Simpler Way Of Life

Hey Everyone!

How I want to live my life has been on my mind a lot lately. I don’t want to let my life slip by, or be adrift and one day wake up and be like “how on earth did I get here?”

I want to live my life with intention, and have a purpose for how and why I do things. 

I am very much someone who has to work with their hands, whether I am knitting, or cooking, baking, canning, gardening, fishing or building things. I am very much Homemaking inclined, but not in the modern sense of the word. More so in the traditional, pioneer, frontier sense of the word, where women very much did tend to the home, as well as spent time outdoors. They gardened, gathered berries, raised chickens, and possibly helped with the other farm animals they raised. 

While I have the benefits of electricity, natural gas, solar panels (for solar energy), as well as indoor plumbing and the internet, I am at a point in my life where if I had the opportunity to live on some property, and be more self sufficient, I wouldn’t miss living in the big city all that much. 

I know I have written about having lived in a couple small towns in as close to the middle of nowhere as you can get in the Willamette Valley while I was in college. I loved being out there, and going for drives through farm country. That was were I was living the most true to who I really am, that I have to date. 

Even if I can’t have as big of a garden as I would like, and have to live in town, without the animals; being able to live in a small town in a more rural setting, but am still able to come to the city to get the variety of dairy free & gluten free food I am used to, I would be fine. 

I have loved learning about how common, normal women lived their daily lives between the 1930’s – the 1950’s. I loved hearing my grandmother talk about how life was during the Great Depression and the Second World War.  Hearing about how when something broke, you fixed it. They fixed it because either a) replacements for said items weren’t available, b) they couldn’t afford to replace it, or, c) both a and b were true. I had gotten thinking about that today when one of my sock needles broke. I am unable to purchase a new set at the moment, and without the needle that broke, I wouldn’t be able to continue working on socks. So I had to fix it, and fix it I did. 

I am working on living a more intentional life, where I have a job where I can work with my hands, and live a simpler way of life, and not need to have so many new things, and fix what I can, and build from scratch. 

Posted in Adult Life, Adulthood, City Life, College, Cooking, Crafts, Decorating, Fall, goals, History, Homemaking, Homesteading, Inspiration, Knitting, Life, Life lessons, My Journey, Natural Living, outdoors, Work | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Adult Life, Adulthood, City Life, College, Homemaking, Homesteading, Knitting, Life, Life lessons, My Journey, Natural Living, outdoors, Unemployment, Urban Homesteading, Winter, Work, Yarn | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Out of Nowhere Summer Happened

Hey Everyone!

If you are not from the PNW, you probably weren’t aware of the 206 day stretch of below 70 we had had, that ended on Tuesday. We had not hit 70 since like October 7th or 8th, and then it went from upper 50’s to 84 degrees yesterday. We are on track to hit that or higher today, since it was already 79 with 47% humidity at 11:00 am. It had hit 88 degrees around 2 pm.

I am one of those people who is complaining that it is too hot when it is 70 degrees. I prefer the cold wet weather, and prefer winter over summer. Though Autumn / Fall is my favorite season, especially from mid October (when the days are still around 65 – 70, and before it really starts to have measurable rain most days) through about the first week of November.

So  typical me – as soon as we get our first 70 + degree day (Yesterday), I start wanting it to be fall. Last night, and most of today, I have had everything pumpkin, pumpkin scented, autumn colors and autumn decorating on the brain.

Summer is a necessary evil so to speak, but I do love summer evenings, when it is light well into the evening, still warm enough to be outside, yet cooling off from the heat of the say since the  sun is going down. Having a backyard and back patio (with string lights up) to grill up hotdogs, brauts, or burgers for dinner, and being able to eat dinner outside. All the fresh, local fruit, that is in season, as well as being able to have it available to can and make jams & Jellies out of. Pretty much, as long as I can have air conditioning, I manage to survive summer, and it does have a few things going for it.

Now that I  am working on living a simpler, more purposeful, and purposefully driven live, as well as wanting to get more into homesteading or even Urban Homesteading;  growing as much of my own food as possible, summer is necessary in order to achieve the goals I have set for myself.

Posted in Autumn, Cooking, Decorating, Fall, Fall Decorating, Homemaking, Homesteading, Life, My Journey, outdoors | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Adult Life, Adulthood, City Life, College, goals, Life lessons, My Journey, Unemployment, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Adult Life, Adulthood, Adventures, City Life, Cooking, Crafts, Food intolerances, goals, History, Homemaking, Homesteading, Knitting, Life, My Journey, Natural Living, outdoors, Portland, Staying Strong, Unemployment, Urban Homesteading, Work | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Got Caught out in the Rain. 

Hey Everyone!

Today was just one of those days where I don’t feel like I got a whole lot done. 

I did manage to go out and take a walk this afternoon. I left while it was still dry, but it did start raining while I was out on my walk. 


I loved the way the sun was shining through the clouds on the wet pavement, so I snapped a pic. 

After I got home, and got cleaned up (and warmed up), I made a batch of gluten free, vegan cinnamon rolls. They turned out so good. 


I have been doing a lot more baking and cooking from scratch since my job ended. I have been spending my time looking for a new job, and in between that, I have been knitting and baking like crazy.

Yesterday I had restarted the second sock of the pair I am currently working on. In the skein of yarn there were these globs of yarn that did not knit in well, and stuck out like a sore thumb. It didn’t look good, so I restarted the sock to make it look nice. 

Posted in Adult Life, Adulthood, Baking, Crafts, Homemaking, Homesteading, Knitting, Life, My Journey, outdoors, Portland, Work | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Adult Life, Baking, blogging, City Life, Cooking, Crafts, Culture, Food intolerances, History, Homemaking, Homesteading, Inspiration, Knitting, Life, My Journey, Natural Living, outdoors, Urban Homesteading, What's on my Mind Monday, Work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life is Returning to Normal

Hey Everyone!

As much fun as it was to have my Aunt and Uncle visit from Canada, they had to head back up north yesterday morning. On their way back home, they were stopping by my oldest cousin’s house, for a few days. My oldest cousin lives in Alberta.

Today was definitely more relaxing. I did do a little bit of baking; I made gluten free, dairy free pumpkin muffins, which are really good. I love pumpkin flavored stuff.

I have also spent time today working on the current pair of socks I am knitting up. The socks I am working on, I am using the very first skein of yarn I had purchased with the intent to use to make socks with. In the years since I had purchased this yarn, I have definitely learned about what types of yarn work well for socks, and what “Sock Yarn” is really a huge pain in the rear to try to knit up into socks. The yarn I am currently working with isn’t the worst yarn I have worked with to make socks, but so far it is my second least favorite yarn to use for knitting up socks. Now that I have knit up a few pairs of socks, and have tried a few different kinds of yarns, I am figuring out what works, and what doesn’t work.

What I am supposed to be doing career wise, and with my life in general has been on my mind a lot lately.

I know I want to live in a small town somewhere here in the West, primarily in more northern climates that aren’t too different than what I am used to where I am. I know I want stay in the mountain west, North of the 44th latitude Parallel, and no further east than the front range of the rockies. Though living in Alaska, Oregon, Washington or northern/western Idaho is preferable. This part of the country is home for me, and it’s in my blood. I want to be able to live somewhere where I can have a garden at least, and maybe some fruit trees and a few chickens, and eventually maybe some goats as well. This part of the country is one of the best growing regions (in my opinion) for local produce, like Peaches, Pears, Apples, Cherries, Cucumbers (to make pickles) as well as Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, huckleberries, blueberries. I would love to be able to grow my own strawberries, raspberries, apples, lettuce, spinach, some herbs, carrots, rhubarb, and so much more.

I definitely want to do more in the way of homemaking and doing things like making jams & jellies, canning fruit, canning pickles, knitting, living a more natural lifestyle, and doing more of the things that women used to do back in the late 1940’s and 1950’s.

While knitting has definitely made a comeback in the past couple of decades, there was about two or three decades when it almost died out. Out here, where I am from, yarn stores are prevalent. I don’t know about other parts of the country, but at least out here, knitting and crocheting won’t be dying out any time soon.

Over the course of my teenage years, and now into my early adult years, it has amazed me, at how many young women my age don’t know how to really cook from scratch, let alone do some basic baking and canning – something my grandmother’s generation for sure learned how to do. I did learn how to cook and bake from scratch, which has definitely served me well since I developed food intolerances.

Being able to preserve, and share a part of our history is important to me. I am glad I wasn’t my age now, back in the early 1950’s, and that I can be my age, now, in the 21st century, but there are a lot of things about my grandparents generation, aka “The Greatest Generation” or “The G.I. Generation”, that were children and young adults during the great depression, and were young adults during the second world war. Many of whom, who were born toward the end of the generation were the “housewives” of the 1950’s and 1960’s (Like my grandmother’s).

 

 

Posted in Adult Life, Baking, Crafts, Homemaking, Homesteading, Knitting, Life, Natural Living, outdoors, Urban Homesteading, Work, Yarn | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family Is Here

Hey Everyone!

This week, my aunt and uncle have been visiting from Canada, as they do annually. 

Tuesday we went to the beach, Thursday I had gone to the Scottish Shop with my Mom and Aunt. 

Yesterday (Friday), the power had gone off sometime before 9 am and didn’t come back on until about 6 am this morning. I managed to finish up a pair of socks I had been working on yesterday, using primarily the natural daylight. We also had gone to the Taco House for dinner since we didn’t have electricity. 

Today I had gone with my mom, aunt and uncle as well some of my Mom and Aunt’s cousins to lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Fortunately, the spaghetti factory has some gluten free and dairy free options. It was nice meeting some of my mom’s cousins. 

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Future Possibilities 

Hey Everyone! 

The past week or so has been crazy, with family coming to visit, and stuff.

Overnight a storm rolled in, which took out power to many parts of the city, so I am writing this on my phone while I am waiting for the power to come back on. 

Amid the craziness, I feel like I have a direction career wise to work toward. It does involve going back to school and getting a second bachelors degree. My first Bachelors degree wouldn’t be wasted even with getting a second one. Getting the second one would hopefully allow me to tie both together in a career and be able to use both. The second degree I am looking at pursuing, is on the surface and in many ways very different than my first bachelors degree, but those who know me would see how they would both work together in my case. Until I know for sure that I am going back to school and moving, i don’t want to talk too much about it, but I just wanted to share with you all what’s on the radar. 

While there are parts of the Portland Lifestyle and culture that I love, I have known for a good decade that big city life isn’t for me. If it works out to go back to school, I would live in a city 1/4 the size of the city I live in now, and from there I hope to move to a small town or smaller. I know it would be harder with the whole food intolerances thing, but dairy free alternatives and Bob’s Red Mill flours can all be ordered, and a garden can be grown. I would totally make it work, and it would be worth it to live in a small town, and get away from the big city. 

I would also be outdoors more and get to use all my knit wears that I have been working on for the last few years. That also would be amazing. 

Posted in Adult Life, Adulthood, Adventures, Baking, blogging, City Life, College, Cooking, Crafts, Culture, goals, History, Homemaking, Homesteading, Inspiration, Knitting, Life, Life lessons, My Journey, outdoors, Places I Love, Travel, Urban Homesteading, Work | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment