Taking on Life at Full Speed

Learning from the past to make a brighter future

A Couple Days off — September 21, 2017

A Couple Days off

Hey Everyone!

Work didn’t schedule me for today or tomorrow, so I am able to enjoy a few days off and be ready to dive into a full week next week.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon knitting and watching Hulu.

Today I slept in, then got ready to head out. I stopped at Freddie’s and Black Rock Coffee before running by work to check the schedule for next week. On the way home I stopped by Cooper Mountain Nature park, to take some pictures. While I love hiking, I didn’t want to put that much strain on my knee that I banged up pretty good a couple days ago.

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Since I got home, I have been baking some gluten free and dairy free brownies while I waited for my KnitPicks package to arrive.

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In my KnitPicks package, I got the yarn swift I ordered as well as a hank of the KnitPicks stroll fingering yarn. I really didn’t need to order more yarn, but it was a choice of buying a hank of yarn and qualify for free shipping or just order the swift and be a penny shy of getting free shipping so I would have had to pay for shipping. The choice was get more yarn or pay for shipping. Yarn won.

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I have been enjoying relaxing since I got home from work yesterday morning.

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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. 

Modern Homesteading — April 17, 2017

Modern Homesteading

Hey Everyone!

Over the past several years, I have been becoming more and more interested in Modern homesteading. While I am not one who whats to go completely off grid, I definitely want to get out of the city, and have at least some property, if not a full on farm.

There is a part of me that wants to live some place else, deep down, this part of the country is home, and I know what grows well here, and pretty much everything I want to grow myself or purchase from local farm stands or farm stores/cooperatives can be grown in the Pacific Northwest.

I also want to do a lot more canning/preserving and have plenty of home canned pickles, pears, peaches, applesauce, elderberry jam and syrup, black currant jam, as well as making my own strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and huckleberry freezer jam. There is so much more I also want to preserve, I just haven’t thought of it at the moment. I have the Ball complete book of home preserving, and it is full of many different things I want to at least try doing.

I also want to grow a lot of my own produce, as well as having chickens (for eggs and meat), maybe a few pigs (again for meat), and a couple goats (for “pets” and vegetation management).

I am also interested in using solar power. I know I would have to use some of the regular “on grid” electricity, especially in the winter, but in the summer I hope to use very little if any “on grid” electricity.

I am very much an outdoorsy, work with my hands, live a simpler, more old fashioned way of life kind of person. I can only handle watching so many youtube videos, movies and tv shows, before my brain and body are screaming for me to go outside, and do something.

Over the years of dealing with food intolerances has really been the biggest push toward my desire to live a more natural life. Looking at labels and reading ingredients has been a huge factor in my desire to grow and raise as much of my own food as possible, and what I can’t grow or raise myself, acquire from local farms and orchards. I am also all about cooking and baking from scratch and being a DIY’er. This is why I had created my Simple Homemaking blog and youtube channel. I wanted to document my journey of moving toward living a more natural lifestyle, and living a more natural lifestyle, and sharing it with others who are living a similar lifestyle or who are curious to see what it is all about.

I also do a lot of knitting, and that also ties in with how people used to live, and the DIY lifestyle. I love making winter accessories for myself and others.

In college my favorite subject quickly became American History, more specifically History of the American West and Gender Issues (which was my school’s version of Women’s History). I could relate to a lot of it, since I grew up on the west coast, and my family has lived west of the Mississippi River for several generations. I have ancestors who came out west on the Oregon Trail, one set of my great grandparents lived on at least one homestead if not more than one. So this part of the country, it’s history and way of live is in my blood and a huge part of who I am. It is also a part of history that is quickly being forgotten and lost, as generations don’t see it as relevant and just don’t care. There is a part of me that wants to preserve that history, culture and way of life. I still want to keep some of my modern conveniences like Electricity, modern kitchen appliances, indoor plumbing, and a washer and dryer. I do want to live more off the land and teach the younger generations about how the generations before us lived.

Living a Simpler Life — February 6, 2017

Living a Simpler Life

Hey Everyone!

Over the course of the past few years I have been working to figure out what I am supposed to be doing with my life. As time has gone by, I have been finding myself spending more and more time outdoors, going on adventures and hiking. Since I graduated from college, I have developed food intolerances and sensitivities, which has made food a big deal for me. Knowing where my food comes from and sticking to whole grains, lean proteins, fresh & local fruits and vegetables is my goal.

What I have come to the conclusion is that the city life is not for me, and I want to live a simpler life. A life that is less about having a lot of material goods and more about actually living life and living more off the land, without excess. 

I don’t want to live completely off grid, but I want to take advantage of a simpler life, where I make as much of my own stuff as possible. I also want to take advantage of alternative energy sources such as Solar, Wind and hydro power that are renewable. 

I have also been trying to use more natural products, as I have found that skin care, laundry care, dish care products are so full of synthetic chemicals that cause adverse reactions and have been linked to diseases that were nowhere near as prevalent 65+ years ago. 

To some extent I am going more natural, there are still areas of current mainstream society that I don’t want to go without. I know I would miss having a cellphone, internet, grocery stores (for food that I am unable to grow or raise myself), and my current wardrobe. 

I have loved being out in the woods, campfires, canning fruit, making jam, going to the farms or farm store / co op and buy what I can’t grow or is not time / cost effective to grow small scale from local farms and orchards where they grow what I want on a larger scale. I love supporting local. 

From the time I was young, I have been fascinated by Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life as a girl and young woman growing up and living on the frontier and being a pioneer. 

The college I had attended was in a small town in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of farm, wine and hops country. While I know there are towns even smaller out there, and even further away from the city. This experience, combined with the fact that I chose to spend as much time there as possible. I didn’t want to be one of those college kids who goes away to a school within 100 miles of my parents house, just to go “home” every weekend. I wanted to integrate myself into life there. I chose to stay there most weekends and most summers. It totally became my home. 

Having grown up in the city, and having had to come back after university, I have seen how expensive it really is to live in an urban area, especially on the west coast. It is difficult for a young professional, like myself to find a job I can support myself on and maintain the city lifestyle. 

My dream job is living in a small town to a small city (like under 70k people max), and blogging about living a simpler life, more off the land, where I can spend more time outside when the weather permits. I also want to blog about the homemaking end of things, as well as what I knit up for myself. 

Living in the 21st Century — February 15, 2016

Living in the 21st Century

Hey Everyone!

It is Monday, so here is my first post in my what’s on my mind Monday Series.

The past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about who I am today, and how I got to where I am today in terms of the life experiences I have had and what I believe.

I grew up in a fairly conservative environment, yet I went to public school, grew up with my mom having had a career her whole adult life, and having grown up with two grandmothers who were both strong women, yet were amazing Christian women at the exact same time. One of whom had to be a single mother and finish raising two girls on her own after my grandpa got sick and then passed away. My grandma held full time jobs, supported her children, kept house, and was active in her church. The other grandmother was a pastors wife, who was good at what she did and at least at one point in time had a job outside the home in addition to her responsibilities as a Pastors Wife. She was also a strong woman, personality wise, from what I remember she and my grandpa were well matched and each was what the other needed to bring to do what they were called to do.

Even though I saw my grandmothers and mother hold down jobs, I also saw them do the normal, cook/keep house and raise kids like they were “supposed” to do. Women are capable of being wives and mothers even if they need to work outside of the home.

So growing up I saw that, and saw that women could think for themselves, and could make their own decisions (which were good decisions), and they were completely able to take care of their own business out in the real world. For me, between how I was raised and where society was and is, there was never any doubts that I could do anything I set my mind to. I got my drivers permit at 15, my license just before my 17th birthday, I went to college, had my own apartment and had paid bills all before I turned 21. I graduated from college after 4 years, at the age of 22, I then went to New York on my own at the age of 23.  I have a full time job, I pay my bills, I can balance my checkbook, I have travelled on my own, all in my 20’s and without being married. Marriage may or may not happen for me, but if it doesn’t I know I can take care of myself and am not reliant on my father/brother/other male relative to support me like I would have been years ago, or would be in other countries. I still believe much of what I was taught growing up, as far as being a Christian and all of that. I have also seen how real life can be and that things happen, like getting married later in life if one gets married at all, or a spouse can die and you don’t get remarried. Being on your own as a woman isn’t necessarily a bad thing, even as a woman, it give you the time and opportunity to grow closer to God, and the other women (Married or unmarried) in your life and to learn from them.

Even with how far we, and by we I am meaning women have come in the past 100 years in the country, it still isn’t without its flaws, and the inequities are still ever present. Like the fact that we are still only earning $.79 to every $1 a man makes, of how here in the US we don’t have a paid maternity leave system for women in our own country, women are lucky if they work for a company that offers any paid maternity leave let alone 3 – 6 months of paid maternity leave. We (the United States) is the only westernized country that doesn’t have some form of national laws mandating paid maternity leave.

Then there are the issues of Slut Shaming and Victim Shaming. Both are poor excuses if even that for men to try to get out of taking responsibility for their actions and make women responsible for the stupid, idiotic, irresponsible behavior.  I believe in modesty, but I also believe some take it to the extreme. Modesty goes both ways. While it seems that females are more the focus when it comes to modesty, but guys can be immodest as well. Responsibility also falls on both sides. I also be live that slut shaming and victim shaming is a scape goat and an excuse for guys to be jerks and not take responsibility for their actions, like why should they when they can just blame their irresponsibility on a girl for how she dresses or how she is acting. Those guys aren’t men, they don’t deserve respect because they haven’t earned it. Degrading and demeaning women for how they dress is also wrong, even if you never lay a hand on them, how you talk about them, how you talk to them, and how you treat them/ act toward them is also your own responsibility, not theirs. Guys, if you want our respect don’t blame the girl for you raping her or beating her up because you are a jerk who thinks you are all that because you can cause harm to a woman or a child. Do I think women should dress modestly? Yes, but that doesn’t mean you have to look, think or act like the Duggar girls, there is a middle ground. Guys, you can learn some self control, and expect more from yourselves and take responsibility for your own actions and choices. Respect and trust is earned, not demanded. 

That’s all I got for tonight all. Thanks for reading, and check back next week for another what’s on my mind post.