Working to make my place a Home

Hey Everyone!

Today I went shopping at the store I work at, to purchase the rest of the Christmas ornaments I have been eyeing for the past week and a half, since we got them in stock.

I started buying the ones I like last week and picked up the last few I liked today. I might as well pick up the cute ones while they are in stock, before the mad rush for Christmas everything happens, and all the ones I like sale out.

Beings that my store is in the same complex as a mall that has a yankee candle store I decided to walk down to the Yankee Candle and at least smell the candles. I found one scent I actually like, which is the apple pumpkin. They were having a sale, the small jars were buy one get one free so I got two of the apple pumpkin candles.

On my way home I had stopped at new seasons and picked up a couple boxes of my favorite Steven Smith tea maker tea – no. 47 Bungalow.

While I am working to live a more minimalistic life, having a few things to make my future house a home. Besides just the fact that I enjoy Homemaking, hospitality has also been on my heart. Whether it is extending friendship and an open door to young women in college who are away from home and need that support system, a listening ear of someone who has already gone through it, and a home cooked meal every so often. Being that someone who helps them make their new home feel like home because they will be there nine months out of the year for at least four years. As well as young women who are through school and starting out on their own, and maybe moved someplace new for work and trying to figure out the whole adult with a job thing. Starting college and new jobs are always hard, and it is even harder when you move someplace new to do that, and pursue your dreams. I have been there, I have been through it. Being able to be there for other young women who are going through similar situations I have been through and be able to open my home to them to help ease the transition is something that is on my heart.

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Baking Brownies

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I have wanted brownies for the past couple of days, so I finally made some today. I had today off so it was a perfect time to bake brownies.

While I love baking all year round, I love it even more when the weather is cooler, and now that Autumn is here and today has been in the low 60’s, it was a perfect day to do some baking.

I used a package of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Brownie mix and a stick of earth balance vegan butter alternative. I did use eggs this time because I wanted the brownies to turn out right.

Peaches Galore

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I had mentioned in a previous post that over the weekend, while at one of the farm stands, we picked up 60 pounds of fresh, local peaches. 

Today we canned most of them. We got a total of 3 batches (21 quarts) of peaches. We also got two batches of muffins, a batch of peach freezer jam and some left over to eat out of the 60 pounds. 


My mom and I had gotten on the subject about how in the olden days women used to can in houses without AC over a wood burning stove, in dresses with longer sleeves and long skirts. I had been thinking about that earlier in the day, and in the days and weeks prior to today, about how much women did in the summer in addition to their regular routines. Fixing meals, doing laundry, cleaning house all didn’t stop just because canning season arrived. They would be out in the garden and picking the fruit and putting it up in addition to taking care of a family and a home.

My mom and I do why we do because we enjoy doing it. In the current day and age it is easy enough to get fruit to put up. I can only imagine how hard it can be in years when the weather is uncooperative and / or crops fail, and you then don’t have food to put up for winter. 

I had gone out earlier in the evening and picked raspberries and to check on my little lettuce plants. My lettuce starts seem to be taking. As much as I don’t like the hot weather, the plants do go better when it is warm / hot and sunny. I am totally hoping that I can get some lettuce off my little plants before the weather gets too cool. 

Today was extremely productive, and I am tired for all the right reasons. I love days when I work hard and get a lot done. 

Major Urban Homesteading Going on in this House

Hey Everyone!

This weekend has been a busy Urban Homesteading. 

Yesterday (Saturday), I went out with my mom, to two farm stands to get peaches and berries to can and make more Jam. 

After we got back to the house, I picked raspberries in the backyard and planted some lettuce starts that we got for free. I watered them really well last night, as well as again this morning. 

Last night my mom and I made two batches of blackberry jam and one batch of strawberry jam. 


Today I picked more raspberries, and made some more raspberry jam. 


We had also picked up a Hermiston Watermelon and a Hermiston cantaloupe from one the farm stand by the golf course. 

This weekend 4 batches of jam were made, and peaches will be canned later this week sometime. 


Tomorrow I will be checking my lettuce plants and seeing how well the my be taking. They have had plenty of water, and a nice warm day today, I am hoping they take and that I can get some lettuce off then before the season is over. Free salad would be awesome. 

Total Solar Eclipse Day

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So far today, I have got in eating food, making tea, picking raspberries, watching the total solar eclipse from the backyard, made raspberry freezer jam and labeled the dill pickles that were canned yesterday, and I got all of that done before noon. It was a very productive morning. I am taking a short break before I go deal with getting the chicken marinating for dinner. I literally remembered the chicken while I was sitting here writing this post. 

This is how dark it got in Portland, which was in the 99.2% totality range. It got more dusky or like looking at the back yard through sunglasses. It didn’t get that dark. 


Once I got the chicken marinating, I put the pickles away, and cleaned the kitchen, and mopped the floor. Now I am trying to relax before I cook the chicken I put to marinate earlier. 

Weekend Homemaking 

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After spending time yesterday finishing up a pair of socks before going out with my mom for treats at my favorite bakery here in the city, before running an errand and coming home. 

This morning, I went out and picked raspberries, and got two whole pints since I missed picking yesterday. We have been getting about a pint or so a day. The two pints I got today went in the fridge, in hopes that come Monday or so I will get another couple pints of raspberries from the backyard so I can make jam this week. 

Earlier this afternoon I started a new pair of socks, using KnitPicks Palette Yarn in Victorian and Larch Heather, before going to the grocery store. 

On the news the past few weeks and months the news has been making a bigger deal of the total solar eclipse than has really needed to be made, and has had a lot of people freaking out and at some grocery stores there have been runs on certain items. Today, and last night at our local Fred Meyer and Safeway Stores (in the 99.2% totality range), it has been business as usual. 

This evening, after making dinner is was my job to go through the bag of pickling cucumbers and pull out the moldy ones after having dumped them out on a towel. It was kinda gross. At least the ones that weren’t moldy, will be put in a vinegar brine and heated through tomorrow. 

Tonight I am hoping to get a little more knitting done before I settle in for the night and read for a while. 

When Homemaking is a Passion

Hey Everyone! 

As a child, I was my dad’s little buddy when he would be working out in the yard, and I was my mom’s (and grandma’s) little buddy when they were out in the kitchen. As a kid I can remember my dad taking my brother and I fishing, and as I got a little older, I was the only one he took. Seeing a fish be cleaned always fascinated me. 

Growing up, I also enjoyed cooking and baking. Once I had to go Dairy Free and Gluten Free (and now egg free as well), cooking and baking have taken on new meanings. 

From the time I was young I would help my mom make Sunday dinners when she would make them, as well as holiday dinners once my Dad’s mom passed away. I also grew up helping my mom can and make jam in the summers. 

My later high school years were when I really began to enjoy learning about what women’s roles were during the 1800’s, especially those who lived on the frontier, as well as between the 1920’s – early 1960’s. More specifically what life was life for women who didn’t come from money or marry into money – women like my grandmothers and great grandmothers. Women who cooked, baked, gardened, kept a house and even went to work if they needed to. 

Now that I am older, I have heard stories that my grandmother had told my mom of her youth and young adult life, as well as stories that my mom has told from when she was around. 

Part of my love of Homemaking and the history of it, is that at one time many women gardened, or if not, the food they had available was all local and ethnically raised. Knowing where my food comes and how it’s raised / grown is important to me. Just from my own experience, with the young women I have known here where I live, I am one of the few (like that I can count on one hand) who know how to can food, as well and knowing how to make a meal from scratch. 

This past week I have been home on my own, which means that checking the raspberries and other plants in the backyard as well as watering everything. I have also been doing my fair share of cooking, baking and cleaning, so those I live with could come home to a clean house. 

In college, when I had my own apartment, I found a love / tolerate relationship with cleaning. While I could find things I would rather do than clean, I don’t hate it either. I also found that cleaning is a good stress reliever. If I just needed a break from studying/ homework and needed to clear my head and destress (and it was too late to go far a walk), I would clean my apartment. I came to kind of enjoy cleaning, and I always enjoyed having a clean apartment. 

While in college I also found a love for decorating the space I live in, and make it smell good. Over the years I have been working in building up my fall decorations and winter decorations stashes. 

I am all for women being able to do what they want with their lives, and follow their dreams and pursue their career goals. I am by no means advocating doing away with the all the work that women (and men) before me and have done to give me the opportunity to pursue my own dreams and find out what I am passionate about. There are so many things I love doing that 2 or 3 generations ago, I would not have been able to do. 

I definitely want to help preserve and share the history of my grandmother’s and great grandmother’s generations as well as the history of their mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers.