Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It All Went By So Fast

How is it possible that it is already getting close to November?! This summer (and Autumn?) has flown by but some how I managed to pack a whole lot into it. The camping, the traveling to and from Spokane, the farming, the school, Chicago, cooking, spending time with the family... And now I only have one weekend left of farming before we pack up for winter.

 Meaning that all of this...

And all of this... will be gone :(

The farm floods in the winter so we have to get everything off of the land and pronto. The rains have started and more and more cars are threatening to get stuck in the new mud. So this weekend we are taking down the tent and the hoop houses and saying our goodbyes. This may be a permanent goodbye as the land has changed owners and we don't know if the new land owner wants to lease from us. If they are able to stay, which I really wish they are, then it will still be goodbye for me. I am moving on in my life and finding new paths to take.

I currently have a possible job lined up that I am very excited about and if it goes through I will tell you all about it :)

The reason all of these thoughts came up was because I was thinking about the time I would have available to dedicate to this new job. I knew weekends would be booked while running the farm stand only to look at a calendar and realize that I only have one weekend left on the farm. It came as a bit of a shock.

But I am headed on to new things! Exciting things! The possibilities are endless and I can't wait to get started!

Monday, October 20, 2014

This May Not Be The End After All

These last few months I have been counting down the days until I am done with college (45 days). I have been so excited to finally be done! But sadly, that may no longer be the case.

I have been doing some bookkeeping for the farm this summer and have had a lot more fun doing it than I ever thought I would. So the thought came creeping into my mind of going into accounting. The more I thought about it, the better it sounded. A consistent job, good income, I can take on as many or as few clients as I'd like... and I think it would be a lot of fun for me. (I never thought I would say that about accounting before!)

When I looked into what it would take for me to sit for and pass the CPA exam, I realized that I am going to have to go back to school. But I had a strange reaction to that... I got excited. What?! Excited about school? The one thing I have been aching to get free from for over a year? How can that be?

Part of the reason I really dislike school right now is because every class I have taken has been lecture style and I am anything but an audio learner. I cannot for the life of me sit down for an hour or two and listen to someone talk, no matter how interesting the subject matter, without dosing off.

The other part of the reason is that, I like what I am learning, but I'm not passionate about it. I am interested in everything environmental, so my major environmental studies is great, but I am passionate about farming and homesteading and working with my hands, which is not what is covered. I constantly feel like I am putting my passions aside so that I can finish school and I'm tired of that! So in 45 days, I will be out of one school and trying to find my way into another.

I have already started looking for better schools for me. One that I can learn at my own pace, without having to sit quietly in large lectures for hours. One where I can learn hands on!

Any suggestions?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Where the Name Came From

I get a lot of questions about my blog name "Elizabeth's Forrest" because 'Forrest' is spelled wrong and my name isn't Elizabeth. I've gotten a bit worn out telling everyone separately, so here is the simple explanation of where the name came from and why I like it so much.

A few years ago my mom started selling books on Amazon. My parents had way too many books and couldn't keep hauling them around every time they moved, which is surprisingly often. She used the seller name Jane's Vineyard because my sister's name is Jane and my parents used to have a vineyard and made wine for a few years. It was a family thing and sounded lovely.

I chose my blog name in order to have one that was similar because I like the idea of having a family theme. Forrest, with that particular spelling, is a family name so it seemed natural to use it in replacing vineyard. Multiple people in my family have it as a middle name, so to keep middle names a theme I used my own middle name, Elizabeth, to proceed Forrest.

So there you go.
Jane's Vineyard, family names, nature-y feel, Forrest, middle names, Elizabeth's Forrest.
Simple, lovely, and filled with family.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

School is Throwing Me Off

I'm now a few weeks into my last quarter at school and I am completely turned about. I can't concentrate on anything properly no matter what it is, school, blogging, job searching.

I have a really bad habit that is proving very hard to break, and that is any time I have school work to do, my brain shuts down into a big pile of mush that can't be motivated or disciplined into doing anything! I can't even procrastinate well anymore! It's a real problem.

What happens is that I sit down at my computer ready to do some work and somehow, with out me realizing it, I end up on imgur looking at picture after picture, and I don't even like it. It's not like I say, 'I think I'll spend some time avoiding doing homework by doing something that I like, such as imgur.' I just end up there and think to myself 'What am I doing?! I need to stop before I hate myself anymore.' but then I don't stop and I just feel gross.

It's like I can't procrastinate by doing something I like because then I might spend all day doing that so I get on imgur because I can tell myself I'll only be on for a few minutes, but then four hours go by and I've done nothing. Plus there's that sickening feeling of my brain turning to slush from staring at a glowing screen and not using my brain at all.

So that sucks... But I'm working really hard at not letting that get the best of me. Yesterday I woke up knowing that I had an assignment due and it was going to get done on time and be well written! So I woke up, took a nice shower, made a good breakfast and a cup of tea. I sat down at my computer and pulled up everything I needed and instead of stressing out and going back to the bad habits I then got up and walked around a bit.

When I was ready I sat back down and just read through the material. I worked 45 minutes on then 15 or so minutes off either knitting or walking or something where I wasn't at the computer. Any time I was about to get on imgur or facebook or whatnot, I just stood up and did something else for a bit. I made a delicious soup for lunch, cleaned all my vegetables from the farm, worked on my knitting project, anything that was moving around.

Then I sat back down and worked. And I really did a lot of work! I wasn't stressed, I got my assignment done early enough for me to read through and edit, and I may have even enjoyed myself.

So that is what I am going to try to do from now on, just relax, take it slow and for the love of god avoid imgur at all costs!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Knitting for EVERYONE!

Hello everyone! I have had a crazy and super fun week. I flew out to Chicago with my family to visit my cousin and attend her beautiful wedding! It was a ton of fun. Great food, great drinks, dancing, connecting with family, visiting the city of Chicago, and watching my cousin walk down the aisle at the Art Institute of Chicago… how could it not have been amazing?

I did, however, get caught up in all of the fun and not blog… oops.. I will get better with time. You know, learn time management and all that good stuff.

This time I want to share with you an awesome knitting project I just finished that I am really excited about! It’s a very simple and fast tunic tank top that looks great and can fit almost all sizes.

I love knitting projects where I see results fast. I have the tendency to get bored with projects where I feel like I am not getting anywhere, so this shirt is perfect because it uses large needles and before you know it you’re almost done!

I spent the plane ride back to Seattle knitting and when I realized I was ready to bind off we were a few minutes from the ground and I raced the plane to see if I could get it done before touching ground. (I won by 10 seconds!)

I just picked a yarn that I liked that was easy to work with and a nice color. No fancy yarns with the frills or changing in size or extra fuzz, just nice, soft, and straight forward.

Needles are size 15 US (10 mm) circle (long circle, enough to fit 96 stiches)

Cast on 48 stiches

It’s ribbed all the way down so knit one, purl one all the way to the end of the row and when you turn it around for the next row it’ll be knit, purl again (knitting the knits and purling the purls).

The pattern I used had me work 26 rows, but I think that leaves pretty big arm holes so for my next one (oh, yes I will be making more in different colors!) I will try 20 instead.

When you finish that, put a scrap piece of yarn through the holes to keep the stiches live.

That is the top half of the front. To start the top half of the back, go to the cast on edge and pick up the first twelve stiches. Then cast on 24 stiches, and pick up the last 12 stiches.

I originally made the mistake of picking up the last 12 stiches in the wrong direction so there was a little twist in the shoulder so I undid the work and started again, but now that I think of it… that might have been a cool design.

Anyway, now you’re going to do the exact same thing on the back side as you did on the front side, knit and purl each row down to 26 rows so that it continues in the ribbed pattern.

Once you have 26 rows on either side, pick up the live rows from the front side and work in a circle knitting and purling the same pattern as the top half onto the bottom half.

I just kept going until it was as long as I wanted it then binded off.

The real mistake that I made that I will make sure not to do again is that I did a regular bind off (I’m assuming it’s the regular one because it was the first one I learned and what I use for nearly everything). That bind off is not stretchy so the bottom of my shirt is stiff while the rest is really stretchy. There are a lot of different bind off options to choose from that are stretchy, so if you try something and it works, let me know! I’d love to hear what works. I will be experimenting with my next one.

Let me know how it goes!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fall is Here!

I honestly don't know what happened... One day it was warm and sunny, albeit windy, but really lovely and definitely summer. Then I go to Spokane for a week and by the time I get back... BAM! Autumn.

It's cold, it's raining, starbucks is selling it's pumpkin spice lattes and there's that sweet smell of rotting leaves on the ground. No, but really, I love that smell!

Yesterday (Monday) was my first class of my last quarter and, not expecting this seemingly abrupt change in weather, I went outside with nothing more than a cardigan to keep warm. The moment I stepped out the door I realize that it is pouring down rain! I turn right around to go back inside... only to remember that I didn't grab my keys. Well, my class is close to the bus stop so no worries, I'll just wait a couple minutes in the rain to hop the bus. Oh, but wait, my bus pass is sitting on my bookshelf in my locked apartment. So I walk the full half hour to my class in the wind and rain in my summer outfit. le sigh...

selfie alert! My gray cardigan was soaked completely through

I am actually glad that I walked to be honest. It wasn't raining that hard and it's always nice to walk. Walking keeps me happy in this busy, asphalt and cement covered city.

Fall really is my favorite season. I may prefer not to get caught out in the rain all the time, but the cool weather, the constant breeze, the winter squash in everything, the sweaters, drinking tea and it not making you too hot, big fuzzy socks, curling up on the couch to watch a movie and knit or read a book because it's dark out in the evening. I love all of that. Oh, and the smell of rotting leaves... it's such a good smell.

The fall also means something special when working on a farm. It means putting things to rest, planting to over winter, collecting seeds for the spring, and preserving as much as you can for the coming months! This year, it means possibly my last month at First Light Farm before I move on to different things in my life. Where that is I have no idea.

One of the little things that I often dream about is gathering a group of friends and family during the fall to spend the whole day sitting around together, chatting, and shelling beans out around a backyard fire pit. Maybe with a mug of tea. Then finishing the day with a cookout over the fire and beers all around!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Where Life is Taking Me

I may have mentioned before that I am on the home stretch of graduating college. Just a couple more months and come Christmas I'll be on my own in the real world. I am only taking one class this quarter, have to write one paper, make one poster board and one presentation and then I'm out! Woo Hoo!!

College has been a blast, but I now know that I am not a college person. I'm glad that I have stuck it out to get a degree, but I HATE school! It's just not for me. I can't sit in lectures, and listen to someone talk for multiple hours in a row. Even if I love the subject matter and really want to learn, my brain just can't take in information that way. I also have a hard time listening to books on tape for that reason. I wasn't always that way, back in high school it seemed to go by so easily... but maybe that's just me now comparing it to college.

Anyway, what I really want to talk about is my feelings, worries and fears about being let out into the real world and needing to find my way. I'm not exactly worried about being able to find a job, I'm sure I can find work at a coffee shop or restaurant or what have you to make my way. My worry is that I'll need to work at a coffee shop or restaurant in order to make my way. I'm worried that I wont be able to make my dream a reality for the next ten years while I am saving up for it.

Part of that problem is that I don't know exactly what my dream job is. I know I want to homestead and have a farm with vegetables, an orchard, animals left and right, and a live-off-the-land mentality, but in order for that to happen I need capital to get started. But where is that going to come from? So I need a start up job. I don't think that there is anything wrong with being a barista or waiter, I just think that it would make me miserable. I am just not that kind of person. So I need to figure out what else I can do. I have heard one story after another about people, my friends, graduating college and then not being able to find a decent job for the next few years... but I want to start working on my dream now! Not in a few years!

But what is that dream? What do I actually want to do to support myself? I've thought of a few different ideas. They usually involve making things that would take some start up capital.

I've felt a lot of pressure to know what it is I want to do and to have a plan on how to get there right out of college. But the truth is, I don't know what I want and I can't know how to get to someplace if I don't know where that someplace is. One thing I do know, coming out of a school setting, is that I want time. I want to have the time to decompress, to feel free from due dates, to be able to travel at a moments notice if I want (although, I'm much more of a homebody); I want the time to explore my passions without the pressure to figure out my life right away. For once, I want to be accountable to no one but myself.

I guess we'll see come Christmas.

 (The flowers really have nothing to do with the post, I just didn't have any other pictures that I thought worked, and they're pretty)

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