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.

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Icing my Back — July 6, 2017

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. 

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. 

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. 

Simpler Way Of Life — May 11, 2017

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. 

Getting Ready for Christmas! — December 18, 2016

Getting Ready for Christmas!

Hey Everyone!

This has been a busy week. Wednesday we got several inches of snow, which shut down the city and brought traffic to a stand still. It took my mom 3.5 hours to get home (21 miles, which is usally a 30 – 45 minute trip). I fortunately was still able to work Wednesday and Thursday since I work from home. 

Friday, we braved the elements and went out and did some Christmas shopping. Yesterday I had gone and gotten my hair cut, I also had several packages arrive (finally), so I was able to get samples made for my Scentsy customers. I also got my Perfectly Posh package, a Barnes and noble package, and my native (deodorant) packages. 

I haven’t talked about it much on this blog, but I am working onliving a  more simple life. At the end of this month I will no longer have Netflix, once season 6 of Grimm airs, I will get rid of Hulu Plus. I am really trying to cut down the time I needlessly spend on my computer playing computer games and watching shows I am not even really interested in. I still have several tv shows on DVD as well as movies, if I want something to watch while I knit, but I am really trying to spend more time doing things like reading, being outside, and being productive. 

I know I have mentioned that I miss the lifestyle I had in college, going to class during the day, coming home and studying, or writing papers, or doing other homework. So I was pretty busy, on the weekends I would hang out with friends, and once school would be done for the term I would sleep and read books of my own choosing (especially since my minor was literature). Living in a small town where you could barely get the basic TV channels without cable, if at all, you had to find ways to entertain yourself. Once I had my own place I had girls nights and stuff at my place, and went and did other stuff with my friends. Also being a part of a small church, I went on several ladies retreats and my best friend and I had gone to the beach at least once together (not to mention the times I went on my own). 

As Christmas approaches, it the busyness I am trying to slow down, reflect on this year, and how I want to do so next year differently. 

When all I dream about is Alaska — December 2, 2015

When all I dream about is Alaska

Hey Everyone!

As some of you know, if you have been following my blog for any amount of time, I am a huge fan of fall and winter because the temperature drops, it becomes cold and I am happy. 

For many years SE Alaska has definitely been on my radar of places I would like to live. While I haven’t completely ruled out Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire as potential possibilities, Alaska still has those three states beat out 10 to 1 (and that is combined). 

I am definitely partial to the west coast of the US, I also love the weather, wildlife, hunting, fishing and scenery of Northern British Columbia, so SE Alaska would be totally fitting for me. It would also allow me to get more use out of my hand knit winter wear. 

If any of you also follow my Adventurs blog (titled: Adventure is my Middle Name) you will know that I love being outdoors, rustic cabins, the coast and everything like that. 

I am so ready for a change, this city girl is tired of the big city and the big city life. I am trying to figure out how to make finding a job I can support myself on, that I enjoy I. Alaska happen. Yes I have been praying about it. 

This is how obsessed I am with the colder northern climates:     

Yeah, I want to partially decorate where ever I move with northern animal themes. I am still looking for a quilt similar to this:

  
The idea of having meat in the freezer that was caught or hunted and frozen or smoked fresh, as well as a green house and garden that are somehow made bear, moose or other animal resistant is my kind of life. Though I still would like a “normal” house with indoor plumbing, electricity and Internet. 

That is my dream that I am working toward and am working to make it happen in the next five years (though if I could make it happen before I turn 30, I would be ecstatic). 

 Jared Mecham (from Ellie and Jared on YouTube) has asked the question “what would you do if you weren’t afraid”. For me it is believing in myself and my dreams enough to see them happen. Part of that is also talking about it in the process of working toward that dream, because of the whole “what if I fail?” Or “what if it changes?”. I know there are those of you out there who understand and are supportive. In the past year I have really found my safety net and support network who love me and support me even when they completely disagree with me. That has been a huge boost for me. 

Blogging, knitting, History, Adventures are at the top of my list of what I am most passionate about besides God. I want to be able to grow and expand on what I have already been doing. Right now I feel stuck and I feel like my posts are stagnant and am looking for a career that would allow me to do what I love and blog about it, even on the side. The kind of career that I am not so exhausted at the end of the day and at the end of the week that I don’t have the energy to do what I love. I want to do more than just exist, I want to live life to the fullest. 

A Beach Day to Myself — March 13, 2015

A Beach Day to Myself

Hey everyone!

Today has been a busy a day. I had to go to the gas station, then went to the grocery store and got all that done and the groceries put away by 11:00 am. I then went to the beach for several hours. 

I took the freeway to Salem, and then took the normal route from where I lived in college to the coast. I got lunch while there, and went down on the beach. I then went down to another coastal town, and got a Dutch Bros drink and stopped at one of the lighthouses there. I then headed back over the mountains and stopped at where I went to college for a rest break. On the last leg of the trip I was expecting the typical horrible rush hour traffic as it was about 5:30 when I left the school. I got used to having to sit in the parking lot otherwise known as the freeway at 3:00 pm on Friday afternoon’s and it typically gets worse. Today on the other hand, traffic was incredibly light. I was ecstatic to make good time. 



I love spending as much time as I could at the beach. I know it sounds crazy, but I absolutely love the Oregon Coast. 

After I got back to the City, I had dinner, and I am finishing the night with finishing up the 5th season of Downton Abbey.