Taking on Life at Full Speed

Learning from the past to make a brighter future

Autumn in Portland — October 16, 2017

Autumn in Portland

Hey Everyone!

I had this morning off, so I could sleep at night like a normal person. Beings that I woke up at a normal time for me, I had the energy to go for a walk this afternoon.

Looking for a full time job here that is a good fit for me, has been a challenge. It has made me really think about what I am good at, what I am passionate about, and how I want to spend my career.

I have spent the better part of 7.5 years not using my degree, bouncing around doing different jobs in different industries, yet have had one that was close to being a good fit.

I am definitely wanting to spend more time doing Homemaking stuff and outdoorsy stuff. What would be even better would be modern Homesteading (aka living on a farm, that has electricity and at least a septic system), with a great view. Then I could do the Homemaking and outdoorsy stuff and not have to choose.

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A Couple Days off — September 21, 2017

A Couple Days off

Hey Everyone!

Work didn’t schedule me for today or tomorrow, so I am able to enjoy a few days off and be ready to dive into a full week next week.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon knitting and watching Hulu.

Today I slept in, then got ready to head out. I stopped at Freddie’s and Black Rock Coffee before running by work to check the schedule for next week. On the way home I stopped by Cooper Mountain Nature park, to take some pictures. While I love hiking, I didn’t want to put that much strain on my knee that I banged up pretty good a couple days ago.

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Since I got home, I have been baking some gluten free and dairy free brownies while I waited for my KnitPicks package to arrive.

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In my KnitPicks package, I got the yarn swift I ordered as well as a hank of the KnitPicks stroll fingering yarn. I really didn’t need to order more yarn, but it was a choice of buying a hank of yarn and qualify for free shipping or just order the swift and be a penny shy of getting free shipping so I would have had to pay for shipping. The choice was get more yarn or pay for shipping. Yarn won.

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I have been enjoying relaxing since I got home from work yesterday morning.

When the Sun Glows Pink, and the Moon Pumpkin 🎃 Orange — August 6, 2017

When the Sun Glows Pink, and the Moon Pumpkin 🎃 Orange

Hey Everyone! 

We have been socked in by wildfire smoke for most of the last couple of weeks. It got a little bit better yesterday and then came back full force today. Most of the smoke is coming down from of wildfires burning in British Columbia. There are a few wildfires here in Oregon and in Washington that we are getting a bit of smoke from, but most of it is coming from the elephant hill fire in BC. The fires are so bad up there that a stretch of Highway 97 is closed for a stretch through the Fraser and Thompson River Canyons. Highway 97 is the longest north – south Highway in BC (and meets up with US 97 at the US / Canadian border, and eventually goes down through Madras, Redmond and Bend in central Oregon). 

At last check the Elephant Hill Fire (the one that we are getting most of our smoke from) has grown to 425 square miles and was about 30% contained. 

With all the smoke in the air, our air quality has been at an unhealthy level (not to mention all the pollution we already have going on). So I have been trying to stay indoors as much as possible with the windows closed. Between the poor air quality and the uncomfortably hot temps, the AC has been my best friend. 

I had gone up to Chehalis this evening to see some friends I hadn’t seen for a while. On the way home, due to the smoke, the sun was glowing this almost hot pinkish orange color. It was weird. Then the Moon has almost this Pumpkin Orange hue to it because of the smoke. My allergies have been crazy and my eyes have been so irritated, since we have had the smoke. Tonight, it reminded me of a couple years ago when I went to Seattle. I remember waking up in my hotel room and going and looking out the window and the sun was glowing a strange color because of the smoke we had that year. 

This weekend has flown by. Friday I ran errands, cooked up some lentils, made some chocolate chip cookies, and by the end of the day I was exhausted. It kind of reminded me of a typical Friday while I was in college. I definitely miss being on my own like that while I was in College. 

Yesterday I spent the day working on finishing up knitting a pair of socks, started cleaning the house, picked raspberries in the backyard and watered the outdoor plants. 

Today I started a new pair of socks, and went to Chehalis. As I am writing this (I began writing it in my head on the way home). While I was so ready to get home while driving back, I have needed a little time (hence writing this post) to wind down so I can go to sleep. 

Here is to going to bed before midnight. 

Still Awake at 2 AM — July 25, 2017

Still Awake at 2 AM

Hey Everyone!

I have had several nights lately where I have been up until 2 am or later working on various projects. 

I am definitely a night owl, that is for sure, especially in the summer, when it is too hot to fall asleep any earlier. 

This time I have been up late working on some YouTube videos for my adventures channel. I had come up with a few ideas that I got started on earlier in the the day, and I am just now waiting on the past one to process on YouTube so it will be scheduled for another day. I got 8 videos edited, processed in the editing program, uploaded, scheduled and processed on YouTube. I am definitely hoping to be able to start creating more original content for all my YouTube channels here in the not too distant future as well as have new content for my blogs. I have no real desire to get big on YouTube, and if I were I would want it to be on my Homemaking (and hopefully at some point homesteading) channel as well as my knitting channel. My adventure channel and life at full speed channel (which I just started today), are really for me, 

I started the life at full speed YouTube channel just so I would have it claimed to match my blog and Facebook page, should I decide I want to make videos about life that are not so in depth and specific to Adventures, Homemaking & homesteading, and Knitting. I know it seems like a lot to have 4 YouTube channels on top of 5 blogs. I know it seems like a lot, and it is. I may not do a whole lot with the YouTube channels, but I want that option available once I have my own place again, and am able to actually have the space to film videos, and be organized about it. I love my blogs and won’t give them up, as I am definitely more of a writer than a speaker. 

All Part of Growing Up — July 17, 2017

All Part of Growing Up

Hey Everyone!

The past few months have been a bit tough. 

Beyond the past few months, as I have gotten older, I have learned that life is too short to do something you don’t enjoy and to have toxic people in your life. Toxic people can be anyone who brings everyone around them down, to someone who is truly a good person but they aren’t a good personality fit for you as a friend so being around them is toxic for you personally. 

A few months ago I had to let go of a toxic friend. We weren’t a good fit personality wise. She isn’t a bad person, she just brought me down. The past couple of days the whole fall out got brought back up to the surface again by her in a very public place. I just kept telling her over and over again that we are who we are, nothing either of us says now will change the other persons mind and that it is best that we move on, and be civil when we have to be around each other, because I am friends with one of her older sisters and I am not going to be forced into being friends with them both or neither of them. Friends come and friends go, and sometimes you are only with someone for a chapter in your life and then it is time to move on. 

Through the tough times and failed friendships I have learned things about myself and have helped shape the direction I am that I am working toward, and the life I want to live. 

Life is about changing and growing, and like the mythical Phoenix when the old dies it is reborn or regenerated out of the ashes of its predecessor. Over the years I have felt like life is like the Phoenix, as one chapter of life ends we start a new chapter and rise out of the ashes of the last chapter (metaphorically speaking) to go on to a new chapter. 

Life is to short to not be yourself or do something you hate, or live your life the way others expect you to when it is not in your character to live your life that way. 

There is more to life than staying in a place that drains my energy and where I don’t see a future for myself. I am adventurous, if someone tells me I can’t do something (as long as it isn’t illegal or dangerous to the point you would have to be stupid to do it) I will do it to prove them wrong and to prove to myself that if I want it bad enough and work hard I can do it. 

I try not to let others define me, who I am or what I will accomplish in life. 

Dairy Free Cherry Garcia — July 1, 2017

Dairy Free Cherry Garcia

Hey Everyone! 

Happy Canada Day! 

I have been Dairy Free (or in the process of going dairy free) for 5.5 years. If you haven’t had to go without a food staple (ie dairy, gluten or eggs), you really can’t relate to missing certain foods because you know that if you eat them, you will be sick. The fact that I have had to completely give up dairy and eggs and not eat much gluten, It has been quite an adjustment. I have yet to find a dairy free cheese or yogurt that has a similar taste and texture to dairy versions. So I have given up trying to find a dairy free yogurt I like, dairy free cheese is just gross, coconut and coconut almond milk are my favorite milk alternatives, the onion and chive dairy free cream cheese spread stuff is tolerable on bagels and in mashed potatoes, and they don’t make a dairy free cottage cheese option. So far the dairy free option that tastes the best is coconut milk ice cream, though I was so excited when I heard that Ben and Jerry’s came out wth a dairy free ice cream option I got excited. It has been years since I have been able to have Ben and Jerry’s. I finally got to enjoy some dairy free Cherry Garcia and not have to worry about being sick afterwards. 

Today we had gone out to a farm stand we are aware of to see about some berries to make jam. They didn’t have any strawberries, but did have some raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. So we picked up some some berries. The farm stand we went to is outside of the city. I always love leaving the city and going out into the country. 

This evening I had gone out to see some people I know who are in town for a convention, it was really nice to see them. After I had seen them, I went for a little drive, a little ways out of town. When I was off the freeway, I had my windows rolled down, breathing the fresh air. I don’t know if it is the type of grass that grows outside of town, or the fact that it is allowed to grow (as that grass I am referring to is the grass that grows along the side of the road and the grass that is used to make hay), and naturally dry out during the summer, but I love the smell of the long grass in the summer. I have noticed that the Beach grass smells different from the valley grass (and I am not talking about weed aka pot aka marijuana, I am talking about literal grass that grows in your lawn, and in fields to make hay for animals). The grass around here in the valley reminds me of driving from the towns I lived in while in college to the town where I attended church at the time. Quite often I would drive those 2 lane country roads in the summer, with the windows rolled down. There were a ton of hay fields in the county. I can’t imagine not being able to smell or taste. 

Having developed food intolerances as an adult, I have come to appreciate my sense even more. While food intolerances are insignificant compared to other disabilities and diseases that deprive people of their senses. 

I know when I was younger (teen years especially) I tried hard to be someone I am not. I felt like I was expected to be this prim, proper young woman who was the stereotypical girl, who did no wrong, who also liked doing my hair, makeup and going shopping. Pretty much a city girl through and through.  At the time I knew it wasn’t me, but I wanted to be accepted and fit in. College was a big game changer for me. It helped me realize that that life wasn’t for me and that it was ok to be a jeans and tee shirt kind of girl, who prefers the country to the city. I still like to dress nicely when I go out and about. The world as I see it has been ever changing and evolving as I have grown and changed over the years. Who I am, no longer hinges on what others think, or some real or perceived expectations of who I am supposed to be. Who I am has been shaped on my own life experience, the good, the bad, and the down right ugly. I have learned that life is more than allowing others to live my life for me. 

Learning to live a simpler lifestyle — June 25, 2017

Learning to live a simpler lifestyle

Hey Everyone!

Lately I have been rather overwhelmed with the constant bombardment of the media and our society propagating the mentality that we need the latest & greatest / biggest & best / needing more all of the time. 

I have noticed it more so living here in the city. 

I’m not saying that having a few nice  / quality things is bad, especially if you work hard to obtain them, and intend for them to last as long as possible. 

I know, since having been back in the city especially it has been a struggle for me, and that I have fallen into the trap of wanting more and new things when what I have works just fine. 

In the last few months, I have really been feeling that living in the city, where the fast paced, “give me what I want, and give it to me now” lifestyle is the norm. 

I miss having to drive more than ten miles to the nearest craft store, and the closest “normal” mall was an hour and half away, where I didn’t do much clothes shopping and wore what I have in my closet. 

I would much rather spend my time tending a garden or canning fresh picked local fruit, or cooking or baking or sitting on the porch or around the campfire working on my knitting, or reading a good book, and falling asleep at the end of the day after having worked hard that day. 

I have definitely noticed lately, that I have a hard time sleeping lately because I am not tired enough. 

I am really trying to learn from history, particularly the pioneers & early settlers of this area as well as from those who lived through the depression. Where you lived more off the land and worked hard for what you have, and when something breaks you fix it. Being able to make what you need, is a skill that has been lost. Being a city girl, it seems like most of the young women I grew up with (who also grew up in the city) really don’t know how to cook and bake from scratch, and are not inclined to. Their version of cooking & baking is opening a box and minimal steps, or better yet having someone else do it for them. 

As I get older, the more I want to live a life that is more about living life to the fullest, the experiences one can having, and doing for myself rather than relying on others to provide it for me (self-sufficiency). I have come to realize that I want to live somewhere with crappy to no cell service, and not have a cell phone, have basic internet (so I can still blog, watch the occasional YouTube video, be able to access email, be able to order Yarn and Perfectly Posh when I need to, as well as my dairy free & gluten free staples), a land line phone and maybe basic cable, to get the local news stations. I would love to garden, growing as much of my own fruits and vegetables as I can, and buying from local sources what is not feasible to grow on the small scale, but want to get to can or make jam/jelly then freeze/can. 

I am already so blessed to have what I have, and know how to do what I know how to do. 

While I am still looking for a pair of hiking boots that fit better than the pair I have, I don’t need 10 pairs of original toms plus numerous pairs of vans. I don’t need a ton of dress shoes. If I have the opportunity to live where I want to live, I could use a pair of good winter boots, a pair of wellies, a good fitting pair of hiking books, and I would be set until the shoes I have wear out. 

If I have the chance to live where I want to live, some work clothes that can get dirty, and can handle wear and tear would be a must, but for now I am set with normal clothes. 

Sometimes I have to shake my head — June 21, 2017

Sometimes I have to shake my head

Hey Everyone!

The past few days has been full of cooking, baking, an adventure and now sore muscles. 

Yesterday I went for a hike, and man there was a lot of people out there, you could totally tell the tourists from those who hike on a regular basis. The true tourists were dressy clothes and unsensible footwear, like fashion sandals and white dressy shorts.

There is a time and a place for fashion sandals and dressier clothes, and a State Park with 8.7+ miles of hiking trails, and that is what it is known for is not one of them. 

I am researching hiking boots as I am looking to replace my current pair, as I am not sold on them, and they are partly the problem of the blisters and not being as supportive as I need them to be of my ankles, and therefore my knees and lower back as well. 

I am also working on knitting up boot socks as well, so I have good quality boot socks for going hiking. When I am able to actually go boot shopping I can get a better idea of fit with the socks I will wear since I already have a few pairs of socks done. Here is hoping that the lightweight wool socks will be better at helping prevent blisters on my feet, and help take up the extra room. 

I really do enjoy hiking, and I am still figuring out a lot, that are things each person has to figure out on their own, like what boots fit best and are best for the kind of hiking you are doing. I am definitely wanting to get into better shape, and work my way into more intense hikes. I would also love to get into better shape and get into rock climbing. 

Memorial Day Weekend  — May 30, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend 

Hey Everyone!

It was an eventful yet uneventful weekend. 

Saturday, had been the hottest day of the weekend, and the day I had spent the most time outside. Going out to Sauvie Island and seeing the Bybee – Howell house, I was way to hot, and rather miserable in the heat. 75 degrees Fahrenheit (Roughly 24 degrees Celsius), is my upper limit before I really start not feeling well. 

Having gone out to Sauvie Island on Saturday, I saw this cool looking old farm house, the property which it sits on has been turned into a territorial park, so I was able to stop and check it out. 

The Bybee – Howell House (the old farmhouse you see not log after you come across the Sauvie Island bridge) was built in 1856, and the original owner was one of the first Multnomah County Commissioners. In the back remains what is left of the Orchard that had been planted there at one point. There are plenty of big, old trees that provide much needed shade. There would have also been plenty of room to have a big garden, as well as chickens (layers and ones for food), as well as other farm animals to be raised for food. Other than the traffic going by on the road, it was really peaceful, and it was away from the bulk of the city noise. The birds were chirping, and it really was the kind of area I would love to live. Not necessarily on Sauvie Island, but someplace that isn’t in the middle of the big city, and doesn’t have a ton of traffic. 

Sunday, my mom and I had made rhubarb pie and mixed berry freezer jam.

Monday, I had done some cleaning. The weather was definitely had been cooler than Saturday. 

Today feels like a Monday even though it is Tuesday, because of the long weekend. Today has been rainy and cool, which has amazing. It is not quite 40 degrees cooler than it was on Saturday, and my allergies are doing a lot better today. 

Today has definitely been an indoor knitting while drinking tea and watching movies kind of day. For which I am thankful. 

Hot Days and Going for a Drive — May 23, 2017

Hot Days and Going for a Drive

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday and today have been roasting hot. Yesterday was 94 degrees and today got to 88. While that isn’t hot for some areas, it is hot for Portland. Fortunately it has been cooling off quickly today. It went from 88 degrees sometime between 3 and 4, to 80 at about 5, and now at 8:30 pm it is sitting at a comfortable 62 degrees. 

This afternoon I needed to get out of the house and to go do something, so I went for a drive. It was so nice to get out of the city, even if it only was for a couple of hours. It was nice to be able to roll down the windows, turn up the radio and drive a two lane windy country road. That is definitely something I miss from having spent a few years living in a small town. 


While I would have loved to have gone to the beach, that was a bit out of a question, since the beach is and hour and a half to two hours away. I do love this part of the country. Well, the Mid & Northern Willamette Valley and the beach (Northern and Central Oregon Coast) anyway.