Category: Adventures

There Comes a Point in Life

Hey Everyone!

Today I really wanted to make brownies today. I made gluten free vegan cherry brownies.

I have also been rewatching Grimm and working on my knitting. Between Grimm and a short stretch of cooler weather is making me Autumn to be here so bad.

Grimm has been one of my favorite shows since it started back in 2011. I own all 6 seasons on DVD, so I am rewatching it from the beginning. It reminds me of Fall and Winter because most of of it aired during fall and winter. There are also scenes that were filmed during fall, which is my favorite season.

A few of scenes from the first episode of the first season were filmed not far from where I grew up.

When the weather cools off a bit I want to get out hiking again. While it is hot, I am trying to get socks finished and ready for cold weather and hiking. This past week I picked out the yarn I intend to use to knit up the next twelve pairs of socks, once I finish up the two pairs I have going.

The past few days I have been out exploring the city a bit, and kind of getting a feel for other parts of the city. There are areas, that I could see myself settling down in, granted I could find a good job. That is the crazy thing. For so long I have been trying to leave, because where I am at right now isn’t working for me. Now, there is a part me me, that if I could find a job here, and move to one of these areas I have fallen in love with, that is more me and the kind of life I want to live, I would stay.

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It Rained on the Parade

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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.

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.

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).

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.

Angel Eyes

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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.

Preparing for Summer Adventures

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I hadn’t planned on going for a hike today, or even leaving the house. This afternoon I really was just like “I need to get out of the house and do something, and get some exercise and spend some time in the woods”. Fortunately, “The Woods” can be found in quite a few locations near by, without even having to leave the metropolitan area. I lathered on some mineral based sunblock (more on that topic in a bit), and went hiking.

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Once I had come back to the park loop trail from the summit trail, I had decided to take the long way, up and around the mountain to get back to the trailhead I had parked at. This detour added a mile and a half to my hike, which means I hiked a total of 3.37 miles today. That is a lot for me, as I have been away from hiking for a while. Even when I was doing more hiking a couple years ago, today’s hike would have still been a good hike. This hike had kicked my butt, as I have really only started hiking again in the past couple of months. The ascents were what really got me. I am definitely wanting and needing to get out more, and do more hikes and walks.

While I was out hiking, I definitely had the scene from the newer parent trap with Lindsay Lohan where they are hiking up to the lake where they are going camping….Yeah, the first 45 seconds of this clip was the part that kept playing in my head.

While today was a beautiful day, and got up to 68 degrees (Fahrenheit), and was hiking in a wooded area, so you aren’t in the direct sun the whole hike, I still applied sunscreen. I have been trying different brands of mineral based sunscreens to see if there was anything I liked better than the traditional sunscreens (because, chemicals….). Turns out they have have some not so awesome chemicals in them too, and don’t work as well (for me anyway) as the traditional sunblock brands (like Banana Boat, Coppertone, Water Babies (which is by coppertone), and Hawaiian Tropic). The bugs also seemed to be attracted more to something in the mineral based sunblock I used today because they were literally attacking me the whole time, and i have never had that issue with “normal” sunscreens.

With feeling like I was getting burned while on my hike, and the bugs, and just overall not being impressed with the mineral based sunblocks, I stopped at Target on the way home from my hike (since there is literally a Target on my way home from where I went hiking), and I picked up some of the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 55 Sunscreen for my face, and a bottle of Coppertone Sport SPF 70 for the other exposed areas of skin that need sunblock. As a teenager and young adult (while in college), I didn’t care so much about my skin or the potential for skin cancer. I cared a bit more in my mid-twenties, but it wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that  I was like “I better really start taking care of my skin”, and that includes sunscreen. I have seen many women who have spent too much time outside and not used enough (if any) sunblock. Suffice it to say Sunblock and hats are quickly becoming my BFF’s when the sun comes out. Besides the fact that wearing a hat helps to keep the sun out of my eyes.

Other than my adventure today, and quick stop to pick up sunblock that should last me for the next couple of years, depending on how much I go outside, this week, I have spent the majority of working on my new sock pattern. I did go out Monday and Tuesday afternoons to go pick up my mom from Downtown Portland….But it has been primarily a week spent working on knitting and drinking tea.

I found season 7 of Call the Midwife on iTunes, so I bought the season pass, so now each Monday, I get to watch a new episode of my current British Periods Drama obsession. It’s still hard to believe that they have started filming Season 8 of Call the Midwife. From what I have been reading and seeing, Call the Midwife has been renewed for at least a total of 10 seasons, which means at least two more seasons after the one they are currently filming (and three seasons more to watch after I finish season 7). I am pretty excited about that. I am still waiting to see if The Blacklist is renewed for a 6th Season, and if there will a 5th season of Poldark (Season 4 is filming). Good TV shows are hard to come by these  days. Now that Grimm and Downton Abbey have ended, I have been looking for new TV Shows to watch while I knit. At least I found a few show that are still coming out with new seasons to watch.

Seizing the Day

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Between all the rain we got over the weekend, and the sun coming out today, hitting nearly 70 degrees (69 to be exact), I had to get out and go for a hike.

I went and hiked up Mt. Talbert, which is one of my favorite spots. From where I started, hiking up to the summit, and back down again, it totaled 1.86 miles. Coming down was a shorter distance than going up. In the mile going up to the top, there was an elevation gain of about 417 feet. It smelled amazing out there and the birds were chirping. It was awesome.

This is one of my places to go hiking at the moment since I have been away from hiking for a bit, and I don’t have much in the way of endurance, but I am working on it. Consistency is key. I am also still working on breaking in the boots I bout a couple month back.

I love being up there and just thinking, and trying to clear my mind from the stress and craziness of life.

I love being outside, whether I am going for a walk on the beach or hiking in the woods – up the side of a mountain, that is where I am most at ease and content with life. I have lived the city life, and it’s really not for me. I prefer to more active, and finding a better balance between being able to be outdoors and being indoors.