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 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. 

Breaking out of the Insulated Bubble — July 11, 2017

Breaking out of the Insulated Bubble

Hey Everyone!

I know I have talked about wanting to move away from the City, and if I have the opportunity I would. At the same time, in exploring other parts of Portland I have found other neighborhoods that feel like home. The neighborhoods that feel more like home for me are the neighborhoods that were traditionally working class family neighborhoods from the mid 1940’s –  1960’s. I know I had a very insulated childhood in a nice neighborhood, and lived a different kind of life than I prefer to live now. As a kid I was very mainstream yet insulted life. Choosing to live more a life that is based on eating more naturally, knowing where my food comes from, how it was raised / grown, and all in all a more Portland lifestyle has been something that didn’t happen over night. The seeds were planted and started taking root while I was in college. It took off after I developed food intolerances. It doesn’t help that our food has been changed and altered so much since my grandparents were raising my parents. 

Looking back at the past few years I can see how much I have changed, and I finally feel like I can see everything coming together and the direction I am supposed to be going. 

I had an interview today for a job I feel would be a good fit for me, and something I would excel at. I have to wait a few days to find out if I get it out not. 

Longing for Autumn  — June 13, 2017

Longing for Autumn 

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday had been unseasonably cool, and a bit wet at times. 

It has been the perfect day to bake cookies, drink tea, warm some Apple S’mores Scentsy cubes in my Scentsy warmer, work on some knitting, and day dream about autumn and having a home of my own. 

I am still trying to find a job, so that I can do normal, boring adult things, as well as try new recipes and bake new stuff. I am also longing to have a home of my own and my own kitchen again. I do miss having my own kitchen. 

There are so many things I want to try cooking, baking and canning – just not all three to the same food item. I really want to make my own jams, jellies, preserves and syrups. I also want to can fruit and pickles. I want to be able to make more breads and try new main courses and be able to do some entertaining.

I would love to have a freezer full of fresh caught fish (various kinds of salmon, trout, cod, etc), some elk, venison, moose pork (raised on site), locally raised lamb, and chicken (that was raised on site). I know there are animal rights activists out there that are anti-hunting and anti-fishing. To all of them, I would rather have locally hunted/ locally caught meat, that I know where it came from and that it was free range, and wild in its natural habitat . Meat that comes from commercial farms that use hormones, antibiotics and have cruel and inhumane confinement where the animals are living in dirt and manure is poor quality even at best. 

Having had better quality food, as well as the whole fresh air, gorgeous scenery, and the whole less screen time (even if it means crappy internet), would totally be worth giving up the city life for. 

I long for a life of honest hard work, to have an overall better way of life. I want to grow and raise as much of my own food as possible, and what I cannot grow or raise (or feasibly do so on a non commercial level), purchase locally from those who do. 

I actually do enjoy Homemaking, and yes, I would rather be in the kitchen cooking, baking, and canning or out in the garden, weeding and picking fresh produce over sitting at a desk, in an office, any day of the week. 

Now watch, I may have to eat those words, but really, in all honesty, I would rather be a modern (ie have electricity, indoor plumbing, central heat and AC, and a modern kitchen) homesteader, than have a career in corporate America. I like being tired from a long day of physical work. 

Yesterday I had also worked a bit on my current sock that I am knitting up. I finally got the cuff done, which is making progress. That anymore seems to be what takes the longest since I do 1 x 1 ribbing. 

The weather yesterday totally had me wanting to to be autumn already, so it would be cool, overcast and wet almost everyday, or at least sunny with the high around 65, with cool crisp mornings, and a crispness to the air as the leaves are turning to the beautiful autumn colors. I so want to be able to decorate for autumn and be warming scents like Apple S’mores and Pumpkin Roll daily. 

City Living — June 6, 2017

City Living

Hey Everyone!

I am one who does love small town, but as much as you want something, some dreams aren’t supposed to become a reality, and at this point, small town life my be a happy chapter in my younger days.

Like maybe the reason I have not found a job someplace else is because there is a reason I need to stay in Portland, and that there is a job here for me somewhere. I know, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, it doesn’t make sense to me either, especially since I have spent the last 7 years feeling stuck here, and have not had much success in the job department here.

Some days I can’t imagine staying in the city, other days, there is no other place I would rather place be.

Having food intolerances, and having learned how to manage them while living in the city, would definitely complicate things for living in a small town, as I would constantly be coming to the city to get the Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free baking supplies I have grown accustomed to. Living outside of the metro area, would add the cost of gas to come to the city to go shopping. Over the last few years, I have gotten used to having several Trader Joe’s Stores, as well as New Seasons, Whole Foods, and urban Fred Meyer’s stores all within a 5 mile radius. Not to mention all the yarn and craft stores we have here. We also have my favorite bakery here in the city, as well as several locally owned tea shops and coffee roasters. Starbucks is over rated, especially when you have Dutch Bros, Human Bean, Barista, as well as Stump Town Coffee Roasters. Not to mention the fact that we have Stash Tea, Steven Smith Tea Maker, and the Tao of Tea here in the city as well.

Granted I can find a job, it’s not like I can’t go to beach, whenever I have a free day and want to take off and go. Or going back to where I went to college and seeing the friends I still have there, as it is only an hour an a half away.

Just having the easy access to Gluten Free & Dairy Free food, and having natural grocery stores near by makes living in the city worth it. With that, I would still love to have a large enough backyard to have a garden still.

Modern Homesteading — April 17, 2017

Modern Homesteading

Hey Everyone!

Over the past several years, I have been becoming more and more interested in Modern homesteading. While I am not one who whats to go completely off grid, I definitely want to get out of the city, and have at least some property, if not a full on farm.

There is a part of me that wants to live some place else, deep down, this part of the country is home, and I know what grows well here, and pretty much everything I want to grow myself or purchase from local farm stands or farm stores/cooperatives can be grown in the Pacific Northwest.

I also want to do a lot more canning/preserving and have plenty of home canned pickles, pears, peaches, applesauce, elderberry jam and syrup, black currant jam, as well as making my own strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and huckleberry freezer jam. There is so much more I also want to preserve, I just haven’t thought of it at the moment. I have the Ball complete book of home preserving, and it is full of many different things I want to at least try doing.

I also want to grow a lot of my own produce, as well as having chickens (for eggs and meat), maybe a few pigs (again for meat), and a couple goats (for “pets” and vegetation management).

I am also interested in using solar power. I know I would have to use some of the regular “on grid” electricity, especially in the winter, but in the summer I hope to use very little if any “on grid” electricity.

I am very much an outdoorsy, work with my hands, live a simpler, more old fashioned way of life kind of person. I can only handle watching so many youtube videos, movies and tv shows, before my brain and body are screaming for me to go outside, and do something.

Over the years of dealing with food intolerances has really been the biggest push toward my desire to live a more natural life. Looking at labels and reading ingredients has been a huge factor in my desire to grow and raise as much of my own food as possible, and what I can’t grow or raise myself, acquire from local farms and orchards. I am also all about cooking and baking from scratch and being a DIY’er. This is why I had created my Simple Homemaking blog and youtube channel. I wanted to document my journey of moving toward living a more natural lifestyle, and living a more natural lifestyle, and sharing it with others who are living a similar lifestyle or who are curious to see what it is all about.

I also do a lot of knitting, and that also ties in with how people used to live, and the DIY lifestyle. I love making winter accessories for myself and others.

In college my favorite subject quickly became American History, more specifically History of the American West and Gender Issues (which was my school’s version of Women’s History). I could relate to a lot of it, since I grew up on the west coast, and my family has lived west of the Mississippi River for several generations. I have ancestors who came out west on the Oregon Trail, one set of my great grandparents lived on at least one homestead if not more than one. So this part of the country, it’s history and way of live is in my blood and a huge part of who I am. It is also a part of history that is quickly being forgotten and lost, as generations don’t see it as relevant and just don’t care. There is a part of me that wants to preserve that history, culture and way of life. I still want to keep some of my modern conveniences like Electricity, modern kitchen appliances, indoor plumbing, and a washer and dryer. I do want to live more off the land and teach the younger generations about how the generations before us lived.

Future Possibilities  — April 7, 2017

Future Possibilities 

Hey Everyone! 

The past week or so has been crazy, with family coming to visit, and stuff.

Overnight a storm rolled in, which took out power to many parts of the city, so I am writing this on my phone while I am waiting for the power to come back on. 

Amid the craziness, I feel like I have a direction career wise to work toward. It does involve going back to school and getting a second bachelors degree. My first Bachelors degree wouldn’t be wasted even with getting a second one. Getting the second one would hopefully allow me to tie both together in a career and be able to use both. The second degree I am looking at pursuing, is on the surface and in many ways very different than my first bachelors degree, but those who know me would see how they would both work together in my case. Until I know for sure that I am going back to school and moving, i don’t want to talk too much about it, but I just wanted to share with you all what’s on the radar. 

While there are parts of the Portland Lifestyle and culture that I love, I have known for a good decade that big city life isn’t for me. If it works out to go back to school, I would live in a city 1/4 the size of the city I live in now, and from there I hope to move to a small town or smaller. I know it would be harder with the whole food intolerances thing, but dairy free alternatives and Bob’s Red Mill flours can all be ordered, and a garden can be grown. I would totally make it work, and it would be worth it to live in a small town, and get away from the big city. 

I would also be outdoors more and get to use all my knit wears that I have been working on for the last few years. That also would be amazing. 

Spring is Coming! — March 16, 2017

Spring is Coming!

Hey Everyone!

Spring is finally coming!

After a very wet and grey winter, and the wettest February on record, it is finally starting to feel like spring. The temperatures have finally normal for this time of year. After it being below average for a while, and having several snow and ice events back in January and early February. I am so ready for spring. 

Yesterday I had spent the day cooking and baking, today I have spent the day working on some knitting. I am also working on looking for a new job. 

I am finally getting in the last of the yarn and stuff that I had ordered before my job ended. I have been working on filming videos to put up on my YouTube channels, as well as writing several blog posts over the last few days. 

I have missed having stuff to create blog content about. I didn’t have a lot of free time to create the kind of content I love writing about, such as what knitting projects I am working on, or what kinds of tasty gluten free & dairy free food I create, as I didn’t have a lot of time to spend doing what I love and am most passionate about. Knitting, Homemaking stuff and being outdoors (hiking, adventures, exploring, etc) are what I am passionate about. We all have to eat, and having a place to call home is a must. A lot of what I knit for myself, is to make being outside in the cold weather that much more fun, and to be able to stay out longer while being comfortable. 

Life Update — March 10, 2017

Life Update

Hey Everyone!

I haven’t really talked about what I was doing for work on this blog, mostly because I didn’t really want to talk about it, and really didn’t feel that it was appropriate at the time to talk about what I was doing. From mid – November 2014 until recently I had been working for one of the local phone/internet companies as a contractor, where my title was Engineering Assistant. I was hired to help with a big project that they had going and needed help with. Now that it is wrapping up, they didn’t need as much help with it, so I am now looking for a new job.

This job had given me about 2.33 years of work experience at the same job, which is a huge deal for anyone my position, who graduated from college during the recession who had also struggled to get work experience. Each of the jobs I have held have been learning experiences, in who I am, and what I am supposed to be doing career wise with my life. While I don’t see myself having a career as an engineer or with the phone company, I don’t regret having taken this job, nor do I see it as a mistake or a bad career move. Like I previously stated, it gave me more than two years of work experience at the same job, It also gave me an income during that time, during which I was able to make some progress in paying off my student debt. It also allowed me to work on growing my personal library. I have purchased plenty of books during the past two years. It also allowed me to buy yarn, in which I have and will be able to knit up into some amazing items. It also allowed me to pay for some weekend adventures, which have been a blast.

In the course of the adventures I have been on, and being able to really get out and see more of the city I live it, and experience it, I have learned a lot about who I am and the direction my life is going in. I love this part of the country. This is my home.

I have had the opportunity to go on more hikes, and spend more time at the beach, and that has been amazing. I love hiking, it is one of those things that I will keep doing for as long as I am able to.

Over the past couple months I have been stocking up on Sock Yarn, so I can knit myself socks that are sturdier, warmer, and of a better quality than store bought socks for Hiking socks. I am all about doing as much DIY stuff as possible, and I love making hand knit goods for myself that are not only pretty, but also functional and useful to my lifestyle. I definitely love being outdoors, exploring the are around me.

My love of History, especially that of Women’s roles, and what women did throughout history, has been a passion of mine that has been thriving. Between knitting, and learning more about homemaking, cooking & baking healthy dairy free, gluten free, egg free food.

This winter was hard, normally I love winter, and I love the rainy, grey days. This winter I have been in a funk, largely due to stress. Now that we have had a few nice, semi warm (like 58 – 60 degrees Fahrenheit) and at least partly sunny, so that has helped me get out of the funk. I am doing fine now, with some sleep and a nice day.

Today, I have been working on a pair of socks I am working on, I also got a load of laundry done, as well as relaxing which is really important right now. Burn Out and negative stress are not healthy, and I am working to get back to a good place when it comes to the stress thing. I also got my resume updated, so come Monday, I can hit the ground running to find a new job as quickly as possible.