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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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. 

Always been Outdoorsy — July 23, 2017

Always been Outdoorsy

Hey Everyone!

Today was a perfect day at the beach! It was sunny, windy, but not super cold, and the wind kept it from being too hot. It would have been a perfect day for this using solar and wind energy. 


My allergies were so much better at the beach, as was my comfort level. I was running around without a jacket and perfectly comfortable. 

I have always loved the beach and ocean. It has always felt more like home than the city. 

I have always felt better at the beach, between the fresh salty sea air, being outdoors a lot. Unless it’s raining, whenever I have stayed at the beach, I have spent more time outside than inside. 

Preferring to be outdoors, even when not at the beach is something I  have loved. Many of my favorite memories have included being outdoors. Whether it was ice fishing for lingcod in Canada in the winter, or hiking in the woods, or exploring an old left to ruins Fort, or being at the beach or sitting around a campfire on a summer evening (which is made better at the beach), or just being outside on a summer evening. 

It’s typically the blustery, cold, wet days that I prefer being indoors cooking, baking, knitting, curled up with a good book. 

The beach is my preference, the one place I love out of everywhere I have been, it is the one place I am truly a happy camper. 

Breaking out of the Insulated Bubble — July 11, 2017

Breaking out of the Insulated Bubble

Hey Everyone!

I know I have talked about wanting to move away from the City, and if I have the opportunity I would. At the same time, in exploring other parts of Portland I have found other neighborhoods that feel like home. The neighborhoods that feel more like home for me are the neighborhoods that were traditionally working class family neighborhoods from the mid 1940’s –  1960’s. I know I had a very insulated childhood in a nice neighborhood, and lived a different kind of life than I prefer to live now. As a kid I was very mainstream yet insulted life. Choosing to live more a life that is based on eating more naturally, knowing where my food comes from, how it was raised / grown, and all in all a more Portland lifestyle has been something that didn’t happen over night. The seeds were planted and started taking root while I was in college. It took off after I developed food intolerances. It doesn’t help that our food has been changed and altered so much since my grandparents were raising my parents. 

Looking back at the past few years I can see how much I have changed, and I finally feel like I can see everything coming together and the direction I am supposed to be going. 

I had an interview today for a job I feel would be a good fit for me, and something I would excel at. I have to wait a few days to find out if I get it out not. 

Icing my Back — July 6, 2017

Icing my Back

Hey Everyone!

I have no idea how idea how I did it, but sometime Saturday evening I strained my back, and by the time I woke up Sunday morning, I was in a lot of pain and had a hard time moving. It is now Thursday, and I am still a bit sore, and it is still a bit more difficult than usual to get around, but I am doing a lot better than I was on Sunday. I am finally able to sit for longer periods, and it is easier to get up from sitting. I have also not taken any pain relievers since Tuesday. I have been able to manage the pain without meds, with alternating positions and icing my back for short periods of time. I am really just trying to let my body heal naturally and on it’s own without much in the way of pain reliever meds. I took some the first couple days because it hurt to do much of anything and I had a couple of events to go to. Now that I can just chill at home, I am going without meds. I don’t want to do more harm to my internal organs than I have to. 

While I have kind of been out of commission the last few days, I have been working on trying to get a pair of socks finished. 

It has also been easier to stay home, where there is air conditioning, especially since yesterday got up to 94 degrees. 

I know I have talked about it in previous posts, about living a simpler life away from the rat race of the city. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to live so far from the city that I can’t make a day trip out of coming into the city and going shopping. For me, there is more to life than being dictated by traffic, and every time I look out the windows, that there are houses, concrete and pavement everywhere. In the city, you deal with more pollution, traffic and such. While I don’t really want to live off grid, or go without electricity, and internet, as long as I have indoor plumbing that is safe and works, as well as AC in the summer, and have fast enough internet to blog, I am more about growing and raising my own food, the way the Woods and hay smells on a hot summer day, or watching the snow fall on the fir trees in the winter. 

Homemaking, blogging, purposeful living, living on purpose, raising as much of my own food as possible and preserving it is my dream life. I am all about working with my hands and being self sufficient, and I am not a fan of having to be reliant on grocery stores to supply 98% of the food that I eat, that I don’t know where it comes from, or how it was raised. I know that in many ways I am spoiled by getting to live in the part of the country that I do, and I have so much in the way of diy, homesteading, and grow your own food resources at my fingertips, that I want to be able to avail myself of them, and live the life I have been dreaming of for years, and sharing it all with you. 

Dairy Free Cherry Garcia — July 1, 2017

Dairy Free Cherry Garcia

Hey Everyone! 

Happy Canada Day! 

I have been Dairy Free (or in the process of going dairy free) for 5.5 years. If you haven’t had to go without a food staple (ie dairy, gluten or eggs), you really can’t relate to missing certain foods because you know that if you eat them, you will be sick. The fact that I have had to completely give up dairy and eggs and not eat much gluten, It has been quite an adjustment. I have yet to find a dairy free cheese or yogurt that has a similar taste and texture to dairy versions. So I have given up trying to find a dairy free yogurt I like, dairy free cheese is just gross, coconut and coconut almond milk are my favorite milk alternatives, the onion and chive dairy free cream cheese spread stuff is tolerable on bagels and in mashed potatoes, and they don’t make a dairy free cottage cheese option. So far the dairy free option that tastes the best is coconut milk ice cream, though I was so excited when I heard that Ben and Jerry’s came out wth a dairy free ice cream option I got excited. It has been years since I have been able to have Ben and Jerry’s. I finally got to enjoy some dairy free Cherry Garcia and not have to worry about being sick afterwards. 

Today we had gone out to a farm stand we are aware of to see about some berries to make jam. They didn’t have any strawberries, but did have some raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. So we picked up some some berries. The farm stand we went to is outside of the city. I always love leaving the city and going out into the country. 

This evening I had gone out to see some people I know who are in town for a convention, it was really nice to see them. After I had seen them, I went for a little drive, a little ways out of town. When I was off the freeway, I had my windows rolled down, breathing the fresh air. I don’t know if it is the type of grass that grows outside of town, or the fact that it is allowed to grow (as that grass I am referring to is the grass that grows along the side of the road and the grass that is used to make hay), and naturally dry out during the summer, but I love the smell of the long grass in the summer. I have noticed that the Beach grass smells different from the valley grass (and I am not talking about weed aka pot aka marijuana, I am talking about literal grass that grows in your lawn, and in fields to make hay for animals). The grass around here in the valley reminds me of driving from the towns I lived in while in college to the town where I attended church at the time. Quite often I would drive those 2 lane country roads in the summer, with the windows rolled down. There were a ton of hay fields in the county. I can’t imagine not being able to smell or taste. 

Having developed food intolerances as an adult, I have come to appreciate my sense even more. While food intolerances are insignificant compared to other disabilities and diseases that deprive people of their senses. 

I know when I was younger (teen years especially) I tried hard to be someone I am not. I felt like I was expected to be this prim, proper young woman who was the stereotypical girl, who did no wrong, who also liked doing my hair, makeup and going shopping. Pretty much a city girl through and through.  At the time I knew it wasn’t me, but I wanted to be accepted and fit in. College was a big game changer for me. It helped me realize that that life wasn’t for me and that it was ok to be a jeans and tee shirt kind of girl, who prefers the country to the city. I still like to dress nicely when I go out and about. The world as I see it has been ever changing and evolving as I have grown and changed over the years. Who I am, no longer hinges on what others think, or some real or perceived expectations of who I am supposed to be. Who I am has been shaped on my own life experience, the good, the bad, and the down right ugly. I have learned that life is more than allowing others to live my life for me. 

Learning to live a simpler lifestyle — June 25, 2017

Learning to live a simpler lifestyle

Hey Everyone!

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  — June 13, 2017

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. 

City Living — June 6, 2017

City Living

Hey Everyone!

I am one who does love small town, but as much as you want something, some dreams aren’t supposed to become a reality, and at this point, small town life my be a happy chapter in my younger days.

Like maybe the reason I have not found a job someplace else is because there is a reason I need to stay in Portland, and that there is a job here for me somewhere. I know, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, it doesn’t make sense to me either, especially since I have spent the last 7 years feeling stuck here, and have not had much success in the job department here.

Some days I can’t imagine staying in the city, other days, there is no other place I would rather place be.

Having food intolerances, and having learned how to manage them while living in the city, would definitely complicate things for living in a small town, as I would constantly be coming to the city to get the Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free baking supplies I have grown accustomed to. Living outside of the metro area, would add the cost of gas to come to the city to go shopping. Over the last few years, I have gotten used to having several Trader Joe’s Stores, as well as New Seasons, Whole Foods, and urban Fred Meyer’s stores all within a 5 mile radius. Not to mention all the yarn and craft stores we have here. We also have my favorite bakery here in the city, as well as several locally owned tea shops and coffee roasters. Starbucks is over rated, especially when you have Dutch Bros, Human Bean, Barista, as well as Stump Town Coffee Roasters. Not to mention the fact that we have Stash Tea, Steven Smith Tea Maker, and the Tao of Tea here in the city as well.

Granted I can find a job, it’s not like I can’t go to beach, whenever I have a free day and want to take off and go. Or going back to where I went to college and seeing the friends I still have there, as it is only an hour an a half away.

Just having the easy access to Gluten Free & Dairy Free food, and having natural grocery stores near by makes living in the city worth it. With that, I would still love to have a large enough backyard to have a garden still.