Portland Sweet Portland

I really love my home, not just my house, which is pretty awesome, but also my city. I live in Beaverton, Oregon which is about a 15 – 20 minute drive to Portland. Which is just perfect for me. I love the pace here. I love the culture. I love the weather. I love the beer. Nothing creates more appreciation for home than being away.

We got home last week from a week in New York. Whew! We did have fun and we enjoyed our stay in NY, but we sure do love being home. Portland sweet Portland. My house feels like a luxury compared to the little apartment we rented in Greenwich Village. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that our apartment was crappy, because it wasn’t at all. It was just small and much different than my house.

When you walked up the stairs and opened the front door, wait, back up. First, we had to unlock the outside gate, then walk up the stairs to unlock the outside door. Once inside, there was an entry way that was smaller than our downstairs half bath. Then we had to unlock the front door to our little apartment, which by the way opened up right into the bedroom. That was kinda weird. Not, that we did, but if we were to have guests over, they would have to walk right through our bedroom to get to the living room.

The apartment had hardwood floors and the bedroom was separate from the living room kitchen and dinning area, but it was very small and it was never quiet. Not even in the middle of the night. It kinda felt like we were staying right upstairs from a bar that was open all night. That’s just not for me.

I love my quiet little neighborhood. I love the peace and quiet. I love the homey feeling of my home. It feels warm and welcoming. It feels full of love.

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Rolande, My Subway Blessing

One day when we were in New York we decided to buy a 7day unlimited Metro Card. We thought we’d be real smart and just buy one and both use it, but New York City Transit people were a little smarter than we thought. You can’t use one card twice within a certain amount of time. Oh well, we tried.

One day while getting ready to catch the A train up town we got the fortunate opportunity to meet a very sweet French woman, Rolande, on her way to church as we were on our way to Times Square. I had already gone through the turnstile and handed our card back to Keri, so she could come through, but that was a big NOPE. The digital display read, “This card was just used”. So, Keri had to go back to the ticket machine to get another card. Before she stepped back, Rolande was having a little challenge with feeding her Metro card through the reader, so Keri helped her.

I was on the train side with Rolande as the train was pulling away and Keri was in the process of purchasing her Metro pass. Rolande asked me if that was our train that just took off and I said, “Yes, we just missed it, but it looks like another train will be along here in another 15 minutes”.

In her thick French accent, Rolande, was apologetic and I told her it was no problem for me because my wife had to go back and get another Metro Card and now we had 15 minutes to spend together. She had a big smile on her face and asked me if I knew the woman that helped her with her ticket getting through the turnstile. I said, “Yes, that is Keri, my wife”. Her eyes widened and said, “that woman that helped me was your wife? She has a French accent. Is she French?”.

A little perplexed, I said, “No, she’s not French” and Rolande replied, “Oh my, I guess my ears are hearing what they want to hear. Your wife, Teri is very nice.” I smiled real big and thanked her and clarified that her name was Keri. Then she asked me for my name. I told her my name was Angel and she said, “Oh like,…how do you say?” as she gestured with her arms as if she had wings. I smiled again and said, “Yes, wings, Angel”. “Yes, wings!!!” she replied with a wide smile.

We chatted as we waited for the next train and Keri joined us once she was through the gate. Rolande explained to Keri that she thought she had a French accent. We chuckled and boarded the train when it arrived. We sat apart from each other as space allowed, but when a seat opened up next to Rolande, I told Keri I’d be right back.

I went and sat next to Rolande because I wanted to tell her it was a delight to meet her. So, I went over to her and she smiled as I sat beside her and she proceeded to tell me what an angel I was and she was happy to have met Keri and I. I thanked her and explained that was exactly why I had come over, to tell her the same. We talked briefly about her son living in France and that she was a writer and artist and she loved going uptown to go to her church that she had attended for many years. I told her I was a writer and artist too and she asked what I wrote, so I gave her my Apozitude card and she said, “Oh you write a blog! I would love to check it out” It was a wonderful experience.

As I was about to depart, and rejoin Keri, Rolande leaned into me and said, “I just want you to know that God loves you and you are a blessing”. I smiled and thanked her. What I took from this experience was very uplifting and I thought you might like to know, even though New York is not the city for me, I did have many wonderful experiences while we visited there. I am very grateful for meeting Rolande and I sincerely hope that she does check out this blog and finds that meeting her has had a lasting impression on me.

Thank you Rolande. God loves you too and you are a blessing as well.

New York City is not the City for Me

️We had a blast in NYC last week. Our first morning there we went to a bagel shop, Bagels on the Square, where we got the local treatment of being yelled at by the staff. You better well know what the hell you want when you walk into that place, at least that’s how I interpreted their behavior. I knew I had been wanting to try cream cheese and lox, but they probably had 30 or so different kinds of cream cheese to choose from and I didn’t even get a chance to look at them all. It was a little off putting, but the bagel was very good. I ordered an everything bagel (my go to bagel) with cream cheese and lox, not toasted. It was very yummy. I told Keri, I’d have that again.

We got “kauffee” (pronounced in a NY accent) around the corner from our apartment, not Stump Town, but it was good. As we waited for our kauffee that first morning a bunch of little kids were rushing off to school and one of them popped into the little shop we were in and bought himself a danish. He wasn’t more than 6 or 7 years old and he walked into that coffee shop with a 20, ordered his danish, got his change, placed a tip in the jar and ran off to school. It was so cute. He had dark curly hair and his curls were a little bigger than nickel sized. He had cute little rubber toed tennis shoes on with a little back pack.

As I observed him, I naturally thought about my son, Garrison, and the difference growing up in a city with 8.4 million (NYC) has on kids versus growing up in a city with 609,000 (Portland). That’s a huge difference. I got a little curious when I looked at those numbers and looked up Manhattan, Portland, Oklahoma City and Poteau, OK. For those of you that don’t know, Poteau, Oklahoma is where Garrison currently lives.

Here is what I found:
Manhattan has 1.6 million people in a 33.77 sq. mile area,
Portland has 609,500 people in a 145.1 sq. mile area,
OKC (where I grew up) has 610,600 people in 621 sq. mile area,
Poteau, OK has 8,590 people in a 31.7 sq. mile area.

I’m not usually a numbers person, but those are some pretty impressive differences. What I learned about myself in the time I spent in New York is, it’s not the city for me. It seems like you have to try harder to attain peace with that many people in such a small space. I don’t know about you, but I much prefer the path of least resistance to a sense of peace.

It’s the Little Things

A couple weeks ago I was laying in bed on a lazy weekend morning, talking with Keri and planning our day. As I was laying on my side looking at Keri, I occasionally would peek outside our window to look at birds and squirrels. As I was looking out there I discovered in the leaves and branches of the trees a familiar shape. I refocused my eyes and looked a little harder.

I said to Keri, “Look, baby, we have a puppy outside in our tree”. I do this kind of thing all the time. I see images in random patterns of clouds, leaves, grains of wood, swirls of marble, and just about anywhere. I have tried pointing these things out to Keri over the years and we just see things differently. She knows this and I tend to forget, so when I tried to show her the puppy she said I have a hard time seeing those things, but you can tell me about it.

There was a cute little husky puppy out there. It looked to me like he standing right at my feet, looking up at me with big puppy eyes as if he wanted a treat or some lovin’. I told Keri we need to name this puppy. She said, “Ok, let’s call him Roscoe”.

Even though she can’t see him and he’s not really real, I’m happy to have a puppy around the house until our new puppy is born and is old enough to come home with us.

What? No disrobing?

In the Portland International Airport on our way to the Big Apple, Keri and I experienced the first ever no hassle security. We really couldn’t believe it. We were to fly out American which is out of concourse C and while I was searching for my driver’s license Keri was paying attention to the security announcements. All of a sudden she asks me, Do you wanna try that? I was totally distracted and a tad bit panicked because for a split second I couldn’t find my driver’s license.

I thought, Oh shit!!! Where’s my license? She asked me before we left if I had it and I said yes. Crap! I didn’t even check. I just said yes, where is, Oh here it is. Whew. What? Try what? Oh,… The security people said we can go to the other end of the airport to access concourse C and it would be quicker and easier. OK, I’m open.

So, we did a 180 and headed the opposite direction. Who would think going the wrong direction would be so much faster? Not me, but it worked. Maybe because the south end of the airport has concourse A,B and C and the north end has D and E. It seems to make sense, right?

Once we got to the security line at the other end we were preparing to remove shoes, belts, jackets, empty pockets and basically unpack all of our electronics, but before we started we heard the security person say, “Please make sure your cell phones are in your bag not in your pocket and leave on your shoes, belts and jackets.” What? Did you say leave them on? No disrobing? Nope. Wow!! and we both wore flip flops just for this occasion.

Keri leans into me and whispers, “yeah, we get to leave all this on, but I bet they’re going to do random asshole checks at the end”. That woman cracks me up. Her sense of humor is crude sometimes and I just love it!!!

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The Soundtrack of My Life

In this very moment I am sitting in my living room with my adorable wife. She’s puttering around on her computer and I am writing for my blog. The song vibrating through our house right now is, Rather Be, by Clean Bandit. The chorus goes, when I am with you there is no place I’d rather be.

Words will do no justice in explaining how amazing I feel right now, but you know me, I’l try anyway. LOL. There is a tremendous feeling of amazing love swirling around my house and I know it is bigger than the two of us. I can feel a love energy flowing to us and filling our lives with so much genuine love. It comes from right in this neighborhood and from surrounding neighborhoods. It comes from other parts of this state and extends to neighboring states and all the way across the United States. We have love flowing to us from realms that we have never physically been in and it feeeels so amazing to be aware of all the love that I can feel right now.

There is no place I would rather be. I am so grateful for the life I am living. I am so grateful for the love I am feeling. I am so grateful to be an open vessel that allows love to flow to me and through me from realms beyond the physical.

As I am wrapping up this blog, I Feel Love, by Donna Summer comes on. I love the soundtrack of my life.

What City?

Laying on the couch for a bit of a rest yesterday after ALL the walking around NYC to find the noise of the city surrounding me. A subway was thundering along below me. People were chattering and roaring by my windows. The sanitation truck was swooshing down the street and around the corner. Upstairs neighbors were stomping up and down my ceiling.

Not much rest was to be had under such conditions, so I reached for my phone and changed the conditions. I opened YouTube to reveal my “watch later” files where I found my sense of peace, my take me away from it all, my Tibetan Meditation music.

A harp is strummed slowly into a mellow melody over a consistent harmonic overtone of singing bowls. In the distance, a soft and steady waterfall is flowing into the rhythm of a slow and easy river drifting along. Occasional twittering of distant birds and a faint happy cricket. My breathing went from slightly frustrated sighs to very slow deep and totally relaxed jaw breathing as I drifted peacefully into slumber.

What city?

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There are NO Wrong Answers

I really have been wanting to write about expansion. Why? Well, because I really have been enjoying the feeling of expansion. What do I mean by expansion? Most recently what I mean is the feeling of being sad and getting beyond it. It’s not just about being sad though, it’s more about feeling anything less than desirable and getting beyond it.

Here’s a little quiz and bear with me it will seem a little silly in some places, but I think anyone reading this list will see a little bit of themselves and give a little more thought in the future. If not that’s ok too. I only have control over me and writing this out helps me.

Quiz – Would you rather feel love or hate?
Would you rather feel ease or frustration?
Would you rather feel relief or sadness?
Would you rather feel peace or anger?
Would you rather feel confident or unsure?
Acceptance or resistance?
Joy or Irritation?
Satisfaction or unsettled?
Elation or despair?
Laughter or tears?
Freedom or trapped?
Peace or drama?

Anyway, you get the picture and you also may have realized as you were going over that list that you have a choice. You can focus on the things that bring you down or you can focus on the things that lift you up.

Some may say, What in my life is good enough to lift me up? And to that question, I have no answer, because only you can determine what is good enough in your life to lift you up. It is not for me to say, just as it is only for me to decide what it is in my life that lifts me up. Everyone has different values and tolerances, there fore one can really only decided for oneself what will lift them up and only when they are ready.

I’ve noticed lately that I am not ruffled by the difference of opinion. I appreciate different opinions and different views because it broadens my perspective and causes me to expand. I am not saying that it creates a change in my opinion, but it certainly expands my ability to see things in other ways. It raises my level of compassion and understanding.

I love expanding and growing.

The Bigger Part of Me

It is such a wonderful feeling to talk with other people that really “get it”. Get what? Well, I could be talking about a million different things, but what I am talking about right now is when I talk to someone about Waffles and what he meant to Keri and I. I can tell when someone really gets it and it is such an amazing feeling to connect with these people.

Thank you so much to all the kind loving hearts out there that have been so giving, patient, and amazing. It is of great comfort to me to know that others feel a similar closeness to their furry family members. Not everyone understands the importance of communication between puppy and mommies, but I have to admit I am a pretty lucky gal. I seem to have surrounded myself with like minded people who are sensitive and understanding. How nice of me to do that for me. I like me and I like the people in my life. More than that really, I love me and I love the people in my life.

I love the connection here and now. I love the connection of the bigger part of me with the bigger part of you and the bigger part of everything else.

Having the Time of My Life

A little while back I decided to take a vow each day to offer the best of myself today. Part of that process involves spending time each day setting the tone for the day by dedicating at least 15 minutes of focused energy on creating the day that I desire. I have been focusing on the positive things I see in my life and around me and I have noticed more and more like minded people are appearing in my life. More and more cooperation is flowing into my life and it seems that everything is always working out for me.

I am loving my life. I am not only content with where I am, I am quite pleased with where I am and not only eager for more, but feel a peaceful and anxious anticipation to see how the next big piece of this grand puzzle gently floats into place like a feather in the breeze.

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