BestThings: Friday Edition

What's been kicking my ass lately?  This heat. I love Portland up to about 85 degrees.  Even 90 is tolerable.  But hit 95....and 100....too far.  The weather is supposed to start cooling down after this weekend, which I am looking forward to.  I've been housesitting for my pals on their houseboat, which is awesome, except when it gets to over 100 and no A/C.  Yes, now I'm one of those.  I need A/C in the car and in the house.  Which leads me to a few of the best things about the last few days.

Cool Showers.  Nothing like feeling as if you've been camping at the river for almost 2 weeks.  Coming home today and taking a cool shower in an air-conditioned house and then laying down for a nap was nothing short of heaven.  Last night I didn't sleep very well, so tonight I'm kicking it at home hoping to get a good, full night's sleep.  

Face Time from Turkey.  It was awesome to talk to my friends Patrick and Jen (who I'm housesitting for at the houseboat) from Turkey today!  They are having so much fun.  It was just so good to see their beautiful faces and see them so happy.  I love those two tons!  

Kingsman.  I watched this movie today during the hottest part of the afternoon.  LOVED it.  It was great fun. Colin Firth was excellent as always.  But this kid that starred in it...brilliant.  Just a fun movie.

My brothers.  I love them.  Ben called from California yesterday and Jason texted me last night just to say hi and see what was going on.  I'm so blessed that we are so close.  And they're both pretty awesome dudes too.  

Late night wine stops.  I texted my other Jen friend last night to see if they were home.  We sat out on their porch drinking some wine talking until her husband got home.  I am also very blessed with the friends that I have in my life.  Daily I count my blessings that I can be so close with such amazing people.  I'm the lucky one.

 More housesitting adventures.  Yesterday I drove out to the hills above 213 in Oregon City to get the lowdown on my next assignment.  I get to stay in a lovely, Victorian country home next week.  The things I'm most excited about:  getting fresh eggs from the chickens I get to feed and the possibility of sleeping outside on the deck.  Should be super-fun

Coffee with Kelly.  Today my housemate, landlord, friend Kelly came over for coffee.  I set up a little brunch outside and we sat outside and talked over french press coffee, waffles, strawberries and whipped cream.  And then we walked down to the public dock.  I've been having so much fun having people over and sharing the houseboat with them.  

Cleaning.  Yesterday morning I went over to clean Jen's house.  I love it because I get to spend time with her, and I get a great workout and a steam sauna at the same time!  Plus I make some cash, which we can all use.

I always have so much to be grateful for.  I feel like I have been on vacation all summer long, even though I have been working here and there.  I've got to be in so many cool places, and reconnect with so many people I love.  It has been magical!  And it's not over yet.  Looking forward to even more adventures in August!

BestThings: Thursday Edition

It's Thursday at the houseboat.  From my perch at the dining table, I can hear the birds and the river lapping gently against the deck, as the houseboat ever so gently moves with the current.  Out the door rests the front edge of a wooden boat, moored at the nearest slip.  At the moment, the birds are the only ones active, the humans have mostly come and gone already.  Here I sit writing, staring at pale blue walls, the table littered with tools of my trade.  My camera, a hat, several notebooks, pens, a blue pottery mug, sunglasses, my phone.  An airplane flies over head, announcing it's going somewhere.  The sun hides behind the clouds.  The air flows cool and sweet, in and out, from back to front, a welcome relief from the wicked temperatures of the last weeks.  

Writing.  There.  That was a writing exercise for me, just describing my surroundings.  Writing is consistently one of the best things in my life.  It keeps me grounded, keeps me sane, and it is my passion.  I'm always scribbling.  I don't feel right if I don't have a pen and notebook with me.  And when I sit down to fill my three morning pages, I now do it with ease.  And if I don't do morning pages, don't blog, my world is not right until I do.  It runs off my excess creative energy, so to speak.  I intend for writing to support me full-time.  Right now I'm building a bridge across the chasm from here to there, to being a full-time paid writer.  My bridge is about 1/3 of the way done, as I see it.  My next huge piece will be to complete my copywriting class I've been putting off, and to get working on my book again.  

Blue Heron.  Yesterday as I headed up the ramp to go for a walk to Oaks Park, a blue heron flew across my path and landed on one of the poles at the end of the dock.  Sometimes I think animals cross our paths to send us messages.  Yea, maybe it's a little weird, but so what.  Here's what a heron might represent: 

It is time to look deeper into aspects of your life that will bring out innate wisdom and show you how to become self-reliant. Are you grounding yourself regularly? Heron teaches that grounding yourself in the earth and your spiritual beliefs will help you discover emotional insights more clearly and more quickly. Alternatively he could be teaching you how how to become comfortable in uncertain situations and to be watchful of opportunities to arise so that you can quickly grasp them and move on.

I'll take it, sounds about exactly right.  I love these majestic birds.


Reading.  I have a ton of books I have not read yet.  I get rid of them and then I buy more, so I might as well simply give in, realize I will probably always have more books than I can read, and just get after reading them.  One of the hallmarks of a writer is that you read.  A lot.  I think of it like the yin/yang, the give and take. Reading is input, writing is output.  Everything you read comes out in your writing in some way or another.  I've been a reader my whole life.  This week, I started reading another Julia Cameron book, "The Right to Write".  I'm also reading Steven King's "On Writing", a book by Neil Gaiman called "Neverwhere" and one by Agatha Christie called "And Then There Were None".  I'm also in process of reading "True Irish Ghost Stories" and "Grimm's Fairy Tales" at home, but I don't have them with me here.  As they are both a collection of short stories, I can start and stop them as I want.  I seem to have to read more than one book at a time, so I don't get bored.  And honestly, I do finish most books I start.  Unless they are books I don't care for, and then I don't waste my time.  One book I recently tried to read was "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon.  I just couldn't seem to get into it.  So I quit trying.  I know tons of people love it, but, not me.  I kind of feel about this book like I did about "50 Shades of Grey".  Maybe some day I'll go back to it, but not right now.

Friends.  Last night I got to spend some time with very good friends of mine.  I had not seen them in almost a month and it was so good to catch up and hang out at their house.  They are not far from the houseboat so it was an easy drive.  I know I say this often, but seriously, I am so blessed with all the relationships I have in my life.

Yoga, Walking and Meditation.  I wrapped these all into one because to me, they seem to represent almost different sides of the same thing.  They give me time to power down, take care of me, get in touch with myself and see what I'm thinking about things.  And they center me.  They work better than almost anything at taking the edge off.  Yesterday I walked down to Oaks Park via the Springwater Trail and Oaks Bottom.  Today maybe I'll walk up to the Puppet Museum and take a look.  For me, these things simply work, so I do my best to incorporate them into my every day routine. 

Today begins my "work week".  I'll login this afternoon to Lyft and see what kind of rides there are to be had.  I do know that I need to add some additional streams of income, so I'll be looking into that.  Maybe Instacart, maybe Wingz, maybe professional housesitting and a freelance copywriting business.  So many things to think about.  Until next time, happy adventuring!