Thursday, May 30, 2013

Just a Little Bit of Love

“There is a desire within each of us,
in the deep center of ourselves
that we call our heart.
We were born with it,
it is never completely satisfied,
and it never dies.
We are often unaware of it,
but it is always awake.

It is the Human desire for Love.
Every person in this Earth yearns to love,
to be loved, to know love.
Our true identity, our reason for being
is to be found in this desire.

Love is the "why" of life,
why we are functioning at all.
I am convinced
it is the fundamental energy
of the human spirit.
the fuel on which we run,
the wellspring of our vitality.

And grace,
which is the flowing,
creative activity, of love itself,
is what makes all goodness possible.

Love should come first,
it should be the beginning of,
and the reason for everything.”
Gerald G. May, Living in Love

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Free Will Astrology: Be amused. Quell your rage. Stay calm.

Verticle Oracle card Aries (March 21-April 19)
Back in the 1920s, the governor of Texas was determined to forbid the teaching of foreign languages in public schools. To bolster her case, she called on the Bible. "If English was good enough for Jesus Christ," she said, "it's good enough for us." She was dead serious. I suspect you may soon have to deal with that kind of garbled thinking, Aries. And it may be impossible to simply ignore it, since the people wielding it may have some influence on your life. So what's the best way to deal with it? Here's what I advise: Be amused. Quell your rage. Stay calm. And methodically gather the cool, clear evidence about what is really true. 

And just when I was hoping things would make sense! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

East to West: The Apology

This road trip had a much, much different feel than the first one from Oregon to Michigan (and from Michigan to South Carolina as well). There was definitely more things to see and a much longer distance to drive but I was also not sure what I was driving towards. I went through seven new states: Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. I had never actually spent time in Georgia but really enjoyed it and with California, there was a whole lot of good and bad. I choose to focus on the positive and the many, many delicious doughnuts I ate and the great opportunities I got to see friends and family. It was a whirlwind experience which is why I didn't update the blog nearly as much as I wanted to. I want to do all of these elaborate posts but the priority now is job searching and becoming reacquainted with Portland, Oregon.

We have a rough history, me and Portland. Yes we do.

So now, some pictures? Let's make these ones the REALLY pretty ones and then I'll break down some of the highlights in other posts. OH, and there will indeed be a separate food post since I ate some delicious things!

I really enjoy seeing and hearing peoples' reactions to my journey. Not just the driving across the country part but just me and my little car scooting across the south tends to really freak people out! I had one tow truck guy (yep, that happened) who was insanely interested in why in the world I would want to do this all by myself and what was I thinking. Simply put, there isn't another option. It is costly (budget post coming as well) but it is a way better experience than having to sell or ship my car, ship my stuff, and then fly me to the new place.

My only wish now is that the next move is the last!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

East to West: Day One

I love Atlanta and the drivers and the city! I actually wish I could have stayed there for a few days but it was great to at least get the morning there. I got myself turned around a few times and was able to score some amazing donuts and also tried a lot of soda....A LOT! 

Went the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute which was beautifully done but also quite sad. The woman who greets all guests is such a sweet, sincere person that I could have talked with her for the whole afternoon. I find the history in the south fascinating and the fact that some of the same issues are around today hurts my heart a bit. The most ridiculous thing is that I parked TWICE at the wrong places thinking I was all suave and then finally parallel parked at the right place. The city itself is really nice and (again) if I had more time, I would have loved to look up more local history. 

Tonight I am in Tupelo, Mississippi, the birth place of Mr. Elvis Presley.
 Shall I start learning to swivel my hips now or wait until Graceland? 

Tomorrow....on the road again! 

How to Move Across the Country

Since I am currently on my SECOND move across the country, I thought I would outline some of things to consider and plan for when thinking about (or having to) move long distances.

1. How are you going to get there?

a. Plane (quick, affordable)
b. Train (hey, it's an option! check for routes and specials)
c. Automobile (do you need a car in your new city? will your car make it there?)
d. Bicycle/On foot ( never know)

This decision will always come down to cost and what you want to bring with you. If you have a car, you are either driving yourself there, towing it behind a moving van, or selling it. Option d. is just for my own amusement but it has been done before.

2. What is the route you will take?

a. What do you want to see while on the road?
Make a initial route of how you will get to the new place and then start looking for fun things along the way. This can include national parks, weird roadside attractions, world renowned doughnut places (oh, that's just me?) and more.
b. Weigh costs and options as you do start to make your route. Can you stay with friends/family? Is it worth it to go one way vs. a different route? Also consider traffic (holiday weekends, for example) and weather (snow and hot, hot weather both have their caveats).

3. What are you taking with you?
This will also depending on how you are getting to your new place. The big thing with "stuff" is determining was it worth moving and what is completely and easily replaceable. Anything bought at a big box store (IKEA, Target, etc.) can be easily replaced. If it is truly a special something that you want to have with you then that is worth it. Books are a more personal decision but can be replaced easily and cheaply most of the time. It may come down to having an absolute non-negotiable pile and then beginning to see how you will move everything.

a. Donating: check around for places to donate in addition to the typical Goodwill/Salvation Army. Books can often be donated to libraries and food is always welcomed at Food Banks or shelters.
b. Selling: Craigslist is a great way to get rid of stuff face, if fairly priced, as well as eBay for more collector or specialty items. Consignment/resale stores are great for clothes but you won't make much money.
c. Pawning off stuff to co-worker: Yep. 
d. Storage/moving "pods" options: Usually pods are pretty expensive but will be worth it if you need to store things for a while in between places.
e. Mailing: Mailing stuff can be very expensive to choose wisely on what you send. Typically, I try to send the bigger but lighter items (soft, fluffy blankets, baking pans, etc.) that aren't too expensive and books. If you can box all of the books/media together, you can send the box media mail rate which is very cheap and will get to the new place between 7-14 days.

4. What is the timeline to get to the new place?
If you have a date that you must be in the new city, work backwards to figure out when you need to leave. Always give yourself a small buffer of days, if possible, in case anything happens or you decide to extend your trip.

5. The money factor.
So, how much money you got? Take all of the following into consideration when doing a rough budget for moving.

a. Cost of moving your stuff (see above)
b. Cost of moving YOU
c. Setting up the new life (security deposits, rent, cable/internet, etc.)
d. Closing out the old life (rent and leases, changing driving license/car tags and registration)
e. Incidentals (car repair, gas, etc.)
This list is just a start of things to think about but also the many, many options available to you when moving. Most of these can be applied to any moving situation but as my apparent expertise has come in long distance moves, I thought I would share my usual approach with everything.

Some websites that I rely on for information, apartment hunting, and more:  has forums that are AMAZING for asking questions and learning more about the city. Most questions on there deal with good neighborhoods to live in, school districts, and traffic patterns (really important when considering where to live in relation to work/social events).  & Craigslist
These are great places to start the apartment hunt. While renting a place sight unseen isn't ideal, it does happen. I always do a tremendous amount of research on this using the city-data website and craigslist to start and breaking it down into property management companies and rental places and then cross checking that with reviewing sites and Better Business Bureau. It sounds like a lot of work but trust me, it has saved me from making a bad choice several times. I rented my last two places sight unseen and they were absolutely wonderful.

Any other tips and tricks? Any questions?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Columbia End of Days

Free Will Astrology: Cute, Furry Squirrels

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Free Will Astrology: Inspirational Role Models

Aries Horoscope for week of May 9, 2013
Verticle Oracle card Aries (March 21-April 19)
The Tarahumara Indians of northwestern Mexico are renowned for their ability to run long distances. The best runners can cover 200 miles in two days. The paths they travel are not paved or smooth, either, but rather the rough canyon trails that stretch between their settlements. Let's make them your inspirational role models in the coming week, Aries. I'm hoping that you will be as tough and tenacious as they are -- that you will pace yourself for the long haul, calling on your instinctual strength to guide you.

Long haul, indeed! So help me, I better listen to my instincts this time around.

Happy hump day!