Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn Oakley 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!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!!

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Spooktacular Halloween Lanterns

We haven't done many Halloween crafts this year, so when I saw these cute Halloween lanterns via Pinterest, I just couldn't wait to give them a try. They are quick and easy, and we made ours from supplies we already had at home. Plus, they look really cute when they are lit (my pictures don't quite do them justice!).

What fun Halloween crafts have you made this year???

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Yarn Along

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

I am almost done with my mustardy slouchy hat. Seems like this one has taken forever. I have come to the realization that although I want to be knitting all of the time, lately, it is just not possible. And a hat, which would normally be finished in a few days, is instead taking weeks. These days once the kids are in bed, and I have a few moments to myself, I find myself reading for a few short moments before sleep calls my body away. I have been going to bed much earlier than normal in recent weeks, and I think my body likes it. Instead of getting excited for all of the projects I am going to begin after 8 p.m., I instead start to pine for getting horizontal and closing my eyes. I am not going to complain, as I have had issues with getting enough rest for my entire life, but it is a different life. I am a lot less productive when I go to bed at 9:30 instead of midnight, but somehow I think my body is craving this sleep. So for now, I will indulge my body and let the knitting find it's own pace.

I  am reading Childhood and Nature by David Sobel. It is an inspiring read and in some ways makes me wish I taught young children instead of college aged. They are much more adaptable when they are younger.... I am also reading Dreamwood which is a tween fanatasy story that takes place in the Pacific Northwest. I just started, but I think this one is going to be good.

What are you reading? What are you knitting?
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Monday, October 27, 2014

A List of Gratitudes

Lately, I have felt thankful for:

  • the colors of fall  
  • freshly roasted pumpkin seeds
  • finding joy in running again (especially while dressed as a jellyfish... see below!)
  • the acceptance that I don't have time to do everything I want, all of the time.  Lately I have had trouble making time for many of my favorite things (like knitting, photography, and blogging), because life has been busy and I have been re-prioritizing. And although I initially felt some guilt about this, it has faded and I am now OK with it. I know that my time is not entirely mine. Other people need me. And I still need time to take care of me and my body. I still love all of these things, and will always make time for them, but I am no longer going to feel stressed when I can't find time for these things in my day.
  • the silliness of 3 year olds, especially when they are planning naked birthday parties and using "for-realz" in sentences
  • a warm dry house to snuggle up in
  • that Puppy Cow, our old dog, seems to have a new spunk after adding a third medication into his pain regiment.
  • for friends... what would we do without them?

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pumpkins and Mushrooms

On Sunday, the kids and I headed to the pumpkin patch. The weather forecast is predicting rain into the unforeseeable future, so I figured we would seize the day, brave the crowds, and get some pumpkins. The weather was perfect, the kids had fun, and we got our autumn on.
Afterwards, we stopped by the Oregon Mycological Society's annual mushroom show. The kids wanted to do a drive-by viewing of most of the specimens, while I could have wandered around for much longer, but I was pretty excited that they wanted to go to begin with.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Salmon Homecoming

On Saturday, the kids and I headed to Oxbow Park to watch salmon spawn. We were able to see some spawning salmon, and even watched some females digging out their nests. We also saw a caddis fly shell, a rock that had quartz crystals in its pores, and a few cool fungi. And I, of course, brought home a pocket full of rocks that I collected, including a red beach agate.
However, the best part was that my kiddos were as happy as could be just playing by the side of the river. They dug holes, built caves, looked for rocks and when I mentioned leaving in 5 minutes, they begged for more time. And how could I not say yes?
When my children are immersed in nature, and not wanting to leave, I am a happy mama. It was a good day.

 Caddis fly shell

 Can you see the salmon in this picture? The tops of their bodies are peeking out of the water.


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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Yarn Along

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

The rain has returned to Portland. I am sad to say goodbye to the sun and warmer weather, yet at the same time, I am happy to have a return to the rain. It feels normal. It feels like fall. I am now laughing at myself because if you would have asked me 8 years ago if I would have ever said that, I can tell you that my answer would have been 'no way'. How things change....

Rainy weather is good for tea. For knitting. For curling up with a good book. For a glass of wine in a room full of candlelight. For stomping in puddles. For getting wet and warming up. For making soup. For slipper wearing. In these things, I am ready to indulge.

I am still working on a slouchy hat for me, in mustard yellow nonetheless. I was about 3/4 finished with it when I realized I had forgotten to switch to bigger needles and it was going to be too tight... so I had to rip back to the ribbing and start again. So, I am not much farther ahead than I was at last week's yarn along.

I  am still reading Gideon the Cutpurse. I have about 150 pages to go. It's OK. OK enough that I don't want to stop, but I am also not drawn to keep on reading. I am also reading Clash of Kings, the second in the Game of Thrones Series, however, I am trying to plow through Gideon before I get fully absorbed in the Clash.

What are you reading? What are you knitting?
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