Taking on Life at Full Speed

Learning from the past to make a brighter future

Time is Flying — October 10, 2017

Time is Flying

Hey Everyone!

What a week.

Last Tuesday was very busy, and I slept the rest of the day.

Last week was one of those weeks where I ended the week exhausted after the week I had had.

Saturday, I went with my family to the annual Greek Festival at one of the Greek Orthodox churches here in Portland. We aren’t Greek or orthodox, we go for the Food.

I had Monday off, which was nice. I had needed the extra day off. Monday afternoon I had started packing up my room at my parents house. I have been going through what I want to keep and what can go, so whenever I am able to move away from here, I will be going as minimal as possible.

Working on living a more minimalistic life when it comes to material things, has been a goal of mine. I don’t want a lot of material things holding me back from living my best possible life or making it harder if I were to move half way or completely across the country.

As I have been getting older, I have been learning the value of memories and experiences are more important than a lot of material things that you don’t use everyday.

Don’t worry, I am not getting rid of everything. I am keeping my kitchen stuff (how else am I going to be able to cook and bake stuff up to post about on Simple Homemaking), my knitting stuff (my favorite hobby), my books, my autumn decorations and my Christmas decorations, among other things.

I have learned that I don’t need a big house, and lots of material things to make me happy, give me a comfortable pair of hiking boots and a beautiful day outdoors with a home to come back to at the end of the day and I am happy.

Advertisements
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. 

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. 

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. 

It’s Rose Festival Week — June 7, 2017

It’s Rose Festival Week

Hey Everyone!

The Rose Festival is back in Portland. That means it is also Fleet Week.

The Rose Festival is one of Portland’s annual traditions that has been going on for more than a century. It is one of the big events to kick off the summer season in the City of Roses.

It starts if with City Fair (where all the rides are) and the Starlight Parade on the first Saturday evening. The Starlight Parade has floats and high school bands. The Wednesday during the Rose Festival is the Junior Rose Parade which is made up of elementary and middle school entries (including bands). The final Saturday is when the Rose Festival Queen is crowned (each of the high schools elects a princess who competes for Queen), just before the parade kicks off. The parade includes high school and adult bands, horse and float entires. All the float decorations have to be decorated with natural products (like seeds, nuts, and flowers). It is a huge event that attracts a lot of people to turn out in person to see it, as well as people tuning in and  watching it on TV.

This week, as part of the Rose Festival, it is also Fleet Week, where we have Naval, Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy ships come and dock along the water front (on the Willamette River), for a few days and during certain times can be toured.

While I was in Band in Middle School I was in the Junior Rose Parade twice. In 9th grade I was in the Grand Floral Parade (in Marching Band) and my sophomore year I had been in the Starlight Parade. Being in the grand floral Parade was a big deal, and I got to do it as a freshman. My freshman year was the last year the band from my high school (by itself) was invited to be in the Grand Floral Parade.

I had attended the Starlight parade a couple of times while I was in Middle School since my brother was in it. My brother and I were both in the high school bands the year we were in the grand floral parade.

The parades, the ships and city fair (which is like a big fair or carnival), is a really fun way to kick off the summer season and for the kids (especially the band kids), to be ending the school year on.

Memorial Day Weekend  — May 30, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend 

Hey Everyone!

It was an eventful yet uneventful weekend. 

Saturday, had been the hottest day of the weekend, and the day I had spent the most time outside. Going out to Sauvie Island and seeing the Bybee – Howell house, I was way to hot, and rather miserable in the heat. 75 degrees Fahrenheit (Roughly 24 degrees Celsius), is my upper limit before I really start not feeling well. 

Having gone out to Sauvie Island on Saturday, I saw this cool looking old farm house, the property which it sits on has been turned into a territorial park, so I was able to stop and check it out. 

The Bybee – Howell House (the old farmhouse you see not log after you come across the Sauvie Island bridge) was built in 1856, and the original owner was one of the first Multnomah County Commissioners. In the back remains what is left of the Orchard that had been planted there at one point. There are plenty of big, old trees that provide much needed shade. There would have also been plenty of room to have a big garden, as well as chickens (layers and ones for food), as well as other farm animals to be raised for food. Other than the traffic going by on the road, it was really peaceful, and it was away from the bulk of the city noise. The birds were chirping, and it really was the kind of area I would love to live. Not necessarily on Sauvie Island, but someplace that isn’t in the middle of the big city, and doesn’t have a ton of traffic. 

Sunday, my mom and I had made rhubarb pie and mixed berry freezer jam.

Monday, I had done some cleaning. The weather was definitely had been cooler than Saturday. 

Today feels like a Monday even though it is Tuesday, because of the long weekend. Today has been rainy and cool, which has amazing. It is not quite 40 degrees cooler than it was on Saturday, and my allergies are doing a lot better today. 

Today has definitely been an indoor knitting while drinking tea and watching movies kind of day. For which I am thankful. 

Into the Woods — January 24, 2017

Into the Woods

Hey Everyone!

The snow had finally melted off last week, in plenty of time for my weekday off. 

After having been stuck at home for the better part of at least two weeks, due to ice and snow. This past Friday I just needed to get out and go somewhere. I had been cooped up too long. I decided to drive down to Silver Falls State Park for something to do. 


I didn’t do a lot of hiking while I was there since I was on my own, and it was around 12:30 pm when I got there. Beings the days are stills pretty short, and it was overcast and drizzling, it wasn’t optimal hiking weather, well at least not for the clothes I was wearing. I will have to go back on a day that is a bit warmer and do more hiking. 


This week especially, I have been working hard on knitting a pair of wool socks for myself. I am working on making enough wool socks that I have a good stash of boot socks for when I go hiking, since I love hiking in the cooler weather the best. I would like to have a decent stash, because I would ultimately love to do more hiking and go on multi – day camping / hiking trips, and have enough hand knit wool boot socks to have a clean pair for every day and not have to wash socks while I am out, unless it is absolutely necessary. 

That is also why I am waiting on my second KnitPicks order to arrive with more of the Palette Yarn that I am working with for Socks. This time I bought more browns and blues, so that I have a variety of colors besides just grey. I had also ordered blocking boards and T pin for projects that have to be washed and blocked. I am excited to finally be getting blocking boards and T pins, for better blocking results than trying to straight pin projects to towels. I am hoping the boards will help projects to dry faster. 

This year, my goal is to spend my free time doing what I love. I want to spend more time reading, going on adventures, knitting, and spending more time on my blogs. I am still trying to figure out a consistent schedule, at least for this blog. My other blogs are dependent on having content to write about, but I definitely want to put more energy into my blogs. 

Settling Back into a Normal Routine — January 7, 2017

Settling Back into a Normal Routine

Hey Everyone!

As I am sitting here at my computer, watching the snow coming down outside my window, I can’t help but think about what I want to accomplish this year. 

This year I want to read more books, go on more adventures, I also want to spend more time blogging and knitting. 

This past week has been pretty busy, with work, knitting, and the orders I had put in at the end of December all arrived. It was like Christmas all over again, getting something every day. I had only put in a couple orders but most of the items came two or three in a package since they were coming from different warehouses is different parts of the country. The last of my orders came today. Today’s package were the little bags and the item stickers for when I make Scentsy samples of the new spring and summer fragrances that will be available march 1st. I am going to be making samples for my customers. 

Here a couple weeks ago I had gotten the entire series of Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman since it was half price and it is set, beginning in 1867 in Colorado Springs, so it is still the era of the Wild West. It also stars Jane Seymour, which typically means it’s a show / movie I will for sure watch and probably like. 

I love books, and reading. It wasn’t always that way, I didn’t really start enjoying books until Middle School. By the time I started college I was well on my way to working on building my own little personal library. College only added to it, as I minored in Literature (while no one in the post graduation world really cares what you minored it, I still have reminders of what I minored in, packed away in a box with the rest of the books I owned prior to college graduation.) while in school. I always love reading a good book, and the days of having a school break so I could stay up all night reading a good book and going to bed when the sun is coming up. I am also thankful that I have a job which allows me to buy new books every so often. I am currently reading Two by Two, which is the newest book by Nicholas Sparks. 

Yesterday afternoon I had gone out and was running errands and I had stopped at Home Depot, which is one of those stores I could spend way too much time in, there and sporting goods stores. I had stopped by to pick up a few moving boxes since my Scentsy warmers had kind of been all over the place and were totally unorganized, so I wanted to organize them and get them all in one place. Other than the warmer that I am currently using, and my diffuser, I was able to get all my warmers, and warmer accessories packed into two medium boxes. While I was at it, and had freed up a couple plastic storage containers, I reorganized my autumn and Christmas decorations as I had crammed them all into one storage container that had gotten too full, so I split them up into their own containers (which will be much easier to deal with when I get my own place). I also filled up another plastic storage container with more kitchen stuff that I have picked up in recent months. Bringing everything from the garage to the second story, organizing it, then taking it back down to the garage was a good workout last night, and my quads are feeling it today. 

Now that the Holidays are over I am finally settling back into a normal routine. I am definitely looking forward to working on my goals for this year. 

2017 Goals — January 1, 2017

2017 Goals

Hey Everyone!

2016 is quickly coming to a close, and I am not sad to see it go. It was a fairly uneventful year that I kind of feel that in some ways that I wasted. 

I am hoping to make 2017 a better year, with more adventures and spend more time at the beach. I really want to spend more time outdoors, exploring and hiking. 

This next year I also want to grow my Scentsy and Perfectly Posh businesses. 

This next year I also want to complete more knitting projects beings that I have a lot of yarn I want to work through and have more cold weather accessories for outdoor adventures in the cold weather. 

I also want to read more books. My goal is to read two of the Nicholas Sparks books I have yet to read, as well as finish rereading Outlander, then read the rest of the Outlander series that is published, then read then read the Game of Thrones series. There is one Outlander book and a couple of Game of Thrones books that are in the works that I will read when they come out. I also have some more of Gail Tsukiyama’s novels coming that I want to read, and at least one new Robin Jones Gunn book to read. So that is 20 published books I hope to read this year.