Month: April 2014

Late Nights Reading Books.

Hey Everyone!

I went out a bit earlier, as there was something I had to take care of, but couldn’t complete it because where I had to take care of it was closed (at 11 in the morning), and then when I had gone back by about an hour later, there was road work taking place right in front of the road I needed to turn on, so I just bagged it, and there is still a couple more days for me to get out and get it done.

While I was out I stopped at my local Joann Fabric and Craft Superstore to see about getting a second skein of Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool Yarn (my favorite kind of yarn) in Oatmeal so I could make a project that I have in mind for myself out of it. I had made this stop in part because I had a 50% off one regular price item, and I was trying to waste a bit of time before I had tried to go back and take care of what I needed to and couldn’t.

I am running on less than 7 hours of sleep, but feeling pretty good, as I was up until 2:30 this morning reading Divergent. The only reason I had to stop reading was because it was in fact 2:30 am. The first couple of weeks after I had stopped working I was still on a regular enough schedule (in bed by 11 pm, and awake at about 8 am) but for the last couple of weeks I have been doing good if I am in bed by midnight, and up by 9 am. That doesn’t happen very often anymore especially when I am reading a good book.

I wanted to get out earlier in the day, because it is supposed to be in the mid to upper 80’s, which is warm for this time of year, and too hot for my blood. I am just thankful that I live where I do, where it is relatively mild, and we don’t get very humid when it gets hot.

For the rest of the day I am going to be getting my last 30 days 30 hats challenge hat done, and then either keep working on the leave lace wrap (scarf) I started yesterday or start another sweater depending on the time, as I don’t like working on more complicated projects when I am tired or late at night because I tend to screw up and make mistakes. So we’ll see what I work on later today.

I am also planning on reading more of Divergent tonight, and seeing if I can finish it, and maybe start book 2 of the series. When I find a good book, I have a hard time putting it down once I start it. Lately I haven’t been reading as much as I once had been, just because I didn’t have the time, and this past month I have been trying to knit a hat a day so that and doing things with friends has kept me busy. I am looking forward to reading more books. I love reading, and have missed being able to spend hours having my nose buried in a book. As a kid (elementary/primary school age) I hated reading, and was slow to start reading chapter books and such. Somewhere early on in Middle School (grades 6 – 8) I started loving to read, and spent a lot of time in the library checking out  books and such. By high school, I realized that my problem was more the fact that I found that what I had to read for school was generally boring (hence not liking reading, and being a late reader), but when I could read books of my own choice I could read that book from cover to cover in one sitting given the chance. By the time i was a Junior in High School I had read both Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell and Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley each at least twice through. So reading comprehension and the ability to read was there the whole time, it was just a matter of finding books that appealed to me. In college I had to limit myself to only reading books of my choice between terms, because I couldn’t get all my studying done and read my own books at the same time. There was one time after I finished a term that I had stayed up until 5 am the morning after I finished a term of college reading a book just because I could. I bought the Divergent Trilogy because I heard they were on par with the Hunger Games Trilogy and I have read that Trilogy through several times (especially before each new film comes out).

Getting into Shape

Hey Everyone!

My goal for the next year is to be able to get into well enough shape to hike the 8.7 mile loop at Silver Falls state park, and hike to the top of Multnomah Falls which is a 2.6 mile (round trip) hike that has a 700 foot climb going up. I want to be able to hike them with some ease and with as little shortness of breath as possible. To be able to Hike to the top of Multnomah Falls, the Bridge at the start of the trail needs to be fixed, as a boulder crashed down on it back in January and caused enough damage to make it unsafe.

I don’t have a goal weight or pant size that I am trying to get into, my goal for the next year is getting a good endurance level built up so that I can take on the two hikes I just mentioned, and take them at a decent speed without much loss of breath, like it was a walk in the park. I know that through this year, and getting my endurance up that I will lose weight. Why am I not caring about what the scale says if I know I am going to be losing weight? I am not going to be really caring about numbers in general because, through this and the more hiking I do I am looking to build and strengthen my muscles, and muscle weights more than fat, which is why I don’t have a low end “healthy” BMI goal weight. If I were to weight between 105 lbs. and even 125 – 130 lbs I would be/look anorexic, just because of my bone structure, and that doesn’t factor in muscle either. I want to look and be healthy, and be able to take life on full speed without being slowed down by being over weight or under weight, and have the endurance and energy to go do anything I want to do.

I have been working hard to stick to the Gluten Free/Dairy Free lifestyle, but even so I am needed to continue making better choices within that, because there is still a lot of junk food out there that is Gluten Free and Dairy Free.

There are a couple vlogs that i watch James and Ashley (The Chick’s Life) and Anna (Anna Saccone and The SACCONEJOLYs) are trying to get into shape. They have inspired me to try to get into shape myself.

I am doing this for myself, because I am tired of the sedentary lifestyle I have had most of my life, I am trying to make positive changes in my life that will be beneficial not only now, but later on. I want to be healthier and in better shape leaving my mid-20’s, going into my late – 20’s than I was in my early 20’s. I have spent most of my life being on the heavy side, and I am tired of not having the energy or endurance to really do what I love. For me, making a goal of getting down to 120 pounds, or wearing a size 2 is unrealistic for me, especially with my bone structure. Where as the goal of being able to have the endurance and energy to hike the full 8.7 loop at Silver Falls, and making it to the top of Multnomah Falls without feeling like I am going to die because of being of shape, is a realistic goal. In the process losing weight would be great, especially since losing weight would help take the pressure off my feet, ankles and knees, which ultimately would help me reach my goal.

I got to my highest weight while I was in college, and all I remember is that I was pushing 240 or 250, and either way I was just too heavy, and just walking across campus and to the third floor of a building made my heart race, and I was out of breath. I never want to experience being that big, and that out of shape ever again.

There is so much more I want to do, and starting to get to a healthier weight, toning my muscles and taking care of my body will help me get there. When I find another job I want to start doing things like taking Karate classes again, and taking Aerobic Dance, Aerobic Kickboxing, and stuff like that, and I wouldn’t mind trying Rock Climbing, and doing a lot more physical activities.

Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie Filling (and Baking Directions)

Hey Everyone!

I know Thanksgiving is long over, but I wanted to share the Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie filling recipe that I love with you all. This recipe makes one 9″ pie. I have yet to find a gluten free pie crust recipe that I actually like, so if I do eventually find one I will share it at that time.

For the Filling:

  • 1 15-ounce can canned pumpkin (NOT canned pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup coconut milk or other dairy-free milk alternative
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. ground cloves
  • 1/4 t. nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Prepare the filling. In a medium-sized mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer or a standing mixer, mix the pumpkin, eggs, coconut milk, maple syrup, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves, and salt until smooth and well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn down the oven to 350 F and bake for 35-40 minutes more or until a skin forms on top of the pumpkin and the crust is just lightly golden (gluten-free crusts do not brown quite like wheat-based ones.) Transfer the pie to a wire cooling rack to cool completely, then place in the refrigerator to chill completely. Serve cold with Vegan Whipped Cream if desired.

Getting a good dose of the Country

Hey Everyone!

I am amazed at how fast this week has flown by. Today came so soon. Why was today so important? It is important because my “niece’s” first birthday party today. This little girl is a good friend’s foster daughter, but the friend became like an older sister to me while I was in college and so her kiddo’s (even the one who is still a foster at this point) are my Nephew’s and Niece.

I left earlier than I needed to so I could stop at Bimart to pick up a few last minute things, like a card to go with Baby Girl’s gift, as well as the rest of a birthday gift for a friend, and a card for her gift. Before heading out of town I stopped at Chipotle to get food for myself before I left. I don’t like taking unnecessary “chances” with food when I don’t know whats in it. For me, and having food intolerances, making sure I have food that I can eat, or eating before I go is something I constantly think about before I go anywhere for any substantial amount of time.

Two of my biggest reasons for not being fond of living in the big city is the Traffic (it takes FOREVER to get ANYWHERE), and the fact that it is sensory overload. There is everything and anything a person could want within a short distance. Life is so much faster and consumer obsessed. Being stuck in traffic is never fun (especially when it takes you at least twice as long in the city to go the same distance in the country, and that includes the three towns you pass through in the process). Since having moved back to the city almost four years ago, Traffic still bugs me to no end, but I deal with it better now because I have to than when I was in college, and could be to school in less than 10 minutes and I love in the next town over from where my school was.

What I miss most about where I lived in college, is not so much the towns themselves, but the way of life. Living in a couple of small towns in the middle of farm country took a bit of time to get used to, but once I had adjusted, my life was changed forever. I have spent less and less time in the country since I graduated from college, and had forgotten about how many stores close by 6 pm. I had gotten re used to having many stores and restaurants being open late (like 9 or 10 pm) and that there isn’t much “night life” in a small town. I am not much of a night life person, which has a lot to do with why I thrived in a small town, and love country life. I know that I may never move back to the area I lived in while in college (as much as I love it), and I would be fine. I only came back to the city because the job opportunities are greater here (even though the economy is still tough), and I had a place to live at the moment. The city may be my “home” in the sense that it is where I have lived most of my life, but it doesn’t make it my HOME.

Over the past year I haven’t been going back as often, in part because these towns were a part of my college life, and as much as I would jump at the chance to move back, at the same time because it was a part of the College chapter of my life I don’t want to be so stuck on that one place that I hold myself back from being all I can be, or experience something new or different, or be unwilling to move somewhere new when that someplace new is the right place for me to be going just because it isn’t these towns. I know I am vague and ambigous about the towns I had lived and went to school in, that is in part just because while I enjoy sharing my experiences with you all, there are some things (for my own safety and just because it is personal) that I feel is best kept private as far as my blog and other social media is concerned.

The whole point of me getting away from the city for several hours, was to attend the first birthday party my friend and her husband were having for their foster daughter. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Like I mentioned earlier this friend became an older sister to me while I was in college. Being there to support my friends was incredibly important to me.

So, here I am, after several hours, a stop at Chipotle, two small Dutch Bros Coffee Drinks, and a quarter of a gas tank later I am back in the city, greatly missing where I spent my late afternoon and evening.

Wash and Go

Hey Everyone!

This past week I have been keeping busy. Thursday night I went out with friends and saw Heaven is For Real, and got dinner at Chipotle after. Friday I went for a Hike with a Friend stayed at home and worked on knitting, Saturday I spent most of the day knitting, and I rant to Fred Meyer with my mom, and helped get Easter Dinner going. Sunday I helped prepare Easter Dinner, dealt with my laptop going deciding it didn’t want to work anymore, and then had gone to the Easter Program at church that evening, Monday I had run some errands, including picking up some speakers for my loaner computer, and picking up more flours for my GF Flour mix for breads. Yesterday I got my hair cut, and today I went to IKEA. While I was at IKEA, I picked up a tool set, because I am looking for a new job, and I am wanting to move, and having a tool set is always handy.

I am really a wash and go kind of girl, who doesn’t like taking extra time in  the morning to spend in the bathroom getting ready to go. I also was tired of putting my hair in a ponytail to get it out of my way. That had a lot to do with why I got my haircut yesterday. I needed something that would be easy to style in the morning that would look nice so all I would have to do is wash it in the shower, and then put some mousse in it, dry it, and then put my makeup on and be basically ready to go for the day. Quite Honestly Sleep, and being outdoors are more important to me than spending hours in the bathroom doing my hair and makeup.

I know that the wash and go, love the outdoors (and camping) mentality as well as that I don’t tolerate the heat and humidity very well is all part of why the idea even of moving to Alaska (if I could find a job) is so appealing to me. I would love the adventure and to give it a go. I know that if I determine to make it happen, and that it will work out, that it will do just that, work out. I feel that being out away from the city would really help me thrive and be the best I can be. 

Life is Busy

Hey Everyone!

Today is the first day in several that has been relatively calm. I finally ran some errands today, and made an appointment to get my hair cut, which it desperately needs.

My first stop was to pick up speakers for my computer. Yes, I am using a different computer for the time being beings that my little laptop that has been with me for over 3 years with only a few minor issues has given up the ghost. So all I needed for this was a set of speakers.

While I was out I needed to stop at the store, and Bob’s Red Mill so I could pick up more flours so that I have them when I mix up more bread flour (beings that I am getting low). I love Bob’s Red Mill,

I also made an appointment to get my hair cut, because I am tired of having it “long’ and it is getting rather unmanageable.

Today started out so nice, and the clouds started rolling in while I was out earlier in the day. A few sunny days are nice, but I have to say that I do prefer the clouds. I have already been called crazy because of it. I prefer cooler weather, and with the exception of the coast, generally (outside of actual winter) if it is clear, it is warm, and I don’t handle heat well, so that is part of why I love cloudy weather. I have also wanted to go to/live in Scotland, so being used to overcast days definitely puts me in the mood to be there.

I am trying to keep busy while looking for another job, just because I don’t like being home all the time being unmotivated and discouraged about having a hard time finding a job. I know I am not alone, in the long term unemployment boat, but I am done taking it quietly. I am going to use what “free” time I have doing what I love and sharing that through my blog.

Making Easter Dinner

Hey Everyone!

Yesterday was Easter, for which I spent it with my family. I helped my mom cook Easter Dinner. Beings that I can’t eat dairy, and stay away from eating gluten 95% of the time, Making dinner that not only tasted good but was also mainly GF/DF has been the challenge for the last two years. The only dish I couldn’t eat period (and had not made any substitute or alterations for) was the Scalloped Potatoes, which was fine with me. I will eat potatoes, but I am not bummed or put out if I can’t eat them. The jello salad had a sour cream/marshmallow topping which put on before serving, so the topping was left off of mine, and I just put some plain marshmallows on my own serving. We had asparagus, which we left off the spread because the one that my parents and brother use has dairy in it, and the one I use does not. We also had green beans (cooked with onion and bacon…Yum). As for Rolls I made our traditional recipe for the recipe for the rest of the family and made Gluten Free and Dairy Free rolls for myself. For the main meats, we had Leg of Lamb and Ham. Both were very good. We can’t forget about the Cherry Pie. Beings that we were making two, one for my brother and the other to keep here, I made regular wheat crusts. A small piece of Cherry Pie last night was my “treat” for the week. Beings that gluten doesn’t have as severe of an effect on me as dairy does, I can get away with a little bit once or twice a week, but I try to keep it to once a week.

I have been helping my mom make holiday dinners for a good 10+ years now. I have enjoyed working out in the kitchen for as long as I can remember, so as I have gotten older, and learned more, helping out with big dinners, or cooking week night meals (especially after having lived on my own in college) have become just something I do regularly. Now that I am in my mid-20’s, I know my way around the kitchen. Having been the daughter, and having grown up working around the kitchen, I don’t think much about helping my mom, other than that it is what daughter’s do (after having heard many a stories told by my great aunts, and knowing how both of my grandmother’s were raised and cooked themselves). I know in concept that there are young women out there that aren’t there helping their moms, but especially in my group of friends I am a little taken  aback just because they are shocked that I will stay home just to help my mom cook, so that she doesn’t have to do it all herself. That is in part because I am still around and without a family of my own. If I didn’t live close enough to come, or had my own family that would be a different story. The whole idea that daughters are brought up helping their mother’s around the house with the cooking and such goes way back, and it was how I learned a lot of what I know.