Taking on Life at Full Speed

Learning from the past to make a brighter future

Time is Flying — October 10, 2017

Time is Flying

Hey Everyone!

What a week.

Last Tuesday was very busy, and I slept the rest of the day.

Last week was one of those weeks where I ended the week exhausted after the week I had had.

Saturday, I went with my family to the annual Greek Festival at one of the Greek Orthodox churches here in Portland. We aren’t Greek or orthodox, we go for the Food.

I had Monday off, which was nice. I had needed the extra day off. Monday afternoon I had started packing up my room at my parents house. I have been going through what I want to keep and what can go, so whenever I am able to move away from here, I will be going as minimal as possible.

Working on living a more minimalistic life when it comes to material things, has been a goal of mine. I don’t want a lot of material things holding me back from living my best possible life or making it harder if I were to move half way or completely across the country.

As I have been getting older, I have been learning the value of memories and experiences are more important than a lot of material things that you don’t use everyday.

Don’t worry, I am not getting rid of everything. I am keeping my kitchen stuff (how else am I going to be able to cook and bake stuff up to post about on Simple Homemaking), my knitting stuff (my favorite hobby), my books, my autumn decorations and my Christmas decorations, among other things.

I have learned that I don’t need a big house, and lots of material things to make me happy, give me a comfortable pair of hiking boots and a beautiful day outdoors with a home to come back to at the end of the day and I am happy.

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When the Beach is hotter than Eastern Oregon — September 27, 2017

When the Beach is hotter than Eastern Oregon

Hey Everyone!

As anyone who has been around this part of the country knows, the beach is supposed to be the place to go to get away from the heat when it is hot in the Valley.

It is strange when the beach is hotter than the valley in summer and early Fall, it’s even stranger when the beach is hotter than Eastern Oregon. Eastern Oregon and the Rogue Valley are typically the hottest parts of the state in the summer.

Fortunately there is only one more day of hot weather before the autumn 🍂 weather returns.

I have had today off work, so I got to sleep through the night last night. I also did some Baking yesterday. I also have been working on my knitting. Beings that I have a lot of sock yarn, I am trying to get as much of it knit up as soon as possible. I am trying to get as many pairs knit up before the nice days are gone for good.

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.

Urban Homesteading  — August 29, 2017

Urban Homesteading 

Hey Everyone!

This summer has been extremely productive, when it comes to Urban Homesteading. Most of the urban homesteading has occurred this past month. I have made multiple batches of Jam. Between my mom and I, we have made 10 batches of Jam. 4 batches of of blackberry jam, 1 batch of strawberry, 1 batch of peach, and at least 4 batches of raspberry jam. 

My mom and I have also canned pickles and peaches this summer. 

I have been picking raspberries almost daily for about a month. I got some lettuce starts for free, and planted them over the weekend, and they have started to take. I am hoping they take off and I get some lettuce from them before the cool weather hits and the season is over. 

While I am where I am, I am trying to learn about gardening and homesteading because I enjoy gardening and being outside. I also enjoy cooking with and eating home grown, organic food. 

I am all about growing food, preserving food, and making food from scratch. I enjoy making food and knowing where my food comes from and know the process it goes through to get from ingredients to finished product. 

No Rest for the Weary? — August 27, 2017

No Rest for the Weary?

Hey Everyone!

The past couple days have been pretty much on the go non stop. 

Today’s stuff has been primarily Urban Homesteading related. I spent most of the day with my family as well. We went out to a couple farm stands, where we picked up some peaches so my mom and I can water bath can them. We has also picked up a half flat of blackberries, two pints of blueberries and four pints of strawberries. 

Had to also go to the grocery store and cook dinner, before going out and planting some lettuce starts I got for free. I know it’s late in the season, but it’s totally worth a try. Good practice at the planting stages of plants…for future reference. 

After planting the lettuce starts, I came in and my mom and I made three batches of jam, two blackberry and one strawberry. 

We will be canning the peaches a little later in the week. 

While planting the lettuce starts I definitely got a little bit dirty. I have always been one to prefer getting my hands (literally) dirty while working outside in the yard and garden. If I am going to be inside and not knitting or reading a good book, I would just as soon be in the kitchen making stuff that tastes good. 

I definitely give mad props to my great grandmother’s and the women who came before them who also homesteaded without electricity, running water, or indoor plumbing and had several kids under foot. It’s hard enough and tiring enough now days with all the modern conveniences. They already had my respect, but have definitely earned it that much more. 

Watching the Opening of British Parliament  — August 17, 2017

Watching the Opening of British Parliament 

Hey Everyone!

My family got back to town safely after going to Canada to see my Aunt and Uncle. They had to take the long way going up and coming back because of the forest fires that caused all the smoky haze and unhealthy air quality here for over a week. 

While it is still summer weather, it has cooled off from being in the 90’s and over 100. The heat has forced me to stay indoors where there is AC, and when I have gone out – in the mornings or evenings to pick raspberries, I can’t stay out for more than 45 minutes because of how the heat effects me. 

The past few weeks, I have really been working on getting socks knit up, beings that they are small and fairly quick. Knitting socks also means I don’t have a lot of hot wool sitting in my lap making me warmer than I need to be. 

This evening I have been watching various videos on YouTube that were recorded during the Queen’s diamond jubilee and currently the state opening of Parliament from 2015. While I am not one who is a fan of everything British, I find this kind of events interesting, because the original 13 colonies were part of Great Britain until we fought a war to gain our independence. I also find how other North American and Western European governments work and their governmental formalities are. 

I like having a wider world view, and know a bit about what goes on in countries other than my own. I am no expert by any means, but I also don’t want to be completely clueless either. 

Smoky summer days — August 10, 2017

Smoky summer days

Hey Everyone! 

It’s been so smoky that it has looked overcast all week. The air quality has been at an unhealthy level all week as well. The heat and humidity have also been rough this week. 

I have spent most of this week inside with the AC. I am slowly been working on cleaning the house, which is something I can do in he comfort of the AC. I have gone outside a couple times in the evenings to pick raspberries and water the plants. I have enjoyed being the one to go out and pick raspberries, since I have been able to eat them all myself. Tonight I just ate them as I picked them. 

This week I had finished up a pair of socks and got them washed, blocked and dried beings that it has been 90 or warmer much of the week. 

I am definitely looking forward to cooler days this next week. Sunday is supposed to not even hit 70 with a chance of rain.  After tomorrow all the other days are forecasted to be in the upper 70’s to low 80’s, which after this long stretch of upper 80’s to low 100’s (weeks worth) will be “cool” in comparison. 

This shift in the highs is starting to get my hopes up that Fall will be coming sooner rather than later. 

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. 

Icing my Back — July 6, 2017

Icing my Back

Hey Everyone!

I have no idea how idea how I did it, but sometime Saturday evening I strained my back, and by the time I woke up Sunday morning, I was in a lot of pain and had a hard time moving. It is now Thursday, and I am still a bit sore, and it is still a bit more difficult than usual to get around, but I am doing a lot better than I was on Sunday. I am finally able to sit for longer periods, and it is easier to get up from sitting. I have also not taken any pain relievers since Tuesday. I have been able to manage the pain without meds, with alternating positions and icing my back for short periods of time. I am really just trying to let my body heal naturally and on it’s own without much in the way of pain reliever meds. I took some the first couple days because it hurt to do much of anything and I had a couple of events to go to. Now that I can just chill at home, I am going without meds. I don’t want to do more harm to my internal organs than I have to. 

While I have kind of been out of commission the last few days, I have been working on trying to get a pair of socks finished. 

It has also been easier to stay home, where there is air conditioning, especially since yesterday got up to 94 degrees. 

I know I have talked about it in previous posts, about living a simpler life away from the rat race of the city. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to live so far from the city that I can’t make a day trip out of coming into the city and going shopping. For me, there is more to life than being dictated by traffic, and every time I look out the windows, that there are houses, concrete and pavement everywhere. In the city, you deal with more pollution, traffic and such. While I don’t really want to live off grid, or go without electricity, and internet, as long as I have indoor plumbing that is safe and works, as well as AC in the summer, and have fast enough internet to blog, I am more about growing and raising my own food, the way the Woods and hay smells on a hot summer day, or watching the snow fall on the fir trees in the winter. 

Homemaking, blogging, purposeful living, living on purpose, raising as much of my own food as possible and preserving it is my dream life. I am all about working with my hands and being self sufficient, and I am not a fan of having to be reliant on grocery stores to supply 98% of the food that I eat, that I don’t know where it comes from, or how it was raised. I know that in many ways I am spoiled by getting to live in the part of the country that I do, and I have so much in the way of diy, homesteading, and grow your own food resources at my fingertips, that I want to be able to avail myself of them, and live the life I have been dreaming of for years, and sharing it all with you. 

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.