Category: UK

Let the Adventures Begin!

Hey Everyone!

The bug I had at the end of last week was short lived, fortunately.

The Saje Essential Oils I ordered had arrived on Saturday, and the bottle of DoTerra OnGuard arrived yesterday. I love that the OnGuard is DoTerra’s blend of thieves. Thieves blend has been around for a while, and is based on a 15th century legend, during the bubonic plague.

Today was rather busy, I ran a couple errands, getting ready for some plans I have coming up in about a week and a half.

I also went on a 2.75 mile hike today. It was such a beautiful day, and I have been wanting to go out hiking for ages. I am also trying to break in my new hiking boots. One of the down sides of new hiking boots is blisters. I am hoping with time that my boots will get broken in so that the blisters don’t occur.

Over the course of the last week or so I have also been binge watching Call the Midwife, it is really good. As per usual I am late to the game of the good British TV shows that come across the pond.


It All Started with Downton Abbey

Hey Everyone!

Over the past 3 or so years I have become a huge fan of present day made (made in the last decade or so) period dramas. Most of my favorites are British Period Dramas.

I was late to jumping on the Downton Abbey bandwagon, I didn’t start watching the show until it was in its 5th series, and I started from the beginning, watching them on DVD. I loved how the 6th series of Downton Abbey has come with a bonus disc with the first episode of a couple more shows.

During the Downton Abbey run, I had also watched Mercy Street, an American Period Drama set during the American Civil War in Alexandria, Virginia. From there I watched Indian Summers, which I honestly am not a huge fan of.

From there I started looking up the actors from Downton Abbey to see what other shows they had done. That led me to, Lark Rise to Candleford, which stars Brendan Coyle (Mr Bates on Downton Abbey) at Robert Timmins, the father of the main Character, Laura Timmins.

About half way through the first series of Lark Rise to Candleford, I got watching other shows, some that weren’t Period dramas, others that were. This past month, I have watched the first 3 series of Poldark, series 4 isn’t out yet….as well as the first episode of Home Fires. I have also watched the entire series of Dr Quinn Medicine Woman in the last year.

Like I had mentioned earlier, with the British Period Dramas, I started watching more because I had found out that at least one of the Actors from Downton Abbey was in the show, or I had been able to watch the first episode and enjoyed it and wanted to continue watching the show.

I had seen the first episode of Poldark from the bonus disc that came with my set of the sixth series of Downton Abbey, and then wanted to see what happened do I ordered all three series of it that are currently out. I watched all three series of Poldark while I had let the rest of the first series as well the second through fourth series of Lark Rise to Candleford sit. When I came back to finish watching Lark Rise to Candleford, I realized that the Actress who plays Verity in Poldark is Minnie in show in series 2 – 4. The Actor who portrays Captain Andrew Blamey in Poldark shows up in the fourth series of Lark Rise to Candleford. I was also surprised to see Samantha Bond (Lady Rosamund Painswick in Downton) in one of the episodes of Lark Rise.

At some point after I finish watching Home Fires, and I take a break from Period Dramas for a bit, I want to give Call the Midwife a try and see if I enjoy it at all.

These shows and others have given me something to watch while I work on my various knitting projects.

TV Shows I am currently Watching

Hey Everyone!

In the past couple of weeks, as I have had more time inside to knit and watch shows on Hulu and Netflix, because it has gotten colder and wetter. The cold isn’t so bad as long as you dress for it, it’s when it is pouring down rain as well, that makes being outside miserable.

Like I had already mentioned, I have had more time to watch more shows on Hulu and Netflix. A couple I have gotten into here recently have been Shetland and Godless.

Shetland is a murder mystery show that is set in the Shetland Islands, which are part of Scotland, but are North / Northeast of the northern tip of the Scottish mainland. The are also west of Norway. The Scottish accent is heavy, but at least to me, it’s not that bad, and can follow along without subtitles.

Godless is a show set in the old west of New Mexico. It is about a gang of outlaws who track down a young man who used to be part of their gang who became a traitor and enemy of the gang. One of the Characters in the show is played by Michelle Dockery, who has played Lady Mary in Downton Abbey. So it was to see her act in a different show, why I got into this show, besides liking westerns.

While I was watching Shetland this afternoon and evening I made a lot of progress on the sock I am knitting up. The sock I am working on is the second one in a pair. I am trying to get it done in in the next couple of days, so I can start a new pair before this next weekend.

Watching the Opening of British Parliament 

Hey Everyone!

My family got back to town safely after going to Canada to see my Aunt and Uncle. They had to take the long way going up and coming back because of the forest fires that caused all the smoky haze and unhealthy air quality here for over a week. 

While it is still summer weather, it has cooled off from being in the 90’s and over 100. The heat has forced me to stay indoors where there is AC, and when I have gone out – in the mornings or evenings to pick raspberries, I can’t stay out for more than 45 minutes because of how the heat effects me. 

The past few weeks, I have really been working on getting socks knit up, beings that they are small and fairly quick. Knitting socks also means I don’t have a lot of hot wool sitting in my lap making me warmer than I need to be. 

This evening I have been watching various videos on YouTube that were recorded during the Queen’s diamond jubilee and currently the state opening of Parliament from 2015. While I am not one who is a fan of everything British, I find this kind of events interesting, because the original 13 colonies were part of Great Britain until we fought a war to gain our independence. I also find how other North American and Western European governments work and their governmental formalities are. 

I like having a wider world view, and know a bit about what goes on in countries other than my own. I am no expert by any means, but I also don’t want to be completely clueless either. 

50 Random Facts

Hey Everyone!

I have been doing this blogging thing for a few years. I started this particular blog back in August of 2014, though I have been blogging on some level since 2011. 

I decided that it was time to do a 100 random facts about me post, for you all to get to know me a little bit better. 

  1. I gave up drinking coffee ☕️ in August of 2014
  2. I love the smell of campfires 🔥  (especially at the beach) 
  3. My favorite place to go is the Beach
  4. My favorite Disney character is Winnie the Pooh
  5. My favorite Disney Princess is Merida
  6. My favorite band / music group is Celtic Thunder (the Original 5 + Neil)
  7. My favorite piece of classical music is Rachmoninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini variation number 18
  8. My favorite film is Somewhere in Time
  9. My favorite color is royal blue
  10. My top travel destination outside of the United States 🇺🇸 is: Scotland 
  11. The state I want to visit the most that I have not visited yet is: Alaska
  12. I like a good cup of tea ☕️ 
  13. I am left handed
  14. In College I majored in Social Science (my focus area was U.S. History)
  15. In college I minored in Literature 
  16. I spent my first 5 terms of college as an early childhood / elementary education major
  17. I love being outdoors 
  18. I enjoy hiking
  19. I was in band in grades 7 – 10
  20. I did choir in 11th grade, as well as several terms while in College
  21. I went to Florida when I was 13 with my family
  22. I attended a Marine Corps boot camp graduation when I was 15
  23. I went to Hawaii when I was 19 with my family
  24. I went to New York on my own when I was 23
  25. I was still an Infant, the first time I went to Canada 🇨🇦 
  26. I love overcast, cool, rainy days
  27. I enjoy knitting
  28. I enjoy reading books
  29. My favorite TV show has been Grimm
  30. I know how to can (aka preservation food in glass jars for later consumption)
  31. The one dairy item I miss the most now that I have to be dairy free is Cheese. Tillamook Cheese 🧀 is the best. 
  32. I enjoy exploring historical sites
  33. My favorite season is autumn 
  34. I love architecture. 
  35. If I am going out to eat, my top choice is typically a Lebanese or Greek restaurant 
  36. I call the Willamette Valley home 
  37. My favorite author is Robin Jones Gunn
  38. My favorite board game is Scrabble 
  39. My favorite animal is the bottle nose dolphin 🐬 
  40. I enjoy watching Period Dramas (Downton Abbey, Lark Rise to Candleford, Dr Quinn Medicine Woman, etc)
  41. My favorite musical is the Sound of Music
  42. My favorite flower 🌺 is Plumeria 
  43. My favorite fruit is: Cherries 🍒 
  44. Favorite dessert: the gluten free vegan lemon lavender poppyseed cupcakes from my favorite bakery
  45. I got to see The Phantom of the Opera when the traveling show was here in Portland 
  46. I went to Public School for K – 12
  47. I was the first of my friends to get my drivers license 
  48. Of all the yarns I have worked with, the Todd and Duncan Cashmere was my favorite.
  49. I worked at a knitting studio for a few months
  50. I love exploring old ghost towns

Country Girl Stuck in the City. 

Hi Everyone!

This past weekend I went to the mall again, and finally finished my fall and winter clothes shopping. I had also stopped at Bob’s Red Mill. Both of which are becoming a very regular occurrence, though Bob’s Red Mill isn’t such a bad place to have become a regular spot to visit. The mall, I am not so keen on, though that is part of city life. 

The past few months have been a reality check as such. I have somewhat enjoyed the city life these past few months, it also makes me miss small town life. I also feel like the clothes shopping I have done is more of a stock up and change up my style for whatever is next for me. 

In the past few months I have come to like Scentsy, their warmers and their scented wax. One day f my friends’ older sister’s had had a party on Facebook, which I decided to join just to see what it was all about. So now, 3 parties later I have a few cute warmers and some awesome scents. Again stocking up, because I want to move back to a small town and have a heart me of my own. 

I have no idea what te next year will bring, but I am hoping that 2016 will bring some good changes. Making changes for te better doesn’t come easy, and I am hoping I will be able to spend more time on my blog, and doing stuff to blog about. When it comes down to it, I have been thinking about where I want to be in the next year, the next five years and the next ten years. I have been setting goals for my life and setting goals to accomplish in life. 

Busy Saturday!

Hey Everyone!

Today is one of those days where you stand back and are like “wow, a lot of good things happened today”. It started with the birth of the royal princess. You could say I am one of those “crazy Americans” who actually keeps up (to some level) with the goings on in the UK. There was a time in my life where I was intent upon moving to Scotland, but the realization that the only way that would happen is to marry a British Citizen. With that, I still really want to visit the UK, Scotland in particular. 

Someone I know got married and a friend of mine got engaged.

I was also busy today, I went out and picked up a birthday card for my dad, and went and got the yarn for my yarn giveaway on my knitting Facebook page. I also had made a run to my favorite bakery (it didn’t seem so far away when I worked a few blocks away), and stopped at Whole Foods on my way home. I love shopping at whole foods and new seasons when I can. They have an amazing dairy free and gluten free selections. 

After I got back to the house, I cooked my dinners for this week. I made Italian herb chicken and pineapple quinoa. 

I have also spent quite a bit of time working on my current knit for kids sweater, and got sleeves cast on the front of my sweater. I am loving how my sweater is turning out. I absolutely love knitting projects for kids in need, it is so ingrained in who I am that I can’t imagine my life without it. 

The past couple weeks have been incredibly busy with working overtime at work and then getting other stuff done in my free time, I don’t have a lot of down time to decompress. I just keep telling myself that there is a reason to why I am doing what I am doing, in that doing so I am able to do things that I want to do like having been able to go to the beach more often, ad do the yarn give away on my knitting Facebook page, and so I can continue to work to achieving my goals. One of which is having the means to go and stuff so that I have something to write about. Blogging is a large part of my goals and my life. 

Today was a really good day! 

Watching the Process

Yesterday’s referendum in Scotland has sparking something that I have not seen in a long time, if ever. I have been watching the aftermath unfold, and looking at the results. This is only the beginning, of a long process. While the No’s took 55% of the votes, looking at how the votes were broken down by age, Yesterday was only the beginning. I would not be at all surprised to see an Independent Scotland in my lifetime. I have heard and read that the referendum was rigged and there was voter fraud that took place. I don’t know if that is true or not, but that does raise questions and cause for concern.

Yes, Scotland chose to join England in 1707, but that was 307 years ago. Nothing stays the same for 307 years. The United States became its own country, and one that is not even part of the Commonwealth, other countries have broken away, become their own countries, with their own governments, with their own currency and their own economies.

85% of those living in Scotland turned out and cast their vote. I wonder what would happen if 85% of the American population voted in each election, how much different, and better our own country could be. This is a lesson for my generation, that we do have the power to affect change. It won’t happen overnight, but if we all educated ourselves, and chose to come together to have our voices heard, how much more we could do for our own country. It is sad to see how many of my fellow countrymen (non gender specific here) don’t know what is going on within their own country, and are completely clueless to what is going on around the world. With the advent of ships, and planes, and even cars the world had gotten so much smaller. There is no excuse to not have any clue to what is going on, or limit the sources in which you get your information from.

There is something about seeing a country turning out in force, and being passionate about its future. By what I have been seeing today, this whole Scottish Independence debate is really just getting started. Seeing a country turnout in force and actually participating in their future. Seeing that much active participation astounds me, and gives hope for the future. Young people taking part in the decisions that affect them, their future and their nation is something that my generation of American’s is sorely lacking.

It also baffles me, to think that Scotland is only about 1/3 of the size of the state of Oregon (my home state) in square miles and a population that is roughly that of the state of Minnesota.

I totally believe that Scotland could succeed on its own, it would take work yes, but it can be done. Playing it safe never gets you anywhere where you want to be.

why should I trade one tyrant three thousand miles away for three thousand tyrants one mile away? – The Patriot (2000)

It’s all for nothing if you don’t have freedom. – Braveheart (1995)

I *am* William Wallace! And I see a whole army of my countrymen, here in defiance of tyranny. You’ve come to fight as free men… and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight? … Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM! – Braveheart (1995)

There’s a difference between us. You think the people of this country exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom. And I go to make sure that they have it. – Braveheart (1995)

Scottish Independence?????????????????

Since I got wind of it in the last few weeks, I have been paying attention to the up coming referendum vote that will be taking place this coming Thursday, September 18th. Those living in Scotland will be deciding whether or not Scotland will becoming it’s own country again. Something that has not been a reality in over 300 years.

I am interested and excited to see what happens, as I would jump at the chance to move to Scotland given the chance either way of this vote. I have had the desire to live in Scotland for 5 years now, but have relegated myself to the reality that the easiest and most practical way for that to happen is to marry a Scotsman, and the likelihood of that happening is looking slim.

If the vote comes back to be yes, Scotland would still not be it’s own country until March 26th 2016, which is just over 18 months away. Even if Scotland became its own country, my best legal option of moving would be through marriage.

Why would someone like me want to move to Scotland? you may ask. I will tell you. I have been fascinated with it’s culture, history, lifestyle, climate (and about the only place in my own country that rivals that is SE Alaska) and I want a change of pace. I want to learn about another country’s culture by immersion. I have been trying to learn about the culture and such through BBC documentaries and non fictitious TV Programs. I also realize that it would be a huge adjustment for me, and that challenge is part of the reason why I want to go. I want to get out of my shell and experience living abroad.

I have done a bit of research, and I know even with food intolerances I would be fine, It would just be part of the adjustment and learning how to take care of myself in a new environment with brands I am not familiar with. It can be done. Not allowing myself to give in and come back without giving it a fair chance just because it is unfamiliar and new. If I were to move I would rely on the fact that I got through College (University) without giving up in the first year (I had serious thought about it, and wanted to at one point), but I did not give up. I stuck it out, and I am glad I did.