Category: Culture

The City is Calling

Hey Everyone!

For me, this is crazy. For the past 8+ years I have always been like “I want to live in the country, I hate the city”. It’s still true that I want to live a simpler life, that is less materialistic and I still want a garden and do more in the way of Urban Homesteading. Most of all I want to get away from the neighborhood I grew up in. It’s not that it’s a bad neighborhood, it is really a good neighborhood, I want to get away from it mainly because it’s rather ritzy for my taste. I prefer the working class and lower middle class neighborhoods that are still safe. I really like the houses built between the 1920’s and the 1950’s.

Today I had gone out. Today has been the coolest day we have had in over a week, and I was ready to get out and enjoy it. I went exploring some different neighborhoods in the city. There are definitely a couple that I like. One area I like is technically in 4 or 5 “neighborhoods”, but it is kind of centralized around a certain area that is made up of different corners on the edges of these five neighborhoods. The other is near one of the main “hipster” eclectic hot spots in the city, but has more of the style of houses I like and is near good grocery shopping and decent schools.

There is so much I would miss if I moved too far from Portland, like Bob’s Red Mill, the Gluten Free Vegan Bakery I like to go to, all the great tea shops here, I would also miss the occasional trip to New Seasons, Market of Choice, and Trader Joe’s (they have the best price on nuts 🥜).

In the near future I am definitely wanting to go check out the Portland Nursery, to get a feel for what they have in stock.

When I was younger I wasn’t that adventurous, but as I have gotten older (with the help of going to college and then going to New York on my own at 23, as well as having jobs in different parts of the city), I was pushed out of my comfort zone to the point where I don’t left fear and doubt stand in my way of exploring and getting out of my comfort zone.

I should also mention the fact that the city has the best internet speeds, which is a good thing, for where I want to take my blog as well as making videos.

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Here comes the Sun

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Sitting here, at just after 8:30 pm, it is 78 degrees with 45% humidity. While that isn’t bad compared to the Midwest or East Coast.

I have been to both New York (City and Long Island) as well as Missouri both in the summer months. Even in my late teens and early 20’s, before being so heat sensitive, the heat + humidity combo was rough.

That being said, I have spent a fair amount of time working on my knitting projects. I had finished my pair of Finnley Heather Palette socks.

And I am trying to finish up my Hollyberry Stroll socks.

This past week I also finished up watching the fourth season of The Blacklist. Yes I know I am a season behind, as I am watching them as they come out on DVD. I also finished up the first season of Homefires, which is a British TV show set in the early part of World War Two. It’s fictional storyline centers around one (fictional) town in England and what was going on in England between 1938 and 1940 (Pre Pearl Harbor and the Americans entering the war).

Of late, my favorite shows that are still airing are predominantly British period Dramas. The three shows that are currently airing that I am watching and following are: The Blacklist (with season 6 confirmed), Call the Midwife (Season 8 is filming, and seasons 9 & 10 were ordered along with season 8), and Poldark (season 4 is airing and season 5 is rumored). Anymore, it seems like the Brit’s are consistently coming out with the better TV shows. It seems like once every few years a new American made show comes out and lasts more than a season. In the past 8 years only Grimm and The Blacklist have lasted more than a couple of seasons. There have been a few three season or less shows that were good. These were: Forever, The Mysteries of Laura, Body of Proof and Smash. NCIS and Blue Bloods I watch occasionally, but they aren’t must watch shows for me.

Rainy, Cool Grand Floral Parade

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I am sitting here at home, watching the Grand Floral Parade on the TV.

The day of the Grand Floral Parade typically takes one of two paths, it’s usually either cool and wet or super sunny and hot. Today is one of those cool and wet.

The Grand Floral Parade is the final parade of three that take place over the course of a week during the Portland Rose Festival.

The Rose Festival Parades are a part of where I live, I have grown up watching them, as well as being in them while I was in school. I was in the Jr Rose Parade in 7th and 8th grade. In 9th grade, I was in the Grand Floral Parade, and in 10th Grade I was in the Star Light Parade. All while doing Marching Band.

I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning, than watching the Grand Floral Parade on the TV, drinking tea and knitting.

Where My Heart is At.

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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).

 

UrbEx and Knitting

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This weekend was pretty low key. Friday afternoon once I got up from sleeping after I had worked that morning, I baked some gluten free and dairy free brownies. The rest of the weekend I pretty much spent watching youtube videos (especially Urban Exploration videos) and working on my knitting projects.

I spent time working on one of my triangle shawls as well as working on the sock I currently have on my needles.

The past couple of weeks have been incredibly busy, and this weekend I just needed to lay low and relax.

Currently my favorite UrbEx channel is the Proper People. I also used to watch The Unknown Cameraman, but the last video he uploaded on Youtube was uploaded 8 months ago.

I am not one of those people who is brave enough / has the guts to go urban exploring, though I do enjoy watching the videos that some of the people who do go Urban Exploring make of their adventures. Don’t get me wrong I love creepy, old, no longer used / abandoned places, though I tend to stick to places like Fort Stevens (where exploration is encouraged) to get my abandoned places fix in person. The kind of abandoned places I find interesting are the ones that have history (like old forts, prisons, churches, train stations, schools, mansions, and ghost towns). I love old buildings, and I definitely enjoy exploring these kinds of places that have been restored / maintained and are open to the public for the purpose of exploring and learning about the history / way of life there back when it was open or a going concern.

I have loved learning about how live was lived during different time periods in U.S. History, and in different parts of the country (though History of the American West is still my favorite), as well as different parts of the world. For me, History is so much more than just names, dates, wars and military events. I am more interested in what every day life was like, especially for the women and children.

 

Making Gallons of Hot Cocoa

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Hanging out in the Kitchen is one of my favorite places to be. This year I have been helping my mom again in the kitchen at the church, to make hot cocoa for the annual Christmas event that takes place a weekend in early December.

Friday night we made 51 batches of mix which equates to 63.75 gallons of cocoa. We had a bit leftover so we put it in the cooler for tonight. In addition to that, we made an additional 45 bags of cocoa which equates to 56.25 gallons of cocoa Saturday night. So far this weekend my mom and I have made 120 gallons of cocoa. We still have one night left.

This time of year always gets so busy, and crazy. Most years any more I have to remind myself that there is more to life than the rampant consumerism that is pushed down our throats. I try to remind myself that Christmas is more than just the material and monetary gifts, rather what we can do for others.

Autumn in Portland

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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.

Time is Flying

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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

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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 

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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.