This past week seemed to be calmer than the last, or maybe it was because this week felt more balanced between work and play so that made work seem more tolerable. I have encountered a lot of firsts in my job recently. I got to experience the not so pleasant side of my job when I had to break the news to a resident that he was being evicted. On the heals of that, I attended a local rally about the rental crisis that is happening in my city. (#RENTERSOS) Portland is a mess right now. People who are income challenged are being displaced at an alarming rate. Immediate change needs to happen and it was impressive that our city commissioner proposed new protections for renters the day after the rally. It’s a short-term solution to a deeper problem, but it is a step in the right direction.
I went to the rally to network with other housing advocates and to get a better pulse on the severity of this crisis. I was there as a professional, yet this is a deeply personal issue for me. I am incredibly fortunate that I am not one of the many uprooted Portlanders struggling to find adequate housing. I very easily could have been. I honestly do not think one day has gone by that I haven’t sent out a ‘thank you’ for the beautiful place I call home when I enjoy my amazing views from my deck.
I reconnected with my old next door neighbor, who I lived next to when I was with “M”. We had lunch and caught up on life. It was nice to share my story with someone else who knows “M” and it felt good to get validation for the inhumanity I experienced by “M”. She also works with the same populations as I do and, I discovered her office is in the building directly across from my main building where I have my office! We will be working on creating a professional partnership between our organizations. This is super cool! Her and her partner moved as well and I got an invite to their new house when they are more settled. I am thrilled to be back in contact with the people I thought were pretty cool neighbors. She also lives a gluten free lifestyle so it’s exciting to know I’ll have a gluten free lunch buddy when I want to break up my work day.
I hung out with co-workers one night after work. It was nice to go out and get to know them a little more personally. We are all so busy during the day and many of us are “out in the field”. I was happy to have the opportunity to sit around them all and casually mingle. I spent time with a couple people I haven’t seen in a while, I attended community events and overall had a really busy week, yet it ended with me feeling much less stress than the previous week. I do believe the nice balance between hard stuff and fun stuff made my week pretty decent.
I’ll be out and about the city doing my usual weekend errands then later having fun with some extra special people. I am most excited that I will finally be getting some more of my belongings from one of the places it’s been stored. I am desperately missing a few things and I really hope they are boxed away. I got rid of so much in my panic of needing to move because I had no idea where I would go. Thinking I might be in my car, I gave up nearly three quarters of my things. Now, months later, I have been learning I gave up some precious items I really wish I would not have. I suppose I will find out if what I want and need got saved a little later on today. Either way, it is what it is and I have another opportunity to let the past go a little more.
Another one of the firsts I am experiencing in my job is working with veteran’s. Thus far, I can only describe it as an intense experience. This raspberry compote developed after of one of these said veteran’s threatened to steal my food from the community room freezer. I often keep excess freezer food at work because my home freezer is very tiny. I am still trying to learn this man’s personality and I could not decide if he was making a threat or a joke, so I just removed the temptation and brought my food home. I simply had no room for my gallon sized bag of raspberries that I had picked earlier in the summer so I made a compote, poured it into jelly jars and froze those! They fit snuggly in my little freezer space and will make lovely gifts when the holidays arrive.
I am letting another week go to enjoy my weekend filled with all things good and nurturing! Here is how I’m starting my morning and my weekend: Using gluten free oats, I made oatmeal on the stovetop. While the oats were cooking I added 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, a tiny drizzle of pure vanilla and a dash of sea salt. I topped it with chopped walnuts, sunflower seeds, flax meal, chopped candied ginger and the raspberry compote.
4 cups of frozen raspberries
2 Tablespoons of cinnamon
1/4 cup of raw cane sugar
dash of sea salt
Put all ingredients into a 2 quart pot and simmer on the stovetop until bubbly. Allow to simmer on a low heat until the raspberries break down and develop a syrup like texture. Remove from heat. Let cool completely then store in air tight glass jars. Can be frozen for later use or use right away over oatmeal or maybe even over a delicious dairy free “ice cream”!! Enjoy!