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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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.

Moving on from Disappointment  — July 14, 2017

Moving on from Disappointment 

Hey Everyone!

I had an interview this past Tuesday, for a job that I probably would have enjoyed. I found out today that I didn’t get the job. I am trying to keep my mind off it and focus on finding a job and where I need to be. 

As much as I love this part of the country, the fact that I have struggled to find a long term job, for the past 7.5 years. So, if I can find a job elsewhere I would totally move. Portland is a tough place to find a decent job if you aren’t in IT, Engineering or Healthcare fields. 

Besides that, I went out and about for a bit this afternoon since I was tired of being stuck inside. I just drove around the city a bit. If I could find a job here, I would totally stay. At the same time, if I could find a job else where I would move, and enjoy the adventure.

After I got home, I made a batch of Raspberry & Cherry freezer jam. It turned out amazing. 


I also spent some time knitting today, working to get the pair of socks I am working on done. I am still on the first sock though. 

Ideally I would love to live either at the coast or back in the mid valley, either in a small town or near the small towns, and be within a couple hours of Portland. I am definitely more of a small town / country girl rather than a city girl. Having spent most of my life in the city, I am used to it, I would just rather be living in the country. 

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. 

Life is so much more… — May 9, 2017

Life is so much more…

Hey Everyone!

With looking for work, I have also had time to think about, what I am working toward, what kind of career I want, and the goals I want to accomplish.

There is a part of me that still is clinging on the the fibers of building and helping run a Christian Retreat center from the ground up, and another part of me, that keeps saying, to be sensible and become a librarian, and another part of me that wants to settle down on a small farm, and live as much off the land as possible, or be able to travel, and share my adventures and way of life and story with others, that it may help someone who is going through similar circumstances as myself.

There is more to life than staying in one place, especially if that place is someplace you want to break out and away from, because it is holding you back from your full potential.

A decade ago, I learned that I am not a big city kind of person, I thrive in a small town, where community is important. I am one of those people who does better working with my hands, outdoors whenever possible, and not spending all day working on a computer. Being about to talk to other people, engage in conversation, working with my hands, whether that is knitting, or cooking & baking, or canning, or working out in the garden, or meeting up with some friends for coffee, or having a knitting group.

Even if I were to become a Librarian, that wouldn’t be all of who I am, that would just be my career.

Some People know what they want to do, career wise from the time they are young, others, like myself are still trying to figure it out in our late 20’s and early 30’s.

Going Back To School? — April 28, 2017

Going Back To School?

Hey Everyone!

For the past 7 years I have been looking for work, and had several odd jobs over the past 7 years. I began really looking for work while I was in my last term of college.

Now 7 years on, I have really seen the need to have more education in addition to the Bachelors Degree in Social Science that I already have.

At this point in time, I am seriously looking into going back to school. Social Science, especially at the bachelors degree level, without a teaching license, isn’t much use in the current economic climate. There are a couple of career paths I am considering, one is a bit more promising than the other, and I will likely pursue the more promising one. The more promising one, is also the more practical and have a clearer idea of what I need to do to achieve the end goal, which is a career.

My biggest hurdle now, is finding a job I can support myself on, so I can go back to school and further my education.

As of right now, I am looking at getting a second bachelors degree, and then going on and getting a masters degree.

I know I am not saying much about it, and being a bit cryptic. I will write more about about it, when I have more information, and I know for sure what I am going to be doing, and when things are lining up, and falling into place. Going back to school is still very much in the early stages, and there isn’t much to talk about yet.

Knowing when it is time to Move On — April 25, 2017

Knowing when it is time to Move On

Hey Everyone!

For years really, I have known that where I am, is not where I am supposed to be long term. Now that the job I had had for almost 2.5 years ended, it is really time for me to figure out where to go from here, and where I am supposed to be, and what I am supposed to be doing.

I know for a while I needed to be here, as this was one of the best places in the country to have to learn how to have to be dairy free and gluten free, but now that I am on top of it, and know how to live that way, it is time for me to move on.

I have known that there were no living wage jobs for someone like me here, for  years, the economy here is really IT and manufacturing driven. When you studied History in College, and know that you want to do more to live off the land, and share the knowledge that I have gained about clean eating, healthy living, growing and preserving my own food, that it isn’t going to happen here.

There is so much I want to do with my life, and I can’t be all that I know I can be, and all I am supposed to be when I can’t get a job that I can support myself on. I am one of those people, who don’t understand algebra, let alone calculus, who’s brain struggles to grasp engineering concepts, let alone all the math and science to become an engineer of any sort or go into the health care fields.

The easy simple answer would be to stay, and not put in the effort to leaving, but anything that is worth doing, isn’t easy, and by staying I would not be allowing myself to achieve my full potential, or help others to achieve their’s while I am achieving mine. There is more to life than not being true to who you are, and not pursuing what you love and are really good at. What I am good at, and am really passionate about is not even close to being tapped here. It was through being here, and going through several of the wrong things that I have found what I love, and what I am good at, and with that I must leave and find where I am to thrive, and excel.

Life Update — March 10, 2017

Life Update

Hey Everyone!

I haven’t really talked about what I was doing for work on this blog, mostly because I didn’t really want to talk about it, and really didn’t feel that it was appropriate at the time to talk about what I was doing. From mid – November 2014 until recently I had been working for one of the local phone/internet companies as a contractor, where my title was Engineering Assistant. I was hired to help with a big project that they had going and needed help with. Now that it is wrapping up, they didn’t need as much help with it, so I am now looking for a new job.

This job had given me about 2.33 years of work experience at the same job, which is a huge deal for anyone my position, who graduated from college during the recession who had also struggled to get work experience. Each of the jobs I have held have been learning experiences, in who I am, and what I am supposed to be doing career wise with my life. While I don’t see myself having a career as an engineer or with the phone company, I don’t regret having taken this job, nor do I see it as a mistake or a bad career move. Like I previously stated, it gave me more than two years of work experience at the same job, It also gave me an income during that time, during which I was able to make some progress in paying off my student debt. It also allowed me to work on growing my personal library. I have purchased plenty of books during the past two years. It also allowed me to buy yarn, in which I have and will be able to knit up into some amazing items. It also allowed me to pay for some weekend adventures, which have been a blast.

In the course of the adventures I have been on, and being able to really get out and see more of the city I live it, and experience it, I have learned a lot about who I am and the direction my life is going in. I love this part of the country. This is my home.

I have had the opportunity to go on more hikes, and spend more time at the beach, and that has been amazing. I love hiking, it is one of those things that I will keep doing for as long as I am able to.

Over the past couple months I have been stocking up on Sock Yarn, so I can knit myself socks that are sturdier, warmer, and of a better quality than store bought socks for Hiking socks. I am all about doing as much DIY stuff as possible, and I love making hand knit goods for myself that are not only pretty, but also functional and useful to my lifestyle. I definitely love being outdoors, exploring the are around me.

My love of History, especially that of Women’s roles, and what women did throughout history, has been a passion of mine that has been thriving. Between knitting, and learning more about homemaking, cooking & baking healthy dairy free, gluten free, egg free food.

This winter was hard, normally I love winter, and I love the rainy, grey days. This winter I have been in a funk, largely due to stress. Now that we have had a few nice, semi warm (like 58 – 60 degrees Fahrenheit) and at least partly sunny, so that has helped me get out of the funk. I am doing fine now, with some sleep and a nice day.

Today, I have been working on a pair of socks I am working on, I also got a load of laundry done, as well as relaxing which is really important right now. Burn Out and negative stress are not healthy, and I am working to get back to a good place when it comes to the stress thing. I also got my resume updated, so come Monday, I can hit the ground running to find a new job as quickly as possible.

Working on achieving my goals — December 23, 2014

Working on achieving my goals

Good Evening Everyone!

As I am writing this post it is still December 23rd, making tomorrow Christmas Eve. I will only be off from work on Christmas, and that is by choice. I am choosing to work tomorrow and Friday. Some of you may think I am crazy and be like “what????? You should take every day off that they’ll let you”. I don’t have paid vacation, so each day I take off is unpaid, and I cannot afford to only have two days on next week’s paycheck. I am happy to be able to work 4 days this week. I am really fortunate to have the job that I do, so that I can splurge on things like a new digital camera (albeit not a super expensive one) and a new hiking daypack/travel light backpack (which was on sale) as well as looking at getting a new phone. After the first of the year, I am going to start sticking to a budget and starting saving money.

The project I was hired on to do at work isn’t going to be a career, or be long term (as in more than a couple of years at best), so I am planning for what is going to happen after it ends. I want to have something to fall back on, as well as be able to travel on if I am able to get interviews in other parts of the country. I am hoping that the economy continues to improve over the duration of my job, and that my job lasts as long as possible. Both will greatly improve being able to find another job when this job ends. Until it ends I am working hard, and going to save money for as long as I have this job.

My current job has given me some much needed breathing room. While I am still not able to move out, I am able to pay my loan each month, purchase my own gluten free & dairy free food that is just for me. I am also able to keep gas in my car, and make some “because I want it” purchases. I really needed this job, and I am thankful for it.

This past year has been an amazing yet difficult year for different reasons. It has been difficult due to work/lack of it, as well as living situation/personality differences/only one in the house with food intolerances and all that entails. It has also been difficult with the passing of someone I knew this past week. This year has been amazing because I have seen God work in my life, and make a change in me. I have also been given my job, which is giving me the first real entry level job I have had. I am doing something I never thought I would be doing, but it is a very good experience for me, and some of the skills I can build off of in the future. It is also building off of having done scholarly research in College. I am going and pulling information from different databases with factual information and compiling my findings in spreadsheets for another part of the process. While engineering is not something I really have a huge interest in, the kind of Data entry and clerical work I am doing can be carried over into the History, Knitting and Non – Profits fields. The experience I am gaining here I could apply to a future career with different programs.

So, I am trying to jump start my future, by working hard and using what Work Experience I get, where I can get it to better myself and broaden my horizons.