Tag: Outdoors

UrbEx and Knitting

Hey Everyone!

This weekend was pretty low key. Friday afternoon once I got up from sleeping after I had worked that morning, I baked some gluten free and dairy free brownies. The rest of the weekend I pretty much spent watching youtube videos (especially Urban Exploration videos) and working on my knitting projects.

I spent time working on one of my triangle shawls as well as working on the sock I currently have on my needles.

The past couple of weeks have been incredibly busy, and this weekend I just needed to lay low and relax.

Currently my favorite UrbEx channel is the Proper People. I also used to watch The Unknown Cameraman, but the last video he uploaded on Youtube was uploaded 8 months ago.

I am not one of those people who is brave enough / has the guts to go urban exploring, though I do enjoy watching the videos that some of the people who do go Urban Exploring make of their adventures. Don’t get me wrong I love creepy, old, no longer used / abandoned places, though I tend to stick to places like Fort Stevens (where exploration is encouraged) to get my abandoned places fix in person. The kind of abandoned places I find interesting are the ones that have history (like old forts, prisons, churches, train stations, schools, mansions, and ghost towns). I love old buildings, and I definitely enjoy exploring these kinds of places that have been restored / maintained and are open to the public for the purpose of exploring and learning about the history / way of life there back when it was open or a going concern.

I have loved learning about how live was lived during different time periods in U.S. History, and in different parts of the country (though History of the American West is still my favorite), as well as different parts of the world. For me, History is so much more than just names, dates, wars and military events. I am more interested in what every day life was like, especially for the women and children.



Always been Outdoorsy

Hey Everyone!

Today was a perfect day at the beach! It was sunny, windy, but not super cold, and the wind kept it from being too hot. It would have been a perfect day for this using solar and wind energy. 

My allergies were so much better at the beach, as was my comfort level. I was running around without a jacket and perfectly comfortable. 

I have always loved the beach and ocean. It has always felt more like home than the city. 

I have always felt better at the beach, between the fresh salty sea air, being outdoors a lot. Unless it’s raining, whenever I have stayed at the beach, I have spent more time outside than inside. 

Preferring to be outdoors, even when not at the beach is something I  have loved. Many of my favorite memories have included being outdoors. Whether it was ice fishing for lingcod in Canada in the winter, or hiking in the woods, or exploring an old left to ruins Fort, or being at the beach or sitting around a campfire on a summer evening (which is made better at the beach), or just being outside on a summer evening. 

It’s typically the blustery, cold, wet days that I prefer being indoors cooking, baking, knitting, curled up with a good book. 

The beach is my preference, the one place I love out of everywhere I have been, it is the one place I am truly a happy camper. 

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. 

Getting a new Transformer

Hey Everyone!

Today’s excitement was having the power company come out, and replace the transformer on the utility pole outside of the house. The power company had gone around and left paper notices on the doors of houses over the weekend, letting the residents know they would be doing this work. I wasn’t surprised that they were going to be replacing the transformer on the pole outside the house, since there was a posting on the pole for a while about possible back feed.

Today I have also been working on knitting up socks today. I started this pair over the weekend, and I am still working on the first one. I am hoping to get it done either today or tomorrow, and get the second one knit up quicker than the first one. The yarn I am using has been interesting to work with in terms of socks. I had used up most of the 1,500 yards of the wool on a shawl, and i am just using what is left over to knit up socks since I have enough. After I get this pair done I still have a couple more pairs of socks to knit up out of other sock yarn that I have before I dive back into to knitting socks up out of the KnitPicks Palette yarn I have. I have enough Palette yarn to make up several dozen pairs of socks. I realize that I am going sock crazy at the moment. I am working on so many pairs of socks, because I want many pairs of socks for Hiking, and traveling, so I can go on adventures and have enough clean hand knit socks to have at least one clean pair for every day I am away.

I started watching the show Indian Summers yesterday. It is a British show, done on Channel 4 in the UK, and PBS here in the States. It is set in 1932 in India. It depicts the social politics relating to the decline of the British empire and British hold on India. It also takes a look at the social class system of India at the time, From the White, English, Aristocracy, to how the native Indians are treated by the white aristocracy, even if said Indians are land owners and business owners, all the way down to the mixed race (white/native Indian) children who are shunned by society, and appear to the be lowest of the low class wise since they are fully Indian, but they are not white either, they are “half cast”. That seems to be the case every where you look in History. The mixed race – half white have native children are the worst of, and are worse off than the natives who are treated like savages and less than human as it is. It is the way it is, but it is sad.

“Just because it is, doesn’t mean it should be” – Hugh Jackman as the Drover in Australia.

I have only watched the first three episodes so far and I am wanting to watch the rest of the first and second seasons.

The first season begins in 1932, which is a few years after when the ending of Downton  Abbey is set to have taken place (1926). The second season is set in 1935, which is 9 years after the last episode of Downton Abbey is set. According to what information I have gathered, at some point in one of the seasons of Indian Summers, Ralph Whelan is 33. IDK yet if he is supposed to be 33 in the beginning of Season 1 or at the end of Season 2. If he is 33 at the beginning of the show, that would mean he was born in 1899, if he is 33 at the end of season 2, he would have been born in 1902, meaning Alice would have been born in 1904 or 1907, as it has been established that she went back to England when she was 8, and Ralph was 13 at the time.

While I know that Indian Summers and Downton Abbey are in no way actually connected or that they tie into each other. I just got curious about what the age differences would have been between the characters of Ralph & Alice as well as the 3 Crawley Sisters would have been beings that these two shows are period dramas, involving the British aristocracy and upper class, and one show is set only 6 years after the other one’s ending set date. Ralph would have been a few years younger than Lady Sybil. Though Alice, age wise would have been somewhere between the elder two Crawley Sisters and Sybbie – Sybil’s daughter. Lady Mary and Henry Talbot’s child would have been born in 1927, making that child about 4 – 4.5 years older than Alice’s son, Percy, If Lady Edith and Bertie Pelham had any kids of their own, they would be close in age to Percy. While there is a larger age difference between the Crawley Sisters and Ralph and Alice, Matthew Raworth – the missionary couple’s son would have been the same age as Master George, also making him about about a year younger than Miss Sybbie and about a year to a year and a half older than Miss Marigold.

While I know that these shows are fiction and unrelated, I find it interesting to see which of the characters would have been about the same age, and under other circumstances could have moved in the same social circles.

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. 

The PNW is in my Blood

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday I finally got back outside again, and had gone back down to Silver Falls State Park again yesterday. It was raining off and on the whole trip down, even hailing as I was almost there. It let up pretty quickly so I could enjoy being there. 

I went for a short hike while I was there, I’m guessing about a mile / mile and a half. Hiking back up the canyon was tough since I haven’t been hiking for a while. It felt good though to be outside and be hiking. It is one of those things I love to do. 

I love living in this part of the country, but the cost of living and the economy here, has been such that I feel like I need to be looking else where and other states to find a job I can support myself on. I would be lucky to find a job out here that I can support myself on, that also is not stuck at a desk, in an office 40+ hours a week. There is so much more to life for me than being stuck at a computer for 40 hours a day. If I could find a way to support myself here, doing what I love doing, I would stay in the area. 

There are so many amazing small towns that are outside of the Metro area, that are still close enough to come to the city to go to the mall if I wanted to, which is not super often from my experience in college (at best about once a term or once every 3 months). Portland is also a fun city to explore. There are so many amazing / funky / hipster / portlandia / very Portland coffee shops, tea shops and bakeries – including my favorite which is Gluten Free and Vegan. There are also plenty of small, locally owned, Yarn stores that carry many amazing brands (and quite a few local brands) of yarn. Portland is also a very outdoorsy city. In and around the metro area there are many parks, regional parks and places to go Hiking. Mt Hood is within about an hour and a half’s drive, Multnomah Falls is less than an hour away, you can be at the beach within a couple of hours. 

This part of the country has a great climate for growing produce. Not only for eating fresh, but also for preserving. We grow a lot of berries out here, as well as pears, peaches (I’ll take Oregon peaches over Georgia Peaches any day), apples and cherries, among other things. Being able to make homemade jam and home canned peaches, pears, cherries, pie cherries, apple sauce, and garlic dill pickles, is one of my favorite things to do in the summer and autumn. 

Even though I prefer small town life to living in the city, there are definitely ways where having lived in Portland definitely shows. While I don’t really ascribe to the hipster mentality and lifestyle, the fact that Portland is a strong hold for that ways of life, means that it is so much easier for someone like me, who can’t eat dairy, limits my gluten consumption, and is trying to live a more natural life, for my own health and well being is pretty great. 

You could definitely say I am a product of where I grew up, as I have loved living here. I am trying to enjoy what time I have left here. In trying to further my career I may have to move somewhere else, because of better job opportunities. 

Into the Woods

Hey Everyone!

The snow had finally melted off last week, in plenty of time for my weekday off. 

After having been stuck at home for the better part of at least two weeks, due to ice and snow. This past Friday I just needed to get out and go somewhere. I had been cooped up too long. I decided to drive down to Silver Falls State Park for something to do. 

I didn’t do a lot of hiking while I was there since I was on my own, and it was around 12:30 pm when I got there. Beings the days are stills pretty short, and it was overcast and drizzling, it wasn’t optimal hiking weather, well at least not for the clothes I was wearing. I will have to go back on a day that is a bit warmer and do more hiking. 

This week especially, I have been working hard on knitting a pair of wool socks for myself. I am working on making enough wool socks that I have a good stash of boot socks for when I go hiking, since I love hiking in the cooler weather the best. I would like to have a decent stash, because I would ultimately love to do more hiking and go on multi – day camping / hiking trips, and have enough hand knit wool boot socks to have a clean pair for every day and not have to wash socks while I am out, unless it is absolutely necessary. 

That is also why I am waiting on my second KnitPicks order to arrive with more of the Palette Yarn that I am working with for Socks. This time I bought more browns and blues, so that I have a variety of colors besides just grey. I had also ordered blocking boards and T pin for projects that have to be washed and blocked. I am excited to finally be getting blocking boards and T pins, for better blocking results than trying to straight pin projects to towels. I am hoping the boards will help projects to dry faster. 

This year, my goal is to spend my free time doing what I love. I want to spend more time reading, going on adventures, knitting, and spending more time on my blogs. I am still trying to figure out a consistent schedule, at least for this blog. My other blogs are dependent on having content to write about, but I definitely want to put more energy into my blogs. 

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 

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. 

…When You Were Born to Stand Out

Hey Everyone!

The quote “Why are you trying so hard to fit in, when you were born to stand out” by Ian Wallace has really been on my mind and heart today. 

I have spent so many years trying to fit in places I really don’t belong, and I have known I don’t belong in them for years. After trying to put my finger on it exactly for a couple of weeks, it hit me like a ton of bricks today. 

I am working on making the changes I need to make in my life, to be doing what I am supposed to be doing with my life. It’s not always easy but doing what you are passionate about and what is a good fit for you is worth working toward. 

For me personally, I am passionate about being outdoors and having a home of my own, and being able to cook, clean, decorate and everything for myself. There is just something about coming home, and being in your own space that is amazing. I am the kind of person who needs to be able to have roots and wings. I need to know where home is, yet be able to go and learn about the world I live in, by exploring and experiencing it. 

Yesterday I had gone out to do some shopping, and found some new clothes that are my style, and that was one more wedge in the “this isn’t where I am supposed to be or what I am supposed to be doing with my life” progression I have been dealing with. I have been stuck in a box for far to long of allowing others dictate to me who I am, how I should dress, what I should be doing with my life, how I should be serving God, when I know God has put a call on my life that is not what I have been told I should be, or how one goes about doing said Call should be. I finally just stopped caring what others think or what they say. This is not my mothers generation. This is my generation, and there is more to life than being the goody goody who always does as they are told and has no personality or individuality of their own. I am who God made me and has called me to be, and I won’t apologize for that. I won’t conform to a way of life I don’t agree with, and that in my heart I know isn’t right for me.