Taking on Life at Full Speed

Learning from the past to make a brighter future

Yep, it is definitely Autumn — September 11, 2017

Yep, it is definitely Autumn

Hey Everyone!

Even though today got up to 90, that can happen this time of year. This morning, when I went to my orientation for my new job this morning, it looked, felt, and smelled like fall. Looking out the kitchen window at 4:30 pm, and the backyard is all in shadows, the light has totally changed in the past couple weeks.

I landed a part time seasonal job, after a spring and summer without a job.

I originally wasn’t going to address the fact that today is September 11th. Then a friend’s Facebook post kind of got me thinking. This friend was only 1 when the terrorist attacks happened, so she doesn’t remember the day. Her post was along the lines that it hadn’t even been mentioned once during her school day. My thoughts were pretty much “I’m not surprised”. Before going off on me, telling me I am cold and heartless, I am not. Every person who lost their life that day, or in the years since from injuries or illnesses caused by being there, or the young men and women who lost in the years since fighting in the war brought about by these attacks, are lives that can’t be brought back, and loved ones who have and still are grieving the loss of their loved ones. I don’t want to diminish the loss they feel and have experienced.

Why I am not surprised it is being mentioned less and less, and the realization of the fact that there will come a point when there ceremonies that take place on this day around the country will no longer happen, is because it happened with after Pearl Harbor – December 7th, 1941. While there are some still alive who were alive and old enough to remember The Attack on Pearl Harbor, but those who remain who can actually remember that day, are growing older or have passed away. The same thing will happen with 9/11, as those of us who lived through it and are old enough to remember that day. It will become a chapter in a history book, and no one left to tell first hand accounts of what started off as a normal Tuesday morning in September. Just because we don’t mention it every time we have a chance on the anniversary, doesn’t mean we have have forgotten by any means, it is a sign of healing and doing what life does best, moving forward.

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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. 

Life is Returning to Normal — April 11, 2017

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).

 

 

Getting my Period Drama Fix — March 7, 2017

Getting my Period Drama Fix

Hey Everyone!

Since I got a new external hard drive for my computer, since it does not have an internal one, and my last one wore out a few months ago, I have now been back to binge watching some period dramas. 

Since Downton Abbey ended (and yes, I own all 6 series), I went looking for more period dramas. I have watched both seasons of Mercy Street, I am currently watching Lark Rise to Candleford (which Brenden Coyle aka Mr Bates from Downton Abbey, appears in), I also have Indian Summers to watch. Five Mile Creek is also a go to classic period drama. 

I enjoy period dramas and old tv shows, though they aren’t the only shows I watch. I love the shows that were made from the 1950’s to the early 1970’s. I am fascinated by the styles, architecture, set design/interior design of that period of time and watching how it evolves and changes. I Love Lucy has a very different look from the Brady Bunch. Or how much the Star Trek series have evolved and changed since the original series. 

With the old tv shows, especially if they are set in that era, or in the case of the original Star Trek, they are like being able to get a glimpse into a specific era. That is what fascinates me – getting a glimpse of an era that was really not all that long ago, yet before my time. 

The Legacy I want to Leave — October 23, 2016

The Legacy I want to Leave

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday, while my best friend and I were out at Oxbow Regional Park. We both loved what we were seeing while out there. 

We had gone for a short hike, and while we were there, I couldn’t help but feeling like I was from the wrong period of time, and I kept wondering about what would it have been like for the early settlers to the area, and what their lives were like 150 years ago. Other than diaries that were written by those who lived during that era, we don’t have many first hand accounts of their day to day lives. That discussion then lead to us talking about documenting our own day to day lives, and talking about my own childhood, and what it was like to be 13 when 9/11 occurred and how that changed our lives, and the world as we knew it. What a way to mark our entry into our teenage years. Also talking about the music, movies, tv shows and such that are iconic of our generation. Now that I am an adult, what my own life is like, especially living in Portland Oregon, and for me personally walking the line between alternative and mainstream culture, and lifestyle. 

So watch for those posts coming up in the near future! 

Going up a mountain  — October 1, 2016

Going up a mountain 

Hey Everyone! 

This afternoon I went for a drive, and decided to go to Mt Saint Helens. Today ended up being a stormy autumn day, and only got stormier the further up I went. While it was good for thinking, it wasn’t as good to see the scenery. I only went part way up before I turned around to head back, as I wanted to be in cellphone range before sunset. 

While I was on that mountain, and having it be chilly and wet, it got me thinking about the pioneers and early white settlers in this part of the country. I was thinking about how cold and miserable it would be to be having to live back then, if they didn’t have some form of permanent housing to repel the rain and a fireplace to make a fire, or dry clothes to change into. 

I love the outdoors, and I love living in this part of the country. I love the cold and the rain. I also love being able to come back into a warm dry house and having dry clothes to change into, and means of getting warm again, I love being able to warm up by a fire, with a hot cup of tea. I can’t imagine being a pioneer, with at best a tent this time of year, where it would be cold, wet and dirty 24/7 for months on end. 

The thought had gone through my mind, of being a pioneer woman who had left her friends and family behind, following her husband and his dream. Then spending your first winter out here in a homestead cabin, and how hard that would be. In trying to imagine what it would be like, and I wondered how many women deep down really wanted to say “forget it, this place sucks, I just want to go home”, but had to stick it out, as they had no choice. 

Yes that is the kind of stuff that goes on in my head when I am on my own. I think about women’s history, American history, and anthropology pretty much all at once. 

Historical Ficton — February 4, 2016

Historical Ficton

Hey Everyone!

It is hard to believe that it is Thursday already. Then again I am not surprised, with being exhausted.

This past week I finished up watching season six of Downton Abbey. After the last episode I was kinda sad to see it end. Though I was happy that Edith got her “happy ending”. This week I have been watching J*A*G while I work, I used to watch the later seasons during me teen years when it was still on the air. I am still o the second season so the episodes are new to me. I also had bought Mercy Street which is set during the civil war, and takes place primarily in a make shift Union hospital in the south. While I am fully aware that both Downton Abbey and Mercy Street are historical fiction but the fact that both are put out by PBS, I would expect that there is more historical accuracy about the era than in other period dramas.

I love period dramas, especially those set here in the United States (with Downton Abbey being the exception to that rule). I love everything from the sets, to the costumes, to the lighting (it is definitely darker and not as bright) and the music. All these elements and more really set the tone for the work, and there are ways (which Mercy Street has done), to really bring the audience into the era of the Civil War, and while you know it was filmed in 2015, it doesn’t have that 2015/2016 feel to it. While it is of a better video quality than the old VHS tapes of Five Mile Creek, authentically they feel about the same (and both are set in the same era).

I am fascinated by the historical shows that have actual roots in history. Here a few months ago I came across the quest series. The producers had done 4 different reality shows in Canada where they set out to recreate 4 different scenarios to be as historically accurate as possible and essentially sent people “back in time” to live as their ancestors had during each period. Two couples had spent a year living on the frontier.

While I am working I either have a tv show going in the background or music. In college I got used to listening to music while I studied so that carried over to life after college.

 

Diversifying My Style — September 11, 2015

Diversifying My Style

Hey Everyone!

It is Friday, which is my typical weekday off from work. This week I only had a three day work week, beings that Monday was a holiday. Today has been a pretty busy and very productive day. This morning I got my grocery shopping done. I got my groceries back to the house, and put away before going and meeting up with a friend of mine for treats and tea. I picked her up and we went to my favorite bakery, and then to the tea shop next door. This was my first time going to the tea shop. It’s like a typical coffee shop in atmosphere but serves tea rather than coffee. It is this cute little shop that I had been by more times than I can count but never took the time to go in. I plan on going back again. At the bakery I got a gluten free & vegan blueberry lavender cheesecake as well as a gluten free & vegan chocolate muffin. At the tea shop I got a cup of pumpkin spice chai tea with coconut milk. I am thankful I have been living somewhere for the past 4 years that has so many options for those who have food intolerances. There are so many varieties and variations on the gluten free/dairy free/vegan fares. While I am not full vegan, I tend to gravitate to the places that have vegan options because then I don’t have to worry about dairy. When I am cooking, or know what I am getting into, I have no problems with eating meat, fish, eggs, or honey (I have had all of the aforementioned foods except for fish to eat at some point in the past 24 hours).

When my friend and I were wrapping up our tea and treats, we got talking about what to do afterward. Beings that we had done treats and tea which was as far as I had gotten in plans, she wanted to go clothes shopping, I resisted for a good bit, as I hate clothes shopping unless I absolutely have to, but I eventually caved. We went to Cascade Station out by the Airport, and had gone to Maurices, where I had actually made out like a bandit. I found a couple really cute button down shirts as well as a really cute sleeveless middle layer shirt and a couple tank tops (one of which, matches the blue in the two button downs I bought), and they pair well with the middle layer sleeveless top and the button downs. The middle layer top, I came to find out after I got back to the house goes with most of the button down shirts I already own. The past few months, especially, my clothing style has changed a bit. During high school and college I was totally into jeans and a tee shirt or jeans and a sweatshirt. It worked well for me during that period, but I have been out of college for 5 years already have realized that as I have grown up, my style has changed and has needed to grow up with me. Beings that I now have a steady income, I am working on adding items to my wardrobe that fit my current style that is more age appropriate to being in my late 20’s. I am still waiting for my Old Navy orders to arrive, but between those orders, what I picked up today and what I already own I feel like I have a solid base for my wardrobe. The middle layer top I bought today I absolutely love, and it goes with so many other tops to help make more outfit options for me. Lately I have also understood on a different level why dressing modestly is important. Modesty is an issue that I just want to touch on, and could be an entire post of it’s own, but I will keep it to my own experience. I was raised with the understanding that modesty was important, but it didn’t mean that I had to look like I was Amish, Mennonite, Radical Mormon or the Duggar Girls from the era of “14 kids and pregnant again”. Especially once I was in college, I realized I could look and dress “normally” but also be modest, I just had to keep my eyes open, and look for clothing that was modest. I found that it is possible with some work and shopping around on my part to make it happen. Part of why I love fall and winter (in addition to the cooler weather, awesome scented stuff, awesome decorations, and the best foods), is that the stores start caring the warming clothes that are more modest.

After we finished up at Maurice’s we went through Banana Republic and Dress Barn quickly just to scope things out before going to the Bath and Body Works, where I got some hand soaps and a wall flower warmer, for my stash of bulbs that I am holding on to for when I get my own place. We also went to Ross for a little bit, but by then it was around 4:30 pm and I was so over and done with shopping, and had filled my quota of shopping for the next three months. Beings that I have never lived so far out in the boonies that coming to the city meant an all day shop till you drop marathon, I have a very low shopping tolerance, especially when it comes to clothes. If you told me that I had a day, the money and had places like the Body Shop, The Bath and Body Works, Old Navy, REI, a shoe store, and Barnes and Noble and told me that this was all I would get for the next 6 months to a year, I could spend all day shopping and getting what I would need/want for the next several months. Even when I was in college and living in a small town in the middle of farm country, the nearest mall that wasn’t in the heart of downtown of a decent sized city, was half an hour to 45 minutes (depending on traffic) away, which is only a little worse than going to the closest mall is to where I currently live. Even then, going to the mall that I am used to here in the metro area, with normal traffic would take about 75 minutes. So in the scheme of things I could go to a mall pretty much whenever I wanted to, which I did maybe once a term if even that.

I haven’t forgotten that it is September 11th, and while it has been on the hearts and minds of American’s, I haven’t forgotten, but have also chosen to not dwell on the past. It has been 14 years since that day. It has been fourteen years since I was a thirteen year old, eighth grader in Portland, Oregon who woke up to seeing the events unfold on the morning news. It has been fourteen years since that eighth grader, who was old enough to understand what was transpiring nearly 3000 miles away. It has been fourteen years since I watched the second plane hit the second town, and watched both towers collapse on live TV all before going to school.  It has been fourteen years since that eighth grader had to go to school, and try to get through the day while trying to get as much information as possible throughout the day, while some teachers allowed us to listen to the radio, while others chose to proceed with business as usual to try to keep our minds off it, but how could we, this was my generation’s Pearl Harbor. It has been fourteen years since the world as we know it had changed forever. Like the children who were too young fourteen years ago, or have been born since then will never know a Pre – 9/11 world, the same can definite be said about those who were too young to remember, or were born after the bombing of Pearl Harbor that we will never truly know what life was like before it happened. The events of 9/11 are a lesson, much like that of Pearl Harbor. While forgetting about and not learning from it would be a mistake, to dwell on it seems to be unproductive. Today I was wondering, for how many more years will the 9/11 ceremonies and reading of the names of those who lost their lives on that day continue, it can’t and won’t continue forever. I know I probably sound disassociated from it all, largely in part to the fact that I didn’t know anyone at the time who was there, and have only met a couple since who were in the area. I was young when it happened, and I also was at the other end of the country, so yes to some degree disassociated from it. I have been by ground zero, and I have no doubts that it was tragic for those who lost their lives, for those who lost loved ones, and for the nation as a whole. It has had an effect on my life. Time and distance has created that disconnect, like Pearl Harbor, none of my grandparents were even married when Pearl Harbor occurred, and yet, in school I learned about it, and am reminded that December 7th, 1941, “A date will live in Infamy” – FDR, of the events that brought my country into an active role in the Second World War. Having visited the U.S.S Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and seeing the sunken Arizona, as well as being abroad the U.S.S. Missouri (where the Japanese Instrument of Surrender was signed) made the History, made the history that has transpired many years before become more real. As much as I hate to be the one to say it, like Pearl Harbor, or the Gettysburg Address, or July 4th, 1776, the more time that passes, the more it will become a chapter in history textbooks that students will read because they have to, without any of the emotional and personal attachment to the events that transpired. Today, in my part of the world and in my life, Today went on like any of the other Friday’s have had in the past six months, Life as usual.

Big City Weekend — August 8, 2015

Big City Weekend

Hey Everyone!

The past couple of weekends I have spent most of them doing what I love, yarn shopping, picking out decorations for my place, cooking, baking and knitting. 

I enjoy cooking and baking. When I had my own apartment to some degree I even enjoyed cleaning it. 

I am doing what I am doing now job wise and living situation wise because it is what I am having to do to get the bills paid. It is not what I am wanting to do career wise. 

So with that being said until the Lord shows me the next step job and living situation wise I will do the job I have to the best of my ability and do what I love to do in the evenings and on the weekends. 

This week I watched a series on Hulu called “Klondike: Quest For Gold” which was a reality documentary series where five people lived like there were part of the Klondike gold rush to experience what it would have been like. About a month or two a go I had seen “Pioneer Quest: a year in the real west” where two couples lived for a year like it was the 1860’s on the frontier. I found both of these shows interesting because it took modern people and made them live as authentically as possible to whatever the quest was. Being a Historian myself I found them interesting because it brought this history to life. Both the gold rush and frontier life fall in to the area and era of history that I am most fascinated with. While all of Pioneer Quest and Moat of Klondike take place in Canada they parallel or include American History. The gold rushes in Alaska and The Yukon involved Americans. 

Learning how normal people lived in different eras of history, is what fascinates me the most. The everyday life, how it is similar and different from now, and how their lives shaped history even when they were one of many. Laura Ingalls Wilder, while growing up and into adulthood probably thought her life was normal and uninteresting, and yet she wrote the series of books beloved by many today. 

Yesterday, beings that I have Friday’s off, I ran errands. I went to Joann’s, where I bought some fall candles and fall candle rings and I also picked up some yarn. I also stopped at Bob’s Red Mill because I needed more flours to mix up my bread flour mix. I stopped at Trader Joe’s, and lastly Safeway before coming back to the house. 

Last night I baked some cranberry orange with almond muffins and some cranberry almond oatmeal cookies. 

Today I spent the day knitting and cooking chicken and vegetable soup. 

Yesterday and today have been awesome. While I have been only doing “normal” stuff, I enjoy it. Figuring out what to cook for dinner can sometimes be a headache but once I get that figured out I enjoy grocery shopping for what I am going to cook and bake for the upcoming week. I also enjoy cooking and baking. Both of these skills have become infinitely more valuable since I developed food intolerances. 

While I am not the biggest fan of living in the big city (I prefer small town life of the two), being near the big city that has grocery store options does make my life easier, and on occasion being in the city is fun. I grew up in, and currently live in the city, while living in a small town while in college, and by the last couple years I was doing good if I left the county once a term. I loved small town life, and I hope that one day I can get back to that kind of lifestyle. 

Hey Everyone!

The past couple of weekends I have spent most of them doing what I love, yarn shopping, picking out decorations for my place, cooking, baking and knitting. 

I enjoy cooking and baking. When I had my own apartment to some degree I even enjoyed cleaning it. 

I am doing what I am doing now job wise and living situation wise because it is what I am having to do to get the bills paid. It is not what I am wanting to do career wise. 

So with that being said until the Lord shows me the next step job and living situation wise I will do the job I have to the best of my ability and do what I love to do in the evenings and on the weekends. 

This week I watched a series on Hulu called “Klondike: Quest For Gold” which was a reality documentary series where five people lived like there were part of the Klondike gold rush to experience what it would have been like. About a month or two a go I had seen “Pioneer Quest: a year in the real west” where two couples lived for a year like it was the 1860’s on the frontier. I found both of these shows interesting because it took modern people and made them live as authentically as possible to whatever the quest was. Being a Historian myself I found them interesting because it brought this history to life. Both the gold rush and frontier life fall in to the area and era of history that I am most fascinated with. While all of Pioneer Quest and Moat of Klondike take place in Canada they parallel or include American History. The gold rushes in Alaska and The Yukon involved Americans. 

Learning how normal people lived in different eras of history, is what fascinates me the most. The everyday life, how it is similar and different from now, and how their lives shaped history even when they were one of many. Laura Ingalls Wilder, while growing up and into adulthood probably thought her life was normal and uninteresting, and yet she wrote the series of books beloved by many today. 

Yesterday, beings that I have Friday’s off, I ran errands. I went to Joann’s, where I bought some fall candles and fall candle rings and I also picked up some yarn. I also stopped at Bob’s Red Mill because I needed more flours to mix up my bread flour mix. I stopped at Trader Joe’s, and lastly Safeway before coming back to the house. 

Last night I baked some cranberry orange with almond muffins and some cranberry almond oatmeal cookies. 

Today I spent the day knitting and cooking chicken and vegetable soup. 

Yesterday and today have been awesome. While I have been only doing “normal” stuff, I enjoy it. Figuring out what to cook for dinner can sometimes be a headache but once I get that figured out I enjoy grocery shopping for what I am going to cook and bake for the upcoming week. I also enjoy cooking and baking. Both of these skills have become infinitely more valuable since I developed food intolerances. 

While I am not the biggest fan of living in the big city (I prefer small town life of the two), being near the big city that has grocery store options does make my life easier, and on occasion being in the city is fun. I grew up in, and currently live in the city, while living in a small town while in college, and by the last couple years I was doing good if I left the county once a term. I loved small town life, and I hope that one day I can get back to that kind of lifestyle.