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!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Post of Mourning

Tonight, I can't stop crying. For the people who lost their lives at Umpqua Community College. For the families and friends of those who died. For the hatred that causes someone to do that. How easily that could have been my school, my colleagues, my students or me. What will it take for us to decide that guns are not the answer?

Tonight, I can't stop crying. For another storm hitting the east coast. For the natural disasters that seem to have become so commonplace in recent years. For the way that we can all just ignore the blatant signs of climate change, and continue to live life as we do, continue to not create the change that we need.  I worry every day about what kind of a life I am giving to my children, what they will have to contend with as they get older, and how scared they may be to face what lies ahead.

Tonight, I can't stop crying. For my friend who has a daughter in ICU. And for all of the other parents out there whose children are sick.  And for all of the parents who have lost children. I can't even imagine.

Tonight, I can't stop crying. For my dissolving marriage. For my financial stresses. For my dog who is nearing the end of his time. For my children, and the transitions they are going through. For life, and everything it throws at us.

But then I realize, really, how small my personal worries are compared to serious illness, mass shootings, climate change.

I think, sometimes, it is just all too much to handle at once. We humans are strong, we are resilient. But everything has a tipping point, no? And sometimes we just need to sit down and have a good cry. Let it all out. Allow ourselves to really feel the sadness that comes with being human, and hope, really hope, that tomorrow will be better.

So tonight I will cry. I will cry for the students in Roseburg, I will cry for the people being flooded on the east coast, I will cry for all of the mothers and fathers who are worried about their children and I will even cry for me. And tomorrow, when my children wake up, I will put the sadness aside. I will look into their eyes and I will be reminded of the millions of things that I have to be happy about. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

An Autumn Yarn Along

 Hello! Joining with Ginny at Small Thing's ( a wee bit late) for this week's Yarn Along .

Still slowly chugging away at  my sweater.... yup, the one that I was trying to finish before I went to a festival in July. Oh well. It will get done. Eventually.  I did finish my Katniss vest before I went to Burning Man (see below!). And good thing, because the nights were chilly and I wore it lots!

I am starting to think and plan Christmas knits, which is always exciting! I found a few things I am hoping to knit up for Phoebe, before she gets to an age where she may no longer be so willing to wear what I choose to make for her. I am not letting myself start Christmas knits until I finish my sweater though....

I am reading In The Unlikely Event by Judy Blume. Remember her? One of my favorite authors as a child! I had no clue that she was writing for adults now. Her writing style is still very simplistic, almost as if I am reading a children's novel (but with adult content). It took me about 100 pages to get into this one, but now I am eager to see where the story goes.

What are you reading? What are you knitting?

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Flock and Fiber

I continued my annual tradition of going to the Oregon Flock and Fiber festival on Sunday. The weather was and crisp, with blue skies and sunshine that kept you warm. It felt like fall.
Usually, I try to go to Flock and Fiber without my children... it's much more conducive to yarn shopping and taking photographs.... but this year my children came along. And they were actually very well behaved. But despite good behavior, I didn't have as much of a chance to take photographs or to simply wander like I normally do. The animals were the best part for the kids. Phoebe picked out the kinds of fiber animals she wanted to have when she grows up-- I hope she has a lot of land!
This year there seemed to be very little already spun yarn, and what there was was well above my budget. So, for the first time, I came home from Flock and Fiber without any yarn. However, I was pleasantly surprised to run into Taryn from Wooly Moss Roots! She was selling her handmade buttons at the festival and so I finally had a chance to meet her and her sweet family. Phoebe chose some wonderful ladybug buttons for us to buy (eventually they will make their way onto a sweater) and Taryn gifted Finn an adorable garden gnome (thanks Taryn!). It was so lovely to get to see her in the real world!

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Sunday, September 27, 2015


Hello! Happy Sunday! I have not been writing here much (nor reading your blogs much lately either) because my mom was in town for two weeks and we used up every minute. I did manage to jot down a few moments of gratitude from the past week though:
  • For my mom. She was here for two weeks and she did so much to help me, spoil me, and keep me company. She just left yesterday and I am already so sad that she is gone.
  • For my sweet little Casanova, who knows exactly how to put a smile on my face when I am feeling down (see above photo).
  • For coffee. 
  • For fall. For the gorgeous colors. For cold, sunny mornings. For warm, cozy clothes. 
  • For my running buddy. Running is so much easier with a friend. 
  • For the nicest pest control guy in the world who I have hired to help me deal with my rodent issues. He is fairly affordable, and honestly, I think the money is worth it just so I don't have to stress about how I am going to do it myself anymore!
  • For the new skills I am learning. Managing a household alone now means that I have to do things that I could normally ignore. And although tackling those new tasks can sometimes be a pain, I love the feeling of learning something new and becoming more self sufficient.
  • That my new term of teaching has begun and day one went well. I always have anxiety about work after having a summer off and having to go back. Once that first day is under my belt, I am so much calmer. Plus, I am happy to be back at work and back into more of a routine. 
What have you felt grateful for this week?

Joining in with the other Taryn from Wooly Moss Roots
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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Happy First Day of Fall!

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Sunday, September 20, 2015


Happy Sunday! Hope you are all having a fabulous weekend. This past week I have felt grateful for:

  • My mom. She is here visiting for a couple of weeks and has been a great help as well as great company.
  • Getting organized. My mom and I spent many hours cleaning and organizing my garage. I have been battling some rodents over the past 6 months or so, and the cleaning was not fun. Let's just say it involved a dead rat and a whole lot of poop. But everything is in bins with lids, my art shelf had a major overhaul, and I was able to bring another load to Goodwill. Feels good.
  • For the huge hugs and smiles I get from Finn when he comes back after spending the night with his papa. Finn doesn't always express his happiness openly, so when he does, it feels amazing.
  • Friends, both old and new.
  • Cool mornings that remind me that autumn is almost here. Yay!
What have you felt grateful for this week?

Joining in with the other Taryn from Wooly Moss Roots
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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Crater Lake

Many years ago, when Finn was just a wee babe, the family headed to Crater Lake. We were so excited to see it.... and when we got there, it was so overcast and foggy that we could barely see the lake. Ever since then, I have been eager to go back and to see the lake in all it's glory... with sunny clear skies and the vibrant blues that the lake is known for.
I finally got my chance to go back this week as my mom is in town for a visit, and she has also been wanting to visit there. We packed up the kids and dogs (which made for a very full car, by the way) and spent a few days in Bend, Oregon. We did a day trip to Crater Lake on Monday. The good news was that we could see the lake. However, despite sunny clear skies for the week before we headed down, it was overcast and cloudy on Monday. We still had spectacular views, but alas, did not get to see the amazing blue of Crater Lake. Maybe next time. ;)

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