Wednesday, October 26, 2011


uLH4n7 on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs
Arizona, thus far, has been quite nice. My typical knot of anxiety is decreasing and the hot sun on my skin feels so good. I joke that i am in early retirement. The highlight of the day is sunset and missing it is to be avoided, my boyfriend and I call each other for sunset like we would dinner, "quick, come outside, it's sunset!" I realize how lucky I am to have this freedom and I am not taking it for granted. Lord knows I worked and saved like crazy to have this time off.

With free days, Wojc and I have begun some yard work for his parents (we're staying in their vacation home.) You know you're in the country when removing a stump is the excitement for the day. But damn, we worked for days on that stump. Success. Yes, I realize I'm thrilling you right now.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Time in my hometown quickly drew to a close. I spent my last days with my good friend Lena, mushroom picking and hiking and finalizing travel preparation. I was able to squeeze in a visit to the dentist and doctor for prescriptions and immunizations....totally free! Thank you, United Indian Health Services!
Gratuitous self-portrait
After packing (for the next several months!), my mom and I left bright and early for the airport. Flying in and out of Port Orford is quite a process. The airport's over an hour away and only allows the tiny turbo prop airplanes. The airport is right next to the ocean which makes for a scenic (and scary) flight. For reference, here is an old picture of me standing in front of Crescent City airport.
Glorified Greyhound Station 
Unfortunately, in the past few years I've developed a fear of flying. Considering my love of travel, this is unacceptable. Flying in a tiny plane doesn't really help matters, you really feel every bump and hear the roar of the engine. I have quite the complex method of making flying more tolerable that includes Xanax, downloaded shows and knitting. Yes, call me crazy.
Las Vegas airport
Finally, 14 hours later, a drive, two layovers and a four hour bus ride I finally made it to Arizona! It's hot and bright and beautiful. I love this place.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


With the abundance of apple orchard posts that have been popping up on all of my East Coast friends' blogs I figured it is time for me to chime in with my own. My mom has a lovely house on about an acre of land. There's blackberries, deer frolicking, pear trees and apple trees. After living in the city for the past several years, these country perks that I took for granted have piqued my interest.

I picked about 5 pounds of apples that were still a little tart and got to work coring and quartering them. I had just been to a diner with those little jelly packets of apple butter, it was so delicious that I decided to try my hand at it. My mom told me about the university extension websites that have detailed how to's on everything from gardening to canning to butchering. If you need any type of "live off the land" instruction google it with the word "extension" and you're set. I followed this apple butter recipe very loosely and used about 5 pounds apples, 4 cups water, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar and lots of spices. I cooked it all down till it was mush, strained it (with a pasta strainer!), cooked it for an hour longer and then canned it using the boiling method. I am happy to report that my first canning trial turned out perfectly! The butter is delicious and I have about 5 jars to give as gifts this fall.

Monday, October 17, 2011


 About a week ago (ugh, I'm behind) Wojc and I hiked out to a beautiful piece of the coastline called Blacklot. Just recently, some city council members tried to swap this land and build a golf course on it. Thankfully, it was shot down and saved for all of us to continue our hikes and mushroom gathering.
 It had just poured for about five days straight and the trail had massive puddles that threatened to overflow into my rubber boots. It was crazy flooded and Wojc had to take detours in the woods to avoid them. We managed to catch a break in the rain and enjoyed our hike thoroughly.  It's a really magical place out there full of lush swamps, creeks and dark forests.

 After a few miles you come to a more sparse forest and begin to see the blue sky. Take a few more steps and you break out of the woods and into a bright and shiny and spectacular view from the cliffs above the ocean.

God. So beautiful. This place takes my breath away.
On the way back we spent time mushroom picking in the woods. It was prime mushroom hunting time following a heavy rain and we came back with some treasures.
On the way back you can cut out to an old airport that was built during World War II when the coast guard were stationed in my town. I flew out of this airport once in a four person team. Definitely a cool experience.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Growing up in a tiny town with a carpenter dad and creative family, it's no surprise that I'm finally going back to my roots. I am in love with these cob cottages, hobbit homes and living communities.
Trout Gulch
Lammas community in Wales
Trout Gulch really intrigues me, not only do they build their own homes and farm, but they are a successful animation studio. I'd love my boyfriend to get a job in their studio so I can tag along and work on the farm all day.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cape Blanco

After resting up for a morning, my boyfriend Wojc and I went out to visit my dad who takes care of the Cape Blanco Lighthouse to have lunch. Little did I know that an hour later I would be precariously perched high atop the lighthouse's outer "catwalk" cleaning the windows. Oh yes, there's always a surprise in store with my dad.
For reference, I cleaned the very top windows (you can see my Dad on the outer catwalk):

At this point in our trip, Wojc got a call back from a studio in Portland that he would really like to work with. And so....48 hours after arriving in my hometown we packed a bag and hit the road. Again. To Portland. To answer your question in advance, yes we are crazy. We drove the 5 hours up, Wojc had the interview, we stayed the night, turned around and drove the 5 hours BACK to Port Orford. Oh dear god, the exhaustion. 
Day 4

View Larger Map

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day 2

View My Saved Places in a larger map
After a lunch at my old college spot, Brails, my boyfriend and I hopped in the car/motorcycle and hit the road to my hometown, Port Orford. 

 My boyfriend is a wild man and rode his motorcycle through miles and miles of pouring down rain. Honestly, it's truly shocking that it can rain that hard for so long. He was soaking wet and cold, but we finally made it to out destination with a break in the rain!

 Once reunited with my mom, I started to unpack only to come across an old piggy bank I made as a child. Being newly unemployed, I decided it was perfect timing to break into it. Can you believe there was $45 crammed into that thing? In other news, I realize this this blog is now about as far from a "style blog" as you can get and yet, I like the name, so I'm keeping it to document my adventures this year. Don't judge.
don't mind my super classy outfit in the garage

Sunday, October 2, 2011

And so it begins.

Thursday was my last day of work (hallelujah). I will miss my coworkers but not 8 hours in front of a computer and definitely not the exhaustion circles under my eyes.

Thursday night we, foolishly, met up with one of my best friends and wandered around Last Thursday in the Alberta Arts District. It was amazing fun, with a dance party on every block, delicious vegan bratwurst and beer...the next morning, not so fun.
My boyfriend and I had to turn in the keys to our apartment by midnight that day and we hadn't packed, rented a u-haul, moved or cleaned. From 7:30am-10:30pm we worked non-stop only breaking to scarf down pizza and coffee. Luckily, a couple friends helped us with some stuff and we were able to get it done. After scrubbing the last floor we finally turned in our keys and said good bye to Portland.
We immediately hit the road south and pulled  into my dear friend's driveway in Eugene at 1am. What a day, what a day. I was disturbingly exhausted and never more appreciative of a warm bed.
Day 1

View My Saved Places in a larger map