Category: History

The Seasons of Change

Hey Everyone!

Not only did winter start Thursday morning, but life is changing.

The past few months I have been working a seasonal job in retail. The season for where I work is wrapping up this weekend, and yesterday morning was my last shift. I am not really sad or shocked, I knew it was coming from the time I started.

My 20’s are also quickly coming to and end. I only have a little over a week left of being in my 20’s.

So there is a lot of changes that have been happening, and more coming up.

Looking over back over the past year, and the past decade, I have definitely learned a lot about life, who I am, and what I am supposed to be doing with my life. I have definitely learned a lot about what I am capable of achieving and that failing is a part of life. Often times you just have to pick yourself back up and try something else. At some point (or several) along the way you will figure out your strengths and what you are passionate about. For me personally, I love knitting, I love homemaking (which includes cooking and baking from scratch as well as canning), I love being outdoors and close to nature. I like supporting and buying local, and knowing where my food and clothing comes from. I want to get back to the land, and raise a lot of my own food, and reduce my dependence on the supermarkets, and keep that to only what I can’t feasibly do for myself.

Living a more self sustainable, self reliant (i.e. Homesteader) kind of life is definitely the dream / goal I am working toward.

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UrbEx and Knitting

Hey Everyone!

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.

 

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.

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

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.

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. 

Learning to live a simpler lifestyle

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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. 

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. 

Memorial Day Weekend 

Hey Everyone!

It was an eventful yet uneventful weekend. 

Saturday, had been the hottest day of the weekend, and the day I had spent the most time outside. Going out to Sauvie Island and seeing the Bybee – Howell house, I was way to hot, and rather miserable in the heat. 75 degrees Fahrenheit (Roughly 24 degrees Celsius), is my upper limit before I really start not feeling well. 

Having gone out to Sauvie Island on Saturday, I saw this cool looking old farm house, the property which it sits on has been turned into a territorial park, so I was able to stop and check it out. 

The Bybee – Howell House (the old farmhouse you see not log after you come across the Sauvie Island bridge) was built in 1856, and the original owner was one of the first Multnomah County Commissioners. In the back remains what is left of the Orchard that had been planted there at one point. There are plenty of big, old trees that provide much needed shade. There would have also been plenty of room to have a big garden, as well as chickens (layers and ones for food), as well as other farm animals to be raised for food. Other than the traffic going by on the road, it was really peaceful, and it was away from the bulk of the city noise. The birds were chirping, and it really was the kind of area I would love to live. Not necessarily on Sauvie Island, but someplace that isn’t in the middle of the big city, and doesn’t have a ton of traffic. 

Sunday, my mom and I had made rhubarb pie and mixed berry freezer jam.

Monday, I had done some cleaning. The weather was definitely had been cooler than Saturday. 

Today feels like a Monday even though it is Tuesday, because of the long weekend. Today has been rainy and cool, which has amazing. It is not quite 40 degrees cooler than it was on Saturday, and my allergies are doing a lot better today. 

Today has definitely been an indoor knitting while drinking tea and watching movies kind of day. For which I am thankful. 

You can put the Country Girl in the City, but……

Hey Everyone!

Anyone else feel like they are living in the wrong era?

Yeah, I definitely feel like I was born about 60 years too late. 

The past few years I have definitely not been thrilled to be living in the city again. I miss the slower pace of small town life, where I didn’t have cable tv, Hulu Plus or Netflix, and had slower internet, that was fast enough to occasionally watch some YouTube and keep up with the basics like email, Facebook, and studying. I love having some tv shows on DVD, to watch in the morning while I eat breakfast or in the evening while I ate dinner. I also miss being busy enough that I didn’t get bored easily. Between having a good book to read or some knitting to work on, and some music to listen to, life was good. 

Playing board games with my friends, or while at the beach, watching the sunset over the ocean, then sitting around a campfire, with a nice cup of tea, making S’mores, and having a good conversation, was the best. 

Living in the city, I have felt that in order to have fun, you have to spend money. Spending money on going out to eat, then to go to a movie or going shopping. Living in a small town, it isn’t that expensive to pay for gas to get from where you live to Main Street (as it is usually 5 – 10 minutes away, and the bigger town in the county was only 9 miles away). It wasn’t hard to run from the town I lived in, to the county seat – 9 miles away to meet up with friends for coffee, or to go to the larger grocery store.

Here in the city, one of my former work locations is about 7.5 miles from where I live, on a good day with light traffic and the lights in my favor take about 30 minutes (on a bad commute day would take a good 45 minutes to an hour). Where I lived in college, to get from where I lived junior and senior year, to the Safeway store that was roughly 10 miles away, took between 15 & 20 minutes depending on the lights in town. Driving 2 lane country roads with a speed limit of 55 outside of city limits was great.

Living in a small town, I spent more time reading books, meeting up with friends for coffee, or having friends over for a movie night, or going on adventures. I did watch some TV on DVD, primarily during meals, but I spent more time doing other things to keep busy, that weren’t just vegging out in front of a screen. Most of my screen time was in the form of sitting on the computer doing homework, or writing papers. 

Granted, now, living on my own, and working, I would still be doing a lot more reading, as well as canning, baking and cooking, and doing some entertaining. I would rather grill up some meat for dinner and have friends over, and in the summer, enjoy a summer evening outside and maybe have a fire in the fire pit, and enjoy having conversations. 

Living a more frugal and purpose driven life is definitely something I am working on. These days, even if you go for dinner and a movie, or even on the frugal end, a matinee movie and a meal, if you include tip and cost of gas or fare for public transit, that is a good $30 blown per person on the cheap end. Where as, even staying in to have a movie night or grilling out, is definitely more frugal. 

It has honestly been about 2 years since the last time I saw a film in the theaters. The last film I saw was Tomorrowland. I had gone up to Seattle for a weekend, and one of my friends and I went out for dinner and then went to the cheap theater and saw tomorrowland. Besides the cost, the reason I prefer not seeing films in the theater, really has been the fact that I would just as soon watch a movie at home, on my comfy couch, in my comfy clothes, without being surrounded by other people. Especially with ITunes rentals, it is reasonable to rent a movie, and watch it on my computer.

To me anyway, there is more to life than wasting money on something that really isn’t meaningful, and only occupies your time for a few short hours and then you are left with really nothing to show for it, and no real lasting memories of it. Time spent with friends, or reading a book are more enjoyable to me.