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!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Yarn Along

Hello! Happy Wednesday! Joining with Ginny at Small Things for this week's Yarn Along.

OK, well my post isn't super exciting this week as I am still reading and knitting the same things from last week.....

I am knitting myself a couple of pillow covers from this pattern. I have made a little progress this week, but I have had some very sore wrists (too much yoga, I think?) and knitting has been making it feel worse. So---- I haven't been knitting much. But don't worry, I am making grand plans in my head of all of the things I want to knit! That doesn't bother my wrists at all!

And yes, I am still reading War and Peace. But I actually had a chance to dig in this past weekend and make some progress. I have a lot of trouble making my way through the war parts..... but the "peace" parts are really the best love story ever told. Now, if I could just stop reading other books in between finishing this book, maybe I could actually finish it! And look below- I think my buddy who came to check out my book is symbolic of the speed at which I am reading....

What are you reading? What are you knitting?

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Sunday, April 24, 2016


Hello Sunday. Welcome.
Life seems to be on fast forward lately. I can't seem to make it slow down. I know that I really need to make myself slow down, but it's so hard for me to do. Expectations (my own and others), obligations, desires and curiosity all keep pulling me to do, do, do... and rarely ever to stop, stop, stop. I guess it's just part of my nature. But I can't stop thinking about how much I would benefit from a silent week in meditation at a monastery.....
Despite the craziness of life, I do always make time to stop and reflect upon it. And my gratitude journal has been key to making that happen. I have been super successful with my gratitude journal ever since I started it in August. And the key was making it super simple. In the past, I kept a separate notebook in my nightstand and was supposed to write down a few things each night. But, it never happened. I was too tired. It was too regimented.
Now, I use my daily planner and write my gratitudes in the "notes" section for each week. I can write as many time as I want during the week and I since I almost always have my planner with me, I can write at any time, and not just before bed. And, viola! Success!
Anyways, here are a few of my gratitudes from this week:
  • Having a mostly-at-home weekend with very few plans..... some much needed time to catch up on work, cleaning, my herb class, and life... 
  • Sitting outside in the sun and reading, uninterrupted. I was only uninterrupted for about 7 minutes, but hey- I will take what I can get!
  • The amazing forests we have here in the Pacific northwest. Even after living here for almost 9 years, I still feel a sense of magic each time I enter one.
  • Feeling my body becoming stronger, more balanced and more centered. I have felt a recent change with my strength during yoga and it is exciting!
  • The camera on my new phone. It is so much better than my last one! 
  • Music! With my new phone I also have enough space for Spotify, and I have been having so much fun with the wealth of music at my fingertips.
  • Adventures to look forward to!! I have a ladies adventure planned for next week and a trip to Colorado in my near future. I love adventures (see, this is why I have such a problem slowing down like I need to!). I guess I should just embrace my love of adventure, but learn to take some time in-between to rest. It's all about balance, right?

What have you felt grateful for this week?

Joining in with the other Taryn from Wooly Moss Roots
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Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy Earth Day!

"The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness"
                                                             - John Muir

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Yarn Along

Hello! Happy Wednesday! Joining with Ginny at Small Things for this week's Yarn Along.

I haven't joined in on a yarn along for quite awhile. It has been a tough few weeks for me emotionally and now that I am teaching two classes and taking one, I am finding myself constantly busy.  Plus, I have been craving social interactions and so I have been making lots of plans. Which is so fun... and exhausting. It's supposed to be a rainy weekend, and I will have my kids. Hoping to find some time to hunker down and just 'be' for a bit.

Currently,  I am knitting myself a couple of pillow covers from this pattern. I started this awhile ago, but had to set it aside for some more mindless knitting. I have finally picked it back up and am excited with how it is progressing.

Guess what? I am still reading War and Peace. Yup. I think it will probably take me longer to read it than it took Tolstoy to write it, but I guess that is what happens when you read a bunch of other books at the same time.... I will say that I fly through the parts about the relationships and the love affairs, and then I get stuck on the parts that detail the aspects of war relationships. But, I am enjoying it nonetheless.

What are you reading? What are you knitting?
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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Reflections and Gratitudes

It's been a hard week. A few days ago I posted about losing my dog, my loyal friend, of 15 years. What I wasn't yet ready to talk about during that post was that I also signed my divorce papers the following day. And this week I found out that a former student of mine, and amazing human being, passed away. I also had two very close friends lose important people in their lives this week as well. It has been a week of tremendous loss, for sure.
I surprised myself and didn't cry while I signed my divorce paperwork. I didn't feel much of anything really, except relief. I figured that I had already mourned that relationship as it began to dissolve a year ago.
But, I think that it just took a few days to fully sink in. Thursday night I began to cry, and I couldn't stop. And I really couldn't pinpoint what exactly I was crying about.... Puppy cow? My marriage ending? The death of my student? Really I think I was just crying about all of it. About life. About how quickly it goes by and how it can end so unexpectedly. About how relationships, even the good ones, always seem too short. About the fragility of life and the power of love.
I am still not finished being sad or mourning this week of loss. However, I have done a lot of processing over the past few days and have decided on a few things. Things I already knew, as I am sure you do too. But things that I am grateful to have been reminded of once again:

1. Life is short. Have fun. Do what you love as much as you can.

2. Make sure that the people in your life know how you feel about them. Tell your kids you love them a lot, even though they already know this. Tell your friends how much they mean to you. And cultivate relationships where you can be open with your feelings.

3. Be open to new experiences. Face your fears. Think outside the box. These are often the moments that make life worth living.

4. Life can be hard!  So.... be grateful, for everything that you DO have. Because you know you have a lot.

And with that, here are my list of gratitudes for the week:

  • Love and kindness. The world is overflowing with it if you just know where to look. My friends have shown this to me this past week. Thank you, friends.
  • Feeling comfortable with my decisions, even when I have been hesitant to make a choice.
  • Silver linings (more on this to come soon)...
  • New beginnings. Hope and excitement. Possibilities. I guess this is the official start of a new chapter in my life. I get to help guide it in the direction that I want it to go. I am looking forward to seeing where I lead myself.....
  • My patient children, who have accepted me for me this week, sadness and all. I couldn't give them the energy they deserved, but they showered me with love nonetheless.
  • My sweet Moshi. Losing a dog is a teeny bit easier when you have another great companion by your side.

What have you felt grateful for this week?

Joining in with the other Taryn from Wooly Moss Roots

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

On Love, Loss and Puppy Cow

I have sort of disappeared from this space. The past couple of weeks have been a bit heavy, and I just wasn't ready to share.

Over the weekend, I had to euthanize my 15 year old dog, Puppy Cow. It had been a long time coming.... it was probably about 18 months ago when I started to wonder how long he had left. And somehow, he persevered.... and kept on keeping on.

It's a huge gift, and a burden, to have the power to decide when it is the right time for your dog to move on. Even after making the appointment, I was questioning my decision, considering cancelling. But as the time grew nearer, I knew that I was doing the right thing.

Puppy Cow was amazing. I adopted him from an animal shelter in Durango Colorado. I was there with my sister, who was looking for a dog for HER. I already had a dog at the time, Sam, and the thought of getting a second dog had never crossed my mind. But when I saw this sweet little 4 month old puppy, who was going to be euthanized in just a few days because he was blind, my heart melted and I couldn't help but bring him home.

I wouldn't say that he had a rough life-- he just wasn't so lucky in the physical department. Blind from birth, he ended up needing both ACLs replaced, and his bone structure was messed up so he developed arthritis at an early age. But yet, until the past year when he started to whine more frequently, he never complained. He just always exuded a sense of joy and acceptance, no matter the circumstance.

He was such a loyal friend and has been in my life for so long that I feel like it is the end of an era. I adopted him before I went to grad school. Before kids were even a thought in my mind. He lived with me in 3 different states and 5 different houses. He even outlasted my marriage.

Puppy Cow was one of a kind. Truly. And I will always hold a place in my heart for him.

And I thought that my tears were done, but I now realize that they aren't. My heart is heavy but also so very full.




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