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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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.

Yep, it is definitely Autumn — September 11, 2017

Yep, it is definitely Autumn

Hey Everyone!

Even though today got up to 90, that can happen this time of year. This morning, when I went to my orientation for my new job this morning, it looked, felt, and smelled like fall. Looking out the kitchen window at 4:30 pm, and the backyard is all in shadows, the light has totally changed in the past couple weeks.

I landed a part time seasonal job, after a spring and summer without a job.

I originally wasn’t going to address the fact that today is September 11th. Then a friend’s Facebook post kind of got me thinking. This friend was only 1 when the terrorist attacks happened, so she doesn’t remember the day. Her post was along the lines that it hadn’t even been mentioned once during her school day. My thoughts were pretty much “I’m not surprised”. Before going off on me, telling me I am cold and heartless, I am not. Every person who lost their life that day, or in the years since from injuries or illnesses caused by being there, or the young men and women who lost in the years since fighting in the war brought about by these attacks, are lives that can’t be brought back, and loved ones who have and still are grieving the loss of their loved ones. I don’t want to diminish the loss they feel and have experienced.

Why I am not surprised it is being mentioned less and less, and the realization of the fact that there will come a point when there ceremonies that take place on this day around the country will no longer happen, is because it happened with after Pearl Harbor – December 7th, 1941. While there are some still alive who were alive and old enough to remember The Attack on Pearl Harbor, but those who remain who can actually remember that day, are growing older or have passed away. The same thing will happen with 9/11, as those of us who lived through it and are old enough to remember that day. It will become a chapter in a history book, and no one left to tell first hand accounts of what started off as a normal Tuesday morning in September. Just because we don’t mention it every time we have a chance on the anniversary, doesn’t mean we have have forgotten by any means, it is a sign of healing and doing what life does best, moving forward.

Moving on from Disappointment  — July 14, 2017

Moving on from Disappointment 

Hey Everyone!

I had an interview this past Tuesday, for a job that I probably would have enjoyed. I found out today that I didn’t get the job. I am trying to keep my mind off it and focus on finding a job and where I need to be. 

As much as I love this part of the country, the fact that I have struggled to find a long term job, for the past 7.5 years. So, if I can find a job elsewhere I would totally move. Portland is a tough place to find a decent job if you aren’t in IT, Engineering or Healthcare fields. 

Besides that, I went out and about for a bit this afternoon since I was tired of being stuck inside. I just drove around the city a bit. If I could find a job here, I would totally stay. At the same time, if I could find a job else where I would move, and enjoy the adventure.

After I got home, I made a batch of Raspberry & Cherry freezer jam. It turned out amazing. 


I also spent some time knitting today, working to get the pair of socks I am working on done. I am still on the first sock though. 

Ideally I would love to live either at the coast or back in the mid valley, either in a small town or near the small towns, and be within a couple hours of Portland. I am definitely more of a small town / country girl rather than a city girl. Having spent most of my life in the city, I am used to it, I would just rather be living in the country. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

It’s Rose Festival Week — June 7, 2017

It’s Rose Festival Week

Hey Everyone!

The Rose Festival is back in Portland. That means it is also Fleet Week.

The Rose Festival is one of Portland’s annual traditions that has been going on for more than a century. It is one of the big events to kick off the summer season in the City of Roses.

It starts if with City Fair (where all the rides are) and the Starlight Parade on the first Saturday evening. The Starlight Parade has floats and high school bands. The Wednesday during the Rose Festival is the Junior Rose Parade which is made up of elementary and middle school entries (including bands). The final Saturday is when the Rose Festival Queen is crowned (each of the high schools elects a princess who competes for Queen), just before the parade kicks off. The parade includes high school and adult bands, horse and float entires. All the float decorations have to be decorated with natural products (like seeds, nuts, and flowers). It is a huge event that attracts a lot of people to turn out in person to see it, as well as people tuning in and  watching it on TV.

This week, as part of the Rose Festival, it is also Fleet Week, where we have Naval, Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy ships come and dock along the water front (on the Willamette River), for a few days and during certain times can be toured.

While I was in Band in Middle School I was in the Junior Rose Parade twice. In 9th grade I was in the Grand Floral Parade (in Marching Band) and my sophomore year I had been in the Starlight Parade. Being in the grand floral Parade was a big deal, and I got to do it as a freshman. My freshman year was the last year the band from my high school (by itself) was invited to be in the Grand Floral Parade.

I had attended the Starlight parade a couple of times while I was in Middle School since my brother was in it. My brother and I were both in the high school bands the year we were in the grand floral parade.

The parades, the ships and city fair (which is like a big fair or carnival), is a really fun way to kick off the summer season and for the kids (especially the band kids), to be ending the school year on.

50 Random Facts — May 16, 2017

50 Random Facts

Hey Everyone!

I have been doing this blogging thing for a few years. I started this particular blog back in August of 2014, though I have been blogging on some level since 2011. 

I decided that it was time to do a 100 random facts about me post, for you all to get to know me a little bit better. 

  1. I gave up drinking coffee ☕️ in August of 2014
  2. I love the smell of campfires 🔥  (especially at the beach) 
  3. My favorite place to go is the Beach
  4. My favorite Disney character is Winnie the Pooh
  5. My favorite Disney Princess is Merida
  6. My favorite band / music group is Celtic Thunder (the Original 5 + Neil)
  7. My favorite piece of classical music is Rachmoninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini variation number 18
  8. My favorite film is Somewhere in Time
  9. My favorite color is royal blue
  10. My top travel destination outside of the United States 🇺🇸 is: Scotland 
  11. The state I want to visit the most that I have not visited yet is: Alaska
  12. I like a good cup of tea ☕️ 
  13. I am left handed
  14. In College I majored in Social Science (my focus area was U.S. History)
  15. In college I minored in Literature 
  16. I spent my first 5 terms of college as an early childhood / elementary education major
  17. I love being outdoors 
  18. I enjoy hiking
  19. I was in band in grades 7 – 10
  20. I did choir in 11th grade, as well as several terms while in College
  21. I went to Florida when I was 13 with my family
  22. I attended a Marine Corps boot camp graduation when I was 15
  23. I went to Hawaii when I was 19 with my family
  24. I went to New York on my own when I was 23
  25. I was still an Infant, the first time I went to Canada 🇨🇦 
  26. I love overcast, cool, rainy days
  27. I enjoy knitting
  28. I enjoy reading books
  29. My favorite TV show has been Grimm
  30. I know how to can (aka preservation food in glass jars for later consumption)
  31. The one dairy item I miss the most now that I have to be dairy free is Cheese. Tillamook Cheese 🧀 is the best. 
  32. I enjoy exploring historical sites
  33. My favorite season is autumn 
  34. I love architecture. 
  35. If I am going out to eat, my top choice is typically a Lebanese or Greek restaurant 
  36. I call the Willamette Valley home 
  37. My favorite author is Robin Jones Gunn
  38. My favorite board game is Scrabble 
  39. My favorite animal is the bottle nose dolphin 🐬 
  40. I enjoy watching Period Dramas (Downton Abbey, Lark Rise to Candleford, Dr Quinn Medicine Woman, etc)
  41. My favorite musical is the Sound of Music
  42. My favorite flower 🌺 is Plumeria 
  43. My favorite fruit is: Cherries 🍒 
  44. Favorite dessert: the gluten free vegan lemon lavender poppyseed cupcakes from my favorite bakery
  45. I got to see The Phantom of the Opera when the traveling show was here in Portland 
  46. I went to Public School for K – 12
  47. I was the first of my friends to get my drivers license 
  48. Of all the yarns I have worked with, the Todd and Duncan Cashmere was my favorite.
  49. I worked at a knitting studio for a few months
  50. I love exploring old ghost towns
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.