Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Gratitude Sunday, on Monday

Posting this a day late, as our internet has been out all weekend....

As part of my 38 project, I am going to keep a weekly gratitude journal. In the past, I have tried to do nightly journals, but it just isn't feasible for me, and I always fail. I am hoping that this weekly rhythm will work better for me. Plus, I can use this space to share them with you all.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • Antibiotics. After catching a terrible cough from my kiddos at the beginning of July, and still having it at the end of August, I was finally diagnosed with walking pneumonia and pleurisy. I am now on a course of antibiotics and I think my symptoms are finally starting to improve. I am all for healing herbs and natural remedies, but sometimes western medicine does wonders. Our dog, Moshi, is on antibiotics right now as well.... after wetting my bed several times last week, she was diagnosed with a UTI on Saturday. Poor girl.
  • The rain! It finally rained here and more is expected this week. Hoping this will help with the 37+ large fires that we currently have here in Oregon and Washington. 
  • Purging and de-cluttering my life. This week Todd and I cleaned up the back yard. We put our duck house on craiglist (and it was snagged up!) and trashed all of the things in the yard that were broken and beyond repair. I have also been going through storage boxes in the garage-- we had a little mouse move in behind the dryer (I found the nest a few weeks go, which was quite the clean-up process--- and our house is still not fully mouse-proof-- even with 3 cats!). But this mouse (or maybe mice) has managed to leave little tiny poops everywhere..... if it is not in a storage container with a locking lid, there is probably a mouse poop in there. So, as I am going through and cleaning, I am also purging and re-organizing. The whole process is slow going, so I think I will be at it a while, but it feels really good to purge. I have already taken a huge trunk load to Goodwill. I am ready to simplify!
What have you been grateful for this week?

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

My 38

38 has been an important number in my life for a long time. It's sort of a long story, and not really worth going into detail about, but long story short--- among some of my friends, the number 38 has become a good luck symbol of sorts. So, for many years I always thought that the year that I was 38 would be filled with good things. And now that I am going through a divorce... well, I really need to believe that good things will happen to me this year....
A few months ago I decided that instead of doing a bucket list of things to do before I turn 40, like a lot of folks do, I decided to make a bucket list of 38 new and awesome things that I want to do while I am 38. So, for several months I have been thinking... thinking about what I want to do, thinking about what is actually realistic given my current situation, and thinking about what things would truly make me happy and bring balance to this new life of mine. And I came up with a list that I am pretty happy with. A few things on my list are a wee bit crazy, but I am also starting a new chapter of my life, and I think that deserves a few (happy) changes to mark that. A few things are slightly more mundane, because not every day can be filled with crazy adventures....
So today, the day that begins my year of being 38, I would love to share my bucket list with you. Because for one, why not? and for another, I hope it will hold me a little bit accountable. What's a bucket list if you don't try and do it, right? I plan on updating my list as I complete my challenges. And I would love any advice you may have!

My 38 While 38 Bucket List:

1. Get a tattoo. This one has been a long time coming. I have wanted one for years, but never knew exactly what I wanted or who I should have do it. And then over the past year my ideas solidified and things have started to fall into place. So, why not? I think it will be awesome.

2. Hike the lava tubes at Mt. St. Helens. This is one that needs to be done in the summer months, so I will have to wait until next summer. But this place is supposed to be amazing!

3. Run a 10k. I have run many 5ks, but never a 10k. Hoping to run a 1/2 marathon one day, so this is my warm up.

4. See the Painted Hills of Oregon. It's one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon. Bet you didn't know that there were 7 Wonders of Oregon, did you?

5. Sew myself a dress. I have actually sewn dresses for myself, but they were smock-like dresses from my very hippie days. I want to sew myself a nice fitted dress, maybe even with a zipper. Oooh-la-la.

6. Learn to Play Chess. Again, I used to know how to play chess, when I was like 7, but can't remember. I think it's just something that one should know? Plus, I think Finn would love it and I want to teach him.

7. Learn to identify the native plants in my Oregon Native Plant Guide. I already know some, but as a plant lover, I think I should know them all.

8. Make a lemon cheesecake. Yum.

9. Draw portraits of my kids. I took a drawing class once, in college. I haven't done much drawing since, but I wanted to give it another shot. And what better to draw than the two cutest things on the planet!

10. Read War and Peace. Just because. Also, I really loved the Brothers Karamazov, so I think I will like this one too.

11. Yarn Bomb Something. It's the old person version of a graffiti tag.

12. Knit two pillow covers. My couch could use a couple more pillows and my house needs some more creative flair!

13. Go to the Olympic Peninsula. Again, this will have to be next spring or summer because I want to go when there is a chance of nice weather. I can't believe I haven't been up there yet.

14. Learn to do a headstand. That will reverse aging, right?

15. Watch the whole Twin Peaks series. I missed out on watching this when I was a kid and I think it's right up my alley.

16. Learn to make 3 fantastic cocktails. I usually just drink wine, but it seems like some fancy cocktail knowledge would be a good tool to have in my tool box.

17. Learn 10 constellations. I already know a few basic ones, but want to learn 10 new ones. The sky and solar system are fascinating, in a weird and crazy way, and I think I should get to know it a little bit better.

18. Enter a photo contest. As you guys know, I love to take pictures. Maybe this will be the motivation I need to take a few really awesome pictures this year.

19. Take an herb class. I want to learn more about the medicinal uses of herbs.

20. See a new band. This is something I generally do by default almost every year, more than once, because I love to see live music. However, this year in particular, I feel like I am really trying to expand my horizons, to be open to new everything, and music is a good place to start.

21. Make my kids photo albums from their baby years. Ugh. I am sort of dreading this one, but I really want to make it happen. I have thousands of photos from my kids younger years. And they are all on external hard drives and no one ever looks at them. So, I want to make an online photo book that I can get printed for each of my kids with the best pictures and memories of their first few years of life. If it goes well, maybe I will try and keep up with them as they grow.....

22. Keep a gratitude journal, for real this time. I have always failed at this. This time my goal is to just write at least once a week instead of every night. I think, for me, that is more manageable.

23. Submit a short story. Somewhere. About something. Clearly I haven't thought about this one much yet.

24. Photograph Crater Lake. Because it is beautiful and I haven't yet been there on a clear day.

25. Watch the sun rise somewhere special. Because it is a perfect reminder of how lucky we are that we have this Earth and our sun and the perfect conditions that allow us to live.

26. Learn Fleetwood Mac's Landslide and the Wood Brothers Luckiest Man on guitar. I play my guitar only randomly and never get better. It's time to step it up. Or at least be able to play a couple of songs really well.

27. Acquire a new piece of art. Because I am a grown up and I like art so I should have more on my walls.

28. Dance in the rain. Because why not?

29. Hand make all of my holiday gifts, except for a handful for each of my kids. As hard as I have tried, I just can't seem to make hand-made legos that work.

30. See Thor's Well. This place looks insane. I have never been, but when I do, I promise I will share pictures.

31. Get my nose pierced. Read the part above about this being a new chapter of my life and me needing to make some physical changes.

32. Take my kids to a drive-in movie. I have such great memories of going when I was a kid, but have never taken mine. There is one about 40 minutes from us, so why not?!?

33. Sign up for a volunteer project or event with my kids. I think this is a great life lesson for them.

34. Do a photo booth photo shoot with me and my kids. I have actually done this one before,  but never with just my kids... there has always been other people too. So just me and the kids. And a lot of love.

35. Read 38 books. Something on this list had to have 38 in it!

36. Re-start my vinyl collection. It has been years since I have purchased an album, and now that I have a working record player, I think its about time!

37. Be able to run a 9 minute mile. Hopefully 3 of them in a row. (Yes, I am currently pretty slow)

38. Hike the hobbit trails. It's supposed to be a fun little trail to the beach on the coast of Oregon that for whatever reason I just haven't managed to do yet.

And there you have it. My wild (and not so wild) adventures of the next year. Here's to life, love and happiness... and 38 times around the sun! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Yarn Along

Hello! Joining with Ginny at Small Thing's for this week's Yarn Along .

I am frantically working on my vest as I "need" to have it done by next Monday. The  knitting itself is quick because it is chunky yarn on big needles, but the pattern is fairly tedious, as each row is different... so I have to really pay attention (which is not my forte). And so I end up only knitting for 20 minutes or so and losing interest. But I really want to have this done by Monday, and I am pretty determined to finish.

I am continuing to read The Water Knife. It took a bit for m to get into the story... there are several story lines initially, and it is a bit confusing to keep track of it all. But it is starting to get really good now and I am eager to keep on reading.

What are you reading? What are you knitting?
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Sunday, August 23, 2015


Happy Sunday! Hope you are all having a great weekend. Thought I would check in and share some gratitudes with you....

This week I have felt grateful for:

  • The internet. Sure, it is a huge time-suck, but it makes so many aspects of life so much easier: finding recipes, answering questions, communicating. Last Monday I had to replace the ducting on my dryer (I have been battling a mouse who ate through my aluminum duct!). Replacing ducting is not as easy as you would think-- you don't just remove the clamp, switch it out, and replace the clamp as I originally thought. You first have to prepare the ducting by rolling it out and snipping the edge.. or else it will never fit. However, I didn't know this until I struggled with the ducting for about 30 minutes. Finally, at Finn's suggestion,  I decide to watch a youtube video. Withing 5 minutes, my ducting was replaced. Sweet!
  • My pets. There is nothing like being greeted with wags and kisses, even after you only went into the front yard. Unconditional love to the max.
  • The ceramic class I have been taking for the past 7 months. I am still not very good, but let's say that it has been very cheap therapy!
  • My mom. She is my free therapy. I call her almost every day. Usually more than once (sorry mom!)
  • An outdoor space. As a city dweller, I truly appreciate my small plot of land on which I can dig, plant, harvest, dance and relax. Even though my yard is small, It is mine to use as I wish, and I love that.
Enjoy the week to come! 

Joining in with the other Taryn from Wooly Moss Roots
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Friday, August 21, 2015

From the Garden

The garden is becoming happier. Our 90+ degree days are still happening, but becoming fewer, and the plants have been thankful. The squash plants are making another round of fruits, which should be able to mature as long as our September doesn't turn cold and wet. Our grapevine is bursting with fruit and our tomatoes seem to have overcome their problem with blossom end rot. All in all, things are good.

How is your garden?
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Monday, August 17, 2015

Cape Disappointment

Last week, the kids and I went on our final camping trip of the summer. We headed up to Cape Disappointment in Washington, which is far from disappointing. It's gorgeous up there and the beach is filled with driftwood structures that the kids spent hours playing in.
It did rain on us, and after a summer with barely a drop of rain, it was a bit disappointing that the rain had to happen while we were camping, but honestly, I can't complain about rain these days, We certainly need it.
This week the kids and I will be at home, enjoying the last full week of summer and trying to get back onto a school schedule (which means getting up earlier for all of us!).

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Yarn Along

Hello! Joining with Ginny at Small Thing's for this week's Yarn Along .

I made a little progress on  my sweater over the past week, but just a few days ago decided to start this vest as I am hoping to bring it with me on a special trip in a few weeks. It's chunky yarn on big needles, and seeing the quick progress is pretty rewarding.

I finally got my hands on Girl on the Train last week, and I whipped through it in a couple of days. It was exactly what I needed... gripping. It's been a while since I plowed through a book that fast. Now I just started reading The Water Knife. The first chapter seemed like the plot to a futuristic action movie, which is not quite my style. However, I love that the book, which does take place in the future, revolves around water (and the lack thereof). I am excited to read a bit more and see where it goes.

What are you reading? What are you knitting?
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