Lifelong friendships can form in the most unexpected ways.

I have moved around a lot in my lifetime which makes it hard to keep friends. The kind of friends that add value to your life, that you can turn to when you need support or a favor.  You know, not the fake kind, not the acquaintance kind, or the kind that turns out to not really be a friend.  People don’t seem to take the time to keep up with long distance friendships. There are the kind of friends that you don’t see for a while and then you pick right back up where you left off when you connect with them.  This kind of relationship takes time to form.  As the years go by, I feel less inclined to put so much work into the people who don’t put work towards sustaining our friendship.  I used to not mind doing the heavy lifting, since I seemed to be better at than most (thanks to all that moving).  Now, I want the same effort in my direction that I put towards others.  I know it’s possible because I am doing it.

I have known my friend Kim for 23 years now.  We will know each other until one of us dies. We met in Colorado Springs, Colorado in the 1994/1995 when I was a mere 20 year old girl.  Colorado Springs had 3 military stations at that time;  Fort Carson Army Base, Peterson Air Force Base and the Air Force Academy.

UnknownMost girls growing up in Colorado Springs have an Air Force boyfriend which really bothered the civilian guys in town.  I can imagine how frustrating it must have been to be a regular guy having to compete with the appeal of pilots and the military uniform.

My Air Force Academy boyfriend’s name was John.   John had best friends that were fraternal twins – Jim and Steve.  Steve’s high school sweetheart, Tracey,  moved to Colorado Springs when Steve got accepted into the Academy.  Tracey lived in an apartment with a girl named Stacy.  I became friends with them both.

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One year Tracey moved away.  Turns out she had some kind of bone cancer, went home and passed away within 5 years.

Stacy got a new roommate named Kim.  It seems that every time I called to talk to Stacy, I got Kim.  Kim and I chatted a lot.  One day, we were chatting and I mentioned I was going to the gym.  Kim said she works out and would also come to the gym so I invited her to go with me. We were to meet at my apartment and go from there.

There was a knock at the door and when I opened it up, to my surprise, I didn’t recognize the person standing there. Hi, Who are you?  “I’m Kim” she says.  Wait! What? We have never met?  Nope, she says.  Well alrighty then, let’s go workout!! We have been friends ever since.  Twenty three years and counting…

Kim and I went to Europe together for 16 days despite the fact that we had not seen each other in over a decade.  We were both 40, we both were single, we both had never traveled to Europe.  We had a blast in Amsterdam, Paris, Rome and the Amalfi Coast. It is hard to decide where to go next since we plan to see some more countries together in the future!

20180630_175430988211987.jpgI finally went to visit her home in Michigan this year, where she has been living for the last 19 years.  I have talked about coming to visit so many times over the years.  It almost happened (twice) when she was going to marry her son’s father. I was supposed to be a bridesmaid however he ended up marrying someone else and having another child.  Kim lives down the street. They spend Christmas together as one big family.  I like it when people are able to genuinely get along.  Kids benefit from that type of positivity.  Can’t fake it though.

20180630_141924402575061.jpgThe reason for this years visit was because her son was graduating High School. They were having a big party to celebrate – all the friends and family were invited.  It was so great to meet her son, meet her friends from second grade, and meet her mom and dad!  It made my heart so full. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.

 

 

Thanks Kim, for being the kind of person you are- Fun loving, generous, sweet, caring, and one hardworking Momma.  I am proud to call you my friend.

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite Vegan Cookbook. You will hardly notice the vegan part :)

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I have not been a big meat eater for most of my life. I dabbled with being a vegetarian one other time and I made it five years before my body asked for a turkey leg. I was at Pecan Street Festival in Austin, Texas, where I was living at the time. There were all these people walking around with them and I couldn’t help myself. Yes, I got really sick after a few bites.

Currently, I am working towards being a vegan. I gave up red meat about 5 years ago. Chicken about 3 years ago. Bacon was the last thing I needed to give up and that happened the beginning of 2017 . I still eat wild caught fish maybe once or twice a month. I gave up dairy about 4 years ago (although I cheat when I’m hungry and it’s too challenging to find dairy free food). I try to make it goat’s milk at least. I know I know. Animal milk is for animal babies. Doctor’s shocking recommendation about drinking Milk!

Eggs seem to be the most challenging to give up. I don’t mind using a flax seed egg substitute or a chia seed egg when baking. There is just no good substitute for eggs when it comes to making French Toast or Breakfast Tacos.

Being Vegan doesn’t mean you can’t eat the most delicious food. I have discovered that the way to maintaining a successful vegan diet it to replace all the things you are giving up with new options. Lots of new tasty options. You will not feel like you are missing out.

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and your heart and soul can feel happy for all the ethical reasons too!

I did not receive any money for this recommendation. I bought the cookbook since I had been following them on Facebook. I had already made several of their dishes and really really enjoyed them. I was stoked to see this cookbook come out! I have already made several dishes and served them to non vegan friends. I have received nothing but compliments. Even the first time you create one of these recipes -it will turn out delicious!!

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You can get this fabulous cookbook for yourself on Amazon for about $20. Click here to go directly there… Bosh Cookbook

I tell everyone I know about this and even people I don’t. If you are already vegan and looking for new dishes to make, this cookbook is for you. If you are already a vegetarian, this cookbook is for you . If you are just starting to explore being vegan, this cookbook is for you. If you like to eat delicious tasty food, this cookbook is for you.

It took them three years to put it together. Get it while it’s hot!

Where are you from? this seemingly easy question is not easy for me.

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When people ask me where I am from, I have to put on my happy face and ask some clarifying questions. Like- What does your question really mean? What information are you really looking for?

  • Did you want to know where I grew up?
  • What does grow up mean to you? childhood years or teenage years?
  • Where you looking to figure out where I was born?
  • Where did I move to Portland from?

Each one of these questions has a different answer. Language is important.

Usually I start by saying. I moved to Portland from Austin, Texas. Then they usually say- oh you grew up in Austin.

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Wait? What? I said I MOVED here from Austin.

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I grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Then they think I was born in Colorado.

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I was born in San Francisco, California

Spent half of the childhood years and 3/4 of my Senior year of High School in the Bay Area.

I realize this question is meant as a friendly conversation starter however I find it painful.

After all the answers- this question comes.

Did you move around so much because your family was in the military?

oh no… another innocent question is about to open a can of worms….

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No, we moved a lot because I had a dysfunctional family – I say with a smile to ease the tension.

I don’t really have any family per se. I have never met my Dad. Well that’s what it feels like anyway. I did see a picture of him holding me when I was about 18 months, my only half-sister passed away and my biological mother is dangerous to my happy life so I don’t talk to her nor have I for a very long time.

I wish society would come up with some other basic questions to get to know each other. Pronto. It’s quite possible that this question serves to constantly remind me that I am not like everyone else and to be comfortable with that. I can relate to orphans more than anyone else. Next question please.

Airbnb: “Airbnb is for little people”

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I have the nicest man for a guest at my Airbnb right now. He exudes genuine positive energy. It radiates. I imagine his wife must be equally cool . They have three daughters. He misses them and he has only been gone for a day.

He is staying for just a couple of nights. He came down from Washington State to work. He is an American professional football player. He is tall and a solid 315 pounds. When he arrived, he was wearing a boot around one of his feet. He has a torn Achilles Heal and I wondered immediately how he would do with the stairs.

It never occurred to me there might be a weight limit on the bed frame in the room.

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The bedrooms make up the entire second floor of the house. The rest is downstairs, including the bathroom. You know he will have to go up and down the stairs a few times everyday to shower and stuff.

I won’t enforce the shoes off policy with him since a persons health is more important than my preference. He should continue to wear that boot. My only request is to be careful with the bathroom rugs and the squishy ones in the kitchen.

Shoes off policy is not just about keeping the floors clean, or keeping all the things you have tracked in out of the kitchen where food is being made, it is mainly about Feet, Shoes, and Feng Shui.

He checked into the house around 9:30p.m. which is close to my bed time. There was another guest arriving at 10:00pm – I wanted to wait up for this guest since it would be his 1st time to use Airbnb. Stays just go better if I can meet and greet, give a tour and let them settle in.

Once everyone was settled, I got undressed to crawl into bed naked to sleep. Sleeping naked is the best and I highly recommend it. Benefits of Sleeping Naked according to Science. Not even 10 minutes later, I heard a loud noise that could be someone falling down the stairs. I got up, opened the door and shouted out ” Everything Okay?”

It took a second to get a response. The response came from the bedroom of the football player. He sat at the edge of the bed and the frame broke. Oh no! He was okay. He felt bad. I felt bad. It required attention and a makeshift solution. This is going to be challenging since I am a minimalist. Not much lying around.

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I went down to the basement and came up with two paint cans. Crossing my fingers they would be the right height. They worked :). As we were putting the cans under the bed for support, he was able to lift the entire bed up with one arm while laying on the floor. This is when he dropped the comment that Airbnb was for little people. I laughed and realized how small everyday things must be for him. He did use a beach towel for a shower towel. I noticed it when he was walking down the stairs because I have the same towel. I made sure to check in with him in the morning to make sure those paint cans were holding up. He slept fine. He was also able to relax and hang out on the bed.

As a Superhost, I feel like I should be able to provide comfortable accommodations to any guest that shows up. Although I do not have the funds right this minute to get another bed frame. It will be the next big purchase I buy for the Airbnb.

Airbnb: Please don’t ask me about the money I make from hosting.

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I understand that people are curious creatures. Humans have a natural instinct to understand the world around them. It is fun to travel and see how other people live life. You could find yourself asking questions to help gain a better understanding of the settings around you. Friendly reminder- there is more than one way to gather information, especially when dealing with sensitive topics.

I find my financial details to be sensitive information and private. I am also willing to express my boundaries. I do not feel bad for standing by them either.

When two strangers meet, their respective boundaries are unknown. Maybe something will be said or done to reveal someone’s boundaries. When boundaries are expressed, it is important to respect them.

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Whenever a guest arrives and proceeds to make conversation about what it must be like to be in the Airbnb business, what it must be like to be a host, what it is like to have strangers around, it seems the money question also comes up. What makes people think it is okay to ask a stranger about their financial situation? and make no mistake, you are asking about money and since I can only speak from my experience and I only know the intimate details of my situation and you are asking me- then yes, you are asking about my private business.

Do you know what it seems like. It seems like this……

Hi nice to meet you, how much money do you make?

  • Is Airbnb lucrative?
  • Are you able to cover the mortgage?
  • Do you have to have a second job?
  • How much do you get after Airbnb fees?

The answers to these questions are none of your business. When asked, I am put in the position of verbalizing my boundary, which sounds like….. Sorry, however we just met and I do not discuss my financial situation with strangers.

The gentlemen who asked me the lucrative question followed up my response with- Oh, I am not asking you about your money. We argued a little. Listen guy, yes, yes you are. Here is the definition of lucrative.

Some people feel bad after my boundary response, which puts me in the position of trying to smooth things out because they are guests in my home and I want them to feel comfortable. I have had to work really hard for this- a few times. My honest response brought an awkwardness to the situation that I felt fine about but I could tell my guest didn’t. They overstepped the bounds with their questions and now they feel bad because I responded honestly and shut down the conversation. Now I have to do the hard work to make it comfortable again.

In the future, think about what you’re asking, really think about it. If it requires divulging personal information then think twice asking a stranger about it.

The saying goes “Treat people how you want to be treated”. As much as I understand the lesson being conveyed, I think we should tweek it a bit to say- “Treat people how they would like to be treated.”

Airbnb: Drinking with the Russian Guest – Part 3 The End.

Albert called a truce on Twitter and we got to bottom of our issue. Our issue was caused by a glitch in the app and bad communication. Airbnb Lesson for the Week: Bad Communication will get you nowhere. Turns out, there is a glitch in the Android version of the Airbnb app. The glitch won’t allow you to see the ALL the House Rules for a listing. There are preset options from Airbnb that you have to choose from and there is additional space to put custom rules (the part he could not see). For now, I am just glad we have made peace. I already think communication is challenging enough with people you know, it can be even more challenging when you don’t know them. It is easy to misinterpret their intent based on their style of communication. Ultimately, I still think it wasn’t okay for him to take my personal information and bash me on Twitter to the point where strangers could identify me. I do understand it was his way to vent his frustration.

Yesterday when peace was made, he asked if I would like to meet for dinner. My schedule did not permit meeting so I asked if he would meet me at Box Social for a cocktail at 8p.m. the next day. He said yes.

On his way to meet me, he was in the area of town where a person jumped/ or was pushed off a parking garage into the downtown streets of Portland. Police Investigation is Underway. He is a great photographer and captured the incident with great detail (the body in the middle of the street). The pictures were gruesome however that’s real life so I find it fascinating. He told me in Russia that pictures like that are often sold to the media. Had he headed my way a few minutes earlier, the timing would have put him there to actually witness the event with his own eyes. How terrible.

We hung out for a few hours, drinking and chatting about his world travels, government red tape, being Russian in the United States right now, jobs and logistics. He is well-traveled – I am in awe of it. I have been craving adventure/travel for close to a year now. Life has required my attention be focused other things. Now that I have done my due diligence, I am ready for some fun!

I am such a light weight these days and after two drinks I am feeling saucy therefore it was time to go after that. I am also a bike only girl who has been too drunk to ride her bike home before ( that was a crazy fun night) as well as terribly funny to me when I realized I couldn’t get home by riding my bike. Did you know you can get a BUI in Portland?

One of the reasons I chose the Box Social was because I am a sucker for a fancy vodka cocktail. Their cocktails are bougie.

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I enjoyed a Doc Holiday and a Bleu Apple Fig Panini. For the second and final drink, I ended our time together with a Moscow Mule.

He will be traveling back to Russia in the morning so it was nice to meet before he left. We hugged it out and then parted ways but not before joking that he had a new follower on Twitter.

Thanks for extending the Olive Branch first Albert. Thanks for showing up. Thanks for staying in the conversation long enough to figure it out and for listening to my side.

Peace and Chicken Grease.

Airbnb: Getting Harassed by a Russian Guest Part 2- Twitter

Twitter time. 13859958641165122791twitter_logo_blue-md

I only joined Twitter to talk smack to President Trump.  I can’t stand him.  He is harmful to our nation. He is harming our nations standing in the world. He is harmful to the lives of women, children, immigrants/brown people, and anyone who isn’t rich. I could shout at him daily. I was good about it at first and then I stopped paying attention since it’s guaranteed that he says crazy things every day and I want to spend my time doing other things.

I was informed a couple of days ago by a very kind stranger that the guest that required kicking out  (Albert) had turned to Twitter to bash me and I didn’t deserve it.

Albert claimed to be a famous Russian blogger that was going to destroy me. He actually ignored my request for non communication and continued to send me messages gaining momentum in aggressive language. I feel harassed. You can only call me a Cunt on Twitter so many times before I have something to say.  He has great reviews on Airbnb. That guy didn’t show up to my house to stay.  I think we see his true colors on Twitter.

The research has shown the following tweets.Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 9.52.56 PM

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and so it begins.

 

 

After getting kicked out, he went to the Inner SE which is close to a homeless shelter and dive bars.

 

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He sent a message saying he was landing at 11:00p.m. My mistake in thinking he would come straight here to check in around 11:30p.m. or midnight.  My check in window ends at 10:00p.m so I was already doing him a favor.

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so he can follow instructions.

 

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He didn’t read the details in the listing because it clearly states where the space is located. 5 Top Things Airbnb Guests Should Do

and there are lots of signs around for good communication, including an chalk board arrow in the hallway pointing in the direction of the guest room (which is what I wrote on the arrow sign)  Airbnb Observation: I’ve decided if you do not like these signs then you do not like communication.

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I give everyone a fresh start. Fresh sheets, dust, trash, clean mirror, and a 420 kit along with a personalized name on a chalkboard for your room. 3 Top Things Airbnb Hosts Should Do

 

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He doesn’t remember.  I came downstairs to see what was happening, I noticed he just arrived since he still had his shoes and was drunk I felt compelled to make sure he knew where the bathroom was and where to get water.  I don’t need another guest “accidentally” trying to come in my room while “looking” for the bathroom when the listing states in 2 places the bathroom is downstairs and the bedrooms make up the entire upstairs of the place.

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Airbnb Lesson for the week: If you lie about reading the house rules, show up and violate them, then your stay with me will come to an end.

 

 

 

 

 

After giving a mini tour, I tried to go back upstairs to go to bed.  I had to be to work early and it is hard to go back to sleep when you wake up too much. He had questions though. Where could he smoke a cigarette? Smoking is not allowed on my property. He made faces and said – I can’t go out front? No. I can’t go out back? No. I reminded him that is states in the house rules (that he agreed to) He said he didn’t see that and gets out his phone to argue about it. I am grumpy from being rudely awoken and know he wants to argue.  I shut down the conversation and say we can pick it up in the morning if there are still questions.

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This guy is killing me.  Like it says in the house rules, the house is 420 friendly for guests since public consumption is illegal. I guess you lied about reading the house rules since you can’t seem to find them.

 

 

 

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I don’t argue with drunk people. Once I could smell the alcohol on his breath. I stopped the conversation and said we could pick it up in the morning.

 

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so the drunk guy thinks he is going to take action before I do. He sure talks a big game for someone who didn’t do a thing but complain on Twitter.

 

 

Before I went back to bed at 3:00a.m. I sent some messaging through Airbnb to document the situation. see messages here

at one point, I asked him to stop messaging and when he wouldn’t respect my request and wasn’t making sense or responding in an appropriate manner to the things being said, I knew I was going to have to have him leave.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 10.50.46 PMI called Airbnb first thing the next morning. They tried to call Albert but he didn’t answer.  I had to go in the room with my phone. A case manager was going to tell him it was time to vacate the premise. Instead of keeping all his money, I would let them change his reservation to just one night.

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How does he think Airbnb will be on his side when they already told him he was wrong and had to leave?!?!

They already sided with me.

 

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He sure tweets a lot. I told the case manager I did not wish to pursue the penalty fee. I wanted to be done with him as fast as possible so I made it easy and let it all go. Look at him trying to be all big and egotastic……

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Did he get that refund he was demanding? Nope!

 

 

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He is trying to change his story and they are holding him to the agreed upon modification.

 

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He didn’t get his way and now he is whining away.

 

 

 

 

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I have worked hard for my Superhost status and he doesn’t have the power to take that away.

I have reported these messages to Airbnb.

 

 

 

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Actions speak louder than words. For the record: I have an Android phone not an iPhone. Get the facts straight.

 

 

I got it, he thinks that he can take advantage of my Super host status and their wouldn’t be consequences to his rude behavior. Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 11.21.54 PM

 

 

I can’t take it anymore and finally I say something. Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 11.26.43 PM

 

 

 

My favorite part is where he says Airbnb is not on my side this morning when he is at a crappy motel. He was asked to leave my residence. He did not get a full refund. He got his Airbnb privileges suspended. He has already complained about the situation. Which part do you think is confusing to him?Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 11.30.15 PM

 

 

 

I have a lot of gratitude out there for a particular person who gave me a heads up this Twitter bashing was happening.  It should give everyone concern that someone can get your information legitimately and then take it to another platform where they intend to do you harm.  Put enough information out there that strangers can identify you. I have an angel watching my back! I also am tired of being called a Cunt and the lies he is telling. He wants to sit back and act all big and bad and tell his followers a bunch of stuff that isn’t true. So I am here to give my side to the story and provide evidence along the way.

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