance by Max so we can see how Timothy is getting on with preparing to go to University. Going into series 8, Angela is about 5, so in future series her character will hopefully start being developed some more and be less of a background character whom we just see to know she exists. Beings that the series have been renewed at least through series 10, Angela will be about 7 by then and start having a storyline of her own (like will she follow in Timothy’s footsteps with learning the violin or another instrument? Will she be in girl guides or whatever the British equivalent is of Girl Scouts like Timothy was in Cubs?). If the series is renewed after series 10, which could happen, but I am not getting my hopes up, it would be interesting to see the relationship between Angela and Teddy as they grow up, as well and their relationships with their parents, and how does Timothy still fit as he enters adulthood, and if he still feels the same way about Shelagh as he did in the early days after he lost his mom. If the series continues, will Dr Turner and Shelagh tell Angela she is adopted, how she reacts to it, and how it changes her attitude and feelings toward Timothy and Teddy, beings that both boys are the biological sons of Dr Turner. It would be interesting to see play out, but I doubt we would get that far before the series is canceled. If the series continues after series 10, it would take another 6 to 10 series to get Angela to her teen years if they continued at the pace of roughly a year per series. Potential storylines being the Angela / Shelagh storyline beings that Shelagh’s mother died when she was 4, another being Angela pushing the boundaries with her parents, especially Shelagh, especially if Angela found out she was adopted. One of the kids (Angela or Teddy), should definitely be a rebellious teenager, because, let’s face it, Timothy is the good kid / golden child. If Either of the two younger Turner kids were going to be the Rebel Child, I would kind of like to see it be Teddy, because, as of this point he has it good, and unless the writers kill off either Shelagh or Dr Turner, Teddy had the most going for him (being wanted by his parents, having both parents still alive, not being the adopted one, and being the third, and likely the last child that his parents have together).

Angel Eyes

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday I had gone down to the area I had lived while I was in college, for an adoption party. My good friends had gotten the adoption of their daughter finalized just after Christmas, and had the party yesterday. Little Miss also recently turned 5.

I still love the area there, and it was my home for four years. I fell in love with the area, and being in and around small towns in the middle of farm country. Having lived there will always be a part of me and who I am. It has been almost eight years since I lived there, and for a while I wanted to move back.

In more recent years, I have come to terms with and accepted the fact that I will likely never live there again, but it will always be a part of me, and I left a little piece of my heart there. I will also have the memories I made there.

I have had the song “Angel Eyes” by ABBA stuck in my head for the past few days. Really since I figured out the title of the song. I had been hearing it on the promos for Mamma Mia Here We Go Again (the sequel to the 2008 film Mamma Mia). I remember the summer of 2008, and having gone to see Mamma Mia in theater like three times. When you live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, going and seeing movies is one of the few things to go do.

Earlier I mentioned that I know that realistically moving back to the towns I lived in while in college isn’t going to happen. That being said, the small town & country life is more the life that I am called to than the city life is. The city is fun to visit on occasionally, and with having family still in the area, I know I will be back here to visit. Moving somewhere else, is what I am being lead to do. The west coast is so expensive, and realistically (based on my eight years of trying to find a full time job here), staying here isn’t possible. So I am definitely looking at moving elsewhere. I am ready to move and see what else is out there. This country is so big, and I have only seen a handful of places. I love adventures and seeing new places and new things.

Still being younger, single, and nothing holding me here, I am ready to see what is out there, and take life by the horns and take you all with me on my adventures.

Not living here, will make visiting, going for treats and tea on Alberta, and going over to NW to go to the tea shop there and get tea, and then to the Stash Tea store, and Bob’s Red Mill that much more special.