Happy Seventh Birthday Deer (Picnic at Rocky Butte in Portland, Oregon)

Skylar and I spent the early part of his birthday in a natural area in Portland named Rocky Butte. It's an area that is a hidden gem in Portland and a lot of people don't know about it, unless they live in the area. It is considered a natural area and is an extinct volcanic cinder cone from the Boring Lava Field. It used to be the area of the Rocky Butte Jail, but the jail was dismantled in the 80s. After which, Jeff and I had a small cupcake celebration for Skylar. With the pandemic going on, we had decided to just do something small and enjoy the day together.











Five Simple Things (September 25)

 Hello.

Things are getting a bit better here on the wildfire front. We have finally been able to see some sky over just orange, red, and smoky. We are so grateful for all of the firefighters, wildland agencies, and civilians that have put themselves in harms way and sacrificed a lot to keep us and everyone else as safe as they can. This summer was unbelievable. This entire year so far as been absolutely draining for us and everyone we've spoken to. 2020 has really tested everyone and speaking from a selfish standpoint, it has really tested my mental health. At least there's I am looking forward to finally having a break from constant stress that's keeping me in the the flight or fight mode 24/7. Positive thoughts and talking every evening about how we feel has really helped us keep our mind's in perspective. I am still worried that a mental health break may come, though. Fingers crossed that it won't and I can keep it under control. As far as the Coronavirus pandemic, the CDC released some guidelines for Halloween and also there has been talks of sending families a stimulus check to help get them through the furloughs and struggles. The cases here in Oregon seem to be climbing slower than they were and that's a good sign. Unfortunately, the United States totals have passed 7 million and over 200,000 deaths. Yikes. For now, here are five things this week.

1. These Turkeys.


 
Wild turkeys are so abundant in the Willamette Valley and it seems like there are more and more as the years go by. It's great seeing so much wildlife this close to the city, because sometimes you forget you're actually in a city. The babies make such a cute sound when they are keeping up with the group.

2. This Cucumber.

Our garden did terrible this year because of the wildfires. We were able to salvage a few things before the season ended, but we didn't eat anything that was from the garden because of all of the ash on everything. We washed this cucumber off and saved the seeds for next year in the freezer. The ash will be good for the garden so, at least.

3. This Book.

A favorite "influencer" of mine created this amazing cookbook and it took me months to find it because it was actually pulled from shelves. People complained that the foraging recipes inside the book would cause harm, or even death, and the publisher felt it was too risky to keep selling. I finally found a copy and I was thrilled. You may still be able to find a copy floating around somewhere out there, or you can wait to see if it gets posted again on Amazon. The pictures and recipes are beautifully laid out and I am so glad I was able to get a hold of a copy.

4. These Ducks.

Letting our ducks out to swim has been nice for them. What you can't see on the side is two fans going so that they don't have to be surrounded by the last bits of smoke that seems to be lingering in the Valley still. They enjoyed getting out and stretching their legs and being able to forage and swim around. 

5. This Appointment. 

 

I've been feeling a bit drained lately. I am hoping that it's just my anxiety taking all of my energy and not something worse, but I felt it's better to be safe and just rule Covid-19 out. (Edited to add test results)

Positive affirmations this week: "How did you learn to advocate and stand up for yourself?"
Lots of years I wasted being a people pleaser. It took a long time to get to a good solid foundation where I knew who I was and trusted myself to make the right choices. Don't just take what people tell you and be like, "Okayyy." Advocate for yourself, and over time you'll become an advocate overall. Ask people questions, get out there and learn for yourself. If getting out and talking to others is difficult, than do what I do and read about things on your own. This goes for all things really. Don't just take what other people say and believe it to be true, especially if it's at the expense of you. One more thing, if something doesn't look right, feel right, or is setting off your internal signs of not being okay, don't do it and definitely don't agree to it. If something needs a certain result, follow up and get it sorted out before it because a larger issues. Sweeping things under the carpet, as the saying goes, only invites in other issues later. Speak up. It's uncomfortable at first, but eventually it gets easier and feels more comfortable the more you do it. And, don't just do it for yourself, do it for others, too.

Have a nice weekend.

Thunder and Lightning Storm

Along with wildfires, and most of them being caused by downed powerlines, we had a horrible thunder storm roll through the last two days. They peeked last night and the lightning strikes had us all on edge. We were hoping that with the rain accompanying the lightning would help keep any fire sparks under control. We didn't have any additional wildfires because of the lightning, but the wind did a lot of damage in our own yard, as well as throughout the city.



 

 
We were up most of the night watching, waiting, and hoping that nothing would happen throughout the storm. We have had the oddest year of weather and weather changes here in the Willamette Valley.








 





Five Simple Things (September 18)

Hello.

The Coronavirus cases seem to be slowing down throughout the United States for the first time since the outbreak. Which, is good news, but overall the numbers seem to keep going up in the state of Oregon. The CDC posted this week that anyone that's been within six feet of someone infected and near them for more than 15 minutes should get tested. I'm just glad we've all stayed healthy in our house. With the wildfires and the way this year has gone, I don't think I could mentally handle an illness right now. Speaking of the wildfires, They are still burning wildly and some of them are not even controlled. A few of the fires have been contained, so that gives up hope that this will all end soon. The smoke is a bit too much at times, but overall it's getting better. The worst part about all of this is the smoke burning our eyes. Skylar and I both are very sensitive to allergies, so adding wildfire smoke to that mix, it's painful at times. Our hopes are still high that we won't be evacuated here. It seems every country around us is being evacuated and even over at the coast they've had to evacuated a lot of people. This year's wildfires are extremely weird. I've never experienced anything like this before and I hope to never experience anything like this again. Here are five things this week.

1. This Car.


With Skylar having his permit and soon his license, he has been looking at what kind of car he wants to get. Of course, this one is a bit more than he is wanting, but we always love seeing vintage, older model cars. We saw this one near Waterloo Park and stopped the ask the owner if we could take a few pictures of it. Of the older model cars, this body style is one of our favorites.

2. This Daytrip.


Skylar and I took a daytrip to the area where the man had his car accident back in June. We wanted to see how bad the damage was where he had wrecked. It was a lot more burned than we expected and the road even had damage to it, as you can see above. We did take the time to stop and look at the area, and take a few pictures of the coast view from Highway 101, but the emotions for us that day are still very raw. It was traumatizing seeing what happened to that man that day, and we really do hope he is doing okay. 

3. These Gummies.

Trying a new THC gummy this month. Not too into these Drops Cherries. They taste too medicinal, and don't really help with anxiety, either. This brand has another flavor of watermelon, so eventually I will be trying those to see how they affect me. 

4. This Sign.

Skylar and I rode our bikes from our house to Jeff's work and went through the back roads to avoid the main highway. As we came through some farming areas, this sign was sitting in front of someone's house and an older man came out to tell us about his suspicions of being mind controlled through the contrails from jets. I am a pretty openminded person, but this man's speech on the mind control from the government was way beyond my open mindedness. We told him thank you for the information and best of luck to him. 

5. This Kitty.

Now that the smoke is starting to clear up more and more here, our animals are wanting to go back to their normal routines. It's hard to watch them have to either stay inside all of the time, or pinned up. We have slowly been letting them out a little at a time. The wildfires are getting contained slowly, but we are still in a bit of danger, so we still have our guard up.

We even celebrated Jeff's birthday this week. On Wednesday, even though we couldn't do much through the wildfires and the pandemic, Skylar and I tried to make it as special as we could. We ended up putting a sign on the front fence, baked a cake, and bought him a little gift. Through everything that's happened this year, it really comes down to the little things that make people feel important. 


This month's Yogi Surprise:

Positive affirmations this week: "What is a positive statement that you love?"
Sharon Tate was a beautiful person and a great actress. Her life was cut short in the summer of 1969 by members of the Manson Family. I've read a lot about her life, goals, and the moments she shined so much. She was almost like a beam of positivity and one of her quotes is my favorite. She said, "I think that if you life for today, tomorrow takes care of itself." It has stuck with me, especially in moments that I feel lost, or when everything seems to compile onto itself and becomes overwhelming. 


Have a nice weekend.