Taking on Life at Full Speed

Learning from the past to make a brighter future

Enjoying the City  — August 19, 2017

Enjoying the City 

Hey Everyone! 

It is early Saturday morning as I am writing this post. Yesterday (Friday) which ended only about 15 minutes ago for me was a productive day. 

I finished up the pair of socks I was knitting. I knit this particular pair using KnitPicks Palette Yarn in the colors Victorian and Hazelnut. Beings I knit up pairs of socks entirely of these two colors and had some yarn left over, I have been working in combining the left overs of the colors I have already used and making socks from the left over Yarn. 

Yesterday, my mom and I had also gone to my favorite bakery for treats. My favorite bakery is the only gluten free vegan bakery in the city. There are other bakeries in town that do either gluten free or vegan, but Back to Eden is the only one that does both. I hadn’t been in to the bakery for a few months, and since the last time I went in, they have acquired the space that used to be next door, took down a wall, and expanded and done some redecorating. The space that was the original (as I know it to be) is still where you enter the bakery, but now that they have expanded, they have way more space for seating and moving around. I love what they have done with the space. In the old / pre expansion when it got busy, which it would be at times, you would constantly be literally bumping into the other customers and there would be no place to sit. There is now plenty of seating and plenty of room to look at what they have available and order. It’s also like and airy, and definitely a fun place with great food. I know I will miss being so close when ever I am able to move away from the city. 

At the bakery, I had a cardamom vanilla bean cupcake and a triple berry smoothie. It was very delicious. 

After my mom and I had treats at the bakery, we stopped at Fred Meyer to pick up a few items. Fred Meyer has their autumn decorations out. While I love decorating for Christmas, I love decorating for autumn more. Autumn is my favorite season. It is cooling off, yet October can have some of the most beautiful days, with the leaves turning yet it can be sunny and be between 68 – 72 degrees (Fahrenheit) 🍁🍂 and perfect. Itis still warm enough to go out without a jacket on those days, yet isn’t so warm that I am too hot. 

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Smoky summer days — August 10, 2017

Smoky summer days

Hey Everyone! 

It’s been so smoky that it has looked overcast all week. The air quality has been at an unhealthy level all week as well. The heat and humidity have also been rough this week. 

I have spent most of this week inside with the AC. I am slowly been working on cleaning the house, which is something I can do in he comfort of the AC. I have gone outside a couple times in the evenings to pick raspberries and water the plants. I have enjoyed being the one to go out and pick raspberries, since I have been able to eat them all myself. Tonight I just ate them as I picked them. 

This week I had finished up a pair of socks and got them washed, blocked and dried beings that it has been 90 or warmer much of the week. 

I am definitely looking forward to cooler days this next week. Sunday is supposed to not even hit 70 with a chance of rain.  After tomorrow all the other days are forecasted to be in the upper 70’s to low 80’s, which after this long stretch of upper 80’s to low 100’s (weeks worth) will be “cool” in comparison. 

This shift in the highs is starting to get my hopes up that Fall will be coming sooner rather than later. 

When the Sun Glows Pink, and the Moon Pumpkin 🎃 Orange — August 6, 2017

When the Sun Glows Pink, and the Moon Pumpkin 🎃 Orange

Hey Everyone! 

We have been socked in by wildfire smoke for most of the last couple of weeks. It got a little bit better yesterday and then came back full force today. Most of the smoke is coming down from of wildfires burning in British Columbia. There are a few wildfires here in Oregon and in Washington that we are getting a bit of smoke from, but most of it is coming from the elephant hill fire in BC. The fires are so bad up there that a stretch of Highway 97 is closed for a stretch through the Fraser and Thompson River Canyons. Highway 97 is the longest north – south Highway in BC (and meets up with US 97 at the US / Canadian border, and eventually goes down through Madras, Redmond and Bend in central Oregon). 

At last check the Elephant Hill Fire (the one that we are getting most of our smoke from) has grown to 425 square miles and was about 30% contained. 

With all the smoke in the air, our air quality has been at an unhealthy level (not to mention all the pollution we already have going on). So I have been trying to stay indoors as much as possible with the windows closed. Between the poor air quality and the uncomfortably hot temps, the AC has been my best friend. 

I had gone up to Chehalis this evening to see some friends I hadn’t seen for a while. On the way home, due to the smoke, the sun was glowing this almost hot pinkish orange color. It was weird. Then the Moon has almost this Pumpkin Orange hue to it because of the smoke. My allergies have been crazy and my eyes have been so irritated, since we have had the smoke. Tonight, it reminded me of a couple years ago when I went to Seattle. I remember waking up in my hotel room and going and looking out the window and the sun was glowing a strange color because of the smoke we had that year. 

This weekend has flown by. Friday I ran errands, cooked up some lentils, made some chocolate chip cookies, and by the end of the day I was exhausted. It kind of reminded me of a typical Friday while I was in college. I definitely miss being on my own like that while I was in College. 

Yesterday I spent the day working on finishing up knitting a pair of socks, started cleaning the house, picked raspberries in the backyard and watered the outdoor plants. 

Today I started a new pair of socks, and went to Chehalis. As I am writing this (I began writing it in my head on the way home). While I was so ready to get home while driving back, I have needed a little time (hence writing this post) to wind down so I can go to sleep. 

Here is to going to bed before midnight. 

I am my Grandmother’s Granddaughter  — July 16, 2017

I am my Grandmother’s Granddaughter 

Hey Everyone!

Somethings are genetic, others are factors that come into play from how we were raised and what we were exposed to from a young age. 

As I am getting older, I have been realizing how much I am like my maternal grandmother. Granted she was the grandparent I spent the most time with. She lived in the same city as I did growing up, so she helped raise my brother and I. She was also the grandparent I had in my life the longest (she passed away when I was 22). So it’s only natural that some things were passed on to me, from her, by having been able to spend so much time with her. 

Other things, like the fact that my body doesn’t handle heat all that well can’t be learned. At least I know where I get it from. Not that I mind. I am definitely more of a fall and winter person anyway. 

Things I learned from my grandmother: That the beach is amazing, and that it never gets old, no matter how often I get to go to the beach. She also taught me how to knit. 

She also happened to be my birthday celebration buddy. Our birthdays were only 2 days apart, so we often celebrated together. I was born 2 days before her 69th birthday. 

I am glad that I was blessed to have her as my grandmother. She was always there for me. Even though I tend to be miserable in the summer from the heat, It reminds me of her. Air Conditioning and the fact that I know Autumn is coming are the the two things that get me through summer. 

Dairy Free Cherry Garcia — July 1, 2017

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. 

Memorial Day Weekend  — May 30, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend 

Hey Everyone!

It was an eventful yet uneventful weekend. 

Saturday, had been the hottest day of the weekend, and the day I had spent the most time outside. Going out to Sauvie Island and seeing the Bybee – Howell house, I was way to hot, and rather miserable in the heat. 75 degrees Fahrenheit (Roughly 24 degrees Celsius), is my upper limit before I really start not feeling well. 

Having gone out to Sauvie Island on Saturday, I saw this cool looking old farm house, the property which it sits on has been turned into a territorial park, so I was able to stop and check it out. 

The Bybee – Howell House (the old farmhouse you see not log after you come across the Sauvie Island bridge) was built in 1856, and the original owner was one of the first Multnomah County Commissioners. In the back remains what is left of the Orchard that had been planted there at one point. There are plenty of big, old trees that provide much needed shade. There would have also been plenty of room to have a big garden, as well as chickens (layers and ones for food), as well as other farm animals to be raised for food. Other than the traffic going by on the road, it was really peaceful, and it was away from the bulk of the city noise. The birds were chirping, and it really was the kind of area I would love to live. Not necessarily on Sauvie Island, but someplace that isn’t in the middle of the big city, and doesn’t have a ton of traffic. 

Sunday, my mom and I had made rhubarb pie and mixed berry freezer jam.

Monday, I had done some cleaning. The weather was definitely had been cooler than Saturday. 

Today feels like a Monday even though it is Tuesday, because of the long weekend. Today has been rainy and cool, which has amazing. It is not quite 40 degrees cooler than it was on Saturday, and my allergies are doing a lot better today. 

Today has definitely been an indoor knitting while drinking tea and watching movies kind of day. For which I am thankful. 

Hot Days and Going for a Drive — May 23, 2017

Hot Days and Going for a Drive

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday and today have been roasting hot. Yesterday was 94 degrees and today got to 88. While that isn’t hot for some areas, it is hot for Portland. Fortunately it has been cooling off quickly today. It went from 88 degrees sometime between 3 and 4, to 80 at about 5, and now at 8:30 pm it is sitting at a comfortable 62 degrees. 

This afternoon I needed to get out of the house and to go do something, so I went for a drive. It was so nice to get out of the city, even if it only was for a couple of hours. It was nice to be able to roll down the windows, turn up the radio and drive a two lane windy country road. That is definitely something I miss from having spent a few years living in a small town. 


While I would have loved to have gone to the beach, that was a bit out of a question, since the beach is and hour and a half to two hours away. I do love this part of the country. Well, the Mid & Northern Willamette Valley and the beach (Northern and Central Oregon Coast) anyway. 

Summer is Coming! — June 5, 2015

Summer is Coming!

Hey Everyone!

Today has been a very busy day. I got up around 8, and didn’t stop until about 5:00 pm. This morning I got to the post office, gas station, Fred Meyer, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods before going to a parade that the near by elementary school along with the middle school band does each year. 

After the parade I went to Safeway to finish my grocery shopping, before coming home and showering before having dinner and working on my vlog for the first week of weekly vlogs. 

Today was so warm, and tomorrow and Sunday are supposed to be even worse. The heat wore me out. I love cool weather, in part because I can bust out a lot of stuff and still have energy. 

I edited my vlog and am uploading it, so it will be up on Monday Morning.