Taking on Life at Full Speed

Learning from the past to make a brighter future

It Feels Like we have Turned the Corner on Summer — September 8, 2017

It Feels Like we have Turned the Corner on Summer

Hey Everyone!

A few short days ago it felt like summer would never end. It now feels like we have turned the corner from summer to Autumn. In the 10 day forecast there are only two days in the 80’s, all the other days are forecasted to be in the upper 60’s to mid 70’s, which should hopefully help with the wildfires burning in the area.

Today was in the mid 70’s, the skies were overcast and it was a bit humid, but other wise was fine. The winds were also calmer, which helped slow the spread of the Eagle Creek Fire. They are saying that the fire won’t be fully contained until sometime in October.

This morning I finished up a pair of socks, which I have been working on for a while, because I have been busy.

I also started another pair of socks. I have enough of the Wonderland Heather left that I am making another pair of Wonderland Heather and Marble Heather socks.

It’s hard to believe that the school year here in Oregon is back in session. It is just one of those things you have to think about when driving through a school zone.

I will be so happy if summer is really over. It is about time for it to be cooler and for the rain to be coming back.

The one nice thing about back to school and this time of year, now that school is in session and stores are trying to make room for the Halloween stuff? Awesome sales on school / work supply stuff like planners and lunch bags.

I had a couple interviews this past Monday, and yes I know it was a holiday. Maybe something will come of one of them. Even part time work is better than nothing. As long as it is honest work, no work is beneath me. I may have a college degree but I am not afraid of hard work, and working my way up from the bottom. I figure that all work experience is good experience and I have learned things from each of the jobs I have had. Everyone one career path and journey is different. If you would have asked me what I wanted to do 10 years ago, it was totally different than me now.

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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. 

Total Solar Eclipse 2017 — August 21, 2017

Total Solar Eclipse 2017

Hey Everyone!

The buildup to this mornings total Solar Eclipse has dominated the local news media for months, it finally occurred this morning. 

I was outside in the backyard picking raspberries when it occurred. Portland was just outside the path of totality, we were like at 99.2% of totality. So it got darker, and the light was weird, but it more or less got dusky, but the shadows were the wrong direction for sunset and sunrise. 

Traffic and the grocery stores were not all that bad this weekend, but from what I have been seeing now, after it is over, traffic is horrible. At one point about noon, the drive time from Salem to Portland on I-5 was 186 minutes, which is over 3 hours. To get from Portland into downtown Salem (roughly the Marion and Center Street Bridges) is about 45 minutes under normal conditions. 

I am glad I didn’t waste the time or the money to go somewhere in the path of totality. To me it was over hyped, and I had better things to do today than sit in traffic. 

I made Jam this morning, got chicken marinating, cleaned the kitchen, labeled and put away the pickles my mom and I canned yesterday. 

It really didn’t even get that dark. So to me, it was rather lackluster. I went outside and saw why happened, and was unimpressed. 

Enjoying the City  — August 19, 2017

Enjoying the City 

Hey Everyone! 

It is early Saturday morning as I am writing this post. Yesterday (Friday) which ended only about 15 minutes ago for me was a productive day. 

I finished up the pair of socks I was knitting. I knit this particular pair using KnitPicks Palette Yarn in the colors Victorian and Hazelnut. Beings I knit up pairs of socks entirely of these two colors and had some yarn left over, I have been working in combining the left overs of the colors I have already used and making socks from the left over Yarn. 

Yesterday, my mom and I had also gone to my favorite bakery for treats. My favorite bakery is the only gluten free vegan bakery in the city. There are other bakeries in town that do either gluten free or vegan, but Back to Eden is the only one that does both. I hadn’t been in to the bakery for a few months, and since the last time I went in, they have acquired the space that used to be next door, took down a wall, and expanded and done some redecorating. The space that was the original (as I know it to be) is still where you enter the bakery, but now that they have expanded, they have way more space for seating and moving around. I love what they have done with the space. In the old / pre expansion when it got busy, which it would be at times, you would constantly be literally bumping into the other customers and there would be no place to sit. There is now plenty of seating and plenty of room to look at what they have available and order. It’s also like and airy, and definitely a fun place with great food. I know I will miss being so close when ever I am able to move away from the city. 

At the bakery, I had a cardamom vanilla bean cupcake and a triple berry smoothie. It was very delicious. 

After my mom and I had treats at the bakery, we stopped at Fred Meyer to pick up a few items. Fred Meyer has their autumn decorations out. While I love decorating for Christmas, I love decorating for autumn more. Autumn is my favorite season. It is cooling off, yet October can have some of the most beautiful days, with the leaves turning yet it can be sunny and be between 68 – 72 degrees (Fahrenheit) 🍁🍂 and perfect. Itis still warm enough to go out without a jacket on those days, yet isn’t so warm that I am too hot. 

When the Sun Glows Pink, and the Moon Pumpkin 🎃 Orange — August 6, 2017

When the Sun Glows Pink, and the Moon Pumpkin 🎃 Orange

Hey Everyone! 

We have been socked in by wildfire smoke for most of the last couple of weeks. It got a little bit better yesterday and then came back full force today. Most of the smoke is coming down from of wildfires burning in British Columbia. There are a few wildfires here in Oregon and in Washington that we are getting a bit of smoke from, but most of it is coming from the elephant hill fire in BC. The fires are so bad up there that a stretch of Highway 97 is closed for a stretch through the Fraser and Thompson River Canyons. Highway 97 is the longest north – south Highway in BC (and meets up with US 97 at the US / Canadian border, and eventually goes down through Madras, Redmond and Bend in central Oregon). 

At last check the Elephant Hill Fire (the one that we are getting most of our smoke from) has grown to 425 square miles and was about 30% contained. 

With all the smoke in the air, our air quality has been at an unhealthy level (not to mention all the pollution we already have going on). So I have been trying to stay indoors as much as possible with the windows closed. Between the poor air quality and the uncomfortably hot temps, the AC has been my best friend. 

I had gone up to Chehalis this evening to see some friends I hadn’t seen for a while. On the way home, due to the smoke, the sun was glowing this almost hot pinkish orange color. It was weird. Then the Moon has almost this Pumpkin Orange hue to it because of the smoke. My allergies have been crazy and my eyes have been so irritated, since we have had the smoke. Tonight, it reminded me of a couple years ago when I went to Seattle. I remember waking up in my hotel room and going and looking out the window and the sun was glowing a strange color because of the smoke we had that year. 

This weekend has flown by. Friday I ran errands, cooked up some lentils, made some chocolate chip cookies, and by the end of the day I was exhausted. It kind of reminded me of a typical Friday while I was in college. I definitely miss being on my own like that while I was in College. 

Yesterday I spent the day working on finishing up knitting a pair of socks, started cleaning the house, picked raspberries in the backyard and watered the outdoor plants. 

Today I started a new pair of socks, and went to Chehalis. As I am writing this (I began writing it in my head on the way home). While I was so ready to get home while driving back, I have needed a little time (hence writing this post) to wind down so I can go to sleep. 

Here is to going to bed before midnight.