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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Going to the Mall for the first time in Months — October 11, 2017

Going to the Mall for the first time in Months

Hey Everyone!

Today was another one of those kind of crazy days. At least this time I got a little sleep before going out and about for a bit. I also ran errands on a day where I don’t have to be up later in the evening to work again that night, as I have tonight / tomorrow morning off.

My errands included stopping by the store where I work to purchase the last couple ornaments I had been eyeing for the past week or so, as well as a stocking.

While working my department yesterday morning, we had gotten these journals in, and I was like “oohhh, I need to get me one of those”, so I got that as well.

When you work at a store that carries Christmas ornaments this time of year, and they give you a discount on pretty much everything in the store, you shop ornaments and decorations while the picking is still good. I wanted to make sure I purchased one of each of the ornaments and decorations really liked to add to my small, yet growing collection of Christmas decorations before they sold out and we were not going to be getting anymore in.

What I have noticed, at least with the store I work at, that different holidays come out super early (we were getting our first Christmas stuff in Mid-September and by late September we were starting to wind down Halloween, and now by not quite mid October, Halloween and autumn/Thanksgiving are being phased out and shrinking the area the are in as the stock on hand is dwindling. We aren’t getting much if any new fall and Halloween stuff in. That is why I wanted to get what I liked for Christmas early on in the season even though Christmas is still more than two months away, and neither Halloween nor American Thanksgiving have occurred yet.

While I was out in the area of my work, since it is next to a mall, I had wandered around the mall for a bit and stopped by yankee candle and had picked up a couple candles (since it was buy one get one free for the size I bought). I got two of the apple pumpkin scent candles as the scent kind of reminds me of Scentsy’s Apple S’mores.

On the rare occasion I go to the mall (I hadn’t been to a mall in a few months), the mall I was at today is not the one I usually frequent, I just stopped there because my work is there, and I know how my store is laid out, so I am more comfortable shopping at the store I work at. I really wasn’t impressed with this mall.

After my foray to the mall, I stopped at New Seasons to pick up some of my favorite Smith Teamaker Tea – no. 47 – Bungalow.

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.

Busy Tuesday — October 3, 2017

Busy Tuesday

Hey Everyone!

This morning I worked my normal shift at work, then afterwards the crazy busyness ensued. Afterward, I came home got food, showered and got ready for an interview (for a second job), and went to said interview.

My day really didn’t end there, I also had some errands to run. By the time I got done running around town, dealing with things like going to the bank, getting bills paid, and a couple fun errands like picking up some Christmas decorations since I could get them with my employee discount, and got new earrings that I can just leave in and not have to take out to shower or sleep, it was a busy day.

By the time I got home and got food, and went to bed for the day, it was a little after 2 pm.

Now I am up again and need to start getting ready for work again.

I should hopefully hear back on the second job by the end of the week.

That is one thing I never really missed about the city while I lived in a small town, how busy running around town a day could be. I really didn’t miss the hustle and bustle of the city. Sometimes even now that I have been back for years it still is overwhelming.

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. 

Fall is Coming!  — August 19, 2017

Fall is Coming! 

Hey Everyone! 

The past few days especially, I have been noticing that we, here in Portland have entered into the transition from summer to fall. It has begun to cool off, especially at night. It has been cooling off fast once the sun starts going down. 

The light has started to change as well, the tilt of the earth has changed the past couple weeks. The shadows are different during the day.

I have also noticed that the air is starting to smell more like fall. Fall has its own distinct scent. It’s not completely there yet to the full fledged fall scent yet, but the hints are there. It also doesn’t smell like the height of summer either. 

Each season has its own look, feel, and smell. Soon, I will have to break out the Apple S’mores and Pumpkin Roll Scentsy Bars full time for a few weeks. 

I am so ready to have my own place and be able to decorate it the way I want, as I have a good collection of fall decorations started. 

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. 

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.