Archive for August 2015

It’s my life and it’s now or never

I have a habit of holding my breath. Not the kind of holding your breath that makes you pass out but the kind where you think so much about where you want to be in life that you don’t enjoy the life you have.  I have gotten so much better at this but it’s still something I struggle with.



I knew the move to Portland would be a major life changing event. Moving away from all of my friends and even leaving my love for a short period of time.  It wasn’t a change that scared me but since I’ve been here I’ve had moments of fear and insecurity. Moments when I begin thinking “What in the world am I doing?”

Today celebrates my first four weeks in Portland.  In that four weeks I’ve reconnected with a friend that lives here, I’ve made new friends and have socialized via meet up, I’ve taken a road trip to Bend to see family, and more importantly, I got a job.  I am constantly having to remind myself that I’m not here visiting Portland, this is my new home.  And that’s the next daunting task…finding a place to live.   The rental market here is brutal. The first inquiry I made was a huge wake up call. “Thank you for inquiring about the rental. People are coming by to look at it. You can come by tomorrow if you want but I’ve already decided I’ll probably rent it to someone else.”

Um. Okay?

I’m not going to let that get me down though. I’ve got this.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the things I want to accomplish and change about my life.  I’ve been taking two to three mile walks every other day and during this time I keep thinking about all of the things I want to do. This next chapter of of my life is one I plan to enjoy as much as I can.  I started working on a mental list and I felt it was time to put it down on paper.  Or in this case, blog it.

  1.  Find a good job. – I start Monday and I’m very excited.  From what I’ve experienced so far I believe I’m going to enjoy my new workplace and for the first time in a long time I will have full benefits.  I was very clear during my interviews that I wanted a place to continue my career and stay planted at for a long time.  I think this is a good fit.
  2. Find a (permanent) place to live. This will happen…right?
  3. Go back to school. – Years ago I promised myself I would graduate before Einstein.  That did not happen. Before we split up I had encouraged JBG to go back to school. He was hesitant to do so and now he’s working on his doctorate.  This does not help me feel like any less of a slacker.  My goal is to start with the winter or spring semester -2016.  It’s time.
  4. Start volunteering again.  This is something that has been missing in my life for a long time. A couple of weeks ago I was killing time before a job interview at a Starbucks and there was a notice on their bulletin board regarding volunteers for SARC.  You may or may not know that I had once been a certified crisis counselor for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.  I was a victim advocate with two different SARTs (Sexual Assault Response Team) in California.  I contacted the organization on the bulletin board and met with them on Thursday.  Pending my background check I will start my training with them at the end of September.
  5. Kickboxing – Once I find our permanent housing I will begin looking for a muay thai gym and I want to start training again.  I won’t be where I was five years ago but it’s something that I miss doing.  Not to mention it has been the only way that I have been able to effectively lose weight and get in shape doing something I love. I might even see if I can find something in proximity to my office so I can even get started earlier.  The difficult part of this is my right shoulder has a rotator cuff tear.  Starting this with an injury seems a little nuts but I know I’ll be having surgery (hopefully in the winter) and my recovery will be that much easier if I’m in at least some kind of better shape than I’m currently in.  Look, don’t try to talk me out of it, I’m doing it.
  6. Archery – This has been out of my life for too long.  It will most likely have to wait until my shoulder is repaired because I’m right handed.
  7. Getting crafty – One of the things I’ve wanted to add to my life for a long time is learning how to make jewelry and doing some other DIY projects.  I want to be able to fit this into my life.
  8. Weekend getaways.  I live in a beautiful state.  And I want to see every part of it.  And Washington too.  Weekend trips will be a staple part of our lives.  Although not in October because I have SARC training ha ha.

I’m going to stop there for now.  As you can see I’m not one for sitting still. I feel less frenzied in my new life although I can’t explain how or why.  I just do. Maybe it’s my mental well being. I’m calmer.  And I’m happy. I guess the best way to phrase it is that I feel at peace.  Although I miss My Love like crazy.


**Title taken from Bon Jovi’s Its My Life  – Don’t judge

I’ll take a Streetcar with a shot of frosting please.

Today I did some more exploring of my new home town. I had planned to do some yesterday but I made the mistake of downloading Windows 10 on my laptop and Chrome wasn’t happy about that so my Saturday was spent completely wiping my laptop.

Good times.

This morning I woke up feeling as if I had actually rested last night.  Rest is something that has been eluding me for the past couple of weeks. I have also been dealing with some horrible sciatic pain and this morning I woke up still hurting but not as bad as I have been. I started the day off making breakfast and then I took a 4 mile walk around the neighborhood.

I decided to explore downtown a bit today. I knew I wanted to go to Powell’s and I figured I might as well make that my focus for the day. Oregon drivers do not take kindly to California drivers and I believed the best course of action was to stick to public transportation once I got downtown. I found a place to park and walked to the nearest Portland Streetcar station.  20150816_140053


Here I am trying to blend in as a local among the tourists.

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I was very hungry and we immediately passed a mexican restaurant that called out my name. No really, it did. I heard it tell me I needed tacos.  Four street tacos to be exact.  The cashier asked me what kind of meat I wanted and I told her to make it a variety pack so I’m still not sure what the fourth one is but I’m going with Verde Chicken.  But it was good.

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Across the street was a store that caught my attention. I was wishing that Beav was with me, he would have loved this place.  Vintage everything.

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I also ventured into a Goodwill.  This is not your mother’s Goodwill. In the market for a gently used designer purse, dress, or pair of shoes?  This is the place to go.  I had to keep telling myself “wait until you have a job.”  Which, by the way, has pretty been my motto for two weeks now.



I ended up walking to Powell’s from here.  20150816_150009Powell’s is a dangerous place for me because I love books.  Especially cookbooks and they have sooooooooooooooooo many to choose from. What I really wanted though was a Portland street map. I also picked up this fun book.


I did some more exploring via the Streetcar and decided it was time for a beer because well, duh, I’m in Portland where good beer is EVERYWHERE.  I stopped at Bridgeport Brewery and enjoyed a double red on their patio which was formerly a dock.20150816_155314 I didn’t take a picture of the beer, sorry.

While I was out I thought I’d grab some cupcakes for dessert. I hit up Cupcake Jones.  I had to talk myself out of getting a frosting shot, and yes that’s exactly what you think it is. A small cup of frosting.  Mmmmm.  Instead I picked up these beauties.

20150816_191303They were a lot prettier before I knocked the box over.

Then it was time to venture back to my truck because I had only paid for three hours parking.  I didn’t see as much as I wanted to but that’s okay.  I’ve promised myself that I would always stop and look at anything I find interesting when I’m out on my exploring adventures.

I’ll leave you with a few more pictures I took.

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I’d say this was a successful #SundayFunday.



I’ve been in Oregon for almost two weeks now. It’s still hard to believe that this is “home.”  I’m actively looking for a job and in the meantime I’m performing a lot of mystery shopping assignments.  The one thing about all of the assignments is that it does help me to get to know the area better.

One of the first places my brother took me to when I arrived was Lake Oswego.  I do love this area. Today I had an assignment in Lake Oswego and after I was finished I had the urge to take a drive. My brother had previously mentioned that he thought I would like Oregon City, which as luck would have it is a very short drive from Lake Oswego. So off I went.

First though I stopped at George Rogers Park.


This is a popular spot among the Willamette River, especially among paddleboarders. There are great walking trails that I’ve already enjoyed a few times since I’ve been here.



It is also the location of the Iron Furnace.


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I took Route 43 to Oregon City and right away I could tell that I would love this place.

The first thing I noticed was this odd elevator.  Of course I had to check it out.

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The history of the elevator is quite fascinating. Oregon City topography includes three different levels that range from 50 feet above sea level to 250 feet above sea level. The elevator was built so that residents wouldn’t have to climb stairs to the different levels. You can read more about it here.

The views are simply amazing.

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After looking around downtown Oregon City a bit I hit the 99E.  I took the first turnout I saw to look at the Willamette Dam.

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I ventured into Canby as well but didn’t check out as many things as I wanted to although I did spend some time by the Molalla River.  I will definitely be looking into this area more.

I miss my friends. I miss my dogs. I miss my love. I miss my kids,  but this time alone today did me some good. I can’t get enough of the nature that I’m constantly surrounded by.  And I can’t wait to share it with everyone that I love.