Category: Portland

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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College Campus Tour!!!

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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.

The City is Calling

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For me, this is crazy. For the past 8+ years I have always been like “I want to live in the country, I hate the city”. It’s still true that I want to live a simpler life, that is less materialistic and I still want a garden and do more in the way of Urban Homesteading. Most of all I want to get away from the neighborhood I grew up in. It’s not that it’s a bad neighborhood, it is really a good neighborhood, I want to get away from it mainly because it’s rather ritzy for my taste. I prefer the working class and lower middle class neighborhoods that are still safe. I really like the houses built between the 1920’s and the 1950’s.

Today I had gone out. Today has been the coolest day we have had in over a week, and I was ready to get out and enjoy it. I went exploring some different neighborhoods in the city. There are definitely a couple that I like. One area I like is technically in 4 or 5 “neighborhoods”, but it is kind of centralized around a certain area that is made up of different corners on the edges of these five neighborhoods. The other is near one of the main “hipster” eclectic hot spots in the city, but has more of the style of houses I like and is near good grocery shopping and decent schools.

There is so much I would miss if I moved too far from Portland, like Bob’s Red Mill, the Gluten Free Vegan Bakery I like to go to, all the great tea shops here, I would also miss the occasional trip to New Seasons, Market of Choice, and Trader Joe’s (they have the best price on nuts đŸ„œ).

In the near future I am definitely wanting to go check out the Portland Nursery, to get a feel for what they have in stock.

When I was younger I wasn’t that adventurous, but as I have gotten older (with the help of going to college and then going to New York on my own at 23, as well as having jobs in different parts of the city), I was pushed out of my comfort zone to the point where I don’t left fear and doubt stand in my way of exploring and getting out of my comfort zone.

I should also mention the fact that the city has the best internet speeds, which is a good thing, for where I want to take my blog as well as making videos.

This Urban Homesteading Life

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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.

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.

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.

Setting Out in Search of Roses

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The last few days I have been wanting to go out and visit some of the various rose gardens in the area since this part of the country is one of the best places in the country for growing Roses. The city I live in is also nicknamed “The City of Roses” since it is one of the things we are known for here.

There was this one rose garden and store/nursery store that had a great variety of roses that I had visited a couple years ago. I went back out there today and they were closed to visitors, and all the roses they had planted in the ground for visitors to look at were gone. It was sad, and I was very disappointed. I had even looked it up before I left the house since it is a little bit of a drive to get there from the city. While I don’t mind the drive so much, I am sad that all the roses are gone.

I will be going back out and going to rose gardens here in the city, that I know are still in existence and open to visitors at some point in the next few days.

IMG_3506While I was out, I went to the little town of Saint Paul, Oregon. It is one of these little towns kind of in the middle of nowhere. The only thing it is known for is the rodeo that takes place there every Fourth of July. It is a cute little farming town here in the Willamette Valley.

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This little church, is in the heart of Saint Paul. I had seen it once before, when passing through the town of Saint Paul, after the previous trip I had been to the rose garden that no longer is open to visitors in the area. Beings that I knew the church exists in the town, and I love older church buildings, I wanted to stop by again and take more pictures.

On my way home I had also gone through the town of Mount Angel, which hosts an amazing Oktoberfest every year. I had wanted to stop at the Catholic Church there in Mount Angel, but it’s right next to a school, which was letting out for the day so the area was pretty busy and an inopportune time for pictures.

I love driving two-lane country roads, that aren’t that heavily traveled. They are so pretty.

Over the past twelve years, I have fallen in love with the small towns of the Willamette Valley between here and Corvallis. While I  am not a huge fan of living in the city or even the metro area for that matter, I do love living in the Willamette Valley. This is Home for me. While I would consider moving if I found a job I could support myself on elsewhere, there is also a huge part of me that wishes I could find a job somewhere here in the valley (though haven’t had much success in the eight years I have been looking and trying……). I know what grows here, and what doesn’t grow in the valley, that I would want for canning and eating either grows in the Gorge which isn’t too far away, or in Southern Oregon and finds its way up north.

 

It’s All About the Simple Things

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Today I had gone for another hike. After the past couple days being so hot, I took advantage of the cooler day and went for a hike.

One of the things I love about hiking, especially in the woods, is when it’s quiet, and you can just listen to the bird songs back and forth through the trees.

I love being out in nature, any time of the year, but my favorite parts of late spring to early autumn, while we still have the migratory birds still around, is listening to the song birds chirping and singing. It’s even better if you are somewhere where there is a stream or a creek and you can hear the water flowing as well.

I have often thought that it would be amazing to be able to distinguish between the bird calls, as in being able to identify the different birds by their songs / chirps and know which birds I am hearing without seeing them.

I have also had a bit of an interest in at least elementary / basic Botany. For example I know I saw poison oak while I was out hiking today, but to easily identify it amongst the brush as I hiked up the trail, I could not. I want to be able to differentiate poisonous plants from non poisonous plants so I can easily identify plants such as Poison Ivy, Poison Oak ad Poison Sumac from other non poisonous native plants.

Through the years I have also enjoyed doing some amateur tracking / animal identification based on tracks and scat left behind by the animals that naturally roam the woods. I have seen some coyote tracks as well as deer tracks as well as what my friend and I concluded to be coyote scat.

I definitely stay on the trail that has been cleared, between any habitat restoration / conservation that is going on, not wanting to come into contact with poisonous plants I don’t recognize and the potential for seriously hurting myself on some unseen hazard / drop off / cliff, I follow the rules of staying on the trail that has been made. I also believe in packing out what I packed in, and leaving the trail in as pristine condition as I can so others can enjoy it as well.

This past year I have really been learning about slowing down from the fast paced on the go all the time rhythm of the city, which I have been back living in for the past eight years. The constant go go go of the city lifestyle doesn’t jive with who I am at my core, and it doesn’t make me happy, and I am not at my best when I am doing the whole typical city thing. That is a lot to do with why I have been getting away from the city as much as possible.