Category: Life lessons

College Campus Tour!!!

Hey Everyone!

Today has been the coolest day we have had in weeks. It only got up to about 71 degrees, so it has been a perfect summer day.

I decided to go for a walk this afternoon, and Reed College is only about a mile or so away. While I am not a fan of most of the students (being a “Reedie” comes with a stigma and bad connotations), the architecture of the original buildings are gorgeous.

For having lived so close for years, I had been on the campus once previously to this. I was in middle school, and it was part of AWSEM (Advocates for Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics) club and our club mentor was a student at Reed. We had gone there for a club field trip. If I were to be able to go back to school, this school is not on my list.

Today has been a bit cooler and made me think of early fall since it was overcast this morning and cleared up, and not super hot.

This house always has a gorgeous flower garden each summer. I love walking by this house in the summer. This house is just the best one in the neighborhood for having their flower garden. There are other great flower gardens in the city, I am just going to have to hunt them down.

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Pioneer Girl

Hey Everyone!

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.

 

This Urban Homesteading Life

Hey Everyone!

Summer is finally here, and I am jumping back into what I am currently able to do in the way of Urban Homesteading. Where I am at, I am doing what I can with what I have to work with. At this point I am still really learning about Homesteading and Gardening while I am in the city. Sometimes you have to work with what you’ve got even though it is less than ideal.

Currently, in the backyard there is a prune tree that has been on the property longer than I have been alive. We also have an apple tree that was planted when I was a kid. We also have a ton of raspberry plants, as well as a few tomato plants, a little bit of rhubarb and the red romaine lettuce plant that I planted today.

As I was out picking raspberries yesterday, I had gotten looking at the tomato plants and was eyeing them, thinking that it wouldn’t be much longer that they would be upright and free standing on their own. Last year they weren’t staked and toppled over from the weight and became this huge mess. While there were tomatoes that were trying to grow, they weren’t getting enough sun as they were buried, and the ones that were able to start ripening up were picked at by animals because they were on the ground. I didn’t think of it last year until it was too late to try to stake them as I have only really taken over the garden last August while my family was gone.

This year I took the initiative, while I still had the chance to get the tomatoes staked and did that yesterday. And today they don’t look any worse for the wear from staking them this late in the game.

I am hoping this year to get some tomatoes off these plants, and depending on how they do, we may get some tomato sauce from it. I am hoping to also maybe get some jam from the raspberries as well.

Beside the fresh produce straight from the garden aspect to Urban Homesteading, I also enjoy getting dirty and being outside in the fresh air. I like putting in the work and getting results that I can see and touch. I also like being tired at the end of the day and sleeping well after a hard days work.

American Honey

What is more All American than Baseball, Grandma’s Apple Pie, White Picket Fences and the Fourth of July?

The concept of what is “All American”, is a bit of a foreign one to me, that I have tried to grasp at different times over the past decade.

The closest I have gotten was while I was in college, living in a small town in the middle of farm country, in the summers when I didn’t come back to the city.

Songs like “All American Girl” by Carrie Underwood and “American Honey”, have made me wonder, do these small rural towns, especially in the Heartland, still, have that “All American” feel, or is it something that was left behind in the 1950’s.

Anyone else know what I am talking about? The whole white picket fence, front porch sitting, lemonade (or sweet tea) sipping on a hot summer day, barbequing burgers on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, watermelon on the Fourth of July, Fourth of July Parades, Fireworks, Going shootin’, muddin’, 4 Wheeling, Going to the lake or the river on a hot summer day, knowing your neighbors, and the town turning out for the Friday night high school football games, way of life? does it still exist? if so, Where?

Growing up in a city that had the nickname “Baby Beirut” in the 1990’s, where Old Town, China Town, and North Portland were places you didn’t want to venture alone during the day, and not at all past dark. Portland has changed over the years, but some things haven’t changed for the better. The homeless problem has only gotten worse, There are still Protests on a semi-regular basis (just not as often), some that still turn violent (even less often, but they still occur). Portland has become less punk rock/alt rock/grunge, and way more bougie and posh, with the Pearl and Nob Hill, and Goose Hollow. The Hipsters have taken over and turned Portland into a city I don’t recognize. If I ever find my way out, I would only come back to visit my family and for Bob’s Red Mill, my favorite bakery, and the Tea. Portland was never one of these places where the whole, White Picket fence, knowing your neighbors, Fourth of July Parade, block party’s and barbequing happened.

Like I mentioned earlier, the summers I stayed in the small towns I lived in while in college were the closest things I had to having the “All American” lifestyle. I would like to get back to that way of life, especially if I ever get married and have kids.

Here comes the Sun

Hey Everyone!

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.

When the Power of the Ocean is Underestimated

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday, the unfortunate has occurred yet again.

A young man had gone boogie boarding in the ocean and got swept out. His father had gone out after him, and died. While the young man hasn’t been recovered, and is presumed dead.

Every year there are at least half a dozen reports of people goin swimming off the Oregon Coast and having the coast guard called out for an ocean rescue.

I know it looks inviting and like a fun swim, but looks can be deceiving. It’s safe enough to go wading and walk along the waters edge. There are warning signs on all the coastal state parks as well as other places along the coast warning about the dangers of Rip currents and the other dangers of going out in the Ocean.

I wish more people would head the posted warnings. It would save lives.

Between Rip Currents and sneaker waves, among other things you have to have a healthy respect for the ocean. The beach, along the Oregon Coast, is one of my favorite places to go, and it can be a lot of fun. You just have to be sensible. I would advise against going for a swim, and you shouldn’t turn your back on the ocean while wading along the waters edge. I have never seen a sneaker wave in person, but they are a real thing here along the Oregon Coast.

Sexual Harassment is NOT acceptable, for any reason.

Hey Everyone!

In the past two days I have received sexually harassing messages on both LinkedIn and Instagram.

While it is unfortunately a common occurrence (which doesn’t make it acceptable) on Instagram (Today wasn’t the first time I have received these kinds of messages on Instagram), but LinkedIn? How much of an idiot are you to send these kinds of messages to a woman you have never met online? Sexually Harassing messages are not Acceptable even on dating sites or Tinder.

I have received a few to many of these messages to just continue with the Report and block routine.

I refuse to sit back and allow these creeps to continue preying on myself and other women. What scares me even more, is that if they are doing this to me, they are also likely preying on teenage girls.

I, myself will not tolerate being harassed, let alone sexually harassed by anyone. It’s bad enough that they do it to someone who has a voice and isn’t afraid to call them on their BS, and speak out about it. I am also choosing to speak out about it, because I know this is happening to others, and to CHILDREN. That is vile.

In this day and age children have to deal with so much, from regular bullying to cyber bullying from their peers, and then to have creepy old men preying on them, it makes me sick.

I am not willing to put up with sexual harassment in any form, now or in the future. I will not wait years to speak out about it, because I’m afraid or retaliation.

I have a voice, and I will use it to stand up for myself and others who feel that they cannot speak up about what is happening to them.

Any “man” who thinks it’s appropriate to demean anyone else, man woman or child, to get his way, especially when he is seeking any form of sexual pleasure is a perverted creep who has no place in society.

I will not continue sitting here in silence while myself and others continue to be harassed online by people we don’t know.

It’s NOT my fault these creeps try to get me to play their dirty games, if you were to look at my social media pages, you would see that I keep them family friendly, because that is the kind of person I am. Having worked with children in the past and having allowed some of the kids I have baby sat when they were little following me on Instagram and Facebook, as well as being friends with my mother and some of my grandparents siblings, I am very aware about what I post. Like seriously, why if one of my friends young kids got ahold of their phone and came across my page or Instagram, there is nothing there that would be inappropriate for them to see.

I am still baffled as to why these “men” target family friendly accounts as well as using professional networking sites to chat up women (or who they perceive to be women), to try to have sort of dirty conversations with them. It is appalling.

I will not put up with these losers, and I will continue to speak out against this kind of behavior that is sexual Harassment.

Enough is Enough, it is time that we stick together and send a very clear message to these idiots.

Where My Heart is At.

Hey Everyone!

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).

 

Considering Going Back to School

Hey Everyone!

Pretty much since the year after I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree, I have toyed with the idea of going back to school and getting a second Bachelors Degree and then potentially pursuing a Master’s Degree.

Over the past almost 7 years that I have been considering going back to school, I have debated on what I would study, and where I would go.  I have a pretty good idea of what I would study, and the career outcome of what I want to do after I go back, and the whole reason to go back to school, I have narrowed it down from three options I have considered. I have also looked into projected industry growth over the next decade, and the path I am leaning toward has a higher than average projected industry growth, which is promising.

The School I want to go to, at least to get my Post – Bacc degree (second bachelors), would allow me to live in a state I have been dreaming to live in for years, and even if I moved elsewhere after I finished my degree(s) should I be able to stay at said school for my masters as well, I would get to live in said state for a good 4 to 5 years. That would be a dream come true in and of itself.

If things were to work out, I am still a little over a year away from starting school. It will take hard work and dedication to even get there in the first place and have everything fall into place that I need to fall into place, and then even harder work put in while I am there to make it happen.

I know this is a bit vague, and I am purposefully not saying what I plan to major in or the school I want to attend for privacy reasons, and should it not be the right course to pursue, and not work out, then the fact that going back to school is all anyone needs to know.

I feel like my 20’s were a time of self discovery, and figuring out who I am, and the path I am supposed to take. I have been able to do a lot of amazing things in my 20’s, and I have learned a lot about life and who I am, the things that I enjoy doing and that making me happy, as well as things that fulfill me and give me a sense of purpose. Due to the fact that I didn’t really have an idea of what I wanted to do career wise after college, and with the social science field being so broad and without a specific career outcome, I feel like I spent part of my 20’s being a bystander and inactive participant in my life and watched it go by, without being able to control much. I have felt lost, empty and confused at times and like the world was just passing me by.

If all goes according to plan and works out, this change will allow me to have a definite plan career wise and have an end game goal so that I know what I am working toward.

Part of why I had started my blogs in the first place, is because if I could help even one other young woman to see her full potential and set challenging yet attainable goals for herself and work hard to achieve it, and not listen to the haters and those whose goal is to distract us from what we are able to do, then I will have been successful at one of my goals.

I have had plenty of people tell me that I can’t do something for whatever their reason, but I am the kind of person that when someone tells me I can’t do something or that I shouldn’t do something, (highly dangerous to myself/others and illegal / immoral things aside), I make it my mission to do what I am told I cannot do, and prove people wrong about me. They aren’t living my life and they haven’t walked a mile in my shoes, so who are they to tell me I can’t do something and judge me for living my life the way I believe and know is right for me.

I am taking back my life, I know that going back to school, especially after being out for 8 years now (and likely 9 by the time I start school again), is going to be hard. I am willing to put in the hard work, and get the help I need while I am there, and take advantage of office hours, and ask a ton of questions.

What I am working toward has been on my heart for a few years now, roughly two or three as specific as it is, closer to six in the broader scope of the goal.

I still intend to keep up my blogs as much as I can, and share my experience of going back to University and pursing a second bachelors and then a masters, in my 30’s.

Knowledge is power, and education is so important. I am really beginning to see how important having and education is, whether that is in the traditional sense of post secondary education (here in the US we call it High School, other countries call it something different), or learning a trade after completing high school.

One day if I ever do have children, I want to teach them about how important their education is. I do realize and know that the statistics show that children whose parents have a higher education tend to also go on to have a higher education.

In my own life I have seen how important it is for a woman to be able to navigate and conduct herself in the business world. Even if she is able to and wants to be a stay at home wife and mother, she should also have skills that are useful in the outside world. What if her husband gets sick and passes away, or is seriously injured, or if he takes off, then what? In this day and age she needs to know how to build a resume, look for a job, go on interviews and work, in order to support herself and her family. Especially in urban life, needing to have two incomes is pretty much a necessity.

I am trying to not get my hopes up yet, as its still in its early stages, but should it all work out, I also look forward to the adventures I will be able to go on because of the change and move.

Where do they get off Thinking it’s ok?

Hey Everyone!

I am going to preface this with stating that I have instagram accounts where for each of my main blogs (Homemaking, Adventures, Knitting, and Life), where I post pictures about what I am doing. In doing so, I am always careful about not posting where I am at while I am there, if at all, and other safety measures.

Now this is where I am baffled, where do some men get off think that it is ok to PM/DM (Private Message / Direct Message) me on these accounts trying to chat me up? I’m sure I’m not the only one this happens to.

When in our society and societies around the world break down to the point where strange men feel that it’s perfectly acceptable to message a woman (or anyone who is presenting themselves as female on a social media platform for whatever reason), wanting her to talk dirty to him?

if you were to take a look at the public instagram profiles I have, they are all family friendly, and they are G rated for a reason.

So it doesn’t make sense to me, why these creepy morons think that I would want anything to do with them.

Where do these creeps get off thinking that based on my profile I want anything to do with them or that I want to 1) talk to them, period, or 2)lower myself to their level or 3)go behind the back of any significant other I had at the time and have a virtual affair on said significant other. It just baffles me. It’s not like my profiles contain pictures of me or any other female half dressed or scantly clad, or containing any image that I would be embarrassed or ashamed of if my mother or grandmother were to see. It’s the kind of thing that one would expect on an app like Tinder, not on an instagram profile for homemaking, outdoor adventures, or knitting. It’s sad and unfortunate that our world is at the point where some guys have no respect for women, proper boundaries, proper communication guidelines, no respect for loyalty, or proper relationships or that no actually means no, or when they just need to disappear into a big black oblivion.

While I may not be a prim and proper society lady, I do have enough self respect, common sense and maturity to give them the “bye Felicia” and hit the block them.

The sad thing is I know I am not the only woman they target. What is even sadder, is the fact that I know there are men out there who do this kind of thing. It’s bad enough when they target adult women, like myself. What’s worse is I know there are perverts out there who prey on young girls.

I’m not saying that all social media is bad, especially when used responsibly. The sad part of it is that with this invention has also opened the door for predators to prey on their young victims. It has also opened the door wide open for Cyber Bullying. If in person bullying wasn’t bad enough, our kids have enough to worry about on a daily basis without having to suffer at the hand of cyber bullies.

I was a teenager when Myspace came out, and it was a cake walk in comparison to what is out there today. Then there was Bebo, which lasted a short time, and then Facebook was launched while I was in university, and now I could only name a few of all the social media sites out there.

As of yet, I don’t have to deal with having kids of my own who want their own social media accounts, and if I ever have children their father and I will have long discussions about when they will be old enough to get their first account, what they will be allowed to have, and how we will monitor their activity. I know kids are sneaky, looking back on my own teenage years, and what I did without my parents knowing, and that was before the days of smartphones, let alone having my own cell phone hadn’t happened yet. On the whole I was “a good kid”, who people trusted, and didn’t get into a lot of trouble, but I still got away with more than I should have. So, any parents out there who are reading this, if you are thinking that you have a good kid who you can trust, even when you are doing your best to know what is going on in their lives and what their online activities are, there are still things you likely missing.

I am not surprised at all that things like this happen, it’s not only guys who don’t respect the boundaries of females, it also happens in platonic relationships of two people of the same gender. I have had other women not take no for an answer, who have tried to force their will on me, and I have had to repeatedly say no, and they still don’t “accept” it as a legitimate response, as they have continued to try to bully me into submission. So the disrespect of personal boundaries can and does happen to pretty much everyone, and you are lucky if you have never had someone disrespect and step over the boundaries you have set of what makes you comfortable vs uncomfortable. It’s never ok to cross someone else boundaries when they have told you no and that you need to back off, whether in real life or on social media.