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Budding City Girl

I used to swear up, down, and sideways too that I would NEVER live in the city! I grew up in a town of about 30,000 and that was a good number as far as I was concerned. Going to college in a town with a population of 200,000 felt like the “big city” to me. Recently, I took a vacation to New York City...population 8.5 MILLION people! Totally expecting to fall tired of the massive amount of people I actually grew fond of it. The reason why...young people...my people...millennials everywhere.

 

Never say never! Thank you Justin for the words...not only am I becoming a city girl but also gaining a guilty pleasure for Beiber jams. Now, I’m not saying that I’m going to drop everything and move right away, I’m just saying that it’s a possibility…someday...maybe.  

 

Studies show that currently Millennials make up 35-40% of the workforce and by 2025 (7 years from now…rounding) we will be 75% of the workforce. Based off the population on the commuter bus...I believe it. Actually I’d say that in the bigger cities millennials probably make up more than 40% currently.

 

Ok. Enough with the numbers.

 

So, at this point in my life, I live in a fairly conservative town were there seems to be a growing population of older folks. Needless to say, I constantly feel surrounded by people who are different than me.  Wonderful ppl don’t get me wrong, but different. On the one hand there is huge value in learning about how other people think and I’ve gained a lot from it. On the other hand it can be tiring if it’s constant. I almost felt more at home on my East Coast trip then I do in my actual town, like I was surrounded by people who get me. I think it was the energy of the city...even though I didn’t know any of those people I felt a kinship.

 

You’re probably rolling your eyes at me about now saying “Pam, that’s impossible, you probably just ate too much Boston Cream Pie and were having a sugar induced moment!” To that I say…could be....could be. BUT, it could also be a real thing. Maybe it is possible to feel the similarities between strangers. By that I do not mean that I looked into their soul and knew instantly that they too are unhappy with our delightful president. What I mean is, the energy, the hustle and bustle, the young people everywhere, fit people everywhere…they seemed to care about the same stuff I care about.

 

IDK, blame it on the pie, take it with a grain of salt, or contemplate it for a bit. Let me know what you think.

 

Anyways, a bigger city might be in my future, who knows. I’d probably move somewhere with slightly less than 8.5 million people though 😉

Home

I'm a DIYer and I like to get creative. One of my favorite thing to do is decorate the mantel above the fireplace in my house for the season. I get ridiculously into it. I'm talking...make-my-day, excited-about-it-for-weeks, into it. I just finished decorating the mantel for Fall and even though it’s still 90 degrees outside and the whole state of WA is on fire, it's September and there are Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks, all of a sudden casserole sound amazing and I'm craving my collection of sweatshirts! It's Fall in my mind so I decorated. 

If you've read my other posts you know that I live in a house with 4 other girls that are around my age. Nothing that we have matches because most of our things are either hand me downs or cheap garage sale finds. Our furniture may not be the pretties but it serves its purpose. One of my housemates actually refers to this stage of life (young, single, adulthood) as the "crappy futon" phase. It's so true and that title gives you a pretty good picture of our living room. 

As I sat back and admired my Fall masterpiece I started to wonder why I get such a stupid amount of enjoyment out of it. After staring pensively for several minutes it came to me...

Home. It makes me feel like I'm home. 

I try to play it off but if I'm being honest I'm bothered by the fact that I'm still in the crappy futon stage on my life. Social media has made it really easy for my generation to feel bad about themselves if they are past their mid-twenties and still single. First you get to see all your friends super cute wedding pictures plastered all over the place, then Facebook pushes adds for wedding dresses and rings to your feed!! Guhhhh! 

Tradition and society say that I should be married by now and that makes me sad.

Side Rant: Have you ever noticed that every coupon ever created is geared towards families? Buy 2 get the 3rd free! It's outrageous. I get that the more mouths you have to feed the more expensive food is for your family, but single people only have one income and they don't have miles of freezer space to store 3 packages of chicken! 

The traditional view of home is the house you grew up in and then it becomes the house you and your spouse get together. It's a two-step program. But what about those who are on step one and a half? If you are between those two stages how do you make your house feel more welcoming and homey? Members of the older generations (who btw got married much younger) would say, "just be patient"...

Well, I got tired of waiting for someone to come along, whisk me off my feet, and give me the chance to make a home so I decided to take my life/happiness into my own hands and I started gathering decorations. Decorating the mantle is my way of taking control of my life. It's the little section of home in my house full of random things. I know that sounds silly but it's working for me. 

No one should have to wait for the sense of home and belonging. 

To those who also feel stuck in the crappy futon phase, how do you make your house feel like home? Or, how would you LIKE to achieve that? 

#nailedit Garden Update

Let’s start off with some cliché sayings to make ourselves feel better:

 

-If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again…

-Gardening in mostly trial and error and even master gardeners fail sometimes…

-Too much of a good thing could be a bad thing (like water)…

-Aaaaaand this…

 

Ok now that we’re all good, let’s get real.

 

Early August garden update.

 

I wrote about planting my garden in June (Read it HERE) and haven’t really updated you except to say that it was actually growing (another pesky blog link). The funny thing is that the parts that are doing well are the parts I had exactly zero expectations or hope for and the parts that are doing poorly I thought would do great. So, morel of the story is don’t count on me to pick your lottery ticket number because my ability to predict isn’t exactly on point at the moment.

 

I’m really not superstitious…but I may be a little stitious. I say that because I think I may have doomed myself by making a joke in my very first post about over-watering my pea plants (I think you see where this is going). I killed my first round of pea plants and my second round is only hanging on by a thread.

 

When it comes to knowing how much to water things I am the absolute worst and TBH my internet mentors are not much help here. I’ve read a lot of blogs on how to water peas but a written description hasn’t proved to be sufficient in this case. Multiple well intentioned bloggers described it like this, “make sure to keep the soil moist, but not too moist.” Um, what?

 

I’m glad that we have the convenience of technology for some things but for this I need more. I need someone to stick their finger in the soil and say “here, this is what it should feel like”.

 

Side note: I’m a very hands-on learner. I do understand that there are different learning styles but I always had a hard time grasping why some kids wanted to do school online. There is something great about being able to actually do, and not just to read. My high school labeled the hands-on classes as “advanced”. I did not at all see myself as an “advanced student” but I thrived in those classes because they catered to my learning style.

 

Anyways back to the garden.

 

The plants that seem to be thriving are the onse I planted in the ground, (watermelons, potatoes, pumpkins, chives, honeydew, and corn). I know, it’s a super random selection…roll with it.

 

Here are my plant babies (yuck, I just used the phrase “plant babies”)

Most of the stuff in the stand-up garden have either died or bolted or seem to be stunted. My running theory for those is that’s it’s too hot…which is totally my fault. I should have planted them earlier in the season. I think I’ll try to plant again later this month to see if I can get a fall harvest when it’s a little cooler. Keep me accountable for that!

#untilnexttime

That Beta Life

My whole life I feel like I’ve been experimented on. I don’t mean Truman Show style experimented on (however that would explain some things), but I feel like my class was the subject to many a new program.

 

I grew up in WA State and attended public school. Our standardized test at the time was called the WASL and MY class was the first to go all the way through it from start to finish. The testing started for us in the second grade and we took it every few years through the 10th grade. That last year you had to pass all 4 sections to graduate. It was gross…and now, after we suffered through that, Washington has thrown out the WASL and is now using a different test (eye roll emoji)!

 

That test was only one of many experimental programs my class was subject to. If I had a nickel for every time a teacher said “this is the first time we’re trying this” I’d be rich…even with inflation…seriously…

 

Mini Rant: Can I just take a second to rant about living in a fairly high ranked Test Market City?! Thanks. So, here’s how it works…somebody invents the world’s best candy bar, tests it in my town, and then when they decide they’ve got enough data they stop selling it! They make you fall in love with this candy bar and when they take it away you feel like the world has basically ended! Rude! OK…rant over.

 

In addition to the school stuff and the test market thing, I also feel like I’ve been a part of groups or organizations during a “time of transition” (imagine that phrase said in a super hoity toity voice). In fact, the church that I currently attend is in a “time of transition”(again with the voice). Now, if you thought The Church moved slowly before…try to get anything done in times such as these! (bangs head up against wall).

 

I can’t really say if this part of my life has been good or bad or even if you could say it was just one or the other. That Beta Life upbringing has both pros and cons.

 

Growing up with constant change has made me more flexible and more open to change where-as my grandparents generation did things the same way their whole lives because “that’s the way it’s always been done therefore it’s the RIGHT way and the ONLY way!”

 

Tradition, however wasn’t a thing in my childhood. Let’s just say I fully plan on creating some traditions of my own and sticking to them.

 

We have grown up with the biggest growth in technology and the biggest change in society to go with it. Millennials also seems to be the first to have entered into a new stage of life called “Young Adulthood”. There is no longer a set of expectations for what we are to be in our 20s and with no one to set the example we are all just trying to figure it out on our own.

 

Basically we have taken the Choose Your Own Adventure books up a notch and now that’s how we do real life. That betta life has turned us into a generation of wanders.

 

I realize this post isn’t particularly optimistic AND that “not all who wander are lost” (bleck cliché) but this seems to be kind of a problem. I guess my question is how do we take our inconsistent childhood and lack of expectations or direction in adulthood and turn it into something stable or solid? If you’ve figured this out, please, do tell 😉

 

#coolgoodtalk #untilnexttime  

Hesitantly Patriotic

I'm not sure if I can say this is a Millennial thing but for me personally I've never really had a ton of American pride. It’s not that I don’t have pride for other things…I loved to deck out in my school colors and cheer for my team but I’ve never been one to be all “MERICAH!”

 

I like celebrating the 4th of July. I love BBQ ribs and burgers, a good old fashioned yard game, and fireworks. I like celebrating the 4th of July…but Independence Day not so much. Basically, I enjoy the holiday but probably for all the wrong reasons…my confession to you.

 

I’m still trying to figure out WHY I’m ambivalent to Independence Day and if my generation has anything to do with it. Here are a couple of theories:

  1. I’m not a fan of war and we have been in a state of war (or basically a state of war) for most of my life. I’d rather we just live and let live. Now…I’m not totally ignorant and I do understand that the decision to go to war or get involved in another countries beef is not taken lightly and that others have benefited from our efforts. BUT, as a whole I’m not on team war. This theory could partially be my generational optimism speaking, “Why can’t we all just get along and accept each other’s differences?”. Or it could be a young adult thing. The draft sparked a huge uproar in the young adults of the time. They weren’t the first to do so and my generation probably won’t be the last.
  2. The second theory is that my generation is probably more globally connected than any other generation preceding. By the time we were old enough to be curious about the world, we could find information at the click of a button. We could chat with others from different cultures easily through the internet and visit other countries easily with modern modes of transportation. I’ve personally been to 12 other countries (I’m not just talking airports) and have gained a respect for other cultures that perhaps my parents didn’t have. Maybe that interconnectedness, that understanding of the “other” has made me less prideful of my American-ness and made me want to root for ALL people.

 

All that said, I’d like to clarify that I'm not ungrateful to have been born in the US. I am grateful for all the things I have and the opportunities that have been given to me.  Sometimes I look at other countries and say "dear baby Jesus thank you for our sanitation and water systems"!

 

As much as I like to complain about the state of our nation I do think that overall we have it pretty good. So. For the day I will put aside my political views and be thankful for what I've got. Sometimes you just have to take pride in where you came from in order to go where you want to go and be who you want to be.

 

I you are a Millennial and you aren’t feelin’ the warm and fuzzys from our “great land”, let me know why that is for you.

 

#untilnexttime

Our Part-Time Cat

Meet Luna! She's an orange long haired cat who belongs to one of our neighbors. She's always visiting us so we sort of say she's our part time cat/fuzzy cuddle buddy. We (young, single adults), seem to be animal deprived and we often miss our childhood pets. A good percentage of landlords don’t allow pets, and to be fair, most of us aren’t in a stable enough place to take on the responsibility of a pet. So, that said, our part time situation with dear Luna is great for us.

 

I have no idea where the name Luna came from or what made my housemates think she's a she. I actually heard that almost all orange cats are male, but don’t take my word for it (I don’t have three credible sources on that fact).

 

Anyways. Luna is very kind (which also makes me think that she is actually a he), however, Luna is still an animal and “she gonna do what eva she please”! So. Remember that garden I planted? She has found another purpose for the bare spot in the yard...I'll just let you use your imagination. Luckily she chose to do her thing where my potatoes are which means she didn't dig down far enough to get to the seeds.

 

Side Note: Potatoes grow from seed potatoes which are basically sad, shriveled potatoes that have started growing sprouts (called an eye). You cut said potatoes into sections with at least one eye in each and then bury them 6" into the ground. If you've seen The Martian then you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't seen it then go, right now, go watch it, I'll be here when you're done. It will change your life, seriously. So. Good. Ok. Anyway. Focus. Those sad little potatoes turn into a gaggle of potatoes in the ground. Pretty cool, huh?!

 

Anyways. After discovering this monstrosity, I went to my internet mentors for advice. They said that cats don't like the smell of citrus or coffee grounds among other things. Luckily, I had just made cold brew (remind me to tell you all about cold brew, you won't regret it) so coffee grounds were plentiful. I spread them around the edge of the garden so hopefully Luna will get the idea to butt out of my space.

 

Fingers crossed.

 

In other news, it's growing! There’s green stuff popping up and it's not weeds! Well, some of them are weeds...but still, it's exciting! Let's hope they keep it up.

#untilnexttime

 

My Green Thumb Experiment

Last year I got the wild hair to grow a garden. I don't know if it's because I was 26 and single and watching all my friends grow baby humans or...what...but I decided to embark on a big project that I was super not qualified for. Let’s just say that gardening/the ability to keep plants alive doesn’t run in my gene pool.

 

I, like many in my generation wasn't taught how to be domestic by my elders. My mom never taught me how to cook a ham and my grandfather never taught me how to select a good whiskey or mow the lawn.

 

When I want to know how to do something I go to the experts...I go to YouTube!

 

After watching a few videos and reading a few articles I considered myself educated enough and decided I was going to build myself a little stand up garden. Go Team (Me and my Internet mentors)!

 

I think the real initial joy for me in this project was designing and building something and not so much the gardening part. I had just acquired a bunch of power tools (thank you, tax return) and was itchin' to use them.

 

Side note: I have what I call the “baby face curse” but even though “curse” is in the title it's not all bad. I'm pretty sure the salesman at the home improvement store thought I was building this thing for a high school project or something and he gave me the screws and some of the wood for free. As annoying as it is that people constantly think I'm two thirds my real age...I wasn't going to turn away free stuff.

 

Anyway. Blah blah blah, fast forward to finishing my build and the reality hitting me that I now actually had to attempt to grow vegetables in it. It was kind of a terrifying thought. But I mean, my friends were growing tiny humans, I could grow a radish...right?!  Solid maybe.

 

Well, I ended up being mostly successful. I got a decent first harvest: radishes, carrots, peas, spinach, green onions, basil, and cilantro. I did plant again mid-late summer and that didn't amount to much.  If you are thinking "Wow you got a lot out of your first harvest!" Remember that it was a very small space and I didn't get a lot of each thing, but it grew and that's all I needed to be satisfied. It wasn’t so much about reaping a huge harvest as it was about my need to take care for something.

 

--

 

Truth be told when it came time to start thinking about planting this year though I was not excited. I came up with a bunch of excuses why I shouldn't:

  1. I'm living in a different house now and I don't think my plants will do as well here.
  2. I'm probably going to be gone a lot this summer for my job and won't be able to tend to it.
  3. It's a lot of work....(it's not really)
  4. It's cold and I don't want to. (In my defense, we in the Inland Northwest had a very. Long. Hard. Winter. Or at least it was longer, harder, and winteryer then normal).
  5. Etc.

 

But, for some reason unknown to me and with no preparation, I planted again, and oh boy did I plant. I one-upped myself from last year by adding a ground garden as well adding watermelon, potatoes, pumpkins, honeydew, and corn to the mix.

 

Despite my earlier hesitation to continue my little garden project I'm in it now so we'll see how it goes.

#untilnexttime

The Optimistic Millenial

What an original title! Or maybe not. The truth is that a LOT of Millennials are optimistic…spoiler alert, I’m not the only one. We all graduate from college with this ridiculous optimistic hope that we are going to save the world.  A few appealing world-saving methods are organic farming, recycling, buying local, teaching impoverished countries our Western ways, and  by trying to make literally everything fun and supes adorbs!

This optimism is a good thing, I think. But, sometimes it means that we get a little extra disappointed when we find our overwatered pea plants have died, or that our organic, hand-fed, free range chickens have been eaten by coyotes.

We try and we mean well but we don’t always succeed.

This blog is going to be a chronicle of successes and failures of my stupid, wonderful, optimistic, millennial ideas. The world isn’t all puppies and rainbows (despite the massive amount of cute kitten videos you see on Facebook) but knowing that truth hasn’t stoped me from trying to make a difference.

Also, to be honest this blog is going to be a writing exercise/learning experience for me because I’m thinking about writing a book (insert cat surprised emoji), you know, because we need more books. This book is my latest idea and probably my craziest idea yet, and I feel like I need to get some good practice in before I embark on that “adventure”. Now, don’t even think about asking me what the book is going to be about because I’m not ready to tell you. Thats right, all two of you who read this blog are going have to wait.

The reason why writing a book is my craziest idea yet is because I am so not a writer. To give you a better picture…I got a Bachelors of Art in Art…do you see what I mean? My mind doesn't do words very well...its wired more for colors and shapes. That being said, I’m probably going to make a bunch of grammar mistakes and there will also probably be times when you have no idea what I’m trying to say. Feel free to give me some constructive criticism but please let me down gently. Remember what I said about Millennials being extra disappointed when they fail? Yes, OK, cool, enough of that.

I’m going to go do some stuff and I’ll be back with some stories.

#untilnexttime