Tag: Urban Homesteading

Pioneer Girl

Hey Everyone!

The story of my life this week has pretty much been knitting, working outside in the garden and reading in the evenings.

I have typically been going out in the late afternoon / early evening to check on the raspberries and the other plants in the garden area we have. I got the lettuce planted earlier in the week, and it seems to be taking really well. I prefer going out a little later, while the sun is still up so I am not out in the heat of the day, especially on the hot days. This week in and of its self has not been too bad to be outside working around.

With what little gardening I am doing where I am at, it is giving me a little taste of what gardening is like, and it is making me want a place of my own with some acreage, so I can have a nice big fruit and vegetable garden in the backyard, a flower garden out front. I would love nothing more than to have fresh homegrown organic berries and vegetables all summer long.

This evening my mom and I had gone for a walk, so I got even more fresh air and time outside in the lovely summer evening breeze. If all summer evenings were like this evening, I would actually enjoy summer. I would enjoy spending part of my day outside in the garden, as well as time inside cooking, baking and using the fruit and vegetables that I brought in from the garden in the evening meal for that day.

As much as the raspberry bushes scratch up my arms and hands, and it does get hot working around outside, the one thing that really gets me are the mosquito bites. Not only are they itchy and annoying, but they also carry the possibility of disease. I am not really a fan of mosquito repellant, the last time I used any was like twelve years ago when I had gone to Missouri. I have taken to wearing a long sleeve shirt and an old pair of jeans to help protect my arms and legs from getting all scratched up from the raspberry bushes, mosquito bites and from getting sunburned. I would rather be a bit hot than deal with the other three.

Earlier this week I started wearing my Carhartt baseball cap when I went out go garden earlier in the week, to help keep the sun out of my eyes and to keep the part in my hair from getting sunburned. Today I actually put sunblock on my face, chest, and arms since I had noticed that I had gotten a bit of sun on my chest yesterday and it was a bit red. While I love being outside and getting fresh air, I am also trying to protect my skin from sun damage.

Making my own citronella candles to have burning while I am out working in the yard and garden is totally on my homesteading bucket list. My homesteading bucket list also includes things like baking my own bread at least weekly, making my own sourdough bread and rolls from scratch, making my own rosemary potato rolls from scratch, raising chickens (both laying hens as well as chickens for eating), having a freezer full of fish and meat (like venison, moose, elk and such) preceding each winter. I would also love to have a cold room full of home canned fruit, green beans, tomato sauce.

Why do it myself when they have all of that at the grocery store? let me tell you something, when it comes to things like canned fruit and store bought baked goods, the store bought has nothing on the flavor of home canned. Yes, it is a lot of work but is part of the point. I have always loved home canned peaches, pears, cherries, garlic dill pickles, as well as homemade bread, cookies and homemade food in general. It is also better for you. I also love being tired at the end of the day after working hard throughout the day.

I am also one of those people who likes knowing where my food comes from and seeing where my food was raised or grown. That is one of the many things I like about living in the Pacific Northwest, we have the right kind of climate that is perfect for growing everything I like to eat, and if it isn’t grown in the state, it is grown in one of the neighboring states. I am all about supporting local as much as possible.

I do appreciate living in the 21st century for many reasons, food quality and dependence on a grocery store are not two of them. I have heard and read the stories about my great grandmothers and grandmothers and all they did from scratch. One set of my great-grandparents were homesteaders for awhile, while they were raising many of their nine children, and I know that another of my great grandmother’s was an avid gardener, so I come by it naturally. I also grew up learning how to can and make somethings from scratch. I have loved working outside, growing things in the ground, playing with dirt, getting dirty, doing things like gardening, fishing, canning, cooking and baking from scratch ever since I was a little girl.

Being able to be self-sufficient and know how to live off the land, and do what used to be simple things, like making a meal completely from scratch, for many in my generation seems like a lost art when it was the norm in the past century. I would love nothing more than to expand on what I already know, and then share what I know with others who are interested in it, but don’t really know where or how to get started.

 

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Cabin Fever; The saga continues

Hey Everyone!

2018 has been a rough one so far for illness. I am sick for the third time this year and we are really only 2 months into the year.

All I want is to be healthy again and some half way decent weather so I can go hiking again.

The conditioning cream and the insoles I bought for my hiking boots came today, so I was able to condition my new hiking boots this afternoon, since they are full grain leather. I definitely want to protect them and have them last as long as possible.

Even though I am sick, today has been productive. I got some laundry done, and got my boots conditioned. I have gotten several blog posts written on a couple of my blogs, including this post. I have also been looking for a job.

Today has already been a two cup of tea day, and is about to be a three cup of tea day.

I will be giving essential oils a try here in the near future, to see if they help me stay healthy, help with my allergies and with stress. I am going to be trying a few blends.

I have too much going on this month to be sick again. I have a ladies retreat in a couple weeks that I will be attending as well as a concert the weekend after and I want to fit in at least a couple hikes before Oregon Spring Break.

I have also been sorting through some stuff, and seeing what I can get rid of, especially of things that don’t fit right or don’t fit period and I won’t wear. I am also trying to simplify what I have, with the exception of a few decorative things (even that I am trying to keep simple), I am trying to not have excessive amounts of material things that I don’t really need. If it is something functional, that I am currently using (or will for sure use when I move out on my own again) I am keeping it for now, but other things are just taking up needless space.

While I have no burning desire to living in a tiny home, I would rather live on acreage, with a modest farmhouse, bungalow or cottage, than a big house in the city. The one thing I would like though is a kitchen with decent counter space so I can have room to cook and bake, as well as a table that can seat several people, for family gatherings and such.

Urban Homesteading 

Hey Everyone!

This summer has been extremely productive, when it comes to Urban Homesteading. Most of the urban homesteading has occurred this past month. I have made multiple batches of Jam. Between my mom and I, we have made 10 batches of Jam. 4 batches of of blackberry jam, 1 batch of strawberry, 1 batch of peach, and at least 4 batches of raspberry jam. 

My mom and I have also canned pickles and peaches this summer. 

I have been picking raspberries almost daily for about a month. I got some lettuce starts for free, and planted them over the weekend, and they have started to take. I am hoping they take off and I get some lettuce from them before the cool weather hits and the season is over. 

While I am where I am, I am trying to learn about gardening and homesteading because I enjoy gardening and being outside. I also enjoy cooking with and eating home grown, organic food. 

I am all about growing food, preserving food, and making food from scratch. I enjoy making food and knowing where my food comes from and know the process it goes through to get from ingredients to finished product. 

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. 

Urban Homesteading 

Hey Everyone!

This morning I picked two pints of raspberries, which I put in the fridge and save until some more of the raspberries on the bushes in the backyard are ready, so I can make jam this week. Jam making has been going gang busters this summer. 


While out grocery shopping, we picked up the rest of what we need to make garlic dill pickles tomorrow. 

We had a pickle crisis on our hands. We seriously thought we were out of pickles, which come to find out yesterday we still have two quarts, we are definitely low. So tomorrow, my mom and I will be canning more garlic dill pickles. 

I have definitely been enjoying going out and picking raspberries in the backyard. While I have been ending up with scratches all over my arms and hands every day, it has been worth it.

I definitely need to invest in some work clothes and gardening gloves and work gloves before I am really able to get into having a garden. Gloves and work clothes will definitely save my skin in the future while gardening and doing yard work. I am definitely not the sort who enjoys being indoors, when the weather is uncooperative or unpleasant unless there is work to be done indoors, like canning or making jam. I definitely enjoy being outside and working the land, and reaping what I sowed. 

Last night I got a pair of socks completed and today I started another pair of socks. I am trying to use up as much of my partial balls of KnitPicks Palette Yarn I have, before moving on to new and different colors, beside the fact that I have been needing to make some more room in my partial ball container. I have been working on using up the Victorian colored yarn. I got two full pairs of Victorian socks done, as well a primarily Victorian pair put with Hazelnut, and now I am using some with the left over Larch Heather. 

I have been working on reading Dragonfly in Amber, which is the second book in the Outlander Series. I have been reading before I go to bed again, and I have found that it helps me sleep better, putting the tech down and away. 

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. 

Moving on from Disappointment 

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I had an interview this past Tuesday, for a job that I probably would have enjoyed. I found out today that I didn’t get the job. I am trying to keep my mind off it and focus on finding a job and where I need to be. 

As much as I love this part of the country, the fact that I have struggled to find a long term job, for the past 7.5 years. So, if I can find a job elsewhere I would totally move. Portland is a tough place to find a decent job if you aren’t in IT, Engineering or Healthcare fields. 

Besides that, I went out and about for a bit this afternoon since I was tired of being stuck inside. I just drove around the city a bit. If I could find a job here, I would totally stay. At the same time, if I could find a job else where I would move, and enjoy the adventure.

After I got home, I made a batch of Raspberry & Cherry freezer jam. It turned out amazing. 


I also spent some time knitting today, working to get the pair of socks I am working on done. I am still on the first sock though. 

Ideally I would love to live either at the coast or back in the mid valley, either in a small town or near the small towns, and be within a couple hours of Portland. I am definitely more of a small town / country girl rather than a city girl. Having spent most of my life in the city, I am used to it, I would just rather be living in the country. 

City Living

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I am one who does love small town, but as much as you want something, some dreams aren’t supposed to become a reality, and at this point, small town life my be a happy chapter in my younger days.

Like maybe the reason I have not found a job someplace else is because there is a reason I need to stay in Portland, and that there is a job here for me somewhere. I know, that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, it doesn’t make sense to me either, especially since I have spent the last 7 years feeling stuck here, and have not had much success in the job department here.

Some days I can’t imagine staying in the city, other days, there is no other place I would rather place be.

Having food intolerances, and having learned how to manage them while living in the city, would definitely complicate things for living in a small town, as I would constantly be coming to the city to get the Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free baking supplies I have grown accustomed to. Living outside of the metro area, would add the cost of gas to come to the city to go shopping. Over the last few years, I have gotten used to having several Trader Joe’s Stores, as well as New Seasons, Whole Foods, and urban Fred Meyer’s stores all within a 5 mile radius. Not to mention all the yarn and craft stores we have here. We also have my favorite bakery here in the city, as well as several locally owned tea shops and coffee roasters. Starbucks is over rated, especially when you have Dutch Bros, Human Bean, Barista, as well as Stump Town Coffee Roasters. Not to mention the fact that we have Stash Tea, Steven Smith Tea Maker, and the Tao of Tea here in the city as well.

Granted I can find a job, it’s not like I can’t go to beach, whenever I have a free day and want to take off and go. Or going back to where I went to college and seeing the friends I still have there, as it is only an hour an a half away.

Just having the easy access to Gluten Free & Dairy Free food, and having natural grocery stores near by makes living in the city worth it. With that, I would still love to have a large enough backyard to have a garden still.

Simpler Way Of Life

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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 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.