Five months… and change…

Five months ago everything in my life started changing, and I didn’t even know it.

I started changing.

Five months ago I sent a resume to a company in Fort Myers that I’d never heard of. Four and a half months ago I came down to Punta Gorda for the first time. Continue reading

Temporarily closed for repairs…

So yeah… lots of stuff going on kids… ALL. OF. THE. STUFF. Head is spinning from all of the changes that are happening really damned fast and if you follow me on Facebook then you already know the scoop. However, until I get some security updates done on this bloggity blog thing I won’t be talking about ALL. OF. THE. STUFF. on here for a while.

Remember the social and cyber stalking I dealt with a long time ago? Yeah… that’s a problem… again…

Ugh.

Continue reading

Cheers…

 

Here’s a toast to 52… it’s been a mix but I’m ending it smiling and that’s what counts. Thanks to everyone in my life for all of the love… I am blessed beyond measure for the gift of each of you. You’ve carried me through lots of change, lots of things I never expected, and so many things I didn’t see coming.

I may be blind… don’t tell the DMV 😉

But now it’s time for year 53… so c’mon kids… let’s do this… go big or go home!

JK you don’t really get to go home… well maybe that person in the back… not even sure why she’s here anyway… oh and Wellman… he’ll ghost if I don’t give him permission so I might as well say he can leave. The rest of you? Nope! 

Get busy living or get busy dying… it’s a choice… I choose life. And today I am happy. Because I choose happy.

Now let’s get this party started!

Careful what you wish for…

for you shall surely get it… or something like that.  And with that, all I can add is wow! Just wow… because really there just aren’t any other words that apply.

Seriously… Continue reading

But it came with a lifetime guarantee…

whatever the hell that is anyway.

So yeah… I’m thinking about permanence these days… or the impermanence of permanence… or something like that. Because every time I read that something comes with a “lifetime guarantee” my first thought is “whose lifetime are we talking about here?” No really… that’s always what I think… not even kidding. Because if we’re talking my lifetime that’s a lot less time than I’d like to think it’s going to be… brutal reality is that I’m on the downhill side of the slope and if I can get another 30 decent years I’ll actually be damned lucky. But if we’re talking someone like, oh, I don’t know, maybe my son or my daughter? Well now we’re talking getting something of value. At 25 and 30 they’re going to get some serious value out of that whole “lifetime guarantee” stuff.

Damn it to hell.

Anyway, where was I? Oh right, cursing my age again… it happens pretty frequently these days… sorry… birthday Tourettes I guess. But yeah, I’m not even sure anyone believes that whole thing about “lifetime guarantee” anymore, nobody under the age of 40 anyway. Everything is disposable… and I mean everything.

Don’t believe me? When was the last time you saw a TV Repair Shop? Or any kind of small appliance repair shop of any kind for that matter? Yep… everything is disposable.

And that’s why I’m ruminating on that phrase… because I don’t believe anything is forever anymore. Life is teaching me that the hard way these days and I’m finally starting to get okay with it. Life moves in seasons and in phases… some days you like something like carrots and then suddenly you wake up one day and figure out that you don’t… and maybe you never did… maybe you just thought you did.

Maybe not.

So you move to another vegetable and you hope for the best, understanding that there’s lots of vegetables in the world and variety is a good thing to have in your life. But what if you ran out of vegetables…

What if?

Some of you… not naming any names or anything… might rejoice. Until you realize that you have just managed to limit your options for foods by more than half and now you’re going to be eating a pretty boring plate. That’s the thing with moving on… if you aren’t careful you eliminate options… take things off the table… but you also need to add things back in if you’re going to continue to learn and grow and develop. Options are good… they make us think and consider… they make us adapt… they make us flexible. Conversely removing options, eliminating them, reducing yourself to a very few of them makes your viewpoint limited, constricts your world, and puts you into a box that you can’t easily escape.

Not even if you gnaw your foot off or some such nonsense.

I’m seriously in the camp of nothing lasting forever and I still choose to see that as a good thing. Regardless of what that moron who built the Noah’s Ark Museum in Kentucky believes we are all evolving. Every day. And we’re changing… whether we know it or see it… and sometimes this means that what was meant to be a lifetime may not actually turn out to be that long. Or sometimes it means that we live multiple lifetimes in the space of one life… and we have to let things come and go… like the tide washing in and out… and allow ourselves to both mourn the losses and look forward to the arrivals… because if we’re doing this right then something new is always coming to replace the old.

Always.

And once you adjust your expectations, once you let go of what you think should happen and accept what is happening, then you can find the freedom to live this moment, the way it lands in front of you, with no guarantees or promises… because that’s life. Maybe it’s not what you wanted… but it really doesn’t care about what you want. Maybe you can hold onto it with a stranglehold and try to get a few more years from it. Maybe.

And maybe not. Because there’s no guarantee.

 

On being woke…

The Innkeeper Chronicles… Part One

innkeeper-motto

So I’m starting something new on here… since I’ve got this Airbnb adventure going and it’s doing pretty well I thought I’d start answering some questions that have been thrown at me through messages and such and give some of you who are considering this an idea as to how I make this work and the realities of having strangers in your home on a regular basis.

Okay, the short answer? It’s going well but it’s definitely a learning process. With each new guest I’m getting better at the process, and figuring out what works and what doesn’t. My beginning? I stocked the Refrigerator with soda and water, actually scrubbed the entire house top-to-bottom, and hoped for the best. There were some hiccups… like me losing my own housekey and the guest having to leave me his until I could get another one… but all in all it went pretty well. The second guest was great – one night, no real needs other than internet, and bonus! He left me a fantastic review. The third set of guests was my first time with both rooms in use. Grandparents and mom of FSC student. Nice people but very much morning people and everybody knows I don’t do mornings until around 11 or so. Also they’d never stayed via Airbnb before and didn’t know what to expect. I was much relieved to disabuse them of the idea that I would be making up the room every morning after they went out for the day. Um, well, no. Not to say that I don’t check everything over in the bathroom and replenish what needs replenishment but I leave the guest rooms alone. I don’t want to invade people’s privacy and unless I hear sounds of ritual sacrifice or ongoing demolition you can be sure I will not. My longest guest thus far (4 nights) just departed yesterday and she was absolutely wonderful. Very nice, brought a hostess gift, very low maintenance, and she’s the first where I started experimenting with offering breakfast as well. I’m happy to report that I’ve finally started getting used to a revolving door and people coming and going… at least I’ve stopped waking up with a start when I smell coffee in my house and taking 5 minutes to reason through knowing that people who rob your house likely won’t make coffee first and then finally remembering that there’s people staying with me. And with that now I’ve got a month-long guest arriving tomorrow and weekend guests arriving 3 of the next 4 weekends so things are getting busy and I’m starting to wonder if I’ve lost my mind. I’m sure this is going to get even more entertaining for me, especially with the holidays and all that coming up, so I’ll keep sharing the fun on here and giving you guys the back view on my new gig by default.

After that recap of my adventures, based on questions I’ve gotten and things that have been said, here’s the things I recommend if you’re considering this gig:
1) The basics – Invest in good high thread count sheets, good all cotton white towels (bleachable, more sanitary, and if they stain you throw them out), and good pillows. Don’t eye-roll me or say you can’t afford it… just shut up and do it dammit. Rue Lala has 500tc Egyptian Cotton sheets for $39.99… Sam’s has Serta Pillows for $9.95 a 2 pack… Macy’s runs Ralph Lauren towels on sale several times a year. Trust me when I tell you it will pay off in the end. And don’t argue about the white towels… things happen… bleach solves it… can’t do that with cornflower blue or brick red… argument over.
2) Upgrade your guest room so it looks like a place people want to stay. So here it is, if you’re still holding onto that Hello Kitty bedroom stuff from your daughter’s teen years it’s time to make like Elsa and let that ish go. My decorating rule is to make your guest room and your guest bath inviting and comfortable. There’s no need to get House Beautiful to come in and redo the rooms and you probably want to lay off the more esoteric and complicated Pinterest stuff, but definitely choose things that are comfortable and cozy, and also make sure those things are sturdy and can take frequent cleaning. No need for Louis XIV antiques, but a well-placed reading light, a soft throw, a luggage rack, and a chair to sit in will never be out of place. Throw in a drawer or two available in the dresser, some decent closet space, and extra hangers and you’ve got it done. It’s not hard… just look at the room and envision where you would want to stay. Create that.
3) Put a power strip near the bed for plugging in multiple electronic devices. Not sure about you but that’s something I bitch about in every hotel room I stay in… no matter how cheap or expensive. So with my rooms whatever I’ve missed in a hotel room? I’ve made sure it’s in mine. Electronics recharging is a part of life today… get with the program.
4) Go sleep in your guest room… make sure it’s a bed you would sleep in, make sure the room is comfortable for you, and if you’re not comfy there then fix it!
5) Get fast internet. Everyone I’ve had here has used serious bandwidth their entire stay. Everyone. I’ve got streaming devices on both televisions in those rooms and they use the heck out of them. So plan for that… the demographic that is adopting Airbnb the fastest is the millennial generation. That’s their MO… you need to make it yours if you want them back. They might enjoy the novelty of your in-room Keurig but they’ll demand fast internet. So do I… so make that happen.
6) Don’t waste money on things that will likely not pay off. An in-room refrigerator is nice, an in-room coffee pot is convenient but offering use of the kitchen and extra space in the refrigerator if there’s things they need to cook or chill is just as good. These people are guests in your home. If they wanted to stay at the Holiday Inn they’d be there. Make them a part of your home to the degree that they’re comfortable with but know upfront that if they’re renting a room in a private home they already expect that they will become a part of a home dynamic. I tell all of my guests that they are welcome to enjoy all common areas of my home. If they want to sit in the Living Room and watch the big TV they’re welcome to do so. If they want to use the pool then come on out. They aren’t expected to just stay in their room and out of my hair. Part of the adventure in this kind of travel is meeting new people and experiencing new things. If you’re not into that, don’t sign up and choose to rent your room. Seriously. This takes peopling. You have to be good at it. At least sometimes. So keep that in mind.
7) Don’t stress out and remember to have fun. I schedule the day after departure for cleaning and restoring the room(s) back to clean and ready. I also schedule the day before arrival for cleaning of the entire house to make sure I’m ready. When I go back to work I may look into a cleaning service to assist me with this part. But outside of those two days of effort I’m a neat person and my house stays pretty well put together so it’s not something I focus on. When guests are here I run the sweeper every morning because of the additional foot traffic and I also wipe down the bathroom and kitchen counters, just because I’m OCD like that. But that’s about it. I would much rather spend a few minutes chatting with the guests about restaurants I love and things to do in my beautiful little town than worrying about whether the bathmat is hung up properly. Perspective… it’s important… get some.

Okay… there you go… that’s my innkeeping manifesto… now go figure it out for you. We’re all different and our spaces are different too. If you’re leaning toward trying this out this just starts your conversation about it. And if you have any other questions ask away. I’ll do my best to help. It’s fun… I’m enjoying it… good luck! Oh… and for a bit of shameless self-promotion, here’s my listings from Airbnb… share amongst yourselves!

Casa de Bruce-Weiner Room 1

Casa de Bruce-Weiner Room 2