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!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Adventures and Such

The past few days have been full of fun and adventure. It has finally warmed up here (A LOT)- it went form 60's and raining last week to mid 90's and full sun the past few days. It finally feels like summer now, although I must say that 90's are a bit too hot for my liking.....

On Friday, the kids and I headed to The Oregon Garden, a huge garden about an hour's drive away. We explored, found a hobit house, saw some amazing plants, rode the tram, and played in a fountain. It was fun, although there was a bit too much walking for Finn, especially since it was hot out.... If I was kid-less, I would have spent the entire day meandering around and checking out the nooks and crannies. Instead, I saw what was more accessible, and was happy that I got to see what I did!

Saturday we started the morning with a trip to the Farmers Market. We came home with raspeberries (that didn't even last the afternoon!), blackberries, blueberries, potatoes, kale, cilantro and brocolli. Yum!

Saturday afternoon, Finn and I headed to Vancouver, Washington for their annual Recycled Arts Festival. It was the first time that we had gone and it was way bigger than I had expected. We enjoyed walking around the booths and getting ideas for potential re-use projects that we could do at home. However, a lot of what was there was welded garden art that used recycled metals, and welding is not exactly in my homesteaders tool box. We did buy a super cute hat for Phoebe that has inspired me to start thinking about getting out the sewing machine again (it has been WAY too long). Regardless, I thought it was cool that Vancouver has a whole festival devoted to using recycled materials in art projects.

Saturday night I took the kids to see Old Crow Medicine Show at the Oregon Zoo. Todd had planned on going but changed his mind fairly last minute. After a lot of back and forth, I decided to take the kids solo, which I thought was a bit risky.... but they were great and we all had fun! So glad I decided to go!

Sunday was full of a family swimming trip and lunch out for barbeque, and an afternoon birthday party to end the day. Oh yes, and our washing machine bit the dust (after being repaired only a few weeks ago!) so we will be headed out tomorrow to hopefully find a good deal on a new one!

The days of summer are so fun and full of excitement, but they go by so fast! I can't believe tomorrow is already July!

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Yarn Along

Joining in with Ginny of Small Things for this week's yarn along.

I have been working on this poncho for Phoebe using leftover yarn from my stash. I have finished the hood, which was in seed stitch, and am excited to now be into the body since it is in stockinette. (Much more mindless that way!). I really like how it is turning out.... and then I look at all those loose ends I will need to weave in at the end! Gulp!

I am currently reading Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal, which is a book by a small farmer who talks about how bureaucracy makes it so difficult for him to sell the food that he grows. The regulations are all set up for huge corporations, making t tricky and sometimes impossible for a small farmer to turn a profit. So far it has been really interesting. I also just started The Condition by Jennifer Haigh, which is a fictional story about a girl with Turner' Syndrome.

What are you reading? What are you knitting? Pin It Now!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer Happenings

Finn finished school up about a week and a half ago, and I started my summer break a couple of days before that. But, in Portland, summer weather doesn't really start until the second week in July. Don't get me wrong.... we have definitely had some nice days this year, but, as I write this, it is 58 degrees and raining. Not exactly what you think of when you think summer, right?
It just means that we have to be a little more creative to stay busy during the first few weeks of summer... we can't just head to the park or the pool, or spend all day playing in the yard.
So, what have we been doing? Here is how we have been keeping busy lately:
  • We had a big adventure to the Portland Aquarium. It's relatively new and we had not yet been. Overall, I was a little disappointed, especially for the cost, but we still had fun. Finn's favorite was the moon jellies while Phoebe and I both loved the octopus.
  • We took a swimming trip to a local soaking pool (a hot tub deep enough to swim in).
  • Lots of bike rides and dogs walks around the neighborhood.
  • Play dough, painting, and oil pastels. Finn does some pretty amazing stuff, I must say.

  • Lots of watching the baby ducks. You knew I was going to say that though, right? 

  • We made a paper mache volcano, complete with eruption.

  • We have made a lot of these muffins using gluten-free flour, honey instead of sugar, and adding chia seeds and flax seeds. Yum! 

  • Playing with these hydrating beads. I saw them at a conference for kids with sensory issues, and was promised that they were non-toxic, biodegradable, and totally safe. They soak up water and grow, are really fun to play with, and shrink back up once they dry out.

  • Lots of play dates.
  • A hike through the woods
  • Story time at the library 
  • Seeing John Prine at the Oregon zoo (and the kids staying up way past their bedtime!)
What have you been doing this summer? We have a long list of adventures that we are hoping to get to, but we are also looking forward to warmer and drier weather in the weeks to come! In the meantime, I think I need to come up with some more craft ideas for times we are stuck inside!! Any suggestions? Pin It Now!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

More Ducks

I know. I have been posting a lot of duck pictures. But they are SO CUTE. And they won't be small for long- they have already grown so much! Plus, we are figuring out the best time to give most of these littles away, so I am enjoying them before they are all gone!

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Friday, June 21, 2013

This Moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by Soulemama.

I couldn't resist... more duck pictures. They won't be small for long! You can see mama's bill in the top left... she is quite worried about Phoebe being so close!

Happy Summer Solstice Everyone!! Hope you enjoy your longest day of the year!

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Our June Garden and A Link Up Party!

It's that time again.... a garden link-up party!! Our garden is starting to explode and I can't wait to see how your garden looks as well!
Our snap peas have come and are nearing their end, and our greens have mostly all flowered. But, we have tomatoes and peppers starting to grow, beets almost ready to be picked, plums, strawberries, grapes, raspberries and blackberries starting to form fruit, potatoes that are flowering, squash plants getting their first flowers, and corn, beans, and a whole lot of herbs and flowers.
I haven't spent as much time in the garden lately as I should be.... there is plenty of weeding and mulching to be done, and some plants that could use a little extra love.... our garden is in our front yard, and our sweet baby ducklings are in the back yard.... and well, right now, ducklings are more fun than gardening. Can you blame me?
Here are a few pictures of our garden from this morning (yes, it is cool and raining....):

What is planted in YOUR June garden? I would love to hear about it and if you have posted or want to post about your June garden, please join in and link up below!

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Yarn Along and A Duck Update

Joining in with Ginny of Small Things for this week's yarn along.

I haven't been finding much time to blog lately. In all honesty, I have been spending a lot of time just watching ducklings, or entertaining guests who have come over to watch the ducklings (there have been many!). They are getting so big so fast! We have discovered that they all love watermelon, and for some reason, if we feed them watermelon, mama will let us pet them. Now that Phoebe has had her hands on them, that is all she wants to do! But, just today, one of the ducklings developed what we think is called wry neck, where he is holding his head all cock-eyed. We gave him some vitamins, and we are hoping that this is something we can fix. It is breaking my heart to watch him walk around with his head tilted. Poor thing!

I have been trying to sneak in knitting when I can, and am working on this poncho for Phoebe using leftover yarn from my stash. So far, I like how it is coming out, but since I am adjusting the pattern for different sized yarn, I am hoping it comes out the right size!

I am currently reading Manifestos on the Future of Food and Seed (only a few more pages left in this one!) and Sputnik Sweetheart (both from my summer 2013 reading list).  I love Haruki Murakami and Sputnik Sweetheart is the only novel of his that I have not read. He has a brand new book out in Japan, but I think it will be a couple of years before it gets translated to English.

What are you reading? What are you knitting?

I will leave you with a few pictures of the babies!!

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