Tag: Portland

Trying to fit in having a life when I can (#workingretailduringtheholidays).

Hey Everyone!

Have I mentioned that life is crazy at the moment? I feel like basically all I do is eat, sleep, work, shower and do laundry. It’s pretty much all I am doing at the moment.

That being said, I am trying to squeeze in having a life. While it isn’t much, just doing something for myself, for my sanity and mental health. Whether it is going on a date, or going to my favorite bakery and picking up a couple cupcakes after work on a friday followed by walking along the street taking pictures of the murals on the sides of the buildings.

I used to work up in this area, several years ago, which is how I knew about all these murals. The area this is in is a designated “Arts District”.

I honestly love the urban artwork, and it makes me want to go explore other places with these murals on buildings.

This is the time of year when you have your people who believe that retail should be closed on Thanksgiving, and then those who don’t care and / or think it should. While the company I work for is closed on Thanksgiving, I am in the camp where I argue that retail stores can do whatever they want to do. When someone chooses to go into Retail / Food Service and Other Customer Service based jobs (among other industries), getting holidays off is not always going to happen. Giving up holidays is something one must be willing to accept if you go into these industries. For many, working holidays means much needed pay to try to make ends meet, and keep food on the table. For others it’s just the nature of the industry and where you are on the seniority ladder and the staffing needs for the day. If you don’t want to shop on Thanksgiving then don’t shop, If you don’t want to work on Thanksgiving then don’t get a job in an industry where you may have to, I respect others choices not to shop or work in an industry where the employees have to work on holidays. I also don’t want them forcing their choice on me, whether I (or others) want to work or shop on Thanksgiving (or any holiday for that matter). Is it nice to have a day off? Yes, it is. If I had to choose between a day off (aka losing a day’s pay) or working extra / normally scheduled hours and have a better paycheck, at this point in my life the paycheck is the choice I would make. There are other factors that go into why some people want to work on holidays, and they are well within their right to do so.

For Me, having time with family doesn’t and shouldn’t be dictated to me at the cost of losing pay, when I can make time for family on my regularly scheduled days off and other times of the year when work is not in the peak season. I don’t a specific date on the calendar to show my friends and family I care about them. Sometimes the random, spur of the moment, spontaneous acts of kindness are the best.

This Season, I have really learned how to be able to laugh off certain situations and get on with it, since stressing out or letting it get to you, only hurts you and has a more negative effect on your mental and physical health. I am not saying you should laugh everything off, since there are more serious issues that need to be dealt with head on. It’s more of the minor stuff, like a mess was made or you forgot to do something that didn’t have serious consequences that you could correct easily or do better the next time, or something happened and it is what it is, and being able to find the humor in the situation.

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The Holiday Rush is Starting.

Hey Everyone!

The last few weeks have been crazy busy.

This week, I have been sick for most of the week. So I have been pushing through being sick and working as many hours as I am offered.

I picked up an extra shift at a different store last night, since they needed extra help. This was the third store I have worked a shift at this season. I still love my home store, yet I also enjoy working shifts at different stores, and working with their crews.

While I am not a morning person, my normal shifts at work are ideal, I start early, and got off as the store opens.

This time of year is the craziest time of year when you work retail. It seems like my life is basically all eating, sleeping, and working. Trying to have a life as well can be a challenge, but I am trying. I managed to fit in a date yesterday before having to go to work. We had met up for coffee.

We had met up at a coffee shop I am familiar with, from when I worked in the area. It has kind of a old hunting lodge type theme to its decor, which is one of the things I liked about it. It is also very Portland.

The tea I had ordered, showed up while I was at work yesterday. Stash Tea, is my standby for tea. Even though Stash is local, one of the things I like about ordering it online is that there are 10 more tea bags per box. The more you buy of a particular kind (like English Breakfast Tea), the price per teabag goes down.

When you Realize that no matter how hard you try, you aren’t where you Belong.

Hey Everyone!

I mentioned it in my last post, that I had an interview on Tuesday, and that I would hear back either way. Well, it’s Friday, and normal business hours have come and gone, yet I still haven’t heard anything. I knew walking out I wouldn’t hear anything. Of all the jobs I have interviewed for, all but one of the job offers I have had came in person, at the end of an interview. So of the 57 Interviews I have had in the past eight years, of the ones where the job offer wasn’t extended at the interview, only one has ever called me. 1 out of roughly 50 where I walked out without a job offer in hand, extended an offer.

In college I didn’t want to move back to the city, but I had to, because we were still in the midst of the recession and there isn’t much in the way of industry to find a job that you can live on in a small town like that, so I (not so willingly) came back to my parents house, in the city.

Over the past eight years, I have pages upon pages worth of documenting all the resumes I have submitted, and applications I have filled out. Out of the several hundred applications and resumes I have submitted, and 57 interviews I have gone on, the best job I have had was a temp job lasting about two and a half years. It also didn’t pay a living wage.

I am the kind of person who likes to work hard, I don’t need much, I just want to live a simple life where I can make ends meet and not hate what I am doing or where I am at.

The biggest reasons I didn’t want to move to the city, and I want to move still, is that I loved having my own space while I was in college. While I am trying to make the best of it while I am here, I am not a fan of the city life, all the people, the traffic, always being on the go, yet every activity costs money to go do, housing has gotten so expensive, yards are getting smaller.

I have been trying to find a way out, but have yet to find it.

I realize this post is rather pessimistic, that is where I am at right now. I am just trying to understand and figure out what I am supposed to be doing with my life, since getting paid to do what I love doing (Homemaking and Knitting) seems pretty unrealistic at this point in time.

I usually try to keep my post more up beat and positive. Today I am just frustrated and a bit pessimistic. I was told at the interview I had Tuesday that either way I would hear back by today at the latest. It’s now almost 7:00 pm and I have heard absolutely nothing. No phone call or email. There used to be a time when someone’s word meant something. Anymore, I learned the hard way, that you really cannot take anyone at their word. Anyone who you can take at their word is very rare.

Just Needing to Go!!!

Hey Everyone!

Despite still struggling with bad allergies, I needed to get out of the house and get out and about.

I got a coffee from Black Rock to start my day off. I got a soy hazelnut latte.

I also needed to pick up a couple items at Fred Meyer. I saw this super cute reusable bag, so I picked it up as well.

It totally makes me want to go shopping at farmers markets, for fresh local produce, to whip up into something tasty.

While I was out, i went up to one of the neighborhoods that I have fallen in love with here in the city. For someone who isn’t a fan of being in the city, finding a neighborhood I like was a hard task and a huge undertaking. It is over in Northeast Portland. It is one of those neighborhoods that is still a decent neighborhood and is also a traditionally working class neighborhood, where people like my grandparents would have raised my parents.

I came across this Catholic Church while I was out exploring.

Today I was able to pick two pints of raspberries and almost a pint of tomatoes.

There are starting to be early signs of fall. We are finally done with the long stretches of highs in the 90’s, that doesn’t cool off much at night. The days are getting shorter and it is definitely obvious that we are getting less daylight.

I am so ready for fall to be here.

College Campus Tour!!!

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Today has been the coolest day we have had in weeks. It only got up to about 71 degrees, so it has been a perfect summer day.

I decided to go for a walk this afternoon, and Reed College is only about a mile or so away. While I am not a fan of most of the students (being a “Reedie” comes with a stigma and bad connotations), the architecture of the original buildings are gorgeous.

For having lived so close for years, I had been on the campus once previously to this. I was in middle school, and it was part of AWSEM (Advocates for Women in Science, Engineering and Mathematics) club and our club mentor was a student at Reed. We had gone there for a club field trip. If I were to be able to go back to school, this school is not on my list.

Today has been a bit cooler and made me think of early fall since it was overcast this morning and cleared up, and not super hot.

This house always has a gorgeous flower garden each summer. I love walking by this house in the summer. This house is just the best one in the neighborhood for having their flower garden. There are other great flower gardens in the city, I am just going to have to hunt them down.

The Successful Search for Roses!

Hey Everyone!

Following up on my post from Yesterday, I went out and found roses today. I went to 2/3 places I know have Rose Gardens here in the city. The third place will have to wait for another day.

By the time I got up the International Rose Test Garden, parked my car, paid for parking and walked back up to the Rose Gardens it was going on Noon. I was also amazed at how many people were up there today. It’s a Thursday, and not even all that “nice” weather wise, in the mid-50’s, overcast and trying to rain. I guess that is Portland for you. There were also field trips going on up there. I didn’t let that deter me from going, and getting pictures.

There are more pictures up on my Facebook Page, as well as some of the best are up on my Instagram, so you should be following on those as well if you are wanting to see more pictures 😀.

Once I was done at the Washington Park Rose Gardens, I ran up to NW Portland and got some tea (it was like a 15 minute trip), and from there I went over to North Portland and went to the Peninsula Park Rose Garden.

From where I was in North Portland, my favorite bakery was less than 10 minutes away, so I stopped there on my way home and picked up a couple gluten free / vegan Lemon Lavender Poppyseed Cupcakes.

All this running around the city, using multiple freeways to get from one place to another, sitting in traffic and being gone for hours at a time, with each place miles from the next, reminds me why I want to keep my time spent in the city to a minimum. It’s fun on occasion to come into the city to go do something, but the whole living here, city mentality and lifestyle wore off long ago when I realized that I am a country girl at heart, and I want to be able to live that lifestyle. Part of why I have been wanting to explore these Rose Gardens is so that I can get ideas, so one day, when I have the property and room to have a Rose Garden of my own, I have a better idea of the types of Roses I want to grow in my own garden.

Setting Out in Search of Roses

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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.

 

Getting Lost in My Own City

Hey Everyone!

Today, after dropping off my parents ballots at the library I decided to run back up to the tea shop I went to last week, to buy some more tea. Yeah, I know, I just bought tea. Here’s the thing, Good Tea, yarn and good books are essentials in my life. I drink enough tea that I will have no problem drinking this tea before it expires.

I had noticed that traffic going southbound on Naito was slow at several points while I was heading north to the tea shop, so I knew I would be taking another way back. After I got done at the tea shop I plugged the info I needed into Google Maps to get me home, and let’s just say, between taking a wrong exit and missing a turn I took the very scenic way home, while spending a lot of time I wouldn’t have otherwise spent on the west side of Town (and by town I mean city).

I had picked up another box of the bungalow tea that I like, and I also picked up a box of the Portland Breakfast tea that I tried the last time I had gone to the shop and really liked.

Yesterday and today have turned out to be scorchers. Yesterday hit 90 degrees and today is in the upper 80’s. This is typical summer, and even then anything above 86 is hot even for summer in this part of the country.

Since today has turned out to be nearly as hot at it was yesterday, and I had a couple pairs of socks I had finished knitting up, I am taking advantage of the heat and I washed them. They are now hanging out on the line to dry.

The rest of my day is shaping up to be at home in the air conditioning. I have the last episode of season 7 of Call the Midwife to watch and more knitting to work on, in addition to the dinner my mom wanted for Mother’s Day (while that was yesterday, she was ok with me cooking it today).

Tea Makes Everything Better!

Hey Everyone!

Today has been a somewhat chilly, but not cold, and overcast spring day.

I have been wanting some more Steven Smith Teamaker Bungalow Tea for a while. I have also been wanting to try the Portland Breakfast Tea as well. That being said, it was the perfect day to drive over to Northwest Portland, to the Pearl District and go to the Steven Smith Teamaker Teahouse. I picked up a box of Bungalow Tea, and got a to go cup of the Portland Breakfast Tea to try. I hadn’t ever had the Portland Breakfast Tea before, so before spending money on a box of tea (and these boxes aren’t cheap), only to have a cup and and not like it, especially at places like Smith Teamaker, I prefer to order a cup of tea to go of whatever I want to try. Then if I don’t like it, I’m only out that one cup and don’t have 14 more teabags sitting around potentially going unused. Beings that I liked the Portland Breakfast Tea, I will likely pick up a box the next time I go to Smith Teamaker.

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Driving 8+ miles through the heart of the city, from SE Portland to the Pearl District in NW Portland, just to get tea, sounds crazy to some, and daunting to others. I am trying to enjoy it and take advantage of the fact that I still live here, while, you know, I still live here. Portland does have quite a few great independent and locally owned tea shops that do their own tea blending and packaging (and sales) right here in the Portland Metro area. Portland also has it’s own fair share of locally owned and operated coffee roasters for those who like coffee. There are also still a handful of locally owned and operated yarn stores here in the metro area, despite the largest one that was downtown as well as the one that was my favorite over on Hawthorne closing up shop in the past 15 months.

I was curious to know how many cups of tea the average Briton drinks per day, so I looked it up. The average Briton drinks 876 cups of tea per year, or roughly 2.4 cups a day. From September through May or June, I could definitely pass for a Briton based on how much tea I drink.

This afternoon, since I got home from going out, while enjoying my cup of Portland Breakfast Tea, I have also been knitting. I tend to get a lot of projects going so when I don’t feel like working on one project, I have another one to pick up and work on.

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.