Category: Knitting

There Comes a Point in Life

Hey Everyone!

Today I really wanted to make brownies today. I made gluten free vegan cherry brownies.

I have also been rewatching Grimm and working on my knitting. Between Grimm and a short stretch of cooler weather is making me Autumn to be here so bad.

Grimm has been one of my favorite shows since it started back in 2011. I own all 6 seasons on DVD, so I am rewatching it from the beginning. It reminds me of Fall and Winter because most of of it aired during fall and winter. There are also scenes that were filmed during fall, which is my favorite season.

A few of scenes from the first episode of the first season were filmed not far from where I grew up.

When the weather cools off a bit I want to get out hiking again. While it is hot, I am trying to get socks finished and ready for cold weather and hiking. This past week I picked out the yarn I intend to use to knit up the next twelve pairs of socks, once I finish up the two pairs I have going.

The past few days I have been out exploring the city a bit, and kind of getting a feel for other parts of the city. There are areas, that I could see myself settling down in, granted I could find a good job. That is the crazy thing. For so long I have been trying to leave, because where I am at right now isn’t working for me. Now, there is a part me me, that if I could find a job here, and move to one of these areas I have fallen in love with, that is more me and the kind of life I want to live, I would stay.

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Pioneer Girl

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The story of my life this week has pretty much been knitting, working outside in the garden and reading in the evenings.

I have typically been going out in the late afternoon / early evening to check on the raspberries and the other plants in the garden area we have. I got the lettuce planted earlier in the week, and it seems to be taking really well. I prefer going out a little later, while the sun is still up so I am not out in the heat of the day, especially on the hot days. This week in and of its self has not been too bad to be outside working around.

With what little gardening I am doing where I am at, it is giving me a little taste of what gardening is like, and it is making me want a place of my own with some acreage, so I can have a nice big fruit and vegetable garden in the backyard, a flower garden out front. I would love nothing more than to have fresh homegrown organic berries and vegetables all summer long.

This evening my mom and I had gone for a walk, so I got even more fresh air and time outside in the lovely summer evening breeze. If all summer evenings were like this evening, I would actually enjoy summer. I would enjoy spending part of my day outside in the garden, as well as time inside cooking, baking and using the fruit and vegetables that I brought in from the garden in the evening meal for that day.

As much as the raspberry bushes scratch up my arms and hands, and it does get hot working around outside, the one thing that really gets me are the mosquito bites. Not only are they itchy and annoying, but they also carry the possibility of disease. I am not really a fan of mosquito repellant, the last time I used any was like twelve years ago when I had gone to Missouri. I have taken to wearing a long sleeve shirt and an old pair of jeans to help protect my arms and legs from getting all scratched up from the raspberry bushes, mosquito bites and from getting sunburned. I would rather be a bit hot than deal with the other three.

Earlier this week I started wearing my Carhartt baseball cap when I went out go garden earlier in the week, to help keep the sun out of my eyes and to keep the part in my hair from getting sunburned. Today I actually put sunblock on my face, chest, and arms since I had noticed that I had gotten a bit of sun on my chest yesterday and it was a bit red. While I love being outside and getting fresh air, I am also trying to protect my skin from sun damage.

Making my own citronella candles to have burning while I am out working in the yard and garden is totally on my homesteading bucket list. My homesteading bucket list also includes things like baking my own bread at least weekly, making my own sourdough bread and rolls from scratch, making my own rosemary potato rolls from scratch, raising chickens (both laying hens as well as chickens for eating), having a freezer full of fish and meat (like venison, moose, elk and such) preceding each winter. I would also love to have a cold room full of home canned fruit, green beans, tomato sauce.

Why do it myself when they have all of that at the grocery store? let me tell you something, when it comes to things like canned fruit and store bought baked goods, the store bought has nothing on the flavor of home canned. Yes, it is a lot of work but is part of the point. I have always loved home canned peaches, pears, cherries, garlic dill pickles, as well as homemade bread, cookies and homemade food in general. It is also better for you. I also love being tired at the end of the day after working hard throughout the day.

I am also one of those people who likes knowing where my food comes from and seeing where my food was raised or grown. That is one of the many things I like about living in the Pacific Northwest, we have the right kind of climate that is perfect for growing everything I like to eat, and if it isn’t grown in the state, it is grown in one of the neighboring states. I am all about supporting local as much as possible.

I do appreciate living in the 21st century for many reasons, food quality and dependence on a grocery store are not two of them. I have heard and read the stories about my great grandmothers and grandmothers and all they did from scratch. One set of my great-grandparents were homesteaders for awhile, while they were raising many of their nine children, and I know that another of my great grandmother’s was an avid gardener, so I come by it naturally. I also grew up learning how to can and make somethings from scratch. I have loved working outside, growing things in the ground, playing with dirt, getting dirty, doing things like gardening, fishing, canning, cooking and baking from scratch ever since I was a little girl.

Being able to be self-sufficient and know how to live off the land, and do what used to be simple things, like making a meal completely from scratch, for many in my generation seems like a lost art when it was the norm in the past century. I would love nothing more than to expand on what I already know, and then share what I know with others who are interested in it, but don’t really know where or how to get started.

 

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.

It Rained on the Parade

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This weekend was pretty wet, with fairly consistent showers through out. Some were much heavier than others.

It even rained on the Grand Floral Parade. Saturday and Sunday were in the low to mid 50’s for highs.

This allergy season has also been particularly bad. I had been trying to make due without taking allergy medicine, but I have finally started taking some allergy medicine to try and help relieve some of my symptoms.

I had gone out earlier to pick up allergy meds, I got the store brand of Claritin, the active ingredient of which, is: loratadine.

While I was out, I went for a bit of a drive, and went out to Estacada, and then from there I went up into the foothills of the cascades. I love it out there. I am for sure an outdoorsy girl, who loves the mountains and the ocean. I had to pick one to live in / by I would have to choose the mountains, but stay close enough to the ocean to go visit.

Even with having lived in this part of the country, while on one level I do take the mountains for granted, I still love seeing them. Every time I see Mt. Hood, I am still like “wow, it’s beautiful”, even in the dead of summer when it is more grey than white and needs snow.

I can only speak for where I am, but the mountains, and how they look vary so much between the seasons that they are dynamic rather than stagnant.

It’s kind of crazy that from this past weekend to the middle of next week there is supposed to be about a 40 degree spread in our highs. One of the days this weekend really didn’t get above 53, and next week is supposed to be in the low to mid 90’s.

It look like next week will be a great time to wash socks and the shawl I have done. Now I just need to get the two pairs of socks I am knitting up out of KnitPicks yarn done. I am working on the second socks of both pairs. One is closer to being done, but if I keep working on them, I should have them done before we see 90 degree temperatures.

Anyone who know me, knows I don’t do heat, and that when it starts getting over 75, I am staying inside with the AC, only going out to check any of my socks that I washed.

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.

Tea Time in the City!

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I had just been at the Smith Teamaker a few days ago, like last Thursday. But I couldn’t stay away that long considering one of my mom’s first cousins is in town and wanted to go.

She and I had gone for tea, and had a nice afternoon chatting while we had tea. We share English ancestry, as well as the fact that I am also part Scottish has a lot to do why why I can drink tea any time anywhere.

Now that I have had about a week of crazy busy, on the go, taking the city by storm, days I am ready to settle back into life and knitting. I definitely want to get the socks I have been working on for what feels like ages done. I am ready to have a ton of socks ready to wash whenever it is so hot outside that they will dry in a couple of hours and I can get more than one round washed and dried in a day. A round for me is four pairs since I have four sets of sock blockers. Now I have more than enough tea on had to plenty of tea choices to make and sip on while I knit.

Before picking up my cousin to go get tea, I had run a couple errands to pick up a few last things and something I had kept pushing off because I didn’t want to bother picking it up. I had gone to Fred Meyer first, but didn’t find what I was looking for, so I ended up at BiMart at well, and found what I was looking for. I was looking for a plastic wash tub, you know like the ones you would use for dishes. I hadn’t found anything like it at Fred Meyer, but I found what I was looking for at BiMart. I have been needing to get one for when I get around to washing shawls. I really don’t want to wash them straight in the sink, I want that tub as a middle layer between my nice shawls and the sink. While I was at Fred Meyer I had grabbed a 10qt bucket (it was $2), just in case I couldn’t find the tub, so now I have both, and am saving the bucket for when I get a place of my own. A bucket is a useful thing.

The city does have its advantages and variety, as well as a better selection. That abundance can and often is overwhelming. This is part of why I would prefer to be living outside of urban sprawl of the city, yet close enough to come in and pick up those items I want / need that I can’t get in the near by town, yet the nearby town has the basics.

The Successful Search for Roses!

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Following up on my post from Yesterday, I went out and found roses today. I went to 2/3 places I know have Rose Gardens here in the city. The third place will have to wait for another day.

By the time I got up the International Rose Test Garden, parked my car, paid for parking and walked back up to the Rose Gardens it was going on Noon. I was also amazed at how many people were up there today. It’s a Thursday, and not even all that “nice” weather wise, in the mid-50’s, overcast and trying to rain. I guess that is Portland for you. There were also field trips going on up there. I didn’t let that deter me from going, and getting pictures.

There are more pictures up on my Facebook Page, as well as some of the best are up on my Instagram, so you should be following on those as well if you are wanting to see more pictures 😀.

Once I was done at the Washington Park Rose Gardens, I ran up to NW Portland and got some tea (it was like a 15 minute trip), and from there I went over to North Portland and went to the Peninsula Park Rose Garden.

From where I was in North Portland, my favorite bakery was less than 10 minutes away, so I stopped there on my way home and picked up a couple gluten free / vegan Lemon Lavender Poppyseed Cupcakes.

All this running around the city, using multiple freeways to get from one place to another, sitting in traffic and being gone for hours at a time, with each place miles from the next, reminds me why I want to keep my time spent in the city to a minimum. It’s fun on occasion to come into the city to go do something, but the whole living here, city mentality and lifestyle wore off long ago when I realized that I am a country girl at heart, and I want to be able to live that lifestyle. Part of why I have been wanting to explore these Rose Gardens is so that I can get ideas, so one day, when I have the property and room to have a Rose Garden of my own, I have a better idea of the types of Roses I want to grow in my own garden.

My Predictions for this Summer

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If this May is any indication of what this coming summer is going to be like, it is going to be a long, hot, dry summer. We have already had many 80 degree days and a couple 90 degree days and summer hasn’t even started yet. At this rate, I will have plenty of days where it will be hot enough to easily dry my handknit socks in a short amount of time. Now, I just need to work on getting more socks knit up. I have the yarn, I just need to turn the balls of yarn into wearable socks.

I have wondered if the fact that I was a winter baby has something to with the fact that I don’t tolerate the summer heat that well. It’s not that I don’t like summer, because I like the whole, it’s warm enough to sit outside on a summer evening and have a campfire thing and all the summer produce. I just can’t stand the heat. I would just as soon live at the coast or in SE Alaska. Autumn is my favorite season, as I love the changing colors and the fact that the temperatures are cooling off. I love the sights and smells. Autumn is when there are pumpkin patches, and apple harvest season and the leaves are changing colors, and it’s time to start pulling out the jackets and cooler weather clothes.

While I am hoping to get as many pairs of socks done as I can this summer, I am also hoping to be able to read through the Outlander series. I have read the first two books, but I had gotten away from reading for a bit so I am going back and rereading these two books before I move on to the third.  There are eight books that are published, and a ninth that is expected to be published. I have the eight that are published, and I have plenty to read in the meantime until the ninth comes out. I also have the Game of Thrones books to read, well at least the books that are published anyway. I also have several other books that I have sitting waiting to be read. I haven’t watched any of the Game of Thrones seasons on TV, I have seen the first season of Outlander. I prefer reading the books before watching the TV Shows / Movies that they are based on. There are five Game of Thrones books out, with two more (at least) expected. I have the five that are published.

While I enjoy watching TV Shows, Youtube videos and documentaries while I work on my various knitting projects, I love reading books. I really didn’t like reading while I was in Elementary School. Once I got to Middle School (grades 6 – 9), it was like a switch flipped and I couldn’t stop reading. In High School, I was bored with most of my English classes, as I found that most of the books that we were forced to read to be boring. It wasn’t that I didn’t like reading, I just didn’t like the required reading material. During my time attending University, I had started out as an Early Childhood / Elementary Education major (yeah, that lasted all of five terms), then I switched my major to Social Science with a minor in Literature. I loved minoring in Literature. There were terms that were tough to get through all the books, in addition to my other course loads, and there was at least one term, by about midterms that I was so far behind in the readings, by the end of the term I was about where we were at midterms, and there was one book I didn’t even start. I still have most of my books from my upper-division literature classes packed away in my book box. I look forward to the day when I can have a wall of bookshelves and have all my books out and be able to read any of the books I own without most of them being packed away in boxes.

There is nothing like curling up on a cold, rainy day with a nice hot cup of tea and a good book and getting lost in the story. There have been nights where I have stayed up past 4 am in the morning, reading a book cover to cover. There was one term while I was in College, that once the term had ended, I had started a book the evening after my last final and I finished reading the book as the sun was coming up the next morning before going to bed after the sun was coming up.

I am not quite the book – nerd that a couple of my cousins are, but that doesn’t mean I love reading any less.

 

Getting Lost in My Own City

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Today, after dropping off my parents ballots at the library I decided to run back up to the tea shop I went to last week, to buy some more tea. Yeah, I know, I just bought tea. Here’s the thing, Good Tea, yarn and good books are essentials in my life. I drink enough tea that I will have no problem drinking this tea before it expires.

I had noticed that traffic going southbound on Naito was slow at several points while I was heading north to the tea shop, so I knew I would be taking another way back. After I got done at the tea shop I plugged the info I needed into Google Maps to get me home, and let’s just say, between taking a wrong exit and missing a turn I took the very scenic way home, while spending a lot of time I wouldn’t have otherwise spent on the west side of Town (and by town I mean city).

I had picked up another box of the bungalow tea that I like, and I also picked up a box of the Portland Breakfast tea that I tried the last time I had gone to the shop and really liked.

Yesterday and today have turned out to be scorchers. Yesterday hit 90 degrees and today is in the upper 80’s. This is typical summer, and even then anything above 86 is hot even for summer in this part of the country.

Since today has turned out to be nearly as hot at it was yesterday, and I had a couple pairs of socks I had finished knitting up, I am taking advantage of the heat and I washed them. They are now hanging out on the line to dry.

The rest of my day is shaping up to be at home in the air conditioning. I have the last episode of season 7 of Call the Midwife to watch and more knitting to work on, in addition to the dinner my mom wanted for Mother’s Day (while that was yesterday, she was ok with me cooking it today).

Tea Makes Everything Better!

Hey Everyone!

Today has been a somewhat chilly, but not cold, and overcast spring day.

I have been wanting some more Steven Smith Teamaker Bungalow Tea for a while. I have also been wanting to try the Portland Breakfast Tea as well. That being said, it was the perfect day to drive over to Northwest Portland, to the Pearl District and go to the Steven Smith Teamaker Teahouse. I picked up a box of Bungalow Tea, and got a to go cup of the Portland Breakfast Tea to try. I hadn’t ever had the Portland Breakfast Tea before, so before spending money on a box of tea (and these boxes aren’t cheap), only to have a cup and and not like it, especially at places like Smith Teamaker, I prefer to order a cup of tea to go of whatever I want to try. Then if I don’t like it, I’m only out that one cup and don’t have 14 more teabags sitting around potentially going unused. Beings that I liked the Portland Breakfast Tea, I will likely pick up a box the next time I go to Smith Teamaker.

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Driving 8+ miles through the heart of the city, from SE Portland to the Pearl District in NW Portland, just to get tea, sounds crazy to some, and daunting to others. I am trying to enjoy it and take advantage of the fact that I still live here, while, you know, I still live here. Portland does have quite a few great independent and locally owned tea shops that do their own tea blending and packaging (and sales) right here in the Portland Metro area. Portland also has it’s own fair share of locally owned and operated coffee roasters for those who like coffee. There are also still a handful of locally owned and operated yarn stores here in the metro area, despite the largest one that was downtown as well as the one that was my favorite over on Hawthorne closing up shop in the past 15 months.

I was curious to know how many cups of tea the average Briton drinks per day, so I looked it up. The average Briton drinks 876 cups of tea per year, or roughly 2.4 cups a day. From September through May or June, I could definitely pass for a Briton based on how much tea I drink.

This afternoon, since I got home from going out, while enjoying my cup of Portland Breakfast Tea, I have also been knitting. I tend to get a lot of projects going so when I don’t feel like working on one project, I have another one to pick up and work on.