Hiking Forest Park
Forest Park is the biggest park in Portland, and if my quick google is correct, the 19th largest park within city limits in the U.S.
I had never explored it, so for my birthday gathering, we went on a hike.
I warned everyone that I had never been there before, never taken the hike we went on, and that I might get us lost. But the trails were marked well enough, and I picked a great guide. With help from my less directionally challenged friend and confidence, we made it without any wrong turns or backtracking.
It was a spectacular day. No rain, plenty of sun, and even spots where the sun reached us through the trees. Our hike was 6 miles, the longest I have done in a while, but it wasn't very challenging. We walked and talked, and by the end I was very ready to sit down and take my boots off. The only sketchy part of this hike was walking back to our cars on a shoulder-less road, but that wasn't too bad.
Even through all the trees I wanted to chop down, the St. John's bridge was beautiful. I picked this hike mainly because it claimed views of Portland's prettiest bridge..
As it was a clear day, we also got a great view of Mt. St. Helen's on our way back to the cars.
I really enjoyed our Forest Park adventure, it was a great way to spend time with friends, and forget about time for a few hours. The work week is so limiting, or at least often feels so limiting. There is so much pressure to get things done, and remember everything. Perhaps it is just me (it's really not is it?). I want to take more space for adventures, even if its just a walk through the neighborhood.
What do you want more space for?
I spent too long on pinterest the other day. Sometimes that saps all my creativity and leaves me sad I spent hours looking at projects, instead of doing them. So I decided I HAD to do one of the projects. I chose this fairly simple one, and I had almost everything at hand.
All you need is:
Wire clippers (or scissors, the wire is thin enough)
Patience (not very much)
Tip: place a paper or something under your flower as it dries, the glue drips.
When I made the rings, I wasn't taking pictures. So I made the above to show you. I did not do the center pictured when I made the rings, but I like it better. To make the rings, all I did was loop the wire around my finger 3 or 4 times, and the wrap the wire around the flower and ring loops (center of flower), and wrap again at the base of the ring (under where you finger will go) to keep all the wire loops together. I also slightly squished the petals of the rings, using my fingers.
I also made this larger ring, with thicker wire. However I don't recommend it. It was harder to form, and much harder to get the glue to stretch across. I thought it would make a more durable ring, but the cons aren't worth it to me. If you care about durability, thicker wire is do-able, but more challenging.
So there you go, fairy rings, or just adorable flowers.
It Is Not Valentines Day
On this page, Alison Arden writes about deciding to celebrate her birthday in November, because her regularly scheduled September was much too full. When I first read this I thought "I love my birthday, I don't want to move it", and continued page flipping, not sure what 'unmovable' thing I needed to move.
And then came February. I love my birthday, it is the day before my sister-in-law's birthday, and I love getting phone calls from my family and extra special mail. It is fun reason to go out, and helps justify buying extra cute socks at Target (they're not for me!). My husband however is not a fan of my birthday being a mere 2 days before the dreaded Valentines Day.
When we were dating he did such a great job of writing me sweet notes, and buying me lovely potted plants, however I never really responded appropriately... "are those for me?" "I'm going to kill it". While last year's plant is still alive (without any blooms or buds), the damage to his cheesy Valentine's psyche is done. Coming right after another required gift giving day just makes it worse.
So we moved it. We will be celebrating Valentines on Sunday June 14th. A day we both have off (unlike Saturday), safely months away from my birthday. I connect this Doing idea with his less than happy attitude until this week, and while I feel a little left out while everyone talks about love and do you have plans now, come June we'll be celebrating much happier, and in peace (no packed restaurants for us!)
Bookmark this idea in your head, and when something 'unmovable' is bothering you, see what rearranging you can do. The peace and stress relief is worth it.
At Goodwill this week I found a pack of four Ikea ice cube trays for two dollars, and I thought immediately of the crayons left over from our wedding that I still hadn't used up (last year I tried melting them double boiler style, but that did not turn out pretty, check my Tumblr and scroll down to see that mini-tutorial).
So I read up on the task at hand, pulled out all my crayons.
And broke them into the molds (ice cube trays).
As I was prepping for this project, I read various accounts of the trays melting, and not melting. The deciding factor I settled on was oven temperature. At 250 the trays do not melt (mine did not even come close to melting), however at 350 they very well might (according to the internet rumors). Also, there is text on the trays that reads "for water only". A discussion I read here suggests perhaps the rubber is porous and Ikea is avoiding possible lawsuits. In any case I decided to take the "risks".
With my oven warmed to 250 (NOT 350). I put the crayons in. Scared by the melting trays rumor, I hovered near the oven.
I set a timer for 5 minutes, and checked every one to two minutes, looking for melting trays. My trays did not melt. They did not weaken, they did not lean. It took about 10 minutes for my crayons to melt (all ovens are different), however I was so nervous I pulled them out before every crayon was Completely melted, my crayons are still fine, but wait to pull yours out until all you see is a puddle of wax, no crayon shaped lumps.
Once out I popped them into the freezer and continued with my day. I have a shoebox lid I use to support a more wobbly mold on its way into the ice cube area of my freezer, but that was overkill for these ice cube trays obviously made to support liquid.
I did not fill my trays with enough crayon bits. If I make them again I will overfill slightly and break the crayons into smaller bits, so they don't come out as shallow as these ones. The hearts and flowers are the most structurally sound. I got about half of my fish out with tails, and none of the starbursts came out with all arms intact, although a couple were very close. They will still make nice presents for the kids I work with.
Welcome to 24
Today is my birthday. I spent some time today looking up freebies I could have gotten if I signed up for various clubs weeks or months ago, although there were a few things I can still get. The list made me sad I am working today as I could be drinking free Dutch Bro's and playing a free round of glow in the dark mini golf (I don't even like mini golf, but still). My car dealership service center game me a free car wash coupon, and that is the only way I wash my car, so thats nice.
It has been a while since I did a book of doing project, and there happens to be one just for birthdays, and that is something I do have time for today.
It is only February, and usually I take this time to review and revive all my resolutions on life support. This year however I am still feeling pretty good. I am not doing youtube yoga once a week, however I am still flossing daily. I haven't missed a week on here yet, and I have 3 posts in photos waiting for me to write them. Even though I am still happy with the way I'm using my time, and with the things I am adding (and trying to add) to my life this year, I took some time to make a short list as the book suggests.
Before we get to that, I want to take a moment for some birthday gratitude and reflection.
This year was my first year out of school. My first year married. There has been a lot of adjustment. A lot of decision making. I find my self so happy today. The kids I work with respect me, the sun was shining today, and I am able to buy the things I want (with the usual limitations). I am thankful for all the wonderful people in my life who continue to bless me, I am thankful I live in a safe place, and I am thankful I have grown to be who I am. There are paragraphs and paragraphs behind those simple sentences. But I'll keep it simple today.
Three (of the many) things I want to accomplish this year are:
~ open my Etsy shop
~ go on a trip (not to visit people, but to explore)
~ write more letters
Only one of those was stolen from my resolutions. I could make a list of at least ten things I want to accomplish this year, but here are three I am concerned wont make it. I have been wanting to do the Etsy thing for a while now, and I am mentally prepping my self for failure / gathering tips for success. I always make trips to visit people I love, but last year we didn't really make time and spend energy going to explore. Even a day or weekend trip will count, and I want to make it happen. The letters, I want to be at least one (or one batch) a month. With a focus on birthday and special event cards. February's batch is in the works, but one is already very late.
So those are my goals and reflections for today. Even if it isn't your birthday, what do you want to do this year? And how are you making it measurable, and getting it done?
I'm Sara. I live in Portland, Oregon. I have chickens. I love coffee AND tea, I make stained glass pendants in my basement, and I love adventures and new ways to live. I have an Etsy store as well.
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