Icing my Back

Hey Everyone!

I have no idea how idea how I did it, but sometime Saturday evening I strained my back, and by the time I woke up Sunday morning, I was in a lot of pain and had a hard time moving. It is now Thursday, and I am still a bit sore, and it is still a bit more difficult than usual to get around, but I am doing a lot better than I was on Sunday. I am finally able to sit for longer periods, and it is easier to get up from sitting. I have also not taken any pain relievers since Tuesday. I have been able to manage the pain without meds, with alternating positions and icing my back for short periods of time. I am really just trying to let my body heal naturally and on it’s own without much in the way of pain reliever meds. I took some the first couple days because it hurt to do much of anything and I had a couple of events to go to. Now that I can just chill at home, I am going without meds. I don’t want to do more harm to my internal organs than I have to. 

While I have kind of been out of commission the last few days, I have been working on trying to get a pair of socks finished. 

It has also been easier to stay home, where there is air conditioning, especially since yesterday got up to 94 degrees. 

I know I have talked about it in previous posts, about living a simpler life away from the rat race of the city. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to live so far from the city that I can’t make a day trip out of coming into the city and going shopping. For me, there is more to life than being dictated by traffic, and every time I look out the windows, that there are houses, concrete and pavement everywhere. In the city, you deal with more pollution, traffic and such. While I don’t really want to live off grid, or go without electricity, and internet, as long as I have indoor plumbing that is safe and works, as well as AC in the summer, and have fast enough internet to blog, I am more about growing and raising my own food, the way the Woods and hay smells on a hot summer day, or watching the snow fall on the fir trees in the winter. 

Homemaking, blogging, purposeful living, living on purpose, raising as much of my own food as possible and preserving it is my dream life. I am all about working with my hands and being self sufficient, and I am not a fan of having to be reliant on grocery stores to supply 98% of the food that I eat, that I don’t know where it comes from, or how it was raised. I know that in many ways I am spoiled by getting to live in the part of the country that I do, and I have so much in the way of diy, homesteading, and grow your own food resources at my fingertips, that I want to be able to avail myself of them, and live the life I have been dreaming of for years, and sharing it all with you. 

Posted in Adult Life, Adulthood, Autumn, Baking, City Life, Cooking, Crafts, Culture, Fall, goals, Groceries, Homemaking, Homesteading, Inspiration, Life, Life lessons, My Journey, Natural Living, outdoors, Urban Homesteading, Work | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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. 

Posted in Adult Life, Adulthood, Adventures, Baking, City Life, Cooking, Food intolerances, Homemaking, Homesteading, Knitting, Life, Life lessons, My Journey, Natural Living, outdoors, Staying Strong, Weekend | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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. 

Posted in Adult Life, Adulthood, Adventures, Baking, City Life, Crafts, Culture, Food intolerances, goals, History, Homemaking, Homesteading, Inspiration, Knitting, Life, Life lessons, My Journey, Natural Living, outdoors, shopping, Travel, Unemployment, Urban Homesteading, Winter, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sometimes I have to shake my head

Hey Everyone!

The past few days has been full of cooking, baking, an adventure and now sore muscles. 

Yesterday I went for a hike, and man there was a lot of people out there, you could totally tell the tourists from those who hike on a regular basis. The true tourists were dressy clothes and unsensible footwear, like fashion sandals and white dressy shorts.

There is a time and a place for fashion sandals and dressier clothes, and a State Park with 8.7+ miles of hiking trails, and that is what it is known for is not one of them. 

I am researching hiking boots as I am looking to replace my current pair, as I am not sold on them, and they are partly the problem of the blisters and not being as supportive as I need them to be of my ankles, and therefore my knees and lower back as well. 

I am also working on knitting up boot socks as well, so I have good quality boot socks for going hiking. When I am able to actually go boot shopping I can get a better idea of fit with the socks I will wear since I already have a few pairs of socks done. Here is hoping that the lightweight wool socks will be better at helping prevent blisters on my feet, and help take up the extra room. 

I really do enjoy hiking, and I am still figuring out a lot, that are things each person has to figure out on their own, like what boots fit best and are best for the kind of hiking you are doing. I am definitely wanting to get into better shape, and work my way into more intense hikes. I would also love to get into better shape and get into rock climbing. 

Posted in Adult Life, Adulthood, Adventures, Baking, City Life, Cooking, Crafts, Life lessons | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

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. 

Posted in Adult Life, Adulthood, Autumn, Baking, blogging, City Life, Cooking, Fall, Fall Decorating, goals, Groceries, History, Homemaking, Homesteading, Inspiration, Knitting, Life, Life lessons, Natural Living, outdoors, Unemployment, Urban Homesteading, What's on my Mind Monday, Winter, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Your Cousins are Related

Hey Everyone!

I had gone to one of my cousins bridal shower, Thursday evening. While I knew there were going to be several of my cousins from my dad’s side of the family there. I had one of those “oh duh” moments when some family from my Mom’s side of the family showed up, as they are also related to my cousin that is getting married. My Cousin’s (who is getting married) aunt is also my mom’s first cousin and the bride’s mother is my dad’s first cousin and they had married brothers (hence the title “my cousins are related”) Let’s just put it this way, I have a large extended family, and myself being the 4th generation in the church I was raised in, I am pretty much related to a lot of people. So my Cousins bridal shower was a family bridal shower, Everyone there is related to my second cousin. 

It makes it easy sometimes when everyone is my cousin, until it is time to date. It has meant looking in the branch churches and elsewhere for a decent Christian guy, who shares the beliefs, morals and values that I do. 

By blood or marriage I was related to everyone at my cousins bridal shower even though, for most them it’s not close enough to really matter or change anything. 

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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.

Posted in Childhood, City Life, Culture, Family, Life, My Journey, Weekend | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

City Living

Hey Everyone!

I am one who does love small town, but as much as you want something, some dreams aren’t supposed to become a reality, and at this point, small town life my be a happy chapter in my younger days.

Like maybe the reason I have not found a job someplace else is because there is a reason I need to stay in Portland, and that there is a job here for me somewhere. I know, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, it doesn’t make sense to me either, especially since I have spent the last 7 years feeling stuck here, and have not had much success in the job department here.

Some days I can’t imagine staying in the city, other days, there is no other place I would rather place be.

Having food intolerances, and having learned how to manage them while living in the city, would definitely complicate things for living in a small town, as I would constantly be coming to the city to get the Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free baking supplies I have grown accustomed to. Living outside of the metro area, would add the cost of gas to come to the city to go shopping. Over the last few years, I have gotten used to having several Trader Joe’s Stores, as well as New Seasons, Whole Foods, and urban Fred Meyer’s stores all within a 5 mile radius. Not to mention all the yarn and craft stores we have here. We also have my favorite bakery here in the city, as well as several locally owned tea shops and coffee roasters. Starbucks is over rated, especially when you have Dutch Bros, Human Bean, Barista, as well as Stump Town Coffee Roasters. Not to mention the fact that we have Stash Tea, Steven Smith Tea Maker, and the Tao of Tea here in the city as well.

Granted I can find a job, it’s not like I can’t go to beach, whenever I have a free day and want to take off and go. Or going back to where I went to college and seeing the friends I still have there, as it is only an hour an a half away.

Just having the easy access to Gluten Free & Dairy Free food, and having natural grocery stores near by makes living in the city worth it. With that, I would still love to have a large enough backyard to have a garden still.

Posted in Adult Life, Adulthood, blogging, City Life, Life, Natural Living, Urban Homesteading, Work | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

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. 

Posted in Adult Life, Adulthood, Adventures, Baking, City Life, Cooking, Crafts, History, Homemaking, Homesteading, Knitting, Life, My Journey, outdoors, Weekend | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Hot Days and Going for a Drive

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday and today have been roasting hot. Yesterday was 94 degrees and today got to 88. While that isn’t hot for some areas, it is hot for Portland. Fortunately it has been cooling off quickly today. It went from 88 degrees sometime between 3 and 4, to 80 at about 5, and now at 8:30 pm it is sitting at a comfortable 62 degrees. 

This afternoon I needed to get out of the house and to go do something, so I went for a drive. It was so nice to get out of the city, even if it only was for a couple of hours. It was nice to be able to roll down the windows, turn up the radio and drive a two lane windy country road. That is definitely something I miss from having spent a few years living in a small town. 


While I would have loved to have gone to the beach, that was a bit out of a question, since the beach is and hour and a half to two hours away. I do love this part of the country. Well, the Mid & Northern Willamette Valley and the beach (Northern and Central Oregon Coast) anyway. 

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