Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Discovering Bend

So my wonderful ideas for a routine haven't quite been established yet - the Memorial Day holiday sort of threw that off! But we had a lot of fun exploring Bend, and I have to repeatedly remind myself that we've only been here a grand total of 10 days. I'm still on LA/big city speed, and I can't help but feel that each minute that goes by is a minute wasted. Both Mike and I are trying to understand how to slow down and enjoy life, especially since we are so lucky to actually be able to.

On that note, we have been cooking a lot more, and enjoying meals together. Those Japanese cooking classes came in handy! This is what I made a few nights ago - chicken katsu with cabbage salad:

I've also found time to do those homesteading DIY things like making my own soft scrub! It was actually super easy and smells amazing, with the added benefit of knowing it's safe and non toxic for the pets. It's also super cheap, and works for the sinks and showers, stove and oven! The recipe is: 

1/4 cup any Dr. Bronner's soap (I used tea tree, since it's antibacterial, but citrus would be awesome!)
3/4 cup baking soda (I have had this huge bag from Costco since FOREVER)
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon water

You just mix the first two ingredients together with a fork, and then slowly add in the vinegar (it bubbles up). The water can be added as needed to get the consistency you want.

I put it in one of those restaurant squeeze bottles, which was a problem because after I used it, the nozzle got clogged up (the stuff hardened a bit). But if you had an airtight container, it'd be fine. The stuff in the bottle is still soft scrub consistency. Even a tupperware would probably work.

Outside of the house, I finally went to a yoga class! Everyone in the class was super fit and really good, which was a bit intimidating, and I was sore for 3 days after...but hey, at least I got back on the bandwagon. I'm going to try a more "restorative" class this week.

We also went to the High Desert Museum, 5 miles south of Bend, which is on 150 acres of pine forest and was really fun. 

Mike outside the raptor exhibit, being "bitten" by an eagle

They had an impressive show featuring rescued raptors that they have rehabilitated. They fly right over your head, to and from perches set all around, to hand cues from the trainers. Some great pics that Mike caught:

turkey vulture - native to Oregon

There was also a super cute chipmunk just staring at us while we walked around:

And we saw a re-creation of the scene we saw as we arrived in Bend - turkey vultures sitting on a roadkill deer (I still think it's a good omen!):

And to Mike's credit, he's been getting in his exercise. He went snowboarding every day last week and made the most of his spring pass! The season is now closed, and we're moving on to camping and fishing, and maybe kayaking/canoeing for the summer!

It has been just gorgeous up on Mt Bachelor. We are really lucky. Our job is just to slow down and realize just how lucky we are, every single day!

Monday, May 19, 2014

First Days in Bend!

We have finally moved every last pet and belonging up to Bend, Oregon. Last Friday we arrived at 1:30pm, after driving straight through the night (we left LA at 11pm). It was an exhausting trip, complete with headaches, a slap in the face to stay awake, and bickering about music. But we made it!

The first thing we saw, on the outskirts of town, was a dead deer with 3 vultures perched on top of it. My mom said it was just the "circle of life" and that we are starting a new one, and it's definitely not a bad omen. But does that mean that LA is the dead deer? HA.

Unpacking, if you've ever moved in your life, is a bitch, and this is what our place pretty much looks like:

Obviously we're still a work in progress. I did however, get my crocheting yarn all organized, and that looks pretty cute!

Saturday and Sunday we got a taste of "small town" life. At 12:40pm on a Saturday, we decided to brave the local Costco in search of a new vacuum cleaner. In any major metropolitan area (Chicago or LA, in my experience), this is a hellish time to go to Costco. Parking sucks, everyone's there for the free food samples, and checkout lines would be astronomically long. Not knowing what to expect, we pulled up to a half empty parking lot, with plenty of close spots left. There were plenty of samples available for everyone with no waiting, and we were the third people in line at the check out. Crazy! The rest of our errands this weekend (to Lowe's, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Trader Joe's) were similar. Tons of parking, short lines, no crowds. WHERE IS EVERYONE?

This morning, I was gung-ho on starting our new schedule. Unfortunately we didn't go to yoga, but we did do a 45 minute morning walk on the river. It's a high of 61 degrees today, so it's a bit chilly and overcast, but still gorgeous! 

Plus, we are really happy to be away from the SoCal heat right now. Our pets love the chilly weather, too. SJP is super active in her ginormous pen. We gave her the whole dining room since our new home has more space than we know what to do with!

The rest of this day, I'm sorting out my writing time, reading time, and trying to figure out what sort of schedule I want to run. I do feel a lot of pressure to produce something, as this lifestyle is seriously ideal and I want to be able to keep it going as long as possible. Day one has just begun!