Taking on Life at Full Speed

Learning from the past to make a brighter future

No Rest for the Weary? — August 27, 2017

No Rest for the Weary?

Hey Everyone!

The past couple days have been pretty much on the go non stop. 

Today’s stuff has been primarily Urban Homesteading related. I spent most of the day with my family as well. We went out to a couple farm stands, where we picked up some peaches so my mom and I can water bath can them. We has also picked up a half flat of blackberries, two pints of blueberries and four pints of strawberries. 

Had to also go to the grocery store and cook dinner, before going out and planting some lettuce starts I got for free. I know it’s late in the season, but it’s totally worth a try. Good practice at the planting stages of plants…for future reference. 

After planting the lettuce starts, I came in and my mom and I made three batches of jam, two blackberry and one strawberry. 

We will be canning the peaches a little later in the week. 

While planting the lettuce starts I definitely got a little bit dirty. I have always been one to prefer getting my hands (literally) dirty while working outside in the yard and garden. If I am going to be inside and not knitting or reading a good book, I would just as soon be in the kitchen making stuff that tastes good. 

I definitely give mad props to my great grandmother’s and the women who came before them who also homesteaded without electricity, running water, or indoor plumbing and had several kids under foot. It’s hard enough and tiring enough now days with all the modern conveniences. They already had my respect, but have definitely earned it that much more. 

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You can put the Country Girl in the City, but…… — May 22, 2017

You can put the Country Girl in the City, but……

Hey Everyone!

Anyone else feel like they are living in the wrong era?

Yeah, I definitely feel like I was born about 60 years too late. 

The past few years I have definitely not been thrilled to be living in the city again. I miss the slower pace of small town life, where I didn’t have cable tv, Hulu Plus or Netflix, and had slower internet, that was fast enough to occasionally watch some YouTube and keep up with the basics like email, Facebook, and studying. I love having some tv shows on DVD, to watch in the morning while I eat breakfast or in the evening while I ate dinner. I also miss being busy enough that I didn’t get bored easily. Between having a good book to read or some knitting to work on, and some music to listen to, life was good. 

Playing board games with my friends, or while at the beach, watching the sunset over the ocean, then sitting around a campfire, with a nice cup of tea, making S’mores, and having a good conversation, was the best. 

Living in the city, I have felt that in order to have fun, you have to spend money. Spending money on going out to eat, then to go to a movie or going shopping. Living in a small town, it isn’t that expensive to pay for gas to get from where you live to Main Street (as it is usually 5 – 10 minutes away, and the bigger town in the county was only 9 miles away). It wasn’t hard to run from the town I lived in, to the county seat – 9 miles away to meet up with friends for coffee, or to go to the larger grocery store.

Here in the city, one of my former work locations is about 7.5 miles from where I live, on a good day with light traffic and the lights in my favor take about 30 minutes (on a bad commute day would take a good 45 minutes to an hour). Where I lived in college, to get from where I lived junior and senior year, to the Safeway store that was roughly 10 miles away, took between 15 & 20 minutes depending on the lights in town. Driving 2 lane country roads with a speed limit of 55 outside of city limits was great.

Living in a small town, I spent more time reading books, meeting up with friends for coffee, or having friends over for a movie night, or going on adventures. I did watch some TV on DVD, primarily during meals, but I spent more time doing other things to keep busy, that weren’t just vegging out in front of a screen. Most of my screen time was in the form of sitting on the computer doing homework, or writing papers. 

Granted, now, living on my own, and working, I would still be doing a lot more reading, as well as canning, baking and cooking, and doing some entertaining. I would rather grill up some meat for dinner and have friends over, and in the summer, enjoy a summer evening outside and maybe have a fire in the fire pit, and enjoy having conversations. 

Living a more frugal and purpose driven life is definitely something I am working on. These days, even if you go for dinner and a movie, or even on the frugal end, a matinee movie and a meal, if you include tip and cost of gas or fare for public transit, that is a good $30 blown per person on the cheap end. Where as, even staying in to have a movie night or grilling out, is definitely more frugal. 

It has honestly been about 2 years since the last time I saw a film in the theaters. The last film I saw was Tomorrowland. I had gone up to Seattle for a weekend, and one of my friends and I went out for dinner and then went to the cheap theater and saw tomorrowland. Besides the cost, the reason I prefer not seeing films in the theater, really has been the fact that I would just as soon watch a movie at home, on my comfy couch, in my comfy clothes, without being surrounded by other people. Especially with ITunes rentals, it is reasonable to rent a movie, and watch it on my computer.

To me anyway, there is more to life than wasting money on something that really isn’t meaningful, and only occupies your time for a few short hours and then you are left with really nothing to show for it, and no real lasting memories of it. Time spent with friends, or reading a book are more enjoyable to me. 

Life is so much more… — May 9, 2017

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.

Modern Homesteading — April 17, 2017

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.

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).

 

 

Spring is Coming! — March 16, 2017

Spring is Coming!

Hey Everyone!

Spring is finally coming!

After a very wet and grey winter, and the wettest February on record, it is finally starting to feel like spring. The temperatures have finally normal for this time of year. After it being below average for a while, and having several snow and ice events back in January and early February. I am so ready for spring. 

Yesterday I had spent the day cooking and baking, today I have spent the day working on some knitting. I am also working on looking for a new job. 

I am finally getting in the last of the yarn and stuff that I had ordered before my job ended. I have been working on filming videos to put up on my YouTube channels, as well as writing several blog posts over the last few days. 

I have missed having stuff to create blog content about. I didn’t have a lot of free time to create the kind of content I love writing about, such as what knitting projects I am working on, or what kinds of tasty gluten free & dairy free food I create, as I didn’t have a lot of time to spend doing what I love and am most passionate about. Knitting, Homemaking stuff and being outdoors (hiking, adventures, exploring, etc) are what I am passionate about. We all have to eat, and having a place to call home is a must. A lot of what I knit for myself, is to make being outside in the cold weather that much more fun, and to be able to stay out longer while being comfortable. 

Settling Back into a Normal Routine — January 7, 2017

Settling Back into a Normal Routine

Hey Everyone!

As I am sitting here at my computer, watching the snow coming down outside my window, I can’t help but think about what I want to accomplish this year. 

This year I want to read more books, go on more adventures, I also want to spend more time blogging and knitting. 

This past week has been pretty busy, with work, knitting, and the orders I had put in at the end of December all arrived. It was like Christmas all over again, getting something every day. I had only put in a couple orders but most of the items came two or three in a package since they were coming from different warehouses is different parts of the country. The last of my orders came today. Today’s package were the little bags and the item stickers for when I make Scentsy samples of the new spring and summer fragrances that will be available march 1st. I am going to be making samples for my customers. 

Here a couple weeks ago I had gotten the entire series of Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman since it was half price and it is set, beginning in 1867 in Colorado Springs, so it is still the era of the Wild West. It also stars Jane Seymour, which typically means it’s a show / movie I will for sure watch and probably like. 

I love books, and reading. It wasn’t always that way, I didn’t really start enjoying books until Middle School. By the time I started college I was well on my way to working on building my own little personal library. College only added to it, as I minored in Literature (while no one in the post graduation world really cares what you minored it, I still have reminders of what I minored in, packed away in a box with the rest of the books I owned prior to college graduation.) while in school. I always love reading a good book, and the days of having a school break so I could stay up all night reading a good book and going to bed when the sun is coming up. I am also thankful that I have a job which allows me to buy new books every so often. I am currently reading Two by Two, which is the newest book by Nicholas Sparks. 

Yesterday afternoon I had gone out and was running errands and I had stopped at Home Depot, which is one of those stores I could spend way too much time in, there and sporting goods stores. I had stopped by to pick up a few moving boxes since my Scentsy warmers had kind of been all over the place and were totally unorganized, so I wanted to organize them and get them all in one place. Other than the warmer that I am currently using, and my diffuser, I was able to get all my warmers, and warmer accessories packed into two medium boxes. While I was at it, and had freed up a couple plastic storage containers, I reorganized my autumn and Christmas decorations as I had crammed them all into one storage container that had gotten too full, so I split them up into their own containers (which will be much easier to deal with when I get my own place). I also filled up another plastic storage container with more kitchen stuff that I have picked up in recent months. Bringing everything from the garage to the second story, organizing it, then taking it back down to the garage was a good workout last night, and my quads are feeling it today. 

Now that the Holidays are over I am finally settling back into a normal routine. I am definitely looking forward to working on my goals for this year.