This Oregon Life

I have been eagerly awaiting decent Oregon weather so I can get out in the woods to enjoy some camping.  With my ready made camping vehicle, I can be on the go without much preparation other than food.  It is so awesome to get in and go!  I’ve been really excited to get out in nature and enjoy my beautiful Oregon.  Let me tell you, I desperately need out of Portland these days!  I enjoyed an extra long trip last weekend and this weekend I did an over-niter just because I can! Nature, beauty and primitive camping is not far from Portland.  Less than a two hour drive brings me to the peace I want.

 

My lovely state did not disappoint!  The weather was perfect both weekends.  Last weekend I stayed at a new campground for me and this weekend I went to an old time favorite spot where I have been camping for years.  Both spots brought me the calm solitude and connection with nature I love.

My sweet princess is not a fan of camping.  Her first weekend she spent terrified and preferred the comfort of my lap or on the bed safe inside my rig.  Even with friends she loved, being out and near the camp fire was much too scary for my little one.  Freshly returned from my second camping trip of the season my little girl is exhausted.  This time she was attacked by a dog much larger than her as we were taking a walk.  Irresponsible pet owners did not have their dog leashed at their campsite.  When we walked by, he ran out to us and attacked my baby. Thankfully, she has only minor physical injuries but she is now a skittish, terrified little thing.  I certainly hope she gets back to her usual spunky happy self soon.  My poor, sweet baby.  That was a terrifying experience for us both.

 

We’re taking a couple weeks break from camping to enjoy other weekend activities, but we’ll be back at it again with more adventures and good food in store!!  I’ve got some camping with dog experience behind me now so I think I’m more prepared for future trips. Every chance I get this coming season, I will be out in the great green of Oregon.  If my plans lay out as I hope, this will be my last summer in Oregon so I am taking advantage of what my great state offers so close to home. (I’ll share more about this later!)

As my usual style, food is the center of attention for my camping adventures.  Remember that raspberry sauce I wrote about not long ago?  Here’s the same version with blueberries added.  It made for a delicious pancake sauce this morning.  There’s nothing like freshly made food in the great outdoors.  It just tastes better!  I added a dollop of plain coconut Greek style yogurt, which is actually quite sweet and not tart like typical dairy yogurts. The combination was fantastic!  Add a steeping cup of fresh brewed java, a little fire to watch dance and this morning was divine!20160626_093914

 

 

 

Advertisements

Gluten Free Camping Done Right

Gluten free camping food is such fun to make!  I love coming up with unique and delicious foods that are considerably more indulgent yet still stay in my personal dietary guidelines. I just returned from my first camping trip of the season.  I am getting a late start this year. I have had too many other weekend activities that have kept me from pitching my tent. Oh wait…. I don’t have a tent!  Ha!  I did learn my car is the perfect camping vehicle and even snuggles two people in quite nicely with a bit of elbow room.  I learned a lot in this first camping trip which created moments of deep reflection.  It is one of the reasons I have such a fondness for weekends in the woods; it brings me back to a balanced place where I feel grateful and peaceful.

I certainly felt “tipped” often enough on this trip.  It is not just my first of the season, but my first since I have moved and have had my stuff stored away.  My busy week prior to leaving did not give me time to pick up my camping gear until the day before I was to head out.  I just packed it in the car and that is where it stayed until we unpacked it at the campground.  Assuring my camping friend I had everything we needed, imagine my surprise when we started setting up camp and discovering I actually did not have some things we needed.  This fell on the heels of some other pretty crazy debacles that delayed us even getting to our spot until almost dark.  We laughed a lot about all of it along the way until it became clear we were missing some vital items.  It took me some time to remember that “M” and I had gone through all of our camping gear and downsized last fall when we were done traveling for the summer.  We got rid of a lot of equipment, deciding we would replace it later with more space efficient items for the next season.  That is now and considering what happened in my life between that time and today, there is no way I would have remembered this took place.  After laughing hysterically at the craziness of everything that took place just to get to our peaceful spot, we settled in and got creative with what was available, only running to the little market down the road for propane.  We made it work.

Digging through those camping buckets unearthed a plethora of painful memories as I reflected on the journey and experiences that led me to where I am today.  “Blessing upon blessing has reigned down on you”, just said to me last night by a friend; this is true. Where I am today is nothing short of miraculous in my opinion.  I have been lifted and gifted in the most beautiful ways.  I love right where I am in my life.  Dare I say I feel like I am truly living my dream.  I certainly feel like I am on that path.  But, I had to take some time to reflect again on what happened that lead me here today.  I had to process some thoughts, rehash a few things, reflect and let go a little more.  I had my own personal burning ceremony early one morning.  After quietly celebrating to myself for creating a successful fire, I spontaneously threw a word search book “M” had given me for Christmas into the flames.  It had gone into my “take with me belongings” when I moved, but I just stored it away on a shelf forgetting about it until I was packing for camping.  I love doing word search puzzles when camping.  Sitting at the fire, staring at that book next to me dredged up only anger and betrayal.  I said a few things out to the Universe, dropped it into the fire and let it burn.  I found a long purple knit thing in a bucket that “M” had made; an aborted attempt at a scarf I think, and we had used it to tie things.  I wrapped it around my fire poking stick and dropped it into the flames as well.  I love the powerful symbolism of this ritual and upon completion I felt lighter, more relaxed.  It feels great to close the book on that chapter of my life, however, six months later I am no more enlightened on why it ended.  It matters less and less.  It still astounds me the same.  I have come to my own closure and am comfortable in my truth.  It will likely never cease to make me shake my head in dismay because while I have definitely had my share of awful experiences, what I just went through is absolutely the most cruelty I’ve experienced by another human being; one that declared their love for me on a regular basis.  It simply makes no sense and it was so wrong.  I now see even more clearly the painful world “M” lives in that would move her to be so callous.

In the flames of the past, I recreate my current experiences and my future.  Just as stunning as the ending of my relationship and what I thought was my future, is the astonishing beginnings that have cultivated since this has happened.  The doors began to open before I even moved from “M”‘s house.  I have had continued remarkable experiences.  I cannot help but be grateful, often in a deep and moving way.  When I come full circle in my thoughts, I rest in grace.  My reverence for life is more profound.  I have found my balance again.  My trips into the forest always bring enlightenment.

With some heavy stuff getting processed, I am glad we came well stocked with the fixin’s for some great gluten and dairy free meals that were delicious and comforting.  Eating this way while camping can be easy with just a little preparation before heading out.  I like to pre-mix ingredients into plastic zip bags as much as possible, making it much easier to prepare at the camp site.  There was some good food eaten around the campfire, along with plenty of enjoyable conversation.  As well, there were many opportunities for silence and reflection.  Even with the harried experience of getting to the site and our lack of proper equipment, in many ways this was a successful first camping trip of the season.  I look forward to the next time and being much more prepared!!

I did learn that I can throw stuff together pretty darn quickly and am always successful at making things work with what I’ve got.  Camping, like life, is a learning experience.   The serenity and grace of my surroundings brought me back to center.  All is truly well in my world.

Check out some of the yummy food we ate and take in the beauty of our gorgeous Oregon forest.

IMG_3347 IMG_3350 IMG_3352 IMG_3361 IMG_3365 IMG_3369 IMG_3354

 

Follower of the Month for August: Cathy Mounts

I was honored to be chosen as a guest blogger by Rogene who writes a blog called Espirational. Check out the post I wrote for her blog!  While your at it, give her site a look as well.  She provides some positive and inspirational reads that are sure to lift your spirits.  I am grateful and incredibly appreciative for the acknowledgement. I love the support and encouragement I receive from my fellow bloggers! Thanks!

Espirational: A 10 Minute Vacation for the Soul

Our August Follower of the Month is Cathy Mounts of Foodradical.wordpress.com with a wonderful healthy cooking idea.
Campfire Pouches

Campfire Pouch Photo Source: Cathy Mounts Campfire Pouch
Photo Source: Cathy Mounts

There is something about being out in the woods that brings me a sense of peace. I can relax, I can be wondrous and thoughtful.  I can find healing and gratitude.  I can come back to the city feeling refreshed and renewed.
I have found tin foil pouches to be my number one favorite way to create delicious campfire meals, just the way I like them!  That smoky, campy taste is undeniably delightful.
Using heavy duty tin foil, pull off a sheet that gives you enough coverage for folding (about 12″x12″), fill with your favorite veggies, layering with the veggies that cook the longest on the bottom.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with your choice of spices.  Fold the foil and pinch edges to…

View original post 56 more words