Total Solar Eclipse Day

Hey Everyone!

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. 

Raspberry Gleaning

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With my family being gone last week, it was up to me to go out and pick the raspberries in the backyard as well as to water the plants. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed going outside and picking raspberries and watering the plants, seeing as I want a place of my own where I can have a garden and grow my own vegetables and berries. 

Homemaking, urban homesteading, knitting, 

In the modern era, especially in places that are not food deserts, grocery stores are all over the place. Don’t get me wrong, there are somethings that really are more worthwhile / economical to purchase from a grocery store. I don’t know about other parts of the country, but out here, we have Trader Joe’s Stores, and they have a really good selection of dried fruit, nuts, trail mixes and that kind of thing for a really good price. Not to mention the dried foods like flour (and not gluten free flours as well), sugar, coffee, oats and such that people would often purchase at the general store or mercantile in town. So going totally without a grocery store is not something I totally want to do without. With that being said there is definitely more I want to do for myself or buy from farmers markets or fruit / vegetables stands. If I can’t grow it myself or it would not be practical to grow small scale, I would rather buy it from local farmers via a farmers market or farm stands / stores (like what they have out along the fruit loop in the gorge or out on Sauvie Island). 

I have been out picking raspberries pretty much every day for the past week and I love it. Today I got about a pint of berries. 


Having property and a garden takes hard work. I am definitely someone who doesn’t mind working hard and getting my hands dirty or callused.  

I am also a huge fan of cooking from scratch, and simple dinners that fill people up, that are also not step intensive or difficult. Yesterday I had tried a new recipe (for me anyway), that was a little time consuming, but really easy, and only had a few ingredients and a few steps. The most time consuming part was removing the excess fat from the chicken, letting it marinate and then letting it cook. In and of itself the marinade had like 5 ingredients, and you put it all together, and then put the chicken in (I used a couple gallon size bags) and let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours, then I dumped the contents of the bags into a roasting pan and put in the oven for about an hour. It turned out really good. I had also made baked rice to go with it. 


I feel like I am fairly realistic about how much work it takes to grow A garden, can fruit, freeze fruit and vegetables, and raise some chickens and maybe some pigs for meat. It all takes time and effort, and a willingness to get in there and get hot, sweaty and dirty. 

The Day isn’t over yet…

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Today has been one of those days where I feel like I have been on the go all day while running on empty the whole day. 

I didn’t go to bed until about 2 this morning, and woke up about 7:20 this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I got up and got my day going. I was out of the house by about a quarter to 10. 

I ran several errands, including to Fred Meyer, Starbucks (today was one of the rare days where I needed coffee rather than tea), then on to Cost Plus World Market, before going to Joann’s and Safeway before coming home. I got home about 12:30 (I was gone all of not quite 3 hours). 

School supplies have been out for like a month, and now all the fall decorations are out as well. While I couldn’t care much less than I do about the school supplies, I was stocked to see all the fall decorations out beings that Fall is my favorite season. 


All I picked up at Joann’s was a new set of size 1 – 2.25mm dpn needles for socks, since a couple of the once of the set I have, have broken. 


Once I got home and put stuff away I knit for a little bit before starting on dinner, at about 2:45. I made a batch of lentils, which takes some time to cook. 


The lentils were ready to eat about 5:30, which was great timing. While the lentils were cooking, I mixed up some gluten free, vegan chocolate chip cookies. After I had dinner I baked them up.

It’s days like today that insanely busy with everyday life, and I am on my own, doing what I love, including cooking, baking, errands, even cleaning, makes me happy. It also makes me miss the days when I was in college and had my own place to take care of and keep up. It was all my own space, and it was all my responsibility to clean it, cook, bake, do all the grocery shopping, and it was all my own space and I didn’t feel like an intruder o someone else’s space or be restricted on what I could or couldn’t do, or do them when those I live with aren’t around. It’s hard when you have to live with others because you don’t have the means to be on your own, at least for me it is. That is kind of why I got excited to have a week to myself, and being able to do my own thing, and have a bit of that freedom that I did back in college. 

This is why I have been looking for jobs in other parts in the country, preferably where the cost of living is lower. It seems like there are not a whole lot of jobs for someone with my educational and work experience background in this part of the country.  I would love to stay in the Pacific Northwest if at all possible since I know the culture and I know what grows in this part of the country. Yeah I feel torn on this issue, a part of me wants to stay (by stay I mean small town within about 2ish hours driving from my parents house) but the other (larger part) is like “hey, there is more of the world to go see, go see it and experience some place else and learn about their history through immersion” as well as “SE Alaska would be awesome, and perfect. What I can’t get at the store (GF from Bob’s Red Mill and possibly Mrs Meyers cleans day), I can order and have shipped, as it would totally be worth shipping a few things to have the outdoors stuff, fishing, hunting and everything else that is me”. 

It is my desire to be able to create more quality content for all my blogs. So here is hoping in the near enough future I will find a new job, and a place of my own again, and share how I decorate, what I cook and bake as well at pretty much everything I can Homemaking related.

Speaking of decorating, I know I already mentioned that Fred Meyer and Joann’s have fall decorations for sale already, and that got me all excited, beings that I am totally a fall person and love everything about it. I am also so over this heat and no rain for days on end. I am so ready for cooler days, grey overcast skies, pumpkin and pumpkin spice everything, the changing leaves, needing a jacket when I leave the house and being able to wear jeans without being too hot. 

While I have been home I have been warming Apple S’mores scentsy cubes. That is how ready for Fall I am. To me the Apple S’mores is totally an autumn scent.

Learning to live a more Frugal lifestyle 

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If anything, the past 11 years, has taught me how to live a more frugal lifestyle and how much “fluff” and extras I really don’t need. 

While having to be Dairy Free, generally Gluten Free, and generally Egg Free, that costs more than your normal grocery haul would, unless you shopped solely at new seasons or Whole Foods or some place life that. 

I have been learning how to live with my food intolerances and live a frugal lifestyle. 

That is one of the things I am wanting to do, is live more frugally, and do as much as I can, myself. I definitely prefer doing my own canning. While I would rather spend a bit more on buying local fruit and vegetables and canning my own fruit, pickles and jams as well as doing freezer jam. I have been learning the value of not having cable tv, or even hulu plus or Netflix. While it is nice to have some movies and some series of TV on DVD, I have learned the value of a hard days work. I am tired of being stuck in the city, where it isn’t as easy to get out side and work with my hands and be productive, as gas prices are climbing, and it is so expensive to live in the city. I honestly don’t miss having Netflix and Hulu. 

I am also trying to spend my time more wisely, and not waste my time on computer games when I could be knitting, or reading books. 

While I do have a list of yarn and knitting things I would like to accrue, I am trying to work through the yarn I have. The needles and swift I would like would be useful for more than one occasion. 

I am also trying to reduce my Scentsy budget to something more reasonable, like keeping a few bars of my favorite year round scent, one or two summer scents, a couple fall scents, and one or two winter scents, and not have excessive amounts of any one scent.

Books are one “luxury” and pass time, besides knitting that is worth while that is more of the enjoyment of it. 

Learning how to live a frugal lifestyle is important to me, and while I would live to live in, or near a small town, I really don’t want to more than a couple hours away from Portland. This is on the sole basis that my bakery is here, tea and tea shops are plentiful here, and Bob’s Red Mill is here. Not to mention the Gorge isn’t all that far away, to go get fruit to can, or Sauvie Island, or other farm stores that would carry pickling cucumbers, dill and garlic to can garlic dill pickles. 

I have been realizing that I don’t need as much stuff as I once thought I did. 

You don’t need the fastest internet, or all the cable channels, or a wall full of dvds, or the most expensive car or house, or best vacations to live a fulfilled and happy life. Honestly, I prefer the feeling I have at the end of the day when I have worked hard and am actually tired, or spent the day with those I care about, or played a board game with good friends, or watched the sunset over the ocean, or sat around a campfire at night, away from the city lights and saw all the stars in the sky. There is so much more to life than having to have all the latest and greatest, or the biggest and best. 

Life is so much more than being focused on the material things. Yes, having a comfortable house is nice, but so is making memories with friends and family and taking joy in the simple pleasures. 

Honestly, I am not a huge fan of eating out. I would just as soon grill up some burgers or salmon on a summer evening, and make some side salads, and a homemade dessert, and enjoy dinner on the back patio or in the backyard, and have a fire in the fire pit in the back yard once the sun goes down, over going and sitting a restaurant for however many hours. That is part of my aversion to city life, I always feel like I am having to go somewhere and do something, and spend money left and right to have fun. I am the type who prefers sitting at home reading a book, and some of my best and favorite memories involve sitting around a campfire with friends having a good conversation. 

As I get older, and I learn more about who I am, I definitely feel like I live in the wrong era. I feel like I belong in a by gone era, where women did more Homemaking and living off the land. While I really don’t want to give up indoor plumbing, running water, electricity, modern appliances (and refrigeration), there is something to be said of the country life. You know, having a freezer full of chicken meat that you raised yourself, as well as ham, pork chop, bacon, pork roasts and such that came from pigs you raised, fish that you caught (and some that you also smoked yourself), as well as venison, maybe some moose, and elk. Not to mention some homemade freezer jam, as well as a pantry that is well stocked with home canned fruit and pickles, as well as the gluten free and shelf stable dairy free necessities. 

Changing up my Meals 

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I feel like I may have finally figured out how to fuel my body for the day and stop gaining or maintaining my current weight when I am trying to lose weight. 

This past week I started having salads with meat (like chicken, tuna or salmon) and a flat bread or a serving of pretzels or crackers for lunch, and then having meat and a small serving of carbs for dinner and occasionally some extra vegetables in addition to that. I had also made baked oatmeal for breakfasts and then had brown and serve turkey breakfast sausages and a fruit plate with breakfast. 

I used to have a sandwich with processed lunch meat and a lot of carbs and a banana for lunch and I noticed I was still really hungry by 4 pm and the had a hard time eating all my dinner. That had prompted the decision to start having salads with meat for lunch and then having a smaller dinner and that has been working so far. 

What I Ate Wednesday 

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Wednesday came and went again, and I forgot (again) to finish my post yesterday. So sorry about that. 

For breakfast I had two vans gluten free homestyle waffles with earth balance vegan spread. I also had 4 brown and serve breakfast sausages and a fruit plate. With breakfast I took my hair skin and nails tablets as well as a Thermofit tablet. 

After breakfast I have been drinking water, drinking my tea and I also ate my greens chews and drank my greens. So yeah, a lot of drinking fluids has been happening. 

For lunch I had a ham sandwich and a banana. Seriously though lunch is the hardest meal for me, I am not a huge fan of the whole normal lunchy foods. 

For dinner i had the last of my meat and beans, I also had chips and salsa and a salad. 

I also had had a total of two Litres of water yesterday.