we went on a vacation…

… in May. we went on a vacation in May and i chose to share not one glorious iphone photo with you, blog. we decided to go back to Disneyland because we loved it so on our first visit. i hate to say this, but i am just now even entertaining the thought of returning to Disneyland again in life. Disney World is another story, but DLand? it is going to be a while. we fully wore ourselves out, spent way too much money, ate way too much hummus. vegan eats at the happiest place on earth are not very happy at all. despite the extensive internet research i thought i had done, we were not fully prepared to be starving and survive on 4 days of hummus sandwiches – made in the hotel room at odd hours. Cars Land was glorious and so much fun, but adding that extra area on to the madness that is already two ‘walkable’ parks equaled Kate & Ryan workout fest back and forth and back and forth. people and lines, lines and people. strollers and babies and children and people. as you can tell, i still haven’t come to terms with how it all went down.

club 33 y'all

first day. already mad.

when we got onto the freeway and drove away from anaheim, it was like the clouds were parting and we could start to move past it all. and then we found a Veggie Grill and wept tears of vegan joy. just kidding, it wasn’t at all that dramatic, but we were absolutely starving. we went on to have an amazing few days in Santa Monica. compared to Disneyland, LA seemed so normal. we had a great time.

no vacations are on our horizon. we are about to embark on one of the most terrifying and real-life experiences to date – homeownership!

on being vegan

At the beginning of the year we decided to take the step from vegetarianism to veganism. We made the choice to become vegetarians based on a love for animals and intolerance of animal cruelty. Becoming vegan was for the same reasons really, and we have now eliminated animal products completely from our diet.

I don’t think that all people should become vegan or vegetarian. I make the effort not to judge anyone for their decisions, especially when they have no impact on my life. I can also understand the argument that animals can be raised and slaughtered humanely, but for us it is easier to eliminate these items from our diet than research and visit farms or simply trust what we read or hear. And regardless, we love animals and can’t stand the thought of killing them to eat. We are not fighting for our survival and have the freedom to make this choice.

The most difficult thing for me over the past few months has been thinking about the way I consume non-edible items. No more leather shoes or purses. I don’t think the smart idea would be to get rid of all of my ‘things’ containing animal, but I’m making an effort not to purchase new ones. Will I take a pair of barely-worn leather pumps from a friend? If they fit, sure. Would I consider purchasing a vintage or second-hand leather handbag or wallet? Possibly. I live and work in a community in which appearance is judged and holds some importance, and I cannot roll around day to day in hemp shoes and cotton pants. I’m not sure I even would if the choice was given to me, especially with the growing market of “vegan” fashions. But I’m happy that we have decided to make this change.

http://www.seedsnow.com/blogs/news/7753427-veganism-debunked-info-graphic – This is an awesome graphic that helps debunk some common thoughts on veganism.

I must say I do miss the thought of cheese, but fortunately Cabot is hard to come by in Oregon. Does this mean I will never eat cheese again? I can’t say that for sure. I also can’t say we are fully informed about every product that is in every item we purchase and consume. But for now we are working on becoming better vegans, eating even more real food, and focusing on the positive things in life.

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holiday photo mashup.

a few other holiday-time photos. no real structure here, for your viewing enjoyment only.

and in the spirit of year-end wrap-ups, i am very proud of myself for reading a total of 16 books in 2012!

thanksgiving

wind cave

wind cave

mini golf

temple

ninja

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happy new year

i’m not the best at sending out holiday greetings these days – hopefully i find other ways throughout each year to let my friends and family know that i love and am thinking of them, but chances are i don’t do the greatest job!

this year was busy. a new apartment, a new job title, disneyland and arizona and the grand canyon, visiting with family. all in all, a good year if you want to classify it as such. it was great to visit with family, i love and miss all of you!

grand canyon

grand canyon

grand canyon

grand canyon

grand canyon

grand canyon

grand canyon

grand canyon

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grey friday

vegetarian thanksgiving was a success, and i was able to get one great deal out shopping today – a new carrier for ninja. upon seeing this new carrier, ninja has proceeded to hide, cower, sadly meow and generally act like a wimp. he is smarter than we give him credit for i guess! he may not understand english, but he understands that christmas tree + carrier = car trip.

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summer into fall 2012

i’m going to update the blog more. i’m a little tired of facebook and other social media outlets.

here are some of my favorite photos from this summer/fall. the fair, a day trip to bend, and of course ninja.

fair 5

fair 4

fair 3

fair 1

fair 2

pearl

smith rock

smith rock

october ninja

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summer

hard to believe we are in the middle of summer. the last few months have been full of moving and settling and time just going by. the holidays will be here before we know it.

the hunt

ryan and i are apartment hunting. our lease is up at the end of June, and we found out last month that our building (4 townhouses) is going into foreclosure. fortunately for us, we will probably not at all be effected by the foreclosure. the house is going on the market, yadda yadda, how does it feel to know that the rent you pay is not actually going toward the roof over your head!? also fortunate, we have a rental management company, and have not been abandoned. another fortunate turn, we have only been here 3 years, versus one of our neighbors who is going on 14+. hopefully for her she gets to stay, i’m sure this is truly her home.

the past 3 years have been fun. i always wanted to live in a house with stairs. there are positives, and i’m sure when we find the right place to go, we will look back somewhat fondly on this place. but i will not shed a tear if it is torn down and recreated either. sometimes the floor gives out, and i worry that the upstairs bathroom will one day end up in the living room. oh, and an earthquake would render it a pile of toothpicks, if you know what i mean. still, it has become our home, even if the home in it is really just made up by the three of us.

as i search for a new roof, i’m struck by the crazy vacancy wars happening in this town. we are decidedly getting a steal here (see above, bathroom falling through ceiling) and we will be hard pressed to find something similar. you see, i can look out of my bedroom window and see downtown. i can walk there in merely a mile. my bus ride to work takes 15 minutes and i don’t want an hour commute. my list of don’t wants and wants adds up pretty evenly, and lets just say barring some sort of windfall or fantastical promotion (hey, it could happen someday!) we don’t have a lot of choices. close but in an old creaky shoebox, far away in a house and close to nothing. for a person who doesn’t drive and one who depends on timely arrival 5 days a week this creates quite a situation. did you know that parking in my office building is $215 per month!? not in my budget, sorry.

this has lead me to pinterest, and inspiring small space decoration. i see us definitely downgrading in size and hopefully upgrading in other areas. like bathroom space. and clean floors. and uncompromised foundations. i’ll keep you posted.

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the thing about blogs

i read an ever-changing list of blogs. mostly they contain more photos than words, mostly they are bright and positive and not political. fashion, design, lifestyle. the thing about blogs is that things sometimes look perfect. the bookshelf ironically color coded. the kitchen clean and tidy with matching accessories. blogs give me this longing for another space, a new set of ‘things’. i feel that my own environment does not match what i see online, and that breeds a strange dissatisfaction.

my home is not organized and comes with no dreamy filter. there are often crumbs on the counter and coffee stains near the sink. i don’t have a paper towel roll holder, so the paper towels just sit out on the counter, for all to see. we eat dinner every night at our coffee table, because we have no space for a dinner table, and our TV is usually on. my bookshelf is dusty and may have various items balancing on top at any given time. did i mention things get dusty? my cat has a million toys that i can’t seem to pair down that overflow their basket and flow down our stairs. the front windows need to be cleaned, and i have a $10 mirror propped up against the wall where i decide how i look each day. things aren’t perfect here, but i could rearrange them for the sake of a photograph to make it enviable. i really could, and then they would pop back out into normal life mode, filling the space up again.

i love reading blogs, but real life isn’t always so defined. it is messy and dusty, sometimes¬†really¬†dusty, but it is mine and it is honest and i love it.

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april 2012

life since the holidays has been a tough adjustment. considering our options, trying to stay dry and warm, finding time to do something other than work eat and sleep. march marked the ‘official’ 5 year anniversary of me and the day job. the next few weeks should bring little sleep followed by a possible huge and exciting change. portland has been a cold cloudy mess lately, and while the rest of the country is experiencing record warm and spring-like weather, i have awoken to snow a half dozen times. and windy sideways rain that makes me wonder why i even attempt to look presentable when i leave the house.

ninja 4.1.12
ninja 4.1.12

ninja, always finding the sliver of sunshine.

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