Tag: Country Life

Insights into the mind of a Current Beach Bum at Heart.

Hey Everyone!

Today was a very busy day.

Today I went to the beach. I have been wanting to go back to the beach for ages, well pretty much since I got home from my past trip back in March.

It was somehow decided yesterday, that at least my mom would be taking some of her longtime friends from Canada to the coast today, and taking them to the Tillamook Creamery (aka the Tillamook Cheese Factory). The cheese factory has been in the process of being remodeled over the course of the past year or two, and it finally reopened a couple weeks ago. It was crazy busy there today, which was good for business and for the community. I fell in love with Tillamook County a fews years ago. I love the smaller coastal towns that look a lot like they did when my mom was a kid. With the decline of fishing and logging being the primary year round employers many of these communities are relying more and more on tourism. With the summer tourist season as well as those who come out in the winter for storm watching, tourism is a big deal.

In more recent years I have opted away from the larger towns and small cities, opting for the smaller towns that really are struggling more. These larger towns are trying to hard to be more like California beach towns or Coney Island. Many of these towns are becoming rather yuppie, catering to a demographic with more money. These smaller towns are still such that your average person fits it. There are way more mom and pop shops that I love to support. Some towns have farmers markets on the weekends, have train rides that are pulled by a steam locomotive and so much more besides spending so much time on the beach. They still feel like they have that slower pace of life, where you can slow down, relax and drink a cup of coffee or tea on the porch on a summer morning while watching and listening to the ocean. Later that day after wandering around the cute little shops, grabbing food at one of the local restaurants, gotten ice cream for dessert its time to hit the beach before roasting hotdogs over a fire. That evening as the sun is going down, there is nothing like going for a walk, banking up the fire, roasting marshmallows to make s’mores while the sun sinks lower and lower into the ocean until it finally dips into the ocean. Then it’s time to fully extinguish the fire (with water) and head to bed to start it all over again in the morning.

Today was raised be of those perfect beach days. It was cool and overcast all day, it drizzled a little bit but it really didn’t rain on our parade. The most rain we saw was when we were driving back over the mountains this evening. We were there long enough that we beat the rush hour traffic coming back.

It wasn’t super cold either. It was cool enough but there was a little warmth in the air. Enough to definitely warrant putting on sunblock. I will find out in the morning if I really do have a slight sunburn or not, because I didn’t reapply sunblock while I was out, before going down on the beach. I am hoping I just feel a little warm from being outside much of the day.

I really like what they did with the cheese factory, while it was super busy and I really didn’t get to go at a slower speed to take it all in, one of the biggest take away from today was the fact that they hung signs in where they actually make the cheese about what is going on where and they have better displays explaining the cheese making process.

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Where My Heart is At.

Hey Everyone!

This week has been pretty busy, and I have spent a fair amount of time in the car going on adventures in the Valley, which I have been documenting and sharing with you all over the past few days.

This morning I had to run some stuff down to Polk County, for a friend of mine. This is the second time this week I have left the counties that encompass the metro area.

While I was in Polk County, I had gone back to where I had attended college. Part of me still kinda (just a little bit) misses living there, but at the same time, I have come to terms with the fact that that particular chapter of my life is over and it is time to move on and have new adventures and see where life takes me. It’s time to call someplace else home. I still love that area, and I left a piece of my heart there, and it will always have a place in my heart – being the first place I really considered home, It’s now time to find a job someplace else and a new small town call home.

The other day I had driven through Mt. Angel on my way home and had hit it at a bad time for stopping by the Catholic Church for pictures. This church is particularly pretty. I am not Catholic, but I do love the architecture of these older churches.

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I had made it a point today to stop by on my way home since I was going to be passing through the area earlier in the day. Beings there is a school across the street, that was letting out the other day when I was there, it wasn’t the best timing on my part. Beings as I was passing through Mt. Angel between Noon and 12:30 pm today, it worked out well to stop and get some pictures.

Like I mentioned earlier in this post, this week has been busy, and I have been on the go pretty much all week. Between that, being off my regular schedule and consuming more caffeine than I am used to (including two lattes and an energy drink in addition to my normal amounts of tea over the course of the week), I am exhausted.  I would not trade the activities I have been doing or the adventures I have been on this week for anything.

I have come to love small towns in the heart of the agriculture and timber areas in this part of the country. The city is a fun place to visit and go do stuff on occasion. I am more at home and at ease with a bit more elbow room, where I have the room to garden and not have other houses and neighbors right up on my space.

I have been fortunate that I have always had what I needed and some of what I have wanted. As I have gotten older, part of my disdain for the city, and city life is seeing how wasteful people are and how many people have a sense of entitlement while their neighbors and others living in the city are struggling to have the basic necessities. I know there are people in this city who work so hard, and work multiple jobs and are unable to make ends meet. Yet I see people throw out good food just because they don’t want to eat it, or it might not be their favorite thing. Food costs money, money doesn’t grow on trees. It infuriates me to see people being so wasteful. I am not exempt from this, there are times when I have been wasteful, especially when I was younger. The more I have struggled with unemployment, and making due with what little I have had, and have, has really been an eye-opener to me. This is part of why I am choosing to live a simpler life, and not spend money on things I don’t need, or will only watch, wear, or use once then move on. I have no real desire to become a true minimalist, as I do want a home of my own and be able to have more than just a tiny home, but I also don’t want much more than I really need. I don’t want a bazillion things that only have one function, or to only be able to make one thing that I rarely make. Especially when it comes to kitchen gadgets and such, what I want in my kitchen will have to have more than one function, or at least be something that I (or others in my future family) would use regularly (like a waffle iron or a coffee pot). While I would love to have a stand mixer, I don’t need all the extra add-ons that only have one function that I wouldn’t use all that often. The stand mixer in and of itself (and a few of the mixer heads/blades) would be something I would use regularly.

In many ways I am so glad I live in the 21st Century, with indoor plumbing, and modern feminine hygiene products, and so much more, but there is something to be said for the older ways of life, where kids grew up learning the value of hard work, and helping others, contributing to society, and more practical skills (like how to fix things that are broken).

 

Setting Out in Search of Roses

Hey Everyone!

The last few days I have been wanting to go out and visit some of the various rose gardens in the area since this part of the country is one of the best places in the country for growing Roses. The city I live in is also nicknamed “The City of Roses” since it is one of the things we are known for here.

There was this one rose garden and store/nursery store that had a great variety of roses that I had visited a couple years ago. I went back out there today and they were closed to visitors, and all the roses they had planted in the ground for visitors to look at were gone. It was sad, and I was very disappointed. I had even looked it up before I left the house since it is a little bit of a drive to get there from the city. While I don’t mind the drive so much, I am sad that all the roses are gone.

I will be going back out and going to rose gardens here in the city, that I know are still in existence and open to visitors at some point in the next few days.

IMG_3506While I was out, I went to the little town of Saint Paul, Oregon. It is one of these little towns kind of in the middle of nowhere. The only thing it is known for is the rodeo that takes place there every Fourth of July. It is a cute little farming town here in the Willamette Valley.

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This little church, is in the heart of Saint Paul. I had seen it once before, when passing through the town of Saint Paul, after the previous trip I had been to the rose garden that no longer is open to visitors in the area. Beings that I knew the church exists in the town, and I love older church buildings, I wanted to stop by again and take more pictures.

On my way home I had also gone through the town of Mount Angel, which hosts an amazing Oktoberfest every year. I had wanted to stop at the Catholic Church there in Mount Angel, but it’s right next to a school, which was letting out for the day so the area was pretty busy and an inopportune time for pictures.

I love driving two-lane country roads, that aren’t that heavily traveled. They are so pretty.

Over the past twelve years, I have fallen in love with the small towns of the Willamette Valley between here and Corvallis. While I  am not a huge fan of living in the city or even the metro area for that matter, I do love living in the Willamette Valley. This is Home for me. While I would consider moving if I found a job I could support myself on elsewhere, there is also a huge part of me that wishes I could find a job somewhere here in the valley (though haven’t had much success in the eight years I have been looking and trying……). I know what grows here, and what doesn’t grow in the valley, that I would want for canning and eating either grows in the Gorge which isn’t too far away, or in Southern Oregon and finds its way up north.

 

Angel Eyes

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday I had gone down to the area I had lived while I was in college, for an adoption party. My good friends had gotten the adoption of their daughter finalized just after Christmas, and had the party yesterday. Little Miss also recently turned 5.

I still love the area there, and it was my home for four years. I fell in love with the area, and being in and around small towns in the middle of farm country. Having lived there will always be a part of me and who I am. It has been almost eight years since I lived there, and for a while I wanted to move back.

In more recent years, I have come to terms with and accepted the fact that I will likely never live there again, but it will always be a part of me, and I left a little piece of my heart there. I will also have the memories I made there.

I have had the song “Angel Eyes” by ABBA stuck in my head for the past few days. Really since I figured out the title of the song. I had been hearing it on the promos for Mamma Mia Here We Go Again (the sequel to the 2008 film Mamma Mia). I remember the summer of 2008, and having gone to see Mamma Mia in theater like three times. When you live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, going and seeing movies is one of the few things to go do.

Earlier I mentioned that I know that realistically moving back to the towns I lived in while in college isn’t going to happen. That being said, the small town & country life is more the life that I am called to than the city life is. The city is fun to visit on occasionally, and with having family still in the area, I know I will be back here to visit. Moving somewhere else, is what I am being lead to do. The west coast is so expensive, and realistically (based on my eight years of trying to find a full time job here), staying here isn’t possible. So I am definitely looking at moving elsewhere. I am ready to move and see what else is out there. This country is so big, and I have only seen a handful of places. I love adventures and seeing new places and new things.

Still being younger, single, and nothing holding me here, I am ready to see what is out there, and take life by the horns and take you all with me on my adventures.

Not living here, will make visiting, going for treats and tea on Alberta, and going over to NW to go to the tea shop there and get tea, and then to the Stash Tea store, and Bob’s Red Mill that much more special.

Content with Small Town and Country Life

Content with Small Town and Country Life

Hey Everyone!

The past three weeks have been pretty busy, with the ladies retreat, and preparing for that as well the Rend Collective Concert last weekend, family coming to town to visit, and then Easter this past weekend.

There have definitely been a couple of times where I just needed to get out of the city,  and kind of regroup before throwing myself back into the city life.

I grew up in the city, so it was what I knew until I went to college. Even then it never really felt like home or that I belonged here, I just never knew why. I went to college in a small town, and it hit me like a ton of bricks as to why the city life never felt right or normal to me.

I came back to the city after college because of not having a job lined up in the small towns I was in and around, so I was forced back. The past eight years have been all about trying to find a long term job, and figuring out who I am, and all that kind of stuff.

While I have been figuring out who I am, the whole finding a job thing has been a bust, and hasn’t happened. Which has lead me to really consider moving, and looking for work in other parts of the country. Life doesn’t always work out the way you would hope it would. Dreams change as people grow and change.

I have been really trying to make a better life for myself, and live a simpler more meaningful life. Not being someone who is in the High Tech, IT, Medical, or Outdoor Wear, or Craft Beer fields, I haven’t found a place to fit in here, and have not had the opportunity to get my foot in the door on a career here, since there are so many other people who are unemployed and underemployed from the recession who have more experience in the “entry – level” fields than I do. So that has really push me to seriously consider moving someplace else to at least have a job. In addition to that, I would love to have new places to go exploring and hiking in.

As I have gotten older, the city life, and the increasing influx of people has been wearing on me. It has helped me to realize who I am, and the type of life I want to live, and that is a simpler life, away from the constant hubbub and traffic of the city. It has taught me what I am capable of, and that is more than I ever though I was. It has taught me that I am tougher, stronger, and more self sufficient than I thought. There is more to life than putting up with a life you hate, just because it is familiar. A life that has meaning and purpose is a life worth working hard for and fighting for.

Let the Adventures Begin!

Hey Everyone!

The bug I had at the end of last week was short lived, fortunately.

The Saje Essential Oils I ordered had arrived on Saturday, and the bottle of DoTerra OnGuard arrived yesterday. I love that the OnGuard is DoTerra’s blend of thieves. Thieves blend has been around for a while, and is based on a 15th century legend, during the bubonic plague.

Today was rather busy, I ran a couple errands, getting ready for some plans I have coming up in about a week and a half.

I also went on a 2.75 mile hike today. It was such a beautiful day, and I have been wanting to go out hiking for ages. I am also trying to break in my new hiking boots. One of the down sides of new hiking boots is blisters. I am hoping with time that my boots will get broken in so that the blisters don’t occur.

Over the course of the last week or so I have also been binge watching Call the Midwife, it is really good. As per usual I am late to the game of the good British TV shows that come across the pond.

Cabin Fever; The saga continues

Hey Everyone!

2018 has been a rough one so far for illness. I am sick for the third time this year and we are really only 2 months into the year.

All I want is to be healthy again and some half way decent weather so I can go hiking again.

The conditioning cream and the insoles I bought for my hiking boots came today, so I was able to condition my new hiking boots this afternoon, since they are full grain leather. I definitely want to protect them and have them last as long as possible.

Even though I am sick, today has been productive. I got some laundry done, and got my boots conditioned. I have gotten several blog posts written on a couple of my blogs, including this post. I have also been looking for a job.

Today has already been a two cup of tea day, and is about to be a three cup of tea day.

I will be giving essential oils a try here in the near future, to see if they help me stay healthy, help with my allergies and with stress. I am going to be trying a few blends.

I have too much going on this month to be sick again. I have a ladies retreat in a couple weeks that I will be attending as well as a concert the weekend after and I want to fit in at least a couple hikes before Oregon Spring Break.

I have also been sorting through some stuff, and seeing what I can get rid of, especially of things that don’t fit right or don’t fit period and I won’t wear. I am also trying to simplify what I have, with the exception of a few decorative things (even that I am trying to keep simple), I am trying to not have excessive amounts of material things that I don’t really need. If it is something functional, that I am currently using (or will for sure use when I move out on my own again) I am keeping it for now, but other things are just taking up needless space.

While I have no burning desire to living in a tiny home, I would rather live on acreage, with a modest farmhouse, bungalow or cottage, than a big house in the city. The one thing I would like though is a kitchen with decent counter space so I can have room to cook and bake, as well as a table that can seat several people, for family gatherings and such.

Moving???

Hey Everyone!

This past weekend was pretty busy.

Friday Night I had gone “Home” for Pizza night at church, and Sunday I went back down for church.

I am actually excited for March to be here. While I am not wishing my life away, I just have some plans in the works that I am excited about.

I am also ready for the days to be a little bit warmer (like 58 – 62 degrees Fahrenheit would be perfect), so I can get back outside and do some more exploring and adventures.

I have known that Portland isn’t for me, for years. I am ready to move on, find a job some place new and have some new adventures and experiences.

While I am still figuring out where it is I am headed, and while I am still in this part of the State / country, I am wanting to go on a few more adventures here while I still have the chance.

Between having been sick, and the weather not being super conducive to outdoor adventures, I have been working on my knitting projects. I have a couple triangle shawls in the works as well as always having some socks going. The latest pair of socks I am working on, I decided to break out one of the pretty colors of yarn to work with.

While I am further along on this sock than I was when I took this picture, this is the color I am working with.

Last week I did go out on a mini adventure to just get out of the house for a little bit and out of the city limits. I stopped by an old Pioneer Church and rustic / historic cabin (both are on the same property). I enjoy going out on this drive. I love that the country is so close, and not that far of a drive to get to.

Just Can’t Catch a Break

Hey Everyone!

This weekend was a busy one. I was feeling pretty good after having a cold last week. So I had gone about life as usual over the weekend.

Then yesterday I feel like I ran into a brick wall and had taken a few steps backward in the illness department. Last night was rough, my tonsils were pretty swollen all night and have finally gone down as the day has gone on. I definitely picked up another bug.

I shouldn’t be surprised beings my weekend was busy and I was just getting over another bug. My immune system hadn’t completely recovered.

Fortunately, I am able to stay home for the time being, where I can rest and drink plenty of water.

I had a good weekend at least. I got to spend some time with a good friend of mine as well as being in the part of the state I consider to be home.

On the Go day after day

Hey Everyone!

Since Thanksgiving, life has been going non stop. 3 weeks of full on, full force going and doing. The past three weeks have flown by.

Yesterday I had another interview, which I thought went well, but I have to wait and see a bit to find out if I got it.

After my interview I had gone for a little drive to clear my mind a bit. Afterward I ran a couple errands. I had stopped at Bob’s red mill, picked up a couple baking mixes, before stopping at the grocery store to pick up my brother’s Christmas present and a few other items.

I had work this morning. I even slept for a few hours since I got home, but I am still exhausted.

I had one of my orders of yarn arrive this morning while I was asleep, so I opened it up this afternoon.

The darker yarn is a worsted weight yarn, that has more yards per hank, while the off white / cream colored yarn is a bulky yarn that has fewer yards per hank (hence more hanks).

I have been enjoying being able to work on different knitting projects. I have a lot of yarn and so many ideas of what I want to make with it all. I am still working on socks, but I am also in a shawl mode as well.

As I sit here writing this, I have a batch of gluten free dairy free brownies in the over and it is overcast outside.